LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A day after Jair Jurrjens left a game with discomfort in his right side, the Braves pitcher was still “a little sore” Friday but not believed to be injured seriously.
That was the report from Braves general manager Frank Wren, who said Jurrjens’ status was day-to-day. He’ll be reevaluated before a decision is made about the opening-day roster.
Jurrjens received treatment for several hours at the Braves’ spring-training headquarters Friday and left before the clubhouse was open to reporters. He was not sent out to have an MRI exam.
The right-hander was removed from Thursday’s game against Toronto after one inning, after feeling a twinge in his right side in the rib-cage area. Jurrjens thought it was only a cramp, but the Braves took him him out as a precaution in case it was a more serious matter, such as an oblique strain.
Wren had said Thursday that they wanted to see how Jurrjens felt when he woke the next day.
“He felt fine,” the GM said Friday. “He’s a little sore, but it doesn’t sound like anything bad.”
If Jurrjens isn’t ready to begin the season, the Braves would presumably turn to rookie left-hander Mike Minor or veteran Rodrigo Lopez to fill out the rotation. Minor lost the fifth-starter battle to Brandon Beachy and was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, but could be recalled without a waiting period if the Braves put someone on the disabled list.
Early indications are that the Braves don’t think it will be necessary to scramble and fill in for Jurrjens, but they’ll probably wait at least a day or two before making that decision.
Jurrjens is scheduled to start Tuesday’s exhibition game against Minnesota at Turner Field and make his first regular-season start in Game 4 on April 4 at Milwaukee.
If the team wanted to give him extra rest without placing him on the DL, he could skip Tuesday’s start and push back his season debut to April 6 at Milwaukee, the sixth game of the season. Beachy is currently scheduled to start that day, but could move up to April 4.
Jurrjens went 7-6 with a 4.74 ERA in 20 starts during an injury-plagued 2010 season. He was sidelined by shoulder, hamstring, and knee problems, the latter requiring arthroscopic surgery that kept him out of the September stretch drive and postseason.
In 2009, he finished 14-10 with a 2.60 ERA — third-lowest among National League starters.