If Jurrjens isn’t ready, Minor could replace him

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Braves are holding open a roster spot for starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens for the time being, but want to be more certain of his health before they include him on the finalized opening-day roster.

Three days after leaving a start with a sore right side, Jurrjens felt good when he tested it Sunday playing catch. He plans a more rigorous test with a bullpen session Monday.

“We did some light catch today just to see how it would respond,” Jurrjens said. “It responded good. We did all the tests we needed to do to try to figure out how severe it is, and I passed all of them. Just waiting to see what they want me to do.”

General manager Frank Wren said Jurrjens would have to pitch in a competitive game of some kind – not a simulated game — to satisfy team officials before he pitches in a major league game.

The tentative plan is for him to pitch in a minor-league spring training game Friday, which would put him on schedule to start Game 6 on April 6 at Milwaukee.

No. 5 starter Brandon Beachy had been scheduled to start April 6, but Beachy could move to Jurrjens’ No. 4 position and start April 4 at Milwaukee. (Opening day starter Derek Lowe will come back to pitch April 5 on regular rest.)

If the Braves don’t think Jurrjens is ready, they would put him on the 15-day disabled list to begin the season and call up another starter, probably rookie Mike Minor from Triple-A. The left-hander lost the fifth-starter battle with Beachy last week.

“More than likely it would be Minor, if that’s the case,” Wren said. “Because he was obviously a finalist. He’s on the roster. We’re talking about probably no more than one start, maybe two at the most, if this thing goes as we expect.

“We’re hoping it’s none [that Jurrjens will not need to go on the DL] and secondarily hoping that it’s no more than one [start missed].”

If Jurrjens is placed on the DL, it would be backdated to March 25, the day after his last Grapefruit League start, and he’d be eligible to come back and pitch against Philadelphia on April 9 in the Braves’ second home game.

19 comments Add your comment

eskippy

March 27th, 2011
7:35 pm

SteveO

March 27th, 2011
7:42 pm

I hape JJ pitched like he did a few years ago! BTW 2ND?

Bobby Johnson

March 27th, 2011
7:48 pm

We need an outfielder

Day Man

March 27th, 2011
7:50 pm

JJ will be gone one way or another by mid season. He’s either going to be banged up too long and lose his job to Minor, or he will be flat out traded (still losing his job to Minor).

Wish he could get it together because hes a really good pitcher.

ColoradoBravesFan

March 27th, 2011
8:40 pm

Bobby… Why do we need an outfielder? Where would he play? We have Prado, Heyward and McLouth. McLouth has been really good in ST, so we need to give him a chance to see if he can perform during the first 30 games. Braves need a RH pinch hitter with pop that can play CF. We need a 4th OFer, RHed to pair with Hinske as pinch hitters and platoon in LF if Prado has to cover 3rd for Chipper.

GarynpOH

March 27th, 2011
9:32 pm

good point CBF

GarynpOH

March 27th, 2011
9:33 pm

Enter your comments here

matt young

March 27th, 2011
10:49 pm

me so happy to make the team. just hope i stop blacking out before opening day. me so happy,

Rhett

March 27th, 2011
11:18 pm

Nate Mclouth is horrible he doesn’t deserve any more chances.

wjones

March 27th, 2011
11:58 pm

“Rhett

March 27th, 2011
11:18 pm
Nate Mclouth is horrible he doesn’t deserve any more chances”

Dude, check his spring stats. He has been one of the best hitters in camp, other than Chipper.

Tana

March 28th, 2011
12:31 am

McLouth obviously had mechanic issues and the confidence issues last season. Any hope he had of getting on tracked was derailed by the Heyward Train in the outfield collision. He has had time to get it together and work with a new hitting coach. I love TP but i honestly just don’t think he meshed in a hitting philosophy with some of our players. McLouth is doing more than hitting, he is walking. He seems to have an idea for the strike zone. Any way you get on base is still a base runner.

I’m calling it today….by All Star Break Nate McLouth will be one of the most consistent bats in the line-up..

The Colonel

March 28th, 2011
12:45 am

If neither of our young would-be closers turn out to be quite ready (and I think that will be the case, once the season starts), how about bringing up Minor and making Lowe the closer? He has 85 saves, and he sometimes can’t make it out of the fourth inning.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Ajax

March 28th, 2011
7:57 am

Jurrjens is becoming another Mike Hampton. How does a pitcher stay injured all the time ?

mathman

March 28th, 2011
9:07 am

Tap the brakes a little on McLouth. Spring training does not make a comeback. Let’s see if he can improve on his .186 average before we jump for joy. And, let’s see if he has learned to throw the ball back in, immediately to the correct base, instead of holding on to it, like a 10 year old little leaguer.

And, let’s see if the upper cut is permanently gone. If you remember, it disappeared last year for about 10 days, then he reverted to his past. His juiced Pittsburgh past. So, let’s hold on for a month or two.

Don

March 28th, 2011
9:18 am

Season has’nt even started and already we possibly have another pitcher injured. We continue to have injury after injury after injury to pitchrs ever since McDowell has been the PC. This may or may not be the result of his conditioning program and the way he handles pitchers – but it seems strange that we have had so many – and it is no longer older pitchers.

GT Alum

March 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

Even including last year’s terrible year, McLouth has a career slash of .252/.337/.438. Obviously, the BA isn’t great, but it’s 60 points above what he did last year. And the OBP is decent, and his career OPS is 150 points higher than what it was last year. Even in 2009 after the trade to Atlanta, he posted .257/.354/.419. Even with the uppercut, he’s a better hitter than what he did last year. And this team has enough offensive firepower with Uggla, Chipper, McCann, Heyward and Prado that we don’t need a lot from him. We just need him to not be terrible.

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obi wan kenobi

March 29th, 2011
10:29 am

Wasnt JJ in the best shape of his life??? or aleast that is what he said…

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