Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday in Washington, his first work off a mound since leaving a March 24 spring start in Dunedin with pain in his right side. That should give the Braves an indication whether he’ll be able to make his first start of the season Wednesday in Milwaukee.
If Jurrjens is unable to go, the Braves can place him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 25, start minor leaguer Mike Minor in Milwaukee and have Jurrjens back as early as April 9 at home against the Phillies.
“All the time I’ve played catch, it felt fine, no problem,” said Jurrjens who played catch three times in the past four days. “I feel good; we’ll see tomorrow.”
Beachy finishes stellar spring
Brandon Beachy pitched four scoreless innings in his final tune-up of a spring in which he beat out Mike Minor to win the fifth starters’ spot. He showed again Wednesday just why, allowing five singles but no walks and striking out five. He worked around jams in the first and fourth innings, stranding four runners in scoring position.
He didn’t let the fairly-deserted stands at Turner Field – he said he could hear the radio broadcasters from the mound – distract him. He was able to work in a few rare sinkers and sliders, a new pitch he’s added this spring.
Beachy finished with 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA this spring, allowing only two earned runs in 20 innings. He walked four and struck out 21. He’s slated to make his first start Monday in Milwaukee, in search of his first major league win in his fourth start.
“I can’t wait to win,” Beachy said. “I want to have a number other than a zero next to my name.”
The Braves lost 2-0 to the Twins Wednesday to finish their exhibition season 17-13-4. New manager Fredi Gonzalez’s main goal was to finish healthy.
“Those last five games of spring training kept me up at night (wanting) to make sure everybody’s healthy to start the season, and we’re there,” said Gonzalez, who will debut as Braves manager Thursday. “We’re itching to get going and in less than 24 hours we’ll be hopefully shaking hands.”
First baseman Mauro Gomez went from virtual unknown to man of the hour on Tuesday night when he hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Twins in his first major league at-bat of spring training. Gomez made the trip to Turner Field as a minor league extra and had not appeared in a spring training game with the major league club. Originally signed by the Rangers, the Braves got him as a minor league free agent last year. Gomez hit 16 home runs for Double-A Mississippi last season, tied for second-most among all Braves minor leaguers.