Braves put Jurrjens on DL, target April 16 return

WASHINGTON – As expected, the Braves placed Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, choosing to spot start Mike Minor on Wednesday against the Brewers and play it cautiously with Jurrjens.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed Sunday Jurrjens suffered a right oblique strain in his March 24 spring training outing against the Blue Jays, which Jurrjens originally characterized as a cramp.

The DL stint is retroactive to March 25, which would make Jurrjens eligible to pitch next weekend against the Phillies, but the Braves want him to work his way back up to a full load with some minor league action. They don’t project him to return to the rotation until April 16 against the Mets at the earliest.

“He’s a big part of our rotation,” Gonzalez said. “He’s a competitor and he wants to be out there. You just never know. You can have all the bullpens you want. When you’re facing a different color uniform and a real game situation, you don’t know how that injury is going to react.”

Gonzalez is also concerned about what effect it might have on the Braves bullpen if Jurrjens has to leave a game after two or three innings.

“Maybe the night before the pen gets blown out because something happened and now you get set back by three or four days,” Gonzalez said.

Jurrjens lasted only one inning in that March 24 game against the Blue Jays, which means in effect he would have pitched only one competitive inning in 18 days if he had started Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Jurrjens threw his second bullpen in four days Sunday, this time a 10-minute session. He’s scheduled to throw three or four innings a simulated game in Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday (Gwinnett’s season doesn’t start until Thursday). Jurrjens would then pitch five or six innings in Gwinnett’s game on Monday, April 11. If all goes well, he’ll be ready to debut the following Saturday against the Mets.

Jurrjens missed nearly three months of action last season between hamstring and knee problems. He also opened camp last year with some shoulder soreness. The Braves don’t want him to start 2011 with something that could linger.

Jurrjens was originally scheduled to pitch Monday against the Brewers, so this DL stint will cost him two starts. But Gonzalez said that’s better than the alternative.

“He still has 31, 32 left,” Gonzalez said. “I’d rather have that, than him trying to make this start and the next thing you know he misses 10.”

Beachy packs new slider for Monday start

Brandon Beachy might be making only his fourth major league start Monday in Milwaukee, but he’s got to feel like a grizzled veteran with all the time to prepare this go-around.

Unlike last September when Beachy was thrown into the middle of the pennant race with the Phillies – for an emergency start at Citizens Bank Park in his debut – he’s had an entire spring training to prepare.

“Being in my routine is the way I’m going to be the most successful,” said Beachy, who went 0-2 despite a 3.00 ERA in three September starts. “To be set in that, I feel, gives me a better chance to go out and be sharp….I feel ready.”

Beachy beat out Mike Minor for the fifth starter’s spot in spring training by showing the same command and mound presence that got him up to the big leagues in such a key situation last year. The time has also allowed him to develop a better feel for his slider, which givens him a second breaking pitch to go with his curveball.

Beachy said he threw it in bullpens last year in the minor leagues and occasionally in games but came in determined to perfect it this spring.

“I came in, knowing the only way to get to a point where I can rely on it is if I use it, and I started using it,” he said. “I feel pretty comfortable with it.”

By March 19, his first of two spring training starts against the Tigers’ regular lineup, he was mixing it in with his curveball to get key outs.

“He knows how to add and subtract really well,” his catcher Brian McCann said that day. “He could throw one slider at 81 (mph) and he can throw one at 85. That’s the sign of a mature pitcher who knows what he’s doing.”

Beachy said he hasn’t had any of the problems some pitchers do with getting a feel for two different breaking pitches.

“I throw my curveball so differently, it doesn’t really affect me,” Beachy said. “I try to throw (my slider) like my fastball until the very end, just finish with a little more pressure on my middle finger.”

Minor rejoins Braves for fill-in assignment

Nine days after Mike Minor lost the No. 5 starter’s job and was optioned to Triple-A, he flew to Washington to join the Braves’ starting rotation.

The left-hander will fill in for injured Jair Jurrjens on Wednesday against the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Braves say they’ll probably need Minor for just one start, but no more than two, before Jurrjens (oblique strain) is ready to come off the disabled list.

“I’m just here to help the team,” said Minor, who flew to Washington on Saturday and reported to the ballpark Sunday morning. A couple of teammates’ heads turned when he casually walked past them in Braves workout gear.

“What happened?” Chipper Jones said to teammate Martin Prado, neither Braves player aware that Jurrjens had been DL’d and Minor recalled.

“Hopefully J.J. gets better within a week, two weeks,” Minor said. “I’m not sure how serious the injury is. He told me he’s doing OK and they’re just going to make sure.”

Minor competed with friend Brandon Beachy and veteran Rodrigo Lopez for the fifth-starter job during spring training. Minor and Beachy both pitched well, but Beachy was better in his last couple of starts and won the job.

The two will share an apartment in Atlanta this season, and Beachy had said they hoped to be in the Braves’ rotation together at some point. They didn’t think it’d be this soon, though. Beachy starts Monday at Milwaukee, after moving up to Jurrjens’ fourth spot.

Minor went 3-2 with a 5.98 ERA in nine games for the Braves last season after being called from Gwinnett to replace injured starter Kris Medlen in August. Minor, a 2009 first-round draft pick, said he’s more prepared to pitch in the majors this time.

“I feel more confortable just walking around the clubhouse, knowing where things are, what to do, how to act,” said the 23-year-old Tennesseean. “Just more comfortable being around the guys, and I feel a lot better [physically] this year than I did last year.

“Last year it was at the end of the year and I wasn’t feeling good. Now it’s the beginning of the year and I feel pretty good, free fresh. Hopefully I just go out there and perform how I know I’m can.” — David O’Brien

Notable: Matt Young made his major league debut as a pinch-runner in the six-run eighth inning, after Chipper Jones doubled. Brian McCann singled on the next pitch, scoring Young from second base. Young stayed in and finished the game in left field. -- David O’Brien

Teheran, Proctor to open in Triple-A Gwinnett

Braves stud pitching prospect Julio Teheran will open the season in Triple-A Gwinnett. He headlines the opening day roster announced Sunday.

Teheran, 20, is rated the No. 5 prospect by Baseball America. Some projected he might open in Double-A Mississippi by virtue of the fact that he made only seven starts there last season, but after an impressive spring training the Braves decided to give Teheran his first taste of Triple-A competition.

After watching Teheran and some of the Braves other top young pitchers in spring training, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came away confident Teheran could have an impact at the major league level this season.

“The (Arodys) Vizccainos, Teheran, the (Jairo) Ascencios, the (Juan) Abreus – not only do they have great arms and light up the radar, they threw the ball over the plate,” Gonzalez said. “They threw strikes. So you feel like OK, these guys can help us if something crazy happens.”

Also on the pitching staff in Gwinnett is Scott Proctor, whom the Braves released at the end of spring training when he lost out in the competition for the final bullpen spot to Cristhian Martinez.

Proctor had signed a non-guaranteed $750,000 contract, and by virtue of being released by March 28 the Braves only had to pay him 45 days’ termination pay. They re-signed him to a minor league contract, giving him another shot to return to form he had pre-2009 elbow reconstruction surgery.

Also on the Gwinnett roster: Pitchers (12): RH Juan Abreu, RH Jairo Asencio, LH Yohan Flande, RH Cory Gearrin, RH Rodrigo Lopez, RH Stephen Marek, LH Mike Minor, RH Scott Proctor, RH Todd Redmond, RH Julio Teheran, RH Jacob Thompson, LH Anthony Varvaro.

Infielders (6): Shawn Bowman, Mauro Gomez, Diory Hernandez, Ed Lucas, Joe Mather, Daniel Nelson.

Outfielders (4): Willie Cabrera, Jose Constanza (L), Wilkin Ramirez, and Jordan Schafer. Catchers (2): J.C. Boscan, Wilkin Castillo.

*Minor is listed on Gwinnett’s opening day roster because he was originally assigned there. But Minor has been called up to Atlanta to make a spot start Wednesday in Milwaukee in place of the injured Jair Jurrjens (oblique), who was just placed on the disabled list Sunday.

41 comments Add your comment

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
12:11 pm

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
12:12 pm

Game will be on at 1:35. Come on over and watch the game with me, talk some great baseball, discuss the neverending blog, and eat some great Q.

KennesawBrave

April 3rd, 2011
12:20 pm

Let’s GO HUDDY!

USMC DAWG

April 3rd, 2011
12:29 pm

This stuff with JJ is getting old. Hamstrings, knee strains, now it’s an oblique. Either this kid is made of glass, or he’s a wimp.

bbkorbel

April 3rd, 2011
12:34 pm

Billy Jack…where is your place? Or…are you not allowed to give that out on the blog?

San Francisco BravesFan

April 3rd, 2011
12:37 pm

Go, Braves! Victory is ours today.

OldTimer

April 3rd, 2011
12:39 pm

Gonzalez passes his first test.

Robin Of The Hood

April 3rd, 2011
12:40 pm

DUDE!!! Its been the same story about JJ just written like 30 diff times! If its getting old then stop reading stories about him. This is a precation move so he doesnt get hurt further and everyone pretty much expected him to go on the DL for a little while

Sweet Old Buck

April 3rd, 2011
12:46 pm

ESPN beat you guys to the story. Great reporting DOB.

Trig

April 3rd, 2011
12:47 pm

Pitchers in general are the biggest wimps, wussies, whatever in sports….a “strain”?…cmon….they spend weeks on the dl with strains and pulls that keep players in other sports out for days or 1 week at the most….pathetic

Bill

April 3rd, 2011
12:48 pm

bbokorbel….I believe it located @ 857 Collier Rd Atlanta Phone #404-351-7979

Go Braves… Yes JJ has had his share of problems. Hope he’s ready soon.

MAC

April 3rd, 2011
12:56 pm

Thats gotta be tough for JJ, hopeful for a great recovery

On a lighter note, does anybody know the link to listen to the game online?

Blog comments are retarded

April 3rd, 2011
12:57 pm

Thanks Carroll. You and O’Brien are doing a great job as always. I love that the AJC sent you both to DC. Is this a season long thing, or just opening weekend?

ChrisfromSacramento,CA

April 3rd, 2011
12:58 pm

Two years of JJ losing velocity and DL stints. I hope he pitches well then trade him at the AS Break. Boras client i might add. JJ is not the same 2009 JJ and is going down hill fast.TRADE HIM!!!

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
12:59 pm

Thanks Bill, guess I owe you a pulled pork sandwich. You got the address correct.

On the topic, interesting that Atlanta signed Proctor to a minor league contract today and assigned him to Gwinnett. Wow DOB stays on top of stuff.

we are the best informed fans in the world

bbkorbel

April 3rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Thanks Bill..I’ll venture in there sometime when/if I get to that side of town. From his blog entries, sounds like Billy Jack makes it a fun place. (I think!)

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
1:07 pm

We try hard, great barbecue and sides, some fun conversation and of course baseball with no drama.

Cousin Vicker

April 3rd, 2011
1:13 pm

Need to get JJ healthy so we can move Hanson as far down in the rotation as possible. Guy is a middle of the rotation pitcher with middle rotation stuff. No idea where the hype comes from. The blistering 90-94 mph fastball??

bbkorbel

April 3rd, 2011
1:17 pm

Basically agree with you “Cuz” on Hanson…but remember, Fredi put him in between Lowe & Hudson so teams wouldn’t face “groundball” pitchers back-to-back.

Pete*

April 3rd, 2011
1:30 pm

Billy Jack you need DOB to endorse your Q lol

1991Braves

April 3rd, 2011
1:32 pm

This starting rotation is starting to look very average at best. J.J. isn’t close to the pitcher he was in 2009, he is starting to become the reincarnation of chipper with all the injuries. When he does pitch he seems to get shelled one inning per outing at he can’t overcome that one inning. Hanson is a big question mark. He is too inconsistent, and he doesn’t come close to resembling the pitcher he was when he first came up. Hitters have figured him out, and he will lose a lot of games as the #2 starter. Lowe is Lowe. If his sinker is working lookout, if it isn’t really LOOKOUT if you are sitting in the outfield bleachers. The only pitcher that carried his weight last year in every start was Hudson, but you never know how long pitchers with Tommy John surgery will hold up. I think we should bring up the young flame throwers, and try to trade Hanson&J.J, J.J. for sure. Minor and the other kid in AAA that throws in the mid to upper 90’s needs to get their shot, if for no other reason than to provide insurance for J.J.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
1:34 pm

Yep Pete, but I try to be careful and walk a fine line. I love baseball and the blog and worship the Braves. Obviously, I am passionate about my barbecue. As DOB stated once (without scolding me too bad) I have to limit the shameless plugs.

FYI, the game (if you live in Atlanta and have Comcast) can be found on FSSO at #48. Although I am sure the bloggers will keep everyone current.

Pete*

April 3rd, 2011
1:35 pm

Good points 1991. I was personally amazed that Hanson started instead of Huddy.

Pete*

April 3rd, 2011
1:35 pm

Thanks Billy I have the game on; I live in Brookhaven area of Atl.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
1:38 pm

Some good eats can definitely be found in B haven.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 3rd, 2011
1:39 pm

Personally, I am not worried about Hanson. Way, way too early.

CF on the other hand terrifies me. However, even though the Nater is starting slow, he had a good game. Don’t forget that he got HBP and took 2nd and scored our first run. As long as he makes things happen, I am okay with that.

Braves starting slow today.

Pete*

April 3rd, 2011
1:43 pm

Billy, Noche (from Va. Highlands) just opened in BHaven; great place.

bravesgrl4life

April 3rd, 2011
1:43 pm

Is this now the main blog?

1991Braves

April 3rd, 2011
2:04 pm

OMG!! What happens when you have a 41 yr old 3rd baseman? He can’t get out of the way of the baserunner, and he is called for obstructing the base runner. You have go 2 b kidding me. May be a long season for braves fans

Larry

April 3rd, 2011
2:27 pm

Darn! I was so looking forward to JJ’s 88 MPH fastball!

Our odds are better with Mike Minor.

HAL

April 3rd, 2011
4:24 pm

hansons hype and heward hype are so predictable a cpl overer hyped under talented stuipd kids ill take medlin and freeman all day

Ralph

April 3rd, 2011
9:03 pm

There really isn’t much difference between 1st spot and 4th spot in the rotation, all pitch every 5th day, need to move Hanson to the 5th spot until he gets his act togather.

old timer

April 3rd, 2011
11:20 pm

Looks a little like last year for JJ. Started out as a minor injury. I hope that’s where it ends this year. As for Hanson, he didn’t bring that 97-mph fastball we heard about with him to the big club. But he knows how to pitch and has good stuff. He is not going to be the out-and-out stud we were hoping for, but he will be a solid starter for years to come.

Michael Procton

April 4th, 2011
12:21 am

Not sure which fastball that is, Larry. He’s averaged 91.5 for his career and never lower than 91.1.

NativeAtlantaBornaBrave

April 4th, 2011
8:41 am

jurrjens is a 1 bandaid away from becoming mike hampton…

[...] he could come off the D.L. sooner, the paper reports that the Braves aren’t expecting Jurrjens back in the lineup till April 16 when the team takes on the New York [...]

[...] he could come off the D.L. sooner, the paper reports that the Braves aren’t expecting Jurrjens back in the lineup till April 16 when the team takes on the New York [...]

Don

April 4th, 2011
11:33 am

Does anyone have a total on the total number of Pitcher injuries since McDowell became the Pitching Coach or on the total number of days that starting pitchers have missed because of injury?? The injures seem to go on and on and on. During one season, didn’t we have 4 of the 5 starters injured at one time or another (or was it just 3)? Medlin is out for the season, JJ as not really been consistant and effective for the last year or so – and these are two he the YOUNG starters that had been counted on for the future. Will they ever be back and be as effective as they were? Has something been said about something being wrong with Hanson – about his having lost something off hs fastball? Is this McDowells fault because of his conditioning program and the way he handles pitchers — Perhaps, Perhaps not — But there seems to have been really significantly more injures than one would expect. Strange that they continue to keep him under these conditions – especially with Leo available.

PHILLIES ARE AWSOM

April 4th, 2011
4:11 pm

COME ON BREWERS

Skeezix

April 4th, 2011
6:12 pm

Get well soon J.J.

Skeezix

April 4th, 2011
6:19 pm

Would someone set up a Facebook site for the Phillies fans who are always horning in on our blogs? Then, if the ajc could set it up so we are spared all comments from Phillies fans by automatically redirecting them to that site—and Phils fans can while away their days Facebooking each other.

Add your comment