NEW YORK – After Jair Jurrjens made his first four starts coming out of the All-Star break with pain in his surgically-repaired right knee, he and the Braves decided to shut it down for a couple of weeks.
Jurrjens was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, with the idea that he would miss two starts and then rejoin the rotation again. Left-hander Mike Minor was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make Jurrjens’ scheduled start Sunday against the Mets.
“It just got a little inflamed; that’s it,” said Jurrjens, who was examined by a doctor after his last start in Washington. “Just want to calm it down.”
Jurrjens underwent arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee last October, after missing September and the Division Series with pain in his knee.
“When you have knee surgery, it takes a full year for you to be healthy,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re going to give him a chance to strengthen that leg up around the knee and get going again….When the 15 days are up, I expect him to pitch.”
Jurrjens’ stint is retroactive to Tuesday. His spot would likely come up again on Aug. 18 against the Giants.
Jurrjens was the Braves best starter in the first half, going 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 16 starts on his way to making his first All-Star team. But he said his knee started bothering him on July 17 against the Nationals, his first game after the All-Star break, when he gave up a season-high six runs in five innings.
He’s 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA in four starts since the break. He gave up five runs in five innings in a loss to the Nationals on Monday, and Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said afterward Jurrjens’ velocity was not what it’s been earlier in the year.
“I didn’t have the strength to stay back and stay over the mound and push off like I wanted to,” Jurrjens said. “I’m going to take this time to strengthen it and I’ll be out there in like nine days.”
Minor is scheduled to make two starts in Jurrjens’ absence. He is 1-2 with a 4.59 ERA in six starts with the Braves this season. He went seven innings, allowing only one run to beat the Blue Jays in his last major league start on June 21.
“I feel better this time,” said Minor, who worked on his two breaking pitches in his seven starts with Triple-A Gwinnett since. “I feel like my command is a lot better. I feel more like the last two or three (starts) I’ve felt really confident out there.”
He is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in his past four starts for Gwinnett.