Jair Jurrjens said his two weeks on the disabled list have served his right knee well, and he’s on target to return to the rotation on Wednesday against the Giants.
“Since spring training, this is the best I’ve felt this year,” said Jurrjens, who was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA before the All-Star break and is 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA since. “You can say those 15 days were a good idea. I really didn’t want to do it but sometimes you need to be smart.”
Now the question is whether the Braves might decide to play it carefully with the rest of the rotation. They’re in the midst of a stretch of 17 straight games approaching the end of August, and manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is at least toying with the idea of going to a six-man rotation for a couple of turns.
“We’ve kicked that around,” said Gonzalez, who could keep Mike Minor in the rotation when Tommy Hanson returns. “We haven’t put pencil to paper on it, but at this point of the year, everybody may need an extra day.”
The extra day would provide extra protection for both Jurrjens and Hanson (shoulder), who is hoping to return from the DL on Aug. 23 in Chicago, and rest for veterans Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe. Mike Minor would likely be the extra main to remain.
“Guys’ innings are starting to build up, mine and D-Lowe’s, especially,” Hudson said. “We’re the elder statesmen of the staff and could probably use a (rest) here or there. It can only help us.”
Hudson (155 2/3 entering Monday) and Lowe (145 1/3) lead the Braves in innings pitched.