Jurrjens has rough day in second spring start

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Less four weeks before his expected Opening Day start, Jair Jurrjens is the first to say he’s still got a lot of work to do.

Jurrjens was five hits, three runs and six walks with three strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings of an 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday at Champion Stadium. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Braves and their eighth in nine games.

“I didn’t have control of any pitches,” said Jurrjens, who walked the first two batters he faced and the last two. “The only thing I could get over for strikes sometimes was my slider. I was just falling behind too much, and they’re a really patient team and make you throw a strike.”

One positive aspect for Jurrjens was no pain in his right knee, which was injured in the second half of each of the past two seasons and prevented him from pitching in the playoff race each year.

Wearing a knee brace and custom orthotics in his shoes, Jurrjens seems to have the problem under control. He went to his knees to make a play on a bunt along the first-base line and showed no sign of favoring the leg when backing up the bases or running on the outfield warning track after he came out of the game.

Now he said he needs to apply work he’s done with pitching coach Roger McDowell.

“That’s the only thing I don’t have to worry about right now – there’s no pain and that’s a good sign,” he said. “A lot of [other] things – it’s just a work in progress. Roger and I are trying to come up with a new thing to take a little more stress off the knee, the direction to the plate and trying to repeat the same delivery. I think when I’m going through my delivery I’m thinking too much about that stuff we’re working on and not concentrating on the hitter. That’s the thing I need to work on.”

Jurrjens is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in two spring training starts, having allowed eight hits, and five earned runs in 4-1/3 innings, with seven walks with three strikeouts.

“I thought he minimized the damage a couple of times,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, applying a positive spin. “They could have put a big number on him a couple of times and that didn’t happen. That was a bright spot.

“He’s working on something new. A couple more days he’ll probably go and work on that again in the bullpen.”

After Brett Gardner and Andruw Jones drew walks to start the game, Alex Rodriguez grounded out to drive in one run and Mark Teixeira singled for a 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, the Yankees got a leadoff single from No. 9 hitter Doug Bernier and a Gardner bunt single before Jones grounded into a double play. Rodriguez then doubled off the right-center wall for a 3-0 lead.

“Lot of things to work on still,” said Jurrjens, who had good enough velocity (90-92 mph) on his fastball but poor location. “I need to get my timing back. I felt more comfortable today than I was the first day.

“If I’m making progress every start, I’m happy. I think today I felt more comfortable pushing off harder, and then next time I hope I can put everything together.”

Jurrjens had a career-best first half – 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA and All-Star selection – before a bone bruise dashed his season. He was 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA in seven starts after the All-Star break and didn’t pitch after Aug. 30.

With Tim Hudson expected to miss all or most of April recovering from back surgery and Tommy Hanson behind other pitchers because of a concussion, Jurrjens is the likely choice to start Opening Day April 5 vs. the Mets at New York.

79 comments Add your comment

Stuart

March 10th, 2012
6:20 pm

85-95 losses this year.

ChopAttack

March 10th, 2012
6:21 pm

I can’t help but laugh at the chicken-little types.

Spice

March 10th, 2012
6:22 pm

Reverse it and you are right on.

Stan

March 10th, 2012
6:38 pm

JJ was never that good. Overhyped by idiots blinded by ERA. He won’t be this type of awful but he was never and will never be an ace.

Spice

March 10th, 2012
6:43 pm

Nobody ask him to be an ace. Just go out there and win his 20 and he will if the offense will get off their butts and play ball.

Tampa Fan

March 10th, 2012
6:49 pm

Spice, JJ will not win 20. And there is no evidence to suggest that the offense will be any better than bottom tier. This team has big problems.

Chop Chop

March 10th, 2012
6:51 pm

It’s going to be really hard to get much for Jurrjens if he has to wear a knee brace and orthotics.

SR

March 10th, 2012
6:58 pm

You got that right Tampa Fan. And yet Wren did nothing, zilch, nada. Inexcusable.

Spice

March 10th, 2012
6:59 pm

Come on Guys the beer is cold and the women are hot. Join the party and come along for the ride.

Tampa Gator

March 10th, 2012
6:59 pm

You people are really sad…..the Braves have not walked out a full starting lineup in any spring game yet. And spring games…are….exactly that. The Braves are a very talented team and they wil be ready to play DAY ONE of the REGULAR SEASON! Go Braves!

Bravo Uno

March 10th, 2012
7:00 pm

Until we have a lineup with Freddie Freeman type of hitters, we’ll never generate enough offense to produce another 20-game winner.

Swinging for the fences on the first pitch must be an organizational philosophy.

Spice

March 10th, 2012
7:04 pm

You Guys need to read my last post, but the party is closed for tonite, gone to work. If you want to come along for the ride the party will be op[en tomorrow.

Tampa Fan

March 10th, 2012
7:33 pm

The Chipper lovers don’t want to hear it, but he, along with $10 million to Lowe not to pitch in Atl are a huge drag on a team with a limited payroll. That is on Wren. We can’t get better until some payroll is freed up. But Wren should have done something. The offense has been, is and will continue to be awful until we get some bats. The SS situation is just sad.

Greg

March 10th, 2012
7:35 pm

Is there ever going to be some good news about the Braves this year? Something to give us hope? All our star young pitchers are struggling for one reason or another. Chipper’s already hurt. Freddie’s knee could go out any time. Etc. Etc.

Tampa Fan

March 10th, 2012
7:51 pm

Prado seems ready to return to 2010 form. Terdo and Simmons seem to have some promise, which could help in the future. The backend of our bullpen is still very good. Just too many holes and weaknesses elsewhere.

stew

March 10th, 2012
8:08 pm

What about the trade for Adam Jones? Bourne for anybody? Simmons over Pastornicky who doesn’t know how to make a back-handed play. Too many negatives.

Brother John

March 10th, 2012
8:34 pm

Welcome To Losersville, USA one and all! Join the party. The women are cold and the beer is HOT!

Realist

March 10th, 2012
8:43 pm

Dear Lord, how many typos can you put into the first few paragraphs of a blog?

#3

March 10th, 2012
8:51 pm

I have decided to treat this team like a bar full of ugly girls: “Just keep drinkin’ till they look good”.

We need bats. Pitching will come around.

phil

March 10th, 2012
9:51 pm

Waaay too much optimism here.

JJ is awful. We can’t hit a basketball rolled to the plate. Long year on tap!

Buzz 2011

March 10th, 2012
10:11 pm

The Braves haven’t won any spring games have they? It looks like an uggla season
ahead…

tim

March 10th, 2012
10:19 pm

if your a fan then be a fan we must take the good with the bad. I hope we get some good GO BRAVES

golden bear

March 10th, 2012
10:30 pm

Golf TV anouncers now get a $1000. bonus from NIKE everytime they say the word TIGER. I did’t get that kind of treatment in my heyday. Thats why when you watch a golf tournment now days all you hear is TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER,TIGER, sick isn’t it, I just turn the sound off

The Sertoma Kid

March 10th, 2012
11:14 pm

Well, we can always watch highlights from the 90’s.

Kentucky Brave

March 10th, 2012
11:16 pm

Why did Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddox have to get old????

Retired 6 years too late

March 10th, 2012
11:52 pm

Second and hopefully the last year for Bobby Lite and Liberty Media in this town. We need a local owner who wants Championships NOT DIVISON TITLES. Only in Atlanta will dividon titles are raised.

cornjolio

March 11th, 2012
12:29 am

I wish Atlanta-based Chick-Fil-A would buy the Braves so they could sell their food at Turner Field. Except on Sundays, of course.

gotigers72

March 11th, 2012
1:11 am

I really hope that the coaching staff takes a hard look at SS. Simmons has the higher ceiling and if he plays better in the spring, he should get the nod. The fact that he has not played above A ball should not effect his defense, which is by all accounts excellent. He is an above average baserunner, but his bat has never seen ML pitching, so that would take awhile to come around.

Oh well, just my opinion. I would put my trust in the coaching staff to make good decisions on personnel, but this is the same staff that kept running out Jordan Schafer and the like last year. I just don’t trust Fredi. Not a ML caliber manager IMO.

Matt

March 11th, 2012
3:09 am

I wish Tyler Perry would buy the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks. Everything that man touches turns to Gold.

Matt

March 11th, 2012
3:14 am

I mean he is about to start his own TV network. What better way to draw revenue that to own two sports franchises on a new tv network. Sounds like what another guy did Named TED TURNER

WTF

March 11th, 2012
5:03 am

As long as the Bravos have ‘corporate’ ownership – and especialy something called ‘Liberty Media’ – expect mediocrity…and get it. Or worse.
The best thing the Braves could do is a shake-up WAY up the ladder.
Come on, Mr. Marcus, are you not a sports fan? The aquarium is nice, but, dude, the Braves are BASEBALL! Pull that checkbook out.

Really?

March 11th, 2012
7:39 am

Here’s a positive! Freddie didn’t say “I have to tip my cap to the Yankees for…”

sid

March 11th, 2012
8:06 am

a preview of coming attractions…….bunch of washed ups.

BartBuzz

March 11th, 2012
8:49 am

Some people take spring training way too seriously. If the Braves start the regular season 1-8, then you can post your doom and gloom.

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
9:11 am

cornjolio
March 11th, 2012
12:29 am

Chick-fil-A doesn’t even open on sunday, guess we would have no more sunday baseball in atlanta.

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
9:14 am

BartBuzz

Just wish the Braves players took spring training as serious as some braves fans.

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
9:17 am

Here’s a positive! Freddie didn’t say “I have to tip my cap to the Yankees for…”

Guess Fredi’s saving the best for regular season

its bad

March 11th, 2012
9:23 am

The problem with those that are so optimistic is that they seem to forget that this is spring training for all the other teams too.
If this team was any good at all, they would have run into some pitchers still working out the kinks out and blasted them. We are batting against double A and triple A pitchers for a lot of these innings.

Yeah we have some injuries, but so do a lot of teams.

We have one win.

Get used to the idea!

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
9:25 am

Matt
March 11th, 2012
3:14 am

A TV contract already in place might stand in the way of that unless a buy-out was possible.

northbeach Scott

March 11th, 2012
9:26 am

I was at the game in Lake Buena Vista, almost as many Yankee fans as Braves and standing room only. Jurrjens was horrible–no idea where his pitches were going. Hope he finds his command in the coming weeks.

While it is not about winning in ST, I did not like the nonchalance in the field by the Braves. It appears that Fredi runs an even more slack ship than Booby Cox. In a word, it was embarrassing to be a Braves fan.

Larry

March 11th, 2012
9:47 am

“…his expected Opening Day start,”

Dave,

“Expected?” Based on what evidence?

If you were the Braves manager, would Jurrjens be anointed as your opening day starter? What is it about Jurrjens based on his pitching performances since last July and this spring that qualifies him for such an honor?

I recall Lowe getting this honor last year (which baffled me at the time based on his spring performance), but at least he had the previous September’s good work as some form of substantiation. But Jurrjens? Why? Is this about earning it and the best chance for an opening day victory or is this some form of entitlement? Remember, we missed out on the playoffs last season by one game and it is decisions like this from Fredi where a manager DOES make a difference in the outcome of a game.

If Jurrjens continues to be unimpressive (being nice, here) and, say, Minor or Beachy–or even Medlin, as I am not sold on Hanson either–continue to have better spring performances, will YOU question the decision in print?

The fans, the city, and the other players should have on the mound on opening day the best possible pitcher to get a “W.” A win on opening day is the best medicine possible to put that awful September stench behind us. There is to this point NOTHING that suggests JJ is that man!

panamajack

March 11th, 2012
9:56 am

Larry

You are so right about entitlements, that has long been a problem with the braves.

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
10:04 am

If by chance say Turdo should finish ST batting .700 with 5 homers and Cripper continues at present pace who do you think will get the start at 3B, won’t be Turdo for sure, in fact he might not even make the team but thats how this team operates.

Felix 17

March 11th, 2012
10:16 am

Haven’t recovered from September.

Charlie

March 11th, 2012
10:22 am

With the same group of losers since last September, what else can you expect? Great off season for Wren. No pitrching, to go along with no hitting…What a club!

Spice

March 11th, 2012
11:04 am

The party has started. Come on in.

varoadrunner

March 11th, 2012
11:08 am

Was this JJ’s first start of the spring? Anyone see where Halladay was run out of a game? My God people, give them some time. I’m not going to guarantee a pennant or 90 losses, but let the season begin and let’s wait until at least May to see how we’re going then. Maybe terrible……but maybe NOT.

Just lighten up

ozzie

March 11th, 2012
11:08 am

The Rangers, who went to the WS, have won two games. I am not saying the Braves are the Rangers (far from it) but early ST is usually not an indicator of how things will end in ST or start in the regular season.

That said this team does look as offensively bipolar as they did last year.

The problem is Wren is broke and has been for some time.

I am sure if he had the coin he would have chased some bats. His only budgetary option was salary dumps for JJ and Prado with hopes of getting rock star minor league bats on the cusp of MLB readiness in return.

That was a go no where game plan from day one.

The best thing from this ST is Prado is hitting so when/if they trade him at the end of ST or at the deadline for a SS or minor league LF/CF (ready for the bigs) he will have more value.

JJ looks very rusty so far. His value is bouncing along the bottom of the trade meter. He will have no value until at least June IF he pitches well in regular season games.

varoadrunner

March 11th, 2012
11:11 am

@ Ozzie
Couldn’t agree more!

ozzie

March 11th, 2012
11:11 am

83 wins is the max with this team as is. Primary b/c Chipper is going to miss 50-60 games and the bench is terrible. Plus Hudson sitting until mid May will mean an extra rookie in the rotation and no one in the rotation who can pitch consistently into the 7-8th inning.

That means for 6 weeks the pen is going to work too hard with this questionable offense.

varoadrunner

March 11th, 2012
11:13 am

@ Ralph
Pretty sure Chipper, if not hurt, will get the start if for no other reason than baseball ethics.

varoadrunner

March 11th, 2012
11:14 am

One thing I do know – I’m ready for some baseball!

panamajack

March 11th, 2012
11:14 am

The cool-aid drinkers have shown up!

Ralph

March 11th, 2012
11:18 am

varoadrunner

Away with the baseball ethics, put the best team on the field.

Spice

March 11th, 2012
11:20 am

No Kool aid for me. Give me the cold beer and hot women and prepare for a 100 game wins and a WS win.

Fan since 1977

March 11th, 2012
11:21 am

This is why Bobby never cared about spring training record and I agree. JJ will come around if this new device thingy keeps him healthy. You want to worry about something? Worry about Chipper not playing because of “sore thighs” (uh, you’re 40, dude, you will be sore after you run, I know, it’s called age) and the fact the only pitchers Heyward has hit this Spring have been Braves’ assistant coaches.

Disgusted

March 11th, 2012
11:41 am

I am not worried about Jurjjens as long as the knee is all right.

If this stuff keeps up real late into ST as a fan base we should be worried.

Of course I don;t have high expectations anyway, so unfortunately I might be right about 4th place anyway.

Joe

March 11th, 2012
11:49 am

85-95 losses a real possibility. This team has a poor GM and FM in my opinion. Wren seems to have a penchant for making bad deals ( Lowe & Kawakami ) and Gonzalez appears incapable of motivating this team.

Disgusted

March 11th, 2012
11:50 am

“As long as the Bravos have ‘corporate’ ownership – and especialy something called ‘Liberty Media’ – expect mediocrity…and get it. Or worse.
The best thing the Braves could do is a shake-up WAY up the ladder.
Come on, Mr. Marcus, are you not a sports fan? The aquarium is nice, but, dude, the Braves are BASEBALL! Pull that checkbook out.”

WTF—I am not sure that Mr. Marcus is a sports fan

And for now LM has not shown an inkling to wanting to sell. LM has the team for one reason and that was for a tax benefit.

The fans will never warm up to Liberty Media or any other corporate ownership group after what has happened the last decade under corporate ownership. ATL major league sports (except for the Falcons) died when Ted lost his battle with Time Warner.

Thanks to TW we got the ATL Spirit–and one team got run into the ground and outta town.

MLB should see to it that the next ownerrs will not be a stinking corporation. No corporation will up payroll or take the TLC to do what it has to do to get the community hot about the Braves gain.

This community will reject corporate ownerhsip any way shape or form.

Crazy enough there are some LM defenders on this fourum. They must be corporate people themselves.

Disgusted

March 11th, 2012
12:02 pm

I don’t think its quite that bad Joe, but i see a range of 79 to 83 W.

They are going to be counting on some young pitchers who will be going through their learning curve. They might be good someday but hey, they are green and you do not know about Hudson’s back.

Wren is not that bad and I did not really have a problem with Freddi till Septeber.

Ownership is the problem.

Spice

March 11th, 2012
12:17 pm

Come on Guys, Get faith. 100 wins and a WS title. Go braves.

TOMY FOURNIER

March 11th, 2012
12:53 pm

YES, IS THE GRAPE LEAGUE AND IS FOR TRAINING AND MAKE SOME CHANGE AND GET BETTER(READY TO GO), BUT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY AND IF YOU LOOK UGLY(LIKE ATLANTA) AND WORST THAN THE OTHER TEAMS…THAT MEAN SOMETHING IS COOKING AROUND…AND IF(BEGINING WITH THE “IF”…. THE OTHERS TEAM ARE LOOKING MUCH BETTER (FOR MUCH) THAN YOU…WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR THE SEASON THAT COMING SOON!!!….PLEASE BE HONEST…ATLANTA RIGHT NOW IS THE WORST TEAM IN BOTH LEAGUE…PERIOD…

Spice

March 11th, 2012
1:01 pm

What dream land are you in? Time to wake up and smell the roses.

nelson

March 11th, 2012
1:09 pm

really is the worst I’ve ever heard preseason because neither have the interest to put the Braves on TV, so bad that they have been playing. indeed they must have changed some prospects and have improved starting pitching and searched OF ,good job wren

Mitchell

March 11th, 2012
1:17 pm

Stan

March 10th, 2012
6:38 pm

JJ was never that good. Overhyped by idiots blinded by ERA. He won’t be this type of awful but he was never and will never be an ace.

He should have won about 24 games in 2009 and would have if had had the great fortune to pitch for the Yankees that or any year.

But he plays for the Braves and they didn’t score any runs for him that year, and they still can’t and don’t because nothing ever f*ing changes with sorry @$$ team.

John A.

March 11th, 2012
1:26 pm

For those who think Frank Wren is all that great, I suggest they take a look at his track record in Baltimore. They did everything short of riding him out of town on a rail!!!!!!! The guy is only GREAT in his own mind.

Had Bobby retired completely we wouldn’t have Fredi to contend with. It was Bobby’s input that got Fredi his job…..extremely bad decision. There were better option available…i.e., Valentine, Francona, and perhaps even Ozzie who went to Miami.

Our hitting hasn’t improved under Walker & Fletcher, but who expected it to. You can’t make a blind pig see.

I have been a Chipper fan for many years, and truly expect to see him in the HOF, but reality is he has reached the point of embarassing himself…..it is time to RETIRE MR> JONES!!!!!

Ken Stallings

March 11th, 2012
1:33 pm

There are patterns in spring training. If you are a really good team, you generally finish around .500 but the trend is you play well the first third of the game, and then lose a number of games because you try out farm team players — some who do well and some who get lit up.

The Braves are showing the symptoms of having their projected starting lineup and pitchers perform poorly. They are surrendering runs early and not scoring many runs at all, much less early.

Mitchell

March 11th, 2012
1:35 pm

Disgusted

March 11th, 2012
12:02 pm

I don’t think its quite that bad Joe, but i see a range of 79 to 83 W.

They are going to be counting on some young pitchers who will be going through their learning curve. They might be good someday but hey, they are green and you do not know about Hudson’s back.

Wren is not that bad and I did not really have a problem with Freddi till Septeber.

Ownership is the problem.

Frank Wren is an ineffectual douche with no shortage of empty promises who is content with over seeing a second, if not third rate, organization.

The fact that players were reporting to Mark Bowman their displeasure with Larry Parrish in April and he did nothing about it while the Braves pathetic offense created an ever increasing burden on the bullpen is absolutely inexcusable.

He also does nothing but continue to boast the fact that we had the fourth best record in August (as if that f*ing counts for anything) while failing to acknowledge the more relevent truth that at season’s end we technically were not even among the eight best teams in the game.

If the Braves fail to even qualify for one of the now five spots under he new playoff format, he and Fredi Gonzalez have no right to return with the Braves for the 2013 season.

I would say they should be fired but we all know that would never happen in a million f*ing so what’s the point.

It is truly a disgrace how far this organization has fallen from where it was less that a full decade ago.

nelson

March 11th, 2012
1:47 pm

braves record 1-8 ? next 1-9 braves 1 toronto 5 bot 5th … nice job wren .. good prospects ? lol

Joe

March 11th, 2012
2:33 pm

I completely agree with John A. Frank Wren couldn’t get it done in Baltimore and the results have
been the same in Atlanta. I too believe Bobby wanted Fredi as the next manager when more capable
options were available in my opinion. I believe Ned Yost or Ozzie were better options.

As far as Chipper while I agree he’s a HOF I definitely think he’s hanging around too long!

Spice

March 11th, 2012
2:55 pm

Come on Guys, Play nice. I need a date for the second Braves home game. Since you guys seem like the season is over. I dont guess anyone is interested.

duronimo

March 11th, 2012
3:56 pm

I’m wondering if he’s gotten his velocity back. Toward the end of last year that had dropped well
below what it takes to win consistently.

The Bravenator

March 11th, 2012
4:18 pm

Every team has a problem spot or two at this stage of ST, but there doesn’t appear to be a single positive anywhere for the Braves. We’re inside four weeks to opening day and this is looking far and away too much like last September.

Just Pat

March 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

Never fear, guy-o-s! They’re waiting for me to get there next week to start their winning ways! :-)

Spice

March 11th, 2012
4:33 pm

You seem to be so concerned about the collapse that maybe they are too. I really dont think so. If everyone will calm down and give it a chance it will get better. I promise if you think positive, it will make you feel better.

TheAntiMe

March 11th, 2012
5:24 pm

Our hitting hasn’t improved under Walker & Fletcher, but who expected it to. You can’t make a blind pig see.

Perhaps the Braves should have signed Benny Hinn as their new hitting coach.

GOP Cannon

March 11th, 2012
8:47 pm

What do you expect, JJ has not pitched a full game since August of last season.

GOP Cannon

March 11th, 2012
8:52 pm

Holy crap, we are now 1-9 this spring! Yeah!

ken

March 11th, 2012
9:17 pm

scarred at how much alteration to TH and JJ’s pitching motions are taking place this year. that’s not a good thing to be working out so close to the start of the season. i feel good about the other 3/4 potential starters but we need 5 guys going almost lights out every night to compensate for what will be a lack of production in the hitting department.

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