Braves practicing patience with Minor

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

Lot of questions flying about what the Braves should or will do about Mike Minor, who is now 2-3 with a 7.09 ERA in eight starts this season. He

Minor has given up 6-plus runs in four straight starts

Minor has given up 6-plus runs in four straight starts

gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings in an 8-4 loss to the Marlins last night, to fall to 0-2 with an 11.95 ERA in his past four starts.

Minor has allowed 27 earned runs in his past 20 2/3 innings. This is after showing such promise in a three-game stretch while going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

All I can tell you about what happens next is the impression I got from manager Fredi Gonzalez last night, and that’s the Braves plan to be patient with Minor and keep running him out there, at least for now.

Here was his response when asked about the trouble Minor ran into after being nearly perfect his first time through the order.

“It’s kind of a little complex,” Gonzalez said of Minor’s big-inning problems. “He is getting (after) it and then all of a sudden those type innings happen to him. That’s a young pitcher. You have to be patient with him and get him through those type innings. He will be better off on the other end when he gets through those innings.”

Gonzalez continued: “I’ve seen three, four solid innings and one big inning just kind of unravels on him. That’s just part of big league experience, getting through those innings and minimizing the damage, doing all those sorts of things. That comes with running him back and there and saying, ‘Hey, let’s get through it.’”

One thing Minor doesn’t face is questions over either his stuff – he’s still throwing with his usually velocity – or his health. And the most likely option to replace him in the rotation just had a disaster outing for Triple-A Gwinnett last night. Jair Jurrjens was ultimately charged with 11 runs (10 earned) in 4 2/3 innings against Buffalo. I had him underestimated in my tweets last night because a couple more of his runs scored after he left the game, I gather.

But Jurrjens gave up two home runs among 12 hits, walked two and struck out three. Jurrjens is now 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in four starts since his demotion to Triple-A. Until Wednesday night, though, he had not given up more than two runs in an outing or gone any fewer than seven innings.

I’m not sure what went on with Jurrjens, but it’ll be a topic for discussion this afternoon at the ballpark.

Julio Teheran is another way the Braves could go and maybe they will eventually if Minor continues to struggle. Teheran is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in seven starts this season for Triple-A Gwinnett. He’s allowed 27 hits, including five home runs in 32 2/3 innings, walked 12 and has 27 strikeouts.

But it’s not always as simple as everybody thinks, to insert a guy in the majors who’s been pitching well in Triple-A and expect it to immediately translate. Teheran has made the jump a few times before and with mixed success. He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three major league starts, making it past the fifth inning only once. He’s given up five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in relief. He’s given up four home runs in 19 1/3 innings over those five outings in all.

Another option would be to stretch out Kris Medlen, though the Braves would argue he’s been such a valuable piece to their bullpen they’d rather not. Plus at this point it might take some time, and possibly at trip to the minors, to stretch Medlen out. He’s pitched three innings at the most, and that was back on April 27.

Another reason the Braves would like Minor to work out is because he’s the only left-hander of the bunch, and that might be part of why he’s getting the benefit of the doubt here.

As some others have suggested, it does seem Minor is having some problems pitching out of the stretch and maybe that’s why he struggled so much last night with the command of his breaking pitches, with runners on base. He said everything offspeed was in the dirt, so the hitters weren’t offering. They could just wait on his fastball.

The numbers are pretty decisive: this season, with the bases empty, Minor has limited hitters to a .226 batting average (26-for-115) with four doubles, three home runs, three RBIs, eight walks and 34 strikeouts. With runners on base? He’s getting hit at a .422 clip (27-for-64), allowing five doubles, one triple, five home runs, 29 RBIs, seven walks and only 10 strikes.

So perhaps there something mechanical to address. Or maybe it’s a mental thing of trying to be too fine with runners on base.

Beachy vs. Nolasco

Beachy's kept his eye on the prize

Beachy's kept his eye on the prize

In better news, Brandon Beachy takes the mound tonight. For fear of being accused of the dreaded jinx, I’ll just say he has a pretty good ERA. The Braves have won five of Beachy’s seven starts this season, and they’ve won two of his four starts all-time against the Marlins. Beachy is 1-0 with a 4.01 ERA against them. He gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings the last time he faced them on Sept. 12. He’s a different pitcher this year, though.

Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 3.65 ERA) is trying to become the all-time winningest pitcher in Marlins history. He comes into the game tied with Dontrelle Willis with 68 wins. The Braves have faced him 20 times over his career and it’s been a mixed bag. He’s been on one extreme – with 16 strikeouts in a win over the Braves on Sept. 30, 2009 and 11 strikeouts in a win on July 4, 2010.

Then the other – the Braves have actually gotten him for four or more runs in four of his past six starts. I think some of that has to do with some injuries. I know Nolasco pitched one game against the Braves in 2010 on a torn meniscus, but last September the Braves got him for eight earned runs in 13 2/3 innings over two starts.

Ozzie on Walker

It’s always fun to sit in on a media session with Ozzie Guillen and when I got a chance yesterday to ask him about Braves new hitting coach Greg Walker, who was his hitting coach with the White Sox before both parted ways last season, he just raved.

“There is nobody on earth more happy for Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher besides their family and their wives than me,” said Guillen, who was teammates with both with the White Sox. “Greg Walker is very professional. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a players’ guy. Even when the players are not hitting good for him, they will still love. You never see him about the clubhouse. You never see him around the coaches’ room. He’s always in the cage, always working with people. I just talked to Chipper (Jones) and said thank you for treating this man the way you treat him. After the dark cloud we got back in Chicago, I can see he looks young again…”

“Greg is the type of guy he’s takes it personal. He’s got 12 players, 11 players, the one guy fails he’ll worry about that guy….I just told him too bad you’re in my same division. I’m very excited for him.”

Smoltz at Atlanta Press Club

And in the shameless promotion part of the blog, thought I’d pass along that soon-to-be Braves Hall of Famer John Smoltz is speaking Monday at the Atlanta Press Club Newsmaker Luncheon. He’ll be there to promote his book “Starting and Closing,” which has been a great read so far, so you can come and hear him talk about what went into that project and more. Yours truly has been asked to lead a Q and A, so come on out.

It’s Monday at noon at The Commerce Club located at 191 Peachtree Street on the 49th floor. Tickets are $40, which includes lunch. You can register at www.atlantapressclub.org or call 404-577-7377. Attire is business or business casual.

TV announcement

MLB announced today that TBS will air both the wild card games in the National and American Leagues in 2012 and 2013, as part of the new playoff format pitting two wild card teams in each league against each other in a one-game playoff. They also announced that MLB Network has been awarded two Division Series games each of the next two years as well. Those of us who don’t have MLB Network will be bummed.

Lineup

1. Bourn 8

2. Prado 7

3. Freeman 3

4. Uggla 4

5. McCann 2

6. Jones 5

7. Heyward 9

8. Pastornicky 6

9. Beachy 1

1,602 comments Add your comment

flange1

May 17th, 2012
2:04 pm

Thanks for the new blog CR!

Felix Millan

May 17th, 2012
2:05 pm

thanks for the new blog Carroll!

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:06 pm

Thank CR for a new blog…Geez…

B_F 52

May 17th, 2012
2:07 pm

Dos Equis prefers Evan Gattis

Carroll Rogers

May 17th, 2012
2:10 pm

Too much too soon Ease?

keylargo

May 17th, 2012
2:14 pm

Thank you Carroll

Felix Millan

May 17th, 2012
2:14 pm

never too soon for a new blog.

George

May 17th, 2012
2:14 pm

Venice Jim

May 17th, 2012
1:34 pm
My background is BILLIE PIPER

I finally have something to give George credit for…
*************************************************
Thank you VJ.

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

Patience…. Patience…. We want results NOW damnit!! :twisted: :evil:

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

thank you Carroll

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

Also thank you for the new blog Mrs Blogmaster!!

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:16 pm

No, no Carroll…As in Thank God (CR) for a new blog…

The geez was exasperation for the previous one…

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:16 pm

Rhymes fainted? FCS

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:17 pm

Thanks Carroll for your work! Practicing patience with Minor is like signing death to 5 possible more losses?

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 17th, 2012
2:17 pm

Thanks Carroll!!!

re-post from old blog:

You wouldn’t say that if you knew what I looked like…

Someone’s being modest… But I stick with what I say about mac… for me at least, while he is a nice guy and good looking, I don’t find him to be the cutest Braves player.

Waffle House or Bust1. Past two years he passed on all trade offers for Jair Jurrjens. Now look what has happened.
Dude gets pounded by the Buffalo Bisons. Who?
2. Uggla is a bust. We should have kept Infante and gotten the same numbers for less money.
Then with that Uggla money gotten a real bat to play LF.
3. Not even going to mention the Kawakami deal. Wow!
4. Pushes Derek Lowe out the door and look at the year he is having

I would explain, but I really don’t feel like wasting my time…

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:18 pm

Last night I remember thinking “Now this is the Mike Minor we need”, then the top of the next inning……

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:18 pm

what the heck is going on? not a single comment about how we can can win WS and
Superbowl in same year with this team only if we get rid of FG yet?

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:19 pm

he always looks god for a few innings….

B_F 52

May 17th, 2012
2:20 pm

Imagine all that went in to that Rymes faint ball hits pushes blood back into the heart brain produces a plethora of chemicals dude was overcome wa la selah

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:20 pm

Who would win in a fight, Beachy or Gattis?

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:22 pm

Julio Teheran going tonight for Gwinnett…

Jeff R

May 17th, 2012
2:22 pm

Not one word about Redmond being of any help. Must be hard on a guy who’s pitched pretty well at AAA for a couple of seasons to be bypassed by his parent club.

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:22 pm

Who are they fighting?

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 17th, 2012
2:23 pm

Gattis, no question.

George

May 17th, 2012
2:23 pm

phil

May 17th, 2012
1:39 pm
I now know who George, Mitchell, Veer and Lobosolo are….

The husbands from the show “Who the *#%+*%^*+ did I Marry?” Home from work today with little to do, for once, and these men on this show……wow.

Our wives don’t know how good they’ve got it
*****************************************
phil I have read your posts and did not believe you were one of the ” BRAVES management can do no wrong group”

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:23 pm

You actually trust Minor for a couple next weeks, and pitching next month with the brutal June. June is brutal, and can’t have a struggling pitcher in rotation for that month.

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:23 pm

Are you kidding Murph?? Gattis has the power of a greek god!! No chance for any mortal against Gattis!!!

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 17th, 2012
2:25 pm

@ Jeff R I know, he’s been close for so long too. If I were him, I’d want to be traded to a pitching poor club, to get a chance to play in the Bigs.

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

Beachy loses if he brings a ball to the bat fight with Gattis

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

get to watch the Rays and the Braves for three games on tv. Rays had a tough spell, but have bounced back strong with 4 wins in a row or so :?

faninva

May 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

thanks Carroll – you’re the best!

Minor’s body language can look really bad when he’s struggling. He looks defeated when he still has a chance to salvage the situation – almost like he’s resigned to the fact that he’s going to give up more runs before the fact.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

May 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

plain and simple: Have the best 25 players on the rooster that will give you the best chanceto win.

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

Teheran goes tonight? Anyone think it’s a coincidence that his spot in the Gwinnett rotation lines up with Minor’s spot in the Atlanta rotation?

Yeah… I do too actually… but anyways, makes it nice and easy to simply send Minor down and call Julio up without even skipping a beat.

Ron Roberts

May 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

Somebody should call John Smoltz or Dr. Jack Lewellyn in to talk to the kid. Smoltzie went through a similar situation early in his career, and look how he turned out …

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:28 pm

you can bean a guy with a ball B4 he gets close enuff to do any damage with a bat

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:28 pm

Hello everyone! Tought I would make a couple of points before I said, “Hello”.

Tommy

May 17th, 2012
2:28 pm

Why are we trusting Minor? I trust him about as much as a Geisha girl at a tea party.

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

Uh, Murph, your a day off in your smooth transition…

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

I dunno CraZy, I think Beachy would give Gattis a run for his money.

Would be like the Ironman vs Thor fight in the Avengers. Trading shots, back and forth, while they lay waste to the surrounding landscape.

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

6-man rotation with 5 & 6 sharing every 5th game in rotation, 5 to start and 6 to continue as soon as 5 gets in trouble

George

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

FREDI
Will lineup be back to normal tonight? FREDI if you are not feeling well, running a little fever or something. Please call in and STAY HOME.

B_F 52

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

The mere thought of challenging Gattis Would bring down any man

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:29 pm

Uh, Murph, your a day off in your smooth transition…

It’s close enough.

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

Mike was already with a pitching poor team (Pirates) but he got released.

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

the Tea Party has Geisha girls???
I might hafta change my politics

Carroll Rogers

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

oh Ease….bless your heart. sorry to hold you up. (smiles)

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

Gattis has the power of a greek god!!

Evan Gattis turned down The Avengers.

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:30 pm

Todd not Mike

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:31 pm

feel better now. i was worried that we may actually skip a page without one of FG’s Roberts reporting to duty..

bravesgrl4life

May 17th, 2012
2:31 pm

On the cute argument, while I love Mac dearly, hands down, Beachy is the cutest team member at this time.

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:32 pm

Trust in Minor for more losses I guess?

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:32 pm

the entire team of Avengers calls Evan Sir, with a smile of their faces

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:33 pm

but if you bean Gattis square in the head, doesn’t the ball get out over dead center field wall??

Fish Bisch

May 17th, 2012
2:34 pm

Nobisco owns us :(

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:35 pm

Gattis “The Hulk”……….

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:35 pm

Minor’s body language can look really bad when he’s struggling. He looks defeated when he still has a chance to salvage the situation

He doesn’t have much expression on the mound when he’s leading by 5, for that matter. He doesn’t impress me as the hat-tugging-glove-slapping type.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, by the way, just that I don’t see much difference in his demeanor from one game situation to the other.

CrαZy

May 17th, 2012
2:36 pm

Would any man dare charge the mound with Beachy on the Hill… knowing that once he got there Uggla, Freeman and Chipper would be there before help arrived? Take it a step further what if Gattis was catching that day??

I picture a mushroom cloud rising from the middle of the INF when I think of Gattis, Uggla, Freeman and Beachy colliding against a helpless opponent!!

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:37 pm

but if you bean Gattis square in the head, doesn’t the ball get out over dead center field wall??

No. The ball stops mid-air in fear, a foot from his head.

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:37 pm

oh Ease….bless your heart. sorry to hold you up. (smiles)

I just swooned…See that people? Smiles…as in plural…

Yes.

MikeInFl

May 17th, 2012
2:37 pm

Evan Gattis makes Dan Uggla want to wear long sleeves to hide his spindly biceps.

Tommy

May 17th, 2012
2:38 pm

@nolie There are sometimes Geisha girls at tea parties. It depends on the party. That is my point.

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:39 pm

Nobisco owns us…Fish

but Gattis owns everybody

cricket

May 17th, 2012
2:39 pm

i think among young pitchers, delgado has best demeanor when facing adversity, looks like young Livan

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:40 pm

nolie – promote Gattis to AAA…….

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:40 pm

What is the Braves’ record when a blog is posted by Carroll vs DOB?

I know one of you is actually tracking this…

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:40 pm

I think you missed my joke Tommy

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:42 pm

Evan Gattis makes Dan Uggla want to wear long sleeves to hide his spindly biceps.

Good one from Mike. Top 5, easy.

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:42 pm

Maybe Gattis could be a Brave by All Star Break next season?

RC

May 17th, 2012
2:42 pm

20 minutes after Evan Gattis joined the Avengers, the team disbanded because there was nothing left to avenge.

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:43 pm

Love to see some one hit Gattis if they dare?

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:43 pm

but Gattis owns everybody

the county clerk checks with Evan Gattis before recording any deeds.

Tommy

May 17th, 2012
2:43 pm

@nolie Apparently I did. Sorry!!

Waffle House or Bust

May 17th, 2012
2:44 pm

Fredi Gonzalez last night, said the Braves plan to be patient with Minor and keep running him out there, at least for now.

I would be scared if I were Minor. Last time Fredi made a statement like that, Parrish was fired the next day.

chc4

May 17th, 2012
2:45 pm

Seems to me that Minor’s main problem is his breaking stuff isn’t very good. Terrible location and minimal break on everything offspeed. His fastball isn’t good enough to get him through orders a 2nd time. ML hitters just hammer those belt high sliders and change ups.

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:46 pm

20 minutes after Evan Gattis joined the Avengers, the team disbanded because there was nothing left to avenge.

Gattis then went on to form The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:47 pm

first JJ, now Minor…we are trying to spot other teams enuff wins to keep it interesting

nolie

May 17th, 2012
2:49 pm

Ironman,Superman,Batman and Spiderman all defer to Gattisman

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 17th, 2012
2:49 pm

first JJ, now Minor…we are trying to spot other teams enuff wins to keep it interesting

They’re trying to fill Kawakami’s and then Lowe’s shoes.

Jimmy

May 17th, 2012
2:51 pm

I remember a pitcher we “kept running out there” last September.
How’d that work out?

I want nothing but success for Minor, but I can’t subscribe to the notion of running him out there, regardless of how he is pitching.

Might be in the minority there, but nothing new about that.

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:52 pm

first JJ, now Minor…we are trying to spot other teams enuff wins to keep it interesting

Eating into some of that depth, aren’t we? :-)

Delgado already up, Arodys on the shelf, Jurrjens might as well be, Minor with a four-start struggle…running out of sandbags while the levee continues to rise.

raleighbravefan

May 17th, 2012
2:52 pm

George said he would like to see Dusty Baker manage the Braves….That kinda says it all.

Murph

May 17th, 2012
2:53 pm

When Gattis strikes out, he does so on purpose, just to see how it feels.

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:54 pm

nolie – Like It !!!!!! Gattisman…………..

RC

May 17th, 2012
2:55 pm

I want nothing but success for Minor, but I can’t subscribe to the notion of running him out there, regardless of how he is pitching.

That was a situation where both Hanson and Jurrjens were on the DL, and there was nobody else who could reasonably fill that spot. I think Minor deserves at least one more start to try and work things out, but if he continues to struggle I’ve got to think that Teheran is called up to replace him.

B_F 52

May 17th, 2012
2:56 pm

Evan Gattis has yet to see an opposing pitcher throw him,in his estimation, a “fast”ball

Venice Jim

May 17th, 2012
2:56 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. MIA (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 7 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Jones 5 Heyward 9 Pastornicky 6 Beachy 1

Venice Jim

May 17th, 2012
2:57 pm

Francisco and Diaz resting at the same time… :roll:

ncscoots

May 17th, 2012
2:57 pm

I hate to even bring it up, but it’s true…Evan Gattis actually had an oh-fer the other night.

The sun rose in the west the next morning.

NC Roseman

May 17th, 2012
2:57 pm

Carroll, I believe it has been discusssed before on this blog, but isn’t Oswalt an option? Can we afford him? On a personal note, so nice to know that my two favorite Braves writers are from NC. I knee that DOB was from right down the road, but then the other day you said you were a Carolina girl too…sweet! I am in Rocky Mt. Go Pack! I know…you are a Blue Devil. That’s OK, as long as you are not a Heel!

Ward

May 17th, 2012
2:57 pm

If Minor starts? I’m not going to pay attention to it. Not until he goes back down to work on his location.

B_F 52

May 17th, 2012
2:57 pm

@murph that was a good un

Ease

May 17th, 2012
2:58 pm

Great…the “give it up” lineup again. FIRE FREDI.

RC

May 17th, 2012
2:59 pm

Francisco and Diaz resting at the same time…

Nice.

Jimmy

May 17th, 2012
2:59 pm

And the idea that Minor may have a little more slack because he is our only lefty??

It really doesn’t matter if it is a RH or LH if he is getting battered.

I say give him one more start and then act accordingly.

Better yet, send my man Chad Durbin down and let him stretch out his arm. :-)

cricket

May 17th, 2012
3:00 pm

stupid FG, doesn’t he know Gattis needs no rest?

nolie

May 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

how in the world could we afford Oswalt? and why in the world would we even want to?

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

bravesgrl4life hands down, Beachy is the cutest team member at this time.

Oh, he is quite nice-looking…

Ward

May 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

Send Durbin down, and bring up Flande……….

Tommy

May 17th, 2012
3:02 pm

May God be with everyone. Have Peace. Go Braves!!! Dushi miklo yi osho. Sayonara everyone!!!

nolie

May 17th, 2012
3:03 pm

two poor outings in a row from Martinez too. aren’t there a few pitchers on the blog?

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