Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is looking for consistency out of his starting rotation with 13 games remaining before the All-Star break. It has been an issue for the Braves this season, including their last two starts prior to Tuesday’s series-opener against the Diamondbacks. Randall Delgado lasted only 1-1/3 innings and Mike Minor lasted only 4-2/3 innings in losses to the Red Sox Saturday and Sunday.
“We need to get our rotation consistent,” Gonzalez said Tuesday. “We need to get through the rotation a few times, three or four times in a row. From here to the All-Star break and go out there and rattle of six, seven, eight innings at a time. That’s the only thing, for me, that has been missing the whole time. We’ll go through the rotation one time and then the next time we have a couple of bleeps and we can’t get through the fourth.”
Gonzalez said the team is not planning any changes to the starting rotation. Jair Jurrjens, back after two months at Triple-A Gwinnett, will remain as the replacement for Brandon Beachy. Gonzalez said the team has considered putting Kris Medlen in the rotation. There were discussions about the matter as late as Tuesday but the right-hander will continue to pitch out of the bullpen.
Jurrjens, back in his old locker, will pitch again Thursday in the series-finale against the D’Backs. He allowed three hits and one earned run in 7-2/3 innings in a win over the Red Sox Friday in his return.
The right-hander said his is not fully recovered from a right knee injury suffered last season.
“I’m way better than I was in spring training. I will put it like that,” Jurrjens said. “There are still some things I need to work on to keep getting stronger. There are a lot of things I wasn’t able to do in spring training that I’m able to do now.”
Jurrjens said he is continuing a weight-training program, which includes squat exercises, to strengthen his leg.