News and Notes from Citizens Bank Park
Welcome to a sunny Sunday in Philadelphia where the Braves will attempt to enter the All-Star break on a positive note and also notch the franchise’s 10,000th victory.
Before Derek Lowe opposes Cole Hamels in this series finale, I’ll throw a couple notes your way. We’re going to keep this brief. But while working on some features this week, I’ve neglected this blog.
Over the past six years it has been great to get to know Brian McCann’s father, Howie, and hear him tell a lot of different baseball tales. Some of the most recent tales were detailed in this feature. After writing this story, it’s going to be hard to watch him sitting behind the plate as the National League’s starting catcher Tuesday night and not think about how much fun he and his dad probably had during that month they slept in an office at a hitting facility in suburban Atlanta.
Speaking of All-Star stuff, McCann, Jonny Venters and Jair Jurrjens will take a commercial flight to Phoenix after today’s game. Chipper Jones was going to provide the transportation via a private jet. But the plans changed when he returned to Atlanta Saturday to undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Unfortunately Tommy Hanson and Craig Kimbrel came to Citizens Bank Park today not knowing whether they’ll be added to the NL’s roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
When Hamels starts this afternoon, the Pirates’ Kevin Correia will likely take his roster spot because he was the pitcher who received the most votes via the player’s ballot who has not received a selection. When Matt Cain starts for the Giants tonight, his spot could be assume by Hanson, Kimbrel or quite possibly a pitcher from another team.
Because they’ve both pitched each of the past three days, Venters and Eric O’Flaherty will only appear in an emergency situation today. Thus the Braves might need Lowe to last at least seven innings for just the third time this year and first since May 17.
Lowe has lasted at least eight innings in just four of the 86 starts he’s made since the Braves gave him a four-year, $60 million contract before the 2009 season.
TIDBITS: Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino will represent the Braves during this afternoon’s Futures Game…Martin Prado has progressed well through his rehab assignment and is still expected to be activated when the club returns after the All-Star break to host the Nationals Friday night…Prado and Jones, who will likely be sidelined until the end of this month or first week of August, will both be present for Thursday’s team workout at Turner Field.