Braves still not ready to announce Opening Day starter

It’s starting to look like Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez might not have been playing when he has said he wants to be the last Major League manager to announce his Opening Day starting pitcher. With eight days remaining before the start of the regular season, we’re still left to guess whether it will be Jair Jurrjens or Tommy Hanson. 

Courtesy of their decision not to pitch one of their projected starters against the Mets on Tuesday, the Braves have already set up today’s starter Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado to make their next start with an extra day of rest. 

When Jurrjens faces the split-squad Astros team in Kissimmee on Friday night, he will be on regular rest.  The same will go for Hanson when he pitches against the potent Tigers lineup on Saturday.

This arrangement puts Hanson in line up to make the April 5 Opening Day start on regular rest.  But it also creates reason to wonder when Jurrjens might make his debut.  If Jurrjens were to pitch the second game of the year, he would do so with three extra days of rest.

So maybe the Braves are thinking about having Jurrjens make one more exhibition start in a Minor League setting before making his regular season debut during the Astros series (April 9-11).

Or maybe Jurrjens will be the Opening Day starter.  He would be doing so with the one extra day of rest that pitching coach Roger McDowell likes to provide his starters before the start of the season.

But this arrangement would also mean Hanson would pitch the second game of the year with two extra days of rest.

So with eight days before the start of the regular season, your guess is as good as mine.  But because I’m stubborn, I’m going to continue to guess Jurrjens will get the nod. 

Jonny Venters will return to the mound during Thursday’s game against the Nationals in Viera.  This will be his first appearance since some upper arm discomfort led the Braves to shut him down after his March 18 outing against the Orioles. The left-handed reliever was encouraged by a 25-pitch side session he completed on Tuesday.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Braves training at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex.  The first game was played between the Braves and Reds on March 28, 1997.  Fred McGriff hit the first home run and Deion Sanders (then of the Reds) recorded the first hit, stolen base and run.






Freddie is having a killer ST 6 homers already. Good thing he is hitting since he is such a lousy fielder

Heyward still sucks. Demote the boy wonder.

God, i just hope the loaf starts hitting again, if not Tip will hang on to him into the gates of hell. Wouldn’t it be great to actually have an outfield bat for a change?

I can’t remember the last legitimate outfield bat we had aside from Andruw. Sheffield?

Hitting a bomb like that is at least encouraging. It has been 2 years since Heyward has made any news with his power. The rental cars have been safe for too long out there.

Freeman is a lousy fielder? Heyward sucks? You guys are nuts! Heyward is swinging the bat better than he has in over a year. When its all said and done Freeman will have more gold gloves on his shelf than you have IQ points. Those two studs will be some of our best producers this year and for many years to come on both sides of the ball.

Calm down dude, The Freddie is a lousy fielder was with tongue firmly in cheek.

Justin also believe the same about Frenchy. Kyle Davies and JoJo Reyes.

I know it’s hard to read sarcasm over the internet, but geez.

I have a good feeling about Mike Minor this year. Man has he been sharp this spring.

No, Frenchy, Davies, and Reyes did, do, and always will suck. Thats why Frenchy and Davies went to KC, where Braves go to die.

Francoeur had 2 1/2 good seasons with the Braves, 1/2 of a good season with the Mets, finished strong with the Rangers in 2010, and had a fantastic 2011. As long as you don’t judge strictly by OBP, Francoeur is a decent player. Solid range, best arm in the game, 20 homer pop, flashed a little speed last year(maybe just a lot of smart baserunning, maybe a good combo of both). If he could cut down on the strikeouts, he could be an All-Star. He was overrated when he had success, but now is very underrated.

Frenchy is a platoon player with an outstanding arm and decent Defense… that’s all.

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