Minor looks to further encourage the Braves
While waiting for Brandon Beachy’s MRI results and the start of a three-game series against the red-hot Yankees, I’ll attempt to brighten your day with the revelation that the Braves’ starting rotation has posted a 2.50 ERA in the first 14 games of this month.
For now, the Braves can only hope Beachy will miss just a few starts. But if they learn he needs to undergo Tommy John surgery or another surgical procedure that cost him the remainder of the season, all would not necessarily be lost.
Sure Beachy leads the Majors with a 2.00 ERA and has been the most consistent member of the Atlanta rotation since the start of the season. But Tommy Hanson has once again taken on the appearance of a front-line starter and the Braves have enough depth to survive much like the Cardinals did without Adam Wainwright last year.
Over the course of this week, we’ll might get a better feel for who might be capable of stabilizing a Beachy-less rotation. Jair Jurrjens will get a chance to prove himself at the Majors again on Friday, when he fills Beachy’s turn with a start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. There will be many fingers crossed when Jurrjens faces big league hitters for the first time since being demoted in late April. His velocity has been up a tick and minus the one start he made while sick earlier this month he has recorded encouraging results recently.
Maybe Jurrjens will surprise in the same manner as Mike Minor, who seemed to be pitching for a chance to stay in the Majors before turning in the most impressive start of his young career last week against CC Sabathia and the Yankees. When he exited with a 4-0 lead and one out in the eighth inning last week, he certainly did not look like a pitcher who had produced an 8.84 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Minor’s reward is this opportunity to pitch at Yankee Stadium for the first time in his life. Sounds like a nice perk until you remember Minor has surrendered the second-most homers among NL pitchers and the Yankees have hit more nine more home runs than any other Major League club this year. And of course we’re at Yankee Stadium, where even Rafael Belliard might have had a chance to go deep every once in a while.
But if you’ve watched this game long enough you know things seldom develop exactly like you expect when first looking at the matchup.
While losing six of their past seven games the Braves have compiled a .249 batting average and hit just .170 with runners in scoring position. They squandered a number of opportunities while recording 10 hits and four runs in the seven innings that Sabathia completed in Atlanta last week.
The Braves have not provided any updates regarding Brandon Beachy’s MRI exam. Check Braves.com and MLB.com for updates.
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