Jurrjens to DL, Minor Gets the Call

Written by Jonathan on April 3, 2011 – 12:27 pm

As has been speculated over the past couple of days, the Braves have officially placed Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list and called Mike Minor up to Atlanta.  Jurrjens has been fighting a right oblique strain since a late-March Spring Training start.

Jurrjens was originally slated to make his first start of the season on Monday against the Brewers, but the Braves have decided to make the more cautious approach to help try to keep Jair healthy through the season.  He missed a few months of the 2010 season after experiencing knee and hamstring issues.

Minor will make a spot start against the Brewers on Wednesday and will likely stay in Atlanta until Jurrjens is healthy enough to be reactivated.  In 8 starts for the Braves in 2010, Minor had a 3-2 record with a 5.98 ERA, striking out 43 and walking 11 in 40 2/3 innings.  Minor will have to continue to work on his pitch placement to cut down on the number of hits he gives up, but he’s a great pitcher in the making for the Braves.

Jurrjens DL stint will be retroactive to March 25th and eligible to be reactivated in about a week, but it looks like a mid-to-late April return is much bounce house park more likely.

Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of things to come in 2011 and on for Jurrjens as the Braves need to capitalize on the upside and potential he offers.

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Posted in Injuries, Pitching | 3 Comments »

Braves To Move For Derrek Lee? Good Idea?

Written by Jonathan on August 18, 2010 – 11:57 am

With every at-bat or play at first base, it’s quite apparent that Braves first baseman Troy Glaus is in a lot of pain and unable to play up to his full potential.  Gone are the days of May where he was hitting everything in sight, whether it was over the plate or not, and now, the best we can do is hope he doesn’t hit into a double play at the wrong time.  Rumors have begun circulating that the Braves are close to making a move for Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee.

In his day (he’s been around the league since 1997), Derrek Lee produced some solid numbers from the plate.  He’s had 9 20-HR seasons and is 5 shy of 1000 RBI in his career.  To date in 2010, he has 16 homers (4 of which came last weekend) and 56 RBI.  In the month of August, Lee is batting .306 and slugging .694 with 4 homers and 8 RBI.  By contrast, Glaus is hitting .208 and slugging .375 with two homers.

On the surface, it seems like a logical move.  It would give Glaus time to get healthier (although I doubt that can truly happen until the offseason) and would add a little more pop to the lineup.  The kicker however, is that Lee is injured as well.  His performance has been hampered by a bulging disc in his back, which, after receiving an injection for the pain, has him sidelined until today or tomorrow at least.

Lee would definitely be a rental, as he is a free agent at the end of the season, and would have to waive his no-trade cause, which he would likely do as Atlanta is contending for the NL East.  The rental issue doesn’t bother me however as he would serve as the next step in the bridge to getting Freddie Freeman into the majors (which I still maintain the  Braves don’t have to rush to do).  The question is, is sitting one injured first baseman for another injured first baseman the right thing to do.  With Troy’s performance as of late, I’d say it’s an option that we seriously need to consider.

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Posted in Injuries, Roster Moves, Speculation | 1 Comment »

Chipper Out For Season

Written by Colin on August 12, 2010 – 11:43 am

In 1995 a rookie third baseman with an infectious grin and a hot bat helped the Braves win the World Series. Since then, Chipper has slowed up a bit but still loves the game, still kills the Mets every time he can, and is the lifeblood of the Atlanta Braves. Tuesday night we saw a brilliant defensive play at third base – and sadly that might be the last play we see from Chipper.

Various sources are reporting that Chipper is out for the season with a torn ACL. He was already thinking about retiring after this season, and he could very well decide not to come back. Who knows? I know I don’t, but I find myself reflecting on his career and realizing how rare of a player Chipper was.

How many other sluggers of his caliber have stayed in one city their entire life? How many stars have restructured their contracts to provide more flexibility to their team? How many great third basemen have moved to left field so the team could add offense where it was most easily found? How many stars have thought about retiring when their career starts to decline instead of denying it and trying to eek it out for a few more years?

Yes, he was a bit of an arrogant ass when he was younger. But that’s tempered with age and experience now, and his love for the game remains.

Chipper is a rare player – not just because he’s perhaps the best switch hitter that’s ever played or hits homers against the Mets even when he’s slumping against everyone else, but because he bent over backwards for a team that he made his. Chipper’s poured his heart out for us Atlanta Braves fans, and that’s something I’ll never forget.

Now get the surgery out of the way and go rehab that knee, Chipper. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Larry Wayne Jones, Jr.

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Posted in Injuries | 6 Comments »

Is Troy Glaus Headed For The DL?

Written by Jonathan on July 6, 2010 – 8:23 am

Through last Friday’s game against the Marlins, Troy Glaus was the only member of the Braves that had played in all 80 of the team’s games.  Since then however, Glaus has missed the team’s last 3 games with swelling and soreness in his left knee, which he has apparently been dealing with for the past couple of weeks.

The swelling, attributed to normal wear from the season, did not immediately respond to a cortisone shot on Saturday, but has since gone down a bit.  Glaus is hoping to make it back to the lineup for the Braves in this evening’s game against the Phillies.

The main question I have is whether or not the Braves should be rushing to get him back in the lineup or if a stint on the disabled list might be necessary for Glaus.  The main reason I wonder is that, in the past 16 games, he has only hit .132 with 1 HR as opposed to .362 with 7 HR in the 16 games before.  It’s hard to tell how much the knee’s bothering him, but I’m okay if we have to let Hinske play first for a couple of weeks to get Troy healthy.

Here’s hoping he doesn’t relapse to the Glaus of April………

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Posted in Injuries | 3 Comments »

Utley Out Six Weeks, Braves Need To Extend Lead Now

Written by Colin on July 1, 2010 – 3:03 pm

The news from the Phillies camp is that Chase Utley is expected to be out for six weeks at least as his injured thumb will require surgery. What does that mean for the Braves other than Martin Prado likely landing the starting job for the NL All-Star team?

It means it’s time to turn on the afterburners and create some separation in the standings from our friends the New York Mets as well as the Phillies. We’re 1.5 and 3.5 games, respectively, in front of the Mets and Phils, and it’s time to make that distance a bit larger.

We just got Jurrjens back from the DL last night (the equivalent of landing another ace) and now our rotation is full of five guys nobody wants to face. Heyward is out for two weeks but will join after the All-Star Break hopefully at full-strength; the equivalent of landing a young clutch power bat. It’s unlikely the Braves will part with their top pitching prospects to land a power bat in left or center field from what I’m seeing, but Chipper and Yunel are turning crucial corners at the right time for the Braves.

It’s our division to run away with. The Mets have pitching depth issues. The Phillies are battling injuries. We need to finish out the first half strong and then run away with the division after the break. Time to put some distance in between us and the rest of the NL East.

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Posted in General, Injuries | Comments Off on Utley Out Six Weeks, Braves Need To Extend Lead Now

All Eyes On Jair Jurrjens… Hudson’s Dominance and Heyward’s Thumb

Written by Kent on June 30, 2010 – 12:34 pm

In his latest “Fried Baseball” audio blog, Kent Covington talks about the return of Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson’s dominance, and Jason Heyward’s thumb. Throw in your 2 cents in the comments area below… or leave a message with your questions or comments for a future commentary at 888-669-5368 (ext.701.)

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Posted in Injuries, Pitching | 4 Comments »

Heyward Will Sit Out All-Star Game

Written by Colin on June 30, 2010 – 6:16 am

I know I was hard on him earlier, but Jason Heyward just made me glad his head is screwed on straight – he said that, if chosen, he’ll sit out the All-Star game.

And this is why he’s more mature than most kids his age.

Most kids his age would want to go take the fame and glamour that comes with being selected as an All-Star in your first season. Heyward will be eligible to come off the DL before the All-Star game and could likely play with no risk to the remainder of the season. Despite this, Heyward is showing his maturity and his devotion to the team and electing not to play in the All-Star game.

Good on you, Jason. I’ll be the first to say that we appreciate not just you prioritizing the rest of the season with the Braves, but knowing you’re not after personal glory. You fit here in Atlanta, and we appreciate that.

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Posted in Injuries | 1 Comment »

Listen Here, Jason Heyward

Written by Colin on June 29, 2010 – 10:00 am

I think it’s time to bitch at Jason Heyward just a bit.

Jason is an incredibly important part of the offense this season – batting second behind Prado and before Chipper means he’s a crucial part of setting the table. That’s not to mention the number of clutch hits he’s had and the power and run production he’s shown off this year.

The fact is simply that now he’s out for two more weeks (not to mention his .172 average for the 24 games prior). Now, I’m the first one to admit that Jason Heyward is even more valuable because he’s a threat on the base paths, but we need to change this sliding headfirst thing. That’s what led to this injury – sliding head first into third base.

I know it’s probably something he’s done his entire baseball career, but it’s time to change that. He’s too valuable now. We can afford to miss him for two weeks when Chipper and McCann are starting to pick up some of the slack. But once he’s anchoring the offensive production of the team and protecting people in the lineup, not to mention making millions of dollars, he can’t be batting .172 for three weeks and then sitting out two just because he’s too stubborn to learn to slide feet first. I don’t know why in the hell none of his minor league coaches made him switch, but it’s time now.

It’s time to slide feet first, Jason. Learn to do it. You’ve got too much potential power and run producing capability to be effectively useless for five weeks. Your hands are too important to throw them in the way of danger like that. Figure it out.

Posted in Injuries | 3 Comments »

Heyward To DL; Kawakami To Bullpen

Written by Jonathan on June 28, 2010 – 10:14 pm

The good news first.  Jason Heyward won’t require surgery on the thumb that has been bothering him since injuring it sliding into third on May 14th.  The bad news? Heyward has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and will have the thumb put in a cast tomorrow for a week.

An MRI this morning revealed a deep bone bruise and a strain at the base of a ligament in the thumb where it attached to the bone.  I’m not considering this to actually be bad news.  Heyward has needed the extended rest for the thumb for quite awhile and hopefully this will get him through down the stretch.  It won’t be until the extended rest of the offseason that the injury fully heals.  Matt Diaz will be activated off of the disabled list to take Heyward’s spot on the roster.

The Braves also indicated that Kenshin Kawakami would be heading to the bullpen when Jair Jurrjens is activated from the disabled list to make his first start since April on Wednesday.

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Posted in Injuries, Pitching | 2 Comments »

Wagner’s Ankle Tweaked

Written by Colin on June 26, 2010 – 7:31 pm

Fresh off his 400th save last night, Billy Wagner sat out the Atlanta Braves’ win over the Detroit Tigers today. Though the Braves could have used him, he was unable to warmup without changing his delivery. Apparently his ankle has been bothering him for around 10 days (even though he’s seen a lot of action in that timeframe).

Wagner attempted to warm up today in the bottom of the eighth but was in some considerable discomfort. He attempted to tape the ankle more than normal but was unable to complete his warmup. Today after the game, Wagner received a cortisone shot in the ankle.

Wagner expects to be ready to go as early as tomorrow, depending on how his ankle feels.

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Posted in Injuries | 1 Comment »

Heyward Admits Thumb A Problem

Written by Colin on June 26, 2010 – 7:20 pm

When Stephen Strasburg starts for the Washington Nationals on Monday, Jason Heyward might not be in the lineup. No, he’s not afraid of Strasburg. Rather, Heyward today admitted finally that his thumb was bothering him more than he’s let on. He first tweaked it on May 14  sliding headfirst into third base.

In the last 24 games, Heyward has hit only .172 and has struck out 33% of his at-bats, which leads to the question “Why did the Braves not see that this was an issue and sit him before now?”

Good question. Our very own Kent Covington brought up the thumb injury in an audio blog a week ago.

One thought is that Terry Pendleton and Bobby Cox are letting the Heyward learn a lesson about when to let nagging injuries heal and when to play through them. To me, it appears as though the youngster has been trying to do too much lately – he so badly wants the team on his shoulders that his home run cuts and nagging thumb have led to his current slump.

Fortunately for the Braves, others have carried the team. Hopefully Heyward has learned his lesson when it comes to playing through nagging injuries.

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Posted in General, Injuries | 1 Comment »

Do We Really Want This Xavier Nady Character?

Written by Colin on December 31, 2009 – 4:00 pm

“We need more power!”

Thanks, Scotty. We knew that. While we’d all like our offense to go to 11, I’m not sure I’m super thrilled with the options. Mark DeRosa is off the table, Matt Holliday is likely signing with the Cards soon, not many people are thrilled with the idea of Uggla coming in, and Xavier Nady is the other name that gets tossed around a lot. And yes, he’s good for 25 homers and 100 RBIs when he’s healthy.

But he’s had some issues and is just coming off not his first, but his SECOND Tommy John surgery. And yes, he’s just an outfielder – not a pitcher – and is being acquired more for his bat than anything. And yes, he’s probably cheaper than before his second TJ.

But he will still have to make throws. And when will he be back to 100%? How many runs will we give up because people will run on a weak-armed, twice-rebuilt robo elbow in left field?

Sure – we have doctors and if we sign him then I’m sure we think he’s a good deal and good upside and all that. I get that. But I’m just a little bit worried. Just sayin’. That’s TWO Tommy John surgeries, dudes and dudettes. Just not so sure about that.

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology…”

Who should we go for instead? What about Johnny Damon or a one year deal for Vladimir Guerrero? Jermaine Dye?

Posted in General, Injuries, Roster Moves, Speculation | 4 Comments »

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