The Braves placed right-hander Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right oblique. On Wednesday, he made his first big step toward what looks to be a mid-April return.
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jurrjens tossed a four-inning simulated game on Wednesday afternoon at Triple-A Gwinnett, firing a total of 75 pitches against a lineup of minor leaguers. He reported no problems with his right side during or after the outing and is right on track with the recovery timetable that the Braves have mapped out.
“He threw well, no problems,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Wednesday. “He’ll throw again on Monday at Gwinnett, and we’ll see how he goes from there. He’ll be lined up to [start in the big leagues] on the 16th if everything goes well.”
The Braves are expected to demote promising young starter Mike Minor once Jurrjens is cleared.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.