Jurrjens stays on track with successful simulated game

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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.

Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber head list of Esurance MLB Award winners

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The 2017 MLB award season officially drew to a close on Friday with the Esurance MLB Awards, handed out to the best hitters, pitchers, front office members and moments in the 2017 season. Jose Altuve was crowned the Best Major Leaguer overall, beating out fellow finalists Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, while two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took home honors as Best Pitcher.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Rookie: Aaron Judge
  • Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado
  • Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre
  • Best Postseason Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander
  • Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman‘s 10th inning walk-off single in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best TV/Radio Call: Joe Buck and John Smoltz call Jose Altuve’s game-tying three-run blast in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best Play (Offense): Nolan Arenado completes the cycle with a walk-off homer (video)
  • Best Play (Defense): Austin Jackson‘s over-the-wall catch in the Red Sox’ bullpen (video)
  • Best Single-Game Performance: Anthony Rendon‘s six-hit, three-homer, 10-RBI game (video)
  • Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives Walter “Superbubz” Herbert a bat and jersey (video)
  • Best Fan Catch: Fan’s brother-in-law grabs Yasiel Puig home run ball and chucks it back on the field (video)
  • Best Manager: A.J. Hinch
  • Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow

No surprises here — the world champion Astros ran away with seven awards, including those for Best Manger and Executive and a dual award for Best Major Leaguer of the Postseason. Altuve added to an impressive run this offseason after earning a Silver Slugger, two Players Choice Awards, Hank Aaron Award and MVP Award for his outstanding work in 2017, while Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge continued to be a lock for all AL rookie-based awards after locking down the Rookie of the Year title earlier this week.