The Braves have managed to hold things together quite nicely in the early going despite a patchwork rotation, but they will get a major piece back soon.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mike Minor is tentatively scheduled to join the Braves’ rotation next Wednesday against the Marlins or next Friday against the Reds. The southpaw was forced to begin the season on the disabled due after he fell behind in his offseason throwing program following a urinary tract procedure and showed up to camp with shoulder soreness, but he has made it through his three minor league rehab appearances (two starts) without incident. He’s scheduled to make what could be his final rehab start Friday with Double-A Mississippi.
The Braves currently have a rotation of Julio Teheran, Ervin Santana, Alex Wood, Aaron Harang, and David Hale. No word on who will get the boot when Minor is ready, but Hale is the most logical option. The Braves could have another decision to make soon if all goes well in Gavin Floyd’s rehab from Tommy John surgery.
Minor, 26, posted a 3.21 ERA and 181/46 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings across 32 starts last season.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.