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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: