Tag: Mike Minor

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Mike Minor will undergo shoulder surgery


Bill Shanks of Atlanta Dugout was first to this …

Atlanta Dugout.com has learned Braves left-hander Mike Minor will undergo shoulder surgery and will likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

The specifics of the surgery aren’t known, but it’s obviously going to be a pretty significant procedure.

Minor was limited to 145 1/3 innings last season due to left shoulder troubles and posted a disappointing 4.77 ERA when healthy. He felt renewed shoulder discomfort a few days before his scheduled 2015 Grapefruit League debut and opened the regular season on the disabled list. Now he’ll finish it on the DL, too.

Minor was awarded a $5.6 million salary in late February following an arbitration hearing.

The 27-year-old will be a non-tender candidate this winter despite his past success.

“There has not been any measurable improvement” for injured Braves pitcher Mike Minor

Mike Minor
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Things have gone from bad to worse for Braves starter Mike Minor. The lefty was shut down with shoulder discomfort last September, but hoped to begin the 2015 season on schedule. However, he was scratched from his Grapefruit League debut in March and the setback landslide began. He was examined by Dr. James Andrews and was diagnosed with inflammation in his left rotator cuff and was shut down for two weeks.

Minor started the season on the 15-day disabled list. The Braves hoped to get him back in early May, but that won’t be the case. The Braves just moved him to the 60-day disabled list, which created room for infielder Pedro Ciriaco on the roster. Braves GM John Hart said, via Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“Right now there are still some issues there,” Hart said. “This (move) provides us some more flexibility. We don’t see him coming back anytime soon. Hopefully the next week or 10 days we will have our arms a little bit more around what needs to be done. We felt this was the right move for the organization (and) the right thing for Mike because he’s not close to being out there ready to go.”


“There has not been any measurable improvement that you want to see,” Hart said. “We’ve taken the MRIs. We are trying to stay as patient as we can and Mike is doing everything he can. At this point, things haven’t progressed. “

When he’s healthy, Minor can be effective. In 2013, he finished with a 3.21 ERA and a 181/46 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings for the Braves. But the Braves should consider themselves fortunate if they get him back before the All-Star break at this point.

2015 Preview: Atlanta Braves

Wandy Rodriguez

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Atlanta Braves.

The Big Question: Will the Braves be able to overcome an off-season in which they did more subtraction than addition?

Braves outfielders last season combined to hit 57 home runs, drive in 211 runs, and post a .714 OPS. Almost all of the work was done by Justin Upton, Melvin Upton, Jr., and Jason Heyward. However, the Braves traded Justin to the Padres and Heyward to the Cardinals during the off-season, and Melvin will miss most or all of April with a foot injury. Even if he were healthy, he is coming off of two seasons in which he posted a combined .593 OPS with 21 home runs in 1,028 plate appearances.

The Braves’ current outfield is comprised of Nick Markakis (still on the mend from neck surgery after signing a four-year, $44 million deal in early December) and some combination yet to be decided of Eric Young, Jr., Todd Cunningham, Eury Perez, Zoilo Almonte, Kelly Johnson, and Joey Terdoslavich. Whatever posse of outfielders the Braves come up with may seriously struggle to post half the homers and RBI that last season’s outfield put up.

The outfield isn’t the only area where the Braves lack depth. Wandy Rodriguez, who signed with the Phillies and failed a physical before latching on with the Braves, rode a small sample of productive innings to the No. 4 spot in the starting rotation. The fifth spot will go to Eric Stults, Mike Foltynewicz, or Cody Martin and they’ll keep it for as long as Mike Minor – suffering from a tight left shoulder – remains on the disabled list.

The painful departure of Heyward was cushioned a bit in receiving starter Shelby Miller from the Cardinals. However, the 24-year-old right-hander saw noticeable declines in his ability to generate swings and misses, as well as his ability to limit walks. In 2013, his strikeout and walk rates were 23.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. Last season, they were 16.6 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Only five pitchers had a strikeout-minus-walk rate lower than Miller’s 7.1 percent: Roberto Hernandez, Jarred Cosart, John Danks, Kyle Gibson, and Chris Young. Not exactly a who’s-who list of pitchers. Of those who posted a similar K%-BB%, which also includes Kyle Kendrick and Mark Buehrle, many are expected to post below-average numbers this season. It would be wrong to state Miller won’t succeed in 2015, but it’ll be tough for him to do so if he can’t improve on his 2014 strikeout and walk rates. As studies have shown, strikeout and walk rates are by far the most accurate statistics with which to predict future pitcher performance.

Overall, it’s tough to see where the Braves are any better going into 2015 than they were last season. FanGraphs projects them to finish as the second-worst team in baseball at 73-89, five games better than the division rival Phillies, who will be more or less intentionally losing in a rebuilding effort. There is a non-zero possibility that the Phillies finish with a better record than the Braves, who are doing a one foot in, one foot out style of rebuilding while also being somewhat competitive.

What else is going on?

  • Freddie Freeman is the only Brave projected by Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS (found at FanGraphs) to hit 20 or more home runs. Melvin Upton is projected at 17, then Zoilo Almonte is at 14 over nearly a full season’s worth of at-bats, which he likely won’t get. As far as slugging percentage goes, which is influenced partially by batting average, Chris Johnson is projected to have the second-highest at .395 behind Freeman’s .472. The conclusion here is that the Braves are going to struggle mightily to generate power.
  • If there is some reason for optimism, it will come from Julio Teheran, now the undisputed ace of the starting rotation. Last season, the right-hander made the National League All-Star roster and finished with a 2.89 ERA and a 186/51 K/BB ratio over 221 innings. It would not be unreasonable to expect him to post All-Star-caliber numbers again in 2015.
  • A year after hitting .321, Chris Johnson ended the 2014 season with a disappointing .263 average and a .653 OPS. While his 2013 average was obviously fluky, he wasn’t expected to tumble 58 points, nor 66 points in on-base percentage and 96 points in slugging percentage. If the Braves are going to have any shot at beating the grim projections, they’ll need Johnson to return close to or at his former All-Star level.
  • 2015 could be the first season since taking over as the Braves’ everyday closer in which Craig Kimbrel will fail to lead the league in saves. The flame-thrower led the NL with 46, 42, 50, and 47 saves from 2011-14. Because the Braves are expected to win so few games, however, Kimbrel’s save chances will be fewer in number. The Braves averaged 89.5 wins over that four year span, affording Kimbrel many opportunities to close out ballgames.
  • As the Braves have their entire core signed to long-term deals, the Braves will likely be quiet at the trade deadline. They may trade a reliever, or one or two of their many utility players, but the Braves will likely end the regular season looking much the same as they will at the beginning.
  • Manager Fredi Gonzalez is signed only through the end of this season. Considering how poorly the Braves are expected to be, Gonzalez is essentially a lame duck manager. And the Braves are just fine with that. The Braves will see how Gonzalez leads a new-look team under recently-hired baseball operations president John Hart before deciding whether to stay the course or move in a new direction.

Prediction: The Braves nudge out the Phillies for the honor of finishing in fourth place in the NL East at 71-91.

Mike Minor shut down for two weeks, likely to begin season on disabled list

Mike Minor

In what probably qualifies as good news for Braves left-hander Mike Minor considering he had the dreaded visit to Dr. James Andrews, he’s been diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation.

In other words, no structural damage.

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Minor will be shut down from all throwing for two weeks, at which point the Braves will re-examine him and figure out the next step.

Minor, who had shoulder problems last season and was scratched from his first scheduled start of spring training last week, is now unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

Mike Minor to see Dr. James Andrews

Mike Minor

The Braves have had crappy luck with their pitchers over the past couple of years. And Mike Minor has had bad luck himself when it comes to his health. So this, while sad, is not entirely shocking, frankly:

Minor was scratched from his scheduled start with shoulder soreness yesterday. This after he missed time with shoulder problems last season and struggled when he was healthy. Maybe because he was not completely healthy?

Minor is under contract for $5.6 million after winning his arbitration hearing against the Braves last month. The way this is heading, you have to wonder if insurance is gonna pick up a lot of that tab.