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 Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.