Manager Fredi Gonzalez said right-hander Jair Jurrjens “was fine” when he was told Saturday that he’d be going to the bullpen, replaced in the rotation for the foreseeable future by right-hander Kris Medlen.
However, Medlen will join the rotation Tuesday night against Miami only if general manager Frank Wren is unable to swing a deal for a veteran starter by that afternoon’s non-waiver trade deadline. And Jurrjens’ demotion also assumes that right-hander Tommy Hanson, who hasn’t pitched very well lately, somehow rights himself.
One reason why Jurrjens is fine with the latest change in his pitching status is that he’s still in the major leagues. Better to be in the Braves’ bullpen than with their Class AAA team.
But who’s to say Jurrjens will work out as a long reliever?
The addition of Medlen to the rotation means that Gonzalez is without his most versatile arm, someone who can strike out the side for an inning or pitch craftily for three innings. Right-hander Cristhian Martinez, who has done that kind of job for the last two seasons, will continue to see work in varied situations.
If Medlen works out in the rotation, then the Braves may be looking for bullpen help when the waiver trade deadline rolls around at the end of August.
But one thing at a time.
Jurrjens said before Sunday’s game that he hasn’t even thought about what sort of routine he’s going to have as a reliever. And he hadn’t yet discussed that with anyone. He was looking a little dazed as he spoke, and not because it was early.
Medlen, in contrast, was bopping around the clubhouse routine-free, as a starter.
Sunday’s 6-2 win over the Phillies was apparently not a good time to get Jurrjens’ feet wet as a reliever because the score was 3-2 when Gonzalez had to call on the bullpen. The manager used left-hander Jonny Venters, right-hander Chad Durbin, left-hander Eric O’Flaherty and Martinez to seal the victory.
–2B Dan Uggla told manager Fredi Gonzalez that he’s still feeling confident, and so long as that is the case, Gonzalez will be sticking with him in the lineup. Uggla is continuing to play hard, and he’s not taking his slump at the plate into the field. Uggla drove in a run with a first-inning Sunday off Phillies RHP Roy Halladay, ending a 21-at-bat hitless streak.
–C Brian McCann didn’t play Sunday, a day game after a night game. C David Ross got the start, catching RHP Tim Hudson once again. Hudson and Ross both singled off Phillies RHP Roy Halladay.
–3B Chipper Jones scared manager Fredi Gonzalez when he tweeted Saturday night that he had “a date with the Doc tomorrow.” Gonzalez said he was worried until he could talk to the team trainer Sunday morning. Jones was referring to facing Phillies RHP Roy “Doc” Halladay, against whom he went 2-for-3 with a homer. “This tweeting’s going to kill me,” Gonzalez said.
–LHP Mike Minor pitched eight innings Saturday against the Phillies, the first time he’s gone that deep since April 19. He allowed one run and four hits in beating the Phillies 2-1, his fourth consecutive quality start.
–RHP Peter Moylan was moved up to Class AAA Gwinnett and placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. He is rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and was expected to be able to join the Braves bullpen by the end of July. That won’t be happening now.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“This tweeting’s going to kill me!” — Manager Fredi Gonzalez, after reading 3B Chipper Jones’ tweet Saturday night that Jones had “a date with the Doc” on Sunday. Gonzalez was initially concerned, not realizing that Jones was referring to facing Phillies RHP Roy “Doc” Halladay. Jones wound up going 2-for-3 with a solo homer off Halladay.