Aug 17, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) removes starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) from the game against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves' Maholm For Minor

I was at the game on Saturday while Mike Minor was on the mound against the Washington Nationals, and watched him exit before the second inning was over.  The one thing I noticed was Mike flexing his arm at the shoulder, as if he was dealing with some soreness or an injury.  No word ever came down about that, but now David O’Brien has tweeted that Mike Minor will miss his scheduled start on Thursday in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

From David’s tweet, it appears that Mike Minor is fine and just needs some extra rest, but I have to wonder if there is more than meets the tweet.  The flex of the arm at the shoulder in his last outing was vary apparent, and it’s hard to believe that at least some soreness is not at issue.  O’Brien was asked that very thing on Twitter, and responded that…

Perhaps, and I certainly hope the reports are true.  Going down the stretch into September, Minor will certainly be a key cog in the Atlanta pitching wheel.  His absence would be hard to deal with.  I don’t expect anything is amiss here, but that flex of the shoulder just made me uncomfortable.  With an extra five days rest, hopefully Mike will be ship-shape before his next start.  Mike has struggled in his last couple of starts, and rest may truly be all his really needs.

It’s been further reported that Paul Maholm will be re-activated off the DL to take Minor’s place for the start on Thursday.  Maholm has struggled since early May, and the absence of a reliable and effective lefty addition to the lineup has been missed.  The Braves’ have held their own with starters though, with Alex Wood stepping up nicely to fill the hole, and Brandon Beachy‘s steady improvement with each outing.  I have to wonder with Maholm’s return whether the Braves are considering going to a six man rotation.

David O’Brien opined on Twitter that he didn’t think Atlanta would go that route, but it cannot be ruled out on that basis alone.  Atlanta toyed around with the six man rotation almost exactly a year ago, and while it’s not a move I would make or actually think the Braves will make, I wouldn’t rule it out just yet.  The Braves have a way of making moves that baffle, and sometimes work out and sometimes not.  All that said, we’ll just have to wait and see whether someone gets sent down, or the Braves go to a six man, or what may occur.  It should be interesting to see.  Meantime, we wish the best for Maholm in his return to the rotation, and wish the best for a speedy recovery for Mike Minor.  The series against the Cardinals could be a good benchmark for how the Braves will do heading toward October, and we need a solid and healthy rotation.


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