The Atlanta Braves will travel to Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida to take on the New York Mets today at 1:10 PM, EST. The game will be broadcast live today on the MLB Network, and we’re having another one of our Live Game Threads to provide commentary and analysis on the game, recent events, and the upcoming 2014 season.
No doubt Atlanta fans are still reeling somewhat from the recent news that Kris Medlen will miss another season (at least) because of a 2nd Tommy John surgery, and that Brandon Beachy may well have the same fate in store for him. Medlen went under the knife on Tuesday, and by all reports is doing well post-op. Brandon Beachy sought a 2nd opinion from a doctor in Los Angeles, California, and as yet we’ve not heard any further news about that (it is expected some time today). Certainly it will be a struggle for the Braves facing a season without the two, but the Braves’ have plugged some holes in their rotation by acquiring Ervin Santana, who gets the nod to start today’s game.
Under the circumstances, the Braves certainly need Santana to perform as he did last season. In addition to the loss of Medlen, and the probable loss of Beachy, we got the word today that Mike Minor‘s return to the starting rotation will be delayed a bit longer than originally anticipated. It was originally thought that Minor could well take the mound as the #1 pitcher in the rotation, and take the mound on opening day. We learned that would be pushed back at least a week because of urethral surgery that Minor had to undergo in the offseason. Upon his return though, Minor suffered some additional shoulder soreness as well, and the setback is a touch longer now. According to a tweet from the Atlanta Journal Constituion’s David O’Brien:
#Braves Minor likely has at least couple more live BP sessions. Might not pitch in game until end March, join rotation late April or so
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) March 19, 2014
As for Santana, while his presence will certainly help alleviate the pains of the loss of Medlen and probable loss of Beachy, Ervin himself won’t be in the starting rotation until the end of the second week of the regular season. Santana will start the process of getting stretched out in today’s game, but is scheduled to pitch just two innings today. Just two innings could hardly be said to be an accurate barometer of how he’ll perform for the Braves, but Santana’s coming off a 9-10 season with the Kansas City Royals with a respectable 3.24 ERA, and good overall numbers. That means the Braves will probably go with a four man rotation up until around April 12th, and will probably consist of Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale (probably in that order).
Join Our Live Game Thread
We’ve already been writing a great deal about all this, and we will continue to share our thoughts about all the aforementioned, and more, in today’s Live Game Thread as the Braves face the Mets. Want you join us? We’d love to hear your take on all these pre-season woes the Braves are experiencing, and your take on how well they’ll muster up and march ahead. Certainly the conditions are not idea, but it should make for an interesting start to the season. Scroll down to our Disquis Comments section at game time, and join in on the conversation!