Last night both Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor began their trip Atlanta with Minor league starts. Floyd started for Gwinnett and pitched 1 1/3 innings on the road against the Durham Bulls. His outing consisted of 42 pitches oddly split 50/50 with 21 strikes and 21 balls and left the game when he approached his pitch count for the night.
That Floyd is throwing to batters in a game this early is a bit surprising as it was just 11 months ago he had elbow surgery to repair a torn muscle as well as his damaged UCL. Floyd was originally tagged for a late May return but barring setbacks – which always seem to happen with these injuries – he could be ready in the first half of May.
Floyd signed with the Braves last year for $4M upfront and another $4.5M in incentives instead of a two-year deal worth up to $20M including incentives according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun
Minor started for Mississippi and threw two innings giving up four hits and three earned runs while striking out five without allowing a walk. Minor threw just 39 pitches (26 strikes) but reports place his fastball in his usual low 90s range. He had some issues with location but that’s to be expected as he’s two to three weeks behind. He told Yahoo Sports that he approached this like a spring training outing and was in general pleased with his performance.
He’d call it outside and I’d throw it inside. He’d call a changeup and I was trying to manipulate it too much, so it would be too straight and not have enough action. My curve was side to side, it needs to be more up and down. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. It’s just pinpointing everything on the mechanical side and getting those things ironed out in my bullpens.
Ervin Santana will start for Gwinnett on tonight in what is expected to be his final tune-up before entering the Atlanta rotation. If he stays on schedule he could start next Wednesday against the Mets pushing David Hale to Thursday or he could take an extra day slip into the rotation on Thursday. The latter would effectively push Hale to the fifth spot and create a rotation of Santana, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Aaron Harang, and Hale.