As April winds down Braves pitching starts to look more like we expected in spring training. According to the AJC Mike Minor will start Friday against the Giants with David Hale moving to the bullpen and Gus Schlosser heading back to Gwinnett. Schlosser’s move might be on hold until Friday when Minor is activated. Hale made it rough on skipper Fredi Gonzalez but in reality it was always unlikely the rookie would replace a pitcher who’s been as good as any in baseball since the 2012 All Star break. In the second half of the 2102 season he posted a 2.16 ERA and a 0.870 WHIP then followed that with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.090 WHIP in 204 2/3 innings. If Aaron Harang had not started with such a flourish he might have been the long man in the pen but while Hale’s 2.31 ERA would lead many staffs Harang is sitting on a 0.85 ERA. Fredi Gonzalez told reporters that Hale had impressed everyone.
“He did a terrific job – unbelievable job to step in for four starts for the month of April,” Gonzalez said. “We still have three more games to play. A lot of weird stuff can happen. He could be right back in that rotation. . . . Mike Minor is a guy that was outstanding for us for the last two and a half years, so it was just a matter of time. . .”
David O’Brien tweets that the Braves other rehabbing starter candidate Gavin Floyd is about ready to force another decision as well.
Gavin Floyd pitches tonight for Triple-A Gwinnett vs. Toledo is the last scheduled, anyway,outing of his minor league rehab.
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) April 29, 2014
What the Braves will do with Floyd after that start is an interesting question. He will likely be sent to the pen initially as it’s really impossible to remove any of the current rotation the way they are pitching now. How long that will last depends on the health and performance of the current five. He was originally signed in the event Alex Wood or Brandon Beachy hit a wall after the All Star break. the job’s still the same but the Beachy’s name has been replaced by Harang. What happens if everyone stays hot – aside from a huge lead in the NL East – is anyone’s guess.