Found March 21, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
There seems to be a lot of stuff floating around Jair Jurrjens brain right now.
He seems to be worried about his injury-prone right knee, his mechanics, his wildness, maybe even when his name was on everybodys trade list this winter. Whatevers up there, its keeping him from focusing on the really important things, like opposing hitters.
He mentioned his mind isnt where it should be after he was knocked around in his latest spring training start on Tuesday. Jurrjens also looks nothing like the starter he was for the Braves in the first half of 2011, when he was 12-3 with a 1.87 ERA, impressive numbers that landed him on the NL All-Star team.
And he sounds nothing like the guy who oozed confidence during an interview in January. He talked about how physically prepared and mentally ready he was for 2012, despite struggling in the second half (5.88 ERA in seven starts) and missing September with his balky right knee.
This was Jurrjens in January: Yes, (the knee is) feeling really good. Im getting more confident, and Im getting stronger. Every day Im trying to get my body to be more balanced, and make everything the same. Everything is strong, right side, left side thing. So its doing good, and Im just excited to get started.
This was Jurrjens after he gave up seven runs on eight hits in five innings in the Detroit Tigers 7-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday, according to MLB.com:
You want to see results, but this is still spring training. I'm not happy with the way I'm pitching. But I'm not going to go crazy either. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of stuff and trying to get more comfortable.
His performance at the Tigers Joker Marchant Stadium not only raised more riddles about Jurrjens, it raised his spring ERA to 10.13. He has given up 15 earned runs in 13 13 innings to go with 10 walks and only eight strikeouts, and his performance this spring has been indicative of all of the Braves prospective starters, other than Mike Minor. Their ERAs through March 20:
Brandon Beachy, 6.00
Tommy Hanson, 6.00
Randall Delgado, 6.92
Julio Teheran, 9.00
Thats in distinct contrast to the ERAs of the Braves top starters from 2011 spring training:
Tim Hudson, 1.35
Derek Lowe, 3.09
With Hudson out until May and Hanson recovering from shoulder problems and a concussion, Jurrjens seemed like a sure bet to be the opening day starter when the Braves face the New York Mets on April 5. But manager Fredi Gonzalez said that decision will be made next week when asked about it after the Braves fell to 5-13-2 this spring.
Whats interesting is this springs struggles are uncharacteristic for Jurrjens, who has had only one spring ERA higher than 3.43 in his career. That was in 2008, his first camp with the Braves after being traded from Detroit, and Jurrjens recovered from that tough spring to go 13-10 and lead all rookies with a 3.68 ERA in the regular season.
One can only wonder if Jurrjens might be covering for his knee or some other physical ailment and doesnt want to lose his spot in the rotation.
Some alarmists on Internet comment threads are clamoring for Kris Medlin to take Jurrjens spot -- the Braves have decided to keep Medlin in the bullpen to start the season or for Jurrjens to be sent to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Those are extreme moves.
Jurrjens is scheduled to make two more starts this spring, so he has time to clear his thoughts, find his confidence and the strike zone. And he just turned 26 years old.
The Braves are willing to be patient with him. So should you.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
FOXSportsSouth.com invites you to meet the Braves as we continue a month-long look at our team, player-by-player. We'll revisit 2011 and project what 2012 might look like.
Height: 6-6; Weight: 220
Hometown: Redlands, Calif.
Experience: Fourth season
2011 in review: Hanson was the Braves best starter from the end of April until the All...
HANGIN' IT UP
According to the team's Twitter account, the longtime Atlanta Braves third baseman plans to retire at season's end.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones says this will be his final season.
Jones, who turns 40 next month, issued a statement through the team Thursday saying he will retire after the season. He has spent his entire 18-year career with the Braves, winning the NL MVP award in 1999. He has a .304 career average with 454 homers and 1,561 RBIs, but has toyed with the idea of retirement...
With his 40th birthday approaching, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones announced Thursday he will retire after the season.
Jones, who has spent his entire 18-year career with the Braves, battled a rash of injuries the past several seasons and actually decided to retire in 2010, only to change his mind.
This time, he means it.
The team issued a statement before its spring...
Atlanta Braves veteran third baseman Chipper Jones will retire following the upcoming season, the team announced on Thursday.
A news conference is scheduled for later in the day.
Jones, who will turn 40 next month, has been nursing several injuries over the last few seasons. A 1999 MVP and seven-time All-Star, Jones batted .275 with 18 homers and 70 RBIs in 126 games in 2011.
It's been a long and wonderful road Larry Wayne, and we'll be sorry to see you go.
The news announced via the Atlanta Braves Twitter account Thursday morning made us a little sad even though we've seen it coming since at least 2010: Chipper Jones is retiring following this season. He held an emotional press conference later on in the day, which every single one of...
After more than 17 years as a fixture in Atlanta Braves baseball, Chipper Jones has announced that he will retire as a player after the 2012 season. His $7 million club option for next year would have vested at $9 million with 123 games played this summer, but apparently enough is enough.
Jones, 40 next month, has been ravaged by (mostly) knee injuries that have limited him to fewer...
Mike Minor is sure to play a major role in the Atlanta Braves' pitching rotation.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Tyler Pastornicky had four hits and Freddie Freeman added three and the Atlanta Braves tied the Miami Marlins 5-5 in 10 innings, just hours after Chipper Jones said he will retire at the end of the season.
Jones did not play on Thursday.
Pastornicky has struggled this spring, but lifted his batting average to .224. Freeman boosted his spring average to ...
Larry Wayne Jones, or more popularly known as “Chipper”, has been a key member of the Atlanta Braves franchise for close to two decades. Jones time with the Braves will soon be coming to an end, as the veteran third baseman has decided to call it a career at the conclusion of the 2012 season, [...]
It was announced earlier today that Chipper Jones, one of the greatest sports villains in New York history, will be exiting stage right at the end of the season.
When you think about some of the prominent villains over the last 25 years Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, Pedro Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jones stand out. For as aggravating as it was seeing him and the Braves beat...
From multiple sources, future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones is going to retire from baseball after this season.He is in the last year of a contract, and had made intimations that this would be his final year in a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's baseball beat writer, Dave O'Brien.Chipper later claimed he was joking, but apparently, he isn't after...