Found March 20, 2012 on Fox Sports South:
Mike Minor isnt going to lose the job this spring. No way. Not the way hes pitching. Forget about being the fifth starter, Minor is a sure bet to clinch the No. 4 spot in the Atlanta Braves Opening Day rotation, a year after starting the season in Triple-A. Armed with more experience, more confidence and more determination, Minor has been their best starter this spring. Check that. Hes been one of the best pitchers in baseball in Florida or Arizona. Minor hasnt been scored on in 14 innings this month. No other pitcher in baseball with more than 11 innings can make that claim. Minor doesnt have any wins, but thats not his fault. Thats a burden shouldered by Atlantas offense more than anything hes done. Check out Minors stats. He has struck out 10 batters and allowed only seven hits and five walks in his 14 innings. His ERA is 0.00, which was not tough to figure out. His WHIP is 0.86 and opponents are hitting only .156 against him. I just really didnt know where I was going and was kind of wishy-washy (last spring), Minor recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This year I have more of a path of where Im headed and what they have in store for me. Minor pitched well last spring, giving up just one run in 10 innings, but Brandon Beachy flew in on a one-way ticket from nowhere to allow only two runs in 20 innings and secure a spot in the rotation behind Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson. Instead of being with the Braves in April, Minor ended up with Gwinnett, but that wouldnt last. Minor was recalled to make a start in place of Jurrjens, who was injured, in early April, but gave up seven hits, five runs and four walks in 4 13 innings against Milwaukee. He was sent down again, but came back in May to make two strong starts. Minor won one of his three starts in June, setting up a memorable August in which he went 3-0 as part of a personal five-game winning streak. Minor finished the season 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA, but struck out 77 batters in 82 13 innings. The experience he earned last summer has helped him focus and hone his approach this spring. Minor dominated the Orioles on Sunday, allowing only two hits and a walk in five innings of a 2-2 tie. Hes been great, he really has, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told the AJC on Sunday. Weve seen him give us good outing after good outing. You see the command, and you see his secondary pitches getting better and better and more consistent. I think he could throw almost any pitch at any time now. Hopefully that will continue when we break and go north. Heading into camp, it was thought Minor would battle Teheran and Delgado for the fifth spot in the rotation. The Braves also expected one of those three, or reliever Kris Medlen, to fill a hole left by the absence of Hudson, who will be out until early May while recovering from back surgery. Minor has now virtually sewed up the No. 4 spot until Hudsons return, and has given the Braves a potentially strong No. 5 starter after he comes back. Plus he gives the Braves a left-hander in the rotation for the first time since 2008, when Tom Glavine, Jo-Jo Reyes and Mike Hampton each started at least 13 games in that 72-90 season. I feel like I know all my teammates better and am more comfortable around them, Minor told the AJC. Me and (Brian McCann) have clicked better and know where were going, and (David) Ross when he catches me. It just feels a lot better to be out there on the mound with those guys. If he keeps pitching like this when the games count, Minor will become a major-league star.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Meet the Braves: Tommy Hanson

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. Tommy Hanson Position: P Height: 6-6; Weight: 220 BatThrow: RR Hometown: Redlands, Calif. Experience: Fourth season 2011 in review: Hanson was the Braves best starter from the end of April until the All...

Meet the Braves: Michael Bourn

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. Michael Bourn Position: OF Height: 5-11 Weight: 180 BatThrow: LR Hometown: Houston Experience: Fifth season 2011 in review: Bourn, who was traded from Houston to the Braves on Aug. 1, led the NL in steals...

Braves being patient with struggling Jurrjens

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...

Braves camp less uneventful than planned

Heading to camp a month ago, the Braves really had no spots up for grabs. Sure, there was that fifth starting spot, but the three candidates were obvious: left-hander Mike Minor and rookie right-handers Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran. The main question mark was whether the Braves would be OK with rookie Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop. That question became slightly more urgent...

Minor will play major role in Braves' rotation

Mike Minor is sure to play a major role in the Atlanta Braves' pitching rotation.

Meet the Braves: Tim Hudson

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. Tim Hudson Position: P Height: 6-1;Weight: 175 BatThrow: RR Hometown: Phenix City, Ala. Experience: 13th year 2011 in review: Hudson led the Braves with 16 victories and 215 innings to go with a 3.22 ERA...

Battle for final roster spot heats up

By Andrew Hirsh After a successful MLB debut last season, Jose Constanza entered Spring Training with the inside track to land the Braves’ final bench spot. And while he is still in a good position to win the job, the competition for that roster spot has grown increasingly fierce. Emerging out of no where in 2011, Constanza quickly became a fan favorite, filling in admirably for...

Minor stretches scoreless streak to 14 innings

The Braves' Mike Minor stretched his scoreless streak to 14 innings and Baltimore's Tsuyoshi Wada made his delayed debut as Atlanta and an Orioles split squad tied 2-2 in 10 innings Sunday. Minor allowed two hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one. He has given up just seven hits in his four starts and has 10 strikeouts to five walks. Wada, signed by the...

Arodys Vizciano to Have Tommy John Surgery

The recent spat of injury news continued this morning, when the Braves announced that RHP Arodys Vizcaino was undergoing Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2012 season. Vizciano was rated the #2 prospect in the Braves system by Marc Hulet, and despite being just 21-years-old, he was in the mix for a Major League job at some point in 2012. While the Braves certainly have...

Jurrjens struggles, Braves fall to Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Ryan Raburn hit his sixth home run in spring training and Justin Verlander pitched five innings Tuesday as the Detroit Tigers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-2. Before the game, the Tigers announced that star third baseman Miguel Cabrera would miss at least a week with a broken bone below his right eye. He was hit by a bad-hop grounder the previous day. Young hit...

Orioles 2, Braves 2(10)

The Braves' Mike Minor stretched his scoreless streak to 14 innings and Baltimore's Tsuyoshi Wada made his delayed debut as Atlanta and an Orioles split squad tied 2-2 in 10 innings Sunday. Minor allowed two hits in five innings, striking out three and walking one. He has given up just seven hits in his four starts and has 10 strikeouts to five walks. Wada, signed by the...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.