Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 3/20/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Draymond Green is the most efficient defender in the NBA

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker