It’s safe to say Mike Minor never felt as good after giving up four home runs in a game as he did after his fifth and likely final rehab start Friday night for Double-A Mississippi. Minor gave up five runs and 10 hits, including four homers, in seven innings of a 5-1 loss at Pensacola, Fla., where by all accounts – from fans on Twitter to team executives — the wind was blowing strong and steadily out to left field. That’s where all the home runs were hit, including three that Minor said were “pop-ups.” The Braves could plug plug Minor into their rotation at the end of week, although manager Fredi Gonzalez said they would not make any decision until after he throws a bullpen in the next day or two. He is expected to take the spot of rookie David Hale in a rotation that’s been easily the best in baseball through the first nearly four weeks of the season. Hale’s next scheduled turn would be next Friday, which seems the most likely spot for Minor to move into the rotation to make his debut for that home-series opener against the Giants. “I felt good — I felt better than probably all the other (rehab starts),” Minor said of Friday’s rehab start, in which he threw 82 pitches and had no walks with two strikeouts, then threw 13 more pitches in the bullpen to get to 95 total pitches. “(Results) didn’t show it, but three out of the four were pop-ups. One guy got me, but the other ones…. “They had a different approach, too. Everything was pull approach. I felt like everything I threw in, they were right on it, they were looking for it, they wanted it in. But I felt good. I didn’t really care about the outcome. Tough place to pitch; I don’t know how anybody is successful (pitching) there, unless you just throw sinkers all day.” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said general manager Frank Wren watched the game on the Internet and confirmed Minor’s description of the wind-blown conditions. “(Wren) said the wind was really howling out to left field,” Gonzalez said. “We got what we wanted. We got his pitch count up. He’s healthy. Before we make any announcements where he’s going to fit in or that kind of stuff, we’ll let him throw a bullpen and see where we plug him in. What we won’t do is disrupt anybody.” By not disrupting anyone, Gonzalez meant that the Braves wanted to make sure that none of their top starters would have his usual rest period of fours days between starts extended to more than six days as a result of plugging Minor into the rotation coupled with off days in the schedule last Thursday and this Monday.
Minor could join Braves rotation late next week
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Apr 27