Braves Lines for Thursday

It’s a Santana Thursday: New Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana makes his spring debut today. According to reports his timetable is to be ready by April 12th, when the Braves need a fifth starter. I covered this in my post two days ago about the Braves likely rotation plans.

Then Minor: Mike Minor now seems to be on schedule to rejoin the Braves rotation in late April, as he won’t get into any spring games until the final few days of March.

And then Floyd: Gavin Floyd will start appearing in games around the same time as Minor, but his timetable will apparently take a bit longer. He’s expected to be ready to join the Atlanta rotation in middle-to-late May. Floyd underwent Tommy John surgery last year, on May 7th. If he is able to come back this May, that would be an incredibly fast recovery, one that is usually supposed to take anywhere from 14 to 16 months.

Lucky 7’s: If all that works out (which would be very lucky), then the Braves would have seven starting pitchers. That would allow the Braves to ease off the innings of some of their younger starters, remove ineffective starters from the rotation, or go to a six-man rotation for a while. After the bad luck in the rotation so far, the Braves are owed some good luck.

Can we get some relief: Two of the guys competing for a spot in the Braves bullpen had rough outings yesterday. Luis Vasquez walked 2 and gave up a hit and 2 runs. Juan Jaime meanwhile walked 4 in less than an inning of work — an outing that should remove him from the bullpen competition. That could have the Braves panicking to get some bullpen help from outside the organization. Well… the Nationals released Luis Ayala yesterday. He got blown up in a couple of games (much like Cory Gearrin has this spring), but pitched decently in his other four appearances. As someone who the Braves are familiar with, and a veteran, they might turn to him for one of the two (possibly three) open bullpen spots.

Choose the bobble: The Braves announced the options for this year’s fan’s choice bobblehead. Like they need to get us excited about a bobblehead.

All the prospect lists: Beyond the Box Score compiles every Braves prospect list they can get their hands on to form an uber-list. It’s a good reference for links to all the prospect lists.

The only preview you need: Cespedes Family Barbeque previews the Braves as only they can. Money quote:

Andrelton Simmons will break the new Defensive Efficiency tracking system, as well as all other defensive metrics. This will lead to a new defensive metric called RIG (Routinely Insane Greatness) that literally only tracks Andrelton Simmons. No one else qualifies.

No AAA TV: The Gwinnett Braves are losing their television broadcast partner. CSS is apparently ceasing operations.

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