Braves pitcher Paul Maholm (wrist), who has been on the disabled list, throws from the mound at batting practice before the Braves play the Phillies at Turner Field on Monday, August 12, 2013, in Atlanta.
Left-hander Paul Maholm threw six innings of a simulated game Monday afternoon, throwing 80 pitches, in what is expected to be his final step before going out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Maholm said afterward he didn’t have any lingering issues with his sprained left wrist. If it responds well Tuesday, the Braves will finalize plans to send him out for a minor league start. The plan going in is for Maholm to throw just one outing before returning to action.
“It’s not like I’m trying to build up to throwing 95 (mph) again,” Maholm said. “Just facing hitters is good.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves haven’t mapped out how they’ll work Maholm back into the rotation. Gonzalez said they’ve talked about a couple of different scenarios, like perhaps skipping a starter who could use a few extra days’ rest. They could also go to a six-man rotation, but Gonzalez said he hasn’t even looked at the schedule to see if that’s feasible. They’ve got eight or nine days before they have to make that decision.
Julio Teheran is one candidate to get some rest coming down the stretch. The 22-year-old has never thrown more than 168 innings in a season, which he did last season between Triple-A, Atlanta and winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
Teheran entered Monday’s start against the Phillies with 137 innings. He is on pace to finish the regular season with just under 200 innings. That would be about a 20 percent jump from last season before he even gets to the postseason.
But Gonzalez said the Braves aren’t going strictly on an innings count with Teheran.
“I think you treat that individually,” Gonzalez said. “I think he’s fine.”
The Braves don’t want to break up Teheran’s rhythm either. He was 9-5, and second to Mike Minor on the Braves starting staff with a 2.96 ERA in 22 starts, entering Monday.