Braves left-hander Mike Minor won’t pitch again this season because of shoulder inflammation.
Minor left his last start after one inning because of shoulder pain. A recent MRI of his shoulder was compared to a test from spring training and showed no structural problems but Minor and the Braves decided he won’t make his final start of the year.
“I was relieved whenever I saw it that nothing was majorly wrong,” Minor said. “Just rehab it and come back stronger next year.”
Rookie David Hale is scheduled to take Minor’s his turn in the rotation Thursday against the Pirates. The season concludes on Sunday at Philadelphia.
Minor, 26, didn’t get to do his usual off season work last winter because of a medical procedure on his urinary tract. Minor ended up making no appearances during spring training because of shoulder issues and began the season on the disabled list before joining the starting rotation on May 2.
Minor said the lack of off season work caught up to him. He said doctors told him the muscles around his scapula are weak, leading to more strain on his shoulder.
“That’s why I really never got better,” Minor said. “Every couple of games it might feel a little bit better but pretty much the whole year there was a little something in there and then by the end of the year the innings were adding up. I just couldn’t take it.”
Minor finishes the season 6-12 in 25 starts with a 4.77 ERA, 165 hits allowed, 120 strikeouts and 44 walks in 145 ½ innings pitched. Those results were disappointing for Minor after he had a career-best year in 2013.
Minor was inconsistent this season from his first start through his 17th outing on Aug. 1. But he appeared rejuvenated after manager Fredi Gonzalez skipped his turn in the rotation and posted a 3.30 ERA with six consecutive quality starts (at least six innings and no more than three runs) through Sept. 8.
Minor said his shoulder felt better at times this year once it got loose but that it took him a long time to warm up on the work days between starts. He said his arm also would tire more easily.
“But there was no excuse for the bad games,” Minor said. “I don’t want you guys to write something about (the injury for) the way the year went. There is no excuse for the bad games because I was out there competing. I just didn’t have the best stuff this year.
“Hopefully I will be able to actually prepare and throw some bullpens in the off season and actually get to work on some stuff.”
Minor made $3.85 million this season and again is eligible for arbitration in the off season.