The Braves decided rather than bringing Mike Minor back into the rotation at the end of this week, they would give him one more minor league rehabilitation start, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday.
Minor will throw a side session Wednesday and then make a sixth and final rehabilitation appearance Friday in Pensacola, Fla. with Double-A Mississippi.
Gonzalez said the decision was made so Minor would have the usual six-game progression he would have had in a normal spring training. His routine was altered by a bout with shoulder tendinitis.
“Give him an extra start, then he’ll be ready to come in the rotation,” Gonzalez said. “Give him the full complement of starts that he would have gotten in spring training.”
Minor is 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four official minor league rehabilitation appearances, and he also pitched 1 1/3 innings before a rain delay in the Braves exhibition game in Rome against their minor league all-stars.
The Braves brought Ervin Santana into the rotation after he made only four minor league appearances, just keeping a close eye on his pitch count. Gonzalez pointed out that Santana was healthy, just a late signing in spring training.
Minor had a urethra surgery on Dec. 31 and couldn’t start throwing like he normally would in January. When Minor started ramping up his throwing at the start of spring training, he had a setback with shoulder soreness.
Minor said he feels good now and was lobbying to get back into the rotation this time around. Instead he’ll build up from the 80 pitches he threw Saturday in Gwinnett and then be ready to return to the Braves rotation the next time through, as early as April 30 in Miami.
“It’s their final decision but I feel good,” Minor said. “That’s what I told them, but I guess they’re on the side of safety and precaution and making sure I’m OK.”