Anticipation high for Teheran's debut

If Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez didn’t fully comprehend the scope of prospect Julio Teheran’s appeal, he got it sitting at his computer Saturday afternoon.

Filling out the lineup card for Saturday night’s game, Gonzalez said he needed to double-check the spelling of Teheran’s last name, so he went to Google to look it up.

“There were 5,000 pages of Julio Teheran,” Gonzalez said. “Wikipedia and the whole thing.”

Teheran is rated the No 1 pitching prospect in baseball by Baseball America. His major league debut has been highly anticipated for the 24 hours since the Braves announced it Friday afternoon. Members of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” crew set to broadcast Sunday’s game, were in Philadelphia a day early, eager to get a glimpse.

Gonzalez heard from former Braves manager Bobby Cox on Saturday morning as well, who was excited about the news.

Gonzalez himself acknowledged it’s a special occasion for a manager to run a prized prospect out for his debut.

“It’s a little nerve-racking because you want to make sure you do right for the kid,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t want the kid to get buried, to have a bad experience.”

One pitcher who had a pretty good idea how Teheran was feeling Saturday afternoon before the game was Brandon Beachy, who made his major league debut Sept. 20 in Philadelphia. He had even less notice than Teheran, though, not finding out until 3 p.m. the day of the game that he would start in place of the injured Jair Jurrjens.

“He’s not, I’m sure, in the same mindset I was at the time, not knowing,” Beachy said. “But it’s the same atmosphere. It’s going to be a packed house. It’s going to be loud.”

Lowe optimistic about start

With five days between starts, Derek Lowe thinks the blister on the bottom of his foot won’t stop him from making his next scheduled start, Thursday against the Nationals.

Monday’s off day won’t hurt.

“The extra day will be good,” Lowe said. “My body will heal at its own rate. I imagine now, knowing going into it, there’s a lot more you can do to it as far as putting pads and what have you.”

Lowe rubbed a blister during a stretch in which he held the Phillies without a hit Friday night, which lasted until the first batter of the seventh inning. The blister burst as he faced the second hitter of the fifth inning. He tried to battle through it, but had to come out after giving up back-to-back hits in the seventh.

Lowe said he changed to bigger-sized spikes his previous start and thinks going back to a smaller size, or alternating sizes, will help.

Lowe said he won’t run between starts this time and will get his cardiovascular work on a stationary bike.

Day off for O’Flaherty

With Peter Moylan facing back surgery, middle reliever Eric O’Flaherty’s value has never been so critical to the Braves. That was even more evident Friday night, when he struck out three Phillies with two runners in scoring position to hold down a 5-0 win for Lowe and the Braves.

Gonzalez said O’Flaherty almost didn’t appear in the game Friday night because he was pitching for the sixth time in seven days. And he warmed up on the day he didn’t pitch.

“Wally and I were talking about not using him,” Gonzalez said, referring to pitching coach Dave Wallace.

O’Flaherty did scoreless work in each of those six outings. He hasn’t allowed any of his seven inherited runners to score this season. He’s 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA in 18 appearances, with a .206 opponents’ batting average.