5th spot to be skipped with Newcomb pitching, then Sanchez might fill it again

The Braves plan to start Sean Newcomb in Tuesday’s series opener at New York against the Mets, skipping the fifth rotation spot that was filled by Matt Wisler the past two times through.

Wisler was optioned to Triple-A on Friday.

An off day in the schedule Monday would allow Newcomb and the other three current members of the rotation to start on regular rest Tuesday through Friday, and the next time the Braves would need a fifth starter would be Saturday against the Giants in Atlanta.

That's assuming Julio Teheran is ready for his next turn Wednesday after leaving his Friday start with tightness in his upper right trapezius muscle. (For now, the Braves think he will be.)

Who would fill the fifth-starter spot next time remains in to-be-determined status for now, but it could be veteran Anibal Sanchez coming off the disabled list and moving back into the fifth-starter role he had before he strained his right hamstring April 18.

Sanchez accompanied the Braves on their current trip so that he could continue to work with the team’s strength coach and training staff, and his recovery has been steady and more rapid than initially expected. He’s scheduled to test his hamstring by doing some sprints and throwing off a bullpen mound Monday, then face hitters in simulated-game conditions Tuesday afternoon in New York.

If all goes well in that work in New York, Braves manager Brian Snitker said Sanchez could be ready to start next weekend without requiring a minor-league rehab assignment to shake off the rust.

“We’re gonna try to get him on the mound Tuesday to see some hitters,” Snitker said before Saturday night’s game at Philadelphia. “He threw a bullpen (session Friday) and he was fine. We’ll try to amp up some of the running (Monday) -- that’s the biggest thing, he hasn’t sprinted and things like that. As far as his arm and all that kind of stuff goes, we’ll see, but now the plan is to get him on the mound Tuesday, face some hitters, work him out a little bit and see where he’s at.

“At this point if we get him back out there next weekend, I don’t think he’d maybe need (a rehab start). Anything past that he probably will.”