After last night’s 7-2 loss to the Dodgers, the Braves demoted starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens to AAA Gwinnett.
Jurrjens, who was an All-Star last season after a fantastic first half of the season, just hasn’t been good since the break last year. In the second half of last season, he made just seven starts while dealing with a knee injury, and had a 5.88 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. Jurrjens had 25 strikeouts, 19 walks, and nine homers allowed in those seven starts last year. He picked up right where he left off this year, posting a horrendous 9.37 ERA in 16 1/3 innings (four starts), allowing five homers, walking ten, and striking out just eight hitters.
It’s largely assumed that Tim Hudson, currently on the DL following offseason back surgery, will take Jurrjens’ place in the rotation. The Braves have an offday this Thursday, and wouldn’t need a fifth starter until next Tuesday against the Phillies, assuming they push Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy up a day each to start on normal rest against the Pirates on Sunday and Monday.
Hudson’s rehab hasn’t gone extraordinarily well though, as he’s allowed six earned runs over 12 innings and three rehab starts, walking four and striking out five. Hudson is getting a ton of groundballs though, which is crucial to his success as a starter.
No immediate move has been made to correspond with Jurrjens’ demotion, though it’s generally assumed that Atlanta will bring up a reliever until they need another starter. The main choices would be Yohan Flande, who has thrown 15 2/3 scoreless innings for Gwinnett this year, or Cory Gearrin, who hasn’t allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings this season in Gwinnett. Each pitcher has struck out more than a batter per inning.