MLB

Minor looking for smooth ride with Braves in 2013

Share This Story

   
 

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP)

Mike Minor compares last season to a nasty roller-coaster ride, one that would rival any of the bone-rattling behemoths at Six Flags Over Georgia.

He's hoping for a smoother trip this year.

The Atlanta Braves left-hander got off to rocky start to 2012, being roughed up in his debut against the Mets. After two positive performances, he spent the next two months watching a lot of balls sail over fences.

But Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez never lost faith in Minor and kept him in the rotation. It took a loss against the New York Yankees on June 12 to get back on track.

''It all changed that game against the Yankees,'' Minor said. ''I know that's when it all turned around. I changed my plan. I still lost a few games, but it all changed. I was never worried about losing my spot in the rotation. They could have dropped me, but they stayed with me and things turned around.''

Gonzalez said he didn't consider replacing Minor during a stretch in which his ERA was over 6.00 in June.

''He was in the rotation and we weren't dropping him,'' Gonzalez said. ''I felt he could turn it around.''

The patience paid off.

''I struggled and lost a lot of confidence early in the season,'' Minor said. ''Just before the All-Star break I decided to start to attack hitters. When I saw I could do that against the Yankees with all of their hitters, I knew I could do it against anyone. I got my confidence back and I felt a lot different.''

Minor give up a run in 7 1-3 innings in that game against the Yankees then lost his next two outings to drop to 3-6 on June 24. He ended the month with a win over Washington, and went 7-4 the rest of the way, winning his last five decisions. With the Braves fighting for a playoff spot, Minor was 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in September. He finished 11-10 and a 4.12 ERA.

Minor is slated to be the No. 3 starter in Atlanta's rotation behind Tim Hudson and Kris Medlen, but the 25-year-old from Vanderbilt University doesn't care where he is slotted as long as he's starting every five days.

''I am not here to be No. 2 or No. 1,'' Minor said. ''I am ready to roll no matter where I am. It always works out in the end. I struggled last year at times, so I still have a lot to prove, but I am ready for whatever they want me to do.''

Gonzalez said he doesn't put much stock into slotting his starters.

''I go with the best pitcher on opening day,'' Gonzalez said. ''It's like a baseball tradition. After that, it doesn't matter. At the end of the day everything changes anyway. We don't know who is going to get hurt, so everything is going to be jumbled after a few weeks. If (Minor) is No. 3, then who knows where he will be next month.''

NOTE: Gonzalez said he texted former Braves outfielder Michael Bourn a congratulatory note after hearing that the speedy outfielder signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians. Bourn batted .274 with nine homers for the Braves last season. ''He's the kind of guy you root for,'' Gonzalez said.

Tagged: Yankees, Braves, Mike Minor

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Highlights: Diamondbacks/Dodgers Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Check out highlights of the Dodgers' 8-6 win over the Diamondbacks.

Rangers defeat White Sox Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Kevin Kouzmanoff talks about the Rangers' 6-3 win over the White Sox.

Diamondbacks slip against Dodgers Posted: Apr 20, 2014
Kirk Gibson reflects on the Diamondbacks' loss to the Dodgers.

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..