Maholm replaces Hanson in rotation for now
AUG 01, 2012 8:23a ET
But he feels better about the Braves' starting pitching than he did after last season's trade deadline, thanks to the acquisition of left-hander Paul Maholm on top of the pleasant surprise of having right-hander Ben Sheets allow only one run in 18 innings over three starts.
Maholm, who has 72 hours to report to the Braves, spent the day getting his family back home to Mississippi. He'll be in the clubhouse on Wednesday and is penciled in to make his first start for the Braves on Saturday versus the Astros.
Penciled in because, as manager Fredi Gonzalez always says, "You never know." But Gonzalez thinks Saturday would have been Maholm's next start for the Cubs, and keeping him on that schedule gives Maholm at least a little stability. He'll throw a bullpen session with pitching coach Roger McDowell on Wednesday.
Also penciled in to start Sunday versus the Astros is right-hander Kris Medlen, who on Tuesday made his first start for the Braves since August 2010, earning the 7-1 win over the Marlins with five crisp innings -- 57 pitches -- before an enormous blob of rain settled over Turner Field for a nearly two-hour rain delay.
Neither Medlen nor the Braves knew whether he'd make one or more starts until the third inning of Monday's 8-2 win over the Marlins. Right-hander Tommy Hanson, who got the win with five labored innings, felt a return of a lower back strain flare in the third inning.
Because he'd taken a dose pack of cortisone for that over the All-Star break, when it first acted up, he couldn't take another one so soon. So the Braves decided to put him on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, hoping that two weeks of rest knocks out the inflammation once and for all.
Regardless, right-hander Jair Jurrjens appears to be left out in the cold.
"I'm floating in the air right now," he said softly.
--RHP Kris Medlen will get at least one more start, Sunday versus the Astros. Manager Fredi Gonzalez had decided on that before Medlen's five-inning, 57-pitch win over the Marlins on Tuesday. Medlen wasn't on deck to hit in the bottom of the fifth -- Gonzalez had estimated a 65-70 pitch count for Medlen's first start in two years -- but the skies opened as the inning ended, so Medlen wouldn't have continued anyway.
--3B Chipper Jones got the start off Tuesday, as previously planned. Jones had started four consecutive games, including Sunday's day game after Saturday's night game. "I can't make Juan play every day game," Jones said, referring to INF Juan Francisco, who got the start Tuesday.
--LHP Paul Maholm, acquired from the Cubs late Monday, is not expected to join the Braves until Wednesday; he was getting his family home to Mississippi on Tuesday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez has him penciled in to start for the Braves on Saturday versus the Astros.
--OF Reed Johnson, acquired late Monday night from the Cubs, was in uniform for the Braves for Tuesday's game versus the Marlins, but he was not in the starting lineup. Manager Fredi Gonzalez has been wanting to give both CF Michael Bourn and INF/OF Martin Prado a rest, so Johnson is expected to start for one of them on Wednesday.
--RHP Tommy Hanson was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a lower back strain. It began bothering him over the All-Star break, and he took a dose pack (cortisone) for it. It flared again in the third inning of his start Monday versus the Marlins. With LHP Paul Maholm about to join the club, general manager Frank Wren said the team decided to try to knock out the problem by giving Hanson two weeks to rest it.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We're not looking for a wild card spot. That's not our mission. We think we can win the division." -General manager Frank Wren.
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