It’s time for another installment of our Week In Review series. Today, we check in on the hometown baseball team, the Atlanta Braves.
Since our last update on the 14th, the Braves have gone 3-2 with a recent sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the two losses coming to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves rallied back late each game to claim the series sweep and try to shake off the memory of a 4-6 10 game road trip they had just completed. The sweep is an incredible feat considering the injury bug bit the Braves in the recent week.
Johnny Venters underwent season ending Tommy John surgery and will miss upwards of 18 months. Eric O’Flaherty has visited Dr. Andrews and it looks like he’s going to have to undergo surgery as well. Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, and Luis Ayala is still on the DL. However Ayala is expected back within the next two weeks. In the mean time Cory Gearrin and Luis Avilan have been serving as the primary set-up men, which isn’t terrible, but a long shot from where we were with Walden/EOF.
With all those injuries to the pitching staff, it is good to know that Brandon Beachy is expected to return from Tommy John in mid-June.
Some more exciting news for Braves fans in the past week was the return of Jason Heyward. Heyward underwent an appendectomy April 22 and Friday against the Dodgers was the first time all season that manager Fredi Gonzalez was able to use his “regular” lineup. Heyward went 2-10 in the three game set against LA and saw his season average dip from .145 to a paltry .132. Heyward his .300 in six games down in AAA Gwinnett on his rehab assignment.
Tonight the Braves kick off a a three game series against the Minnesota Twins at Turner Field tonight and while the matchup is not the most exciting on the schedule, it is very unique. This is the first time since a 14-5 Braves victory in Game 5 of the 1991 World Series played at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium that a game against the Twins has been played in Atlanta and has counted towards the record.
The Twins are 2-7 in their last nine and will send Kevin Correia (4-3, 3.35 ERA) to the mound opposite the Braves Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.57 ERA). Teheran has fared pretty well his last four times out giving up three runs or fewer in each of those starts.
Check back each and every Monday as we will be checking in on the Braves for our Week In Review series.