Feb 16, 2014; Lake Buena Vistas, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Gavin Floyd (32) throws the ball during spring training at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves pitcher Gavin Floyd impresses in recent rehab outings


 

Gavin Floyd, who has been rehabbing with the Gwinnett Braves, had his best outing of the season last night. Floyd, who is attempting his comeback from the popular Tommy John surgery, went five innings allowing one earned run on four hits. He walked one and struck out five in the Gwinnett victory. He tossed seventy-seven pitches, fifty of which were strikes.  The radar gun had Gavin throwing consistently in the 91-93 MPH range.

Floyd is still trying to gain arm strength and the Braves are taking things slowly for now. The Braves had initially said Floyd would probably be ready sometime in May, and that seems to be the case the way things are progressing right now. With that, there is no need for him to rush with Aaron Harang pitching lights out for now, so I would expect him to stay in Gwinnett for the time being.

This was Floyd’s sixth rehab start so far, five of them being in Gwinnett.  Here is a look at how his starts have gone:

  • 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
  • 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
  • 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

It looks to me like Floyd is right on the verge of really getting it going.  I would like to see him make a few more rehab starts just to completely shake off the rust. It would also give the Braves a bit longer to figure out just what they are going to do with him. Simply put, Who do you knock out of the rotation right now?

David Hale is already going to the pen to make room for Minor. Obviously, Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana (aka “Big Erv”) aren’t going anywhere, so the only possible guys to take out are Aaron Harang and Alex Wood, which if you throw out last night’s start for Wood, have been outstanding. I’m sure it is a dilemma most teams would like to have, but its something that will need to be addressed in the next couple of weeks, if not sooner.

Another thing to consider is Floyd’s contract and the bonuses that were put in there for number of games started. Floyd’s base salary for his one year deal with the Braves is $4 million, but he would earn an extra $250,000 for every start that he makes between start 21 though start 28 and $500,000 for each start between 30-33. Now, the second bonus is out of play at this point (unless he were to make playoff starts), but the first one is something to consider.

If Floyd were placed into the Atlanta rotation for his next start and stayed in it through the rest of the season, he would make approximately 27 or 28 starts total. That would be an extra $2 million, give or take. Floyd also has various roster bonuses in his contract that would pocket him some more money. Would this cause the Braves to keep him down in the minors longer than he needs to be just to save some cash? I don’t think they would since the bonuses aren’t exactly huge and they most certainly want to avoid any grievance claim by Floyd, but its interesting thought.

There are many things to examine and consider in the wake of Gavin Floyd’s arrival, but either way, he is approaching his debut in Atlanta.

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