On Monday, the Atlanta Braves opened up a two-week voluntary pitching camp a Turner Field.
Pitching coach Roger McDowell welcomed back seven pitchers to the camp and says the early start to the season is needed to put last year's collapse in the past.
“The calendar turned over to 2012, and so it is a new year,” McDowell said. “Like any other experience you go through, good, bad or indifferent, you learn from it and move on. We’re going to play 162 [games on the schedule], prepare in spring training and get ready for the season. What happened in the past is not going to dictate what happens in the future. So we’ll move on.”
Of the seven players attending the camp were Brandon Beachy, who is expected to be the team's fourth starter, as well as Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, both looking to become the team's fifth starter after being spot starters in 2011.
“I’m really confident in what we’ve got in this clubhouse and what we’re going to be able to do. We’re going to be healthy, and a lot of young guys including myself have a year of experience now," Beachy said.
Beachy finished 2011 with a 7-3 record, a 3.68 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 25 games. Deldago, a 21-year-old from Panama, started seven games and finished with a 1-1 record and a 2.83 ERA, while Teheran, a 21-year-old from Cartegena, struggled in three starts, compiling a 1-1 record with a 5.03 ERA.
The Braves have siad there is no rush to get Hudson back on the mound in order to ensure a successful recovery.
“We’ll progress [with Hudson] as the doctors say we can progress,” McDowell said. “Whether it’s the middle of April or the first of May, whenever it is. We’ll probably be a little bit more cautious so that we can have him at the end, instead of speeding up at the beginning."
“No need to rush things and then have a setback, then we’re looking further down the line. Where he can be healthy and he’s ready to go for the duration of the season.”
However, Hanson and Jurrjens are both said to be recovering well and should be on track to start the season at full health.
“Everything’s good” with Hanson and Jurrjens, McDowell said. “I talked to JJ last week. Tommy’s been in here working out. JJ says he’s ready to go and Tommy says he’s ready to go, so we’ll just prepare as if they’re 100 percent ready, which they are.”
With Atlanta returning the bulk of it starters and many of the key relievers as well as a host of young faces, the pitching staff is expected to be a strong point once again.
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