When the Atlanta Braves take the field on Saturday, February 3 against the Detroit Tigers in the Spring Training opener, an unlikely face will take the mound.
Braves coach Fredi Gonzalez announced that Mike Minor, a spot starter for the past two seasons, will be given the start to open the spring training season. With Minor and rookies Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado battling for Atlanta's fifth starting spot in the rotation, this could be a look into the future as Tim Hudson will be out for much of April, leaving two spots open for Minor, Teheran or Delgado to fill.
Minor, a 6'4" left-hander, is the only lefty in the Braves rotation and has the most experience, giving him the edge to fill one of the empty spots. In 2011, he compiled a 5-3 record with a 4.14 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings of work. In his two-year major league career, the Chapel Hill, Tenn. native has a career record of 8-5 with a 4.74 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings. He has held opponents to a career .295 batting average, while pitching in 24 career games with 23 starts.
Delgado and Teheran will also get chances to showcase their talents this spring making for what is sure to be an entertaining race for the final spot in the pitching rotation.
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