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Julio Teheran Strong in Sunday Start, Likely to Be on Atlanta Braves Opening Day Roster

March 17th, 2013 at 8:00 PM
By Cody Fields

Julio Teheran made yet another statement to take the fifth spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation Sunday when he turned out six strong innings of work against the New York Mets in the Braves 2-1 win.

Teheran struck out seven and walked two while giving up a run on three hits. The lone run came in the first inning on a solo shot to start the game to Jordy Valdespin. Two batters later, Ike Davis ripped a double off him, but the 22-year-old righty proceeded to mow through the New York lineup in his fifth Grapefruit League start of 2013, giving up just one more hit the rest of the way.

"He settled down and did a nice job," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said on braves.com. "He's going to have those situations during the course of the season, but he's going to have to learn from that. He's been really impressive the way he's been handling himself. I think [catcher] Gerald Laird has helped him tremendously."

Laird, however, was quick to point out the fact that it was Teheran's effort that's resulted in the improvement.

"He's come a long way," Laird said. "I think the pitch that's really kind of put him over the edge is that two-seamer he's learned to locate. If he can establish a pitch like that with velocity, he's going to get a lot of ground balls. He's doing a really good job. It's all him. He's worked really hard and taking his bullpens really serious. He's shown a lot of maturity this camp. He showed that today. You like to see a guy kind of give up something and see how he responds, and he did a good job of that today. He's got some confidence out there."

Gonzalez says Teheran will get two more starts this spring, giving him an opportunity to further improve his 1.35 ERA, which Teheran says is the result of a more refined approach on the hill.

"I've been pitching, not throwing [like last year]. That's the difference," Teheran said.

For reference, Teheran had a 9.37 ERA in 16 1/3 innings last Spring Training before struggling with a 5.08 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett last year.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Julio Teheran, MLB

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