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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Braves injury updates: Mike Minor, Gavin Floyd, Jonny Venters, Luis Vasquez

By on 3/06/2014 10:00:00 PM

The Atlanta Braves have four key pitchers all out with injuries. That is the bad news. The good news is that all four -- Mike Minor, Gavin Floyd, Jonny Venters, and Luis Vasquez -- have taken major steps in returning to game action. Floyd and Venters still have a long way to go, but Minor and Vasquez are much closer to joining the active roster.

By Zpb52, via Wikimedia Commons's Mark Bowman reports that all four pitchers "shared the the opportunity to celebrate the small victories" in their progress. Bowman writes,
"While Venters and Minor threw off a mound for the first time this year, Floyd and Vasquez were introduced to a more competitive setting, as they threw live batting practice for the first time since coming to Spring Training with the hope of showing why they were considered the two key offseason additions to Atlanta's pitching staff."
Here is more on each pitcher via Bowman.

Mike Minor
Minor threw a 21-pitch bullpen session and reported no pain in his left shoulder, which has felt sore for most of camp. Minor says that he has more trouble regaining his mechanics after a month-long layoff (due to a urinary tract procedure in December) than he has with the shoulder itself. Once he remasters his mechanics, he can then progress toward pitching in a game.

Luis Vasquez
Vasquez threw batting practice on Wednesday, and he showed no signs of discomfort. He strained his right lat during Winter Ball, but he has gotten his fastball back into the mid-90s. He may get some exhibition game action before too long.

Gavin Floyd
Floyd and Venters are both due back in May. Floyd has begun throwing bating practice, and -- according to Bowman -- could pitch in games before too long. He will likely start the season in the Minors but join the Braves' rotation in early May.

Jonny Venters
Meanwhile, Venters threw off a mound on Wednesday for the first time since his Tommy John surgery last May, his second such surgery. It was a short session but a huge step in his recovery. The Braves expect him back near the end of May.

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