Mike Minor went only three innings Tuesday against the Miami Marlins. He allowed six runs on 10 hits with two walks and only one strikeout. The loss was Minor's sixth of the season as the Braves lost 6-5 at Turner Field.
Minor's earned run average is now 5.32. He's allowed 110 hits in 86.1 innings, with 26 walks and 80 strikeouts.
It's so shocking considering Minor's numbers last season: 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA, with 177 hits allowed in 204.2 innings pitched, 46 walks and 181 strikeouts.
Minor started the season on the disabled list with shoulder issues. He missed the first month and did not make his first start until May 2. Minor had a good start in New York on July 7, but in his last two starts Minor has allowed 12 runs in 7.1 innings.
There was talk in the spring that Minor was more hurt than the team was admitting, but they did not seem to rush him considering the depth in the rotation. However, his stuff has not looked crisp for the season.
Would the Braves consider adding another starting pitcher with Minor's troubles? Rumors about any interest in David Price have been repeatedly shut down by the beat writers, and now that Tampa Bay is red hot they may not trade Price anyway. When there was talk a few weeks ago that Boston was shopping Jake Peavy, Atlanta popped up as an option. But that was also quickly shot down.
What does Minor's troubles mean for his long-term situation? Well, it probably kills the chance of the team signing Minor to a long-term deal, at least until he can prove to get back on track. There were rumors the Braves and Minor did talk about a long-term deal as the team was signing other young players to extensions earlier in the year.
The Braves desperately need Minor back on track. He is a better pitcher than what he has showed. He proved that last season. You wonder if they will ask him if he's totally healthy, considering how different this season has been compared to last year.
Atlanta has Julio Teheran pitching well, and Alex Wood has been outstanding since returning from Triple-A (2.88 ERA in his last five starts). Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana are veterans, but will they be able to keep going as the season progresses? That's why Minor is so important to this team. He needs to bridge that gap between the two kids of Teheran and Wood to the veterans of Harang and Santana.
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