Braves Pitching Rotation Projection & Mid-Day Open Thread

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In looking ahead at the schedule and thinking about the pitching rotation, I've come up with a couple of theories about what moves we might see the Braves make in the next few days -- internal moves, of course, trades would always supersede these moves. I had mentioned last week that either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado would be sent down when Ben Sheets joins the rotation this Sunday, but that might not be the case ... again, the schedule.

The Braves play a double-header with the Nationals next Saturday, the 21st in Washington. This means that the team will probably keep both Minor and Delgado in the Majors and have one of them pitch that game. We know the first four spots in the rotation will go like this:

Friday the 13th (!!!) - Tim Hudson
Saturday, 14th - Tommy Hanson
Sunday, 15th - Ben Sheets
Monday off day
Tuesday, 17th - Jair Jurrjens

Then on Wednesday the 18th we should find out which pitcher the Braves plan on keeping in the rotation long term, either Minor or Delgado. Or will we?

The Braves could also just skip Minor and Delgado the first time through the rotation on Wednesday, bring Hudson, Hanson, and Sheets back on full rest the 18th, 19th, and 20th (off-day on Monday, remember), and then start both Minor and Delgado in the double-header on the 21st. That would keep the four regulars on full rest, and delay the decision on Minor and Delgado another two weeks. Here are the options:

Date Option 1 Option 2
13th Hudson Hudson
14th Hanson Hanson
15th Sheets Sheets
Off-day
17th Jurrjens Jurrjens
18th Minor or Delgado Hudson
19th Hudson Hanson
20th Hanson Sheets
21st (double-header) Sheets then Minor or Delgado
Minor and Delgado
22nd Jurrjens Jurrjens

I like option two better, that keeps all the regular guys on four days rest, and gives the team a chance to test out both Minor and Delgado in the bullpen, and allows them to serve as long men in case Sheets runs into problems on Sunday (or Jurrjens on Tuesday).

My other guesses on the roster spots are that Luis Avilan stays up with the team through Saturday, and Sheets takes his spot on Sunday; and I'm going to go ahead and say that Josh Wilson gets the call to replace the injured Andrelton Simmons, not Tyler Pastornicky, creating the much anticipated J. Wilson - J. Wilson platoon at shortstop.

Mid-day open thread!

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