Amongst many baseball pundits, Mike Minor's future as a Brave was very grim. After missing an extended amount of time again with injury, this time with a major shoulder surgery that took him out for the season, it was assumed by many that he was going to be non-tendered by the Braves to save some money and cut ties with the former first round pick.
However, over the last couple of months we have been hearing whispers here and there that that may not be the case. Multiple Braves' writers seemed to indicate that the Braves still saw Minor as an option for the rotation in 2016 and in a conference call with season ticket holders in September, John Hart indicated that this last surgery finally revealed and fixed what had been ailing Minor's shoulder (why this was a mystery has yet to be understood fully). Today, we got a much more concrete update on Mike Minor's progress.
John Hart says Mike Minor is "all systems go." Ramping up throwing in Orlando. Still in #Braves plans for 2016— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) October 5, 2015
It is certainly promising to see Mike Minor's progress, although it does serve to add more uncertainty to the rotation next season. With Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, Manny Banuelos, Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, Williams Perez, Ryan Weber, and prospect Tyrell Jenkins all already potentially pushing for time in the rotation next year (well okay....Shelby and Julio are locks and Wisler probably is as well), it will be interesting to see what the Braves do now that the Braves potentially also have Minor back in the fold and if they truly do want him in their plans for 2016 and beyond.
After being selected as the 7th overall pick out of Vanderbilt by the Braves, Minor has struggled with consistency and injury at the major league level. His career averages of a 4.10 ERA, 3.90 FIP, and 1.26 WHIP while being prone to giving up the long ball don't scream "long-term MLB starter", but he has had stretches where he is a very effective pitcher and with two years of arbitration left it certainly does seem worthwhile to at least assess what his value is going forward.