You would expect a team that is 49-36(As of July 2nd) to have several players bound for the all star game July 12th in Arizona and your Atlanta Braves have 4 players headed to the contest. C Brian McCann(.311,14 home runs, 47 rbi) won the fan vote and is participating in his 6th(1st start) straight summer classic while RHSP Jair Jurrjens, 3B Chipper Jones and LHRP Jonny Venters were all voted in by National League players . The 39 year old Jones, coming back from a late 2010 major knee injury, is hitting .257 with 7 home runs and 44 rbi(tops in the NL among 3b) and has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee. Jurrjens(11-3,1.89 in 15 starts) is a potential candidate to start the game for the National League and as well as the CY Young award. Venters has Nintendo like numbers, even after this weeks rough patch. Prior to the June 24th game vs the Padres, he had allowed 3 runs in 48 and a third innings. The slinging southpaw allowed four two out runs that night then allowed only his 2nd career home run 3 days later. These poor outings(LOL) have done little damage to the 2nd year man’s stats: 4-1,1.59 ERA, 54 Ks in 51 innings with 16 holds. You could also make a strong case for Venters’ flame throwing tag team partner closer Craig Kimbrel(2-2,2.57, 24 saves in 29 chances) as well as RHSP Tommy Hanson(9-4,2.62, 97 Ks in 15 starts, 89 and a third innings) to join the four but every year some deserving players do not make the team. 2011 is no different.
PRADO UPDATE: LF Martin Prado continues to progress well from his staph infection injury and will begin a rebab assignment this week after working out with his teammates this Friday July 1st and Saturday July 2nd. He took batting practice for the first time in 3 weeks Friday and did some cardio and leg strengthening exercises Saturday as he tries rejoin the big club this weekend in Philadelphia. He is sporting heavily tapped gauze over the previously infected area near his right calf but otherwise appears healthy and normal.
BRAVES NOTES: Jones might need another cortisone shot to deal with the pain in his right knee. He is trying to avoid arthroscopic surgery, which would sideline him for a couple of weeks. Chipper took some small dose shots in the joint on May 15th and could take another to stay out of the operating room. Many believed Jones would not be able take another shot(cortisone injections are very taxing on the bone and should be limited) but the dosage was so small he can afford another round…. Jurrjens allowed 1 hit July 1 vs the Orioles to complete the 9th 1 hit shutout in Braves history since 1966… Veteran RHSP Derek Lowe won for the first time since May 6th on June 29th when the Braves defeated the Mariners in Seattle,5-3. Lowe allowed 4 hits and 1 run over 6 innings to earn the victory, over his last 10 starts he is 1-3 with a4.89 ERA.
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