Minor just a phone call away from Braves

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The next phone call Chapel Hill native Mikie Minor may receive could be the one he has been waiting for all his life.

Speculation, grounded in common sense has Minor boarding a jet plane this weekend to Atlanta.

Minor's latest minor league start with the Gwinnett Braves was moved from Friday to tonight in a late decision, raising speculation that tonight's start in Allentown, PA versus the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs could be a warm-up for his major league debut sometime next week in Houston or at Turner Field in Atlanta next weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chapel Hill's Mikie Minor may get the call to the parent club Atlanta Braves very soon after Kris Medlen went down with a season ending injury Wednesday night. Minor starts tonight for the Gwinnett Braves in Allentown,PA.

The Braves need a fifth starter after Kris Medlen exited Wednesday night's 8-3 win over the Mets in the fifth inning when he felt tightness in his right forearm and elbow.

It turned out to be bad news for the Braves when it was revealed that Medlen suffered an ulnar collateral injury and will most likely need to undergo a Tommy John elbow ligament transplant.

An athlete's bad fortunate very often turns into a career changing opportunity for another and the injury to Medlen could be the moment of destiny for Minor.

Minor has made a quick rise through the Braves' farm system since being drafted number seven in the first round of the MLB Draft in 2009.

Rome, Georgia was the first stop on the major league train for Minor last season as he appeared in four games.

Minor's next whistle stop left him unpacking his bags in the spring in Pearl, Mississippi at the AA level where he posted a 2-6 record, but recorded a very respectable 4.03 earned run average and struck out 109 batters in 87 innings.

From Mississippi, Minor headed to the left coast to pitch in the Futures Game in Anaheim and then back east, closing in on Atlanta when he got the call from the Gwinnett Braves where he got his first AAA start on July 1.

Minor has been nothing short of spectacular for Gwinnett, posting a 4-1 record with a measly 1.09 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched.

The Forrest High School and Vanderbilt University standout has struck out 35 batters and issued 10 bases on balls in his five starts for Gwinnett.

There will be a keen eye on Minor tonight as the Braves front office poises for their next move to replace Medlen on the major league roster.

Scuttlebutt from the big league clubhouse has all the indications that the big lefty would be a welcome addition for the stretch run and the ensuing drive to the National League East pennant.

The Braves have not won the Eastern Division title since 2005, ending an incredible streak of 11 straight division crowns.