Jenkins enters this spring with much different mindset

Acquired in Heyward trade, prospect endured 'long road' back from shoulder surgery

Jenkins enters this spring with much different mindset

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There was certainly a sense of unfamiliarity as Braves pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Friday morning. Sixteen of the 31 healthy pitchers in camp were not a part of the organization at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

But this did not seem to be a problem to Tyrell Jenkins, the charismatic, personable right-handed pitcher who the Braves acquired in the November trade that sent Jason Heyward to the Cardinals.

"I have no problem meeting people. It's just learning faces and remembering names," Jenkins said. "Hopefully we can get better at that as time goes on."

Though Jenkins will likely not reach Atlanta at any point this year, he is entering camp with a sense of excitement that did not exist when he was still recovering from right shoulder surgery last spring, when he had reason to wonder if he should have jumped at the opportunity to play quarterback at Baylor University.

But since throwing six no-hit innings in his June 18 season debut last year, the athletic hurler has shown why the Cardinals took him with the 50th overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

"It's been a long road," Jenkins said. "I'm just glad to be in this position where I can be healthy and in a Spring Training [camp] where I can compete against the guys and not work on rehab. I had a great offseason."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.