Minor, Floyd gearing up for series of starts

Minor, Floyd gearing up for series of starts

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Braves are ending their exhibition season near the end of this week, Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd will begin making a stretch of starts that positions both to join Atlanta's starting rotation during April's fourth week.

Floyd is scheduled to complete two innings during a Minor League exhibition game on Friday. Minor is slated to work two innings when the Braves play some of their top Minor League players in an exhibition game at Class A Rome's State Mutual Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Braves have currently scheduled Minor and Floyd to make five starts in either exhibition or Minor League regular-season games. If both get through this stretch healthy, they could be ready to join Atlanta's injury-depleted rotation at some point after April 21.

"Everything has to go with no setbacks or anything like that," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "That's why we've got our fingers crossed."

The Braves have officially placed five pitchers -- Minor, Floyd, Jonny Venters, Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy on the disabled list retroactive to March 21. While Medlen and Beachy underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last week, Venters is hoping to return from the same procedure in June.

Minor reported to Spring Training feeling the effects of the month-long stretch of inactivity that he experienced after undergoing a Dec. 31 urinary-tract procedure. The southpaw has now gone more than a month since feeling the left shoulder discomfort that briefly shelved him during the early days of camp.

Floyd has also been pleased with the way he has felt, as he nears the final stages of the long rehab process since undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 7.

"I'm just thankful that it has been going the way it has been going," Floyd said. "I feel solid mechanically and freed-up mechanically. I feel my body is creating great kinetic energy to throw a baseball. That is what I've tried to create from the beginning, because I had kind of got away from that. I want to feel like I can just pitch and be aggressive with everything without worrying about mechanics."

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