ATLANTA — The Braves haven’t finalized their starting-rotation order coming out of the four-day All-Star break that began Monday, but manager Fredi Gonzalez was sure it would start with Ervin Santana on Friday at Turner Field in the first game back against the Phillies.
Braves ace Julio Teheran is likely to pitch in the second or third game against the Phillies, depending upon whether he and the Braves decide he should get one or two extra days of rest.
“I’ve just got to wait a day or two to see who needs the extra day (of rest), who doesn’t,” Gonzalez said. “I think I can tell you for sure that Santana is going to go Friday. And then we’ll see how it works after that.
“With Julio pitching (Sunday), I like to give him a little extra time. If he pitched Friday he’d be on his regular rotation day. So we want to give him an extra day, or two.”
Gonzalez plans to split up left-handers Alex Wood and Mike Minor instead of having them pitch consecutively as they did in recent weeks, which means they’ll either pitch the second and fourth games after the break, or the third and fifth games.
That would leave veteran Aaron Harang in either the fourth or fifth spot coming out of the break.
PROFICIENT STEALER: Of the 27 major leaguers with more stolen bases then Atlanta’s Jordan Schafer, most have four or times as many at-bats as Schafer and all had at least twice as many.
Schafer has 14 steals at the All-Star break, one behind team leader B.J. Upton, who has 15 steals and 349 at-bats. Schafer has just 69 at-bats and has started just twice in the past 20 games.
Among the 27 players with 15 or more stolen bases, the only two with fewer than 200 at-bats are Oakland’s Craig Gentry, who has 16 steals and 181 at-bats, and Kansas City’s Jarrod Dyson with 18 steals and 150 at-bats.
“He gets on three times, on an error and two walks, and steals three bases and gives us that spark, the energy in the leadoff spot,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It’ one thing to steal a base, but it’s another thing to steal a base when everybody in the whole ballpark knows (including) the other manager and the pitcher and the catcher, and you still pull it off. That’s impressive.”
When Schafer was caught trying to steal third base in the first inning Friday, the only time he’s been caught in 15 attempts this season. Of the major leaguers with as many or more stolen bases as Schafer, only four have been caught stealing fewer than two times and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (15 steals) was the only one who had not been caught at least once.
GATTIS REHABBING: Catcher Evan Gattis had a fourth consecutive workout day Sunday at Single-A Rome, where he’s been taking batting practice, running and throwing in preparation for a rehab assignment that could begin as soon as today after an off day in Rome’s schedule Monday.
Gattis has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 28 recovering from a bulging disk in his upper back, and will be eligible to come off at any time after the All-Star break. The Braves will likely have him play at least a few rehab games before activating him.
The Braves haven’t given a specific target date for Gattis’ return or said when his first rehab game will be, but Rome has a three-game series against Greenville beginning today.