Jair Jurrjens was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett to get healthy and to regain his confidence on the mound that he had lost ever since struggling mightily in the second half of the 2011 season. Unlike Jeff Francoeur, who had a very sinister attitude following his demotion to the Minors back in 2008, Jurrjens understood the move completely and has vowed to get better.
The 26-year-old made his first start in the Minors on Sunday afternoon and pitched well, working seven innings against the Toledo Mud Hens. Jurrjens allowed just one run to score on four hits and three walks, striking out four batters in the process.
An encouraging note: JJ needed just 94 pitches to get through his seven innings of work. Since he lacks great 'stuff' on the mound, getting the third and final out or getting out of a jam has been a serious issue for Jurrjens in recent years. While the talent level is obviously lower in Triple-A, it was encouraging to see him be a bit more efficient on the mound.
Look for Jurrjens to make yet another start on Friday or Saturday.
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