The fact that the Braves are in first place is still sinking in, but the fact that they got there and have stayed there without one of their best starting pitchers and their starting center fielder is amazing. Jair Jurrjens has been out for over a month, and while Kris Medlen has filled in brilliantly, the need to replace the struggling Kenshin Kawakami in the rotation is urgent.â†µ
In replacing Kawakami with Jurrjens, the Braves make a move equivalent to pulling of a big mid-season trade. Jurrjens threw what should be his final rehab start at Triple-A Gwinnett last night, and should be ready to rejoin the Braves rotation next week.â†µ
Nate McLouth is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms, and his return date is unknown. The nature of head injuries is that they are unpredictable, and the Braves will take every precaution before McLouth is allowed back in the lineup.â†µ
Matt Diaz is about to begin his minor league rehab, and should return to the Braves lineup in early July.