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Ruh-roh: Jair Jurrjens is turning into a problem

Sep 1, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Jair Jurrjens AP

Jair Jurrjens was fantastic for the Braves in the first half, but since the All-Star break he has posted a 5.86 ERA in seven starts. His latest: getting knocked around by the Nats on Tuesday night.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com takes a long look at Jurrjens in this article and observes that his velocity is down on both his fastball and on his slider. Some of that held true even in the early part of the season when he was successful, but Bowman notes that he had way more movement on his pitches then.  A scout Bowman talked to yesterday, however, said “He doesn’t even look anything like the same guy.” I’ve missed Jurrjens’ last couple of starts, but yeah, the results speak to a totally different pitcher.

The Braves are going to need an effective Jurrjens come playoff time. If it’s health that is the problem — and Bowman thinks it’s Jurrjens’ perpetually-bum knee which is flaring up — maybe it’s best to skip him once or twice down the stretch.

  1. FC - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    The picture for this headline is Craig sitting once more in his high chair in full Braves Bathrobe attire, adjusting his specs with one hand while staring at a particular figurine he’s picked up with his other hand from his baseball chess set. The pipe extends from his mouth rigid as if he’s biting on it; it is furiously producing bubbles at a rapid pace. The only thing we can hear is the crackle from the fireplace.

    Ruh-roh: Jair Jurrjens is turning into a problem

    • kopy - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Then Craig calls Tiffany into the room, takes the pipe out of his mouth and holds it in the hand which has finished adjusting the spectacles. “Contact the asset. Tell him to eliminate the problem”, he orders calmly. Tiffany exits the room as Craig replaces the pipe back into his mouth. He turns, and stares out the window lost in thought as he ponders the ramifications of the actions he has just ordered, mindlessly running his bare feet across the Phanatic rug which he had prepared after his latest safari in Philadelphia.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        Can’t wait for publication of the complete novel.

      • FC - Sep 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        I can’t wait until someone artistically inclined makes fan art out of this!

  2. bleedgreen - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Don’t worry. The Phils SHOULD smack him around the way he’s pitching… which means he’ll throw a 3 hit shutout next time he faces them.

  3. g2-c893575f4ec6d0617232f2d64825cbe9 - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    OH NO, the future for the Braves looks MURKY at best!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      Beat me to it!!!!!!!! :D

    • chap6869 - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      classic!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      With the farm system the Braves have, they could cut Jurj today and still have a ridonkulous post-season rotation for years to come.

      To really make the Braves and Phillies equal in this regard, you would have to delete the top 20 guys from the Braves farm system, and replace every infielder on the big league club with a Chipper Jones clone. Don’t get me wrong, when all 4 Chippers are healthy and hitting, that would be some club, but not really a recipe for long-term success.

      • Mark - Sep 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        He’s not being serious. He’s trying to poke fun at Rany’s article that Craig linked yesterday. He glossed over the part where it said the Phillies are a tremendous team right now, and took issue with the fact the author pointed out their key guys are on the wrong side of 30 and that their farm isn’t as strong as it once was.

        All things true, of course, but the fact that anybody suggested that the mighty Phillies could even potentially be in trouble in the future is considered blasphemous to certain Phans.

  4. uberfatty - Sep 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    i’d still rather have him than any of the Brewers pitchers.

  5. tacklemeelmo - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Wish you would have told me this before I signed him to a 5 year deal in Baseball Mogul…

  6. APBA Guy - Sep 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Whoa-uber-you’d rather have Jurrjens than Marcum or Greinke? Ok….

    Jurrjens is Jekyll and Hyde, and it all has to do with injuries. When he’s healthy, he’s amazing, with fabulous command and enough velocity to dominate. With a shoulder or knee or whatever he’s had and is having now, all that good stuff goes away. Keep in mind he’s only 25, and had a 215 IP year in 2009 at 23, which translated into last year’s season long health issues, coming as it did on the heels of an IP bump from 140 in 2006 and 2007 to 188 in 2008, well above the “20% rule”. Hopefully he won’t flame out and can get and stay healthy.

  7. natstowngreg - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    I’ve seen Jurrjens’ 3 starts against the Nats since July 17: 16 innings, 23 hits, 17 runs. No healthy, normal MLB starter gets hit around by the Nats like that. So an injury wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  8. jamaicanjasta - Sep 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I agree with the injury talk, Hanson was the same way after his first stint on the DL and ended up going back on it in fairly swift measure.

    The scout’s observation was spot on as watching him these last couple of games (even the win in Chicago in which he didn’t give up a run) he doesn’t look at all to be the same pitcher. Both mechanically and just overall presence. I posted this yesterday on the ESPN forums, but I expect him to be shut down for a bit in the coming days.

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