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Jair Jurrjens victorious in first start back from the minors

Jun 23, 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

Jair Jurrjens Getty Getty Images

Jair Jurrjens would still be in the minors right now if it wasn’t for Brandon Beachy‘s Tommy John surgery, but he made the most out of his opportunity last night.

Jurrjens shined in his return to the majors by limiting the Red Sox to one run over 7 2/3 innings as part of a 4-1 victory. He walked one and struck out four and carried a one-hit shutout through the first seven innings. The only run scored on a double by Daniel Nava in the bottom of the eighth inning which chased him from the game.

Jurrjens made the National League All-Star team last year, but he was limited to just seven starts during the second half due to continued issues with his right knee. His struggles continued in the early part of this season, as he was demoted to the minors in late April after being hammered to the tune of a 9.37 ERA over his first four starts. His results weren’t much better during his time with Triple-A Gwinnett, as he had a 5.10 ERA over 10 starts.

While Jurrjens appears healthy at the moment, his velocity has been missing in action for quite some time now. Even though he was effective last night, he averaged just 89 mph on his fastball and relied heavily on his changeup. He averaged between 91-92 mph on his heater from 2007-2010. Last night was obviously an encouraging step in the right direction and a few more outings like it could lessen the sense of urgency for a trade, but he still has a lot to prove.

  1. APBA Guy - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    His control was excellent as he worked the fastball away and the change-up had a sharp, late downward break. If he maintains that level of command he can win in the National League. When he missed, he missed out of the zone.

    But he still isn’t right, whether it’s physical and his knee is still bothering him, or it’s mental and he doesn’t trust his knee, either way, he looked like he was holding back.

  2. mississippimusicman - Jun 23, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    He seemed to be trusting his knee more last night. Early in the season he seemed to be favoring it a bit, stepping off more toward first base and messing with his control. I think he may just have the control now to succeed even without the extra couple of miles per hour.

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