Been a while since we whipped out the Chop Links for you guys but there has been so much going on lately that I just can't do a separate post for each.
Through the first month of the season, the Braves had only completed one three-game sweep. We're now six games into May and the Braves have already doubled April's total after a 5-4 win against the Padres. Matt Diaz came through with a ninth inning, bases-loaded single for the Braves' first one-run win of the season. Not everything was good though as Jo-Jo Reyes had to leave early with a blister and Buddy Carlyle exited after a collision with a runner at first. It does put us ahead of the Mets by a half game though.
Rookie starter Jair Jurrjens has been a key part of Atlanta's success and now it is time to show the 22-year old starter our appreciation. Jurrjens is one of four rookies up for the National League Rookie of the Month award. He is up against Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs, and Kyle McClellan of the Cardinals. Do your part and cast your vote -- you might even win a trip to this year's All-Star game.
It was all but certain that Peter Moylan would undergo Tommy John surgery after he was transfered to the 60-day DL, but now we can officially close the books on him his season as the side-arming reliever went under the knife on Thursday. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery -- which was a success -- and determined after seeing the bone spur in his elbow that rehab would not have gotten the job done.
Sorry, more injury news but this time it is good... kind of. An MRI of Rafael Soriano's elbow showed no structural damage, which had become a concern after soreness in the elbow caused him to call off a recent bullpen session. There is still no timetable for his return but with this good news, he will continue his throwing program.
I promise that this is the last thing that has to do with an injured Braves pitcher. John Smoltz could be throwing as early as this weekend. The veteran starter/reliever/whatever might begin playing catch sooner than expected after saying that in his ten days off, the pain has pretty much gone away with only some stiffness remaining in his injured right shoulder. Smoltz will eventually go down to the minors for a rehab assignment but could be back as early as late May.