PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As he progressed through Friday afternoon's six-inning effort against the Mets, Jair Jurrjens felt like he was struggling to release the baseball in a smooth manner, and he was consequently losing some life on his fastball.
There's a chance this could have simply been a product of the fact that he was pitching six innings for the first time since Sept. 4, 2010. But given the fact that he has also struggled to get his arm to feel loose in other exhibition starts this year, the Braves right-hander has decided he should cut back on his weightlifting activities.
Jurrjens has been lifting weights in the hopes of providing his shoulder the strength and endurance it needs for the long season. But he's starting to think these exercises might be counterproductive.
"You want to make sure your shoulder is going to be ready for the long season," Jurrjens said. "Sometimes, you just have to know your body and just give it a break."
Jurrjens proved perfect with six groundouts through the first three innings Friday. He allowed a couple of sharp singles to skip through the infield in the fourth inning and made a mistake on a fastball that David Wright drilled for a two-run homer in the sixth inning.
But overall, Jurrjens seemed pleased after allowing three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in six innings. The 25-year-old right-hander will make two more starts during the exhibition season before making his regular-season debut in Milwaukee on April 4.