ATLANTA -- Jair Jurrjens took a step in the right direction when he tossed seven strong innings for Triple-A Gwinnett against Toledo on Sunday. But this was just one of the multiple steps the former All-Star pitcher will have to make before getting a call back to the Majors.
"He did some things good," Braves assistant general manager Bruce Manno said. "It's a process. But it's encouraging to see him go out and do well and work on some things. He's accepted it really well. That's a big part of it, when somebody embraces it and realizes that 'I've got to work at this and make some adjustments.'"
Jurrjens allowed four hits and one run while needing just 93 pitches to complete seven innings against Toledo. This was his first start since the Braves demoted him last week. In four starts with Atlanta, he had posted a 9.37 ERA and extended the struggles that began after last year's All-Star break.
Jurrjens' velocity has been down since he suffered a right knee injury at the end of the 2010 season. While the Braves would like to see him regain his normal velocity, they have told him to spend this time in the Minors attempting to get a feel for how to best utilize his fastball and secondary pitches with the arm strength that he can currently generate.
"It's not so much velocity as it is the other stuff and how it affects the other pitches," Manno said. "That's what he's got to work on. He might get more velocity back."