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Pieced-together Braves rotation shaping up

Pieced-together Braves rotation shaping up

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There likely will not be any surprises on Saturday, when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announces the four-man rotation he plans to employ through a majority of the first two weeks of the regular season.

Julio Teheran is set to earn his first career Opening Day start, and Alex Wood will likely start the second game of the season. Freddy Garcia has not pitched effectively during his past two Grapefruit League starts and he is guaranteed to make $1.5 million if he is placed on Atlanta's roster.

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"I'm excited," Teheran said after tossing six strong innings against the Tigers on Friday. "I'm just waiting for them to notify us. After the first game, I think it's going to be the same. We're going to have five starters. It doesn't matter if you're the first or the last."

But this might be the price the Braves have to pay to fill their injury-depleted starting rotation until Ervin Santana and Mike Minor are ready to make their regular-season debuts. Santana is aiming to join Atlanta's rotation by the end of the second week of the season. Minor might have to wait at least one additional week.

David Hale still stands as the favorite to gain the last spot in this four-man rotation. But Gus Schlosser continued to keep the competition interesting as he allowed one run and surrendered a hit while working four innings for the split-squad Braves team that played the Orioles on Friday afternoon.

Schlosser has allowed just two earned runs in 9 1/3 innings during the Grapefruit League season. Hale has been charged with seven earned runs and 14 hits in 12 1/3 innings.

While Schlosser has been more impressive, his bid could be hampered by the fact that Hale is already on the 40-man roster.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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