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Tough rotation decisions may be looming

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NEW YORK -- When the Braves entered this season with an injury-depleted rotation, they did not have much reason to believe they would near the end of April wondering who they might remove once Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd are declared ready to pitch at the Major League level.

Minor was scheduled to start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday night, but the game was postponed by rain. Thus he will have to wait at least one more day to make what could be his final Minor League rehab start. There is a chance he could join Atlanta's rotation some time next week.

"If Mikey says [he'd] like to get another [Minor League rehab start], it wouldn't be a problem," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We're thinking he is going to get through this start and be great. Then we have got to come up with a decision."

If Minor deems himself ready, the Braves will likely either send David Hale to Gwinnett to serve as a starter or keep him at the Major League level to serve as a reliever.

Floyd, who is attempting to return from Tommy John surgery, allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Double-A Mississippi on Friday against Huntsville.

There was some thought that Floyd might need just one more rehab start, but given the fact that he has not yet completed five innings, the Braves might give him some more time.

The Braves' rotation has a Major League-best 1.47 ERA, and with Aaron Harang producing another gem on Friday night, there is no logical fit for Floyd.

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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