3/29/2014 7:11 P.M. ET
Minor encouraged after short outing vs. Futures squad
Left-hander goes only 1 1/3 scoreless innings due to brief rain delay
By Joe Morgan / Special to MLB.com
ROME, Ga. -- Braves starter Mike Minor's first game action with the big league club in 2014 was quick and painless. Unfortunately for Atlanta, it was not rainless.
Minor threw 14 pitches before a 24-minute rain delay in the top of the second inning ended his day in the Braves' 13-4 exhibition loss to the organization's "Future Stars" on Saturday at State Mutual Stadium. Despite his short day, Minor was encouraged.
"It felt good to actually play in a game without the L-screen," Minor said. "It felt good. … The game atmosphere of everything rolling, umpires and guys behind me playing defense, it felt good."
"It was fine," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was his first time out there, and it was good. He'll go on, he's got a schedule. He's going to pitch every fifth day someplace in our Minor League system."
Minor, who underwent surgery on his urethra on Dec. 31, experienced some issues with his shoulder when he attempted to make up for lost throwing time in February. He said he felt good on the mound Saturday and anticipates making another start in five days.
However, Minor will miss at least the first two weeks of the season as he builds up arm strength to prepare to join Atlanta's rotation in late April.
"I'd like to be there with them and contribute," Minor said. "Hopefully, I can just get back with them in a couple of weeks."
Jason Hursh, the Braves' No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, started opposite Minor in Saturday's game. Hursh gave up two hits and struck out three batters in two scoreless innings.
Was facing the likes of Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis nerve-wracking for the 31st overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft?
"Definitely, for sure," Hursh said. "Just facing that lineup, for sure. I think once I got out there and threw my warm-up pitches, I kind of settled down. Overall, I was pretty happy."
Hursh gave up singles to Heyward and Freeman in the first inning, but he got out of trouble by getting Chris Johnson to hit into an inning-ending double play. He retired the Braves in order in his final frame.
Expected to begin his season with Double-A Mississippi, Hursh is happy to take Saturday's experience with him into the regular season.
"If you can have success against those guys, you can have success against anyone," Hursh said. "It's a good thing to keep in the back of your mind."
Joe Morgan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.