You wouldn't know it to look at their hot start, but the Braves don't have their pitching staff exactly where they wanted it.
The plan going into 2014 did not include Ervin Santana until close to the offseason, when it was revealed that Kris Medlen, the proijected Opening Day starter, and fellow starter Brandon Beachy would both require Tommy John surgery, ending their seasons. Atlanta brought in Santana to fill the gaps, and the rotation (Aaron Harang, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, David Hale, and Santana) has been stellar - the best in the NL East, certainly.
But the Braves are getting a piece back in the form of Mike Minor, who also left their stable of starters without making his 2014 Major League debut due to shoulder tendinitis. Minor made his last rehab start with the Mississippi Braves, and things went terribly, as he gave up four home runs in seven innings.
That's good enough for Atlanta, however, and they are shipping the 26-year-old lefty back to the big club with the intention of getting some use out of him. Last year was Minor's best of his four in the Majors, throwing 204.2 innings and amounting a 3.21 ERA with 181 strikeouts and only 46 walks.
The depth of the Braves' staff should be alarming to the rest of the division, where injuries have been scattered among all the teams and the results have not been nearly as congenial.