April 18, 2012
LAWRENCEVILLE — Last night was a first for Julio Teheran.
With a young, protected pitching prospect safety is the top concern. It's most important to not risk the important arm than win a game, save an overused bullpen. Anything.
So after the right-hander finished his second inning during Tuesday night's Gwinnett Braves game in the rain and the umpires cleared the field and the tarp came out, his night appeared over.
But after a 42-minute rain delay and the G-Braves long at-bat in the bottom of the second that included three walks, the 21-year-old walked back out to the mound.
He pitched 3 2/3 more inning before being lifted after throwing his 84th pitch of the game. But in reality it was No. 99.
During the break, Teheran and pitching coach Marty Reed went to the G-Braves indoor cage and he threw 15 pitches in a simulated inning.
“By our count, he threw 99 pitches,” manager Dave Brundage after the game. “I think that was fabulous. That was perfect for him.”
"That's the first time I've done that,” he said with first baseman Ernesto Mejia translating. “I came in an threw in the cage a little bit. It's probably a little bit different, I just had to keep my mind in the game."
The pitches kept him loose and focused. He didn't allow a hit after the delay, walking two and hitting a guy on an errant off-speed pitch.
Had the delay lasted much longer, Brundage said Teheran would not have returned, saying the cut-off was at about an hour. But the side inning underneath and the small storm worked well for the G-Braves and Teheran, who picked up his second win after struggling in his first outing.
“It worked out perfect,” Brundage said. “It's a tough decision. You want what's best for him.”
For a guy who missed out on the final spot in the big-league rotation, more pitches, more batters and more confidence remain in his interest.