DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Atlanta pitcher Jair Jurrjens said the feeling along his right rib cage Thursday was nothing more than a cramp caused by dehydration. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, taking no chances, pulled his starter after one inning against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jurrjens said he felt he was "losing a lot of fluid. It's really hot and I was sweating a lot and I had long sleeves, which didn't help."Eight pitches into the Braves' 5-3 victory over Toronto he felt the discomfort. He threw four more, striking out Jose Bautista to end the first inning.Jurrjens tried to stretch the cramp away while the Braves batted, but Gonzalez, after conferring with his trainer, took him out as a precaution."It's too late in the spring to mess with it. He said he felt something and that was it. Get him out of there," he said."Right now we're just taking it as a slight something," Gonzalez said. "Still too early to tell. Sometimes those things manifest themselves a little bit later, maybe nothing happens. ... We'll see what the doctor comes up with. If there's nothing, maybe he could throw a side on [Saturday], his normal day."Jurrjens said he was feeling as good as he has all spring before the cramping."I think I'm ready to go," he said.But Gonzalez said he might have to alter his plans for the starting rotation, adding that with Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor and Rodrigo Lopez, there's no shortage of arms.Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil was in total command going into the sixth inning. He had allowed just two hits and struck out five and had a two-run lead, one of them coming on Bautista's fourth-inning homer off Scott Proctor.A single, an error and RBI singles by Brandon Hicks and Jason Heyward tied the score. Dan Uggla chased Cecil, hitting a high fastball for a three-run homer to left.Cecil was throwing in the mid to high 80s mph and was unhappy over a drop in velocity."I can throw 90. Everybody knows I can throw in the low 90s," he said. "It's frustrating not to be able to at this point."Blue Jays manager John Farrell played down the situation."There's no physical issues here. Each game he's entered or come out of, he's felt good," Farrell said."He has weapons to be effective if the velocity's not there," he added. "I'm not alarmed by it."
After playing three consecutive games, Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill, working his way back from a strained right thigh, may be the DH in a minor league game Friday. ... Toronto utilityman John McDonald sat out Thursday with what Farrell said was "general soreness overall ... a little right forearm soreness." He is expected to be available Saturday or Sunday. ... Jesse Litsch starts for the Blue Jays on Friday night against the Boston Red Sox and Josh Beckett. ... In Atlanta's split-squad games Friday, Lopez will start against the Philadelphia Phillies and Beachy will face the Detroit Tigers.