Medical updates on Boyer, McBride, Johnson

BravesCenter's Bill Shanks has some news on Blaine Boyer and Macay McBride. has learned that right-hander Blaine Boyer has been placed on the Richmond disabled list with shoulder soreness.

Boyer experienced more discomfort when throwing on the side. He will fly to Birmingham, Alabama on Wednesday to be examined by Dr. James Andrews.

The right-hander originally injured his shoulder in the last week of the regular season last year. Doctors said he only had a shoulder strain, and Boyer was allowed to rehab the shoulder all winter.

Boyer started throwing the first week of spring training, but did not get into a big league game until March 26th against the Dodgers. He then threw in two more spring training games to prove to Bobby Cox that he was healthy enough to be placed on the Opening Day roster.

But Boyer struggled in his first two appearances last week, allowing three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning. The Braves sent him down to Triple-A Richmond Friday to allow him to work on strengthening his shoulder, but his first side session did not go well forcing the Braves to shut him down.

The Braves promoted right-hander Brad Baker to Richmond to replace Boyer on the roster. Baker will be replaced in Mississippi by left-hander Macay McBride, who is in Double-A for a rehab assignment.

McBride will throw one inning tonight, one inning Wednesday, one inning on Saturday, and then two innings on March 18th. The Braves will then re-evalute his status to determine if he is ready for a callup to the big leagues.

The lefty reliever had a forearm bruise right above his wrist area. The injury popped up early in spring training forcing McBride to miss the start of the regular season. Blood that had built up in the area has subsided, and McBride is ready to start pitching in a few games.

Finally, outfielder Kelly Johnson will begin throwing on Sunday. Johnson is on the disabled list with a strained right elbow. Johnson told BravesCenter before the game that his injury is a strain of the ulnar collateral ligament. If the ligament was completely torn, he would have to have Tommy John surgery. But doctors believe it is only a strain and he can strengthen his elbow. The Braves will allow him to throw for two weeks and then make a decision on his availability for the season.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at

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