Friday pre-game notes from Turner Field

Here are a few notes about John Foster, Horacio Ramirez, and Kelly Johnson.

* When I got here today around 4:00 pm, Mike Hampton was throwing with John Foster. Hampton seems to be on pace with his recovery. Foster said that his pain is not as severe, but it's not completely gone yet either. Foster will throw off the mound for the first time next Wednesday, and throw in simulated games after that for the next two weeks. If all goes well, Foster will be shipped out for a rehab stint in the minor leagues. It seems there is a chance he'll be back this season, but he still has a lot to overcome to bounce back and somehow avoid surgery.

* Edgar Renteria was taking infield today and looked fine. He's in the lineup tonight, so let's hope he's healthy!

* Horacio Ramirez was throwing on the side today. He said he's thrown several bullpens and had no trouble. But when he runs sprints, there is still a little pain in his hamstring. Until that subsides, they are not going to let him go out for a rehab stint. The fear is he'll have to cover first base again and the hamstring will completely tear. So it might be a few more weeks before Ramirez is ready to go.

* Oscar Villarreal got a haircut. Guess he saw Frenchy's and had to have one just like Jeff's.

* Kelly Johnson is on a throwing program for five more days. Then next week he'll start throwing from the outfield to the bases to see how that goes. He's having no effects at the plate; it's only when he throws all out. Right now, he's throwing at about 50%.

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

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