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Colon scratched due to stiff back

Newcomb to start Wednesday as six-man rotation adjusts to five
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Bartolo Colon will have to wait a little longer to show that he deserves to stay in the Braves' starting rotation.

As Braves manager Brian Snitker met with the media late Tuesday afternoon, he revealed Colon had been scratched from Wednesday's scheduled start against the Giants because of a stiff back. The 44-year-old pitcher has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a strained left oblique muscle.

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ATLANTA -- Bartolo Colon will have to wait a little longer to show that he deserves to stay in the Braves' starting rotation.

As Braves manager Brian Snitker met with the media late Tuesday afternoon, he revealed Colon had been scratched from Wednesday's scheduled start against the Giants because of a stiff back. The 44-year-old pitcher has been on the disabled list since June 6 with a strained left oblique muscle.

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"It's something totally different [than the oblique muscle]," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I don't know if it's a sleeping thing. Sometimes guys come in stiff because they've slept wrong on a bed. But it was something enough for [pitching coach Chuck Hernandez] to have some concerns after the side session yesterday."

There was certainly reason to wonder if Wednesday's start might have been the last for Colon, who owned a Major League-worst 7.78 ERA when he was placed on the disabled list. This transaction was made less than 24 hours after he allowed the Phillies eight earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

When the Braves opted to go with a six-man rotation for this current turn, they did so to give Colon at least one more start. Had he extended his season-long struggles, they would have had to decide whether to place him in the bullpen or possibly eat the remainder of the one-year, $12.5 million contract signed in November.

As highly regarded left-handed prospect Sean Newcomb has impressed in both of his first two career starts, he has certainly earned the chance to remain at the big league level. He'll take the mound Wednesday in Colon's stead. Thus, barring the possibility Jaime Garcia is traded in the near future, there is not currently an open spot for Colon to fill within Atlanta's rotation.

Because the Braves were planning to use a six-man rotation, the decision to scratch Colon will not affect the schedule of the other starting pitchers. They are all now scheduled to make their next turn with regular rest.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Bartolo Colon