LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Julio Teheran re-established himself as Atlanta's ace last year, and within a month he'll likely make his fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the Braves. But the 26-year-old pitcher has come to understand it's never prudent to take anything for granted."Every time I come
LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Julio Teheran re-established himself as Atlanta's ace last year, and within a month he'll likely make his fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the Braves. But the 26-year-old pitcher has come to understand it's never prudent to take anything for granted.
"Every time I come to Spring Training, I come like I'm coming to make the team," Teheran said. "That is something that has helped me to work hard every year. This year isn't any different. I'm just trying to keep the same mindset, even though I'm probably going to be the Opening Day starter. I'm just trying to work and get better."
Teheran took another step toward the regular season as he completed three scoreless innings in Friday's 9-1 loss to the Red Sox at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex. Now, the Braves hurler must deal with the altered routine he will experience as he has to wait more than a week before his next start as he pitches for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.
The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Instead of sticking with a normal schedule, which would have put him back on the mound on Wednesday, Teheran will not make another start until March 11, when he'll face a Canadian lineup that will feature Freddie Freeman.
Teheran indicated he doesn't want to simply throw an extra bullpen session before entering that start in the Classic with eight days of rest. But minus the possibility of throwing a live batting practice or short simulated game, he might not have any other choice as he and his Colombian teammates spend next week working out in Fort Myers, Fla.
"He'll do his sides and throw and do all of that," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Like many other managers and executives who have pitchers competing in the Classic, Snitker seems more concerned about the extra intensity Teheran will feel as he competes for his country, with the benefit of having totaled just five innings thus far during the Grapefruit League season.
"It's just one of those things, but he'll be fine," Snitker said. "It gets amped up, though. It's adrenaline-rush, competitive pitching. You can't control the situation like you can when you're here. You just keep your fingers crossed. He's as ready as we can get him at this point before he goes."
Teheran threw 46 pitches during Friday's start against the Red Sox. During the first round of the Classic, pitchers will not be permitted to throw more than 65 pitches in a game, unless additional pitches are needed to complete an in-progress plate appearance. This could equate to approximately three-to-five innings, which is similar to the workload Teheran would have experienced if he weren't competing in this event.
If Colombia does not advance out of Pool C, which also includes United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic, Teheran would have time to make at least three additional Spring Training starts for the Braves. But even if he competes in the second round, the designated pitch count (80) would provide a workload similar to what he'd have in what would have been his fourth Grapefruit League start.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.