Jurrgens is next Curaco hope for Atlanta

By: associated press
By: associated press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- When Jair Jurrjens was only five years old, he remembers awakening in his native Curacao to hear his father screaming in the living room, celebrating Francisco Cabrera's hit that won the National League championship series for the Atlanta Braves.

Now Jurrjens is getting a chance to play for his favorite team. He is a hot prospect who just might earn a shot in Atlanta's rotation and give the Braves a Curacao successor to Andruw Jones. Depending on Mike Hampton's health, the Braves will have one or two spots available in their rotation. Jeff Bennett expects to contend with Chuck James for one spot. If James gets that one, the other should be between Bennett and two promising youngsters -- Jo-Jo Reyes and Jurrjens, who was acquired from Detroit in the trade for shortstop Edgar Renteria.

The 22-year-old Jurrjens started seven games with Detroit last year and was 3-and-1 with a 4.70 ERA. He was 7-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Erie.

The Braves had their first full-squad workout of the spring today.

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