Opening Day came a little too soon for the Braves as much of the core pitching staff remains on the DL or rehabbing down in the minors. The pitching uncertainty was compounded by Freddy Garcia’s last-minute release and the announcement of Kris Medlen’s second reconstructive elbow surgery back in March. However, the rehab schedules of Ervin Santana, Gavin Floyd, and Mike Minor are all progressing faster than anticipated. Santana threw 70 pitches across five innings on March 30th and Floyd is expected to pitch a minimum of three innings on Thursday, April 3rd with the Gwinnett Braves. Reports first indicated that Floyd may not be available until the end of May, but at his current pace he is set to return by the end of this month. Mike Minor is also claiming on twitter to be ready sometime in the near future. The importance of this recovery cannot be understated as quality pitching has been the cornerstone of the club spanning several decades. Braves pitching has often dictated the NL East standings and for that matter all of MLB. Since 1992, the Braves have led MLB in ERA 10 times. The Dodgers hold the second place spot in this statistic having led only 3 times.