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Santana getting closer to Atlanta debut

MILWAUKEE — Right-hander Ervin Santana, signed on March 12 to help stabilize the staff, is one step closer to making his Atlanta debut.

Santana is scheduled to start Friday for Triple-A Gwinnett and is scheduled to throw approximately 100 pitches over the course of five or six innings.

Were he to come through that outing clean, he could make his Atlanta debut on April 9. If not, he’d start again for Gwinnett and join the Braves in time for an April 14 game at Philadelphia.

In the meantime, manager Fredi Gonzalez says that the team’s quick action to fill voids when right-handers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy went down, helped reassure the clubhouse that all was well.

“You felt in the clubhouse when Medlen went down and then Beachy went down a couple days later,” Gonzalez said. “But the front office … went out and got (Santana) the day after.

“That kind of gave us a boost.”

The Braves lost Medlen and Beachy for the season after both underwent Tommy John surgery during spring training.

The procedure is the second in a two-year span for Beachy, who made just five starts last season after rehabbing from his first surgery.