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Braves' Bobby Cox Optimistic About Rotation

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) _ Bobby Cox walked away from an Atlanta
Braves intrasquad minor league game this morning feeling good about
the depth of his major league team's starting pitching.
Only eight days after Mike Hampton suffered a strained left
oblique that will force him to miss the start of the season, Cox's
continued confidence in his team's starters is notable.
Lance Cormier and Kyle Davies, believed to be competing for the
last spot in the rotation, are making strong cases for the job.
Cormier pitched five shutout innings against the New York
Yankees' regulars on Thursday, and Davies was similarly impressive
on a much smaller stage today.
Pitching in the intrasquad minor league game on a field behind
the Braves' stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports, Davies gave
up only two hits and one run in five innings. The only run he
allowed was a homer to Jon-Mark Owings, an outfielder from
Gainesville.
Pitching coach Roger McDowell has worked with Davies to change
his delivery. Davies no longer is bringing his hands over his head
at the start of his delivery. Instead he starts with his hands
lower.
Davies was a disappointing 3-7 with an 8.38 with Atlanta last
season. He was 7-6 with a 4.93 ERA in 2005.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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