ATLANTA -- Barely three weeks ago, Mark Redman was unemployed and throwing to imaginary batters in the basement of his home in Oklahoma. On Friday, he will start the Braves' home opener against the Mets.

Redman's other start in a home opener was when he was with Detroit in 2002. At least he knows the weather will be better.

"It's not going to 24 [degrees] and a blizzard," the well-traveled left-hander said.

But Redman wouldn't mind all that much even if it was. He's just glad to have a place to pitch. For awhile, it looked like no one wanted him despite 11 victories for the Royals and an invitation to the All-Star Game last year.

"My hard work and perseverance paid off," said Redman, who was prepared because of his solitary workouts when the Braves called after Mike Hampton strained an oblique in early March.

"I'm excited and ready to go," Redman said after pitching four innings in the Braves' 4-2 victory over the White Sox on Saturday in the Spring Training finale at Turner Field.

The 33-year-old was roughed up in a Minor League spring game on Monday in Florida while working on his curveball, but the pitch worked for him against the White Sox.

Redman struck out Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Joe Crede on slow curves.

"Now [hitters] can't just sit on my changeup or fastball away," said Redman, who was 14-9 with the Marlins during his best season in 2003.

"He threw some breaking balls he's working on, and I thought they were good," manager Bobby Cox said. "He had a good spring for a guy that came late."

Backup plan: Kyle Davies will pitch a simulated game Tuesday in Rome, Ga., rather than report directly to Triple-A Richmond. The Braves want Davies to be ready to pitch next Sunday against the Mets in case Lance Cormier can't make the start.

Cormier, though, thinks that he will be ready to go despite leaving a start Monday because of what has been described as a "pinch" under and behind his right shoulder.

"I don't plan to miss anything," said Cormier, who was 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA in the Grapefruit League.

"He's better, and there's a lot of time," Cox said. But the manager admitted, "He's still questionable."

Cormier is scheduled to throw Monday in Philadelphia, giving the Braves a better indication of whether he will be able to make his first start as scheduled.

Davies lost out to Cormier for the fifth spot in the rotation. Davies will pitch next Sunday for Richmond at Buffalo if Cormier is healthy. The simulated game will be against Class A Rome hitters during a workout.

Richmond and Rome both open on Thursday.

Hampton update: Hampton will accompany the Braves to Philadelphia for the start of the regular season, and he will pitch to hitters for the second time since suffering an oblique strain in early March.

Hampton looked good during a 35-pitch batting practice session at Disney's Wide World of Sports on Tuesday.

"He's on schedule for the first 10 days in May," Cox said.

The veteran left-hander, who missed all of last season following Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, was encouraged by his first outing and said that he felt no discomfort.

Hampton is scheduled to pitch a simulated game next week during extended Spring Training in Florida, then begin a 30-day Minor League rehab assignment.

Moving on up: When Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur were first called up from Double-A Mississippi during the 2005 season, their lockers were on "rookie row" near the front of the Turner Field clubhouse. Now, though, they occupy two of the prime locations.

McCann has moved into Marcus Giles' old locker, right next to the entrance to the shower area. Francoeur is situated between John Smoltz and Tim Hudson across from McCann.

"I hope I take off like Rochie did last year," said Francoeur, noting that Adam LaRoche had the locker between Smoltz and Hudson part of last season.

Of course, LaRoche got hot after switching lockers.

"I forgot about that," Francoeur said.

McCann said he doesn't care where his locker is located.

"Just as long as I have a place to dress," the catcher said.

Coming up: The Braves will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday and have a 3:30 p.m. ET workout scheduled at Citizens Bank Park. John Smoltz will make his fourth Opening Day start at 1:05 p.m. on Monday, opposing the Phillies' Brett Myers.