In the early months of the season, the Atlanta Braves looked like an NL East juggernaut thanks to a young lineup, a stout bullpen, and solid rotation. However, since May 20 they’re 9-16, and their once-vaunted pitching staff now has more holes in it than a slice of Swiss Cheese.
The Braves started off the season with Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy, Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, and Randall Delgado/Mike Minor manning the rotation. They also had Arodys Vizcaino lurking in the minors and some extra arms with starting ability like Julio Teheran. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, everything went wrong.
Jurrjens was sent down to the minors with a dead arm, Minor currently holds a 6.04 ERA with a 5.14 FIP, and Beachy might now need the dreaded Tommy John surgery. They can’t even call up Vizcaino, because he too was recently put under the knife for Tommy John.
As it stands now, the Atlanta rotation is a shadow of its former self, and the result is an overworked bullpen and a team that cannot seem to catch a break. If the Braves want to stay in playoff contention, they suddenly have to dig up another starter, and fast.
Jurrjens reportedly has his fastball back up to 91 mph, but do the Braves really want to bank on the Jair Jurrjens Reconstruction Project? If that doesn’t work out you could see Atlanta turn to one of Julio Teheran or Kris Medlen, but that would leave the 3-5 starters as an inconsistent bunch, at best.
Of course, there’s always the desperation trade route. Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Wandy Rodriguez, Brandon McCarthy, Matt Garza, and Shaun Marcum are all candidates to be moved at the deadline. And so the Braves have begrudgingly emerged as possible suitors.
With the Nationals’ continued dominance, the Marlins’ resurgence, and those pesky Mets still hanging around, the Braves have to solve this rotation crisis quickly, or else they might find themselves keeping the Phillies company in the basement in only a few months.
Fan Hub Action
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
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