Braves continue emphasis on pitching
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Braves took another pitcher Monday night in the MLB Draft. His name is Carter Stewart. That seems like a good name for a pitcher for some reason, doesn’t it?
And as John McClain said in the movie Die Hard, “Welcome to the party, pal!”
Yes, another pitcher. You can never have too much pitching. Never. It’s just not possible. As much as Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves lucky general manager who inherited this depth, might sit around and say, “We’ve got enough,” it’s just not possible.
And Anthopoulos is smart enough to never, ever say that.
You can never have too much pitching. Never.
Look at the Tampa Bay Rays. They have lost three pitchers since the start of spring training to Tommy John surgery. Three. Good thing they drafted a couple of young arms Monday night. It might not help the situation now, but it’ll help the big picture.
Short-term, the Braves don’t need pitching. They’ve got so much now they don’t know what to do with it. Mike Soroka is coming back from a stint on the disabled list. He had his first rehab start last Friday night, and the Braves said Monday he’ll likely get two more.
Sure, they are being careful with Soroka. Why not. But still, giving Soroka two more starts give them a little time to figure out what the heck they are going to do to get him back in the rotation.
With Julio Teheran now on the disabled list, that might open up a spot. But it’s still crowded, with Sean Newcomb, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy and Anibal Sanchez.
Then there’s Max Fried languishing in Triple-A. He deserves to be in the big leagues. Despite his awful performance Monday night, Luiz Gohara is someone many still believe needs to be in the rotation.
And then there’s Kolby Allard. He’s 20 years old, but Allard has been outstanding and he could be close. And then there’s Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint and Bryse Wilson in Double-A. And then there’s Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz and Kyle Muller in High-A. And then there’s Bruce Zimmerman in Low-A…
And now, there’s Stewart and they drafted Stanford pitcher Tristan Beck in the fourth round, and he won’t be the last.
The decision was made three-plus years ago by former general manager John Coppolella to go with pitching in the rebuild. The Braves did it 30 years ago, and it worked. Now, there may actually be more pitching quantity in this rebuild than the one that resulted in 14 straight division titles.
This year’s draft proved the new general manager is holding the same philosophy. We’re seeing the results, particularly with the emergence of Foltynewicz and Newcomb and the logjam now at the top.
It’s what has the Braves in first place, and the emphasis on pitching is what will keep them near the top of the standings into the next decade.
Because you can never, ever have enough pitching.
Listen to The Bill Shanks Show each weekday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET on 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins and online at thesuperstations.com.