BS Report: March 21st
Hello from sunny Florida where the Braves are kind of wrapping up their exhibition season. They’re on the road on this Thursday, then on Friday they have a night game at home, and then Saturday the last gave ever here for the Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports at Champion Stadium. They will then go to North Port at their new facility where they’ll start spring training next year on Sunday before returning home for two games at SunTrust Park Monday night and Tuesday afternoon against the Reds. A week from Thursday, it is Opening Day in Philadelphia.
Couple of things are starting to kind of happen here with this team and with this roster. I think we’re starting to see the rotation come together a little bit. Kyle Wright did not have a good performance on Thursday, but he I think is gonna be in that rotation. It looks like they’re gonna go Julio Teheran, then Bryse Wilson, 21-year-old Bryse Wilson who we saw pitch in three games last year, one start in Pittsburgh, then Wright on the third game, and then when they open up the home schedule on April the 1st it’ll be Sean Newcomb then Teheran again and then Max Fried. Touki Touissaint will probably start the season at least in Triple-A.
We gotta remember about a couple of things, of course. Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman will be back at some point, probably in April. Gausman before Folty, and don’t forget about Mike Soroka. I saw him pitch a minor league game in Florida here on Wednesday. Two innings and he looked really good. He had a very impressive live BP session earlier this week, so the Braves really feel like sometime in April he could be ready as well, and then you got a logjam in that rotation. All good news, but you really wonder if the rotation as it starts on Opening Day next Thursday will be the same on July 4th at the All-Star Break and even in the latter part of the season because there could be some changes. These pitchers who are in this rotation right now, notably Teheran and Newcomb, have got to pitch well or else they may be pushed aside by these kids who are really pushing for innings and for starts on this team right now.
A lot of people may say the starting rotation is a mess right now. It’s really not. It’s a little unstable I guess you could call it, because it’s not like we can say the Braves have Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Denny Neagle, and Kevin Millwood in the rotation. It’s a little unsteady in that regard comparatively, but I still think that this rotation is gonna be a plus because these kids are knocking on this door loudly and are ready to be in this rotation and it’s just a question of who’s gonna stick and be the most consistent. The ones who are the most consistent will be in there full time and the ones who aren’t will either be in Triple-A or maybe banished to the bullpen or may become trade bait.
Rotation is still a big part of this team obviously. The bullpen’s still a question mark with Darren O’Day and also A.J. Minter out to start the season, and it does not look like they’re gonna sign Craig Kimbrel anytime soon. Yes, there will be questions on Opening Day about the pitching staff, but I really think it’s gonna be a plus. It may just take a little time for the pitchers to get their legs under ’em and for these kids to show they are ready and to prove they’re ready and to stay in this pitching staff.
All right, that’s it for today. We’ll have another report for you on Friday.