Sean Newcomb is the latest example of the Atlanta Braves’ rotation issues.
Atlanta is 11-7 through 18 games this season. The Braves have an otherwise loaded roster with versatility throughout the lineup, great power, clutch hitting, excellent defense, decent speed and a solid bullpen. Too bad the starting rotation is a complete and utter grease fire right now. General manager Alex Anthopoulos has to make a trade here soon to prevent even more nightly disasters.
Newcomb had been tabbed as the Braves’ No. 3 starter out of camp. The Braves had an outstanding pair of starters atop their rotation in Mike Soroka and Max Fried. While Fried has flourished, Soroka is out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon. Once Soroka went down, Braves County has next to no confidence whatsoever when anyone toes the rubber besides Fried.
Alex Anthopoulos needs to fix this Atlanta Braves’ rotation immediately.
It’s only a 60-game MLB season, but the Braves have the talent to win big in the postseason. At the start of the year, many prognosticators projected they would fall to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. While the World Series should be every team’s goal, keep in mind Atlanta hasn’t been to an NLCS since 2001, failing to advance in its last nine trips to the postseason.
Newcomb was the key piece the Braves got in the Andrelton Simmons trade with the Los Angeles Angels a few years back. While he has a strong fastball and an excellent curveball, control issues and an inability to develop a consistent third pitch has made Newcomb’s chances of being a big league starting pitcher quickly fall to the wayside. He has had success out of the bullpen before.
In four starts with this year, Newcomb is 0-2 with an atrocious 11.20 ERA. Keep in mind he had a career best 3.16 ERA last season primarily coming out of the bullpen for the Braves. This is why Atlanta didn’t designate him for assignment like the Braves did with Mike Foltynewicz right out of the gate. A return to the pen will be best for both parties, as he still have value here.
After Fried, Anthopoulos and Braves skipper Brian Snitker have to be praying Touki Toussaint, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa or somebody from the minor league system can come in and give Fried any support in the rotation. They need one of those guys to step up because Foltynewicz, Newcomb and Jhoulys Chacin failed to answer the call of duty. Otherwise, Anthopoulos has to make a trade.
Anthopoulos has the rest of the month to figure what on earth to do his with Braves rotation.