Man in the Stands

Pitching troubling Atlanta

“The Braves suddenly have pitching woes” reads the first line of Jason Mastrodonato’s recent article for mlb.com.

As I read the sentence, I kind of laughed in my head and thought, “The Braves never have pitching troubles. We’re always deep in the ‘pen. Usually our pitching problems come down to too many of them.”

The more I thought about it, and re-read the sentence again, I realized, “Holy hell. He’s right.”

Hudson’s down, Beachy is likely to be rushed back, and, as we all know, there are two strong relievers out for the season.

The article, titled “Braves leaning on Minor to anchor rotation,” goes on to point out what the title says, the team is pretty much dependent on how well Mike Minor pitches. Some how this season, Minor has become the ace of the staff. With Huddy’s broken ankle, that has now been all but confirmed.

Braves Country will be holding tightly to the coattails of Minor and following him into the dark. His first task P.H.A. (Post-Huddy’s Ankle) is to take the mound Friday against a tough Cardinals line-up, which has six players hitting above .300, including Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Carlos Beltran.

As far as Brandon Beachy is concerned, he threw a rehab game with Gwinnett on Wednesday night. His line (6.0 innings, 2 H, 2 runs, 1 ER, 4 walks, 3 K) was nothing to brag about, but, out of his 86 pitches, he threw 51 strikes. That’s a promising outing. As a fan, I would still love to see him get at least one, if not two, more starts and see that he is not experiencing soreness or fatigue, but it sounds like we may see him Monday against the Rockies.

Watching Wood get beat around the yard like a playground soccer ball on Thursday didn’t leave much hope for his help this season and his relief, Kameron Loe, definitely did not leave Braves fan feeling any more comfortable.

With Minor and Teheran throwing well, there is some ease of the minds of Braves fans, but Maholm, Wood, and Medlen are making it tough to put the rotation “out of sight, out of mind.”

Medlen has given up 20 earned runs in his last 5 starts (2-3) and has not seen the end of the sixth inning in his last 3 starts (0-3). Granted, it is hard to focus and pitch well when your team isn’t putting up runs for you, but you still have a job to do. Kris just isn’t getting it done right now.

With the trade deadline coming up and the state of the starting rotation, you have to wonder what moves the Braves are looking to make. If you are Frank Wren, do you go after starting pitchers or do you have a focus elsewhere to pick up help for?

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