The Braves’ starting rotation woes keep piling up

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Sean Newcomb delivers a pitch to Colorado Rockies’ Chris Iannetta in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – After another disappointing start from Sean Newcomb on Monday night in Philly, Brian Snitker announced that the 27 year old southpaw had been optioned to the satellite camp in Gwinnett. Through four starts on the young season, Newcomb has posted an 11.20 ERA (17 ER/13.2 IP) with four homers allowed. To put that home run number in perspective, consider the fact that last season, Newcomb held opponents to just eight long balls in 68.1 innings worth of work. So, for the time being, Newcomb will return to try and work out his struggles and figure a way to be the guy he was in 51 outings from the Braves bullpen.

If you’re keeping track at home, the Braves are now down five starters from where they were when camp opened in February. We know Mike Soroka is done for the year, while Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb are at the camp with the remainder of players in the team’s 60 man pool. Veteran lefty Cole Hamels is yet to get on a mound, while Felix Hernandez opted out at the onset of Summer Camp. This goes to show, that no matter what anyone tries to tell you, you can never, ever have “too much” starting pitching. For a team that looks to be a contender when it comes to the everyday lineup and bullpen, the rotation continues to the weak link. Now, once again, the team has two spots it has to fill in the short term, while Alex Anthopoulos will continue to work the phones to attempt to bring in reinforcements. As we’ve discussed, trades at this point in the season will be extremely challenging to pull off.

For now, it appears as though Bryse Wilson will get the start tomorrow night against the Yankees, with Kyle Wright being pushed back to Friday in the series opener in Miami. As for what will become of Sean Newcomb, from everything we’ve seen, it appears as though he’s best served as a reliever at this point in his career. His inability to throw his breaking ball for strikes in last night’s contest proved costly early and often as Phillie hitters were able to sit on his heater, and we all know how that ended up.

Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.

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