The Braves rotation is finally starting to come together at the right time
The Braves pitching has been downright atrocious in 2020, and it’s not entirely of their doing. While we can argue all day about Alex Anthopoulos’ inaction at the MLB Trade Deadline, the rotation the Braves went into the season with looked formidable. The five pitchers they’re stuck with at this juncture are far from that.
Mike Soroka is out for the year, Cole Hamels has been hurt most of the season and Felix Hernandez opted out of the 2020 campaign altogether. Max Fried, the one consistent force in Atlanta’s rotation, has missed the past few weeks on the IL. Brian Snitker should be commended for putting this team in position to win the NL East with a makeshift group often incapable of making it past the fifth inning.
So why should Braves fans be hopeful about their rotation now?
This dose of hope depends fully on the return from injury of several key contributors to the Braves’ cause. Soroka is done for the year, and there’s no changing that. But Hamels is finally expected to make his debut as early as Wednesday, and Fried should be activated by Friday.
“Those are guys we hoped would carry most of that starting load,” manager Brian Snitker said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Now we’re finally getting them back and that’s a really good thing.”
If those two expectations come to fruition, the Braves playoff rotation could feature Hamels, Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright. The latter of those four is a major question mark, but the Braves bullpen is solid enough that Snitker can utilize a short leash. Not to mention, Wright has the stuff to be successful when you least expect it. Wright just recently out-dueled Max Freaking Scherzer, though he still gave up three runs.
Atlanta’s rotation goes at least three deep, with the fourth starter a toss-up. That’s not so bad considering the state of things.