Ranking the 5 best options for the Atlanta Braves final rotation spot

The Atlanta Braves' starting rotation is stacked, but it needs to be rounded out with a fifth starter.

Bryce Elder, Atlanta Braves
Bryce Elder, Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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1. Bryce Elder should be the overwhelming favorite to get the No. 5 spot

It kind of feels disrespectful that Bryce Elder's name is not included with the other four members of the Atlanta starting rotation. I mean, he is not Max Fried or Spencer Strider, but his MLB future is certainly more wide-open than veteran Chris Sale and 40-year-old Charlie Morton. I get that Morton and Sale have big-game experience, but we should not continue to discredit what Elder did in 2023.

With Fried and Kyle Wright having suffered injuries, Elder answered the call to be essentially the Braves' No. 3 starter behind Morton and Strider. He was an NL All-Star alongside Strider after his sensational first half. The problem with Elder is he appeared to run out of gas in the dog days of summer. He does not throw hard and pitches to soft contact anyway. Elder gave us all he had.

With a full offseason to prepare for 30 games' worth of starts, I hope Elder goes out there and continues to prove everyone wrong. He may not have the flashiest stuff, but I do like the cut on his breaking-ball offerings. Overall, he is a pitcher at his core. The guys with the best stuff don't always make it. This position is about getting batters out, and Elder proved to be exceptional at that for a bit.

Elder is the favorite to win the No. 5 spot in the Atlanta starting rotation, but his leash will be short.

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