Atlanta Braves Rumors: Jared Shuster replacement, Chipper Jones troll, late-season free agent move

Atlanta Braves Rumors: Jared Shuster is sent down again. Chipper Jones trolls his former teammate John Smoltz. Could a free-agent move be in the cards?
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants
Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Atlanta Braves Rumors: Jared Shuster sent down in favor of another pitcher

With A.J. Smith-Shawver on the minor-league injured list, Atlanta has to look elsewhere for starting pitching help. Jared Shuster's recent struggles mean he is not the answer. Kyle Wright is closing in on a big-league return, but Atlanta is right not to rush him.

So, the next, best option appears to be Darius Vines, who was pitching quite well in the Braves system all season, but had for the most part been overlooked. Vines, who is 25 years old, finally received the call to make his MLB debut. MLB Trade Rumors had rave reviews about Vines MLB potential, as he becomes the 13th Brave to start this season since the injuries to Wright and Max Fried, who has since returned:


"In 43 1/3 innings this year, the Cal State Bakersfield product has posted a 2.70 ERA with a 27.1% strikeout rate, 8.2% walk rate and 44.4% ground-ball rate. Scouting reports at BA, and FanGraphs tab Vines as a potential back-of-the-rotation arm thanks to his command of a three-pitch repertoire (fastball, slider, changeup). The changeup draws plus (60 on the 20-80 scale) or better offerings, with BA’s report noting that some scouts have put a plus-plus (70) grade on the pitch," MLBTR's Steve Adams wrote.

Vines likely isn't long for the major leagues, though it's great to see him get his opportunity. Michael Soroka should eventually receive his chance, and he made an NL All-Star team in the recent past before his career was derailed by injuries. Also, Wright will return eventually, thus giving the Braves five solid starters heading into the postseason.