Yesterday, the Braves got some good news regarding a few high dollar investments and some not so great news on rotation anchors.
Chris Martin Update
Gosh…we desperately need Martin back and it could come as soon as this weekend. The Braves are the 7th ranked bullpen in the MLB according to ERA, but that drastically overestimates this current group. The WHIP paints a better picture. Coming in right at 1.5 baserunners/inning, the relief core, especially the right-handed options, are tight-rope walking their way into disaster. Chris Martin should help steady the flow of constant baserunners as his WHIP since joining the Braves is .91. Nate Jones, Luke Jackson, get ready for mop-up duty.
Ronald Acuña Jr. Update
Acuña Jr. is expected to be in the lineup destroying baseballs when the Braves open up their homestand this Friday. Since being sidelined the Braves have tallied only 5 runs in 2 games and the leadoff spot, given to Ehire Adrianza, has went 0-6 with 2 walks.
Sean Newcomb Update
There’s still no update on Newcomb as he’s still under the umbrella of “COVID protocols”. I’m guessing he has not tested COVID positive otherwise we’d have likely heard about contract tracing. I’m assuming he’ll be back sooner than later.
Cristian Pache Update
DOB reported that Pache will be headed to the alt-site to ramp up his activities, and that is all fine and good. However, I expect him to stay there a bit longer considering his anemic bat and the fact that Guillermo Heredia has been playing a passable CF while destroying baseballs.
Mike Soroka and Max Fried Update
There’s no way to put this that won’t make you want to stick forks in your eyes and cry with them. Neither Soroka or Fried have resumed throwing and there’s seemingly no timetable established for when that will occur. With a 2nd shoulder concern, Soroka’s career just got a whole lot more fuzzy and that royally sucks. Fried’s story is different as it’s just a hamstring and it will heal, but it’ll take longer than what most would think and by the end, I’m expecting it to be about a month’s missed time.
Drew Smyly Update
Smyly is scheduled to return to the rotation on Saturday and that is good news for the Braves and their $11MM investment. Smyly hasn’t allowed a lot of hits (9 in 11 innings) or walks (1 in 11 innings), but has been destroyed by the gopher ball. I believe that he still has potential to be a great pickup if he can maintain health, but that might prove to be as hard as scaling Everest with nothing but a pick axe and underpants.