This whole off season I have written that I expect Jurrjens to be traded at some point. Of course, people also wrote that Vernon Wells‘ contract would haunt Toronto until it slowly, and painfully ended. Of course, Wells was somehow traded. What happens if Jurrjens is somehow not traded?
I still think there is a greater chance of Jurrjens leaving than staying but with Hudson’s injury issues putting him out longer than he originally thought and Tommy Hanson‘s shoulder* we might actually be forced into keeping Jurrjens with the club. Is this a bad situation? Not really, I feel like it would be better to get rid of Jurrjens and get a left fielder, or some good outfield prospects than keep him in the rotation but depth at the MLB level is no joke.
*Hanson’s progress has been extremely good and he has said that he is confident he will be ready to go by opening day. I am guessing he will have constant injury issues however unless he tweaks his delivery or starts letting up on pitches, and none of us want that except the ligaments in his right arm.
Yes the Braves have the best pitching depth in the major leagues but 2 injured starters and a pitcher traded away can easily make that strength a weakness. Here’s a little scenario for you. Let’s say someone offers us a pretty decent left fielder straight up for Jurrjens. We make the deal. All of the sudden Hudson’s back flairs up and Tommy Hanson does more damage to his shoulder? As Mark Smith (@Braves_And_Pie) said every team needs seven starters, injuries are going to happen. It would be great if your entire rotation threw 200 solid or better innings but is that going to happen? Of course not.
If that situation went down our rotation would look like this:
the rest after the break
That doesn’t scream 2012 championship to me and it shouldn’t to you either. Maybe a few years from now, but that rotation is way too deep with guys who haven’t even hit the 200 inning mark in the majors (all time not just in a season). Both Randall Delgado (thank Joe Lucia for pointing this out to me @JoeCNC) and Julio Teheran need a bit more seasoning in the minors, and while they both could come up to help out for an injury, it’s sort of a stretch to have three pitchers come up to replace two injured, top-of-the-rotation starters and a wild card who got traded.
So don’t be upset that Jurrjens hasn’t been traded for that bat, or handful of prospects you have been salivating over. Be thankful that your GM has the foresight to realize, “Hey, there’s a pretty good chance we might really need this guy at some point down the stretch.”
Thanks to Joe, and Mark for their Braves enlightenment, check out their site Chop-N-Change and follow them on twitter. If you want some more on the foresight of Frank Wren check out Mark Bradley’s latest post at the AJC. It’s a great read.