Coming into the season, the Braves were loaded with proven arms and talented prospects ready to burst on the scene. Three months later, the team may be shopping for starting pitchers. Fortunately, the offense has picked up the slack, making this an issue instead of wondering who we should have develop at the major league level.
Kris Medlen was recently sent to AAA to convert back to the rotation, seemingly to replace Mike Minor and his 6.00+ ERA. However, things didn’t go as planned, with the Braves sending him back to the bullpen after three starts in Gwinnett. Jair Jurrjens has not recaptured anything from last season in AAA, while Julio Teheran has not performed at expected levels. Randall Delgado has been alright, but the walks may start catching up to him soon, part of the reason he doesn’t make it past the sixth very often.
Obviously, the biggest blow is the recent news of Brandon Beachy. It seemed shocking until I looked at some stills of his motion.
As you see, the dreaded “inverted W” appears. Basically, as his front foot lands, his front shoulder is already starting to fly open, while his throwing arm is dragging behind. Unlike most pitchers with the problem, Beachy does allow time for his arm to get into an overhand position. This leaves the front side completely open, so he is essentially throwing with all arm, compounded by locking his front leg at landing.
I will be posting a poll, asking for who you think would be the best fit and value for the Braves rotation, whether inside or out of the organization. I will be doing my own analysis tomorrow on the best available arms.