Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

How Did THIS End Up As Our Problem?

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.

Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

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.

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

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.

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  • FredOwens

    It really isn’t hard to understand. We didn’t enter proven arms. We entered with
    A 36 year old fresh off of back surgery,
    A 26 year old who had been hurt before last year then hurt again during the year, had a bad spring, lost velocity and control and hadn’t been reliable since before the ASG last year
    A 25 year old fresh off of shoulder surgery with declining speed on his fastball
    a 21 and 22 year old who both had horrible springs and the least bad of whom left with the big team
    and a 26 year old coming back off of TJ surgery who had shown he earned a starting sport but wasn’t a HOT Prospect so ended up in the pen and
    a 25 year old Beachy who entered the year as our only quality starter with a total of 22 minor league and 28 major league games under his belt
    The myth perpetuated by the media based on a poor understanding of the way Leo created a supporting cast for the big three had been thrown out there so many times it became the truth regardless of the lack of depth of facts behind it.
    If you remove Huddy from the starting rotation the average age is 24.5.
    JJ is a permanently hurt pitcher. While JJ had 4 years of service time it took him 5 years to do it. He had 188 innings in 08, 215 in 09 and less than 116 in 10 and 156 in 11 but all innings after the ASG were while injured.
    Tommy has passed 130 innings once and he too has been hurt.
    So what we went into the year with was an old Vet we hoped would recover, two injured players we hoped would recover and two kids we hoped would figure it out. Delgado projects no better than a 3-4 and Teheran while project a 1 or 2 opened the year with no out pitch so he’d get batters in pitcher’s counts and lose them; two throwers
    And Beachy and Medlen.
    It should not be a surprise that young pitchers struggle, The idea that stuff wins is simply not true. Stuff applied correctly by an experienced pitcher wins.
    Instead of making an attempt to sign Buehrle we signed Livan and Durbin. Durbin worked Livan had a few good games but really shouldn;t have been there. That EoF and JV fell back to earth should not be a surprise. Both were spectacular and predicting them to repeat that performance was a dream. EoF got too little work early but is rounding into form.JV was wild last year but people forgot or ignored it because the slider was devastating. He has likely had his best year until he dials back the power and starts to pitch.
    With Beachy gone, the pitcher we need is Garza. If you slot him in at the top with Tommy , Huddy, Minor and Delgado and Medlen your rotation is suddenly very solid. Then call the A’s about Grant Balfour or the Brewers and pick up K-Rod to slide into an 7/8 inning role and solidify the pen. I like Varvaro but clearly he is still not ready for leverage spots and Gearrin will never have a chance will Fredi manages because he doesn’t understand where Gearrin fits. IF Pete come back anything like himself we can skip the bullpen guy but that isn;t looking like being soon.

  • FredOwens

    A followup MLBTR reports that Fergosi was scouting Garza for the Braves which means they are at least thinking along the right line. I hope they’re scouting a RH bat too because Diaz can’t keep this up all season and Hinske looks like the years have caught up with him a bit.
    Before anyone cries about money the Braves reportedly offered Jorge Solar almost the same deal that the Cubs signed him for ; 5 years @30m. They’ve  already cut $750 and flushed it away with Livan. If you were to say replace Hinske or Diaz with Victorino you’d solve left field when Prado is playing third or first and not have to worry about who was pitching.
    the current bunch are too streaky and while he isn’t what he was 4 years ago he’s still pretty dang good.
    Or if you’re nostalgic the Brewers released Brooks Conrad today . . .