In this first part of the early 2013 projections we will dive into the starting pitcher position for the Atlanta Braves. Obviously, much discussion this offseason has been with the lineup of the Braves but pitching has been a staple of the team for decades. Heading into opening day of the 2013 season, the Braves starting rotation will look extremely different then the opening day of which the 2012 rotation consisted of Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Randall Delgado.
To begin my projections, we will start off with the Atlanta Braves 5th starter in the 2013 opening day pitching rotation. Since the Justin Upton trade and sending Randall Delgado to Arizona, we’ve been hearing that it’s Julio Teheran’s job to lose. If he preforms at Spring Training to his potential, he will be the clear-cut favorite for the 5th starter. I see it a bit different, I believe the 5th man in the opening day starting rotation for the Atlanta Braves will be Paul Maholm.
Now before you scream, what the HE double hockey sticks is he thinking?? Let me explain…Maholm is entering his 31 year old season and has only had one season with a winning record (2012) and never had an ERA of lower then 3.66 (2011). A 31 year old season is nothing to jump off the bridge about but he’s not the future of the Braves rotation. His career WHIP is an above average of 1.396 and has given up 124 homeruns in his 8 year career. His numbers were substantially better after joining the Braves midseason in 2012, K/9 were career high 7.7 (ATL), his H/9 was a career low with 8.3 (ATL) and all in all seemed more comfortable pitching in a Braves uniform. But only threw 68.2 innings in 11 starts with the Braves.
I believe Maholm will have a stellar season with the Braves but going off the lineup theory that everyone believes Fredi will adapt to, he will enjoy an alternating starting rotation. My upcoming posts will explain further. Here are my projections for Maholm in 2013 based off previous numbers during his eight seasons.