Do the Atlanta Braves have to have even better versions of both Mike Soroka and Max Fried in the 2020 season?
For Mike Soroka, it might be wise to expect the same results as he had during last season. Surely, he is bound to give up more home runs in the 2020 campaign.
That doesn't mean that he won't be successful and hopefully continue to trend towards the ace the Atlanta Braves have so desperately needed for multiple years now.
If you are one for projections, baseball-reference.com has Mike Soroka to have an 11-5 record with an ERA of 3.24. Certainly good quality numbers that we would most likely all take.
Will that be enough to propel the Atlanta Braves back into postseason play is the main question though?
The answer to that question lies largely in what Max Fried will be able to provide.Related Story:Fried projected be best SP for Braves in 2020?
A few things that I believe will help Max Fried in the 2020 season is the fact that I truly believe he hit a wall towards the end of last year. His numbers all rose largely due to two bad games he pitched in the month of September.
Secondly, I believe the pressure will be a little bit less on him this year as he should have more pitchers carry the load they are expected to carry this season.
I have Max Fried penciled in the number 4 spot in the rotation as of now and if that's the case, he has the ability to be one of the best number fours throughout the entire game.
Most people probably don't realize that Max Fried was second in the National League last year with 17 wins for the season. It would be a huge coup for the Atlanta Braves if he could come close to that number again in 2020.
Even though their is still time for the Braves and the front office to make some more moves, it's looking more-and-more likely they are going to rely on the pitchers in the system.
Obviously, they went out and got Cole Hamels to shore up the middle of the rotation, and while I loved the signing, he is not an ace anymore.
The Braves are also looking likely to trust that Mike Foltynewicz will be the pitcher he was in late 2019 and all of 2018.
So the answer is no, these pitchers are allowed to regress a tiny bit. After all, they were lights out for the most part in 2019, so to expect more of that might be a tad bit unrealistic. It's largely going to fall on the other pitchers on the staff to gain ground.