Braves Have Completely Mishandled Starting Rotation in 2020

It’s amazing how well the Atlanta Braves have done this year despite completely mishandling a broken starting rotation.

A lot of the things that have happened this year in the starting rotation are outside of the control of the Atlanta Braves.

They couldn’t predict that Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Cole Hamels — their projected top three starters — would all get hurt.

Obviously they couldn’t foresee a COVID-19 season that led to Felix Hernandez — who was likely going to be their fifth starter — opting.

And while there certainly were some question marks surrounding Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, and Kyle Wright, they couldn’t have known they’d struggle so poorly.

Also, in a short season, the leash on those guys was understandably short.

A lot has certainly gone wrong that neither Alex Anthopoulos nor Brian Snitker could control.

Outside of Max Fried, the other 10 starting pitchers the Braves have used this year are averaging 3.2 innings an outing.

No one in their projected starting rotation to begin the season is currently in a rotation that now consists of Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright, Josh Tomlin, Robbie Erlin, and TBD.

And after Erlin’s start on Thursday night, he couldn’t get the phantom IL treatment that Tommy Milone got.

Again, a lot of this is out of the control of management.

But what has been in their control they’ve done a terrible job of in 2020.

First of all, Anthopoulos completely failed at the trade deadline. That’s become completely obvious now.

Perhaps the asking price was too high for Mike Clevinger and Lance Lynn, I come to grips with that.

But not at least going out and getting a Taijuan Walker and/or Mike Minor for a bag of peanuts is just terrible.

Even if AA couldn’t pull off the big trade, he knew he needed to get guys that could come in and eat innings.

Milone was clearly not that guy and is batting practice at this point.

And then I don’t know if this next one is on AA or Snitker, but they’ve allowed these veteran arms too long of a leash.

If they’re OK pulling the plug on the young guys like Wright, Wilson, and Touki after a handful of starts, why wouldn’t they do that with the veteran guys?

I’d much rather see the young guys go out there and struggle and learn than someone like Erlin or Milone who we know don’t have a future with this team.

And even if you don’t want to do that, try using your elite bullpen as an opener to ease into a game.

Far too often we have a starter giving up a crooked number in the first few innings and forcing our offense to work from behind.

The point is, they really haven’t tried anything new to deal with the inconsistencies in the rotation. Instead, they just keep running these guys out there hoping the result will be different.

Next: Home Runs Propel Comeback Win

It’s beyond frustrating as a Braves fan and I hate that we’re going to waste this season with a historically great offense because management has failed in adjusting the starting rotation.