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The Glut Of Braves Starting Pitching

What would happen if the Braves lost two starting pitchers tomorrow? Answer, they would be fine. Yes, it's mostly about which two they lose, but the point is they wouldn't have to scramble to call up some untested rookie who wasn't ready or some four-A player who will never be ready.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Braves staff as it's currently constructed is missing its two best pitchers from last season -- Javier Vazquez was traded away and Jair Jurrjens has spent the last month on the disabled list -- and the Braves have been in first place for two weeks thanks in large part to their starting pitching! Tim Hudson's re-emergence and new found dominance has allowed the Braves to replace the production of Vazquez, and the wily little flat-billed Kris Medlen is filling in brilliantly for Jurrjens. So good, in fact, that one could argue he should stay in the rotation even when Jurrjens returns.

The aforementioned Jurrjens will make his first rehab start tonight for the Gwinnett Braves of Buford. With no Atlanta Braves game, all eyes will be on him to see if the nagging injuries that have plagued him since the beginning of spring training are gone.

There will be another player in the G-Braves dugout who also has a chance to help the Braves rotation (if need be). The decision on Chris Resop is due tomorrow, and most rumors indicate that the Braves likely won't be able to trade him (they want something "substantial" in return) and will be forced to promote him to the majors. While his new found success has come in the rotation, Resop may be asked to move back to the bullpen and replace the ineffective Jesse Chavez (at least that's what we hope will happen).

Having this much available starting pitching is a good thing. In any given season players, and especially pitchers, are bound to get hurt, and if a team can replace that starter with someone almost as good, then their team won't lose a beat. If the Braves are to stay in first place, they have to be prepared for the inevitable and unfortunate injury. It certainly seems as though the Braves are well prepared to cover for at least two injured starting pitchers. Let's hope it doesn't some to that, but if it does, it's good to be prepared.

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