The Atlanta Braves entered the offseason with the stated goal of improving the starting rotation. They moved quickly signing Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and later swung a deal with the Cardinals for Jaime Garcia. We continue our roundtable discussion today with our thoughts on the rotation and what it will look like at the start of the season.
Scott Coleman: I wouldn’t be stunned if the Braves traded for Quintana, Archer or Gray, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening, either. Teheran, Garcia, Colon, Folty is a pretty safe bet for 1-4. R.A. Dickey will be the 5th starter, and I hope a return to the NL helps him. My guess is Dickey makes 20-25 starts, while Blair and Wisler each make 10 or so (assuming they aren’t traded before then).
Demetrius Bell: I’ve learned to never doubt Coppy when it comes to pulling off a trade, but I think that we’ll probably end up seeing the three new guys, Folty, and Teheran rounding out the rotation. The big question is whether or not this crew can stay healthy. If they can and the vets can eat some innings, then this rotation is going to be a lot better than the revolving door that the Braves had last year. However, if they can’t then here’s hoping that the young pitchers who are being given time to develop can do some more developing on the fly.
Ben Poplin: With the acquisition of R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, you have to figure they will be in the mix somehow. Colon does have experience coming out of the pen though, and that could be another option if he's willing to accept that role. Julio Teheran is still the Braves ace. Brian Snitker will give him the ball on Opening Day, as he should. Mike Foltynewicz and Matt Wisler showed the most improvement out of the revolving door of young fireballers last season, so I could see them grabbing a late rotation slot or possibly sandwich between Dickey and Colon. Jaime Garcia from the St. Louis Cardinals was a great pickup as well. He provides a left-handed arm the Braves desperately needed.
Ivan: Probably as it stands right now: Teheran - Dickey - Colon - Garcia - Foltynewicz. I fully expect one of Wisler or Blair (probably Wisler) to get traded for a couple of #10-#15ish prospects before the season starts.
Brad Rowland: At this point, I would guess it is more likely than not that the team is “done” when it comes to the rotation. It is definitely possible that Coppy pulls the trigger on a big move, but with what know at this point, Teheran-Garcia-Foltynewicz-Dickey-Colon (in some order) will likely be the quintet to open the season. If Wisler or Blair (or Newcomb?) was lights out in Spring and the team felt it needed to insert one of them, moving Dickey to the bullpen wouldn’t be the worst idea, but the five best starting pitchers on the team are above and that makes the most sense.
Kris Willis: While it is true that you should never count out John Coppolella, I think at this point trading for a front line starter appears unlikely. Given the current situation I expect a rotation consisting of Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz along with the three new additions of Jaime Garcia, Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey at least to start the season. Folty made enough progress last season that I think he has a leg up on the competition but it is going to be interesting to see how guys like Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair respond in spring training. Competition can be a good thing and there will be opportunities for the guys that find themselves on the outside looking in as the season unfolds.