Front office executives from the Atlanta Braves including GM Alex Anthopoulos are in Arizona this week for the annual General Manager meetings. While we have seen no big news emerge regarding the Braves this week, Anthopoulos did speak to The Athletic’s David O’Brien on Tuesday about the plan for Sean Newcomb going forward.
Newcomb began 2019 in the rotation but continued to struggle with his command which led to an early season demotion to Triple-A. He was brought back to the majors in May and used primarily as a reliever where he saw good results. Newcomb made 51 appearances out of the bullpen posting a 3.04 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 53 1/3 innings.
Despite his success as a reliever, Newcomb still has a desire to start and Anthopoulos acknowledged to O’Brien that they will get him stretched out for an opportunity to compete for a rotation spot in the spring.
More Anthopoulos on #Braves' Sean Newcomb: "... unless there’s other trades or signings or things like that. But right now he would like an opportunity to start and it makes sense for us to at least have him stretched out in spring and then go from there.”— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 13, 2019
Anthopoulos did note that the plan could change if the team makes more additions to the rotation during the offseason but for now it appears that Newcomb will be in the rotation picture.
The news isn’t terribly surprising given that Atlanta is currently looking for replacements for Dallas Keuchel and Julio Teheran who are both free agents this offseason. There is nothing wrong with seeing if Newcomb can carry his success as a reliever back into a starters role with the fall back option being a return to the bullpen. We will have to see how this situation evolves over the winter.