An "embarrassment of riches" has never been a more appropriate description to any team than the Atlanta Braves' potential starting rotation options for 2019.
It is safe to say that Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, and the newly acquired Kevin Gausman all have all-but-guaranteed rotation spots next season barring any health concerns. Who takes the fifth spot, however, could end up being a battle for the ages. And that means the team is staring down some tough decisions about what to do with the plethora of guys who won't make the cut.
A big move is coming for the Braves https://t.co/ex6WLYreyv— Talking Chop (@TalkingChop) August 8, 2018
The four most feasible options for that spot who have actually played at the major league level are Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Luiz Gohara, and Kolby Allard. Soroka made five starts for Atlanta this year but has been dealing with shoulder issues that have kept him sidelined. Fried has pitched in five games as a starter and five games out of the bullpen in 2018.
Gohara has struggled notably in limited time out of the bullpen for the Braves this season, but has long been seen as a potentially valuable arm for the team once he fully develops. Allard has pitched in two games for Atlanta after being named a Triple-A All-Star last month.
There are also three potential options currently in Triple-A who haven't made their big league debuts: Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, and Bryse Wilson. Wright was the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft and has quickly advanced to Triple-A at 22 years old. Toussaint, who was acquired in the infamous Shelby Miller trade, is on the cusp of a major league call-up within the next few weeks. Wilson has shown promise at Triple-A, but he is just 20 years of age.
11 pitchers cannot fit in five spots, which means some of these arms will have to move to the bullpen, while others can be packaged in a trade to upgrade other areas of need around the diamond. It's safe to say that the Braves will have some big decisions to make in the next few months.