If the regular season started today, the Atlanta Braves would have four locks for the starting rotation with Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, Kevin Gausman and Julio Teheran. So, who is in line for the fifth spot?
Unless the Braves make a move to augment their rotation, Braves manager Brian Snitker said at the team's annual "Chop Fest" that they could go with a number of different guys, with Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint, Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Luiz Gohara all in the running.
Snit indicated a number of different guys could fill the fifth spot of the rotation. In other words, we could see the likes of Soroka, Toussaint, Fried, Wright or Gohara being shuffled between the Atlanta and Gwinnett rosters— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 19, 2019
Just like they did last year, the Braves could be shuttling these young arms between Atlanta and Triple-A Gwinnett throughout the course of the season to fill that fifth and final spot. It will likely look more like a six-man rotation at times due to the spot starts these guys will make over the course of the season to give their other guys rest.
#Braves will technically have a 5-man rotation, Snitker said, but it will look more like a 6 often because they’ll bring up young pitchers to make spot starts like last season and give more rest to others, like last season.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) January 19, 2019
Soroka, if he can stay healthy, has the inside track to be the fifth starter to begin the season. He was promising in stretches but suffered from shoulder inflammation that ended his season prematurely. To insure that doesn't happen in 2019, Snitker and Co. will give him starts off, which is why you'll see the likes of Toussaint and Fried get some big league starts under their belt.