There are still a lot of players out in free agency who remain unsigned and you can never count out a big blockbuster trade before the season. However, we are less than a month away from teams reporting to Spring Training and the bulk of the roster changes for teams are done.
So, if the season started today, what would the starting rotation for the Atlanta Braves look like?
Each team's rotation if season started today (But it's really good the season doesn't start today, since I predicted the #Rockies' rotation only because I had to ... still, nice to have depth and competition.) https://t.co/5cHjwwmjhr via @MLB— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) January 23, 2019
Unless they make a big-time trade for a frontline starter, Mike Foltynewicz is their staff ace and should make his first career Opening Day start. He's coming off a career year where he earned his first All-Star appearance. He more than deserves this honor.
Based off what we saw last year, even in a limited amount of time, right-hander Kevin Gausman should slot in right behind Folty. He posted a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts after being traded over from the Orioles, looking like the guy that made him a top-five draft pick.
Yeah, if ATL can't acquire a top-of-rotation starter ... I wouldn't complain at all if the Braves traded Teheran and just let the kids pitch.— KC Covington (@FriedBasballATL) January 23, 2019
And then some combo of Touki, Wright, Gohara, Fried in a rolling 6-man rotation. https://t.co/4PQmwyms8O
Left-hander Sean Newcomb could make a huge jump in 2019 and become the No. 2 starter of this rotation. He did show flashes last year, but he struggled down the stretch and continued to be inconsistent with his command. Newcomb still has high upside and because he's their only lefty, he should be placed right in the middle.
Unless something happens, Julio Teheran will be in the rotation for Atlanta. Even though he's not the top-of-the-rotation starter everyone hoped he'd be, he's still a serviceable arm and is the only veteran they have at the moment.
The fifth and final spot could go a number of ways based off Spring Training results, but the edge goes to Mike Soroka. He's their top pitching prospect and was excellent in his handful of starts before being shut down with a shoulder injury.
If everything is fine on the injury front, there's no reason to believe he won't win a rotation spot.
Atlanta has already come out and said that they plan to rotate a lot arms in and out of the rotation, especially if they don't solidify that final spot with an established starter. That means Touki Toussaint, Max Fried and Kyle Wright will have plenty of opportunities to thrive as a starter for the big league club.