The Braves rotation took yet another hit on Monday night that it could not afford. After Mike Foltynewicz was designated for assignment after his first start and ace Mike Soroka’s season ended with an achilles tear, the Braves appeared to only arguably have three reliable starters. That number is now down to two.
Sean Newcomb appeared solid in his return to the starting position in 2020 after working mostly as a late inning bullpen arm in 2019. On Monday night though, the former first round pick gave up eight earned runs thanks to six homers in just over an inning of work against the Phillies. Newcomb was evidently on a short leash because after the game it was announced that he had been optioned down.
This move does not make most sense to Braves fans. Not due to performance, which has been hit-or-miss for the left-hander, but due to the fact that the team does not appear to have any better options. In fact, the argument can be made that it’s better to have Newcomb on the mound than Kyle Wright.
The starters on the Braves depth chart now read as follows, Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, and Huascar Ynoa (who made his first career start in the front end of a double header on Sunday). The Braves are banking on Ynoa to be someone that can stay in the rotation long term most would assume, and even if he is able to hold down a starting job that’s still only a four man rotation. According to David O’Brian of The Athletic, a prospect will be brought up will have their shot at being that fifth man.
Snitker indicated #Braves leaning toward bringing up one of the prospects to replace Newcomb.
— David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 11, 2020
It will be interesting to see what GM Alex Anthopoulos does to fill out his rotation, which will need one or two arms. Like any GM, Anthopoulos has said that he would like to keep the solution internal, meaning that Ian Anderson or Patrick Weigel may be able to make their debut well sooner than expected.