Atlanta Braves: The New Year is looking mighty bright!
6.) Sean Newcomb
The pitcher acquired in the Andrelton Simmons trade is proving that he belongs in the big leagues. The trading of Simmons is one that some people still dislike, and I can’t say I‘m not one of them. With the amount of pitching talent Atlanta has, Max Fried could have easily been in Newcomb’s current rotation spot.
For the sake of ‘What If’s”, if Atlanta still had Simmons, the Braves would currently be in a great spot if they acquired Jake Lamb instead of Dansby Swanson in the Shelby Miller trade. Instead, we have Newcomb for the rotation, and there is nothing wrong with that at all!
Newcomb is a great strikeout pitcher and a future star on the mound. One of the needs that Atlanta has is a pitcher that can consistently get strikeouts: ATL ranked #20/30 ballclubs for pitching strikeouts with 1,258 in 2017. Having Newcomb pitch for a full season should bump those numbers up a fair amount in 2018.
Also with Newcomb’s southpaw arm in addition to Gohara’s, Atlanta now eliminates the necessity for left handed starters that they once had around the time of the Jamie Garcia acquisition in December of 2016.