Atlanta Braves face 58 Games in 60 Days: Six-man rotation required
By Fred Owens
Yesterday’s rainout of the Atlanta Braves game with the Marlins made the chaotic final two months even more crowded.
The Atlanta Braves schedule shows an off day next Monday (August 6) followed by a doubleheader with Washington on August 7.
That twin bill begins a run of 22 games in 20 days including another doubleheader, the twin bill with Miami on August 13 that includes the makeup fame for yesterday’s rainout.
The Braves have days off on August 27, September 13 and September 24 before wrapping up the season by sweeping the Mets and Phillies.
All of that – and young pitchers not used to playing so long at the highest level – led the Braves to change the way they use their starters.
Braves rotation stretched
The Braves have decided on a six-man rotation to meet that challenge rather than try to force more innings from the starters, a move that could serve to wear them out and risk injury prior to a potential postseason series.
Using six starters instead of five saves two starts for Mike Foltynewicz, Anibal Sanchez, and Kevin Gausman, and one each Julio Teheran and Sean Newcomb. Those innings are important when we look at how many innings the pitchers have historically thrown.
Three current starting pitchers got close to or exceed 200 innings in prior years;
- Foltynewicz (154+)
- Gausman (182+)
- Teheran (221)
Sanchez last reached the 150 inning mark in 2016 and Newcomb’s high-water mark came in AA two years ago –140).
If each pitcher throws six innings per start, all but Newcomb would be on the edge of a personally historic high. Newcomb would exceed his high by 20 innings; that’s a big number considering the 140 innings came in AA.
Here’s the complete breakdown:
|Pitcher||IP||5 man||6 man|
(Statistics courtesy player pages on Baseball-reference.com)
The six-man rotation using the same six-inning criteria still pushes Newcomb pretty hard. September call-ups and disabled list returnees should mitigate the strain on his innings in addition to adding arms to a weary bullpen.