It was starting to look like the Atlanta Braves might be able to get through the Summer with a consistent starting five in their rotation. That thought didn’t last long.
After a brilliant three-start beginning to his 2021 major league campaign, Atlanta Braves starter Tucker Davidson struggled through his first inning tonight… and then things got much worse from there:
This is a huge blow to the Braves. During his first 3 starts, Davidson had racked up 17.2 innings while only allowing 3 earned runs (1.53 ERA) along the way.
His entrance into the rotation came as Huascar Ynoa exited after breaking his hand in Milwaukee, and the results looked every bit as solid as Ynoa had been.
However, the telltale signs tonight are classic for some sort of injury that could sideline him for a considerable amount of time. We’ll stop on the speculation at this point, but it’s certainly something we hate to see for the 25-year-old southpaw from Texas.
Where do the Braves go from here?
Under the assumption that Davidson is out for at least a month, there are a couple of internal options available… though we can debate how good they might be:
- Sean Newcomb, who has stepped in tonight to take Davidson’s position in the current game. However, he’s not stretched out enough to provide a starter’s inning load.
- Bryse Wilson. 7 starts at Gwinnett, 5.00 ERA in 27 innings.
- Kyle Wright. 7 starts at AAA, 4.05 ERA in 33.1 innings.
- Kyle Muller. 5 starts at AAA, 4.60 ERA in 27 innings.
All of these pitchers have WHIP stats around 1.50+, which doesn’t bode well for switching to major league competition.
The additional problem faced by the Braves is the schedule: tonight’s game begins a run of 14 games in 13 days… a sequence that was going to require a 6th starter at part of a double-header with the Mets next Monday.
While the team expects to have Ynoa back in time, that isn’t expected before some time in August — after he heals up and then has a chance to get rehab time in the minors.
All this to say that while injuries are never convenient or unexpected, this one comes at a particularly inopportune time for Atlanta.
Like everything else this season, the Braves will now have to figure out how to weather this storm while yet another pitcher will get a chance to step up and see what he can do.