Atlanta Braves roster shuffle options the wrong pitcher

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Edgar Santana was optioned to Gwinnett. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Edgar Santana was optioned to Gwinnett. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ian Anderson rejoined the Atlanta Braves for the purpose of starting Sunday’s game… but that required a reciprocal move.

Isaac Newton wasn’t asked, but he would probably approve of baseball’s rules for moving players around on the roster.  Then again, the Atlanta Braves probably didn’t consult his 3rd Law of Motion before making Sunday’s changes.

Those changes consisted of a force acting on the roster… the addition of Ian Anderson… which resulted in an equal and opposite force acting in the other direction.

In this case, it was Edgar Santana who became the odd man out, as he was optioned to AAA Gwinnett.

We still don’t know exactly how the Braves plan to arrange their rotation over the next couple of weeks, but we now know 2 things:

  • Santana’s demotion was the wrong move, and
  • Drew Smyly‘s mini-vacation is nearly over.

We’ve been advocating for the release of Josh Tomlin, who’s clearly been having difficulty getting major league hitters out in recent weeks.

He’s only pitched 3 times this month, and each one has been a disaster.  The best result was a single inning in which 1 run was allowed (a 9.00 ERA).  The others added up to 12.27 and 67.50.

All that in a total of 5.1 innings.  Tomlin’s now at a 6.57 ERA for the year.

Instead, Santana was bumped.  Sure — his last appearance was forgettable too (2 earned runs, and 2 walks while getting out only 2 hitters… a 27 ERA for that game).

But Santana has at least pitched 7 times this month… 6.2 innings and 4 runs allowed.

For the year, his ERA is 3.82.  It’s not great, but a far cry better than Tomlin’s.

Atlanta Braves vs. Dodgers

Meanwhile, the pitching matchups are set — so far — for the upcoming series with the Dodgers:

  • MONDAY:  Smyly vs. Urias
  • TUESDAY:  Morton vs. Buehler
  • WEDNESDAY:  Fried vs. Scherzer

(All games at 10:10PM Eastern)

This means that Smyly was simply given a break and was not moved to the bullpen.  I suppose we’ll see together whether the time off helps or hurts matters.

The good news?  Ian Anderson is taming the Giants so far… and he’s now done for the day after 5.2 innings without allowing a run as of this writing.  The runner on base is still his responsibility, but he has a lead as he departs.  Nice work.

Related Story. Smyly Skipped in Rotation... but then what?. light

Otherwise…. yeah:  we still have some concerns about how the Atlanta Braves are organizing their pitching as we’re about to enter September.