3 reasons the Braves should use a six-man rotation and 2 reasons they shouldn't

There's been a lot of talk about who the Braves' fifth starter will be, but have fans considered who the sixth starter could be?

Atlanta Braves Photo Day
Atlanta Braves Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
1 of 3

Coming into Spring Training, one of the biggest storylines to follow for the 2024 Braves is who will win the fifth spot in the rotation. The two biggest candidates to fill the fifth starter role appear to be Bryce Elder, who was an All-Star in 2023, and Reynaldo Lopez, one of the team's free agent acquisitions this offseason.

Additionally, the Braves have prospects Darius Vines, AJ Smith-Shawver, and Hurston Waldrep who could all play a role in the rotation this season.

But what if the Braves didn't have to choose between Elder, Lopez, and the numerous prospects and instead went with a six-man rotation to begin the season?

3 reasons why the Braves should use a six-man rotation

1. The Braves could use this to conserve innings for the older arms

The Braves enter the 2024 season with two starters who combine for over 28 years of MLB experience. The two starters, Charlie Morton and Chris Sale, have accumulated the seventh and 12th-most innings among active pitchers, respectively.

Although Charlie Morton has been remarkably durable since his late breakout with the Astros in 2017, he is entering his age-40 season, a mark that has historically been rare for a pitcher to even reach, much less succeed.

While Chris Sale is only 34 (turning 35 days into the season), he's lacked the durability that Morton has. Since 2021, the southpaw has only pitched in 151 innings, 102 of which came last season.

By using a six-man rotation, Brian Snitker and the Braves can give the two pitchers with the most mileage extra rest, saving their arms for later into the season.