Bryce Elder locked into the rotation
The Braves' starting rotation is a hot topic right now. After Atlanta's starting depth cost them for the second year in a row, fans certainly seem to be clamoring for the Braves to swing big and overhaul the rotation that felt like it was being held together with bandaids and Elmer's glue at times in 2023. One player that elicits the widest range of opinions going into 2024 is Bryce Elder.
Elder was lights out in the first half of 2023 for the Braves with a 2.97 ERA in 18 starts while being named to the All-Star team. However, Elder struggled in the second half with a 5.11 ERA and was widely believed to be gassed by the end of his first full season with the Braves. Some think he can be the first half version of himself going forward, while others believe that his stuff is underwhelming and he was just fortunate to get the results he did before the All-Star break.
There are reasonable voices on both sides, but what is mildly concerning is that it seems like the Braves have seemingly already made up their mind that he is going to be in the rotation if the early offseason reporting from the beat writers is any indication.
It's one thing if the Braves went through the offseason, just didn't find a guy they liked at a price they liked, and Elder ended up winning the spot in spring training. That is a process most could get behind. However, Elder's inclusion in the rotation already feels almost certain which probably means that Atlanta will add just one starter this offseason at best and then just hoping that Elder does plenty of cardio this offseason and holds up in 2024.