Atlanta Braves: 5 Players to Worry About Ahead of ‘23 Postseason

With everything going right for the Braves, we take a look at five players who could easily have things go wrong at the wrong time.
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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1. Atlanta Braves Player to Worry About: Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton getting a lecture from one of the few people in the dugout older than him. / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Charlie Morton has been known to be streaky in his time with Atlanta. Granted, things have been looking up for the 39-year-old lately, but there are plenty of reasons for concern since Morton is going to be relied upon as one of our top-three pitchers in the postseason.

Morton has perhaps the most vital role of anyone on this list. Starting pitching is so important in the postseason. The longer format asks for more consistency out of the top-line pitchers. If the offense has a slow night, you need the pitching to back them up. Offenses have to face the best teams, with the best rotations, and their best pitchers in the postseason. We are really going to need Morton.

Morton's strikeouts per nine have gone down by a lot since last year. He fell from a 10.7 K/9 to a 9.8 this season. His ERA is fine but his WHIP has reached lows not seen since 2012 for the big right-hander. Morton has not had a walks-per-nine as high as it is now (4.4) since his rookie year in Atlanta in 2008. The Ks and the BBs are going in the wrong direction this season.

Last season, Morton's first 12 games left him with a 5.67 ERA. That was one heck of a bad stretch. Thankfully, he turned it around. Prior to his previous two starts, Morton had a four-game stretch in which he posted a 7.32 ERA and had 15 walks in 19.2 innings. Hopefully, he got it out of his system and can dominate the rest of the way, but as he approaches 40, you wonder how many times he can pull that trick out of his old hat.