Atlanta Braves: Who is winning the competition for the fifth rotation spot?
By Matt Melton
Max Fried, Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton, and Kyle Wright. The first four spots of the Atlanta Braves starting rotation to begin the season is already complete, meaning that the attention remains on the competition for that fifth, and final, spot.
Well, with spring training action now fully underway, let's check back in with some of those names in that competition, and see just what each has done so far across the last two weeks.
Who has the advantage for the Atlanta Braves fifth rotation spot?
RHP Ian Anderson
Arguably the most prominent name in that competition is Anderson, a former 2016 first round pick who was a key part of the Braves 2021 World Series run, but struggled a year ago in the big leagues holding a 5.00 ERA across 22 starts. As for this spring, the sample size for Anderson isn't much to go off considering the right-hander has made only two appearances (one start) so far, owning a 9.82 ERA with a 6:5 K:BB ratio across 3.2 IP.
RHP Bryce Elder
Another prominent name as we entered the spring was Elder, a former 2020 fifth round pick by the Braves who impressed in his MLB debut a year ago, owning a 3.17 ERA with a 47:23 K:BB ratio across 54 IP. The right-hander has also made two appearances so far this spring, owning a 7.71 ERA with a 3:1 K:BB ratio across 4.2 IP.
RHP Michael Soroka
Arguably the final right-hander currently in the organization that is in the conversation for the fifth spot is Soroka, who has only had 38.2 IP due to injury across the past three seasons. Soroka has yet to make his spring training debut with the Braves.
LHP Kolby Allard
In conclusion, there are two left-handers that might just be pitching their way into the compeition, the first of which is Allard, who owned a 4.65 ERA across 20 starts with the Rangers Triple-A team a year ago. Across 5 IP this spring, Allard owns a 1.80 ERA with a 4:1 K:BB ratio.
LHP Dylan Dodd
We conclude here with a potential dark horse candidate in Dodd, who is currently Atlanta's No. 10 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. While it might be a long-shot for Dodd to win the competition for the Braves No. 5 rotation spot considering he has only 6.2 IP for his career above Double-A, the former third round pick has certainly impressed so far this spring owning a 0.00 ERA and 7:0 K:BB ratio across 4.1 IP.
So, now that you've seen the sample size so far this spring for each, who do you think has the advantage to be the Atlanta Braves No. 5 starter to begin the 2023 season?