Braves’ starting rotation ranked 30th (and it’s hard to dispute)

Take a bow, Julio Teheran: You're the best the Braves have in a rotation that ranks 30th in the majors. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Take a bow, Julio Teheran: You’re the best the Braves have in a rotation that ranks 30th in the majors. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Six months after John Smoltz was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, adding punctuation to the Braves’ pitching dominance of the 1990s with similarly decorated teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, the new era of the team’s rotation took another shot to the gut.

USA Today  has ranked the major league’s 30 starting rotations. Guess who’s last?

Writer Ted Berg concedes before his rankings, “The following is informed by recent stats and 2016 projections, but it is on the whole a subjective list. … I look forward to being shamed for my misses come September.” But the fact he put the Braves 30th accurately illustrates perceptions most have about the Braves’ starting pitching and the team in general going into the season.

Just below a picture of expected No. 1 starter Julio Teheran, Berg writes: “That man in the photo above is Julio Teheran, and he’s notable because he’s basically the only legit Major League starter set for the 2016 Braves rotation. Atlanta is in rebuilding mode, and there’s some upside to the pitchers likely to follow Teheran. But unless guys like Matt Wisler and Williams Perez develop better and faster than expected, the last season in Turner Field will be a very long one.”

Can’t argue with that. For what it’s worth, the depth chart on the Braves’ official website lists eight starters: Teheran, Bud Norris, Matt Wisler, Williams Perez, Mike Foltynewicz, Ryan Weber, Manny Banuelos and Tyrell Jenkins. The most significant change was a loss, not a gain: Shelby Miller, the team’s best starter last season, was traded to Arizona in a five-player deal that brought back projected starting center fielder Ender Inciarte and prospect Dansby Swanson.

If some project the Braves to be no better than last year’s 67-95 record, the starting rotations of some other teams in the National League, particularly the East Division, is one reason.

The same story lists the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets (East) and the Washington Nationals (East) as having the top three rotations in the majors. Others include St Louis at No. 5, Los Angeles at No. 7, San Francisco at No. 9, Arizona at No. 10 and Pittsburgh at No. 12. Rounding out the East are Miami at 18th and Philadelphia just ahead of the Braves at 29th.

With the Braves’ having so much unproven youth and Teheran coming off his worst full season in the majors, it’s hard to dispute the ranking.

From the Digital Jukebox

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26 comments
Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

Before the start of last season, I made the prediction the Braves would be lucky to win 70 games. And they weren't. My prediction this year is even worse, they'll probably lose 100 games. 


Nate Crowder
Nate Crowder

Goodness that Ted Berg list is complete trash. Cubs as number 1??? We are ranking the starting rotation not the offense. And the Cubs are quite far away from having the top rotation. I have them at 7 on my list. The best rotation belongs to the Mets. As much as I dislike the Mets it's hard to argue. Have my Bravos at 27. It's not going to be as bad as people think because of an improved bullpen. Excited to see a lot of youngsters breaking through to the bigs, but they are gonna take some lumps.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Maybe this rotation will turn out similar to the Braves 1989 rotation of Smoltz, Glavine, Lilliquist, Pete Smith , Marty Clary and Zane Smith. The Braves went 63- 97 in 1989 and began there Eastern division streak 2 years later.

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

The biggest fool on the ATL sports scene is John Coppella -- the Braves are a train wreck since Hart and he have taken control of the team personell decisions -- those who support this garbage are losers

NuffanTuit
NuffanTuit

@VeryDisgusted They had almost NO CHANCE of getting to the world series in the next couple of years...and to even attempt would cost more money than they could afford...they have built a very impressive farm system loaded with a lot of young talent...how it gets used over the next two years will tell us what we need to know...if done right this team will turn heads in 2018 and contend for many years...


FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

Imagine if Julio is moved for you guessed it -- prospects?  That makes it even worse -- we just might challenge the 62 Mets for futility

NuffanTuit
NuffanTuit

The pitching staff this season will be incredibly young and inexperienced...but the pitchers in our farm system are some of the best in baseball...They are doing now what Bobby Cox did in the late 1980's when he was the braves GM...building a lasting farm system...We gave up what was the best glove at SS (that could not hit well) and we acquired a solid glove with some pep in his bat top prospect SS (last years first overall pick and we paid no signing bonus) what they are doing is smart...

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

@NuffanTuit  Its all a maybe -- they are doing what they are doing cause they are cheap more than being smart

NuffanTuit
NuffanTuit

@VeryDisgusted @NuffanTuit Swanson was worth Miller...The pitchers we got for Simmons worth it...every trade is yes directed to the future...but it puts them is solid salary cap shape when this talent matures so they can buy the missing pieces at that time...again will they do it right...but assuming they are just being cheap is ridiculous...Atlanta is a solid market for MLB...

BlawgDawg
BlawgDawg

So you're saying there's a chance..............

jmccoy1252
jmccoy1252

The fact that the Brave's signed Bud Norris and said they expected him to be a major contributor to this year's team said it all when they signed him.  That was when we still had Shelby Miller.  That being said, I'm a Brave's fan, it's all about who's got the Tomahawk on their chest.  The Braves would not have won anything if they had kept Heyward,  The Upton's, Gattis etc.  The changes had to be made.  The Braves will turn things around, it may not happen as fast as we would like, but the first REAL step to turning things around will be getting rid of Freddie Gonzalez.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Really, who is going to pay to see such garbage? .......I'll toon in on tv up too the third inning while the score is still close.... We should be eliminated from the playoffs around july 1st.

Brando21
Brando21

@TrueFan1 "...who is going to pay to see such garbage?"-TrueFan1. maybe change your name to WorthlessFan0

TXBravesFan
TXBravesFan

So the worst pitching staff and one of the worse offenses.... this math only adds up to one of the worst teams in MLB...  We will rival the Houston Astros... right after they moved to the AL...  over 100 loses!  But I bet the major league club does not lower prices for the inferior product that they have put on the field... but we as fans are suppose to be happy and take solace that they thought about some big name "High Value FAs"....  yeah right.... LOL  Let's see how surprised they act when the young pitchers or the retreads falter.... oh and all that salary flexibility they bought by dumping all of those big contracts... where did it go?  oh it wasn't really real it was just something the media made up like the Obama's Administration saying that the deficient has declined... LOL

TOJacket
TOJacket

Do you think we could finish the Football season before everybody starts whining about Baseball?.................like a bunch of women.........the Braves won the last 3 years they were in the NL West......and won 12 NL East since joining in 95......you folks are spoiled rotten.

TheBystander
TheBystander

Easily a 100 loss team. The offense will be as bad (if not worse) than the pitching. Pieces are in place for the future but the present sure is going to suck.

E983
E983

Ah, yes. My four favorite words during the month of February, "Pitchers and Catchers Report". You're right Jeff because the only improvement the Atlanta Braves will make in 2016 will be construction of and around the new stadium. The loss column is going to grow to over 100 this season. Smoltz is right about his #30 prediction for the Braves pitching. When they made the trades last year and got Shelby Miller for Heyward I went back in time to Alexander for Smoltz. "They got who?" Then came the D backs and Tony La Russa just couldn't resist getting HIS rotation stacked. Miller is gone but the Braves got their hands on a home town Champion in SS Dansby Swanson. Jeff, the top 20 prospects as listed by Fox Sports has 13 of those 20 as pitchers. Now that doesn't give Turner Field a whole lot to look forward to in 2016 but frequent visits to Gwinnett Co. will be an easier drive and easier on the wallet to get a view of what's on the horizon.

John Smoltz gives the MLB Network some home town flavor. Plus his HOF perception is cool whether he's right or wrong. His jokes though are, well nobody's perfect. Enjoyed the article Jeff.