The Braves are building a hell of a pitching staff. We just can’t be certain for which decade.
They have come to terms with the rotund 43-year-old, Bartolo Colon, on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal, first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Bowman and confirmed by the Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien, follows Thursday’s signing of 42-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
As long as Flomax isn’t on baseball’s banned drug list, Colon and Dickey could both be in the Braves’ starting rotation next season.
John Hart and John Coppolella, the Braves’ chief makeover artists, recognize what everybody else recognizes: The team’s starting rotation stinks. The Braves ranked 28th in the majors last season with a starters’ earned run average of 4.87 and 23rd in completed innings (880 1/3). The staff also had only one complete game, although that’s become a lost art in baseball (San Francisco and Boston led the majors with 10 and 9, respectively.)
The Braves’ rotation may be better one day, if enough of these prospects pan out, but that’s not the case now, and Hart and Coppolella have been frustrated by their development. (They chose to make former pitching coach Roger McDowell the scapegoat for this and fired him, stunning folks around baseball.)
So until prospects become actual valuable commodities, Hart and Coppolella are attempting a short cut so the 2017 season. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, it’ll be entertaining.
An organization trying to project new/fresh/young/hip just signed two pitchers who are a combined 85 years old. Is there a Denny’s among the restaurants by SunTrust Park?
Assuming there’s no hardening of arteries between now and spring training, Colon and Dickey have shown the ability to do one important thing: consume innings.
Colon, who’s listed at 5-11, 285 pounds (and that may be before he puts his other foot on the scale) has pitched 190-plus innings in the last four seasons. Even at his age, he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA with the New York Mets last season.
Dickey threw 200-plus innings five straight seasons and pitched 169 2/3 last season in Toronto, going 10-15 with a 4.46 ERA.
Adding Colon or Dickey would be considered an interesting addition to a young rotation. Either could be fine as a bottom of the rotation starter. Adding both seems a little bit of overkill.
When I spoke to Chipper Jones in August, he said the Braves needed to add “a bona fide top-of-the-rotation starter.”
He also said. “… If you add a No. 1 pitcher, you make (Julio) Teheran second. It lengthens the rotation. Now (Mike) Foltynewicz can go against the other team’s third starter and so on.”
But apparently the Braves aren’t in the market to spend what it would take to bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter, either in salary or assets.
Welcome to your new Atlanta Braves. Can Phil Niekro be far behind?
Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.
- Weekend Predictions: Some things are easy to predict (Dogs lose)
- Dan Quinn may have fixed what ailed Falcons
- Podcast: Smoltz says Clemens, Bonds shouldn’t be in Hall of Fame
- Falcons give Dimitroff three-year extension — and yes, I agree
- Georgia Tech’s defense is a trainwreck, and that’s on Johnson
- Georgia Tech’s defensive problems: Is it players or coaching?
- Weekend Predictions: In an upside down world, it’s Kentucky over Georgia
- Will SEC get two teams into college football playoffs?
- Hawks needed a spark but Dennis Schroder brings a blowtorch
- Podcast blog: Hawks’ owner says, ‘I want a (bleepin’) parade’
- At 4-4, Georgia’s bowl eligibility suddenly isn’t a certainty
- Dogs dumped, and rebuilding projects shouldn’t look this bad
- Weekend Predictions: Surprise from underworld — Dogs upset Gators
- Podcast blog: If you don’t know Jesse Itzler, you want to know Jesse Itzler
- Hawks are taking the leap on Schroder, rest is up to him
- Florida has defined Georgia’s failures. Can Kirby Smart change that?
- No suspension for players? Welcome to new world at Georgia
- Quinn’s decision might’ve been right but everything else was wrong
- Throwback performance: Falcons blow 27-10 lead and lose
- If Howard can help Hawks, he’ll change how his story is written
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets hibernate; Falcons, Bama roll
- Paul Johnson on critics, future; will Jackets finish better than Dogs?
- Georgia’s makeover looks more like a decline
- Georgia playing to level of opponents — and against Vandy, that’s bad
- Weekend Predictions: Votes for Dogs and Jackets, but Falcons’ run ends in Seattle
- Podcast blog: Braves should have done a little more for Snitker
- Brian Snitker, a 40-year temp, finally gets his shot
- Braves’ Snitker an unusual choice but not necessarily wrong choice
- Podcast blog: Arthur Blank (Part II): On future, Vick and his plans to fire Petrino anyway
- After past two weeks, any win looks good to Georgia
- Jacob Eason struggles in win but it’s a little early to jump ship
- Braves wrong to blame McDowell for struggling prospects
- Weekend Predictions: Georgia wins over remains of Spurrier’s mess
- NEW: Podcast blog: ‘We Never Played The Game’ podcast (Arthur Blank, Part I)
- Positive vibes about rebuild aside, Braves still need starting pitching
- Snitker was good but Bud Black may be Braves’ choice for manager
- View in NFC South isn’t what most expected: Falcons on top
- It’s early but Falcons are looking legit
- Will optics of Mark Richt (4-0) vs. Kirby Smart (3-2) get better for Georgia?
- Mark Richt makes his return and looks right at home again at Georgia Tech
- Best Braves memory at Turner Field: 2010 and Bobby Cox’s final season
- Weekend Predictions: And now for something completely different — Dogs win
- Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home
- Falcons create a new memory for themselves in New Orleans
- Falcons can’t create more happy memories for Saints
- LSU just fired Les Miles — this is what lunacy looks like