Thursday was a day the Braves would probably want to forget. It started with Liberty Media publishing its 2018 financial reports for the Braves and the fanbase reacted in a totally rational and measured way. Then there was news of Bryce Harper going to the Phillies, which is just creepy.
As if that were not enough, it was reported that Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman were both suffering from pain – Folty had a sore elbow while Gausman had a sore shoulder. You really do not need me to tell you that having two of your three beginners in charge of these things in February is a bit of a concern. It's not a big deal at the moment, but it's still something that will be of concern to everyone as we approach the start of the season.
This is clearly not a big problem since the Braves do not worry too much about it because both Mark Bowman and Dave O'Brien ($) indicate that the situation is not serious enough for the Braves to seriously consider looking for another player outside the organization.
If the Braves wanted it, they would not need to look too long for a quality beginner to connect to the rotation. Dallas Keuchel is still available and, even though he is 31 years old and would be a relative bar (with all due respect to his currently stunning beard) for the rest of the rotation, he would probably be the best player in the rotation at the moment. It would also provide stability in addition to production. It's one thing to highlight Keuchel's numbers last year, as a K% of 17.6%, a BB% of only 6.6% while a season only has only the numbers ERA and FIP of 69 and 87 respectively. . It's another advantage to be able to play 200 innings, which Keuchel has done three times during his career in the Major league.
While the Braves are probably not the only team interested (if they really are) in Keuchel, they would be part of the teams that could benefit greatly from adding it and that makes sense. Folty and Gausman will probably be fine and assuming that Sean Newcomb continues to stay in the rotation and the Braves still think Julio Teheran needs to be recruited, it means the Braves could easily occupy this fifth row with a front -Other starter and all the world would feel much better about their throws in 2019.
It seems obvious, but we are in March and not only is Keuchel still an autonomous player, it certainly looks like one of the teams that suits him best is not even interested. It also seems like a good time to show off the free agency market after watching the rest of the division (especially Philadelphia) do their best to strengthen their team to catch up with the Braves.
We really should not have come to sit on pickets and needles when it comes time to hurt the Braves beginner players. We should not have to panic and worry about what happens in the rotation if one or more of the current starters break down. The training should not be an injury to Josh Donaldson without finding a solution, or relying on the same bench as last year to take over.
There could have been upgrades at all levels and, judging from the financial report released yesterday, the team should have been upgraded. Instead, this scenario in which the Braves have to worry about what happens if certain types end up on the shelves is something that we all have to think about now and it's certainly not a thought comfortable for the moment.
I say all this to say that even with this somewhat gloomy perspective, the Braves are still a better bet to be a good team than a bad team this year and there is still a chance that the Braves know something that we do not know. and that this team will only improve as younger players develop during the current season. It's always a possibility and I've already mentioned that this is probably what the Braves are expecting this year.
That said, it would be nice to have a little more leeway and Dallas Keuchel's signature would provide that space to the Braves. I'm sure the team knows this, but it's up to them to decide whether to actually invest money and take risks to improve the team against the competition will become more profitable.