Though the Braves dropped both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, fans had to have been pleased with the performances of Sean Newcomb and Matt Wisler. Those who were opposed to trading Andrelton Simmons finally got a real taste of what Coppy saw in young Sean Newcomb in his major league debut.
“Newk” tossed 6.1 innings of terrific baseball. If not for a throwing error, Newcomb would have been throwing shutout baseball. However, he got rid of these jitters from there on and went on to toss seven strikeouts. Newcomb was primarily using his fastball, and eased his curveball in during the later innings. Despite a mostly two-pitch mix, he was in complete control, giving the team a great shot to win. We saw why Newcomb has been so often compared to Jon Lester. The tall lefty made throwing heat look effortless and and displayed incredible upside. It was truly a shame to see his terrific debut go to waste, as the Braves did not offer him any run support.
This performance is no outlier, as Newcomb dominated in AAA this season. He had a 2.97 ERA and a 11.5 K/9 rate. Newcomb has been considered a top 100 prospect in baseball circles for years now.
The concern in the past, and going forward, will be his struggles with walks. He issued two on Saturday afternoon. Despite this, one would have to assume the Braves will find a way to keep Newcomb in the rotation given his performance. He will at least get another chance to start next Friday, with Bartolo Colon on the disabled list. Colon’s future with the team is unclear, as his days with Atlanta could be over.
Braves fans should be very thrilled with the graduation of Newcomb, SportsTalkATL.com’s fifth ranked prospect. He is exactly the boost this team needs in their rotation after the horrible production Bartolo has offered. He also gives the team another lefty arm in the rotation. His spot is not currently guaranteed, but it looks like Newcomb’s minor league days are over. This promotion marks the start of a chain of elite pitching prospects for Atlanta.