The Braves have had a lot of bright spots this season in their pitching rotation. Shelby Miller has become a star, while guys like Matt Wisler and William Perez have started to make names for themselves in the MLB. However, one guy just has not lived up to expectations thus far. Julio Teheran has been the biggest disappointment for the Braves in the first half of the season.
When the Braves finally brought Teheran to the majors for a full stint in 2013, they had high expectations for the Colombian born pitcher. He lived up to those expectations going 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA. The numbers are extremely impressive for a rookie, but it was more than that. This guy just looked like he had it. He had a live fastball with great off speed stuff, good control, and confidence on the mound. The success continued as Teheran came out of the gates in 2014 slinging. He made the all-star team and was without a doubt the ace of the Braves ball club. He finished 2014 with a 14-13 record and a 2.89 ERA.
The Braves dumped the last of their veteran starters when they let go of Eric Stultz and Trevor Cahill. This left Teheran to anchor the load as sort of the old guy at just 24 years old. This can be a lot of pressure for a young player, but the Braves figured Teheran could lead this rotation. Well so far, that has been far from the truth. Teheran is in the midst of his worst season in the majors. He is 6-4, but he has an ERA of 4.56, which is well above what the Braves and the rest of the league is used to seeing from Teheran. It is clear he is no longer the ace of this rotation currently, but given his track record, things could turn around.
The most confusing thing about Teheran are his splits. At home he is a phenomenal, posting a 5-0 record with a 2.04 ERA, but on the road he is a different pitcher. He is 1-4 with a 6.95 ERA, which is just abysmal for the caliber of pitcher Teheran is. He is not a rookie anymore, and these kind of splits have to make Braves management wonder, what is in this guys head? His home splits clearly show he can be a dominant pitcher in the majors, so trading him while his stock is not at its highest would not be very smart. He very well could end up being the ace of the second half of the season for the Braves. The Braves have to stick it out with Teheran, and he will turn things around, but if he does not, there are a bevy of hungry young pitchers in the Braves farm system waiting to take his job. John Hart has made it clear that he is willing to cut the cord with Braves’ darlings if the price is right, and if Julio continues his disappointing ways in the second half of the season do not be surprised if a move is made.