With Bartolo Colon set to make his return from the disabled list on Wednesday, the Braves will be implementing a six man rotation. However, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that this will only be temporary, and that the team will likely only cycle through the rotation once or twice with this in place. This makes sense, as it is foolish to give guys such as Julio Teheran and Jaime Garcia that many days in between starts. The real question is, who is the odd man out? Right now, the team is just buying time. Here’s a list of scenarios that could come to fruition in the coming days.
Send Sean Newcomb back down to AAA
This scenario is rather unlikely, as the Braves have expressed an interest in keeping Newcomb up with the team after two quality starts to begin his career. However, there is always the possibility he gets absolutely lit up in his next start. Regardless, Brian Snitker has seemed committed to Newk.
Move Bartolo to the bullpen, release him, or trade him
Wednesday could be Bartolo’s last chance. The team has now given him time to get healthy and work on his mechanics, so it is now time for him to perform. If he flops in this upcoming start, the team could cut bait with him. Perhaps they can trade him to another team given his extended history and success, but they will undoubtedly have to eat some money. Colon has never come out of the bullpen, and while it is an intriguing possibility, the bullpen is about to get more crowded. Eric O’Flaherty will be due to come off the disabled list soon, and Daniel Winkler is now rehabbing and must be on the roster upon his return due to his rule 5 status. Many did not think Bartolo would pitch again for the Braves, and they have been unorthodox in handling the situation, as he still traveled with the team on the DL. The Braves seem to be buying time here.
Trade R.A. Dickey
Dickey has ate innings for the Braves, which was the reason they signed him. While he hasn’t been the monstrosity Colon has been, he has not exactly been effective. If they can get anything for him at this point, the team will have to think about having to pull the trigger. If Bartolo looks like the Big Sexy of old after his short hiatus, that could be all they need to see to pull the trigger. They can always turn to Kris Medlen if Bartolo flops once again. However, he just hit AAA and the other prospects at that level need more polish. They also may want to see if he can increase his value between now and the deadline.
Trade Jaime Garcia
Many have speculated this could happen. With the NL West absolutely dominating the Wild Card standings, the sad reality is the Braves will likely be selling once again. Most have thought Garcia would be a deadline deal, but his value may not get any higher. He has been the Braves’ best pitcher, and it would suck to see him go as it would likely mean the team is looking forward to the next season. The Braves may use their conundrum as an excuse to sell high now.