Following the Braves recent decision to option Kyle Wright to Gwinnett, they now only have two starting pitchers on their active roster — Max Fried and Touki Toussaint — and who knows how much longer they will keep rolling Toussaint out there. It looks like they might go with one of their highly touted prospects when Wright’s spot is back up in the rotation, but in the long-term, the Braves are hopeful about two of their veterans.
Cole Hamels, who is on the 45-day IL and eligible to return in early September, is scheduled to throw a bullpen next week. Now, we’ve heard this a lot with Hamels this offseason, so I’m not going to get my hopes up, but there is a chance he can make a return sometime in September when the Braves need him most.
More #Braves pitching notes per AA: Cole Hamels expected to throw bullpen next wk. "He's feeling great & we think he's really turned the corner."
Folty has gained 10lbs, they've worked to strengthen his arm & legs. Team hopes to get him in SIM gm in Gwinnett by end of month.
— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) August 21, 2020
Mike Foltynewicz is also attempting to make a comeback after the team DFA’d him following his first start of the season. His average fastball being in the high 80s was the reason for that, but Anthopoulos is hopeful the added weight will lead to an increase in his velocity.
Basically, the way Anthopoulos ended our convo was conveying–if this team can stay above water, get in the playoffs, they may be at their strongest mid/late Sept. (Acuna/Albies healthy, Hamels back, Foltynewicz at his best, possible trade deadline addition)#Braves
— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) August 22, 2020
Essentially, the plan is for the Braves to right the ship for as long as possible with what they have, hope one of their young arms pops, and then get guys like Hamels and Foltynewicz back in Septemeber. All of that happening might be a stretch, but the Braves don’t have much choice but to pray for the best right now.