Braves: Brian Snitker hints at “dead arms” as reason for Sean Newcomb’s struggles

newcomb 2020

Sean Newcomb was the prized prospect that the Braves landed when they shipped Andrelton Simmons to Los Angeles, and before long, he was dazzling on the major-league stage. Halfway through the 2018 season, it looked as if he was on his way to becoming a staple at the top of the Braves rotation. He posted an 8-2 record with a 2.71 ERA through the first three months of the season. Then came the struggles.

Outside of an outing against the Dodgers, in which Newcomb came one out away from a no-hitter, he was erratic, posting a 5.45 ERA over the final three months. In the blink of an eye, Newk went from one of the key pieces to the Braves rotation to a guy who would fight for a spot in Spring Training. It was a fight he would lose too, but Newcomb did make the most of a miserable situation, moving to the bullpen, where he seemed to find his footing. Unfortunately, that success was short-lived as well.

The Braves tried him out as a starter again in 2020, which failed abysmally. Then they tried to put him back in the bullpen last year, and that didn’t work either. At this point, Newcomb’s on his last straw in Atlanta… literally. He’s out of options, so if he doesn’t make the roster out of Spring Training, he’ll be finding a new home, and so far, he’s not on the right track.

In five appearances, Newcomb has walked five batters and allowed four earned runs. So naturally, Snitker was asked about his standing with the team, to which Snit had an interesting response.

I definitely believe it will take several pitchers a little longer than usual to get back up to speed due to the abbreviated Spring Training, which could save Newcomb out of camp. It’s never been a question about his stuff, but eventually, he needs to start showing some substantial progress, or the Braves will have to move on. Despite the poor start to his Spring, I still think there’s a chance Newk survives, but he won’t make it to May if he doesn’t turn things around.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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