The hero of Game 4 of the NLCS last year caught up with 680 The Fan’s Chuck and Chernoff today and discussed several topics. Among them was his standing in the current starting rotation after the additions of Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly. To which he responded that it would “be a lot of motivation” if he were left off the Opening Day roster. You can listen to the whole interview below.
— 680 The Fan (@680TheFan) February 24, 2021
Wilson was marvelous in that Game 4 performance, putting the Braves one game away from the World Series. He dominated arguably the best offense in baseball and out-dueled this generation’s greatest pitcher in Clayton Kershaw. The now 23-year-old needed just 74 pitches to finish six innings, striking out five and allowing just one hit, which was a home run off the bat of Edwin Rios.
Atlanta’s rotation may be crowded following the additions of Smyly and Morton. Still, I can say with absolute certainty: if Bryse Wilson continues to pitch like he did in that memorable performance against the Dodgers, he will be a member of the major-league rotation, even if the Braves have to use a six-man rotation for most of the year.
In the spring, Smyly, Wilson, and Kyle Wright will likely be battling for two spots. Mike Soroka hopes to be ready for Opening Day, but I would be pretty shocked if the Braves didn’t ease him into things and let him begin the year on the IL as he recovers from the torn Achilles that he suffered last August. Whoever loses — unless it is Smyly — will probably begin the season in Gwinnett. When Soroka returns, another one of them could be subject to AAA. However, Smyly has some experience in the bullpen, and as I said earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves opted to use a six-man rotation for a portion of the season — at least until they figure out who the best five starting arms are.
It’s a fantastic problem to have, and one Brian Snitker probably isn’t used to. Last year’s rotation was a revolving door of misfits outside of Max Fried and Ian Anderson. Now, Atlanta has seven legit major-league-ready starters.