Ever since the Braves lost Mike Soroka for the season on Monday, aside from a feeling of pure devastation, there has also been the anticipation of which young arm would fill in for him, or if Brian Snitker might turn to the bullpen for an answer to the rotations woes. The Braves kept it to the vest for a while, but after tonight’s 5-0 loss in the series opener to the Phillies, Snitker pronounced Huascar Ynoa as tomorrow’s starter in Game 1 of their double-header with Philadelphia.
Snitker said Huascar Ynoa will start tomorrow's first game.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 9, 2020
Ynoa sort of came out of nowhere last year, beginning the season in A+ ball and ending it in AAA, with a stop in Atlanta in between. He made his major league debut, appearing two times but had a bloated 18.00 ERA in just three innings. Both of those outings came out of the bullpen, though. He’s yet to make his first start.
That will all change tomorrow. We currently have Ynoa ranked 12th on our list of top Braves prospects. Fangraphs has him ranked 16th. His repertoire primarily consists of a fastball and slider, but his heater sits in the high-90s and can touch 100. In his two appearances for the Braves last year, his average fastball was 97.6. He also has a changeup that he’ll mix in around 5% of the time. Here is what Brian Snitker had to say about him making his first start.
Snitker said he simply told Ynoa, "You're starting the game" and that he hopes he'll go in with mindset of "win the inning." Said all of the #Braves' relievers will be available tomorrow after Friday rainout and Wright going 6 inn. today. Only used 2 relievers, Dayton and Sobotka
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 9, 2020
Ynoa is certainly not the player many were expecting to earn the next opportunity in the rotation. But with the upside he brings to the table, why not? At this point, the Braves don’t have much to lose by sending any of their talented young arms out for a start. And if he looks like he can handle the pressure, there’s no reason the Braves shouldn’t see if it is sustainable.
Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire