The trade deadline is just around the corner, and it is still unknown if the Braves will be buyers or sellers. Regardless, their starting pitching has actually been a strength of the team, while the bullpen and offense have largely fallen short. There has been a reason for optimism. Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, and Huascar Ynoa have all looked fantastic in limited action, but the latter two are missing significant time with injury. We’re likely to see Muller back after the All Star Break, but the focus of the article isn’t on these guys. If the Braves deal Charlie Morton, Drew Smyly, or both at the trade deadline, they have an opportunity to do something that should have been done a long time ago.
John Smoltz had a 5.48 ERA and a 2-7 record as a rookie in 1988. That same year, Tom Glavine lost 17 games and had an ERA over 4.50 for the second straight season. Not saying those three are future HOFers, but Twitter would have tore two actual HOFers apart if it was around. https://t.co/CaPZZtTLTl
— SportsTalkATL Jake (@cantguardjake) July 14, 2021
Touki Toussaint is back after Ian Anderson was added to the IL. Since getting touched up in his first rehab start with Gwinnett in July, Toussaint has settled in nicely. Touki has only allowed five hits, two earned runs, and four walks over his past 12 innings, and he’s struck out 18 batters. I think he may serve best in a bullpen role, but the club needs to see what they have in him, especially with the bullpen being ineffective at times. He could easily take over Josh Tomlin or Edgar Santana‘s role. With Ian Anderson hitting the 10-Day IL, Touki should get at least one start.
Bryse Wilson looked like he may have turned a corner towards the end of last year, but he has been touched up in six starts in 2021. Wilson still had a nice June; he only gave up three earned runs over two starts spanning 12.2 innings. But most importantly, he only walked two batters.
Kyle Wright has not been the guy Braves fans expected when he was drafted fifth overall. He has all of the tools, but he just looks unprepared at times. He has been blasted in his only two starts this season, but there is a common theme with all of these young arms.
I don’t believe shuffling these players back and forth between Gwinnett and Atlanta is doing them any good. At some point, you have to figure out what these guys are made of, or trade them. It doesn’t even have to be a rotational role, maybe letting them feel things out in the bullpen would be helpful. Something isn’t clicking, but I’d rather know now in a season that has been a disaster than continue to just wait and see if they become something special one day. Tell the guys their spot is safe until 2021 ends, pitch them regularly, and see what you have. It can’t be any worse than what the Braves are working with right now.