Braves: Jared Shuster shows he’s not quite ready through two starts

ECJ230402006 ATL WAS

The Braves have only lost two games this season, and it’s no coincidence that Jared Shuster has started both of them. The 2020 first-round pick out of Wake Forrest put together a nice season across AA-AAA last year and followed it up with a Spring Training where he looked nearly unhittable. However, I constantly remind people to take pre-season results with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to young pitchers that have never made their MLB debut. Shuster may only have two starts under his belt after last night, but it’s already overwhelmingly apparent he’s not major-league ready.

In Shuster’s first outing, the Nationals jumped on him with a couple of hits to start the game, but it was his control that really plagued him. He walked two guys with the bases loaded in a four-run first inning, which the Braves could never recover from. Shuster did follow up that inning with 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, but similar problems arose in his start versus the Padres.

The 24-year-old southpaw’s issues began with a walk to Juan Soto. An infield single from Manny Machado followed by a double off the bat of Nelson Cruz led to the Padres first run of the game. That is the kind of stuff the Braves can live with. It’s the two walks that came after, which led to San Diego’s second run, that cannot be tolerated at the major-league level.

Shuster would go on to finish four innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks. It was another unacceptable performance in terms of his command, and frankly, he’s lucky he hasn’t given up even more runs with the amount of free passes he’s handed out in each start.

Control and handling adversity when runners get on base are two things I look at very closely when it comes to young pitchers. It’s usually not difficult to tell whether a guy is ready for the moment. Shuster has shown already that he still needs some seasoning. I would be surprised if he made another start for the Braves anytime soon.

Photo: Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire

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