Braves may have found their fifth starter in Spencer Schwellenbach

Braves Spencer Schwellenbach

After a red-hot weekend, the Braves bats have cooled off considerably to begin the week against the Tigers, but it hasn’t mattered. Atlanta has taken the first two of the series against Detroit, thanks almost solely to its pitching staff, which has been among the best in the majors this season. A high quality start from Max Fried is to be expected, but he was actually outdone by the rookie Spencer Schwellenbach, who toed the mound on Tuesday night at Truist Park.

The Braves #3 ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, was making his fourth start of the season, and after a shaky first couple of outings, he’s really settled down, looking the part of a major-league pitcher.

Spencer Schwellenbach was in complete control for most of the evening, showing off his wide array of offerings. The first real sign of trouble he faced was all of his own doing in the fourth inning. A couple of hit-by-pitches resulted in runners at first and second with two outs, but a flyout to end the frame prevented the Tigers from cutting into the Braves 2-0 lead.

Schwellenbach then found some more serious trouble in the six, when Riley Greene led off the inning with a triple into the right-center field gap. However, the rookie flashed the unique poise he has for such a young pitcher, limiting the damage to just one run.

Schwellenbach’s final line read: 6 innings, three hits, two walks, two HBPs, one run, and seven strikeouts. But most importantly, he earned his first win.

It was the second straight fantastic outing for Spencer Schwellenbach, who is the first person all year to really show that he wants the job as the fifth starter, and the eye test suggests it’s not a fluke. He has tremendous stuff, but it’s really his control on the mound that’s been what’s most impressive. Schwellenbach never seems to get too high or too low, and he pitches his best when he finds himself in a jam. He also doesn’t typically put himself in those jams with walks and miscues.

Who knows how the Braves are going to approach the rotation for the rest of the year. They’ve been using six guys recently and that very well might continue. Regardless, Spencer Schwellenbach has earned himself a bit of a leash. He looks like a young man that could be here to stay.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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