I’m going to write about it every time the Braves send Robbie Erlin out for a start: this guy is not a rotation piece, and he’s barely even a major league pitcher.
I said it when they signed him, and my voice has only gotten louder on this topic after each outing. Since the Braves picked him off waivers from the Pirates (the fact that he was DFA’d by the Pirates tells us all we need to know), Erlin has an unsightly 6.95 ERA and has allowed seven home runs in just 18.2 innings. He hasn’t made it through more than four innings once, and outside of a scoreless four frames in his first start against the Marlins, he’s surrendered 15 earned runs in 14.2 innings. Not only does Erlin lack the kind of upside that Atlanta’s young arms possess, but he isn’t even putting up better stats.
There’s no reason Alex Anthopoulos should give him another start. In fact, if he isn’t DFA’d immediately after the game, I expect him to be sometime tomorrow.
After the trade deadline, Anthopoulos talked about how Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson have shown improvements in Gwinnett, and Mike Foltynewicz has also seen an uptick in velocity. Truthfully, I’m not sure why they ever stopped sending Wright out there in favor of Robbie Erlin and Josh Tomlin. He’s at the point in his career where it’s time for the Braves to stop babying him. He has the stuff to be successful, but nearly every pitcher experiences some bumps in their development. It’s time for Anthopoulos to let him sink or swim, something I’ve said since his first start of the season.
Even if it’s not Wright, someone on the 60-man roster has to be more deserving than Erlin. This experiment has gone on for way too long. I don’t care if it’s Wright, Toussaint, Wilson, Folty, or a new guy like Tucker Davidson; the Braves have better options. It’s unclear why they are so afraid to use them.