Braves: The Yonny Chirinos experiment needs to end

MLB: JUL 28 Brewers at Braves

The acquisition of Yonny Chirinos was something that never made any sense when it happened, and Braves fans now have a good idea of why I thought that initially.

Sure, Chirinos’ surface level numbers were not abysmal for the Rays. He posted a respectable 4.02 ERA over 15 appearances (four starts), but the Braves are a club that relies heavily on analytics. It’s one of the primary reasons they are consistently able to find value in underachieving players that aren’t even on the radar of other teams.

From an analytical perspective, the writing was on the wall for Chirinos. He’s been among the worst pitchers in baseball in nearly every category.

Not to mention, the eye test isn’t doing him any favors either. I mean no disrespect to Chirinos, but let’s just call a spade a spade.

“This man was a bonafide scrub; he can’t play,” as Stephen A. Smith once said.

But what made the acquisition of Chirinos even more puzzling is the Braves have options that can pitch every fifth day. They haven’t exactly been stellar in that role, but they’ve been more effective than Chirinos, and they have far more upside to potentially contribute to this team when it matters most in the postseason.

The options I’m talking about are Michael Soroka and AJ Smith-Shawver. Soroka owns a 5.52 ERA over six appearances this season (five starts), but his second stint with the team was much more encouraging, going 2-0 with a 4.12 ERA over his last four appearances. Again, it’s not stellar, but it’s far better than what Chirinos brings to the table, and there’s also a chance that he finds the magic that once made him one of the best pitchers in the National League.

Smith-Shawver has been a far better option for the Braves than Chirinos as well. In five appearances (four starts), he owns a 4.57 ERA, and like Soroka, there’s legitimate upside that could help the Braves down the road if he can build some confidence.

In truth, the Braves probably have 4-5 other guys in the minors that are more deserving than Chirinos, who boasts an unsightly 8.56 ERA over three starts with the team.  I know they have their reasons for keeping them on the farm rather than bringing them up to the show, but I’m not sure I can stand watching Chirinos jog back out to the mound for another start. It was never a good idea to begin with, and there’s no reason to see him get battered again before cutting ties.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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