Braves: Who will replace Kyle Wright in the rotation?

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The Braves just can’t seem to avoid the injury bug. Right when they finally start to get healthy, another guy goes down, and the latest is Kyle Wright. He suffered a shoulder injury, which forced him to leave last night in the middle of the third inning. It’s the same issue that caused him to miss Spring Training and the beginning of the season. The Braves are placing him on the 15-day IL, and given this is a reoccurring issue, he’ll probably miss quite a bit more time than that, meaning someone will have to take his place in the rotation for the time being, and there is no obvious answer.

Dylan Dodd

Dodd will make his way to Miami to start tomorrow for the Braves, so he will have an opportunity to audition for the open spot. He began the year in the rotation and looked marvelous in his MLB debut, tossing five innings of one-run ball against the Cardinals. That success, however, was short-lived. In his next start against the Padres, Dodd was shelled, allowing seven earned runs on ten hits over 4.1 innings. He was optioned to Gwinnett soon after, where he’s had mixed results.

Over three starts, Dodd owns a 4.91 ERA, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. He dominated in his first outing, going 5.2 innings and allowing no runs with eight strikeouts. He was also very impressive in his second start, surrendering just two runs on four hits over six innings. However, Dodd found some trouble his last time out and only made it through three innings while allowing six earned runs on six hits.

In terms of aggressiveness, I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of Dodd. He’s not afraid to attack batters, and as Bryce Elder has shown, that’s a good trait to have as a young pitcher. With that being said, I’m not quite sure Dodd’s repertoire is ready to be a permanent figure in the rotation.

Jared Shuster

Shuster also began the year in the rotation alongside Dylan Dodd, but he left a much more sour impression. His stuff wasn’t great, but more importantly, he was extremely timid, walking nine batters in 8.2 innings over two starts. That’s not going to cut it at the major-league level, and the same issues have bothered him since being optioned to Gwinnett. Despite a more than respectable 3.46 ERA, Shuster has walked 10 batters in 13 innings. He’s also given up 13 hits. It’s almost a miracle he hasn’t allowed more than five earned runs with a 1.769 WHIP. Perhaps the Braves give him another shot, but nothing he’s done since Spring Training makes me believe he’s ready for the majors.

Michael Soroka

I really think the decision comes down to Dodd or Soroka, and it probably will hinge on what Dodd shows the Braves tonight. If he pitches well, they will probably roll with him for at least another start or two. But if he doesn’t, I have to imagine we see Soroka in his place sometime next week. The Maple Maddux has had some control issues and was lit up his last time out in Gwinnett, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits in just three innings. However, before that, he was boasting a 1.32 ERA through three starts, and his stuff looked excellent. Most importantly, Soroka is healthy and stretched out. That should be enough to earn an opportunity unless Dodd shoves tonight. Among the three options, there’s no question that Soroka has the best stuff, and it’s about time we see him back in Atlanta.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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