From start to finish, the Braves controlled Game 1 of the World Series over the Astros. They scored in each of the first three innings, totaling five runs, and never looked back, finishing off Houston by a score of 6-2. However, perhaps the even bigger story is the injury to Charlie Morton, who left the game in the third inning after fracturing his fibula. The crazy part about it is, the injury actually occurred in the inning prior, and Morton proceeded to to get three more outs, including a strikeout of Jose Altuve with a broken fibula before leaving with intolerable pain. The Braves have already announced him out for the remainder of the World Series, opening up a roster spot, so who is the best option to replace Morton?
Webb has had a rollercoaster of a season. After an awful start, he was electric to begin September before ending the season on a poor note. Webb appeared twice against the Dodgers in the postseason, allowing four earned runs over 1.2 innings. For that reason, I doubt the Braves turn back to him, especially since they probably need to add an arm that can give them a bit more depth, given Morton was arguably their best starter.
After returning from an early season injury, Toussaint had great success in his first eight appearances (seven starts), posting a 3.60 ERA. However, as has been the case for his entire career thus far, consistency was the issue. In his final three starts before he was removed from the rotation, Toussaint made it through just ten innings and recorded a 8.10 ERA. In a perfect world, we would never have to see Toussaint pitch in a World Series game, but this is far from a perfect world. The Braves are desperate, and Toussaint has the upside to give the Braves a chance to win if he’s on his A-game.
Of all the candidates on this list, Tomlin is the one I find the least likely to be added to the roster. However, I included him because I can’t completely rule it out. The organization is familiar with where each one of these young arms are at. If they don’t trust any of them to throw strikes or give them some length, they could turn to the veteran Tomlin. Again though, I would be shocked if they went in this direction.
If it were my choice, I would probably roll with Muller. His control is worrisome, especially against a team like the Astros that is so willing to take their walks, so that might take him out of contention. However, he’s one of the only guys on this list that has shown he can shut teams down, even if it’s only for 4-5 innings. Over a six start stretch from June 21st to July 31st, Muller recorded a 1.88 ERA and 3.07 FIP with 32 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.
Strider rocketed through the Braves system in his first professional season, making his MLB debut in the final series against the Mets. He looked pretty good doing it, too, even collecting his first major-league win. Strider’s fastball that can touch triple digits and wicked slider are exciting to think about, but I feel like the Braves would have already included him on the roster by now if they ever were going to.
Davidson was placed on the 60-day IL in late June, and I’m not sure if he’s fit to return to the mound, but David O’Brien of The Athletic seems to think he is an option.
Davidson, Toussaint, Tomlin if he's healthy enough. Not sure what RichRod or Muller's been doing. https://t.co/66r0SwSAPm
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 27, 2021
If he is indeed healthy, I could see the Braves rolling with him. He was dominant early on in Gwinnett and looked great in limited innings with the Braves. Plus, outside of Josh Tomlin, he’s the best of the bunch at throwing strikes.