The Braves have made it publicly known that their biggest priority as the trade deadline approaches is adding pitching.
Now, bringing in a veteran may be what is best for a young Braves pitching staff that is dealing with a handful of injuries. After all, look what happened when the Astros brought in Justin Verlander last season. However, the Braves have some internal options that could give this team a playoff push in AAA in Kolby Allard and Touki Toussaint.
Allard has had a chance to get more conditioning down in AAA, as he has spent the entirety of the campaign with the Stripers. The organization kept the former first rounder in AA for all of 2017, so perhaps they plan to keep him down for a full season. However, they were much more aggressive with his classmate, Mike Soroka. Allard has shown that he is ready, and if not, he is close. The 20-year old has a 2.80 ERA in 18 starts and should be the next man up for Atlanta.
However, he has not been nearly as dominant in AAA as Touki Toussaint, though it is a small sample size. Now, we may not see him for a while in Atlanta simply due to the fact that he has only made three starts. However, it seems to be coming together for Touki, one of the finest projects of the minor league system in recent memory. He has only given up 4 runs in these first 3 starts. When the Braves brought him in, Touki was inconsistent. We scouted him for a game back in Rome, and it was clear that if he could ever put things together, his plus pitches (fastball and curveball) could propel him to becoming a frontline starter. It seems as if this is the culmination of all his hard work and dedication.
The Braves should absolutely be doing their due diligence on the trade market, and as previously stated, experience matters for a team looking to make a push. However, Alex Anthopolous will have to think nice and hard before he gives up assets for another starter because he could easily have a more talented one waiting in the wings. The bullpen should be the main priority above all and should be the most cost-effective way to add to the team. We will see what happens within the next week.