Julio Teheran may not be a Hall-of-Famer, but he is undoubtedly a legend in Braves country. He made his MLB debut with the club as a fresh-faced 20-year-old back in 2011, but his impact wasn’t really felt until 2013, when he finished 5th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting after posting a 3.20 ERA over 30 starts.
Teheran would go onto make two All-Star teams as a member of the Braves, serving as the club’s ace and making a franchise record six straight Opening Day starts, tying Hall-of-Famer Warren Spahn. He was with the team during the dog days of the rebuild and was one of the few players that made it out the other side, helping the Braves to NL East division titles in 2018 and 2019. However, his decline following 2019 was swift.
The Braves opted not to pick up his player option going into 2020, and Teheran landed with the Angels. On a poor pitching staff, he had a chance to establish himself as a critical piece of the rotation, but instead, he posted a 10.05 ERA over 10 appearances (nine starts) during the COVID shortened season before becoming a free agent again.
Teheran did catch on with the Tigers prior to the 2021 campaign, signing a minor-league deal and eventually made the active roster. However, after just one start, shoulder issues emerged and lingered, which eventually cost him the remainder of the season.
It seemed as if that might be the end of Teheran’s major-league career. He spent 2022 pitching in the Mexican League, but he showed enough to warrant a minor-league contract from the Padres for 2023. Teheran began this season in AAA, and the results weren’t exactly promising, going 2-2 with a 6.84 ERA. He then decided to opt-out of the deal altogether, which turned out to be the correct decision. Near the end of May, the Brewers had a desperate need for starting pitching and handed Teheran a major-league deal, a decision that’s made Milwaukee’s front office look like geniuses to this point.
On May 25th, Teheran made his return to the bigs, and did so in style, tossing five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. He then followed it up with an even better performance his next time out, allowing no runs over six innings and winning his first MLB game since April 3rd of 2021. Over three starts with the Brewers, he has already accrued 0.7 bWAR, boasting a 1.56 ERA and 0.923 WHIP in 17.1 innings.
Teheran’s successful return to the bigs in one of the best storylines going right now, and it’s amazing to think that he’s still only 32-years-old, considering he played for the Braves for nearly a decade. This is a man that was a consummate professional and ultimate competitor his entire career in Atlanta. It’s disappointing he wasn’t apart of the team that finally got to lift the trophy after everything he gave the organization. However, I couldn’t be happier that he is finding some success elsewhere and hope and it continues for the rest of the season and beyond.
Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire