Is it time for the Braves to call up Hurston Waldrep?

Hurston Waldrep Braves

A frustrating start to the Braves 2024 campaign continued on Wednesday afternoon in a 9-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The offense, which had begun to show some signs of life, was held to just one hit, as the revolving door at the back of the rotation continued to rotate.

Spencer Schwellenbach was on the bump for the Braves, making just the second start of his career. In his first outing against the Nationals, he showed a lot of promise, going five innings and allowing three runs on five hits with six strikeouts. However, his outing against Boston suggests he may need a bit more seasoning before he’s ready to pitch every five days at the major-league level. The Red Sox jumped on him early, scoring three runs in the second inning, and chased him in the fifth with three more.

The Braves have yet to announce what their plans are next week, but one can imagine they’ll be calling up someone else to make a start in Spencer Schwellenbach’s place. It could be a familiar face, like Bryce Elder, Darius Vines, Allan Winans, or Dylan Dodd; or, it could be time to give another highly touted prospect a chance.

According to most prospect outlets, Hurston Waldrep is the top ranked prospect in the Braves farm system. The 2023 first-round pick got off to a shaky start to the season, but he’s rebounded splendidly. Waldrep hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in nine straight starts and has been even better of late, particularly when it comes to his swing-and-miss as well as his control. In his last four starts, he has 33 strikeouts compared to just four walks, and in his first AAA start this season, he struck out 11 over six innings with just one walk.

Of course, one start in Gwinnett isn’t much of a sample size. Hurston Waldrep has made just two starts above the AA level in his professional career. Like most of the Braves arms, he could use a little more seasoning in the minors. However, the Braves don’t have a lot of inspiring options, and when it comes to stuff, nobody can compare to Hurston Waldrep. It might just be time for them to see if he can give the team something as the fifth starter. Perhaps he is the exact boost this team needs to get things churning in the right direction.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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