It’s time for a couple of Braves arms to find new homes

newcomb 2020

Yesterday’s series opener with the Dodgers was an emotional one, but it wasn’t a very favorable matchup for the Braves, who named Huascar Ynoa the starter against Clayton Kershaw. Ynoa was coming off one of the worst outings of his major-league career, surrendering five earned runs over three innings against the Nationals. And frankly, the hard-throwing 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic hasn’t looked like the same pitcher since punching the dugout and breaking his hand in Milwaukee last season. Meanwhile, Kershaw was coming off a start in which he was potentially one Dave Roberts away from tossing a perfect game.

For the first few innings, Ynoa held his own — of course, except for the missile Freddie Freeman hit off of him in the first inning, which resulted in a home run. But other than that, Ynoa was moving along quite well… until the floodgates opened in the fourth inning. Los Angeles strung together several hits, which led to a 3-0 lead before Brian Snitker pulled the plug. It was definitely time to get Ynoa out of there, but his decision to go to Newcomb in a game that was still winnable was head-scratching, to say the least.

Predictably, Newcomb couldn’t get out of the jam. He walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases, and Trea Turner followed it up with a bases-clearing double down the left field line. Just like that, it was 6-0, and even though the Braves were able to score the next four runs unanswered, the damage was too much to overcome.

Losing an April game to the Dodgers on the road is acceptable; Chavez Ravine has always haunted the Braves. But what should no longer be considered acceptable is going to Huascar Ynoa and Sean Newcomb in meaningful situations.

Ynoa needs a stint in Gwinnett. This was a young man that looked like an All-Star before his injury last season, and he hasn’t been able to find it since. I still believe in his long-term potential, but adjustments are needed, and they are much easier to tweak in AAA than in the majors.

Newcomb is a different story. His time in the Braves organization is well past due. There’s no questioning his talent, but sometimes a change of scenery is necessary for a player to realize his full potential. To be blunt, I’m shocked he’s made it this far. Newk just hasn’t had it with the Braves, and there’s absolutely no reason they should keep giving him opportunities. Because he’s out of options, he has to be DFA’d, which will give other teams the opportunities to claim him. Given how talented Newcomb is, I’m almost positive another organization will give him a chance, but that’s a risk the Braves must take at this point.

These are two totally different scenarios, but for now, neither deserves to be on the active roster. Ynoa still has plenty of opportunities left with the organization, but last night should be the final time we see Newk don a Braves uniform.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire



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