Ken Rosenthal on the Braves biggest weakness

MLB: MAY 08 Red Sox at Orioles

The Braves don’t have many weaknesses, if any, coming into the season. For my money, this is the best Braves roster ever assembled. An argument could be made that they have the best lineup, rotation, and bullpen in all of baseball. At the very least, they are top three in every category.

But don’t tell MLB insider Ken Rosenthal that. Despite the additions of Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez, he remains hesitant that the Braves rotation will hold up for 162 games and into the postseason.

Rosenthal’s biggest concern is the health, which is valid. Max Fried has had several minor injuries over his career, especially when it comes to blisters, and missed several months last season with elbow discomfort. Then, there’s Chris Sale, who hasn’t stayed healthy over an entire season in five years.

If both of those guys go down, the Braves could find themselves in a similar position as last year, but I would argue you could say the same thing about any rotation. Pitching injuries are rampant these days; every team suffers from them at some point in the season.

What makes this year’s Braves rotation so special is the depth. With Chris Sale in the fold, the Braves have the best 1-4 in baseball. It’s not even debatable when they are all healthy, and the guys behind those four are no slouches.

Reynaldo Lopez has some real upside. Bryce Elder was an All-Star last season, and he’s beginning the year in AAA. AJ Smith-Shawver is one of the bright pitching prospects in the game. Hurston Waldrep is as well, and don’t forget about Ian Anderson, who should start ramping up baseball activities here soon.

The Braves rotation features loads of star power, but it also is as deep as any team in baseball. They have a legitimate nine arms that could walk out on the field tomorrow and give the team a chance to win.

I’m not sure why Ken Rosenthal is so down on Atlanta’s rotation. Health is a concern for every pitching staff going into the season. If an ace goes down, it’s going to be tough to pick up the slack. Teams don’t just have five All-Stars starting every five days. Well, except for the Braves, who have five starting pitchers that have made an All-Star team since 2018 on their 40-man roster.

This is the best rotation Atlanta has had since their run of division titles began in 2018, and it’s not even close. The Braves rotation will be a strength in 2024, not what holds them back, as Rosenthal suggests.

Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

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