The Braves rotation has been a mess since the All-Star break, but they got a little bit of a break this weekend against the slumping Mets.
It wasn’t pretty for Charlie Morton in Game 1, as he walked a career-high seven batters on Friday night. Yet somehow, he finished five innings without giving up a run. That is not going to be sustainable; Morton’s control has been a real issue since the All-Star break, and there’s clearly something mechanical that needs to be fixed in his delivery. The frustration can be seen on his face throughout his outings. Thankfully, he still has six weeks to get right before the postseason.
Saturday was a breath of fresh air. Allan Winans started Game 1 of the doubleheader and tossed seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. He was brilliant and now owns a 1.59 ERA in his two major-league starts this season. There’s no question that he deserves to make at least one more appearance moving forward, and it’s very possible the Braves have found their fifth starter in the rotation.
Spencer Strider then matched Winan’s performance in the night cap. He didn’t have his best stuff but finished the outing with six strikeouts over seven scoreless innings, as the Braves swept the doubleheader by a combined score of 27-3.
On the same day, Michael Soroka also tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout down on the farm for the Stripers. It was one of his best all-around performances of the season. If the Braves need another starter, he should be next in line, because Yonny Chirinos could be designated for assignment any moment now.
The 29-year-old righty was the only Braves starter that gave up a run this weekend, allowing six to cross the plate and failing to make it out of the fifth inning. In his four starts with Atlanta, Chirinos boasts an abysmal 9.33 ERA. There’s absolutely no reason for him to be starting another game for the Braves at any point this season, and I don’t see him sticking around as a member of the bullpen either. There’s only one logical course of action, and it’s to cut ties completely.
Moving forward, I expect Winans to stay on the major-league roster, at least for one more start to see if he can continue his success against a more competent lineup. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the Braves chose to go with a six-man rotation for a few weeks to give Soroka some more run and see if he can build off his promising outing in Gwinnett. Giving some rest to Spencer Strider, Charlie Morton, and Bryce Elder down the stretch could prove incredibly beneficial.
Photo: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire