The Braves released their probable starters for this weekend’s series against the Giants, and to the surprise of anyone who has been watching the Braves for the last month, Yonny Chirinos will get yet another start on Saturday.
Braves starters for the series versus San Francisco this weekend:
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 16, 2023
For the life of me, I can’t understand why they keep throwing Chirinos out there. The only argument I see being made is “he’s just eating some innings,” to which I have multiple rebuttals.
First off, what are these innings you’re talking about Chirinos eating? Every fifth day, he trots out to the mound like a lamb for slaughter. Over the past seven games, the Braves starters have given up a total of two runs. Well, except for Yonny Chirinos of course, who gave up six in Sunday night’s loss to the Mets and failed to make it out of the fifth inning. In four starts, Chirinos has only pitched 18.1 innings. He’s never made it past the fifth inning in a single start. So again, what innings is he eating?
Beyond that, did Allan Winans and Michael Soroka die and go to heaven? These guys are totally capable of eating innings, and they actually have the potential to be contributors for the Braves in the future. Winans tossed seven scoreless against the Mets over the weekend with nine strikeouts and was rewarded with a pleasant option back to AAA. Soroka just turned in one of his best pitching performances of the season in Gwinnett, tossing a seven-inning complete game shutout, allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts. Both of these guys are infinitely more talented than Chirinos and have produced better at the major-league level this year.
I said when the Braves signed Chirinos that it made little sense. The guy just isn’t good, and it makes even less sense today. So, I have come up with two theories as to why he’s still on the roster — and trust me — I’m aware they make absolutely no sense, but neither does keeping Chirinos on the roster.
The first is the Braves think they can fix everybody. Seemingly everyone that comes to Atlanta turns into a different ballplayer, so the Braves think they can do the same with Chirinos. It’s not going to happen, but when you’ve done it so many times, you begin to think you are infallible.
The other theory is Alex Anthopoulos is just keeping the Braves’ offense on their toes. It’s like the opposite feeling of when an ace is toeing the rubber. The lineup knows they are going to need 7+ to win, and to this point, it’s working. The Braves are averaging nine runs per game when Chirinos is on the mound, winning three out of four.
In truth, your guess is as good as mine as to why Chirinos is still around. The results have been piss-poor, his peripherals make my eyes hurt, the stuff isn’t much better, he doesn’t eat innings, and the Braves have better and younger options. If this were a comedy, I would be laughing.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire