What Happened To Braves Rotation?
Last winter it looked like the Braves would have the best pitching staff in the National League after adding Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami to their roster.
Now that the season has started their best pitcher has been Jair Jurrjens who with his 2.01 ERA is allowing almost two fewer runs a game than Lowe who has an ERA of 3.98. He has one fewer wins than Lowe but has not had a bad start this season.
Lowe has a 4-1 record but has a 6.17 ERA in May despite winning both starts. He was fortunate to win a game against the Marlins in which he allowed six runs to score in five innings.
Vazquez defeated the Phillies yesterday to even his record at 3-3 and a 3.88 ERA. Vazquez is sixth among active players in strikeouts with 2072 strikeouts. By the time he retires he should be the active leader in strikeouts since the players ahead of him are 37 and up while he is only 32.
Kenshin Kawakami has been a major disappointment for the Braves. He defeated the Nationals in his first start but hasn’t won since then. The Braves aren’t paying him $8.3 million this season to have a 1-4 record and a 6.41 ERA. He will be starting against the Phillies today so he will be tested by a very good hitting team.
Jo-Jo Reyes pressed into being the fifth starter when Tom Glavine was unable to start the season has been consistently bad except for one start against the Cardinals in which he allowed one run in seven innings but didn’t receive a decision.
Reyes was 3-11 last season and hasn’t won a game since June 13 of last season.
I look for the Braves to call up Tommy Hanson at some point this season and when Tim Hudson returns later this season he will add more depth to the rotation. Reyes will probably sent back to the minors and Kawakami may be sent to the bullpen if Hudson and Hanson returns.
The Braves need to make some moves soon since they need to improve on their 14-16 record. They are only 2 1/2 games behind the first place Mets and Marlins in the NL East. However they are only three games ahead of the Nationals who are the worst team in the NL.
After today’s game with the Phillies they travel to New York to take on the Mets who are 7-3 in their last ten games. They will be on the Monday night ESPN game and will be facing the best pitcher in baseball Johan Santana and will send Derek Lowe to the mound so that should be a good matchup.