The Atlanta Braves were mainly known for their dynamic starting pitching staff in the 1990s. In every year from 1991-2007 (with the exception of 2003), the Braves had at least one pitcher top 4.0 fWAR, according to Fangraphs. And that run of pitching wasn't powered solely by Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, as Tim Hudson, Jaret Wright, Kevin Millwood, John Burkett, Denny Neagle, and Steve Avery also cleared the four win mark during that run in the 1990s. But things have been a bit different over the last five seasons. Atlanta has had just two four win seasons from starters in the last five years: Javier Vazquez in 2009, and Tommy Hanson in 2010.
Including 2013, only four Braves starters have cracked 100 starts since 2008. The only one still with the club is Tim Hudson, who will be a free agent at the end of the year. Hudson is also the only Braves pitcher to top 10.0 fWAR since 2008, and of the six pitchers aside from Hudson that have amassed at least 6.0 fWAR, four are no longer with the team, one is the team's dominant closer (Craig Kimbrel), and one is a player who has made just 37 starts and accrued a third of his value as a reliever (Kris Medlen). To say that there's a different era in Braves baseball right now is a huge understatement.
However, one pitcher is beginning to stand out from the pack in Atlanta. He was overshadowed in the second half last year by Medlen, but was pretty awesome himself after putting together a 2.16 ERA and 1.8 fWAR in 87 1/3 innings over 14 starts. This year, he's chipped in another 0.7 fWAR in 45 2/3 innings over seven starts while posting a 2.96 ERA. From the All-Star Break last season into this year, he's struck out 104 and walked just 24 in 133 innings with a 2.44 ERA. Because of all that, it's starting to look like Mike Minor is going to be the next Braves pitcher.no comments