After contentious discussions, the MLB lockout is over and teams have begun their spring training schedules. Opening Day has been pushed to April 14, which gives teams some extra time to finalize their rosters and rotations. In this series, TGH will be summarizing each team’s 2021 season and predicting their Opening Day pitching rotation. Here is the projected Atlanta Braves Pitching Rotation for 2022.
The Atlanta Braves ended on top of the baseball world in 2021. This was the Braves’ first championship since 1995, but not the city’s, as most forget Atlanta United FC won the MLS cup in 2018.
Brian Snitker was in his sixth year as manager of the Braves in 2021, and led the team to their fourth-straight NL East title, with a record of 88-73. They would run through the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS and the heavily-favored Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.
In the World Series, Atlanta defeated the Houston Astros, who were just a year removed from their highly-publicized cheating scandal. They closed out the series with a convincing 7-0 win. The Braves clearly have designs on going back-to-back. Here is a possible rotation for their championship defense season.
1. Max Fried
Much will be made about whether Fried or Morton should begin the Braves’ 2022 rotation, but they cannot really go wrong.
That being said, Fried went 14-7 over 28 starts with a tiny ERA of 3.07 over a total of 165.2 innings pitched. What may put him over the top to begin the rotation, though, are his defense and his offense. He won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in 2021.
2. Charlie Morton
Morton started a career high 33 games last season, fairing just better than Fried with a win-loss record of 14-6. His ERA, though, was a bit higher at 3.34. He did pitch more innings, at 185.2. The journeyman pitcher was a bit of a workhorse for the World Series champion Braves last year, and that title won’t be stripped of him at second in the rotation.
3. Ian Anderson
Entering his third year in the MLB, Ian Anderson has proven enough to earn a spot in the starting rotation. He started 24 games last year, pitching 124.1 innings, earning an ERA of 3.58. All three pitchers listed so far, by the way, have an ERA under 4.00, for those keeping track.
4. Kyle Wright
Wright only started two games last season, which ballooned his ERA to almost 10.0. That is not a fair assessment of his talent, however. A young player like him should absolutely get more work to earn this spot in the rotation. It is doubtful he will move up too much, barring injury to others, but he is a valuable asset at fourth.
5. Huascar Ynoa
Ynoa had some bad luck in the win-loss column. He started 17 games, but went just 4-6. But in his 91 innings pitched, he still put up an ERA of only 4.05. If the team provides some run support for him this year, though, this will be a dangerous last spot in the rotation.
Featured image courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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