Over his past 46 starts, Julio Teheran has thrown 259.1 innings that have resulted in a 4.34 ERA/5.05 FIP. His velocity has been well documented as all over the place. He’s sitting on a decent chunk of change next season ($11.167M according to Cot’s), and he’s a pitcher.
Teheran is also a born and bred Brave, signing with the team at 16 and rising through the system as one of its best prospects before establishing himself as a reliable starting pitcher and signing a team friendly long-term extension. That extension expires after next season, though the Braves do hold a $12M option for his services in 2020.
And if you haven’t gotten the hint by now, no I do not believe the Braves should pick up that option. In fact, I don’t even think the Braves should be the ones who have to make that call.
Of course, Julio threw 6 no-hit innings yesterday, allowing just 3 walks and 11 strikeouts, so naturally, there are at least a few readers fuming right now at their screen. But beating up on teams like the Padres is exactly what Juilo does… for the most part. Of his 14 starts in 2018, Julio has thrown 7 against teams with records above .500, and 7 with a record of .500 or below. The results may not shock you.
Imagine if he hadn’t faced the Mets so many times to start the season. The narrative around Julio’s struggles last season was that he did not pitch well at SunTrust Park. Which is true, but it was really only a talking point to distract from the bigger problems. Let’s see those home and road splits in 2018.
Alex Anthopoulos’ manipulation of the 10-day disabled list was one of the first pieces to grace the halls of 755 Battery Ave, and it’s basically a prophecy at this point. Josh clearly breaks down how this is a fantastic strategy, and it has allowed the Braves to keep their starters rested and for the most part effective.
Brandon McCarthy and Julio are the only two members of the rotation with significant money attached to them. If the Braves are going to compete in the playoffs, they’re going to need to address holes at 3B, the bench, and the bullpen, and there’s plenty of indication that apparently Liberty Media isn’t going to open up the couch cushions. McCarthy has been better than his ERA would indicate, but his contract expires at the end of the year, which gives Julio yet another selling point, alongside his durability and age. McCarthy has also shown a willingness to go to the bullpen and has had previous experience there, which could work out considering the club just sent Luiz Gohara back to AAA.
The Braves currently have amassed one of the biggest stables of young pitching talent in history. Just take a look at the list of Braves who have started a game this season:
Lucas Sims, who started 10 pretty awful games for the Braves last season, has also been on the roster a couple of times this season, although he has yet to make a start. Kolby Allard also waits in the wings at AAA Gwinnett.
The Braves rebuilt around pitching and they are finally seeing the results. But even with a theoretical 7 man rotation, the Braves are currently at capacity, especially if a bullpen acquisition is made at the deadline. Julio is only getting older and more expensive, and although his peak value has come and gone, the Braves are running out of room and time to let Julio try to salvage his stuff. It may not be the easiest move, and it may not please the fans, but it’s time to move on from Julio Teheran.