Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that right-hander Julio Teheran will start Opening Day for the Braves when they take on the Brewers on March 31.
Kris Medlen was originally expected to get the call for the Braves, but he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week, leaving Teheran as the obvious choice for the assignment. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t officially announced the rest of his rotation, but Alex Wood, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale are the expected names. Ervin Santana could make his season debut on April 9 while Mike Minor should be ready to come off the disabled list by the second half of April.
Teheran, 23, posted a 3.20 ERA and 170/45 K/BB ratio over 185 2/3 innings last season and finished fifth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He agreed to a six-year, $34.2 million extension with the Braves last month.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.