The Braves 2019 rotation is probably the biggest x-factor on the team. There is a lot of young talent present and lot of younger talent in the minors which could soon contribute, but depth and experience is a problem. It’s the sort of rotation that, on paper, if everything breaks right, could be good, but if things go wrong or if the young arms don’t develop quickly enough, could be a source of trouble for a contending team.
Speaking of things going wrong, there’s news about number one starter Mike Foltynewicz, number three starter Kevin Gausman and Luiz Gohara who, while not currently on the rotation per the depth chart, is expected to play a big role with the Braves this season:
On top of that, as we noted last week, young starter Mike Soroka, also expected to be a big contributor in 2019, has been shut down with a recurrence of shoulder problems.
The Braves, we are told, have a lot of “financial flexibility.” Someone should probably go and check if that financial flexibility can throw a breaking ball.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.