Teheran keeps dealing

We  came into Spring Training hoping Julio Teheran could hold his own as a 5th starter. He’s done that and more rediscovering the form that made him one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

Today’s line: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K’s

I know, the games don’t count, but would you rather have the Teheran of 2012 who gave up six homers in his Spring Training debut?

Julio Teheran returning to form?

The Braves top prospect isn’t all the way back, but there’s signs of progress. On Aug. 14 he pitched 8 dazzling innings, striking out nine and allowing just one run. He repeated those numbers Saturday night, though in his previous start he didn’t make it out of the third, allowing 7 runs. Don’t be surprised if he’s in the parent club’s rotation next April.

J.R. Graham may not be far behind. The 2011 4th round draft pick, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 100 MPH, has put together an impressive season: 12 wins, 2.71 ERA, 1.049 WHIP. And he’s pitched even better since his promotion to Mississippi, raising his K/9 IP from 6.0 to 8.5 and lowering his H/9 IP from 7.7 to 6.5 in 8 starts. At 6’0 and 185 pounds he doesn’t have the build of your typical power pitcher but otherwise there’s little separating him from the game’s best mound prospects.

The most anticipated debut since Avery

It’s generally agreed that Julio Teheran has more potential than any Braves-grown pitcher since Steve Avery. Certainly there was a lot of buzz around Tommy Hanson’s first start, but mmmBop was a late-blooming prospect. We’ve been hearing about Teheran since he signed as a 16-year-old out of Colombia. So far he’s lived up to the hype.

Let’s hope his baptism goes better than Avery’s (2-1/3 IP, 8 HA, 8 ER, 3 BB).

Or Glavine’s (3-2/3 IP, 10 HA, 6 ER, 5 BB).

Or Hanson’s (6 IP, 6 HA, 6 ER, including 3 homers).

Kevin Millwood won his debut, though he was coming out of the ‘pen in relief of Chris Brock. While not in the same class as the other prospects mentioned, Kyle Davies had one of the best first starts, in Fenway, no less (5 IP, 4 HA, 0 ER, 6 K’s). I’d gladly take that kind of outing from Teheran.

Even better would be a replica of Smoltzie’s first game (8 IP, 4 HA, 1 BB, 1 ER).

Teheran to start Saturday, and some bad news

According to Bowman.

He’ll debut in a Fox prime time game, starting at 7 p.m. Teheran vs. Oswalt. I’m surprised Minor, who’s been pitching great, didn’t get the call, especially with the Phils’ lefty-laden line-up. Very glad the Braves decided against pitching Hanson on three days rest — wonder if FW stepped in? JJ will be bumped to Sunday.

In other news …

A slumping Jay Hey gets the night off tonight. Joe Mather gets the start instead and will hit 7th, with Gonzo moving to the 2-hole. Makes sense, with a tough lefty (Cliff Lee) on the mound.

Looks like Petah needs back surgery. That’s a big blow. Meanwhile, Gwinnett’s best reliever, Stephen Marek, is headed for Tommy John surgery. If Teheran pitches well Saturday, might the Braves keep him up to bolster the ‘pen? If not, who pitches the 7th?