Tonight provides the toughest test in the 3-game series vs. the Nats. Tanner Roark’s name may not mean much to the average baseball fan, but he’s one Nationals pitcher the Braves don’t own.
In five games, three starts, Roark has held the Braves to 14 hits in 23 IP, with 6 walks and 18 K’s. That’s a 0.870 WHIP and 2.35 ERA. The 27-year-old right-hander has now logged 194 MLB innings and has a 2.54 ERA and 1.038 WHIP.
Those are numbers Aaron Harang will never see, but, ugly though it’s been, he’s given the Bravos a chance to win almost every start he’s pitched. Despite a 1.440 WHIP, Harang has a 2.88 ERA in four games since the All-Star game. He won his only start this season against the Nats, allowing one run in 6 IP.
The line-up is about the same, with 143 strikeouts leading off. Yes, he hit a homer last night but also struck out twice. BK now has a .291 OBP from the 1-hole and has been caught stealing 5 times in 12 attempts. Since the break, he’s batting .190.
And to think he was almost traded. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Braves backed out of a deal that would have sent B.J. and either Minor or Santana to an unidentified club because FW didn’t think they were getting enough in return. What did he expect? If someone was willing to take B.J.’s salary off your hands, you’ve won the deal. Giving up Minor would’ve been difficult, but I would’ve done it. Minor at his best still wouldn’t offset B.J. at his worst. If it meant conceding 2014, so be it, because as long as B.J. is here the Braves are going to be hamstrung, financially and on the field.
If Wren truly had a chance to dump B.J. and his entire salary and didn’t do it, he should be fired today. Especially if Santana, a free agent at year’s end, was the unidentified pitcher.