Solid column today from the AJC’s Mark Bradley noting the demotion of Tyrell Jenkins, the third Braves starter sent down in two months. Jenkins’ struggles weren’t a surprise to those who closely examined his minor league numbers, but Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair were counted on to perform ably this season and beyond.
Wisler, who was promising if not overwhelming as a big-league starter last year, got worse the more he worked in Year 2. (Per Baseball-Reference, his ERA as of June 1 was 3.16. As of July 1, it was 4.14. As of July 28, it was 5.16.) Blair came up in April, was sent back and then recalled — and was awful the whole time. (In 50 2/3 innings, he had 29 strikeouts against 29 walks.)
Developing pitchers hasn’t exactly been pitching coach Roger McDowell’s strong suit. Julio Teheran is the only one who’s blossomed while avoiding injury. Will Carroll, a writer who tracks baseball injuries, said McDowell and the organization deserves blame for that, too.
“You almost never see a guy having a second Tommy John inside five years, and they had two … What more sign from the heavens do you need? They’ve been good at finding them and getting them to (the major-league) level. They’ve had super prospects (such as Tommy Hanson and Mike Minor) — they get there, and then they break … I don’t like to point the finger from outside, but everything’s pointing to Roger McDowell.”
I suspect McDowell’s on shaky ground. I have no idea whether he’s to blame for all the injuries and the struggles of prospects like Wisler and Blair but he’s been here 10 years. It’s time for a new voice.
Inciarte 8, Garcia 5, Freeman 3, Kemp 7, Markakis 9, Flowers 2, Peterson 4, Swanson 6, Folty 1