It was announced, as it was already presumed, that Julio Teheran would make his 6th consecutive Opening Day start for the Atlanta Braves. This start will make Julio tied with Warren Spahn for the most Opening Day starts for any Braves pitcher.
This start comes about from necessity rather than skill or performance with the Atlanta Braves best pitcher Mike Foltynewicz still sidelined. Nevertheless, Julio will now make more Opening Day starts than John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Tim Hudson, but Julio is nowhere close to the ability or production of any of those former Braves pitchers.
Teheran will go down as the franchise leader in Opening Day starts, but that doesn’t mean he’s even sniffing the top ten of the Braves best pitchers. Take away the “Big 3” from the 1990s and Teheran would still struggle to make the list. Julio has been a very serviceable starter for the Braves, starting 30 games or more for the Braves in each of the last 6 seasons.
He’s an innings eater, which is fine, but Teheran was projected to be so much more for the Braves. It feels funny to say Teheran has once ranked the top prospect in the Braves organization by Baseball America, but it’s the truth. Those days are long gone, and now the Braves would be happy to off Teheran to make room for the young arms in the pipeline. Teheran never lived up to those expectations, but the Braves did get a good, sometimes frustrating pitcher.
The Braves are opening up the season in Philadelphia. This is good news for Julio Teheran. The four opponents the Braves play most often, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, and Phillies, Julio’s career-best record comes in Philadelphia. This is surprising considering the rate of home runs hit at Citizens Bank Ballpark and Julio’s tendency to give up more fly balls than ground balls. Teheran’s career ERA is 3.11 in the Phillies ballpark, which is about a half a run less than his career ERA.
This is good news for the Braves and Teheran that they will be starting the season in Philadelphia after taking a glance at the numbers. The only wrinkle, the Phillies new, bolstered lineup led by Bryce Harper. The Phillies are considerably better this season. The biggest challenge will be navigating through this deep, deadly Phillies lineup.
Julio Teheran will now be in Braves history books for the rest of time as the starter with the most Opening Day starts. Does this say more about Teheran’s consistency or about this period of Braves baseball?
I think it says more about where the Braves are as a franchise, but that’s no disrespect to Teheran as a pitcher. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his time as a Brave, and hope it continues. But I have been disappointed over the lack of success Teheran has been able to have with the team. Teheran has yet to win 15 games in any of his seasons as a starter. That stat sums up everything we need to know about Teheran’s time with the Braves.
That’s pretty incredible considering the amount of time and starts he has had with the Braves. Regardless of the success, he has had with the team, he’s a record holder now. I hope he enjoys his Opening Day start in Philadelphia this season. I have a feeling it’s going to be his last for the Braves.