The Atlanta Braves have moved former starter Sean Newcomb to the bullpen. Newcomb struggled this season as a starter and has been moved to try and give the Braves pen a much needed weapon.
Moving Sean Newcomb to the bullpen is a questionable move for an Atlanta Braves bullpen that has struggled with walking hitters. Newcomb was moved to the minors and then to the pen because of his struggles with control.
So far the move has been kind to Newcomb who has looked considerably better. Still, it is a questionable move to add a starter struggling with control to a pen that is struggling with walking hitters.
Newcomb unquestionably has the stuff to pitch out of the pen. When he is at his best he is a dominant late inning option that would give the Braves reliable outs.
Keeping him out of the rotation, however, in favor of Kevin Gausman or Julio Teheran (both of whom have considerably less upside) isn’t the Braves best move.
The move points to the fact the Braves are struggling early this season unable to find any consistency out of their bullpen.
Newcomb appears to have bounced back from his rough start and will give the Braves value out of the bullpen. This still doesn’t fix the Braves depth issues, however, in the rotation or the bullpen.
They lack a true frontline starter or reliable late inning relief options. Until they are willing to trade or sign players to improve the current roster their struggles will continue.
The Braves impressive lineup can only carry a bad pitching staff so far. Luckily for Atlanta their division is off to a slow start giving them a chance to address their roster issues and get back into the division race. More to come as the Braves season continues.