The Atlanta Braves are still early in Spring Training, however, it is already evident that Felix Hernandez deserves a roster spot. With two early strong starts he has done enough to warrant a look in the Atlanta rotation.
Coming into Spring Training the Atlanta Braves were simply gambling on Felix Hernandez. They didn’t know what they were going to get from the former Seattle ace. Early on Felix has looked as if he has turned back the clock.
Yes, Spring Training stats are meaningless what is not, however, is the ball movement and control that Felix has shown through two early starts.
Even if he struggles for the rest of the spring he deserves a shot in the Braves rotation. Based simply on the early success he has had and on the track record he has put together at the Major League level.
Cole Hamels will likely be back sooner rather than later once the regular season starts, meaning whomever Atlanta sticks into the last rotation spot is simply a stop gap barring a great performance.
Putting Felix in that role offers far more upside for Atlanta then putting one of their young arms who can be gaining confidence and starting every 5th day in the minor leagues.
There is always the chance as well Felix capitalizes on this early success and finds a way to be the productive player he was for the Mariners for most of his career. It is a gamble a team like Atlanta needs to take.
Their biggest question mark is their rotation, and if they can find a veteran who can help provide stability it will be far better than giving one of the Braves myriad of unproven arms a chance. Outside of third base the final spot in the Braves rotation is by far the most interesting race and gives Braves fans something to watch closely this spring.