Revisiting the Braves Rotation

The Braves rotation, which had a solid five for the entire year up until last week, is facing a bit of turmoil in terms of who will stay and who will go. With Tim Hudson going down with an ankle injury, there are now six starters for five spots when Paul Maholm returns from the disabled list. In speaking with Fredi Gonzalez last week at Citi Field, he was rather adamant at Maholm returning to the rotation when healthy. Brandon Beachy is back tonight against the Rockies and unless he struggles he should receive enough of a chance to improve with time considering the Braves have a 8.5 game lead.

I am not a heavy advocate of going after Beachy in fantasy formats due to his lack of command in his rehab starts, making him too big of a risk for anyone who is currently in contention in their fantasy league. If you are willing to be risky, I think Beachy is a decent acquisition. The other two spots, considering Mike Minor and Julio Teheran have their spots locked up, come down to Alex Wood, Kris Medlen, and Maholm.

Maholm is rather obviously the worst of the bunch, but Wood is probably the least likely to keep his spot. Mark Bowman tweeted yesterday that Wood or Medlen can be moved to the bullpen depending on how their starts go before Maholm returns, which could be as early as the end of the week. Medlen threw a solid outing yesterday, seemingly solidifying his role as a starter unless a new pitcher comes to the team via trade.

Which brings me to my next concern, while Wood, Medlen, and Maholm are competing for the final two spots, they are also competing with whomever the Braves could feasibly bring in via trade in the next few days. This also leaves a bit of cause for concern, because Medlen is an ownable and startable pitcher at this point but a trade that moves him to the bullpen would obviously destroy any fantasy value he has.

I believe this kind of makes Medlen an undervalued commodity. The Braves have looked at the trade market and there honestly just are not many pitchers available that are definitely better than Medlen. In reading and listening to the remarks Frank Wren has had on the situation, they are only willing to pay for a clear upgrade and it is not clear that one is currently available at a price the front office is willing to pay. Owners may be willing to part with Medlen as the deadline nears due to uncertainty with him remaining in the rotation going forward and his lack of production over his past number of starts sans yesterday’s outing against the Cardinals.

If you are in a situation where you can take a decent risk to improve your pitching staff, trading for Kris Medlen could be an extremely savvy move that could help escalate your odds at winning your league. Is he guaranteed to perform at a high level or even remain in the rotation? No, but at the price he can be acquired for he is worth the risk.

Print This Post

Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Any thoughts on Iwakuma’s first start at Fenway, he should prolly be benched right?