CHICAGO — Saturday’s rainout against the Cubs at Wrigley Field will allow the Braves to delay plans to replace ineffective starter Bud Norris, who otherwise would’ve probaby been supplanted by Mike Foltynewicz for Monday’s start against the Mets in New York.
Instead of calling up Foltynewicz from Triple-A, the Braves will simply bump Matt Wisler back from his scheduled start Sunday to Monday. Julio Teheran had his start bumped from Saturday to Sunday.
If they choose to, the Braves could go without a fifth starter for a couple of weeks due to off days in the schedule Thursday and May 9. Or they could bring up a fifth starter sooner and give everyone a little extra rest.
Before Saturday’s rainout, Foltynewicz had been expected to Monday’s start in place of Norris, who is 1-4 with an 8.74 ERA in five starts. Now that they don’t need him Monday, the Braves could let Foltynewicz make another start or two in Triple-A before deciding whether to insert him in the rotation.
The Braves haven’t said anything definitive about those plans in light of the rainout.
Gonzalez did confirm the Braves will shed a relief pitcher and add a bench player – likely utilityman Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A Gwinnett — a move that could be finalized before Sunday’s game.
They could release Norris, who’s ostensibly a long reliever if they keep him, or the Braves could option a reliever such as Chris Withrow, who gave up a grand slam in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Cubs and surrendered two hits and one run in his previous appearance Wednesday vs. Boston.
The Braves have gone with an extra (13th) pitcher recently and the strategy hasn’t worked well in a few cases, such as Friday when they had no right-handed pinch-hitter to use against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.
Gonzalez said Gwinnett right-handed hitters Tyler Moore and Matt Tuiasosopo had also been discussed for a call-up, but Moore just went on the seven-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee.
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