The Braves will start rookie pitchers in two of the season’s first three games.
After veteran Julio Teheran starts the opener Thursday in Philadelphia, rookie right-handers Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright will start the second and third games of the Phillies series in that order next weekend, manager Brian Snitker said Sunday.
Wilson, 21, will be making his second major-league start, and Wright, 23, will be making his first big-league start.
Left-hander Sean Newcomb, a returnee from last season’s rotation, will start the season’s fourth game, the home opener against the Chicago Cubs on April 1. Teheran is scheduled to start the second game of the Cubs series. Then another of the Braves’ heralded young pitchers, 25-year-old left-hander Max Fried, is slated to start the finale of the Cubs series, depending on his workload out of the bullpen in Philadelphia, Snitker said.
The Braves had more openings to fill than expected in their season-opening rotation because of injuries to two returning starters, Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman.
Foltynewicz, who has pitched only two innings this spring because of a sore elbow, will begin the season on the injured list and likely will miss most of April. Gausman, who had pitched only two innings this spring because of a sore shoulder before starting Sunday’s exhibition game, could be ready to join the rotation as soon as an April 5 home game against the Miami Marlins, Snitker said.
The Braves slotted Wilson, Wright, Newcomb and Fried in the order they did because they prefer to have right-handers face the Phillies and left-handers face the Cubs.
“We’ve talked a lot about our depth (of young pitching). We didn’t really know that we would be dipping into it this early,” Snitker said. “But it’s good to have all these young guys. They all have pitched really well, so I feel good about it. … You’ve got to start somewhere, get the season going and adjust. It’s going to be a great opportunity for all those guys.
“Because of their talent, their youth, you give them opportunities, and when they get it going you’ve got a chance to have something for a long time that is really, really good.”
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