After the Braves decided late Monday to start prospect Luiz Gohara against the Rangers on Tuesday, the day that Gohara was to be called up from the Triple-A, they had to inform Julio Teheran that his scheduled start would be pushed back a day to Wednesday.
No problem, said the two-time former All-Star.
“It’s always good to have an extra day especially late in the season,” Teheran said. “We’ve got a guy coming up (Gohara) and that’s good to be pushed back one day and give them the chance to show what they’ve been doing in the minor leagues, especially the guys we want to see here anytime soon.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker said team officials discussed the situation Monday night and decided that, rather than have Gohara sit around and wait or pitch out of the bullpen while they tried to work out a schedule to get him a start, they would start him on his first day in the big leagues Tuesday, when he was on regular rest since his last Triple-A start.
“Everybody talked and it was just kind of, ‘We’re going to throw him in there,’” Snitker said. “Julio’s had one extra day (of rest) anyway and so we just told him, we’re going to wait again. They (other Braves starters) are not going to forget how to pitch in a day. This alters his preparation in doing that, but rather than wait and pitch him out of the bullpen and all, we just all talked and decided why not, it’s his day, let’s get him out there and see what we’ve got.”
As things turned out, Tuesday’s game got postponed by rain and Gohara will now pitch the first game (1:35 p.m.) of a split doubleheader Wednesday, with Teheran to start the 7:35 p.m. nightcap.
Teheran is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA, .222 opponents’ average and one homer allowed in his past four starts, the best four-game stretch in what has been a difficult season for the veteran right-hander. He has 27 strikeouts and seven walks in 27 innings during that period.
He limited the Phillies to five hits, one run and one walk with eight strikeouts in his most-recent start last Wednesday at Philadelphia in the second game of a Braves doubleheader sweep.
“It’s good to see the results,” Teheran said. “It’s been a difficult season for me and that’s the way I want to finish. I’ve been getting everything together. I know this is the last month of the season but it’s still something good. That’s the way I want to finish the season and the way I want to come back next year.”
The encouraging stretch began Aug. 14 at an unlikely place, Coors Field, where Teheran pitched seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball against the Rockies. Teheran said that an adjustment he made to his slider – taking something off the pitch -- during a bullpen session prior to that start is the biggest difference in his recent performance.
The improved slider and getting ahead more often in counts has yielded results that have him excited, despite his 9-11 record and 4.75 ERA that would easily be the highest of his five full major league seasons.
Pushing his start back to Wednesday actually gives Teheran two more days of rest than the normal four days between starts, because the Braves also expanded their rotation to a six-man unit that will including three rookie lefties for the time being: Gohara, Sean Newcomb and Max Fried, who made (and won) his first start Sunday at Chicago.
“They just told me we’re going to get an extra day (of rest), that we have a guy we want to see,” Teheran said. “I’m always fine with it, as soon as they talked to me and told me what’s going on, it’s nothing I’m going to be upset about.”
The Braves’ schedule rotation for the rest of the homestand has Newcomb facing the Marlins in a series opener Thursday, Mike Foltynewicz starting Friday, Fried on Saturday and Dickey in Sunday’s finale of a four-game series against the Marlins.
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