Everybody loves a little competition. Going back as far as any of us can remember, I’m sure competition brought out the best in you. Whether it was competition for the best grade in school or something concerning sports, you can surely remember when you were pushed by another person to do your absolute best. That is the feeling surrounding the Atlanta Braves‘ fifth starter spot for this coming season.
As Spring Training begins, Fredi Gonzalez has said that Julio Teheran isn’t just getting the fifth starter role handed to him. He has to earn it. His competition as it turns out is Sean Gilmartin, the 2011 pick who has been on the fast track in a big way since his signing. You might remember that Teheran was always going to have to win this spot. The difference came when Randall Delgado was traded in the seven-player Justin Upton deal to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It seemed like, with Delgado gone, Teheran might just walk into the Spring Training days with the fifth starter role being handed to him. That is not the case. Gilmartin will probably give Teheran a tough run for the job. He might even pull off an upset and get the spot away from Teheran in the end. That is doubtful, though.
The rough 2012 season that Teheran had will actually serve as a good thing for him. He has had a slumping season already and has gotten his stuff straight and regained form. Having gone through a little adversity will be the key component that gives him the slight edge.