With the sad news that Kris Medlen will most likely undergo his second Tommy John surgery and the very good news that the Atlanta Braves signed pitcher Ervin Santana to a one-year contract, it’s being said that the rest of the pressure lands either on Freddy Garcia or Alex Wood.
To this point, Wood is outperforming Garcia, giving up no runs in his three starts compared to Garcia’s six in the same number of starts. Other than his last start, though, Garcia has been just as impressive as Wood. It has been a fact from the start of Spring Training that one of these two guys was going to have to fill in for Gavin Floyd until he can work his way back into the major leagues.
However, who is lost in this equation? Of course Brandon Beachy. In a matter of days, his injury has been seemingly forgotten. When it comes down to it, the Braves have already replaced Medlen in the rotation, and Beachy is left to fill a hole, if healthy, that is much bigger than the one of Garcia or Wood.
If Beachy is healthy, the team will only have to fill a fifth spot in the rotation for about a month or so. If not, Wood and Garcia will be numbers four and five in the starting rotation with one of them being in the rotation for a long period of time.
So the real key to the equation of Braves starting pitching comes down to Beachy and his ability to pitch a good number of games this season at a high level. If he can do so, the pressure on Garcia and Wood will be much less, and they will not have to be such an important part of the rotation from the beginning of the season.