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MLB Atlanta Braves

David Hale Could Be Decent Fifth Starter For Atlanta Braves

David Hale Atlanta Braves

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So, the starting rotation of the Atlanta Braves doesn’t look much like what Braves fans expected. With injuries to Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, the team is left with three rotation spots open.

One pitcher who is most likely to take one of those open spots will be youngster David Hale. The Princeton University graduate isn’t the least likely of the pitchers to make the Opening Day roster (that belongs to Gus Schlosser), but he didn’t have much of a chance of making the roster without the injuries this spring.

Hale, who is due to turn 26 this season, has only been in the major leagues to pitch in two games, doing very well in that time. However, in the minor leagues, he’s been a guy that didn’t strike out many batters and used his stuff around the strike zone to use his defense. He gives up around nine hits per nine innings, yet has walked 3.5 batters per nine innings.

One thing that stands out is that he’s never given up an average of one home run per nine innings. That’s a very telling stat, seeing that when he does give up hits, the ball usually stays in the ballpark.

This spring, Hale has had his struggles, tallying nine strikeouts and five walks in 12.1 innings. However, most of this can be attributed to possible rust and just getting into the rhythm of pitching to live batters.

As a lower rotation starter, Hale could be a safe bet. With a full defense behind him that has multiple players that could win gold glove awards, the way he pitches could be a good thing for the team. For the most part, he’ll be a decent pitcher to be a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the rotation until Ervin Santana and Minor make their appearances into the rotation.

Steven Whitaker is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @CoachStevenWhit, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your circles on Google.