After another dominating performance on the mound today against the Colorado Rockies, Julio Teheran is starting to emerge as a legitimate NL Cy Young candidate. The Atlanta Braves‘ starting pitcher has been a force to be reckoned with ever since his first start of the season when he took the field as the unexpected ace of the staff. Before the year began, the biggest question mark heading into the 2014 campaign was about how the Braves could recover from the early season-ending injuries of Kris Medlen, who was supposed to be the ace, and Brandon Beachy. However, I guess there is no need to worry in Atlanta anymore.
The pitching unit has shockingly turned into a strength so far this season, and a big reason why is because of the emergence of players such as Teheran. The young right-hander has really taken it upon himself to lead the staff despite only being 23 years old. Facing a tough Rockies lineup today, he didn’t necessarily have his best stuff out there, but this didn’t stop him from getting the job done in order to help Atlanta secure a 7-0 win. After a shaky start in the first inning where he allowed two hits to begin the game, Teheran settled down quite nicely.
He pitched for six innings, giving up a mere four hits, one walk, no runs and striking out an impressive seven batters before manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to take him out. If not for a complete game shutout in his last outing, Gonzalez probably would have kept Teheran in since he was only at 93 pitches, but there was no need given the run support he received today. The Braves surprisingly put up seven runs on the board to help their young right-hander get a well-deserved win. Until recently, he wasn’t getting the support he needed from his offense on a consistent basis.
However, with the way things have been going lately, if the offense can continue to improve, Teheran will put himself into the discussion for the NL Cy Young Award. His record might sit at a weak 4-3 after getting the victory over Colorado today, but it’s his ERA that really jumps off the page. After not allowing a single run to come through against the Rockies, it now sits an amazing 1.77 for the year.
That puts Teheran into second place for all starting pitchers in the majors behind only Jeff Samardzija, and everyone knows about his struggles so far this year. Samardzija can’t get a win to save his life. This means the Braves’ starting pitcher has the perfect chance to take the Cy Young. He might be young, but with every game he pitches it seems like Teheran only continues to get better and better.