Towards the end of the 2013 season and heading into the postseason, Mike Minor appeared to be worthy of consideration as the ace of the ace-less Atlanta Braves pitching staff. Kris Medlen was good to be sure but he certainly wasn’t better than Minor. At the beginning of the 2014 season however, he was bunched in with Medlen and Brandon Beachy in the injured bunch. That left the opening start and the top of the rotation to the second year of Julio Teheran. Since that time Minor has been solid but clearly is not the ace of the staff.
In the final game of the Houston Astros series, Minor really was needed to have a clutch game and shut them down for a sweep. That didn’t happen. It might have been one pitch here or there but that kind of thing has not happened to Teheran this season except for a rare moment here and there. Starting the Philadelphia Phillies series on Friday night, Teheran shut down the Phillies who have been hitting the ball very well and the Braves are tied for first once again.
That is the difference between the ace of the staff and the second or third best pitcher of the staff. To be sure, Minor is a quality starter for the middle section of the rotation. He has ace stuff some of the time, even most of the time but not the majority of the time. Teheran is the man that the Braves want on the mound against the best of the other team and against all odds. They know if Teheran can’t get it done then no one can. Minor is good and needed for sure but just has proven not to be an ace,