Braves couldn't afford to pitch Gausman every 5 days

Dave O'Brien joins the show...

Dukes & Bell
June 07, 2019 - 5:07 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Braves beat writer Dave O’Brien joined Dukes & Bell to talk about the Atlanta Braves signing of Dallas Keuchel, what forced the team’s hand to make the move, and are they done yet?

O’Brien told the guys what the feeling in the locker room was after the Keuchel news.

“You can imagine, guys are very happy,” O’Brien said. “Nothing has been made official yet but, it shows the guys in the front office are in this with them and busting their ass to make moves to augment a certain part of the team that’s slipping. This is the biggest move they could have made at this point in the season to fix the pitching rotation to match the guys on the fields commitment.”

O’Brien discussed Keuchel’s timetable to make Braves debut.

“Scott (Boras) said one week,” O’Brien said. “But I think that’s a little optimistic, but look if he goes out and hits his marks, looks really sharp I don’t know why he would need more than one start. I don’t think it will take more than a couple of weeks, I could realistically see him making his debut in two weeks.”

O’Brien said Kevin Gausman’s performance forced Braves to make move.

“If you look at it, three of the last four have been quality starts,” O’Brien said. “Earlier he looked bad, I can see serious progress, other than that one inning I can see progress, he’s starting to look like what he did last year. It’s not like Gausman, Gausman is the reason they made this move, earlier in the week they still weren’t ready, after his last start they said they gotta make a move now and they did it.”

Will the Braves make a run at Madison Bumgarner?

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” O’Brien said. “I think if the starters they have continue to make progress, then it’s not nearly as much of a need as the bullpen. I wouldn’t rule it out, you have two pitchers who have never pitched more than 125 innings, Max has showed a little bit of fatigue his last few times out. I think that’s kinda a red flag and you have to keep your options open, they still have yet to trade a top prospect so they can still go get Bumgarner, they have more now than they can use.”

O’Brien said the team can’t hold onto every prospect.

“They’ve had time to evaluate their prospects,” O’Brien said. “They have to had made a decision to say these are the three or four we’re not willing to trade and the three or four we’re willing to trade because you can’t keep all of them. I saw enough in Kyle Wright in spring training to say he can be a front line starter in the future, but there are a few of them that I would trade away. You might be able to get a reliever without giving up one of your top prospects, but you don’t win any awards for having the best farm system.”

When asked when the team should make another move.

“You don’t want to wait til the end,” O’Brien said. “You have to make the move when you can, but teams that have these guys aren’t going to trade them right now because they’re going to try to drum up some value for him so if you try you will end up overpaying for him. That’s why you had to go get Keuchel, you couldn’t afford to run Gausman out every 5 days.”