Soroka, Fried will be on innings limits as 2019 season progresses

Anthopoulos: Braves could use 6-man rotation...

Knox Bardeen
June 10, 2019 - 10:25 pm
Mike Soroka #40 of the Atlanta Braves

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

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Mike Soroka, through 10 starts this season, boasts a 7-1 record with a 1.38 ERA. Max Fried is 7-3 through 13 starts with a 3.75 ERA. Both young starting pitchers are cruising.

As fantastically as they're hurling the ball right now, the Atlanta Braves have had many discussions about curtailing their usage as the 2019 season rolls along.

Braves general manager Alex Anthopolous joined Dukes & Bell Monday and told the guys efforts will be put into place to make sure these two stay away from overuse.

"We've talked about that at length," said the Atlanta GM. "One is just the injury component, we'll continue to watch them. Even taking that away, even if they're healthy, which we hope and expect them to be, it may just be a fatigue component that come August or September they just don't perform as well even though they could take the ball."

As a professional pitcher, Soroka's highest-use season was 2017, where he tossed 153 2/3 innings. The most innings Fried has thrown as a pro was 118 2/3 in 2013. The Braves do not want to see their 2019 innings count to rise high.

"We're well aware, we're mindful of it, we're trying to save bullets anyplace that we can, whether it's taking them out of games early if we have a nice lead, maybe we skip a start down the road, skip bullpens in between, give them extra days between rest, we'll certainly watch that," said Anthopolous.

It may become easier now that Dallas Keuchel has signed with the Braves. But don't necessarily think that Keuchel will slide in and one of the Braves' starters will exit the rotation. In a perfect scenario, Anthopoulos will add to the Atlanta rotation that includes Soroka, Fried, Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman.

"We've talked about it with Dallas [Keuchel] right now because we do believe ultimately, long-term, in Gausman, Folty and so on," said Anthopoulos. "We could go with a six-man rotation. When Dallas is ready to join us, hopefully all five guys are throwing the ball well and you don't want to take anybody out and make a change there. We've talked about potentially going with a sixth man, that could be a scenraio.

"We haven't committed to anything, we haven't made a decision. We're well aware of how well Soroka and Fried have thrown. We want them to be able to stay healthy one, and then two be avialble for us, hopefully, in October."

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