Does Julio Teheran's Near No-Hitter Keep Him in Braves' Rotation?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJune 6, 2013

Julio Teheran threw eight shutout innings for the Braves on Wednesday.
Julio Teheran threw eight shutout innings for the Braves on Wednesday.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Julio Teheran almost pitched a no-hitter Wednesday and has been one of the best pitchers for the Atlanta Braves over the last month.

He's controlled the games he's started over the last month, having dropped his ERA from 5.08 to 3.30.

Today's Stars: Julio Teheran 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 11K (W); Domonic Brown 1-4, 2 Run HR; Brett Gardner 2-3, 3-run HR…

— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) June 5, 2013

With his recent performance, it begs the question...does he remain in the rotation once Brandon Beachy returns from the disabled list?

Beachy has two rehab starts left with Triple-A Gwinnett. After that, manager Fredi Gonzalez has a tough decision to make—who goes to the bullpen?

Most people would have thought Teheran would have been the odd-man out since he's a rookie. However, having had six-straight quality starts and given up 10 total runs in those starts, I'm not so sure Teheran goes to the bullpen.

After all, there are other candidates.

For starters, it won't be Mike Minor or Tim Hudson. Minor has been the Braves best pitcher this year and there's no way Gonzalez will put Hudson in the bullpen.

So that leaves Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm and Teheran as the candidates.

Kris Medlen

Medlen has had a string of bad luck this year. He's only given up more than three earned runs this year, but is still just 2-6.

He's gotten eight total runs of support in his six losses, which doesn't bode well for any pitcher.

However, the one thing Medlen has more experience than any other pitcher in the rotation is experience coming out of the bullpen.

While it wouldn't be an ideal move for him, it would be a move that helps the Braves, especially if you consider the injuries to Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty.

Medlen's experience is something the Braves need back there as the Braves don't have a lot of MLB experience in the bullpen.

With Maholm and Hudson being free agents after this season, it would only be a temporary move to help the Braves push towards a world championship.

Paul Maholm

After starting the year on a hot streak, Maholm has been inconsistent lately.

He'll have a good start like he did on May 22 against the Minnesota Twins where he gave up no runs, but then give up five runs to the Toronto Blue Jays in his next start.

His inconsistencies are not what the Braves need in the rotation at this point.

Fans want to have confidence that every fifth day a certain starter can give up two runs or less. With Maholm there is no confidence in that like there is with the other starters.

Although he has no bullpen experience, Maholm would provide another quality lefty from the pen, giving Gonzalez more tools at his disposal.

It Won't be Teheran

I can say with confidence that it won't be Teheran who goes to the bullpen.

The kid has shown a lot and has earned his spot in the rotation. Plus, let's not forget his catcher (Gerald Laird) gives Brian McCann a break every fifth day.

Teheran has earned the right to stay in the rotation with his good play.

He's a power pitcher from the right side and pairs well with Minor in back-to-back games.

It will come down to Maholm and Medlen with the deciding factor likely coming in the upcoming series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where both are schedule to pitch.

That will be both pitcher's chance to make one last impression on Gonzalez before a decision has to be made later in the month.


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