Mike Hampton is out. John Smoltz is out. Chuck James is unaware there is a strike zone, Jorge Campillo has blister problems, and now Tom Glavine has strained his left elbow. Injuries seem to be the only thing the Braves can do with regularity these days.
With Glavine likely out and Campillo questionable for his start this Saturday, the Braves must turn to another pitcher to fill the starting gap and get some innings. Enter Charlie Morton. Though Morton suffered only his second loss of the season Sunday in 100 degree heat in Virginia, the up-and-coming right-hander seems more than ready for the big leagues.
In 13 games this year, Morton has a 2.05 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in 79 innings pitched. Perhaps his most impressive stat is in the homerun column, where he hasn't surrendered a single long-ball all season. Before his loss Sunday, Morton had thrown a one-hit gem against Durham his previous start, striking out 13.
Morton is scheduled to start on Saturday for the Richmond Braves, but today's game notes strangely have Saturday's starting pitcher listed as "Charlie Morton/TBA." Perhaps that's a big giveaway into what the Braves may already have had planned for Morton.
In addition to needing a starting pitcher for Campillo and/or Glavine, the Braves may need to replace the seemingly over matched Manny Acosta in the bullpen. Since the end of May, Acosta's ERA has ballooned from 2.54 on May 30th to its current 4.41.
There aren't many options in the minors to replace him with, but if the team decides to activate Mike Gonzalez, then Acosta, and not Stockman, could be the odd man out of the bullpen.