So it looks more and more like Tommy Glavine may be hangin up the spikes one last time. It was widely speculated if his shoulder wasnt 100% a month or two after opening day, he would retire. Now with multiple media outlets (ESPN, mlb.com, cbssports.com, etc.) saying his career could be over, we'll need a 5th starter. And that brings up the question of who it should be: Hanson, Reyes or Morton?
First of all i think having Campillo start is way out of the question. With as bad as our bullpen has been, the last thing we want to lose another arm.
Heres a case for the 3 candidates:
Reyes had arguably the best spring of any pitcher. He wasnt as flashy as Hanson, but his numbers were very good. His walks were also down (even tho it was still ST). Many in the organization still think Reyes could be a solid #4 in a rotation for years to come, but he couldnt figure it out at all last season even with 15 or so starts. He is only 23 however so he still has some time to develop.
Morton was injured the 2nd week of ST and it gave him less than a 1% chance to make the club. If i remember right, it was an oblique strain, which can take some time to heal. Morton was good in his AAA debut. He had better numbers than Reyes did in 2008. He's also the oldest of the 3 candidates and probably has the most overall pitching experience. But like Reyes, he never really figured it out last season.
Finally, Hanson is the hot shot, superstar prospect EVERY braves fan cant wait to see. He has a filthy slider along with a 95MPH fastball and improving changeup. He looked good in ST, even tho he did give up a few runs. To his credit, he mightve had the best individual moment; after Yunel Escobar was hit by a pitch the previous inning, Hanson threw a hard fastball right into the side of Miguel Tejada. Despite all of his accomplishments, hes the youngest at age 22. He's also only pitched something like 50 innings above A ball (not including spring training). Is he mentally ready for the stress of a Major League game?
In my opinion, we should let Jojo Reyes pitch the first 4 or 5 games. His first start is Saturday the 18th so his 5th start would come around May 14th. Then i think we re-evaluate the situation. What if Hanson is just tearing up AAA with Gwinnett, but Reyes goes 3-1 with a 3.50ERA? What do we do then?
Im not sure what the Braves will do this season or plan on doing, but i pray we make the right decision. It could just determine whether me make the playoffs or not.