In case you haven't heard, Atlanta's game tonight against the Phillies has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Apparently they're building an ark in Philly right now, but no word if it's to protect them from the rain, the tears' of Phillies fans, or both.
Anywho, they have not yet set a makeup day, but we know that it will *not* be made up as a doubleheader during this current series. And that's a good thing for Atlanta. For starters, it will give Craig Kimbrel an extra day of rest for his shoulder soreness. Kimbrel and the team insist it's nothing, but it'll be nice to give him another day regardless. More importantly, it allows Fredi Gonzalez to shuffle up the rotation and skip David Hale's start, while keeping all of the other starters on regular rest.
#Braves will skip Hale's rotation turn; he'll be available out of bullpen next 2 days. Teheran vs. Cliff Lee Wed., Wood vs. Burnett Thur.— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) April 15, 2014
Ostensibly, Hale is the team's weakest starter at this point (something I'd never thought I'd say about a rotation containing Aaron Harang) so on the surface this is a good competitive move for Atlanta. Because of this, Hale will be available out of the bullpen for the next two days.
This move also makes it seem like Hale will be the pitcher getting bumped from the rotation when Mike Minor is back in a few weeks. Atlanta views him as (one of) their weakest starter(s) - which is not an insult given this rotation - and he already has experience in a relief role.
I am higher on Hale than most, but I have no problem with sending him to the 'pen for Minor. When the inevitable pitching injuries occur down the road, he will have plenty of opportunities to show off his stuff in a starting role.