MLBTR Ballot: Braves’ Fifth Starter

The Braves made a shocking determination this week, optioning each Bryce Elder and Ian Anderson to Triple-A Gwinnett. That takes the duo out of consideration for the fifth spot within the rotation. Atlanta’s prime 4 of Max FriedSpencer StriderKyle Wright and Charlie Morton is settled, however the closing slot now seems as if it’ll go to somebody beforehand anticipated to open the 12 months within the minors.

With accidents to Michael Soroka and Kolby Allard maintaining them out of the season-opening combine, Elder and Anderson had appeared the favorites for the final rotation spot. As a substitute, it now appears the Braves will flip to a pitcher with no MLB expertise out of the gate. Prospects Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd look as in the event that they’re battling for the ultimate spot.

Jared Shuster

The 24-year-old Shuster was Atlanta’s first-round pick of Wake Forest in 2020. He break up the 2022 marketing campaign between Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett, working to a 3.29 ERA in 139 1/3 innings. He punched out 26.2% of batters confronted in comparison with a modest 6.9% stroll fee total. Shuster’s strikeout numbers dropped precipitously after a midseason bounce to Triple-A, nonetheless. He’d fanned 30% of opponents in 17 appearances with Mississippi however that mark fell to 19.4% over 10 outings for the Stripers.

Baseball America considers Shuster the #3 prospect within the Atlanta farm system. The outlet credit him with a plus changeup and above-average management. He’s not a very laborious thrower and scouts peg his slider as a fringe-average pitch. Shuster has thrown 10 2/3 innings this spring, permitting just one run with 16 strikeouts and two walks.

Dylan Dodd

Dodd, additionally 24, was Atlanta’s third-round choose in 2021. An underslot senior signee popping out of Southeast Missouri State, Dodd moved throughout three minor league ranges in his first full skilled season. He began 16 video games with Excessive-A Rome and 9 for Mississippi earlier than closing out the ’22 marketing campaign with one look in Gwinnett. The left-hander soaked up 142 innings over the three ranges, posting a 3.36 ERA with a 26% strikeout share whereas solely strolling 5.3% of opponents.

Ranked the #6 prospect within the group by Baseball America, Dodd has an identical pitchability profile as Shuster. His fastball additionally sits within the low-90s and he leans closely on a pair of superior breaking pitches in his changeup and slider. He’s a superb strike-thrower who’s typically considered a strong wager to be a back-of-the-rotation starter. Dodd has tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings in exhibition play, punching out 11 with out handing out any free passes.


The guide on Shuster and Dodd is pretty related. They’re each superior left-handers with robust secondary stuff and management to drive the profile regardless of middling velocity. They’re every current school draftees with no ton {of professional} expertise however already of their mid-20s. Each pitchers are having glorious showings in Grapefruit League play, apparently vaulting themselves previous Elder and Anderson on the quick depth chart. Neither is but on the 40-man roster however Atlanta has a emptiness after shedding Dennis Santana on waivers final month and will clear extra room by putting Tyler Matzek and Huascar Ynoa on the 60-day injured listing.

It stands to purpose each Shuster and Dodd will make their MLB debuts in some unspecified time in the future this 12 months. One of many duo now figures to interrupt camp with the massive league membership and assume a key position from the season’s outset. Who will get the nod?

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