Posted: 6:45 am Monday, July 7th, 2014

Hooray for Julio Teheran, a most deserving All-Star 

By Mark Bradley

How about a hand for a great young pitcher? (Jason Getz/AJC)

How about a hand for a great young pitcher? (Jason Getz/AJC)

Three Atlanta Braves made the National League All-Star squad. Two were all but certainties: Craig Kimbrel is an annual lock; Freddie Freeman is becoming one. I’m usually not one to get worked up over All-Star selections — despite MLB’s attempts to confer True Meaning, it remains an exhibition game — but I have to confess:

I’d have been ticked if Julio Teheran hadn’t made it.

As it was, he made the NL roster as a replacement for Jeff Samardzija, who was traded from Chicago to Oakland — “Moneyball” is going for it all! — over the weekend. That’s a bit of a disappointment. Teheran deserved to be among the first tier of NL starting pitchers for a rather basic reason: He’s absolutely a first-tier starting pitcher.

Even in a half-season that has seen a heap of great pitching, Teheran has carved out a spot among the National League’s top four. (The others: Adam Wainwright, Johnny Cueto and Clayton Kershaw.) Teheran is third among NL pitchers in ERA, third in WHIP (walks/hits per innings pitched), fourth in opponents’ batting average and fifth in WAR (wins above replacement).

He shouldn’t have needed Samardzija’s absence to make it, but the erstwhile Cub got a lot of early publicity for pitching well and not winning. (Plus he played football for Notre Dame! How overhyped can you get?) Teheran has pitched well and not won some winnable games himself — he’s eighth in the majors in lowest run support — but you know who’s tied with Cueto for the NL lead in quality starts? Hint: It’s not the guy who used to catch Brady Quinn’s passes.

Some folks keep saying the Braves need to trade for David Price because they lack an ace. Apparently they haven’t been paying attention. The Braves have an ace. He’s 23 years old. He just made his first All-Star team. And he’s under contract through 2019.

37 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

The Braves are going to lose again tonight, but so are the Nats. Does Washington just not wanna be in 1st place.


Delbert_D
Delbert_D

Two aces would be very nice, but the Braves have very little on the roster to offer in return except youth, I guess. Wood, Hale, Bethancourt and a player to be named Uggla.

dasudami
dasudami

We just need three more like Tehren!!

hoopcoch
hoopcoch

The lack of an ace talk is MORONIC

DawginLex
DawginLex

Gattis getting left off is a crime

MikeJay
MikeJay

No mention of the Gattis snub?  For shame.

ReyB
ReyB

As I said before, we need 2 aces on this team. If we are faced with the prospect of going up against Kershaw, Greinke, and Rye in the playoffs with the current squad that we have it's curtains for the Braves season. 

drewK
drewK

He has the potential to be great....OR, the potential to be another Jair Jurgerns - one and done. Time will tell.

Bill72
Bill72

Agree 100%, Mark. He should have been selected on his merits and not as a replacement.  But happy to see him get there regardless.  Agree also with RafeHollister below.  Alex Wood is going to be a good one too.  Pitching looks solid.  Now if the Braves can just get the bats going. 

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

As bad as some contracts issued by the Braves have been should this one go the distance,could make up for KK, Uggla, and Upton CONBINED.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

 Teheran is came here as part of a trade with the Yankees on Wrens watch.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Absolutely right, Mark. Teheran is an ace

Birdhair
Birdhair

Thank you to John Schuerholz for signing Teheran in the international FA marketplace. Thank you to John Schuerholz and Roy Clark for drafting Freeman. And big thank you to John Schuerholz from the White Haired Clown Upstairs for leaving me with a gold mine of players to help me win as many regular seasons games that we have the past 6 years.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

He is going to even get better!  Alex Wood is going to be as good, if the Braves will just leave him alone and let him start.  The future looks bright.


joedavis
joedavis

I'm glad he made it too.  He's having a good season, and hopefully he's maturing mentally too.  I'd have hated to see him pout and sulk if he was overlooked.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@ReyB One center fielder would appear to be a more pressing need.

MarkBradley
MarkBradley moderator

@ChefTimDix Actually, Teheran was signed as an amateur free agent in 2007. Arodys Vizcaino, later sent to the Cubs as part of the Maholm/Reed Johnson trade, was acquired in the Melky Cabrera/Javier Vazquez trade with New York in December 2009.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Agreed on Woods, I think his makeup is ace material, pitches with a Smoltzy attitude.

ReyB
ReyB

@DawgDadII @ReyB Perhaps, but pitching almost always wins championships. That along with some good defense and timely hitting. 

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

I stand corrected. "Medic, my meds please."

MoFaux
MoFaux

@ReyB @DawgDadII I agree.  Great offense and defense is critical.  Genius.  We almost beat them last year and we certainly have a chance to beat them this year...WITH our current squad.  You have to actually play the games to determine the winner.

Birdhair
Birdhair

@ChefTimDix Unfortunately, You, like many bloggers, fans, and ajc writers alike, are quick to give Clown (Wren) credit for acquisitions that he did not make. Clown walked into a gold mine of players to build from but the AJC ignores this critical fact.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Jordan Walden for Tommy Hanson,

Javier Vasquez and Boone Logan for Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers, Jon Gilmore and Santos Rodriguez,

Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez for Edgar Renteria.

Those, and not to mention the scrap heap reclamation projects done on a 90M payroll.

Not defending his grevious blunders BH, those were very good trades.

Birdhair
Birdhair

@ChefTimDix Walked into Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, Yunel Escobar, Mark Teixiera, Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, Martin Prado, and more and has failed to win a single playoff series.

Spent more than $238M on Dan Uggla, Chris Johnson, BJ Upton, Derek Lowe and KK.

But you applaud Clown. He walked into a gold mine of players, has spent big and poorly, and has won nothing.

You and the AJC are exactly why Atlanta is sports losersville.

Get a clue.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Birdhair @ChefTimDix Didn't realize anyone gets that passionate about the Braves, probably safe to say Wren is better than any of us bloggers as a GM, huh Birdhair?

Birdhair
Birdhair

So what do you suggest? Sit back and watch the team continue to fail ?

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@Birdhair Did I miss something? Aren't the Braves in first place in their Division?

Baghead
Baghead

@DawgDadII YES!  You are correct sir.  And, if you are content with that, we would prefer you stay off the boards in October as you sit in that same chair with your arms up in the air whining like a fool asking "what happened?" after we are one and done in round one.  That's if we get there.  Second place in this division is going home after September 28th.

Birdhair
Birdhair

Yes. You have missed a lot. Under

Clown, we have yet to win a single playoff series in 6 years. We play in arguably the weakest division in baseball.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@Baghead @DawgDadII This is JULY. I don't believe ANY team has a lead that hasn't been overcome at some point in history (no team has a lock at this point), and there is a crap-shoot aspect of the current playoff system (sustained excellence over 162 games punches your ticket, nothing else). Put Maddox, Glavine, and Smoltz in their primes on this Braves team and they are still just a Division-leader in early July, playing it out one game at a time, with no guarantees in the playoffs.

For the moment, the Braves appear to have enough pitching to win the Division and a somewhat shaky offense. When your centerfielder and leadoff hitter goes through a "streak" like BJ just did, arguably the best ten games of his tenure as a Brave, I'd say it's pretty clear we need a center fielder and leadoff hitter much more than another "ace".

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

And so the home boy upstairs hung the moon and stars BH? JS was a great GM raping his former employer the KC Royals not to mention an unlimited bank account. Not defending anyone bud.

Birdhair
Birdhair

@DawgDadII @Baghead This is July. You are right about that. it is July of Wren's 7th season at the helm. If you do a quick analysis of the current makeup of the roster you'll quickly realize that this team isn't capable of winning anything in the playoffs. If you dont see that then you might really need some help.

Birdhair
Birdhair

@ChefTimDix I dont think JS is all that great either, but he was certainly far better than the current clown upstairs.