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Braves to use prospects in 6-man rotation

Pitching-rich farm system will spell Atlanta's starters in grueling stretch
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Kolby Allard's much-anticipated Major League debut will mark the start of a stretch in which the Braves will navigate through their busiest portion of the schedule by essentially using a six-man rotation without ever simultaneously carrying six starting pitchers.

When Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed Allard will start against the Marlins Tuesday night, he said the highly-touted southpaw's promotion from Triple-A Gwinnett was influenced by the desire to create an extra day of rest as frequently as possible for the starting pitchers as the team is in the midst of playing 31 games within 31 days.

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ATLANTA -- Kolby Allard's much-anticipated Major League debut will mark the start of a stretch in which the Braves will navigate through their busiest portion of the schedule by essentially using a six-man rotation without ever simultaneously carrying six starting pitchers.

When Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed Allard will start against the Marlins Tuesday night, he said the highly-touted southpaw's promotion from Triple-A Gwinnett was influenced by the desire to create an extra day of rest as frequently as possible for the starting pitchers as the team is in the midst of playing 31 games within 31 days.

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"We want to stretch everybody out and give them the extra day," Snitker said. "It has worked out well for us. Plus, I'm kind of excited about seeing [Allard]. He's had a decent year, and he's been in the mix for a long time.

"Really, until the end of the season, there aren't a lot of off-days. We'll be playing a lot of baseball. So, it will be good to get him in the mix."

MLB Pipeline ranks Allard as baseball's 93rd-best prospect, the 10th-best left-handed prospect and the eighth-best prospect within the Braves' talent-rich farm system. The 20-year-old lefty has posted a 2.80 ERA while recording 87 strikeouts and issuing 33 walks over 109 1/3 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Braves have an off-day next Monday and then play a doubleheader the next day at Nationals Park. The twin bill will be followed by a stretch that includes just two off-days, the first of which will be Sept. 13.

As the Braves attempt to survive this rough stretch while consistently creating extra days of rest, there's certainly reason to anticipate Allard might return to Gwinnett after Tuesday's start and then rejoin Atlanta's roster when eligible again 10 days later.

Touki Toussaint and Luiz Gohara are among the other starting options who could transition back and forth between Atlanta and Gwinnett's roster within this stretch. There is also a chance the club could opt to use Toussaint or Gohara to create needed depth within the bullpen. This plan will be influenced by whether another reliever is acquired before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"We'll just go through those spurts and see when is a good time to add somebody," Snitker said.

Newcomb apologizes
Sean Newcomb expressed remorse as he spoke to his Braves teammates regarding insensitive tweets that resurfaced after he came within one strike of a no-hitter in Sunday's win over the Dodgers. The left-hander also said he will meet with MLB's Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean, when the Braves are in New York later this week.

"I plan on going forward and taking the proper steps to do right and make sure that people are aware of the fact that I am seriously sorry and that I didn't mean anything by it," Newcomb said.

Ender Inciarte was among the Braves who expressed support for Newcomb, who created the insensitive tweets when he was a high school senior.

"It's just something that happened so long ago, and you know that he was not even a grown man, but he can say a lot of stuff that he will regret, but when that thing happened so long ago, he's probably not realizing the stuff he is saying until now," Inciarte said. "When you see him talking to us and he even apologized and we're OK. We know what kind of person he is. ... If you get to know him, he makes so much [of a] good impact on everybody that we're not going to do anything but support him."

Deadline approaching
Though the Braves have already used international slot money to add depth to their bullpen with the recent acquisitions of lefty Jonny Venters and right-hander Brad Brach, they may attempt to further strengthen their relief corps before the Deadline.

Another possible deal could hinge on whether the Rangers' Adrian Beltre ultimately decides to waive his no-trade rights. If the Braves were to acquire Beltre or another right-handed hitting third baseman, they could transition Johan Camargo to shortstop when facing a left-handed starter. Starting shortstop Dansby Swanson has hit .211 with a .273 on-base percentage against lefties this year.

If the Braves acquire a starting pitcher, they will attempt to land a controllable piece. So, there is a chance they'll remain linked to the Rays' Chris Archer until the Deadline arrives.

Simpson apologizes
Fox Sports South broadcaster Joe Simpson issued an apology in response to comments he made during Saturday night's broadcast regarding the Dodgers' batting practice attire. He voiced his displeasure while the broadcast showed footage of Chase Utley taking batting practice wearing a K Cancer T-shirt, his uniform pants rolled up and no socks.

"I apologize to Chase Utley, the entire Dodgers organization and their fans for comments I made during Saturday's broadcast," Simpson said. "I've always held the organization in the highest light, and my comments certainly didn't reflect that. I am sorry to everyone affected."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Sean Newcomb