Braves-Cubs postponed due to weather
Teheran's start pushed to Sunday, effect on Foltynewicz's promotion undetermined
CHICAGO -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez made the easy decision to push Julio Teheran's start back one day after Saturday afternoon's game against the Cubs was postponed because of rain. But Gonzalez has not yet revealed how the postponement will affect his other rotation plans, which had tentatively included Mike
CHICAGO -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez made the easy decision to push Julio Teheran's start back one day after Saturday afternoon's game against the Cubs was postponed because of rain. But Gonzalez has not yet revealed how the postponement will affect his other rotation plans, which had tentatively included Mike Foltynewicz taking Bud Norris' spot on Monday.
Saturday's scheduled starting pitchers -- Teheran and John Lackey -- will oppose each other when the Braves and Cubs conclude this weekend's series on Sunday afternoon. Now Gonzalez must decide whether to push each of his other starters back one day or stick with the plan to promote Foltynewicz from Triple-A Gwinnett in time to start Monday's series opener against the Mets at Citi Field.
Regardless of which direction the Braves go, the rotation plans will likely no longer include Norris, who has produced an 8.74 ERA through this season's first five starts and a 7.35 ERA over the 16 starts he has made since the start of the 2015 season.
The Braves, who have been missing a right-handed bat while utilizing a 13-man pitching rotation this week, are expected to replace a pitcher with a position player on Sunday. Emilio Bonifacio seems to be the mostly likely candidate to be added to the roster, but it remains to be seen whether a roster move would lead the team to cut ties with Norris, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal in November, or keep him in the bullpen as a long-relief option.
If the Braves stick with the plan to have Foltynewicz start in place of Norris on Monday, Matt Wisler would start on Tuesday with two extra days of rest. Jhoulys Chacin could start on Wednesday afternoon with just one extra day of rest. But Aaron Blair would start with two extra days of rest on Friday.
Given that Blair is just a week into his big league career and Wisler has never previously pitched a full season at the big league level, the Braves might not mind providing these young pitchers extra rest. But because of some upcoming offdays, they could also opt to have Foltynewicz make a couple more starts for Gwinnett before adding him to Atlanta's rotation during May's second full week.
The Braves and Cubs have not yet determined when Saturday's game will be made up. But it appears the two teams could play on July 7, when they share a common off day just before Atlanta is scheduled to begin a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.