Teheran on spring progress: 'I'm getting there'

Potential Opening Day starter pitches out of early jam vs. Marlins

March 10th, 2019

JUPITER, Fla. -- Is Julio Teheran working his way toward a sixth-straight Opening Day start? It's a possibility given the sore right elbow that has sidelined Mike Foltynewicz for the start of the season.

Teheran made his second spring start in Atlanta's 5-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday. The Braves pitcher was able to overcome a taxing first inning, ultimately allowing just a lone run and three hits. He recorded at least one strikeout in each of the four innings he threw and finished with six K's. He only gave up one walk.

"I felt pretty good, the same way I felt after my first outing," Teheran said.

He threw 56 pitches (39 for strikes) with 25 of those coming in the long first inning that he ended with a nasty 3-2 breaking pitch that got Marlins centerfielder Monte Harrison swinging.

"I was a little excited," Teheran said. "When you know your arm is feeling good, you get kind of excited. So I got to control that. From the second inning, that's when I settled everything down."

Teheran's second frame was much better against the bottom of the Marlins order. He struck out two of the three batters he faced, including opposing pitcher Sandy Alcantara. Teheran then handled the top of the Marlins order the second time through, tossing a hitless third inning that included a strikeout of Marlins cleanup hitter Peter O'Brien.

Teheran gave up a lead-off single in the fourth to Pedro Alvarez, the first hit off him since the first inning. But Alvarez tried to stretch it to a double, and was thrown out at second by Braves right fielder Rafael Ortega.

It turned out to be a 1-2-3 inning with Teheran retiring 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.

"It's about how you finish and it was good to make the adjustments after the first inning," said Teheran, who added that he feels he is in a good position to open the season strong. "I'm getting there," Teheran said. "I'm having good results so far. We still have two more outings and we'll see if everything gets better."

In his March 4 Grapefruit League debut, Teheran gave up three hits, including a homer, and three runs (two earned) while striking out four over three innings of work in a 4-3 loss to Houston.

If Teheran isn't the Braves' Opening Day starter, Sean Newcomb or Kevin Gausman are possibilities.