Teheran's struggles at SunTrust Park persist

June 25th, 2017

ATLANTA -- As the Braves prepared to enter the next phase of their rebuild this season, they were encouraged enough by 's 2016 rebound to believe he could anchor their new-look rotation as they moved into a new home.

With nearly three months of this season complete, Teheran hasn't found consistent comfort at SunTrust Park, and the Braves are left to wonder if they missed the best opportunity to trade their inconsistent right-hander, who struggled yet again during Sunday's 7-0 loss to the Brewers.

"I think he'll be fine," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I think he'll go back to work and get on a roll like he was before. Guys are going to have days. He's been on a pretty good run. Hopefully he'll right the ship here and get back on one."

Every time the Braves have gained reason to hope Teheran has turned a corner, he seemingly provides an outing similar to Sunday's, when he surrendered seven earned runs and matched a season-low three-plus innings.

The two-time All-Star has now given up six earned runs or more in five of his past 19 starts. He never allowed six earned runs or more, more than five times during any of his previous four full seasons.

"Whenever I don't have my fastball, it's hard to pitch," Teheran said. "I don't want to put that on my mind. Whenever you don't have your fastball, I still have all the other pitches where I can get them out. I've got to work on it. Whenever I have games like that, I try to work on other pitches."

As Teheran threw a combination of 46 four-seam and two-seam fastballs, he induced just two swings and misses and far too often missed his spot. He missed up with a fastball that hit a Statcast-projected 429 feet on top of the Chop House's roof in the first inning. added to the hurler's woes in the second when he connected on a flat two-seamer that snuck over the right-field wall for a solo homer.

Teheran has allowed 19 homers, 13 of which have been hit in 46 1/3 home innings. He never gave up more than 12 homers at Turner Field in any of his previous four full big league seasons.

"I want to keep my mind strong," Teheran said. "That's how I'm going to turn everything around. We still have a couple months, and a lot of things can happen."

Teheran has attempted not to dwell on the 7.58 ERA he has produced in nine home starts. He has proven much more effective outside Atlanta, posting a 2.89 ERA in seven road starts despite one on June 4, when he surrendered seven runs on 11 hits over five innings to the Reds.

Though Teheran has made four straight Opening Day starts, he has been widely considered by scouts and talent evaluators as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. The Braves can't necessarily expect him to pitch like an ace, but they can expect something better than the 6.46 ERA he has over his past 13 outings.

"Julio has been great lately," Braves center fielder said. "Today, we couldn't come back. He struggled at the beginning, but he knows what he's doing and he's working on it. We know he's going to make the adjustment he needs to make and he's going to be there when we need him."