The 2022 season proved to be a strong one for the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta won the NL East division for the fifth straight season, and the rotation for the Braves played a big role. So, how does it shake out for 2023? Let’s take a look,
Related: Projecting the Orioles Rotation in 2023
A Look at the Braves Rotation Options
- LHP Max Fried (14-7, 2.48 ERA, 8.3 K/9 in 2022)
- RHP Spencer Strider (11-5, 2.67 ERA, 13.8 K/9)
- RHP Kyle Wright (21-5, 3.19 ERA, 8.7 K/9)
- RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.34 ERA, 10.7 K/9)
- RHP Ian Anderson/RHP Bryce Elder/RHP Mike Soroka
The Atlanta rotation was one of MLB’s best in 2022, and there’s a good chance that will be the case again in 2023. We’ll start off with the staff ace, LHP Max Fried. Fried — who we ranked as one of the ten best starters in MLB — had yet another dominant campaign last year, one that saw him dice up hitters with two breaking balls, a good fastball, and a changeup. While there are questions as to whether Fried — who’s set to be a free agent after 2024 — will stick with the Braves for the long-term. But as the Braves push for a second title in three seasons, that’s not a concern.
Next up is Spencer Strider, who had a historic rookie campaign. Strider struck out 202 batters over 131.2 IP, thanks in large part to a plus fastball and an even better slider. The young righty is a rare breed in baseball, as he can live mainly off of two pitchers. But with those two pitches being such devastating weapons, it didn’t matter that he rarely used his changeup.
Strider wasn’t the only pitcher to break out in Atlanta last year. Former Vanderbilt star Kyle Wright took a while to develop, but he turned the corner in 2022. Wright won 21 games in Atlanta last season, and recorded career-highs in K% (23.6%) and ERA (3.19). Better command and a top-tier curveball have helped the 27-year-old become a key piece of the Braves future.
Veteran RHP Charlie Morton is back for another season. Morton got plenty of whiffs off one of the best curveballs in the game yet again last year, but also posted his worst ERA (4.34) in a full 162-game season since 2015 with the Pirates and his worst walk rate (8.7%) since 2018.
The Braves have a number of options for the fifth spot, which include Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, and Bryce Elder. The latter two both saw time in the Braves rotation last year. Anderson did not perform very well; the New York native posted a 5.00 ERA over 111.2 IP and was sent down to the Minors in 2022. Elder did walk a hefty amount of batters like Anderson last year, but his command problems weren’t as bad. Then, there’s Mike Soroka. Soroka looked like a key piece of the Braves future in 2019-20, but hasn’t pitched since he injured his knee in July 2020.
Soroka, however, may not be an option come Opening Day. As of late February 2023, the right-hander had yet to throw off a mound.