Early returns on possible Braves' Spencer Strider replacement are incredibly positive

Early returns on possible Braves' Spencer Strider replacement are incredibly positive

It was not even a quality start, but Darius Vines showed signs of promise for the Atlanta Braves.

Darius Vines, Atlanta Braves
Darius Vines, Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

For the time being, the Atlanta Braves will try to replace ace pitcher Spencer Strider in the aggregate. While the rest of the rotation appears to be just fine, everybody gets moved up a slot to offset losing Strider for the season. That means filling the No. 1 spot ends up with Atlanta having to fill the No. 5 role ... again. Last year, Bryce Elder was marvelous at this. Right now, keep an eye on Darius Vines.

Vines made his 2024 MLB season debut on Monday evening in a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros. Although the usual AL West juggernauts have had an April from hell at 6-12, Atlanta has been able to maintain its stranglehold atop the NL East with a 10-5 mark. Losing a tremendous pitcher like Strider would be a devastating blow for most times, but apparently, not the Braves. Vines could be a solution.

He went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Houston may have a plethora of problems right now, but the Astros still have a tremendous lineup. To do this on the road and set up the bullpen to have success in the final 4.1 frames is simply incredible. It may not have been a quality start for Vines, but we know it is one that skipper Brian Snitker is over the moon about.

Once again, we have to accept Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos will be right ... again....

Atlanta Braves may have a Spencer Strider solution in Darius Vines

Yes, this is an incredibly small sample size, but at least the returns are positive. Vines gave the Braves a chance to win against one of the better lineups in baseball over the last half decade. While it was another Josh Hader meltdown in the ninth inning that propelled Atlanta to victory, this was one of those wins that lesser teams would have found a way to lose. Frankly, Atlanta stole one from Houston.

In due time, Atlanta will inevitably look at adding an arm to their rotation before the Braves' big postseason push. While the trio of Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Chris Sale shall suffice as Atlanta's three playoff starters of note, what if the Braves can get a No. 1 or a No. 2 off a terrible franchise? That extra jolt, even if it is only a short-term rental can be huge for Atlanta's chances of winning it all.

Overall, Vines is the latest example of what Braves Country is hoping for with Anthopoulos' roster moves. Next man up has long been a recipe for success in Atlanta farm system, dating back to the days of Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz. What has changed though since the Team of the 90s era is good hitting will occasionally beat great pitching. Atlanta has some, but I am not sure it is enough.

Until we can say a fifth starter in the same breath as Fried, Morton and Sale, this will remain an issue.

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