Be interesting to see how Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sets up his starting rotation this season. He’s got three starters, arguably four, that could potentially start Opening Day.
My guess is that either Hudson, or Medlen, will be the Opening Day starter. Probably Hudson, for the simple reason that Braves managers generally give the nod to experience when a personnel decision could go one way or the other.
Derek Lowe was the starter in Fredi’s first season (2011) even though Tommie Hanson was hands down a better pitcher. Last season Hanson got the start, but Hudson was on the disabled list, and there was no other long-term veteran pitcher in the starting rotation.
In fact, the last time a Braves starting pitcher under the age of 30 started Opening Day, was when Greg Maddux started in 1995 at 29 years of age.
So we have Hudson penciled in as the Opening Day starter, that means Medlen starts the second game, right? Medlen certainly pitched like a number 1 or 2 last season, but my guess is that Fredi will go with Minor in the two slot so that he can set up a right-left right-left right rotation.
After Minor I think there are no more real decisions to be made. Medlen starts the third game and Maholm, game number 4. When the Braves need a number 5 starter, which will probably be April 10 against the Marlins in Miami, Teheran will most likely get his first start of the season.