Sean Newcomb once again turned in an impressive outing Tuesday night in San Diego. He threw 6+ innings with 1BB and a career high 8K. His ERA sits at 1.48 and is the first pitcher in Atlanta Braves history to start their career with 4 consecutive quality starts.
Since being called up, Newcomb has been better than anyone would have expected during his first stint in the big leagues. The most impressive thing by far is his walk rate. In 24.1 IP, he has issued 8BB, 4 of which came in one game versus the Marlins. As a power strikeout pitcher, Newcomb was known to have a wild and inconsistent arm. However, through his first 4 starts, he hasn’t shown any signs of that. The Braves have got to be thrilled with what they have gotten so far. He has consistently pounded the strike zone and attacked major leagues batters. A lot of credit is due to pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and Tyler Flowers who have worked tirelessly to put Newcomb in positions to be successful.
4 games is a small sample size, so there’s no need to compare him to Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw etc. But with what we have seen so far, a lot of confidence has been instilled into the fans and organization. Newcomb was the main return for the Braves in the Andrelton Simmons trade, and if Newcomb continues to progress, it could turn out to be a nice transaction made by Coppolella. As of now, the Braves are still deciding on their options with the 6 man rotation, but according to David O’Brien of the AJC, a 6 man rotation is unlikely. Bartolo Colon is set to return to the mound Wednesday in San Diego a decision should be made later during the week. With what Newcomb has shown thus far, it should be assumed that Colon’s stint with the Braves is close to an end. As Coppolella said before the start of the season “we are not blocking any of our young arms”.
Noteworthy: A.J. Minter and Daniel Winkler are activated and were promoted to Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett respectively. Depending on their progression and success, we could see a bolster to the bullpen in the near future.