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Starting Rotation

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We have 3 set starters in the rotation: Smoltz, Hudson, and Thomson. We have a good chance to win each time any of them are on the mound. Behind that it's shaky. Davies has been struggling even before tonight's injury. Sosa has been even worse. Horacio Ramirez is rehabbing, but isn't eligible to be activated until May 22. He'll surely take over one of these spots in the rotation when that happens. Chuck James isn't eligible to be activated until May 21, and I'm not sure that his arm is stretched out enough to start anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes to Richmond to start and does well. He could be given a chance later. If Davies does in fact have to miss a start and/or go on the DL, who is going to start on Saturday? It can't be Ramirez or James. The Braves probably don't want to use any starters on 3 days rest. Starters at Richmond: (Stats) Travis Smith has a 1.80 ERA in 40.1 innings, allowing 31 hits, 13 walks, and has struck out 38. He was similarly very good at Richmond in 2004, then came up and got shelled as a big leaguer. He was similarly bad at Florida last year. Ricardo Rodriguez has an 0.94 ERA in 28.1 innings, allowing 24 hits, walking 10 but only striking out 12. Kevin Barry has a 2.75 ERA in 39.1 innings, allowing 33 hits, 17 walks and has struck out 39. He was just converted to a starter this year, so I don't know about his stamina. Anthony Lerew has been awful for whatever reason, probably bad mechanics. It probably wouldn't be good for him to be an option. To make room for one of these pitchers to start, either Davies would have to be placed on the DL or someone else (probably Moylan) would have to go back to Richmond. There's a good chance that the pitcher would have to make more than one start even when Ramirez gets back, because of the replacement of Sosa (who would presumably go to the bullpen). That is, unless the Triple A pitcher is horrible in his own right. Look for Chuck James to start at Richmond after coming off the DL, and then getting a chance in the rotation in Atlanta later, especially if Davies or Ramirez struggle in the rotation after returning. Update: Davies is going to be placed on the DL. Travis Smith is the probable replacement. (A good comparable to Smith is Adam Bernero. Smith is a slightly better version.)

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