Despite their struggles in their past eight games (0-8 record), the Atlanta Braves pitching staff has had their share of great moments. As a unit, the team has been struggling and their pitching is mostly to blame. They are in the bottom 10 in the majors in team ERA, WHIP and have been hurt by inconsistency and injury from several key starters.
How does the Atlanta starting rotation rate through the first 50 games?
1. Brandon Beachy
Beachy has been the most consistent starter for the Braves and is quietly putting together one of the best seasons in the entire league. He is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .182 BAA. A year ago, he relied on the strikeout to get out of jams, while this season, he has relied more on technique.
2. Tommy Hanson
The 2012 opening day starter has had some solid performances mixed with some terrible performances. He is 5-4 this season with a 3.84 ERA. He has 57 strikeouts in 61 innings, while also allowing 62 hits with 24 walks.
3. Randall Delgado
The fans seem to be split on the rookie. Some feel he is being given too much of a chance this season without being ready, while others, like myself, think he needs to be in the rotation right now. The more he struggles this season, the better off he will be in the future. He has been the victim of a shaky offense from time-to-time this season and has limited opposing batters to a .249 average.
4. Tim Hudson
Hudson is 3-2 in six starts this season after missing the first month of the season. He has an ERA of 4.12 and has been unable to be the consistent force in the rotation that the team needs. Hudson has been a stable pitcher for the team during the past several years and he needs to get back into a rhythm to help the Braves break out of this slump.
5. Mike Minor/Jair Jurrjens
If you put the stats of both players together, they would possess one of the worst records in the league and one of the worst ERA's (2-6, 7.51 ERA). Both players are likely to be trade bait at some point this season, but with Jurrjens struggling in the minors and Minor struggling in Atlanta, their value is at an all-time low. At this point, neither can be trusted in the rotation which has recently made me wonder about whether Livan Hernandez should be given a chance to start.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.