Braves deep in quality starting pitching -- that's a good thing

Mar. 23—There is a thought within Major League Baseball circles that you can never have too much starting pitching. It has long been a cherished commodity among teams, whether it is veteran arm or young hurler that get stashed to the minor leagues to prepare for the future.

It is certainly reflected in the Atlanta Braves' recent ascension over the past decade.

When the Braves underwent a massive rebuild a decade ago, one of their main acquisitions turned out to be the centerpiece of the current championship run: Max Fried. He was part of a trade that jettisoned Justin Upton from Atlanta. They also traded for Chris Sale this past off-season, which cost them a potential everyday infielder in Vaughn Grissom. Not a bad trade-off considering the plethora of everyday stars the Braves have.

The Braves have also focused on pitcher accumulation in free agency, netting Charlie Morton prior to the 2021 season. He's provided a steady veteran presence.

This organization certainly has its share of quality starting pitchers. If there was any doubt otherwise, the Braves just sent Bryce Elder, an All-Star last year, back to Triple-A Gwinnett after he lost the final rotation spot to Reynaldo Lopez, another off-season signee.

It followed a spring training demotion for AJ Smith-Shawver, a potential star who showed flashes last year in limited starts. They will join former Thomasville standout Hursten Waldrep in the minor leagues waiting for their much anticipated call-ups.

And you can probably take it to the bank; the Braves will need an arm or two to replenish its starting five that is likely to suffer an injury or two over the course of a 162-game season.

Fried and Sale have a history of injury issues, while Charlie Morton is 40-years-old. In fact, Spencer Strider is the safest bet to avoid a missed start, though with his velocity, you can never take his health for granted. Just like the Braves are not taking their starting staff for granted, with those three capable arms ready to debut this year.

It could happen as early as April or during the dog days of summer. But it is very likely to occur. Wouldn't you want your team to be stacked at the position? The Braves certainly are, and it's a big reason they should contend for a World Series title.