Julio Teheran: 5 Ways the Young Atlanta Braves Pitcher Will Be Better This Time
In Teheran's first start of his major league career, the youngster threw 4.2 innings, gave up three runs on four hits and struck out one. Oh, and this was against a veteran Philadelphia Phillies lineup.
With the injury sustained by Brandon Beachy in his last start, Teheran is getting another spot start. This time around he is scheduled to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have one of the weaker offenses in the league, on Wednesday.
Teheran impressed in some ways in his debut, but he left some not feeling the hype. This time around, though, Teheran could show the dominating stuff we all want to see from him.
Here are five ways that he will be better this time around.
Better Control of His Fastball
While averaging about 93 mph on his fastball, Teheran had a trouble consistently getting it over for a strike. This was a bit surprising since control of his fastball is one of his strengths. He walked two batters in the 4.2 innings he pitched, which equals 3.86 walks per nine innings.
The good thing is that this should drop, since his minor league career number is just 2.4 walks per nine innings.
Being able to control his fastball better will make his changeup and curve even better. It will also allow him to throw deeper into the game because he will have to throw fewer pitches.
He Will Use His Changeup and Curveball More
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Teheran averaged about 74 mph on his curveball in his debut, but he threw the pitch just 10.6 percent of the time. Throwing it more will keep the Diamondbacks off balance and will make him a more effecient pitcher.
His changeup (81.2 mph) definitely looks like a plus pitch, as he averaged over an 11 mph drop from his fastball in Game 1. He threw the pitch a little bit more than his curve, as he threw it on 27.1 percent of his pitches.
Throwing both of these pitches a bit more evenly with his fastball will make him very tough to pick up and will cause more strikeouts.
He Will Strike out More Batters Than He'll Have Innings Pitched
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The Arizona Diamondbacks have struck out 306 times, which is the sixth-most in the league. Teheran only struck out one Phillie in his first game, but he has averaged 8.9 strikeouts per nine inning in the minors, so you can expect a much better showing this time around.
If he is able to get on top of his game and start striking out batters left and right, then we will get a true glimpse of what Teheran can bring to the major league club.
He'll Get Some Run Support
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Joe Saunders is the projected starter for the Diamondbacks, and the lefty's record is 0-5 with an ERA 5.48. He's only faced the Braves one time in the last three years, and that was in 2008.
After not getting any run support in his first game, expect the guys to rally around him and give Saunders a rough outing.
The reason this is a way that he will be better is because this should allow him to be calm on the mound knowing that he has some offense behind him.
He Knows What to Expect
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Teheran has now been the trials and tribulations of starting a major league ballgame, and he did so in one of the toughest environments around. Going to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks in a fairly good pitchers' ballpark against a lesser lineup will only boost his confidence even more.
Hopefully the two key C's to pitching, comfort and confidence (yes, I made that up), help him gain momentum early. If he can get into a groove with his plus stuff, then the Diamondbacks should have a hard time stringing together any type of offense.
Brian McCann had this to say about Teheran:
“I feel like I have a better idea what we can do with him, and I think the things that we talked about, he went and worked on. I like everything he does, it’s just a matter of throwing strikes and getting ahead and dictating the at-bat.”
Prediction: Teheran throws six innings, striking out seven while giving up two earned runs. If he does this, the offense should give him enough support to get him his first career win.