Braves’ Julio Teheran named All-Star for second time
Julio Teheran is headed to San Diego, but keep calm. This has nothing to do with any trade speculation.
For the second time in his career, the Atlanta Braves’ right-hander is an All-Star. He was named as the team’s representative on the National League roster during Tuesday night’s unveil, providing an exclamation point on the starter’s dominance since late April.
The game will be played Tuesday, July 12 at San Diego’s Petco Park, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Since his fourth start of the season, Teheran has a 2.07 ERA and a .187 batting average against, with 91 strikeouts and 16 walks. On the season, the 25-year-old has a 0.93 WHIP, which ranks second in the majors and only trails fellow All-Star Clay Kershaw of the Dodgers, and he ranks 16th in ERA (2.72) and fifth in innings pitched at 112 2/3.
While there are 47 NL starters who have more wins than Teheran at 3-7, that metric has been increasingly seen as unreliable in measuring a pitcher’s worth. It’s further underscored by the righty having the worst run support in the majors, as he’s backed by a mere 2.3 runs per game.
There had been speculation that first baseman Freddie Freeman — who is batting .355 with six home runs, 12 doubles an four triples since June 1 — or Arodys Vizcaino — the closer sports a 2.31 ERA and 10 saves with 47 strikeouts in 35 innings — could have been the pick for Atlanta. But Teheran had arguably been the Braves’ most consistent, despite the fact that he had one of his worst starts in his final chance to boost his resume.
He gave up a season-high 11 hits in a 7-5 loss to the Marlins on Friday, including two home runs, and was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Phillies, but the team announced that he has returned Atlanta to receive treatment for an infection in his right thigh. They are hopeful he can make a start this weekend against the White Sox.
Teheran’s name has come up in trade rumors, but general manager John Coppolella has been adamant that the Braves aren’t looking to move him, saying he is "almost into ‘right-arm’ type status for us" in a nod to his previous comments that he would rather cut off his right arm than trade two-time All-Star Freeman. But given Atlanta’s place in the standings — it entered Tuesday at 28-55, the fewest wins in the NL and one ahead of the Twins, for the worst record in baseball — the speculation has continued.
Along with having a career-high in ERA and being on pace for tops in strikeouts, Teheran’s contract has made him an appealing target as he inked a six-year, $32.4 million extension in 2014 during the Braves’ flurry of signings. But he’s proven a valuable commodity on Atlanta’s roster given it leads the majors in starts by pitchers 25 or younger (64 which is 12 more than second-place Philadelphia) and has 463 innings pitched by pitchers under that age threshold, a number that is nearly 131 more than any other team.
Teheran was also an All-Star in 2014, but was ineligible to pitch because he threw the Sunday before the break.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His book, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ is out now, and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners’ will be released Nov. 1, 2016.