The Atlanta Braves continue to find young stars that are making immediate impacts in the MLB.
Now you can add starting pitcher, Spencer Strider to that list.
The 23-year-old righty has been dominant this season for the Braves.
He might even be their most important player heading down the stretch.
Strider is coming off of one of the best pitching performances in the MLB on Thursday night.
The rookie threw eight innings, allowed only two hits, and recorded 16 strikeouts.
The 16 strikeouts are a Braves franchise record, as Strider was untouchable.
Atlanta is loaded with youth that one of Strider or Harris is going to win the NL rookie of the year.
But, this performance on Thursday gave Strider the upper hand.
For the season, Strider has thrown 114.2 innings, with 174 strikeouts, and has a 2.67 ERA.
This has been one of the most impressive seasons for a rookie pitcher.
Before the season, Strider was not expected to play that big of a role on Atlanta’s roster.
Now he is looking like the Ace of the staff headed into the postseason.
Strider is an elite strikeout pitcher which has put him in the history books to start his career.
Most strikeouts in first 17 career starts, MLB history
1) Kerry Wood – 156 strikeouts
2) Hideo Nomo – 150
3) SPENCER STRIDER – 137
4) Bob Feller – 135
5) Corbin Burnes & Mark Prior – 134
— Foolish Baseball (@FoolishBB) September 2, 2022
Strider sits fourth in the NL in strikeouts, despite having thrown at least 36.1 innings fewer innings than the pitchers ahead of him.
He also only has 17 games started with the rest of the top guys having started 26 games.
If he qualified, his 13.7 K/9 would lead the entire MLB.
With only one month left in the season, it will be interesting to see how the Braves set up their rotation for the postseason.
The Braves have to know that if they have any chance of defeating the Dodgers or Braves, they will need Strider in their rotation.
He has already thrown 114 innings, so the question remains is how far will Atlanta let him go?
Most young starters are on innings limits and if that is the case things could get tricky in the playoffs.
Spencer Strider since July 7th, (with MLB ranks)
84 SO, 2nd
31.7 K-BB%, 1st
1.65 FIP, 2nd
13.75 K/9, 1st
.183 OPPAVG, 4th
And…he’s only a rookie, the future is bright! pic.twitter.com/QYwQC2Vazv
— Full Count Baseball (@FullCountMLB) September 2, 2022
Atlanta may have to skip a few starts for Strider in September to allow him to be ready for October.
The top two starters for the Braves headed into the playoffs should be Fried and Strider.
This is good because they throw with opposite hands.
Also, the Mets and Dodgers are righty dominant teams, making Strider the most important pitcher in that rotation.
He will have to battle the two top teams in the league if the Braves want to make it back to the World Series.
Scoring runs should not be a problem for the Braves as they have one of the best lineups in baseball.
But, shutting down other high-powered offenses could be a problem.
Against righties, Strider has an opponent batting average of .156, and against lefties, his OBA is .200.
This season from Strider has been one of the best seen from a rookie pitcher in some time.
Now, the Braves will rely on the righty to be their best pitcher in October.