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Despite my pleas for sanity, I continue to receive a deluge of “When will Player X be in the big leagues?” questions. Again, I certainly understand them, but I still don't know, and neither does anyone else. A great example of how the calendar plays into these decisions took place on Friday afternoon when the Braves announced that 20-year-old right-hander Julio Teheran, the best pitching prospect in baseball, would make his major-league debut on Saturday.

Let's get one thing out of the way: This is a one-and-done deal, created by a doubleheader and the Braves understandably not wanting to go with Tim Hudson on three days' rest when he is coming off of a complete game. A temporary opening was created in the Braves' rotation, and Teheran will get the call. The thing is, he's not getting the call purely because of performance, he's getting the call because it is Saturday. Yes, he's pitching well, but it is also his turn. Mike Minor has a 1.93 ERA in five starts, and if it was his turn (he started last night), the Braves would go with him. Veteran Rodrigo Lopez has a 1.57 ERA in five starts, and if it was his turn (he went Wednesday), Atlanta would have placed the call for him.

 

If Teheran throws a perfect game on Saturday in Philadelphia, he's heading back to Gwinnett. Tomorrow night's start is a reward for a job well done, and it should also be a fantastic learning experience, as he'll face a difficult opponent on the road.

 

In five starts this year for Triple-A Gwinnett, Teheran has a 1.80 ERA while allowing 25 hits over 30 innings, walking eight and striking out 25. After struggling with his command in an ugly second start, he has been a strike-throwing machine, walking two over 20 1/3 innings in his last three outings while averaging a highly efficient 13.3 pitches per frame.

 

A scout currently in his fourth decade of evaluating players was gushing over Teheran today. “I've never put a higher grade on a 20-year-old pitcher in my career.” Going deeper into Teheran's arsenal explains why. “He was 92-96 for me while averaging 95, and the pitch is hitter-untrackable, as he hides his arm behind his back and it explodes on hitters. That combination of arm velocity and deceptive velocity is a rare and beautiful thing.”

 

The secondary offerings earn nearly as much praise. “It's an average curveball right now, but I put a projectable 60 on it,” the scout continued. “While the changeup is a present 60 than could end up a 70 down the road. On my scouting report, under weaknesses, I simply put, 'no glaring weaknesses.'”

 

All that stuff is wrapped into a long-armed, six-foot-two, 175-pound frame with issue-free mechanics. “He works from the third-base side, which I love in a right-hander,” the scout said. “It's a compact, closed delivery with great arm action and a nice on-line finish.”

 

“There's power, there's touch and feel, and there's mound presence well beyond his 20 years,” the scout concluded. “He's going to be a number-one starter on a championship-level team.”

 If ever there was a time to be excited about a one-night-only show in baseball, it's tomorrow night.

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tcfatone
5/06
Looking forward to seeing him in action, after reading all the raves.
antoine6
5/06
Lincecum struggled in his debut (also against the Phillies, incidentally). Same with Tommy Hanson. And King Felix. And I'm sure others I can't think of. Point being, I'm sure Teheran is going to be a fantastic pitcher. But it would be pretty standard for him to struggle tomorrow night. He's 20 and being asked to face an experienced division rival on the road.
okteds
5/07
Edwin Jackson had no problem in his debut facing Randy Johnson...if only all prospects could pan out from Day 1 like that...
kgoldstein
5/06
Maybe we should start a pool for his line tomorrow. I got 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K
Timcarvin
5/06
I'm going with 6.2 IP 5 H, 3 BB, 2 R, 7 K and let's throw in a double at the plate just for fun
PWHjort
5/06
6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Counting on the CH to neutralize the Phillies' LH-hitters.
paulomac77
5/06
Tomorrow's predicted line for Teheran. 6 IP, 8 K, 1 W, 4 Hits 1 ER and the Win. 6-1 Braves!!!!
Imperialism32
5/06
5 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
georgeforeman03
5/06
5.2IP 4R 5H 3BB 7K
kgoldstein
5/06
I think I'm as fascinated at the order people put the stats in as the predictions themselves.
georgeforeman03
5/07
Interesting indeed. I changed the order after it was done to conform to what I perceive as a "more standard" order.
jparks77
5/06
5 IP, 6 H, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
bisanders
5/06
5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
holgado
5/07
Alright, I'll play the role of irrationally exuberant guy. This is in no way influenced by the fact that I own J.T. in my NL-only keeper league: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. He's also going to plunk Victorino in the 1st. And when he retires to the clubhouse, he will enjoy a cold, refreshing Mexican Coke.
PWHjort
5/07
But not a Colombian coke. I'll show myself out...
holgado
5/08
Oh, wait... this wasn't the Charlie Morton line prediction thread? My bad. :-)
jwschaefer
5/07
5.2 2 H 2 ER 4BB 6K
nickgieschen
5/07
5.0IP 4ER 4H 3BB 4K
hegglund
5/07
6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K.
djardine
5/07
5IP 5ER 7H 3BB 5K
beta461
5/07
5.2 IP 0 ER 2 hits 4 BB's 6 K's
RaymondV
5/07
I'm curious about the idea that Teheran is sure to struggle. I vividly remember Smoltz's debut in 1988 against the Strawberry-era Mets. 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, but, oddly, only 2 strikeouts.
JamesP469
5/07
6.1IP 3ER 1HR 6H 3BB 5K
NYYanks826
5/07
6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Surprisingly, Raul Ibanez will have 2 hits and 2 RBI.
dianagramr
5/07
5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
mrdannyg
5/07
6.2, 4H, 2R (1ER), 3BB (1 intentional), 7K, 1 WP. 0/2 at the plate with a K and a failed sacrifice/fielder's choice.
pobothecat
5/07
could you be more specific?
mrdannyg
5/07
Not sure if the strikeout will be swinging or looking. I'll have to consult the crystal ball.
smoothjazz
5/07
6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Any chance he gets an extra start or two with Lowe getting hurt tonight?
vourtsis
5/07
5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
LaserShow
5/07
6.0 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 Ks
BobbyRoberto
5/07
6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
AaronSF
5/07
6 IP, 5 H, 2ER, 2BB, 7K
rawagman
5/07
5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6K. Tough luck, but K's should be promising.
Kongos
5/07
I'm surprised that no-one's mentioned Roy Halladay. In his second game, he came within one out of a no-hitter. But that first game was five innings, three runs allowed.
ootpbb
5/07
4 IP, 7H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4K.. I think he'll struggle in Philly, despite being a Braves fan myself.
pobothecat
5/07
7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 9 K
Olinkapo
5/07
3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
BPKevin
5/07
4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
hyprvypr
5/07
2.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's. Homer for Victorino.
BobbyRoberto
5/07
Using the "wisdom of the crowds" approach, I totaled all the predictions above. There are 30 predictions, producing this total: 170.3 IP, 149 H, 74 ER, 79 BB, 166 K That's a 3.91 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, and 4.2 BB/9 *Raymond V didn't have anything listed for walks, so I put down 0 for his prediction.
kgoldstein
5/07
Wow, thanks for doing that!
antoine6
5/07
I can see him getting Ks. But I'd be surprised if he went deep into the game. Young starters in their debut are usually pulled pretty quickly. Even Strasburg was only allowed to go 7, and that was maybe the best debut in history. 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.
antoine6
5/07
Rollins shows Teheran that major-league hitters are a little different.
Olinkapo
5/07
Completely agreed, antoine. Teheran came in having never given up a hit in his career to anybody at any level, if I recall correctly.
BobbyRoberto
5/07
Game on, final combined projection from 31 people: 175.3 IP, 155 H, 77 ER, 81 BB, 172 K 3.95 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9
BobbyRoberto
5/08
And Teheran's final line: 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K 5.79 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9
rgrunder
5/08
He's a bust!
PWHjort
5/09
Traid him