The career of Julio Teheran with the Atlanta Braves has been a divisive one. For some, he was a reliable innings eater who provided stability in the Braves’ rotation and weathered some of the franchise’s toughest years with nothing but class. For others, he is a guy that never lived up to the (unfair) label of “staff ace” and who, on occasion, would implode or be a bit homer and/or walk prone.
As a result, while it wasn’t a complete surprise that the Braves did not choose to exercise his option for the 2020 season, it was a bittersweet ending. Despite not being the guy that Braves fans hoped he would be, he was a lock to throw 170+ innings each year and he made a strong argument that outperforming one’s peripherals was a skill more than just dumb luck.
However, he was also a guy that just didn’t fit into the Braves’ plans with so many promising young pitchers in the pipeline and with the Braves signing Cole Hamels, it looked less and less likely that reunion was going to happen. That brings us to today’s news.
While Teheran may not have fit in the Braves’ plans, he could be exactly what the Angels need. The Angels rotation has been a mess for a long time and has needed stability with the injury to Shohei Ohtani and the ineffectiveness of, well, just about everyone. Moving to the AL where offense is prolific and where opposing pitchers are not a place to go to get an out when you really need one, the signing isn’t without risk for the Angels. However, they could do far worse than Julio who seems to prove that even with his declining stuff, he was still able to wiggle his way out of trouble. The move also reunites him with former teammate Andrelton Simmons and having him plus Mike Trout playing behind him is a nice consolation prize.
In 174.2 innings with the Braves last season, Teheran posted a 3.81 ERA and 4.66 FIP while striking out 162 batters against 83 walks.