Braves Rookie Making First MLB Start Sunday versus Diamondbacks


Spencer Strider has been a member of the Atlanta Braves' bullpen since Opening Day, but today he's making his first MLB start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Strider, 23, has earned his way to the dugout. He's pitched 24.1 relief innings over 11 appearances this season, thus averaging over two innings of work every time he gets the call. 

Strider's numbers look equally clean, with a 2.22 earned-run average and a 1.027 WHIP. His fastball velocity is in the league's 99th percentile, and his whiff rate is in the 93rd. But those totals come with a cost. Strider walks more batters on average than 81% of pitchers in the league, and hitters average higher exit velocities against him than they do against 86% of the league's pitchers.

That being said, Strider brings a whole lot of potential to the table. Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2017, the 23-year-old showed consistent velocity and strikeout totals in the minor leagues. Playing for Double-A Mississippi in 2021, Strider struckout 94 batters over 63 innings and 14 starts. His main problem lay in his 4.76 ERA that year---a consequence of his below-average hard-hit rate. Strider will look to control the hard contact he usually allows against the Diamondbacks today. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports