Braves loaded with young arms

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ATLANTA — Julio Teheran was not even born in 1990 when Steve Avery joined Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in the Braves rotation. Atlanta, which added Greg Maddux for the 1993 season, won six Cy Young Awards in the decade.

Brandon Beachy leads a solid group of young starters vying for a spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation this year.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brandon Beachy leads a solid group of young starters vying for a spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation this year.

Now Teheran, 21, is the junior member of a new youth movement in Atlanta.

Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Teheran combined to start 50 games as rookies last season.

Beachy, who was 7-3 and led the team in strikeouts despite missing a month with an oblique injury, appears set as a 2012 starter.

Minor was 5-3 in 15 starts. Delgado won only one of his seven starts but had a strong 2.83 ERA and allowed only a .220 batting average. Teheran, like Delgado, was 1-1.

Beachy said he hopes the team’s young guns, including top prospect Arodys Vizcaino, can remain together in the organization.

“There were a lot of people calling for big moves to be made last year,” Beachy said, referring to speculation one or more young pitchers might be traded. “Obviously I don’t get paid to make decisions like that, but I can’t say I’m not happy and pleased to keep all the young arms intact.

“The future could be a lot of fun to be a part of another young wave running through this organization.”

The insurance provided by the young pitchers could prove to be important.

Tim Hudson (back surgery), Tommy Hanson (shoulder) and Jair Jurrjens (knee) are coming off injuries.

Minor, 24, Delgado, 22, Teheran and Kris Medlen will compete for starting spots when spring training opens on Feb. 20.

If the veterans are healthy, there might be only one spot open. The competition is daunting.

“I feel like our pitching depth is beyond what we need here in the big leagues,” Minor said. “We’ve had Triple-A guys post good numbers every year and it’s hard to get a call-up.”

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