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Braves Talk: Soroka vs. Morton Wednesday night

Bill Shanks talks about Wednesday's matchup between the Braves and Rays

Mike Soroka takes on former Braves pitcher Charlie Morton on Wednesday night in the Braves' home opener at Truist Park. 

Of course, it will be the strangest home opener in team history, with no fans in the stands.

After three lackluster starts by Sean Newcomb, Mike Foltynewicz and Kyle Wright, the Braves need a solid start tonight from their ace.

The first two spots in the rotation, held by Soroka and Max Fried, are fine. The bullpen looks great. But the weakness in the three, four and five spots in the rotation could bring down this team if something doesn’t change.

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The Braves can’t wait around. One-twelfth of this season is already over. In another two weeks, one-third of the season will be over. That urgency is why the Braves designated Foltynewicz for assignment after one bad start.

Newcomb, Foltynewicz, and Wright – the bottom three starters - combined for 9.1 innings and allowed 12 runs. While Soroka and Fried allowed just two runs in 11 innings in the first two games.

So, now what? Well, Newcomb will get another chance on Friday night against the Mets. GM Alex Anthopoulos hinted Tuesday in a radio interview that Toussaint could get the start Sunday to replace Foltynewicz, and that is no certainty. Even if those two and Wright gave the Braves good starts, will it be enough to make you think the Braves’ rotation can be a strength for 55 more games?

Probably not. Anthopoulos is going to have no choice but to go after another starting pitcher.