ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran eased some concerns on Tuesday night when he produced his finest start of the year for Triple-A Gwinnett. The right-hander recorded a season-high nine strikeouts and limited Norfolk to one run over eight innings in a 3-1 victory, raising his record to 7-7.
This might have been viewed as a normal start when Teheran was going 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA for Gwinnett last year. But this season has proven to be much different for the highly-regarded 21-year-old pitching prospect, who has posted a 5.05 ERA through his first 23 starts.
"It doesn't bother me, because you're going to have some adversities and he has really not had any adversities,'" Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "This young man had really never had problems anywhere. So this year he's had to deal with some adversity and make some changes. That's fine. It's better there than in the Major Leagues."
Teheran's performance on Tuesday night provided a reminder of why MLB.com ranks him as the game's top pitching prospect. Still five months shy of his 22nd birthday, he still seemingly has a bright future.
"This morning when I woke up and saw [the results], I was like, 'Wow, that's been a long time since we've seen those kinds of numbers and a dominant performance like that from him,'" Gonzalez said. "Last year, we've seen that a lot. That really started off my day pretty good."
Braves assistant general manager Bruce Manno said Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed has been attempting to allow Teheran to find a comfort level with his delivery before making any necessary adjustments to his mechanics.
There were some questions surrounding Teheran when he posted a 3.57 ERA in his first 10 starts of the season. Those questions grew to concerns when he posted a 6.57 ERA over his next 10 starts. But now, as he nears the end of his second season with Gwinnett, he might be turning the corner.
Just five days before dazzling on Tuesday, Teheran had allowed five earned runs and eight hits in just four innings against the same Norfolk lineup.