Braves tinkering with ideas for playoff rotation

Braves tinkering with ideas for playoff rotation

Braves tinkering with ideas for playoff rotation
MIAMI -- With the Braves inching closer to a postseason berth, manager Fredi Gonzalez has a big decision looming. Who will be Atlanta's No. 1 starter in the playoffs?

"That's a good question," Gonzalez said. "I don't know yet. For me, it's between [Tim] Hudson and [Kris] Medlen."

Hudson, who collected his eighth 15-win season (and third in a row) with a victory against the Marlins on Monday, has been solid for Atlanta all season. The righty, in his eighth season with the Braves, has gone 15-6 with a 3.77 ERA.

Medlen has been phenomenal since joining the Braves' rotation at the end of July. The 26-year-old righty entered Wednesday's start in Miami 7-0 with an 0.86 ERA as a starter, giving up just six earned runs in 62 2/3 innings.

The decision on who will bolster the rotation in the postseason will likely come down to steady veteran experience vs. a young phenom. Hudson has made 10 postseason appearances, including nine starts, going 1-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 54 2/3 innings. Medlen, on the other hand, has never pitched in the playoffs, but is arguably the hottest pitcher in the Majors at the moment.

Entering Wednesday, the Braves had won each of Medlen's last 20 starts, dating back to 2010, the longest such streak in team history. The Braves may want to try to ride that momentum at the start of a postseason series.

Whatever Gonzalez's decision may be, the Braves manager said he and pitching coach Roger McDowell could tweak the rotation in the next week to set up for the postseason, possibly flip-flopping starters in order to keep them throwing as close to regular rest as possible.

"We could do something," Gonzalez said. "We could manipulate something here after the next off-day, if we wanted to or if we feel like we need to do that."