Skip to main content

Spencer Strider lost for season: 4 Atlanta Braves replacement options in and outside the organization, including Trevor Bauer

atlanta braves
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves worst-case scenario became a reality on Friday when Spencer Strider underwent season-ending elbow surgery. Leaving a massive hole in their starting rotation in a 2024 season that had very high expectations.

Last season the Braves had one of their greatest seasons in team history when they posted a whopping 104 wins and won the National League East for a seventh straight season. However, despite having one of the best records in the sport, the team was shockingly eliminated by rivals the Philadelphia Phillies in the Divisional Round.

Related: Atlanta Braves game today – Get channel and watch times for tonight’s matchup

After making some tweaks in the offseason, the expectations for the Braves in 2024 were sky high and the team is seen as a top threat to the Los Angeles Dodgers goal of getting back to the World Series in October. However, the club’s title aspirations were severely damaged this week when it was revealed Spencer Strider was done for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The injury leaves a massive hole in Atlanta’s rotation and is a big hit to their title hopes. While they will be unable to completely replace the ace who won 20 games for them in 2023, here are four players who could make an impact by taking over Strider’s spot in the Braves rotation.

4 potential Spencer Strider replacements for the rest of the 2024 season

atlanta braves
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Bauer

A name that will surely be bandied about now that Strider is officially done for the season is 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. The Reds and Dodgers veteran is still available in free agency because of the damage he did to his reputation two years ago after allegations of sexually assaulting multiple women. Most organizations fear the public relations hit from signing the one-time All-Star, but Atlanta may be desperate enough after losing their ace this week.

Bauer pitched well in Japan last season and is willing to take a league-minimum contract to get one more chance in MLB and repair his reputation.

Related: Latest MLB power rankings – Where do the Atlanta Braves land in the latest rankings?

AJ Smith-Shaver

AJ Smith-Shaver is one player that could get serious consideration by the Atlanta Braves management in the coming days. The 21-year-old is the top-rated player in their farm system on MLB.com, has a full season in Triple-A under his belt, and started one game in the big leagues last season. However, what may curtail a promotion is he again has gotten off to a rocky start in the 2024 season and the organization could be afraid he is not ready for a prolonged stay at the next level.

atlanta braves
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Luzardo

There have been rumblings for months that the Miami Marlins might be willing to trade veteran arm Jesus Luzardo. The 26-year-old was rock-solid for a Miami team that shocked many by reaching the postseason in 2023. On a team with a powerful lineup like Atlanta, he very easily could win 15 games after spending his career on lowly A’s and Marlins clubs.

He and the Marlins have gotten off to a rough start in 2024, and while trading inside the division is a non-starter for most teams, Miami have long shown they don’t care about such notions if they get the return they want in a trade.

Related: MLB standings – Where are the Atlanta Braves in the latest standings?

Darius Vines

Darius Vines made five appearances for the Braves in 2023 and earned one win and a rock-solid 3.98 ERA in a stint that included two starts. The 14th-ranked player in the organization’s minor leagues was strong in Triple-A last year and is off to a solid start again in 2024.

He is a logical option to take Strider’s spot to see if he can sink or swim. If it does not work out for Vines, No. 15 prospect Dylan Dodd could be the next player up to try and fill the Spencer Strider void this season.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: