The story of today's game is the Major League debut of Chad Bettis, who gets the start today in Atlanta. As of July 2nd, Purple Row had him ranked as the 6th best prospect in the organization, and before the 2012 season Baseball America ranked him as the 86th best prospect in the world. Injuries throughout 2012 and earlier this year caused his stock to fall, but he's come back and pitched very well so far in AA Tulsa.
In 63 innings (all starts), Bettis has struck out 68 batters while walking only 13 for a pristine 5.23 strike out to walk ratio. His 3.71 ERA is very respectable. Bettis can flash a high 90s fastball and a wipe-out slider, though--much like Juan Nicasio--his third pitch is still a work in progress. For his first start he is being given a tough assignment in the red-hot Atlanta Braves.
The Braves have torched all three Rockies starters so far in this series; Jorge de la Rosa, Juan Nicasio, and Tyler Chatwood have given up 8, 8, and 7 runs respectively. Bettis should beware Freddie Freeman, who has gone 7 for 15 in the series with two homers, six RBIs, and uncounted nightmares for Rockies fans.
Julio Teheran is starting for the Braves. He's another young, hard throwing righty who owns a mighty fine 3.07 ERA.
Carlos Gonzalez is sitting out tonight's game due to his lingering finger sprain. He's in a strange sort of limbo with the injury; it's apparently not bad enough to go on the DL, yet it's expected to bother him the rest of the year. If Cargo is compromised for the rest of 2013, things could keep getting uglier.
1. CF: Jason Heyward
2. RF: Justin Upton
3. 1B: Freddie Freeman
4. LF: Evan Gattis
5. C: Brian McCann
6. 3B: Chris Johnson
7. 2B: Dan Uggla
8. SS: Andrelton Simmons
9. SP: Julio Teheran