By: Lucas Kochevar
Sean Newcomb has really gotten his chance to prove his worth on a one of the brightest young teams in the MLB. The Braves have tried out Newcomb in multiple ways as a starting pitcher and relief pitcher. Last year he primarily played the role of a starter on a thin rotation. He had a chance to earn his spot in this years rotation, but unfortunately he couldn't fit in and provide consistent pitching. He got sent to triple-A in Gwinnett for some time.
Per Brian Renfroe, He was recalled on May 6th and started to appear out of the bullpen. He then went on to come in for 16 relief appearances. He proved to be very efficient in this role. With a struggling Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz, Newcomb came back to the starting rotation for a matchup against the Phillies. He was pitching relatively well and then J.T. Realmuto lined a ball and hit Newk in the back of the head. He went out of the game after 2 IP and was soon on the IL with a concussion.
Newk was then assigned to Gwinnett for some rehab games and came back to the majors as a reliever and showed that his arm out of the bullpen could provide great value. Newk has always been a very talented pitcher as he can throw high 90's with heat, but control issues have haunted him for most of his career. As a reliever he has been ultimately very effective, with a few outlier performances. Newk out of the bullpen might have been what he needed to unlock his potential. The hope is that the less inning he has to throw, the less he has to worry about his control problems and he can focus on his fastballs. Lets hope that Newcomb can help this Braves team for the next couple months.