LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Julio Teheran is certainly not the same pitcher who compiled a 9.37 ERA during Spring Training last year. The highly regarded Braves pitching prospect has developed into a much more complete and polished pitcher who appears ready to assume his role as Atlanta's fifth starter.
Teheran took another step toward cementing his place in Atlanta's rotation by holding the Cardinals hitless over five scoreless innings in Tuesday's 12-3 win at Champion Stadium. The 22-year-old right-hander has allowed two runs and four hits while recording 18 strikeouts in 18 innings since the start of the spring slate.
"Julio has got some weapons," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The more he goes out there, the more he is impressing me with his changeup and two-seamer that comes back on the lefties."
The sinking two-seam fastball appears to be the most influential addition to the enhanced arsenal utilized by Teheran, who had little more than a four-seam fastball to rely on at this time last year. "He pitched with his [four-seam] fastball and occasionally had a good curveball," Gonzalez said. "Now he's got the two fastballs -- the two-seamer and the four-seamer. He's got the curveball. The changeup is in there, and his slider is working well."
Teheran will make three more starts this spring. Barring any unforeseen developments, he will join Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm in Atlanta's starting rotation at the start of the regular season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.