Can Gohara Make a Come Back?

Can Gohara Make a Come Back?

These young Braves make each game so exciting to watch. The anticipation of wondering what will happen next, wishing for a hit and it happening. Everyone is contributing and everyone is meshing so well together. The team chemistry is the best its been in years. This is not just a team, this is a family. After Mike Soroka’s amazing start and an incredible first week for Ronald Acuna Jr., there is new life infused into the 2018 Braves. This family atmosphere has had such an amazing effect on every part of this team. In most years, you can point to one player and say they carried the team, not this year. Ozzie, Dansby, Acuna, Freddie, Ender, Soroka, the list goes on and on.

Luiz Gohara was one player that the Braves fandom expected to be in the mix with these young kids helping out in the starting rotation. But like most things this season, the unexpected has been the contributing factor in the Braves success.

In September of 2017, Gohara played in 5 games, with 29.1 innings pitched and a 4.91 ERA. He had a 1-3 record with the Brave last year. Across those 29.1 innings, he struck out 31 and walked 8. He has been compared to CC Sabathia in the way that he pitches and his overall build.

When Gohara experienced a groin strain followed by a sprained ankle in March, he was forced to miss all of Spring Training and has been rehabbing in the minors ever since. In the offseason, Gohara also suffered the great loss of his father.

It was a tough offseason,” Gohara said. “It was hard to leave [Brazil], but you’ve got to go to work.”

Gohara has been expected to return to the Braves in May, but with the way he has been playing lately they may hold off on calling him up. Brian Snitker said:

He’s not ready. It’s spring training for him, pretty much. He got way behind, so he’s just going to need to keep pitching. And it’s one of those situations where a guy like that, he’ll let you know when he’s ready (by his performance). If we don’t need him then it’s good that he can stay down there and get everything together.”

With all of these unfortunate events putting a strain on his mind and body, there is no wonder Gohara is performing the way that he is. Now, we have no idea of knowing that these things are the sole factors of why he is underperforming,  but with the bad luck he has had, how could it not affect someone and the way they play.

Gohara’s numbers over his last few starts have not been the greatest. In his last outing for Gwinnett on Wednesday of this week, he was shaken. He pitched into the 4th inning and allowed 6 runs, walked 4 and gave up 8 hits. He only struck out 3. He now has an ERA of 8.03 and a 0-1 record with the Stripers. On April 17th Gabriel Burns reported that in Mississippi, he pitched 3-1/3 innings, walked 3, allowed 5 runs and struck out 4. He threw 62 pitches only 35 of those were strikes.

With the type of numbers he has put up over the last few games, his attitude somewhat exhibits a nonchalant mentality. If Gohara continues to pitch the way he has and gets demoted to Mississippi again, it could do more damage to the way he is performing. Something has to change if he wants to make it back to the big leagues. We have seen how well Gohara can be, but unfortunately, as more and more talent has made its way to the starting rotation, I fear that by the time Gohara is ready and pitching consistently and successful, there may not be a spot left for him.

But it makes you wonder if spending a little time with the guys who are in the starting line-up right now is exactly what Gohara needs. Fresh energy and a winning spirit, with a team that is confident, can go a long way. Not to say that Gwinnett is not spirited, but there is something special about this set of Braves in the big leagues that is contagious and infectious. If he can prove he’s got what it takes, like what we saw last season, with a few solid starts he might be a good option for the bullpen. Then maybe he can get that spark and confidence that these Braves have in order to win.

The way this team is playing has put hope in the minds of the players and fans that all of the rebuilding wasn’t for nothing. After several years of rebuilding, the Braves are finally revealing what they have been keeping up their sleeve. It’s got the fans excited and Gohara could and should still be a part of this team and its success, he just needs a little extra something to help him bounce back.

8 Comments

Seattle gave up on him—he stayed in low a for 4 years I think. We got him on the cheap and put him with our best pitching coach Dennis L. and he blossomed. Gohara has never pitched more than 80 innings before last year—he did almost 160 last year—with what happened to his dad and his mom being sick—he has never shown consistency. Once he starts putting a run together like last year I don’t believe the Braves have 5 other starters with his upside. So whenever he turns it around he will be on the big club. IMO. Behind Soroka and Wright (and a touki who has control) no other braves prospect has his upside. He could be amazing for a long time—I am fine if he misses most of the year developing his control (again). Great read.

I agree with Andy that it seems to be the way it’s going to go. We all have to remember how young he is. He has time on his dies. It may take him a year or at least the rest of this year to get it back. What you say, Brittni, could also be true. Even Acuna didn’t hit nearly as well in AAA even after he turned the corner as he did when he finally got to the majors. The best thing the Braves could do is to help him at AAA. Put him on a conditioning program, give him the best pitching coach, find a counselor to help him talk about his family problems and provide companionship in the US. He is definitely worth a special investment. But he is not going to turn it around without help above and beyond the normal baseball. He’s what, 21? That is damned young and not necessarily fully mature. Short of being in the Army, how do 21-year-olds develop discipline? Design a routine for him. And it’s not like he’s surrounded by people speaking Portuguese. How many Brazilians are there in the majors or AAA? It’s not just another Spanish-speaking country. I would buy him a full time, Portuguese-speaking, “friend”.

He’s got the talent. It’s up to the Braves to help him find it again. Whether he does or not is an open question. Right now, with Soroka up, there’s no obvious place for him in the rotation so there is plenty of time to relax and get him fixed.

Brittni…I agree with Andy and Roger. Gohara will eventually right his ship. Dude’s the kind of pitcher who needs to pitch regularly in order to be effective. In other words, right now he’s in Spring Training mode. I know that these are regular season games for those playing at Gwinnett. However Gohara is working on both his conditioning (kind of hard lose the weight, when you injure your ankle in a Spring Training drill and have to stay off it for almost a month)..as well as getting a feel for his pitching on the mound.

I’ve been watching his starts online (both at Mississippi and Gwinnett this year). He’s throwing ok…just not locating his pitches very good. I feel that in another 4-5 starts…he’ll look like The Gohara that we all anticipate by the end of May.

I’m watching McCarthy pitch right now…and he simply cannot induce enough ‘swing and miss’ to be anything more than a 5-6 inning pitcher (whereas Gohara has the makings of a workhorse). Every time I see him pitch, he reminds me of CC Cybathia (not because he’s hefty…but because of how he goes after hitters when he’s on the mound). Even though Gohara has struggled at Gwinnett…he’s going after hitters. He just has to work on locating his pitches.

Bottom line….assuming that Gohara (and Kolby Allard) progress as I expect this summer….I would love to see our GM, AA, trade McCarthy by The July Trade Deadline.

Ask yourself this: Come playoff time, is it realistic to believe that BOTH McCarthy AND Teheran….are capable of pitching 6-7 innings of QUALITY Playoff Baseball? I simply DO NOT think so! Come playoff time…all the teams pretty much have hitters who can hit/rake against pitchers who ‘lack’ swing and miss capability!

That’s why I’ll maintain all along..that The 2018 Season should be about positioning The Braves to start DOMINATING MLB when The 2019 Season begins! I’m not saying that The Braves should ‘give up’ on 2018. I’m saying that our future…lies with the likes of Soroka, Allard, Wright, Gohara (and possibly Newcomb…IF he can cut down on the freaking walks CONSISTENTLY…..and also possibly Folty…IF he can get his head on straight)…as well as our PLETHORA of young/potentially high upside starting pitching prospects like Tooki Tousiant (dude pitched another DOMINATING performance in AA last night), Patrick Weigel (hopefully he’ll get a few starts at AAA this year in his comeback from his arm surgery last year), Joey Wentz, Bryce Wilson (he’s simply TOYING with High A hitters so far this year), Ian Anderson and Kyle Muller!

McCarthy’s purpose is to stay healthy LONG ENOUGH/pitch ‘half-way decent’ (which he DID NOT do tonight, lol) for Gohara and Allard to show that they are ready for The Majors this summer!

I DO NOT like how the first 2 games of this series with The Giants has played out. 40,000 PLUS Braves fans come to see this team play in each of the past 2 games..and I have no choice but to say that if I were among those paying customers…I’d feel HELLA CHEATED right now!

Losing is one thing. But for Folty and McCarthy to both come out and PITCH PATHETIC…as well as The Defense not exactly ‘lighting it up’..is HELLA FRUSTRATING. Even the offense hasnt exactly done very much.

Meanwhile, it doesnt look like Lucas Sims is going to stay up very long this time either! When Sims has to throw a strike..he gets LIT UP! This Braves team WILL NOT stay competitive for very long in 2018..as long as Lucas Sims is on this roster. I’d rather that AA kept Fried on the roster!

It looks like Snitker basically GAVE UP on this game too! Why not give up tomorrow’s game as well….I guess that the game plan is to get swept..so we can basically give our best bullpen pitchers (Vizcaino, Minter, Winkler, Carle and Freeman) a whole week off, lol!

But seriously….I hope that Sims DOES NOT stay on The Braves Roster for very long. I’m tired of seeing his STRAIGHT FAST BALL with NO MOVEMENT ON IT….getting LIT UP!

Mike Soroka is going to have to show that he’s basically OUR ACE right now! It looks like he’ll have to save The Braves from getting SWEPT tomorrow…because right now our offense is making The Giants pitching look like Cy Freaking Young Candidates!

I DID NOT expect this GARBAGE that’s been exhibited by The Braves this weekend! Looks like some of the good press has gotten to the heads of a number of our players this weekend.

By the way, is it too much to ask for our pitchers to LEARN HOW TO FREAKING BUNT? Folty, McCarthy, now Sims….simply unable to get bunts down. Folty last night looked like he was FREAKING SCARED to even attempt laying down a bunt!

As good as that 19-11 start looked….I’ve been saying ALL ALONG that we have HOLES on this team that need addressing (in other words, a few July Trade Deadline moves WILL NOT make us serious World Series Contenders in 2018). We lack legit power behind Freddie Freeman….AND we lack consistent/swing and miss/7-8 inning starting pitchers…AS WELL as a lockdown closer.

However, all those needs CAN be address 1. by giving Soroka, Allard and Kyle Wright their ‘cups of coffee’ (along with getting Gohara back)…2. The 2018 Free Agent Offseason. 3. Albies and Acuna getting a full season of hitting at the top of the order in 2018…will help them come 2019.

So please AA…DO NOT sacrifice our future at The July Trade Deadline….just to chase a PIPE DREAM Wild Card Spot (because Washington is going to win this division…they will sacrifice their prospects in order to GO FOR IT in 2018). Instead…we should be SELLERS (trade BOTH McCarthy AND Teheran…and possibly Vizcaino IF the right offer comes our way).

I know that people ‘hate’ talking about ‘must win games’ in early May…however I feel that today’s game ranks as a MUST WIN. Sweeps are tough to overcome…if Soroka can get The Braves a win today, losing 2 of 3 in a series against a decent team like The Giants (even when it’s at home)…isnt ‘the end of the world’, lol.

In this 3 game series against The Giants, our starting pitchers have gone 5 innings (Folty on Friday night), 3 2/3rd innings (McCarthy Saturday night) and 4 innings (Soroka today).

That IS NOT going to cut it! The bullpen went from being rested after The Mets series..to being hella worked (Vizcaino being the exception)! Even Minter had to be taken out last night, because he threw 24 pitches in only 2/3rds of an inning (Winkler had to be called upon in order to ‘save’ BOTH Minter and his ‘ERA’, the bases were loaded when he came in the top of the 9th inning of a 11-2 loss).

Instead of Soroka ‘rubbing off’ onto Folty and McCarthy..it looks like Folty and McCarthy ‘rubbed off’ on Soroka (nibbling, leaving hittable pitches up to get SMASHED).

Unless we come back (we’re down 4-1 in the bottom of the 7th inning)…I cant help but say that the approximately 120k fans that showed up for this 3 game series this weekend…WERE ROBBED! Sure, it FATTEN Liberty’s pocketbooks (I’d love for someone to do a financial comparison of a 3 game sellout at Turner Field…which has NOTHING to do around it….with a 3 game sellout at Sun Trust Field…which The Braves have a financial interest in the many things that fans spend money at The Battery)….however the product has SUCKED this weekend.

The only ‘consolation’ that can be taken away this weekend….is that The Braves will still be in 1st place when we go to Tampa for a short 2 game series that starts on Tuesday (the off day on Monday will come in handy for BOTH our middle relievers who have been OVERWORKED the past three days..as well as giving our starting pitchers an extra day to GET THEIR SHIT together, lol).

The Giants go to Philly for 4 games starting tomorrow. Hopefully they will BEAT UP on the Phillies in the same manner that they BEAT UP on us this weekend!

The Braves have 6 winnable games this week on the road (2 at Tampa, 4 in Florida). Then again, we just made 3 Giants pitchers not named Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija (all of whom are on the disabled list) all look like Cy Freaking Young this weekend….AT HOME!

To be honest, I dont know what to expect this week. This week, we’ll start to find out what kind of team that we really have (can The Braves REBOUND from getting SHELLACKED this weekend?). Are we the team that started the year 19-11? Or…have The Giants figured out a way to pitch to/hit against The Braves (which the scouts of other teams will surely forward to future Braves opponents).

My opinion, we’re ‘around’ a .500 club….which will IMPROVE once The July Trade Deadline occurs (but not enough to be a serious World Series contender). Like I stated last night, we have two issues that will be addressed: 1. When Kolby Allard and Luis Gohara get called up..and join Mike Soroka in getting their ‘cups of coffee’ starts this year (they are going to have their ‘ups and downs’, as Soroka showed today, during the rest of 2018. However, I’d rather that they deal with ‘the ups and downs’…in 2018…which means that McCarthy and probably Teheran will need to be traded to open up spots for Allard and Gohara). 2. In the 2018 Free Agent Offseason, when our lack of power behind Freddie Freeman, as well as a lights out closer, should be addressed by our GM, AA.

What MLB wants..is for The Braves to FOOLISHLY feel that we have a chance to make a deep playoff run in 2018…so other teams can get their hands on the likes of Tooki Tousiant, Kolby Allard, Kyle Wright, Joey Wentz, Bryce Wilson, Ian Anderson, Austin Riley and Christian Pache (pieces that other teams will want in exchange for The Braves to acquire pieces to chase a PIPE DREAM Wild Card spot in 2018).

SCREW THAT! Those players…are VITAL to The Future of The Atlanta Braves! They provide 3 years of pre-arbitration value..along with 3 years of control through arbitration. Just imagine if The Braves had traded Ozzie Albies, Mike Soroka and Tooki Tousiant (among others) two years ago when many ‘so-called’ Braves fans wanted Coppy to go after Chris Sale or Chris Archer?

The Braves ARE NOT ‘an ace’ away from being serious World Series contenders! I’m in this for the long haul. Sure, it would ‘be nice’ to get excited about a possible playoff push this year! However, I just dont see it…because we’re not quite ready! Yes…we’re better than the mess that was trotted out the past 4 years. However, I just pointed out what needs to be done…and that will take ‘a little more time’ to address…which is ok..because I feel that if AA takes the above approach (which is to be A SELLER, not a buyer at The July Trade Deadline…while giving our young pitchers their ‘cups of coffee’ starts this year)….2019 will be the year that start DOMINATING MLB!

Tooki Tousiant is starting to make me think that he might have a shot at being in The Braves Rotation (either in 2019 or 2020). He’s racking up the strikeouts…limiting the walks…pitching into the 7th inning…in his past couple of starts! Bryce Wilson (with the 0.48 ERA through 5 starts in High Class A to start the year..was just promoted to Double A).

With Austin Riley just getting promoted to Triple A…he’ll have about 2 1/2 months to show IF he might warrant a promotion to Atlanta/to being considered someone we might want to start the last couple of months at 3rd base (if he hits in Triple A the way he hit to start off 2018 in Double A, with power AND average…then ‘maybe’).

YOUTH…is what’s going to DRIVE The Braves eventual DOMINANCE of MLB…NOT trading for pricey veterans/spending $40 mil to sign an injury prone Clayton Kershaw, lol!

Come early August…Austin Riley, Kolby Allard, Luiz Gohara, Kyle Wright (maybe a couple of more surprises) all could be making SIGNIFICANT contributions the last 2 months of the season. Even if they ‘struggle’ the last part of the season….the experience they gain dealing with the ‘ups and downs’ this year..will prove invaluable going into 2019.

I know it sounds like I’m harping on all this..I just SO MUCH see a vision of our GREAT YOUTH (if AA doesnt get a happy trigger finger and start making ‘Noah Synderguard/Travis Dnaurd for RA Dickey’ type trades) FOR YEARS TO COME…..making All-Star Teams and helping The Braves DOMINATE for many years to come (no reason why we cant duplicate or even surpass the 14 division titles in a row that we won from 1991-2005)!

I just read that The Braves pulled Gohara from his start in Gwinnett tonight….with the implication being that he’s going to be used in The Bullpen for The Braves.

I’m not a big fan of that. I’d rather have Gohara kept in AAA and given an opportunity to ‘stretch out/work out the kinks’….until he shows he’s ready to be promoted to our Rotation.

I get what our GM, AA, is thinking: That Gohara will be an arm who can pitch multiple innings (potentially in high leverage situations). However dude’s a future arm in our rotation. I feel that a move like this…is akin to ‘going for it’ in 2018…while sacrificing Gohara’s potential effectiveness in 2019 (in other words, Gohara needs to start games in Atlanta in 2018…for him to get to the point where he can effectively pitch for us in 2019).

I’d love to be wrong in my assessment…however I’m not a fan of this move!

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