Chris Resop is doing a pretty good Stephen Strasburg imitation these days. Resop may not be a top prospect, but the 27-year-old right-hander is pitching so well that he may not be in the minors much longer than Strasburg. And unlike the Nationals' prospect, Resop has some control over when he arrives in the majors.
Resop, a starter in the Braves' system with big league experience on the Marlins, Angels and Braves, has a clause in his contract that forces the Braves to expose him to the 29 other clubs if he's not on Atlanta's 25-man roster by June 15th. The clause, which Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains in detail here, means the Braves are likely to call Resop up or deal him within a few weeks.
Like Colby Lewis, who is in the midst of a strong season for the Rangers, Resop recently pitched in Japan. Unlike Lewis, Resop didn't dominate there. Before he left, Resop threw a 94 mph fastball as a reliever. Now, he's starting in Triple A and his first nine starts have been dominant. Resop has a 2.03 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. He has not been pitching deep into games, but he has allowed just 34 hits in 48.2 innings.
The Braves were confident enough in their starting pitching depth to deal Javier Vazquez last winter, but with Jair Jurrjens recovering from a hamstring injury, their rotation now looks thinner. Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami and Tommy Hanson have four rotation spots covered. Kris Medlen has started well in Jurrjens' absence, but the Braves may decide to promote Resop to maintain pitching depth.
If the Braves are confident moving on without Resop, they could trade him. The Nationals, Mets and Dodgers are among the teams that could look to acquire starters this summer. Resop would be more than just a rental, though – he isn't scheduled to hit free agency until after 2014.