New Angels starter Julio Teheran was left off the Atlanta Braves’ postseason roster nearly five months ago. Some 30 days later, in November, the team that had nurtured his rise as one of baseball’s best prospects and featured him in its rotation for seven seasons let him go.
Teheran did not take it as a slight. The sting lasted briefly.
“It was difficult at first,” Teheran, 29, said in Spanish. “After spending my whole career since I was a kid with the Braves, I couldn’t help but feel emotional. But I understand that it’s a business and it’s my career, too. I took the decision professionally. I knew that my future depended on me moving on with another team.”
That Angels need Teheran, who signed a one-year contract for $9 million in December, to be a leader for a pitching staff that posted some of the worst numbers in recent franchise history. After one week getting to know him at spring training, manager Joe Maddon believes Teheran is up to the task.
“The conversation was easy with him,” Maddon said Sunday. “The fact that he’s a veteran player still looking to get better and he’s willing to accept information from a new group so readily, that’s what I…