Chris Spurling

Who? Spurling’s a big righthander who doesn’t throw particularly hard, was taken by the Braves in the Rule 5 draft out of the Pirates organization. Yes, the Braves are taking minor leaguers that the Pirates don’t even care enough about to put on the 40-man roster and putting them in the major league bullpen. It’s better to just not think about it.

Spurling had a strong year at Altoona last year, posting a 2.19 ERA with 60 strikeouts/12 walks in 70 innings. However, he was repeating the level and hadn’t been that effective before. Moreover, he’s a minor league reliever and while they don’t exactly grow on trees, they aren’t rare. It’s a very odd decision for the Braves to have made, but I guess they saw something they liked. Spurling will probably be in the Braves’ pen all season unless he comes down with an “injury” and goes on the DL. The Braves can’t demote him to Richmond without offering him back to the Pirates for the waiver price. Unless he’s great in spring training, keeping him around almost guarantees the dreaded seven-man bullpen.–Chris Spurling Player Bio

6 thoughts on “Chris Spurling”

  1. To be completely fair, he had a pretty nice season at Altoona in 2001 as well. Not as dominant as he was last year, but he had a 3.11 ERA in 2001. For whatever reason the Pirates tried him as a starter for a lot of that season.

    He was pretty good for the Yankees in 2000 as well.

  2. And yet, here we are with Spurling and no Hernandez… When looking at minor leaguers, I generally look at the peripherals. His peripherals in 2002 are borderline great, about 8 K/9 and few walks. Generally, any pitcher with a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio is worth a look. But the season before he had more than twice the innings and only a few more strikeouts, and in prior seasons the control wasn’t there.

    It’s not like the Braves don’t know far, far more about him than I do. Heck, all I know is a few stats. And maybe they think he can repeat that at a higher level. But that’s two spots on the roster where we’re locked into pitchers we can’t be relatively sure of.

  3. Of course, I thought the same thing last year with Hammond and Holmes.

    And yes, I know that’s a crap argument. And no, I don’t really believe it. But it’s still kind of neat.

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