Other relief possibilities

Everyone says that Manny Acosta is at least pencilled into the bullpen, but I can’t see that he he has it made. The Braves have a lot of guys who are out of options, and while Acosta pitched well last year he wasn’t a revelation or anything. Struck out 22 in 23 2/3 innings, which is great, but walked 14, which isn’t going to do it. His minor league control record is troubling, averaging over five walks per nine. Doesn’t give up many homers, can be part of a bullpen, but unless the Braves have to keep him — and I don’t think they do — seems likely to start in Richmond. Barring injury or collapse, will pitch in the majors this year… Middle name is “Alcides”, which mythologically is Heracles’ birth name. It sure beats “Kali”.

The Braves just had to have Jeff Ridgway, trading Willy Aybar and Chase Fontaine to secure an auxiliary backup LOOGY. [NOTE: Written last week.] Ridgway is essentially nobody, a career minor leaguer, drafted out of high school, who didn’t reach AA until he was 25, at which point he started putting up good numbers against players two or three years younger than him. For the Devil Rays, he retired one man in three appearances and gave up seven runs, all earned, for a sprightly 189.00 ERA. Hooray! Good K rates since being shifted to the bullpen in high-A ball, but homerprone, control an issue.

Blaine Boyer looked like a potential closer in 2005, but his shoulder went out late that season and he really hasn’t come back from it yet, partially because he and/or the Braves decided to delay surgery until the 2006 season had already started and Boyer had shown he was severely damaged. Last year Boyer was unspectacular in Richmond, mostly as a starter, and pitched briefly and largely ineffectively for the Braves. He’s out of options, and the memory of his 2005 run will get him a long look. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts the 2008 season on the DL, rehabbing someplace, and the Braves take an extra long time to make a decision.

All Phil Stockman does is get people out, and get hurt. Last year he was limited to 24 appearances, 36 innings, including a rehab assignment in the GCL. When he was available to pitch, he put up a 2.00 ERA and struck out 41 men against 14 walks, and allowed one homer. He’s been outstanding since joining the Braves organization, pitched well in his callup in 2006, and is a 6-8 English-born Australian; what more could you ask for?

In one of their more peculiar moves of an offseason of peculiar moves, the Braves designated Chad Paronto for assignment so they could sign Chris Resop to the 40-man roster. Resop’s 2007 season was cut short by surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow, he has notably bad mechanics from what I read, and when he’s pitched hasn’t pitched as well as Paronto. The Angels traded Kevin Gregg to get him, and Gregg saved 32 games for the Marlins last year.

Buddy Hernandez is listed on the R-Braves’ roster again, and appears set for his fifth consecutive season in Richmond, passing Damon Hollins. (Hollins had more total seasons, seven.) Call him the Deputy Mayor. He has essentially reached the “Hope for a meteor strike to hit the bullpen” portion of his career, but pitched rather well for the R-Braves in 2007 after a poor 2006. I believe he has pictures of Bobby Cox being kind to animals, distributing gifts to small children, donating to charity, etc.

Zach Schreiber is on the 40-man, meaning that the Braves think that someone else could draft him if he were left out there. All I know about him is the stats, which are rather impressive, 200 career strikeouts in 198 innings, a 2.45 career ERA. Control is, again, just a little shaky. He’s spent his entire career as a reliever, was a 16th round pick out of Duke (boo!) where he was a middle reliever. Relatively few collegiate middle relievers make the big leagues, and I’m guessing he was considered filler, but there’s some things of interest here. No relation, presumably, to the Zach Schreiber who up and quit the Alabama football team last year. It’s not like it’s a common name.

Anthony Lerew had Tommy John surgery at midseason last year. It’s possible that at some point this year he’ll be able to pitch, or at least come as close to being able to pitch as he ever does. At that point, the Braves would have to make a decision on him, too, and he’d be in the bullpen mix. The basic fact is that for most pitching prospects, using any reasonable definition of prospect, any future they have as major league pitchers will come in the bullpen.

Anyone I listed on the “other starters” post could wind up in the bullpen at some point. For that matter, so could any number of other guys. Relievers are unpredictable, and so is their usage.

Manny Acosta Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Jeff Ridgway Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Blaine Boyer Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Phil Stockman Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Chris Resop Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Buddy Hernandez Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Zach Schreiber Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com
Anthony Lerew Statistics (Minor Leagues) – Baseball-Reference.com

77 thoughts on “Other relief possibilities”

  1. As I championed Moylan last year, I champion Phil Stockman here.

    A votre sante, Phil Stockman.

    This guy is a K-Rod / Pappelbon / Wohlers ( know that is a scary comparison) type. 95 is easy, 98 is frequent. His stats show it. He just has to stay healthy.

    Can others join me in wishing him good health in other languages? Maybe that will work?

  2. Ridgeway’s mom and wife are wondering how their son has a major league pitching job when they both have better arms than he does.

  3. I believe in Stockman and Boyer and to a lesser extent Acosta. I don’t believe in Ridg(e)way, Resop, or any Braves reliever whose last name begins with “r.”

  4. The Braves already have a team that will probably make the playoffs. Add Bonds, and that becomes a near certainty. Unfortunately, we probably can’t afford him unless his price drops really low.

  5. the braves are no longer on tbs and they’re leaving richmond… they’re testing my fidelity as a fan (just slightly, but it’s a test). even considering bonds might push me right up to the edge.

  6. I don’t want him on the Braves either, but he could make for a nice platoon partner with Diaz.

  7. I would take Bonds without hesitation. He’s like 97 years old, and he still scares pitchers so much he dominated the league in intentional walks in only 477 PA. That’s just crazy. Pitchers fear this guy like no other. Still!

    Plus, he hits a ton of home runs. 28 in only 340 AB. He is still incredible, and I’d much rather not see him on the other team the first weekend of the season.

    Since the Braves aren’t going to land him, I really hope he ends up in the AL and not with the Mets.

  8. See its crap like that article that ticks me off. Pure idle speculation disguised as ‘reporting’. Bonds starts the season at home. Count it.

  9. Although I suppose it’s kinda fun to guess where Bonds could end up, the SI story on Bonds surprises me in that the writer has him actually playing LF for NL teams. If any club wanted to put up with Bonds, IMO, he’d simply be a DH.

    Johnny,
    That Bonds story is speculation. You are the only one calling it “disguised as reporting.”

  10. Dayn Perry is historically and unequivocally bearish on everything Braves. It’s like a medical condition or something.

    That said, I don’t expect Kotsay to be very good relative to other starting CFs around the league…

  11. Uh ok. Maybe too much outrage on my part. Maybe even just the idle speculation of Bonds ever wearing a Braves uniform caused it. Gross.

    Read Perry too. Where can one see what the average offensive statisics for a center fielder etc are? I’ve looked all over BR for that info.

  12. I can’t see the Braves even considering Bonds until after his trial is concluded and even then it seems highly unlikely given 1) payroll limitations, 2) Bobby Cox wouldn’t like the divisive impact of a grumpy diva like Bonds on the clubhouse, and 3) bad fan reaction due to Bonds breaking Aaron’s record having used steroids.

  13. I haven’t seen his stuff before, but Dayn Perry projects Kotsay as the worst everyday CF in MLB.

    I think that’s his best case scenario projection. His median projection is ‘so bad he’s not even allowed to play everyday’.

    This National Signing Day stuff is fun. Pulled DE Nick Pery out of Michigan, CB TJ Bryant out of Florida. If Pete gets Jerrell Harris out of Alabama later today, that will finish off his Christmas list.

  14. Jerrell Harris will end up at Bama

    Probably. Still, you always have to be a little suspicious when guys wait this long. A lot of times that means that they are going to make a decision that won’t be popular locally, so they wait as long as they can so they don’t have people in their ear all the time.

  15. there is a rumor up that one of Auburn’s recruits Fortson called them after visiting FSU several times. He wanted his deal sweetened with a little cash on top. Coudl be an Auburn fan just upset he chose FSU

  16. The most interesting recruit on USC’s radar this year is this local Mormon kid Uano Kaveinga, a highly touted LB. His family, friends, and church are all telling him – begging him really – to go to BYU. He soft verbaled to BYU but took his final recruiting trip to USC and was obviously impressed. Pete and Ken Norton (SC’s LB coach) have given hime the full court press since then. He supposed to announce later today, it will be interesting to see if he’s got the balls to go against everyone in his life and pick USC.

  17. USC has also lost a couple today, though, right? I know the one CB from Arkansas spurned them to play for Bobby Petrino for a year.

  18. Yeah Arkansas took Joe Adams back. He may be a CB or maybe a Percy Harvin type WR/RB combo. Can’t win them all, getting kids to leave the south can be tricky. Most people saw this one coming when Petrino signed on.

  19. “spurned them to play for Bobby Petrino for a year”

    Line of the year, Stu. I assume that was an intentional and deserved smack at the lying scum that Petrino is?

  20. UNC doing well. Losing Abrams-Ward to Tenn HURTS; but our average stars is going to be somewhere around 3.5.

    That’s with the Big Boys (Fla St., LSU, UGa, et.)

    USC and Bama are just sick this year.

    Notre Dame’s class is just, well, gross, actually. If they’re not playing for a NC in 3 years, Weis needs to be told spend less time in the Buffet line and more time Coaching.

  21. I assume that was an intentional and deserved smack at the lying scum that Petrino is?

    Yeah, I’m not predicting that Adams will try to do what Mo Clarett and Mike Williams couldn’t.

    UNC doing well.

    Yeah, and they were probably this year’s main beneficiary of Vanderbilt’s academic standards.

    (Mike McAdoo is gonna be pretty good. Going into the season, he was actually Bobby Johnson & Co.’s #2 priority. Then his grades slipped. Good kid and heck of a player, though. You’ll enjoy him.)

  22. @51,

    Isn’t Clemens v. McNamee starting to sound a lot like Clinton v. Wilensky?

    No I didn’t. Oops, here is the spill.

  23. I live about 15 minutes from Union University which was hit hard in Jackson, Tn. It rained here for about ten minutes…other than that it was an anti-climactic night around my house.

  24. It was pretty tense around my apartment last night, complete with my wife awakening me from a deep slumber—I will sleep through pretty much anything—and insisting that we retire to our bathroom closet until the sirens and “terrifying noises” ceased. I was awakened from my somewhat-less-deep slumber on the floor of said closet about an hour and half later and told that I was allowed to get back in bed.

    We live just inside Davidson County (very close to Williamson County), near where a lot of the storms were going on, but thankfully, other than some interrupted sleep, we were unscathed.

  25. What kind of sicko keeps those syringes for 6 years? He took them with him because he had the proper disposal, but never disposed them, actually hanging onto the gauze and syringes for 6 years. Did he label them, or keep them in a baggie for 6 years? These are the real questions.

  26. Yeah, that sort of struck my mind. Look, I don’t think anyone in his right mind thinks McNamee is a moral paragon. He may well have realized that those syringes would come in handy some day. And, wouldn’t you know it, he would have been right.

  27. My guess, McNamee had a plan of how to get his behind out of a sling. Offer them Clemens.

    Similar to Lewinsky (It took me a few minutes to get the name right) not taking the dress to the cleaners.

  28. BTW, glad to hear all you mid-South folk were unscathed by the twisters.

    That’s one thing I don’t miss about the South. Here, we just have nor’easters, terrorist attacks & Billy Joel.

  29. Robert,

    I was disappointed this morning to see CB T.J. Bryant get away to Southern Cal, so I was just glad to see the in-state guy stick around.

    Nick Perry (Detroit, MI) and Bryant (Tallahassee, FL) are terrific pickups. Nobody has national pull like USC–it’s pretty remarkable.

    Here’s to an old school Bama-USC title game in the near future.

  30. I’m sure Clemens will have his lawyers offer up some ‘explanation’ for the syringes. Give it up Roger, you’re a doper, just admit it, and I’d respect you more. (Well, more than I do now. I’ll still never respect him.)

  31. I don’t know guys you can McNamee had incredible forsight or he was smart to cya. Its just strange that he would keep evidence in the first place, when at that time there was no hint of testing or cracking down or even a hint that baseball cared that its players were juicing. So I just can’t see the reason to keep those pieces of evidence.

  32. mac…………it looks to me like the seminoles need to upgrade their payment method to keep up with the SEC. the shoes dont seem to be getting the job done anymore. whats the currency at ‘bama these days?

  33. Whoa, I must have missed something, when did the D-Backs trade Valverde to the Astros? I just now saw that they promoted Brandon Lyon to the closer role.

  34. I just read an article that said Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal were cockfighting in the DR. It said it was legal there, FWIW.

  35. Extremely, EXTREMELY off topic question, but I read an article about the top 100 movie soundtracks, and the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean were not up there. Probably won’t be answered because its so late, but does anyone think that soundtrack should be up there?

  36. This “evidence” certainly isn’t going to be admissible in Clemen’s law suit. There are way too many problems with it; there is no way to authenticate it, even if it has Clemen’s DNA. Frankly, I’m becoming increasingly skeptical about McNamee. Originally, I thought he had no incentive to lie, but having this stuff magically appear all of a sudden smacks of desparation. This guy was supposedly Clemen’s friend at the time, yet he keeps bloody bandages and syringes for 8 years? If he did, it sounds more like he was keeping it for blackmail purposes. It seems to me that many people want to believe Clemens is dirty so they are willing to accept anything McNamee says.

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