The biggest frustration for Braves fans this season has been the bullpen and their inability to exhibit any stable effectiveness to maintain a lead or close game. Starting with blowing a 7-run lead in an inning and, most recently, allowing the Marlins to pull away from a 5-4 lead to 10-4 in an inning. With that kind of performance, how can you expect to win games aside from having your starters go the distance?
If you were to ask five Braves fans who the most unreliable reliever on the staff was, there is a good chance you would get at least four different answers. They’re just that bad at times. My all-around choice for most lacking in production on the staff, however, is Blaine Boyer, without a doubt.
Last year, we gave Boyer a free pass. The bullpen was depleted by injuries and starters just weren’t able to get deep in the games at all. By the All-Star Break, Boyer had compiled 51 appearances and was believed to be battling the arm fatigue developed from that throughout the rest of the season. By the time the season had ended, he had appeared in 76 games and compiled a 5.88 ERA with a 2-6 record.
Sure enough, let it slide, he was worn down, beaten up and just all around needing a break. Well he got it. It’s called the offseason. This season, Boyer should have a fresh arm and be ready to go, but so far, more of the same. Wednesday night, he faced 5 batters and gave up 4 runs. On the season, Blaine has been on the mound in 3 games, recorded 4 outs and given up 6 earned runs. Not to mention that he has walked three batters and hit another; something we really just don’t want to see out of relievers. With all said and done, and a little bit of math, that’s a 40.50 ERA and an 0-1 record.
So here is the question, is it time for Blaine Boyer to hit the road? When Jo-Jo Reyes is called up from Gwinnett on Saturday to take the start in the place of the injured Tom Glavine, someone has to be sent down to make room on the roster. All signs point to that person being Boyer, based solely on performance. Sure, he has potential and a powerful arm, but how long can we really be patient and hope that it develops?
The catch is that Boyer is out of options, so there is the chance that if we send him to the minors, he could be claimed and no longer part of the organization. At this point, I’m not convinced that that is a bad thing to happen. Maybe he can find more success elsewhere for some other club. Am I being too harsh or is it time for Blaine to start packing?
Tags: Blaine Boyer, Options
Posted in Roster Moves, Speculation | 8 Comments »