As reported by the AJC, Buddy Carlyle is on his way from Triple-A Richmond to Florida to meet up with the Braves for their series against the Marlins. He is slated to either replace Tom Glavine should he need to be placed on the disabled list because of his hamstring, or to fill in as the fifth starter in the rotation.
With this move, someone from the bullpen has to be sent down to make room on the roster. The Braves have not yet announced their decision on whose spot Carlyle will take, but I’m hopeful that it’s Chris Resop. Resop, though he’s out of options and would have to clear waivers, has been a thorn in the side of the pen so far this season as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think Jeff Bennett’s outing was bad enough to send him and we need his potential as a long reliever.
Carlyle was 0-0 through 2 outings in Richmond thus far this season with a 7.04 ERA.
UPDATE: The Braves have announced that Peter Moylan has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain.
Tags: Buddy Carlyle, Chris Resop, Peter Moylan
Posted in Injuries, Roster Moves | 12 Comments »
This is more like it.
After a recent three game skid in Colorado, I (as well as most Braves fans) was ready for something good to happen. And we got it tonight, April 11th, in our nation’s capitol.
The last time we played here, opening the National’s new park on March 30th, we were robbed by a walk-off homer in the 9th. But tonight, Tim Hudson was almost hitless in 8 solid innings. Actually, he wasn’t-he gave up three hits, but let’s not split hairs.
His placement was extraordinary. The ball seemed to obey his every thought. I re-watched some of the pitches in slow-mo and it was uncanny at times the movement the ball had. You know you are doing it right when you retire a side twice throwing nine pitches.
Did it smell a little special at the beginning of the game? Like maybe something good was in the oven? Maybe so, or maybe it’s my optimism. But the Braves’ alternate road jerseys were on (by Hudson’s choosing, evidently) and it seemed like our team was feeling refreshed by an extra day of rest. Plus the fact that D.C.’s 73° was almost balmy considering Colorado’s unfriendly climate.
Now the Nats are nothing to sneeze at, despite the fact that their pitching is ranked 14th in the National League. We all know baseball is a sport that any given night, the worst team can beat the best team. Yes, the Braves look better on paper than the Nats, but with some of our players yet to find their offensive legs (Tex? Francoeur?), and a bullpen that has yet to not give me heartburn, this game was still something to be taken seriously.
And, sure, Hudson dominated, but so did the Nationals Matt Chico. In fact, he didn’t give up an earned run until the 6th inning, off of Yunel Escobar’s solo homer. Really, either the Braves’ offense was asleep at the wheel, or Chico had our number.
And Matty Diaz looked like he was headed into a terrible night, what with two strike-outs and hitting into a double play. But it was his two-run RBI in the top of the 9th that gave Hudson some much desired breathing room.
By this time (the 9th) sidewinder artist Peter Moylan came in to close the door on the still run-less Nationals. But you’re thinking-Hey, Moylan’s not the closer! What are we paying Rafael Soriano for? Well, if you’re not thinking that, you should. That guy is freaking expensive and we have barely started this season.
But Soriano is on the DL and Moylan is the semi-closer. This made me nervous as a cat around a bunch of rocking chairs (get it? The whole fear of the cat getting his tail caught under one of the rockers?). But Moylan not only slammed the door closed, I’m afraid it broke off its hinges and shattered.
Totally freakin’ unbelievable lights out! If you are standing at the plate, you are thinking Holy cow, Batman, I’m supposed to hit that?!
The Nats looked like Colonel Steve Austin the first time he saw Bionic BigfootTM. The brain could not comprehend the info sent by the eyes. I’ve never seen Moylan slam it like that, striking out two of the perplexed batters. Oh, and most folks don’t think a sidearmer can bring the heat. But some of his stuff was piercing the air at 96 mph.
So, yeah. It’s in the book. We’ll take it.
And we’d like another couple just like it. Please.
Smitty’s Random Notes:
(A stream of consciousness recall of unrelated observations for the short-of-attention span)
» Was the Braves infield pretty freakin’ flawless tonight? Chipper, Escobar, KJ, and Tex were artists on the canvas of the infield.
» Sure. I can see why the Nat’s manager, Manny Acta, wanted to put a “hot” closer in at the top of the 9th. Even though Chico had pitched an unbelievable 8 innings, common wisdom says take out your starter and get your “hot” closer to slam the door. What did the “hot” (and by “hot,” I mean “crappy”) closer Jon Rauch do for his team? He promptly loaded the bases with no outs and then gave up two runs. Thanks, Rauch. I think they need a new batboy on the team. Seriously, stop crying. I’m sure your mother still loves you. Probably.
» Come on, KJ. We love you and everything. We just need you to get on base more than once a game.
» What’d you say?! KotSAY!!! Check out his defensive play tonight. Hey, Marky? What are you doing in 2009? Do you smell what the Smitty is cooking? (Sorry, Rock.)
» Hey, Escobar. Please make yourself comfortable.
Tags: Matt Chico, Peter Moylan, Tim Hudson, Washington Nationals
Posted in Game Analysis | 3 Comments »
After last night’s loss to Cleveland, the Braves further thinned out their roster, getting ready for Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Of course the most notable moves involved the ongoing battles for the limited number of backup spots on the roster.
Brent Lillibridge, impressive as he was in the first half of the spring, got sent back to AAA Richmond, where he’ll get more playing time. I think this is crucial, since either he or Escobar will likely be trade bait before too long. He needs to be playing all the time. Martin Prado gets to stay in Atlanta – his first time starting the season in the majors. Joining Prado (who played a few innings last night at first, by the way) is new acquisition Ruben Gotay, a switch-hitting contact hitter who can play second, third, and short.
In the outfield, Gregor Blanco beat out Josh Anderson for the backup job. Anderson got out-hit by Blanco this spring (.260 to .341) and despite his speed, Bobby couldn’t find a roster spot for him. I like Anderson though – if we have an issue mid-season with Diaz or Kotsay I’m sure we’ll see him (maybe even before Schafer, whom they might want to groom all season long).
Behind the plate, Corky Miller seems to have the backup job. Brayan Pena is still on the roster too, but he’s out of options and conventional wisdom says he’s traded by the end of the day. If Pena sticks around, he can pitch in at first as well.
So that leaves the five bench spots going to Blanco (OF), Gotay (IF), Prado (IF), Pena (C/1B) and Miller (C). I’m not sure what we’ll see happen if Pena is traded – maybe Anderson comes back up?
The Bullpen is finally solid, with slots going to Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, Manny Acosta, Will Ohman, Chris Resop, Royce Ring, and Blaine Boyer. I like this year’s ‘pen. Lots of arms who have the capacity to be good pitchers throughout the season.
Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle are still fighting for the pitching slot left vacant by Smoltzie, who will start the season on the DL (it’ll be backdated and he’ll only miss one start). I’d give the edge to Bennett in this one – he’s been impressive, but Carlyle hasn’t put together a bad spring himself.
More as we hear it – our ears are to the ground today as we wait for the final moves to be made.
Tags: Blaine Boyer, Brayan Pena, Brent Lillibridge, Buddy Carlyle, Chris Resop, Corky Miller, Gregor Blanco, Jeff Bennett, Josh Anderson, Manny Acosta, Martin Prado, Peter Moylan, Rafael Soriano, Royce Ring, Ruben Gotay, Will Ohman
Posted in Roster Moves | No Comments »
The Braves are on their way to Atlanta.
After dropping their final Grapefruit league game 9-4 to the division rival Mets Thursday afternoon, the Braves pack their bags and head north. They’ll play exhibition games Friday and Saturday at Turner Field before heading to Washington DC to help open the Nationals’ new stadium.
Cox let his relievers pitch the entire game, giving Peter Moylan the start. Moylan gave up three earned runs in his inning of work. Chris Resop and Royce Ring helped make their case for the big league roster by striking out two each in their scoreless innings. Charlie Morton (whom yes, we sent down to the minors once already) pitched three innings and allowed three earned runs. He walked four.
Mark Teixeira continued his good hitting as of late, knocking in two runs on one hit and a sacrifice fly. Matt Diaz added a two-hit game, and Chipper and Kelly Johnson doubled. In a continuation of the recent battle for the backup infield slot, both Brent Lillibridge and Martin Prado knocked in a run.
Next up, Jair Jurrjens starts for the Braves Friday against the Cleveland Indians. Sunday, Tim Hudson gets the start against the Washington Nationals, and Monday we’ll see our good friend Tom Glavine start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tags: Brent Lillibridge, Charlie Morton, Mark Teixeira, Martin Prado, Peter Moylan, Preseason
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So we made it into town last night (and I use the term “night” very loosely as we settled into our hotel room around 5 in the morning) to enjoy a couple days of spring training before the team heads back to Atlanta to kick off the regular season. The next time we schedule a weekend road trip, maybe I’ll actually take into consideration the holidays that might be going on that weekend.
The Braves faced off against the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium this afternoon and we got to see our first in-person glimpse of the preseason Braves with Jair Jurrjens taking the mound. Jurrjens started the game without much doing for either team, but faltered as he pitched into the start of the 6th inning. He finished out his day issuing 10 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings of work. At this point, he still appears to be the front-runner for the 5th rotation spot, but here’s hoping that he can get his stuff together for a little more consistency as we head into the regular season.
In other pitching for the Braves, Soriano pitched an inning, issuing one hit and striking out two. Peter Moylan also pitched a hitless inning. The Braves attempted to mount a rally in the top of the 9th. Trailing by 3 with two runners on and two outs, Joe Borchard flied out to center to end the comeback attempt for the Braves, falling in a 4-1 loss.
But in the end, the day was not a complete loss. Rue got her monthly picture with Frank Wren to continue building the collection.
Tags: Jair Jurrjens, Peter Moylan, Preseason, Washington Nationals
Posted in Game Analysis | 8 Comments »
Tim Hudson was strong in his start today against the St. Louis Cardinals. Though he gave up two unearned runs, he only gave up 3 hits in four innings. Scott Thorman led the offensive charge with 4 RBIs and a three run homer. Matt Diaz helped out as well with three hits in three at-bats, with 1 RBI. Josh Anderson, fighting for an outfield slot, helped his case with a two for five effort, knocking in three runs and tacking on a stolen base.
Backing up Hudson, Peter Moylan pitched an inning to test out his elbow soreness – and did a great job, striking out one in a perfect inning. Manny Acosta closed the game out with a scoreless inning, and Chris Resop contributed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, giving up two hits.
We’ll continue our Yunel Escobar soapbox by mentioning his 1-3 effort with one run scored. That leaves him at a petty .520 batting average this preseason. Another one of our favorite infield prospects, Brent Lillibridge, continued to impress with one hit and an RBI after taking over for Chipper at third base. If you don’t know about Lillibridge, look him up. He came to Atlanta, along with Mike Gonzalez, from the Pirates in exchange for Adam LaRoche, and he’s a good prospect at that.
Next up is the Cardinals again – with Jair Jurrjens hoping to continue his very impressive start. We’ll keep a close eye on the game and keep you updated.
Tags: Brent Lillibridge, Chipper Jones, Josh Anderson, Matt Diaz, Peter Moylan, Preseason, Scott Thorman, Tim Hudson, Yunel Escobar
Posted in Game Analysis | 1 Comment »
The Braves lost to the Detroit Tigers today 9-6, in a game that saw doubt cast on Mike Hampton’s healthy return. Hampton left after pitching 1 1/3 innings today after he apparently slightly strained his right groin. Acosta, Ohman, and Campillo combined to give up six earned runs, and 2 errors by Chipper and Escobar contributed to the other three unearned runs. Matt DeSalvo pitched two perfect innings – he continues to impress.
Despite the error, Yunel Escobar continued his strong offensive start by going 2-3 and scoring a run. He’s now batting .526 in the preseason – so those of you who say he won’t match Edgar Renteria’s offensive output may need to reconsider. He’s looking mighty strong.
Offensively Chipper is doing well also – He was 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Over at PhilliesFlow, Erik wrote that he doesn’t think Chipper/Yunel will be the most potent SS/3B combo in the East, and I think he’s wrong. Wright and Reyes are good, but Yunel is legit. Earlier today I likened Yunel replacing Edgar Renteria to Chipper replacing Terry Pendleton back in the day – it was a seamless transition.
So back on the horse tomorrow again for a set of split squad games – one against the Reds and another against the Astros. We’re playing the Astros’ split squad, but the full Reds team – which is probably a bit more of a fair matchup against our split squad. Look for Buddy Carlyle and Jo-Jo Reyes to make the starts for the Braves tomorrow.
In other news, Soriano and Moylan are feeling good – Soriano pitched a 32 pitch bullpen session and Moylan is resting for precautionary reasons so he can stay healthy all season. That bodes well for our bullpen.
Tags: Chipper Jones, Matt DeSalvo, Mike Hampton, Peter Moylan, Preseason, Rafael Soriano, Will Ohman, Yunel Escobar
Posted in Game Analysis | 3 Comments »