I suppose “Coxsy” is doing a lot of running his fingers through his hair these days as he looks over his potential Opening Day roster and figures out who stays and who goes in the 2008 bullpen.
What if I were making the 25 man roster, you ask? Well, here’s how I’d handle the pitching situation before March 31st.
I’d say of the guys on the bubble (Yates, Boyer, Resop) first we keep Yates who, with only 2ER’s this spring (the five walks might not factor if he can just shake the rust off) is looking pretty good as a right handed middle reliever. Boyer is out of options but Cox has given him some chances lately and been he’s holding his own (2IP’s 0ER’s 1H’s 3K’s against the Tribe on Tue. night.) If Jair Jurrjens gets a starting spot, which doesn’t seem unusual, he’s not in the bullpen but he should be a lock either way. James may end up going to Richmond (soon to be Gainesville) so he’s not in just yet but also not out of options so I’m ok with sending him down as a possible 5th starter if Jurrjens is too young to handle it. Peter “Thunda from Down Unda” Moylan who really shined in ‘07 will be back along with Manny Acosta (as set up man).
My prediction for the ‘pen:
Yates- 6th & 7th inn. relief righty
Ohman- lefty relief, specialist
Moylan- possible setup, middle relief, specialist
Ring- lefty relief, specialist (iffy)
Boyer- relief/inning killer
So you’ll have to say goodbye to Reyes, James, Ridgway, Bennet, Carlyle, Lerew, Resop, and possibly Ring (I put him in there because I want two lefties in the pen). Five of the aforementioned started in ‘07. Unfortunately, Ring, Resop and Boyer, are out of options so this is their last chance with the Braves. In truth I’m really rootin’ for Boyer to stick around. He’s an Atlanta guy and been with us a few years and I think he’s got some talent when in good health. I’m also going with two lefties because I like having more than just one option if I need that arm to come in for situations.
Well, Coxsy does have his hands full. It’s nice to have some good talent to sift through. It’ll be interesting to see who we take into April. But there’s my prognostication. Please feel free to share yours with me as well.
JB in ATL
Well last night was a good start to the series and nice way to bounce back after being bounced around by the Nationals and Red Sox. An 8-1 win over the visiting Mets sets the stage nicely for the second set tonight. The story of last night would be Kyle Davies and his eight inning one run performance…oh and by the way the guy hit a three run homer to dead center! Maybe Kyle is coming around a little, put him in the four spot he’s only 5 homers behind Andruw now.
This in game blog comes to you as the Braves wrap up the bottom of the second inning. Andruw gets plunked on the toe and then runs a little unaggressively to second base for an easy double play.
Tonight’s shakeup’s. Prado in at second, Salty behind the plate, Woodward at first base.
James on the hill against Perez who’s looked good against us this year. Here’s hoping we can bust open on him tonight and James can get win number 5.
Reyes on first, let’s se if he tests Salty’s arm.
Good News: The two homers turned out to be enough to get the win and break their uncharacteristic home run drought.
Bad News: Not really bad, but I like seeing Brave wins without relying on the long ball. It’s a bit more NL and in my opinion, it’s what makes great teams have great years and produces great postseasons when they can manufacture runs.
Better News: Cox passed Sparky Anderson on the all time managerial wins list with 2,194…he got 2,195 today.
Tonight, the stories were Chuck James; 7 IP 1 H 0 R’s. It’s very encouraging to see James get a strong start and go deep into the game especially after seeing Davies have a good night. Maybe our starting pitching is going to carry us a little more than I first thought. Lerew is on the hill tomorrow. Let’s hope for another strong outing!
Willie Harris. I’ve mentioned his name in at least 4 of the last 5 blogs so of course he went 4-5 and now has a .467 avg in 30 AB’s. I’m loving Willie, the homegrown GA native, and his 4 SB’s to go along with a blistering BA to make a case for everyday play.
After a 9-2 spanking tonight, the Braves go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon and then head on to Washington to face the fledgling Nationals. Bring out the brooms!
Well we’ve got a lot of ground to cover since last week. I do apologize to all my many fellow bloggers. Recap: Here we go!
Braves get two series wins one with the Rox one with the Phils.
Langerhans is off to Oakland…Willie Harris, Georgia native comes in and gets last night’s winning hit. Sorry Ryan, we love you but Willie is fitting in so far.
Bob Wickman on the DL, 3 blown saves, he’ll back in strong form soon enough. Let’s stay optimistic.
Soriano fills in nicely last night with a save.
Andruw knocks a three run walk-off.
Hudson is dominant.
Chipper is leading the NL in HR’s (did anyone notice?)
Smoltz will be a Brave just a little bit longer with an extension.
Salatalamaccia made his debut last night and looked alright despite not getting a hit. I don’t know exactly how I feel about this seeing as how I love McCann but I was excited (as I always am to see MLB debuts).
And the Dodgers are coming
So today’s game should be everything you bargained for if both aces are up to the challenge. Glavine and Smoltz face each other for the second time this season and ironically for only the second time of their careers.
Last two games have see-sawed with the Mets/Braves matching each other’s results. It goes to show you how neck and neck they both really are.
Will we see dominance and strikeouts from Smoltz with the slider working? Will we see Glavine paint the corners with precision? How well each pitcher comes through will detirmine the outcome in my mind. I normally would say "Get to the Mets bullpen". But even Hielmann has looked good recently in addition to rather impressive relief appearances from them all. Our bullpen hasn’t been as dominant as we were out of the gate but you have to feel a lot better about it this year than last and with Gonzalez, Soriano, Yates, and Wickman, I think if John can get a lead we should hold on.
Well here we go, Game Three. It’s been a great series so far. I’m hoping for a 3-2 win over the Mets. I don’t expect either team to put up 7 runs today but as Yogi Berra said "There’s one word that says it all in America. And that word is ‘you never know’."
So the Jones boys woke up to the tune of 5 RBI’s and Kelly pitched in. I love seeing a 7-1 start to the season. Soriano wasn’t automatic and gave up three runs but Gonzalez and Wickman gave a good showing.
In other news: Daiske’s anticipated Boston debut wasn’t horrendous but not dominating. Felix Hernandez on the other hand had a no-hit bid into the eighth. I like seeing the Sox win so it’s too bad Matsuzaka wasn’t more impressive. I still think he’ll have to be reckoned with as the season goes on. I’m looking forward to his first Yankees start. Keep blogging.
Chuck’s only given up three hits and no runs. Chipper got a tater which gave him his long awaited first two RBI’s of the early season. I’m really hoping to see James stand out in the rotation. He’s got in a little trouble with two out but six solid is pretty nice. We really need a standout lefty especially with Hampton out again. (By the way we’re all waiting to see what happens with Mike’s insurance and whether or not a majority of his salary will be covered). Gonzalez just got through another scoreless inning. I’m really looking forward to seeing the difference he’ll make. He takes the mound with a lot of confidence and aggressiveness.
I’m looking over and seeing the Phillies are looking to double their season win total over the Mets tonight. I haven’t looked into that game yet to see what’s been going on but I’m thinking some of those Phillies sleeping bats have woken up a little. Ours really need to do that. Last night was mostly given to us but 11 strikeouts from Andruw and Chipper just now getting his first two RBI’s and a buck 30 for Johnson won’t cut it. Fortunately the pitching is looking great. Bats will be streaky but consistent pitching will win games.