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 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
The Good: Hudson. Need I say more? I will though. The guy records 12 k’s goes 8 innings without a run. But he starts the ninth and the rest falls into the ugly category. Chipper, KJ, and Diaz homer. Tuesday’s ninth inning was magnificent because the Braves played small ball and made some runs happen. We need more of that kind of timely hitting. Homers will not carry us through the season.
The Bad: Losing two out three to the Fish and our first series of the season.
The Ugly: Andruw 0-4 with 3k’s and 4 lob’s last night. A measly .230 BA. I hate to admit it, Braves fans, but it surprised me little when Andruw struck out with the bases loaded. This guy will hit 40+ hrs when it’s all said and done but we need clutch from Andruw not always long balls. AJ’s start is a little embarassing. Leaving Hudson in as long in the ninth. There’s an argument both ways for keeping him in or pulling him but I’d rather have the ballgame and good momentum going into Colorado. Last night was just miserable especially considering how well Hudson pitched. An otherwise tremendous start got wasted and Hudson racked up 3 ER’s when it was all said and done.
Well, with the pounding the Rox put on the Mets yesterday we’ve settled on a tie for first. Now we go into Colorado with Smoltz and James and then the back end of the rotation. Lance, come on and pitch for us and get at least the number 4 spot looking good again!