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