Not many, barring injury. (With the Jordan signing and Langerhans and Betemit out of options, the Braves’ 13-man position roster is basically set, at least until Jordan’s legs fall off or Mondesi decides to join the French Foreign Legion or Marcus runs into the dugout trying to catch a foul ball in an intersquad game.) Pete Orr will get a look in spring training, but will have to do really well to beat out Betemit or Green. Orr never did much in the minors before last season, but was fifth in the IL in hitting (.320) while playing all three infield slots and the outfield. If Orr is really a .300 hitter, he has the makings of a good infield reserve, but he’s yet another guy who has to hit .300 to help. Last season, he had only one homer, slugging .404, and drew just 20 walks, getting on base at a .349 clip. As a get-it-in-play backup, he might help a team, but it seems unlikely he’s a better player than Green or Betemit. However, all of the Braves’ infielders except Green were hurt at one time or another the last two years, so there might be a window.
A Canadian like Orr, first baseman Scott Thorman managed to do well enough in Myrtle Beach in his second go-around to get a promotion to Greenville, where he wasn’t very good but not totally overmatched. Since James Jurries isn’t on the 40-man and Thorman is, he might have a shot at coming up should LaRoche get hurt, but the Braves might just stick with Julio, spotting Jordan or Perez there as necessary. Unappetizing, isn’t it?
I don’t understand the Braves’ fascination with Tony Pena Jr., and I don’t think anyone else does. He’s put up consistently poor numbers the past three seasons (his 2004 OPS of 648 in Greenville was a career high) and he makes more errors than Furcal. But he’s on the 40-man and could get called up if Furcal gets hurt.
Veteran Luis Lopez was on the Richmond roster last year and is listed as the DH there on Brad’s Organizational Depth Chart. I guess someone has to, and Lopez has put up some decent minor league numbers, but I don’t think that he’s any sort of answer for the Braves, if he’s even in the organization anymore.
Pete Orr – MLB Minor League Statistics – Baseball Cube
Scott Thorman – MLB Minor League Statistics – Baseball Cube
Tony Pena – MLB Minor League Statistics – Baseball Cube
Luis Lopez – MLB Minor League Statistics – Baseball Cube