More cuts

A hastily written post from Carroll Rogers (a comment on the AJC blog) reads in part:

josh Anderson was cut lillibridge and borchard to richmond ridgway was cut, sammons was cut

so that would leave five bench guys: prado, Blanco, Miller, Pena and Gotay. then two guys battling for the final pitcher spot (smoltz’s spot) bennett and carlyle with the edge to bennett.

I don’t think that this means that Anderson, Sammons, or Ridgway were actually let loose by the team. Rather, they finished last season on the major league roster, while Lillibridge and Borchard were already assigned to Richmond. Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s no way the team would let Anderson or Sammons (who both have options) go.

This would mean that the Braves will start the season with three catchers. Pena presumably would back up at first and (if someone is already out of the game) the outfield corners. I expect that they’re still trying to trade him, and when that happens (if a roster spot opens up) Anderson or Borchard would get the callup, unless Infante is ready by then.

I’ve no idea why they couldn’t make the call on Carlyle/Bennett, unless (again) there’s a trade in the works and a bullpen spot might open up.

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68 thoughts on “More cuts”

  1. Maybe they plan to pitch both Bennett and Carlyle tomorrow?

    Anyone else thinking that the Gotay addition means Infante, when he returns, is likely to get more OF time than IF time? His return could mean Prado or Gotay is bumped, but I’m wondering if Infante might end up in a CF platoon with Kotsay or Blanco. It’s a little outside the box but who needs three backup IF.

  2. Infante is, by far, the best shortstop the Braves would have on the bench. He might be better than Escobar — or, at least, he was some years ago.

    Players not on the ML roster can play in exhibition games. Happens all the time. So that’s not it.

  3. Rogers just clarified the “cuts”–all 5 players are headed to the minors; none were released.

  4. My guess is we’ve got a Pena-and-Boyer-or-Ring-for-a-bench-bat trade coming up, and both Bennett and Carlyle will be on the team until Smoltz returns.

  5. Definitely seems to be a temporary bench. I’ll again agitate for Wes Helms — an eventual bench of Infante, Prado, Helms, Blanco, and backup catcher would provide positional flexibility and some offensive potential.

  6. Welcome to the Big Leagues, Yunel Escobar. You will be playing the next 162 games at shortstop.

    I am glad Blanco has apparently made the team. He flat out earned it over the last 18 months.

  7. It makes no sense to me why anyone would want to get Wes Helms back. He was pathetic as a Brave and hasn’t improved much.

    A question on options Mac. If Thorman is called back to the major leagues at some point, will he have to clear waivers again if he’s sent back down?

  8. Yes, Thorman would have to clear options. What’s not clear to me is if Thorman has to accept the assignment or if he can declare free agency. I would think he would have to.

  9. …if Helms costs the team league minimum salary, then I don’t mind having him back…of course, we all know that’s not going to happen.

  10. I am not sure if I want to see Thorman staying with the Braves, but I guess it’s still better than losing him for nothing…

  11. anyone have info on the rosters for Richmond, Miss, etc? I don’t think they’ve been announced yet–probably will happen tomorrow.

  12. Helms makes $2.1 million this year with a club option for 2009 that can be declined. He wasn’t much good last year, but was exactly what you’d look for in a bench player in ’05-’06. Go on and wait for an independently wealthy Harmon Killebrew clone to back up 1B and 3B for the minimum salary all you want — I’ll take a guy with some history of production to help compose a professional bench that everyone seems to want.

  13. He’s a righthanded platoon player who only plays the positions our two best hitters occupy and who makes something like $1.7 million more than the minimum. A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

  14. if no one picked up Thorman on waivers, what would make him want to declare FA? Might as well go to Richmond and try to have a great comeback year. If Tex leaves, who’s plan B next year. Try to pick up a FA with extra cash left over or look in house?

  15. per Braves website…

    Told they were going to Triple-A Richmond with Anderson on Friday night were shortstop Brent Lillibridge, outfielder Joe Borchard, catcher Clint Sammons and left-handed reliever Jeff Ridgway.

    The Braves will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players. In addition to Blanco, the backups are infielders Martin Prado and Ruben Gotay and catchers Corky Miller and Brayan Pena.

    John Smoltz will start the season on the disabled list, but he is expected to miss only his first start. That means the Braves can open the season with eight relievers, and Cox said Blaine Boyer had made the team despite a rocky outing Friday night.

    The likely odd man out on the pitching staff is Buddy Carlyle, who was 8-7 with a 5.21 ERA for the Braves last season.

  16. Well, do we need a pinch-hitter with some power or don’t we? You see who else we’ve got just as well as I do. And if we’re going to spend any money over the minimum for a bench player, shouldn’t it be the one who’ll have to fill in for our injury prone Hall of Fame third baseman?

  17. Corky just seems like a poor man’s Pratt. Why keep him unless a trade including Pena is in the works.

  18. I’m not ignoring that — in fact, I stipulated it. I’m taking what he’s done over the last three years and saying he’d be valuable at that level.

  19. At least Pratt was old enough to be the grizzled vet to help in B-mac’s development, or something. I don’t know, maybe Corky has that same vibe. Still think he is only around because Pena is going to be traded.

    Helms flat out sucks. Stick Esco at 3rd, anyone at SS if we have to. We’re going to score enough runs that a 2 week stint of weak left side D isn’t going to kill us.

  20. Anyone else notice how very similar Thorman and Helms’ 2007 stats were? In almost the exact same amount of at-bats too.

  21. To be honest, I’m not sure that power off the bench is really worth it. I prefer BA/OBP from my bench players. Get a rally started, or drive a runner home — and if they’re in scoring position, a single’s usually going to get it done.

  22. WE’LL settle IT on THE FIELD then, sansho1!! ;-)

    Seriously, though, we are in much better shape to replace a lot of our parts that might get broken this year than we were last year at this time. Go Birdman, don’t screw it up!

    And yeah, all I need in a pinch hitter is to not make an out, really. Keep hope alive, essentially.

  23. per last post:

    Curry is REALLY REALLY REALLY good.

    Too Bad UNC is gonna run away with this tourney, ’cause I would love to root for another NC school.

  24. @33. From my Fantasy Baseball newsflash items today:

    Mar 28: James (rotator cuff) will begin the season on the 15-day DL and will be a backup if John Smoltz isn’t able to come off the DL from a sore shoulder and start on April 6, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

    Recommendation: It looks like James will stay in extended spring training and then move to Triple-A Richmond unless Smoltz has a setback.

  25. other than the WVU/Xavier game this years sweet 16 is about as lousy as I can remember. I dont remember ever seeing this many blowouts this late in the tourney before

  26. And, of course, by “anyone at SS” I mean we should take it to the Bridge.

    I think that whenever Brent Lillibridge appears in his first Major League game, they should play the break from James Brown’s “Sex Machine” where he asks his band, “Can I take it to the bridge?” and they respond “Yeah!”

  27. The Dodgers released Rudy Seanez. I know we don’t have room for him, but he’s a guy I root for no matter where he ends up. The first time I heard of him was Bill James trashing the Indians for promoting him in 1990 — he pretty much called him the worst pitcher in professional baseball. By the mid-’90s he was still posting 6+ ERAs in the minors and having surgery after surgery.

    Then he came here and immediately became a badass (when he wasn’t having more surgery), yet seemed like a humble, cool guy all the while. Of all our bullpen reclamation projects, Seanez was the most miraculous, because he had almost no history of success in ten years of trying. I wonder how much money you could have won from Bill James betting that Seanez would eventually pitch in over 500 games in the bigs.

  28. Sansho, that’s a great point — I never knew anything about Seanez as a person, so I’m glad to hear he came off as a nice guy. I did sort of root for him wherever he ended up, because he came out of nowhere to be really good for us, and then discovered that Leo had managed to give him a whole nother decade of career. It wouldn’t surprise me if he catches on somewhere, but even if it’s time for him to hang up his spikes, he’s had a career anyone can be proud of.

  29. The depth the Braves suddenly have in the rotation is sickening – Chuck James, Buddy Carlyle – both would make an above-average 4/5 on most major league squads..

    But with the problems with Hampton, Smoltz, Glavine.. it’s probably a very good thing to have.

    Also, anybody worried about our bench until Infante gets back? It.. sucks. I’ve ever been a huge fan of carrying three catchers, even if one has to back up at first base. Wasn’t the whole thing about Frank Wren going to be “I love speed!” – well, where’s that on the bench? Or really, on the squad at all..

    I’m a huge proponent of having a great sacrifice bunter/blazing speed guy on the bench. You get a good guy to play small ball with who you can bring in to pinch run as well. It was basically what the Braves tried with Pete Orr, before they realized he sucks.

    The whole thinking of the bench, for now, is just not all together to me..

  30. FCB,
    according to the Mets bloggers I’ve been talking with, Gotay is not a bad pickup. True he’s not gonna hit lefties well but he’s a decent switch hitter off the bench and young.

    Prado has been taking some balls at first but I don’t know how serious it is that he’ll actually play there if needed. When Omar is back we have a true utility guy.

    I’m a little surprised to see Anderson go to Richmond. I thought, especially w/ his blazing speed he would stay up. I guess the dark horse Blanco beat him out.

  31. Liking the new tag line.

    Andruw would have gotten that is gone already? Most of us didn’t even have a chance to say it yet. Although the new one is good too.

    I like the Gotay pickup and not just because it causes Mets fans heartburn. Now we have two back up infielders that can swing the bat a little, one righty, one lefty, each about a thousand times the player that Pete Orr is. Sure neither is going to cover very well for the inevidable Chipper DL stint, but that’s a pretty tall order.

    Can’t believe Corky Miller made the team. Completely worthless. I guess it’s too much to ask to have a bench with all valuable players on it. Gotta have a paperweight or two.

  32. Corky is there to catch balls behind the plate when needed. Not for his bat and not to PH off the bench.

    At this point I’d say it’s all but a given Pena will be dealt because he’s a much better catcher the Miller.

    Anyway, that’s why I Corky is staying, b/c Pena will not be Brave after next week (in my opinion).

  33. From today’s ajc. (a roster article)

    “YUNEL ESCOBAR

    Shortstop

    Number: 19

    Age: 25

    Height: 6-2

    Weight: 200

    Noteworthy: He’s improving his English by working with a tutor three days a week this offseason and by watching HBO and MTV.”

    I guess Yunel is going to learn Adrian Cronauer English. “whassup, m*f’er”, “kiss my a**””.

    I guess until he picks some different channels, Braves management needs to keep him away
    from kids and microphones.

  34. I like Blanco getting the 1st opportuntiy to be the 4th OF. After Kotsay gets injured, Anderson will get the call up. We’ll have both of them here before seasons end

  35. AAR @ #33

    My favorite line from “Sex Machine”: “The way I like it/is the way it is.”

    —–

    For what it’s worth, I’m sure Yunel speaks English much better than most folks on this board speak Spanish.

  36. I hear that the Braves has a kick ass road alternate uni this year and they are keeping it under wraps and mayeven bust it out for the first game of the season!

  37. Unbelievable. Now that he’s out of the game, Hampton’s officially made it all the way through spring training without Total Body Failure.

  38. Did anyone notice that the Nats have Odalis Perez as their #1 starter?

    That’s sad. The guy hasn’t had a winning season since 2002 in LA when Sheff came over for him.

    Poor Nats. Nice new park though.

  39. I like the Gotay pick up. One thing that I will give credit for is making moves to allow his key prospects to develop. Goday allows Lillibridge to get some more time at Richmond. Adding Kotsay ( whatever we may think of the trade) had the advantage of making sure that Schafer would not be rushed. Its a pity that we could not have found one more starter for similar reasons….

  40. And chuck will stay in ATL, Then pitch a rehab start in Rome…then the braves will decide from there..probably a “rehab” start in richmond after that…

  41. Richmond rotation will go something like this
    Jo Jo Reyes
    Carlyle
    Morton
    Campillo
    Bueno………..When Chuck comes back one of the last two will likely be put in the bullpen…
    Miss Rotation:
    Parr
    Dustin Evans
    Dan Smith
    Redmond
    Cuevas……………Medlen will be one of the young guys up, while gunderson will be in Myrtle Beach

  42. I’m beginning to wonder about Lillibridge. He gets talked about like he’s still a kid — he may look 12, but he’ll be 25 by the end of the season. It’s an open question whether he’s got much room left for improvement. Yunel was thought of as a placeholder by some, but I now strongly suspect he’s the right guy to have.

  43. Relaxsome, what does the Chuck James “holding pattern” say about the state of our pitching? Something bad about Smoltz’s health? Something bad about the organization’s faith in Hampton? Something good about the orgainization’s regard for Chuck (in that they don’t seem ready to relegate him to AAA)?

    My honest opinion is that, given the chance, Chuck would post stats as good or better than Hampton, Glavine, and Jurrjens. But it looks like it will take an injury to get him in the rotation soon.

  44. I still think its good to have both Escobar and Lillibridge. When Chipper eventually hangs it up in a few years, if we still have both of them, we can just slide Esco over to thrid and plug in Lillibridge at short. We dont really have a thrid basemen in the minors. Eric Campbell is a headcase and Jon Gilmore is still a long way off

  45. Totally off-topic post:
    Just got back from the spring football game at Auburn. Auburn was in a spread offense the entire game – never huddled, always in the shotgun. Conversely, the defense didn’t blitz but changed from zone to man in the defense; extremely vanilla.

    Kodi Burns was 10/12 in the first half and looked (to me) outstanding. Say Dameyune Craig scrambling ability added to Ben Leard accuracy. His scrambling ability was limited as the QB’s wore orange jerseys playing touch, but Burns broke containment often on run-pass option deals.. Transfer Chris Todd (Texas Tech) looked off a bit and soft on all his throws as he recovers from an offseason shoulder injury.

    Ben Tate had two touchdowns. Brad Lester played sparingly; Mario Fannin was held out with a shoulder injury.

    Any other questions; ask.

  46. AJC:

    “A little birdie tells me that the Braves’ long-rumored blue alternate jersey may make its debut in the team’s very first game of the season, this Sunday against the Nats. “GM Frank Wren wants it to be a big surprise,” reports my source. “The Braves have delayed putting out their merchandise catalog this year solely because the road alternate jersey is featured in it. The feeling is that by unveiling them in this fashion (nationally televised game on ESPN), sales will be through the roof as soon as the catalog is sent.””

    http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/braves/entries/2008/03/28/_top_of_the_mor.html#comment-40092403

  47. The status of the braves is this right now (and it is great that they are in such a position).. Chuck and several pitchers in richmond are on stand by. Literally, on stand by… Like, push of a button type stuff.. Chuck is still in a good position, just won’t be on the current active roster.. They let chuck know he’d be on the DL before the team broke from FL. But I still believe he’s going to be valuable…

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