Thursday, June 30, 2005

I need a hero

Preferrably one who specializes in pitching in the 7th, 8th, or 9th innings. I'm looking over pitchers the Braves could try to acquire; the situation is grim. With few sellers and many buyers, the Braves might be forced to relinquish a prospect like Anthony Lerew or worse Chuck James to get a guy who isn't even a closer.

Last nights game was painful - we should have walked away with a win, though I'm not crazy about another 100+ pitch outing from Davies (who was so-so, not great, but admirably pitched out of some trouble). Andruw still very nearly rescued the Braves, but with this bullpen sometimes defeat seems inevitable.

Culprits:

Reitsma - he's having a solid statistical season. No homers, few walks. I'm just not sure if he's suited to close; he's blown a couple of games now. I'd like to track down some of his closing numbers.

Bernero - the BB/K ratio is good (33/11), and he hasn't given up many homers (just over 1 per nine innings). The problem seem sto be his whip; 53 hits allowed for a 1.5+ ratio. He gets hit too often - and runners are scoring. He was pitching well for awhile but has been shaky since, occasionally decent in spurts.

Vasquez - hge's young, and possibly not fully ready. Not much to say here.

I think the problem is that different guys seem to pitch well during differnet stretches, and there always seem to be a couple of guys struggling. Ideally we could go get a couple of guys and figure something out at closer. We don't *have* to deal for a closer -there are guys out there who might be able to get the job done. I'll try to write about them later today.

As of right now, I think youngsters Franceur, Johnson, Betemit, Marte, McCann, and probably Langerhans are safe. If the Braves decide Furcal is the way to go next year, Betemit might not be. I'm not sure any of the pitchers are safe, and while it would pain me to lose a guy like James, Schuerholtz' track record seems to indicate that it might mean we think he lacks something. We've missed on a few (Schmidt, for example), but the Braves have been pretty good predicting who will and won't succeed at this level. Scott Thorman and James Jurries are having solid years, and both play 1B. LaRoche is doing well, and I like him, but they could all move with the Braves eyeing the spot for one of Marte/Betemit/Chipper down the road. I think Langerhans is safe because his defense is good and the bat potential, but I'm not sure hne's quite in a class with the rest of those guys.

I any case, last night was one game and the Braves have a 2-1 series lead. No need to panic, but I've wanted some bullpen moves for some time, and everything the Braves have done thusfar has been mixed (Boyer has been decent, but the other minor leaguers have strugglerd; too early to say with Brower, but my hopes are not up). A win tonight would take the series - and I'll take a 3-1 down in Flordia every day of the weak and twice on Sunday.

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