Friday, July 22, 2005

Braves to McBride: Are you the Keymaster?

Macay McBride was summoned by The Powers That Be yesterday after the Braves sent Kevin Gryboski packing. Braves & Birds has a good rundown of the reasons for trading a reliever who was having a good year at a glance. Like Elkon, I too still have painful memories of 2002. A topic for another time (I have a very large underground vault – bigger than what you see at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark – where all my painful Braves memories are storied. I have quite a few, you see. . .).

What do we know about Mr McBride? Since he's in virtual limbo, I can't tell you anything about 2005 – he's already disappearing from all the sites where I get minor league stats, and hasn't shown up on any site as a major leaguer where I might get to view them (hurry up, Sportsline).

We can look at the rest of his career, however:

480 IP, a 1.28 WHIP, 3.11 BB/9, 8.36 K/9, .37 hr/9 a K/BB of roughly 2.66. Those numbers are pretty good. The BB/9 is a little high, but he strikes out quite a few and K/BB is over the 2.0 line (generally a good thing). The Whip is decent. The Hr/9 is outstanding. I don't know how often guys do this in the minors, and I'd love to have his major league equivalences (my stuff is at home, alas, and you can only get those AA or above anyway)). We have what looks like a hard thrower who keeps it in the park and could improve a little in the control department.

Of interesting note is that he started for all of his career through 2003. In 2004, though, he had 12 starts and appeared in 26 games as a relevier. Where he had dominated rookie ball and both levels of A, he seemed to hit a wall in AA. The move to the pen helped, and he finished what I recall as being a poor start with a 4.44 ERA, but pretty decent numbers overall. The Walks and Whip were significantly higher, but I believe partially a reflection of his out-of-the-gates performance. He was 1-7, and I think he was like 0-6 in this first 10 starts.

This year he was doing pretty good, but nothing spectacular comes to mind. I don't know what any of those per nine innings numbers looked like right now. He's a solid, if not good, prospect. And a guy who could be a force in the pen in the long run. He's young, 23 this October I believe (Libra 4ever my homie).

McBride could easily be an upgrade over Gryboski, who appeared to be enjoying success but looks like he was pitching much better than he should have been (see above article). It will be interesting to see him in action. I think it's reasonable to say he could contribute right away, and become someone Cox relies on. The proof will be in the pudding.


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