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hollins-and-zumwalt-leave-atlanta | December | 2004 Articles

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Hollins and Zumwalt Leave Atlanta

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Damon Hollins signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Tuesday, removing him from the wild goose chase to fill outfield spots. Hollins, now 30, has decent power and had the best year of his minor league career last year, batting .301 with 20 homers in only 109 games for the Richmond Braves (AAA). Alec Zumwalt was picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers to complete Saturday's deal for Danny Kolb that also sent Jose Capellan to Milwaukee. Zumwalt, who turns 24 in January, has a strong arm and potential to be a good relief pitcher at the major league level. Overall, I like the deal. I wish Capellan was still a Brave, and I don't think Kolb is a great addition, but I do believe Kolb will serve adequately as the Braves' closer, and I believe Smoltz will provide a huge lift for the starting rotation given the losses we have sustained so far (Wright, Ortiz, and Byrd are gone). As it stands, the Braves only have Smoltz, John Thomson, Mike Hampton, and Horacio Ramirez -- and Ramirez's arm could still threaten his ability to pitch effectively in 2005. The Braves may yet deal for one more solid starter, or they may pull from their minor league talent (Tim Drew, Sam McConnell, Dan Meyer, Chuck Smith, or even Travis Smith could get a shot) if AOL/TW's purse strings are pulled too tight.

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