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moylans-injury-serious | April | 2008 Articles

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Moylan's Injury Serious?

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Peter Moylan's MRI results are in and Alex's "AHHHHH!" may not be sufficient. That's because according to Dave O'Brien, Moylan's exam showed "irregularities" in his right elbow, which could be a sign of a serious injury. Yes, now is the time for an expletive-laden rant while going Bob Knight on your office chair. The side-arming Aussie will see Dr. James Andrews -- never a good thing -- for a second opinion and to determine whether or not surgery will be necessary. Regardless of whether Moylan's injury requires surgery or not, it seems pretty clear that he'll be out for quite some time. This is just another injury in the long line of Atlanta's pitching woes this season and as with all injuries of this caliber, Bobby Cox and Frank Wren have two main options. They can either look to fill the void from within or scour the trade market for a veteran reliever to take Moylan's place. If the Braves were to look within the organization for a replacement, Jorge Campillo or Buddy Carlyle just won't cut it long-term. Both provide well below-average upside and aren't exactly sure bets to even reach that. The Braves do have quite a bit of depth in the minors and there are three obvious options: Phil Stockman, Zach Schreiber, and Kris Medlen. Stockman and Schreiber both have the benefit of already being on the 40-man roster and wouldn't require the Braves sending someone through waivers as Medlen would. Stockman is probably the best bet to get first crack as he's managed a 1.29 ERA in 9.1 innings for Richmond this season with a good strikeout rate. He's got quite a bit more experience than the other two and would fill the Braves' quota for Australian relievers. Medlen has the highest upside but with under ten innings above double-A in his career, he also has quite a bit of uncertainty and would require the Braves to clear space for him on the 40-man roster. Even after getting hit around a bit yesterday, Medlen boasts a 2.08 ERA, strong groundball rate, and a 4.00 K/BB ratio. The far less likely route this early in the season is to acquire a veteran via trade. Guys like Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes, Ron Mahay, Mike Wuertz, and many others could be available later on in the summer, but the likelihood is that it would take a king's ransom to acquire one of them this early. If Moylan's injury is very serious, I could see Frank Wren going this way at the trade deadline (much like Schuerholz did with Ron Mahay last year) but it seems quite unlikely this early in the season. It's a hope for the best, plan for the worst scenario with Peter Moylan's injury. On the plus side, Rafael Soriano should be back fairly soon and put an end to the ninth inning uncertainty, however until "fairly soon" comes, Bobby Cox is going to implement a closer-by-committee that will almost certainly include Will Ohman and Manny Acosta with possible appearances by Blaine Boyer and/or Royce Ring. This is certainly going to be a trial-by-fire situation for not only the minor leaguer (most likely) who fills in for Moylan, but the talented yet inconsistent duo of Acosta and Boyer, who will have to shoulder quite a bit of the load right now. I have no question that they have the ability to be forces at the back of the bullpen, the question is will they?
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