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the_bullpen_could_be_a_problem | April | 2009 Articles

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The Bullpen Could Be a Problem

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Four cups of wine at the seder and all the horseradish I could fit on a matzoh just weren't enough to wash away the heartbreak and indescribable pain of listening to the Braves puke away a 7-run lead in the 7th inning yesterday. "They're the World Champs," someone might say, "and they're bound to score runs in bunches." "I respectfully disagree," I would reply, while slamming my brain against a wall and shooting slivovitz on an empty stomach in the hopes that I can make my stomach feel as bad as my head.

This adorable puppy expresses the way I feel. I tempted fate, put up a broom, acted like it was in the bag, and I feel responsible. (Actually, I think Peter Moylan and Blaine Boyer are responsible, but I'm probably just being selfish.)

I think we can all agree never to speak of yesterday's atrocities again, but the 12-11 debacle highlights a potential weakness in our team, as Brent pointed out: last year, the bullpen was a definite weakness, especially as we saw with all those one-run losses, and it's not clear that this year's bullpen is substantially improved:

Eric O'Flaherty is no Will Ohman, Peter Moylan clearly isn't himself (it's still less than a year since his Tommy John surgery), Rafael Soriano's velocity is down, and Mike Gonzalez has been a little wild.

There's really no need to have both Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle on the staff; both are right-handed long relievers. Manny Acosta, in AAA because he has options, is probably a better reliever than several others on the roster right now, including Bennett. (Bennett's out of options, but right now I'm not feeling too sympathetic; he's not one of our best 25 players.)

I know I harp on this, but there's no reason for Jo-Jo Reyes to be in AAA when he's a better left-handed option in the bullpen right now than O'Flaherty. Quite frankly, when I look over the Gwinnett roster that Kristi posted, I see quite a few pitchers on their roster I'd rather have than Bennett, O'Flaherty, or the recently Tommy-Johnned Moylan: Acosta, Reyes, and Hanson, and possibly Todd Redmond and Kris Medlen.

What would you do with our bullpen?
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