Gwinnett lost their top 2 pitchers, Tommy Hanson & Kris Medlen, to the major league club over the past couple of weeks. When it comes to starting pitchers, there aren't a whole lot of prospects, but there may be some help on the relief end...
Todd Redmond, SP: 3-5, 4.88. Todd Redmond was the Southern League pitcher of the year last year, and he's not living up to that honor this year in AAA. Redmond was acquired from the Pirates in the winter of 2008 in exchange for the king of uh...horribleness, Tyler Yates. Redmond is solely a control pitcher, as his stuff really isn't too good at all. He's got the walk rate pretty low at 2.58/9 (which is nearly a full walk above his line last year), but he's getting beaten around the park hits wise, with a .289 BAA. He's also been prone to the longball this year. To help out the main club, Redmond needs to turn things around.
Luis Valdez, RP: 1-3, 3.53. Some fans have been clamoring for Valdez to be called up (inexplicably mind you) to take a spot in the bullpen, but I really don't know where they're going with things. Valdez is a guy who strikes out a lot of guys, but also walks a lot. He's one of those guys that would make you pull your hair out with all the baserunners he allows. He's got a WHIP of 1.35 which should tell you how many guys he's letting get on base.
Mariano Gomez, RP: 3-2, 1.73. Now THIS guy intrigues me. Gomez has been a journeyman minor league reliever over the past couple of seasons, as the Braves are his third organization in the past 3 years. That ERA really jumps out at you, and when you look at his WHIP thats a shade above one, you think you might have something, right? Erm, no. Look a little closer. Gomez is striking out only 4.32 batters per 9...and is walking 4.10. Thats right, he's replacing the hits he's allowing with walks. A little bit of a deeper dig reveals a BABIP of .184 and a strand rate of 87.4%, both of which are unsustainable. Theres a reason he's at AAA for a second straight year: he's just not that good.
Juan Perez, RP: 1-0, 1.42. Juan Perez is another interesting journeyman. That ERA just looks dazzling, and like Gomez, he's got a real low WHIP...but unlike Gomez, Perez IS striking guys out: 11.01/9 to be exact. He's walking a ton...but the strikeouts help balance that out better than they did with Gomez. His BABIP is also higher than Gomez's at .243. So whats the downfall? Strand rate. 91.3%. Man, something like that is a total buzzkill. But theres still a chance he got be some sort of an effective bullpen arm if someone goes down with an injury. If things get bad enough where Juan Perez is getting a shot...then theres nothing wrong with giving someone like Juan Perez a shot, right?