OK, so we're a little off the forty days goal, but now that I'm back from a brief reprieve, we'll pick back up where we left off.
I have to admit that I was never a big fan of the trade that brought Todd Redmond to Atlanta in the first place, as I thought Tyler Yates was the type of reliever who could still have his uses in middle relief. Yates sucked for a time before undergoing Tommy John surgery and he's recently been released by the Pirates. Redmond, meanwhile, was the Southern League Pitcher of the Year in 2008, stepped up to be a useful starter in the International League this year, and pitched well in international competition late in the season when he took a break from Gwinnett to play for Team USA. So this trade is a big win for the Braves now, right?
I still have my doubts. Yates is nothing so there's no way for the Braves to lose this deal (to the extent that you can even win or lose a very minor spring training deal), but I'm still not a believer at all in Redmond. His peripherals were pretty good in 2008 as a result of his very low walk rate (1.79 BB/9), but he doesn't have great stuff, hitting the low-90s only occasionally and generally having problems getting the ball down in the zone (as reflected by his abysmal 0.50 GO/AO ratio). As pitchers move up the ladder, they have to either get better or succumb to superior competition, and most scouting reports say Redmond has more or less reached his ceiling: his command could get a little better, but he's never going to be much more than your run-of-the-mill "pitchability" right-hander. And predictably, he lost some strikeouts while adding some walks as he jumped from Double-A to Triple-A, and his FIP rose by nearly a full run, to 4.74. And that's at Triple-A, and another jump to the majors should bring yet more troubles (especially with regards to his disturbing flyball tendencies).
It might be tough to cut a guy that keeps getting asked to go out there for Team USA, but defeating a Puerto Rican team whose only real major league representation is Jose Valentin and Ruben Gotay (remember him?) isn't exactly a big resume builder. Redmond doesn't have the stuff to be a major-league starter, but he's also not really the type of pitcher that profiles well in relief, as he doesn't have a real out pitch. Maybe he surfaces somewhere as a long-relief mop-up man, but more likely he gets stuck in the International League. And during the winter, every roster spot counts, what with the Rule 5 draft and the desire to remain flexible for free agency and trading purposes. Redmond doesn't strike me as the kind of talent that merits one of those roster spots.
The bottom line: Redmond has basically been nothing more than an innings-eater in the minors, and that doesn't bode well for his major-league future. I don't see much of a reason for the Braves to carry him through the winter.