Some transactions for the end of the year
ATLANTA: Recalled RP Luis Valdez, 2B Brooks Conrad, and C Clint Sammons from AAA Gwinnett
Valdez will provide some bullpen depth and will push BUDDY AND BOONEY back another slot in the pen pecking order (thank god). Conrad will more than likely steal Kelly Johnson's nonexistent playing time and get some PH appearances...probably some from Norton too. And Sammons will likely get maybe 2 starts in the month he's in Atlanta. Dude just cannot hit (.611 OPS on the year. And to think I was petitioning for him to be the backup C before the team signed Ross. Yeesh). I imagine that once Gwinnett's playoff run ends, some more guys that are on the 40-man will be recalled to plug holes...Hernandez, Acosta, Canizares, Jones, Blanco, and maybe Parr, Redmond & Reyes. That doesn't mean they all deserve playing time, of course.
Activated SP Tim Hudson from the 60-day DL.
Hell yeah! Hudson's line in the 4-3 victory in a wet Land Shark Stadium last night: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Its not OUTSTANDING...but you know what, its totally functional. He only threw 82 pitches, so the team didn't stretch him out all that much...and you really don't want to, considering its his first start in the majors in 13 months. He'll be an important piece of the puzzle down the stretch. Hudson will indeed take Kenshin Kawakami's spot in the rotation, as Kenshin isn't scheduled to pitch for the next week after his start Monday. It was a shrewd move to push Huddy back a day, as it gives the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest. I'd actually like to see Kawakami still get starts throughout the rest of the year...maybe almost platooning with Hudson for the rotation spot, with bullpen work mixed in on offstarts? Its an interesting idea at least.
Announced OF Brian Barton cleared waivers and assigned him to AAA Gwinnett.
This was essentially an administrative move to make room on the 40-man for Hudson. Barton was the return for the legendary Blaine Boyer, and is chugging along in Gwinnett this year with a .737 OPS. He's really nothing more than a spare part in the long run.
GWINNETT - Recalled SP Deunte Heath, RP Craig Kimbrel, RP Jeff Lyman, SP Ryne Reynoso, and OF Matt Young from AA Mississippi.
Alright, lets break this down by player.
HEATH: Got a taste of AAA back in June and pitched horribly, allowing 3 or more runs in 3 of his 4 appearances. Kept the streak alive on Saturday. Control has been a mess, but is striking more batters out than last year.
KIMBREL: Started the season off horribly in Myrtle Beach, but has been fantastic since a demotion to Rome in May. Has allowed a total of 20 hits, 1 HR, and 23 in 48 1/3 innings since the beginning of May over 3 levels. 100 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings on the year. Thats just stupid. Probably in my top 5 Braves prospects right now.
LYMAN: Was having a solid year for Mississippi, and will provide bullpen depth for Gwinnett. Decent strikeout pitcher, doesn't let the ball leave the park.
REYNOSO: Having a good year horribly aided by luck (.267 BABIP). K rate has dropped, walk rate has risen from last year. Could be worrisome.
YOUNG: Having a fine year for Mississippi, with 94 walks to only 59 strikeouts and 42 steals. Doesn't have a lot of power, and is too old to be a prospect. Could make a solid 4th OF in the majors. Think Josh Anderson with the ability to walk.
MISSISSIPPI: Promoted RP Michael Broadway and OF Cody Johnson from A+ Myrtle Beach.
Broadway is bullpen filler, though he has a pretty decent K rate. Walks way too many guys to be effective. Cody Johnson has the best raw power in the system, but strikes out more than anyone in all of baseball. Probably an audition for the Braves to get a taste of what he can do in AA next year. And hey, he's reuniting with his buddies Jason & Cody!
MYRTLE BEACH: Promoted OF Adam Milligan from A Rome.
I talked about Milligan before. He's dominated everywhere he's been this year, so the promotion is warranted.
I probably missed some guys, but its kind of hard to get minor league transactions considering Baseball America only updates them once a week. But hey, its all good. Anything to give the kids some facetime. Make sure to cheer on Danville tonight, as they open their 3 game championship series in Elizabethton against the Twins. Just start Masters & Oberholtzer, and you won't need to worry about a third game.
This tends to happen every year, and nobody should bust out the jump to conclusions map just yet, but for the last month of the season (for Atlanta...a week for the teams in the minors), the Braves have called a bunch of players up to each squad. Lets take a look...