This time MLB.com blogger Mark Bowman suggests that in addition to an outfielder, the Braves might try and shore up their bullpen as well. This probably wouldn’t be a bad thing considering that Jesse Chavez has been less than stellar the entire season and Kenshin Kawakami has been virtually unused since his demotion from the starting rotation.
While we talked about the possibilities that the Braves have in Center Field yesterday Bowman also discusses those same options as in trading for Cody Ross who would be a non tender candidate at the end of the season or filling the spot internally with Melky Cabrera and or Gregor Blanco which happened to be my suggestion yesterday.
He also suggests filling the bullpen spot internally. Perhaps sending Chavez down in favor of Craig Kimbrel who was up earlier in the year (2-0, 1.08 ERA in 8 games) but he has been knocked around lately in the minors. Also worthy of mention was Stephen Marek who has been completely lights out (combined stats 5-0, 0.60 ERA, 45 IP, 54 K) between double A Mississippi and Triple A Gwinnett.
Another potential option could be Lefty starter Mike Minor. In this scenario the Braves could elect to shift Kris Medlen back to the pen and give Minor a shot in the fifth starter spot. Minor is the Braves 2009 first round draft pick and has pitched extremely well in his four starts for Triple A Gwinnett. He has compiled a 3-1 record with a 2.55 ERA.
As in the outfield discussion I think it would be smart for the Braves to try and fix their problems from within as there really isn’t any better a market for relievers this season than there is for outfielders. Both Stephen Marek and Craig Kimbrel are already on the 40 man roster and wouldn’t require any other roster moves. If the Braves elect to call up Mike Minor then they would have to add him to the 40 man roster which would start his arbitration clock ticking.