Joe Torre lifts a shelled George Sherrill on opening day 2010 (Courtesy AP)

Braves Add Sherrill To Pen

In what looks to be the last move by Frank Wren at these winter meetings, the Braves signed relief pitcher George Sherrill to a one year contract worth a reported $1.2 million.

The left hander had a historically bad year with the Dodgers last season, racking up a 6.69 ERA for the Dodgers in 65 appearances (which leads one to ask just how bad that bullpen was to give the ball 65 freaking times to a guy with a 6.69 ERA!!!).

In classic “Wren Spin™”, Frank Wren pointed out that Sherrill was still effective against left handed hitters (against right handed hitters, the hitter was first asked if they would accept a double rather than being pitched to, and if they accepted a double was awarded by the umpire. A rash of these “awarded doubles” significantly improved his stats against right handed hitters (darn, where did I put that sarcasm font?).

I watched Sherrill pitch a half-dozen times or so last year. It seemed to me that he was searching for home plate about as effectively as my search for the sarcasm font. He seemed lost.

I’m not opposed to bottom fishing for middle relief help, as true bargains can be found there. I’m surprised that Sherrill was even able to get a guaranteed contract after his 2010 season. And $1.2 million seems rich to me, especially if Sherrill becomes the Braves’ number two situational lefty.


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Tags: Atlanta Braves Braves Frank Wren George Sherrill Joe Torre Los Angeles Dodgers

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  • jjschiller

    I don’t know, I tend to buy his numbers against lefties.I think he brings 1.2 mill worth of value in that role.

    We had two lefties, who are both capable of pitching to righties, but one or the other was likely to get burned for just one out. Now we have this guy for those one out appearances.

    With Moylan’s terrible numbers against lefties, if he gives up a squib single, with a lefty coming up, that’s a rally. Either Moylan has to pitch a bad matchup, or you have to burn O’Flaherty. And if you’re burning EOF early all the time, it’s hard to find rest for Venters.

    Now, this guy can come in, saving EOF to pitch a full inning later. And if EOF is available for full inning work, maybe Venters won’t be used 96 times this year.

    So as it cascades down the depth chart, a little move like this refines everyone else’s role, and allows them to be used more effectively, making everyone down there more valuable. That’s worth 1.2 mill, I think.

    I think..

    • Bob Horton

      Hi JJ! Welcome to Tomahawk Take.

      Your point makes sense. I’m not really averse to the extra left-hander, I’m just not convinced that Sherrill is the guy. Even if he can get the job done, I’m not so sure that there weren’t more cost effective options available. I know that in the world of MLB $1.2 million isn’t a lot, but in the Atlanta Braves subdivision it’s likely half of our remaining budget. Finally, even if I buy everything else, I question the need for a guaranteed ML contract. An ERA pushing 7.00 would seem to indicate a minor league contract with a chance to prove your worth in the big league camp.

      But I really hope you’re right!

      Please stop back by anytime.


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