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Beachy Wins Fifth Starter Slot; Maybe Minor Starts As Well. Wagner Still On Roster

Beachy Wins Roster Spot. Photo Courtesy AJC.com

Hello again from the world-class winter wonderland!

Today is turning into quite the news day. First, word leaks that the Braves are (or at least may be) for sale. Then we learn that Brandon Beachy has won the fifth starter’s job, based on his performance this spring, and that Mike Minor was told that he would be sent to AAA Gwinnett to work on his off-speed stuff. Fredi Gonzalez was quoted as saying that Beachy gave the Braves a better chance of winning right now, and that’s why he won the competition for the fifth starter’s job. That’s when things really started to get interesting!

In what was supposed to be just another spring tune-up, Jair Jurrjjens left his start after only one inning with an apparent muscle strain. It was not immediately known how serious the injury was. At this point, the official Braves position on the starting rotation changed, saying that Beachy was in the lead at the moment, but that the final decision would be announced on Sunday. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that the Braves are just buying time to determine the severity of JJ’s injury. If it looks like he’ll miss a start, look for both Minor and Beachy to break camp with the team.

In a final quick addendum to what Fred wrote about the Braves losing two pitchers on waiver claims yesterday, it needs to be said that the reason they were exposed to waivers was that they were moved off the 40 man roster. While the Braves are obvioulsy clearing slots for the final moves of spring training, one of the roster spots is still taken up by none other than Billy Wagner. Do the people that are voting for Wagner in our poll know something the rest of us don’t? Or will Wagner finally get moved off the roster?

Topics: Atlanta Braves, Billy Wagner, Brandon Beachy, Braves, Mike Minor

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  • Fred Owens

    I am very surprised Beachy was chosen, not because of performances this spring but because he’s right handed. JJ’s injury marks him as a consistently injured pitcher who earn less than expected if his injury string continues. Personally I’d trade him as soon as he pitches and wins 3 or 4 games. He’s a Boras client and we won;t be able to buy out his arbitration years. So we should get maximum value from a challenging team this year and let them deal with Boras.
    The pitchers we lost were nowhere near the 40 man roster. If the Braves to get him off he roster they should exercise his option and force him off. The contract has a $6.5M club option with a .25M buyout guaranteed because he finished 50 games in 2010. We’ll need a replacement for Sherrill anyway. :-)

  • Bob Horton

    Fred,

    As strange as it seems, Hyde and Ortegano were both just dropped from the 40 man roster. One of the openings that created would have already been open if Wagner wasn’t still on the roster. It’s getting to the point where the Braves and Wagner need to get on the same page and get it fixed. If the Braves ( I mean Liberty Media) want to contribute a quarter mil to the William Wagner Benevolent Fund, it’s OK by me! ;)

    Bob

  • Fred Owens

    Hyde wasn’t among the Braves top 30 prospects. Hyde had an ERA over 4 and a whip of 1.7+ at Gwinnett. Every time he got to AAA he stalled out. Ortegano was a top 30 guy that slipped back this year with a 6.2 ERA and a 1.6 whip. In short they were moving the wrong way. Ortegano is going to be converted to a reliever for the Yanks and Hyde will probably be back, he hasn’t been good. All of that is extraneous to this situation. If the Braves wanted to keep them they could have done so they just decided not to. I’ll put it in the blog when I get a chance to write without going to sleep.

  • Bob Horton

    Fred,

    I agree with everything you said. I know the Braves could have found a way to keep these two had they wanted to; there is no need to prove that to me :). My point is that the day of reckoning is coming near: shortly the Braves are going to need that roster spot, not just for the 40 man roster but the 25 man active big-league roster, which is where Wagner sits today, as I understand it. There is no doubt the situation will be resolved. It will be interesting to me to see whether the resolution is amicable and whether or not either of the parties changes their prior explanations for the situation.

    Bob

  • Dane from Indy

    Hey gents,

    Unrelated, but why are we so concerned that if Joe Mather is sent to AAA, another team will grab him? He was a head-scratcher signing originally and has done nothing to impress anyone this spring.

  • Dane from Indy

    Also, BEACHYYY!!

  • Bob Horton

    Hey Dane,

    I’m not that concerned about Mather. If I were calling the shots, he’d be put on waivers and I’d take my chances on him making it through. I don’t think that he’s that attractive, especially after he’s stunk it up this spring. But it seems that almost all writers are still saying he’s a lock to make the team. I guess we’ll see.

    Obviously, I was surprised that Beachy won the fifth spot. I did think he outpitched Minor this spring, but not by much. I thought the Braves would keep the LH’r. It wouldn’t surprise me if they both appear in Atlanta before mid-season, even if JJ isn’t sidelined right now.

    Bob

  • Jonathan Calhoun

    Joe Mather was put on outright waivers

  • Bob Horton

    Hi Jonathan! Welcome to TomahawkTake!

    Thanks for the news. I guess everyone picked up the info at about the same time. I was pleasantly surprised.

    You might want to read my comment on Fred’s piece above for a related rumor.

    Be sure to tell your friends about the site. Thanks!

    Bob