Jul 21, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) throws a pitch in the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Chicago won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 7/22

 

Bleacher Report

Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: James Russell Would Be Great Fit in Team’s Bullpen

Wren needs to find a reliever to add to the Braves bullpen.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Wren is looking at three relievers at the moment: James Russell of the Chicago Cubs, Mike Gonzalez of the Milwaukee Brewers and Wesley Wright of the Houston Astros. While all three would be solid options for Fredi Gonzalez, Wren needs to put a focus on landing Russell.

The Braves currently have one of the better bullpens in baseball. Entering Sunday, Atlanta’s collection of relievers was the 12th best in baseball in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs. The team’s bullpen, however, does have the best ERA of any other team in the American or National League.

 

CBS Sports

Wells robs Braves of game-tying homer in White Sox win

 

Jul 21, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Casper Wells (39) leaps to catch a fly ball off the bat of Atlanta Braves center fielder Reed Johnson (not pictured) in the eighth inning at US Cellular Field. Chicago won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Casper Wells did not realize how significant his catch was until he turned to look at the Jumbotron after he helped save a victory for the White Sox.

Wells robbed Reed Johnson of a home run in the eighth inning to help theChicago White Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Sunday.

With the White Sox leading 3-1, Wells leaped up against the left-field wall to make a spectacular catch and rob Johnson of the game-tying home run.

“I didn’t know at first, I was just glad I caught it, you know. And then I saw the replay and I was like, wow that, you know, that was really special. I never did anything like that before. So, like I said I’m just happy I got to help the team out in that situation and the moment that it happened made it that much more special,” said Wells.

 

I Sports Web

Trade Time: Possible Targets for the Atlanta Braves

Jesse Crain, Chicago White Sox: The thirty-one year old has been outstanding playing for a struggling White Sox squad, posting an impressive 0.74 ERA with two wins and 46 strikeouts so far this year.

John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers: Axford’s numbers with Milwaukee this season have not been exactly breath-taking (3.63 ERA with 3 wins and 41 strikeouts), but he is capable of coming to the Braves and becoming a go-to setup man to help keep the game under control before Craig Kimbrel comes out for the 9th inning.

Kevin Gregg, Chicago Cubs: Gregg may be a tough sell for Chicago due to his career 4.29 ERA, but he has been fairly productive for the Cubbies this season, holding onto 18 saves and 35 strikeouts with 34.1 innings under his belt.

Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers: Gallardo has been with Milwaukee since the team took him in the second round of the 2004 draft, but it may be time for the Brewers, who look like they are in the middle of a long rebuilding process, to move Gallardo while he is still highly desired and could bring the team a few prospects with considerable potential.

Bud Norris, Houston Astros: The Astros are for all intents and purposes a minor league squad for the rest of Major League Baseball, and Norris is arguably their most valuable piece. A twenty-eight year old from Greenbrae, California, Norris has pitched fairly well for the worst team in baseball, holding a 6-9 record with 83 strikeouts compared to 40 walks and a 3.91 ERA.

Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs: With Garza’s trade to the Texas Rangers apparently now dead, it’s very possible that Atlanta takes a look at the former stud for the Rays. Garza’s time with the Cubs has not lived up to expectations, but he has posted respectable stats in just 11 starts this year, posting a 6-1 mark with 62 strikeouts and a 3.17 ERA.

 

Rome News Tribune

ATLANTA BRAVES: Slew of wasted chances for Atlanta

Appearing primed to land an early knockout blow, the Braves had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the second inning of Sunday’s game against the last-place White Sox.

One strikeout and a double play later, the inning ended without a run for the Braves.

That sequence set the tone for a 3-1 loss as the Braves left 11 runners stranded and wasted a strong outing by Mike Minor while losing to the White Sox for the second straight day.

“It just wasn’t a good day for us today,” said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez.

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