A subtle, but disturbing move was made immediately after the Braves 1-0 win Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee: Frank Wren claimed Luis Beato (“bahy-‘ah-toe”) in a major league deal from the Cincinnati Reds via waivers:
The Braves have claimed RHP Pedro Beato off waivers from Cincinnati. He will join the club in Washington and will wear #51.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2014
Remember the bit last week in which Wren said ‘we’re not going outside the organization to fill our bullpen needs because we don’t see anybody available who’s better than what we already have’? Yeah. Since that statement, two pitchers have been signed. First was Luis Perez (minor league deal). Now Beato. But this one is different: he’s been added directly to the 40-man roster. That’s got to mean that he’s to replace an injured pitcher.
Beato is a 27-year-old Dominican who has bounced around with the Mets and Red Sox over the past couple of years after starting with the Orioles. In 2013, he threw to a 2.98 ERA for Pawtucket in the International League.
You could speculate that Beato has been signed to replace Cory Gearrin. We still don’t have his official diagnosis, but it’s probable that he is out for the year… but that much was known last week. I believe somebody else is hurt, and that he’s going to be in Washington because of an emergency need.
So Who is it that’s Hurt?
- Jordan Walden. He’s had some nagging issues this Spring, but had warmed up in the pen today during the seventh inning. However, he never was called into the game as Luis Avilan and David Carpenter were used instead… before Craig Kimbrel, of course.
- Anthony Varvaro. I’ve already been speculating that he’s not well after a horrible Spring. He’s also the only member of the bullpen - yes, other than Walden – who has yet to be used thus far.
It could be either – or both, even. We’ll see if there are clues on Thursday – an off-day – but the Braves have announced that they will balance the 40-man list on Friday with a corresponding move. That move will likely be placing Gearrin on the 60-day DL, which gives Frank another “mulligan” – able to add another name to the 40-man without losing a player. But at the moment, that’s the last trump card he has to play.
Unless somebody else gets hurt.
As the corresponding move for Beato, LHP Ryan Buchter has been optioned to Gwinnett. He will be at tonight’s game at Durham.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 3, 2014
As was kindly pointed out to me below, Buchter was the another pitcher who had yet to see action in a major league game thus far. His Spring performance pretty much sat him on the end of the bullpen bench, but now he’ll at least get a chance to throw some innings and work on his game.
That said: I still think somebody is probably hurting in the bullpen… perhaps not to the extent of a full DL stint, but hurting enough that Fredi asked and Frank searched to find another arm for a while.