What Happens When Floyd Joins The Braves? Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Gavin Floyd gets Two More Starts – Then What?


Late Saturday afternoon David O’Brien let us know the tentative plans for Gavin Floyd.

With the rotation is full flight except for David Hale who stumbled in his last outing and is likely to be the odd man out when Mike Minor returns next week, the question Frank Wren, Fredi Gonzalez and Roger McDowell have to decided is who goes where when.

Just The Facts

The Braves currently have 44 men on their 40 man roster with five of those on the DL making the number  for accounting purpose 39.  Minor’s return then just requires someone to move to Gwinnett.

Rk OnActv
1 Ervin Santana Pitcher *
2 Jordan Walden Pitcher *
3 Anthony Varvaro Pitcher *
4 David Carpenter Pitcher *
5 Craig Kimbrel Pitcher *
6 Julio Teheran Pitcher *
7 Gus Schlosser Pitcher *
8 Alex Wood Pitcher *
9 David Hale Pitcher *
10 Ian Thomas Pitcher *
11 Aaron Harang Pitcher *
12 Luis Avilan Pitcher *
13 Tyler Pastornicky Position *
14 Andrelton Simmons Position *
15 Freddie Freeman Position *
16 Evan Gattis Position *
17 Jason Heyward Position *
18 Ramiro Pena Position *
19 Ryan Doumit Position *
20 B.J. Upton Position *
21 Dan Uggla Position *
22 Justin Upton Position *
23 Gerald Laird Position *
24 Chris Johnson Position *
25 Jordan Schafer Position *
26 Kris Medlen Pitcher 60 DL
27 Brandon Beachy Pitcher 60 DL
28 Aaron Northcraft Pitcher
29 Gavin Floyd Pitcher 15 DL
30 Wirfin Obispo Pitcher
31 Carlos Perez Pitcher
32 Luis Vasquez Pitcher
33 Pedro Beato Pitcher
34 Ryan Buchter Pitcher
35 Juan Jaime Pitcher
36 Mike Minor Pitcher 15 DL
37 Jonny Venters Pitcher 60 DL
38 Cory Gearrin Pitcher 60 DL
39 Ernesto Mejia Position
40 Elmer Reyes Position
41 Todd Cunningham Position
42 Christian Bethancourt Position
43 Jose Constanza Position
44 Joey Terdoslavich Position
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/19/2014.

Activating Floyd – whenever that happens – however will as it stands now require a 25 man roster move and 4o man roster move.  After the obvious move of Hale or  Gus Schlosser down and the other to the pen when Minor returns,  the next logical move would be to send the survivor down. That solves the 25 man roster issue but leaves the 40 man with one too many players. Unless they put someone on the disable list between now and then, Wren and company may have to get out their scissors and prune the roster by designating someone for assignment. Designating for assignment (DFA) is the removal of a player from the 40-man, whereby the team has 10 days to trade the player, release him, or send him to the minors. But who? Two names jump off of that list for me, Constanza and Mejia.

The Candidates

Though Constanza burst onto the Brave scene and played well when Heyward was injured two years ago he’s no kid. At 30 years old he’s become a career minor league player unable to hold a spot with the big team. Though his AAA slash is .305/.362/.358/.720 it hasn’t translated to anything like that in extended play. His major league line wears the Beware: small sample size ! label. Georgie is fast but not a base stealer, has no power to speak of and is just an average fielder. The Braves have Cunningham available who looks a lot like that or better in places and he’s younger.  Choosing to remove him from the 40 man roster doesn’t necessarily mean the Braves would lose him.  Those shortcomings limit those who might want him and Georgie likes it with the Braves so he could accept assignment.

As Ryan wrote a back on the fifth, Mejia is the prototypical AAAA player. He hits home runs at the AAA level but strikes out far too often and at first base he’s serviceable and no more.  While he’s been around as long as Constanza he’s two years younger. I can’t think of any team that would want him at the major league level either so like Constanza he could well accept assignment and stay in the system after being removed.   Who gets DFA is a minor issue and Schlosser is most likely to go down but who – if anyone -moves to the bullpen if Gavin Floyd enters the rotation?

The rotation’s been very good or the Braves wouldn’t be in first so how do you tell one of them it’s time to step back? I don’t think you do. The most likely choice is to slot Floyd into the long man spot in the pen and wait for the chance to get him a spot start. They could use him to give Alex Wood a blow and save some innings or give any of the other starters an extra day.  If nothing else he will likely make the start on June 28 when the Braves play their in the make up game against the Phillies.

That’s A Wrap

As we here every time a situation like this arises, these things dto work themselves out. Unfortunately that’s usually through injury though weather double headers intervene from time to time.  Inevitably someone will have a bad day and exit early and Floyd will get a shot as long man. I expect that this will sort itself out by the All Star Game whatever the reason. Major league teams used at least seven starters last year and most used more. Personally I expect Aaron Harang to fade and Floyd to step in but I didn’t expect him to have an ERA of 0.70 and a WHIP of 0.818 after four starts either.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Thanks Fred – I’ve been mulling the same quandary. Constanza is one possibility, though I believe Mejia stays put: I have two more options, though:

    #1: Anthony Varvaro hasn’t pitched very well since Spring started and has been used for just 3.1 innings so far. He’s walking too many and Fredi seems to have well-founded trust issues with him. His departure would allow room for Alex Wood in the bullpen.

    2nd option: Pedro Beato. Was used as a gap-filler for 1.2 innings and hasn’t been used much so far at Gwinnett.

    This decision will be delayed as long as possible: it’s a very interesting question given that you’ve already got the best pitching rotation in baseball and are now having to fold in 2 new guys. Maintaining that quality is gonna be difficult, to say the least. But if somebody gets hurt – problem solved… kinda.

    In the meantime, sending Hale down to AAA this week actually makes a ton of sense: they actually *need* a starter since they’ve been slotting rehab guys for 2 weeks. So they need pitching… really more than Atlanta does at the moment.

    • fireboss

      Varvaro wasn’t good this spring but didn’t pitch badly when he pitched his three innings. With back to back complete games, a rain out and pitchers going deep into games they haven’t had to use their long man – Varavro. Beato is possible but unless they’ve decided he isn’t worth keeping for some reason I’d be surprised if they dumped a serviceable arm until Venters is back and proven healthy. Thomas has been good but Schlosser needs time and relief depth is looking important based on what we’ve seen so far. After watching Kimbrel last night I have my doubts about his shoulder. His fastball was rarely where he wanted it and I didn’t see his hard slider forcing him to use his third pitch to get hitters out. Walden was good for 3 pitches but he lost his closing job with LAA because he couldn’t consistently throw strikes and Carpenter has been very hittable this year. The pen is looking fragile making depth important.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Naturally, Varvaro goes out and has a perfect inning on Sunday. Not that I’m complaining, of course. But Schlosser looked pretty darn good as a long man, though he got tagged for the loss (anything can happen if your team fails to score themselves).

        The depth would come from Alex Wood’s presence once Floyd is added. In addition – if everyone else stays healthy – Jonny Venters is looking at a return sometime in June.

        • fireboss

          Gus is going to be sent down simply because they can and Varavaro looks good enough to keep or trade to a team in need for an everyday type player. Still Doubt they dump – DFA -any pitching from the 40 man. I was asked about JV Sunday and replied that I haven’t heard anything. I find that a little odd considering all the other updates. I really suspect JV doesn’t make June or July. The July time frame would allow us to make trades from pitching depth if needed. A rumored name available if Prado. He would be a perfect addition if we suddenly get smart enough to know what we lost.

  • Nathan Smith

    Am I missing something? Why does someone have to go once Floyd is activated? Wouldn’t his activation be accomplished the same as Minor’s – sending an active roster player to AAA? 44 players on 40-man; 4 on 60-day DL so they don’t count, so 40 “available” players on 40-man roster. When they activate Minor, Schlosser/Hale goes down to AAA. When they activate Floyd, the other goes down to AAA (as an example).

    What am I missing?

    • fireboss

      There are 44 on the 40 man roster with 5 on the DL (medlen Beachy Floyd, Venters Gearrin) so 39 that count. Activating Minor makes 40. Activating Floyd makes 41. Someone has to come off the roster or go on the DL

      • Nathan Smith

        There are 6 players on the DL: Minor & Floyd on the 15-day and Medlen, Beachy, Venters, & Gearrin on the 60-day.

        Players on the 15-day DL DO count against the 40-man limit. Only 60-day DL players do not. Minor & Floyd are both currently on the 15-day DL and the 40-man roster. Activation should be as simple as optioning a player on the active roster to AAA.

        Forgive me, but I’m still confused.

        • Braves1976

          You’re correct, those on the 15-day DL do count against the 40-man roster while those on the 60-day DL do not. I am surprised Fred apparently missed this as he’s usually spot on. Once it’s considered there is no need to remove anyone from the 40-man roster. We’ll just have to make room on the 25-man roster, that’s all.

          That said, I also doubt Mejia or Constanza get dropped any time soon. Beato is more likely to be dropped if a spot for a pitcher is needed at this point. He isn’t doing well in AAA and isn’t that good at his best anyway. He is just a filler I think for depth till others are ready. Varvaro is better than him and even he could go at some point once all our pitchers get off the DL.

        • fireboss

          Yes you’re correct I screwed that up somehow. I apologize for not replying earlier but I didn’t see your note. Nice catch. Again I apologize for the error