Late Saturday afternoon David O’Brien let us know the tentative plans for Gavin Floyd.
#Braves Fredi G reiterated that they have Floyd penciled it for two more rehab starts, then they’ll see where he’s at before making decision
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) April 19, 2014
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.
|26||Kris Medlen||Pitcher||60 DL|
|27||Brandon Beachy||Pitcher||60 DL|
|29||Gavin Floyd||Pitcher||15 DL|
|36||Mike Minor||Pitcher||15 DL|
|37||Jonny Venters||Pitcher||60 DL|
|38||Cory Gearrin||Pitcher||60 DL|
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.
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.