Making the Team Meter: Pitchers and Catchers Edition

The original Making the Team Meter returns for its fourth year as the one-stop shop for finding out which players will break camp with the Braves. Throughout spring training I'll track the progress of each player who does not yet have a guaranteed spot on the opening day roster.

This year, like last year, the MTM will be broken down into two parts, one for pitchers and one for hitters. Today's installment will cover all the pitchers in camp and who might have a chance at making the team. To begin with we'll assume that there a is group that has already made the team, a pretty safe assumption with these guys. Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, and Mike Gonzalez are the pitchers who are safe on the opening day roster. As you'll see I'm keeping the rest of the bullpen guys on the bubble, though many of them are probably pretty close to locks as well. This will help us track recovery from injury and a return to effectiveness. Enjoy.

Player, Position Chance Notes
Manny Acosta, RHP
He's sort of the forgotten guy in the Braves pen, but he pitched well after coming back from injury. He should get a spot.
Jeff Bennett, RHP
A valuable guy as a swing man or a setup man. Say all you want about where he came from, but he kept the ball in the park last year and had a terrific finish to his season. He should have a spot in the pen.
Blaine Boyer, RHP
He was probably overused last year. I see him as trade bait or a setup man.
Francisley Bueno, LHP
Nobody wants Frank Good, who snuck through waivers last month. He's still the fourth option as bullpen lefty.
Jorge Campillo, RHP
He should have a spot on the team, but will it be in the bullpen or the rotation?
Buddy Carlyle, RHP
He's the ultimate no-frills reliever. I say he's on the bubble to make the team, and will likely get the pass to Gwinnett.
Rafael Cruz, RHP
As a teammate last year of Kawakami, Cruz is here as a friendly face to help the Japanese star.
Emiliano Fruto, RHP
He's one of those 4-A relievers who keeps getting chances, but he's behind a lot of people in Atlanta.
Mariano Gomez, LHP
A very tall left-hander who's trying to win a job.
Tommy Hanson, RHP
Just some kid who got an invite to spring training.
Anthony Lerew, RHP
Lerew is a real wildcard. He's coming back from elective TJ surgery and needs to prove he's a competitor. He could come out of nowhere this spring to compete for a bullpen spot.
Boone Logan, LHP
He will have the first crack at winning the LOOGY role out of the pen.
Stephen Marek, RHP
I'm eager to get a look at what this kid brings to the table. I think he'll be a solid member of our bullpen by 2010.
Kris Medlen, RHP
Is he going to stay in the starting rotation, or move back to the bullpen?
Charlie Morton, RHP
Oh, Charlie. I wonder if he's found any more "fierce competitor" in him.
Peter Moylan, RHP
He should be a lock for the pen, but we'll keep him on this list to monitor his health to see if he breaks camp with the team.
Eric O'Flaherty, LHP
The 2009 left-handed version of Chris Resop.
James Parr, RHP
It can't hurt for him to have an impressive spring. He needs to shake the "organizational arm" label.
Juan Perez, LHP
Yet another LOOGY candidate in camp. Perez has big league experience with the Pirates.
Todd Redmond, RHP
As a finesse pitcher he will have to really impress to get noticed -- the Braves haven't had good luck with finesse pitchers lately.
Jo-Jo Reyes, LHP
What will happen to Jo-Jo? Some people say he has the inside track on the fifth starter spot, but he's got a lot of competition. Could he make a play for the bullpen lefty role?
Jeff Ridgway, LHP
He's probably behind Logan and O'Flaherty for the LOOGY role.
Rafael Soriano, RHP
Everyone is eager to see if he will be healthy this year.
Phil Stockman, RHP
Will this be the year that Stockman gets a spot in the pen?
Luis Valdez, RHP
Minor league veteran had a breakout year as Mississippi's closer last year. Is he major league material or will he have to make a stop in Gwinnett first.
Arrow Key:
= Chance of making the team is even.
= Chance of making the team is going down.
= Chance of making the team is going up.

The hitters edition will be out later this week when they report to camp, then there will be weekly editions for both the hitters and pitchers throughout the spring. (Programming note:  the final prospect Q&A with you-know-who will be up tomorrow around noon -- and it might just be the best one yet.)

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