Atlanta Braves Making The Team Meter 2011: Pitchers, Week 1

The original Making the Team Meter (MTM) returns for its sixth year as your one-stop shop for finding out which Atlanta Braves players will break camp with the team, and which ones are headed back to the minors. 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 initially broken down into two parts -- one for pitchers and one for hitters. Today's installment will cover all the pitchers in camp who might have a chance at making the team. To begin with we'll assume that there is a group that has already made the team, a pretty safe assumption with these guys:

Starters:  Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, and Tommy Hanson (1 spot available)
Relievers:  Peter Moylan, Jonny Venters, George Sherrill, Eric O'Flaherty, and Scott Linebrink (2 spots available)

The battle for the last rotation spot will be a three-headed monster, and the scrum for the final two (really one) bullpen spots will also be a pitched battle.

Player, Position This Week's Trend Last Week Notes and Comments
Juan Abreu, RHP
N/A
This hard-throwing ex-Royals prospect will get some serious looks this spring. Control has always been an issue.
Jairo Asencio, RHP
N/A
The pitcher formerly known as Luis Valdez is back after missing a year. The Braves kept him around through this whole name debacle, so they must really like his arm ... we'll see.
Brandon Beachy, RHP
N/A
If Mike Minor should falter, or any other starter get injured, Beachy will get his shot. A really good spring showing will also have him pushing hard for a bullpen spot.
Erik Cordier, RHP
Dropped
N/A
He had his elbow scoped a month ago and will miss the first few weeks. He's our first drop from the MTM.
Randall Delgado, RHP
N/A
One part of the three-headed pitching prospect monster in the Braves system. It will be fun to see him face some Major League hitters.
Cory Gearrin, RHP
N/A
This side-armer will get a long look for the pen. He had just an okay AFL season, and I'm guessing he's not among the first choices for the pen.
Lee Hyde, LHP
N/A
I consider Hyde a real sleeper in our system. He's behind a lot of other lefties, but I think he'll surprise a lot of people this spring.
Craig Kimbrel, RHP
N/A
He's here only because he's still a rookie, and he's only slightly removed from being prone to walking a lot of people. Still, he should make the team (and be the closer), but we'll keep an eye on it.
Stephen Marek, RHP
N/A
This hard-throwing reliever's time is now. He will push hard to make the bullpen as camp breaks. We'll keep a close eye on him.
Cristhian Martinez, RHP
N/A
I'm putting him at 50-50 in large part because of his perceived rubber arm -- that would make him a good long man in the pen -- and because Fredi Gonzalez is familiar with him from his time in the Marlins organization.
Mike Minor, LHP
N/A
The fifth starter's job is his to lose. He's still a rookie, BTW.
Jose Ortegano, LHP
N/A
Could surprise a lot of people if his control problems have been worked out. He threw a lot this winter in Venezuela, with good success.
Scott Proctor, RHP
N/A
The last bullpen spot is his to lose. The lingering effects of Tommy John Surgery should be long gone. I want to see him in the Braves pen, but I want to see him earn it too.
Anthony Varvaro, RHP
N/A
Another Mariners cast off. Varvaro throws in the mid-90's and is now three years removed from TJ surgery.
Billy Wagner, LHP
N/A
What? You think he's going to retire?
Michael Broadway, RHP
N/A
The first of the non-roster invitees, he represents one of the many Braves minor league pitchers who could break out at any time.
Johan Flande, LHP
N/A
A former Phillies prospect, Flande is basically minor league depth at this point.
Kenshin Kawakami, RHP
N/A
Awkward...
Rodrigo Lopez, RHP
N/A
It will be interesting to see if he pushes Minor and/or Beachy for the rotation. Of all the non-roster invitees, he has the best chance to make the club.
Brett Oberholtzer, LHP
N/A
I'm surprised he gets an invite, but not J.J. Hoover. Braves must really think highly of Oby.
Jay Sborz, RHP
N/A
This former second-round pick of the Tigers has been stricken by injury throughout his career, but when healthy he can throw hard. Control has been a problem the Braves hope they can sort out.
Julio Teheran, RHP
N/A
Not sure who this is, just some minor league pitcher getting a gift invitation to spring training. I'm sure we won't hear much more about him.
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
N/A
I'm interested to see if he can stay healthy.
Arrow Key:
= Chance of making the team is waffling or 50-50.
= Chance of making the team is trending down.
= Chance of making the team is trending up.
X
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