Atlanta Braves Making The Team Meter 2011: Week 3

The third week of the Atlanta Braves Making the Team Meter (MTM), and this week we combine the pitchers and the hitters into one post. There were a flurry of cuts from the spring roster yesterday, so the MTM says goodbye to pitchers Lee Hyde, Jose Ortegano, Randall Delgado, Michael Broadway, Jay Sborz, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, and Brett Oberholtzer, infielder Tyler Pastornicky and outfielder Mycal Jones. All of these guys had red down arrows, so the MTM wasn't projecting them for the team anyway.

As alwyas 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)
Lineup:  Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Alex Gonzalez, Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, Nate McLouth, and Jason Heyward (1 spot available, first base)
Reserves:  Eric Hinske and David Ross (3 spots available)

The open bullpen spot is still a dog fight between a lot of guys. Martinez probably deserves it over Proctor at this point, but there's still a lot of spring left and an out of options guy like Proctor will probably make it over a guy with options like Martinez -- meaning this bullpen fight we thought was there is not really there. We'll keep an eye on it, and if Proctor regresses he could get cut.

The players who were front runners for the bench jobs are all doing pretty bad, while some upstarts are doing really well. This has all been reflected below.

Where I have "Cut" listed for This Week's Trend, that's me saying the player is cut from the MTM; meaning the team didn't cut him, but I have determined he no longer has a shot at making the team out of spring training, so there's no need to keep him on this list for next week.

Player, Position This Week's Trend Last Week Notes and Comments
Juan Abreu, RHP
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His last couple of outings have been much better, he's starting to look like he might actually have some Major League bullpen potential, but not this year.
Jairo Asencio, RHP
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He's pitching well and doing everything he needs to do to make the team. I'm still impressed that he's pitching this well after not playing pro ball last year. I'm going to move him up a notch. He's starting to look like a dark horse for the pen.
Brandon Beachy, RHP
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He's had a few innings this spring where he's lost it. He'll be cruising along and then lose control and give up hits and runs all of a sudden. Weird. Tells me he needs some more minor league seasoning. Moving him down a notch.
Cory Gearrin, RHP
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I don't think he'll survive the next cut, he's just been too wild.
Craig Kimbrel, RHP
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Getting better, and it's all about how you finish, right? He faced a soft minor league lineup the last time he pitched, we'll have to see how he does today.
Stephen Marek, RHP
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The stuff is there, though he's been a bit walk prone lately. He needs some better outings as others are moving ahead of him. Drops a bit.
Cristhian Martinez, RHP
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Very, very impressive his last time out. I almost gave him a green arrow, and if the season started today he probably makes the team. Let's watch a few more outings, though, see how he does.
Mike Minor, LHP
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Still rolling, doing everything the team wants him to do. I wonder why we're not hearing more about him this spring.
Scott Proctor, RHP
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Getting better with each successive outing, though the shell shock of his first couple of outings still linger.
Anthony Varvaro, RHP
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He slides back down a notch after a rough outing, and other relievers moving ahead of him.
Johan Flande, LHP
Cut
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He finally made it into a game and got tagged with a 2-run home run. I'm actually surprised he didn't go in the first round of cuts. Whatever, I'm cutting him.
Kenshin Kawakami, RHP
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He debut's today. Yay!
Rodrigo Lopez, RHP
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Decentish. He did strike out Albert Pujols twice, that was impressive. He'll be a good reserve at triple-A ... hopefully.
Player, Position This Week's Trend Last Week Notes and Comments
Brooks Conrad, IF
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Still doing his best Nate McLouth imitation from last spring -- he is just 2-for-18 with 6 strikeouts. We're only half way home, so there's still time for Brooksy to turn it around.
Freddie Freeman, 1B
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He's proven to be a streaky hitter this spring, collecting hits in bunches.
Diory Hernandez, IF
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Same as last week: "Just playin his role as backup, doin his thang. He's the no frills backup option." He's cooled down a bit at the plate.
Brandon Hicks
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He's gotten a few hits lately, though I still don't have a read on how the team feels about him. He's clearly a backup, but I get the feeling he's not favored over Diory.
Joe Mather, IF/OF
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The lack of hits are a concern for me, combined with his shaky corner infield defense, so I'm going to move him down a notch.
Jordan Schafer, OF
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He's not hitting, and clearly needs some time in the minors. I think he'll be among the next round of cuts.
Matt Young, OF
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He's making himself more valuable by playing some second and third base in addition to the outfield, and he's starting to hit a bit more. Has a better shot than most because he's on the 40-man, but still an outside shot.
Shawn Bowman, IF
Cut
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Not sure why he wasn't in the first round of cuts, though he should be in the next round. Has played good defense, but hasn't hit much. We'll cut him.
Ed Lucas, IF
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I still really like this guy. He continues to hit and play everywhere in the field. Most impressive: he has just one strikeout in 18 at-bats -- that could make him a good hit-and-run contact hitter off the bench. I'm going to make the bold move of giving him a green arrow and put him ahead of everyone else for the backup infield job.
Brent Clevlen, OF
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Now that he's starting to play a little more he's getting some hits and playing good D. He may be the definition of "replacement level."
Jose Constanza, OF
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He's supposed to have good speed, but you've got to get on base to use it. That's been a problem. He hangs around through this first round of cuts because of the backup center field job, but he probably gets cut in the next round.
Wilkin Ramirez, OF
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Still swinging a good bat, and doing it rather quietly. He played some center field recently, and he's played a decent amount of center in the minors. If his bat  continues to look better than Mather's, then he might get some serious thought for a backup outfield job. The potential for a good player is certainly there. Moving him up a notch, but for now he's still a bit of a long shot.
Wilkin Castillo, C/IF/OF
Cut
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Hey, he survived the first round of Braves cuts, but he's not going to survive our cut. I put him on here because I thought he'd be used at some other infield positions, but he's only played catcher sparingly.
Arrow Key:
Nav_up_green_medium = Chance of making the team is good.
Nav_down_red_medium = Chance of making the team is bad.
Nav_up_yellow_medium = Chance of making the team is slightly better than 50-50.
Nav_down_yellow_medium = Chance of making the team is slightly worse than 50-50.
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