It's quite apparent that the Braves are in need of a RH power bat off the bench. It also seems apparent that there's a big, gaping hole (being filled by the one-dimensional Brandon Hicks) where Omar Infante's flexibility off the bench used to be. Even though our RH 'pen options have looked shaky of late, I still think it's too early to even think about looking for bullpen help when we have this at Gwinnett:
Stephen Marek: 8.1 IP 5h 0bb 13k 0.60whip 0.00era
Juan Abreu: 8.1 IP 6h 4bb 6k 1.20whip 0.00 era
There are other promising numbers for Gwinnett's 'pen including the Assman's (Proctor) 12Ks in 8.0 IP accompanied with a 2.25 era, but his track record over the past few years should trump any early success he's having in AAA. So, back to the need at hand...that RH power bat.
Here are some RH power bats playing on teams that probably will be selling by All-Star break or getting rid of surplus.
1.Carlos Quentin: current contract 5.05 million and arb-eligible for 3rd time in 2012
2. Justin Upton: current contract has approx. 50 million on it through 2015
3. (gulp) Jeff Francoeur: current contract 2.5 million with mutual option for 2012
4. Adam Jones: current contract 3.25 million and arb-eligible for 2nd time next year
5. Chris Young: current contract has 20 million on it through 2012 with a club option of 14 million in 2014 (or 1.5 buyout).
6. Hunter Pence: current contract 6.9 million and arb-eligible for 3rd time in 2012.
7. Vladimir Guerrero: current contract 8 million
8. Jason Kubel: current contract 5.25 million
9. Jason Repko: current contract: 1/600k and arb-eligible for 3rd time in 2012
10. Michael Cuddyer: current contract: 10.5million
11. Delmon Young: current contract: 1/5.375 million and arb-eligible for 3rd time in 2012
1. Marco Scutaro: current contract 5 million with 6 mil/club option or 3 mil/player option for 2012
2. Jed Lowrie: will take a king's ransom with the start he's off to. current contract 450k and arb-eligible for 1st time in 2012.
3. Jose Reyes: current contract 11 million
4. Mark DeRosa: currect contract 6 million
5. Alex Gordon: current contract: 1.4 million and arb-eligible for the 3rd time in 2012.
6. Mark Ellis: current contract 6 million
1. Ed Lucas: .611 ops 0hr (walking but hitting with no power thus far)
2. Joe Mather: .732 ops 5 total xbh
3. Mauro Gomez: 1.117 ops 15k (destroying the baseball but swinging and missing a ton as well)
4. Shawn Bowman: .900 ops 3hr 16k (the power is there but so are the Ks)
5. Stefan Gartrell: .819 ops 3hr (also racks up the Ks and can't play CF which hurts his chances)
6. Wilkin Ramirez: .861ops 3hr (cutting down the K rate seems to be a goal for him seeing he's only K'd 5 times in in 44 PAs)
Before the Braves go the trade route, I'd like to see Ed Lucas and Wilkin Ramirez get a few AB's coming off of the bench. With those 2 on the bench, every position other than catcher has a legit backup. Nate's going to need a day or 2 off and plugging Wilkin in against a tough lefty might be a decent option. The 3 moves I'd like to see made before our next homestand:
Ed Lucas replaces Brandon Hicks on roster
Wilkin Ramirez replaces Jairo Ascencio on roster (remember, the Braves have an extra pitcher up right now)
Stephen Marek replaces Cory Gearrin on roster
This will give us a bench of : Ross, Hinske, Lucas, Conrad, Ramirez
...and a bullpen of : Kimbrel, Venters, O'Flaherty, Sherrill (puke), Linebrink, Marek, Martinez