Having seen their bullpen throw 16 innings the past two days, the Atlanta Braves made the call to triple-A for some relief help. Right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro was recalled by the Braves, and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez was optioned. Hilariously, this marks the third time in four days that Wilkin Ramirez has been either optioned or recalled -- he was optioned on Monday when Chipper was activated, recalled on Wednesday when Schafer was disabled, and now he's been optioned again.
Varvaro last pitched on Sunday, so he is well rested. He appeared in four games for the Mariners last season, and was claimed off waivers by Atlanta in January of this year. He is a hard thrower who can strike people out (59K in 50.2IP this year in AAA), and he has shown an ability to miss bats (.178 average against), but he is also prone to walking too many people (30BB). A fly ball pitcher, he has a tendency to make mistakes up in the zone.
I applaud this move, not only for the immediate depth it provides, but also for the need to begin to see what kind of pitchers we have in the good group of relievers at triple-A. The foursome of Varvaro, Jairo Asencio, Juan Abreu, and Jaye Chapman should be able to help the Braves in relief down the stretch. Newly promoted (from AA to AAA) wunderkind Arodys Vizcaino should also see some Major League action this year and could become an important reliever down the stretch.