Atlanta Braves Making The Team Meter 2012: Pitchers, Week 3

Side-armer Cory Gearrin could be pitching his way into the Braves opening day bullpen.

Third week of the MTM, and this week we're going to make some cuts. This is around the time of spring when the first cuts are made to the Major League roster, when players who don't have a chance of breaking with the team are sent to minor league camp to prepare for their season at Gwinnett or Mississippi. In addition to its normal duties, the MTM will seek to predict which pitchers are among those who will be in the first round of cuts.

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:

Starters: Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, and Brandon Beachy (2 spots available)
Relievers: Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters, Eric O'Flaherty (4 spots available)

Battles are tightening for the final spot or two in the pen.

Player, Position Trend Last Week Roster Status Notes and Comments
Jairo Asencio, RHP
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40-Man, out of options
He ran into some trouble his last time out, but he's still pitching well, and the team seems to be showing a lot of confidence in him.
Luis Avilan, LHP
Cut
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40-Man
We'll make him our first cut on this list. He opened some eyes this spring, and may move into the Braves future bullpen plans sooner than expected.
Jaye Chapman, RHP
Cut
Nav_down_red_medium
40-Man
He gotten hit pretty hard the last two times he's pitched. Whatever he did last year, it hasn't been there this spring. More fine tuning may be needed in the minors.
Erik Cordier, RHP
Nav_down_red_medium
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40-Man
He's been decent, yet unspectacular this spring. I'll keep him around another week or so, as he should probably survive the first cut.
Randall Delgado, RHP
Nav_down_yellow_medium
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40-Man
Getting a little better, but still not good enough to usurp Minor or Medlen in the rotation. With Hanson returning healthy this week it looks like his spot will no longer be open to start the season.
Yohan Flande, LHP
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NRI
Quietly having a pretty good spring. He is still a dark horse for a bullpen spot.
Robert Fish, LHP
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40-Man
Fish hasn't been too great this spring. With other bullpen options stepping up and having good springs, I'm going to lower his chances of making the team.
Cory Gearrin, RHP
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40-Man
Gearrin is pitching his way onto this team with every outing. He apparently worked with Gene Garber this off-season on controlling his change-up with more regularity. If that can become a go-to pitch for him, then that makes him the right-handed groundball specialist that used to be Moylan's role. That revamped change is also apparently helping him get left-handers out, a big problem for him last year.
Sean Gilmartin, LHP
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NRI

I should probably cut him this week, but that great start against the Jays should earn him another opportunity to start in next weekend's split squad game.
J.J. Hoover, RHP
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40-Man
He's had some really good outings and some that are not so good. The 5 walks in just over 4 innings are a big concern, but he's got time left this spring to work through his wildness.
Dusty Hughes, LHP
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NRI

He's been sort of a solid yet unspectacular lefty this spring. Still a tough uphill battle for a bullpen spot with all the competition, especially lefty competition.
Cristhian Martinez, RHP
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40-Man, out of options
Doing everything he needs to do to make the team. Another week of the same and I might consider him a lock for the pen.
Kris Medlen, RHP
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40-Man
Looking more like the favorite for Hudson's vacant rotation spot. We'll have to watch more of spring starts, but with Teheran and Delgado struggling, Medlen seems like the guy who can take that role, then transition to the pen when Huddy returns.
Mike Minor, LHP
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40-Man
Best starting pitcher in games so far. He's almost a lock for one of the two open rotation spots.
Todd Redmond, RHP
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40-Man
He's having a rough time of it, like many of the other young pitchers in camp. I'll keep him around another week, as he'll probably take some innings later in games.
Jason Rice, RHP
Nav_down_red_medium
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NRI

His first outing still makes his overall numbers seem awful, but he's been pretty good the last two times on the mound. If he continues to improve then he could work his way back into the bullpen mix.
Adam Russell, RHP
Nav_up_yellow_medium
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NRI

Doing just about everything he needs to do to make the team. He's shown the ability to strike people out this spring, and that could earn him a bullpen spot.
Zeke Spruill, RHP
Cut
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NRI

Got roughed up his last time out, but overall he's pitched pretty good. Still, the team will likely send him to minor league camp soon, so we'll go ahead and cut him.
Julio Teheran, RHP
Nav_down_yellow_medium
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40-Man
Terrible first game, excellent second game. His next couple of starts will let the Braves know if he's ready or not. They'll have to try and ignore those 6 home runs in his first (terrible) game.
Anthony Varvaro, RHP
Nav_down_yellow_medium
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40-Man
He hasn't been too impressive, and with other bullpenners pitching better, he could have an uphill battle ahead of him.
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
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40-Man
Elbow inflammation will set him back a few days, possibly more. The team said it's nothing to be too concerned about, but for a guy like Vizzy who had some elbow scares last year, I'm concerned. We'll see if he can come back, but I'm starting to think the Braves will take it easy with him the rest of the spring, and may opt to let him start at triple-A and work his way back slowly.
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.

Pitcher removed from the MTM last week: Peter Moylan.

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