Talking Chop takes a look at every pitcher in the Atlanta Braves spring training camp, and examines the chance each one of them has at making the club to open the season.
Once again the Making the Team Meter (MTM) is here 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 the MTM will be initially broken down into three parts -- one for pitchers, one for catchers, and one for the rest of the hitters. Today's installment will cover all the pitchers in camp and examine which ones have a chance at making the team. To begin with we'll assume that there is a group that has already made the team:
Teheran didn't do anything to lose the fifth spot the first time out, but Gilmartin kept the pressure on him. The open bullpen spots seem to be a good three-way race between Avilan, Gearrin, and Varvaro.
|Player, Position||Trend||Last Week||Roster Status||Notes and Comments|
|Luis Avilan, LHP||40-Man||Two solid outings from Avilan so far. He just needs to continue doing what he's been doing and he should earn a spot in the pen to open the season. In the pitching order he's thrown before Gearrin and Martinez in games, meaning he's facing tougher hitters.|
|Ryan Buchter, LHP||NRI||Buchter got butchered in his first spring appearance, further cementing that he is not a candidate for a bullpen spot to start the season.|
|David Carpenter, RHP||40-Man||Oof! Carpenter didn't do much to impress his new team in his debut performance, allowing five runs in less than an inning of work. Some players take longer than others to get their feet under them, but Carpenter will now has an uphill battle to make the Opening Day roster.|
|Yohan Flande, LHP||NRI||So far he has allowed runs in each of his two spring outings, and in his last outing he allowed A LOT of runs. It doesn't look like he has a chance to make the team.|
|Cory Gearrin, RHP||40-Man||Gearrin just keeps doing his thing. He's had two very good outings so far, and seems to be in the lead for one of the last two spots in the pen.|
|Sean Gilmartin, LHP||NRI||Gilmartin matched Teheran's performance in his spring debut and has both players and coaches raving about his stuff and his makeup. He's still behind Teheran, and I'll move him down notch to make the team, since Teheran hasn't done anything to lose his presumed fifth starter spot.
|J.R. Graham, RHP||NRI||Here's what I said about Graham last week: "Graham will turn some heads this spring, and we'll probably spend a week talking about him "seriously" when he lights up the radar gun for the first time in front of MLB beat writers, but the Braves will stick to their development track with him, and allow him to return to being a starter at either AA or AAA." Told ya. Graham turned heads, but he's just here to get a taste before returning to the rotation in the minors.|
|David Hale, RHP||40-Man||Hale has quietly impressed folks with his blazing fastball. He's helped his stock and made himself known to the Braves coaching staff. I still think the team will want him to return to the rotation in the minors, but he could pull a Blaine Boyer at any moment this season, and go from the minor league rotation to the Major League bullpen.|
|Dusty Hughes, LHP||NRI||Quitely had a good first spring outing. He's a guy who could post a bunch of zeros this spring and make a good case for making the team. Not being on the 40-man really hurts his chances.|
|Juan Jaime, RHP||40-Man||Jaime is another guy who has impressed folks with his blazing fastball. It will be interesting to see how much they push him this spring, and if they give him a longer than expected look. For now, having not pitched above A-ball, he's still a longshot to make the team.|
|Aaron Northcraft, RHP||40-Man||He had a nervous first outing, walking four. He's get a few more innings then he'll move over to minor league camp.|
|Wirfin Obispo, RHP||NRI||His visa situation finally got resolved and he arrived in camp. Other than that we haven't heard much about him. I still consider him way down on the depth chart and a longshot to make the club.|
|Cory Rasmus, RHP||40-Man||Good first outing, and we've heard some talk about him as a possibility for the pen this year -- maybe not to start the season, but as someone who could come up mid-year if he does well in triple-A. He could be a real sleeper.|
|Daniel Rodriguez, LHP||NRI||He did not have a good first outing, and even though I thought he might have a chance at a spot on the team as a dark horse, it looks like he is ticketed for triple-A.|
|Julio Teheran, RHP||40-Man||As we all held our collective breath, Julio had a great first start of the spring. He needs to continue to build on that, but it's a strong beginning. Unfortunately in the spring, a pitcher doesn't go through the batting order three times, and that will be the real test that Julio faces, though he likely won't face it until the regular season.|
|Anthony Varvaro, RHP||40-Man||Quietly he's had two very good outings. You don't hear as much about him as you do about Avilan and Gearrin, but these are the three guys competing for the last two bullpen spots, and so far it's a tight competition.|
Alex Wood, LHP
||NRI||He's been talked about as a potential bullpen candidate at some point in the near future. He's apparently impressed people and the organization may want him to move faster through the system as a reliever rather than a starter.|
|= Chance of making the team is good.|
|= Chance of making the team is slightly better than 50-50.|
|= Chance of making the team is slightly worse than 50-50.|
|= Chance of making the team is bad.|
I'll take a look at the catchers in camp on Thursday, then the rest of the hitters on Friday. Next week we'll start making some cuts.