The Relief Pitcher Merry-Go-Round

I just thought it might be fun to keep track of all two dozen of the Braves relievers that seem to be on the roster.

First we had the last bullpen spot in spring training come down to what we thought was a competetion between Anthony Varvaro and Cristhian Martinez. However, as we approached opening day it was Jonny Venters that would be the first Braves reliever on the DL. Leaving the opening bullpen to include: Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jordan Walden, Cory Gearrin, Luis Avilan, Cristhian Martinez, and Anthony Varvaro.

Result: Jonny Venters to 15-day DL with elbow discomfort

Counter: 1 on the DL, 8 total relievers

Not even two weeks into the season the Braves made a trade, acquiring Luis Ayala from the Baltimore Orioles for Single-A LHP Chris Jones. Waiting two days to announce the corresponding roster move, the Braves then placed Cristhian Martinez on the DL with shoulder inflammation.

Result: Cristhian Martinez to 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation

Counter: 2 on the DL, 9 total relievers

Within three weeks of being acquired by the Braves, Luis Ayala is shockingly placed on the DL with an anxiety disorder. The problem is revealed to be due to elevated blood pressure and the addition of blood pressure medication. The Braves recall David Carpenter from Triple-A to take the roster spot.

Result: Luis Ayala to 15-day DL with an anxiety disorder

Counter: 3 on the DL, 10 total relievers

Then we come to the excitement this past week, starting with Fredi stating that he would use a 6 man bullpen in the immediate future. Then Thursday Jonny Venters undergoes his 2nd "Tommy John" surgery. On Friday Jason Heyward is activated from the DL with corresponding move being Jordan Walden sent to the Dl with shoulder inflammation.

Result: Jordan Walden to 15-day DL with shoulder pain

Counter: 4 on the DL, 10 total relievers

We finally arrive to the news Saturday that bullpen workhorse Eric O'Flaherty has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and is placed on the DL. With "Tommy John" surgery likely coming for EOF, the Braves recall Cory Rasmus, younger brother to Colby, from Triple-A.

Result: Eric O'Flaherty to 15-day DL with torn UCL

Counter: 5 on the DL, 11 total relievers

Worth Noting: Luis Ayala is currently on rehab assignment but is not yet close to a return, there has been no substantial update on C-Mart since his "shoulder inflammation", expect one or both of the Braves lefty set-up men to be transferred to the 60-day DL if the injury bug continues to bite the Braves, and the Braves have signed veteran relievers Kameron Loe and Joe Beimel in the last few weeks to minor league deals.

As always the Braves seem to have pitching depth, which in times like these makes Frank Wren's unwillingness to trade from it that much more important.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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