Braves Release Freddy Garcia; Opens The Door For Schlosser

Monday afternoon the Braves announced that they will not pick up the contract of Freddy Garcia. This opens the door for sidearmer Gus Schlosser to join the Braves starting rotation to begin the season.

Despite a solid outing yesterday by Freddy Garcia against the Mets he has made his last appearance in a Braves uniform as Frank Wren and the organization believe it is best to part ways with the 37-year old pitcher who won 16 games four or more times in his career.

Garcia, who would have made $1.25 million if he had made the Opening Day roster, posted a 1-1 record in Grapefruit League action with a 4.76 ERA while striking out 14 batters in 17 innings of work. Many had believed due to the injuries in the starting rotation that he would be able to grab a spot in the rotation for at least the first month or two and provide depth. Least to say the ageless wonder was not too happy with the team's decision.

In game four of the NLDS last season against the Dodgers he made the slogan 'Just Make Pitch' famous among Braves fans and delivered a heroic performance, pitching six innings and only allowing two runs to give his team a chance to win. Manager Fredi Gonzalez once said ''thank God we signed Freddy Garcia'' to reporters.

With the release of the pitcher who compiled a 156-108 and had a 3.26 postseason ERA in 11 starts it has opened the door for 25-year old sidearmer Gus Schlosser to enter the rotation to start the season.

The Braves two-time minor league pitcher of the year has turned heads in spring training and had the skippers attention from the get-go after an impressive showing a year ago in his first time in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at the major league camp.

With a fastball that comes in at 88-91 mph and a sharp slider that made Johnny Peralta look like a fool in a ST outing, Schlosser has shown that he deserves a spot on the team. In five appearances this past month, two starts, he posted a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings to go along with 13 strikeouts, 0.90 WHIP, and .150 opponents average against him.

His control of his three main pitcher (fastball, slider, changeup) is borderline elite, as he has only walked 85 batters in 335.1 minor league innings. He pitched for Double-A Mississippi last season.

The Braves pitching rotation to begin the season will be youthful to say the least.

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