Who's in, who's out, who's on the bubble, and what are each pitcher's chances.
Definitely in the pen:
Chris Reitsma, Oscar Villarreal, and Joey Devine. These three have been the best all spring, and will now fight it out for the official closer designation. Really, it's Reitsma's to lose, and the way he's pitching this spring shows no signs of allowing that role to slip away. Villarreal will be a solid set up man, and Devine is the elite closer in waiting. If all goes accordingly, this group could remind some of the Wagner, Dotel, Lidge combination in Houston several years ago.
On the bubble:
Lance Cormier should almost be listed above by process of elimination. He should make the team, and his success this year will continue to help GM John Schuerholz look like a genius when he makes trades.
Anthony Lerew has pitched well of late, but still needs to show some consistency to be a fixture in the bigs. He wants to be there, though, and will work as hard as he can to make the team.
Mike Remlinger has really turned it around in the last week and a half, and just in time too. With Foster and McBride ailing, Remlinger seems like he'll get to make the trip north one more time.
Chuck James may be forced into the pen because of injuries to the other leftie as well. Cox has worked in young pitchers by starting them off in the pen in the past, but the Braves may prefer to let James solidify himself at AAA this season. Remember, he is only one season removed from A-ball.
Fighting an uphill battle:
Macay McBride and John Foster looked like shoe-ins for the pen early in spring, but injuries have taken their toll. Foster is on the shelf for at least a month, but McBride should be back on the mound in the next couple of days. Will there be enough time for him to get ready for the season and prove he is healthy?
Wes Obermueller is still hanging around, but with the way he has pitched lately we should change his name to Ooff-ermueller.
Sean White is someone who has come out of the woodwork to have some pretty decent outings, and because of injuries might get a shot at the team.
Blaine Boyer still has not pitched in a spring game, and may be forced into extended spring training before returning to the big club. He's an important piece of the bullpen puzzle, and the Braves want him to take his time and be healthy at the end of the year more than they want him to rush into things just to be healthy to start the season.
Chad Paronto is still hanging around as well.
Make a trade:
There are apparently lots of rumors circulating about the Braves making a move for a bullpen arm or two. With the recent injuries to some of the key arms in the pen, it looks like a trade is almost a certainty. As usual with a John Schuerholz run operation, no specific players have been mentioned.