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Braves 2010 Season In Review: Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Dunn, Cristhian Martinez, and Scott Proctor

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Kyle Farnsworth wasn't much better than the pitcher he replaced, Jesse Chavez. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Kyle Farnsworth wasn't much better than the pitcher he replaced, Jesse Chavez. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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When the Braves acquired Kyle Farnsworth at the trading deadline, there was reason to believe he'd be a valuable weapon coming out of the bullpen. In 44 innings over 37 games with the Royals he had put up a 2.42 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, but he couldn't maintain that success with the Braves. He made 23 appearances for Atlanta, tossing 20 innings, and his ERA more than doubled to 5.40. His WHIP was essentially the same, at 1.10, though he did dramatically increase his strikeouts per 9 innings from 7.3 with the Royals up to 11.3 with Braves. At the end of the day, he wasn't a major improvement over the pitcher he replaced, Jesse Chavez, who put up a 5.89 ERA and a 1.42 ERA in 36.2 innings over 28 appearances for Atlanta, and when you factor in that the Braves had to pay a third of Farnsworth's 4.5 million dollar salary instead of paying Chavez the minimum, the tradeoff really wasn't worth it. The Braves declined his option for 2011, making him a free agent, and there's very little chance he'll be back with the team in 2011.

The Braves acquired Mike Dunn as part of the package from the Yankees for Javier Vazquez last December, and he did the bulk of his work this season with AAA Gwinnett, pitching 47.1 innings over 38 games, compiling a 1.52 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP while picking up 7 saves. Hitters had trouble making contact against him, as he allowed just 5.9 hits per 9 innings and struck out 12.2 per 9. He was able to duplicate his success in the Majors, with a 1.89 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP in 19 innings over 25 appearances. He was able to maintain his strikeout rate in Atlanta, fanning 12.8 Major League hitters per 9 innings, but his walks got out of hand, as he allowed 8.1 free passes per 9. The 26 year old has a bright future, which is why the Braves were able to package him along with All-Star utility man Omar Infante for perennial All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla. Dunn's tenure with the team was a perfect example of how to get maximum value out of a tradeable commodity like a lefty with a power arm.

In 2009 Cristhian Martinez was the Marlins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year and made his Major League debut with the team, but he was suprisingly exposed on waivers in April of this season, the Braves quickly snatched him up and sent him to Gwinnett, where he posted a 3.08 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 52.2 appearances over 23 games. He wasn't as dominant in 18 appearances for Atlanta, but was still solid, putting up a 4.85 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 26 innings. He'll be 29 when the 2011 season starts, and if he wants to hold on to a Major League job he's going to have to handle lefties better. He gave up a .228 average and a .630 OPS in 61 at bats against righties, but lefties knocked him around to a .326 average and a .890 OPS in 49 at bats. The last few spots in the Braves bullpen will be a wide open battle and he has as good a chance as anyone to lock up one of those jobs.

After missing all of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Braves were hoping that Scott Proctor would only need a month or so in AAA to get back to full strength and become a major part of the Atlanta bullpen. Unfortunately, he wasn't healthy, getting rocked in 8 April appearances to the tune of a 11.25 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP. He was forced to take some time to rest his arm before resuming his rehab in June with High A Myrtle Beach, where he had a 6.14 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 7.1 innings over 6 appearances. He returned to Gwinnett, where he finished the year with a 7.08 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP in 34.1 innings over 31 appearances. He joined Atlanta in September, making 6 appearances, putting up a 6.35 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 5.2 innings. When he was in his heyday with the Yankees, Proctor made his living with a mid-90s fasball, but his velocity hadn't returned by the end of the season, so if he's going to be sucessful going forward he'll have to do so as a pitcher, not a thrower. The Braves gave him a guaranteed Major League contract for 2011, so if he's healthy he'll be a valuable middle reliever. Proctor's ability to recover and adapt two years removed from Tommy John surgery will go a long way in shaping the Braves' 2011 bullpen.