The mother-ship, Baseball Nation, has posted their list of the top-10 worst swings of the 2011 season. Five Atlanta Braves players are represented. Thankfully, three of them are Braves pitchers who are making opposing batters look foolish. One I wanted to highlight is relief pitcher Anthony Varvaro. We'll be talking more about all the Braves bullpen options throughout spring training, but this is a good opportunity to highlight a reliever who is on the 40-man roster and who has a very good chance of breaking camp with the big club.
Here is the number-4 worst swing of the 2011 season, Anthony Varvaro against Michael Morse of the Washington Nationals:
I'm going to go with that being a change-up, though it could also be some kind of overhand curve ball. Either way it's a nasty pitch if Varvaro can command it with regularity. This is a window into why the Braves really like this kid for the pen. Not only does he have a mid-90s fastball, but with off-speed stuff like this, he's got two strikeout pitches.
Varvaro is a guy the Braves claimed off waivers from Seattle prior to last year, and we should all know by now how successful the Braves have been with former Seattle relievers. So he's got that working in his favor. Of the relievers the Braves called up from Gwinnett last year, Varvaro arguably had the most success, though he seemed to benefit from good defense behind him.
Tommy Hanson makes an appearance on the top-10 list while making Jose Reyes look stupid (hope that happens a lot this year). Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman check-swing their way into the top-3, but Tim Hudson grabs the number-1 spot with his fairly awesome swing attempt on a pitch-out:
See the rest of the GIFs at Baseball Nation.
(FYI, if the constant repetitive movement of the GIFs bothers you, just hit the Esc key and it will stop the moving GIFs.)