Atlanta Braves looking for additional reinforcements at the deadline
By Fred Owens
After the Atlanta Braves acquired a starting pitcher and a jet to get him to Philadelphia for the game, the GM says his search isn’t over.
Sunday the Atlanta Braves acquired Tommy Milone, and in what seemed an acknowledgment that the rotation worried them, chartered a jet to fly him from Buffalo to Philly in time to pitch last night.
Milone’s performance suggests they should have saved the cost of the instant charter flight.
Speaking with reporters after the trade became official, Atlanta Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos said the team continued to look for ways to improve the bench (Twitter link).
The sad condition of the rotation meant fans immediately began to talk about potentially available pitchers. About three hours later another Tweet added another perspective to the team’s search.
The need to improve bench options is obvious. When they DFA’d Matt Adams to make room for Milone, the remaining bench included Ender Inciarte, Adeiny Hechavarria, Charlie Culberson, and the catcher resting for the day.
Adams offered the only LHH off the bench with any power. He provided one walk-off win this year, but otherwise wasn’t doing much coming off the pine. When he fouled a pitch off his knee Saturday it made him at best a day-to-day option.
None of the remaining bench players is a power threat, and even though this is now a DH centered lineup, a manager needs options from both sides of the dish. The club has Scott Schebler at Gwinnett and may call him up if no other answer presents itself, but he’s not their first choice or he’d be there now.
Speculation about bench bats isn’t a thrilling subject, but another part of the Tweet piqued my interest, the part that said, “other position players that we view as (Sic) potential upgrade.”
Position-player upgrade? Where? Ender is now relegated to a bench role but perhaps they’d like an outfielder to make sure Marcell Ozuna and his glove never have to wander the green, green grass again. However, that’s a job the potential bench bat could handle.