While we still await any additions to the Atlanta Braves bullpen, it would be good to check on our previous suggestions to see how things stand.
There are at least three aspects to making deals at the trade deadline that the Atlanta Braves will have to assess this week… assuming that they intend to “buy”, which seems to be a safe guess at the moment:
- Finding clubs willing to sell
- Finding players that will truly “add” to the team’s performance
- Finding a price-point that makes sense for now and the future
Of note: it’s now been nearly a full month since we learned that Atlanta was being “aggressive” in pursuing bullpen help. Yet nothing has happened… so far.
When we reviewed several bullpen options a few weeks ago, there was still an uncertainty level about them on multiple fronts. One such consideration is how each player’s current club is now performing; another is whether the sticky-stuff ban has contributed to a reduction in pitching prowess.
So with all of these factors in mind, let’s check on those relievers and see how things are progressing:
PIRATES – CHASEN SHREVE and RICHARD RODRIGUEZ
Stick a fork into the Pirates… at 38-60 on the year, they are well and truly “done”… and that’s after having “rallied” to a 5-5 record over their last 10 contests.
Pittsburgh needs so much, that they ought to be willing to sell off virtually anyone on their roster. Indeed, a number of rumors seem to be swirling about them, though few involve the relief corps… yet.
CHASEN SHREVE. When we last checked in with Shreve, he had an ERA of 1.80 and I noted that Atlanta probably didn’t need any additional lefties among their pitchers.
Since then, Shreve is still pitching very well. His ERA is up to 2.13 thanks to runs allowed to Milwaukee (2) and… Atlanta (1). Otherwise, he’s been run-free in 17 of his last 19 outings, though walks have ticked up a bit: 7 in 5 consecutive games, though none in the past 3.
In the meantime, two of those Braves southpaws — AJ Minter and Sean Newcomb — has been having their own issues, which might now lead Atlanta to consider bringing in a new left-hander.
Shreve should be available via trade without difficulty.
RICHARD RODRIGUEZ. This reliever is the only one getting any attention from other clubs… and there’s a lot of desire to get him anywhere but Pittsburgh.
His ERA had been 1.91 a month ago… now it’s 2.82 as a result of 3 miscues: 3 runs to the Brewers, 2 allowed against the Mets, and 1 more to the Giants.
In those most recent outings, he’s otherwise been solid: no runs allowed in 7 of his last 10 appearances and he’s walked only 2 against 9 strikeouts.
Against our Atlanta Braves? 3 innings over 2 games: 10 batters. No hits, no walks, no runs.
There will be a bunch of teams wanting to pry Rodriguez away from the Steel City… he will be good, but there’s a bit of curiosity as to whether the sticky-ban might have mattered a bit. He will also be fairly expensive to obtain as compared to most other relief pitchers.
On balance? Retrieving our old friend Shreve might not be a bad idea.