December 29, 2010 at 1:15 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
My best guess:
- As usual, the starting pitching depth is outstanding. It becomes substantially less than outstanding if Brandon Beachy is traded, at least until either Kris Medlen returns from his UCL replacement operation or one of Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado is MLB ready. For now it would probably be best to hang on to Beachy, using him when a sixth starter is inevitably needed. Once the next best available starter isn’t Todd Redmond Beachy becomes more of an expendable asset, opening up more trade possibilities. It still might make sense to trade him before then, but only for something that’s going to positively impact the 2011 roster.
- I didn’t put Kenshin Kawakami on the depth chart because a) he’s not going to be on it when it matters and b) he’s not on the 40-man roster.
- Speaking of which, Randall Delgado is now on the 40-man roster, something you might have missed if you blinked (guilty).
- The right-handed relief depth is stacked. Linebrink and Proctor aren’t great pitchers, the latter being far worse, but with Stephen Marek, Christhian Martinez, Cory Gearrin, and the artist formerly known as Luis Valdez waiting in the wings you figure they’ll eventually be able to find enough competent right-handed relievers.
- With four legitimate left-handed relief options there’s a modest amount of depth there, which is significant because most organizations have trouble fielding two competent lefty-relievers.
- There are only two catchers on the 40-man roster. There are three more in AAA: Clint Sammons, J.C. Boscan, and Orlando Mercado–all three of which have more ‘org guy’ than ‘third catcher’ in them. With McCann and Ross in the majors the Braves have one of the best catching situations in baseball, but some depth there would be a nice luxury (though nothing more).
- I flip-flopped on Eric Hinske and Joe Mather as the reserve 1B. My thinking in deciding on Hinske is Freeman will more-or-less play every day and if he goes down they’ll employ some sort of platoon in which Eric Hinske gets more of the reps because he’s left-handed. I could easily see Joe Mather getting more PT at 1st than Hinske, though.
- I have Matt Young in the majors as the reserve CF and Jordan Schafer in the minors, though it could go either way if they don’t go outside the organization, which is also a possibility. MLBTradeRumors named Scott Hairston (who was a +5 CF in 140 innings according to both +/- and UZR last year) and Andruw Jones (who wasn’t as good) as plausible fits. Quick note about 140-inning samples of fielding stats: they’re too small to accurately represent true talent level with much confidence. MLBTR also mentioned Wallace “Beau” Torbert, a 28-year-old career minor leaguer who was named the independent league player of the year in 2010 by Baseball America. I know nothing about him.