Kevin Gryboski is no longer a Brave. On first glance, trading a reliever with a sub-three ERA for a single-A prospect seems like a mistake, but Gryboski is an illustration of the fact that relievers' ERAs can be deceiving. He has a giant 1.69 WHIP, he strikes out relatively few batters, and opponents have an enormous .396 OBP against him. His value was primarily found in his ability to induce groundball double plays, but even that has gone by the wayside this year, as his groundball/flyball ratio has fallen to 1.59, his lowest mark of his tenure in Atlanta. I'll miss him because he was the last remnant in the pen from that awe-inspiring 2002 bullpen that should have led the Braves to a winnable World Series against the Angels. (We lost that Series against the Giants solely because Cox started Glavine in games one and four instead of using Kevin Millwood, his best pitcher, in games one and five. Glavine made two dreadful starts, thus taking the Braves' biggest strength - a deep, unhittable pen - out of the picture. I will now commit hari kiri with my letter opener.)
I'm interested to see Macay McBride pitch. He's supposed to be even better than Blaine Boyer, who has pitched quite well for the Braves. And over the horizon is first round pick Joey Devine, who was featured on Comcast SportsNight last night and is apparently a week away from being called up to Richmond. I'm holding out hope that he's lights out in the majors when the rosters expand in September and Bobby has confidence in him to be the 8th inning guy in the playoffs. Right now, set-up man is the biggest team need.