Friday, July 22, 2005

Gryboski Raus!

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.

1 comment:

peacedog said...

Did they throw Devine's stats at you last night? Just in case they didn't (I've mentioned some before I know):

High A: 4G 5ip 3bb 0h 0er 7k
AA: 7G 8ip 3bb 4h 0er 8k

At AA, he has 2 saves and 6 games finished. I know he finished a couple of games at A as well.

Now, I will reiterate (and I'm sure it came up last night), 3 of those walks cam ein his first outting at high A myrtle beach. Nerves? Possibly. 6 walks in 13 innings isn't awful, it is a tad high (releivers can live with slightly higher walk rates often due to extremely high K/9s, as long as they keep it in the park). 3 BBs in 12 innings is superb.

Of course, 3 of those have come in the last 8 innings. That's probably due to the change in level - even for a guy like Devine (allegedly very "majors ready") it's an adjustment. Still, it's a promising start. I just hope we go slow enough that he doesn't have any nerves.

Anthony Lerew is throwing well at AAA right now. He got off to a mediocre start as well but has pitched well his last 3 times out, finally getting a win. Chuck James continues to dominate at AA. Scott Thorman is off to a slow start after his recent Richmond promotion. Marte is doing well - if you project his numbers over a full season it's like 80BBs and 100ish Ks - not major league numbers but still intriguing. If he has any command of the strike zone, I'll be giddy.

The Braves have a Venezualan shortstop in the GCL (low rookie) hitting .300ish. He has a couple of extra base hits - nothing remarkable. 8/18 BB/K. Supposed to have all sorts of tools (I hate that word). Oh, and he's 16.