Braves make final roster decisions

Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters made solid impressions while experiencing their first Major League Spring Training.  But the two young Braves relievers learned Friday afternoon that they will begin this upcoming season with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Manager Bobby Cox just announced that Jo-Jo Reyes and Jesse Chavez have claimed the final two available spots in his bullpen.  In addition, he revealed that Brooks Conrad won his roster battle with Joe Thurston, who will also begin the season in Gwinnett. 

Once Scott Proctor is deemed ready to return from Tommy John surgery in a few weeks, Reyes or Chavez will likely be sent to the Minors. 

The Braves also revealed that highly-regarded first base prospect Freedie Freeman will begin the season with Gwinnett.  There was some thinking that he would spend at least a month or two with Double-A Mississippi. 

But some within the organization believe he needed to be at the Triple-A level where he will likely see more strikes than he would at the Double-A level. 

Cox also revealed that catcher Clint Sammons, shortstop Brandon Hicks, outfielder Matt Young and  right-handed pitchers Jeff Lyman and Cory Gearrin will also begin the season with Gwinnett.

Check back later for other roster announcements.

24 Comments

We have more Matt Youngs in the organization than I thought. ;)

No big suprises, unlike last year when they announced Jordan Schafer would be on the roster.

You could put two Matt Youngs together and still not have a whole Jason Heyward. Can you blame jet lag when the previous night’s flight only extended from Orlando to Atlanta?

McLouth was scratched from tonight’s lineup w/ a strained right hamstring. He is listed as day-to-day, but this certainly isn’t something you want to deal with three days before the start of the season.

Is that the same hamstring he hurt last year? If so, not a good sign. Hammies can linger for months, as we saw.

They’re saying it’s his other hammy.

Well isn’t that just peachy? Now McLouth has no good legs. His one redeeming quality was his speed and now thats shot. I guess my call to trade him this offseason when he might have had some trade value was spot on. I don’t wish this kid ill will, but he has issues and it looks like a DL stint to start the season. I hope Shafer is getting stronger. I am glad to have Infante stroking the ball, too. Infante will be an overall improvement over where Nate was anyway. The only problem we have with McLouth is his contract. We will be carrying that and limiting what we can give a legit replacement if Shafer can’t get back in shape. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Let’s give the guy a chance to hit before we talk about trading him this year. By they way bill, I was right about the roster spots.
http://brandonwoodworth.mlblogs.com/

And, I think there would be more return if we traded him at the trade deadline next year.

Hey Brandon, we get it: you were right about the roster. Let’s move on. As far as McLouth goes, let me just say that the trade for Melky Cabrera is looking a lot more useful now. The further we go along the more worried I am about McLouth. I hope that he proves me wrong, but based on the spring I don’t see a lot of anything of value he is going to provide this club.

Here are my 2010 predictions:

Huddy wins NL Cy Young Award. Posts a 2.20 ERA and wins 21 games.

Derek Lowe loses break on his sinkerball and suffers a lousy 2nd half again.

Chipper has some sort of leg injury Winds up on DL for 2nd half. Hinske fills in capably and hits for avg. Heyward takes 3 hole in lineup.

Heyward hits .280 with 20 HRs but has a few nagging injuries. Team attibutes the injuries to his growth spurts. Still wins ROY.

McLouth struggles at plate(surprise!!!!) and with leg injuries. FW trades for another mediocre CF.

Diaz hits .320 AGAIN.

Glaus plays a serviceable 1B, hits 28 dingers and a .290 avg. Finishes 2nd in Comeback player of the Year to Andruw.

Back half of bullpen blows up and Braves bring back Smoltz to close.

Braves wind up in dogfight for wild card with Phillies, Marlins win division, Braves try too late to hire Fredi Gonzalez to replace Bobby. Bobby returns for another season. Pendleton ruins a couple of more swings. Frank Wren tries to lure Ryan Church out of retirement.

Oh, this is priceless. If you search the Mets site for player stats, the Yankees come up. Boy you know the whole city of NY is ********** abouth that. Way to go MLB.com

and you can’t say p*ssed off here.

Mark, how is Shafer coming along? Haven’t heard anything for a while.

David Ross has made some truly attrocious plays behind the plate this Spring.

Four errors in two innings? Are we the Mets and Nationals now?

Bill, I can see some of your predictions happening, especially about Glaus and Heyward. Maybe even Hudson if Jurrjens doesn’t beat him.

If Wren does try to move McLouth, I’d rather he trade him for prospects. Cabrera, who has impressed me a little more than I’m willing to admit, can play CF if Schafer’s not ready.

And Bill, I agree with you about Chipper, McLouth, Lowe, and Diaz.

Good to see Jo-Jo Reyes in mid-season form.

Just heard Heyward’s explanation of his wearing #22. What a respectful young man. Super proud to have that caliber of a person wearing the Brave’s uniform!

I loled everywhere at bills post. But I think there is a comeback player of the year for both leauges, so he’ll probably finish first. Good to see Andruw looking slim and healthy, glad he’s back in center, and I hope he performs like 05 this year for the Sox.

From MLBTR:
Looking At The Needs Of Some Contenders
By Mike Axisa [April 3 at 8:33pm CST]
With Spring Training wrapping up around the country, teams are finalizing their rosters and picking the 25 players they’ll start the season with. There’s always room for improvement, but some contenders have some very obvious weak spots on their rosters. Here’s a look at some of them, which may need to be addressed during the season…

?Braves, outfielder: Superstar in training Jason Heyward will start the year in right, but incumbent centerfielder Nate McLouth had a brutal spring (6-for-51), which may push Melky Cabrera into full-time duty.

Hmmmmm. This bandwagon keeps getting more and more full. Where am I gonna put everyone?

Get a bigger model? Hitch another one to the back? :-P

bill, you could very well be right about McLouth, and I share the same view as you when you say that Schafer is the center fielder of the future, but we have to give McLouth a chance to start the season strong, and not shun him because of a bad spring. Us finishing 3rd in the NL in Spring Training doesn’t mean ****. If he stumbles, I would have no problem trading him and using Melky as the center fielder.

Three more hours before I leave work to get home for the game. Will 4:10 just get here already!!

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