Braves and Brewers still attempting to match pieces
The Braves and Brewers have continued to attempt to find the matching pieces to swap a young pitcher for an outfielder. But late Wednesday morning, they both seemed reluctant to move the piece the other club was seeking.
There’s no doubt that the Braves have interest in Lorenzo Cain, a 24-year-old center fielder from Valdosta, Ga. But they weren’t willing to acquire at the expense of losing Mike Minor, the 2009 first-round selection that the Brewers requested in exchange.
The Brewers seem more willing to move Carlos Gomez, a 25-year outfielder who previously played for the Mets and Twins. Likewise, the Braves seem much more interested in moving any of their young pitching prospects not named Minor, Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino.
Speaking of Arodys Vizcaino, a scout said that he saw him touch 96 during an Instructional League game a couple months ago. That’s very encouraging considering it appeared the 20-year-old right-hander’s elbow was ailing to the point that it appeared he would eventually need to undergo Tommy John surgery this past summer.
Braves general manager Frank Wren has started making inquiries about some left-handed relievers. But if a refreshed Jose Ortegano continues to pitch like he has recently in Venezuela, he might find himself as a candidate to join Eric O’Flaherty as a situational left-hander.
Ortegano struggled after arriving in Spring Training this past year with a lot of hype. When his struggles continued into the regular season, the Braves gained the belief that he was simply overworked during last year’s Venezuela Winter League and the Caribbean World Series.
Through his first three appearances (one start) this year, Ortegano has worked 10 1/3 innings, recorded 13 strikeouts, surrendered seven hits and allowed two earned runs.
Rule 5 outlook: Because he was optioned to Double-A Mississippi a couple weeks ago, Kenshin Kawakami will be eligible for selection in both the Major League and Minor League phases of Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
But there’s essentially no reason to believe he will be selected. The selecting team would be responsible for all of the $6.67 million he is owed this year.
There is a chance the Braves could lose right-handed pitcher Michael Broadway or left-handed pitcher Scott Diamond in the Rule 5 Draft.
Diamond combined to go 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 starts with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this past summer. He was 4-1 with a 3.36 ERA in his 10 starts with Gwinnett.
Broadway posted a 4.39 ERA and recorded 57 strikeouts in the 53 1/3 innings he combined to throw for Mississippi and Gwinnett this year.
Impressed by Hurdle: After it was announced that he had agreed to a two-year deal with the Pirates late Tuesday night, Matt Diaz said that he was really impressed while meeting Monday night with new Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
Less than one week after being non-tendered, the former Braves outfielder was also comforted with the reality that he will receive $4.25 million over the next two years.