The Braves have signed 36-year old lefty reliever Joe Beimel to a minor league deal. Beimel missed all of the 2012 season due to Tommy John Surgery. He last pitched in the majors in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, working in 35 games (0 starts) in which he was 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. Beimel has pitched in 567 games (23 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 24-32 with 4 saves, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. If Beimel looks good in the minors, he won’t be there long as the Braves need someone to replace Eric O’Flaherty from the left side of the pen.
The Braves have placed 28-year old lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty on the 15-day disabled list, but he is more than likely done for the season due to a torn UCL in his left elbow. He is going to visit Dr. James Andrews next weekend to determine if he needs Tommy John Surgery. O’Flaherty pitched in 19 games (0 starts) for the Braves this year and he was 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. This is a huge loss for the Braves, who are already without fellow lefty reliever Jonny Venters for the whole 2013 season due to Tommy John Surgery. The Braves have called up 25-year old righty reliever Cory Rasmus for his first shot at the show. He pitched in 19 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Braves this year and he is 1-1 with 7 saves, a 0.93 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. He has now pitched in 125 games (35 starts) in his first seven years in the minors and he is 15-22 with 17 saves, a 3.67 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
The Atlanta Braves have placed 25-year old righty reliever Jordan Walden on the 15-day disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. Walden has pitched in 14 games (0 starts) for the Braves so far this year and he is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Walden was solid in April, but he just hasn’t looked right in May and know we know why. Walden has pitched in 4 games (0 starts) so far in May and he is 0-1 with a 19.29 ERA and a 3.86 WHIP. The Braves will likely give Walden as much time as he needs to get healthy.
Righty reliever Rick Camp never had outstanding stuff, but he had pitching know how. He was especially effective for the Braves back in 1980 and 1981. Camp pitched in 77 games (0 starts) in 1980 for the Braves and he was 6-4 with 22 saves, a 1.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He followed that up in 1981 by pitching in 48 games (0 starts) in which he was 9-3 with 17 saves, a 1.78 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. After 1981 though, Camp reverted back to being an average pitcher. He pitched in 414 games (65 starts) in his 9 years with the Braves and he was 56-49 with 57 saves, a 3.37 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Camp is still #8 in games pitched (414) and #7 in saves (57) in Braves’ history.
28-year old lefty reliever Jonny Venters had Tommy John Surgery earlier today and it will cause him to miss all of the 2013 season and at least part of the 2014 regular season. Venters pitched in 66 games (0 starts) for the Braves last year and he was 5-4 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Venters has pitched in 230 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Braves and he is 15-10 with 6 saves, a 2.23 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Venters has given up 175 hits and 110 walks in his first 229 2/3 innings while whiffing 258 batters, which is pretty impressive. He was a National League All-Star in 2011 for the Braves. The Braves are going to miss Venters as he is one of the best lefty relievers in all of baseball.
29-year old lefty swinging catcher Brian McCann has come off the D.L. swinging for the Braves. He has played in 6 games for the Braves so far this year and he is 7 for 21 (.333 avg, 1.185 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 3 homers and 10 RBIs. He has walked 4 times while only whiffing twice so far this year as he is locked in at the plate right now. McCann has now played in 1,009 games in his first 9 years with the Braves and he is 986 of 3,528 (.279 avg, .828 OPS) with 425 runs scored, 159 homers, 614 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. McCann has been on 6 All-Star teams and he has won 5 Silver Slugger Awards in his first 9 years with the Braves.
The Braves have signed 31-year old righty reliever Kameron Loe to a minor league deal. Loe has pitched in 11 games (0 starts) so far this year for the Cubs & Mariners in which he is 1-1 with a 7.80 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP. Loe has now pitched in 313 games (47 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 33-41 with 4 saves, a 4.46 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. If he looks good in the minors, he won’t be there too long for the Braves.
The Braves have released 23-year old righty starting pitcher Mark Pope. Pope pitched in 5 games (all starts) in A-ball for the Braves last year and he was 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA and a 2.62 WHIP. Pope has now pitched in 47 games (26 starts) in his first three years in the minors and he is 10-12 with a 6.40 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. Pope should start looking into a new line of work if he doesn’t pitch well when another team gives him a shot.
21-year old righty swinging catcher Christian Bethancourt is off to a good start in AA-ball this year. He has played in 14 games in AA-ball so far this year and he is 16 for 51 (.314 avg, .778 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer, 6 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Bethancourt has now played in 372 games in his first six years in the minors and he is 370 of 1,387 (.267 avg, .658 OPS) with 147 runs scored, 15 homers, 163 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. He came into this season as the Braves’ #3 prospect according to Baseball America because of his outstanding defense. Bethancourt is behind Brian McCann and Evan Gettis on the food chain at catcher for the Braves, so he’s going to have time to develop his bat before he gets to the show.
The Braves have released 30-year old lefty reliever Dusty Hughes. Hughes pitched in 12 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Braves this year and he was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA and a 2.17 WHIP. Hughes last pitched in the majors in 2011 for the Twins. He has pitched in 80 games (1 start) in his first three years in the majors and he is 2-5 with a 4.99 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. This isn’t much of a loss for the Braves moving forward.