Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Once a Brave, Always a Brave - AL Central

...excluding Steve Lyons.

As I started last week, Wednesday is the time we look around the league, catching up with ex-Braves.  Sure, they can't be cool anymore and wear the tomahawk, but they do deserve a couple of sentences.  To stream-line this a little, I won't report every minor leaguer unless there is something I find interesting about him.

Chicago White Sox

P Deunte Heath - Heath is an Atlantan native who was once drafted four different times before signing with the Braves as a 19th rounder, his highest selection.  With the White Sox since 2011, he has pitched in eight games over the last two seasons.

P Michael Nix - It's funny how you can play a video game and grow an attachment to a player.  In Out of the Park, Nix progressed into a solid reliever for me.  In real life, the Auburn pitcher reached Richmond in 2008, but was released after the season.  His numbers were never that great.  After a few games in the Colorado system, Nix spent most of 2009-2012 in the Atlantic League, saving 18 in 2011 and transitioning to a starter last year for Sugar Land.  That's where he began 2013, but he joined the White Sox organization in early June and is back in AAA for the first time in five years.  Gotta root for him.

P Santos Rodriguez - The final piece of the Javier Vazquez deal, Rodriguez has made it to AAA each of the last two seasons, but the 25 year-old lefty still has yet to throw a major league ball.

C Tyler Flowers - Along with Rodriguez, Flowers is the only other piece in the system for the White Sox.  After two years of being a backup, this was supposed to be his year.  The results, well, suck.  He's not good enough defensively to make up for a .593 OPS.

OF Dewayne Wise - There are two astonishing things about Wise, who has changed organizations 13 times.  He's never been traded and has only played for six different major league clubs, logging multiple stops with all but two.  The Braves were one of those two when they brought Wise aboard in 2004.  His biggest moment came when he saved Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2008.  A career .228 hitter (which matches his average with the Braves), Wise even pitched twice last year for two different teams.

Cleveland Indians

IF Luis Hernandez - Originally signed out of Venezuela in 2000, Hernandez was a defensively gifted shortstop who didn't do a lot of hitting.  After protecting Hernandez from the Rule 5 draft, the Braves realized there was absolutely no reason to keep him and waived him after 2006.  The O's picked him up and after a .602 OPS in 162 PA with them over two seasons, Baltimore bid him adeu and he got shots with the Royals (of course) and Mets (duh).  He appeared in a few games with the Rangers last year and is now toiling around the Indians organiztion.  He still can't hit.

OF Michael Bourn - The Braves chose B.J. Upton over Bourn and were bashed relentlessly earlier this season as Upton fell on his face.  However, it's not like Bourn has been having a good year.  He's slashing .274/.325/.359 with 17 steals in 25 attempts.

Detroit Tigers

P Octavio Dotel - Of course he's a former a Brave.  He's played for 13 different organizations and often, for not very long.  He got off to a bad start and hit the DL with right elbow inflammation back in mid-April.  He's expected to make it back to the Tigers soon.

P Jair Jurrjens - Trashed by the Braves and O's, Jurrjens is back were he started.  He still sucks.  He's still only 27.

P Will Startup - In 2005, the Braves took the Georgia Bulldog in the fifth round.  He was knocking on the door in 2007 when the Braves traded for Will Ledezma.  Injuries began to derail him from there.  By 2012, he was playing for Sugar Land in the Atlantic League with former Braves farmhand Michael Nix.  This year, he's back in AA, this time for Erie.  Still just 29 with no major league appearances, Startup is just hoping for a chance.

C Brayan Pena - During four seasons, Pena was on the shuttle between AAA and the Braves from 2005-08.  He was expected to hit well enough, but not considered a good backstop.  He's still not a good defender and really has ever been that good of a hitter.

2B Omar Infante - An average utility guy who was traded twice in the winter of 2007, Infante OPS'd .763 over three seasons with the Braves, including a .321/.359/.416 All-Star season in 2010.  Traded to acquire Dan Uggla, Infante's numbers haven't been nearly as good with a post-trade OPS of .724.  He's struggled to stay healthy and is currently working his way back from a sprained left ankle.

Kansas City Royals
Amazingly, this number is falling a good deal.  Kansas City used to be Braves Midwest, but they are finally not going through our trash.

P Bruce Chen - A long, long time ago - back in 2000 - Braves fans were rather ticked about a trade that sent Chen to the Phils for Andy Ashby.  The trade of Chen, who was a big prospect when he climbed the latter in the late 90's, was just the start of an adventure for him.  After the Philies cut bait, he played with the Mets, Expos, Reds, Astros, Red Sox, Orioles, and Rangers.  He didn't play in 2008 before beginning the longest run of his career as a Royal in 2009.  He has logged almost 100 starts and over 600 innings with Kansas City, including throwing his first shutout in 2010.  Chen is a success story.

OF Gorkys Hernandez - Involved in both the Jair Jurrjens trade and the Nate McLouth disastrous move, Hernandez has never been able to stick in the bigs.  The Royals got him from the Marlins earlier this season.

Minnesota Twins

P Kyle Davies - What?  He's still around?  Hiram hasn't appeared in a game in the majors since July 25, 2011 as even the Royals had enough of the guy.  Once traded for Octavio Dotel, Davies didn't pitch in 2012 and didn't make his 2013 debut until May 15th.  He has yet to appear in a game above AA, but the 29 year-old might get a look for the awful Twins before the season is done.

P Scott Diamond - A Rule 5 pick before the 2011 season, the soft-tossing had a nice 2012 as he posted the lowest BB/9 in the AL.  However, things have been much more miserable this season.  The only thing that hasn't gone up this season is his K/9.  Not good.  

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