Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Once a Brave, Always a Brave - AL West

...excluding Bobby Bonilla.

Let's head out west to catch up with some former Braves.  Is anybody used to the idea that the Houston Astros are in the AL yet?  It really wasn't that long ago that the Braves seemed to play them every October.  Oh, that reminds me, screw you, Chris Burke.

Houston Astros

P Paul Clemens - Part of the Michael Bourn trade a few years ago, Clemens made it to the majors this year during his sixth professional season.  However, a 6.17 FIP has been hardly impressive.  Just 25 years-old, Clemens has been a starter throughout his career, but all 30 games for the 'Stros have been out of the pen.  Most mind-boggling stat...13 HR in 46.2 ING, an absurd 2.5 HR/9.  Only Freddy Garcia has had a worse rate this season for pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings.

P Brett Oberholtzer - Also acquired for Bourn, Oberholtzer has appeared in seven games - four starts - with the 'Stros this season and has been the guy we basically all thought he was.  He won't get many K's or walk too many batters.  Those qualities have kept him from being a big prospect.  Just the same, he can throw a variety of pitches, including a very nice changeup.  Could see him occupy the bottom of a rotation for awhile.  Seems like a perfect fit for the Twins.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

P Tommy Hanson - Talked about Hanson a week or so ago.  He sucks now.  Poor guy.

P Cory Rasmus - Traded for Scott Downs at the deadline, Rasmus has been closing for the Angels' AAA squad.  We know he should get some swing-and-misses, but he's got to start throwing more strikes.

3B Andy Marte - Yeah, he's back.  He last played in the bigs in 2010, but the former three-time Baseball America Top 20 player recently joined Salt Lake after OPSing .893 in 96 games with York in the Atlantic League.  He turns 30 on October 21st.

OF Matt Young - He's actually now in the Mexican League, but not sure if he was loaned or flat-out released by the Angels.  He wasn't hitting.  A former internet sensation at Braves' blogs, Young broke camp in 2011 with the Braves, but didn't stay up long.  He played for about a week with Detroit last season.

Oakland Athletics

P Jesse Chavez - I am absolutely astonished by the fact that Chavez is still in the majors.  When the Braves got him before 2010 after Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration, expectations were low and he still found a way to under-performed them.  The Royals gave him a try because they sift through the Braves' trash like a stalker.  Last season, he actually started two games in the bigs.  Yeah.  Now, he's a fairly okay reliever for the A's, who seem to take guys who shouldn't be in the majors and turn them into decent options.

P Chris Resop - A converted pitcher, Resop has been around for awhile.  He turned in a pair of good seasons with the Pirates after the Braves sent him packing.  However, he has struggled in 18 innings with the A's this season.

Seattle Mariners

P Moises Hernandez - Here's Hernandez's only fun fact.  The Braves acquired him after the 2005 season as compensation for allowing Leo Mazzone to leave for the Orioles.  Hernandez is also Felix Hernandez's younger brother.  For the last three years, the now 29 year-old has been stuck toiling around in AA.  But hey, if employing his brother keeps King Felix happy, I think Moises has job security.

C Henry Blanco - There are just not that many players left who signed during George H. W. Bush's presidency. Hank White has played in over 950 major league games with eleven teams, including 136 with the Braves between 2002-03.  He's the second oldest player in the AL this season.  For the last two months, he has been with the M's after starting the year in Toronto.

C Jesus Sucre - The Braves signed a teenage catcher out of Venezuala in 2005.  In late May, that catcher finally got to the bigs.  Sucre has never been a hitter.  He's essentially a younger Blanco who was fortunate enough to play for a team that is employed seven different catchers this year.

Texas Rangers

P Neftali Feliz - The 2010 Rookie of the Year has struggled to stay healthy after moving to the rotation in 2012.  He was recently shut down again, but the Rangers hope to get him back in September.  Regardless, he's a true talent.  Sadly, the Braves didn't have him long before trading him for Mark Teixeira.  And he wasn't the only one...

P Matt Harrison - Matt Harrison arrived on the scene to stay in 2011 and followed it up with a very solid 2012.  However, injuries have wiped out his 2013 season.  Fortunately for him, he signed a huge extension already.

SS Elvis Andrus - Also with a big extension in his back pocket is Andrus.  He arrived for the Ranges in 2009, less than a year-and-a-half after the Teix trade.  His offensive game hasn't improved much, but Andrus provides good value in the field and on the base paths.

UT Jeff Baker - A depth addition, Baker spent September with the Braves last season. He has found a nice home in Texas, posting an OPS well above .900 as useful utility guy off the bench.

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