I’ve been busy away from the computer the past few days. Here are my thoughts on the Braves other deadline deals.
Kyle Davies for Octavio Dotel
This is a deal I would normally not like; though, it reminds me of the Horacio Ramirez for Rafael Soriano deal, which I did like. Go figure. The reason is that I don’t like giving up much for relievers, because they play very little. Yes, Dotel is a much better relief pitcher than Davies is a starter, but I think Davies has the potential to be at least an average starting pitcher who will prevent runs for many more innings a year.
So why do I like this deal? Kyle Davies was going nowhere in Atlanta, and I’m not sure he would ever get his head straight with the Braves. He was called upon to do too much too early in his career. He’s 23 and in his third season in the majors and seems to have gotten worse. When he was sent to Triple-A a few weeks ago, it was too late. It may be that Davies doesn’t have the talent that I think he does and that he will never be much of a pitcher, but we will just have to wait and see. With the Braves shipping off four pitching prospects to the Rangers in the Salty deal—including Matt Harrison, who might be ready in time for next season—I don’t know how the Braves plan to replace him. I hope that the Braves leave Jo-Jo Reyes down for the rest of the season to work on things to make him better. He is clearly not ready for the big leagues—I think Harrison is better than Reyes now—and I don’t want him to be distracted from improving.
I do wonder how all of this impacts Roger McDowell’s job security. I’m not saying it’s his fault or that I think he’s doing a bad job. I don’t think this. After all, he deserves some credit for a pitching staff that is above average. But I wonder what the Braves expect from him in working with pitchers like Davies and Reyes.
Will Startup and Wilfredo Ledezma for Royce Ring
I think Will Startup must feel like Ralph Wiggum in the following video.
The Cartersville resident, known by several of my current students, must have been expecting a call-up when the Braves couldn’t get a lefty to stick in the pen. Though not on the 40-man roster, he seemed to be doing everything right to become the next Georgia boy on the roster. At best Royce Ring appears to be no better than Startup and is four years older. I’m not sure why the Braves are not high on Startup. Relievers are difficult to judge due to their low-inning totals, so I guess the scouts must see something that I don’t.