Posted: 3:29 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Will Floyd push Wood into Braves’ bullpen? 

By Jeff Schultz

Braves wanted Gavin Floyd. Problem is there's no room for him.

Braves wanted Gavin Floyd. Problem is there’s no room for him.

When the Braves signed Gavin Floyd as a fifth starter in the winter, they thought they needed him. Now that Floyd is ready to come off the disabled list, they don’t need him.

Problem: “Never mind” doesn’t work in the world of sports, particularly in the world of sports contracts.

Mike Minor will make his first start back from the disabled list Friday, which is expected to lead the Braves to send rookie David Hale going to the bullpen or Gwinnett (AAA). Floyd, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, made what was expected to be his final minor-league start Tuesday night in Toledo (one run, four hits allowed in five innings).

The Braves have yet to announce their plans. What will they do? Below are some possibilities, and then I’ll tell you which way I’m leaning (not that the Braves have afforded me a vote).

There’s also a poll  so feel free to weigh in.

1.) Trade Floyd: It seems like a strange scenario given he is coming off Tommy John surgery and hasn’t made a major league start in over a year. But Floyd must have some value or the Braves would not have given him a $4 million contract (worth up to $8.5 million with incentives) in December before he was even this far along in his rehab. The Baltimore Sun reported the Orioles had offered Floyd a potentially bigger contract (two years, up to $20 million with incentives). The down side to a potential trade is teams might not be in dealing mode yet so the Braves probably wouldn’t get market value for him.

2.) Trade another starter: Who? It’s not going to be Julio Teheran (who’s the future and just signed a long-term deal), or Ervin Santana (who’s too good), or Minor (good, cheap and not eligible for free agency until 2018), or Alex Wood (good and really, really cheap). It wouldn’t make any sense to deal Aaron Harang because the Braves wouldn’t get close to market value for a pitcher who currently leads the majors in ERA (0.85). So Floyd seems like the only trade option.

3.) Go to a 6-man rotation: I favored it two years ago when the Braves moved Kris Medlen from the bullpen, he morphed into a super hero and the team decided to go with six starters during the resulting log-jam in the short term. It made sense then because it was late-summer and it was a way to get starters some rest, while allowing the coaching staff to determine a pecking order down the stretch. But it doesn’t make now. Everybody is rolling. Rest isn’t a factor in late April and May. The extra day could just throw off everybody’s timing. I don’t see it.

4.) Put Floyd in bullpen: This may seem like an easy thing to do, but it’s not. Even if we’re not talking about one of the premier pitchers in baseball, Floyd has been almost exclusively a starter for 10 major league seasons. His only relief appearance in the last six years came in the 13th inning of a game in May of 2011. I can’t imagine he would be thrilled going there to wait his turn but it’s certainly a possibility.

5.) Put somebody else to the bullpen: Harang may eventually be a candidate for the long-reliever role but he’s not today. The Braves need to ride him as long as they can. Teheran, Santana and Minor are not going to be taken out of the rotation. Other than Floyd, that leaves only one candidate: Wood.

I know. How do the Braves drop a starter who allowed only six earned runs in his first five starts (35 innings)? Wood was blown out by Miami in his start Tuesday night (seven runs and 10 hits in five innings). But that’s not why I’m leaning in the direction of putting Wood in the bullpen. It’s strictly about circumstances. He’s a young pitcher who’s not going anywhere and will be available if/when another starter gets injured or falters.

My vote: Alex Wood to the bullpen.

The cyber-floor is yours.

21 comments
BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

Wood to the pen is the only sensible move...........that is if Floyd and Harang don't blow up and start stinking the joint up..............Wood would be the 2nd lefty  which is greatly needed now that Thomas was sent down and the fact that Avilan is giving up hits at a rate that is over a mid .300 percentage is troubling..........Wood to the pen makes sense until Venters is ready which he hopefully will be soon(hopefully at 2011 form)...................Ahh...........the good old days of 2011 and 2012..........O'Flaherty,Venters and Kimbrel.........a lead going into the 7th was a win in 95 % of the games............we can only dream now with Avilan,Carpenter and now Walden being unpredictible at best!

choppatalka
choppatalka

Does anyone really not think we could NOT use a stretched out Wood as a great way to get to Walden and Kimbrel until we see what Venters is going to do? 


Worst case scenario someone gets hurt, best case scenario some guys build trade value coming into June.


hank89
hank89

Put Floyd in the bullpen, release B.J. Upton and Uggla, bat Simmons second and let pena play second bring up a rookie. Any rookie!

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

A 6 man rotaton is goind to mess with the routine whether it is in May or September. Rest is rest, whether it is in May or September. He's a .500 pitcher with 4.5 era over 10 years why is even a factor? AND he's coming of TJ. Let's be honest, he's not winning comeback player of the year, neither is Harang. So, get everybody some innings so when the next pitcher goes down someone can step in.

Rilo
Rilo

Harang=Ben Sheets. His ERA will balloon up and settle into his 4+ average eventually. He's the perfect guy for a spot start.

Also,

1. Fredi Gonzalez is so stubborn with the lineup.

2.BJ has no business hitting 2nd.

3. The Uggla experiment is over. No need to play him ever again.

4. I wish I could remember all the people who argued with me about J-Heyward and how he was going to have a break through season. The guy has WAY too much movement (bouncing up and down) to EVER be a consistent hitter.

5.It's time to put Schafer in the lineup daily.

k483
k483

I don't know why they don't go to a 6 man rotation.  Given the history of bad injury luck with the starting staff, it's bound to go back to 5 or even 4 in short order.


thebugman10
thebugman10

Sure, Gavin Floyd and his career 4.48 ERA is a better option than Alex Wood who is pitching like an All-Star and has given no reason that he can't be an above average Major League starter.


Why is everyone so obsessed over Gavin Floyd?

Intruder
Intruder

Trade Floyd for someone who can't hit. Break up the Braves.

adarian652
adarian652

Trade no one. Injuries are part of the game .

Desperado
Desperado

No one knows how Minor or Floyd will do against major league lineups yet.  Let's let them get a start or two in a six-man rotation and then decide who goes where.

WilliamHosey
WilliamHosey

Keep the rotation as it is. Except start Wood for 5 innings, then put in Floyd for 4. Next start you start Floyd for 5 and Wood goes 4. Keep rotating until the need to change for an injury or poor performance.


RatedRSuperstar
RatedRSuperstar

I voted to put Floyd in the bullpen but the more that I think about it, Alex Wood would probably be the better option. He has plenty of experience pitching out of the bullpen and also we could really use another lefty in pen considering the way that Luis Avilan has pitched so far this year. Avilan was lights out last year but he hasn't been the same pitcher so far this season so I would feel a lot better giving the ball to Wood in clutch situations, at least until Avilan gets back to where he was a year ago.

SteveM-P
SteveM-P

@hank89  Who is going to play centerfield?  Schafer is hitting worse than BJ.  Also Upton of late has been effective with RISP and his ave is going up, but why let the facts get in the way.....

Doktor13
Doktor13

@Rilo  


#1 - The manager is a Paycheck Gatherer who couldn't buy a clue... sucking on the teat of the team and it's payroll... time to go...


#2 - That may be, but currently there isn't anyone else that's gonna get it done there sitting in the dugout...


#3 - Yup... stick a fork in that guy, he's well-done... he should also be wearing a ski-mask to pick up his paychecks...


#4 - ALL Show and No Go... potential and hype that, frankly, he'll never realize... average Joe w/ good defensive skills... pedestrian w a bat in his hands... non-Leader...


#5 - Uhhhh... if that's the best they can do... {SMFH}


BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

@k483  ...............you could go with a 7 man rotation and throw Hale in the mix.............that way you could have 2 guys ready to come in before the other starter blows up......... give up 2 hits in a row and your history...............next guy comes in and hopefully does better!

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

@thebugman10  ...............people are obsessed because Floyd is making over 4mil a season while Wood is making around 500 thou.............another bad signing by Wren???..............I agree with Wood starting but he is needed in the pen too...............Wood has 3 losses in which he has given up 4 runs total while the hitters have giving him 1..........not good ratios for the pitcher.....on any good hitting club Wood would be 5-2 instead of 2-5..................Not Good.........Not Good for Wood!

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

@Desperado  ...................Minor looked like he did last year...........not bad....not bad at all.........he just gave up 2 homers but the Brave's couldn't get him any runs back..........we all know Minor gives up those solo shots and the Brave's have to live with it!

Dockins2
Dockins2

@Desperado  That is SUPER smart, I love it to be honest. Why not juggle both Minor and Floyd on consecutive starts to both ease them back into the Braves rotation and see if either can match Wood and/or Hale....or if for nothing else than to showcase them in case of a trade. I really think you have something here that would be very smart.

panamaralph
panamaralph

@RatedRSuperstar    We have Venters due back in another month or so however the odds are 80-20 he wont be the same pitcher.