ATLANTA — The effect of the injuries to Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty, along with multiple other Braves relievers to a lesser extent, is yet to be determined.
For now, Atlanta’s bullpen is in a bit of a bind.
In addition to Venters and O’Flaherty, two of the team’s top relievers over the past few seasons, Jordan Walden (shoulder inflammation, Christhian Martinez and Luis Ayala (anxiety) also find their names on the disabled list. Neither Venters nor O’Flaherty are expected back in 2013.
The organization has elected to go forward with an 11-man rotation.
Fortunately, Craig Kimbrel has proven to be quite reliable as a closer in this league, while the organization is deep and stacked with arms. So what moves do the Braves make in the short-term (if any) to compensate for so many absences on the roster? The Chopcast team — Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons — weighs in. Here are the highlights:
— If you were Frank Wren, what is the first move you would make? Should the team eye a trade or look to its farm system for bullpen depth?
— How much more pressure does this place on Kimbrel?
— If a trade is in the cards, who are some of the names being thrown around? Does the team need another lefty (Venters and O’Flaherty are both southpaws) or can it simply be the best arm available?
— Of the guys in minors, is there anyone who could handle the workload at the big-league level?
— Has Jay ever heard a Kanye West song? Does this create problems in his life?