Billy Wagner (Lock)
Takashi Saito (Lock)
Peter Moylan (Lock)
Eric O’Flaherty (Lock)
I’m guessing that nobody really had any major issues on the first three sections. Sure, maybe you think Heyward will start in the minors, but this is more of a financial issue than one about his ability. However, I can see a lot of people questioning my bullpen, so let me give you my reasoning for the three non-locks I have.
If you have an issue with Medlen, it’s probably because I don’t have him as a lock. He’s young, and I think that if he were to struggle at all, the Braves could opt to send him to the minors for some extra seasoning.
However, he has started off the spring strong, and I don’t think that the minors are in his future (at least for now). With another week or two, he could solidify himself as a lock.
Chavez has had an up-and-down spring, and the Braves have only been in camp for two weeks. Although he quickly impressed Bobby Cox, he has been bad in his first two outings, and walked four people in 2.2 innings. However, there is plenty of time for him to turn things around, and I think that he will find his control in time to get a spot on the Braves opening day roster.
Proctor hasn’t pitched at all this spring, but supposedly is ahead of schedule for returning from surgery and might be ready for opening day. If he is, I think he will make the roster because of his experience and success at the major league level in the past.
I know that I currently have only one lefty in the bullpen, which is dangerous considering that the Braves will often face some tough left-handed hitters from division opponents. At this point, Mike Dunn hasn’t been great (he has a 0.00 ERA, but has walked a couple people in his first couple innings of work) and I haven’t seen enough from Mariano Gomez or Lee Hyde to make me think they will beat out a healthy Proctor for the last bullpen spot.