Moylan's return strengthens bullpen

What does Peter Moylan's return mean for the Atlanta bullpen? Bill Shanks has more.

The Braves have brought back Peter Moylan, signing the veteran right-hander to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

Moylan had been non-tendered by the Braves, who did not want to go to arbitration with the reliever. He had shoulder surgery late last season and is trying to come back from the injury.

All indications are Moylan's recovery is going well, and the hope is he'll be ready sometime early in the 2012 season to rejoin the Atlanta bullpen.

Moylan has appeared in 287 games for the Braves in six seasons. His career ERA is 2.60.

The Braves will have the talented trio of Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty back to lead the relief corps. Moylan will fit in as a 7th inning reliever when he is eventually activated.

Moylan will be joined by Kris Medlen, who pitched in the 2011 season finale after having Tommy John surgery and missing most of the year. Medlen could also fit into the rotation picture if there are injuries, but the Braves have him penciled in as a reliever right now.

Atlanta also has Cristian Martienz, Cory Gearrin and Anthony Varvaro back for middle and long relief duty. Arodys Vizcaino could also figure into the equation, but the Braves may prefer to have him get more time in the minor leagues.

Rule V draft pick Robert Fish will also get a long look in spring training. Jairo Asencio, Jaye Chapman, Todd Redmond and J.J. Hoover will be minor leaguers in big league camp as well.

Yohan Flande, Dusty Hughes, Jason Rice and Adam Russell will be the non-roster pitchers invited to spring training.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and WCOH Fox Sports 1400 in Newnan, GA. Shanks is a columnist for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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