For the third time this week, the Atlanta Braves have called up a rookie player to join their 25-man roster.
Mississippi right-hander Blaine Boyer was recalled late Saturday night and will join the Atlanta team Sunday for their game with the Oakland A's.
The Marietta, Georgia resident was just switched to the bullpen three weeks ago for the Braves' AA affiliate. In six relief appearances, he went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, seven hits allowed in eight innings, two runs, two earned runs, three walks, and six strikeouts.
Boyer started the season as a starting pitcher for the Mississippi team and went 1-4 with a 5.58 ERA in eight starts. He allowed 55 hits in 40.1 innings, 26 runs, 25 earned runs, 15 walks, and 34 strikeouts.
Atlanta took Boyer in the third round of the 2000 draft out of Walton High School in Marietta. He had played third base and outfield for most of his high school career, but an injury to Walton's best pitcher in the state playoffs had their coach looking for another arm. Boyer volunteered and hit the mid-90's on the radar gun. That got the attention of the scouts, who immediately started scouting him as a pitcher.
The Braves brought Boyer in for a workout at Turner Field right before the 2000 draft. Even though he was sick with the flu, he impressed the Braves' brass with his smoking fastball and decent curve.
The coaches in the Braves' organization truly had to "teach" Boyer how to pitch. In 2001 in Danville, Boyer was a starting pitcher. But the Braves envisioned him becoming a reliever one day in the big leagues, so they moved him to the bullpen in 2002 with Macon. Boyer had a 3.43 ERA in 43 games, allowed 52 hits in 70.1 innings, walked 39, and struck out 73.
Then to get Boyer more innings, they moved him back to the starting rotation in 2003 and kept him at the Low-A level with the Rome Braves. Boyer went 12-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 26 starts. Last season Boyer was 10-10 with a 2.98 ERA in 28 starts for Myrtle Beach.
Boyer becomes the 9th rookie on the Atlanta roster and the third to be called up this week. Brian McCann, who hit his first big league home run Saturday, and Andy Marte, who got his first big league hit Saturday, were recalled earlier this week.
The 23-year-old Boyer was told by Braves' management to "be ready to go" Sunday for Atlanta's game with Oakland.
Bill Shanks has written a book on baseball scouting and player development that includes a chapter on the "Georgia Boys" in the Braves farm system, featuring Kyle Davies, Brian McCann, and Blaine Boyer. Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team is on the shelves now at your local bookstore. Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Blaine Boyer Recalled From Mississippi
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