The Atlanta Braves have acquired Franklin Nunez from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later.
Nunez had signed with the Red Sox this past winter after pitching in the big leagues with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for parts of the last two years. He appeared in three big league spring training games with Boston this month and saved one game, allowing 3 hits in 2.2 innings, 1 run, and had 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.
The Red Sox had assigned him to their minor league camp on March 13th. He was scheduled to be in Pawtucket for Boston, but now will be with the Richmond Braves.
Nunez just turned 29 years old in January. The six-foot, 170 pounder originally signed with the Dodgers as a free agent out of the Dominican back in 1994. He missed two years with arm trouble and then went to the Phillies' organization, where he spent five seasons in their system. In 2003 Nunez was in the New York Penn League with the Mets, and then he signed with the Devil Rays' organization before the 2004 season.
Nunez pitched very well in Montgomery and Durham (2.81 ERA in 40 games) and got a call-up to Tampa Bay for his first taste of the big leagues. He pitched in 8 games out of the bullpen and had a 5.91 ERA, 11 hits in 10.2 innings, 7 walks, and 14 strikeouts.
Then he spent most of 2005 in AAA Durham and was 5-1 with a 6.34 ERA in 27 games. Nunez also pitched five games with Tampa Bay, allowing 6 runs in 5 innings pitched.
Nunez has a power arm and can hit 92-96 on the radar gun. He also has a good slider and changeup. He'll join Peter Moylan, Kevin Barry, Brad Baker, Chad Paronto, and Brian O'Connor in the Richmond bullpen and be insurance in case the Braves need a reliever at some point this season.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Braves acquire Franklin Nunez from Red Sox
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