Braves must consider other bullpen options

The bullpen continues to falter, and yet Bobby Cox continues to believe in Chris Reitsma. The Braves Show's Ryan Chambers thinks it's time to consider other options, both inside and outside the organization.

Seeing Chris Reitsma warming in the pen now leaves me speechless.

No more yelling. No more crazy, sick laughing fits. No more remotes to throw. I'm not even getting up and leaving anymore. I just plain have nothing left but a blank stare.

It was an alarming stat televised as Reitsma took the mound Sunday in Chicago. Did you know that with 2 or less runs in save situations, Reitsma has a success rate that lies a Canadian hair over 50 percent?

Again, speechless.

Imagine, if you will, that you performed at that level at your job. "You say you need those reports last second, boss?" Ehhhh, there's a good chance that may get done. Just don't count on me Friday...

As we move forward, I pose to you six alternatives to the current, "50-50 chance of blowing up like a grease fire," situation. Here are three choices from inside the organization and three from outside the Braves that may give Atlanta fans a chance to enjoy a lead in the ninth.

1. Chad Paranto - Bounced around since his debut for Baltimore in 2001, this dude, 6'5'' and 250 lbs., looks more like a linebacker. Up until this season, he had thrown his fastball in the mid 90's. He scaled back this year to the low 90's, thus helping his placement. He recorded a 1.02 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four saves in 17 innings for AAA Richmond before being called up to replace Horacio Rameriz. A 1.13 ERA and nine strikeouts in eight innings will make it hard to send him back down.

2. Will Startup - He has dazzled this season with a 0.75 ERA in 24 innings with an amazing 27/6 strikeouts to walks ratio since his call up to AA Mississippi in early April. Plus he played at UGA. Woof. Woof. Woof.

3. Macay McBride - He was the guy some felt was the obvious choice from the get go. Plus, he was the first Bobby went to after pulling Reitsma. (Its always good to include the obvious. Just remember to take full prediction credit later.)


1. Mike McDougal - He saved 27 games for Kansas City in '03 and 21 for a dreadful Royals team in '05. Kansas City has made no bones for their desire to "shove' Ambiorix Burgos into that role and McDougal's injury to start this campaign gave them that chance. And at $430,000, this Wake Forest Deacon is a steal.

2. Keith Foulke - Yeah, yeah, he had a rough start. But he has proved that he's up for the October challenge before (unlike Kyle Farnsworth). And he has pitched well of late: .226 batting average against and a 19/3, K's to passes ratio. And his 7 million per is of no concern. You know from recent dealings that Boston will eat that.

3. Anyone not named Kolb - Like I said. Go with the obvious.


Ryan Chambers produces and co-hosts The Hometown Sports Show on 105.5 The Fan, an ESPN Radio affiliate in Macon, Ga. Ryan, a former spring training bat boy and lifelong Braves fan, also handles play-by-play duties for The Fan and covers high school sports for Today's MGT, Macon's NBC affiliate. He also covers Georgia Southern University football from the sidelines for the GSU Radio Network.

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