Here is a guess as to the competitions for pitching jobs in Atlanta and at the top four levels of the farm system.
Jo Jo Reyes
Scott Proctor – DL
NOTES: Reyes wins out over Venters and Kimbrel. The Braves want to see what Reyes can do as a reliever.
NOTES: Kyle Cofield could still make the AAA rotation, but expect Reynoso and Diamond to make the jump first.
Manny Acosta (could be traded)
Stephen Marek (might go back to AA)
Luis Valdez (who knows where he is; no one seems to care)
NOTES: The Braves might try to trade Acosta. Lyman could go back to Mississippi, but he did well in camp and might need to go to on up to AAA. Bueno, Resop, and Huber might be fighting for one job. Butts could go back to start the season in Double-A.
COMPETITION: Tim Gustafson could be put back in the rotation. One pitcher from Myrtle Beach (Jacob Thompson or Richard Sullivan) could jump up.
Tim Gustafson (again, could be in the rotation)
Deunte Heath (status unclear after Thursday arrest)
COMPETITION: Tommy Palica, Benny Pruneda, Mike Broadway, Rudy Darrow, and Pat Currin all hoping to move up from Myrtle Beach.
MYRTLE BEACH ROTATION
Richard Sullivan and/or Jacob Thompson
NOTES: Good luck figuring this out. Teheran and Vizcaino are locks. Oberholtzer and Masters were so good last year in Danville that they have to be in there. Then you have DeVall, who is back and now healthy. Stovall and Crim both deserve to be up there, too. Hale is a good prospect, and he needs to work on his pitches. And look at Carlos Perez. Yes, he's got a shot, but he's more likely to begin in Extended Spring Training and then will go up to Rome soon. Perez has been a pitcher who has really opened eyes in camp. This is depth beyond belief!
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.
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