Braves will put off Wagner DL decision until he’s evaluated Sunday

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Saturday afternoon the Braves will wait until closer Billy Wagner is evaluated by doctors’ Sunday before deciding whether to disable him for the remainder of the National League Division Series with his strained oblique.

Wagner injured the muscle in his left side attempting to field a bunt by Edgar Renteria in the 10th inning Friday night. He had to leave the game after only three pitches.

“I’m not so sure this round he’s going to be available,” Cox said. “Maybe next round, we’ve got our fingers crossed.”

It was originally thought Wagner would be out the rest of the division series and therefore if disabled, by rule, he’d have to miss the NLCS if the Braves advance. But the way Cox laid it out Saturday, the Braves are going to exhaust every option first, saying at one point: “We could go short.”

Cox said Takashi Saito, Jair Jurrjens and Scott Proctor were all possibilities to replace Wagner on the Braves’ roster. Saito seems the most likely candidate. One of the Braves’ primary set-up men this season has pitched only one inning in the last three weeks because of shoulder tendinitis.

But Cox said Saito had a good outing at the Braves’ instructional league in Florida Friday which gave the Braves reason to believe he could go. Saito pitched an inning, facing six batters and struck out two.

“He said his arm felt fine,” Cox said. “We do have a backup there.”

Given that neither Saito, nor Jurrjens (torn meniscus in right knee) are 100 percent, and Proctor has pitched only twice in the past 3 ½ weeks, it complicates the decision.

“We’ve got a tough decision to make,” Cox said. “We’ll do a lot of talking before we make it.”

In the meantime, Cox said he’ll turn to a closer-by-committee approach, though rookie Craig Kimbrel seems to have emerged as a favorite, given his stuff and 2 2/3 perfect innings in Games 1 and 2.

“We’ll mix and match,” Cox said. “The seventh, eighth and ninth inning – whoever matches up those particular innings that’s who’s going to be out there. We’ll close with whomever. I’ve always thought (Peter) Moylan could close, and (Kyle) Farnsworth has closed in the major leagues, and (Jonny) Venters, no reason why he can’t, as well as Kimbrel.”

74 comments Add your comment

Teloga

October 9th, 2010
3:52 pm

I’m confident with running Kimbrel out there

Andy

October 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

Kimbrel will be the Braves closer for the next several years.

wardo

October 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

We got lucky with Farnesworth last night. Lets don’t push it by running him out there in a save situation.

wardo

October 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

Kimbrell & Venters are the answer.

Macon Fan

October 9th, 2010
4:10 pm

“We got lucky with Farnesworth last night. Lets don’t push it by running him out there in a save situation.”

You got that right wardo.

Younger Than That Now

October 9th, 2010
4:16 pm

Saito hasn’t exactly dazzled anybody in his last several outings, and I understand that he was hurt some during that time. But even when he wasn’t hurt he was sure making things interesting while he was out there.

Maybe last night will give Farnsworth some confidence, but up until then… well, what Wardo said.

Honey, please still keep the sharp objects hidden(Georgia still has to play), and i need more scotch!

October 9th, 2010
4:17 pm

Ok…bobby, great win last night!!! I’m in a great mood today, Georgia just got a nice victory…watching Bama getting beat. THEN you say Farnsworth is a option to close games if needed? Absolutly NOT!! We were fortunate to get the big W last night…but, in GOD’s name Farnsworth better not be out there again with a game on the line. Stay with JV or “the kid” if Wagner is out.

Tomahawk Homes

October 9th, 2010
4:20 pm

I say GO BRAVES!!!!

AND

GO BRAVES!!!

44 is King

October 9th, 2010
4:22 pm

I’d go Kimbrel/Moylan as setup men with Venters closing, but maybe go situational depending on who’s coming to bat. I thought the game was over when Farnesworth came in last night, but we got lucky. I agree with you guys in saying don’t push it.

ISH

October 9th, 2010
4:24 pm

There’s no way BC puts Farnsworth out there in a save situation, he’s just saying that to piss us off… Kimbrel closing, JV set-up…

Ward Silver

October 9th, 2010
4:25 pm

No worries. Let’s bring Freddie Freeman on board. The pen will step up, even short-handed, as they always have. Offense is the need right now.

James

October 9th, 2010
4:29 pm

Not that I miss him but where is Kawakami in all this?

moejoe

October 9th, 2010
4:32 pm

Give Kimbrel a chance! He’s great.

George

October 9th, 2010
4:33 pm

Closer: Kimbrell or Venters; not Farnsworth.
Good Luck Braves and lets close out this round in Atlanta.

mountain_jim

October 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

Kimbrell for closer all the way – Venters is running on fumes. Farnes no way!

double g

October 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

Kimbrel has shown too much good stuff. Venters has, too, but Cox likes him too much in a setup role. Kimbrel is “the man”.

Bobby Cox

October 9th, 2010
4:45 pm

Hey Morons let me manage and you guys be Fans.

vermont 39

October 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

Let’s get back to the NLCS and blow the blowhards away!!!!

Moron

October 9th, 2010
4:47 pm

I want you to Heymake me.

October 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

I love Kimbrel’s attitude and demeanor on the mound. When he’s throwing strikes he’s not been hittable so far in his professional career.

zenman

October 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Last nights game was one of those the Braves were going to win regardless of anything that happen. I was driving from Miami to Tampa, checking the game out on my phone when I saw Farnsworth was coming in, and as many have stated, the game is over. Hell, even the midget bench presses the fat lady once in a lifetime. Than I checked back, low and behold, who hits a homer. Now I’m thinking Farnsworth has to hold them. And he did!!!! My trip got much better at that point, plus I lit up. Now if the Packers & Braves win Sunday, the trip to Atlanta Monday will be a TRIP. However this long strange trip goes down, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you cats.

ISH

October 9th, 2010
4:55 pm

I thought they were toast before last night… now with Huddy going tomorrow I’m feeling pretty good about it. Now if Saban will just light a fire under my Tide’s ass at halftime and we can come back and win this thing I’ll be ready to get my drink on.

Luman Harris

October 9th, 2010
5:06 pm

yeah, let’s bash farnsworth.
the guy who got the biggest five outs in the past five years for this team.
you guys are great fans.

Luman Harris

October 9th, 2010
5:08 pm

“farnsworth better not be out there with the game on the line …”

gee, too bad we didn’t have that wisdom last night. we could have kept him in the pen and taken our chances with …. who?

zenman

October 9th, 2010
5:26 pm

Hell yes, Farnsworth for closer. He would be as good in that role as Courtney Love would be as a Girl Scout leader.

ISH

October 9th, 2010
5:33 pm

I don’t care what Farnsworth did last night, you gotta look at his entire body of work for the Braves this season. Then you’ll see what the fuss is about…

TTTT-Thumbody Thed Thats Thupid

October 9th, 2010
5:38 pm

I really worry about BC sometimes. If he can’t see what Kimbrel has done with all the strikeouts, there is a problem. Venters was even a little shaky last night and Farns was “dang lucky”. The “Huntsville Maniac” is averaging two strikeouts per inning. If that doesn’t say “closer” I don’t know what does. Besides that, he’s calm, cool, and collected for being that young! Don’t screw this up, BC!

nashvillewill

October 9th, 2010
5:38 pm

I have bashed Farnsworth as much as anyone. But last night he was what the Braves needed. Who in their right minds could have forseen this: Gonzales and Ankiel (!) the hitting stars, Glaus (!!) the fielding star, and Farnsworth (!!!!) joining the rest of the bullpen as pitching star. No defensive miscues at 3B or OF helped of course.
I have not seen, was it Bobby’s decision to play Glaus, move Infante, remove Conrad? I would not have called it, but it was a great decision–at least it workout out.
And was it Bobby’s call to leave Farnsworth in? Another great call as it turned out.

CjDawg

October 9th, 2010
5:39 pm

Courtney would give us free cookies and nookie….

CjDawg

October 9th, 2010
5:40 pm

I will just have the cookies please…do si do’s if ya can..

CjDawg

October 9th, 2010
5:41 pm

Her nookie might give ya something ajax can’t get rid of…

Bob Horner @nashvillewill

October 9th, 2010
5:45 pm

Farnsworth had to stay in…pretty much nobody was left….can’t wait until tomorrow I haven’t felt these emotions for the Braves since the early 1990’s….this is fun..I LOVE football but I may love post season baseball more (when the Braves are playing in it)….GO BRAVES…

ISH

October 9th, 2010
5:45 pm

I can’t see bringing Glaus in as BC’s decision… he’s had too many oppotunities to do so in the past and hasn’t for whatever reason.

Alex

October 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

I don’t see why we couldn’t pull a quality inning out of Minor. Anything but Farnsworth please.

bruce mac

October 9th, 2010
6:00 pm

James, who cares? He is no part of the Braves plan.

Ted Turner's mustache

October 9th, 2010
6:26 pm

I’m feeling really good about this series. Right now it’s a three-game series with the first two in Atlanta, where we have the best home record in the majors.

Plus, we have our Ace going against their #3 in the next game.

ISH

October 9th, 2010
6:29 pm

Minor scares the crap outta me too… no movement on his fastball.

Bob Horner @ Ted

October 9th, 2010
6:44 pm

Do you really feel confident..?? I wish I did….these Braves are the cardiac kids….they have NO BUSINESS winning….yet they do…..

ISH

October 9th, 2010
6:58 pm

Confident on going all the way?… NO… But in this series with SF I think we have a solid chance. You gotta remember, SF has no offense either…

Swampdog

October 9th, 2010
7:27 pm

Nice analysis Mark,
Only one correction……
As good as Vince was in his days, even great, the real inspiration and motivator of the Dawgs was the legendary and unstoppable Erk Russell. Coach Dooley was the administrator. It was EK who was the passion and energy source of those teams, and Coach Richt would do well to seek inspiration from the old game films from the Dooley era that show Erk’s fabled dome trailing blood from his head butting players helmets to motivate his defense in critical games.

Swampdog

October 9th, 2010
7:28 pm

OOps …wrong column

Mark (another one)

October 9th, 2010
7:43 pm

Bobby mentioned a bunch of relievers but he knows what they each have done this season. He will make the best decisions based what we know an some things we don’t know. The good news in this column is they think Wagnor may be available during the next series. If the Braves make it that far, it would be nice to get him back. DL him know and he can’t come back until the World Series.

I think if there is a chance of Wagnor returning, we play short. JJ, Saito, etc. are not likely to make the difference this series, and Wagnor might make the difference next series.

[...] Wagner pick himself up, dust himself off and relieve all over again? They’ll check on his well-being tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good for the NLDS or, almost certainly, the NLCS. Maybe the World [...]

aj

October 9th, 2010
8:00 pm

Kimbrel has earned the closer role with the Braves.
When you strike out almost two hitters per inning,
speaks volumes for his talent. Though Wagner has
had a terrific year, it gets Kimbrel a jump stand for
his role next year. Amazing for being so young,
how composed he is.

Thomas

October 9th, 2010
8:13 pm

Bobby needs to make a decision on one closer. Closer by committee as used last year does not work, because each person needs to know his responsibility and so can be prepared mentally. Soriano was so shaky here and when he goes to Tampa he is an allstar, that is no coincidence. Johnny venters seems the most capable but if Kimbrel was groomed as the closer then make him the closer. Why is it so difficult for a HOF Manager to make a decision.

roja

October 9th, 2010
8:36 pm

Apparently Farnsworth was prepared mentally for last night’s game. I wouldn’t run him out there as our “Closer”, but he did a heck of a job last night. He came in totally cold in the 10th and it showed. But warming up on the mound in front of with 40,000 plus hostile fans is a tough ttask for any pitcher. But in the 11th, with the lead, he took only 13 pitches (10 strikes and 3 balls) to shut SF down.

roja

October 9th, 2010
8:38 pm

Bobby makes decisions like most HOF managers — keep ALL your options open until the last possible moment so that you can make the correct decision when the chips are down.

semiballcoach

October 9th, 2010
8:54 pm

no need to mix and match…run kimbrel out there as closer and keep everyone else the same…..if not, it’s just like infante and conrad, weakening 2 spots instead of just 3rd

NorCal Brave

October 9th, 2010
8:59 pm

First things first. Let’s score some runs for Huddy, so we require a closer.

Mike

October 9th, 2010
9:11 pm

I just hope that Wags gets to pitch again. He has quickly become one of my favorite Braves ever and it looks like we only get the benefit of seeing him just this year. He just goes about his business, he dominates, and he is the consummate professional. He deserves to go out a winner closing out game 7 of the World Series along with Cox. If the baseball Gods have any heart, they will make it be.

steve

October 9th, 2010
9:17 pm

Simple, you see who is coming up in the 8th inning and use Venters against lefties and Kimbrell righties.

matt

October 9th, 2010
9:22 pm

Bobby needs to play Glaus on Sunday. If not for him, we might be down 2 games to 0. I have a feeling the braves will get it done. Go Braves, Dawgs, and Cocks

Younger Than That Now

October 9th, 2010
9:57 pm

I think when Bobby talks about going with the situation with the closer, I don’t think he means that he’ll go righty/lefty and then lefty/righty from batter to batter. I think he means that whatever the last inning looks like… more righties than lefties due up, then he’ll go with a right hander… more lefties than righties due up, he’ll go with the left hander. And hopefully he’s speaking of Kimbrel, the righty and Venters, the lefty. At least that’s what I hope he’s thinking… but still, he knows more about this than any of us, and Bobby Cox does a lot of managing on instincts, which as served him well for a lot of years, regardless of the venom that some on these blogs tend to sling at him.

Regardless… GO BRAVES!!

Lobosolo

October 9th, 2010
10:01 pm

The omnipotenet armchair managers have spoken… all of you jabos would be crying to high heaven right now if the Braves had lost last night. Funny how either a win or a loss just expands you blowhards’ expertise… bandwagon jerky boys…

Idiot Wind

October 9th, 2010
10:41 pm

I agree with a lot of you. We cannot run Farnsworth out there again in a crucial situation. I’d go with Kimbrel and Venters to save games. In light of all of our injuries, we’ve got to gamble with those guys. Also, I may be crazy, but I’d go with Glaus at 3rd and move Infante back to 2nd where he belongs at this point.

Dave-o

October 9th, 2010
11:23 pm

Bobby Cox was ejected in the second… he had nothing to do with any of these decisions in last night’s game.

This is what Wren had in mind with the Blanco trade… Ankiel with a game winning home run and Farnsworth closing out a playoff win. Brilliant!! ;)

Baseball Gods

October 10th, 2010
12:21 am

Lobosolo, everyone must bow to your omnipotence. We will zap anyone who dares to call you an idiot. Oh, wait! We can’t handle the job, there are just too many of them, Aaaaargh!!!

Ron Hyatt

October 10th, 2010
1:35 am

Good Riddance Booby.

Howard Huey and the News

October 10th, 2010
1:39 am

‘Bobby Cox does a lot of managing on instincts, which as served him well for a lot of years”
Proof? Leibrandt? Joey Devine? 3 days at Pearl for Jeff Franoverrated? Overworking the same 4 guys in the Pen? 1 win in 14 attempts?
I do not think you understand the meaning of some of the words you use.

donatello

October 10th, 2010
1:45 am

i love kimbrel’s swagger on the mound; and that’s what you need in a closer. a guy who’s got balls (not that farny doesnt) and the stuff to back it up (sorry farns).

bird

October 10th, 2010
2:17 am

Go Braves, and Roll Tide! Gotta Love SEC Football!

Packer Ed

October 10th, 2010
8:31 am

Lets hope for some great starting pitching and give the bullpen a rest, the bullpen deserves the rest.

bwash21

October 10th, 2010
8:55 am

Everyone is excited as I am about Game 2 BUT todays game is a still a MUST WIN. We can’t afford to go down 2-1 at home and face the probability of seeing a stud rookie who we haven’t seen yet in Bumgarner and then Lincecum again.

Sanchez is 0-1 vs the Braves this year, giving up 7 ER in 8 1/3 innings and our ACE is on the mound. Turner Field better be rocking today and it will if we can get on the board early. There is no time to relax and think this is over just because we are at home. Bring it today!! Let’s go Braves!

RM

October 10th, 2010
8:59 am

To change the subject has anyone noticed how well the two players selected by the Angels in the ‘08 draft as compensation for losing Teixeira are playing? Mike Trout is one of the top prospects in baseball (CF) and Tyler Skaggs has been an outstanding pitcher to date (he was included in the Haren trade). It seems Wren pulled the trigger on this trade a little too soon. Should have let him walk Frank. Idiot.

Jake

October 10th, 2010
9:10 am

Phils fans would love to see Wagner come back for the choke.. but if it can’t be him we’d love Venters!

keylargo

October 10th, 2010
9:55 am

Saito hasn’t exactly dazzled anybody in his last several outings, and I understand that he was hurt some during that time. But even when he wasn’t hurt he was sure making things interesting while he was out there.

Where do such uninformed fans get this kind of BS? I guess they just go from their photographic memories. Saito, excluding his last outing when he was hurt, had 16 appearances and 15.1 innings, allowed 9 hits and 0 earned runs, 20 K’s, 1 BB and 0 HR’s with opponents hitting .158 with a .172 OBP .193 SLG .365 OPS. in August and September.

If healthy, Saito is an easy choice to replace Wagner.

retiring 6 years too late

October 10th, 2010
10:01 am

People here have been saying to HOF Mgr………………….place Glaus at third and move Infante to left. Did HOF Manager BC read this blog or was it his bench coach(Da Bigger Guy)? Leave Glaus at third for the rest of this series and playoff.

Nerlson

October 10th, 2010
10:25 am

Somebody explain me please why Hinske is not in the line-up????
And when we face a lefty, yes Glaus should at third and Infante in Left, We nedd more offense.
BOBBY PLEASE DO SOMETHING BEFORE YOU RETIRE!!!!

Turtsnap

October 10th, 2010
11:12 am

Who knew, when Kimbrell was baffling the Giants Friday night that he would be grabbing the closers role this year! Let’s hope Bobby does the right thing here, and doesn’t go with Farnsworth instead. Kimbrell showed he is ready!

Eddie Mathews

October 10th, 2010
11:47 am

does anyone seriously think that because cox was ejected, he made none of the moved in game 2?
he made EVERY move.

Arthur

October 10th, 2010
12:21 pm

Farnsworth is a Braves player. Come on guys he can hit 95 mph and he has experience. He did better than a save, he won.

Also be assured no one will charge the mound!!!!!!!!!

sgarcia

October 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

venters is about wore out – Moylan & Kimbrell are sure things & farnsie is a wild card for sure- I’d like to see troy at 3rd — conrad has lost his mojo in the field – GO BRAVES!

TampaGator

October 10th, 2010
12:41 pm

I guarantee you Saito will be put in the closer role by Cox just because he is a veteran….and not because he is the best closer on the staff…which would be Kimbrel. Venters is better as the set up man because he sometimes does not exhibit the best control. I would use Saito in the 7th inning, not the 9th. But Cox will probably do the opposite….I hope I am wrong….but this is the man who brought Charlie Liebrant in to face Kirby Puckett in a critical game 6 in the World Series with disasterous results.

TampaGator

October 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

….actually…I forgot about Moylan…I would use him in the seventh…and Saito only in the 5th or 6th inning. Moylan…Venters…Kimbrel in the last 3 innings today…with a lead, I think that is a sure win rotation from the pin. I hope Huddy can go 7 strong today. And Lee has a healthy back today. Go Braves!

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