Braves to add Sherrill as third lefty reliever

ORLANDO — Left-hander George Sherrill had a bloated 6.69 ERA in a career-worst season for the Dodgers in 2010, but there was a reason the Braves and others including Philadelphia wanted the free-agent reliever.

It’s because the former Baltimore closer remained effective against left-handed hitters. Despite his .311 overall opponents’ average in 2010, Sherrill limited lefties to a .192 average. During the previous three years, they hit a puny .156 against him.

The Braves and Sherrill agreed to terms Wednesday on a $1.2 million contract, pending a physical exam. It was previously thought that the stocky veteran was leaning toward signing with the Phillies. The Orioles were among his other suitors.

“He’s a very effective guy against lefties,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said of Sherrill, who will be 34 in April. “His numbers early in the season obviously weren’t as good [as they have been in the past]; he had 52 saves in ‘08 and ‘09.

“He performed at a much higher rate in those years, and we felt like he made some good strides in the second half of ‘10.”

Sherrill had 31 saves in an All-Star season with Baltimore in 2008, and a 1.70 ERA in 72 appearances with the Orioles and Dodgers in 2009. His performance slipped precipitously in 2010.

He gives the Braves a third lefty in the bullpen, along with Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Unlike those two, Sherrill isn’t likely to be used for full innings at a time. Not anymore.

At this point of his career, the fewer right-handers he faces, the better off he and the Braves are likely to be.

Sherrill totaled 112-1/3 innings in 129 appearances over two seasons with the Orioles and Dodgers. In 2010, he pitched just 36-1/3 innings in 65 innings.

While lefties hit .192 with a .574 on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) in 73 at-bats against him, right-handers torched him at a .427/1.123 rate in 75 at-bats.

During 2007-2009, he was devastating against lefties (.156/.468), but also effective against righties (.242/.711).

He struggled mightily in the first half last season, allowing 31 hits, 17 walks and 18 earned runs in 21-2/3 innings through July 19. Sherrill fared better the rest of the way, allowing 15 hits, seven walks and nine runs in 14-2/3 innings over his final 28 appearances.

“He’s got the good breaking ball, and he’s one of those guys that just goes right after [hitters],” Wren said. “He knows how to get guys out.”

166 comments Add your comment

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

DOB, was Sherrill’s closing experience something that made him more attractive than other lefties on the market?

Tobi

December 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

Thanks Frank Wren.

Puma

December 8th, 2010
5:40 pm

***But in 2010, he pitched just 36-1/3 innings in 65 innings.

I assume you meant 65 appearances.

Puma

December 8th, 2010
5:41 pm

or maybe not now that I think about it, that’s just pitching to a bunch of lefties, or maybe not getting anyone out

Coach (2011 and Fredi G. a GO!)

December 8th, 2010
5:42 pm

He’s a one out lefty killer and that’s how the Braves will utilize his abilities. So ignore the bloated 6.69 ERA.

chris

December 8th, 2010
5:43 pm

man, having george sherrill as your 3rd lefty option, let alone your LOOGY in the pen, is really nice

Coach (2011 and Fredi G. a GO!)

December 8th, 2010
5:45 pm

And I should add, right hander’s hit .427 off him while lefties hit .192 last year. Like I said before, lefty killer….one out specialist.

Buffet Buster

December 8th, 2010
5:47 pm

Metro Atlanta eateries beware of big George’s legendary appetite! Reminds one of Terry Forster.

milesarcher33

December 8th, 2010
5:52 pm

What’s going on with Peter Moylan? Anybody know?

Rusty

December 8th, 2010
5:52 pm

Enter your comments here

o-me

December 8th, 2010
5:53 pm

Darn not what the fans expected……….

Ted Turner

December 8th, 2010
5:54 pm

His job is to get Utley and Howard out. Then go sit in the dugout before devouring the post game spread.

Rusty

December 8th, 2010
5:55 pm

Solid pick up. With Venters maybe getting closing time. A guy that is shut down against lefties just adds to a already great bullpen.

Supes

December 8th, 2010
5:56 pm

I don’t know…that’s over a million bucks for a one guy situational lefty? Plus who is to say he’s going to “rebound” from his season with the Dodgers…I watched him pitch a few times and he didn’t look good at all.

Oxford Braves fan

December 8th, 2010
6:01 pm

Most folks don’t make 1.2 mil for a lifetime of work, and this guy gets it, but can’t be trusted for a whole inning? I’ll still be watching on tv.

Donnnie

December 8th, 2010
6:07 pm

The Braves just love to waste money.

Einsteindawg

December 8th, 2010
6:07 pm

Come on Braves…quit playing “Bobby Ball”! The days of righty-righty, lefty-lefty ended when Claude Ramond’ retired. Why not hire an effective reliever that can just throw strikes. Just sayin’……….

Buffet Buster

December 8th, 2010
6:08 pm

Good luck to Matt Diaz in Pittsburgh!

DHD

December 8th, 2010
6:10 pm

Oxford…this is not a Socialist nation. At least not yet. :(

Dominic

December 8th, 2010
6:11 pm

Terrible. you’re paying a guy $1.2M, his strong point is that he’s good against lefties, which translated into 10 walks in 20 IP.

Daren in Utah

December 8th, 2010
6:11 pm

Ted Turner: “His job is to get Utley and Howard out. ”

You beat me to it! If Sherrill can accomplish this, he’ll have earned his salary and the Braves win the East.

J-Man

December 8th, 2010
6:12 pm

There is a risk of course but his numbers against lefties make him a risk worth taking. We do have Venters and O’Flairity so all he is really is a lefty specialist.
So the BP as it is now:

Venters CP/ Setup
Kimbrell CP/ set-up
Linebrink Set-up/7th inning
O’Flairity Lefty specialist/ 6th-7th inning
Moylan Righty specialist/ 6th-7th inning
Sherrill Lefty Specialist
Beechy Long Relief/ 5th starter
Minor Long Relief/ 5th starter

LOOGY woogy

December 8th, 2010
6:12 pm

[...] Braves to add Sherrill as third lefty reliever [...]

RockytopATL

December 8th, 2010
6:13 pm

This is yet another bargain basement pickup the Braves are willing to gamble small dollars on. Most teams would look at the overall numbers and think this guy is done, but the Braves see a ray of hope. To give credit where credit is due, they’ve been right often enough to trust ‘em on this.

Trey

December 8th, 2010
6:15 pm

Oh, whoopty doo.

BravesFanSince66

December 8th, 2010
6:16 pm

Go Frankie! I like his aggressiveness to better our chances. I hated to see Matt Diaz and Omar go, but I like what we got in return. You have no idea how contrasting Wren’s style is compared to ’70’s & ’80’s when all we could do is “HOPE for next year”, again, and again, and again…

Einsteindawg

December 8th, 2010
6:16 pm

Rockytop, you may be right; however, I wish the Braves would address the root problem rather than continue to try a treat the symptoms. Of course with TV money, it’s easy to waste a few million here and there.

AdirondackDave

December 8th, 2010
6:16 pm

Looks like a useful pickup to me. If he sees 10 righthanders all season I’d be surprised.

RM

December 8th, 2010
6:18 pm

Right on, Rockytop.

chris

December 8th, 2010
6:20 pm

Donnie- you are mistaking the braves with the US government system

White Mike

December 8th, 2010
6:21 pm

I think they are paying him more not to play in Philly. Heyward, McCann, Freeman all lefties. He may have been another JC Romero for the Phils if they got him.

Naf Sevarb

December 8th, 2010
6:31 pm

Kids this is a great signing. If he comes in and strikes out Howard and Utley in key games he is worth the dough.

chris

December 8th, 2010
6:31 pm

very true White Mike.

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
6:33 pm

Einsteindawg,

There’s still a lot of managers that try to match up based on lefty or righty. And LHP sure killed our lineup last year.

Bobby

December 8th, 2010
6:34 pm

nice cheap pickup, i feel like he was misused in LA

Dirk

December 8th, 2010
6:34 pm

I like the deal. But what are we going to do in the pen next year. Tim Collins and Mike Dunn would be great for the long haul.

Bobby

December 8th, 2010
6:35 pm

and a situational lefty is very important…..like javier lopez for the giants in the playoffs

ryan c

December 8th, 2010
6:38 pm

naysayers beware…shocking stats ahead…

sherrill’s career line against lhb: .167ba .235obp .500ops
b. wag’s career line against lhb: .189ba .262 obp .519ops

dirk, i think worrying about the braves pitching in 2012 is…well, ridiculous. here are about 14 reasons:
1. kimbrel 2. venters 3. o’flaherty 4. lowe 5. hudson 5. jurrjens 6. hanson 7. minor 8. beachy 9. medlen 10. moylan 11. teheran 12. delgado 13. vizcaino 14. marek

ShakeWeightSally

December 8th, 2010
6:40 pm

Nice addition! He should rebound in Atlanta as he will be used in the right situations, unlike in LA.

Another veteran to help mentor our young studs Venters and Kimbrell. Spot on Wren!

JD

December 8th, 2010
6:40 pm

how about spend some money on th OUT FIELD jaysus

Agent Smith

December 8th, 2010
6:43 pm

We know where you are Mr.Anderson. You can’t hide inside the ajc matrix.

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
6:43 pm

Dirk,

Well, we will have all of KK and McLouth’s salaries off the books. Plus, we still should have Kimbrel, Venters, EOF and Marek, who should break into the ‘pen this year, as well as Martinez. Especially if Medlen goes back to the ‘pen, that’s a very good core to start from. We’ll see how Collins develops, but he was pretty much sacrificed for not much. Infante and Dunn for Uggla is still a bargain, though.

912 Dawg

December 8th, 2010
6:50 pm

Any ideas on who the Braves are looking at for the left field position?

JoshTown

December 8th, 2010
6:52 pm

Ummmm. Prado.

Dawg in TN

December 8th, 2010
6:53 pm

Dump KK to the highest bidder!!

Mitchell

December 8th, 2010
7:01 pm

George Sherrill can bring it. This is awesome but not as awesome as Billy Wagner deciding to unretire and come back for 2011.

Sherrill is a legit reliever, we already know how good Kimbrel and Venters are but having to say goodbye to Wags is still tough.

I wish he would come back one more year. Pretty please?

Riding the Pines

December 8th, 2010
7:04 pm

We need a situational speedster. Someone with some jets. Willie Wilson type.

sidslidkid

December 8th, 2010
7:06 pm

“Any ideas on who the Braves are looking at for the left field position?”

Carl Crawford. Not sure who’s going to catch or play RF though.

Smack

December 8th, 2010
7:09 pm

Riding the Pines, that is what Matt Young hopefully provide the Braves next year. His engine is always running full bore. Hustles and plays harder than anyone else on the field, consistantly.

dpelfrey

December 8th, 2010
7:10 pm

Good signing. It’s nice that the Braves can afford to pay $1.2M for a guy who will have twice as many appearances as he has innings pitched. Well done Frank Wren. Now just find that utility guy that can play short and let’s call it a winter.

And good for Sherrill, realizing his niche in baseball no longer includes facing right-handed hitters. Most guys in his situation would probably have held out waiting for a team to make an offer for him at a full-inning 7th/8th guy. Good for him.

912 Dawg

December 8th, 2010
7:15 pm

that’s right, i forgot about Prado’s switch to left field. Anybody think Wren will make another move for a bat?

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

dpelfrey,

You would think most guys would get the picture after righties lit him up the way they did last year. But, you’re right, in the face of overwhelming evidence, a lot of players don’t. I just hope Fredi realizes he’s a LOOGY too.

BRAVES FANATICUS

December 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

LORENZO CAIN !

jkreeves

December 8th, 2010
7:18 pm

DOB, what is Wren’s take on the long relief role??? Will he take the guy that loses out on the 5th spot between Minor and Beechy???? Or will C. Martinez compete for the role????

Any chance of a veteran 5th starter type, or is that the projection as it stands????

Oh Nah!

December 8th, 2010
7:19 pm

Wow…in a bad way! I watched this guy stink it up with the Doyers last season. He was part of the reason I made money fading Los Doyers!!!!! Not a good signing in my opinion. Bob Wickman part Deux…from the left side. You heard it from me….no good go home.

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

Not for a significant bat. We’re looking for a back-up middle IF and a 4th OF who can play CF, and we may address those needs with guys who are already in the organization. I’d be pretty surprised if the Braves make a major splash the rest of the offseason.

T-Bone

December 8th, 2010
7:22 pm

I still think that we can find a serviceable LF. Then we make A-Gonz the super-utility guy (and we’re going to need one with Chipper’s track record) and keep both Prado and Uggs as starters in the infield. And I really believe that McClouth is going to surprise us. He won’t have a monster year, but he is going to make a comeback. And so is Shafer. (Of course, I also believe that I’m going to win the lottery.)

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

Ok but im sorry Hicks,Diory and conrad are not gonna cut it for the bench. We need Cain and really another backup If guy.

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:26 pm

After what happened in the postseason why is conrad even still on the team?

fredi da man

December 8th, 2010
7:28 pm

Man, there are alot of knuckleheaded comments on this post… yea Carl Crawford and we still need a catcher and RF….please take your meds before commenting….

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:29 pm

jkreeves,

The ‘pen should be set at this point. I expect Kimbrel, Venters, Linebrink, EOF, Moylan, Proctor and Sherrill to make the ‘pen out of ST. Martinez and Marek will be in the minors in case someone gets injured, struggles, etc. Whoever loses out on the 5th starter spot will probably be in AAA so he can be stretched out in case one of the starters go down. From the group that will likely make the ‘pen, I would guess Proctor will be the long reliever/last guy out of the ‘pen.

wjones

December 8th, 2010
7:30 pm

“Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:26 pm
After what happened in the postseason why is conrad even still on the team?”

Well, Mr. Short Attention Span, without Conrad we don’t make the playoffs. We got in by one game. How many games did Conrad win with his bat during the season?

lee

December 8th, 2010
7:30 pm

i know we are talking about sherrill here , which i think is a good pick up for the braves for the price. he was making over 4 mil right? changing the subject for a second, has anyone head anything else about Baltimore’s talks with the Braves about KK? head that talks between the two teams were getting more serious now!!

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:31 pm

I saw Trade Proctor for Martinez and then pen is then done.

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:31 pm

fredi da man,

I believe that was sarcasm in response to 912 Dawg’s question about who’s in left.

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:33 pm

@wjones no player plays as bad as conrad did and still get paychecks at the end of the day. I dont care if he hit 50 HRs and 100rbi during the season.

sidslidkid

December 8th, 2010
7:34 pm

fredi da man,
that was sarcasm… I was laying it on pretty thick. The dude asked who our left fielder is going to be.

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:34 pm

Mattatrab,

Ever seen Adam Dunn play defense? Or Ryan Klesko? Hell, especially when he first came up, watching Klesko play LF was like watching a circus act.

Oasisbraves

December 8th, 2010
7:36 pm

Mattatrab….Conrad was a third string defensive guy who may have had no business starting in the playoffs but injuries forced it. Conrads bat off the bench certainly helped us win quite a few ballgames last year.

Tomahawk

December 8th, 2010
7:37 pm

“After what happened in the postseason why is conrad even still on the team?”

You did watch the regular season, right? The Braves wouldnt have made it to the postseason if it weren’t for Conrad. The guy never should’ve been playing defense. He’s a good pinch hitter that will be owed very little money next year. That’s why he’s on the team. “What happened in the postseason” has more to do with bad managing than anything else.

Goldenglove002

December 8th, 2010
7:37 pm

Solid pickup, way too much money though. I feel like the Braves are overspending on back of the ‘pen relievers between Linebrink, Proctor and Sherrill.

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:38 pm

I dont care if you are on the bench or starting at the very least every guy on the Major league team should be able to field balls and if not you need to be in the minors and replaced by someone who can play Major league level Defense.

jimmymack

December 8th, 2010
7:39 pm

thank you mr.wren ,now for that c.f that’s bat’s leadoff

Joe

December 8th, 2010
7:40 pm

I love that over hand curveball from Sherrill. It reminds me of a wiffleball game where you got a hitter that’s really aggressive and you have a great command of your curve and it just gets the hitter to bite at it before it reaches the strike zone.

sidslidkid

December 8th, 2010
7:41 pm

Mattatrab, get over it already. He’s a good bench player and will in all likelihood be around next year.

Mattatrab

December 8th, 2010
7:44 pm

By the way Ryan Kleskos problem was trying to make diving catches that he could never get to in a effort to make sports center. He cost the braves more games than he won for them

The Grinch

December 8th, 2010
7:49 pm

Y’all really ought to lay off Conrad; he didn’t make Bobby keep running him out there when he had the “yips.” He’s a hell of a good pinch hitter, and those don’t grow on trees at his salary.

Like the Sherrill signing. Now, if Schafer can just have a decent spring so we’re not subjected to McLouth all year, we should have a pretty good team.

The Grinch

December 8th, 2010
7:54 pm

Overpaying for the back end of the rotation? You do realize all three of those guys combined make less than Saito did last year, right? And that Kimbrel and Venters make a teenie, tiny fraction of what we paid Wagner?

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
7:55 pm

Who else was Bobby supposed to send out there? I’m pretty sure he went with the guy he trusted over little-used Diory, who hasn’t exactly torn the cover off the ball in the major league ABs he’s had.

Not saying Conrad should’ve been out there, but, with Chipper and Prado hurt, we really didn’t have good options. Or are you guys among those who think we should’ve had Infante at 2B and let Glaus make those errors at 3B?

The Grinch

December 8th, 2010
7:59 pm

Bullpen, not rotation; excuse me.

The Grinch

December 8th, 2010
8:05 pm

Not for a key at bat, GT Alum, but when a guy’s in THAT bad of a funk you absolutely send Diory out there defensively to start the 9th. Bobby ran Brooks out there symbolically after key at bats and that was awful sweet, but terrible strategy. Brooks knew it as well as anyone, and his body language and play suggested he’d much rather have been back in the dugout where he belonged until he could get his confidence back. I don’t see Freddie making those mistakes.

M10

December 8th, 2010
8:06 pm

Im still waiting on a move for an outfielder particularly Lorenzo Cain.

George

December 8th, 2010
8:11 pm

Another waste of money…we didn’t need a guy who can only get out lefties…especially for over a million dollars.

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
8:15 pm

George

do you not relize that any vet in the major leagues is making over a million i think it is one helluva deal if it works out

GT Alum

December 8th, 2010
8:17 pm

Ahh, so you’re specifically referencing the error in game 3. Yeah, that would’ve been a good time for a defensive substitution. Sorry, I’ve even said that Bobby just wasn’t a terribly good in-game manager, but I just get tired of the folks whose philosophy seems to be blame Bobby any time something goes badly for the Braves. I thought you were one of those. Or one of the folks who kept saying, but Glaus was a gold glove 3B.

OldTimer

December 8th, 2010
8:19 pm

Wow, who wouldn’t be impressed.

dap01

December 8th, 2010
8:20 pm

A million dollars for a specialist is not a waste of money. Get a grip. Wren is actually putting together a complete team.

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
8:23 pm

George

That is worth a crap and i think he is this could be and i think is one heck of a deal

Steve

December 8th, 2010
8:35 pm

Folks .. can you not get sarcasm. I am fairly certain Dirk was being sarcastic. While it could be said from his first sentence you weren’t sure .. his last sentence about Collins and Dunn are a dead give away to me. Either that or he knows precious little about baseball.

The Grinch

December 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

Not at all; Bobby was a fine manager in many respects and a great guy by any measure. But there were some tactical decisions that made me want to eat my remote. That said, even he was smart enough not to stick Glaus at 3rd more than in an absolute emergency. That guy’s knees were completely shot.

Chief Nock A Homa

December 8th, 2010
8:43 pm

Great pickup or specific lefty situations….

Johny Damon open to Atlanta… Wonder if his price could be right for that outfield spot??? That would be a huge pickup….

jonathan Simeone

December 8th, 2010
8:48 pm

This is a very good move. It’s a small amount of money for a guy who, at worst, will be a solid situational guy in the pen.

can'tspinthefans

December 8th, 2010
8:54 pm

You get what you pay for Mr Wren…your cheap players really turns the fans on!

tyler nj brave

December 8th, 2010
8:58 pm

sure glad mattatrab stopped commenting…there’s about 30 other teams that would love Conrad’s bat off the bench…he got thrown into starting in the playoffs due to injuries…the guy is clutch though
Name a more clutch pinch hitter last year..that’s what i thought

Any way you can block him from commenting DOB?

Innocent Bystander

December 8th, 2010
9:05 pm

Since when is 1/80th of our salary being spent on a lefty specialist really a bad thing?

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:20 pm

some of yall people kill me what the f would yall be happy with please tell me pleae

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:21 pm

Chief Nock A Homa

johnny damon open to atl where did you here that from

DawgDad

December 8th, 2010
9:23 pm

Good pickup.

In fainess to Bobby Cox you expect a major league infielder to at least field .500 on routine ground balls. Hey, I expect better than that in little league. And yes, wouldn’t mind having Conrad back on the bench.

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:23 pm

im so freakin sick and tired of people bitchin our team is better

fsugolf8166

December 8th, 2010
9:27 pm

seriously some of you what do yall want crawford, lee, soriano back, and hall, and who else because the damn money isnt there. wren is doing the best that he can with the money he has be happy and quit bitchin

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