Latest on Proctor, Conrad, Kimbrel and Lipka in game roundup

LAKELAND, Fla. – Reliever Scott Proctor, who’s in the running for the final bullpen spot, did not make his scheduled appearance Saturday in Lakeland because he’s battling bronchitis, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. He’s expected to return in a couple of days. In his absence, minor league extra Arodys Vizcaino pitched the ninth and took the loss 2-1 after giving up three straight hits, including a walk-off two-run triple by Andy Dirks.

In the Braves’ other split-squad game, a 3-3 10-inning tie against the Mets in Lake Buena Vista, Brooks Conrad hit his first home run of spring – a two-run shot – and made a diving play in the field to rebound from his two-error day in Port St. Lucie on Friday.

Craig Kimbrel, the projected co-closer along with Jonny Venters, pitched a perfect ninth against the Mets in his first back-to-back work of the spring. He’s made six consecutive scoreless outings to lower his spring ERA to 4.32. He has eight strikeouts and only one walk during that span.

Matt Lipka, the Braves’ supplemental first round draft pick of last year showed off his speed on a double to the right field corner in his first action as a minor league extra.

36 comments Add your comment


March 19th, 2011
6:38 pm


March 19th, 2011
6:51 pm

We need Martinez to make the team over Proctor. Actually, over Sherrill too. Sherrill is horrible against righties, so we are keeping him to face one batter a night?


March 19th, 2011
6:54 pm

Looks like the Braves believe Ross, Hinske, Conrad, and Mather to be locks. That leaves one position open for either Hernandez, Lucas, Young, or Ramirez.

I would rather have: Ross, Hinske, Hermandez, Lucas, and Ramirez. But, it won’t happen.


March 19th, 2011
7:18 pm


I agree but I’d rather see Young than Lucas.


March 19th, 2011
7:21 pm

I also don’t see what they see in Sherill. Why’d they give him 1.2 million?

Branch Rickey

March 19th, 2011
7:39 pm

Its time to pull the plug on Scott Proctor. I’ve not seen seen any improvement since his surgery.

Still not impressed w/Sherill. He was acquired to face lefties exclusively, but he’s not been used in that role since he was brought in, and generally gets racked against righties. His 1.2 million contract will likely earn him a spot on the roster.

Mather is hitting about .100 for the spring. He’s a career minor leaguer the Cards unloaded. Not sure what Braves’ scouts saw in him.

Jordan Schafer should start the season at Class A Rome & learn how to make contact & hit consistently. He strikes out way too much. He had a lot of promise at one time and he’s reportedly healthy, but he’s not taking advantage of what appears to be a golden opportunity to make the big club as the 4th outfielder.


March 19th, 2011
7:43 pm

Lot of GMs on here.

Fu Manchu

March 19th, 2011
7:54 pm

Branch Rickey, I’m in agreement with nearly all points. I can put myself in Wren’s shoes when it comes to Mather a little bit. He’s out of options and can play a ton of positions so they took a flyer on him. He’s not getting paid big money so if it doesn’t work they aren’t out alot.

The Braves need to save face and cut Proctor loose while they still have dignity left. Its probably a good thing he didn’t pitch today. I personally believe Schafer should start at AA Mississippi. It blows my mind that people believe he will be our future leadoff hitter. He lacks alot of plate discipline especially on off speed stuff below the knees, that may be the one thing he needs to work on the most so he will decrease his high K rate. I had season tickets when he was in AA, and let me tell you that “stud defense” he plays is loosely used by alot of people. Don’t get me wrong he’s a good defender, but many people vastly overrate how good of a defender he really is.


March 19th, 2011
10:25 pm

If CONRAD make the team it is a potical move on Wrens part. No time for this crap.


March 19th, 2011
10:32 pm

Proctor = bum

I like Lipka. he’s gonna be a good one.



March 19th, 2011
10:38 pm

“Jordan Schafer should start the season at Class A Rome & learn how to make contact & hit consistently. He strikes out way too much. He had a lot of promise at one time and he’s reportedly healthy, but he’s not taking advantage of what appears to be a golden opportunity to make the big club as the 4th outfielder.”

Branch Rickey, you’ve slipped a bit in your old age. You obviously haven’t read the blogs regularly, or you would know that the Braves do not want to use Schafer as the fourth OF. If he doesn’t start, which he won’t now that McLouth is hitting, then they want him to play every day to get his AB’s. And I suspect in AAA, not in low A Rome. Don’t really think you have a handle on how a MLB team runs things.


March 19th, 2011
10:49 pm

Kimbrel just overmatched the Mutts B-squad. He hit 99mph on the stadium gun today. Fun to watch from the stands.

Freddy V

March 20th, 2011
12:06 am

Conrad should go to AAA. Mather and Procter should be cut.
Keep Lucas , Young are Rameriz.
agree on the political crap—– don’t win games.
Mather is another Norton. Joke!


March 20th, 2011
12:18 am

Thanks carroll for all the good reporting– i still do not understand how poctor could even be considered for that last bullpen spot, unless Wren does not want to admit he made another mistake. Im glad that mather can play so many positions, but the problem is he cannot hit–again we keep him so Wren does not look bad again. is there any possibility if beachy does not get the fifth starter position, they would keep him as the last spot for the pen and be the long reliever? I believe that everyone is forgetting how inconsitent martinez was last year coming out of the pen– beachy has been nothing but constinent last year during the playoff run and again in spring training this year, he would be ideal as long relief is he does not win the 5th spot over minor..


March 20th, 2011
12:30 am

Proctor has had about 2 good years in his career. I have no idea why he is still with the major league team. If they had noone else, maybe you could defend this, but with all the other relief options, this is absurd.

Frddie G

March 20th, 2011
12:42 am

Wren has made some very good moves since becoming the Braves GM, and I doubt he will keep anyone on the roster so as to avoid saying he made a mistake. These suggestions are so juvenile I should not even be commenting on them. Some folks who are now knocking Wren may have been the same ones who knocked him for not signing Smoltz, and we all saw what happened when Smoltz went to Boston and later St.Louis that year.


March 20th, 2011
12:52 am

Nobody in Braves history has come off the Braves bench and come thru time and time again in 2010 in CLUTCH post 7th inning BIG HITS than Brooks “RAW DAWG” GAMER Conrad. Keep him off the field if possible as we need him with that POP in his bat to win games like he did last year. If not for him, the Braves would not even made the Playoffs. He hit one RIGHT HANDED today in dead center.


March 20th, 2011
3:44 am



March 20th, 2011
3:49 am

I mean Hillcats or as far away as possible Anywhere that the games are not televised


March 20th, 2011
7:10 am

yogie2…….most cities now have tv. It is great! Just purchased a new Arvin 26″ console model. Can’t wait till 7:15 when the test pattern comes on! They say Buffalo Bob is a real nice guy.


March 20th, 2011
9:30 am

Many say that Mather has a spot on the team because he can play a lot of positions and bats RH off the bench. Both these skills are needed, but from what I’ve seen, Mather doesn’t have them. I think the bench is strongest with the following players:
1. Ross- catcher- bats R
2. Hinske- 1b & LF- Bats L
3. Conrad- 2B & 3B- Switch Hitter
4. Matt Young- LF, CF, & RF-bats L ( excellent basestealer too )
5. Lucas- 2B, SS, 3B, LF, RF or
6. D. Hernandez- SS, 2B, 3B
The first two are locks. Conrad was clutch last year, and he switch hits. That is a valuable commodity. His defense is average at best, but the next two fill that need. Young plays all three OF positions well, has needed speed, bunts well, and is a great basestealer. I’m happy with either Lucas or Hernandez for the last spot. They play good defense, have hit well in ST, bat RH and can play both SS and 2B late in games for added defense.


March 20th, 2011
9:43 am

DOB: What are your observations of Schafer while watching him this spring? Making contact? Good defense? Hitting the ball hard? Other than stats, what are your thoughts?


March 20th, 2011
9:47 am

Our pitching is best without Proctor. Assuming Minor wins the 5th starter spot, our staff is strongest with Beachy added to the bullpen. Beachy always throws strikes, has great poise and excellent stuff, and has experience in both short, middle, and long relief. Proctor is too inconsistent. He pitches OK one day and gets bombed the next. Our pen will be very strong with the following: Moylan, O’Flaherty, Sherrill, Linebrink, Beachy, Venters, and Kimbrel.


March 20th, 2011
10:17 am

Schaefer has two things you can’t coach- foot speed and bat speed- and he hasn’t learned to use either one effectively. Until he does he will be of no real use to a major league club on a every day basis.

I agree with the post above about his defensive prowess being over rated. He takes terrible angles to balls in the outfield and gets spun around way too easily for a MLB CF.

The bottom line is he needs LOTS of work in the minors before he will be able to help the big club on an every day basis.

Bob the Blogger

March 20th, 2011
10:21 am

I’m with those who don’t understand keeping Mather on the roster. While there is some appeal about a player who can play so many positions, he just has not hit well enough to justify a place on the roster. If we try to send him to the minors, another team may pick him up, but so what?

We have enough players with the flexibility to play multiple positions that Mather doesn’t need to be a lock.

Fan since 1977

March 20th, 2011
10:29 am

bravesshoo –

I don’t think Fredi will keep Lucas and Diori – one backup SS is enough, and my money is on the more versatile (and better hitting Lucas).

On other blogs I asked about Heyward — I saw he got plunked yesterday — is he OK, and his back issue in the past or a chronic thing we gotta watch all year?


March 20th, 2011
10:57 am

Mather is going to make the Opening Day roster, hes not just some one that the Braves picked up off the scrap heap, they’ve always been interested in him and were turned down by St. Louis when they tried to trade R. Soriano for him a few years ago. The other two spots are up in the air but I think it will be Conrad and Diory at least to start the year. Young is having a very nice spring but still he is left handed and just not a natural fit for this team initially. While Lucas was really hitting well early hes cooled off of late while Diory has continued to consistently go out and do his job which is why I feel he has the edge. Finally comes Ramirez, and while his tools are intriguing, I believe Atlanta will want him to start in AAA and see if he can refine his approach and improve his ability to hit off speed pitches and maybe become something more than a 4th OF.


March 20th, 2011
10:59 am

Freddy V. 12:06am – I could not agree with you more.


March 20th, 2011
10:59 am

Oh and btw, Heyward’s back issue is something “chronic”, he has significantly less cartilage in between the disks in his back than the average person, resulting in an almost bone-on-bone grind. However according to doctors he should be fine so long as he takes up an expanded stretching regimen


March 20th, 2011
11:32 am

Damn everyone relax on here. If Uggla finds his swing when the season starts, we’ll be fine.


March 20th, 2011
11:44 am

I’m frankly sick of hearing the argument that the Braves would not have made the playoffs without Conrad. It is absurd and unprovable. Certainly, had he not been on the team, someone else would have. There is no way to know how that player would have contributed to the team. The only thing that can be said with certainty about Conrad is that his errors in Game 3 of the NLDS cost us that game. There is no disputing that.


March 20th, 2011
1:05 pm


Yeah, lots of amateur GMs and talent evaluators/hitting coaches like Leroy.

Deedle Nick

March 20th, 2011
3:45 pm

Is ‘alot’ a real word? How comes no one types ‘alittle’?

Deedle Nick

March 20th, 2011
3:47 pm

Also: If we say ‘fourty, sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety’, why don’t we say ‘twoty threety and fivety’?


March 20th, 2011
7:07 pm

To Fan since 1977: I agree. I said I would be happy with D. Hernandez or Lucas, not both.


March 20th, 2011
9:42 pm

I like Beachy. I am understand the Minor arguments, the left hander, etc. However, I think Beachy will be an exceptional pitcher. Minor will be a very good pitcher.

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