Braves option reliever Asencio, recall IF/OF Mather

The Braves dropped their 13th pitcher Thursday when they optioned reliever Jairo Asencio back to Triple-A Gwinnett and purchased the contract of utility player Joe Mather from Gwinnett.

The Braves has added an extra reliever during their 10-day West Coast road trip after a 12-inning game in LA on April 21. They played three extra-inning games in a five-day span on the trip.

The Braves claimed Mather off the waiver wire from the St. Louis Cardinals in November, but sent him to Triple-A to open the season after he struggled offensively in spring training. He hit only .145 (8-for-55) with 15 strikeouts in 25 games in Florida.

For Gwinnett, Mather was hitting .258 (16-for-62) with five doubles, a homer, and four RBIs.

Now he’ll be in uniform against his former team this weekend when the Braves host the Cardinals for three games. Mather can play all three outfield positions, third and first base.

The Braves originally opened the season with outfielder Matt Young on the roster but they sent him to Gwinnett when they added reliever Cory Gearrin to the roster last Friday. Young can’t return to the roster within 10 days unless there’s been an injury.

This also means Gearrin will get to stick around for a while. The rookie sidearmer made an impressive two-inning debut on Monday night in San Diego. He’s yet to allow a baserunner in three relief innings.

Asencio hasn’t pitched since his four-run meltdown Sunday in San Francisco. Prior to that outing, Asencio had pitched in two games, allowing four hits and no runs in five innings, striking out four and walking one.

83 comments Add your comment

Jim Powell's Valet

April 28th, 2011
5:36 pm

Great move, Asencio is not ready, however Mather isn’t going to provide RH Power we need…can we make a trade soon

yogi

April 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

Im see the Braves kept Conrad. He has one hit this year and can’t play any position. He is a switch hitter that can’t hit or field. Send him to Lynchburg so he can play every day or release him and bring up
Wilkin Ramerez

Plate Appearance

April 28th, 2011
5:44 pm

Matt Young deserves more of a chance and should be brought back once the 10 day “roster move time span” elapses.

bobbymahlon

April 28th, 2011
5:47 pm

Nobody wanted him so he goes to Gwinnett and hits .258 so we reward him by calling him up to the bigs, doesn’t make any sense to me .

JSS13

April 28th, 2011
5:48 pm

Matt Young and Brooks Conrad are so bad that the team should use them to entertain the fans. Have them stand on the dugout during commercial breaks and juggle or something. Neither one of them can hit a lick…

Reid in EAV

April 28th, 2011
5:51 pm

Easy explanation for Mather, despite the less-than-stellar Spring Training and AAA numbers: flexibility. With him able to play so many positions, we’re in less of a pickle if we need to give someone a day off, someone gets hurt or we need a late-inning defensive replacement. Omar Infante could play every position on the field except pitcher and catcher, and we’ve really missed that since he’s left.

JC Boscan III

April 28th, 2011
5:52 pm

Further proof that cartoon bears aren’t usually great baseball fans……….. Prior to Conrad’s late-season slump last year, his play at 2nd and 3rd was acceptable. His offensive production is almost identical this year to what he’d accomplished at this time in 2010 (see the article on the Braves web site for documentation). Plus, a great diving catch prevented him from winning a game a couple of weeks ago. Lastly, it’s hard for ANY player to average 3 or 4 at-bats per week and be very effective……. Go Braves!

jugar

April 28th, 2011
5:56 pm

i once got drunk at the company xmas party, danced dirty with the CEO’s wife, and 1 month later got promoted with a sweet raise.

Hawes

April 28th, 2011
5:59 pm

Mather? Yeah, that should solve everything.

When Wren falls in love with a guy, it takes a LOT of evidence to show that guy has been cheating on him with Lady Mendozaline.

I guess he’s preferable to Matt Young.

Dennis Reynolds

April 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

Good for him, but the team really could get more out of Conztanza

Dennis Reynolds

April 28th, 2011
6:05 pm

Wow. I admit I didn’t really read the article. .258?!?!

Meanwhile Constanza is hitting like .345 or something crazy like that. It would be one thing if Mather was already a proven big leaguer just trying to get his swing back or something, but he’s never been anything special.
I still think Matt Young is a better option than Mather but Constanza would be dynamic on the basepaths and is showing he can really hit.

Michael

April 28th, 2011
6:08 pm

It truly amazes me how stupid most of the people are that comment on this blog. No one on here knows how to run a team and start screaming when they bring someone up and send someone down that they like/dont like. Matt Young is going to be back but the Braves have to wait before they can recall him. Just because they bring up Mather doesn’t mean he’s going to play everyday so relax. He’s going to get a few at-bats and maybe come in as a defensive subsitution. Just shut up, please…

kirkinga

April 28th, 2011
6:09 pm

I think Asencio will surely be on the big league roster before September call ups. One bad outing doesn’t mean he’s not ready. Anyone remember Medlen’s debut and what some were saying about his readiness?

steve

April 28th, 2011
6:14 pm

I have no problem with the Mather move and hopefully he can help us with the bat because he is a good outfielder, would like to see Wilkon Ramierez as he has both speed and power, if we are only using Brooks to pinch hit then I would send him down and bring up Gomez as he is a much better hitter, the thing these 3 guys bring is right handed hitting power plus more speed.

Dennis Reynolds

April 28th, 2011
6:15 pm

Michael’s panties must be irritating him. True fans care about all 25 guys on the roster no matter their role.

mudcat

April 28th, 2011
6:17 pm

Great! We really needed another non-hitter!

Jeff321

April 28th, 2011
6:21 pm

How do ya know this isn’t a Bobby Cox team anymore? Fredi sent down that ‘give it up’ boy!

bill

April 28th, 2011
6:22 pm

Its not how good you are its still the good old boy system………it sucks.

DaveinNEPA

April 28th, 2011
6:26 pm

IMO it was good idea to have the extra arm in the pen for that road trip. I hope they do it again if there is another long trip.

As for Mather, I don’t think anybody here has a crystal ball that can foresee how he’ll do but he does have ML experience and quite frankly, I don’t think Young was going to be much of a help anyway.

I agree with keeping Gearrin for now too. The guy looks like a Moylan clone.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Michael

April 28th, 2011
6:30 pm

I care about all 25 men on the roster but I don’t freak out if they bring someone up that we could use but had a bad spring. We don’t have outfield depth and he can play all outfield spots. Everyone needs to chill Dennis, thats all.

AugustaGreenjacket

April 28th, 2011
6:42 pm

DOB-
Isn’t Mather out of options? If so, don’t you think he’s pretty much on the roster for the rest of the season for fear that the Braves would lose him if placed on waivers again?

Jack

April 28th, 2011
6:43 pm

I like the move to keep Gearin, he acts as Moylan til Peter gets off the DL, even has the side arm action.

Bill

April 28th, 2011
6:43 pm

Just win and I’ll be happy!

Dennis Reynolds

April 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

A bad spring or a bad career?

Might need to baseball-reference this one.

DOB

April 28th, 2011
6:47 pm

Enter your comments here

DOB

April 28th, 2011
6:48 pm

No, AugustaGreenjacket
That doesn’t mean sh*t.

BILLMAIER

April 28th, 2011
6:53 pm

go mather hopefully you can improve on the 258 average from the minors–at least gomez gets to probably play every game at first now instead of dh–

Ralph

April 28th, 2011
7:00 pm

There is no such thing in the braves organization as “reward for good performance” Wren seems to like bad performance. The only solution is for Bud Selik to recomend they fire Wren along with McDowell.

BILLMAIER

April 28th, 2011
7:01 pm

good job of keeping gearrin he pitched his way into the spot–what does linebrink need to do to lose his and what does marek need to do besides contine a 0.00 era and 14 stikeouts to win it? more seasoning he spent the entire yr last year at gwinette and has a 1.00 something era– was reading another comment about how you cant put these young guys in crucial games whatt about venters and kimbrel last year and this they were both untested ,too but there comes a time when you put your best chance of winning with the best 25– so yes this gm does leave himself open to question.

Ralph

April 28th, 2011
7:07 pm

@Michael = You know what gets me is how stupid some people are that call other people stupid.

rc35

April 28th, 2011
7:24 pm

It might be an upgrade to put Conrad in for Uggla for a few games. Maybe it would get them both out of their offensive funks. So far, (prorated for 1/6 of a year) we’ve paid Uggla $84,693.91 per hit. Conrad has made $71,250 for his hit (again, prorated).

Bigwheel

April 28th, 2011
7:27 pm

Wasnt asencio the guy who had the false name?? Cant remember his fake name…

Aaron

April 28th, 2011
7:29 pm

Mather = Bum

jim

April 28th, 2011
7:40 pm

Sending Asencio down was the predictable move. Too bad it wasn’t accompanied by releasing Sherrill and bringing up Marek. I agree with earlier posters that claim the Braves bench would be stronger with Constanza and Gomez than Mather and Conrad. Neither Gomez nor Conrad plays the field and Gomez seems like the better bat.

AndyA

April 28th, 2011
7:42 pm

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 28th, 2011
7:51 pm

I would venture a guess that this move or something similar was expected. I like the savvy of the young sidearmer from “nooga. Impressive poise and great action on his pitches. Give Moylan a rest and lets turn Gearrin loose.

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co.

April 28th, 2011
8:01 pm

Personally, a very depressing day for me. I HATE off days during the season.

Peter

April 28th, 2011
8:31 pm

I like the move. Ascensio looked really uncomfortable out there in San Francisco. Granted, I don’t think Fredi did a good job handling the situation, kind of hung him out to dry. I liked the demeanor that Gearrin displayed on the mound during his first couple of outings in the major leagues. And his stuff and his delivery are a lot like Peter Moylan, which is a plus.

As for Mather, I always like to see veterans coming off the bench to pinch hit, and given our need for right handed power, he is probably the best option. Let the kids stay in the minors and continue to develop.

Horner's Corner

April 28th, 2011
8:33 pm

Hey Ralph-

It was just a week ago, following the Dodgers series, that you were posting about how badly J-Hey was faltering and explaining that he needed to be sent to AAA to get things straightened out. Based on this fact, I don’t think you should be calling anyone stupid on here. Furthermore, maybe you should consider a self-imposed 2 week suspension from the blog.

Michael

April 28th, 2011
9:08 pm

@ Ralph- good one. how long did it take you to come up with that?

Michael

April 28th, 2011
9:10 pm

Most poeple dont understand the little nuances of the game. They don’t understand why someone is called up over another guy. Mather is versatile and is needed. He has big league experience.

WBuckATC

April 28th, 2011
9:16 pm

The best move would have been to send both Ascencio and Conrad to Gwinnett and call up Boscan and Ramirez. Ramirez provides power and speed and can also play all three OF spots. Boscan would become the third catcher like he was earlier in the year. This gives the Braves the ability to use Ross/McCann (whoever is not starting) as a PH early if needed and not keep them as the last reserve. Boscan basically takes Conrad’s spot and gives the team potential pop from McCann or Ross off the bench. Conrad was the man last year, but giving him some playing time in the minors is what might get him mentally ready for a mid season recall.

Dennis Reynolds

April 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

This move wont affect the team a whole lot, but it would have been nice to bring up someone like Constanza, who can hit AND steal a bunch of bags. Not to mention he can play all three OF positions. Mathers IF and OF versatility is nice, but its really not much of a concern to this team right now. We have Prado who can fill in at 3rd, 2nd, and if he has to, 1st. Then you have Hinske who can play LF, 3rd, and 1st. What we really need is some legit speed who can either get some starts or come off the bench and be a real threat to take an extra bag.

Bob the Blogger

April 28th, 2011
9:32 pm

Mather is the best bet to play decent defense at multiple positions, but I still hope the Braves can find a good right handed utility infielder with plenty of ML experience – somebody that can perform that roll as good as Ross and Hinske perform theirs. There may not be another Infante out there, but surely there is someone not quite good enough to start, but can provide quality defense and some good at bats from the right side.

More of the same

April 28th, 2011
9:40 pm

Mather is a career .220 hitter who often failes to make contact and has average speed that the Braves will parlay into even less production with the Cox/Fredi softball approach to offense. Good thing they did not trey to improve the offense by taking a chance on Costanza and/or bringing back Matt Young.

a .229 average for April with a lackluster 5 SBs for the Braves sets the table for more offensive droughts. At least we will have a good clubhouse, right?

More of the same

April 28th, 2011
9:43 pm

@Dennis Reynolds – you are right on the money. Put some pressure on the defense with the running game. Heck, promote Dave Brundage from Gwinnett. He is the king of small ball who takes the 3-run HR when it comes.

Runners always have an easier time scoring from 2nd base than first. Atlanta nearly led the league in ground out DPs last season. They don’t lead in that stat now b/c their OBP is collectively too low.

Lowcountry Brave

April 28th, 2011
9:44 pm

Why not Costanza? Just the lack of power?

Mark (another one)

April 28th, 2011
10:04 pm

The other reason for this move is to test Mathers. He isn’t likely to go back to the minors. Either he plays well or the Braves release him. That’s reality in the majors. Young is just that, young. He needs to play more than the Braves can afford to let him play at the major league level. I expect him to go back and tear up AAA and be ready for another call up. He is a long term solution for the Braves.

If I remember right, Conrad would need to go through waivers and the Braves realize he wouldn’t make it. They also see a small sample size with only 11 at bats in a month. They will probably give him so more chances since he hits with power and is a switch hitter.

For those that believe all this stuff is pre-determined by the front office, how do you explain Gearrin and keeping him? I think it was based on performance.

JD

April 28th, 2011
10:16 pm

St. Louis has 3 pitchers in the top 10 in the league right now, and 2 hitters (Albert is not one of them) leading the league in hitting and RBI’s. i think we can keep Holliday and Berkman in check but their top 3 pitchers are out-pitching our top 3 right now (at least on the leaderboards), and the real question I have since i haven’t had time to dig into the numbers deep enough yet is: Can we score runs on the Cardinal’s staff?

i think our staff can hold their own. This should be 3 really good games this weekend, lets just hope it doesn’t come down to Mather pinch-hitting to keep us alive in any of this set.

braves fan forever

April 28th, 2011
11:14 pm

Like I have said before.Our bench is weak we need a veteran on the bench to help Hinske.Why not see what is available.I don’t like Matt Young,Hicks,Mather,Wilkins strikes out to much.He needs to play everyday in minors.I really like Gearrin and will wonder what they will do when Moylan gets healthy.I think Linebrinks job will be on the line unless he picks it up soon,or who knows Gearrin may have a couple of bad outings,but i really like the way he throws.JJ is throwing lights out.

P-Man

April 28th, 2011
11:15 pm

OK… I’m going to state the obvious here, but since so many of you don’t seem to get it, maybe it isn’t so obvious. The Braves, like most organizations, prefer for their young players to play every day in the minors, as opposed to getting 1 or 2 innings and 1 or 2 at bats a week coming off the bench. That way, when they are needed in a starting role, due to injury or a trade or whatever, they are ready and have been getting steady work.

A veteran player, like Conrad and Mather, are used to coming off the bench for PH and spot starts and can handle that role. Notice that the Braves didn’t really bring Jason Heyward up until he was ready for the starting spot, not to sit on the bench.

Now the pitchers- SAME THING! Guess what? Not every major league reliever is going to have a 0.00 ERA with 3 strike outs per inning! It’s just not possible. And one or two bad outings, which can ruin an ERA for half a season, is just going to happen.

And let’s be serious… We all seem to be so sure that Bobby, Fredi, John S. and Wren are doing their very best to play only the worst players and lose every game. Right…

I’m amazed that, with all the baseball knowledge out there, with all the answers, that more of you aren’t GMs.

And unless you think I’m some kind of Pollyanna that toes the party line, I have been against keeping McLouth, not so much because of his hitting as for his refusal to throw. But I’m beginning to think he’s gotten straightened out and was a good “keep”.

Bravefaninok

April 28th, 2011
11:30 pm

If I remember right, Conrad would need to go through waivers and the Braves realize he wouldn’t make it. They also see a small sample size with only 11 at bats in a month. They will probably give him so more chances since he hits with power and is a switch hitter.

Brooks has hit some ropes,and been robbed of a couple of hits.He is set to get hot,the hits will start falling.

JOJO

April 28th, 2011
11:50 pm

Mather adds nothing. Conrad adds nothing. We need a couple of respectfull bench players. Mr. Wren how hard can that be?

David O'Brien

April 29th, 2011
12:12 am

If I remember right, Conrad would need to go through waivers and the Braves realize he wouldn’t make it. — Bravefaninok

Actually, that’s not correct. Brooks is not out of minor league options.

Just Wanna Say

April 29th, 2011
1:15 am

Ok, this might be a bad suggestion but what about bringing Glaus back? He obviously is not flexible like Mather, but he is definitely a right handed threat, which is what I keep hearing that we need. I don’t know, just a thought. I could see him being used as a pinch hitter or something, but thats probably about it, which is probably why we don’t have him.

Terry B.

April 29th, 2011
2:14 am

Everyone- relax, please. Rosters always move like this early. Then, the trade deadline. Then, the September call- ups. All teams go through this year after year. Just have to hope that injuries don’t deplete a roster. Braves are in good shape with many capable players able to not only fill in, but make their mark. Pay attention to the Minors, and who is playing well. Long season- relax!

James

April 29th, 2011
3:16 am

Conrad had some quality PA. He hit really hard against Marlins and Padres. Just bad luck.
Of course, he has been struck out too much. But i think he is ok.

SUMMER OF 91

April 29th, 2011
4:05 am

I think everyone may be way too hard on Asensi(myself included) 1 bad inning aside, he pitched pretty well, and in that bad inning, I really only have a major problem with the walk to tejada, rowand was overdue and Burrel with an INFIELD hit, sandoval seeing eye grounder. Anyone agree? I mean I was pissed that day but I’d give him another shot. And he’ll be back.

SUMMER OF 91

April 29th, 2011
4:12 am

what no ones up watching this wedding? see ya’ll at the ted later tonight!

northbeach Scott

April 29th, 2011
6:47 am

It will be interesting to hear what some you will say when Mather has a walk-off hit over the weekend against his former team. Will you still complain about his promotion.

It actually takes a 40 man roster to win in MLB and you need to love ‘em all, not just the 25 man. Also, the arcane and nuianced rules in MLB around rosters, timing, etc. is quite a dance. Some of you make yourselves sound like really ignorant (or teenage) baseball fans when you completely miss the more complex picture that Wren has to consider.

The ebbs and flows of the roster are a natural part of the marathon that is an MLB season.

Rufio

April 29th, 2011
7:32 am

NOT GOOD………Derek Lowe arrested for DUI last night. This on top the Mcdowell isue makes for a bad PR week for Freddi G. It will be interesting to see how he and the Braves handle themselves.

stew

April 29th, 2011
7:43 am

Mather never has shown any ability at the big league level. Conrad has been in a funk since he had to play every day. Young can steal 40 bases in the minor leagues. Costanza, Ramirez, and Gomez should be given a shot.

phil

April 29th, 2011
8:41 am

What a nice surprise on the way into work this morning….Lowe arrested for DUI. Between him and McDowell, the responsibility meter on our team seems to be plummeting….

It pisses me off that we tolerate a coach who, one, has little enough sense to engage crazed fans in an exchange of senseless one-liners laced with words that anyone with a second grade education knows you can’t be shouting in public these days but then, two, who takes it to the next level by threatening with a bat, the father of 9 year old kids who dares to holler at bonehead to be aware that kids are sitting right there. What the hell is wrong with McDowell? Did he crawl from beneath a rock in the north Ga mountains? Get hit in the head by a screaming line drive back there somewhere during his not hall of fame career with the Mets?

I want the guy fired. We have no vote of course, except at the turnstiles. That never works and isn’t even worthy of suggestion. So I guess public outcry is all we have left?

Look, I’m all for second chances, but NOT when little children are subjected to boorish, ignorant, stupid behavior by a man old enough to be their grandfather for crying out loud. His apology is empty, typical I got caught bs. There are no second chances for how he treated those children. Period. He’s a bully and a damn fool and he needs to go.

As for Lowe, I’ve said on here several times now that he’s been acting strangely his last 2 starts…Hyper, fidgety, pitching more quickly is seems….something isn’t right with him and now this terrible lack of judgment…Derek, you’re 37 years old for goodness sakes….you can’t be driving around drunk.

Where Fredi At ?

April 29th, 2011
9:07 am

Why is Conrad even on the team ? No defense and just pinch hits once every 10 games. What a waste.

I think I know why Derek Lowe was in a rush during his last outing. He was in a hurry to get some alcohol. Man, send him to Alcoholics Anonymous today…

Where Fredi At ?

April 29th, 2011
9:14 am

Bad stuff always comes in three’s. McDowell & Lowe are first two. What will be # 3 ? I’m scared to find out…

RC

April 29th, 2011
9:48 am

As far as DUI mugshots go, Derek actually doesn’t look drunk at all in his picture. Of course, that’s no indication of whether he was or not.

ChillyMutt

April 29th, 2011
10:02 am

Brooks Conrad

AB: 11
SO: 6
H: 1
W: 1

and I’m not even sure if he owns a baseball glove anymore …. release this dead weight.

Apologies in advance for recycle bad joke below:

Q; What do Michael Jackson and Brooks Conrad have in common?
A: They both wear one glove for no apparent reason.

Bill in Buckhead

April 29th, 2011
10:24 am

Phill, I agree with you! I’m taking a close look at what the Braves do with these two cases. They hit close to home, for me. I was a single dad, raising 2 boys, due to a drunk driving mother. I would have been furious with that coach if I’d been there with my kids. All my friendes are watching the Braves now, to see what happens. Go Braves, make a statement.

Steve

April 29th, 2011
10:29 am

Roger should be fired,there is no place in baseball or any sport for that matter for that type of behavior.If the Braves don’t fire him I will lose all respect for the organization.

John Rocker

April 29th, 2011
10:35 am

I see sensitivity training & unemployment in Roger’s future

phil

April 29th, 2011
10:47 am

John Rocker….name sounds familiar…

Cosmo Kramer

April 29th, 2011
11:10 am

Why would you want to call up Costanza, he can’t play. Everyone knows that I’m the better ball player. I was amazing at first base and I also punched out Mickey Mantle at a fantasy camp.

Frank Wren

April 29th, 2011
11:12 am

The Braves are announcing “Alternative Lifestyles” weekend in the next series against the San Francisco Giants.

glove51

April 29th, 2011
11:23 am

Asencio pitched 3 times and had one bad outing. Not a huge deal to me, but I don’t think he was the weakest link in the bullpen. Also don’t see how Mather helps much.

BBraves

April 29th, 2011
11:24 am

He is on the DL now but sure would be nice for the Braves to trade for Mark Derosa. Florida supposedly is interested but he would really help this Braves bench.

jim

April 29th, 2011
11:52 am

DeRosa was off the DL to play against the Braves recently. Is he back on again?
He has lived on the DL the past two years — not sure he is the same player he was two years ago.

cornjolio

April 29th, 2011
12:10 pm

Mather hit a whopping .258 at Gwinnett

That translates to below the Mendoza line in Atlanta

Don’t we have enough guys that DON’T hit ?

dorothy davis

April 29th, 2011
2:00 pm

Someone please teach Hicks how to run the bases and teach the coach that he does not know how! How bad does your batting average have to be before you are sent down? I may qualify for a spot on the team.

Jerry W.

April 29th, 2011
3:02 pm

@Steve,

I’m sure the Braves will not be able to continue their existance without your respect!!!

Steve

April 29th, 2011
3:48 pm

Jerry W.
Do you think I’m the only Braves fan who feels this way?

punk

May 2nd, 2011
8:39 pm

Joe Mather hasnt showed his best yet. He broke his hand a few years ago, as he hit a homerun off of Randy Johnson. Hes had more than one surgery on it since. now, things are different. Once he is given a real chance, hes gonna kill it. Hes a great hitter, just give him a min. Fans should be supportive of their players. Not just talking crap. None of your talk will change decisions made by managers, but it can make players feel like they have some awesome fans backing them up. Or make them feel the opposite, depending on the fans. This is also the first time ever that hes been with a different organization. Give him a chance, show support, then decide your opinion. AND he makes big plays. So, support him and enjoy the game.

[...] Braves optioned Jairo Asencio, their 13th pitcher at the time, and called on 28-year-old Joe Mather to restore some semblance of balance. Mather played all four [...]

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