Braves release Helms, welcome two call-ups

The Braves released Wes Helms from his minor league contract on Thursday, ending an experiment to see if the former Brave could regain his form in Triple-A Gwinnett. Helms hit .176 (6-for-34) in nine games there. He told Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez in a phone call Thursday night he’s been bothered by a heel injury.

“He said ‘I can’t help you, and I’m not going to put the Braves in that situation,’” said Gonzalez, who managed Helms with the Marlins. “He was really appreciative of the opportunity that we gave him.”…

The Braves called up reliever Anthony Varvaro and catcher J.C. Boscan in their first wave of September call-ups. They’re expected to add just three or four more, Gonzalez said, including Peter Moylan, who’s slated to come off the disabled list on Monday. Both Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran are expected to join the roster and make spot starts in the coming week – Delgado to pitch in place of the injured Jair Jurrjens on Sunday and Teheran to pitch the second game of the Braves’ doubleheader Thursday in New York….

Freddie Freeman was out of the lineup Thursday night to rest his left quadriceps, which he strained running out a groundball during the Braves last homestand. It was mainly precautionary and to get Eric Hinske in the lineup who was 13-for-32 with two homers against Chien-Ming Wang. Martin Prado got the night off just as a breather. He was 2-for-his-last-26 entering Thursday night.

“The last time we gave him a breather, he came back and got three hits the next day, went 3-for-4,” said Gonzalez, referring to Prado’s three-hit, two-double game Aug. 20 against Arizona.

28 comments Add your comment


September 1st, 2011
9:06 pm

Helms was always a class guy and showed it again

Chris from the Rock

September 1st, 2011
9:14 pm

Braves’ bench this year is nearly as good as the “Bomb Squad” of the 80’s, which had Simmins, Chambliss, Benedict and others.

Ron Hyatt

September 1st, 2011
9:58 pm

What exactly was the point of that?

Hooters Insider

September 1st, 2011
10:06 pm

It’s the time of the year when Braves fans turn their head to focus on football. I hear Chipper is excited about hunting season.


September 1st, 2011
10:14 pm

Always a professional. Thanks for your honesty, Wes. We thank you for your past years in Atlanta!


September 1st, 2011
10:29 pm

A real shame. I always liked Baby Huey.

What the crap

September 1st, 2011
10:37 pm

Why not Gartrell..he had a great year and this is the way Braves reward their best players..Give the man a chance.


September 1st, 2011
10:58 pm

Gartrell is a DH, which tells you he isn’t much of an outfielder. They will have to trade to the American League to get something for him. He can indeed hit.


September 1st, 2011
11:20 pm

Many years ago, i took my son to spring training. Wess Helms signed his ball and my glove. Thanks Wess. I never used that glove again. My son and I will always remember that day.


September 2nd, 2011
12:01 am

No one knew what Constanza could do until he was given the chance. That is what September call ups are all about. A guy has an outstanding year on the mound or at the plate and he is rewarded by getting a couple of weeks taste of the big leagues. The team is able to see if he can help them next year.Gartrelll should be given a call up by the team.


September 2nd, 2011
12:46 am

Most teams don’t call up the full 40, and with a team going to the playoffs, you need to keep your guys fresh, but also need to keep them from getting rusty. If you bring up all of your best minor leaguers, either they will just sit the bench or you risk your best players who got you to the playoffs being rusty in the playoffs. The playoffs are not about who the best team is for the entire year, its about who is hot when the playoffs start.

Train Wreck Bystander

September 2nd, 2011
2:53 am

I agree, txbrave. What Helms did was class. I hope he gets well over the winter and gets another shot next spring.

Bartman n Orl

September 2nd, 2011
6:23 am

The biggest thing, from a Braves standpoint, is the cost of call ups. They all start getting paid at a Major League mimimum rate at the least. There are obvious cost too.
I’m usually fairly good at keeping up with the Braves Minor league players and I have somewhat this year but I don’t remember Gartrell. Can someone post his stats and where he’s played this year? Thanks.


September 2nd, 2011
8:10 am

So, does that mean Wes is going to retire? If he doesn’t feel he can help a team, why keep playing? I appreciate the honesty and character he displayed.

I’m feeling pretty good about our chances with these callups…Delgado, Tehran, Vizcaino all together…Phillies ain’t gonna know what him ‘em! Varvaro was a pretty good reliever when he was up here too, I believe. If Gartrell was called up, he’d be a good bat off the bench…not sure how much Boscan would contribute.


September 2nd, 2011
8:11 am

Prado needed a breather?? Didn’t the entire team get 3 days off last weekend?? What an excuse. Prado faded last year and he is doing it again. It is no different than our old Adam Laroche not hitting in April then burning up the league towards the end.


September 2nd, 2011
8:14 am

With Hanson and JJ big question marks are Teheran and/or Delgado eligible for post-season?


September 2nd, 2011
9:02 am

Prado (and the rest of the team) just had three days off and now he needs another day off for a breather…hmmmm


September 2nd, 2011
10:35 am

Wes Helms”Big Tex” has been classy since day one in the minors with the Braves, he was raised around the game and understands it is a privledge to play in the Major Leagues.

I also hope Wes gets another chance next spring if he wants to continue, if not I really hope the Braves have a spot for him in the organization if he is so inclined.

Thanks Wes !!


September 2nd, 2011
12:29 pm

JoeBravesFan, I expect he just means for the remainder of this year. If he’s not going to be healthy enough to join the big squad soon and the minors season is wrapping up then there’s no reason for him to hang around. Better to go home, heal, rehab and try to sign somewhere in the spring. What’s refreshing is he could have ridden it out for as long as possible and gotten paid to do effectively nothing, but instead felt he couldn’t take the Braves’ money in good faith.


September 2nd, 2011
3:32 pm

I assume Kawakami will be called up as well? [sarcastic]

Brave New World

September 2nd, 2011
3:44 pm

Braves should go all out for the Divisional race and field their best lineup every day for the rest of the season. Maybe give venters a small vacation to dust the cobwebs in his brain, try to score a ton of runs to save EOF, JV and CK from showing up daily but give them an opportunity every 3 to 4 days , Baseball is a sport where 90% of the time the players are standing and doing nothing during the game (or sitting on the bench). So all this rest etc is crap.., They will still continue their pregame rituals unless they are on DL so the talk of rest /breather is a bunch of crap…, they get paid for playing every one of the 162 games and they better play it with their heart and soul. They have nov-feb to rest….,

Go Braves!!


September 2nd, 2011
4:03 pm

I have always been a Wes Helms fan and this last class act impresses me more than ever. I like several of you hope he comes back next year and has a great year. Good luck Wes.


September 2nd, 2011
4:47 pm

A breather for Prado????? He just got 4 days off due to the storm. Call it what it is Frddie, your sending a message.

Captain Deese

September 2nd, 2011
5:20 pm

One of the worst moves that newspapaers has made is allowing leno letterman kimmel wannabes to make comments on factual news stories. Most are snide and scarcastic and none are funny-not one. So I am banning myself from ever reading another commentary from the likes of “loafer”. Incorrect grammar, spelling and stupid logic has rotted enough of my brain. Goodbye you moron commenters, and yes I am talking about you.

Captain Deese

September 2nd, 2011
5:21 pm

Captain Deese

September 2nd, 2011
5:23 pm

P.S. I won’t ever see your derisive come backs.

Braves Fan Since "80

September 2nd, 2011
7:15 pm

Just an opinion on the comments about what september call ups are for…… they are expanded rosters to make your team better if you are in the playoff hunt, not a reward…. the reward would be spring training invitee….. If your team is out of contention then you give the young dudes some quality at bats, rest the vets and get a look at trade bait that is when you are not playing a team in contention….. I think the callu ps are fine and would like to see Pastoriky (SP) get a few games if he is healthy…..


September 3rd, 2011
4:00 pm

Now let us hope that Freddie Cox will not hurry back JJ and Hanson just so they can pitcher in the playoffs. If they are not ready lets not hinder the team with almost healthy pitchers just to have a vet on the mound. Remember these vets are not truly seasoned pitchers. They have hurt the braves by continue to pitch when they were injured –maybe they are paid by the game. Often young pitchers do better than semi-healthy pitchers because they present a unknown to the other team. USE BRAIN ON THIS ONE FREDDIE COX.

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