The Braves are mixing things up in their bullpen, as they blew a late inning lead once again last night. According to Mark Bowman, David Aardsma is headed to Atlanta, and Cody Martin is headed back to Gwinnett:
David Aardsma will join Atlanta's bullpen tonight. Cody Martin was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett #Braves
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 9, 2015
Aardsma was signed to a minor league deal just a few days ago after he opted out of his deal with the Dodgers, and made just a one inning appearance for Gwinnett. He has experienced some success at the AAA level the last two seasons, working to a 1.29 ERA in 2014 as well as a 2.29 ERA this season. Aardsma has struggled to maintain success at the Major League level in his career, but he had two nice seasons working as the Seattle Mariners’ closer back in 2009-10. He does have a bit of NL East experience, as his last stint in the Majors came in 2013 with the Mets. The knock on Aardsma has been his control and his walks, so it’s yet to be seen how long Aardsma will be able to hold a bullpen spot. The Braves have had a short leash with relievers with control issues this year. Hopefully Aardsma can translate some of the success he’s had in AAA to the Braves’ pen.
As far as Cody Martin goes, it’s a shame to see him struggle like this after his future looked so bright at the beginning of the year. The Braves did make the right move in sending him down, however. Right-handed hitters have absolutely demolished Martin this year, as they are hitting .339 off him. He was hot in April, but from May on he has given up nine earned runs in just nine innings. His 10 K/9 rate suggests he has a bright future, but Martin is unable to contribute to the bullpen at this point. This is just one of many bullpen moves that will follow until the Braves find a formula for success.