Braves call up Cory Gearrin. Where is Stephen Marek?

The Atlanta Braves have made a minor move on Friday. They called up right-handed, side-armed Cory Gearrin from AAA. They optioned back-up outfielder, Matt Young down. The move was made because the Braves’ bullpen has pitched more than 10 innings the past two games, after Derek Lowe was pulled after 3 innings on Wednesday and the Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the Braves in a 12 inning game yesterday.

The Braves are already short-handed with Peter Moylan on the DL. This has forced them to use relievers in different roles and situations than they intended. This is the second reliever that has been called up to Atlanta since Opening Day. Jairo Asencio was called upon to replace Moylan.

The thing I don’t understand is why Stephen Marek has not been called up. What does he have to do to get to Atlanta? Look at what he has done over 2010 and 2011 so far:

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G SV IP ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 2 Teams AAA-AA 6 2 1.14 60 13 63.1 8 20 74 1.026 2.8 10.5 3.70
2011 Gwinnett AAA 0 0 0.00 5 0 6.1 0 0 8 0.632 0.0 11.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/22/2011.

To the keen observer, you may have noticed that he has not given up a run in 2011 over six appearances. He battled control problems in spring training at times, but he has not allowed a walk in 2011 either. I don’t want to undermine the value that Gearrin could bring to the team. But, if you compare his numbers from the last two seasons with Marek’s, it is a no-brainer who should have the call-up. Here is Gearrin’s stats:

Year Lev ERA G GF IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2010 AAA 3.36 52 15 80.1 72 30 32 66 1.295 3.6 7.4 2.06
2011 AAA 2.61 6 0 10.1 10 3 4 8 1.355 3.5 7.0 2.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/22/2011.

There is an ERA differential between Marek and Gearrin of more than 2 runs in 2010 and 2011.

This makes me wonder if the Braves view Marek as a viable option for their bullpen. Could he be a piece that the Braves are willing to trade to address other needs on the team later this season?

Marek has done all he could to prove his worth to the system. He is the lone holdover from the Mark Teixeira trade to the Los Angeles Angels. That fiasco couldn’t be affecting his favor with the Braves’ system could it?

That’s silly. It’s not Marek’s fault the Braves sent so many players to the Texas Rangers for Teixeira and received almost nothing in return for him. Or is it?

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  • Jason

    It looks like the move was made to get a guy they could use as a long reliever. Look at the innings pitched per appearance.

  • Doug

    “Fiasco” is too mild when referencing the Teixeira trade. That was the worst trade in the history of Major League Baseball and should put Mr. Shuerholz in the Hall of Shame.

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