Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stephen Marek Finds Work, Among Braves News

A couple of Braves-related tidbits to keep you occupied during the baseball depression that is winter.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets minor leaguer Marcus Lemon was released by the Braves today. Lemon's name has always caused a double-take or two because he is the son of Chet Lemon, who hit .273 with 215 home runs in 16 seasons between the White Sox and Tigers. Chet led the league in doubles with 44 as part of a .318/.391/.496 season in 1979, and he also led the league in HBP four times. He was also a three-time All-Star.

As for Marcus, he hasn't made it past AA yet, splitting time between A+ Lynchburg and AA Mississippi for the Braves in 2011, hitting .254/.303/.333 with 15 doubles in 372 plate appearances. He got a million bucks out of the Rangers as a fourth-round pick in 2006, so that certainly worked out well for them.

Former Braves relief prospect Stephen Marek signed with the Blue Jays, according to Goldstein. Marek was a reliever many hoped would eventually get a shot in the Atlanta bullpen, but for some reason he continued to get passed over for lesser relievers at higher costs, such as Scott Proctor (shudder). I had him ranked No. 17 on my Braves prospect list before last season, writing that he should be the first to get a call up. It never materialized, and he underwent Tommy John surgery, limiting him to just 10.2 innings.

It's the type of move you would expect from organizations like Toronto and Tampa Bay, looking to get the most out of relievers for the least amount. (Like Fernando Rodney to the Rays.)

Also, the Cubs signed utilityman Joe Mather, according to Goldstein. Yay.

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