11/20/08 8:32 PM EST
Braves add four to 40-man roster
Claim former Mariners reliever O'Flaherty off waivers
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Along with O'Flaherty, the Braves added infielder Diory Hernandez and right-handed pitchers Todd Redmond and Stephen Marek to their 40-man roster.
After beginning this past season as the Mariners' lefty specialist, O'Flaherty battled with back discomfort that may have played a part in his struggles on the mound. In seven appearances with Seattle, the 23-year-old reliever worked 6 2/3 innings, surrendered 16 hits and allowed 15 earned runs.
O'Flaherty was sent back to the Minors in April, where he posted a 1-0 record with a 4.42 ERA in 15 combined appearances with Double-A West Tennessee and Triple-A Tacoma. The back discomfort prevented him from pitching after June 2.
The Braves are hoping O'Flaherty can regain the form he displayed in 2007, when he went 7-1 with a 4.47 ERA in 56 appearances for Seattle. All indications are that he'll be healthy for the start of Spring Training, when he may be able to compete for a job as Atlanta's left-handed specialist.
On the way to being named the Southern League's Pitcher of the Year, Redmond went 13-5 with a 3.52 ERA. The 23-year-old right-hander recorded a league-best 133 strikeouts in 28 appearances (27 starts) for Double-A Mississippi.
Redmond, who was acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Tyler Yates, has been projected to be a solid fourth or fifth starter at the Major League level. There's a chance he may find himself with a prime opportunity to win a back-of-the-rotation spot with the Braves next year.
Marek, who was obtained with Casey Kotchman in exchange for Mark Teixeira in July, has been impressive in the Arizona Fall League, having completed 11 scoreless innings for the Mesa Solar Sox. After being acquired by the Braves, Marek made 10 relief appearances for Mississippi, going 1-2 with a 3.21 ERA. The 25-year-old right-hander made a positive impression on Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman, who has said he's convinced Marek will pitch in the Majors.
Hernandez began this season with Mississippi and was promoted to Triple-A Richmond in late April. In 120 games with Richmond, the 24-year-old infielder hit .288 with five homers, 23 doubles and 53 RBIs. His versatile defensive skills allow him to play second base, shortstop and third base.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.