It’s looking more and more like Horacio Ramirez will be the fifth starter. In fact, he’ll probably be the fourth starter at the start of the season with Byrd ailing; the Braves could go with a four-man rotation or they could give Jason Marquis or someone else the spot. (Byrd may pitch in a minor-league game Wednesday.) As it is now, the Braves might prefer to start with four starters and seven relievers; going with “only” six relievers would probably mean putting Gryboski through waivers or sending Spurling back to Pittsburgh for the waiver price.
Furcal’s ankle looked worse after the game, as ankles sometimes do. It seems likely he’ll miss the start of the season. The Braves could use DeRosa at short (assuming Vinny is still the third baseman), or Garcia or Castro. I think Wilson Betemit would be unlikely to get the job.
Robert Fick hit a bird (not Byrd) with a fly ball. The AJC writer doesn’t know his Braves history very well. He compared the incident to Randy Johnson hitting a bird with a pitch two years ago. Does he not remember Dion James? The bird lost a tip of a wing but will live. Maybe it was Paul Byrd after all.