|Braves acquire more bullpen help with Kansas City's Dotel|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2007 14:25|
The Braves, in contention for the NL East title and in the middle of the wild-card race, made the deal shortly before the 4 p.m. EDT deadline for making trades without waivers.
The acquisition of Dotel, a hard-throwing righty who has 11 saves this season, followed the Braves' trade for lefty Ron Mahay. Atlanta got Mahay as part of a seven-player trade with Texas involving first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The 31-year-old Dotel is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 11 saves in 14 chances this season after missing the first seven weeks with a strained left oblique muscle. He has bounced back well after a major elbow injury that plagued him in 2005 and 2006.
Dotel signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Royals, who will move rookie Joakim Soria into his closer role. Zack Greinke and David Riske will be the setup men in a bullpen that been good enough to help Kansas City post winning records in June and July.
Dotel will be missed, though.
``He's a great kid. He gave us a lot of energy. He's a lot of fun to be around. We're going to miss him. No doubt about that,'' manager Buddy Bell said before Tuesday's game at Minnesota.
Soria was sorry to see Dotel go, but happy to fill his spot.
``It's kind of the same, being a closer and a setup man. The game is on the line. There's no big difference, but I'll take it,'' said Soria, who had 10 saves when Dotel was hurt and brought a 2.44 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 44 1-3 innings into Tuesday's game.
Davies, a 23-year-old righty, was 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA for Atlanta. He has been in and out of the Braves' rotation for the past three seasons. Bell said he will use Davies as a starter, though he wasn't sure yet how he would juggle the rotation.
Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, a candidate to be moved who wound up staying put, was optimistic about the future and general manager Dayton Moore's ability to continue to upgrade the roster.
He's got room to do some things, so it's going to be exciting here in the next year or two,'' Grudzielanek said.
Kansas City is 28-23 since June 1.
``We still feel very confident in our team, where we're going and where we're headed,'' Grudzielanek said. ``Hopefully we'll finish strong this year.''