Barton Traded to Atlanta


Here’s a real tongue twister:

Brian Barton to Braves for Blaine Boyer to boster bullpen.

That’s right.  In somewhat of a surprise move today, the Cardinals traded outfielder Brian Barton to Atlanta for right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer.

During their most recent road trip, the Cards found themselves long on innings, but short on arms.  The club shuffled pitchers on and off the 25 man roster to help eat some of those innings in games where the starters didn’t throw their share.  The final game of the Chicago series was the perfect time for a rain out, and thanks to today’s off day, the overworked bullpen gets a much needed two day break.

The Cards’ latest addition will be activated and ready to pitch in the series opener against the Mets at Busch tomorrow.  So who is this Boyer fellow?

A quick look at his stats doesn’t really get me excited to see him pitch.  Before being designated for assignment by the Braves, he appeared in 3 games, pitching 1.1 innings, and allowing 6 runs on 3 hits.  That’s good enough for a 40.50 ERA.

Well maybe he was good last season?  No.  Not really.  Although he did have 76 appearances, he allowed more hits than innings pitched, converted just 1 of 5 save opportunities, and finished the year with an earned run average close to 6.

A closer look reveals that Boyer hasn’t allowed fewer hits than innings pitched since High-A ball in 2004.  Sounds bad.

On the other hand, however, Boyer’s Major League career WHIP of 1.44 is the same as Todd Wellemeyer’s, and isn’t much higher than that of Kyle Lohse (1.41).  What about in comparison to other relievers?  Well, he allows more baserunners than a Ryan Franklin, but strikes hitters out at a Russ Springer clip.

To get the 27 year old righty, the Cards gave up a fan favorite in Barton.  After beings selected in the Rule 5 draft last year, Barton stuck with the big club all season, but failed to make the roster this time around.

Even though Barton is an intriguing player with a lot of potential, the Cardinals have a logjam of outfielders high in the system, and even more on the rise.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing Brian back with the Birds in the future, but I’m glad he’s getting an opportunity with another club.  What’s your take?

For more on the trade, check out the latest from Matthew Leach.

So, the Cards are back in St. Louis after going 3-3 on their two-city road trip.  The three game series with New York starts with Wellemeyer facing Oliver Perez tomorrow night. Let’s hope for a strong debut for Boyer, but more importantly, a Cardinal win.