The Atlanta Braves placed infielder Gordon Beckham on the disabled list yesterday due to a strained hamstring. His replacement is rookie right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber, who will take a slot in the bullpen as a long reliever and potential spot starter. Here's what to expect from Weber.
Basic background from 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Ryan Weber, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-0 WT: 180 DOB: August 12, 1990
Weber was a 22nd round pick back in 2009 from St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida. He was your basic organizational soldier until a strong 2015 season in the upper minors pushed him into a major league opportunity with five starts down the stretch. He had some good moments for Atlanta, especially his last start of the year (seven innings, one run, 10 strikeouts, no walks) and should be in the mix somewhere in 2016. Weber relies heavily on his sinker in the 87-91 range, mixing it with a curveball in the 70s and a change-up in the 80s. 2015 was the best year of his career by far but he has a shot at being a useful utility arm that can start or relieve. Grade C.
Weber was pitching relief at Triple-A Gwinnett, with 8.1 shutout innings over three games, giving up five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He has little left to prove in the minors and as noted he did some good work with the Braves late last year, though he retains rookie status for 2016.
Weber's combination of command, versatility, and ground ball generation makes him a good candidate as a 10th/11th man for a real team. He'll never have a huge margin for error but he seldom beats himself and a guy who can provide adequately average innings as either a starter or reliever would find use for many big league clubs. For a fantasy team his value is limited in all but the deepest leagues, where he could provide some filler frames.