This is how bad the Braves pitching was in 2007.
Chuck James, Kyle Davies, Jo-Jo Reyes, Lance Cormier, and Mark Redman made a combined 71 starts. Those five suck. I don’t mean to demean their efforts, but damn, they were awful. Redman only made five starts and do you realize how bad those five starts were? Worthless bugger gave up 29 runs. Oh, I won’t cheat you, Mark. Only 28 of them were earned.
Something called a Wil Ledezma pitched for the Braves in 2007. One of the whitest, most boring player ever (Kevin Barry) pitched in a game. Tyler Yates pitched 75 times. Do you realize how much you have to scrap the bottom of the available pitcher market to use Yates 75 times?
Just how bad was that year’s staff? I actually had an element of faith in Buddy Carlyle. Maybe it wasn’t faith. Maybe I just wanted to believe he could surprise everyone. Did you know Buddy’s real name is Earl? Well, of course you didn’t. Carlyle had been drafted in 1996 by the Reds, but he never appeared for them. He broke into the bigs in 1999 and was awful. Four more bad games with the Padres in 2000 and he was sold off to Japan. Carlyle came back state side after two seasons across the Pacific and played in the Royals, Yankees, Dodgers, and Marlins organizations over the next four seasons, though he only appeared in the bigs with the Dodgers for ten forgetful games in 2005.
So, when the Braves added him for the 2007 season, he was a good bet to play in Gwinnett. But because of injuries and general suckiness, Carlyle was called up in late May and stuck around. To be sure, he was not good. He gave up 19 homeruns in just 107 innings. But on a team with guys like Redman and Cormier, plus worthless prospects like Reyes and Davies, Carlyle was a guy you could hope for. Plus, you simply can’t hate a guy named Buddy, even if his name is actually Earl.
Carlyle was finally let go after the 2009 season and since played in the Yankees and Blue Jays organization with a return trip to Gwinnett in 2012. Yesterday, he signed with the Mets because, well, if you are looking for teams that will give a guy like Carlyle a chance, why not try the Mets?
Of 253.1 ING in the majors, 191 innings came with the Braves between 2007-09. He has been credited with eleven career wins and all but one came with the Braves (and eight came in 2007). But it wasn’t that he pitched that much better with the Braves than he did the Padres, Dodgers, or Yankees. Atlanta was simply that desperate.
Good luck, Buddy. Thanks for being a guy I could root for in 2007.