Since moving John
Smoltz back to the rotation in 2004, the Braves have been searching for a
lights-out closer to stabilize a dreadful bullpen. After trading a Class A
catcher to the Indians for All-Star reliever Bob Wickman last week, Atlanta
still needs one. Although the portly righty was 15 for 18 in saves for the
Indians and had an AL-high 45 saves in 2005, he isn't going to be the savior
for a staff that had a league-high 20 blown saves in 40 chances through Sunday.
Wickman arrived in Atlanta just as he stopped being a ground ball pitcher (his
1.03 grounder-to-fly-ball ratio is a career low); and he had struck out only 17
hitters in 28 innings. "It's not a trade that suddenly makes Atlanta a
wild-card favorite," says an NL scout.
? Check out John
Donovan's Power Rankings at SI.com/baseball.