The Braves designated Bob Wickman for assignment today. The former Atlanta closer gave up the game-winning homer to Adam Dunn last night, and today they’re letting him go.
While I have thought all along that Wickman was perhaps the third-best reliever on the team (thus making it unfortunate that he got to pitch in so many close games), he is probably still a league-average reliever. The way the Braves’ bullpen has been stressed so far this season, I have a hard time believing that this is entirely an on-the-field decision.
The way the Braves, Bobby Cox, Schuerholz, and everyone else in the organization spoke about Wickman, it was clear that he was the #1 Guy, Closer (TM), and Ace Reliever. Did Bob do something awful in the clubhouse that made the team dismiss him, or is this a ridiculous reactionary move to blowing one too many games? I suppose we’ll find out over the weekend.
The article above suggests that Wickman complained about being used in non-save situations, which is reprehensible, but is this really the best solution?
For what it’s worth, Wickman has a career 125 ERA+, and his ERA has been better than average every year since 1994. I’m about ready to throw in the towel.