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Boyer gets fresh start with trade to St. Louis

Boyer gets fresh start with trade to St. Louis
Washington --- Two days after the Braves designated reliever Blaine Boyer for assignment, he got the fresh start the Braves thought he needed, though it required a trip to the airport.

Boyer was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday for minor league outfielder Brian Barton.

Boyer, a Marietta native who spent nine years in the Braves' organization, reports to St. Louis today.

"I'll miss Atlanta, but I'm fired up right now to be a Cardinal," Boyer said from his Atlanta-area home not long after speaking to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak and manager Tony La Russa.

He struggled this season, allowing six runs in 1 1/3 innings over three games for an unsightly 40.50 ERA.

Blessed with a fastball in the mid-90s, Boyer was second among Braves relievers in appearances (76) last year and had career highs in innings pitched (72) and strikeouts (67). But hitters read him better over the second half. He had a 14.43 ERA in 25 appearances since July 26.

"Sometimes when your time is up, it's just up," Boyer said. "I lost a little bit of confidence of Skip's [manager Bobby Cox] and that's understandable. . . . I had a great spring. For whatever reason I just got in a funk. I pitched three games, and two of them were rough. I was the odd man out. Baseball is a business and sometimes it's difficult."

After designating him Saturday to make room for Jo-Jo Reyes on the 25-man roster, the Braves had 10 days to trade or release Boyer, who was out of minor league options.

In exchange, the Braves acquired the 27-year-old Barton, who will be assigned to Class AAA Gwinnett. Barton played 82 games last year for the Cardinals after they claimed him in the Rule 5 draft from Cleveland in December 2007. He hit .268 with 13 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs. He also went 11-for-38 (.289) as a pinch hitter.

Barton is a rocket scientist. Really. He attended the University of Miami where he was one semester shy of a degree in aerospace engineering. He had undergraduate internships with Boeing and NASA.

"So many of our top young outfielders are left-handed," said Braves general manager Frank Wren, referring to Gwinnett outfielders like Brandon Jones and Gregor Blanco. "He is a right-handed hitter with power. His ability to play multiple outfield positions makes him very intriguing for us."

Barton was hitting only .107 for Class AAA Memphis. But he has hit .310 in five minor league seasons, with 38 home runs and 73 doubles in 383 games.


Catcher Brian McCann, who has been suffering from blurred vision and dryness in his left eye, is scheduled to meet with an eye doctor in Washington today. McCann, in a 1-for-20 slump, has been using antibiotic ointment and drops since Saturday. He had Lasik surgery before last season and, in a worst-case scenario, could require more surgery and perhaps a stint on the disabled list. ... Garret Anderson, who left Sunday's game in Pittsburgh with a tight left quadriceps, was unable to play Monday. Anderson had already missed four starts with a calf strain. ... Yunel Escobar was available after taking three games to rest his sore abdominal muscle. He was hurt Thursday while jumping in the on-deck circle before an at-bat against the Marlins.


* Who: at Nationals

* When: 7:05 p.m. today

* TV; radio: SPSO; 640/96.1

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 21, 2009

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