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2009 Protected List – The Almost Automatics

Yesterday we started off our upcoming protected list preview with the No Doubters. The good news is that there were five, so the 2009 Roadrunners look to be off to a good start. Here’s a look at the next group – the “Almost Automatics”. These guys would be No Doubters except for one or two chinks in the armor. Here’s the breakdown:

Chipper Jones
1 Year – $23
.364 Average, 82 Runs, 22 HR, 75 RBI, and 4 steals
Chipper enjoyed a very strong first half, batting over .400 into late May, and ended up winning the NL batting title. Injuries took effect in the second half, and he missed the majority of September, save for pinch hitting duties. He was an All-Star, and led the NL in batting, On-Base percentage, and was 12th in the MVP voting, which was partially due to the Braves’ fade in the standings. The dings against him are his age coming into 2009 (37) and that he’ll likely have a few DL stints. He’s actually moved up in the NL 3B rankings, as Garrett Atkins and Aramis Ramirez disappointed in 2008.

Brian Wilson
1 Years – $10
3-2, 41 Saves, 67 K’s, 4.62 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
All-Star selection and finished 2nd in the NL in saves behind Jose Valverde. Not that great a pitcher, statistically speaking, but was the go-to guy. No other options were around, but now there’s an improved bullpen backing him up.

Mike Gonzalez
2 Years – $5
0-3, 14 Saves, 44 K’s, 4.28 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Picked up in April, he ascended to the closers role mid-season, but unfortunately the Braves lacked save opportunites down the stretch. Good bet for $5.

Matt Lindstrom
2 Years – $10
3-3, 5 Saves, 43 K’s, 3.14 ERA, 1.45 WHIP
Was given the closing opportunity late in the year due to Kevin Gregg’s injury, and did quite well – well enough to have the Marlins trade Greeg to the Cubs.