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Atlanta Braves Suffering From Lack Of Right-Handed Relief

Amidst the news of Julio Teheran being called up to make his major league debut on Saturday and Roy Oswalt being scratched for the same day, the Braves have announced a couple injuries that went to worst-case scenario rather quickly.

Peter Moylan will likely need season-ending back surgery for a bulging disc, according to the AJC. Moylan hit the shelf two weeks ago for back pain, which was diagnosed as a bulging disc. He has a history of back pain like this, but this time it appears bad enough to require surgery. An epidural and two weeks of rest has not helped, and the pain has actually spread. He will get a second opinion on the surgery, but it appears imminent.

Triple-A reliever Stephen Marek will need Tommy John surgery, according to the AJC. Marek pitched 9.1 scoreless innings to begin his season and prompted many to wonder why he was not called up instead of Cory Gearrin to replace Moylan. However, Marek has since allowed five runs in 1.1 innings due to elbow pain, and he will undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season and some of next season. It's tough luck for Marek, who seems to have nothing go right for him when it comes to making the big leagues.

So what does it mean for the Braves bullpen? A lot more of Gearrin and Jairo Asencio, probably. We will also likely see other right-handed arms otherwise kept in Triple-A, such as Juan Abreu and Anthony Varvaro, who are currently on the 40-man roster. Those that might be moved to the 40-man for this situation include Scott Proctor and Rodrigo Lopez.

It's also likely that the Braves go to the trade market to add a right-handed reliever at some point. Scott Linebrink is failing in his role and Cristhian Martinez is struggling due to misuse. Atlanta needs some help to replace Moylan, and the in-house options aren't looking that great.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.