With the likelihood that Willis will not be traded or claimed by another organization within the next 10 days, he'll soon be available to every Major League club for the pro-rated portion of the minimum salary. While some clubs may be willing to take the chance that the veteran left-hander could prove to be a bargain, the Braves seem more interested in exploring their internal options.
There's a good possibility that Atlanta could promote right-hander Chris Resop within the next week or two to fill a rotation spot or serve as a reliever. In addition, if they determine they need a left-handed starter, there seems to be a growing feeling that Mike Minor might be close to being Major League-ready.
But while allowing Double-A Mobile seven earned runs in six innings on Thursday night, Minor showed he could benefit from some more Minor League seasoning. The 22-year-old left-hander entered that outing having allowed just two earned runs in the previous 19 innings he had completed for Double-A Mississippi.
-- Mark Bowman