Notes: New faces in Braves' 'pen

Notes: New faces in Braves' 'pen

ATLANTA -- Exactly one week after wanting to be anywhere but snow-covered Buffalo, Peter Moylan and Steve Colyer found themselves right where they wanted to be.

Reacting to Chad Paronto's move to the disabled list and Macay McBride's continued control problems, the Braves filled two bullpen vacancies by promoting both Moylan and Coyler from Triple-A Richmond. The two relievers received word late Friday night and took a 7:45 a.m. flight that brought them to Atlanta on Saturday.

"Any time you have a team that starts off hot, you always want to be a part of that and contribute any way possible," said Colyer, who like Moylan, joins an Atlanta bullpen that factored heavily in the 7-1 record the Braves had before losing on Thursday and Friday.

While they were in their adjoining hotel rooms in Richmond on Friday, Coyler and Moylan were watching the Braves play the Marlins.

When they saw Paronto exit with a right leg injury, they knew Moylan could be getting his call back to the Majors. And when McBride issued two more walks to give him 11 in his last two innings, there was reason for Colyer to believe he could be returning to the Majors for the first time since making 41 appearances for the 2004 Detroit Tigers.

"I'm glad to be back," said Colyer, a 28 year-old left-handed reliever who certainly provided a positive impression this spring, registering 12 strikeouts and issuing just one walk in the 14 Grapefruit League innings that he completed as a non-roster invitee.

Throughout his professional career, Colyer has struggled with his control. This year, he has found the consistency that has been lost by McBride, who was surprised to arrive on Saturday and find that he'd been optioned to Richmond.

"Am I happy about it? No," McBride said. "But do I think it could be the best thing that ever happened? Yeah, I think so. I already needed something to put a chip on my shoulder, and this is it."

McBride entered this season targeted to serve as Atlanta's situational left-handed reliever. Early Friday evening, Cox said he thought the 25 year-old southpaw could fix his mechanical flaws. But a few hours later it was determined that he'd need to fix him problems in the less stressful atmosphere that Richmond will provide.

"He needs to gain some confidence right now and the only way to do that is get down there, relax a little while, and start hitting the corners again," Cox said of McBride, who overcame the control problems that he experienced at the beginning of last year.

Paronto's right adductor muscle (located in the groin region) strain had greatly improved by the time he arrived at the stadium on Saturday. Tests showed that his strength was about 80 percent better than it had been about 15 hours earlier. But still, the Braves needed to disable him to make room for Moylan, another groundball specialist whose sinker has quickly become a valuable weapon.

Moylan made great strides with his control and impressed the Braves by not issuing a walk in six big-league appearances last September. Instead of throwing the 95 mph sidearm fastball that got him signed from the Australian team that competed in last year's World Baseball Classic, he's more apt to throw his sinker, slider and a fastball that has varying speeds.

"I've just been changing speeds and hitting my spots," said Moylan, who had registered three strikeouts in two scoreless innings for Richmond this year.

Versatile and valuable Diaz: When Matt Diaz had trouble finding Major League roster spots with the Royals and Devil Rays, he heard management label him a defensive liability. Since arriving in Atlanta, some of the only people labeling him with this tag are quickly changing their tune.

This was on display in the fourth inning of Friday night's loss, when Dan Uggla attempted to turn a double into a triple. Diaz raced into the left field corner, turned and provided a pinpoint throw that nabbed Uggla as he dove head first into third base.

"He does that as good as anybody," Cox said. "He's a good athlete."

Diaz understands that he might not be graceful. But in fairness, he has proven to be an adequate left fielder, and has displayed his versatility when he moved to first base in the eighth inning of Friday's loss. His previous experience at the position came during three Spring Training games with the Royals in 2005.

But during his short stint there, he threw out a runner at home to complete a double play and also scooped a throw out of the dirt.

"I'm a jack of all trades and a master of none," said Diaz, who entered Saturday, hitting .350 (7-for-20).

Feeling for Beauchamp: Cox met Jim Beauchamp in 1967, while the two played together at Richmond. He grew even closer when Beauchamp served on his Atlanta coaching staff from 1991-98.

Now as leukemia and pneumonia have put Beauchamp, 67, in a dire position at an Atlanta-area hospital, Cox finds himself fearing that he could soon lose somebody that has been a friend to him and the Braves organization.

Beauchamp, who has spent the past nine seasons as an instructor in the Braves Minor League system, began feeling sick during the early days of Spring Training this year.

When Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Ryan Langerhans, third-base coach Brian Snitker, bench coach Chino Cadahia and Cox visited Beauchamp on Tuesday, they were forced to wear sanitized gowns and masks. In the days that have followed, they haven't received encouraging news.

"He's been a part of our organization forever," Cox said. "All of these young kids love him. He taught all of the Major League outfielders how to play the outfield."

Coming Up: The Braves will conclude their three-game series against the Marlins on Sunday afternoon. They'll send Tim Hudson (1-0, 0.64) to the mound to face Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 5.40).

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.