Originally created 10/07/01

Braves notebook



ATLANTA -- Bobby Cox isn't ready to announce his postseason roster, or which rookies will travel with the team during the playoffs, but three things are certain.

Greg Maddux will start Game 1 Tuesday against either the Cardinals or Astros, Tom Glavine will go in Game 2, and Game 3 belongs to John Burkett.

The Braves won't leave Atlanta until Monday morning and will work out at either Busch Stadium or Enron Field Monday afternoon. They don't have to turn a 25-man roster into the commissioner's office until Tuesday morning, and it may take Cox that long to decide whether to carry 10 pitchers, or drop a position player and go with 11 pitchers. Most of the roster decisions are straight forward, but with Odalis Perez in the Dominican Republic following the death of his brother, the team may open the postseason with just one left-hander (Mike Remlinger) in the bullpen.

Cox will also probably carry three catchers, which is good news for rookie Steve Torrealba, who was recalled from Class AA Greenville last Tuesday to replace Javy Lopez. If Torrealba is included on the roster, that means an infielder will be dropped, probably first baseman Wes Helms.

...: Cox gave catcher Eddie Perez his first start Saturday since May 3 last year. Following two shoulder surgeries, there are questions surrounding the strength of Perez's right shoulder and his throwing ability.

"I'm really anxious to see him play," Cox said.

"I'm nervous," Perez admitted.

...: Scott Sobkowiak was enjoying the Valley of the Sun when his phone rang Friday and he was told to report to Atlanta, pronto. The pitcher, who was in Phoenix preparing to make Saturday's start for the Arizona Fall League's Desert Dogs, instead found himself thrust into the role of major leaguer, though for just two days.

In a procedural move, Sobkowiak was recalled from Greenville (2-5, 5.54 ERA) to provide backup to a pitching staff that needs some rest. Cox indicated before Saturday's game that Sobkowiak would get a chance to pitch because several relievers wanted a day off.

"Get up here, do what I can to help out, give guys a rest, and go from there," Sobkowiak said, demonstrating an understanding of his role. "Monday I head back to Arizona."

Sobkowiak was considered one of the organization's top pitching prospects when he injured his right elbow in April last year and underwent "Tommy John surgery" to replace the medial collateral ligament. He pitched in just four games last season and missed most of this season, pitching in two games with the Gulf Coast League Braves, and 12 games with Greenville.

...: Dave Martinez was in Saturday's lineup in center field, but when Cox discovered he'd had fluid drained from his right knee and received a cortisone shot following Friday's division-clinching celebration, he scratched him and shifted rookie Cory Aldridge to center. Martinez will play today, though he will probably be in just long enough to get an at-bat or two.

Considering he's waited 15 years to play in his first postseason and almost quit the game last winter to spend more time with his wife, Lisa, and their four children, Martinez says dealing with a little pain now is not a big deal.

"I talked about it as soon as I got home," said the 37-year-old outfielder, who played with four teams last season. "I told my wife I love the game, but I love you guys more than the game and it might be time for me to become a fulltime husband and father."

Lisa suggested he take some time and think about it. Then the phone started ringing following the World Series, and one of the suitors was the Braves.

"I didn't know if I wanted to go through another season, and then the Braves called and things got a little better," Martinez said.