Black has chance to evaluate evolving bullpen

Black has chance to evaluate evolving bullpen

ATLANTA -- Bullpen consistency has been a staple of manager Bud Black's teams since he took over prior to the 2007 season, though there's been nothing constant about the personnel in this season's bullpen.

Case in point: Heading into Thursday's game against the Braves, only Luke Gregerson remains from the seven-man bullpen that began the season.

Five of the other six members -- Andrew Cashner, Anthony Bass, Micah Owings, Huston Street and Joe Thatcher -- are all currently on the disabled list. The other, Ernesto Frieri, was traded to the Angels in May.

"Our bullpen has been through major changes in personnel based on a number of factors," said Black. "... Injuries, performance and relievers becoming starters."

In addition to Gregerson, the current bullpen consists of rookies Miles Mikolas, Tom Layne, Brad Brach, Dale Thayer, Cory Burns and Brad Boxberger. Everyone one of those pitchers started the season in the Minor Leagues.

"The names now are a lot different than we anticipated," Black said. "But it gives us an opportunity to see what we've got moving forward."