The Braves entered this season with video coordinator Rob Smith being responsible for advising manager Fredi Gonzalez as to which plays should be challenged by the replay-review process. But after a play was not reviewed during a 1-0 April 25 loss to the Red Sox, the club determined that Smith would be best served solely focusing on his responsibilities to provide players and coaches with video footage used for scouting and in-game adjustments.
"We've been looking around to try to ease some of the burden that we put on Rob Smith," Gonzalez said prior to Friday's game against the D-backs. "Buddy's name came to mind two or three days ago and we interviewed him yesterday, we talked about it, and we feel like he's a guy that can help Rob.
"I don't know if you've ever seen that video room. Rob's office looks like the Starship Enterprise, with video cameras and monitors and buttons," Gonzalez added, with a laugh. "Rob's in charge of our minor leagues, the video stuff and the new stadium putting all that stuff together. It was more support for Rob."
Carlyle made 83 of his 150 career big league appearances while pitching for the Braves from 2007-09. The 38-year-old right-hander ended his playing career after the Mets released him during this year's Spring Training. He won a career-high eight games for the Braves in 2007 and notched his only save when he recorded the final two outs for the Mets during their 2015 Opening Day win over the Nationals.
Gonzalez said he can see an expanded role for Carlyle down the road.
"He can help out throwing batting practice, hitting fungoes, shadow [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] around and maybe we can develop him into a young pitching coach somewhere down the line. Kind of like what we did with Horacio," Gonzalez said.
"He's a guy that's been in the big leagues, up and down, played in Japan, played in Korea. I think he said 40-something transactions in his career," he added. "Go to Japan and get sent down to the minor leagues in Japan, come back up. Not one bitter sentence out of any of that. He's got 20 years in the game, five or six in the big leagues and just an all-around great guy. He's a plus for our organization."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.