Notes: More competition for Cormier

Notes: More competition for Cormier

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When the Braves signed Mark Redman on Friday, Lance Cormier found himself in the same position he was in before Mike Hampton suffered his left oblique strain.

When it was learned on Thursday that Hampton will likely miss at least two months, it looked as though Cormier would be the man to fill the void in the starting rotation. But looking for a more proven and still economical option, the Braves opted to provide Redman with a chance to earn his way onto the 40-man roster.

"What can you do?" Cormier said. "It basically puts you back in the same situation. It changes a little bit. But for the most part, it doesn't. Nothing is guaranteed for anybody, except for a certain few."

When Cormier arrived in camp, it was thought that he and Kyle Davies would compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. Now, with Hampton unavailable, it looks as though Cormier will be competing for that spot with Redman, who has 172 more career starts.

After Redman limited the Blue Jays to one earned run in the first three innings of Saturday's game at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex, Cormier came on to toss four scoreless innings that included five strikeouts.

"Cormier looked great again," manger Bobby Cox said of the 26-year-old right-hander, who has registered 10 strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in his nine Grapefruit League innings.

Unless Redman falls flat on his face over the next couple of weeks, it looks as though he'll have a spot in the rotation. He'll make $750,000 if he's placed on the 40-man roster and has a chance to make another $500,000 in performance bonuses that are based on the number of starts he makes at the Major League level.

Still, Cormier -- who went 2-1 with a 3.25 ERA in five starts last September -- is approaching things the same way that he did at the beginning of camp.

"You look at it as, I'm still just competing against hitters," said Cormier, who has made just 14 career starts. "I'm not competing against anybody else. Obviously, there are other guys vying for the same things."

McBride impresses: When reliever Macay McBride allowed five earned runs in the four innings he completed in his first two Grapefruit League appearances, Cox never showed any true sense of concern.

It was as if he knew that the left-hander would quickly rebound in the impressive fashion that he did on Saturday, when he registered two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning.

"The stuff is there," Cox said. "Spring Training is Spring Training. It's always good to see them in the strike zone any time."

In allowing the Nationals to score four earned runs in two innings on Tuesday, McBride issued two walks to Ryan Zimmerman. Since then he's once again been hearing pitching coach Roger McDowell preaching the necessity of finishing his delivery straight toward the plate.

"I'm still in a bad habit of not doing it," said McBride, who received this same preaching while issuing 20 walks in the 26 2/3 innings he completed before last year's All-Star break. "But today was better."

McBride, who is entering his second full Major League season, says that he has always had a tough time getting results during Spring Training.

"You still want to be competitive," he said. "But at the same time, I know that no matter how much I throw, I just can't come out of the gates firing."

Intense Soriano: After two appearances, it's evident that Rafael Soriano has gained Cox's respect. The right-handed reliever, acquired from the Mariners in December, recorded a strikeout in a scoreless fourth inning against the Blue Jays.

There have been absolutely no signs that Soriano's right shoulder, which was sore earlier this week, will be a problem.

"He has the body language that he's going to get hitters out," Cox said. "He's got great body language that shows that he's in control. He's real intimidating."

Braves bits: Andruw Jones and Brian McCann hit back-to-back homers in Saturday's sixth inning. Jones' two-run blast reached the top of the left-field berm, and McCann's solo shot nearly hit a moving truck beyond the right-field wall. ... Chris Woodward, who has been bothered by a right calf injury, may see his first game action on Tuesday. ... Willy Aybar has been bothered by some soreness near his right wrist. The minor injury, which he sustained playing winter ball, isn't expected to sideline him.

Redman's home page: Throughout the offseason, Redman would begin nearly every day scanning the Internet in hopes of finding out who his next employer would be.

His daily search always began with, which he has set as his home page. Because so many of his searches proved futile over the past four months, he's now joking that he should begin his days with something that provides him a little less stress.

"I turn on my computer and the darn thing pops up," Redman said. "I should have it on eBay or something."

Coming up: The Braves will travel to Jupiter on Sunday to begin a two-game series against the reigning World Series champion Cardinals. Kyle Davies will face Chris Carpenter in the contest, which starts at 1:05 p.m. ET. Mike Gonzalez and Bob Wickman are also scheduled to pitch for the Braves.

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