ATL AM: Atlanta Sports News 5/21


Apr 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Eric O

Hey guys, it’s time for another edition of ATL AM. Let’s jump right in:–We have known this was going to happen for days now, but here is the official announcement that EOF is going to have Tommy John surgery:

"After examining Eric O’Flaherty‘s elbow on Monday afternoon, Dr. James Andrews confirmed that the Braves’ reliever will need to undergo season-ending surgery. The Braves announced O’Flaherty will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday afternoon in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Andrews will perform the procedure.The Braves and O’Flaherty assumed he would need to undergo this procedure after an MRI exam performed Saturday showed a tear in his left elbow’s ulnar collateral ligament. The 28-year-old reliever will likely need to undergo at least 12 months of rehab before being cleared to pitch at the Major League level again."

AJC–In the wake of the EOF injury, as well as Jonny Venters‘ injury and Jordan Walden‘s DL stint, Carroll Rogers looks at what the bullpen will be left with:

"taped near the top of O’Flaherty’s locker is the photo that ran in Sports Illustrated in September of 2011 of the “Three-headed Relief Monster,” with O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters seated on dugout steps, closer Craig Kimbrel leaning against the bullpen wall.Now all that’s left is Kimbrel.Venters underwent season-ending ligament-transplant surgery on Thursday and O’Flaherty is scheduled to undergo ligament-transplant surgery on his elbow Tuesday afternoon.“For that to happen to O’Flaherty it even puts the dagger in a little deeper,” Kimbrel said. “…It definitely hurts losing Jonny and O’Flaherty, but we’re just going to have to pick up and keep on going because the season is not ending right now. We still have a long ways to go.”"–Jay Adams looks at Falcons rookie safety, Kemal Ishmael:

"Central Florida’s Kemal Ishmael, the first of those three picks, looks to have all the potential in the world on paper and comes into next week’s start of OTAs with a solid college career, specifically in the tackling department.Ishmael, in fact, was called one of the surest tacklers in the 2013 draft by Dimitroff — extremely high praise for a seventh-rounder.Here’s why: Ishmael finished his four year career at UCF with 368 total tackles — good enough to be the Knights’ all-time leader in tackles among defensive backs and the third player in UCF history to lead the team in tackles three times during his college career."

AJC–Chris Vivlamore talks about how the honesty on both sides of the coaching search (GM Danny Ferry and “current” coach Larry Drew) makes it extremely unorthodox:

"It is unorthodox, no question. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is conducting a head coach search while Larry Drew still holds the position. Drew, under contract until June 30, is interviewing for other head coaching jobs in the NBA.Not how it’s usually done. What makes the situation unique is that both sides are operating with an approach of complete honesty.Ferry informed Drew following the season that he would talk and interview other candidates for the position while determining the direction of the franchise. Drew is still being considered for the job he did in leading the Hawks to another playoff berth. Ferry certainly didn’t have to inform Drew of his plans. He could have let Drew wait until the end of June before allowing him to move on. Or he could have cut ties with Drew shortly after the season-ending loss to the Pacers."