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What to do with Willy

He was supposed to be the player we got in the Betemit-Baez trade last year that would make that trade look good in the long run, but after suffering an injury last year and several more this winter/spring, Willy Aybar seems like a total bust. To top it all off he has received a huge reprimand from an organization that does not usually have to take disciplinary measures with its players. Here are the unfortunate details:

Willy Aybar's enigmatic career took another unwelcome turn Sunday when the Braves infielder, already on the disabled list with a sore hand, was suspended without pay for three games for violating a team rule.

Team officials declined to specify the infraction, but several Braves said Aybar failed to report to Turner Field on Saturday and Sunday for treatment and didn't call to explain his absence.

Aybar, 24, wasn't on the flight, and several Braves couldn't recall seeing him since Thursday. His suspension began Sunday, though it was unknown if anyone had reached him to let him know.

I didn't even know he was still on the team," third baseman Chipper Jones said.

Basically, he could be lying in a ditch somewhere or on a bender or who knows what. This is a very strange situation to say the least. From Chipper's comments it sounds like Aybar has been abandoning the responsibilities of his rehab. Add that to the frustrations which the team and Bobby Cox felt towards him during spring training, and Aybar's days in Atlanta might be numbered.

Aybar was delayed in getting to spring training for about two weeks because of visa problems, and then had to sit out much of the last two weeks because of a hand injury he sustained while playing winter ball. While I was down in Florida at the Braves' spring camp Cox's frustrations were readily apparent regarding Aybar. It seems that the general feeling was that the small nagging injuries were being overblown, and that Aybar wasn't doing all he could to try and stay in the lineup.

This suspension may also have been something building for a long time. I would think that teams would usually give players a warning first and then suspend them. Perhaps because he missed so many days in a row they decided to come down hard the first time. Of course, this could all just be a big miscommunication between the Braves and Aybar - a message on either end may not have been received or interpreted properly. We'll keep a close eye on this situation and see what transpires.

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