Steve, is it a mullet? I haven’t seen it, but that’s what it sounds like you’re describing. Good show. I am excited about the next stretch of games because a lot of the “ifs” hanging around this team will finally be answered, and we’ll know how well the team really stacks up against the Phils and Mets. We’ll know if Diaz and JJ are both doomed for a bad year, we’ll know what the deal with The Thumb is, and we’ll know if McOut’s concussion somehow helped him figure out how to hit again, to throw home, to call for a ball, and to maybe not bunt with RISP with the pitcher hitting behind him. I’m almost certain Meds is going back to the pen. No use getting fussy about it. Remember who calls the shots for this team. Diaz and McOut are both going to see the field more than they should, and KK will keep on startin’. If the next couple of weeks go bad for Diaz and McOut, then I bet Wren picks up an outfield bat. I don’t think it will be anyone that requires a lot of premier prospects to be given up. I expect that it would be another Hinske type player that can play both corners and maybe some first. Another reliever couldn’t hurt either. You can’t go into the postseason with a bunch of guys with control issues. The Vulture, Meds, and Wags have been consistently good, other than that….
P.S. Props on the US soccer team mention. It was a great run. It’s amazing that we made the final 16 with the likes of Germany, Argentina, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal, all of which have so many more talented players than the US team. The soccer Yanks gave it their all, and won their group, which hasn’t happened since like 1930.
Clarification on if the Braves have announced anything about KK/Medlen. From DOB a few minutes ago: Jurrjens is scheduled to start Wednesday. Beyond that, Cox absolutely refuses to even discuss which way he/they are leaning regarding Kawakami and Medlen and who’ll get bumped. Sorry, but that’s all. Again yesterday, he cut off questions about that subject, said, “Let us decide. We’ll let you know when we have an announcement.”
Because he knows he will get killed if he declares Medlen is headed to the pen and wants to stave off the howls until the last minute. Given your numbers last night, and the fact that KK was awful coming out of the pen, i think we grin and bear it. The way Hanson has pitched, we are going to need a good long reliever.
Yeah, the one good thing about having Meds in he pen is that when a starter “lays an egg” , then Meds can come in and hold the other team so the offense can get us back in the game. He can also hold a team when Hanson or Lowe have to leave after 6 or less due to a high pitch count. On the other hand, I just think the team can’t win with KK out there, which is what I think Curt mentioned on the show. It’s ridiculous, but it’s the truth.
Crazy thought of the day: I wonder if KK wouldn’t have any trade value given the numbers Steve gave last night night. I mean, Greinke has a terrible record, but I’m sure many teams would look at him as an excellent trade piece. I’m not saying KK is Greinke, but his numbers aren’t awful (other than W-L), and a lot of teams are going to be looking for another starter at the deadline…
Me too. Headin’ home to Tennessee for the 4th and My mom’s B-day this weekend. I’m going to try to make it down to ATL for a game against the Fish. That’s awesome that you’ll be there tonight, Anne. I’ll look for you on ESPN 2.
Do you guys think maybe BC will put Meds in the pen due to a lack of confidence in JJ? Somebody mentioned KK’s long relief work last year and how bad it was. Maybe Bobby anticipates really needing a strong reliever. Just a thought.
Didn’t Terry say many times how badly Heward was hurting but we’d never hear it from him? Isn’t it maybe the hitting coaches job to go to bat for the players. It’s easy to throw Terry under the bus. I kinda like Heyward wanting to play through the pain and not want to bow out. I don’t think we can ever expect him to say he’s too hurt to play. Speaking of hurt…I jammed my thumb during wiffle ball last week and typing on my iPhone kills.
Mara – they’ve got to be weighing that kind of stuff (are we better off with a middling starter -KK-, plus a good long reliever -Meds-, vs. a better starter but a worse long man). To Nate’s point, with Hanson and his short starts of late, plus who knows what we get out of JJ for the first few starts, the long man in the pen may get a lot of work in the coming weeks.
Well, I’ll go on the record as the (one of the) last hold-out. I don’t believe KK belongs in the starting rotation, and I regard his first win as the most unfortunate fluke to hit the club since Jo Jo Reyes’s first decent performances.
KK has looked completely hittable to me since he got here. Sometimes he faces a team for the first time and has some success, but stats show the more a team sees him, the more they crush him (generally). How do we suppose that’s going to work out against NL East opponents as we start to play them more and more often? KK is going to get KILLED. It’s going to get very, very ugly.
Meanwhile, Kris is finally stretched out. The sensible solution would be to use Kris as a starter, skip his starts when off days allowed, and further control his innings with a Mike Minor call up at the end of the season if progress allowed, or in the worst case stretch KK out again and bring him back then. That would be one less round of seeing him for the NL East foes.
I agree having Meds for long relief is very handy, and I’ll grin and bear it like the rest, but I expect KK to really, really struggle as a starter in the second half. It’s so important to be confident in “the next day’s starting pitching.” That suff stops bad streaks and keeps good ones going.
Kris Medlen starting for this team creates wins. KK starting creates losses. I agree Bobby is going to go with KK and I think it’s going to hurt us. Hopefully Meds as a reliever goes some distance in relieving that hurt.
And there’s always the chance I’m just dead wrong and KK will indeed be “middling.” Middling I can accept. Maybe he’ll come out strong with new confidence.
I’m with you, Bub. Not going to be pretty, score-wise, but will be beautiful to watch, baseball-wise. AND I’ve discovered – thanks to my friend Sarah – there exists @ Turner Field this glorious thing called the Season Ticketholder Clubhouse. This lovely air-conditioned room where I can go when it’s hot or rain-delay or just because. They have comfy couches and big-screen TVs AND because they’re on whatever channel broadcasts whatever game, the TVs are on time delay. So, the crowd goes wild, and about 8 seconds later you find out why. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
What happened? What’d Melky do?? TS3 is a winner. I love Woody using the toilet paper square so he didn’t have to touch the toilet seat. The tortilla was hilarious! Great movie. And yes…I cried. Ok…twice.
Wahooooooooo!!!!!!!! I’m happy Bub! Just kidding about the homer…sort of. I’m at my mom’s in the backwoods of the countriest of countriness so I get crappy reception. I was fist pumping and bouncing in my seat as I listened to the game and snapped peas. Great win. Really great. Let me know what kind of shout outs we get on Baseball Tonight. Did I mention no TV? We do have running water just in case you were wondering.
Mara, a little. They mostly talked about Strasburg, though. I think I’ve hear his name 5 million times today. It’s like when one of Favre’s teams is on MNF and all they talk about is him. ESPN gets really tiresome with their love fests.
Just got the following Press Release: ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves announced after tonight’s game that rookie outfielder Jason Heyward will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 27, with a deep bone bruise in his left thumb. Heyward had an MRI on his left thumb this morning and met with Dr. Gary Lourie prior to this evening’s game.
The thumb will be placed in a cast tomorrow (Tuesday, June 29) and will remain in a cast for one week. Heyward will be eligible to come off the disabled list during the All-Star break (July 12-14), and is expected to be back in uniform when the Braves open the second half of the season at home against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, July 15.
Hmmmm…so does that mean he’s not eligable to play in the All-star game? Cause that’s…ya know…sad and stuff. Honestly, I’m glad they’re giving him time to heal since it’s not like he was helping with his steller offense.
I guess it’s not a rumor. Thanks for that insider info, Steve. I was thinking the same thing. I think it’s better to shut him down for a while so he can maybe come back in MANBEAST form for the second half. I’d like to see Omar get some more starts in the outfield. Diaz has been doing well at Gwinett, too, so maybe there’s hope for him. I hope McLouth retires.
Per BBT, there’s a rift between Torre and Dodgers on contract talks. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Braves uniform at the helm. Especially if he could bring Mattingly with him. Probably a long shot, though, particularly with Fredi being available.
Nate, careful what you wish for..I think KK suffers a bit from Steve Avery Syndrome AKA No run support! Sorry not to share the joy tonight but I was giving a banjo lesson (yes, I said Banjo) so stop your snickering out there! My student is gracious enough to practice her exercises while I have the tv on with sound turned down…heh heh heh! I explained to her the significance of S’Berg pitching and we took a short break in the home half of the 7th. Glorious stuff…errors and all!
I look forward to Diaz coming back. Heyward can use some time off as Chipper and McCann heat up.
I just scanned through the comments and haven’t had time to listen to the show. Go Braves!
Just look at it. In all its glory. Might be bumpy for a couple weeks, but this will even out into a rockin’ rotation in the second half.
And with Minor’s promotion today – oh my goodness, I just realized: they’re doing exaclty what I said! They’re planning to keep Meds in the rotation until the # of innings gets dangerous, and then promote Minor!! I’m a genius!!!
Mara, Medlen only pitched (small # I can’t remember) innings last season. It’s dangerous to arm health of young pitchers to increase the load too much from one year to the next. If he pitched the typical # of innings for the rest of his starts this year, the increase could get close to 80 innings, I think. Way too much.
One way to combat that is to skip him when there’s an offday. But another perfectly good way is to get close to the desired number – but not too close, cuz you’ll still want him available for relief – and then replace him.
Meh. Not really. Not in an especially funny mood. But especially HAP HAP HAPPY!!!
High on some severe Braves love. What a year, and it’s not half over. Can you list the great games? This one was right up there. Steve said it right, we had a gameplan versus this kid, and it worked. Just awesome, awesome stuff.
And how about Opening Day? Or the Phillies game with the Heward/Glaus/McLouth homers? Or the Brooks squeeze against the Twins? The Glaus bottom of the ninth homer against KC? So many memorable games already this year.
The Memorial Day thrashing of the Sillies was pretty good ,too. I think we took first place with that game (not positive, though). Opening Day was phenomenal. Steve, I completely forgot about the triple homer comeback. What about Heyward’s walk-off hits against the Reds and Rockies? There’s just been too many to remember them all. Last night was so huge because it gives us so much momentum coming off a tough week. The team has to be really feeling good about themselves. I am so proud. Go Braves.
I think we are all hesitant to think how much this team is about to rock because Hanson and Jurrjens are up in the air. But in the second half, oh man, I see some tiny little numbers in the Runs Allowed column for this team.
Oh, it’s going to be good. So good. We’ve forgotten that we assembled a team based on run prevention because the offense surprised us and the pitching hasn’t quite put it all together. But look out for this rotation in August. There shall be streaks. Nice, long streaks.
Keith Law has moved Teheran and Vizcaino into his TOP 25. Wow. I mean, we JUST graduated Hanson and Heyward, lost a whole farm’s worth in the Tex trade, and here we are.
11. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta. A big fastball, a plus change and an improved breaking ball have helped him dominate at two levels this year — and it’s not just being in pitcher-friendly Myrtle Beach. Six of the nine Colombians to reach the big leagues came from Cartagena — as does Teheran. I’m still waiting for our first prospect from Macondo. Previous ranking: No. 63
19. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Atlanta. He’s producing outstanding numbers so far with a plus fastball/above-average curve and a very low-effort delivery. Previous ranking: No. 43
Jurrjens will post a six plus ERA and go to the DL
Hanson will post a 4.50
Kawakami will post a 4.50 with one win
Lowe another 4+ ERA
Escobar, McCann, and Chipper under .265 Batting averages
Heyward .250 and to the DL
McLouth .167 and to the DL
Diaz .178 and to the DL
Where would you suggest we would be in the standings?
Mara, I highly doubt he’s ready. I look for a rusty start. 5-6 innings, 3-4 runs would be a major victory for me. I’m considering his first 3 starts extended Spring Training as long as it yields a good and healthy JJ down the stretch.
But I’ve been so wrong lately that it’s a pleasure to type out my bad (though honest) feelings.
“Mara” – we missed each other at the coffee place…maybe tomorrow I can at least take dictation for him. (…and if Ballpark’s ladyfriend reads the comments section, that was NOT an euphemism!) (though for the record, Ballpark Frank is quite the looker)
Trading for BJ Upton is like trading for a brain tumor. We already have one Yunel. We don’t need another. I live in Tampa, and he is everyone’s least favorite player for a reason. I think if they were going to go after anyone, then Willingham would be the best choice. Decent power, always hits around .265, decent arm. If it requires a Minor, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Dunn, or Kimbrel, then I wouldn’t do any trade.
Lol, Bub , I posted without reading what you wrote (didn’t refresh the page after Wade’s posts). Looks like you and I have similar thoughts on the subject of Sir BJ. And yes, he is worse than Yunel. This is Yunel’s first down year. P.S. That’s right, I keep the ABT page around all day baby! Suck it AJC!
- Glaus absolutely DESTROYS the ball in bp. I know it doesn’t mean anything but, they are majestic shots.
- Prado busts his tail even taking grounders during bp.
- Melky does not look nearly as heavy in person as he does on TV. Same goes for Mac.
- Weird and kind of jarring to see Heyward with the cast.
Sounds like Arodys Vizcaino is headin’ towards Tommy John surgery. That sucks. It’s only a partial tear right now, but there is hope that it heals with scare tissue covering the tear. Tommy John is still a high possibility in the end.
Great news, by the way, on the Civil Rights game here in 2011 & 2012. I’ve mentioned before that I went to the first one in Memphis at the Redbirds stadium some years back. Really great, historically, and great for the local kids.
Boog showin’ his former team some love on the air. Mets still up 6-4. Did the Marlins GM actually look at this bullpen before the season and say “You know, I think this is gonna work. We can contend.” In the end it probably cost Fredi a job. Now it’s 6-5. Bot 8th. Man on 2nd. 2 out.
Tcc – yes, there was definitely some goof ball with a vuvuzela last night. Sounded like he was somewhere behind home plate. Mentioning it last night felt too hackneyed, but yes – it was very annoying.
So, I left the stadium right when JJ gave up that first single in the 6th and then turned on the radio in my car right as Moylan induced the double play. What a great game. JJ looked so much better than I expected and hoped for. I guess we have an answer about how much stock to put in to his results in AAA …
Nice win, great to see JJ back! I really hope that rumors about Haren going to Philadelphia don’t amount to anything. Those Philthies just don’t know how to give up, do they? Either way I loved watching the game yesterday, & I enjoyed this week’s show! GO BRAVES!!!
I want to start to hear rumors about who the Braves are looking at. Even if none of it comes to anything, I want to believe that they are out there trying to do everything they can to make this team a champion.
Joe Johnson’s contract would make him a $20 mill a year 35-year-old by the time it will be done. I was listening to Mad Dog Radio yesterday and the Knicks fans were calling in beside themselves over the thought of him playing for their team. And the Hawks fans were calling into 790 today killing the possibility of the move. Haven’t we seen the best of what he has to offer? We are never getting out of the 2nd round. Here’s hoping for a sign and trade.
Sorry Bub…I’m distracted by a mean, blood drawing game of speed scrabble. I’m very excited about MM. It’s hard for me to keep up with the goings on in the Big leagues much less the minors. I’m ashamed to say I never really paid much attention at all until this year in fact.
Well, Minor’s our big draft pick from last year that most (including me) hated. It was Atlanta’s first chance to draft high in a long time, and instead of picking a guy with a super-high potential, we picked a guy who would be ready sooner, but wouldn’t project to be more than a #4 or #5 starter. Also the pick was criticized because it cost less money.
A Vanderbilt star, Minor’s fastball rested around 88 or 89 MPH and he relied on crafty pitching and command. Not really a stud or anything. Not many strikeouts.
But this year his fastball speed jumped up to 92-95 and he’s been blowing guys away, striking out hitters at a very high rate. He’s worked through the system very quickly, landing today at the highest level short of Atlanta (Sorry if this is talking down to you, I’m sure you know some of this), and he knocked it out of the park in his first start. Well, reverse that, since he’s a pitcher.
He’s looking very ready very soon (assuming he pitches like this in AAA regularly, which might not happen of course). Probably projecting to be Medlen-or-better ready for Atlanta by the start of next year. Or if you believe my crackpot theory, this year, to replace Medlen at the very end before his innings total gets too high.
Bub – I’m crazy excited about the Mike Minor ascension. Especially after Kevin Goldstein tried to rain on that parade in February when we spoke to him.
Mara – tonight will be tough. Johnson is their ace and has been pitching like it. In his last 5 starts, his ERA is .118 and teams’ BA is .187 against him. But, we’re at home and Medlen’s got to be feeling extremely good about his first start as a formal member of the starting rotation.
According to Fangraphs, Heyward, Hinske, Venters, Medlen, Hanson, and Glaus have combined to provide 42 million dollaras worth of free market value (in other words, if you add up what these players would have earned so far this year if they made market value for their level of play) … 42 million dollars just so far this year.
Their salaries for that period of time: grand total of $3.5 million.
Seeing Saito reminds me: I noticed last night that when he came in to pitch, Brian’s hand gestures are incredibly big and deliberate – like a Catholic blessing himself – not little gestures in the crotch. I never noticed for Kawakami…is that a Japanese-style thing that Brian has taught himself to do for Saito, you think?
Braves look great. Picking each other up. Having fun. Timely hitting. Winning in all kinds of different ways. So much fun to watch. SO MUCH fun to watch. 3 games up on the Mets. Phillies FIVE back. I love winning baseball.
Those seven players across half a season are worth 42 million.
Our payroll for half a season = about 45 million.
So, in a way, talking in terms of market value, we’re paying 3 million dollars per half season for: Hudson, Jurrjens, Chipper, Lowe, Wagner, Saito, Moylan, McCann, Escobar, Ross, etc, etc… the whole team besides those seven.
Can’t Sleep. I shall now babble aimlessly about why I am more excited about this team than I’ve ever been before:
First, has it dawned on you guys why, exactly On Base Percentage + Bullpen + Bench has put us in such a dominant postion when our regular hitters are having off years and our pitching staff has been bested by the Mets and Phillies (until recently, now we are catching both of them)?
I think I have it: listen to how obvious it is.
The Braves high OBP is running up the pitch counts of the opposing starter. This isn’t new, but I mention it because it’s the foundation of the whole strategy. The other starter gets tired. You know all those singles we hit and don’t drive them in? Well, it sucks not to score, but those are extra batters for the starter to face and extra stress. A pitcher can only work out of so many jams before it wears him down. So, we break their starters. If we can’t break them by scoring, we just tire them out. See Strasburg, Johnson, Anibal. We sent them all packing an inning earlier than usual.
Once we are into the other team’s bullpen, unless that team is the Padres, we have two huge advantages, namely: better pitchers than them and better hitters than them. Because our bench is superior as well as our BP.
See how that works? The construction of both teams start to change late, and the Braves are running another A-team out there while other teams are turning to their B-guys. Thus, all these late wins.
But that’s just one way of expressing what we all knew intuitively: Braves scrap out wins late with a good bench and pen.
BUT, this is where it gets good. That’s only the HARD way for Atlanta to win games. The way to win without having the better starter every time, or the best line up.
But NOW… in the second half of this season, that all changes. Hanson looks poised to return to dominance. The kid is a quick study. Jurrjens looks poised to do the same. Hudson is already there, and look up his career July and August winning percentages, they are stunning.
Medlen is the freaking bees knees. And Lowe will give us a chance more times than not, and will make up for his layed eggs with a few dominating outings when the sinker is really falling.
In other words, this starting rotation is about to be what we envisioned. Make no mistake, it hasn’t been this far. We’ve gotten to first place WITHOUT a dominant Hanson or Jurrjens. But get ready for long strings of games where our starters give up 2 runs or less. That’s coming soon.
When Heyward gets back, and Escobar takes off, this team is going to explode offensively. I believe those two will be major productive in the second half.
We got where we are now with our OFFENSE, did you guys know that? When we took over first, we were way behind the Phils and Mets in pitching. But we had the most runs scored in the league. We’re going to get that offense BACK in the second half!
When everything settles, this team will have an A+ rotation, and A+ bullpen, a B+ offense, an A+ bench, and a C+ defense. This team will EXPLODE.
Even if ALL those things don’t happen all the way, I think most of those things will happen most of the way. So, maybe Heyward is somewhere between his April dominance and his June slump. Hanson lays maybe 2 more eggs this year. Prado and Hudson regress 10% or so. We have lots of breathing room to absorb those blows.
Braves will win the NL East by 7 games unless Mets get Lee. If the Mets get Lee, Braves will win the NL East by 3 games.
“Braves will win the NL East by 7 games unless Mets get Lee. If the Mets get Lee, Braves will win the NL East by 3 games.” That made me laugh out loud, Bub. When I read the first half of that sentence, I didn’t think the second half would end that way.
And kind of uncanny riff on the starting rotation. We’ve planned that as our Long Ball for tonight’s show.
Ahhhh, five all stars. Am I the only one who feels the validation of the Braves’ return to relevance just went up a big notch?
I’m proud for all of them, but especially for Prado and Hudson. Votto not making it shows that deserving to be there doesn’t always get you there. So I’m thrilled that both of our super-deserving guys made it. I hope they fix the selection system soon.
How about Omar. I think it is the most amazing thing that a utility player made the team on his clutchness. So great that Charlie Manuel picked him. Disappointed for Glaus but his comeback player of the year award is in the mail.