Nice interview. Sounds like a nice fella. Hey, can he start in center field? Sounds like he’s already on a payroll of sorts. He couldnt be worse than McLouth. If Bobby starts mcLouth tomorrow night (Did i mention ill be there? I swear I will pay the biggest drunkest guy to run on the field and head butt him giving him another concussion. Curt’s prediction of weeks of scuffling makes me nervous. Our 5 game lead seems very small right now.
Mara – funny you say that about the 5 game lead. We had that very same conversation last night after recording the show. Enjoy the game tomorrow. Pretty cool that you get to see Strasburg. Looking forward to reading your stuff from the game.
Hey guys, good show and cool interview. I have to agree with everything that has been said about McLouth. It was fun to watch the Braves in person yesterday. I wish we could have gotten a win, but it’s baseball. Wins are no guarantee. That said, it was very painful to watch our offense- lots of walks and singles, not many runs. I thought we had Volstad’s number after the first few hitters but no such luck. I would love to see us get a power bat, but it’s going to cost us some prospects for sure. The 5 game lead does seem really small, especially with the Phils getting Happ back and pondering an Oswalt deal. I’m worried about Hanson tomorrow night. I don’t think he handles going up against other “studs” very well. He seems to be trying to out-throw the other starting pitcher. I felt that way when he faced Mike Leake and Justin Verlander, and I think he had a similar game in LA against Kershaw or Billingsly. Hopefully he will handle the Strasburg matchup. He will need to hold the Natinals to only a few with the way our offense is going right now. Hopefully we have a good week. The Phils are playing the D’Backs and Nats this week after going for a 4-game sweep of the Rockies today.
Re Curt’s #7: Because of Bobby’s lineups the last few years (see Frenchy, see KJ, see Greg Norton as two very recent examples) I’m initially conditioned to believe he’ll do something crazy such as NOT sit McLouth. But when I look at his actions this year (all the lineup shuffling in particular) I think that Bobby’s had enough of Nate. I don’t hold out tremendous hope for a big bat by the end of the week, but I’m 99% confident that we see mostly Melky/Blanco in CF for the remainder of the year. I feel much better about this prediction if Melky is starting in CF Tuesday night against the Nats.
I’ve been digging through the internet for trade rumors. Nothing that appealing out there. Steve, I’m losing hope on a big bat, too, especially if Wren is reluctant to give up prospects. I can’t say I blame him. It’s almost like whatever we do this year is gravy, and that Wren is really trying to build up talent in the organization for a better shot in 2011, 2012, and so on. I’m also starting to wonder if the Phils can get Oswalt without giving up prospects that they are supposedly not going to give up. The Cards don’t appear to be able to offer a legit package of prospects for Oswalt either. This year could be a very uneventful trade deadline.
This from Talking Chop:
Stat of the Series, Part 2
Jason Heyward reached base as many times in this series (12 times in 16 PA) as Nate McLouth has since May 23rd. In 21 games and 66 PA for McLouth in that time, he has 6 hits, 5 walks, and 1 hit-by-pitch. That’s good for a .102 / .185 / .119 line.
The biggest problem, I see, is that you gave some teams reason for optimism. Doubtful that the Phils weren’t going to be players, but maybe now the Mets and Marlins believe they are in it too. So instead of dumping players and tanking for the rest of the season they hold onto guys and maybe even pick players up. This makes your life much more difficult down the road when you have to play them 100 times before the end of the season. If you win just 2 of the 3 games you blew last week, the Mets and Marlins are cashing out right now. Now the Marlins are only like 5.5 out of the WC. You gave them life, and incentive.
Curt, to me, keeping other teams from cashing out is a good thing. As you say, the Phillies weren’t going to anyway. The Phillies have to play the Mets and Marlins a bunch of times, too. So giving those teams life and incentive hurts our competition as much as it hurts us.
Meanwhile, if the Braves do hold on and take the division, they’ll have managed to do so while making those non-cashing-out teams a little weaker for the future as their most sellable players lose trade value. They’ll have stayed in it for nothing.
If the Braves, as constituted, can’t hold off the Marlins and Mets as constituted, then May and June were an illusion anyway. Besides, a sell-off is sometimes the catalyst for a weird hot streak, so it wouldn’t be a guarantee those teams would go away.
Maybe the Braves lost the Cody Ross trade, though, from letting the Marlins stay in.
I hope Wren will stiffen up and, in spite of the shrinking 4.5 game lead, refuse to part with key prospects. This team’s only chance at a prolonged winning window is holding onto cheap talent. Hanson’s switch to Scott Boras is a reminder of what we are up against. When JJ and Tommy roll out of town in 2014 and 2015, we need two of Minor, Teheran, Vizcaino, and Delgado to be entering their sophomore years or so. That’s a lot to hope for even if we hold onto all four. Losing one or two of them would almost guarantee major rotation depletion.
Braves just have to weather a storm. We knew there’d be one. They are a good team. Good enough, in my mind to lose their entire lead and still come back and win the division.
Bin, I like the Hinske at 1st bit and I’m kinda inclined just to platoon Melky and Blanco. I really like our team minus McOut and Troy’s tired legs. Who needs Hart and we already have a Ross thank you very much.
Bub, I love the Freeman idea. Glaus looks like he could use some time off. Who knows, with some rest he might start hitting like it’s May again. Hinske at first isn’t a bad idea, especially considering Wren signed him so he could play 1st every once in a while. Put Omar in LF to hit the righties.
We’re watching the Rays game, and Jimmy Leyland just got ejected. It takes that guy all of 5 seconds talking to an ump to get tossed, and he’s usually right. I think he was comparing this umpire to fertilizer.
Bub, I like the point. We only play the Phils 6 more times, so it certainly won’t hurt to have teams giving them their best. And, as we know, often times at the ends of seasons, the most dangerous teams are the ones with nothing to play with. They’re loose and throwing it all out there. Teams often get tight when they have a lot on the line.
I’ll be curious to see what kinds of moves get made. Sounds like the Phils are not getting Oswalt. He’s a country boy and really doesn’t to play for them. And the Cards can’t get a deal together. Thinking now is that he pulls a Halladay and forces a trade to the team of his choosing in the off season.
I repeat that I don’t want the Braves making some knee jerk trade that loses a big piece and gets nothing in return. But it seems there are some guys who can be had for some minor items. Maybe Clint Sammons has some value. Diory is having a nice season.
What about Prado at 1st? Infante at 2nd or Conrad? Just to spell Glaus in some games.
They just won’t. I would imagine that McLouth does not have a split contract where he was getting paid less to be in Gwinnett. Blanco most likely does. In the majors he makes the minimum. In the minors he makes 60k. McLouth is collecting his millions wherever he plays.
Curt, to answer a question you asked a few days ago, Luke Scott has started 14 games in LF. He hit another HR tonight while going 2-4. He’s playing above his career numbers, but he could be one of those guys that wouldn’t take a bunch of frontline pitching prospects to get. The cons on Scott are that he obviously wouldn’t be playing CF and he doesn’t solve the right-handed power bat issue.
I’m seeing more stuff about moving Heyward to center if need be. Not ideal, but getting the best guys out there, and as you say, if they can’t find a CF, they could pick up a corner outfielder and make do.
For some reason, stupid or not, every time I think of the Kid in center, I get worried about him injuring himself. I don’t know why, completely unfounded, but I feel it all the same. I say put McLouth in single A ball, eat the money, and bring Blanco back into the mix. Bobby’s instincts about who to play and when have been pretty good this year. Between all of our bench stars, I think we can make do. I don’t see any substantial upgrades for what we would have to give up.
UNLESS . . . we take advantage of Frank McCourt’s upcoming divorce settlement and steal someone from the Dodgers. Kemp? Ethier? If we were willing to take on some contracts, I think we might could make something work. Would you give up Medlen and someone from the farm plus picks to get one of those guys? I might.
Curtis – I know, I know . . . but I have a feeling that the Dodgers are going to have to do something at the trade deadline, or McCourt is going to end up with a very expensive team, one that he can’t afford. It should be interesting what happens, but I bet the unload some contracts in the next week. Maybe he is going to sell the team. Who knows?
I would like to see them aquire Jose Bautista from the Blue Jays.
He plays OF and 3B, which could help us in the long run should Chipper decide to call it a career (as I don’t believe we have much behind him in the minors…).
Can help this year (OF w/ pop – have to move Jay Hey to center – not my favorite thing, but do-able) and could play 3B in the future as well as long term this year should Chipper go down this year for an extended period of time.
I think it is worth a couple of good minor league prospects…
Haven’t finished listening to the entire show, but my favorite part of the lead-in to Otis was Hammy admitting that most folks would be surprised to know that he didn’t pitch in the majors. I almost swerved off the road. Good stuff.
As for the McClouth situation, I think we should count that $$ as a sunk cost and move him to AA, or single A Rome. Since everyone is taking Curt’s points and reversing them- -him making tons of money whether is in Atlanta or elsewhere– then make him go REALLY elsewhere- -like Myrtle Beach or Rome. maybe then at least he can hit that pitching, build some confidence– maybe make AAA by season’s end- -and possibly even the 60 man in September. Then trade him or just pay him to leave in the offseason.
I’m just ready to get back to winning baseball. I believe in the team just like it is now. That is, I believe they’re a winning regular season team with a shot at a round or two in the playoffs.
It brings me to a question: have we all zipped right past Happy-To-Sniff-Playoffs Land and begun to hinge our happiness on a deep run? I’m just curious. (I did predict at the beginning of the year we would meet the Twins in the WS, but we were kidding, right? Right?)
I’m still of the opinion that the Braves are on a slow, guided upturn designed to taste some playoffs in 2010 and open a window that lasts until 2015 and beyond.
(Consider, for a moment, 2013, with all of – or many of, depending on minor league outcomes – these talents on the field and not a single one of them making free agent dollars:
Hanson, Jurrjens, Minor, Melden, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Venters, McCann/Ross, Freeman, Heyward, and Prado. Our entire starting staff, our closer, and three of our top 5 in the line-up without spending one free agent cent. Who can boast that, with this much quality? That’s three 2010 Allstars, 3 ROY candidates, and 3 current top 50 prospects.
Now subtract salaries for Lowe, Chipper, McLouth, and Kawakami, and Wagner.
That’s almost 50 million dollars we have sunk in what can be replaced, production wise, by Venters and his four grandparents. So… look for 2013, McCann’s last year on this current contract, to be the master blaster year. The grandaddy peak of the window. Not that it should end there, but we should be deep, deep in the scene by then…
back to regularly scheduled post)
[pauses for Curt to say we won't spend the money we save to get anything good]
Okay, so… I’m still in the happy-to-be-here mode. Remember when it was what we were going to do “when the Braves make the playoffs?”
I’m still there. Am I alone? I want this team to continue the strategy of the slow burn. I don’t think the Braves, on paper, could construct a team destined to win it all if they traded ALL FOUR premium minor league pitchers. Short of Yankeeland Monopoly Money, I don’t think anybody can sell out their farm completely and have a team that, on paper, wins the World Series. Short of that, they all have a chance to win 11 of 19 in the post and take the crown. Atlanta included.
So my fingers are crossed that the July 31 comes and goes without a major acquisition from either the Braves, the Mets, or the Phillies. And by major, I mean Roy Oswalt. With Haren and Lee off the market, nobody else scares me.
One last note: I think there is a 50% chance or better that Nate McLouth will be our opening day CF in 2011, and that he’ll be good. This was the move I was waiting for. He needs to get away from 2010 and stay away. For his own good. But a slow recovery to a .260, 20HR, average defense guy for next year wouldn’t surpise me at all.
Not completely alone. I can see him improving, playing in a place where he can work on getting that uppercut out of his swing where it doesn’t impact a pennant race (read: without the pressure to perform).
However, I do wonder about your timetable. I think Nate is going to be working with the thought “if I improve in time, I can get back on the team” which just puts that much MORE pressure on the situation. So, unfortunately, I see him accomplishing nothing this year towards 2011, additionally, if he doesn’t play winter ball, I don’t see him being in a position to start the season (isn’t he a notoriously slow starter?)…
Mark, I was picturing Nate winning the job in Spring Training. Glad you brought up Winter Ball. The Braves organization is impressed with slumpers go to winter ball. I’ve heard of them basing a decision or two on it. If Nate slumps in Gwinnett and doesn’t go to Arizona in the winter, I think his chances of winning the job in Spring go down.
Lots of interesting data points today. #1: FW not being scared of burying money by sending McLouth down (just like putting KK in the bullpen). #2: Somewhat less significant, but still good to see Bobby dropping Glaus to 6 tonight. Again, very un-Bobby like.
Bub, perhaps the most important factor you left off in the 2013 WS run is that there might very well be a new owner who surrounds all those guys with some veteran pieces to make that an even more impressive lineup. A man who is willing to be the face of a franchise and spend some extra dollars to close some of those gaps that Liberty Media refuses to address. We’ll leave his name Blank for now.
Why is my print so tiny? Bub, the “war eagle” cry may have been part of pulling him away from the throngs and his zoning in on my adorable child. I have video. Nationals park=great view even from nose bleed seats.
I am mystified at this Tommy Hanson business. Except for the fat pitch to Pudge, Tommy his pitching on the edges and corners, and batters are, once again, just reaching out and spanking those edge pitches like it’s no big deal.
I’ve never seen a pitcher get crushed on the edges and corners like Tommy Hanson does in 2010.
To change subjects, Bub, you asked about Arthur Blank owning the Braves. It is well known that Blank’s true love is baseball and his first choice in franchises was the Braves, not the Falcons. He bought the Falcons because they were for sale at the time. It is also true that Blank put together a substantial offer to buy the Braves when Time Warner put them on the market, but the Liberty Media deal was an asset swap that saved both companies tons of money. Interviews with Blank at the time really conveyed his disappointment. So, given all that, I would assume that if he has the money, he would certainly be a player. There used to be rules in the NFL that if you owned one of their teams, you could not own any other sports franchise. But given his attempts to buy the Braves before, I assume those rules are no longer in place.
What a terrible disappointment. Not proud of the Atlanta Braves tonight. They ought to be ashamed of that performance. No way to be sure, but it sure looks like they took a day off. They’ll be lucky to leave Cincy in first place if they don’t turn around immediately. Been a while since I pulled out the D word, but I think it applies:
I was going to save this for a show, but here goes – I actually think that Hanson is frustrated with high pitch counts in the early innings and not going late into the game, so he is overly aggressive at throwing strikes early on in an attempt to get quicker outs. I think other batters know this, so they come up looking for strikes. I think that he settles down after a while, but the temptation might be hard to resist. I don’t know if I buy the release point issues – I think that he throws too many strikes and is too aggressive, it doesn’t seem like a control issue.
I could be completely wrong, of course. Just like Steve was about Prado.
“I could be completely wrong, of course. Just like Steve was about Prado.”
hahahaha. That’s great.
I agree, Ham. It reminds me of the way the Braves pressured Chuck James to get later into games, and instead of having a two-pitch lefty that was good for 6 innings, we suddenly had a no-pitch lefty that was good for no innings.
Sometimes a pitcher just is what he is. If Tommy can be an ace for 5-6 innings per game every five days until he’s been in the league a few years, let the guy adjust slowly, says I.
Having a full time LF or CF would certainly help in this department, as it would provide an extra reliever to the roster.
I know weird huh? He was with his family. Had he been with other players I would have demanded a photo op. Bub, our common battle cry put twinkle in his eye. In other news my phone keeps trying to change Bub to Bin.
Oh and Anne, we were in section 319. Not the top layer but one below it.they weren’t bad actually. Could see all the goings on…unfortunately.
Some of the ‘heroes’ the Braves have created in this past week:
Scott Hairtston – Padres OF Scott Hairston has been struggling recently and was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Dodgers. Hairston has gone just 5 for 25 (.200) over his last seven games with a homer and four RBI. He’s only scored one run over that span and has an on-base percentage of .259.
Nick Hundley – 5 of last 24 (.208) with 5 RBI
Everth Cabrera – 4 of last 21 (.191) with 4 RBI
Donnie Murphy – 9 ABs on the season
Bryan Petersen – .095 AVG, 2 RBI (both against Braves)
Chris Volstad – 4-8, 4.76 ERA: Marlins SP Chris Volstad lasted six innings in his first major league start since being demoted to Triple-A New Orleans on July 6. He was recalled to start against Atlanta on Sunday, as he replaced Nate Robertson in the Florida rotation. Despite throwing just 56 out of 98 pitches for strikes and inducing only six ground ball outs, Volstad limited the Braves to three runs on five hits, though four of those hits, including a solo home run by Eric Hinske, were for extra bases. He struck out three batters, but also walked three, and he did not figure into the decision.
Brad Davis – Marlins catcher Brad Davis, making only his second major league start, had his first two big league hits and his first RBI. He also threw out Matt Diaz trying to steal second to end the ninth.
Wes *$&^*# Helms – #(*&%(*$%&(@*&($
Miguel Batista – 1-2, 4.09 ERA: Batista (1-2) hadn’t started a major league game since Aug. 25, 2008, for Seattle, and he didn’t know he would be taking the mound until minutes before the scheduled first pitch.
Please, someone tell me this is reverseable. How did we go from April (yuck, throw up) to may and june (hooray, sit and spin mets and phils), to back to April in late July?
A team can’t be this schizo and expect to win the NL east, or the Wildcard. Will McClouth actually getting out of the dugout be the thing that turns this around? He’s like the scapegoat they threw off a ship in order to rid the rest of the bad vibes.
Curt, you could also throw Randy Wolf on that list. After he mastered the Braves he was torched by the Pirates. Wade, I think Yunel deserves the scapegoat award. Hey, at least the team chemistry is good.
Troy needs a rest some which way or other. Steve, because I know you’re wondering, Huddy was wearing a light blue cotton button up tucked neatly in his very starched kakis and snazzy puma tennis shoes.
Leah, I buy into it as much as my inner core will allow me. We certainly knew the Braves were going to hit a valley. We also knew the Phils would make a run. I just get panicky about how we are losing. You are going to lose games, but to blow three games you could have/should have won, and then to lay an egg last night when Strausburg doesn’t even start, it’s tough. And the Phils have won 7 in a row? So it’s easy to gain ground on a streak like that.
The Braves are very good. They just need to get this stretch over with and win some games. The pitching is still there. They need the hits. And as much as we dump on him, McLouth most likely has a number of friends in the clubhouse, so maybe that shook the team up last night. Who knows? Just win the next 2 and take 2 of 3 from the Reds and all is well. i think they have 6 road games in august.
I will say it again: Aquire Jose Bautista from the Blue Jays.
–We need POP in our line-up (JB hit is 29 & 30th HR) and have an outfield spot open
–We need someone to take Troy’s place at the five hole
–In future considerations, JB can play 3B – a place where we have no one in the minors of consequence (Conrad not withstanding) to replace Chipper… If Conrad shows in the future he can handle the job full time, keep JB in the OF…
– A 5 to 7 million dollar estimated salary from arbritation for next year (if we don’t sign him to a deal) seems rather reasonable for the production
It doesn’t seem like a “panic move” to me, it is shoring up a weakness in your team – now and for the future…
Mark, I know he is hitting a ton of homers, but aren’t you kind of worried about another high strikeout, low BA guy on this team? He’s got 76 Ks and is batting right around .250. We seem to be pregnant with guys like that.
it would also help if Gonzalez would start hitting some homers for the Braves.
You guys see this? From ESPN Trade Deadline Live: “One interesting development: Nate McLouth was just days from accumulating five years of service time when the Braves abruptly sent him to the minor leagues Tuesday.”
It never ceases to amaze me all of the factors that go into these decisions (that don’t involve putting the best team on the field every day).
If a player has 5 years of major-league service, he may not be assigned to a minor-league team without his consent, regardless of whether he has already been outrighted once, even if he clears waivers. If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster. In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract. If he is released and signs with a new team, his previous team must pay the difference in salary between the two contracts if the previous contract called for a greater salary.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the Phillies have the general parameters of a deal agreed to for Roy Oswalt. The only problem? Philadelphia is not sure it wants to do the deal. The farm system would be even more depleted, as prospects along with J.A. Happ would be sent off to Houston. In addition, Philly has one of the largest payrolls in the game and that’s not changing anytime soon. Oswalt would add to that, especially with a 2012 option for $16 million that the righty wants picked up.
Bub, I liked your name but I guess the baseball gods didn’t agree so I’m glad you changed it back. Anne, I got home from our summer long excursion and found one fantastic piece of mail. Thanks a billion trillion!
Now, I’ve seen Bobby leave Hudson in too long at least 4 times this year in later innings just because his pitch count is low. I’ll be holding my breath. Hopefully Huddy turns the corner, stamina wise, and pitches a great 8th and *gulp* possibly 9th inning here.
Don and Jim are having a rough year. They’re pruntinis and they’re nosethumbing at sabermetrics (they’re right, but they’re doing it wrong…) and so forth are getting out of hand. And complete homerism. Not to mention they get so involved in their “philosophy talk” that they miss counts all the time. Call the game, yo.
“•Talks between the Phillies and Astros have intensified in the last day, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The clubs have more or less agreed on players – J.A. Happ and prospects would go to Houston – but they can’t agree on how much salary the Astros will absorb. Jayson Werth is off the market, so taking on payroll won’t be easy for the Phils.”
And I’m pretty sure he waffled on the “don’t wanna play there” sentiment when Oswalt sort of “communicated” to him he would be stuck in Houston if he painted them in a corner trying to get to St. Louis.
“•Oswalt is telling friends that he can’t wait to leave Houston, according to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff. The righty says he won’t necessarily insist that teams pick up his 2012 option.”
And I’m pretty sure OSWALT waffled on the “don’t wanna play there” sentiment when HOUSTON sort of “communicated” to him he would be stuck in Houston if he painted them in a corner trying to get to St. Louis.
I will say this much, though, if the Phillies lose Happ in this trade, I don’t think the Halladay/Oswalt/Hammels/Blanton/whomever rotation in 2011 will be as horrifying as it would have been with Happ. If they get Oswalt and keep Happ, forget it. Game over. They’d be up around 160 million, nearly doubling the Braves. There’s only so much you can do to overcome that.
*plus or minus whatever they spend to replace Werth, but he’s only making 5 mill this year, so…
If the Oswalt deal goes through, this is shaping up to be the most disappointing, heart-wrecking, spirit-sapping development conceivable coming on the heels of a 3.5 game loss of ground in one week, and going into a road series against the Reds.
Hope Wren doesn’t make it worse by spending major farm talent on a minor piece. We have to either let this Philly yankeethon bleed out, or start spending money ourselves.
At a time like this, it’s infuriating that the Braves decided to be so liberal with the Chipper Jones and Derek Lowe contracts just to turn around and jerk the rug out from under the team’s budget.
I’m actually kind of glad to see Happ gone. He was a solid, young lefty for them. This is an older, less dominant Oswalt. The only thing that scares me about Oswalt is him winning a bunch of games for them that they otherwise would not have won. With the way their offense is going, though, anybody who holds the opponent at 5 has a good shot at a win. This definitely hurts them long term. I still like our rotation head to head and in the long run. The bats need to wake up, though. Go Braves!
Why are the Braves hacking at first and second pitches all day long today? Are they just going to abandon their approach? The one that got them all those runs without much power? They’re gonna lay that down now? NOW? When Glaus is ice cold?
60-something pitches for Lowe through 3. And 34 for Olsen. Starting to look like garbage on offense.
Just reading about the Oswalt deal. Not only did the Phils get Oswalt, they got him for nothing. Houston is paying nearly half of his remaining contract, and the three players going to the Astros are made out to be mediocre at best, including the big piece – Happ. That’s perfect.
The Oswalt trade rattles me, no doubt (although not as much as the lackluster offense this week). But it’s true, as was pointed out earlier, he’s not the untouchable, dominant pitcher this year. Look at his game by games for this year, some are downright bad. http://tinyurl.com/29buc6c
Joel Pineiro out six to eight weeks may turn Angles from buyers to sellers before deadline. Anybody want Bobby Abreu if the Angles pay for him?
Also, O’s hired a manager and now deal for Tejada is probably going to happen. I figured that they wouldn’t be active before the deadline unless they decided on a manager. Anybody on their team we might want?
I hope the Braves’ only move wasn’t the Yunel/Gonzo trade. That one didn’t make us any better offensively. More solid defensively, but the offensive production is about the same. The middle of the lineup needs help. We all know it.
No doubt, this week has been sickening. And the disappearing offense is the worst. But this is still the same group of guys that were winning almost every series for 2 months. It could turn around. I don’t know that it will, but it could.
The Atlanta Braves are the only National League team not represented in ANY rumor on the top page at MLBTR as of right now.
Either Frank’s the stealthiest GM in the league, or he’s seriously just not going to do anything significant.
If he wants a bat, waiting until the 11th hour seems awfully dangerous. If I’m reading this right, once Bautista and Dunn/OR/Willingham are acquired, that about wraps it up. Strange. Wren in his short history here had rather pay a little extra to get what he wanted before it disappeared than wait around hoping for the best bargain. Hard to gauge his current stance.
If it’s him holding on to the talent, fine. If it’s the $$, that’s bull. Does he think those (comparatively) loud crowds are there to see Chipper Jones’s last ride? It’s the winning.
And the numbers that matter: PHI 9-6, ATL: 6-7. The Phillies are always in a close game because of their power. The Braves are not because they have no clutch hitting right now. Baseball is a simple game. The Braves have had 6 decent outings from their starters and lost 2-4. (A 4 run outing from D. Lowe is about as good as can be expected) One of those 2 wins came at the hands of one of the worst bullpens in the modern era. The Braves need to start hitting the Randy Wolfs/Scott Olsens/Chris Volstads of the league and they will be a good team again. If they don’t hit they will win very few games. It really is that simple.
Something that concerns me is that the Braves went 8-4 against the N.L. East before the All-Star break, and then made a trade, and then went 2-4 against the bottom of the N.L. East… I hope the team chemistry that I keep hearing about that is so important helps us start hitting the ball again. I hope we all get to start our Saturday mornings thinking about winning baseball.
Bub/Howie, The Braves runs scored numbers are misleading because we’ve scored 10, 8, and 11 in three of those wins. In the other 10 games since the All-Star break we scored and average of 3.6 runs/game. Even before the break, our runs/game were low, but we were winning, so no one cared. In that 8-4 stretch before the break we scored like 3.7 runs/game. The Escobar/Gonzo trade had no effect offensively, so what’s the deal? Why are we losing if we’re scoring the same amount? Now we have a sub .500 win pct, whereas before, with essentially the same offensive production, we won at a .667 clip… Baseball.
I like looking at the schedule in 2 week intervals. We are in a garbage interval right now. Go look at the schedule over the year in 2 week intervals. The Braves have gone through 2 weeks where they dominate, then 2 where they’re middling, then 2 where they dominate, then 2 where they get dominated. If the Braves hold true to form, they should have a very successful upcoming 2 weeks. If we can get there with a division lead, then it’s all gravy… for 2 weeks.
That’s just crazy talk. What if the Phillies won 9 games by 1 run and the Braves won their 6 games by an average of 20 runs per game? You don’t think that would be a sign of an uptick? You might as well say the only numbers that matter are the Braves are up by 2.5 games, so why worry? Trends matter. They add to the win/loss data. Did anybody think the Orioles would win their division after week one?
Bub, I’m with you on the fact that the Braves are not involved in any rumors. It’s crazy. They have to at least be in the mix. Particularly now that the Phillies have to be considered the favorites to win the division. They have to be looking to add a piece to this offense. And I was wrong. It can’t be Mike Deveraux. It has to be someone who can really make a difference. I think if the Braves were willing to eat a bunch of money, the could move KK and McLouth. I know they aren’t worth a lot, and not suggesting they would bring us anything, but they have produced at times, and could serve a team in some capacity. Find a larger package to move with Medlen, Dunn, whomever. Make a move. Prove that you are in it for real. You can’t stand pat. What about Derek Lee? Maybe he is willing to come to Atlanta.
I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possiblity that FW is simply in super stealth mode. Think about the last three big trades he’s made: McLouth, LaRoche and the Gonz. No one had as much as a whiff about any of those. Now, do I think a big impactful trade is coming? Not really. Too busy in my Braves suck, all is hopeless with my team death-spiral right now. But, I’m still hitting refresh on MLBTraderumors and espn.com every five minutes.
If Frank Wren does nothing further, he will at least have the dubious distinction of adding bats (McLouth, Gonazalez) in consecutive deadlines that came in as the new Braves homerun leader, only to drop through the floor. That’s… special.
Steve, that’s the same mode I’m in. Trying to shake it, but this has the potential to be almost worse than not even getting close. Almost.
MArk Bowman was just on 790 and he said don’t expect any moves. He felt that if there were a CF to be had, maybe, but because there is not the Braves will do nothing feeling that getting Diaz, Heyward, JJ back from injury covers it.
Ok…yesterday I was in the depths of despair. Today, hope springs eternal. All those fantastic wins came while Diaz and JJ were on the DL and a lot of them while Heyward wa on the DL. In FL we didn’t suck. There was a lot of luck on the side of the Fish. The Nats have historically had our number not to mention being all geared up for Strausburg and trying to shift gears for that other guy. I’m not saying losing that gam was excusable…believe me it wasn’t. Yesterday was crazy hot and if the Marlins have something that resembles a home field advantage then certainly the Nats do as well. The Phillies can’t win every game and this team is very good. JJ is stellar. Wags has had his slump an is back to rare form. Gonzo is getting settled and Heyward is due for a hot streak. If Bobby can sit Troy for a day or two and for the love play Diaz and Infante til they drop dead from exhaustion. I’m sure most of this post is BS but I feel better. Until tonight.
Frank Wren is a ballsy individual to look at what the Phillies did at the deadline and do nothing. You have to wonder how much the Vizcaino arm injury hindered any moves. I thought we might see a big move this year because in theory you can’t have more than Delgado, Teheran, Minor, JJ, and Hanson in a future rotation. I have a feeling Medlen’s future role is in the pen and as a back up plan if somebody got hurt during the season. That’s why I thought Vizcaino might be a trade piece for a bat, especially since Wren couldn’t get a bat for Vazquez. Does anyone think we might see a Freeman call up soon, or do they wait until the roster expands?
Bub, I’m sorry I disappointed you with my early morning ramblings. I just don’t see how we’re playing (offensively) much worse than we were in the stretch where we went 8-4 before the break. That’s all I was trying to say, however poorly it was said. I didn’t mean to come off as pompous with my response. I’m sure there are many stats that can explain poor results (W-L record). I just see W-L as the only numbers that really matter in a divisional race, and I am sure the stats you listed do explain the trend going on. I tend to see things very black and white. It is a fault frequently cited by those who know me all to well.
The 5.4 ERA righty that was scheduled to pitch against Atlanta before they replaced him with Olsen is pitching against the Phillies. I swear I believe the baseball gods are trying to teach the Braves some kind of lesson.
Yeah, the Yankees needed a bat, didn’t they? It is very hard in baseball to buy a championship because of the 5 and 7 game formats. But they might pull it off. If they bang out 3 or 4 in a row, I will definitely, seriously, no kidding around, find some other way to spend 162 days a year.
HOW are the Nationals missing these fat pitches from Oswalt? I know they have three runs, but these are grapefruits he’s throwing. Maybe there’s more movement on them that you can see on gameday.
Mike Minor lowers his ERA to 1.99 with Gwinnett, pitching 7 innings of ONE hit ball, 8 K’s, ZERO walks. He’s 4-1 since his promotion.
Steve, to answer a delayed question, this is why I’d rather lose Meds than Minor. Especially in this division, I do NOT want to be facing Mike Minor. He’s going to be a serious #3 pitcher. Nothing against Meds, who I think is a serious #4. I just love Minor.
Freeman with a pair of hits, too, to pump his BA to .295, though his OPS is even greater at .854, way to go, Freddie. Kid is 20 years old.
This is the wrong freaking game to lose, too. You think those Philly hitters don’t tighten up according to the nightly scoreboard? Getting through Oswalt’s disaster first start without losing a game is huge for them. This sucks, sucks, sucks. Troy Glaus is killing us.
Taking bets on how many outs Chavez records tonight. Over/under is at zero.
It is ironic that Conrad hit the walk off GS to beat the Reds and really propel that run, and here it is with us wallowing in the mire and that happens. And of course the guy gets a hit right after that catch.
Mara, I have to correct what I said about Freeman not being “Heyward great” in AAA because I was only looking at his stats for the whole year. A truer picture is what he’s done since June when he turned a corner. We’re on the last day of July, and this is what the kid is really doing down there:
June: .333 Batting Average, with a monster .946 OPS!!!!
July: .318 Batting Average, .923 OPS.
Twenty. Freaking. Years. Old. And, yeah, that’s very close to “Heyward Great.” J-Hey didn’t play enough in AAA to get an exact comparison, but he hit .352 in 47 games of AA, and I would say that’s about even or just a little better than what Freeman is doing.
Frederick is better right now than Troy Glaus, I can hardly doubt it.
If Minor is as ready as he looks, I believe he’ll break camp with Freeman in 2011 (Meds to the pen or traded), and if he does that, can you guys believe this onslaught of high impact rookies four years in a row???? Who does that?!
2008: Jair Jurrjens
2009: Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen
2010: Jason Heyward, Jonny Venters
2011: Freddie Freeman, Mike Minor
And it would be pretty unusual if 2012 doesn’t graduate one of Teheran & Delgado. Other real possibilities: Kimbrel, Mike Dunn. I bet nobody in baseball besides maybe Tampa Bay can boast the “Wins Above Replacement” numbers we’re getting from rookies in this span.
Know this: if I see Mike Minor leave this organization for less than a Kemp-level return, I will BLOW SH*T UP!!!!
Minor is special. I know, he’s my pet and I keep shoving him down throats, but I’m just TELLING YA. He’s gonna be a STAHHHHR. Okay, a solid pitcher with an ERA under 4 his first year. He’s got composure to beat the band, and that’s my favorite tool in a pitcher. I mean, look what he’s doing in AAA and he just got there. Heck, we just drafted him like three days ago! Honestly? I predict he’ll have a better first year (but not career) than Julio Teheran.
I say Adam Dunn for straight up cash. Cause let’s face it. We’re freaking loaded! I don’t want to give up Minor either. I’m wondering if “inconclusive” means we think we see a break or we don’t see a break but want to triple check?
It’s not early. It’s late. Yesterday I slept from 9:00 to 5:00. Ironically, when I used to work night shift, I could never stay awake. Now that I have no schedule, my body’s clock has drifted to that exact spot.
I have a rather bleak theory about Prado’s “inconclusive” X-Ray. I think it’s possible that he is badly injured, and that Wren doesn’t want to have his ass over the fire with other GM’s today as he tries to find help without paying too much.
Bub, I don’t think you have to worry about Minor going anywhere. Minor is going to be the Braves’ “I told you so” to every scout and analyst who ridiculed Wren and the Braves’ scouting department for taking him #7 overall. You’d think they’d no better than to second guess what has probably been the best scouting department in baseball over the last 23 years.
I have no doubts Freeman would be better than Glaus right now. Glaus is hurt. Freeman isn’t. You’re right on about Freeman’s post-June numbers. He was battling minor injuries during the early part of the year. Since he’s played consistently, to quote Bobby Cox, he’s been dynamite.
Watch the replays on Prado. Unless he broke the tip of his finger, he didn’t break anything. He instantly flexed his hand and curled all his fingers back and forth. You don’t do that with a broken or dislocated finger. Jams are weird though. Some just pop back out, and some can really be debilitating. I jammed my thumb one time and my whole hand turned black.
On the other stuff, do something. Prove you are real players. If your only move is getting rid of a pain in the ass, you aren’t serious about what you are doing and you had no expectations this year anyway. Which means you don’t really care about your fans or Bobby Cox. Sometimes, you have to trade your prospects to become a better major league team. That’s just the fact of the matter. Don’t give up the world, but pick a piece, and the Braves have lots of them right now, and make him part of the package. It’s the only real way to win now. Otherwise, cynically, it all comes down to money. You aren’t willing to make the move because you don’t want to take on a big salary and potentially lose a guy you won’t have to pay for 5 or 6 years. I got this theory out now because Steve and Ham told me I couldn’t talk about payroll on the show again. Your mindset can’t always be “wait until those guys come up.” At what point do you win for now? Tampa has produced an amazing run of talent, as Bub noted, but for all of that, that window closes at the end of the year for them and they have one year of post season baseball to show for it.
I don’t want to give up the farm, but sometimes you have to move some guys. This team is so much better than the team we had when we picked up Tex. Why were they willing to move then and not now?
Curt, I will also be disappointed if they don’t move, and will question Wren’s negotiating skills. For all the talk about not moving players unless the price is right, I haven’t seen a single #1 through #3 prospect move yet. Hell, most acquisitions are costing prospects numbered in the high teens of the trading team. Major league players are crossing the table for squat. J.A. Happ is about the only real loss by a buying team (unless I missed something), and that was for Roy Freaking Oswalt.
Curt, I agree with this team being much better than the one that added Tex. We’re like one bat away from winning a very weak National League. It needs to be done. Maybe Delgado and Dunn plus a couple decent, young minor leaguers would get a bat. Wren is in love with the pitching prospects, though. Especially that trio of Minor, Teheran, and Delgado. I don’t think you can expect to do a trade for top talent and not throw in at least 1 of your top 5 prospects. Wren will probably get Ross for some grouping of Dunn and Chavez(if we’re lucky) plus 2 young prospects.
And I still contend that, more than anything, they need to address the Glaus situation. That’s worse than having Melky in CF.
And the solution will cost nothing but a little time off the back end of Freeman’s cheap years. If that. (I think breaking camp with him in 2011 would be almost the same as going ahead now, wouldn’t it? I know it would be the same re: super two status.)
The guys on the radio said this Glaus is worse than the April Glaus. If those two idiots can figure that out, then there’s no excuse for the Braves’ organization not being able to figure it out. Playing Glaus and batting him 4th, 5th, or 6th is killing the team. It’s just blatant stubbornness by every party involved.
Instead of watching what turned out to be a game in our favor, I sat through three hours of Les Miserables…OUTSIDE…in Peachtree City. I had a pleasant replay viewing experience at Taco Mac until stupid-thirty in the morning. Here’s something no one’s written here lately: GO BRAVES!!
Yesterday, Ross was “off the table” because of Coughlan’s injury. This morning it’s because they “can’t find the right deal.” Bullcrap’s piling up already. Florida’s organization is garbage. I’m gonna laugh to tears when the new stadium sells 10,000 tickets per game.
Mara, I’m plenty encouraged about McLouth for 2011. But I hope they leave him down there until then, let him work that swing all the way back into habit-shape. Because when he came back up, he went right back to the swing that got him in trouble.
I’m discouraged. I don’t want him ever wearing an Atlanta uniform ever again. I’m quite serious about that. And I don’t want the Braves entertaining the idea of bringing him up to take anyone’s spot on this team.
I wish he could have done some more of that for our Major League club. I’m over Nate McLouth for 2010. No more. I don’t want to think about him in 2011. His whole game sucked at the Major League level this year.
I’m not as willing to write him off as Curt, but I have to admit he seems to react adversely to pressure. It’s been guessed that the mental part of his game has always suffered, and that the low pressure of Pittsburgh was a large part of his success. If this is true, the last thing we want is for him to be in a post season line-up.
However, with the 6 million owed to him next year, I figure the chances of replacing him with a legit CF are slim. There’s always the possibility he can turn the corner on his “pressure problem,” if that’s the real case. Or maybe even become trade-able.
He has won me over with his classy reaction to being sent down. I’m pulling for him, though with hesitation.
I hope we get Diory instead of Hicks. Someone who can at least feign some hitting potential at the plate. We’ll still get Prado back before the Phils get Utley back, but how much more futile does that make our offense until Prado returns? This is obviously Ham’s punishment for making him an if.
Curt, I came very close to being over Nate. For me it was the no-throw to third on a tag-up in one of his last pre-demotion games. His play in the outfield, when that’s all he’s bringing to the table, was nearly disgusting.
But his attitude about getting sent down, coupled with his good signs in AAA and Bobby/Wren’s apparent willingness to keep him on a short leash, has calmed my nerves.
It’s just too much bad juju for the Braves to host the absolute, irrevocable pre-30-yrs-old downslide of Andruw, Frenchy, and Nate in this short a time span. We deserve a little break. At least, that’s my story and I’ll likely not stick to it.
WAKE UP BUB!!!!!! I’m sure you’ve all read this but I wanted it to appear on this board…
“I don’t care about my numbers,” he said. “I care that we stay in first place. I think we’ve got a team to make the playoffs. That’s the only thing I think about. Numbers go away. Just play as a team, make the playoffs and maybe the World Series, that means a lot to me.”
And here I sit ready to be all excited. I’m with Curt. It was getting embarrassing to be the only team not doing a darn thing. Losing Chavez is a huge plus last night withstanding. This team is making me very happy today. Need more runs. Pretty please.
Both glaring weaknesses were badly exposed in that inning.
Ankiel is certainly better defensively than Melky, but from what I understand he can’t hit lefties.
Freddie Freeman is definitely better than Troy Glaus right now.
Way to be Chip.
You can’t have Glaus and Chipper not hit in the middle of the order. It is not going to win games. How long until he figures it out? Geez. I’ll cut Gonzo some slack because he’s coming of illness, but yes, he is contributing absolutely nothing offensively. Like a .255 AVG. with 1 RBI since the trade.
I watched a little of a Yankees game the other day, and I came to two conclusions, neither of them being very original: 1. They are incredible to watch, that line-up stepping up there, megahitter after megahitter, and 2. I can’t hate them for being in the biggest city in the world, filling their stadium, and spending the money accordingly to create an unbelievable juggernaut.
I hate the situation, but I can’t hate the team. If somehow the Braves started filling up the stands every night, and we still had WTBS, and flooded the organization with money, and Blank bought the team, wouldn’t you want him to do the same thing?
I want to beat them. Nothing would be more satisfying. But they ARE amazing. They could win 115 games or more. They could sweep all the way to a WS championship. And as luck-driven as baseball is, that would be pretty awe-inspiring.
The way they’re going, they’re probably going to end up building the most dominant team in baseball history. Yeah, it’s bought with Monopoly Money, but it’s still an unreal assembly of talent.
That is all. I still hate them. But in a way, I don’t.
(Yes, I’m aware Leah will never speak to me after this post. But the truth must live.)
Bub, one of the most important things I learned when I got married was to make sure you own a comfortable couch.
I see your point on the yanks, and of course I would be thrilled to be in their situation, but it makes me want a salary cap. They should have to earn some of it. They are really developing no major league players. I know they have their 4 guys, but really no one of note in some time. I guess Hughes is close, but they just outspend everyone to the point of absurdity. Their payroll is now like $210 million. That’s Manchester United territory. I despise the Cowboys. I can’t imagine how
much worse it would be if Jerry Jones could spend whatever he wanted on his team. Just make them work for it a bit.
They don’t win every year which, along with revenue sharing, is the only thing keeping the other owners from crying foul.
Ankiel’s career numbers at Great American: 49 ABs, .143 AVG., 3 HR, 7 RBI. He has really good numbers at Citizen’s Bank, but I think we only have like 3 more games in Philly. His best numbers come from the #7 spot in the order.
STOP hitting our players! I was about to rejoice in Howards potential injury but I’ll hold off.
Dear Infante, please stop looking at the catcher when you are trying to steal 2nd. Run your ass off and see what happens. Thankyou, Princess
Braves, you need to wake up. The pitches will not come to you – you need to go get that pitch and figure out how to turn it into a hit. Maybe you don’t realize, that if you continue to play like this, you WILL finish in 4th place.
I can’t appreciate the frustrations properly not having sat through what must have been an excruciating game, so this might not properly cover it, but:
1. Very nice to see Tommy shut down that offense in that park,
2. Braves lost a series on the road to a great team, and
3. We all knew a stretch like this would come.
Yuck, Phillies just went ahead by a run. Ugh, but two runs. Crap, looking at 2.5 game lead unless they put Lidge in…
The Braves should recover at home, and will have to improve next road trip or else…
My dad, who by the way is so well recovered that he actually started back to work (he’s crazy) two weeks ago, just called, and is (probably) taking me to a Braves game the week before school starts back. Considering a lot of things I’ll spare you from, I’ll just say that would be pretty special. He said he thinks it would be the Dodgers, but I haven’t looked it up yet.
*sigh* men…#652 means I’m going to be at the game Saturday August 14th. I was trying to be clever. But I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of you so if Bub’s pops takes him to a different game that weekend he should get dibs. Who knows..maybe we’ll all go to the same one. And I know you would want to meet me Curt cause, well, I’m royalty. New show?