1.I’m okay with Minor in the short term (2-3 starts) but not long term. JJ, as a veteran is still a better option right now. However the danger of him being hurt is that there is a tiny chance that if Minor throws a no hitter and 2 complete game shutouts, he could find himself in the bullpen. But the chances of that happening are very very small.LOL
2. I don’t mean to be nosy, but do you guys make money from this podcast or do you do it just for the love of the Braves? I just noticed there wasn’t any advertising on this site.
I think, even if it’s 4 – 6 weeks (not that there’s been any indication of it), Minor will be more than a fine fill-in. While he stumbled down the stretch last season, he was pretty damn good when he came up. He should be even better with a full-offseason and a ST with the big club under his belt.
Another great show guys,
I feel very happy with the current line-up with McLouth in the second spot and Heyward being in sixth. I totally understand the argument about losing at bats over the course of a season, but Heyward will protect Uggla in a way that McLouth or Gonzalez would not. Also he is young; missing a few at bats over the course of a long season will be beneficial in the long run. It also makes out 7,8 and 9 spots a little more interesting than putting three of your weaker hitters together.
My only fear this season is expectancy. Last season we were hopeful rather than expectant and this lead to a really enjoyable season. Expectancy can be dangerous. We have all the tools, but we are still relying on a very young back end of the bullpen and older starting pitchers. I hope we have a season as exciting and enthralling as last season. I don’t want my expectancy of this team to spoil it for myself.
Keep up the great show and already looking forward to next weeks show.
Great show, guys. The JJ news is disappointing. I like the way Fredi is handling it, though. I would much rather have a healthy Minor than an unhealthy JJ. I’m still very confident about our rotation with the way Lowe and Huddy pitched this year. With Tommy, the potential is there. We shall see… I’ve never really had a chance to watch Beachy, so I’m pretty excited to see him today. His numbers look really good, and I’ve heard he can strike a guy or two out. I have to agree with what was said about using Venters yesterday. He had no business being in that game. I though those situations were why Sherrill and Linebrink made the team. Perhaps I was wrong.
Our lineup looks pretty good regardless of where McLouth is hitting. I’ve given up on Chipper not batting 3rd like most Braves fans have, and Heyward batting 6th means a lot of RBIs for him. I would like to see him bat 5th, too, especially against a guy like Halladay. It might be a better option until Uggla heats up.
Teheran made the Gwinnett rotation. That rotation looks pretty good. I’m definitely gonna make a couple of their games this year.
I am not worried about Minor filling in for Jurrjens- for now.
I just want the best pitcher on the mound at all times, right now that’s Minor. If Jurrjens pitched now, we’d get last year’s version that wasn’t 100%. I want 2009 Jurrjens and if that means he misses a month; so be it.
I’m fine either way as long as KK never enters Georgia again…
It was such a great game. Beachy is fantastic. Our offense was actually produced by homers. HOMERS! Oh how I’ve missed them. And Kimbrel is the real deal. I think we saw the start of the Kimbrel era today and I’m incredibly jacked up about it.
Are there an inordinate amount of week day day games this season or do I just not notice, since I work and typically can’t go? There have been two already, and will be two or three more before the month is through.
Anne, I think it’s kind of like all the off days early in the season. They just play on the excitement of the start of the season and operate differently to accomodate that energy. Of course, the off days are to deal with spring rain.
I thought it was a High School Basketball game, such a disappointment. America loves an underdog, not two in the same game. I think that is really what is missing. The upset victory in a Championship game.
What an anticlimactic ending to what I thought was a good tournament. The Nance Walker Texas Ranger comment on Kemba Walker was almost as bad as Butler coming out and scoring 5 in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Craig Kimbrel looked outstanding once again. I was also really impressed with Beachy. That’s a tough lineup to open the season against.
I am excited to get Minor in some games early this year. I feel good about him making two or even three starts this month. I just know we will need him again at some point in the season. Feeling really good about our depth this year.
Like a few others have stated, but worth repeating: Kimbrel is trying to make Braves fans say “Billy who?”
Hey guys sorry its been a busy week. But here is my predictions from last weeks podcast.
Mclouth .280 average 20 hrs.20 steals 75-80 rbi.
chipper 15-20 hrs.
Hudson 18 wins leads the team.
Kimbrel 25 saves.
NL East BRAVES
NL Central Reds
NL West Giants
NL WC Phillys
AL East Boston
AL Central White Sox
AL West Texas
And here’s my shocked AL WC Baltimore by 3 over Yankees
Also great show as always. I feel very comfortable with minor and beachy for any amount of time. My worry is our major league ready depth afterwards. I know we have KK and Lopez but they really scare me for any extended time frame.
Wow….this season is off to a hot start…nothing crazy good…but a solid showing of baseball….Sat. was a fluke with the weather playing a role in the game…Hanson will bounce back….What do we expect from the closer role now? Kimbrel or Venters…? So far looks like Freddi likes Kimbrel
One day I’ll remember there are weekly shows these days and I won’t talk to myself on the previous weeks board. What did y’all think about Fredi bringing in Mac to pinch hit and then leaving him for the 8th and 9th? I liked it but just don’t remember Bobby using a position player to pinch hit very often. Is this fairly standard? Love the homers!
I think two solid starts from Minor and continued pitcher-like batting averages from McClouth could make JJ’s return become a showcase for interested teams. Question: which pitcher-hungry team has a spare centerfielder who can produce? Nate has made me skeptical of stats on bad teams.
I hope not – I want to see Venters and Kimbrel chatting in the ‘pen at the end of the game. I want Sherrill and Linebrink mop up the 8th/9th and not being terrified…because we’re up by 8. I want to see some blowouts.
Weird game…Uggla not great at base stealing but his defense was steller. Lowe struck out a ton. Heyward and McLouth almost replayed their collision from last year. Their ace beat our ace by 1 point. Good game. Oh, and Prado is a beast in left field.
I would have liked to see the Braves try to work Gallardo a little harder, in other words. The guy Is a strikeout pitcher but only had 2 Ks in 9 innings. He did pitch well but the Braves helped him a little bit, I think.
Hi DAP – I agree with you, but I’m not sure we’re right. There are those games when it looks like the team is just swinging at anything, not being patient, etc. But I bet there are other games when they are doing the same exact thing but getting hits instead of ground outs. All of which to say, I think it may be context and outcome more than anything. I also may not be making any sense.
Kate – agreed. 100%. Tipping your cap to Jamie Moyer is downright painful. Last night, while certainly no fun offensively, had great moments of pitching, defense, tagging guys out. It was a pretty cool game short of the outcome.
2)And I will never drop this batting order issue. Jason Heyward is too dynamic of a hitter to be hitting 6th. It defies baseball logic. It was okay last year when he was a rookie but now either McLouth or Chipper has to move so he can hit 2nd or 3rd. I like Fredi so far but this bother me. Check the last three game logs. McLouth has come up in crucial situations where Jason should have been. Fredi is trying to hard. Hitting Jason second is what jump started our season last year. If Bobby leaves Jason 6th we win 75-80 games.
The old-school book says to put a bat-control guy here. Not a great hitter, but someone who can move the lead-off hitter over for one of the next two hitters to drive in.
The Books says the #2 hitter comes to bat in situations about as important as the #3 hitter, but more often. That means the #2 hitter should be better than the #3 guy, and one of the best three hitters overall. And since he bats with the bases empty more often than the hitters behind him, he should be a high-OBP player. Doesn’t sound like someone who should be sacrificing, does it?
1. I’m conditioned now to expect that we’ll struggle against a no experience scrub from AAA. It was clearly a different flavor of that last night. 4 runs is fine, but we had him and didn’t capitalize. And I’m still dejected by Freeman’s first inning at bat.
2. I want win every series, dammit (or tie). And now we’re in the hole and I hate it. If we’d been up 2 – 1 in the series and last night’s game played out in game 4, I’d not be as disappointed today.
I am going to do a little revisionist history and change what I said on Sunday’s show. I think that the Braves will be lucky to win 1 of 4 against the Brewers. I also think that it is going to be painful and embarrassing to watch at times. I will also go out on a limb and say that McLouth batting second will prove to NOT be our only problem.
I also feel that we will be lucky to win one against the Phils, but I think I said that already.
I don’t know what Hanson’s deal is. I only caught parts of the game, but there always seemed to be at least one Brewer on base. I’m much more concerned with the state of the offense. Like Steve said, we are struggling to get runs off guys who are barely above the AAA level. Tomorrow night we get a Cy Young candidate. We saw what Gallardo did to us, I’m expecting much of the same from Lee. The schedule isn’t getting any easier for about a month. It’s time for the bats to come alive. That said, it’s only April. Last April we won like 9 games and still made the playoffs.
I just it is not a sign of things to come … I knew the Brewers had great pitching, but if they can do this, I shudder to think what the Phillies can do. Ugh. At least back under the sky and back in Atlanta.
Cool article in the New York Times Magazine on the greatest rotations of all time based on VORP. The Phillies staff came in 5th. Three of the rotations ahead of them were the 98 Braves, 93 Braves, and the 97 Braves, which were ranked number one overall. The 97 Braves edged out the 56 Indians. Huddy’s in the top 10 twice with the ’02 and ’01 A’s. The 99 Braves came in 8th. Pretty cool.
Bub – Top 4 are as follows: Kate, Leah, ME, and Brandon. Had you asked last week when I was 2nd from the bottom, I don’t know that I’d have been so fast to respond.
Kate – it all depends on if Gonzo and Freeman turn it around. At the risk of giving Hammy props, he had a good point on the last show that if you swap Heyward and Nate, the second half of the lineup is almost non-existent. Like 2008 and 2009 bad. And that has only gotten more pronounced since this past weekend as Gonzo went 1 – 14 and Freeman went 1 – 13 in the MIL series. I didn’t answer your original question. Too depressed …
Speaking of, I have little faith about this series. I’m really just hoping not to get swept at this point.
By the way, I’ll be at the stadium tonight and Sunday tweeting. Talk to me out there if you follow us on Twitter.
It doesn’t really get much better with Gonzo. He’s a career .248 hitter with an OBP of less than .300. He got off to a fast start with Toronto last year (which was completely out of whack with rest of his career), Wren and Bobby got tired of Escobar, and overreacted. Not a great trade – we’d be better defensively and offensively with Escobar still on the team.
Eric – I don’t think the team makes the playoffs last year with Escobar on the team. They really disliked him. Really disliked him. The chemistry was so important last year and helped them overachieve. That doesn’t happen with Escobar on the team.
On the other hand, I’m growing convinced that Gonzo sucks. Leaving us nowhere.
lol, the two girls winning. The handsomest ballplayers must be having a good start.
(I keed, I keed)
I don’t agree with the idea of spreading out the good players to keep from having a weak bottom half. I think it’s been proven that piling up runs in an occassional inning is the most effective way to win ballgames. It makes sense anecdotally if you think about it: yeah, the pitcher would have to deal with at least one good hitter in the bottom third, but why should he care? One good hitter, unless he hits a homerun, isn’t going to cost him much.
By contrast, even five good hitters in a row, hitting .300 each, aren’t all going to get hits. But your best chance to actually SCORE is if two or three of them do.
Add to that the simplest factor: batters higher up come to the plate more. For my money, pile the best guys up top. If there are innings where the pitcher gets off clean, that’s fine. I’d rather that than the pitcher never gets off clean but runners are stranded all day long.
I’d read that Escobar was not popular in the clubhouse because of mental lapses on the field, a nonchalant attitude, and a general resistance to integrating with the rest of the team. I also read that Alex Gonzalez is well-liked and professional.
I disagree, though, about the Braves not making the playoffs. Baseball isn’t like basketball or football. Chemistry is nice, but not a necessity because it’s the most individual of team sports. That’s part of the reason why baseball is more statistically driven than other sports. While Escobar was with the team, the Braves were 37-27 for a winning percentage of .578. Without him, the team was 54-44, a winning percentage of .551. Pretty negligible difference.
I don’t know if Escobar would/could have turned his season around in Atlanta last year, but he significantly outplayed Gonzalez in the second half of the season, and he’s outperforming him now. I remember an anonymous quote from a teammate after Escobar got traded that was something like, “We didn’t mind him so much when he was hitting .290, but it’s tough to take his BS when he’s hitting .220.” That’s all the chemistry you really need in baseball – do your job well, and we’ll work the rest out. And it won’t really matter how much the guys like Gonzo if he’s hitting .230 with 4 homers in June, which is about what he hit in 2004 – the prime of his career.
Eric – I agree that chemistry in baseball is not a must. There’s plenty of examples of that. But, I think strong chemistry can make a good team very good to great. And that’s what we saw last year with the Braves.
I can tell you all about the Tampa/White Sox game……….
No Braves in Rosemary Beach, for some reason. Thank you Peachtree TV or Fox Sports South or whoever it is that has been carrying these games.
Eric, from our chats with DOB, it was way beyond “I like Escobar when he is playing well.” They hated that dude. They gave Gonzalez a standing ovation when he walked into the clubhouse. I hated the trade, and still do, but he clearly was more than a little nuisance they were dealing with.
1.Great game. I got goosebumbs when Chipper got his 2500th hit. If it weren’t for the injuries the last 6 years he would be right there with Jeter going for his 3,000th hit.
2.I seriously doubt Yunel was as bad as they made him out to be. Yunel had a different style of play from Cuba that nobody understood. It was weird how his errors weren’t seen as mistakes but seen as he somehow did them on purpose. It was also language barrier. If he spoke english he would still be here. Giving A – gon a standing ovation was a bit over dramatic from the braves. They make it seem he was some sort of mean bully or something. Not that serious. Braves will regret that trade.
Curt, I didn’t say “like” – I’m saying they tolerated him and that’s all it takes for baseball, especially when the guy you’re giving a standing O to a guy who has a ceiling of .250 at the plate. At some point this season they’re going to miss the production that Escobar provided.
And, for the record, I think it’s reductionist to say it “was just a language problem.” Kawakami was terrible, couldn’t speak English, and a lot of the guys really liked him. Escobar was aloof and gave the impression he only cared about his next paycheck. I think Bobby got tired of him and said, “I’m Bobby Cox. This is my last season and I’m tired of Yunel Escobar.” I probably would have hated him too.
2008 Rays and 2010 Giants. Those are two teams with great chemistry that made it much farther than they should have, so don’t be so quick to write off the effect of good team chemistry. I hated the Escobar trade as much as anyone. Many on this site can attest to my hatred of the trade, but he’s gone. He will never be a Brave again. Part of me wonders, since they met with Fredi Gonzalez in July, if Fredi Gonzalez didn’t have a role in that trade going down. As in Fredi telling Wren and Bobby that a Cubano couldn’t even turn Escobar around. Who knows? It’s all speculation.
There is nothing I love better in the world of sports than Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel pitch right now.
The rookies impacting the Braves club over the last four years is staggering:
I defy anyone (besides maybe the Rays, who soaked up all those first rounders, but I wonder if even they top us) to show a better crop of 8 rookies in 4 years! Averaging two impact rookies per year??!! Insane. And all but Jurrjens were farm raised. And most of them were stealthily acquired by our scouts – remember Heyward being scouted from the trees? Beachy was undrafted.
Add this to the resurrection project, O’Flaherty and the out-of-nowhere grab, Peter Moylan, and you gotta conclude that the heart and soul of Atlanta’s success is scouting and player development. I’ve heard that said a bunch, but I’ve never really gotten hold of it.
All this and Minor, Teheran, Delgado, and Vizcaino are all trying to get in, too. Will we get 10 impact rookies in 5 years??? If we end up with a dynasty on a 90 million dollar payroll while the $160 million(?) Phillies get old and crusty, how impressive would that be?
Um, Fredi Gonzalez is a moron, folks. Sherrill has a LIFETIME OPS-Against of .800 against RHB. He left the guy in there for two of them in a row.
Then pulled him when a LHB finally came up, when Sherrill actually has a LIFETIME .500 OPS-Against versus LHB. And puts in a RHP. Wow. In Bobby’s worst moments I never saw anything like what just happened. That was miraculously stupid.
I listened to the game via At-Bat, and I almost threw my iPhone to the ground when I heard the grand slam. This was after I was grinding my teeth when Sherrill walked the bases loaded. By the way, I’m from Manila, Philippines. Whenever the Braves have day games, I have to wake up at 1am.
Am I the only one who thinks that Uggla is getting a free pass just because he’s always started slow in the past? He’s hitting .176 for crying out loud. Right now, his defense is better than his offense — the complete opposite of what we expected. Good luck to D-Lowe for the game today. Let’s hope our lineup can keep Hamels’ ERA at 20.25.
NOTE TO ALL: UNTIL THE BRAVES ARE SOLD TO SOMEONE WHO CARES, THEY WILL NEVER WIN ANYTHING. BRAVES MANAGEMENT HAS THEIR HANDS TIED BY LIBERTY MEDIA (THE OWNERS) OUT OF DOUGLAS COUNTY, COLORADO (MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE ROCKIES FANS AND COULDN’T NAME 3 BRAVES IF THEIR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT ). THESE OWNERS COULD CARE LESS IF THE BRAVES EVER WIN; THEY JUST WANT THEM TO MAKE MONEY FOR THE PARENT COMPANY.
Ron – while I agree with you about the owners and that it definitely puts us at a disadvantage, we still have an amazing rotation, possibly the best 8th/9th inning guys going and a lineup that, on paper, should hit. Liberty Media had nothing to do with the eggs laid this week in MIL and ATL.
It was a pretty depressing day at the ballpark today until the Avett Brothers concert afterward that was tremendous. I need to see those boys indoors now. The sound mix left a lot to be desired.
Well, let’s just hope the Bravos can start to hit. I didn’t like seeing all of that first pitch swinging today from our top guys, though I kind of understand they want to be agressive. Let’s just hope that the Braves have a new tradition where they are weak in April and start to turn it on in May. Can’t afford to get too far behind the Phillies early and we need to get as many wins as possible BEFORE Chipper, Heyward, and whoever else starts getting hurt.
And hey, is the jury still out on Fredi G? So far, I really like he seems to know when to take the starting pitcher out of the game. But as soon as I say that someone else will probably complain that Fredi is taxing the bullpen (but hopefully they are watching who and when he’s bringing in).
Jo-Bu, welcome to the board. Yeah, I like Fredi so far, just fine. My one big complaint so far is that he pitched Sherrill against two righties on Saturday. And, depending on the day, I’m wound up about Heyward batting 6th. And then, other days, I don’t care so much.