I do have to say that with this team’s horrible offensive struggles this year, I find it funny how people were calling for Terry Pendletons head all those years. Be careful what you wish for. During the Braves historic run these last 20 years he was the hitting coach for their best offensive year in 2003. Its almost disrespectful how he was called a bad hitting coach. Besides Don Baylor, I would actually say he was the 2nd best hitting coach during this run. He had many great years. Overall, the Braves offense last year showed way more patience. We were so excited for Larry Parrish but now we got we wished for because he obviously has made no impact. Im sure he’s a great guy and he doesn’t he’s not fully responsible but something is off with this team offensively.
Re #1 – A couple of days ago, Fredi G felt compelled to say that there’s been no team mandate to be more aggressive at the plate (in defense of Parrish, for sure). And I’ll take him at his word, but day to day doesn’t support that.
The Braves must make a move at the trade deadline to have success in the postseason.
The word ‘must’ is what bothers me in this.
If you consider the “return of Prado” as an aqusition, if you consider the “return of Medlin” an aquisition, if indeed you consider “Uggla hits .260 with 15HR the rest of the way” an aquisition, then perhaps the Braves may get what they need to “wake up” the offense w/o a trade.
If you are limiting the posiblities to an offensive upgrade in CF or at SS, then, without the benefit of trade, we have a player at Gwinnett. Jose Constanza is playing CF, hitting .339/.386/.392/.778 w/ 18SB in 62 games.
However, that being said, you pretty much need to decide what you are looking for: “win now” or “fix the position for a while” – I don’t think you can have both in this year’s situation (available players, cost of aquisition, cost of contract under Liberty’s team control). I think it will take a lot to “pry away” anyone who is a long term solution and I fear it will be a “Tex trade” to you guys (which, if the rest of the team had performed and we had been WS contenders for the two seasons we had him under control – assuming we didn’t trade him the second year because we were ‘in it’ – would you still see it as a bad trade?)
If you were to replace ‘must’ with ‘should’ in the question, I would say ‘FAIR’!
I agree on Kemp, the Dodgers are worth less w/o him; but, if MLB takes over for McCourt, I don’t think they would have a problem lessening the worth of the team in a sale (since McCourt has used the team as his personal ATM) and might trade Kemp.
If we could pick up Adam Jones, I would be good with that trade.
Additionally, a move may convey a sense of urgency and support for the rest of the team to win…
Part I: You keep Medlin over either of our two #5 guys (keep Medlin over Beachy or Minor).
Trade order of those three:
I can’t see saying “we know what we have with Medlin”. He hasn’t pitched in a single game since his sugery. They shut him down in a simulated game after just a few pitches because he wasn’t “letting it go”. He was favoring the arm, “afraid” to pitch like he would have to in a real game. That type of “fear” either gets you hit or, if you change your mechanics, gets you hurt. I’m with Hammy in that Medlin’s trade value is higher now that it will be if he “stumbles” when he comes back.
Beachy has something to prove every time he is on the mound. He wasn’t drafted. That information follows you in baseball for your entire career. He has shown he can pitch at this level and pitch well. Minor is promising, but unproven. He was a number one pick, so he has trade value.
Also, one minor thing (pun intended), Minor throws left but bats right… that means his left arm is always exposed to the pitcher when he is batting…
Part II: You keep Medlin over Teheran and Delgado.
Trade order of those three:
Delgado looked good, but he is 4-4 at the AA level.
Teheran has looked good at the major level (not great… then again, Medlin didn’t look great prior to his sugery, he was good, but not great), but he is 8-1 w/ 1.79 ERA at AAA (OBTW – Minor, on the same team, is 3-2 w/ 2.74 ERA).
Though the average hasn’t exactly shown it, he has looked better at the plate lately. He isn’t pulling off the ball as much, he is staying on pitches better and he is walking. BUT he hasn’t left the “bad habbits” behind… yet.
At the theater for #3’s 6th birthday. Brought my Braves snuggle along to keep me warm. Gotta represent!
I would trade Meds (with much sadness) over Teheran or Delgado but not Minor. I’m on the fence with Beachy. I think Uggla turns it around. He just looks better. Of course I thought he would break out in FL so…
Steve, watching J-Hey lead off against a lefty with a 1.14 WHIP sounds un-fun to me. Heyward’s batting a mean .176 against southpaws this year, including only one of his homers coming vs. lefties. I’m trying to be positive, but it seems like we’re giving two outs away right out of the gate. Fredi continues to baffle me.
I will say I agree with the general concept of mixing it up on the line up card. But this one’s just foolishly bad.
To put #17 in further perspective, Jordan Schafer hits the exact same .176 against lefties, though Fredi is sitting him in favor of leading off with Heyward’s exact-same numbers. This does two bad things: robs us of Heyward’s speed if he should happen to get on (in other words, he is actually better than Heyward for lead off in this situation), and, more importantly, loses us Schafer’s defense in that canyon of an outfield.
It could work out. But it won’t be any less dumb for that. This guy just doesn’t have much workin’ upstairs.
No, not a lot. I think the same idea applies in Atlanta. However, while their offensive numbers (BA, OBP, SLG, OPS) are about the same home and away, the O’s are 8 games under .500 away from home (they are 3 games over .500 in Balt.)…
To be fair, I haven’t been able to find where I read that about Medlen, but here is something about it from a DOB story from June 22
After about two weeks off following a setback with scar tissue breakup, Kris Medlen is back throwing off a bullpen mound. He threw 60 pitches without problem on Wednesday as he starts his climb again to return from elbow reconstruction surgery.
Medlen is not throwing curveballs with any regularity. He’s going to ease back into throwing his third pitch, which is what he was throwing when he felt a scar tissue pop on May 31. But he said his biggest obstacle is now mental, not physical, and trusting his arm again.
“It’s the last hurdle for everybody who goes through this,” Medlen said. “You know your arm is strong. You know it’s sturdy and ready to go, it’s just the mental part. It’s that whole release of being able to let it go. I can feel myself, once I’m trying to throw it as hard as I can, my body is like ‘oh,’ and I guide it through. It doesn’t feel as fluid as I want it to yet, but that’s the last hurdle.”
As the Braves headed for the West Coast, Medlen was headed back to the Braves complex in Orlando. He has a one-way airline ticket and plans to stay there until he’s on the cusp of being ready to return, starting with bullpen sessions to live batting practice and possibly even his minor league rehabilitation. He could pitch in Gulf Coast League games.
The setback cost him a possible return in late July. Mid-August would still put him at the typical 12 months recovery, but Medlen is not putting a date on it.
“I am over trying to give myself a timetable,” said Medlen, pointing to his elbow. “It’s obviously going to depend on this guy.”
Anyone want to change the mind about trading Beachy?
20 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 ER and two wins in his last two games? Can’t ask a lot more from a 5th starter… Figure once he is here a bit longer he will be able to go deeper in games, kind of like Hanson did…
Mark, trading Beachy would still depend on the package for me. It would obviously need to be way higher than that fourth OF that the Brewers (reportedly) refused to give us for the kid last year.
I don’t expect Beachy to keep up this post-DL tear. I think he caught the Jay’s struggling and the Mariners’ offense is slumping big time.
But I’ll be the umpteenth person to note Beachy’s demeanor; it really does seem to point to a guy who’ll maximize his talent. If this undrafted guy becomes a top notch 5th starter, I hope we hang on to him for a long time. For composure, he’s the anti-Jo Jo Reyes.
I would rather trade Minor, but I’d rather NOT trade Minor at the present time because I’m hoping his stock will increase enough to pull a solid return for him during the winter.
I saw one of Delgado’s 4 loses in AA, and it was not very impressive. That doesn’t mean he’s not a fantastic prospect. It means he had a rough outing (Derek Lowe has had many in a Braves’ uniform). Julio faced the D’Backs, who were getting hot, and the Phils. Cut the guy some slack. Yeah, it’s beyond ridiculous that scouts compare him to a HOFer and one of the greats of all time, but doesn’t that say something about his stuff and his potential if he’s the top pitching prospect in the minors and scouts have compared his stuff to Pedro Martinez. We Braves’ fans are spoiled by good pitching. Minor is not as capable as Beachy, but he is still a serviceable pitcher in MLB. Also, the Braves have looked pretty good with their ability to evaluate pitching talent, so if they project Delgado and Teheran in their future rotation I’ll trust them. JJ, Hanson, Beachy, Teheran, and Delgado/Medlen sounds pretty sweet for a future rotation.
It’s time to figure out who you keep to go along with Tommy and JJ. We have very little offense in the minor leagues. We will have to trade to get it. No good offensive free agents are coming to Atlanta. I can’t remember the last time one did. We will have to acquire a better offense via trade. It’s a must. If we go to the postseason as is we will suffer many more frustrating 1 or 2 run loses and leave in the first round. So yes, FAIR on a trade for offense. Please. The question remains, though… Who? You guys threw out some great ideas, but I think Frank surprises us again, for better or worse…
Lol @ Marlon Byrd’s like 60 years old. That may be Steve, but he’s still better than McLouth and Schafer, both of whom will never be All-Stars. I don’t count McLouth’s Pirate appearance. Cameron Maybin and Schafer seem like the same player, and I would rather have Schafer. That would be like last year when we traded Blanco and Chavez for Ankiel and Farnsworth. What’s the point? Please no Michael Bourn. Kemp would be pretty sweet, but it ain’t happening. Neither is Granderson. Pence or Jones would be my top picks.
Look at the AL East with the BoSox, Yanks, and Rays. I’m glad we don’t play in that division, and go Rays! Stick it to those money spending punks. Sick rotation. Longo heating up. If only they still had Crawford. If only. One of my all-time favorite players to watch.
I absolutely love Meds and hope he isn’t traded. 13-1 in his starts last year. Is that good? Plus, he strikes me as a guy who would absolutely kill the Braves for the rest of his career if traded. I don’t really worry about that with Minor and Delgado.
Mark makes a good point about acquistions from within when we get Prado back and if Uggla hits his career numbers. The same goes for Meds and Moylo if they make it back this year. Our team could be scary good if everyone performs the way they should. We’ve been saying that for like 60+ games now…
Beachy’s demeanor: confident. From undrafted out of Indiana-Wesleyan to striking out Ichiro twice in a night. That’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Nate, no idea about Bourn, though I did notice Fangraphs has him way up there in Wins Above Replacement (one behind McCann, actually…).
But ESPN can also just be way off on stuff. I know everybody says that, but this year, I’m seriously blown away with how terrible some of their baseball analysis has been. I think they have such a grip on the sports media market that they’re not even trying half the time.
Agreed. Their CFB analysis is based on what have you done for me lately, and their recruiting stuff is puzzling. I could go on for days with their CFB failures. Soccer coverage is a joke. You have 40 wash-ups to be your analysts for baseball. BBT has become unwatchable. One of my favorite 10 weekday shows. Unwatchable. Bobby V and his dyed hair need to find something else to do. Kruk has lightened up on his Phillies drum beating, but he’s still kruk. Something about Carl Ravick makes me want to punch him in the face, and how long did they stick with the Mets? Why not give that show to Stark, Kurkjian, and Olney and get some younger guys to help. It just doesn’t make sense. They do alright with me on basketball. I don’t follow other sports enough to comment on their coverage. NFL coverage gets a C-. ESPN has let itself go. That’s all I got.
•Hoping for the Yanks to acquire Jair Jurrjens or Derek Lowe? We’re not sure if either is available, but Sherman says “the Yankees’ policy has become pretty much to run away from Atlanta pitching after having successful Braves hurlers blow up on them.”
To keep Medlen over Delgado and Teheran would be nuts. Yeah, prospects are iffy, but Teheran and Delgado are about as assured as Freeman, Hanson, and Heyward were. And let’s admit they worked out great. Heyward’s had troubles, but he put up, what, 5 WAR last year? No way I’m keeping a solid #3 starter coming off TJS over a chance to have another cheap Hanson up here.
#65 – It was an awful night for Chipper last night. Particularly striking out twice, LOOKING! So un-Chipper like. I was attributing it to him being uncomfortable in the DH role, I didn’t really consider injury. Damn. That’s depressing. This lineup needs Chipper badly.
Take out the game where he got hurt, and Beachy’s last 6 starts have been phenomenal. In 37 innings, he’s given up 6 earned runs on 17 hits and 7 walks. 48 Ks, too. Includes 6 shutout innings against Milwaukee.
I’ll take Beachy over any prospect except Teheran.
After consulting Beachy’s game log, I’d probably place him behind only Teheran with the keepers. But I wouldn’t trade Delgado, either. Those last three I’d hold tight unless a long term, cost controlled very good CF was offered, which isn’t going to happen.
Well, the Phils just wrapped up what could be their watershed victory of the season, two-hitting the Red Sox with Lee, who was their most in doubt member of the triumvirate. And blasting Becket for five runs. As the resident Philly non-hater, I couldn’t help being entertained. I don’t see many reasons why Halladay/Lee/Hamels can’t set records in the post season.
But if the Braves get it together, they could be one of the few teams that could stop them. I can see an NLCS full of 1-0 games, something legendary. Not that I think our top three starters can match that ridiculous trio, but when hits are that hard to come by, what’s the difference between being one-hit by Halladay and being four-hit by Hudson if nobody scores? And I believe our offense can do as much damage against three mistake pitches from Halladay as theirs can with 8 mistake pitches from Hudson.
I keep feeling more certain that this team needs a different plate approach much more than it needs another player who could easily fall in with Uggla, McClouth, and A. Gonz as players who we over pay and they underperform with the bat!
Besides our recent luck with acquiring hitters, I am not ready to trade any of our young arms. Maybe Lowe can go, but it is far to early to tell who is the Jo Jo of our five young guns and who is the Wainwright of the bunch.
Netflixers, if you haven’t seen the documentary “Thin Blue Line” from the 80’s, you can stream it instantly. I was blown away. I’d always heard of it – the story of a man wrongly convicted of murder and subsequently set free b/c of a documentary made about him – but I wasn’t prepared for how artfully it was done. The ending sneaks up on you and you can’t believe what you’re seeing is even real. Human beings are freaking crazy.
Awe…I do love it when you miss me. Leah is a working woman with little time for west coast games. Plus, I have a pinched nerve in my back which requires muscle relaxers and you know how that goes. I did enjoy the highlights from last night’s game immensely.
Uggla looks WAY better at the plate in the highlight videos. Is he flailing in his other at bats? And McCann…HOLY COW!!!!
Bub, I’m super bored at work so I might just check out “Thin Blue Line” and hopefully be able to catch the game this afternoon.
I’m not able to comment often but I still keep up with the board.
Where is the MLB love for McCann. The guy is far and away the best catcher in baseball. It’s insane that he almost wallows in anonimity. Because why, he plays in a far-flung place like Atlanta? For a team with no history, like the Braves?
Need some help from someone out there that is good with the stats. Where is a recap of pitcher’s inherited runners scored on a reliever? Also, is there a way to show how many times a pitcher finnished an inning they were in or how many times they were saved by another pitcher (runners kept from scoring)?
The point is that Sherill’s era seems to be misleading and I would like to see it in another light. For instance, if he comes in with runners on and gives up hits so they score, he was not effective but it was the other guy’s era that goes up. Also, when he screws up with hits/walks and is replaced and the new reliever keeps those runs from scoring, Sherill’s era is saved. Maybe just my imagination and subjective opinion from watching just a few of his outings, but Sherrill doesn’t seem like the guy I want in there in tough situations but his stats are good. What am i missing?
I can’t remember a game this season where after the Braves scored the first run I believed the would come back…. McCann is a beast. Two things I did see last night that concerns me is the downward spiral at the plate by Gonzalez, and Chipper looks tired…
Lowe helps Braves with each decent outing. Makes him more tradeable; they surely will trade him if they can find any takers? I would. They will need his salary to pay and keep the young guys. Not perfect but Hanson is a keeper. Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux are once in a lifetime pitching staffs.; but, we have the makings of a solid staff for years to come.
Phillies and Braves pulling away from the field. 3 games up in the WC for ATL with the AZ loss. That feels really, really good.
Fredi should be punched in the ______ for pitching Venters with ANOTHER big late lead, this time against a terrible offense. The kid’s sinker is straightening out, which is as sure a sign of fatigue as loss in velocity. If we lose this guy in the second half, I will be as over Fredi G as I was over Yunel when he tried to break Glaus’s wrist.
You may not be the only one in the world, but between Leah and Bub, you’re the only one. 8)
There is no way Minor/Teheran/Delgado can’t give us a 4.25 ERA for the next 1.5 years, and for 20+ million dollars less. You can buy a lot of OPS for 20 million dollars. (Unless you spend it on Dannnn Uggla)
Fredi Gonzalez just said something smart. That’s almost as exciting as the sweep.
Does Venters just seem a little fatigued?
“I think so. Roger and I have spoken about that already today. It maybe something that, without giving any secrets out, we may give him a couple of days. It’s something that we’ve got to manage it a little bit. And we’ve spoken about that. I hate to say anything about it because everybody reads the paper and you don’t want to give any secrets away to [the opponent in] the next series that’s coming up. But yeah, it’s something we’ve spoken about.”
“Not concerned about it, but we may have to give him a couple of days, just to recharge. He’s got, what, 46 appearances counting today? We may have to back off a little bit. He’s too valuable for us and we want him for the long haul.”
Had he already warmed up today, is that why you went ahead and used him in 5-1 game?
“What was it, 5-1? A 5-1 game and you had those left-handers coming up. We had Linebrink going just in case we popped another one [in the top of the eighth], and give Linebrink an inning. We didn’t and it was a 5-1 game, so go ahead and run Jonny out there.”
But you’re not saying he’s hurt?
“No, no. He’s fine. But we don’t want him to get to that point. So we’re going to have to manage that a little bit better, for our part.”
I hate the idea of a $15 mil reliever, but D Lowe would be great in long relief. He usually pitches a really nice 3-4 innings and then falls apart. He’s a stranger to the bullpen. If the braves go with Jurrjens, Hanson, and Hudson for a 3-man playoff rotation, I would feel a lot more confident with Lowe coming on in relief than Linebrink or Martinez.
I kinda wish Chipper would go ahead with the surgery. What’s the point of playing hurt if you can’t be effective? Yes, Chipper hurt is still better than many other players, but he looked so much better in the Spring and earlier in the year when he was healthier.
interesting talk on trade targets…about adam jones, i think he is a bit overrated by some, though i think you guys proposed a reasonable trade for him. he hits for decent power, but doesnt really get on base well, and he doesnt steal alot of bases even though he is fast. not a terrible player, and id agree he would probably be an upgrade, but he wouldnt be a leadoff candidate for me.
i think the braves should more heavily consider upgrading SS. you mentioned adam jones of the orioles…how about they leave jj hardy in atlanta when they leave? hes having a great year.
thats the stat line for carlos pena in 2010. i think this is probably the best we can hope for from uggla this season. not useless, but certainly not what we hoped for. also, i think this is a blip on the radar for uggla. he will be better next year.
Sorry if I’m behind…I just got a chance to listen to the podcast, and haven’t read the comments.
When it comes to trading pitching, with all the great arms we have, I see Medlen as a bullpen/long relief/spot starter kind of guy. Thats not the kind of pitcher I keep over any of our top prospects, Minor, Beachy, Tehran, or Delgado. The good news is, Medlen is not on the same level as those guys, so its not like any GM is going to say “I want either Tehran, or Medlen.” That situation won’t happen.
Hey guys, i’m new to the board, but I love the show and look forward to it every week! It makes my Monday mornings go better when I listen to it on my iPhone at work lol.
Quick question for you guys, I’m from PA and have been a diehard Braves fan since I was a kid thanks to TBS. I was thinking of coming down in August for Bobby’s jersey retirement ceremony. I was just wondering if anyone has ever went to the batting practice experience and if it was worth the $70 extra for a ticket? I thought it would be cool to do at least once. Do any of the players sign autographs during it?
Hi Chris (#170) – welcome to the board. And thanks for the kind words.
I have seen the batting practice experience from the stands and you are certainly down on the field (behind a white picket fence looking thing). I can’t remember if there are autographs, but I would think there have to be. It looks pretty cool. You really are close.
You know, I’m tempted to put the Seattle sweep pretty high on the season accomplishments so far. Anyone else feel that way?
Oh, and just to put you on alert: I noticed Baltimore has a winning record against both the AL Central and the AL West. Couple that with the Braves’ tendencies to play “down,” to be less good at home, and to follow the happy with the very sad, and we could be in for a rough weekend. It would be really great if they picked now to not do that.
But seriously, don’t you guys feel better about the boys now? Some of the swoons previously this season almost seemed like foregone conclusions, but I feel like putting up a stinker against the O’s would be the biggest surprise/disappointment of this season.
Ham, I’m not sold on Heyward and Uggla being close to the production we need from them. When that happens, I’ll be way, way excited. When that happens, we may be the best team in the NL or even in baseball.
As it is, I’m having a good time watching them play inspired baseball in spite of shortcomings.
#185 really made me laugh. I was expecting to see Steve Carell’s face from the 40 Year Old Virgin poster. Yours was much better.
Ham – it’s been a hell of a week and a half, but those two losses to SD were only 6 days ago. And Uggla is not *really* hitting yet. Here are his BA/OPB/SLG the last 6 games. Better, but nowhere near the level where I’m declaring an end to his personal state of emergency: .200 .333 .500
All of that said, I am psychotically excited about this O’s series. Take 2 of 3 from them and look good doing it and my confidence levels will grow significantly.
yes, he will be a free agent and if the braves got him, they would need to extend him as well. i’d give the O’s gonzalez, to playout his contract for the rest of the year, pastorinicky, who is our best most advanced SS prospect, and one of the lower rated pitching prospects like hoover or redmond.
i think they take that since hardy will be a free agent, but again, braves would need to sign hardy in the off season.
and even if they dont trade for him, lets hope the extension with the O’s falls through, because the braves should go after him as a free agent.
also on hardy, though he is playing above his career averages, he is 28 and entering his prime. this is a time where he may play above his career averages for several years in a row. also, his career averages are over 100 OPS points better than what gonzalez is giving us.
if you look at hardy’s career numbers, they are up and down a bit, but one thing you can know about him. he has a pretty good K/BB ratio, has above average power for a SS, and hes just OK at getting on base. so to me, hes a bottom of the order hitter, probably 6th or 7th. he is also a very good fielding SS.
Not sure I’ve been this impatient for a Braves game since opening day.
C’mon, Bravos. Knock Jeremy Guthrie into next week. Punish them for being Orioles, for being from smutty Baltimore, for firing Frank Wren, for wearing Halloween colors in the summertime. Show no mercy.
The only reason I really, REALLY wanted Jurrjens to pitch a no-hitter was because he leads the league in ERA and wins, but gets zero consideration for starting the all star game. That would have blown up in ESPN’s face if he had thrown a no no.
(I do think Halladay deserves the start, but it should at least be a discussion.)
Happy to be home after a GREAT game. Don’t know if you could hear/see on TV, but when the no-hitter was ended, the crowd liberally applauded JJ – many on their feet.
For the record, Ballpark Frank was crushed at that moment, that he could no longer lawd it over you guys that “he was there” when JJ pitched that no-hitter.
Ham – Struggs got a double…
SO GREAT to see both McLouth & Schaefer in the outfield. The Samson-like locks are workin’ well for Natey-boy.
Dan Uggla’s 2 WORST years were 2007 and 2009 were he hit .245 and .243 respectively. His hit totals were 155 and 137. He has 54 hits SO FAR this year. Anyone seeing him getting at least 83 hits for the rest of the season? He also has 12 HRs and 28 RBIs. If he had 0 HRs he would have 16 RBI (and that gives him a few for men on base when he hit a HR) for the first half of the season.
If he were playing the way he is capable of playing….even average. I wonder how many more wins the Braves would have?
On a high note…great game by the Braves tonight.
Wonder what neck muscle that Chipper injured getting hit in the back of the head. It was funny to see hit giving Derrick Lee a hard time for hitting him.
AZ and the Brew Crew just lost. giving us a clean 4 game lead in the Wild Card race. Braves and Phils pulling away from the pack. Just 2 weeks ago there was a logjam of five teams at the top of the WC standings. Braves have really stepped on the gas.
Great win last night, and a great job by Jurrjens. He definitely had no-hit stuff, and it looked like if the infield wasn’t play Adam Jones to pull, then Alex Gonzalez would have a good chance at making the play. But nevertheless — excellent start by Jurrjens.
I just read Brave in New York’s blog (great stuff, btw), and I agree with Fredi being a bit too calm as a manager. In his postgame comments, too, it seems like he’s being really…what’s the word…diplomatic, especially towards players on other teams. Last night, for example, he had the whole “their guy pitched a great game too, let’s not forget that” thing, which he often says. Now, this thing isn’t so bad, and I kinda like it that he says it, although it can get a bit old…
No, something that he said last night really served as a stark contrast to Bobby Cox, and I don’t think it’s in a good way. I was watching the postgame clubhouse interviews, and someone (Dave O’Brien at AJC?) asked him if he thought Jurrjens’ performance earned him the starting spot for the All-Star Game. Fredi’s response? “Well, I think he’s got one more start before that, but this was a pretty good performance that can get some attention to give him an opportunity to at least be on the team.”
“At least be on the team”?!?! What kind of endorsement is that? There’s no doubt that JJ will be on the team, and in fact he definitely deserves to be in strong consideration along with the Philly pitchers. Can’t you just hear Bobby’s response if he were manager this year? “Well he would be for me, there’s no question about it! He’s had a helluva first half, and I think he’s certainly earned it. If I were in there, I’d let him pitch 9 if they’d allow it, he’s that good.”
Fredi’s comments, though, either seem to be saying one of two things: that JJ’s all-star worthiness isn’t solid, which would be bad for him to say; or that he wants to be respectful of other players in the league just as much as he respects his own. The second one is also bad, b/c I think a manager should stand behind his player, hold him up, give him that boost and confidence, etc. I’m sure that Fredi does do that and his players know that they’ve got his support and confidence — it just doesn’t seem to shine through as much in his postgame interviews.
And also, I would just point out Heyward’s comments on the issue of whether JJ should be All-Star starter: “Do I think he should? I would not be mad if he did. It counts and I feel pretty confident, but there’s a lot of other guys worthy also.” Again — these are rather strange comments to be coming out of a Braves’ clubhouse, especially when we’re used to seeing Bobby as well as fellow players holding each other up.
Just some things I noticed and was curious about in the midst of what’s turning out to be a great week. Let’s make it 5 in a row tonight!
David, I noticed Fredi’s and Jason’s comments, too. Super awkward moment for Jurrjens. What a lame couple of endorsements.
With Heyward, I have to seriously start to suspect he is socially immature. Not a super bad knock on him, but I just don’t think that when he reaches for something to say, he comes back with a natural or appropriate response half the time. “Always frontin” as we used to say. Hopefully he’ll develop a little grace as he goes along, because he’s not coming off very likeable at all.
Fredi tries to be real in postgame, which I appreciate. But damn is he dumb.
David (#227) – Fantastic post. And yeah, both those comments are downright perplexing. I imagine, for Fredi, it’s some kind of taking the high road, or something crazy like that, but – C’MON! Like you said, of course he’s on the AS Team. The only question remains about he or Halladay starting the game.
Steve — thanks! I agree about Fredi trying to take the high road or something, but there’s no shame in the Bobby approach, either.
I’m thinking that it’s gonna be Halladay who gets the nod. He’s the reigning Cy Young, he’s got a million complete games this season alone, he’s got more IP and strikeouts. Jurrjens has him in ERA and the distinction of being the first to 10 (and 11) wins in the NL, and those are nice, but Halladay has the “name” and recognition as being the very best starting pitcher in all of baseball, and unless someone is able to totally out-do him, I think he’s the guy that Bochy will select.
But why else will it be Halladay over Jurrjens? It’s the Braves’ bridesmaid syndrome. As a team, they had it during the 14 division title streak, but now it’s affecting Braves players themselves in things like these — Jurrjens, Heyward, Hanson, Frenchy all finishing 2nd (or 3rd) in Rookie of the Year; Andruw 2nd-place MVP; McCann always being the runner-up for All-Star; etc.
Don’t get me wrong — I am rooting 100% for JJ to get the start, cause he’s definitely deserved it. And hopefully I am wrong, and it will be JJ over Halladay (and Lee and Hamels, for that matter).
Let’s go Huddy! Also — I’m smelling a big game from Schaefer tonight.
Pure, we face Halladay, Lee, and Hamels with Lowe, Beachy, and Hanson. If Uggla and Heyward catch fire, maybe. Short of that, I think we’ll enter the ASB where we are now, about 4 back.
But I’m really proud of the Bravos. Playing with a severe handicap in Fredi Gonzalez. (Seriously, how many ways did he try to beat us today? Bogus suicide sqeeze number 4 on the year, batting Gonzalez in the top of the order, and not having Venters available because he was used with big leads last week… that’s three right off the bat).
Nate, I would so much hate to be without either Freeman or Kimbrel. According to Fangraphs, Billy Wagner was worth 2.2 wins above replacement last year. Kimbrel has given us 1.8 already, leading ALL MAJOR LEAGUE RELIEVERS by nearly half a win, which is nutsville.
Freeman has been worth 0.3 wins above replacement* so far, where Glaus gave us 0.6 for all of last year. For what it’s worth, Freddie and Troy had the same number of homers, nine, to this point of the season.
So, we replaced Wags and Troy, surpassed them really, for pennies on the dollar to say the least. And both stand to improve from here, whereas Troy and Wags regressed in the second half.
* (Warning: sabergibberish ahead) I actually used Freeman’s oWAR, or Offensive WAR, here instead of his full WAR for two reasons: 1. UZR, the defensive component of WAR, is unstable with less than a season or two of data. Most saberheads get grumpy if WAR is used to analyse any batter’s ongoing season for this reason. 2. Specifically, Freddie is punished by a poor UZR, which is probably just from too much noise in the data. We’ve all seen with our own eyes that he’s an asset defensively. So I just basically threw that value out.
Actually moved over the line into Olive Branch a few years ago, but the monicar started while I was living in Memphis and that’s the way folks on several podcasts know me, so I have kept it. Can’t quite “throw and rock” and hit Memphis, but I am close…
I understand picking Halladay over JJ to start the All-Star game.
Halladay has done it longer. He regularly throws complete games. Almost never fails to strike out a bunch. He almost always “looks” dominant in the games he pitches. Is defending Cy winner, and IS defending it… (i.e. is in the running for another…)
JJ doesn’t “look” as dominant. He was on the DL to start the year. He doesn’t “always go nine”.
But, the starter in the All-Star game has a chance to lose the game, but has no chance to win it. They never go the five innings to qualify. But, after the starter, whomever is the pitcher of record when the team takes the lead, he “wins” the game. If JJ doesn’t start, he has a chance to be the game winner…
re #227-228 – did any of you notice how lukewarm the handshakes and high-fives for JJ were after the game? McCann seemed cold to him, and a lot of players seemed more congratulatory towards Heyward than they did to JJ. I was surprised, I thought there would have a warmer response.
Did I make this up? What’s the book on JJ as a teammate?
On JJ — I did see a game a few weeks back where he showed up his teammates when a grounder got through the infield. As I remember it, he kind of tossed his glove in the air and rolled his eyes.
I can’t believe that Sunshine Steve is shooting down my first-place prediction/prayer. It’s something to aim for — a stretch goal. Unlikely, true. Where’s the excitement in predicting that we’ll still be four games back by next week?
Scott Proctor in a high leverage situation. Sorry to be negative when things are so good, but Fredi Gonzalez is an unmitigated moron. Just as we all figured, Fredi has been unaware just how close Proctor has been to losing every single game he’s pitched in without extreme luck. That they sent Martinez down instead of cutting Proctor when they called up Gearrin is absolutely mindboggling.
Every. Single. Step. Of the way, from his signing to his first call up, I have screamed that this guy is a loss waiting to happen. Everybody has seen it but the Braves. Unreal.
Amazing thing about Proctor is that the Braves handcuffed themselves to him. When the sent him to Gwinnett, they guaranteed he would be brought up by a certain date, regardless of how he had pitched. Now it seems they don’t want to admit their mistake. The loss of Peter Moylan has been greatly understated.
So sad…no show? Oh well, I’m on vacay anyway and head back to work on Wed. So it’s kinda perfect but sorry for work lost. Can you tell us this week’s predictions? Hope the kid has fun at camp…you told him to sleep with one eye open right?
I put this question out on the “show” last night, but I am sure I will forget to re-ask on the re-do. What is Uggla’s WAR (or in this case LBR – losses below replacement player)? And does he have the worse one considering how much he makes? How many millions does he make per L (or negative W)?
Does that question even make sense? Bub, help me out.
Pretty cool that the players voted Chipper an all star. The Vulture made the squad, too. Awesome. I’m pleased with our four selections, but I thought Hanson deserved a nod, especially if he pitches well tonight.
Steve, I hate that your Cars 2 slam was lost. I’m a complete Pixar fanboy, and I refuse to watch it. I could tell by the trailers they totally sold out for merchandising and the reviews just confirmed it. I couldn’t possibly be more bummed out about it. Pixar held sacred status for me in an otherwise generally bankrupt film industry. A real “et tu, Brute?” moment.
Alright, down to the lake to shoot bottle rockets into the tornado wreckage…
Ham, Dan’s given us a loss of 0.7 games at a cost of around 5 million.
Adam Dunn’s got him beat with a loss of 1.2 games at 6 million.
Chone Figgins, for about 5 million, has given the Mariners a loss of 1.3 games.
And that’s the first two players that popped into my limited head, there’s no chart of this info per se, so I’d just have to think of a player that’s sucking and go find the figures. I’d be surprised if Dan’s in the top 10, but I could be wrong. His homers have kept his value from reaching the heights of travesty.
“For the rest of the season, I want your approach at the plate to be ‘take everything the other way’. If you are going to swing at it, it better be aimed at center or right. Every time I see you try to pull a ball, you sit the next day.”
#307 – Not too harsh, but I don’t know that it’s the right thing to do (I’m not claiming to know what’s right). It’s just that his first 5 years were very consistent and successful. I still think this is about his head and not his mechanics. Maybe your suggested approach would swing the pendulum (head-wise) back to where it needs to be.
I think every time Struggla swings and misses at a ball off the plate outside he should pay a grand or so. He can’t reach the outside corner, so he should start making pitchers either throw strikes or come inside. This is pretty similar to other suggestions made, like simply stepping up closer to the plate. He crushes pitches inside, so maybe he should go all Jeff Bagwell and crowd the plate and look for up and in fastballs.
Uggla’s lack of timing and good swings is looking more like a lousy hitter than just a bad streak. Is it time to face up to the fact that some careers do end early? If this proves to be the end of a career and not just a bad half season or a bad season, his contract will go down as one of the worst in baseball history.
Fredi hurts this team when he doesn’t maximize its potential by putting Jason lower in the order. Its really frustrating that he would do this while we are winning. I like Fredi but he’s really stupid.
I know that Braves fans still bash the Feliz/Andrus/etc-for-Teixeira trade, but if we didn’t make that trade back then, we wouldn’t be celebrating Kimbrel tying the record for most saves by a rookie before the all-star break NOW.
Here’s hoping that Kimbrel breaks Feliz’s record for saves by a rookie (40), which he set last year! Btw — that’s a question for the podcast…who would you rather have: Kimbrel or Feliz? Freeman or Teixeira (i.e. we were able to sign Tex to a long-term contract)? Andrus or…Alex Gonz…ah nevermind.