Actually, AGonz is the one guy who does get a pass on the hitting – JJ, et al have results better than the actual pitching b/c the defense is so good. The issue is not the light hitting, good fielding shortstop – its the light hitting everything else.
Bravo, I have to disagree. The damage he is causing with his bad is crippling to this team. His 4-40 with RISP at least cancels out his defense, if not supersedes it. He’s awful. And they are all non-productive outs to boot. Strike outs and pop ups. The fact that this franchise had Elvis Andrus and Yunel Escobar and we are stuck with Alex Gonzalez is a tragedy, and incredibly short sighted by the front office. I don’t care about his defense anymore. He has to contribute with his bat for us to have any shot.
“Alex Gonzalez struck out to end the second, fourth and sixth innings, stranding six runners including three in scoring position. He struck out with runners on the corners in the second and with bases loaded in the sixth, making him 4-for-41 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
The veteran shortstop has driven in five of the 56 runners he’s had in scoring position in those at-bats.”
It was a brutal game last night. And the crowd just deflated every time Gonzo came up to bat. Everyone knew what was going to happen – and then it did. And Gonzo’s body language is not instilling any confidence either.
How did the Pirates starter look on TV? It was amazing how many swings and misses there were the Braves. And striking out looking. Was he that good? The pitches, from my vantage point, did not look overly impressive.
Steve, that last strike out he had, with the bases loaded, even he looked like he knew it was coming. You have guys like Heyward, who look awful, but he ropes that one which of course ends up in a double play. But Gonzalez is lost. He has no shot.
It seemed a case of the Braves flailing away again. He looked ok at best. Eric sent me a stat, which I will now steal, that the Pirates pitcher had 2+ walks in every start this season. 0 last night. You had 8 hits against him in 5 1/3 and scored 0 runs. Negated all by the 9 Ks, which I believe was a season high for him. And other than McCann (maybe Schafer) that was our starting team last night.
Who knows how the game changes if McLouth makes the proper play in the 2nd and Hudson gets out of it without giving up a run there. They had 3 walks, all scored. A very frustrating start to this homestand after a pretty forgettable road trip. AZ now 3.5 back.
3-2-9-6-2-3-1. These are the runs scored by the Braves in last 7 games. Guess which two they won? If these bats don’t wake up, the WC lead will continue to shrink; anyone, who thinks it is a lock, is kidding themselves. Pitching is not their problem as every team has a couple of crappy pitchers. You just need a manager who uses the crappy pitchers in the games that are basically/likely lost. NOT in games you are still in. Braves need to find a couple of bats this week! Even a couple of strong bench players would be good. Heyward has more than a Sophmore jinx and Gonzo swings like a high school kid looking at his first curveball. Yunel: 109 hits, .305 ba, .384 obp; maybe the cancer on the Braves is the GM.
Buster Olney pointed out something that I’ve been saying: that even if we do trade Minor or Delgado to get Beltran, we’ll still have very deep pitching.
But the one thing that’s nagging me about Beltran — if we trade for him, where does he play? If playing CF is a big risk for him, or it turns out he’s not able to be out there everyday, then what? Surely a platoon with Heyward is not the way to use a guy like Beltran.
“With the looming deadline comes speculation that the Braves might deal for a right-handed bat or a reliever. [Chipper Jones] said he sees the Braves acquiring bullpen help. He is just fine with the everyday lineup as is. “I don’t have a problem standing pat,” Jones said. “I think we have a really good ballclub. Obviously any team would love an injection of new blood, especially top-notch quality. To be honest, I don’t see where we are going to go out and better the ballclub everyday lineup-wise. You say what you want about the [Carlos] Beltrans and the [Hunter] Pences and the [Ryan] Ludwicks, people like that, but everybody in our lineup contributes to our success each and every day.”
Certainly I would like to have Yunel batting 6th or 7th in this lineup right now… as long as he was hitting the way he is hitting right now for Toronto…
But not if he continued hitting as he was hitting (and playing… and behaving (or not behaving)… before he was shipping to Toronto… and there was NOTHING that was pointing toward him EVER playing that way in Atlanta… He was on a downward slide showing no signs of pulling himself out of it… he had lost the confidence of his manager and his teammates…
This was TRULY a case of him being the proverbial “change of scenery” guy (regardless of the reasons for it).
Unfortunately it seems in baseball, you just never know how players will react… Denver was terrible under Clint Hurdle (one winning season in 7 full years, fired after 46 games in the 8th), but his attitude/personality has spurred on the Pirates to being competitive after losing 105 games the previous season…
Enough with the Yunel revisionist history. He quit on the team, was checking out of games and was not producing last year. It was the right move. And Gonzo was fine last year. He just sucks this year. Yunel had to go.
Not producing for 70 games. We have guys who have not produced all season, and not only are they still Braves, they are still starting. I’m not revising my opinion on this at all. It was a stupid move then and it’s a stupid move still. Hanley Ramirez is no less a pain in the ass than Escobar is/was and you were singing Fredi’s praises for handling him on this very show. It has hurt the team.
Yunel Escobar was fine here. He did not quit on the team. It was almost unfair at times because some of his mistakes were seen as if he did them on purpose. He didn’t purposely want to get get Troy Glaus hurt for example. People just need to put themselves in other people ‘s shoes. He was a young man in a foreign country playing Major League Baseball. If you knew nothing about the Braves, from all the stories you would think he punched and cussed out every person on the team. I’m sure he was not a jerk or a mean person. Now you got what you wished for. A shortstop who can’t hit instead of one who can. I haven’t heard any complaints from the Blue Jays. It’s amazing how certain players get singled out. I swear they are on Hanley Ramirez’s back like a dog on MLB network everyday. I’m still confused why Alex Rodriguez is disliked because all he did wrong was take steroids like 65% of other MLB players. I think its jealousy. And it perplexed me why Joe Simpson kept taking shots at Brandon Phillips last Friday when players on our team do the same thing. I wonder if he would have called out Chipper? Nope. Everyone likes an easy target.
#31 and #35, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I thought I was missing something. The guy was arguably our best player and most clutch hitter since he was called up, and then became the most expendable part of a mostly mediocre (in terms of talent) team. Yeah he had a bad first half. Many Braves have done the same and kept their job. He flipped off a New Yorker. Who among us hasn’t wanted to do the same in their lifetime? Chipper has had nothing negative to say on the guy, and Yunel has never had anything bad to say about the Braves. He’s a very talented player and, for the most part, seems like a nice guy. I don’t know him, I just go off what those who do know him say about him, not what a writer writes in an article just because he’s probably trying to create a great story. The language barrier was a huge disadvantage for him with the media. Don’t buy everything a sports journalist puts to print.
“I think it probably worked out good for both sides,” Jones said. “I think maybe he might have needed a chance of scenery, may have needed to go somewhere where there were some influential Latin players who could, you know, show him the way and how it’s done.
“It worked out good for him. He got an extension with Toronto. But I never wanted Yunel to leave. I’ve been a big fan of Yunel all along, because the guy’s a good player. You figured if if he maybe turned the corner maturity-wise, that he could be a perennial All-Star. I really felt that way. It’s unfortunate how it worked out, but maybe it worked out for the best for both sides.”
Is this the definition of “damning with faint praise”? Or saying “He needed to grow up and it wasn’t going to happen here” (my opinion, reading between the lines)
“I think maybe he might have needed a chance of scenery…”
“…some influential Latin players who could, you know, show him the way and how it’s done…”
I think we have reached the staute of limitations on the Mark Teixeira trade.
The cost was high, but we got what we paid for. He performed up to what was expected (.317/.404/.615/1.019) . The Braves didn’t take advantage of it. Had they, they could have been contenders for the WS for 2007 & 2008.
You have to use prospects to play for you or to get you what you don’t have.
Are you playing to win WS?
Or are you afraid to trade prospects to try to win now being afraid of how that prospect might look two or three years down the road for someone else? If so, you are going to have to “home grow” your team (how ’bout them Rays – at least for one year…)…
You can be competitive, year after year, and sit home watching the WS, year after year. (Braves traded three prospects for McGriff in 1993. Braves traded three players in spring training of 1995 for Marquis Grissom. They also had pitching running out of their ears and won the division by 21 games.)
Yes, Neftali would be nice to have.
Elvis Andrus would probably have never played for Atlanta while Yunel was here – Elvis started playing for Texas in 2009, Yunel was still our starter. Maybe if Elvis was pushing him, Yunel might have “matured” (or atleast acted like it).
Salty would NEVER have played for Atlanta as a catcher (read blocked by McCann – not going to use a 1st round pick as a “back-up”). He ws GOING TO BE TRADED. Otherwise, we would have suffered through him showing he can’t play first. He is still not a starting catcher.
Jones never saw the Majors.
Harrison is not good enough to break into our starting rotation. Didn’t post a sub 4.70 ERA prior to this year, has never posted double digit wins.
2008 – started 15 games – 9 and 3 with 5.49 ERA.
2009 – started 11 games – 4 and 5 with 6.11 ERA.
2010 – started 6 games (appeared in 37) – 3 and 2 with a 4.71 ERA (relagated to bullpen in 2010), didn’t post a sub 4.70 ERA prior to this year, has never posted double digit wins.
2011 – started 19 games – 8 and 7 with a 3.05 ERA.
This is shaping up like a game I remember from long ago.
They had to play a pitcher in the outfield. He played in right against a right handed batter and played in left against a left handed batter. He and the other corner outfielder would exchange places before each batter.
What a lousy call at home plate. I’m all about winning a game but not one the umpire gives us. Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve been on the other side of that before. tonight “blue” was horrible behind the plate.
#140, no. I still think we need another proven clutch hitter like Beltran. The asking price is coming down. Minor gets him and I would do it. The opinion that matters is obviously Wren, and I hope the asking price comes down to the Oberholtzer caliber prospects, which is what it takes for Beltran to be a Brave. I just think that someone else jumps in before it goes that low. Beltran and Reed Johnson are the only two I like in terms of OFers.
Wren will not sacrifice A quality prospects. I like that. One or maybe two will become what they’re projected to be, so you need to hang onto all four pitching prospects to make sure you get the maximum benefit.
It’s terrible to think about the possibility of Vizcaino, Feliz, Venters, and Kimbrel in the same bullpen. That’s why I hate thinking about past trades. If we do get a guy like Beltran, I’m sure we’ll all put it in the Teixera category as far as trades go.
Kudos to all of you that made it through the whole game. Very impressive.
And I believe that Chipper plus McCann WILL encourage the Braves to do something more bold at the deadline. The problem is who? Beltran doesn’t want to play CF, so that’s an issue. The Astros are reportedly not shopping Pence. And it looks like Rasmus may be on the move this afternoon.
Wren doesn’t have to pull off a super deal; a couple of veteran .250 plus hitters would provide depth, pinch hitting, and stability (Example: Wigginton of Rockies plays every position except catcher, .318 vs lefties).
Also, if Braves are to win this year, Uggla will have to be a leader when Chipper and McCann aren’t in there. Heyward, Freeman, and Prado will have to help carry this team. It can be done. They’re young but need to step up. We aren’t scoring enoough runs; 8 losses this month alone where they scored 3 runs or less. Time to start hitting (timely hitting). Gonzo needs more bench time. Is 0-9 (Prado) a record?
Congrats to Proctor and Martinez; could they be the extra pitchers we are looking for?
For myself, I am still on the Bourn bandwagon looking at the available pool.
Rasmus is gone. Looks like Brltran is gone. I don’t think Upton helps us this year with the way he strikes out. Willingham is not batting well for about a month.
– is a center fielder (no need to “play him or anyone else out of position”)
– is an everyday (.280+ vs LH or RH) leadoff man with speed – OBP .360 w/ 38 SB
– is not a RH bat, but:
vs Left – .284 .339 .394 .733
vs. Right – .308 .367 .407 .774
– offensive numbers have improved as the season has gone on:
Overall – .302 .360 .403 .763
May – .265 .323 .359 .682
June – .324 .388 .467 .855
July – .351 .378 .415 .793
Last 7 Days – .414 .452 .448 .900
Post All Star – .404 .426 .462 .888
28 years old
$4.4M in 2011
Arb Elig in 2012
Free Agent in 2013
Can place Schafer on DL for his chipped bone, plug Bourn into CF, allows Schafer to get better slowly or possibily move him back to minors for a while.
Also, I am pretty sure he would be a Type A free agent, so if we offer arbitration and he walks, we get two draft picks and maybe Schafer (maybe plays winter ball) is better able to handle CF on an everyday basis by that time.
If ESPN reports are true about Beltran going to the Giants, they gave up their Teheran to get him. It cost them their #1 pitching prospect. Not saying he is in the same class as Teheran, but Baseball Prospectus has him as the Giants’ #2 prospect and #52 overall. That is 4 spots above Kimbrel, and 6 above Delgado.
This team is going to get beat in 1 series in October. These stories of a team that runs on great team chemistry and they all like each other are great, but eventually you need superior talent, which we don’t have. I have turned completely Curt. You guys can pretend that we’re the Giants of last year, but we don’t have the pitching they had or the clutch hitting. I’m done getting my hopes up. Sorry to be that guy, but it is what it is. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just baseball. Better luck next year…
I just hope we don’t sacrifice talent for what might be a greater clubhouse in the future. I could give a crap if the guys hang out off the field. That is not what matters, nor does it win championships. Our team looks like guys who all enjoy each other’s company but can’t bring it on the field. It’s boring to watch on a nightly basis. I am so over the team chemistry fluff bs that surrounds this team.
I would also like to apologize in advance to Steve. I’m guessing this is another area where we will agree to disagree. I’m just not that optimistic about where our team is right now. Loads of pitching and no offense, coupled by no offense on the horizon. We need runs. Everything shows we need runs. There is no offense on the farm. Where does it come from?
We’ll see what happens. If Wren sits on his hands and does nothing, I think they are in trouble. Pittsburgh is a nice little team, with good pitching of their own, but we just have lots of holes to fill and it seems like every piece we get back (or get going), we lose another one in its stead. I hope FW is not sitting around waiting for our lineup to be intact as our move. I’m not sure that cuts it.
Olney’s latest for the Braves are Willingham or Ryan Ludwick – he of the .238 BA.
I don’t think the sky is falling because there is a lot of talent on this team, but it seems that the Braves are once again content to sit and watch other teams make moves while they do some secondary maintenance. I don’t think that is enough this year.
#193 /198 – Nate, I agree 100 percent, this morning. But this team has a strange way of changing what appears to be its unfortuneate destiny. Think back to last year and parts of this year when things changed and it all came together. Not saying it will, but it could.
Curt, all of that said, I agree with you about the deadline. One or two good offensive pieces and we can compete with anybody. It is time for a move.
197 – agreed. Standing pat is not the right move this season — not when Heyward’s struggling and McLouth and Gonzalez can’t be relied upon to produce at any extended length. The latter two may have had decent-to-good weeks (yes, I include Gonzo in there because of his series in Cincinnati), but I don’t expect either of them to keep it up for any length of time. And we must get another reliever to help with O’Ventbrel. Linebrink’s having a nice season, and so is Sherrill, but some help is sorely needed.
Willingham is a nice bat, though he’s having a down year and his career second-half numbers are worse than his first-half (.270/.372/.482 first half vs. .252/.350/.452 second half). Also, he’s never played CF in his major league career.
Carlos Quentin would be great, but again — no CF in his career. His second half numbers are better than first half: .263/.355/.507 second half vs .248/.345/.483 first half. Might cost a bit, but perhaps we could get away with giving up Oberholtzer and Spruill. Kinda doubt it though.
I don’t want Ryan Ludwick, at all. 1st/2nd half numbers are nearly identical, and not too great. Perhaps he could be a case of a change of scenery, getting away from a team that has nothing to play for to going for a team with World Series aspirations — but he’s had one good season in his career (2008), with the rest being very mediocre.
Some moves I’d like to see the Braves make:
– DFA Lugo and Proctor
– Trade for Jamey Carroll
– Trade for Tyler Clippard
– Trade for Quentin
I wonder if its the Tex deal that still hangs over their heads? I wonder if that trade has so scared/scarred the front office that they simply aren’t willing to pull the trigger. Or if this all comes back to money and they just don’t want to shed some cheap long term pieces for a rental that they would have to pay. Giants are picking up $4mm on Beltran on top of trading their #1 pitching prospect.
DOB was on with 790 yesterday midday and said that the payroll is not a Liberty Media deal, it is strictly Terry McGuirk. Which pisses me off to no end. I hope the very, very first move a new owner makes is to fire him immediately.
Listening to this week’s podcast. Whichever one of you went to the hipster wedding where they were walking down the aisle to Mumford and Sons…those guys have got to be the most overrated band in music right now.
Bourn pros — everything you named
Bourn cons — he gives us what Schafer gives us, and he’s a left-handed bat
From what I’ve heard, Braves aren’t interested in Bourn — seems like they’ve moved past him
Pros: we’d have him this season and next
strong second-half numbers
he’s a slugger — 20 hr, 62 rbi, 26 doubles, .262/.353/.510 (.863 OPS), low K totals, low GIDP totals
I have no idea if we could, but I think we could get him without giving up one of our 4 top pitching prospects
Liberty Media IS always part of the thinking process. They let Braves management do their job but they ask for a certain dollar profit returned to the parent company. Yes, Braves’ management could spend like crazy in hopes that attendence and and advertising revenue grows so they can deliver the profit number. Or, they can be more conservative and provide a decent product to the fans without sticking their neck out too far. If your job was on the line which would you do?
Also, if you were in Braves management, would you complain about the parent company tying your hands?
Additional problem on the revenue is Atlanta fans don’t pack the stadium even in the good years (Not even with a playoff game).
Maybe there will be new owners in the future that want to win and are willing to take some risk. Then, if they spend and build the team, the fans will come!!
Apologies for the gloom and doom, but it was inspired by 38 innings of the most frustrating baseball I have ever watched in a relatively short time period. The positives are that David Ross is clutch and Martinez looked great, especially the changeup.
I think the Mac injury has me in complete freak out mode because you never know how long those things will take. Plus if he does come back, how healed will he actually be, and what toll will that take on his offensive production? We can make the postseason as is, and that might be enough to meet Wren’s expectations for the year. I guess we’ll find out.
I don’t see the con to giving up Mike Minor. I personally think the other 3 are better, and I think Medlen, Beachy, JJ, and Hanson are better. I would take Quentin in a second, but it seems strange that the White Sox would let him go. He hits well with men on base, and is a good right handed bat for the middle of the order. Jamey Carroll would be a solid piece for our bench. Reed Johnson would be a nice addition to the outfield mix. Clippard would make our bullpen beyond insane. Bourn would be an upgrade at the top of the order and in CF. There are still a lot of ways to improve this team.
John J, i think fans coming is so much more than even a product on the field right now. There just isn’t a buzz about the Braves like there was in the past. For us die hards, we are in it win or lose. But I listen to 790 every morning and the time they dedicate to the Braves compared to football in particular is glaring. I think if you have an owner, even if it isn’t someone splashy but just a face, it will help to bring some people into the fold. You want that one person to be accountable and to be the one you believe has your back as a fan. The reason the Trashers aren’t here anymore isn’t a fan problem, it’s an ownership and perception problem.
I don’t want us to fall into this conversation again, though. It’s a hole that we all know we are stuck in, regardless of your take on it. These are the owners we have.
MIM, I don’t think FW is reading the chat boards and blogs about the fan’s feeling on the Tex trade. My point was that you have to move on as a GM. You can’t let that one trade dictate what you do forever. And if that is what holds you back now, you will never get anywhere.
Giants Offense: Adding to the panic is the fact that the Giants added Beltran to this list of Brave Killers: Ross, Rowand, Torres, Huff, Sandoval, Fontenot. These are the guys who can look terrible for 2 ABs, and then rip a 2 run double in the 7th.
Giants Pitching: We didn’t hit it last October, and they always seem to frustrate our guys. They have 2 lefties in the pen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add another.
Add home field advantage for them, and I’m already dreading that series.
Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News says Neftali Feliz is becoming a serious concern due to his diminished velocity. “I don’t know if he’s hurt. He’s not the same pitcher this year; he’s not blowing away hitters,” Fraley writes.
MIM, I found this. (Thank god we traded him, right)
When Ron Washington talked about reinforcements, he could have been talking about his current roster. [Washington] questioned Neftali Feliz’s “fire” on Wednesday, perhaps hoping it would light one under the feet of the Rangers closer. “I’d like to see more,” Washington said. “When he comes in the game, I want to feel like it’s do or die. I try to tell him all the time how important those three outs are. I just don’t see that sense of urgency.” Speaking through interpreter Eleno Ornelas, the Rangers’ Spanish language broadcaster, Feliz said he is not lacking “fire. “Last year I was more nervous,” he said. “Now, I feel more relaxed. I know what I’m doing out there.” Feliz blew a save in Tuesday’s 9-8 loss to Minnesota, allowing a pair of runs in the ninth.
I think we did get screwed by the Wil Nieves deal. We gotta pick up the rest of his salary for the year (but I think he was at league minium anyway). He won’t even get a sniff of the show this year. I’m still wondering why we got him unless he’s filling in for Boscan down on the farm.
Last comment on ownership until there is new ownership: If someone could turn John Malone into a real fan of the Braves (instead of a Rockies fan), it would be like having Ted Turner back. He has that type of money ($4.5 billion or so). Can’t some of you invite him over to the house and brain wash him? Money can’t buy a championship but it would make some of the decisions talked about above a lot easier.
Looks like something may be happening, though. DOB and Shulz both mentioning a quick/purposeful meeting between Fredi, Wren, and Manno.
Two rumors it could be connected to, and both worrisome: Pence is close to being traded, and Ludwick is out of the line up. Ludwick sucks and I’d hate to see what would be paid for Pence of Houston really turned down the rumored offer from Philly…
Watching Baseball Tonight and Kurkjian really seems to think the Braves are heavily working on a deal for Pence. 3 or 4 prospects in the deal. I HOPE that one of those will be Schafer. Otherwise, we might be getting fleeced again.
Last one…according to Trade Rumors, the Phils offered the #39 and #70 rated overall prospects plus a 2nd tier pitching prospect to the Astros for Pence and were turned down. Also reports that the Braves deal could include 2 top pitching prospects, but not Teheran. (Minor + ?).
Hoping just five pitchers will fill five spots is pretty risky, and if they dwindle down to this for Hunter Pence and don’t sign him past 2012, all that work on building the farm will be a ghostly vapor. If they DO sign Pence for more years, it’s a decent gamble.
Of course, this morning, the leading contender listed for Pence is the Phillies. It also notes that this is the deadline for that deal to go through and then the Astros are moving on. Domonic Brown seems to be the hang up.
Kimbrel on the Rude Awakening this morning. Rude asked him if he kept track of his stats. He said, “The only one I know is blown saves.”
Also, coming out high school he could barely throw in the low 90s. He dropped 800 lbs of sheet rock and his left foot. Spent the entire rehab throwing from his knees, tweaked his mechanics, and by his second year of JUCO was regularly hitting 96.
I think one of the stipulations from the ‘stros is that they want some MLB ready guys in the deal, but Minor, Delgado, and Schafer seems like a lot. This might be the only way you get a right handed bat to Atlanta.
Also, I think it will be Minor and Delgado. Both of whom are real question marks. Not saying that it’s a no brainer and there’s no risk. They could both be awesome. I’m just saying, we don’t really know about Delgado yet and we’ve seen a good bit of Minor and it’s up and down so far.
#274, I agree with your thoughts on the prospects. Arodys and Julio are the closest to contributing to the big league club. I was going to make a point that this crop is not it for us and pitchers, but the guy I was going to bring up, Carlos Perez, is having a rough year in Rome. Everyone was pretty high on him before the season starts. Yeah he’s just in A ball, but so were Julio and Arodys. The speed of those guys can show that if you draft or sign the right guy he can be ready in a 2-3 years. We did draft that lefty pitcher out of FSU in round 1 this year. I would hope we spent a first rounder on a guy who can at least be in AAA in a year or two, like Minor.
I don’t see how you turn down a package including guys like Delgado and Minor if your the Astros. Those guys would be in Houston tomorrow. The Astros are just that bad. The few Astros fans I know really want this thing to go down because they are so hurt for pitching. JA Happ sucks when he can’t face the Braves 5 times a year.
Are we nervous Phillie will swipe him? Not able to read all the news so I might be a bit behind. Even if they are gunning for him our pitching prospects trump theirs any day. Don Sutton is going to have to stop referring to him as the praying mantis.
Delgado looked very poised and capable during his outing for Atlanta. Why has the love for him dried up so much since? Is he doing poorly in the minors?
Vizcaino’s arm troubles scare me. Also heard a scout mention a bit of a poise problem for him. I haven’t kept up enough to form an informed opinion, but someone tell me why I’d rather lose Delgado than Vizcaino.
If the Braves sell the farm (re Kurkijan) for Pence a year after the Phillies got Oswalt from the stros for a sack of ju ju beans, I will drive to Atlanta and slap Wren’s pretty hair off.
And how do you like this quote from MLBTR:
“The Braves don’t value on-base percentage as much as other teams, one NL official told Olney (Pence has a .354 OBP).”
That’s just great. The one central thing, the basic and nearly only universally agreed upon aspect of the saber revolution, and we’re like, “nah, that’s some voodoo, that ain’t real.” Why’d they let Frenchy go, then?
I would add to that evaluation “…under Fredi Gonzalez.” With all those walks they took last year, their OBP had to be at an all time high.
This series in particular seemed like the old wait around for the 3 run homer trick. What did you have in the last 2 games? 22 hits and you scored 5 runs? How many walks? They had runners galore and couldn’t get one big hit. It’s like I’m glad we didn’t get swept, but I’m mad we didn’t win all 4.
Why not Bourn over Pence? He should come cheaper and still brings a lot to the table. I mean, there was much Bourn talk a few weeks ago and it’s completely dried up. Could that mean that’s who we’re really targeting (Frank in stealth mode)?
Curt, 282, you’re probably right. Fredi took heat in Florida for keeping a low OBP guy in the lead off spot, and he’s repeating the mistake here. So, yeah, Fredi’s bad.
Steve, no EARTHLY idea why we’re not going after the cheaper, and more positionally appropriate, Bourn instead of all this Bourn business. My (very doubtful) secret hope is that we’re driving up the Philly price on Bourn with no intention of getting him, and then snag Bourn at the end. But I’m not optimistic anything that smart is going on. Wren has been straight forward, if quiet, in the past.
Frig, (mind if I call you Frig?), no, not at the heavy price tag. The chance that Heyward will recover to give up Pence-like production or more for one twentieth of the cost next year is too high to risk it.
Heyward was a 5 WAR player for half a million dollars last year. That’s the kind of value Atlanta MUST get from a couple of players per season if they want to contend on 90 million.
“There continues to be zero enthusiasm within Atl org. about giving up any of the core 4 pitching prospects-Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor, Delgado”- Buster Onley’s Twiiter.
What a roller coaster. From nightmares of losing Minor/Delgado/Simmons for a year and a half rental… back to refusing let go of one single lefty who coughed up the #5 starting job when it was his to lose in Spring Training?
Next year, I’m turning off Twitter from July 15 until August 1.
Nate, I’m with you on #300. If they indeed refuse to let go of even one Minor/Teheran/Delgado/Vizcaino, I’m thinking Frank envisions a rotation totally on the cheap. It’s not a terrible idea, assuming they spend the savings on bats over the next three winters. But that’s more than I’d assume.
See #267 for my thoughts on the pitching. The Braves love to spend money on starting pitching. I think they could keep both.
Prospects. In one hand you have Elvis Andrus, in the other Andy Marte. You hold on to the one guy and trade the other and who knows what will happen. Except we now know. See also “George Lombard.”
I did read something this morning entitled the 50 worst trades of all time. Braves made it in a few times. On the good – Fred McGriff for 3 useless prospects, Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, but #7 was the fan favorite. The Tex deal.
#302, Save money on the rotation, spend on bats. Eventually, they will have to pay Prado, Freeman, and Heyward more than they make right now. Another contract for McCann is down the road, too. Also, this doesn’t rule out trades of these guys in the future when they have a better idea of what they have, but the reports on the Braves feelings about those 4 guys leads me to believe that all 4 are projected to be in Atlanta for a significant amount of time. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Vizcaino in a Medlen type role where he could start or come out of the bullpen.
If the Twitterverse is to be believed, the Astros don’t like the Phillies’ prospects that much, including Brown, and Pence is the Braves’ for the taking for no more than Minor + lesser prospects. Now, if they don’t do that, that’s just lame.
Also, does hanging onto all of these guys mean we are trading Lowe before his contract runs out? Right now, our entire rotation will be back next season, and our AAA rotation would be Teheran/Minor/Vizcaino/Delgado, unless Delgado isn’t promoted and Vizcaino is demoted.
@298: Guess I never really put that “in numbers” like you do. I just see Heyward being a bust. Of course I don’t want him to, but he will NEVER live up to expectations. Remember according to all the hype he got in spring training hitting cars in the parking lot, he was supposed to be a “power hitter” who hit for average. So far he has not proved that. Plus, (as the guys have discussed on the show) there is SOMETHING about his attitude and thought process that bothers me……
BTW…. “Frigatedoc” comes from that I am a retired US Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman who served on a Frigate and was the “Doc” on the ship.
@301: No I am NOT high and you don’t have to worry about me becoming a MLB General Manager. It would be just like working in the medical field…..you can’t make everyone happy.
Frigatedoc, Heyward may be a bust, but it would be a huge risk, with our budget constraints, to let go of the chance he reaches even 60% or so of his potential, and especially in exchange for an 8-10 million dollar player with a high BABIP and low (for the money) OBP.
Heyward sees the strike zone too well for me to buy into his bustdom just yet. That one skill covers a lot of sins, and I think his chances of recovery are pretty decent.
As crazy as it sounds though I guess I just want to win NOW. Pence just seems like a good fit for us and could be permanent. Look how consistent his numbers are. Remember how good Frenchy started out? The pitchers figured out how to pitch to him and he never ajusted. Guys like Mccann can hit just about any pitch thrown to him.
If we get a guy like Pence it makes us better. WHEN we get all of our “guys” back I truly believe we are just as good as any other team out there.
Plus I don’t want the Phillies to get him and look in our hands (Braves) and realize that all we got was Wil Nieves for a dollar….. I can see the corny vacation T-shirts now..”Giants got Beltran, Phillies got Pence, all we got was Wil Nieves for a dollar.”
I don’t get the Jason Heyward hate. There’s a ton of it over at the DOB blog (granted, most people at the DOB hate everything, including oxygen, Gandhi, and lobster tail), but it surprises me still.
Heyward will turn 22 in August. How many guy’s even make the majors at 22? And we’re seriously talking about him potentially being a bust?
As a 20-year-old rookie, Heyward made the All-star team and put up an OPS of .849. Hunter Pence has done better than that only once in his career. It was in less than 500 plate appearances in Pence’s first season. At every stop in his career, Heyward has raked. In four seasons in the minors, he compiled a .317/.390/.507 batting line. He’s had a tough season, hampered by injuries, which are the only thing that could ever keep him from being a complete stud for the Braves (hopefully) for the next 15-20 years.
And I find it hard to believe that, as fans, we can gather much about Heyward’s attitude or thought process from a handful of quotes and camera shots of the dugout. I don’t mean for this to be pointed at you, Doc. It’s more of a general rant that I should probably be posting over at DOB – only I’m afraid if I post there I’ll get death threats.
Two high points for me today and I’m stressed out at work and stressed out about the Bravos:
T-shirts now..”Giants got Beltran, Phillies got Pence, all we got was Wil Nieves for a dollar.”
I don’t get the Jason Heyward hate. There’s a ton of it over at the DOB blog (granted, most people at the DOB hate everything, including oxygen, Gandhi, and lobster tail). And Eric, seriously on the lobster tail. How does one not like lobster?!?!?!
Eric, good post. I do think the evidence of Heyward’s immaturity/attitude problem is mounting, however it only qualifies as disappointing compared to the reputation he had for being a level headed, extra mature player. Until Heyward becomes a Bradley/Manny/Yunel degree problem, which he never will, I don’t see a big problem. But I sympathize with those who are disappointed that he seems immature. Not a personality I can see myself getting behind as a favorite player or anything.
But whatever. His potential as a baseball-cracking beast is still there in my opinion. Injuries and sophomore slumping can easily account for what we’re seeing now. My patience with Heyward is still plenty.
Could this be the case where Heyward is Frency and Freeman is McCann. Not to hate on Heyward, as I am apt to do, and not giving up on him as I did Frenchy. Maybe all the hype being on one guy hampers his development while allowing his good friend to prosper in his shadow to become a great player.
Let’s see if the Braves offer early extensions to Heyward and Freeman and see if it plays out in a similar fashion.
I’m going over to the DOB blog to post Eric’s address
#329: Why Bub? I think he’s a classic change of scenery guy and he could be huge.
For the record, I don’t hate Heyward. I have my opinions about what a terrible person he is (just kidding), but my frustration with him is only in relation to the sublime stretches he had last year and my corresponding expectations for this year.
Walker, I said there’s mounting evidence for a fairly innocuous brand of immaturity from Heyward. That’s as mild as I can make it.
Steve, Yunel was a change of scenery guy, too. I don’t dig on ballplayers who punk out until they can get somewhere else and catch fire to validate the chip on their shoulder. I watched Upton a lot during my Rays Fan rebellion. No thanks.
But I’m not worried. Wren won’t do it. It’s posturing.
Another thing we have in our pockets, which I don’t see mentioned much, is the return in prospects for Hanson or JJ if we keep enough pieces to replenish the rotation on the cheap.
A year and a half to two years of JJ or Hanson on the trade market could bring us a big time hitter from somebody’s farm. Of course, that’s a good ways off. But it’s worth salivating over in bored moments.
The Braves are setting up as buyers this Trade Deadline season. They have talked to the White Sox about Carlos Quentin and continued to evaluate the possibility of adding Rays’ outfielder B.J. Upton. But early Thursday evening, a Major League scout said Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick is at the top of the Braves’ wish list. Ludwick would fill the club’s desire to add someone who could play each of the outfield positions and provide some offense. Ludwick has hit just .238 with 11 homers and a .675 OPS through his first 99 games with the Padres this year. The 33-year-old outfielder will be a free agent at the end of the season, and the Braves could acquire him now without having to part ways with the kind of prospects needed to land Quentin or Hunter Pence from the Astros.
Lol, McLouth to the DL. Really? It’s just a comical at this point. Wren shold just put out an add for a centerfielder. “Needs to be able to hit 8th, bat .200, steal a base every once in a while, and hit the cut off man”
Constanza. Anybody know anything about this guy? I can’t recall having seen him play.
The Braves, according to sources, offered a package that included prospects they weren’t willing to dangle in front of the Mets on Carlos Beltran — but got shut down. One source who spoke with the Braves’ brass Friday came away convinced they were out of it and moving on.
Let’s just take a breath, gentlemen and gentlewomen…
Mr. Heyward IS in his second season, commonly refered to as the “sophmore slump”. Something I think has been overlooked greatly due to the “repeat performance” of him hitting a homerun in his first at bat of the season.
As a rookie, they don’t know what to expect, so what you do is less scrutinized to expectation. As a sophmore, they have an expectation based on JUST the previous year…
KLAW, Fredi Gonzales admitted the other day that he had no idea of the OBP of Schafer, Mclouth and Heyward and that he “thought” Schafer’s was highest. How can a GM let something like this pass in a day and age when EVERY team employs people to apply advanced statistical analysis?
Well, the GM is obviously fine with this. I wouldn’t be if I were an Atlanta fan, but the way that lineup is set and the way the roster is used implies that Wren is completely OK with Fredi’s (mis)management.
lol, sorry if it’s cruel to laugh, but DOB just tweeted that McLouth frigged up his abdominal on that throw to the cut off man last night. On that throw, I said out loud, “wow, he actually threw that ball with a little zing…”
Shaking my head. Oh, Braves. Braves, braves, braves.
Steve, yes, absolutely. This group cares a lot about winning, and their organization is (potentially) letting them down.
Of course some of it can’t be helped. The Phillies are an absolute juggernaut, and the odds of catching them even if we got Pence and they got squat were not great, in my opinion. But if it goes the other way, my goodness, what a bust.
And it would leave the Phillies in great shape to be very, very good next year as well. Blink twice and half our window will be gone.
#373, Steve, I absolutely think it does. How can it not?
Chipper had a quote the other day about if they continue to pitch (the Braves) they will keep winning. Well, Chip, it would be real super if we could help our pitchers out every once in a while. Isn’t that part of the team concept? Helping each other out and not relying on one part to carry the load. Right now we’re just supporting what I’m sure Boras is already telling JJ and Tommy, “you will never win 20 games in ATL, and good luck being making the All-Star team every year with that offense.” A lot of contracts are incentive driven, and those bonuses definitely matter to the players.
So the Giants get Beltran, Phillies get Pence, and Braves get Buster Olney saying they are not as close on Pence b/c “they don’t value OBP very much.” Sure, why would you value the ability to not make outs? So do I need to put away my Braves Michael Bourn jersey? Should I cancel the Upton jersey order? Or I will just put my head in a waffle iron – Phillies strike again.
Not to not hate that the Phils got Pence, but their infield is 800 years old and they just traded away their 1st baseman of the future. They have the money, but they are going to have to spend a lot of it on replacing that entire group. Add to that, they have traded away their top 3 pitching prospects the last 2 years to the Astros and Blue Jays and their rotation is aging quickly. I concede nothing to those guys. Even with Pence. We have so much more young talent.
I will go back and agree with what Bub said earlier about Upton. I used to live down there and watched a lot of their games. He has really fallen since 2008. He has been really inconsistent for almost 3 years. And when I think about that, I pretty much realize ’08 was a fluke. Add that to the fact that he is a complete jerk and dogs it constantly. His effort makes Escobar look like Martin prado. The guy has so much talent, but the 6 inches between his ears are all out of whack. The Rays have a great clubhouse and a great players manager, kind of like the Braves, and he still can’t play hard for them. He’s a jerk. Don’t want him.
They aren’t going to make a big move. They don’t want to be on the hook for the money. I’m convinced of that. They are going to trade a couple of low lever prospects for Ludwick and that’s going to be the move.
Do they honestly think that can make a trade and someone isn’t going to ask for one of those pitchers? Don’t they target one of those guys and determine that he will be the piece they move? And the plan is to wait until the off season to move one of them? What good does that do us now?
#416, $. Lowe and Chipper. I don’t think we can do much until we know Lowe is gone and what Chipper is going to do after this season. I love Chipper, but if he is a true Brave and he wants to come back and win it all, he should ask for a pay cut. He is way overpaid for his value. Again, I love Chipper. Probably my favorite Brave of all time, but he is really old for 14 million a year. We could obviously really use that money, the KK money, the Lowe money, and the McLouth money for other things. Hopefully Wren has learned his lesson on all 4 because those contacts are killing us.
I would have given them Minor for Pence, and it is disappointing to realize he would be a Brave if our organization felt the same way. Maybe they know something I don’t. Who knows?
I’m remembering this feeling from last year’s trade deadline (Steve and Bub cover your eyes now) when we gave up Yunel for a guy who doesn’t look like a major leaguer at the plate. Then we added Ankiel and Farnsworth. I felt like we were a worse team after last year’s trade deadline.
Astros have us absolutely over the barrel for Bourn now. Would not be surprised if they hold out for the exact package (2 of our four plus a lesser guy) they wanted for Pence, and what can we do about it besides settle for Upton or Byrd? My hope for getting Bourn is very dim. Ed Wade’s last stand. Braves can’t seem to buy a break.
“So teams that have spoken with Atlanta, even in the wake of the disappointment in losing out in the Pence bid-a-thon Friday, say the Braves have no plans to do something this weekend that they wouldn’t have done last week or last month — just because Rumor Central readers everywhere think they need to make a deal.”
419, Many would question your line about Chipper “if he is a true Brave”. Who is a truer Brave? He has reworked his contracts before to accomodate this team that is run on the cheap. He is about winning and I don’t begrudge him his paydays. Rip on Lowe if you like as he did nothing past or present to deserve his pay.
I don’t remember who mentioned it earlier, but the Braves are totally over a barrel with Bourn. The Astros can just sit back and watch as 4+ teams bid for him.
And, the more I read, I don’t blame the Braves about how this is turning out. They freaking offered Minor for Pence. A ML ready pitcher plus some other guys. And they take two unproven prospects from the Phils. Total effing screw job. And it makes the Braves, imo, look more conservative than they’ve been at this trade deadline.
Frank Wren – good job. Bourn’s probably a 350 OBP player – that makes him 3rd best on the team after Mac and FF. The avg will come down with such a high BABIP and no power, but to get an acutal big league starting CF for Schafer and none of the big prospects — I like it.
1. I’m probably alone here, but I had completely given up on Schafer.
2. A REAL LEAD OFF! AFTER ALL THIS TIME!
3. This benefits the Braves even more than it would a normal team because Fredi can NOT get the top of the line up correct without having it absolutely spelled out for him. This spells it out.
4. We gave up SQUAT for this level of player. Totally defeated the Phillies in this deadline race.
You guys realize that Wren has now officially crafted a great pitching rotation, given us the slugger we’ve been missing, AND given us the lead off guy we’ve been missing all this time. Not to mention the closer issues we struggled with for years, he solved with Wagner and by hanging on to Kimbrel.
All these issues he solved with STAR level players, all while keeping the farm at an uber high level, and all while operating on half the budget of the big boys.
Just no words for how satisfied I am with Frank Wren right now. Sorry I doubted him. And whoever gave me all that sh*t about Wren being good (you know, before I waffled), hope you’ll drop in and do your own waffling now.
Wow after losing out on Pence, Bourne is exaclty what we need. A true leadoff hitter, he leads the majors in steals, the braves wont know how to act with all that speed! Not to mention he leads the league in hits since June 1 and is hitting .338 in that stretch, 4th in the NL. I am so happy right now, cant wait for the show tonight guys!
Bourn is the absolute perfect deal we could have made. I’m very happy with that.
It doesn’t take much to wonder how much he can help this team. If we look at the success of the Braves since Schafer got up here, the Braves won most if not all of the games when Jordan was getting on base in the first inning (or really anytime). When Jordon wasn’t getting on base (as it seemed to me that he would often lose site of what they role of a lead off man is) we were losing those games. Bourn knows and loves his role as lead off man. He’s not going up there every 15-20 AB or so trying to knock the ball out of the park as we would see from Schafer. Jordan will be the the player that Michael Bourn is now and in years to come, he might be a menace to us but for right now, this season, Michael Bourn is the perfect piece.
I wouldn’t trade Gonzo for Infante. It wouldn’t be a smart trade. As bad as Gonzalez has been, He at least has a little power and more range than Infante.
I just found out that Denard Span is signed through 2014. I wonder if Wren took a look at him since we would have him under more control. Boun’s agent is Boras so we will only have him for 1 1/2 seasons.
I like the Bourn deal. Braves give up none of the pitching and get a better version of Schafer. However, I give Schafer credit. He’s pushed it and tried to make things happen. More than I can say for McLousy. So now…we dump Proctor, McLouth and tell Chipper to not use his oblique for the rest of 2011…Braves will be in Fat City.
I love the Bourn deal. Got a great player without giving too much in return, while Houston did get a major-league ready player, which is more they can say for their Pence deal.
In some way, this feels slightly a bit like the Teixeira trade – giving up several prospects for a player that we will have for a year and a half. I think, though, that we will get more from Bourn than we did from Tex – in a way, his speed can do more than Tex’s power bat.
With what I was hearing last night I thought we had no shot an anybody, and to come away with the piece we need without giving an Atlanta bound prospect is so HUGE. I’m with Bub, I had little hope for Schafer speeding up his development. What Wren said about Jordan in the interview on the AJC page is a very fair assessment of where Jordan is right now and what the Braves actually need from their CF.
“Michael is what we hope Jordan will be in three or four years. That’s really what it came down to. And a team that’s poised to win, we need the finished product. And that’s what Michael is. Jordan still has a chance to have a good career, because he can do a lot of things on a baseball field to excite you. But right now, with a team we feel like has a chance to be a championship team, he may not be ready to be that key ingredient that Michael is.”
The whole interview with Wren, done by DOB, is really a great read and offers nice insight into the direction of this club. I like where this organization is going. We’re built to win now, and we have some great depth to sustain us for the future. Our team has come a long way since the Summer of ’08. Kudos to Wren.
If Cantstandya’s performance today gets Proctor sent down(fingers crossed), then he is already the favorite for MVP of the 2nd half. Sorry, Dan. But in all seriousness, the guy can fly. He wouldn’t be a bad option coming off the bench late in the year. I might rather have him on the roster than McLouth. Who has more value as a 4th OFer? What will McLouth’s role be on this team?
Looks like we could have used Bourne today, I didnt see the game but 13 hits and only 1 run?! maybe Bourne could have manufactured a run or two with his speed. He is exactly what our team needs, since it seems like most of our runs come from home runs.
498, NO hate involved. And the”great getting Bourn” was totally sincere; it is a great trade.
Overall, Wren misses more than he hits with his important transactions but he runs a good developmental minor league system. The number of good current and X-Braves continues to grow throughout the MLB. But, all in all, I think the Braves could find a better judge of talent. The Rangers still talk highly of him and his contribution to their pennant. Pirates are also happy and Lowe’s heirs are also very happy.
A GM also has to have enough sense to keep the players they developed which means you need money so, you can’t tie up big bucks on the Lowes and McLouths of the world. It is time to start locking up the real talent on the team with new and extended contracts.
I’m so tired hearing about that Tex trade. Wren wasn’t even the GM when that trade went down. And from what I’ve seen, Wren knows how to make a trade. Edgar for JJ. Bourn trade. Yunel was a mistake mainly because Bobby didn’t understand him. You can’t fault him on McClouth and without Lowe we don’t make the 2010 playoffs. I wouldn’t want any other GM.
I take it by “Wren Worshippers” you mean people with observation skills. Go back, position by position, and look at the team Wren inherited and compare it with the one that will take the field tomorrow. Then look at what the farm was then and what it is now. Then reflect on the money restrictions and the obstacles faced (Furcal’s agent shopping the term sheet, McLouth falling through the floor, Smoltz and Glavine public fall outs). And tell me how the hell you conclude that Frank Wren has made more bad moves than good, I mean besides the fact that you have a personal hang up with the guy based on squat doodle amount of reality.