April 01, 2012

Show #177: Braves Spring Training Wrap-Up with David O’Brien

DOB talks Juan Francisco, areas of concern, the SS position, the NL East and the greatness of Chipper.  Also, our 2012 predictions.

 

 

127 Responses to “Show #177: Braves Spring Training Wrap-Up with David O’Brien”

  1. 1
    carlos Says:

    great show as always but u forgot to do lines for next week! i know its only like 4 games but i have them going 2-2

  2. 2
    Bubdylan Says:

    Division Winners:

    Marlins
    Cubs
    Diamondbacks

    Wild Cards:

    Phillies
    Reds

    World Series: Yankees sweep the Marlins

    In short, a horrible, horrible year for baseball.

  3. 3
    Steve Says:

    Carlos, great point. I ‘ll say 2 – 1 for the first week. Although I’m a little concerned about facing 2 lefties and a knuckleballer to start the season.

  4. 4
    Bubdylan Says:

    Good show, I forgot to say.

    Chipper = wayyy under 100 games, IMO.

  5. 5
    Walker Says:

    Divizion winners

    East- Braves, Yankees
    Central- Cardinals, Tigers
    West- D-Backs, Rangers

    Wild Cards
    NL-Phillies, Nationals
    AL-Angels,Rays

    Playoffs- Nationals beat Phillies
    Braves beat Cardinals
    D backs beat Nationals
    Braves beat D- Backs

    Angels beat Rays
    Yankees beat Tigers
    Angels beat Rangers
    Yankees beat Angels

    CHAMPION
    Braves beat Yankees

  6. 6
    Steve Says:

    Oh Walker, let it be so. Because the only thing sweeter than a Braves championship would be beating the Yankees to get it.

  7. 7
    ham Says:

    I am going 3-0 this week. You heard me.

  8. 8
    Curt Says:

    2-1

  9. 9
    Nate Says:

    Great show, guys.
    Offense: I’m pretty excited about our potential first five in the lineup:
    Bourn, Prado, Mac, Uggla, Freeman. To me, as long as those 5 guys contribute consistently and all 5 have the year they are capable of having, then whatever we get from Chipper, Heyward, and Pastornicky is gravy. The bench is what scares me. I fear the Sunday lineup and just giving away day games after night games. It’s going to be so close this year in the division and wild card race, so the Braves cannot just be dismissive about games/losing anymore. That’s what frustrated me most about the collapse. The arrogant attitude of, “Oh it’s no big deal. We’re still 10 1/2 up in the Wild Card.” There was no desire to catch the Phillies or fix the garbage play on the field.

    Pitching: I like our bullpen a lot. I like Hanson, Beachy, Minor, and Hudson. Delgado seems like he can contribute more this year than Teheran. Who knows with JJ? I’m not all that excited about him dominating the Houston Astros.

    NL Division Winners: Braves, Cardinals, Giants
    Wild Cards: Phillies and Rockies

    AL Division Winners: Yankees, Tigers, Rangers
    Wild Cards: Rays and Angels

    NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
    NL MVP: Dan Uggla
    NL Manager of the Year: Mike Matheny

    AL Cy Young: Verlander
    AL MVP: Robinson Cano
    AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon

  10. 10
    Steve Says:

    Oh, Nate. It certainly is time the Bravos had an MVP. That would work just fine.

  11. 11
    Bubdylan Says:

    I can see Uggla snagging the MVP, too. Superstar year seems, if not probable, at least very possible.

  12. 12
    Nate Says:

    I think he and Mac have a great shot if we take the East.

  13. 13
    Anne Says:

    Yes yes yes #11. Bubnac the Magnificent has spoken.

  14. 14
    Steve Says:

    Constanza gets last bench spot. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! I hope all you Constanza apologists enjoy his 2 for 12 in April.

  15. 15
    Walker Says:

    I thought for sure Parrazz was going to make the team. Wow. This team never ceases to amaze me.

  16. 16
    Bubdylan Says:

    #14, and enjoy, too, the 2 outs on failed hit & runs when Constanza gets on base those two times. Speed is why Fredi picked him, I’m sure. A running count on outs given away by Fredi would be enough to put me in a white jacket.

    All this power in our line-up and we’ll be running into silly outs.

  17. 17
    Steve Says:

    Re Constanza: I’ve seen lots of good points about it that he’s already on the 40 man roster and will be sent down when Chipper returns from the DL. The other potential guys were NRI and would have had to be added to the 40 man for just this 10 day period. Doesn’t make much sense to do that.

  18. 18
    Walker Says:

    Ok i guess its Constanza by default. But Parrazz really impressed me. I hope we see him this year.

  19. 19
    Curt Says:

    Somewhere, Ham is hugging himself

  20. 20
    Steve Says:

    Meant to post this earlier today. Here’s the Press Release from the Braves about the Cristhian’s DUI:

    Statement from the Atlanta Braves Regarding Cristhian Martinez

    We were very concerned to learn of the arrest of Cristhian Martinez in Gwinnett County this morning. We will require him to be evaluated by an independent professional, as provided for in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Until we learn further details and have all the facts, we will withhold further comment at this time.

  21. 21
    Adam Says:

    I am so ready for baseball.

  22. 22
    Shaun Says:

    How in the world would the Cubs win the NL Central?

    If you’re looking for a shocker, how about the Dodgers or Rockies winning the West? I just can’t see the Cubs finishing much better than .500, at best.

  23. 23
    Steve Says:

    #22: Ham also thinks that Constanza will hit .550 in April (all infield singles, of course) and unseat Heyward as the right fielder for the remainder of the season.

  24. 24
    Steve Says:

    I give you this year’s Scott Linebrink:

    ATLANTA – The Atlanta Braves today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Chad Durbin to a one-year Major League contract. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Durbin will wear uniform number 32.Durbin, 34, went 2-2 with a 5.53 ERA over 56 appearances last season for the Cleveland Indians. Over 12 Major League seasons, Durbin owns a 38-46 record with a 5.10 ERA in 364 appearances. Durbin was originally selected by the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the 1996 June free agent draft and has made Major League appearances for the Royals, Indians, Diamondbacks, Tigers and Phillies. The Braves have also re-assigned left-handed pitcher Yohan Flande to Triple-A Gwinnett.

  25. 25
    Walker Says:

    Good Lord Durbin’s lifetime stats are awful. How does he keep getting a job?

  26. 26
    Walker Says:

    This is what kills teams. We get so starry eyed just because somebody is a veteran that we put talent to the side. I can count around 6 games that Proctor and Linebrink cost us last year. I wish him well though.

  27. 27
    David Says:

    “Durbin will wear uniform number 32.” — WHAT?!?!?!!? The Braves are allowing someone else to wear MIKE HAMPTON’S number??!?

    Yeah, Durbin is trash. Although he does have good NL numbers from pitching with Philly for three seasons before last year, so maybe, just maybe, that will carry over to Atlanta. Probably not, but perhaps. Also, I wasn’t at all excited about Flande, so at least it’s not a huge loss that Durbin is taking his place.

  28. 28
    Shaun Says:

    Jorge Arangure Jr., Keith Law and AJ Mass are among the ESPN personalities who predict the Braves will win the National League pennant and reach the World Series.

  29. 29
    Bubdylan Says:

    Chad Durbin? Good, good.

  30. 30
    Steve Says:

    On BBTN last night (the 10pm edition) Curt Schilling wouldn’t go as far as to pick the Braves, but he said he wouldn’t be surprised if they went far.

    On a side note, Curt Schilling looked like a bloated, dark circles under his eyes, mess. On the other side of that, he was pretty damn good on the show.

  31. 31
    Pure Says:

    ESPN’s Keith Law has the Braves winning the Division and going to the World Series (but losing to the Rangers).

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/law_keith/id/7769290/yu-darvish-cole-hamels-other-award-division-picks

    I can’t read the article though because I don’t have Insider access. But he mentioned his prediction during the Baseball Today podcast.

  32. 32
    Walker Says:

    LOL @ 30

  33. 33
    Steve Says:

    Dammit, people. I am excited about today! I get the feeling it’s going to be a rough first start for Santana today. And a beauty from Hanson.

  34. 34
    Nate Says:

    Right there with you, Steve. Playin’ hooky today. Go Braves!

  35. 35
    Nate Says:

    To the tweet: I think Diaz has some pretty ridiculous stats against Santana. I thought it was weird first time I looked at it, though.

    When was the last time we started a season with a legitimate leadoff man?

    2 hours to go…

  36. 36
    ham Says:

    Opening DAY! IN Philly today and all of the local sports talk guys are worried about the Phillies. Ha!

  37. 37
    Walker Says:

    Bourn
    Prado
    McCann
    Uggla
    Freeman
    Diaz
    Heyward
    Pastornicky

    Cant wait until Chipper comes back. We are scoring some runs this year guys. Its the pitching that has me worried.

  38. 38
    eric Says:

    @31 – Nothing revelatory. Picked the Braves to win the division with 90 wins.

    “The Atlanta Braves have stars and depth in their rotation, one of the majors’ best bullpens, and a few breakout/bounceback candidates in the lineup (Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward in particular), but several incurable holes in the lineup and a lot of risk after that ‘pen was overworked last year.”

    Doesn’t like the Nats, thinks the Marlins will be less than the sum of their parts, and says the Phillies don’t have enough offense.

  39. 39
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Is it a bad omen if Heyward has a first at bat homer this year? Is anyone watching for that?

  40. 40
    Steve Says:

    #39. Nah, I’ll take the homer.

  41. 41
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Wonder if anyone has ever done it? (3 in a row)

  42. 42
    Frigatedoc Says:

    I would have taken the homer too….. :(

  43. 43
    David Says:

    Almost one time through the order, I gotta say that I like the approach the Braves are taking against Santana. They’re seeing a lot of pitches, making Santana work, not getting too anxious to make something happen — that’s with the exception of McCann and Diaz, who both made outs on the first pitch. But Mac did it after Bourn and Prado saw at least 5 pitches each, and he put a pretty good drive into one. Diaz…that guy just always swings at the first pitch.

  44. 44
    David Says:

    Looks like Tommy’s figured out a way to prevent potential base stealers: just pick their asses off!

  45. 45
    Steve Says:

    #44 – No doubt. Loved it.

  46. 46
    Shaun Says:

    Heyward failed to homer in his first plate appearance this season. Time to give Constanza a shot.

  47. 47
    Walker Says:

    You have to pinch hit for Diaz right there.

  48. 48
    Walker Says:

    Fredi needs to be fired. Seriously. Im not joking. Seriously.

  49. 49
    Adam Says:

    #48 – We’re not even through the first game yet. Give him a second.

  50. 50
    Bubdylan Says:

    Fredi is an absolute, mouth-breathing, dirt-eating, cross-eyed moron.

    WHAT a moron. I can NOT believe this guy is THE MANAGER OF MY BASEBALL TEAM. My GOD. Stop this madness already, Wren. FIRE THIS FREAKING DAMNED IDIOT. FIRE HIS ASS.

  51. 51
    Steve Says:

    Um, we could really do with Venters being a shut down guy again.

  52. 52
    Walker Says:

    Why in the world was Chad Durbin warming up in a 1 run game?

  53. 53
    Steve Says:

    #52, It’s never too early save the bullpen apparently.

  54. 54
    Steve Says:

    That sucked. Really the worst case scenario start for the team.

  55. 55
    Frigatedoc Says:

    4 hits… time to look for a new hitting coach. :) AGAINST THE METS!!!!!

  56. 56
    Walker Says:

    Yes the Braves offense sucked but not pinch hitting for Diaz and Constanza killed us. Thanks Fredi.

  57. 57
    Bubdylan Says:

    #56, absolutely.

  58. 58
    Anne Says:

    …and now: a well-deserved day off.

  59. 59
    ham Says:

    Good news: we (the ABT family) are back! I love the in game comments and all y’all.

    Bad news: the Braves. Ugh.

  60. 60
    Frigatedoc Says:

    #59. Good to be back too Ham, but man I wish we could have started with a win.

    There goes the stat for the “1 run losses.”

  61. 61
    Pure Says:

    At least Uggla had a hitting streak started. 1.

  62. 62
    David Says:

    #61: Actually, Uggla’s hitting streak carries over from the end of last season. He hit safely in the final game of the season, so his streak is at 2.

    Prado hit safely in the final 3 games, so his streak is at 4.

  63. 63
    Shaun Says:

    Only A’s and Mariners players have hit homeruns so far this baseball season.

  64. 64
    Shaun Says:

    Oh, never mind. I’m a little late.

  65. 65
    Nate Says:

    Agree with you guys saying Diaz and Constanza should have been replaced by pinch hitters. Diaz vs RHP is a horrible matchup for the Braves 9 times out of 10. Apparently everyone knows this but Fredi Gonzalez.

  66. 66
    Bubdylan Says:

    “Apparently everyone knows this but Fredi Gonzalez.”

    That whole sentence should just be a key on every keyboard. And when you hit SHIFT, it types “Maybe next year.”

  67. 67
    ham Says:

    #66 – ha ha and boo hoo.

  68. 68
    Shaun Says:

    The Mets gave away one of their 9 remaining outs in the 7th inning with a sac bunt attempt and tried to help the Braves out. Fredi is not the only stupid manager in the majors. Backasswardness is just the nature of managers, I’ve come to believe.

  69. 69
    Leah Says:

    It may have been the Mets but it was also Santana. #rosecoloredglasses

  70. 70
    Walker Says:

    Can we trade Fredi for Joe Maddon?

  71. 71
    Bubdylan Says:

    #70 yes, please.

  72. 72
    BluesMan Says:

    I thought apart from failing to sign for Costanza to squeeze Pastornicky home, Fredi did a good job managing the game. That would’ve changed everything. I think we oughta give our guys a little more credit. Santana has always been an albatross for us, & we were able to knock him out due to a high pitch count early…I really wonder how our “advanced scouting position” will work out for us. We’ll only find that out when we face a pitcher we’ve never seen before. Oh ye of little faith, it was only the first game! #morerosecoloredglasses

  73. 73
    Walker Says:

    The only good thing Fredi did was that he pulled Hanson and brought in Medlen at the right time. Other than that he was horrible.

  74. 74
    Steve Says:

    Its a new day and I’m ready for the Braves to change the storyline on this season. Seems insane that this is in play for the second game of the season.

  75. 75
    Curt Says:

    I’m all for scoring a run or two. Put me down in that camp. The run scorers.

  76. 76
    Anonymous Says:

    Highlights so far . . . Um . . .

    The games are going quickly?

  77. 77
    Ham Says:

    That was me. Here’s a highlight -
    I am trying to clean my house and watch the game at the same time, so I am only watching the braves ABs.

    I am making a lot of progress on cleaning my house.

  78. 78
    Walker Says:

    Why not use Cristhian Mart instead of Durbin?

  79. 79
    Walker Says:

    Oh Fredi

  80. 80
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Looks like the Braves picked up where the left off last year. They have not won a game since 23 Sep 2011

  81. 81
    Leah Says:

    Sad.

  82. 82
    tell it like it is Says:

    Braves sure were lucky to get Diaz back last year. Adding even more journeymen players at the end of spring training is also a plus. Now, they have almost too many clutch hitters. LOL. Doesn’t look like September was a fluke; the no hitting streak may continue for some time. Mediocre players equal mediocre team. Too many “ifs” to be a serious team. If Heyward and Prado can hit. If McCann will ever see the ball again. If a clown at third can fill in for Chipper. If Freeman can duplicate rookie year. If Prado can be a team player. If Uggla can be consistent. if anyone can hit with runners in scoring position. If anyone can produce anything from the shortstop position. If washed up pitchers can be the long relievers. If Fredi grows a brain and a pair.
    They may stay close as the Braves will have the starters and closers (Need a lead to need closers); but, the good pitchers (along with Bourn) will all be looking to see how soon they can get on a team that scores runs and has a chance to win. Two games doesn’t make a season but if the two games look just like September, wouldn’t that be considered a contiuation of crappy hitting? Any bets on the Braves having a full house on opening day?

  83. 83
    Bubdylan Says:

    Can’t believe I put this team down for 84 wins.

    Haven’t watched or listened to any games yet and don’t plan to until Fred’s gone. I’ll keep up with ‘em here in the funny papers. Summer is too nice to waste on (current) Braves baseball.

  84. 84
    tell it like it is Says:

    Anyone notice that 50% of the posts here are from 3 people?

  85. 85
    Frigatedoc Says:

    #84….

    You don’t know us very well do you??

  86. 86
    Bubdylan Says:

    Z’at you, john j? We made it to another life already?

  87. 87
    Curt Says:

    I want my next job to be one where I make a lot of money producing a flawed product; and then convince everyone that the flaws are actually benefits just waiting to expose themselves properly.

  88. 88
    Bubdylan Says:

    Curt, you’ll need shiny hair. Do you have shiny hair?

  89. 89
    Curt Says:

    Do shiny pants count?

  90. 90
    Bubdylan Says:

    Even better.

  91. 91
    Walker Says:

    This is my last post on Fredi but what in the world was he thinking bringing in Durbin in a 1 run game. He of course gives up a homer. Who knows what different things can happen if a team is only down 1 run in the 9th. Why Durbin is even on a MLB team is beyond me.

  92. 92
    Anne Says:

    …and this is why I didn’t renew my season tickets. Go Braves?

  93. 93
    Bubdylan Says:

    Walker, that’s why adding a bad player like Constanza or Durbin to the Braves is nothing like adding one (or two) to a normal team. Fredi absolutely maximizes the damage done by the 24th and 25th best Brave week in and week out.

    I swear we’re being trolled by MLB with this guy.

  94. 94
    Walker Says:

    @Bub

    That’s exactly what he does. The only thing a manager can do is put his players in positions where they can succeed. Durbin suceeds in blowouts. Diaz succeeds against lefties and Constanza succeeds sitting on the bench. Let them do what they do best dammit.

  95. 95
    Curt Says:

    Wonder what sort of start would have to occur to get Fredi fired? I personally think it would once again have to be historic.

  96. 96
    Bubdylan Says:

    #95, 10 games out of 1st might do it.

  97. 97
    Bubdylan Says:

    Here’s a nice snapshot of the man in charge of your Bravos, courtesy of “leedawg” form Talking Chop:

    Proctor made 38 appearances last year: once with a 2 run lead, 6 with a 1 run lead, 9 times when the game was tied, and twice when we were down by 1. 18/38, basically half of his appearances came when the game was in question, or one of our better pitchers should have thrown.

    Linebrink made 64 appearances last year: 5 times with a 2 run lead, twice up one, 13 times in a tie game, and 10 times when we were down 1. 30/64 appearances, again, almost half, when the game was in question, or one of our better pitchers should have thrown.

    Kimbrel made 13 appearances when we were either up by 4 or more, or losing.
    Venters made 19 appearances when we were either up by 4 or more, or losing.
    EOF made 22 appearances when we were either up by 4 or more, or losing.

    That is how you run your best guys into the ground, and are then forced to pitch your two worst arms in critical situations

  98. 98
    Walker Says:

    Lets go back to the days when the best relievers were called firemen because they came into crucial situations no matter what the inning was and put fires out. Its kind of stupid to say our best reliever, Kimbrel for example can ONLY pitch in the 9th inning. It makes no sense. Id rather Kimbrel pitch in the 6th inning with runners in scoring position. Chad Durbin can have the 3 run save if he wants.

  99. 99
    Ham Says:

    #97- so true, and even though it seems indisputable, you know Frediot would spin it into something that was beyond his control. He seems so overmatched, it’s depressing.

    Also, isn’t Frediot supposed to be a “by the book” kind of manager? If so, what book is he looking at? The Phantom Tollbooth? A Confederacy of Dunces? Someone give him a new book! Let’s start with Baseball for Dummies.

  100. 100
    will Says:

    who remembers when we used to start the seasons with win streaks?

  101. 101
    Leah Says:

    Valley of sucktitude…

  102. 102
    Bubdylan Says:

    Leaving Constanza in to hit in that first game, by the way, left the 25th best player on the Braves to bat in LITERALLY the highest leverage moment in the entire game, according to fangraphs.

  103. 103
    Bubdylan Says:

    And in that at-bat, Constanza struck out, flinging his bat at into the infield, on a pitch NINETEEN INCHES out of the strike zone.

  104. 104
    Walker Says:

    This offense is wearing me out.

  105. 105
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Show the broken bat….. Yep that sums up our hitting

  106. 106
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Braves are going “80′s retro” with a bad team. :(

  107. 107
    Adam Says:

    We’re going to get swept to start the season…by the Mets…and we might get no-hit while we’re at it.

    Is it too early to be saying “Maybe next year”?

  108. 108
    Bubdylan Says:

    Yes, with Bourn departing after this season and Fredi still managing, it is definitely too early to be saying “Maybe next year.”

    (Do you see what I did there? 8) )

  109. 109
    Bubdylan Says:

    Okay, so I had to peek at the game when I heard it was a no-hitter in progress. I see Fredi brought in Cristhian Martinez with a 5 run deficit after using Chad Durbin in a close game.

    I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Of course, Martinez laid an egg, but still…

  110. 110
    Curt Says:

    Remind me why it was that we are allowed to declare that we were better than the Mets?

  111. 111
    Leah Says:

    Game 3 of the season and I’m already hating baseball. I’m eating my weight in jelly beans.

  112. 112
    Bubdylan Says:

    We’re better than the Mets because they’re truly awful and this is just one series. But I’m not sure how much better we are.

  113. 113
    Walker Says:

    You have to admit the Mets have a pretty good 1-2-3 in their rotation.

  114. 114
    Bubdylan Says:

    #113, that’s definitely their strength, but I’d look for a rough year at the plate and in the pen.

  115. 115
    Leah Says:

    Finally! Mac’s heating up…

  116. 116
    Bubdylan Says:

    Swept by Mets. Even I didn’t see that happening.

  117. 117
    Bubdylan Says:

    Happy Easter from the Braves.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lkalu1UkjJ1qhq1pjo1_500.jpg

  118. 118
    Anne Says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think the Braves were stuck here at the Denver airport with me all say! They’d have done a better job for sure.

  119. 119
    Pure Says:

    So when was the last time Yankees, Red Sox, and Braves started 0-3?

  120. 120
    Curt Says:

    At least a guy named Bubba won the Masters

  121. 121
    Steve Says:

    #117 – Awesome.

    It’s an absolute disaster, this start. No other way to couch it. Really terrible and very little to take from it in a positive light other than to say it’s early (the crutch of the desperate baseball fan).

  122. 122
    Frigatedoc Says:

    Steve, the only positive light is that they are still undefeated at home….

  123. 123
    Danny Says:

    I too, am eating my weight in jelly beans, Leah. I am somehow still optimistic about this year’s team. A lot of the question marks, or festering ifs that I had a week ago are looking decent. I like the move that we have all been begging for, going after a right handed slugger, even if he is a wild card. I think this offense will heat up if we continue to see good at bats from Heyward, Uggla, and Prado. This is a talented team. Sure, we will lose plenty of games, but I still think we could get hot and compete with anyone’s 25.

  124. 124
    Danny Says:

    Just like last year’s Cards and he Giants before them. No one outside of their fan base was calling them the best team in April.

  125. 125
    Tcc Says:

    Jeez, I’m so depressed about the Braves that I’m back here thinking that ABT will be more positive about the teams season than I am. Maybe FF will hit 100 HR’s this year…that would help.

  126. 126
    Leah Says:

    Bad news bears Cledus. Good news is misery loves company.

  127. 127
    Tcc Says:

    Sigh…with that comforting thought, Leah, I’ll turn in and have dreams that we can’t be worse than the Mets AND the Astros…

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