August 17, 2014

Show #275: Braves Hang in the Wild Card Race

The Braves close out the week strong. Heyward back in the lead off spot. Will Kris Medlen be back in 2015?



17 Responses to “Show #275: Braves Hang in the Wild Card Race”

  1. 1
    DAP Says:

    Hey guys, I’ve got all 5 bench spots up for grabs in 2015. That’s with LaStella starting at 2B. Ramiro Pena is Arb eligible, so there is a possible bench player, and they will probably keep him. So 4 spots to bulk up the bench. they can make some hay in that area if they want to, this offseason.

  2. 2
    DAP Says:

    Here is a great point of reference for who we have and for how long:

    Wren started prepping for 2017 this offseason. Basically what we have in 2017 is a CF (Upton), a SS (Simmons), a 1B (Freeman), a 3B (Johnson), a closer (Kimbrel). Those guys alone will make about $75mil.

    Under team control through arbitration is Gattis, Minor, and a few bullpen guys.

    I think its time to sign a veteran pitcher longterm, to be there in 2017, and one of our corner outfielders. otherwise, develop some good young players that make the minimum to fill it out.

  3. 3
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Just an FYI: I didn’t propose the “walk year” as a strategy, I just sited an observation of an approach that management may use…

    I am hoping they don’t exactly do it that way because it takes any possibility of a “winning philosophy” completely away from this year and next year…

  4. 4
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    I also wonder how much the possibility of “souring” Juston on the Braves keeps BJ on the team?

    Speaking of BJ, the generic announcers (MLB, ESPN, et. al.) mentioned the possibility of BJ completely restructuring his swing in the off-season. Both mentioned they thought it was time, both mentioned they thought he had the athletic ability to “pull it off”… one mentioned something like “for someone who has such good hands, his swing appears really ‘robotic’… it is tough to hit when you are trying to string along a bunch of pieces…”

    Thoughts? Think he can? Think he will? Would you be interested in him at the top of the line-up if he was more of a high average guy even if his HR total were to drop?

  5. 5
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Don’t think that BJ is exactly “Uggla 2.0″…

    While some team members were upset, most could tell Uggla needed to go…

    BJ, however, has improved somewhat from last year (Uggla declined each year) and you don’t know what effect “dumping” him could have on a player who is essential to your offense…

    As Juston & Freddie go, the team goes… The Braves can win if one or the other hits, the Braves “win streak” when they both hit…

  6. 6
    DAP Says:

    BJ should re work his swing. whether he can and will is the tough question. i think he could. if he does have good hands, a set up sort of like his brother’s would be nice. wide stance, hands close, little to no stride.

  7. 7
    Curt Says:

    MIM – fair enough. I guess I looked at it in a broader sense. But I think the idea of keeping this core in place will only play out so long if the results are declining every year, or even status quo, as you put it. And I’m getting the sense that there is already a lame-duck status to the team, even several years out.

    As far as BJ, didn’t he just do that? I thought he spent this whole off-season retooling his swing. How many more times can he go to that well?

    And not sure with his numbers, how essential he really is. Right now he is a detriment.

  8. 8
    Mark in Memphis Says:


    I see what BJ did as “working on correcting problems” in his swing, rather than the suggested, to borrow a phrase from Hammy: “blow it up”…

    Start from scratch, build a new swing “from the ground up”… ideally, fewer moving parts, get rid of the step and bat waggle, etc. As simple a swing as possible, one that stays in the zone longer, etc…

  9. 9
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Someone needs to get BJ in touch with Don Baylor (“he hates strikeouts and gets on hitters who shrug it off”)… or maybe Dave Magadan…

  10. 10
    USMC Says:

    Priority should be made in securing Heyward to a long term deal. His confidence at the plate might rival that of his defense when he feels that his effort and talent really is appreciated. Giving money to the grown man-child Chris Johnson before we reward Heyward is INSANE. I believe we should Trade BJ for whatever we can to stop the bleeding in center field. The stud SS in AAA might not turn out to be Andruw Jones in CF, but he can bat and field better than the $75 million dollar BJ can.

  11. 11
    matt alexander Says:

    I’m trying to figure out. In what world does Bj have good hands. Simply “retooling” his swing got him from the .160’s to .200+ on the average. If walker and Fletcher can get with him and completely rebuild him. As was mentioned; a swing setup that is as simple as his brother. He looks like a drug addict in the box now with all that twitching. His porous offense is translating to the field as well

  12. 12
    Mark in Memphis Says:


    Well my “good hands” comment was, as I attributed above, said by folks who have played more baseball than I have watched… folks on either the ESPN or MLB broadcast… and if I remember correctly, it was a specific analyst, not the usual “announcers”… Just don’t remember who… BJ wasn’t the only one he talked of and it sounded like he knew that of which he spoke…

    What I see BJ doing so far is “putting patches on an old coat”… The front foot back a bit to try to stop the “leg flip”, the hands closer to try to cut down on the big “waggle” when the pitch is on the way, etc.

    So far it seems to all be about trying to stop bad habits that have crept in over the years… Hopefully this off season, it will be about making a new, fewer moving parts swing…

    I am not surprised by his strikeout totals… Instead of swinging well, he is thinking about trying to hit the ball while he thinks about not flipping the foot and not waggling the bat and…

    It is a bit like golf… You see people take really pretty practice swings and then step up, address the ball and dig a club into the ground…

    They mentally go from “swinging the club” to “hitting the ball”… If you do the same practice swing with the ball in the swing plane, I guarantee it will fly…

    When you watch someone hit the baseball, what do you usually hear from the announcers? “He really put a good swing on that one”.

    What we are seeing from BJ is a few good swings, but a LOT of trying to hit… In baseball, you have to have a swing you don’t think about and just react to where the ball is pitched… Currently, BJ is thinking too much about his swing mechanics and I don’t see that getting any better this season…

  13. 13
    Walker Says:

    Well Well Well. GO BRAVES

  14. 14
    Adam Says:

    How many big runs have we given up on wild pitches/passed balls this year? Seems like a lot.

  15. 15
    Ham Says:

    Ouch. Tough loss. Brutal way to end our little streak. Having said that, I think we bounce back tomorrow.

  16. 16
    Shaun Says:

    I know no manager does it and all that but if there is any situation in which Fredi should get criticized and a talking-to by the front office for not using Kimbrel in a non-save situation it was last night.

  17. 17
    Curt Says:

    I just don’t see how Wood comes out for the 8th when so many guys in the bullpen were rested. And, if he does, how he gets to keep pitching after he walks the first guy.

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