Could be worse, could be better

SPRING TRAINING 2005: BRAVES PREVIEW | ajc.com

Outfield kids not out of the picture

Braves officials spoke in December about giving outfielder Ryan Langerhans and others an opportunity this spring. They say that’s still the case, despite the January signings of veterans Raul Mondesi and Brian Jordan.

Langerhans, 25, is out of minor-league options and had a strong season at Class AAA Richmond, batting .298 with 20 home runs. A left-handed hitter and defensive standout, he could work into a left-field platoon with Jordan.

“We’re happy to have Brian back,” GM John Schuerholz said. “But just because we’ve signed him, we haven’t announced to those young guys to be any less aggressive. They’re going to be trying to take a job away from somebody.”

In other words, Langerhans and McCarthy — and the NRIs — have a chance to take Jordan’s job, but it’s his to lose. So if he goes out there and is mediocre — let’s say he hits .250 with a homer or two — they’re going to let Jordan play most of the time, even though he sucks.

10 thoughts on “Could be worse, could be better”

  1. I dunno, I think he’s got more of a shot than you suggest. At this point I’d say a platoon is almost guaranteed and if Langerhans consistently does better his playing time will grow. But this is just speculation, so I could be wrong.

  2. The main thing is just for him to make the ML roster. Once he does that, Jordan will suck, get hurt, and Langerhans will take over his spot anyway.

    Colin

  3. The only thing I’m worried about is Langerhans having a bad spring training and getting cut. So long as he breaks camp on the 25 man roster, I’m confident he’ll be spelling Jordan for plenty of playing time.

    Another reason not to get too worked up is that JS is one heck of a tactical spokeperson. At this point in the offseason, he has everything to gain from endorsing Jordan in LF. It keeps Jordan from getting all indignant at having to compete against rookies for playing time, while at the same time it lights a fire under the rookies to go out there and show Jordan up. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.

  4. The big loser could be McCarthy. He probably won’t get enough at bats to show what he’s got. I agree with you Mac. The context of the article is that Jordan is the LF until one of the kids outplays him. As has been stated here before Jordan getting any at bats at all diminishes Langerhans et al’s chances of ‘winning’ the position. Jordan will have to go 0 for a good part of the spring to lose the starters job.

  5. I don’t think there’s much chance of Langerhans getting cut. They have too much invested in him to just give up because of 30 or 40 PAs. They might try to put him on the DL with an “injury” though and make him sit.

  6. Right on, Allen — I think you nailed it. What else is Schuerholz going to say? Especially considering Jordan’s pride, or fragile psyche, whatever you want to call it.

    I’m just ready for the season to start — gotta kick this seasonal affective disorder….

  7. The person who runs this website has a ridiculous anti-Jordan attitude. All of the “Jordan sucks” and other Jordan negative journals make no sense. Jordan has a career .284 average, he has consistently hit in the .290s with a couple of seasons over .300. He also has consistently been good for 20 HR and a good amount of RBIs.

    All things considered, you should not be blinded by your anti-Jordan bias and rip him apart on a regular basis. He has proven to be a good player over the years, and I know this is your website, but be a little more professional when putting the “suck” word next to a player that does not deserve it. I am a frequent viewer to your site, and this is my first post, hopefully you will see where I am coming from in regards to my arguement.

  8. You may disagree with most of the posters on here hotsaus, but Jordan’s stats betray your wishes. And if you think stat heads are out of touch I dare you to find a current scouting report that backs up your assertion that Jordan does not “suck.”

  9. I just really do no get it. True, Jordan was terrible at the plate, but that can be attributed to injury. Before that, he had hit at least .284 every season since 1997, when he hit .234 if I am not mistaken.
    While I admit that the guy is getting up there in years, he should not be labeled unfairly, as he has had a very productive career and has brought great joy to Braves fans during the bitter Mets-Braves rivalry. I have not been able to find any scouting reports on Jordan for this year, but I will eat my crow if Jordan does not put up at least a .270 15HR and 70RBI in about 400 at bats. That would be great value for a 1M salary and for a player most people seem to have a bitter dislike towards.

  10. Batting average is not a useful measure of offensive production. On-base percentage and slugging percentage are. Jordan’s OBPs have never been good. As for the other, I quote from my post at his signing…

    Slugging percentage by year, this millenium:

    2001: .496
    2002: .469
    2003: .420
    2004: .363

    This is not good.

    Moreover, Jordan was never a particularly good hitter against righthanders, and now is very bad: .260/.315/.386 over the last three seasons, a line that would be bad for a catcher or middle infielder. If you say “injuries”, then I put it to you that if he’s been hurt and ineffective three years in a row he’s liable to be hurt and ineffective for the forseeable future.

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