So much going on…

I forgot to mention Brayan Pena’s Major League debut. He had an infield single in his first AB, later scoring, and wound up 1-4. As Pete, I think, pointed out, he looks pretty fast for a catcher — not maybe Craig Biggio fast, but pretty nimble. I was thinking that if he does stick as a backup he could be used the way Leyland used Gregg Zaun once upon a time; he’d bring in Zaun to run for Charles Johnson late in the game when trailing.

15 thoughts on “So much going on…”

  1. Apparently he’s a contact hitter like Johnny, so you don’t lose much if you ran for Johnny in a late-inning situation.

  2. Hey Mac, I’m going to be in Hoover tomorrow and through Sunday for the SEC Baseball tournament.

    Come on down to the park and say hi.

  3. I only saw his last at bat, and it did remind me a lot of Estrada. He tried to bunt twice, but fouled them off. He then fouled off several pitches on hit and runs before successfully moving the runner over with a groundout to second.

  4. His first at bat, he hit a bullet down the line that ate up Wright, who ended up throwing it away to advance the runners. Single and error, although had Wright played it better (not backing off), it probably would not have been scored a hit. Anyway, he had good plate appearances – showed good discipline. It’s unique to have two switch-hitting catchers!

  5. The jejune lefty politics always seem to make their way onto this site, despite the “no politics” warning. What the warning really means is “no politics critical of lefties (and I don’t mean J. Foster).” That’s why I’m just going to stick to Braves Beat Blog from here on out. I bid you adieu.


    Just kidding. But it is amazong how similar these two guys are offensively, with the exception of Pena having some apparent mobility. Anybody know how they compare defensively?

    Remember how ESPN had that (thankfully) short-lived deal with two guys back in the studio debating things during the game? Maybe TBS could have Neil Boortz and Cynthia Tucker going at a few times a night ;-)

    hmmmmmmmm… which is more childish: getting angry that your favorite baseball broadcast went political, or anonymously calling people who may disagree with you unsohpisticated and then implying that they’re *GASP* Frenchified? Tough one.

  7. Leave if you want, Frenchy. My feeling is that if the Braves allow the injection of politics into the game I’m going to cover it. However, my feelings about the person who showed up in the booth last night are largely personal and not political.

    Pena apparently can’t throw very well, worse than Estrada. Then again, that’s never been the Braves’ biggest concern in a catcher. I don’t know about the rest of his defensive skills. I wouldn’t mind the Braves letting Estrada walk and giving Pena the job this offseason, but whoever it is is probably going to just keep the seat warm for McCann and Saltalamacchia.

    McCann Watch: .290/.374/.565 for Mississippi. He’s made one error so far but I don’t know about the rest of his defense.

    Saltalamacchia Watch: .277/.359/.460 for Myrtle Beach, good in that park.

  8. I thought Pena made a good throw to third, nearly got Wright stealing even though the pitcher (Ramirez still, I think) never looked back. But, I haven’t followed him, so I don’t know much about his defense. He at least moved around well behind the plate, he didn’t reach like Estrada always does (has anyone told Estrada he’s supposed to block pitches with his body?).

    I’d like to see Pena stay up when Perez comes off the DL, but I guess the chances of that are slim.

  9. I think it’s unfair that Pena will get charged with a stolen base for the time Kolb allowed the runner to get halfway there before he pitched. Kolb sucks so much that I couldn’t even get that one in.

    It’s possible that Perez will just stay on the DL. For one thing, his arm seemingly hasn’t gotten any better. But sometimes a guy spends the rest of the season on the DL when he could otherwise be playing because his replacement is obviously better. Happened to Lemke at the end of his Braves career.

    One difference between Pena and Estrada is that the former (assuming his listed age is correct) is five and a half years younger and may develop more as a player. Estrada’s pretty much as good of a player as he’ll ever be.

  10. Throwing is no big deal. Hell, Pat Corales even taught Javy to be decent at it. And nobody’s going to be a high percentage guy for the Braves anyway because they wisely don’t let the pitchers focus too much on holding guys at first. It’d be nice to have a guy with a big gun if the walk totals were higher… OK, so maybe we need someone who can throw when Haracio Ortiz (or is it Russ Ramirez) is on the mound… but it’s one of the few over-rated skills that Atlanta is smart enough to ignore.

    I’m just astonished that the Braves have two of the best catching prospects (including THE best in McCann) in their system. Where did these good position players come from so suddenly? It seems like only yesterday that we had to get lucky with a make-up guy like Larry or toolsy kid like Andruw actually developing. Or an afterthought like Giles simply refusing to be ignored. I was thinking about the post on the 1999 draft. Maybe that was some sort of watershed moment for the development organization..

  11. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Partisan hackery of any stripe has no place in baseball and I would think that if, for fun let’s say, Al Sharpton were to make an appearance in the booth you would hear the same kind of well-deserved reactions.I don’t have a problem letting go of Estrada either. With every passing day it is looking like last year was a fluke and with our depth at the position we should be set for a while.

  12. McCann Watch: .290/.374/.565 for Greenville.

    Mac, we’re going to make you stay after school and write “Mississippi” on the blackboard 1,000 times.

  13. McCann is not only hitting for good power, but also has increased his walk rate significantly over last year, has great plate discipline (1:1 BB/K, 6:1 AB/K), and is hitting for average. And he’s just turned 22, I think. Estrada, your days are numbered.

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