Rudy! Rudy! Rudy?

Seanez gets Braves offer |

I don’t know. He’s 37 now, but Rudy Seanez is as good of a pitcher now as he’s ever been. His 2.67 ERA last year was a career best, and before you say “San Diego Park Effect” his ERA+ of 143 was also a career best. (He only allowed one unearned run, so it wasn’t that either, and allowed nine of 29 inherited runners to score, a good ratio.) He also set personal best for innings (60 1/3) and strikeouts (84). For one year, he’d be a good pickup, but the Red Sox are also bidding (the Devil Rays too, but come on) and the Evil Empire is also mulling a bid.

Also there’s talk of Jeff Conine. The Orioles have already offered him a contract, because they don’t have enough first base/outfield/DH types yet, but Conine would be a great platoon partner for LaRoche. And if he’s really worried about playing time, Schuerholz should just sit him down and tell him that LaRoche has lost his job each of his first two seasons and if Julio Franco wasn’t too old to play every day, Adam might not have gotten it back.

81 thoughts on “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy?”

  1. Wow, Mr. Marlin? Sounds like he would be a good fit for the Mets to me. Old guy at the end of his carrer, who had 2-3 great seasons and some sold ones too. He woudl be perfect on a team with really old guys, like the Mets.

  2. I think Seanez and Conine could both contribute to the team. Conine could play RF if Francouer gets off to a slow start, or he could play left if Langerhans gets hurt. A good platoon at first. He’s pretty clutch too, if I remember correctly.

  3. Ken Rosenthal says Seanez is very close to signing with Boston.

    here be link.

    I like Conine as a Brave if it happens. He was on both of their WS teams, and it’d be a real kick in the teeth to Marlins fans to see him in an Atlanta uniform.

    I know they’ve suffered a lot this offseason, but they’ve got a long way to go before they make up for the called third strike that ended the ’97 NLCS.

  4. That sucks, Seanez would have been a crucial addition to our bullpen. Conine would also be useful, and between LF and 1B would get plenty of playing time, I think.

  5. Seanez would have been nice; it is certainly time to entertain the possibility of Hammond.

    Does anybody out there have any feel (or info) on Corey Patterson? The Cubs may well non-tender him and despite his 2005 performance (like another recent pick-up) he could be good value if he gets back to his old form. Unlike Renteria, Patterson will only be 27 next year, so he may still have his best years ahead of him.

  6. Patterson is best described IMO as an enigma. An amazing talent that could be tapped into with a change of venue, and could be fairly cheap. Then there are his horrid stats. No plate discipline at all and the Braves are not exactly known for teaching that. He is not a leadoff guy at all but has great speed. I am inclined to let someone else take a chance on him because even if he plays well he will strike out 160-170 times. Also, I wouldn’t fell confident with him in the postseason.

  7. I think Patterson would be an ok fit. He would get to hit lower in the order (where is is more comfortable) he can run and flash some nice leather. But we still need a closer. I am fine with Langy out in left right now, but not with CR shutting it down

  8. Y’know, if we HAVE to have a platoon partner with LaRoche (it seems JS and co have fallen in love with his HR/RBI totals), you could do a lot worse than Matt LeCroy. His platoon split is a lot better than Conine’s, he’s bound to be cheaper, and he is a legitimate backup catcher.

  9. Patterson crashed and burned so badly last season that I don’t know whether he’s capable of being a quality ballplayer. I remember several occasions last year when he came up against us with runners on base and you just knew he was going to get himself out. He swings at everything, and once you get two strikes on him, he’s meat:

    0-2 count: .123/.123/.193
    1-2 count: .081/.081/.097
    2-2 count: .109/.109/.125
    3-2 count: .125/.344/.333

    He’s unwatchable — I can’t stand him.

  10. looks like dreams of nomar are gone. the dodgers are signing him for 1yr/8mil. i am not sure he would have been worth that much dough. seeing that he hasnt played a full year since 03, i dont this he’s worth the risk. the $ these free agents are getting is absurd.

  11. JS seems to always come up short on free agents. I guess we are going to end up with projects again this year despite the unselfish restructuring that Chipper did.

  12. Why do you think JS is coming up short? Maybe he’s trying not to waste money in hopes of making a midseason deal that would actually make a difference. I mean I know Nomar is great, but why spend over 8 mil for a one year contract on a guy that has been hurt the past two years?
    Or perhaps he’s doing what he wanted too all along. Why should we doubt him?

  13. Great numbers sansho. A guy with those numbers is pretty much worthless. Also, there is no “despite Chipper’s restructuring”. The Braves are going to put a 80 million dollar payroll on the field no matter what next year. Thanks to Chipper, we have 6 extra million to spend. So no matter who we get it will be thanks to Chipper’s restructuring not despite Chipper’s restructuring.

  14. By coming up short I mean he is offering less to the free agents the Braves clearly want than what the free agents are willing to settle for. I was talking about not signing Seanez. I like the starters but I am concerned about having relievers for the last 3 innings. There is some talent but who is reliable? Thank God they finally (too late) released Martin, Gryboski, and Kolb. I don’t trust Reitsma. I don’t want to see him as closer and I doubt he can even be effective as a set up again.

  15. Some may think that JS comes up short. But I think his methods keep the Braves out of trouble down the line. If JS just went out and outbid for players and paid them more than they were worth, we would be stuck with them without money to fill holes in future years. In short, you may consider it coming up short but I look at it as avoiding bad contracts. Which is what money constrained teams have to do.

  16. Plus, not shelling out ridiculous amounts of money for the likes of B.J. Ryan gives Schuerholz the room to make a trade during the season, when a team with a good closer inevitably falls out of contention and decides to rebuild. We still have the farm system to make it work, at a time when the market isn’t insane.

    We appear done for now, as far as impact trades and signings go. But I doubt Reitsma will end the season as our closer…whether that’s because we trade for someone better or Reitsma takes his typical late-summer swoon and we end up with Devine or Lerew remains to be seen. It just may be better in the long run that nothing happens now, though.

  17. Sorry for the two consecutive posts…but I think Reitsma can be effective, more so as a set-up man than as a closer. His innings just need to be limited, and that doesn’t look like it will happen, especially if he closes. Bobby Cox will send Reitsma in there for the last four or five outs like he likes to do, and he will fade in August. We need to find a closer before we get to that point, like last season.

  18. Thanks sansho1 for the stats on Patterson. I would not be surprised to see the Braves roll the dice on him–especially if the price were cheap.

    In any event, I do not think that the Braves envision using Reitsma for the closer. I am happy to add that they (at least based on JS’ interview)do not intend to rely on Devine either. Devine was a victim of Kolb and the need for immediate help; I think the Braves recognize that he needs more time on the farm.

    Reitsma simply breaks down to much. It is like having a much older pitcher in the bullpen, who simply cannot be relied on to pitch frequently. What value does Reitsma then have? Personally, I have seen enough. My feeling is that we will see some move in the coming weeks to give the Braves someone who will have the capacity to begin the season as a closer.

    I generally agree with Zach that some of the best things which JS has done is avoid long term financial commitments. I hardly see the attraction of Nomar…Hving overcome Renteriaphobia, I can see that he saved money at SS position, which may now be upgraded (Marte was never going to play much for the Braves anyway).

    Nonetheless, we need a closer and I would like to see us strengthen our starting pitching. Bringing in another quality starter would allow us to move Sosa back the bullpen. However, even if we traded for someone like Zito and returned Sosa to the pen, the need would remain. I do not think that Sosa has the command to close.

  19. from the AJC re the Dodgers:

    Colletti has also made it clear he’s interested in acquiring outfield help, a left-handed reliever and a starter.

    Hmmm, let’s see — KJ/Langerhans, HoRam. Seems like we have what they want but what do the Dodgers have that WE want?

  20. What a great weekend. Pats destroy the Bucs, Indy’s streak gets snapped so I don’t have to hear about it anymore (plus I don’t like them), and the Redskins beat the Cowboys 35-7 so we get 5 free toppings on our Papa John’s pizza tomorrow.

    Also, all the Fox games are done so I don’t have to listen to that stupid little jingling noise every 10 seconds. The snowplow was kind of cute, though.

  21. How can you not like the Colts? I mean, to cheer against them is one thing. But their coach, their quarterback, their star receiever, their star defensive end…all class acts. I don’t get just not liking them.

  22. You know, pouring over the numbers, I’m kinda intrigued by what we could get out of the SS position with Renteria and Betemit.

    Renteria over the past two years — which were very similar to each other in fact, despite his much ballyhooed “struggles” in Boston — has killed left handed pitching:

    2004: 131 ab, 4 hr, 20 rbi, .366/.429/.550
    2005: 193 ab, 5 hr, 30 rbi, .326/.384/.482
    Granted, small sample size caveats apply, but he has fared better vs. LHP than RHP throughout his career. He also fared much better in 2005 on the road than he did in Fenway Park:

    home: 304 ab, 3 hr, 32 rbi, .266/.325/.382
    away: 319 ab, 5 hr, 38 rbi, .285/.345/.389
    Being primarily a singles/doubles hitter with marginal power, moving to a slightly more spacious outfield home environment might well help his numbers. The equal differences in BA and OBP suggest that this might be the case, though (granted) further research would be needed.

    Back to Betemit. In 2005, he was weak against lefties but strong against righties (granted, small sample sizes apply yet again):

    vs. LHP: 78 ab, 1 hr, 6 rbi, .256/.289/.372
    vs. RHP: 168 ab, 3 hr, 14 rbi, .327/.390/.464

    Given his skill set and age, I don’t see any reason why he should suddenly get worse vs. righties. This isn’t to bring up the Renteria vs. Betemit argument again, particularly when looking at cost, but if you spot Renteria against tough righties and give Betemit some spot starts at 3b as well, you can have a very effective tandem at the SS position — akin to what we saw with LaRoche and Franco at 1b last season. I think that scenario bodes even better for the Braves than just Renteria or just Betemit and, more importantly, I don’t believe it to be out of the realm of possibility.

    Having depth and competent players on the bench is critical to making it through a season and succeding in the playoffs. The tradeoff to get Renteria cost us Marte, but it likely improves our rotation for next season and introduces some sort of cost certainty to the lineup, freeing the team up to search for another bench piece and a closer. Given who could step in for Franco at 1b from the minors along with LaRoche for next season, I think this team is shaping up at least as good as last season’s and potentially even better.

    Just some rambling thoughts…

  23. Brutal game by Vick tonight. For 80% of the game he looked awful.

    Tough luck with the Jenkins fumble/interception and the interception on the goal line. But for those two plays both breaking the Bears’ way, who knows what happens.

  24. In light of Mac’s piece from the other day, the question remains: will Renteria become worse against LHP (and not-so-tough righties, I suppose) if Betemit gets to bat regularly enough against tough righties? If Renteria worsens, will it be to the extent that we’re better off keeping Betemit on the bench?

    Correct me if I missed something–since I’m not accustomed to thinking about this sort of stuff analytically!–but one thing I got from Mac’s blog was that improvement from everyday play is an important factor to weigh when considering implementing the platoon. I don’t know how to pursue the above line of questioning further to get a better answer, but there it is.

    And it will be interesting to see what becomes of Betemit. I think we all at least suspect that he’s better than the Braves are making him out to be right now. As it stands, it’s nice to have one guy on the bench who can play SS and 3B, if Chipper goes down again this year. But when Yunel Escobar is ready for the utility role, you get the feeling Betemit is gone. It will be interesting to see what the Braves do to market Betemit in the future.

  25. Good analysis, Clark. Unfortunately, it won’t “be interesting to see if it plays out that way,” because it won’t play out that way. Bobby will just throw Renteria in there full time and sit Betemit until Chipper strains his shoulder or something.

    You make a good argument for platooning, Clark, but there’s no way Renteria misses more than ten starts next year unless he’s injured.

  26. How can you not like the Colts? I mean, to cheer against them is one thing. But their coach, their quarterback, their star receiever, their star defensive end…all class acts. I don’t get just not liking them.

    1)I’m a Patriots fan.
    2)They’re TOO good.
    3)Said “classy” quarterback whines at his receivers whenever a pass is incomplete. It takes two to tango, Peyton.
    4)Manning jumps and waves and flaps his arms around and kicks his legs like that Simpsons episode where C. Montgomery Burns coaches 3B for Homer’s company softball team. It annoys me.
    5)After reading Ryan White’s autobiography and also being subjected to the “World’s Largest Truck Stop” on I-90 or whatever, I developed a dislike for the state of Indiana. Yeah, it’s unfair. Sue me! ;-)

    They are a classy team. But that doesn’t mean I have to like them. Sometimes you just can’t explain the feeling of antipathy that washes over you whenever you look at a certain object. This is one of those times.

  27. I just want Tony Dungy to win a Super Bowl. Some time. Some where. After making a contender out of a team that had sucked consistently for twenty years, then being dumped just as they were peaking, he deserves it.

  28. Quick suggestion, everyone thinks we need to sign some right-handed first basemen to platoon with LaRoche. Well why not just stick Betemit in there for lefties? I cannot think of many better alternatives for the money/production. Nevertheless, I still think Betemit is more valuable at SS than Renteria (with Marte + money we should have spent on Trevor Hoffman). Oh well it’s not a perfect world but at least we always make the playoffs.

  29. Betemit’s not that great batting right. However, he’s probably better against lefties than LaRoche, so I wouldn’t mind replacing LaRoche with Betemit. To platoon them, however, would have Betemit batting only on his weak side.

  30. Yeah, Ben. Some games will be on TBS until 2012, though the number is decreasing. 70 next year. 70 the year after. 45 every year after that until 2012.

  31. JoeyT (and others) — thanks for the comments. Specifically, I don’t disagree that we’ll likely see Renteria take the lion’s share of the time at SS. However, I do think it’s a greater likelihood that the Braves — as compared to a lot of other teams — that Betemit won’t be completely forgotten on the bench. Granted, before last season, I may have thought somewhat differently, but I do think Betemit will get a fair amount of time at both positions next season.

    I’m not so sure that we have a higher opinion of Betemit than does the organization as it is that they have a higher opinion of Renteria than is generally found here. The last two seasons are more in line with his career numbers, particularly if you exclude his 2003 campaign. More concerning to me than anything else is his increasing K/BB ratio. In 2003, it was 0.83, whereas in 2004 it sat at 2.0 and last season he was at 1.82. Career, he is at 1.58. He’s had some pretty good lineups around him throughout, so I don’t think batting in front of Chipper and Andruw will help that any. If he can bring that ratio closer to his career numbers, he’ll be one of the NL’s better shortstops next year. If not, he’ll be okay but nothing special. To tie it back to the original point, I think the organization is banking on some regression (here, improvement) to the mean, whereas we tend to think the past two seasons are what we are more likely to see. I think both groups have a similar view of Betemit.

    I can see the case for keeping Marte, moving him to 1st, and playing Betemit full-time at SS, but that is a higher risk/higher reward proposition than LaRoche/Renteria at those two positions. For the Braves, a team with contending aspirations, I can see why they are going with the lower risk proposition. It’s not quite the same deal as with the OF last year, where we didn’t have an alternative; here, we were able to acquire an alternative for the SS position and maintain some strength on the bench. To use a cliche, only time will tell which path is the better one.

  32. Clark, I think we have all seen Bobby keep throwing the likes of Belliard and Weiss out at shortstop in the 90s no matter how bad their stats looked. I agree 100% with Joey’s comment. You can throw all the stats out of the window when you are talking about Bobby’s handling of his shortstop position.

    I will be surprised if Renteria plays less than 150 games next season unless he is hurt.

    Vick is like Andruw of the Falcons. They have all the tools to become the best player in their sports, but I guess they just need time to develop.

  33. I asked a question a month or so ago that someone answered for me about minor league free agents. Is there a list of these guys anywhere?

  34. And the FA season has barely begun. Sure, most of the bigger names are gone (like we were ever gonna get one of those), but there should be a fair amount of decent non-tenders out there soon (I’m hoping Reitsma is one of them, but for different reasons… and that seems very unlikely at this point anyway).

    I just hope they don’t trade for Miguel Batista and expect him to continue being a successful closer. I’m not sure he can’t be good, but it would be frustrating to have another late-inning reliever with a lot of balls put in play.

  35. Two Cold Pizza comments:

    1)They mentioned that the phone is “ringing off the hook” with prospective buyers for the Braves. So we just have to hope that the guy with the highest bid is a good owner and not a Daniel Snyder type.

    2)WHAT is Skip Bayless’ obsession with Kyle Orton? The guy sucks. It is not that hard to recognize that the Bears win in spite of him, not because of him. Exhibit #2058353202866 in the “Skip Bayless is an Idiot” file.

  36. Orton’s a rookie. Eli wasn’t particularly good last year.

    Eli 2004:
    48.2 percent
    .67 TD/INT

    Orton 2005:
    52.9 percent
    .69 TD/INT

    Orton’s going to be very good, if he ever gets a chance to play with Grossman back in the mix.

  37. It was mentioned in the Chicago Tribune yesterday that Stan Kasten’s group, presently attempting to purchase the Nationals, would likely shift to try for the Braves if AOL decides to sell. According to the article, because of his close ties to Kasten, Bud Selig will wait on selecting Washington’s new ownership until after a decision is made on whether the Braves are for sale. Although he comes across as a little too hard-nosed on labor issues, Kasten certainly knows what it takes to win in Atlanta (he did it first with the Hawks, before coming to the Braves). It would be a good choice, I think.

  38. Borowski? No. Rookie of the year in the NFL, has to be between Cadillac Williams, and Odell Thurman of the Bengals, eventhough defenders don’t usually do well in this type of award. Betemit is not an everyday shortstop, so lets stop that argument right there. And is Cold Pizza that terrible new ESPN show?

  39. It’s not exactly new, Justin, although if you have managed to avoid it for awhile you may think it’s new (consider yourself lucky!). I don’t know what to make of it. Some of it’s okay, some of it is so downright awful that I have to turn it off. They had Woody and Skip rank their top 5 teams and MVPs today, and I can’t remember all of it, but I do know that Woody’s top 5 teams had the Bears, the Falcons, and the Redskins involved and that his 5th MVP pick was Jay Feely. WTF?

  40. They give seperate awards for offensive and defensive rookies of the year.

    Doesn’t Ronnie Brown have more total yards, more yards per carry, and more yards per catch than Cadillac? Why would Cadillac win the award? Ronnie’s so much better.

    Thurman’s a great candidate for defense. I’d definately pick him over Tatupu.

  41. I’m sorry I don’t watch ESPN unless one of my teams are playing, don’t they have some show with AC Slater in it. They should just shut up shop if thats the case.

    Good point about the two different awards. And about Ronnie Brown, the Dolphins just don’t get much coverage, and Ricky shares the load so that has to go against Brown some. I would add Merriman on that defensive side as well.

  42. The reason they have Woody Paige on Cold Pizza is that he’s the only person in the world capable of making Skip Bayless seem like a rational, sane commentator.

    Joe Borowski seems a little bit like that other guy the Braves used to have, Kevin Grybo-whatsisname. Both fat, over the hill relievers with no stuff. If that’s what we want, why don’t we just rehire Juan Berenguer?

  43. Although you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, since I still think we should resign Antonio Alfonseca.

  44. I think we need a clsoer and maybe a starter.

    Skip is retarded, that is how he has a job. ESPN thinks people watch him and SAS becuase we hate them and we just can’t wait to see what they will say. IF they made good points, we would, but they don’t

    ESPN has bad talent all over the place, MLB (Morgan, Reynalds, Kruk, Phillips) NBA (SAS,Leggler) NFL (all the Sunday night guys/ not Sussie) College Sports (Digger, Corso) SportsCenter (Stu, Chon, many others) Radio (Eric Sucksillius, Mike and Mike)

  45. I can’t understand why they haven’t started losing ratings yet, but my guess is that the general American public is too brainwashed by ESPN, to know that it has become a terrible network. It sucks, it has very little value outside of the actual sporting events, and even then you have to put up with annoying commentators. Please ESPN people if you are listening, bring back some real talent to your shows.

  46. The announcing on Sunday Night Football is bad to the point of being criminal. Just awful. And MNF isn’t much better; I shudder to think what it’ll be like when it switches to ESPN next year. Tonight is going to be unbearable with the Brett Favre hagiography. Someone PLEASE come out and say the guy’s washed up?

  47. Actually, check that, the fact that the MNF matchup tonight is Green Bay – Baltimore will be unbearable in and of itself. I plan on watching for comedic value only. Kyle Boller is a never-ending laughfest.

  48. Packers-Ravens would be much better as a Sunday night game. That way, you get both Brett Favre AND Ray Lewis rules. We’d totally be trashed by the end of the first quarter.

    MNF goes a little easier on the Ray Lewis praise, so we just have Favre rules in effect. It might take us the whole first half to blackout.

  49. Why would you even watch that game if you are not a diehard fan of those teams, its an awful matchup. Even if both teams were good it would still be awful.

  50. I think Favre is one of the all time greats, but he is done and ESPN is the front runner of this whole “Favre is so great, you can’t say anything bad about him.” Who is Favre? Head of the Corleone family now? he throws into 4 man coverages all the time and has cost the Packers a few games more than he has won for them over the last three season.

    Then they say, “but hs is such a great competitor, you have to support him.”
    Well I bet Bradlee Van Pelt, Todd Collins, David Greene, and Dave Ragone are all great competitors too, but if they threw into terrible coverages, Joe Theisman would rip them to shreads.

  51. Jenny, I’m right there with you… It’s plain laughable how bad those two teams are playing, and it hasn’t quite been “vintage” Favre this year. One thing that bothers me about all of the networks, they have no problem showing Kyle Boller getting his teeth kicked in the other week, but they fail to show the many Brett Favre blunders of the year.

    I wonder why…

  52. Choi does not have more power than Laroche. He’s worse than Laroche its why he’s bounced around from three or four different orginizations is that he’s not a full time 1b.

  53. Choi does not have more power than Laroche. He’s worse than Laroche its why he’s bounced around from three or four different orginizations is that he’s not a full time 1b.

    Gosh, I don’t know about that –
    Choi OBP SLG AVG
    NL .349 .437 .240
    AAA .372 .490 .265
    AA .419 .623 .303
    A .393 .569 .307

    NL .326 .468 .267
    AAA .356 .465 .291
    AA .373 .467 .286
    A .341 .413 .280
    R .381 .507 .308

    Seems like Choi has outhit him on every level, and outslugged him everywhere but in the NL, where he plays in a much tougher park. He’ll also take a walk, something Adam isn’t very acwuainted with. Seems like if Choi got with a club that wouldn’t jerk him around, he’d be just fine.

  54. When Choi was in AA West Tennessee (Cubs AA club) came to Chattanooga and I saw him hit three shots in a game. They weren’t just little dinkers over the wall, they were 425+ shots. The next night he hit two more. The longest I was him hit had to be about 445-450.

  55. FYI, the tv telecast of the Mike & Mike radio show, currently on ESPNEWS in the mornings, is moving to ESPN2 & the Cold Pizza time slot in January. Hopefully this does not mean that they are moving Cold Pizza to ESPN in favor of replays of SportsCenter, though knowing ESPN anything could happen.

  56. I would rather have LaRoche’s Major League production that Choi’s minor league production

    Why? – Choi has a higher ERA+ than Adam for both of LaRoche’s NL seasons.

  57. Choi’s got a huge platoon split, partially created by his managers not playing him much against lefties because he’s so bad against them:

    vs. LHP: 86 ab, 2 hr, 7 rbi, .151/.311/.267
    vs. RHP: 829 ab, 38 hr, 113 rbi, .250/.353/.455

    He fared better in a small sample size versus lefties this past season (29 ab, .207/.343/.379), but that’s still nothing to write home about. Choi has a good batting eye, getting on base quite a bit (though he strikes out a fair amount, much like Adam Dunn), but he has little to no power versus lefties. He doesn’t have the power or skills that Dunn has versus righties, either, meaning that a team can’t quite carry his low BA/reasonably high OBP as well as they can with Dunn.

    Dunn and Choi’s career BAs are nearly equal — .240 for Choi, .248 for Dunn — but Dunn has a higher OBP, .383 vs. .349, and a much higher SLG%, .518 vs. .437. If Choi hit for more power, he’d certainly be worth taking a flier on; as is, however, he’s a poor man’s LaRoche. His defensive prowess — or lack thereof — keeps Choi down even further. He’d be great for a team like Oakland who would take advantage of his splits like they did with Eurbiel Durazo; for the Braves, though, we have better options.

  58. Clark –

    Choi’s got a huge platoon split, partially created by his managers not playing him much against lefties because he’s so bad against them:

    vs. LHP: 86 ab, 2 hr, 7 rbi, .151/.311/.267

    86 AB’s isn’t a platoon split – it’s a statistically insignigicant number, that doesn’t represent “so bad” against anything. He may well be terrible against them, but this piece of data doesn’t confirm or refute the idea.

    If Choi hit for more power, he’d certainly be worth taking a flier on; as is, however, he’s a poor man’s LaRoche

    Is a bit confusing to me – after adjusting for park, he has outhit LaRoche for the last two years. If anything, LaRoche is the poor mans’s Choi. Please review his minor league numbers above. He probably has pretty good power if simply a;llowed to play. Minor league numbers are considered by many to be the best predictor of major league success, properly adjusted for environment of course. regrettably, I don’t know how to get a hold of Choi and LaRoche’s mle’s. Help, anyone?

    His defensive prowess — or lack thereof — keeps Choi down even further.

    Specifically how are you measuring this?

    He’d be great for a team like Oakland who would take advantage of his splits like they did with Eurbiel Durazo;

    Durazo had 500+ AB’s in 03 and 04 and was hurt in 05 – he was never platooned.

    for the Braves, though, we have better options

    Who? Chipper? I agree with that. I hope you don’t mean Adam LaRoche. He’s proven he can’t take a walk, and can’t hit for enough average to be anything but a worse than average 1B. Choi may not be the answer, but LaRoche ain’t even the question.

  59. Spike…

    I agree, 86 at bats does not contribute to a platoon split. However, he has done nothing in those at-bats to suggest that he is able to handle left-handed pitching to the point to be a credible choice against a LHP during a game situation. That in itself suggests he needs to be platooned. Granted, he did do better in the minors, namely the PCL, but has yet to show the ability to handle them in the majors.

    Admittedly, I’m basing my defensive comments somewhat on reputation. Baseball Prospectus’ stats show Choi as a slightly better defender than LaRoche, though neither are particularly good under their metrics. It is somewhat difficult to use a statistical metric to quantify defensive ability, however, and I hesitate to put much stock in them at all. I will cede to that point, however.

    Durazo had a fair share of at bats in 2003 and 2004 in Oakland, but he did get spotted against some starters with the other in-house options for the A’s — Hatteburg and others. I view that as somewhat akin to a platoon, even if it is not the classical definition of one.

    Choi strikes me as an AAAA player — someone who would tear up AAA but is replacement level in the majors. I feel that LaRoche is a better option and would have a similar improvement given full playing time, much as you note with Choi. Neither is an ideal option — they are both merely stopgaps — but LaRoche is an effective one for the time being while the team fills other, more pressing holes. I feel that one of our organizational choices, like Thorman, will be able to provide competent help off of the bench at the position next year. Ultimately, if all pans out, LaRoche should be the 8th best hitter in the starting lineup. For a 1b who can put up decent numbers and 20+ HR in full time status, that’s not too bad.

  60. Clark –

    Let me start by applauding the collegial nature of your last post. It’s far too easy (myself not excepted) to get snarky given the relative facelessness of the medium. Kudos to you sir.

    That said, back to business –

    I agree, 86 at bats does not contribute to a platoon split. However, he has done nothing in those at-bats to suggest that he is able to handle left-handed pitching to the point to be a credible choice against a LHP during a game situation. That in itself suggests he needs to be platooned. Granted, he did do better in the minors, namely the PCL, but has yet to show the ability to handle them in the majors

    Well, hold on now – you can’t concede that it’s not a significant sample and then use that as a data point to “suggest he needs to be platooned.”

    Choi strikes me as an AAAA player — someone who would tear up AAA but is replacement level in the majors. I feel that LaRoche is a better option and would have a similar improvement given full playing time, much as you note with Choi. Neither is an ideal option — they are both merely stopgaps — but LaRoche is an effective one for the time being while the team fills other, more pressing holes.

    Again, I am sensing a logical disconnect here – we are agreed that Choi and LaRoche are more or less equal defensively, and that we don’t know whether or not Choi can hit lefties. We do know that Choi has outhit LaRoche for the last two years by ERA+. We do know that Choi’s walk rate is superior. We do know that Choi hit for more power at each level of the minors. We do know that Laroche was barely so so in 04 and regressed badly in 05 despite (or maybe because) he got more playing time. We do know they are the same age. How do you reach the conclusion that Choi is a AAAA player and LaRoche an effective one?

  61. 86 AB may not be statistically significant, but perhaps that’s because he showed no sign in the minors, spring training, or batting practice that he’s able to hit them. I don’t have a dog in this fight, though, as I don’t see a significant difference between them. Might as well keep what we’ve got, I suppose — it’s wasted effort to pick up someone who doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

  62. I think it’s indiciative of the Dusty Baker/Jim Tracy managerial preference for veterans. He started out like a house on fire in CHI, got hurt, and Dusty never let him back in because of his love affair with Eric Karros. He was hitting great in Florida (132 OPS+), got traded to LA and tracy immediately platooned him with Saenz. When left alone, he will hit.

  63. On the ESPN bad talent issue: remember they have Peter Gammons and that’s really all they need to keep me happy. Everyone else pisses me off but I’ll watch Baseball Tonight every day to hear that Hall of Famer.

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