Jo-Jo Reyes

The Braves’ top pitching prospect (having passed Matt Harrison) was drafted in the second round of the 2003 draft, out of a California high school. He pitched well in rookie ball, but in 2004 got off to a rough start in A-ball and then needed Tommy John surgery, missing the second half of that season and the first half of 2005. He needed to re-establish himself in the second half of 2005 and pitched pretty well in Danville before tearing his knee, requiring ACL surgery.

In 2006 he started off in Rome and was too advanced for the level, going 8-1 with a 2.99 ERA, striking out 84 in 75 1/3. Promoted to Myrtle Beach, he had his troubles, going 4-4, 4.11, with his big problem being control, as he walked 36 men in only 65 2/3, though he did manage to strike out 58.

It was enough to get him to Mississippi to start 2007, where in 73 innings he struck out 71, going 8-1 again with a 3.56 ERA. He got moved up to Richmond and has set the International League on fire, four starts, a 1.57 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 23 innings.

At his best, he throws hard for a lefty, in the 91-93 MPH range. Like Chuck James, has a deceptive delivery. Needs to harness his control; even when he’s pitched well, he’s had troubles with walks. Exceptional at denying the home run thus far in his career. Since his knee injury, he’s allowed only 15 homers total… It’s possible that he and James can’t co-exist in the same rotation, that they’re too similar in style. At least it’s probably best that they not pitch back-to-back.

Jo Jo Reyes Baseball Statistics

107 thoughts on “Jo-Jo Reyes”

  1. Frankly, if Reyes is the best pitching prospect the Braves have, that’s not good. He seems like potentially a servicable or maybe even above-average guy, but nothing that makes your heart stop. The organization seems to have a bunch of guys like that. A future rotation including Davies, Reyes, and James isn’t exactly likely to be compared to Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. The Braves haven’t developed an ace in a long time as evidenced by the fact that their best pitchers are a 40-year old guy with a bad shoulder and a former ace who can’t put more than two good games together. They just have to do a better job of developing pitching because they can’t afford to go out and buy it.

  2. I think it is probably more accurate to say that Reyes is the Braves’ pitching prospect most ready for the Major Leagues, rather than the best pitching prospect.

    I am willing to give Reyes more than one start before I pass judgement. He has been effective for most all of his starts this year in the high minors.

  3. By the way, it’s also worth mentioning that when I saw the matchup “Kyle Davies vs. Greg Maddux,” I was willing to write this one off to a 10-3 loss and go into the All-Star break with a bad mood. The fact that we got one of Kyle Davies’ best starts, just after his worst ever, makes me happy.

  4. They kept saying he had 4 pitches that he can throw for strikes. All I saw was fastballs and a few high curves. He was able to get ahead of hitters, which is good, but he didnt look like he had a good strikeout pitch. They kept fouling off his 0-2 and 1-2 pitches.

  5. jo-jo has four pitches and brings some reasonable heat. there is no reason he can’t put up numbers like marquis and HoRam, while he gets use to the next level. hopefully he’ll settle down now and give us some good innings.

  6. (well, my post is a little late)

    he also has a cutter and a change. i think they were slow to open up his pitch selection on saturday, just trying to keep it simple.

  7. if all we had was prospects this would be our rotation

    Carlyle, James, Davies, Jo Jo, Lerew or Harrison

    that would be fun

  8. #8, yeah I was thinking the same, but it doesnt hurt to see what he has to offer. Most teams will hit a fastball or hanging pitches if you throw them enough. Still he’s only 22, he’ll get stronger and throw harder, I think he’ll be fine

  9. also, he was touching 95 on several pitches, but like last nights game you really cant trust those readings. I think Davies even hit 96-97 last night

  10. csg,
    i think we’d have to call carlyle a veteran journeyman prospect.
    we’d also need to carry 16 pitchers. ;)

  11. If Reyes strikes out more than one per inning in AA and AAA, he must have a strikeout pitch. Maybe it just wasn’t working on Saturday.

    Did Devine see any time after his callup? What does it say about Bobby’s confidence in him if he keeps wearing out tired arms rather than pitching the “closer of the future?”

  12. I wasn’t really impressed by his first start. He reminded me a lot of a left handed Davies only Davies throws a few mph harder and has a vastly better curveball. Maybe it was just first start nerves and he’ll be a lot better in his second one. It’s clear at least that he is at best a serviceable 4th or 5th starter this year. We still need another top 3 pitcher to make a serious playoff run.

    I’m really, really tired of Braves pitchers who are scared to death of the strike zone and walk everybody which Reyes appears to be another one of. The organization needs to reconsider its philosophy for drafting pitchers. This isn’t the early 90s anymore where a pitcher who throws 88 mph can be hugely successful getting strikes called 2 inches off the plate. Velocity, movement, and a top notch off speed pitch are what is needed now. Think John Smoltz not Tom Glavine.

  13. Let’s give him more than one game to call him a bust. And if you think it’s possible to have Smoltz, Maddux, Glavine like pitchers again then your crazy…well unless your the Tigers.

  14. We need pitchers, regardless of whether they are throwing 95 or 85, that have the ability to go long into the game. The fact that Chuck James can only go six innings is appalling.

  15. JoJo struck out enough guys in the minors to let me give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m pretty sure he Ks people in part by mixing his pitches effectively. Given that this was his first time playing with BMac (and his first time in the majors), I’m not that surprised that things didn’t go super-well for him. I kinda hope Cox has Salty catch him next game.

    Anyhow, even if he doesn’t do particularly well this go-round, I don’t have any problem believing he can be a solid #3 or 4 guy down the line. If he can cut down on his walks while maintaining his Ks, he might even be better than that.

  16. Well I’m psyched the Braves went out west and won the 7-game series against 2 pretty solid NL West teams. Nice job guys.

    Sam–RE4 for the Cube or Wii? I keep wondering if the Wii version is worth it.

  17. Yeah I was wondering why Salty didn’t catch him. Wasn’t Salty talking about how psyched he was that Jo-Jo was getting the call?

  18. I wonder if he’s played with Saltalamacchia before and if it might be best that they work together. He must have worked with Pena in AAA. Odds that come Thursday the Braves go back to 12 pitchers and call up Pena?

  19. mlb rumors….

    Andruw Campaigns For A Starter
    Andruw Jones, perhaps emboldened by his recent hot streak, is openly campaigning for the Braves to acquire a starting pitcher. Even if John Smoltz comes back strong, one more veteran would fit in nicely behind Tim Hudson and Chuck James.

    According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves were in on Mark Buehrle but Kenny Williams wanted Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Yunel Escobar for him. That would have been quite a bounty for a rental.

    The names I think we’ll be hearing in trade rumors this month as far as starters: Matt Morris, Kyle Lohse, Jason Jennings, Jon Garland, and Jose Contreras. There should be a few more second or third tier type guys as well (Odalis Perez, Steve Trachsel, Joe Kennedy, Wade Miller, Josh Fogg, Brett Tomko). I would not be surprised to see Oakland become sellers in short order, but they don’t have much starting pitching to trade with Rich Harden and Esteban Loaiza injured.

  20. Devind pitched a 1-2-3 8th vs. SD on saturday. he was ahead of the hitters, and they hit 3 ground balls, none of which required much effort on the part of the infield.

    I think Boibby is hesitant to put DeVine in a situation where he could fail and have it be of consequence, for fear of hurting DeVine’s pysche. I think DeVine is very talented; those K rates he has put up since coming back are big-time. At some point, Bobby is going to have to throw him in the water, and see if he can swim.

  21. I usually detest the all-star break, and in other years the idea of an extra Thursday off would make me nuts. No games! What am I gonna do?

    Not this year. Gotta give these boys some rest. Plus, as AAR mentioned, there’s nothing quite like going into the break on an upswing.

    The Mets are helping us a lot. And it’s really encouraging that they’ve had a couple stretches of remarkably bad baseball. But I think we know by now what the Mets are and what they aren’t. They are certainly not a terrifying club.

    Of course, our team ain’t great either. We know that all too well. The extent of Smoltz injury remains troublesome. The rest of the rotation is wildly inconsistent. I mean, we’re trotting out Kyle Petty & Bun E. Carlos every couple days.

    But the team has done a good job not dying on us. They’re kinda like a dinked-up car with a good engine. Let’s hope they can make it to the finish line.

    And, perhaps most importantly, let’s hope #25, who seems to have awakened, can help us get there. When he’s going good (remember 2005?), anything seems possible.

  22. “Odds that come Thursday the Braves go back to 12 pitchers and call up Pena?”

    Personally, I like that idea, which probably means it wouldn’t happen. We’ll probably see Pete Orr come back up and get most of the starts at first base. Of course, he’ll lead off.

    Seriously, I can definitely see the Braves going back to 12 pitchers which probably Devine goes back to Mississippi without throwing a pitch.

  23. salty did catch reyes in AA, but bobby had already given b-mac two days off and salty got clubbed the day before.

  24. Jones was asked what the Braves needed after the break to get a playoff berth.

    “If our pitchers stay healthy, we should be fine,” he said. “Smoltzie and Tim Hudson are the two key guys. We need [Buddy] Carlyle to keep pitching the way he’s pitched, and Chuck James to do what he’s doing.

    “But we still need to have one more [established veteran] who can give us a win when we have to have one.”

    No love for Davies!

  25. Maybe the truth hurts, but I hope that was just an over-site by AJ; otherwise it is ridiculous.

    For results vs. payroll hit, Kyle Davies has out-performed AJ this year, and AJ does not need to be calling anyone out for their performance.

  26. More likely the next Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz reads something like Hanson-Feliz-Teheran rather than James-Davies-Harrison.

    But, don’t forget, the Braves acquired Smoltz via trade as sellers at the deadline and were willing to spend top dollar (at the time) to lure Maddux as a free agent.

  27. just wondering…

    If Smoltz shoulder problems force him to shut it down the rest of the year, do you think he’ll go through the rehab process or do you think he just retire? I bet if he had to have surgery for any reason, that might be the end of it. I hope not of course

  28. Bfan,

    If Devine will not be put in situations where he could fail…then why is he in the major leagues? This is not the T-ball league. As any pro will tell you, failure is part of the deal.

  29. “and were willing to spend top dollar (at the time) to lure Maddux as a free agent.”

    as yes, those wonderful times when we were a large-market city that acted like one.

    In the last 4 years we have lost via FA Maddux; Glavine; Drew; Sheff; Furcal; Farnsworth; and signed no one of consequence. When did we become the pirates without the stupid front office?

  30. csg,

    He wouldn’t retire, loves the game too much.

    Don’t know if you guys already talked about it but that tarp in colorado was crazy. I couldn’t believe only one Rockie came out to help. The whole philly team was out there. On top of that I just read this quote from Jamey Carroll of the Rockies:

    “I’ve been on tarp duty in college and it can whip around, yank you around, your shoulders and stuff,” Jamey Carroll said. “They were helpful and hats off to them for it. After the fact, you think what could have happened to one of the guys … you’re risking a lot.”

    Then I looked at his stats and he’s hitting .212 with one homer and is 33 years old, what the hell would he be risking? I think it was a classy move on the part of the Phillys

  31. Good point Tony- we need Devine to step up.

    Any thoughts on who will win this HR Derby? Do you think they pull a suprise and trot Bonds out there?

  32. bfan,

    In regards to your question about the Braves lack of spending, it coincided with Ted Turner selling out.

  33. I heard on ESPN Radio that the Giants owner was complaining about BBonds not participating in the HR derby, basically the whole Giants organization is sick of the guy…especially now since they are not winning.

  34. I really dont know why we called up Devine. Bobby wont use him no matter what. He’s our future closer or at least set up guy. There was no reason that we couldnt have brought him in after Carlyle when we had a 4 run lead. If he struggled bring in Soriano or Wickman, but to use Yates in that situation was ridiculous. Bobby then used Yates again the next night and makes the comment that he didnt want to have to use him either night. Makes no sense to me

  35. #40, haha

    I hate Bonds, but it would be kinda cool to see them put some sort of suprise participant into the game. He’d be the only one who’d fit.

  36. doesnt Davies deserve to be removed from the delenda est counter at the top of the page after yesterday?

  37. Maybe the truth hurts, but I hope that was just an over-site by AJ; otherwise it is ridiculous.

    If by ‘ridiculous’ you mean ‘completely true’, then I agree. It would be nice if Jo-Jo could give us an option for when Davies predictably crashes and burns again.

  38. You know…nevermind I won’t even start with that person today.

    @41…I agree if he is not going to be used, send him down.

  39. csg-I agree; no excuse for Bobbie to have done that. He is a great manager who sometimes is way to set in his patterns and ways.

  40. On Smoltzie retring if surgery is required:
    On the Dan Patrick Show, he sounded so despondent after the last operation I’d have have to think he’d consider hanging it up.

    But,anybody who’ll take on Tiger Woods routinely is a fierce competitor. I expect him to pitch this year and next.

    Either way, he’s a hell of a ballplayer.

  41. Kevin Lee,

    If it was on the Dan Patrick apparently he as faking it…since it was on ESPN Radio. At least that how some people see it…

    At 40, I think he will hang it up. I also imagine the way Glavine is getting hit this year, he might hang it up after this year. Then again Jamie Moyer is still pitching…

  42. I heard on ESPN Radio that the Giants owner was complaining about BBonds not participating in the HR derby, basically the whole Giants organization is sick of the guy…especially now since they are not winning.

    Yep, now’s the time to ditch the 17hr 191 OPS+ guy – clearly that’s the problem.

    So, have we decided that he’s just using some indetectable steroid this year, or perhaps bathing in the blood of virgins or something? I meanwithout the ol’ cream and clear how could anyone be good at 43? He must be doing something, right?

  43. JoshtotheMaxx:

    The Cube. My brother has the Wii and he bought the Wii edition for $21 at a KMart and said it’s great. I’m starting over on the Cube one. I didn’t get far in it at all.

  44. I’ve accepted that Cox is a bad bullpen manager, and I don’t give a flip who he puts out there anymore.


    We became the Pirates without the front office ever since the budget squeeze.

  45. i could see why he wouldn’t want to pitch more after another major surgery, but with the money that people are offering him it would be hard to pass up.
    if the braves can contend then i see him wanting to deal with all of it, but if the team is just middle of the pack why bother…HOF here he comes!

  46. The lack of spending also corresponds to the falloff in attendence. Let’s not forget that.

    I agree you shouldn’t give up on Reyes after one start, but Mac’s analysis doesn’t make him sound like a dominant pitcher. Granted, the White Sox won the WS with a bunch of #2 and 3s, but I find it disturbing that the Braves don’t seem to have anyone that you can say is a legitimate ace-at least no one that is close to the majors.

    The Braves are a resillient bunch. But they were resillient last year too; a lot of teams would have really folder their tents after the 6-21 June. The Braves kept playing and were at least marginally in the playoff race. You can say whatever you want about Bobby Cox’s tactical skills, but it takes a great manager to keep a team focused in a situation like last year, especially a team that is used to winning.

  47. Artist…

    Relax I was joking….u will know I’m not joking when I use “bad” words.

    Bobby could be a better bullpen manager. After the Yates collapse on Saturday, Bobby told the media that he asks Yates before the game how he felt and Yates said he felt fine. I’m like Bobby since when will a major league tell you he is tired. Especially a middle relief guy. Shouldn’t Bobby as a manager get a sense when one of his relievers is tired? Nevermind I forgot he almost wore Wickman out in May.

    Also I live here in National/Oriole nation and they had one of their baseball shows on and a pitcher was asked is it better to have a pitcher or catcher as the bullpen coach. The pitcher responded a pitcher w/o a doubt. He said pitchers can relate to pitchers so much better than catchers. I found that interesting…Wonder what Eddie Perez thinks?

  48. Was the pitcher that said he prefers pitchers any good? If you say someone like Bedard, then I’ll shut up.

  49. From DOB’s latest blog (on McCann):

    And he’s headed to his second All-Star Game in as many full seasons in the majors, after his peers voted him to go (McCann is the first to say, sounding embarrassed, that other catchers deserved consideration; I’m telling you the kid is as salt-of-the-earth good as it gets).

    That he was selected says plenty about the respect he’s developed, at 23, among players around the league.

    Maybe he’ll hit the game winning homerun for the NL tomorrow. That would be cool…

  50. Reyes throws 93-94, Davies throws 92 MPH.

    Anyway, where did this season/career-ending operation in regards to Smoltz come from? He passed his MRI, he is scheduled tp pitch the series finale against the Reds on July 18. He’ll be more then fine.

  51. I get the feeling it came down to McCann or Lo Duca with the players’ vote and since Lo Duca is a jacka**, they chose McCann.

  52. Bonds needs to be in the home run derby. I don’t like the guy, but Jesus it’s his home ballpark and they took a chance on him.

    And nobody in the Giants office is upset with Bonds b/c they are losing. Nobody thought they would win – they only picked up Bonds again b/c they knew he would be a huge draw (they would make alot of money).

  53. Honestly it could have been Jim Palmer for all I know…well no it wasn’t Palmer. I’ll tell you next time it comes on.

  54. I’m really glad they wasted that much money on Zito, I could only be happier if the Mets had done so. Zito is not very good

  55. Joshua…you are kidding right? Why in the hell would u sign Zito if u don’t think you are going to win? And they are not upset with Bonds, just tired of his act.

  56. #62 Jordan Schafer is one of the Braves best minor league prospects. I got a chance to see him with the Rome Braves, and he was easily the most gifted defensive outfielder out there. He was voted by Baseball America as one the best 13 year old player when he was younger. I also know that at one point he was near the top of all the minors in hits. He looks like the Braves best bet to have a legit center fielder come through the system in the immediate future.

  57. I wouldn’t be expecting much from Jo-Jo Reyes, especially this year. I foresee him as another third or fourth starter probably. We seem to be absolutely awash in them right now and eventually we’re gonna have to do something, because you can’t have a rotation entirely consisting of third and fourth starters. As such, I certainly don’t think he does much to help us this year (other than filling in for spot starts when needed) and unless we get rid of either James or Davies (and as already mentioned, he and James are an awful lot alike), there really is no point. Of course, I could be wrong, but that seems to be the consensus and his stuff definitely looked middle-of-the-rotation quality.

    Andruw’s right. We absolutely have to trade for a legitimate starter. I agree that it wasn’t a good idea to trade Escobar and Salty for Beurhle (sp?), but there will be some team out there with a reasonable GM where we will only have to trade one of the two and maybe a lesser prospect or something. And when that chance comes along, we have to do it. I would much rather lose Escobar than Salty, but if we have to lose Salty, we have to lose Salty.

    As far as Brayan Pena goes, on the surface, it seems like a good idea. But if you look at the way Bobby manages, if Pena gets up here, he’s gonna wanna give him at-bats, which means taking away from Salty’s at-bats, unless we just flat-out bench Thorman. Besides, Bobby seems to have started using the backup catcher (be it Salty or McCann on any given day) to pinch-hit more recently, so it really has ceased to be much of a problem, in my opinion. But anyway, those who think that Pena would just sit on the bench and do nothing unless we, for some reason, needed a third catcher are mistaken. Besides, that’s not really fair to Pena anyway.

  58. “breaking news”….not that anyone cares, but Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN after 18 years..

  59. it looks like Schaefer is our CF of the future, especially if AJ off this terrible season takes a one-year arbitration deal. That would put Schaefer in AA next year, and ready for MLB in 2009.

  60. Who would want to follow Bob Barker on the Price is Right?…but I’ve heard that rumor too….

  61. Stupid idea to even keep the show going forward. I guess they can squeeze a few more dollars out of it, but it is Bob Barker’s show. Can’t believe I am acting concerned about it!!!

  62. I am not all that good with baseball history so this is an honest question… can someone provide me some examples of starting pitchers who were dominant as soon as they were called up to the majors and did not take a year or two (or three) to develop into #1 or #2 starters? It seems like I have been reading a lot on here lately when some new guy is brought up from the minors and after one or two outings everyone is declaring them a “passable #3 or #4 but not a #1 or #2”. Was Glavine a #1 his first year in the majors? I don’t seem to remember it that way. I am really not trying to be sarcastic or have any other kind of attitude I am just wondering how often a #1 starter explodes out of the minors.

  63. Who would want to follow Bob Barker on the Price is Right?…but I’ve heard that rumor too….

    I watch the Price is Right sometimes, Dan would probably be a good fit. But yeah, who would want to follow Bob. He’s an absolute legend.

  64. Hap, that is the problem with bringing up young starters on a team that is in win now mode. I totally agree that we as fans get impatient. A problem that feeds this is that there are cases around the league where a guy comes up and is unbelievable. I think we are all dreaming of the Braves having a Liriano.

  65. @ 79, 81

    That is why so many ex braves are having good years on other teams. (i.e. Schmidt and Marquis)

  66. Hap,
    Most pitchers take a while to get their control at the big league level. Even if they start out good, they need to make adjustments later on.

    Top of my head, pitchers who started out great were Oswalt, Webb, Pedro ( though in relief ) , Santana ( in relief ), Hamels.
    Going back a bit, Doc Gooden, Saberhagen.

    Lots of pitchers start out good ( Damien Moss anyone? ), but its hard to sustain that performance

  67. Out of curiosity, regarding Mac’s post about not wanting to pitch Reyes and James back-to-back, has anyone ever seen a study that investigated that? It would be pretty hard to do, objectively, but it would be interesting to see if pitchers were affected by the guys who pitched before them. Seems like I used to hear announcers mention a lot that it was bad for a pitcher to face the same team a few times over a short span, because he would be “figured out,” which always sounded like a load of crap to me, but maybe there’s something to it (no idea why the pitcher couldn’t just as easily “figure out” the batters’ weaknesses with more exposure…) Anyway, just curious to hear what anyone thinks/knows about this.

  68. I rather not have marquis on our team, and Schmidt got us Neagle when he was good. That was totally worth it

  69. Rufino,

    That’s an excellent question. If I can find an easy way to construct the data set I’ll totally try to do that. Does anyone have that James/Neyer guide to pitchers or whatever it’s called? Would it be useful in lumping pitchers into [relatively broad] categories?

  70. Hap, Glavine’s a tough comparison; not a lot of soft-tossing lefties with middling K rates go on to win 300 games. In the scheme of things, it’s often better to think of him as an aberration than as a useful comparison.

  71. Anyone notice that Thorman’s defense improved yesterday after a couple of recent errors? I think that studies of kunckleball pitchers did not indicate that it helped the pitcher the nest day

  72. #87

    That would be an interesting idea to study. Makes me think of the Niekro brothers — in 1985, the Yankees picked up Joe in September, and he followed Phil in the rotation for three starts. They pitched consecutively twice in one week (both against the Tigers, which meant they were facing a Niekro 4 times in 7 games). Joe got hammered the first time, but outpitched Phil the second time.

    In 1973, Joe relieved Phil once, and in three other games followed a different reliever in a game started by Phil. Iffy results.

    In 1974, Phil and Joe made consecutive starts vs. the Phillies. Joe lasted 1/3 of an inning….

  73. Hap,

    (Just came on)-concerning your examples of pitchers who were “quick studies”:

    In 1963, I said good-bye to a buddy who was on our Gulf Coast Community College baseball team. He got in his car and drove off. Since he was our second best pitcher at a relatively unknown Jr. college, (Q.V. Lowe, now a coach, I think, still in Auburn system, was our number 1), I never thought I would hear of him again. I believe in less than 2 years, I turned on the TV and he was a starter for the LA Dodgers. Went on to win over 300 games and is in the HOF….name of Don Sutton.

    May of been longer, between time he left and the TV appearance(blame it on the beach fever-we sometimes missed a few days or months of memory being at a beach-based college.)

    Of course, he was on the staff with I believe the latter years of Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen so he was a number 4 at best-but he was there- and stayed.

  74. rufino,

    the pirates seem to already have a problem like the one mac mentioned. Maholm/Duke/Gorzelanny are all similar lefthanders (other than maybe Gorze being a potential #2 while Maholm/Duke look like 4/5’s) and it seems it has made it a lot easier for opponents when they run them out there back to back

  75. It seems to me more often than not the trend is a starter gets the call up to the majors and after a few years he will have a “break out year” and if he’s a good pitcher he will continue with the success and *evolve* into a #1 or #2. I get the feeling a lot of folks are expecting the Braves to call up some starter from the minors and expect him to immediately become a #1 or #2. I know we could use a good #1 or #2 (or even #3) right now but I don’t think we should be expecting it from the minors and we should try our best to exercise as much patience aas possible with our call ups; one of them could be the next “Glavine aberation”.

  76. You make a good point Hap. I’ve been thinking that just about anyone will be better than Davies (at least on his “off” days), but the reality is our best starter from the minors won’t likely be much more than a 5th starter for a few years. We already have Carlyle, who is working out well so far as our fifth starter. All that considered, it’s probably in our best interest to make a trade. The thing I don’t want to do is get rid of Salty or another top prospect for a 3.5 month rental!

  77. Well, James settled in as about a #3 right away, but that’s basically the case. Like I said in my recap of Saturday’s game I get nervous when a rookie comes up and pitches lights-out right away.

  78. So seriously. Morgan, Baker, and Berman calling the Home Run Derby. There’s no way a person with an IQ over 50 and an age over 12 enjoyed the broadcast tonight.

  79. I made these letter grades for the Braves at the All-Star Break and posted them on Baseball Fever first. Here they are.

    Offense: B

    The Braves are amazingly one of the top teams in the National League in offense, which actually says more of the state of offenses and pitching in the NL than it does how good the Braves are. They’re not tops in runs, but they can hit.

    Defense: C+

    The Braves get little credit for how good their defense usually is, but the fact is that when their defense goes sour, it usually costs them games.

    Catcher – Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia – A-

    This would be higher, except for the fact that McCann played so blowfully for so long and had quite a few defensive miscues, but he seems to be coming into his own at last. With Saltalamacchia spelling him every now and then, the Braves don’t lose the threat of power. This is one of the best overall catching tandems in the league, and I’m not lying.

    First Base – Scott Thorman, Jarrod Saltalamacchia – D+

    Scott Thorman is bad. REALLY bad. He’s so bad that Kyle Davies almost has a better OPS than he does. Thank goodness for Jarrod being able to play first base too, otherwise, I would have had to give an F here. I hope and pray that Saltalamacchia becomes the first baseman full time.

    Second Base – Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar – B+

    I have been pleasantly surprised at how well Johnson took to the second base job, and his relative power at the position is greatly appreciated. He is a streaky batter, though, so Escobar appears to be in a platoon with him. He has basic batting talent as well, but his defense needs more seasoning and work.

    Third Base – Chipper Jones – A

    Say what you will about his defense (it’s not as bad as BP says it is), but the fact is that Jones is still the monster hitter, the glue, and the leader of this team. If he hadn’t been out for that period of time, he’d be on the All-Star team.

    Shortstop – Edgar Renteria – A

    I can’t say enough about how much his offense means to this team either. Even though he has gone through some bad patches, he led the team in average for quite a while. Renteria is one of the rare shortstops whose bat carries his glove.

    Left Field – Matt Diaz, Willie Harris – B+

    Boy, I wish there was a little more power here, but I can’t complain with what they’ve provided: hitting, hitting and more hitting. They aren’t slouches with the glove either, despite the fact that Diaz runs around out there like a chicken with his head cut off soemtimes.

    Center Field – Andruw Jones – C-

    Dreadful season with the bat, just dreadful. He gets a slight boost because he seems to be coming out of his funk and he still defends well enough. I can’t wait to see him go, though. His salary will probably be used to pay for Smoltz’s and Hudson’s “raises”.

    Right Field – Jeff Francoeur – B

    I wish he’d slug more, but he does appear to be doing much better in getting hits, registering a career high in batting average, which is very encouraging. Plus, people should learn by now that unless it’s gauranteed, don’t take an extra base off of him.

    Bench – Pete Orr, Chris Woodward – F

    These two are the most dreadful players on the face of the earth, and that’s all I’m saying about them.

    Starters – John Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Chuck James, Buddy Carlyle, Kyle Davies – C-

    This rotation has been plagued with injuries and inconsistency all year long. There have been flashes of greatness, but it’s not enough. The team probably needs another starter to make a playoff push, and I pray to God they don’t give up Saltalamacchia to do so, because it WILL bite the Braves on the butt.

    Relievers – Peter Moylan, Oscar Villarreal, Tyler Yates, Chad Paronto, Rafael Soriano, Wil Ledezma – A

    You know you have a very good bullpen when it doesn’t affect you after your top reliever is shelved until 2009 at the latest. There have been hiccups in the bullpen, but for the most part, they have had consistent success and kept their opponents off the board. Truly the strength of the team for the most part.

    Closer – Bob Wickman – C+

    When Wickman is on, he’s on. When he’s bad, he’s bad. Even in a couple of non-save situations, he had trouble closing the game down. Strangely, the sheer majority of his failed outings have been on the road. But, of course, to be truly successful, you have to be successful everywhere. These failures were not unexpected, but they are a little disquieting.

    Manager – Bobby Cox – B+

    Does his usual job of keeping his players happy and focused, but still makes decisions that appear to defy all logic and reason, most of which involved Chris Woodward and Pete Orr in the early going and concern his inability to utilize the bullpen now. Some say the bullpen misuse may have cost the Braves a few games.

    Overall: A+ for results thanks to the inability of the Mets to captialize when the Braves fail, but B for the overall team.

  80. i give you that morgan is terrible, but berman? he’s not the smartest man, but he’s a lot of fun. that’s what the home run derby is about. joe morgan is about as fun as clipping toenails. sometimes you got to take things for what they are, kinda like an adam sandler movie. dumb but with a side of entertainment. rob schneider’s characters always make me laugh.

  81. Anyone quit watching the HR derby after all the left handers were elminated?? bummerrr for those guys in the Kayaks especially Kenny.

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