Just to update the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves list with 2007 results… The only player who could move onto the list, somewhere in the low thirties at the highest, is Tim Hudson. Hudson’s career with the Braves is comparable to Charlie Leibrandt’s (42), I suppose. I won’t write up Hudson, but his record with the Braves is 43-31 with a 3.91 ERA. Leibrandt was 39-31, 3.35, but ERAs are higher now, so his ERA+ is 115 versus 110 to Hudson’s. Hudson has about fifty more innings; he’s a more important performer on a less successful team. Hudson’s 2007 was better than Leibrandt’s best year with the Braves. He can’t rank much higher than Charlie, but with any luck should have several years to move up.
Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann come up short of my three years’ duty limit. With any health and success in 2008 both would debut next year in the thirties. Nobody else is close to three full seasons, though Diaz and Johnson will have three partial seasons assuming neither is traded.
The only active players on the list are in the top ten, making it hard to move up. Chipper had another terrific season — per AB, the second- or third-best of his career — but I don’t think it’s enough to move him past Niekro into third place. Andruw had a good shot to overtake Murphy for seventh, but flubbed it. I don’t detract for bad seasons (once a player has enough good ones to qualify) and he was already well ahead of Javy, next down, anyway.
I think, however, that John Smoltz’ fine season should be enough to move him into fifth place ahead of Tom Glavine. It was already close, and still is; if Glavine does return to Atlanta, whoever has the better year would rank higher. Glavine still leads by 35 wins in an Atlanta uniform, but Smoltz has now thrown more innings, albeit just 22 1/3 more, and is now the franchise leader in strikeouts (he was already, of course, the leader in saves). It’s close.
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