67 thoughts on “Off-day thread and link”

  1. Ah, come on. I was really hoping for more from Phil Collins and The Phylistics …

  2. Heyward for Blanton?? Blanton is basically Chuckie that is able to pitch into the 6th and maybe 7th each night. I’m done with wishful thinking and this team. Blanton is not going to help us start having 8-10 game winning streaks and not going to help the offense in clutch hitting situations. We are probably going to need Heyward more in the future anyways. This is a .500 team until they start showing us they can win close games and the bullpen can start doing a better job. We sold the farm for Tex and nothing has changed, we’re still the same team

  3. If hanson isn’t better than B/B+ (and I believe he is), then man are we in trouble, in the mid-term. As I see it, we are down 2 prospects factoring the teixera and renteria trade; we whiffed horribly on the 1st rounder 2 years ago in the draft (Johnson just isn’t going to make it (in his 3rd year of OB, still at low A and striking out in almost 40% of his AB’s just isn’t going to cut it); and we don’t have a 1st rounder this year (Glavine signing).

    I think Heyward; Hanson; Hernandez; and Lillibridge are our 3 MLB prospects left at this point at “A” league or above (nothing on Schaeffer until we see him w/o the growth hormone), and that just is not good.

    Our minors teams are just not good right now.

  4. B+ in Sickels’ grading system is high praise — A B+ player might be one of the 20 top prospects in the game. He hands out few As.

  5. I wonder is a pre-trade physical would have disclosed the Baldelli illness that has wiped out his career? I wonder why no team physicals had caught it before?

  6. bfan,

    Richmond is in first place in its division. Barbaro might be able to be an AL DH. Brandon Jones is a probable Major league regular. If half of Sammons offensive improvement is for real he is an above average MLB starting catcher. The pitching is unreal. Jo Jo, Morton. They have looked good.

    Mississippi is poor for pitchers and positively Lockhartian in position players. It is an ugly experience to check that box score every day.

    Myrtle Beach and Rome both have great pitchers. Rome also has Heyward. And as to Cody Johnson, he still is only 19.

    And, in a few weeks, we get to see Julio Teheran in either the Appy or the GCL.

    Overall, our minors are above Major League average.

    We are, however, doing a poor job overall of teaching strike zone discipline to hitters. And that didn’t just start.

    Maybe rather than Leo, what we need is a new hitting coach? Even though his philosphy might be just as aggressive, is Don Baylor still around (he had cancr a few years ago). Now that was a fire them up, kick them in the ass guy.

    Also, what about Frank Robinson?

    We need a coach that is not a nice guy.

  7. The note on Brandon Jones in Baseball prospectus was to watch whether his power existed in Richmond; that just doesn’t look promising. Let’s hope 100 AB’s is too small a sample.

    Look, Richmond has maybe the 6th best record out of 14 teams in that league, and our 4 minor league teams right now are a combined 45-58, which works out to 71-91 in a 162 game schedule. I am an optimist by nature, but I just do not get to above-average looking at that.

  8. Looks like Andruw is warming the bench today. Can’t blame the manager for sitting the guy who’s hitting .160 and playing two guys hitting .300+ and Juan Pierre, who is at least hitting .250.

  9. Our system is fine. We’ve got very good pitching prospects in the lower levels, Schafer is still a stud, and Heyward has been great so far. Gorkys Hernandez has done nothing but impress…. You’re insane if you think the system is barren or anything.

    As for trading for a starter… Not going to happen. The only thing that we’d want to trade for now would be an ace-type, and that’s not in the cards. Trading Heyward for a #3 guy would be an absolutely horrible deal. He’s got the most high-impact potential in the organization. And while it won’t be ideal, a rotation of Chucky/Jurrjens/Glavine/Hudson/[JoJo or Bennett or *snicker* Hampton or whoever] is still probably better than last year.

  10. IF Smoltz is going to the Pen, I thinke we will make a move for either a young guy who can be a #3 now and a 1 or 2 in a few years. If we don’t do that, I bet we go for an older guy who can slide into the 3 spot .

    Wither way I think our season is going to come down to how well Mike Hampton is. If he can come back and give us around 140 innings of solid baseball, we will be fine. If he can’t we are done.

  11. Thank God it’s an off day. I don’t think I could take watching this team lose another one. Hopefully Bobby will remember to put his brain dentures back in — last night was senile dementia.

  12. Cliff you have no idea how bad it is in Mississippi right now. The box scores don’t do it justice.

    I was at the game yesterday when the M-Braves were up 7-0 in the seventh. They then gave up seven un-earned runs in two innings to tie the game. Included in the errors were throws over the firstbaseman into the seats by the second baseman, dropped pop ups by the second baseman and short stops and multiple misplayed bunts. They then allowed seven runs including some walk RBI’s for runs in the tenth to loose the game 14-7. Grenade throwing Wellman made the team show up for practice today at 2:00 to practice throwing the ball to first and catching infield pop flies.

  13. Chipper is ESPN’s player of the month:

    Player of the month — Chipper Jones
    There are cases to be made for Chase Utley, Albert Pujols, Derrek Lee, Hanley Ramirez and Manny Ramirez (among others). But how can we not award this honor to a guy who hit .410, rolled up an 1.145 OPS, bombed eight homers and essentially won four games for his injury-wracked team single-handedly? The only other players to emerge from last 10 Aprils with an average this high and this many home runs: Barry Bonds in 2004 (.472, 10 HR) and Vladimir Guerrero in 2000 (.410, 8 HR).

  14. I think the Braves’ problem yesterday was that they were tired from playing so many games in a row and needed an off-day. Oh wait, they had an off-day on Monday, never mind!

  15. I put a 12-15 April on our hitting, not our pitching. I did a little breakdown of April on my blog (if anyone would care to read up on the carnage, and the silver lining, click on over) and the guys ended up hitting .234 after the 6th inning and .210 in those late and close innings.

    The positive side, if this is really a positive, is that we played pretty well against strong competition and we’ve got San Diego and Arizona, and a series with the Phils and Mets coming up in May, so maybe we can flip this thing upside down in an unconventional way.

  16. bfan,

    The Braves almost never draft college players (The Hardball Times had a thing on it about 4 months ago and we were like the second most prone to high school over college over about the previous 5 years). The minors are (in rough order of number and proportion) (1) highschoolers, disproportionately from the southeast , (2) Latin players entering the U. S. primarily at 16 or 17, (3) college players (heavily to JC and before last year, “draft and follow”) (4) old has beens and never weres, (5) a few non Japanese Asians and miscellaneous Australians or whatever.

    The Braves’ minor leaguers’ age at most levels is below their competition (probably not at AAA because of the has beens and never weres although those are quite numberous at AAA in most organizations). Except for the “Chipper, Javy, Klesko” bunch that blew out everybody at Greenville, and was almost that good at Macon and Richmond, we haven’t generally had winning teams. I think Appy, AAA, AA, and maybe one more league were in playoffs last year. That actually was an unusually good year.

  17. I’ve gotten into pretty big arguments on here before about this, but in general, I believe that minor league players are vastly overrated. For every player that actually makes a contribution to the major league club (let’s not even get into prospects who become great players at this point) , there are at least five (probably more) Andy Martes and Bruce Chens who everyone thinks is gonna be the greatest thing ever and winds up being completely useless, and there are at least 50 prospects who never even see the light of day. You need to have some semblance of a minor-league system to make trades (which I strongly believe is the most useful aspect of the minor league system), but all this hand-wringing over the Tex trade last year is pointless IMO.

    The chances of Andrus being an everyday major leaguer are not very good statistically speaking, and that’s before we even factor in the fact that he’s not playing well at all this year, and he’s by far the most likely of the prospects we gave up to come back and bite us (other than Salty, who wasn’t really a prospect anymore.) And Salty was sent back to the minors he was playing so poorly. So even if Tex walks and we get nothing, the likelihood is we gave up a middling everyday catcher at best, a prospect who may pan out but most likely will be a flop, and a bunch of nobodies. I know everyone on here disagrees with me, but that’s just how I see it.

    I can think of two trades we made off the top of my head right now where we dealt prospects and it came back to really bite us, and those would be Jason Schmidt and Adam Wainwright. Two in over 15 years. I think that tells you something about the likelihood of prospects reaching the big leagues, especially prospects who we deem tradeable.

    Occasionally you will have a player come through the system who you should hold onto, but for the rest, you might as well trade them or use draft picks to sign free agents, because that’s the only way they’re going to be the least bit useful to you.

  18. Glad I missed yesterday’s debacle.

    Was in Philadelphia. Didn’t know a thing until after midnight when I checked my scores in a nightclub:
    NBA, Boston 110, Atlanta 85
    MLB, Washington 3, Atlanta 2

    But it sounds like the Braves’ loss was even worse than that.

    Love the Zevon video, though.

  19. No, Nick, you’re not alone. I’m with you on the Tex trade. In hindsight, it might have worked better to hold onto Adam Laroche and use Salty and those other prospects to acquire a starting pitcher, but that’s just second guessing based on injuries and other factors we couldn’t have known. Tex and Mahay were great for us. If our starting pitching hadn’t collapsed, we might well have made the playoffs. I’ll take getting to the playoffs over holding onto a bunch of middling minor leaguers. Salty may be good in a few years, but we already have McCann so we could afford to trade him.

  20. But it sounds like the Braves’ loss was even worse than that.

    It really couldn’t have been worse. I wished I had missed it. I still can not believe Bobby played it that way. I too am grateful for the off day as I couldn’t take watching yet another loss.

    I’ve gotten into pretty big arguments on here before about this, but in general, I believe that minor league players are vastly overrated.

    The thing about minor league players that is so nice is that they eventually become cheap major league players which every franchise on a budget desperately needs. Guys like Kelly and Yunel – that is, guys that can handle and everyday job, hit productively at the top of the order and cost practicallly nothing, are insanely valuable. Having some of these guys are what allow you the wiggle room to trade for a big contract or extent a premium player (Tex?).

    Just trading all your prospects for “proven” players is something not even the big boys can get away with for long. The key is to know which ones to keep, fortunately as you note the Braves have been rather good at that. Othertimes you see teams giving up Aaron Harang for half a season of Jose Guillen. Yikes.

  21. The previous poster was right. For every 10 prospects, there is really 1 prospect meaning a maybe, and 9 suspects.

  22. Teams That Gave Away Their Top Prospects for “Established Major Leaguers,” Exhibit A:

    The New York Yankees of the 1980s.

    It was certainly a different era with different budgets, etc., but dumping Willie McGee, Doug Drabek, Jose Rijo, Fred McGriff & Jay Buhner didn’t work out too well for them.

  23. Just learned something funny over at Baseball Analysts:

    The Braves are 5th in the NL in OPS, ERA, and defensive efficiency. Yep, that’s right, this team is solidly above-average in EVERYTHING.

    Everything, of course, except winning 1-run games….

  24. Nick, just because alot of “top” prospects don’t pan out does not mean they are worthless. Young talent is the most valuable thing in the game right now, and just because Andy Marte never did anything in a Braves uniform, he has become one of the most productive prospects the Braves have had in recent memory. I don’t even think that is debatable. Two all-star years out of Renteria and hopefully many more productive years out of Jurrjens and Hernandez.

  25. Locke is slowly putting his season back on track with another solid performance tonight. Hoping to see Rohrbough pitching soon…

  26. Can a rotation of Huddy, Glavine, Jair, Chucky, and Reyes win? Only if the team has a damn good bullpen. If Smoltz, Sori, and Gonzo are all healthy, then there is a slight chance…but how likely is that all three are healthy enough to pitch at the same time?

    This year has been a completely disaster in terms of health.

  27. I read Peanut’ article on the team’s site this morning and got from it that Bobby Cox is feeling the strain. Please check it out and see if you get the same read.

  28. I’m telling you guys our season is going to come down to Mike Hampton, ugh

  29. great video mac………..i tend to forget just how good Zevon was. it makes for a nice break from the gloom and doom braves comments. i refuse to let this team ruin my first free summer since high school.

  30. For once having my work-issued blackberry by my bed helped me last night. Usually it just rings with problems that involve a lack of sleep and lots of stressed co-workers. Last night it was the boss’s boss e-mailing the group to see who wanted two box seat tickets to next Wednesday’s Braves vs Padres game. At 11:02 apparently the rest of IT was sleeping, I was still up and snagged them by 11:04 (took two minutes to get the wife’s permission). I didn’t make it to a single game in ’05 or ’06, went to one last year, and I’ll have been to two before mid-may this year.

  31. just reading mlb rumors and they are saying that we’re scounting the Cardinals. They’re thinking Anthony Reyes, but also they are wanting a top prospect and another for him.

    Also, Turnbow is about to get designated. I would take a flyer on his arm. I would make him cut his hair also

  32. “The only people with long hair nowadays are roofers and wrestlers.”

    — Colonel Bruce Hampton (Ret.)

  33. 38—Bennett might be in the rotation instead of James or Reyes. Not tha tit makes winning any more likely.

    Turnbow’s been bad but [insert your own Resop joke here]

  34. 48 — my thoughts on turnbow as well. if we want a guy who can dial it up (or at least has been able to at some point)… then take a shot!

    turnbow getting released makes my bobblehead of him (which is not sufficiently ugly to render his likeness) that much more awesome.

  35. Seriously, we’ve just taken one flyer on Scott Williamson, and Resop himself was another. I’m loathe to give out any more….

  36. I’d rather have Turnbow than Resop. But I’d also rather be in a situation where I wasn’t needing to choose between them.

  37. With all the injuries & close losses, the only current upside I can see with the situation is that it has lowered our expectations. I’m not predicting anything here, but that can be a good thing.

    Here’s another “break from the gloom and doom Braves comments.” Dedicated to Dr. Hofmann, who died this week at age 102. Col. Hampton, I’m sure, would approve.

    Hoffman NYT obit:

    Tenacious (LS)D

    Bill Hicks on the Worst Gig Ever

  38. @45. I don’t see much to like about Anthony Reyes. Don’t we have enough relievers with an ERA over 6. He has 8 ks to 1 walk this year, so that’s good, but in a much larger sample size, it’s a more modest 2 to 1 and a very unimpressive 5.5 or so ERA. At 27 yo, I don’t see the attraction.

  39. #57 – He throws the ball well but the Cards haven’t been able to figure him out. If we still had a pitching coach, I would like to bring him in. But as it is now there is probably no point, we’d just end up blowing out his arm or something.

  40. I see where he’s been a starter for the last few years, but 2-14 with an ERA over 6 is in Kyle Davies/ HoRam territory. Pass – please.

  41. Looks like Gonzalez will be able to bring the pain when he joins the team later this month.

    Lord, please give strength and health to the Braves’ pitching staff until Mike Gonzalez joins the team. For you dearly know how bad we need pitchers.

  42. I just noticed that Redman went a solid 6 innings in his last start, only giving up 10 runs in the first (including walking Andruw with the bases loaded to give him 1 of his 4 RBIs on the year).

    Gonzalez always looked pissed off at the batter, it was GREAT. I’m looking forward to him being on the mound again. He’s got an almost Smoltzian intensity I think.

  43. Anybody know of a site that has updated pitchers’ BABIP? I thought THT did, but come to find out they don’t.

  44. Robert, I’m much more intrigued by the idea of Anthony Reyes (as I just wrote over at CnC). He’s actually only 26, won’t turn 27 till after the season, and considering the Cards have pretty much given up on him, I don’t see why it would be a bad idea to look at him. Plus, he can’t be worse than Carlyle.

  45. I don’t see why it would be a bad idea to look at him.

    Well, I guess that would depend on the “top prospect” they’re asking for. There are several guys in our system I wouldn’t be anxious to part with for Reyes, but, in principle, I agree that there’s something there for our “pitching coaches” with which to work.

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