162 thoughts on “Let the Greg Norton Era commence game thread: Padres at Braves, May 6”

  1. re: post 34 in the last thread in the ongoing argument about Frenchy…

    the problem with Frenchy is that his .280 BA tends to come with a .315-.330 OBP. That IS a bad thing.

    OPS>BA>cumulative RBI totals in evaluating a hitter, in my opinion.

    Frenchy hasn’t put up higher than a .782 since his fluke rookie season. That’s not gettin it done for a “franchise” corner outfielder.

  2. I don’t totally discount RBIs or Frenchy’s numbers in that department. Those indicate runs & runs win games. Nothing theoretical about that.

    That said, it’s easy to see that his popularity among Braves fans tends to trump his actual value. (Saw plenty of visiting Braves fans at Shea rocking #7 jerseys.) You can win with a guy like Frenchy, but you probably won’t win because of him.

    Attn: Robert
    Are you going to try to go to any of the Braves games in Anaheim next month? Or are you one who dares not venture behind the Orange Curtain?

    Turns out, I have a business trip to your fine Province of Freeways that very weekend. Gonna try to catch the Bravos at The Big A.

    Also, can we please win a one-run game & free ourselves of Mr. Phil Collins? He seems like a nice guy & all, but his mediocrity is rubbing off on us.

  3. Frenchy just doesn’t seem to be cornerstone-of-batting-order good. I like what Ubbuba said about him, you can win with him but not because of him. For the money, he’s a pretty good option for the 5th 6th spot in the order. If you have to hit him any higher though you’re asking for trouble.

  4. #5

    This comment fits well with Mac’s thread considering he talked of ‘scheduling monkeys’ and you’re going to the Braves-Angels in the land of the ‘rally monkey’.

  5. ric,
    Have they given a starting time for that one yet?

    Last time I checked it was TBA, which led me to believe it could be an ESPN game with a 5 pm starting time.

  6. So his defense and the fact that people are not running on him because of his arm don’t help win?

  7. Watching Phil waste however much money making that video makes me question Steve Perry and Journey’s assertion in “Faithfully” that being in rock and roll band is a really hard way to make a living.

  8. ububba I believe it was supposed to be a 1:35 pm start but if it is a 5 pm start no matter because the wife and I will be on vacation all week.

  9. Frenchy’s defense helps some, sure, but just how much does a cannon arm factor into things over an entire season?

    I remember Jesse Barfield from the Yanks of the early ’90s—not sure of the exact numbers, but a similar talent at that point in his career—and he didn’t help them get too far out of the basement.

    Nobody ran on Barfield. But it didn’t matter because they stunk.

  10. I don’t know. How does it factor over a season? How many runs saved/prevented?

  11. You watch a Phil Collins video and you think, “There’s no way it could ever get any worse than that.” And then, as unbelievable as it may seem, you watch this.

  12. I’m sure that Palmer and others have done calculations on it. There are a lot of variables. Obviously, throwing out a runner at the plate is a huge play, a run into an out, but there are other factors at play.

    Barfield, in his Blue Jays days, was a heck of a player — lowish batting averages, but good power and he’d take a walk. He was a better player than George Bell but didn’t get half the attention. In 1986, he hit 40 homers in a season when that meant something, but never approached that again — his next-highest total was 28 — and he lost 20 or so points in his BA. I think he was viewed as a disappointment. If Francoeur was as good of a player as Barfield, that wouldn’t be bad.

  13. ububba,
    As soon as Nashville gets a team in MLB and the Braves come to town, I hope you’ll visit.

    Or I could just come to New York sometime.

  14. At one point I know Austin Kearns and Sean Casey were Reds. Who did they get traded for? You’d think they would really help their lineup now. The Reds offense looked pretty terrible last week.

  15. Kearns was in that deal that centered around Gary Majewski (LOL!)…I think Casey was traded to the Tigers, but I have no idea what they got in return.

    And Adam Dun >>> Jeff Francoeur, even when taking defense into account.

  16. 16. Dunn and Francoeur are not at all similar players. Dunn is a low-average power hitter who walks a lot. Francoeur hits for a good average, but has less power and rarely walks.
    17. Kearns was traded in the Majewski fiasco, as Stu says. Casey was traded even-up for Dave Williams, but you should remember that prior to his apparent renaissance with the Sox he had been totally useless four of the last six seasons.

  17. #18

    I agree, Stu. The point of my analogy was to draw attention to the fact that both players, though inconsistent at the plate (a high number of strikeouts in Dunn’s case), are still considered to be of great value to their respective teams.

  18. Adam Dunn : Reds : Jeff Francouer : Braves
    Not so much:
    Adam Dunn, Career

    .248 / .380/ .516 129OPS+

    Frenchy

    .280 /.318 /.463 100OPS+

    He don’t throw out that many baserunners

  19. I think it’s funny you got three pings in 2 minutes – I should get so much attention

  20. Keep in mind that when comparing him to Andruw Jones, I’m only referring to his plate discipline. He doesn’t appear to have near Andruw’s power, which was pretty much Andruw’s only plus during the latter stages of his tenure here from an offensive standpoint, and that’s really what I was going for in the comparison as opposed to his earlier years. Also, he’s not as good defensively as Andruw, either, so you take that plus away as well. His arm is comparable, even perhaps superior, but every other defensive attribute is inferior. Now you could argue that he plays right field and so he doesn’t have to have CF attributes, and I guess that’s a fair point, but I don’t think you can say that Francoeur takes two or three hits away per game like you could probably have said with Andruw. On the plus side though, we’ve seen no evidence that he’ll show up fat and out-of-shape to spring training every year, though.

    There are probably better comparisons I could have drawn than Andruw Jones, but I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head at the time.

    Re: Jesse Barfield, I guess, but we also have to keep in mind that he is being pegged as the next franchise player, not only by the fans and media but seemingly by the organization as well. He’s basically going to be expected to replace Chipper Jones in the lineup one day if nothing changes as far as the direction things are going now. Jesse Barfield would not be anywhere near sufficient to be the backbone of a lineup.

  21. Barfield in his Bronx years was certainly different from Barfield in his Toronto years.

    I just finished listening to Jon Heyman on WFAN & he’s said that both Dunn & Griffey may be available at some point. “Griffey’s made it known he’d like to return to Seattle, the Reds have made it known that Dunn could be traded for the right price. The Reds want a new clubhouse.”

    Stu,
    Appreciate it. Dunno when I’m back in Music City, but you’re welcome here in NYC anytime.

  22. S’okay, Remy, we all make half baked assertions occasionally. Hashing out ideas that other members post helps us all better understand the Braves and the game of baseball in general … otherwise we’d only have college football to talk about.

    Besides, no one knows what’s wrong with Jeff Francoeur. He’s a pretty unique player.

  23. I’ve never actually compared stats, but Adam Dunn seems kind of like Harmon Killebrew. Is that a fair assessment?

  24. Anyway, in my mind, much of this has to do with how much is expected of him. In the previous thread, somebody said something about him not being long for this team if he doesn’t improve come arbitration time. I just don’t see it, though. The local fanbase has grown so attached to him that I fear if we got rid of him, the fan backlash would be fierce. From that standpoint, he may be the most untouchable guy on the team. At worst, he’s second on that list behind Chipper. I’m not sure we can get rid of him.

    To reiterate the point,the problem isn’t that he’s a league average player, it’s the aura surrounding him. If he were just another guy, he would be a league-average RF who we could put in the sixth or seventh spot in the order and we could go a different direction at some point if we got tired of him and that would be that. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a league average RF. The problem is that he’s apparently being relied upon to be the cornerstone of the franchise, and unless he improves, that’s just not gonna work.

  25. Dunn’s third and fourth most-similar players through age 27 are Jackson and Killebrew. However, batting averages were much lower then. Strawberry is first, but between Shea and that he was a much better player through age 26, that’s not really right. Rob Deer was similar. Pat Burrell, though he’s righthanded. Jeromy Burnitz. Dunn is unusual for this type of player in that he got a chance when he was still very young.

  26. As a hitter, Darrell Evans was close to Dunn, but there’s a huge difference in defense and on the bases. Most of the best Dunnlike players have been third basemen.

  27. Speaking of half-baked assertions, I believe I have come up with the player who has had the most teammates in major league history. I was messing around with the Oracle at BBRef (caution: highly addictive), and came up with this trivia question. Can anyone guess who it is?

    Hint: He was a Brave during our division-championship streak. I’ll be back later to see if anyone got it.

  28. I’m going with Reggie Sanders.

    Has to be someone who was a Brave for about 10 minutes and has been around and around. Sanders fits I think.

  29. (Stanton, who has had exactly 2 more teammates than Seanez, was involved in the Kearns deal, too, right? That would explain the connection to this thread.)

  30. It’s not Seanez or Sanders, because Stanton has more than both of them (and more than anyone else named so far.)

    I’m so intrigued.

  31. Basically, I went through the last 15 years of “Oldest Players” in each league, then checked out all the itinerant players I could think of (including all those that were guessed). There might be someone with more — but I’m 90% sure it’s Mulholland.

  32. For many years, the all-time leader for most teammates was almost certainly Bobo Newsom, who played off and on from 1929 to 1953, and changed teams 16 times (he played for the Senators five different times). He had 652 teammates.

  33. i’m guessing Lonnie Smith………….and while i’m guessing, i cant figure out why Frenchy is so disliked here. exavctly what NL rightfielder would you rather have?

  34. you’re welcome to them Mac…….i’ll take my chances with Frenchy.

  35. well, that was gonna be my guess anyway.

    Frenchy is not at all disliked. I think people here actually really like the guy. We’re just really want him to develop as a hitter and earn a jersey retirement.

    Stu- Did you know Austin Kearns is Shelby Gutenberger’s first cousin? Her maiden name is Kearns. Just found that out the other day while she was over and we were watching the Braves game.

  36. Well, that’s interesting.

    You can tell Shelby that I’ve been disappointed more by her cousin’s career than perhaps any other non-Brave I’ve ever watched. I really thought that guy was gonna be good.

  37. i cant figure out why Frenchy is so disliked here. exavctly what NL rightfielder would you rather have?

    Because of the irrational hype he receives from the Braves faithful. Who throw the RBI numbers in your face, while ignoring the fact that the Braves have had awesome top of the order for the whole time he has been here.

    And the fact that his numbers are underwhelming, and his approach at the plate is rather braindead. Ofcourse, there is lot to like, and everyone here hopes he improves. He says the right things in interviews et al, but he has yet to show a tangible improvement at the plate consistently.

  38. Mac, that table you linked to was interesting in that Frenchy has the fewest strikeouts out of all of them. That’s pretty surprising. That doesn’t make his obp acceptable, but it’s nice.

  39. Attn: Robert
    Are you going to try to go to any of the Braves games in Anaheim next month? Or are you one who dares not venture behind the Orange Curtain?

    I hate the drive to the OC as much as anyone, but I will absolutely be there for all three games – with wife and three year old in tow.

    Three Angels games in June, three Dodger games in July. It will be fabulous, assuming of course you define fabulous as listening to my wife complain about the length and pace of the games endlessly and promise that we are not doing this next year.

    Keep in mind that when comparing him to Andruw Jones, I’m only referring to his plate discipline.

    Keep trying. Andruw takes plenty of walks. These days it’s practically the only positive thing he can do.

  40. theres a better than even chance i’m wrong, but i still think frenchy is going to turn into a helluva player. its not unheard of for a guy to reach his potential after 5-6 years……………… i just got a smile wishing this site was around when Dale Murphy came up as the worst catcher i’ve ever seen outside of little league. he wasnt much better at option #2 (1st base)either.

  41. theres a better than even chance i’m wrong, but i still think frenchy is going to turn into a helluva player.

    It could happen. It took Jose Guillen seven seasons to have a good one. Of course by then it likely wouldn’t do the Braves any good as he’ll be long gone. No team is going to wait that long.

  42. Barry, it’s fashionable on here for the stat-heads to dislike Frenchy…. That’s the answer.

  43. As Mac pointed out, the stats themselves aren’t too crazy about him either.

  44. Stu and Alex R, bringing back the topic on trading for Blanton. Blanton is NOT a #2 starter, and he is not worth for us trading Rohrbaugh. I would rather include JoJo than Rohrbaugh because Rohrbaugh is considered as an ace type arm. Just when we are all complaining the system lacks of an ace type prospect, you trade away such arm so easily. I am not against trading prospects, but at least we should give up top notch prospects for proper return.

    If we are trading Rohrbaugh for Santana, Haren, or Bedard, then I am fine with that, not but for Blanton.

  45. Anyone else listening to Skip? Is it just me or did he miss names twice that inning, first crediting Giles with Kotsay’s hit and then saying Kotsay caught Johnson’s fly ball to end the inning. That was bizarre. I hope he is OK and not on the verge of something bad. Then again, maybe I’m crazy for hearing it!

  46. I hope he stays sharp. At least I can think I’m sane a little longer.

  47. JJ maybe pretty good but he sure isn’t going to help our bullpen much if he continues with these pitch counts.

  48. JJ maybe pretty good but he sure isn’t going to help our bullpen much if he continues with these pitch counts.

    He has been economical in the past. Hasn’t gotten past the sixth just once. And is on pace for 6-7 here.

  49. I can’t believe they still pitch to Chipper. I’d take my chances vs Tex any day.

  50. At this point, you really have to question why any sane manager would choose to pitch to Chipper, especially with Tex not swinging the bat all that well. I would think you would give him the Bonds/Pujols treatment until he cools off, but that’s just me.

  51. Mac do you think Kotsay is a pretty good pick up now? Or would you rather have Fat Albert otherwise known as Andruw Jones?

  52. I hate these innings, where the pitcher has spent most of the prev half inning on the bases.

    Sure Kotsay looks good now, but its one month in. And he is on a hot streak. Its a long season.

  53. Quoth Chip, “What a play by Kotsay! Reached up and caught it waste-high!”

  54. I can’t believe they didn’t call an error on KJ not being able to get the ball out of his glove.

  55. I like Kotsay in CF. He’s hitting better than Andruw, has more HR’s, and is making some great plays.

    Also, if Chipper stays healthy and keeps pace no one will come close to topping him for MVP.

    I’d be very pleased to see him start at 3B in the All Star game over that little boy from the NY Mets.

  56. Another sweet outing for JJ. I am really impressed by the big spike in his K rate. Wonder if that is for real, or is it a first time through the league thing.

    Odds on Boyer pitching tonight?

  57. As for Kotsay in front of Blanco, I’m still against it. Hey, he’s hit a righthander; good for him. But he’s still pathetic against lefties and it can burn you in a close game.

  58. Didn’t mean for my phrasing to suggest you shouldn’t still be against it. Your point is still valid. Just figured you would have brought it up by now.

  59. You suck, Ohman. BTW, that is, according to the online box score, an “earned” run thanks to KJ’s second Prado of the night.

  60. If I was an opposing manager, I would pitch around Chipper all day to get to Tex.

  61. This is downright criminal what is going on with Boyer. As has been documented here before but needs mentioning everytime, he only pitched 26 freaking times the whole season last year. Granted 12 of those were starts, but my goodness, this isn’t the shoulder rehab that I would want to go through.

  62. I’m hoping he will surrender 1 run and put this long nightmare behind us.

  63. I get complaining about Boyer pitching a lot on consecutive nights, but yesterday was an off-day. How can you complain about him pitching one inning after an off-day?

  64. By my calculations, it’s either Resop, Carlyle, Bennett, or Junkballing Lefty (forgot his name :-D).

    My money is on Bennett, because the others righties suck, and Cox wouldn’t replace a lefty with a lefty.

  65. Kouzmanoff .353 against lefties, .252 righties. Bobby is definitely playing the numbers. Hopefully, it works.

  66. Not naming the incoming pitcher before going to commercial … it’s the kind of incomplete sportscasting once shown by Bob Uecker’s character on Mr. Belvedere, who, upon being asked to read the scores during his local-news debut, enthusiastically proclaims, “Six to three, seven to two and eight to four.”

  67. I don’t know if Bennet has that steely glint required to CLOSE A BASEBALL GAME. Getting this 1 out is going to be like 3 innings of starting pitching for him.

  68. Yeah, I meant Campillo…. Weird. For some reason, I always had it in my head that he was a lefty. But he’s clearly a RHP.

    Either way, Bennett was the right choice there, and given the way that it started, I thought Cox managed the bullpen correctly there. You have to bring in the LOOGY for Gonzalez and Bennett was definitely the right guy after that.

    All that said, I’d have given Boyer two innings and tomorrow off. I’m a big fan of two-inning stints for relievers rather than consecutive appearances.

  69. mraver, my problem and I believe everybody’s regarding Boyer’s use was not specifically with tonight’s usage, just his usage this year to this point. The Braves are not going to have any reliable relievers here pretty quickly if Boyer keeps pitching as often as he has and Acosta pitches days that he doesn’t need to, etc.

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