Greg Norton is playing way too much game thread: Marlins at Braves, June 3

Greg Norton has started the last five games in a row. I don’t know how to check this, but I have to guess that’s pretty rare for Norton, a player who has only once topped 335 plate appearances in a season. Anyway, what’s remarkable is that he’s, well, not very good. In particular, Norton is (1) a very, very bad outfielder, and (2) a very, very bad hitter from the right side.

The most dangerous type of ballplayer to have on your ballclub is the guy who can theoretically do something he actually can’t. If a guy just can’t play, he’s not that dangerous, because sooner or later he’ll stop playing. But Norton is good enough to stick around in a limited role. “Regular leftfielder” is not a limited role, and it stretches Norton’s abilities to the breaking point. You can live with the defense if he could really hit, but Norton can’t. Against righthanders, he’s marginal; against lefthanders, he’s hopeless.

VS RHP .257 .343 .444
VS LHP .226 .312 .335

The line against righthanders isn’t great, but you could live with it if he was a first-class glove, which he isn’t. The line against lefthanders you wouldn’t live with unless he was a great shortstop, and is completely unacceptable from a corner outfielder. Are the Braves seriously telling us that they can’t find a righthanded outfielder to hang around and crush lefties? These guys are a dime a dozen.

Okay, last time I posted this video we beat the Marlins 13-2.

281 thoughts on “Greg Norton is playing way too much game thread: Marlins at Braves, June 3”

  1. What about Jason Perry? Well, with the obvious (and I suppose critical) flaw that he’s lefthanded. I could not find his splits, but he’s killing the ball at AA this year:

    I do not recall seeing any of the minor league gurus on here talking about him; he’s obviously old for AA so he’s not a real prospect, but it seems like maybe he could best what Norton is giving the Braves…

  2. Yeah, Perry is not a prospect and he was acquired a couple of weeks into the season. He’s in AAA now, facing guys more his age.

    Also, this year his BA has taken a pretty big hit against lefties, but his power has not.

  3. OK, let’s dream.

    For this year, who would you like to add to the outfield?

    Anybody at AAA Kansas City we might want?

  4. For one year? I kinda liked the Raul Ibanez idea.

    Just turned 36, makes $5.5 mil. Not sure how long the contract runs, though.

  5. Perry has been flat out raking it in AA. He’s come back down to earth at AAA, but it’s still respectable.

    Actually, I would bring Brandon Jones up and let him impress some people (a platoon of Jones and Lilli in LF would be interesting if only to gauge their value on the Trade Front) to see if we can get Beane to waver on Blanton.

    then I would bring Perry up to see what the guy can do.

  6. The last time Norton started 5 games in a row was September 17-22 of last year, but of course he was DH for the Devil Rays, so I’m not sure that counts.

  7. Is Anderson worse that Norton? How can he be? He at least has the rep of a good fielder and base runner. If he is worse than Norton, why is he on the roster?

    Norton might be a little acceptable as in the Julio role (of course, he is not Julio.) But I agree.. no reason to play Norton in LF with Anderson on the roster and B Jones in the system. Heck, put Tim Hudson out in left and he can do better than that!

  8. Norton makes me miss the old, used-up version of Brian Jordan. And that’s just sad.

  9. I think Perry’s played like 3 games in AAA. That makes it hard to gauge that he has come back down to Earth.

  10. Dont corner outfielders that hit .250/20/70 grow on trees? Someone has to have a glutton of OF’s that they would part with for something. Its just sad to see Norton trotted out there every night. And to be honest, Diaz wasnt hitting all that well before the injury.

  11. I only remember Norton from the WGN broadcast of the White Sox game…..His best year with the Sox….255ba 16HR, 50 rbis…..and this guy is batting 7th. But he is a “professional hitter” (eyes still rolling).

  12. Just reading some other sites, it says Bill Hall is available. I would like to see the Braves make a move for him. It would give us a stable LF, and a backup option at 3B. He’s lost playing time and should be available cheap. Maybe the Brewers would throw in a SP for the right package…..

  13. If I have anything nice to say about Norton, it is that he takes a good amount of pitches most of the time. With the way Diaz was hitting (or rather, not hitting), I’d rather see Norton than him.

    However, I think it’s ridiculous to not let Anderson play, or go get someone, because Norton is obviously subpar. I just think that Diaz isn’t much of an improvement.

  14. I believe Bill Hall has pushed for a trade. He has some pop… but he can’t get on base.

  15. but hall’s splits against lefties are pretty good. i’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to platoon, though.

  16. Hall’s another phony pinch-hitter, but one who’s much better from the right side, where he’s hit .282 .361 .500 for his career and .408 .474 .673 this year. I’d trade for him, but he wouldn’t like it because as far as I’m concerned he’s a platoon player.

  17. Honestly I’ve never been a fan of Diaz..except as a pinch hitter…everytime he was given a chance to be the everyday leftfielder…he failed. When was the last time the Braves had a legit leftfielder other than when Chipper cried everytime he went out. Ron Gant???

  18. OK I got it Mac you meant switch-hitter instead of pinch. Bill Hall strikes out way too much. Not impress.

  19. That’s brilliant. You have a player who’s really only useful at third base or center field for a team whose two best players are a third baseman and a center fielder.

  20. I’d take Bill Hall. But then I’m a fan because he’s from Nettleton, MS. A town about 25 minutes from my home town.

  21. The only thing really tempting with William is that he can hit the ball out of the park….

  22. I can’t understand why the Braves (or maybe it’s Bobby) continually fall in love with guys that can’t play, like Norton or Pete Orr. It’s like Bobby sees himself in guys like Norton and just ignores their obvious limitations; at the same time, they seem to consciously avoid getting situational players that can actually play. With all this talk about the talent on this Braves team, they are now reduced to playing Greg Norton every day?

  23. Klesko just retired. Do you think old, washed up Klesko is better than the current Norton?

  24. Great point Marc….

    Klesko retired. Javy has retired. Giles is no where to be seen at the age of 30. No Sosa. No Bonds. Pudge Rodriguez is the last holdover from the Texas Rangers steroid factory. Damn the post steroid baseball era is wreaking havoc.

  25. At this point in the year, according to THT, the Phillies have only had to use five different starting pitchers (their original five) and seven different relievers.

    Can we share some injuries with them?

  26. Did Javy not want to be a backup? Wouldn’t he have been at least as good as Corky Miller?

  27. The Braves wanted Javy to hang around in Richmond, with the possibility of a callup, but he wasn’t interested. Corcqui Miller was JUST THAT GOOD, I guess.

  28. javy needed to retire, he was so sad to watch at the plate this spring. maybe we could trade for salty. (ha)

  29. Indeed…it is a sad state of affairs when Greg Norton is on your team, and even sadder when he is starting anywhere.

    Boog mentioned last night that Luis Gonzalez was looking for a job this past offseason. He can’t throw, but a guy like that would have certainly been a big improvement over the collection of stiffs manning LF for the Braves this year. I guess they thought Diaz was going to play every day and produce, but I had doubts due to his free-swinging Francouer-ish AB’s.

  30. I’ve been thinking about how we can get around our 1 run loss problems. Solution: petition MLB to institute “deuce” a la tennis.

  31. 46- We also knew we had Brandon Jones if we had to fall back on a platoon.

    Adding Kotsay and Josh Anderson, with Jordan Schafer waiting in the wings, the Braves probably did not conceive of a need for more outfielders.

  32. @ 45

    Yes, Kansas City claimed him, and then they put him on waivers and are hoping he clears so he can play for their Triple A team.

  33. SIAP, but why after using Josh Anderson late in the game last night…did Bobby not put him in LF for Infante?

  34. Jorgbacca – Pena was claimed by KC on the 30th of May. He was then DFA’d on the 31st of may and Kyle Davis was recalled. Not sure what that deal was about with Pena unless they hope he does not get claimed this time and thet can stuff him in AAA. Seems to be a poor thing to do to the kid.

  35. Lineups…Norton batting 5th, Corky in and batting 7th ahead of Blanco

    SS Yunel Escobar
    2B Kelly Johnson
    3B Chipper Jones
    1B Mark Teixiera
    LF Greg Norton
    RF Jeff Francoeur
    C Corky Miller
    CF Gregor Blanco
    P Jorge Campillo


    SS Hanley Ramirez
    RF Jeremy Hermida
    3B Jorge Cantu
    1B Mike Jacobs
    2B Dan Uggla
    LF Luis Gonzalez
    CF Cody Ross
    C Matt Treanor
    P Burke Badenhop

  36. Maybe the Braves are planning to acquire Bradley, because Bobby is clearly on something. Six starts in a row for Norton! When was the last time he made six starts in a row in the field?

  37. If Norton has to play, I think this one would have been more optimal:

    CF Blanco
    SS Escobar
    3B Chipper
    1B Teixiera
    2B Johnson
    RF Francoeur
    LF Norton
    C Miller
    P Campillo

  38. I think Anderson at least deserves a chance to start, playing center with Blanco shifting to left.

  39. Badenhop was part of the Cabrera/Willis swag, and is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA this year. We scored six in five innings against him in April. (That was the game when McCann tripled.) So I figure three-hitter.

  40. Why does Campillo have to be pitching this one? If it were anybody else on the hill I’d just skip this one. Could we organize some kind of boycott of Corky Miller’s games?

  41. I actually like our pitching matchup, but the second-half of our lineup tonight…yikes.

    And let’s go Barry Zito!

  42. Andrew Miller’s the main player they got back in that deal. It seems like he’s been rushed though, basically skipping Triple A.

  43. Braves14 – for what it’s worth, I like your lineup better than Bobby’s. But surely Bobby must know something we don’t know.


  44. Is it considered knowledge if you think you “know” something that is patently untrue?

  45. But surely Bobby must know something we don’t know.


    No question. Not about tonight’s lineup though.

  46. Screw you MLBRadio. As if the scam Sports Illustrated subscription and lifetime renewals weren’t bad enough, now I have to watch ads before I get the game.

  47. Why is McCann sitting today against a right handed pitcher?

    Is Corky Miller Campillo’s personal catcher?

  48. Bill Hall is an awfully expensive platoon player–IIRC from mlbtraderumors he’s signed through 2010 at about $4-5m per year.

  49. “Johnson starting at second tonight. That’s different. Infante getting some rest.” -Joe Simpson

    Does Simpson know who the Braves’ everyday second baseman is?

  50. I can’t believe I used to like Joe Simpson. I feel all grody now.

  51. Look at Kelly selfishly padding his stats instead of advancing the runner to second with a bunt. SICKENING

  52. I like Herr Badenhop so far.

    I agree. If you’re already subscribing & paying for the MLB service, you shouldn’t be forced to endure further ads. It should be like HBO.

    But, of course, that much decency is way too much to ask for these days.

  53. In response to Dip Caray’s ridiculous “expand the strike zone to speed up the game” idea: Because, you moron, they don’t want to send batting averages down to .230.

  54. I’m starting to think Chipper might like to hit against this year’s crop of Marlins. My goodness.

  55. My God, these two are idiots. I’ll use large print.


  56. I’m just glad we have this Norton character to put the Fish away early. I mean I’m much more comfortable with him than the dessicated remains of Brian Jordan (not that I want to see that again, mind you).

  57. I challenge anybody throughout the night to try and find a worse hitter in any game who’s hitting fifth. The only one I have found so far that’s even close is Aaron Boone, but he’s hitting over 100 points higher than Norton, so it’s not even that close.

  58. Jason,
    They could also go back to using one ball for the entire game and allowing the third baseman to spit tobacco juice on it repeatedly.

  59. Maybe it’s just me, but I personally prefer umpires with big strike zones…as long as they’re consistent with it.

  60. Hey Corky is batting less than either of the Olson Twins weighs–that’s really, REALLY bad. But then, you already knew that so I’m just revealing my firm grasp on the obvious.

  61. Mr. Swings,

    Keep a close eye on your credit card statements. Last year, I subscribed to MLB audio, and I found a subscription to SI charged to my card even though I declined the offer. More recently, my girlfriend tried the video package for a month, but decided to wait before taking the plunge. (We’ve got XM Radio, and she works during the days here on the west coast, so she’d miss most of the games. I’m happy with radio.) However, MLB charged her card anyway.

  62. An inauspicious start for Joba Chamberlain vs Toronto: He got out of the 1st inning only down 1-0, but he threw 38 pitches, including 3 walks & a balk. He’s only due to throw 65-70 pitches.

    Guess he was nervous. Today, all the baseball talk around here was Joba & Pedro.

  63. Raise the mound, move it back to fifty feet (instead of 60 feet and 6 inches) and decriminalize the spitball.

  64. Jeff M,
    I’d like to see that, if only for the look on the face of a kid who catches a foul pop-up in the third inning, only to have an usher take the ball back and throw it back to the home plate umpire.

    It’s not possible to find a worse hitter hitting seventh, because I’m not convinced there’s a worse hitter currently employed by a Major League team.

  65. And, by that, I mean “does anyone else besides me think Fredi Gonzalez is the long-lost Latino twin brother of Mark Grace”, not “who is the long-lost Latino twin brother of Mark Grace, Fredi Gonzalez or me”….

  66. Francoeur would be a HOFer under Simpson’s proposal. His stats would be just as thry are now.

  67. I hate that the Extra Innings package doesn’t show Peachtree games, even though way back when in the beginning of the season they showed one.

    I also hate the Marlins announcers home run call, “His name is DAN UGGLA.” Worse than Ken Harrelson.

  68. From DOB for you B. Pena fans “Just talked to a scout who told me he anticipated B. Pena could be in “limbo” for some time, because several teams are likely to do what KC did — claim him off waivers, then try to get him through waivers themselves so they can get him to Triple-A.

    With the lack of catching out there right now, plenty of teams want some catching depth. Just aren’t willing to give up anything of value to get Pena….”

  69. Was that a 2 run error by Norton? I was on the phone…stupid job.

  70. Ooooohhhh are the politicians in the booth? If so, where is Fred McGriff?

  71. Since when was Sonny Perdue named as a likely VP pick?

    It’s not just baseball Chip Caray knows little about.

  72. Brandon I have Peachtree TV on MLB extra innings. It is on channel 723 on Directv.Is yours blacked out?

  73. They should go with Katherine Harris since she can deliver Florida regardless of the way the silly Floridians vote.

  74. Oh fuck. I’m sorry. Please delete that. Back to the ballgame.

  75. Dan, I’ve heard it said. It makes demographic sense, anyway…

    And what would that be? Sonny Perdue is an old southern white man. And Georgia is not exactly a swing state.

  76. Waiter: Can I get you gentlemen an appetizer?

    Perdue: We’ll have a double-helping of mussels.

    Waiter: Great — would you like tap water or Evian?

    Crist: Tap, please, and keep it coming!

  77. Somebody once told me that all New Yorkers are named Tony because the boat said TO NY. OMGLOLBRB

  78. Explain a benign politician like Sonny Perdue to the people who elected Eliot Spitzer?

  79. Dan,
    Sonny Perdue as benign politician or anything else is not on anyone’s radar north of the Mason-Dixon line—or perhaps the South Carolina border. Northerners just think it’s funny when Southern politicians have good ol’ boy names.

    I have to explain to them that those kinds of names aren’t that out of the ordinary and then ask, “C’mon, you never met anyone named Jimmy Joe? Or John Jack?”

  80. Mac, if you give [our backup catcher] another name, by my count, he’ll be up to four: Corky, Abe (which you previously vowed to call him), Corqui (which you then vowed to call him), and then “hamster.” I don’t think he should have more nicknames than hits this year.

    Instead I’d prefer we brainstorm nicknames for players I actually like, such as “Skidmark” Johnson (because he’s streaky), “Hayes” McCann (because he hits like Mays, and runs like Hayes), and “Dakota” Jurrjens (because he’s precocious).

  81. Reason 21122 why Chip Caray is moron — trying to answer a trivia question about switch-hitters, he comes up with Rickey Henderson. Dork.

  82. Do we hit for Campillo if his slot comes up this inning? I say yes–though I’m often wrong about things.

  83. Alex, another Braves blog (I know, shame on me) came up with Kid Dy-No-Mite for Jurrjens, due to his youth and the JJ initials — I like that one a lot.

    Oh, and scratch the “shame on me” — look who I’m talking to! :)

  84. “That would not have been on Corky Miller’s highlight reel if he hadn’t gotten picked-off right there.” -Joe Simpson

    Corky Miller highlights?!

  85. Meanwhile, Skip and Pete are losing it over Batman and Robin parachuting into Turner Field on singles night. I’ve never heard Pete so animated. Skip’s wheezing and in tears.

  86. Sansho, I take the Henry Ford approach to other Braves blogs — you can go to any Braves blog other than Braves Journal, as long as it’s Chop-n-Change!

  87. Bases loaded. Young rattled pitcher.

    And last night’s hero bails him out on the first pitch.

  88. I’ve always tried to come up with fan club names instead of nicknames, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve received precious little support for the Prado Museumgoers, but even that has proved more popular than the Cork Sniffers. I’ll keep at it, though.

  89. Well, at least Norton provides comedy. Maybe he, Corky, and Diaz can take a show on the road next year. “Introducing the Baseball Stooges!”

  90. If Jim Edmonds makes the play Greg Norton did…it would be a Baseball Tonight “Web Gem.” Good grief why is Norton starting for the 6th time!

  91. I’m convinced Jeff Francoeur is a guess hitter… He stands in the box and right before the pitcher goes in to the windup he guesses “Swing or Take”

  92. My heart skipped a beat on that foul past third. It looked for a second like it hopped over the bag for what presumably would have been a close-play double.

  93. nice outing by Bennett–much better to use him in this role than for 1/3 of an inning

  94. There’s just no way Javy could possibly have been any worse than Corky, it’s getting ridiculous.

  95. I never really believed Pena would get a chance at it, it just seemed like he wasn’t in the plans even as backup.

  96. so which is more ridiculous… Norton hitting 5th or Jose Vidro hitting 3rd for Seattle? And how much are they paying him? And keep in mind that he’s the DH… that’s all he does (which would actually be merciful for Norton, I guess).

  97. What does the fact that we’re giving regular playing time to Norton and Miller this year say about the prospects of any major free agent upgrades this offseason? Furthermore, what does it say about the potential that Teixeira is still wearing a Tomahawk on his shirts next season?

  98. Bill Hall wants the brewers to trade him. Do you guys think hemight solve our LF problem?

  99. Wow — are you telling me you couldn’t send Bennett up there to lay down a bunt and pitch another inning? Bobby sure is a wily old fox…….NOT!

  100. HawkeyeFan,

    Have you seen Braves pitchers try to bunt?

    I think the bigger question is, how can a guy like Josh Anderson fail to get a bunt down? Doesn’t that have to be a big part of his game?

  101. Okay, I’m going to be bold and call for a KJ run scoring double here followed by a Chipper single to score KJ and get the lead (which we keep).

  102. @194,

    I’m not at all convinced Bill Hall would be a true solution. He was worse than league-average last year, at least insofar as OPS+ is concerned, and is actually a tick worse this year. Add in the facts that his defense in the outfield has never been fantastic and he’s owed ~5 million a year through 2010, and it doesn’t seem like a gamble worth taking. I’d figure that Anderson/Lillibridge/Jones could do as good a job if not better for a fraction of the price.

  103. “Ok, we just need Pinto to throw two wild pitches and it’s tied!”

    There is one…

  104. seth mcclung (RH pitcher for milwaukee that hits lefty) has 2 hits off of the big unit tonight. maybe he could play LF.

  105. Marlins announcers appropriately noted that it’s puzzling that Kelly sits against many left-handers, when he is hitting .339 against them.

    Then ruined it by noting his lack of power from ‘this side of the plate.’

  106. Ryan Braun just hit a shot about 937 feet off Randy Johnson. That ball was absolutely ignited. I had forgotten that outfielders could do that, occasionally.

  107. The combined distance of the next 3 braves will probably be less than the Braun HR.

  108. Unfortunately this means that he’ll probably start for a couple more days…

  109. @228

    Perhaps Bobby just wanted to get Norton’s bat going and he’ll now concentrate his attention on Anderson.

  110. 228 — couple of days? that hit’s playing on a loop in bobby’s mind already… he’s set for a month. heh heh.

  111. Because of his hit, I will leave Norton alone tonight, but rest assures that he will be back. Oh yes, he will be back.

  112. Pete made it sound like it was a makeable play for the 1B on that Norton hit. Witnesses?

  113. Francoeur is a black hole on my fantasy baseball team. It just destroys all life forms that come near it.

  114. This makes no sense. And Joe is actually making sense in discussing it. I’d like McCann trying to turn around a fastball than Omar, plus this requires McCann to come in anyway in the stead of Corky, while either wasting Infante or taking Kelly’s bat out.

  115. Mr. Swings –
    On first look, it appeared to be a Pradoed ball. On the replay, it looked like it was a good shot down the line.

    It’s the kind of play that players get down on themselves for not making, though. Oh, and it was hit by Greg Norton.

  116. Kyle, if it makes you feel any better, I just benched Frenchy, which in my league requires exposing him to waivers. I feel sorry for whoever takes a flyer on him.

    Jeff Bennett really is a terrific long reliever.

  117. AAR – Remember that 7 RBI game? I thought he finally redeemed himself. These last two or three weeks have been brutal.

  118. Nice Norton:)

    I wanted TRex to go deep. He raised his AVG. And he should hit HR more. There are Escobar, Kelly and Chipper infront of TRex. We need him if hope wins…He knows how to play…C’mon.

  119. The day before the Santana/Hudson matchup in ATL Frenchy had a great game, but since then it has been hard times.

  120. @250,
    It was a borderline pitch, probably a little outside, but not an egregious call. That 3-1 pitch to McCann, however, was absolutely terrible.

  121. Escobar can basically wrap up my entire fantasy week for me right now. Oh, and he can wrap this game up too, which I guess is more important :-)

  122. I’m shocked Yunel took that first pitch.

    And no, Norton is no folk hero — but he’s still comfortably ahead of Corky.

  123. @261,
    You’re probably right. And given the way the rest of the inning played out, it’s a moot point, as Infante walked and McCann came up anyway. But the fact is, even if Brian IS walked there, you still have Infante on the bench in case the game goes into extras.

  124. Yes!

    I did not want to say a word while the inning was still going, but Soriano looked goooood!

  125. One run win is awesome stuff, and Soriano looked pretty good, granted not exactly against the meat of the line-up, but it counts.

  126. Infante wouldn’t have made it to extras, because, at that point (7 hole, 1 out) barring a double play, the 9 hole would have batted, and Infante would have batted there.

    As it was, he saved Brian for the 9 hole, when he knew the odds were he’d have a chance to do some damage, and he did have that chance. He worked a walk that meant something, moving a runner from 2nd to 3rd and loading the bases. Can’t blame Bobby for Yunel striking out.

    We blame Bobby when he does something that doesn’t work out (and I agree, I’m sometimes mystified when he fudges things). But give him credit for making the right move there. Because he did.

  127. My mistake, it wasn’t guarenteed that the 9 hole would bat. But it was necessary for Brian to hit in it, if it did come up, in order to make it a double switch. And given that, it was a given that the 9 hole, if it came to bat, would have more chance to do damage than the situation in which Infante hit.

  128. did you catch Chip Carey’s second brilliant idea for “speeding up the game”? Limiting trips to the mound.

    he’s a slobbering nitwit.

    The best suggestion for speeding up the game is to tape his mouth shut.

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