151 thoughts on “We’re here to help the Diamondbacks get on their feet game thread: Aug. 7, Braves at DBacks”

  1. From the previous thread, moving a fence in (left field, I think) only explains part of the power surge at Myrtle Beach. A lineup that has included Brandon Hicks, Eric Campbell, Owings, Rodriguez, and Jones factors in.

  2. Let me get this straight. We had the ability to claim Brian Giles on waivers and declined? He’s got a below market value option for next year. WTF

  3. One of my favorite things in this miserable season has been how well Mark DeRosa’s doing for the Cubs.

  4. Giles would only help if Francoeur was going to get moved, which isnt going to happen. We need a big bat for LF, not a high on base % guy

  5. I am not sure that $11 million is below market for an outfielder with an OPS of .813. Plus we would still have to negotiate with the Padres to get him.

  6. Yeah Braun or Utley I think. I’d say Berkman should get more attention among non-contending teams

  7. Agree that we missed a chance on claiming Brian Giles. We did not HAVE to deal with the Padres. They put him on waivers. If they didn’t want to waive him, they can withdraw him. At that point we could seek to expand the deal or go in another direction (Peavy?) and 3 way Giles to the Sox or whoever.

    Also, I may be wrong, but if he is WAIVED the uptick in salary to 11 doesn’t happen because he wasn’t traded.

    Salary for the rest of this year is offset by the Tex saving. And the one year out was almost perfect. Heyward may be ready by 2010.

    We should all be in favor of moves that assume Francoeur gets moved or set aside and push for that. The most important position player thing for the Braves is to stop the sucking sound in right field. If the FO isn’t willing to deal with that, then we don’t need to get ANY free agents.

  8. I have to think that even one of the few teams with a worse record than us would prevent Peavy from being a target for us now, even if the Padres wanted to deal him, which I’m pretty sure they don’t.

    That’s a lot of money for Brian Giles. I’m glad we passed.

  9. TNT just showed a nice (brief) tribute to Skip during their PGA broadcast. Ernie, Jr. introduced it and had some very heartfelt comments.

  10. With the concession of this season, the soonest it would make sense to sit Francoeur is next year. We have to give him every chance to work it out when the games don’t really count.

  11. Because he tore his ACL at the end of the season and we didn’t want to pay him not to play. I like DeRo a lot and am also happy to see him so successful, but it was the right decision at the time.

  12. Brian Giles has fewer homers than Jeffy. Why in the world would we want him at his salary?

  13. This is unrelated, but I look forward to the Cardinals’ makeshift rotation (Lohse, Wellemeyer, Looper) falling apart down the stretch–while Wainwright toils away in the bullpen. He’s getting moved there when he gets back from the DL. I can’t stand St. Louis and it gives me pleasure when they’re stupid. Also, I miss Wainwright.

    On Francoeur: since the AS Break, he has produced… a .567 OPS. That’s a 52 OPS+, for those scoring at home. I’m glad he spent some time in the minors working through those kinks. My guess is that he’s not going to work through anything, at least this year.

    On Wren: is it clear that he knows what OPS is? I just want some confirmation.

  14. A team can never have enough high on base guys. Giles is already outslugging all of our outfielders by a healthy margin, a gap which would surely widen if he weren’t playing half of his games in San Diego.

  15. “Brian Giles has fewer homers than Jeffy. Why in the world would we want him at his salary?”

    I have no idea if we want him at his salary–my guess is that we don’t and shouldn’t–but one possible reason is that he’s a good hitter. Jeffy, on the other hand, is not. Giles has a 61-44 BB-K ratio and gets on base 39% of the time. He also will produce 40 extra-base hits this season other than homers. But mainly he’s a good hitter, who, in the Braves outfield, are in short supply.

    Edit: It also bears mentioning that yes, his home-road splits are significant. He has an .854 OPS and 137 OPS+ on the road.

  16. DeRosa agitated for a starting spot for a long time — then, when he got it, he spit the bit. He was terrible. I agree with Stu — I’m glad for his success, whatever it might be attributable to.

  17. My feeling is Francoeur will be gone for good around June 2009. I think the Braves wlll talk about his “down year” this offseason and Bowman will write some puff pieces about Francoeur’s determination to get back to his “outstanding” (yeah right) 2007 form.

    I think Francouer will probably slog through two full months in 2009 with an OBP of under .300, and when/if he does the Braves will finally pull the plug on him and bring up Jordan Schafer or whoever is hot in the minors at that time.

  18. @25

    He may have fewer homers but he plays in a pitcher’s park and still outslugs the OM by a significant margin.

  19. Just saw that KJ’s recent hitting surge is due to a change in his batting stance – one he used early on in the Minors (one that he used to hit 20+ homers in a season). This could be a good thing.

  20. OBP is great and all but if you expect the Braves to compete for the playoffs next year with Chipper and McCann being the only homerun hitters in the lineup, you’re fooling yourself.

  21. OBP is great and all but if you expect the Braves to compete for the playoffs next year with Chipper and McCann being the only homerun hitters in the lineup, you’re fooling yourself.

    Yep, those 03 marlins, 06 White Sox and 07 Cardinals just couldn’t keep up with just two legit HR threats in the lineup

  22. Mac, I think Lillibridge to center field should be an legitimate option for the poll. I can’t explain why, but I get a weird feeling that when the Braves strike out at adding outfielders this off-season that Kelly will end up traded for pitching or in left, and Lillibridge will platoon with Blanco in center if Kelly ends up in left.

  23. Maybe, but I was concentrating on the current regulars. I don’t know… Lillibridge only becomes a real option if he’s a significant defensive upgrade on Blanco — though that shouldn’t be too hard.

    The Braves are pushing the limits of my OBP-centrism. They are third in on-base, still, but only ninth in runs scored, because they hit few homers (13th). The teams that Spike mentioned might have only had a couple of big power threats, but they had huge power threats. Chipper hasn’t hit even 30 homers since 2004, and McCann’s career high is 24. Pujols in 2006 hit 49 homers — or about what Chipper and McCann are likely to hit, combined. The 2005 White Sox had a 40-homer man, a 30-homer man, and two 20-homer men. Pierzynski hit 18, or twice as many as our fourth-best homer man this year. You just can’t compete in this day and age with a team whose third-best power threat is maybe 12 homers (KJ or the Out Machine).

  24. Yuck.

    By the way, I asked Bobby Cox about Omar Infante, and he raved about him and said how great he’s been and how versatile, etc.

    I asked if he’s too valuable in the utility role to play one position, and Bobby said, if a guy wants to play every day and has earned it, he should play every day.

    Sounded to me like they might be considering making him a starter next season. You speculate on what position that might be.


    Somehow I don’t think Bobby Cox has thought this all the way through…

  25. I’m afraid that the Braves will try and trade KJ because his value will be higher to another team as a 2B than if they move him to LF. Off the top of my head, I can’t really think of anybody except the DBacks that will need a 2B next year (if they don’t resign Hudson), but there’s been talk of them moving Reynolds to second and putting Tracy back at 3B, since Byrnes will be healthy.

    Anyway, to me KJ is one of the few hitting assets that might be able to get some pitching in return and replaced (somewhat) within the organization (Prado or Lil’Bridge).

  26. In the power dept., this era is a long way from the ’85 Cardinals.

    That’s quite a blow (although it’s not breaking my heart, of course).

    Southerland, our FB, is a real lead-block terror, but he’s out until the 5th game or so with a foot injury. If we can get him out on the field and keep our bit players from getting pinched, we might be alright.

  27. Prado as an everyday starter scares me. He seems to be one of those players Cox likes and will play everyday no matter how bad he is, like Keith Lockhart or something.

    As I said last offseason, Wren needs to trade/release Prado to save Bobby from himself.

  28. Prado has started all of 9 games at 2B this year. I don’t get the assertion I see here from time to time that KJ is in a platoon, when he’s on track for 600 plate appearances for the second year in a row. He’s pretty good, but not so good that he can’t be spelled from time to time in order to keep some bench players in game shape.

    Prado has had some misplays, but he’s got pretty good range and has hit .288/.370/.438 this year. I honestly don’t see the problem having him around.

  29. He good line is irrelevant. It is in very limited playing time and only 80 at-bats.

    The problem with Prado is, again, he has no homerun power and his career slugging percentage is under .400.

  30. Wow, I just looked at the stats of Prado and KJ. Prado’s had only 80 ABs this year, he has more walks than strike outs, and as sansho said, his line is pretty darn good. KJ has a lower OPS than Prado does, but you wouldn’t know it by the way people talk about KJ and Prado. Usually you don’t complain about a guy sucking up ABs when he has hit better than the guy he is “stealing” ABs from. Interesting stuff.

  31. Why is the good line irrelevant? If the guy is hitting, even in a small sample size, why would you be mad? And like it’s been mentioned, 80 ABs isn’t that big of a deal anyway, especially when they’re a good 80 ABs.

  32. Trading hitting for pitching sounds like a bad idea after watching this team this year.

  33. Well the Braves’ lefties, namely McCann and Johnson, actually hit lefties pretty well.

    I think someone said two days ago that Johnson had the second highest batting average against left-handed pitchers by a left-handed hitter in the NL with a minimum 100 at-bats. That was before he went 3-3 against that Giants’ pitcher who was left handed.

    A right handed bat for left field who be nice though. Maybe steal Pat Burrell away from the Phillies via free agency this offseason?

  34. Well, he’s had more ABs against lefties, against whom he’s slugged .500 and has an .875 OPS. So for the question as to why KJ doesn’t hit against lefties, that’s a fair reason. It sounds like Prado is being utilized the way he should: sparingly, with most of his ABs coming against lefties. I’m failing to see why Prado isn’t an asset to our team.

  35. So anyone…what are some cool things to do in Atlanta. My wife and I are making our first trip there this coming week (we are going to catch all 3 Cubs games at Turner), and was just wondering what else to plan for????

  36. Poor allocation of resources. Prado is a second baseman/third baseman (and not a good one) on a team whose best hitter is a third baseman and third- or fourth-best hitter is a second baseman.

  37. Kelly has a good BA, but he’s got a .767 OPS against lefties. You can play the sample size card all you want, but based on the numbers, Prado is more than capable to spell Johnson against lefties. Which, by the way, KJ still has more ABs against lefties than Prado does, FWIW.

  38. Oh, and KJ’s SLG is .433.

    Johnson’s nine homeruns thus far this season are more than Prado could hit in a full season, even if you played him in all 162 games.

    Prado has, count ’em, two career homeruns…with a big fat goose-egg in 2007.

    The last thing this team needs are more hitters with Juan Pierre power.

  39. Joshua,
    Depends on what you like to do.

    You have touristy things like The CNN Center, The World of Coke, The Carter Center, Stone Mountain, Cyclorama & The King Center—been to them all, worth seeing once.

    If you’re into alt culture, there’s always Little 5 Points & Virginia-Highlands area—pretty good food in the latter, better music & book shops in the former. (A Cappella Books is a great book shop, Wuxtry a legendary music shop.)

    There’s Six Flags Over Georgia if you like theme parks.

    If you like a “real Atlanta place” for a bite & a beer, there’s always Manuel’s Tavern.

    My favorite bar is Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in L5P. Nothing special—good tap beer & decent bar food—but a real Braves fan hangout.

    And if you like down-and-dirty fast food from an Atlanta institution, there’s The Varsity, which is near another ATL institution—Ga. Institute of Technology. (Or was we UGA peeps call it, the North Avenue Trade School.)

    Of course, there’s also the Clermont Lounge, but you’re with your wife, so…

  40. Atlanta sucks. You should go to Nashville instead. It’s not like the Braves are any better than the Sounds right now, anyway.

  41. From one Josh to another, here’s a few touristy type things I can think of (or that I’ve done) while visiting Atlanta:

    World of Coke – this was a lot of fun when I was a kid, but I went again last year and it was kind of boring. Might be cool the first time around no matter your age though.

    Zoo Atlanta – Also went here as a kid. It was great then, I haven’t been since.

    The Georgia Aquarium – World’s largest aquarium. I’ve never been.

    Fernbank Museum – This was my favorite as a kid. I have little recollection of it now but I remember not wanting to leave.

    There’s always live music going on, no matter what you’re into. atlantashows.org is a good resource.

    As was stated above, most of this stuff is probably worth going to once. I’ve only been on a tourist type trip to Atlanta – about 14 years ago in elementary school.

  42. Come to Gainesville. We have a university. Or come to Clearwater. We have Scientologists.

  43. lol, thanks ububba – can’t do the themepark and most bars, as my wife is pregnant, but I appreciate the help

  44. What would it take to acquire Greinke from the Royals?

    Preferably Francoeur would be in the package, but he would probably devalue whatever we offered.

  45. Joshua, you have the job of lighting a bag of your own crap (or your dog’s) on fire on his front porch, Billy Madison-style.

  46. I was just down in Atlanta and while World of Coke was kind of boring, there was a place where you could try like 100 different Coke products from around the world. It was pretty neat.

  47. I tried a sample of everything they offered in the tasting room, topped off by a glass of Coke, which is, of course, the king of soft drinks. Biggest mistake of my life month day. It took a day or two to get taste working again.

    I like CNN Center, pretty neat. Attached to a mall and I like malls, though, so I could be biased.

    Georgia Aquarium was cool, but it was a bit crowded. Maybe it’s better now that most people from the area have gotten to go through it already, so you’re just fighting for views with tourists.

  48. Josh,

    You could try the High Museum. Just don’t go on Monday when it’s closed…not that I did that or anything. You’ll probably want to pass on the fish and animal prisons. They suck. Atlanta does have some nice strip clubs. Try the Oasis or Pink Pony.

  49. Some of the flavors are great. I recommend stuff from Africa and Japan. I do NOT recommend the European stuff.

  50. You’ll probably want to pass on the fish and animal prisons.

    Now the real prison on the corner of Boulevard and McDonough is quite a tourist treat. Close to the ballpark, legendary Harold’s barbecue, and Charlie’s Trading Post for cheap Levi’s and the weirdest stuffed animal collection known to man.

    Also, East Atlanta for Australian Bakery (mmm…pork pie), The Earl, and The Glenwood for a great meal and/or nightlife

  51. you can get that Mexican coca cola all over town in any taqueria – Mi Barrio on Boulevard and Memorial has great pozole on the weekend, and great tamales anytime – and that soda pop is gooooood.

  52. It’s a fine non-alcoholic aperitif, really (I’m out of depth).

    Kroger’s has some Mexicoke, 2 dollars a bottle, though. Maybe Publix, Western (is that still around?), or Bruno’s (ditto) would have the same?

    There are places (or at least one) that have Dublin Dr. Pepper (the equivalent) on fountain (tap?), so maybe somewhere would have quality Coke?

    I’m not sure what I was thinking of when I came up with Western, but Google thinks I’m wrong.

  53. Does anyone know a place where you can get a live radio feed of Braves games for free on the internet? I’m heading off to college soon so I won’t have my extra innings package. If there is none, I think I’m going to pay the 15 bucks on mlb.com, just figured I’d see if there was a place I could listen online for free first.

  54. Joshua-

    I like the neighborhoods of Atlanta. As some have already suggested, Little 5 and the Virginia Highlands are nice. They’re great for parking your car and walking around for a few hours. Plenty of food/beer options. Some other hoods worth checking out:

    Candler Park, Inman Park and Decatur.

    Six Feet Under is really good for an Atlanta vibe. Good food and people usually interested in the Braves. Plus it’s only a mile or so from the stadium.

  55. Great seafood at 6 feet under – overlooks Oakland cemetery, resting place of Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones. Ria’s Bluebird next door is good for breakfast too. Corner of Memorial and Cherokee

  56. Eric, the roof is closed and the AC is on, I assure you. Plus it’s a “dry” 104, I’m just kidding, I hate when people say that. I’m a little upset I’m not there to watch the Braves at Chase Field, it’s the first in the last four or five years that I haven’t. I probably won’t miss much anyway. By the way, call me soft but there isn’t a more comfortable place to watch a baseball game that I’ve been to than Chase Field. It’s just like watching at home, inside and the AC is nice.

    Anyway, let me clarify my comments earlier, I don’t want the Braves to trade KJ and give the job to Prado, I was just saying that I don’t think they are going to sign a big FA pitcher, so they are going to have to trade something, and I could see them doing it. He unfortunately plays a position where there actually are other guys in the organization that could conceivably play there. Probably not nearly as well, it’s just something I could see them doing.

  57. 96 MPH gas according to the stadium gun past Reynolds there. I didn’t think Morton threw that hard. Is that right ? It looked legit to me.

  58. I’m sure Tropicana Field is not nearly as nice as Chase Field and some of your other nicer domes, but I like watching baseball at the Trop. Like jj3bagger said, it’s like you’re at home with the AC on. and yeah, I don’t care if I seem soft. It’s comfortable, you don’t get burnt, and places like Turner Field are hot!

  59. I have never really understood why more people don’t go to DBacks games. They’ve only really had two bad years in their existence but they hardly ever sell out any games. The stadium is probably about 10,000 too big I guess, but you can always get pretty good seats for cheap there.

  60. Joshua,
    Understood. Might wanna get some good eats, then.

    If you like BBQ, there are plenty of Atlanta options. I’m partial to Fat Matt’s Rib Shack on Piedmont, but there’s also Abdullah the Butcher’s House of Ribs and Chinese Food. (I’ve never been.)

  61. Atlanta is a great place to live, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to visit here. Lack of central walkability is a real hindrance.

    re Prado: KJ is a better hitter, I’m not saying otherwise. But in Prado and Infante, we’ve got two backup infielders who can actually hit some. That’s pretty rare — we had Chris Woodward just last year! If it weren’t for Mike Fontenot raking for the Cubs, I’d say we have the best tandem of backup IFs in the NL. That’s not going to win any championships, but it’s silly to say either one hasn’t been a net asset.

  62. jj3bagger,
    I don’t think Chaz has shown much of that since he’s been up, but that’s in the range that was reported when he was the minors. That’s a big part of why the scouts/suits/DOB love him.

  63. Another classic example of a pointless bunt attempt, followed by a lack of execution, which leads to another minor disaster—runner picked off second.

  64. Oh, good, he was picked off. ESPN.com described it as Chaz getting caught stealing 3rd, and I’m thinking, WTF. That explanation suits me.

  65. He looks good and has filthy stuff. Next year he and Campillo both have to be considered locks for the rotation pending complete implosions/signings/trades

  66. A round of applause for Morton, and also for the death of Frenchy’s Creepy Beard. If they can actually win, then this night would be even better.

  67. Hmmm… kinda weird that Mike Gonzalez leads the team in saves with 4. How the heck does a team have its leader only have four freakin’ saves. Soriano’s got 3, Acosta’s got 3, Bennet with 2, and Boyer, Ohman, and Moylan with 1 apiece. We’re bad, but it’s kinda odd that there’s only a total of 15 saves.

  68. Looks like tonight might be blowout win night. One run losses to follow …

    Nice outing for Morton.

  69. And of course, that would put the Braves dead-last in saves. We’re 11th in ERA, 12th in shut outs, 12th in BB, 18th in K, and 7th in BAA. Really weird placement for us on the team leaderboards in those categories.

  70. Nice outing for Morton, indeed. So far, 7IP, 5H, 4K, 1BB, 0ER. 97 pitches, so he’s gotta be done.

  71. Atlanta tips: Wuxtry’s a terrific music store. It’s at Clairmont & North Decatur — that’s sort of between Emory University and Toco Hills. In Toco, there’s another great one, Ella Guru. When you’re at either one, be sure to pick up a copy of Stomp & Stammer, Atlanta’s irreplaceable, idiosyncratic, free alt-monthly music mag.

    As far as neighborhoods go, Virginia-Highlands, Decatur, and Little Five Points are all good — I highly recommend the burgers at the Vortex, which has one location in L5P and another in Midtown, and the Belgian beer menu at the Brick Store in Decatur. And while many of the people there may be assholes, there’s a hell of a lot of great food to be had in Buckhead.

    Oh, and don’t forget to pay your respects to Club One-Tweezy.

  72. …and get your sleep in on Sunday, I take it?

    Dare I say it? I dare. Could Morton/ Jurrjens/ Campillo be MadGlavOltz Lite, a new trio to build a team around? Or am I succumbing to too much of this “hope” nonsense?

  73. Brian J., you’re DEFINITELY drinking the Kool-Aid. But more power to ya. I’m secretly hoping the same thing.

    I love this Morton kid’s last two starts. If he can keep his head on his shoulders, he’s a hell of a pitcher.

  74. Here’s another vote for Charlie’s Trading Post. Best Carhartt selection and price in the Southeast, plus a decent galley of cheap fishing tackle. Not to mention the comedy of insanely large Levi’s. Think 63×30. Oh yeah.

    Or, just grab a copy of Creative Loafing, the local alterna-rag. It’ll list pretty much everything going on.

    But really, just go to the Clermont.

  75. 114.

    Waaay to optimistic. We don’t need that kind of thinking. It’ll probably turn into the Albie Lopez, Shane Reynolds, Trey Hodges redux.

  76. Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz are lofty expectations. And just because they’re wearing the same uniforms, doesn’t mean they’re the only trio we can compare them to. How about Hudson/Zito/Mulder? Or some other good, not great, trio of young pitchers who were with the same team. Orrr… they become three good pitchers that will help us win ballgames, and hopefully they’ll be surrounded by other players who will help do the same thing.

    Oh wait, that doesn’t sound as exciting…

  77. Campillo is a little old to build around, but he may be a great back of the rotation guy.

    Now, we could replace Campy with Hanson and consider the addition of Teheran or Rohrbough in a few years. This team probably has some pitching to build on.

    That brings back the question: can this year turn into the next Braves’ teams 1989 or even 1990?

  78. Parish–I agree that we have some good arms in the minors, but lets see Teheran put up some good numbers at Danville, before we pencil him into the Atlanta rotation.

    That said, Morton has a chance to be a really strong pitcher…a great night tonight…one of the season’s remaining pleasures (I hope) will be to track his development….

  79. There is definitely some pitching to build on. Jurrjens, Reyes, Morton, Campillo, and your minor league prospects like Teheran, Rohrbough, and Hanson give us something good. We’ve got to make some free agent signings.

    As for those who don’t think we’ll make a splash on the free agent market, what else is Wren going to do with the money off the books? Pocket it? Add it to his 401(k)? If we take $30-40 million off the books, and it doesn’t get re-allocated to player salaries, that makes us one of the lowest payroll teams in the league. I doubt we’ve sunk that far.

  80. Parish, c’mon he has to save some gas for the other 3 games in the series he’s going to pitch.

  81. @122–One can allocate the $40m to player salaries without making a splash in the FA mkt. Trades, for example. My guess is there will be both trade and FA activity.

    Bad Boyer tonight. This one might still turn into a one run loss.

  82. I normally don’t use profanity on here, but I think we can all agree on one thing, fuck Chris Burke.

  83. Heh, can you believe that once upon a time, Juan Cruz, Charles Thomas, and Dan Meyer got us Tim Hudson. Awesome.

  84. To be fair, it may not make sense to spend all of that money this off season. I don’t have to have Sheets or Sabbathia, especially if the Yanks bid their salaries into the ridiculous range. I am happier to get a right fielder for three years and let our young guys develop in the starting rotation.

  85. @126
    Ended up being the worst 5 hours…ever.

    I’m only moderately consoled by his career .243/.317/.361 line. He and Jeffy can hang

  86. Was it only 5 ?? Time flies when you’re taking a shot an inning after the eighth I guess. Anyway, that was one of the more disinterested at bats Jeffy has had all season, and that’s saying something. When Cruz is on , he’s pretty tough to hit though, he still has great stuff. Jeffy needs to join Charles Thomas wherever he is at these days.

    Also, maybe a real save tonight ?? I have petitioned my fantasy league to credit me for Atlanta Saves, but no luck so far.

  87. hey a save….one more tomorrow will be our first back-to-back saves since July 07, which also means it wont happen

  88. Stephen,

    Teheran and Rohrbough are more representative of the pitching talent we have in the minors. They may be as good as we hope or not, but we have not even mentioned Reyes, Locke, Heath, Diamond (who won again, 11-1), Redmond, Evarts, Rodgers, Medlen or the rookie guys like Stovall, DeVall, Spruill, Hodges, either Delgado, and Sullivan.

    Most of these guys won’t make it, but some will.

  89. To paraphrase Mayor Quimby, this win made the season a less oppressive place to while away our worthless lives.

    Now will some send Bobby Cox a telegram saying that Boyer is broken?

  90. Teheran and Rohrbough are not really representative–because they have much higher ceilings than most of the pitchers you mentioned.

    Evarts is injured, Hodges is a 23 year old playing the Appalachian League, Spruill has started well in the GCL, DeVall has started once, Stovall is getting it together and Locke has struggled all year–but will advance and Medlen, Heath and Diamond have some potential.

    I do think that some of these guys could make it–but when you factor in injuries and the way the Braves like to trade promising arms, I don’t think that you can count on any of them.

    By the way, two of the best arms in the lower minors are Timms and Rasmus and they probably have less than 25 innings between them in about 6 years years (combined) in the Braves organization.

    The bottom line is that I don’t think you can count on pitching prospects until at least AA. Now, they still have value because of their use in trades, but that is it.

    Since Morton pitched well tonight, I would add one more thought: the Braves have done an absolutely terrible job in the last 10 years at developing starting pitchers. If Morton makes it, he will be the one that beat the odds….I am hopeful for Jo Jo, but either could still become another Kyle Davies story….

  91. Stephen, I’ll agree with you to a certain extent, Adam Wainwright seems to be pretty good. I think one of the hardest things to do in baseball is to develop young pitching and contend at the same time.

  92. Well–I don’t include Wainwrigtht because we traded him before he got through the system.

    More broadly, I fear that because the Braves’ front office will continue to think “we are one or two players away” we will trade our best pitching prospects and barely improve our team–while cutting off the chance to develop a much stronger team in the long run.

    Basically, I agree with Parish that the Braves have some real pitching talent in the minors, but I am not sure they have the patience to build….

  93. We are far from one or two players away. We are like four very good players away from contention.

    Great game by Charlie! How rare the Braves win at Phoenix?!

  94. KC–what do you think we need to seriously contend?

    For my money we need at least 2-3 starters and a RF and LF. Also, while I am less unhappy with Kotchman than some, he will be only better than average: our new position players need to be productive….

  95. Morton looked real sharp again, i did not realize his fastball can get so high too. He does bring some optimism to this board.

    We really could be 2 players away from contending for the division, the Mets an Phillies have serious weaknesses and the fish will have to trade away some players soon, they haven’t fire-saled in about 2 years.

    The big issue is that the upcoming FA market stinks/risky. The best guys have serious issues(health) the others are going to be way over-priced.
    We need the pitchers to develop so we can trade for bats.
    Oh yeah, Krotchman sucks.

  96. What do we need to compete next year?

    I say, a real LF, a Frenchy who doesn’t suck, a guy to take Smoltz’s place, and a healthy bullpen. That would be enough to give us a shot at competing. A few things would still have to break our way (just like every other team in the NL), but if we get a front-line starter and a Pat Burrell-type bat for LF, we’ll be okay. Blanco can hold down CF until we get someone better, our infield is okay, and if we can get Soriano, Moylan, and Gonzalez all throwing at the same time, we should have a very good ‘pen. A bench of Infnate, Sammons, B. Jones, Lillibridge and I guess some guy with a decent bat that plays at the corner spots would probably be good, too. Just no more Prados or Corkys or Nortons.

    But the crux of the matter is a front-line starter, a bat for LF, and Frenchy not sucking. And I mean ever Frenchy sucking as (relatively) little as he did in 2006 or 2007 when he was only marginally below average rather than an order of magnitude below replacement level.

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