60 thoughts on “This has to be embarrassing for Arizona game thread: Aug. 9, Braves at DBacks”

  1. It pains me to even type it, but I’m afraid the better Prado and Infante play the rest of the year, the more likely it is KJ gets moved for pitching in the off season.

  2. JJ,

    I am convinced with the way Infante and Prado are playing…KJ is as good as gone.

    And when you read comments like these:

    “He’s some kind of hitter,” Cox said of Prado. “He really is. He’s hit .300 everywhere he’s ever been.”

    And

    “[Prado’s] a good player,” said Jones, who has always been one of Prado’s biggest supporters. “He knows what his strengths and weaknesses are. His strengths are that he can hit the ball in the gaps and put up good at-bats.”

    There is no doubt KJ is gone…

  3. well if the braves are still falling into the “he hit .300!” trap for infielders that they got hurt so badly on before with Rey Sanchez, they f’in deserve whatever cellar dweller status they get until somebody with a clue takes over.

  4. The problem with that is the Braves are in dire need of power. Prado doesn’t have nearly as much as KJ, to put it lightly. As usual the Braves have their priorities way out of whack with their problems.

    @3 – Agreed. This is why Bobby, or almost any other manager, should not be in charge of personnel. Prado is a nice bench player, especially if he can hit .300. But he would never sustain that over a season in a regular role. And even if he could it would be an empty average. KJ is a better hitter so long as he hits .260, and a better player even when he hits a bit less than that.

  5. KJ is not exactly a consistent power threat…The Braves I know were expecting more than 9 HR at this point in the season. Although he does have 28 doubles.

    But this just shows me how good BMcCann is…30HR with 20 HRs, what a player.

    But the Infante, Prado, KJ scenario should be interesting. Prado is younger, but other than that the three are very similar. All three should be in heading into their “prime”.

  6. I’m not against trading KJ. This surprises me, but if they get a good return it might not be a bad idea. Yeah, the Braves need power, but they primarily need righthanded power, and KJ could help them get some. If Prado fails, there are other options.

  7. I’m not against it either, depending on who they get. Nobody is untouchable for the right price. I don’t think, however, that Prado is going to be adequate for an entire season. So if KJ is dealt they better get someone who can play outfield or pitch, because they’ll suddenly have one remarkably weak right side of the infield.

  8. I am convinced with the way Infante and Prado are playing…KJ is as good as gone.

    There is no doubt KJ is gone…

    No doubt that would be your dream come true. But despite your wishful thinking I don’t think it’s quite set in stone yet.

    Wren just a week ago, talking about the 2009 lineup, said that’d it basically be the same but with a new left fielder. He said he liked the infield and mentioned Kelly Johnson.

    So what I mean is, while Bobby Cox may like Prado and Infante (what light hitting middle infielder doesn’t Cox like?), it’s not Cox who makes the trades. It’s Wren. And I think Wren is still leaning towards Kelly Johnson.

  9. “Wren just a week ago, talking about the 2009 lineup, said that’d it basically be the same but with a new left fielder.”

    So that means the awful situation in right field will continue. I’d rather give away KJ and Francoeur than keep both of them. More importantly, if all things stay the same, then adding a left fielder won’t do much to help the league’s 18-highest scoring offense (in runs, anyway). While left field would be an upgrade, 1B will be a large downgrade from most of 2008 to 2009. So being, at best, middle-of-the-pack on offense will make it rather hard to win more than 85 games, especially without Hudson.

  10. Adam M, that seems to be a false choice.
    Wren did say during a game after the Kotchman trade that he thought Frenchy’s year was an outlier and that he would play better next year and that he was in the Braves’ 2009 plans.

    Take that for what it’s worth, though, as Wren has no incentive to denigrate the guy in public. I assume he doesn’t get quite as much pleasure out of it as we do.

  11. If the Braves were fair, unbiased and smart, they’d ditch Francoeur this offseason and put Kelly Johnson in right in addition to the new left fielder.

    Problem solved.

    Nah. They’ll keep Francoeur, probably try and still get that long-term deal hammered out with him.

  12. Dan,

    Why do you think I dislike KJ? I just believe he has been somewhat of failure this season. Not Francouer like, but not what the Braves expected.

    If we can get something good for KJ, I say trade him.

  13. The problem with that is the Braves are in dire need of power. Prado doesn’t have nearly as much as KJ, to put it lightly.

    Yeah, except for the fact that Prado has a .500 slg while KJ has .426. Together they make a quite nice platoon. There’s a sense that KJ has the potential to be a 20 HR hitter, and I agree that seemed true once. But just like with Francoeur, you can’t ignore the fact that he doesn’t hit 20 HRs forever and ever. If he played spectacular defense, then you could live with 10-16 HR a year from 2B. But Kelly is at most a serviceable, average 2B. I’d definitely trade him for pitching or a power outfield bat. There wouldn’t be much falloff from using some combination of Prado, Lillibridge, or Infante at 2B next year.

  14. There’s really only a very few unmovable guys on this team, and KJ is not one of them.

    I like him & I think he can have a good career, but he needed to get better this year & he hasn’t, really. He’s not a glaring weakness, but he’s not a huge benefit either.

    If this team can get better by moving him for pitching, which we’ll certainly need in ’09, it won’t break my heart to see him go.

  15. Prado has a .500 slg while KJ has .426.

    That’s not really a fair comparsion. Prado saw his slugging percentage shoot up some 66 points just last night. He hasn’t had enough at-bats.

    Prado still has a career slugging percentage under .400 and still has 2 homeruns in his major league career. He seems like a guy who could, in a full season, hit about 5 homeruns if he was lucky.

  16. “Prado still has a career slugging percentage under .400 and still has 2 homeruns in his major league career. He seems like a guy who could, in a full season, hit about 5 homeruns if he was lucky.”

    Well why don’t we see what he can do. He is almost two full years younger than KJ, so I say Prado has time to get better. Before he got hurt this year, he was terrific on offense.

    I agree with others., if we can get some power or pitching for KJ, go for it.

  17. Kelly Johnson hit 16 homers last year. Martin Prado has hit 17 in his entire professional career. People just don’t go from hitting three homers a year to hitting twenty. And while KJ has hit for less power this year than last, his homers are still above-average for a second baseman. He has nine homers. Six major league second basemen have ten. And five have more than that.

    HE IS NOT A PROBLEM. AT ALL.

  18. “And while KJ has hit for less power this year than last, his homers are still above-average for a second baseman. He has nine homers. Six major league second basemen have ten. And five have more than that.”

    KJ has been part of the problem. He wasn’t on base enough to bat leadoff. He couldn’t hit third. His slumps are consistent. Look I know people on here really like KJ, but to say he has not been part of the problem this year is silly. THE BRAVES EXPECTED MUCH MORE than what they have gotten.

    If Prado or Infante can provide a consistent bat in the line-up, I am all for trading KJ. As Chipper said about Prado, he knows his strengths, which are hitting in the gaps. If the Braves can get a corner outfielder with some pop, I would rather have a consistent bat at 2nd, than one that’s not. Power or not.

  19. Who cares about consistent?

    I ask you, would you rather have an inconsistent hitter who at the end of the season hits .280/.375/.500 with 20 homeruns or a consistent one who hits for roughly the same average week in and week out and at the end of the season has a .275/.325/.375 line and 3 homeruns?

    Francoeur is consistent this season. Doesn’t make him good.

  20. Maybe the Braves expected much more, but that’s not his fault. He hasn’t played as well as he did last year, but the dropoff at second base isn’t within a mile of the dropoffs at short and in left, and not within a continent of the dropoff in right. And while Kotsay has played better than Andruw did last year, he hasn’t been great, and he’s hit all of five homers this year. Again, he’s the third-best hitter on the team (fourth-best when Teixeira was around) and blaming him for the offensive struggles is nonsense.

  21. Martin Prado .746 OPS in minors

    Kelly Johnson .830 OPS in minors.

    Even if you compare major league numbers (of which Prado doesn’t have a large enough sample size to be statistically significant) Kelly is still 30+ points higher.

    But hey, I guess if he doesn’t fall into your well defined concept of “consistent” than he’s gotta go.

    Also, if you made a top 5 list of reasons why this team has failed, it would consist of Francoeur sucking and 4 injuries, not KJ.

    Dealing with the Francoeur situation and the voids created by those injuries should be the priority of this team, not creating an issue when it doesn’t exist.

  22. I don’t understand why people think Bobby complimenting a player means the Braves are going to trade another.

    I mean, the list of players Bobby doesn’t say great things about is pretty short. The only news would be if Bobby said something like, “Prado’s a solid guy to have on the bench. He’s not a guy you want starting every day or anything like that, and he’s no Gold Glover, but he’s a solid bench guy who we think can help the club.”

    Not that I think Bobby ever will (or should) say something to that effect to the press. But that would be something worth noting, not Bobby saying, “Oh, yeah, I think PLAYER X is great!”

  23. “… and blaming him for the offensive struggles is nonsense.”

    I have never blamed KJ solely for the offensive struggles, but he has to take his share. The share that Francouer and the rest of the outfield have not gobbled up.

  24. @7

    Where do you find the lineups?

    I checked DOB’s blog (since that is the only website I associate with DOB) but nothing doing

  25. I don’t understand why people think Bobby complimenting a player means the Braves are going to trade another.

    That is true. But I fear there is a good chance, and it’s because of this from Mark Bowman:

    As the Braves look toward next year, Prado is giving them reason to evaluate whether Kelly Johnson is the answer at second base. Prado has produced multi-hit games in each of the three starts he’s made this month.

    Despite the fact that he leads all National League left-handed hitters with a .350 batting average against left-handed pitchers, Johnson has been sitting in favor of the right-handed Prado when the opposing starting pitcher is left-handed.

    http://tinyurl.com/64gnvm

    From my past experiences, whenever you have the trifecta of Bowman, Cox and a prominent player (in this case Chipper Jones) simultaneously praising a player like Prado and hinting at the possibility of a soon-to-be arbitration-eligible being traded, it usually means they are seriously considering it as a salary dump. They’re trying to set it up in fans minds that Prado can easily replace Kelly Johnson’s offense. It’s pure PR.

  26. “From my past experiences, whenever you have the trifecta of Bowman, Cox and a prominent player (in this case Chipper Jones) simultaneously praising a player like Prado and hinting at the possibility of a soon-to-be arbitration-eligible being traded, it usually means they are seriously considering it as a salary dump. They’re trying to set it up in fans minds that Prado can easily replace Kelly Johnson’s offense. It’s pure PR.”

    OR maybe they really believe Prado is actually good. Just a guess.

  27. “His share” is tiny. You have a second baseman providing above-average offense; this means that he’s not a problem in any real sense. The Braves’ offensive problems are overwhelmingly due to Francoeur and Diaz. We’re all familiar with Francoeur’s utter inadequacy by now, but don’t ignore that last year Diaz hit .338 .368 .497 in 384 PA; this year he hit .250 .270 .311 in 137, and then got hurt and at this rate I question whether he’ll play again. His prime replacement has been Blanco, who has gotten on base at a .369 clip, almost exactly what Diaz did, but has slugged only .326. The power loss in left field this season is actually greater than in right.

    Escobar has been significantly worse offensively than Renteria (especially in the power department, where Renteria slugged .470 and Escobar is currently at .374; how a nearly 100-point loss in slugging at short is less of a factor than a 30-point loss at second base is beyond me) though he’s been much better defensively.

    Braves backup catchers (mostly Saltalamacchia and the Hamster) hit quite well last year; there was little drop when McCann was out of the lineup. This year, Corky was worse than some of the pitchers.

    Last year, ten Braves hit double-digit homers. This year, there are three, one of whom is gone, and only two others (KJ and the Out Machine) on pace to hit double-digits by the time this season mercifully ends.

  28. A legitimate gripe with playing Prado would be that KJ, as maligned as he is for his defense, actually seems better at that than Prado. This is my main concern at a primarily defensive position. After all, we do call non-errors a ‘Prado’ around here.

    However, like Mac, I wouldn’t be against trading KJ if we got a good to great outfielder in return.

  29. @25, yeah glad to see some sense here. Bobby’s always saying these sorts of things about young Braves. I wouldn’t look too far into it.

    As for Kelly, does anyone know if there has ever been talk about moving him back to left? I highly doubt he could play right, but he has one of the best relay arms, and he played left before. I imagine there is a medical reason that they’re against it though, because I just don’t hear that come up.

    I know everyone is happy that Frenchy is sitting for a game, but c’mon Blanco’s arm in RF is a joke… I hope this game doesn’t come down to a SAC Fly to shallow right and a lollipop throw.

  30. Well, IF Kelly were to go… I sure hope for either a better glove or more power (preferably both) than Prado.

    Kelly hits above average for a 2b, but not for a LF. We really need some more power out of the OF than that (as I join the chorus).

  31. “Admirably, Francoeur has at least kept his head up and not allowed his struggles to become a clubhouse distraction.”

    Oh man, that’s comedy gold right there

  32. #33

    I’d rather have Ogilvie from the Bad News Bears in RF than Francouer right now.

  33. Today’s Olympic observation: It seems unlikely to me that eyebrows create enough drag in the water that you should shave them off, ladies.

  34. Wow. I can’t believe what is happening in this game. I really hope Hudson and Reynolds are going to be okay. As a Braves fan, I want to see the team win, but as a baseball fan I hate to see a team struggle like this and do a Keystone Cops impression while injuring two players.

  35. Have the teams switched jerseys? The Dbacks are getting hurt and throwing the ball around like little leaguers. The Braves are getting hits.

    BTW, anyone else having crummy audio (fading in and out–not a crack about Simpson)?

  36. 33, DOB said something in the AJC blog yesterday about Kelly. Kelly said he wants to remain at second and the Braves don’t want to move him.

    McCann being a one man wrecking crew. Should have saved that up for the Phillies to get revenge.

  37. McCann came into second on his double, Cruz’s throw was offline and Hudson’s arm collided with McCann’s six pack with the wrist at the fulcrum when he was trying to catch is. He then fell on it and somewhere in that it looked like he broke it. Then McCann went to steal third and collided with Reynolds and it looked like Reynolds rolled an ankle.

    BMac is taking out his Victorino anger on the DBags.

  38. It was really a B-Mac single that went off the 3B’s glove. He retrieved it in foul ground & made a bad throw to the plate that Cruz somehow ended up with.

    B-Mac lumbered onto second & Cruz’s throw really hung Hudson out to dry there. Very ugly.

    Then when McCann took off for third on the steal—where was the 3B?—the throw to third went through SS Reynolds (he really should’ve caught it, even though he was on the run to cover the bag). A very Bad News Bears inning for them.

  39. Hopefully Freeman and Flowers will come on well enough for us to have a decision to make regarding their and McCann’s position.

    Rohrbough promoted to High A yesterday too. Can see him being promoted aggressively like JoJo Reyes was last year.

    From what I’ve seen in this series the Dbacks shouldn’t be embarrassed. Outside of their top 3 pitchers, they just aren’t good enough.

  40. ladies and gentlemen,
    it looks like we finally have a productive outfield:
    kotsay, blanco,and infante combine to go 5/12 with 3 walks and 2 runs scored. is there any chance in hell that this will be a wake up call?

  41. Wow, a game without Gonzo, Boyer, or Ohman. Good thing it wasn’t a 6 run lead in the 9th inning.

    @55–Kimbrel might be another guy to watch–he has 12 K’s in 5.1 innings at Rome and had 27 in 19 innings in Danville–I was at his Rome debut and he retired 5 of 7 via strikeout. Small sample so far of course.

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