94 thoughts on “Sedation sounds good right about now game thread: April 19, “Braves” at Pirates”

  1. prediction of today’s lineup

    1. KJ 2B
    2. Infante SS
    3. Diaz LF
    4. McCann C
    5. Norton 1B
    6. Francoeur RF
    7. Prado 3B
    8. Schafer CF

    There’s no way McCann sits out today. and Norton is going to play because well, he’s a righty.

  2. DOB seems to come to Schafer’s defense after a comment Jo Jo made after the game to AJC. Reyes called Sanchez’s triple in the sixth a “misplayed ball,” to which DOB writes: “While Schafer misplayed caroms off the outfield wall, he was not at fault on that triple.”

    I’d say that’s accurate.

  3. 1) Jo Jo Tickle has no business criticizing anyone on the team. His performance wasn’t that good, and his career isn’t impressive enough to be calling anyone out. Bobby doesn’t like that, just ask Gryboski.

    2) I haven’t been reading much of the commentary on the web about Schafer’s play, but I think his outfield play has been bad. I just went to go look him up on Bill James Online, but the site appears to be having trouble, and I’m not even sure if they’re reporting 2009 numbers yet. The balls at the wall have been ugly. Good center fielders play shallow, but I think Jordan needs to back up. While there was a funny spin on the triple, I thought he approached the ball recklessly and is partially responsible for not getting at least knocking it down. It looks like he needs more practice. He needs to go to the minors; not because of how he’s playing now, but because of how he played in double-A last year.

  4. chipper says he will be back in the lineup today. escobar seems to think he will be able to play as well. let’s hope the lineup looks a little more normal today. i wouldnt doubt that schafer sits today and infante plays centerfield. zach duke is pitching and schafer needs a break anyway. my lineup prediction:

    kj
    escobar
    chipper
    mccann
    francoeur
    diaz
    norton
    infante

    regarding schafer: unless we can get some quality in centerfield, schafer will have to learn on the fly.

  5. JC, I was surprised Wren decided to keep Schafer in the major league team. For couple of games, Wren looked to be right, but now all the shortcomings of Schafer is showing up. I hope the Braves are not ruining another talent.

    ryan c, Wren could have kept Anderson and send Schafer to Gwinnett.

    I never like JoJo. His attitude has never been great.

  6. guys who else do we throw out there in CF? Blanco showed he has no arm and has absolutely no power. He’s got a sub .300 OBP in AAA right now and slugging .273. Brandon Jones cant handle CF either. Schafer, after his ST performance, was really the only option

  7. also, Jo Jo can be shown the door if he thinks that he can throw the blame on others. There’s a big reason why he hasnt won in his last 15 or so starts in MLB

  8. And here they are, your 2009 Atlanta Braves…

    Infante ss
    Prado 2b
    Chipper! 3b
    Ganderson “lf”
    Francoeur rf
    Kotchman 1b
    Ross c
    Schafer cf
    Vazquez p

    This is an inspiring lineup, in that it inspires me to think we’re gonna get swept but at least avoid three straight shutouts.

  9. Pause should be taken with the ascension of a prospect for sure, and I don’t believe they should be rushed to the big leagues as many have over the years. However, at some point almost all prospects are going to struggle with the elevated play until they adjust their game accordingly. Unless they appear clearly over matched, you need to leave them out there and let them take some lumps, or else you’ll just have to cross this path again later.

    Shafer hasn’t looked good for the last week or so, but neither has the rest of the team for that matter. I know for sure Gregor Blanco wouldn’t be much of an upgrade, so why not let JS play through these rough patches and see how he adjusts. This adjustment period may very well let us see his real viability as a major leaguer more than continuing in the minor leagues.

    Also, I think the Braves have handled him well to this point. He’s batting 8th and has probably been told he can help the team by getting on base, playing defense and hustling, and no one is expecting him o hit .300 and 30 HR’s. Is he struggling? Sure. Is that to be expected? Absolutely.

  10. Why is it “throwing Schafer under the bus” when he simply acknowledged that things changed when an outfielder made a bad play? Singles should never turn into triples, and Schafer made a bad play. It’s not like he’s throwing him under the bus to say he made a bad play. Everybody knows he made a bad play, and he’s just saying that it changed the inning. I don’t think Reyes is being a bad teammate.

  11. It was just my impression. I don’t think there was any bad intention on Reyes’ part. If I was Schafer and I read that I would feel like I was getting dumped on a little. Nobody wants to be the catalyst of a blow up inning.

  12. well Reyes shouldve settled down and got the job done. Schafer made a bad play but he didnt give up a single, double, HR, and two walks after that play either

  13. Wait…is McCann not having blurred vision? Was the joke about his forthcoming trip to the DL a joke I missed? Same with Ross?

  14. I think that the Ross thing was a joke, but McCann is having vision problems. He may have to go on the DL; he is afraid that his Lasix surgery has reversed and he’ll have to do it again.

    Hey, a baserunning Prado!

  15. “Coaching visit to mound.” Should have brought Duke’s suitcase- giving up three runs to this lineup isn’t a sign of major league ability.

  16. how bout ole Jeff.

    Joe just said Mac woke up today and the eye is alot worse. They’ll re-evaluate it tomorrow. The doctor told him the ointment (sp?) he’s using can make it a little worse for a couple of days

  17. I, for one, welcome Our New Insect Overlords’ alliteration. And I also wonder what Bobby was drinking.

  18. Schafer’s overplay made that look far more difficult than it should have been.

  19. I love how fickle this board is… very entertaining. Remember a week ago when it was “Schaferific” and Kotchman “sucked”?

    At least you’re not actually giving Garret or O’Flaherty a chance to succeed… that would just shock me too much.

  20. Phenomenal 3-2 pitch by Vazquez, who deserves a better fate today after his last two starts.

    @37: I would argue that Kotch doesn’t look any better than he did a week ago, just that he doesn’t appear so bad because most of the guys around him have been faring worse than they did the first week. Schafer was worthy of the enthusiasm the first two days and is worthy of a more skeptical eye now — which is not unlike almost any regularly-playing rookie in MLB annals. That’s how it goes.

  21. It’s just a matter of learning to adjust, and Schafer seems to be doing a fine job today. With only Blanco to fall back upon, we have nothing to lose by letting Schafer learn in Atlanta.

  22. Saw Diaz in the on deck circle there.

    I think Anderson’s still hurt, honestly. The way he played the ball in the corner a few games ago (the day of two errors) and the angle he took on the double by Sanchez a few innings ago (Schafer ended up getting there first.) Garret was barely in the picture

  23. I’m pretty sure Ganderson has a pulled suck muscle, and there’s no treatment for that other than a large dose of unconditional release.

  24. Yeah, if he’s hurt at all, I don’t know why they don’t just DL him. Diaz is playing better right now, you can get another look at Brandon Jones in the meantime, or bring up Blanco and for a few weeks have a real defensive replacement for the OF.

  25. @38: Since I’ve had the luxury of not watching too many live games I’m probably still a little light on him since he has shown some flashes of productivity with the bat (limited as they may be.) My guess is I’d be just as pissed if I had to watch him play the outfield as much as you have… Even now I was disappointed to see him in there instead of Diaz today. However, I was just using him as an example of someone I’d never expect to get a fair shake on this board.

    @39: I actually have a beard.

    @40: I guess my point is that maybe we should’ve tempered some of the praise, and perhaps shouldn’t be so quick to jump ship and start wishing we had Josh Anderson back (even if he is OPSing .900 in limited appearances.)

  26. Maybe I’m the only one here, but I really would like to see Diaz have a fair shot to be the everyday left fielder. Couldn’t fare worse than the half-season we’re threatening to throw Anderson out there.

  27. Gameday says its an injured leg, and count me among the group that sees no point in keeping a semi-injured Garret off the DL.

  28. @56: I just said I find it quite entertaining. Irrational, but entertaining. Sports fandom isn’t really supposed to be rational… I just tend to irrational support of my team rather than irrational self-pity, but I find both to be entertaining and understandable.

  29. If you have any control over where Chief goes or what he does, why don’t you just keep him away from here?

  30. @52:

    I think one of the collective objections to G. Anderson is that we’ve seen this before — washed-up veteran with good career numbers that nobody else wants getting one last shot with the Braves. We know how the play ends. (Julio Franco is the exception.) G. Anderson isn’t castigated so much for his own merits as for the club’s repetition of a failed pattern — of which Raul Mondesi is the patron saint. But as for the player himself, G. Anderson’s defense is poor, and Bobby’s “gliding” excuse for him is worse.

    And as for J. Anderson … I don’t wish we had him back. Schafer’s defensive overplays are frustrating, but he was our best option coming out of spring, and I still believe that. Lots of stars have learned on the job. In the meantime, I’ll accept the occasional facepalm over a misjudged fly ball or a reckless swing. That’s why he’s batting eighth right now; he’s not ready to lead off, and fortunately, the team isn’t asking him to.

    As an occasional poster — my job and schedule don’t allow me here as regularly as I would like to be — my expectations for this team were unchanged after one week and are unchanged after two … be at .500 or maybe a scosh above on July 31, and then see what happens from there. There are enough players with upside here to where I could see the team jelling late and making an ’07 Rockies-type run, but any chance of that requires being close enough after four months to do it — which I think it will be. All I ask is to be competitive and have a shot at the end. From there, it’s just a crapshoot anyway.

  31. Still got some movement on his pitches, though … might get out of this yet.

  32. And he does! Even this bullpen should be able to protect a six-run lead for three innings. Right?

  33. @64: If not, Vazquez might ask for a trade tomorrow — and I wouldn’t blame him.

    Cripes, I think Joe Simpson actually just called him “Javy Lopez.”

  34. @60: Now that sounds like rational thinking… what are you doing here? You’re sure to be found out, and sent in for Re-education. Quick question, the merits of the trade itself aside, what was your opinion of Kotsay’s performance for us last year? I see Garret as this year’s Kotsay. He’ll probably put up a 100-110 OPS+ when its all through, which is probably all anyone with the Braves expected when they signed him. He serves as a veteran presence who you can bat 4th when you need to and have it not look like a joke… and he’s doing it on the cheap. I wasn’t a huge fan of either move, though Garret at least came cheaper in opportunity costs than Kotsay did, but its hard to fault the logic of bringing another player into the clubhouse that has been around.

    Also, just look at Garret’s splits from last year if you want evidence that he can turn it around. His March-April stats were awful, and just about in line with what he’s done so far this year. In May he OPSed .874 (sucked again in June) and then OPSed at a 1.042 clip in July! He’s not going to be an MVP candidate, but he’s likely to give us a couple runs of exceptional production, and that could be just what we need. I highly doubt Gregor Blanco or Brandon Jones will come close to that this year.

  35. Damn, I’m still trying to figure out why we signed this David Ross… as if McCann wouldn’t play in every game.

    I mean didn’t we know we had Sammons and… and… that other guy…

    How many times do teams trade 10-0 shutouts on back-to-back days? Not that I’m counting our eggs here, just wondering.

  36. @71: If he OPSes over a 1.000 in July again, I imagine we’ll see a little back tracking on Garret too.

  37. @66:

    When healthy, I was pleased with Kotsay. The first two words of that sentence were the problem. We picked up a guy who had a litany of injuries the previous two seasons, and lo and behold, he got hurt. I think if we’re looking for veteran leadership, we have plenty of it in the form of Chipper, Lowe, even B-Mac has been around enough to point the way. Plus, the teams that have materialized as contenders have more often been the ones willing to put their faith in properly placed youth — not an overreliance, but a fair amount … which is what we’d have with a couple of rookies in the outfield and Hanson in the rotation.

    Since I always hope for the best for the Braves — even when it means being wrong — I hope you’re right about G. Anderson. The fact that he lingered on the market isn’t a strike against him considering how many others sat out there unsigned for economic considerations. All that being said, I am among the chorus who wanted Adam Dunn instead … as I wrote in a scorecard when I was at the Ted last weekend: “We didn’t want Dunn — why??” Career .902 OPS and his propensity for walks (and, at the very least, driving up a pitch count) makes up for his shaky fielding in my book. But that’s just how I see it. I’m pulling for G. Anderson, but I see a guy who’s going to be 37 by the end of June, numbers on a slow, but palpable decline (one OPS of over .800 in the last five seasons after four in the previous five) and wonder if it’s worth having him out there.

  38. Gameday had the first pitch to LaRoche as a 37 MPH strike with a 42″ break that went over the batter’s head. That didn’t actually happen, right?

  39. Did Moylan really start off a LaRoche with a 37 mph Eephus pitch, or was that just one of Gameday’s many flaws?

    If he did that’s hilarious.

  40. Wish he had. A sidearmer throwing the Eephus would have been a sight for the ages.

  41. @73: Damn ONIO, what did I tell you about sounding rational!

    I doubt the Braves expected to get too many more games out of Kotsay than they did last year, and ultimately without him to run out there we would’ve been even worse off. I think both of those moves were more about perceptions than production. It just feels better when you’re in a lineup with a 2000 career hit guy, rather than the third best Jones to bat for the Braves this decade.

    I expect Hanson to be up soon, but I think its smart from every possible angle to keep him down at least until mid-June.

    Hard to argue against Dunn in a vacuum, he’s definitely a productive hitter. I just think we had more pressing needs, and feel it was wise not to commit more than 20 million for another left-handed bat. Obviously, monetary considerations aside, he’s the better choice, but if Garret can carry the team for a week or two at some point, and not embarrass us in the meantime, we’ll make out alright.

    @77: Absolutely… and it would’ve certainly made Dave LaRoche proud.

  42. Hello. It’s nice to tune in and see an 11 run lead.

    It’s amazing how bad our record has been without Chipper, but our record with him the last 3 years has been nothing to brag about.

  43. Parr just couldn’t let us have our shutout, could he?

    Edit: At least he got the Atlanta Save. On to Washington. The way they’ve been blowing leads against the Marlins, they can’t be that good, can they?

  44. I’ve worked in pro sports, so I have slightly more tolerance of day-to-day human frailty in sport than most. But I get as rankled as anyone. Some of my friends still talk about a meltdown I had over Jorge Sosa three years ago. Objects were thrown, doors were slammed, and there’s still a cloud of profanity hanging over my desk.

    Perhaps I have too much faith in youth. But I’m guided by living in Denver in 2007, bearing first-hand witness to the Rockies’ resurrection that year and knowing people close to the team. We all agreed that the most important moves to bring that team together all involved throwing caution to the winds and going with youth. John Mabry and Steve Finley were useless, so their at-bats went to Ryan Spilborghs, Jeff Baker and Seth Smith. The rotation was a mess, so they put two late-season slots in the hands of unproven Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales. And they’d been playing Tulowitzki since the season’s outset. (What has happened since is a consequence of pitching injuries and letting Kaz Matsui walk after ’07.) These weren’t the biggest moves in terms of numbers, but they provided a spark of energy that seemed to shoot through the entire clubhouse. So I’m not afraid to sprinkle the everyday lineup with youth, as long as it’s the right kind. I think Schafer definitely qualifies, and so will Hanson, and maybe B. Jones if the need arises.

    Still would rather have Dunn. But I’ll be hoping G. Anderson comes around. It would be nice to get that one wrong.

  45. @86:

    Back problem causing leg pain, and he said last month when he was released he’ll probably need surgery.

  46. On to Washington. The way they’ve been blowing leads against the Marlins, they can’t be that good, can they?

    And the Nationals just blew another bottom of the ninth lead against the Marlins.

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