It’s just not that hard to find an outfielder game thread: May 20, Rockies at Braves

How bad are the Braves outfielders? They’re so bad, that they’re worse than any expansion team’s outfield. It’s not particularly close.

The 1961 Senators were an oddity, an expansion team taking on the identity of an established club. They had one good outfielder, 38-year-old Gene Woodling, Jim King, a journeyman who had a good year as a part-timer, and a couple of mediocrities who would be shining stars for the 2009 Atlanta Braves.

The 1961 Angels were one of the best expansion clubs, and had the best outfield, with three players who hit better than the league, Leon Wagner, Ken Hunt, and Albie Pearson, and two utility players who were also better than the league.

The 1962 Mets, of course, are the most famous bad team of all time, but they weren’t that bad on offense; they didn’t finish last in the league, at any rate. They had basically two good players, Richie Ashburn and the Other Frank Thomas, both outfielders, both of whom were far better than anyone the Braves have in the outfield. Their other outfielders weren’t very good, but they weren’t nearly as bad as the Braves’.

Their expansion brethren, the 1962 Colt 45’s, actually scored the fewest runs in the league; they played in an extreme pitcher’s park. The problem was their infield, as their outfield was pretty good, in the top half of the league, with Al Spangler and Roman Mejias in the corners above the league average, and Carl Warwick in center only a little below.

Part II tomorrow, unless I decide otherwise.

193 thoughts on “It’s just not that hard to find an outfielder game thread: May 20, Rockies at Braves”

  1. So if I am reading you right, Mac, what you are saying is, “Francoeur sucks.”

  2. I think he meant: trade Francoeur to KC now while his *biggest quotation marks ever* value *close biggest quotation marks ever* is at its highest it will ever be since day by day he sucks more than the suckiest sucks who ever sucked.

  3. That music video rocks! I love how the lead singer is wearing a purple shirt buttoned all the way with no collar! Oh yea, Frenchy sucks. Can I play out there?

  4. Peanut has the starting lineup:

    Omar Infante, 2B
    Yunel Escobar, SS
    Chipper Jones, 3B
    Martin Prado, 1B
    Matt Diaz, LF
    Jeff Francoeur, RF
    David Ross, C
    Jordan Schafer, CF
    Javier Vazquez, P

    What. The. Hell.

  5. Bang the Drum Slowly and The Southpaw by Mark Harris were pretty good before you guys were born. I think DeNiro played in the movie made from Bang the Drum Slowly.

  6. Try it like this:

    vs. LHP, 2009:

    1) .351 BA
    2) .391 OBP
    3) Chipper Jones
    4) 959 OPS
    5) .389 OBP
    6) 836 OPS
    7) 593 OPS
    8. Jordan Schafer
    9) P

    Looks better that way.

    Huh. An “8” followed by a “)” = 8)

  7. I haven’t read “The Southpaw,” but “Bang The Drum Slowly” is indeed a great book.

  8. Saw the DeNiro movie when I was a kid. Brutally sad, as I remember, kinda like a baseball “Brian’s Song,” but fictional.

  9. And how much more money did Frenchy think he was worth in last year’s arb hearings?

    Damn…I guess you try to get every dime you can…but then again…that’s outright delusional.

  10. Just saw Mac’s link to BTF. Damn, they’re even harsher on him than we are.

  11. The two three-hit guys from last night benched. Francoeur still in the lineup. Genius.

  12. Brilliant. The 2 LH hitters that hit lefties better than righties (Kotchman and KJ) sit versus a lefty. And the one who doesn’t have a prayer against lefties (Schafer) is in the line-up. Just brilliant. I can understand McCann getting the day off because he’s a catcher, but the rest of the replacements make no sense. Wake up, Bobby.

  13. Next arbitration hearing our offer should be this:

    $0.00 but the Braves will cover his tuition for one season as a walk-on football player at the university of his choice. If he can’t earn a scholarship for the next year, he’s off the books completely.

  14. The Daniel-Murphy-at-1B experiment begins tonight in LA for the Mets.

    WFAN host: “In your mind, do you think Daniel Murphy can play first base?”

    Jerry Manuel: “I don’t know.”

  15. De La Rosa vs. LHB: 13.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 HR, 20 K
    De La Rosa vs. RHB: 29.0 IP, 28 H, 14 BB, 2 HR, 25 K

  16. The best part of that video is around the 1:30 mark when the director synced the paint splatter on the screen with the snare drum. Cool trick. That song always reminds me of the Last American Virgin. Which doesn’t make much sense, considering they have nothing to do with each other except they were both released in the 80s and they were both, well, bad.

  17. Is it just me or does anyone else find it weird that people compare Chipper Jones and Todd Helton’s statistics? Jones is clearly the superior player, whether you want to talk offense or defense. I mean, can you imagine the numbers Chipper would’ve up playing Colorado in the late 90s? Would’ve been insane.

    Then you throw in the additional defensive value Chipper gives you… it’s just not even close. Chipper’s an early-ballot guy right now. If he tacks on a couple more years, he’s arguably first ballot. Helton shouldn’t even be on the ballot more than a year or two.

  18. That video may be the sole reason I was crying when I came into the world in June, 1986.

    Vazquez looking unbelievably sharp through the first. When’s he gonna blow up?

  19. I think tonight’s going to be a low-scoring affair. De La Rosa’s stuff looks fantastic, and he doesn’t appear to have problems throwing strikes most of the time.

  20. According to B-R, in a “2000 Rockies” context, Chipper’s career line would be .352 /.454/.620 with 2815 career hits and 500 homers, and last year he would have hit .422. In his MVP year, he would have hit .356 with 54 homers and 49 doubles.

  21. Huh? Prado came up with two out and lined out to left, according to Gameday. Yunel had the GIDP before Chipper came up.

  22. Oh, I see. Well, ignore that. I won’t be in front of a TV until the late innings, and this connection isn’t strong enough for anything too intensive.

  23. Assuming both emerge unscathed by any PED evidence, I think Chipper (OPS+145) is in Cooperstown first ballot, but Helton (OPS+141) is certainly in the conversation.

    It’s not like Helton’s career road numbers (294/394/492) are, y’know, bad. It’s just that his home numbers (362/460/651) are ridiculous. If you’re gonna be a Hall of Famer in a generous park, IMO, you better put up pinball numbers.

    BTW, Chipper’s career H-R splits:
    H: 319/418/569
    R: 302/399/526

  24. Helton’s power, though, is mostly a Coors Field thing. Take it away from him, and he’s not much different than Mark Grace or Wally Joyner — or Casey Kotchman. He’s better, but it’s a matter of degree, not kind.

  25. that was 3 bullshit strikes….seriously, gameday had all 3 of those outside the zone, each a little more than the previous.

  26. Have you ever looked at Barry Bonds stats in a 2000 Rockies context? Unreal. 1046 career homers, 100 in 2003. .458 BA in 2002.

  27. Eh, I can’t fault the guy for getting a sac fly in a tie game. But he still sucks.

  28. I’m with Schafer, those looked outside. But that was the same pitch he called a strike last pitch, so you’ve almost got to swing.

    Also, my compliment to Frenchy was supposed to be one of those, “damning him with faint praise” things. Best thing he’s done in a week was a sac fly. (First pitch, no less.)

  29. Tulowitski isn’t having a great year, but he’s still one of their better players. Why has he been benched for a guy hitting .133?

  30. Javy’s getting some inconsistent defense behind him while De La Rosa is getting DPs.

  31. We cannot let this guy off the hook here.

    Bases loaded, none out and the pitcher has us right where he wants us.

  32. BTW, I asked at Bill James Online if there really were more bases-loaded walks. Appears so, according to DiamondDog, though some of it is probably a fluke:

    RE: The question about bases loaded walks. I did a quick study looking at 1980 through 2009 looking at two things: one, plate appearances with the bases loaded as a percentage of all PAs; and two, percentage of bases loaded situations that resulted in a walk. 2009, though early, does have (by a fair margin) the highest percentage of both bases loaded plate appearances and highest percentage of bases loaded PAs that have resulted in a walk. From 1980-1989, the % of PAs with the bases loaded were 2.17% (with 6.18% of those resulting in a walk). From 1990-1999, bases loaded were 2.44% (6.62% resulting in walk). From 2000-2008, 2.60% bases loaded (6.58% resulting in a walk). Currently, in 2009, bases loaded are 2.91% of all PAs, with 8.43% ending in a walk. Previous season highs for bases loaded PAs was last year, 2.71%, and previous high of bases loaded walks was 7.77% in 2000. Generally, the trend has been moving up in terms of % of all PAs that are with the bases loaded, which isn’t surprising given then shift towards offense and increased appreciation of OBP in the last 30 seasons. The % of bases loaded PAs that turn into walks appears truly random from year to year. 2009 appears to be the year where the upward trend is meeting an instance of exceptional bad luck (and smaller sample size).

  33. The crowd is a bit bigger tonight and is, for lack of a better word, festive.

  34. brutal MLB.TV lag tonight, their own in game box score shows 7-1 but the game score is still 4-1.

  35. Ok, so who had Yunel Escobar as the leading home run hitter for the Braves this year? (He’s tied with Chipper now)

  36. and I was wondering about scoring, seriously, glad Yunel is still on this team

    has anyone else noticed that he’s had 3 ab’s and used 3 different bats?

  37. btw, for those not able to see the game we should be very happy Frenchy didnt break for home on the vasquez bunt. It went about two feet up 3B line max

  38. This has got to be one of the biggest innings of the year, if not the biggest.

  39. So, Matt Diaz is our best offensive outfielder, yet he’s on the bench most of the time. Makes lots of sense.

  40. Yunel….good power to the opposite field. What a hitter.

    It’s sad they can’t find a spot for Prado and Infante. They are really good hitters.

  41. yes, but he doesnt have francoeur’s power or ganderson’s professional bat. how can you not know that, braves14?

  42. @108 anyone who judges a player solely on OPS lacks imagination.

  43. Here’s an interesting question… has anyone managed to make all three outs in one inning (while batting, and not including double or triple plays)?

  44. You beat me to it, Ethan. Frenchy’s hit was an example of Pythagoras giving us some excuses while writing our end of the year postmortems.

  45. Check this out:

    Schafer struck out swinging.
    Ross singled to right, Diaz scored, Francoeur to third.
    Francoeur singled to right, Prado scored, Diaz to third.
    Diaz singled to center, Jones scored, Prado to third.
    Prado singled to left center, Jones to second.
    Jones walked.
    Matt Belisle relieved Jorge De La Rosa.
    Escobar homered to right, Ross and Infante scored.
    Infante reached on an infield single, Francoeur scored, Ross to third.
    Vazquez sacrificed to catcher, Ross to second.
    Schafer hit sacrifice fly to right, Diaz scored, Francoeur to third.
    Ross walked, Prado scored, Diaz to third, Francoeur to second.
    Francoeur hit by pitch, Prado to third, Diaz to second.
    Diaz walked, Prado to second.
    Prado walked.

  46. Yeah. I imagine you’d have to be the first or second batter of the inning, and then bat around twice to come back to you for the third out

  47. A team would have to score at least 13 runs for that to happen. Not a lot of 13 run innings.

    I remember there was a time I thought Belisle would be good.

  48. You’d need 19 batters in the inning, and hence you’d need to score at least 13 runs.

  49. I see. Teams have certainly scored 13+ runs in an inning before… i’ll have to look into it :p

  50. So Harrison’s also pitching tonight, and he’s only allowed one run thus far. But it’s not because he’s pitching well. He’s gotten quite lucky to get out of a couple of jams, including getting a triple ply on a hard-hit line drive. So yeah. Still not sold on him being a major loss.

  51. Right now, would anyone trade Escobar for Peavy straight up?

    (disregarding our pitching depth, but not the monetary cost of the players over the next 4+ years)

  52. Guess 139 should’ve said “when last I checked” instead of “thus far”. Harrison’s final line:

    5.0IP 9H 5ER 2K 3BB 3HR

    So yeah. Now just imagine that line sans triple play. No big loss, I tell you!

  53. #140, I said it, and I’m sure a lot of others did too, but Towers best time to trade Peavy was last winter.

    This year his contract is below market value, or at least expected to be, but from then on it’s not a great deal. I suspect Kevin Smith may be offering membership of his club to him.

  54. how many pitches was Vasquez at? Im not complaining, but when you have so few off days now its a good idea to stay out of the pen as much as possible. Outside of that, Vasquez was great tonight

  55. check this out

    Braves outfield = 7 HR’s (diaz, ache, french, schaf)

    Raul Ibanez = 14

  56. So that’s one HBP and two “reached on error” for Frenchy in the last two games? That’ll do wonders for the ‘ole OBA! :-D

  57. RoE’s don’t count in OBA. (And Frenchy had an HBP yesterday, too- and those do count.)

  58. I don’t think that was intentional… but Bennett better plunk someone. And while Prado will probably move to third and Kotchman come in, I think this would be a good time to get Norton some work in the field.

  59. Looks like that football mentality finally payed off for Frenchy. Stewart heard the footsteps.

  60. #4 I laughed my tail off. Great line.

    Francouer had an RP tonight. OOPs I did take the pledge. Oh well.

    Got home late. We are kicking their asses. Love it.

  61. Bennett looked really good that inning. Why can’t he do that the rest of the time?

  62. To be clear, the problem is not that the Rockies are trying to hit the Braves’ hitters. It’s that they’re not trying hard enough to not hit the Braves’ hitters. That’s how most HBPs happen, and since MLB has made it about intent instead of adopting strict liability, street justice is all there is.

  63. I was really hoping that this would work, because we could use another reliever and I know we’re not going to get much use from Benlyle. But I would guess that Jo-Jo will get on the interstate after the game.

  64. SHIT!

    If you’re online, Sciambi just announced that Infante has a fractured hand. And we’re still letting them get away with this.

  65. Mac, I don’t think the Rockies hit anyone on purpose. Hitting people on purpose for accidents is dumb.

    Didn’t Infante have a broken hand before? Before the 2008 season?

  66. I wonder who will come up to replace him. With Prado already on the roster, will the Braves replace him with B. Jones or call up Diory?

    By the way, I broke that exact bone (the 5th metacarpil bone) that Infante broke in my right hand. It took about 6 weeks after surgery to re-place the bone for it to heal. (Of course, I don’t know if Infante’s break is more or less severe than mine was.)

  67. I said that they aren’t hitting people on purpose. Twice. But they’re not being nearly careful enough about not hitting people.

    They have to bring up Diory Hernandez, because there’s nobody on the roster who can backup shortstop.

  68. I guess that the question is if you’d rather see ACHE play center or Prado play short. Neither is really a very attractive concept.

  69. Now, Jo-Jo, who was surprisingly hitting for himself, just pulled a hamstring or something.

    I guess that makes that choice easy.

  70. I think it would be Francoeur in CF as the backup, not ACHE. Not that that is attractive.

  71. Jo-Jo batting? I guess they were going to give him the maximum appearance tonight … and now the injury will net him some cash.

    What happened by the way?

  72. I think the Braves missed their last chance of getting anything halfway decent for Francoeur and Jo-Jo Reyes this past offseason. Their last little drops of trade value are circling the drain before our eyes.

  73. so, it sounds like there will be multiple moves tomorrow? reyes going down and infante on the dl. diory and medlen?

  74. Peanut: “Infante broke the fifth metacarpal on his left hand. The Braves say that he’ll be further evaluated by a hand specialist tomorrow. I’m not a doctor, but I can only gather that he’s going to be out for a significant period. This obviously alters those thoughts about trading Johnson.”

    “Jo-Jo just turned his ankle going to first base and may have made it easy to determine what move the Braves will make to get Medlen on the roster tomorrow.”

  75. This obviously alters those thoughts about trading Johnson.

    Were there any Johnson trade rumors? I mean in-season.

  76. Barton* is an outfielder so I don’t think he’ll be up. Infante has played in the outfield twice all season so I don’t think they’ll need to bring up an outfielder. It’ll probably be Diory Hernandez or Brooks Conrad since they fit the utility role.

  77. The Mississippi pen just blew another win for Scott Diamond.

    Also, Zeke Spruill got the first loss of his professional career today.

  78. Oh, sorry. I get Brian Barden (still with the Cardinals) and Barton mixed up.

  79. By the way, “infante” means “prince” in Spanish. El hijo del Rey.

    Pienso que todas los miembros en este blog les gustaría saber.

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