Giants 8, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants – Box Score – May 25, 2009 – ESPN

Blah. Vazquez had one of those games where he looks really good the first few innings, then falls apart. He allowed only two singles (one, a remarkable Prado where a high popup fell on the pitchers’ mound for a “hit”) through four, then couldn’t get out of the sixth. In the fifth, the Giants got three runs. The Braves came back with two in the top of the sixth, and had the bases loaded with one out. But Hernandez grounded out, Diaz forced at home, and Schafer struck out, one of the four times he would today. And the Giants got the lead back to three with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Still, the game was uncomfortably close, and Bobby didn’t want to risk anyone having a heart attack from the tension or anything, so he brought in Buddy Carlyle to start the seventh. Lord, is he awful. Carlyle gave up a one-out double. He got the second out, and then Bobby had him intentionally walk a lefthanded hitter to pitch to another lefthanded hitter. Sure enough, the second hitter hit a three-run homer to put the game out of reach.

Really, everybody on this team except McCann (3-3 with a walk) should be ashamed of himself. But mostly Carlyle, Francoeur, and Schafer. None of them should be in the major leagues.

182 thoughts on “Giants 8, Braves 2”

  1. You have to check out the getups the Royals were wearing today. What with the red hats and the colored jerseys, a lot of people look like softball teams, but the Royals actually looked worse than a softball team. No self-respecting softball league would allow anyone to wear those outfits.

  2. I wonder how much longer the Braves will put up with Schafer. He’s down to .205. The only question is who will play CF?

    I’d like to point out that McCann has walked more than he has struck out this year.

  3. I wonder how much longer the Braves will put up with Schafer. He’s down to .205.

    But still sporting an OBP like thirty or forty points higher than his fellow outfielders.

  4. Demote Schafer, demote Francoeur (unless you can find someone to take his contract), welease Gawwet. Starting outfield is Diaz, Blanco, Jones, with Barton or somebody as the backup.

  5. But still sporting an OBP like thirty or forty points higher than his fellow outfielders.

    I think you’re only saying this as more of an indictment of our corner OFs than as a defense of Schafer, but there’s no way you can make up for a .205 BA as an everyday player.

  6. It’s possible, but it’s really hard. Since 1969, only four qualifying players have hit .210 or below and had an offensive winning percentage above .500. The names aren’t too surprising:

    OWP YEAR OWP AVG
    1 Rob Deer 1990 .542 .209
    2 Jimmy Wynn 1976 .527 .207
    3 Mark McGwire 1991 .504 .201
    4 Darrell Evans 1988 .503 .208

    Nobody else is even really close to .500.

  7. Schafer’s 6th inning K meant we couldn’t clear the pitcher’s slot, and Bobby chose to send Vazquez back out for the bottom of the inning. After a 5th inning in which he threw well over 30 pitches and barely skirted a meltdown, then sitting for a long time during our at bat, I was surprised to see him back out there.

    I’m not a “fire Bobby” drone, so I won’t bore anyone with that, but I thought that was a bad decision.

  8. I wish that the Braves had not openly said that Schafer had a chance to win the CF job during Spring Training. I think this is when they painted themselves into a corner, because there was no way they couldn’t give him the job after the way Schafer played.

    There should have been competition for the job, but only between Janderson and Blanco. The Braves should have said that Schafer would start in AAA regardless of what happened instead of saying that he had a chance to win the job with a hot spring.

  9. welease Gawwet

    I’m not a fan of Anderson either, but I don’t think it would be a good decision to release him now after he’s batted .349 since May 10. I know he has no secondary skills at all, but that’s still a .349 BA.

  10. Rotoworld on Buddy Carlyle today:

    This makes five straight appearances in which he’s allowed a run, and he’s now given up 21 runs — 19 earned — in 19 1/3 innings for the season. The Braves need to move on.

  11. I’m fine with an Anderson/Diaz platoon in LF for the time being. Diaz is not an every day OF. Schafer and Francoeur should be replaced by Blanco and Jones respectively. If you really hate Blanco, go find a CFer in the Mexican or International League. Schafer needs to be sent down before he is damaged beyond repair, al a Joey Devine.

  12. …until he is damaged beyond repair, al a Joey Devine.

    Did you see the season Devine put up in 2008?

  13. The Red Sox are making rumblings about benching Ortiz after his horrible start and he’s a multiple time all star yet you hear nothing from the Braves about Schafer and Francoeur continuing to be black holes in the line up.

    I think the next two weeks are key, either they heat up or they have to be sent down. Anything else and the message will be sent that we aren’t that worried about competing this year.

  14. Schafer isn’t cutting it. We can carry him at .240 but not at .205. Now the Braves are going to have to do SOMETHING about the outfield. Diaz should be allowed to play himself off the field. Brandon Jones should be given a look. Then that leaves only a CF that simply doesn’t totally suck to acquire. Easy right?

  15. While not thrilled with Schafer and Francoeur, Geogor Blanco and Brandon Jones really don’t excite me either. The Braves need a run producer in RF, preferably right-handed, who can hit 4th or 5th. If they had someone like this, you could probably live with the LF platoon of Anderson/Jones and Diaz, and Scahfer in CF. Today’s game illustrated this clearly. Jeffy swung through 2 89 mph fastballs and a hanging slider in 2 critical AB’s, and even when he’s “hot” he’s just a slow singles hitter.

    Hanan to Frank Wren: GET A NEW RIGHT FIELDER

  16. can lance berkman still play outfield? not that i think we could have a package good enough to deal for him (w/o hanson or someone untouchable included), but he would be a great pickup. a lot of his salary would have to be eaten by the astros. i have recently read they are looking for starting pitching. they were discussing him on the ajc blog, so i do feel rather stupid posting it, but just a curious thought.

  17. I don’t think that if the Astros are looking for starting pitching they’re looking to give up on the season by tearing the heart out of their offense.

  18. At this point I don’t really care who they get to replace Schafer and Francoeur as long they’re gone and now.

  19. I can’t believe Francouer batted fifth. He does not deserve to wear a major league uniform.

  20. We have to be realistic. The team is NOT going to get the kind of power bat we hope to get right now. The Cards will not trade Ludwick and the Astros will not trade Berkman. We are not the Yankees. Just because we need a bat doesn’t mean the other teams have to give us their good ones. Remember how much we had to give up to get Tex?

  21. You know, when all Atlanta writers are starting to write about the leaving of Frenchy, I think we are going to see that happening very soon.

    And yes, we need to send Schafer down and call up Blanco.

  22. Francoeur’s gotta go, and Blanco needs to be playing CF over Schafer. I think Schafer will be really good, but he just sucks right now.

  23. If Francoeur were like Khalil Greene and subjected himself to physical punishment due to his failures, then I might have some respect for him. Maybe.

  24. Calling up Blanco won’t really accomplish anything. Blanco’s been awful just about everywhere but the WBC.

  25. you guys think Blanco is better? seriously? look at his line in AAA vs those pitchers. Yes I believe Schafer needs to go down, probably needs to be on the DL with his wrist problem, but at least replace him with someone better first. Brandon Jones or Diaz fine, but not Blanco

    .220/.321/.277 only 6 x base hits in 149 ab’s, lets also mention that he’s no where close defensively to Schafer

  26. guys, we are not saying calling up blanco will solve things. We all know what blanco can’t do. But we need send Schafer down, that’s really the point. The person playing center can be blanco or barton or whoever.

    Btw, Brandon and Diaz can’t play centerfield.

    And no, Gorkys is NOT the answer. You check out his K-rate. I am sure he will end up having the same trouble Schafer is experiencing right now. I hate calling up one kid to replace another. The last time we called up an outfielder directly from AA, the result is painful. So, please stop suggesting that.

  27. As I posted on the last thread, Gorkys is a better option than Schafer right now. His .331/.385/.410 line at AA is not great (and his 42ks are awful) but he could certainly do better in the bigs than Schafer’s .205/.329/.308. And Gorkys is a far better fielder.

  28. The problem is that they’re not center fielders. Blanco is. If Schafer sits down, your options are Blanco, Barton, and Gorkys, and nobody wants to rush Gorkys. Blanco might play better on the major league level. Might not.

    Another problem is the incredible lack of power that the Braves have in the outfield throughout the organization. Cody Johnson has sixteen homers, and Heyward has nine, and Francoeur is all alone in third place with three.

  29. KC, that makes no sense unless we are giving up. Why replace a problem with a bigger one?

  30. I should note that I am not advocating calling up Gorkys, just pointing out that if the only goal were to win games right now, he is a much better option than Schafer.

  31. no way the braves rush Schafer, they should find out what Mike Cameron’s trade price is right now. Im sure they have

  32. I think that if current trends continue, the Braves will try Gorkys. I just don’t think that it’s a good idea. His strikeout rate in AA isn’t a whole lot better than Schafer’s was last year. His walk and home run rates are much worse. I think you’d be risking compounding the mistake by making that move.

  33. Mac, thanks for clarifying my point. The reason I want to call up Blanco/Barton is to protect Gorkys. If the Brvaes can get Cameron, all the better. To bad Infante is hurt…and why we traded Janderson away? I still don’t understand why we have to start the season with Schafer.

  34. We traded Anderson because when Schafer won the job — and he did win the job, fair and square, I just don’t think spring training is the time to earn jobs — there was no roster spot for Anderson.

  35. riddle me this….why did bobby move schafer to the leadoff spot for one game and move him back to the 8 hole? i still would like to see schafer at the leadoff for 3-4 games to see if it’s a mental thing.

    in that one game, he actually had 2 hits. i just hate bobby’s mind games he plays on his young players.

  36. Mac, I guess that’s my ultimate point, they should not have allowed Schafer to win the job.

    ryan c, I never quite understand that either…this year Bobby has done some very un-like Bobby things. Maybe he is finally sensing the end of his career…wait, we have his contract extended to next year, right?

  37. Rob Deer All-Stars — lowest season batting average with an OWP higher than .500 (since 1969):

    C Gene Tenace, .211, 1974
    1B Mark McGwire, .201, 1991
    2B Joe Morgan, .230, 1983
    3B Dave Kingman, .225, 1972
    SS Jose Valentin, .237, 2003
    LF Jimmy Wynn, .207, 1976
    CF Mike Cameron, .231, 2004
    RF Rob Deer, .209, 1990

    With a fly-ball staff, you might do okay. That was Wynn’s year with the Braves.

  38. I think Cody will easily make it into Rob Deer All Stars team in the future.

    Ok, I kept saying Schafer needs to be demoted and Frenchy needs to be moved…but I keep forgetting to say…It’s time for you to go too Buddy…or it goes without saying.

  39. if anyone was wondering about Boyer, here’s his line with the Cards

    9IP 10H 12ER 6BB 9K

  40. Mac, you are right. The pattern has been to dip into the AA pool to get replacements. We might see Gorky’s soon if Schafer continues falling into the abyss. The strong spring training Schafer had was not backed up with a particularly strong minor league resume outside of his A/high A season. That’s a big leap of faith by Wren that is coming back to bite him now.

    I know no one is enamored of Diaz or B. Jones but do we continue playing ACHE and Stenchy?

  41. Hate to see this game today…

    but the Home Plate Umpire had a pretty big impact on the game.

    His strike zone was not consistent at all. Biggest turning point in the game may have been the 1-0 pitch to Diory Hernandez with no outs and bases loaded. It was 3 inches outside…but called a strike. On what should’ve been the 2-0 pitch, Diory grounded to third to get Diaz at the plate. I think it would’ve been a different story had it been called properly.

    Frenchy, you suck.

    Joe Simpson is remarkably annoying.

  42. Of course, the Home Plate Blue also called Lewis safe at home. I thought McCann tagged him.

  43. No one. No one wins.

    Garret Anderson hasn’t been awful since coming off the DL. His average has been empty and he’s not walking, but at least he’s hitting some. That’s more than you can say for Schafer and Francoeur.

    Wren really should have parked Schafer at Gwinnett and held on to Anderson. But it would be senseless to repeat the same mistake with Gorkys. And it would be even more senseless to promote a guy slugging .277 in AAA. Centerfield is a lot harder to solve than right, but I think we can carry Schafer once we jettison Francoeur.

  44. Career Minor League Stats:
    Jordan Schafer: .270/.339/.447 – 178 ISOP, 69 Batter’s Eye
    Gorkys Hernandez: .295/.354/.405 – 110 ISOP, 59 Batter’s Eye

    Schafer had 2 and 2/3 full seasons plus a rookie league shortened season.
    Gorkys has had 2 full seasons and a rookie league shortened season (plus this one).

    AA stats:
    Gorkys Hernandez: .339/.393/.417 – 78 ISOP, 54 Batter’s Eye
    Jordan Schafer: .269/.378/.471 – 202 ISOP, 109 Batter’s Eye

    Neither one of them is ready for the big leagues, but based on their minor league track records, Schafer is much more ready than Gorkys. Gorkys displays very, very little secondary offense (other than sb). He doesn’t hit for power, he doesn’t really draw that many walks, and most of his stats are batting-average driven. Part of the reason his average is so high is he legs out infield singles all the time. One of the biggest differences between minor league baseball and MLB is the defenses in MLB are far superior to those in MiLB. You can’t tell me that if Gorkys were called up today you’d expect him to fare better against MLB pitching than Schafer currently is. Take away a few singles and a few doubles from Gorkys just due to the better defenses, and he’s already looking like a replacement level player. And we haven’t even accounted for the fact that the pitchers are way, WAY better. Schafer is struggling right now because he can’t hit MLB pitching like he could hit MiLB pitching. But he’s providing secondary skills with his bat and in the field which make him not a total black hole of a roster spot. While Gorkys would provide a similar level of defense, he’s not really capable of providing the secondary offensive skills that Schafer possesses, and he ain’t going to jump into MLB from AA and hit .339 (which is what he has to do to be an above-average offensive player), or even .285, so calling up Gorkys is NOT the solution.

  45. Schafer has started every game and played almost every inning. Whatever that is, it certainly isn’t a mind game. I’m pretty sure that one game batting leadoff didn’t give him a sense of entitlement to that spot. Is that the common view, that Cox is deliberately screwing with his own players’ heads?

  46. sansho1, I don’t think the move is screwing Schafer up or anything, but I just find it strange that it was a one-and-done deal. That’s very non-Bobby style of lineup management.

  47. OK kc. Well, if anything, I’d rather he stay in the 8-spot if he’s going to struggle this badly. I also think he needs to cut down on his swing a bit.

  48. It’s not like he is swinging for the fence…I just think he is getting fooled very easily…

  49. Dan, that’s why I said the departure of Frenchy should come very soon…seeing Bradley’s column just seals it for me. First Bowman, then DOB, and now Bradley. The Braves’ PR is doing major work right now on the media.

  50. Glad that I did not stay up at midnight to watch….

    Yes, the Braves should send down Schafer and probably call up Blanco. I think there is a decent chance that he would play close to as well as he did last year. At worst, he should play well enough to give Schafer some quality time at AAA.

    My fear is that the Braves are in the process of ruining both players….

  51. Your hope isn’t unreasonable, Stephen, but why do you think he would rebound? Is Blanco just moping around down in Gwinnett? It seems more likely to me his swing is out of whack or he’s got a nagging injury or something. He’s slugging .277…I’d rather have 2008 Blanco than 2009 Schafer, but I’m not convinced that’s the choice we have.

  52. Dan–Thanks for the link….

    KC–I find it hard to believe: I guess Texas could give us Beau Jones back….

    Who then plays RF? Does the organization really believe that Diaz is the answer in right? I had come to believe that many in the Braves front office thought that at least Frenchy did not cost a lot.

    I will believe it when I see it….

  53. Weldon–I would not be suprised if some of Blanco’s problems are psychological: a player who had a decent rookie campaign, has a good winter, and then loses the job to someone with no AAA experience might find it hard to take. Blanco would not be the first person in history to take a demotion back to AAA badly….That said, it is only a guess on my part.

    KC–Blanco and Schafer.

  54. @51 What “secondary skills with his bat” is Schafer providing, exactly? His line is .205/.324/.301. He is not hitting for power or average and his walk rate has declined rapidly now that pitchers realize it is as easy to strike him out as it is to give him a free pass. At this rate, by the midway point Schafer will have an OBP of less than .280 with close to a 100ks. And yes, I am fairly certain that Gorkys would do better, simply because he does not have a mac truck sized hole in his swing like Schafer. This has less to do with the quality of MLB pitching than it has to do with the fact that ML teams do way more scouting than in the minors and now every pitcher on every team we face knows exactly how to strike out Schafer. I suspect anyone who throws a pitch to Schafer that he can hit gets fined a fifty in kangaroo court. Would Gorkys tear the cover off the ball? Likely no, but his better defense alone would justify the move (Schafer’s CF defense is below average, I can see that with my own eyes, but the stats suggest the same) and there is a very good chance that he would create more runs with the bat as well. But again, I am not suggesting we should call him up.

  55. Schafer may yet develop into a good player–but it was very silly to bring him up at the beginning of 2009. He had one great year (2007) and half a year at AA and the Arizona Fall League. A great spring and the Braves sent him to Atlanta–first trading Josh Anderson to make room.

    It shows the dangers of Spring Fever….

  56. Just back to the hotel from the Detroit Electronic Music Festival & as much fun as I had this weekend—eg., DJ Benny Benassi finished his otherwise buzzbomb electro-house set with the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning”—I gotta say that I’m equally sparked by the somewhat “official” let’s-dump-Frenchy movement.

    If only it could’ve happened after ’07 when we could’ve gotten something useful…

  57. Well, if anything, maybe the Braves will finally learn that Spring performance means nothing after this Schafer fiasco. They’ve been putting way too much emphasis on it for as long as I can remember.

  58. Stephen, I feel bad when I say it, but I will say it anyway…but Blanco hardly has a future in Atlanta as long as Diaz is still around.

  59. You would have thought all those people would be experienced enough to know ST means very little…

  60. KC +Braves14–Yes, ‘you would have thought’…

    Blanco was never going to be a great player, but he probably still has the chance to be a 4th outfielder and it would have made sense to let him start and let Schafer develop….Why was this so hard?

  61. Stephen, as long as Diaz is still around, Diaz will forever be our fourth outfielder, ha.

    I don’t understand either. Why is it so hard to keep Schafer in the minor for a little longer and let him develop? Only they know.

  62. Going back to Frenchy, I wonder what Texas would give us for him? Beau Jones?

    If it all comes to pass, then both the Rangers and Royals will become havens for former Braves organization players….

    I might add that the Yanks lit up Matt Harrison….

  63. giving up 8 runs to the giants lousy lineup is almost as bas as, well, the Jays giving up a bushel to the Braves collection of pathetic hitters

  64. #57 the Bowman piece that Bradley refers to in his article is pretty harsh criticism of Stenchy. Given that its Peanut doing the talking we may be seeing a change soon. But what do you get for a corner outfielder that can’t make decent contact, has NO power, doesn’t get on base and is really not an above average defender?

  65. True enough. However, I have faith in Vazquez–but I am wondering how many times Bobby will call on Buddy….

  66. #75–Well we are short on quality position players at the lowest levels of our system. Then again, that might be asking for too much….

  67. What about sending him to triple A? With all the very harsh criticism ladled on here there is the athleticism and the brief snippets of good play that maybe the Braves treat him as a reclamation project instead of getting nothing for him. Of course there is dumping his salary. Oh well I’m just talking in circles.

    On the bright side we are competing despite our incredibly poor offense. Maybe thats it. Wren decided to do a closed experiment to see if baseball REALLY is 75% pitching.

  68. For some reason, we never play well in SF…no matter how crappy the team is. Maybe the players have too much fun there.

  69. If you need a dose of comedy, check the pictures on yahoo sports’ MLB area… Jose Canseco getting his ass handed to him in a mixed martial arts “fight”… gold, pure gold.

  70. “Dangling” Jeff Francouer would be like offering the swine flu as first prize in a contest. Even Steve Phillips probably wouldn’t be dumb enough to give the Braves anything more than a couple of used jock straps.

    For all the talk about the vaunted Braves farm system, they have basically no good options for the outfield. Schaefer is clearly overmatched in the big leagues and Francoeur is Francoeur. As someone above suggested, I can’t imagine what it would take to get a real outfield bat from another team. But getting rid of Frenchy would be addition by subtraction.

  71. Wonder what it would take to get Nelson Cruz. Would Reyes + Medlen at least get the discussion started?

    On the Swisher front, it looks like the Yanks need relief pitching, especially with Bruney going down. What would y’all think of a Soriano-for-Swisher deal (or something close to it)?

    I know it would create a hole at the back of the ‘pen, but it sure seems like that’s less important that the entire-outfield-sized hole Swisher would help to fill.

    I mean, would you rather keep Soriano and get a guy like Willingham (at most) for lesser pieces, or would you rather trade someone as valuable as Soriano for an actual (affordable) impact bat?

  72. I just don’t see a plus bat thats worth high side minor league pitching available now. Thats what its going to take to get an outfielder that can hit.

    Trading Stenchy at this point for a jock, a used ball and a broken bat would only be a salary dump.

    Although I think that this team can compete for the post season now I sure don’t want to give up on a Morton, Medlen or for God’s sake a Hanson for an outfield bat. The strategy should be to hang close until mid season and see who has fallen completely out of it and is selling. In the mean time Bobby please put your best nine out there even if it means that Diaz is out of position in RF.

  73. The problem is that even if Chipper and Yunel are back in the lineup, it’s not Diaz in right — it’s Diaz in center and Prado in a corner, and likely Norton in the other corner. I think that would be stretching the defense a bit much… I miss Infante.

  74. 87—I infer that a Francoeur-for-Bay swap is in the works.

    Although I think that this team can compete for the post season now I sure don’t want to give up on a Morton, Medlen or for God’s sake a Hanson for an outfield bat.

    I don’t get it. What we have plenty of is major-league-ready starting pitching. We lack an outfielder who can hit. I don’t want to trade Hanson, either (unless we’re talking about Ryan Braun or Justin Upton), but I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be willing to part with Medlen for some offense.

  75. Frenchie in a nut-shell. In his last 10 games, he is 9-34 (for a .265 BA, and that can be enough, except…) with 1 walk and 1 double. That means over his last 10 games his OBP is .286 and his SLG is .294, so his OPS is .580. Even when is new Jarmillo approach is working for him, it is way inadequate because he does not walk and no longer hits the ball hard enough. What a train wreck he has become.

    I cannot imagine anyone giving up anything of MLB value for him.

  76. So much for Rosenthal knowing his ass from a hole in the ground:

    “The Braves will need to find a power hitter in left even if they keep Francoeur, so trading him would effectively create two holes. Better they give Francoeur every opportunity to straighten out. He was 8-for-17 in his last five games before going 0-for-4 Monday.”

    How many opportunities is he supposed to have?

  77. Recent search hits:

    “Jeff Francoeur sucks” 4 times.
    “Jeff Francoeur sucks!” 8 times.
    “Who is ACHE Atlanta Braves” 2 times.
    “Jed Hoyer girlfriend” 3 times.

  78. Swisher last 30 days

    14/83 5HR 18BB 28K .169avg .317OBP

    something to be a little concerned with knowing what his contract is in the next few years

  79. Could you imagine Frenchy in Boston without the constant stream (until this week) of puff pieces and excuses made for him?

  80. Swisher last 30 days

    14/83 5HR 18BB 28K .169avg .317OBP

    true, but he was very hot before that, and you have to take his cumulative numbers to see his value. Take his VERY COLD< BAD poeriod, and he still has a better OBP and SLG than Frenchie, in Frenchie’s hot streak, because frenchie doesn’t walk or hit for power any more.

    I could see Swisher with a lower average than Frenchie, but he hits for power, walks a lot and is a better fielder than Frenchie. We really need to divest ourselves of the out machine that is Frenchie.

  81. Maybe the Red Sox want him for the bean ball wars with the Yankees; they could send him up to get hit instead of a good player.

  82. You have to assume that the Red Sox know what they’re doing. (Remember when you had to assume that the Braves did? Good times.) If they want Francoeur, either they think they can fix him or they think they can turn him into a pitcher.

  83. knowing what his contract is in the next few years

    He’s paid $5.3 million this season, $6.75 next season, and $10 million (including buyout) for 2011. It’s not dirt-cheap, but for a guy with his on-base/power combo and defensive versatility, ~$20 million over 3 years seems like a pretty good deal to me.

  84. The thing is, if Francouer went to Boston, no one would expect him to be a star; he would essentially be a spare part. That might be good for Jeff; without the expectations and with probably a better hitting coach than TP, maybe he could become a decent 4th outfielder. If he became more than that, it would be a serious indictment of the Braves coaching staff.

    It’s hard to believe, though, that any team could really improve his plate discipline.

  85. I think getting a corer outfielder would be to hard to get, but I don’t think we will be able to get one until late June.

  86. The Sox could probably afford to send Francoeur down to the minors and actually develop him.

  87. 99,

    The coaching staff is already to blame for putting up with his crap for so long. Who knows how good or bad TP is as a hitting instructor, but he definitely didn’t encourage Francouer to swing wildly at pitches at the dirt with runners in scoring position. Francouer should have been punished for his terrible approach the way Andruw was punished so many years ago for lolligagging in the outfield.

  88. Send Francouer to AA and keep him there. Trading him or releasing him is a bit pointless considering he won’t get us a suitable replacement OF’er in return.

  89. #99 – if they can improve his hitting, hopefully that will show this FO that we need a good hitting instructor also.

    Im not saying I dont want Swisher, I do, but I could see our team needing to shred some payroll if attendance stays down. However, if you can add a little and add a Swisher and a Dye attendance will increase. Just cut ties with Garret and Frenchy 1st

  90. The red sox did have the discipline to send Bucholtz down to AAA when he wasn’t pitching well (and Bucholtz was a man about it, saying he deserved it for not pitching well). Maybe they could make a Frenchie demotion stick, as Frank Wren couldn’t.

  91. #103 – it gets him out of the org and out of the arb process. We dont need to be offering him $4 mil next season to play in AA either

  92. Im not saying I dont want Swisher, I do, but I could see our team needing to shred some payroll if attendance stays down. However, if you can add a little and add a Swisher and a Dye attendance will increase. Just cut ties with Garret and Frenchy 1st

    Well, if you’re trading Soriano to get him, you’re not really adding payroll. You’re adding guaranteed dollars in 2010 and 2011, of course, but we’ve still got some wiggle room in those seasons.

  93. While I find it hard to believe that Boston has any interest in Francoeur, watching him flail in front of those rabid fans is undoubtedly appealing.

  94. The short left field wall in Boston may be perfect for frenchie’s current power stroke, not for HR’s but for doubles off the wall that would be flys to LF in turner field.

  95. I laugh at the notion Francoeur would be any better in Boston or elsewhere. In addition to his lack of plate discipline, the guy routinely misses hittable pitches in the strike zone. In my mind, that’s even more egregious. When he’s not in the punch and judy shot to RF mode, which makes him a .265 singles hitter, he’s basically an out machine with no power or speed. It’s time the Braves moved on, and judging by the smoke that’s now in the media, they are moving in that direction.

  96. bfan, he doesnt even hit fly balls anymore, dont tell them that though. All we see from Frenchy is weak grounders and K’s

  97. 113, God I hope.

    I became Facebook friends with Sports South and Joe and Boog (yeah yeah, I know). It’s amazing how many people think Frenchy is in a slump and that he’ll come out of it. You see the phrase “natural talent” a lot. Ugh. Many of them cite the fact he has a lot of RBI’s this season as evidence that he’s worth keeping around.

    Mac, is there any way to tell how many of these RBI’s are “Frenchy RBI’s?” Ground outs, fly outs, hits like the one he got off Halliday…

  98. It is surprising that the Bosox would have interest in Francoeur. I would love to see him traded somewhere though – for the best of everyone involved. KC’s outfielders, outside of Jose Guillen, don’t look a whole lot better than Franswa so far. I would settle for a AA OF prospect – actually I’d settle for just about anything – but we’d still need to make a move for another outfielder at some point before the trade deadline.

  99. If you guys have a Facebook account, you need to become a Fan of Sports South and read what some of these people are saying. It’s comedy gold.

    In a discussion titled “Francouer,” a guy named Mark lays out a very thoughtful and detailed analysis of why people think Francouer sucks, citing his OBP, slugging, and BA. Some of my favorite responses are:

    “Mark you are an idiot…Not a Braves fan!”

    “im not sure if u noticed the .269 average but ur not a good braves fan”

    “who ever wrote this knows absolutly nothing about Jeff or the Braves for that matter..It is ridiculous to write sumthing like this…how dare you call urself a braves fan”

    But the best one is:

    “mark… you are an IDIOT. You are the reason our team hasnt done well in the past few season. You are the reason Jeff didnt do good last season. Its fans like you that have ruined our team. Plain and simple, you are a hater.”

    It’s amazing how much slack they’re willing to cut a good looking country boy who hit a few homers four summers ago.

  100. trading Frenchy and bringing up brandon jones is an immediate improvement. Maybe not offensively, but cutting that cord and getting rid of that contract is the biggest part of it.

  101. Randy Winn has put together a very nice career, wish the Braves would have gotten him a couple of years ago.

  102. I was about to say, I thought Skip was funny. I’m not that dumb.

    Those posts must have been made by Braves interns. Hard to believe anyone could care enough about baseball to join that group and still be that stupid about it. Maybe they’re kids? Kids can do facebook now, right? I probably would have defended Frenchy when I was 7, too.

  103. 123 — Well, there’s something about the electronic medium (even when your face is attached to it) that emboldens some and leads others to vehemence.

  104. They’re all high school age at least. Too old to rely on the “No, YOU’RE stupid!” argument.

  105. #88 I guess I should have said ‘any old outfield bat’. I dunno. You are right the percieved value of Medlen and Morton is probably an average bat in return. Hell thats where we are now. Pining for an AVERAGE bat.

    Mac, you are right. Our best offensive 8 would be too weak defensively. How about just Diaz in RF? Addition by subtraction at the very least.

    Rosenthal HAS to be making shit up. Really. Why TF would the Sox want Jeff Francouer? Unless Frenchy has a secret agenda to play his way out of Atlanta, Manny like, and reunite with his good buddy John Smoltz. THATS IT! What a sly bastard Frenchy is. Dang and y’all say he is dumb.

  106. Thanks Mac….I remember when some of us wanted Melky a couple of offseasons ago….

    What would it take to get Holiday?

  107. Have to say that right now, as opposed to when it happened, the Ibanez contract seems to be a deal for the Phils… and what was it the Sox gave up to get Bay? and couldn’t we have topped that?

  108. 129—A pro-rated $13.5 million, for starters. He’s a great hitter, but not worth his salary and likely player cost, IMO, especially considering he can’t play anywhere but LF.

    130—The Sox gave up Manny, Craig Hansen, and Brandon Moss. (The Pirates got Hansen, Moss, Andy LaRoche, and Bryan Morris.) Would have been tough to beat that package without giving up anyone from the Heyward, Hanson, Freeman, etc. ilk.

  109. Just watch Red Sox trade for Francoeur, send him to Pawtucket, and him come back as a great player and embarrass the Braves. They have the ability to send him down and work with him. We’re desperate for an outfielder so he’s got all this pressure to produce. If the Braves had Drew, Ellsbury, and Bay in their outfield, Jeffy wouldn’t be here.

    Wouldn’t you love to have Adam LaRoche’s line in his last season in Atlanta at first this year? .285-32-90 is not too shabby.

  110. 13.5M? oh, for last year and this? Forgot that he was part of that funky three team trade involving Manny and such.

    Edit, oh, OK, 13.5 was Holliday answer… gotcha.

  111. I don’t see us giving up Hanson, Heyward or Freemen; after that I think it might get interesting. The Braves might trade Rohrbough, Locke and possibly Cody Johnson. Obviously, Morton, Medlen, Heath and Redmond are all fair game. Seems like we have enough to deal….

  112. This picture and the flat-billed cap, Medlen looks to be a world-class douche bag.

  113. Furcal was not in the Dodgers’ lineup on Monday because of a sore left buttocks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    Anybody seen Roger Clemens lately?

  114. @133

    Haha, I forgot about him. Frenchy could no wrong, but “Huckleberry” couldn’t buy a break. I’d stick Adam LaRoche in right before I’d stick Francoeur out there.

    It’s official. After years of stubbornly supporting Jeff Francoeur, I’m done. I’ve turned on him. Check Stu’s fantasy league transactions for proof.

  115. I remember that time Furcal got nailed by a bad hop grounder in a bad spot. He was on the ground for, what, 10 minutes?

  116. This team needs to move young, ML ready, pre-arb pitching for comparable outfielders.

    Or, trade salary for close to salary (like the Soriano for Swisher proposed earlier or Francoeur and something for a comparable cost player.

    We can’t take on salary and we don’t need “old” anyway (unless it is a cheap reant a player).

  117. My barber says:

    Brad Hawpe and Jason Grilli for (Kris Medlen/or Cody Johnson),Frenchy. (only if Hawpe agrees not to void the option year on his contract after 2010.)
    It may take both Medlen and Johnson.

  118. 143—Wouldn’t want to lose Gorkys+ for a half-season of Holliday. As Cliff says, we should be trading pitching, not one of our two legitimate OF prospects.

    145—Hawpe’s a lefty. No, thanks. Wouldn’t surprise me if we end up with a guy like Spilborghs, though. He’s cheap, competent, right-handed, and shouldn’t cost a ton in prospects.

  119. We are currently getting more production out of Schafer, based on the fact that he walks, than Gwinnett is getting out of Blanco, who doesn’t. Blanco has been flat-out awful this season, and if we didn’t need him in case something disastrous happens from an injury standpoint, I would fully be in favor of booting his ass. If he were any good at all last year in the majors, that would be one thing, but he wasn’t. And now he’s stinking up Gwinnett. If the only solution to Schafer is to call Blanco up, Schafer can work out his problems at the big-league club, thank you very much. That said, there are other solutions. Jones might be playable in center. We could decide that Blanco sucks and sign a cheap free agent CF kicking around in the Mexican League somewhere or something to take his place. No option is great, especially with Infante out (and even that wasn’t a great option), but there are far better options than sticking Gregor Blanco out there to obtain a .200 OBP while striking out two times a freaking game.

    EDIT: And incidentally, I would do Smitty’s barber’s deal with Medlen for Hawpe in about three seconds. When we’re as bad off in the outfield as we are, quibbling over handedness is retarded. Wouldn’t we rather have Adam Dunn than Garrett Anderson right now? But everyone decided they didn’t want to do it because he was lefthanded. What guarantees we’d be able to get a lefty? And how can you spit on the usefulness of LOOGYs, but then claim that handedness in an OF is the most important thing ever?

  120. IF the organization is committed to Jordan, then why not Gorkys and a pitcher. That would fetch a really good corner bat I would think.

  121. The Holliday trade makes a lot of sense to me. Look at his road splits for this year; the A’s stadium just kills all bats. If the braves don’t want him after this year, they offer him arbitration, and if he goes I would guess he has to be a type “A” free agent, giving us 2 high draft choices in return, which we use to re-stock in the 2010 draft, which will be a very good one. If he accepts arbitration, we have him for his contract year (again), and heyward wouldn’t be ready yet anyway.

  122. As an opening salvo, I’m sure Wren will offer something along the lines of Francoeur, a major league ready pitching project like Medlin, Reyes or Morton, and possibly a lower level prospect.

    I think they’d like to get a guy that can play RF to keep the Diaz/Anderson platoon in LF, which I think we could live with if we got some impact from RF and Schafer can pull his average up to .240.

  123. That should read “What guarantees we’d be able to get a righty?”, of course.

  124. If I’m Billy Beane, I think Medlen, Gorkys or Morton, Gorkys, and a low-level prospect would be a decent return for Holliday. The A’s are essentially out of the AL West race and they certainly aren’t going to make an attempt to re-sign him.

    I don’t think the Braves are concerned with Boras. I’d like to say there’s a 60-40 chance we could get him to accept arbitration and maybe a 50-50 chance to re-sign him to a multi-year deal.

  125. Oh, Nick.

    To be clear, I would trade Medlen for Hawpe; the Rockies clearly would not agree to that, though, so it’s pointless to even discuss. My point is that Hawpe is not worth pursuing because he is left-handed and won’t come cheaply; if we’re going to have to pony up for a bat, let’s at least target an ideal candidate.

    I don’t understand what your Dunn/Anderson point is. Both are left-handed; Dunn costs 4 times as much. I was in favor of getting Dunn. I guess I just don’t get your point.

    Also, Blanco was better in the majors in 2008 than Schafer has been in 2009. Blanco walked a lot last year, just as he has throughout his minor league career. He’s been worse than awful so far this year, but I think it’s “retarded” to ignore his entire track record.

  126. I don’t mind another lefty. We are actually hitting better aginst left handed pitching this season (.768 ops/ .726 against RHP)

    In addition, Hawpe handles lefites just fine. (.826 ops last year/ .964 this year)

    I would like a right handed bat, but I wouldn’t mind having this guy.

  127. a lot depends on how much we trust the braves scouting group, because if we lose Holliday to free agency, we get 2 high picks that we should, on the basis of our more recent drafting history, be able to turn into prospects again.

    I think we have done really well the last several years (post-Frenchie) with our high picks; Salty; Hayward; C. Johnson (maybe); Spruill (so far). I trust the scouting department to turn the 2 picks into guys that will be able to play.

  128. I wonder if ther is a CF we could get and have a Kfer/Failcoure platoon in right?

    (joking)

  129. Uh, Nick, you do realize that Blanco has exactly two fewer walks this year than Schafer, don’t you? And more than 20 fewer K’s? The one thing Blanco can do is take a walk, which is why he has a .251/.366/.309 line in 430 ML ABs, a line for which Schafer would happily trade in his million dollar pitching machine (which apparently can’t be programmed to throw high fastballs). Blanco had a slow start but he will end up with numbers near his career minor league line of .270/.369/.371. And if we called him up he would certainly be an upgrade over Schafer. A marginal upgrade, but still an upgrade.

  130. All this depends on whether Medlen pitches his value down in the next couple of starts much like Morton did last season. 2 pretty good pitching prospects but as all of us know tnstaapp.

  131. Joe, thats almost like arguing that Frenchy was good years ago. Who cares about what Blanco did last year, look at his stats in AAA right now. They are worse than Schafer’s and his defense doesnt come close. Once again, its okay if we send Schafer down but only if we have a better replacement. Blanco is not a better option

  132. Even if you can trade Frenchy for a bucket of baseballs, (and more importantly, drop his salary) you’ll still easily have to pay Matt Holliday around 7MM.

    Just don’t see the team having that kind of scratch.

    @161

    I agree. If he can keep playing a solid CF, any offense is a bonus. Especially, because we have NO ONE BETTER.

  133. Neyer regarding the Braves outfield, showing us much love like usual:

    The thing is, I’m not convinced that this thing can be fixed. Sure, if the Braves turn over enough stones they’ll find an outfielder eventually. But one’s not enough. They need at least two, and possibly two-and-a-half because Diaz isn’t really good enough to play regularly against right-handed pitching.

    I’m not saying the Braves shouldn’t give it a shot. But they need help, they need lots of help, and they need lots of help soon. I don’t know that they can find help worth getting without trading away half their farm system. Especially before July. The front office made a bed that included an outfield consisting of Anderson, Schafer and Francoeur. Now they probably just have to lose in it.

  134. I don’t mind another lefty. We are actually hitting better aginst left handed pitching this season (.768 ops/ .726 against RHP)

    In addition, Hawpe handles lefites just fine. (.826 ops last year/ .964 this year)

    Hawpe is definitely a lot better against lefties than I first thought (although in his career, he’s only got an OPS of .762 against them).

    That said, a lot of the reason we’ve been better against lefties than righties is Stenchy, who is OPSing .810 against lefties and .575 (!) against righties. If you replace him with a guy who hits righties better than lefties, those numbers would change.

    Chipper, McCann, Escobar, and Kotchman all have better career numbers versus righties; I don’t think KJ, who Bobby frequently sits against lefties, anyway, and Diaz are enough to counteract all that. A lefty who can hit would of course be better than 3/4 of our current OF arrangement, but what we need is a right-handed corner OF bat.

  135. 161 & 163—I don’t disagree with the idea that Schafer is going to be about as good as Blanco will. I just worry about stunting Schafer’s development, and if Blanco isn’t going to be any worse—and I really don’t think he will be—I’d rather have him out there.

    165—I just don’t agree with that. Yes, we need more than one new OF to have an above-average offense, but we only need one to have an above-average (NL) team. I really don’t think we’re more than a legit bat away from legit contention in the NL East. Unless the Mets or Phils get Peavy or something.

  136. Stu,

    I am with you on the whole righty situation, but if we can get Hawpe, we should.

    We really need one outfielder soon and see if we can get another one in July. I would get a guy to play right and see what Kfer is doing by the end of June and see if we can get a solid CF.

  137. Stu,

    If we only get one bat, it needs to be a really good bat. I am fine with getting one and seeing if Schafer can start hitting.

    However, I think we might be better off going for two solid outfield bats over one really good bat. Does that make sence?

  138. I guess Neyer is making the same point I was trying to make.

    Medlen, Morton, Hanson, Heyward, Freeman may end up being good to great pitchers/players or not. As much as I like this team I am not sure its worth trading those guys for whats currently notionally available on the market because none of the trading possibilities are really good enough to put us over the top.

    edit: In other words no really big impact bats are available. Hawpe and Holliday stats inflated big time by coors.

  139. But to Neyer’s point we should try. Just don’t sell the farm for this season. Again we need to stay focused on staying close to the top when so that if the trading market shifts to a buyers market we can leverage our pitching surplus for a better player.

    I have to think that Wren was trying his ass off in the off season to get a better outfield bat without trading Tommy Hanson. Hind sight is 20/20 but right now I’d rather have kept Josh Anderson and taken my chances with a BJones/Diaz platoon in LF.

  140. What kills me is that we tied so much money into pitching that we will have virtually no money to throw at offense this off season. Compounding the problem is that we seemingly have pitchers ready to step in this season or next season onto a team that already has Jurrjens, Hudson, Lowe, Vazquez and Kawakami while most of our minor league outfielders are more like 1/2 to 2 years away. Are we considering trading a Vazquez or Kawakami to an offense oriented team that needs pitching for an outfielder with a similar contract?

  141. I am happy Wren didn’t flip one of the great young players for a corner OF, but what Neyer said was correct. We gambled at all 3 OF positions this season-Was G. Anderson too old and too indifferent? was Schaeffer ready? Was Frenchie really going to re-make himself? We needed 2 of the 3 gambles to pay off, and so far, none of them have. I guess that is a bit of bad luck.

  142. @176 – I can’t agree that it’s bad luck. When the chances are about 5% for two of the 3 things above, bad luck is not what I would call it – management/ FO stupidity maybe. We made a 4th gamble that had to do with Diaz gaining 2007 form. At this point, this gamble looks much closer to reality than the others, but he’s losing most of his PT to Garrett Anderson!!

  143. Hind sight is 20/20

    At least you admit it, Johnny.

    No thanks on Holliday. Despite his struggles this year, we’d still be paying a Coors premium on him (lifetime home/road OPS of 1048/803). Whoever brought up Choo a few days ago was onto something, I think, if he’s available. Choo as a platoon partner for Francoeur, bring up B. Jones, dump Anderson and either Carlyle or Norton, and see if Schafer can get it going a little bit. That’s should be a cheap fix and a legit upgrade getting Frenchy out of there vs. righties. I don’t think we can trade Frenchy midseason for anything worthwhile, but he can still be serviceable vs. lefties.

    (re Choo — a Choo/Frenchy platoon would likely yield an 850+ OPS)

  144. @178

    I brought up Choo. Outside of his skill, which has been considerable this year, one of the main benefits of acquiring him is that he would not be a rental. His service time is about the same as Jurrjens.

    If we’re going to give up Morton/Medlen, this is the type of player we should go after: especially if we’re unable to add much salary.

    Plus, Indians are desperate for pitching; we’re desperate for hitting. The whole thing at least seems feasible…

  145. The bad thing about getting Choo is that Chip and the AJC would use incessantly bad puns (The Choo fits, Get on the Choo Train, He Choos up that pitch, ad nauseum, …)whenever talking about him. That is a pretty high price for signing him, but one I’m willing to endure – maybe.

  146. Medlen player analysis is now up. This will serve as the game thread, and also as the postgame thread, because I have to work in the morning, stupid time zones.

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