Gregor Blanco

Well, he’s back. Blanco is what he is, a natural reserve outfielder who is unfortunately still the Braves’ best solution in center and probably better than either of the corner outfielders too. His strengths as a player are his ability to draw walks, as indicated last year by his isolated on-base of .115, and speed. His weaknesses are pretty much everything else. He hit only .255 and had almost as many strikeouts (99) as hits (108). The two are closely related; if you strike out a whole lot, you aren’t going to hit for a high average unless you hit the ball hard when you do. Blanco has no power at all and hit only one homer last season.

It wasn’t just an adjustment to the majors. Blanco has always struck out at about a 100-times-a-year rate in the minors, and his career minor league batting average is .272. This season he got off to a terrible start in Gwinnett but was picking it up some. He still has no power, his batting average was .242, but he was still drawing walks. He doesn’t solve the Braves’ biggest problem, their lack of power, but he’ll get on base fairly well and even he’ll make contact more than Schafer.

I don’t really have a handle on Blanco’s defense. Some systems like it a lot, some think that he’s below-average in center, though pretty good in left. He does not throw well… Fast, but not a really quality basestealer; still, certainly a far greater SB threat than anyone else on the current roster.

Gregor Blanco Statistics and History –

279 thoughts on “Gregor Blanco”

  1. One down three and a half to go. Because Blanco isn’t an answer. And Frenchy sucks. And Diaz isn’t good enough against RHP to play every day. And ACHE sucks.

  2. Again, @50 from the previous thread: Marc Schneider continues his personal attack, but I do agree with him on one thing: this is a Braves forum and we should return to talking about the Braves, especially after a rousing victory last night.

    Since I’ve been attacked twice now, however, I’m going to have to defend myself. First off, I was never trying to defend Jason’s joke as “appropriate,” only to point out that the mere mention of the joke didn’t make Jason a bigot, as well as to show my misunderstanding as to how personal you took the utterance of a term. I’ll put that aside now, because it doesn’t really matter.

    I was also not comparing “using a derisive ethnic term” to anything. I was making a joke that referenced recent topics of conversation on this site, a joke that obviously went way over your head. Again, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you were acting under emotional duress and thus did not see the sarcasm in my comment.

    Despite that initial mistake, however, you’re now continuing your personal attacks, for which I must take offense. Out of respect for Mac and the Braves Journal readers, I’d ask that if you’d like to continue these personal attacks that you do it to my face in the future, or at least somewhere outside of this forum.

    Apologies again to the Braves Journal readership for the interruption.


  3. From previous thread:

    RE: new Phillies starter

    Priceless observation at Razzball

    Antonio Bastardo – 6 IP, 1 ER. If only his first name was Ubaldo, then he’d officially have the most badass name in the history of the planet.

  4. Ring Lardner had Gadfly in mind when he wrote, “Shut up, he explained.”

  5. Fron DOB

    Chipper’s out of lineup, Diory at 3B.

    1. Johnson
    2. Escobar
    3. Diaz, LF
    4. McCann
    5. Prado, 1B
    6. Francoeur
    7. Hernandez, 3B
    8. Blanco
    9. Lowe

  6. Dammit. Why couldn’t they have listened to Rob Cope’s advice and gone easy in the dogpile last night?

    Speaking of a different subject, I’m glad Gregor’s back in the lineup. He doesn’t solve anything, but as I’ve written before, I love watching the guy hit. He’s a one-dimensional player, all right, but it’s an incredibly entertaining dimension.

  7. The contempt for ACHE is a bit unfounded at this point. Mark my words, if we are unable to get another bat for the outfield, he will end up with far better numbers than any of the others we trot out there. He started extremely slow, in large part to missing almost all of spring training and alot of the early part of the season due to injury. He has been much better at the plate as of late, and I do believe we can expect that to continue.

    However, what I absolutely hate about him is that he seems to care less. I mean he is soooo sluggish in the outfield it is unbelievable. He is also very adverse to playing hard on the basebaths – I remember at least once when he could have tried to break up a double play by sliding into second, but he decided to veer out of the way instead of running down the line. So for this, I will grant that everyone has a valid argument. But I say you have to give the guy a chance on the offensive side before you completely ride him off as useless.

    Now, once we get rid of Frenchy, then he will be the only one left to complain about, and I’ll be all for that too (because it would help if we had someone better).

  8. its because of lilly, not the dogpile. Who knows Lilly would probably throw at his head anyways

  9. On ACHE’s sluggishness, I saw where you guys were giving him credit last night for hustling to first after the K, but he only did that after at least three seconds of standing there, paying no attention. Even his “hustle” is delayed.

  10. Not that the Braves have any other choice with Kotchman out and Chipper not swinging right-handed, but this infield defense is bad. B. A. D. And it isn’t going to help our ground-ball pitcher. He better be on his game and have the strikeout working. I wouldn’t throw anything but curveballs.

  11. Anderson has been playing better, but let’s not go overboard — he has still been very bad, only less bad than Francoeur and Schafer. In May, he did hit .286 — but with no secondary offense to speak of, a .312 OBP and a .369 SLG. He’s never walked much, but his walk rate has plummeted, and he basically has to slug .500 to be useful.

    I have to wonder if Prado at third (where he’s quite good) and Norton at first wouldn’t be a better arrangement.

  12. Who knows how healthy Norton is after getting plunked last night?

    What about Diaz at first and Anderson in left? Probably too much defensive sacrifice.

  13. Infield defense is the only good thing about that lineup. Middle infielders playing first and third base, and one of the best defensive SS in the league.

  14. @14 – Not disagreeing with you on any of those points. My only thing is that I don’t believe he has had alot of time to show how he is going to produce this year. And I only say that because he missed ST and much of the first part of the year. It could be that his secondary offense improves tremendously over the next few weeks. I wouldn’t hold my breath, only saying he might surprise.

  15. Frenchy back in the six hole. I know he’s happy to get some of that Diory protection he’s been missing.

  16. Diory can’t throw, and Prado can’t catch. Like I said, Prado is pretty good at third, but he’s a bad, bad first baseman. He just doesn’t have the instincts for the position.

  17. As far as I can tell, Norton hasn’t started a game since August 20th. Maybe Bobby knows something about his defense that we don’t.

  18. Re AAR from previous thread,

    More than any other sport, baseball analysts (both ESPN and MLB Network) are unwilling to be candid about their experiences; John McEnroe, for example, will talk about “choking” in a tennis match, which I think is an interesting term for an athlete to use. None of the baseball analysts would ever touch that but it would be fascinating to know if they felt that they or others actually did choke at times. This would be worth listening to more than the endless dribble about what a winner Derek Jeter is. It is also interesting to me that the former pitchers, especially Don Sutton, whom I generally like, keep bashing current pitchers for not pitching deeper into games without acknowledging the substantially different conditions under which they pitch. The point is, there are are lots of interesting things these guys could bring to the table, but they generally don’t, probably because the networks and the owners are terrified about what might come out. For example, with all the handwringing about steroids and how they sully this wonderful game, none of these ex-players will ever mention the presence of amphetamines when they played. If they did talk about it, it might help to put the steroid use in context, but I’m sure the networks and the team owners are terrified about what might come out if analysts actually talked honestly about their experiences.

  19. Injured Mets SS Jose Reyes looks to be out for awhile.

    He took himself out of a rehab game, couldn’t finish it & will return to New York for “further evaluation.” The Mets are calling it “a setback.”

    FWIW, Carlos Beltran finally got out off the can—the team has been hit by a nasty bug—and he’ll return to the lineup tonight, weather willing. Says he’s lost 5 to 10 pounds in the past week.

  20. I’m really not a Blanco fan at all. He does walk some, but it is at best cancelled out by his ridiculous strikeout totals. And when he’s on a bad streak, he does absolutely nothing but strikeout. At one point in Gwinnett earlier this season, his OBP was less than .300. I just really don’t think slap hitters who strike out 100 times a year are useful at all, regardless of how many times they walk, and if in two weeks Bobby’s put Blanco in at leadoff, I may shoot myself.

    He’s OK in center, but is a definite downgrade from Schafer, even if you think the only reason anyone likes Schafer defensively is his ability to run balls down (and I pretty vehemently disagree with that BTW). His arm is so inferior to Schafer’s that it’s almost funny.

    I do acknowledge (and it took until the end of last week, pretty much because of how much I dislike Blanco) that something had to be done and that calling Blanco up was really the only option. If Infante weren’t injured though, I actually would have preferred moving him to center most of the time to calling up Gregor Blanco, and if Schafer still hasn’t figured it out when Infante comes off the DL, I will again be in favor of it. I will also say that I wish we’d traded Blanco instead of Josh Anderson, because Anderson would be of infinitely more use right now than Gregor Blanco, and I really don’t understand why everybody preferred Blanco to Anderson, frankly. Also, the second Schafer figures it out (well, maybe not the second, but certainly within a week or two), he’d better be coming back up and Blanco had better be going back down. I really don’t think Blanco improves the outfield at all. He adds nicely to the all-encompassing s***-storm, in fact.

    Also, I ‘m not really even sure why I’m bothering with this. I’m sure everyone’s forgotten about it/doesn’t care, but a comment was made in the last thread asking why Thom Brenneman and Jhonny Peralta spell their names the way they do. I have no idea about Brenneman, but for Peralta, you have to spell the name with the H after the J in Spanish to get the “j” sound. The letter J in Spanish normally carries an “h” sound, and you only get the “j” sound if you put an H right after it. Now, there is something to be said for translating or Americanizing it, I guess, but that’s why.

  21. and I really don’t understand why everybody preferred Blanco to Anderson, frankly.

    Was this even true?

  22. Blanco and Schafer will both be better players than Josh Anderson by the end of the year. You can take that to the bank.

  23. Nick,

    One reason to prefer Blanco is he had “options.” thus we have run 4 outfielders for 2 months without him, and then were able to bring him up.

  24. A change was needed, even if small. If Blanco catches the ball, takes his walks & scores an extra base here & there, I’ll be satisfied for the time being—until we make a real OF move.

    Re: Pig Sick?
    John Maine had to come out of the game the other day because of a sudden illness. He threw his warmup pitches at the start of the 7th inning, then walked off the mound, right into the clubhouse bathroom. He was done.

    A technician who was part of the Mets TV crew got sick in Pittsburgh & was told to drive back to NYC because they didn’t want him flying with the team.

  25. DOB:

    Bobby Cox has been meeting with Frank Wren for an hour, and I’m hearing from a pretty reliable person that it’s about Glavine. Might not be good news for Glavine fans, either. Again, I haven’t confirmed this, but I’m hearing that his return might not be a given. Keep in mind that $1 mill bonus he gets the day he’s added to the roster. I’ll leave it at that, for now.

  26. 30–yes, I’m one who prefers Blanco to Anderson–Anderson has a bit more power than Blanco (hell, even Francoeur does) but Blanco is far better at getting on base

    re Blanco vs Schafer: good Schafer (= Schafer playing up to what we think is his potential) > Blanco > K-fer (=Schafer of the past 6 weeks)

    edit: re Glavine’s return to the roster–I think the Braves owe Glavine (a hall of famer) much more loyalty than Francoeur, though it isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison b/c there are good alternatives to Glavine but only so-so alternatives (B. Jones is probably an upgrade but not a big one) to the Out Machine

  27. as of now, i’m fine with a g. anderson, blanco, diaz outfield, if chipper and kotchman are in the lineup. if not, well that’s a different story.

    and if that glavine scenario occurs, it will be really ugly. does glavine become trade bait? oh freakin’ wow.

  28. Give Tommy one start. He’ll get shelled, pulled after 3 innings, and that will be that.

    edit: Or unceremoneously release him (according to Rosenthal). Sounds like Wren has screwed the PR pooch with 2/3 of the Big Three.

  29. Wow. Why would you run him around for three weeks if you were just gonna screw him over? I would rather have Hanson over Glavine as much as the next guy, but you can’t just throw Glavine on the garbage heap at this point. You just can’t. You could have back in early April, but not now. It would be an incredibly classless move, and it would put a gigantic dent in this organization’s already sullied reputation, if nothing else.

    EDIT: Well, I guess you can. His velocity being down as an excuse is complete bullshit (of course, the FO always has some bullshit excuse for stuff like this). It was down from his heyday, but I saw him pitch both games in Gwinnett and he looked fine. I am frankly shocked and appalled at the treatment of Glavine here. One million dollars doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. For God’s sake, have some organizational dignity!

  30. No, if Wren doesn’t want to activate Glavine, then Glavine will ask for his release and, if it isn’t granted, file a UNION grievance (and, probably win it).

    And NOW, after paying him $1 million and working on his rehab, everybody else with a pitching problem on the back end might want to take a shot at him.

    I guess Wren “guessed” that Glavine wouldn’t be able to go and Braves wouldn’t have to pay him or deal with him. Otherwise, why would there be an issue. Right now, unless DOB is REALLY off here, it looks dumb and bad on Wren.

  31. Apparently it had something to do with Glavine’s velocity. Of course, even at his healthiest Glavine wasn’t able to throw a ball through a sheet of paper, so go figure.

  32. wow, oh wow. I dont mind his release and I want Hanson up here over him and Medlen, but talk about the backlash that will come from this. Like I said a couple of days ago the Braves shouldve halted the rehab process after his first setback. Now they’ve put themselves in a terrible situation

  33. Glavine wasn’t exactly throwing smoke last night, but he never has (certainly not in the last decade).

    This strikes me as far shabbier treatment of a player than the Smoltz situation. Not guaranteeing Smoltz $5m was just plain smart even if the guy was a Braves legend. Signing Glavine, I think, comes with an implicit promise that he’ll get a chance when healthy.

    edit–my 8 year old, peeking over my shoulder, points out that this comment number is that same as Glavine’s jersey–deja vu or something I guess

  34. I mean, this is what the smart part of the fanbase wanted, right? But it just seems so out of line. I dunno…

  35. This is a great baseball move by Wren that partly makes up for the stupidity of re-signing Glavine in the first place. Glavine wouldn’t have been any good and the starts he would have taken would be better given to Medlen, Hanson, or Morton. He also would have cost money the Braves need if they are to trade for a big bat in the outfield.

  36. Hooray for the always classy and competent Frank Wren, who is always the victim of bad circumstances that are beyond his control and is never to blame for anything!

  37. Smoltz was a guy who had been the horse for the last several years. We needed him to close, he closed. We needed him to start, he started. He was elite throughout his Braves career and even accepted less money to stay here. He was a career Brave, for all intents and purposes. He got shafted.

    Glavine took the money and ran to a division rival. It was a business decision, which you cannot begrudge, but it did change his relationship with the organization.

    He was resigned this year as an insurance policy. Wren saw what Glavine had left, and felt existing roster options were better. Just like Glavine took more money and ran, Wren felt that a healthy Glavine wasn’t worth the money because we don’t have a hole at the position anymore. A business decision, which you cannot begrudge.

    There was an intrinsic tie with Smoltz in Atlanta that makes me feel he was owed better than he got from the organization. Glavine severed that intrinsic tie when he signed with the New York Mets.

  38. There’s no good way to do this. It sucks. Really, really sucks. But Glavine will be the first to tell you this is a business. If it weren’t, he never would have gone to New York.

    When Hanson hits 97 mph on the radar next week people will be much more willing to move on. That’s the harsh reality.

  39. He shouldn’t have resigned him in the first place.

    So, what roster moves are the Braves going to make to get Hanson up here?

  40. I agree w/ 53 (wrote mine before seeing your post).

    That said, I hope they try to keep him around the organization. Dude knows pitching.

  41. If we add payroll in the form of a bat at some point this season, I’m fine with this move. It’s the right baseball move, after all, and I think it shows guts from Wren.

    If we don’t add payroll, though, I’m going to be a little disappointed that we couldn’t just eat the $1 million and give Glavine a last hoorah, as mraver suggests above. I know we don’t owe him that, but after losing Smoltz, this Braves fan would have liked to have seen Glavine on the mound for the Braves at least one more time.

  42. Rumors are that Campillo is headed back to the DL and Barton is being called up.

  43. IM betting they met with Glavine and wanted him to actually make another couple of starts, probably at AAA and he declined. Either way, its the right baseball move and its the right monetary move, its just another real bad PR move. Hey bad publicity is still a good thing right?

    Two days, we’ve gotten Schafer where he needs to be and Glavine where he needs to be. Its time to get this team in order and quit keeping these guys happy all the time. I like it

  44. Wow. Two observations:

    1) Does Wren not realize how much of a jerk he looks like right now? In light of Clifton’s quotes, Wren has some egg on his face… once again.

    2) With the way the Braves’ finances are ran, is $1M that big of a deal. I mean, how tight is their budget that they can’t honor a contract THEY GAVE OUT?

    Wow, this is just really bad for the Braves. I think we have an organization run by douche bags nowadays, or people with no PR training whatsoever.

  45. He was allowed to stick around and rehab on the Braves’ dime, but we truly don’t need him. So this is okay by me. Thanks for everything, Tommy.

  46. Well, Rob, I haven’t seen the exact language of the contract, but I think the Braves actually did honor it. I’m assuming there was no obligation to ever put him on the active roster. Clifton’s comments indicate that Glavine knew he was accepting all the risk in agreeing to this arrangement.

  47. If he wasnt going to help us, too bad Tom, see ya later.

    No gripes by me, we took a chance, didnt work out, cut bait.

  48. If, after Glavine’s rehab, Wren honestly didn’t think that Glavine could help the team win, then I’m fine with the move.

    Maybe it’s bad PR, but I always go back to the Mark Messier analogy. After Messier returned to New York from his time in Vancouver, there was a certain group of NY Ranger fans who said, “How long do we have to keep paying this guy for the Cup?”

    I love Tom Glavine for everything he did for this organization, but I’m not going to get hung up on sentiment here—and certainly not for a guy who took more money to play for the Mets. It’s a business. Everyone understands that.

  49. Rob, I dont think Frank really cares about how he’s perceived out there. He’s getting a lot of pressure from both sides, esp with Hanson tearing up AAA. How can you add Glavine to the roster and pay him this extra $$, when he cant really throw 100 pitches yet. Hanson is ready and there is no logical reason to keep him down.

    Im guessing they move Medlen to Campillo’s spot and Hanson gets the next start

  50. Wren has some balls, that’s for sure. I like the move, but would have prefered to see this done after Glavine’s first setback, not when the other Hall of Fame left-hander of Glavine’s time is going for his 300th win tonight. Not the best timing, but I agree with the move if the money allocated to Glavine is spent on a legitimate Outfielder.

  51. People complaining about them letting Glavine go need to get a life. Yes, it is puzzling why they signed him in the first place. I’m sure they have their reasons. But some people just don’t think Wren can do anything right. I think Frenchy sucks as much as the next guy, but I think they are doing all they can do to improve the team. Who gives a sh*t about PR?

    I second any comments above pointing out that once Hanson is throwing 97 miles an hour for Atlanta in a few weeks, naysayers will forget about Glavine. But then I’m sure it will be something else…..

  52. Actually, the Braves owe Glavine 4.5 million over 90 days once he’s on the active roster. That’s a lot of money. If they’ll take that money and spend it on an outfielder, it’s a great decision, especially since we have a far superior pitcher ready with Hanson.

    I totally agree though they should not have signed him in the first place. Wren just created himself another PR disaster.

  53. @63

    Pretending for a second that the move actually IS “bad PR”, who cares? It was the RIGHT move, plain and simple.

    Glavine hasn’t been relevant for a couple years; hell I bet most baseball fans thought he was retired already. To call Frank Wren a “douche bag” for actually showing some guts and releasing a Braves legend is idiotic.

  54. Maybe it is a PR disaster, but those don’t matter nearly as much as sound baseball decisions. A franchise icon who refuses to hang it up despite all evidence that he should creates an untenable PR situation in the first place.

    Edit: And since it’s clear now that the choice was Glavine or Hanson, the PR angle matters even less.

  55. I’ve gotta say


    With Medlen sliding to the bullpen. With Soriano and Gonzalez dealing. This is an elite pitching staff.

    The lineup though…oofa. I’m thinking of taking a few hacks in the cages and giving the CF job a go.

  56. #82 – correct

    Im pumped thinking about our pitching.


    with Huddy coming back around late July early August. Soriano and Gonzo holding down the pen. Lets keep these guys healthy and we’ll see how good this team can be. By far the best staff in the NL right?

    Edit: I still think Vasquez could be moved around the deadline for a bat if we cant find anything with Morton/Reyes/or Medlen

  57. and Glavine to KC? :-)

    What’s the gain from having Barton up? Why not Brandon Jones?

  58. Hopefully Buddy Carlyle is trapped in a prism and sent to outer space like Zod.

  59. I don’t get why Barton’s not starting.

    84—My understanding is that Barton is competent in CF.

  60. This is a great move. Glavine had nothing in the tank. It’s the kind of move we avoided for the past few years. I am very, very greatful for Frank W. We did NOT need Smoltz (he didn’t need us either – red sox are the best team for him to heal into) we did NOT need Glavine.

    Bad PR move my ass . . . this is Atlanta . . . there are three groups of fans 1) old as hell and they have seen this before (justice for murphy), 2) the 1991’ers . . . who need to recognize the decisions that put us in the place to compete and 3) the people who just showed up because Atlanta is a city of transient professional hobos (sorry about the economy – get used to being here) who don’t know any better.

    PS Dale Murphy understood and took it with grace. I doubt we will see the same from Glav (didn’t from Smoltz).

  61. #84 – Brandon Jones hasnt been playing, I should say starting, at all. Anyone know why?

  62. PR isn’t nearly so important in baseball as the hardcore followers act like. Winning matters for more, and for that this was the right move. At first I felt a bit sorry for Glavine, personally, but then I remembered the way he has always treated the game (as a business) as both union rep and player, and lost my sympathy.

  63. I guess we still have to give KK his chance, but I’d be more excited to see Medlen and Hanson both in the rotation.

  64. geez, today might be real good

    David O’Brien

    June 3rd, 2009
    7:05 pm
    Braves might be getting a helluva CF, folks. Nate McLouth

    Link Report this comment

  65. David O’Brien

    June 3rd, 2009
    7:08 pm
    Braves are trading three prospects to get him, but none of them are Hanson. Not sure who they are. Charlie wouldn’t surprise me. or Medlen. Or both.

  66. Wow, step out for the afternoon and look what happens. I like the move. If we upgrade the OF too, this will be a heck of a day.

  67. Glavine’s status as a union rep doesn’t greaten or lessen my degree of sympathy for him. MLB has a union, and every team needs a rep. Glavine was 10 years removed from a high school education, and tasked with being a spokesman for his side of a complex billion-dollar industry negotiation. If he was indelicate in his some of his phrasing at the time, that had as much to do with being out of his depth as anything else. As he has said.

  68. I stand my ground: It’s a PR mess and it could have easily been avoided. But once the damage was done, the Braves cut their losses with this move.

    Let’s move on.

  69. 95–Gorkys would be a good guess. Morton or Reyes would be another.

    McL has an ops over .800. I’m not a huge fan of SB but his career SB is 64 of 69.

  70. My guess is Schafer, Medlen, and another pitcher. Not sure how I’d feel about that.

  71. Crazy, crazy day. I like the McLouth acquisition provided the Braves treat him appropriately: not as a gold-glove CF but more as a guy you can plug in there if you really need to but you mostly leave in one of the corners. Start him every now and then in CF but mostly in LF. Or RF depending on whether Frenchy’s on the move (though I doubt that).

    ETA: not ecstatic about that deal. Have to think about it some more…

    Also, I’m encouraged by the fact that Schafer’s not included, since it indicates that the Braves are probably aware that McLouth isn’t a long-term solution at CF.


  73. just going off the headline, I like the McLouth addition ..


    I just found out who they gave up for him.. I still like it

  74. Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, Gorkys Hernandez.

    If that’s true, it’s a steal. Hate to give up Locke, but you gotta give to get.


  75. Glad we kept Medlen and Schafer, and that does make us significantly better today…but it’s still a lot to give up.

    And we still have Stenchy.

  76. gorkys morton and locke

    edit–if you want to see Schafer before Sept you’ll need to head up I-85. Hopefully this is good for him to relax and work on his game.

  77. Big day in BraveLand. We certainly now have a major-league centerfielder with some pop.

    I’m happy with the deal.

  78. Per ESPN, McLouth’s contract, just signed this offseason, is “three-year, $15.75 million contract w/2012 option”

    Seems very affordable, esp. when you compare what we’re paying Francoeur.

  79. the only reason i’m skeptical is that we never got a chance to see gorkys or locke in the majors ….

    but the outfield just got significantly better … oh, and where will he hit?? Leadoff?

  80. Frank Wren is apparently going to be joining the radio booth in a bit to talk over the day’s events.

    Where to bat? Leadoff might make sense, as he can take a walk and he is a fantastic, if somewhat infrequent basestealer (7 SB, 0 CS this year, 64 for 69 in his career). And it would allow Kelly to drop down to provide some stick in the bottom half of the lineup. But he could just as easily hit 5th or 6th, especially if Kotchman went back to his natural role in the 2-spot.

  81. While the rest of this stuff is encouraging, that first inning was something of a let down.

  82. McLouth is 7 of 7 on stolen bases this year, and 50 of 54 the last two years. I would prefer him in the middle of the order, but I think they’ll bat him leadoff.

  83. Wow, in all this excitement I had actually forgotten about the game being played right now.

  84. Lowe’s looking good.

    edit: We’re also calling up Hanson to start Saturday, Chuck. :-)

  85. McLouth is also a very unlucky hitter. His BABIP this year is .258; even last year, it was .287, which is below-average. With a more typical BABIP he’d look even better.

  86. Look at it this way: we turned Andy Marte in to Jair Jurrjens and Nate McClouth.


  87. I am skeptical on McLouth. I don’t think he is really a good centerfielder (advanced metrics say that). And, as an offensive player, he isn’t as good against lefties as Diaz is against righties. So, if he plays every day, you takea hit.

    The contract is good and probably fits for us. So, we probably picked our outfielder by who we could afford to pay. Isn’t that the mistake we made with ACHE?

    I think Gorkys is almost proven to be as good of a centerfielder (better fielder, maybe a tad lower offensively) with 6 pre free agent years left. McLouth has 2.6. Odds are out of Locke and Morton that they get at least 6 years of ML #3 pitching. Possibly as high as 12 years of 4 through 2 pitching.

    When you consider that Harrison (and maybe Beau Jones)went for Mahay, then we gave up a high ceiling A pitcher (Feliz), a high ceiling ML ready catcher (Salty), and a high ceiling young Short stop for Teixeira. We gave up almost as much for McLouth?

  88. haha, the MLB network, obviously scrambling for a graphic to throw up there on the trade, projects our lineup like this:


    Can’t imagine any lineup situation in which Yunel is ever hitting 8th. Even in games at AL parks.

  89. I’m sure Hanson won’t be formally called up until Saturday, but Medlen will be in the bullpen. Campillo is on the DL, with Brian Barton called up. My guess is that Barton will be sent down tomorrow when McLouth goes down, and Blanco will go down on Saturday.

  90. wow. some thoughts…

    1. Never should have signed Glavine. I pouted about the Smoltz debacle, then eventually moved on. Perhaps it prepared me for this. It was the right baseball move.

    2. I’m pumped for Hanson’s debut.

    3. Sounds like a pretty good move to get McLouth. I haven’t seen him play, but have read that getting the gold glove last year was a joke. I bet he’s sure look good in RF, though. heh heh.

    4. I’d sure like to see KJ lower in the order. Why not leadoff with Yunel?


    5. Let’s get Crabman in a game and see what he can do.

  91. mclouth needs to hit first. he is consistent and puts a constant threat to run leading off. what i like about mclouth is that he makes our lineup so much deeper. if francoeur goes soon (which he will if he doesnt produce), our outfield looks pretty good. i really like this lineup:

  92. I’d be ok with McLouth leading off as well, but he could definitely hit in the middle of this lineup.

  93. We seem to be having server issues tonight. I’m guessing there’s extra traffic with all these things happening at once; I’ve sent in an email in case it’s something else.

  94. Was anyone else really surprised about how fast this trade happened (or how quiet they kept it)? I mean, first thing we heard about it was less than an hour ago.

  95. I think McLouth fits in great either ahead of Chipper or behind McCann. Either way, that bat is a HUGE addition to the club.

  96. Some horrifically bad umpiring this series, working against both sides.

  97. I suspect Bobby will bat McLouth leadoff.

    CF McLouth
    SS Escobar
    3b Chipper
    C McCann
    LF Anderson
    2b Johnson
    1b Kotchman
    RF Francoeur

  98. Wren calls McLouth a “legitimate lead off hitter” so they are likely looking at him for that role. Besides, after the 1st inning, isn’t the “leadoff” designation pretty much moot in terms of hitting with people on base in front of them? Still, he would fit in well after McCann just as much.

    It’s a great trade wherever they hit him. He nearly matches the HR total from our current outfield all by himself. He also instantly becomes the team leader in RBI.

    I also understand Glavine asked for his release, which if true, lessens the PR hit. I agree, Hanson’s start on Sat. pretty much makes that an afterthought.

  99. Wren said something along the lines of “we gave Tommy the option of retiring or being released and he opted to be released”… so not sure what that will mean… Can I say how amusing it would be if the Mets were so in need of pitchers that they sign Tommy or Pedro?

  100. @139

    I like the idea of Yunel hitting leadoff. He’s always excelled there, and if nothing else, helps with the DP’s

    We are heavy lefty though.

  101. It’s not moot, because he’s hitting after the pitcher. Even if there’s a runner on base, that runner will mostly be in scoring position (i.e. can score with a single so you don’t need the power so much) because he’d be bunted over.

  102. @145, They finally learned to keep this kind of thing closer to the vest until it actually happens. Good job, Birdman.

  103. I like this trade. He has a reasonable contract and we did not give up our best OF prospect or our best non-Hanson pitching prospect. I wish we could have dumped Jo Jo on the Pirates instead of Morton or Locke, but let’s face it – JoJo is worthless. Probably a fair trade for both teams. My buddy, a big Bucs fan, said, “Of course the Braves like to trade with the Pirates, they make out like f*$@ing bandits!”

  104. As much as I hate to lose Gorkys and Locke this deal looks amazing. McLouth would’ve been about my top pick of available outfielders, but I’m not sure I actually thought he was available. I guess the Pirates are just in constant rebuild mode.

    McLouth has the ability to be the center fielder until Schafer is ready to go, and then he has the bat to move over to a corner. Plus he’s got a decent contract that lets us hold onto him for a while, and still move him easily if we ever feel the need. If he batted from the right side it’d be a perfect fit, but beggers can’t be choosers. Count this as another win for Frank Wren!


  105. Here’s how I’d play it (accepting the reality of Frenchy):

    vs. RHP


    vs. LHP


    McLouth has better power vs. RHP, so get him some ducks on the pond. He can fight lefties to a draw and maybe make more use of his speed versus LHP. Versatile lineup guy.

  106. I wish wren had the sac to say that the reason hanson wasnt up was due to the extra non arbitration eligible. Just say it. If he isnt straight with that to fans, what else is he BS’ing about? The guy comes across as weezle.

    Did this guy McLouth make the all star game just because every team has to have an all star or were his credentials legit?

  107. 163 — He was the obvious selection to represent the bucs, but he was red hot in the 1st half last year.

  108. Interesting thought: With McLouth and Jurrjens both seemingly penciled in for the forseeable future, this more or less closes the book on the once controversial Andy Marte for Renteria trade. Stop for a moment and consider what a wonderful, wonderful deal this was for the Braves.

    In the winter of 2005, Braves send highly touted 3b prospect Andy Marte to Boston in exchange for Edgar Renteria.

    Over the next two seasons, the Red Sox pay $11 million of Renteria’s existing contract as Renteria hits .311 playing adequate defesne as the everyday SS, while Marte underachieves in the Red Sox minor league system.

    After the 2007 season, the Braves send Edgar Renteria to the Tigers for Jair Jurrjens (at the time less celebrated than the likes of Verlander, Miller, Porcello in their system) and Gorkys Hernandez.

    Renteria has been mediocre since, Marte is 25 years old and in AAA for the 4th consecutive year, while Jair has been the Braves most reliable pitcher over the past year and half, and Gorkys has lit up our minor league system at the plate while establishing himself as the best defensive CF prospect in baseball.

    Then, today, we package Gorkys with Morton and Locke for McLouth.

    Not exactly, but you could almost say we traded Marte for two of Renteria’s best years and Jair Jurrjens and Nate McLouth signed long term…

    That, my friends, is a good trade.

  109. I hope we offered Schafer and the Pirates were smart enough to ask for Gorkys instead. I’d love to have watched Gorkys patrol CF for 6 years. But given its Frank Wren we are talking about things could have been much worse.

  110. Say what you want, but Wren has done a very good job as GM. Just not so much on the PR side

  111. somebody noted in the blog yesterday that Chip says “our sport” when referring to baseball
    I never noticed Chip said that until i read that
    Thanks alot
    now it is bugging the all heck out me
    Hey chip – it aint “our” sport
    Not cool to pay it forward on pet peeves

  112. Well, we traded Renteria, Locke and Morton for Jurrjens and McLouth

  113. @172 You know that was totally on purpose, too. Gotta wonder if all the DeRo talk wasn’t a head fake by mgmt. If so, I like it.

  114. There is almost nothing to not like about this trade. Morton was never gonna pitch regularly for us, we can only have so many CFs and it seems we’ve picked Schafer, and I would almost never feel bad about giving up a Class A pitcher for something that we desperately need right now. There is no way you can say that Gorkys Hernandez is as good as Nate McLouth, especially when he’s not even ready to play in the majors yet and is obviously our second choice among our two OFs.

    Also, as far as what Cliff said at 132, I really don’t know what he’s talking about with Diaz. McLouth is pretty obviously gonna play CF, meaning he would be replacing Blanco. How anyone could be upset about that, I have no idea. As far as Diaz goes, it will still be a platoon between he and ACHE, and he could still spell Jeffy in right, but McLouth will not be taking any ABs from Diaz.

  115. Ah crap. Now it’s Frenchy’s turn to kill the rally.

    (Can I call ’em or what? Now ask me where the sun will come up. Not really any tougher.)

  116. And for that matter, I don’t know what anyone’s talking about as far as not wanting McLouth in center. They obviously aren’t making a decision on Franceour, and left is by far the most effective OF spot at the moment.

  117. Back to the same old Francoeur. Well, at least he’s on notice now after today’s deal. Schafer might have drawn a walk with those pitches.

  118. Francoeur sucks.

    I think we can go ahead and file last night’s homer in the “blind pig and acorn” category.

  119. The most absurd swing of the Francoeur era. And complete disdain by Lilly and Hill.

  120. God Almighty…swing at a strike!

    Hopefully Wren is still working on improving this team.

  121. Ranking the most absurd swings of the Francoeur era is like trying to rank farts in order of smell. They’re all shitty.

  122. Another excellent start from Lowe, hope we pick him up this inning, or at least get him off the hook.

  123. Blanco is a man who knows his limitations.

    And Chipper is a man who knows how to crush pitches!

  124. Lovely. And a bit lucky, I think, that it didn’t jump the fence and keep Blanco on third.

  125. @208: One out, a slow runner on second, a double-play-prone batter up next … would actually be good strategy.

    EDIT: And KJ strikes out, rendering the point moot.

  126. I can see mcLouth hitting 2nd between Esco and Chipper. This allows KJ to be dropped down to 6th where he can drive in some runs ahead of TOM.

    TOM (or hopefully some other reasonable facsimile of a major league hitter)

  127. I believe McLouth will be leading off. Kudos to Wren for what he did today. I feel a lot more comfortable with Wren today than yesterday. I don’t think we have given up too much in this deal, and I like the deal A LOT.

  128. Nate McLouth ’08/’09 home run total::Braves ’08/’09 outfielders home run total

    Babe Ruth 1920 home run total::rest of american league home run totals

    I’m not sure if I did that right, but you get my point.

  129. Chip with his impression of Will Ferrell doing Harry. OK, that was pretty funny.

  130. Quite troubling that our closer seems to have issues when pitching on consecutive nights.

    EDIT: Bullet dodged. Whew.

  131. Gonzo, like Soriano, is in the last year of his contract–if we’re looking to make further moves, wouldn’t it seem pretty natural to move Mikey on for offense and resign Soriano?

    Or I guess we can just wait for the draft picks; but really we need to sign one or the other of them and I know which I’d prefer.

  132. Wow. I just came to the computer. So… in one day, we added Nate McLouth and Tommy Hanson to our roster, and all it cost us was Tom Glavine, a blocked CF who can’t hit, a AAA pitcher with confidence problems, and a low-minors pitcher with tons of upside but a 5.56 ERA.

    That’s a pretty good day.

  133. @224: Better win it now; Norton’s all that’s left on the bench.

  134. The Cubs have nothing on their bench either, and a shaky bullpen. We’re not automatically boned if we go to extras here.

  135. Awful.

    And Brian Barton is my new nominee for the reverse Reggie Cleveland All-Stars.

  136. Atrocious umpiring this series, but at least it’s balanced out so far.

  137. Why in the world did we try to steal there? Of all the times not to bunt…WTF. Blanco at the plate, Chipper on deck (and KJ to follow, after they walk Chipper)…I just don’t get it.

  138. Does anyone take the McLouth trade as an obscure shot across Francoeur’s bow? After all, he’ll play center for us now, but Schafer’s not gonna be in the minors forever, and when he comes back McLouth will need to play a corner… does that mean that if Frenchy’s still OPSing .650 in August, he might lose his job?

  139. Bennett’s most impressive inning this year. Hopefully we won’t need another tonight.

  140. 250 — Haven’t thought about that, but it’s a possibility. I don’t think that was an intended consequence by Wren, but I’d take it.

  141. Mark Lemke has never seen a performance in baseball that he couldn’t describe as “amazing” or “extremely good/well”. The Lemmer reminds me of every drunken Braves homer that, upon realizing I am watching the game, will ask for the score and then proceed to talk some utter nonsense about the game of baseball and the Braves. I would rather listen to Chip than Mark Lemke.

  142. AAR – I was just thinking the same thing. With Schafer and Heyward, Francoeur could be guaranteed his walking papers by next year.

  143. You don’t generally bunt with one out. And Blanco can drive in a run from second with a single. And Crabman was safe.

    You should when Gregor Blanco’s at the plate and Chipper Jones is on deck with Kelly Johnson to follow. It’s highly unlikely. That’s results-oriented and I’m talking about the process.

  144. Just read everything. WOW.

    Releasing Glavine – Tough for a guy like me that suffered through the 80’s. Glav was to me and the fans back then, all 20 of us, like Hanson is for us today times 20. Hope. But it was a sound baseball decision. I sure hope that Tommy just calls it a wonderful career. I sure would hate seeing him suck for another team.

    Acquiring McLouth – Yesssssss. Nice trade for both teams. Mclouth was blocking the Pirates Andrew. Charlie built his value back up at Gwinnet, Gorkys a light hitting CF thats mostly batting average, Locke a lefty with lousy stats at the best pitching park in the minors. Well done and much better than Morton for DeRo.

    Is it too much to ask Wren for a Right Fielder?

  145. @250,

    I agree, today should be a big wake up call for Frenchy, and everyone else for that matter. Time to get it done. With our pitching we have a shot to actually do something this year. I’m pretty excited, honestly.

  146. “Where has the art of the bunt gone?”
    -Chip Caray

    The same place that video cassette tapes and LPs have gone. When guys hit more homers, you don’t bunt as much. Duh

  147. That was trusting a lot of innings to Bennett over two games in extras.

    Playing with fire.

  148. #255…..Lemmer over Chip? Ouch. For the first time I turned the TV sound down during a Braves game. Chip and Simpson tend to talk about everything except the action on the field. Its quite annoying.

  149. Maybe Medlen will flourish in the ‘pen and help render Bennett unnecessary. Oh, well. Lost the game, but we’re a better team now than we were at 4 p.m.

  150. After watching the game tonight it is apparent that the pen is still one arm short. Bennett is awful. If Wren did not sign Glavine and went after another bullpen arm or resigned Ohman maybe we would not have to look at Bennett, who I am incredibly sick of.

    I like the McClouth trade, this team desperately needed someone to hit, but he ain’t enough.

    I hate losing to the Cubs. I still don’t like Frank Wren, but I will give credit, we are better now than we were yesterday, but still nowhere close to where we need to be.

  151. My ranking of current Braves announcers:

    1. Jim Powell
    2. Don Sutton
    3. Zombie Skip Caray
    4. Jon Sciambi
    5. Simpson

    * Chip

  152. so, when hanson comes up on saturday and medlen goes to the pen, is their an odd man out or does barton just go back to the minors?

  153. Recap/transaction analysis is up. I’ll start work on the McLouth player analysis now — as with Blanco yesterday, it’ll be up at 2 CDT as the game thread.

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