Orioles 11, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Baltimore Orioles – Box Score – June 14, 2009 – ESPN

It’s only one game. But what a terrible game it was. Derek Lowe got shelled, and didn’t get out of the third, allowing seven runs. The Braves were down 11-0 after the fifth. Yunel choked on a rundown play, turning an inning-ending out into a steal of home, and Bobby yanked him. The catchers were 3-4 with two homers by Ross (McCann sat once the game went critical) but the rest of the team had two hits. Jeffy is still on the team and doesn’t think anything is wrong. Medlen walked five men in four innings of relief and also gave up six hits, throwing 81 pitches. In relief! Ty Wigginton, who entered the game hitting .222 with three homers, homered twice. It’s really disgusting. Fortunately, I stopped watching after about four innings; all I can say about this team is that it deserves to have to watch the whole thing.

123 thoughts on “Orioles 11, Braves 2”

  1. If Bobby Cox were a man, he’d cut loose like Lou Piniella on the media after the game. However, he’ll probably say, “We hit the ball hard. Derek was just off… Escobar tweaked his hip flexor. We’ll get ’em Tuesday.”

  2. @32: He probably will, but he should just light them up like a firecracker. Of course, the best way to deal with this team is to drink heavily. I was passed out by the top of the fifth, which helped.

  3. I’m hearing rumors swirling around that the Braves are interested in Luke Scott. Anyone else getting this?

  4. He was quite critical of the team, especially Yunel, in the post-game interview. They asked Bobby if he thought it would get Yunel’s attention and he said, “[sigh] I’ve talked to him an awful lot since he’s been here.” He was also more upset about Yunel not turning the double-play in the first than the run-down play

  5. @4

    So… why isn’t he mad about Francoeur? All I ever hear is how everyone is REALLY hoping for him to turn it around, to make good on his promise. I’m not saying let Escobar off the hook, but the fact that Bobby stands by Francoeur all the while showing the propensity to unload on others makes me hate him. I continue to believe that following the Braves is like being trapped in a twilight zone episode.

  6. Adam, One of 3 scenarios:
    1. Jeff has the GOOD pictures. The really good ones that would show up on You Tube complete with Euro Dance crap music.

    2. Bobby truly believe that the team is better with Benchy in right field.

    3. See above which might mean ‘the good pictures’ are of Bobby smoking crack.

  7. I hate this team. The thing that bothers me the most is that we have pitching. Usually when you have pitching you can at least be a .500 team if you can’t hit or field ………… Oh never mind.

    Seriously starting pitching is the hard part. Isn’t it?

  8. per mlbtr

    Altanta offered Jeff Francoeur straight up for Cody Ross last week, but the Marins quickly declined. For reference, Francoeur, 25, is batting .250/.282/.345 this season with four home runs and 29 RBI. Ross, 28, is batting .270/.320/.482 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI.

    #3 – Im sure they are, there’s probably about 10 teams interested if not more

  9. @7 Well, they basically are a .500 team, in the scheme of things, but they’ll probably end up worse than that after this next stretch of games against the AL East leaders. In the end, with this roster construction (yes, I maintain disgust at Frank Wren), the Braves are probably at or near the same level with their last two opponents, the Pirates and Orioles. It’s no prettier this year than the past three.

  10. Francouer for Ross? That’s ballsy. Glad to hear they’re making offers and not waiting for someone to take him off their hands though…

    June is about to get a hell of a lot uglier.

  11. At least offer him for someone more expensive.

    The Marlins wouldn’t even look at the performances, they’d see Francoeur was more expensive and decline on the spot

  12. It isn’t like Bobby is sitting Esco for performance reasons. The guy has been playing well. He sat him because he makes countless boneheaded plays, and Bobby got tired of it. So you can’t really compare what he did with Yunel to what he isn’t doing with Frenchy. Because a Frenchy benching would be based solely on performance. I’d much rather just have the guy off the team.

  13. another reason why it was stupid not to take him to arbitration. Its sad when an offer of Frenchy and Reyes for Ross still probably wouldnt be enough

  14. Todd Redmond got shelled today, allowing 7 runs in 4 innings.

    Also, Kotchman came out after just 5 innings. Not sure if that was planned or if he reaggrevated his calf.

  15. I think what we’ve found is that you’re allowed to be clueless (Jeffy) but not mistake-prone (Yunel). We’re really comparing two different types of mentally challenged incompetence here.

  16. Exactly, you punish Yunel because you know he can do better and the fate of the team sort of hinges on him doing better. It’s harder to pull Frenchy because he probably is trying as hard as he can, he just isn’t good at baseball.

  17. “Exactly, you punish Yunel because you know he can do better and the fate of the team sort of hinges on him doing better. It’s harder to pull Frenchy because he probably is trying as hard as he can, he just isn’t good at baseball.”

    Perhaps this is still lost on me. You try to reform/improve the one who has potential, sure. Like I said, I have no problem with punishing Yunel there. But you also don’t stand to gain by bothering with the one who has no potential, and this raises my original question: why is Francoeur still starting if he sucks? I don’t see why it would be hard to pull Francouer at all. HE ISN’T GOOD AT BASEBALL. Shouldn’t this be the most important litmus test to decide who plays and who doesn’t?

    My original point was that Bobby seems clueless in regards to Francoeur, and that is almost as bad as the incompetence Francoeur has shown. In other words: Bobby can clearly recognize failure at times, but why not here?

  18. Question posed on MLBTR (as part of the Francoeur/Ross post):

    If the Braves are truly shopping Francoeur, what other clubs make sense?

    One of the responses:

    I think he would be a good fit with the Rome Braves

    Uhhh … no thanks, no matter how wretched the Rome Braves are offensively.

    OTOH, maybe there is something to the suggestion–Wren was here scouting over the past few days. Maybe he’s looking for a new home for Francoeur.

  19. I think that team that Rickey Henderson played on when he tried getting back to baseball might take Frenchy. That independent league team.

  20. brooks conrad is quietly putting up good numbers at gwinnett. he is hitting .271 with a .370 obp and 9 home runs.

  21. RE: Bobby, I think you all mistake what Bobby says to the press with what Bobby says to the team. I expect – nay, I am virtually certain – that the “we’ll get ’em tomorrow” card is the PR front and little more.

    As for Francoeur, unless you’re suggesting starting Gregor Blanco in LF I’m not sure what else there is to do but play him and hope he gets hot enough for someone to trade for him.

  22. oldtimer it might be Infante playing for the eternally frustrating KJ. Got to hand it to the French one. He has played so horribly as to vacuum all hope that has any chance to be decent or even average out of even the most optimistic fan. KJ is a dang teaser. The son of a gun will hit for 20 games just to get your hopes up then …… nothing for 40 games.

  23. Sam H once told me Kelly Johnson was better than Jose Reyes. He didn’t specify better at what…

  24. Guess I don’t mind missing the past 2 games, and it sounds like Yunel finally pushed his in-game stupidity to the limit.

    Good to have a day off, I suppose, with our best pitcher lined up for Tuesday.

    Had to spend the weekend in Atlantic City, so I caught bits of the Phils-Red Sox games on TVs around the Borgata. I know the Dodgers are lapping the field, but I couldn’t keep from thinking that this could be a WS preview.

    Plenty o’ Phils fans in AC, of course, and boy, are they a corpulent, unhealthy bunch. Lotsa mouthbreathing red blobs in Utley T-shirts trudging around the casino with a Budweiser bottle in one hand, a cigarette in another.

    The drive back to NYC mostly entailed listening to the Yanks’ demolition of the Mets. The only drama: Would the Mets absorb their worst shutout in team history?

    Nope, the Braves still hold that record with a 16-0 rubout in 1999—one of my favorite Shea experiences ever, complete with 4th of July fireworks. Unfortunately, we’re a long way from those days.

  25. KJ is better than Reyes in terms of suckness. I was a fan of KJ, and now I see him as the same as Frenchy.

  26. Man oh man are we going to regret that Derek Lowe contract. Maybe not this year, but when he’s 39 years old making 15 million we’re going to regret that contract.

  27. Hey, KJ’s not Jeffy bad. He’s been pretty terrible this year, I have to admit. He’d be a buy stock, though — I think he’ll bounce back as soon as the Braves get rid of him.

  28. PWHjort, I was saying the same thing when the contract was signed, but I would still rather have Lowe than Burnett.

    Mac, at least Frenchy can still throw baserunners out, KJ’s defense is really getting to my nerve. Ok, Frenchy’s range is bad…that’s why I see them both as the same now. Anyway, you just can’t compare suckness to suckness without thinking why am I even bothering.

  29. I don’t get the animosity towards Frank Wren at all. Looking at the team during the offseason there were 7 players who I would call good/really good/great. Those 7 were:

    1) Chipper
    2) McCann
    3) Jurrjens
    4) Gonzalez
    6) Soriano
    7) Escobar

    Essentially, 70% of the roster was useless. Wren had a mountain to climb this offseason, and had a ton of holes to fill. When you look at our pitching staff, I think he’s done pretty damn well. I mean you could argue that we needed Adam Dunn (and I definitely wanted him), but if we signed him then we couldn’t have gotten Lowe or Vazquez or whomever.

    He wasn’t going to be able to fix everything this season, so just ease up a bit. With our starting rotation seemingly set-up for a couple years it will be much easier to fill the rest of the holes in the offseason.

  30. Well the next two weeks will tell if we are in this or not. If we can tred water and stay with in 5 of the division or the WC we might go for it.

    However, with Chipper in a slump and murder’s row coming up, we might be on life support.

  31. @32 “I don’t get the animosity towards Frank Wren at all.”

    Where was the animosity?

  32. “where was the animosity?”

    In reply #10 in this thread and countless other threads over the last few weeks.

  33. @30: That is my fear too. Some team will take Johnson and tell him to take pitches and stop being so aggressive and he’ll be good again. Hitting .398 in September 2008 while swinging at everything with his new “aggressive approach” I personally think is what screwed him up. Meanwhile, I think we’ll eventually find out the hard way why Infante’s career OBP is lower than that of Francoeur’s.

    Of course, this is Johnson’s fault. He has sucked this year, not as bad as Francoeur, but still. And since he’s not golden boy, he doesn’t get another chance like Francoeur did this year after 2008.

    Francoeur though, I’m certain, will bounce around, never staying on one team’s major league roster very long and we’ll all wonder how they could figure out so quickly what it is taking the Braves seemingly forever to understand: that Francoeur isn’t good.

  34. If we can’t move Frenchy; let’s send him down and try to salvage what we can of his career. There is some potenetial there, but can it be found?

  35. I like the McLouth trade, but I’m wondering if we should just sit pat and hope for a 3rd place finish – it’s better than trading good players to try to salvage this year and still ending up 3rd or worse. I thought we had great SP depth, but with Campillo hurt, JoJo being JoJo, Glavine and Morton gone, and Hanson and Medlin on the ML roster, our SP depth is not that great anymore. IMO we don’t have too many valuable trade pieces that we can afford to lose in order to be a better team next year.

    I still think we’re better than this. It’s good to see Cox enforcing some discipline, but I think there is a culture of losing that has hit us over the last few years. IMO the best way to rid ourselves of this culture is to kindly ask Cox to retire after this year. He deserves a nice farewell tour.

  36. I think it’d be better if, after no trade partner can be found, the Braves just released Francoeur. Sending him down to the minors just means he’ll be back after a hot week and the cycle starts all over again.

  37. @35 I see. I think we all have to realize this is a rebuilding year. The fact that some of us are even thinking playoff is an amazing achievement of Wren. I think he is doing fine…and his release of Glavine + trade of McLouth really make me starting to believe in him. It would be great if he is able to get any meaningful return for Frenchy and KJ.

  38. If recent rumors are to be believed, Wren is trying to trade Francoeur. It might take some time, and the fact that he sucks isn’t helping matters, but we don’t have anybody to take his place who’s good enough to make a significant difference in the team’s fortunes anyhow. And if we bench him, that’s a signal that we don’t believe he can get any better. It’s best just to play him while trying to trade him, so we can still play the change-of-scenery card.

  39. pretty much the only RF’r in baseball worse than Frenchy is Brian Giles. So whoever we replace Frenchy with is going to be an immediate upgrade. If its Brandon Jones thats more than fine with me. He could be the worst RF’r in baseball, but he’d only be making the league min and there are no organizational ties with him

  40. kc, I didn’t mean to imply that the McLouth trade was just good for this year – I also think it will help us in the years ahead. A few months ago I would have been all for trading Medlin or Campillo or both for an impact right fielder or left fielder. As it stands now I’d rather see us keep what we have and look for an impact player via free agency next offseason.

  41. Many years ago (5-10), I remember during a game like this Don Sutton saying something to the effect of: Bobby doesn’t blow his lid in the clubhouse often, but once or twice a year, after a game like this, he does. Given his comments after the game, which were more critical than usual, and his sending McDowell out to make the pitching change, I wouldn’t worry about him saying to his team, “Oh well, we’ll get ’em Tuesday” after that game. I’m pretty sure he got the message across.

  42. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Escobar benching is the start of a new Bobby or if he is just taking out his anger on Yunnie because he doesn’t like him. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen KJ botch a double play with no punishment, or how about Anderson’s complete lack of hustle? How many fly balls have dropped because of his lazy ass or how many infield singles missed?

    I understand Yunnie has made several mistakes recently but it is only his 2nd full year and he’s playing between 2 below average defensive players in Chipper and Kelly.

  43. The payroll cut is the elephant in the room, and the chief reason signing KK was so dumb. Hudson will not be back. Vazquez will have to be traded. One of Soriano and Gonzalez will walk. A rotation of Lowe, JJ, Hanson, Medlen and KK, with a bullpen that is even shakier than this year. An OF of Blanco/Schafer, Mclouth and a cheap replacement for Francoeur, with an infield of Jones, Yunel, Kotchman, Infante and McCann with Prado, Canizares, BJones/Blanco, Ross and Hernandez on the bench. Shitastic, By the time we get to the promised land (Heyward), we’ll have at least one third of our payroll tied up in two once trusty but now broken down mules (Chipper and Lowe) and that plus the reality of expensive arbitration raises all over the infield, and the inevitability of injuries to young starters, well before you know it a couple more seasons will be down the tubes and then McCann will be in pinstripes and we’ll still be here, crying in our beer, yelling at Wren for not have blown up the team way back in 09 and gotten us better pieces to go with Hanson, Heyward and Freeman.

  44. @49

    Glad you’ve got it all figured out. At least now, you’ve saved yourself the trouble of having to actually watch the games for the next decade

  45. Stephen, I was looking at the AAA and AA lineups…it’s pretty sad to say we have nothing to be excited with at those two levels right now.

  46. KC–The trades for both Vazquez and McLouth had their merits–but together they helped to deplete our stock of position players prospects.

    I think that we have several guys at AA who can be 4th outfielders or part time players. At the Beach we have the now injured Hayward, Freeman and Cody Johnson. Below upper A it is pretty thin (with the possible exception of a couple of catching prospects), which is why the draft did not help as much as it might have.

    It would be great if Calvin Culver or Brooks or Hanson or Sumoza could develop into solid prospects….

    I am not pessimistic, but position players are not easy to develop….

  47. That’s why I am seeing us trading Vazquez and Sori at the trading deadline to restock our farm again. I honestly can’t see us contending this year. I hope I am wrong.

  48. 29 +31–I agree about Lowe…We overpaid Lowe and we will find him difficult to move. I don’t want to see us trade either Vazquez or Sori–but if we do it will confirm that our 2008-2009 offseason strategy was even worse than 2007-2008….

    As for restocking the farm–we just had the chance–and while I am less critical about some of the players picked by the Braves–my feeling is that we didn’t….

  49. Stephen, Sori will be a FA and one SP has to go if the team is bringing back Huddy. They are the most logical pieces to move.

    I didn’t want to trade for Javy because I don’t want to part with Flowers, but Vazquez turns out to be great. I think we will get something special in return for those two.

  50. @56

    The Yanks already had Javy once. Considering how that went (especially in the postseason), I doubt they’d pull the trigger again.

  51. Well, yeah, Ethan, I did thought about that. Just got bored and start making things up.

  52. I hear you. What kills me is the thought of replacing KK and ACHEs’ offseason money for Adam Dunn.

  53. Ethan, that’s where I don’t agree with you. I am still fine with the KK signing and I still don’t like Dunn.

  54. No–I am not sure that Hughes will ever make it as a #1 starter (the same holds for Hanson). Yes, he has great potential, but there is a decent enough chance thats he won’t improve enough that I would not pull the trigger on the deal. Also, I am not a huge fan of Swisher…

  55. KC–I forgot to ask: would you?…

    Also, are the Yanks interested in Javy…

  56. Why are people so down on Kawakami? He’s got nearly a 2:1 K/BB, and he gives up just under 1 HR a game. That’s a league-average pitcher/#3 starter, which is worth about $7 million a year…almost exactly what he is making.

  57. I was at the game on Saturday night and watching Kawakami was an amazing sight. It seemed like he had no chance of getting through the first two innings without giving up 7 or 8 runs, but he did somehow. The problem is, this is not a team that can win when the starter goes five innings. If they could have gotten to Soriano/Gonzo, they had a chance, but I was pretty sure (1) the Braves wouldn’t score any more runs; and (2) the middle relief would fall apart.

    I think the Braves have consistently since 2005 overrated their talent. That’s why I’m not as excited about Hanson and Heyward as others. Other than McCann, the best players have come through trades, not the farm system. I know the Braves supposedly have a highly-ranked farm system but I’m not so optimistic that it’s going to translate into anything at the major leage level. And, in any event, they have little position talent. I don’t see how the Braves are really going to get much better. I see the team struggling for quite a while. I don’t think 2011 is necessarily going to be the big turnaround. Wren has done a decent job in filling some of the holes, but I think the organization needs a makeover. But they still think they are an elite organization even though the results argue otherwise.

    I don’t see any more big trades this year. Everyone acts as if Nick Swisher is Albert Pujols. He’s a journeyman player with some decent skills. Yes, compared to what they have, he would be a big upgrade, but that would still leave numerous holes in the lineup and a pretty weak infield defense. KJ is an adequate 2B at best; fine if he is hitting, but without offense, not much. The team has no power or speed. I just can’t see how you fix this in the short-run.

  58. btw, i’ve reviewed escobar’s play over and over now and i have a different conclusion. even if escobar throws the ball as soon as he gets it, i’m not sure he gets andino. canizares could be at fault for the run scoring. however, escobar should have realized that he missed the opportunity to get the out at home and he, at the least, has to get out roberts.

    the downside of the play by escobar is that he looks like he has to be reminded to throw home.

  59. I think the Braves have consistently since 2005 overrated their talent. That’s why I’m not as excited about Hanson and Heyward as others.

    People aren’t excited about Hanson and Heyward because of what the Braves say about them. They’re excited because of what neutral observers say about them, and because of what they’ve done so far. Take Hanson in particular — he wasn’t just good the last couple years, he was out of this world. Almost nobody does THAT well as a 22-year-old AAA pitcher without being a special player.

  60. Let me add that we have been watching Hanson even before the Braves selected him as a draft and follow player….

  61. I think the fact that you’ve seen Javy Vazquez mentioned in rumors is enough to believe the Braves are facing a budget crunch.

  62. @65 I respectfully disagree. The Braves haven’t overrated their talent. Its true that of the so called Baby Braves only McCann has turned out to be anything special. Still a team that can field a homegrown SS, 2b, RF that sucks, a 3b and a catcher isn’t doing too bad in the player developement area. Where the Braves have excelled is leveraging potential for performance. So in a way you could say that it isn’t the Braves overrating thier talent, its the rest of the teams in MLB.

  63. If we get too far down in the standings we should become sellers and as much as I have liked his performance this year Javy would be at the top of the list to dangle.

  64. Think Javy gets us 2 corner outfielders, a consistent 2b and a ss with his head on his shoulders and not up his ass? Hell I would settle for Jason Bay or someone similar.

  65. I am yet to see one rumor that mentions Javier Vazquez as a trade candidate. I haven’t even seen a speculative report.

  66. #69 – not necessarily, Javy seems to be the easiest to move in order to make room for Huddy if they go that route. Probably would bring the most in a trade also

  67. I tend to agree with sdp: there is real chance that the Braves are facing a budget crunch. I believe that drafting Minor (and some of the other picks) was done, at least in part, for financial reasons.

    That said, does anybody know who the Braves have signed?

  68. Is everyone saying Vazquez instead of Lowe because it’s assumed Lowe is untradeable due to his contract? Even if Vazquez would bring more, I’d rather trade Lowe and sign Vazquez to an extension. JV strikes me as the kind of horse who will be an asset for years to come.

  69. Talking Chop has some information concerning who we’ve signed, will sign, won’t sign, etc. David Hale is apparently eager to sign for slot.

  70. #80 – exactly, Id trade Lowe right now. Who knows the Yanks may just buy it, but I dont want to eat his salary and try to move him

  71. Vazquez is more tradeable and would bring a higher return. Younger and cheaper and those strikeout numbers would make him far more marketable. If the Braves FO decides that its time to rebuild rather than reload then they would have to dangle the player that gets them the best players in return.

  72. If a team wanted Lowe they would’ve just signed him this off-season. It’s not like his value has gone up since then. If anything the opposite. No other teams were stupid/desperate enough to give a 36 year old 4 years, especially at 15 million per. Why would they turn around and give up prospects for that contract? I’d rather move Lowe and keep Vazquez too, but Vazquez has trade value, Lowe really doesn’t.

  73. 81–Thanks. I am pretty sure we will get Minor and Hale; apparently we already have Jones, Berryhill and a few others. I am particularly interested in whether the Braves will get players such as Upperman or LaPoint–these are the types of high school pitchers with good upsides that they could use in the GCL.

    Otherwise, I agree with those who would prefer to deal Lowe to Vazquez….

  74. PWHjort–Agree with your comment at 85. Now we are just beginning to see the full beauty of overpaying for Lowe….

  75. People will always trade for a pitcher, always.

    If someone wanted Lowe and they gave up a LO-A player it would work for both teams, salary dump and a good gamble on a guy with a great track record.

  76. Johnny,

    But look at the performance on the field. Sure, they have home grown guys playing, but they aren’t that good for the most part. It looks like a good chance for a third losing record in 4 years. The Braves player development system has been great for the payroll (lot cheaper than having to acquire players), but it hasn’t helped the team win.

    And I don’t count Jurrjens and Escobar; they didn’t come through the system, they were obtained through trades for Renteria, who also didn’t come through the system. I’m not questioning that the Braves over the years have developed good talent and that they have been able to leverage the farm system for good players, but the people actually coming through the system haven’t been that good. Of course, this begs the question of whether they actully did trade away good players to rent Teixera.

    I don’t think one game proves we overpaid for Lowe. He is a solid but not great pitcher. If the Braves hadn’t gotten him, people would have wanted to hang Wren off the bridge.

  77. 63—Amen, JC.

    And as others have said, while I’d love to trade Lowe and keep Vazquez, I doubt there are any teams out there willing to take on Lowe’s salary. Maybe we should be rooting for a Sabathia or Burnett injury so that the Yanks might get interested.

  78. I am sure that all of us would prefer to deal Lowe. But the reality of the situation is that Vazquez brings more in return.

    Lowe is a good player. I fully agree that Wren did the right thing by signing him. But again a reality check says that a 36 year old pitcher with a 15 mil per year contract isn’t the most tradeable asset.

    Marc, Escobar was drafted by the Braves in 2005. Yeah Frenchy, well nuff said. KJ? I’m really starting to doubt if he is going to be any good. So yeah its just Mac and Escobar and you could make a case for Prado of our recent players making a net positive contribution to the Braves. But at the same time you cannot discount the players we have gotten in trade either. A big fear is that everyone else will come to the conclusion that Lou Pinella did a while back. ‘When the Atlanta Braves come offering a pitching prospect to you, run!’

  79. We’d have to eat some salary in order to trade Lowe, I’m sure. But teams that didn’t bite on him in the offseason, but who now find themselves one starter short, might change their tune.

    There’s also the fact that my cynical plan for last offseason was for the Braves to sign Lowe with the full intention of trading him. But that was when I thought he might sign for two years.

    Trading Vazquez would bring more in return, but trading Lowe would leave more behind.

  80. No chance JV ends up in The Bronx.

    Yankees don’t really need a starting pitcher. The only guys on the Braves that should interest them are Soriano & Gonzalez.

    Their middle-relief is lousy & it exposes them every time they play Boston. Yes, I’m sure Joba will re-join the bullpen for the post-season–you don’t need a 5th starter then—but they gotta get there first. Soriano would solve a lotta problems.

    If we’re at a genuine drain-swirling point by the trade deadline, I’m not sure that Swisher makes any sense for us. Also, his contract is stout, but Atlanta standards.

  81. Swisher makes plenty of sense, IMO, because he can play all 3 OF positions (and first base), he’s not old, and his contract is bearable ($6.75M in 2010, $9M in 2011). ‘Course, I’ve been advocating for him since he was in Chicago.

  82. To my recollection the Braves have never eaten portions of a contract. Lowe is virtually untradeable if the goal is to correct a weakness on the team. ie. get a good player or prospects in return. At that rate unless the Braves feel compelled to dump salary he serves the team better by playing for us.

  83. Everything I read says that very few teams have any payroll flexibility. There might be some bluffing going on, but I think that’s more or less the case.

    Soriano for Swisher would make a lot of sense for both clubs, especially if we’re out of it by the trade deadline. We won’t have enough money to sign both of our closers, Swisher can solve the Frenchy problem, and it’s almost a straight swap in terms of salary. Swisher isn’t the greatest player in the world, but he could keep one of the corners warm for Heyward.

  84. I had forgotten about Soriano and Gonzales. They’d be on the block if the team takes a dump these next 2 weeks.

  85. marc, McCann, KJ, Frenchy, Davies, and all others were never ranked as a top ten prospects in baseball. The fact that both Hanson and Heyward are top ten prospects in baseball this year tell you something different about them.

  86. 97—The main reason you’d deal Lowe is not to acquire prospects but to clear $15M/year in salary off the books.

  87. Stu, exactly. I am not a big fan of Swisher either, but his contract, his age, and his positions make too much sense for the Braves to get him.

  88. 101 My last paragraph:
    ‘At that rate unless the Braves feel compelled to dump salary he serves the team better by playing for us.’

    Swisher is having a pretty good year. I would find it hard to believe that the Braves could get him for Soriano as they don’t have a suitable replacement.

  89. Well, I guess my point is that I’d rather dump more salary and keep the better (and younger) pitcher than acquire a good prospect or two.

    As for Swisher and the Yanks’ willingness to deal him, remember that (a) they need relief help, and (b) Nady comes off the DL soon. I don’t know that he is or will be available, but I think a Soriano-for-Swisher deal makes a lot of sense for both sides.

  90. Escobar is a Cuban, but he was a second-round draft pick. For some reason (deep personal stupidity?) he established residence and thus exposed himself to the draft.

  91. Nick Swisher would be a nice player on a team that has a chance & he’s way better than what we have. (He’s not a CF, BTW.)

    But he’s not going to put this team where it needs to be. Plug a hole, create a hole…

    And forget Nady making an impact this year for NYY. From hearing the regular Yankee radio reports, he’s really hurt.

  92. Stu – It’s according to where the Braves think they are:
    One or two players from being a contender – trade Vasquez.

    Rebuilding mode from the ground up – dump Lowe’s salary -trade Vasquez for prospects or an everday outfielder.

    I guess my point is that if you just dump Lowe for nothing in return you haven’t addressed the need for a player and you’ve hurt the team by giving away that rare commmodity of a good starter. Yeah you have money but that doesn’t help you until the off season and then you may have to pay the inflated FA price for a player. Just think how much Jason Bay is going to get this off season.

  93. The Braves are 4 games out of the wild card behind easily catchable teams such as the Giants and the Mets with 100 games left to play. Why are we talking about blowing up the team at this point?
    Kotchman will be back tomorrow (I hope they platoon him with Canizares and send down Medlen or Moylan). Infante will be back in July and will at least platoon with Kelly if not take over 2nd full time. Chipper is going to start hitting again very soon. The only serious problem this team has is the corner outfielders. Wren is clearly trying to move Francoeur but just hasn’t found a match yet. Even after getting McLouth, the team has the minor league pieces to make another acquisition without mortgaging the future. The only thing that will stop the Braves from competing the rest of the year is an ownership mandated sell off which there isn’t any evidence of, major injuries, or Wren just deciding to write off this year and hold onto all the prospects for the future which he rightly hasn’t shown any inclination to do.

  94. Stu – respectfully. I just don’t see the Yankees trading a .900 + OPS outfielder for a middle relief pitcher. Seeing Ububba’s post confirms what I have seen on BR about Nady. The guy has played in 7 games this year. He’s hurt.

  95. From my perspective, it’s not “blow up the team now”; it’s if this team pulls it’s regular June swoon, the trade deadline’s around the corner. Better to move than sit still.

  96. @108 “Even after getting McLouth, the team has the minor league pieces to make another acquisition without mortgaging the future.”

    Can I ask you who are you referring to?

  97. Ron, you are definitely more optimistic about this team than most everybody else on the board is. My guess is that Blanco will be sent down when Kotchman returns. 0 for 11 with a walk is not a good way to start. I would think that Canizares will replace Norton as long as he’s on the DL. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Norton released when his DL time is up.

  98. 113 — Agreed. He was Wren’s big sign. He’s not going anywhere.

    And as was mentioned, moving Lowe would be a salary dump in order to really rebuild. I just don’t think this FO is going to do that.

  99. #108 – love the eternal optimist.

    #110 – but isn’t that the rub? How close are we really? Has the FO been deluding themselves that we are ‘just a couple of players away’ for years now? Taking inventory:
    3 good starters maybe a 4th(JC makes a strong case for KK) and a hot prospect at 5

    Inconsistent but strong back end of the rotation.

    Iffy middle relief

    One decent outfielder.

    1 very good to great 3rd baseman who only plays 120 games a year
    1 ok maybe first baseman that hits more like a good middle infielder.
    1 great catcher and a pretty good backup.
    1 very good short stop. Just think how good he would be if he extracted his head out of his ass.
    A pretty good bench, especially if Omar Infante comes back strong.

    So we need 2 corner outfielders, a consistent second baseman and some middle relief. And one of the corner outfielders has to be a right handed.

    Reason for hope or should we demolish it all and start over?

  100. 106—We’ll have to disagree about Swisher. The hole he’d plug is much bigger than the one that would be created by trading Soriano. And he’s not a CF, but he’s passable out there—just like the rest of our CF options, including McLouth. As for Nady, my understanding—and this understanding is informed by every written report out there, seeing as how he’s on my fantasy team—is that he’ll be back before the AS Break. He could DH right now, but they want him in the OF and his elbow is still hurting.

    Totally agree with you @110,FWIW.

    113—Good point and well worth keeping in mind. We can talk about the sense it would make to do so, but the fact is, it ain’t happening.

  101. All of this is complicated by the inscrutable tides of baseball.

    What was it, a week ago? that Chipper looked like Roy Hobbs and now couldn’t hit a bull in the backside with a bass fiddle (my grandfather’s favorite line about his beloved Reds).

    What’s the scuttlebutt on the signability of Hudson?

    Here’s what I think I know about baseball:

    If you’ve got pitching, you’ve got a chance.

    And we got pitching. I think we’re buyers unless the bottom falls out over the next month.

  102. Id really love to see two things happen before the season, even if we dont trade for another OF’r

    1. release Frenchy and ACHE and let either Blanco, Diaz, or Jones finish out the season in LF and RF

    2. get rid of TP. I like the guy, but I want to see another hitting coach work with KJ, Schafer, and some of these other guys

  103. @ 117 – “And we got pitching. I think we’re buyers unless the bottom falls out over the next month”

    and after two series with Bos, one with NYY, and the Phils it may very well come true

  104. 108,
    Maybe because this team is completely disfunctional. All of the bricks and none of the mortar. They don’t play with any passion, they constantly take plays and plate appearances off, and they never give close to 100% effort. If this crappy attitude continues we might as well blow it up and start over. You can’t win with our loser mentality. Full mental and physical effort is required to win in this league. And if we’re not going to give that we shouldn’t even pretend we can win.

  105. csg,

    Modify Francoeur to be play B. Jones (or Matt Diaz) in right against righthander / Frenchy against lefthanders or send Frenchy to AAA and tell him he is down until September unless he walks 5 times a week and strikes out 10 or less.

    Joe Simpson, of all people, was really on Frenchy the night (Thursday?) he went to 0-2 with the bases loaded. “No plan to the at bat.” He should have been 2-0. He sees that the ball is out of the stike zone, because we know that when we see him reach his shoulder forward (toward plate) 10 inches to reach the ball. He just can’t or won’t not swing.

    If he gets better in AAA, then good. If he doesn’t and know tracde prospects appear, then “non tender”.

    On KJ, I think he just routinely gets hosed by the umps. If he takes pitches out of the strike zone, the umps call them strikes. It is unlike any other Braves batter. I think that is why he tried to “be aggressive.” They can get called strikes on him 4 inches off the plate inside and 4 beyond the usual 3 on the outside.

  106. #121 – you, sir….hit the nail directly on the head. This team has no passion…no heart…no guts.

    With the exception of McCann, and maybe a few others, they all look like it is just a nine to fiver, picking up a paycheck on Fridays.

    If it don’t get better soon, really big organizational changes need to be made, IMO. And I hate to say it, but I don’t see an effective turnaround taking place in the handful of weeks we’ve got left to determine whether to add or subtract.

    Fire in the hole, folks…

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