[YAWNS]

Joseph Thurston Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com.

Brooks Conrad Minor League Statistics & History – Baseball-Reference.com.

I said it doesn’t matter who wins the competition between these two. That’s something of an exaggeration. I should say, it maybe doesn’t matter, and if it does matter, there’s nothing to be done about it. Their qualifications are pretty much the same — they’re both infielders who can’t play short, who have hit okay in the minors but not in the majors — and there’s no reason to choose one or the other as a better bet. It’s a coin flip. Now, it’s possible one would perform much better than the other in the majors, but you can’t tell which one. So you might as well choose Conrad since he’s already on the 40-man.

At any event, I kind of look upon this little battle as a gift to the manager. I think Bobby always has had a soft spot in his heart for this type of player, because he was this type of player — an infielder who couldn’t play short, and who played for three organizations before he got a major league shot at the age of 27. He even had similar stats, though in Bobby’s time those stats were better, and he was probably a little better player.

78 thoughts on “[YAWNS]”

  1. Conrad seemed to miss a hit and run sign in today’s game resulting in Ross being caught stealing. That can’t help.

    Still minor league numbers suggest Conrad has more power, walks more, and is a higher percentage base stealer. He deserves a chance to hang around, Thurston was given 300+ ML PAs last season and pretty much crapped the bed.

  2. I vote for Conrad too.

    C. Shorter – That could work. I finish with lecture at 3:45 and could watch the middle innings…

  3. I would prefer Conrad.

    Heyward will start the season in Atlanta. Wren said financial consideration is not part of the equation in deciding whether to keep Heyward in the minor or not.

  4. Seems weird the Yanks would flat-out release Gaudin. Wasn’t he fairly good for them last year?

  5. Last time I bitch about my bracket, I promise, but after one game in the sweet sixteen, I have lost all of my Final Four teams…

  6. 5,
    Don’t buy that. Frank Wren is telling the fan base what they want to hear. If anyone thinks the Braves are not considering finances in any decision, they’re not thinking.

    I think Heyward will start the year in the majors, but they’ll still consider the finances. It’s just the baseball advantages will probably outweigh the financial disadvantages for the Braves–right or not.

  7. kc – here was Wren’s quote

    Q. How much could or would finances play a part in the decision about Heyward?

    A. “Our primary consideration is what’s best for him as an individual player and long-term future and what’s best for us as an organization. And I think that answer is different depending on where your club is from a competitive nature. If you’ve got a very competitive club and you think he helps improve your lineup, then you may have a different answer if you think you’re a building club that’s a long-term buildup before you’re ready to compete. I don’t think there’s any one answer. For our club, we think we have a competitive team. So we’re going to do what’s best for our team to make us more competitive.”

    So basically Wren said a lot without saying much at all. The best thing for the org still may be for Heyward to start the season in AAA. I dont think Heyward is a 100% lock to be there on opening day. It may be 99% though

  8. can matt young play 2nd still? if so, he would make a ton of sense. he has a high obp, can play atleast 2 outfield positions, and is a much better baserunner then the other 2 candidates.

  9. ryan c, he probably has more upside also. IF he can, they should move him to 2B anyways just for our depth purposes

  10. Haha, I had Marquette beating Kentucky. But that was really my only ‘dumb’ pick. How do I lose Nova, Syracuse, and G-Town one game into the Sweet Sixteen?

  11. It was one of those situations where I didn’t realize it until after I made the picks, and I didn’t want to go back and change anything.

  12. Well, Mac, if it’s any consolation, we’d definitely be in the Elite 8 right now if we’d taken care of Murray State.

    I know that makes me feel better.

  13. #22 + #23–Unfortunately, there was a time when the Braves apparently thought that Heath was right behind Medlen–lets hope that he gets his act together….

    Otherwise, it looks like Osuna will stick with KC….

  14. Listening to 90.1 on the way in to work this morning they were talking to somebody (a beat reporter on the Braves for something, but not AJC) who mentioned “they might send him down for a month of seasoning in the minors before they bring him up” re: Heyward… so don’t know if that was the early signs of the org putting out the word about keeping him down for 2 weeks or just caveat.

  15. @22,

    It’s amazing that this guy is the first player in the history of baseball to go to a prostitute. I mean, it’s not like Babe Ruth was a drinker and womanizer, right? Or Mickey Mantle?

    This should clean up baseball if they release this kid. No more players will ever do this again.

  16. Well… apparently it’s a done deal.

    DOB:
    @ajcbraves: Bobby Cox told Jason Heyward he’s made the team this morning. Heyward is on the team

  17. I thought the best part of the Xavier-KSU game was listening to Gus Johnson (the play-by-play guy). I was worried he’d stroke out if they had gone to a 3rd OT.

  18. Hank Aaron was playing RF when he was 20, I believe. Hank replaced Bobby Thomson, who had hit a famous home run. Jason is replacing Jeff Francouer, who made a lot of outs. Let’s hope this works out as well.

  19. Oh well, wrong decision but I sure am looking forward to seeing some blasts off early season pitching.

  20. Off topic – anyone heard or read any hint that Smoltz may get a one-day deal to retire as a Brave?

  21. Hmmm… Guess 100 is out as two other kids did it last year… so #102 is best option.

    I’ve not heard anything on that Jeff… but with him working as an announcer for Peachtree TV it would seem possible IF he doesn’t come back and play half a season somewhere (still a possibility).

  22. Re: Heyward, I’m glad we’re putting our best team on the field and I’m convinced they are going to sign him to a long term deal before we have to worry too much about arbitration. Seems like that is the new economics of baseball.

    Oh well. It’s done now. Go Braves!

  23. #40- I havent heard that, however, I wouldnt mind him coming and helping in the pen. We’ll probably need it because Kimbrel, Dunn, Acosta, Jo Jo, and Chavez still havent learned how to throw strikes

  24. Surely this means a Longoria-style deal is in the works. If it isn’t, this decision just seems too stupid to be real.

  25. “People want a long-term deal before even one major league at-bat?”

    I’d be good with it. Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for Heyward to sign a contract that buys out his arb years. Longoria and Upton are fine models.

  26. @47 Exactly the reason why many of us wanted Heyward to spend a couple weeks in the minors. It baffles me why the Braves would squander Heyward’s age-26 season for a few weeks of sub-800 OPS ball.

  27. I wrote some Jason Heyward facts last year:

    * Jason Heyward doesn’t get injured. He just doesn’t want the doctors to get lonely.

    * Jason Heyward fell to the 14th pick in the draft because he wanted to play in Atlanta, so he destroyed all possible realities in which he got selected earlier.

    * Jason Heyward is a time-traveler from the future. First he taught Candy Cummings the curveball. Then he showed the world how to hit it.

    * In Terminator: Salvation, humanity’s salvation is actually Jason Heyward.

    * Jason Heyward’s parents went to Dartmouth and grew up in America, both of which Jason Heyward previously founded while time-traveling.

    * Jason Heyward proofread “The Star-Spangled Banner” and made Francis Scott Key add the line about “The Home of the Brave.”

    * Jason Heyward doesn’t actually hit fastballs. They’d rather fly in the other direction than face his mighty swing.

    * Derek Lowe signed with the Braves so he wouldn’t have to face Jason Heyward. That’s the same reason C.C. Sabathia switched leagues.

    * Jason Heyward can convert matter to energy with no heat loss and then get laid. In the same night.

    * Jason Heyward can hit a five-run home run.

    * Jason Heyward knows what you’re thinking about. Right now. And he accepts that.

    * Just before a butterfly was about to flap its wings and start a tsunami on the other side of the world, Jason Heyward killed it with his bat.

    * Jason Heyward beat Deep Blue in chess during a rain delay. Then, between innings, he beat Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey in poker.

    * Jason Heyward knows something you don’t know. Jason Heyward isn’t left-handed.

  28. I ain’t scared. I wouldn’t mind waiting until two weeks into April though. You know, to be conservative.

  29. I don’t know if you guys have heard, but apparently Jason Heyward a pretty impressive homerun on March 8th…

  30. @56

    I’m starting to agree. If he isn’t perfectly hitting his spots/getting the borderline calls, he isn’t effective. Anything up just gets hammered.

    Snitker just held McCann at 3rd against Johnny Damon’s arm…apparently he’s the same guy he was last year as well.

  31. 22,

    I cannot believe that that is a crime in the US. Believe me, it is perfectly legal in Germany to have sex with a prostitute (or to set it up, for that matter).

  32. My “probably shouldn’t post it” thought when I read the announcement was: 2010 Braves will never get rained out with both Tommy “white jesus” Hanson and Jason “black jesus” Heyward.

  33. “Just before a butterfly was about to flap its wings and start a tsunami on the other side of the world, Jason Heyward killed it with his bat.”

    My favorite, hands down.

  34. And folks, please stop bitching about Derek Lowe. I’m not a big fan of his and he was subpar last year, alright, but that’s in the past. He did a more than decent job today and all spring. Give him a break.

  35. So, with today’s announcement is this about right (assumes 13 pitchers)?

    Pitchers –

    Huddy
    JJ
    Lowe
    Hanson
    Kawakami
    Wagner
    Saito
    Medlen
    Moylan
    O’Flaherty
    Proctor
    Kimbrel
    Jo-Jo

    Position –

    B-Mac
    Glaus
    Prado
    Esco
    Chipper
    Man Child
    McLouth
    Diaz
    Ross
    Infante
    Conrad
    Melkylicious

  36. They’re more than likely carrying 12 pitchers. Replace Kimbrel with Hinske. Also, Proctor might not be on the Opening Day roster.

  37. I’m as big a fan as anyone, but I think people are setting their expectations a bit too high for Heyward. As has been stated, spring stats don’t matter, and his minor league stats aren’t guarantees that he will get it done in majors.

    Look at Alex Gordon. Can you really say Heyward has had a better minor league career? Yet everyone here would be disappointed if Heyward has Gordon’s career up to this point. All I’m saying is that the jump from AA/AAA to the majors gulfs anything else he’s ever done. Until he proves it, I think you have to keep some reservations.

  38. Saito just hit 93 on the black. He was the guy I was most skeptical about, but if he can keep that velocity, we may have something.

  39. I’m excited about a season of Medlen/Proctor in the 6th, Proctor/Moylan in the 7th, Moylan/Saito in the 8th, and Saito/Wagner in the 9th.

    We’re going to have five arms out there, and with our rotation, usually only 3 innings to pitch.

    And Spring-Stat’s etc., but my eyes see a new approach at the plate. Chipper and McCann are no longer the exception, but much closer to the rule. We’re going to walk in to a few wins by letting pitcher’s beat them selves.

    We might not be championship good, but this is the best and deepest club we’ve fielded in years.

  40. Ethan, as much as I wholeheartedly agree with your point, Gordon was playing in hitter’s league parks as a much older player than Heyward. What Jason did last year alone at 19 in pitcher’s parks is far more impressive than Gordon’s entire resume. I do agree that there is risk here that some are a bit too giddy to recognize.

  41. I’d be more optimistic if my “rental” house (our old house we “rent” to my mother-in-law) wasn’t having septic problems, my own house’s plumbing wasn’t leaking, and my neice’s dad (useless jerk though he was) hadn’t been found dead today… but I AM a bit optimistic about baseball.

  42. Spike,

    Look at Gordon’s college stats. Maybe it’s just because I live in the area, but coming out of Nebraska, he was as close to a sure thing as I’ve ever seen, and if anyone was arguing at the time, I didn’t hear them. What Heyward has done is impressive, but I don’t see how you can definitively say his body of work is more impressive than Gordon.

    Actually, when I read Mac’s last post about bringing up guys too late, Gordon was the first name I thought of. He clearly wasn’t challenged his last two years at Nebraska, and I wonder if you can connect the dots between that and his struggles with the Royals.

  43. 75 – Look, I am not trying to get after you, and I am sure Gordon is a fine player, but a 19 year old slugging over 600 against AA pitching in a 97PF park, against 23 year olds, is just ridiculous. Much more so than a 22 year old slugging 588 in Wichita (PF 103)

    edit – college stats are really worthless for comparitive uses. Aluminum bats make it a different, extremely hitter friendly, game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *