Welcome to Washington game thread: July 27, Braves at Nats

Our nation’s capital, Washington DC, was founded in a pestilential swamp on the banks of the Potomac River because George Washington wanted it near his house. The city’s primary industry is politics and government. Since we do not talk about politics on this blog, this post will instead cover all the other interesting things about Washington.

205 thoughts on “Welcome to Washington game thread: July 27, Braves at Nats”

  1. I’ve never seen another video clip where the dreams of everyone involved just instantly died….

  2. Response to Chris on the last thread, who wrote:

    CarGon is 22.

    You may have access to information I’m not aware of, but Baseball-Reference indicates that he was born on October 17, 1985, which means he’ll be 25 in a few months. He still has room to grow, obviously, but he’s not quite as green as you think.

  3. Stu has asked me to let you all know that he won’t be able to post as much as he usually does.

    He’s been named campaign manager for Basil Marceaux.

  4. Just so you all know, I would never trust a UK fan to convey anything on here. If hank’s relaying a message from me, it’s not from me.

  5. I love Carlos Gonzalez. The Braves probably can’t get him unless they give up Hanson or Heyward, though. Maybe Freeman could headline the package, but I doubt they have any interest in moving Gonzalez in the first place. You can hardly blame them, he’s very, very good.

  6. DOB Twitter: Braves just optioned struggling Nate McLouth to Gwinnett and activated Brent Clevlen from the DL

  7. @11
    holy crap! what the hell is brent clevlen gonna do? i guess our full-time center fielder is a guy that cant field his position.

    nvm..after looking at the stats, it looks like clevlen has played more innings at center in the bigs than the corners. maybe wren’s trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

  8. Per DOB: Gregor Blanco will likely be recalled once his 10 days in Gwinnett are up, which in 4 more days, I believe.

  9. So now can’t we demote Clevlen and replace him with Blanco? Who would complain? The union? The Phillies? Seems, superficially, to satisfy the rule to me.

  10. I wonder if Louth has shot his mouth off to the press yet about the damage this has done to his relationship with the organization. Or maybe that’s another difference between he and Jeffy.

  11. McLouth is still earning his check–this move is in his best interest and he’s likely smarter than Frenchy to know that.

  12. More from DOB: Wren just said they’ve made no decision about whether they’d bring Blanco back soon. Clevlen plays CF. Heyward is a possibility for CF too

  13. stark is reporting that we still have our eyes on willingham. what in the world would we do with him? would the braves consider moving heyward to center for the remainder of the season for the betterment of the team? i could get used to a diaz/hinske, heyward, and willingham outfield.

  14. #11 – Melky will play CF and Diaz, Infante will back him up until Blanco comes back

  15. More from Peanut earlier today: http://markbowman.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/07/wren_believes_he_can_strengthe.html

    with limited attractive options available on the trade market, it appears Braves GM Frank Wren believes the best way to strengthen his center field position is to utilize players that are already within the organization.

    “I think we’re still looking internally at the pieces that we have,” Wren said early Monday evening. “Right now, I’d have to say that’s the way that we’re leaning.”

  16. So, do we need to have a meeting regarding who is responsible for all future losses, or should we just pick a daily scapegoat until the choice makes itself?

  17. re: 23

    I was being sarcastic. It takes a rare sense of entitlement to shoot your mouth off after you sucked as badly and as long as Stenchy did.

    And besides, continuing the conversation from a couple days ago, I feel certain Louth is far too insecure psychologically to say such a thing. :wink:

  18. heyward in center? now we’re talking. the braves are opening their options on the trade market. great news!

  19. Sometimes I wish the Braves were in the AL. I sure would love to have Dunn on the team, but there’s just nowhere to put him. I just want a pure, disgusting slugger on the team for once. I’m as much of a stathead as anyone here and recognize that he is the epitome of terrible defense, that he is possibly the worst defensive OF to ever play the game, that in the OF Dunn might be the worst defensive player of any sport ever in the history of human kind.

    But I personally wouldn’t mind if Wren got him and stuck him in LF or RF. I’m not proud of this part of me, but it’s there nonetheless.

  20. Braves lineup: 1. Prado 2B, 2. Heyward RF 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann 5. Hinske LF, 6. Glaus 1B, 7. Gonzalez SS, 8. Cabrera CF, 9. Hanson P

  21. Willingham would be a wonderful addition to the outfield (assuming Heyward can play center without hurting himself) but does anyone really want to trade with Rizzo? He seems crazy.

  22. @21 – Oh I see then. I thought he just couldn’t replace the same player who he replaced. It has to be 10 days, or he can come up earlier if someone ELSE gets injured.

    I’d kind of like to see what Clevlen’s got, anyway.

  23. hopefully we’ll see this lineup soon!
    1.prado
    2.heyward
    3.chipper
    4.mccann
    5.willingham
    6.glaus
    7.diaz/hinske
    8.gonzalez

  24. @41
    that’s a freakin’ steal.

    @42
    i dont think we’ll see clevlen play an inning.

  25. Heyward is a possibility for CF too

    If this is true, Jason Heyward becomes the msot valuable commodity in baseball.

  26. I doubt Heyward goes to CF. If I recall correctly, he played CF in high school at the time of the draft, but even then all the prospect watchers noted that he’d probably be moved to an outfield corner soon, and, indeed, the Braves moved him to right field immediately.

    Quite frankly, I’d rather avoid asking him to learn a new position; I’d rather just have him work on being the best RF in baseball.

  27. I really think a lot of folks have no idea how hard it is to play CF even passably in MLB. The notion that Heyward can just walk over there is…well don’t you think it would have been done by now if it were even remotely possible? He’s played a total of 17 games at CF in the minors, none above AA. Why do you suppose that is?

  28. If Heyward could play CF, would the Cards trade Pujols for him straight up? Would you take the deal?

  29. McLouth wasn’t around long enough (and never did play well enough) for us to feel quite as bad for him, but he reminds me a lot of Mark Wohlers — in that his struggle seemed to take on a life of his own, in that the only solution he could bring himself to employ was to bear down ever harder, and in how it was written all over his face.

  30. #49
    Exactly. We sure got accustomed to AJ out there.

    Unless McLouth finds his magic hitting pills on Hwy 29 somewhere, it seems, we have Melky & Blanco in CF.

    Bad Rumor: Yankees interested in Adam Dunn.

  31. @52, so I say again, why do you think they run Melky out there in CF instead of Heyward? I think we can credit Bobby with being able to figure out that it would be advantageous to do so.

  32. @53 – They desperately need that seventh starting batter with an OPS+ >125 in order to compete.

  33. @48
    i’m sure they said that because of his body type (the one that he hasnt fully grown into yet). moving heyward to center for the remainder of the season, if we can acquire an impact bat that can play right field, is a very acceptable move.

    @49
    it’s still the ouifield and it’s not “learning a new position”. he’s not moving to first. you think the board is undervaluing centerfield but i think you’re undervaluing heyward. i’m not saying you said this but do you honestly think heyward is not capable of playing better in center than melky?

    @54
    they run melky out there because there’s noone that can play right. if the braves are seriuosly discussing moving heyward to center, that means we’re looking at adding an impact bat, and i’m all up for it.

  34. If Melky can play CF, I have to believe Heyward can. Granted, I never played professionally, but I personally found CF the easiest of the three positions to play. The balls tend to go straighter and are easier to read from center. The difference is you just have to cover a lot more ground and be more aware of who is where (so you can direct things). I don’t see why either or those should be problematic for Heyward, who is both speedy and has his head screwed on straight. Maybe I’m just missing something.

    Picking up on @58, I think it’s more likely Heyward is not being put in CF because he’s a much better RF option than any other. You usually put the strongest arm in right, for instance, because RF has the longest throws, and that is clearly Heyward. But if we trade for an actual RFer that’s no longer an issue.

  35. regarding heyward and center field:

    the only possible explanation as to why the braves would consider this is frank wren sees exactly what we see: there was no upgrade available in center.

  36. do you honestly think heyward is not capable of playing better in center than melky?

    How to put this – I doubt it, very seriously. Heyward is like 6’5, 230. There are few, if any successful CF’s out there that size. He is a big, athletic and fast, but the selection bias for the position is a more granular subset of those skills. Really, ask yourself why he hasn’t played it in the minors on a more regular basis. It would make him, as noted above, one of the most valuable commodities in the game. The Braves aren’t stupid, they know this and would have done so long ago if possible.

  37. @62
    heyward will likely get bigger, but for the remainder of the 2010 season, he’s 20, he’s quick, and he’s athletic enough to play a better centerfield than melky.

  38. If the Braves trade for a rightfielder, say, Corey hart, and lock themselves in to Heyward in centerfield, what do they do if Heyward isn’t a CF? Bench Diaz, go with Melky/Blanco and shift Heyward back, and new RF over to left?

    Then we’re back to the fact that the new OF better be an upgrade over Diaz/hinske OF

  39. I grew until almost 21. I think Heyward might have a little more to go, but I don’t think it will be anything substantial. I still can’t believe he’s younger than me.

  40. @64 I am not sure how to evaluate this – there is a fair amount of Paul Bunyonism regarding Heyward’s capabilities already. Most everything I have read had him at average to slightly above speed just before the season started. I say again, the skill sets may not overlap as much as we’d like to think, and the anecdotal evidence certainly would suggest the organization is dubious about the idea.

    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/H/Jason-Heyward.shtml

  41. @62 There are few, if any successful CF’s out there that size.

    There are few, if any, that size who are also that fast. Size seems like a correlation rather than a cause. As long as Heyward has the speed I don’t see why else his size would matter. It’s not like he can’t ever be moved back over to right if his quick feet turn to lead.

    Really, ask yourself why he hasn’t played it in the minors on a more regular basis.

    His arm. Coaches see an arm like that, and RF is reflexive.

    Edit: @64 If he’s not as fast as we think, than that obviously would make sense as an explanation.

  42. #62 – or they couldve been banking on Schafer to actually develop and be the CF’r too. There is no doubt that Heyward should be in RF for his career. However, I think at the age of 20 and his range, he’s capable of playing a decent CF for the remainder of this season. Worse thing that happens is you try it and add Willingham. Diaz can play RF. If that doesnt work, shift Heyward back and put Melkdud in CF. Bench gets even stronger with Diaz and Hinkse that way too

  43. I mean, Mark Kotsay was our CF just a few years ago. There’s got to be some non-typical player we could plug in out there for a half a season.

  44. @72, see the speed rating here – http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/H/Jason-Heyward.shtml. I think you are overrating Heyward in this area (sacrilege to suggest, I know, but…)

    You really think a RF with a cannon is more valuable than a CF with a cannon?

    Anyway, carry on. I don’t think I am adding anything here, and far be it from me to rain on anyone’s Heyward to CF parade.

  45. @73, I don’t care if I had Andruw Jones in AAA at the time, if you think a guy who can hit like Heyward can play CF, C or SS, that’s where you keep him until he proves he can’t.

  46. If you trade for hart or willingham assuming Heyward can play center you better be right. And since there’s no evidence that he can, and the team isn’t even trying him there, forget it.

  47. I think people are asking three different questions here:

    1. Is Heyward an ideal centerfielder? Certainly not.
    2. Can he handle center field? Probably.
    3. If the Braves can acquire someone who can greatly outhit Grekly Cabranco and play a corner, should they move Heyward to center for the rest of the season? I dunno. Probably.

  48. #77 – according to DOB or post #25 – Wren is thinking about it. That makes the idea harder to forget about

  49. My problem with it, mac, is if #2 is wrong. Now you gave up good prospects for a glut of corner OFs, and only two can play at a time, and Grelky Cabranco is still in the lineup.

  50. Well then, there are two other corollaries: 1. It’s not like you need to get Hinske/Diaz into the lineup every day, and 2. Diaz can play center if you have to. Blanco/Diaz might be the best CF combination in the organization.

  51. here’s what i’d like to know from the naysayers…
    what is it that you think heyward would have a hard time doing in centerfield?

  52. I say we send Heyward to Gwinnett for a game with the sole intention of him hunting down McLouth in the outfield and dishing out another concussion.

  53. 84—How many here are MLB scouts? The ones employed by the Braves apparently didn’t argue persuasively enough to get him more than 17 games there in the minors, which they certainly would have done if they thought he had a future there. Like spike, I have to think there’s a pretty good reason for that.

  54. I can buy diaz/blanco in CF before Heyward in CF. All I’m saying is a corner OF still better beat Hinske / Diaz, regardless of moving Heyward. If willingham is better, make the move. If Heyward to center works, that’s icing. If willingham doesn’t beat our platoon, I wouldn’t make the move just assuming Heyward can cover CF

  55. There was a caller on the local sports radio station comparing Chipper and Bagwell.

    He said he had always considered Chipper a mortal lock for the Hall while assuming Bagwell was a fringe candidate, but after putting the stats side by side he was changing his mind.

    It’s pretty bizarre how similar their numbers are – at least to my untrained eye… Does either of them have a better case for the HOF? I assume position comps will have some impact but is there really that much difference between the stats of first basemen and third basemen in the HOF? Is there something else I’m missing?

  56. candidates to add if we move heyward to center for the remainder of the year:
    luke scott, josh willingham, brad hawpe

    candidates to add if heyward remains in right:
    *crickets chirp*

  57. No one is saying we should convert Heyward into a CF, just that it is a possibility that he could play there for less than half a season if it happens to help us upgrade the team. I mean, and correct me if I’m wrong here, isn’t the hope and goal of playing baseball to win the World Series? We don’t lose anything by putting Heyward in CF for half a season, so why are some of you so against it? It’s like you don’t want to do what it takes to win just for the sake of enabling old archetypes and tradition.

    So what if Heyward doesn’t have a “typical” CF build? If he’s capable of playing there at all, shouldn’t we be embracing the idea if it allows us add a significant piece that we need?

  58. Thanks Stu. I’m actually sort of serious — I think risk aversion is a perfectly acceptable reason not to move Heyward, whether you think he can fight the position to a draw or not. Can you imagine the shitstorm if they move him and he either gets hurt or hurts someone else?

  59. @92
    i’m not sure why you have to act that way. i was asking a legit question and you belittled it by being a prick.

    and i agree 100% jc

  60. 84- I worry about balls right at him, and his ability to read them off the bat. I’m worried about balls over his head, and him getting too close to the wall, ala schafer. I’m worried a lot about singles falling in front of him. I’m worried about him catching up to balls in the gaps.

    Other than that, not a lot. It’s not like its the toughest position on the field to succeed at, and the most physically demanding besides catcher.

  61. what is it that you think heyward would have a hard time doing in centerfield?

    Yeah, I don’t know what ‘handle centerfield’ is supposed to mean. The ball is hit in the air, you run after it and try to catch it. It’s not like he has to call pitches or turn two. He might get to a few less balls than Melky but that’s the trade off. It’s not like it’s suddenly going to be one E8 after another or something.

  62. JH to CF? Not going to happen. Forcing a 20-year-old to learn a new position on the job in the middle of a battle for the division title is certainly not what you want. The Braves will not take any chances there, especially not in Bobby’s last season.

  63. I used to play ootp baseball 11, which is a baseball simulation game. In the 2010 season Heyward plays RF at an 80 rating, which is the max. Center he gets only a 20. Due to his outfield ratings, good range, good arm, not too many erros, with experience, he becomes a 65 cf.

    just saying.

  64. Re Chipper v. Larry – WAR likes Bags by about 10%, which I just can’t believe. On balance, their offens looks pretty close, given Bags’ slightly better peak and Jones’ slightly longer (to date) career. Given the positional value disparity, I can’t believe Bagwell was that much better of a defender to overcome the value of playing 3B over 1B. I’d say Chipper by a nose, with the fact he was a switch hitter for extra credit.

  65. @103

    it’s not learning a new position. he plays outfield and many have made the adjustment on the fly. its the same shit with more responsibility. he can handle it…

  66. I’m not a scout, but neither is anyone here as far as I know. Bust just because Heyward plays RF better than CF doesn’t mean he is incapable of playing CF at all.

    @106

    It’s no worse than “he can’t do it because he can’t” or “he can’t do it because he doesn’t look like a CF.”

  67. 92—My response at 87 was hardly prickish.

    You’ve yet to address this issue: Why, if Heyward can play a passable center, wasn’t he given a chance to do so in the minors? You’re bristling and acting like it’s so unreasonable to be a “naysayer” here, but the naysayers are just pointing out what the organization — full of people in better positions to know than you or I are — has done with him.

  68. Ah, they moved Murph all over the diamond and he continued to hit the piss out of the ball. I’m not buying that as a legit argument. It’s not like they would be asking him to play short.

    I used to play ootp baseball 11

    Yeah, I play alot of ootp and stuff like this always seems like a great idea to me.

  69. Why, if Heyward can play a passable center, wasn’t he given a chance to do so in the minors?

    Because he’s a better fit in right. That does not make him an impossible fit in CF for two months since all of the other CF options have blown up in our face. Obviously no one here has access to his internal scouting reports but do we really think they say “would be a disaster in center”?

    It’s an idea at least worth kicking around a little bit. Maybe I just miss the days when Chipper would slide over to short to help out when need be. And yes I know he came up a SS.

  70. @109
    his arm and body type. he’s a poster child for right field and that’s where he plays and should play.

    however…you do realize that almost everyone on here thats arguing the point knows that he shouldnt be in center for the duration of his career, right? why not give it a shot for 2 1/2 months if it lands us a legit impact bat?

  71. Yes, about that impact bat – there seems to be an awful lot of certainty that one is A: available, and B: at a price point we are willing to pay. I mean the rest of the league owes us.

  72. Heyward’s not moving to center field. If they trade for Willingham then yes, I imagine they’ll platoon Diaz and Melky in CF, unless Melky (please!) is sent to Washington. Also, don’t forget that McLouth could figure it out in AAA and come back before the season is up. He has only been demoted; he’s still in the organization.

    Meanwhile, to get Willingham would be amazing. He has posted a .391 wOBA so far this year. For comparison’s sake, that would be the highest on the team. McCann (.373), Heyward (.371), and Prado (.369) are all below that.

  73. In APBA, I used to play an “all-time greats” team with Jimmy Foxx at catcher, so I could keep Lou Gehrig at first.

    Reality can be quite different.

    Obviously, I’d defer to whatever the Braves brass thinks, but the idea of having him learn the position on the fly at this point of the season doesn’t strike me as wise.

  74. On moving Heyward to center:

    It’s not like we are asking him to become a catcher. I realize center field is a little different than right, but it isn’t like we can’t trot Blanco out there late in the game.

    If we can get Willingham, pull the trigger

  75. The weather is almost perfect for baseball here in DC…..Strasburg vs. Heyward is sort of the buzz, not Strasburg vs. Hanson. Should be fun.

  76. @113

    Oh please, you’re just being obtuse here. Nobody is saying that we should move him just to move him, but only if we get a legitimate upgrade at one of the corners.

    Jesus.. did CF hit your mom or something? Is that why you’re so opposed to the idea of Heyward playing there? You don’t want him associated with something as rude and classless as CF?

  77. This argument is so absurd to me. You’ve seen McLouth play CF, pulling up on everything. You’ve seen Schafer play CF, not knowing when to give up and playing singles and doubles in to doubles and triples. We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan make those same mistakes.

    And those guys ARE centerfielders.

    So because Heyward has plus plus power, above average speed, and good plate discipline, we’re to assume that he, with no CF experience, won’t make those misplays at a substantially higher rate?

    You guys are wish casting here, pretty seriously.

    And don’t forget wear and tear on him, as the rightfielder is moving on WAY fewer balls than the CF. Center has to assume he’s responsible for almost every ball hit in the air. Liners to either gap, op ups behind short AND second.

    And there’s risk of injury being involved in more plays. More people to run into, more diving, more interaction with the wall. He’s had one human collision, and one bad wall collision playing the easier spot already. That’s a lot of weight to be throwing around and landing on. Wrists, knees, ribs, necks.

    And if he screws up a play, we’re sure he doesn’t get gun shy out there? He dove when he shouldn’t have, and it was costly. Will he dive next time of he should? Does he know the difference?

    And if he SUCKS, is consistently bad, he doesn’t take that to the plate with him?

    It’s preposterous to say outfield is outfield.

  78. I’m just not content to sit with what he have, and just hope we get lucky and some players go on hot streaks at the right times. This team is capable of winning, but it’s also capable of losing 9 games in a row – with a healthy Heyward. You can sit around and be conservative and hope everything goes right and just hang onto pieces waiting for “next year” when everything can go the way you want it to, but isn’t that what the Marlins are (in)famous for?

  79. all i’m concluding to is that, in my most amateur of opinions, moving heyward to CF for the remainder of the season to acquire corey hart or josh willingham should be considered.

    and it’s also in my humblest of opinions that he’ll be better defensively in center field than any other candidate that has played it this year.

    however, i’ve been wrong thousands of times before. i only played high school ball so i dont have any personal experience to speak of.

  80. If the idea is to have an OF of Diaz / Hinske – Heyward – willingham / hart / bautista, then you’re better off with Diaz / blanco in CF, as Mac brought up. A lot more blanco, a lot less Hinske, but you can still get Hinske in for hart/willingham/bautista or for Glaus.

    This is substantially less risky, provides virtually the same net effect, and besides, isn’t dumb.

  81. however…you do realize that almost everyone on here thats arguing the point knows that he shouldnt be in center for the duration of his career, right?

    Yes…I do realize that.

    and it’s also in my humblest of opinions that he’ll be better defensively in center field than any other candidate that has played it this year.

    This — which essentially reads, “I think I’m a better scout than the Braves are” — is where you lose me completely. Most of what you’re talking about is at least arguable; this is a ludicrous proposition.

  82. what OF position does Willie Cabrera play? surprised a little to see him still at AA, pretty good season so far

  83. Interesting discussion.

    If we are “checking dudes bodies”. Here is an interesting comp.

    Josh Hamilton – Jason Heyward

    I agree that we don’t want to fool around (mid season) with a 20 year old potential franchise player.

    Hamilton has done both, BUT he was brought up as a CF… i believe he was a slightly below average CF and a slight above average corner.

  84. So Heyward is entirely incapable of playing CF no matter the situation – even if he was the only player on the team with two legs – yet Diaz, who has played all of two games there from what I can find, is perfectly capable? And it’s somehow “less dumb” than the idea of Heyward playing there?

  85. @127
    how so? according to fangraphs, range-wise, noone’s played an average center field, not only this year, but for their careers (blanco, melky, mclouth). heyward’s got them all beat on a throwing arm.

  86. Strasburg scratched from tonight’s game, per MLBN. Don’t see it on the web anywhere, but the guys on MLB Tonight just said he was pulled while warming up in the pen.

  87. Matt Diaz had played more center, has played MORE BASEBALL GAMES IN THE OUTFIELD, is a good defensive outfielder, is less vital should he be injured. He’s also righty, and would be the small side of the platoon. The upgrade of blanco over Heyward in 60 percent of games outweighs the dropoff, if there is one, of Diaz from Heyward in 40 percent of games.

    Pretending that I’m advocating Diaz full time instead of Heyward, when that’s not at all what I said… That’s WILLFULLY stupid.

  88. I’m in the if Heyward is capable of playing CF competently the Braves would have developed him in the minors camp. His bat is his most important asset to the team. RF is much less demanding. IMHO I wouldn’t mess with him by asking him to learn a new position. And despite what some folks say, it is a new position. I don’t doubt his athletic ability to play CF but I do doubt his ability to overcome inexperience at it.

  89. So two games is enough then? And where did anyone pretend that you were advocating Diaz full time?

    @133

    Ah so you’re the kind to dredge things up in completely unrelated discussions. Good to know.

  90. Chippy in here today — I like it!

    You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger difference in Q rating between Strasberg and Miguel Batista.

  91. Hell, I say if we can get the bat, move Chipper to center.

    It’s all about the bat.

  92. The Braves also said that Francoeur was capable of being a good player for about two years after everyone realized he wasn’t.

  93. True, sansho. But I just can’t see Heyward-to-CF in either the short or the long term. The short-term adjustment effects would likely cancel any good that could come from getting a better hitter, as outlined in 122.

    My prediction is that Wren won’t make any trades and that this is the OF we’re going to war with. But that’s just me.

  94. 140—They would shift Melky/McLouth/Blanco/whoever over to right. Center field is the more important defensive position — if Heyward were the best option there, that’s where he’d play.

  95. We know that Strasberg is on a 2010 innings limit. So…what’s to stop the Nats from scheduling Strasberg, then pulling a switcheroo once everyone shows up, and then tacking on an additional home start later in the season? Hmmm….

  96. You’re the type to take one piece of an argument that you can refute, throw the rest away, and reduce the discussion to that one point.

    Do you patently disagree that the upgrade of blanco over Heyward in center 60 percent of the time at least even out the potential downgrade from Heyward to Diaz in the other 40 percent?

    Because I did not directly address this point you attached to ‘heyward can’t, but Diaz can?’ Rather than absorbing the full impact of my concept. I can only assume you’re not an imbecile, since you don’t sound like one, and must conclude that you willfully ignored that factor.

    When I listed the reasons I prefer risking Diaz there to risking Heyward there, you again, grabbed one thing you could refute, ignoring the sum of the merits of my argument.

    I find you foolish and obtuse. Good day.

  97. @144
    but that’s not the scenario for pushing heyward to CF. the scenario is to get melky/mclouth/blanco off the field.

  98. Love Strasburg and Heyward increasing the hype of their first meeting by getting injured.

  99. Ryan. You are saying the Braves never tried Heyward in center because there was no one to replace him in right. Stu is saying that if he were the best defensive cf, which you said above, that the Braves would have him there and would figure out right.

    You wouldn’t dh Albert pujols in the world.series because you don’t have anyone else who profiles as a dh. If hes your best defensive 1b, you play him at 1b, and figure out dh later. Same with right and center.

  100. @149 Agreed. My respect for him just went up a lot. I really hope he does do well at Gwinnett and comes back and is able to contribute.

  101. Good grief! They’re treating Strasburg like a porcelain doll. Had trouble “getting loose”…MRI, X-Rays planned.

  102. @139, the guy who makes mom jokes gets bent out of shape over a bit of snark? Good to know.

  103. @144

    I can’t answer your first question, because I don’t know how good of a CF that Heyward is, or how good Blanco would be over the remainder of the season. Would a Diaz/Blanco platoon be better than Heyward defensively? Probably, but by enough to mean anything? I don’t know.

    As for injury risks – What would you rather have? A better chance to win the World Series win because you fielded the best team possible, or a chance to go with a weaker yet lucky team + a star? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d take the former almost every time.

    This isn’t Lost. I don’t watch baseball for the characters. I watch because I want my team to win. If that takes moving a player to CF for half a season to acquire a need, then that’s what I want the team to do.

  104. I’m so proud of those quotes from McLouth. That’s how a professional handles a demotion. Not like Jeff This-Has-Really-Put-A-Damper-On-My-Relationship-With-The-Atlanta-Braves Francoeur.

  105. 147—Yeah, I have no idea what you’re talking about at this point. And so ends my venture into this pointless debate.

  106. Listening to the Braves radio broadcast, they’re saying that a good amount of people arrived at the game, seemed to see that Strasburg was scratched, then turned around & left.

  107. Whereas, with Strasburg, the Nats are… still doomed, but a little more amusing.

  108. In other, far more relevant news, the Braves’ offense is looking awful–again–and the defense is imploding.

  109. Mac, that’s what I’m saying.

    Downeaster, you think the difference between Hinske and blanco is season ending?

    If we trade for willingham, I want willingham in left, blanco/Diaz in cf, and Heyward in right. You want Hinske / Diaz in left, Heyward in cf, and willingham in right. The downside of my suggestion is blanco taking abs from Hinske. The downside of your argument had Hinske, Heyward, and willingham we your defense in 60 percent of games.

  110. Gotta agree with Stu and JJ here regarding Heyward.

    The simple fact that Heyward has never sniffed CF suggests the Braves have made their evaluation of his defensive abilities. Even if he is the “ideal” RF, the tools to play CF wouldn’t have been kept latent were they actually there.

    I think the issue here is that any credibility an opposing view might have resides in the presumption that the FO erred in their analysis. As there no quantifiable basis of support, (using throwing arm is asinine) it must therefore come down to intangible visual evaluation. I’ll side with the Braves in that.

  111. That was a misleading trivia question. It said “who was the all-time stolen base leader,” not “who was the single season recorder holder?”

    Though I would have guessed Raines either way.

  112. Four outs in the last nine pitches. Cripes, guys, at least make them work for it.

  113. Listening to the radio broadcast, I caught Don saying that Willingham (I think) is one of five players in the NL with an OPS of .900 or more. Who are the others? (My guess would be Pujols, Howard, Dunn, and Eithier)

  114. I’ve never seen a game with so many called strikes. Down three the entire game and these guys didn’t swing at anything.

  115. The Braves are back to being a .500 team. The offense has been horrible most of July.

  116. Well that was a waste of money. Funniest line of the night……”I thought Strasburg was a white guy?”. Glaus needs a few days off. McCann is getting worse behind the plate….if that’s possible. Chipper is Chipper. The difference between the Braves and Phillies…..ask Milt Thompson.

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