Brooks Conrad

The primary beneficiary of Joe Mather playing himself off the team. Conrad got by far the most major league playing time of his career last year, mostly as a pinch-hitter. He played in 103 games, entering 58 of them as a pinch-hitter and starting just 26 (mostly late in the year). Unfortunately, he showed why he was a pinch-hitter late in the season, when the injury to Martin Prado (after the injury to Chipper Jones) forced him into the lineup. Conrad’s defensive butchery included not just errors but poor range. According to WAR, if you believe in such things, about half of his rather impressive offense was wiped out by defensive problems, and that doesn’t include his error-filled playoffs.

He can hit, though. His batting average was just .250, but that’s the least part of his game. His OBP was .324, and he slugged .487, with eight homers and eleven doubles. His isolated power of .237 was the highest on the team and only seven qualifiers (he was of course far short of that) in the NL had higher. If he could really play the infield, he’d have been in the majors a long time ago.

I don’t know what the Braves will do on days when Dan Uggla or Chipper gets a routine day off. Bringing Prado in from the infield seems an odd decision, but starting Brandon Hicks seems tantamount to playing two pitchers. Start Conrad and bring in Hicks for defense late?

Brooks Conrad Statistics

127 thoughts on “Brooks Conrad”

  1. From previous thread:

    I actually watched VCU play against Old Dominion in their conference championship game. Both teams looked terrible. Lots of turnovers and bad shooting. I would have never thought anything like this would have been possible. Their guard play has really stepped up in the tournament and Rodriguez has simply been playing out of his mind.

    Smart also deserves a lot of credit for getting the most out of this lineup that,in all honesty, is lacking in overall talent.

  2. I think they would use Matt Young at 2B against right-handed pitching. If it’s Chipper needing a day off, I imagine they bring Prado in from left and put Hinske or Young in left field.

    I wouldn’t mind Hicks getting starts as his defense would warrant it, even if he doesn’t hit. The offense should be good enough to sustain a few games here and there without one of the bigger bats and a defensive-focused replacement filling in for them.

  3. “Bringing Prado in from the infield seems an odd decision, but starting Brandon Hicks seems tantamount to playing two pitchers. Start Conrad and bring in Hicks for defense late?”

    This is the primary reason why I wasn’t excited about Brandon Hicks making the team. Is there any chance that he actually figured something out offensively? Probably not…

    Edit: and it should say “Bringing Prado in from the outfield”

  4. Oh, and Matt Young played second in the Spring Training game the other day so maybe they’re thinking about playing him there as well.

  5. From previous thread:
    I am really happy for Matt Young. I always wondered why he didn’t get a shot the last couple of years. I believe he will be very valuable, getting on base, pinch-running etc. I would have liked for Lucas to make the team but I guess Conrad deserves it after last year (postseason notwithstanding), but he will be hard pressed to repeat his late game heroics.
    I feel sorry for Proctor, seemed to be a good guy, but when you suck, you suck…
    Good to see that with Fredi actual performance decides who gets on the team.
    After watching almost every ST game I am very excited about this year. The team looks great on paper and I belive there will be great team chemistry. Seems like a fun bunch. ( A lefty heavy bunch/bench though, but what the heck…)
    I predict, and hope for, at least 92 wins; let’s see if the Phillies can match that. Although I always enjoyed the rants on this site when things were going bad, I hope there won’t be much reason for ranting this season.

  6. I agree with Bethany or let Young play left. I still think we need another right handed bat on the bench. I have a feeling that the 25 man roster may change before opening day. There are some other guys that got (will be) cut that we can probably get to come off the bench.

  7. Carlos Beltran will reportedly make opening day for the Mets, meaning Nick Evans will be put on waivers. He’s Hinske from the right-hand side more-or-less, with a bit better defense — doesn’t say much.

    I could see the Braves making a claim on him and putting Brooks in the minors.

  8. The last time UK went to the Final Four I was a freshman in Lexington and couldn’t grow a mustache. A baker’s dozen years later, whodathunkit? For all the vitriol towards Calipari, how about this overachieving team? A JUCO center that averaged a point last season making the all-regional team? Two Billy Gillispie holdovers providing upperclassmen leadership? A freshman that missed three gamewinners in the regular season drilling clutch shot after clutch shot in the tourney?

    Calipari is an exceptional recruiter, but he’s an underrated tactical coach as well. Everyone just says “he’s a corrupt slimeball” because that’s what the media/NCAA says and it’s easy to agree with the media/NCAA. I hate to break it to ya, the NCAA ain’t that objective.

  9. For the third time, Calipari makes his first final four.

    He must have some pictures of someone at the NCAA. Too bad Pearl couldn’t get a copy.

  10. Too bad Pearl couldn’t get a copy.

    It’s sad and, of course, predictable that the standard UT-fan position is to wish that Pearl hadn’t gotten caught or punished, rather than to wish that he had been honest.

    Too bad folks would rather win than behave ethically.

    If only there were a Magnolia League…

  11. @8
    Nick Evans? I mean, I guess, but why would the Braves put Mather on waivers and go after someone equally as risky? His SSS splits look good against LHP, but so did Mather’s.

  12. Sigh. I await the first specific allegation against John Calipari. Yelling “slimeball” doesn’t qualify.

    I must admit that when he was at Memphis, I didn’t know what to think of him, either. (And, believe it or not, UK fans care a great deal about winning with honor – or at least without shame – that’s why we’re often so knee-jerk when criticised.)

    But after observing him closely for two years, I’ve been very impressed with him on and off the court. I don’t expect any non-UK fan to join me in that, but I would like to see more even-handed analysis and less ad hominem attack.

    For a thoroughgoing, even-handed look at the man, I recommend the following:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1182972/index.htm

  13. You gotta give Hicks some credit. Its a small sample, but he outplayed both Lucas/Diory and deserves a chance.

  14. (And, believe it or not, UK fans care a great deal about winning with honor – or at least without shame – that’s why we’re often so knee-jerk when criticised.)

    Literal LOL. Adolph Rupp, Eddie Sutton, Billy Gillispie, John Calipari — yeah, honor is obviously a primary concern.

  15. @13,

    I wish he would have been honest. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if he had been. Pearl’s stupidity really made more out of this than it should be.

    However, the more I read about the new guy, the more I like him.

  16. I’m glad that the Braves are giving Brooksie a chance based on last years hitting. I hope that they are pragmatic when it becomes apparent that he cannot repeat that peformance.

    Man, has the season started yet?

  17. I would venture to say that every big time basketball program (and most small time), somewhere along the way, has done a lot of boarderline to outright wrong stuff to get basketball players. Most dosen’t get caught or a blind eye is turned to it.

    Basketball recruiting is dirty.

  18. 19-I think it’s a good hire. His relative age/experience is a bit of a concern, but he’s got a great pedigree, and everyone I know affiliated with Missouri State speaks highly of him. He also has a great reputation with regard to his recruiting abilities and relationships with AAU coaches in the area.

  19. Generically, I’d rather start defense, especially at home. You could be in the field for 3 innings before the 8 spot even gets his first at bat.

    You can always pinch hit if you get behind, even in the 3rd inning.

  20. @22,

    I have heard a lot of good things about him. We will see. I think Mike Hamilton will be gone by the fall. Chancellor Cheek will probably be right behind him.

    Tennesse has had great leadership for a long time, now dumb and dumber appear to be running the show.

  21. If Minor and Beachy are close, wouldn’t Minor’s handedness get him the nod?

    Nothing against Beachy, but we’re in the same division as the Phillies and we play them 18 times.

    Unless we’re planning to trade one of the righties real soon, I don’t get it.

  22. Am I crazy or are the Marlins AND the Nats going to be solid this year?

    I hate the “balanced” schedule.

  23. Congrats justhank – UK played a very good game and was the better team last night.

    And, now that my Tar Heels are done, I’ll wish everyone who has a team remaining Good luck, and focus on the important stuff – like why we can’t find a decent back-up senterfielder and what does Stephen Marek have to do to get a copy of the photos and get a shot.

    Edit – Just realizing that our main concerns are of the back-up CFer/who’s our 4th man off the bench/3rd LOOGY variety make me really excited for Opening Day.

    I think I can make a statement here that everyone will agree with : Go Braves!

  24. You know, Andruw Jones would have made a pretty good lefty masher/5th OF for this club. Seeing as we have 4 second baseman (Uggla Prado Young, and I have to think Hicks) and at least 3 3B (Prado Jones Hinske – I know, but in an emergency, he could for a minute), Conrad is beyond superfluous defensively, and Jones still hit .256/.373/.558 against lefties and can fake all 3 OF spots as good as anybody else we are likely to get. A tad pricey at 2M, but the money thrown at has beens/never wases like Proctor and Sherrill plus Conrads pay would have covered it.

  25. At the very least, most bigtime, revenue-generating collegiate sports programs have dirt under their fingernails.

    At worst, they are, relative to the NCAA rules, criminal enterprises.

  26. It’s pretty amazing what Brad Stevens has done the last two years. Especially considering how lousy Butler looked at the beginning of the year. Team just wins when it matters.

  27. Hi, mostly a lurker here. Appreciate all your comments. Got a couple of questions:

    1. We’re totally off the hook for Proctor’s salary, right?

    2. Is there an emergency catcher on the roster?

  28. Considering the alternatives, Andruw looks pretty good as our designated right-handed hitting outfielder.

    Wonder if he’d embrace that role here (where he was a star) as well as he has elsewhere?

    Still can’t hit a down-and-away slider – or, more accurately, discipline himself to not swing at it – but that’s not an issue against Hamels and Lee, is it?

  29. 30 – Stevens is a class act. When approaching Donovan for the post-game handshake he said he got ‘outcoached’. I couldn’t believe that.

    18 – You just listed previous coaches. What does that have to do with fans? I don’t see many UK fans defending Eddie Sutton or Billy Gillispie. In fact I don’t know of a single fan that will defend either of those former coaches.

  30. 32—If the fans wanted things different, thing would be different. And, no, I didn’t just list previous coaches.

  31. @32- Stevens’ comments had me smirking. Florida’s last possession in regulation, given the supposed coaching acumen on the sideline and talent/experience on the floor, was an absolute disaster. Stevens coached circles around Donovan all afternoon.

  32. I like Calipari. He’s no saint, but he’s not as bad of a guy as the media or opposing fans make him out to be. And if UK goes on probation five years from now I will eat crow.

    I don’t remember any ticker tape parades from Vandy alum when Franklin was hired as football HC. I know he wasn’t your #1 choice.

  33. Say what you will, but just about every bounce that could’ve gone Butler’s way on Saturday did. Off the rim, off the backboard, off the backboard and the rim, wherever the ball hit it seemed to find its way down for them.

    ‘Course, if Billy just plays his top scorer whose having a career day or does ANYTHING to punish Butler for jumping out with their bigs on the pick-and-rolls, UF probably still wins….

    I think I’m going to have to root for VCU now. Or UConn, I guess. I can’t bring myself to root for Butler, and I’ve had to wash my hands every hour on the hour since I forced myself to root for Kentucky against OSU.

  34. Thanks, Seat Painter – crazy how one shot, made or missed, makes all the difference in the world. If Barnes and Henson stay, you guys will be a beast next year.

  35. 34—I thought the same thing. Contrast UF’s last possession in regulation with Butler’s last possession in OT. No contest who the better coach was in that game.

    35—I’m missing your point on Franklin.

  36. 40—I still have trouble believing that that could actually happen.

    Of course, if it does, it could get awfully entertaining for those of us who like watching UT fans squirm…

  37. “I like it when he calls out a play that his collection of jump-shooting hacks completely ignores. 2-20 from 3 right now for the Gators. Keep shooting ’em, guys! Keep flapping those arms, Billy!”

    – My Facebook status, 1/20/11

  38. @41 and 41,

    That has been a rumor going around for about a week.

    Stu,

    As a Tennessee fan I will say, nothing would shock me, but I don’t think that would happen. However, we are not going to squirm. with all the carp we have seen in the last two years, we are numb zombies.

  39. “Seeing as we have 4 second baseman (Uggla Prado Young, and I have to think Hicks) and at least 3 3B (Prado Jones Hinske – I know, but in an emergency, he could for a minute), Conrad is beyond superfluous defensively, and Jones still hit .256/.373/.558 against lefties and can fake all 3 OF spots as good as anybody else we are likely to get.”

    All of which backs up my theory that Wren, for all of the good he has done, has absolutely no idea what he’s doing when it comes to the outfield. Even when we improve in the outfield it’s by bringing in an infielder.

  40. hey Seat…aren’t you REALLY proud of this UNC team? I mean, they’re talented, but not the MOST talented team out there, but they played their hearts out.

    if everyones stays, with Hairston (a stud) and McAdoo (bigger stud) coming in, we’re gonna be scary good.

    we still need a back-up PG (but i bet Strickland can cover that) and Bullock is backup SF/SG and Hairston backup SG and McAdoo backup PF/C…we’re stacked.

  41. @44 – ‘All of which backs up my theory that Wren, for all of the good he has done, has absolutely no idea what he’s doing when it comes to the outfield. Even when we improve in the outfield it’s by bringing in an infielder.’

    Name one outfielder that was available this past offseason and affordable that hits like Dan Uggla. Wren leveraged Prado’s versatilty and improved 2 positions offensively. I call that having an idea.

  42. I thought the tension was affecting both teams and coaches at the end of the Butler/Florida game. I didn’t like Stevens waiting until 10 seconds left on the shot clock to call timeout (then calling another) in the last minute of regulation. That puts on a lot of pressure to make a good inbounds pass and run a play, especially when they were already in their halfcourt set anyway. Just call a play from the sideline and save the two timeouts.

  43. @47,

    I kind of like it whe a coach will jst call a play with a few seocds left and not call time out. It gives a good defensive team time to set up something and force you to inbound the ball.

    I guess it just depends on what kind of team you have.

  44. Wouldve been nice to get a position player (CF, 3B, SS) in exchange for Diamond.

    edit: dont get me wrong, Im not complaining.

  45. Basically, the Braves traded their #8 (and falling) starter for a potential closer. I think that’s a pretty good deal, especially since they didn’t have a spot for Diamond anyway.

  46. Billy Bullock is 6’6 and strikes out people at a video game-like pace. If he can lower those walks, he sounds like he could really be something else.

  47. My last word on the ’10-’11 Tar Heels:

    They were as frustrating as a young team can be at many points; with blown assignments, careless turnovers, sloppy shooting, etc etc. That being said, they NEVER quit trying, and always played hard (if not always smart). And once Drew left, they pulled together and showed some of the best chemistry I’ve ever seen from a UNC team, and I’ve been watching them since the original MacAdoo was in town. (Bob MacAdoo, for those who aren’t as familiar with UNC hoops lore).

    If the front line comes back, next year could be special. And when you consider that most commentators say the biggest jump in skill in college comes between the freshman and sophomore years, then Barnes, Marshall, and Bullock could really take this team a long way. last night I felt exactly the way I felt after the ’06 Heels lost to George Mason – disappointed that I won’t get to see them anymore. I hope everyone returns, just to see how good they can become.

    OK, now, let’s get Hubbard back in camp to work on Brooks ‘Dr. Ironglove’ Conrad’s defense!

  48. Bullock sounds downright nasty. I wonder if he is happy to be with the Braves now after playing at UF?

    Edit: That’s the Bullock (Bryan?) we got from the Twins, not Reggie, the UNC shooting guard (and darn, just violated my last word on the Heels pledge!)

  49. The Onion:

    Mets Release Mets

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla—In an attempt to move the organization into a new era, the New York Mets announced Friday they will part ways with the New York Mets, releasing all 40 of its roster players and its entire farm system…

  50. Not having easy public transit options for the Ted was absolutely ridiculous, even by Atlanta standards. Glad to see MARTA re-install the service, even if not permanently.

  51. 60—I thought it was generally understood that the biggest leap is between the sophomore and junior seasons.

  52. 32—If the fans wanted things different, thing would be different.

    My point is relative to this comment. The average fan doesn’t have that big of an impact on who’s coaching their team or alma mater. I was disappointed in Rich Brooks after two seasons, but the AD and administration didn’t fire him. In hindsight, I’m really glad they didn’t. Outside of a few prominent boosters, 99% of fans don’t impact who is coaching their team.

  53. Do you all agree with me that the biggest reason to not attend more Braves games is the difficulty in getting to and fro?

    Moreso than the cost of really wretched hot dogs (do they find the buns in dumpsters?) and flat, warm beer?

  54. There is a storm brewing in Columbus

    “In May of 2009, The Columbus Dispatch reported that since 2000, Ohio State had reported to the NCAA more than 375 violations ? the most of any of the 69 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that provided documents to the newspaper through public-records requests. Most of the infractions were minor and resulted in little or no punishment.”

  55. I konw you were worried Stu, but martin’s buyout for the first 3 years of contract it’s 2.6 million.

    I don’t think Purdue will want to pay that.

  56. Well, knowing the NCAA, it’s response to tOSU’s transgressions will be to slap SMU with more probation.

  57. Prediction: Billy Wagner plays for the Braves this year.

    3 things happen (in no particular order)
    1. Loogy wannabe, George Sherrill shows he can’t get batters out and the Braves release him.
    2. Rookie Craig Kimbrel has a few shaky outings.
    3. The Braves find a taker for Kenshin Kawakami

    The 3 things combined give a roster spot, the financial flexibility, and the closer’s role over to Wags.

    …he’s still on the 40-man.

  58. The shuttle is a money loser — a track would be even more so. MARTA didn’t ask for the stadium to be built where it was.

  59. 66—You misunderstood my point, which is not that fans control the specific individuals whom schools hire, but that fans have a big effect on things like program attitude (ie, “Are we willing, even eager, to subvert the rules in order to win games?”)

    Of course, I’m being too general, in that you can’t lump Joe Sidewalk Fan in with board members or even regular alums. Vanderbilt “fans,” to the extent they exist outside alums, could seek to compromise all they want, but the administration probably wouldn’t succumb to it.

    Anyway, the commitment to honor rings pretty hollow when you guys end up supporting whatever drunk (Gillispie), cheat (Calipari), or drunk cheat (Sutton) the AD hires.

    74—Good luck to him. Seems like a stand-up guy who’s really got his work cut out for him.

  60. @81, the stadium was there first (meaning Fulton Co Stadium/Turner Field). How they managed to build a subway that didn’t go near it is a triumph to the sort of government you get at the city level.

  61. I can’t fault MARTA for prioritizing population density and home-to-work routes in the one south line they could build, just because it doesn’t happen to cater to my personal path. And they do run the shuttle, after all.

  62. Marta rail runs mostly in previously existing railroad gulches. Saved bunches of money.

    The failure on the stadium transit was to not have put a people mover in on Olympic money to connect stadium, capitol hill parking, Twin Towers, Underground to 5 points station. The connection from southeast part of Capitol Hill through the government district would carry lots of people every day.

  63. Am I crazy or are the Marlins AND the Nats going to be solid this year?

    Haven’t paid any attention to them. Are they supposed to be solid this season? Does this mean the Mets are going to finish last in the NL East?

  64. Poor Orioles. FanGraphs has them in the top half of all MLB organizations, at 15th — but that’s good for last place in the AL East.

  65. @84, 85, Putting Garnett on the other side of I-20 at Fulton would have been a huge help, and 5 Points is only a couple blocks away from it’s current site. There is also existing rail there. Better parking for commuters as well.

  66. On a personal level, as long as there are available parking spaces on Mitchell Street (and there always are, except for businessman specials), I’m in good shape.

  67. As President of the Gregor Blanco fan club, you know I’ll be calling for his signing.

    I like him as our backup CF more than what we have.

  68. Just listened to Joe Posnanski’s inaugural Pozcast. Pretty good — he’s a little too “here’s a guy”, but he sounded natural and glad to be doing it. And having Michael Schur as the first guest is a good way to hedge your bet:

    http://tinyurl.com/4q5neso

  69. Over at TC they’ve linked to a Keith Law quote about the exchange with the Twins:

    “Really like this move for Atlanta – Bullock > Diamond by a wide margin.”

    If I was a Twins fan, I’d be pretty irritated that my team just stuck Kevin Slowey in the bullpen so that Nick Blackburn could start every 5th day AND just swapped a useful bullpen piece for a AAAA pitcher. Then again, I’d also be used to this by now. As the Slowey move shows, the Twins have a type; they’ll apparently throw many useful players away if only to make sure they have a surplus of such types.

  70. 1. Blanco is a far better defensive player (going on reports of Young’s defense — he’s mostly played left.) 2. Blanco is a similar-type hitter, but we know that he can survive in the majors, which is more than we know about Young.

  71. Well I know absolutely nothing about Young’s defense, but he has put up good OBP numbers and can steal some bases. However, we do know that Blanco can hit MLB pitching.

  72. @31: We have to pay Proctor some money, but not his whole salary, and about his salary + the minimum, I think. I would guess that Conrad would be the emergency catcher, or Hinske.

  73. I love me some Gregor Blanco, too. I’m still a little peeved about the Blanco/Chavez/Collins-for-Ankiel/Farnz trade, even though Ankiel did have a couple of awesome hits for us.

  74. 100 – Mac, please no Gregor. Your description of him being perfect for the ’80’s astroturf era is perfect. We may not have seen Matt Young hit in the majors, but we have seen that he can at least play some second base, certainly a dimension Gregor does not bring. How exactly have we seen that Gregor Blanco can ‘hit’ in the big leagues ? This isn’t a SSS issue, this is 836 plate appearances. If you want to stash him as roster filler at Gwinnett, I have no problem with that, but I’d like to see Matt Young get a chance.

  75. Congrats, Ethan. Painter is a huge get. EDIT: Well, I guess it’s not official. This is crazy.

    I’m genuinely sad that Vanderbilt is losing King Rice to Monmouth.

  76. @79 I agree with Ryan, I think there must be something agreed between the Braves and Wag in respect of this season. There is no reason why Wag is still on our roster and Wag has not submitted his retirement papers by now.

    @52 If there is one thing Wren is better than JS, it’s his ability in getting solid prospects in return through trades. In JS era, we only trade away our own prospects.

  77. @110 – We could afford to trade away our best prospects when we had one of the highest payrolls in baseball. Not so much anymore, as we’re all aware.

  78. Well, he got damn lucky a couple of times – he got a lot out of Michael Tucker, Johnny Estrada, and Edgar Renteria that I’m not sure there was a right to expect. I know, that’s why he was a great GM and all, but still. Pendleton too, although he was an FA signing.

  79. Thanks Stu, but I’m going to let the Furcal rule play for now. Would back a lot of people off the cliff though.

    I’d rather have Nick Evans than Brooks Conrad. Evans makes the perfect complement to Hinkse as a pinch hitter and because Prado’s versatility, it doesn’t really affect the 2 deep on the infield. Get it done Wren.

  80. I never thought we would get into a conversation of defending JS’s accomplishments. I don’t think it’s even worth our time on that topic. Let’s just say I am very happy with this Diamond trade. We traded a non-draft prospect or a second round pick (and Twins’ best relief pitching prospect).

  81. His accomplishments speak for themselves. My (mild) skepticism of a couple of moves doesn’t change that.

  82. JS did some stupid things, but he’s still the best GM of his generation.

    I want Gregor Blanco back so badly.

    Also, from that Chipper interview with DOB, regarding differences between Cox and Fredi: “There’s been a little more attention to detail, as far as situational play.” Could that possibly — gasp — mean that Fredi will not make quite as many bad situational decisions as Bobby used to?

  83. @120

    I think they are working more on taking infield practice and hitting the cutoff man. Most of these guys should have figured out the cutoff man by now.

    Well…maybe Freddi could have fixed Frenchy.

  84. I will say it makes a big, big difference to have public transit to the game. I can take the Metro and get off a block and a half from the Nats ballpark; I wouldn’t go to nearly as many games if I had to drive. And I have been to games in Philadelphia where there is also a subway line to the stadium. And, of course, it’s obviously true in NY. I can’t really blame people for not wanting to fight traffic and parking.

    The Nats probably don’t have the pitching to be a whole lot better. People are talking about .500 but, without Strasburg, I doubt it.

    BTW, I had my MRI yesterday and thanks to everyone for their advice. It really helped a lot. It turned out to be a piece of cake–I wasn’t even all the way in the tube; my legs were inside but my head and shoulders were not so it was no discomfort at all. Apparently, the technology has advanced so that it’s a much easier experience than it once was. I wonder how much of the improvement is related to pro athletes,in the same way that military applications of technology (GPS) lead to advancements for civilians.

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