Nationals 9, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals – July 22, 2012

Jair Francoise Jurrjens, Atlanta Brave — 2008-2012

After Jair Jurrjens gave up 9 hits and 6 runs while recording just 7 outs today, his season ERA climbed to 7.04, and it’s easy to imagine that that might be his last appearance in a Braves uniform. His stuff is flat, he has no command, he isn’t getting swings and misses, and he’s giving up a ton of homers. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

His peripherals were always a bit worrisome, as he was never a high-strikeout pitcher, but he kept his homers low and achieved a good amount of success in his first five full seasons. He also started young, just 21 years old for his first cup of coffee in Detroit and 22 for his rookie year for the Braves.

The Tigers are famous for promoting their top pitching prospects too early, and his career arc — looking finished as a top pitcher in his mid-20s — is a bit reminiscent of that of other more highly touted former Tiger prospects, especially Rick Porcello and Jeremy Bonderman, who were both skipped up to the majors straight from High-A ball, and who have both struggled to live up to their early promise.

But Jurrjens was actually in their minor leagues for five seasons, after being signed as a 17 year old, and pitched more than 500 innings in the minors before reaching the majors, compared to 125-150 for Porcello and Bonderman. He was young, but he was ready.

And he pitched great for us. In his career as an Atlanta Brave, Jair Jurrjens made 118 starts and pitched 719 innings, and went 50-36 with a 3.58 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, and a 1.95 K/BB. In 2008, 2009, and probably 2011, he was our second-best starter. He’s also the second-greatest player ever to hail from Curacao. Kenley Jansen’s in third place by a skosh, but Andrelton Simmons will soon take that over for good.

(I’m not sure that any team has ever dominated the talent pool from any one place the way the Braves have dominated Curacao. Obviously, they didn’t draft Jurrjens, but they were smart enough to obtain him after he’d pitched 30 2/3 innings of baseball with a 4.70 ERA at the age of 21 in Detroit. But seriously, is there any other team that has the three best players from any one city, state, or country?)

Obviously, I’d rather celebrate Jair’s success than talk about today’s game, which was basically just exactly like Friday’s game except that, after going down 9-0 again, the Braves did what most teams do after going down 9-0: they lost in a blowout.

There is basically no way that the Braves can just let Jurrjens make his next start. The trade deadline is 8 days away, and the Braves need a pitcher, not a belly itcher. Right now, unfortunately, JJ is the latter.

374 thoughts on “Nationals 9, Braves 2”

  1. “That’s just two bad starts,” Jurrjens said. “I know it’s really two ugly ones, but ever since I came up I’ve been dependable.

    I don’t know what to say to that.

  2. I believe Roger Bernadina is from Curacao, too. So a bunch of Braves, one Braves-Killer, and Kenley Jansen.

  3. I think it’s 2012 or bust for this team. They are going to lose a lot of irreplaceable parts and the tightness of the budget is only going to become a bigger issue as time passes.

  4. I hate that Jair has lost it. He was a valuable pitcher for several years, but it is time to let him go. We need to decline to offer arb on him and see if he’s willing to take a minor league deal – and hope he can regain the magic.

    But with his record, I’m sure some other MLB organization or the Royals will take a chance on him.

  5. FWIW, Tom Boswell in the Washington Post wrote the other day that he expects the Nats and Braves to be fighting it out for the next few years because both are “farm-system” teams. I don’t consider Boswell’s prognostications to be particularly accurate-to say the least-but it is an interesting perspective from the outside.

    It certainly seems as if the rest of the division is done for this year and, with the Phillies aging, the Mets being Madoff-poor, and the Marlins being the Marlins, this could be a two-team division for a while.

  6. I agree with everyone in the win-now camp. Chipper is still our best hitter, and it’s really not even close. Losing him is going to matter. Heyward and Freeman are good but not great (yet). An aging Hudson is our best pitcher and none of our young guys look ready to take the #1 or #2 role. If we stand pat this year and miss the playoffs then I would wager that we won’t sniff them again for a long time to come.

  7. I think it is going to be almost impossible for any team not to at least “sniff” the playoffs. With two wild card teams, almost everyone will have a chance. The Braves are on pace of 88 wins. Even if they play .500 the rest of the way (they are one game under for the last 53), they would finish with 85/86 wins, which might still get them in.

    I think the Braves, while obviously having significant problems, also have too many good players-even without Chipper-to be completely out of the playoff race. I expect the Braves to be “competitive” which is pretty much Liberty Media’s standard.

    I think Wren will do anything within reason to make a big deal because I think the team probably feels that they have a serious shot to do something in the playoffs if they strengthen the pitching. But I don’t think the Braves believe the window is closing or that this year is “it” for the Braves.

  8. Great write-up, Alex.
    Call’em as you see’em.
    I always appreciate it when you point out, despite my disdain for him, that Wren has obtained some pretty good performances from players.
    Needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat this year.

    And by two two pitchers, we don’t mean Rick Ankiel!

  9. Next season, each league will have 15 teams. Five of those fifteen teams will make the postseason.

    Selig is making the regular season a joke.

  10. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Chip’s twitter feed was hacked. He not only sucks at his job; he’s also an awful human being.

  11. I haven’t seen much on here on James Sheilds as a pitching target for the Braves.

    Sheilds has a 9 mill option this year and a 12 mill next year. Then, as I understand, you could in effect offer arb at 12 mill for the next year. To me, those three years are a better deal than trying to reup a Greinke.

    Tampa Bay wants primarily a “young catcher”, but that is probably somebody ready now. Otherwise, they want, “pitching prospects” which I would think means younger players that have years of control and option years and not too many that are major league ready.

    How do you compare Sheilds to (a) Garza, (b) Dempster, (c) Geinke?

    Also, if Milwaukee has really offered Greinke 20 per year for 5 years and he would want more years or more dollars to extend with the Braves, would you want to extend him?

  12. Yeah. It’s exactly the sort of thing he would say.

    It’s not ridiculous enough to be the sort of thing someone would write who had gone to the trouble of accessing his account.

    And whatever, you don’t like the president or you don’t like his politics, or whatever.

    But the distastefulness and inappropriateness of reducing the “darkness” of being the parent of a murdered child to the level of “darkness” of being a wealthy, employed nepotist suffering a president he doesn’t agree with, is exactly the kind of thing that would completely go over Chip’s head until it was pointed out to him.

  13. I’m fine with Dempster as long as it doesn’t cost anything more than a few A-ball prospects.

  14. What exactly did he say? I guess Chip just proves that genetics isn’t everything and nepotism is the worst. Chip is like a “legacy” admission at an Ivy League university. He certainly didn’t get where he is through talent.

  15. Isn’t Dempster the ideal guy for the Braves to get right now? If Grienke is gonna cost $20 million a season there’s no way I think that’s worth it, and the other rental guys aren’t near as good as Dempster.

  16. @25 – Edited for clarity:

    @BreakingNews says: according to @NBCNightlyNews President, speaking in Aurora says “Out of this darkness, a brighter day is going to come.”

    Chip Caray quotes it, and adds “Yeah, in November.”

  17. Yeah, which leads to why I think he did it and doesn’t have the guts to back off of it. That comment, assuming you don’t like the guy, sounds innocuous enough if the President had been speaking about, say, the economy. But that he’s speaking to the families of murdered children, it’s pretty despicable.

    That’s exactly the sort of thing I would expect to zip right by Chip Caray.

  18. Frankly, don’t care about what Caray said there. Big deal.

    Going the Anthony Weiner “I was hacked!” route though is odd. No one believes that.

  19. So Chip Carey is also a coward. Funny how it seems to go together with privilege like white and rice.

    Am I the only one who will admit to selfishly hoping that whatever he wrote was bad enough to get him fired?

  20. @38

    I doubt he even gets a call from his boss about it. He will probably go on a “I was hacked, but I have the right to say what I want…” rant on Twitter in a few days.

  21. 12:59pm: The Braves seem to be close to acquiring Ryan Dempster, Jon Heyman of reports (Twitter links).

  22. Confirmed Ryan Dempster is coming to the Braves. Still trying to confirm details but Delgado could be on the other end of the deal


    If it’s straight Dempster for Delgado I am going to be livid.

  23. “Yes” on Dempster, please. And add a RH reliever–Manny Corpas maybe–to take Medlen’s spot in the pen. Because, I agree: we need TWO competent starters in the mix,NOW, without selling out the Farm ( we are not–or SHOULD not be– in win-now mode.)

    Those two shouldn’t cost THAT much… should they?

    Feel free to stone me.

  24. @49 – That’s… not very well thought out.

    Dempster’s ERA+’s for the last five years: 186, 80, 110, 122, 154

    Dempster’s K/9’s for the last five years: 7.1, 8.5, 8.7, 7.7, 8.1

    Lowe: 77, 77, 98, 88, 129… and 3.2, 6.6, 6.3, 5.1, 6.3.

    Further, the problem with Lowe wasn’t that he was in our rotation. It’s that we signed him for 4 years, rather than 3 months.

  25. I think I agree with @27: if not Dempster, then who? Greinke wouldn’t be worth the prospects without an extension, but a Greinke extension would consume 20-25% of payroll for the next 4+ years. Dunno about that. The rest of the rental market is ass.

    Maybe it’s Delgado for Dempster, but we make them take Chip back. It had never occurred to me, but perhaps it should have prior to yesterday, to say “You know, as dumb as our political discourse can get, at least I don’t have to hear Chip Caray talk about it.” And now… you don’t know what you got till it’s gone, I guess.

  26. Braves set to acquire Dempster

    A National League source has confirmed the Braves are putting the finishing touches on acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. Details of the trade have not been confirmed. But one of the Braves’ top pitching prospects Randall Delgado could be involved.

    Dempster has the potential to serve as the kind of reliable starting pitcher that the Braves have been looking to add to their starting rotation. The veteran right-hander has gone 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA in 15 starts for the Cubs this season. — Mark Bowman

  27. Bowman: Confirmed Ryan Dempster is coming to the Braves. Still trying to confirm details but Delgado could be on the other end of the deal

  28. Including Delgado in the trade is tough…but then, potential value is always more enticing than realized value. And this is what most of these trades look like — we need a concrete improvement now, and that’s gonna cost a top prospect. It just is.

  29. Please don’t let it be Delgado. I’d already stated my reservations about that, but after watching Delgado on Saturday I am convinced he is a #2 starter having the usual growing pains. He doesn’t even need to have much better control. He just needs to miss out of the zone. The only hits he gave up seemed to be when Ross was begging him to throw it in the dirt or above the letters.

  30. I will love this deal if it is not Delgado (or obviously, Teheran.) Why not Gilmartin or something?

  31. With the Dodgers (and others) also bidding, and with Greinke not actually on the market, the Cubs were in a good position to get a really nice return.

  32. Of Minor, Teheran and Delgado, Randall is my favorite; but I’d rather have Dempster in our rotation right now.

  33. Dodgers had already told them no, and other than Lee none of their pitching prospects are anywhere close to as good as Delgado. In fact I would argue Delgado is far, far more valuable than Lee. I doubt anybody else was willing to give up anything close to Delgado.

  34. ajcbraves #Braves believe they’d have good shot at re-signing Dempster, because of history that Wren and Fredi have w/ him from Marlins days.

  35. 66—You think it’s reasonable to assume that Wren parted with significantly more value than he needed to to get a deal done?

  36. Let’s see…

    A potential top of the rotation starter for a 35-year old pitcher who

    1) Has the lowest K/9 of his career this year
    2) Has a .245 BABIP, compared to his .301 career average
    3) Is sitting at a 84% LOB rate, compared to 72% career average, which directly leads to
    4) A FIP a full run above his ERA
    5) And is sitting at 7.5% HR rate, which directly leads to
    6) An xFIP 1.6 runs above his ERA

    Ryan Dempster epitomizes ‘luck’ this year.

    I like Frank Wren, but he should not be allowed to negotiate with the likes of Theo Epstein or Alex Anthopolous. That’s just unfair.

  37. @70 Thank you.

    I actually like this more if it’s just a one year thing. If we end up signing him for like 15 mil over several years, I’m going to be a sad panda.

  38. The problem is, you can’t just trade what it takes to get the deal done. The players aren’t dollars. You can’t give him 3/4 of Randall Delgado.

    If we didn’t have a guy that fits the right valuation, you either give the guy you’ve got, or you pass and hope another pitcher is dealt.

    Greinke would cost more than this. Do you want Liriano or Vargas?

  39. 68-I’m not assuming that “Wren parted with significantly more value than he needed to get a deal done” and nothing I said logically suggests that. I am suggesting that he gave up more than any other GM was willing to, and that if it is Delgado it is more than Dempster is worth.

  40. In fairness, Dempster’s FIP this year is 3.28, which is really dang good. He’s pitched very well.

  41. Lets see how well Dempster pitches for the rest of the season…..if we just lost Randall Delgado, then I doubt it will be worth it….

  42. Wren made a nice move signing Sheets. Why doesn’t he get on the phone with Javier Vasquez?

  43. 73—Actually, logically, it sure looked like you were responding to my point about competition driving price, and your point seemed to be that the competition wasn’t steep, with my counter being that I seriously doubt Wren doubled the Dodgers’ best offer.

    For what it’s worth, I agree that Delgado is too much for just Dempster. But that wasn’t the point I was addressing.

  44. 71,

    I wouldn’t want to re-sign him. He’s 35. He’s going to want major money coming in for his last contract, and he’ll feel like he deserves it after a career year. And when he does regress to being a 1.5 Win player, the Braves will regret it.


    You can give him a pitcher that’s worth 3/4 of Randall Delgado. Like Zeke Spruill, or even Sean Gilmartin. And yes, if I were Atlanta’s front office, I would be willing to part with much, much more for a top-10 MLB pitcher than for a guy who’s wheels are about to fall off.


    Yeah, but he’s been lucky on home runs this year. If you want true projection or performance, look at xFIP, which comes in a mediocre 3.74.


    Completely agree.

  45. I understand that it’s a very hard market and you have to overpay for pitching; Dempster just isn’t the guy I’d overpay for.

  46. 78-I was responding to your point, by noting that all we know is that the Dodgers refused to part with a prospect less valuable than Delgado. That in no way implies that Wren could have gotten him for less. For all we know Epstein was (for the time being at least) holding out for the moon and found one GM willing to give it to him.

    Frankly I was suspicious all along of this “We want to deal Dempster ASAP in order to allow us to concentrate on Garza” bullshit. That is classic Epstein leveraging where none really exists. At the deadline he’d have given away Dempster to the highest bidder no matter how little the return.

  47. Joe Sheehan puts it succinctly: “There’s no way gap between Randall Delgado and Ryan Dempster over 12 starts is worth trading Delgado’s next five years for.”

    That’s the extreme fear, yes. Now, if that 12-game gap gets us into the playoffs, and if we advance far in the playoffs, and Delgado never really pans out…but that’s a lot of iffs.

    Risky trade. Steep price. Hope Dempster stays healthy and effective.

  48. I would imagine if Delgado is in the deal, the Cubs will be paying most of, if not all of, his 2012 salary.

    Let’s see what all the final deal is before we jump off of a cliff and cry over the 2015 season.

  49. @80 – The Cubs obviously don’t feel that Zeke Spruil or Sean Gilmartin are 3/4 of Delgado. That’s kind of the entire point.

    And a 3.74 xFIP is better than average.

    You know, if the guy pitched 98 innings and allowed only 7 HR, (pitching in Wrigley Field, by the way) it’s not like he’s going to have to give up the rest of the home runs he previously prevented, just so his numbers will come out right. If he’s got a 2.11 ERA and xFIP thinks it should be 3.74, it’s not like he’s going to pitch to a 4.50 the rest of the way out just to match the projection.

    If he pitches a 3.74 ERA for the remainder of the season, he’s STILL our best pitcher.

  50. If the deal is Delgado for Dempster + cash Wren got hosed. Badly. On the bright side, Wren seems to always balance one awful trade with one brilliant one, so maybe next we get Greinke for Pastornicky and Spruill.

  51. Honestly, there is one thing about this trade that really doesn’t make sense to me. The reason that we had to give up Randall was in order to get the Cubs to pay all of Dempster’s remaining salary. If we could have afforded Dempster, we probably could have given up a lesser prospect. So, we don’t have money. Nothing new.

    Now how do you save money? Ask the Rays. You develop in-house pitching and hitting, and you hold on to it, exploit it during the cost-controlled years, and then let it leave when it gets expensive. Pitching like Randall Delgado.

    Tomorrow (or end-of-season, whatever), we’ll sign Dempster to a three-year contract that overpays him. We’ll need a new starting pitcher in year three of that contract in order to make a playoff run. We’ll attempt to make a trade for good-not-great pitcher, and have to overpay in another great prospect because we can’t afford the new pitcher’s remaining contract.

    Rinse and repeat.

  52. We have lots of young pitching. We went after the best starter on the market and got him.

  53. Someone be sure to clearly paste the actual terms of the trade here when they’re confirmed. Was reading all of this on my phone over lunch but am back at work and half of the sites/twitter are blocked here. Would be much appreciated.

  54. Dempster had a 4.80 ERA last year. Can you imagine Wren offering Delgado for Dempster over the offseason? Wren bough high on Dempster and sold low on Delgado.

  55. I bet Chip Caray will be happy with the deal because the Braves are getting another white guy.

  56. God this sucks. Does this mean we’re left with Jurrjens in the rotation or Minor? Because the upgrade from either of those to Delgado was probably about as much as the upgrade from Delgado to Dempster, and the former would’ve been completely free. Faith in Wren…fading.

  57. I won’t pretend that Dempster’s performance in 2009-2011 doesn’t impact a reasonable expectation for his performance in the remainder of 2012, because obviously it does. But my sense has always been that what a player has done most recently is a far greater predictor of what he’s about to do in the short term than any multiyear norms. Especially for pitchers, since the mechanics of pitching are so tied to muscle memory. You’re much more likely to keep doing what you just did than what you used to do. And, so far, 2012 Ryan Dempster has been an ace worthy of Game 1 in any playoff series, and therefore worth a top prospect. As to what happens contractually after 2012, I’ll leave that to the soothsayers.

  58. This is a bad deal–the Braves no longer have a surplus of young pitching:

    JJ has imploded, Teheran and Minor are suspect, Vizcaino and Beachy recovering from TJ surgery; Gilmartin is a #3 or #4 starter and Spruill has hardly been dominant. Hale is erratic and while the arms at upper A level are promising, they are nowhere near these other pitchers.

    At least the Braves found a way to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Teixeira trade….

  59. 103,

    What kind of comparison is that? Lee was five years younger than Dempster is now and was coming off a season in which he went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA. Cliff Lee was a legitimate top of the rotation starter in 2009.

  60. David Kaplan just retweeted this: “Dempster Foundation ‏@RyanDempsterFDN
    THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!” So either nobody’s told him yet or the collective internet may have just jumped to a pretty huge conclusion.

  61. If we had sent one of Jason Heyward’s bats for Dempster, there would have been a massive panic.


  62. To me, a surplus connotes an unused resource. Why do we want that, so we can endlessly dream about the perfect tomorrow? I’ll take a solid run at a flag instead. It’s been a while, you know?

  63. #109–We had a solid chance in 2011. I doubt that 12 starts of Dempster will make that much difference….

  64. For the record, I advocated trading both Hanson and JJ when they still had plenty of value. Not because I am some kind of genius who knew they would decline and implode but simply because neither were true aces and both were already starting to get expensive. Those are the guys you use your pitching surplus to replace, while stocking your minors with the hitting prospects that eventually fill the lineup gaps.

  65. What a guy has done most recently is most important?

    Then 2 earned runs over 6 IP against the 1st place Nats is not something we can afford to lose.

  66. Braves have NOT made any public statement about a trade today. This all originated from beat writers. Not a Furcal situation going on here.

  67. A while since we actually won the pennant, I meant to say.

    As to whether it will make that much difference — we’re in a position where a relatively small difference can be the critical difference. If we were 4 games out of the wild card and had three teams to pass, I would not make the trade. But 1) we’re 1/2 game up, and 2) we need someone to start the stupid 1-game wild card, and if Hudson happens to be burned who else do we have to turn to?

  68. Love the random guy’s tweet of “Uhh, dude. You got traded. Twitter said so.”

  69. @116 You’re right, Bowman was the main originator. It’s more likely that Dempster just doesn’t know what’s going on.

  70. @119 – Greinke for Delgado might’ve made a little sense with adequate squinting. Both of those options suck though.

  71. Teheran for Greinke is better than Delgado for Dempster. If only because I can actually dream about Greinke shutting Down the Yankees or the Rangers or the Angels. With Dempster the mind just can’t get there.

  72. As a Curacao native and lifelong Braves fan – been lurking Bravesjournal for 6 years now – I’m really happy to have seen guys like Andruw, JJ and now Simmons put on that Braves jersey. Simon is a different story.

    We have about 150.000 inhabitants, so it’s really impressive to see these guys not only make the majors, but also all go to the same team.

    Bernadina is also from here, as is Shairon Martis (used to be on the Nationals too) and this other guy who’s name i’m forgetting. The next big star will be Jurickson Profar. The Rangers got him in their farm system.

    Our little league team is always loaded and we always do well in the LLWS. Every so now and then we even win the title. Profar was turning heads a few years ago in Williamsport..

    It’s sad that JJ is probably done, but hopefully he can bounce back somewhere else.

  73. Maybe, just maybe, Dempster went over the terms of the deal and said, “Wait they’re sending Delgado here? And I’m stuck in a rotation with either JJ or Minor? No thank you.”

  74. @129

    You’re then prepared to pay $100 million to Grienke over the next 5 years then?

  75. Apropos of nothing, but how does James Loney still have a job playing first base in the major leagues?

  76. @132

    That would be a ridiculous thing for him to do. Delgado has nothing to do with our playoff chances this year.

  77. Mike Minor currently owns the 4th highest ERA in baseball among qualified starters and has the second lowest fWAR. He’s a perfectly reasonable fifth starter for the Astros, maybe.

  78. 133- I’d be happy to pay Greinke 5/100. Not sure we can afford it. But I would rather non-tender Hanson and have Greinke, Hudson, Medlen, Minor and Teheran than have Hudson, Hanson, Medlen, Minor and Teheran + an extra 8mil.

  79. I think MLB probably has the deal and is going over it.

    I want to win now. I am tired of just missing the playoffs or when we get there we burn out.

    It isn’t like we are sending four studs to them for 12 starts. We are sending a guy who PROJECTS to be a #3 starter in a few years.

    Guess who else projects to be a #3? Minor, Gilmartin and possibly a few others.

    We bascially sent out fifth starter for a very good #2/ solid #1.

    The goal shouldn’t be to win the wild card and pray, it should be to win it all. Send Chipper out of top. Dempster gives us a shot at that.

    Something isn’t right with Grienke. Everyone knows that. He is a much bigger risk right now than Dempster.

    If we won it all this year and finished .500 for the next two season, I would be fine with that.

  80. I think Loney has Pictures.

    I’m an Ivy League legacy, but otherwise I agree with the broader point. There’s people at Yale who didn’t get in there cuz they’re smart.

    On the other hand, Chip’s twitter isn’t verified. How do we know it’s him?

  81. Minor’s recent performance (which over the last month has been better than Hanson, Delgado and JJ) gives me hope that he can be a perfectly reasonable fifth starter here on out.

  82. In what world is Ryan Dempster a very good #2/solid #1? His ERA+ the last 3 seasons is barely above league average at 104.

  83. Smitty, I think Delgado projects higher than a #3. He’s a rookie now and he’s our #3.

  84. ESPN just reported that it is Delgado plus additional prospects. This could get interesting.

  85. Delgado for 2 months of Dempster? Don’t know how I feel about that. Seems like an overpay. Ask me in October, I guess.

  86. So if it is Delgado and additional prospects, we have to be getting something else too, right? Right?

  87. Kevin Goldstein says Delgado wouldn’t be in his top 50 prospects today. He also says Delgado projects to be a 4, at MAX a 3.

    And Delgado isn’t our 3. Delgado is our 4 or 5. And that’s on the 3rd worst staff in the national league.

  88. 149- Delgado only has 24 ML starts. That’s less than a single full season. And over those starts he has a 101 ERA+. He is basically already as good as the 2009-2011 version of Ryan Dempster. And there is no shortage of #2 starters that had worse stats over their first 24 ML starts.

  89. Is Delgado better than Dempster right this very second? If not then this trade helps us. I could care less about the next few years because we’re going to suck anyways. Right now we don’t suck, so let’s see if we can win it. Playing for “the future” is lame, especially when our stud prospects are over-hyped to the nth power.

  90. You never know what’s going to happen with young pitching though. Delgado could flame out entirely if he never learns to command his off speed pitches and Dempster is a proven major league pitcher who can help us get to October. I’ve not heard what an extension for Dempster would look like, does anyone know what the market for him is looking like right now? I’d imagine the Braves made this trade with the intention of resigning him otherwise they wouldn’t give up such a highly regarded prospect for 2 months of work.

  91. The price you pay for a player under 2 months of control has nothing to do with whether you intend to extend that player or not. The player you acquired came with 2 months of control. Any additional years you negotiate, you pay HIM for.

    Further, if Dempster requires an extension to OK the deal, then the deal has to be reworked. Because you negotiated for a player at 2 months and a certain dollar figure. If you have to sink more dollars and take on more risk, you should pay his old team a lower price.

  92. Also, we should probably also bear in mind with Delgado (and Minor too) the whole Pastornicky boondoggle. This year Delgado’s 1.2 additional H/9 probably coincides to some degree with infield defense. And his ratio of 6 quality starts in 17 (only 1 in 7 last year) is actually pretty damn good for the first year in the majors. No way his stats point to a #4 starter.

  93. Part of the problem is that our idea of what 4th starter (on a contender) stats are is skewed. The back end of the staff has been pretty poor for a couple years.

  94. Alex,

    I certainly did not mean to imply that every legacy student is not worthy but I assume that some get in that would not otherwise. My point was just that Chip did not get his job through his talent.

  95. @162 That would be cool actually…at least Hudson would get a win that way on a Monday

  96. Really – I was posting my comment before I saw all the others about Monday (took a while to read down to the end)… :-)

  97. This would be the third stupid-ass hypothetical Wren trade we’ve been spared. So, great.

  98. Ichiro is a free agent at the end of the year. If he’s agreeing to go to the Yankees as a spare part, I’m guessing he’s not pushing for another MLB contract. Having witnessed the birth of Ichiro-mania firsthand, this makes me sad. I don’t even want to talk about seeing him in pinstripes….

  99. As a non-believer in Delgado, it wouldn’t bother me if the Braves traded him for Dempster.

    Demster, though, would still be an unexciting acquisition.

  100. 179- On the other hand, Minor’s demonstrating that “Exciting” is not usually a good attribute in a pitcher.

  101. Last three games: Delgado-Jurrjens-Minor

    Last three games: Loss-loss-losing


  102. Another Minor disaster for a pitcher with Minor talent. Honestly, do we have any real pitching prospects? For all the stories of the great potential for our young pitchers, their limitations are limitless.

  103. Meanwhile one of the pieces to the puzzle languishes in the bullpen for no apparent reason. I guess Barves logic says that we’d rather have Medlen in the pen because our starters aren’t going deep in games, rather than replacing one of the starters who sucks with Medlen and alleviating the strain on the bullpen by addressing the root cause.

  104. For all the stories of the great potential for our young pitchers, their limitations are limitless.

    The Braves’ big four (Vizcaino, Minor, Delgado, Teheran) are coming along about as well as Oakland’s “four aces” of the 1990s (Van Poppel, Dressendorfer, Zancanaro and Peters.)

  105. @190

    Peanut has a new report up and makes it sound like it could be any moment. I’m starting to lean towards Heyman

  106. I know Wren isnt responsible for what other people put out there, but this sure would be another embarassing situation for him.

  107. What would be the most embarassing is if Dempster vetoed the deal

    “Fix the Braves rotation? I’m not a miracle worker.”

  108. That was Bonifacio’s first HR of the year and seventh in over 1500 major league at bats. Thanks, Mike!

  109. Teheran must totally suck to be stuck behind JJ and Minor. Or maybe we’ve just been “showcasing” Minor/JJ/Delgado for the past month in order to make a deadline deal without giving up Teheran. Either way I would sincerely hope that we see him called up at the beginning of next month. He can’t be worse than anyone else we’re running out there at the moment.

  110. Well, at least the Nats are winning… Minor wound have made Duane Kuiper a home run threat

  111. Oh heck, I’ll say it- we miss you, Mike Redmond. Janish should have been staked by Buffy or Van Helsing or whoever.

  112. @178, Nosebleeds on the 1st base line. $15 and a great view of what may or may not be a ball game.

  113. They won’t ever move Medlen to the rotation, because they have convinced themselves that he’s great as a long man (which he is) and he’s too valuable in that role to move him to the rotation. When they were stretching him out, Livan was still seen as a valid long man option and it wasn’t obvious that Venters wasn’t right.

  114. Sorry guys, apparently I made everything in italics and I don’t know how to fix it.


  115. I’m convinced Medlen is now probably our #2 starter. Fredi and company will probably realize that sometime next year.

  116. @212, I guess this game sucks from wherever we are watching. Then again, we might get to witness a perfect game.

  117. I think our strategy is to amass the worst starting rotation possible in order to maximize the innings for our long relievers.

  118. Remember when Minor told management to put him in the rotation or release him?

  119. I wonder if Wren was trying to pressure the Brewers into dealing Greinke and it blew up in his face. Otherwise I don’t see why he would be talking to reporters before the Cubs even approached Dempster to OK the deal.

  120. At least we’re getting double plays. Doesn’t help the offense, but at least the score will be respectable.

  121. Does Minor do ONE thing well? A single plus pitch? Any strengths other that having more dexterity with his left hand than his right?

  122. Everyone keeps talking about what Dempster said, wouldn’t an easy solution be for someone to ask Delgado if anyone has said anything to him?

  123. The Braves are potentially making the Marlins millions of dollars in trade value.

  124. I kind of like watching Minor. He has good command with his fastball. And his curveball works as long as no one is looking for it. But the slider isn’t nasty enough. So he needs that extra 5MPH on his fastball. What is the story on that? Where did the extra juice come from, and why did it so suddenly disappear?

  125. @243

    Dempster is a 10/5 guy, so he’d have to sign off on it before Delgado or his agent would likely know anything.

  126. Oh my god, the Marlins even made the mascot race around the park terrible. Presidents in DC – fun. Sausages in Miller Park – fun. Shiny sea creatures in Miami – lame. Way to go Marlins, you found a way to make me think sharks and octopi are somehow not always awesome. I loathe this franchise.

  127. Minor turned it around but definitely benefited from a little luck. They were hitting rockets off him.

  128. At least one of those hits in the first inning was a blooper. But it really has to be a fat pitch for Bonifacio to hit it out.

  129. What happened to Johnson, and did Dunn get to warm up as much as he liked when he came into the game?

  130. @259

    The racing dentist’s office in Colorado (a brush, a tooth and toothpaste, I believe) is unspeakably worse.

  131. Fuck you Chip Caray. From across the room I hear “FLY BALL, HAMMERED AND DEAP!” only to turn my head and watch a fly ball caught in front of the track. I am so sick of this joker. Let’s vote HIM out in October.

  132. Oh my god, the Marlins even made the mascot race around the park terrible. Presidents in DC – fun. Sausages in Miller Park – fun. Shiny sea creatures in Miami – lame.

    How is it worse than the Braves’ tool race? As least the sea creatures fit the Marlins’ theme, whereas the Braves have a tool race because of a sponsor (Home Depot.) What does a hammer and a saw have to do with Braves baseball?

  133. Dan,

    I am totally (luckily?) in the dark on this tool race. Haven’t got to watch as many games this year. But yes, it sounds horrible. Did it just begin this year?

  134. Minor actually has gotten stronger as he’s gone along. Maybe he just needs to start each game a little worn down.

    And thanks for the Internet. I have high hopes for it, provided Comcast doesn’t drop my connection. Again.

  135. Minor comes up fourth in this inning. If we keep doing what we’ve been doing, send him out for the eighth and let him finish the game.

  136. Pierogies in Pittsburgh, sausages in Milwaukee, Presidents in Washington — all cool.

    Everyone else in MLB: stop the freaking races now, please.

  137. I make it a habit to scream “DRILLLL!!!!!” repeatedly and as loud as possible throughout the tool race. For some reason, making a ridiculously big show of caring about it make the thing itself less ridiculous to me. For years I would also do the “reverse wave” as a form of protest.

    I guess what I’m getting at is I get pretty drunk at ballgames.

  138. Constanza for Janish? Hinske on deck? Dear God, this bench is putrid.

  139. Not our commenter Dan, our second baseman. Apologies for any confusion.

    Which is worse, that Constanza is pinch-hitting or that it’s clearly the right move?

  140. Thought the was Francisco; bad hitter but a lot of power, maybe tie the game on one swing. Worth a gamble over Janish.

    But no, it’s Constanza. Thanks Fredi.

  141. Pastornicky at the plate, however, is never a good move. Neither is Pastornicky in the field.

  142. My apologies to Constanza, who is a geyser of competence compared with Pastornicky.

  143. I’m sorry, did Ozzie just send out a lefty because of Constanza, and then Fredi wasted him to hit Tyler instead? Did that really just happen?

    Why in the world did I think this was a playoff caliber team?

  144. I know the guy who was the drill for a couple of years. Was on the same floor as him our freshman year.

  145. Ross here, on the other hand, is evidence that sentience and Fredi might finally be colliding — or that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  146. So, Fredi plans to have JJ make his next start barring a trade. Really, Fredi? What a tool.

  147. @302

    I wonder if Fredi is just trying to raise a middle finger to Wren and Liberty.

  148. So, Fredi plans to have JJ make his next start barring a trade.

    Damn, Fredi is threatening Wren now?

  149. A lead off walk is a rally. Imagine how we’d feel if he got all the way to second.

  150. Fredi thought we wouldn’t get rid of our last hitting coach too. His opinion on the matter means little.

  151. The Dempster story just keeps getting weirder. Check out this in the Chicago Sun-Times:

    “I think we all know there can be a trade,” he added. “But the [specific Atlanta deal], the whole thing, was news to me. The team obviously is the one that leaked it out – or it came out of their city. But obviously we can’t sit here and say it can’t happen. Anything can happen at this point; we have eight days till the deadline. All the teams that are involved in wanting or needing starters are in play, there’s no question.”

  152. In a sane world:


    In this insane one, Medlen pitches one inning while Jurrjens starts.

  153. Joe says on the air that he thinks Medlen should be in the rotation. Fredi is the only person in the world who doesn’t think so apparently.

  154. I’m so freaking pissed with Wren and the Atlanta journalists. This is becoming a trend and it’s embarrassing, and I don’t even want this trade to happen.

  155. I smelled BS last week when ESPN was reporting (falsely as it turned out) that the Dodgers and Cubs were close to a deal. No way this is all just Wren screwing up.

    The best news of the day is that the Tigers are no longer in the market for a starting pitcher. They are really the only other team out there that everybody knew was willing to give up ML-ready pitching.

  156. Fucking MLB TV cuts out right after Fredi get’s thrown out…. Sounds like good things are happening?

  157. The Braves have gotten 4 consecutive quality starts from Minor and Delgado and have lost all four games. This team has other problems than just the pitching. I’m sorry but I am having trouble getting excited about Jason Heyward.

  158. The Angels need a catcher SO very badly. Would Ross bring anything back ? If it becomes obvious we can’t afford McCann after the season, would they go for a McCann/Trumbo deal?

    Just trying to derail the doom train that seems prevalent here- although I guess the mention of losing/trading BMac doesn’t exactly lift the spirits either…

  159. Chipper has nobody to pass the torch to. That’s why I want to try to win this year. Not that Dempster is the missing link or anything, but I hope we do try *something*. Our offense is going to be very very average in the years to come. We get to watch Uggla suck for season after season. Yay.

    I miss Andrelton. Ugla-Janish-Pitcher is basically forfeiting 1/3 of the game.

  160. *I* would certainly go for a McCann/Trumbo deal…pretty sure the Angels wouldn’t though ;-) McCann’s best bet is to sign with an AL club so he can DH and prolong his career (assuming he wants to prolong it).

  161. @338 I’m pretty sure we already set that record this year, when we were within a couple of games and then went on that long losing spiral and dropped back to .500. Maybe we got too close on Saturday and now have to balance that out.

    Have we won yet on Mondays?

  162. The problem is,as people here have pointed out, the Braves are not really good at anything. They are an offense-first team but that’s relative because they often get shut down. Chipper is still the best player on the team-at least offensively-and that tells you something. This has been about a .500 team for a good part of the season and I’m not sure that’s not what they are, Dempster or no Dempster. I’m so tired of having guys like Uggla that can’t hit their weight.

  163. The problem is,as people here have pointed out, the Braves are not really good at anything.

    The Braves have the current best closer in baseball and, going into tonight, the third best offense in the NL according to runs scored, behind the Cardinals and Rockies.

  164. Too streaky. Our FO or whoever is leaking these deals to our beat writers needs to be fired also.

  165. @290 is why bravesjournal is the best. No matter how manic the highs, mediocre the middles or depressive the lows, one comment will always cause me to spew my coffee/beer/other beverage on my computer/phone in mirth. I want to go to a game with sansho.

  166. Marc, I can set my clock to your Heyward bashing. It’s never more than an 0 for 10 away….

  167. We’ve definitely scored a lot of runs but they’ve been bunched together. We’re good for 10+ run like once a week (Fridays!). Then for the rest it seems like it’s a struggle to get more than 2. We’re league average in SLG and total bases. Uggla is killing us and has exhibited the same bad approach for over a year straight.

    I feel like our best teams in the 90’s often had one or two guys that were gonna put up an OPS of 1.000 or more. Chipper, McGriff, Galaraga come to mind. We’re pretty far removed from that. I guess it’s just a different offensive era, but this doesn’t feel like a great offensive team to me. The good thing is that we don’t have to be all that great. If we pitch a little better we can still get in.

  168. @346

    Thanks beege — I have to pick my spots a little more these days, but I’m still capable of the occasional pointless idiocy.

  169. Do you really think this is the third best offense in the NL? I don’t. I think the offense is pretty good at times but that’s it. Yes, the Braves have the best closer but, overall the bullpen has been not so great. I mean, the team has been under .500 for a third of the season. It’s not just the pitching.

  170. I was at the game and didn’t know for sure, but that call on Heyward in the 9th was ludicrous.

  171. I was glad to se Fredi get tossed. He stood up for his player, who would have been tossed.

  172. I’m particularly glad he was defending Heyward, too, because I think a few of us have it in their minds that last year’s injury/the Constanza affair might have pissed Heyward off.

  173. Ichiro in pinstripes. Will wonders never cease?

    My jealosy/hate of the Yankees has me bitter his morning about the Furcal Rule. Would Dempster be denying or rejecting rumors if the his trade had been to the Yankees?

    There are a lot of factors to consider when answering that question, but for me, it comes down to Liberty Media ownership. Any business decision by players has to consider ownership if big money’s involved.

    If I were Dempster, looking for one more payday, I’d have to gag at playing for Liberty.

    Meanwhile, Ichiro might not reach 3000 hits, but it’s a good bet he’ll see the playoffs again. Will Dempster?

  174. Greetings from Dublin,
    Woke up this morning to some fun tweets. First I was excited to trade for Dempster, then upset that we gave up Delgado, then, as you all know, things got weird and confusing. I cannot recall things of this nature happening to other teams, but of it did then I probably wouldn’t remember anyway. Do you guys recall these fiascos, such as this particular trade, and Furcal and Griffey Jr signings, occurring to other teams?

  175. Hopefully Dumpster stalls on the trade long enough for the Braves to come to their senses and get Greinke.

  176. @358 Amen. If you’re going to overpay with pitching prospects, overpay for the best guy.

    We really need to win this series.

  177. Uh, yes, Greinke is the best guy. He has been a top ten pitcher over the past few seasons. Meanwhile, the Braves are wiling to sell Delgado for .4 seasons of Ryan Dempster after refusing to do so for 1.4 seasons of Michael Bourn. This would be a shocking overpay for a pitcher whose first half is a statistical blip in his long career.

  178. I say acquire Francouer and put him in right field immediately. His intangibles will do wonders for the Braves. Plus, the attendence of teen-age girls at Braves games will increase, potentially providing for higher payroll. Just make sure they don’t post OBP on the scoreboard; that will just confuse Jeffy.

  179. Yes, Liberty Media wants those college-aged girls in the pink Francoeur jerseys to return to the outfield pavilion seats in right field and down the first base line. They’ve disappeared, and their ticket and jersey purchases are greatly missed.

  180. This seems out if character for Wren. Is it possible he feels his job is on the line and is spending like a desperate man?

  181. FWIW, in a simulation conducted at The Hardball Times, the 1998 Braves come out as the fifth best team of all time. Of course, the 1998 Yankees were the second best. (1927 Yankees were first.) (The simulation is a little misleading because it did not include all teams that won pennants so, for example, it did not include the 1998 Padres-who undoubtedly would not have fared well.

    But, damn, those Braves were good and didn’t even make it to the World Series. It’s sad to contemplate the difference between the 1998 team and the 2012 version.

  182. Theo Epstein wouldn’t take a lesser prospect or a couple of lesser prospects in return I guess. I hope it’s not straight up Delgado for Dempster.

  183. At this point I just hope it isn’t any worse than Delgado straight up for Dempster.

  184. You guys know that if we got a “better” pitcher, the price would be way steeper, right? To get Greinke, we’d surely have to give up Teheran AND Delgado, since we don’t have a hitting prospect of note right now. It isn’t a situation where we can give this package to someone else and get a better pitcher. I also love how in the last 24 hours Delgado has turned from a potential mid-rotation starter to a potential staff ace. No one has ever projected Delgado as highly as some of the people who are upset with this trade are doing. He’s a potential mid-rotation starter who was rushed to the majors, thereby potentially messing with his development, and Wren knows it.

  185. Plenty of knowledgeable people have projected Delgado as a #2 starter, and you don’t have to look far to find them. But that argument is a red herring because even a “mid-rotation starter” under team control through 2017 is worth a great deal more than two months of Ryan Dempster.

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