GIANTS 4, midgets 2 (by cliff)

As that great philosopher and distant kinsman of me said:

“If you get your ass kicked, you know you made it.” Richard Pryor.

But WHY does it have to be a “has been” pitcher?

20 years ago, I loved to stay up and watch West Coast baseball. Now, I can’t stay awake if I try. I passed double nickels a little over a year ago, so no wonder.

Gavin Floyd again was good. Actually VERY good until it unraveled in the 7th. Freeman’s error loomed big.

The “offensive” was a B.J. Upton home run and a Freeman home run in the 9th. Baserunners? And B. J. got called safe trying to steal 3rd, then review overturned it. Let’s see the rule is (am I wrong here?) “never attempt to steal 3rd unless you KNOW you are going to be successful.”

My neighbor got the night off. Yes, he is still out. Replay might have changed it. Buster Posey’s Dad graduated from high school with my wife. His uncle is a friend and client. His grandmother is a wonderful lady who is a retired teacher and elementary principal. So how is it that Lee County, Georgia with 20,000 people has put Buster Posey, Luke Bryan, and Phillip Phillips on the world stage in the span of 10 years? Somewhere the answer to that lies next to the answer of why the Braves can’t hit this has been pitcher.

105 thoughts on “GIANTS 4, midgets 2 (by cliff)”

  1. Looks like Jose Fernandez needs TJ surgery.

    Heyward needs to start hitting and getting on base. This offense needs him to pick it up. He probably frustrates me more than any other player. I expect BJ and Uggla to suck.

  2. Heyward was on base three times last night – two walks and a single-ruled-error.

  3. @2 – I agree. I am tired of waiting for Heyward to break out.

    @3 – lets hope its a new trend.

    I hate to hear that Fernandez needs TJ. I know he is an opponent but man the guy is an electric talent.

    So BJ produced the only hits against Lincecum. Dare I be hopeful?

  4. Braves shopping Uggla to Bluejays. Bluejays want young pitching to justify paying Uggla’s contract. Hale and Uggla for…?

  5. Hale + Uggla + a bag of balls for a bag of slightly more balls.

    Or maybe just one ball signed by Joe Carter. Why be picky right now?

  6. I hope Wren can fleece the Jays and get a couple of broken bats with all those balls.

  7. Too bad it would probably be a violation of the Finley Rule, but if a team were to pay even half of Uggla’s salary, then packaging him with Hale just to be rid of him is something at which I might jump….

  8. Although, come to think of it, splitting Uggla’s salary with a trade partner is actually a “cash consideration” in their favor, not ours, since they would be assuming his contract. So I guess what I’m advocating is Uggla + Hale + $11 million, and getting nothing in return.

  9. Where are the Uggla whispers coming from?

    DOB said he heard about them, Rosenthal, Olney, Passan, not mentioning it. Not seeing it on MLBTRADERUMORS.

  10. Would Steve Tolleson be a possibility to consider for us if we made the Uggla deal? He’s a 30 year old career minor leaguer with two decent AAA seasons (288/381/426 at Chattanooga last year). Nothing to write home about, but is he at least a possible better option (in the opinion of the FO) than a Rev/Pena platoon or Tommy LaStella this year? He wouldn’t be a lot better than a bag of balls, but at least we could let him go if he wasn’t useful.

  11. There is absolutely no reason the Braves should hesitate trading Hale, as his value couldn’t be any higher. Brett Lawrie strikes me as a serious buy-low candidate but would cost Uggla, Hale, and others…

    Hale, Uggla, Pastornicky, and Cody Martin for Lawrie with Jays covering Uggla’s contract?

  12. Lawrie definitely wouldn’t be an upgrade at 3rd (he’s played 299 games there and 11 at 2nd), but probably better than a bag of balls and a few bats. Interesting that the guy has averaged about 10 hrs per 100 games and already has 7 this year in 32 games.

  13. Lawrie’s offense is something like Jeff Francoeur Part II. His defense, so long as he can refrain from boneheaded aggression on the field, makes him valuable.

  14. I think that we’ll have to eat some of Uggla’s contract. Yeah I’d think that Hale is the guy that the Braves have to use as sweetener.

    What about the minor leaguers? Sims no but Graham, Hursh?

  15. ” rel=”nofollow”>Portrait of a Young Brett Lawrie, or Douchey Players are the New Market Inefficiency

  16. I don’t think I’d want Tolleson unless a scout started saying things like “he’s figured things out.” A 30-year old who struggles to slug .400 in the minor leaguers is going to get the bat knocked out of his hands in the majors.

  17. re Blanks — The article says the A’s are interested. Which is good, because Kyle Blanks is the quintessential A.

  18. The only way trading Hale for nothing is a superior option to just cutting Uggla outright and keeping Hale is if they use the cost savings to sign Stephen Drew for the rest of the season and plug him in at second.

    Otherwise, just keep Hale and eat the money. A guy who can swing between the bullpen and rotation and give you quality outings when the staff is hurt is a guy who helps you win a title. Pitching health is so fickle that it’s virtually certain we haven’t seen the last of our #7 starter. Helps to have a good one.

  19. Stephen Drew would be interesting. I wonder how long it would take for him to be ready and what his contract demands would be.

  20. RE: Drew, after the draft you won’t lose a pick by signing him, though that will make him more attractive to several teams in search of MI help. Might be nice to jump the gun since we’ve already given our 1st round pick, he would just cost a second rounder. At the same time, I hate to give up a pick for 4 months of someone who is not certain to be better than out internal options. Drew was nice last year and in 2010 but 11 and 12 were pretty dismal.

  21. I’m skeptical that *anyone* who could be signed or traded for with the Uggla cost savings would be better than La Stella + Hale. Drew just strikes me as the highest-ceiling possible acquisition if they went that route. But yeah, that rust.

    I think I’m leaning more toward cutting Uggla outright, promoting La Stella, and keeping Hale.

  22. @20 – I agree on Tolleson. He would definitely be a low risk/low reward type option. I wouldn’t be surprised if scouts have found something to like with him lately, but I’m not hopeful. It just appears that the Braves don’t think LaStella is ready.

  23. in re: Hale, remember that the Kameron Loe start last year was potentially the difference between playing the Pirates in the first round (with 97 wins) and playing the Dodgers (which they did with 96). Back of rotation depth is not trivial, especially in the late stretch.

  24. How about this lineup?
    Pastornicky 2nd base
    Johnson
    Freeman
    Gattis
    J Upton
    Heyward
    BJ
    Simmons
    Pitcher

  25. @30

    Pastornicky doesn’t get on base enough. Not to say JHey is either.

    We really need a second baseman who can get on base in front of guys consistently. Howie Kendrick would be a nice pick up, but the Angels would probably want a lot for him.

    Maybe we go after Infante later on.

  26. #30
    Re-arranging deck chairs?

    Hey, our guys just gotta be better. As usual, there’s no easy cure. Nonetheless, I’m sure Wren will approach the trade deadline with his eyes open.

    Bottom Line: I doubt our pitching remains this outstanding, but I also doubt our lineup stays this futile. Just try to keep squeezing out wins & hope we finish on top.

    Off to The Bronx: Tonight, I think I’m allowed to root for the Yankees.

  27. strictly talking salary, if we were actually able to find a taker for some of Uggla’s salary this year, do y’all think the team would actually get more money to play around with this year? Obv. it’d help for 2015, but Wren already had to go to Liberty for cash to get Santana, right? So I guess I wonder if the team would get to see any Uggla-cash saved in 2014, or if it’d just go right back to Liberty to make up for The Arrival of the Erv (or maybe I’m misunderstanding that whole situation).

  28. The real problem is that Jason Heyward needs to hit like Jason Heyward, Gattis needs to get on base a LOT more, and BJ Upton needs to suck less. At least Chris Johnson is coming around and Uggla is out of the lineup.

    Heyward .206/.307/.319
    Gattis .257/.284/.514
    Bupton .211/.287/.352

    Johnson, Simmons, and Gattis have walked a combined 13 times among the 3 of them. That’s pathetic.

  29. The 13th place NL team in runs scored (the Reds) have 19 more runs than the Braves. The 1st place Rockies have scored 113 more runs already.

    We don’t miss McCann much, either. He is hitting .213/.250/.336.

  30. It really doesn’t matter what the batting order is when the lineup can’t hit.

  31. I’m sure I’m in the minority (maybe the only one) but I think that I’d rather play Uggla every day than Pena or Pastornicky. None of them can hit, but Uggla might get lucky and hit one out every now and then. And maybe there’s a 5% chance he regains some semblance of hitting ability.

    If we could acquire a decent 2B replacement then I’m all for letting go of Uggla. We don’t have a decent 2B replacement though.

  32. Pena has hit 5 HR in his last 140 PAs. Uggla has hit 3 HR in his last 263 PAs.

  33. The downside to having so many of the starting position player locked up under contract is that there isn’t an obvious hole to fill via trade or something. An upgrade at 2nd would be huge but unless the Mariners are willing to loan us Cano for 4 months there ain’t much out there.

    It’s just sit back and hope these guys play better.

  34. What about the guy Cano replaced? I forget his name…Franklin maybe?…he used to be somewhat of a prospect.

  35. @35 While Gattis would certainly be an even better hitter if he got on base more often, I don’t see the logic behind singling him out. He’s one of only three Braves hitters with a wRC+ (120) that is above the league average (behind JUPton and Freeman). Low OBP, high SLG is just what he is. That’s not a problem so long as he’s productive, which he has been. The problem is everyone else who isn’t productive.

  36. Gattis has at least hit for power, but he has walked a grand total of 4 times.

  37. @ajcbraves: Listen to interview w/ #Braves Fredi G again, sure sounds like he’s planning to use 6-man rotation for while, though won’t say specifically

  38. I’m sure I’m in the minority (maybe the only one) but I think that I’d rather play Uggla every day than Pena or Pastornicky.

    No, that is my opinion too. Would much rather have Uggla out there each day than either of those two bench players.

  39. 48: I wouldn’t. Dan at this point is no hit/no glove, while Pena is no hit/good-to-very-good glove. If we can’t have La Stella, might as well start a guy who’ll help you on at least one side of the ball.

  40. @ajcbraves: #Braves lineup: Heyward 9 JUpton 7 Freeman 3 Gattis 2 Johnson 5 BUpton 8 Simmons 6 Minor 1 Pastornicky 4

  41. Pena last year showed a nice line-drive stroke as a left-handed batter. He hasn’t done much this year, but his playing time has been irregular. On this roster, he deserves to start against RHP. I don’t see Pastornicky as a major league caliber ballplayer.

  42. I think Pastornicky at least deserves a chance to prove he is a major league caliber player, but I don’t think he is everyday player material. I would release Uggla, promote TLS, and platoon him with the Rev. Pena keeps the utility role.

  43. Heyward’s swing plane is not conducive to solid contact. I really think Chipper could fix him since his hitting philosophy is built around keeping the bat on plane with the incoming ball as long as possible.

    Something needs to change. It won’t be the players, so might as well try some new instructors.

  44. I’m starting to think that Jason Heyward is just an average major league hitter with great defense.

  45. He does have a career 112 OPS+, above the league average for all players but maybe a little low for a corner OF. His defense pulls him up a bit, so he’s a league average RF but not a savior.

  46. I’m starting to think that Jason Heyward is just an average major league hitter with great defense.

    With such high expectations when he started his MLB career.

    Andruw Jones?

  47. The two called strikes to BJ in that AB never caught the plate.

    They don’t need your help, umps. Or, you’d better give Mike the same strike zone.

  48. There’s nothing more endearing that watching BJ question a called strike three.

  49. There’s no way La Stella is worse than what we’ve wheeled out there at 2B this year.

  50. Fred McGriff could fix Jason Heyward. Talk about a low-movement, smooth swing.

    I normally don’t call for coaches/managers/presidents to be fired, but it’s time we make a change that will result in our hitters hitting. This is ri-dadgum-diculous. The only two people untouchable are Wren and McDowell.

  51. Here’s another Gattis walk. He is getting better at this; that’s back-to-back games with a BB.

  52. And BJ with a clutch hit. GameDay must be trolling me.

    Yep, definitely trolling. The Braves don’t really score bunches of runs in a game, let alone an inning.

  53. Minor has been incredible tonight. Just spotting all his pitches right where he wants to.

  54. Minor has been incredible tonight. Just spotting all his pitches right where he wants them.

  55. We could have lost Freddie and/or Minor there. That was an ugly play, and we were pretty lucky everyone’s okay.

  56. @94 It’s true; Freddie’s got to flip that one to the pitcher. Minor also should be communicating to let him know he’s in position to take a throw.

  57. Freddie must have thought he was too close and too late to throw it. He’d have to make a hard underhand toss from not-far and figured he’d handcuff Minor with the throw.

  58. We have been waiting for you Mike, good to see you are healthy again. It’s awesome. A rotation of Santana, Minor, Teheran, Floyd, and Harang with Wood and Hale backing up. Job well done by Frank Wren.

    Now, can we figure out how to score four runs a game consistently? If we can, we would be unbeatable.

  59. Putting the pitcher in the eighth spot and now having a six-man rotation. Fredi is pulling all the trick plays out of a baseball managerial manual.

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