The Jadeite Jewel: Body Parts Optional

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. For the full rules check out the introduction.

Round 1: Who Needs Eyes? vs. Who Needs Feet?

Who Needs Eyes?

Editor’s Pitch: This was done so smoothly and unobtrusively that nobody really noticed it at first. Ballplayers are supposed to reach into their gloves to transfer the ball and do it in front of their bodies, the way arms naturally bend. Although Simmons didn’t make the play, he almost made the play, a feat that no other ballplayer could have come close to pulling off. I mean, that should be an easy hit right there, but Simmons nearly got the out. Of course he did.

Who Needs Feet?
Note: The audio is very low, but this is the best clip I could embed. There’s a better-quality clip here.

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons wasn’t playing deep, so just making this stop was impressive and that alone would have benefitted his pitcher by keeping him out of a first-and-third/one-out situation. But even though he was nearly lying on his side with his momentum taking him toward third, Simmons is never content to just put the ball in his pocket and he had to try to make a throw. The throw was not only accurate and hard, it was accurate and hard enough that it enabled Uggla to turn the double play and get the Braves out of the inning. And he threw it from his leg. Are you kidding me?

120 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: Body Parts Optional”

  1. Why can’t you embed the video from mlb.com?

    The behind the back play is impressive but I have to give the nod to the DP.

  2. @2 I’m not sure the whys of it, but the way MLB.com embeds their videos does not allow for them to be embedded in Word Press. Fortunately they usually post the same videos on their YouTube channel, so it’s usually not a problem. I had no such luck tracking this one down, though.

  3. I’ve watched the behind-the-back glove toss w/ my son so many times. We compared it to the best of Magic Johnson’s look-away passes: a perfectly efficient motion, done without forethought, and requiring an awareness of where all the players, even those you can’t see, are and will be when the ball arrives. Then I saw this – Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton training. Check the 3:00 mark, maybe start @ the 2:30 mark. A little inspiration perhaps. http://youtu.be/4yJqBMUtIeA

  4. Gotta go with the play that was actually made on the Simmons vote. As impressive as the first play was, there’s not a whole lot of point to it since we didn’t get the out.

  5. @5, some think that Heaney is the top LHP prospect in baseball. If we could get him and maybe another throw-in for Gattis then that’d at least be pretty tempting. I do agree with you that it will be hard to swallow if we finish behind the Marlins next year and Gattis is hitting bombs for them.

  6. Plus, I remember that double play (from back in 2012) being the first of Simmons’ OMG defensive moments.

  7. If we are trading Gattis then we need to get top value for him. I don’t understand the “not trading in the division thing.” Trades are supposed to have equal value. If the Marlins have the best package for us then send him there.

  8. @11
    Trading within a division is fine unless you’re talking about fan favorite kind of guys. A 15 game reminder/year that one of the Braves most beloved players is now playing for a division rival is bad business. Omar Infante? Fine. Evan Gattis? Not so sure.

  9. 6/68 for Tomas, with an opt out clause. I suspect the Braves would not give him the opt-out. JS and team have always refused no-trades and the like.

  10. I’ll go with Chris Denorfia, BJ Upton, and Joey Terds. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little while typing that.

    But at least it’s not a rebuild. We’re retooling.

  11. If Braves miss out on Lester, I think they’ll be in “rebuild for 2017” mode. This could get ugly.

    If they sign Lester, D.Ross will come too, and the Braves could still pull off that Mariners trade.

  12. Well crap. I had a lot riding on a guy that’s never played in the majors. We were down there all week. On to Moncada

  13. I think you have to consider the possibility that the Braves scouts looked at Tomas and decided he was too big of a risk. I guess we’ll know in a few years if they were right.

  14. @4 ‘Rissa —

    I just tested it on my WordPress and it works for me. If you try copying the iframe stuff in text mode (as opposed to “visual”), does it work for you?

  15. Huh, I usually type straight into text mode and type in any basic code that is needed, so that would have been the mode I pasted the iframe code into. When I tried to preview it, all I got was a message about it not being supported. I tried it in two different browsers (Safari and Chrome) and got the same message, so I assumed it was WordPress. I’ll have to play with it more and see if I can get it to work.

  16. The Braves have never actually been in the running for Lester. They are probably one of the five least-likely teams in baseball to land a premium free agent right now. That could change in 2018.

  17. I will say this again: 22-25MM to spend this year, doors swing wide open with a JUpton trade. Whether the Braves choose to spend it on Lester, or fill other holes, the money is there.

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

  18. Any thoughts on whether this proposed (and, seemingly, underway) fire sale of our tradeable position player talent might impact the desire of those who might take our money to come here? Other teams have money, too, and might appear to be adding talent instead of just replacing it.

  19. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for Braves Journal.

    I’m thankful Mac founded this place and miss him.

    I’m thankful Alex has done a great job overseeing it.

    As is tradition here, I give you WKRP:

  20. Right on, Smitty. Thanks to Mac, hope he’s making the big man laugh. Thanks to Alex for his immense efforts here. And thanks to all the recappers and writers who’ve stepped up to keep this place trucking! If fans of any team think they have a better internet hideout than we do, they are clearly delusional.

  21. @32

    What’s the point of freeing up salary if it’s more expensive to replace Justin’s value on the FA market? That doesn’t make any sense. Unless you can find a better LF on the FA market for less, you’re throwing money away.

  22. Kansas City, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York (Yankers), Detroit, Texas, Cincinnati, and the South Siders are all good landing spots for Justin Upton–now let’s see who we can get back.

  23. @37
    The 14.5MM back into the pot is a luxury that spins off from trading JUpton for prospects that can help now and in the future.

  24. I felt like signing one of the Cubans was the only path towards trying to compete in 2015/2016. Now it’s just a fire-sale / rebuild.

  25. This is not to continue/restart the discussion, but since people had asked about specifics, here’s Peanut:
    “During the very brief negotiations staged during Spring Training in 2013, the Braves offered [Heyward] a deal that was worth less than the five-year, $75.25 million deal B.J. Upton had signed a few months earlier.”

  26. I don’t like the four year opt-out in the Tomas deal. I would imagine the braves want to lock him up for a longer period of time.

  27. The next few days will be interesting and very telling for the franchise. The Braves have til 12/2 to offer contracts to their arb-eligible players. What do you all think happens to Beachy and Medlen?

    And Winter Meetings only 1.5 weeks away.

  28. Medlen and Beachy will be nontendered. Braves will try and Bring Medlen back with an incentive type contract with a 2nd yr mutual option.

  29. @37

    Yes, but what will that additional payroll be spent on? A FA OF? That’s sure to cost more than $14.5m per. Those prospects had better be really good to offset that.

  30. OK, I can’t resist a follow-up comment to my @44.

    Another way of putting it: the Braves looked at Jason Heyward, coming off a 6 WAR season — or, if you prefer, a 27 HR season at age 23 — and said, “You know what, we won’t spend more on you than we spent on FA BJ Upton.”

    I get that we would’ve been buying out Heyward’s arbitration years, but if BJ’s contract was the ceiling, however you configure the remaining dollars/years for Heyward…what an insult.

    I’d say no wonder Wren was fired — and no wonder Hart was brought in to handle extensions — but it’s not like Hart reversed course with Heyward post-Wren.

    Anybody remember what Wren’s lowball offer to Hudson was?

  31. I think it was in the neighborhood of one year for $6.5 million, but that could just be my mind playing tricks on me.

  32. The going discount rate for “Shop Small Saturday” is about 20%. Lester will have to give the Braves that buy local discount on order for it to work.

    @52 I think that was it.

  33. Per MLBTR:
    -Marlins beat writer says they’re willing to part with Heaney…for a LH bat
    -Shane Victorino is not a happy camper right now

  34. Those dumb New York Mets say they’re going to keep Daniel Murphy even though he’ll be a free agent after the 2015 season. Dumb dumb dumb. Not the Barves way.

  35. Are we so butt hurt that we are actually suggesting that the team behave like the Mets? Surely not.

  36. Mets are getting Harvey back next year. They have a more realistic shot at winning than we do. It’s an easier decision for the Mets. We still don’t even have a starting rotation

  37. Believe me, I have “IF YOU LOVE GATTIS SO MUCH WHY DON’T YOU MARRY HIM” in my ctrl+c for when he gets dealt :)

  38. @61

    Nah, because if there’s anything the Braves taught us it’s that there’s no chance a 79 win team can hope to compete the following year.

    On a less butt-hurt note: the Mets’ rotation last year had four guys who were league average or worse. The fifth guy had a great season, but he did it in his rookie year. Seems like they’re counting on DeGrom to continue at his pace, two of those other guys to pitch much better, and Matt Harvey to not end up like Brandon Beachy. It’s about as much of a dice roll as the Braves in 2015 would have been.

    Which brings me back to Chris Johnson. We could have non-tendered him after this season instead of having him untradably clogging up the works.. Was John Hart behind the extension?

  39. @64
    I’m not saying CJ wouldn’t be hard to move but the 3B market is razor thin. A 23.5MM contract for 3 years is dirt cheap on this market. There’s Chase Headley then part-time players. That’s it.

  40. With a JUpton trade, the Braves could have anywhere between 38&48 million to work with, if like Hart said, budget is going to be between 110-120 million. That’s encouraging.

  41. This team already couldn’t score runs, and the plan seems to entail trading J. Upton and possibly Gattis, on top of already dumping Heyward.

    Who’s going to want to watch the Braves’ offense in 2015?

  42. Donaldson for Lawrie and 2 prospects (and good ones). That’s going to be a tough sell to the A’s fans.

  43. Yep Donaldson to the Jays for Lawrie and 3 prospects. Samardzija is a separate deal and they are looking to get 3-4 players back in return for him.

    I can’t believe a team would trade assets like these to help them in the short term and long term. Almost unheard of.

  44. “This team already sucks! Now you want to go and trade everybody!?”

    The offense is probably going to suck more after trading three of its better hitters, yes. Is that supposed to be a shocking statement?

  45. It should be beneath one’s dignity to discuss Kyle Blanks until he’s actually traded to your team. Unless it’s part of some theoretical discussion about finally assembling the dirt-cheap all-bat no-glove outfield of Braves Journal’s dreams #klesko4eva

  46. MLBTR

    After pulling off a blockbuster earlier tonight, the Athletics are perhaps unsurprisingly exploring more deals. The team is in conversations with the Braves regarding outfielder Justin Upton and catcher Evan Gattis, reports John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).

    They have some young arms

  47. Everyone is in on Justin Upton. It’s one of the reasons the Braves would be fools not to shop him hard. It’s a sellers market.

  48. We’re looking at a couple or three top 5 draft picks in our near future. Gonna need y’all’s help with scouting reports on rising highschool sophomores. This should be fun.

  49. I’m outing the odds at a Szammanuudjaioo Upton/ Gattis trade without cost controlled prospects included to Atlanta at near zero.

  50. 89 – agreed. Upton for Samardzija would be a 1 for 1 type deal. Adding Gattis would make no sense. I’m not familiar with the A’s system. You could start the conversation with Sonny Gray.

  51. Josh Reddick is a Georgia boy. Controlled for this coming season, and one more.

    Upton and Gattis for Reddick and two prospects?

  52. If we trade JUpton and Gatti for pitching, I may not watch one game next season. Not to say I won’t follow the team passionately, but I can’t watch that many 2-1 snooze fests. This offense could set futility records. Between UF’s offensive woes and now this, I might start watching golf and soccer for the excitement.

  53. The question I have about this supposed “Upton AND Gattis” thing is, what does Beane want with Gattis? He has Derek Norris behind the plate, and if he acquires Upton, he has Upton/Crisp/Reddick in the OF.

    If Reddick is included in the deal, though, the A’s run out Gattis/Crisp/Upton.

    I wouldn’t pay 1 year of Upton for 2 years of Reddick, though, even if I wanted to, and believed I could, extend Reddick. So even without Gattis, it would be the A’s including prospects. Throw in Gattis, and it’d have to be Reddick plus a haul.

  54. Reddick couldn’t be the main piece. We would need several cost controlled players in return. I also wouldn’t trade 1 yr of Upton for 2 of Reddick.

  55. #92 – as presented the offense would be awful, but we’d have about $40 mil to spend. Get cheap young pitching and then buy the offense. That may be the plan

  56. The Braves could trade literally anything they have for Sonny Gray, and I would be ecstatic. (So would Sonny.)

  57. We could use a couple of the prospects the As just got from the Blue Jays.

    I would also take Derek Norris himself off their hands…

  58. Sonny Gray and Reddick plus one of the pitchers from Toronto gets them Upton and Gattis from me.

  59. Yes, why has it taken so long for us to realize that really good players are such fantastic trade chips?

  60. Keep pretending that conditions are perfectly ripe for this team to compete as is, standing pat, with no hard choices. Because that’s super smart for the long term.

  61. @98
    That trade makes sense for us and I’d bet money the A’s would trade Reddick however I think Gray has got to be the most untouchable thing for Beane (nothing is really untouchable for the A’s as we saw 2 nights ago) unless he’s blown away with an offer. Gray alone has 5 years of control.

  62. I’d rather keep Gattis and Justin out of the same deal. Seems like they would have more value being traded separately..

  63. @108 I wondered the same with Walden. He’s been so good when healthy, and I’m less concerned when relievers spend time on the DL.

    In news everyone except one beat writer already knew, sources say Samardzija won’t be traded to the Braves. If they had neglected to lock up Hey and spent that money locking up Samardzija I would pick a new team. That guy is a hate-able as they come.

    If you were picking a new team to root for, who would you pick?

    I’m thinking Blue Jays, Mariners, Mets, or KS

  64. I don’t see how everything will come together for the Braves but I think the front office has a tremendous strategy. I’ll be happy if the Braves are competitive in 2016 and beyond, but I think there’s a 50 50 chance that they’ll be competitive in 2015. If they would have stood still this winter I think they’d have about a 20 percent chance of being decent this year.

  65. I was a fan of them bums until they moved west. Afterwards I pulled for the Reds until the Braves came to Atlanta. I think I’ll stick with the local laundry.

  66. If I made it through the ’70s and ’80s watching the Braves, I can handle whatever lies ahead. I might squirm a little, but I can handle it.

    Go, Braves!

  67. Even if you go the route of picking players to maximize enjoyment, rather than tying yourself to the vagaries of any one team, you’re only going to end up back at Andrelton anyway.

    EDIT: Anybody here follow Mike Trout closely?

  68. People have probably seen already, apparently what we’re being offered for Upton and Gattis isn’t enough, we’re probably not going to extend Upton, and we’re not going after Lester or any other FAs who got a qualifying offer.

    Get ready for an offseason like the last one, except without the rash of extensions at the end.

  69. We’ll be finding out a whole lot about the team’s direction today or tomorrow as arb offers are due Tuesday before midnight. If the Braves choose not to offer either Medlen or Beachy a contract, they’ll be losing more of that depth that Hart has been discussing.

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