With G. Anderson added, Braves ready to play

  Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – We’re starting Week 2 of spring training, and it already seems like we’ve had a month or so of news. Now that the Braves have added Garrett Anderson, seemingly their last big need (outfield bat), maybe we can shift focus to what’s on the field, right?

  I’m sure you all are ready. I know I am. Grapefruit League plays starts Wednesday. Yes, we don’t have to wait much longer at all.

   By the way, I just watched Jason Heyward doing a baserunning drill, working on his leads and first step, and it’s something to see that 6-foot-4 frame unwind and that long stride start turning over. One of those guys who can blaze from home to second or first to third, but takes a little while to get into top gear because he’s just so big. Still, the man stole 15 bases last season at Class A Rome, which says something about his speed (did I mention he’s really tall? Listed at 220, but looks like he might have put on 10-15 pounds since hitting the scales for that weigh-in. I need to remember to ask him his weight later. He’s in terrific shape, not bulky but lean, narrow waist, wide back, big forearms.)….

  So how will Anderson be used, in a platoon with Matt Diaz, the way the Braves seemed intent on using Ken Griffey Jr.? Or will Anderson, who hits lefties quite well, a lot better than Griffey in recent years, be used in more of an every-day role? I’ve got a feeling it’ll be the latter, with Diaz facing some lefties and Anderson staying in the lineup for others. Bobby Cox said yesterday that Anderson hits lefties and righties well, that it doesn’t matter, if that’s any indication of what he has in mind (and I don’t know that it was an indication, just putting it out there).

  Here’s a few stats I had in my Anderson story in today’s paper:   After a sluggish start in 2008, he hit .337 over his final 69 games beginning July 1, posting 49 RBIs and a robust .871 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in that stretch.

    While he doesn’t have the marquee name (or perhaps box-office appeal) of Griffey, it could be argued Anderson, who’s three years younger and not nearly as surgery-scarred as Griffey, was a better fit for the Braves. By that I mean, Anderson doesn’t have the history of injuries that have diminished Griffey’s once-towering defensive skills, and Anderson’s production against lefties hasn’t eroded like Griffey’s.

    Griffey hit .249 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs last season, including .202 with a .299 on-base percentage against lefties. That relegated him to a likely platoon role if he’d joined the Braves. Anderson hit .290 with a .333 OBP vs. lefties. (He’s never had big OBPs, because he doesn’t draw many walks. But Anderson also doesn’t strike out much — he’s only struck out 100 times once in 14 full seasons, and 85 or fewer times in eight seasons, including each of the past three.)

   He’s a guy who gets the proverbial “professional hitter” tag from baseball people, who talk about his quality at-bats and penchant for delivering key hits. Last saeson, Anderson hit .338 with runners in scoring position, including .356 with two outs. (Just FYI, Griffey hit .258 with runners in scoring position in 2008, including .239 with RISP and two outs.)

  Bottom line: Griffey might have been expected to hit a few more homers, but Anderson, who hasn’t hit 20 homers or driven in 100 runs in the past five years, is probably going to be more reliable, and the Braves won’t have to cross their fingers and hope he doesn’t pull a hamstring or hurt something else going after a ball. So in the end, it could work out better for them.

  They are still very left-handed in the lineup, and could have used a big right-handed bat between Chipper and Brian McCann. But given what was left, and what they had to spend, to get Anderson for $2.5 million and without giving up any prospects in a trade, seems like they came away OK.

  A few days ago, it seemed like they were serious about going with largely unproven guys in both center field and left field (the other half of the platoon with Diaz, at least). While that might have worked out, there’s a reasonable chance it would not have, too. And if the Braves didn’t make any significant outfield move after producing just 27 homers and a .367 slugging percentage by outfielders in 2008 (the lowest in the majors in both categories), then how would that have looked if their outfielders got off to a similar slow start in 2008?

  Could they have waited to see how the kids did early in spring? Maybe. But that’d also be assuming they could sign or trade for a proven veteran at the end of spring. They obviously weren’t comfortable with that, and can’t say I blame them. Besides, they got Anderson for the price of a utility infielder in previous offseasons. Too good a bargain to pass up.

  Anderson & Anderson: So if the Braves have Josh in center and Garret in left (and I don’t know if they will, but it’s certainly a possibility), I was wondering about Anderson & Anderson. Googled it, and the first name on the list was “the largest provider of Certified Anger Management Facilitator training in the world.”

   Good to know. I’ll jot that number down. Some of us could use it (I’m including myself).

    Pitching plans: Just in case anyone missed it, Bobby Cox announced the Braves’ early Grapefruit League pitching plans after the Sunday workout.

     Javier Vazquez, who’s scheduled to start Puerto Rico’s first WBC game March 7 in the San Juan, won’t pitch until March 2, an off day on the schedule. He’s ahead of others after making a few starts in winter ball to keep his arm in shape in prep for the WBC. Going on March 2 will put him on a regular every-five-days schedule, so he and Jair Jurrjens will pitch in an intrasquad “camp” game against Braves hitters that day.

  Here’s the rundown for the first seven days on the schedule:

   Jurrjens and Jo-Jo Reyes will pitch Wednesday’s opener against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., each probably going two innings unless they run up big pitch counts in one of those innings. Braves starters generally work two innings in their first spring appearance.

   Jorge Campillo is set to start Thursday’s Dark Star (Disney) home opener against the Astros, when the bigger attraction will be the anticipated spring debut of Tommy Hanson, the top Braves pitching prospect. He’s scheduled to follow Campillo and pitch the same number of innings (two).

    Kenshin Kawakami — no doubt with large Japanese media contingent in tow — is scheduled to make his Braves debut with a Friday start against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., and Derek Lowe is scheduled for his Braves debut with a Saturday start against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.

   Charlie Morton is penciled in to start against the World Series champion Phillies on Sunday. After the March 2 off day, Hanson is to make his first start against the Panama WBC team March 3 at Wide World of Sports. Kawakami is scheduled to start March 4 at home against the Yankees.

 

“BRILLIANT MISTAKE” by Elvis Costello

He thought he was the King of America

Where they pour Coca Cola just like vintage wine

Now I try hard not to become hysterical

But I’m not sure if I am laughing or crying

I wish that I could push a button

And talk in the past and not the present tense

And watch this hurtin’ feeling disappear

Like it was common sense

It was a fine idea at the time

Now it’s a brilliant mistake

 

She said that she was working for the ABC News

It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use

Her perfume was unspeakable

It lingered in the air

Like her artificial laughter

Her mementos of affairs

Oh I said I see you know him

Isn’t that very fortunate for you

And she showed me his calling card

He came third or fourth

and there were more than one or two

He was a fine idea at the time

Now he’s a brilliant mistake

 

He thought he was the King of America

But it was just a boulevard of broken dreams

A trick they do with mirrors and with chemicals

The words of love in whispers

And the acts of love in screams

I wish that I could push a button

And talk in the past and not the present tense

And watch this lovin’ feeling disappear

Like it was common sense

I was a fine idea at the time

Now I’m a brilliant mistake

 

 

812 comments Add your comment

MinnesotaJacket

February 23rd, 2009
10:37 am

DOB so in the end Diaz gets the short end of the stick…I hate that for him he is probably one of my favorite guys with his passion for the game that you can see in the way he plays.

Bobby's Belly

February 23rd, 2009
10:50 am

Diaz and all the kids get shafted. But I’m sure we’ll hear how loyal the Bravos are by all the kool-aid drinkers.

braves4ever

February 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

David, what has been the reaction from all the outfielders on this Anderson signing?

Coastal

February 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

So now that the NL East is all but set, where do we see the Braves in the divison??

I think Philly is ahead of everyone right now, but ATL, NY and FLA are all about equal. Braves will have problems scoring, NY will struggle with starting pitching, and FLA will have a problem with a combo of the two.

18 Wheels of Love

February 23rd, 2009
10:53 am

In the world of The Simpson’s, Wren succeeding with all of his 2nd and 3rd choices, is called ‘pulling a Homer’.

And I like the fall back options better than the intended initial ones.

Thrillhouse44

February 23rd, 2009
10:53 am

Who’s hitting cleanup?

cvbraves

February 23rd, 2009
10:54 am

DOB: Not sure the Braves are done yet with reagrd to outfield. With the Yankees needing help getting to Rivera, I can almost see Braves trading Soriano straight up for Nagy…salaries about the same.

With Gonzo, Moylan, Bowyer, Ascota, Bennett, Carlyle,(sp), Perez, etc., etc. in the bullpen and based on Soriano’s contributions last year, I believe it is a possiblility. But, what do I know?

BracMan

February 23rd, 2009
10:55 am

DOB…sounds like a good pickup by Anderson…how has Frenchy looked in camp so far?

ccrider

February 23rd, 2009
10:55 am

ccrider

February 23rd, 2009
10:55 am
HEY DAVE: I just heard Tim Hudson talking to the Rude Awakening crew on 680 the fan. Rude asked him about the Griffey dustup and I thought it was rather cowardly that instead of saying he jumped the gun in his reaction to the bogus story of you being the reason for Griffey changing his mind, he rambled on about “people breaking stories before their confirmed”. I might could understand his initially being upset by the story, but I find it immature of him to not own up for his mistake of jumping your case once he found out that Mays had changed his mind, not you

cvbraves

February 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

Make that Nady!

David O'Brien

February 23rd, 2009
10:56 am

braves4ever: They had a team meeting, so clubouse access this morning was tight. i’ll ask a couple later, but i think a lot of players are taking Chipper’s attitude on commenting, given recent events (Griffey). Chipper told me this morning, he’ll wait until Garret’s sitting in the clubhouse, until he sees him.

But a few did say what a tough out he is, what a “professional hitter” he is, etc. Didn’t talk to Diaz yet, though.

i cant take it anymore

February 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

I wonder what is going to happen with norton? If diaz isn’t starting, doesn’t the pinch hit role go to him?

Ben

February 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

KURK THE JERK KURKIJIAN has an artical on Chipper. Chipper adresses the Steroid issue. He says there are 103 nervous players out there and I’m not one of them.

Jeremy Vachon

February 23rd, 2009
10:58 am

Any news on the Spring TV schedule… Can’t wait to see TH and KK pitch! DOB, is there anyone on your radar that you can see fitting that Peter Moylan type emergence in the bullpen? I always enjoy following the no-name guy that has a great spring and makes the big club.

Epinephrine

February 23rd, 2009
10:59 am

I’ll take winning over loyalty, thanks. No point in “giving the kids a shot”, when the kids haven’t given us any possible reason to believe they will be good big league players. Anderson still has a shot at proving he can win the CF job. Brandon Jones, in all likelihood, isn’t good enough to make it. Diaz has proven to be most effective in a situational role. The numbers are all there. The people that complain about moves like this are people that prefer “potential” to “production”. That is, they’d prefer to give someone with a 5% chance at being great, 20% chance of being solid, and 75% chance of being mediocre, to someone with a 95% chance of being solid, 5% chance of being a bust. I’ll take the latter.

Steve McP

February 23rd, 2009
11:00 am

BOD – Do you think that putting Hanson in on Thursday may have had anything to do with the game being on ESPN? A chance to see how he reacts in the glare of the national sports channel?

Anders

February 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

Anders the mets are in the same situation with Castillo as the Braves with Francouer, but I like Frenchy’s chances better since he is so young. Both teams really need them to produce this year. (Gibby from the last blog)

Yes and no. Frenchy’s chances are better, markedly so, as he is much younger and while I don’t think he’s the next Roberto Clemente as many on here thought he would be a year ago I do think he’s better than what he produced last year.

That said, the Braves do need Frenchy to pick up his game to be competitive, while the Mets got very little from 2nd last season and still were right there. Not saying it wouldn’t help to get more but I don’t think they are as dependent on Castillo as the Braves will be on Frenchy. The Mets showed that they could pick up the slack at 2nd overall within the team.

Hope that came across clear.

MinnesotaJacket

February 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

Even though I understand that we needed to get a bat, I really did like the idea of giving Diaz and Schaefer a chance to earn those roles. I mean in the end I believe what will happen is we go into the season with Anderson & Anderson and then slowly both start to fade and Diaz and Schaefer make huge contributions late in the season…but Im an optimist at the beginning of the season and slowly go to pestimist as the season wears on haha..

David O'Brien

February 23rd, 2009
11:01 am

ccrider, it’s not a big deal. Huddy wants what is best for his team, and he thought, at least at that time, that I was part of the reason for not getting Griffey. Hey, if he thought that, I can see where he’d be upset. I just tried to explain to him that I didn’t believe we had anything to do with it.

We move on. Not a big deal to me. It’s their clubhouse. I’d appreciate being aired out in private, that’s all. But it’s over.

Random

February 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Braves sign Garrett Anderson, and every fool here is talking Oscars and food.

Braves still need someone to kill LHPs — they’ve taken a giant step backward to any extent that Anderson steals PT from Diaz.

Who’ve they got to face LHPs? Escobar, Francoeur, Diaz and sChip. That did not work at all in 2008 (even withsTex). What have the Braves done to improve their TEAM offensive performance against LHPs (aside from David Ross)?????

(In particular, it’s the Braves’ POWER — ie, SLG — that suffers against LHPs.)

David O'Brien

February 23rd, 2009
11:03 am

Steve McP: I don’t think that had anything to do with it, the game being on ESPN.

toga party

February 23rd, 2009
11:04 am

From the end of the last blog:

Not sure it makes any sense to debate the potential platoon splits between Diaz and Anderson. Bobby is going to start Anderson most of the time, and give him a day off every once in a while vs a lefty.

Even if Diaz is killing lefties, you know Anderson is going to get as much playing time as he tells Bobby he’s up for. He’s a proven veteran, and a good clubhouse guy, so Bobby will be loyal to him unless he’s near the Mendoza line. You can throw your stats, splits, and projections out the window. No point worrying about it now.

I just hope Anderson can get through the first 6 weeks of the season around .290 with decent defense so everyone isn’t clamoring for his head.

braves4ever

February 23rd, 2009
11:04 am

Steve McP, that was a good thought, to see if the young man has the “big league poise” as that all he needs to be up here. I bet we will see he again on TV this spring.

Doc Holiday

February 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

I cant take it anymore,

I think major league baseball allows you to use more than 1 pinch hitter per game………last time I checked. :-)

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

Folks, let’s have a dose of reality here. The GM’s job is to find the best players available given the financial constraints place before him. One would think it would be easier if they could match the Yankees and the Red Sox to be a genius than if you were in Minnesota or Pittsburgh. Folks, with the free agent markets like it is, you just have to be flexible.
The manager is supposed to get the most out of the players assigned to him. Some are better than others. Some of the best managers I have ever seen did not do so well when given player’s who did not fit their game plan. Like the Marines, “You must adapt and overcome.”
Braves have what appears to be their best lineup in 5 years. Of course everyone thought the Tigers would win it all last year too.
As for me… I’m ready for some baseball…..

TnBrian

February 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

ccrider, before people start bashing Hudson, remember that it was reported, maybe here, that he was mad about it being written that guys like Blanco would be left off the roster. Chill on Hudson anyways, he’s from Alabama…sorry uncle Ronny!

Gibby

February 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

Anders you are right that the Braves probably need more from Frenchy than the Mets need from Castilla except in the case of Reyes moving to the 3rd spot in the order. If the Mets go forward with that plan, then in my opinion they need Castillo to rebound much more than the Braves need frenchy to.

singndablues

February 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

One last Oscar bit.This commercial promo with Jimmy Kimmel and Tom Cruise was hilarious.

http://www.wikio.com/video/870773

Now back to our regularly scheduled BBB (baseball blog).

David O'Brien

February 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

Soriano’s throwing to hitters right now. I’m gonna go down to the field.

Epinephrine

February 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

Anderson is a notorious slow starter, so we should in fact be prepared for the “off with his head” calls that will come during April and May. He is known as one of the best second half players in the bigs.

Gibby

February 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

I really am looking forward to Garret Anderson. As the players are saying he is a professional hitter. I like that he doesn’t strike out a lot. We had enough of the with Andruw.

Kevin C in VA

February 23rd, 2009
11:07 am

DOB

any chance that Will Ohman would return if we trade someone?

Ben

February 23rd, 2009
11:08 am

RANDOM, don’t forget that Mc’Cann and Johnson hit lefties well.

Bagel Chops

February 23rd, 2009
11:09 am

This just in; Garrett Anderson signs with the Kansas City Royals one year 1.2 mil.

Random

February 23rd, 2009
11:11 am

cvbraves — I believe Soriano’s off-season surgery has robbed him of all current trade value, and he certainly could not get the Braves Nady on his own.

Coach joe

February 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

So whats up with our short-stop? Is he happy/? Still pouting from last year? Will he lead off this year ??

Who looks good so far?

Go Braves !!!!

True Braves Fan

February 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

DOB: Any chance the Braves give Ohman an offer, now that all he has are 750,000 – 1 mil offers? Do you know how much he turned down from the Braves in November?

Joe

February 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

Great signing by GM Frank Wren I was saying all along The Braves should sign Garret Anderson and they made the right choice by doing just that.

Go Braves!!!

MinnesotaJacket

February 23rd, 2009
11:16 am

HEY DOB IF the Bravos are in contention near August do you think the Braves really do try to activate Hudson and use him in the rotation? Also vice versa if the Braves aren’t in contention do they just keep him on the DL for the rest of the Year?

Frank from KS

February 23rd, 2009
11:16 am

If I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again.

How Brad Pitt could leave Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie………I’ll never know.

Jen probably took one look out into the front row and said…”You sl$%!!”

And damn, Goldie Hawn is still a rockin’ into her 50’s/60’s!!!

Homer Simpson

February 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Well, gosh, I feel so much better now that the Braves have found yet another older, broken down, injury filled career, DL filler, Anderson to their outfield. I guess they finally found some one as bad off for a job as the Braves were to fill it. If the guy can stay off the DL, call LA and ask, then he might hit .275, 15, 50 RBI, or stay on the DL five months. Yup, NL east title, NL pennate, world series here we come. Braves now have that proven bat!!! /sarcasm on

Tomahawk210

February 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

DOB How’s Schafer been doing so far? How’s he been looking at the dish? I know the defense is there so no need to ask but are balls jumping off his bat?

PTBNL

February 23rd, 2009
11:19 am

Random, both KJ and Bmac hit lefthanders well. You are correct about power, however. But if they get the hits, could they not just play a different kind of game?

Also, G Anderson hits lefties about as well as righties….but again, probably not much power.

You may have seen something that I did not last year. I did not see that much of a disparity regarding Lefty or Righty (pitchers) but much more so home vs away.

Regarding Tex, I did not see him as being affective for the Braves in regard to games won. When he hit, he hit well, but therefore, he did not contribute to as many games as he was a detriment in. I just never saw him be much of a difference maker. In fact, if I remember correctly the Brave actually scored more runs per game after he was gone, than while he was here last year.

Barry

February 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

It’s heartwarming that everyone is concerned about Matt Diaz’s playing time now that Garrett Anderson is on the team, but Garrett Anderson is a proven star on track for 3,000 career hits. Mr. Diaz is a platoon player who has yet to drive in 50 runs in a season. Since Garrett hits lefties well, it’s not hard to figure out who to play.

Matt

February 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

DOB, could you tell us when and if the Braves will be on the radio/tv? I know they are on ESPN on Thursday at 1:05. Thanks!

Random

February 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

Ben — Chip/Mac’s AVG & OBP do not suffer much when they face LHPs (nor does Johnson’s), but they got no decent power against LHPs.

Plus, as a TEAM, the Braves really sucked against LHP last year. Aside from their lack of OF power, that was imo their biggest offensive weakness. And maybe bigger than the OF sitch.

To fix that, all the Braves have done is get DRoss, and crossed their fingers on Francoeur and Diaz. And now Diaz has been rendered redundant by GAnderson. No net gain there.

(Would not be surprised to see Diaz or Norton traded, prob latter, who would seem to have more trade value in light of Diaz’ injury last year.)

Wayne in Utah

February 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

Random

I think it is hard to take a teams performance and naturally assume it will translate into the next season (hitting against lefties).

Understand that it certainly could be just as bad, but a lot has potentially changed. I think our black hole against lefties was Francoeur’s poor performance, and Diaz’ slow start, followed by his injury.

If Francoeur and Diaz return to their 2006/2007 levels of performance, I don’t think we will see a huge drop-off when facing a lefty. My point is probably influenced by my overly optimistic view, but certainly a possibility.

While neither of those guys ever walked much, they both were very clutch against lefties before, and Frenchy was one of our better hitters in the clutch before 2008.

While a right handed bat would have been nice, I think Nady and Ludwick were the two primary ones that were possibly available. With Garret Anderson, at least we didn’t have to give up KJ or another valuable piece to get him.

As Ben also states, McCann and KJ are both decent hitters against lefties.

I think the interesting thing of the spring will be the development of some of the youngsters that could make the battle for the rotation an interesting one.

Mark me down as expecting Morton, Reyes and Hanson to all do well in the spring.

Braveheart

February 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

Instead of the announcer saying his name when he bats, they should play a bunch of clips from The Matrix of the guy saying, “Mr. Anderson.”

Danga

February 23rd, 2009
11:32 am

Braveheart…That would be awesome.

NC Braves fan

February 23rd, 2009
11:32 am

Hi DOB…..any chance we’re not done building the ‘09 team yet? Someone yesterday mentioned perhaps there’ll be a trade to make some room on the 40 man roster? I like where we are but we could sure use a right handed big bat…

TheManMike

February 23rd, 2009
11:32 am

DOB -

After seeing Soriano pitch this morning, what do you make of the comments from CVBraves at 10:54am? He has a point there…we are a bit loaded on pitchers……then again – thats NEVER a bad thing after last season. Interested to know your thoughts.

Lew

February 23rd, 2009
11:35 am

Why are people so upset that Diaz is odd man out? Garrett Anderson has played in between 108-145 games the past five seasons. Seems to me that Diaz will get plenty of playing time even if Bobby doesn’t go with a strict platoon in left.

Don’t discount the possibility of trades during ST, either. We have several players out of options and are heavily stocked (even though not with choices popular with bloggers) at the pitcher and outfield positions. We could conceivably grab some minor league talent in return-maybe even a decent 3B prospect to wait in the wings for when Chipper’s gone (hopefully not until 2013)

DAP

February 23rd, 2009
11:37 am

epinephrine

i checked anderson career splits, and he is a little better 2nd half, but not way better. i hope he does not start out to slow, but will welcome a 2nd half surge from him.

im also disappointed about how he will apparently be used. i think diaz should get plenty of chances to hit. oh well.

DiamondbackMac

February 23rd, 2009
11:39 am

What happened to the blog format?

Rick M

February 23rd, 2009
11:40 am

Dave, What about Mark Redman received for Tyler Yates? How does he look? Who was move off the 40 man to make room for Glavine and G Anderson.

Wayne in Utah

February 23rd, 2009
11:40 am

I would love to see us make an offer to Ohman, but as it stands, unless we get a rash of injuries (kinda like 2008), we are going to be releasing two or three decent arms before the start of the season.

We have a lot of arms out there in the pen: Gonzo, Soriano, Moylan, Bennett, Boyer, Acosta, Stockman, Logan, O’Flaherty, Campillo, Carlyle, Valdez and Ridgway. Not to mention potential starters and up and comers; Parr, Reyes, Morton, Marek, Medlen, Bueno and Lerew. Did I forget anybody? That is 20 names right there.

On second thought, I don’t think Ohman will get an offer.

DiamondbackMac

February 23rd, 2009
11:41 am

Format back to normal now. That was odd.

jimmy a

February 23rd, 2009
11:41 am

wren needs to go should have gave SMOTZ the 2.5 mil and let the kids play FIRE WREN NOW

Steve McP

February 23rd, 2009
11:42 am

Another few games for Diaz would come when we play inter-league games, I know Chipper is often DH in those, but Anderson would also fit that bill. I think we have 9 games under AL rules this season

PTBNL

February 23rd, 2009
11:44 am

Epin, that is what the Angels fans are saying on the MLB site. He is a slow starter, but comes on strong at the end. That is not my preference, but maybe we can learn how to play it. If Bobby knows that, maybe Diaz sees more action early on.

They also say that he is Kotch’s mentor. They do not understand why it took Anderson so long to be gotten off of FA, but they seem to think it good that he and Kotch are back together. I asked what could be expected of Kotch this year and they said that he consistently puts the ball in play and will probably hit around .300 with probably 18-25 HR. He is slow of foot, but has good baserunning skills. I did not realize it, but they were saying that he was “the talk” before he came up to the ML level, but right after he came up he got mono and it “sidelined him for at least a year”. I got the impression that he is just beginning to hit his stride again. They think highly of him. Of course, they are very quick to say that he is not Tex (won’t give those big numbers). But they like what he does give.

Dwayne Johnson

February 23rd, 2009
11:44 am

quick thought, would you say that “if” Jeff “i’ll swing at anything” Francour hits .350 with the bases loaded, the Braves would have made the playoffs?

ease19

February 23rd, 2009
11:47 am

Lew – I believe that he started 80 or so games in LF and was the DH for 60, so to say that he played 140 games last season is kinda misleading

Braveheart – right on! That would be totally cool, regardless which Anderson…

Random

February 23rd, 2009
11:47 am

Pepperidge Blogs Remembers

from 20 Nov 08:

DAP: “by the way, when youve got a lineup full of guys who hit the same vs. lefties and righties, it really doesnt matter that much. the braves have several lefties already that hit the same or even better against lefties. mccann, johnson, kotchman.”

R: Well, you’re right as far as you go about these three players.

However, as a team, the 2008 Braves slugged 40 points higher against RHPs than against LHPs, and the 2008 team OPS against RHPs was .771, but only .715 against LHPs.

The Braves really DO need to add someone who will kill LHPs.

DAP: “so if the braves get a lefty LF, it wont be terrible, as long as they are someone like abreu or ibanez [or GAnderson?], who hits lefties well.”

getnathan

February 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

Wayne

If Morton and Reyes do well, then the Braves may not be finished trading (but where would the guy play).

Can Ludwick play CF?

moose knuckle

February 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

braveheart – why didnt i think of that. then if they could bat back to back would be even better. maybe dob could could use a few lines for his introductory story when this guy actually has a bravos hat on.

johnf

February 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

I love Matty Baseball. I hope he gets plenty of AB’s.

sidslidkid

February 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

Dave,
Any radar guns near Soriano? How’s he looking? The bullpen has me worried this year with all the injuries and lack of lefties. It could be a great pen… but there’s a lot of question marks that need to get straightened out.

Braveheart

February 23rd, 2009
11:52 am

———– We have a lot of arms out there in the pen: Gonzo, Soriano, Moylan, Bennett, Boyer, Acosta, Stockman, Logan, O’Flaherty, Campillo, Carlyle, Valdez and Ridgway. Not to mention potential starters and up and comers; Parr, Reyes, Morton, Marek, Medlen, Bueno and Lerew. Did I forget anybody? That is 20 names right there ———

Wayne is bobbing his head right now to Gang Starr’s Tons of Gunz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp8YY-4pAGI

Daniel

February 23rd, 2009
11:54 am

Braveheart -Hard to Earn is one of my favorite albums of all time.

glorydays

February 23rd, 2009
11:56 am

Who is considered the better defensive OF between Anderson and Diaz?

doc

February 23rd, 2009
11:57 am

if and when g anderson will add a legit bat to bring up when we go into american league parks along with diaz. it also makes the bench stronger as diaz will be available to pinch hit when not starting and vice versa. they are both legit major league hitters, not a premium on the bench the last few years. now i can only hope that if g anderson makes contact it isnt to start double plays as i would rather see a strikeout. sadly at druws worst he brought both entities into play. glad to see he has the capcity to deliver with men on and in the clutch late innings. maybe it will be cntagious.

so glad we missed on so many players that folks got upset about. only sorry about smoltz though his acid is beginning to get old. geez, he got his money only maybe the braves end up in the playoffs and red sox dont. it is possible if the yanks come back and the rays hold their own. wouldnt that be interesting? wren has made an awesome comeback from that debacle.

MFin04

February 23rd, 2009
11:57 am

Anderson and Kotchman played together right? I wonder if that will help them both transition into their first full season with the Braves. I’d reserve judgment on Casey…his mother’s health was clearly on his mind for a majority of his time with the Braves and that would truly effect anyones hitting. Anderson isnt a huge power guy…by it seems to me that if guys are on in front of him…and he hits .300 the whole year…he will drive a lot of guys in with singles/doubles.

jmart1951

February 23rd, 2009
11:59 am

It must be very disappointing to the minor leaguers that have been invited to camp to know that there is no spot available on the roster for them. Regardless of how well they play they will be relagated to Gwinnett or Pearl City. I cannot remember a time when all of the spots were taken before ST began. In my opinion the Braves history is one of holding their minor leaguers back for too long. Look what happened when because of numerous injuries they were forced to bring up McCann and Francouer. They both made the jump from Double AA to the majors in fine fashion. In my opinion Hanson and Morton are ready to be starters in the major leagues. In my opinion it was a mistake to sign one of these two (KK or Glavine). There should have been a spot available for our best 5th pitcher coming out of ST.

The 5th pitcher would have been either Hanson, Morton, Campillo, Reyes or Parr, most probably. Our starting pitchers in Gwinnett will be the envy of several major league teams.

What does Schaefer have to do in ST to take the centerfield spot from Anderson? Don’t get me wrong, I like Anderson very much and think that he adds a dimension (speed) that is sorely lacking but Schaefer could be a real difference maker.

Sometimes when there is a log jam that holds minor leaguers back they get stale and lose their edge. I hope this doesn’t happen to the several invitees that are ready to play in the Bigs.

PTBNL

February 23rd, 2009
11:59 am

Random, you have not answered my question. Is Slugging the end all, be all? Could the Braves not play a different game when facing lefties?

Jerry

February 23rd, 2009
11:59 am

Garretts a good signing. I hate it for Diaz because I like him too but the fact is, we can’t sit and wait for players from last year or the year before to step up. Diaz had some tremendous slumps. I can smell the Braves not being done yet on the trade front. We have alot of extra people that other teams might be interested in. A bunch of relivers come to mind. Plus it should be realized that Diaz is a liability in the field.

Anderson
Yunel
Chipper
Anderson
BMac
Johnson
Casey
Frenchy

sounds good to me. I believe we’re putting a better team out there this year than last year when everyone had us going to the world series.

Our big question marks come down to Josh Anderson and Frenchy. We will go as they go. Everyone else is pretty consistent. We should see Yunel batting well over .300 hitting in front of Hoss.

Yunel, Hoss, GAnderson,BMac, Johnson and Kotchman can all hit over .300 and Frenchy can too if his head is on correct.

Smoltz stays at home and watches us in the playoffs.
Fate is a mean mistress.

Walt063

February 23rd, 2009
12:01 pm

DOB: Are spring training games going to be aired on mlb.tv? If not, is there anywhere to watch the games, other than the ones televised nationally on ESPN.

Frank from KS

February 23rd, 2009
12:02 pm

Anderson’s HR production is declined in the last few years.

His best year (at least in the HR production) was in 2000 when he hit 35. He’s also hit 29 twice. Once in 2002, and again in 2003.

Richie

February 23rd, 2009
12:03 pm

With Diaz on the bench and being used as a spot starter, our bench is strong and has the potential to be really, really good. We wont have to see Greg Norton, another very good pinch hitter in his own right, be horrible in the field. He can concentrate on being the good pincher that he is.

Braveheart

February 23rd, 2009
12:05 pm

——- Braveheart -Hard to Earn is one of my favorite albums of all time. ——-

Me too. Guru is criminally underrated as a rapper. There haven’t been many rappers who combined a great sounding voice with really deep lyrics the way he did. Honestly, I feel like the voice/lyrics combo with dj premier’s beats made him top 5 of all time, but he never gets anywhere close to that kind of recognition for whatever reason. Just never made enough hit songs I guess.

Mark

February 23rd, 2009
12:06 pm

Whats up with the lyrics?

Joe

February 23rd, 2009
12:06 pm

Good point Jerry I agree with you the braves need frenchy and josh anderson to perform good in order for the braves to compete well.

There is no crying in baseball !!

February 23rd, 2009
12:07 pm

I love to see the competition of positions. GAnderson is a player, good for a couple of years. If Left field is locked down then we should focus on Right field. Can a couple of our wunderkind play right, are there any connons out there? I love Frenchy’s arm. It will do Frenchy good to have someone pushing for his job. I am rooting for Frenchy but this is Pro Baseball. No room for sentimentality. The best player should play. It sucked when we traded Murph, but Justice stepped in and stepped up!

PTBNL

February 23rd, 2009
12:07 pm

“If Morton and Reyes do well, then the Braves may not be finished trading ”

Many people, Braves fans or otherwise, look longingly for a core of pitchers like “Maddux, Glavin, and Smoltz” Yet when we get some very good prospects and they begin to show promise, we want to trade them? For some reason I just don’t see that much in Jo Jo, but if he blows the opposing hitters away, I sure would not trade him! Morton on the other hand is someone that seems to have very good possibilities. And by the same token, if he is blowing hitters away this spring, I certainly would not want the Braves to trade him. Quality pitching is not easy to come by. Look at what the Braves had to go through this year to get pitching and they still did not get a true ace.

I am not complaining about the Braves’ pitching. It seems to be pretty solid. But I sure would not mind having Hanson to live up to expectation and Morton to live up to possibilities, all in a Brave uniform.

TennesseePaul

February 23rd, 2009
12:08 pm

Garrett Anderson has played in between 108-145 games the past five seasons

This isn’t because of Anderson entirely. In LA there were about 17 outfielders on the team, each making around $10 million or more. All of them had to play so the Angles could makret their jerseys and earn some of that dough back. Hell, even Gary MattHGHews Jr was making $11 million and he’s terrible.

ppaddy

February 23rd, 2009
12:09 pm

DOB, is Ohman going to sign with anyone? The last thing I read on him, he’s NOT being offered the premium money he thought he would get. I know the Braves have a tight budget, but if Ohman signs a one year deal for $1MM with somebody…….I would think the Braves would be kicking themselves.

Anders

February 23rd, 2009
12:09 pm

In an off season that just won’t end for Frank Wren, apparently he inadvertently signed Garrett Morris rather than Garrett Anderson. When reached for comment Morris said ” Base-aa-ball has beeen berry berry gooood …..to me.”

Braveheart

February 23rd, 2009
12:10 pm

As for Tommy “Gun” Hanson, we’ve got to go with Tommy Gun by The Clash as his music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZkS2rRd3G8

ease19

February 23rd, 2009
12:11 pm

PTBNL – I agree, and what would we trade for anyway…seems the roster is full enough as it is..

getnathan

February 23rd, 2009
12:12 pm

If Garret Anderson puts up the stats he did last season, Braves will be in great shape, stay in contention, and have another clutch hitter on their team (besides Greg Norton).

getnathan

February 23rd, 2009
12:14 pm

PTBNL

If these guys pitch well, barring a significant injury of lack of effectiveness from one of our starters, would you have them pitch in AAA although they are major league ready, or see how you could make your team better, especially if we’re in contention, which I think now we will be. And I don’t think Braves should trade both (and definitely not Hanson).

flange1

February 23rd, 2009
12:15 pm

Braveheart,

Thanks for the Tommy Gun link! It made my day!!!

Random

February 23rd, 2009
12:16 pm

Wayne in Utah (11:28 am):“I think it is hard to take a teams performance and naturally assume it will translate into the next season (hitting against lefties).”

‘Cept as I recall 2008 was only the last in a series of seasons where the Braves truly suffered against LHPs. Will not take the time to dig out those stats, as everything we say now is letters upon the sand, written in water. But that’s how I remember the past several years.

WiU: “Understand that it certainly could be just as bad, but a lot has potentially changed. I think our black hole against lefties was Francoeur’s poor performance, and Diaz’ slow start, followed by his injury.”

NOTHING has changed — not counting replacing SH Tex with LH Kotch, and signing RH Ross. The Braves are just hoping Francoeur comes back. (They’re no even longer hoping for RH Diaz’ return — they’ve replaced him with LH GAnderson.) And all CF candidates are LH.

Nothing has changed to make the Braves better against LHPs.

getnathan

February 23rd, 2009
12:16 pm

TennesseePaul

Gary matthews, jr. Why can’t we get players like that?

(Joke for those who don’t understand that question). Braves had Gary Matthews, Jr pre-stat explosion.

Lew

February 23rd, 2009
12:17 pm

Ease19 and ten Paul-The point I was making is that there will still be plenty of playing time for Diaz.

Nolan was Snubbed

February 23rd, 2009
12:18 pm

jimmy a –

Wren tried to use 2.5 mil on Smoltz, and that’s why he’s no longer with the team.

However, I do agree with you with your premise though that they should have done what it took to keep Smoltz.

Braveheart

February 23rd, 2009
12:19 pm

——– Thanks for the Tommy Gun link! It made my day!!! ——-

Yeah, flange, I stole The Clash & Tommy Gun from you. Let’s hope he’s as awesome as Tommy Gun by the Clash and not a dud like Tommy Gunn from the Rocky V movie.

Jeff in Alabama

February 23rd, 2009
12:20 pm

Jeremy Vachon, Matt and others who want to know, the Braves broadcast schedule is available on their official website. Here’s the link:

http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/schedule/broadcast.jsp?c_id=atl

Wayne in Utah

February 23rd, 2009
12:21 pm

PTBNL

If you go back and look at Morton and Reyes game by game numbers for 2008, they completely sucked about 50% of the time, and did well (some times even outstanding) for the other half of their games.

While that doesn’t tell us they will succeed in the majors, it does tell us that if they could figure out what they were doing right/wrong half the time, they could be productive major league starters.

And YES, HECK YES, I would not want to trade them if they figured it out.

Our staff (starters and bullpen) could fall anywhere on the range of excellent to terrible this year. It will definitely be interesting. Being tied for the second most positive person on the blog (KC has all the rest of us beaten), I am hoping for the former.

If I guess wrong, then I guess it can be said that I will be a “looser” or you can say to me, “your and idiot”.

:-)

ease19

February 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

Lew – Yes, that is what I was getting at as well…

Joe

February 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

I’m looking forward to going to going to Turner Field when The Braves play The Yankees and Red Sox those are going to be some great games.

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