12:49 pm February 26, 2009, by David O'Brien
February 27th, 200910:10 am
geez, 18 pages and two hours later…The things you miss when you take an afternoon off the blog.
February 27th, 200910:13 am
I’ll take the camera, McFann. Maybe I can get a good pic of him. If so, I’ll pass it along via Lew.
February 27th, 200910:19 am
Hey Toga Party
Its a new swing and it will take time to relearn his approach. I am inclined to believe Chipper on this one. Just give him some time.
February 27th, 200910:20 am
Thanks, flbravesgirl! That’d be great!
February 27th, 200910:22 am
TogaParty-No, I don’t bother watching Spring Training games because-well, they’re Spring Training games and don’t mean a damn thing unless you’re a rookie trying to break in or a marginal player to begin with-neither of which Frenchy is.
Dude, last year is past. It was what it was. This year has yet to begin. If he’s still grounding to third every other at bat after April ends, THEN I’ll start to consider he doesn’t have what he’s already proven he DOES have. You talk about last season plus two games. I would rather look at his first three years in addition to last plus two games. So the Kid isn’t the second coming of Dale Murphy and hasn’t lived up to the SI hype laid on him within a week of coming to the bigs. He isn’t Brad Komminsk either, like so many like to contend.
Take what you can out of Spring Training-he hasn’t struck out yet, which means he’s not flailing or leading with his butt. That’s got to be an improvement.
did someone on here really just write “irregardless”? c’mon people, we’re better than that
February 27th, 200910:29 am
well i for one have had about enough of the frenchy bashing. whats wrong with you people, the guy seems to have busted his tail all winter long and now after two SPRING games everybody is ready to get rid of him. you people need to get real. no one jump back on the wagon when he is ripping the cover off the ball this summer
February 27th, 200910:30 am
More No-Names (”Freeman goes deep”)
“After the Braves scored four runs in the seventh to erase most of a 7-2 deficit, left-handed slugger hit a tying homer in the eighth against lefty . Freeman, a 19-year-old first baseman, is one of five Braves in Baseball America’s new Top 100 prospects list, including Hanson (No. 4) and outfielder (No. 5). The Braves were the only organization with two in the top 10. … Braves backup catcher ’ two-run homer was the only hit in three innings against Astros starter .”
What’s up with that, DOB? Are you trying to hyperlink players’ names, or what?
(Re-posted to fix — I hope — formatting errors.)
February 27th, 200910:34 am
Thrillhouse44, That’s a good perspective regarding your Redskins. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about giving 7 years to Haynesworth. Most of these long-term contracts in the NFL are never completed because they aren’t guaranteed. All it means is that his signing bonus can be spead out for 7 years (against the salary cap), even if it is paid in full upon signing the contract. I’m just looking forward to the draft to see what holes my Falcons can fill.
February 27th, 200910:35 am
We’ve arrived at Bradenton’s McEchnie Field, one of the last old-school gems of spring training. Love this place (though not the two-hour drive to get here, but hey, it’s sunny and beautiful out).
Great place for Mr. Kawakami to make his debut, I’d say, though I have no idea where they’re going to seat all the Japanese media, since this is the smallest pressbox in the Grapefruit League.
Gotta get down on the field. We’ll have a new blog up before gametime.
February 27th, 200910:37 am
Random, that’s another technical problem at the paper, one that, as you can imagine, I have absolutely nothing that I can do from this end. I don’t bold the players’ names or anything else when I send them in. Someone at the paper is, apparently, and we’ll probably need to stop until we figure out why the boldfacing results in the problem you (and someone else yesterday) pointed out.
February 27th, 200910:39 am
hey dave, taking the fact that 90% of what comes out of john kruk’s mouth is nonsensical, he said during yesterday’s broadcast that mccaan going to the wbc could cost the braves a game or two or even an injury if he doesn’t get a chance to catch lowe’s sinker before the regular seasons starts.
is brian going to have the chance to work with lowe any before he leaves, and if not do you think it will make a difference at all?
leif garret anderson
February 27th, 200910:40 am
Testing a post from my crackberry
Run Heap Run
February 27th, 200910:43 am
DOB, I’ll take your 2 hour drive for sunny and beautiful in exchange the hardest rain for the last 2 hours straight I’ve seen in a long time and the return of winter temps for the weekend. Deal?
Jeff’s swing is much different. I paused the DVR and his balance to contact is far better than last year. Also, his head is on his back shoulder at contact and his hands are staying inside the ball but his timing is a little off. If you pause the DVR on the outs he made, it’s just a timing thing. It wasn’t mechanical, rather, timing.
I played the game for 18 years at a high level, so I’m pretty sure I can analyze someone’s swing. Jeff’s weight is now INSIDE his front foot at contact with his hands inside the baseball. He’s also got pre-pitch movement with his hands and balance so he won’t use his shoulders and will be forced to use his hands.
Also, Brandon Jones has an unreal swing. When I played against him my freshman year of JUCO ball (he played at TCC, myself at YHC), he had a sweet swing and was supposed to go to FSU and be a star player there.
Brandon Jones is a professional hitter. This guy needs to start at LF for us after learning from GA this year. Diaz will always be nice for the braves to have for utility (maybe split b/w pinch hit, LF, 1B), but I’m sold on Brandon Jones. He puts himself in a good position to square the baseball up nearly every at-bat.
February 27th, 200910:47 am
Slugger – What is your definition of “high level”?
February 27th, 200910:51 am
I think Hanson will have a greater impact on the Braves than Millwood did! Besides where is that Millwood guys these days anyways??? DOB keep us update on everything going on you have been AWESOME so far don’t listen to the negative bloggers. Oh and by the way for any fans dissapointed in Frank Wren some Braves fans have started a website called firefrankwren.net with an online petition on it, just figured yall may want to check it out!!!
February 27th, 200910:54 am
I would not fire Frank Wren. He has done just fine. I am curious, has anyone ever heard of an online petition accomplishing anything?
February 27th, 200910:55 am
lexbrave , Lowe said in a interview this week he and Mac were working a lot in training and that there might be 2 spring games Mac would catch him. He would prefer having him here but in the context of things if we look at the rotation times and WBC involvement Mac may miss Derick 1-2 times this spring. No big deal. I have to beleve Lowe and McCann both are pros and will adjust quickly,they didn’t get to where they are by luck.
February 27th, 200910:56 am
It was Coach…he wrote it. I just copied and pasted it.
February 27th, 200910:58 am
Gibby im sorry but do you not remember us losing Atlatna Braves icon and AWESOME pitcher John Smoltz. What about A.J. Burrnett or Ken Griffey Jr. or Rafael Furcal or failed trade attempts for Jake Peavy the list goes on and on ever since Schuholz stepped down in 06 the Braves have not made the playoffs he was in charge the 06 season I admit but ever since he has taken over it been disasterous. Not to mention the prospects we gave up for Mark Texiera
February 27th, 200910:59 am
Hey McFann – I’ll do the same (whenever the US is eliminated or wins the WBC)… I’ll find some way to get the shots to you (I know you can’t access myspace, but we can figure something out).
My Baby Bird and I are headed down this time next week – will be there until March 23….so I should be able to get some quality shots (my seats are next to our dugout).
My friend is going to be there for the first week – she has never been to ST, or even FL. So it will be fun having someone new to show around!!
Take what you can out of Spring Training-he hasn’t struck out yet, which means he’s not flailing or leading with his butt. That’s got to be an improvement. – Lew
That’s true, and I really hope that continues. I also wouldn’t mind if he threw in a walk or two. I agree with your perspective, and I’m sure it’s mentally healthier to give Jeff a fresh chance, and let go of last season’s baggage.
I just really had my hopes up that there would be more signs of a change in approach at the plate. ie, taking more pitches, trying to hit balls the other way that are pitched outside, etc. I don’t think swing mechanic changes are going to be enough if he doesn’t also change his approach some. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of that in the coming weeks.
February 27th, 200911:03 am
bravesfan-We lost Smoltz or decided to let him go if he didn’t take what we had to offer (like Glavine did)? AJ Burnett has a wife afraid to fly so he went a different route (we offered what the Yankees offered). Furcal pulled a dirty trick to get the Dodgers to pony up with more $$$$$. Griffey Jr. contacted us and then changed his mind. John Scheurholz traded for Tex.
Do you even have a clue, or are you just perpetually a malcontent. Move on. Your ignorance is showing.
Slugger – yes and I picthed for my country when I was 16 and was finished before I was 17, but I could get Frenchy with a slider heading out (he is done), his weight comes forward too early, his hips flinch too quickly leaving him needing GOOD WRISTS or arm power to hit… BUT HE DOESNT USE HIS WRISTS (he should look at Hank Aarons swing maybe)…
why oh why can’t anyone get him to get his weight on the backside and then get his FULL power through the ball at impact…….
(Lew will you take this bait)
But you are right, it is only spring training and I have a feeling the Natural will get better once the serious end of the game starts…
“Shake and Bake”…
DOB – thanks for the excellent work, much appreciated..
Going to watch the ‘Mucils vs Cards today but I hear their pains have moved from their throat region to the elbow area (NY headlines on Johan are not good… well for ‘Mucils fans)
February 27th, 200911:04 am
braves fan – the only thing relevant about your post is the fact that you can type AWESOME in all caps. I think most here would agree that Wren has done a fine job at putting a quality team on the field. The argument now is about the youngsters…
February 27th, 200911:05 am
Won our conference, NCAA regionals, beat Mississippi State… I was only saying that to say I’ve played with a lot of good hitters and helped a lot of good hitters so I can recognize changes. Only trying to establish credibility, but I guess it all determines how you define ‘high-level.’
There are so many other guys in the metro ATL level that played baseball at a high level (either NCAA or MiLB).
(my hitting instructor in HS also taught Jason Heyward, and Jason and I came out of the same summer baseball organization. I consider that to be high-level)
But for you to read my post and only comment on that part means you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about something.
Dogsbrekky-No I won’t.
I would like to see Jeff watch Kelly Johnson and Chipper work a pitcher to a full count and apply that to his benefit. He just needs to challenge the pitchers and put them on the defensive more which will give him better pitches to hit. Patience with professionalism like Chipper.
February 27th, 200911:07 am
well dogsbrekky lets put you in a uniform and on the payroll since you have the solution to the problem. go set back on the couch with the rest of us and let the coaches do the coaching.
February 27th, 200911:08 am
Lew – I respect your opinion, I was just being a pr..k…
Watching Frenchy again now in slow-mo..
Brandon Jones, Freedie Freeman, Heyward, Hanson, young Schafer all impress me.. give them a year/2 and we have a good line up (2011)..
February 27th, 200911:09 am
Re: Francoeur’s New Approach
It sounds like you dragged out an old article and changed all the “Andruw Jones” references to “Jeff Francouer”. One more season, Jeffy. You get one more season to get with the program.
Im sorry but I would give Smoltz who is an eight time all star as much $$$ as he would have liked to keep him in an Atlanta Braves uniform! Lew do you not realize what not only he has done for the team but also for the city of Atlanta!??? Furcal played dirty i admit but still if we would have gotten something in writing and not just “a verbal commitment” then we would have had him. Griffey wanted to go back to wear he started but no player takes Frank seriously he is played like a fiddle every time. How could Schuherholz have traded for Mark when he was with us from 07-08. Scherhoulz stepped down in 06.
February 27th, 200911:10 am
Are you saying Frank Wren should have givin up Tommy Hanson so he could get the Peavy deal done. Then you complain about the Tex trade. Thats a little bit of a contradiction. By the way Shurholz is still the team president, he advises Frank Wren on every move he makes.
February 27th, 200911:11 am
I would add Brandon Jones’s at bats to the list of things I liked about yesterday’s game.
Mike Gonzalez’s lack of control and velocity would highlight my list of concerns from yesterday’s game.
But in the age of instant gratification it requires a bit of effort to keep reminding ourselves that conclusions based on two meaningless games of spring training aren’t worth more than a share of CitiCorp stock.
February 27th, 200911:13 am
braves fan – When you pick up a dictionary and see the word puerile, there is a picture of your smiling face there as an explanation
eg JS did the tex trade not FW….. EOFS
Alright I will look at the bright side we have a decent team put together! I think you guys have changed my mind that Frank is not so bad after all and is tring his best.
February 27th, 200911:14 am
No offense intended…I played 4 years of college ball too and even coached the following year. I continue to “try” to play to this very day. Most on here are stats and numbers guys so it was refreshing to have someone with the same perspective as I do.
February 27th, 200911:17 am
Anybody have any opinions on how the starting rotation should look?
My first two years were at Young Harris (missed Markakis by one year, but he came back a few times). Robinson made him hit bp with us and let him pick up a metal bat (after he had been swining wood for a solid year). Nick hit balls into the sky that disappeared.
Went to Elon after my first two years and we won our conference, cracked the top 25, then beat Miss State in the regionals. Got destroyed by Clemson in the semi-final of the regional (AT CLEMSON!).
Where’d you play/coach?
February 27th, 200911:19 am
Braves fan- I think Lew said it for me. It is unfair to blame Wren for some players deciding that some other team was better for them. I commmend Wren for what he got which is a pretty good team not what he didn’t get. We could have a front office that only tries to get one player and then says oh well when that doesn’t work out.
I like the fact that Wren tried several things and never stopped trying. I like the fact that he went after Furcal to play 2nd. That was not something I had heard any professional writer from any website suggest before he made that effort. To me it means he is thinking outside the box. To me it meant he would do anything to make it work. That is something I would love to have in a boss.
Dogsbrekky-I know-Me Too.
BravesforEver-Dude, Frenchy spent all winter hitting with Chipper. I think He DID pay attention-at least according to Chipper, he did.
February 27th, 200911:21 am
Dogsbrekky-Kind of like the Sadist and the Masochist spending time together. The Masochist says “Beat me, Beat me.” The Sadist replies-”No.”
February 27th, 200911:22 am
Did Hanson remind anyone else of Roy Halladay? The size, the mound presence, even the delivery reminded me of him more than any other pitcher. Can’t wait to see more of him.
Also, did G. Anderson make the trip to Bradenton?
February 27th, 200911:25 am
Braves Fan I am glad we could change your mind.
Thanks! Yeah, I’m sure we cann figure something out.
Hope you guys have a good time! Tell your Baby Bird that Petey Bird says “Hello!”
Slugger, you don’t really need your resume to gain cred in this forum; post good content, and the folks around here will come to recognize you for it. Honest, LOL. There are any number of folks on here who played Division I, played in the minors (where IS Caveman these days, anyway?), scouted professionally, and so forth. That has little to do with their credibility. Their posts generate that, and it won’t take much reading to figure out who they are. Look forward to you joining that group, I hope.
February 27th, 200911:26 am
bravesfan-Look at it like this. Scheurholz tried to get Barry Bonds from the Pirates and the deal fell through at the last minute (due to the Pirates). We got Greg Maddux instead. Point is that things don’t always work out how you planned. The trick is to have a second or third plan in effect in case it doesn’t go your way. Wren had back up plans that will prove to be quite effective. Burnett has an injury history. Furcal has an injury history. Griffey Jr. has an injury history. None of those Wren got instead do (although in the case of Anderson, not as much of a history).
There’s a very good chance should any or all of those aforementioned players go down, that we’ll come out smelling like roses (not Pete, though).
braves fanScherhoulz stepped down in 06.
that is false.
February 27th, 200911:28 am
Agreed, ease19. Stats have a place, but their value is best understood within a context. So many stats are thrown around without the context of the game itself. So much of the game can not be wrapped up in stats. They keep trying to come up with more and more accurate stats, but they will never get the full picture from the stats themselves. All games are played in the context of team, emotion, human strength and frailties. These obscure stats in ways that are often unrecognized.
Therefore, often, a person who has been a part of these things will sense something that can not be put into words or explained by stats. It is very difficult to express such things.
Anyway, there are some on this blog that obviously have played the game and it is refreshing to read their posts. You fit that description and I appreciate your posts.
February 27th, 200911:29 am
Went to Oglethorpe University here in Atlanta. Its a small D-III school and although we were usually not very good, we did hang with the likes of Ga Perimeter (my last game senior year, I struck out Marlon Byrd…looking!…busted him inside with a cutter), Kennesaw State and West Georgia…We even beat West Ga once…
February 27th, 200911:33 am
Lew , I agree and I know if he will listen to anybody it will be Chipper. Time will tell, we can’t get in a wad just 2 games in. What if he goes 3/4 today with a jack. Everybody on here tomorrow will be “Frenchys back” . I will give him 30 games to see how he works lots of pitchers.
I also agree on Francoeurs new stance. I could tell right away he was keeping his weight back and was much more balanced as the pitches were thrown. He also opened his stance up very slightly which will help him get a better look at the pitches which will help a lot. Once he goets his timing down I think we will see the Francoeur we were hoping for. Let’s give him time to get his timing down. My personal opinion is he’s going to have a comeback year regardless of all the hate most fans will give him throughout the year. People just love to rip on guys these days instead of giving encouragement, what a shame.
Wayne in Utah
February 27th, 200911:34 am
The hole is getting deeper. Get out while you still can….
Coach Popp ever coach you at Oglethorpe? He was one of our East Cobb coaches when I was 15.
Popp told me Andruw Jones worked an Oglethrope camp one time and came to teach outfielding drills to the kids. He said Andruw just sat there and threw the ball as high as he could and tried to see if these little kids could catch it and just screwed around the whole time…
You know Permiter went to JUCO shortly after your time and was in our conference in my two years there.
February 27th, 200911:35 am
Once againg thanks for changing my mind on Wren Gibby and Lew. Any thoughts on starting rotation?
February 27th, 200911:36 am
I played in the majors and was a really good player……then I woke up. Bummer…
February 27th, 200911:37 am
Go back to sleep, Wayne! lol
February 27th, 200911:39 am
Wayne’s still got game, though, have no doubt of it. The man can ball.
February 27th, 200911:41 am
i played on the 12-13 year old all stars back in my prime
February 27th, 200911:42 am
Jeff’s weight is back, but it’s more about where that weight is. Part of the reason Jeff drove the ball in the past was his ability to hit through the baseball. Last year his weight would go forward without a firm front side. Do you all see how locked in his front leg is at the completion of his swing? He almost has to jump back in position to start running to first base. This is completely different because last year his weight looked displaced all over the place (the outside, not inside of his front foot) because his lower half was trying to make up for his top half slowing down a bit (because he wasn’t using his hands).
Jeff’s going to really turn it around if he can keep working on this and not worry about his stats this spring. Also, I think Jeff should do slash bunting drills with an added twist (square around to sack bunt, then try for a sack fly while the pitch is coming). Doing this makes you square around to sack bunt (totally eliminating your lower half from the swing), then pulling back and swinging with your hands (normally intended to scare the **** out of a crashing third basemen).
Now, with a slash you normally want to hit a ground ball but make him hit sac flys for the drills sake. I bet he hits 3 out of 10 out of the park (with just his hands).
This speeds up the hands and lets the hitter know that a BP fastball can be knocked out of the park with just your wrists/hands. That means a pitch going 1.3-1.7 times faster in a game takes even less effort…
Hands get quicker, hitter trusts the hands, hitter doesnt have to slow all his natural ability and fast twitch muscles with tense, slow muscle contraction (a.k.a. muscling up on a pitch).
February 27th, 200911:43 am
You can’t play a playa.
Don’t we have a pretty hardcore MLB The Show player here?
February 27th, 200911:44 am
PTBNL – Thanks, I like to judge players on what I can see, and so yesterday was such a relief! I have never seen Oswalt pitch and did not realize he was such a beast (throwing 93 in the second ST game) and then I choked on my beer (DVR’d the game for last night) when Hanson came in throwing 96! But I liked what I saw out of the team in general (solid lineup and although it seemed Campillo struggled, I thought he was getting pinched), and I think that Anders should be very afraid…
February 27th, 200911:45 am
Did anybody see what Andrew did with Texas. Batted three times, struck out three times. Boy he has just lost it.
February 27th, 200911:46 am
personnally, I have been working on my mouse clicking skills, trying to use my left hand so that I can keep up with these ST games, and still trying to look like I am working.
February 27th, 200911:47 am
i thought andruw doubled and homered? hmmm? i guess its just to the point where it is all mental because we know that he has a boatload of talent. you just dont lose it like that.
February 27th, 200911:49 am
Coach Popp, wow, yes he was my coach! I have some fond memories of him, never seen a guy throw the trash can after walking the leadoff hitter to start the game before him…Yeah we hosted a couple of clinics in conjunction with the Braves and Ingles and Maddox even made it to one…
February 27th, 200911:50 am
Baseball Prospectus’ Clay Davenport on Kenshin Kawakami, 26 Feb:
Unfortunately for [the Orioles], as a starter [Koji Uehara]’s just another [question mark].
On the other hand, Kawakami gives the Braves a more hopeful case, though still not without cause for some doubt:
Kawakami IP ERA H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2006 198 4.90 8.5 1.4 2.4 5.5
2007 162 5.68 9.8 1.3 1.7 5.1
2008 110 4.01 8.7 1.3 2.7 6.1
For two of the last three years, Kawakami has not pitched at the level of an above-average major league pitcher, though he did turn it around last year. If he struggles in the US, it will probably be because of his home-run tendencies (considering that the HR/9 column is set so that 1.0 is average). That’s a product of trying to get ahead in the count with an unimpressive fastball—hitters will have their chances to tee off on it. He’s been healthier than Uehara, but he did miss time with a back injury last season, as well as winding up spending some time with the Olympic team last summer.
In a minute (or two), I’ll re-post his earlier comments on Kawakami (from a month or so ago).
Chuck James was Solid until the 6th!!!
Are you saying you don’t like Kelly’s choice of “root” by Deftones? They are a really great band who were really massive in late 90’s and early 00’s and are due for a new CD soon. However, their bass player has been in a coma for several months tragically after a car accident, so things seem to be in dissaray. But, again, that band dominates….
Also, in Spring Training games at Dark Star do Braves players pick their music or is just random songs? I heard a cool intro when Chipper came up, do you know if that is his song for this year and if so, who was it and what song? I loved Tex’s intro when he was on the team and Kelly’s RATM, others not so much….Thanks as always and beware the Cuban food man!!!
February 27th, 200911:54 am
Baseball Prospectus’ Clay Davenport on Kenshin Kawakami, 20 Jan:
DOB: 6/22/75 (33)
Team: Chunichi Dragons, Central League, NPB
Kawakami has been one of Japan’s better pitchers over the last decade, with a string of honors that include an NPB Rookie of the Year award, an MVP award (in 2004), and a Sawamura Award (roughly the equivalent of our Cy Young Award). The scouting reports say that while his fastball is just average, he earns high marks for his cutter, his slow curveball, and his control. I can’t say I’m fond of the up-and-down pattern of his career, particularly since his three-year contract with the Braves is set to land on two of the down seasons were the pattern to persist.
There is a second reason for concern, however. Chunichi is regarded as a good pitchers’ park, and the translation process may not be doing an adequate job of rendering this. The pitchers who have pitched in both Chunichi and in the US since 2003 have a combined translated ERA of 5.15 in Chunichi, and 5.98 elsewhere. On the other hand, that stat comes from just five pitchers, only one of whom—Luis Martinez—pitched more than 80 innings in Chunichi. The translation makes Kawakami roughly as good a pitcher as Jair Jurrjens was for the Braves last year; I don’t think he’ll do quite that well, but he ought to be better than an average National League pitcher.
And here, by the way, is Kawakami’s Player Page on http://www.japanesebaseball.com.
PS: sorry about the skewed table earlier.
February 27th, 200912:00 pm
McFann – I’m sure Baby would say ‘right back atcha Petey’…. Baby is excited, he gets a new travel cage this year! He has to ride in the back seat going down there because my friend Kerrie will make the drive down with us. He’s such a Mommy’s Baby, he has to be able to see me or he freaks out. I found a really cool cage at a pet shop by Gwinnett Mall that has a clear top so he will be able to keep an eye on me! LOL
I am missing Choppinmama by a day this year — she always stays with me when she’s down – for at least a few days. But she just became a grandmother again, so it didn’t work out this time. I did send her my season ticket holder’s event ticket since they are having it on the 28th – at least someone will get to enjoy it!
I seem to remember somebody from the Braves coming up to part of the solo from freebird, i’m not sure if it was Chipper or not…maybe I’m wrong, I dunno.
February 27th, 200912:02 pm
What did you do with my hamburgers?
February 27th, 200912:03 pm
Cphizzle- Andrew homered and double in a intrasquad game but struck out three times an catus league play. I hope he comes back, I live in Austin Texas and have already checked on Ranger tickets. Lot of Braves on that team. Millwood, Elvis, Salty, Andrew. I need something to cheer about in Texas.
February 27th, 200912:04 pm
Ease, I agree. Some good stuff to see yesterday. Still very early and with so many changes in the lineup it is hard to get a good read on some things so far. But I was impressed as well. Chipper did not look WBC ready, but not a concern for the coming year for the Braves. Although, I would prefer for him to get to have the whole time at ST. Not so much offensively, but defensively.
But I have to say that even before yesterday, and before reading what Bobby had to say about him in David’s initial post of this blog, I have taken notice of Freeman. When I read that Bobby said that “they should look at Freeman, too.” I said “I was thinking the same thing.” From the little that I have seen, I am more impressed with his hitting than I am with Heyward’s. Again, I know it is early and I know that Heyward brings more to the table than just hitting, but I really like Freeman’s plate presence.
February 27th, 200912:05 pm
bravesfan-Let me go out on a limb here and predict we will have a starting rotation.
Seriously though-Last year our problem was that (due to injuries by the boatload), we ended up with three rookies heading our rotation and pitchers like Elmer Dessens taking up the slack. There were numerous instances of the pen having to go 5-6 innings a night on a routine basis because no one (except Jurrjens) was logging any innings on a regular basis. There’s damn little chance of success or contention when your starters can’t even go four innings.
With the acquisition of Lowe and Vasquez, the Braves’ starters will, at the very least, log innings like they never did in 08. This will also make the pen fresher and more effective. Though we maybe don’t have a true “Ace”, we DO have proven starters with no injury history and a history of pitching 200+ Innings. We filled our need quite well, I believe. Wren also singed three pitchers instead of the two he set out to acquire (and signed Glavine on OUR terms). We have extraordinary depth with Hanson, Morton, Reyes, Lerew, Marek and Medlen waiting in the wings. Rohrbough, Teheran and Locke loom on the horizon over the next several years.
The rotation and the pen are stocked and is bursting at the seams (to the point there will likely be trades forthcoming). We’ll be in good shape-this year and for the future.
February 27th, 200912:08 pm
TBravesFan-Penn Parrot likes road trips, too.
mikey, I remember Klesko coming up to Skynard’s “Simple Man”. Don’t recall anyone using Free Bird though.
February 27th, 200912:09 pm
oh, you meant yesterday. Nevermind. Carry on.
February 27th, 200912:10 pm
Enter your comments here
I have been out for a few days. Any news on Ohman?
February 27th, 200912:11 pm
gotcha Austinbrave. I got my hopes up. I was always a big andruw fan until he got lazy and greedy. That seems to be the downfall of alot of players.
February 27th, 200912:12 pm
Random – there is a really good Japanese players site I read some time ago which has analysis of all the MLB Asian LEAGUE guys, will see if I can find the link for it…. They compared KK most closely to the pitcher from the Dodgers (Kuroda ??)
February 27th, 200912:14 pm
DOB – Any chance Manny does the 1/2 year thing and stays out until July ala Clemens
February 27th, 200912:19 pm
Manny is an idiot to not take a 2 yr 45 m deal, deferred just means it will be over a few years period. Who needs that much now.
toga party, i remember that as well…ahh klesko…but i was talkin about spring training games in response to chuck james comment at 11:50
Slugger, I would think that they would know of such hitting drills. But I agree with your assessment. I am not sure if you were talking about slow twitch muscles when you spoke of fast twitch muscles as opposed to the tightening of slow muscles. But it would not be the slow twitch muscles, per se. Fast twitch muscles are also strength muscles if trained in such a manner. Fast twitch muscle trained for strength only can become the enemy of a “powerful” swing as you indicated. Power is the combination of speed and strength. Useful strength in hitting is used to generate much momentum. Thus, the concept of “throwing your hands at the ball”. But that is more of a mental image of what needs to take place than what really needs to take place.
The drills you mention would not only be good for the things you mentioned, but it would also help to hone timing which is probably more important than anything. This is why some people can actually have an ugly swing and still have a measure of success. It amazes me to see some swings and their measure of success, but somehow those hitters are able to have good timing and eye hand coordination without the generally accepted proper mechanics.
February 27th, 200912:23 pm
TBraveFan (Sorry I accidently put an “N” after your “T” in my last post)–
A new travel cage? That sounds like fun! Petey’s the same way–always has to see me. He has a wired top for his carrying cage, so he cann see through. Sometimes we put a towel over it so he doesn’t get scared. But he has fun in he car.
That pet store you bought the cage at–does it only sell birds and fish? If so, that’s the place we bought the Bird! It’ll be 8 years since we got him on July second…and he’s gonna be 8 years old in April.
And CONGRATULATIONS to Choppinmama!! How exciting!
February 27th, 200912:25 pm
PTBNL – here is an interesting fact/stat that backs up observation versus stats…Kelly went 0-17 in his first 17 at bats when he was first called up in 2005(?) and when questioned as to why he was still in the line-up, Bobby said, “I like his swing.” And here we are today.
That is what I liked yesterday, despite Oswalt…I thought Shafer looked like he belong and even though he struck out twice and I have become a real Kotchman fan, both because of his defense and offense potential…plus he has a nice swing as well. Frenchy was harder to get a handle on since he swung at the first pitch the two times I saw him (before my evening turned Bubdylan-esque). But I have to agree, Freeman does have a great approach, just look at his at bat the day before. Fortunately both him and Heyward will get some more seasoning in the minors, can you just imagine 2011 or so. The biggest thing that I took away from yesterday’s game is that everyone took good quality hacks against one of the better pitchers in the league (who was probably way ahead of everyone else since he is doing that WBC thing).
February 27th, 200912:26 pm
Ihope gonzalez has a solid injury free year He makes our bullpen solid at the back end and helps the confidence of the whole team
February 27th, 200912:27 pm
Are we really talking a birds today? LOL
February 27th, 200912:28 pm
Did you notice something about Logan yesterday? He was totally tipping his pitches. He has a pronounced high leg kick on his fastball deliveries and a very low slide step on his off-speed pitches. Hitters will definitely pick up on that sooner or later. Maybe that’s why he’s run into some trouble in the past. (Or maybe he just didn’t care about his mechanics as much for a Spring start). Maybe you could mention it to Roger.
February 27th, 200912:29 pm
David, we are close to the 1k posts on here and its getting slower and slower.
February 27th, 200912:35 pm
I am smiling so much over the Manny negotiations, I think my face is going to crack.
Message to Frank McCourt: For every day they don’t sign, lower the offer by 1 million dollars. Your bidding against yourself, man.
new blog! new blog! new blog! new blog! new BLLLLLLOOOOOOOGGGGGG!!!!!!
February 27th, 200912:37 pm
Wayne – Its getting old too…wish he would just sign so we can move on…
February 27th, 200912:40 pm
MLB.com boxscore has Garret Anderson leading off and playing center
LOL, yep. I still scratch my head on KJ some. I thought the same thing as Bobby back then and was very impressed with his pitch selection even when he first came up. But I liked his swing very much and would have thought he would have become even more successful by now. Of course, changing to 2 base may have slowed his progress a great deal. Compared to my projections of his abilities he is about a year behind what I would have thought.
Oswalt was definitely impressive. Because of that, too, it would be difficult to evaluate Frenchy much at all at this point. I am actually glad Jeff had to face him. It was a good challenge for him and could give him a good perspective of where he really is regarding pitch selection against a good pitcher and regarding timing.
February 27th, 200912:43 pm
Lew – Does Penn Parrot go to ST? Baby’s not missed a trip to ST since 2000 (he was a wee thing then)… he even says “Let’s Go Braves” while he taps it out with his beak! And has his own tomahawk!
McFann – I do believe that is the same pet store – can’t remember the name – just happened upon it one day and said it was ideal for the ST trip this year (Kerrie told Baby she called Shotgun!). Baby was born in the summer of 1999…hasn’t left my side since!
and ease19 — apparently so — Birds that are Braves fans!!
February 27th, 200912:44 pm
dogsbrekky, yes, Kawakami is OFTEN compared to LA’s Kuroda. Kuroda and Kawakami are, from what I’ve read, both ground-ball specialists with similar success in Japan.
In terms of velocity, Kuroda tops out in the mid-90’s, wheras Kawakami tops out in the low 90’s… but Kawakami is known for pinpoint control that more than makes up for that difference in velocity.
its sad that i get this stoked over a spring training game, with that i would like to add…LETS PLAY BALL!!!!
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution