Schafer rejoins CF race, Jo-Jo back on mound

  Clearwater, Fla. – Back on duty here at picturesque Bright House Field, where the temp’s pushing 80 already, the sun is shining, the crowd is filling up the joint to see the defending World Series champions take on the Bravos.

  Took the keys (literally) from Carroll yesterday at the airport, pulled away in the Chevy Malibu, had to fire up a Padron to get that nice, clean smell out of the car after she’d driven it for the past eight days.

  Jordan Schafer’s been out of the lineup even longer than I was, and he returns today, too — he’s batting second and playing center field, and Bobby Cox told me he’d probably get at least a couple of at-bats in his first game back since spraining his left shoulder diving for a ball the Saturday before last.

  (By the way, every time I write defending World Series champions, reminds me how much the tables have turned with these teams in these past few years, Phillies becoming a regular contender, the Braves trying to get there again.)

 Schafer’s still got plenty of time to make his bid for the center-field job, if it’s available. I say if because I still get the distinct impression it’s Josh Anderson’s job to lose, and not just because he’s out of minor-league options.

   Anderson gives the Braves a serious base-stealing threat and potential .300 hitter in the leadoff spot, and his defense is outstanding. Schafer is still the heir apparent in CF, but his 50-game suspension last year opened the door for Anderson to show what he could do late in the season when Gregor Blanco had tapered off.

 In regards to Blanco, some of the blog denizens have wondered why he’s not in the CF mix. I never said he wasn’t, and there’s still certainly a possibility he could be back in the leadoff/CF job. I just don’t think it’s real likely.

 Blanco hit well in winter ball in Venezuela, but he’s done that before. He thrives in that environment. He also had a big game for Venezuela last week in the WBC.

  (While on the subject of the WBC, Curacao native Jair Jurrjens was gloating Wednesday morning about the Netherlands’ monumental upset of the Dominican Republic, from what I’m told. He was busting on Diory Hernandez, a Dominican, before the Braves bused over to Clearwater. Jurrjens isn’t on the trip to Clearwater, since he’s pitching tomorrow against the Nationals at Dark Star.)

  The Braves got a good, long look at Blanco last season in the majors. Granted, it was his first season in the bigs, and he was thrust into regular duty due to injuries to Matt Diaz and Mark Kotsay.

 But if he’d started out slow and performed better after getting some experience, it’d be one thing. It was the other way around.

 Check out some of these stats:

 Blanco hit .251 with a solid .366 OBP last season, but his .309 slugging percentage was puny by any standard, with just 19 extra-base hits (one homer), 38 RBI, 13 stolen bases and more strikeouts (99) than walks (74).

 Anderson hit .294 in 40 games, with a .338 OBP and a  .426 slugging percentage, including 10 extra-base hits (three homers) and 10 stolen bases. He had only nine fewer extra-base hits and three fewer stolen bases than Blanco, in more than 300 fewer at-bats.

  Braves leadoff hitters ranked 11th in stolen bases and 15th in the NL in slugging (.375), primarily because Blanco had a .299 slugging percentage in 234 at-bats from the leadoff spot (Escobar was second with 158 at-bats as a leadoff man, followed by Kelly Johnson with 114 and Anderson with 101).

 Is OBP more important than slugging for a leadoff man? Sure. But in a lineup lacking in speed and somewhat lacking in power, it’d be nice to get a little of at least one of those components from the leadoff man.

 Here’s the other thing: Anderson was up briefly earlier in the season, but after he was brought up for good in late September, he shone, much as he had in his callup with the Astros in 2007.

 Last year with the Braves, after his September callup, he hit .289 with 10 extra-base hits (three homers) and eight stolen bases in his final 29 games, including 10 multi-hit games.=

 Blanco surprised a lot of people early, batting .274 with a .373 OBP in 71 games through July 1. But for the rest of the season, he hit .228 with a .360 OBP, a .279 slugging percentage and six steals in 10 attempts.

  When I asked Bobby this morning if CF was still wide open, he said, “I consider it sort of open, yeah.”

  I asked him about Josh and how he’s done so far: “Good. He’s hitting the ball.”

 Bobby pointed out again that Anderson “can go get the ball,” and said the Braves are working with him on bunting a little more. I talked to Anderson about that, and he said he’s been working with Jimy Williams on his bunting and is ready to take advantage of some more opportunities to lay down bunts.

 Standing with Terry Pendleton by the batting cage this morning, we watched Anderson take BP. Yes, TP at BP. Anyway, he said Anderson is making a lot of progress in an area that was a weakness — his two-strike approach.

 They’re trying to get him to cut down on strikeouts (and raise the OBP) by changing his approach a bit with two strikes, and TP said it’s showing.

  Oh, and just for those who might have forgotten, Anderson has a lot more of one thing than any other current Brave:

  “He gives you speed, man,” Cox said.

 Glavine update: Remember when Tom Glavine planned to make a Grapefruit League start by the end of the first week of March? That plan was quashed after he had some shoulder soreness.

  He’s scheduled to pitch an inning, maybe two, in a simulated game Monday. If that goes well, he could pitch in a Grapefruit League game at the end of next week, but nothing is set yet.

 Regardless, Cox still believes Glavine will be ready when the Braves need a fifth starter for the first time April 19.

 But if he’s not, the Braves, for the first time in a while, won’t have to scramble to find a replacement. They have uber-prospect Tommy Hanson waiting in the wings, but the Braves also have some experienced starters on the roster, including Jo-Jo Reyes, who’ll try to continue his impressive spring when he starts today against the Phillies.

 Reyes, written off by many of us after his erratic and mostly poor 2008 performance (3-11, 5.81 ERA), has shown flashes this spring of the talent the Braves thought made him close to a can’t-miss prospect a couple of years ago.

 “Jo’s done good,” Cox said of the lefty, who enters today tied for fifth among NL pitchers with a 1.00 ERA in three starts, including four scoreless innings for the win in his last start March 6 vs. Houston. “I hope he does good again. He’s more relaxed on the mound, more confident.”

 I asked Bobby if he got a sense that Reyes’ problems last year were more mental than physical, if he still had good stuff even during his woeful stretches in 2008.

 “The mental part of baseball, or any athletics, it’s huge,” Cox said. “Does he have stuff to pitch in the big leagues? Absolutely. Yes.

 We’ll see today if he has it against the Phils.

  Game’s starting, Schafer just singled to center and was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

  Without further ado, we’ll take it out with a tune from the Pogues. This was one of the sing-a-long highlights from their raucous, sweat-soaked concert at the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Monday.

“THE BODY OF AN AMERICAN” by Shane MacGowan (The Pogues)

The Cadillac stood by the house

And the yanks they were within

And the tinker boys they hissed advice

‘Hot-wire her with a pin’

Then we turned and shook as we had a look

In the room where the dead man lay

So big Jim Dwyer made his last trip

To the shores where his father’s laid

 

And fifteen minutes later

We had our first taste of whiskey

There was uncles giving lectures

On ancient Irish history

The men all started telling jokes

And the women they got frisky

By five o’clock in the evening

Every bastard there was pisky

 

Fare thee well going away

There’s nothing left to say

Farewell to New York City boys

To Boston and PA

He took them out

With a well-aimed clout

He was often heard to say

I’m a free born man of the USA

 

He fought the champ in Pittsburgh

And he slashed him to the ground

He took on Tiny Tartanella

And it only went one round

He never had no time for reds

For drink or dice or whores

But he never threw a fight

When the fight was right

So they sent him to the war

 

Fare the well gone away

There’s nothing left to say

With a slonte Joe and Erin go

My love’s in Amerikay

They’re calling out the rosary

Spanish wine from far away

I’m a free born man of the USA

 

This morning on the harbour

When I said goodbye to you

I remember how I’d swore

That I’d come back to you one day

And as the sunset came to meet

The evening on the hill

I told you I’d always love you

I always did, I always will

 

Fare thee well gone away

There’s nothing left to say

‘cept to say adieu

To your eyes as blue

As the water in the bay

To big Jim Dwyer

The man of wire

Who was often heard to say

I’m a free born man of the USA

I’m a free born man of the USA

I’m a free born man of the USA

747 comments Add your comment

Bravely going forward

March 11th, 2009
1:20 pm

i’m the first!

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:21 pm

Mayberry flys out to Diaz.

King521

March 11th, 2009
1:23 pm

I miss Ron Gant

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:24 pm

Norton with a fly out.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:25 pm

Francoeur with a base hit to left field.

cvbraves

March 11th, 2009
1:26 pm

Who was that masked man batting…and what did he do with Jeff?

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:26 pm

Diaz hits a ground rule double to right field. Runners on second and third.

Random

March 11th, 2009
1:27 pm

DWW (1:17 pm): “Escobar saw about 6 pitches”

Huh!?!

MLB Gameday shows Escobar, Schafer and Johnson all swung at the first pitch. I guess that MLB.com for you.

Thanks for cluing me in.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:27 pm

Hernandez flys out to center field. Frenchy scores — 1-1.

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:27 pm

sounds like francouer is heatin up

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:28 pm

Sammons hits a jack. Score 3-1

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:28 pm

SAMMONS homers on 0-1 pitch from Kendrick, two-run shot that was a BOMB to left, not wind-aided.

winterville

March 11th, 2009
1:28 pm

Random

MLB always does that. If it’s a walk, it’s 4 pitches, a K is 3 and a groundout or hit is 1.

DWW

March 11th, 2009
1:29 pm

clint sammons HR

cvbraves

March 11th, 2009
1:29 pm

Who was that masked man…and what did he do with Sammons? Gotta love it!

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:29 pm

The announcer acted like it was a wall scraper!

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:29 pm

Kendrick has nothing today, folks.

REYES just doubled off the base of the CF wall!

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:30 pm

Reyes hits a double.

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:31 pm

do you fellas think bobby will carry three catchers this years because sammons has been on fire this spring

winterville

March 11th, 2009
1:31 pm

Kendrick never has anything DOB. I pray he wins the 5th spot in their rotation. He is an absolute scrub.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:31 pm

To recap: Schafer hit a hard single in first inning, was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.

With one out in second, Francoeur pulled a hard single to left and Diaz hit a ground-rule double to the RF corner that bounced off the hard warning track and over.

Diory hit a sac fly (heard good things about Diory around the batting cage, by the way), then Sammons went DEEP for a 3-1 Braves lead.

Reyes then doubled off the base of the CF wall, a 400-foot hit for the lefty

Epinephrine

March 11th, 2009
1:31 pm

I could be wrong, but I really don’t like the idea of handing the job to Anderson. In my opinion, he either wins the role and loses it to Schafer by June, or he loses it out of spring training. Throughout his career, Anderson has consistently put up sub-par OBP numbers, which effectively cuts off the advantage his speed brings at the knees. The only times the guy has changed that perception is in Septembers-which are about as meaningful for non playoff teams as spring numbers.

He may be fast, but Schafer is also capable of stealing bases. I really don’t think Anderson will have a sustainable pro career. In my opinion, he’s a AAAA kind of guy. I may be wrong, and he has earned the opportunity to prove it, but I just don’t foresee the guy effectively addressing his poor on base percentage numbers.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:33 pm

Escobar grounds out.

FYI – Taking a break now.

MLB announcers say the stadium is sold out.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:33 pm

Jay, the wind’s blowing left to right here today, so for Sammons to hit that where he did, it was a pretty good shot regardless of how much it clear the fence by.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:36 pm

Reyes about to pitch his second inning, after a first that wasn’t as bad as line might indicate.

GILES leads off and reaches second on E7, fly that bounced off Diaz’s glove in the L-C gap. he was underneath it, got to it well, but it just bounced out of the palm of his glove.

In the Phillies’ first:

Gave up a leadoff infield hit to Donald, then Bruntlett hit a 4-3 that Kelly bobbled.

Ibanez singled in a run before he struck out Howard looking, then Werth reached on an E6

Rodney Derrick

March 11th, 2009
1:37 pm

DOB– Welcome back! Carroll was great…and undefeated. Both you and Carroll have referenced Jimy Williams teaching Braves bunting, yet there has yet to be a story about him being back with the Braves. Perhaps Bobby’s best bench coach ever and a terrific baseball man, but maybe not the best at being a manager so far. What is his status?
Also, Reyes showed last year that he is a pretty good hitter; I believe Bobby used him a few times as a pinch hitter.

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:38 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Dave.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:40 pm

OMG Frenchy finally threw somebody out!

Random

March 11th, 2009
1:40 pm

HAH!!!!!, you Francoeur haters — HAH!!!!!,

Bobby's Cox

March 11th, 2009
1:41 pm

Anyone see how the Cubans gripe at each other all game long?

Comparing that to Escobar, I feel a lot better about the kid now. He’s come a long way from what I saw last night….

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:41 pm

Giles thrown out on baserunning mistake, tried to score on routine single to right, out by a mile….

Having said that earlier about Sammons’ homer, I should add that the ball does really fly out of here, especially on a hot, dry day like this.

“Dave, you could probably hit one out of here today,” Glenn Hubbard said to me at the cage, and I don’t think he meant that as a compliment necessarily.

During BP, Prado hit one on top of the thatched-roof bar “Frenchy’s” (that’s the name of it, honest) that’s above the left-field seats. Prado’s really smoking balls this spring. (I asked Pendleton, and he agreed with me that Prado’s a little stronger. “He can hit,” said Pendleton, who’s always been a big supporter of Prado. “He can hit.”

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:42 pm

Francouer haters A.K.A. Jeff321

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:43 pm

Hey cphizzle — I acknowledged he threw somebody out. What else do you want?

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:44 pm

i caught a hint of sarcasim in that acknowledgement of yours

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:45 pm

Rodney, Jimy doesn’t have a title, so you can call him a spring-training special instructor. Sort of like Phil Niekro (Knucksie’s also in camp, helping out here and there, talking to the kids, helping his nephew learn the knuckleball in minor league camp, etc.)

As has been noted, the Braves tentatively plan to have Greg Maddux as an instructor next spring. (He’s serving in a similar role with the Padres this spring; Bobby Cox said Padres beat him to the punch.)

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:45 pm

I love to hear about the kids laying down good bunts for hits. Schafer just layed down a beauty. He’s 2-2 today.

Poco Springfield

March 11th, 2009
1:45 pm

I’m also not a fan of just handing the CF job to Anderson, but I would prefer the job go to Blanco.

A .371 OBP from the leadoff spot gets us started off in the right direction. I like our chances with someone getting on base 37% of the time in front of Yunel/KJ and Chipper. Anderson has no chance to have that high of an OBP.

Bravely going forward

March 11th, 2009
1:45 pm

Dave, how many homers have the Braves had so far this spring?

Bravely going forward

March 11th, 2009
1:46 pm

Is there anywhere we can go to see the stats for spring training for each player?

toga party

March 11th, 2009
1:46 pm

If DOB could hit one out today, I’d love to see what Shane’s grandmother could do. That girl can rake.

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:46 pm

SB for Shafer.

Runnin

March 11th, 2009
1:47 pm

Schafer’s shoulder must be alright the way he’s flying around.

Bobby's Cox

March 11th, 2009
1:47 pm

If TP can get Anderson on base with 2 strikes, and Jimmy gets Anderson to take advantage of some 3rd basemen playing deep, then you’ve got to like Anderson hitting leadoff. He’s shown he can hit over .300, so if can use his speed, what’s not to like?

It kinda sucks that there’s so many guys that can play CF (blanco had a great winter season and looks good in the WBC too, and Schafer is looking sharp as well). But, I see this as a good problem to have.

If Anderson gets the job solely because he’s out of options, I have no problem with that because I think he will produce, and this team has been needing a fast leadoff guy. I’m glad Cox is ready to utilize some speed.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
1:48 pm

Well, I can assure you there was no sarcasm intended.

Btw, you do know he failed to throw somebody out earlier right? Now, I can’t be for sure what was going on while relying on radio coverage. However, I noticed the Frenchy lovers didn’t exactly say much about that one, eh.

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:48 pm

aint that the truth toga party? they would have to activate the mercy rule if she was in the line up

Random

March 11th, 2009
1:49 pm

winterville (1:28 pm): “MLB always does that. If it’s a walk, it’s 4 pitches, a K is 3 and a groundout or hit is 1.”

Hmm — not sure what you mean. That’s not been my experience — maybe ST is different. (I did notice the’re not showing pitch counts where they normally do among the pitchers’ stats under the boxscore.)

(Reviewing the first 3 innings, I think I see what you mean. Sammons’ AB in the second would seem to be an exception.)

Thanks!

cvbraves

March 11th, 2009
1:49 pm

Bravely going forward: Go to Braves page and under stats, go to spring training.

Epinephrine

March 11th, 2009
1:49 pm

Schafer making his case. I like it.

Bobby's Cox

March 11th, 2009
1:50 pm

Looks like Schafer has learned a few things as well….

What to do, what to do…

MFin04

March 11th, 2009
1:51 pm

Francoeur in batting .190? That cannot be good.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:51 pm

Francoeur just lined a sac fly to center field, Braves up 4-1.

He’s hit two balls with authority today.

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:51 pm

hey you rareback and hope for the best Jeff321…you win some you lose some. frenchy gets his fair share of people at the plate, dang good arm.

Bravely going forward

March 11th, 2009
1:51 pm

cvbraves: thanks, i thought i’d looked there

Random

March 11th, 2009
1:52 pm

Bravely going forward (1:46 pm): “Is there anywhere we can go to see the stats for spring training for each player?”

Here, at braves.com.

Tomahawk210

March 11th, 2009
1:52 pm

Schafer for CF! Power,speed,arm,average,glove.

GSU-Lee

March 11th, 2009
1:52 pm

DOB

Where does Schafer stack up speed wise with Anderson and Blanco?

DWW

March 11th, 2009
1:53 pm

Still no stikeouts for French?

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
1:53 pm

it is going to be interesting who bobby picks(besides his nose) to patrol cf, looks like he has got some options

AdirondackDave

March 11th, 2009
1:54 pm

MFin04 — Frenchy was hitting .111 last week. Cut the guy a little slack, we’re 3 weeks into spring training. This can still be a turnaround year for him.

Tomahawk210

March 11th, 2009
1:55 pm

What did KJ and Norton do?

gypsyt-man

March 11th, 2009
1:55 pm

DOB: If Blanco had a “solid .366 OBP” but Anderson had an “unimpressive .338 OBP” what is the statistical difference (e.g., hits vs. ABs) that would make a mere .026 seperation solid or impressive?

Epinephrine

March 11th, 2009
1:56 pm

Anyone looking at someone’s spring training batting average, over the first two weeks no less-and drawing conclusions deserves ridicule. It couldn’t mean less. Even for people battling for positions, the first two weeks should be written off. But for regulars working on things-why would you possibly care?

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:56 pm

The thing I’m liking about Francouer’s new stance is he’s not trying to do too much. Just putting the bat on the ball and it’s working so far. He was down 0-2 and still didn’t K when last year you could’ve bounced a ball in the left batters box and he would’ve swung! Great improvement.

AdirondackDave

March 11th, 2009
1:57 pm

Actually, I’d like to see Anderson, Schafer, and Frenchy start the season in the outfield with G. Anderson as 4th outfielder.

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:58 pm

“What did KJ and Norton do?”

Johnson K’d

Norton BB

Bobby's Cox

March 11th, 2009
1:58 pm

Schafer is faster than Blanco, but slower than Anderson.

However, seems like he’s faster than he’s been in the past. Guess those speed workouts he did in the offseason did him some good.

One thing about Schafer, kid works hard.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:58 pm

Jo-Jo finding his spots, just struck out Bruntlett and Ibanez (looking) to start the third. Brings up Howard.

cvbraves

March 11th, 2009
1:58 pm

Tomahawk210: Believe Norton flied out for first out of inning. KJ struck out on pitch that Schafer stole second.

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
1:59 pm

Reyes sounds like he’s settling in

ease19

March 11th, 2009
1:59 pm

Jason Heyward leads the Braves with 6 strikeouts. Frenchy has zero as well as Escobar. But of course, it is still ST.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
1:59 pm

Howard lined the first pitch for what looked like it’d be a double down RF line, but Norton made a great leaping catch to snag it and end the inning quickly.

Epinephrine

March 11th, 2009
1:59 pm

Gypsyt-.300 is the mendoza line for OBP, and honestly, .330 is a better floor. Those that hover around .330 OBPs are doing a poor, but just passable job of getting on base. A .350+ OBP means they are doing a pretty solid job of getting on base. Why would you downplay a “mere .026″? DO you think there is no difference between hitting a BA of .280 and .254? A mere .026 difference? You need to familiarize yourself with the meaning of statistics before you criticize them.

Ralph Cramden

March 11th, 2009
2:00 pm

Ralph Kramden

March 11th, 2009
2:01 pm

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
2:02 pm

Jo-Jo scares me. It was just last year late in the season that i remember Joe Simpson saying that it was time for Reyes to prove himself and he never did. He and Charlie Morton both have to show us something earlier or i would have to look at other options. With that being said, Jo-Jo has been great this spring.

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
2:02 pm

Are you kidding me? Sammons just HOMERED AGAIN on a 1-0 pitch. two homers in two at-bats.

Bobby's Cox

March 11th, 2009
2:03 pm

gypsyt-man,

defense, speed, stolen bases, arm, teasing opposing pitchers on the bases, getting more fastballs for your 2-4 hitters to hit, scoring from 1st on doubles, etc…

PWHjort

March 11th, 2009
2:03 pm

Wow. Sammons. 2HR.

DWW

March 11th, 2009
2:03 pm

sammons hr again

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
2:03 pm

Sammons hits another jack.

rickman

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

I’ve been really impressed with the Braves pitching this spring. As long as we can stay healthy in the starting rotation I think we can make a run

Rodney Derrick

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

DOB– Thanks for the info on Jimy Williams. As for Bobby recruiting Mad Dog for coaching next spring and hearing that he is feeling great and very happy about the young guys in camp, it sounds like he is planning on managing several more years, maybe retiring with Chipper.

PWHjort

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

HAHA. Jo Jo Reyes. ANOTHER HIT.

cphizzle

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

Think i just answered my own question with that last Sammons homer! Yes, we will be carrying three catchers on the ol roster! Thataboy Clint!

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

Diory lined a single to CF before the Sammons homer.

…. and Reyes singles after the Sammons homer. Two hits in two at-bats for Jo-Jo, two homers in two at-bats for Sammons. Sounds about right.

rickman

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

Brian who??? Haha

DWW

March 11th, 2009
2:04 pm

jo jo 2 for 2

Jay212033

March 11th, 2009
2:05 pm

Um………Ross or Sammons?!?! Also Reyes with another hit!

GSU-Lee

March 11th, 2009
2:05 pm

Epinephrine, .200 is the Mendoza line

PWHjort

March 11th, 2009
2:05 pm

I hope Bobby and Chipper retire in the same year then Eddie Perez takes over as manager and Brian McCann becomes the captain.

Bubdylan

March 11th, 2009
2:06 pm

Well, Corky Miller’s psyche just took another dive.

booch27

March 11th, 2009
2:06 pm

what are Sammons options…does he have any still?

Bravesologist

March 11th, 2009
2:06 pm

The amount of strikeouts a batter has really doesn’t mean much. The fact that Heyward has 6 k’s and Francoeur has 0 has no bearing on the fact that Heyward is completely outplaying him this spring. Regardless Francoeur will be in RF, but if I were the Braves dealing with Anderson’s injury I would seriously consider starting Diaz, Schafer, and Anderson as the outfield to start the season. Diaz’s bat is better than Francoeur’s, Schafer is too good in center and offensively to not be playing regularly and Anderson has outplayed Francoeur this spring and last year as well. It’s time to put the best on the field and let the politics go.

MFin04

March 11th, 2009
2:07 pm

Well thats good Francouer isnt striking out…too bad he isnt hitting either.

PWHjort

March 11th, 2009
2:07 pm

Clint Sammons has options, yes.

Jeff321

March 11th, 2009
2:07 pm

Better yet, should Bobby Cox be allowed to continue managing if this team finishes in “third” or “worse” for the fourth straight year?!

MiamiBrave

March 11th, 2009
2:08 pm

Don’t recall seeing this posted so here goes, from foxsports.com Dayn Perry showing Braves rotation some love:

The notion: Braves have best rotation in East
Reality: Indeed they do. They lost John Smoltz to Boston and Tim Hudson to reconstructive elbow surgery, but GM Frank Wren did a nifty job of rebuilding the rotation. Derek Lowe is a safe bet for 200-plus innings, a sub-4.00 ERA, and loads of ground balls. Javier Vazquez is underrated and could thrive in a home park that’s less homer-friendly than U.S. Cellular Field. Kenshin Kawakami will be a reliable innings eater in the four hole, and Jair Jurrjens is one of the top young starters in the game. If Tom Glavine has nothing left, then Tommy Hanson — who’s the best pitching prospect in baseball not named David Price — should be ready to step in. The Braves don’t have a starter as good as the Mets’ Johan Santana or the Phillies’ Cole Hamels, but those two clubs lack the Braves’ rotation depth. The days of stellar starting pitching in Atlanta are here again.

Bravesologist

March 11th, 2009
2:08 pm

I also highly doubt we would carry 3 catchers, regardless of how well Sammons does. With Prado, Infante, Norton, and Diaz practically guaranteed spots there would be no room for another catcher and really no reason to add another catcher.

cvbraves

March 11th, 2009
2:08 pm

No way can/will carry 3 catchers on 25-man roster this year, IMO.

MiamiBrave

March 11th, 2009
2:09 pm

DOB Question for you

Is Eddie Perez in camp or with team Venezuela? Just wondering. Thanks

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