Schafer, other Braves kids shining

   Jupiter, Fla – The Braves are going to lose again, and probably soon. They are. That’s the way it works.
That said, you gotta say it’s been an impressive first month of spring training for the Bravos, even if you believe this stuff down here means next to nothing in the big picture.
   The Braves have avoided major injuries and produced strong pitching and improved hitting while reeling off 10 consecutive wins since their two best players left for the World Baseball Classic.
   When Chipper Jones and Brian McCann return, this really does have the potential to be a solid lineup top-to-bottom.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
    And that’s not to mention Garret Anderson, whose absence is easy to overlook because he hurt his calf before ever actually playing his first Grapefruit League game, and also because Matt Diaz and the young guys have played so well that left field looks to be in good hands regardless.
Speaking of young guys, Jordan Schafer is the real thing, folks. We’ve said that before, I realize, but I just want to emphasize it again.
  Everyone who’s seen him down here, including team officials, raves about how hard the young center field plays the game, how much energy he brings to the table, along with sheer talent.
   I heard someone at the batting cage today compare him to Philly’s Shane Victorino, in th way that they both fly around the bases, take the extra base, go hard after balls in the outfield, and on and on.
  I thought it was a great comparison.
   Victorino provides a spark for the Phillies, an intangible that team members will tell you was crucial to their winning the World Series. It’s infectious.
   It’s too early to say that Schafer can do that right away for the Braves, but the potential is there. It’s obvious when you see Schafer take the extra base every single time he has a chance to, and sometimes even when he doesn’t.
   As Terry Pendleton and Marlins special asst. Tony Perez both said about Yunel Escobar when I talked to them yesterday for a story I’m doing in a couple of days: You’d much prefer overexcitement and too much enthusiasm to lack of same. You can rein it in eventually, but you can rarely pump it into a kid that lacks it.
   They weren’t talking about Schafer, but he, too, plays with an abandon, a spark. He doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve the way that Escobar has at times (that’s the thing that’s agitated some umps and opponents about Escobar, but it’s also something he’s worked to improve, and continues to work on).
   But they both play with a fire, and that’s something that most Braves I’ve talked to love to see.
   As for this season, it’s too soon to know if the Braves can stay in the race all the way through the summer. If I had to guess, I’d say they can and probably will, simply because the pitching is so much better, deeper, healthier than last season.
   But whether or not the Braves get back to the postseason this year, anyone who objectively looks at their organization and all its young talent would have to agree that the Braves are poised for some good seasons ahead.
   The thing that’s so different about guys like pitcher Tommy Hanson and 19-year-old prospects Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, and several other Braves prospects in camp, is how they don’t look overmatched in these spring games.
   In my years covering baseball, I’ve seen so many top prospects get invited to big-league camp, or have it written in their contracts that they must be invited, and when they get here they’re so clearly in over their heads that it’s all the manager can do to get them in some games in the late innings and hope they don’t embarrass themselves before they get shipped out with the first roster cuts.
Not these guys. They’re not just keeping their heads above water, they’re helping the Braves win:
   — Hanson is second in the NL with 11 strikeouts in 10-2/3 innings, and that’s not including the three he had in three innings against Panama.
  – Freeman has hit .304 with a homer and seven RBI in 23 at-bats.
  – Heyward has hit .304 with a homer in 23 at-bats, and provided much enjoyment for all with his tape-measure bombs during batting practice (and two during an intrasquad game).
  – Infielder Diory Hernandez has hit .304 with four RBIs in 23 at-bats (yes, all three of those kids have hit .304 in 23 at-bats, it’s not a typo).

   And then there’s Schafer. Kid missed 10 days with a sprained shoulder (the result of going hard after a fly ball), and all he’s done since he returned is go 5-for-11 with four doubles and a magnificent catch in Friday’s game).

Schafer

Schafer

  He’s hit .364 (8-for-22) with a team-high nine runs in only six games this spring, and also has a team-high three stolen bases, which is two more than anyone else on the team including Josh Anderson.
  It was widely assumed entering camp that Anderson was the clear frontrunner for the center-field job, in part because he had the most experience and speed, and also because he was out of minor-league options.
    But Schafer, who isn’t on the major league roster, is giving the Braves some reason for serious debate. I mean, if he plays the way he has the past few days, might the Braves decide they’d be a better team with him on it?
   We’ll see. It’s going to be interesting.
   Meanwhile, the Braves are about to play the Cardinals, with a 10-game winning streak (nine-game Grapefruit League streak) on the line. Hey, it’s only spring training, and the results will be forgotten in a few weeks.
   But it’s still nicer to win these games than lose them, particularly when you’re doing it in the manner the Braves are doing it, leading the NL in both team batting average (.306) and team ERA (3.18).
   They’ve hit 15 homers and given up two homers. They’ve struck out a league-low 65 times, while their pitchers have recorded 91 strikeouts, which ain’t bad for a staff with a lot of groundball pitchers and few strikeout artists.

 

Today’s lineups (Braves so confident they’ll let Cards use DH while they have Kawakami hit for himself. Actually, Bobby just likes to have his pitchers get used to hitting, and doesn’t know why any NL teams use the DH in the spring).

BRAVES
1. Josh Anderson, CF
2. Omar Infante, SS
3. Kelly Johnson, 2B
4. Casey Kotchman, 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Matt Diaz, LF
7. Martin Prado, 3B
8. David Ross, C
9. Kenshin Kawakami, RH

CARDINALS
1. Skip Schumaker, 2B
2. Rick Ankiel, DH
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Chris Duncan, LF
5. Ryan Ludwick, RF
6. Khalil Greene, SS
7. Joe Mather, 3B
8. Jason LaRue, C
9. Colby Rasmus, CF

(Former Braves RH Adam Wainwright is pitching)

– We’ll close with a classic from a terrific singer-songwriter and member of the Flatlanders.

Joe Ely (left) and Ryan Bingham

Joe Ely (left) with young buck Ryan Bingham

“LETTER TO LAREDO” by Joe Ely

As I was rolling across the Mississippi
I stopped there and I cried
No use for a man to keep a mighty river
All dammed up inside

I jumped bail from the Sweetwater County
Now I’m on the run
On my head is a five number bounty
For a crime I never done

Take this letter to Laredo
To the one I love
Tell her to stay low
Beneath the stars above
Her love is my only alibi
It’s for her love I lied
Yeah, yeah, yeah

“Why did Frankie have to pull that trigger?
Why did you have to hide?
The sheriff still thinks I was standing with her
It’s for your love I lied.”

“Love will make a free man a prisioner
Will make an honest man lie
Love can be tough, love can be tender
It’s my only alibi”

Take this Letter to Laredo
To the one I love
Tell her to stay low
Beneath the stars above
Her love is my only alibi
It’s for her love I lied
Yeah, yeah…

Take this letter to letter to Laredo
Tell her to stay low
Her love is my only alibi
It’s for her love I lied
Yeah, yeah…

466 comments Add your comment

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:18 pm

so is J Anderson faster than Schafer?

Mark Twine

March 14th, 2009
1:20 pm

If ut fly’s it dies!!!….even in ST

Steve from OH

March 14th, 2009
1:23 pm

Great blog, DOB. Has Cox given you any memorable quotes on Marek?

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:23 pm

Glad I’m not making the decision between Anderson/Schafer.

Bubdylan

March 14th, 2009
1:26 pm

Bases loaded for David Ross. One out.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
1:28 pm

K.K. Fly out to 2B to end inning.

Mark Twine

March 14th, 2009
1:28 pm

i think it should be between blanco and schafer in cf, i know j anderson does not have any options left…i wonder what kind of trade value, if any, j anderson has

DiamondbackMac

March 14th, 2009
1:29 pm

McFann

Happy 3.14 to you too.

Bobby's Belly

March 14th, 2009
1:30 pm

DOB – What’s the chance of keeping 5 OF’s until Glavine is needed few weeks into season.

18 Wheels of Love

March 14th, 2009
1:30 pm

Faith No More lead in on the radio broadcast…nice.

TnBrian

March 14th, 2009
1:31 pm

With all of the talent coming up, I’d like to see Cox stay around for at least two more years to help guide them into MLB. I don’t care about his stubborness, he’s the best when it comes to helping young guys with confidence.

Schafer and Anderson will be a tough decision for Atl, but I have a feeling Schafer will be our opening day CF. Anderson might be used as trade bait which would be a shame, but Schafer just seems to be too much for JA to compete with.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:33 pm

op Half
B:0 S:0 O:0 – Casey Kotchman singles on a ground ball to center fielder Colby Rasmus.
B:0 S:0 O:0 – Jeff Francoeur singles on a ground ball to center fielder Colby Rasmus. Casey Kotchman to 2nd.
B:0 S:3 O:1 – Matt Diaz called out on strikes.
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Martin Prado singles on a ground ball to center fielder Colby Rasmus. Casey Kotchman to 3rd. Jeff Francoeur to 2nd.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – David Ross pops out to first baseman Albert Pujols on the infield fly rule.
B:0 S:0 O:3 – Kenshin Kawakami pops out to second baseman Skip Schumaker.

DukeBoy

March 14th, 2009
1:37 pm

Francouer base hit…nice.

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
1:41 pm

Kawakami is getting knocked around. Francoeur just saved a run at the plate. Of all our pitchers, I am by far most nervous about Kawakami,

My levels of certainty are:
Lowe
Vasquez
Jurrjens
Glavine
Kawakami

And unfortunately, I don’t feel a lot of certainty from Jurrjens on down. JJJ absolutely must avoid a sophomore slump for this team to succeed. With Morton, Reyes and Hanson we can afford some road bumps with Glav and KK. Time will tell.

tomachop

March 14th, 2009
1:42 pm

if shafer keeps stealing more bases than anderson it will be counterproductive to keep him out of the lineup

Bobby's Belly

March 14th, 2009
1:42 pm

I’m obviously pro Hanson and Schafer. But there is a spot for Josh Anderson and it’s as 4th OF’er. Coming off the bench late to run, play D would be a nice spark for this team. FW would need to fall on his sword a bit, but it’s the right thing to do. OK to make a mistake, it’s denying it that’s the problem. This is the year to get the kids ready for the next 3-4. Options, Arb clocks be damned.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
1:43 pm

Only one of those balls was hit hard in the second, the single by Schumaker to RF. Fortunately for Kawakami, Francoeur was there. They didn’t test his arm, and he made a one-bounce throw home that would’ve nailed the runner if he’d gone.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:43 pm

Bottom Half
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Ryan Ludwick flies out to center fielder Josh Anderson.
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Khalil Greene singles on a fly ball to right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Colby Rasmus singles on a bunt ground ball to third baseman Martin Prado. Khalil Greene to 2nd.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – Joe Mather flies out to center fielder Josh Anderson.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – Jason LaRue singles on a line drive to left fielder Matt Diaz. Khalil Greene scores. Colby Rasmus to 2nd.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – Skip Schumaker singles on a line drive to right fielder Jeff Francoeur. Colby Rasmus to 3rd. Jason LaRue to 2nd.
B:0 S:0 O:3 – Rick Ankiel flies out to center fielder Josh Anderson.

Mike

March 14th, 2009
1:45 pm

KK gave up a couple of cheap hit there – one a broken bat bloop. I wouldn’t call that getting knocked around.

cvbraves

March 14th, 2009
1:45 pm

KK not really getting knocked around any more than Wainwright.

Mekons

March 14th, 2009
1:45 pm

Arb clocks be damned.

You won’t be saying that when they leave via free agency a year early.

Interested Observer

March 14th, 2009
1:46 pm

I have a feeling we may be seeing Ross anointed as Kawakami’s catcher. As long as you want your BUC to catch one pitcher it makes some sense being that Ross has been in camp the whole time and has caught a number of Japanese pitchers before.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:47 pm

Top Half
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Josh Anderson bunt grounds out, pitcher Adam Wainwright to first baseman Albert Pujols.
B:0 S:3 O:2 – Omar Infante strikes out swinging.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:47 pm

B:0 S:0 O:3 – Kelly Johnson grounds out to first baseman Albert Pujols.

Mike

March 14th, 2009
1:48 pm

I wonder if Frank is second guessing the signing of G. Anderson right now?

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
1:48 pm

Obviously I’m not watching the game, but the announcers made it sound like both the Schumaker and LaRue singles were hard. Anyway, we’ll see, but I’m nervous about Kawakami being a what we hope. Again, time will tell. No use arguing about it.

Josh B

March 14th, 2009
1:50 pm

Ok say the Braves do decide that they are ok without Garrett Anderson, don’t they have a certain time period that they can void the contract and just have to pay the portion of it?

High Heat

March 14th, 2009
1:50 pm

KK may not have given up a run there in the regular season as pitcher would have been up instead of LaRue.

cvbraves

March 14th, 2009
1:50 pm

JJ must be going nuts with the Nederland giving Ven all they can handle, 1-1 in bot of 3rd.

mbatl

March 14th, 2009
1:51 pm

“Of all our pitchers, I am by far most nervous about Kawakami,”

Epinehprine, who knows what to expect from him. Actually, I’m pretty impressed that with a different sized baseball, a new country, entirely new culture and approach to the game, he’s done pretty well. Not predicting greatness for him, but seems like he’s off to a pretty good start, all things considered.

Interested Observer

March 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

Damn, I just figured out the game is on XM radio, it wasn’t on the schedule yesterday.

bravesfan54

March 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

I said it before ST – will do so again, this is a solid team – and, importantly, a deep team. Top to bottom. Excellent pithing with starting, middle/long relief, and closers. Good mix of youth and experience, and, alas, age. Good defense, strongest bench in baseball – longest bench too, reaches all the way to Gwinnet where our AAAAA players wait for the call. Defense is more than solid, if less than splendid. Improvement with speed, which is still not where it should be.

The negatives: lack of power,lack of power, lack of… I can’t look at the team composition and see anyone but McCann as a likely 20+ HR. Chipper and Frenchy have possibilities, but not expectations. I do see lots,and lots of extra base hits. Also, it appears we are an easy mark to “run on”. (Will throw out less than 20% of base-stealers, not good at all, but not fatal, given all of our strengths.

Intangibles: This team will get the that moves the runner over, the double that puts ‘em on 2nd and 3d, or drives 2 in, when we were already ahead. We’ll drive in the runner when needed.

Another positive: lots of players on the cusp of free agency, players who can move to starting positions here or elsewhere. We’re deep on the farm, and have excellent trade opporunities. Right now, other than a power bat should Garrett falter medically.

Question marks: Chipper’s and Garret’s durability (but we are covered on Chipper – but would miss Garret’s bat big-time over 162). Glavine’s usefulness (does he have 15 quality starts left in him?)and Francouer’s return to productivity. I am negative on the former, highly positive on the latter.

This team should win 95 games, and not be exhausted for the post-season.

Bubdylan

March 14th, 2009
1:52 pm

Sounds like Kawakami’s getting his fastball down at the knees where Roger asked him to.

Mekons

March 14th, 2009
1:53 pm

G. Anderson’s contract is guaranteed.

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

There is absolutely no reason to regret the Garrett Anderson signing. Are you guys insane? The biggest problem with our outfield last year was it’s lack of production. Garrett Anderson brings guaranteed production and decent power. He is an extremely underrated power that will bring a veteran presence and a decent number of home runs to a abysmal outfield. And you guys want to drop Garrett Anderson for Josh? So we can get a AAAA player who has consistently put up sub-par OBP percentage numbers? It doesn’t matter if he is fast when he has a definite problem getting on base. As for Diaz, I love him, but there is good reason to suspect he can’t put up his high numbers in a non-platoon role.

I can absolutely guarantee FW doesn’t regret signing Garrett Anderson. The outfield should be Anderson (Diaz when he needs rest) in LF, Schafer in CF, Frency in RF. Whether or not it is in April, I’m willing to wager it will be by June. And that is a good outfield. Subtract G Anderson, though, and you have a probable achilles heel.

Mike

March 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

Does anyone know what the deal is with getting tickets for the 6/19 game in Boston? It looks like most other games are available for purchasing tickets – but I can’t get tickets for that entire Braves v. Red Sox series.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

Bottom Half
B:0 S:0 O:0 – Defensive Substitution: Brooks Conrad replaces second baseman Kelly Johnson, batting 3rd, playing second base.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:55 pm

B:0 S:0 O:1 – Albert Pujols pops out to first baseman Casey Kotchman in foul territory.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – Chris Duncan grounds out, second baseman Brooks Conrad to first baseman Casey Kotchman.
B:0 S:0 O:3 – Ryan Ludwick flies out to left fielder Matt Diaz.

Josh B

March 14th, 2009
1:56 pm

Ok so this is probably going to come out racist, but I don’t mean it to be. Do you think that the main reason the Braves signed him is because he is an African American and they just had to have one on the team? I think that the Braves have alot better internal options than Anderson.

Bobby's Belly

March 14th, 2009
1:57 pm

95 wins? Not even if we were in the NL West.

Shawn G

March 14th, 2009
1:57 pm

You guys do realize if we let Schaefer sit in AAA for a few weeks (Longoria came up April 12th) we get an ENTIRE extra year of his services. You guys need to relax.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Francoeur just hit a sharp single to left on a 2-1 pitch

Bubdylan

March 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Atta boy, Frenchy.

get2dchopper

March 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Base hit Francoeur. He’s on fire.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
1:59 pm

I’m a believer….

KC

March 14th, 2009
2:00 pm

Francoeur with 6 hits in his last 8 AB’s. The new guy (blanking out on his name) just said that he doesn’t think he’s seen Francoeur swing at a pitch this spring that wasn’t in the strike zone.

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
2:00 pm

Ok, thanks **Josh B**. Before I was wondering if you were insane. Now we all know you are just not at all intelligent. Here’s a tip: go to baseball reference and compare Garrett’s numbers with Josh Anderson’s. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see one is legit and the other isn’t very good. Race shouldn’t even enter into the discussion.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:00 pm

Diaz single to left, runners on the corners against Wainwright with Prado batting and one out in the fourth, Braves trailing 1-0

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:01 pm

Prado bounced a single through the middle of the infield to drive in tying run

tomachop

March 14th, 2009
2:01 pm

we will keep g anderson. Can never have too many bats on the bench.

High Heat

March 14th, 2009
2:01 pm

Josh B — Couldn’t be that the guy has 2400 hits and is a proven commodity, could it?

KC

March 14th, 2009
2:01 pm

Bobby’s Belly, I’m betting the Braves win at least 88 games this year (and I think they could do much better). Would you care to take that bet?

Mekons

March 14th, 2009
2:02 pm

Anderson was signed because he was the best available option. He’s a far better player than Josh.

Josh B

March 14th, 2009
2:02 pm

I am not talking about him and J. Anderson I am talking about Matt Diaz. He has provided alot of reason to think that he could be a reliable hitter, and then have Josh Anderson there for the Bench.

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
2:03 pm

KC I’d be with you if last year hadn’t happen. I would have sworn 90+ wins last year. Then the team got devastated with injuries. Who knows how it will play out this year-but I can see I feel good heading in to the season.

get2dchopper

March 14th, 2009
2:03 pm

Did Chip Caray just say Chipper is only good for 15 homers this year? Oh my…

18 Wheels of Love

March 14th, 2009
2:03 pm

DOB, is this a slow ST for trades? Not just the Braves, but I seem to remember more trades during ST the last few years. Is this due to the late signings or the WBC? Or am I just remembering incorrectly?

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

Ross struck out with two on, second time he’s left it up to Kawakami with two outs and multiple runners on (other time bases were loaded)

nitram odarp

March 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

whats wrong with keeping matty diaz as the 4th outfielder

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

Oh great call. Get rid of Garrett Anderson, a guaranteed .290+, 15 HR+ guy, so we can platoon Josh Anderson and Matt Diaz. Any other suggestions?

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:04 pm

K.K. grounds out to SS to end inning, score 1-1

KC

March 14th, 2009
2:05 pm

Chip Caray just said that Brian McCann will give you 15-25 HR’s and Chipper will give you 15.

HUH??? WTF??

McCann only hit 18 a couple years ago in an injury battered season. Aside from an injury, you can count on well over 20 from him every year.

And when was the last time Chipper hit only 15 HR’s in a season??? What the hell is he talking about?

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:05 pm

18 Wheels: Don’t know when you remember a spring training with a flurry of trades in the first weeks. That’s not the usual. Teams go to spring training intending to look at what they’ve got and see what needs they have before making any deals later in spring.

Gil In Mechanicsville

March 14th, 2009
2:06 pm

Watching the WBC game on my new HD TV… If I can get the wife to spill beer down my back I may never have to attend a live game again….

cvbraves

March 14th, 2009
2:06 pm

Is Chip doing the ballgame on radio…I thought it was Don Sutton and Jim Powell.

Josh B

March 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

Im not saying that Garrett Anderson is terrible and will never do anything. I just would be pretty comfortable with having Diaz in left. I think that Garrett Anderson is a great player I’m just a Matt Diaz fan and I think that he could suprise alot of people this year.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:07 pm

We will now shift the bashing from other teams announcers to Chip Caray. That’s what we do around here.

So many questions regarding the outfield in our minds.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:08 pm

B:0 S:0 O:1 – Casey Kotchman grounds out, first baseman Albert Pujols to pitcher Adam Wainwright.
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Jeff Francoeur singles on a line drive to left fielder Chris Duncan.
B:0 S:0 O:1 – Matt Diaz singles on a line drive to left fielder Chris Duncan. Jeff Francoeur to 3rd.

18 Wheels of Love

March 14th, 2009
2:08 pm

I figured it was just me not remembering. I’m projecting what I want to see happen….

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:08 pm

B:0 S:0 O:1 – Martin Prado singles on a ground ball to center fielder Colby Rasmus. Jeff Francoeur scores. Matt Diaz to 2nd.
B:0 S:3 O:2 – David Ross called out on strikes.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:09 pm

B:0 S:0 O:3 – Kenshin Kawakami grounds out, shortstop Khalil Greene to first baseman Albert Pujols.

C's

March 14th, 2009
2:10 pm

Who replaced Diaz in LF this inning?

Tomahawkin

March 14th, 2009
2:10 pm

Josh B, In response to your 1:56 post…

No way…Anderson and Griffey were the best options for the braves budget at the time given it was 1 week into spring training someting had to be done quick…

Shawn G

March 14th, 2009
2:10 pm

If anyone wants to listen…http://radiotime.com/station/s_23106/Fun101_FM_1011.aspx

KC

March 14th, 2009
2:11 pm

Epinephrine, yeah, certainly no one can predict injuries. But if you were insuring the Braves against injuries, you’d have to give them a helluva lot better rate this year than last year, wouldn’t you agree?

Instead of a rotation banking on the likes of Smoltz, Glavine, and Hampton… we’re banking on the likes of Lowe and Vazquez (I know Glavine’s still in there, but we’re not counting on him this season).

I’m perfectly willing to bet that the Braves will finish with a win total at least in the neighborhood of 90 games (88 is a very comfortable mark for wagering purposes). If the Braves have the luck of Wylie E. Cyote again in terms of injuries, I could lose that bet. But otherwise… I’m VERY comfortable putting money on nice season for ATL.

Shawn G

March 14th, 2009
2:11 pm

1-2-3 Bottom 4th

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
2:12 pm

Josh B, you basically insinuated the only reason we signed Garrett Anderson was because he was black. Not because he is a big upgrade over both Josh Anderson and Diaz, but because he is an African American. Again, go to baseball reference. The difference between Garrett and the alternatives are staggering. Forgive me for not taking you seriously any more.

Again, I love Matty Diaz. But we simply can’t rely on him in a full time roll. We tried last year, and he struggled before the injury. He may well turn in to a good everyday player, but you can’t build a team that relies on Matt as your everyday guy.

Also, Kawakami is quickly changing my opinion. Sounds like he is cruising out there.

David-ATL14

March 14th, 2009
2:12 pm

The usual solid work from the Crusading One.

Good to see the regualrs returning to the blog and bravos playing well in ST.

Jim

March 14th, 2009
2:12 pm

Josh B
If G Anderson were not on this team, Diaz would be in a platoon in LF with either B. Jones or G. Blanco. He might then get more ABs against righties, but if Jones or Blanco were to hit like they have this spring, Diaz would probably get less than 1/2 the opportunities than the other.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:13 pm

B:0 S:0 O:0 – Defensive Substitution: Frederick Freeman replaces first baseman Casey Kotchman, batting 4th, playing first base.
B:0 S:0 O:0 – Defensive Substitution: Jason Heyward replaces right fielder Jeff Francoeur, batting 5th, playing right field.
B:0 S:0 O:0 – Defensive Substitution: Brandon Jones replaces left fielder Matt Diaz, batting 6th, playing left field.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:13 pm

B:0 S:0 O:1 – Khalil Greene grounds out, shortstop Omar Infante to first baseman Frederick Freeman.
B:0 S:3 O:2 – Colby Rasmus called out on strikes.
B:0 S:0 O:3 – Joe Mather lines out to first baseman Frederick Freeman.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:14 pm

CVBraves, the regular radio team is Sutton and Powell, but Chip’s doing game with Powell today.

Chip and I looked pretty ridiculous talking on the field before the game, both of us in loud Hawaiian shirts. Meanwhile, Powell made what he called a “rookie mistake” by wearing a red polo shirt — red for a Braves game against the Cardinals. More than half of this big crowd is attired in red Cardinals shirts.

Epinephrine

March 14th, 2009
2:15 pm

I will say I have been impressed with Brandon Jones this spring, and I’m not sure what we do with him. Sounds like he was putting too much pressure on himself last year.

Gil In Mechanicsville

March 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

The fans in Miami look to be in mid-season form. About the same attendance as is seen for the Marlins….

Jim

March 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

Conrad in for KJ
Freeman for Kotchman
Heyward for Francouer
Jones for Diaz

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

Frenchy, B Jones, Schafer, Blanco, AndersonX2. What to do what to do….

Ritchie from Scotland

March 14th, 2009
2:17 pm

So Powell made a rookie mistake and you and Chip both made standard mid-life crisis mistakes ;)

KC

March 14th, 2009
2:18 pm

Brooks Conrad OFFICIALLY has the coolest name in baseball. I don’t know if he’ll materialize into a big leaguer, but he’s got a big league name.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:19 pm

B:0 S:0 O:1 – Josh Anderson grounds out, second baseman Skip Schumaker to first baseman Albert Pujols.
B:0 S:0 O:2 – Omar Infante lines out to center fielder Colby Rasmus.

N Nine (eta22)

March 14th, 2009
2:19 pm

B:0 S:3 O:3 – Brooks Conrad called out on strikes.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:20 pm

Kawakami’s settled in after that rough second ining. Only given up one hit in his other innings.

Cyrus

March 14th, 2009
2:20 pm

Whats the score ?

mbatl

March 14th, 2009
2:20 pm

Epi, your opinion of KK is changing… mine of Frenchy is doing likewise. I’ve been a bigtime skeptic (not a hater… I LIKE the guy just fine), but sooner or later gotta acknowledge what he’s done so far this spring. Hope he can stick with it. Agree with KC and others that if he continues to make contact, the power will eventually come – at least moderate power, not “slugger” power maybe.

As to B Jones, to me, he’s the first guy up in the event of an injury to G Anderson or Francouer. In the meantime, really no harm in having him at AAA for most or all the year. Anderson is almost surely a “one and done” guy, so LF, or at least 4th OF, could well be Brandon’s next year.

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:22 pm

Then Schumaker hits a hard single to center. That’s two well-struck hits for Schumaker against him.

cvbraves

March 14th, 2009
2:22 pm

1-1 in bot of 5th.

Steve McP

March 14th, 2009
2:22 pm

N Nine – your 2.27 forgot Diaz

Steve McP

March 14th, 2009
2:23 pm

spotts

March 14th, 2009
2:23 pm

Ross struck out with bases loaded

And I thought it would be impossible to fill the void left by Pratt and Corky

David O'Brien

March 14th, 2009
2:24 pm

Now he issues a walk.

So much for settling in…

We’ll see if he can get King Albert….

And no he can’t. Albert singles to left, drives in a run for 2-1 lead

get2dchopper

March 14th, 2009
2:24 pm

RBI single Pujols. 2-1 Cards.

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