11:58 am March 15, 2009, by David O'Brien
March 15th, 200912:06 pm
Good blog thanks
1-13 is a kind of like my eating record at the Big Texan, one success in 14 tries at the 72 oz steak…
March 15th, 200912:10 pm
March 15th, 200912:12 pm
After watching last night game……….
I liked the way Peavy came down to earth with style. I wonder how does he really feels now. I can recall him acting as a GOD, as if no team but the Cubs deserved him, the Braves werent good enough for him. He could have been part of a rotation that has the pitcher that shutdown his teamates (Vazquez). I know he will put good numbers again (Peavy), but he learned last night that he is only human and that he has too big a mouth.
On the other hand, USA got pushed around by PR, but it has to be encouraging to all of us Braves fans to see outing after outing how good Vazquez has looked.
March 15th, 200912:13 pm
Anyone here? Someone? Someone Else?
March 15th, 200912:15 pm
Another ex-Brave, Chad Paronto, has also pitched well for them this spring.
Vazquez has looked great in both of his WBC appearances. As I recall, he pitched some Winter League innings too. I’m assuming he’s a guy who can just go and throw it as much as needed (hopefully) without problems.
March 15th, 200912:22 pm
Shamus — Adirondack Dave reporting in.
It’s 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday in 2009, and on the stadium PA here at Dark Star, they’re playing “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers.
Braves Fan in PA
March 15th, 200912:25 pm
DOB, Any news on your favorite bullpen arm. It seems his price is dropping any chance the Braves consider signing Ohman at this point?
March 15th, 200912:28 pm
Yeah DOB? Whats going on with the BIG LEBOWSKI? Ohman is a huge Loogy for us considering boone logan isnt that impressive
Gold Glove voters seriously take offensive stats into account? That’s so dumb.
But it would explain how David Wright keeps winning. I just assumed his parents were on the NL Gold Glove voting team.
March 15th, 200912:31 pm
One ST start under unusual circumstances does not say much of anything about how Peavy OR Vaszquez will fare this year, but one little tidbit that the announcers threw out last night might make us happy that we have Lowe + Yunel, etc. instead of Peavy. In Peavy’s Cy Young season 2 years ago, he never went more than 7 innings in any start. He throws a lot of pitches at max effort.
March 15th, 200912:32 pm
The stadium crew is playing some awesome music today. Skynyrd then some Saturday Night, could the day get any better.
A Duke win against FSU, and a Braves win would make it a perfect day!
March 15th, 200912:37 pm
You are right my friend.
March 15th, 200912:41 pm
March 15th, 200912:42 pm
March 15th, 200912:43 pm
Whew, finally made it. I’m here too.
March 15th, 200912:45 pm
Dave-O, sorry to have missed you on Thursday, my last Grapefruit league game–that was not me at the batting cage. Just returned to Atlanta. Appreciated the feedback on ST observations. Glad to contribute. Will bring you a nice Ybor hand rolled sometime in the future.
Very interested in the progress of young Marek as he seems to have had an impressive spring. Assuming he makes the first cuts-he should. Would love to see an article about him. Especially if he has a shot a being on the opening 25 man roster with Glavine not needed until 4/19.
March 15th, 200912:47 pm
anybody catch Puerto Rico-United States last night? Javier was lights out! Braves rotation now and in the future (barring injuries) could be the best in the NL.
March 15th, 200912:51 pm
ShamusThacker I have a theory that there only about four posters on this blog and they all have multiple personalities who sit around and argue with each other all day. I’m not sure if I’m one of them or not. Hmmmmm
March 15th, 200912:52 pm
Dang, Chipper’s hitless in the WBC.
March 15th, 200912:53 pm
ShamusThacker Could be that you’re one of my personalities, or maybe I’m one of yours. I think I need professional help.
March 15th, 200912:56 pm
Duke Boy, I still think there is a whole lot of uncertainty with our starting rotation. It could be great, or it could be decidedly average.
We know what we have in Lowe, and it will be good. Could be very good.
We don’t know what we have in Vasquez. We know he will probably put up around 200 innings and a bunch of Ks. But will he be the guy that put up an ERA of the low to mid 3s, or the guy that approaches 5? Hopefully playing under Bobby, pitching in the NL, and pitching closer to home will help push him back to the very quality pitcher he has always shown flashes of being. But who knows?
For Jurrjens…dude has struggled a bit this spring, and we should always be wary of a sophomore slump. I am hoping JJJ is the real deal and avoids a slump. He has good stuff, and a great head on his shoulders so he has a lot of things going for him. But the truth is we won’t know until he gets out there and succeeds–especially given his inconsistencies this spring.
We certainly don’t know what we are getting out of Kawakami. Could be a guy with really good stuff who will put up around 200 hundred innings. Could be a guy that never makes the adjustment.
And Glavine…if healthy, an advantage from the 5 spot. If not, a liability.
The good news is we have Hanson, Reyes, and Morton waiting in the wings. Hanson still hasn’t found his form this spring, but nevertheless has been flat out nasty at times. He is the real deal. Reyes may have finally turned the corner–if so, a huge deal for this club. And I actually am still very high on Charlie Morton. He pitched hurt last year without his best stuff, and still kept the Braves in games. When his velocity is touching 96, the sink on his two seamer and his 12-6 curve are impressive stuff. So anyway, despite uncertainty we have guys that can jump in. But with that being said, there is still uncertainty with this rotation.
March 15th, 200912:58 pm
Epinephrine, excellent points
March 15th, 20091:01 pm
Gorkys is among the minor league players brought over for this game. We’ll let you know if he gets in
March 15th, 20091:02 pm
Donk is excited since the team is what 10-3? Gosh he’s close to his dream 162-0 season.
Just like the Braves to be the nest team in baseball on March 15
If just once they could be the best on October 15
Not while Cox is around, that’s for sure
March 15th, 20091:03 pm
1058.38 — Not to worrry… Chipper’s saving them up for us when he returns. Mac on the other hand should be reprimanded for his shameful hits.
March 15th, 20091:04 pm
PHIL STOCKMAN has been released. If you knew him, you’d really feel bad, because that big Aussie is as good a bloke as they come. And hilarious. We’re gonna miss him, for sure.
Eight roster cuts will be announced tomorrow.
March 15th, 20091:05 pm
1058 – to be honest, I am getting a little concerned over Hoss’s struggles at the plate. Obviously the oblique pull did not help matters, but Chipper is at that age where some hitters just suddenly lose that little bit of bat speed that made them special.
I am hopeful to see another .300 season out of him, but so far this spring he has looked completely overmatched at the plate. Hopefully it is just rust and lack of swings.
March 15th, 20091:07 pm
Hate to hear that DOB. Stockman is one of my favs, it is a shame he never really recovered from that injury. Hopefully someone else will sign him and give him a shot.
March 15th, 20091:08 pm
Mike S, Chipper always looks terrible in the early spring. He has only had a few live at bats thanks to the WBC-not every day play like the normal club. He is the least of our concerns.
Lowe is dealing…and the Stros are atrocious.
March 15th, 20091:09 pm
spotts – JETER won I think 3 Gold Gloves recently (04-06 ?) and he outright stinks
It should be the Teachers Pet Glove award
March 15th, 20091:10 pm
Lowe has struck out Matsui and Pence to start the game….
Great play by Kotchman Freeman leaping to his right to stab Berkman grounder, then tossing to lowe covering first for third out….
DiamondbackMac: Regarding your 12:51 p.m. post, iI so, they’re using hundreds and hundreds of different IP addresses and putting in a lot of work to come up with 125 or so different and quite interesting profiles and photos on that Facebook club that Run Heap Run started.
Moylan! I hope he does well.
He’s my favorite&&
I’ve missed him!
March 15th, 20091:12 pm
There is uncertainty at this point with most every rotation. Having Reyes, Hanson, Morton, Parr, etc. at AAA and people like Lowe and Vasquez who have consistently avoided injury and provided 200+ innings in the rotation provides a reasonable assurance that the pitching will be at worst average with reasonable protection against the complete breakdown that occurred last year. I assume that if Glavine is not ready to make his first start, that it will be made by Reyes, not Hanson. Reyes is left handed and I think the Braves want to give him some time in AAA and keep the arb. clock from making its first tick this year. I agree with you on Morton. Before he was shut down, his velocity was topping out at about 91 mph and he did not have the movement on his pitches that he had in his earlier starts. However, he will have to re-establish his prospect status at Richmond this year if he is to fit into the long-term plans of the Braves.
Schafer just pulled an inside fastball onto the top of a tented TV location set up above the RF corner seats. If he’d straightened it out a bit, it would have landed at least 30 feet beyond the fence.
Then he grounded out.
how many pitches did lowe throw in the top half of the inning?
March 15th, 20091:13 pm
i hate to see stockman go, but that’s an open 40-man roster spot … interesting to see who moves in
Any idea where I could hear the broadcast over the internet? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
Too bad about Stockman, just couldn’t keep himself healthy. I wonder if he gets his back figured out, if the Braves might re-sign him to a minor league deal.
March 15th, 20091:14 pm
Epinephrine, yes there is uncertainty. Yes……. last year was a pretty big painful fluke. If you take out pretty much everyone of the starters to injury except 1 most teams would fall apart to that kind of uncertainty. Lowe and Vasquez you pretty much know what they are going to get—pretty much. JJ is more of a wild card than kwami(good enough)—and I think JJ will be pretty solid. Kwami can pitch–even without his best stuff–he is our 4th starter and he will be solid. Glavine—in 23 years been on the disabled list when….oh yeah last year. He is the 5th starter and I simply can’t wait. Even when he has nothing he’ll still won’t be giving into a hitter. It has been a while since the braves were relevant. It just seems like to me the pen is way more uncertain and the lineup…..well….
March 15th, 20091:16 pm
Shame about Stockman. Hope he can get his back fixed and get his career back online.
While on this topic, if Moylan doesnt pitch well today I’m sure someone will suggest it was because of the Stockman release.
March 15th, 20091:19 pm
DOB – re our fellow Antipodean, if he gets his back fixed, does the club pay for that and/or can he come back next year and try out again ?
March 15th, 20091:20 pm
Yes i think we going to see Stockman in Gwinnett, The next to go is Ridgway.
March 15th, 20091:21 pm
I am PUMPED about the season. HUGE BBall fan here, yet in my years in the ATL I have seen the Braves go one and out in the play-offs, WITNESSED the KJ pop-up game first hand, watched Smoltz’s arm fall off, saw AJ go from BEST to WORST( same with JK) and watched this team lose 90 last year. Seems like OLD TIMES. I was a LONG-SUFFERING Royals and Marlins fan as well.
I have REAL HOPE this year. I am projecting wild card, but at LEAST entertainment. Last year was HEART-WRENCHING. I am also a HUGE Escobar fan, and hoping for big things from him. With a rebound from Frankie, a healthy rotation, and some contribution from the KIDS, I should be at LEAST a semi regular in our corporate seats behind first base, assuming Ray’s Restaurants let me get the tickets…LOL.
I am a regular reader of the blog- only contribute on occasion, but ALWAYS here. KC I will be at the opening day kick-off party, same as last year. Let’s TOAST that this one will be better!
Walked Carlos Lee to start second inning, then a broken-bat single for Tejada puts runners on corners with none out and Blum to bat
March 15th, 20091:22 pm
DOB I was just making an attempt at humor. Not very successfully it seems.
I wonder who will be added to the 40 man? Schafer, hopefully.
March 15th, 20091:23 pm
Blum sac fly to left field, terrible throw by Diaz about 12-15 feet off the mark
March 15th, 20091:25 pm
gobravez, why would you add Schafer?? That would start his options, and we don’t want to do that.
March 15th, 20091:26 pm
Erstad just lashed a double that sailed past Diaz. Would’ve taken a good jump and route to get to it, but honestly, he wasn’t even close. Ball went to the wall, drove in a run, Astros up 2-0
DOB, who’s playing 1st? You have freeman in the lineup you posted, but said kotchman made a great play over there…
March 15th, 20091:27 pm
Hey DOB…..I thought you said in the linup section that Freeman was playing 1b?
March 15th, 20091:28 pm
Brian, Because you have to add Schafer to the 40 man to add him to the 25 man roster.
Schafer has done more than enough to win the CF job. Not to mention Anderson is coming back down to earth now.
March 15th, 20091:29 pm
Freeman made the great play at 1B, not Kotchman. I instinctively wrote Kotchman.
March 15th, 20091:31 pm
gobravez, you wouldn’t do that till you absolutely know that you’re going to keep him. As of right now, we don’t know without a shadow of a doubt that he’s going to be on the team. There’s still 3 weeks till the season, so adding Schafer now, doesn’t make any sense.
March 15th, 20091:32 pm
Andy, I actually feel pretty good about both our lineup and our pen. Our pen could be flat out nasty-and I hate to say it, but at least it is a contract year for Soriano…maybe that will give him the extra push he needed. But what we are seeing with Moylan…if he is coming in during the 7th inning, look out.
Our lineup may lack power, but we have tough outs top to bottom, and potential break out years from any one of KJ, Esco, Frenchy, and Kotchman. McCann could also have an absolutely huge year. With Schafer eventually in there as a spark plug…this line up with put up runs.
Why is Will Ohman still a free agent?
Something’s gotta be up; teams wouldn’t normally let a left-handed reliever THAT valuable stay on the market this long (even with such a poor economy).
JerseyGil, I think Stockman will miss a good portion of the season, if not the entire season, with injuries. I hope the Braves would give him another minor league shot should he come back next year injury free. Agree with you on Ridgway, he’s been lousy and the other two LOGYs have been better. We may also see Redmond, and Vlad Nunez go down.
March 15th, 20091:33 pm
Francoeur FIRST STRIKEOUT of the spring. Capellan blew a fastball that Francoeur swung and missed to go to 1-2, then an off-speed pitch that Francoeur was way out in front of.
March 15th, 20091:35 pm
I never thought it was possible for the Capellan for Kolb trade to look any worse.
northbeach Scott: Vlad Nunez can’t get sent down — he’s already down. He’s in minor league camp, been brought over for a bunch of games.
March 15th, 20091:36 pm
Yeah, I noticed it right away. Like I said–Clint Hurdle Syndrome.
March 15th, 20091:37 pm
Francouer has done well this spring but as I have said before he needs to come through with bases loaded sometime to really get over the hump
March 15th, 20091:38 pm
Can anyone claim Stockman if he gets healthy or do we get first shot
Schafer deserves to be in this OF, he can play, eff the “clock” starting to save a few $
why did chip caray say that freeman is #5 on baseball america’s top prospects? That is Heyward, right. Does he always make mistakes like that?
Haha man. I forgot about Dan Kolb. Between him, Reitsma and Ken Ray, good lord. Are people really worried about the pen?
March 15th, 20091:39 pm
Miss St. – 25
Tenn. – 23
March 15th, 20091:40 pm
dogsbrekky, that’s fine if Schafer deserves the spot, but you don’t just add him now. It’s pointless. If you add him and he goes on a slump, you started his clock for nothing. If you add him now and he makes the team, you could have just waited till the last minute to do it. It’s spring training, you don’t need to add a player till you absolutely have to.
March 15th, 20091:41 pm
brian – how much $$$ does it cost to start the clock now on Schafer and Hanson versus waiting say until August ?
March 15th, 20091:43 pm
could cost millions, you start their clock now, they would be eligible for a “super two” arbitration, where as if you start it in August, that’s an extra year till they’re eligible for arbitration.
That’s millions in future contracts that could be saved. It also saves an extra year, in case they struggle.
March 15th, 20091:44 pm
Dogsbrekky-The situation would be analagous to Francoeur’s. He was arbitration eligible for the first time this season after 3 1/2 years instead of just three. In essence, by waiting until August, they can get an extra half year out of the player before they become arbitration or Free Agent eligible.
okay so its not just a $400k contract we are talking then
Thanks for the info brian
Also. Why is Tennessess called the Volunteers?
March 15th, 20091:45 pm
March 15th, 20091:46 pm
I’ve sorta been on the Frenchy hater/fan fence. I’m solidly on the fan side now.
Anybody know if the rumor’s true that Roger Clemens has denied being Roger Clemens?
I would have asked you the question Anyone, or even someone or someone else, just thought I’d ask Anybody for a change of pace…
Shamus-Have you left Anyone Else out of the equation?
Lowe just hit a two-out single into the l-c gap, just beyond the outstretched glove of Carlos Lee. He should’ve had it probably, but Lowe will take that hit gladly.
March 15th, 20091:47 pm
Sure we could save millions by starting him in August…and also we could save ourselves the trouble of playing in October. I’m all for saving money, but if he’s the best man for the job he should be out there. The ultimate goal is winning games with the best team possible, not putting forward the best budget we can. The games in April count just as much as those in September.
Don’t think it has to be “August”. I read that it’s typically about 86 days, so with the late start this year, that would put us around early July.
I have a feeling that Schafer will be on the 25-man on opening day… but there is certainly no reason to put him on the 40-man until we’re ready to make that decision, whether it’s on Opening Day or July or next year.
March 15th, 20091:49 pm
epinephrine, I’m not saying that we don’t put Schafer on the 40 man roster to start the season, I’m just saying we don’t need to do it now. There’s 3 weeks till ST ends, we can wait till then.
March 15th, 20091:51 pm
Lowe with a base hit…very nice… Duke up by 15.
Epinephrine-You’ve only seen about 40 Spring Training At Bats from Schafer-and those not necessarily against the best ML pitching. There’s three weeks left until the season starts and anything could happen in that time. It has yet to be proven-much less proven beyond the shadow of a doubt-that Schafer is ready for his Clock Starting Party. The kid missed a goodly portion of his AA season. We have time AND other options with more experience against said ML pitching.
Lew, Someone Else asked me the same thing.
March 15th, 20091:54 pm
Schafer – The reason I think we give this kid a go now is;
1. He plays like a man on a machine (Pete Rose like)
2. He is super super fast down the base paths
3. He can hit for power
4. He has a good arm
5. He spent his own loot buying an expenisve batting machine to improve himself
6. He spent his own loot paying for sprinting/speed lessons.
Kid outright guns. Josh Anderson I like as well but you do not go for Carrie Fischer if Carrie Underwood is available
dogsbrekky – Tennessee is nicknamed the volunteer state.
March 15th, 20091:55 pm
volunteers – Has something to do with either the Revolutionary War or the Civil. Not sure – Do know they volunteered some as* woopings this past football season
March 15th, 20091:56 pm
They volunteered to shoot Yankees.
No I agree. And if Schafer is in a rut come opening day, by all means put him in AAA. Then ignoring the business side of things would be foolish. But if he’s ready to go, I say let him take the shot. I really don’t think Josh Anderson is an every day MLB center fielder. But that is the whole point of these battles.
March 15th, 20091:57 pm
Epinephrine-In addition, Shafer has less than 300 AB at AA. Josh Anderson has a .315 BA and .363 OBP in 203 ML AB. He has stolen 11 bases and been caught twice-in the bigs. Schafer hasn’t played a single game in the Bigs.
Epinephrine my heart feels the same way you do. I think everything you say about the line up is true. I hope and pray it is true. My head says that left is a big question mark. How much does GA have in the tank? Diaz I love and a big fan—when he gets 9 straight hits all of it. But its been a while since he has been a constant force. Not his fault he’s been injured. CF lots of uncertainty. RF hopefully will be alittle different from the last two years. 3rd solid. SS can be amazing and infuriating. 2nd adv. to good. 1st okay to good? Catcher awesome. Yes I think this lineup could drive in tons of runs. esp. if cf provides a spark al la furcal. But thats still alot more uncertain than our starters. The pen is just one big question mark. But has alot of pieces that could be amazing.
March 15th, 20091:58 pm
ShamusThacker Actually, I think it was because they sent volunteers to fight at the Alamo.
Shamus-Did Anyone answer?
Lew – Your “other options with more experience ” is struggling something fierce w/ the pressure of a ST competition.. Got news for you – the pressure of facing Cole Hamels opening night is far greater. Schafer’s 0-2 today. Both times the stadium was on their feet. He brings similar speed as Anderson and much more of everything else. If you haven’t noticed, this OF could use some pop.
March 15th, 20091:59 pm
Don’t overlook Blanco – he played a fair bit in CF last year and he is having a good WBC. He started well last season (although he tailed off a bit at the end) and might get a look if Anderson does not get the nod.
March 15th, 20092:00 pm
Anybody’s guess Lou….
Chip Caray just came over to our side of the pressbox, reminded me of his late, great dad’s classic intro from the field formerly known as Joe Robbie/Pro Player Stadium. It was something like, “Hello again, everybody. From the banks of the Miccosukee River….”
Last week when I was home, Chip made his first appearance of the spring out here at Dark Star. He called my cell, not knowing that Skip did my voicemail message a couple of years ago, one that I intend to keep on there for a long, long time (it’s awesome, done off the top of his head, about 30 seconds long, something about me at the plate, hitting the ball, then “O’Brien is rounding second, now he’s headed for third, it looks like he’s going to try to score, O’Brien is … out at home. But if you leave a message, he’ll call you back. So long, everybody.”
It’s really good, and he did it without hesitation when I asked him one time in a pressbox somewhere.
Anyway, Chip called my phone last week, and when that message came on, he said he just about cried.
Then he left me a message using a spot-on impersonation of Skip’s voice. It was almost surreal, when I checked my voicemail that afternoon after being in the gym or somewhere.
March 15th, 20092:02 pm
Lew, a significant chunk of Anderson’s good MLB numbers come from September games, which statistically should count for absolutely nothing given that he was playing for bottom dweller teams. Spring numbers and September numbers are meaningless. For the rest of his career-a much better statistical sample-he has put up sub-par OBP numbers. I don’t see why that would change over the course of a regular season. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it will change.
Also, I don’t see how the fact that Schafer hasn’t played in a big league game should be an argument against him…playing in a big league game. Seems a bit circular, no?
March 15th, 20092:04 pm
dogsbrekky – I was wrong.
Tennessee has had several nicknames, but the most popular is “The Volunteer
State.” The nickname originated during the War of 1812 when thousands of Tennesseans
enlisted in response to Governor Willie Blount’s call for volunteers.
March 15th, 20092:05 pm
Chip’s one of the best in the biz.
Bobby’s Belly-SO? Like I said-there’s three weeks left in spring training. Yes, Schafer IS the future for the Braves-if you go back and check, you’ll find that everything I’ve ever said about Schafer-going back to on the scene reports from Dark Star last spring-have been completely positive and enthusiastic. However, Anderson has performed well at the big league level-yes, a small sample size, I admit, though nearly the same sample size as Schafer at AA-but success, nonetheless. Considering that he has no remaining options and the clock has NOT started on SChafer, I’m betting JS goes to the minors to start the season-as he should. There is zero need to throw him to the wolves yet-no matter the fan consensus.
That’s right, the Davey Crockett deal…
Well, I’ll bet a bunch uv’um volunteered to blast Yankees too… lol
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