CF and other important Braves stuff

  Reclaimed Swampland, Fla. – A few thoughts from our rental estate hard by Midieval Times and the Mile 15 marker on U.S. 192, the spectacularly gaudy traffic artery choked with more go-kart track/miniature golf/British pub/Asian massage parlor/American chain restaurant/Chinese takeout/factory outlet/independently owned motel-not-hotel establishments than ol’ Walt could possibly have ever imagined would sprout up over the decades after he had them fill in this formerly wet land and build a colossus that would be The Happiest Place On Earth, dammit.

Be happy. Or else.

Be happy. Or else.

  So anyway, do you think Gregor Blanco threw his hat back in the CF ring last night, or what?
  Yes, he had a triple to the right-center gap last night against Pittsburgh, after hitting .400 with six hits including two triples and a double in 15 at-bats for Venezuela in the WBC.
   But how many believe that Blanco is viewed as a serious candidate for the center-field job, alongside Josh Anderson and Jordan Schafer.
  That’s assuming you don’t think the Braves are set on sending Schafer to Triple-A to begin the season — we still don’t know the answer to that, or even whether the Braves are still trying to decide themselves, in light of Schafer’s impressive performance this spring (.372 avg., five extra-base hits, five steals, but with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 43 at-bats).
  As most of you know, Anderson is out of minor-league options, and Schafer and Blanco are not. Means Anderson can’t be sent to the minors without being exposed to waivers, and most will tell you that his speed and defensive skills would make it likely a team would snatch him off waivers if the Braves tried that move.
  Anderson had a sluggish few weeks of Grapefruit League games, but turned it up recently and has lifted his average to .292 with six extra-base hits (two homers) in 48 at-bats, albeit with only one walk (.306 OPB) and one stolen base.
  Blanco has more major league experience than either of them (Schafer hasn’t played above Double-A). But is that a good or bad thing for Blanco, considering the Braves saw enough of him last season in the majors to form opinions?
  I’m not sure if a winter-ball season (he was good again in Venezuela this winter, as he has been in previous winters) and 15 at-bats in the WBC is enough to change those opinions to any great degree. But maybe it is.
  Blanco, who is 25, had an impressive .366 OBP as a rookie in 2008. It’s the other numbers that might raise some red flags. He hit .251 in 464 at-bats with very little power, as evident by a .309 slugging percentage that was the third-lowest among all MLB outfielders who had at least 300 at-bats.
  He had only 19 extra-base hits (one homer) in 430 at-bats, which wouldn’t be so bad if Blanco didn’t strike out much (he had 99 strikeouts, 74 walks) or if he caused havoc on the basepaths (he had only 13 steals in 18 attempts).
  Hey, it was only his first season in the majors, and he did hit over .280 in each of the previous three seasons in the minors. But it’s worth noting, he also had only 54 stolen bases (in 87 attempts) during those three seasons combined, not to mention only 58 extra-base hits including three homers in nearly 1,000 at-bats (I know, they don’t need him to hit homers, but that’s extreme).
  OK, let’s get to some other stuff quickly:

 

  So have the past few days been a bit of a reality check for some here on the ol’ blog, as we head into the homestretch of this spring race?

How are you feeling about the Braves' bullpen

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   (Which is, of course, just the first leg of the beautiful marathon that is the baseball season, a distance race the Braves hope will finish in the postseason the way it used to for them.)
   Hey, as we noted last week, the Braves look to be solid, with a greatly improved pitching staff. But they were going to lose some games eventually this spring.
   For most of three weeks they couldn’t do anything wrong, and even when they did, they overcame it with a late rally or a collapse by some opposing non-roster pitcher.
   But now we are into the final 10 days of exhibition baseball, and the WBC players have all returned to their respective full-time jobs, and roster cuts in coming days will start to narrow the focus more on remaining decisions and what teams need, and who’s available in potential trades, etc.
  Now is when things really get interesting. I asked Bobby Cox yesterday about the next round of cuts, and he said it’ll probably be Thursday or Friday.
  Some in Braves camp – Jeff Bennett comes to mind, after those two bases-loaded walks he issued last night — had a chance to make the roster when spring training opened, but surely not now. If Braves make a trade involving pitching, his name will probably be involved, assuming there’s a team that believes he’s a lot better than he’s shown this spring.
  Buddy Carlyle and Jorge Campillo are desirable for several teams, including the Braves. The Braves will keep at least one of them, as both are solid starter options and long men out of the bullpen. But will they keep both? We’ll see.
   Manny Acosta has a live arm that makes him attractive to some teams. Blaine Boyer is too, though Braves seem inclined to keep Boyer, a reliable workhorse until he faded down the stretch last summer, probably from sheer fatigue (he was at or near top among MLB appearance leaders most of the season).
  Some have asked me about Martin Prado. Seems to me that the Braves value their bench – probably as good or better than any in the NL – too much to trade Prado, Omar Infante, Greg Norton, Matt Diaz, or backup catcher Dave Ross. Could be wrong, but that’s impression I get.

  Links and other stuff, before we fire up a stogie, crank the CD player, and drive over to Viera:

  ♣ If you think the Braves have a surplus of outfielders, consider this situation/predicament the Nationals are in. What was Jim Bowden thinking? No, seriously, what was he thinking? And unlike the Braves, the Nats are trying to trade a guy (Austin Kearns) making $8 mill. In this economy? Good luck with that, Stan Kasten….

 ♣ Most of us saw the WBC, or highlights, so we’ve got a decent idea what Jake Peavy’s been faring this spring. But has anyone wondered how A.J. Burnett is doing, since he’s been a bit overshadowed in Yankees camp? The answer: Quite well….

 ♣ Having spent 13 years in South Florida and a little over seven covering the Marlins, I’ve said all along that I won’t believe they’re getting a new stadium built until the cranes are on the site, the foundation is laid and the seating bowl is being constructed. Maybe not even then. Maybe not until the sod is laid on the field. But it does appear they’re closer than ever to getting that long-delayed ballpark (I’d suggest a seating capacity of about 12,000).
  Anyway, fellow KU alum Rob Neyer, in his ESPN blog, linked to this stark analysis at the Field of Schemes website that details why that ballpark deal ain’t as sweet for taxpayers as the ballclub and politicians have indicated….

  ♣ Speaking of KU: It went largely unnoticed outside of the greater Kansas City and Austin markets, and was overlooked by many of us who attended KU or Texas, since our basketball teams were involved in a little tourney over the weekend. So as a public service, I’m linking this story about the weekend sweep by the Jayhawks against the Longhorns, Baseball America’s No. 1-ranked team. You’re welcome, ‘Horns fans. It’s the least I could do.

  ♥ One more thing, on a serious note: The Braves announced today that they’ll honor retired broadcaster Pete Van Wieren in a ceremony before the home opener April 10th against the Nationals. That’s great to hear. Pete is already sorely missed by many of us who were accustomed to him coming to spring training every year to do some Grapefruit games and get the real rundown on the team before the real season started. Pete spent 33 years in the Braves broadcast booth, most of it, of course, alongside Skip Caray, who died in August. Salute to Pete, and one more tip of the cap to Skip.

“A MAN NEEDS A MAID” by Neil Young

My life is changing
in so many ways
I don’t know who
to trust anymore
There’s a shadow running
thru my days
Like a beggar going
from door to door.

I was thinking that
maybe I’d get a maid
Find a place nearby
for her to stay.
Just someone
to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away.

A maid. A man needs a maid.
A maid.

It’s hard to make that change
When life and love
turns strange.
And old.

To give a love,
you gotta live a love.
To live a love,
you gotta be “part of”
When will I see you again?

A while ago somewhere
I don’t know when
I was watching
a movie with a friend.
I fell in love with the actress.
She was playing a part
that I could understand.

A maid. A man needs a maid.
A maid.

When will I see you again?

 

 

983 comments Add your comment

brent a.

March 25th, 2009
1:43 pm

I think the Braves need to put the best player in center field, period.

ncgary

March 25th, 2009
1:44 pm

Random

March 25th, 2009
1:45 pm

Baseball Prospectus’ Clay Davenport on Kenshin Kawakami, 20 Jan:

Kenshin Kawakami
DOB: 6/22/75 (33)
Height/Weight: 5-10/200
Bats/Throws: R/R
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.

Random

March 25th, 2009
1:46 pm

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.

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.

Random

March 25th, 2009
1:46 pm

And here, by the way, is Kawakami’s Player Page on http://www.japanesebaseball.com.

Daybed Wagmoe

March 25th, 2009
1:47 pm

(Reposted from other blog:)

Lunatic Fringe — That depends on your dynamics with your daughter and your family, what kind of things you allow as a parent, etc — but no, I would not recommend letting a 12 year old daughter watching it. It’s very graphic in its violence, and while there are some things that it doesn’t show, there’s plenty of disturbing images in it.

N Nine — the operative word in that article is “eventual,” as in in a few years when Hoss is ready to hang up his cleats

Frankie Knucles

March 25th, 2009
1:49 pm

MLB.com has a write-up about Smoltz throwing a bullpen session today. Man, that still stings. If anyone can bounce back its Smoltz.

Thrillhouse44

March 25th, 2009
1:50 pm

there’s a site called japanesebaseball.com? That’s Random.

Ken Overstreet

March 25th, 2009
1:55 pm

Don’t get Braves ST games on TV here in Virginia so i haven’t had a chance to see Shafer play. But judging from last year, I would take Anderson over Blanco all day. BTW, I am jealous of you, DOB. I just spent 10 warm days at The Happiest Place on Earth and had to return to 40 degree weather last week.

Flamenco the Foot

March 25th, 2009
1:56 pm

Epinephrine

March 25th, 2009
1:57 pm

Thanks for that random. That is exactly what you want to see out of your 4/5 guy. Not amazing, but above average giving us a chance to win every time he toes the rubber. And that’s more than we can say about our rivals. For those guys, there will be a lot of Phillies and Mets fans holding their breathes.

Epinephrine

March 25th, 2009
1:59 pm

Breaths, not breathes….

David O'Brien

March 25th, 2009
2:03 pm

Daybed: I loved the Bluefinger CD, but haven’t heard that EP (nor even heard OF it, for that matter). I’ll have to check that out somewhere. I like just about everything he’s put out solo, and obviously everything the band ever did.

DAP

March 25th, 2009
2:07 pm

PWHjort

i read your Q and A. good job, great answers, but i cant believe you said the on player you would want from one of the NL east teams is adam dunn. i would have said carlos beltran. slugging, switching hitting out fielder, with good defense.

Kenny Powers

March 25th, 2009
2:07 pm

Kenny Powers knows the Asian massage parlors on US 192 quite well.

David O'Brien

March 25th, 2009
2:09 pm

Ken Overstreet: The weather here’s been beautiful this spring, all spring. Terrific. And they’re getting torrential rains in Atlanta the next few days (and snow up in Coach’s neck of the woods, etc). So yeah, we’re happy to be in Sunny Central Florida.

PWHjort

March 25th, 2009
2:10 pm

Ya, I figured that’d be controversial.

Kenny Powers

March 25th, 2009
2:10 pm

Kenny Powers always gets a happy ending.

Reid in EAV

March 25th, 2009
2:12 pm

Heck, there are probably Spring Training stadiums in Greater Miami with a capacity of 12,000 or so. Marlins should just use one of those.

Jim

March 25th, 2009
2:12 pm

Braves draft a 3B prospect?

The Braves will make over 30 draft picks and at least one of those will be some 3Bman, but the top 3B/SS prospect is a college player from UCLA who will most likely be gone in the first 3 picks (a Boras client). The other top prospects at this stage are either pitchers or outfielders. It is unlikely that there will be a deserving 3B pick available when the Braves pick at #8. The Braves don’t get to pick again until round 3, so the chance that they will find Chipper’s eventual replacement in this draft is not great. The Braves drafted Gilmore, a third baseman, in the sandwich round 2 years ago (between Heyward and Freeman), but traded him to the White Sox this winter as part of the Vasquez package.

Reid in EAV

March 25th, 2009
2:12 pm

Hilarious dateline. I just noticed that. Nice!

Eware

March 25th, 2009
2:13 pm

DOB, do you know anything about this new Lost Highway artist, Black Joe Lewis? From the short snippets I’ve heard on the internet, it sounds pretty good. Kinda like old Stax stuff.

Hillbilly

March 25th, 2009
2:14 pm

Now I’ve got the song Alabama stuck in my head, which is a very good thing, considering it’s the second best song on the “Harvest” album behind Words (Between the lines of age). When I read the last line of the lyrics you posted, my mind automatically kicks into the nasty guitar intro of Alabama because it’s the next song on the album. Thanks, DOB.

Ron Roberts

March 25th, 2009
2:16 pm

Dude, KU’s sweep of Texas didn’t earn ‘em enough respect to crack the Top 25 this week, though, DOB. Touche’. How ’bout them 6th ranked DAWGS, though? And my local team, Coastal Carolina, is up there, as well, but they’ve hit the skids a bit of late. Solid program, though. Apparently kids wanna play baseball in warm weather environments. Go figure!

DOB, any more discussion about the possibility of the Braves shedding a guy to pick up WIll Ohman? Seems after the weekend meltdown of two potential lefty bullpen arms that we have maybe ONE glaring need, and there’s one GLARING availability (still).

Marv Kleeman

March 25th, 2009
2:18 pm

Hey fellow Braves fans:

Long time, no speak

The “hot button” issue on this blog over the first several weeks of spring training has been the centerfield competition between Jordan Schafer and Josh Anderson.

The proponents for both players make valid arguments and a case can be made for either Jordan Schafer or Josh Anderson to start the season in center field. Plus, you still need to throw Gregor Blanco into the mix.

What do I think? I agree with “nolie” in that I trust the judgement of Frank Wren and Bobby Cox to make the right decision based on the data available to them.

However; what goes largely unnoticed on this blog has been the spring training performance of JoJo Reyes. JoJo is hands down the fourth best starting pitcher on the Atlanta Braves. He has earned the right to be the game four starting pitcher and to subsequently take the mound every fifth day (games 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, etc.)

Hopefully, the Braves run their organization as a “meritocracy” and players are awarded based on performance and not other considerations such as reputation and legendary status (Tom Glavine) or the size of their contract (Kenshin Kawakami).

Kenshin Kawakami is an unknown quantity at this point in time. In fact, one could say Kenshin Kawakami is “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”.

The Braves organization must have the “courage” to demote Kawakami to Gwinnett for further seasoning if need be the case.

Tom Glavine is a work in progress as he attempts a comeback from off season shoulder surgery. He still needs time to build up arm strength and increase the velocity on his fastball.

If the Braves demote JoJo Reyes to Gwinnett it could be perceived as a snub with the consequence being you could “lose” a young pitcher forever; metaphorically speaking.

Jay212033

March 25th, 2009
2:18 pm

The top 3B/SS in college is Grant Green from USC.

PWHjort

March 25th, 2009
2:19 pm

Jim, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Though I believe the Braves pick 7th in the draft this year.

Random

March 25th, 2009
2:20 pm

Thrillhouse44 (1:50 pm): “there’s a site called japanesebaseball.com?”

Yes, and by some chance, here’s the Cuban baseball site: http://www.beisbolcubano.cu/home/default.asp

Jay212033

March 25th, 2009
2:21 pm

We also have the #7 pick.

Rodney Derrick

March 25th, 2009
2:23 pm

Having once lived in south Florida, it is easy to agree with DOB’s continued pessimism about the Marlins’ stadium, but it would certainly make life better for everyone in baseball. A quality field and a quality turf. An end to uncertainty caused by the threat of those thunderstorms. I believe they could have a significant surge in fan support especially with the Latin American connections. One of the serious deficiencies in the article in ESPN is its failure to cite three of the biggest taxpayer rip-off stadiums, the new Yankees stadium, the new Mets stadium, and some years ago, the Texas Rangers stadium. Not only did George Bush finally get big money from that one, but it enabled him to claim that he was a successful businessman, after innumerable failures despite the help of his very wealthy family and friends. And since that financial success enabled him to win the Texas governorship and then the Presidency, the whole world continues to pay an enormous price. The only good thing that can be said for Bush’s Presidency is that it was so bad, that something that seemed totally impossible very recently has occurred, and that is Barack Obama’s Presidency.

Jeff Blauser

March 25th, 2009
2:24 pm

DOB/ Fellow Die-Hards,

What are your thoughts on Mike Moustakas as a possible trade target? The Royals have Alex Gordon at third base and Moustakas is still a few years off. Baseball America rates his power at 70 on the 20-80 scale. It seems like the talent and timetable (late 2010 arrival) make him a good fit to replace Chipper. Did I say “replace Chipper”? That felt weird.

Any guess as to what the Braves would have to package to swing a prospect like this?

fastasballs

March 25th, 2009
2:25 pm

Tonight’s game is on MASN, the Nats/O’s network, at 7PM.

Wayne in Utah

March 25th, 2009
2:27 pm

Rodney Derrick

I hope you and your children enjoy your increased tax burden of the next 20+ years to pay for your new prez.

JEZ

March 25th, 2009
2:28 pm

Thanks for the sudden outburst for your political ideology..next time take it somewhere else

Chip of the ol Block

March 25th, 2009
2:28 pm

DOB,
do you think its a little too early to be shopping around for Chipper’s replacement?

he has atleast a good 3, 4 maybe 5 years left that he could play
i think we should wait just a little longer

bali

March 25th, 2009
2:29 pm

I listened to the last inning of the braves/mets game on sunday afternoon. It is reall going to take some time getting used to someone other than skip and pete informing us about what is going on during the game.Glad they are going to honor him on april 10th.Thirty three years goes by pretty fast.

KC

March 25th, 2009
2:29 pm

“For two of the last three years, Kawakami has not pitched at the level of an above-average major league pitcher.”

Huh?

Over his last 3 seasons, Kawakami has gone 38-20 with a 2.81 ERA.

Now, if you think, as a few here do, that the Japanese league is equal to AA minor league baseball in overall level of play… then I guess his numbers don’t mean much to you.

But if you believe, as I do, that the Japanese league is at least slightly better than AAA baseball here… then you have to like those numbers.

Will he fare as well here as he did in Japan? Highly unlikely to say the least. But I think a starter that goes 38-20, 2.81 over his last 3 years in Japan… figures to at least be well above average here.

And I think Clay Davenports observations of Kawakami’s supposed “cycles” are silly. We’re not talking about the economy or the weather. There is no cycle here. Is there a Japanese Zodiac? Maybe he’d like to consult that as well.

dogsbrekky (UNC Rocks)

March 25th, 2009
2:31 pm

Jeff Blauser – now that guy could rock !

Andrew

March 25th, 2009
2:31 pm

it would be nice if we had smoltz instead of glavine..just because i feel smoltz is a better pitcher at this point in his career…lowe,smoltz,javy,jair,kenshin

JEZ

March 25th, 2009
2:31 pm

KC, I agree..Look what the Japanese just did in the WBC. I think KK will be a solid number 4 starter pending health of course.

Wayne in Utah

March 25th, 2009
2:31 pm

The problem with NOT pursuing Chipper’s replacement now is what happens if he continues to give you 100-120 game per year for the next few years? This is quite a quandry.

One of the Braves all time greatest players, and our best hitter by far, missing a large % of the game can spell disaster. I just don’t think filling in with Martin Prado is the answer.

Leland

March 25th, 2009
2:32 pm

Dear Mr. DOB–great song, great song writer. Bet Mark Bradley would eat it up. Your pal, Leland

dogsbrekky (UNC Rocks)

March 25th, 2009
2:32 pm

Japanese baseball is just below MLB………… IMO

lol at AA references

plus they now have so much more depth than they had in the early-mid 90s when Godzilla etc were stars

Baba O'Riley

March 25th, 2009
2:34 pm

New ballpark site is not a good thing for us folks here in Palm Beach County. Dolphin Stadium is easily accessible via the turnpike. Not many people north of broward want to drive to the Orange Bowl for baseball. Great attendance in year one of the ballpark, but you will see a steady decline. You think downtown Atlanta has bad neighborhoods?

dogsbrekky (UNC Rocks)

March 25th, 2009
2:34 pm

Neil Young – I had the pleasure of going to a private acoustic show he gave in Melbourne a long time back….. I was just inspired, that man is the “Guitar Man”……… good bloke too

Wayne in Utah

March 25th, 2009
2:35 pm

Andrew

You are talking about some pitcher named Smoltz??? Didn’t we used to have a guy with that name on our team? I think so, but I think he bolted for another team. Maybe that’s the same guy.

(why do we still have articles about a Bosox hurler on the AJC Braves page???)

Andy K.

March 25th, 2009
2:36 pm

Hmmm….lol this is interesting to see two sides of an opinion…DOB has Anderson in CF Opening Day, and Bowman has Schafer.

Rodney Derrick

March 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

There you guys go again, Wayne and Jez. I was just describing the results of taxpayers getting ripped off on stadium projects, a subject referenced by DOB in his opening story. So get real. Ha! Children not my worry, Wayne!

Bobbymahlon

March 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

I think that Josh after his call up in Houston and Atlanta with a batting average over 300 and his range in the outfield plus his base stealing has earned at least the job with a chance to succeed or fail. I don’t think one triple puts Blanco back in the running because if Josh was to fail Schafer will be called up. If we are so worried about Anderson being picked up if we put him on waivers doesn’t that tell you something.

Daybed Wagmoe

March 25th, 2009
2:38 pm

DOB – I had never heard of it either until I was on his official website checking tour dates, and I saw it on there. I’ve listened to it probably 5 or 6 times since I bought it late last night, and since it’s only about 20 minutes long it’s easy to listen to the whole thing in one setting. Definitely worth buying, especially cause it’d probably be $7 or so since it’s an EP.

It’s very solid, and compared to his other solo efforts, better than some of his rather mediocre, though still good, material, i.e. some of the stuff on “Black Letter Days,” “Honeycomb” or “Fast Man Raider Man.” This EP is more akin to Bluefinger and Teenager of the Year, the latter of which I’d dare to say is as good as any Pixies album.

Andrew

March 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

Hanson will be up by june or before…either kawakami will be a bust or injury..you heard it here.

N Nine (eta11)

March 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

Get Chipper’s eventual replacement, but sign Chipper also. Have you noticed the extension has been hush hush since the WBC injury…

DAP

March 25th, 2009
2:39 pm

rodney derrick, please control yourself. no politics on the blog please. you too, wayne.

richbrave

March 25th, 2009
2:41 pm

Is PETE VAN WIEREN completely done, or will his dulcet tones be heard occasionally like the Ol’ PERFESSOR’s were?

Andrew

March 25th, 2009
2:43 pm

Buster Olney just picked Kyle Davies to be a bargin in fantasy this year…wow.

JEZ

March 25th, 2009
2:43 pm

thanks DAP, that’s what I was trying to say…I understand the people getting ripped off for new..unnecessary stadiums just to be flashy. Just don’t bring up the past, this country should try and just move forward because the only crappy past I’m thinking about is what has transpired over the last 60 days…

TnBrian

March 25th, 2009
2:43 pm

My opening day lineup, I’d have, Schafer/Escobar/Jones/McCann/Franc./Diaz/Kotchman/KJ

As of right now, I’d put Reyes in the 5 spot till Glavine is ready.

They wouldn’t be smart to trade Bennett over Carlyle. Bennett can go longer and can get the groundout with the 2sm fastball in important spots. His control can be a problem, but ole’ Buddy gives up the long ball too much…pick your poison, I guess. I’d take Campillo over either though.

ease19

March 25th, 2009
2:44 pm

Its really hard to judge Japanese baseball by American standards and vice versa…they play two different games…it would be an interestingRandom stat to see how many American players went over to Japan and were a huge success ala’ Nomo, Dice K and Ichiro were here in the states. I just don’t think that American players have the same impact. Bob Horner finished his career in Japan, hit 30 home runs but was projected to hit 50, so he was considered a bust…

dogsbrekky (UNC Rocks)

March 25th, 2009
2:44 pm

I am surprised DAP that you did not take me up on that “value trade’

So I did another ex Bravo for Andruw……… Mr Renteria… it is an odd year so he will have a beauty

JMar

March 25th, 2009
2:45 pm

I disagree with Brent A. We all wish it were as simple as “play the best players”, but it’s not. What is simple to me is that the economics of the game dictate that if Schaefer is not head and shoulders better than the other options, he needs to be in the minors, and avoid early arbitration. If Anderson isn’t significantly worse than the other players, he needs to be traded or become the starting CF. Fact is, there’s no reason to believe Blanco or Schaefer will be that much better than Anderson, so don’t lose him just to find out. Play him a couple months, and if it’s a failure, re-evaluate.

BlawgDawg

March 25th, 2009
2:47 pm

You heard it here first, Braves will play 162 games in the regular season this year.

And it wouldn’t matter if the Braves started the year 20-0, if they lost the 21st game because one of the LOOGYs blew a lead, some on here would be screaming this team sucks and the season is over, time to look toward next year.

PWHjort

March 25th, 2009
2:48 pm

Blauser, Moustokas (sp?) is a very highly regarded prospect and I don’t think the Braves have the pieces in place to net him. I don’t see it. I’d love to have him, though.

DAP

March 25th, 2009
2:48 pm

JEZ, i dont even mind bringing up the past. i think thats important. it just that politics dont belong here, and some people (even me sometimes) dont have enough self control to refrain.

BlawgDawg

March 25th, 2009
2:49 pm

Those same people would also dam Frank Wren for not resigning Will Ohman as well.

mbatl

March 25th, 2009
2:49 pm

“Buster Olney just picked Kyle Davies to be a bargin in fantasy this year…wow.”

We’ll see. I always thought the Braves (Bobby) were too quick to give up on him (though with all the starters we have now, it’s okay).

But on the other hand, even tho he’s got a 3.00 ERA this spring, 10 walks and 4 HR in 21 innings doesn’t suggest a huge breakout. Same ol’ problems. He’ll probably be an okay back-of-rotation starter in a low-leverage environment like Kansas City.

Steve from OH

March 25th, 2009
2:50 pm

Jeff Blauser, there is no way we’d get Moustakas for the likes of Bennett, Blanco, Anderson, etc. In fact, there’s very little chance that KC would even consider trading him.

It’s a good thought, but there’s no way that would happen. If the Braves really do want to acquire a succssor to Chipper, they’re likely to pick up someone that is 18-20 years of age at the start of the season, so that they can extend Chipper and give the prospect time to develop. I don’t see us picking up a near ML-ready prospect like a Brandon Wood or a David Freese from the Cards unless we’re not looking to extend Chipper, which I hope is not the case. In any case, the idea of picking up someone from an organization’s top 5 prospects for our spare parts is laughable.

If a trade happens, it will probably be for an under-the-radar type guy that our scouts love. Maybe we’ll try to swing a deal for James Darnell out of San Diego. He’s young and has a lot of upside, so we wouldn’t need to rush him, and SD is a good trade partner for us because we have excess pitching that they’d want. Actually, I just realized that he was drafted last August, so I don’t think he can be traded yet, so scratch that. Someone to keep an eye on in the future, though.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Ncscoots:

(from the last blog): I dunno about Sheehan, I don’t subscribe to BP, I only read the stuff Random posts on here or the stuff he writes for ESPN insider, which is pretty solid.

Steve McP

March 25th, 2009
2:53 pm

Been very disappointed that the Braves announcers have not been getting in their pre-season work like the players. There have been few days when the radio broadcast was WGST and they will surely need to get into this pretty quickly to get their performances up to speed, just looked ahead and they are broadcasting only the upcoming Friday and Saturday games before taking another week off and beginning in earnest with the exhibition games at the Ted next week. I doubt that Skip and Pete left it that late to get their game voices going.

Coastal

March 25th, 2009
2:54 pm

DOB – Lived in Myrlte Beach for 5 years, so I know a little something about those Asian massage parlors. Never, and I mean never say yes when they ask if you want a “hot karl”.

Andy K.

March 25th, 2009
2:55 pm

but as bowman said, if we send Schafer down to start the season, and Anderson fails, those few games could cost us the season.

Turtsnap

March 25th, 2009
2:55 pm

Ok, so maybe its just me but….. If Hanson is going to be as good as everyone says he is, then RIGHT NOW, he has to be better than our 4 or 5 guy in the rotation…. Why send him down to the minors? I thought the objective is to win a pennant??!!

glove51

March 25th, 2009
2:57 pm

That’s funny, DOB, I just listened to Neil Young’s Decade greatest hits collection this morning on the way to work.

JEZ

March 25th, 2009
2:57 pm

DAP, I agree with you about politics not belonging on here. back to baseball!

cphizzle

March 25th, 2009
2:58 pm

i need more coverage on my radio and tv here in my neck of the woods in the north al. im am one of the many victims spoiled by tbs…come on somebody pick up peachtree tv i will pay good money

MFin04

March 25th, 2009
3:04 pm

The whole thing about Hanson…is saving the Braves $10 million….by bringing him up later in the season when they actually need him. Right now they have plenty of pitching…combined with the fact that he will earn a lot of money…a year later….thus the Braves save money on him for an extra year.

Cru Jones

March 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

cphizzle
You might be able to get it with Direct tv. And i just want to say, for anybody deciding between dish network and direct tv, DIRECT TV. I just switched, just to get peachtree, and my lord the customer service is outstanding. With dish its non existing.

Jeff Blauser

March 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

Steve from OH, thanks for the feedback. I realize you dont acquire prospects of Moustakas’ caliber in exchange for you’re spring training misfits, and this is not what I was proposing. It may well be that he is in the “untouchable” category of Heyward and Hanson, but unless he is able to change positions, he is currently blocked by Alex Gordon. Maybe that will eventually dictate his trade status.

I like Darnell’s power and the timetable matches up pretty well. Maybe come August, the Padres will have a need that we can fulfill (if Wren will speak to Towers).

ncscoots

March 25th, 2009
3:06 pm

Steve-OH, Sheehan is like some of our bloggers here, in a way. I’ll read a few posts, start giving a guy some cred, and then BAM! out of the blue comes a post that only a dolt would display in public. Tends to whip the bejesus out of any cred previously built up. When that happens once, I can chalk it up to a mere lunatic moment, but, more than that, I start thinking it’s a persistent symptom.

Sheehan hits me that way, I’m afraid.

BlawgDawg

March 25th, 2009
3:07 pm

Sorry people, the announcers aren’t getting enough work in this spring, season’s lost, so what free agents and trades are out there for the 2010 season? How about Will Ohman, will he have signed by 2010, why haven’t we signed him yet?

Braves announcers not getting their work in in spring training? Good grief, who in the H E double L gives a darn???!!!

Salty

March 25th, 2009
3:08 pm

but as bowman said, if we send Schafer down to start the season, and Anderson fails, those few games could cost us the season.

If Anderson fails, he fails. How can one presume Schafer wouldn’t fail, also? Is their a new logic I’m unaware of? A new, ‘random’ connectedness in the time-space continuum? Essentially…I don’t get your point….

Ron Roberts

March 25th, 2009
3:08 pm

Josh Anderson’s abilities and performance reminds me of a guy the Braves used to have, gave a shot at starting, failed miserably, was tossed aside and then thrived for the Chicago Cubs and will probably do well for Cleveland, too…Mark DeRosa ring a bell?

I know, I knwo; doesn’t play the same position. But to me, Josh and Mark are bother “above adequate” at just about every aspect of being an MLB player, and will do what you ask of him. If he’s out of options, I say keep him AND Blanco and if the “Renaissance of Jeff Francoeur” is a regular season dud, we have options. Schafer’s going to be a phenom, but if the Braves want to get the maximum from him for the minimum, dollar-wise, they’re gonna wait and bring up later in the season, anyhow, to avoid an earlier arbitration with him; besides, I think his playing every day at Gwinnett will be better for him, anyhow. Having Schafer, Heyward, and Hanson all at the AAA-A level of play… wow, exciting times to be a Braves fan, ya know?

PTBNL

March 25th, 2009
3:09 pm

Andy, by the same token, if we keep Schafer up and he fails it could not only cost the season, but his replacement could be gone as well.

Just different ways to look at it.

Anybody have a crystal ball?

cabravesfan

March 25th, 2009
3:09 pm

cphizzle

DirecTV carries Peachtree TV and MKB Network (the game tonight and the 3 this weekend are all on MLBN- at least according to the schedule that I copied on my trusty Post-It Note)…not sure if it would be considered a “local” channel (Peachtree) where you are but if not you may want to look into the MLB package on DTV- a little pricey but carries probably 150 of the 162 games (FOX game of the week blacked out)

Andy K.

March 25th, 2009
3:10 pm

Salty, that was more or less a quote from Bowman, he rationale being Schafer has more talent and upside, and if he tears it up in Gwinnett while Anderson stinks it up out of the leadoff spot, and the Braves finish only a few games outta first, Schafer could be the difference-maker.

cabravesfan

March 25th, 2009
3:10 pm

It sure would be nice if I knew how to type…obviously I meant MLB Network

Andy K.

March 25th, 2009
3:11 pm

lol i give up….

BlawgDawg

March 25th, 2009
3:11 pm

I know, I know, I’m being a jerk today…but the knee jerking that goes on around here just makes me shake my head sometimes.

Just like the other day after the loss against the Mets. The two lefties have had very good springs before then, but one bad outing and it’s time to call Ohman and offer whatever it takes. The great thing about baseball is that if you fail today, you have another chance tomorrow. Decision making shouldn’t be reactive, it should be proactive in this sport.

35YrBravesFan

March 25th, 2009
3:11 pm

Can we “Just say No” to more articles on Smoltz? Isn’t it time to get past it?

Jersey Gil

March 25th, 2009
3:13 pm

Steve from OH ….. Why not…in 2007 Baseball America has Elvis Andrus the num 2 prospect, he was in Class A. and the Braves Trade him.
If you offer KC a good Pkg for a Mayor league Pitcher and a Outfielder, why not. Kc has surplus of Third base (Gordon,Teahan also play third). this Kid Moustaikas has a Power since he was in HS.

Jeff Blauser

March 25th, 2009
3:13 pm

Andy K, That is the nuts of the debate, in my opinion. In a division that promises a 3 or 4 team race, can you afford to wait two months, or do you need your best players on the field from the start? It’s one thing to hold a pitcher back until June, but a potential everyday centerfielder and leadoff man? I think Schafer needs to start.

Cru Jones

March 25th, 2009
3:13 pm

cphizzle
You won’t be able to see peachtree on the list of channels, its called the braves network or something and you will only see it when games are on.

cphizzle

March 25th, 2009
3:14 pm

thank fellas, cant tell you how many times i have emailed and called dish network(which i unfortunately have)trying to get them to pick up peachtree tv. looks as if my best bet will be to make the switch to direct tv or hang out by my radio.

ease19

March 25th, 2009
3:14 pm

Dish has better equipment and I have never had a problem with customer service…and I get PeachtreeTV HD.

RHR

March 25th, 2009
3:15 pm

Tonights game is on mlb network – woo!

:lol: Nice song choice, DOB. Apropos of nothing, I’m sure.

Andy K.

March 25th, 2009
3:15 pm

I agree Jeff Blauser, well said.

BlawgDawg

March 25th, 2009
3:15 pm

I’m in Middle Georgia and I get Peachtree (BRVS on the channel lits) FSN South, and Sportsouth all on my DirecTV with my regular package (I think it’s the second or third package of the choices). Last year, every game that was televised I was able to see, so DirecTV is definitly the way to go for Braves fans

ncscoots

March 25th, 2009
3:16 pm

BlawgDawg, this is minor-league knee-jerking. We don’t get full-out, All-Star-caliber knee-jerking until the first bad regular-season day by any player not named Chipper. You will remember this early-spring version with fondness, then.

Wayne in Utah

March 25th, 2009
3:16 pm

DAP

Sorry about that. BUT, when I see a dum azz statement like the one made, my first reaction is to fire one across the bow. I would dare anyone to find where I “started” a political confrontation. Sometimes my self control is lacking with those that would fire the first shot though, and that is my failing. (but I won’t apologize for responding to others)

Victor Lee

March 25th, 2009
3:17 pm

OK, being an ex-hack I rarely comment back to the beat guys I knew, but I gotta’ say that the first sentence of your blog today is one of the finest I’ve ever read. Way to capture the essence of the place.

Cru Jones

March 25th, 2009
3:17 pm

ease
You must be in metro atl. And if you havent had a problem with the customer service then you probably never had to call them, because if you did you would agree.

RHR

March 25th, 2009
3:17 pm

cphizzle, I’m not sure where in north al you live but I live on lake guntersville and charter carries peachtree tv for braves games only as does direct tv – which is what I have.

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