1:47 pm April 17, 2009, by David O'Brien
Steve from OH
April 18th, 200911:05 am
Dave from Pensacola, FL asks:
Obviously the Braves are known for drafting HS players, but do you see them taking a college pitcher like White, Crow, or Gibson with their first pick?
A: Jim Callis: We’re hearing that Georgia high school righthander Zack Wheeler won’t get out of the top 10 picks. If that’s true, the Braves seem like the most natural candidate to take him.
Here’s a bit on Wheeler from Keith Law:
“Zack Wheeler is a tall loose-armed right-handed pitcher from East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., who is a lock to go in the first round. On Wednesday, Wheeler threw a seven-inning two-hit shutout, fanning 14 while walking none. His fastball comes out of his hand easy and ran from 91 to 95 mph — one scout mentioned that he had Wheeler at 96 the previous week — with tremendous late life. His only real secondary pitch was a hard slurve at 74-78 mph that was all but unhittable; he’d sweep it away from a right-handed hitter and then throw a tighter one to hit the inside corner for a called strike. He threw one hard changeup at 88 mph that was more like a BP fastball than a true change.
His arm action is long but he repeats it well and the length seems to come from the low point where he separates his hands, which isn’t that major of a fix for player development. He takes an enormous stride toward the plate with a little bit of drop-and-drive and generates good arm speed, which leads both to velocity on the fastball and sharpness on the breaking ball. He lands a little stiffly with some recoil. With a little projection left, two above-average pitches, and a good delivery, Wheeler should go in the top 20 picks and perhaps in the top 15 as one of the four best prep arms in this class (with Tyler Matzek, Shelby Miller and Matt Purke.”
There is video of Wheeler pitching here. I think his curve is pretty nasty.
Also, here is Keith Law’s video on Tyler Matzek, a possible pick for us.
You have to have ESPN insider to get these videos…
April 18th, 200911:06 am
For those of you around the country, why don’t you relate the perception of Chipper Jones in other markets. AND I’m not talking about his social graces, but his “toughness” and “Willingness to gut it out”
April 18th, 200911:07 am
3 lefties in a row. Bobby just makes it so easy for the opposing manager.
April 18th, 200911:10 am
Bravofan: Who are they calling up in Boyer’s place? I guess you haven’t been reading the past several days to know that Reyes is starting tonight, that they had to make a move to open a spot for Reyes to be added to the roster after being brought up from Triple-A.
April 18th, 200911:11 am
It is April 18. I have the computer acumen of a piss ant, why doesn’t someone with the knowledge set up an Over and Under message that shows predictions for games Chipper plays in this year.
I’ll go out on the limb and say 111. But it AIN’T going to be any 111 in 2011.
April 18th, 200911:13 am
Haven’t seen it mentioned here (maybe that’s not so surprising), but the world lost one of a kind the other day. Actress Marilyn Chambers died at age 56 this week.
Maybe not considered much by the moral majority or polite society Marilyn was still integral to many dreams of teenage boys (and some older ones, too) and definitely a right of passage for many adolescents heading towards teenager hood, she was one of a kind and we can only hope she finds opeace behind that Green Door.
April 18th, 200911:15 am
When she turned 45 was she given a contract extension??
April 18th, 200911:17 am
It’s hard to believe Marilyn started her career in that laundry commercial. Her alteration of career paths was quite striking. Marilyn–like ALL of us not on HGH faded as she grew older.
April 18th, 200911:23 am
My biggest fear with any rookie is that he breaks into the big leagues by hitting a couple of HRs the first week of the season — which Jordan Schafer did. Now he’s thinking, “this isn’t as hard as they said it would be … maybe i can 35 homer smy rookie year.” And then what happens is what’s happening now: loss of strike zone judgement and TRYING to hit every pitch out of the park. ( Sigh … ) Be interesting to see whether he can learn the tough lessons while up in the bigs, or whether he’ll have to first go down to Triple A to learn it. He’ll be special, but it may be later rather than sooner.
W. T. Sherman
April 18th, 200911:34 am
Who was Marilyn Chambers? Movies, Music?
But its early right,
I understand that we want these guys to show will and emotion. But what do we expect them to do? They did not hit well last night…that’s obvous. We don’t know how they get ready for the game and I’m assuming that since they are professional athletes they are doing what they can to win. They do have poker faces on during games..but you know what, they are the Atlanta Braves and are expected to win. No reason to get excited over a single here and there. Prado hit the ball on the nose last night and if not for a couple of great plays by the pirates, we might win that game. Those hits will fall for us.
April 18th, 200911:35 am
WT-She was the consummate porn actress.
Lou Vales-I don’t know if she got a contract extension at 45, but she would have been worth it-no doubt.
April 18th, 200911:37 am
DOB, how long will it be before we know if Boyer cleared waivers? Does he have the choice to refuse his assignment to AAA and be a free-agent?
Steve from OH, good stuff man. I keep wavering, but I think I want an arm. Maybe Matzek or Wheeler. Gibson would be great too, but I think he goes before 7.
April 18th, 200911:40 am
Anthony, That is why they MUST play 162 games to neutralize the luck factor and have the cream rise to the top. It’s funny how it usually happens. I HATE the Mets–especially after living in S. Florida–but those first 1-6 guys in that order and Putz and K-Rod, that is scary stuff. Hopefully Pelphrey and Maine continue to break down, Santana keeps losing velocity(even though he remains the best) and K-Rod ends up doing a Spoonybarger from Cox like pitch count abuse.
April 18th, 200911:44 am
I agree. Not sure if that was a diss on Cox, but Cox is one of the best managers in the game and we won’t realize that until we lose him to retirement. We’ll have our highs and lows this summer like every team. Every team goes on a losing streak and a hot streak. It’s a long season and hopefully we can turn it around by bashing Snell today.
April 18th, 200911:45 am
Delightful porn actress conversation on a Saturday morning. We’re now at 25 inches of snow in Denver and counting…Glad the weather is better in Pittsburgh..so the Braves can keep that momentum going and not lose it to a rainout!!
I totally agree. I mean, the man hasn’t gotten a hit since Sunday…hasn’t really had a good game since Good Friday.
Yeah, I got a pretty good picture of it. Just gotta get all the ones I wanna post together and I’ll try my hand at making a gallery on ImageShack.
April 18th, 200911:48 am
Well I hope Jojo does well. Or should I say I hope Jojo does well and someone with an Atlanta on their jersey actually scores. Screw the Mets and the Phils. Were chasing the Marlins now. I know ESPN is hating that. I won’t go all Heath Bell on them but I hope they start giving props to the teams that are actually playing well, rather they like them or not.
April 18th, 200911:49 am
I also could not disgree with you more on Chipper Jones.
Efrim, if it’s an arm, I hope we take Matzek or Wheeler over Gibson or Crow. As of right now, those two are my preferences based on who is likely to be available at our slot. But what if Green, Tate or White are still on the board at that point? Do we take a position player or the arm? Tough call. Normally I’d say the arm, but our bats in the low minors aren’t good. The only bats in the Rome/Danville lineup that I’m looking forward to seeing at this point are Luis Sumoaza and Adam Milligan, who is still recovering from knee surgery.
Love the Rome pitchers. Hate the bats.
April 18th, 200911:52 am
Just finished talking to McCann about his eye problem. He’s concerned, hopes that the antibiotic drops he got today will clear up the dryness he’s had in his left eye since the opening series at Philly. If not, he’ll have to consider other options, possibly more Lasik surgery as a last resort. They just don’t know right now what’s causing it, whether his eyes have changed since he had Lasik two years ago or if he has an infection or something else causing the dryness. But it’s only in his left eye.
April 18th, 200911:55 am
Steve from OH, Grant Green would be great. I am kind of against taking Tate. I know it’s best available, but yikes, how many outfielders does an org. need?
April 18th, 200911:56 am
And now, I’m digging into a big ol’ Primanti Bros. sandwich.
April 18th, 200912:05 pm
I know it’s best available, but yikes, how many outfielders does an org. need?
Uhh…4 at Danville, 4 at Rome…just kidding. I catch your drift. But on the same vein, how many LHP does an org need? (Matzek, Locke, Rohrbough, DeVall, Reyes, etc?). But if Matzek was available I would most definitely take him…a lefty at 91-94, good curve, potential plus changeup, good command? Top-of-the rotation potential for sure. I read somewhere that he is drawing comparisons to Matsuz from the Orioles. Nice. But from what I’m reading he’s likely to be gone by the time we pick. Wheeler will be available, but it’s just a question of do we take him over a college guy like Crow (whose mechanics I HATE, btw. Mark Prior redux) or a more polished college arm like Alex White, who BA is projecting at #7.
Who do you pick if White is on the board? Or Dustin Ackley for that matter? Glad I’m not running the Braves at this point…
April 18th, 200912:06 pm
Dave, I saw an episode of some Travel Channel show on the Primanti Bros. and it looked FANTASTIC. You’re makin’ me hungry. Now I’m off to go jonesing for some grub…
Boyer LOVES Cox
April 18th, 200912:08 pm
i wish the braves well today and i really hope we can get a win and take this series…but the pirates smell blood. this is going to be a tough game today…..
April 18th, 200912:11 pm
Thank God for Boyer being gone….someone please pick him up!!!!
April 18th, 200912:12 pm
What is Leo doing these days? Bring him back in charge of the bullpen and you’ll see some improvement. Throw strikes! Does McDowell know what he is doing? It looks like the pen is just about the same as last year.
April 18th, 200912:13 pm
Steve, and others… great stuff on the draft prospects. I’ve got nothing to add, but sure enjoy reading the discussion. Braves haven’t picked as high as 7 since 1991 (in fact, Heyward in ‘07 is our only top 20 pick since then) … look forward to seeing what we come up with.
April 18th, 200912:14 pm
Anthony, What do you disagree with about Jones?? I said he’s #3 behind Rose and mantle as a switch hitter. I guess I should have added that i view him as on of the greatest late game, clutch situation hitters of the last 25 years. Now what do you disagree with as far as the normal aging process, athletes slowing down and becoming more injury prone as they age and my feeling the extension was dumb for all those reasons?? Seriously, what do you disagree with?? If you think this is just a contract for past services rendered–say that. I would disagree but at least i would know where you are coming from.
AND I DON’T think he is jaking this injury. He WANTS to play but he is just going to continue to break down. It’s Human nature.
April 18th, 200912:18 pm
Someone said it before…it’s the gold watch package for Chipper…if he is healthy for more than 130 games its bonus…but he is a franchise icon…so they gave him a lot of money for a player breaking down…I’m okay with it.
April 18th, 200912:20 pm
Can we maybe just maybe do some smarter things today…like not trying to have Prado or Kelly bunt guys over and take the bats out of their hands when guys like Diaz and Kotchman await…although Bobby has already planned on possibly placing us in a late inning hole w/ batting 3 lefties in a row in the middle of the order…I would ask what he’s thinking, but at this point I just know that he’s so OLD he just doesn’t do much thinking anymore!
Also, maybe when Escobar is back tomorrow we’ll be smarter and play Prado at 1b and sit Kotchman…I’ve really grown tired of the “weak” outs by Casey…
We really really REALLY desperately need a W today!
April 18th, 200912:27 pm
DOB I knew there was a reason I hated you- my oatmeal does not taste so good now.
April 18th, 200912:28 pm
I disagree with your assessment that we should not have extended his contract. Is part of the money we are giving him for past performances? Absolutely, however he means a lot to this organization and he will put up good numbers for hte next 4 years. Will he hit 35 homers? Probably not, but he has always been a .320 hitter and will continue to do so. The money isn’t even below market value for him too. Will he continue to have this stupid nagging injuries, only time will tell, but to see him go into the hall of fame as one as playing his entire career with Atlanta…well that’s priceless
April 18th, 200912:29 pm
an enthusiastic thumbs up to the Chipper contract.
April 18th, 200912:31 pm
GameTime…Lets Get Jo-Jo A few runs to play with early so he won’t feel any added pressure…
It is allergy season. Hopefully, that’s all that it is with McCann. Makes sense too that he got it when he came back home to Atlanta. Going to a new location brings exposure to new allergens. There was a high pollen count at that time as well. I’ve got bad allergies. It doesn’t matter how many meds you take sometimes. The darn thing just keeps itching and feeling dry. He probably should stop rubbbing and scratching it though.
April 18th, 200912:32 pm
Put me down for Larry playing 108 games. Is there money involved in this? Closest to the pin.
April 18th, 200912:34 pm
Thanks for the info in your 11:52. Hope they cann find out what’s causing it. It’s got my a little freaked out, too.
Hey DOB get off my case I got confused I’m human I thought they brought parr up in boyers place sorry they brought him up in Campillos my bad!
April 18th, 200912:35 pm
mbatl – just be careful not to bruise your thumbs
April 18th, 200912:37 pm
i dont know about the steroids but i do know that the new contract was/is a complete joke. most on this board wouldnt dare do this but i am……i am going to question his toughness. over the last 4 years these injuries that happen every other week are ones that most players play through. not chipper. god forbid he gets jammed….when it happens hes out for a week. god forbid he has to leg out a infield hit…thatll be good enough to get on the DL with a sore calf muscle. maybe im totally wrong and its not a question of toughness. maybe he is just as fragile as a 10 year old girl. either way that contract has handcuffed our team. he just quite frankly needs to man up, which he obviously isnt capable of doing….
Loaf Garret on a blackberry from the on deck circle
Here we go.
April 18th, 200912:38 pm
Tv announcers say don’t expect Chipper till Monday in Washington. I hope DOB is the one that is right
Anthony, He will continue to have MORE nagging injuries not the same nagging injuries. If you don’t believe or agree with me, ask someone connected with Sports Medicine what the prognosis would be for an athlete with this medical history and age.
IF!!!!You just consider him spending next 4 years here as “Priceless”, well we will have to respectfully disagree. I won’t even list the earlier athletes who spent entire year with same team and YET did not have need to negotiate an extension after they started breaking down, but rather GRACEFULLY exited. Guess those days are over, but doesn’t mean we have to miss them.
April 18th, 200912:39 pm
Dammit! The hitting with bad luck continues! WTF!
April 18th, 200912:44 pm
Boyer Loves Cox, I want the Braves to tank every year. It would serve my best rooting interests if Braves just continues this fiasco of playing with a 24 man roster for extended periods. However, it just insults any objective person’s sensibilities to witness this charade. Hell, if he is going to get hurt sleeping on a bed in a luxury New York hotel like last year, what next??
People never got hurt even sharing a bed with marilyn Chambers.
April 18th, 200912:45 pm
Damn good play Prado.
April 18th, 200912:46 pm
DirecTV has decided I am in the Pittsburgh/ Atlanta area and has blacked out my feed today…anyone willing to do some play by play? Would be greatly appreciated!
April 18th, 200912:47 pm
Since you don’t wnat chipper at 3rd base..who would you put there? Prado or Infante? No one in our minor leagues can replace chipper yet. Other going out in free agency and getting someone, we don’t have a player. Chipper is the most feared hitter in our lineup, without him we are a .500 team (see the past 4 games)
Actually FOX has decided but same thing…
April 18th, 200912:48 pm
Lou Vales, do you understand anything about contracts? Do you know what the market will likely be for a league average ballplayer over the next three offseasons? Next offseason, a league average player getting a 3 year contract will likely get a 3 year, $34 million contract. Giving Chipper about $8 million more than that is the equivalent of asking him to be a combined 15 runs better than a league average baseball over the next three seasons. Asking Chipper to be worth on average 25 runs better than replacement over the next 3 seasons ain’t much of a risk. On average, Chipper’s been about 65 runs better than replacement over the last three seasons. Believing he will be worth 40 runs less on average over the next three seasons is akin to believing his OPS will drop about 175 points on average over the next three seasons. Maybe it will, but having a third baseman with an OPS between .800 and .850 ain’t bad, especially considering the average third baseman has an OPS between .750 and .800.
April 18th, 200912:49 pm
Hey Chipper butt sniffer the dude is the most feared hitter on Braves bench not in their lineup. Are you related?
Here we go…
McCann fouls out to lead off the second (no score – Anderson lined into a tough luck dp, and Pirates went 1-2-3, two good plays by Prado and Infante). Kotch just grounded to 1st.
April 18th, 200912:50 pm
3 up 3 down top of the 2nd,
Jeff flies to center – 3 out.
April 18th, 200912:52 pm
cabraves where do you live because i live in georgia and its on sports south
April 18th, 200912:53 pm
I live in Los Angeles…FOX blacks out non regional feeds for Saturday day games…really sucks
April 18th, 200912:54 pm
so instead of watching the Braves I am watching commercials of a TV movie “starring” Paris Hilton…although it looks like she dies in it so it can’t be all bad
Loaf Garret on a blackberry from LF
Don’t look at me. Schafer would’ve missed that too.
cabravesfan, I’m sure some good denizen will provide updates… too much responsibility for me! But if you’re not in a controlled internet environment, Gameday does a pretty good job…
Yep cabravesfan, fox is probably the worst thing that has happened to baseball…
April 18th, 200912:55 pm
Blue jerseys today. Lead off double that Anderson should have got to.
Braveheart, All very good points. Would you agree that Chipper MAY have moved to a new level of fragility that just might skew some of your numbers?? Do you really believe that owners and GMs have not noticed the degree of slippage with this guy–I’m not talking about his numbers, but his body?? Since you are on speaking terms with the guy that Hudson PUNKED for doing his job, why not ask him what Jones would bring in a deal with a contender late?? I’m betting that it is not as bountiful as you would think.
OR, do you just consider his presence as “priceless”?
Leadoff double to left center by Doumit – LaRoche K’s
April 18th, 200912:56 pm
Monroe flies to Schafer 2 out.
wow….our offense looks reeeeallly bad
April 18th, 200912:57 pm
Lou Vales …. re: Chipper … he ain’t exactly seen as the Kirk Gibson type, that’s for sure
cabravesfan – I’ll update you since I don’t have anything else to do
We;re in the bottom of the 2nd
First batter doubled to me
2nd batter struck out
3rd batter popped out to Schafer
4th batter up now 1-1 count
Reyes looks good so far.
If #10 plays a 120 games i will be shocked.
McFann..we need some of your optimism here!! There’s people here today hungover watching Disney shows and some that need to be talked off the ledge cause of the past few games…Don’t let us down!!
Yeah, gameday is functional but it is a little short on detail:) have it up at the moment
April 18th, 200912:58 pm
RBI Single down the 1st base line by one of the LaRoches
Andy LaRoche doubles past third. 1-0.
Uh thats 3rd base line not 1st
2 0uts man on 2nd..Larouse andy up….3-1 count ist open….double down the 3rd base line run in.
April 18th, 200912:59 pm
Is Jo Jo looking good?
Choozer, Nice analogy. Do you have a game prediction?
A 1-0 lead against our lineup must feel like a huge lead to their staff
April 18th, 20091:00 pm
Vazquez K’s looking.
K, 1-0 top 3rd.
What’s that? Give up an RBI double in a 0-0 game to a guy hitting .091? Oh…okay. Can do.
April 18th, 20091:01 pm
That’s how the ball is bouncing for the Braves… that Laroche double – if it’s 2 feet to the left it’s a ground ball foul, and if it’s 2 feet to the right, it’s a ground ball out to end the inning. Meanwhile, G. Anderson’s screaming liner results in a double play.
Not good at predicting, I’m just hoping Snell can manage to live up to his ERA even against this icy lineup
April 18th, 20091:02 pm
you got it Smynre Jim. Keep up the good work.
Speaking of Donovan Tate, Keith Law just posted a report on him:
“Cartersville High School centerfielder Donovan Tate is the top prep position player in this draft, a superior athlete who projects to have plus tools in all five categories. The son of former NFL running back Lars Tate, Donovan is often compared to the Upton brothers, who were the best high school position players in their respective drafts, but he doesn’t have the same explosive talent or potential speed to the majors as the Uptons did as high school seniors.
Tate has the athletic build you’d expect from someone with his blood lines, but he’s built more like a wide receiver than a running back at a wiry-strong 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He’s a plus runner who reportedly runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, and has the plus range in center typical of someone so fleet of foot, although he could use some improvement getting reads on balls into the gaps. His arm is above-average and he should have no problem staying in center in pro ball. At the plate, he has a great swing, starting his hands in good position, keeping his head steady and rotating his hips in time with his swing to increase his power. He opens his front side a little early and doesn’t have a trigger, which isn’t necessary but can help hitters with timing problems. His main flaw at the plate is pitch recognition; he swings and misses too often for a player this talented and doesn’t always square up hittable pitches. When he does connect, the ball comes off his bat extremely well and he projects to have plus power.
The big knock on Tate this spring among scouts with whom I’ve spoken — including more than one scouting director — is a perceived lack of effort or passion when he plays. I didn’t see that; Tate was visibly angry with himself after popping up a ball that he should have driven over the centerfielder’s head. I’m more concerned with the contact issues but would be willing to take a chance on that improving with time and instruction given his tool set and sound mechanics. He’s an easy top 10 pick and top five would not be a reach.”
April 18th, 20091:03 pm
Sorry. Um…at least McCann took a few pitches before he got out…
How many runs have we scored in the last 4.1 games? 7? I don’t care who is on the bench–we supposedly have a solid bench littered with guys who can adequately fill in. No excuse for 1.7 runs a game.
April 18th, 20091:04 pm
Someone asked about Boyer and whether he could refuse an assignment to Triple-A by the Braves if he clears waivers. No, he can not. He has to have 5 years of major league service or had a prior outright to have the right to refuse an assignment.
with our potent offense its gonna be hard to come back from being down 1-0.
Prado grounds to 3rd on 3-2 pitch.
No Steve from OH…Bud Selig is the worst thing to happen to baseball…he has decided that MLB should and will make money on ANYTHING and EVERYTHING…which means, no more Braves on TBS, FOX national blackout afternoons (or as we all call it- Saturdays outside of Atlanta for Braves fans), and paying to watch and listen to everything that is MLB related.
April 18th, 20091:05 pm
Man Reyes sure does look different doesn’t he? Throwing strikes consistently, locating the offspeed. He is not nasty–did he lose velocity? But as a 4 or 5 pitcher, he could be a matchup advantage every single night. Really encouraging stuff.
3 runs in 24 innings Ray.
McFann…there you go!!
At least Prado got to 3-2 Jim…we’re lucky at this point if we get anything past a 2 ball count w/ our low baseball IQ hitters…
April 18th, 20091:06 pm
geez ANOTHER K for Schafer? how many is that??
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