1:12 pm May 3, 2009, by Carroll Rogers
Wayne in Utah
May 4th, 20092:59 pm
I have gone back and read about half the posts today on the discussion of what is or what isn’t small ball.
Does it really matter? I think most of you are saying the same things. Maybe we should just say that the Braves need to improve in their game fundamentals.
Personally, I am not a big fan of giving up an out. I would only do it with a pitcher at bat and less than 2 outs, or when a run or two (depending on how many runners are on base) wins the game for you. Otherwise, you are just giving up and out.
I have read some of your posts this morning, and my friend, you make some good points, but I still contend that it “is” still too early to call it. Too many times over the years have I seen teams come out of nowhere and make a run. Remember the Cubs last summer???
I also don’t think you give enough emphasis to not having Anderson or McCann for most of our games so far. We sure looked good in that first week of the season at 5-1.
Jersey Gil (long time, no talk)
I think I would prefer to NEVER face Santana, if possible! Though we might be 2-0 against him so far, the numbers will eventually catch up to you! Much rather face Livan!
What’s the weather today in ATL?
Doc and McFann
Doc, gotta listen to the lady. Kotchman is our best fielder, hands down. Infante is sure handed, but somewhat limited range and an average arm. A liability in the outfield (which you weren’t talking about).
Actually, I am OK with Escobar’s glove, though he can be erratic at times. I suspect one of our stats guys would tell you how much ground he covers.
May 4th, 20093:00 pm
Jersey Gil, we may have done better vs. lefties than righties so far… but if every lefty we faced were like Santana, and every righty were like Hernandez, those numbers would be reversed. Decidedly so.
May 4th, 20093:01 pm
This Braves team cannot be defined by stats. There are no stats for half of the things this team has done this year on the field, lol.
May 4th, 20093:02 pm
Random says, “You keep changing your story son!”
TP is to me, not a great teacher…period! I gave you my reasons why and Chipper’s qoutes on Schafer’s struggles at the plate still doesn’t convince me TP should be given a pass on his teaching skills. I realize Schafer is and will struggle early on in the bigs, but judging from Chipper/Mac/Frenchy/Andruw all getting help/advice that has obviously helped them outside of the Braves tells me TP is a joke.
May 4th, 20093:03 pm
I’m sad we won’t see Santana, we needed to challenge our hitters against the best. At least we have KK pitching. Go Bravos.
May 4th, 20093:04 pm
Jake – The online mlb.tv guys commented that Prado took a peak while rounding 3rd which made it a bit closer and the fact that Bourn could beat a few thoroughbreds in a foot race
May 4th, 20093:05 pm
I can’t wait for the boys to get DP to C with it tonight.
May 4th, 20093:06 pm
TnBrian – last time I checked the Schafer-miester had better numbers than all other NL rookies (avg, walks, OBP etc etc)… and he seems to adjust okay so give the kid some time
May 4th, 20093:08 pm
dogsbrekky- I can’t pull the trigger on your offer.Sorry
May 4th, 20093:09 pm
The value of having Infante and Prado on the bench is hard to measure, but just imagine not having those guys for double switches, pinch hitting assignments and as a hot standby for Chipper!
Would you feel as good with Diory Hernandez in one of those roles, or heaven forbid, Kelly.
KJ is never going to please 3/4 of the bloggers with his defense. Never. If we could get his bat back to where it has been, I like him at second base. I don’t like him leading off. Prefer Escobar or eventually Schafer.
BUT, I think with Infante or Prado in a full-time role, you weaken yourself in other facets of the game, and possibly show their weak underbelly when overexposing them.
May 4th, 20093:11 pm
I think the Braves Organization is in a slump….Braves 11-13, Gwinnett 10-14,Mississippi 10-12 and the Pelican 9-15.
Another Stat i was looking is “Team LOB” in 2008 the Bravos was First with 1,274 .Team RSP 2,208 second . I was tried to found the Stat of Situational with Frenchy last year coming with RSP and Schafer this year, i can’t found it, but Schafer going to the same situation that Frenchy was last year with RSP. It just bad lock..the player that is slumping came in that situation every time last year and this year.
May 4th, 20093:12 pm
N Nine – yes I see, I need all the help I can get
At least I fluked the trade getting the Tampa 3rd base of Wright which has been nice………. my team apart from him and my SP sucks eggs
May 4th, 20093:14 pm
I don’t see you logic as to why TP is a BAD hitting coach.
Are you saying because AJ and Frenchy got help from Rudy J that makes TP a bad coach? HUH? Did you ever read DOB’s discussions of how AJ WOULD NOT LISTEN to TP?
Or because BMac and Chipper use their Dad’s for help, that makes TP a bad coach? Again huh?
Why don’t you try one more time and tell us why TP is a bad hitting coach. I am looking to learn!!
Anyone interested and at home – an excellent Redford movie is on HBO Family now
“Downhill Racer” from 1969 or so, good flick
I also don’t think a manager calls the front office during a game and says, “ I’m thinking of hitting and running right now. What are the statistical probabilities that it will be successful if I do?”
No, but many managers have an instinctive ability for risk assessment in the midst of conflict, and sabermetrics, in many cases, simply quantifies that assessment. It’s not a religion (though some proponents treat it as dogma), nor a philosophy, nor the Holy Grail. It’s just an analysis tool. One shouldn’t consider a hammer as a threat to the Grand Old Game And The American Way Of Life.
May 4th, 20093:17 pm
Statistics taken and accepted in a vacuum are worthless! The statistics you state are averages, even you can’t argue they aren’t. Averages include the very best teams at playing small ball and the very worst. Some teams undoubtedly will score more runs playing small ball because they are ABOVE the average and some teams would score even less than the number given as average.
It involves personnel, coaching, and dedication to a style of play. A team that can’t bunt, hit and run and move runners is going to fail and fall below the average. While a team who preaches these fundamentals will probably have numbers above the “average.”
Now as for your brilliant gravity argument, I haven’t seen a rock yet that if dropped from my hand will float. That’s an absolute! On the other hand, I’m sure there are teams who play smallball who will beat the crap out of those Sabermetric averages!
In fact, for Sabermetrics to work, there MUST be teams that are more successful than the “averages” that Sabermetrics states. If you don’t understand averages and how they work, there are numerous great resources online that will explain it to you.
May 4th, 20093:20 pm
KC..you have a point…but that is the STAT so far this year, This are the Lefty we face & won so fare(I don’t compare Santana in anyway with this Pitcher)…Paul Moholm,jamie Moyer,John Lannan,Zack Duke,Joe Beimel,Scott Olsen.
Jake from NV
May 4th, 20093:24 pm
nscoots and Wayne in UT,
Our bench would be weaker if we traded KJ, but not all that much weaker. Yes ncsoots, I have seen Diory play. His defense, especially in ST, has been terrible. But, in terms of pinch hitting ability, he’d be a good bat off the bench. He had a good bat last year, and has had excellent bat so far this year. Looks like he’s mastered AAA pitching.
May 4th, 20093:26 pm
Jake are you in Las Vegas?
My dog and I live there (LV) part of the year but have been stuck over east for the last 14 months.
I was wondering if the city had started to get busy again with conventions and the like… am looking at buying a house out at Red Rock when things pick up
May 4th, 20093:27 pm
DOB: now that I’m not able to go to any of the 400 club lunches, you decide to put in an appearance. You know I’d have to ask something that would put your ol’ synapses into high gear! They’re a knowledgeable bunch, so you’d better have a couple of cups of java beforehand.
May 4th, 20093:28 pm
I’ll admit, you can’t translate minor league success to big league success, as I’m assuming in Diory’s case. But we’d have Prado, Infante, Chipper, and Hubbard to teach him.
Wayne, yes you’d weaken one aspect of your game, the bench. However, would you rather have a weak bench, or a weak starting core? You phrase your argument like you’re sacrificing holing onto KJ only because it’ll weaken the bench if we unload him. I then would argue that is false because if you trade him, you’re obviously getting some major league talent in return that in fact strengthens another aspect of your team.
May 4th, 20093:30 pm
KJ leading off, Kotchman cleaning up, B Jones in left field, Schafer hitting eighth.
May 4th, 20093:31 pm
Denizens, you play your best nine. KJ is NOT in any way one of the Braves best nine. The Braves are hurt by any type of platoon at 2nd base. I think Wayne indicated Prado & Infante are great off the bench for double switches etc. Not so, unless you want to go weak to start the game.
Anyway, it is doubtful KJ will see much action at 2nd base going forward. Cox is seeing the obvious now with Infante and Prado both better options there. Not going to give Cox much credit yet until a permanent move is made though. Look for a KJ trade in ythe not too distant future.
May 4th, 20093:33 pm
Thanks, Wayne! Yeah, Escobar cann be pretty good, but he still makes me nervous…
Any word on when BMac starts his rehab assignment in Gwinnett?. Thanks!
May 4th, 20093:35 pm
I’m helping out with my 4-year old nephew, babysitting him at his home for a few days as he is restricted from going back to school for 3 weeks. He decided to launch himself off his bed to try and touch the baseball light on his ceiling fan, missed his landing, whacked his head on the dresser and cracked his skull from forehead through his eye socket and down into his lower face!!
So, I’ve missed the past 2 games, sounds like I helped my blood pressure stay in acceptable bounds after reading in the blogosphere about how we lost. Sheeeeesh!
So this is the lineup?
Macon Braves (RIP)
May 4th, 20093:36 pm
If Bobby’s gonna keep putting Kotchman in the 4th spot, we’ll have to start calling it something other than “cleanup”….any ideas guys?
Hehe, this might get interesting.
“KJ leading off, Kotchman cleaning up, B Jones in left field, Schafer hitting eighth.” – Thanks, DOB.
Wrong again, for me. I had a feeling that during KJ’s down time he and Cox had decided no more KJ at leadoff. Anyway, I’m okay with it. Braves need his bat in the lineup, wherever it is in the order. (and of course if his bat is in the lineup, he needs to perform.)
Denizens, you play your best nine. KJ is NOT in any way one of the Braves best nine. (ROCK ON)
Yeah, you’re right, it’s an insult to call KJ top 9 on this team ’cause he’s really one of the best three, and one of the best two when McCann is out.
May 4th, 20093:37 pm
Wayne, if Chipper were to get hurt, then u simply move Prado to 3rd & start Infante. If Prado and Infante are both already starting, then you put Prado at 3rd, have infante where ever he’s playing, and spot start Diory at 2nd. I’m sure he’d be able to handle 2nd playing SS over the years in the minors, and 2nd this year. There’s still versatility.
And, again, I’d argue to go on mlb.com and see the videos. Search Prado and then Infante. There’s some good videos of Prado’s quick hands on HR’s, his ability to take pitches to RF, etc… Not so sure pitchers will be able to exploit him. His career totals are adding up. And when I say Prado, I mean Infante as well. They’re both solid hitters with good eyes and quick hands, that use the whole field. There’s also a good video of Prado throwing out a Marlin from 3rd while sitting on the ground. Good stuff.
May 4th, 20093:38 pm
OK, I have a 1 year old and his room is all baseball, but after reading Choppinmama, I will NOT be getting him a baseball ceiling fan. OUCH!
Well said Wally.
KJ Leading off, Kotchman Clean-up, Schafer hitting 8th…EQUALS A loss
WTF is Bobby Thinking…?
I don’t know about most on here but I’d give B. Jones a shot at leading off. If it works good move if not he can’t be worse that what we’ve been doing…
May 4th, 20093:40 pm
Then again KJ Leading off against the mets might be a good thing. As I recall KJ has hit the mets well throughout the coarse of his career…
Clean Up Hitter –
1) a hitter who clears the bases while batting
2) a hitter who clears the bases by striking out, popping out, or in any such way makes out to end the inning and thus clears the bases
May 4th, 20093:41 pm
This lineup tonight will have a hard time scoring 2 runs. Yesterday’s lineup is about as good it’s gonna get without McCann, and they scored 5. It’s not that hard to see how much better the lineup does when having Infante or Prado in it, especially at the same time.
May 4th, 20093:42 pm
If Bobby’s gonna keep putting Kotchman in the 4th spot, we’ll have to start calling it something other than “cleanup”….any ideas guys?
How about, 2nd inning lead off man?
Maybe we should start calling Escobar the “clean up hitter”…..he sure cleans the bases up pretty well with all those double plays.
May 4th, 20093:43 pm
Wayne in Utah,
I never called it……. I agree with you, we can come out of nowhere, specially since we are only 2.5 out, but man have we been lucky (fish got cold, phillies slow start). We need to capitalize from this, and we all know braves arent. Not taking 2 out of 3 from houston………huge mistake. Not taking 2 out of 3 from pirates……….big mistake. Not being perfect or 1 lose as worst scenario against nats (2 1run loses?????)………. Those are things we should take advantage of……….I think the fish swept us………..thats just cant happen.
The team can come back…..sure………but not with the offense they are playing and the lack of spirit. All it takes is 1 or 2 great wins and maybe they turn it around, but if you ask me, that is far from happening, they look tired and the season is just starting……….I think they are already tired……..mentally.
Jake from NV ….Please has a little big of Faith….
“I don’t know about most on here but I’d give B. Jones a shot at leading off.”
I suspect that most on here would not agree with that.
May 4th, 20093:44 pm
I’d try Kotchman, Escobar, KJ, Chipper, Frenchy, Jones, Ross, Schafer until McCann and Garrett get back. Then I’d go Escobar, Garrett, Chipper, McCann, KJ, Frenchy, Kotchman, Schafer when and/or if we’re ever at full strength.
May 4th, 20093:52 pm
Going into the most important stretch of games before the break
Runs scored/allowed: 98 (5th lowest in the NL) / 104 (tied for 5th best in the NL)
Overall Pitching: In the top third of the NL (starter stats pulled down by inconsistent bullpen).
Overall Hitting: In the bottom third of the NL. Braves are sporting the 5th lowest HR total in the NL (19), and are 3rd lowest in total bases in the NL (304).
Keys to the next 10 games (5 against the Mets, 2 vs. the Fish, 3 vs. Philadelphia)
(1) Starting pitching is as good or better than it has been.
(2) Braves find some spare power bats in their travel bags.
(3) Bullpen gets it together and CONSISTENTLY keeps the braves in close games.
If the Braves lineup hits like it has been for the past 10 games, then regardless of how good the pitching is, the braves go 4-6 over this critical stretch.
If the Braves hitters rediscover the miracle that is driving in runs (power, steals, timely hits, late inning runs, etc), then the Braves go 7-3.
If the hitting improves, but the bullpen springs leaks, then the Braves go 6-4.
If the hitting doesn’t improve, and the bullpen blows a few, then the Braves go 2-8.
May 4th, 20093:54 pm
Jake & Rock On
I am not opposed to trading KJ if you can help the team. I would be comfortable with starting Prado at second base. But, make no mistake, if you count on an unknown like D Hernandez, as often as you use that second utility infielder (Chipper makes it hard to not have TWO good utility infielders on your team), you will be sorry.
I think that the big draw for KJ is his bat (yeah, yeah, I know, he currently sucks). Anywhere else on the field than second base, and he is an offensive downgrade from league average. Really, the only other place you can play him is left field, unless he learns another position.
For my money, if he picks it up with the bat, he is a definite positive on this club. I have faith he will do that.
But, if you can package him and get a righty bat who could hit 25-30 dingers in the middle of the lineup, then that is a trade I would make.
Then I would try to deal one of my other outfielders for a decent backup utility infielder.
Just don’t see those type trades happening this early in the year.
May 4th, 20093:57 pm
McFann: I’m going to the HOF luncheon, reserved a ticket as soon as I heard about the Maddux induction and sure would like to go to the game that night too. I always run into the problem that it’s too far to go back to Woodstock after the lunch, then drive back to Turner F for the game, it’s too hot to hang around the field for 3 or 4 hours before they open the gates, plus if I leave to go anywhere, I’d lose the free parking spot in the green lot! I guess there’s always the Bullpen. But, I’ll let you know and we can meet at the Spahn statue if you go to the game. I have some Braves loot to pass along, not to mention a couple of darling photos of 4-Eyes from spring training. They’re not digital, or I’d have already sent them to you. Long live Doggie.
Hey, DOB: maybe I could come and hang in the press box, do some proofreading, ghost writing or go-fering to pass those idle hours? It IS air conditioned up there after all. DId I ever tell you I sat in your very seat to gain your perspective on one of my many tours of TF? At least you can still see the whites of the player’s eyes from that vantage point. Aren’t some of the other boxes in other parks in the upper hemisphere?
May 4th, 20093:59 pm
um………make that upper “atmosphere.” See how good my proofreading skills is…….er, are?
May 4th, 20094:01 pm
Can we just find someone and pump ‘em full of roids so we’ll have a cleanup hitter?
May 4th, 20094:02 pm
And Nolie, since you opened your mouth and stuck your foot in it, here you go:
Chipper Jones finished right behind Scott Rolen in the gold glove voting back in 1998. So yea, there was a time when Chipper was an above average defender at 3B. (Coach)
Gold Glove voting means next to nothing Coach. FCS guys have won it who played just a few games in a year at that position. Get real, It’s often a joke.
I know for sure what most of the national analysts thought of him cause I read it every year and disagreed with it. I thought he was average or just below most of the time, but not nearly as abysmally low as many of them said.
Post revisionist history all you want dude, but he was not ever considered an above average defender by scouts or analysts. As for Don, well he’s a Braves announcer; and there were at least 3-4 third basemen who were better that year including Wright, though he didn’t really deserve it either.
Gawd I love homers.
May 4th, 20094:13 pm
Wonder what would happen if GA told the Whitesox coach he didn’t want to rehab? or Lou Peniella? or the Phillies coach? (Monty)
the exact same thing. Union agreement says that a player can not be forced to do it so that would mean he can’t be cut for not doing it. The only option is to let it happen and if it works out poorly you could DFA him after you can prove that it’s because he isn’t performing. Even then if you did it too quickly you might get into a hassle with the union.
These guys are more like independent contractors with a strong union than they are like employees.
May 4th, 20094:16 pm
They needed a power hitter for left field and got another old DL roster space taker. They needed pitching so they are playing with Glavine and KK and now the rotation holds Reyes and Parr. I really with they would stop with the old and just move on. Glavine retire, Anderson release him and bring up Hanson for the 4th spot and let KK pitch when he thinks his arm is good.
I am really tired of depending on pitchers who are not major league ready because we are playing with the major league retired. Enough is enough. Glavine is done, let him go and move on to Hanson would ya. Anderson is a has been, and its time to either spend some money and sign a player who isnt 40 something or bring up a talent to learn in the field. I would rather bring up the talent.
May 4th, 20094:26 pm
Why do teammates get high fived when they come back to the dugout after executing a good sacrifice because its “Smart” baseball (SHAFWAF)
why do they always say “if they are trying to give you an out, take it” all the time,Wafer?
The figures Steve quoted are from actual games over the years…that’s what really happened at that percentage. He ain’t making anything up.
As a general strategy it will get you beat on a regular basis. As a tactic in specific situations like needing one run late in the game it can be useful, no doubt.
May 4th, 20094:29 pm
Bobby’s in between a rock and another rock…he can’t get KJ out of his slump unless he’s in the game…he can’t afford to have him at second for any period of time because he’s a liability…the team has absolutely no options at center field other than the kid who’s, frankly, not a very good hitter at this stage and, from my perspective not the best defensive center in baseball either. I say why not give KJ a try in CF? He’s got some speed and you won’t know about his reactions until you try him out. As for trading the guy, you’re not gonna’ get anything for him until his bat comes back…so, a rock and a rock.
By the way, the definition of ’small ball’ is what Houston did to us yesterday to win the game. What’d they say, everybody but two in their lineup had a sacrifice. Haven’t looked to see the LOB but my guess is they didn’t have much. We got ’schooled’ by the worst team in the NLCentral. The thing about this game is ‘execution’…advancing runners…getting ‘em in from third with less than two outs…not striking out with runners on…getting a fly ball when one’s called for…getting a bunt down. Frankly, we’ve been as poor at executing fundamentals as any team in baseball and that’ll kill ya’ everytime.
May 4th, 20094:41 pm
2009 rank…………12th……………..just saying (DOC)
just saying what Doc? That the Braves will end up 12th even if they stay healthy most of the rest of the way?
If you are responding to the list of seasonal finishes in runs scored this decade,are you implying that all of a sudden Terry has lost it this year?
I’m not getting the point that you were making. Sorry
May 4th, 20094:50 pm
This might have been answered already but has Maddux said if he is going into the HOF as a Brave or Cub yet? I would assume(and hope)that it would be as a Brave. (Tommy Cheese)
It ain’t up to Maddux, so he can’t say. It’s up to the committee
May 4th, 20094:55 pm
Omar Infante may be the second coming of Placido Polanco. Polanco was a utility for a number of years and then blossomed as a starter. (CHRIS MD)
I’d say Prado is closer to that than Infante. Prado’s early stats are eerily similar to PP’s.
May 4th, 20095:00 pm
So If you are a Saber guy you buy it. If you don’t buy Saber, you probably don’t buy it (Factoid)
I dn’t think you hafta be a saber-guy to see what stats from actual games have shown. All you hafta be able to do is read a table. Like I said b4 as a tactic it is useful, as a strategy it is usually self-defeating.
May 4th, 20095:55 pm
Well its that time of the year again. Too bad both teams are scuffling. 1 month is in the books and the GMs for both teams have some explaining to do. 3rd place now hangs in the balance. Hope the braves is just what the Mets need to wake up.
May 4th, 20095:58 pm
Enter your comments here
May 4th, 20096:34 pm
Im not saying that TP has lost it, just saying that we are doing terribly in 2009. I dont think TP has anything to do with it…………. Im a PURE COX BASHER………..
EXBRAVES FAN SINCE NO BROTHERS
May 4th, 200910:45 pm
DAVID YOU CAN TAKE DOWN THE TRUTH ALL YOU WANT,BUT THE TRUTH IS WE HAVE NOT BEEN WINNING SINCE FRANK REDNECK WREN CAME ON,ALSO TED TURNER BUY YOUR TEAM BACK BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT YOU NEED BLACKMEN TO WIN. POINT BLANK THESE ALL WHITE OR HISPANIC PLAYERS AINT BOUGHT THE BRAVES A RING REMEMBER JUSTICE AND MCGRIFF YOU HICK HATERS.
June 28th, 20094:41 am
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