Trying to bring the mojo home

   So the Braves are home from a 6-2 road trip against the Marlins, Phillies and Mets. Now we know they can do it.

 

   They can grind out some tough wins, they can find clutch hitting to go along with their quality starting pitching. They can play smart baseball, and they can get gutty performances from Mike Gonzalez and their bullpen. And yes, absolutely, they can benefit from having both Garret Anderson and Brian McCann back in the lineup.

   But can they do it at home? Dare we welcome them back to Turner Field for this 10-game homestand, folks? Where the Braves lost four in a row before heading out on that last trip, and where they’ve lost nine of their last 11 games.

   Overall, the Braves are 12-8 on the road this season and 5-9 at home. (And just an aside, the Mets are the only team in the NL East with a winning record at home – they are 12-8 at Citi Field – so the Braves are not alone.)

   So is this just geography? Or is it timing – that it just so happened the Braves were playing poorly at home because it was before the lineup was put back together as guys got healthy?

   There might be more to it, if you listen to what Chipper Jones suggested Wednesday to DOB (clue, hint, DOB is not writing this blog since I’m now talking about him in the third person.) Chipper suggested there’s been a change in mentality on the road.

   “I want to see – I’ll make this known – I want to see the same intensity we’ve had this last eight days when we get home to Atlanta,” Jones said. “Up until now it’s been kind of a different team that’s played at home. We’ve been a little more relaxed and had a kind of sit-back-and-wait mentality. Out here [on the road], it’s been us against the world. We’re all together. We need to take that intensity back home.”

   So in those last 11 home games, the Braves are hitting only .236 and they have a 4.36 ERA. In their last 12 road games, the Braves are hitting .270 and have a 3.61 ERA.

   They’ve got the team coming in tonight that would be a prime target to turn things around against at Turner Field these next three days.

   Arizona slinks in for the weekend series, having lost five of its last six games since manager Bob Melvin was fired and farm director A.J. Hinch took over. Hinch, 34, a former major league catcher with Oakland, Kansas City, Detroit and Philadelphia, had no experience as a manager on any level. Talk about trial by fire.

   Anyway, the Diamondbacks are last in the major leagues in runs scored (129) and last in batting average (.232). They’ve got only two players hitting over .300 in their lineup – Felipe Lopez (.319) and Justin Upton (.306). They are prime for the taking for Javier Vazquez tonight, Kenshin Kawakami tomorrow and Derek Lowe on Sunday.

   And not that we aren’t taking it one day at a time, here filling in on the MIB/Braves blog, but coming in after Arizona is Colorado and its 13-20 record, 9 ½ games behind the Dodgers at the moment. And then we get a splash of interleague play – first of the year, feels like it’s about time for it.

   And who would have thought Toronto would be the team leading the AL East over the Red Sox, Yankees and Devil Rays?

 

GWINNETT BRAVES:

   Long day for the Gwinnett Braves today. They got rained out yesterday, so they get to play a doubleheader today, then travel from Buffalo to LeHigh Valley. Course, they will play only two seven-inning games in the doubleheader, so that should help. (Are we making up the rules as we go along? Ha.)

   Todd Redmond (2-2, 3.68) is pitching the first game, which starts at 5:35 p.m. and Tommy Hanson (1-3, 1.99) pitches the second.

   And speaking of AAA, I had a few leftover quotes that I couldn’t fit in the Q and A with Kris Medlen that ran in this morning’s paper. So I’ll spill it here.  

   His answers provided some insight I thought bloggers might appreciate. He sounds to me like he’s got the mentality to back up why he’s throwing strikes and mowing down hitters for a 21-inning scoreless streak right now. He’s 5-0 with an 0.96 ERA, by the way, and pitches again on Saturday in LeHigh Valley.

 

   Q. Have you surprised yourself? Leading the International League in ERA?

 

   A. “I’m going to say no, I’m not surprised just because I’ve gone out super confident this year and just started the year out well. I go out there expecting to get outs. I just have so far. Everything can turn whenever it wants. I’m just happy everything is going well right now, I’m just trying to keep it up.”

 

   Q. Do you feel caught between “Am I a starter” or “Am I a reliever?” (Medlen was a reliever in junior college and the first two years of his minor league career until the Braves moved him to the rotation halfway through AA Mississippi last year. He came out of the bullpen in big league camp, then went back to starting in Gwinnett.)

 

   A. “Not really. I like starting. Results-wise I guess it’s definitely a lot better. It’s just learning to pitch. I think the only rut I get caught in with the whole reliever/starter thing is when I’m starting, I use all my pitches more. When I’m a reliever, I go into this mode of fastball/curveball to righties, and fastball/changeup to lefties. This year, I’m throwing a lot more changeups to righties, mixing the curveballs to lefties, mixing all my pitches and I think it’s helping me a lot.”

 

   OK, that’s it. More from the ‘yard as we go.

   

897 comments Add your comment

fat people sink faster

May 15th, 2009
12:26 pm

CLE

May 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

Thanks for the blog, Carroll. Let’s see how many people confuse you with DOB today!

Lash La Rue

May 15th, 2009
12:27 pm

Great day for Braves baseball. Welcome Ms. Rogers..

CB

May 15th, 2009
12:28 pm

You have to like Medlen and his confidence level. I still feel like he is the one the Braves should call up to replace JOJO and then put him in the bullpen when Glavine is ready.

rammerjammer

May 15th, 2009
12:29 pm

Good to have Carol Roberts back.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
12:33 pm

Hi CARROLL:

I think it timing. Once ANDERSON, KAWAKAMI, McCANN get settled in and FRANCOUER goes back for the future, the BRAVES will grind through this season in solid fashion. On KELLY I’m not sure. I’m beginning to think that what you see is what you get. That patience and quick bat I saw his first season has been coached out of him, and I’m saying that’s not a good thing. Maybe this team’s hitting philosophy doesn’t match with his natural talent.

Josh

May 15th, 2009
12:34 pm

I'm from North Carolina

May 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

The Braves need to attack

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

un oh!…..Carol Roberts!!! Where is DOB, why the heck is he taking a day off when the Braves are at home tonight? Ugh! Please Mr. Roberts get your own blog…Get rid of Chop Chicks and get your own.

Anyway on the Braves, hopefully we can start to win some series at the Ted, will the crowds be 13,000+?

KC

May 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

There may have been a bit of a difference in intensity at home vs. on the road… BUT, I don’t think there can be any doubt that getting GA and Mac back in the lineup makes a HUGE difference for this team, and they just so happened to get those guys back at the beginning of the road trip.

Even when McCann was in the lineup in April, aside from the opening Phili series, he clearly wasn’t himself. Since the return of Anderson, and McCann right after that… the Braves have averaged about 6 runs per game.

Certainly a different team heading home than the one was saw on the last homestand.

brent a.

May 15th, 2009
12:36 pm

Fireworks tonight people. Get out to the Ted!

I'm from North Carolina

May 15th, 2009
12:36 pm

*the rest of my comment* The D-backs are a prime target to do some real winning, I’m looking foward to a great homestand.

Tomahawkin

May 15th, 2009
12:38 pm

C-Roge In Da House! Thanks for the 411…

Is it Me or ever since Randy Johnson threw that Perfect game here in 04, The Braves have not had a Home Field Advantage like they used to…?

I the Braves hit like they did at Citi Field we will come out on top “Bank On It”

And Believe me if they come out playing flat I will be the first to bash, especially Francoeur…He needs to seriously step it up…Oh Yea I’m finally convinced that K-Fer doesn’t belong on the Big league level yet…He needs more seasoning in AAA…

Mixxo

May 15th, 2009
12:40 pm

I’m from North Carolina – Yup! Sounds like a plan. Agreed.

DAP

May 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

chipper will have a big series. he is starting to get hot…..

Jackson (The Sniper)

May 15th, 2009
12:42 pm

Hopefully attendance will start to pick up, that can only help with the “intensity” that Chipper wants to see. I doubt the D-Bags are gonna help bring a big crowd, hopefully our better play will.

Carroll Rogers

May 15th, 2009
12:43 pm

Gummy Bears, did I wrong you in another life or something? Maybe I was mean to you in middle school? The reason DOB gets a day off at home is because he covered the last six games. Maybe you should take the day off too, if you don’t like it (oops, did I say that out loud?)

KC I think you make valid points.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
12:44 pm

BRAVES PHANATICS:

Its easy to say, “O.K. let’s relax it’s ARIZONA, COLORADO, TORONTO not the METS, FISH or FILTHIES, so they’re not as important. All the teams in the NL EAST are pretty even right now with the exception of WASHINGTON, and I truely believe will split their season games roughly 9-9.

Don’t lose sight of how vital these games on this home-stand are. The team from the east that dominates the NATS AND wins best against the rest of the NL and the AL are gonna’ be crowned the division winners.

Jeff321

May 15th, 2009
12:44 pm

Carroll Rogers – I enjoyed your piece on Medlen the other day. Btw, how is that Barton expose coming along?

KC

May 15th, 2009
12:44 pm

CB, it’s unlikely that either Hanson or Medlen will be called up until June. They don’t want to start the arbitration clock early on either of those guys, and from what I understand, June 1 is the magic benchmark there.

If Glavine is healthy come June, Medlen will have a good chance of being called up to the bullpen. But if Glavine isn’t healthy, here’s what I would like to see:

Call Medlen up to take that final rotation slot, and temporarily (this year only) put Hanson in the bullpen. The Rays did this with Price last year, and he helped them get to the World Series. Pitching just one inning at a time, Hanson could come out throwing 97-99mph (with movement), along with that nasty slider and filthy curve. He could be outstanding in the pen.

And then when Hudson is ready, you put him wherever he’s most needed – rotation or ‘pen. DAMN, what a pitching staff that would (will?) be!!!

CLE

May 15th, 2009
12:45 pm

Gummy Bears, quit acting like a jerk. I’m convinced you intentionally spell Carroll’s name wrong and refer to her in male pronouns. No one is amused. Stick to baseball talk, please.

brent a.

May 15th, 2009
12:45 pm

Carroll, Don’t feed the bears.

chc4

May 15th, 2009
12:48 pm

If Francoeur continues to revert back to his ‘08 performance, I hope Cox goes the Wednesday’s lineup more often. Frenchy looks completely lost and is swinging at everything. He’s an automatic out.

AGTFan

May 15th, 2009
12:53 pm

DOB – Why are you referring to yourself in the third person? Just kidding Carrol. I enjoyed the interview with Medlin. Hopefully, the road trip was a confidence builder and the team will play with more intensity at home now.

KC

May 15th, 2009
12:54 pm

chc4, yes, Frenchy’s looked pretty bad and ‘08-like… but only for the last week or so. His swing was very solid all spring and all through the month of April. So I wouldn’t worry yet. If he’s still looking like this in a few weeks, that’ll be a different story. But right now, I don’t see too much cause for concern. It’s a long season, and everyone has ups and downs.

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 15th, 2009
12:58 pm

Sorry CARROLL ROGERS, I will try to get your name spelled right from now on….Truthfully for the first few pages a few blogs ago I actually did think your name was Carol Roberts.

Okay baseball question Mr. Rogers, I know its early but whom do you think the bravos are going to target before the trade deadline..

Renegator

May 15th, 2009
1:00 pm

KC:

Frenchy’s new swing makes him basically just a slap singles hitter. Is that really what we want out of our RF?

chris from md

May 15th, 2009
1:01 pm

KC,

I’m with you on letting Hanson be used in the pen this year. I could also see Morton getting two starts, giving way to Glavine, and then going to the pen.

Early prediction for next year: Hudson and Hanson in the rotation. Glavine retires and someone else in the rotation is traded. Morton and Medlen work in the pen. Reyes is traded. One of Soriano and Gonzalez is resigned; the other is let go (due to financial reasons). Thoughts?

Chris from MD

Rodney Derrick

May 15th, 2009
1:01 pm

Carroll– Great article on Medlen. And you started the Braves revival in Florida. As for the Braves intensity problem at home, the lack of intensity in the stands at Turner may be one factor, but perhaps the return to their homes and their wives, girlfriends, and children, and driving to and from Turner causes them to lose some of their focus. Perhaps better to hang out in other cities together, staying in same hotel, going to game together for the most part, plus perhaps some “quickie”, on the road one or two night stands with partners of which the home folks are not aware.

Cville

May 15th, 2009
1:01 pm

First time I’ve posted. (Been a Braves fan since childhood but haven’t lived in Atlanta since gradusting from college 30 years ago)

Anyway, I’ve been seeing a lot of Elvis Audrus on the ESPN highlights playing shortstop for Texas. Hindsight being 20/20, it still bugs me that the Braves gave up so much young talent for Tex. If the trade hadn’t been made I could imagine a strong defensive lineup of Andrus at short for the Braves, Escobar at third and Chipper at 1st. And we would have more speed on the bases, which IMO the braves sorley need (I still wish they had kept Josh Anderson for that reason).

I just think the Braves are going to really regret the Tex trade.

McFann :Ô:

May 15th, 2009
1:02 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

KC Even when McCann was in the lineup in April, aside from the opening Philli series, he clearly wasn’t himself.

That’s for sure. After he hit 3 doubles in the home opener against the Nats, he started to go downhill. But now he’s BMac again! Here’s to a good homestand! He hasn’t played a home game since April 15th. Every time he goes down for an extended period of time, he comes back when the team’s on the road. (But this year was better than last year, when the team was in San Francisco when he returned.)

Gotta go check up on the D-Backs now…wanna see if they do a lotta running…

AndyC

May 15th, 2009
1:02 pm

Don’t worry Carroll. 99% of us like you and respect your work. There are always a few crazy wackos. By the way, I always look at the byline to see who wrote the blog before I proceed although it would be cool to have your own bada$$ picture at the top like DOB!

KC

May 15th, 2009
1:03 pm

I have noticed something where Francoeur is concerned…

If any other player hits .200 or so for a week, they’re in a little bit of a slump. But if Francoeur has a bad week, he’s “reverting to his 2008 form”. Not knocking anyone… just making an observation.

The fact is, EVERY hitter on the planet – or nearly every hitter – reverts to Francoeur’s ‘08 form once in a while.

What made 2008 so terrible for him was that it lasted all season. But for a good hitter to have a stretch of a week or two like this is no big deal. Happens to nearly every hitter in the game every year. Again, let’s worry about it in a few weeks if he’s still swinging like this.

Tricky Dick

May 15th, 2009
1:04 pm

Gummy, you are truly an idiot.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:05 pm

DOWN ON THE FARM:

25 year old righty CHARLIE MORTON has FINALLY put back to back to back impressive starts together on the AAA level. Always before he’d be one good, two bad. Later it was two good, one bad, but never three in a row until now. MAY stats: 2-1 record with a 1.23 ERA, 0.96 GO/AO, and a .153 avg. 22 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 7 BB, 17 SO. What you saw in ATLANTA last year is not what this young man can bring to the mound. When he’s established in the majors barring injury, he’ll be a solid performer for five years or more. Thats why you see DOB saying he’ll be the probable call-up when there is one.

Original Jon

May 15th, 2009
1:08 pm

Gummi Bears, seriously, Carroll is a WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get it right, dang!

Josh H

May 15th, 2009
1:09 pm

richbrave:

From the # 5 slot…I’d definitely take two good starts out of 3.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:09 pm

Trade deadline. I like our chances as they are. No moves unless for farm talent.

rammerjammer

May 15th, 2009
1:10 pm

CLE,

To quote from DOB: “We talk Braves, baseball in general, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever else (except politics).”

So if Gummy Bears or anyone else wants to have fun with “whatever else,” well, pal, you can get over it, get with it, or get lost.

Lars Taint

May 15th, 2009
1:10 pm

I’m going with a group of 9 people to the game tomrrow and we want to watch the game from the Top of the Chop. Does anyone know how early you need to get there to get a good table on the patio?

DCBrave

May 15th, 2009
1:10 pm

Nice to see you’ve got your name (and gender) back today, Carroll.

Yeah, the Diamondbacks really got a tofu back these days, and Braves really should take advantage of it. The problem is that, based on past experience, the Braves’ backs tend to be stronger when facing good teams but become much softer facing bad teams. Hopefully this time around is different.

Melty Mets Melt Away When the September Heat Comes to Stay

May 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

You and me too JOSH, me too.!!!

KC

May 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

Cville, yeah the Tex trade hurt.

But, the Braves got him to help get to the playoffs and hopefully win in October in ‘07 and ‘08. If the Braves had a crystal ball… if they had known that the back end of the rotation in ‘07 would derail any hopes… or that the Braves would suffer a historic – nearly unprecedented – rash of injuries in ‘08, they never would have made the trade.

Had the Braves been healthy last year, they might have gone to the World Series with Tex last year, in which case, the trade wouldn’t have looked so bad.

As it is, the Braves got the services of Mark Texeira for parts of two seasons, plus a quality 1st baseman (Kotchman) and a decent pitching prospect.

Was that worth what they gave up? No. But a lot of what the Braves gave up were players that were blocked. E.Andrews and Salty were blocked by McCann and Escobar… so their only value was TRADE value. I know that doesn’t make it sting any less to see them performing well while Texeira’s greedy a$$ is in pinstripes, but in reality, the only real sacrifice we made was the pitching we gave up in the deal.

And only time will tell how good those pitchers are or aren’t at the big league level.

Carroll Rogers

May 15th, 2009
1:11 pm

Jeff321, Barton story is filed and stewing in a computer somewhere down at the home office. Will be in print Sunday, maybe online before.

richbrave, add to that that Morton pitched Wednesday, like Jo-Jo. So he’s right on target, timing-wise.

Goofy, I mean Gummy, can’t you start me off with something easier than that? I gotta predict where the Braves needs will be two months from now?

keylargo

May 15th, 2009
1:12 pm

Carroll

I was thinking about you while I was on my mid day bicycle ride today. I don’t know if you bike or not but I think it is all about the same when you can get away for a couple of hours mid day. Have you ever run in the Seven Mile Bridge Run down here in the Keys? It’s a good fast race and US 1 is completely shut down for two hours. Anyway, I was riding the bridge today on my bicycle and thought you would enjoy riding or running at noon.

I think the time has come to admit if we are going to contend, we are going to have to get at least one and maybe two outfielders. I think center would be the place to start and send Schafer to Gwinnett where he should have been. That spring of his really fooled a lot of people.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:13 pm

DCBRAVE:

RICHMOND BRAVE here. I’ve been trying to talk up the importance of these games here on the blog, in hopes the players occasionally wander over to see what’s being said and it rubs off on them.

rammerjammer

May 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

Carroll, glad to see YOU have a sense of humor!

oldschool

May 15th, 2009
1:14 pm

the only reason morton will be called up is because he’s on the 40 man roster

KC

May 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

richbrave, don’t meant to be contrary, but I think the reason we’ll see Morton (if there is a call-up), as opposed to Hanson or Melen, has to do as much with financial considerations as anything else. Don’t want to start the arbitration clock early on Medlen or Hanson.

Not that the Braves don’t like Morton… I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think they see a great deal of potential in him. And certainly his recent performance at Gwinnet has helped his cause.

BUT… Reyes hasn’t been sent down yet. Yikes. Are they really going to run him back out there AGAIN????

DCBrave

May 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

“Okay baseball question Mr. Rogers …”

Oops, Carroll, I was wrong. No, you did not get your gender back.

Melty Mets Melt Away When the September Heat Comes to Stay

May 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

Chipper and Mac, will lead the attack, on the lowly D-backs!

TnBrian

May 15th, 2009
1:16 pm

Chipper wants to see the “us against the world” attitude at home too, then he needs to hold a team meeting and tell them that the chopping cow wants them to lose and get embarrassed at home. Play against that fu*** cow! Whatever it takes.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:17 pm

Speaking of trades I saw MATT HARRISON’s majors numbers on Sports news last night. Seems to be progressing well also.

oldschool

May 15th, 2009
1:17 pm

None of the players read this blog I can promise you that or they would charge the stands about once a week like a NBA game

Why do they always send the poor?

May 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

Yay Carroll!

jimmy

May 15th, 2009
1:18 pm

don sutton praised this young man in spring training if glavine does’t make it back maybe he is the one who needs to be brought up

oldschool

May 15th, 2009
1:19 pm

Reyes has about as much of a chance to pitch his next turn as one of us

Jo-Jo Reyes

May 15th, 2009
1:19 pm

Why does nobody like me?

Heavy Medlen

May 15th, 2009
1:19 pm

Carroll, my only gripe with you is that the Braves don’t like winning whenever you cover them. Otherwise, I don’t even notice half the time who is running the blog. Keep up the good work and thanks for what you do. Don’t let detractors like Gummy Bears ruin your day. (not that I think, in any way, you give a crap what somebody with the name “gummy bears” thinks.)

Go Braves!

matt_T

May 15th, 2009
1:20 pm

Hopefully DOB is off so he can go see MASTODON tonight

sportsmandh

May 15th, 2009
1:20 pm

Carroll, we appreciate your efforts, despite the rudeness of certain denizens, or the clumsiness (is that a word?) of others who have not been able to figure out yet when it’s you on post instead of DOB. Personally, didn’t think it’s that hard, but I guess maybe it is for some.

As far as the Braves, they have to carry the momentum from the road trip and take the series from both the Dbacks and the Rockies. That is at a minimum, hopefully they can throw in a sweep in 1 of the 2.

Doc Holiday

May 15th, 2009
1:20 pm

CB,

There is no debate on who is pitching better this year…….JJJ is of course, but, in crunch time, I would like Lowe on the hill, by a close margin ahead of JJJ, but its only because of experience and his sinker (less HR allowed than JJJ).

Ace is just a word to determine the leader of the pack, like your alfa male, the guy that the team will miss and affect others pitching and stuff like that. That might be Lowe IMO, but sure, JJJ is not far behind, only aspect missing is experience, which translates into lack of leadership. Thats all.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:21 pm

KC:

No problemo KC. I’m sure finances are big in most moves. I am surprised that he’s still in ATLANTA. I thought after that last 3 IP the only thing left of JoJO at TURNER FIELD would be his ghost.

Carroll Rogers

May 15th, 2009
1:22 pm

never have, KeyLargo. Sounds cool. I’m training for the Seattle Marathon and just found out the route was changed to include a floating bridge on the run – i think i read that right. I’m really not sure how that will work, but it sounds cool. course, I’ve never been seasick on a run before??!!

Lars Taint

May 15th, 2009
1:23 pm

I’ll try again.
Does anyone here ever watch the game from the Chop House? If so, how early do you need to be to get a good spot on the Top of the Chop patio?

Robert Joe "Bobby" Cox

May 15th, 2009
1:24 pm

For all the naysayers talking smack about JoJo; He will continue to pitch until I get reamed by the Atlanta press; And damn the team, its all about JoJo’s wants and needs!

DCBrave

May 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

Heavy Medlen: “Carroll, my only gripe with you is that the Braves don’t like winning whenever you cover them.”

Are you sure about that, Heavy? Not sure about this season so far, but I thought Carroll’s winning record last season was much better than DOB’s, at least the first half of last season.

richbrave

May 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

old school:

Live in hope die in despair huh.

rammerjammer

May 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

Morton may not excite the masses like Hanson and Medlen, but he’s probably more ready to step into a major league rotation right now. I hope he gets the call.

Carroll Rogers

May 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

Thanks DCBrave. I was a winner last year, and that was not easy to do….Heavy M is right for earlier this year, but I think I rebounded with back-to-back wins in Florida. ….But if we fall back into the losing bit at home – look out I’m covering Monday and Tuesday too – you guys should start a petition to get me some more off days!

ernisTbass

May 15th, 2009
1:28 pm

Platoon Kelly with Frenchy in right. Kelly isn’t a prototypical lead-off hitter and he is an average at best 2nd baseman but I like the guy and think he has a future with the team if they would quit trying to squeeze blood out of a perfectly good turnip. He did a respectable job in left and showed he can hit. This would serve two purposes by allowing Kelly to hit in the 6 or 7 hole he should produce more consistantly and show whether or not he may be the answer in right field, he sure isn’t at second. It may light a fire under Frenchy or prove once and for all that he needs a change of sceenery. Either way some questions would be answered, surely Kelly couldn’t be any worse than Diaz in right and he can hit better than Frenchy at the moment. The worst case is they both do well in that scenario and playing time becomes an issue. I can think of worse problems to have. Infante should have second nailed down so you need to find a spot for Kelly or trade him, I would rather keep the guy, just not on 2nd.

Renegator

May 15th, 2009
1:29 pm

Lars Taint:

These days – not very early. The Ted will be dead.

Heavy Medlen

May 15th, 2009
1:30 pm

Carroll what is the overall record this year with you covering them? How about when Carol Roberts is?

Steve from OH

May 15th, 2009
1:30 pm

rammerjammer, I agree. Morton will do an acceptable job and is the most likely candidate for a call-up.

Heavy Medlen

May 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

DC.. you may be right. I just know at the start it was scary. She got us two wins in Florida, so I guess this homestand will determine if she needs a paper route over the summer.

JasoninAtl

May 15th, 2009
1:32 pm

Where Frenchy is concerned I agree with KC in the fact that hitters will go through slumps, and this is one of them. However, his pitch recognition is awful. I’m all for being aggresive at the plate, but I would much prefer him to be aggresive in the strike zone. Unfortunately I think that ship has left the tracks and the train has sailed. As much as I root for the guy (he plays so hard, he seems genuinely likeable), I get the feeling that what we are seeing is what we have. A .260 – .270 hitter, low OBP, with occasional power and good defense. That probably translates to a replacement level player, but not the superstart that many of us hoped/thought he would become.

monty

May 15th, 2009
1:34 pm

I want the Jeff F. experiment with his new swing to work as much as anyone. I want him to recover that Golden Boy, that Natural,type performance of old. HIs new swing makes him a singles and doubles hitter, something I don’t believe he thinks that he is. I think it’s hard for him to see MAcann hitting balls in the upper deck and you used to hit like that, but now your a Punch and Judy hitter. I think that lately he has been pressing to do too much out of frustration with having little power.(harder swings, pulling off pitches,trying to lift the ball) It will be interesting to see how patient he can be this weekend and will he try to crush it or be satisfied with singles back up the middle.

ease19

May 15th, 2009
1:35 pm

Doc – How does”lack of experience” translate into “lack of leadership”? Not arguing with your point, which is a good one, just curious…maybe I am reading it wrong?

No More Bobby

May 15th, 2009
1:36 pm

I like that Chipper is stepping it up as leader of this club but honestly what took him so long?

rammerjammer

May 15th, 2009
1:36 pm

Steve,

If Morton is called up and does well in two starts…and then Glavine is ready…what would be done with the rotation? Maybe KK becomes a $23 million set-up guy?

Not saying it will happen…heck, probably won’t…but it’s fun to speculate!

Maturin

May 15th, 2009
1:37 pm

I’d like to see how Medlin deals with tough situations and failure before bringing him up. We’ve all heard how Hanson can keep his composure, and that’s what sets him ahead of other pitchers with good stuff (Morton.)

RIPSkip

May 15th, 2009
1:38 pm

OK Go Braves!!! BUT…

When are we going to realize it’s time to pull the plug on the Frenchy experiment. This is not a half-season problem. We are basically two full seasons into this. Frenchy is what he is…NOT VERY GOOD.

We all loved the splash he made when he first came up (i traveled down from Ohio for that series and was actually there–fun week!), but we can’t afford him out there. Imagine replacing his bat with a .300-25-110 bat with some discipline.

I know, as soon as I write this, he’ll go 3-8 the next two days and some on here will proclaim that Texas’ hitting coach or his new approach are starting to work. I won’t be fooled again!

GO BRAVES!

DAP

May 15th, 2009
1:41 pm

keylargoI think the time has come to admit if we are going to contend, we are going to have to get at least one and maybe two outfielders.

how about mike cameron or jermaine dye, or brad hawpe, or brian giles? who is feesable for the braves to go get?

Billy Walsh

May 15th, 2009
1:44 pm

What makes the Tex trade look bad is not the fact that they gave up Andrus, Salty, or Harrison. Neftali Feliz was considered a throw in and has quickly become the Rangers best prospect and projects as a number starter. I can’t see Salty becoming more than an average player in the majors and the braves could have moved Andrus to second if they wanted to keep him. Imagine a future rotation consisting of Hanson, Medlen, and Feliz.

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 15th, 2009
1:47 pm

Jammer I know alot about movies.

CB

May 15th, 2009
1:47 pm

Doc I agree with what you said about Lowe -his experience is nice to have- he and JJ are a push in my book. Always appreciate your input on the blog along with other knowlegable people. Renegator still we will do well on this homestand- Braves may have turned it around. We shall see.

Tomahawk210

May 15th, 2009
1:48 pm

Tomahawkin’

I don’t think facing AAA pitching is going to help Schafer at this point. I see him starting to break out of his K’ing slump. I have a feeling this series is when he turns it around, he had an off day yesterday to think about it and hopefully work on his swing. His defense is far and away better than anything else we could put out there and I wish Bobby would bat him lead-off, I bet it would help. Sending him down would do nothing for him and his confidence. It’s not like he’s losing games for us by being up here.

MiaBchBravesFan

May 15th, 2009
1:50 pm

For those of you clammoring for either Medlen or Hanson, understand that if Bobby makes a switch away from Reyes, it’s gonna be Charlie Morton, who is on the 40 man roster. (Medlen and Hanson are not; if you have to ask why that should matter at all, this blog is not for you and you need to take the MLB 202 course.) Chances are that if Reyes has another poor outing (against the Rockies), Cox will either skip his turn, or wait it out to see if Glavine is ready to assume his fifth spot in the rotation within the next two weeks.

If Glavine is delayed, Morton is your next man in the five hole should Reyes falter again.

Carroll Rogers

May 15th, 2009
1:51 pm

3-6 for me. 0-0 for Mr. Roberts….started 1-6….hey, they still have paper routes? none of you guys actually get the paper, eh? maybe you better sign up and i can have some yards to throw to.

CLE

May 15th, 2009
1:53 pm

rammer: Pardon me, PAL, for asking Gummy to just be a little more respectful to the writers. I personally enjoy all the non-baseball chat on here, too. Simply thought Carroll deserved a little more respect. If it’s cool with you, I’d like to stick around and keep reading.

Doc Holiday

May 15th, 2009
1:54 pm

ease19,

Cause I dont think JJJ can tell Vazquez or Lowe or Soriano or Gonzo or Glavine if he comes back, etc etc etc……..”hey guys look, we have to regroup, we are doing this and that bad, in my experience when you get out of control, you do this and if the bases are loaded with one out and the game is tied you do this” ………and so on. Its not impossible to bethe leader of the pack if you are a sophomore, but it is quite hard, specially if you have guys with lots of experience on the team, only jojo has less experience than him……….not even KK has less experience.

Doc Holiday

May 15th, 2009
1:55 pm

CB,

Thanks for the compliment, nice to read them after a hard day at the blog (yesterday, LOL).

Supes

May 15th, 2009
1:57 pm

Carroll, thanks for the blog and I really enjoyed the Q/A with Kris Medlen. Excellent work, hope to get more from AAA guys….what about a Q/A with Charlie Morton (if he gets the call up, it’ll be a lot easier I guess).

I have to agree with KC…Future could be very bright for all 3 starters…Hanson, Medlen and Morton. I know Charlie was hit and miss last year but I believe he can turn it around. Like all of his pitches, just needs more time to mature and have success.

As far as the bullpen prospects, using Medlen and Hanson from the pen in September (or sooner if necessary) would be a good move. Worked for Tampa and David Price.

CB

May 15th, 2009
2:00 pm

MiaBch BravesFan some of us did not “clamor” for Medlen or Hanson but merely stated our preference. I think we all understand the financial reasons to bring Morton but thank you for teaching we illiterates.

Emilio

May 15th, 2009
2:00 pm

Key Largo – Are you really from Key Largo or just wishing? I’m an old Conch, and if you’re from Largo you’ll know where I’m from and how we love our baseball. The Bravos have what could turn out to be a very fun team to watch. Next 30 days will tell the tale! Let’s hope they get it rolling on this home stand. Jo Jo does need more seasoning and I don’t mean tabasco! JS needs his eyes checked. Don’t see how you can swing that many times and not get lucky. In all fairness he seems to be making better contact. Now wouldn’t that be an impact if he starts getting some hits with his walks!

PWHjort

May 15th, 2009
2:01 pm

KC,
You’re right about not having to face Haren or Webb. Scheduling and injuries done us right.

Lew,
I don’t disagree that Kawakami walks too many people. What I’m saying is that maybe putting him in the bullpen fixes his fatigue issues which allows him to re-gain the control he had in Japan which cuts down his BB rate.

Supes

May 15th, 2009
2:01 pm

Billy Walsh ,

Right on about Neftali Feliz. He is “the one” that we will probably regret the most (in the next few years anyways)

Heavy Medlen

May 15th, 2009
2:02 pm

as soon as i typed it, i asked myself.. do those still exist? Does anyone on here under 16 have any idea what I am talking about? And since I am from CT, Carroll, you might need to borrow whatever Javy was taking during his 42 homer season to reach me.

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 15th, 2009
2:05 pm

whats a paper? :)

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