Braves look for outfield fix

 

  San Francisco — When Jeff Francoeur and Jordan Schafer combined for an 0-for-8, six-strikeout performance in Monday’s loss to the Giants, it underscored the Braves’ serious need to add an outfield bat between now and the July 31 trade deadline, and ideally a lot closer to now than to July 31.
  Yes, when your right fielder is hitting .259 with a .647 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), and your center fielder is hitting .205 with a .625 OPS, well, it’s a damn good thing that your left fielder is piling up big power numbers.
  What’s that? Oh, yeah. The Braves’ left fielders are Garret Anderson (.256, .598 OPS) and Matt Diaz (solid at .299, .863 OPS).
  If someone told you before the season that, 44 games into this thing, Diaz would be the only Braves outfielder with an OPS above .650, what would you have thought about the team’s chances of staying in the division race?
  But he is, and they are. So they count their blessings and should leave no stone unturned in trying to fix this thing while there’s still plenty of time to make a run at a postseason berth.
  They’re trying to do that, too. GM Frank Wren and his staff and scouts have been looking around for several weeks, at least, making calls and inquiring into what it would take to pry a legitimate power bat from a club that’s going nowhere and/or has a free-agent-to-be who’s expendable.
  As you might imagine, the list is very limited with barely a quarter of the season completed. When teams are asking for major league pitching in exchange for a player such as utility man Mark DeRosa (as Cleveland reportedly is), then we can only imagine what they’re asking this early in the season for the likes of, say, outfielder Matt Holliday (Oakland). Holliday’s got six homers, 16 RBI and an .844 OPS in his past 24 games, after hitting no homers with 11 RBI and a .622 OPS in his first 17 games for the A’s.

Matt Holliday

Matt Holliday

   Braves might have to wait a little longer, see what develops, see who might fall out of a race completely, or if someone like Detroit (and this seems unlikely to me, but just giving examples) decides that Magglio Ordonez’s remaining contract needs to be shed and the Braves decide he’s ready to turn things around this season and be something like the Magglio of old and … hey, I said it was unlikely.
  To me, because Francoeur is at the middle of this problem/discussion, it always comes back to Kansas City and Dayton Moore. In other words, the Royals have a GM who was the Braves’ farm director when the so-called Baby Braves were signed and developed, and who is friends with Francoeur and still probably thinks more highly of Francoeur and his “upside” than any other baseball official on any team.
  And if the Braves could get Moore to act, then perhaps they could actually get the Royals to part with something of valuable <em>and</em> pay the remainder of Francoeur’s $3.375 million contract this season.
  But then, of course, you run into the problem of getting back someone to play RF, or needing to have another deal in place for a RF. Who are the Royals going to give up who can play RF and be an upgrade over Francoeur?

 

 Jose Guillen? He’s only got three homers and 20 RBI for the Royals, but he’s hitting .291 with an .827 OPS and more walks (17) than strikeouts (14), far improved in the walks category over his past futility in that area. Yes, that’s un upgrade. But at what price? Guillen is making – gulp — $12 million annually in a deal that runs through 2010. Way too much cheddar, folks, even if he had a solid 70 doubles, 46 homers and 196 RBI during the past two seasons. And we didn’t even mention the repored links to steroids in his past.

  Then there’s David DeJesus, who’s development (or lack of) has been a disappointment for the Royals similar to Francoeur with the Braves. They’re making similar salaries and putting up similar numbers, including a .242 average and .678 OPS for DeJesus, with three homers and 18 RBI in 42 games, with three times as many strikeouts (30) than walks (10). I know. Not too appealing.
  That is, unless you just want to shed Francoeur, and both teams hopes that the ol’ change of scenery might do something to energize both players. I said might.
  Perhaps the Braves would consider Rick Ankiel, who just came off the DL for St. Louis and could be expendable after Ryan Ludwick comes off the DL Friday.
  Ankiel are that he’s a Boras client and a free-agent-to-be, but Braves might be desperate enough (or perhaps should be) to make a deal for a guy who’ll probably walk at season’s end. They need help now in their outfield.
  Other potential problem with Ankiel, however, is that he had just two homers, 11 RBI and a .723 OPS in 25 games (96 at-bats) before he crashed into that outfield wall and landed on the DL. But this is a guy who had an .843 OPS and 25 homers in 120 games in 2008 in his first full season as an outfielder.
So maybe you roll the dice.
  As for Ludwick — I know someone will ask if I don’t mention him — do you really think the Cardinals would trade arguably their second-best hitter just beyond the quarter pole in the season, when they’re a game out of first place?
  I don’t know how close the Braves actually got to pulling off a Kelly Johnson-for-Ludwick deal over the winter, but right about now, Ludwick’s .877 OPS, eight homers and 26 RBI would sure look good in the Brave’s outfield.
  He’s not hitting yet like he did last year (40 doubles, 37 homers, 113 RBI, .966 OPS), and he’s on the DL (staying healthy was the big knock against him in trade discussions), but Ludwick would be far and away the best hitter in the Braves OF.
  But again, I don’t think the Cardinals want to trade him. Opens a big hole in their lineup.
  Like I said, this isn’t going to be easy for the Braves to fix this outfield at this juncture of the season, for them to upgrade and stay within their budget, and do it without giving up any of their untouchables, like Tommy Hanson, Jason Heyward or Jair Jurrjens.
  Hindsight being what it is — 20-20, and essentially worthless — the Braves could have signed Adam Dunn, defensive deficiencies be damned, or Raul Ibanez, payroll be damned (easy for me to say; it’s always easy to spend others’ money).
  They had options this winter, explored plenty of them, and ended up with Garret Anderson. It’s early, and perhaps Anderson will end up having a solid season. But so far, there’s little reason to believe he’s going to provide much power in an outfield that’s been alarmingly punchless for a couple of years now.
  Seven homers and .351 slugging percentage for Braves outfielders. Worst in the majors among outfielders, just as the Braves were last in those areas in 2008.
  Even the aforementioned Royals outfielders (eight homers, .390 slugging) have been slightly better than the Braves this season. Every other team in the majors has double-digit oufield homers, and eight NL teams have a plus-.460 slugging.

 ♦ Tonight’s game: Kris Medlen makes his second major league start for the Braves, and does it against Giants ace Tim Lincecum. But this might not be as hopeless a proposition as some Braves fans fear. No, seriously.
  Lincecum has no decisions and a 4.26 ERA in his past three starts, despite piling up 26 strikeouts with five walks in that span. Giants lost two of those games.
  He allowed 10 hits and five runs in six innings of his last home start against the Mets on May 15.
In his past 23 starts, since July 26, Lincecum is just 10-3 despite a 2.78 ERA, .213 opponents’ average, and 198 strikeouts (50 walks) in 148-2/3 innings.
  However, against the Braves, he’s never lost. In fact, he’s never not won, going 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts, with 27 strikeouts and 11 walks in 26-2/3 innings.
  The Giants have provided more than six support runs per nine innings pitched for him in those games, which is an embarrassment of riches for Lincecum.
  Will Chipper Jones play tonight?  Don’t know, but I’d expect him in there Wednesday against Randy Johnson, unless that toe’s still absolutely killing him. He’s 13-for-33 with six homers against Big Unit. So if he doesn’t play, you’ll know that toe is still achin’ something fierce.
  Anderson, by the way, is 3-for-21 with nine strikeouts against Johnson.

  ♦ Giants against Braves: Much like the Nationals, the Giants haven’t been as welcome an opponent for the Braves as you might expect. The Braves are just 9-13 with a 5.05 ERA against the Giants since the beginning of the 2006 season, including 4-8 at AT&T Park.
  And what’s the deal with this Travis Ishikawa? His career-first four-hit game and three-run homer yesterday made him 9-for-18 with two homers and six RBI in five games against the Braves.
  This is a guy with a .265 career average, four homers and 30 RBI in 219 major league at-bats, all with the Giants. But half of his homers have been against the Braves?
  The other two were against San Diego, which makes a bit more sense, considering he’s played 12 games against them.
  Maybe Ishikawa has been chatting with Giants outfielder (and Braves killer) Randy Winn, who has a .379 average with 14 extra-base hits (four homers), 15 RBI and a 1.009 OPS in 36 games against the Braves.
  Speaking of outfielders who might help the Braves, perhaps the Giants would move Winn if they’re able to fill their own pursuit of a big bat. Oh, did we mention the Braves aren’t the only team looking for a big bat?
  Giants have said publicly they’re looking hard for one.

 ♦ Mac is back: Brian McCann has hit .431 (22-for-51) with three homers, 11 RBI and a .491 OBP and .647 slugging percentage (1.138 OPS) in 15 May games since returning from the disabled list.
  This after hitting .195 with a .748 OPS in 13 April games when his eyes were bothering him.
He’s got his season average up to .326 with five homers, 18 RBI and a .960 OPS. Still plenty of time for McCann to earn a fourth consecutive All-Star berth.

 Ugly stat update: While McCann is resurgent, Francoeur and Schafer are not.
 Schafer is 12-for-80 (.150) with 32 strikeouts and a .430 OPS in 23 May games, after hitting .273 with an .854 OPS in April.
 He’s hitting .161 with runners on base and .103 (4-for-39) with runners in scoring position, including 2-for-21 with RISP and two outs.
 Against right-handers, he has 38 strikeouts in 99 at-bats.
  With two strikes, he’s 9-for-82 (.110).
  Only six major league players have more than 48 strikeouts, and four of the others on the list have at least 10 homers. Schafer has three more strikeouts than Phillies slugger Ryan Howard (52).
  Francoeur was sent to the minors for a few days last July. Since he returned, he’s hit .251 with six homers and 51 RBI in 114 games, with a .295 OBP and .349 slugging percentage.
  In 174 games since April 29, 2008, Francoeur has hit .235 with 11 homers, 73 RBI, one stolen base, and a .287 on-base percentage and .339 slugging percentage (.626 OPS).
  He’s grounded into twice as double plays (22) as he’s hit homers in that span.

 ♦ Alright, that’s it for now. Gotta get a late breakfast or early lunch. Wanted to get a blog up for the denizens first. Have at it.

“LEFT OF THE DIAL” by Paul Westerberg (The Replacements)

Read about your band in some local page
Didn’t mention your name, didn’t mention your name
Sweet Georgia breezes, safe, cool and warm
I headed up north, you headed north

On and on and on and on
What side are you on?
On and on and on and on
What side are you on?

Weary voice that’s laughin’, on the radio once
We sounded drunk, never made it on
Passin’ through and it’s late, the station started to fade
Picked another one up in the very next state

On and on and on and on
What side are you on?
On and on and on and on and…

Pretty girl keep growin’ up, playin’ make-up, wearin’ guitar
Growin’ old in a bar, ya grow old in a bar
Headed out to San Francisco, definitely not L.A.
Didn’t mention your name, didn’t mention your name

And if I don’t see ya, in a long, long while
I’ll try to find you
Left of the dial

 

 

2,175 comments Add your comment

Rev. Otis Nixon

May 26th, 2009
2:23 pm

Goooooooooooooooo Braves, sic ‘em. tomahawk chop.

McFann :Ô:

May 26th, 2009
2:23 pm

chc4

May 26th, 2009
2:24 pm

I’d take Ankiel over Jeff in a heartbeat except for the fact that he’s another lefty. Not sure we can take another LH hitter in this lineup.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

May 26th, 2009
2:26 pm

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

May 26th, 2009
2:28 pm

DOB, what woud the Astros ask for Berkman? Frenchy would do well in hitter’s park, plus Lance is a switchy

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
2:29 pm

chc4: Why, the Braves have hit better against lefties this season than against righties. Quite a bit better, actually.

David-ATL14

May 26th, 2009
2:31 pm

I’d try my best to acquire Winn right now. He can play all 3 OF spots, then we can take another look in late June/early july when a big bat might be had.

No middle of the order hitters are going to be moved this early. winn would be a nice addition.

RC

May 26th, 2009
2:32 pm

I’d say that another LH hitter in our lineup is better than a RH black-hole in our lineup.

TBF(n)K as Billy

May 26th, 2009
2:32 pm

PWHjort you dont trade “ace” caliber pitchers unless you get a kings ransom.

Mc21

May 26th, 2009
2:32 pm

Brandon Jones, please.

Jeff has absolutely no trade value. Just send him somewhere for a bag of balls, call up Brandon Jones and give him a chance. He can’t be worse than Jeff, he would likely be better than Jeff, and it’d finally answer the question as to whether or not he could handle big league pitching.

If nothing else, it’d give us a little bit of time to ride him while he’s swinging a hot bat at Gwinnett and find something else on the trade block.

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
2:33 pm

Brooklyn: I don’t think the Astros would trade Berkman. He’s comparable to being their Chipper, in terms of ties and service to franchise, etc. With no Bagwell or Biggio, he’s the last one standing. Don’t see them trading him.

I could be wrong, but I don’t see it.

AustinBrave

May 26th, 2009
2:33 pm

I think the one team that has to many outfielders and needs pitching is the Yankees. Swisher, Damon, Cabrera, and possibly Nady.

flange1

May 26th, 2009
2:35 pm

Would you trade Frenchy for Winn straight up?

N8

May 26th, 2009
2:36 pm

Not sure if anybody posted this on the other blog, but Douche Bag Dayn Perry gave his take on Six Trades that Should Happen:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9611414/These-deals-need-to-happen-now!

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

May 26th, 2009
2:36 pm

I figured Berkman jis just easier to move than Carlos Lee. Pence is a hitting machine and Lee is just HR beast. Tejada needs to be transitioned to either 2B or 1B.

Pete

May 26th, 2009
2:36 pm

From: DOB “Francoeur was sent to the minors for a few days last July. Since he returned, he’s hit .251 with six homers and 51 RBI in 114 games, with a .295 OBP and .349 slugging percentage.”
Ill always believe the Braves made a huge mistake last year bringing JF back after only 2-3 days in minors, due to someone getting hurt. What was the point in sending him down if its just for a weekend? Dumb.

X-Country Braves Fan

May 26th, 2009
2:38 pm

Judging from what outfielders seem to be available currently. Is it far to say the Braves will have to overpay either in terms of who they give up or what they pay whomever they get in order to get a productive bat with power?

RC

May 26th, 2009
2:38 pm

Brooklyn Braves Brawler,

I’ll be the first to say that I’d LOVE Berkman on the Braves. However, there are a few roadblocks that could prevent it from happening:

A) Berkman plays 1b for Houston. They already have Lee, Bourn, and Pence set in their OF, so no room for Francoeur (however, Berkman could play OF for the Braves, since he has in the past).

B) Berkman has a full no-trade clause, and has essentially lived his entire life in the Houston area. Played college ball at Rice, and has been with Houston his entire major league career. Not sure if he’d be willing to leave.

Reasons Berkman WOULD make sense on the Braves:

1) Switch-hitter with tons of power, great OBP and batting avg, and can play both OF corners. Basically would be like having Tex back in the lineup behind Chipper again.

2) Houston has a TERRIBLE farm system. The Braves have a very well stocked system. Plenty of opportunities to match up on prospects.

3) Berkman has another year, plus an option year, left on his contract. If they are willing to pay him the option year, Braves can keep him around for 3 playoff runs without having to deal with free agency.

BT

May 26th, 2009
2:39 pm

DOB do you think any trade would include getting rid of Frenchy. Would seem to me that the ideal situation would be to get an outfielder for someone like Gorky and excess pitching. JF is still only 25, Anderson isn’t.

Hillbilly

May 26th, 2009
2:42 pm

Well, [Chipper’s] 13-for-33 with six homers against Lincecum

No kidding? And Lincecum’s only been in the Majors for, what…2 years? I had no idea Chipper was bombing the kid like that. That’s ownership.

bali

May 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

good article on the state of the Braves outfield. Hard for me to see giving up on a player when he is 25 years old. I love watching Jeff hit the ball when he is on……….. hard to watch when he is off.

David

May 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

I think Schafer came up to soon so a trip to AAA wouldn’t be a bad thing for him… But i would have to say i would love to see Magglio Ordonez in a Braves uniform…

Spud Webb

May 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

You could get Swisher from the Yanks, but he’s as streaky as anyone and his OPS isn’t very good after an impressive start. They won’t trade Damon, having a great year, just my opinions.
Dave, love the blogs, keep up the good work.
I hope the Braves front office feels the same urgency we/you do. We cannot expect to stay in this race with some outfield production, ASAP.

Steve from OH

May 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

As for what the Padres can expect in return, a straight-up deal for the Mets’ top prospect, outfielder Fernando Martinez, is better than what the White Sox were offering.

Really? Peavy-for-Martinez straight up is better than Peavy for Poreda, Richard, and say, Brandon Allen? Tyler Flowers? Jordan Danks? C’mon, Dayn, you’re killing me…

If I’m San Diego, no way I turn down a package of three or four highly rated prospects for one Fernando Martinez.

RHR

May 26th, 2009
2:45 pm

Thanks for the new blog, DOB.

If you see Medlen anywhere buy him a drink or 5 to help calm him before the game. :lol:

RC

May 26th, 2009
2:45 pm

Brooklyn Braves Brawler,

I also agree that Berkman is easier to move than Lee. That contract is TERRIBLE.

Salamander

May 26th, 2009
2:45 pm

I’d say that another LH hitter in our lineup is better than a RH black-hole in our lineup. RC

This.

JEZ

May 26th, 2009
2:47 pm

I agree Pete, they should’ve kept him down until he actually started producing down there. Sending him for a weekend getaway was a slap on the wrist…nothing more…

Chuck James was Solid until the 6th!!!

May 26th, 2009
2:47 pm

Sign Jim Edmonds to patrol CF for starts. Then work on a Holliday/RH Power bat for RF second…. Something needs to change before the weekend. Edmonds needs to be the stop-gap until Schafer stops K’ing 3 times per game.

DAP

May 26th, 2009
2:48 pm

austinbraveI think the one team that has to many outfielders and needs pitching is the Yankees. Swisher, Damon, Cabrera, and possibly Nady.

the problem is, nady is on the DL, damon is a free agent after this year, and swisher is tearing it up. the only guy worth having (swisher) is probably the one guy there is no way they are trading.

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 26th, 2009
2:49 pm

Pete, as I recall, someone had to play the outfield and everyone was hurt.

Jeff

May 26th, 2009
2:50 pm

DOB…Why not just pull the trigger and bring up Jayson Heyward? He would be an upgrade offensively, and with our current outfield’s lack of production..wouldn’t really matter if he contributed right away..

Pete

May 26th, 2009
2:50 pm

Enter your comments here

Lagert

May 26th, 2009
2:50 pm

Andruw Jones, bring him home.

chris from md

May 26th, 2009
2:51 pm

Here’s a to-do list for the Braves:

1. Give Schafer until the end of the week to see if he can turn things around. I don’t believe sending him to the minors will kill his confidence but I agree that letting him get two full months worth to prove himself was wise. But enough is enough if he can’t turn it around this week.

2. Send Carlyle down as soon as Glavine is activated (Medlen to the pen).

3. Give Frenchy a couple of more weeks. If he doesn’t improve I think their best package for an outfielder is Kelly Johnson (who’s stock is hopefully on the rise again), Morton or Medlen, and a single A pitcher. That might get us someone like Holiday. It will also get us closer to getting Infante back. Prado should be able to hold down 2b until then.

4. If no deal can possibly be made, I’d put Kelly in left and Omar at 2b when he returns.

chris from md

Hillbilly

May 26th, 2009
2:52 pm

DOB,
Just did some research on my 2:42 post. Those numbers (13-33 with 6 hrs) are Chipper’s numbers against Randy Johnson, not Lincecum. Still pretty impressive.

masivatack

May 26th, 2009
2:52 pm

I’ll take Nady. In a heartbeat.

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
2:52 pm

For those who check out the lyrics, I posted the correct ones just now. Somehow a song I’d already used got in there earlier.

DAP

May 26th, 2009
2:53 pm

I’ll take Nady. In a heartbeat.

yeah, he will look great on the DL for the braves.

njbraves

May 26th, 2009
2:54 pm

Chuck James….if Edmonds had anything left don’t you think someone would have signed him by now? It really gets tiring reading dumb suggestion after dumb suggestion. The Braves do not need anymore lefties on this team. can people please stop bringing up LH hitters. i would love Holiday too, but at what cost? Everyone complains that we got killed in the Tex trade…Holliday would be the same thing. No way we can sign him long term. I’m not getting my hopes up for a big name bat to come to Atlanta. I hope I’m wrong.

PWHjort

May 26th, 2009
2:55 pm

Whoever used my name to make a post on the last blog(the last post under “my” name)… Grow up.

StingerSplash

May 26th, 2009
2:55 pm

Not exactly a buyer’s market for offense, is it?
But what is a more pressing need, corner outfield offense (yes, Ibanez would look good. Really would have had him over G. Anderson from the start, but like a smart guy said, it ain’t my dough to spend) or middle relief help, because the Moylan-Bennett-Carlyle triumvirate is more a three-headed monster against the Braves than for them.

Dooley

May 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

Chipper is 2 for 7 with NO homers against Lincecum DOB. How could he have 33 at bats in Lincecum’s FOUR career starts against the Braves?

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

OK, let me fix this mess. Get Holliday for prospects for left, bat a discipline hitter type such as KJ 8th, move Shafer to 7th where he will get better pitches to hit, play Diaz a lot in right, and pray for Frenchy to revert to form. Hey, not perfect, but this would help, maybe a lot.

RC

May 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

Everyone, please stop asking for Jason Heyward! Many here have argued that the Braves brought Jordan Scafer too soon and are worried that his current struggles might affect his long-term potential. While I think that Schafer will end up being fine, with this OBVIOUS example of what can happen if a player doesn’t have enough seasoning in the minors, why on Earth would the Braves want to risk the ultimate potential of their #1 hitting prospect by bringing him up now? What if he comes up and struggles right away (which he likely would)? Do you just move on to the next prospect, leaving behind the shattered remains of what could be a VERY good major league career at some point? How many prospects do you destroy before you find the one-in-a-thousand that can make the transition from A-ball to the majors? The sign of a good organization is having a plan for player development and sticking to that plan. That’s what has made the Braves successful for years. Let’s let Heyward develop at his own pace, and not throw him to the lions before he’s ready.

J-X

May 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

I know holliday hasn’t put up coors field numbers so far this year, but I still like the prospects of him coming over. If the braves came in and offered the A’s something they may be able to steal him. Since the A’s are concerned that if his struggles continue his value will go down with it. I think he would help the team more simply with his presence in the line up behind chipper than anything else. No matter if he is producing or not he is still a force in the lineup, and opposing pitchers are gonna think twice before pitching around chipper and challenging him. Pitchers never wanna be the guy who a star breaks out of a slump against.

Bobby's Cox

May 26th, 2009
2:56 pm

What? Coach got credit for pushing for Cruz this past offseason? Where was I? I thought I was the one advocating him, posting his Abe Lincoln look-a-like article on here & so forth. Oh well…

Ya, I heard the “he’s too old, took him too long to be good, small sample size….” But after seeing him in so many Rangers/Angels games here on the west coast, you could tell the guy was a solid hitter by watching his at-bats. Sometimes hitters change. Cruz matured, as was the point of the Abe Lincoln article that displayed his amazing AAA numbers last year.

I didn’t know Coach did all that work…

Bobby's Cox

May 26th, 2009
2:57 pm

Btw, good blog DOB.

Andy K.

May 26th, 2009
2:57 pm

I say package Francoeur, Gorkys, Jo-Jo, and Acosta for Matt Holliday and a low level prospect, but, Holiday must be willing to negotiate a long term deal before the trade is done. That is how the trade can work for both sides ans not come back to screw the Braves.

Chop Chop

May 26th, 2009
2:57 pm

Chipper is 2-for-7 with a strikeout against Lincecum.

Salamander

May 26th, 2009
2:58 pm

Andruw Jones, bring him home. Lagert.

Hello – his home/road splits? Go check them out. However, his paltry road numbers are still a bit of an upgrade for our OF, which is sad.

Also, the persistent attitude of “bring xyz player home” that I see displayed on this blog constantly gets on my nerves to no end. How about Wren brings “home” the best player – not just a player that the organization is familiar with?

Dr. Braveslove

May 26th, 2009
2:58 pm

For what it’s worth, I think a trade for Brian Roberts might still make sense. Perry gives all of the reasons for Baltimore unloading him in his article, and we still need a leadoff hitter in a bad way. If we were willing to consider moving KJ to left for Furcal, surely we could do the same for Roberts. Then follow through with a trade for a power bat, even in a rental situation like Holliday, and suddenly we have addressed our two most pressing needs and added a great deal to the offense.

Pete

May 26th, 2009
2:58 pm

SoWeGa Fanatic: “Pete, as I recall, someone had to play the outfield and everyone was hurt.”
Dont recall the details of who was hurt etc. but the TOP priority should have been getting JF straightened out. At that point Braves were going nowhere anyway, so wouldnt have mattered if he stayed down longer.
Also I believe it allowed JF to think the Braves admitted they made a mistake sending him down, and that he was right when he popped off about it. Not good for his mental state I dont think.

Andy K.

May 26th, 2009
2:58 pm

Or send Garret Anderson back to the AL where he can DH, and keep Frenchy, cuz I ike the guy.

AustinBrave

May 26th, 2009
3:00 pm

I like the idea of signing Edmonds to a minor league contract and once he starts warming up bring him up to help the kid. The boy is really lost.
Swisher is who I would like but very low average. We have the bait to trade for anybody, I just don’t want to give away the farm for a rental

RC

May 26th, 2009
3:00 pm

StingerSplash- Not fair to lump Moylan into that 3-headed monster of (non)relief pitching. After the first 2 games of the season, he has been very good this year.

Brian the Brain

May 26th, 2009
3:00 pm

Is there a reason why we can’t play Diaz in right and Anderson in left? I’m sure there is a very simple and valid explination (as i’m just a casual fan, not an expert).

Novice Ned

May 26th, 2009
3:01 pm

DOB, I’m not talking trade or even a demotion… but what is the plan to give Schaefer like a few innings off? Surely, he isn’t going to play every inning until Infante returns from the DL, is he?

Steve from OH

May 26th, 2009
3:01 pm

Yeah Bobby’s, what’s up with that?

Ron Roberts

May 26th, 2009
3:02 pm

What about packaging a deal with the Orioles for Adam (not the PacMan) Jones? I imagine if we packaged Francoeur with a Medlen,Parr or Reyes-type pitcher (AAAA level), they might bite. I can’t find info on Jones’ contract status other than he makes darn-near the MLB minimum, but might be arbitration eligible, soon.

Then there’s the thought that (as Peter Gammons said) Francoeur was just brought up wayyyyy too soon and will eventually develop into what was expected of him. I see that NOW in Schafer’s situation, frankly. If we can go get a CF (like Jones) and send Scahfer down to the minors for more grooming, I think we’d be fine, frankly.

Braves73

May 26th, 2009
3:02 pm

Right now, I’d take the Chick-fil-a cow in our outfield…couldn’t get any worse. I mean really, it’s embarrassing to think that we have fallen so far from grace. Frank, PLEASE DO SOMETHING!!! I can’t take it anymore.

Hillbilly

May 26th, 2009
3:03 pm

The only pitcher to give up more homers to Chipper than Randy Johnson is Steve Trachsel (7)

Jackie Treehorn

May 26th, 2009
3:03 pm

DOB, do you think Denard Span or Michael Cuddyer of the Twins would be a good fit?

Salamander

May 26th, 2009
3:03 pm

I think a trade for Brian Roberts might still make sense/ Dr. Braveslove

He is 31 and signed for another 3 years at 8-10mil per season. I like Roberts as well, but the money (and length of contract) will be a problem.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 26th, 2009
3:03 pm

O’Brien, you left out Brad Hawpe. Who in my opinion would be a great pick up.

http://www2.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/players/Brad_Hawpe

Per Ken Rosenthal:

Hawpe, signed for $5.5 million this season and $7.5 million next season with a $10 million club option for 2011, would be perfect for a team such as the Braves. He can void his option if he is traded and become a free agent after next season.

Lagert

May 26th, 2009
3:04 pm

Salamander relax, I like the guy, he is cheap, and doing better than what we have. It is not going to happen but it is a fun idea. Life is sort buddy a comment like mine should not get you so worked up.

Steve from OH

May 26th, 2009
3:05 pm

Coach, do you want to take the Adam Jones idea or should I?

JEZ

May 26th, 2009
3:07 pm

I’m surprised no one has brought up trying to dump KK’s contract in the mix for a big outfield bat.

RC

May 26th, 2009
3:08 pm

Concerning Adam Jones:

There is NO WAY the Orioles would be interested in trading him. He’s a 5-tool center fielder who is still 2 years away from arbitration, and appears to be “breaking out” this year. Considering that the Orioles are currently rebuilding, this is EXACTLY the type of player they need to keep, and will likely be a cornerstone for their franchise going forward. To suggest that they would trade him for ANY package of players including Francoeur is comical, especially since Francoeur is making about $3 million more than Jones this year, and will likely be making about $5-7 million more than Jones next year. Considering the job of the Orioles brass is to make THEIR team competitive, and not serve as a feeder system for the Atlanta Braves, there is NO chance of a trade like this happening.

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
3:08 pm

Dooley, Chop Chop: Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Meant to write that about R.J. tomorrow — those are Chipper’s numbers against Randy Johnson, and Anderson’s numbers against him.

Not against Lincecum, obviously. Lincecum’s only given up one homer in four starts against Braves.

Glen W

May 26th, 2009
3:08 pm

Sorry if this discussed prior to today…

Anyone else notice that Frenchy was taking a pretty sound approach for the last several games, staying inside the ball, not over-swinging, hitting the ball hard to right field, etc… until Mac hit two dingers on Sunday? In Frenchy’s last at bat, he almost came out of his shoes. OK fine late in the game when your are up six runs or so. But yesterday, that approach carried over into critical at bats.

Looks to me like Frenchy is jealous of the attention Mac gets, maybe his contract? Because he could have really helped his team out yesterday and instead tried to hit the bejeezus out of the ball in situations that called for a flyball to right/rigth-center. No way he could have even seen the ball with his approach, much less hit it.

DAP

May 26th, 2009
3:09 pm

yeah, i havent heard much about kawakami since he matched halliday for 8 innings….i wasnt able to get on the blog that night or the next day, but i was wondering how some people were reacting…

Fleming

May 26th, 2009
3:09 pm

Let’s get ready for tonights game

1. That was stupid cox. You can’t manage anymore
2. Why is Johnson playing. Prado should be playing 2nd
3. Another 1st pitch swing for Frenchy
4. Why can’t we ever work the count
5. Prado would gotten to that ball.
6. JA looks like he doesn’t want to be here.
7. JA just jogs after the ball
8. DFA Frenchy
9. Another strikeout. Send Kfer to AAA or DFA the bum
10. Why is Morlan in the game. He should be in AAA building arm strength
11. Lets trade Hansen
12. Bring up Jayson Heyward
13. Kotch can’t drive in runs bring up Freeman
14. Gotta replace Kfer with Gorky.

That should cover most of the rants for everyone

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
3:09 pm

I think I wrote this earlier about McCann, but in case I didn’t: He’s 5-for-9 against Lincecum. Francoeur is 1-for-10 with the only Braves homer off him. Kelly Johnson’s also 1-for-10 against him.

Salamander

May 26th, 2009
3:10 pm

Life is short buddy a comment like mine should not get you so worked up. Langert

You haven’t seen me worked up. My comment is projected at my regular ‘inside’ voice volume.

I didn’t mean to pick on you, but I’m tired of the calls to sign every player whoever wore a braves uni at some point in their careers.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 26th, 2009
3:10 pm

Take it Steve and try not to bloody the guy up too much, ok.

BamaBrave

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

I think getting Holliday would be as big as getting Fred McGriff back in The Day… I’m sure he was comfortable at Coors Field and had skewed numbers there, but the dude won a batting title. Get him back in the NL and I’m willing to bet he gets his mojo back. My only caveats…1) don’t include Hanson, and 2) don’t make the deal unless you can somehow lock Holliday into a multi-year commitment.

Bobby's Cox

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

Thanks Steve!

sri

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

If Kawakami pitches like he has in May, does Vazquez for Nelson Cruz make sense for either team or does that weaken our rotation considerably?

DirtyDawg

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

As long as we’re startin’ rumors, and since Dusty Baker likes Kelly Johnson so much, and probably thinks that Cincy can turn Jeff around, how about we give both of them to them in return for Brandon Phillips? Would they do it – probably not, but who knows? That way we get some power, we fix second base and we can call up Hey-Man and let the kid get his career started. Of course, if we would at least try KJ in Center, we could move the kid (the Schafer one) to right…or try KJ in right, or left, anywhere to see if we can get something going in the OF.

The comment was made that we may have to wait to see whose ‘out of it’ after the all-star break to determine who will move whom…guess what?…my bet is that it’ll be us, and then it won’t really matter, will it? Then we’ll just be waitin’ for football to start.

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

Right now, I’d take the Chick-fil-a cow in our outfield — Braves73

What, he hasn’t done enough damage looming over left field?

Besides, the Chick-fil-a cow is a Boras client. Tough to retain.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

The interesting case of Barbaro Canizares:

Is he truly as mobile as a tree trunk in the field? His raw numbers would seem to have appeal to an AL team if the Braves deem his as unable to play the field.

For those who’ve seen him play – is he serviceable at 1st? Or is he DH only material?

On an unrelated note, I’m counting down the days until Vlad Nunez returns to the bullpen …

PWHjort

May 26th, 2009
3:12 pm

Adam Jones ain’t going nowhere.

chuckw/deadjournalist

May 26th, 2009
3:12 pm

Efrim

May 26th, 2009
3:13 pm

Steve from OH, there is no way I would take one singular prospect back for Jake Peavy. Not a chance. But F-Mart has the highest ceiling of the prospects that you mentioned. But I get what you’re saying. Not sure how one prospect could be better than that. Imagine if the guy got hurt? You traded Jake Peavy for a constant DL member. Awful.

By the way, if F-Mart turns out to be really good….that would suck. He may be that 4th piece the Mets are looking for.

TnBrian

May 26th, 2009
3:13 pm

Hawpe,Holliday,Ankiel, ME…anybody is better than Stenchy at this point! Look, I’m no Chipper Jones or Pujols, but I put the ball in play and run hard. I have occasional power and hit for a little average. Not good with fly balls, but Frenchy runs like a girl. I won’t cost an arm and a leg either.

JasonInFL

May 26th, 2009
3:13 pm

DOB, getting an OF bat is obviously the most important. I mentioned quite a while ago that I thought the Braves would end up getting Holliday. I still do…MoneyBall Beane and the Bravos have hooked up before…

I also think the Braves should hold truer to their word about using Soriano more in the 9th. Hey, if the other team has a couple of tough lefties coming up; great…use Gonzo. But, when healthy like he appears to be now; Soriano is the better option at this point. Do you think they will start using him more to close?

Ron Roberts

May 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

RC, I actually wasn’t sure of Jones’ contract status, other than his making the MLB minimum, frankly. I figured if he was due NEXT offseason to be arb eligible, they’d be more receptive to picking up young arms in the deal. IF he still has 2 yrs left before being arb eligible, you’re right.

Lagert

May 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

Sally,

You are right Andruw’s home away and splits are not great but his numbers with RISP and RISP with 2 outs are very impressive. It looks like he is not hitting into the double play as much as before.

Lag

Steve from OH

May 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

You got it! Ron, the Orioles are not going to trade a young, cheap, under-club-control stud outfielder for our table scraps. They’ve been rebuilding for a while, and finally seem to have some good offensive pieces (Jones, Reimold, Weiters, Roberts, Markakis, etc.) ready to go with a LOT of good young pitching help in Matusz, Arrieta, Erbe and Tillman on the horizon. They’re only a year or two away from competition, so they’re not going to subtract a big piece like that, I wouldn’t imagine.

Well, certainly not for Francoeur and Reyes/Morton…

flange1

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

Andy K.,

Holliday’s agent is Scott Boras. No way he will sign a deal. He WANTS to be a FA.

If we acquire Holliday, it will be like the TEX deal if we would have kept him till the end of the year, we get Holliday for 1/2 a season, we offer arbitration, Holliday declines, we get 2 draft picks…..

Coach (2010 or Bust)

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

Barbaro Canizares, quad A player. Enough said.

supa

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

Is Heyward ready?

David O'Brien

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

Brian, no, there’s no reason the Braves can’t play Diaz in RF, if that’s what they want to do.

Efrim

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

sri, I think we could do better than that for Vasquez….really, I do. But I think keeping Javy is the route we should go. This offseason? Sure, I could see them trading him. But I just think that would be too many moving parts.

AndyC

May 26th, 2009
3:15 pm

DOB

You might want to read through your blog again. You have a few akward sentences where it looks like you are missing some words like below:

“He’s grounded into twice as double plays (22) as he’s hit homers in that span.”

Not being critical. Trying to be helpful!

Erik

May 26th, 2009
3:16 pm

What are Frenchy’s numbers over the past week (>.400 avg) and past ten days (>.294 average). Before we throw him under the bus, I would see if he can continue what he has started over the past week. If he can stretch it into a bit of a hot streak, then it won’t take too long for his average to jump back up north of .275. If not, and if the numbers start diving again, then start looking around again. My issue is not so much that I’m enamored with Frenchy, but that I don’t think there is anything out there that won’t end up being a one-sided, one-year, rent-a-player deal that costs us way too much in terms of young talent at other positions. We haven’t done well with those trades recently; in fact, we have given away way too many good prospects for partial year rentals and we need to stop that trend now, even if it hurts us in the near term.

Efrim

May 26th, 2009
3:17 pm

Steve, regarding your 3:14, I feel really bad for all the teams in the AL East. Just never a break in that division.

Canadaian braves fan

May 26th, 2009
3:17 pm

Fleming who is JA and Morlan? did we Josh Anderson back lol

Willie Coyote

May 26th, 2009
3:17 pm

Francoeur needs to listen to Chipper and HAVE A PLAN every at bat. He also needs to pay attention to what’s going on in the game. A pitcher could walk the bases loaded and he’s still swinging at the first pitch he sees. He still has the ability but is just not maintaining his plat discipline. If you bring up Brandon Jones then maybe you have a platoon situation in right; I am rooting hard for Jeff to break out of this (like I did for Andruw) but you can’t continue to spare his feelings/pride by not taking away some playing time. He needs to sit for a while, period.

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