Trade for bat might require patience

  San Francisco — While trade proposals ranging from the plausible to the utterly absurd continue to hum here on the ol’ Braves/MIB blog, the fact of the matter is, it’s probably going to be a while before any deal gets done, at least in terms of a significant deal, i.e. a power-hitting outfielder.
   Friends, countrymen, denizens, newcomers, and everyone in-between: It’s still May. If you’ve followed baseball for very long, try to remember how many big trades have been made in May. Or in June, for that matter.
  While I know that it doesn’t suit the timetable of many concerned and/or impatient fans, the fact is, this is the way it’s done in baseball. There are more than two months until the non-waiver trade deadline, and there are only a handful or so teams that are clearly out of any sort of playoff contention, and most or them aren’t ready to publicly wave the white flag of surrender and start trading away big bats or power arms or whatever else is highly sought by contenders or teams that fancy themselves as such.
  I know, I can hear some of you now: “But if the Braves wait until July 31, they’ll be out of it.”
  I’m not suggesting they wait that long. I’m with you on them probably needing to make a move for a bat, preferably yesterday. All I’m telling you is, the way things are done in baseball is that non-contending teams with big pieces, usually guys in their free-agent walk years like Matt Holliday, are not likely to move those players until the market shapes up, until they see what is offered by a handful of teams, play those offers against each another, raise the ante, etc. That might be early July, at least.
  And even if some fans believe this team or that team is out of it and has nothing to gain by keeping a player, perhaps that team’s owner doesn’t view things the way you do. In other words, maybe he’s looking at things like keeping up at least the appearance of trying to be competitive so that he can keep selling tickets and hot dogs and beer well into the summer months.
  Those of you suggesting that, say, the Padres trade their most attractive player, Adrian Gonzalez. Beyond the fact that he’s signed to a club-friendly multi-year contract and has become the face of their franchise (in an area with hundreds of thousands of Mexican-American fans), what about the simple fact that the Padres just reeled off a 10-game winning streak to get back to .500? Yes, this would be a great time to start selling your best players.
  (I should add, by no stretch of the imagination do I think the Braves are going to try to trade for Adrian Gonzalez, nor do I believe the Padres would seriously consider trading him in the near future. I was just using an example, a player sometimes mentioned here by trade-happy fans.)
  Again: It’s early. The Padres couldn’t lose for nearly two weeks, and the Blue Jays, who got off to a blazing start and had the AL’s best record, suddenly haven’t been able to win in more than a week.
  Things happen.
  It’s early, despite protestations to the contrary by some here on the blog. We’re 45 games games into a 162-game season, and 65 days away from the trade deadline.  Just because the Braves would like to add a bat, or just because their fans would really, really like for them to add a bat, doesn’t mean that others in baseball are going to agree that it’s time to speed up the timetable on the way things have been done for a long time.
  Also, it’s impossible not to notice the disparate points of view by the fan base, as expressed here by so many of our regulars and others on a daily basis.
  On the one side, you have those who say the Braves should never, ever make another deal for a rental player like Mark Teixeira or J.D. Drew. On the other side, you have those who say the Braves should move heaven and earth to get a big bat in here right away, before the season is lost.
  (Kind of like how we have so many on the blog saying how the Braves rushed Jordan Schafer to the majors, and did the same to Joey Devine, even as so many others are urging that the Braves rush Jason Heyward and/or Gorkys Hernandez to the majors right now, despite the fact that Heyward hasn’t played above A-ball yet and Hernandez has less than one-third of one season above A-ball.)
  Anyway, back to the split opinion on trading prospects for impact players.
  There are plenty commenting here who are in the middle, who somehow believe that, say, the aforementioned Oakland A’s are going to move Holliday for merely expendable pieces in the Braves’ system, your second-tier prospects not named Hanson or Heyward, with perhaps a mediocre player from the major league Brave thrown in, preferably one that that half the folks here rip on a nightly basis.
  Yeah, that oughta do it. Call Billy Beane now, explain to him that his team is out of it and there’s really no sense in waiting to see if other tams might make better offers for Holliday in July than the Braves are willing to give him now.
  ”What’s that, Billy? Hanson or Heyward? No way, man. Come on, work with us. We’re trying to win now AND in the future. How ‘bout a Redmond and, oh, a Brandon — Hicks or Jones, take your pick. That do it? No?”
  Everybody, it’s early. At least in terms of making big-time trades.

 ♣ Speaking of patience: We also have plenty who won’t accept that there are any valid reasons for not bringing Tommy Hanson up last week (or sooner), nevermind that Kris Medlen actually had not just a better ERA but a better WHIP (walks plus hits per innigs pitched) than Hanson at Triple-A Gwinnett.
  But even if you don’t believe that Medlen deserved to come up ahead of Hanson, or if you don’t undestand why the Braves didn’t want to bring up the No. 1 prospect (Hanson) and have him make only one or two starts before Tom Glavine is potentially activated from the DL and they would have to make room by bumping Hanson back to Triple-A.
  Even if you don’t get or buy any of that, do some here not understand that it made a whole of financial sense to wait a little longer to bring up Hanson?
  Because by waiting until now, the Braves might have saved not just millions of dollars down the road, but also might actually have allowed themselves to keep Hanson for an additional year, in the event that he eventually becomes to expensive to keep.
  That’s right, by waiting and having Medlen make two (or maybe three or more) starts in the No. 5 spot now, instead of having Hanson make those starts, the Braves might have bought themselves another entire season of Hanson’s services.
  That’s because we’re only now at the point of the season when the Braves could call Hanson up and not run the risk of him becoming a “Super Two” arbitration-eligible player after the 2011 season.
  If they bring him up now, and he stays on the roster going forward, Hanson would not be eligible for arbitration until after the 2012 season.
  In brief, Super Two arb-eligibles are those in the top 17 percent of service time under the three years that’s otherwise required for first-time arbitration eligibility. If Hanson had come up a couple of weeks ago, there’s a real good chance he’d accumulate enough service time to fall into that group, and provided he had at least 86 days of service time in 2011, he’d have been eligible for a huge raise as an arb-eligible player after that season.
 That would mean he’d be eligible for arbitration four times before he hit free agency. That extra year of arbitration shoots a player’s salary into the stratosphere a year earlier than it would otherwise, and for a player expected to be as impactful as a Hanson, it could well make the difference in a team being able to afford to keep him in his final year or two of arbitration, if they don’t sign him to a long-term deal before then.
  Would it really have been worth it for the Braves to bring him up to make these past two starts instead of Medlen? Keeping in mind, too, that Medlen’s numbers, as we’ve said many times, were actually better overall than Hanson’s at the time when Medlen was brought up.

 ♥ OK, gotta get to the ballpark. Saw a girl wearing a cool Pixies T-shirt today on Market Street. So let’s take this out with one that mighty band performed on their final album, but which was actually a cover of a tune by the also-great band Jesus & Mary Chain.

 

The Pixies

The Pixies, a long time ago

“HEAD ON” by Jim Reid & William Reid

As soon as I get my head around you
I come around catching sparks off you
I get an electric shock from you
This secondhand living just won’t do

And the way I feel tonight
I could die and I wouldn’t mind
And there’s something going on inside

Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky
And I can’t stand up
I can’t cool down
I can’t get my head off the ground

As soon as I get my head around you
I come around catching sparks off you
And all I ever got from you
Was all I ever took from you

Yeah, the world could die in pain
And I wouldn’t feel no shame
And there’s nothing holding me to blame

Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky
And I’m taking myself to a dirty part of town
Where all my troubles can’t be found

I said yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
And I’m taking myself to a dirty part of town
Where all my troubles can’t be found

Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky

1,958 comments Add your comment

oh SNAP!

May 27th, 2009
5:39 pm

Wow Salty, Andrus, and Tex are are the 1st AL All-Star voting updates. You can tell none of them would have been voted for had they played for Atlanta. The fact that Andrus is on the AL but Escobar not on the NL. And Tex was good last year.

Bobby's Cox

May 27th, 2009
5:41 pm

watched Francoeur closely in BP, last night. The bat drags…in BP…DRAGS, is slow, can’t catch up, the barrel of the bat consistently approaches the ball from below.Bay Area

Exactly what i’ve been saying since last year…Frenchy’s bat is too slow to make it in the bigs. God honest truth.

It’s ok for him to start his swing early in AA, & it was early in his career when guys didn’t know how to pitch to him, but when pitchers adjusted, the results have been no fluke.

Jaramillo did things to get frenchy’s body out of the way before the pitcher even release the ball. Why would he do that? Because Frenchy’s bat speed is just too damn friggin’ slow. If you’ve already taken your strike before the pitcher releases the ball and gotten your hands in position to swing without recognizing the pitch, well, you’ve just become a singles hitter.

Frenchy is toast in this league.

bravos2249

May 27th, 2009
5:41 pm

McFann

I know they are in different leagues, but Salty has more votes than McCann…OUCH!

Chop Chop

May 27th, 2009
5:42 pm

“Trade for bat might require patience”

Dude, that is the wrong thing to require.

Johnny Come Lately

May 27th, 2009
5:44 pm

Who is this “Shaun” character, and why in the heck does he insist on annoying the crap out of everybody?

brian

May 27th, 2009
5:44 pm

I would be shocked if the Red Sox are seriously interested in Frenchy. Maybe Jeff’s friend John Smoltz is campaigning for him. I don’t know. I would imagine the Braves would be thrilled to take a pitching prospect from the Red Sox – Daniel Bard but more likely Bryan Price, but then we are still stuck with needing to replace Francoeur. We could go the Brandon Jones route but again that is unproven. If we could actually get a few prospects for Francoeur then we could trade some prospects for someone like Cruz at Texas

PWHjort

May 27th, 2009
5:49 pm

On the possibility of Francoeur to the Red Sox:
I see the “need”. They probably seek some J.D. Drew/Baldelli/Kotsay insurance. And Francoeur is seemingly available. I just don’t get it. Why would they want Francoeur, of all people? Defense, maybe? They could get a guy like Josh Willingham or someone of the like, someone much more compatible with their style of play, for a similar price. I don’t know. All this speculation is probably nothing. And I still think I’m either crazy or Francoeur going to the Red Sox is insane.

brian

May 27th, 2009
5:49 pm

I completely agree that rushing Jason Heyward would be a big mistake (no Duh I know). He is going to be special. Watching him in action last Friday I was most impressed. He is taller than you would think. Patient at the plate. Hit a nice homerun to left-center and also stole a base. He was on base numerous times. I was also impressed with Freeman (nice defense at 1B, also on base multiple times), Cody Johnson (1st plate appearance was Frenchy like but otherwise patient at the plate, on base many times, and hit a monster HR to center – had to be 450 feet), and Cole Rohrbough (a little wild, especially in the 2nd I believe but otherwise very solid). I do not like Schafer being thrown under a bus but we really have no other option unless they feel that Gorkys could handle it better than Schafer. We traded our fall back option in Josh Anderson.

cvbraves

May 27th, 2009
5:50 pm

DOB: Thanks for the being the voice of reason. I was getting a headache with all the trade talk. Depend on you to let us know when something is in the wind…or a deal is done!

Give Me A Break

May 27th, 2009
5:50 pm

Shaun, I’m sure you’ll follow to the new blog so I’ll continue here as well. You said,

“For example, look at McCann versus Francoeur. On the surface Francoeur looked like the better player. But dig a little deeper and you see that Francoeur’s K/BB ratio was extremely troubling (264/89). That indicates that major league pitchers could probably carve him up and that’s what’s happening.

McCann’s K/BB was 93/178. McCann’s power numbers weren’t far off from Francoeur’s. Not saying anyone should have predicted McCann would become a superstar but the numbers were reliable for telling us a great deal; not everything but they certainly could have told us a lot.”

Shaun, I’m not the stat head you are. I do know from my Stat classes in my college days that numbers can be twisted to show anything you want them to show if you so desire. Mean, median and mode if you will. I’m not saying you are twisting numbers at all. What I’m saying is that your response to anything that flies in the face of what the numbers say is to simply say that if we look at another set of numbers, we would have seen the future in THOSE numbers!

Spoken like a true stathead. But that’s ok. Baseball needs statheads too.

Bobby's Cox

May 27th, 2009
5:54 pm

Nice blog DOB. Those trade scenarios posted on here are ludicrous. We’re not going to get a big bat unless we give up something big. Our best trade piece will be Kelly Johnson, especially if his hitting picks up. I posted a few players here yesterday. They’re not huge power bats, but smaller bats that are better than what we’ve got. The names were Randy Winn (if SF eats some salary), Jake Fox, Ben Zobrist, Shin-Soo Choo, and Hunter Pence.

Some of those are probably unlikely, but if the Braves are desperate for a bat now, then I think that’ll be the best crop they’ll be able to get. SF would have to eat a lot of Winn’s salary, Fox is a big prospect w/o a position to play in Chicago, Pence is having a good year.etc.. Again, these options are a helluva lot cheaper in terms of salary and prospects that what others are suggesting, and are could probably be moved sooner, if again the braves were desperate for a deal now.

Hurricane Corky

May 27th, 2009
5:54 pm

DOB — do the Braves even have the budget room to take on any extra salary (like Holiday’s $13.5M, for instance)? I would assume that in order to get another team to eat a large portion of a departing player’s contract the prospect headed back would have be on the level of Hanson or Heyward. I just don’t see Frank Wren making that move as much of the rotation is under contract for next season. Infante’s injury seems to take away an flexibility the Braves have had in drawing up a lineup card.

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
5:54 pm

DOB, you are spot-on, but dang it, did you have to say it?!!?!

PWHjort

May 27th, 2009
5:55 pm

By the way, I like the blog a lot, DOB.

c jonze

May 27th, 2009
5:55 pm

DOB
What exactly are Mexicican-American fans?
Do the Braves have any?

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2009
5:56 pm

Chop Chop: Don’t know what to tell you, then. Dude.

Bobby's Cox

May 27th, 2009
5:56 pm

Shaun needs to fixate his eyes on ballgames more and a little less on the stat books.

keylargo

May 27th, 2009
5:57 pm

Because by waiting until now, the Braves might have saved not just millions of dollars down the road, but also might actually have allowed themselves to keep Hanson for an additional year, in the event that he eventually becomes to expensive to keep.
That’s right, by waiting and having Medlen make two (or maybe three or more) starts in the No. 5 spot now, instead of having Hanson make those starts, the Braves might have bought themselves another entire season of Hanson’s services. DOB

The money saved on salary and extra year of Hanson’s service (in 2015) will be well worth the wait if Hanson continues to develop as the Braves hope. He will be in his late twenties as opposed to 23 now. Great pitchers, unless arm trouble interrupt, are at their peak in their late twenties. So by not rushing Hanson up we will get another year of a possible true ace in 2015 instead of a year of an unpredictable 23 year old rookie in 2009.

brian

May 27th, 2009
5:58 pm

if the Braves can keep their place in the standings they may sit tight until Omar returns and play him in CF. I agree that our best trade piece will be Kelly though we would love somebody to get infatuated with Francoeur. Morton or Medlen may also be moved. JoJo probably has lost any trade value (maybe he should have been dealt instead of Matt Harrison – shows what we know as everybody here, myself included, had a hissy fit thinking the Braves may include JoJo instead of Harrison – to think that the Braves decided that Harrison’s mental make up would hold him back is ironic for Mr. AAAA pitcher)

PWHjort

May 27th, 2009
5:58 pm

Craig Kimbrel is dominating the Sally League (again). Why is he skurrd of the Carolina League? Did anyone tell him that the park in Myrtle Beach is bigger?

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
5:59 pm

BA Steve-

After reading your post and providing my own assessment on Jeffy, do you notice what else I notice?

His balance may be the worst I’ve EVER seen, and that includes Andruw Jones circa 2007.

I notice that his bottom half (or backside if you will) finds itself somewhere near the 3b dugout while at the same time his hands are trying to go somewhere toward 1b….

Point here is that his balance is so bad and he is so off kilter w/ his entire body that this is the reason there really is no power in his swing unless you pitch it right into a perfect zone, or as they used to say, hit his bat for him.

Rob from SC

May 27th, 2009
5:59 pm

DOB

any hope of Hanson on Sunday

Jeff Failcoeur

May 27th, 2009
5:59 pm

I can’t understand why everyone wants to see me traded… It’s not my fault that Bobby is making me hit 7th with Schafer behind me. Of course I’m not going to get anything to hit.

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:00 pm

Brian-

I’m not certain JoJo and Jeffy combined in a trade could fetch a 6-pack of Natty Light at this point in time…

ArkyTech

May 27th, 2009
6:00 pm

Josh Anderson with 4 hits and his 10th stolen base today. Avg back over .300…..

PWHjort

May 27th, 2009
6:00 pm

a643dp

May 27th, 2009
6:01 pm

Wonder if this one of the guys Schafer was associated with. The bust is only 17 miles from where he lived. Makes ya wonder????

http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2009/5/27/477398.html?title=Accused+steroid+dealer+says+he+sold+to+pro+athletes

Depressed In Wisconsin

May 27th, 2009
6:02 pm

I know its the norm” for teams to wait until closer to the trade deadline to make a big trade, but for teams that could be in first with a little more power like the Braves, doesn’t it make sense to make a trade right about now? It sure would be nice to see this team putting up big hits every night. People here say that KJ is streaky, well the Braves W-L record is just as streaky. They sweep the team with the best record in the AL at the time, and now they are on the verge of being swept by the Giants.

Just one very good hitter at this point could determine if we are playing in October or not. With the Mets having so many issues staying healthy, it would be nice to take advantage of their ailments right now. Now I like Francouer as a person, but I believe that it would be in both sides best interest for him to go to another team. I don’t if the pressure is to much or what, but he is not producing like he should be. Being labeled ” The Natural” on the cover of SI may have been to much for him to handle. We need to do something and fast if we are to salvage this season. JMO..

c jonze

May 27th, 2009
6:02 pm

I keep reading that players are not getting anything to hit, based on where they are in the lineup. The best balls to hit are usually in the strike zone. If the player is not getting pitches in the strike zone, shouldn’t that player be walking with more frequency?

Bravesfan

May 27th, 2009
6:04 pm

The braves need SOMETHING to light a fire under them. Whether it’s a shake-up in the lineup or maybe even a fight, they need it now.

AZBravoFan

May 27th, 2009
6:05 pm

Bobby’s Cox:
I love Shin-Soo Choo. Saw him play in person at the WBC. He has an unbelievable cannon arm. Maybe better than Francoeur’s. Seems to have a little better plate discipline too.

Bayou Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:06 pm

Not Frenchy.

The Red Sox would be lucky to steal away an Atlanta Braves fan favorite! I don’t know how Frank Wren could possibly let the Gold Glover slip away for less than all of Boston’s top prospects. It’s ludicris! Boy ‘o boy, I would hate to see him go. The entire season would be lost. Our future…bleak. What would we do without “The Natural”? Gosh, I would hate to see him go to Boston and just rake for years to come. It would be a travesty. Frenchy, please don’t go…don’t go…we’ll miss you…

chc4

May 27th, 2009
6:06 pm

Bottom line is there are too many easy outs in our lineup. I count four — Jeff, Schafer, KJ and whoever plays LF). Add in the pitcher and that’s over half the lineup. Throw in Chipper’s constant injuries and voila. It’s actually remarkable that we are still over .500. Unfortunately I don’t see it staying that way.

#3

May 27th, 2009
6:08 pm

Can chief Knockahoma can play right field?

Shadetree

May 27th, 2009
6:08 pm

For some reason you could tell Cox didn’t like Josh Anderson. While he would give people a million chances, he never gave Josh that chance. Shafer is going to be good I believe, it’s just not time. If you’re giving him that chance then why not call up Gorky’s or Heyward. They cannot do worse than what we have.

Frenchy just doesn’t want to be here and Garrett Anderson is like Laroche. He doesn’t appear to hustle.

Answer: Cut Anderson and send Frenchy to the minors. Bring up Blanco and Jones and let’s give them a chance. Keep Shafer up and have him do some small things to try and get on. Bunt and such. Move Kelly to the outfield and let Prado play 2nd. This is where Infante being hurt really hurts. Your outfield would be Shafer, Johnson, Diaz, Blanco and Jones. I guess Cox doesn’t like Blanco either.

What about putting Shafer in the 2 hole. That will change the pitches he receives and could snap him out.

Honestly and truthfully I say bring up Gorky’s Hernandez. Speed makes up for alot of mistakes. He and Heyward should be at AAA at least.

No trades. There is no one out there worth getting. We had our chance during the off season and didn’t get it done. Find the answer within people.

Please move Pendleton up the ladder and let’s get a good hitting coach. Hell, make Chipper the player/coach.

Capt Caveman

May 27th, 2009
6:08 pm

N8,SHAUN, Gimme a Break –

It’s just baseball , OK.

When I was in A-ball — we had a player bust out in his first 10 abs — 3 singles,3 double,1hr, 2 line drive outs, 1 called strike 3. He was the next great unknown, undrafted, walk up to a try out, gonna be the next “whoever”. According to “them”

His next 10 abs were almost as good — 4 singles, 1 double, 5 outs but all balls in play with good contact. He was on his way to “The Show” LOL Again , according to “them”

His next 20 abs were an exercise in the many ways to strike out, or attempt to make contact so he could still say “i got a little piece of that one” while sitting in the dugout. He was now the next great NOTHING !! LOL According to “them” Yeah , that player was ME .

I could go on but the point isn’t about me. Granted it’s a small sample but all players have streaks, it’s the human nature of the game. And nobody knows what will happen until a player gets on the field and plays. Playing great on a team in a different league does not guarantee that he will do the same for your team. Witness Kenny Lofton. Or Nick Esasky. ( wait, let me sit down) LOL

Everything could change tomorrow. Results one day could disappear the next. Just remember that no matter what you do, somebody will say you did good and somebody will say you need to be traded. AGAIN — According to “them”

AWW YEAH , GOOD TIMES!!

Trey06

May 27th, 2009
6:09 pm

I notice that a lot of people are campaigning for a big bat in the outfield; someone who can hit homeruns on a regular basis. I think we all know that finding that player is a pretty daunting task, whether it’s because of the lack of availability or the lack of any team’s need to trade away a big bat at this point in the season. I would be fine if we just had some consistency. Yes homeruns are sexy, but 2 or 3 doubles in an inning would be equally attractive. We have been leaving too many runners on base which means we don’t have the type of lineup that can string together hits in bunches. Too many rally killers are lurking in the on-deck circle. Put the ball in play, force the defense, and stop swinging with your eyes closed.

It’s easy to jump on Schafer for his strikeouts, but remember he’s a kid who is used to hitting earlier in the lineup. Number 8 hitters typically don’t get too many fat pitches since an automatic out is usually up next. His main goal when stepping up to the plate should be to flip the lineup. That’s a whole new mindset for someone who was depended on to drive in runs. So I think he’ll figure it out in time. I do think he could use a day off but that’s next to impossible thanks to Manny “I can’t throw straight” Corpas. Now that we have Mac back, the key to the offense is keeping Esco, Hoss, and dare I say it… Frenchy in the lineup. And I’m ok if Frenchy doesn’t hit a bunch of taters. Just hit it where they ain’t, and hit it hard.

#3

May 27th, 2009
6:09 pm

Maybe Chief Knockahoma can fill the void in right.

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
6:10 pm

“Josh Anderson with 4 hits and his 10th stolen base today. Avg back over .300…..”
Big freaking deal, he don’t play for us. So, what did Jeter do today? How about Soriano? Same impact.

Bay Area Steve

May 27th, 2009
6:12 pm

P-Town,

agree his balance is an issue as well. He’s so concerned about swinging at breaking balls off the plate that he’s taken so much swing out. Now he swings through, or behind, a straight 90 mph down the center.

I don’t know how big-leaguers hit; I wish Caveman, or Slugger, or scoots, or Nolie, or someone else who KNOWS hitting would chime in.

But, I’ll never believe that a guy can be a great slugger trying to hit both fastball and offspeed, within the same pitch. There are exceptions: the Mannys, McCann seemingly. But until one gets two strikes, they should be trying to guess one or the other. Carrol’s blog of a few weeks ago showed great insight into Chipper’s mind during an AB. He’s guessing.

How else can you put a full swing, a power hack? How can you set up, and swing, and know whether you’re going to pull or get inside a pitch?

I don’t believe hitters, including most MLers can. They guess first pitch fastball, or 1-0 change, or 0-1 slider, etc. Then with two strikes, good hitters think the other way, so they’re not beat by the off-speed stuff.

Francoeur is trying to hit any pitch hard all the time. He’ll never be able to do that.

Chad

May 27th, 2009
6:14 pm

DOB
I saw on here yesterday that some people were thinking outside the box by asking about Micah Owings. Do you think converting him over to an outfielder would work? Wouldnt require that much in trade I wouldnt think?

Eric from MO

May 27th, 2009
6:15 pm

I havent read the blog all day, why do people suddenly think Francouer is going to the Red Sox because that is dumb. Why would Red Sox do that?

Johnny On The Spot

May 27th, 2009
6:16 pm

Who is this “Shaun” character, and why in the heck does he insist on annoying the crap out of everybody?

He’s a wannabe Robin to Steve from OH’s wannabe Batman. Together they seek to keep order as they see it and they use all the latest numbazz to stamp out the opinion of any who don’t play by their rules. Other than that there two people who have a real pathological need to show everyone they are right and others are wrong. :)

Redstick19

May 27th, 2009
6:19 pm

Should we perhaps try changing our hitting coach before changing our right fielder? The people in our lineup who have the most success usually are self-taught or have their dads work with them or go somewhere else for hitting stance advice… seems a little odd.

Ron E.

May 27th, 2009
6:21 pm

Maybe the Braves can’t get a Holliday or Dye right now, but they can certainly stop running out an outfield of Anderson, Schafer, and Dye. Nothing is stopping them from releasing Garret, sending Schafer back down, and trading or releasing Francoeur. It’s hard to imagine a Diaz/Blanco/Jones outfield would be any worse and it might be better.

Eric from MO

May 27th, 2009
6:23 pm

Bobby’s Cox isnt Pence still making the league min. Seems to me he is one of their young pieces they would build around.

Also for everyone saying we should of kept Anderson, lets remember that Scafer has a higher OBP. Right now neither are a good option. If Anderson was here we would just complain about him.

ArkyTech

May 27th, 2009
6:24 pm

SoWeGa Fanatic, it’s a big freakin’ deal because Josh is hitting almost 100 points hire than the guy we ditched to make room for! And has 10 times the stolen bases – and even more RBI’s – in fewer at bats. It’s a big enough freakin’ deal to maybe make up 2-3 games in the standings right now. And if you haven’t noticed we’re 2.5 games out.

jtb

May 27th, 2009
6:26 pm

Ron E.
If you release Anderson, then who plays left field? It’s very easy to say “These guys aren’t playing well. Get rid of them.” but it’s very hard to come up with better options than the outfield we currently have.

MichaelM

May 27th, 2009
6:26 pm

Reading these comments, you would think the Braves are 20 games out instead of 2 1/2. I’ve been watching the Braves since 1982 and have loved every minute of it, good or bad. Keep the farm. Enjoy the season. It’s just a game, a Great game.

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2009
6:28 pm

Blue Jays lost AGAIN today with Halladay pitching, 12-10 against Baltimore.

Tomahawkin

May 27th, 2009
6:28 pm

Man, The Only thing I hate about the West Coast games is that we have to wait so long for them to come on…You can only speculate so much as to who to acquire without any series rumors or without sounding like a fool with dumb trade Ideas like we’re playing PS3 “MLB The Show”

My Offtopic Question for the day is….(Drum Roll Please)

What Are songs that you can’t stand to hear at a stadium…?

Sound off here…

For being being a fan of Rap and Hard Metal, I cringe everytime I hear Pop-Tart Garbage like Gwen Stefani (Her voice to me sounds like nails to a chalkboard) or that Usher “Yeah” song which has been played out for about 5 years now….

I try not to think about it but it usually ends up getting into my head like it is as im typing this post…

Chop Chop

May 27th, 2009
6:29 pm

Well, you know it is, DOB. Patience ain’t a valued virtue ’round these parts.

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2009
6:30 pm

MichaelM: Well said (6:26).

Tomahawkin

May 27th, 2009
6:30 pm

Oh yea, Who wants to bet that KJ will be leading off again instead of hitting 6th…

If he is leading off, we lose “Bank On It!”

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
6:30 pm

Arky Tech, Tex, Dye, Wainwright, and heck, Babe Ruth would help too, but he don’t play for us either. Get over it.

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:30 pm

BA Steve-

Well, from being a former ballplayer into my collegiate years, I can tell you that it takes a whole lot of patience and balance, neither of which Jeff has. It also takes a good instructor to see and correct flaws, because I like every other hitter out there eventually realizes that we can’t always see whats wrong w/ ourselves and our swing.

I can’t really say anything though myself based on pitches because I could hit the heck out of a fastball even up to 97, and sliders seemed to be a piece of cake, but I could never really get there when recognizing and hitting a curve…then again, thats still two pieces more than what Francoeur is hitting right now….

In all reality, from his approach to his balance to his discipline to his bat speed, just about EVERY single thing needs to be fixed w/ him at this point….thats why I’m in the camp of move on from him…because we all well know that sadly there is a better chance of that than the organization firing Pendleton and bringing someone in that can seriously work w/ him.

Bravesfan

May 27th, 2009
6:31 pm

Weird how a few days can change your perspective. It went from “We swept the Jays!” to “No wonder we swept the Jays.”

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
6:32 pm

…and they are all former Braves.

Eric from MO

May 27th, 2009
6:32 pm

If he is leading off, we lose “Bank On It!”

Yep because we have let to win a game with him leading off.

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:32 pm

Tomahawkin-

Well said @ 6:30

If no Yunel, at this point Diory is sadly the best we have for the leadoff spot….

Kelly should for the millionth time be firmly placed in the 6th slot!

brian

May 27th, 2009
6:32 pm

that’s right Michael M – keep the farm. The farm is our future. everyone here who complains about the tex trade but they are pushing for a Holliday trade. Does not make sense. If we could move Kelly for an OF bat then I would do it – Prado and Hernandez can man the fort until Infante returns. We have much more depth at 2B then at OF that is major league ready.

a643dp

May 27th, 2009
6:33 pm

DOB,

Posted this at the end of the old blog just wanted to post it AGAIN.

Check out these numbers. The Braves 1-4 starting pitchers have these combined hitting stats for the year.

70 ABs
11 Hits
20 Ks
.157 BA

In Schafers last 70 ABs

11 Hits
25 SO
.157 BA

SHOCKING

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:33 pm

Well, other than the “bank on it” part…

You can’t really bet on anything w/ this group of Braves….too up/ too down

Steve

May 27th, 2009
6:34 pm

How big has the loss of Infante been??? Amazing! He’s such a good ballplayer…I’ve like him since day 1…How much it has effected the line-up since his departure…I hope he gets to play full-time for the Braves…the guy deserves it…but ofcourse there needs to be some room for him…

Hope we don’t get swept be nice to take one then head to Arizona where we have our “big three” coming up…need to take advantage of the rest of this road trip…The month of June features… Cubs, Brewers, Red Sox (twice), Yankees and Phillies…tough sked!

Chop Chop

May 27th, 2009
6:34 pm

Although I like the sport of football a lot more than the sport of baseball, I don’t think anyone can argue that baseball offers obsessive compulsive fans a greater field of obsessions and compulsions in which to indulge themselves.

ben

May 27th, 2009
6:35 pm

MichaelM, your completly right. Would it really be that bad to play this year out at .500? I would hate to see another Tex trade, instant satifaction and long term disaster. I would love to see next year with Lowe, jiar, javy, hanson, and kawakami. And add a bat for a whole year through free agency. Then in two years have real OF Heyward and Hernadez.

P-Town Brave

May 27th, 2009
6:35 pm

Brian-

Thats a lot of what N8 and I were saying earlier….2b is our 1 position of strength right now besides young starting pitching…

We can very well afford to trade Kelly and go w/ Prado there…especially when you consider KJ is going to get us a much MUCH better return than Francoeur would ever get.

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2009
6:36 pm

My buddy Gordon Edes, who covered the Red Sox for years for the Globe and is now at Yahoo, reports the following:

• The Boston Red Sox have been scouting underachieving Atlanta outfielder Jeff Francoeur as they look to improve their outfield depth, especially in right field. J.D. Drew(notes) has had back and shoulder issues and seldom makes it through a season without breaking down, while his backup, Rocco Baldelli(notes), has ongoing medical concerns that make his availability suspect.

Francoeur, 25, hasn’t regained the power stroke that netted him 29 home runs in 2006, his first full season in the big leagues, but some scouts are convinced a change of scenery would do him wonders. And his durability is unquestioned – Francoeur did not miss a game in 2006 and ’07 and played in 155 in 2008.

With David Ortiz(notes) slumping, the Red Sox also have demonstrated some interest in Johnson, though it cooled when the Nationals asked for prime pitching prospect Michael Bowden(notes) in return.

ArkyTech

May 27th, 2009
6:37 pm

Eric from MO, Anderson’s not a good option? First of all, his OBP IS higher than Schafer’s (.348/.324). He’s hitting over .300 and has many SB’s as the entire Braves team. He has more RBI than Schafer (10/8), and has scored only 3 runs fewer than Schafer. All this with nearly half the plate appearances (175/92).

Josh Anderson is outperforming EVERYONE currently in the Braves outfield.

Capt Caveman

May 27th, 2009
6:37 pm

Bay Area Steve — a post about hitting would be too long. But suffice to say that it’s not so much guessing as working the percentages. Knowing the count and what a pitcher is trying to do when you’re at the plate.

Short version, a true hitter is always looking for something in his ZONE so that he can put out a good swing and drive the ball. My zone was a fastball/slider on the inner half of the plate from mid-thigh to belly button. And when you see it, you hit it. This is how you produce power numbers. But you have to know when to look for that and know when that part of the at-bat passes and you then have to become a defensive hitter. Open up/ spread out and go for contact over muscle.

What JF did was open his stance this year to see the ball with both eyes and give himself an extra tenth of a sec to see the ball. This was the same approach I took all through my teens. But this technique takes discipline and mental toughness, something that is very hard for a free swinger to learn at the major league level. Doesn’t happen over night, he could struggle with it for a full half season before it “clicks”, that is if he stays with it which he is not doing all the time. It took me 2 full years to grasp it fully and I wasn’t trying to unlearn Jeff’s bad habits. But every player is different and Jeff certainly is way more talented than I ever could have hoped to be.

Every player’s swing is unique to himself but the final position of contact is one of scientific fact which is why you always see the comparison pictures that are stopped at the point of contact. How to get to that position is the challenge for every hitter. It’s complicated yet so simple at the same time.

Jeff Failcoeur

May 27th, 2009
6:38 pm

Bay Area Steve

May 27th, 2009
6:39 pm

P-Town,

when you say you could hit FB and slider:

First pitch of your AB, you could hit an inner-third fastball, or an outer-third slider? You weren’t looking for one or the other?

CB

May 27th, 2009
6:40 pm

MichaelM is correct- we bloggers shouldn’t be making all these trades. But it’s so much fun!!!

Doc Holiday

May 27th, 2009
6:41 pm

Nationals Ready To Trade Veterans
By Tim Dierkes [May 27 at 5:03pm CST]

Talking to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff, Nationals acting GM Mike Rizzo volunteered three trade candidates from his team:

“Nick Johnson, or (Josh) Willingham, or (Austin) Kearns, anyone on our roster, if we can make a good baseball trade and improve ourselves, not only for our present but also for our future — a player that can impact us — we have to make those kinds of trades.”

Martin

May 27th, 2009
6:41 pm

What about trading Diaz,Jeff,& Medlen in a package? Would that 3 man package give us a shot at a good right fielder. Also what about Kelly and Jones or Blanco for a center fielder and send Jordan back down to develop more.

Doc Holiday

May 27th, 2009
6:42 pm

Olney heard that “Atlanta hasn’t gotten fully engaged yet” in their attempt to augment their outfield.

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
6:43 pm

I’m an optimist. I really believe Frenchy will be fine, but I’m afraid it won’t be here.

Chop Chop

May 27th, 2009
6:43 pm

Rizzo wants that GM job. He’s going to clean house as much as possible. Bowden was a real knucklehead.

Chop Chop

May 27th, 2009
6:44 pm

If you’re the Nats, you’re probably looking at two straight #1 overall selections in the draft. They’ll pick Strasburg this year. Who’s looking good for 2010? If they make a few smart trades this year, they can start to put together a solid farm system and a foundation for the future.

Give Me A Break

May 27th, 2009
6:45 pm

Count me as one of those who does not want to pull the trigger on a trade that will decimate the farm. Where the Braves are obviously in a bind with the Schafer in CF situation, I would like to see Diaz play more be it in LF or RF.

Now we’ll hear the chorus of those who say, “he had his chance last year and he proved he’s not a everyday player.” It’s another example of the Braves philosophy in general. Some guys, they have the patience of JOB with. Other guys get one shot and one shot only. I’m not sure I understand that.

I recall a time when the Braves had a player that I liked a lot. I wanted him playing as much as possible. He had a shot to win the second base job one year and actually won it. He performed great! He was the most consistent performer the Braves had for the first couple of months of the season then BANG! He was hurt. When he came back, he was again a utility guy. Then there was the year that Chipper went to left and he got the third base job. He struggled. The only time I saw him actually struggle the entire time he was with the Braves. After a couple of months, he’s on the bench and Chipper is back at third.

I repeat it was the only time I saw him struggle as a Braves and once was enough for Bobby. He only had that one chance at struggling while some guys Bobby will allow them to fall on their face time after time!

He got hurt again and Braves let him walk instead of offering him a contract.

Mark DeRosa has turned into an above average Major League player, much better than most of the guys I’ve watched Cox allow to fail time after time. Yes the Braves do occasionally misjudge talent.

woogidy

May 27th, 2009
6:50 pm

MichaelM, No the Braves aren’t 20 games out, but they might as well be. They’re a team built to sit back and wait for the 3-run homer, and they don’t have anyone to hit it. The Braves are 13th in Runs, 13th in Slugging, 13th in HR’s, 14th in Total Bases, last (16th) in SB, but 5th in OBP, and 6th in AVG. They can’t get guys from first to home. We then look at the Phillies, Marlins, and Mets and realize that out of the 4 teams in hand, the Braves are inferior to the top 2. So, 2.5 now seems like 20 because it might as well be. There’s no way this particular team makes it to the playoffs, no way. And, as fans, that is what we were told they were trying to achieve. We are disappointed.

Eric from MO

May 27th, 2009
6:51 pm

ArchTech sorry, last week it was quite a bit lower. I dont keep up with him on a week to week basis. He isnt a Brave so why do I care. That being said I was also one of the few on here who said Spring Training stats mean nothing and we should keep Anderson. I took a lot of heat about how much better Schafer is. Well guess I was right.

tunafish

May 27th, 2009
6:52 pm

As much as it hurts after 14 wonderful years of playoff baseball, do not pull the trigger on a trade unless it doesn’t involve pitching (besides Jo-Jo)…I love the kj to left and prado starting everyday at 2b, he is a .300 hitter given the at bats. frenchy’s best days in a braves uniform are behind him, as much as that sucks to say. diffrent place would be good. who we need now is wilson betemit (remember when he was the next savior in atlanta, or marte? where is andy marte in the world?)

brian

May 27th, 2009
6:52 pm

DOB – any chance the Red Sox would part with Daniel Bard, Casey Kelly, or Brian Price (with another prospect) for Francoeur or has his value just fallen too low?

rocky mtn braves fan

May 27th, 2009
6:52 pm

Hey DOB – I agree with you entirely that it is too early for any major trades to happen – just doesnt make sense for a team to trade away a valuable bat this early. I do have a question for you though-outside of the nationals(who have said they are ready to trade now), what team do you think would be willing to pull the trigger first?

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 27th, 2009
6:53 pm

I’ll go along with Diaz as the left fielder. . . Anderson has shown me little.

Same Thing Said Last Year

May 27th, 2009
6:53 pm

The comments that no one should panic because the Braves were only a couple of games out were made by many on the blog about this time last year.

The Braves finished closer to 10 games out than they did a couple of games out.

Jerry Holcombe

May 27th, 2009
6:53 pm

Jerry Holcombe

May 27th, 2009
6:28 pm
Original Jon: Ryan in TN. Sounds like you are giving up on the season already and looking forward to next year, when the reality is that the Braves are only 2.5 games out of first with over 117 games left to play.

Yeah Jon, the Braves are only 2.5 games back, but guess what? On May 27th of last year, the Braves were also 2.5 games back and in 3rd place. They ended up 20 games out by the end of the season. What similarities are there between the two team? Both have atrocious bullpens. Both had Francoeur. We had Kotsay then and that currently is a step up from what we have. Same at first. We had Tex, now we have Kotchman and the edge goes to Tex. Both had Johnson. Our top three starters this year are better than last years, but the results are still the same because we have no offense. Now Jon, you have to admit that it’s really easy to give up on a team that is this fragmented.

Dan

May 27th, 2009
6:55 pm

Randy Johnson has a 6.26 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and a .293 opponent’s batting average; but despite that I bet he looks like an ace tonight.

Jerry Holcombe

May 27th, 2009
6:56 pm

I disagree. What has happened in the three years I’ve been blogging is that the team has played consistently mediocre baseball, and even the most optimistic, Bobby loving fans have begun to become fed up with it–N8

I agree N8. I used to be one of the staunchest supporters of Bobby Cox. But the further this debacle has gone on, the easier it has become to see that Bobby has glaring flaws and should be replaced by someone who’ll remove the aura of Club Med from the clubhouse

jtb

May 27th, 2009
6:56 pm

What boggles my mind is why so few people in here realize that Diaz can’t hit right handed pitchers. Remember last year when he was our every day left fielder until he got hurt? That didn’t work. Remember when GA was hurt earlier this year and Diaz played almost every day? That also didn’t work. He KILLS lefties, but as an every day player, he just can’t keep up.

Doc Holiday

May 27th, 2009
6:58 pm

9 Braves · Trends 17
There’s not much to be said about the hitting — they score runs when Chipper Jones is contusion-free and Brian McCann can see more than 3 feet in front of him — but the pitching could win them the NL East. They’ve got more depth than any team located south of Boston, and that’s before Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson arrive on the scene … As a result, I can see the Braves asking Tom Glavine to make four more months’ worth of rehab starts (”no, we totally want you up here, Tommy G. We just think you need some more, you know, conditioning. And to work on, uh, your pick-off move. Yeah, that.”) —-CBSSPORTS.COM POWER RANKINGS (up from 17th to 9th in 1 week)

Jason

May 27th, 2009
6:59 pm

I don’t blame you for this post DOB. I frequent the Braves forums on MLB and I’ve gotta say, we don’t have the brightest of fans posting there. I will say they’re at least passionate.

Who knows, maybe not making the post season for a few more years is exactly what this city needs to show that same 1991 passion when they watch a game in person, and actually start filling a stadium of supporting fans instead of opposing fans during the post season.

ppaddy123

May 27th, 2009
6:59 pm

KJ to LF, Brandon Jones to RF. Gregor Blanco back to CF. Prado to 2nd. Internal fix…….can’t be any worse!

ppaddy123

May 27th, 2009
7:01 pm

Maybe “Frenchy” should pay a visit to Rudy Jaramillo. If that guy can fix Andruw…………

mbatl

May 27th, 2009
7:01 pm

Jerry Holcombe , it ain’t Bobby that’s fallen down on the job. It’s the GM who’s misunderstood the need for offense. No manager in the history of baseball could win with this outfield. GM’s fault. GM’s job to fix.

Bravesfan

May 27th, 2009
7:03 pm

Why get rid of Frenchy? He’s currently our best outfielder. Diaz isn’t a full time player. Schafer stinks because he’s a rookie. Anderson is doing jack out there on the field. At least Frenchy is usually putting the ball in play lately. Unfortunately, this is a sad but true fact. It would be great to live in a world where our farm system was stacked with major league ready outfielders but that’s just not the case. Beggars can’t be choosers.

Picking on Frenchy is the hip thing to do right now but currently he’s just another piston in an offense that’s sputtering along mis-firing.

Bobby's Cox

May 27th, 2009
7:03 pm

Ya that blue jays game was a dagger to the Jays.

They blew a 10-5 lead in the bottom of the 8th giving up 5 runs.

A few innings later in extras they blew a 2 run lead. Walk off shot.

Eric from MO

May 27th, 2009
7:03 pm

Jerry what you fail to mention is we have 3 starters on pace for over 200 innings and all 3 have ERAs under 3.5 You also fail to mention since having a bad April Kawakami is looking like he is turning the corner with a great May. Which gives us 4 really good to great starters. You also fail we have the number 2 pitching prospect who will be here by the all-star break. Not to mention that Hudson is on or ahead of schedule and should be back by August.

By the way our bullpen is not astrocious. Soriano, Gonzo, and EOF have all been really good. Is it the best pen in the League, no but it is very solid. The ERA is high but that is mostly because when the game is out of reach we throw in our mop up guys and they give up a few more runs. Anyone who watches the games sees this.

Art Vandelay

May 27th, 2009
7:03 pm

Can someone please explain to me why people keep on saying they want Blanco back in CF? Dude is hitting about the same as Schafer at TRIPLE A. How do you think that would translate to the majors? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say not very well.

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