McLouth, Chipper and Mac in 3-4-5 spots?

   WetLanta, Ga. _ A day later than expected, and only if the weather cooperates, we’ll get to see center fielder Nate McLouth’s Braves debut tonight, and the return of Chipper Jones to the cleanup role, however permanent or not the move might be.
   Again, if the weather allows. Because the good thing about our weather in Atlanta is that, even though we still have water restrictions and can’t wash cars, we don’t have to wash them because it rains every day or two and takes cares of that.

McLouth's Braves debut tonight ... weather permitting

McLouth

   Not just rain, but torrential downpours have been the common occurrences lately, like last night, when we had yet another two-hour rain delay before it turned into our second rainout of the season.
  If there’s another rainout involving a team that’s not returning to Turner Field, they might have trouble finding any remaining mutual days off between the Braves and whatever team that is. They’ve already used two such mutual days off to reschedule games with the D’backs on Aug. 17 and last night’s game against the Cubs on June 22.
  Fortunately for the Braves — and this is key — they don’t have to go anywhere for either game. Teams have to come to them, like the Braves had to do last season at Colorado, when they had to fly in for one makeup game at Denver in the middle of a road trip, between series at Anaheim and Texas. Not fun.
  Another potentially beneficial result of last night’s rainout is that it pushed back Tommy Hanson’s debut from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. Facing Hanson’s power repertoire and nasty hook in the 1 p.m. sun can’t be comfortable, and he’ll now face a pitcher (lefty Manny Parra) with a 3-7 record and 6.75 ERA.
  He would’ve faced Jeff Suppan on Saturday, if the rotation hadn’t been bumped back by the rainout. And while Suppan enters Saturday’s start against Javier Vazquez with a 3-4 record and 5.09 ERA, he went 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts against the Braves in 2008.
  I’d say Hanson’s got a lot better chance to win his debut in an afternoon game against a lefty with a near-7.00 ERA than against Suppan on Saturday night.
  Of course, Tom Glavine might also have had a better chance to win against a fellow lefty on Sunday … OK, we’ll not open that can of worms again. I’ll let you all address that more if you’d like. I stated my opinion yesterday — that Hanson makes the Braves better, but Glavine wasn’t handled fairly or with the proper respect in this deal — and I’ll leave it at that.
  Times moves on. Braves have a pennant race to try to stay in. And they hope that McLouth and Hanson can help them catch the injury-plagued Mets and start to cut into the division-leading Phillies’ 5-1/2-game lead. We’ll see. They are certainly a better team today than they were before the McLouth trade.
  A significantly better team. Maybe a far better team.
  And if Hanson can get acclimated and comfortable fairly quickly, he should start winning some games. He’s too talented not to, really. He’s that good, in my opinion. But it’ll take time before he really excels, I’d imagine.
  If you look at his past two seasons, he needed a period of several starts to really hit his stride on a consistent basis after bumping up to Double-A last season and to Triple-A to begin this season. But once he got in a groove, he was utterly dominant.
 Not expecting him to be dominant here as a rookie, but he could be very good. Again, because he’s that talented.

 

 ♣ McLouth’s spot in order: I saw where his former teammates burned a candle next to a picture of McLouth in uniform at a table in the Pirates clubhouse yesterday. Let me just say, my mental imagery of that is not comfortable. The dude was traded, not taken hostage.
  But hey, I guess it says plenty about how popular he was in the Pirates’ clubhouse, which is certainly a good thing for the Braves to know. But they’d already heard as much from former Pirates teammate Mike Gonzalez, who’d said to me the night of the trade: “He’s a baller, dude.” (Gotta like Gonzo, don’t you?)
Anyway, where do you bat McLouth?
  (While I’m thinking about it, did you guys know that McLouth has hit .176 on the road, fourth-worst in the NL this season? He hit .319 in 24 games at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. But it’s a small sample, and that hasn’t been his norm in the past. Last season he hit .289 with a .364 OBP on the road, .265/.348 at home.)

Where should Nate McLouth bat in the Braves' lineup?

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 (One other thing. If I was traded or released, would anyone burn a candle for me, perhaps by a picture of me wearing my leather jacket that’s so popular with a few of you? No? I didn’t think so, either.)

 Now, where were we? Oh, where should hit McLouth? Me, I think I’d try him at leadoff. But I can certainly see cases made for batting him third or fourth, too. Bobby Cox had him in the third spot yesterday before the game was rained out, with Chipper dropping to the fourth spot after Jones and Cox discussed the situation the night before following the trade.

  That gives the Braves a much stronger middle-of-the-order, particularly with Brian McCann moving to the fifth spot where the Braves have only four homers and a league-low 20 RBI this season.
McCann has hit .458 (11-for-24) with a homer, five RBI and a .536 OBP in limited duty in the 5-hole this season. Could be a perfect spot for him and the team, with the addition of McLouth.

 ♣ Hoss at cleanup: Chipper said he’s got no problem batting fourth if that’s what is best for the team, even though he prefers third and has hit there, as he said “since Little league.”
  One point: While it’s true that Chipper has hit third for the vast majority of his amateur and professional baseball career, some seem to forget that he didn’t just hit cleanup a few times here and there over the years.
 Chipper hit almost exclusively in the cleanup role during an entire three-year period of the 2002-04 seasons,  behind Gary Sheffield for two seasons, then behind  J.D. Drew. Chipper also split time between the third and fourth spots in 2001, when Andruw Jones had more at-bats in the 3-hole than Chipper.
  In ‘01, Chipper and Brian Jordan split the cleanup duties, combining for 33 homers in 542 at-bats in that role. Chipper had 38 homers that season, including 20 homers and a 1.045 OPS in 334 at-bats in the 3-hole.
  Chipper and Andruw combined for 31 homers that season in 592 at-bats in the 3-hole.
  For those counting at home, the Braves got 64 homers and exactly 200 RBI from just those three players (Chipper, Andruw, Jordan) in the third and fourth spots. Yes, this was a team that used to have plenty of power.
  By the way, there was a reason that Chipper hit almost exclusively fourth in the 2002-04 seasons. Two reasons, actually: Sheff and J.D. They were both really good 3-hole hitters.
 Sheff hit .326 with 22 homers, a .421 OBP and a .551 slugging percentage in 4-08 at-bats in the 3-hole in 2002. (Chipper also hit .311 with six homers and a .920 OPS in 148 at-bats in the 3-hole that season.)
  In 2003, Sheff was terrific, hitting .330 with 39 homers, 132 RBI and a 1.022 OPS in 576 at-bats in the 3-hole.
  And in 2004, J.D. had a career-best year hitting in front of Chipper in J.D. only full season with the Braves, including a .308 average with 28 homers, a .441 OBP and a 1.024 OPS in 415 at-bats in the 3-hole.
  Chipper produced better overall statistics in his next three seasons (2005-07) after moving back to the cleanup position than he had during the three (2002-04) when he hit third, albeit with a lot fewer RBIs and a lot fewer games due to injuries.
  How much of that improvement was position in the order, and how much might have been attributed to his continued development and improvement as an overall hitter, his increased patience and mental mastery of the art of hitting?
  I don’t know the answer to that. I guess we’d have to watch him for an extended period again in the cleanup spot to know. Whether he’ll stay there remains to be seen. He and Cox both indicated yesterday that it could be a flui situation, because McLouth can hit anywhere (including cleanup) in the top half of the order.
  For the record, during the 2002-04 seasons, when he hit primarily third, Chipper had a .295 average with 83 homers and 302 RBI in 448 games, with a .402 OBP and .514 slugging percentage.
  During the 2005-07 seasons, when he hit almost exclusively in the 3-hole, he hit .321 with 76 homers and 260 RBI in 353 games, with a .416 OBP and .588 slugging percentage. (I used a three-year period for comparison’s sake.)
  And in the entire period since moving back to the 3-hole, from the start of the 2005 season until now, he’s hit .332 with 103 homers and 358 RBI in 524 games, with a .431 OBP and .578 slugging percentage.
  By the way, notice that’s only 76 more games played in the past 4-1/3 seasons than he played in three seasons from 2002-04.
  Hey, he’s 37. Time waits for no man (well, except Tom Waits; time waits for Tom Waits). Time waits for no other man — as Glavine can attest, after the Braves emphasized that point to reporters after releasing the left-hander.


“IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE” by Bob Dylan

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out all the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
The empty-handed painter from your street
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.
Your empty-handed armies, they are going home.
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor.
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

Leave your stepping stones behind, there’s something that calls for you.
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

 

 

1,749 comments Add your comment

sidslidkid

June 5th, 2009
3:14 pm

I’m ready to see Nate already!

McFann :Ô:

June 5th, 2009
3:18 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Can’t wait for tonight’s game!

Could be a perfect spot for him and the team

I totally agree…yep…

Hurricane Corky

June 5th, 2009
3:19 pm

DOB — what’s up with Buster Olney’s report on the Braves interest in Penny?

sidslidkid

June 5th, 2009
3:20 pm

The latest head scratcher from Buster O at ESPN.
Sources: Braves eyeing Penny

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4234548
(I just don’t get Buster sometimes)

McFann :Ô:

June 5th, 2009
3:21 pm

cabravesfan

No, not lately…

:P Thanks. You’re a good one, too!

atombomb

June 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

Buster O must have heard that the Braves were pinching pennies… (different than scouting Penny).

Brian

June 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

The reality for 2010 is that something’s gotta give in the rotation. I would think Lowe, Jurrjens, and Hanson are already penciled in. You’ve got Hudson, Vazquez, and Kawakami for the last two spots. Kawakami’s not gonna get you much in a trade and is a little cheaper than the other two. Hudson’s a big question mark since he’s injured. Vazquez’s value will not be higher than it is right now. I think there are a few teams out there that would give a pretty good return for him right now. And if you can make that move without hurting the team too much this year, you gotta think about it.

Not that there’s any reason to think any of this is close to happening but a couple of trades that result Brad Penny and a power-hitting outfielder for Vazquez and Francouer is at the very least intriguing.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

June 5th, 2009
3:24 pm

Hurricane Corky,

Bowman’s already debunked this story. Says there’s no truth to it at all.

How sad, since Buster’s part of “the best team in baseball” …

McLouth of the South

June 5th, 2009
3:25 pm

Damn, a candlelight vigil? You serious Clark?

Macon Braves (RIP)

June 5th, 2009
3:27 pm

Hard to take anything seriously from a guy called Buster.

Brian

June 5th, 2009
3:28 pm

Hurricane Corky,

Bowman’s already debunked this story. Says there’s no truth to it at all.

How sad, since Buster’s part of “the best team in baseball” …

Probably correct, but trading Vazquez is still something I think we’ll look at. I think trading Francoeur for some #4-type starter and flipping Vazquez for a power bat makes sense in the right combination.

Anders

June 5th, 2009
3:28 pm

From the last Blog:

Ron Roberts – Vasquez has been in the bigs for 12 years . He’s 131-133. I don’t care about quality starts etc.. With that body of work – you are what you are imo. Again, he is an effective innings eater, which the Braves clearly sought this off season. I just don’t think they feel they have to have that anymore. Same reason they cut Glavine loose. He was an insurance policy imo. Glavine didn’t know it, but he was. To some degree so is Vaquez.

Don’t discount the money they have tied up in Kawakami as a problem too. He may work out but that’s far from a sure thing. They know they can’t move him so they better move Vasquez while they can.

If they took the PR hit on Glavine for $1 mil you think they wouldn’t move Vasquez’s $17 mil owed if they could? Like people have been saying to Glavine all day on here of course it’s about the money.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

June 5th, 2009
3:28 pm

“I saw where his former teammates burned a candle next to a picture of McLouth in uniform at a table in the Pirates clubhouse yesterday.”

If we traded Francouer, it’d be about the same. Except no candle, just the picture burning.

Macon Braves (RIP)

June 5th, 2009
3:28 pm

How sad, since Buster’s part of “the best team in baseball” …

:lol:

DAP

June 5th, 2009
3:30 pm

DOB it looks like there might be a few mix-ups about weather chipper was batting 3rd or 4th in certain years, but thats great info. you da man.

Thrillhouse44

June 5th, 2009
3:31 pm

One other thing. If I was traded or released, would anyone burn a candle for me, perhaps by a picture of me wearing my leather jacket that’s so popular with a few of you?

I can see this, perhaps with the Doors’ This is the End playing on repeat as the wax drips down onto the photo of the jacket.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

June 5th, 2009
3:32 pm

lol, Thrillhouse44.

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

The thought of trading Vazquez right now worries me. I know JJ and Lowe have been solid, but Kawakami just isn’t that good, consistantly anyways, and Hanson, i don’t care what anybody says, will take his hits and struggles. Plus, JJ wore down the second half last year, remember? Who’s to say that won’t happen again? Chances are it won’t, but predicting anything in this game is just plain stupid!

I say wait until we see if Kawakami(more consistant) and Hanson prove solid enough for #4-5 starters and if JJ can stay on track for another month or two, then look at trading Vaz.

woogidy

June 5th, 2009
3:33 pm

AGTFan “I just find that to be sad and pathetic. I have a hard time considering anyone with that attitude to be a sports fan. For me the team is defined by the players. I guess for you the team is defined by the owners. It’s just sad.”

No, It’s defined with success and/or failure. I am not saying I don’t like the players on the team now, but if they left tomorrow, then I am not going to follow or keep up with them. There is no attachment to them when they leave. If McCann was traded for Victor Martinez, I’d not be a McCann fan anymore, I’d be a Victor Martinez fan. I am only a fan of players with the tomahawk on their chest. When they aren’t on the team anymore, it’s done. I must be able to separate it better than others, I don’t know. That’s why I hate giving ex-braves standing ovations. It’s just stupid, they are on the other team! I don’t root for the other team. Simply put, I am a fan of players on the Braves until they aren’t on the Braves anymore. Smoltz? Don’t give a sh*t, Glavine? Andruw? Tex? Yeah, couldn’t give 3 sh*ts about them either. They don’t wear tomahawks anymore. Maybe this is why I win my fantasy league every year. I have no attachment. You perform, you’re in, you don’t you’re out.

Dumbfound

June 5th, 2009
3:34 pm

Braves news confrence at 4:30 ! May be a trade announcement ! That’s what i am hearing !

J-X

June 5th, 2009
3:34 pm

And while vazquez’s “quality starts” stats are good, a “quality start” isn’t going to do much for you if your team can’t score more than 3 runs as often as this team does. I have been very impressed with Vazquez, but you have to look at the bigger picture. If it make the team better, it makes the team better. And the biggest area this team needs to get better right now is offense and RF.

BobHornersCast

June 5th, 2009
3:35 pm

I could see McLouth hitting fifth adding protection to chipper and ‘the McCannon’. Also, in the 5 spot he could steal a base without teams walking chipper or mccann. That would mean more runners in scoring position for frenchy and Left Field.

SoWeGA Fanatic

June 5th, 2009
3:36 pm

Penny? Why on Earth would the Brave TRADE ANYTHING for Brad Penny? The guy’s era is 5 plus. Their 6th starter has been forced to the pen now! Besides, I would rather have Glavine than Penny.

J-X

June 5th, 2009
3:36 pm

The question in this case is would the downgrade going from Vazquez to Penny or Medlen every fifth be greater than the upgrade of bringing in a real POWER HITTING RF. It is all according to who that RF is. But if it was a Ludwig-type guy, I think you have to make that move.

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
3:36 pm

Trading Vazquez would not be a baseball move unless it was the first step in a process, just as Glavine’s was. The catch here is that Brad Penny is getting paid $8.75 million and has an ERA of 6.04 in the 2008-2009 period. How are we going to flip him for anything worthwhile? So, this only makes sense if Vazquez or Kawakami is the piece that we use elsewhere in order to bring back a hitter.

If another team wanted Brad Penny, they could have him right now. So, we would be keeping him rather than dealing him. Were there credence to this (and I rule nothing out after the events of this week), I suspect we would:

1) Ditch Francoeur’s $3.375 million salary in exchange for some overpriced pitcher.
2) Deal Kawakami’s $8.33 million salary or Vazquez’s $11.5 million salary for a slugging outfielder, probably one under contract for a while
3) Hope that the overpriced pitcher (we’ll say Penny for now) has a strong June/July, allowing us to deal him for prospects at the deadline.
4) Acquire another bullpen guy in a deadline deal for Penny and his $8.75 million contract plus maybe a couple of minor league players to make up for what we lost on Vazquez and McLouth.

Were that to happen, we’d get somewhere between $11.7 million and $14.8 million off the books minus the expense of the short term rental of the new starter, the cost of the slugging outfielder, and the bullpen guy.

A few assumptions:

1) If we dealt Francoeur for Penny, we would probably get a prospect back to account for the $5 million difference in salaries.
2) If we dealt Kawakami, I am certain we would have to give up prospects as well for an outfielder since he’s overpaid relative to performance.
3) If we dealt Vazquez, I am certain we would get back prospects back since he has been so brilliant this year unless the outfielder we bring in is a stud.

Operating under the assumption that it is Vazquez on the market as has been reported, I believe we could up taking our current starter surplus, our weakness in RF and the six bodies we’ve lost in the minors with the Vazquez and MacLouth trades and tried to fix it all in one series of moves. It’s a gamble, but I think everyone here has accepted the fact that Francoeur’s plate discipline is broken, probably beyond repair. If we made these moves, we would get rid of him for Penny and a prospect, get back a solution in RF and a prospect or two for Vazquez and maybe even a couple of prospects for Penny down the line.

Our current rotation is:

Lowe as the ace
Jurrjens as the unheralded but even better ace
Vazquez
Kawakami
Hanson

If we take out Vazquez for Penny over June and July, we lose quite a bit one game out of five. We make up for it on offense every game, however, since Francoeur would be gone. If Hanson is what everyone thinks he is, he’s another co-ace to throw on the pile down the line. Right now, he should have no problem holding down his own in the rotation. That means Penny only has to get us to Hudson’s return and Medlin and Kawakami are left to fight it out for the final rotation slot.

Thinking this through and talking it out, I’ve come to realize that Buster Olney is probably on to something here. We’d be taking a 7 week hit on Vazquez for Penny in order to fix our RF issue, probably for good. When Hudson is healthy, we deal Penny or Kawakami or maybe even Hudson to fix any other hole we have plus get some prospects back. I can see this happening and I have to admit that I have a hard time disagreeing with the logic. I believe Vazquez has been a great fit for us who offers a ton to this team and if we keep him, that pleases me. I equally believe that Francoeur hurts us more often than Vazquez helps us. So, that’s the choice we have to make about which one to prioritize.

J-X

June 5th, 2009
3:37 pm

Ludwick not Ludwig i think

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
3:37 pm

Here I say predicting anything in this game is plain stupid and I predict hanson will take his bumps. But, some things are obvious when it comes to rookies. Minors and MLB are two different worlds.

J-X

June 5th, 2009
3:38 pm

I thought Penny was signed for 5 million not 8.75 million. Has anybody verified his salary?

monty

June 5th, 2009
3:39 pm

I got to believe with Nate hitting in front of Chipper and a threat to steal when he gets on Chipper would see more fastballs. Which is not a bad thing.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

June 5th, 2009
3:40 pm

And while vazquez’s “quality starts” stats are good, a “quality start” isn’t going to do much for you if your team can’t score more than 3 runs as often as this team does. -J-X

So, get the bat and lose the quality start pitcher so we can start losing 5 to 4 more often than 3 to 2? I don’t think that’s the Braves philosophy, that’s all.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

Anders

June 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

TnBrian – Regarding your 3:33. How many teams do you think had an interest in McClouth but were waiting to see how things worked out first? Wren was smart to move early. I think the trades will really begin by mid June this year not July. Teams that want to dump salary will move early to make sure the market doesn’t dry up imo. With these economic times GM’s have lots of pressure to get salary in line if you’re not competing. They’ll trade low if they have to, but they will trade early.

cs95

June 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

okay which vasquez and KK is everyone looking at?

since may 1: KK hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER per start (going with less than 2 runs of support per start), while vasquez has allowed 5 or more runs on two starts with one start allowing no runs. (also, i don’t remember vasquez’s run support but I do remember it’s higher than KK). KK is 3.5 million dollars cheaper. Give me KK and trade vasquez.

Chris from the Rock

June 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

It would be nice if Hudson could come back in mid-July. That way if he could give a couple solid starts, Wren would feel comfortable dealing Vasquez by the deadline for a hitter.

bravesgrl4life

June 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

Woodgidy, while I agree with you that I don’t root for the other team, I do believe that former players, for the most part, deserve respect when they return to Atlanta. That especially goes for the ones who have some class, like Maddux. I was at a game he pitched last year or the year before, not sure since it’s been a while, and he was totally classy about pitching against the team that made his career.

McFann-what do you think, if B-Mac got traded, are you still “McFann”?

getmattholliday

June 5th, 2009
3:41 pm

What is the logic behind a possible acquisition of Brad Penny? Are they going to turn around and trade him. Is there a third team involved? Are the Braves talking to ANOTHER team about a trade once Penny is acquired? What do you all think?

Goldenglove002

June 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

Yeah, Chipper is definitely going to see better pitches to hit, he might just get a few more RBI opportunities if McClouth was batting leadoff, along with more opportunities for the back of the lineup to score

DWW

June 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

Vasquez and Francouer for a RF power hitter is the only trade I would want. No more prospects need to go, and we dont need a back end of the rotation starting pitcher.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

June 5th, 2009
3:42 pm

p.s. Vazquez is one of the reasons our most pressing need is RF. And not pitching.

Anders

June 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

Penny is signed for $5mil. He has some incentive stuff but it looks like he might get another $500K tops.

PA Braves Fan

June 5th, 2009
3:43 pm

Hey quick jordan schafer update. in 2 games he is 3 for 9 (333/364./667.) 1 HR 2 RBI’s 1 BB 2 SO 1 SB

Willy Wally

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Isn’t it funny that with most Braves trades, not a word is ever uttered? They get McClouth, no one heard or saw it coming. That’s the Braves M.O. But heaven forbid the Braves front office answer the phone when Theo Epstein calls, the whole darn world needs to know it. That must get real tiresome to deal with. That Red Sox front office is one leaky vessel. I’ve always felt that Andruw was never the same after the Red Sox ran all over town talking about how the Braves wanted to trade Andruw to the Bosox back in July 2006.

Lunatic Fringe

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

If we got Ludwig, we could have him play some cool organ music between innings

Macon Braves (RIP)

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Also, in the 5 spot he could steal a base without teams walking chipper or mccann. That would mean more runners in scoring position for frenchy and Left Field.

Hmm, more runners in scoring position for Frenchy (aka Rally Killer)…. How bout more runners in scoring position for Right Fielder Matt Diaz? That at least sounds less like asking for a train wreck.

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

getmattholliday, it’s BS, they’re not interested in Penny, Bowman says.

hoopscoach21

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

It would be very shocking for Ludwick to become available considering the Cards are tied for first, have a solid rotation, and are weak at 3B.

Interestingly, here are last seasons stats for 2 players:
Player A: .299 37hr, 118 rbi, 4 sb, .966 OPS
Player B: .331 37hr, 121 rbi, 3sb, 1.031 OPS

Player B is a bit stronger, but A is comparable.

A is Ludwick
B is Manny

Anyone surprised?

Novice Ned

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Maybe the Atlanta media can burn a candle for #47 in the press room at the Ted tonight.

Knowitall

June 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Who cares what salary Penny is signed for? He will not be wearing a Braves uniform this year. You don’t build your team up one day and tear it down the next.

J-X

June 5th, 2009
3:45 pm

KEEP VAZQUEZ,

I would harldy say that the Braves’ “philosophy” is missing the playoffs three years in a row either. We need to make a change to improve the team to the point that it is competitive.

I would love to read how you feel the rotation should be handled when Hudson comes back.

You think we should trade Kawakami? Not going to happen, moving him will be very hard until he further proves himself in the league and that he can go a full MLB season.

Lowe, Jurjjens, Hanson is gonna be there, Unless your willing to pay a long relief guy 8 million per, so is Kawakami.

So your telling me that if the Braves front office truly feels that Hudson is going to come back strong at the end of this year. You would rather have Vazquez than Hudson the rest of this year and all of next year? I think not.

James is Red

June 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

DOB – Regarding your response on Liz Phair. I stand by my “brilliant” moniker on her first three albums. Exile is of course at the top of the list, but the next two were right up there in my opinion. Which is why, to your point, her follow up to White Chocolate Space Egg was SOOOO disappointing. It was embarassingly bad. I actually pretend that it and the others don’t exist.

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
3:46 pm

“I thought Penny was signed for 5 million not 8.75 million. Has anybody verified his salary?”

J-X, Rotoworld had him at $8.75 million, but ESPN has $5 million. If you google for the actual story, he was in fact signed for $5 million in January. My mistake.

Luke

June 5th, 2009
3:47 pm

I really do think there is life to all these said rumors. And I think there is one team and one name that we are all missing. The Texas Rangers have come out and publicly said they are willing to trade hitting for pitching. And lets be honest. They are loaded with hitters. But Nelson Cruz makes sence in every way! He is a big time right handed bat that plays right field. And a deal involving him and Vazquez and other pieces just makes sence. Or you could go the route Vazquez and kelly johnson for Ian Kinsler. Maybe the Braves need to throw in another small piece but those are two trades that i would not be surprised to see Frank Wren involved in. He does have a way of thinking outside the box. No one even saw the McLouth Trade coming!

Anders

June 5th, 2009
3:49 pm

Gone Viral – Your 3:36 reads like an “Oceans 11″ script. I’m picturing Wren making all these moves on screen while George Clooney narrates your post.

Josh

June 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Don’t trade Vasquez, he has shown flashes of greatness this season. Hold on to Francoeur as well; I see a lot of potential in him still. With McLouth and Hanson now with the Atlanta club, we should wait until the all-star break to see if any minor tweak is needed to preserve our playoff hopes. That’s my two cents. Go Braves!

rammerjammer

June 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Kawakami ERA in May – 3.03
Vazquez ERA in May – 3.76

monty

June 5th, 2009
3:50 pm

Getting Mclouth was a smart move by FW. Now he can entertain trading Vazquez or (whoever) for a power bat out of a position of strength and not weakness. We don’t necessarily have to have a RH bat, more of a luxury now. That’s why he insinuated he’s done with the “big deals.” (wink-wink)

The Logical Blogger

June 5th, 2009
3:51 pm

This Penny talk is nothing more than a load of $hit. Buster is just trying to ruffle feathers, and try and squeeze a turnip out of thin air. Did you ever think that maybe Buster is a complete reject that should have never gotten the ESPN gig. Dude was a prick when he covered the Nashville Sounds for the Tennessean. ESPN= Bush league reporting.

Dean

June 5th, 2009
3:51 pm

DOB, you actually think this team is “significantly better” after this trade? I’d like to think so, but I’m going with marginally better. There are just too many holes to fill in this lineup. I mean, where exactly is Anderson and Kotchman/Prado? Are they even on the team anymore? And, who is actually going to get on base ahead of the Irish import and Chipper? KJ? Yikes.

But let’s say for semantics’ sake that this team is significantly better. There’s still no way in H that the team is nearly good enough to overtake the Phillies – maybe the Mets but not the Phillies. I hope to god I’m wrong, but right now, this team is just too streaky to overcome a significantly stronger team. The Phillies can power themselves through games when their rotation is weak. But, the Braves’ lineup is too erratic (see KJ, Esco, Frenchie, etc). McLouth is certainly an upgrade, but we’re still desperately lacking.

RHR

June 5th, 2009
3:51 pm

(Gotta like Gonzo, don’t you?)

Mark me down under yes…but probably for a different reason than you. :D

McFann :Ô:

June 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

bravesgrl4life what do you think, if B-Mac got traded, are you still “McFann”?

YES!!

And I’d prob’ly form the “Braves Fanns Against Frank Wren” Club.

Woogity

I feel that way about most players we’ve traded, but I’d never feel that way about BMac. I’ll always be “McFann”. Boy oh boy would it hurt BAD to see him on another team, though…

cs95

June 5th, 2009
3:52 pm

luke,

i don’t see vasquez going to texas for two reasons. limited no trade clause blocking moves to the AL or NL west and two, he’s a flyball pitcher going to a hitter’s home run haven.

KEEP VAZQUEZ!

June 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

I would harldy say that the Braves’ “philosophy” is missing the playoffs three years in a row either. -J-X

Yikes, what a “sophist’s jab.” They’re not about to change to a hitting-at-the-cost-of-pitching strategy. Hope that’s not what you’re waiting for.

The Logical Blogger

June 5th, 2009
3:53 pm

People who still see potential in Francouer are the same people who still believes in the tooth fairy. Get over it people he couldn’t hit a beach ball with a boat orr.

getmattholliday

June 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

I have a suspicion that a 3rd team is involved. Once we get Penny, another deal will be made for a RH power bat.

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

Buster Onley is a pecker head.

Willy Wally

June 5th, 2009
3:54 pm

McFann, get ready to burn your Elton John records:

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/105313?eref=sircrc&eref=fromSI

Rock legend Elton John, a big baseball fan, requested autographed pictures of the Twins’ Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, and in exchange provided autographed pictures of himself. John told Mauer he’s the best catcher in the major leagues and said he wished Morneau played for the Atlanta Braves, of whom John is a big fan.

getmattholliday

June 5th, 2009
3:55 pm

Enter your comments here

getmattholliday

June 5th, 2009
3:56 pm

I have a suspicion that there is a 3rd team involved in this. Once Braves get Penny, they will deal him right away to another club for a power bat. A la Mike Piazza from the Dodgers to the Marlins to the Mets.

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

“since may 1: KK hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER per start (going with less than 2 runs of support per start), while vasquez has allowed 5 or more runs on two starts with one start allowing no runs. (also, i don’t remember vasquez’s run support but I do remember it’s higher than KK). KK is 3.5 million dollars cheaper. Give me KK and trade vasquez.”

CS95, even if we cherry pick Kawakami’s starts to give him his best run, he still has a 3.68 run average since May 1 with a WHIP of 1.36. That’s ignoring the 17 earned runs he gave up in his first 20 innings. He also a total of five unearned runs on the year, indicating he has quite a few problems pitching out of trouble, which is unsurprising given how many baserunners he allows. You’re arguing run support as being a problem for him, which it is, but that overlooks the fact that he’s giving up 5.4 runs per 9 innings, meaning he needs a LOT of run support. I’m not saying it’s over for Kawakami by any stretch, but any comparison of the two pitchers shows that Vazquez is a much better performer to date. He’s only giving up 3.97 runs per 9 innings and saves the bullpen over an inning of work per start over his counterpart.

Anders

June 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

The Logical Blogger – Did you just reference the Nashville Sounds while calling ESPN bush league reporting? Really?

Who exactly are the Nashville Sounds? A quartet or something?

McLouth of the South

June 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

TnBrian- “Buster Onley is a pecker head.”

Incorrect- Dayn Perry is a pecker head as well!

monty

June 5th, 2009
3:58 pm

Luke

Trading away Kinsler their star wouldn’t sit well I don’t believe. You just don’t trade your star away. MAybe a talented 2nd or 3rd best guy on your roster, but not your Chipper Jones.

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Anders, that’s possible, but I really hope Wren sees things the way I do, and I’m sure a lot of other fans do as far as pitching. I just don’t think he’ll deal Vazquez until he sees Hanson pitch for a handful of starts and if JJ can stay away from his mid-season wear down he dealt with in ‘08. Could be wrong though. I’m wrong A LOT!

Joebrave

June 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Hmmm, so Olney says Penny huh???? That means someone else is on their way to the Atl, I heard franky on the fan yesterday, and when asked about any further moves, He clammed up tighter than dick’s hatband!!!! Basically tap dancing around the entire thing, Folks silence speaks volumes,and McLouth was never even linked to Atlanta…..Wonder who it is tho’ certainly not Penny!!!!!

The Logical Blogger

June 5th, 2009
3:59 pm

Ugh they are a AAA team – ANDERS

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

“Gone Viral – Your 3:36 reads like an “Oceans 11″ script. I’m picturing Wren making all these moves on screen while George Clooney narrates your post.”

Don’t miss the Topher Grace cameo at the trade deadline.

Goldenglove002

June 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

Chance of rain has gone down alot. I think we are going to be seeing McClouth tonight.

Thrillhouse44

June 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Anders on fire at 3:57. Hilarious, glad you can take your injury-related frustrations out somewhere.

Josh

June 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Logical Blogger,

In many of Francoeurs latest at-bats he has kept his hands inside of the baseball and driven the ball to right field. I would hate to see us deal away him for a mediocre pitcher(Brad Penny) and see the Red Sox bring him to his full potential while we are stuck with a rental player that did not bring much to the club. That’s my thinking.

McLouth of the South

June 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Always some lunacy when trades are discussed (and some may feel my Vasquez-for-Swisher + 2 is just that), but one thing’s for certain: Vasquez has performed as a solid number two starter this year who is under contract for another year. Any team that gets him for any bat that will likely be available WON’T be getting prospects too.

Shaun

June 5th, 2009
4:02 pm

Here is something Dayn Perry wrote less than two months ago:

If the Braves surge to the top, then it’ll be thanks to the best rotation in the division and a core group of hitters (Jones — if reasonably healthy — McCann, Johnson, and Escobar) that compares favorably to anything the Mets and Phillies can trot out. The challenge will be to win in spite of or to repair their dubious middle-relief corps. If they do that, they’ll win the NL East.

A stunning turnaround for a team that lost 92 games a year ago? Somewhat, but not to the extent that you might think. The Braves’ 2008 run differential suggests their record should have been a more respectable 79-83. So they’re working from a higher baseline than their actual record would indicate. Throw in a revamped rotation and a pile of young hitters closer to their prime seasons, and you’ve got a team that’s dangerous both to its rivals and to most preseason predictions.

In fact, the best team in the NL East probably resides in Atlanta.

buzzmeat (McLouth's Mouths)

June 5th, 2009
4:03 pm

Brad Penny??? cant be true

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
4:03 pm

“Luke

Trading away Kinsler their star wouldn’t sit well I don’t believe. You just don’t trade your star away. MAybe a talented 2nd or 3rd best guy on your roster, but not your Chipper Jones.”

That’s exactly why Pirates players are staging a rebellion right now and let’s be honest about the fact that the difference between McLouth and some of his former teammates isn’t that much. It’s the perception of it all that matters. Players get upset when the clubhouse leader is dealt. We went through this when we dealt Brian Jordan in the Gary Sheffield trade.

TnBrian

June 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

Willy Wally, you put an “n” at the end of your last word…should’ve been a “g”. Nah, just kiddin, I like Elton John. He’s got some real good music and he’s a huge Braves fan. I saw a video of him and John Sheurholz and JS saying that they locked up McCann for a long time and EJ responded with, “That’s good boy.” Why he’d take Maur instead of Mac is shocking.

Anders

June 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

TnBrian – I think your logic is sound. Most GM’s certainly would wait and he very well may, but I think guys will be moved quicker than normal and their choices later on may be limited. Especially some of the big fish.

Mr. Jeff Francouer AKA: Whiff

June 5th, 2009
4:04 pm

I am tired of all the hate. I demand a trade to the Florida Marlins. At least there won’t be anyone to see me strike out.

J-X

June 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

Dean,

I think our team is significantly better from the recent changes.

Upgrade defense – Mclouth may not be better than Schafer, but he is better than Blanco.

Upgrade Rotation – Hanson, nuff said.

Upgrade Offense – We took our weakest offensive position and replaced it with a guy that is all of the sudden the team leader in HR, RBI, and SB.

Upgrade Bullpen – Medlin is going to be solid in th bullpen, whoever’s spot he ends up claiming, that will be an upgrade. (Acosta i think)

Upgrade Speed – Mclouth is the ONLY guy on our team that is a threat to steal, whether Bobby lets him or not, the threat is important.

So how is this not a significantly better team now when in one day you upgrade every facet of the team.

cs95

June 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

gone viral,

( iam not big into the stat thing, I was just looking at game logs for the month of may) i totally agree vasquez is an innings eater. I just think with lowe and JJ that getting vasquez because he can eat innings is not necessary. I mean if vasquez is traded for a bat I am down (he has more value than KK). KK has some solid improvement over april to may. As for the unearned runs thing, how is that he’s fault that KJ drops a routine double play or escobar lets a ball goes thru his legs? In those instances, he should have been out of the innings. Thus, lowering his runs per nine innings AND pitch count so he can in turn stay in the game longer and save the pen (like vasquez)

Anders

June 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

Thrillhouse – Hey, I have to take my medicine on the injury front. You guys got buried last year. My turn in the barrel. Hopefully my boys can hang around until they get healthy again.

BJones

June 5th, 2009
4:06 pm

Im not ready to give up on Francouer…

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

“Kawakami ERA in May – 3.03
Vazquez ERA in May – 3.76″

Kawakami ERA in 2009 – 4.63
Vazquez ERA in 2009 – 3.58 (with 12 innings more in the books i.e. 2 more Kawakami starts)

PA Braves Fan

June 5th, 2009
4:07 pm

I don see us making any trades for anyone unless its a too good to be true offer. Vazquez and Kawakami pitched pretty good in May and I think Wren is gonna wait and see how this month plays out to see if Kawakami can keep pitching well and if Vazqyez continues to be as good as he’s been, and if Frenchy can ever figure out the strike zone. I see us probably dealing Vasquez and French for a bat if Hudson is back and pitching well.
I wouldnt expect any moves till the end of June beginning of July. Im not sure we can cath the Phillies were 6 out and they’ve been red hot and we are still medicore and they have already started to distance themselves from us. The closest we have been was 1.5 out on May 20 since then we are 4 -7 and have dropped 4.5 games in the standings. We are 4 out of the wild card with the Cubs, Giants, Reds Mets, Cardinals, Brewers ahead of us. I think we stand a better chance trying to catch them then the Phils.

timthebrave

June 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Mccann is signed through 2012 with club option for 2013. He doesn’t make that much money(considering) for an all star catcher. If we trade him I would join McFANN’s club. Why would we need or want Penny? I didn’t see us overpaying for a pitcher now when we have solid 5 starters and Hudson coming back in July. Makes no sense.

Ron Roberts

June 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Trading off pitching for bats is what got the Braves out of their annual playoff run, to begin with. Imagine Adam Wainright in the rotation now, one year of J.D. Drew be-damned.

Swapping Francoeur and ridding the Vasquez salary for a (currently) unproven Brad Penny is akin to going down that road again, no matter who they pick up. And who WOULD they pickup, anyhow? If it’s Penny and Bay for Francoeur and Vasquez, we might be on to something, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that’s the scenario, given Big Papi’s struggles.

SHOULDA GOT DUNN

June 5th, 2009
4:09 pm

ok idiots i dont know why yall insist on ludwick every single time we talk about gettin a bat. since going on the dl (and out 16 days) he is 2 for 23 with 1 rbi… Please do your research on how to spell these guys names and what is going on with them before making such stupid comments. And no freakin way we trade vazquez, we need him to round out our top 3. He is far and away better than kawakami, and a big reason our record isn’t worse. I say release Kawakami, (hey the pr could not get any worse at this point and Wren continues to show he doesn’t care about public opinion plus he has no trade value whats so ever with his contract and performance). Hanson is ready to roll imo, so put him at 4 and medlen at 5 until huddy comes back. Then with the salary we have remaining,(8-10 mil) pull of another top prospects trade and include french to a team looking to sell for a big bat. Or just put Diaz in right, anybody but fransuck…

cs95

June 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

gone viral,

I am not discounting that KK was terrible in april. There has to be some time to adjust to a new league right? His HRs are way down in may compared to april and thus a direct impact on him pitching better. Also, some say that KK when caught by ross was having some language issues. It does seem that he pitches a little better when caught by mccann. I think he was the catcher when KK pitched the blue jays

Arkansas Braves fan

June 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

Vasquez may not be a an All star but he is reliable. Penny is injury prone…too much of a gamble! Moving Francouer is a great idea though! I have had enough of his .270 on base percentage.

bravos2249

June 5th, 2009
4:10 pm

Radar looks good for tonight. No problems should happen.

Anders

June 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

Vasquez record in May 2-2

Vasquez record in April 2-2

He is what he is.

cs95

June 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

here’s another option trade vasquez in july and move medlen back to the starter’s role until hudson is ready. if we need the bat and are stilll in it.

Gone Viral

June 5th, 2009
4:11 pm

“In many of Francoeurs latest at-bats he has kept his hands inside of the baseball and driven the ball to right field. I would hate to see us deal away him for a mediocre pitcher(Brad Penny) and see the Red Sox bring him to his full potential while we are stuck with a rental player that did not bring much to the club. That’s my thinking.”

All Francoeur has ever been in his career is potential. Peachtree TV was out here in Knoxville the other day, so I was forced to watch the WGN broadcast of one of our games. The announcers called out some stats that were genuinely mind-boggling about him. To that point in the season, 195 at bats in, he had earned a 3-ball count exactly 16 times (he is up to 19 now). There haven’t been 100 hitters in the history of baseball who can succeed with that sort of impatience at that plate and Francoeur most assuredly is not one of them.

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