Soriano silencing skeptics

  A few things before we head out to the ballpark to see if the Braves can make it four wins in a row tonight when they face none other than Charlie Morton, who’s starting for Pittsburgh a week after the Braves traded him in the Nate McLouth.
  It’ll be the season debut for Charlie, whose 4-8 record as a Braves rookie last season included a 1-6 mark and 7.02 ERA in eight home starts, though he did match Milwaukee’s C.C. Sabathia pitch-for-pitch one memorable Sunday afternoon.

JJ faces ol' Charlie tonight

JJ faces ol' Charlie tonight

  The Braves have shown some encouraging signs during their three-game winning streak since moving McLouth to the leadoff role. They’ve hit .322 with 19 runs and 39 hits in those three games, after batting .211 in their previous 11 games (3-8), including seven games in which they scored two or fewer runs.
  But we’ve seen this kind of mini-surge from them before, only to see them go into a tailspin just when it looked like they might be ready to reel off an impressive run and gain some ground on the division leaders.
  Still, they didn’t have a potent, consistent leadoff hitter until McLouth arrived. So as long as Bobby Cox leaves him there – and why wouldn’t he as long as the offense is clicking — they might really have a chance to stay in this thing.
  They picked a good time to get their act together, because they’d best be on top of their game for the upcoming three weeks, which begins with a nine-game road trip to Baltimore, Cincinnati and Boston that starts on Friday.
  The jaunt ends in Boston June 19-21, a series that begins a brutal stretch in which the Braves play three games against the Red Sox at Fenway, a home makeup game against the Cubs, then nine games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies at Turner Field.
 Those 13 games against the Sox, Yanks and Phils (and one against the Cubs) could obviously could go a long way to determining whether the Braves are going to be playing important baseball after the All-Star break.
  Like I said, it’s a good time for the Braves to start and continue clicking. And it’s a reminder of how fortunate they were to be able to pull of a trade for a player like McLouth so far ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
  Again, what were the Pirates thinking by agreeing to that deal this early, without demanding any of the Braves’ very best prospects in return?

 ♣ Surging Soriano: His troubling, frustrating, injury-plagued 2008 season and 2009 spring training are beginning to fade in the rearview mirror, because Rafael Soriano is back to being the dominant reliever the Braves expected when they signed him to a two-year, $9 million contract in January 2008.
  He got the save last night, striking out Jack Wilson to end the game with a runner at second after Chipper Jones’ two-base error. This after lefty closer Mike Gonzalez pitched a perfect eighth in a setup role.
  If these two guys can stay healthy, the Braves have a luxury few teams can claim — two legitimate closers with experience, and two guys who say they are perfectly content to work in the arrangement that manager Bobby Cox plans to continue using, deploying the pitcher he thinks will best handle an opponents’ scheduled batters in the eighth inning, then using the other pitcher in the ninth.
  One could make an argument that Soriano, going like he is now, would be the full-time closer for most teams. But if the arrangement works, I wouldn’t expect to see Cox alter it, and Gonzo will probably keep getting plenty of save opps.
  Even if Gonzalez makes things more, uh, interesting, he ultimately gets the job done most nights.
Anyway, here’s what they’ve done recently and overall this season:
  • Soriano has the fourth-lowest ERA (0.98) among NL relievers, and inhis past 15 appearances he’s allowed one run in 16-2/3 innings (0.54 ERA), with four walks and 22 strikeouts.
  • At home, Soriano has a 0.54 ERA in 15 appearnces, with 20 strikeouts and five walks in 16-2/3 innings. (Braves in-game entertainment folks might want to prepare one of those entrance videos for Soriano while the team’s on this trip, and have that baby ready to roll during the next homestand.)
  • He’s second in the league with 12.04 strikeouts per nine innings, behind Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton (14.7).
  • Soriano’s .161 opponents’ average ranks eighth among NL relievers, and includes a .132 average by right-handers, with a whopping 27 strikeouts and four walks in 53 at-bats.
  • Right-handers have a .203 OBP and .208 slugging percentage against him, and lefties haven’t exactly lit him up, batting .200 with a .283 OBP (he’s got 10 strikeouts and five walks in 40 at-bats against lefties).
 • Opponents have hit .259 (14-for-54) against him with runners on base, but get this — with runners on, they’ve hit .026 (1-for-39) with four walks and 21 strikeouts against him. Yes, 1-for-39.
   • That includes 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts with runners in scoring position.
 ♦ As for Gonzalez, it’s not like he’s struggling. Not at all. (Moylan lately, yes; Gonzalez, no.) Gonzalez is fourth among NL relievers with 11.67 strikeouts per nine innings (yes, the Braves have two of the top four in that category).
  • He has a 1.64 ERA in his past 24 appearances, with seven saves in nine opportunities and a .184 opponents’ average in that span. He’s allowed four earned runs with 27 strikeoutsand 11 walks in 22 innings in those 24 games.
 • Gonzalez’s .214 overall opponents’ average curiously includes a .270 mark against lefties (10-for-37) and a .180 average against righties (11-for-61), though he’s held lefties to a .308 OBP, righties to .329.
  • Both home runs that he’s allowed have been by lefty hitters, who are slugging .541 against him, compared to .246 by righties.
  • But here’s the telling stat about Gonzalez, that says all about his tightrope walks. He’s allowed a .321 average with no runners on and none out, but a .167 average (6-for-36) with runners on base.
 • And when they’re in scoring position, it drops to .192 (5-for-26) against him, though he has eight walks and a .389 OBP in those situations.
  • With runners in scoring position and two outs, Gonzalez has held hitters to an .077 average (1-for-13) with six strikeouts and three walks.
  Yes, the Braves have a luxury. You’ve just got to hope, as Braves fans, that they don’t have to wear them out because they can’t trust any others in eighth-inning roles.

  ♣ Schafer’s wrist/hand: Don’t know if you saw my note on the other blog about Schafer, so here it is again. He’s got a bone bruise on his left hand and will probably have to rest for a couple of weeks. Makes you wonder how much that injury might have played a part in his woes at the plate for the Braves, though he insisted otherwise.

  Also, Brandon Jones has some minor patella tendinitis in his knee, but is not restricted from playing. And Jason Heyward has a strained oblique, and has stayed with the Myrtle Beach club throughout his rehab, contrary to some reports. He’s expected back as soon as this weekend.
  Here’s what I wrote about Schafer for the website this afternoon:
  Center fielder Jordan Schafer, who got sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett last week, is expected to miss up to two weeks after being diagnosed with a deep bone bruise in his left hand.
  Schafer played with a sore left wrist for much of his two months with the Braves, and aggravated the injury during a swing on Friday with the Gwinnett team. He had an MRI this week that showed the bone bruise.
  One of the Braves’ top prospects, Schafer, 22, won the center-field job with the major league team during spring training. He was sent down after batting .204 in 50 games, with eight doubles, two homers, eight RBIs and 63 strikeouts in 167 at-bats.
  He went 8-for-19 with two homers in the first five games of the season for Atlanta, then hit .176 with a .289 on-base percentage and .216 slugging percentage in his remaining 45 games before the demotion, striking out 59 times with 24 walks in 173 plate appearances during that period.
  Schafer initially hurt his wrist on a swing during the Braves’ April 10 home opener against Washington, the fourth game of the season. He played with the wrist wrapped throughout his remaining time with the Braves, and insisted the injury was not the reason for his hitting woes.

“YOUNGSTOWN” by Bruce Springsteen

Here in northeast Ohio
Back in eighteen-o-three
James and Dan Heaton
Found the ore that was linin’ Yellow Creek
They built a blast furnace
Here along the shore
And they made the cannonballs
That helped the Union win the war

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
My sweet Jenny I’m sinkin’ down
Here darlin’ in Youngstown

Well my daddy worked the furnaces
Kept ‘em hotter than hell
I come home from ‘Nam worked my way to scarfer
A job that’d suit the devil as well
Taconite coke and limestone
Fed my children and make my pay
Them smokestacks reachin’ like the arms of God
Into a beautiful sky of soot and clay

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
Sweet Jenny I’m sinkin’ down
Here darlin’ in Youngstown

Well my daddy come on the Ohio works
When he come home from World War Two
Now the yard’s just scrap and rubble
He said “Them big boys did what Hitler couldn’t do.”
These mills they built the tanks and bombs
That won this country’s wars
We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam
Now we’re wondering what they were dyin’ for

Here in Youngstown
Here in Youngstown
My sweet Jenny I’m sinkin’ down
Here darlin’ in Youngstown

From the Monongahela valley
To the Mesabi iron range
To the coal mines of Appalachia
The story’s always the same
Seven hundred tons of metal a day
Now sir you tell me the world’s changed
Once I made you rich enough
Rich enough to forget my name

And Youngstown
And Youngstown
My sweet Jenny I’m sinkin’ down
Here darlin’ in Youngstown

When I die I don’t want no part of heaven
I would not do heaven’s work well
I pray the devil comes and takes me
To stand in the fiery furnaces of hell

 

2,373 comments Add your comment

bigmacattack

June 10th, 2009
3:00 pm

Gonzo/Soriano a good 1-2 punch for the 8th and 9th.

Moylan just needs to become consistently good when they use him for the 7th.

JJ

June 10th, 2009
3:02 pm

DOB –

Is there any realistic chance that Wren makes another deal for another bat or is the current team all they get to work with? With all the rumors on the blog about Brad Hawpe, I wonder if it’s just fan exuberance or if Wren might actually make a move. What’s your take?

Steve from OH

June 10th, 2009
3:03 pm

Good blog, good song, DOB.

Doc Holiday

June 10th, 2009
3:03 pm

I will accept I was one of the guys saying we should be shipping Soriano when he was not pitching, my patient was short with him.

Talking about JF is a waste of time……….he should be shipped and if he turns into Albert Pujols on his new team, so be it, he is doing too much damage here, not helping at all, we (80% of fans) are tired of him.

McFann :Ô:

June 10th, 2009
3:04 pm

Of course…right after I send my latest post.

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! (I’ll read it after I do my…[gulp]…Chemistry.)

Here’s my post from the last Blog:

JD I was hoping you’d catch that

Of course I would…not a post that mentions BMac gets past me! :P

do you still have the link to that picture of McCann signing an autograph for you?

Ye-ah. Actually, he’s signing a thing for the guy after me, but Daddy and I are right there.

Here’s the link for ya!

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:04 pm

OK..I never thought Ibanez was on PED’s but to get that pissed over a blog post…..doesn’t necessarily mean you never did them….maybe not this year, but who gets that pissed over a little post someone made? If it’s an announcer or media guys I get that but honestly?

Supes

June 10th, 2009
3:04 pm

Bradley has a blog on Minor…Go sound off. There is a poll. Help vote for “whiff” option:)

Thanks:)

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:05 pm

McFann :Ô:

Dang school still going on?

Shamus Thacker

June 10th, 2009
3:08 pm

Wish we could try and work out deals with Gonzales and Soriano NOW. BUT, unless their agents are seriously wet behind the ears, it ain’t gonna happen.. They can demand a king’s ransom on the open market, and deservedly so.

Wish there was a “franchise” tag in baseball….

JD

June 10th, 2009
3:08 pm

But we’ve seen this kind of mini-surge from them before, only to see them go into a tailspin just when it looked like they might be ready to reel off an impressive run and gain some ground on the division leaders. DOB

So true….it’s been like that for about 3 years now. We get shut out for 2-3 games in a row, hit like we’re Murderer’s Row for a couple, then go back in a slump. What do you guys think is the cause of this? A lot of us here will naturally blame Bobby and/or TP (I’m on that boat), but there HAS to be a legit reason for the offense being so schizo.

And it’s not the pitchers. We hammer aces and get no-hit by weenies.

Slugger www.theweeklyscene.com

June 10th, 2009
3:09 pm

All –

Minor is a great pitcher. I’m in Nashville, so I went out and saw him pitch for Vandy this year. When Devall and Minor are ready (hopefully around the same time), probably Minor before Devall, they should really help the Braves.

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:09 pm

N8

June 10th, 2009
3:09 pm

From the other blog:

“Some people forget how tenuous is the hold on a job in MLB, I think, but players don’t.” scoots

Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to people that SI tabs as “The Natural”.

Efrim

June 10th, 2009
3:10 pm

DOB, wouldn’t Wren just have said no if Huntington had asked for Heyward and/or Hanson? Regardless of when he waited till?

J$

June 10th, 2009
3:10 pm

Makes you wonder why Gonzo has better stats from the stretch. My strong opinion is that there is WAY too much movement in his windup. Why would he think more movement is going to make him pitch better? Pitching principles is the exact opposite.

DAP

June 10th, 2009
3:11 pm

i think it will be harder for the braves to go on a skid now than it was before the mclouth trade and last year. the reason is weve replaced one of our least productive hitters with one who is consistent and productive, plus we have the pitching this year unlike the last few years to allow us to streak a little bit if the offense gets hot.

Shamus Thacker

June 10th, 2009
3:12 pm

McFann, from the previous blog, you’re very welcome…

Doc Holiday

June 10th, 2009
3:12 pm

So now we have Soriano and Gonzo hot, now we only have to score some runs to have a lead to protect, right?

Slugger www.theweeklyscene.com

June 10th, 2009
3:12 pm

Elon Phoenix William ‘Dallas’ Tarleton to the Rockies in the 20th.

Daslied

June 10th, 2009
3:13 pm

DOB, thanks for the Soriano blurb. Love that guy, and it only intensified after reading his comments from last night. Gonzo, too. 1-39 with men on? K’d 27 of 53 right-handers?? Jiminy…

ncscoots

June 10th, 2009
3:14 pm

Are you upset over the McLouth trade? I don’t get on here every single day, but, when I have been on, I have not recalled any one blogger that thought we gave up real talent for McLouth.

No, no. I addressed that in a post the other day, the gist of which was that I thought the Braves overpaid a hair but that the trade was a fair one. Pirates got to move up a top prospect playing for the minimum, Hernandez replenished that position in their minor league system, and either Morton or Locke has a chance to be a solid mid-rotation starter for them (maybe both). Braves got Nate, and I’m glad they did.

But, if you take Medlen, Hanson, Heyward, Freeman, and now, Hernandez and Locke, out of the trade equation, you’ve cut deeply into available prospect trade pieces that might also be attractive. At least, in the kinds of trade scenarios tossed about here.

MikeD

June 10th, 2009
3:15 pm

Hope Diaz get’s another start in RF over Frenchy. Our lineup looked good but we need Kotch back in there.

FloridaBrave

June 10th, 2009
3:15 pm

Braves need this one tonight with the schedule they have coming up. Their ace going up against Pittsburgh’s rookie 5th starter, who we’re very familiar with. It’s not a must win or anything but one that good teams win easily…

Shamus Thacker

June 10th, 2009
3:16 pm

Doc, I’d put that closer to 90%.

Ron Roberts

June 10th, 2009
3:17 pm

Just IMAGINE how this lineup can perform when Omar Infante returns. Kelly Johnason and/or Jeff Francoeur better get their acts together.

cs95

June 10th, 2009
3:17 pm

had this at the end of the last blog but…

does anyone recall when schafer’s wrist injury happened? I was wondering how much of his struggles could be attributed to the wrist.

JD

June 10th, 2009
3:17 pm

Thanks, McFann. I had a little mini-theory that maybe McCann hasn’t been so sharp at throwing out baserunners because he’s a natural lefty, but taught himself to throw righty because he’s a catcher. But nope…he’s signing autographs with his right hand.

I looked online for pictures of him signing autographs or something but couldn’t find any. I did find this odd picture, though http://www.genterine.com/radiocult/images/celebrities/bravesbrianmccann01.jpg

Steve from OH

June 10th, 2009
3:17 pm

Slugger–no one ever said he was a bad pitcher. Heck, he’s a tall kid, maybe they think he’ll fill out and add a few MPH to the heater. Then he could be a top-tier starter. As of right now, he doesn’t have the upside as a few others in the draft (like Matzek), but his makeup and signability are much better, so it’s not a stretch to take him.

richbrave

June 10th, 2009
3:18 pm

GIL:

I’m concerned about the whole deal after I learned that KIRK is the front man for RIPKEN. That smells of BALTIMORE to me not the folks I thought were behind him, namely the LERNERS. That does not bode well for RICHMOND. I don’t want our baseball future held hostage by a BALTIMORE ORIOLES stooge. I want it in the NATIONALS camp because that makes the most sense. I’m not one for selling out to the first bidder, or in this case, the second one.

Jersey Gil

June 10th, 2009
3:18 pm

DOB Good Music..The Boss from New Jersey.
Another note about the Ibanez situation with a Blogger….The Problem was the Philadelphia Inquire publicy the comment from that blog. But legaly he can’t do anything again the Newspaper. The blogger just wrote an opinion about his surge of power, including playing in the Boom.
The mistake was the paper reprint that comment.

timthebrave

June 10th, 2009
3:19 pm

I think Minor will be a very good pitcher. People think if you don’t throw upper 90’s that you aren’t a good prospect. I’ve seen the guy pitch and think he will be a middle of the rotation pitcher.

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:19 pm

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/tom_verducci/06/09/contender.problems/index.html

Talks about what contenders need…..

Dishonorable mentions: Red Sox at designated hitter and shortstop; Rays at catcher; Tigers in left field; Braves in right field.

Another media BURN. lol

Doc Holiday

June 10th, 2009
3:20 pm

Shamus Thacker,

I know, I just didnt want to sound rude on Golden Boy.

Snowball's Chance

June 10th, 2009
3:21 pm

“Opponents have hit .259 (14-for-54) against him with runners on base, but get this — with runners on, they’ve hit .026 (1-for-39) with four walks and 21 strikeouts against him. Yes, 1-for-39.” Is the second part of this statement with runner’s in scoring position?

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:23 pm

Man Saban is one slick b***….signing a former offensive coordinator as an Alabama graduate assistant.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
3:24 pm

Thanks for the bloggage Dave. Soriano and Gonzo have been pitching very well. Maybe Medlen continues his good stuff and moves into the Moylan role. All of June is big for us, but right now with the Mets playing the Phils we have to win these next two games.
Steve- from prior blog, my feeling on HGH is simply that ever major athletic governing body has deemed it to be performance enhancing and players still take the stuff in order to get results. Therefore, people that take HGH for athletic performance are CHEATERS. There is no grey area there. Sorry if that hurts Jordan’s feelings but the truth is the truth.

cs95

June 10th, 2009
3:27 pm

that’s a class guy schafer…. not using the wrist as an excuse… hopefully it was the main cause and he can rejoin the club in a about a month and kick frenchy to the pine!

Steve from OH

June 10th, 2009
3:29 pm

Dan, I do not disagree in that assessment at all. I don’t have much sympathy for convicted PED users at all. Completely agree with you there. However, there’s no real proof that he took it (before you respond, I am skeptical that he didn’t), and based on the inconclusivity of the literature, we shouldn’t be so quick to label him as a PED-aided prospect on the downturn quite yet. Fair enough?

rammerjammer

June 10th, 2009
3:33 pm

I hereby RETRACT my suggestion of Medlen, et al for Hawpe, having forgotten that Soriano AND Gonzo both walk after this season. The little pony could be our bullpen horse next season and beyond.

Shamus Thacker

June 10th, 2009
3:34 pm

If Frenchy doesn’t need a shrink, nobody does.

Is there doubt in anyone’s mind he has the natural ability? He pretty much proved that early-on.

If the Braves haven’t explored the mental aspect of what’s going on with him, THEY’RE crazy.

He was too good a ballplayer 3-years ago to struggle to such a mind-boggling degree now.

I’ve always said it was something not having to do with baseball. No doubt in my mind at this point.

Shamus Thacker

June 10th, 2009
3:43 pm

Hey Supes, I don’t think there can be open campaigning within 1000-feet of a blog….

Count Chocula

June 10th, 2009
3:45 pm

Braves Record when Failcoeur doesn’t start: 3-0

bravos2249

June 10th, 2009
3:46 pm

The Braves drafted 2 players out of Alabama…bout time they learned…lol

Turk 182

June 10th, 2009
3:49 pm

damned blog at my post.

Turk 182

June 10th, 2009
3:50 pm

Chocula, numbers don’t lie.

Lew

June 10th, 2009
3:53 pm

Paul Lentz-My opinions on whether or not Francoeur should play (just like yours) will not influence anything that happens in that regard. To say you have nothing against him and then to turn around and argue insignificances (debating head movements that did nothing to affect the play’s-much less the game’s-outcome) as if they were actually meaningful, tells us all something entirely different.

Dude, If you truly believe I’m not a true Braves’ fan, then all you’re doing is showing us you have little knowledge of this blog and further proving your lack of understanding. You are rapidly striding towards total idiocy.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

Fair enough- but at the same time it is just as reasonable to mention as a “bone bruise” as the reason for the down turn. You are a very reasonable and rational guy Steve and I always like your takes and opinions.

Heath (Cleveland)

June 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

Turk –

If you mean that the Blog “ate” your post… well, me too. It was long and took some time to put together…so, I’ll just forget it.

Soph

June 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

Lol, little pony…

Jay212033

June 10th, 2009
3:55 pm

timthebrave

I really hope this guy succeeds but I just dont see a soft tossing LHP with a career 3.53 ERA no more than a back end starter at best. Drafting with the #7 pick you want a guy with front end potential not someone at best who’s a #3 starter.

Oh and it’s looking bad here, I hope this is just a quick passing storm.

TnBrian

June 10th, 2009
3:57 pm

Is it a coiencedence that Soriano is dominating in a contract year? Maybe not, but it does make you wonder. Maybe he really was hurt though, so I don’t know, but as long as he and Gonzo keep doing their thing we should be right there to the end.

Oh yeah, lets not start getting too comfortable with Frenchy on the bench. You know Cox will play him tonight even though Diaz is just better in all areas except for defense.

ncscoots

June 10th, 2009
3:58 pm

rammer, you couldn’t trade Medlen for anybody, right now, because all that pitching depth in April is gone like smoke in the wind. Glavine cut, Reyes in the bullpen and hurt, Morton traded, Hanson up…there’s nobody left. Gwinnett is down to scrubs, so what happens if you trade Medlen, or Vazquez, or Kawakami, or whoever, and somebody gets hurt? And someone will, whether for three starts or more. There’s no one back of Pony, anymore.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
3:58 pm

Ron Robets- Oh the Kelly and Jeff “getting their act together” IS the whole swing of the season. I think most of us have given up hope on Francouer, and are looking for someone else to fill that role. Getting Infante back will be huge though.

McFann :Ô:

June 10th, 2009
3:59 pm

Bravos2249

Yeah…gotta get this dang chemistry book finished. Thankfully there are only two “modules” left.

JD

I actually had that mini-theory once, too. He actually had a pretty dang good CS% in the minors (at least, he did in his first 2 years…B-R.com doesn’t have it for ‘04 and ‘05, though. He did suffer a separated shoulder in ‘04, if I’m not mistaken.)

Ugh…looking online for photos is a royal pain. Today I’ve been looking for photos of Bobby with different Braves players, but have had zero luck (except for the photo that Shamus Thacker found).

That one you just posted…I saw that the last time you linked it up…

timthebrave

June 10th, 2009
3:59 pm

TnBrian, with a lot of players that might be the case but with Soriano it probably had to do with injuries because he was really good before the injuries

joe

June 10th, 2009
3:59 pm

shamu…maybe franpoor can go the route of votto and take a few weeks to see a shrink

N8

June 10th, 2009
4:00 pm

I’ve had 3 posts “eaten” on the new blog in the last half hour as well. Not to mention the blog wouldn’t even load for about 10 minutes.

The f***ing format sucks ass. As slow as the old one used to get, at least EVERY post you typed and spent time looking up stats and links to put in it, eventually showed up.

N8

June 10th, 2009
4:00 pm

And like clockwork, my post griping about how nothing ever shows up…..

…. shows up. I’d say “unreal”. But it’s not. Too predictable.

McFann :Ô:

June 10th, 2009
4:01 pm

Heath

I’ve had that happen to me many times, too.

TnBrian

June 10th, 2009
4:01 pm

S.Tacker, who cares if Frenchy has a mental problem anyways. A lot of people have ADHD or whatever that is, just as long as he sits on the bench and has enough sense to fix what’s wrong with his head, if anything is seriously wrong with him to begin with. He might just be a stubborn person with arrogance that gets in the way of a solution. His career is on the line.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
4:01 pm

good point joe- Anxiety is the new thing in baseball now. Seems like a couple of players have gone on the DL with that as a reason. Don’t know who the other ones are though… maybe I am making that up.

VaBravesfan

June 10th, 2009
4:02 pm

Just read this on CBSsportsline: “Carlos Marmol issued an unintentional four-pitch walk to Jeff Francouer. ON the sliding scale of baseball impossibility, it ranks somewhere between a perfect game and back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back triples.” That’s funny but sad at the same time.

Pretend Hero

June 10th, 2009
4:02 pm

Everyone continues to say Morton was a throw in on the trade for McClouth. Personally I think he looked great at Gwinnet and after the crap from management, I hope that he has a great night tonight against the Braves. Still want the Bravos to win, but maybe they win a 1-0 game in the ninth.

McPoyle

June 10th, 2009
4:02 pm

felt like the Braves lost every one run game last year, it’s nice to have won 4 out of the last 5! Soriano has been spectacular. All-star worthy maybe?

Brad

June 10th, 2009
4:03 pm

Hey Braves fan! Long time DOB blog reader here. I’m excited about the Braves, especially the back end of the bullpen. How often in the past 18 years have we had two established closers in the pen?

Also, I have a website/blog that you guys should check out, mainly because we are debating Glavine’s situation. Yes I know its a week old but it was a slow news day today! Give it a look and leave feedback!

http://www.thesportsdebates.com

Most importantly, go Braves! Make it four in a row tonight!

rammerjammer

June 10th, 2009
4:03 pm

scoots, you’re exactly right. It seems Frank’s – and Bobby’s – outfield options are seriously limited!

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
4:03 pm

Or TnBrian Jeff is not able to “prepare” for the game like he did before his slide, which occurred quite coincedentally with the adoption of some new “rules” in baseball… if you get my drift.

rob from sc

June 10th, 2009
4:03 pm

I really feel like the hand injury is full to blame for Schafer’s struggles. It is impossible to whip the bat through the zone with an injured hand. Most great hitters say you hit with your hands. No rookie will ask out of the lineup after x-rays were clean. He was not missing fastballs in Spring Training or the first week of the season. I admire his toughness. I have a feeling that once his hand heals, we will see the real Jordn Schafer.

McPoyle

June 10th, 2009
4:04 pm

I hope Morton has a horrible game and the Braves win by 10 personally. I don’t care who is pitching, I wish Morton the best against everybody BUT the Braves.

N8

June 10th, 2009
4:04 pm

“does anyone recall when schafer’s wrist injury happened? I was wondering how much of his struggles could be attributed to the wrist.” cs95

If this post isn’t sarcastic, perhaps you’ll also enjoy knowing that men have landed on the moon?

If it is sarcastic. Well done.

JeffFranceourIsBradKomminsk

June 10th, 2009
4:05 pm

JJ, I read your 3:02 post and have had some of the same thoughts about Brad Hawpe. I read somewhere that if he is dealt that he can void the final year of his contract and become a free agent after this season. I would not be for trading for a three month rental. I think Atlanta will need another bat if they are going to compete with Philadelphia and NY Mets over the long haul. I don’t know that it’s Hawpe. Maybe another one of his teammates…

AndyC

June 10th, 2009
4:05 pm

Assuming that Schafer’s wrist was bothering him during his time with the big lueague club and that it led to his poor play. I agree that it shows his toughness to play through it but it would have been better for him to speak up about it. If he had gone on the DL for a couple of weeks and rested he might have come back and played a lot better and still might be with the team now. Maybe the Braves would have a few more wins also.

I don’t think it’s smart for players to play through injuries when it affects their play so dramatically. Chipper is now playing through his toe injury but obviously it is not affecting him that much because he is on a hot streak with the bat.

richbrave

June 10th, 2009
4:05 pm

ANDERSON, JOHNSON and FRANCOUER are still ????-marks 58 games into the season. Too many offensive ????-marks this time of year. We could be sweeping the PIRATES and gaining a minimum of two games on the teams in front of us with two of the three contributing hits with RISP instead of DP’s.

rob from sc

June 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Pretend Hero

I feel like Morton will end up being the centerpiece of the deal. He pitched hurt with us last year. I wouldn’t have included him in the deal. That said I hope we rock him tonight.

Steve from OH

June 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Daniel–ditto. Nice to have more posters who can have an intellegent discussion without getting personal. Kudos.

Oh, and I think Khalil Greene is one of the folks you are thinking about in regards to anxiety.

Poor Frenchy. There’s a burn around every corner for the guy. I really do feel awful for him. Unfortunately, I feel just as awful about his performance so far.

Buckhead Bama

June 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Over on Braves-Nation (the guys that run that site do a hell of a job, well put together Braves website), Soriano is now known (deservedly so) as BAMF.

Blog Eater

June 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

When you make a long, involved blog, always copy it to your clipboard. Safety first.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

McPoyle- I am with you 100%
N8- Does that mean the comment has a high sarcasticability with a low ceiling or a low sarcasticability with a high ceiling if given enough time to develop?

rob from sc

June 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

AndyC

We might not have traded for McLouth then. Schafer felt like he needed to stay in the lineup. Rookies are afraid of being called soft. X-rays showed no damage.

The Big Chopping Cow

June 10th, 2009
4:07 pm

Here’s hoping Schafer’s wrist heals and he tears up AAA pitching and Major League pitching when he is brought back up so we can trade Jeff Francouer. I’d rather be looking down at the kid in right field than Le Frenchman.

Also, here’s to hoping that a Schafer displacement of Le Frenchman leads to a Kelly Johnson trade as well, since there will be too many left-handed tomahawk choppers in the lineup. From my view, it looks like Kelly wears diapers.

I chop with my right hand, but my strike zone would be bigger than Le Frenchman’s at the plate due to my alarming frame, and I’d actually be slower than he in RF. See how accurate my assessments are? I see everything towering over right center.

N8

June 10th, 2009
4:09 pm

Daniel

That was funny.

DAP

June 10th, 2009
4:10 pm

JeffFranceourIsBradKommi

hawpe’s option that he can void is for the 2011 season. he would be a year and a half rental.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
4:10 pm

Steve- ditto and thanks for the Khalil call.

Unicorn Jones

June 10th, 2009
4:11 pm

Pretend Hero

I don’t think anyone has said that Morton was a throw in on the trade for McLouth. I think he has a chance to be a #3 starter in the majors. It’s just that the Braves didn’t have a spot for him in the starting rotation. Barring a rash of injuries, the Braves wouldn’t have a spot for Morton until next season and he has nothing else to prove at Triple-A. By next spring Morton would be 26 years old so he needs to take that next step. The trade was great for him in that he’ll actually have a chance to join the Pirates rotation pretty much immediately after the deal was made. It was also great for the Braves since we A) didn’t have a spot for him and B) moving him helped us acquire the CF we so desperately needed. I wish him well, although I obviously hope the Braves win tonight’s game.

Guessing Game

June 10th, 2009
4:11 pm

Shouldn’t draft tall pitchers with high floors and low ceilings. Head injuries…

beekay

June 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

I love the back end of our bullpen!….outside of Buddy and Bennett our entire bullpen has been stellar. Moylan will get better as his arm gets stronger, Medlen looks good for long relief Eric O has been fantastic and Raffi and Gonzo are smoking hot…now if we could just get frenchy and KJ back on track, tall order with French Fry but KJ is streaky and maybe that bunt hit will get him started again

joe

June 10th, 2009
4:12 pm

Daniel… Dontrelle Willis comes to mind, and Zach Greinke. John Smoltz did it too.

TNBrian…I totally agree that Francouer is acting arrogantly. Ever since the stink that he put up after getting demoted to the minors, I’ve had a far reduced impression of him as a person. If your 23, and a manager such as Bobby Cox thinks you need time in the minors, then you need time in the minors–shut your mouth. He hadn’t accomplished anything that would merit acting like a future hall of famer. And now he’s simply trying to prove that this game is as easy for him as it is for Chipper and McCann, and its making him look bad.

Daniel

June 10th, 2009
4:13 pm

DAP- your thoughts on DeRosa?

Greg

June 10th, 2009
4:13 pm

Guys, face it, Morton is 25, and we have plenty of young arms with Hanson, Medlen, and Reyes. It made sense to trade him rather than leave him toiling in AAA. By going to Pittsburgh, he has a chance to start his MLB career. I hope he does well. After tonight.

ncscoots

June 10th, 2009
4:14 pm

When you make a long, involved blog, always copy it to your clipboard. Safety first

Or avoid long, involved posts. Readability first, LOL.

Daniel, good one at 4:07. Your ceiling is up, good bloggability.

TnBrian

June 10th, 2009
4:14 pm

I know as good as anybody about anxiety and very bad panic attacks. It is AWFUL! A lot of people look at you like you’re just weak minded when in reality, it’s not a person’s fault but a chemical embalance in the brain. I didn’t know Khalil Greene has it but hopefully he got some medicine and is better. It’s seems worse for a guy to have opposed to a female because people expect a guy to be “tough”. Sorry, didn’t mean to turn this in to Dr.Phil blog.

Lew

June 10th, 2009
4:14 pm

TnBrian-I’m thinking that if Soriano were not really hurt last year, he probably wouldn’t have undergone surgery to repair the problem in the off season and then gone through rehab.

McFann :Ô:

June 10th, 2009
4:15 pm

Wow…really random storm just popped up. I thought DLowe pitched last night.

Prattvillenolzfan

June 10th, 2009
4:16 pm

Hey Bama2249

regarding your 3:19 post…At least we’re being mentioned as contenders!!!!!!

also to add to your 3:46 post. I moved to Central Bama from Fla. 4 years ago..

Gotta say, I’m VERY IMPRESSED with the quality of HS baseball being played here in Alabama…

Turtsnap

June 10th, 2009
4:16 pm

Soriano has been “LIGHTS OUT” this year, oh wait, that was Lidge’s nickname last year…. but he has been dominant!! I actually feel more confident with Soriano coming in, versus Gonzalez!

TnBrian

June 10th, 2009
4:19 pm

Lew, more than likely you’re right. I think it’s just natural for people to wonder about a guy like him, but when you stop and think about it, you have to think he was going through a lot with his arm/shoulder.

AndyC

June 10th, 2009
4:19 pm

rob from sc

I understand that completely about a young player not wanting to seem soft but I’m just saying that it would have been better for the team if he had spoken up. Also, if Schafer had been playing to his full potential would we really have needed to make the trade for NMac? In the long run it may turn out great for the Braves if Schafer comes back to play center and NMac goes to right…but you never know. The players we gave up may turn out to be quailty major leaguers.

ncscoots

June 10th, 2009
4:20 pm

Shouldn’t draft tall pitchers with high floors and low ceilings. Head injuries…

So, we can consider The Little Dude safe from such injuries, then?

Lew

June 10th, 2009
4:20 pm

joe-Would you feel better if Francoeur turned into Khalil Green and had anxiety attacks instead of a bit of arrogance? Who do you think will remedy their problems first? The Guy who thinks he can or the Dude who freaks out totally?

Kentavo

June 10th, 2009
4:20 pm

I like Moylan, but can’t he be sent down to work things out? Does he have options left?

Maybe Acosta has learned from his stint last year in the Big Show and can be 7th or 8th inning guy once in awhile.

Let’s just hope Cox doesn’t wear out Soriano.

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