1:37 pm June 14, 2009, by Carroll Rogers
June 15th, 200911:54 pm
We need dangerous hitters in the lineup……..and ross is more dangerous than CK…….right?
braves fan lmh
I was just trying to think of a trade scenario where the braves get true leadoff hitter like (figgins), a replacement for escobar (aybar), and a power bat for cheap (rivera).
You got a better suggestion?
June 15th, 200911:57 pm
FRANK from KS:
Your 8:31 p.m. “You just made the list buddy.”
June 15th, 200911:58 pm
“Atlanta’s current odds of making the playoffs stand at 8.8 percent. In other words, There is a 91 percent probability that this team will miss the playoffs for the fourth season in a row.”
You state the obvious brilliantly. Hey does Scott Thorman have anymore options left? I can’t recall if that issue was ever cleared up.
Casey Kotchman is a .300 hitter that makes good contact, drives in runs and doesn’t strike out. He also (like I said) is probably the best defensive 1st baseman in the national league, and one of the top 2 or 3 in the majors. Mac is the best offensive catcher in the NL, one of the top 2 or 3 in the majors and is skills would not be nearly as impressive at 1st, especially with what would probably be subpar defensive skills. Not to mention he has said more then once he does not want to play there (not that he wouldn’t move there if he felt it would help the team- I have no doubt he would because he is very much a “team first” guy- but I don’t think the team wants to move in either)
I don’t think anyone questions Jeff’s work ethic (I don’t think you are either…) but maybe he just has a hard time repeating his swing, or maybe he is just tryong way too hard. I don’t think he’s lazy. I don’t think he doesn’t try to get better. But there is definitely something that is not happening with him
When Schafer arrived in Rochester to begin his Minor League assignment, he entered Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage’s office and began saying things like “everything is fine except for the fact that I can’t hit.”
June 16th, 200912:02 am
Hey………we have the pitching to put a 15 out of 20 winning streak. All we need to do is score 1 or 2 more runs in half the close games we lose………..How hard can that be if we add the adequate bat? Doc
I think the problem runs deeper than just adding a bat or 2. Obviously, another big bat would be a tremendous help (not disputing that), but that doesn’t make Jeff, KJ, or whoever else is hacking early in the count any better.
The Braves lineup doesn’t see enough pitches or make pitchers work enough. Its not always a problem (McCann and Chipper know how to work counts), but it seems to hurt us fairly often.
Take yesterday’s game where Bergesen had more than one inning where he threw less than 10 pitches. He had a complete game with 112 total pitches (~12.4 an inning).
Yeah, I know the dude has been hot lately, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Braves as a team were overly aggressive at the plate all night. Why can’t Jeff and KJ take some pitches (2 of the worst offenders lately)?
June 16th, 200912:03 am
Me either. Just wanted to say hello.
Eric from MO
June 16th, 200912:04 am
Kotchman is not a .300 hitter. He has never done it in his career. Stop lying to yourself and others. He is a decent 1st baseman, but no reason to lie.
I agree. I do think he works hard, I just don’t think he gets it. The other day when Jon and Joe were talking about Francoeur’s at-bat, they were saying that they hoped he wasn’t swinging at bad pitches because he lacked pitch recognition, but I think he does. He’s always thought he could hit anything and everything. I remember when he first came up, he was talking about Vlad Guerrero and how he was able to hit bad pitches like Vlad. Maybe he could, but he can’t anymore…
June 16th, 200912:07 am
Roman Gal the thing was he could hit bad fastballs, but not breaking pitches. Once pitchers learned this they just continued to throw him breaking balls. I think he has worked hard but he just doesnt have good enough hand-eye cordination. He isnt as talented as everyone thought.
June 16th, 200912:09 am
I love the All-American Rejects, and I am now going to go wallow in my misery that I won’t be able to see them at Turner Field the day after my birthday. Bleh…
June 16th, 200912:10 am
Its not like Mc is a great defensive C. You and I have seen PB after PB……He is not bad, but it not like you are moving the best defensive C to 1B
June 16th, 200912:11 am
As I have posted here several times, as of June 1, the BRAVES see the second fewest pitches per AB in the entire league, 3.21. Its killing them. Its not just the first pitch itus. It’s the entire bat discipline thing. When to swing – when to lay off, etc. Other than CHIP, McCANN and JOHNSON on occasion, it seems the scouting reports have been spurned, and there’s no collective game plan to bury the opposing pitcher early. To win you’ve got to attack what’s out there with what you’ve got and what they’re giving you. For awhile now, that just doesn’t seem to be happening.
June 16th, 200912:13 am
Carroll — just got done reading the Schafer piece. Great work!
I dont like KJ, but I have to defend him on the fact that he does know how to work the count…….JF doesnt.
June 16th, 200912:14 am
Eric from MO-
You are right. My bad…in the last 2 years he has hit an average of .284 overall (and .291 before he came to ATL)…that’s good enough for me. (and I wasn’t “lying”- i was trying to make the point that he was a very capable hitter, not that he was actually hitting.300- I stated that vey poorly.)
June 16th, 200912:15 am
GA, CK, Infante, Prado and Diaz also work the count.
June 16th, 200912:18 am
I am more concerned with Mac’s offense and game calling- which is very good. His defense is improving visably as the season progresses and I do think part of the problem with the passed balls had to do with his eyes- which has also improved since he started wearing glasses behind the plate too. I just don’t think moving him to 1st would improve the team, nor should it be a big concern right now. (by the way, random aside- did you know that Mac was considered a defensive catcher in the minors? It was his offense that was considered his weakness…wow how things can change!)
June 16th, 200912:19 am
Oh, and before I leave, there is something you all have to look forward to tomorrow…
The Braves game is on Sports South!! No Chip!!
There, that ought to help ya’ll get some sleep tonight!
I am really not trying to pick on you (I swear! ) but Diaz is selective at the plate? This is the same Matt Diaz (who I adore, by the way) that has never met a pitch he didn’t think he could crush? The free swinging Matt Diaz?
June 16th, 200912:21 am
I think the next Peachtree game is not until the Red Sox series (and Saturday is a NIGHT GAME! NO FOX!!! Whoo hoo! )
Coach (2010 or Bust)
Gutfeld, NO I did not base everything one Nate McLouth’s last ten games. I said his career BA. is .260 and his career OBP is .311. He’s a solid player, great defender, power bat, outfielder who can play all three OF positions.
But your idea and my idea of what a lead off hitter looks like is vastly different.
McLouth does not draw enough walks, he strikes out at a two to one walk ratio and doesn’t steal nearly enough bases. Like I said, good player but not a great lead off guy. Sorry , NO DICE.
What makes a great lead off hitter?
Three main ingredients. Blazing speed, plate discipline and the ability to get on base anyway possible. Guys like Rickey Henderson, Lenny Dykstra, Brett Butler, Kenny Lofton, Tim Raines. And today? Ichiro and Jose Reyes.
June 16th, 200912:22 am
Interesting you bring up Vlad the Impaler – his and Jeff’s 2009 numbers look kinda similar (granted Vlad has only played in 26 games so far).
Vlad (109 ABs): .266 AVG, .289 OBP, .349 SLG for a .638 OPS – with 4 doubles, 1 HR, 9 RBI, with 4 walks and 17 strike outs.
Jeff (232 ABs): .250 AVG, .282 OBP, .345 SLG for a .627 OPS – with 6 doubles, 4 HR, 29 RBI, with 10 walks and 34 strike outs.
A career .270 is vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrry far from being a .300, so, you were not lying, but you are very far from truth.
June 16th, 200912:24 am
Yeah…most of the Yanks & Sox games are on PTV, I think. Luckily I’ll be at 2 of those games…I’d rather hear the “CHARGE!” cheer 25 times than have to listen to Chip Caray for more than 10 minutes.
June 16th, 200912:25 am
How many pitches does matt sees per AB………not sure where to look for that stat, but Im pretty sure he will be in the top 7 on the team.
June 16th, 200912:26 am
I shouldn’t complain…
…at least I get to watch the game…blah, blah, blah.
June 16th, 200912:30 am
I never said anything about his career numbers. As I said above- I stated the point I was trying to make very poorly. I was trying to say he was a very capable hitter- and that number also includes the .152 he hit in 06 as a 23 year old (in 29 games). Since then he has hit .296, .272 (.287 with the Angels and .237 with Atlanta) and .277 (average .282)- I will take that
June 16th, 200912:31 am
Among players with more than 100 AB, matt is 5th on P/AB, he is even better than chipper on that stat.
June 16th, 200912:34 am
He is capable of what? He has the numbers KJ should be having, not our 1B.
June 16th, 200912:35 am
Are we watching the same DIAZ?
June 16th, 200912:36 am
And one more thing.
Nate McLouth’s career numbers as follows:
Firs batter of the game: .215 BA and an OBP of .289
Leading off an inning: .257 BA and an OBP of .326
Better try to not spit your Dr.Pepper again while reading those numbers
I wish Freeman & Heyward were ready to bring up now. I know they are a year plus away, but it would be fun to watch those guys. In another sense I’m glad they are a year or two off because I’d hate to see their excitement be drowned out like every other kid that has come to the Braves in recent memory. Most show up with a spark, but it’s always extinguished shortly.
I really do hope Bobby retires after this season. He’s had a HOF career but I don’t see this organization moving on with him still hanging around on one year deals. I really think a younger manager could do great things with the next generation of Braves.
The foundation for a great team is there with McCann, Escobar, McLouth, JJ, Hanson, Medlin, Schafer & others. There are some great prospects coming shortly in Freeman, Heyward, Johnson, & many, many good pitching prospects.
There comes a time for every great manager to hang them up & this is it for Cox. I know some of you think he should have a lifetime appointment as Braves manager, but I think it’s getting apparent he’s not as sharp as he was.
The Braves are just a lifeless team in general. The “business as usual” crap is old, you know why, because they are losing & have been a losing team for quite a while now. The player loyalty thing has got to the point of being absurd. Between running Andruw out everyday in the clean-up spot when he was batting just north of .200, Frenchy in the same situation just lower in the order & the continuous abuse of the bullpen the past 3-4 years should be reason enough for most to agree it’s time for new blood.
I’m not one to bash Cox on a daily basis, but I think a change for next season would do this team a world of good. Something isn’t right with this team & hasn’t been for a while. I can’t say it’s him, TP, players or a combination, but I know this much the current combination isn’t cutting it.
Whether you are a winning team or not, if managed well you will be a fundametally sound team & anyone a fan of the Braves knows damn well most Little League teams execute better than they do. It doesn’t matter if it fielding, bunting, throwing, moving guys over, sacrificing, or just knowing what’s going on in the game, the Braves are subpar.
All of you witness this type of play & have for years. The players have changed for the most part, but management hasn’t. I just hope Cox does hang them up so this organization can move forward instead of treading water.
June 16th, 200912:37 am
I’m not sure where to find a stat like “pitches per at bat” (I bet someone here does) but I would be interested too. He just seems to take so many wild swings at bad pitches…maybe that is skewing my perseption of his patience
June 16th, 200912:39 am
Maybe not having CK and OMAR in the line-up currently is creating part of the problem I’m pointing out.
June 16th, 200912:40 am
Casey is a capible hitter. He drives in runs. He doesn’t strike out. No, he doesn’t have a lot of power, but when we have a catcher that does, it is not as big of an issue. (and I have never been one to be fully on board with “first base needs to hit X home runs, 2nd needs to steal X bases, etc. If you win, does it really matter where the runs come from?)
I would love to see the braves pursue Aaron Hill. Surely the Jays would be willing to move some players around. Use any combination of Esco, KJ, JF, and Medlen to pick him up. Use Infante (when he returns) as the everyday SS, and Hill as the 2B. I would love to see to Braves forced to play anybody other that JF in right.
June 16th, 200912:48 am
Problem with matt is that he is the only “regular” other than Schager that does not put the ball in play more often than the league average………..this means that the % of time his plate appearances end up in K is higher than the league average. He and Schafer are the only 2 braves that do worse than the league average.
June 16th, 200912:50 am
1. McLouth- LF
3. Chipper- 3B
4. Hill- 2B
5. McCann- C
6. Infante- SS
7. Schafer- CF (when he returns. With B. Jones in LF and Nate in center until then)
8. Diaz- RF
Fastaballs, I’ll sum up my feelings toward Bobby Cox.
I would fire the man today and personally cart his butt into Cooperstown tomorrow.
June 16th, 200912:53 am
So since our C is driving in runs, our 1B can perform like is he was rafael belliard?
sure it does…… we miss them both, but CK is not performing as we need a 1B to.
June 16th, 200912:56 am
I agree, the subtraction of Infante and Kotchman plus McLouth equals zero. Maybe when they are both back and contributing, then the offense can start clicking.
The problem is….we might might be ten games back or more by then and all but eliminated from any post season consideration.
June 16th, 200912:57 am
I didn’t say that. But since most people don’t consider Catcher to be a power position, and we have a power hitting catcher, maybe it makes up for the lack of home run power at another position? Casey’s numbers are fine. Like I said- does it really matter where the runs come from? I do not think we need to make a move at 1st base. We have other concerns.
June 16th, 20091:03 am
According to ESPN MLB stats, with 190 minimum AB’s NATE McLOUTH currently leads the BRAVES in P/PA with 3.88 ranking him #88 amongst all hitters in ML baseball. CHIP is next on the team with 3.62 P/PA. KELLY JOHNSON is third with 3.48. JEFF is fourth at 3.28 with ESCOBAR a close fifth at 3.24. Only 171 hitters were rated with minimum AB’s.
June 16th, 20091:11 am
I think we will just have to agree to disagree regarding Casey- I’ve got to log off. Enjoyed the discussion.
June 16th, 20091:12 am
Matt sees 3.63 P/PA, that better than chipper.
June 16th, 20091:14 am
Coach (2010 or Bust),
Thats why we need to make the move now, so when Infante is back we are no lower than 2nd or a close 3rd in the standings, and not a distant 4th.
June 16th, 20091:18 am
Nice job of trying to spin the numbers. McLouth’s career OBP is .338 instead of the .311 you claimed. But regardless, I’d argue that the numbers he’s put up for two plus years running are more indicative of his current ability than the numbers he put up while playing sparingly the first two years of his MLB career.
I never said McLouth was an ideal leadoff man, but he’s clearly our best option for the job. He’s not the “prototypical” leadoff hitter, but how many of those guys are out there right now? Furthermore, do you really think a team that has one of those guys is going to trade them? For example, you cited Jose Reyes and Ichiro as examples. Do you really think either of those guys are attainable? Besides that, Reyes has a career OBP of .337 (compared to McLouth’s .338). If you narrow it down to the last 2+ seasons, Reyes has posted OBPs of .358 and .354 along with .355 so far this year. Compare that to the numbers for McLouth I posted earlier: .362 OBP and .895 OPS in 82 games batting leadoff last year, .360 OBP and .849 OPS in 49 games from the leadoff spot in 2007, .356 OBP and .868 OPS in 10 games from the leadoff spot so far this season.
Another thing: compare McLouth’s BB/K ratio in the leadoff spot from 2007-present with what Reyes has done over that same span. McLouth: 141 games, 27 HR, 77 RBI, 26 SB and 63BB/92K. Reyes: 355 games, 30 HR, 144 RBI, 145 SB and 161BB/179K. If you extrapolate on McLouth’s numbers to match the total games played for Reyes, you’ll see that aside from SB, Reyes doesn’t have nearly the advantage that you’d think he’d have. McLouth strikes out a little more than Reyes, but the walks are practically even as are their OBPs over that timeframe.
To say that McLouth should be batting in the bottom third of the order as you did earlier still makes me laugh, although I’m sure that wasn’t your intent. Thank goodness you’re not in charge of running a team or putting together a lineup.
Frank from KS
June 16th, 20091:20 am
Gotta say…there’s something pretty cool about a woman that knows her baseball stats.
June 16th, 20091:51 am
Great article on Schafer. Man, what a difference between his attitude and Frenchy’s…
Reading between the lines, it looks like he’ll take Frenchy’s spot. Sure we offered Frenchy for Cody Ross, but that was before we got Nate. If Frenchy is dealt now, it’s for an arm. His time to turn things around will last until Schafer does, and Schafer’s words and actions are more indicative that he wants to be here and wants to succeed with this ball club. Seems like Wren’s on the same boat based on what he’s told Jordan.
It would be refreshing to just once hear Jeff say that he’s stunk, he strikes out too much, he’s swings too hard, he swings at bad pitches, OBP is important, etc….Anything other than “baseball is a business” and “i don’t know if I’m in the Braves plans financially” etc.. Looks like he’s been talking to Glavine and Smoltz too much on the greens. Look in the mirror Jeff and take responsibility for your failures…Jordan is.
June 16th, 20091:54 am
Coach needs a hug…
June 16th, 20092:06 am
That sucks. A friend and I wanted to go to the Maddux retirement game, and the AAR are awesome. Had to pick one. And since the Bobby $6 tickets are sold out for July 17th I guess it’ll be the AAR concert after a day game on FOX.
June 16th, 20092:40 am
We need dangerous hitters in the lineup……..and ross is more dangerous than CK…(DOC)
Ross is a career .220 hitter. He has done well for us in limited action, He has more HR power than CK, but playing everyday could pull him back to his mean. I would prefer CK after the defense is counted too. Real life baseball ain’t fantasy league. You just do not put players anywhere you want them based on hitting alone. Neither Chipper, Ross or McCann is moving to first base.
June 16th, 20092:46 am
“Sucre” means “sugar” in French.
That’s a good name. -Chop Chop
lol, “Sweet Jesus.” I love it.
June 16th, 20093:40 am
Yo Gutfeld — good to see you keeping COACH in his place in my absence.
He does love to give wrong stats or just cherry pick for the one that will try to make his point.
There aren’t too many lead-off batters who are batting .300 as the first batter of the game. All
hitters have a lower average on the first at-bat against a pitcher versus their second or third of the game. (for the most part) McLouth is fine for now, we all know this. The baseball world knows this. Even that kid from last nite who claimed he “owned” the Krystal’s that he worked at knows this.
We also know COACH is a buffoon. He lives in the far reaches of the country in North Dakota. Or as I like to call it — Canada’s “taint” meat. LOL
June 16th, 20095:11 am
“He lives in the far reaches of the country in North Dakota. Or as I like to call it — Canada’s “taint” meat.”
Hey now. Be nice.
“There aren’t too many lead-off batters who are batting .300 as the first batter of the game.”
Ironically, we have one of them on our team. YUNEL ESCOBAR. In 75 career AB’s leading off the game (a fair “sample size”, imo), he’s batting .411 with an OBP of .427, a .616 SLG percentage, and an OPS of 1.043.
BY FAR his best numbers. Granted, smaller sample size than the other batting order spots.
His overall numbers batting in the leadoff spot in 75 games, are a .309 average (99 hits), .371 OBP, 52 runs, 6 HR, 34 RBI, and a .799 OPS.
His next “best” spot (most productive – and biggest sample size), is in the 2-hole: 134 games, 161 hits (.291 BA), .362 OBP, 10 HR, 74 RBI, and an OPS of .775.
So in a little more than half the games batting leadoff as batting 2nd, he has a little more than half the production. In other words, it’s not like his run producing capability is wasted batting leadoff.
Don’t understand why Bobby doesn’t use him there and let McLouth be the run producer lower in the order. About the only thing that McLouth would provide batting leadoff is the SB capability.
I don’t think that McLouth is a horrible option, especially with this roster. But I just thought I’d throw it out there, that WHEN Escobar has been put in the leadoff spot, he seems to thrive at getting on base almost half the time. Especially when leading off the game.
Though, I’ll admit, with only 75 games to base that thought on, the numbers would likely dip a bit, if he batted there over 162 games. But why not try until that happens?
June 16th, 20095:17 am
Forgot to add that in those 134 games in the 2-hole, Yunel has scored 99 runs. Which of course can be attributed to the middle of the order. But the odds are that when he gets on base in the leadoff spot, (and gets moved over), Chipper gets him in. Where, when he bats 2nd, if he isn’t already on 2nd, it requires somebody else after Chipper to get him in.
I would think that either way, as long as Yunel and McLouth are batting ahead of Chipper, that is our best bet on scoring runs in the first inning (along with McCann batting cleanup). Some combination of Yunel, McLouth, Chipper and Mac should be the top four hitters in the lineup, imo.
Unfortunatley, that leaves us with five “black holes” after Mac.
June 16th, 20095:39 am
NotAgain (June 15th, 2009 11:39 pm): ” ‘Ground your speculations in facts. One fact about Tex is that HE MADE NO DIFFERENCE TO THE BRAVES’ BOTTOM-LINE NUMBER OF WINS in his full year here’ RANDOM
“Getting tired of hearing that argument. It was specious when you started and still is.”
Oh, yeah? Well, that seems easy enough to simply say, but can you show me how/why it’s “specious”?
I’ll be waiting.
Yo N8 — once again your research is timely.
I guess my main point was just that it’s a little early for somebody like COACH to be pulling out stats on a guy who just played his first 10 games for us.
While I am a huge Braves fan and supporter, I’m also able to see the gaping fault that we have right now with run production in the lower half of our lineup. I think this adds to the pressure of your leadoff hitter, knowing that his success is tantamount to winning.
It’s hard enough to hit as it is without thinking about yourself as one of the few options to score runs. I wonder how many fewer scoring opportunities the Braves get in comparison to other teams. And I don’t just mean RISP, I’m talking about having the right batters up with a chance to drive in runs. Having a runner in scoring position with the pitcher hitting is not my idea of a scoring opportunity, really speaking.
June 16th, 20095:42 am
I’m not all that impressed with Kotchman. After getting used to having folks like McGriff and Galaraga make first base a position of offensive strength, he sure seems like a downgrade..
June 16th, 20095:57 am
Doc Holiday (June 15th, 2009 10:57 pm): “I think the team is better if you consider this kind of pitching is good enough to keep us dancing around .500 even if no other move is made.”
This team certainly COULD BE much better than last year. I agree with you that “we have 4 players already at the top of the lineup with all star potential”, but so far that potential has not yet been fully realized. I tried to emphasize that — “SO FAR”.
“Unlike last year, a single player (hitter) would make this team much better…………last year………..they would have had to trade for an entire pitching staff.”
I don’t disagree — simply trying to point out that Tex was not that player. One, he had already had the equivalent of a full season with the Braves and made no bottom-line difference, and two, he plays a position that the Braves are not currently desperately deficient at. The improvement from Kotch to Tex would be minuscule compared to the difference between Manny and Anderson/Francoeur. Or even Bay/Dunn and Anderson/Francoeur.
Yes, the Braves need another bat — just not hypothetical Teixeira. They need a corner OF.
June 16th, 20096:14 am
YO Random — I agree with the corner OF, but I think they just need a big bat period. If it were possible to add a big bat anywhere except 3rd,SS, or catcher, I think the Braves would do it;.
If you look only for an outfielder than you limit what is available and other teams can drive up the price.
I’m just saying , for instance, that if they could get a big hitting 1st or 2nd baseman, they should. Kelly can play outfield so it’s not a hard lineup to juggle in that respect. That’s just my thought.
The Braves Beat: With Rick Springfield
June 16th, 20097:09 am
Salamander, don’t you know that swinging at the first pitch is just being aggressive? That’s the Braves style. When things go south, swing away!
June 16th, 20097:37 am
What happened to Tom Glavine?
June 16th, 20098:21 am
I heard Tom Glavine has been offered a couple of coaching jobs but he turned them down b/c he still wants to pitch.
June 16th, 20098:30 am
Aybar is not a replacement for Escobar. He’s more comparable to Francoeur.
June 16th, 20098:34 am
Thanks Capt. Caveman… So, Glavine still has not realized that he is done? I still would have like the Braves to give him that one start, just like DOB suggested, to see what he’s got. Oh well, it is a mute point now. However, the fact that no other team has shown interest proves that the Braves did the right thing after all.
Coach ( Moon Pie, Anyone?)
June 16th, 20098:35 am
N8, agreed. Escobar is by far the better candidate to lead off. Of course, I said as much about a month ago…
And our Neanderthal friend doesn’t have the decency or character to agree with me but he will agree with anybody else who says the same damn thing.
June 16th, 20098:51 am
kotchmann is a singles/doubles hitter who can’t run a lick and doesn’t drive in runs, if the braves had power/run producers in left and right they could live with kotchmann’s singles and defense
June 16th, 20098:55 am
Random, point taken…..
New Trade, but would I get a commercial licking shoes?
Thanks re: the Q and A.
There will be a new blog coming out midday. Gotta run before it gets too hot, but then I’ll be tapping away. If you would, pass it along to anyone who goes “um, new blog?” Thanks.
June 16th, 20099:06 am
On no…we went the “move McCann to 1B” route again last night…Let me see…
It ain’t happening. People keep going on about how horrid his defense is, but, as far as this year is concerned, it isn’t as bad as some claim it is. My gosh…You can’t throw out runners if your shortstop doesn’t catch the ball…you can’t catch runners if your pitcher allows him to get a huge lead at first/second (our pitchers are not very good at holding runners at second base). BMac’s made 1 freaking throwing error this year (I will say that Escobar has stopped a couple throws from becoming errors). 2 errors for the whole year (one was a “missed catch”, but the throw wasn’t too great, either).
Game calling…Ross calls a better game? Not to knock Ross or anything, I’m sure he calls a fine game, but…It’s been said over and over–our pitchers rave about McCann’s game calling skills! Smoltz’s first start with BMac was already used as an example (thank you, cabravesfan and RHR), so how ’bout Hanson: We saw what happened in his first start (Ross catching)–fastball, fastball fastball…gave up 6 ER in 6 innings. In his second start, which was the first time he and McCann had EVER worked together, fastball, fastball–whoops, they’re hitting that–adjust…They made the adjustment. Result: 2 ER in 5 2/3 inning.
Doc H.Its not like Mc is a great defensive C.
No, he’s not “great” defensively, but he’s not that bad. Needs to block the plate a little more…stop trying to backhand certain WP’s…You do know that he’s caught 28% of would-be base stealers this year as opposed to 18% last year, right? (And he could have more this year if not for dropped balls by Escobar and bad calls by Greg Gibson and others.)
You and I have seen PB after PB
Really? ‘Cause I haven’t. BMac has 2 PB this year. TWO! Ross has 4. And both of BMac’s came before he went on the DL, just FYI.
I wrote more on the subject of moving BMac to first here. It was in response to Neight, but it cann apply to this as well.
June 16th, 20099:10 am
if you use hanson as the yardstick, what happened the first three innings, before adrenaline wore off?
mccann would hit alot better if he wasn’t catching, kotchmann can’t hold his jock as a hitter
June 16th, 20099:14 am
COACH — you really think I remember the crap you posted a month ago?? Your problem is you think you so all-important, but that is only in your own mind. You take credit for everything and even posted last week that you were right most of the time. You live in your own little fantasy world.
You were talking about McLouth’s numbers over his first 10 games, that’s not enough time to see how he will gel into this lineup. If you were really an “expert” you would know that. Every team is different and just b/c Yunel may be a better leadoff hitter doesn’t mean that we don’t have a better “lineup” with McLouth on top. Maybe you have heard of having a “double lead off” hitter, and with McLouth’s base stealing and base running in general, having him ahead on first or second base only makes Yunel’s hitting that much more dangerous. Google the St. Louis Cardinals in the 80’s if you don’t understand what that means. I’m not comparing the players, only the concept of 2 leadoffs back to back.
You know your biggest problem – COACH – is not what you say, it’s the concept of disagreeing in a discussion. You take everything so personal and launch into name-calling and child like nasty smart-mouthing. I don’t presume to know your age but if you are a senior citizen you would think that you would have learned something about decorum by now. Or maybe that’s why you live in the far reaches of America, you can’t get along with others.
June 16th, 20099:15 am
Could JEFF FRANCOUER, BRANDON JONES, JOJO, and Canazaries get the Braves Jeremy Hermida and Cody Ross?
Would that same package be enough to get HOLLIDAY from the A’s?
June 16th, 20099:16 am
Francoeur is not as bad as everyone thinks, he is just struggling with pitch recognition. I’m not a pro ball player but I would think the more times you see a pitch, the easier it is to recognize. He’s made some improvements, I haven’t seen him chase the high fastball hardly at all this year, I’ve seen him go to right with a lot of singles. It’s just a confidence issue and one day it is just gonna click and he’s going to be a superstar. We do not need to get rid of this guy, there are alot of other places we can look to first, like 2nd base, 1st base, LF. 1st and left are blue chip positions reserved for big bats not the guys we got out there. Besides look at the other teams in baseball, there aren’t alot of guys who produce enough to justify acquiring and giving up on JF IMO.
June 16th, 20099:19 am
Cody Ross and Jeremy Hermida both had less AB’s than JF last year and they both struck out more than him. They are not the answer, they have less plate discipline and neither has Jeff’s upside.
June 16th, 20099:20 am
On Bobby Cox,
We scrutinize his on-field decisions rather regularly. And that isn’t wrong, as long as there have been managers there have been fans and media members that will question their decisions. That comes with the teritory. But we sort of miss the forest for the trees when we do this. The main job of the manager is to maintain clubhouse chemistry and get 100% effort from the players on the field. Strategy and on-field decisions have never been Bobby’s strong suit. And fans are supposed to live with that so long as he’s doing his main job: getting the players to preform. No question Bobby’s half-baked 1-run strategies and ill-advised bullpen management have cost us wins, and probably injuries, over the years. But we lived with it because the team netted positive wins because they were willing to play hard every day for Bobby Cox.
I’m not sure he still has it. I’m far from convinced that our players are willing to give 100% effort for Bobby Cox. We’ve heard about the clubhouse chemistry issues. They aren’t Bobby’s fault but if he doesn’t do anything about it they become his fault. And maybe I’m wrong here, but I don’t think our players are giving their all every game. If he’s not doing a good job of maintaining positive clubhouse chemistry and getting his players to play hard and smart day in and day out, he needs to go. Like I said, I’m not an expert, but I don’t think he’s doing a very good job of these things. And if I’m right his time needs to expire pretty soon.
June 16th, 20099:22 am
Francoeur, Jones, Reyes, and Canazaries won’t land Ross, Holiday, or Hermida.
Just read the article on Schafer and enjoyed it. Firts, nice job Carroll. But two things stood out to me as I read it. One – Schafer won’t be a corner outfielder. Nate can go get it, but my god, my mother throws better than what he showed in Baltimore. Second, the first teammate Schafer mentioned was Norton. Just kind of interesting (Ross was on that list too)
June 16th, 20099:23 am
I’m sorry but I think senimentality is getting in the way of many people’s evaluations of JF..
MLB trade rumors says the Braves offered JF STRAIGHT UP for Cody Ross last week and were turned down cold!
That should give some perspective on what othrs think of him wh are not partial to his hometown story
He is regressing badly…and if you have trouble with pitch recognition after 5 or so years in the big leagues you are in trouble
June 16th, 20099:24 am
Capt Caveman (June 16th, 2009 6:14 am): “I agree with the corner OF, but I think they just need a big bat period. If it were possible to add a big bat anywhere except 3rd,SS, or catcher, I think the Braves would do it;.
“If you look only for an outfielder than you limit what is available and other teams can drive up the price.”
Understood. But you’d have to admit that the potential upgrade at for example 1B, based upon the Braves’ current 1B’s performances and based on who all might be available at 1B would be less than the potential impact of upgrading at a corner OF spot, based on the same factors. Right? That is, the Braves have much, much more room for improvement at RF/LF than at 1B, and there will (probably?) be more and better RF/LF trade candidates AVAILABLE than 1B trade candidates.
I’m just afraid that the potential impact of upgrading at 1B (or even 2B) would not be enough to get the Braves into the playoffs, and that the Braves are more or less forced to limit themselves to upgrading the corner OF spot(s) just to get the magnitude of improvement they actually need.
June 16th, 20099:31 am
Lucky! I got my free birthday ticket for the July 17th game, though. If I’d known the 18th was that AAR concert, I would’ve gotten the ticket for then…
Unless Francoeur’s bat really heats up, he’ll be gone by trade deadline. What the Braves get for him depends on his numbers: if he’s producing on the level he is now, Wren will get a little more. If he’s producing less, well… I don’t think Wren will get much.
Francoeur’s problem still seems to be plate disipline. I believe he admitted a few weeks ago that occasionally he slips back into old habits (swinging at the first pitch, etc.)
I like the guy. A good athlete. But I’m doubting that he’ll ever return to form, at least in a Braves’ uniform.
June 16th, 20099:33 am
Still think that Francoeur may end up in KC because of Dayton Moore’s friendship with him.
June 16th, 20099:34 am
Frenchy = Pedro Cerano “straight ball I hit it very much, curveball…bat’s are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, I offer him cigar and rum….he will come”. I think he needs to just tell him “you no help me now…I say **** you Jobu, I do it myself”
I think you are going to have to start working the night shift, some people keep on picking on BMac!
Anyways, I can kinda understand where people are coming from with the whole move BMac to first thing. We need BMac’s bat in the lineup everyday and we have a good catcher in Ross that could catch everyday. Having said that, it’s not going to happen and it shouldn’t, at least not yet. BMac is still very young. I think people forget that he is only 25 years old. Maybe in another 5 years they might have to start thinking about it but it depends on the state of his body at that time. I mean, I think he will ultimately make the move to first or, heaven forbid, go to the AL and DH. One or the other will probably happen.
June 16th, 20099:35 am
Yo Random — I get your point, and it is definitely true when you talk about getting better production. I’m just wondering if the Braves are going to only look at an outfielder and pass on everything else, or if they are going to make a trade for the best bat they can get regardless of position.
I have a little inside info but not much, let’s just say it’s enough to make me want to know more. LOL
June 16th, 20099:36 am
Which start are you talking about, man? If you mean his first start, OK, he pitched good the first 3 innings, but then everything unraveled. And he couldn’t go back to what worked–it just kept unraveling…they didn’t adjust. In his second start (with BMac, he had some trouble in the first three innings (and beyond), but worked through it and only allowed 2 runs…they adjusted.
McCann would hit better if he wasn’t catching…hey, that may very well be true. But have you seen Ross’ numbers the year he played over 100 games? Here they are. I don’t know that he cann keep up the numbers he’s put up this year over a full season. Dude’s basically been a backup his whole career–and he’s a very good one.
All I know is, the Braves’ pitchers love McCann’s game-calling ability, his defense is improving a lot behind the plate, and if the Braves moved him to first base, and he didn’t have good D, you all would be on here saying, “He’s too [dang] slow to play the infield! His defense [stinks]!” Or you’d disappear completely…
Braves don’t want to move him right now, he doesn’t want to move (though I’m sure he would if the Braves needed him too)…he’s NOT MOVING!
June 16th, 20099:40 am
And now for another senseless non sequitur from giggling Gidget:
cabravesfan (June 16th, 2009 12:18 am): “(by the way, random aside- did you know that Mac was considered a defensive catcher in the minors? It was his offense that was considered his weakness…wow how things can change!)”
FTH? “aside” from what?
I read the MLBTR piece about Ross for Frenchy swap, I think the reasoning is they want pitching not another outfielder. This year Ross has 51 k’s, to JF’s 34. I know I’m not going to convince everybody that we need to keep him, but trading him for nothing is crazy when he still has options.
June 16th, 20099:47 am
Ross in the lineup everyday is crazy talk, his career BA of .227 is way worse than Francoeur and you are dying to get rid of him. He is having an awesome season and is clearly the best back up catcher in the league and he needs to stay in that role. I would like to see him PH more. He may be a good trade piece at the deadline if were not in it.
June 16th, 20099:49 am
coachI said his career BA. is .260 and his career OBP is .311.
i agree with your opinion that mclouth is not an ideal leadoff hitter, that career OBP number is wrong. his career OBP is .338.
also, i think its important to point out that since 2007, his OBP is .350. factoring in partial seasons when mclouth was a rookie doesnt fairly assess who he is as a player right now.
i think mclouth is a better #5 type hitter, personally.
June 16th, 20099:51 am
Yesterday and last night much was made on the AJC blogs about the hitting coach and the sacrificial lamb in CHICAGO that is GERALD PERRY. Encouraged by the debate, MARK BRADLEY acquiesced to putting up an article along the lines of “Does BOBBY COX need to go – you tell us” at a later time. Several weeks earlier in listening to one of the games, I believe it was on ESPN, the talking heads mentioned a stat I thought quite relevant to the current woes of our heros while at the plate. The individual cited a statistic to the effect that the BRAVES had the second poorest pitch per at bat ratio in the major leagues(P/PA). To me, this would lend credence to the present state of the BRAVES’ hitting affairs. So I surmised that blame, if it could be found, might lay in the “fire TP and BC” genre rather than at the feet of the players themselves.
Although I have not yet located the team stats on this particular subject, I did find individual ones at the ESPN MLB site. Here they are.
With a minimum of 25 AB’s, I was finally able to get the main players’ P/PA stats. These are enumerated from most pitches per plate appearance to the least. There were a couple of surprises. These statistics include the ranking of the individual player in relation to all ML players with a minimum of 25 AB’s, their name, their individual number of plate appearances, and the ratio of pitches per AB. There were 282 players listed. #241 was the dividing line.
RANK NAME APPEARANCES P/PA
015 DAVID ROSS 085 4.31
073 MARTIN PRADO 122 4.11
128 JORDAN SCHAFER 195 4.00
209 NATE McLOUTH 240 3.88
end of the upper half of ML hitters
beginning of the lower half of ML hitters
293 GREG NORTON 051 3.73
297 CASEY KOTCHMAN 191 3.72
308 BRIAN McCANN 173 3.70
333 JAIR JURRJENS 030 3.63
336 MATT DIAZ 127 3.63
342 CHIP JONES 219 3.62
383 GARRETT ANDERSON 155 3.51
388 OMAR INFANTE 097 3.49
398 KELLY JOHNSON 229 3.48
400 DIORY HERNANDEZ 032 3.47
416 JAVIER VASQUEZ 033 3.42
445 JEFF FRANCOUER 249 3.28
452 YUNEL ESCOBAR 241 3.24
469 DEREK LOWE 029 3.14
So the BRAVES have four players in the upper half of players in the league and 14 players including pitchers with at least 25 AB’s in the bottom half of the league.
By comparison, the PHILLIES have four players in the bottom half and 10 in the top half including two in the top six in the league. The METS – eight in the top half and eight in the bottom half, three of which were within 20 of the dividing line of #241.
Flamenco the Foot
June 16th, 20099:52 am
Can we start a send Jeffrey to the minors for the rest of the season petition? I don’t want to trade him yet…
June 16th, 20099:59 am
Yeah, I cann see him moving to first later in his career (don’t see him going to the AL to DH…I think [hope] he’s a Brave for life). And like I said yesterday, if they felt the need to have him play first a couple times during the year on his “off-days”, that wouldn’t be so bad.
I see where they’re coming from, too–they want his bat in the lineup more often. That makes sense, I wish he didn’t need so many days off, too. But I highly suspect that if the move was made, these same people would be up in arms about the drop-off of offense out of the catching spot and the drop-off of defense at first base. I think we’re a better team with Kotchy at first and BMac behind the plate than we would be with BMac at first and Ross behind the plate, I really do.
June 16th, 200910:04 am
McFann :Ô: (June 16th, 2009
9:36 am): “McCann would hit better if he wasn’t catching…hey, that may very well be true. But have you seen Ross’ numbers the year he played over 100 games? Here they are. I don’t know that he cann keep up the numbers he’s put up this year over a full season. Dude’s basically been a backup his whole career–and he’s a very good one”
Did you happen to catch it the other day when somebody here mentioned that Canizares had principally been a catcher back in Cuba?
I know no more than that — eg, actual number of games he played at that position, whether he was any good defensively, etc, etc — but it sure did make me wonder whether he could catch for the Braves.
Do you know anything about that?
June 16th, 200910:10 am
With the Astros being in last and desperately needing to upgrade their farm system and get younger, wouldn’t it be great if we could snag Carlos Lee or Lance Berkman? Lee missed what, 60 games or so and still drove in 100? I would think the starting point would be Shafer and Medlen for Lee and probably Kotchman, and Medlen for Berkman.
June 16th, 200910:12 am
Interesting nugget, richbrave. What I’d like to see is how team p/pa correlates with runs scored. I’ll try to put something together tonight when I get home.
June 16th, 200910:15 am
I did catch that…don’t know anything else about it, though. Maybe he wasn’t so good behind the plate. Seems like if he woulda been good, they would have kept him back there since good-hitting catchers are hard to come by…
He might be able to catch in an emergency…but I dunno. I wonder if he’s even gonna stay up once Kotchy comes back. I think they should keep him up…but I don’t know who they’d dump then.
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