Escobar, Braves looking to regroup

   Cincinnati – Well, I for one, think the off day yesterday came at a good time. And I’m not just saying that because it gave me a chance to eat dinner with a cousin I bumped into who just happened to be in town on business. (Hey, all the way from Arizona!)

   Everybody got to cool down, shake off the bad taste from Baltimore and take a deep breath. Chipper Jones got an extra day to take some swings and try to get right at the plate, Bobby Cox got a chance to treat some Braves staffers to dinner at Morton’s.

   And Yunel Escobar, well….Escobar had might rather the Braves play the Reds last night, so he wouldn’t have another day to think about getting benched Sunday in Baltimore for his accumulation of mental mistakes. Gosh, isn’t that like getting sent to your room and having to wait, not just until dinner, but on into the next day to come out?

   It’ll be interesting to see how Escobar responds to this, but I imagine he’ll use it as the wakeup call that it was. I’m sure he’s had talks by now with coaches like Chino Cadahia and Eddie Perez, some veterans on the team, maybe Mike Gonzalez, to get himself in the right frame of mind.

   I mean, this is a guy with a lot of enthusiasm for the game. And you hate to see that diluted. I know the Braves wanted to see him temper some of on-the-field antics, particularly his reactions to umpires, and for the most part, I think Escobar is doing that. And really, I think his love for the game is refreshing, where a lot of players are more buttoned-down about it. Not that they love it less, but it’s just not in their nature to show it so demonstratively.

   Just Sunday, before the game, in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards, I watched Esocbar tell stories in Spanish to a group of his Latin teammates, Gregor Blanco, Manny Acosta, Barbaro Canizares. He was acting things out with his hands, letting his voice rise and fall, using a lot of emotion and expression.

   I could tell it was about baseball because of his gestures, and I knew I was missing something good.

   I asked Eddie what they were talking about. Perez didn’t want to take too much time away from listening to tell me so he just said quickly that Escobar was telling stories about playing for Cuba.  Times like those, I have to wonder why the heck I took Latin.

   But my point is, Escobar is not aloof, he cares, and I’d bet he wants to get it right.

 

Quick Smoltz update

   I heard John Smoltz on the Dan Patrick show a little while ago, basically confirming that he’d face the Braves on June 28 in Atlanta (not next weekend in Boston): “Yeah, it looks that way,” when Patrick asked him if he’d be facing the Braves in his second start back.

   Smoltz was a little vague about exactly when his next rehab start would be – “tomorrow or Thursday” for Pawtucket and his first start for the Red Sox “Tuesday or Wednesday of next week” at Washington, but we here at the Braves/MIB should be counting on Smoltz pitching at Turner Field on June 28.

   As for the DP show, Mr. Richmond is a big fan, and he told me I should say something about a passion bucket. So in the context of this blog, I’d say Escobar’s passion bucket is full.

(Since I wrote the blog this morning, the Red Sox have announced Smoltz will make his first start for them on Thursday June 25 against the Nationals, which would mean he WON’T face the Braves this weekend or next.)

 

Little Red Machine

   Anyway, on to the Reds, who host the Braves for the next three games. These guys are on a four-game losing streak with a lot of the same problems as the Braves. Their pitching has been good – their 3.89 ERA is fourth in the National League – their offense abysmal – their .256 batting average is 15th in the league.

   Willy Tavares is on an 0-for-32 streak and was dropped from the leadoff spot. Joey Votto, their star first baseman who was putting up an MVP-caliber start (.357 batting average, .464 on-base percentage, 33 RBIs in 38 games), is out with stress-related issues, something he and the club are keeping close to the vest.

   Redan graduate Brandon Phillips, who leads the Reds in batting average (.273) and RBIs (43) and OPS (.835), just got fined by Reds manager Dusty Baker for failing to heed (and to apparently look for) a take sign when he had a 3-0 count Saturday against former Brave Kyle Davies. Davies, now pitching for the Royals, had just walked the two batters ahead of him, and Phillips proceeded to pop out to strand two runners in the loss.

   We get a nice pitching match-up today with Jair Jurrjens vs. Aaron Harang.  The Braves haven’t faced Harang since 2007, but he is 1-2 against them with a 3.48 ERA.

   I’d say keep an eye on Braves catcher David Ross, who is coming off a two-homer day Sunday in Baltimore. He’s hitting .333 (3-for-9) against his former team this year, with a double, a homer and two RBIs.

 

Little observation

   When I was going back over my scoreboard from the weekend and recording some things, I got a closer look at Kris Medlen’s pitch breakdown from Sunday. You guys might have already seen it, but it popped out at me (I should have made a point of it Sunday but was focusing on writing the Escobar stuff) but Medlen threw 81 pitches in his four innings in relief, and only 39 for strikes (42 for balls, by higher math). He walked five, which we knew, gave up a homer, and allowed four runs.

   Coming in for mop-up duty is something that I’m sure is totally foreign to Medlen, a prospect his whole minor league career, and difficult, given the uncertainty of when he’ll be pitching and long breaks in between. But somehow Medlen needs to take advantage of the mound time he gets here lately to see if he can’t lock down and get back to the guy who was pounding the strike zone in spring training.

 

Maddux drawing a crowd

   Just an FYI for those of you who bought tickets to attend the Braves Hall of Fame luncheon honoring Greg Maddux on July 17. The Braves have decided to move it from the 755 Club at Turner Field to the Omni Hotel at the CNN center because of the overwhelming response to tickets.

   Thattaboy, Maddog.

   Tickets are still for sale, though, if you call 404-614-2310.

   More from the Great American Ballpark later on….

 

 

2,051 comments Add your comment

Braint

June 16th, 2009
12:40 pm

BC pulled AJ out of a game early in his career for loafing — it woke him up big time. Hopefully the same will be said for Esco.

atlbravesfan44

June 16th, 2009
12:42 pm

sri

June 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

Thanks for the new blog, Ms Rogers. Great story about Schafer, hopefully he can figure things out soon and be back for good in Atlanta.

Joe Fan

June 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

Is it football season yet?

Shane (The original)

June 16th, 2009
12:47 pm

getsomepower

June 16th, 2009
12:52 pm

Little Red Machine

Anyway, on to the Reds, who host the Braves for the next three games. These guys are on a four-game losing streak with a lot of the same problems as the Braves

So they’re poised to sweep the Braves this week.

PWHjort

June 16th, 2009
12:53 pm

Any news on Kotchman?

Oklahomabrave

June 16th, 2009
12:56 pm

How much longer for omar on the dl? He has been sorely missed at 2nd. If Jordan can figure it out in a couple weeks I can see a frenchy platoon with Nate moving to right when jordan is in center. We better get on a little roll here just to stay in the wild card. Please no complaining today!!!

Carroll Rogers

June 16th, 2009
12:57 pm

Kotchman is supposed to come of the DL today, and I’m sure he will, but I’m still sitting in a hotel room and the Braves clubhouse isn’t open yet….So let’s keep the “roster move” questions to a dull roar. I haven’t forgotten, and I’ll get you the info as soon as I can.

bravesgirlnc

June 16th, 2009
12:59 pm

Just wanted to say that I totally agree with most of the reactions to the Schafer piece. His humility compared to Jeff’s is like night and day. Jeff’s sense of entitlement at this point is just hard to stomach when combined with his over agresseivness at the plate.

BravesAreDone

June 16th, 2009
12:59 pm

Gonna have to start spending more money to get some hitters in this lineup in future years or it’s gonna be a long long playoff drought for this team.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:01 pm

Carroll –

Do you think the Braves would trade Soriano and Gonzo if they fell out of it by July 31st? It isn’t early anymore to me and I think that they should be considering a look towards 2010. Let me know what you think. It’d be great to hear what you have to say.

Thanks.

AndyC

June 16th, 2009
1:02 pm

Hey Carroll, what roster move are the Braves going to make today? LOL.

MiltonDawg

June 16th, 2009
1:03 pm

if were playing a team with a losing record…braves will lose 2 of 3. no personality, no fundamentals, no heart..recipe for disaster. remaining month of june will speak volumes about this team and were their headed.

JJ

June 16th, 2009
1:04 pm

Yeah…is Casey off the DL and is he still expected to be in the Lineup today?

PWHjort

June 16th, 2009
1:04 pm

Thank you, Carrol. It’s my job to pester you with roster questions :) .

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:04 pm

Nothing breaks a team out of a deep funk like playing the Braves. Look for the little red machine to look like the big red machine against our weak offense and defense.

chipperchop

June 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Can we just stop with the trade rumors? If we make any trades at all, they will be minor. We aren’t going to the playoffs this year-no more pieces to trade without seriously hurting the farm system, and too many holes to fill. Not enough money!! Not to mention, that by the time teams start trading off their players, we will be so far out of it, that it won’t matter! You guys think with this pathetic offense we are going to beat the likes of the Yankees, Boston, and the Phillies/ We will be 15 games out after this stretch. Makes no sense!!!

JJ

June 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Sorry, CR. You posted while I was reading the blog and typing the question re: CK.

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Good take on Escobar, Carroll. It seems you and I are in the minority when it comes to Escobar. I LOVE the passion that kid brings to the ballpark.

The “mental lapses” have been overblown due to the fact that the Braves are just not a good baseball team. To me, they were bad decisions, not mental lapses. (allowing the runner to score from 2nd might’ve been a mental lapse but the throw home was a bad decision)

UNLESS the Braves can deal for a big time bat to play in the OF (i.e. Matt Holliday), I believe the Braves will be sellers at the deadline. They could be sellers now but you don’t want to tell the fans you’re quitting just yet but this team is going NOWHERE with the current cast of characters.

When Chipper’s out, this lineup is AAA. When McCann’s out, the lineup is almost as bad. And these are two guys that do need days off throughout the season (Chipper ’cause he’s fragile and McCann due to catching).

If the Braves are lucky enough to deal for a Holiday, would Oakland take Francoeur in the package?

Capt Caveman

June 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

Dear COACH — please grow up, you are like a 5 yr old child stomping his feet when he doesn’t get his way. In response to your laughable post about my “hypocrisy” LOLOL…..

I call YOU names COACH b/c that is what you do to all of the others on this blog who disagree with your idiotic posts. What do you do over there in Never Never Land — do you cut and paste the comments of each blogger to their own file so that you can reference it later when you want to make some distorted point?? You really are a pathetic human being and I am truly starting to feel sorry for you on some sort of level.

I willl now pause and feel sorry for you in silence ……………………………………………………………

OK, now I’m thru with that ……… A$$CLOWN !!!!

Macon Braves (RIP)

June 16th, 2009
1:05 pm

If we trade prospects for Dye, we will have fortified the White Sox farm system with Tyler Flowers, Lillibridge, and whoever goes in that deal if that deal gets done.

Don’t think Lillibridge is fortifying anyone’s farm system at this point. The kid has had a few opportunities now to prove he could play at the big league level and has pretty much shown he’s a AAAA player, not a big leaguer. Flowers was the only prospect of consicuence in that deal.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:07 pm

The Truth:

I think the Braves will definitely trade one of the two closers by the deadline. They may keep one to be the full time closer next year – if not, I look for both of them to be traded.

Realistically, we will be completely out of it by the deadline and we desperately need to restock our high minors (AAA and AA). Our two free agent closers are the best way to do that, IMO.

Gustopher

June 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Great Blog CR. I am looking forward to the Madd Dog luncheon

Oklahomabrave

June 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Omar out till late July. Any way we can package a frenchy and kj deal for an outfield bat. I think everyone can agree that prado should be starting at 2nd at least until omar comes back.

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Haven’t read much of the blog due to being out of town but have any bloggers mentioned taking a run at Shelley Duncan of the Yanks?

Frank from KS

June 16th, 2009
1:12 pm

Capt Caveman

What’s your thoughts on the Braves chances of making a run from now into the second half?

IMO, they get Dye or someone of his caliber (because those lower list of guys aren’t going to do s%$# as this line-up needs a difference maker), they could make a serious run in the second half.

pryguy

June 16th, 2009
1:12 pm

Carroll, RHR, McFann,

Maybe next time when I make my first trip to Atlanta I’ll yell up to you a little louder. Appreciate your comments. Game wasn’t as enjoyable, but really enjoyed the experience. Actually made me think a little more about my liking of the Atlanta Braves and may put some things into perspective for some on here. Even though the results over the past couple years have not been in our favor, my liking of most of the people associated with this team and organization has not changed. What an awesome collection of players we here get to root for. The pitchers are all talented as heck and seem to be for the most part real cool dudes. Watching the team loosen up before the game made me really appreciate but put into perspective these pro athletes. They are no different than most of us except their exceptional talent. They mess around and enjoy life as much as they can. Moylan may be my new fav. player just watching him interact with everyone, especially Hanson and Medlen.

What I’m getting at is this. I enjoy following this team on a day to day basis. I really truly like the majority of the players on this team and it’s easy to root for them. I enjoy reading these blogs and getting insight on the season as it traspires. I think the experience helped me put the Braves season into perspective. I love the Braves irregardless of results. And I think that’s saying something in this twisted culture we live in where results overshadow the experience. Can’t wait to take in the rest of this season with a renewed sense of professional athletes and sports. Something a lot of people on here should consider as well. We’re dealing with real people who live real lives and encounter real problems just like any of us. Enjoy the game of baseball for what it is worth.

Carroll,

I’ll be in Boston visiting family this weekend and have tickets to Saturday night’s matchup. I know you mentioned you won’t be covering that one. Unfortunate for you, Boston is a great city to visit. Guess I’ll have to deal with DOB for that weekend. All the best.

DAP

June 16th, 2009
1:13 pm

if the braves start selling they will trade one closer and keep the one they want to resign for next year. they are going to need one of those guys in 2010.

YUNIFAN

June 16th, 2009
1:15 pm

CARROLL

Does Yunel speak only Spanish. I know his English is limited, but has it improved? He seems to be communicating more on the field with people that I highly doubt speak Spanish. I could be wrong, but it’s just what I have observed. Obviously, after a game it’s easier to get a translator. I just thought I would ask you about that.

pryguy

June 16th, 2009
1:15 pm

Almost forgot to mention. Real cool scene/picture I got at Sunday’s game. When Lowe was struggling for most of the first two innings, The bullpen railing was filled with each member of the rotation. Kawakami, Hanson, Jurrjens, and Vazquez were all at the top step observiing. Just a really cool scene as they watched the veteran try to escape danger. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful, but these pitchers seem to be close with each other. FYI….Kawakami’s interpreter was sandwiched in between Kawakami and Hanson.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:16 pm

Renegator –

They should trade both. I am amused by the people here who talk about compensation draft picks for Soriano and Gonzo. What the hell are they talking about? who is going to believe that the Braves are going to offer Raphael Soriano arbitration so that his 6 million dollar salary goes up? If someone here really believes the Braves will do that then they are crazy. Gonzo is making 3.5 million. Arbitration will get him to 5 million at least. Braves aren’t doin it. People who think that are crazy. Even so DRAFT PICKS SUCK. Get Double-A prospects back that can help sooner than draft picks that will help us around 2020. You know this team is winnin anythin. Here we go:

TRADE SORIANO

TRADE GONZO

TRADE VASQUEZ

Get prospects back that can help this team in 2010 and beyond.

Dwayne

June 16th, 2009
1:17 pm

fire boobie COX !!!!!

pryguy

June 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

I meant to say dugout railing…sorry.

TRobb1

June 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

I think Bobby has shown a lot of patience – A LOT OF PATIENCE – with the performance of the young guys on this club.

I know you can’t get frustrated when a young guy can’t hit for a period, but I’m sure frustrated with the young guys who aren’t developing.

cabravesfan

June 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

The Truth-

One question (or three):
If you trade those guys
Who closes this season?
Who is the new set up guy?
Who fills Vazquez’s spot in the rotation?

Frank Wren/John Scherholz: "Prospects....we hate em!"

June 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

Neftali Feliz
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Matt Harrison
Beau Jones
Elvis Andrus
Tyler Flowers
Jon Gilmore
Brent Lillibridge
Santos Rodriguez
Jeff Locke
Gorkys Hernandez
Charlie Morton

Soon to be:

Jason Heyward
Fredrick Freeman
Cole Rohrbough

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

DAP:

That’s exactly what I was saying earlier. The closers (Soriano & Gonzalez) are going to be moved in July. One or both depending on if the Braves want to bring one back next year to close.

They may move both of them and go with a FA or trade in the off-season to get a new closer in here. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

Another possibility for trade is Garrett Anderson. Alright, stop laughing. Seriously, if he continues to improve his play (usually plays better in 2nd half) – I could see someone in the AL wanting him for a stretch run as a DH or 4th OF. Just like what we did with Kotsay last year. We won’t get anything great for him but maybe a decent prospect.

getsomepower

June 16th, 2009
1:19 pm

Jermaine Dye or Matt Holliday would make our lineup a virtual murderer’s row.

1) McLouth
2) Escobar
3. C. Jones
4. Holliday or Dye
5. McCann (Anderson when McCann is off)
6. Anderson (D. Ross when McCann is off)
7. Diaz
8. K.Johnson (Prado vs. lefties)

McFann :Ô:

June 16th, 2009
1:20 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

I’d say keep an eye on Braves catcher David Ross, who is coming off a two-homer day Sunday in Baltimore. He’s hitting .333 (3-for-9) against his former team this year, with a double, a homer and two RBIs.

Uh…I know Thursday is a DGANG…that’s the only one he’s gonna play, right? McCann rips the Reds to shreds, too. (Career numbers against the Reds)

So let’s keep the “roster move” questions to a dull roar. I haven’t forgotten, and I’ll get you the info as soon as I can.

Haha, you always seem to be stuck with us the Blog during situations like this–at least this year. :) The whole thing wit BMac’s eyes, now this…

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:21 pm

cabravesfan –

Who cares? We are trading them because we don’t care about the 2009 season. Braves were going to need a closer anyway. Trade Vasquez for the future closer and prospects. Trade Soriano and Gonzo for prospects. It really isn’t that hard to get. Why don’t you get it?

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:22 pm

If you’re going to deal a closer, deal Soriano for a few prospects and spin those in another deal for a big bat. Basically, you’re including Soriano in the deal for the big bat.

Heavy Medlen

June 16th, 2009
1:23 pm

Carroll.. you mention “and maybe Mike Gonzalez” as someone Esco might have spoken with. Out of curiosity, is he a vocal clubhouse leader in there? He is clearly a fiery personality on the mound but I wouldn’t expect him to be one of the main clubhouse leaders. Maybe its because he hasn’t been here as long as others, or because he’s our half-closer, but I just found that odd. If that was just a random name you threw out there, then sorry for hanging on your every last word but I am guessing you mentioned him cause hes a vocal leader? Yes?

Buzzmeat

June 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

I hope they send down blanco for kotchman. Barbaro should be the new Pinch hitter because lets face it, Norton just does not have it this year!!!!

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

I figure the only trade that Wren would be willing to make right now would make would be for a Shelley Duncan/Ryan Spilborghs type that would be very cheap, although you would figure that simply promoting Brandon Jones would be a better value. If Wren could wrangle a trade for an OF under control for another year or two I could see it being done, though I’m not bullish on it now because our farm is rapidly thinning.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:24 pm

TommyP –

Keep the prospects. Wait until next year. Or the year after. Have a plan like the Pirates do right now. They will be good in like 2012.

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:25 pm

Heavy: I think because he’s the translator for Escobar.

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:25 pm

Who fills those bullpen roles next season? Don’t we also need good relievers to win?

Frank from KS

June 16th, 2009
1:26 pm

The Turth

Ya know…why don’t you get off your attitude with cabravesfan or I know what your be getting….!!!!

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:26 pm

The Truth: Tell me that post is absolutely dripping in sarcasm. :)

The Pirates are basically in the middle of a 30 year rebuilding plan.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:27 pm

Steve –

The farm is almost gone. Heyward, Freeman and Rohrbough are the only ones with value to other teams. The Braves need to fill the ranks.

TRADE SORIANO

TRADE GONZO

TRADE VASQUEZ

Get prospects back that can help this team in 2010 and beyond.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:27 pm

TommyP:

I disagree. You are moving Soriano and Gonzalez to bring more prospects in. We don’t want to include more prospects in the deal.

Have you seen our AAA & AA teams? They are tapped out. We have no prospects left in those areas because Wren and JS have traded all of them away in the last two years. That is the reason we are stuck with what we have at 2B and RF and LF right now – because there is no one in the minors who can play those positions better than what we currently have on the MLB roster. And that, in and of itself, is very sad.

Buzzmeat

June 16th, 2009
1:28 pm

guys were 4 games out of the wild card, and you wanna trade soriano and vasquez???? HAVE SOME FAITH!!!!!!

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Truth, we still have good depth in pitching prospects. Not in position prospects outside of Heyward/Freeman/Johnson. But I like our low minors pitching a lot.

getsomepower

June 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

I don’t want to deal any of the closers, but if I had to deal one of them it would be Soriano. His value is higher than a junkie after a hit, and many many teams could use his services.

I still say Braves should go after Victor Martinez and move him to first. Of course, Kotchman would have to go in that deal. Kotchman and 3 prospects for Victor Martinez.

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Renegator: You are confusing me for someone else. I said MAYBE deal ONE of those guys ’cause they both won’t be back next year.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:29 pm

Steve from OH:

There will be plenty of bullpen retreads available for next year. That’s where the Braves always get their bullpen arms anyway.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:30 pm

TommyP:

I’m referring to your post about packaging Soriano with some PROSPECTS to get a big bat.

McFann :Ô:

June 16th, 2009
1:30 pm

Pryguy

Very good post @ 1:12! So true–we have a very good bunch of guys. I enjoy watching batting practice, too. We went to Tommy Hanson Big League Debut on June 7. When Medlen entered the dugout with the “My Little Pony” backpack, it was hilarious. I was watching with my binoculars, and McCann was playfully giving him a hard time. Medlen wore the backpack proudly all the way to the bullpen (he was walking with Moylen and one other pitcher…can’t remember who). But he was just so funny the way he marched to the bullpen. Great stuff!

I also enjoy watching the dugout during games (especially if BMac’s not playing). Those guys are having fun. Timmy’s a riot–and a motor mouth. He and BMac were having a big conversation during the first inning or two–really animated…BMac was pretty proud of that replica bat, too. He had it with him for most of the game.

Anyway, you made a good point in your post. And I try to just enjoy the season regardless, too–though sometimes they cann be frustrating with their lack of offense.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:31 pm

Steve –

You worry about that in the offseason. Those guys are bolting town anyway. You know I am right.

TommyP –

Neil Huntingtown has a plan. They got good prospects back for McLOuth.

Frank from KS –

I wasn’t trying to be mean. Sorry if it came out that way.

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:31 pm

Bullpen retreads? C’mon, folks. You and I both know that’s not good enough and can you imagine what people here would be saying if we signed a “retread” to close or had Luis Valdez closing?

Frank from KS

June 16th, 2009
1:31 pm

Buzzmeat

That’s where a lot of the negatively comes in on this blog. It’s gets to be very consumming. I mean, look at The Truth. He wants to trade this person, that person, etc.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:32 pm

TommyP:

My apologies – I misread your post at 1:22. I thought you wanted to deal our prospects. Either way – I think we would keep the prospects we get in a Soriano trade because our minors really need good prospects in the higher levels (AAA and AA).

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:33 pm

I don’t think Gonzo would “bolt town” if offered something fair from Wren. If we’re out of it, trade one of them if you feel that the prospects you’re getting back are greater than the value of a 1/2 first round picks, but keep one for next year (probably Gonzo).

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

Renegator: If you’re referring to that specific post, you’ll see I didn’t say Soriano AND Gonzo. Just one.

The Truth: They all have plans. And Pirates fans have heard all about them for too long.

cabravesfan

June 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

The Truth-

So in the mean time we will have no closer, no set up man and only 4 starters. Good game plan. You think the bitching is bad on the blog now? Wait until Peter Moylan is called in to close a game in September against the Mets. You may not care about 2009, but I do, and I will until the season is over. While trading either Soriano or Gonzalez is not out of the relm of possibility, I don’t think there is any way they trade both. It was a serious question, by the way. I really do want to know what your idea was as to who would take those guys’ places but I can see you just don’t get that.

Jfreak

June 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

I have to agree with ChipperChop on this one. I am a life long Braves and like to think of myself as objective. This Braves team is average on their good days and poor couple of times a week which means they really don’t have a chance at a playoff spot this year. I like their young players and the pitching for the most part is very solid. Outside of a blockbuster trade that really changes the face of this lineup the Braves season will end like the last season. No Playoffs. At some point upper management has to start thinking about shaking up the orginization not just the lineup. I know Cox is here until he decides it’s time to go and trut be told he’s probably earned that? But nobody else should be consider untouchable!

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

Steve for OH:

The Braves have always gotten retreads for their bullpen. Remember how mad everyone was about ditching Ohman for O’Flarety? The Braves rarely ever spend any money on their bullpen.

Now, I agree that they should go with a top flight closer but other than that – I think it will be a bunch of retreads.

Buzzmeat

June 16th, 2009
1:36 pm

Frank drom KS:

I know, thats why i caps locked the “have faith” The Braves have been scoring more runs since we got McLouth, and the pitching has not been as good. Once the pitching gets back to the way it was and should be. Braves will win more games.

PLUS, we get Huddy back midseason

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:36 pm

I agree that Huntington has “a plan.” He saw that they probably weren’t going to be competitive this year or next, so he moved McLouth for a good pitching prospect (Charlie) that will help the club for six more years, and good minor league players, while letting McCutchen work out his rookie problems now when it’s not a high-leverage situation.

Efrim

June 16th, 2009
1:36 pm

The Truth, you seem to be jumping the gun a bit buddy. Plenty of time here. I don’t disagree that that may end up happening. But again, we have some time on all of that. The farm isn’t as bad as you think. It could use some positional prospects, but that’s about it. Plenty of pitching.

Steve from OH, you know anything about Dimaster Delgado(the other Delgado). And you were right on Hoover. I remember you saying that he had talent. See what paying above slot in the draft can do?

fastasballs

June 16th, 2009
1:37 pm

“Jermaine Dye or Matt Holliday would make our lineup a virtual murderer’s row.”

Sure they would, maybe with both of them in the line up. Either would improve the line up dramatically, but murderer’s row? Far from it. 6-8 would still be mediocre at best. Chipper/McCann still miss to many games & when either is out the line up takes a huge drop, even with that extra big bat. Now if get Infante in the bottom of that order somehow I’d like it a lot more. What about Kotchman?

Tell It Like It Is

June 16th, 2009
1:37 pm

I admire the loyalty shown, but I really believe that it is displaced when it comes to the players on the team now. To get a top notch bopper, the Braves will have to give up a lot of pitching or some of the top players in the minors(Heywood, Freeman). This would be a huge mistake.

No team will trade for the guys in the present lineup except Chipper, Escobar and McCann. Why give them up for a big bopper? This will not strengthen the team. The other starters are slow and frankly not very talented. Infante and Prado are the best of the lot.

Another factor to consider is the remaining schedule. I believe that the majority of the teams they play are ranked above them. Also, the pitching staff will be giving up more runs as we move into the dog days of August and September.If you cannot keep Pittsburgh and Baltimore in check, then they are in big trouble. They have been pitching their tails off lately and it will come back to haunt them later. History will confirm this. There are simply too many holes in this team that could be filled with a trade.

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:37 pm

cabravesfan:

I think the answer to your question about who would fill in at closer would be either Medlen or Hudson.

I think what The Truth” is trying to say is that it doesn’t really matter who your closer is after the deadline because we will have been sellers and therefore have conceeded 2009. At that point you are actually better off losing as many games as possible to get the highest draft pick.

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:37 pm

Renegator–that’s why they’ve got to keep one of Gonzo/Soriano. They need a proven relief ace. They can fill the remaining spots either from within or thru free agency (typically a bad idea), but trading both is a mistake IMO.

Carroll Rogers

June 16th, 2009
1:39 pm

Yunifan, Escobar still doesn’t feel really comfortable enough with his english to use it in interviews, especially in one so important as Sunday. I know he took some English classes over the winter, and I’m sure he can communicate pretty well with his teammates, but it’s different when talking to the media. Kinda more at stake.

Heavy Medlen, Gonzalez is definitely a leader in the Braves clubhouse, especially among those in the bullpen. His personality and his communication skills make him a natural leader. And he seems to genuinely care about his teammates. I’ve seen him tie a tie for Soriano a couple years ago. (random, I know…) but his teammates like him and respect him and listen to him. That’s my take anyway.

gotigers72

June 16th, 2009
1:39 pm

If they trade one of the closers, I hope it’s Gonzo. Except for one or two appearances, Soriano has been absolutely dominant, overpowering, etc. He also doesn’t walk many while Gonzo has at least one or two runners per inning, and his command has not been there. JMO.

KJ needs to go also. He has never been a plus on defense, and now he is below average as a hitter. So below average in both areas. Why is he playing? When Infante comes back, he should be the full time second baseman. No freakin’ platooning with KJ. He should have the job. Then they should package KJ, Frenchy and a minor league pitcher and try to get a bat. Although that threesome might not be attractive enough to get a decent bat.

beachcomber

June 16th, 2009
1:39 pm

Would be a mistake to peddle both closers. No chance of keeping both but the front office needs to focus on one and make sure they don’t slip away while peddling the second for whatever at the deadline unless we have a major turnaround.

My vote – keep Soriano.

fastasballs

June 16th, 2009
1:40 pm

We’ll be lucky to have Hudson back some time in August, September is more realitic. He’ll have to fight through the set backs normally associated with TJ surgery so I’m not sure how much he helps. Even when he does return who is out of the rotation?

Eware

June 16th, 2009
1:40 pm

I hate the rebuilding attitude. I might be wrong, but don’t you think that trading away good players and giving up on the season would cause a huge drop in ticket sales??? With less revenue rolling in, wouldn’t this make Liberty Media less inclined to maintain or increase payroll for next year???

Unfortunately, the Braves are owned by a corporation, not an individual owner focused on winning a championship.

I say we make a small move for right field or second base and see what happens. That move can come via trade or promotion. I don’t care.

BravesFan

June 16th, 2009
1:41 pm

I think were set with prospects and heading in the right direction. Call me crazy. Heyward, Schafer, Jones, Hanson, Cofield, and Travis Jones all have tremendous upside. DONT TRADE THEM AWAY!

McFann :Ô:

June 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Ah! Good ol’ Aaron Harang is toeing the rubber for the Reds tonight! Haven’t him since 2007.

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Carroll–DOB has had similar things to say about Gonzo. I’m a fan of his, personally.

The Truth

June 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Ephraim –

The Braves aren’t going any where BUDDY. You know it.

Cabravesfan –

You don’t get it. I am saying all of this because 2009 is over. If we were leading the division like the Phillthies I would not trade them.

Frank from KS –

I am asking Wren to be smart and stop using bandaids.

Steve –

Renegator gets what I am saying. You need to trade guys that aren’t coming back here. Trade Javair Vasquez for a closer this offseason.

CB

June 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Why are there people who have totally given up 2009? It will be difficult, but we are an eight game win streak from being in the wild card race for sure,and close in the division.

MPJ

June 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Carroll,

Thanks for the info about the Maddux luncheon on July 17th. I heard the Braves will also honor him at a game in July. Will that game also be July 17th?

DAP

June 16th, 2009
1:43 pm

steve form OHWho fills those bullpen roles next season? Don’t we also need good relievers to win?

they are both free agents anyways. i think the braves will resign one of them, and bring up a rookie reliever to fill the void next year. (weve got some good ones at AAA)

Renegator

June 16th, 2009
1:44 pm

Steve from OH:

I hear you man and I agree with you but I know Soriano will be too expensive for the Braves (he already makes over 6 mil) and I think Gonzo will be too expensive too.

I could be wrong but if there is one area that the Braves typically go cheap on – it is is the bullpen.

Eware:

You’re kidding about ticket sales right? Have you seen any home games on TV? That place is already empty.

Efrim

June 16th, 2009
1:45 pm

It’s Efrim. How hard is that?

Buzzmeat

June 16th, 2009
1:46 pm

MPJ:

Yes they play the Mets and retire his number that day (31)

Tell It Like It Is

June 16th, 2009
1:47 pm

McFann :Ô:,

Wow!!! Are you for real? If the dugout is anything like your observations, then heaven help the Braves. TP probably hopes that the Braves do let him go. Geez!!!

Gustopher

June 16th, 2009
1:47 pm

MPJ

The Braves will honor their former pitcher on Friday, July 17 by inducting him into the Braves Hall of Fame and retiring his uniform number. The induction will take place at the luncheon and the uniform number retirement will occur in a pre-game ceremony that night before the Braves take on the New York Mets.

Efrim

June 16th, 2009
1:48 pm

I actually think Gonzo and Soriano will leave for greener pastures as well. But I have no idea how to prove it. Just a feeling I have. Braves will make a trade to fill pen roles. Relief pitching is easier to get then most anything else, in my opinion. If the Braves are indeed out of it, they should entertain offers for both of them. If they don’t get anything decent, then keep them. It’s really that simple.

Braves Fan

June 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

Tommy P:

In response to your Esco post:
“The “mental lapses” have been overblown due to the fact that the Braves are just not a good baseball team. To me, they were bad decisions, not mental lapses. (allowing the runner to score from 2nd might’ve been a mental lapse but the throw home was a bad decision)”

His “mental lapses” should not happen with any MLB player and definitely not with Escobar. I remember when he first came up, he was on first and the pitcher had his back to Esco. The pitcher put his glove (with the ball in it) on the ground and started tying his shoe or fixing his pants or something. Esco took off for second and made it safely. Esco has “baseball sense”. He knows how to play the game. There is a reason the mental errors that have recently plagued him have happened. He IS playing lacksidasically like BC said. He is better than that.

Of course, all is forgotten if he comes back and plays the way he can. I, too, enjoy the visible passion and do not want to see that dampened.

CB

June 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

Efrim,he just knows the truth, he didn’t say he could spell,lol.

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

DAP–I think they re-sign Gonzo, and promote Valdez next season (heck, maybe this season), and have Gearrin and Kimbrel start in AA/AAA just in case. Kimbrel needs to get back to Myrtle Beach soon. He’s got nothing left to prove in Rome IMO.

Random

June 16th, 2009
1:49 pm

richbrave (June 16th, 2009 10:49 am):“I didn’t say it was conclusive. I said the controversy here and on other blogs sent me looking for a reason. My conclusion is-there are many reasons, this one included. Therefore, I didn’t state a conclusion, I just listed the facts as I found them.”

Sorry — I guess I misunderstood when you said “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.”

I thought you were concluding that “the blame” lay with “TP and Bobby”, “rather than at the feet of the players themselves.”

But on closer reading, I see that you’re right — you don’t make a dam lick of sense there at all.

My bad.

“And don’t tell me what to do you prick.”

Easy, Ricki, easy — it was just little bit of advice, well meant and freely given (”Do yourself a favor — learn the difference between At Bats (ABs) and Plate Appearances (PAs) and do not use them interchangeably”).

Feel free to continue to revel in your ignorance, if you wish. We’ll just continue to make allowances for it.

TnBrian

June 16th, 2009
1:50 pm

I think we’ll do fine against Cincy because we hit their pitchers well, except Owings, I think. Is he pitching against us this series? Chipper has to get going, like now. You have him struggle and knowing McCann has to have days off, the season could be over fast.

Read some earlier where Carlos Lee was brought up and I can’t think of a better, more logical fit for this team than him or Dye. We could get one of them. If not this year, definitely next year. RH power hitter is missing big time in the lineup. Astros are bad, very bad and need to unload and you’d think Lee will be traded. If not, Dye would be my next choice. Now, tell me how I’m wrong and it would never happen because of this and that… :roll:

Steve from OH

June 16th, 2009
1:50 pm

Efrim, if they feel that both of them won’t re-sign and they’re out of it, absolutely. If they feel they can re-sign Gonzo, then they should probably try to keep him.

McFann :Ô:

June 16th, 2009
1:52 pm

Tell It Like It Is

What?

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