Searching for something on this 1-3 trip

   Cincinnati – Not sure which was more brutal – my run this morning, on little sleep, a couple of pretzels and in the heat, or the way the Braves are playing.

 

   Braves are stumbling through this road trip 1-3. Nothing much to feel good about since Tommy Hanson got a shaving cream pie in the face on Friday night. How long ago does that feel now?

   The Braves haven’t led in a game since Eric O’Flaherty and Peter Moylan gave up the six-run inning on Saturday night in Baltimore. They went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position last night against the Reds, and frankly it didn’t seem that good. Maybe that’s because two of those hits were infield hits by Casey Kotchman and Jeff Francoeur.

   The Braves are fourth in the NL East behind  Florida now, 6 ½ games behind the Phillies. And it seems now everybody, fans, maybe players, everybody is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

   A trade of Francoeur or Kelly Johnson might be on the horizon. But that could take some time. And the Braves would have to sweeten it with some nice-looking prospects to go along with the struggling hitters.

 

   For those of you (maybe all of you) looking for a shakeup, I’d say there’s a good chance you’ll get one of some kind, before long. If it’s like the last road trip – 2-5 through San Francisco and Arizona, when the Braves got home, they had Jordan Schafer sent to the minors, Tom Glavine released, Hanson called up and Nate McLouth traded for within two days of their return.

   Say this for GM Frank Wren, his offseason was tumultuous, he might not have done enough to bolster this offense, but he doesn’t sit around and wait for things to happen. I doubt he will now.

   That’s not to say a trade is imminent. I think the Braves were doing well to work out the McLouth deal this early. Now we’re at the point where teams have to figure out whether they’re contending and which trade pieces might bubble up.

   Meanwhile, though, I took a look at McLouth’s numbers since he was traded here, because he’s seemed kind of quiet lately – like the rest of this lineup, really. He’s hitting .239 (11-for-46) in 11 games with the Braves. He’s had two doubles, a homer, two RBIs and he’s scored seven runs.

   He was hitting .256 in Pittsburgh with nine home runs, 34 RBIs, seven doubles, a triple, and scored 27 runs in 45 games.

   McLouth’s career batting average is .260, so it’s not like you’re looking for him to be hitting .290 or anything, but his on-base percentage in Pittsburgh was .349. It’s been .300 so far for Atlanta. His slugging percentage was .470 for Pittsburgh. It’s been .348 for the Braves.

   I’m sure some of this is just part of going through a transition from playing for the only team he’s ever played for to a new one. To me, his swing looked a little long last night. Or maybe since he’s gotten over here, he caught whatever is ailing the whole Braves lineup right now.

   He did make a heck of a catch against the wall in the first inning last night. Kudos for that.

 VAZQUEZ ON THE MOUND:

   Tonight’s game feels big to me, relatively speaking of course. If the Braves are going to regain some momentum of any kind on this trip, this is the one they need to win. It assures them of staying alive in this series, and gives them something to build on with this daunting interleague stretch looming just a couple of days from now. Red Sox – Yankees – Red Sox.

   Tonight the Braves run Javier Vazquez back out there, and that’s been a good thing. He’s leading the league in strikeouts with 105, he’s second in the NL in WHIP (1.03). He struck out 12 his last time out against Pittsburgh and allowed only a run in eight inning but took a no-decision.

   And he’s been surprisingly good at Great American Ball Park considering he’s a flyball pitcher. He’s 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts at GAP, allowing only two earned runs in 14 innings and no home runs.

   Offensively, the Braves need to remember where they are.

   Entering this series, the Braves had seven players hitting .300 or better at Great American Ball Park. Brian McCann (.385), Martin Prado (.375), Matt Diaz (.357), Chipper Jones (.344), Casey Kotchman (.333), Garret Anderson (.333) and Kelly Johnson (.328).

   Thanks in part to the Braves’ struggle to hit for power, last night’s game featured zero home runs. That’s happened only 38 times in the 516-game history of Great American Ball Park. Back-to-back homerless games? It’s happened only once – August 6-7, 2005 vs. the Marlins.

 RED SOX PITCHING MATCH-UPS:

   For this weekend at Fenway….Get ready for a full press box Friday night, DOB. Interesting for D Lowe to get to pitch against his former mates, and Sunday we’ll see if JJ can catch a break. 5-5 with a 2.89 ERA is just ridiculous.

 

   Friday: RH Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4, 7.55 ERA) vs. Braves RH Kenshin Kawakami (3-6, 4.54)

   Saturday: Red Sox RH Josh Beckett (7-3, 4.15) vs. Braves RH Derek Lowe (7-4, 4.08)

   Sunday: Red Sox RH Tim Wakefield (9-3, 4.39) vs. Braves RH Jair Jurrjens (5-5, 2.89)

   And with the news yesterday that John Smoltz will start Thursday June 25 against the Nats and not face the Braves either this weekend or next, it dawned on me (I know, I know, right on top of things with this observation) that that means we’ve likely seen Smoltz in his last game at Turner Field.

   There was a very real chance of that, of course, when he signed with Boston. But I guess I figured it would work out where he’d still pitch against Atlanta in June. He had six games for it to happen, that’s right about the time he was scheduled to be back, and baseball just seems to always give you those little gift match-ups.

   But this time, it sounds like Red Sox manager Terry Francona made sure it didn’t happen, realizing that facing his old team would be more than John Smoltz needed on top of trying to get back from shoulder surgery and with a new team.

   Smoltz has said all along he didn’t really want it, and the Red Sox didn’t make him do it. And as weird as it might sound, and despite all the yip-yapping back and forth between Smoltz and the Braves in recent months, I think that’s a compliment.

   Smoltz doesn’t want it to come down to him vs. the Braves on the field because in the grand scheme, that will always be his team.

 

   More from the ‘yard as we go….

1,758 comments Add your comment

JDH GT

June 17th, 2009
2:06 pm

TnBrian

June 17th, 2009
2:09 pm

Nice blog and agree with you and DOB on McLouth…have to, the stats tell the tale. Get him going and Chipper keeps his butt in the lineup, you have 4 above average hitters in the lineup like DOB pointed out earlier. But, like he said, McLouth ain’t doing much, Chipper is always a health question and even our All-Star catcher isn’t making a big impact right now. Also have to wonder if there isn’t more going on behind the scenes with this team that none of us know about. Like maybe a lot of tension in the clubhouse that is making guys lives miserable? I knew the offense wouldn’t be like the Phillies coming in to ‘09, but I’m shocked at how bad most of them are and show no signs of improving. Oh yeah, Garret freakin Anderson is a BUM…DFA his loafin butt in a hurry and bring up B.Jones.

tr

June 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

Mike S

June 17th, 2009
2:11 pm

Maybe a good series in Boston could jump start this team? They often do play down to weaker competition and show up against bigger matchups when there isn’t much expected of them.

Look at the pitching matchups for that series, we have the advantage in every game. If only the offense can get out of this (season long) funk and give them some runs!?!? Frustrating.

Cruz to Atl

June 17th, 2009
2:11 pm

second…haha

Heath (Cleveland)

June 17th, 2009
2:11 pm

…That Friday night match-up will probably be crazy with all the Japanese reporters there. Yikes.

Chop Chop

June 17th, 2009
2:12 pm

McLouth was a career .206 hitter in June prior to this season. Could just be one of those things.

Cruz to Atl

June 17th, 2009
2:14 pm

I heard a little more on Hermida at MLB trade rumors, but I don’t think he would make much of a difference for the Braves.

Rodney Derrick

June 17th, 2009
2:16 pm

Good post Carroll and that was a great summary of Braves problems by DOB late in the last blog. Carroll, you must be suffering those late antsy stages of training before a marathon, getting enough mileage and not too much, while suffering through the Braves’ horrendous performance and the vagaries of the weather. Remember, that Latin language training gave you mental discipline.

keylargo

June 17th, 2009
2:16 pm

KJ doesn’t have the arm to play 2nd, no less SS. MFin04

Another totally wrong post by the blogger who knows less about baseball than anyone who has EVER posted here.

KJ has an excellent arm as shown by his very strong relay throws to home. A strong and accurate arm that is good enough to play any infield position.

McFann :Ô:

June 17th, 2009
2:17 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

Chuck James was Solid…!!!

Yeah, pre-20. Haha, maybe we oughta meet with Mr. Wren! :lol:

Me @ 10:40: Gotta run for a little while, but feel free to respond if you have something else to add…

Didn’t like the way that came out. Sounded snooty or something…sorry ’bout that.

amicusterrae

June 17th, 2009
2:19 pm

Let’s face it folks. This team just isn’t very good. Starting pitching is the lone bright spot, and that is being wasted by a pitiful offense and an inconsistent bullpen.
We’re more than a “bat” away.

McFann :Ô:

June 17th, 2009
2:20 pm

TnBrian and even our All-Star catcher isn’t making a big impact right now.

Yeah…not when he flies out on the first freaking pitch with no outs and a man on second in the eighth inning with the Braves down by two…

Again, that AVG in late-and-close situations–abysmal. Don’t know what’s up with that, but sheesh…

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

Luis Durango

There ya go Wren, don’t say I didn’t try.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

June 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

While KJ is a much better offensive player than Franceour, as CR said the play of both has put the Braves in a bind. A team dealing for Kelly would do so only believing in potential rather than performance. So either one would essentially become a throw-in in a deal involving genuine prospects instead of being the centerpiece of a deal. A year ago, either could have headlined a trade for a decent return.

Travis

June 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

Carol, Smoltzie has seen lots of games from where he will sit….in the dugout with a sore shoulder.

Ron Roberts

June 17th, 2009
2:21 pm

Crazy that the pitching matchups FAVOR the Braves, statistically, vs. the Red Sox, which REALLY underscores how POTENT this team would be with ANY kind of offense from the outfield, eh?

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2009
2:22 pm

hahaha we are NOT going to have a good series against Boston…We can’t beat Pittsburge, Baltimore or Cincy right now are you expect us to have a good series against a World Series contender…I truly hope we don’t but I don’t see that happening!

Interested Observer

June 17th, 2009
2:23 pm

We’re almost at the point where a midseason shake up won’t do any good. We’re digging ourselves in a pretty deep whole. Any trade we do now would have to make sense for next year, too, like the McLouth deal.

VaBravesfan

June 17th, 2009
2:23 pm

Nice blog, Ms. Rogers. But you have to wonder at this point, with all due respect to them as human beings, who in the world would actually want Johnson and Francouer? Francouer would probably make somebody a good late inning defensive replacement. They may both be the best teammates in the league, but the Braves need hitters.

AndyC

June 17th, 2009
2:23 pm

Carroll, incredible numbers on the homers at Great American Ballpark. It’s not all the suprising that this team would be involved in a homerless game there though considering the Braves hit so few homers but also give up so few.

Frankie Knuckles

June 17th, 2009
2:28 pm

You can forget Nelson Cruz. I’ve all but thrown in the towel on this season. If we’ve fallen further back after the next few weeks (which is likely) I say sell, sell, sell. I would like to see us lock up Soriano for a couple of more years. Gonzo can go. Performing well this season was just a bonus for me anyway – i’ve always felt like we were playing for 2010-2011.

RHR

June 17th, 2009
2:29 pm

Smoltz doesn’t want it to come down to him vs. the Braves on the field because in the grand scheme, that will always be his team.

That tugged my heart a little bit. :(

Thanks for the update, Carroll, and at least you aren’t running down here in the near 100 degree heat today. So there’s that…

Ghost of Braves Past

June 17th, 2009
2:29 pm

The Braves are in FOURTH place, a half game behind the Marlins.

RHR

June 17th, 2009
2:30 pm

And I see Coach has moved on to a new man crush. So there’s also that…

McFann :Ô:

June 17th, 2009
2:31 pm

AndyC It’s not all the suprising that this team would be involved in a homerless game there though considering the Braves hit so few homers but also give up so few.

Ain’t it the truth. But I sure hope they don’t leave the place without some homers–hit by the Braves, of course.

McCann has 7 career homers at Great American Ballpark–that’s tied with Citizen’s Bank Park as his highest total away from Turner Field. Doubt he’ll play tomorrow, so he needs to make the most of this opportunity. He’s been given a second chance at GAB this year! (So no more first-pitch fly outs. One was enough–for the whole year–though I know you’ve got more than one…)

rob from sc

June 17th, 2009
2:32 pm

According to MLLBTraderumors the Marlins turned down Charlie Morton and Jeff Francoeur for Jeremy Hermida. I can’t say I blame them. I like Morton but Jeff is a team killer

Ron Roberts

June 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

VaBravesfan… when you need to give your dog a bitter pill, you wrap it in a piece of sandwich meat to make him WANT to eat the pill; that’s how the Braves shed Francoeur and/or KJ; put a niec prospect with ‘em.

McFann :Ô:

June 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

RHR

Yeah, it’s a shame he can’t retire a Brave. His final game could have been something really special…

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
2:35 pm

RHR, you have no idea.

nemov

June 17th, 2009
2:37 pm

It’s time to face facts. There’s nothing to suggest this team is going to turn it around this season. I think we’re going in the right direction, but our problems are lot more complicated than just one bat. The pitching is looking good, but our lineup is just bad and we don’t play good defense either. We’re a year or two away with these guys.

JayDubu

June 17th, 2009
2:37 pm

The Braves really need for the players that they have to play to their potential. For whatever the reason is, the majority of them have not. Absent of this, they are not going to compete this year. I think
Frank really believes that there are seven or eight players on this roster that can hit 20+ homeruns. In order for that to happen, they’ll have to play to their potential.

What you see now, is what you’ll get the rest of this season, or at least until the team is firmly out of contention, and the expectation is dead. Then you’ll see players relax, and start to put up decent numbers offensively.

Even when the Braves were winning, they were a team void of passion, and not a lot of fun to watch. That’s part of the reason that ESPN, and other national media outlets don’t give them a lot of attention. They’re boring, and that points back to Cox and the front office.

You can’t expect Cox to rip into his team for every bad performance, otherwise he would be Ozzie Guillen. I’m sure that Frank and his staff are looking for ways to improve the team, but with the budget that they have, it’s going to take more than one year.

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Billy Walsh

June 17th, 2009
2:38 pm

At least after this tough stretch of games the braves play we will know whether the braves will be buyers or sellers. Javier Vazquez would be a great trade piece. The Brewers, Dodgers, and the Phillies all need a starter. I’m sure the braves would be reluctant to deal Vazquez to the Phils..but you could probably get a good prospect in return for Javier.

David O'Brien

June 17th, 2009
2:38 pm

tapate50, I saw this too late on other blog, so I’ll answer you and move out of the way. You said:

I understand your view DOB about the fist pumping and spark, but why can’t you do that and have your head in the game.– tapate50

I agree. One can, and should, be able to do both.

i.e. Victorino. Not to canonize him or anything, but he comes to mind. Even the best hitter in the game, King Albert (Pujols), shows fire, doesn’t act like he’s above showing his emotions. Not saying it’s in everyone’s DNA, but it helps if that’s in a few players on each team, in my view.

If Hudson was a position player, I think he’d be just like Victorino. He’s fiery like that. Just different for a once-every-five-days starter who needs to stay in control, to a certain degree (and Hudson does stay in control; I’m just referring to times when he shows that temper, that fire, which is a good thing in my view). John Smoltz seethed at times with that tension, that desire, on the mound. Maddux certainly did, even if it wasn’t as noticeable unless cameras caught it. It was there, big-time. Teams feed off it, if it’s someone as good as Smoltz, Maddux or Hudson showing it while doing their own job well. So imagine if a solid position player has it, a guy who’s out there every day, batting four times a game, breaking up double plays, doing whatever it takes to score, etc.) Escobar shows it, probably more than anyone else on the team, with the possible exception of Mac. Escobar looks like he wants to win so freakin’ badly.

I wasn’t and am not making excuses for Yunel’s gaffes, especially a couple of the blatant ones. But others on this team have made as many or more (some less conspicuous but equally or more costly, and others just as conspicuous, like lack of hustle while running the bases on routine fly balls that ended up not being caught, etc.) in the past few years, and without bringing the spark to the team that Escobar provides, or tries to provide.

KGE

June 17th, 2009
2:40 pm

I’ve been reading this blog for the last two years, as two fantastic journalists make it easy to follow the team while in England as well as some very entertaining bloggers. I have never posted before, but have always been annoyed at the fire Bobby and TP bloggers until the last few weeks. Something needs to be done to light a fire under this team and I think it has to start with the management.

brian

June 17th, 2009
2:41 pm

Carol – if you were wearing the GM hat how would you shake things up?

I agree that Francouer and Kelly Johnson are now reduced to add ons if we want anything of value in return.

I wonder if the Braves will add on Francoeur to Escobar and work out a trade with Boston?

braves fan lmh

June 17th, 2009
2:42 pm

why not trade for a “true” leadoff hitter? If the braves can’t acquire the middle of the order bat needed to help protect chipper and mac then why not get a lead off hitter who can consistently get on ahead of chipper mac and mcclouth? Maybe a guy like michael bourn or randy winn

Homer

June 17th, 2009
2:44 pm

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
2:46 pm

RHR, I look for three things in a prototypical lead off hitter.

A. Game breaking speed and I’m talking blazing base running ability.

B. Plate discipline. The kind that allows for long at bats, high OBP.

C. the ability to get on base anyway possible. Be it hit, bunt, walk, hit by pitch or just flat out running the ball to first base.

Luis Durango is that guy. I’m not sure if the Padres have any idea just how special he is, but I am well aware of the Braves problems since Furcal left and they have yet to address it.

Fischerking04

June 17th, 2009
2:47 pm

Hard to win games with an offense that has no fire. Even when the SP is great. This team needs to be sellers.

Get rid of Frenchy and KJ and get some young mid level prospect for them.

It’s hard to compete when you PLAY DOWN TO YOUR COMPETITION. This was a trend that I started noticing last year. Teams like the Giants, Pirates, D-Backs, Reds and others are good examples.

It cuts like a knife when the realization hits that now the Atlanta Braves are one of the teams that the competition expects to take at least 2 out of 3 on per series.

Billy Walsh

June 17th, 2009
2:48 pm

Who cares about ESPN. Are they even relevant anymore? I can remember back in the 1990’s when the braves were in the playoffs every year, Baseball Tonight would lead with their highlights of the night’s game. Sportscenter and all the other programs on ESPN have a different format now. Way too many experts that take 10 minutes to dissect a game or a series that it takes away from the highlights that Craig Kilborn, Dan Patrick, and Tom Mees(God Rest his soul) use to do so well and made Sportscenter so good.

Efrim

June 17th, 2009
2:50 pm

“A trade of Francoeur or Kelly Johnson might be on the horizon. But that could take some time. And the Braves would have to sweeten it with some nice-looking prospects to go along with the struggling hitters.”

I’m not sure what prospects the Braves would have to add to complete a trade. I just hope it isn’t any of the elite talents in the Braves farm. Making a trade like that wouldn’t be a good idea at the present time. Just my two cents though. I know they think they are one hitter away, but they may just be two hitters away. I really don’t know though.

Randall Delgado struck out 7 and walked none in 6 innings pitching in his start for Rome today. Didn’t give up an earned run and only allowed 3 hits, for anyone that cares.

Eware

June 17th, 2009
2:50 pm

I’ve been loving DOB’s comments the past few hours. For some reason, I really needed to hear that, though I can’t say that I liked it.

Thanks, DOB.

Good blog, Carroll.

Interested Observer

June 17th, 2009
2:52 pm

I’d like to see Eddie Perez replace Chino as the bench coach. I think he’d be a great influence to have in the dugout during the games.

BBraves

June 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

I think it is time for Kelly to sit the bench and Prado to get some starts at 2B. I like Kelly but both him and Frenchy in the lineup hitting back to back is killing the offense. Bobby needs to stop putting Gonzo into the game when Braves are behind. It never fails that is when GOnzo pitches his worst. Also, if Frenchy would stop trying to hit a homerun every time out and just try to get solid contact he would have a whole lot better results.

rammerjammer

June 17th, 2009
2:58 pm

Yunel is the “problem child” and Garret is the “professional.” Something’s wrong with that picture.

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
3:00 pm

Brian, you must first understand this one thing about me.

I’m a Whitey Herzog disciple. Pitching, defense and speed are proven winners. HR’s are great but you cannot win without the aforementioned three.

I would send Frenchy packing, either in trade or back the the minors. Dump Norton, period. He’s a total waste of a roster spot. Gregor Blanco too, back to triple A.

I would trade for Luis Durango if at all possible. Recall both Jordan Schafer (if healthy) and Brian Barton. Move Garret Anderson to the bench along with Diaz.

Nate McLouth, Jordan Schafer, Luis Durango and Barton would be my main four outfielders.

I would basically install speed, defense and youth in the outfield. You simply cannot go wrong with the formula. Cox would have to go along with it or get the hell out of town. I know Pendleton would agree with me. He cut his teeth as a player under no other than Whitey Herzog himself.

RHR

June 17th, 2009
3:01 pm

Agree with DOB about Escobar, he’s a winner, head case or not. And I’m not saying he IS a head case, but I’ve noticed a lot of people on here like to give him that label. To me, it is obvious that most of his gaffes come from a different place than say, Francoeur’s…and to me, making various, random mistakes when you are trying to do the best you can in that split second is a different animal than making the same mistakes over and over because you just don’t get it. The latter is what I would call a head case.

brent a.

June 17th, 2009
3:02 pm

This whole thing is just very depressing.

Once upon a time, we looked forward to playing the Yankees and Red Sox. It was exciting. Now, those 9 games may well signal the death knell for our season.

No life in this bunch.

Steve from OH

June 17th, 2009
3:02 pm

RHR, you know how much Coach loves those speedsters, even if they’re not actually that good at stealing bases….

Fwiw, BP projects Durango to post a .272/.342/.310 line in the majors (he’s only in AA right now) with a well below-average .239 EqA. An in-house option, Brandon Jones, is projected to have a .262/.349/.324 line with a .248 EqA. Jordan Schafer is now projected to post a .308/.375/.538 line with a .298 EqA after having spent some time in the majors (that seems high, but whatever). It doesn’t really make sense to give up pieces for a AA guy who really isn’t a better option than what we have on our team (Matt Diaz) or in our system (Jones, Schafer) right now. Besides, do you really expect a guy to jump from AA to the majors and provide the kind of boost we need right now? C’mon.

Here is a quick explanation of BP’s projections: “Regular Translation: This applies adjustments for league difficulty to the player statistics,
resulting in a changed line. Everybody, from every park, is translated to the same underlying
standard. Hitters go to a league that hits .270/.330/.420 with a .260 eqa, pitchers go to a league
that allows 9 hits, 1 home run, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts per nine innings with a 4.50 ERA. For
majors, these should be a close – but not necessarily exact – match for the “adjusted for all-time”
numbers (the translation process can cause slight differences from the exact rating, typically no
more than two points of EqA, unless PA are really low.) Ideally, this is how the player would
perform if he were called up to the majors right now – allowing for the difference between the
real majors and the standard league. In practice, they fall short. Most of that is because the
player most likely to be promoted is the one who is playing farthest over his head, a form of
selection bias. Players in AA or lower are even more likely to fall short, because the translation
routine is calibrated for one-level jumps, and there does appear to be an additional drop in
performance for players whotry to jump two (or more) levels at once.”

I can’t find the numbers, but if I recall correctly the equivalencies from this offseason called Schafer’s numbers this year pretty doggone closely.

Besides, Durango has benefited from an incredibly high BABIP in his last two seasons (.477 and .369. He ain’t keepin’ that up) and his OBP upgrade over Jones would be very batting average-dependent, as their career BB% are pretty similar in the minors(Durango holding the edge), with Jones holding a big edge this season (last season, his was pretty close to Durango’s career average). His career SLG is higher and he has more power potential. Basically, what I’m saying is that I don’t believe Durango can hit for a high enough average in the bigs to produce a significant OBP difference over Jones, and I don’t think he can out-slug Jones, either (Jones has posted much better ISOs than Durango). Not worth giving up pieces when we’ve got a player in AAA who would be a similar option.

BTW–glad you liked my little baseball history bit from the other day. I figured you would.

RHR

June 17th, 2009
3:04 pm

Luis Durango is that guy.

Thanks Coach. And here I thought Josh Anderson was that guy. I’ll have to do my research on this Durango kid.

Billy Walsh

June 17th, 2009
3:04 pm

Yunel Escobar is a winner? What has he won? Derek Jeter is a winner. Jorge Posada is a winner. Mariano Rivera is a winner. Andy Petite is a winner. How many times has Escobar been in the postseason? Dont get me wrong, Yunel is a solid player but you cannot call him a winner yet.

Rodney Derrick

June 17th, 2009
3:05 pm

Martin Prado is also a fiery player, and he can hit and play many positions.

ernesto

June 17th, 2009
3:05 pm

I’m not sure when KJ is going to break out, since he is such a streaky hitter, but it’ s bound to be soon. It would be welcome.

KJ has been streaky since he got here and started 0 for 30, then went nuts and was player of the month. I think the Braves have to realize, at this point, that’s who he is, and decide if we can live with that.

chipperchop

June 17th, 2009
3:05 pm

Who is Luis Durango?

Steve from OH

June 17th, 2009
3:06 pm

Efrim–that’s two good ones in a row for Delgado. Both Delgados at Rome look promising at this point. Love the quantity of good pitching prospects down there.

Renegator

June 17th, 2009
3:07 pm

I think it’s funny that a lot of us on here have been saying (for a couple of years) the same things that DOB said in his honest “State of the Team” post on the last blog. (no fire, no spark, malaise, etc)

When we have said it we are labeled as “not true fans” etc.

When DOB says it – everyone takes it as gospel.

Just interesting…

McFann :Ô:

June 17th, 2009
3:07 pm

RHR to me, making various, random mistakes when you are trying to do the best you can in that split second is a different animal than making the same mistakes over and over because you just don’t get it.

For sure.

Much as Escobar cann bug me with his dropped balls and whatnot, I mean, at least he “wants it”. He wants to be a great player and works at it…he doesn’t just expect it to happen, you know what I mean? My brother worded it so much better the other day…

Supes

June 17th, 2009
3:08 pm

John Smoltz = Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.

That’s all I have to say about that.

DOB, I wholeheartedly agree with your post/comments on the 2009 Braves on the previous blog.

We are a team right now with “half a lineup” (when it’s on).

Shame too, above average starting pitching, solid 8th and 9th inning guys too.

If this keeps up, Braves will be sellers by 4th of July. (10 or more games back to the Phillies)

RHR

June 17th, 2009
3:08 pm

A winner’s mentality, Billy Walsh. I assumed everyone would get that. Looks like I overestimated again. :P

Chop Chop

June 17th, 2009
3:09 pm

God help me, I will not give in to the urge to write a Coach-inspired version of Dylan’s “Romance in Durango.”

I won’t do it.

RHR

June 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

Yunel – winner’s mentality.

Jeff – victim’s mentality.

Renegator

June 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

Coach:

You 3:00 sounds good in theory but we’ve got the wrong manager for that. Cox doesn’t like that kind of baseball. He is a 3 run HR kind of guy. He admitted it in an interview before a game last week.

DAP

June 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

ive noticed that mclouth seems to have a very mark kotsay-ish swing. anybody else see that?

Efrim

June 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

I didn’t even know Luis Durango existed. I didn’t know what Coach was talking about. So confusing.

Shamus Thacker

June 17th, 2009
3:10 pm

I agree about Yunel. This team needs more just like him.

Steve from OH

June 17th, 2009
3:11 pm

I would basically install speed, defense and youth in the outfield. You simply cannot go wrong with the formula.

Sure, if they can hit, that is. I love, love outfield defense. But we really don’t need Durango to do that with Schafer likely being ready to go again before the end of the year (health willing, of course). Francoeur plays at least average defense in right with an above-average arm, and has played GREAT defense in years’ past. And if you do want to go that route, just call up Barton and be done with it. And I think you (for a guy that loves speed) really underestimate Schafer’s speed. Don’t forget about him. And McLouth can run, too…

Supes

June 17th, 2009
3:11 pm

Coach is full of it. He’ll have the entire blog that some AA prospect from the Padres is “our saviour”.

Steve pretty much spoiled Coache’s plans by exposing his flawed argument.

Efrim

June 17th, 2009
3:12 pm

I believe the San Antonio Missions are apart of the Padres org. If he’s really that good, I doubt they will be trading him. They need all the inexpensive talent they can get.

PWHjort

June 17th, 2009
3:12 pm

Michael Bourn. Perfect. Why haven’t we thought of it before? The only outfielder to post a lower OBP than Francoeur last year. Him and Francoeur can be the out twins. He’ll fit right in with our team! Yes. Yes, I tell you. Michael Bourn is the answer to all of our problems. Do it now, Wren. NOW! We can’t survive another day without Michael Bourn.

Ok, I’ll stop. On a serious note, great blog, Carrol.

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
3:12 pm

Steve, until five minutes ago you didn’t even know Luis Durango EXISTED. now your an expert on the guy. BRILLIANT Dude, just BRILLIANT! I’m gonna go laugh my ass off because arguing with you is a waste of my time.

By the way, I have been researching Durango since spring training. Good luck with your five minute expertise.

Supes

June 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

Next blog should have a poll, what’s your favorite Jeff nickname?

1. Francine
2. 6-4-3
3. Failcouer
4. Out Machine
5. &%^$*$*&

Shamus Thacker

June 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

DOB, I had visions of Howard Cosell while reading your post on the previous blog.

Good job.

Billy Walsh

June 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

Everyone to a certain degree wants to win. Some tend to hide it better than others.

Steve from OH

June 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

Renegator–OBP and SLG ability are proven to correlate with run scoring. Stolen bases, at least below a 75-80% success ratio, are not. Cox has it correct, IMO. There is always a place for great defense on a club, however. That is a HUGE aspect to the game. And there is always a need and a use for good speed, but not before hitting ability in a player.

sportsmandh

June 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

This post isn’t meant to be gloom and doom. Just a little dose of reality to promote the idea

of LET’s DON’t MAKE ANY STUPID trades in the next few weeks. Please fans, don’t bark for the

team to make a move for this guy or that guy for the remainder of the year. I was on that

bandwagon too until the last week. It’s time to cut bait with the idea of another ‘impact’

trade for this year. (If they can improve and win more the rest of the season with what they

have then great)

Take a step back and consider more than the BAD game here and the BAD game there. Look at the

series results from the last month. This team is NOT going to get better overall regardless of

if all the ‘this or that’ things happen that all the denizens here discuss.

Since mid-May
1-1 vs. Arizona
2-2 vs. Colorado
3-0 vs. Toronto
0-3 vs. San Fran.
2-2 vs. Arizona
1-1 vs. Cubs
1-2 vs. Milwaukee
2-2 vs. Pitt
1-2 vs. Baltimore

The Braves have won ONLY ONE SERIES out of the last NINE. This is pretty sad that they

couldn’t win more series than that over the last month against those teams. Of those 8 teams,

only MIL, SF, & TOR have a winning record. And SF is not really that good. The Jays were also in the midst of a big cold streak when we played them.

I just can’t see the Braves making much improvement regardless of if another ‘bat’ is added.

Like we’ve been saying the last couple of days, TOO many holes in the lineup. Not to mention

that the schedule is about to become a monster.

Supes

June 17th, 2009
3:14 pm

“By the way, I have been researching Durango since spring training”

That’s borderline creepy. You wanna tell us about it Coach? Researching Padres AA prospects:)

Tapate50

June 17th, 2009
3:15 pm

Thanks Dave… I completely agree this team has become robotic… just wish Esco could be that complete player that we know he can be.

I think it clashes with Coxs mindset most of all to be honest. He may not be the best guy to have around with all these babies on the diamond.

Daslied

June 17th, 2009
3:16 pm

Chipperchop “Who is Luis Durango?”

Verbal Kint.

Steve from OH

June 17th, 2009
3:16 pm

Ok Coach, then please give me your expertise on the guy so that you can add to what I’ve posted. I’d love to hear it. If you know so much about the guy, tell me why he can be a better option than Brandon Jones (other than speed, since I’m sure you know that he has a career 65% (or thereabouts) stolen-base%, and even you admit that is important).

MFin04

June 17th, 2009
3:17 pm

I don’t really like talking about Smoltz. But it seems to me that Smoltz against the Braves would be a great idea. More than likely he’d one or 2 hits the Braves in 7 innings and get a win. Why not pitch him against the Braves? The Nationals offense is far superior to the Braves.

Shamus Thacker

June 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

I’ve kinda developed a fondness for “Jethro” as a Frenchy moniker.

Speed lineup

June 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

Willy Tavares
Michael Bourn
Corey Patterson
Ryan Freel
Joey Gathwright
Nook Logan
Juan Pierre
Chone Figgins
Scott Posednik

World Series. here we come.

sportsmandh

June 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

sorry for the bad line breaks above, not sure what happened

Marc

June 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

Thanks for making a new blog so we can blame you for making our team bad!

Seriously though, if the Rockies, THE ROCKIES, can go on a big winning streak then so can we. Everyone says pitching wins games, well we have that, I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Anyone seen our competition in this division? It’s probably the weakest division in the NL right now; some lucky hits alone could pull us close.

bravito199

June 17th, 2009
3:19 pm

Kelly Johnson and a low A prospect for Chone Figgins said yesterday and i’ll say it again

sportsmandh

June 17th, 2009
3:20 pm

bravito,
If I were the Angels I wouldn’t even respond to that offer. I’d say ‘your joking right?’

jtb

June 17th, 2009
3:21 pm

I still blame the Sunday Reds. After winning 14 straight division titles it’s offensive to the baseball Gods to cinker with the uniform in an attempt to make some extra money on merch sales. And then to build a larger than life cow in stadium really insulted the baseball Gods. I think the only way for the Braves to get back to their winning ways is to sacrifice the Cow to the Gods of baseball and for the Braves management to show true remorse and to ask for forgivness.

Tell It Like It Is

June 17th, 2009
3:22 pm

I wonder why Brandon Jones is not playing more than Diaz or Frenchy. DOB laid it out correctly on the other blog. I have another observation. Why are all the players mentioned as possible additions to the team all slow footed white guys? Why suggest that the Braves trade for the same type players that are here now. Are there no young Black or Latino guys out there who can run, play defense and hit for power? The Braves were pretty successful when they had Black and Latino players during the 14 year run. What happened to this success formula? I wonder how Hank Aaron views this.

CB

June 17th, 2009
3:22 pm

Renegator, you are designated a”true Braves fan”. Are you happy now?

Supes

June 17th, 2009
3:23 pm

Don’t blame the uniforms. Blame the GM, Manager and Players. Last time I checked, uniforms weren’t responsible for wins and loses.

Chop Chop

June 17th, 2009
3:24 pm

Renegator,

Since DOB has to face these guys most days during the season, I think his opinions necessarily hold a little more weight than ours. He may not be any more correct than any of us (me, of course), but he can point to what he sees on a regular basis as valid evidence to back up his point.

Frank from KS

June 17th, 2009
3:25 pm

Billy Walsh

ESPN/SportsCenter isn’t all that bad. I mean, ESPN did a great job bringing in Hannah Storm on Sports Center. Her along with Chris McKendry, Rachel Nichols, Dana Jacobson, Erin Andrews….just to name a few isn’t all bad.

TnBrian

June 17th, 2009
3:26 pm

Bradley pretty much thinks the season is over and I’m almost there too. I’ll wait until the road trip is over and see where they’re at but it might not even take that long for me to throw in the towel. Wren needs to re-haul the offense in the offseason, even if it means one of Vazquez/Hudson are either traded or not signed. Maybe Kawakami has a strong 2nd half and he could be packaged in a trade for a good hitter.

tale of woe

June 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

Hmmm…Mike Hampton is back on the DL…Just wanted to point that out

Rob Joye

June 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

The Braves need power, bottom line. Wren needs to try to work out a deal with the Indians for DeRosa. Hes homered in 3 straight games and has 13 now which would lead our team. We need another proven reliever since you never know what to expect from Moylan or Bennett. Maybe we could get DeRosa and Holliday then we would be talking bc i think we can afford Holliday after the deal we offered Tex.

Shamus Thacker

June 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

Tell It Like It Is, has it occurred to you that the ONLY players AVAILABLE are “slow-footed white guys?”

That, my friend, is why they’re available…

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

June 17th, 2009
3:27 pm

jtb,

I agree, the cow must go.

Maybe Carroll or DOB can tell FW and the Braves how much the fans hate that stupid ugly monstrosity.

Kelly Johnson Sucks!

June 17th, 2009
3:28 pm

Can we please quit defending this guy? He is not a major league starter. He at best belongs on the bench. He is not a good hitter and his defense is mediocre at best. He is just as bad as Frenchy and if Yunels antics are killing this club, well then Kelly Johnson’s lack of baseball fundamentals are flat out destroying the team.

Johnson, Francouer, and G Anderson have no business being on this team.

Coach ( 2010 or Bust)

June 17th, 2009
3:28 pm

Supes, it’s called S-C-O-U-T-I-N-G :)

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