Vazquez needs a lift

   Hey, it’s a rain makeup game today, and the Cubs and I are here to entertain you until the Yankees arrive tomorrow, and DOB returns after a day to catch his breath.

 

   The Braves, like I did last Friday, wake up today to find summer is here in Atlanta, and not summer like it is in the northeast – sticky and humid, yes, but not this.

   It’s dang hot. And that might not be a bad thing for hitters. The Braves offense could use loose joints, and the ball jumping out of the park. I just hope players have been hydrating because they’re going from 63 degrees yesterday at first pitch in Boston to highs around 90s here today. And with the heat index, it feels like 95 already.

   Speaking of hot, the Cubbies come in hot. They’ve won four in a row, with a come-from-behind win over the White Sox and a weekend sweep against the Indians.

   And as DOB pointed out yesterday, the Cubs have won seven of their last eight against the Braves, including all six against the Braves last season. And they’ve won six of their last nine games at Wrigley South, er um, Turner Field.

   Of course this team isn’t the Cubs team of 2008 but they are starting to come around a bit at the plate. In the last four games they’ve hit .272 and averaged 6.5 runs per game. Derrek Lee has hit .389 with four home runs in the last four games.

   For the Braves, now would be as good a time as any to break out of this thing they have going behind Javier Vazquez. Amazingly, they’ve lost each of his last five starts, even though he’s pitched well, going so far as to pitch eight innings in each of the last two starts.

   Vazquez was a victim of pitcher/hitter Micah Owings his last time out in Cincinnati and lost despite pitching the Braves’ first complete game of the year. He gave up four runs, three of them on the opposite field Great American Ball Park-aided homer by Owings, and afterward, Vazquez sat in his chair, ice pack on his shoulder, staring down into his locker for ….a …long….time.

   His outing before that one, Vazquez pitched a two-hitter in eight innings against the Pirates and got no-decision after Rafael Soriano blew the save in the ninth. So in all, going back through May 25, Vazquez is 0-3 in five starts despite a 3.44 ERA. He’s walked only four, struck out 39 and held opponents to a .205 batting average.

   That brings him to 4-6 with a 3.41 ERA overall this year.

   Vazquez is 3-4 with a 5.17 ERA in his career against the Cubs. Lee is his toughest out, going 20-for-50 (.400) against Vazquez for his career, and half of those hits are for extra bases – seven doubles and three home runs. Watch out there.

   Ryan Dempster has an idea what Vazquez feels like. The Cubs have lost each of Dempster’s last three starts, despite the fact that Dempster has given up no more than three runs in any of them. He’s 0-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts. He did walk six batters in his last outing against the White Sox on June 17; somehow he gave up only three runs though.

 

   OTHER MUSINGS:

   OK…what’s next. Do I seem distracted? Well, I am. I’m trying to watch the US Open and blog at the same time. I confess. And let me just say, there are some funky fashions making their way onto the tour. Some of these britches – Barnes yesterday and Mickelson today – retro, Euro, something. But Mickelson is making his move to the top of the leaderboard. Interesting stuff.

   So this ain’t exactly easy, with Johnny Miller in my ear, while I try to wax eloquent on the Braves. It might be easier if Johnny would have something to say about the Braves mixed in with his comments.

   But who does?

   They failed to win a series on that nine-game trip. Shoot, they haven’t won a series since they swept Toronto May 22-24. The best thing the Braves have got going right now is that the Phillies have lost six in a row.

   I don’t really know. Honestly, these are strange times to be around the Braves. Just pick up the paper over the last week or so, and you’ll see how all over the place we are. One day Mark Bradley is saying it’s time to trade Jeff Francoeur, the next it’s this team isn’t connecting to Bobby Cox the way past teams did, and then even Furman Bisher is saying it’s time to trade Chipper Jones.

   I expect the big pleas on the blog, where moods swing from one pitch to the next., but to see it in rapid succession in print from our distinguished columnists, it’s making my head spin just a bit. And that’s no knock against them. These are fairly desperate times.

   So this is what happens to teams on the decline that – let’s face it – aren’t one or two moves from being cured. Ask Nate McLouth. That was a very serious trade, at a very key time, at the weakest position on the Braves field at the time. But how much of an impact has it really made?

   Since the day of that trade, and the day the Braves ushered out Tommy Glavine for Tommy Hanson, the Braves have gone 6-10. They’ve given up only a 3.88 ERA but hit .255 and averaged 3.75 runs.

   I don’t know what it’s going to take. The answer isn’t as simple as it used to be when the Braves needed a cleanup hitter, or a leadoff man, or an arm for the back end of the bullpen. But it’s not any one thing, and before it’s all said and done, maybe it’s a complete overhaul.

   The ground is rumbling isn’t it? Like a train is coming. And I guess we’re all just along for the ride.

 

2,355 comments Add your comment

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:11 pm

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:11 pm

yesss. Braves need to getsomepower. Jose Guillen might be feasible if Royals agree to eat some of the salary.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:13 pm

DOB -

A complete overhaul?? Who do we start with?

Bryan

June 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm

getsomepower

do you even read the blogs? its Carroll

Rev. Otis Nixon

June 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm

thank you for noticing the unending negativity from the ajc columnists these days. i’ve asked him a million times, but he’s only given me sarcastic replies, but is jeff schultz specifically on the “braves bashing beat”? his columns are negative across the board. i’ve said it before, carroll, and i mean it, you are the best writer covering the braves. why all the negativity at the ajc? i’m a journalist myself, and i just don’t see why the editors would think it’s a good thing to have so much negativiy with nothing to balance it out…

Jeff321

June 22nd, 2009
1:18 pm

OK…what’s next. Do I seem distracted? Well, I am. I’m trying to watch the US Open and blog at the same time.

Woke up this morning expecting to watch Directv’s Wimbledon “mix” channel.. (Choose from different courts.) And its postponed because of this golf stuff! So, now I only have one channel of tennis and of course no one I want to see.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:19 pm

My Quote from the last blog

Braves Will Have a Winning Record this Homestand, “Bank On It!”

The Braves Come Correct against the Good teams of baseball and Play like a AAA team against Garbage Teams that they normally should beat up on…

We will get Teased over the next week or so…We will In Tonight 5-3

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

Getting rid of Jeff Bennett would be a start. Has lost 4 games for the Braves this year, gets hit hard almost every other outing. Guys are batting .300 or so against him, and the OB% is hovering around .400. That isn’t good for a guy we continue to pitch in clutch situations (9th inning/extra innings).

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

No To Jose Guillen

I’d Rather Go after Vlad Guerrero, If and Only if the Angels eat up some of his salary…

Even though He is older now he Would Be Good Protection for Chipper in the Number 4 Hole

Pete Orr

June 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

Negative? More like realistic.

DAP

June 22nd, 2009
1:21 pm

no, i think after the mclouth trade, we are one step away. one more bat, and were there.

6-4-3

June 22nd, 2009
1:23 pm

Heard DOB on the radio for the first time yesterday, and I gotta tell you I was thrown by the southern accent. I know Atlanta is in the South, but I’m from Jersey so I read all these posts with a northeastern accent.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:23 pm

Bryan

Wow. I missed it. Put me in the electric chair

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:24 pm

DAP – I agree, one more bat and better usage of our bullpen and this team can win.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:24 pm

MFIn04 -

I totally agree. Every time he comes into the game in a tie situation, I cringe. One pitch, one HR yesterday (albeit it was a pesky pole HR)

McLouth of the South

June 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

I don’t know what’s so hard about the Braves situation. We are overstocked with starting pitchers and still have a decent injury reserve in James Parr. Obviously we’ve bantered many names around but the botom line is simple: any team that wants Vazquez will want to trade prospects vs. major leaguers; any team willing to sell us a power bat will want prospects back. Trade Vazquez first then go shopping. What’s so hard about that?

Since nobody liked LaRoche, what about a trade of Vazquez to MIL for a package centered around Parra or Jeffress? WAS and CLE apparently would want young pitching for Dunn and DeRosa. Should be an easy flip, no?

Stanco

June 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Use the shovel to cover this team……and to start a new foundation. This one is broke, with no chance of being repaired!!!! If you want a fairy tale surge…….look for a good book!

Supes

June 22nd, 2009
1:25 pm

Braves need a legit power hitting high OBPs guy to play RF and hit 4th and they need a second baseman who isn’t hot and cold or mostly cold right now like the one they keep trotting out there every game.

Solutions. Nothing you can right now about 2B. Just play Prado a lot more until Infante can come back by the end of July, at which time you can use either of them at 2B. In the off-season try and acquire Jorge Cantu from the Marlins (he used to be a 2B), while he won’t win any gold gloves, he’s decent defensively and can still hit for power and is a RH bat. That way we aren’t so predominantly left handed of a lineup.

The Outfield Situation, a bit more tricky. Since we are 1-2 years away from Schafer, Heyward and Johnson being ready…(Schafer should be ready next year, about half a year at AAA will do) they’ll have to do some patch work.

With Jeff gone, Anderson gone, and Diaz just a backup…going after a Josh Willingham, Jeremy Hermida or Cody Ross would be one way to go.

Steve

June 22nd, 2009
1:27 pm

The ejections on Sunday at least showed the team does have some fire in them at least. I say Escobar should be benched today for that bone headed play. Granted Chipper being the veteran should have called for it but Escobar wasn’t even in the same zipcode as the ball. He plays like he leaves half is brain in the dugout on defense. If he was hitting better you could overlook it.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:28 pm

Someone Mentioned on the last Blog the Idea Of Huddy Closing…

I wonder If Huddy has been asked that question to see if he has been open to that Idea…

But That Seems a little Preliminary to me….

Salamander

June 22nd, 2009
1:28 pm

Nice summary of recent events Carroll –

Coupling the fact that Bobby doesn’t have a contract for next year with the Braves’ poor play in June, leaves me with the sense that major change is a comin’ for better or worse. As you suggest – perhaps we’re all on this train for the ride, but I would add that we have little control over which station we’re going to stop at.

THWG

June 22nd, 2009
1:29 pm

Hm… Apparently the Royals GM considers Frenchy a successfully developed player. I’d hate to see what he considers an unsuccessfully developed player.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:30 pm

Anyone Going to Wrigley Field South Tonight…? I’m Suprised that this Blog hasn’t gained bandwagon Cubs Fans within the last 24 hours or so…

Jersey Gil

June 22nd, 2009
1:30 pm

CR..Tell DOB..next time he fly to the East Coast, telling to fly to Atlactic City..Air Tran has now 4 direct fly to Atlanta. Easy and conviniance Airport with no problems in and Out.

JJ (WTH is Jeff Bennett still on the roster??)

June 22nd, 2009
1:31 pm

I’m altering my name just a bit from now on as long as it’s still applicable.

My ramblings:

I’m hopeful the outburst of emotion from yesterday will carry over on the homestand and this team will look like it has a pulse. I really agree with Tomahawkin in that I I think we’ll fare well over the next 10 days.

The Phils have major problems when they don’t hit and the muts are still banged up. Could be a good week or so if we can manage some runs. Need to continue to recent outburst of run support here at the Ted.

If Jeffy Bennett never pitches for the Bravos again I won’t shed a tear or think twice about it. He freakin sux.

Efrim

June 22nd, 2009
1:32 pm

“The best thing the Braves have got going right now is that the Phillies have lost six in a row.”

Yup, that’s never a really good sign. And I agree, they aren’t one hitter away. Because Casey Kotchman, Garrett Anderson, Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur haven’t been good offensively. So they are far more than just one bat away. I guess we could keep hoping the Phillies and Mets lose so that the division is won by 80 games. But no one really thinks that is going to happen, right?

Steve from OH

June 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

Hmm…MLBTR says that we very nearly sent Jones, Lillibridge, Concepcion Rodriguez and Jeff Locke to Pitt for Jason Bay last year. They even say that we had Bay’s name stitched on a jersey before Frank Coonelly nixed the deal.

abwright

June 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

IMHO, the McLouth trade + better use of the assets on the team make this a better than .500 team, but nowhere near a playoff contender.

Braves need to get better/more consistent production out of 2B, RF, and LF, better bullpen production, and better defense to be a contendah.

If the guys on the team do not step it up, I count about 4 pieces before this team can become a playoff contendah. One or two pieces might get them to the playoffs, but it probably takes four to win out.

fleming

June 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

DAP – we are one step away. one more bat, and were there.

Possibly but not real sure about that. It appears the last two/three years that the Braves are very Schitzoid. Everyone hits for several games and runs comes in bunches, then no one hits for several games. They need to go on a tear but that would require everyone to be consistant and someone like Chipper or McCann going on a hot streak sorta like when Chipper destroyed the Mutts a few years back. He was able to do that because everyone else was consistant during the streak but I just don’t see that happening right now. Not writing them off but they need to get started.

N8

June 22nd, 2009
1:33 pm

“They failed to win a series on that nine-game trip. Shoot, they haven’t won a series since they took two out of three from Arizona May 29-31″ Carroll

Not to nitpick Carroll, but that series agaisnt Arizona was a four game series that we split.

Steve, wanted to relay to you that the Kings X show was fantastic. There was only about 200-300 people there. Kind of crazy to have such a low turnout. Kenny Chesney was also in town that night, but I find it hard to believe that they’d be “competing” with each other for crowd.

Steve and Efrim, I’m not suggesting that the Braves SHOULD, offer arbitration to Jeff. I’m just saying, that since he’s the golden boy/natural, I wouldn’t put it past them to do just that. If I thought they were willing to give up on him, they would have benched him or sent him down, LONG ago.

That being said, what would he “win” in arbitration? Twelve dollars? More so than last year, I don’t think that’s a get together that Jeff, nor his agent want to take part in.

But as I said, trade mid-season, or non-tendered after the season, I don’t really see much chance of him being in a Braves uniform next season (which he should NOT be). But I wouldn’t be shocked if he was.

Jersey Gil

June 22nd, 2009
1:34 pm

Supes …One of the Team in NL east that i scare off is the Marlin…Good Pitching…I don’t think the Marlin going to let Hermida or Ross go or be trade.They need a First baseman or a Third Base.

Efrim

June 22nd, 2009
1:35 pm

“no, i think after the mclouth trade, we are one step away. one more bat, and were there.”

DAP, but you still need Johnson, GA, and Kotchman to start producing. They have been pretty awful. That’s three hitters.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:35 pm

Wily Mo Pena Has been Released by the Mets…

That Dude has tremendous Up-Side and McGwire-Esque Power…He Be a Shrewd Pickup…Then We can send G. Blanco down to Gwinnett Where he belongs…

Many People Consider him to be Another Overrated Yankee Prospect that has been a Bust, But he’d be a low-Risk/High Reward signing…

N8

June 22nd, 2009
1:35 pm

Damn italics. LOVE this format. Have I said that before?

Efrim

June 22nd, 2009
1:36 pm

“Hmm…MLBTR says that we very nearly sent Jones, Lillibridge, Concepcion Rodriguez and Jeff Locke to Pitt for Jason Bay last year. They even say that we had Bay’s name stitched on a jersey before Frank Coonelly nixed the deal.”

I really do like the direction the Pirates are headed. Kinda. Although that deal makes me wonder….

And Alveraz looks a bit overrated, and Tabata doesn’t look great either. Wow. Poor Pirates.

Steve from OH

June 22nd, 2009
1:36 pm

N8–sweet. I’d love to see King’s X in such a small venue like that. As for the arb case, he can’t make less than 80% of what he made this year, and I think the arb panels take into account his merch sales and all the promotional stuff they use for him too. So he’s got a lot going for him going into arb (besides his putrid performance, of course).

Jeff R

June 22nd, 2009
1:37 pm

Carroll, in her understated way, says it best: one or two moves aren’t likely to turn the Braves around.

Adding a power bat may help some, but Braves’ bats have been tepid or outright cold up and down the order.

I don’t buy that the reason that why those bats are cold is that opposing pitchers can work around Braves’ hitters. I think the team isn’t hitting because its just not… hitting.

Francouer has probably flamed out. Anderson is older. Chipper is older (where’s the power?). Kelly Johnson is slumping. Escobar’s numbers are good but not superior (based on his talent). Kotchman has been in and out of the line up. McLouth is underperforming a little.

There you have it.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:37 pm

Did anyone think that the Braves played with some fight this weekend, even though we lost 2 of 3 and very well could have won 2 of 3? I think it’s a good sign that we play with some fight.

Bennett should only come in as a mop-up guy.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:38 pm

JJ

All Things Considered Yesterday (Especially the AAA Caliber Defense) The Braves refused to give up unlike so many of the losses this year where If we don’t score in the 1st 3 innings it seems this team gives up…

I think we are gonna give the Red Sox and The Bankees Hell This Week…

McLouth of the South

June 22nd, 2009
1:39 pm

Efrim that’s exactly why I think we need to trade Kotchman, with a prospect if necessary, for a power hitting rental player at 1B such as LaRoche. CK needs to play for a team with a big hitting so he can hit in the 2 or 7 spots.. Frankly I wonder if we’d be better off with Canizares, defense be damned.

Efrim

June 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

N8, it’d be one of the most criticized move in Braves history if Wren offered Francoeur a contract for next season. I’m not joking. To pay him at least 3.4 million again, for what he is providing now, is indefensible.

fastasballs

June 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

Wow I didn’t realize Wren came THAT close to getting Jason Bay. He was able to pull out McLouth from the Pirates this season, but how much different would this team look right now had the Bay deal went through?

“The Braves would have sent Concepcion Rodriguez, Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones and Jeff Locke to the Pirates” Too bad the Pirates didn’t take that offer, but for them to get that deep into things with that return is amazing to begin with. Said the deal was so close the Braves had already sewed Bay’s name onto a jersey.

Landing Bay last season would have made things a lot easier this off season of Wren. Maybe Frenchy would have been traded when he had a little more value, maybe other moves are made or not made.

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

getsomepower: Swap Medlen and Bennett’s roles.

McLouth of the South

June 22nd, 2009
1:41 pm

…big hitting OF

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:41 pm

Carroll suggests a complete overhaul. So if this team were to get gutted out, where would we start?

Steve from OH

June 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

Efrim–I think that they actually have smart folks in the front office now. Coonelly especially (damn him! I wanted Bay). Neal Huntington is as cutting-edge as Theo when it comes to the new stats. I like the direction they’re heading in, too.

But I didn’t understand why they promoted Alvarez. Wasn’t he royally struggling in hi-A? And yeah, Tabata isn’t looking so good. But hey, they got a pretty nice package all in all for a year and a half of a very average hitter.

JJ (WTH is Jeff Bennett still on the roster??)

June 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

Tomahawkin –

Agreed. They lost the series but I thought they fought hard and got a handful of clutch hits (which is better than in previous series). May be just blind optimism, but I think they are turning a corner. We’ll see.

All starts tonight. Make the cubbies cry!!!!!

Rodney Derrick

June 22nd, 2009
1:42 pm

Carroll– Glad to see you on the blog again before Seattle. Usually good luck at least in your first game back. And Vazquez could sure use some of that luck. Meanwhile, while I know you are not planning to run in a competitive way in the marathon, you will have an advantage with your heat training over those Northwest folks if you get even a moderately warm day. As someone who live in the Northwest for a number of years, I can say that folks out there are not trained for the heat like you will be. Of course, their heat is drier, so you still have to hydrate well. Maybe the Braves will still have an advantage over the Cubbies and Yanks and Phils in this regard.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

MFin04,

Medlen excelled when he came in extra innings vs Pirates

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

A Name I’m Gonna Throw Out there Again is Maggs Ordonez!

If Detroit eats 1/2 of his salary he’d be a Shrewd Pickup especially since he got Benched

Hoss, Maggs Ordonez, and B-Macc 3-4-5 Would be dope…

N8

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

steve, I guess I didn’t know that about the arbitration. But it makes sense. The players union, wouldn’t allow teams to rake a guy over the coals for a bad year or two (though they should).

Yeah, that concert was wierd. Place holds about a thousand people. Really nice club. Basically 7 other clubs in the venue, and then they have the pavillion type room for the concerts. The rest of the place was packed. All of the other clubs were hoppin. About 3 tunes into the concert, they basically opened the doors and stopped collecting tickets and people still didn’t come in.

Not too many young kids are groovin on the Kings X apparently. LOL! Fine by me. I stood about 15 feet from Ty Tabor and had about 6 feet of “clear space” around me the guy that went with me. It was like a private part. Sounded great (that club has a house system to die for).

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:43 pm

Braves outscored the Red Sox 13-11 in the series and went 1-2. (I believe that’s correct?)

fleming

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

McLouth of the South – trade Kotchman, with a prospect if necessary, for a power hitting rental player at 1B

And what happens next year with no First Baseman. Kotchman hasn’t been that bad when healthy. He isn’t a cleanup hitter but LaRoche isn’t enough of an upgrade to help this year and will cost the Braves next.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

Atlanta needs to pounce! They need to take advantage of the way the whole division is playing, I don’t think they’ll have too many more chances like this.

Carroll Rogers

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

N8, dang you’re right. thought i’d read last series win was Toronto, so I should have known better. let me fix that.

and hey, some rain, that’s a great thing to see…and i mean this about being early in the day, of course.

DAP

June 22nd, 2009
1:44 pm

tomahawkin

you know, one thing that has crossed my mind…call me crazy…but john smoltz will be a free agent in 2010. i wonder if the braves could sign him back as a closer? just thinking out loud, here.

efrim youre right. i guess my thinking is that we have ALMOST won so many games, that i feel like one more legitmate hitter would put us over the top in a few of those. to me, anderson is coming around, and though kotchman has been slumping, i know he has it in him. after that, you play prado the majority of the time in place of kelly, and youre an improved team.

fastasballs

June 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

“McLouth is underperforming a little”

Looks to be on track for what he normally puts up. He’s been here 16 games, has 3 HR’s 9 RBI 4 2B. That pans out to 30HR 90RBI & 40 2B. His OBP & SLG are down a tick & his strike outs are a little more than expected, but for the most part he’s putting up what he normally does based on last season’s totals. He’s about what I expected.

Jersey Gil

June 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

The Pirate Trade history with the Braves are not very Good….Barry Bond was a Braves until his manager mess up the Deal, same happen last year with Bay.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

Fleming We have enough stopgaps to fill in at first base until our prospects come up. I don’t think you’d be able to get much for Kotchman anyways. I’d rather just keep him and move a pitcher and Frenchy for some half decent bat

N8

June 22nd, 2009
1:45 pm

“To pay him at least 3.4 million again, for what he is providing now, is indefensible.” Efrim

As it was THIS year. Yet he did it anyhow. I’m not gonna shy away from the fact, that I’ve been on the Jeff Francoeur “trade” bandwagon since before last season ended.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing with you. I agree with you. But like I said. He had no business going into this season counting on him either, yet he did.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

Also I wasn’t big on the Trade for Luke Scott Bandwagon, But He Impressed the Hell Outta My Narrow A..s In that series in Baltimore…

He’d be a low Risk-High reward move to make…

THWG

June 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

McLouth of the South- You’re probably right about CK. He belongs somewhere like Texas (plenty of power to go around), where Chris Davis probably makes Rangers fans cringe like a certain RF makes us cringe. Not to mention they need pitching, which we also have.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:46 pm

I take a lot of positives from this weekend’s series.

Gonzo was hitting 93-95 on the black.
McLouth and Escobar had a very good series.

I didn’t get the feeling the game was over after Boston took the lead.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:47 pm

If we trade for a Texas player, we should go after Nelson Cruz. The guy is not yet fully established but he looks to be on the road to becoming a top player so taking him early in a trade could benefit us greatly. He’s got the power with the bat, that’s for sure.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

MFIN 04

Didn’t we out-hit the opposing team yesterday and still lost…?

It seems like we hit like a playoff team when there are 2 outs and execute hitting with Neolithic Incompotence when there are less than 2 out and R.I.S.P.

That has been going on all season…

N8

June 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

Carroll, no problem. The only reason I noticed, is becase before that 3rd game went to extra innings, I was “bragging” about at least winning the series, and then realized that their was to be a fourth game. Oh… and that little fact that we ended up losing the 3rd game. LOL! If I remember right, game one of that series should have been won, and people were griping about it (big shock), and oddly enough, I was trying to be a voice of reason claiming “series victory”.

Needless to say, I felt responsible for jinxing them. So, don’t expect any more voice of reason stuff from me.

Supes

June 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

Jersey Gil,

I was talking more like in the off-season next year, try to see what can be done with the Marlins. I think Cantu maybe an UFA? I’m sure Cody and Ross are still under their control.

Pete

June 22nd, 2009
1:48 pm

Efrim: “N8, it’d be one of the most criticized move in Braves history if Wren offered Francoeur a contract for next season. I’m not joking. To pay him at least 3.4 million again, for what he is providing now, is indefensible.”
Agree. Braves should consider themselves very lucky that JF was so greedy a couple years ago when he turned down the Braves offer of roughly 5 years/$25 Mil. If I recall correctly, he practically laughed at the offer. Contrast that with McCann, who accepted.
THANKS, Jeff!

McFann :Ô:

June 22nd, 2009
1:49 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

getsomepower I didn’t get the feeling the game was over after Boston took the lead.

Me neither…until Boston got their 6th run. Then I knew the Braves would never regain the lead…

;)

fleming

June 22nd, 2009
1:49 pm

BraveNewWorld – Fleming We have enough stopgaps to fill in at first base until our prospects come up.

And who would you use next year for stop gaps? A whole year of Prado at first? Canizares?

Burdell

June 22nd, 2009
1:50 pm

Ask Nate McLouth. That was a very serious trade, at a very key time, at the weakest position on the Braves field at the time. But how much of an impact has it really made?

The record not withstanding, the McLouth deal had a big impact on the Braves. They’re scoring some runs and have a legitimate scoring threat from 1 to 4 in the lineup. I don’t have time to look it up (I’m supposed to be working, you know), but the hits/game seem to be up as well, despite a McLouth slump when he first came over.

The problem is that once you get past #4 in the lineup, things are very weak. Unless McLouth gets on base, Escobar moves him over, and Chipper or McCann get him in, the team isn’t going to score on that turn through the lineup.

The team went from 3 above average guys + 5 below average guys to 4 above average guys + 4 below average guys. That sort of move isn’t going to propel you from .500 team to World Series champs, but it certainly fortifies your team, especially when that pickup is a guy on a reasonable long-term contract.

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:50 pm

DAP

I dunno Know If Smoltz will still have the Dominating stuff to close next year…

I’d Rather Use him as a Set-Up Man, especially if we lose Both Soriano and Gonzo…

If we are out of the race within the next month it might be a Shrewd move to trade either one of them…And get something in Return…

Don’t Be Suprised if Either one of them ends up playing for Whinebrenner and The Bankees or the Minaya and Los Melts…

jed

June 22nd, 2009
1:50 pm

i dont get what’s so difficult either. the braves need to trade for a power bat in RF, and they need to play someone other than kelly johnson at 2b. (i’d go with prado until omar comes back.) cox has put us in a hole by insisting those guys be on the field for the first half of the season.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

McFann :Ô:

lmao. That was funny. It kinda sunk in after that, but the first pitch. Geez

jed

June 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

“those guys” = KJ & JF, obviously

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:51 pm

This team could probably have scored 50-100 more runs if they had halfway decent situational hitting with 0-1 outs (sac flys, getting runners over, etc) and competent base running.

Max 14

June 22nd, 2009
1:52 pm

There are some problems with this team, but alot of these problems could be cured or at least upgraded. I feel that managment is too loyal to a guy under performing or in a slump. I think you can afford to give one or two guys the benefit of the doubt when he has perfomed well in the past, but 5 or 6 guys? Thats just wishful thinking. I think the Braves have also lost a focus on fundamentals offensively. In that game yesterday, everybody talked about the bad call on O’Flarety, Chipper’s ejection, JJ’s error, Bennet’s long ball, what about in the top of the ninth when Mclouth gets on base with one out and has 2nd stolen but Escobar puts the ball in play and Mclouth has to come back to first. Then Escobar gets a single that possibly would have scored the lead run if Mclouth had stole second, instead Mclouth is just advanced to 2nd setting us up for a DP, which didn’t happen. That run scores, we see Soriano in the 9th, and not “loose it in a minute” Bennet. I’m not saying it was Escobar’s fault, I just don’t think everyone was on the same page, which should have been “lets manufacture the lead run and get our closer in here”.

jed

June 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm

and again, there’s no point trading KJ & JF. you’ll get no value in return right now. send them to the minors. KJ for certain is reformable. not sure about JF

Tomahawkin

June 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm

Hell, I’d Deal Gonzo and Francine For Nellie Cruz Straight Up Right NOW!

Or maybe Throw Medlen in there as well since we are gonna have a log-jam of starting pitchers when Huddy Gets back…

It would be a good Move for Both teams, Do It Now Frank Wren…Jobu Said So!!!

TnBrian

June 22nd, 2009
1:53 pm

Anybody read MLBTR where the Braves already had Bay’s name sewn on the back of a jersey? Would’ve been nice, especially since the prospects we were giving up weren’t any top guys. Pitt. GM finally caught on that he was getting ripped, BIG TIME, and pulled the plug.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:54 pm

Flemming: And who would you use next year for stop gaps? A whole year of Prado at first? Canizares?

Combo of Infante/Prado would do well enough. Infante is a solid to good at times and Prado is solid as well. They are role players and I have no concerns with their ability to play. I’m against trading Kotchman because he’s playing as expected. The people who are underplaying are the ones we need to move and that is obviously Frenchy and KJ. We should try and go after Brandon Phillips, imo.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
1:54 pm

jed -

Cox does have a tendency to stick with something that isn’t working.

My first overhaul suggestion – approach BC and offer him a promotion out of the dugout. If you’re going to replace BC, you need a fiery manager, an Ozzie Guillen type

MFin04

June 22nd, 2009
1:55 pm

One other thing to notice about the games in Boston, is that McLouth drove in a lot of runs (3) in the series, and when we move back to the NL rules, he isn’t going to get as many chances.

McCann Fan

June 22nd, 2009
1:56 pm

Someone earlier mentioned Adam Dunn. I argued all off-season with my neighbor that we should not go after him. I have since eaten crow and now really wish we had his OBP and power numbers. Let’s try to trade Vasquez and Frenchy for him.

Pete

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Steve from OH: “As for the arb case, he can’t make less than 80% of what he made this year, and I think the arb panels take into account his merch sales and all the promotional stuff they use for him too. So he’s got a lot going for him going into arb (besides his putrid performance, of course).”
Thats incorrect re: the merchandise sales; its strictly performance on the field. As far as the 80% goes, is that just for arbitration? Andruw Jones is making about 10% of what he did last year, but since he was released from LA, maybe thats a different situation.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

MFin04 I don’t know why they’re having him lead off, the guy has been producing more than any other player since coming over and his bat has power. I would move Mclouth to 3rd in the order and shift everyone back a spot. Chipper clean up, McCann 5th, etc.

Supes

June 22nd, 2009
1:57 pm

Tomahawkin,

I don’t think the Braves should be “throwing in Medlen” in any trade. He’s Hanson’s insurance policy.

Burdell

June 22nd, 2009
1:58 pm

And who would you use next year for stop gaps? A whole year of Prado at first? Canizares?

They need one more year of Kotchman. The way Freeman is playing, he’ll be up in AA at the ASB. Then you give him a year and a half of AA/AAA and he should be ready to go (despite being 21 at the time).

fastasballs

June 22nd, 2009
1:58 pm

Also since McLouth arrived Chipper has not been doing much of anything at the plate. That’s about par for the course with this team, something good happens followed by at least 2 things that are bad.

Hopefully Frenchy sits againg tonight. He’s stinking it up as usual regardless of what he thinks. Is he just putting up a front or does he really believe some of the crap he spews in interviews?

If I’m his teammate I root & pray for Frenchy to come out of his funk, but I also want my manager to play the guys that give us the best chance to win. It’s got to be hard for guys like Chipper & McCann to watch Frenchy wreck every rally or swing at pitches a foot out of the zone. How long does this go on before guys start not caring? Is it happening now?

fleming

June 22nd, 2009
1:58 pm

BraveNewWorld – I’m against trading Kotchman because he’s playing as expected. Combo of Infante/Prado would do well enough

My point exactly with the talk of trading Kotchman for one half year of LaRoche. Using Infante/Prado combination for the whole year limits your flexibility at 2nd, 3rd, and outfield totally.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
1:59 pm

Moving Medlen would be a dumb move right now. He’s pitched well enough for someone getting adjusted to the league and has a lot of potential. If he can keep improving, the combo of Hanson/Medlen could be nasty. Our pitching staff is full of a lot of talent right now so moving a pitcher would be the best solution. I say an established pitcher like Vazquez can give us a good return.

McLouth of the South

June 22nd, 2009
1:59 pm

Bobby likes to have a beer league softball lineup. He could have one by dumping Francoeur then trading Vazquez and Kotchman. With Rasmus looking good the Cards may give up Ludwick for Vazquez; might even swindle a prospect from ‘em too. Still say CK should be moved while he still has value. Kotchman, Brandon Jones, Parr, and Francoeur for Dunn? Seeing the big fella full time at 1B would be fun to watch if not pretty…

Steve from OH

June 22nd, 2009
2:00 pm

Pete–is that incorrect? I thought I read that somewhere, but I guess we can scratch that part! My bad. As for the 80% thing, I’m fairly sure that he can’t make less that 80% of this year’s salary in arbitration next year.

Canadaian braves fan

June 22nd, 2009
2:00 pm

Braves still need that rh, right field bat. Pitching has been pretty good with expection of a few, but in order to win this divsion they need a bat.
Have a new blog on the braves at http://www.newblogofbraves.blogspot.com, if you folks would go there and check it out and vote on my ploe i would appreiciate it. Need the traffic for a good mark
Thanks

Supes

June 22nd, 2009
2:00 pm

McCann Fan,

Trading Vazquez into the NL East is probably one thing the Braves don’t want to do, but if they were to want to…out of all the teams…I’d say the Nats would be the one team they may very well do so. The Nats need quality starting pitching. Javy has been very solid this year (despite his W-L record). That maybe a good “straight up deal” for Adam Dunn. Nats have plenty of OF-ers. They may want one of our bullpen arms…like a Peter Moyland as a throw in. Both Javy and Dunn are signed for next season, so their salaries are similar.

getsomepower

June 22nd, 2009
2:01 pm

Medlen should be in the starting rotation next season, along with Hanson

2010 Rotation (as I would see it right now)
Lowe
Jurrjens
Hudson
Hanson
Medlen

Vazquez is expendable.

Chop Chop

June 22nd, 2009
2:01 pm

Andruw is still getting his money, Pete. In order to release Andruw, the Dodgers worked out a deal with him to defer up to $12 million of his 2009 salary ($21.1 million big ones) over the next five years.

BraveNewWorld

June 22nd, 2009
2:01 pm

fleming Our issues aren’t with the infield, they are with the OF. Prado and Infante aren’t going to solve those issues, we need to move for an OF and it’s that simple. Hell, what we should have done was go after Abreu for 5 million. We’d probably be in first right now if we had his bat – 20 homeruns, 100 rbis and great discipline. Instead we get Garret Anderson who is clearly over the hill and should just call it quits.

TnBrian

June 22nd, 2009
2:01 pm

McCann fan, Ok, that just makes no sense…why would the Nats trade for Vazquez if they’d apparantly be trying to shed payroll ridding themselves of Dunn? They’d want prospects and probably quit a bit of them.

I think maybe Garret and a decent pitching prospect for Thames in Det. and then turn around and trade Frenchy to KC for DeJesus. Makes sense getting DeJesus since he could platoon in LF with Diaz and have Thames power in RF. Easier said than done but that would work out perfect in my eyes.

N8

June 22nd, 2009
2:02 pm

This is my favorite bit on that mlbtraderumors story on Bay:

“Bay had no idea that he came so close to becoming a Brave and said he’s happy to be in Boston.”

Yeah. No sh!t. In similar news, Ringo Starr is Happy that Pete Best didn’t continue his career with the Beatles.

That being said, for the guys that were to have been given up, and given what Bay has done this year, that would have been a FANTASTIC trade for not only the remainer of last year, but for now. My how things would be different with him batting cleanup, huh?

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