Skidding Lowe at Coors (cover eyes?)

 

  Denver – You may have noticed, Derek Lowe’s had a fairly serious problem lately. The man’s ability to pitch at a high level suddenly deserted him. And it’d be one thing if this were just a couple of starts, but it’s been almost a month now.
   On Friday, Lowe will be pitching in a place where you really don’t want to be on the mound without something resembling your “A” game. Coors Field. Where ERAs go to die. Or rather, to balloon. Rookie Tommy Hanson gets the ball for tonight’s series opener, and he, as you probably know, ain’t skidding.
  Ball humidor or not, it’s still a place that decidedly favors hitters, who can hit balls to all the wide-open space in the outfield and run all day for extra-base hits.
  So anyway, Lowe’s got a problem, which means so do the Braves. Let’s face it, whatever hope they have of making a push for a postseason berth is tied directly to their starting pitching, and they need Lowe to be the pitcher he for the first two months of the season.

Braves need good Lowe to show

Braves need good Lowe to show

  They need the guy who was 7-3 with a 3.44 ERA, .240 opponents’ average and only two homers allowed through his first 13 starts, with almost twice as many strikeouts (49) as walks (25).
  Not the guy who’s gone 0-4 with an unsightly 8.61 ERA and .391 opponents’ average in his past six starts, with three homers allowed and more walks (11) than strikeouts (7) in 23 innings.
  Lowe gave up 10 hits in 5-1/3 innings at Washington on Sunday, and 11 hits (and eight runs) in three innings against the Yankees two starts before that, and eight hits (and seven runs) at Baltimore on June 14.
 Yikes.
 If he brings that kind of stuff to the party Friday, he’s going to get clobbered by the Rockies, whose 25-7 record since June 4 is the best in the majors over that span. They’ve hit 41 homers and averaged more than 5-1/2 runs in those 32 games.
 Lowe’s got to have the sinker sinking, or else the call to the bullpen will be coming early. Again.

 Lowe needs to have a strong start before the break. He needs to go to the break with some confidence restored, and the Braves with confidence in him restored.
 They’re coming off a big series win at Chicago, where the Braves got superb pitching from starters Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami the past two days, along with strong work from the big guns of their bullpen.
  After the phenom Hanson goes tonight, the Braves need the team’s highest-paid player to follow on Friday with a quality start. Not because he’s the team’s highest-paid player, but because he’s supposed to be the bell cow of the rotation, even if Jair Jurrjens and Vazquez have pitched better than him overall in the first half.
 The Braves have got to have a reliable Lowe, their only proven “big-game pitcher,” to be a playoff contender in the second half. I really believe that.
  And he needs to get back on track tonight in his last start before the break, to set the tone for this final series of the Braves’ first half, against a hot Rockies team.
 It’s a Colorado team that knows Lowe well, from its many NL West matchups against him before this season when he was with the Dodgers.
 How’s he fared against them? You had to ask.
 Not very well.
 Lowe is 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 17 starts against the Rockies, including 2-5 in seven starts against them during the 2007-2008 seasons.
 At Coors Field, he went 0-3 with a 10.66 ERA in three starts against them during the past two seasons, with 22 hits and 12 walks allowed in 12-2/3 innings.
 In his career at the watered-down-beer ballpark, Lowe is 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA in eight starts.
 Now he’ll pitch there while mired in one of the worst slumps of his career as a starter.
 That sinker had best be sinking again Friday.

  ♦ Soriano soaring: He won’t be in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, but Rafael Soriano has pitched well enough to be there.
  The Scowl is on another roll, with 20 scoreless appearances in his past 22 games. Soriano has a 1.52 ERA and .145 opponents’ average in that span, with 29 strikeouts and nine walks in 23-2/3 innings.
  The Braves are 18-4 in games he’s pitched during that stretch since May 19, and Soriano has converted all seven of his save opportunities in that time.
  Braves co-closers Mike Gonzalez and Soriano rank second and third in strikeouts among NL relievers, Gonzalez with 54 and Soriano 53.
  Soriano is fourth among NL relievers in ERA (1.55), fourth in opponents’ average (.158), and tied for fifth in fewest baserunners per nine innings (8.4).
  The Braves just have to hope he and their other key relievers hold up for the entire season. Three Braves rank among the NL’s top seven in most relief appearances. Affable Aussie Peter Moylan, who is 13-1/2 months removed from Tommy John surgery, leads the NL with 46 appearances. Gonzalez has 44, and lefty Eric O’Flaherty has 43.

Will Diaz play?

  ♦ OK, here’s the deal: If Jeff Francoeur is in the lineup tonight in RF instead of Matt Diaz, I’ll try to find a creative way of asking Bobby Cox why.
  Diaz is 13-for-26 (.500) with three doubles, a homer and five RBI in his past eight games, but didn’t start the last two in Chicago after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the series opener, which snapped his string of five consecutive multi-hit games.
  Francoeur, in that same stretch since June 30, is 5-for-26 (.192) with one double, one RBI, six strikeouts and no walks. He’s 3-for-21 with no extra-base hits or RBI in his past five games. Oh, and for what it’s worth, Francoeur has a .213 average with one homer in 47 at-bats at Coors Field.

  ♦ Still surging: For the past several weeks, Nate McLouth has played like the guy who made the All-Star team and won a Gold Glove last season with Pittsburgh.
  The plucky CF has hit .338 (22-for-65) with six doubles, four homers and 13 RBI in his past 15 games, and he’s made some terrific plays in the field lately, too.
 Meanwhile, the feel-good story of the early season continues taking advantage of his first big opportunity. Martin Prado has hit .400 (34-for-85) with 12 extra-base hits in his past 25 games, and has a .457 on-base percentage and .588 slugging percentage in that stretch. Roll on, Mar-teen.

 ♦ OK, gotta get to the park. Absolutely beautiful day here on Denver. If you’re gonna be sleep-deprived, this is nice weather in which to do it.

 

Jamey Johnson (left) with REK (photo by Brian Tipton)

Jamey Johnson (left) with REK (photo by Brian Tipton)

 

“OH ROSIE” by Robert Earl Keen

I’m long past hungry
I need a bed
I got some real wild things
Runnin’ through my head
Oh Rosie, don’t forget me now

I’ve been to Tulsa
And New Mexico
Still got Tucson and
Colorado left to go
Oh Rosie don’t forget me now

Do you remember
Our lucky star
We gave all our wishes to
Now I’m in Denver
In this old bar
Tryin’ to do anything to hang on to you
And not be blue

It’s all-night TV
With nothin’ on
I should be goin’ but I’m
Too far gone
Oh Rosie, don’t forget me now

There’s rotten singers
Lousy art
Western swingers
And my old broken heart
Oh Rosie, don’t forget me now

Do you remember
Our lucky star
We gave all our wishes to
Now I’m in Denver
In this old bar
Tryin’ to do anything to hang on to you
And not be blue

It’s a hard old highway
A long slow burn
I think about ya Rosie
At every little turn
So don’t you worry
Please don’t cry
When we’re together
That old time will fly on by
Oh Rosie, don’t forget me now

Do you remember
Our lucky star
We gave all our wishes to
Now I’m in Denver
In this old bar
Tryin’ to do anything to hang on to you
And not be blue

It’s a hard old highway
A long slow burn
I think about ya Rosie
At every little turn
Oh Rosie, don’t forget me now

 

2,562 comments Add your comment

18 Wheels of Love

July 9th, 2009
4:06 pm

DOB, I’d like your thoughts on a guy like Luke Scott of the Orioles.

Nice blog!

Bodacious

July 9th, 2009
4:08 pm

I love when nobody says “first”.

BobHornersCast

July 9th, 2009
4:09 pm

I thought Hanson was pitching tonight… Did I miss something?

:)-

July 9th, 2009
4:10 pm

so nobody cares if I say “FIFTH!”?

18 Wheels of Love

July 9th, 2009
4:11 pm

BHC, maybe DOB is a little more sleep deprived than even he realizes?

:)-

July 9th, 2009
4:11 pm

(Counting DOB.)

pstone

July 9th, 2009
4:11 pm

Braves.com says Hanson. I’m also confused.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:12 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! But…um…isn’t Hanson pitching tonight?

From the last Blog:

The Bird and Indian I think Mac and Chipper should come back a little better after the break. Is it true Chipper had 18 Homers going into the ASG last year?!

Yes, it is true. McCann had 18 going into the break, too. We were all thinkin’ he’d have his first career 30 homer season. And on July 25, 2008, when he hit two homers, it seemed all the more likely. But, two days later he was Victorinoed…he hit 3 homers the rest of the year.

ChampMan33

July 9th, 2009
4:12 pm

I bet Lowe doesnt give up a hit tonight! ;)

Nate the GR8

July 9th, 2009
4:13 pm

Hanson is on the mound tonight not Lowe.

Ms. Marsh

July 9th, 2009
4:15 pm

Many thought it was a great thing when Pendleton stormed off the field like an immature 13 year old when Marvin Freeman wouldn’t hit a batter. I sort of thought so myself at the time. In hindsight though, I look at that incident as the kind of stubborn immaturity that possibly impedes his ability to effectively communicate and work with the hitters under his tutelage.

David O'Brien

July 9th, 2009
4:15 pm

Yes, Hanson tonight, Lowe TOMORROW

Steve from OH

July 9th, 2009
4:15 pm

Speaing of the Scowl (cool nickname, btw), you don’t hear too many quotes from him. How is he in the clubhouse? Does he even speak English?

flange1

July 9th, 2009
4:16 pm

DOB,

I think “The Scowl” is a great name for Soriano, but I like “The Rifle” better.

:)

dogsbrekky

July 9th, 2009
4:17 pm

Please do not be mentioning Lowe and unhittable in the same sentence until Mr Lowe turns it around pleaaaaaaasssssssseeee

Some of us do believe in god and are superstitious !

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:17 pm

Thanks, Chief! ;)

flange1

July 9th, 2009
4:18 pm

Random thought, I think the Cardinals are the team where Halliday is traded. He fits their mold and would thrive there.

Crazy Trades McGee

July 9th, 2009
4:18 pm

I’ll put the over under on people continuing to remind DOB that Hanson is pitching tonight at 14. Any Takers?

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:18 pm

What did I do to offend this thing so that it will not refresh when I tell it to?

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 9th, 2009
4:18 pm

If Jeff Francoeur is in the lineup tonight in RF instead of Matt Diaz, I’ll try to find a creative way of asking Bobby Cox why.DOB

Is there such a thing as a thumbs-up emoticon? That’s a great line, sir.

David O'Brien

July 9th, 2009
4:18 pm

Go back and read (ahh, the magic of editing)

garlick

July 9th, 2009
4:19 pm

DOB is in the high altitude of Colorado. Maybe he has what mountain climbers get up on Everest.

David O'Brien

July 9th, 2009
4:20 pm

Flange1, The Scowl is better than The Rifle for Soriano, if I may say so myself.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:20 pm

Ah man, and speakin’ of tonight’s pitchers…Why’d it hafta be Aaron freakin’ Cook? Not fair! Just…not…fair…

Steve from OH

July 9th, 2009
4:20 pm

DOB, do try to find a way to get such info out of Cox. I think we’re all befuddled as to why Francoeur continues to play.

David O'Brien

July 9th, 2009
4:20 pm

Nate the GR8, I know. Which is why I wrote a lead note about Hanson in today’s paper, and why I wrote about him in the ondeck box for today’s game.

But thanks for the reminder.

garlick

July 9th, 2009
4:21 pm

So does that mean we’ll get a Hanson blog tomorrow about tonight’s start??

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

July 9th, 2009
4:21 pm

monty from the last blog

I’d hate to see ANY of them traded/moved….Lowe or Javy…but as high as Javy’s trade value is…I’d move him before Lowe.

I know I’m going to get slammed for this……but ya can’t tell me Javy’s trade value isn’t sky-rocketing right now.

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

Lowe’s recent decline is what scares me to death on trading Vazquez.

I wouldn’t trade Vazquez even if Lowe were doing well, I sure as Hell wouldn’t now.

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

The only way that I see Bobby not starting Francoeur is if Franceour gets hurt (like Jeff Bennett and Kelly Johnson did). If Bennett didnt break his hand, Bobby would still be using him in the 6th and 7th inning. If Kelly didnt have to go on the DL, then he would still be platooning with Prado.

So barring an injury to Francoeur, I have no choice but to say that we are stuck with Francoeur playing right field. If a 13 for 26 stretch cant get Diaz inserted in the line-up while Francoeur is 3 for his last 21……..then nothing will.

TnBrian

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

Thought I was gonna have a bad night when he wrote Lowe was starting tonight. Need to win the first game and Hanson is perfect for this. Lowe goes tomorrow night, so hopefully that’ll be the only loss of the series.

DAP

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

DOB, what the heck are you gonna blag about tomorrow, since youve already done one on lowe? :- )

hopefully the topic will be another dominating start from hanson, and speculation of a rookie of the year award.

Adam Dunn

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

no work tonight… i will be blogging away during the game
anyone see the poll results for the who would you trade question lol. 75 percent over 6000 votes for french. its pretty clear. hope he does read the blogs so he can request a trade….

what up mcfann, i would really like to see mac go yard tonight to help my fantasy teams, got him on both… work your magic!!

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

Hope Hanson has a good outing tonight, like to see the Braves go into the AS break on a roll. Rather have them 3GB at the break than 6GB.

David O'Brien

July 9th, 2009
4:22 pm

Besides, what more am I going to write about Hanson in today’s blog anyway? Need new material, which we’ll get as his story unfolds.

I did “break” the big story in today’s paper, though — Hanson and Medlen are movin’ on up … to Buckhead. New apartment. No more Lawrenceville.

Yes, it was good investigative reporting on my part.

DAP

July 9th, 2009
4:23 pm

geez…blag? oh well.

garlick

July 9th, 2009
4:23 pm

Frank from KS, you’re right, but not because of the reason you think. Lowe is going to be incredibly hard to move over the next 3 years with his contract.

That was just a bad contract to give him, and we’re going to be regretting it over the next little while, as Lowe gets older, and these numbers become more the norm.

I would love to see Lowe moved, but it’s never going to happen now.

The Bird and Indian

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

McFann: Yep I was thinking Chip had but i wasn’t sure about Mac. Ahh yes everything always goes back to Victorino! haha

AZBravoFan

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

Speaking of feel-good stories, I’ve been pretty impressed with Brooks Conrad so far. He does not appear intimidated by big-league pitching, and I love his effort. Hope he stays around awhile.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

DAP hopefully the topic will be another dominating start from hanson, and speculation of a rookie of the year award.

Oh man…NOW you’ve done it… :P

Renegator

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

flange1:

You are correct that Halliday is a good fit for the Cardinals. The problem is that I heard they tapped out their payroll when they added DeRo a couple weeks ago.

Glen W

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

DOB, I was thinking it might be more likely that we see frenchy play in this series because of the spacious outfield.

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

TnBrian

What? No faith, my man?

I’ll laugh hard if Lowe goes tomorrow and wins…4-2.

altho given that the offense is so spitter/spatter this year,……4 runs would be a stretch.

macdwolfpack

July 9th, 2009
4:24 pm

If Jeff Francoeur is in the lineup tonight in RF instead of Matt Diaz, I’ll try to find a creative way of asking Bobby Cox why.DOB

DOB, don’t ask him why, ask him what in the F is he smoking and is it the same stuff he smoked when he had Kelly Johnson starting in front of Prado?

Renegator

July 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

DOB:

What is your gut feeling on Norton? Do you think he will be DFA or will the Braves be willing to drop someone else to AAA to make room for him?

The Bird and Indian

July 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

You have to love the sarcasm to N8 the Great in DOB’s post. haha

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:26 pm

The Bird and Indian Ahh yes everything always goes back to Victorino! haha

Of course! He had 20 homers at the time of the “incident” in 344 AB–1 per 17.2 AB. Since then? 11 homers in 392 AB–1 per 35.64 AB.

:P

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

July 9th, 2009
4:27 pm

garlick

Well…as I said to Rob……ya don’t.,…again I say YOU DON’T sign someone during one off-season just to trade him in the next.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:28 pm

DAP geez…blag? oh well.

:lol: Don’t you hate it when that happens? And we can’t go back and edit like DOB

;)

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:28 pm

“”I bet Lowe doesnt give up a hit tonight!”"

This is like the double-whammy.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:29 pm

DOB New apartment. No more Lawrenceville.

Dangit…what’s wrong with Lawrenceville?

TnBrian

July 9th, 2009
4:29 pm

Frank, I have no faith in a guy throwing 85mph sinkers that don’t sink and sliders that AA hitters would crush. Was he not throwing changeups nipping the corners earlier in the year? What, does he think keeping hitters off balance is a bad thing? Hanson is gonna show the vet how it’s done tonight.

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:30 pm

Victorino was formerly a Juiceorino I’d bet.

Greg in TN

July 9th, 2009
4:30 pm

Afternoon lads and lasses…

Can this be the summer of umpiring discontent? Probably won’t get that far, however after a couple high profile incidents regarding Bill Hohn (including the ejection of BC, Chipper and Eric O’Flaherty against the Red Sox last month and a similar disagreement with several in Milwaukee) now we have an incident regarding #2 for Fort Knox The Bronx and a disputed call on an attempt to steal 3B against the Blue Jays. Apparently, from what Jeter has said, according to MLB umpire Marty Foster, all it takes to record an out in a steal attempt is to beat the runner to the bag, no tag necessary.

Granted, it’s difficult to be an arbiter in today’s sports world where ballparks have a generous number of HD television cameras trained on every pitch and every play, however I see a disturbing trend where this latest generation of umpires seem to have an aversion to even acknowledging an error on their part could even be possible. It happens, everyone is human, mistakes will happen. But to even attempt to suggest in that instance that Jeter misheard Foster (which is what is being spun from John Hirshbeck, the crew chief and former head of the WUA) in this sitaution is IMO troubling. Jeter is adamant in what he heard, and MLB now has to decide whether it fines/suspends him, or just lets it ride out, which is a tacit agreement that Jeter was indeed correct. Interesting to see how this plays out, eh denizens?

It was certainly nice to see the Braves take two of three in the house Keith Moreland built. Really pleased with KK’s six strong innings yesterday as well as the home run off of the bat of Kotchman. Would love to see the Braves improve on the series split with the Rocks in Atlanta in May, however they’ll have to beat either Cook or Marquis to get a series win. Colorado gets a taste of the Phenom tonight, and there are certainly hopes that Lowe is able to bounce back for tomorrow night’s start. But yeah, DOB, Coors Field is still not a ballpark to be in if you don’t have your sinker working for you.

Have to agree with Mark Bradley, it’s a cryin’ shame Jurrjens, Soriano or Vazquez isn’t on the All-Star roster for next week’s game (or any combination thereof). Certainly can make the argument Chipper should be there as well, but even moreso for two very important cogs in what has been an overall solid starting rotation as well as the man out of the pen who has been overpowering for much of the way leading into the break.

The Bird and Indian

July 9th, 2009
4:31 pm

McFann: Wow that’s a pretty serious decline. That dang Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:31 pm

Dangit…what’s wrong with Lawrenceville?

It’s not Buckhead.

CB

July 9th, 2009
4:31 pm

The Bird and Indian,DOB is not sarcastic,he is just very polite. :-)

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:31 pm

garlick…………Derek Lowe will turn it around. I’ve seen him go through stretches where he struggled both in Boston and Los Angeles, only to turn it around be be the clutch pitcher he is. He just needs to work out his mechanics and get his sinker sinking again. He will be fine.

Derek Lowe is healthy and an innings eater, something that the Braves SORELY lacked last year. I, for one, am thankful that the Braves signed him. Once Lowe gets back to his normal self, then you guys will be back on the Lowe bandwagon.

flange1

July 9th, 2009
4:32 pm

Another random question:

Is the new DBT live a CD and a DVD?

Rene, I know they said that, but when the chance comes for a guy like Halliday, they might find the money!!!

Lowe's not starting tonight

July 9th, 2009
4:33 pm

In case you can’t read!

Supes

July 9th, 2009
4:34 pm

Adam Dunn,

How does it feel now that the Nats GM has publically said that you are NOT going to be traded? Will you be enjoying the rest of your time in baseball purgatory or what?

Keith Law on 680thefan with John Kincade today in the 3 o’clock hour told it like it is. Braves have a very SLIM chance this season, but if we don’t trade any of our prospects, and instead maybe make a deal to acquire more top notch talent (let’s say we deal a Javy and Gonzo for top tier minor league talent), Braves will have the best minor league system in the NL East.

I’ve been saying we are “rebuilding” more or less until 2011, and Keith Law said the same thing.

Meanwhile, as much as the Phillies want Roy Halladay, Keith Law said that it probably won’t happen, but then you never know. It’s unlikely Roy wants to pitch half his games in a bandbox ballpark. Even if the Phillies do trade for him, they only get a “Mark Texiera” like return. He’ll hit the FA market after the 2010 season and be the highest (at that time) sought after pitcher.

DOB,

The Scowl and the Cobra? It’s a cautionary tale:)

Hanson better be on tonight. Braves don’t fare well against Aaron Cooke.

Paul Lentz,

Give me odds of Jeff in the lineup instead of Matty Diaz. (Waits for it, this should be fun!)

Robert (Chipper Is The Best)

July 9th, 2009
4:35 pm

I’m going to assume (hope) the reason Francouer is playing is to showcase him for a trade. Like DOB said the other day can’t con…errrrrrrr… convince another team to take a flyer on him if he’s on the bench

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:35 pm

Up until about a week ago, I was in favor of making a trade to improve our offensive woes. However with the emergence of Martin Prado playing second and Matt Diaz starting to heat up……..I feel that we MAY NOT NEED to make a trade.

1. With Omar Infante coming back after the All-Star Break, inserting him in right field would DRASTICALLY improve the offensive production from the right field position. While Infante will never be a 30 homer a year kind of guy…..he is a .300 hitter who can hit a lot of doubles. He doesnt strike out a lot and Bobby can use him to hit and run.

2. With Infante being inserted in right……..that would allow Bobby to stick with the Garret/Diaz platoon in left.

3. Moving Tim Hudson to the bullpen to pitch in short relief when he comes back (just for the rest of this year) would make the Braves short relief corps EVEN STRONGER. Tim Hudson has the mentality and stuff to pitch in short relief. Hudson could be used to get a 2 inning save on nights that Soriano and Gonzalez need to rest. That would allow the Braves to not worry about overworking Soriano and Gonzalez. Just imagine how POWERFUL the Braves bullpen would be if Soriano and Gonzalez could close out one game…….while Hudson comes in to close the next game? Or if Soriano and Gonzalez are coming off back to back appearances and the Braves need a 2 inning save, then they can turn to Tim Hudson?

There is no question that Tim Hudson is a better starter than Kawakami. However if Kawakami is sent to the bullpen, then he becomes virtually useless. He’ll end up pitching as much as Kris Medlen (because the Braves starters consistently go 6-7 innings every night). Having Hudson pitch in short relief would allow the Braves to get production from Kawakami while improving our short relief corps without having to make a trade.

If the Braves cant make the trade for a slugger to play right and bat clean-up……then why not make MAXIMUM use of the players that we do have? If Francoeur was benched, then that would allow Bobby to insert Infante in right, thus improving the offense. Late in games, Bobby could insert Francoeur in right while Infante moves over to left.

On days that Chipper need a rest, if a right hander is on the mound, Prado can move to 3rd while Conrad plays second. If a left hander is pitching, then Prado can play 3rd, Infante 2nd, and Francoeur can play right field on days that Chipper needs to rest. Diaz/Garret will play depending on the pitching match-up.

The point is that Infante and Prado being able to play multiple positions would give the Braves great flexibility. While this line-up will not hit a lot of homers, it can hit a lot of doubles for a decent average.

Crazy Trades McGee

July 9th, 2009
4:35 pm

IF the braves decide to trade anyone on the team right now, it definitely should be Vazquez. I’m not saying they should, because he has been their best, most consistent pitcher. In terms of trade value though, it’s hard to look past the fact that his value will never be higher as long as the braves own him. This would be a prime example of sell high. I believe the pitching can be mostly sustained with Huddy returning and the offseason this year if that doesn’t pan out. The braves could get some serious juice for vazquez right now because he is under control for a year and a half and because his contract is not outrageous.

Nate the GR8

July 9th, 2009
4:36 pm

Thanks DOB its good to get razzed on every once in a while. Made my day.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:36 pm

The Bird and Indian Wow that’s a pretty serious decline.

It sure is! Just dug that one up today. Kind of unsettling…

That dang Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Yeah, the little troublemaker! :x That’s only one of the reasons why I call him the Reaper…

Shamus Thacker It’s not Buckhead.

Ha…

Dr Hoo

July 9th, 2009
4:38 pm

I’m sure Francouer will start all 4 games in Coors for defensive purposes. Which is not too bad a reason, actually. Personally I’d like to see Diaz start all 4 games and sort of platoon GA and JF by playing one or the other each night and moving Diaz from LF to RF as needed and bringing in JF for defense late if he doesn’t start and we are leading. GA and Diaz together in the wide expanses may be a recipe for disaster on defense though…

18 Wheels of Love

July 9th, 2009
4:39 pm

flange1, yeah it is both a CD and a DVD. Picked mine up at the local record store (yes, they still exist, I too thought they had gone the way of the Dodo). It actually felt good to physically hold my music purchase for once. I plan to do that more often….plus I love the smell of incense, patchouli and old carpet.

Gonna blast it on the ride home but it sounded great so far.

P-Town Brave

July 9th, 2009
4:39 pm

Beekay-

If Kelly comes back in the 2nd half as the starting 2b, the Braves may as well get their offseason plans in order as of August 1st…

Also, DeJesus for Francoeur?! What exactly does that accomplish?! The one and only player I would be talking to the Royals about would be Mark Teahen…thats it!

Finally, does anyone really believe that at this point either the Braves or Marlins would really consider trading with each other, especially if it involves either team making the other better? I certainly do not! That being said, Mike Gonzalez should and would fetch more than just a Cody Ross..

I myself believe that Mike could be our most flexible trade chip in that we could very well lose him, get better by adding a bat for him, and not lose a step…I myself would like to see Medlen moved into that 8th inning role…even though he’s a rookie, I believe he’s got the stuff to get it done and get the ball to Sori.

How about sending Gonzo to Toronto for Alex Rios?

Paul Lentz-

And exactly what you said there is proof on why Bobby needs to go if he needs to DL a guy before he realizes just how bad he sucks!

The Bird and Indian

July 9th, 2009
4:41 pm

McFann: Not a bad nickname. :)

Paul: Woah! Where is this optimism coming from?

CharlieAlphaBravo

July 9th, 2009
4:41 pm

Yes, the new DBT is a CD and a DVD. Iit’s their recent performance on Austin City Limits.

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:41 pm

supes………..I hate to say it, but it is pretty much a given that Bobby will start Francoeur in right. I hope I’m wrong, however given the track record of Bobby’s past decisions, he wont bench Francoeur unless he is forced to (Francoueur getting injured, which sadly, never happens).

Robert (Chipper Is The Best)……..how many times do I need to say this: NO TEAM IS GOING TO TRADE FOR JEFF FRANCOEUR!!!!!!!!!!!…………….1. He SUCKS. 2. no team is going to trade for a player that they will have no choice but to non-tender in the off season. No team wants to face the prospect of having to pay Francoeur $5-6 mil through salary arbitration.

“Showcasing” him for a trade is a terrible strategy. Take his A$$ out of the line-up, use him as a late inning defensive replacement for the rest of the year………..and then non-tender his A$$ after the season is over with. That is the only LOGICAL course of action.

DAP

July 9th, 2009
4:42 pm

supesI’ve been saying we are “rebuilding” more or less until 2011, and Keith Law said the same thing.

youre both wrong. the actions of our GM this offseason dont communicate rebuilding to me. hoping to win in 2011? yes. rebuilding towards 2011? no.

if that was the case derek lowe does not get signed, kawakami doesnt get signed, chipper probably doesnt get extended, vazquez is not traded for.

HOF Committee

July 9th, 2009
4:42 pm

“Roll on highway, roll on along
Roll on daddy till you get back home
Roll on family, roll on crew
Roll on momma like I asked you to do
And roll on eighteen-wheeler roll on. ROLL ON!!!!”

Roll on Martin indeed!

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:42 pm

Hanson’s gonna get shelled tonight!

I need to go. Gotta stuff my Frenchy voodoo doll. There a jack-azz pasture right up the road.

NOT Wolf Blitzer

July 9th, 2009
4:43 pm

Paul, quick question, do you bloviate so whilst you play poker?

PWHjort

July 9th, 2009
4:43 pm

18 Wheels, Is it mostly new stuff? Old stuff? Both? (talking about the Live DBT record). By the way, I do like Patterson’s record.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:44 pm

The Bird and Indian

Thanks! Seemed to fit…

(Catchers’ masks save lives…)

TnBrian

July 9th, 2009
4:44 pm

Paul Lentz, whatever. Yeah, I’ve turned agaist Lowe some recently because he’s pitching like crap and is costing us games. Heck, his last few outings he didn’t give the team a chance to even think about coming back. I’m glad they got him too, but that doesn’t mean I’m a “bandwagon” type fan, it just means I can speak my dang mind when Mr.$15M man stinks. Call me what you want, but I know what kinda fan I am.

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:44 pm

The Bird and Indian………my optimism comes from the fact that not only is the NL East a flawed division……but also from the fact that the Braves can make some moves “internally” to improve the team.

However my skepticism is Bobby Cox’s willingness to make those moves.

cvbraves

July 9th, 2009
4:45 pm

DOB: If you ask Bobby why he’s starting Jeff (if in fact he is), he is probably not going to give you a straight answer so I’ll try. Jeff is much better defensively than Matt, better range, stronger arm so runners if they get early hits won’t get extra bases. And, midway or later in the game, if a crucial hitting situation arises, he can pinchhit Matt at that time….and he also has Matt on the bench to pinchhit in other situations as well (instead of Francouer). Not to mention, Francouer might get lucky hitting in an early inning of no consequence. It is also more difficult to trade a bench player than a starter. How’s that? I can already hear the bloggers screaming!

Nova Scotia Steve

July 9th, 2009
4:46 pm

DOB wouldn’t it be safe to say Soriano IS our closer?….I mean I have a man-crush on Gonzo.

But to be honest all my faith (in closing out ballgames) is now in the man known at The Scowl…And it should be the guy has been lights out.

I think the All-Star break is going to be great for Chipper, Gonzo and I think McCann may need it as well…but hey he’s our lone rep…So Go McCann…

oh and Francouer….Francouer….Francouer…

garlick

July 9th, 2009
4:46 pm

Paul Lentz, I don’t care if he does turn it around. At this point, we’re paying the guy $15MM per year for about a .500 pitcher who hasn’t pitched well away from home, and is getting surpassed as Ace on the staff by a rookie.

It’s going to be a cumbersome contract. I didn’t like it when it was signed, and I really don’t like it now.

He is what he is, and that’s not an Ace, yet he’s getting paid Ace money.

Oh well, I’ll cheer for him as much as the next Braves fan, and I hope he does prove me wrong. I’m just not convinced at this point in his career he’s going to turn out to be much more than what he is. An aging veteran arm that we overpaid for.

P-Town Brave

July 9th, 2009
4:47 pm

Paul Lentz-

After reading your #3 about Hudson, why not then try to trade Gonzo like I said to say a Toronto for a Rios, bat him in the 4 slot behind Chipper to protect him, allow him to run like he has in Toronto to utilize more speed on the basepaths and create more runs and give the team more power in RF and also utilize Omar better by keeping him in the utility role off the bench?

It would seem to be a better solution than to not really fix anything and stick Omar out in RF everyday.

I mean its a better option at this point than going with Francoeur, but with Huddy coming back, Medlen getting stronger out of the pen, and Gonzo being able to grab the team a decent bat, why not see if Toronto is willing to make that deal…maybe even throw in a Kelly Johnson (once off DL) or Francoeur himself to sweeten the pot…and yes, I know Rios’ contract gets pricey, but he seems worth it…then again, he’s represented by Paul Kinzer so who knows how the FO is feeling about that these days (ie the Furcal situation)

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

P-Town Brave,

The Blue Jays are selling, not buying, so the Gonzo-for-Rios proposal doesn’t add up. They don’t want a two-month rental IMO, unless Ricciardi is going all Billy Beane on us and plans to stockpile draft picks.

Teahen may be more valuable than DeJesus, but unless Dayton Moore is totally mesmerized by Francoeur, you’ll need to send the Royals something more than Francoeur to get Teahen. On the other hand, you might be able to get DeJesus for Francoeur straight up. And that deal would improve the Braves.

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

TnBrian……..I didnt say that Lowe has pitched well in the past month. I’m saying that even good pitchers go through rough stretches. I’m also saying that his track record has shown that he will rebound and eventually go on a roll.

Chipper and McCann go through rough stretches. Yet when they bust out of it, they can virtually carry a team. I’m just saying that overreacting to slumps is a waste of time. When Derek Lowe gets his sinker sinking again, then you’ll see him lead the charge to the play-offs.

Shamus Thacker

July 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

You could be right about Lowe, garlick.

hawpeless

July 9th, 2009
4:48 pm

hey has everyone forgotten that in the past 7 games with frenchy and whatever type of underwear he is wearing in the line up the braves have won?

monty

July 9th, 2009
4:49 pm

PAul Lentz

“Lowe will be fine”

At some point I’m sure he will, in the mean time his outings have overworked our pen and been sure losses because the team gets down by 5-6 before the 4th inning. How long do we keep saying he’ll be alright? The good thing for him is we have a boatload of money tied up in him so I suppose we’ll sink or swim with him. And ever patient BC is his coach instead of Lou Pinella. It’s a shame he isn’t performing well or other teams might be willing to take on his contract for a stretch run.

Chopdawg

July 9th, 2009
4:50 pm

cv…wait a minute…you mean baseball players have to play defense, too? They have to catch the ball? They have to throw it? Wow, I’ve been reading this blog so much, I didn’t realize that, thought it was all about hitting.

McFann :Ô:

July 9th, 2009
4:51 pm

Nova Scotia Steve I think the All-Star break is going to be great for Chipper, Gonzo and I think McCann may need it as well…but hey he’s our lone rep…So Go McCann…

I’m with you there.

Heath (Cleveland)

July 9th, 2009
4:51 pm

“Roll on highway, roll on along
Roll on daddy till you get back home
Roll on family, roll on crew
Roll on momma like I asked you to do
And roll on eighteen-wheeler roll on. ROLL ON!!!!”

Roll on Martin indeed!

Clever.

Paul Lentz

July 9th, 2009
4:52 pm

P-Town Brave……….I agree with Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)’s posting about the Jays not being interested in a 2 month rental. Sure, the Jays would be open to getting rid of Rio’s contract. I also feel that he is a decent power hitter. However, with Jason Heyward on the fast track to the Majors………I just dont see Frank Wren trading for a guy who is scheduled to make $14 in 2014.

Dawg '88

July 9th, 2009
4:53 pm

Dave,

How is Omar Infante coming along. Will he be ready soon? Of course, I assume after the All Star break but how long after the break?
Thanks in advance!

Rahul

July 9th, 2009
4:54 pm

Heyward was named #1 on Baseball America’s Top 25 midseason prospects. Freeman was 11.

TnBrian

July 9th, 2009
4:54 pm

Paul, I’m sure that as long as the guy has been around that he knows how to fix his mechanics or whatever it is that’s screwing him up. You know, like I said before, it’s not just his sinker, his slider/curveball is getting absolutely crushed too. The changeup seems to be non-existant right now and his control is awful. He’s got a ton of problems right now so it’ll probably take awhile before it gets straightend out… at least I would think.

Eric from MO

July 9th, 2009
4:54 pm

For anyone who is complaining Soriano isnt in St Louis next week, Im thrilled! He has been overworked and he could use the 3 days off for the playoff push.

K_Chub

July 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

You just know the Braves are going to lose 3-1 or something like that tonight. Aaron Cook owns the Braves and our pathetic offense won’t muster up any support for Hanson. It’s just gonna be another one of those maddeningly frustrating nights where we should win, but because of our inept offense we will come up short. I hate to sound so cynical, but I know how this game will play out before it’s even played. That being said I really hope I am wrong.

monty

July 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

For those saying get rid of Javy while his trade value is high. Do you realize what you are saying? Get rid of your best pitcher! Would you be happy if we traded McCann, after all he is our best young player and I’m sure his trade value is really sky high! Yeh, that makes sense.

Hillbilly

July 9th, 2009
4:57 pm

Speaking of Scowl…Jamey Johnson is a fine-looking young man, these days ain’t he? He’s rocking the David Allan Coe-1975 look…and kicking about the same amount of @$$ musically to boot. He’s awesome.

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