12:53 pm July 20, 2009, by Carroll Rogers
July 20th, 200910:27 pm
Gotta keep Vazquez! GOT TO! Trade a minor leaguer or two for a veteran bullpen arm to help out the rubber arms and call it done.
the real Andy
July 20th, 200910:29 pm
tommy could easily be 7-0 if the bullpen coulda held onto a couple of his leads. impressive young fellow
One could argue that the Braves would have to really be “Wowed” to make a trade for an OF right now. The team has scored 103 runs in the last 19 games. Only the Phils have been better.
Braves winning four of their first five after the break, that’s got to be putting a damper on the “joy” raison d’etre of a particular segment of our regulars….
July 20th, 200910:30 pm
Howsa bout JoJo, KJ, and Cody johnxon to Baltimore for G.Sherill ??? That do it for ya?
What’d the coach from Major League say? Something like…
“Alright boys, we won yesterday. If we win again today, it’s called ‘two in a row.’ If we win tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak.’ It’s happened before.”
El número seis es mi número preferido. Es el número del diablo.
The A Bomb
Bobby must be taking his Metamucil. . .
Prado has been the spark and it forced him to put Escobar in the free-swinging RBI position.
Think about it, McLouth went 0 for 17 and we survived it. . . why? Martin Prado!
We should still bring up Johnson as a vet backup/lefthanded bat off the bench — someone other than Ed (.115) Norton.
Steve from OH
I don’t see us trading for a bullpen arm because we’ll be able to move KK (or maybe even Hanson, if management wants to manage his innings or wants a true power arm in the pen, not a faux-power arm like Hudson) to the pen once Huddy is back.
This game could be a springboard for a great trip. The guys will be loose tomorrow; get that one and we could run the table on this bunch.
I’m having a Bilbo’s takeout in celebration.
Sherill would look really good in the pen
July 20th, 200910:31 pm
Steve from OH…………..Hank Aaron has 755 career homers. Do you sign him and put him in right field?
Point is, Kelly has regressed as a hitter. He looked totally lost at the plate this year. Dude is batting .214 this year. Demoting Conrad, who at least has proven that he can deliver a few clutch hits, would be a bad move.
As I said, Norton is going nowhere this year. He is Bobby’s boy. How hard is that for you to understand? Did you forget how he kept throwing Langerhans out there? How about old A$$ Julio Franco in his last season?
Smoltz pitched well through five, then got lit up in the 6th. conditioning, maybe? Just being 42 and pitching in that Texas heat catch up with him?
Still hate seeing him in another uniform, though.
KJ needs to be back on this team. He is one of the most popular guys in the clubhouse and one of the hardest workers and best team players.
He had over a thousand AB’s and 301 hits for a .282 average the last two years. Just because he had a bad month does not mean he’s through. And what was the reason he went on the DL? Was it a factor in his batting?
Martin Prado is playing great, but he is due for a correction. Just like when the stock market goes up for three or four days in a row, a correction occurs and it comes back down some. Martin hit .261 for his first 44 games this year and over .400 for the last 22. He is going to come back down some.
I not saying KJ needs to come back and start, but he is definitely better than a number of players up here. I despise how some of you people hate our players. They are our Braves, even if they don’t always play as good as we’d like.
The team has scored 103 runs in the last 19 games. Heath
Yeah but you know this offense. Remember our first series at Philly when we thought we’d have the next Murderer’s Row? That sure went down the crapper
Four out of five, Robert.
This donkey’s balls are made of brass, fool.
July 20th, 200910:32 pm
Hanson on Baseball Tonight!!!
Get me to the Church on time
July 20th, 200910:33 pm
Tommy Hanson on baseball tonight now !!!
I think it’s more likely that we’ll see Huddy in the ‘pen. He wont be in that rotation straight off of the DL.
July 20th, 200910:34 pm
Seis! Seis seis! El numero de la bestia!
Tokyo Bravo………….the ironic thing is, there are posters on here who want to show patience with Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, Jordan Schafer, Jeff Bennett, and Peter Moylan. Yet when Nate McLouth, Matt Diaz, Garrett Anderson, Kawakami and Derek Lowe struggle for a minute………these same “posters” want to throw them under the bus.
Unbelievable but not surprising.
Saw this on Bowman’s blog and thought it was interesting
Look at DOB making me look things up to be more cultured. But I guess one could argue that’s the raison d’etre of life.
BTW, Joe was talking about Bennett coming back in the context of Medlen being the only “long man.” His point (for good or for bad) was that Medlen might be better served to return to Gwinnett and to starting pitching.
Bennett had not been used as the long man/mop up man this year, but that seemed to be beside the point.
Even though it pains me to say this, with the Braves losing so much of their starting pitching depth, it might make sense to get Medlen back into a rotation so that he can fill in for an injury, should it occur. He is kind of wasted on the team right now.
I would actually rather see Medlen get more regular work (i.e. make him the seventh inning guy along with/instead of Moylan) and replace Acosta with Bennett in the “mop up”/”never gets into a close game role”.
July 20th, 200910:35 pm
Kelly had bad wrists based on the reports of shots given in both. That had to affect him. This is a guy who can hit lefties and righties.
That said, it has been such a breath of fresh air watching Conrad, Prado, and the rest of this team since he was DL’d.
“Dude is batting .214 this year.” (Paul Lentz)
Sure, just be superficial and look at his batting average and pass it off as analysis. His LD% is the exact same as it was in 2007 (when he raked), his IF/FB is down from his career numbers, his strikeouts are down, and his XBH/H ratio is up. The only thing that’s keeping Kelly Johnson from being a good player this year is luck. Expressed in his .237 BABIP (down from his career mark of .312), something he has no control over.
July 20th, 200910:36 pm
Tell ya who I’d love to see in the ‘pen… David Weathers… Could be had if the Reds completely fall out soon. Which is likely. Give ‘em JoJo straight up.
Hank Aaron is also not 27, and in the prime of his career. And saying that Norton is Bobby’s boy really isn’t a strong empirical argument in support of your case.
Sorry, if you’re gonna be a blowhard a-hole (especially like you were last night with some disgusting posts) you’re gonna be called out when you say stupid sh#t like this.
The Bird and Indian
Tokyo Bravo: Great post at 10:22
Shoulda got Meredith, damn the F.O. was asleep on that one!
July 20th, 200910:37 pm
That was a funny post about Unknown.
Not sure how anyone can be THAT reactionary about every little circumstance in the middle of a baseball game. And it is odd that he was a no-show when Chipper and Garrett hit their HRs.
But as soon as Nate loses that flyball, he’s back on again shouting about the end of the world.
Wonder what he’s like when he gets cut off in traffic? Or does he save that crazed, over-reacting, outraged persona just for this blog? Either way, that was an entertaining post.
Martin Prado is playing great, but he is due for a correction. — Keylargo
Dude, how long do you say that? I mean, sure, he might have a couple of bad games in a row, or a bad week. But you cited what he’s done in past 22 games. That’s basically what he’s done since becoming a lineup regular. He’s been terrific since getting a daily job.
But look back farther. Before tonight, Prado hit .329 (56-for-170) with a .387 OBP in his past 47 games. I mean, the guy can hit. Period. He’s got a .313 career average, .372 OBP and .457 slugging percentage in 599 plate appearances before tonight.
(He was at .324/.386/.498 in 234 PAs this season)
Due for a correction? To what, exactly?
July 20th, 200910:38 pm
Proud of the Team right now I am, these guys are finally dealin!
July 20th, 200910:39 pm
jeffrey d…………..do you remember the uproar back in January when the Braves decided to not re-sign Smoltz? This blog LIT UP with the “Frank Wren and Liberty are cheap” and “how could they disrespect a Braves legend like that” chants could be heard all the way where I live in San Francisco.
These same guys, you know, the ones who are always on the wrong side of the issue……..are always ripping me.
Does it SUCK to be wrong all the time? The Braves get rid of 3 easy outs, and there are those out there who want to bring one of them back, lol. How logical is that? Unreal, lol.
I don’t worry about McLouth, that guy is going to be Gravy!
July 20th, 200910:40 pm
Keylargo: By the way, Kelly Johnson’’s numbers in his career-best 2008 season: .287 avg., .349 OBP and .446 slugging percentage in 614 PAs.
Not only the stats, DOB, but just by watching this guy it appears he truly LOVES (Sorry Lentz) to play this game. Loose and a good teammate as well.
He may go down as the player who saved the Braves season.
July 20th, 200910:41 pm
Well boyz it appears that ol’ TP has got the boyz hitting pretty good after the break. I’m glad they finally started listening to him!!!!! Great Job TP!!!!!! Keep up the good work.
July 20th, 200910:43 pm
Terry Pendleton is the reason for the season, folks.
“Bank On It!”
I was kinda wondering bout the Prado “correction” thing myself. lol
Paul – I know what you mean. I couldn’t even read the blog anymore because it seemed like there was just so much ignorance (well….more than usual).
I think the more logical guys on here knew it was the best decision, but the whole blog was flooded with casual fans who didn’t see it as a smart move in the right direction (to not offer a ton of money to an aging pitcher coming off major arm surgery…no matter how long he’s been with the team) but rather as Frank Wren, leader of the Axis of Evil, emphatically giving Smoltz a wedgie and shoving him out the door.
July 20th, 200910:44 pm
The only reason Kelly Johnson is hitting .214 is bad luck?
Look, I think the guy is definitely a better hitter than he’s shown this season. But line-drive ratio or not, he looked LOST at the plate in the weeks before he was DL’d.
I think KL is referring to how he was hitting .400 for an extended stretch, saying that would go down. But I agree with the rest of your post, Dave. Career .300/.353 hitter in the minors, and what he’s doing is certainly in that range. BB% right in line with his career line. I admit I wasn’t sold on his power potential coming out of the minors and after his first two seasons here, but man, he really has made an impression and a believer out of me.
I DO expect KJ to be called up before the year is out…I do NOT expect him to replace Prado as the everyday 2B…if that is where Cox keeps Prado….(but it’s a long season…Prado COULD end up playing another position…quite often)
I kinda was thinking that we were done too. We have made 2 trades that right now look to be upgrades over what the others in that position were doing and while we did not trade KJ we did replace him with someone right now who is capable of giving us some steady offense.
July 20th, 200910:45 pm
keylargo…………….how “well liked a guy is” does not matter to me. What MATTERS to me is how well a player performs when he is wearing the Braves uniform.
I didnt say that Kelly Johnson should be released. I said keep him in Triple A for the rest of the season. I would even be ok with calling him up in September when the rosters are expanded. However, do not bring him up before August. Gambling that he has rebounded, when who we have right now are producing, would be a terrible mistake.
Now, I would be ok with bringing him up to replace Greg Norton (hell, I’d sign Ed Norton from his grave if I could, lol, just kidding). However, Norton is going nowhere because he is Bobby’s boy.
“Keylargo: By the way, Kelly Johnson’’s numbers in his career-best 2008 season: .287 avg., .349 OBP and .446 slugging percentage in 614 PAs.” (DOB)
Well, his OBP was .375 and his SLG% was .457 in 2007, so I’m going to have to disagree with the career-best label for his 2008 season. Though it was close and a very nice season.
Prado ain’t gonna be a career .313 hitter in the bigs. Chipper ain’t even a career .313 hitter.
I don’t think Prado has started enough games nor hit in the same spot in the batting for enough ABs at the major league level for anyone to know what his true ability is. What we’re seeing lately could be exactly who he is. Or, he could fizzle like Willie Harris did the year that he got the starting job.
I hope that “starter Prado hitting second” is the guy we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks, and carries on for the rest of the season.
July 20th, 200910:46 pm
Any chance the Braves make smaller moves? An arm to give the regular bullpen guys a little rest? Another bench guy to replace an ineffective Greg Norton? I know he’s still on the team because he’s a veteran and a switch hitter, but he’s pretty much an automatic out…
One thing I like about Prado is how much he expects to do well. He has a lot of confidence. I noticed tonight after that last fly out how upset he was with himself. Every time he misses a pitch he should have hit or swings at a ball he talks to himself and backs out to get settled and focus. His discipline and knowledge at the plate is overwhelming to me. He did go 0 for 4 tonight but he crushed one to left when Winn made the sliding grab, and he lined a hard one to second when Uribe made the jumping catch. So it’s not like he’s not looking good in the last few games, he just hasn’t found the holes. I have all the confidence in the world that Prado will keep performing well.
jeffrey d -
19 games is a pretty good sample size.
If Bobby Cox wasn’t so sturborn to let Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur work out their slumps, imagine what the Braves record could be ! A winning record ! But, leave it to good old patient Bobby to lose some games by his loyalty for these two players !!! This maybe Cox nail in the coffin for a contract for next year !! And he knows that !
July 20th, 200910:47 pm
I don’t really disagree with that. He did look lost for the two weeks. But I think that’s a confidence thing and not a “lost my swing” or “lost my athleticism” or “lost my baseball skill and ability” thing. And correctable. I think the KJ of 2007 and 2008 is still very much there.
Tokyo Bravo – Stop making excuses for John Smoltz. His record and era this year is what it is. The Red Sox gave him 4 months to get ready.
July 20th, 200910:48 pm
PWHjort…………batting .214 is overrated? Only if you can hit 40 homers and draw over 150 walks, lol. Kelly hitting 5 homers isnt going to cut it.
While next year can change things………..Kelly should stay in Triple A until September.
July 20th, 200910:49 pm
DOB – I was pointing out that Martin is playing great baseball, but it is not possible that he is going to continue at the pace he has set since being a starter. He is 5 for his last 23 (over 5 games). It does not mean he is going to be relegated to the bench, but he is not going to hit .400 like he has for the rest of the year. Nobody probably ever will.
The Braves now have the 3rd best run differential in the WC race…not a very popular stat, but the drastic chance in run differential over the last 19 games tells the story on why the Braves are finally starting to put together an extended period of winning baseball.
When did I use the word “overrated”?
July 20th, 200910:50 pm
No, but if Prado “corrects” to .280 or .290, for example –
Blauser. . . .262 career hitter. . . he batted in the 2 hole for years. . .
Prado has been impressive since he’s come to the big leagues and is making the most of his opportunity. Good for him. . . Great for the Braves!
July 20th, 200910:51 pm
I would rather bring up Barbaro again for pinch-hitting duties if Norton finally (mercifully) gets the boot.
PWHjort…………batting .214 is overrated?
Not sure where PWH said this, and in any case this doesn’t make sense. Perhaps he said batting average is overrated? Because that’s something he would say and it’s something that also is true.
Prado is an excellent hitter and is no fluke. Why do I say that? Lets look at some evidence.
He is a career .300 hitter in the minors and a career .300 hitter in the majors. He has no significant hole in his swing. He has quick hands to turn on inside stuff and crushes line drives on balls away. My last bit of evidence is this – Just watch him make corrections from at bat to at bat. As the league makes adjustments to him (and they will) he will make them as well.
Also don’t worry about his power. It is coming. Remember he is only 25 years old and will continue to get stronger until around 28 when most guys peak for power. I expect him to develop into 15 – 18 HR 75 RBI and a .300 AVE for years to come.
He is a legit.
July 20th, 200910:52 pm
Steve from OH…………look, I’m not saying that Norton being “Bobby’s boy” is right or logical. However, it is REALITY because Bobby Cox is the manager. Bobby wants Norton on the team. I’m not making the case of keeping Norton over Kelly. I’m EXPLAINING how Bobby thinks and feels. How hard is that for you to understand?
Sure, if Kelly was going to be called up, I’d be ok with Norton being released. However, Norton isnt going to be released. So bringing up Kelly, at the expense of demoting Conrad (who is contributing right now) would be a BIG MISTAKE.
Thanks Paul and Bird.
I simply can’t fathom the whole line of reasoning that constantly argues that KK needs to be sent to the bullpen at first opportunity, or that he’s really no better than a 5th starter. Why? Eliminating April, when one could reasonably expect any pitcher new to the Bigs to struggle, he has posted:
3.03ERA in May (2-3 record, the Braves scoring 4 runs in only one of his five starts)
3.33ERA in June (1-0 in 5 starts in which he surrendered 0,2,2,3 and 3 earned runs)
3.71ERA in July 1-1 so far, having given up 2,1,and 4 ER)
And yet there are those on this blog that refuse to call him by his name (the lame “kamikaze” being sooo much easier, and incredibly clever), that refuse to acknowledge that he’s kept us in the game just about every time out, and that seek to deal him or toss him from the rotation at the first opportunity. Sorry, that’s just not very smart baseball.
Dude’s a gamer. One would think all the denizens could respect that.
Now, back to my normally sunny disposition….
July 20th, 200910:54 pm
July 20th, 2009
Any chance the Braves make smaller moves? An arm to give the regular bullpen guys a little rest? Another bench guy to replace an ineffective Greg Norton? I know he’s still on the team because he’s a veteran and a switch hitter, but he’s pretty much an automatic out…
Too bad Jeff Conine is retired. I seem to remmeber trading for him a couple of times
July 20th, 200910:55 pm
I hope so. KJ seems like a good guy.
Though I would say he looked lost for longer than two weeks, in my opinion.
And his swing might be correctable. Hopefully he gets it squared away and becomes a reliable pinch hitter down the stretch.
I wasn’t there for the Cubs ceremony, obviously, but it’d be hard to be as moving as what the Braves did for Maddux Friday night, with the team on the field behind him and all.
It really was great. Plus, it was amazing seeing all the players and coaches standing on the field behind the podium. Even the Mets players were up on the rail watching the ceremony and clapping…at least until the “let’s beat the Mets” part, which was also great!
Conine was clutch.
David O’Brien……………I tried explaining the “correction” remark to keylargo. I said that it would make sense if Prado had been getting cheap hits during his hot streak….or……if Prado was struggling to get good swings during his recent 5 for 23 “slump”. However, the ball is still jumping off his bat. It just so happens that the ball is being hit right at the fielders.
Stats can explain a lot and make some good points. However they arent “everything”. Seeing how a person is swinging the bat is important as well. Prado is still swinging the bat well.
July 20th, 200910:56 pm
If it’s not logical, why are you basing your argument on it, Mr. Logic-and-Reason? Oh, and somehow, giving Conrad at-bats at Kelly’s expense doesn’t scream “lineup optimization” to me and doesn’t give me a really fuzzy feeling.
P.S.–EXPLAINING how Bobby thinks and feels is much different from arguing why exactly Kelly needs to be kept off the roster, since you very clearly have stated so earlier.
P.P.S.–Kelly-for-Conrad would not be a “big mistake.” The converse would be though.
If Escobar is traded, you gotta one-man boycott here… Shamus
Well, to keep up a Noah’s Ark theme, we can have a one-man, one-woman boycott…that’ll teach ‘em!
July 20th, 200910:58 pm
how “well liked a guy is” does not matter to me. What MATTERS to me is how well a player performs when he is wearing the Braves uniform. Paul Lentz
Paul, I think you have proved you don’t care how much a guy is liked, but to these guys, who basically live together from Feb to Oct, I bet it’s pretty important.
Despite the collar, Marteen hit ropes tonight. He is just what we need behind McLouth in the line-up. In front of Chipper, Mac, Yuni, GA, Diaz …
Damn, we have enough offense and pitching to make it to post-season. Unless he is offered a deal too good to be true, Wren should consider standing pat with this squad.
Can I be a part of that boycott? Or am I doomed to wallow amongst a sea of Hernandez fans?
Dang…talk about single-handedly winning a game.
I still love Kelly Johnson.
July 20th, 200910:59 pm
Also dont forget that Prado hit .320 last year in half a season. While Kelly had his break through season Martin had an OPS 40 points higher in the same saeason last year.
Or am I doomed to wallow amongst a sea of Hernandez fans?
Hmm…well, I guess so. You’ll have to round up the animals, though.
July 20th, 200911:00 pm
How you guys like the Smoltz non-signing now?
July 20th, 200911:01 pm
TPM- I’m not making excuses for anybody. See, question marks (?) generally indicate that one is musing, or, say questioning a matter. Hate that that seemed to throw you. Nonetheless, it’s perfectly legitimate to ask whether or not he simply ran out of gas in the 6th, without making it an “excuse”.
Geez, lighten up, guy. Go get a haircut, see a movie or somethin’ if it cheeses you off that bad.
July 20th, 200911:02 pm
It was not about did Frank Wren want to or not want to sign Smoltz. With only 40% of his rotation set Wren could not sign Smoltz for any significant money.
Have loved if for about 3 months now Frankie boy…
Rob from SC
July 20th, 200911:03 pm
The Bench should be
Frank Wren?! What are you doing here??
Me too….thought I was the only fan left.
Rob… you really think we should bring Johnson back up when he’s off the DL? Surprises me…
July 20th, 200911:04 pm
jeffrey d–you’re not alone!
Or maybe I should have let 63 year old Glavine come back instead of Hanson? Thoughts?
Man, I’ll be glad when Infante is back and Hernandez is gone. That would be getting max potential out of our roster, IMO.
July 20th, 200911:06 pm
I think it’s been at least 24 hours since I mentioned Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg.
He seems to have busted out of his slump. Now it’s time to move him to Rome.
July 20th, 200911:07 pm
RG–yep. Dump Diory and Norton for Omar and KJ. That’s a strong bench.
July 20th, 200911:08 pm
jeffrey d…………good post at 10:43pm. It was sickening to see how so called Braves fans ripped Frank Wren in January and February for not re-signing Smoltz and Mike Hampton. They ripped him for trading for Javier Vazquez (by the way, I havent heard much about that Flowers kids that was raking it in the fall league……..since the trade).
Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, David Ross, Garret Anderson……..all signed by Frank Wren in the off season. These were moves I supported, yet got ripped for. The very day that Nate McLouth was traded for and Tom Glavine released so Tommy Hanson could be called up………I came out and ARGUED with a number of posters who were BRUTAL in their criticism of the moves.
These critics were out in FULL FORCE when each of these moves were made. Yet now, not a peep, except to rip me.
When Garret Anderson was struggling, I said be patient. When I called him a “professional hitter who can turn on a fastball”, the critics tried to laugh me off the blog.
How about the talk about Prado and Diaz not being given a chance to start because they are only “utility’ players? I’ve been preaching about Diaz playing more right field for 2 months now. At the very least, he should play in right against left handers.
July 20th, 200911:09 pm
Agree on Infante Roman Gal… Heard he hasnt even started his rehab though.
I agree with Mr. O’Brien. Why is it that most on here find it so easy to bash the players. When SF scored how many people were running their mouths saying that the game was over and the sky was falling? The bravos are not perfect and I enjoy watching them play, good or bad. How sweet is it when things are rolling? I sure hope some of you don’t have children playing ball, I don’t think you will be able to handle the mistakes and disappointment. Wish some would be quiet on the blog like Escobar is with the reporters, when they feel things are not going right with the team.
Dump Diory and Norton for Omar and KJ. That’s a strong bench.
I like that idea, especially considering how well Kelly has done off the bench in his career.
Eric from MO
Paul sorry left when game was getting ready to start. Dont blog during games. Not sure what your talking about me loving Kelly. I said months ago to start Prado over him and before that I said to start Infante over him. All I said was he was better than Norton and Conrad wouldnt be dropped for him if Conrad was still doing well.
July 20th, 200911:10 pm
7-2 Pirates over the Brewers now in the bottom of the 6th. If this score holds up, the Braves will be 4 games back of the Rockies and in a three-way tie for 4th.
July 20th, 200911:11 pm
Amen Paul !!!!!!!
When I called him a “professional hitter who can turn on a fastball”, the critics tried to laugh me off the blog.
Maybe it’s because, despite coming on strong of late, he’s cost us runs with his bat and his glove up to this point.
Roman Gal, did that multi-named Dutch(?) dude on Danvile originate in Amsterdam? I just wonder if he has … say … an herbal approach to hitting Rookie League pitching?
Garret Jones hit another HR (8) for the Pirates
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