We got Marlins, We got Smoltz, We got Minor

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

 

   Hey I get called up from low Class A to the majors in a matter of 24 hours! OK, maybe not quite the same deal. But I spent the last two days in Rome, visiting some old friends from Macon who now work in Rome – always great to see – and getting to know first round pick Mike Minor. 

   I think you guys are going to like him. And I’ll get to that in a minute. But first off, I should set up the weekend series with the Florida Marlins in town. The Fish are tied with the Braves in second place in the NL East, 6 ½ games behind the Phillies, and one of several threats in the wildcard.

   The Marlins have been swinging some hot bats too. Until their 4-1 loss to the Astros last night, the Marlins had put up double-digit hits in 15 consecutive games. That’s the longest stretch since the St. Louis Browns had one of 15 games in 1937, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The major league record was 18 consecutive games, held by the 1922 St. Louis Browns and the 1925 Cleveland Indians.

   I love ol’ baseball stats on things like this. Doesn’t work in football, now does it?

   The Marlins went only 9-6 over that stretch of 15 games, despite raising their team batting average from .258 to .267, because of some poor pitching. In those 15 games, the Marlins’ ERA was 5.01.

   Just looking at starting pitchers’ ERAs for this series, you’d think the Braves have the advantage, plus the fact that they don’t have to face Josh Johnson.

   Anibal Sanchez (who’s coming off shoulder surgery) has a 5.55 ERA, Chris Volstad is at 4.61 ERA, Ricky Nolasco is 5.22 ERA. The only Braves starter in the series with an ERA anywhere close to that is Sunday’s starter Derek Lowe who’s now at 4.45 after the Tuesday night eight-run mess. This will be a big start for Lowe Sunday to try to regroup. No doubt about that.

 

SMOLTZ REDUX

   And this is how my ADD mind works, and I’m free to let it loose while freestylin on the blog. I was talking to John Smoltz the other day for a story about his signing with St. Louis and he told me he watched that Braves game Tuesday night and really felt for Lowe.

   “I saw myself in that one inning,” Smoltz said. “He didn’t pitch that bad but didn’t get one out.”

   Smoltz said he felt like he just needed a break, something to turn for him. He brought up his 1991 season.

   “When I was 2-11, my break was the All-Star break,” said Smoltz who went 2-11 with a 5.16 ERA before the All-Star break that year and 12-2 with a 2.63 ERA after the break. “I think I’m going to do the same thing now, just unfortunately with another club.”

   He was excited about joining the Cardinals, but he made a point to say how hard it was for him to turn down Fredi Gonzalez and the Marlins. From what I’ve read on our notes group, the Marlins were interested in Smoltz as a starter, which would have been right up his alley.

   But I have to wonder if part of the reason he chose the Cardinals over the Marlins was so he wouldn’t have to deal with the Braves quite so much. Smoltz is making his first start for the Cardinals on Sunday. If he’d done that with the Marlins, he would have been pitching against the Braves. He didn’t want that kind of pressure when he was first coming back with the Red Sox, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want it now. He needs to get his feet underneath him.

   He could still face the Braves when they travel to St. Louis on Sept. 11-13, but by then he might be in the bullpen. I think the Cardinals are planning on starting Smoltz two or three times and then might move him into a setup role.

   From what the talking heads said about his last game against the Yankees, I figured it was his slider that was off, not breaking like normal, and I asked Smoltz about that. He said no, his biggest problem was location on his fastball, which is still 92-94 mph.

   He said his splitter was not as effective but his slider was OK. He’s made an adjustment to correct the heel of his back foot coming off the rubber and thinks that will help with location on all his pitches.

   I think most all of us want to see him do well and not remember that long face we saw in the dugout at Yankee Stadium. That’s not the John we know.

   By the way, I thought it was very cute how many times Smoltz brought up his new wife Kathryn during our conservation. I had heard Smoltz was very much in love, like a high schooler about his bride, but it was fun to hear for myself. (This is how you might be able to tell DOB is not writing this blog, in case you haven’t figured that out by now. We have some warm fuzzies for the ladies.)

   Smoltz said his wife went with him to Georgia Tech for his second bullpen session and he wanted to stay out there long enough to get some things figured out. That wound up being about 150 pitches, including warm-ups. Or in his words, “long enough for my wife to get sunburned.”

 

MAS MINOR 

 

   Gosh, I’ve babbled on a ton, but I have a few things I want to say about left-hander Mike Minor, who looked impressive last night in Rome, facing six batters and retiring them all in his professional debut. He hit 91 mph on the gun with his fastball, about what he was touted to have, and threw first-pitch strikes to each of the six hitters when he hadn’t pitched in a game since June 1. We’d also heard about that control.

   He’s a smart kid and seems to take pitching very seriously, from all accounts. He’s been getting pitching lessons since he was 12, his dad told me, and seems to have a good understanding of how to attack hitters, that it’s not all about blowing fastballs by people, that it’s about upsetting timing and being able to locate pitches within the strike zone.

   He’s got some confidence to him, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing either. He was telling me about adding a curveball back to his repertoire last summer. He’d thrown one in high school but when he got to Vanderbilt they wanted him to throw a slider. Now he throws both. But I asked if he added that before he faced Cuba and beat them twice for the USA National Team and he said yes, about a week before.

   “I threw it a lot because it kept them off-balance,” Minor said. “I threw a lot of those and changeups because they’re a fastball hitting team. 1-0, 2-0 they’re hacking, swinging as hard as they can. Dump an easy curveball in there. They wouldn’t swing at it.”

   A couple of other things I didn’t have room for in my story and I just have to mention here: Minor, who grew up in Chapel Hill, Tenn (yes, named for a certain town in NC where some random university is located), population 1000, and played at a high school with about 80 in his graduating class. The competition wasn’t that great, but you have to appreciate this little stat: he gave up one earned run his entire senior season.

   But he lost in the state championship game his senior year after giving up something like two unearned runs. And the opposing pitcher was another guy named Drew Hayes, who ended up being his roommate at Vanderbilt after Hayes transferred in as a sophomore.

   “I didn’t talk to him for the first month because I was still bitter about it,” Minor said. “Then I finally gave in, and we ended up being like best friends. We still talk almost every day.”

   Minor is a naturally gifted athlete who played high school basketball as well. His dad told me he was always just trying to keep up with his older brothers. He’s one of seven kids. (Wow.) His dad told me Minor was on a skateboard at 18 months. Huh? I asked it again, and he said yes, 18 months.

   Anyway, Minor has got probably three more starts with Rome – and I doubt he’ll be back, so take him in when you can – and he’s going to the Arizona Fall League. So they’ll be plenty more to see and hear of him in the coming weeks.

 

SCHAFER UPDATE 

 

   I exchanged a few texts with Jordan Schafer this morning and he said his wrist is “good so far.” He got out of his cast last week and started swinging a bat on Monday. He was going to test his wrist swinging for a few days before he decided if it might still need surgery.

   He was to get out on the field today and take batting practice with Class AAA Gwinnett. Perhaps a September call-up is still in order. We shall see. More from the park this afternoon.

 

2,113 comments Add your comment

monty

August 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

I still say the Braves need a decent win streak. Sure we can gain ground steadily by winning 6 or 7 out of 10. But a winstreak of 7-8-9 in a row would surely catapult us up a couple of notches in the standings and intensify and energize the fan base that isn’t that intune right now. I think they have it in them, no time like the present.

Soph

August 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

Thanks for the new blog Carroll! I’m excited about Minor.

bravesgrl4life

August 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

thanks for the new blog, carrol. the old one was getting a bit tedious.

JSS

August 21st, 2009
12:30 pm

ESPN Insider ranked the Braves as having one of the 5 worst drafts of any team in baseball. They said Minor was a huge reach at 7. Is there a reason Atlanta took him instead of a player with more upside, like Tyler Maztek? Maztek only got $1.5M more to sign that Minor. Just seems like the Braves wasted their highest pick in recent memory on a potential 4 or 5 starter if the experts are to be believed. Minor didn’t even dominate college competition and I’d like to know what kind of upside the Braves see in him. This is the exerpt from the article about Atlanta:

The Bottom Five

5. Atlanta Braves
Mike Minor at No. 7 overall was a huge reach, and Atlanta — normally one of the strongest and shrewdest-drafting teams — went ultra-conservative; the Braves didn’t take a player under the age of 21 until the seventh round, and their second pick, David Hale, had lousy results in a bad conference the past two springs despite plus stuff. Atlanta, like the other four teams on this “worst” list, spent under $4 million in the top 10 rounds in a year in which the median figure was around $5 million, and after overpaying Minor, they didn’t give anyone more than Hale’s $405,000.

Tomahawkin

August 21st, 2009
12:33 pm

Braves Take 2 of three this series “Bank On It!”…And I have a strong feeling that D-Lo will rebound Sunday. If he struggles the blog will go crazy…

Some are speculating that this is a big series and that Tooner Field will be packed…

I’m calling for there to only be 30-32,000 tonight. Simply put the Marlins have no fan base outside the 305 and they are not a big market team

Other than the playoffs in 1997 the Marlins have never drawn big crowds to the Ted

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

August 21st, 2009
12:33 pm

Thanks for the blog, Carroll.

We’ll see if Steve from OH can contain his enthusiasm after reading this news about Schafer.

(I hope he’s well enough for a look-see in September. Kid deserves another shot this year — if healthy.)

timthebrave

August 21st, 2009
12:33 pm

Carroll, Have you heard anything about Escobar being hurt? He seemed to be grabbing the back of his thigh and limping a little near the end of the game last night

Nova Scotia Steve

August 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

RE: Body found on Chipper’s Ranch

Let’s hope Larry and Adam didn’t mistake the person for a duck.

Ernest

August 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

Looks like the first round pick had a great start. Let’s hope it continues and we see him in the big leagues in 2-3 years.

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

I didn’t have time to go back and check a history of posts, but it looks like the Hudson contract issue was a topic. As Tomahawkin was mentioning, it would be good to have Huddy in the pen in September, but I really don’t see that happening.

I see the Braves thinking that they will take his option and sign him, but I also see them wanting to see a few starts at the major league level before doing so.

My suggestion (hello Frank, you listening?) would be to put Derek Lowe into the bullpen and give Hudson a shot at starting. Lowe could always be ready in waiting for the first few starts Huddy gets.

I might be all wrong on this one, but the Braves would be foolish to let a potential 15-20 game winner go for nothing. Especially when the price tag is reasonable (12 mil is reasonable for 15+ wins per).

My two cents worth…..

Nova Scotia Steve

August 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

PS

I think we can sweep this series…

Tomahawkin

August 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

Monty

When was the last time the braves won more than than 5 in a row…?

The longest winning streak I saw by a braves team was when they won 15 in a row in 2000

And I think they had several 5 game winning streaks in 2003…

Efrim

August 21st, 2009
12:35 pm

I think the Braves get to have two players from their system fo to the AFL, so I am guessing it’s Minor and Heyward.

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:35 pm

Carroll

Thanks for the updates, especially on Minor and Schafer. Do you get any indication that if Schafer is pain free, he will get a callup in September. If he is healthy, I can’t see where it would hurt.

OptimisticInTexas

August 21st, 2009
12:35 pm

Schafer a call-up? And no Heyward? I know, I know…

OptimisticInTexas

August 21st, 2009
12:35 pm

Enter your comments here

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

August 21st, 2009
12:35 pm

JSS,

I’ve not seen other comparisons of team drafts, but a reason the Braves didn’t spend much could be money. I’d hate to think the club is shortchanging the system but the economy’s still far from healthy.

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:37 pm

timthebrave

We have quite a few guys gimping around lately: Chipper, Escobar, Loaf, Prado, Church and Soriano. Did I miss any?

OptimisticInTexas

August 21st, 2009
12:38 pm

Wayne, so you saying, with Hudson, that each win is worth about $1 million?

Tomahawkin

August 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

Wayne in UT

You think Huddy’s stuff is good enough to shut down opposing teams? Especially with the added pressure of the WC race?

Also if he does start he will on be a 5 inning pitcher and I would have to be sure that he will not pitch over 90-95 pitches if that…

I think If one of our starters was fatigued or had a nagging injury I’d put Huddy in the 5th spot, but since we have the Luxury of 6 starters already (I’m including Med’s because he can spot-start if need be) I want to see Huddy start in the Pen…

Carroll Rogers

August 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

JSS thanks for sharing that ESPN Insider info….I’d say let’s see how Minor does in the Arizona Fall League and going forward and let his work against competition we know and understand best tell us whether the Braves reached or not. I think they put a lot of emphasis on how he pitched against Cuba by the way, not just his college stats…

I know in talking to Rome manager Randy Ingle yesterday he said from what he saw in the bullpen Minor had “Electrifying stuff,” Ingle said. “His fastball jumps with movement. His changeup and slider are outstanding. With his stuff, from what I’ve seen in the pen, I can see why we picked him first.”

You know we’ll just have to see how it plays out. At this point aren’t we all a little surprised the 13 teams ahead of the Braves didn’t take Heyward? Did the experts recognize that at first?

abwright

August 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

Definitely some “girlie” stuff in the blog. Somewhat amusing.

I hope that Smoltzie gets it together, just not against the Braves. He seemed to rush back from a major surgery and start pitching in the heat of a pennant race. I suspect that he will finish this year with a non-contender, but he will have a full off-season to get truly ready for 2010. I think he still has 1-2 years as a starter in him, barring additional injuries.

Braves versus Fish … big series.

Pitching match-ups really favor the Braves. Marlins pitchers may (at last) be reaching the season where their lack of innings in the past finally catches up to them. If so, some tired arms should let the Braves get some good pitches to hit.

Hope Prado is ready to come back from his head-aches. That would be a shot in the arm for the Bravos. McLouth had been scuffling when he went out, so Gorecki/Infante – Church – Diaz doesn’t look like too much of a step down.

Carroll Rogers

August 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

Efrim i think it can be more than that. Why do you say two?

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

August 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

timthebrave, Wayne,

Looks like Sept. 1 can’t come soon enough. McLouth will be back around that time, plus you can call up Conrad, Valdez, Brandon Jones, maybe Schafer. Anybody I’m missing?

[Ducks.]

Tomahawkin

August 21st, 2009
12:42 pm

Wayne In UT

“My suggestion (hello Frank, you listening?) would be to put Derek Lowe into the bullpen and give Hudson a shot at starting. Lowe could always be ready in waiting for the first few starts Huddy gets.”

That may not be a bad Idea, especially if MFIKY is hurt more that people are led to believe…Lowe’s next 2 starts will determine that and might add better speculation

Now I see why you want Huddy to start…

abwright

August 21st, 2009
12:45 pm

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR) … 12:40 pm “…, plus you can call up Conrad, Valdez, Brandon Jones, maybe Schafer. Anybody I’m missing?

Hows about Diory Hernandez, Jo Jo Reyes, and Barbaro Canizares?

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
12:45 pm

I am unable to contain my enthusiasm about Schafer! (h/t Piedmont!)

Efrim–we’re required to send at least six players to the AFL, only one of which can be from A/A+ (according to the rules, they must be on the AA roster no later than Aug. 1 to be eligible). If you have one year of ML service time, you’re ineligible for the AFL.

So…Heyward, Freeman, Hicks, Jones, Ortegano, Minor? If we don’t send Minor, perhaps Rohrbough? I don’t really see anyone from AAA worth sending…

http://www.mlb.com/mlb/events/winterleagues/about/?league=afl&id=player_elig

HAL

August 21st, 2009
12:45 pm

scheafer only gets called up if there predicting an unusually warm sept. and the ted need air conditioning lol

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:46 pm

Tomahawkin

I agree that Huddy will need to be watched and his pitch count will need to be monitored. BUT, if he is anywhere near his old form, he is better than Lowe. He might suck for a few games, but the Braves will want to know how he looks before looking at his contract.

I don’t think the WC race will add any additional pressure on Hudson. He is a major league pitcher, who has felt pressure before.

Optimistic

Is that new math? 15 starts divided by 12 million is not 1 million per win. So this year, if he gets 2 wins, then it is about 5 million plus per win. I don’t think in those terms. Injuries can shoot that one all to heck.

Kawakami is on track to get a tad less than 1 million per win, but do we hold him responsible for all the times he pitched well and the offense sucks.

Fact is, you just don’t let a guy like Tim Hudson walk, unless you are certain he arm shot (aka Smoltz).

Gotta run…

abwright

August 21st, 2009
12:46 pm

And I forgot (how could I?) Ryan “Spangles” von Furstenburg.

DAP

August 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

JSS, i dont know a ton about the draft, but from what i understand, the braves liked minor because he has good control of his pitches, and isnt really far away from contributing.

yeah, probably a little conservative, since alot of early picks are super toolsy players, but i think the braves were going for more of a sure thing, even if its a little less upside.

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
12:49 pm

Maybe they’d send Diamond instead of Hicks or Jones…

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

August 21st, 2009
12:50 pm

abwright,

What about the 19-year-old kid. Right fielder, big guy, lots of potential. Why can’t I think of his name … ?

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
12:50 pm

Carroll–if I remeber correctly, a lot of people were really surprised Heyward lasted that long.

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:51 pm

Neil Diamond would be great in Arizona (Hot August nights could be come Hot November Nights)

Baba O'Riley

August 21st, 2009
12:52 pm

Carroll- Is Terry Morgan working with the Rome Braves? He was the eqpt. manager for the Macon Braves and I used to brink him gloves to re-lace. I also miss the old Macon Braves beatwriter and good friend J.J. Cooper. Macon Braves….those were the days.

Baba O'Riley

August 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

bring him gloves…not ‘brink”

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
12:53 pm

Baba O’Riley–JJ Cooper writes for Baseball America now, fwiw.

Wayne in Utah

August 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

September call-ups: Schafer, Valdez, Conrad, Reyes and Canizares. Keep Gorecki up too.

If Heyward were coming up this year, it would have happened when McLouth went down.

Baba O'Riley

August 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

Yeah, I know. Macon had no idea how good of a beatwriter we had.

Tomahawkin

August 21st, 2009
12:54 pm

Wayne In UT

“He might suck for a few games, but the Braves will want to know how he looks before looking at his contract.”

Good Point…It just sucks that the braves F.O. are gonna use a month of the season as a barometer to determine wheather or not to pick up Huddy’s option, but it is what it is…

KC

August 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Lew: Supes-It’s not a matter of whether or not Hudson will ever come back to what he once was, but when that might be. He’s only signed for this option year and if you go back and look at Smoltz’s return from his TJ surgery, he wasn’t effective until June and even then it was as closer.”

Doctors say it takes 18 months to fully recover from TJ surgery. Since Smotlz had his surgery in the spring, he didn’t hit that 18 month mark until the END of his first season back. Hudson will hit the 18-month mark in the spring before the season begins.

Greg in TN

August 21st, 2009
12:55 pm

Afternoon denizens…

And a tip of the cap to Carroll, blogging on in the stead of the Notorious One. Hated that I couldn’t catch Mike Minor’s debut last night, but will be in Rome tonight to see the farmhands take on Charleston before catching Phillip Wellman’s Mississippi bunch in Chattanooga. Got to show love to the kids on the farm when one can, right?

Pivotal series beginning tonight at 755 Hank Aaron drive folks. Braves cannot afford any backward steps from here on out and even at that point, would need some sweeps and a little help now and then.

Nothing like a little New York state of mind for Everybody’s Favorite Catcher. I particularly enjoyed the missiles hit off of Parnell and Santana well into the right field stands on both Wednesday and Thursday. He’s 6 for 19 over the last 5 with 3 homers and 6 RBIs and is one of the reasons (along with LaRoche, Church, et al) why the Braves haven’t sunk into the standings with the recent skid by Chipper. Also happy to see Ryan Church play well on his return to Flushing.

Time for the drive down 75 folks, will check back in later tonight after Rome v Charleston.

Chief

August 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

First? JEFF FRANCOUER HAS JUST BEEN TRADED!!

Baba O'Riley

August 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

Reid Gorecki’s defense should get him more PT in left field.

wjones

August 21st, 2009
12:57 pm

Maybe what the Braves were thinking about with Minor was to get a fast-tracked, low-risk lefty in the rotation, since they don’t have anyone (save Jo-Jo) who fits that bill now. Let’s see how that would work:

Pitches in Rome, then goes to the AFL.
Starts 2010, depending on AFL/ST performance, either in Myrtle or Miss. If Myrtle, gets callup to Miss upon a couple of months of good performance.
Starts 2011 with Gwinnett, barring ppp or injuries. If he succeeds there, maybe a call-up in September, or if needed, a mid-season call.
Possibly ready to start 2012 in rotation. Rotation would already include Hanson and JJ, probably. Possibly Medlen. Lowe’s contract would already be up, so would KK. Who knows IRT Hudson and/or Vazquez, but one would not be there, possibly both. But a good chance that he would be ready to step in at that point, at the age of 24-25, to the MLB rotation, if all goes well.

bravesgrl4life

August 21st, 2009
1:00 pm

Agreed Baba, I really liked him out there last night. Only flub was when he sent that ball sailing back towards home way high.

NYCbravesfan

August 21st, 2009
1:01 pm

7-2 in the next 3 series would prove our playoff potential and leave the braves in prime position

Andy K.

August 21st, 2009
1:02 pm

Remember everyone, that some September call-ups will be delayed if the Gwinnett Braves make the playoffs, as they will still need to have a full roster.

TnBrian

August 21st, 2009
1:06 pm

Weird, because I was thinking that Smoltz might turn down the Marlins because it might be too much having to face the Braves and apparantly that might be true. I think the man isn’t confident in himself maybe for the first time in his life. I wouldn’t have minded if we got him for the pen.

Fred

August 21st, 2009
1:06 pm

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR), I would add Clint Sammons to your list of September call-ups because they usually want a third catcher on the roster. I also imagine Buddy Carlyle is headed back to the majors.

Fish Bisch

August 21st, 2009
1:08 pm

Carroll Rogers

August 21st, 2009
1:08 pm

Steve from OH, Minor is definitely going to the AFL. Received his invitation and is going.

OptimisticInTexas

August 21st, 2009
1:08 pm

Wayne, I have never looked at it that way either… but, looks to be working out that way (the money)… but I just don’t know about Hudson.. Is he going to have it? As much as Vazquez? And will he consider staying long term? I know Vazquez will…

timthebrave

August 21st, 2009
1:10 pm

My thoughts on Minor. I saw him pitch in person against Uga. He did a great job of mixing up pitches. I saw some hits were on the outside corner where people can still hammer them with the metal bats but if it goes off the end of a wooden bat it wouldn’t go anywhere. I think he has a lot of potential and I am not willing to say it was a reach just cause a guy can’t throw 98mph

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
1:10 pm

Good stuff, Carroll. Thanks for the heads-up. That means that the other 5 (well, 3) guys will have to be from our AA or AAA teams. Any idea on who the others will be?

Carroll Rogers

August 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

Greg in TN, enjoy Rome. You get two-for-one tonight. Game was suspended in the fourth last night because of rain….

wjones

August 21st, 2009
1:15 pm

Add to call-up Clint Sammons. This would definitely be a big potential help to the team, IMHO, because it would allow Sammons to basically rot on the bench waiting for a catcher to get hurt, while Bobby could actually use Ross as a RH power bat off the bench. And of course McCann when Ross plays.

monty

August 21st, 2009
1:15 pm

Tomahawkin

My saying I think this team can win 7-8-9 in a row is certainly not based on their past experience. We certainly have the pitching to accomplish that and if Chipper can be Chipper and Prado can come back and play near what he has been, while not probable, is doable. It may have to come in our last 17 games of the season which to me if we’re only 2-3 games out at that point of either the division or the WC looks pretty promising. We get the Nationals and Mets alot in those games and the Rockies get the Dodgers and Giants alot in their final games and the Marlins and Phils get each other!

TnBrian

August 21st, 2009
1:17 pm

That Minor is from Chapel Hill,TN so I’m sure he has some redneck in him, somewhere. We did a job up there once and it’s definitely a very small town… I’ll just say some country folk around there.

Andy K.

August 21st, 2009
1:18 pm

It sounds like the Braves organization really likes Gorecki, judging from Bobby comments on him the other night.

Fish Bisch

August 21st, 2009
1:18 pm

From what I have heard in the local media, Smoltz turned down the Marlins because St. Louis was a better team.

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
1:19 pm

Ah, and I now see that the info was in both the blog and the very nice story you wrote on Minor (that I just now read). Nothing to see here people…

Jim

August 21st, 2009
1:19 pm

Sept. call ups will include Carlyle, Conrad and Canizares. The latter would provide a RH bat off the bench, and Conrad deserves the call for the contribution he made during his first appearance plus giving the team a switch-hitter off the bench. Jo Jo will probably also be called up to add another lefty to the pen. I doubt if Schafer will get the call since he has played so little this year and would have no role unless McLouth and Anderson are both unable to play by then. Bobby does not like to add a lot of warm bodies to the dugout unless there is a role that they might play.

PWHjort

August 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

Thanks for the blog, Carrol. It’s a good one.

Carroll Rogers

August 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

Steve from OH, i’m checking on that. will let you know if i get a response.

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
1:22 pm

Awesome, Carroll. I really appreciate it!

OptimisticInTexas

August 21st, 2009
1:22 pm

Wow! It feels good being this close to the playoffs! I can smell playoffs for the first time since we lost the 18-inning marathon in Houston… And everybody was high-fiving me… Oh, nevermind

Greg in TN

August 21st, 2009
1:22 pm

Carroll: Thanks Carroll! I am sure I will. A little extra baseball is always a good thing.

TnBrian

August 21st, 2009
1:23 pm

Greg in TN, when goes Miss. come to Chattanooga, or are you gone for the day? I guess I could check that game out since I’m pretty much right down the road.

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 21st, 2009
1:23 pm

Jim

I agree Conrad deserves to play up here he will prolly be coming. I think that Shafer if healthy will come to for some outfield depth. Im pretty sure McLouth is on the DL for a little while. I also wouldnt mind seeing Heyward up here and maybe Freeman for a week or two.

Fish Bisch

August 21st, 2009
1:24 pm

Miss Rogers, thanks for the stats on how hot our bats have been. The brave’s pitching is wearing down and becomming tired, while our hitters are just heating up. It’s going to be another magical season in Miami!

Cheese

August 21st, 2009
1:26 pm

As Vandy Alum, I pumped we got Minor…in terms of pitching he’s more of a Glavine and not overpowering but he was always more consistent than David Price. He’s got some great pitches and is already really good at keeping hitters off balance. I’d expect to see him at least in the bullpen next year sometime or maybe a fifth starter if the braves trade Vasquez and Don’t pick up Hudson’s Option

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
1:27 pm

Did anyone else see that Sheffield has demanded to be traded to the Marlins or released? I’m not sure if he understands how the trade process works after Aug. 1…

richbrave

August 21st, 2009
1:27 pm

I’m ready for some MARLIN fishing. GO BRAVES.

Cheese

August 21st, 2009
1:28 pm

I think we bring up Schafer even if for no other reason than he is extremely fast and would be excellent in pinch running situations

BOISESTATEBRONCO

August 21st, 2009
1:29 pm

Sweep the Fish!!

Efrim

August 21st, 2009
1:29 pm

Steve from OH and Carroll Rogers, not sure why I only thought two. For some reason I only thought we were able to send that many. Six sounds right though.

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 21st, 2009
1:29 pm

Cheese

I agree from what I have heard he has always had more control of his pitches that Price. I dont think he will be starting next year by any means. They cant trade their best pitcher this year. Vazquez could easly have 14 wins right now. As far as hudsons option if he pitches Im pretty sure they will pick it up. He helped this club through some rough times.

JSS

August 21st, 2009
1:29 pm

Carroll, thanks for replying to my post. It’s definitely encouraging to hear that the Rome manager was impressed with Minor’s “stuff”. I realize that the draft is an inexact science, with a lot of great players being drafted well after the first round. But with Atlanta picking 7 I was hoping they would go for a potential homerun and take a pitcher that the experts felt would have a higher upside. Guess we’ll have to sit back and judge Minor on his performance in the years ahead. Hopefully he proves people wrong.

As far as Heyward goes, I believe that the draft writers were surprised that he last until Atlanta’s 14th pick a few years ago. I’m excited to see what he can do once he makes it to the big leagues…

BOISESTATEBRONCO

August 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

What a great start by KK last night!!

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Steve from OH

No, but wow…

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

JSS

Maybe they took Minor at 7 because they knew he would be happy and sign. Wren prolly didnt wanna go through something like the Nats had to.

Frank Wren

August 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

GM of the year baby

jb

August 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Steve from OH and Carroll Rogers, not sure why I only thought two.

maybe because your’re an idiot?

Steve McP

August 21st, 2009
1:34 pm

Hey just realised that the Braves got a win when they scored 3 runs, breaks the hoodoo!

BOISESTATEBRONCO

August 21st, 2009
1:37 pm

Need a win tonight!!

Jeff R

August 21st, 2009
1:37 pm

Speed gets a pitcher only so far. Control is the name of the game. Greg Maddux never had much velocity, neither did Glavine. Both are going to Cooperstown.

If Minor has this sort of control already, then he’s many steps ahead of his competition.

bravesgrl4life

August 21st, 2009
1:40 pm

I see the Bi*ch is back from Florida. Go Braves, as I said last night, catch ‘em, filet ‘em, and fry them up in the pan. The pan, in this case, being Turner Field :)

Rock On......the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

August 21st, 2009
1:42 pm

Frank Wren is not going to roll the dice with Hudson and trade Vazquez. With Hudson (as with Glavine as with Smoltz) it is clearly not what you have done but what will you most likely be able to contribute. We know what Vazquez will give us in 2010 but regardless of how much Hudson will get to pitch (if any) this year I just can’t see the Braves picking up his option at 12 mil.

I do see the Braves trying to rework some contracts to assure we have the best rotation in baseball for 2010. I prefer that over any middle of teh order “big bat” that would be had in a Vazquez trade. It all is about pitching folks first and foremost. Why would you possibly trade a top NL starter that is relatively cheap and run a post TJ pitcher out there in his stead. Makes no sense whatsoever.

I say let Hudson go if a contract can’t be reworked and keep Vazquez.

RHR

August 21st, 2009
1:44 pm

Thanks Carroll, good stuff as always. Happy for Smoltzy and his new wife, hope he does well with STL.

Did anyone else see that Sheffield has demanded to be traded to the Marlins or released?

Really? Why? Whats he mad about?

Jeff321

August 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

So, did we hear the scoop yet on Chipper/Gonzo?

Escobar for Supreme Court

August 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

Rock On……the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

Mike Hampton, how many times did we stick with this injury prone player? To many. they like hudson, he has pitched well in his rehab I think they will renew take his option.

Steve from OH

August 21st, 2009
1:46 pm

He wants a contract extension, RHR, and he wants it now!

Somebody should really explain to him that they can’t just trade him to the Marlins…

Nova Scotia Steve

August 21st, 2009
1:52 pm

Have we started a “Let’s Sweep The Fish” Campaign yet???

Soph

August 21st, 2009
1:52 pm

Pschh, do the Marlins even want him?

Colin

August 21st, 2009
1:52 pm

As a freshman, Minor absolutely dominated at the college level. He and David Price were the best one-two starting duo in the nation, easily. His sophomore and junior years, one might say he was a victim of the recently banned composite bats that SEC teams were using to hit HRs at record paces. You won’t find a kid who knows how to pitch like him very often. Learning under one of the best pitching coaches in the world (Derek Johnson) has really turned him into a savvy kid. Look at his stats with team USA, something like 69 total innings and a 1.17 ERA or something absurd like that….went up against international competition using wood bats and he dominated. Expect him to really prove all these critics wrong. I thought the Braves front office knew a thing or two about pitching…..?

TnBrian

August 21st, 2009
1:53 pm

The thing about Sheffield to me is that he supposedly found God because of his new wife and that he was a changed man. Someone needs to explain to him that being selfish isn’t part of God’s plans.

Rob from SC

August 21st, 2009
1:54 pm

Is Heyward going to the AFL?

Rob from SC

August 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

From Rotoworld

Javier Vazquez indicated Thursday that he’d like to sign a long-term contract extension with the Braves.

Vazquez has pitched for five teams in seven years and is hoping he can finally settle down with his family in a single location. “I love it here,” Vazquez told AOL FanHouse. “It was always a place that I saw myself playing one day. It never happened until this year, but I’m happy it did.” The 33-year-old boasts a 2.99 ERA, .225 opponents’ batting average and 178 strikeouts in 162 1/3 innings this year. He’ll become a free agent after the 2010 season

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