Braves need power to complement pitching

 

New York – We managed to make it out of Atlanta without a boat this morning, and I’m glad to inform you that we should actually be able to play baseball without a rain delay tonight.

Braves have had big bat only since July 31 trade

Braves have had big bat only since July 31 trade

Not that that’s going to do much for you good people back in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, who are dealing with incredible amounts or rain we had dumped on us for the past several days — and which was likely to continue for another couple of days, last I heard.

I’m fortunate to live on the high end of our hilly street, so the only real mess I had was some water in the basement, which thankfully has a bare concrete floor with a drain, so as long as it doesn’t get to the pool table there shouldn’t be any real damage. And we didn’t have nearly the flood problems in our area, by Emory and Toco Hills, that they had in the north and west suburbs and east of the city.

Anyway, good luck to all of you dealing with that ugliness. It’s bad stuff. My late grandmother had her house in Greenville, N.C., completely wiped out by a flood when the Tar River swelled to unprecedented levels about a decade ago – the house I grew up in, which grandma moved into after we moved to Memphis.

Now, on to a whole different sort of difficult situation and, yes, for fans, another sort of sad scenario. We speak of the Braves’ diminishing playoff chances, after they dropped two out of three in their soggy weekend series with the Phillies. They could barely afford to lose any games at all after that 0-5 stretch a couple weeks back, and losing a series, well, that obviously made the NL East an impossibility (the Braves needed to sweep Philly to really have a chance to track them down in the last two weeks of the season).

But it also turned their wild-card scenario into one where the Braves not only must basically run the table the rest of the way, but also have a Colorado collapse (and, oh yeah, also have San Francisco and Florida win a game or two fewer than the Braves the rest of the way).

For example, if the Braves went 11-2 the rest of the way, they’d finish 90-72. The Rockies could go 6-6 and still finish ahead of them at 91-71. The Rockies would have to play sub-.500 ball the rest of the way to finish behind the Braves if the Braves won only 11 of their remaining 13 games.

If you missed Emmys last night, Joan ... er, Mad Men won

If you missed Emmys last night, Joan ... er, Mad Men won

Hey, sure, it could happen. Stranger things, and all that. I mean, the Rockies were just in a skid like that a week ago. But that’s what it’ll take, just so you know (and I’m sure those of you still following this thing closely have probably already figured it out yourselves).

If the Braves go 12-1 in their remaining 13 games, the’d finish tied with the Rockies if the Rockies played .500 ball in their remaining 12 games. Then there’d have to be a one-game playoff (and again, I’m just ignoring San Francisco and Florida, both of which are also ahead of the Braves in the wild-card standings, but only by a game (Giants) and a half-game (Marlins).

If the Braves pulled off a most-improbable 12-1 run the rest of the way, or even 11-2, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they’d only have to worry about the Rockies, because I don’t think the Giants and Marlins would stay with Atlanta in that case.

Hey, this is probably the point where we should say again, these are really long odds the Braves now face. Extremely unlikely that they’re going to make it to the postseason.

But we’re just trying to give you an idea of what it would take for them to make it. That’s all.

Ten of their remaining 13 games are against the Mets and Nationals, including seven against the latter. So they’ve got that in their favor. But that’s about all the Braves have to recommend of their chances, at this point.

They needed to sweep the Phillies. They lost two out of three against them.

How high’s the water, mama?

♣ The pitching rises: Through it all, through team skids and surges, one thing has been unwavering with the Braves. Starting pitching.

Their starters now lead the majors with a 3.55 ERA, the way so many of those Braves rotations did during the run of 14 consecutive division titles.

San Francisco and Los Angeles are tied for second in the NL with 3.60 ERAs by their starters, and St. Louis (3.62) is fourth. In the AL, the only team with a starters’ ERA below 4.23 is Seattle (3.97).

Unfortunately, this Braves team differs from most of those Atlanta teams of the 14-year postseason streak in a couple of ways: They don’t have a bullpen that’s stayed reliable all season (they’ve been very good at times, but quite shaky at others), and, most importantly, the offense doesn’t have a couple of feared hitters who’ve put the team on their backs and carried it for long stretches.

Remember in the spring, when several Braves players and GM Frank Wren all talked about how this team didn’t have a 30-40 homer hitter, but had at least a handful of guys capable of hitting 15 to 25 homers?

Well, Brian McCann is the only one who’s hit 20 homers for the Braves, and Chipper Jones (16, only one in more than a month) and Yunel Escobar (14) are the only others from the projected handful of hitters who’ve come close to what the Braves projected they’d hit (and they expected more from Chipper, obviously).

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 Adam LaRoche has 25 homers this season, but only 12 of those have been with the Braves (in only 44 games). Between them, Martin Prado and Kelly Johnson have 18 homers – which is probably less than most of us expected from Johnson alone.

But he lost his job after a dismal stretch, and Jeff Francoeur (another of the group they believed could hit 20 or more homers) hit only five in 82 games before he was traded. Francoeur’s hit a lot better since going to the Mets, but still has only 12 homers.

Nate McLouth, had he stayed healthy, might have hit 15 or 20 after being traded to the Braves. He’s got a .269 average and 18 homers for the season, including a .276 average and nine homers in 71 games for the Braves.

The point I’m trying to make is that things didn’t work out as planned for the Braves, who believed that they could make up for not having a big bat (they pursued several this winter and fell short in each case, either deeming free agents too expensive or the price tag for trading for a Ryan Ludwick or others to be too high) by having a bunch of borderline power guys.

It didn’t work, and they scrambled to make moves to try to fill the void during the season.

The one move that worked out exactly as hoped was the trade for LaRoche, who has exceeded expectations, batting .356 with 12 homers, 33 RBI and a 1.066 OPS in 44 games since the trade-deadline deal.

If only they’d had him all season, what might it have meant for the lineup?

That’s why the Braves probably need to strongly consider doing what Chipper and others have suggested – make a strong bid to retain LaRoche, perhaps paying a little more per season in a two-year offer if you’re concerned about blocking Freddie Freeman, who might be ready in another year or so to move into the position.

A middle-payroll team like the Braves can’t really afford to block young players like Jason Heyward and, perhaps, Freeman, for an entire season or more after they’re ready to make an impact, not when such players will make less than $1 million in their first two seasons in the majors.

The Braves can retain a strong starting rotation for years to come if they spend wisely, allocating toward pitching – starters and perhaps a reliever or two – they money they’ll save by having young players at a few positions.

Braves can have strong rotation for years to come

Braves can have strong rotation for years to come

But if they don’t want to go three years with LaRoche for that reason, if they don’t want to gamble that they could trade him down the line when Freeman’s ready, then they might at least have to consider making a strong two-year offer for LaRoche.

He’s indicated he can’t afford to take a big hometown discount to stay with the Braves, but LaRoche has also made it clear he loves playing in Atlanta and the guys on the team. So I’m betting that, while he won’t take a lot less to stay here, he might take a little less, and would certainly take the Braves over most other teams if offers are more or less equal.

♣ They all have big power guys: If you look around at the NL teams battling to make the playoffs, they all have at least a few guys with 25-30 homer power.

The Marlins have three guys with 22 or more homers (Ross, Ugga, Ramirez). The Rockies have three guys with 22 or more (Barmes, Tulowitziki, Stewart), and four others with at least 14 (they seem like what the Braves had hoped to be, in terms of multiple guys with 15-25 homer power).

The Phillies are absolutely loaded with power, and they lead the league in road homers as well as homers in their bandbox home park. They’re straight legit, in other words. They have a remarkable four hitters with 31 or more homers (Utley, Ibanez, Werth, Howard), and Rollins with 19.

The Cardinals have Ludwick with 20 and Pujols with 47, and adding Holliday gave them a trio of big sticks. Holliday has 13 homers in 52 games for them, and Rasmus also has 15 homers.

Even the pitching-centered Giants, with their pitcher-friendly ballpark, still have three guys with 15 or more homers (Rowand, Molina, Sandoval) paced by Sandoval’s 22.

Notice the two teams with the best starting pitching in that bunch, the Braves and Giants, are also two teams that could be left out of the postseason. Lack of pure power bats, they have in common along with stellar starting pitching.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ rivals from down Southern California, the Dodgers, are holding off the Rockies thanks in large part to a lineup that has four hitters with 17 or more homer (Blake, Ramirez, Kemp, Ethier), including 56 from the duo of Kemp and Ethier. They’d have three finish with 25 to 35 homers apiece if Manny hadn’t been suspended 50 games.

The point of all this: The Braves need to get a real power bat this winter, a 30-homer type guy. Or retain the one they have, LaRoche.

 Alright, gotta get over to the ballpark. Let’s turn it over to The Man to take us out. And here’s a video of him doing this classic.

johnny-cash-135-1

“FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING” by Johnny Cash

My mama always taught me that good things come from adversity if we put our faith in the Lord.

We couldn’t see much good in the flood waters when they

were causing us to have to leave home,

But when the water went down, we found that it had washed a load of rich black bottom dirt across our land. The following year we had the best cotton crop we’d ever had.

 

I remember hearing:

 

How high’s the water, mama?

Two feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, papa?

Two feet high and risin’

 

We can make it to the road in a homemade boat

That’s the only thing we got left that’ll float

It’s already over all the wheat and the oats,

Two feet high and risin’

 

How high’s the water, mama?

Three feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, papa?

Three feet high and risin’

 

Well, the hives are gone,

I’ve lost my bees

The chickens are sleepin’

In the willow trees

Cow’s in water up past her knees,

Three feet high and risin’

 

How high’s the water, mama?

Four feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, papa?

Four feet high and risin’

 

Hey, come look through the window pane,

The bus is comin’, gonna take us to the train

Looks like we’ll be blessed with a little more rain,

Four feet high and risin’

 

How high’s the water, mama?

Five feet high and risin’

How high’s the water, papa?

Five feet high and risin’

 

Well, the rails are washed out north of town

We gotta head for higher ground

We can’t come back till the water comes down,

Five feet high and risin’

 

Well, it’s five feet high and risin’

914 comments Add your comment

RHR

September 21st, 2009
3:17 pm

Primeiramente!

DAP

September 21st, 2009
3:21 pm

beekay, church makes $2.8mil this season, so i dont think the braves can keep him for under $3mil.

my idea is to get rid of kawakami, johnson and church, resign soriano, laroche, and bring in mike cameron.

i think it makes us a better team overall, and well within our financial ability.

Efrim

September 21st, 2009
3:28 pm

I think they need to retain Laroche AND add a power bat in the outfield, but that might not be in their budget.

18 Wheels of Love

September 21st, 2009
3:29 pm

Awesome reading, thanks!

DOB, check out the new Q-Tip….good stuff.

Mid Town Joe

September 21st, 2009
3:34 pm

salespro2

September 21st, 2009
3:38 pm

Enter your comments here
It would not surprise me at all if the Braves pull a “Hansen” next year with Hayworth. Start him in AAA next year ’til about June 1st, then, call him up. Providing though that he performs again next year like he did this year in the minors. Freeman probably needs at least 1 full year in AAA. That’s why think the Braves might offer Rochy only 1 year. I’d be surprised if it’s 2 years.

Efrim

September 21st, 2009
3:42 pm

Freeman may need to start the year at Double-A and prove that he can perform at that level. He didn’t really do that well there, which is understandable, considering he was 19 going on 20. Very young for Double-A.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
3:42 pm

7th? I’m awesome.

McFann :Ô:

September 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! Yeah, this rain is bad…we have a sinkhole-type thingy in our backyard that fills up like a small pond when it rains enough–and apparently last night it really overflowed ’cause a lot of the pea-pebbles that were under our deck washed out all over the yard. And from the looks of the grass this morning, I would guess that’s not the only part of our yard that “flooded”.

Yes, the Braves definitely need another power bat…to bat cleanup, of course. :)

On the bright side, BMac has an outside chance at 100 RBI–just needs 12 more! And if he keeps hittin’ the way he’s been hitting, well, doesn’t seem impossible!

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
3:44 pm

Crap, I was 8th. I’m not awesome.

Chop Chop

September 21st, 2009
3:44 pm

I’d like to see the Braves pull a Hansen with Hayworth. I don’t know who those guys are, or what that even means, but it sounds like a winning strategy.

You all are Cox apologists

September 21st, 2009
3:45 pm

OF COURSE THEY NEED POWER!

Uh, DOB, that’s obvious. Great journalism and hard work!

Seriously though, the Braves need new management, new faces, and new leadership. The business-type approach is STALE and we need a NEW VOICE in the clubhouse.

YOUR AN IDIOT if you think Cox should return as manager of this team. PERIOD.

It’s BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that Cox has worn out his managerial welcome in Atlanta. WREN, if by any small chanCe you’re reading this blog, please do me and thousands of other Braves fans a favor and NOT allow Cox to return. He’s killing us.

Cox=heartless, gutless baseball.

JEB

September 21st, 2009
3:45 pm

Chipper WILL have a better year next year (too much pride not to!)
But, we’ve GOT to get a true #4 hitter behind him to protect him!

LaRoche needs to be retained, but he has flourished hitting lower in the order! He does not do well in the 4 hole. His stats bear that out!

DAP

September 21st, 2009
3:47 pm

efrimI think they need to retain Laroche AND add a power bat in the outfield, but that might not be in their budget.

i think they can do it if they make the right moves, including getting rid of a couple of guys who will be paid way to much for what they add to the team (johnson, church).

TnBrian(Vazquez ace 2010)

September 21st, 2009
3:51 pm

Just read what Bradley wrote and I’m blown away! The Braves have outscored their opponents by 74 runs and won 79 games while the Fish have outscored their’s by 7 and have 80 wins? Anybody else feel like no team can possibly have that bad of luck and maybe it’s the freakin manager? Holy sh**, if Cox doesn’t retire then he’s not only stubborn, but selfish.

And a big NO to Pendelton… too much influence from Bobby the last few years can’t be a good thing.

curtis jones

September 21st, 2009
3:51 pm

This should be Frank Wren’s shopping list:

1. A new manager.

2. A leadoff guy with speed, who can reach base, steal, and play good defense in the OF.

3. A true cleanup hitter to play 1B..hopefully better than LaRoche.

4. A reliable closer.

5. A defensive upgrade in RF…I’m thinking Jason Heyward.

2010 lineup

1 Speed guy CF
2 Prado 2B
3 Escobar SS
4 Power guy 1B
5 McCann C
6 McLouth/Diaz LF
7 C Jones 3B
8 Heyward RF

"I am a Cox apologist"

September 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

WREN, if by any small chanCe you’re reading this blog

Even if WREN is reading the blog, I bet he SKIPS over posts with randOm capitAlization.

wren

September 21st, 2009
3:52 pm

i’m affraid prado won’t hit next year-just like kelly-
if we keep Laroche, we could deal KK for hermida, ryan ludwick, nick swisher. i think for dunn or fielder would take vazques or hudson.

TnBrian(Vazquez ace 2010)

September 21st, 2009
3:53 pm

“Hayworth”? Sounds like a name of a horse, Chop Chop.

David O'Brien

September 21st, 2009
3:55 pm

You Are All blah blah: No, I think we all agree it’s you doing the hard work. It’s not easy writing the same boring, obnoxious comment 12 times a day. Tip of the cap to you, sir.

Panties in a wad

September 21st, 2009
3:56 pm

DOB what’s a realistic timeline for Heyward and Freeman to be ready to start at the major league level? I wouldnt want either to have a Schaffer type experience up here. And did Schaffer get damaged beyond repair by his brutal experience here?

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
3:57 pm

2010 Braves

Chipper rebounds to hit 20-25
McCann doesn’t slump and hits 20-25
LaRoche gets a 2-year deal, hits 25-30
McClouth for a full season hits 15-20
Heyward shines as a rook with 15-20
Yunel continues his improvement, 15-20

That’s pretty reasonable, isn’t it?

salespro2

September 21st, 2009
3:59 pm

Sorry ’bout the Hayworth vs Heyward and Hansen vs Hanson. Honest screw-ups.

RHR

September 21st, 2009
3:59 pm

I’d like to see the Braves pull a Hansen with Hayworth.

I think they should trade them both for Grace Kelly. But they’d probably have to throw in Medlin and that’s just not gonna happen. Ren is and idiot.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:00 pm

Do we really want two years of first half Adam LaRoche though?

Mike

September 21st, 2009
4:01 pm

Javy Vazquez and Freddie Freeman for Prince Fielder. Milwaukee desperately needs an arm and has supposedly considered dealing Prince before. Prince and Javy are both under contract through next year with Prince scheduled to make $10.5 million – so it works within the context of the 2010 budget.

TnBrian(Vazquez ace 2010)

September 21st, 2009
4:03 pm

In Bobby’s defense… I’ve been a fan of his team since I was 10 years old and I will always respect him as a manager for what he brought to the Braves. Losing will make the average fan point straight to the manager, but it’s not always fair. I just feel too many times, this year especially, our team could be one of the best, but dumb or stubborn moves have cost us. I think it just deflates the guys there(pops the air out of the balloon).

Tomas

September 21st, 2009
4:04 pm

Sign Laroche to a three year deal worth 24 million with NO TRADE CLAUSE, and call up Jason Heyward to be the starting right fielder from the get go. The guy is ready, he really raked this year, and put up a show in spring training. He is definitely ready.

Trade Kawakami for some quality relievers. The Brewers need starting pitching, maybe a todd Coffey, and Mark Difelice for Kawakami deal. The Dodgers need a starter, maybe they’d be willing to trade George Sherrill or Ramon Troncoso for Kawakami.

otis

September 21st, 2009
4:04 pm

Enter your comments hereWhat about Milton Bradley now that he’s out in Chicago? Cheap with power for possibly Lowe. We save $13mil for bradly at $7mil.

TnBrian(Vazquez ace 2010)

September 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

Mike, why would you want that fat thug Fielder here over Vazquez when you can keep Javy and LaRoche? I wouldn’t think losing Javy AND LaRoche for fat boy with some pop in his bat will benefit the team.

Panties in a wad

September 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

“Trade Kawakami for some quality relievers”

I doubt we could. The market probably just isnt there even if the Braves ate a big part of his salary. The solution may be to put him in the bullpen as the setup guy if Gonzo leaves through free agency or long relief if MG stays.

dmack2027

September 21st, 2009
4:07 pm

Dave,

Why in the world would Bobby give Brian the day off yesterday. Given that LaRoche and Yunel were out of the lineup, Brian’s bat needed to be in there, especially when the rain delay removed Cliff Lee from the game.

The Braves needed to win that game, and needed more offense to accomplish that.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:08 pm

jeffrey d,

Yeah, I’ve been wondering the same. The only other option would be to get a sub-par first baseman for a year as a stop gap until Freeman gets here and that won’t do us any favors next year. Whether it be in the first half or second half, La Roche would still total 25-30. We would just be hoping that a solid two-year deal in Atlanta provides him with the stability and security he needs to possibly produce better in the first half. That’s just a hope and a prayer though.

beekay

September 21st, 2009
4:08 pm

Does anyone on this board think that Jordan Schafer will be our starting Centerfielder next year?

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:09 pm

DAP…I like your plan. How is Cameron’s defense these days? Has he lost a step, yet?

Ron in Mobile

September 21st, 2009
4:09 pm

DOB

I recomend that for a real men of genuis commercial.

Make it a Bud Light Mr composer of the repetitive douche bag blog comments. Day after day you scream to the world what an enourmous chum you are. We know your not afraid to use CAPS…cause thats just how you roll

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:11 pm

Also, Freeman’s no sure thing either. He struggled shortly after he got to AA. Plus he only hit like 8 HR this year.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:11 pm

I have never seen this much rain in my life. Wow

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:12 pm

beekay,

I hope that Jordan will be our starting CF. He would be our speedy lead-off guy that we’ve been missing for quite some time. Its just hard to say that he will be when he’s had so many setbacks (suspension, sub-par play, injury, etc).

Tomas

September 21st, 2009
4:12 pm

I meant with no no trade clause. I shouldn’t worry about that, considering the Braves have a team policy of not giving those.

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:12 pm

What in the world makes you refer to Fielder as a thug?

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:13 pm

Cox=heartless, gutless baseball.

YAACA=brainless, clueless blogging.

Whether he’s right about Cox or not, LOL. Haven’t checked Bobby’s GORP recently.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:13 pm

lol @ Ron in Mobile

Brilliant

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:14 pm

What in the world makes you refer to Fielder as a thug?

Probably the whole “Where the F*** is Mota?! Imma knock down this door!” incident. Either that or he’s a racist.

Hillbilly

September 21st, 2009
4:16 pm

Passing on a 3-year deal for a potential 30 home run bat due to concerns over blocking a 20 year old who hasn’t mastered AA yet would be a huge mistake. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow, in this case. We’ve got a potentially dominant starting staff that needs some offensive support. LaRoche is not the end-all solution, but he is an easy piece of the puzzle. He’s not going to stick it to you as far as payroll is concerned and he wants to be here. We’re going into this offseason in dire need of some offensive firepower. There’s an easy one standing in his waiting-at-the-bus-stop stance right in front of you. Don’t let this one get away.

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:18 pm

Hmmm…I missed that incident. Sounds to me a little like that fire that people keep on talking about the Braves needing.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:19 pm

Vazquez and Freeman for Fielder is an interesting idea. What are the terms on Fielder’s current contract? It would be the arm for bat trade we need, keep salaries even, and provide us with a for sure young, talented first baseman, rather than a possible talented and young first baseman. We’d be kicking ourselves tho when Freeman is making 400k and ripping it up for the Brewers (see Andrus, Wainwright, etc).

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:20 pm

I wonder how much Hoffman costs this offseason?

O'Brien

September 21st, 2009
4:20 pm

Next year, the Braves have questions at 1B, 2B, LF and RF.

I hope they resign LaRoache, even if its for 3 years. Because if Freeman is ready, they can trade Adam at the trade deadline during the 2011 season. Wouldnt Adam be more attractive that way, because a team that trades for him would have him under contract for one and a half seasons.

At 2B, we still dont know if Prado is the full time solution, and KJ needs to go. In LF, is Diaz the full time starter? And who plays RF until Heyward is ready?

So many issues for Frank Wren this offseason, not to mention the fact that we have 6 starting pitchers, Soriano and Gonzales are free agents, and our bullpen is inconsistent. And (hopefully), we will be looking for a new manager.

CB

September 21st, 2009
4:25 pm

ncscoots, I called for a trade foe Carl Crawford this morning, I thought you would jump on the bandwagon since you like speed so much,lol.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:26 pm

At 2B, we still dont know if Prado is the full time solution

Uh-oh. Heading for the fallout shelter, LOL.

njbraves

September 21st, 2009
4:26 pm

I’m all for keeping LaRoche, but he is not the power bat we need. Adam seems to do better hitting down in the order. Braves need to find a way to get Holliday or Bay.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:27 pm

CB, oh, no, you didn’t?!? Next thing I know, you’ll be touting Chone Figgins and Ryan Freel, LOL. Dastardly, you are. :-)

glove51

September 21st, 2009
4:27 pm

What does Prado need to do to show he is “the full time solution”?

Mike

September 21st, 2009
4:27 pm

Fielder made a mistake and let his emotions get the better of him. But that doesn’t make him a thug. Wow, I hate that word.

LaRoche is completely fungible so losing him should not enter into the equation at all. He is a good player but guys like him at 1B are a dime a dozen.

The Braves are loaded with starters and should leverage that. Plus, Prince is only 25 so assuming they could resign him, they should get his best years.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:29 pm

What does Prado need to do to show he is “the full time solution”?

Show that he can be consistent over a full season

Roja

September 21st, 2009
4:32 pm

Don’t forget we could use a bullpen also except maybe for EOF and Petey. Look at the number of times this year when we have scored more runs than our starting pitcher has allowed but we lost the game. Look at the shutouts turned into losses… the times the bullpen turned big leads into save opportunities or losses. Unless our starters suddenly start getting 8 or 10 CGs a year or we pick up 3 or four guys that hit 30-40 dingers a year, our bullpen will still be our bigest liability in 2010.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried about the Perverbial Elephant in the Room

September 21st, 2009
4:32 pm

I think Soriano and Gonzo both walk…I’m a big fan of Gonzo but i’d rather have Soriano if we can keep him.

Try to trade Kawakami and if both relivers walk and minus G. Anderson that frees up close to $20 million.

I think we should try to re-work a three year-deal to keep Tim Hudson and sign LaRoche to a two year deal in the area of 7-7.5 million per season.

Hopefully we’ll have somewhere in the area of 7-9 million left to get someone who can hit us 20-25 homers in left field…then we’ll need a closer to address the bull-pen in a bad way.

I’m no GM and please don’t rip the hell out of me…I’m just thinking out loud.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:34 pm

Plus, Prince is only 25 so assuming they could resign him, they should get his best years.

Assuming he doesn’t have a heart attack at 26. Seriously, wouldn’t you be a little worried about his future health? Not just his cardio health, but his legs and joints, too. I’m not a big believer that baseball players have to be “athletes”, but Prince looks pretty bad, man.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:35 pm

1. Schafer CF
2. McClouth LF
3. Yuni SS
4. Fielder 1B
5. Chipper 3B
6. McCann C
7. Prado 2B
8. Heyward RF

Rotation:
Hanson
Hudson
Jurrjens
Kawakami
Lowe

Just an idea…

CB

September 21st, 2009
4:36 pm

scoots, yeah I was trying to set you up- kind of like when Lew is around and we are talking about Vazquez and Hudson. Just kidding,Lew. :-)

glove51

September 21st, 2009
4:36 pm

Prado has 400 AB’s, is hitting .298, with 10 homers and 30 doubles, and has respectable .345 OBP.

His career BA is .302 and OBP is .353 in almost 800 plate appearances, with a career OPS of .793, which is good for a 2B. He is not yet 26 and will develop a little more power I’d bet.

Efrim

September 21st, 2009
4:37 pm

Wouldn’t the Brewers want young players/prospects that are controllable for many years to come, rather than a free agent to be and one minor league player? I think the trade makes more sense for the Braves than it does the Brewers.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:38 pm

CB, speed wounds. Mashers kill. I’m for killing, LOL.

Is Lew around today? Trade Vazquez!

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:38 pm

Where’s all this Prince Fielder stuff coming from? Are the loonies taking over again?

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:39 pm

Efrim, the Brewers would get a good pitcher for a year and a prospect to replace what they’re losing. It may take another prospect to complete, but Javy and Freddie would be the bones of it. It’s just a thought.

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:40 pm

Looks like Cecil had a 20+ year career and family history is important with that kind of thing. As big as he is he still had a better UZR this year than LaRoche. I don’t know if that matters as much at 1B as I am still trying to understand these advanced stats. It isn’t as if he just lets himself go either. He has tried the whole vegetarian thing in order to control his weight. Personally, he was one of my favorite players to watch. I would love to see the big guy bopping homers for the Bravos.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:40 pm

jeffrey d,

Someone threw it out as a possible trade option. Just toying with the idea.

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:44 pm

However, Prince probably isn’t the best move for the Braves. You can’t afford to pass up on a prospect like Freeman and his low cost years. If the Braves are going to invest money in a position, it would make much more sense to throw it into a position where there are no obvious up and coming prospects.

cvbraves

September 21st, 2009
4:44 pm

Bobby Cox has done a great job this year, and I sure hope he comes back next year.

I am thankful for the job he and the Braves have done to be “still in the race” this late in the season…it has been awhile.

Sure would like to see them win most of the rest and at least make the wild card…but, nevertheless, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the season, look forward to the last 13 games this year, and look with anticipation toward 2010.

Good job, Braves, Cox, Wren and the whole Atlanta organization.

McFann :Ô:

September 21st, 2009
4:45 pm

Our backyard is flooded…got some good photos of it.

ncscoots

September 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

Danga, you could be right, re the family history thing. But, I don’t think his dad ever looked quite that loaded, did he? Though that could be my selective memory coming into play, too. I’m not trying to beat on Prince, BTW; I’d have the same reservations about any human carrying that kind of weight on that frame.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

LaRoche has exactly as many HR with the Braves than he had in half the games with the Pirates.

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

Was really trying to tell if this comment was for real or dripping with sarcasm. lol

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:46 pm

Cue long, strangely capitalized rants.

CB

September 21st, 2009
4:47 pm

cvbraves,you better duck. I see a grenade coming from No More Bobby.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:48 pm

Rally must be in heaven.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
4:48 pm

heaven on Earth….didn’t mean to imply that he was dead.

cvbraves

September 21st, 2009
4:51 pm

CB: cvbraves,you better duck. I see a grenade coming from No More Bobby.

It’s okay. There are quite a few of us on this blog that know a lot more about baseball than No More Bobby. He doesn’t have a clue!

CB

September 21st, 2009
4:53 pm

Efrim

September 21st, 2009
4:54 pm

Arizona Brave, if I am the Brewers, I am trying to net a haul like the Rangers did for Teixiera. They probably wouldn’t get it, since no team is willing to give up that type of haul in this day and age(other than the Braves….just kidding), but that’s the type of deal I’d expect them to go for. Similar to the situation the Padres are in. If they are dealing Gonzalez(and it doesn’t sound like they will), you need to get several young players/prospects back in the deal. I think the Brewers are farther away from contending than some think. It’s really not that good of a major league team, and their minor league system is quite bad too.

Danga

September 21st, 2009
4:58 pm

Was just looking at Prince’s contract. They better trade him. He is a year away from FA and a Boras client.

Daslied

September 21st, 2009
5:00 pm

I’d be fine with Prado full-time at 2B next year. But I’m not so quick to give up on Kelly. Yes, he’s been bad this year, but you don’t necessarily toss someone for that.

2007 (614 PA, age 26) – .795 OPS, 12 HR, 39 2B, 6 3B, 11 SB
2006 (608 PA, age 25) – .831 OPS, 16 HR, 26 2B, 10 3B, 9 SB

He’s heading into his prime years, so let’s not be so hasty. He’s not Francoeur. Yes, he’s streaky, but we’re talking about a likely 7th/8th spot second baseman, not a cleanup hitter.

RHR

September 21st, 2009
5:00 pm

Show that he can be consistent over a full season

Like Kelly!

Soph

September 21st, 2009
5:01 pm

Our backyard is flooded…got some good photos of it.

Me, too. This is not fun. Glad I didn’t have work today, I heard the interstates are a mess.

McFann :Ô:

September 21st, 2009
5:01 pm

jeffrey d Rally must be in heaven.

heaven on Earth….didn’t mean to imply that he was dead.

:lol: No prob…

Oh yeah, he loves the wet stuff! Matter of fact, I kinda like taking my socks off, putting on my Braves Crocs and hat and going out in the BIG puddles out back (my sister and I have gone out a couple times). My feet are freezing now, but I got some good photos–sis holds the umbrella for me. Totally fun, I gotta tell ya…

But that’s not to say I would like about a week of sun…and the rain last week killed my baby apple tree. :(

Daslied

September 21st, 2009
5:02 pm

Sorry, got the seasons wrong – that’s 2008/2007, lest I fall victim to the “that was 3 years ago!” comments. :)

Arizona Brave

September 21st, 2009
5:04 pm

Forget the Fielder talk. Don’t wanna deal with Boras.

glove51

September 21st, 2009
5:05 pm

I can’t see Kelly back in ATL next season. Not with Prado, Infante and Diory available. Kelly is not too great with the glove and the Braves have mutliple other options which are comparable to Kelly at his best (at bat).

McFann :Ô:

September 21st, 2009
5:05 pm

Soph

You’re flooded, too, eh? Wow…

Glad I didn’t have work today, I heard the interstates are a mess.

Yeah, it’s bad…we haven’t gone out at all today, either. Well, Dad went to work of course…he’s on his way home now. 8O

I mean, it’s got its moments as far as “fun” goes, but I could live without it…that thunder last night was LOUD!! Had the iPod in to try to block it out so I could fall asleep, but I can’t turn it up loud enough for that. Just glad no trees have fallen…um, so far…

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
5:06 pm

Hey now RHR…I never said I thought that Kelly should be counted on as our everyday 2B. I just root for the guy and hope that he’ll one day prove to be consistent. That’s looking less and less likely though.

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
5:07 pm

316 wasn’t bad this morning….I got off right before 85, though, and I heard that was nasty

jeffrey d

September 21st, 2009
5:09 pm

that thunder last night was LOUD!!

Wasn’t it?? It kept me up for about 2 hours. Drove the dog crazy too.

Daslied

September 21st, 2009
5:09 pm

Historically, KJ’s OPS is above .800 in every month except for June (.680) and August (.723). Outside of the two months, his lowest OPS is in July, at .801.

Prado’s is above .800 in every month except for May (.598!) and Sept/Oct (.661). Weird – he kills it in April, June and August, and is pretty good in July (.819), so his offense fluctuates month-to-month.

I smell a perfect monthly platoon!

O'Brien

September 21st, 2009
5:10 pm

Daslied

My issue with KJ is that he is very streaky. He can be hot for a while (as he was last Septemeber), and then he can be cold (like he has been most of this year). Given the Braves power issues, I dont think they can afford to rely on someone so streaky. But thats my opinion.

I also wonder if Prado can produce over a full season (he has struggled in August and Sept, although that might be due to his headaches and some family issues).

Soph

September 21st, 2009
5:10 pm

McFann -

Yup, a little flooding. The yard seems to be going underwater. I heard the thunder last night but I actually fell back asleep. Normally, I’d be wide-awake.

Daslied

September 21st, 2009
5:13 pm

glove51 – Prado and Johnson are pretty comparable offensively.

Infante, Hernandez, Conrad? Those guys are not even in the same hitting league. Infante’s a nice utility guy, and the other two are AAAA players.

cabravesfan

September 21st, 2009
5:13 pm

It really is amazing reading all of you talking about flooding and thunderstorms and California is in the middle of a serious drought with temps getting back close to 100 this week…hope you all stay safe!

CB

September 21st, 2009
5:16 pm

I would think Kelly could see that he would not be offered arbitration nor would any other team be willing to take him under those conditions. The Braves might offer him a salary in the 1.0 to 1.5mil range. I think he would be wise to accept.

Efrim

September 21st, 2009
5:17 pm

cabravesfan, how bout those Niners?

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