Deep ‘pen and Hudson impress Cox

Cox rocks the new batting-practice cap. Manager = tradition. Lid = not so much.

Cox rocks the new batting-practice cap. Manager = tradition. Lid = not. (Phil Skinner/AJC)

A few thoughts while making my way around the stack of boxes in front of Jason Heyward’s locker,  from shoe and equipment manufacturers who have either signed him up to wear their stuff, or would probably like to.

This really stands out because Heyward, the primo outfield prospect (who hasn’t arrived in camp yet), is situated in the side of the clubhouse that non-roster invitees are assigned. He’s assigned No.  71, between No. 70 Freddie Freeman and No. 72 Craig Kimbrel, who’s next to No. 73 Mike Minor. You get the pattern.

One gets the impression this kid's a pretty big deal

Yes, this kid Heyward is a pretty big deal (Getty Images)

Young non-roster invitees, no matter how famous, get linemen numbers in big-league spring training. But very rarely do they have equipment boxes stacked at their locker stall awaiting their arrival. I watched some of the other non-roster invitees checking out those boxes this morning, in awe.

Hey, it’s a gorgeous day here at Dark Star, the flags snapping in the breeze on a sunny, nearly 70-degree afternoon. Can’t get any nicer. The workout’s already over, and we’ll get you some updates in a second on that.

Cowboy Billy Wagner is out by the fence beyond left field, signing autographs for a few dozen fans seasoned enough to know that’s where you stand if you want to get the players as they head out to the players’ parking lot.

Tommy Hanson just joined him, now the two are side-by side, signing photos (I can see through my binocs from the pressbox that someone is holding out a big photo of Wagner in mid-delivery, in his Astros uniform). Wagner has on his cowboy hat, boots, etc., which I’ve quickly realized is his everyday attire….

Anyway, Tim Hudson was the focus of Bobby Cox’s postgame rave session. “He showed why he was an ace before, and will be an ace again,” the manager said.

Hudson impressed Cox in back-to-back throwing sessions Saturday-Sunday. (Phil Skinner/AJC)

Hudson impressed Cox in back-to-back throwing sessions Saturday-Sunday. (Phil Skinner/AJC)

But will he be the opening-day starter? We’ll probably have to wait a week or two to find out, since Cox usually likes to put off announcing his opening-day starter in case something happens that requires a switch.

If there’s any consideration of Jair Jurrjens getting that nod – I think it’ll be Hudson, but Jurrjens would be my secondary choice – then the Braves must wait to see if Jurrjens can resume throwing in a few days. Last week’s MRI of his sore shoulder was clean, but until he begins throwing again this week, we probably won’t know if Jurrjens will have to miss a Grapefruit League start.

Either way, he still should have plenty of time to get ready for opening day, since most pitchers (and all hitters) say spring training is longer than necessary anyway.

♦ Speaking of equipment manufacturers: Reebok has dropped a majority of the baseball players it sponsored, a sign of the times (bad economy). Among the Braves who got dropped by the company: Peter Moylan and Derek Lowe.

One they did not drop: Tommy Hanson (Big shocker, right?)

Lowe has switched to New Balance, which made its name in running shoes many years ago. The company is moving harder into baseball and has outfitted a few new players this season.

Oh, and for those wondering, Heyward is a Nike guy. You can bet they have big plans for him in the future. So do the Braves, you may have heard.

♣ Deep ‘pen: Ask 10 players or coaches what’s stood out so far in camp, and a majority will tell you it’s the power arms that have been assembled for the bullpen.

From newcomers Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito and Jesse Chavez, to incumbent sidearmer Moylan, rehabbing veteran Scott Proctor and prospects  Kimbrel and lefties Michael Dunn and Lee Hyde, the Braves have a bunch of dudes who can bring it.

Wagner surveys the back 40... er, anchors revamped Braves bullpen

Wagner surveys the back 40... er, anchors revamped Braves bullpen (Phil Skinner/AJC)

They’ve got a lot of bullpen hopefuls competing for jobs. “But not many spots,” Cox said, with a look that emphasized just how much competition there will be for possibly two, but probably just one, bullpen vacancy.

“We’ve got deep depth,” Braves president John Schuerholz said, smiling in amusement over that summary. J.S. was standing on the field when he said that, in the sun with a sweater vest on. He’s trying to get rid of a lingering cold.

“I’m trying to bake it out,” he said.

There’s no question about that improved bullpen depth.

“We’ve got more this year, we really do,” Cox said. “We’ve got quite a bit. Whoever makes [the team] is going to be strong. The good thing is, they all have options, so we’re not going to have that predicament.”

He was referring to minor-league options. In recent years, Blaine Boyer and Jeff Bennett were among Braves pitchers who came to camp out of minor-league options, meaning the Braves had to keep them on the 25-man roster or risk losing them to another team on a waiver claim if they tried to send them to Triple-A.

This year, the only player in camp who is out of options is outfielder Melky Cabrera. That’s it. Not Jo-Jo Reyes or Manny Acosta. (That neither of those guys was out of options surprised a couple of other players I mentioned that to. Like many of us, they had assumed Reyes and/or Acosta were out of options.)

So any decision about the final bullpen spots will be based purely on merit, not on whether the Braves need to keep a guy because he’s out of options.

♣ So who’s in? The bullpen is just about full already, barring injuries. Pencil in Wagner to close, Saito and Moylan for setup, returning lefty Eric O’Flaherty and middle reliever/spot starter Kris Medlen.

That’s five of seven spots filled. And most anyone you talk to says that Chavez will have one of the other two spots, or says something that indicates they believe that he will.

Cox on Chavez, after watching him throw in the bullpen Saturday: “Fastball in, great changeup. I didn’t know he had a great changeup like that. That’s a knockout pitch if he can throw like he did.

“I remember the time he pitched against us in Pittsburgh [last season], how hard he threw. But I didn’t know he had that kind of changeup, the way he threw it today. It looked like he’d been throwing it forever, the location and the break in it.

“But I remember how hard he threw. We couldn’t hit him.”

Derek Lowe and other Braves pitchers on a beautiful day at Dark Star (Phil Skinner/AJC)

Derek Lowe and others warm up on a nice day at Dark Star (Phil Skinner/AJC)

If Chavez is in, that could leave one spot up for grabs, and a lot of guys reaching for it including Dunn, who came from the Yankees in the Javier Vazquez trade; Manny Acosta, a still-young Braves returner who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations; and Kimbrel, a future closer with great stuff but occasional bouts of control problems.

There is Proctor, who will be counted upon once he’s healthy, which might be sooner than expected; journeyman Chris Resop, another power arm who’s had command issues; and assorted others including promising young lefties Jose Ortegano, who continued to impress in winter ball in Venezuela, and Hyde, a former Georgia Tech standout whose career was stalled by arm problems.

Dave Ross caught at least nine pitchers during batting practice Saturday on the first day of pitchers-and-catchers workouts, before the full squad workouts get underway Tuesday. The veteran catcher liked what he saw.

“I’m excited,” Ross said. “I was just joking with Roger [McDowell, pitching coach], I was like, you and Bobby are going to look down [to the bullpen] and go, ‘Who you wanna bring in?’ ‘I don’t know, pick one.’”

In other words, there are going to be multiple suitable options to use in most situations.

Perhaps this bullpen might have enough options that Cox doesn’t have to rely so heavily on just a trio of guys he can depend on, like he has in recent years.

Ross said, “I mean, Chavez looked real sharp today. Saito, I caught his pen, he looked real sharp. Peter Moylan’s obviously coming off a great year. And Eric O’Flaherty and the lefties we’ve got in this camp are ridiculous. [Lefties Mariano] Gomez and Dunn … there’s no weak links down there. A lot of power arms.

“I like power arms, guys who can run the ball up there.”

Like others in the organization, he believes Wagner and Saito will help set the tone in the bullpen. Kimbrel and others have talked about how much they look forward to picking Wagner’s brain, and GM Frank Wren and Cox have both noted how eager Wagner is to share his knowledge.

“That’s what I think the eighth and ninth inning presence of those two guys [Wagne and Saito] is going to be really strong,” Ross said, “for the power arms they have, and to show how to work, the mental capacity — and getting it done night in, night out.”

♣Alright, let’s get this main blog posted and get going on today’s news and notes. Feel free to comment on any of the briefer, generally newsy blogs that’ll be posted in the next couple of hours. I’ll drop in on those to see if any questions I can answer. But I’ll be on this one more throughout the day and night. We’re trying out this new format and working out the kinks.

Here’s a tune from the great Joe Ely. And no, it’s not what Lane Kiffin was singing as he slinked out of Tennessee.

Joe Ely

“TENNESSEE’S NOT THE STATE I’M IN” by Joe Ely

You might call it sad confusion

You might even call it off

But once you called me more than just your friend

Now there’s more to what I’m thinkin’

Than the Mississippi line

And Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

You call me up at midnight

To explain your whereabouts

I should’ve seen your love was coming to an end

And as you call from longer distances

I began to have my doubts

Still Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

No, Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

Satisfied is not the way I’ve been

I can feel my world turning

As I watch the bottle spin

Still Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

Well, I could stand out on that highway

Trying to make that Nashville scene

But I think I’ve stretched my luck a little thin

So I walk the streets of Memphis

But I’ll have you understand

That Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

No, Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

And down to earth is not the place I’ve been

I can feel my world turning

As I watch the bottle spin

Still Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

No, Tennessee’s not the state I’m in

1,067 comments Add your comment

sidslidkid

February 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

Sweet! New blogage!

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
1:56 pm

I like the hat, but it doesn’t look good on Bobby

nolie

February 21st, 2010
1:56 pm

New blog? We’re only on page 8???

nolie

February 21st, 2010
1:57 pm

does anything look good on Bobby anymore ?

sidslidkid

February 21st, 2010
2:02 pm

Good read DOB. Love all the photos. And I don’t hate the hat. I’m not going to go out and buy one, but it ain’t that bad.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

I think he looks pretty sharp with a cigar

CB

February 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

nolie,I don’t know, does anything look good on any of us oldtimers?

nolie

February 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

yeah, the hat is OK Sid.

uhwqhuauh

February 21st, 2010
2:08 pm

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
2:10 pm

David Ross is awesome. Definitely a great guy to have on the team.

CB

February 21st, 2010
2:11 pm

I may have to buy one of those hats,looks sharp.

Kentavo

February 21st, 2010
2:13 pm

Those dang hats – I’ll definitely have to buy one of those. Hope they have ‘em at hte Lids store here in durty Myrtle.

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
2:15 pm

It’s nice to have some good ole competition for some bullpen spots and not have to rely on Manny Acosta.

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

Good to have such great bullpen depth, in case Medlen needs to make a few starts or (God forbid) someone gets hurt or sucks. It’s an enviable position to be in, for sure.

Tennbravefan

February 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

Lane Kiffen can bite me!

toga party

February 21st, 2010
2:17 pm

Nice run-through of the bullpen situation DOB. That was a good read.

Sure is a pleasant change to not have to make bullpen decisions due to players being out of options. It’s much easier to go with the hot hands when you know you get to keep the rest of the guys down the road at Coolray.

TexasBrave

February 21st, 2010
2:18 pm

I still can’t help feeling that even if all 7 in the bullpen are outstanding that Bobby will still wear out three or four guys, thus causing the other three not to get many innings to stay sharp when really needed. I hope Bobby only brings in Wagner and Saito during real save situations. Of course another key is how long our starters go into games.

Cactus Jack

February 21st, 2010
2:19 pm

The two hot Danish Curling Sisters are on MSLSD right now! Yay!

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
2:20 pm

And a good point about the out-of-options thing. Like others have said, it’s nice to put the best 7 back there instead of the best 7 that are out of options.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

So Damon’s a Tiger, huh. I guess we won’t ever hear from him again. He just went into the land of obscurity.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

I’ve been saying it all Winter, this is the best 40 player roster the Braves have had in a decade. Wren has done his job well. It’s unfortunate that Heyward will take Blanco’s spot. Hopefully Gregor has a great Spring and we can get a little something for him.

yeah, baby!

February 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

DOB, any new news on the Edward Salcedo signing? Does it still look like a sure thing?

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

Is bloggage a word?

keylargo

February 21st, 2010
2:26 pm

One other thing about the Yunnel Escobar vs. Hanley Ramirez comparison. With Ramirez’s stats of:

42 doubles, 24 HR’s, 27 Stolen Bases and .342BA/.410OBP/.543SLG/.954OPS

he would have led (tied LaRoche for HR) the Braves in all categories. When is the last time a Brave led the team in all those categories? Further back than I want to research.

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
2:31 pm

thickfreakness–he’s really done a tremendous job with the pitching staff, which I think is the thing a team needs first and foremost to be successful. It’s come at a bit of an expense for the offense and some defense, but I think it will (hopefully) be resolved by adding Heyward, Schafer and Freeman to the lineup. The Troy Glaus signing might work out very well for us, but in the end he’s not the big offensive piece the team needed to go to premiere contender status. But that’s ok, as the team has a limited budget and when you invest so heavily in pitching, that’s gonna have to happen. I still think the offense is good enough, though. Unfortunately, I think we’re going to have to wait for Heyward, Schafer and Freeman to come up before the defense is an asset for the club. An outfield of McLouth-Schafer-Heyward ain’t gonna allow too much to hit the ground, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to watch those guys play.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:33 pm

Keylargo-
When I compared the two players, I was looking to this year. Hanley has had the benefit of hitting 3rd for 3 straight years. With the exception of 2-3 months last year, Escobar has been bounced around in the order. You’ll see what kind of numbers he produces while hitting the entire year at 6th. Last year, Escobar led both Leagues in batting avg with runners in scoring position (.415) Yes, he outhit Hanley with RISP.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:38 pm

Steve OH-
You are correct sir. Don’t worry about the offense, this is team that finished 2nd in runs scored the 2nd half of last season. This is a team that will truely double people to death. I know we hoped for that last year with KJ and Frenchy. But alas, the downside of their potential was realized. Fortunately, they now longer wear the uni.

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
2:39 pm

Offense will get us to the playoffs, but pitching will get us to the World Series.

Ralph Garr

February 21st, 2010
2:40 pm

The pitching staff looks solid but with no lead off hitter and too much riding on Glaus I think the biggest mistake was not resigning La Roche

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
2:40 pm

We just need one last solid year out of Chipper. I feel like if he performs like he can this year, we’ll be fine. Next year, Heyward will be closer to taking his mantle as the Braves’ no. 1 offensive threat, but this year we need Chipper.

Danga

February 21st, 2010
2:40 pm

I can’t wait to watch those guys play. -Steve from OH

Amen.

Frankie Knuckles

February 21st, 2010
2:42 pm

Glad to see spring training start. I will not be buying a hat.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
2:43 pm

I will not be buying a hat.

That’s exactly why we couldn’t afford Damon.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
2:44 pm

Dang it, Heath…do you see something that stands out about this image?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=frontpage&pollId=86536

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:46 pm

Steve OH-
I wouldn’t worry about Chipper. He will see twice as many hittable pitches this year than he did last year. He may only hit 20 dingers, but he’ll drive in 110. I guy like Chipper (great understanding and great situational hitter) doesn’t hit .365 one year and all of the sudden lose it. The order last year took a big toll on his approach and yes Glauss will make a huge difference as well as a very good #2 wether it be McLouth or Prado.

Andy K.

February 21st, 2010
2:48 pm

Hope everything is okay with Chipper physically and personally. He’s usually one of the first guys down there in Dark Star.

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
2:49 pm

I’m not worried about him either, thick.

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
2:49 pm

“We just need one last solid year out of Chipper. I feel like if he performs like he can this year, we’ll be fine. Next year, Heyward will be closer to taking his mantle as the Braves’ no. 1 offensive threat, but this year we need Chipper.”

Much agreed but I don’t think we can count on 100 Ribeyes from Chipper at this stage of his career. I’d be happy with an average closer to his overall career avg.and 25Hrs, and 85-90 Ribeyes

I can’t believe his B. Average dropped 100 points from 2008 to 2009

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
2:50 pm

“Greg Norton to become hitting instructor”

There’s so many jokes that come with that line it’s almost overwhelming, isn’t it?

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
2:52 pm

Agreed…

I not a fan of those S. Training hats at all, ! and that is leaguewide…I do not the side color alterations as well as the red out-line of The “A”

because of Marketing it won’t be long until every team in the League has a different cap for everyday of the week…

Frankie Knuckles

February 21st, 2010
2:52 pm

I’ll buy a hat and hopefully I’ll be buying a Heyward jersey, but it will not buy that hat.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:53 pm

Tomahawkin-
The guy drove in 100 eight straight years. Chipper is a tremendous situational hitter. He doesn’t have to go deep to drive in runs. Prado will hit 55 doubles this year and if there are men on 2nd and 3rd, no outs, Chipper will simply single because Glauss, McCann and Escobar will continue the barrage.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
2:55 pm

I don’t see why we’re making such a big fuss about these hats. They’ve been slightly altered to be a little more modern. Nothing major or anything. Some of you are talking like there’s unicorns on it.

Bill

February 21st, 2010
2:55 pm

Looking forward to seeing the bull pen pitch, sounds great! Also like the Cowboy, boots hat and all.

Weather here is great today, so I know its good in Fla. Time to get out the low rider and enjoy! Thanks for info DOB

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
2:55 pm

“When is the last time a Brave led the team in all those categories?”

Keylargo, uh, a Brave leads the Braves in all those categories each year, duh.

Andy K.

February 21st, 2010
2:56 pm

jeffrey d, agreed…I’m not really hung up on the hats…they are a bit different but nothing out of sync with they way MLB has been doing Spring gear the past few years…

Snotboogie

February 21st, 2010
2:57 pm

“Greg Norton to become hitting instructor”

There’s so many jokes that come with that line it’s almost overwhelming, isn’t it? – TnBrian </strong.

And add to it that his team's name is going to be "The Zephyrs". Appropriate for his swing and miss technique.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
2:57 pm

Is it against MLB regulation for Wagner to come out of the bullpen on a horse?

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
2:57 pm

I’m not getting too excited about the Pen as of yet. We still have to play the games. Afterall doesn’t it seem like every year the Bullpen we start the season only halfway resembles the sme bullpen we see in Late September? Same can be said for the lineup for the same matter…?

As The Late Skip Caray used to say “The season-long will tell that story”

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2010
2:58 pm

Is bloggage a word?

Sure it is. Didn’t you see how I just used it in a sentence thingy?

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
2:58 pm

This team will lead the League in runs scored in the 7th, 8th and 9th.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
2:59 pm

I wonder if Damon wishes he had taken the 2/$14 deal the Yanks offered early. Boras isn’t the genius here everyone is saying.

Snotboogie

February 21st, 2010
2:59 pm

“Greg Norton to become hitting instructor”

There’s so many jokes that come with that line it’s almost overwhelming, isn’t it? TnBrian

Add to it that his team’s name is going to be “The Zephyrs” – appropriate for his swing and miss technique.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
3:00 pm

I think that would bring up attendance at least a little

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
3:01 pm

Thick-Freak-Ness

My logic on what happened last year with Chipper is his Bat Slowed Down some, But agreed it seemed like everytime Chipper was hitting he had no ducks on the Pond in front of him. We need Nate-Dawg to walk more and cut down on his K’s

Then again I thought more pitchers were afraid to pitch to B-Macc rather than Chipper especially in the second half…

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:01 pm

Dan-
thingy ain’t no real world or I mean word.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:03 pm

Dan-
hopey, changey maybe, but not thingy.

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
3:04 pm

“Is it against MLB regulation for Wagner to come out of the bullpen on a horse?”

I’d rather they play the Dueling Banjos scene from Deliverance when he comes in, Now that would Rule!

Bill

February 21st, 2010
3:04 pm

Don’t like the hats either. Maybe Wagner can come out (of pen) on one of Chipper’s cutting horses, since he (Wagner) throws a good cutter.

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
3:05 pm

According to John Perrotto, the Braves project to have the 12th-highest payroll on opening day.

Poorbrave

February 21st, 2010
3:06 pm

SoWeGa..you know Damon is crying over turning down Yankees

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
3:07 pm

And then after he gets the save, he can hop back on the horse and it would carry him off into the clubhouse

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
3:07 pm

the Braves project to have the 12th-highest payroll on opening day.

Gosh, isn’t ownership terrible??!

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:08 pm

12th, that sucks, hang Malone, fire Wren – spend money you don’t have for phucks sake.

JoeMaMa

February 21st, 2010
3:08 pm

Dye would be way, way better than LOAF turned out to be but would fill the same role while Heyward and Schafer work their way into the lineup. LOAF was really bad. No more LOAF please.

[...] The latest notes from Braves [...]

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
3:10 pm

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:10 pm

“swing and miss technique” Snotboogie

There’s one joke down. Only 500,000 more to go!

Bill, Wagner throws a cutter? I really didn’t know that. I thought he threw fastball,slider and heard he’s been working in his changeup more.

Jerald Holcombe

February 21st, 2010
3:11 pm

DOB, we really appreciate the info you bring to us, especially this time of year. This could be a really good year, but there are a lot of ifs surrounding this team. Of course, they are no ifs in the starting rotation, unless it’s Derek Lowe. But even Lowe will get us double digit wins and Kawakami, with another year of major league ball under his belt, should show what he’s made of. Would’ve been nice to have a true leadoff hitter though, because McClouth strikes out way too much.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:14 pm

Some of you were talking about MLB The Show ‘10 coming out and if it’ll have Heyward and to repeat what some said … nope, a player who hasn’t played in MLB won’t be on the game. BUT, you can go to any player (has to be an unknown player) and edit him. You can make up any name you want,height,weight,number, skin color or whatever.

Yes, I’m a Play Station nerd.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:16 pm

David O’Brien

February 21st, 2010
2:58 pm
Is bloggage a word?

Sure it is. Didn’t you see how I just used it in a sentence thingy?

That’s where the “Dan” came from, DOB. Dude thought you were ole Dan Webster.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:16 pm

Wow, Howard only weighs 245. He sure carries it differently than Heyward or (Glauss at 250).

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:17 pm

SoWeGa-
I thought his name was changed to Dan and DOB was code.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:21 pm

“Last year didn’t go the way we wanted it to” Ryan Howard

They made it to the world series and he’s disappointed? Look, they’re getting WAY too arrogant up there in Philly and I think it’s time to give them a taste of the Braves we knew in the 90’s starting right now!

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
3:21 pm

Wow, Howard only weighs 245. He sure carries it differently than Heyward or (Glauss at 250).

DOB had a blog post about how those weights are almost always inaccurate. They usually update them when they first come into the league and do not revise them often.

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
3:23 pm

I’ was on the Phillies Forum, and It just struck me that the Phillies went to the World Series last year despite Rollins and King Cole Hamels having off years, Lidge being Garbage because of injury

Braves need to focuses on the Wild Card and Play the teams outside the division well, not to mention that we need to beat up on the Cellar Dwellers of league

And is anyone other than myself tired of the Unbalanced Schedule BS?

I like playing 18 games against the NY Mess and The Phils but I hate having that many games against the Nats and Marlins…

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
3:24 pm

They made it to the world series and he’s disappointed? Look, they’re getting WAY too arrogant up there in Philly

There’s nothing wrong with being disappointed. I’m sure they’re thankful that they were able to make it that far, but you can’t play 162 games, make it to the third and final round of the playoffs, and not be disappointed when you fall just short of claiming the top prize.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:24 pm

joe-
Either Glauss lost weight or Howard gained weight, not sure.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:27 pm

Andruw came in weighing 190, but they had to change that one. I still thnk he went over 250.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:29 pm

The Yankees simply executed the pitches against Howard. The guy struck out 186 times last year. He struck out 13 times in 23 at bats in last years WS. The guy pounds most pitches, but there are some he will never hit.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:29 pm

“Braves need to focuses on the Wild Card”

Not really. They need to focus on winning every game they play, and let things develop. Just win, baby.

jeffrey d

February 21st, 2010
3:32 pm

The guy pounds most pitches, but there are some he will never hit.

Not when we pitch to him.

thickfreakness

February 21st, 2010
3:34 pm

jeffrey d-
I know, we need to walk him.

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
3:35 pm

‘Not really. They need to focus on winning every game they play, and let things develop. Just win, baby.”

Co-Sign, The seriously need to avoid letting their guard down against teams like the Pirates and Reds. They had a really bad habit of playing down to the level of their competition last year….

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:35 pm

jeffrey d, I don’t care, it’s time for the Braves to regain their dominance and really give Howard and company something to be disappointed about.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:35 pm

Howard struck out over 1 in 3 times last year, and in the Series about one in 2. I would say he misses most pitches, but the ones he hits go a long, long way.

Steve from OH

February 21st, 2010
3:36 pm

I would say he misses most pitches, but the ones he hits go a long, long way.

Hey, you gotta go big or go home…

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:37 pm

Agreed, Thawkin. If the Braves beat the teams they were supposed to in 2009, they would have run away with the division.

jer

February 21st, 2010
3:37 pm

I think the Braves have too many oft-injured and/or old players (Chipper, Wagner, Saito, Glaus, Hinske, Hudson, Infante, McLouth, McCann (eyes)); in other words, too many ifs to have much of a chance of contending. Therefore, they should let Heyward develop at AAA rather than risk him being overwhelmed in the majors (remember Schaffer last year), especially since he has less than 200 at bats above the A level. Heyward will either not be ready and therefore would have been better off at AAA or even if he is ready, it is extremely unlikely he will be a difference maker in his year (even Rookies of the Year are hardly ever difference makers). If he is ready in June, he can be brought up then without possibly losing a year free of salary arbitration. Furthermore, he had back problems last year. I suspect that pitchers will try to be getting him to lunge at pitches. Although he is not a prototypical lunger (a la Andruw), he could further injure his back if he is overmatched. My son is a competitive swimmer and one of the other swimmers on the team grew so quickly (a la Heyward) that she had back problems. The coach insisted she swim everything but her parents instead took a doctor’s advice and refused. She went to another team that allowed her to avoid the most strenous events for the back for a year and now she competes in every event as on a university scholarship. I think Schaffer should also start at AAA since last year and brought up when he is ready since last year was a waste due to his being brought up early and being injured. I have been a Braves fan since 1959 and remember Hank Aaron saying when asked if he had ever since a player’s career wrecked because his development was not handled properly. His answer was that he had seen many players careers mishandled.

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:39 pm

Tomahawkin, the Braves simply can’t lay down against Fla. and Was., especially the Nats. Can’t complain about the schedule, just have to go out there and find some fire. Good having Wagner around to help fuel the machine some. Chipper is too busniess-like and a closed door type a guy. We obviously know why … he basically grew up around that business approach in the 90’s and that’s what he is.

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
3:40 pm

Opening day last year Lowe just pounded sinkers at Howard and he couldn’t hit them.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:42 pm

You know, this could be a so-so year, but it could be something magical, as well. Dream a minute: Chipper is Chipper of old, pitching performs as expected, Heyward displays all-star qualities out of the box, Glaus shifts his gold-glove defense to 1st and hits 40 dingers, McCann sees and hits as he can, McLouth puts up 2008 numbers, Esco matures another year. Man, this could be something to see.

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2010
3:43 pm

Bobby Cox was told Joe Torre announced he’ll retire after 2011 season. “See what I started,” Cox said, smiling between bites of a sandwich.

SoWeGa Fanatic

February 21st, 2010
3:44 pm

Dang, and then here comes 2011 and all that young talent! My glass is definitely half full!

David O'Brien

February 21st, 2010
3:44 pm

Jeffrey D, I like the idea of Wagner coming from the bullpen on a horse. Should do it with six-shooters blazing, too. Imagine how well that could have worked with the Astros in the old Astrodome….

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:45 pm

joerochester, yes he threw some sinkers in on Howard, but he also threw a few really good sliders/slurves down and in and it had the big man in knots.

Slider and slurve are pretty close to the same thing, right? I guess the slurve has more of a looping action to it than the slider.

Andrew in PA

February 21st, 2010
3:46 pm

TnBrian

February 21st, 2010
3:14 pm
Some of you were talking about MLB The Show ‘10 coming out and if it’ll have Heyward and to repeat what some said … nope, a player who hasn’t played in MLB won’t be on the game. BUT, you can go to any player (has to be an unknown player) and edit him. You can make up any name you want,height,weight,number, skin color or whatever.

Yes, I’m a Play Station nerd

What games do you got? You play online?

joerochester

February 21st, 2010
3:49 pm

I just said to a blind person by accident:

“Do you know which model you had your eye on?” Whoops..

Tomahawkin

February 21st, 2010
3:51 pm

SwGaFanatic

Troy Glass will NOT come Close to hitting 40 Homers, “Bank On It!”

1) There are No where near as play players hitting 40 homers as opposed to 10 years gao

2) He is off the HGH/Roids, Pencil him in for 22 to 26 homers and thats a big if because his is injury prone. Also he will probably make us miss Roachy’s Glove at first…

However, I like the optomism, but that’s reality since offense leaguewide is in decline

Andrew in PA

February 21st, 2010
3:53 pm

Jer, you cant play baseball worrying about injuries,if your gonna get hurt your gonna get hurt. To start Heyward in AAA so you dont risk him being overwhelmed,i dont understand your logic. Also to compare him to Schafer is a little much dont you think? I dont recall Schafer being on the same talent level as Heyward being voted the best prospect in baseball. Schafer was also hurt.

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