1:53 pm February 21, 2010, by David O'Brien
Macon Braves (RIP)
February 22nd, 201010:48 am
I see Jeff Schultz wants Escobar back in the leadoff spot. Don’t really get that, since Escobar was really good last year down in the order and showed he can be a very good run producer there. I understand the Braves don’t have a prototypical leadoff guy, but I would rather have McLouth there. Mclouth is a run producer too, but at least he can steal a base while Escobar can’t (not to mention what a terrible baserunner Escobar is overall).
February 22nd, 201010:49 am
I like Armbar, could we designate him as the blog policeman?
O.J. has it dead on. That’s what I’ve been doing and it works everytime. Easiest way that I can see to circumvent the issue everybody has been having.
Every now and then that spot has a story in it and you have to search the main page for the “Braves blog” headline. But as soon as you find that, you’re home free.
February 22nd, 201010:50 am
And the comment about the fastball under the hands I said can many players hit that pitch and you and name too many player that can hit that pitch.
He say huh?
February 22nd, 201010:51 am
Well,at least until he gives me a hard time.
February 22nd, 201010:52 am
Agreed Macon Braves… Escobar is not a very good leadoff guy, other than his relatively high OBP. McClouth is definitely our best option on the roster.
February 22nd, 201010:53 am
So does anyone know… Does Heyward have a nickname? He screams of someone that needs a nickname…
I don’t know why we would put Escobar back up top. He’s starting to really develop as a run producer. IMO I’d leave him right there in the 6 hole were he can do the most damage.
February 22nd, 201010:54 am
That should read he couldn’t name too many players that could hit that pitch. I’m typing from my phone sue me lol!
jay All I’m saying is I would rather know how a player performs rather than know about his physique.
DOB is reporting his build, you post that youd rather hear about how he is hitting the ball. its easy to misunderstand in type, but it seemed kinda jerkish to me. day one of spring training at 10am, and your complaining about reports.
if you really cant stand the wait, youtube “jason heyward”. there are some videos of him swinging it up there.
February 22nd, 201010:57 am
Hank Aaron’s in the house. The Big Brave, the real Home Run Champion, is here — and so is Braves’ future, Jason Heyward.
Hank’s at the batting cage, watching pitcher and catchers hit against Derek Lowe right now. We’re going to get to talk to him a little later, so be sure he’ll get asked about Heyward.
February 22nd, 201011:01 am
All I’m saying is I would rather know how a player performs rather than know about his physique. — Jay
OK, well so far he’s “performed” well hitting in the batting cage beyond left field in early BP. He can’t hit on the field because full-squad workouts don’t start till tomorrow and only pitchers, catchers and players rehabbing injuries can be on the main field until then.
But he’s performed well, I guess, whacking balls into the netting. And on the Caravan. Performed well there. Other than that, only played four games in Fall League, so not anything else to report on performance since last fall.
Oh, and Jay, he performed well in his interview while ago.
February 22nd, 201011:03 am
Heyward nickname= Hey Hey Kid…
And no I’m not comparing him to Willie Mays……yet.
February 22nd, 201011:05 am
So does anyone know… Does Heyward have a nickname? He screams of someone that needs a nickname…
Please, for the love of God, don’t let “J-Hey” catch on. The obligatory “first initial plus first syllable of last name” method of nicknaming just sucks in general, but in this case it sounds like a boy band member. Make it stop.
18 Wheels of Love
“A Heyyyyyyyyyy bomb, from Heyyyyyyward.”
February 22nd, 201011:07 am
As much cereal as that guy eats we should call him Captain Crunch. I stole that from @fauxfrankwren
February 22nd, 201011:08 am
Don’t need the video I’ve seen him play in person several times before he gained all this new muscle.
Ha, Ha Funny! All you had to say is they have not actually began hitting yet.
Thanks for the performance review DOB. Can you tell us how his new Nikes are performing? How about his batting gloves?
18 wheels…. nice.
February 22nd, 201011:09 am
Hammerin’ Heyward? Um, no….
February 22nd, 201011:10 am
Seriously 6′6″ in cleats and 245?? Wow. And i liked the ‘grown man strength’ quote. I’ve heard Dave WIndfield use that expression before. Pretty fitting too. I like the Derek Lee comparison but Heyward is going to dwarf him soon.
“I don’t know why we would put Escobar back up top. He’s starting to really develop as a run producer. IMO I’d leave him right there in the 6 hole were he can do the most damage.” P’Cola
To me it’s a wash, and relative to what the 25 man roster consists of when discussing who should lead off for the Braves.
I’ve long been an advocate of Escobar in the leadoff spot. But I’m OK with McLouth being there. That was the one aspect of Damon that would have been nice. Having him bat leadoff, that is. I think ultimately, Diaz/Melky will produce the same raw numbers as Damon would at Turner Field. But his experience being a catalyst for a lineup would have been nice (but not at 8 million bucks).
You say Escobar is a good run producer, which he is (or at least growing into one). But that’s all relative to the guys ahead of him. It begs the age old question. Who’s more important? The guys knocking in the runs, or the guys getting on base enough for others to knock them in?
To me, Escobar’s value might be greater at the top of the order. A guy like Diaz or McLouth might hit more HR than Escobar and with guys on base ahead of them, could probably produce as many runs as Escobar could.
I’m of the belief that Esccobar is about to take off. So I’m fine with him down in the order. A deep batting order is a good thing. But look at Rafael Soriano in his prime. Dude could have had 130 RBI if the Nats or Cubs would have batted him 3rd or 4th. But he was those teams’ best option for leadoff as well to get things rolling.
Sure, McLouth is a better base stealer. But so what? It’s only 20 or so SB’s. With Escobar’s ability to hit doubles, he presumably wouldn’t have to steal as much and Bobby doesn’t like to run that much anyhow, so the SB possiblity is a non-factor to me.
I think my biggest reason for NOT wanting Escobar at the top of the order is him batting RH. Especially if Prado is the #2 hitter. I don’t want to “waste” two of the RH bats in the lineup at the top and than other than Glaus (and Diaz when he plays), have the meat of the rest of the order be LH. Nice to have Escobar around the 6 hole, breaking up those LH bats.
But given a couple more big boppers in the lineup, I think Escobar could easily be one of the better leadoff hitters in the game. I just think the way the lineup is currently constructed and given the tools Bobby has to work with, McLouth makes the most sense.
I also agree that Escobar would need to drastically improve his overall baserunning ability to flourish there (at the top).
An intriguing possiblity, is to have Melky and Diaz leadoff and utilyze McLouth’s power down in the order. I think Diaz could do it. Just not sure how excited I’d be seeing Melky at the top. I like continuity in the order. So the safe bet is to have McLouth leadoff and the Melky/Diaz platoon bat 8th, leaving Heyward in the 7 hole.
That leaves a very nice, balanced batting order with 15+ HR potential at every spot. If healthy, that lineup would surely produce enough runs to take advantage of the pitching that the Braves have. Philly or Yankee like in production? Nope. But good enough from my angle.
February 22nd, 201011:12 am
The only thing about ripped guys like that is the oblique strains that come from having nothing but muscles. Hmmmm…how did Hampton keep getting them?
“So does anyone know… Does Heyward have a nickname? He screams of someone that needs a nickname… ”
Until he actually steps on a big league field and produces, how about just unproven rookie?
February 22nd, 201011:13 am
Think we can check off “DOB responds sarcastically to a blogger” on our Spring Training Bingo cards…
Heyward should come out to ‘Brick House’.
Home of the Braves
February 22nd, 201011:15 am
We don’t need to worry about the nickname thing. Bobby’ll give him one.
February 22nd, 201011:17 am
N8, my opinion is that since a big part of escobar’s skill set is making contact and hitting for average, #2 is a good spot for him.
obviously, the high OBP wouldnt kill us at leadoff, but there are better spots for him, i think.
February 22nd, 201011:18 am
Anyone wonder what Bobby’s nickname for Heyward is going to be ? Jay ? Heyie ? I can’t think of a good one.
February 22nd, 201011:20 am
Escobar grounds into too many DPs to hit in the 2 hole.
February 22nd, 201011:21 am
All this Jason Heyward talk is getting me so excited for this season. It will be nice to finally have a really, really good hitting prospect. It has been a while.
February 22nd, 201011:22 am
I had posted something a few weeks back about Diaz/Melky combining to hit leadoff and if you look at there numbers they could be a good option. It is a relatively small sample size and the fact that neither will be in consistently leads me to believe this won’t happen.
I just now went and looked up Escobar stats and his leadoff numbers are shocking:
Leading off game
.411 /.427 /.616 /1.043
.309 .371 .428 .799
This is a 77 gm sample.
How ’bout “Ironhorse” for Jason Heyward. Since the Dude is obviously a horse. Also, a bit of a play off of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.
February 22nd, 201011:24 am
I have a novel idea! Let’s call him Jason!
February 22nd, 201011:25 am
How ’bout “The Swing”?
Maybe Chris Berman will come up with a clever nickname, then again….probably not.
February 22nd, 201011:26 am
Just a question to see what people think.
If you move Escobar to leadoff would you bat Mclouth 2nd to keep from using two of you RH bats in the top two spots. This would also keep your speed at the top. This would allow Prado to move back into the six hole while getting a high OBP guy in Escobar at the leadoff. Thoughts?
We don’t need to worry about the nickname thing. Bobby’ll give him one.
“Anyone wonder what Bobby’s nickname for Heyward is going to be ? Jay ? Heyie ? I can’t think of a good one.”
where is everybody? having all these different blogs is confusing
February 22nd, 201011:27 am
p cola brave I like it
I would imagine that Bobby would give out the nickname.
February 22nd, 201011:29 am
I cant believe the yanks signed chan ho park they like players like that like ching ming wang
How bout ‘Wardy’
You wouldnt have to worry bout Nate hitting into double plays, the guy only has about 25-30 his whold career.
February 22nd, 201011:31 am
DOB, I’m coming to spring training in a few weeks. Any BBQ and breakfast suggestions? Staying not too far from Dark Star. Thanks!
btw, we still have 4 spots left for the bloggage yahoo fantasy baseball league (version 3.0). Feel free to sign up if you’d like:
League ID#: 262382
February 22nd, 201011:32 am
Hey DOB: Any word on whether Dale Murphy (Murf) will be in camp this year as a guest instructor? He was at last yrs camp yes? I think Murf can be a great help to Heyward, particularly on outfield positioning.
February 22nd, 201011:33 am
nc mike: is it free?
I would think that nobody in our clubhouse would fit the bill of the #2 slot better than Prado. Classic #2 hitter.
We don’t have an obvious choice for leadoff and since Bobby doesn’t send many runners anymore (in terms of pure steals), you have to look for something different.
If I don’t have a prototypical leadoff guy, I want a guy that will get on base. If possible, I’d like a guy that sees a lot of pitches to start the game so he can see what the pitcher has, what he’s throwing, etc.
Looking at Matt Diaz’s splits, he still rakes when he has 1 strike on him. That’s the guy I’d like to see at the top of the order. A guy that will wait to look at a strike but can still hit despite not being ahead in the count.
Plus, if Matty D. is our leadoff hitter, it makes the trickle-down effect on our lineup that much deeper.
February 22nd, 201011:34 am
DOB….How about THE MIlK MAN..It’s he there…No mention of Melky and not Introduce by The Braves Media in the Off season….I know he is not the Big Star signed but he was with the Yankee and contribute to there Championship.
February 22nd, 201011:35 am
“nc mike: is it free?”
Yes, it’s totally free. Just need a yahoo id.
NOT RESPECT FOR THE MILK MAN
come play streak for the cash on espn the group is called Atlanta Braves
February 22nd, 201011:36 am
I like Hey Hey, sort of like the kid at Tech from my hometown, BeyBey….Hope that’s not a jinx as BeyBey just broke his foot….I have a hard time, even though he’s just 20, referred to Mr. Heyward as Kid in any form…It’s just what you call a 6-foot-6, 245-pound man
Dale Murphy, my favorite Brave of all-time. I still wear #3 in all my softball and basketball leagues. Still can’t believe he may never make it into the Hall of Fame.
February 22nd, 201011:37 am
Hey DOB, quick question, maybe you know or maybe its been answered and I didnt see it, but, did Glaus work with anyone over the winter to get acclimated at 1st base? Or is he going to try to figure it out during spring training? Please say its the first scenario as I would hate for him to try to learn a new position in only a few weeks.
February 22nd, 201011:39 am
With all the A-rods, K-Rods and V-Marts, I think J-Hey will stick.
Love the lyrics!
February 22nd, 201011:40 am
What about The H Bomb?
jay Escobar grounds into too many DPs to hit in the 2 hole.
i disagree with this. ground into alot of double plays is a result of hardly ever striking out, and having lots of runners on.
albert pujols hits into a ton of DPs (more than yunel last season) because of this, but it isnt enough to take away from his value offensively.
escobar is the same to me. good hitting the other way, lots of contact, very high OBP, makes a good #2 hitter. helps get the bases full, advancing runners, ect. it outweighs his GIDP tendencies.
(by the way, martin prado is a very similar hitter. good average, OBP, doesnt K hardly at all, and hits into a ton a DPs.)
Heyward = Minotaur
Half man / Half bull
February 22nd, 201011:42 am
O.J. I know he played first base for two weeks when with the Cardinals, so he probably had some instruction last year.
It’s just NOT what you call a 6-foot-6 245 pound man
February 22nd, 201011:45 am
I would like to play nc mike but I’am at school now and cannot access yahoo becuase it is blocked
February 22nd, 201011:46 am
I echo the word of NCMike on Murf! Unfortunately, I’ve resigned myself to Murf not getting into the Hall. None the less, he can be of tremendous value to the Braves future as well.
February 22nd, 201011:48 am
N8 @ 11:10 – That’s assuming you are always facing a RHander. Our best leadoff option is Schafer, but he hasn’t proven he can play in the Majors. I think he can. What if Schafer hits .330 with a .415 OBP this Spring, what would N8 do?
More on the JaHey Kid’s physique please! Broad shoulders, narrow waist ………………………… oh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy I’m almost there!
February 22nd, 201011:49 am
I wouldn’t mind Matty D in the leadoff role and have Yunel and McLouth both down in the order as run producers. My main objection to having Yunel in the leadoff is his HORRIBLE baserunning. The guy really has to work on that part of his game.
Prado had his share of DP last season no doubt (17) but Escobar tied the franchise record with 24 in ‘08. He hits a ton of grounders and line drives. I dont like him hitting two at all.
Crazy Trades McGee
February 22nd, 201011:50 am
The braves had to trade Rafael Soriano’s beard clippings to the Dominican Republic for the rights to watch Edward Salcedo’s Youtube video.
Heyward’s nickname should be “Prime” (Since Calvin Johnson is Megatron, I went with another transformer name, although I think “Optimus Prime” would be too long)
I haven’t posted in Months and this is what I come back with…
Other than the pitching, what is the basis for any optimism. And even for the pitching, the loss of Vazquez is a huge blow; and if the recent past is an indicator, it is almost certain that at least one of the projected starters will either be injured or be ineffective. With all the optimism being expressed, one would not guess that in reality we have only two, perhaps three players who have proven over a full season that they can give a major league quality performance (catcher, SS, and perhaps 2nd base – altthough he has not yet shown it for a full season. We do not have a single established major league quality outfielder. At third we have a part time, poor defensive player whose hitting apparently is also now in decline. At first we have a 3rd baseman whose hitting has been in decline who is coming off serious injury. And worst of all, we have a manager who does not understand or at least implement even the most simple and basic fundamentals and procedures for run production.
DOB is jurrjins still on track to start throwing tomorrow or wednesday?? you havent said much about him.
NC MIKE: I’m in the same boat as bravofan I’ll play but I’m at school and yahoo is blocked I’ll sign up as soon as I get home
February 22nd, 201011:51 am
And before anyone points out Matty D’s bad baserunning in the game that pretty much eliminated the Braves last year, I know he isn’t the greatest baserunner, but Yunel is one of the worst baserunners I’ve seen (and yes, I’ve seen Lonnie Smith)….
February 22nd, 201011:52 am
I agree Escobar doesn’t have the best baserunning. Given that we don’t straight steal often, I could live with Escobar baserunning flops at the top. All he’ll have to worry about is getting from 1st to third w/out screwing up.
I was gonna go with Wardy as what 6 will call heyward, but now I am thinking he will just yell, “Come on Kid”
smitty dumb restrictions on school computers
bravofan and smitty, would love to have you two join. Check-in when you’re home, there should still be spots available.
I like the ‘JayHey’ Kid personally
February 22nd, 201011:53 am
anybody watch the terrible end to the Hawks game last night the Hawks had to score a three and who other than Josh Smith throws it up there when he has not hit a three all year
smitty is that you the streak for the cash?
February 22nd, 201011:54 am
p’cola You wouldnt have to worry bout Nate hitting into double plays, the guy only has about 25-30 his whold career.
partly because he Ks so much. i think mclouth is a pretty bad option for #2. in my way of thinking, #2 is always a high contact guy.
February 22nd, 201011:55 am
Pete,DOB had recommended Fat Boys BBQ before,1606 W.Vine St. in Kissimmee.
February 22nd, 201011:56 am
Just read that Kahlil Greene is not joining the Rangers at ST. Wonder why. Good utility infielder for cheap.
February 22nd, 201011:57 am
Heyward nickname suggestion
February 22nd, 201011:59 am
p’cola Prado had his share of DP last season no doubt (17) but Escobar tied the franchise record with 24 in ‘08. He hits a ton of grounders and line drives. I dont like him hitting two at all.
i could end up being wrong, but if you dont like yunel hitting 2nd because he hits into alot of double plays, then i dont think you will like prado there either. give him another 100 PA or so (playing a full year batting 2nd) and he will hit into 20-something DPs.
P’cola, Greene is being treated for anxiety again.
February 22nd, 201012:02 pm
thinbreakness, I really think that the Braves outfield opening day 2011 will be McLouth in LF, Schafer in CF and Heyward in RF.
That’s a lot of LH bats. Escpecially when you consider McCann and possibly Freeman as well. So, perhaps a trade is in order after this season. Hard to say.
Me personally, if Schafer hits .330 in ST? I’d still send him to AAA for at least a month or two. I don’t doubt his ability to play, just his lack of AB’s the past couple of years.
Obviously, they saw enough of his ability for him to win the job last spring. IMO, not much has changed, other than McLouth being here. But I don’t doubt for a second that they view him as a more long-term solution in the OF than Melky/Diaz. Just not sure he can do enough to win a job on opening day this year. No way he makes the club if he’s not starting. I suppose, they could trade Melky and have him platoon with Diaz, or at the very least, let Diaz start for either Schafer, Diaz or Heyward against the really tough lefties.
But no way, imo, that Schafer makes the team and sits on the bench. Not yet. Maybe they do that in June after he compiles some AB’s. Also, I doubt that anytime in 2010 Schafer (if he’s up) bats leadoff. I’d like to see them put Schafer at AAA and bat him leadoff down there. Groom him for that position if you will.
But I still like Schafer a lot.
February 22nd, 201012:03 pm
Lowe will be the best pitcher on this team this year.
February 22nd, 201012:04 pm
Hank Blalock, Gary Sheffield, and Geoff Jenkins are all top free agents still on the market
February 22nd, 201012:05 pm
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb follow the link and look at the second pic it is under the second heading called starting line up
You may be right. Because I’m sure if he hits into a crap load of DP I’m going to be cursing. I just hate having a high chance of a DP in your two hole because its such a rally killer. Its deflating to watch your leadoff get on then your #2 roll into a DP before the heart of the order gets there.
February 22nd, 201012:06 pm
LOWE 18-10, jj 15-6, HUDSON 15-9, HANSON 13-5, KK 10-11
February 22nd, 201012:07 pm
What do you guys think.
I’ll say this again as well, and I’m sure I’ll get blasted for it. If Chipper’s power numbers don’t rise again, at this stage of his career, he just might be the best option we have in the #2 hole. Good bat control for hit and runs, etc…
But in order for that to happen, somebody else would have to be suited for the 3 hole.
Lets not forget that Chipper was dumped right into the 3-hole from day one. While Chipper would have to continue last year’s trend and Heyward would have to be lights out from the get go in order for Bobby to make such a move, it may be that by year’s end, Heyward is the ideal #3 hitter (especially if Glaus is healthy and can protect him).
Just don’t see Bobby doing it in his last year. That seems like a move that the next manager might do to start 2011. Not sure how Chipper would handle that. But at some point he’s not going to be the best option at #3 anymore, and will have to step aside gracefully. Doesn’t mean he can’t still be an asset to the lineup. Just not sure that if he doesn’t return to his old self, that that’s where he belongs anymore.
But I want to see what Chipper can do with Glaus behind him. That just may change a whole lot of things for Chipper, provided Glaus is healthy and can hit.
February 22nd, 201012:08 pm
N8 and thick
Come 2011 if it looks like Schafer and Freeman are ready and Chipper doesn’t retire I think you have to look into moving Mclouth and pursuing Werth. If you promote both schafer and freeman you are once again in a heavy LH lineup. Moving Mclouth and his money and trying to get a RH power bat in werth is the only way to go in my opinion. I can’t think of another RH option for next year.
February 22nd, 201012:10 pm
davbraves: I hope he is!!!!!!
“It’s unfortunate that Heyward will take Blanco’s spot.”
February 22nd, 201012:11 pm
The Burly Icon
The Crime Wolfhound
I Am Legend
Jason, The Argonaut
The McDonough Mauler
We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever (except politics or religion)
Atlanta Braves RSS feed
Previous entries »
Send a feedback technical issue
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more
Visitor Agreement | Privacy Statement© 2013 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution