Cox: Heyward taking way too many pitches

St. Louis – Bobby Cox says Braves rookie Jason Heyward is taking far too many hittable strikes and limiting his chances by continually falling behind in counts.

Chipper Jones says the young right fielder is following a learning curve that every rookie faces, and on nights like Tuesday against the Cardinals, he’s also getting pitched well in crucial situations.

This much is certain: Since going 9-for-29 (.429 with two homers and seven RBIs in a six-game stretch through April 16, Heyward’s 3-for-29 (.103) with four RBIs and 12 strikeouts in his past 10 games.

“We’re going to talk to him,” Cox said. “He’s taking way too many pitches for strikes. [As a result] he’s getting one pitch to swing at right now.”

Heyward struck out with the bases loaded on a six-pitch at-bat against left-hander Trever Miller to end the seventh inning with the Braves trailing 5-4, which ended up being the final score.

“I was on second [base],” Jones said of his vantage point on the strikeout. “Miller made some pretty tough pitches on him. It’s his first time through the league. Crunch time, you throw a sidearm lefty out there with a good slider, and you know, he located a good fastball on the outside corner. It’s not like it was right down the middle. It was located. Mac [Brian McCann] or Nate [McLouth] or any other left-hander would have a tough time with that guy.

“There’s a [learning] curve there. We’ve just got to be patient, let the kid see everybody a time or two.”

312 comments Add your comment

Coach K

April 28th, 2010
1:32 am

Heyward is the least of our concerns right now. McCann has done next to nothing clutch all year. McLouth sucks. Look at those to left handed hitters before singling out Heyward, Cox. Come on.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
1:41 am

Its April. . . Cox made the comment so Heyward can make adjustments. There are reports showing that Heyward is having problems with changeups on the inside.

the veterans don’t need to be told how to hit. they just need to do it. These guys will be fine. Will they be all stars? no? but will they continue to hit 200? absolutely not. And please don’t call him McLousy or Melk Dud . . . thats just so unoriginal.

Please don’t say KK is garbage either: he gets no run support (sub 4 era and 12 loses last year) he has give up 2, 4, 3 runs so far this year and has three loses. he isn’t our problem.

My suggestion: can we get Don Baylor back next year, if he is healthy and willing to be the hitting coach. That man was a pretty good influence in 1999. Terry maybe a good coach but it doesn’t show.

While Your at It

April 28th, 2010
1:47 am

Bobby please talk to McClouth and tell him to please take the bat off his shoulders before he goes down 0-2 EVERY time he is at the plate…oh yeah and FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE TERRY Pendleton……

Chucktown38

April 28th, 2010
1:55 am

Building up Hayward into some kind of wonder boy because he started out great and look you have to eat your words.This kid will be a great player just not right now.

Play The Youth!

April 28th, 2010
1:58 am

Chucktown38 – No one will be a great player under these coaches.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:01 am

Bobby Cox is not the problem either. There are a handful of managers in the HISTORY of the game better than him. He may have lost a step compared to a few years ago and he’s reluctance to let his guys steal bases is frustrating. He leaves his pitcher in there too long (but he’s not as bad as to ignore common sense like Dusty Baker or Grady Little). He doesn’t abuse his bullpen contrary to what people think (Tony LaRussa, now that guy abuses his pen). He doesn’t wait for the long ball either, he’s just waiting for someone to get a hit. . . poor guy is like us in that regards. Still I can’t think of one guy i’d take over bobby cox over the course of a long season. . .

Next year, bobby will get a phone call from 29 different teams asking him to work for them. So lets get off the ‘fire bobby cox thing’, it makes you look stupid (as in you don’t know anything about baseball).

Bobby got teams into the World Series that had no business being in the playoffs (that 1999 squad was a joke – Lockhart and Ozzie Guillen were the DH at one time- against a Yankees squad with five or six confirmed steroid users). The teams in the early part of the last decade had no business winning the division as the Mets and Philis had better players.

Look at the roster the last few years and its sad what a lack of funds has done. If Ted Turner owned the Braves, Texeria would still be a brave. As would a couple other players. bobby has this team in the hunt for a playoff spot every september and i don’t think thats just by luck.

Play The Youth!

April 28th, 2010
2:03 am

Schafer – CF (when back)
Prado – 2B
Esco – SS
McCann – C
Heyward – RF
Freeman – 1B
Infante – 3B
Blanco / Diaz – LF

Make trades now for the future and let the stars of tomorrow get used to playing together like the 1990 team did before everything turned around.

David

April 28th, 2010
2:11 am

the 1991 team had quite a few players that were left for dead, as i recall…

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:12 am

no offense but i’d take McLouth over Schafer. Schafer proved he isn’t ready. beside if Schafer comes up he shouldn’t hit lead off.

McLouth is a 260 career hitter but has never stuck out over a 100 times in his career. what does that mean? it means he puts the ball in play which is what you want from your lead off guy. McLouth is an experienced lead off hitter and he needs to be there even if he struggles – its a comfort thing too with these guys. Superstitions, routines, etc. its not good to mix it up.

Freeman is in the minors for a reason. rush him up here and you get a rookie who’s going to try too hard and struggle (delay his development. . . just like Jordon Schafer last year). Makes no sense. I’d try Hinske or Omar at first base and give Glaus a break.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:19 am

um that 91 team wouldn’t make the playoffs if it wasn’t for . . . wait for it. . . Bobby Cox.

Bobby put Fransico Cabrera up to pinch hit. . . . I think Cabrera was our third backup catcher or something like that. there was absolutely no reason to put him out there with a limp sid bream out on the bases.

Justice, TP, Deon: the best players other than them you had . . . Sid Bream, Blauser, Greg Olson. Belliard. Lemke. Otis Nixon. . . like the guy said – players left for dead from other teams

David

April 28th, 2010
2:27 am

So, why does Pendleton still have a job? Is Heyward going to be the next prospect he kills? How many players have come through the system, seemed to be the next big thing, and as soon as they were under Pendleton full-time, flopped or steadily declined. And the reason I blame it on Pendleton, look at Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur. Immediate improvement after getting away from him. The offense has been playing horribly for the past few years. Yes, there have been some bright spots here and there, but if you had to look at the overall results, it is not pretty.

The time has come for drastic changes. A new hitting coach would top the list.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:29 am

my bad.

Tom Glavine, Ron Gant, Blauser broke in in 1987 lemke in 88
Justice and Brian Hunter came up in 1991 and we got deion that year from the yankees (right?)

Blauser and Sid bream from the pirates
Greg Olson and Otis Nixon from . .. .

Mike

April 28th, 2010
2:37 am

This should be the least of Bobby worries it sad to me he talks about Heyward but when Cabrera or Glaus or Mcclouth goes 0 – 30 he doesn’t say anything give the kid a break he works the count well but it’s just not going his way it’s a learning curve give him a break.

Play The Youth!

April 28th, 2010
2:44 am

is30303 – You a new Braves fan?

The Cabrera pinch hit was 1992 and Justice came up in 89 with full season in 1990. Not going to argue that Bobby was not the man back in the day. He was but that was 20 years ago. No one is trying to take away from his accomplishments (at least Im not). Just think his magic is done in Atlanta.

It’s like watching Ozzy Osbourne still trying to rock Crazy Train. Sad.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:48 am

nah, man, been watching the braves for along time. sorry my facts aren’t straight. its like 3 am and i’m going off the top of my head.

bobby’s not done yet. . like jordon wasn’t done when he retired from the bulls. just not the same guy

in any case, back to the modern era:
i think bobby lost us the playoff last year in that Marlins series in September when he brought in Medlen three days in a row and left him too long. He’s clearly not the same guy but he’s better than most guys who are managing right now.

Play The Youth!

April 28th, 2010
2:54 am

Young Braves from 1990 that made a difference in 1991

David Justice
John Smoltz
Tom Glavine
Steve Avery
Mike Stanton
Kent Merker
Mark Lemke
Jeff Blauser
Ron Gant

We have young talent now that I would prefer to see on the field losing than whats going on now. Let them gel together and get some real chemistry going for next season. Not like this store bought fake chemistry we heard so much about during spring training. How is that working out?

Play the youth!

And before anyone makes the Bobby Cox had a lot to do with 1991 response…. I know! And what was he? A new manager! Even though a re-hire. Just proves that change is good and I am looking forward to 2011 with the right manager. None of Bobby’s boys.

Richard Nieh

April 28th, 2010
2:54 am

I hope they don’t mess him up. I really don’t like the way TP handling his hitters. I think taking the first pitch is ok but he needs to make sure he can hit other pitches. Especially with two strikes. He needs a defensive swing for the breaking ball. If he cannot do that, he will never get a good pitch to hit.

is30303

April 28th, 2010
2:55 am

actually watching ozzie osbourne do anything is kinda sad . . . the man snorted ants and bit the head off a bat. . . now he’s just a mumbling old man on tv.

Play The Youth!

April 28th, 2010
3:00 am

is30303 – I hear ya man. Im a night person though. We agree on Bobby was a great manager and could take another team to the playoffs with his knowledge. Just dont see it with this team or ever again in Atlanta. Even he could use a change of scenery and think it would be awesome if he pulls a Torre taking another team to the playoffs. Later!

is30303

April 28th, 2010
3:11 am

Play the Youth:

if that bobby pulls a torre . . . now that would be great especially how their history intertwines.

i’m with you on playing the kids though. it worked out in 2005 (what 18 rookies that year) and they won the division. i think Freeman gets called up regardless sometime this season. i just don’t see glaus or chipper staying healthy. Hinske and Omar are good backups but I still think Freeman is in the lineup hitting 8th come August.

i just think its too early in the season to make the move and schafer is not the answer at lead off.

i really want to see someone come up with a list of better hitting coaches so we can start calling for a replacement instead of just yapping about firing terry. i think its a problem when bobby is saying heyward needs to adjust his hitting strategy when terry is the hitting coach. what is terry doing anyway? is he working with the hitters? it doesn’t sound like he is. . .

Mike Hunt

April 28th, 2010
4:15 am

It’s April (barely, but still is) and the Braves are looking like a goner already. Current ownership structure has doomed the team’s chances for success now and as long as they own the team. The Braves will never be more than mediocre under this regime and often (like now) they will be worse than mediocre (i.e., $hitty).

Mafia

April 28th, 2010
4:44 am

is, Schafer got hurt the 3rd game of the year so I don’t really know what to expect from him. He would definitely have still whiffed a lot but probably not THAT much. He’ll spend some time in AAA for the first time ever after he’s fully recovered so hopefully that will make his transition easier. And I agree on paper, you have to go with McLouth. But I think we gotta try something new. Hopefully it won’t be an issue. Hopefully by the time Schafer is ready in June/July McLouth will be himself again.

avocado

April 28th, 2010
5:05 am

Won’t get anywhere until the junkyard mentality at the top is changed, guys. The bull in the china shop at the top is where the problem begins. He apparently is incapable of recognizing a player he ought to keep. He seems to like looking for treasure in someone else’s backyard when his own has been ignored. And I’m beginning to question the “team culture”, suspecting it too, may be victim of breakage by the bull. Logic would seem to indicate that pieces of broken china fall down from the guy on top, yes?

CarolinaBrave

April 28th, 2010
5:33 am

I have been a Braves fan for many, many years and it always seems to be something not quite right with each team for the last 5 years. When there was no pitching, the offense was just enough to get 80 something wins. When the pitching got better, the bats went away. However, this team would have been better to stand pat than to do anything in the off season. I think the team of last year would have had a better record than 8-11 at this point in the season. I understand the reason of not signing LaRoche because of his usual slow start, but what do you call 5 players around .200???? I was hopping for a 94-68 year too and a trip to the post season.

Dwayne

April 28th, 2010
5:55 am

Terry Pendleton has got to go….any where. He can take Booby Cox with him too. Anyone who knows anything can see it. Look at the numbers since TP became hitting coach, for lack of a better term. Maybe he should be the NON-hitting coach.

Bye Bye Bobby

April 28th, 2010
6:00 am

I agree with others that Terry Pendleton needs to go. Of course, there will be a movement by H. Aaron and others that he should be the next manager. I guess anyone would be better than Bobby right now and at least we would have to get a new hitting coach if Pendleton is named manager.

Loyal Homer

April 28th, 2010
6:08 am

Loyal Homer

April 28th, 2010
6:09 am

Born2Buzz

April 28th, 2010
6:13 am

They are not going to fire Bobby in his last season. But a few more losses means something has to change. Will Pendleton be the sacrificial lamb?
It”s going to be a long sad season.

san diego dawg

April 28th, 2010
6:18 am

First I have to say that I can’t believe the Padres have a better record than the Braves. Sad times in the ATL. Anyway, we don’t exactly know when Heyward is green lighted to swing away or when he gets the take sign. I appreciate the discipline he has shown early in his career but now may be the time to let him jump on some first pitch fastballs and let him swing away on a 3-0 pitch. This team needs a spark. It is time for everyone to be aggressive at the plate.

MR

April 28th, 2010
7:09 am

We know why he is taking so many pitches. He has been working with TP. I noticed a shot on TV of Heyward standing next to TP discussing the situation. They should keep this kid away from TP. If the Braves won’t fire him then they should relegate him to the bullpen. As to Mr. Cox, he had a lineup that was being productive so he changed it. Now no one is hitting. This team will not be a winner until Cox and the entire coaching staff is history. BUT, we know what is going to happen. TP will become the new Manager because he will work for chump change. This team has talent but no management. I hope they finish dead last in Cox’s final year, he deserves it.

El Bravo

April 28th, 2010
7:13 am

And this is the problem with anointing a 20 year old kid as the savior. 2 weeks ago patience was his greatest asset but now he struggles and patience turns out to be the problem. This is a bit troublesome. Coaches at this level are more interested in Ws rather than the player’s personal development. My fear is that TP et all will mess up with this kid’s batting eye and patience and we will end up having a true disaster of a year…

Matt

April 28th, 2010
7:29 am

Bobby-Please don’t talk to, look at, or otherwise screw up J-Hey. You are going to be gone next year and don’t need to be messing with the future of this franchise!! (Oh yeah, and your track record with hitting coaches and hitters in general over the last few years STINKS!!)

Smackerel

April 28th, 2010
7:31 am

Heyward is having good at bats against lefty pitching, but has not come up with the hits. In two ab’s last night, including the ab where he struck out looking with the bases loaded, he stayed back and crushed balls with home run distance but foul off lefties. He has a short swing, is quick to the ball, stays back, has great balance and plate coverage, and an outstanding eye for the strike zone. In the critical ab last night, he was facing a very accomplished left handed veteran who is 37 years old who had an ERA last year in the 2’s. Give the pitcher some credit.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
7:42 am

“Next year, bobby will get a phone call from 29 different teams asking him to work for them.”

This is probably the most laughable statement I have ever seen on here. Nobody wants that clown. Did you know Cox has never been on an All Star game coaching staff except when the Braves made it to the World Series the previous year? That’s the only way he ever made it.

Other than that, no other manager has ever “asked Cox for help” in an All Star game. He’s a moron and everybody around the league knows it.

jack

April 28th, 2010
7:42 am

it did not take long for T. p. to mess up heywood did it

jerry

April 28th, 2010
7:48 am

A pretty safe prediction: The “Hinske Streak” ends with the Braves.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
7:49 am

Good one jack,
I was hoping Heyward could survive this last year of TP and Cox before they ruined him. The sooner they are out the door the better.

Clay

April 28th, 2010
7:50 am

Uh oh, when Bobby and TP get through with Jason, he’ll be back in Durham (AA). . .

dap01

April 28th, 2010
7:53 am

Jason is the least of Cox’s worries. He is the most productive hitter in the lineup. He probably should be at AAA. Cox should be at AAA. The entire lineup would be lucky to be at AAA.

The Braves stink. They are poorly focused. They are poorly prepared. They play poorly managed games. They know the fundamentals poorly.

Perhaps Heyward should critique Cox. I know I do.

Skeezix

April 28th, 2010
7:54 am

I was troubled by those six straight losses at the end of 2009. If you combine them with the first 20 games of 2010, the Braves have lost 18 out of their last 26. Nothing serious was done in the off season to adddress the anemic offense, and so we continue to lose despite great pitching. The only team in MLB with a worst record this year–Baltimore–where Wren last worked. But, it is early and we need to give this team 50 games to make a fair assessment about 2010.

We need to be realistic about the talented Heyward- he will need a large chunk of this season to adjust to MLB pitching. Once he figures it out though, he is going to light it up.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
7:55 am

Cox telling Heyward he’s taking too many picthes. Yea, heaven forbid if Jason works the count and makes the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches and therefore tires out faster.

We wouldn’t want that now would we? Moron Cox…..

dap01

April 28th, 2010
7:55 am

DOB: Has schaffer progress at all? Has he started hitting live pitching?

Gilligan

April 28th, 2010
8:02 am

Straighten him out, Bobby Cox. Bobby Cox is a smart man. Just like the “Skipper”!

Shug

April 28th, 2010
8:05 am

Can we please just bring back Francoeur?

WK

April 28th, 2010
8:08 am

Play the Youth: I’d be ok with your youthful line-up with the exception of third and LF (2:03 am post)…….those guys are not everyday players. Infante, Diaz, and Blanco (please!!) are role players, not everyday starters. You could make a case for Diaz and I’m a fan of his, but with your line-up, the Braves would have to have 3rd and LF be positions of proven power. I’m still ready for the old to go and a fresh breath of coaching. Times are tough right now for the Braves. Solid pitching (plenty good enough to win) and awful hitting.

georgiadawgg

April 28th, 2010
8:15 am

TERRY PENDLETON COULDN’T MANAGE A BINGO GAME LET ALONE A BASEBALL TEAM. THE BRAVES ARE GOING TO LOSE AGAIN TONIGHT. WAIT AND SEE. i HOPE THEY NEVER WIN ANOTHER GAME.

Jesse Stone

April 28th, 2010
8:19 am

LOL at Phil saying Bobby isn’t a good manager because nobody has asked him to “help” in an All-Star Game. Quit it, Phil…just quit. Did you ever think that Bobby wants a break during the All-Star game? He has been manager of enough All-Star teams, why would he want to go and be an assistant?

RomeDawg

April 28th, 2010
8:21 am

So…single out the 20 year old who at some point this year has done something. Other than Prado, none of the other Braves have done JACK! Honestly, Pendleton should be fired and I, for one, am glad this is Cox’s last year. He has no clue how to manage a team without 5 guys hitting 20 homers. Small ball ain’t Bobby’s game. Everyone knows that except Wren who doesn’t go get a big bopper but comes back with Glaus. When we faced Lincecum he had a rough few early innings but we didn’t take any pitches after the 2nd inning and he hung around til the 8th and Bobby singles out Heyward. Give me a break!!!!

Turkey's Done

April 28th, 2010
8:23 am

The Braves have not been relevent for 8 years and are becoming less a factor every year. Look no further than this blog where the host leads with music more often than baseball. Many saw the 90’s as glorious but I was left with the wonder of what could have been. Some non-book situational managing could have produced so much more (not division titles as JS said I should be happy with). Here’s the bottom line:
1. Braves are not going to the postseason this year
2. Cox retiring is the best thing to happen here since 1995
3. Should be able to find cheap tickets to TF this year

tp

April 28th, 2010
8:24 am

Hey Bobby, why don’t you just take an early retirement? Really … you’re criticizing him in public like that? For something that CLEARLY – as Chipper comments – could happen to any seasoned hitter, let alone a 20-year-old rookie!

Heyward’s the last of your worries Bobby! Get a grip – or get out of town!

Chip

April 28th, 2010
8:24 am

Everyone needs to calm down, it’s only going to get worse.

‘”We played two solid games the last two nights,” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “Swung the bats fairly well,”…………..LOL

Let’s see, The Braves got 6 hits last night, and went yet another game without a home run. Chipper is quite the misguided optimist. Oh by the way Chipper, that’s 7 losses in a row, and you’ve been a huge part of the problem with your .259 average and nonexistent power.

So Cox says he’s going to talk to the rookie. I personally think he should have a group discussion with everyone on the team. I hope Terry Pendleton doesn’t get his feelings hurt with Cox going over his head to talk to the rookie about hitting.

Obviously, the Braves fans are to blame for this joke of a team, and the fans should be fired !!!

ijudgenot

April 28th, 2010
8:25 am

This is why I hoped that they would not have brought Heyward up this year with Cox as his manager. His hot spring forced Wren’s hand I guess. Cox will have this kid swingging for the fences and pulling off balls for the rest of the year. Why would this old fart call out a 20 year old rookie in the paper instead of going to him and TP and tell him that. Why would this old fart not call out Glaus, McClouth, or Chipper? Why is it always the youngest player on the team Andruw(12 years ago), Furcal(8 years ago), Escobar(2 years ago)and now Heyward. Clearly when asked about other players who are doing nothing he gives the “well they are pitching him tough right now” response. The kid probably is taking too many pitches right now, but for his dumbbell of a manager too publicly call him out in the papers and not mention anyone else on the team’s short comings is rediculous. This year can not end soon enough so that this stupid “legend of a Manager” can be gone.

Gary James

April 28th, 2010
8:26 am

Heyward is like 1 for his last 20, right? He’s a major leaguer now and not above criticism. Stop babying him. I know he’s the newest phenom and everything, but nobody’s above criticism.

Jesse Stone

April 28th, 2010
8:28 am

Spot on, Gary.

Beauvighn

April 28th, 2010
8:29 am

Would someone in that dugout wake up and put Brokks Conrad in the lineup for 5-6 straight games….At least give the guy a chance. He couldn’t do any worse than the current crop. Heck, Ray Charles could stand there and watch strike 3 go right over the plate…The whole darn team takes too many good pitches

Phil

April 28th, 2010
8:29 am

Jesse,
Cox would want to go help if asked, after all, the league that wins the game gets home field for the WS. So yes, I think he would help if asked.
LaRussa is out there every year seems like, if not the manager then as an assistant. Nobody wants Cox.

And just what does Cox need a break for anyway? He gets a break every year during post season.

Realist

April 28th, 2010
8:32 am

Someone please take Bobby out and shoot him right now. This is the dumbest comment he has made in 20 years. Dumber than comparing Vinny Castilla to Brooks Robinson at third base.

You don’t take a 20-year old kid with good plate discipline–the one thing he really has going for him right now–and order him to swing at more pitches. That’s a sure way to ruin him.

Cox’s “Swing at the first good pitch you see philosophy” didn’t work for Kelly Johnson or Jeff Francoeur, and it’s the reason we haven’t developed a hitting prospect other than McCann since the early 1990s.

There’s a reason Bobby Cox holds the record for most playoff appearances, wins and games managed with only one championship. No one in history has been given more rope and come up with only one title over nearly 30 years of managing.

Prime Time

April 28th, 2010
8:33 am

Can this be 8-154 team? Good job Wren and Cox. I know you guys don’t hit but you control who’ll be the hitters. When do we stop saying ‘it’s too early in the season’. I mean based on what we have seen in the first 20 games, do we have any reason to be optimistic about this Braves team. Cox started his Braves career with the worst team and he’ll end it with one. Good news is 2011 season is only 11 months away.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
8:35 am

As Jesse would say,
“Spot on”, Realist

Jesse Stone

April 28th, 2010
8:37 am

Phil, how do you know Bobby wants to go? Don’t make stoopid comments like that if you’re just guessing. You have no idea if Bobby wants to coach in AllStar games or not.
Realist- “shoot him right now”…stay classy. Good plate discipline does not involve not swinging at strikes. Good plate discipline is not swinging at unhittable pitches. How many strikeouts does Heyward have the past few games? That’s not plate discipline.

Turkey's Done

April 28th, 2010
8:44 am

Realist- my thoughts exactly. Atlanta is a soft sports town and gives a guy like Bobby Cox keys to the city. Up North, Cox would be ramrodded and eventually run out of town for doing so little with the unbelievable talent he had for 14 years straight. The guy’s like an accountant and won’t take any chances. Now that his run is over, he’s starting to do out of character things like calling out Heyward. Too late for that Bobby- your run is over. I guarantee Cox will look back – if he hasn’t already done so- and regret not doing things differently in the postseason. It took years of not reaching the playoffs for Cox to finally learn you can’t manage a short series like you do the regular season. Oh well Bobby, better late than never.

Jesse Stone

April 28th, 2010
8:46 am

25 strikeouts in 81 PA’s doesn’t reak of plate discipline. I love the guy and want him to be the face of our franchise, but he’s not above criticism

Turkey Not Done

April 28th, 2010
8:46 am

Enter your comments here

Don

April 28th, 2010
8:48 am

This ia absolutely terrible. Now Bobby Cox is going to ruin Heyward. Cox’s failure to teach/emphasize/demand that hitters be patient, work the ocunt, wait for a good pitch has been one of Cox’s major shortcomings – a significant reason that the Braves hitters have not developed to their full potential and why the Braves offense has been inoconsistant over the years. Now he has young hitter mature enough to try to be patient and Cox is telling him not to. Get Heyward back to AAA and let him escape the influence of Bobby Cox in his last year – before he has a significant bad effect on Heywards future development. This is terrible, terrible, terrible.

ijudgenot

April 28th, 2010
8:49 am

“Heyward is like 1 for his last 20, right? He’s a major leaguer now and not above criticism. Stop babying him. I know he’s the newest phenom and everything, but nobody’s above criticism”

You are right he is a major leaguer and should get as much criticism as anyone else that is not performing. The problem is Cox always chooses the least of his flock to criticise. Why not man up and criticise your long in the tooth veterans who are not doing anything either. Why pick the least expereienced on your team to criticicize to take pressure off you and the aging vets. If he critiqued Glaus’s excessively long swing, Chipper’s excessively swinnging at first pitch thrown to him, McClouth’s excessive upper cut swing and inability to lay off high pitches, Caberra’s excessive swingging to pull eveerything, Escobar’s trying to go to right field on every swing, Diaz swingging at any pitch within his zip code, etc., then yes criticize the 20 year old rookie major leaguer too, but if he is not willing to do that then STFU.

Turkey's Done

April 28th, 2010
8:49 am

Why did Cox allow Andruw and Frenchie to self destruct with reckless swings for years? Sort of ironic that he’s calling out the rookie who hasn’t made it out of his 1st month. Sounds like Cox has reached point of desperation.

Braves record in last 7 World Series games under Cox: 0-7

suh muh muh beech

April 28th, 2010
8:50 am

need more bunting and stealing and such. we don’t have sluggers all up and down the line up so wee need to play small ball.

Chip

April 28th, 2010
8:50 am

Heyward along with almost every position player on this team has been horrible lately.

I’ve never seen a Braves team, even in the bad ol’ days be this bad. I’m really starting to think that this is what we’re going to see from this team except for a game here & there for the rest of this season.

It’s really sad to see how far this team has sunk.

Braves n cubs watch at home still

April 28th, 2010
8:51 am

Keep on ruinin heyward now cox n TP i sure u trade soon to cubs who are losers to lost to Nats we 8-12 and washington is 11-10 amazin and Rays in first in east Lets face it the Rays are back Now after a year off with injurys n stuff.While we have lame AJC writer n media kissin cox last year.So get u lawn chairs out n wait till Next year n the Next year Maybe 2012 we be in playoffs.While cubs struggle find out why the bathrooms stalls overflow and urinals to.Lou Pinella will be fired at all-star break so will Texas ranger manager.Lou will then go to Rangers be there Mananger while 2011 we stink with TP at helm.

Peter

April 28th, 2010
8:51 am

Funny stuff from Bobby…….a too old manager telling a too young kid how to hit.

He has been called up too soon………But hey with all the rejects on the roster no wonder !

Bottom line keeping Bobby and TP is a joke, and so thus are the Braves.

Has anyone noticed they are the worst team in the national league ?

RHR

April 28th, 2010
8:52 am

“We’re going to talk to him,” Cox said. “He’s taking way too many pitches for strikes. [As a result] he’s getting one pitch to swing at right now.”

No. No. No.

“I was on second [base],” Jones said of his vantage point on the strikeout. “Miller made some pretty tough pitches on him. It’s his first time through the league. Crunch time, you throw a sidearm lefty out there with a good slider, and you know, he located a good fastball on the outside corner. It’s not like it was right down the middle. It was located. Mac [Brian McCann] or Nate [McLouth] or any other left-hander would have a tough time with that guy.

“There’s a [learning] curve there. We’ve just got to be patient, let the kid see everybody a time or two.”

This. Chipper is the only one who needs to talk to him. It sounds like Bobby is hanging the entire season on this kid. Maybe he didn’t mean it that way but his comment was over reactionary while Chipper’s was more logical and even headed.

MikeInFL

April 28th, 2010
8:56 am

Interesting stat on Heyward being too patient:

Heyward has gone to a 2-strike count 51 times in 81 plate appearances. That’s 63% of the time.

The entire NL has gone to 2 strikes in 6104 of 12,553 plate appearances; 48.6%

Cox is exactly right; Heyward has to be more aggressive in putting wood on the ball earlier in the count.

Think it doesn’t matter? Albert Pujols is batting .179/.220/.385, with 2 strikes. The key is he only reaches that point about 45% of the time.

I don’t think Cox called Heyward out; he just made a comment about why the kid is struggling. And he’s absolutely right about it.

dub366

April 28th, 2010
8:56 am

Bobby Cox is the problem along with the front office for bringing in the wash up ball players

siskel_god

April 28th, 2010
9:00 am

Heyward????Hahahahahahhahaha! Why in the world are we criticizing the guy who has never played major league baseball and leading the team in almost every offensive category? He’s fine, how bout getting on Chipper a bit? Escobar gets blasted publicly for not playing hard but Chipper’s error against the Mets cost us the game.

Don

April 28th, 2010
9:04 am

Unbelievable! Now Cox is going to ruin Heyward. Cox’s greatest failure has been to fail to teach/emphazise/demand that hitters be patient/selective/work the count/ make the pitcher throw some pitches. This has resulted in his failure to develop young hitters or even veteran hitters to their full potential – and has resulted in hitters production being only a faraction of what it could and should be – massive waste of talent. This has been the major problem with the inconsistant run production and offense by the Braves over the years. Now he has ayoug player who is mature enough to try on his own to do this (even though he obviously needs more experience and maturity), and Cox is telling him not to. He is going to ruin Heyward and his future development. Quick! get Heyward back to AAA now and away from the influence of Bobby Cox for the remainder of the year before he has a devastating effect on his future development.

Paddy O

April 28th, 2010
9:04 am

Anybody watch the game? HOw many braves hitters let a good first pitch strike fly by without swinging – I believe this is Pendleton hitting – and it puts the Braves hitters immediately into a pitchers count. I watched that last 3 innings or so, and almost every hitter let the first pitch go by. Bad policy, bad habit, bad result.

PMC

April 28th, 2010
9:05 am

Of all the people in the lineup he could discuss hitting with Heyward is the last guy I’m concerned about. Taking a couple of fastballs is no big deal as long as he’s not swinging at 46 foot curve balls a foot outside like the former occupant of that position.

Seriously…. Heyward? We’re talking about Heyward? For taking pitches?

Maybe more criticism of the management is warrented. Geez he’s going to start hammering first pitch fast balls if they keep throwing them. He’s still figuring out the pitching of the league.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
9:07 am

I didn’t hear Cox criticizing Norton and the pitches he took last year, namely the 3rd strike looking pitch. Cox is a senile clown.

PMC

April 28th, 2010
9:08 am

They swung at more first pitches than anyone in the league last year and they lost around 30 one run games. The one thing they are doing well is getting to the other teams bullpens.

ijudgenot

April 28th, 2010
9:13 am

I sincerly hope that Penndleton is not the heir apparent for the job of manager next year. Cox came along when managers selected their stafs through the patronage system, i.e., their friends who they either played with or for in minor and major leagues, regardless of their ability to do the job assigned. Of all of Cox’s bench coaches, who would be considered manager material. If TP has sat at the foot of Cox all these years and has shown nothing in the way of instructions to hitters that would warrant him being labeled as a good coach, then he does not need to be promoted. If he has suggested things and Cox overruled him or the players refused to listen and Cox would not back him up by benching the problem player, then that is one thing, but there is no sighn that that was the case. Pitching coaches and hitting coaches to Cox are just “yes men” to stroke his ego when goes to them and says “I think he has one more inning in him” and pitching coach responds “you are right Bobby” and Cox says “I think he can hit more homeruns if he goes for them more” and the hitting coach says “you are right Bobby”.

BravesFan1972

April 28th, 2010
9:16 am

Every player on this team is taking to many hittable pitches for strikes. Swing the dang bat already. Gosh, this is getting ridiculous.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
9:16 am

Spot on Don!
Heyward was taught at AA and AAA to work the count and make the opposing pitcher throw a lot of pitches. Then he gets to Atlanta and Cox and TP want him to swing at the first pitch. They are going to do their damdest to ruin him in one year.

Cox is a clown.
TP is a clown.

ijudgenot

April 28th, 2010
9:21 am

“Quick! get Heyward back to AAA now and away from the influence of Bobby Cox for the remainder of the year before he has a devastating effect on his future development.”

Don, I am with you on that. As a long time Braves fan I would gladly wait to see Heyward and Freeman together in majors next year. Wren please don’t let Cox ruin this kid’s sroke and enthusiasm for the Braves and the game.

Realist

April 28th, 2010
9:27 am

Kelly Johnson’s pitches per plate appearance went down every season under Cox:
2005 – 4.13
2007 – 4.12
2008 – 3.76
2009 – 3.72

Guess what? His OPS went down every season from 2007 to 2009, too!
2007 – .831
2008 – .797
2009 – .692

He’s the poster child for what happens when a guy with good plate discipline gets to Atlanta, and the manager orders his players to be more aggressive. He steadily declined, and by last year he had completely lost his batting eye. He swung at everything because he was trying to swing his way back into Cox’s good graces.

What happened to Johnson this year? Very simple. He’s being more selective.
2010 – 4.42 pitches per at bat (career high)
and 1.136 OPS (career high).

Omar

April 28th, 2010
9:27 am

The starting pitching and bullpen are way to good to start a youth movement. If anything they should trade some young players for a bat.

Jesse Stone

April 28th, 2010
9:28 am

My guess is that he brought up Heyward because he was asked about Heyward.

PMC

April 28th, 2010
9:28 am

It’s an adjustment they will make as a team. Since these guys are throwing strikes early in the count, come up and be ready to hammer a good pitch…. but the idea they shouldn’t take pitches even good pitches is ridiculous. They have simply faced a few good pitchers in the last week and I think they all did drugs in the Mets series because they all forgot how to play baseball period in that series.

Chop Chop

April 28th, 2010
9:32 am

I understand that Bobby’s worried about the rook constantly being behind the 8-ball with two-strike counts. Most guys don’t hit well with two strikes. Nevertheless, the kid has to learn the game at his own pace. If you go up to the plate determined not to take pitches, you’re gonna get eaten alive. If Heyward is truly going to be a superstar in the bigs, he’ll make the adjustments. It just might not happen overnight. Bobby’s only got one season to win a title. He wants it to happen overnight.

carlchamblee

April 28th, 2010
9:35 am

RHR – 8:52 post – agree completely. Chipper basically completely contradicted what Cox said. And what happened to our beloved loyal-defends-his-players manager? He has to go public with his complaints about the 20 year old rookie but never says a negative peep about the rest of the hacks on the squad except Escobar?

We don’t need Heyward to stop being patient. As Chipper says let him learn the league/pitchers for a while then he will know what is coming. And if Bobby wants him to get more good pitches to tee off on, don’t bat him at the bottom of the order where pitches can pick away at him with no fear of walking him and facing the next hitter.

do not resuscitate

April 28th, 2010
9:36 am

That comment sure shows what’s wrong with the Braves offense. Seems like Heyward’s the ONLY one taking pitches. Everytime I watch the Braves I’m amazed at how often they swing at the first pitch, only to have it roll to the shortstop. I don’t mind an aggressive approach at the plate, but sometimes it might be nice to know that they know how to wait for a pitch.

ijudgenot

April 28th, 2010
9:37 am

“My guess is that he brought up Heyward because he was asked about Heyward.”

J Stone, you are probably right he was responding to a question, but do you seriously think that he has not been asked about any other player. Again he shows great dicipline to not criticize the aging vets, but the young kids he is willing to throw them under the bus. Its not that the kid is not taking too many pitches , its that Cox is selective in who he criticizes publicly.

carlchamblee

April 28th, 2010
9:43 am

Realist – great stats/research. Of all the things going wrong this season thus far, these comments by Cox upset me the most. I was afraid Heyward would be ruined before he could even get started and here we go.

We are supposed to be patient w Glaus/Cabrera/McLouth etc etc, but 20 games into this young man’s career and they want to take the patience out of him? Cox didn’t cry about Heyward’s patience on his GW single as he worked the count deep. I’ll say it again, you want Heyward to see better pitches to hit, you want to rush him into being your go-to RBI guy – ok Bobby. MOVE HIM UP IN THE ORDER then.

God, Cox’s retirement can’t come soon enough.

Phil

April 28th, 2010
9:44 am

Spot on carlchamblee!

Angus

April 28th, 2010
9:45 am

The Braves are 2nd in the NL in most pitches seen per at-bat and 1st in the NL in walks.

Chiefmakeanout

April 28th, 2010
9:48 am

Heyward will be fine. McLouth, Glaus now that’s a different story. Cut bait. Fire TP and let Chipper start as the hitting coach asap. He’s done playing. Trade Escobar..while you still can. I think we see that good pitching alone is not going to win…you still gotta hit.

carlchamblee

April 28th, 2010
9:53 am

“The Braves are 2nd in the NL in most pitches seen per at-bat and 1st in the NL in walks.”

That is a good thing. That is not the problem. Hitting w RISP is the problem. Not stealing bases, not situational hitting that is the problem.

The Twins, Yankees and Tigers lead the AL in walks and the Mets are second in the NL to the Braves. All those teams have winning records and two lead their division.

Realist

April 28th, 2010
9:56 am

Yes, the walks are the only GOOD thing right now. Take those away, and the Braves aren’t going to score ANY runs.

Bushwacker

April 28th, 2010
9:56 am

Here we go again, Francouer swung at too many pitches, Heyward takes too amny pitches.

They are going to get in this guys head like they did Francouer.

Fire Bobby Cox today, HE DOES NOT MOYIOVATE HIS PLAYERS!!!!

Hire Pete Rose , they need some one to kick soome ass!!

And please get rid of Escobar, what a freakin idiot.

My 9 yr old plays better fundamental baseball than Escobar.

Welcome back to the pitiful Braves of the 70’s!!

Dan Kolb's Mom

April 28th, 2010
10:00 am

The Prosebleed Section fan blog is now calling our losing streak the “Trail of Tears”. I thought that was appropriate.

http://ijustwanttofitin.com/category/sports/

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