Will Strasburg top Hanson’s first 35 starts?

Now that my aging home a.c. unit has been reenergized with several pounds of freon, I’m cool again – it had been been a couple of brutally sticky days here at the hacienda since returning from the long trip.

So let’s crank out this blog before heading to Turner Field for the rubber match in this Braves-Rays series as the Chipper-is-poised-to-join-the-retiring-Skipper homestand continues.

Tonight's starter Hudson is a hard-to-believe 1-12 in interleague games as a Brave.

Tonight's starter Hudson is a hard-to-believe 1-12 in interleague games as a Brave.

Since I didn’t write the past couple of days, I won’t bog you down with more Chipper Jones stuff today since you’re probably temporarily tired of reading what we all think of him, etc.

So rather than overload you today with anecdotes or observations about Hoss that you might skip over, I’ll just say he’s not just the best player I’ve covered on a regular basis in 16 years as a baseball beat writer, he’s also the best quote and one of the sharpest and most enjoyable players I’ve dealt with.

We’ll have a lot more to say about him later.

Now, regarding tonight’s Tim Hudson vs. James Shields matchup, do you want the good news or the bad news first? The bad news? I thought so. I know you people.

The bad news is that Huddy is 1-12 with a 6.78 ERA in 15 interleague starts as a Brave. I know, that’s hard to believe. But I looked it up, checked his record against every interleague opponent these past six seasons, and it’s accurate.

The good news is, that’s largely irrelevant tonight. Because he made a lot of those starts while in, as we found out later, a weakened state, in terms of the health of his pitching arm.

This season, he’s been as effective as he was during some of his best seasons in Oakland. In his past nine starts, he’s 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA and .220 opponents’ average.

Secondly, he’s not faced Tampa Bay since coming to the Braves. Hudson is 6-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 10 starts against the Rays, but the last one was in 2004.

Finally, there’s his opponent. In his past four starts, Shields is 0-4 with an 8.37 ERA and .337 opponents’ average. He’s allowed 30 hits and four homers in 15-2/3 innings over his past three starts. Repeat, 30 hits.

♣Then there’s this: The Braves continue to play good baseball, even if every time they lose you’d think from the tone of the blog comments here that the sky’s falling, they’ve slipped first to last place, and that it’s inconceivable and inexcusable that they could lose a game by multiple runs.

For the record, the Braves are 30-14 since their nine-game losing skid ended April 30. They’re tied with the Dodgers for the most wins in the majors since them. (Among some other teams you might be curious about, the Yankees are 27-17 in that period, and the Mets and Rays are 24-19).

During that 30-14 stretch, the Braves are 15-3 at Turner Field. They’ve hit .306 with 20 homers while averaging six runs per game over those 18 games. They’ve scored five or more runs in 12 of those 18 games, and yes, the Braves remain unbeaten this season – home or road – when they score five or more.

♣ Hanson’s really good: when Tommy Hanson threw seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball against one of the AL’s best lineups last night, it marked the fifth consecutive game that the budding Bravos ace allowed two runs or fewer, and the fourth time in those five games that he gave up four hits or fewer.

He’s 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his past five starts.

Tomm Hanson has had only a few moments when he wasn't in conrol of the situation this season.

Tomm Hanson has had only a few moments when he wasn't in complete control of the situation this season.

Folks, he’s really good.

He’ll probably get overshadowed by Stephen Strasburg, like every other young pitcher in the NL and especially the NL East will be. But how much better will Strasburg do in his first 35 starts than this: 18-7, 3.08 ERA.

That’s what Hanson has done in his first 35 starts in the majors. A full season, in other words. Most starters make about 35 starts in a full season.

And that’s what the tall, lanky redhead has done in his first 35.

He’s 18-7 with a 3.08 ERA, .231 opponents’ average and 202 strikeout with 74 walks in 210-1/3 innings since arriving in the major last June.

The Braves are 23-12 in his starts, including 9-1 in the past 10.

♣ Prado’s All-Star bid: Even as Martin Prado keeps insisting he doesn’t care about going to the All-Star Game, he keeps strengthening his case that he belongs there.

The unassuming 2B has hit .371 with 13 extra-base hits and a .933 OPS in his past 29 games, raising his overall average to .338 (second in the NL) and his home average to a majors-leading .400.

Prado’s OBP as a leadoff man is a majors-leading .412, which has been as big a reason as any for the Braves’ turnaround (they took off when they moved him to the top of the order).

Prado has hit .404 in his past 19 games, with 12 multi-hit games in that stretch including each of the past four. He’s 11-for-19 in those past four games.

He’s got 31 multi-hit games, five more than any other NL player and one behind Ichiro’s major league-leading total. Prado also leads the majors with 13 three-hit game, including three in his past four games.

♣Wait, this is too much good news. The blog may explode if we don’t offer something negative. So we’ll just remind you that Kenshin Kawakami is 0-9, and it’s not a given that he’ll be the one bumped from the rotation when Jair Jurrjens returns.

The Braves might decide that Kris Medlen, who has clearly outpitched K.K. as a starter, is nonetheless better suited to making the switch back to the bullpen. I didn’t say I agreed, just said the team might view it that way.

But the way Medlen has pitched since getting settled into the rotation, I’ve got to think the Braves will keep him in the rotation and move Kawakami to the ‘pen, provided there are no unexpected developments in the next week or two.

♣Speaking of All-Star pushes: Also making a loud case,  for an All-Star berth and Comeback Player of the Year, is Troy Glaus.

After batting .194 with three extra-base hits, nine RBI and a .602 OPS in 23 games during April, Glaus has hit .327 with 19 extra-base hits (11 homers), 42 RBIs and a .997 OPS in 43 games during May and June.

By the way, he’s hitting .322 with six homers and a .913 OPS in 115 at-bats with runners on, compared to .250 with an .834 OPS in 116 at-bats with none on.

Braves lineup tonight:

  1. Prado 2B
  2. Conrad 3B
  3. Heyward RF
  4. McCann C
  5. Glaus 1B
  6. Hinske LF
  7. Escobar SS
  8. Cabrera CF
  9. Hudson RH

♣ Diversions: Got back from the long trip and watched two hours of Justified (that show’s held up well in its first season), the most recent episode of Treme (terrific) and the last two hours of Breaking Bad (wow, did anyone see that turn coming? That show somehow keeps getting better.)…. We saw the great Tom Russell at Eddie’s Attic on Tuesday, and the Braves’ rain delay was so long that I got home to watch most of the game, too…. Of the CDs I bought out in L.A., the Helen Stellar album, If the Stars Could Speak They Would Have Your Voice, feels like the big find, since I’d never heard the band (it’s a band, not a girl) before. Might be second-best Southern California band that I got turned onto this year, behind San Diego’s The Soft Pack, which is just tremendous. Helen Stellar’s a really strong album, shoe-gazer rock in the best since…. Speaking of new albums out, got the new Gaslight Anthem and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers CDs yesterday, and love ‘em both. Gaslight Anthem has put out two three CDs, and hit a home run with both of the last two (I don’t have the first one). Or at least a homer and a standup triple (I’ve got to listen to the new one a few more times to decide). Petty and the boys have done their best studio album in quite while, in my opinion. Very blues-influenced…. Oh, and speaking of The Soft Pack, check out this performance on Letterman. And get this baseball tie-in: Lead singer Matt McLoughlin was a former pitcher at the University of Richmond. Check out his bio from old media guide:  http://www.richmondspiders.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/mcloughlin_matt00.html

bob-dylan-cowboy1

“THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN” by Bob Dylan

Thunder on the mountain, fires on the moon

There’s a ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon

Today’s the day, gonna grab my trombone and blow

Well, there’s hot stuff here and it’s everywhere I go

I was thinkin’ ’bout Alicia Keys, couldn’t keep from crying

When she was born in Hell’s Kitchen, I was living down the line

I’m wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be

I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee

Feel like my soul is beginning to expand

Look into my heart and you will sort of understand

You brought me here, now you’re trying to run me away

The writing’s on the wall, come read it, come see what it say

Thunder on the mountain, rolling like a drum

Gonna sleep over there, that’s where the music coming from

I don’t need any guide, I already know the way

Remember this, I’m your servant both night and day

The pistols are poppin’ and the power is down

I’d like to try somethin’ but I’m so far from town

The sun keeps shinin’ and the North Wind keeps picking up speed

Gonna forget about myself for a while, gonna go out and see what others need

I’ve been sitting down studying the art of love

I think it will fit me like a glove

I want some real good woman to do just what I say

Everybody got to wonder what’s the matter with this cruel world today

Thunder on the mountain rolling to the ground

Gonna get up in the morning walk the hard road down

Some sweet day I’ll stand beside my king

I wouldn’t betray your love or any other thing

Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches

I’ll recruit my army from the orphanages

I been to St. Herman’s church and I’ve said my religious vows

I’ve sucked the milk out of a thousand cows

I got the porkchops, she got the pie

She ain’t no angel and neither am I

Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes

I’ll say this, I don’t give a damn about your dreams

Thunder on the mountain heavy as can be

Mean old twister bearing down on me

All the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town

Looks like something bad gonna happen, better roll your airplane down

Everybody’s going and I want to go too

Don’t wanna take a chance with somebody new

I did all I could and I did it right there and then

I’ve already confessed – no need to confess again

Gonna make a lot of money, gonna go up north

I’ll plant and I’ll harvest what the earth brings forth

The hammer’s on the table, the pitchfork’s on the shelf

For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself

2,010 comments Add your comment

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:06 pm

Read a great story from JP Morosi from Fox Sports on Chipper and how they should platoon Chipper and Conrad.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Is-it-time-for-Atlanta-Braves-Chipper-Jones-to-retire

Check it out if you wish. It’s a great read on the entire situation.

VP

June 17th, 2010
3:08 pm

Why is Chipper out of the lineup again DOB?

Crime Dog

June 17th, 2010
3:08 pm

DOB-

Glad you got to catch up on Justified. Finale was outstanding, IMO.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:11 pm

Thanks for the work DOB

Snotboogieeee

June 17th, 2010
3:12 pm

The thing is RHR, it’s things like the 6-3 double-play that cause folks to think that way of Yunel. I’m as big a supporter as he’s got in this space, but that play is about flash, more than ball, at least to many folks. I actually like it, most of the time, ’cause it eliminates the feed, and the chance of an error. But, he’s also tried it when he’s too far away, and made the play too close at first, or been too late altogether. So, it’s a nice stat, another Brian from SC gem, but it doesn’t say much.

BAS, I agree with this partially. I think it also speaks to the strength and confidence in his arm plus to some extent his range. He is willing to take those extra couple of steps but can still get the runner at 1B with his rifle arm. Secondly, through either his anticipation or positioning, he gets to more balls close to the 2B bag than most others and can more easily complete that 6-3 DP. Most other SS are either sprawled making that play near the bag or not close enough to even make that 6-3. (reposted)

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

June 17th, 2010
3:13 pm

I was thrilled with the trade at the time, but somehow, in the back of my mind, I feel like we were punked by the Pirates.

Did they know something was amiss with Nate, physically or psychologically?

Maybe I’m just paranoid about anything Braves. Peed the bed for a week after the Tex trade..

McClown

June 17th, 2010
3:13 pm

how goes it dob

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

June 17th, 2010
3:14 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

By the way, [Glaus'] hitting .322 with six homers and a .913 OPS in 115 at-bats with runners on, compared to .250 with an .834 OPS in 116 at-bats with none on.

Nice.

ncscoots

June 17th, 2010
3:14 pm

The Braves are 23-12 in [Hanson's career] starts, including 9-1 in the past 10.

Which is exactly the ratio a team hopes for from a top three starter. Not bad for a child (a large child, yes, but still a baby, LOL).

Win 60+ games with your top three starters, break even with the back of the rotation, and a team is in pretty good shape. And that’s one of the reasons why, when you guys go on and on about fifth starters and such, you’re probably the only folks really worried about it, LOL.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:15 pm

BAS: I’ll probably end up back out there eventually. The wife is quite taken with the Pacific. Mainly, she’s a native and feels like a fish out of water here. Though she has very much enjoyed the wildlife, foxes, rabbits, birds, squirrels, etc.

nemov

June 17th, 2010
3:16 pm

Justified was my favorite new show this season. The Finale was fantastic.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:19 pm

And that’s one of the reasons why, when you guys go on and on about fifth starters and such, you’re probably the only folks really worried about it

Worried? No. Frustrated fits better. There’s no reason to keep a bad starter in the rotation if a better one is available and already on the team (Medlen). Perhaps that’s just me being a Medlen booster. But I like that kid. Liked him since before the majors knew him. I look forward to the day the rotation is Tommy, Jair, Julio, Arodys, and Kris. Sure, all top of the line pitchers in all five spots. But there is no rule that says you must have an average to below average pitcher in the back of the rotation. Just because the league generally sucks there, doesn’t mean your team has to. It’s outside the box thinking perhaps, but that’s the type of go-gittum attitude that ushered in the power hitting short-stop.

The Dude

June 17th, 2010
3:20 pm

The Gaslight Anthem has three cds– they released one called Sink or Swim before ‘59 Sound.

Bay Area Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:20 pm

Good to hear you folks’re adaptable, 10. Only way to make it through this deal… A lot to be said for both places, I’d imagine. Plus, you’re farther away from Dense, always an imprtant consideration.

Snot, I’d agree with all that. I think to a guy looking for stuff against Yunel, it’s an area that is easy to see. Virtually every other SS in the league seems to prefer the flip.

And, I’m just gonna throw this out there, ’cause obviously I’m an idiot: I’d no idea Bob Dylan was still writing music, and no idea he was young enough to be writing about Alicia Keys. I don’t get out much.

eric the elder

June 17th, 2010
3:22 pm

A Bobby Cox ejection, as reported by two British soccer announcers:

“I say, that play was a bit of touch and go, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, and now Mr. Cox has materialized on the pitch. I should think it fair to say that he seems to have his wind up.”

“He is conversing with the official and appears to be expressing considerable skepticism with respect to that call.”

“Mr. Cox seems rather animated, in fact. Oh dear, now the official has sent him packing.”

“We may infer that his inquiry did not go well.”

“Quite.”

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:22 pm

Tennessee Paul: RE: Kawakami Vs Medlen “But there is no rule that says you must have an average to below average pitcher in the back of the rotation. Just because the league generally sucks there, doesn’t mean your team has to. It’s outside the box thinking perhaps.”

Shakespeare couldn’t have written more beautiful words.

flangeeeeeee1

June 17th, 2010
3:23 pm

RHR,

There is a blog denizen named Ella Gura that had a record store in Atlanta. HE has since closed the store and is selling records and CD’s on eBay and at shows.

If you email me at flangebox@yahoo.com I will send an email to him introducing you to him.

DOB has spoken highly of Don for years on this blog. HE is a great guy and will treat you fairly.

coach joe

June 17th, 2010
3:24 pm

The scene in Antwon’s ex-wife’s bar in Treme was classic.The Mardi Gras F— and the lent reference was hysterical.. and about baseball

no Chipper? whats up with that?

Crime Dog

June 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

eric the elder-

Well played sir.

YE19

June 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

Why not move HEYWARD back into the 2-hole and move ESCOBAR to the 3-hole? Then the lineup would be perfectly balanced Righty-Lefty-R-L-R-L through the first six, with two switch hitters at 7-8. Esco in the 3-hole, which would be a great spot for him based on his career numbers (this years early season struggles and power dip notwithstanding), might help him start driving the ball with his easy gap power again. There’s not a lot of protection for him batting seventh, which might be in part to blame for his earlier struggles (batting mostly ahead of McLouth).

ncscoots

June 17th, 2010
3:25 pm

But there is no rule that says you must have an average to below average pitcher in the back of the rotation. Just because the league generally sucks there, doesn’t mean your team has to.

True. Just kinda hard to find that many quality arms, all at the same time, at a total price you can afford. I’m not against it happening, though. :-)

I was trying to say that fifth-starter angst is perhaps misplaced, in a big-picture kinda way, LOL.

Bobbeeee's Cox

June 17th, 2010
3:26 pm

Superb, Eric.

Falcondawg

June 17th, 2010
3:27 pm

DOB, were you hinting that maybe Josh Hamilton would look good in a Braves uniform with that texas needs starting pitching comment? If so, I’d love to see it, only 29 with a pretty low salary!!!

Kevin

June 17th, 2010
3:28 pm

Thanks for the new post Dave. You’re cracking me up with your comments about the tone of comments from posters. The comments do seem to trend to the, um, negative don’t they? Keep on keepin’ on, you’re doing a great job.

Sacrifice Blount

June 17th, 2010
3:28 pm

Other than the useless music stuff, good blog.

Bay Area Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:29 pm

Well done eric.

And, I need that guy from the Arctic to clarify his KK position.

I mean, is it the 89 with no command that you don’t like? The supposed split, that is really a change, that barely moves and is only five MPH off his fastball, with no command? Is is the new cutter, with no command? Or, and this is my favorite, is it the 74 “curve” (with no command) that more resembles Adam LaRoche’s father’s LaLob more than any right-handed curve I’ve ever seen?

Dude, help me out here. Take a firm position.

ernisTbass

June 17th, 2010
3:29 pm

Its time to cut the cord with Milosh, yeah he is a good guy and tries hard and all that but a new uniform would be good for him and the braves. 0-9 is bad luck if you want to call it that but just like Frenchy maybe his and the Braves luck would change along with his uniform.

Another Bob Dylan Fan

June 17th, 2010
3:30 pm

O’Brien………….U R not such a bad guy afterall…any Dylan fan is OK in my Book………Question in point…. The Nats could only hope Strasburg’s record could be that good after the same amount of starts…….Pitchers have won Cy Youngs on lesser numbers compiled over one whole season.But as we know the Braves got lucky on this one!

monty

June 17th, 2010
3:30 pm

ncscoots

“break even with the back of the rotation, and a team is in pretty good shape”

Who is overpulling their load to compensate for KK? LOL! Dude is way below .500 or break even. At 0-8, who is balancing him out at 8-0?

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

June 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

scoots: “Win 60+ games with your top three starters, break even with the back of the rotation, and a team is in pretty good shape.”

True, but wouldn’t having 4-or-5 top-flight starters give you a better World Championship shot? Seems every team tries to assemble three good/great starters and a couple ne’er do wells. The ones who manage to do that are the teams in the playoffs. If you’ve got two very good pitchers at the back-end, to face their garbage-guys, doesn’t that make you an automatic favorite? Even if the opposing team goes with three starters in postseason, you could stick with your regular rotation and have well-rested pitchers throughout.

We have the potential to field FIVE dominant starters in a couple years. I could definitely live with that.

ncscoots

June 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

BA Steve currying favor with NS Steve, with a (not so) thinly-veiled Kawakami rip, LOL.

Them Steves stick together.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:31 pm

Just kinda hard to find that many quality arms, all at the same time, at a total price you can afford

Turns out the Braves currently have this option at a price they are already affording.

Now the only argument I’ve read that makes a lick of sense is Medlen’s innings count. I’d like to see that kid have a long and rewarding career so I would yield to this argument. Everything else, hogwash.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:32 pm

DOB: The blog may explode if we don’t offer something negative. So we’ll just remind you that Kenshin Kawakami is 0-9.

I feel refreshed.

McCann Fan

June 17th, 2010
3:32 pm

I love baseball…………………….

UNCBrave

June 17th, 2010
3:32 pm

Trade for prospects or swap for Mike Lowell. Then dump Lowell after this season for Kawakrappy

Change Turner Field to Aaron Stadium

June 17th, 2010
3:32 pm

DOB,

What’s your thought on Creighton from Treme? Do you think he really jumped?

Man, am I hoping for a Braves win and a Mets and Lakers loss tonight!! Go Braves!!

Hooters waitresses love Chipper

June 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

Who cares about your AC?

RHR

June 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

flange – done. And thanks.

Snotboogieeee

June 17th, 2010
3:33 pm

Falcondawg

I dont want to talk for DOB, but Josh Hamilton would be really expensive to take away from the Rangers.

TnBrian

June 17th, 2010
3:34 pm

Speaking of the Rangers … would it be a bad trade if Atlanta sent them Medlen and Cabrera for Cruz?

I really like Medlen and his future looks very good, but we have plenty of good pitching coming through the minors and of course what is already in Atlanta.

Luke M

June 17th, 2010
3:35 pm

Wow Dylan shares my love of Alicia Keys. Nice.

FlintRiverFunk

June 17th, 2010
3:36 pm

Justified was my favorite new show this season. The Finale was fantastic.

Yeah it was.

bravesgirlnc

June 17th, 2010
3:36 pm

T-Paul at 3:31pm.

Bump.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:36 pm

Monty: At 0-8, who is balancing him out at 8-0?

Sorry Monty, but it’s 0-9.

DOB > Bowman

June 17th, 2010
3:36 pm

I wonder if Delgado or Teheran have a shot at the team next year, if they continue to improve on their development.

Brian from SC

June 17th, 2010
3:36 pm

The Braves have 9 players with over 70 PAs and an OBP over .350, most in the majors. The Yankees have 8, and the Reds 7 (those two teams lead their respective leagues in scoring).

The Houston Astros do not have a single player with ANY number of PAs with an OBP over .350 except one: Gustavo Chacin, a relief pitcher who singled in his only time to the plate this year. The only ones remotely close are Berkman (.343), Bourn (.342), and Keppinger (.339). That is really hard for a team to do.

bravesgirlnc

June 17th, 2010
3:37 pm

As for the Rangers? They have a minor league syster stocked full of pitchers. Just FYI.

bravesgirlnc

June 17th, 2010
3:37 pm

System. Oops

ArkyTech

June 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

KK’s last 6 starts: 0-3, 3.00 ERA, 36ip, 36h, 12er, 13bb, 27k.

ncscoots

June 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

Seems every team tries to assemble three good/great starters and a couple ne’er do wells.

Ne’er-do-wells are cheap, LOL. The other three guys usually aren’t. Partly because the odds of one organization developing three or four excellent starters, all within the window of time in which they are both relatively inexpensive and performant, goes way beyond Powerball. :-) That means finding experienced, top-shelf FAs or trades to round out the rotation, and BOOM! goes the budget, LOL.

UNCBrave

June 17th, 2010
3:38 pm

DOB,

The Rangers need starting pitching ehh? WHO DO THE BRAVES GET FROM THE RANGERS?

DOB > Bowman

June 17th, 2010
3:39 pm

who would the braves trade to the rangers? KK? Doubtful, then ATL would look bad to the japanese media. Lowe? He make’s 14 million more then he ought to.

Joey M

June 17th, 2010
3:39 pm

I honestly believe when the dust settles, Tommy Hanson will have better overall stats than Strasburg. That being said, Strasburg will have more strikeouts. Hanson has proven that he can pitch when all of his pitches are betraying him. Strasburg should and does rely heavily on his fastball. It is a wonderful pitch. But the league will catch up. You don’t have to swing as hard to hit a 98-mph fastball into the upper deck. Now a home run off of Livan Hernandez, that takes some muscle.

Prado should be starting in the All Star Game. He and Glaus are the Braves Co-MVP’s to this point of the season. Heyward gets strong consideration, but Glaus and Prado are the Braves offense right now.

Pitching wise, Hudson has been our horse. But don’t forget Wagner. He has solidified our bullpen. He is the best closer since, dare I say it, John Rocker. Love him or hate him, he had that DEVASTATING curve ball that made “professional hitters” look like windmills.

The lineup always looks good with Prado in the lead off spot. I am not crazy about hitting Heyward in the 3 hole. He needs to be either in the 2 or 6 spot. Maybe give Escobar a shot at hitting third. He could get some fastballs because Glaus is hitting so well.

Am I the only one that feels Conrad is important to us as Luis Polonia and Mike Deveraux were back in 1995? Those guys were a big reason we won it all. And I believe if we can carry on into October, Conrad will be a big reason why we sent Bobby home with another ring.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:39 pm

BA Steve: “Or, and this is my favorite, is it the 74 “curve” (with no command) that more resembles Adam LaRoche’s father’s LaLob more than any right-handed curve I’ve ever seen?”

I liken Kawakami’s “curve” ball to that of a beach ball floating in the wind that takes about the same amount of time to cross the plate as it would a group of pedestrians who need the assistance of walking canes to cross the street.

It’s got quite the loop to it – i’ll tell ya.

Brian from SC

June 17th, 2010
3:39 pm

Well, the Braves are 3-10 in Kawakami’s starts, and 6-1 in Medlen’s, so that’s almost balanced right there.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:41 pm

ncscoots: That means finding experienced, top-shelf FAs or trades to round out the rotation, and BOOM! goes the budget

Except in the case of the 2010 Braves when they already have the five good pitchers and are still under budget from the year before…

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:41 pm

nscscoots: BA Steve currying favor with NS Steve, with a (not so) thinly-veiled Kawakami rip, LOL.

LOL 8O

N8

June 17th, 2010
3:42 pm

scoots, you’re dead on about the “win 60 with your top 3, etc…” theory.

It is exactly why I always thought this team, (no matter what I thought of the lineup), had zero chance of losing 90 games like Nick said.

This team was going to wint 60-70 games alone based just on the rotation. And that was assuming JJJ was part of it. He’s been a non factor for a 3rd of the season.

As for complaining about the 5th starter? I’m with you. Basically need a guy that can give you innings, and put the offense in a reasonable position to help the team win. However……

Similar to when JS couldn’t find pitching and he decided to go “all out” on the offense by getting Tex, I think if Wren doesn’t want to trade top prospects for a really good bat for the outfield, he could use a similar strategy.

Which would be putting JJJ back in the rotation once he’s back (duh!), and then going with Medlen in the 5th starter spot.

Why not go all out and try and have the very best 1-5 rotation in baseball from now until the end of the year?

Then when (if) the playoffs arrive, go with the best 3 (which I would only presume to be Hudson, Hanson and JJJ) and move the others to the pen.

Our pen has certainly “survived” without Medlen in it. It’s only going to get better as Saito comes back, along with Kimbrel and Venters settling in (as if Venters hasn’t already done so).

I think Medlen is that good where he truly will help the club wherever he pitches. But just imagine the rotation possiblilty with a healthy JJJ and Medlen at the bottom of the rotation.

This rotation has been VERY good (even with KK getting his turn). Now we’re going to add JJJ to the mix? Bare with me for using the “just like trading for a player” cliche’. But that just might have the impact that Cliff Lee did for the Phillies last year.

If we think this team is rolling now? What if KK didn’t pitch every 5 days? Yeah. I get his stats aren’t that bad. But dude just keeps on losing. No denying that fact.

CraZyTRaDeMaN

June 17th, 2010
3:43 pm

I’m not completly sure how it works but for the 10/5 rule. Isn’t it if you have played 10 years in the majors and 5 years with current team you can have full trade veto power. Am I right??

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

June 17th, 2010
3:43 pm

Joey M Maybe give Escobar a shot at hitting third. He could get some fastballs because Glaus is hitting so well.

Only thing is…Bobby doesn’t bat Glaus fourth all the time.

TnBrian

June 17th, 2010
3:43 pm

I think any that will trade us a slugger is a team that more than likely needs pitching and Medlen would be who I’m the other team. If it’s a rebuilding team then they’d probably want whatever is good as long as they’re real cheap and young.

Forget KK. Nobody in their right mind would want that guy. $7.3m a year for a guy who can’t pitch more than 5-6 innings usually and his time in the pen wasn’t pretty from what I remember. Just not much, if anything, attractive at all about him to another team, I would think.

ncscoots

June 17th, 2010
3:44 pm

Everything else, hogwash.

Hey, I don’t have a dog in the Kawakami/Medlen fight, LOL. Either one of ‘em is OK with me, because I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference. Not if Hudson, Hanson, Lowe are rocking. If Jurrjens comes back to form, even more so.

joe

June 17th, 2010
3:44 pm

Didn’t Chipper have a homer and a double the other night? Then why is he out of the lineup today? Is he injured again??

McCann Fan

June 17th, 2010
3:44 pm

No, don’t trade Medlen. He has a very bright future with the Braves if we keep him.

If we do things right the core of this team for years to come is:
1B Freeman
2B Prado
SS Esco – Salcedo
3B Infante
C Mac
RF Heyward
CF Schafer
LF ???

SP Hanson
SP Jurrjens
SP Medlen
SP Minor
SP Teheran/Vizcaino
RP Venters
RP Kimbrel

And all the other prospects I won’t pretend to know about

WindyCityDawg

June 17th, 2010
3:44 pm

DOB: As a fan of shoe gazer rock, have you heard of Surfer Blood? Sure, the name sounds like a southern California death metal band, but it’s quite good. “Swim” is the big single and Astrocoast is the album.

In baseball news, I finally get to see the Braves play next week here in Chicago at a reasonable baseball stadium (the Cell vs. Wrigley). Looking forward to the sweep — White Sox are not playing well.

Brian from SC

June 17th, 2010
3:45 pm

Correct, Crazy.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:45 pm

This blog reminds me daily of how much i enjoy talking to all you folks on here.

I get a lot of laughs – i’ll tell you that much. And plus you’re all (most of us) Braves fans (most of the time) so that helps.

RHR

June 17th, 2010
3:45 pm

The Rangers can’t have Krissy. :cry:

I mean, that’s what I got from that because…why would any team be inquiring about KK?

Matt's Big Breakfast

June 17th, 2010
3:46 pm

They need to give KK a shot at Gwinett. He needs some confidence building. If he cant get it there negoiate a buyout

CraZyTRaDeMaN

June 17th, 2010
3:46 pm

McCann Fan, Infante is your answer at third? Really?

Bay Area Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:47 pm

scoots, forgot to answer from the other day:

Down to the studs. Replacing fiberglass stall shower with tile. New tile floor, solid-surface counter. Got the cement board up… went well. Now to tiling… We’ve got our layout lines up, think we’re plumb and level. Any words of wisdom to a first-time tiler?

TnBrian

June 17th, 2010
3:47 pm

Again, just for those dreaming of somebody taking KK off our teams hand … wish in one hand, sh** in the other and see which one fills up first.

I’ve always loved that line.

faninva

June 17th, 2010
3:47 pm

Joey M

June 17th, 2010
3:39 pm
I honestly believe when the dust settles, Tommy Hanson will have better overall stats than Strasburg. That being said, Strasburg will have more strikeouts. Hanson has proven that he can pitch when all of his pitches are betraying him. Strasburg should and does rely heavily on his fastball. It is a wonderful pitch. But the league will catch up.

Not so sure about that. He throws 98-100 with MOVEMENT. If i threw 98-100 consistently, I’d rely on my fastball too. just about everyone (including Smoltz) has said that he has 4 great pitches and has command on all of them. if he stays healthy, the sky is the limit with him. Yes, he could turn out to be another Kerry Wood and fall from injuries, but if he stays healthy, no way Hanson has better stats. sorry.

Gil Garrido

June 17th, 2010
3:48 pm

Has anyone seen my glove?

Matt's Big Breakfast

June 17th, 2010
3:48 pm

and aside from KK I think Wren is the luckiest sob in baseball

PMC

June 17th, 2010
3:49 pm

Imagine if Hanson and Strasburg weren’t hamstrung by thier teams and “arbitration” and they could have done what they are doing for full seasons instead of “learning in the minors” and pitching the whole year.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

Either one of ‘em is OK with me, because I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference

It matters to the point that you put your best players on the field as much as possible. You put your secondary players in secondary rolls. KK is the secondary player. He should be in a secondary roll. Medlen has more value as a starter who truly gives the team a chance to win (6-1 in his starts vs 3-10 in KK’s)

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

Matt’s Big Breakfast: They need to give KK a shot at Gwinett. He needs some confidence building.

I would fully expect the man to get destroyed down there as well because frankly its his non-agressive pitching style that i believe is the root of his troubles.

High pitch totals and deep counts force him to give in to batters and he doesn’t have the velocity or the movement on his pitches to compensate.

Therefore he gives in to hitters – and pitches to their strenghts and not his own (i don’t know what they would be but anyway)

And as you all know those hitters aren’t missing very often.

TnBrian

June 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

RHR, well, I can just feel Melden being traded soon. IMO, a team would probably want a guy who has proven his stuff in the bigs like Medlen has, plus he’s young, cheap and very good.

Sopheeeeee

June 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

The Rangers can’t have Krissy.

I second that.

Chip Caray's Eyebrows

June 17th, 2010
3:50 pm

DOB>Bowman, no neither will have a shot because kk under contract and pitching lights out.

McCann Fan

June 17th, 2010
3:51 pm

CrazyTradeMan,
Why the hell not? The guy is a .300 plus hitter and sure plays a better 3rd than Chipper. The team has been fine with his old-man 3rd base play the last couple of years so why not a guy that plays a decent 3rd and can hit? If not, swap Prado and Infante at 2nd and 3rd. How do you like that?

Joey M

June 17th, 2010
3:51 pm

DOB: Do you think there is any chance the Braves sign Mark Grudzielanek from free-agency and use him as a starter at Third while Chipper is out? I understand he is a Second Baseman, but the guy has hit everywhere he has been and the power alley’s in Turner would welcome his swing.

TennesseePaul

June 17th, 2010
3:52 pm

BrianSC: That is really hard for a team to do.

Yeah, but have you watched the Astros this year? They make it look so easy.

glove51

June 17th, 2010
3:52 pm

McCannFan, I’d wager Jurrjens won’t be here by 2012. The starting rotation in 2012 will probably be:

Hanson
Hudson
Medlen
Teheran
Minor

Also, Infante is no starting 3rd baseman, not long term. Salcedo or Escobar MIGHT be. The rest, I agree with. The Braves have some other good bullpen arms lined up too.

Nate McLouth

June 17th, 2010
3:52 pm

and aside from KK I think Wren is the luckiest sob in baseball

I’ll say!

PETER NORTH

June 17th, 2010
3:53 pm

McCann Fan you forgot about delgado

CraZyTRaDeMaN

June 17th, 2010
3:53 pm

I know it sounds CrAzY and the mariners have already said he is not avalible but, this is the last year before Ichiro is 10/5. I would give 2 players out of (Delgado, Minor, Vizcaino, Masters, Medlen) and another couple players that are mid level prospects like, Sammons, Rose, Schafer to get him. I know its a long shot but, I could see the mariners trading him in order to restock.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

Hanson
Hudson
Medlen
Teheran
Minor

I just pitched a ten person tent while sitting at my computer desk. 8O

RHR

June 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

a team would probably want a guy who has proven his stuff in the bigs like Medlen has, plus he’s young, cheap and very good.

Precisely why we should keep him.

Crime Dog

June 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

Man I didn’t know Peter North was a Braves fan. Certainly ups the celeb quotient of the Braves fanbase…kind of…

TheRyan

June 17th, 2010
3:54 pm

“He is the best closer since, dare I say it, John Rocker.” – Joey M

Ever hear of a guy names John Smoltz?

Gil Garrido

June 17th, 2010
3:55 pm

faninva -
i think if you offered the nationals hanson’s stats for strasburg’s first 35 starts, they would take them in a heartbeat.
to assume somone can beat almost cy young-type numbers is a bit of a reach, imho.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

June 17th, 2010
3:55 pm

All teams being otherwise equal, five terrific starters would provide an enormous advantage over teams with just three.

Why does this make so much sense to me? I feel like a baseball moroon.

Either way, I honestly expect us to have FIVE GREAT starters in two years. Bet we win Powerball, and The World Series! YEAH!

RHR

June 17th, 2010
3:55 pm

Trade JJ instead. He’s in his last year of being cheap and with his crazy like a fox agent we all know he’ll likely be playing elsewhere next year anyway.

McCann Fan

June 17th, 2010
3:56 pm

glove51,
Yeah, I can definitely see Esco moving to 3rd if he’s still here when we have a better option at SS. I’m just an Infante fan and would rather place him somewhere than lose him.

Fandom

June 17th, 2010
3:56 pm

Kawakami will not be traded

Glen W

June 17th, 2010
3:56 pm

Ubaldo is 13-1. The Twins are not enjoying hosting NL teams during this interleague play. It looks like the NL is catching up with the AL to me.

But I haven’t looked at the league versus league record for this year so far.

Crime Dog

June 17th, 2010
3:57 pm

Glen W-

After last night it was 61-55 AL I believe.

HuffBraves

June 17th, 2010
3:57 pm

DOB-

‘Tis a rare day when I can actually make an informed comment on your music choices, but today is that day.

Good call on the Gaslight Anthem. It’s a solid album, though I have trouble listening from start to finish. Two reasons: Same mini-reverb effect on his voice in every song, and I actually figured out that 7 of the 10 tracks on the CD are in the same key (I’m a music geek). Would have liked a little more variation.

That being said, I like almost each track when played individually.

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