Braves wait for Hinske, Diaz waits for Braves, etc.

While the Braves wait for Eric Hinske to decide between offers from them and his home-state Brewers, and Matt Diaz waits for the Braves to make a decision about his future, most of us are just waiting for the Hot Stove to heat up.

While the Braves -- thank the Marlins -- nabbed their big pursuit early with the trade for Dan Uggla, most teams seem content to wait until next week's Winter Meetings to really get the Hot Stove going. Deals and even rumors have been sparse so far across the baseball landscape.

While the Braves -- courtesy of impatient Marlins -- nabbed their big pursuit early with a trade for Dan Uggla, most teams seem content to wait until next week's Winter Meetings to get the Hot Stove cranking. Deals and even rumors have been sparse so far.

And this is coming from a beat writer whose team made one of the only significant moves so far this winter, trading for second baseman Dan Uggla.

Yes, this offseason has been uncharacteristically short on juicy trade rumors and free-agent negotiations played out publicly. Apparently most teams — exception: Yankees — and agents are more or less abiding by the recent request that they not leak offers and negotiation updates to the media.

Those are the leaks that usually provide much of grist for the offseason rumor mill, and I wonder just how long teams and agents will continue to bite their lips and let so many calls from reporters go to voicemail, and go unreturned.

Or maybe there just are not nearly as many talks happening as we’re used to in late November. Arbitration offer deadlines and the exclusive free-agent negotiation period were shortened and the process sped up this winter, in the hopes that teams and players might begin serious talks earlier and more deals – trades and signings – might happen sooner than in recent years.

But it appears the reverse might actually be happening. Teams found out earlier than in past years which free agents would be offered arbitration by clubs and which would cost draft-pick compensation for signing teams.

Now, most are just sort of sitting on that info, fully digesting it and waiting for a couple more deadlines before formulating strategies for full engagement in talks during the Winter Meetings that start Monday (Dec. 6) in Orlando.

Teams probably figure that with the arb-acceptance deadline so much sooner this year, coming on Tuesday (Nov. 30), and the Dec. 2 deadline looming for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players, there’s really no reason to rush into anything.

Not when they can wait until after the Dec. 2 deadline and know exactly which players are available all over baseball, with those non-tendered players joining the free-agent pool.

This offseason could quickly go from slower-than-usual to something close to frenetic next week in Orlando. And even though the Braves have already made their big move of the winter, landing the big right-handed bat they had sought for at least the past couple of years, they still have moves to make.

They want to strengthen a bench that’s taken some hits this winter, with the loss of Omar Infante in the Uggla trade and lesser players who were dumped, and would also like to add a veteran reliever, preferably with some closing ability.

Waiting for Hinske: Once the Braves get an answer from Hinske, they’ll obviously know much more about their bench needs.

The 33-year-old left fielder/first baseman/pinch-hitter is deciding between an offer from the Braves believed to be worth between $1.2 million and $1.5 million, and a similar offer from Milwaukee.

Hinske’s brother, Ryan, a high school football coach in Wisconsin, last week told the Appleton (Wisc) Post-Crescent that Hinske would like a two-year deal. If either team offers that, you get a sense he’d sign right away.

If it comes down to paying a few hundred thousand bucks more than planned, Eric Hinske would seem to be worth the investment for the Braves, given what he did last season on the field and in the clubhouse.

If it comes down to paying a few hundred thousand bucks more than planned, Eric Hinske would seem to be worth the investment for the Braves, given what he did last season on the field and in the clubhouse.

Understandable, given his age (33) and the year-to-year nature of the job of a veteran utility man/pinch-hitter. Meawwhile, teams prefer not to make more than a one-year commitment to players whose performance can go from really good to bad so rapidly (see: Greg Norton), while the players try to capitalize on a good season for more security.

If all things are reasonably close to equal, offer-wise, I tend to believe Hinske will come back to Atlanta, where he’s comfortable with his teammates and confident that the Braves can make another playoff run (if Bobby Cox was back, I’d be even more confident Hinske would return).

But you just never know about the pull of the hometown, especially for a player who’s nearing the end of his career, and has never gotten to play so close to family members on a regular basis.

And if the Brewers offer the same or a bit more than the Braves, that might be difficult for him to turn down, unless Hinske just doesn’t believe the Brewers have much chance to contend for a playoff berth (he’s been to the playoffs four consecutive years with four different teams, including three World Series trips before last year’s first-round loss to San Francisco).

Hinske hit .256 with 21 doubles, 11 homers and 51 RBIs in 281 at-bats last season, with a .338 OBP and a .456 slugging percentage. When Braves left fielders struggled mightily in the early season, Cox put Hinske out there and he helped spark a resurgence after the nine-game losing skid in late April.

But after he cooled off and began to slump, Cox removed him from the regular left-field job and eventually stopped platooning him with Diaz, too. I never fully understood the reasoning for that, to be honest with you. I thought the Braves were pretty solid with Diaz and Hinske platooning in left field.

Hinske hit .274 (48-for-175) with 14 doubles, six homers, 34 RBIs and an impressive .817 OPS before the All-Star break, compared to .226 (24-for-106) with only 10 extra-base hits, 17 RBIs and a .754 OPS after the break.

Hinske was one of the players often cited by others for the Braves’ improved team chemistry, a leader from the beginning of spring training.

As a pinch-hitter, he hit .298 with three homers and a .985 OPS in 47 at-bats. And in whatever role he was playing, during the late innings of close games Hinske hit .302 with three homers and a 1.009 OPS in 43 at-bats.

Having fellow veterans like Hinske around was a big part in the Braves' improvement in 2010, according to Chipper Jones (left).

Having fellow veterans like Hinske around was a big part in the Braves' improvement in 2010, Chipper Jones (left) has said.

Overall, he hit .314 with a .945 OPS in 99 at-bats after the sixth inning.

Yes, the Braves need him back.

His managers have used Hinske sparingly against lefties in recent years, and he excelled against lefties in very limited exposure to them last season. Hinske went 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles and two homers against lefties, after batting just .191 (21-for-110) with four doubles and homers against lefties over the 2007-2009 seasons.

But he makes his bones hitting righties, and last season his slugging percentage against righties was .427, down from .457 over the previous three seasons combined.

All that said, the Braves need him. Or, at least in my opinion, they shouldn’t lose him over a few hundred thousand bucks, if it were to come to that. For team chemistry and late-innings production, that seems a small price to pay over what you might have had in mind.

♣ Diaz awaiting decision: After coming to Atlanta five years ago as a 26-year-old minor leaguer in a deal no one noticed, a trade for an obscure pitcher who went on to more obscurity, Matt Diaz’s career blossomed as a Brave.

A .303 average, .353 OBP and .815 OPS. That’s what Diaz has done in five seasons for the Braves.

The amiable outfielder really wants to continue as a Brave. But he’s smart. He looks at moves the Braves have made this offseason, realizes he might be moving on. Or not. He hasn’t talked to a team official since the season ended.

Matt and Leslee Diaz, shown at a Tim Hudson offseason charity event in 2009, are waiting to find out if he'll be playing for the Braves again in 2011, a decision that could also help determine their new baby's name. (Elissa Eubanks photo/AJC)

Matt and Leslee Diaz, shown at a Tim Hudson offseason charity event in 2009, are waiting to find out if he'll be playing for the Braves again in 2011. That could also influence the naming of their new baby boy, due Dec. 16. (Elissa Eubanks photo/AJC)

“Just hanging tight for a few more days,” Diaz said from his Central Florida home on Monday, as one of his two small children made a lot of noise in the background.

“That’s what I heard, that you wouldn’t hear anything till the last day [before the non-tender deadline],” he said. “Just try not to worry too much.”

Diaz had a .313 average and career-best .878 OPS in 2009, when he had career-highs of 425 plate appearances, 13 homers and 58 RBIs.

Then he slipped to a .250 average and .739 OPS last season, with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 84 games. Diaz was limited to 244 plate appearances due to a first-half thumb infection that required surgery.

Joe Mather, a versatile corner outfielder/infielder recently claimed off waivers from St. Louis, or someone else-to-be-determined might replace Diaz as a part-time left fielder and right-handed pinch-hitter.

That’s what can happen to a player whose price tag rises through arbitration, to a point where teams weigh his contributions against the cost of others who might offer similar performance for significantly fewer dollars.

Diaz has made it clear he’d skip his final run at arbitration and return for something close to the $2.55 million he made last year, but the Braves haven’t made an offer or indicated any intention to tender a contract.

How important is it for the Braves to re-sign Eric Hinske?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
  But Diaz said he hasn’t had time to worry much this winter.

“Not with two kids and one more arriving any week now,” said Diaz, whose wife, Leslee, has a Dec. 16 due date for the couple’s third child. “Is she going to pop? I’m worried, but about a few more important things than that [contract situation].”

There hasn’t been much idle time for him to even think about his next contract.

“No, not with our families,” said Diaz, whose parents and parents-in-law both live nearby. “We have two Thanksgivings and two small kids, so you’re more worried about them not throwing food and stuff like that. That makes it harder to relax at Thanksgiving than [whether or not he'll be tendered a contract].”

If the Braves don’t retain him, the right-handed-hitting Florida native would be a free agent. Philadelphia mananager Charlie Manuel, a neighbor in Winter Haven, has already indicated the Phillies would be  interested in Diaz.

“That’s anyone’s first choice, to return to the team you’ve had success with and are comfortable with,” Diaz said. “But I think we’re prepared either way. We’ve done a pretty good idea of keeping our identity away from what I do and the team I play for. You know my priority list.”

It’s God and family first for Diaz.

“It’d be great to be back, but we’ll be fine either way,” he said. “I definitely think I can help. I felt like once I was back last year [from injury], I helped.”

Even in a down year for Diaz, he hit .273 with five homers and a .512 slugging percentage in 112 at-bats against lefties. Jason Heyward (six homers in 173 at-bats) was the only Brave with more homers off lefties, and David Ross (.526) was the only Brave with a better slugging percentage against lefties.

Have we mentioned that Jenny Lewis, as half of the duo Jenny & Johnny, had one of the best CDs of the year? We'll have that list in a few weeks. Meantime, it seemed a good excuse to run this photo.

Have we mentioned that Jenny Lewis, as half of the duo Jenny & Johnny, had one of the best CDs of the year? We'll have our Top 50 CDs list in a few weeks. Meantime, good excuse to use this.

Atlanta’s .385 slugging percentage against lefties was fifth-lowest in the NL.

During the 2007-2009 seasons, Diaz hit a blistering .369 against lefties, with 45 extra-base hits (17 homers) and a .975 OPS in 396 at-bats. He hit .265 with a .700 OPS in 468 at-bats against righties during that same three-year stretch.

More than just his future hangs in the balance with next week’s non-tender deadline. There is also the matter of the name for the soon-to-arrive baby boy.

Diaz explained that he and Leslee have several names in mind, but a couple of their favorites are names that teammates recently used for their own children. So they’ll wait to pick a name after they know if Matt will continue playing for the Braves.

How ’bout the name of an actual teammate?

“We had a lady at church who said, ‘I like the name Omar,’” Diaz said, chuckling. “I said, ‘Yes, but if that kid doesn’t speak Spanish, he’ll be shunned.’” (Diaz speaks only limited Spanish.)

Are we going to miss this guy if the Braves don’t bring him back? You better believe it.

Etc. Speaking of Dan Uggla, you may have heard by now that he has 23 homers and a .901 OPS in 89 games against the Braves, and a .354 average with 12 homers, 36 RBIs and a 1.051 OPS in 45 games at Turner Field. But how ’bout this: In his last 25 games against the Braves, Uggla had eight homers, a .364 OBP, and a .615 slugging percentage. It’s as if the Braves finally said “uncle” and traded for their nemesis to stop the pain.

All right, let’s close this thing with a tune from the Drive-By Truckers. It’s “Birthday Boy,” and here’s a live bootleg with surprisingly clean audio. Also, check out this making making-of video about the song, told by band members around another live performance of the tune. Good stuff.

alg_drive-by_truckers

“BIRTHDAY BOY” by Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers)

Which one’s the birthday boy?

she said I ain’t got all night

What’d your mama name you?

You can call me what you like

Every skinny mystery gotta make it hard somehow

Sit your narrow ass down hot shot

I’ll solve yours right now

You got a girlfriend don’t you boy?

Nervous hands cant lie

Married men don’t ask how much, single ones ain’t buying

One day you got everything, next day it’s all broke

Let miss Trixie sit up front

Let her wipe your nose

Working for the money like you got eight hands

Flat on your back under a mean old man

just thinking happy thoughts and breathing deep

Between your mama’s drive and daddy’s belt

It don’t take smarts to learn to tune out what hurts more than helps

The pretty girls from the smallest towns

get remembered like storms and droughts

that old men talk about for years to come

I guess that’s why they give us names

So a few old men can say they saw us rain when we were young

Which ones the birthday boy?

she said I aint got all night

What’d your mama name you?

You can call me what you like

4,362 comments Add your comment

unbelievable

November 29th, 2010
10:16 pm

Id much rather bring back Diaz and have the ability to trade him than banking on Mather being a useful contributor

Pameeee

November 29th, 2010
10:20 pm

I bet the Tim Hudson charity was so much fun

Kelly

November 29th, 2010
10:21 pm

If we can use Diaz under $2M I’d take him but over $2, I’ll say NO SIR.

Firsty McElwaney

November 29th, 2010
10:22 pm

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:24 pm

I’m Not First, But I’m “On Deck!”

jmart

November 29th, 2010
10:25 pm

DOB, do you believe that Diaz has priced himself out of the Braves price range? If they non tender him and then offered him $1.5 million do you think he would take it? Can the Braves even afford to pay him $1.5 million? A bench that starts with Hinske and Diaz would be pretty stout.

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:27 pm

unbelievable

November 29th, 2010
10:16 pm
Id much rather bring back Diaz and have the ability to trade him than banking on Mather being a useful contributor

Co-Sign! If Your Frank Wren, You got to Get Matty-D back and trade him next especially if he has another second half tear, which I was Banking on last year…But Never Happened because Bobby was in Love with The Mocha Melk-Dud and kept starting him

I’m Glad we ‘Old Yellered” the Melk Dud BTW…!

TennesseePaul

November 29th, 2010
10:28 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

Don’t be shy with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It’s a solid movie. You will not walk out on it.

And I’ll certainly miss Diaz if he goes to another team. He’s easily one of the best trades in the last five years.

Bat Masterson

November 29th, 2010
10:30 pm

Nice late evening blog, DOB. Thanks

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:30 pm

Come On Wren

“Live Solid, Bank Solid”

Braves Fans Want Matty-D and Hinske Back!

Matty-D was our Secret weapon in the second half from 2007-2009

Hinske was that last year, Now’s Not the Time to Be Cheap!

Our Bench was very overlooked last year…Probably the best bench we have had since maybe 1999? Check Me if I’m Wrong?

Feeanch

November 29th, 2010
10:32 pm

Diaz and hinske both need to get back. Birthday boy was my fave song off last album. Thx dob!

McFann O O

November 29th, 2010
10:32 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

I love Diaz. Heck to the freaking YES we’d miss him! I’ll be very sad if he goes. :(

“We have two Thanksgivings and two small kids, so you’re more worried about them not throwing food and stuff like that.” “Yes, but if that kid doesn’t speak Spanish, he’ll be shunned.’”

:lol: The guy gives the best quotes, dangit!

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:33 pm

D.O.B.

No Love For Motorhead, Lenny Kravitz, or Ween?

Ween is Mellow ish, Beavis and Butthead got me onto it….

And I’m suprised you are not a fan of the Chili Peppers?

Saggy McBooberson

November 29th, 2010
10:33 pm

Finally got around to watching “Crazy Heart” the other night. Jeff Bridges was outstanding in the role. His Oscar was very well deserved. Maggie Gyllenhaal was actually pretty decent in it as well. Good to see Robert Duvall too, even in a small role. I’d recommend it to any who haven’t seen it.

Pameeee

November 29th, 2010
10:34 pm

The Braves bench received very much credit. They were the Home Depot winners on many occasions.

NRBQ

November 29th, 2010
10:35 pm

Huge Matty fan.

As the previous years’ number suggest, he’s fine against rightys when given the chance.

Always hustling. Smile on his face. Why roll the dice on some low-priced unknown to replace what he brings to the team?

Injuries this year notwithstanding, I’ve always thought he improves with increased playing time.

JC Boscan III

November 29th, 2010
10:46 pm

Besides the best quotes of Diaz, don’t forget how he helped the Phillies grounds crew clean up that idiot in the spandex who ran onto the field….! Bring back Diaz and Hinske!

NRBQ

November 29th, 2010
10:46 pm

Enter your comments here

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:47 pm

Exactly

Matty-D always hustles not to mention during his time here was one of the best baserunners on the team, although that might be saying something

Von Osnabruck

November 29th, 2010
10:47 pm

I’d like to see this as our bench:

Ross C
Hinske 1B/LF/PH
Diaz LF/RF/PH
Conrad PH/2B/3B
‘Utility Player X’ CF/SS/2B

That would give us a great backup catcher, powerful silver bullet pinch hitters against both lefties and righties, a switch hitting pinch hitter who can play infield in a pinch, and a defensive minded utility player aquired most likely by trade who can play both center and shortstop.

The utility player X doesnt really need to be a guy who can play every day of need be because if McLouth continues to struggle or goes down with an injury Heyward can play full time in center and Prado, Hinske and Diaz can play the corners. Conrad and utility player X don’t both need to be counted on to play 1B/2B/3B on a regular basis because Prado can play those spots with Hinske/Diaz filling in for him in LF.

So the versatilty of Prado and Heyward would allow the Braves to invest in two very good bench players who can start together in a platoon role while covering every spot but SS and C defensively. Catcher is obviously covered by Ross but if Gonzalez goes down long term I think we would just call up Hicks, Hernandez or maybe even Pastornicky and hope for the best or prepare for a trade.

I really hope to see both Diaz and Hinske back next year.

Pameeee

November 29th, 2010
10:52 pm

Hell the 49ers playing like they know what they are doing out there.

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:52 pm

Yeah, I’m not sold on Mather either…We can’t expect him to be the super sub that Infante was…Thats too much Burden on a player

Brooks Conrad Sings Shinedown Karaoke

November 29th, 2010
10:53 pm

I am starring down the barrell of a .45.

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:54 pm

I’m Pretty Sure That Matt Chernoff and Chuck Oliver will be peeping this blog in Da Morning…

If So? Then I will give them A Stoopid Shout-Out!!!

And Matt Did the Chuck Imitation again today…And I want to meet those Intern Chicks that work on 680AMTheFan ….

TS

November 29th, 2010
10:56 pm

Ween is the best live band on the planet. DBT is right up there.

Diaz is the best guy to start your bench with. Hinske is right up there.

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
10:58 pm

My Big Boy Gut tells me that Hinske will take a 2 year deal from Milwaukee by this weekend…”Watch” If Hinske isn’t signed by the end of the week, then I’m gonna be livid for Wren going Cheap! Especially when Hinske had twice the Production of the Melk-Dud and Played in half the games while collecting a fraction of the Money that the Melk Dud got, even if some of that money that the Melk-Dud got was from WhineBrenner….

Roman Gal

November 29th, 2010
11:00 pm

It ain’t my money, so I say spend it all!

Diaz and Hinske!

nolie

November 29th, 2010
11:01 pm

Heyward is not gonna play full time in center

P'cola Brave

November 29th, 2010
11:01 pm

DOB

Do you think the Braves could work something out with Diaz for less guaranteed money and more incentive based, based on AB, Games Played, etc.

Harry Nurtz

November 29th, 2010
11:02 pm

A chick is a drive by trucker ? Kinda trashy aint it ?

Braves will be fine with or without Hinske & Diaz but Hinske earned the right to return.

Woho will be in CF ? Don’t tell me McOut either… Braves still need a starting CF,and veteran reliever/potential closer if the the young guys fail.

nolie

November 29th, 2010
11:02 pm

Hinske had four pretty mediocre months to end the season. I can live without him, I sure would not give him two years

nolie

November 29th, 2010
11:03 pm

McNate will be starting in center to begin the season. there i told you anyway

Kat

November 29th, 2010
11:04 pm

Tonight I sat down to go through my mail and in my Binghamton University alumni magazine there was an article on Scott Diamond- currently with Gwinnett. It was a short, but nice unexpected baseball read for the night. Well that is until the new blog was posted, which gave me a much better baseball fix for the week, thanks David. I hope Diaz stays..he seemed like a great guy from the two seconds I met him in Atlanta this summer.

If anyone is interested, here is the Scott Diamond article: http://www.binghamton.edu/magazine/index.php/magazine/b-sports/diamond-engineers-a-plan-for-his-future

ryan c

November 29th, 2010
11:07 pm

unless the braves think that matt diaz can handle CF in a backup role, i dont think there’s any way they can bring him back. there’s only so many left fielders you can put on a team.

Billy

November 29th, 2010
11:07 pm

Mather is someone you must keep an eye on. He is big, fast, right hand hitting 1st, 3rd, LF, RF that is athletic enough not to embarrass with an occasional day in CF. With a halfway decent ST I see him on the roster along with Lucas. Ed Lucas has got a great chance of being the new Omar unless he falls flat in ST.

Mather
Ross
Lucas
Hinske
Schafer or Young

That is my guess, which means it will look nothing like that

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
11:07 pm

Harry Nurtz

Nate-Dawg Starts in CF and will hit leadoff, Bank On It!

He is owed too much money to rot on the bench…

With that said if he is still leading off by May 1st and hitting at the “Mondesi Line” then It will be time to “Old Yeller” the kid and eat his contract…

Kevin

November 29th, 2010
11:08 pm

Matty is great. And by all accounts, Hinske is a terrific teammate. Those two will put up quality ABs all season long. And it’s that type of bench that won us so many come-from-behind victories this last year. With Omar not around, I think it’s imperative to have great options from the left and right sides. I say we factor these two in, aim for a has-been closer and adjust if someone will give us money for KK.

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
11:14 pm

@Kevin

Co-Sign On That Last Post

And Hinske was one of the most Emotional/Hypest Players On the Team…! He Didn’t fall into that Corporate-Business-Mans Persona that so many former Braves players played into…Thats why fans stayed away from games

cabravesfan

November 29th, 2010
11:16 pm

I honestly don’t know what to do…it’s so weird to watch a game where I don’t have at least one moment blinding hopelessness…

kevinnovator

November 29th, 2010
11:16 pm

Wren and Fredi, please sign Matty D. The dude can rake. His thumb suppressed his numbers for last year. He played through. He needed an off season to get comfortable. He sacrificed for the team as long as he could. He is the definition of a gamer. He cares too (do you see the way he reacts to plays). Don’t go with the unknown. Bottom line, Diaz WILL win games for you. Candidly, if I were him, I would want to go to a team where I could play every day so my next contract could be a monster. But, he wants to stay with the Bravos. Loyal, man.

P'cola Brave

November 29th, 2010
11:18 pm

T-hawkin

Agree. I think thats what made everyone fall in love with Hinske was his youthfulness. He definitely brought some fire and excitement with him that hasn’t been here the last few years. I would love to have him back.

bravofan

November 29th, 2010
11:20 pm

Nice bloggage I don’t see Diax coming back to be honest. I hate it because I love him I wish and hope he does return.

Harry Nurtz

November 29th, 2010
11:23 pm

I don’t care if you owe Nate $10 trillion bucks he sucks and is not good enough to start as the CF for any team much less the Atlanta Braves trying to win a division title. I bought a tv one time that played well but it stopped playing well so I replaced it. I still had $300 bucks in it as I took it to the landfill…

Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
11:24 pm

I Might Puke If I see Matty-D wearing Philly Red next year during a Game especially at C-Bank-Park…Puking won’t be hard to do during games once I down a 6 Pack of Samuel Jackson Tall Boys…

Chef Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
11:27 pm

@ Harry Nurtz…LOL, Dope Ass Anology

BRING MATT BACK!!!!!

November 29th, 2010
11:27 pm

Sign him now, please! We can always use a good hitter who is a great guy who comes to play everyday! I personally like him and respect him because he is a wonderful Christian man who is a great husband and father! Also, you will not be reading about him getting in trouble with the law, selling drugs, or such nonsense, as that! He is also a good guy in the clubhouse! Plus, he wants to remain an Atlanta Brave!!!

Chef Tomahawkin

November 29th, 2010
11:29 pm

BRB

I got Jalepeno Chicken Bites “On Deck!”

I need to stop Cooking/Eating late…! Because I get Pregnant Pauses from it in the Mornings….

Harry Nurtz

November 29th, 2010
11:31 pm

Chief, I had a dog once with a pedigree and I paid $500 bucks for him as a pup. He tried crossing the road unsuccessfully one day and met his demise. I buried him instead of putting him back in his pen…

AJ in Augusta

November 29th, 2010
11:32 pm

I’ve always liked Matt’s play since he joined the Braves. I’d love to see him back in Atlanta. He’s one of those guys who I fear would be a Brave killer in a Philly uniform.

Harry Nurtz

November 29th, 2010
11:39 pm

Are Drive By Truckers thug people that ride by and shoot pedestrians ? You know like drive by shooters in da hood ?

And Roodge Owns

November 29th, 2010
11:40 pm

“Also, you will not be reading about him getting in trouble with the law, selling drugs, or such nonsense…”

Selling drugs? lol.

P'cola Brave

November 29th, 2010
11:41 pm

A Matt Diaz/ Eric Hinske righty/lefty combo off the bench would be nice in the late innings. I think the braves could make it happen but I don’t know its in the plans.

Harry Nurtz

November 29th, 2010
11:58 pm

Wow ! I think I agree with home skillet. Hard to tell when he’s talking in first,second,and third person…

And Roodge Owns

November 30th, 2010
12:02 am

Good grief, it’s as stupid as ever in here.

Harry Nurtz

November 30th, 2010
12:03 am

You got game and poor grammar dude ! I’m sure they taught you some proper English that you picked up in your 4th try in 4th grade ? Well, maybe not…

Bay Area Steve

November 30th, 2010
12:04 am

JoeBrave,

Stop It.

Home Skillet

November 30th, 2010
12:09 am

Hairy be sides steppin wiff some no sole flips flops on his lil feets. Yo you aints funny. Hah Hah hell.
My cuzin E-Man told me dat Lezly Nelson died today. He be funny in Necked Guns. OJ be da star tho.

Bama Brave

November 30th, 2010
12:10 am

SF Braves Fan

November 30th, 2010
12:12 am

I think it would also be wise to have a good backup first baseman (Mather is an unkown quantity) in case Freeman gets fatigued, has rookie slumps, or misses time for some other reason– another reason that Hinske is important to bring back.

Harry Nurtz

November 30th, 2010
12:18 am

Can skillet just evaporate ?

I agree SF. But you got to agree with me about Nate in CF.

JD

November 30th, 2010
12:19 am

Damn – missing Infante already. Best lead-off we’ve had in a long while, although I know Prado had the same role early with the Braves. Guess he’ll get at the top of the order again….

Goldenglove002

November 30th, 2010
12:26 am

Seeing Matt Diaz go would be a huge disappointment. Seeing him as a Phillie would be absolutely awful. Unfortunately it makes sense for the Braves to move on, especially if Hinske comes back. With Young and Mather in the fold spending more than 2 million on Diaz would be a mistake in baseball terms.

Russell Bell

November 30th, 2010
12:33 am

Best lead-off [Infante] we’ve had in a long while

I dunno about that. Decent OBP last year (.359), but that was strongly influenced by his BA of .321

His career OBP is .319 – pretty ugly for an everyday lead-off hitter.

Furthermore, while being a good base stealer is not a must-have pre-req. skill for a good leadoff hitter, but Infante stole 7 bags last year, and was caught 6 times.

His career steal numbers: 43 stolen bases, 21 times caught stealing. Ugly.

The Braves sold high on Infante imo. Maybe he builds on his 2010 all-star season, and has an equally good 2011 season, but career number-wise, he is not a good leadoff hitter.

HomeofdaBrave

November 30th, 2010
12:36 am

I hope Diaz is re-signed. He’s better than any other leftover scrub that Wren’s going to try and find on the market.

And I would hate to see him on the Phillies.

shinburger

November 30th, 2010
12:37 am

the braves are always complaining about not having enough rh batters so why let diaz go? just because we got uggla doesnt mean we wont need that rh bat off the bench.Plus the guy plays the game with heart!

Chef Tomahawkin

November 30th, 2010
12:38 am

JD

Martini Is Our Number 2 hitter by default…He is the 2010 version of Placido Polanco in his prime but with more power

The only way Martini Leads off is if Nate Dawg has another garbage April

shinburger

November 30th, 2010
12:39 am

It would be awsome to pick up infante again next year when he becomes a free agent. he is the ultimate utility man in my opinion.

Chef Tomahawkin

November 30th, 2010
12:44 am

Russell Bell

The O-Dawg (Infante) pretty much slumped the last 3 weeks to month of last season, otherwise he might have won the batting title…

Some were saying that slump proved the reason as to why he hasn’t really been known as an everyday starter…but I think on the Contrary…he was only starting everday because Chipper and Martini both went down in sequential order and Nate Dawgs struggles and Stankiel giving us nothing…

We pretty much had no choice but to keep the O-Dawg Out there the last 6 weeks…We had no choice after that Cincy Series when Martini went down with the F’d up hand…

Its a moot debate but few people know that he had seasons similiar to 2010 when he was with Detroit…damn near 10 years ago…

keylargo

November 30th, 2010
12:46 am

Hinske had four pretty mediocre months to end the season.

I can’t keep Hinske’s 2 run HR in the bottom of the 8th in game 3 vs. SF out of my mind. That and Kimbrel blowing the lead and the game in the top of the ninth.

In that one inning, bottom of the 8th and top of the 9th, we went from up 2 – 1 to down 2 – 1 against the World Champion Giants.

They coulda been the Champs!

That said, Hinske won’t make or break the 11 Braves, but Kimbrel, without a veteran closer to fall back on, might.

Russell Bell

November 30th, 2010
12:48 am

I don’t think anyone is going to question Diaz’s heart, grit, and ability to generate a .800+ OPS vs. lefties (yes, lots of grit). But he is a little pricey for a part-time LFer, who can’t play anywhere else on the diamond, and plays a pretty craptastic LF when he is out there.

~$2.5 mill for a platoon OFer with poor defensive abilities and close-to-zero versatility (in terms of playing more than 1 position) is a bit expensive (even if he does rake against lefties). Whether Diaz is tendered a contract is going to depend on Braves’ budget ceiling and whatever other minor pieces they want to add (and their price tags).

With the front office being so tight lipped, its hard to know which way Wren is leaning, but if I had to place a bet on the decision, I wager that Diaz is not tendered a contract.

Russell Bell

November 30th, 2010
12:51 am

Its a moot debate but few people know that he had seasons similiar to 2010 when he was with Detroit…damn near 10 years ago…

Maybe so, but I was looking at his career numbers. They suggest to me that he was having a career year in 2010, and, as Nolie might say (at least I think I’ve seen Nolie write this), he is due for a regression to the mean.

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:01 am

is Nurtz PL?

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:01 am

Hello! New article, and a nice update! I would rather have Hinske than Diaz, but maybe Diaz will play better if he has to win a spot? My question is????? Do you want Diaz, and Nate back again?

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:02 am

Wren should go get Putz……

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:09 am

I think Omar moved his mean up some over the last three years, though I also think he would still more likely be a 290/330 hitter than a 320/360 hitter if playing full time.Little pop, mediocre D where ever he played, Wren did indeed trade him at the top of his value.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:10 am

Sign Hinske! Play the youngsters: (Schafer, and Matt young.)

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:11 am

Putz would be nice if they are willing to spend what he will likely want, which I am somewhat skeptical about. Wheeler might be nice too.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:15 am

Nolie: Who is Wheeler? Can you give me some info?

Doc Holiday

November 30th, 2010
1:23 am

This team needs speed………..period.

Chef Tomahawkin

November 30th, 2010
1:27 am

Keylargo

“I can’t keep Hinske’s 2 run HR in the bottom of the 8th in game 3 vs. SF out of my mind. ”

Who You Telling? My Voice is still getting over from losing it after that homer, I can still see the highlight in my head

Time to cool out to some old PM Dawn and go to bed

Doc Holiday

November 30th, 2010
1:27 am

Id love to see schafer back.

bravesfanbob

November 30th, 2010
1:28 am

I think Adam Dunn is a necessity at first base. Freddie Freeman may prove me wrong, and I hope he does, but his hitch in his swing that causes him to upper cut has Nate McLouth written all over it. Re-sign Hinske and Diaz for about 3.7M, sign Dunn for 2 years at $11M per, and with him and Uggla, we can get away with a powerless outfield. (Not discounting Heyward, but he’s still learning). If we sign Dunn, we can get 110 homers out of our infield. (Dunn around 40, Uggla around 30, Gonzalez around 22, and Chipper around 18).

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:29 am

Doc Holiday: I agree! Teams who have a great lead off man. Will make it to the World Series. Thats a fact! Just look at all the teams that won the World Series.

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:31 am

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wheelda01.shtml

here is a link to Wheeler’s stats page at BaseballReference.com ward.
he has bounced around a good bit. His WHIP has improved the last three years and he has been decent during that time. He would not be one of my highest choices but might be worth a thought.

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:32 am

I can sure see us not signing Matty D and that action coming back to haunt us. Can’t say the same about Hinske, but I’d still like to have him back too.

I think you can deal these guys if they don’t fit in. But Matt at 2.5 to 3 million might be a tad bit steep.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:32 am

I think Wren should trade for Coco Crisp, and play him at center. Then you could put him in lead off roll.

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:34 am

bravesfanbob

Hate to break it to ya, but Dunn ain’t coming to Atlanta.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:34 am

Thanks Nolie!

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:36 am

ward

Wren ain’t trading for another CF’er. He has his power bat in Uggla. Anybody else added with be Hinske/Diaz types. McLouth will get every opportunity to win a job in the spring.

Mark my words! (now, watch FW deal him next Monday for CoCo Crisp and make me look like a dummy!)

Doc Holiday

November 30th, 2010
1:37 am

ward,
Speedy guy win several games for you over the season and more so in the postseason just by driving defense and pitchers out of the comfort zone. Our faster player right now is……..McCann? Chipper? LOL………we can do better than that……….we are so freaking slow. Even Nate is not such a big base stealer.

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:38 am

there is a difference between speed and a great lead off man ward. The addition on one speedy player is not gonna make all that big an improvement, the problen is lack of speed all up and down the lineup. Frank has been drafting more speed guys that John used to so that might get fixed that way.
Speed is great as long as the player has other baseball skills too. There have been tons of teams that won the WS without a great leadoff guy, and the Braves were more in need of pop than speed. They no longer have the funds to add an impact speed player at this point.
Personally I think they are gonna be looking hard at guys like Mather and Lucas and some of the other additions rather than spend a lot of money on another position player

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:38 am

If not? Go with the Youngsters……..

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:38 am

Got a long day tomorrow. I am going to be in Jacksonville next week while the GM’s are doing their thing in Orlando.

Ya think if I showed up FW would do willing to do lunch w/ a Braves MIB blogger???? Nah, I didn’t think so either!

:lol:

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:41 am

just by driving defense and pitchers out of the comfort zone Doc

I don’t buy that much at all. that’s announcer bulloney for the most part.

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:42 am

Anybody have any awesome eating dives in the Ponte Vedra Beach area near Jacksonville?

Remember, I am into substance over style!

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:43 am

Remember Kenny Loften, and Otis Nixon, and The World Series.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:44 am

DS1: See you you can Lobby for alead off guy, and a middle relief pitcher…..

DS1

November 30th, 2010
1:45 am

Did Fredi give his speedsters more leeway w/ the Marlins? I am wondering if McLouth will get a few more opportunities to show off his wares? And Heyward too.

Though I don’t think that a lineup full of speed burners is necessarily the answer. I like good hitting on-base guys.

ward

November 30th, 2010
1:45 am

I’m still not sold on Nate being our lead off guy?

nolie

November 30th, 2010
1:45 am

last two years Crawford has stolen 107 bases and has ++speed but has still only scored 206 runs for al of that. Like with everything in baseball there are no more guarantees about speed than about most anything else.

Add your comment