3:38 pm December 9, 2010, by David O'Brien
December 10th, 20103:32 pm
Conyers, I think what DOB was trying to illustrate was how would it be any different if instead of Uggla, they had gotten an OF that was capable of hitting 30 HR’s?
December 10th, 20104:04 pm
I’d feel better about the bullpen if we had someone that had 25 saves last year ; venters seemed to tire towards the end of the year ( since he pitched every other game ) hopefully he can bounce back – holding out for wags to change his mind
December 10th, 20104:18 pm
Conyers Braves Fan: you again missed my point entirely, so we’ll drop it. Because I don’t know how to explain it to you any clearer than to ask, why does it matter whether the 30-homer, 95-RBI hitter the Braves added plays 2B or LF? Same net result to lineup, which added a 30-homer, 95 RBI man.
While Prado and a healthy, second-year Heyward might not be able to turn the Braves’ outfield from worst to first in terms of home runs and slugging, they definitely should move it up a few notches.
If you’re going to insist on ranking offense by position, consider this: The Braves have players who ranked at or near the top of baseball in several hitting categories at three non-outfield positions in 2010 — catcher, shortstop and second base. McCann and Uggla won the Silver Slugger awards as the best NL hitters at their positions (that’s one-fourth of the eight NL position-player Silver Sluggers), and among all major league shortstops, Alex Gonzalez was second to Troy Tulowitzki in both homers (23) and RBI (88), led in doubles (42), and was fourth in slugging (.447) behind Tulo, Hanley R. and Stephen Drew.
How many NL teams have three players who ranked at or near the top of the majors at their respective positions in as many categories as Uggla, McCann and Gonzalez did last season?
Conyers Braves Fan
December 10th, 20104:41 pm
DOB: Thanks for your patience with me. I guess I will end the misery for you by saying what I should have already included as my point. The infielder who hits with the power Uggla does is obviously a great addition but only a bonus to the entire lineup. While he fills a void that we did not have in the lineup last year, the fact remains that we do not have the needed power that is expected from the outfield positions (exception Heyward).
Thanks again, I appreciate all you bring to us Brave fans.
December 10th, 20105:40 pm
(bangs his head against the wall and sighs)
December 10th, 20105:53 pm
DOB: Thanks for your patience with me. I guess I will end the misery for you by saying what I should have already included as my point. The infielder who hits with the power Uggla does is obviously a great addition but only a bonus to the entire lineup. While he fills a void that we did not have in the lineup last year, the fact remains that we do not have the needed power that is expected from the outfield positions (exception Heyward). Conyers Braves Fan
Yes, I agree, Braves don’t have expected power from OF positions.
But … Braves have more than expected (more than average) power from catcher, second base and shortstop. My point.
December 10th, 20107:53 pm
I wanna say FW has done an incredible job in filling roster spots. But his #1 problem is McClouth and the lack of a back-up. I’m not saying that McOut (a popular name at the moment) will or will not bounce back but we need insurance in case he doesn’t. Schafer is not even as good as this version of McClouth
December 10th, 20108:02 pm
Besides McClouth defense is not what it was 2 years ago. I hope he comes in motivated to not necessarily be a .300 hitter but a more complete player because we need defense from the CF position. If we could get .270 16 HR and 75 RBI with 20 SB from McClouth it will be a success, And I don’t thats putting too much pressure on him. Hopefully he will get numbers similar to that and if he does I will cheer for him more than anyone.
So Cal Brave
December 10th, 201011:54 pm
I posted McLouth’s numbers for september of last year on another blog, but here they are again: 3 HR (should’ve been 4), 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB, .275 BA in 51 ABs. I’m not saying he’s gonna hit like that for a whole season (500ABs), but it’s easy to see how the potential for a good, solid contribution from him is possible.
December 11th, 201012:25 am
BTW, Elsbury is not gonna be traded to anyone, the Red Sox will get rid of Cameron AND JD Drew before they trade Elsbury.
Another newsflash for all you baseball trading card GMs: The Pirates will not trade McCutchen anytime soon.
December 11th, 20105:12 am
Please Frank, don’t let Nate McClouth be our starting CF on Opening Day. I don’t know where all of the optimism comes from on him making a comeback to where he was the one good year at Pittsburgh.
Since he has been a Brave, he has been a LOUSY ML player. Not good offensively, not good defensively, just not good. He had a 3 week period at the end of ‘10 where he was mediocre and not any better than mediocre, and the fanbase goes nuts with “Nate is back!” stuff. Back, Hell, he never was here to start with.
If Nate is the starting CF, that will be 2 outs at the bottom of the batting order. Maybe 3 unless Sea Bass picks it up. Remember last year what all of those outs in the batting order felt like?
December 11th, 20105:47 am
DOB…..It seems that the Braves are a little restricted with their payroll. By that I mean that it seems another 10-15 Million could put them “over the hump” so to speak. I realize that when Chipper retires that will free up a considerable amount but….does the organization really have a legtimate in house replacement at 3B?
December 11th, 20107:58 am
As much as people here gripe about Frank Wren, he’s not Dayton Moore. Wow, Kansas City now with an outfield of Braves rejects. Moore’s hoping Jeff and Melky have “bounce back years.” Talk about wishful thinking.
December 11th, 201011:58 am
Mark Grace was an all-star, gold glove 1B who (I believe) led the NL in doubles and hits for the entire decade of the 1990’s.
If Freeman can be anywhere near that, I’d gladly take it.
December 11th, 20101:17 pm
Fellow Braves fans….please join with me in offering deepest condolences to the KC Royals. I see where they have signed MEEKLY Cabrera…arguably one of the worst acquisition the Braves ever made…to a one year deal. HELLO KC!!!! It’s a deal alright…a BAD deal…wait and see. You will be gouged with a plethora of d ground balls….MEEKLY…to the infield as well as numerous pop-ups. Again, my heartfelt sympathy.
P.S. Thank GOD he is no longer a Brave!!!!
December 11th, 20101:43 pm
Why would anyone want Ellsbury? Sure he has speed but speed doesn’t do you any good if you aren’t playing. He is constantly injured and quite frankly he had one good year in his entire career. I would prefer Gomez or Cain from Milwaukee over Ellsbury. Also, there is zero chance the Pirates trade their best player Andrew McCutchen My money is either Wren makes a deal for Lorenzo Cain or pulls one out of his arse and we end up with someone we didn’t expect like Grady Sizemore. I am not saying we will get Sizemore I am just using him as an example of someone unexpected.
December 11th, 20101:45 pm
Phil, they don’t have anywhere near $10-15 mill to spend, from what I understand.
As for Chipper’s replacement, that’s an unusual situation and one they can’t plan for now because they don’t know for sure if he’ll play this year, play another year, play two years, etc.
That’s not something they have to focus on now. If he can’t go this year, they’ll play Prado there. And Prado could be a long-term answer. Who knows? Depends on what position is easier to fill, probably. Prado can play LF, 2B, 3B…. So much can happen. Much also depends on Uggla’s situation going forward.
Pastornicky might be ready at SS in a year, or never. Maybe Lucas is as good as the Braves think he can be, perhaps even a guy that could be a starter after a year as a utility guy. Many, many ways that these things can go. But they certainly don’t have to be locked in on an in-house replacement for Chipper right now. Can trade for one if they need to, or sign an OF and move Prado to 3B, etc., etc.
December 11th, 20105:13 pm
DOB. Hope you aren’t counting on AGon repeating his power numbers. Are you? Are the Braves? I still think this Braves team will continue to struggle scoring runs. Not enough speed up an down the lineup to manufacture tham and insufficent power to rely on 3 run hrs every night. Uggla is a very nice addition and I think can be counted on to produce his typical numbers. The Braves still lack the OF to compete IMO unless McClouth comes around; however, if he does I believe they could be very fun to watch and they are built to win.
Can you confirm or deny if Rasmus is available? Asking price if Braves had any discussions?
December 11th, 20107:59 pm
Vol – question. How can you say the Braves are going to struggle for runs and have no speed up and down the lineup and how insufficient power and then turn around and say if McLouth comes around, they will be fun to watch and built to win? One person can make that much difference in an entire lineup to you?
December 11th, 20108:00 pm
that is “have” insufficient power
December 11th, 201010:02 pm
Ramblingman – YES – easy. My thinking on it was that as of now McClouth is a sure out in the lineup. He isn’t called McOut for no reason. Where does he hit? 8th? 2009 McClouth had an OBP of about .350 and a slugging of about .450. That gives him an OPS of about .800 and an OPS+ of somwhere between 110 and 120. Not just pretty good but very good for a CF. He is the OF we need if he can duplicate his 2009 Pirates performance. I stand by my original statment that this team lacks the lineup to manufacture runs or rely on 3 run hrs to win. If they win it will be with SP and solid RP. They’re not gonna go toe to toe with the Phillies lineup. Not even close and the Phillies can pitch with anyone 3 out of every 5 nights. Don’t think the Braves are gonna win the division as currently constructed. There are however several months to go before the season starts.
IMO JJ needs to be dealt as part of package for a big time MLB OF. If everyone needs pitching he should bring quite a return. He’s a #1 on many teams and solid #2 on most every team! The Braves are better I think but still have some glaring holes to address.
December 11th, 201010:04 pm
I also don’t think they catch the ball very well and didn’t get any better at it with the acquistion of Uggla. All JMO.
December 11th, 201011:15 pm
Okay, that all sounds good but it really did not address the question. You said on one hand the Braves had no speed or power. Then you turn around and state that if only McLouth plays up to his average numbers, the team will be fun to watch and then you state they are built to win. One person does not make that much difference, and that was my point. If the team is fun to watch and built to win, they can withstand a poor season by McLouth. If they have no speed or power, McLouth can hit .300 and steal 30 and it won’t matter.
My opinion is that the team is fine. They have several good components. They added some more power with Uggla. I expect Chipper to be fine. I think Schafer and/or Young will surprise a lot of people. While the defense might not be as good as it could be, the offense will be improved. Pitching will continue to excel. I think the team will be more solid than last year, and that is even if McLouth does not rebound, which I think he will do.
December 12th, 20105:00 am
J.D., I have to commend you on your cut-and-paste and Googling skills, but that’s about it. I guess you hang out in Omaha or other PCL cities since you claim to have seen him play before (so what?), because he has not even sniffed the Majors yet and he’s 28. AND HE HAS BEEN IN THE ROYALS ORGANIZATION, spending the last 3 years at AAA as a UTILITY PLAYER!!! I guess all of those All-Star-caliber Royals players are blocking his progress to the Big Leagues.
I’m not saying the guy is a bad pickup, but even the Royals don’t see him as a keeper. And how many times have we seen the Royals snatch up former Braves players since Moore took over there. What I am saying is that if the guy makes it with the Braves, he is going straight to Gwinnett. Any time he spends on the ML roster will be due to emergency circumstances. It will also be a loud proclamation that the Braves have a weak bench and a tight payroll. And, God forbid, the Braves rely upon him as a starter for an extended period.
BTW, his fielding percentages in the minors don’t generate much excitement. Average at best. In the minors. His whole career.
His 1B skills are irrelevant. He has a total of 26 games at 1B in the minors, none of which were in Omaha the last 3 seasons he played there. If the Braves are playing him at 1B, they really are in trouble.
December 12th, 20101:21 pm
Funny that you write that you are not calling him a bad player and then proceed to make your entire post calling him a bad player.
You posit that player who spend time in KC’s minor leagues and are allowed to leave are no good.and will not make it in the big leagues. Might want to tell Matt Diaz that.
Speaking of players who didn’t catch on right away, you might also think about Shane Victorino who was drafted twice in the Rule 5 draft before he made it.
He was brought to the Braves to be a utility backup, not to be a starter. Proclaiming that it will be bad if he has to start for an extended period is not exactly a brainstorm. The same holds true for Diory and most other backups. But to extrapolate that he should not be on the ML roster because of that is just silly. To assume that you know more than the Braves management and can predict that Lucas will never make the ML roster is a bit of a reach and shows quite the ego.
You should have a ML job if you are truly that good. How did 30 teams miss out on your skills?
NO MORE BOBBY
December 12th, 20106:55 pm
Can we sell the Braves to Arthur Blank? Please?
December 12th, 20108:47 pm
sign Cam Newton to play CF
December 12th, 20109:15 pm
The Braves aren’t even close to contending. Their offense has been anemic for years, the pitching a shadow of what it was in their glory days, and acquiring Uggla while giving up an all star and signing some marginal bench fodder doesn’t come close to giving them the sort of roster they need to compete with the big boys. They need several more big bats to make their offense even respectable. Maybe the Braves can’t afford better talent, but the old saying is true “you get what you pay for”.
December 13th, 20101:36 am
DOB…. I know the Ellsbury Upton deals will most likely not happen… My question is would bringing Andruw back be anything more than a nice PR move or could he really help… And is there any chance Chipper could give some of his salary to maybe afford an Xavier Nady Colby Rasmus type player..?? If he was to do that the Ellsbury trade seems at least possible… Your input would be greatly appreciated
December 13th, 20107:49 am
Dave, I don’t even know where to begin. Aren’t close to contending? You might be shocked to learn that the Atlanta Braves made the playoffs this past year. Look it up.
It’s one thing to be realistic and say the team has some needs to address despite their recent success. It’s another thing entirely to pretend their success never happened while talking about the team like they are bottom tier.
The Braves are a pretty good team. They have pitching both in the starters and in the pen. They have all stars across the field. There is a good mix of young talent and veteran presence. When the team is tweaking the bench (which is pretty good in its own right) during the winter meetings, that’s a good sign.
Do they have the best player in baseball at every position? No, and neither does any other team. Are there questions? Again, just like every other team in MLB the answer is yes. Are they in better shape than last year when they almost won their division and wound up making the playoffs as a wild card? I think so.
December 13th, 20109:03 am
If character is so important, I guess the Braves would never have wanted Barry Bonds on their team. Much rather have a .220 hitter with character than a jerk that can hit.
December 13th, 20109:13 am
ramblingman (appropriate handle, by the way), my point is not that the suggests that guy cannot play baseball (”a bad player”, as you chose to state it), it is that he is not perceived by many to have Major League talent. It is not bad to pick up a player with minimal risk, even if he has minimal upside. Every organization has to fill out their AAA roster and this guy is good for that. In a pinch, he could be brought in to fill-in in the majors. But to state that the Braves expect him to compete for a utility role in Atlanta (see the original article) and potentially even become a starter after a year (see a later comment in this blog by DOB) is a reach. It really suggests that this guy is just a short-term fix until a better alternative can be found. Which is fine. But don’t tell me he will be starting in two years based on merit. I’m not buying that.
Your Diaz example is barely applicable. First, he had at least made it to the Big Leagues with both Tampa and KC before the Braves TRADED for him. So he at least had trade value and was not just a minor league free agent. And the Braves were a bad-to-mediocre team in the years he played here (except last year, when he contributed the least), so his impact on the success of the team was minimal. Diaz seems to be a good guy, but he is a marginal MLB player, as indicated by the fact that he is headed to that other AAAA team, Pittsburgh.
As far as Shane Victorino, another bad example. He was 22 when he got Rule 5′d the first time and was a full-time starter by the time he was 25. Lucas is already 28. And he was not a rule 5 pickup by the Braves. I don’t see your point on this one. Yeah, sure, sometimes organizations make mistakes by failing to keep a player who turns out to be good. So what? I think Lucas is getting more ink in this blog than he will ever get in the remainder of his playing career.
30 teams missed out on my ML skills because I chose not to make myself available to them. Unless you have an executive job in baseball (or, of course, are a player in the Big Leagues), MLB is not generally a place to maximize earning potential. I did not realize that being employed by a MLB organization was a prerequisite for pointing out absurd comments and observations that are posted here. Please forgive me.
December 13th, 201011:19 am
DOB…. I know the Ellsbury Upton deals will most likely not happen… My question is would bringing Andruw back be anything more than a nice PR move or could he really help… And is there any chance Chipper could give some of his salary to maybe afford an Xavier Nady Colby Rasmus type player..?? If he was to do that the Ellsbury trade seems at least possible… Your input would be greatly appreciated — Daniel Buck
1. As I’ve said, bringing back Andruw us unlikely, despite Fredi G’s comment saying his name had come up. A LOT of names have come up, and that could mean anything including someone noting that Andruw is available and then most agreeing he’s not a good fit for the team’s current needs. I think Fredi was being kind when someone asked about Andruw.
2. Braves are not talking to Chipper about restructuring his contract, nor have they planning to. They don’t want to go down that path again at this time, and defer salary to future years. That can become a mess and get teams in trouble when they take away future payroll flexibility to spend now. Almost ruined the Diamondbacks years ago.
December 13th, 201011:50 am
Sheeesh (not going to comment on the appropriateness of your chosen handle) –
We can go back and forth with our beliefs on Lucas (who has not gotten much ink until you brought him back up) but the fact remains those are our opinions. Nothing more, nothing less.
However, it’s most certainly not a reach to state that the Braves expect him to compete for a utility role. They do and have stated so. Competing for a utility role does not mean the team is counting on him winning a starting spot and does not reveal the team as having a “weak bench and tight payroll” as you put it.
BTW, Diaz and Victorino were used as examples to counter your implication that because another team did not see a player as a “keeper” then he is obviously not one.
It’s hardly counted as an opinion when you state unequivocally that if Lucas makes the Braves, he will definitely be with Gwinnett. It’s not an opinion to proclaim that he will only be on the ML roster out of emergency circumstances. It’s statements like those that reveal that you think of yourself as smarter than the Braves management and that is why I asked about your MLB employment. Notice I even said that you should have an MLB job if you are truly that good. Employment by an MLB team is certainly no prerequisite for making absurd comments on here. You are forgiven as you requested.
December 13th, 20101:31 pm
DOB… Thanks for the input… So if you had to guess what will be the Braves best scenario for the OF besides someone we already have in house?
Texas Braces Fan
December 13th, 201010:32 pm
Cliff Lee to the Phillies!?!?!?! Makes our off-season moves look like crap!
December 14th, 201012:53 am
Cliff Lee to Phillies means we can kiss the division goodbye. Before that move the Braves had a shot to stay close to Philly. The Phillies will win 100 games with that rotation all year and Utley, Howard, Rollins, Polanco and Victorino healthy. Even with Werth gone the Phillies have plenty of offense and that pitching will keep them in ALMOST EVERY game. The Braves are going to have to win the wild card to make the playoffs because the Phillies are winning 5 games a week.
December 14th, 20101:02 am
December 14th, 20101:05 am
take a year off and rest while the phils take over the league. The phils will be on national tv which will drive popularity even higher which equals more money. The last time there was a rotation half as good as this one was…THE BRAVES!!!
December 14th, 20101:12 am
Marc in FL
December 14th, 20107:46 am
We signed Sherill? I didn’t know that, love the move, and the money!
December 14th, 20108:33 am
yes we have DOB, but the phillies have been more aggresive IMO..how do we answer them getting
cliff lee? please don’t tell me our rotation can match theirs because it’s not even close…no doubt now we’re in trouble….wren needs to go out and trade for Matt Garza or Zach Greinke and show the filithes that we are serious about fighting them for the div title….otherwise, we’ll be watching them on tv again come october
December 14th, 20108:42 am
The division has been ceded. It’s wild card time. We’ll take them in the playoffs like SF did.
Concerned Braves Fan
December 14th, 201011:45 am
How have the Braves moved aggressively in the off season? They still haven’t got any proven bats. Brain McCann he ain’t going to help you in the playoffs. Nate McLouth he needs to be traded. The Braves are going to be sorry they didn’t get a better center fielder when this season starts. Freddie Freeman is not proven and probably needs one more year in the minors. They are still trying to stockpile pitching and look at the playoffs when the Braves had all that pitching and Giants had bats who won? Better hope the Falcons win a championship (which they might win). I will say it right now the Falcons will win a championship before the Braves. Bobby Cox is still running the club just behind the scenes. I heard on 680thefan that Frank Wren said “Before we make any moves we see how Bobby likes it”. Who cares what Bobby think. Braves are going to be the same Braves stockpile pitching because Bobby. The are going to be the same cheap Braves. Nate McLouth, Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, and all the rest the Braves player are cheap. Only way they are going to change is when Bobby die
Another Concerned Braves Fan
December 14th, 201011:49 am
I have to agree with Concerned Braves Fan. Yes the Braves do stockpile pitching. This team more bats. Yes I did hear what Frank Wren said on 680thefan. We do need more bats because we already have alot pitching.
What are you talking about?
December 14th, 201011:52 am
@Concerned Braves Fan….. On what show on 680thefan you hear that? Just Curious.
December 14th, 201011:54 am
@ What are you talking about?…. Buck & Kincade show.
December 14th, 201011:56 am
@Concerned Braves Fan…. Thank you:)
December 14th, 201012:13 pm
The Braves must also have acquired some really strong rose colored glasses. In reality: (1) They do not have a Center Fielder, (2) At third base, they have a huge part of their budget tied up in a part time (at best) poor defensive 3rd baseman who (regardless of the fact that he was a great, great hitter in the past) has not produced effectively as a hittr for two years – and now a year older and coming off serious injury may be even worse both defensively and offensively, (3) Their shortstop is not a major league quality shortstop either offensively or defensively, (4) At first base, they have an unproven rookie, and (5) Even worse, what could have been a great young pitching staff is now in serious question — Past Hudson and Hanson, you have questions — Medlin is out for the season and JJ has not been consistant/effective since the Shoulder injury, and it is possible that these two may never be really effective again – Lowe is a year older and who knows – They have some young talented prospects, but unproven.
December 16th, 20107:02 am
+1 to the poster hoping Freeman becomes the second coming of Mark Grace. Gracie is my all-time favorite ballplayer. He was more of a “Mr. Baseball” than Sandberg or Mattingly. I got to meet him once in 91 when my dad took me on a business trip to Chicago and we took in a day game at Wrigley. He actually took a few minutes to talk to me, signed a ball and baseball card and shook my hand before he went to take bp. I was 14 and thought I had just died and gone to Heaven. The guy was true class (even though he smoked in the dugout, ha!) and I can’t remember a more consistent hitter/fielder at that position. Would love to see Freeman become that kind of player.
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