2:57 pm May 12, 2011, by David O'Brien
May 12th, 20113:49 pm
Dan Kolb > Lostbrink
> = bigger?
May 12th, 20113:50 pm
I just can’t believe Mitchell’s annoyed by someone being redundant. Mitchell!
May 12th, 20113:52 pm
Neidermeyer? Dead! (oops, that was Belushi in a movie)
Rameses – Those who know me a little better understood it was a joke. Your frantic sounding post there at 3:46 tells me you’re a little more on edge that you want us to believe.
As for the Mr. Domestic Violence comment – I’m not sure you want to go there. He hasn’t exactly cornered that market. Google Cox;Bobby when you have a minute. Those who live in glass houses …..
I thought Nats acquired Gregor Blanco.
He is trying to stir up the nest.
TennesseePaul, I’m not trying to stir up the nest just for the sake of stirring up the nest. I’m just expressing and arguing for what makes sense.
Reliever roles and the save statistic makes baseball less enjoyable than it otherwise would be because the best relievers often don’t face the other team’s best hitters with the game on the line. The best reliever is often reserved for when the game is more or less in the bag for his team; when a lesser reliever would do just fine.
Joe Simpson Blogging ......
May 12th, 20113:53 pm
Get Chip a weed-eater and get me some ear plugs for this moron. You feel my pain, right fans?
May 12th, 20113:54 pm
FG ought to consult w/ Wags about the Venters/Kimbrel question. Maybe bring Wags in to work with the kid. Afterall, our pitching coach is too busy undergoing sensitivity training.
If we use Venters and Kimbrel in nearly every game, does it really matter which you use in the 8th or the 9th?
May 12th, 20113:55 pm
While I understand why managers follow the closer script I also understand Shaun’s point. If Pujols, Holliday and Berkman are due up in the 8th and my team has a 1 run lead – why not use my best bullpen guy right there. I don’t mean mix and match everey day but once in a while when it’s obvious makes sense. Managers just won’t do it. Maybe they’ll bring the closer in an out or 2 earlier but even that is only when they are forced to imo.
Kimbrel will be fine. Granted, his control was a little off last night, but the guy is usually lights out. Does anyone really care who “closes” the game? Let Kimbrel and Venters share that duty. Linebrink looks way too hittable. Sherrill sems ok against left handers.
Sorry Joe Simpson, I use the mute button..
May 12th, 20113:56 pm
Frankie Rodriguez for Kimbrel? The Mets make that trade without even blinking. The Braves make that trade…I can’t even come up with a sarcastic senario where the Braves would even imagine that trade. But thanks for a good laugh.
@Braveone- yeah !, I finally made the list. Only because the Braves are getting clowned and I had something to bitch about !
May 12th, 20113:57 pm
Linebrink and his 5.5 mil salary need to go. He’s been in the league too long for any team to take him in a trade but I believe the White Sox sent some cash along with him to cover part of his salary so the Braves wont have to eat the whole bunch.
Venters is a rock in the 8th so I don’t like the idea of moving him from that spot but if Kimbrel continues to struggle how about E O’Flaherty as the closer.
Linbrink appears to be an older version of Chris Reitsma and the same caliber of player that always seems to be lurking in the back end of the bullpen. He may only prove effective when the Braves need someone to pitch some innings after they are already getting blown out. As for close late inning games, the Braves may be better off having a position player throw a few innings of relief.
As for the Venters vs. Kimbrel debate, if its not an issue of the pressure getting to him, then leave Kimbrel as the closer. In close games, giving up runs in the 8th is only slightly worse than coughing them up in the 9th. Either way, in close games your going to see both unless the starter goes through 8 or one of the two is not available.
timthebrave Is Linebrink really making 5.5 million????
yeah, but the braves got cash from the white sox along with him, so its kinda like they are paying part of his salary.
May 12th, 20113:58 pm
2011 closers stats -
I can’t even come up with a sarcastic senario where the Braves would even imagine that trade
That’s easy. Kimbrel starts making homosexual comments about Fredi a la Roger McDowell, and then he starts pouting and frowning, a la Yunel Escobar.
“FG ought to consult w/ Wags about the Venters/Kimbrel question. Maybe bring Wags in to work with the kid. Afterall, our pitching coach is too busy undergoing sensitivity training.”
Agreed and lol/sigh
May 12th, 20113:59 pm
Historically speaking, Chipper has hit .303/.404/.528/.933 over his first 36 games of the season.
Shaun makes a lot of sense.
As for Kimbrell, his BABIP right now is .343. That is almost certainly going to decline over time. If he can reduce his BB/9, he’ll be just fine.
May 12th, 20114:00 pm
Shaun…I actually understand what you are saying. Why hold Rivera for the ninth inning when you might need him in the 7th or 8th?
Interesting…let me chew on that a while.
Paving the way for a triumphant standing ovation at a Gloria Allred press conference.
May 12th, 20114:01 pm
I’m not sure eveb that situation would lead to the Braves trading Kimbrel to the Mets for Rodriguez…
Maybe the question should be asked, does it matter who closes? If Kimbrel is in the 8th and Venters in the 9th, why would Kimbrel become more effective in the 8th?
So the Braves could just blow the save in the 8th inning instead of the 9th? Braves just need to figure out whats wrong with Kimbrel, get him right, and have him close successfully. Really does the team no good to swap 8th and 9th inning guys, if they are both going to be pitching in the game.
I’m on edge as much as anyone else. I just think it’s unproductive to stress on kimbrel when he has loads of talent and he’s only scratching the surface. As far as Bobby goes…his incident was in the privacy of his home, not to condone his actions, but bringing that to the ballpark is unacceptable. I do know that we need to either try to move linebrink by eating some of his ridiculous 5.5 million but even if we manage to find a sucker to take him, we wont yield much at all in return unless we package him with minor or schaefer or a combination
as far as who the closer should be, i think fredi officially is going with the co-closer thing still, right? he said that out of spring training, and i havent heard him say any different. obviously, in practice, kimbrel is the closer, but fredi’s official policy on it right now is still co-closers. that means it shold be hard to switch them up every now and then, and when people question what he is doing, just say “we’ve been closer by committee all year, fellas”.
Time for Linestink to go.
Not watching today. I refuse to watch another Braves/Nats game until the Braves start beating the Nats like they should.
May 12th, 20114:02 pm
I’m just expressing and arguing for what makes sense.
I’ll bite… Payne, answer me these two questions,
Are you open to the possibility that you are incorrect?
Can you name three sources who disagree with you and why they disagree?
Johnny V and Eric O are both dominant while Linbrink stinks like yesterday’s diapers. Am I the first to notice he’s throwing with the wrong hand?
May 12th, 20114:04 pm
DOB, I told you when they signed Linebrink it was a huge mistake.
The White Sox fans were ECSTATIC to lose him to the Braves.
I’m on edge as much as anyone else.
Geez, you guys ever think that might be the problem? At this rate, you’ll be out of adrenaline before the All-Star break and will turned over the entire 25-man three times. Have mercy, LOL.
May 12th, 20114:05 pm
TennesseePaul, of course I’m open to the possibility.
I can name more than three sources: most major league managers disagree.
The reason is the save statistic, tradition, convention and managers get sick of answering media questions about who is the “closer” or who is the “9th-inning guy” or who is the “set-up man.” It’s easier for them just to give in and name a closer than it is to deal with stupid questions from people who are not professional baseball strategists.
May 12th, 20114:06 pm
I’m not sure eveb that situation would lead to the Braves trading Kimbrel to the Mets for Rodriguez… _ cab
If he turned into John Rocker they would not trade him Frankie Rodriguez and that contract.
May 12th, 20114:07 pm
i got an idea to try and jump start Uggla and the lineup… With the uncertainty of the 2-hole in the lineup, why not move Uggla there and get him an extra AB or fresh look.
I don’t suggest this as a permanent thing, but more of an experiment with a purpose.
(i know the arguments against, but hey it can’t hurt, can it?)
May 12th, 20114:08 pm
TennesseePaul, also some managers probably have this ridiculous notion that there is something more special about the 9th inning with the lead than any earlier inning when the game is more on the line and better hitters are due up.
If Linebrink is a vet who knows how to get guys out… they why doesn’t he DO IT?!?!
I know how to get guys out. My 5 year old knows how to get guys out. Neither of us has the stuff to pitch for the Braves, and neither does Linebrink.
Send him packing.
I really like Cory Gearrin. He is a good young pitcher. Might we see him more?
May 12th, 20114:09 pm
shaun some managers probably have this ridiculous notion that there is something more special about the 9th inning with the lead than any earlier inning
the 9th inning actually is a unique circumstance though. its the last one, end of the line, the last stand. that makes it different, no?
I, too, wish Fredi had stayed with the notion in ST to rotate Kimbrell and Venters right out of ST, but….. he didn’t, so now we have to worry about crushing Kimbrell’s confidence if we pull him out of the closer role…even part-time. The kid sounds pretty mentally tough in his interviews, though, so maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as we think.
It’s easier for them just to give in and name a closer than it is to deal with stupid questions from people who are not professional baseball strategists.
Didn’t we cover the second-shooter and grassy-knoll theories during the previous interminable discussion on this?
I think history has proven with this organization if the closer is not effective, they’ll go out and get another one mid-season. Pena, Wickman, Farnsworth (the first time), etc.
Can anyone talk Wagner out of retirement?
Or better yet, how about a deal for Heath Bell?
May 12th, 20114:10 pm
As far as Bobby goes…his incident was in the privacy of his home, not to condone his actions, but bringing that to the ballpark is unacceptable (Rameses)
Asinine response. They’re both reprehensible. Where it happens is irrelavent.
May 12th, 20114:11 pm
and yeah, MLB managers are so stupid. all of them. each and every last one, they have these crazy, weird ideas about baseball, something theyve been doing for their entire life, probably…
I suspect that with Moylan out and Linebrink ineffective, we will be seeing a lot of Cory Gearrin in the foreseeable future (I like him too)
BravesFan in DC
Speaking of abuse… the only thing Linebrink has been good at this year is breaking fingers with inside pitches… Maybe he’ll brush Werth back a bit tonight…
May 12th, 20114:12 pm
DAP, yes, the 9th is different in some regard. Just like the 8th is different because it’s the next-to-last stand.
But why use your best reliever to get outs with your team in the lead in the 9th inning instead of using your best reliever to get outs in a tie game in, say, the 7th inning with the team’s best hitters due up? Isn’t this just horrible strategy and doesn’t it make the game less interesting when the best reliever isn’t coming in to face the team’s best hitters with the game on the line and instead he is saved for when a less pitcher could do an adequate job?
the 9th inning actually is a unique circumstance though. its the last one, end of the line, the last stand. that makes it different, no?(DAP)
Yes, agreed. But as I said earlier if you had Pujols, Holliday and Berkman coming up in the 8th inning with your team up by a run wouldn’t it make more sense to use your best shut down guy there?
You typically want the 2 hole to have good at bats and most importantly put the ball in play. Neither of those raw strong suits for uggly. He is a classic boom or bust, feast or famine, etc. etc. His 150 strikeouts would kill us in 2 spot. Also when he does run into one and hits it 500 feet, there’s gonna be less runners on base typically from the 2 hole
May 12th, 20114:13 pm
DOB’s gone a long time. I’m guessing that MRI news is forthcoming.
May 12th, 20114:14 pm
Also when he does run into one and hits it 500 feet, there’s gonna be less runners on base typically from the 2 hole
Uh-oh. Hide the women and children.
Lost Mets Fan
My team is bad, and will be for a long, long time, and I have no life. Can I hang out here, or do you already have someone like that?
cabraves, Gearring is going to be a great guy (if he’s not already) in our ‘pen. He went to school up in my neck of the woods, and he is a very nice young man from what I can tell from his Facebook posts. I’m very impressed.
wanna nother 95
May 12th, 20114:15 pm
Venters should close and McClouth should lead off.Chipper should move down due to power drop and Prado second.
Braves should tinker with 3 parts of the bullpen. The safe ones are Kimbrel, Venters, EOF and Martinez. Gearrin is a nice piece, but he’s a bit too young.
What I’d try to do is trade or release Linebrink and or Sherrill and try to acquire or sign some veterans. One being a RHP and the other being a LHP. I’d try to get Ron Mahay for the LHP or even try to acquire Javier Lopez from the Giants. Then for the RHP someone like a Jon Rauch or even a Kevin Gregg.
Since Moylan is down, I’d like to see a bullpen of….
* Craig Kimbrel
* Kevin Gregg/Jon Rauch
* Jonny Venters
* Eric O’Flaherty
* Ron Mahay/Javier Lopez
* Gearrin/Another Moylan’esque RHP
* Cristhian Martinez
That’d be a heck of a bullpen. Ideally, until Moylan gets back and if some trades could occur, here would be my bullpen….
* Craig Kimbrel
* Jon Rauch
* Jonny Venters
* Gearrin (until Moylan gets back)
* Eric O’Flaherty
* Javier Lopez (he’s devastating on lefties, either him or Joe Beimel)
* Cristhian Martinez
Ms. Prudehilda-Roger's Sensitivity Training Instructor
Now Roger, put that bat down.
May 12th, 20114:16 pm
What about the 7th? or the 6th?
shaun, anders, i totally understand the idea of using your best guy to get the outs that may be the hardest to get, just want to make sure we dont act like the 25th-27th outs are just like any others. they do carry a different weight to them.
May 12th, 20114:17 pm
If you don’t believe we need a dominant closer, chew on this: the main reason the Yankees were the team of the ’90s instead of the Braves (the NL’s team of the ’90s, of course) comes down to one man: Mariano Rivera. They had him, we didn’t.
May 12th, 20114:18 pm
I HATE THE GNATS!!!
Rameses- i know Uggla is not a prototypical #2 hitter, but except for Prado who is leading off… we don’t have a #2 hitter. My thinking is to put Uggla in a situation that to not think power numbers and see if it heat’s his bat up and then move him back. Sometimes a lineup shuffle will “free up” a players mind and have positive results. I don’t like having McLouth in the 2 hole i can tell you that. He k’s just as much there too.
What would crush his confidence more, perhaps blowing multiple more save opportunities or having to pitch as the “set-up” man?
Regardless, I do believe Kimbrel possess the “stuff” that would prevent him from blowing multiple save opportunities. But this insight is comming from a long time Braves Couch-Potato.
Gonzo has finally found his way to the 8 hole where he belongs. Now if only the rest of the lineup could cooperate and make me look good.
May 12th, 20114:19 pm
Thank you Payne, you have displayed a fundamental lack of understanding of the opposing point of view and there-in an inability to find such view as correct. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain this to you, hence my involvement in this conversation has come to an end.
I don’t like getting Nate out of 8th spot.
May 12th, 20114:20 pm
Anders I said specifically that both are wrong. Domestic violence is highest form of cowardness but when you do it at the ball park it becomes magnified. Krod was taken away in cuffs from the stadium….. real high character stuff….
I’ll check back here in about 2 weeks.
May 12th, 20114:21 pm
You absalutely make Venters the close for now,with Philly in this division,and Florida looks like there for real and will be there all year,you cant mess around and get to far behind if you want a shot at the wild card!!!!!
What about the 7th? or the 6th? (ncscoots)
No, because in the 6th they clearly will each have another at bat left in the game and it’s likely they might if they bat in the 7th. But if you shut them down in the 8th you likely won’t see them again.
Mitchell upset about redundancy and people claiming the sky is falling.
Best laugh I’ve had in months. Almost choked I laughed so hard.
wouldn’t it make more sense to use your best shut down guy there?
Anders, Venters is already pitching in that inning.
Danga, I bet our bud Alex still hits 2 against lefties, whaddya think?
just want to make sure we dont act like the 25th-27th outs are just like any others. they do carry a different weight to them.
They do if for no other reason than that people believe they do. How many kids grow up day dreaming about hitting a bomb in the top of the 7th?
May 12th, 20114:22 pm
David Schoenfield has done a ranking of the ten greatest managers. He placed Bobby Cox at number 3 behind John McGraw and Casey Stengel. Here is what he said about Cox:
3. Bobby Cox
Record: 2,504-2,001 (.556), 15 division titles, 5 pennants, 1 World Series title
It’s easy to say he won simply because he had Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, and easy to criticize because he won just the one World Series, but the man won 11 consecutive division titles and 100-plus games six times. He won 101 games in 2003 with an aging Maddux, no Glavine and Smoltz in the bullpen. His strength was trusting in and developing young players. Among the young players he broke in with the Braves: Steve Avery, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Ryan Klesko, Kevin Millwood, Javy Lopez, Mark Wohlers, John Rocker, Mark Lemke, Jermaine Dye, Jason Heyward, Rafael Furcal, Tommy Hanson, David Justice, Mike Stanton, Adam LaRoche and others. But that track goes back to his days in Toronto (Tony Fernandez, George Bell, Jesse Barfield, Jimmy Key) and even his first stint in Atlanta (Dale Murphy, Bob Horner). Yes, it takes a farm system to produce the talent, but Cox was never afraid to play the youngsters.
And is it just me,but is Chip Caray not the worst analyist in the history of the game of baseball,,,,,if tbs firing him didnt tell you something i dont know what will???????
TP- Not sure if you were kidding there at 4:21 but I was talking in more general terms. Not just the Braves.
Does Smoltz still have his therapist number in his black book? Kimbrel could use some head to head talk. I know you guys bust me pretty good however I have to remind you that it was last week I popped the idea of replacing Craig, the one man bullpen wrecking crew. Best line of the year came from Joe Simpson last night that our red headed pitcher could sweat in an igloo.
May 12th, 20114:23 pm
May 12th, 2011
I’ll bite… Payne, answer me these two questions,
Are you open to the possibility that you are incorrect?
Can you name three sources who disagree with you and why they disagree?”
Well, Shaun is plenty capable of answering for himself, but “incorrect” or “correct” can pretty much never be proven while today’s conventional “wisdom” of bullpen usage is in effect. Today’s “wisdom” that managers violate at their peril is as follows:
1. You must assign all bullpen staff a role, i.e., a 9th inning closer, an 8th inning set up man, a 7th inning set up man, a LOOGY, a long/middle man, a man who pitches when you are behind, etc. Only severe circumstances or “the need for work” should make a manager deviate from using these pitchers in their “assigned slots”, unless, of course, these roles are formally changed.
2. Pitching a relief pitcher, especially a closer, more than one inning is ill advised. It is much better to use him 3 or 4 days in a row, having him warm up, and using him for an inning or less, than it is to give him an assignment of more than one inning followed by a day off.
3. It is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to bring in a closer with a 3 run lead, but you should never bring in a closer with a 4 run lead. That is just insane, and will destroy and waste your closer.
There are more stupid “rules”, but you get the jist. These things develop over time, just like how now it is “necessary” to have a 12 man pitching staff (wonder why?), and the manager who goes against the conventional wisdom is either 1) Hailed as a genius if his plan works, or 2) crucified by the press if it doesn’t. Since the odds of 2) happening are usually much greater than 1), what do you think almost any manager will do? Yep.
The one inning closer came into vogue when LaRussa started using Eck that way in the late eighties, and if you look at Eck’s stat lines for those years, you can understand the popularity of this trend. I suppose if Eck had been a bust, we may have gone a completely different direction in bullpen use. Who knows?
That was a rhetorical question, Anders.
Honestly can’t understand why people are happy that we moved MLB’s leading 8th hitter out of that position.
May 12th, 20114:25 pm
Yes, I’m fine with using your best reliever there if he’s rested and ready and the game is on the line there. Although ideally the starter would be in there in the 6th.
I know, how do you know when the game is most on the line? What if the best reliever gets out of the 7th or 8th and a high-leverage situation comes up later?
Well, you have to get to the later innings with a chance to win before you worry about whether that later innings will possibly be higher-leverage. If the other team blows the game open in the 7th or 8th, worrying about the later innings is pointless.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t worry about the later innings at all. Hopefully you have a deep enough bullpen that you have decent pitchers to get outs later.
May 12th, 20114:26 pm
venters or oflaherty could close- oflaherty has been moer unhitable than anyone lately no reason kimbrel could notpitch the 7th oflaherty the eight venter close or visa versa== as for linebrink it is ridiculous that he is still on the team either send him down then we have the two highest paid pitchers in the minors or release him i thought we only owe him about 2 million- how many more losses can he be responsible for– he is done stick a fork in him and moveon- abreau or ascenscio are much better
Damn Mets can’t get out of Denver. Still weather delayed. I’m expecting about a 90 minute game once it gets started. Umps probably have to hit the road too.
Mclouth somehow lost his speed and doesn’t make consistent contact either. I do agree he isn’t the solution for 2 hole. Mclouth better suited hitting 7th with gonzo 8th. Freddie Freeman could plug the 2 hole maybe but that may be asking too much…. Freddie has been patient at the dish and is making contact.
May 12th, 20114:27 pm
I don’t give a frog’s fat ass if Kimbrel gets butthurt by being demoted. If he is a team player he will accept that Jonny is the better option right now and baseball is about right now. If his confidence is shaken because he was replaced as closer, he was never going to have the fortitude to close anyway. Our starting pitchers deserve better than to throw a gem only to watch this kid implode in the 9th…
Back to Chipper’s start to 2011, After 36 games, and acknowledging that 2010 was down right ugly, the last time he started a season with an OPS of .796 or less after 36 games was 1996 (OPS .752). The next closest was 2004 (OPS of .799).
He hasn’t started a season with an OBP of .349 or less since 1996, even including 2010 (OBP of .386 after 36 games)
Or, on a positive side, in 2010 after 36 games Chipper had an OPS of .746, so his current .796 is an improvement.
I hope Roger is reformed now and can help Linebrink through these difficult times.
Just will it away Scoots. Will it out of existence.
His career numbers are actually worse against lefties than they are against righties. That is quite an achievement.
Actually, Bobby won 15 consecutive Division Titles – not 11.
some managers probably have this ridiculous notion that there is something more special about the 9th inning with the lead than any earlier inning–Shaun
Could be if we give up runs in the 7th or 8th we have other opportunities to get them back If we give runs up in the 9th we’re done! So I’d rather use my best RP later in the game. But what would I know I’m not even close to being on your level of intellectual superiority!
$5.5 million, to be a mentor?
May 12th, 20114:28 pm
is it just me,but is Chip Caray not the worst analyist in the history of the game of baseball,
Now that Dibble is gone, Chip is the worst.
danga They do if for no other reason than that people believe they do. How many kids grow up day dreaming about hitting a bomb in the top of the 7th?
yeah, the psychological aspect is a big part of it, which some people (shaun) claim doesnt matter. but the fact that it the end of the game matters to. if you give up some runs in the 7th, its not as detrimental to your ability to win the game as it is in the 9th.
someone last year was always posting those win probability graphs, where you could see specific plays that changed the direction of the game. the graph always jumped the most when stuff happened in the 9th, obviously.
Looking Forward to Freddies (both of them)
Dear Lost Mets Fan,
welcome to Braves country. We welcome the lost and the weary. Fell free to stay as long as you want – as long as we don’t hear “Laaaarrry” comments from you.
You can even become a Braves fan, and unlike your northerly neighbors, I promise we won’t throw up on you or tase you.
May 12th, 20114:29 pm
OK Fredi, April is over. We’ve all determined Line(drive)brink sux. Move on. Tired of the amount of emphasis put on “veteran leadership”. As for Kimbrel, why the hell is he the closer anyway?? Way to much coddling by Bobby JR. goin on in Atlanta.
TennesseePaul, There is no reasonable argument for saving your best reliever for the last inning when your team already has the lead instead of in something like the 7th or 8th inning when the game is tied or close and clearly the best hitters of the opposing team are due up (assuming the best reliever is rested and available).
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