McCann’s MVP candidacy; Kawakami rocked

As Brian McCann heads toward his sixth straight All-Star selection and first as an elected starter, the Braves catcher is on a hitting binge that’s drawing attention on midseason MVP watch lists.

He’s hit .385 with 10 homers, 22 RBIs and a .468 on-base percentage in his past 26 games, and before Thursday he was sixth in the National League with a .314 average, seventh with a .527 slugging percentage, and eighth with a .388 OBP.

He’s  produced those statistics while playing arguably the toughest position on the field and leading a pitching staff with the second-best ERA (3.07) in the majors.

“It’s amazing to watch on a day-to-day basis, especially from a catcher,” Braves utility man Eric Hinske said. “He plays every day; he wants to play. The at-bats he puts out there, the way he handles left-handed pitching, is amazing, to me. He hammers lefties, and it’s not that easy.

“He’s one of the best players in the game, no doubt in my mind.”

The Braves have hit an NL-worst .222 in June and have the league’s second-lowest OBP (.305) for the season. Try to imagine where they’d be without McCann.

To some, that’s the essence of an MVP – the player most indispensable to his team’s success.

“He’s carrying us right now,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. “Absolutely carrying us.”

Jones, the 1999 NL MVP, was asked if McCann has moved his name into the list of leading MVP candidates at the season’s midpoint.

“Oh, there’s no doubt he’s going to get some votes,” Jones said. “He’s going to get a lot of votes.”

In his past 10 games, McCann is 16-for-37 (.432) with five homers and 10 RBIs. Now the Braves are back for a homestand beginning Friday at Turner Field, where McCann has hit .486 with eight homers and 14 RBIs in his past 14 games.

Kawakami lit up at Double-A

The Braves’ hopes of trading Kenshin Kawakami have steadily eroded since his demotion to Double-A Mississippi, where the veteran Japanese pitcher got rocked and made an early exit from his latest start Wednesday.

He gave up seven runs, six hits (one homer) and two walks in two innings of a 12-0 loss at Huntsville. He had one strikeout and left after facing three batters without recording an out in the third inning.

The 36-year-old right-hander is 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA in eight games (four starts) in Double-A, where he was assigned after being dropped from the 40-man roster in November.

He’s in the final season of a three-year, $23 million free-agent contract he signed with the Braves, who outbid several major league teams for the services of the former Japanese League star.

Kawakami was 8-22 with a 4.32 ERA in two seasons with the Braves, who tried to trade him after he went 1-10 with a 5.15 ERA in 2010 and lost his rotation spot at midseason.

Kawakami rejected proposed offers from at least two Japanese teams because he wanted another chance to prove he could win in the majors. The Braves weren’t able to find a major league suitor willing to pay enough of his $6.7 million salary this season.

81 comments Add your comment

Piedmont Blues

June 30th, 2011
5:12 pm

Any chance the Braves just cut KK loose, even though they’d have to pay him? Or do they let him continue to send him out there in AA and hope he turns it around?

Who me?

June 30th, 2011
5:14 pm

Hopefully BMac takes his whole family out, Brad deserves to go as much as he does for the difference he’s made in Brian’s approach the last 3 weeks. And KK will not see another major league team unless we cut him loose for assignment and eat the remainder of the contract. Even then, his performance to date makes him suspect and just how many teams need a project in the middle of the season?

bt

June 30th, 2011
5:15 pm

Darn, I guess that means no KK for Josh Hamilton!

Anderson Jones

June 30th, 2011
5:21 pm

I know Kawakami is sandbagging on purpose.

Sam

June 30th, 2011
5:23 pm

The money is too good to leave. He doesn’t mind getting rocked anymore. That is history.

vermont 39

June 30th, 2011
5:29 pm

Nomo faded as fast…different game here from there…sayonara..couple of good games though!!

rammerjammer

June 30th, 2011
5:33 pm

From the Huntsville (Ala.) Times, quoting KK:

“To be honest,” he continued, “I don’t know what I have to do to get back to the big leagues. I know I have to perform well. Am I going to be traded? Am I going to get back with the team? It’s a little confusing at this point. The best I can do is give my full effort.”

Kawakami, who spent April 20 to June 9 on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, thought he would be at Triple-A Gwinnett County “only one step from the big leagues,” and has admitted he “can’t adjust to people trying to make me work on different things.”

Said Kawakami, “In Double-A, I don’t know what to work on, to be honest.”

Paddy

June 30th, 2011
5:33 pm

KK is just picking up his last big check as a pro baseball player. And who can fault him for that?

ABravesFan

June 30th, 2011
5:35 pm

KK was hurt for most of the season, so the struggle for his first start was not that big of a surprise. I don’t understand people’s hatred toward him, however. It’s not like that he refused to pitch well for the Braves or did anything to hurt the club. The Braves FO are the one who decided to give him that much money and it’s a sunk cost.

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

June 30th, 2011
5:44 pm

Thanks, Chief!! BMac is the mann! Hope he stays hot for a long time—and there doesn’t appear to be anything to stop him!

So just try to imagine where they’d be without McCann.

No thank you. :)

Mark's for the Braves

June 30th, 2011
5:44 pm

Be glad when the KK experiment finally comes to an end.

mathman

June 30th, 2011
5:48 pm

Hopefully, Wren has learned a lesson. Don’t commit to a big contract with a guy you have never seen in person. And, don’t commit to a guy named McLouse who you should have known was on the juice. And, don’t commit to an old guy for 4 years, Lowe, on an outrageous contract when you are the only suitor. And, don’t trade a\way young talent for over the hill bums. Meaning Lee, Farnsworth, and Ankiel.

Bag-O-Bats

June 30th, 2011
5:48 pm

Trade him for a couple of boxes of fireworks and then lets have a party!

Kenshin Kawakami

June 30th, 2011
5:52 pm

Hopefully Jair Jurrjens gets traded so i can take back my spot in Atlanta’s rotation.

wjones

June 30th, 2011
5:53 pm

Trying to think of different Braves and tie them to a famous movie that kind of fits their careers. Let’s start with KK. I’m thinking “Old Yeller”.

Now that I type that out, I will hasten to add that this is not a racial slur, but I can see where some folks might think so. When I thought about this, more a tale of a faithful old dog who unfortunately has to be put down in the end. I’m sure Old Yeller would have resisted being traded to Japan as well.

Dennis Reynolds

June 30th, 2011
5:56 pm

He’s obviously not a great pitcher, but he’s not THIS bad. Either his implosion is due to extreme lack of confidence, or he’s simply collecting a huge paycheck and waiting to bring the bread back to Japan.

rammerjammer

June 30th, 2011
5:56 pm

I don’t suppose we’ll ever know all the reasons, but it’s pretty clear that KK was exiled with no chance of returning to Atlanta. I used to feel sorry for the guy, but his comments have the sound of persecution…and it’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who feels sorry for himself as he banks $6.7 million and tools around in a Maserati.

TheAntiMe

June 30th, 2011
6:17 pm

“Roger [McDowell, pitching coach] and I have spoken about that already today,” Gonzalez said. “It’s something that we’ve got to manage it a little bit. I hate to say anything about it because everybody reads the paper and you don’t want to give any secrets away to [the opponent in] the next series that’s coming up. But yeah, it’s something we’ve spoken about.”Fredi Gonzalez on plans for using (or not, as the case may be) Jonny Venters

lol – You know, Fredi, there’s this revolutionary new development in the game of baseball that you may want to look into. Almost all teams now have this guy called an advanced scout that comes and watches another team play a series or two before that team is scheduled to play your team.

This “scout” is sitting in the stands – often times with other scouts from different teams – and he watches for things like you mentioned in your above statement. They don’t even have to read it in the paper anymore because they see it first hand now. Kind of wild, ain’t it? :P

Vino Fino

June 30th, 2011
6:22 pm

Rammer- I’m no expert, but I’m guessing the 8-22 overall record and 1-10 w/ a 5+ ERA last year is 99.99% of the reason KK was “exiled”. Some other people might call it demoted and in most businesses he’d just be plain fired.

David O'Brien

June 30th, 2011
6:25 pm

AntiMe: I just ready your 6:17 p.m. comment. You missed his point. Managers don’t like to say, “We’re going to rest him for the entire series against the Orioles,” or, “We’re going to rest him for the next two games,” because they don’t want the opposing manager to know exactly who’s not available in the team’s bullpen as they make pinch-hitting decisions, etc. Pretty standard procedure for all managers.

And there is NO WAY the opposing team’s advance scout would know that, unless the manager said it off record to someone who told the scout. The scout doesn’t know from watching Venters struggle Wednesday that he’s going to be rested during all or most of the Baltimore series.

Bob the Blogger

June 30th, 2011
6:42 pm

KK has pitched very few innings this year – about 26 the last time I checked. He has only started four games, where as some of the staff at Mississippi have started 14 or 15. Apparently he is not even part of the rotation. It’s a shame. In his first year with the Braves his ERA was under four, and he beat some of the best pitchers in baseball.

Roja

June 30th, 2011
6:44 pm

Nobody is “hatin’ on KK”. He just flat out has S U C K E D big time as an MLB pitcher (and now apparently as an MiLB pitcher, too).

People forget Ted Turner paying Bruce Sutter a large fortune (at the time) to pitch for his Bravos and getting nothing in return for all his money. Of course, that was pre-blog (pre-internet) and obviously pre-many peeps on this blog, too.

TheAntiMe

June 30th, 2011
6:54 pm

Thanks, DOB, and that’s fair enough. My wiseguy statement was based on the assumption that a scout would see the possible wear and tear on a pitcher and therefore would know that said pitcher is probable for or not probable for a given number of appearances when they face the team being scouted but, true enough, you never really know for sure how a manager will use any of his personnel until the game is over. And I should know better by now than to assume.

TheAntiMe

June 30th, 2011
6:59 pm

And yes, it would be unwise for Fredi to tip his hand. Point well taken. :)

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
7:13 pm

I think Mac should receive a lot of votes for MVP. I am a braves fan and I am getting chills before I even type this though. :(

At this very moment the MVP of the NL is……Jose Reyes. I want to do a little crying-game scene now for even typing that. But it is true. The guy is simply amazing. And no there will be no trade for him. Let’s not be crazy, if it happened amazing, but it would cost WAY TOO MUCH.

@mathman…..HIS FREAKING NAME IS McLOUTH. The man still has a name. And when was he on the juice? Dude was an All-star…Gold Glove…and one of the highest percentage base stealers in the game the time the Braves were desperate to get a CF after Jordan’s wrist injury. He has been a disappointment numbers wise, but the man is playing very well right now.

mathman

June 30th, 2011
7:30 pm

Joseph, where have you been? Most know that McLouse was on the juice at Pitt. His homers have decreased significantly. He was an All Star because every team had to have a representative, not because he was deserving. No Gold Glove, no arm. What has happened to his base stealing ability? Joseph, the numbers tell the truith. Last year, he hit .180, yes, .180. This year, he is up to .230.

bring back blauser

June 30th, 2011
7:36 pm

joseph is right reyes will be the mvp he carries the muts on his back. only way he gets away from muts is via free agency. noone is going to give up what the muts want for him. however he would well be worth the investment as a free agent in off season. hint hint

Bravefaninok

June 30th, 2011
7:42 pm

Bosox dfa’d Mike Cameron today ….He has said many times he would like to play for the Braves,Right handed and capable of playing all OF positions,He would be a good 4th outfielder.

mathman

June 30th, 2011
7:45 pm

We will see. But, the MVP of a league seldom comes from a 3rd or 4th place team in a division. MVP’s for the most part, have come from a winning team, a playoff team. I believe the Mets will trade him by Aug 31, if not July 31. Doubt if the Mets would accept what I would like for the Braves to offer for him: A Gon, Hoover or Cordero, and Uggla.

mathman

June 30th, 2011
7:48 pm

Bosox dfa’d Mike Cameron today ….He has said many times he would like to play for the Braves,Right handed and capable of playing all OF positions,He would be a good 4th outfielder.

Braves need to wait for him to be released. Then, maybe if we could get rid of McLouse, we could sign him. DFA means they are trying to trade him and we can’t afford that contract.

Rupert

June 30th, 2011
7:55 pm

I still wonder why some have found such a fondness for Kawakami, who aside from a few good outings his first year against aces, did little for the Braves but be a below-average major starter. The problem is that he was paid like an average to above-average starter, which is the rub with me and others. So why people run to his defense is quite bewildering. You read his quotes and you see he has a lot of pride, which is why he didn’t go back to Japan. That’s fine, but he has proven NOTHING in the big leagues. He was sent to Mississippi so that pitchers who were legitimate options to be called up could be facing the best minor league competition and also to send him a message that the Braves were not going to get screwed by him simply taking their money and still living in the lifestyle he had in the majors by rejecting the trade to Japan.

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
8:09 pm

@mathman…..http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=3687573 the 2008 Gold Glove winners. And McLouth has never had any suspicion of ‘roids. When was it ever even suspected??? What happened to his base stealing…..I wonder the same thing. Last year everybody knows Cox didn’t run. So that explains that year and this year he is hitting 8th. Who is going to steal with a pitcher in the box?

mathman

June 30th, 2011
8:28 pm

Think there has been plenty of suspicions, even on this board, that McLouse was on juice. McLouse’s name has come up in talks on juice. As for base stealing, he has often batted leadoff this year, and he still can’t steal. First, you have to get on, though.

gumbylovespokey

June 30th, 2011
8:40 pm

No, he was sent to Mississippi to try and force him to accept one of the offers to return to Japan and evict him from his home and lifestyle here in Atlanta. Let’s be honest and a little thoroughness wouldn’t hurt either. Take the time to go to the MIss. Braves web page and look at his stats from his couple of starts since coming off the DL, one of the better WHIPs on the staff until this last outing. It would also be interesting to have a little journalistic effort go into a statistical comparison of D. Lowe (who was getting all the run support at the time) to KK (who was getting none of the run support at the time) over those two years. The comparison might be unpleasantly surprising. Now that D. Lowe has been betting KK like run support this year I thought the Braves might consider sending him to AA ball as well to work on his run support. I admire KK more than I do the way the Braves have handled him or the original decision to sign him to the contract.

gumbylovespokey

June 30th, 2011
8:41 pm

Never mind, it’s easier to just go for the flashy headline.

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
8:44 pm

@Blouser…Reyes will get “Crawford money” this year. Would love to see him here but no way. He is talking to Boras about switching agents this off-season.

@mathman….”HE HAS OFTEN BATTED LEADOFF THIS YEAR”………….WHAT???? He has 7 ABs all year in 1 hole. He is 8th place hitter and thriving at it right now too. Look at the splits….

79ABs in 8 hole….24 hits….17 runs….21 WALKS….. .304 avg…. .450 obp.
He does have 68ABs in 2 hole and 32 in 7th and 4 in 9th as well. He should bat 8th in every game he plays.

Kat

June 30th, 2011
8:54 pm

“..that’s drawing attention on midseason MVP watch lists..”

McCann’s stats apparently haven’t crossed Verducci’s desk…. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/06/28/midseason.awards/

mathman

June 30th, 2011
9:11 pm

Joseph: McLouse is thriving in the 8th position? Batting avg around .235 is thriving? He is getting some walks, but hardly thriving. Certainly, not thriving as a former All Star and Gold Glover. lol Is thriving compared to his .181 Uggla style average of a year ago. lol

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
9:22 pm

79ABs in 8 hole….24 hits….17 runs….21 WALKS….. .304 avg…. .450 obp. Yes he is thriving in the 8 hole. ;) His name is McLouth. The splits show it. He belongs in the 8 hole and when he is batting 8th….he has done very well. His season average is .232 not .235 so stop making up numbers and other crap. He is a career .250 hitter so batting .232 in a horrible year as you put it….isn’t too far from his career stats. He played all but 2.5 years in PNC park. Homerun hitters park especially down the right field line. That is why his homers aren’t there in Atlanta, not ‘roids as you make up. Just like you made up the .235 avg….and the he wasn’t a gold glove winner comment also.

@gumby…KK never got any run support last year, you are 100% correct on that. But from a personal view….I couldn’t stand watching him pitch from the stands. He is so freaking slow out there, I honestly had a debate going in the stands who was slower on the mound….him or Moyer. He has “ok” stuff, but at best he would be 7th starter right now. Many teams tried to sign him and we were the unfortunate ones that did. I was hoping for more, but personally I just couldn’t take the turtle speed he showed on the mound.

Largo

June 30th, 2011
9:27 pm

This may be of some interest to someone but I have no idea why. McLouth and Heyward together have 30 RBIs for the year. Uggla has almost twice as many with 28. No wonder the braves offense is feared by so many.

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
9:32 pm

Not a good stat, but to be fair…..COMBINED McLouth and Heyward missed almost 2 months on the DL. And even with that…..still have the best road record in NL and 3rd best record overall in the majors. Keep in mind Prado is coming back soon (I HOPE). Offense will get going more consistent with him in. Can’t get worse, so look at the bright side. With how bad of an offense it is….still in the playoffs at this second.

Jimbo Jones

June 30th, 2011
9:39 pm

@mathman: .304 is pretty good. We all know the dude has been a major disappointment overall but he is definitely playing better in the 8th slot as elaborated upon by Joseph. That said, there aren’t too many major league center fielders batting in the 8th slot that come to mind.

DOB, any indications as to what the Braves plans will be when they get Prado back? Are they planning to play Schaefer or McClouth? Platoon?

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
9:52 pm

Assuming Chipper doesn’t take the time to get his knee taken care of after Prado comes back…….I hope he does get it taken care of…..Platoon might work, but the way the 2 are going right now…I’d have to go with Nate starting in CF and let Jordan defensive sub. Of course start Jordan some but I think right now Nate is hitting better than he is. Not great but need all we can get. Jordan has got to get on base more. He has to. .295 OBP is not good for a leadoff guy. I love his speed but dang it. Maybe I have missed it, but why has it seem like he has stopped drag bunting like he did when he first got the call? He used to drag bunt 2 times a game now it seems like only 1 every other game.

Kentavo

June 30th, 2011
10:03 pm

Didn’t Venters – and Wagner – struggle some mid-season last year before regaining form?
Isn’t it par for the course?

JASon

June 30th, 2011
10:24 pm

I hate the mvp nowadays. They used to consider how important a player is to his team. Now, they simply look at stats. The mvp award is no longer the mvp of a team, it is the mvp of the league. So unless he elevates himself towards the top in one or more of the 3 major hitting categories, he stands no chance of recieving the award. And that is a shame.

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
10:33 pm

@Kentavo….I think that did happen…referred to as “dead arm”. Usually happens to starters on 5-8th start or so…..But never heard of it for a reliever……..so by that maybe that would mean 40+ appearances? Venters and the entire bullpen for that matter was over-used the first 2 months of the season……because of all the dang extra inning games. Can’t sit him for 4-5 days he would get rusty…..maybe keep it to 4 more appearances total before the all-star break…..AND PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT LET ANY PITCHER…JJ, HANSON, VENTERS, KIMBREL….EVEN WARM UP IN AN EXHIBITION GAME…..PLEASE call Bochy (or however you spell that) and keep the pitchers out…and rest them.

Rupert

June 30th, 2011
10:46 pm

gumbylovespokey, so we can’t just say it’s 2 bad signings? Lowe pitched better than Kawakami ever has in his life last September, which I’m sure you know if you watched the games. So while I agree Lowe has been far from what many hoped, he did come through when this team needed him last year, the first year in awhile this team made a real postseason push. If that doesn’t matter then you don’t get it. But even discounting that, the organization is free to handle players differently. Perhaps, just maybe, call me crazy boss, but it was because Lowe had a track record of success, which Kawakami didn’t have, still doesn’t, and sadly for you, never will. So I agree he’s been disappointing, but can’t expect the 2 to be handled the same. That’s the problem with number crunching.

Lobosolo

June 30th, 2011
10:52 pm

I’d say a good bit of McLouth’s decline in numbers have been from being injured and the time it took to mend, mudman… I’d also bet that you are the only one on this blog that has “heard” any talk of him being on the juice… you just plain don’t like him, judging from your constant comments, and your boorish insistence on deriding his name speaks convincingly of his superiority over you as a man… Funny how you and the other louts on here claim to be die hard Braves fans but insist on making such ugly comments on real members of “your” team… Your children should be so proud of you…

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
11:03 pm

@Rupert….I agree…still hated going to games that KK pitched in….It took forever to finish the game. Lowe did look really good his last time out. Best he has looked since he should had a no hitter until dang blister on his foot ruined it.

@Lobo…..To be fair…even though it appears intelligence is lacking…he still uses the name “mathman” for some reason I do not understand. He has a name….lol I think we need to improve the CF spot but there is no way we can in a trade this year. I would have a heart-attack if we mortgage our farm system like we did in the Tex trade. We do have some pieces to trade but not enough for an “impact” guy. This team is still in the playoffs right now with all of the injuries. I do not even remember when the last game was played with the “starting line-up” was all together.

Kenshin Kawakami

June 30th, 2011
11:15 pm

I love taking your money, you STUPID AMERICANS!!! Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Andrew P

June 30th, 2011
11:22 pm

Absolutely ridiculous how the Braves organization has managed KK. Sending him down to AA was a mistake, and I think it’s just messed with his head, and basically wasted the money we spend on bringing him to the MLB.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/kawakami-deserves-an-mlb-roster-spot/

Joseph

June 30th, 2011
11:30 pm

Send that to the other 29 MLB GMs Andrew. Maybe we can get someone to trade for him. Fine I will indulge you Andrew…..Who on our current roster would you have back in the minors and KK starting/bullpen? And if you say Lowe you just prove my first impression of your comment. Medlen was 5x the pitcher KK was period.

On the Medlen note….Barring a trade of either of these guys……………If you thought this spring’s battle for the starting job was something…………Beachy/Minor/Medlen. I have a problem just telling Medlen next spring…your bullpen……period. Dude was wonderful until the injury. It is fun having way too many pitchers isn’t it?

Brave4life-1995 all over again?

June 30th, 2011
11:55 pm

the KK story killed the article

mathman

July 1st, 2011
12:13 am

Use google. There are plenty of comments on the Pirate boards about McLouse using things, in 2008. You are correct though. I don’t like him. He is a big waste of money and has not produced in 2 1/2 years. The fact that he hit around .180 last year was not due to injuries. He was hitting that before he got injured and didn’t do any better when he returned.

Joseph

July 1st, 2011
12:22 am

@mathman….again with your crap??? Is all you have is a freaking blog to go by? Dude only had 1 maybe 2 years where he hit 20 homers. Wow if he was “juiced” he got ripped off big time. On a serious note….Are you really this sad of a person? I mean let’s be honest. What really happened? Did McLouth not sign an autograph for you one day or something? Dude get over yourself. He is hitting .304 when batting 8th. I’ll take that any day of the week PERIOD. Find me any other 8 hole hitters hitting .304. Oh wait if you do they on the “juice” right? You are really pathetic.

I love, uh, oh well

July 1st, 2011
12:49 am

I wanted to type “first’ but I was too late. So, two hundred and seventy one.

Braves in 11

July 1st, 2011
1:28 am

I wish Freddi would leave Chipper batting 3rd and McCann hitting cleanup.

Chipper batting 3rd – .270 avg
Chipper batting 4th- .138 avg

McCann batting 3rd – .295 avg
McCann batting 4th- .320 avg

I know it’s a small sample like 8 games so far…but for a team that’s been so terrible batting why do you take two guys out of the spots that get the job done.

Joseph

July 1st, 2011
1:44 am

I do like your theory Braves. It is a good debate. You always want your best run producer in 3 hole. And right now that is Mac. I have been tossing this in my head for a couple of hours now and I was just wondering what some might think………..I mean logical thoughts not the normal weirdos.
AFTER ALL STAR BREAK ( I hope Prado is healthy and ready to go full bore)………

1.Prado (I know he is better in the 2 hole but .295 obp from Schafer is not good enough. I don’t care how fast he is)
2. Uggla (He is batting .231 when in the 2 hole. I know in 4 hole is .359 but I just can’t put him there)

Before I go further……Management should sit down with Mr. Brave. Hall of Fame Chipper and make sure he is ok with this. If he feels uncomfortable forget it. But I honestly don’t think he would ever do something like that.

3. Mac
4. Freeman
5. Heyward
6. Hall of Fame Chipper
7. Gonzo
8. McLouth (.304/.450) in 8 hole I love him here.

Honest, logical opinions?

Braves 4 Life

July 1st, 2011
2:58 am

@ Joseph: I do think your proposed line-up makes sense in more ways than one. It’s very honest. I also do like the alternating of right left right left though and its hard for me to part with that strategy. Is this your line-up for everyday even against left handed pitchers? That’s my main concern here in the 3,4,and 5 spots. Will this hold up for the long haul against left handed pitchers? I am not 100% positive it would. Just my 2 cents though.

gotigers72

July 1st, 2011
4:55 am

F Wren made a big mistake with KK. He should have never signed him to a multiple year contract w/o seeing how he pitched against major leaguers. Because there is a huge difference between REAL MAJOR LEAGUERS and Japanese major leaguers.

A one year deal would not have been so bad, then if he did good for that one year maybe sign him up for multiple years. However, he didn’t even pitch well for one year.

Adrian's Devine

July 1st, 2011
6:18 am

I agree with a lot of bloggers that signing KK was a mistake. But the Lowe signing wasnt. Lowe has given the Braves what i expected . 14 to 15 wins a year. And he was one of the main cogs in last years’ push for the playoffs. He was simply unhittable. And i think after the DUI fiasco this year he has lost his focus and he is just now getting it back. I think he will be better after the all star break.

McCann is having a MVP type year. And i think the only thing that will hold him back from winning it if he continues is that the Braves get no love what so ever from the national press. ESPN, especially. Sports Illustrated dont even have him in their top 10. But if he continues , they will have to cover him and they will have to give him votes. There is no telling where the Braves would be without him.

As far as Nate McLouth goes, i have always liked him. He is a gamer and he does what the team asks him to do. All hitters go through rough years. I mean last year, you try to come back normal after colliding with Heyward , and stayed down at Gwinnett at the teams instance to try to find his stroke back. I like him and i think he will have no trouble finding another team to sign with after his contract is up after this year. That is if the Braves dont resign him.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Chuck

July 1st, 2011
9:54 am

rammerjammer and gumbylovespokey: excellent posts! DOB may have drank the koolaid a little on the KK part of his blog. KK must have thrown a diva fit in a meeting with Cox and Wren – that’s the only thing that makes sense. Unless he promised to not perform, I still don’t understand this crappy treatment of an asset. The whole problem with me is how early they turned on KK when he wasn’t winning, but was pitching ok with no run support. And the fact that this ruins their chances of ever signing anyone else from Japan makes it all the more unfortunate. One gets the idea that the Braves are not willing to work with people that don’t fit their mold, which cuts down the player pool considerably (see also treatment of Escobar – can’t manage these type players effectively).

flintrock70

July 1st, 2011
10:04 am

@Mathman- McLouth hit his homeruns on a bad team in Pitt. where the opposing pitchers didn’t care if he cranked one because the Pirates were already down a lot. I bet you most of his homeruns came in low leverage situations when the game was already out of reach one way or the other. You can hit 30 homeruns a year but they don’t matter if you’re hitting them off the other team’s mop up man because you are down by 7 runs in the 9th inning. They are just trading outs for runs at that point trying to get the game over with- fastball down the middle for everyone!

wjones

July 1st, 2011
10:50 am

To paraphrase Joe Walsh,

My Mazarati does 185
I lost my roster spot, now I can’t pitch.

Merlin

July 1st, 2011
11:16 am

@flintrock70 Surprisingly (for me anyway) Nate’s homers are evenly split. 27 ahead, 26 tied, 27 behind career and roughly (without taking off my shoes to count) 21-19-21 in Pittsburgh. I agree with your position though. The pressure on him to perform in Atlanta and the way they opposing pitchers approach the Braves’ lineup were things he didn’t handle well. The Pirates sold high and gave Wren a coffee pot and a slushie coupon at 7-11 so he did the deal. Nothing new there.

mike

July 1st, 2011
11:16 am

that would be MASERATI….

when you put a guy that you signed for 23 million dollars on your DOUBLE AA club, i think that’s going to scare away any potential buyers. honestly, other than a mistake here or there he’d make, he had some stuff.

maybe they got tired of the interpreter always hanging around?

hank57

July 1st, 2011
11:53 am

Question. Which was the worst signing? KK or Hampton?

Frank Wren

July 1st, 2011
12:03 pm

KK was worse.

Hammie could hit.

Ryan2White

July 1st, 2011
12:18 pm

Don’t go away mad KK, just go away!

chc4

July 1st, 2011
12:20 pm

Fredi was apparently the only person in this city not worried about Venters’ being overworked until now. It’s unimaginable that Fredi would use him with a 6-1 lead in the 8th like he did in SD. He’s done this numerous times this year. For it to be a shock that he’s wearing down is absurd. Further proof Fredi is either totally clueless or has no foresight. Either way it makes for a bad skipper.

Mark's for the Braves

July 1st, 2011
12:47 pm

Wouldn’t it be something if the Braves were still going through the KK experiment at the big league level plus the Uggla struggles this year at the same time? Thank heavens for Beachy and Minor.

Mike in Marietta

July 1st, 2011
12:59 pm

mathman is dumb

Bill

July 1st, 2011
1:27 pm

Dave with KK’s contract gone and Chipper probably retiring after this year what will the Braves do with that extra money?Will they invest and try to lock up some young talent already here?Will the go after a big bat in free agency?Or will the bean counters at Liberty Media just pocket the money as profit ?

Rupert

July 1st, 2011
1:45 pm

“How crappy they have treated Kawakami”, “How quickly they turned on him”, really? They gave him a year and a half people! Plus they gave him this spring to prove himself again, which he failed to do. This is not little league. They pay his salary, he pitches where they want him to pitch. It’s a simple concept. It makes no sense why some folks want to put the guy on the cross.

USAF Retired

July 1st, 2011
2:17 pm

gumbylovespokey nails it down with respect to KK….just that simple like it or not.

Jay Dubu

July 1st, 2011
2:22 pm

It sounds as though KK is struggling mentally with AA, and what’s he’s supposed to be doing while there.

He is coming back from an injury, and Wed was his first start since coming back.

He pitched as good as Lowe is pitching now when he was with Atlanta, but the Braves could not afford to keep him in the rotation when they had guys better than him.

Because Lowe is a MLB veteran, there’s only so much they can do with him, and at 15 mil for 4 years, he’ll be in Atl until his contract expires or they find a trading partner.

I root for both Lowe and KK, because they wear the Braves uni.

Nick P.

July 1st, 2011
2:44 pm

forget it Braves, this contract we have to eat, there is no other choice! we are loaded with starting pitching both young and old, there is no way this guy will ever sniff another major league roster ever again, he should have went back to Japan to salvage some his old eastern dominance because it aint happening in the west!

Cbuck

July 1st, 2011
3:02 pm

Japanese customs says KK needs to do the honorable thing, and fall on his sword!

alexcox

July 1st, 2011
6:51 pm

kk que se gane el dinero trabajando duro en el equipo hasta q l duela el braso.aveses uno comete errores pero si lo repones para atras aprendiste wren eso es para ti y chiper hoyo sirujia para q no alargues tu retiro m gustaria verte sano. pero c t aserco la hora veo muchas escusas mcannan mvp tu eres el q a dado la cara con el bate.parish y demas bateadores no engranan y eso in cluye a wren q no a movido las fichas adecuada

alexcox

July 1st, 2011
6:55 pm

roger mcdawel buentrabajo si gue hasi con lo muchachos ban aterminar bien son mejores q los filis pero si el equipo en piesa a batear q daran mejor d lo q estan

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