Wren Q and A: Neither Lowe, Heyward guaranteed starting jobs

Two days after the Braves were eliminated from the postseason, Braves general manager Frank Wren shared his thoughts about where the Braves go from here. In a candid interview Friday with selected members of the media, Wren said he didn’t envision Derek Lowe with a spot in the starting rotation next season as of now. He said the Braves have no plans to trade Jason Heyward but he will have to fight for a job in right field. And he stood behind the job manager Fredi Gonzalez did despite the Braves’ September collapse.

Here are excerpts from that hour-long interview.

Q. What about Derek Lowe?

A. He had a very tough finish to the year, and going into next season there’s, it’s hard to project him as one of our starters at this point, based on the young talent we have. But that’s something we’ll figure out when we get closer to spring training.

Q. So the bullpen is an option, if he’s not traded?

A. It’s an option we have to evaluate at that time.

Q. Has it become redundant to hear him say he needs to make mechanical changes?

A. No, I just think it’s a situation where you want to put the best five starters out there, and right now the way we project, I’m not sure Derek would be one of our best five starters. I’ll just leave it at that.

Q. What’s your response to the rumor that the Braves have discussed trading Jason Heyward?

A. We’ve never had one discussion about trading Jason Heyward. That’s the furthest thing from our mind. That’s never come up. Nobody’s contemplated it. Nobody’s talked about it. I’m not sure where that came from. The reality is Jason made some progress this season; he’s got to continue to make progress. And he’s going to be in a battle unless he continues to progress at a good rate. It’s not a given he’s our right fielder. We’re going to go into the offseason (keeping) in mind that we’ve got to have offensive production from right field. And we didn’t get that this year.

Q. Did he get away with things as a rookie because of his physical gifts?

A. There’s a general consensus that the reason guys sometimes struggle their second year is not that they lost their ability, it’s the league adjusted and they didn’t. So as we go forward, we’ve got to look at what it takes for him to make those adjustments. And that’s been the crux of this whole season, what he’s worked on mechanically and tried to accomplish….He’s worked hard at it, but he’s not there yet.

Q. How close is shortstop Tyler Pastornicky?

A. He’s progressed very well. When we have our meetings in Florida the week after next… we’ll have a better sense what our real offseason projections are. But he’s very close to being a big league shortstop. He did everything he could do at Double-A and Triple-A and he was really on a roll at Triple-A when he had the ankle sprain.

Q. Is re-signing Alex Gonzalez still an option?

A. Yes.

Q. Did his lack of offense become a greater liability because of the team’s overall offensive struggles?

A. He’s just such a magician defensively, that it’s fun to watch him play on a nightly basis, but we struggled to score runs and when you’re struggling to score runs, it seems like it always finds the guy that’s struggling the most.

Q. So your biggest needs to fill could be shortstop and outfield?

A. Yes and utility infield. You’re always looking to add depth to your bench.”

Q. Will your payroll be about the same?

A. Yes, generally the same, maybe a little increase.

Q. Given the criticism of Fredi Gonzalez, how did you feel about the job he did?

A. There’s plenty of blame to go around. This was a really tough finish. It was kind of inconceivable, really, the way we finished up. But the reality is there’s no one person that you can point the finger at. I think it’s really unfair. There was no shortage of meetings, there was no shortage of conversations, no shortage of one-on-ones with veteran players, with young players trying to lighten the load as it got heavier and heavier in September. The reality is, it just didn’t work. It didn’t come out like we wanted. It’s tough for everybody.

Q. Looking ahead, how do you view your abundance of pitching?

A. We have a lot of pitching but I think it’s not something that we’re looking to trade from. I think we want to go into spring training with lots of options…. If these kids continue to mature at the pace they are, we could have a lot of really tough decisions in spring training. And that’s a real good thing.

Q. How did Jurrjens do in his instructional league start Thursday?

A. We got great news on Jurrjens last night. He threw five innings and was the old Jurrjens. He was up to 91 (mph) and looked like Jair. He was pretty dominant and felt good coming out. So of all the bad things the last few days, that was really a positive. He would have been in line to start on of the playoff game based on what we saw last night.

438 comments Add your comment

flange1

September 30th, 2011
8:41 pm

Great story DOB!

Thanks

DC Brave

September 30th, 2011
8:46 pm

Wow. Nice to see some honest answers. Very refreshing….

Heyward…you’ve been challenged…now rise up to it and get it done!

DC Brave

September 30th, 2011
8:47 pm

Glad Lowe is all but gone.

DC Brave

September 30th, 2011
8:48 pm

How about we hire somebody to pitch BP as a lefty? And then hire 2 hitting coaches…one lefty and one righty.

Merlin

September 30th, 2011
8:48 pm

Fredi is consistently out managed by older heads. Jack McKeown, Terry Collins, Charlie Manual and Clint Hurdle were always a step ahead of him in critical spots. Since he insists Fredi is staying we definitely need an older ex-manager on the bench beside Fredi – Don Baylor for example. Nominally hitting coach and also back up brain stimulator for Fredi.
There’s no need to look for a utility infielder, we have one playing left field. Get a left fielder who has some pop. Prado doesn’t produce like a corner player. He hit like a middle infielder this year because that’s what he is. Chipper will be hurt enough that Martin will get his ABs and he can spell everyone except the SS.

ph

September 30th, 2011
8:48 pm

glad Jurjeans looked great in instructional league while we had to watch Lowe throw batting practice in the major league.

O.J.

September 30th, 2011
8:49 pm

It was Carroll

ph

September 30th, 2011
8:50 pm

I wish Baylor comes back to be hitting coach, he was the best hitting coach the Braves had in years.

McCmann and Aqua Hoss

September 30th, 2011
8:50 pm

PLAYOFFS. Your talking about playoffs, PLAYOFFS, your kidding me.

Todd

September 30th, 2011
8:51 pm

Don’t give up Braves fans. Plenty of young talent. #I’llbeback

G

September 30th, 2011
8:52 pm

So it’s sounds like he is relying on the young guys to fill in the holes in the pitching staff. My prediction is this will be Wren’s last year if he does not go out and acquire a solid 1a or #2 starter. This team does jot have one.

longtimebravesfan

September 30th, 2011
8:53 pm

I’m very happy to read this. Good that Lowe will have less of a role on the team, or be traded. Good to hear that Wren realizes the Braves need upgrades in the outfield, shortstop and bench. And I am happy to hear that the payroll may go up a bit. If the Braves don’t unload as much of Lowe’s contract as they can, they have little flexibility to add new players.
I look forward to seeing what acquisitions Wren and his team can come up with (like Dan Uggla last year).

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
8:56 pm

DOB….does this count as OVERTIME for you? :)

Kat

September 30th, 2011
8:59 pm

Thanks Carroll.

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 30th, 2011
9:02 pm

In my expert medical opinion, the Braves are making the right call about my troublesome, non-hustling patient.

The Next Hank Aaron???

L O L !!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

September 30th, 2011
9:02 pm

lowe, mcclouth, kk, and wilson—–gone!!! i like tyler, keep agon for 1 more year. threaten heyward with the ol’ francouer speech then see what happens. take extra $$ and spend wisely

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 30th, 2011
9:02 pm

In my expert medical opinion, the Braves are making the right call about my troublesome, non-hustling patient.

The Next Hank Aaron???

L O L !!!

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 30th, 2011
9:04 pm

Frankly, Roger “Kids Don’t Belong at the [Expletive] Ballpark” McDowell shouldn’t being guaranteed a job with the Braves next year, either.

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 30th, 2011
9:05 pm

By the way….

Terry Francona (Now Available) > Fredi Gonzalez

jerry

September 30th, 2011
9:07 pm

the Braves started the season loaded with Aaron, Mantle, and Pujols type hitters, but Parrish ruined them.

extremus

September 30th, 2011
9:08 pm

Interesting answer to the patroll question. Is Liberty Media expected to retain their ownership of the Braves into next season (I had thought this was the last year of their tax write-off eligibility)? And if not, any thoughts on who might be candidates to bid on the Braves, Mr. O’Brien?

M10

September 30th, 2011
9:08 pm

I agree with Wren you shoud’nt give up on Heyward I think this offseason will do him some good on making adjustments.I think Freeman will have to next season as well the league will make adjustments to him also.Also no way Lowe should be in the rotation doubt if any other team would want him eithier.Lastly this team needs another productive bat with some power or speed if not there going to be in the same position next yr at home.Some needs to talk to F.Gonzalez also about his stupid decision or he’s gone next yr.

extremus

September 30th, 2011
9:08 pm

payroll; sorry for the typo

Just The Facts

September 30th, 2011
9:09 pm

Glad to hear that’s the mindset. I love Chipper but I wish we would figure out a way to get him to retire to free up what we are going to pay him. You are basically getting 60-70% production out of him for what most teams are getting out of a guy making that kind of money. His legs are shot & it’s not going to get better.

I would bag Lowe, Gonzo at short, get Chipper to retire, get younger at 3B & SS, get some pop in LF & RF. If JHey isn’t sparkling in ST he starts the year at Gwinnett until he gets it right & swings with confidence again. I would trade Jurrjens to the BoSox for a couple of their young stud hitters and a stud A ball pitcher to develop into a starter in 3-4 years. That would be a good start.

FSUBraves

September 30th, 2011
9:09 pm

I think Chipper’s contract is handicapping this team..He’s not going to put up big numbers again, and will play 100 games tops…why pay him allt that money? Chipper should take a pay cut and play from the bench and try and trade for Evan Longoria….

Yea, blame roger.

September 30th, 2011
9:10 pm

Because he took out tommys shoulder, jjs knee, and burnt out the bp. How about the first half when he was pitching coach of the year?

gotigers72

September 30th, 2011
9:12 pm

I don’t see how in h-e-double hockey sticks FW can honestly say that Fredi wasn’t a huge part of the Braves collapse. He just stands over there like a statue, does nothing to motivate, has no fire to him at all. And, he’s just not a good baseball manager. If you took an anonymous survey of Braves’ players, I doubt that 50% of them would have respect for the man. He does nothing to gain respect. A pitiful excuse for a ML manager. PITIFUL.

I’ll make a prediction right now, approximately 365 days prior to the end of the 2012 ML baseball season. If Fredi Gonzalez is the Braves manager next year, for more than 1/2 of the year, the Braves will finish in 4th or 5th place in their division.

Anyone that knows squat about baseball knows that Fredi is not a ML manager, so why do Wren and Company think he is? Same as always with Wren, afraid to admit he made a mistake.

Yea, blame roger.

September 30th, 2011
9:13 pm

Tehran, delgado, heyward and pieces MAY get the rays to answer the phone on longoria. Get real. Want a new 3b best option is aramis ramierez

Just The Facts

September 30th, 2011
9:13 pm

@ Jerry

I know it’s the weekend but lay off the weed. It’s clouding your thought process.

Gimpah & McError

September 30th, 2011
9:13 pm

Carroll Rogers, do you know where I could find the full transcript of this hour long q&a? Thanks.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:15 pm

“G”

Pretty sure Tim Hudson is a more than capable number one starter, and would certainly serve as a number one starter on over half the teams in major league baseball. That being said, why would we need to sign a number 1 or number two when we already have one, and the miriad of young arms which look to be quite promising. If you think Tim Hudson is a #3 starter at best, you clearly have no clue what it is you are talking about

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:19 pm

Another cliche that is getting old ” You can never have enough starting pitching” on alot of levels I totally agree with that statment but you still have to score runs to win a baseball game! Perfect example the 2011 San Francisco Giants look at how many games that rotation lost because their hitters gave them 1 or no runs to work with. Cain and company should have at least 4 more wins but no run production killed them just like it killed our bullpen with so many extra inning and tight ball games

bart

September 30th, 2011
9:20 pm

I’m glad to hear that someone with authority in the Braves organization is going to hold people accountable. Seriously, Fredi’s statements about retaining the entire staff was a marketing nightmare if nothing else. If it had come to pass then the braves would have lost countless fans. Fans can be picky and ornery but we’re not that stupid. Something had to change – expectations for coaches and player needed to be public. Frank Wren just earned his salary with this recovery.

Rufino Linares

September 30th, 2011
9:20 pm

Oh my god! You people saying garbage like “chipper should retire” don’t know anything about sports in general, and baseball in particular. Did some fool actually say “try and trade for Evan Longoria”??? Oh my god! Please go to the knitting or cooking blogs, where you belong.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:21 pm

@ JHey

let me ask you a question. Which do you think Cain, Lincecum, Baumgardner and Co. would have rather had; 4 more wins, or the ring? Thought so.

Joe in Charlotte

September 30th, 2011
9:24 pm

Sober assessment, good to hear. I wonder if the Braves will look at the fact that Lowe’s and Chipper’s contracts end next year and get some extra spending room in advance of that.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:27 pm

Ok Ok of course the ring but you had Edgar rentaria get not one but two 3 RBI games in the WS when he NEVER did that during the season and you had Cody Ross go off and have a “Carlos Beltran Like” postseason play. Nooooo one predicted that to happen and you seen what happened to them this year got caught by the DBacks and looked like these braves only 4 weeks earlier. Trust Me I know baseball!

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:28 pm

Remember people Kawakami and MCclouth’s Money comes of the books that’s 18 mil right there!

1eyedJack

September 30th, 2011
9:30 pm

Lowe = 15 million dollar middle reliever.

Didn’t Pastornicky make like 30 errors this year? But Gonzo hits with balsa wood.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:31 pm

As do I, and I know, as well as the rest of the baseball world, that good pitching almost ALWAYS beats good hitting. just like in football, defense wins championships. Only in the baseball sense its pitching. I would probably be so bold as to say there are maybe a handful of teams that have ever won the World Series that didnt have good pitching

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:32 pm

1eyedjack

you might also have to consider with those errors the shoddy fields these kids play on down in the minors, not everyone has facilities like the Braves :)

BosnianBaller

September 30th, 2011
9:33 pm

I gotta think Jair or Hanson is on the way out.John Sherholtz always looked at guys to add to the team that were generally always healthy and im sure Wren was thought this from JS.You can’t count on guys like Hanson or Jair.Especially Jair for the 2nd year in a row.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:35 pm

JHey

most of that 18M freed up by McLouth and KK will be tied up in arbitration forMoylan(if we keep him), Eric O, Bourn, Prado, and JJ. so dont expect too much more financial room to work with than we already have

smallmouth6

September 30th, 2011
9:35 pm

Carroll, Get your own blog photo and headline. You deserve it.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:37 pm

Ok this braves team struggled all year long with hitting the Starters minus lowe before they got hurt covered up what has been this teams glaring weakness for years they have been a station to station team that couldnt get the as Fredi would say “Big Hit” that is nothing but BS this team was soooooooo overmatched by soooo many starters this year I was at the Ted during that last Dodger series and watched a rookie no name pitcher carve up this braves lineup like a Thanksgiving turkey! And look at our bullpen guys they where clearly worn out yes the velocity was there but location went out the window a long time ago

beone

September 30th, 2011
9:38 pm

Chipper for what he makes is killing us. Is the option for 2013 his or the Braves? If it is his, we are in big trouble.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:39 pm

Look they are cutting their losses with Moylan he will not pitch another game for the braves back and now rotator cuff problems. Everyone knows when a pitcher starts having shoulder problems its a huge red flag!

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:39 pm

I would love to see Wren trade JJ or Hanson(whoever has higher value right now) for a young, consistent, NATURAL outfielder who hasnt yet hit arbitration to throw in left. Some names come to mind are Chris Heise (Reds), Garrardo Parra (DBacks), Brennan Boesch (Tigers), or even Carlos Gomes (i think he still has another year before arb.) I love Prado and everything about the guy, but he is not a left fielder. And yes i know he is only there until Chip retires, but hes not retired yet, which means if we dont find a solution now, the same scenario comes up next offseason and the potential for even less options that are financially possible for us

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:41 pm

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:42 pm

I agree on Chipper as much as I love the guy he is my favorite player that much money for that amount of uncertainty an production is not in any way a good buisness move. 6 million tops

Chad

September 30th, 2011
9:42 pm

Heyward for Francouer? Could happen.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:43 pm

Chad

Royals just locked him up for a pretty decent contract, one that i doutb they would eat just to get Heyward, and if they didnt eat at least half then there would be no way we could afford him. Not likely at all

ham david

September 30th, 2011
9:44 pm

I think chipper shoud retire and he needs to stop look so mean to the player to. Heyward he needs t to go the M lead todo some a justment for 1 or 2 years, we needs production players . We had so many games we shoud WON,But becuse of Heward and some players MR GONZO shoud at least talk them in meeting I. am so upset we had so many games under control and we let them go the other way. We need chemistry

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:45 pm

Impact bat period thats what they need! guys that will grind out at bats and get it done Freeman was the only one I seen that did that

Mark (another one)

September 30th, 2011
9:47 pm

As much as people want to take shots at Lowe, pitching was not the issue. Production from RF, CF, LF and 2nd killed us at various times of the year. Uggla looks like he is out of his funk and the issue at CF looks like its also solved. Neither Prado nor Heyward carried their share of the load. I would bet they would all agree.

If the Braves had two more wins this year, we would all be talking about the playoffs. If these four positions (three usually associated with run production) had played the way they should, we would be in the playoffs.

Uggla and Bourn look like the incumbants for 2012 and it sounds like Wren has confidence Prado can recover from a bad year. So, the issue is RF and can he upgrade SS and his bench. He also has to be sure Prado is the long term plan at 3rd as Chipper is 39.

BTW, Chipper played in 126 games with McCann and Prado only getting 128 and 129. He was 7th on the team in ABs and hits, and fourth on OBP (.814 OPS). Only McCann at .817 had a higher OPS. Of the NL 3rd basemen, only Rameriz (.306 and .871) and Polanco (.277) have a higher averages or OPS numbers. None of these numbers speak to his leadership as a senior member of the team, but Chipper earns his money.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:48 pm

Yeah and Frenchy is NOT the answer I STILL CANT believe that Melky got 200 hit this season!!!!! He was over weight and out of shape for us last year then he goes to the Royals I E Braves of the AL with Dayton Moore running the ship who just loves to take former braves and flat out rakes. Tell me why the Braves have not had a 100 RBI In years let alone a guy that can get 200 hits? anyone anyone anyone?

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2011
9:48 pm

I didn’t see from the article that Wren is standing firmly behind Gonzalez.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:50 pm

well said Mark very knowledgeable!

Lee in S GA

September 30th, 2011
9:51 pm

interesting i tell you..

Fredi likes to B.S. himself

September 30th, 2011
9:51 pm

Getting the run down from Wren just makes you feel warm all over. CHOKE!

LuisG

September 30th, 2011
9:51 pm

Thanks CR!

Just one thing: what about the Michael Bourn situation?

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:52 pm

But one thing I will say settling for 1 or 2 more wins is BS this team didnt have any fire or from what I could see drive like say a Rays or Cardinals team

tdawgmoney

September 30th, 2011
9:53 pm

Lowe was the biggest waste of money since Mike Hampton….and even Jon Koncak.

Jeff R

September 30th, 2011
9:53 pm

At least it seems Wren is looking critically at Heyward. Heyward may need time at Gwinnett to figure things out.

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
9:53 pm

Bourn is locked up until the end of next year, is due a raise and will likely make around 7M next season

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:54 pm

Even if the Braves would have made the playoffs with the way that they were playing to go up against alot of these other teams I feel would have just been and embarresment

Mr Heyward

September 30th, 2011
9:54 pm

If the Braves trade Heyward he will become a top 3 talent, and he will make the braves “tip their caps” to him each and every opportunity possible.

Jeff R

September 30th, 2011
9:55 pm

Kawa-crummy wasn’t exactly dollars well spent.

Lee in S GA

September 30th, 2011
9:56 pm

hey bitches…anybody want to meet me

Gimpah & McError

September 30th, 2011
9:57 pm

I said many years ago that resigning Chipper to his latest contract was a mistake at that rate. But, he’s just one of many problems that have hogtied the payroll with under performing stiffs. Think about it:

2011 – Lowe ($15M), Chipper ($14M), KK ($7.3M), McClouth ($7M) = $43.3M. just to name a few.

And lets not forget about McCann’s $6.6M contract this year and $8.6M next year. Sure, at the time it sounded like a great deal. However, things change and he gave up 104 stolen bases this year. You can try and pawn it off on the pitchers all ya want. But, his defense has went down hill, period. In other words, opposing teams run at will on him and a lot of his offense is canceled out when singles and walks turn into doubles.

Lastly, even with money coming off the books next year.. Chipper is not and has never been a real impact player contrary to what the homers around here are peddling. Sure he knows how to slap singles (batting title) but chokes and/or is unable to get the job done when he’s needed most. Plus, this incessant whining about batting 3rd since little league, claiming to be a team player, then reverting back to the press he feels best or whatever in the 3 hole. Hot news flash: You haven’t been a real 3 hole hitter for many years!

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
9:58 pm

Why do people think Heyward in Gwinnett will solve all of his problems? Sorry people not attacking you just venting and frustated about this season. What I think happened to heyward was that he was STILL injured and tried to live up to peoples expectations! When you have a future HOF player question your toughness and grit you feel like you have to go out and prove something, Couple that with him not making adjustments at the plate that a high school coach could point out and Me personally still feel his swing is toooooooooooooooo long!

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:04 pm

You cant be serious on that I HATE CHIPPER POST This dude has carried these braves teams soooooooooo many times he is not the chipper of hmmmm 99 00 02 04 and on and on EVERYONE knows that and to blame Mac on not throwing out runners come on. MAC is hands down the best catcher in baseball and it aint cause IM a HOMER the stats speak for itself every year an All Star, Silver Sluggers 20 plus homers 75 to 80 RBIS from your CATCHER.

Jason Heyward's Gynecologist

September 30th, 2011
10:04 pm

2011 Jason Heyward:

Where Hustle Goes to Die

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
10:05 pm

theres nothing future hall of famer about either of his first two seasons. does he have potential? yes. but he has also not yet shown he is durable for an entire season. he isnt hitting at a high average, he isnt mashing 40 bombs or amassing 90+ RBIs, so i dont understand how you can call him a future HOF player?

Vino Fino

September 30th, 2011
10:06 pm

Carroll- Great Q&A- thanks for the recap.

Since DOB seemingly takes every other week off, why wont’ the AJC give you your own blog and picture? Just doesn’t seem right for what you do to be considered “covering for” DOB, since you carry an equal load.

Alex Jinks

September 30th, 2011
10:07 pm

I’m glad Frank was candid. And I’m glad to see that he isn’t going to put Lowe in the rotation just because of his salary. The comment about Heyward makes the Diaz trade seem well thought out.

Vino Fino

September 30th, 2011
10:10 pm

And as far as Wren’s comments, I like the candor. Good for him to call some people out, and I’m absolutely thrilled that he fired Parrish. Glad somebody in this organization feels like there should be some accountability for this dreadful collapse. Good to hear him say there’s work to be done. I thought my head was going to explode when Fredi basically said “oh well, what’ya going to do” and “let’s sit back and watch the playoffs”!

I’ve gained a lot of respect for Wren over the last year.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 30th, 2011
10:10 pm

Good stuff from Wren. Refreshing to see some honesty and no sugarcoating. DOB tweeted some more good quotes from Wren that I don’t think made this blog post.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:10 pm

I am not calling Heyward a future HOF I was talking about Chipper Jones questioning Heyward’s grit and toughness.

Michael M.

September 30th, 2011
10:11 pm

Just no ” Job Security ” anywhere no more in the ” Great Recession “

ohhhhYEAH

September 30th, 2011
10:11 pm

ahhhhh. my mistake

Najeh Davenpoop

September 30th, 2011
10:12 pm

“What I think happened to heyward was that he was STILL injured and tried to live up to peoples expectations!”

I would be more worried if he was injured the whole season than if he just sucked. Mechanical issues with his swing can be fixed. Being injury prone usually can’t.

I still think Heyward will be fine, and hopefully upgrading the hitting coach and allowing him to be patient like his instincts told him to be last year will result in good things for him in Year 3, but he definitely needs to get the issues with his swing straightened out.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:12 pm

Now people wanna talk about homers Look I like Matt Diaz I really do but to think that this guy is an everyday player NOW THAT IS BEING A HOMER

Gimpah & McError

September 30th, 2011
10:13 pm

Last time I checked the Braves have ‘one’ World Series title since Chipper has been on the team. What about all those other years with superb pitching and other bashers? Right. Division titles and pennants are fine and dandy but that’s not my idea of WINNING.

Mac might be the best offensive catcher but defensively he’s paltry. I know its difficult for some, but you can’t ignore bad defense just because his offense is good. In my own little fantasy word, I’d trade McCann, put Ross behind the dish and make up for Mac’s offense at a different postion. Plus, I already mentioned 6.6M this year and 8.6 next year. Do you really think 100+ stolen bases allowed with passed balls, backhand plays and scared to block this plate is really what a World Series team is made of?

Maybe I’m looking at this from the wrong perspective. I guess if you’re idea of a good time is to watch your favorite players and consider World Series wins as something the ‘other’ teams achieve.. Then you might have a point. But, last time I checked, besides the fat paychecks, the idea is still to WIN.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:14 pm

Ohhhhh Yeah……. I will give you that you know baseball and Braves Baseball but some of these people that post comments I swear they dont watch the games they just buy the T Shirt and show up for the free Foam Tomahawk!

Logan

September 30th, 2011
10:16 pm

Jeff R

September 30th, 2011
10:17 pm

Hmmm… I’d rather Heyward work to make some adjustments at Gwinnett out of the limelight than in Atlanta,where everything the kid does is under the microscope.

Logan

September 30th, 2011
10:18 pm

Gimpah & McError

September 30th, 2011
10:18 pm

In closing: I think Wren needs to limit future contracts to a couple years max and not bog himself down with these multi year deals. (Exceptions would be young studs but no vets getting a brinks truck backed up to their house.)

Will check back tomorrow for any replies.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:18 pm

Ok who were the other ” bashers” during those divison titles other than jones. I know your gonna say Gant Justice the big Cat Crime Dogg. They had lemke at second jeff blauser Treadway Raffy at Short Nixon in center who stole bases come on really! On alot but not all of those years they lost because they got outplayed

Robert

September 30th, 2011
10:18 pm

So Frank Wren follows up his genius move of 2011 of having the highest paid Japanese double-A pitcher in history, with another genius move for 2012 of having the highest paid long reliever/blow-out mopup guy.

At what point does someone hold Frank Wren accountable for his monumentally stupid decisions? At what point does an AJC writer have the balls to stand up and call for what is all too painfully obviously needed…the firing of Frank Wren?

Many fans blame the Braves problems on out-of-town corporate ownership. This is foolish. The Braves’ payroll, while not extravagant, is certainly large enough to put together a championship team…but not when you foolishly waste large chunks of it on players who either aren’t any good or are well past their prime.

The bottom line is very simple: If Derek Lowe isn’t good enough to earn that $15,000,000 a year that Frank Wren foolishly promised him, then Frank Wren needs to be made to clean his desk out IMMEDIATELY. Wren shouldn’t even be allowed to hire so much as a janitor.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:20 pm

Heyward crushed AAA pitching can you tweak here and there yes but we need this kid to go up against Halladay Lee Oswalt yada yada caliber guys. Either you produce or you dont period

MitchC

September 30th, 2011
10:23 pm

Thanks, Dave. It would be difficult to envision any team trading for Derek Lowe, with as bad as he pitched this season, especially at the end. He should probably be nothing more than a 15 mil a year mop up reliever, and then they should let him walk when his contract expires.

I know we said this at the end of last season too, but, this team needs one more bat from somewhere. Uggla helped with the power, but we still need to hit for a higher average, and score more runs. Frank may need to trade one young starting pitrcher from the minors, to get one more bat.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:23 pm

Robert I hear you but remember at that time they were desperate for starting pitching i agree giving that guy that amount of money was stupid Lowe just took the money

BRAVESFAN

September 30th, 2011
10:24 pm

All I see is Frank Wren trying to deflect any blame his way, seems to be working pretty good. I hope Heyward comes back strong next spring and does some detail work on his car in the parking lot.

DC Brave

September 30th, 2011
10:29 pm

Chipper will be back…and he’ll hit .308 with 22 HRs.

JHey's Better

September 30th, 2011
10:29 pm

I said earlier Loyalty is awesome I have been a US MARINE for the past 12 years and I do my best to instill and earn from my Marines Loyalty and respect but if you are not getting it done then that is when you have to call a spade a spade they need to get guys in these open postions that will get it done period. I like the youth movement and think it is good but getting a Vet with a proven track record of GETTING IT DONE and is not over the hill and past his prime needs to end in Braves Country. It is real hard to tell a individual that personally you like as a person that they are not getting it done trust me ive had to do it numerous times but its something a LEADER MUST DO!!!!!!!

Ted

September 30th, 2011
10:29 pm

Wren reminds one of the adage……the quality of thinking that got us into this mess will certainly not get us out of it.

Robert

September 30th, 2011
10:29 pm

Lack of confidence in Fredi Gonzalez and his choices for coaches?

Who hired him?

The embarrassing, $23,000,000 failure of Kawakami?

Who signed him?

The incredible waste of $15,000,000 a year this year AND NEXT YEAR for Derek Lowe?

Who agreed to that contract?

The aqcuisition of Nate McClouth?

Who traded for him?

Jeff Francoeur, .282/20/87/22 SB, traded for A PLAYER WHO IS COMPLETELY OUT OF BASEBALL NOW???

Who made that trade?

Why in the hell isn’t all of Atlanta screaming for Frank Wren’s firing? That’s what I don’t understand.

Ted

September 30th, 2011
10:30 pm

But Frank looks cool, very important to wins and losses.

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