6:24 pm October 4, 2011, by David O'Brien
October 5th, 20118:41 am
Blah, blah, blah, blah….
Finally, an admission that the shoulder is still an issue. Of course, at the same time, we’re told that health is NOT an issue.
I don’t believe one word Wayward says. It’s not his shoulder. He’s overmatched up here because he isn’t putting in the time and effort it takes to succeed. Too much partying, drinking, carousing, doing whatever he’s doing other than focusing on his game is the problem.
This time next year, we’re going to be saying the same things and wondering what’s wrong now. In other words, his days in Atlanta will be numbered. In fact, they already are.
What a huge disappointment this guy has been.
And fire FG….
October 5th, 20118:44 am
Why do you think Heyward is out partying?
October 5th, 20118:53 am
Because he’s 22 years old, that’s why.
I could be dead wrong, but I sure saw few signs that he was doing much about his game.
At some point, the stupid excuses get old and aren’t believable any longer. I’m personally at that point.
October 5th, 20119:02 am
Heyward is Dave Kingman without the 40 home runs a year. Has anyone ever seen a productive hitter who stands as far from the plate as possible, then leans his upper body back, and then leans his head back even further? Heyward couldn’t reach a strike on the outer half of the plate if he had a bat 44″ long. He can be pitched inside at least a foot out of the strike zone. With his approach, it is purely an accident when he makes good contact (thus the 220 B.A.). A few times this year he forgot his usual approach and actually leaned his upper body and head toward the plate; these at bats usually produced hard hit balls. I’m sure the Braves management is aware of what he is doing and have tried to correct this. Unfortunately, it just might be that the young man is a little afraid of major league fastballs. If so, they won’t be able to turn him around.
October 5th, 20119:09 am
Wow…FW telling Heyward in his second year that he has to earn his position for 2012….I like to see FW telling Grag Maddux in his second yr slump (6-14 5.61 era) to earn his position in the rotation in 1987…..We need a new GM
October 5th, 20119:25 am
I wonder how many guys were giving Hayward advice during the season. Chipper telling him to swing a certain way (and play regardless of health), Parrish suggesting that he stand a certain way, McCann and his father weighing in on how to hold his hands and Freeman in the corner trying to ignore it all and stay focused on his own stroke. That is why dude should have been sent down to AAA where he could have had a single person coaching him up in an environment with virtually no pressure to live up to the hype (and produce in the absence of guys like Uggla, Chipper & McCann, each of whom took several weeks off during the season… in terms of production).
October 5th, 20119:26 am
Hold on, where is the article about Prado’s future being uncertain? He had a lower OPS this year than Heyward, yet somehow he has the perception of being untouchable. Have we forgotten A-Gon as well? Uggla got the Braves through a month but would’ve been booted out of the city if his name was Andruw Jones. I am ready and prepared for each of those articles.
October 5th, 20119:27 am
Funny how so many have convinced themselves that at the old age of 23, a baseball player is incapable of improving. How stupid is that?
October 5th, 20119:39 am
Heyward could very well be the next Ralph Garr…
October 5th, 20119:42 am
Time to drop Chipper to the 5 or 6 slot in the batting order. Too early to give up on JH.
October 5th, 20119:44 am
The Braves need to hire Heyward a keeper, to kepp him out of the bars in Buckhead till 6 in the morning on game days! Tongue and Groove, Tavern 99 and a list of others.
Time for him to realize it is a job.
October 5th, 20119:51 am
Is anyone ever going to ask Wren about Prado’s awful year? I mean, he was worse than Heyward and yet he seems to still have a guaranteed job! It’s crazy.
October 5th, 20119:52 am
If Jason had played two years of AAA ball and hit .300 with 30 hr would we be fussing about how he could have gotten more experience in the majors. Heyward was a disppointment this year but did we really think he was the next Hank Aaron or even David Justice? He will hit or not. If the Braves had managed the season and played the hot hand they would have won he wild card. Fredi is even more stubborn than Bobby and I really believe there were times this year when he let that stubborness put an inferior team on the field just to show the writers and fans that he was in charge. We have coach at NCState that ran off this year’s Heisman trophy winner becausehe wanted to play baseball too. He said that would not lead to a successful season with the Wolfpack. ” On Wisconsin” should ring in that ahole’s ears for many years to come. He is in charge but just like Fredi he is clueless.
October 5th, 20119:55 am
THE MAJOR tell me more first I have heard of Jason’s nightlife.
October 5th, 20119:59 am
Heyward is still an immense talent. When he makes contact, the ball still comes off his bat harder than 98% of the players out there. That’s special and you can’t teach that. I think we saw a combination of a few things this year…a nagging shoulder injury, a hitting coach without a plan, and maybe even a little stubbornness out of Jason about adjusting his approach at the plate.
I’m not a hitting coach, but it seems like Jason has a lot of moving parts (the bat waggle, diving into the plate from the stance, etc.). Simplify, simplify, simplify…
October 5th, 201110:00 am
The Braves and media have been doing this player is the (insert name here). Remember Brad Kominsk, Johnny Estrada, Francoer and recently Jordan Schafer. BTW, Schafer just arrested for pot Reeses cups. How stupid……that is the end of his career
Back to Heyward, he certainly scouted and looked great on paper. He will probably will never see a perfect day like opening day of 2010. All players mentioned above with the exception of maybe Estada were rushed to big leagues. The pressure at 20 years old must be unbelievable. These guys were great everywhere except where they dreamed of playing. Smolts was another young head case. I think Bobby Cox did a great job putting no pressure on Andrew Jones when he came onto the scene. He kept saying the Braves brought him up for his defense not his bat and he was able to find his groove.
I think Heyward is suffering from the same thing Frenchy went through……..to many people messing with his swing. He has had 2 batting coaches in the majors and a 3rd next year. Plus, why tell a 21-22 year old he has the job? I would think every position is open to the best player. Nothing wrong with a little pressure. Look how many players seem to perform great in there contract ending year.
Thanks for the column and blog Dave ! Not sure what I am going to read at work now, LOL.
October 5th, 201110:08 am
The Braves need to give Jason time to develop. Right now MLB pitchers have the upper hand, but he will figure it out. The Braves lose patience too soon and trade talent away that then comes back to haunt us. The list of good to great players we traded away is long. Just look at the current playoffs—I see ex Braves everywhere.
Jason is going to be very good in one to two years and then he will be very good for many years.
October 5th, 201110:12 am
October 5th, 2011
Is anyone ever going to ask Wren about Prado’s awful year? I mean, he was worse than Heyward and yet he seems to still have a guaranteed job! It’s crazy.”
If you had bothered to read the article, you would have known what Wren said about Prado. He surmised that a lot of what affected Prado was the staph infection, having to have it cut out of his leg, and to recuperate and get his timing and strength back. Makes a lot of sense, and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back after getting a few months of rest behind him.
October 5th, 201110:14 am
October 5th, 2011
The Braves need to hire Heyward a keeper, to kepp him out of the bars in Buckhead till 6 in the morning on game days! Tongue and Groove, Tavern 99 and a list of others.
Time for him to realize it is a job.
Sounds like some folks have seen Wayward doing just what I surmised.
Exactly. Get out of the bars and get in the cage.
You doofs who keep giving him a pass because he’s “only 22″ and “will” get better had best start working on your train of excuses for why he will stink next year too….
October 5th, 201110:16 am
For the kind of money these guys get paid and stand to get paid, I don’t want to hear about pressure.
Produce or get a real job like the rest of us. Well….some of us.
October 5th, 201110:24 am
Another day, another article about “uncertainty” about Heyward; Heyward isn’t guaranteed a starting job, etc. You took umbrage the other day about my comments that Wren’s critical public comments about Heyward were unnecessary and stupid by claiming that they were only unnecessary or stupid for those who blindly believe Heyward should be coddled, should always start regardless of performance and should never be criticized and that Wren’s comments were refreshing to those who care about the actual state of the team. Although I have generally supported Wren, I stand by and expound upon those comments. While I don’t have the same access to information that you do as a Braves’ fan for more than 50 years, I do care about the actual state of the team and that is precisely why I make these comments.
As I mentioned before, I don’t believe that Heyward should be coddled or start regardless of performance and in fact posted several times this summer that they should send him to AAA ratther than play him sporadically. If Heyward has, in fact ,been coddled to this point of his carreer, then the blame for that falls squarely on Wren and the rest of the Braves’ management for permitting that to happen in the first place.
I get the sense that internally the Braves feel that Heyward is slow to listen to advice and they are frustrated by that. I understand that but trying to “remedy” that situation by engaging in classic passive/aggressive behavior by publicly criticizing Heyward (rather than doing something constructive like airing those complaints privately and/or sending him back to AAA as a wake up call) is a you know what poor way of trying to put the genie back in the lamp. .
Wren now compounds this stupidity by tersely stating publicly that there are no health issues when Heyward’s agent said they plan to have his shoulder checked out this winter. What was the point of that, David, especailly when several former players and GMs on XM radio have stated/speculated that Heyward’s shoulder has been a problem all year? I don’t understand why Wren chooses to publicly criticize a 22 year old kid while publicly treating veteans who choked miserably in September with kid gloves. Maybe I missed something , but I don’t recall Heyward ever once complaining publicly about the fact that he was puclicly criticized by Chipper for not playing while hurt (love Chipper but that’s a little like the pot calling the kettle black) and for being benched and only playing sporadically this year.
Am I the only one who understands that Heyward is still only 22 years old and already has spent almost 2 years in the bigs at an age when most prospects haven’t even had a sniff of the majors and that this year was probably the first time in his career that he has had to deal with failure? Time will tell whether Heyward turns out to be the player we all hoped, but I don’t see any of Wren’s critical comments about him being either necessary or constructive. IMHO opinion Heyward at age 22 has handled what obviously had to have been a frustrating year for him with more maturity than Wren and the rest of the Braves’ management.
October 5th, 201110:47 am
I agree with other blogger that Greg Walker would make a great hitting coach for Braves.
October 5th, 201110:48 am
The ONLY problem with Heyward is he isn’t living up to expectations of stardom soon enough for some people. He is NOT unusual in this regard. I’m not saying he’s going to be a Hall-of-Famer, but go look at what the Hall-of-Famers were doing at age 22. Some had great years, some did not. Check out Willie McCovey; and yes, I believe Heyward has that kind of power. For that matter, check out what the Braves veterans did this year, they’re worthy of a lot more scrutiny than Heyward deserves. Let the kid play, he’s the only potential 5-tool player on this team, and he didn’t stink up this season any worse than Uggla or McCann or Prado or others did.
October 5th, 201110:49 am
Lets just wait and see what J-Hey does when Spring training starts.
October 5th, 201110:53 am
Why is everyone picking on J-Hey?He wasn’t the only one that didn’t hit the ball.I think you need to look at the whole team.I will still be honor to wear J-Hey jersey next year.Come on J-Hey get some rest and come back strong in spring training.I know you can do it. GO J-HEY AND BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What’s funny to me is that the blame for Heyward’s struggles should be placed in no other place but with the entire Braves organization. They put so much on this kid that they were afraid to do what they should’ve done….sent him down to AAA.
You CANNOT let a youngster figure out his troubles on the fly except for rare exceptions. What happens is that they stop learning how to correct themselves and just TRY to correct their swing with experimentation. This ultimately leads to bad habits. The slumps become more difficult to get out of. I said this of Jeff Francouer. He is just now figuring out what makes him successful. A veteran, like Uggs, can work things out because of experience. What experience did Jason relate to…breaking out of his slump against Lovejoy High 4 years ago? That’s about the only time he’s had an experience like he did this year.
The young Man will be fine. As long as the Braves develop him into the star he has potential to be rather than assuming Jason is already there.
October 5th, 201110:54 am
bvillebaron – Excellent post, though I maintain that Wayward is as much to blame for his failures as anyone else may be.
Sure, let’s just wait and see, Bill. Keep expecting something different. Don’t bet on it.
October 5th, 201110:57 am
Wayward is a hall of famer and you know it. Everyone with any sense has known it since day 1.
Isn’t it obvious? Hall of famers don’t have to worry about slumps and having no perspective and silly stuff like that which average players like Chipper don’t ever have to consider….
There is and was no slump. He had a great year 2 years in a row. Next year will be even greater. Just you wait and see.
If the Braves had gotten typical leftfield production from their leftfielder and decent production from centerfield all season, would the focus be on Heyward’s down year or would we be considering this a down year from a talented player in his early 20’s who was still able to hold his own in the majors?
Perhaps the Braves’ front office deserves some blame here, if they were expecting Heyward to be one of the big-time bats. He’s in his early 20’s. The fact that he can hold his own in the majors and had one of the highest walk rates on the team is impressive, if we ignore all the hype and media BS, we are able to realize this. The bad news was that Heyward was the best Braves outfielder this season as a 21-22-year-old having a down season.
October 5th, 201110:59 am
I can’t help but chuckle watching the non-Braves playoffs and see how many ex-Braves are participating – particularly from that fabulous deadline deal that brought Texiera to Atlanta from Texas.
All the players are gone – Texiera never had any intention of staying here or anywhere else besides New York and the players we sent to Texas have alot to do with the fact that Texas was in the World Series last year and are a good shot to return this year.
I wonder how much different this Braves team would be had this deal not been made. Had this desperate attept to give Cox one more shot at a title not have made everyone in the front office so blind to what was best for this team and not this manager.
We’d be playing right now, that’s where we would be!
October 5th, 201111:04 am
The negatives on Heyward: He didn’t put up an All-Star or MVP-type season as a 21-22-year-old.
The positive: He held his own as a 21-22-year-old playing his second year in the majors.
I’m not saying the front office should have expected a 95 OPS+. But they should have been prepared for it, accepted it as a somewhat positive sign that their 21-22-year-old rightfielder held his own against major league pitching and put better hitters at some other key offensive positions anticipating that their extremely young rightfielder wouldn’t be an MVP-type right away.
63 year Braves fan
October 5th, 201111:05 am
Wookie Ninja: I love your trade ideas
October 5th, 201111:13 am
I’m much more concerned about whether Prado is miscast as a leftfielder than I am about rightfield.
Yes, Prado missed time with the infection and that surely hurt him, but he was also is in what should been the middle of his prime and he was noticeably worse than the extremely young rightfielder having a down season. Prado’s offensive production was equal to that of Nate McLouth’s, when converted to rate form. Both Prado and McLouth had OPS+ of 89.
J T Ellenwood
October 5th, 201111:20 am
One thing we can do get Jason go down to Flordia with David Justice and let David work with him and teach him not try pull everything. Teach him cut down his swing and get closer to plate so he want be fool by outside Pitches David is one of best spread hitter to play the game.
October 5th, 201111:24 am
Baseball, and sports in general, are really weird when it comes to loyalty. In Heyward’s case, last year, we were ready to give him the keys to the kingdom. This year, he’s the jester. He’s barely done growing as a man and we’re ready to trade the guy. Chipper, the bedrock of this team, is treated like a dog after a hall of fame career. So it all didn’t come together this year. Did these guys contribute – or not contribute – in a way that drove us to love them more? No. Big deal. Chipper will retire soon and should be a great coach – hey, hire him as our hitting coach! Heyward will figure it out. Let him finish puberty, learn to shave and to be a consistent patient hitter. The team will be fine.
Wookie Ninja – find a hobby or a girlfriend.
October 5th, 201111:43 am
Playing outfield for the Braves, particularly left field, is fast becoming a curse. Even Bourn faded at the end.
O'flarity's water bottle
October 5th, 201112:04 pm
October 5th, 2011
I agree with you. Its not just FW, its the braves organization that should be in question. Do they know talent? Anybody could say a non-turbo porsche is fast, but how fast is it?
DO NOT TRADE JASON – HE HAS TOP LEVEL BASEBALL SKILLS -he nees to mature MENTALLY , same as Jurgens , Francouer, Hansen, etc Maybe Freddie F. is different but we shall see….
If Jason is playing hurt just because Chipper ioened his mouth -Freddi G. has to MANAGE the situation-I do not think Jason had serious physical injury-problem probably is in his Head…
October 5th, 201112:06 pm
Phil….only you could make sarcasm sound soooo articulate. Lol. You sir, know the game and know the deal. Unlike so many people who get PAID to know these things. As you stated, as I stated, and how eloquently bvillebaron stated….the problem this year was lack of institutional development. As soon as the Braveauxs stop thinking that just because the best scouting dept in the league, and best coached farm system continues to bring you hot prospect after hit prospect…don’t ever forget the most important words of any business, “You are what you make it!”
That Gumbo they putting on the table started out with all the right ingredients and prep….the dang cook don’t know a cayenne pepper from a gummy bear.
And where I’m from…that there dog just ain’t goin hunt!
October 5th, 201112:19 pm
He will be an all star for years to come. It’s hard to get stats while sitting behind morons like Diaz & Hinkse.
October 5th, 201112:36 pm
Wren is on Heyward b/c he was counting on a 21you kid to carry the OF offense. How dare Heyward not live up to that expectation.
No one put a gun to Wren’s head telling him to rush Heyward along and ignore his history of chronic injuries in the minors.
Does Wren even read scouting reports, his own?
Wren looks like a putz now b/c he turned his nose up at every decent OF in the FA or trade markets (until Bourne) assuming Heyward and then FF (two babies) would waltz in here and cover up the holes in the offense.
So of course he is upset and calling people out.
Prado, Mac, Uggla and Chipper each in their own way screwed up this season more so than Jason.
But like a good bully Wren can pick on Heyward b/c he is a kid.
If he called out Chipper, Mac or any of Bobby’s coaches (when BC was still here) it would be the last thing he did. Only JS was allowed to be stern in public.
The whole team fell apart at the end and Uggla hitting .233 after a 32 game hitting streak is still pathetic and not worth what he is being paid.
Wren built this machine and now he is realizing it doesn’t run. Sadly he lacks the cash to spend his way out of this mess.
October 5th, 201112:50 pm
Trading Heyward? Wow I bet 31 teams would line up at the door for that one. His stock is rock bottom and has great potential. I am a transplant Yankees fan here in ATL, but RF seems to be a place where players just go to die at Turner Field…1st Francour and now possibly Heyward? I would trade just about anyone on the Yankees + farm team for a chance at Heyward, but doubt the Braves more him…too valuable for the return he would net.
October 5th, 201112:53 pm
Heyward is soft. He stands about 3 feet away from the plate because he’s afraid to get hit. How many times did he swing at those low and away pitches over the plate and make an out-a ton! Pitchers adjusted to him and are now getting him out easily and he refuses to make adjustments to the pitchers. If he doesn’t adjust soon he’s going to be a 4th OF for someone.
October 5th, 201112:59 pm
Texeria as a Brave – 103 games, 20 HRs, 78 rbis, BA .283
Players traded away -
Feliz: ERA 2.74 32 saves
Harrison: ERA 3.39, 14-9
October 5th, 20111:15 pm
October 5th, 2011
Players traded away -
Feliz: ERA 2.74 32 saves
Harrison: ERA 3.39, 14-9
Mike, don’t think you are looking at all of his stats. Did you pull both 2007 & 2008, or just 2008? Without looking, it appears you just pulled up his 2008 numbers.
October 5th, 20111:28 pm
Just answered my own question—-you had only pulled up his 2008 numbers. If you combine 2007 & 2008, you get this:
157 games played/691 plate appearances
.295//395/.548/.943 OPS/146 OPS+
37 HR/134 RBI/101 R/174 H/36 D/92W/323 TB
Now the combo of our entire starting rotation going down with injury and the realization that Tex was going to sign for the big money forced Wren to trade him away in 2008, after what amounted to him being here for a full season spread over two years (got him at the 2007 deadline, traded him at the 2008 deadline). But can’t really complain about that production over a 162 game schedule, which was pretty close to what he spent here. Yeah, it appears that JS gave away too much for what amounted to a rental, but you roll the dice, and JS came out good on a lot of those deals (see McGriff, Fred).
October 5th, 20111:48 pm
@ozzie, agree, unless FW has a secret stash, he’s locked into chipper, lowe and uggla,basically 1/2 of our payroll. Blaming JH for a total team meltdown appears naive .
October 5th, 20111:49 pm
I still don’t know what to make of this situation. It seems very odd for GM to say there are no health issues and the player to say he doesn’t feel healthy.
It’s almost like The Who, where Daltrey says Townshend can’t tour bc of hearing trouble; and Townshend said he’s fine.
Which is it?
October 5th, 20112:11 pm
These young guys, when they first come up, are paid too much! Pay them a base salary of $30-40K with the opportunity to earn significantly more compensation dependent on performance-i.e. base salary plus bonus.
Even the veterans should get paid using the same approach, but with higher base salaries based on their performance histories.
We would see totally different outcomes as this approach (widely used in industry) would light a fire under them. I think some of these guys with these obscene guaranteed salaries/contracts are too comfortable, get lazy and complacent.
October 5th, 20112:27 pm
I am pulling for Jason but I worry this may be Frenchy all over again.
October 5th, 20112:29 pm
Heyward will work it out, but he’s got a tall order to not only get well but make adjustments. Prado was superman in 2010, but he never got back on track in 2011 after that staff thing. He is immensely talented and he’s got drive. He’ll straighten it out over the winter, too. McCann got screwed up on his oblique injury from that 19 inning game in late July. He was double tough prior to that, and he will come back solid. Since Chipper needs spotted regularly to save those knees, why not platoon Prado at third and use some of our pitching surpluss to acquire a big bopper for left field? We got like two rotations worth of depth and about ten million loose dollars to work with. After a change like that, there would only be to sign Alex Gonzalez again for a reasonable amount to hold us over one more year and let Pastornicky polish up.
October 5th, 20112:34 pm
Good comments. The young Braves have given us some wonderful games to enjoy in 2011. Next year looks to be better.
October 5th, 20112:46 pm
Thanks for the comments. I agree that if, as it appears, Heyward has been reluctant to listen to the advice that he has been receiving, then he is primarily, and not merely as, responsible for his on-field failures this season. That however doesn’t in my mind justify Wren’s decision to criticize him publicly while many veterans who failed as much if not more than Heyward in September are apparently immunce from his public criticism. It’s one thing for fans and bloggers to criticize a 22 year old kid who is still learning how to play at this level and quite another for management to do that.
October 5th, 20113:02 pm
How the h** Wren knows it not a health issue.Are you Heyward no.Wren needs to shut his d*** mouth you see why this franchise is going down hill with a idiot like that in the front offiie.
October 5th, 20113:05 pm
I saw over on the twitter where they were kicking around (for fun, this isn’t an official rumor or anything) whether the Astros would swap us Carlos Lee for Derek Lowe. What would everyone think about it, just for fun? Lee is 35 years old, and like Lowe, in the last year of his contract–the Astros will owe him $18.5 million for 2012. He is listed as 6′2″, 265 pounds, but I read last week that Lee worked in the offseason to lose weight, which gave him better LF defensive numbers, and also showed up in his 4 triples and hitting into only 9 double plays. His numbers for 2011:
155 games, 653 PA. He has played 13 years, and except for 2008, when he was injured, has played in at least 155 games every year. This year he split time between LF and 1B.
.275/.342/.446/.788/117 OPS+ Not his greatest year, but an improvement over his career worst 2010, and the impetus for his getting back into shape. Preceding that, he had hit over .300 for 4 straight years.
18 HR/ 94 RBI/ 66 R/ 161 H/ 38 D/ 59 W/ 60 K/ 261 TB/ 9 DP/ 6 SF This was the second worst HR year of his career; his rookie year he hit 16. For the other 11 seasons, he hit anywhere from 24 to 37. He is a doubles machine, and this year marked the 9th season in which he hit at least 30 (with a career high of 41 in 2005). The other 4 seasons he hit 29, 29, 27, and 26. 6 times over the course of his career he has driven in over 100 runs. The other 7 seasons? 99, 94, 92, 89, 84, 84, and 80. Over the course of his career he has steadily increased his walks and steadily decreased his strikeouts, until now they are virutally the same. His 6 SF are not an unusually high number for him, as he has reached double figures three times in his career, and let the league twice.
So this is a player who has only one year left on his contract, who hits for a decent average, who is a proven runs producer over a 13 year career, who consistently hits 25 to 30 homers, 30 to 35 doubles, walks some, doesn’t strike out much, doesn’t hit into many DP’s, hits SF—he would seem to fit a need in our current offensive structure. Defensively, he won’t win any gold gloves, but would be serviceable in LF, could spell Freeman at 1B against lefties, and would allow Prado to go to the super-utility role again, spelling Chipper at 3B, Lee at LF, maybe Uggla occasionally at 2B or Heyward in RF. And if we were successful in a swap for Lowe, this production would only cost us $3.5 million over what we are paying Lowe, who is very replaceable at this point.
Now, the $3.5 million question—-is there any reason why Houston would agree to do this?
October 5th, 20113:07 pm
I don’t understand the reluctance by Braves management to send Heyward down to AAA or AA and let him get himself together, both mentally and physically.
It would have made more sense than keeping him up here on the bench.
I think the organization at least needs to keep him thru 2012, to truly determine what kind of player he really is.
An argument could be made that he was brought up to the majors too soon, but then the Braves didn’t have many options for right field at the time.
Coach (2011 Fredi G. FAILED)
October 5th, 20113:16 pm
First off, Heyward is 21 not 22. Second his sophomore slump was comparable to that of Brian McCann who was of course a year older when he played his first full season.
McCann’s BA dropped 63 points compared to Heyward’s 50. McCann’s OPS also dropped 181 points compared to Heywards 141. Heyward was also hurt dropping his number of games played and plate appearances, while both statistics for McCann went up in his second season.
So why all the moaning, groaning and gnashing of teeth concerning Jason Heyward when McCann didn’t get roasted??????
BECAUSE, HEYWARD IS BLACK, and in reality most of your white fan base is gonna expect the negro man to produce at higher level. That is the truth, period.
Clearly, there are several things going on here. It is true the outfield ofense was (again) dreadful. But no team should be pinning their wishes on a 22 year old who obviously has several holes in his game. I’m not sure what changed offensively from last season, other than maybe pitchers taking him for granted and tossing grapefruits up to the plate. But clearly, the kid is lost in the batter’s box – he’s practically out before the pitcher throws him anything. My bigger concern is his apparent lack of conditioning. I fail to understand how someone so young (and allegedly in such good shape) can be hurt all the time. This lack of toughness tells me more about him as a player than ny stats will. When I watch young players, I expect them to fail; it’s HOW THEY PLAY that matters. This kid says he wants to fix his offense, ok, let’s wait and see. But what about the fielding? He is not even an average right fielder, especially in terms of arm strength. And when I watch him loaf after balls and one hand his catches,I can only be reminded of Andruw Jones. And we all know how that turned out.
October 5th, 20113:18 pm
First off, Heyward is 22 but played most of the 2011 season at age 21. Second his sophomore slump was comparable to that of Brian McCann who was of course a year older when he played his first full season.
October 5th, 20113:21 pm
I feel sory for you, coach. That must be some miserable life you have to live. Maybe Heyward is geting blasted here because that’s who the article is about. I’m pretty sure you’d see others (including myself) taking shots at McCann as well. Not because he’s white – because he’s fat.
October 5th, 20113:24 pm
I think that Heyward will be ok next year.One approach he needs to make is to get closer to the plate.Maybe Wren needs to get a real hitting coach,because just about every player that comes to Atlanta forget how to hit.Take a look at Melky and Franceur.They had very good years.Wren shouldnt just blame Heyward,every hitter on the team need to learn to hit better.They all need to play winter ball.Everyone of them had a chance to get a clutch hit and nobody got one.Bourn couldnt get a clutch hit to save his life,Prado and McCann were worse than Heyward down the stretch.Chipper swinging at every first pitch,even after a pitcher have thrown 8 straight balls and grounding into double plays.Just throw Agon breaking balls.Uggla striking out with runners on third with less than 2 outs and only hitting solo homers.I really like Freeman.Conrad and Hinske striking out every pinch hit at bat.Constanza cant hi the ball out the infield.Scoring 1 run against Detwiler and Wang in back to back games.Philles brought in AAA pitchers from the ninth inning on the last game and couldnt score 1 run.One hitter with 80 RBIs.Thats why all the pressure on the bull pen.MVP of this team was Kimbrel,Venters,and O,Flaherty.Terry.Pendleton is the happiest man in the Braves organization now.Atlanta needs to move Prado,get a SS that can hit,get Chipper to retire and we just might make the playoffs.
October 5th, 20113:34 pm
Jazzward10, I would agree with you regarding where Heyward stands; he is in great position to crush inside fastballs but anything out from the plate (and especially up) leave him vulnerable. I don’t think he is pull-conscious as much as he fails to adjust during the course of an at bat. I would disagree about Uggla, though. If you look at his career path, this year was really not much different than his pattern. He has always been a feast or famine hitter with lots of power and plenty of Ks, but more RBI. I think that number suffered in line with the even lower than normal BA.
October 5th, 20113:41 pm
I find it interesting to find so much Brave talk is directed at Heyward.He is a second year player that had some injury problems and he also struggled at the plate.The thing I find interesting is the apparant disconnect between he and Wren.Wren is definately not backing Heyward like he backed McCann about him possibly being injured.I just can’t figure why Heyward has been called out by Chipper and then throwed under bus by Wren.What’s going on here?Something stinks when all the focus of the end of year slide has been focused on Jason.McCann has been protected by Wren and the press concerning his two year slide,but Jason all that is being talked about.Oh yeah he has company,Prado and the guy who really earned his money,D-LOWE. But the guy we should be looking at is Mr Wren.He is the one that straped this franchise with salaries that are choking the life out of this FRANCHISE.We are paying a 3rd baseman money that he is not earning,playing parttime,Lowe,and thank goodness the contracts of KK and McLOUGH are coming off books.Wren has also made some duzzies of trades that helped teams in American League get better.He also got us a SS at the end of his career for one just getting started.Thanks Bobby Cox.But before I forget this whole off-season talk has been about Heyward.AMAZING. And now we get the best CF since Andruw and we probably will not keep him because of some project in minors that won’t make it.Oh yeah,Borne is the best lead-off hitter we have had since Fucal.But all the GM and PRESS can talk about is Heyward.Mr wren,what kind of season did you have?As a matter of fact,just what kind of career ?Are you injuried or is it that the League have adjusted?Just asking?GO BRAVES
October 5th, 20113:46 pm
I’ve missed this blog.
I have been thinking about my ideal World Series (well, given the reality of where we are):
Tigers vs. Cardinals
lots of reasons…including the humiliation of the teams they’d have to beat to get there.
October 5th, 20113:49 pm
This headline would be more accurate and appropo if it said, ” A Year Later Fredi Gonzalez Future Seems Less Certain”.
Brave New World
October 5th, 20114:14 pm
All of us know we’d be highly motivated if one of the “higher ups” of the organization we worked for said our job was not a given. Most of us would much rather have that approach than people supporting us and working with us to improve our performance.
October 5th, 20114:16 pm
Why didn’t Fredie Gonzalez walk Pence and pitch to martinez?
This is the question that will live in Braves heart for a while.
Heyward is finished but there isn’t an OF in the market that we can afford who can make an impact unless you are talking about a .240 hitter.
October 5th, 20114:20 pm
Johnny Damon is a perfect candidate for the Braves. A low costing free agent OF who is still productive.
October 5th, 20114:31 pm
Reading these posts on this blog tells me all I want to know why The ATL Sports Teams ,except The Dream,are mostly failures. GO BRAVES
October 5th, 20114:48 pm
Lowe for Lee — the salary dump duo.
“Is there any reason for Houston to do this?”
October 5th, 20115:11 pm
Everyone knows Heyward struggled this year, but you and I must have watched a different player since I didn’t see any evidence that his issues were due to a lack of effort either in the field or at the plate. Perhaps your comments about Andruw Jones merely confirm that point.
Despite his lack of success later in his career, particularly offensively, you must have been doing a Rip Van Winkle during those years when he was probably the best overall centerfielder in baseball and was widely acclaimed by many, including those who played with Willie Mays, as the greatest defensive centerfielder who ever played the game.
October 5th, 20115:30 pm
There are lots of possible explanations for Jason’s non-performance. Injuries, he’s new, he’s young, yada yada yada. I think it’s nothing more than complacency. Same thing happened with Andruw Jones, he got comfortable with the fan adoration and the big paycheck and just started phoning it in.
When Jason starts flashing the signature Andruw Jones s##t eatin grin as he schleps away from yet another strikeout he will have arrived.
October 5th, 20115:52 pm
I’ve been saying this for two years:
The thing I’m most concerned with on Heyward is that he is very injury prone.
He was hurt constantly in the minors and big leagues.
Shoulder, knee, thumb, back, etc, He’s had all these injuries.
That does not bode well for a 22 yr.old.
Some people are JUST PLAIN INJURY PRONE.
I was that way myself.
October 5th, 20116:02 pm
I love Prado, but he looked like he put on weight at end of year
and he is slow as Christmas running to first base.
October 5th, 20116:34 pm
I’ve seen no evidence nor heard anyone in the Braves organization say that there’s ANYTHING physically wrong with Jason.. except Jason and his agent. The kid is 22 freaking years old! With his size and stature he should be like an ironman. He needs to be SENT to play winter ball, not asked. He’s been reading his own press too much as a youngster and his ego and work ethic have suffered.
October 5th, 20117:09 pm
Realitycheck……….are you a total idiot or just enjoy acting like one? You don’t play some ballplayer because he’ll be a good player in his later years. You play to win. But in your case you play not to hurt hanks feelings. He put his stamp of approval on Haywood and that makes his the next savior of the Atlanta Braves. Constanza was what I felt was the sparkplug we lost when Shafer was traded. He’s another one I don’t think got a fair shake. To tell the truth, the trades Wren has made has just about got me so disgusted I’m to a point to where I don’t care. With the Braves winning is not the main issue. It’s playing the one that make big money and have to be played because hank said so.
October 5th, 20117:44 pm
Jordan, Smoking a joint with your window open in Florida, puts you at the top of the moron list. Next time brother look me up, I’ll guide you around the city. It is legal though to text and drive in Fl.. Florida is like a fourth world country.
October 5th, 20119:43 pm
Why don’t the AJC sports carry anything about play-offs? Cards looking good!
Prado is a utilty player and thats all..proved this year.
J-Hey is in the same rut as Frenchy, Nate, A Jones, Schafer, Brad K,and many more. He better turn it around soon are he’ll be gone. They need to hire Greg Walker to work with him this summer are hire Greg as Hitting Coach.
Someone said trade McCann..That might not be a bad idea as he is probably one of few that has any value. Plus he is getting slower and everyone steals on him. He don’t block the ball are plate since getting hurt.
Fredi and the pitching Coach have problems (beside their nasty mouth)..Both need to go.
The Coach@3:18 is the most racist person on blog. If you can’t find any other reason you can always play the Race Card..99% its not white thats racist but Black…But I”m Voting for HERMAN CAIN. Now I know I piss a few off.
October 5th, 201110:52 pm
How can so many say that Jason has gotten fat and full f himself.?Are you in his head or is that the way you would be if you had the talent?Prado and Jason were hurt this year and had a bad year but McCANN and Chipper were hurt and one stay hurt so much he catches the FLU for one game and no one cares.People talk about Andruw as if he did not produce in Atlanta.Well check how many GOLD GLOVES he earned by backing that great pitching staff and he played hurt when the great one said his hangnail or some other phantom injury kept him off the field.Andruw always was on the field and as for Hank,I don’t even have to go there .He is Mr Aaron.Oh yeah,Jason is not making what McCann is making and Mac did not have to wait for his arbitration date to get anywhere close before he was offered a big money deal.Frenchie was so full of himself he turned his chance to make early money down.Heck Prado was an ALL-Star and he got just what he could and not a big money deal and neither did Escvabor get a raise when he had to do what they were paying Chipper and McCANN to do,drive in runs.He along with Prado were the MVP’s for the Braves and one has been shipped and now the masses want Prado gone.And the beat goes on.Now I don’t Freeman will experience what Jason is experiencing because the pattern has been set with McCann and I truely believe Freddie is going to be a STAR.Oh yeah,Coach ain’t racist I belioeve.I believe he is a realist.GO BRAVE Maybe the one’s that call him a racist should look at the man in the mirrow!They might not like what they see.GO BRAVES
Chief Noc-A Homa
October 5th, 201110:58 pm
noway, braves announcers said he was a great player
October 5th, 201111:22 pm
Reality Check Constanza was better this year for a month, and this year that’s all that mattered.
Fixed it for ya. RHR
What’s your point? He only started in 28 games.
October 5th, 201111:26 pm
Heyward is still an immense talent. When he makes contact, the ball still comes off his bat harder than 98% of the players out there.
No, he’s not and no, it doesn’t. When he makes contact, he usually pops up or grounds out to 2B. He’s shown little power this season.
October 5th, 201111:48 pm
Gonzalez’ and Wrens’ comments suggest there may be more to this story than is being divulged to the public. Strange that Heyward would claim to be injured and Wren would say there are no medical problems. I know that he had two separate MRIs on his shoulder which showed nothing wrong. Is the guy a malingerer? Also strange is Fredi’s comment that they hope Heyward accepts all the things the Braves are trying to get him to do over the off-season. I mean, has this been a problem in the past? Is he not receptive to efforts to help him? The reports from some here that they’ve seen him partying all night in Buckhead are also concerting. Nothing wrong with that during the off-season, but he was doing it during the season? Hmmm…
October 6th, 201112:22 am
Has Fredi Gonzalez Become a Lame Duck Manager? | mlbvideo.net
October 6th, 20113:55 am
[...] forthcoming with both fans and media about the Braves September struggles, as evidenced by his interview with Dave O’ Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It seems very clear that Wren is [...]
October 6th, 20117:42 am
Any yapping by Wren about Heyward’s bad year needs to include a question or two about how stupid Wren had to be to have hired the zero-experience “hitting coach” who helped Jason have his terrible season, and who apparently had no earthly idea what to do to fix him.
Why should Wren’s job be safe next year either? He’s the dolt who gave us Parrish and Fredi.
October 6th, 20118:55 am
I AM STILL TO SICK TO THINK ABOUT BRAVES…..MAYBE WHISKEY WILL HELP…..
October 6th, 20119:03 am
What big paycheck are you talking about? As a second year player who is not arbitration eligible, Heyward hasn’t received the big ” paycheck” yet.
October 6th, 20119:11 am
This might be off subject and it is, but the Dream lost another game they should have won last night in the WNBA Championship. I for one, will admit that i dont watch women’s BB and havent since high school, but i kinda got behind this team cause they are the only team in Georgia doing anything remotely close to winning a championship.
And just when i get behind them, they choke away 2 games they should have won. ONLY IN ATLANTA does these things happen. What a LOSERVILLE this place is.
October 6th, 20119:37 am
Since management couldn’t see the forrest for the trees, JHEY will (hopefully) get the necessary guidance over the winter that will enable him to have a successful spring traing and season.
In my opinion, management should have seen the problems Heyward was experiencing early on, and sent him down for some fine tuning. He needed help and the coahing staff (LP) had not a clue as to how to correct his swing. Hopefully John/Frank will find a hitting instructor that knows what he’s doing instead of a good-ole-boy drawing a paycheck.
While i’m on the coaching staff…..let’s look at the lack of leadership demonstrated by the pitching coach.
Our pitchers (including the veterans) should have a conditioning program that would eliminate these silly injuries. How does a pitcher hurt his knee? What did he hit?
Chipper is a Redneck
October 6th, 201110:01 am
Everyone said Heyward was the next big thing. That’s what they said about Francoeur, I said. Oh no, Heyward is different, they said. Why? I said. He just is, they said. Terrific logic.
I hope people are learning a lesson and ratcheting down their expectations of Freddie Freeman.
fan since 1966
October 6th, 201110:27 am
I didn’t say Constanza was the answer..I said if he had continued to play we “might” have made play off. Thats because I believe he would have been the difference in us winning at least a couple games. Might….read!
Couldn’t have been as bad as J-Hey…….and for racist both are Bk.
October 6th, 201110:43 am
Heyward, I’m with you! You have what it takes to be a great ballplayer. This season was a tough one, but you are a young player and you have to learn from it. Go out this offseason and get healthy and then work your butt off. A new batting coach will certainly help the whole team. I’m not a batting coach or anything but I know a lot about hitting. Not sure if it was the injury or what but seems to me like, you need to step in closer to the plate if you’re going to try and pull that outside pitch. Take that pitch to left field. The way it is now, you were hitting the ball on the ground. I know you will get it right because I have faith in you.
October 6th, 201110:51 am
Hope Heyward don’t take up Schafer’s habit?
October 6th, 201110:54 am
Greg Walker will solve alot of Braves problems. Hire Walker hitting coach.
October 6th, 201111:05 am
Wren and Freedie, GROW SOME Manberries in the offseason!
October 6th, 201111:16 am
Wow, phil.. you’re starting to poach into alexis territory with your stupid posts… Do you really thimk that just because YOU think something that it is true? Do you really go around presenting speculation as fact in your working world… What an idiot… Just like the rest of the TOTAL IDIOTS on this blog that think they know so much and think that they know what is going on in a player’s head by watching them play a game on TV… YOU GUYS ARE SO PATHETIC THAT IT BORDERS ON HILARITY!!! Y’all should get a job at the fair, telling fortunes and other such idiot stuff…
October 6th, 20111:02 pm
Heycoeur sucks. Just one of many outfield busts for the Braves.
October 6th, 20112:19 pm
What’s that????? Heyward is a problem???? Time to ship this problem to Toronto where the best GM in baseball will gladly take this problem off of Atlanta’s hands… I hear the phone ringing in Braves’ headquarters…
October 6th, 20114:50 pm
There are plenty of players that aren’t even in the league at his currect age, and he’s already had 2 full seasons. I think a lot of growing/learning that players do in AA-AAA, Heyward has done in the majors in the view of everyone.
I got very frustrated with him this season. I started thinking he just thought he didn’t have to work hard, that he was a natural after living up to the hype in ‘10. He always has a semi-focused look about him, and he doesn’t hustle.
He needs to get his head out, and realize that he has to work hard and run hard.
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