Braves search for answers amid skid (Medlen move update)

So we were in the visitor’s clubhouse at Tampa Bay on May 18, two days before Randall Delgado gave up his second grand slam in a span of four weeks, when I asked Kris Medlen about the difficulty level of a midseason move from bullpen to starting rotation.

After Medlen moved from bullpen to rotation in May 2010, the Braves won 13 of 14 games he started.

After Medlen moved from bullpen to rotation in May 2010, the Braves won 13 of 14 games he started.

Reason being, Medlen had done it successfully in 2010, moving into the rotation in May and going 5-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 starts before blowing out his elbow in August and requiring Tommy John surgery. Now the Braves are going to have hit do it again, only this time he’ll have a few minor league starts to “get stretched out.” (The roster move, Medlen to Triple-A and Jose Constanza to big club, was announced at about the same time I was filing this blog today. I hadn’t expected it to happen this soon.)

Medlen made that move to an injury-depleted rotation in 2010 without going to the minors to get build arm strength and stamina.

“I remember one of my first starts was against the Phillies,” he said, recalling a May 8, 2010 game Philly, his first start that season after making 12 relief appearances. “Stretching out in the middle of the season is no fun. I mean, because when you get up to 60 pitches you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I pitched against the Phillies and I gave up nine hits in four innings.”

(His recollection was spot-on – Medlen allowed nine hits but only one run in 4-1/3 innings that day in a 4-1 win, with three strikeouts and no walks in 88 pitches. The Braves got 4-2/3 innings of all-hands-on-deck relief from O’Flaherty, Kimbrel, Moylan, Venters, Saito and Wagner, in that order.)

“[The nine hits] were all singles, but my arm was hanging after 60 or 65 pitches,” Medlen said. “It definitely sucks. But once  I got past the first two or three [starts] I felt ready. Everything kind of worked out for me.”

The Braves went 13-1 in Medlen’s 14 starts that season, and he pitched six or more innings in nine of the 14, falling off to 5 and 4-1/3 innings in his last two before the season-ending injury and surgery.

If the Braves promote Andrelton Simmons from Double-A to prelace Tyler Pastornicky (above), they'd get an upgrade defensively, for sure. But that potential move might make a struggling offense even worse in the short term.

If the Braves promote Andrelton Simmons from Double-A to prelace Tyler Pastornicky (above), they'd get an upgrade defensively, for sure. But that potential move might make a struggling offense even worse in the short term.

He was out for 13 months and returned to make two relief appearances in the last week of the 2011 season. Medlen has been in the ‘pen since, although he prepared as a starting during spring training, getting stretched out in case the Braves had a need there coming out of spring training.

Medlen pitched better than most other starters during exhibition games, but the Braves liked his versatility for the bullpen and thought they had enough starters and that he could better serve the team by helping relieve the burden that fell on the Big Three relievers last season – Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel.

The plan worked perfectly in April, and Medlen came through in several appearances in tight spots where the Braves would have gone to their workhorse trio in 2011, when by the end of the season both Venters and Kimbrel showed signs of fatigue.

But when the Braves’ offense began to falter, and the underperforming starting rotation became more exposed, the calls to “put Medlen in the rotation” that we heard during spring training increased again, both in frequency and volume.

With each poor start by Jair Jurrjens – who was eventually demoted to Triple-A – and then each stumble by Mike Minor and Randall Delgado, more and more wondered when and if the Braves would put Medlen in the rotation to provide some stability in  an area that was supposed to be a team strength but hasn’t been at all.

So here we are, on May 29, the Braves mired in a terrible eight-game losing skid, their offense sputtering, their starters faltering more often than not, and Minor and Delgado both giving up runs and home runs at an alarming rate. Delgado goes tonight against the Cardinals, and he’s 0-5 with a 4.78 ERA in his past seven starts.

But wouldn’t you know it, now that there is a real need to bolster the rotation, Jurrjens has yet to show any consistency at Triple-A to make anyone confident he can return to form at the big-league level – even though the Braves might decide it’s worth letting him try again, ready or not – and Medlen has uncharacteristically struggled in a relief role, including giving up a grand slam to the first batter he faced after replacing Delgado on Thursday at Cincinnati.

(As I said, I posted this blog before we learne that the Braves had made the Medlen move.)

Medlen, after posting a 2.25 ERA and .212 opponents’ average in his first 18 appearances this season, has a 10.38 ERA and .429 opponents’ average in his past three, with nine hits and five runs allowed in 4-1/3 innings. That doesn’t include inherited runners who’ve scored, like the three on base when he gave up the slam at Cincy.

But when I talked to him 11 days ago in Tampa Bay, things were still going well for the Braves and their bullpen.

Medlen, who said several times in spring training that he preferred to start but would gladly do either role and do it to the best of his abilities to help the team win, was pleased May 18 with how the bullpen role had developed in the first 5-6 weeks of the season, and with the addition of veteran Livan Hernandez, whose sense of humor helped offset the absence of wry Aussie Peter Moylan, rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder in Florida since spring.

Delgado is 0-5 in his past seven starts. He goes tonight against the Cardinals as the Braves try to snap an eight-game skid.

Delgado is 0-5 in his past seven starts. He goes tonight against the Cardinals as the Braves try to snap an eight-game skid.

“It’s awesome having him down there, too,” Medlen said of Hernandez. “He makes everything a lot funnier. But obviously results-wise, I think I’m throwing well. That makes everything a lot better. If I had a 10 ERA I’d have a different view about being down there. But it’s worked out perfectly for us, and for Kimbrel, O’Flaherty and Jonny too. I’m eating up some innings and getting some experience down there.”

Again, this interview was May 18. Just providing it to give you some perspective, from Medlen, on what it was like when he moved from bullpen to rotation at midseason in 2008, and where he was in terms of his bullpen role so far this season, or at least until recently.

I mentioned to him that he’d probably impacted more games as a reliever at that point of the season than he might have as a starter.

“More games in terms of quantity, yeah,” he said. “It’s awesome. I love how things have gone so far. Now everything’s kind of set up.  I know they’re trying to help my arm, not stress my arm too much, but the bullpen’s no joke. For your arm, you’ve got to stay on top of everything every day, and that’s what I’ve done so far. I feel great.”

Flash ahead 11 days. The Braves are hurting, losers of eight in a row. Their rotation is in need. But if Medlen were to be moved from the bullpen to start, would he again be able to do so without a stint in the minors? I seriously doubt the Braves would do that without having him make at least two or three minor league starts, especially given that he only returned from TJ surgery in September.

Just something to think about, though. If things don’t turn around soon, I’ve got a feeling these are issues that will soon move to the forefront. Perhaps very soon.

(Again, I didn’t think it’d be this “very soon.” As in, even as I was typing the blog, a Braves PR person was typing up the press release to announce the move. My speculation on sending him to the minors to get stretched out was correct — Fredi Gonzalez said they have three scheduled starts for Medlen at Gwinnett, but pointed out that he also told Medlen he needed to go down there and pitch well, that it wasn’t a given he’d be brought up. Still, it’d be beyond surprising if the Braves didn’t replace either Minor or Delgado with Medlen in a couple of weeks after he’s made his three starts at Gwinnett.)

• More on pitching: First off, let me say we know the offense has been terrible lately and has at least as much to do with the losing skid as the pitching does. No doubt about that.

But we’ll focus on the pitching only because there doesn’t appear to be anything the Braves can do to improve the offense right away, other than wait for guys to return from the DL (Chipper Jones in a couple of weeks) or return to the lineup (Freddie Freeman, as soon as he can find a workable solution to his vision woes), and for Brian McCann, who missed six starts with flu or some other nasty illness, to get hot and put the team on his back as he’s done for stretches in the past.

If the Braves decide to bring up shortstop Andrelton Simmons from Double-A, it would immediately make their defense better – he’s flat-out special in the field – but I wouldn’t expect him to provide any more offense than Tyler Pastornicky has in the immediate future, and possibly less. (Some overlook the fact that until the past week, Pastornicky had been on a pretty good run for a few weeks, in terms of getting some key hits, moving runners over, etc. By the way, he’s 9-for-31 with runners in scoring position, a .290 average that’s fourth-best among the Braves.)

So let’s discuss the pitching, and just how disappointing it’s been.

Fredi Gonzalez said recently that he still believed the Braves would end up being known for their pitching this season. Well, this is not what the manager had in mind. Because right now, they’re in danger of becoming known for bad pitching.

The Braves’ 4.81 home ERA ranks 14th in the NL, ahead of only Arizona (5.00) and Colorado (5.71). Those two teams play in hitters’ parks.

The Braves have produced one quality start during their eight-game skid, and have allowed seven or more runs in the past four games, something no Atlanta team had done since July 2008, when they gave up at least that many in five consecutive games.

Atlanta has only 20 quality starts in 50 games, which ranks 15th in the NL.

“We’ve always been known for our pitching, and we will [be],” Gonzalez said after Monday’s 8-2 loss. “We’re just going through a stretch right now. Starting pitching sets the tone. It takes you deep in ballgames. It keeps you in ballgames. And for the most part, I can’t remember the last time…I guess in Cincinnati we had two good performances. But here at home, other than Huddy [Tim Hudson], we haven’t really had some performances going deep in ballgames. You get behind the 8-ball, and right now offensively we haven’t been able to recover from that.”

The Braves have hit .198 while posting a 6.75 ERA during the first four games of this six-game homestand.

“We need our guys to get healthy and to be out there, but there’s nothing we can do about it right now,” said Tommy Hanson, who was charged with six runs in just 3-1/3 innings Monday. “We’ve got to work with what we’ve got. And we’ve got to compete. A lot of our loss today was my inability to go out there and compete and give us a chance to win. Giving up six runs in three innings when we’re not playing well isn’t going to get the job done. I took a lot of the blame today. We’ve got to do a better job of competing and trying to win these games.”

Top prospect Teheran's statistics in his second season at Triple-A Gwinnett aren't as impressive as the ones he posted in 2011.

Top prospect Teheran's statistics in his second season at Triple-A Gwinnett aren't as impressive as the ones he posted in 2011.

So much has gone wrong recently with Braves pitching, which was supposed to be such a strength for years, what with all the young talent coming up through the system and young, established pitchers such as Jurrjens and Hanson to lead the current rotation behind veteran Hanson, and a bullpen that was arguably the best in baseball a year ago.

Young pitchers have seen their development stalled. They’re still way too young to say it’s a red-flag situation, and you’d expect one or two to struggle in their ascent, but not all of them.  Delgado looked so poised and ready in his first starts in the majors last year; now he seems unable to locate a pitch in the most pressure-filled situations. At Triple-A, Julio Teheran’s ERA is up by a full run and his WHIP and strikeouts-to-walks ratio is far off last year’s pace (granted, it’s early, but the guy is averaging well under five innings per start).

Jurrjens has had a well-documented and precipitous slide since making the All-Star team a year ago, his problems possibly (probably, according to scouts) tied to his knee injury. Relievers Venters and Eric O’Flaherty haven’t been anywhere near as dominant this season as last, and in Venters’ case it’s been a struggle all of May just to get guys out.

The only young Braves starting pitcher who’s really met expectations recently is Brandon Beachy, and he’s surpassed them by a large measure.

• Consider a few other stats: With runners on base, Braves pitchers have allowed a league-high .301 average, league-high .384 OBP, and league-high .453 slugging percentage. Only Cubs pitchers have issued more walks with runners on base than Braves pitchers (91)

Only Padres starters have issued more walks (114) than Braves starters (113). Phillies starters have issued 65.

Braves relievers have allowed a league-high 18 homers.

This Braves pitching staff was supposed to be so much better than this. It just was. And maybe it still will be. After all, we’re not even a third of the way into the season. But so far, it’s been a major disappointment.

As we mentioned, the last time Braves allowed as many as seven runs in four straight games was late July 2008, during a 90-loss season in which Braves pitching finished 12th in NL in ERA (4.46). The Braves are currently 12th in the league with a 4.32 ERA, including 15th by starters (4.46) ahead of only Rockies, who play in a hitters’ haven of a home ballpark.

• OK, had some more stuff but running out of time and need to get this posted and get to the ballpark. By the way, the Braves drew more than 160,000 fans for 4 games Friday-Monday, and had a lead for total of 3 innings in those games…. Since it seems we’re at a point where this season could go either way for the Braves, let’s go with a song by that name from the mighty Wilco. You can hear it by clicking here.

Wilco+1

“EITHER WAY” by Wilco

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will blow away
Maybe I won’t feel so afraid
I will try to understand
Either way

Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don’t
Either you will or you won’t
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I’m gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won’t be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,537 comments Add your comment

Fargo

May 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

Is no one going to claim first?

Venice Jim

May 29th, 2012
2:55 pm

Thanks, DOB!

Murph

May 29th, 2012
2:56 pm

Well, that blog filled me with lots of hope and sunshine… I do believe I’m going to go crap a rainbow and be done with this day.

Jimmy

May 29th, 2012
2:56 pm

OK, someone whine about the “Kimbrel starts” error.
No big deal, but someone will cry.

Thanks for the new, fresh bloggage DOB.

flange1

May 29th, 2012
2:58 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB.

Kick some Cardinal butt tonight Bravos!

richbrave

May 29th, 2012
3:00 pm

richbrave
May 29th, 2012
2:57 pm

Shaun, Lou, and Paul…..the obstreperous trio. Heh!

Haven’t used that word in quite awhile. Bares repeating on the new blog. Or maybe it’s ‘bears’ Yikes

cricket

May 29th, 2012
3:00 pm

minor correction in this sentence DOB -

The Braves went 13-1 in Kimbrel’s 14 starts that season

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:02 pm

Well, that blog filled me with lots of hope and sunshine

Hey, if the man wanted to write something positive, he’d probably have to extoll the tastiness of the clubhouse spread. Not too many rays of light in an eight-game losing streak, and O’Brien gots to write what he’s got. Right now, you couldn’t get past “suckage” for a topic if you had eight clear lanes.

cricket

May 29th, 2012
3:03 pm

i wasn’t crying about “Kimbrel starts”, Jimmy ;)

flange1

May 29th, 2012
3:05 pm

nice word rich!

Jimmy

May 29th, 2012
3:07 pm

cricket – you aren’t a whinner. Some folks get a kick out of ripping DOB for an error like that. Someone will turn up soon enough.

coach joe

May 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

Thanks for new blog.. Need a win and Chipper back in the line up.. Still time to pull thru, but its not looking good right now..

Go Braves…

Russell Bell

May 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

What this team needs more than anything right now, is a shut down pitching performance… I dunno if Delgado can serve up a gem tonight, but hell, all the other starters have been mediocre at best the past week, sowhy can’t he be The Guy to step it up?

I can hope, at least.

CMC

May 29th, 2012
3:11 pm

DOB,

Did you catch any of “Hatfield’s and McCoy’s” last night?

MikeY

May 29th, 2012
3:13 pm

Praying for a rainout tonight so we don’t lose…

Some thoughts/suggestions:

* send Medlin down to get stretched out, recall Gearrin as he has pitched very well in AAA.

* Sign Roy Oswalt!

* If Freeman can’t see, DL him and recall a bat (Mejia, Constanza, Durango, Simmons, or Parraz).

* Trade w/ the Padres for Carlos Quintin.

Hugo Z Hackenbush

May 29th, 2012
3:13 pm

CMC, you mean the blog, right?

macdwolfpack

May 29th, 2012
3:17 pm

Good assessment on pitching Dave! At this stage if I was Wren, I would move Redmond up, cut Hernandez, and send Medlin down to stretch his arm to start.
At the 1/4 way of the season though, I am not optimistic on the Braves ability to return to the playoffs. I know there is 3/4 of a season left but this Braves team is very fragile and to win enough to get into the playoffs all the stars would have to line up right for this existing Braves team.
They are too fragile. Chipper cannot stay healthy, McCann has shown fragility over the last few years, and now I am concerned about Freemanas well. That is the entire middle of your lineup excluding Uggla who doesn’t seem capable of carrying the load of added pressure when the rest of the middle of the lineup is out. Heyward is still way too inconsistent and that basically leaves you where we are now with little run support. I think unless the Braves pull off a trade for a major hitter you will have this inconsistancy the rest of the season. With their current pitching in a mess and the need to have value to trade for a hitter if Chipper, Freeman, and McCann can’t show they are ready to be healthy for a long period of time, it is almost imperative the Braves move Medlin down and bring up a Redmond to fill the gap till he returns and then if that works cut Hernandez. As it stands right now this Braves team and it’s psyche are way too fragile to win anything unless it gets healthy and STAYS healthy, which is hasn’t shown signs of being able to do for any long period.

BravesDA

May 29th, 2012
3:20 pm

DOB – have you heard murmurs of calling up Simmons? Strange that both you & Bowman blogged about it today….

bobby

May 29th, 2012
3:20 pm

Send Heyward anywhere.

Tomahawkin

May 29th, 2012
3:21 pm

Shyt Just Got Real!

PMC

May 29th, 2012
3:21 pm

Wouldn’t Simmons give us some hope though? The SS spot in the lineup has been spray and pray for a couple of years now. I think I’d take defense over a bat there any day.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 29th, 2012
3:22 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief! I think I’m gonna look that song up…

Brian McCann…missed six starts with flu or some other nasty illness

I don’t know why, but that’s giving me the willies right now…

bart

May 29th, 2012
3:22 pm

After the epic collapse last year and our current on-going collapse, you have to point some fingers at Gonzalez. This smells of something lacking in the leadership role. Other teams have had massive injury problems also but have still managed to compete. There seems to be a loss of heart amongst the Braves. They seem to expect to lose now. This starts at the top.

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

Good afternoon guys…. any lineup yet?

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

Thanks, Dave…

Depressing but at least all the talk of our “great” pitching is dying down….then again, we’ll soon have little to use for a trade.

Oh well….

Ballgame!!

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 29th, 2012
3:25 pm

TheOnlyBravesFan

Not yet…

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:26 pm

and send Medlin down to stretch his arm to start.

And if the pitching straightens itself out in the two weeks-plus that Medlen is stretching?

Those guys are gonna have to be absolutely sure that at least one of the current starters can’t recover, AND that neither Jurrjens nor Teheran is a suitable replacement, before they are going to remove Medlen from the bullpen.

Me, that kind of scenario spells “disaster” in big, bold caps. So, I’d be careful what I wish for.

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:26 pm

Any lineup minus Chipper, FF and Wayward (which means whether he plays or not) isn’t likely to be much good right now. And I shouldn’t forget Rev who will most likely be absent defensively as he daydreams of making the top 10 plays with some of the stupid stuff he does on the field.

bart

May 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

As far as calling up Simmons – that would be a good move. Tyler is a ho-hum player and brings little energy to the team while I believe Simmons would provide a spark with his spectacular defensive ability. The team is in desperate need of some energy and passion.

Shadetree

May 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

What’s this about McCann getting beat up for the reason he missed these games.

1st Base-Freeman needs to get a pair (of glasses) and quit whining. Play ball dude.

2nd Base-my gosh man, go the other way

3rd base-put Prado there and leave him

SS-let it develope like it should

LF-Cody Ross sure would have looked good here wouldn’t he Wren

CF can’t do it all, all of the time. Sign him but Wren won’t. He will blame it on Borass

RF-Heyward is going down faster then he is going up. One step forward with 2 back

Catcher is really bad this year. I’m afraid he’s not the answer and Ross ain’t either

Starting pitching is bad top to bottom

Relief is not on the horizon.

Coaching is worse of all. Fredi is terrible and no leader.

Overall-Again this year the team has no spirit and couldn’t play inspired ball if their life depended on it.

Front office is the top buffoon. I guess it just trickles down

Stand pat Wren

As you can see from top to bottom there is no reason to go and support a team that can’t play spirited and inspired ball.

No one in the minors to save this ungrateful bunch.

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

Love that all our prospects are doing so well like Strausberg. :roll:

JT Grace

May 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

macdwolfpack, why the heck do you want them to cut Hernandez? Aside from his latest appearance, he has been one of the better relievers this season.

Murph

May 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

A few dazzling plays at SS to save a run or two might be all this team needs to get going.

I stopped believing it as I typed it, but decided to post it anyways.

TennesseePaul

May 29th, 2012
3:30 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

TennesseePaul

May 29th, 2012
3:31 pm

AND that neither Jurrjens nor Teheran is a suitable replacement

I’m betting that frame of mind is already present…

RC

May 29th, 2012
3:31 pm

A few dazzling plays at SS to save a run or two might be all this team needs to get going.

I stopped believing it as I typed it, but decided to post it anyways.

If he’s able to keep Mike Minor from giving up 4 HR a game, those would be dazzling plays for a SS.

B_F 52

May 29th, 2012
3:32 pm

Good stuff on the bad stuff now lets start our climb back into the stellar stuff

ukuga

May 29th, 2012
3:32 pm

Hudson said on Friday night that he was only a couple of pitches from a shutout.

Maybe the problem with our pitching is that they lack good sense?

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

As you can see from top to bottom there is no reason to go and support a team that can’t play spirited and inspired ball. No one in the minors to save this ungrateful bunch.

There we go! Now, that’s the kind of post to which I alluded, first thing this morning. Let’s get some of that full-on righteous ranting going on, LOL. It’s late in the day, but I think this bunch still has a chance to write even more buffoonish posts than the night crew wrote and go for the champeen-ship.

Wait a minute. It’s 3:30; does the night crew start this early?

B_F 52

May 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

Congratulations to Bob Dylan on Medal of Freedom

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

Insert Medlen, insert Livan, insert whomever….they’re still gonna lose a fair number of games as all starters do.

What does it matter….

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

Sweet crud:

Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
Braves have optioned Medlen to Gwinnett and recalled Jose Constanza. Medlen will make 2-3 starts before joining ATL rotation

Bob in SF

May 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

My 2 cents; Trade the Brick Glove/Strike Out Machine known as Dan Uggla to an AL team where he can DH like God intended, move Pastornicky to 2B and bring Simmons up. The defense gets dramatically better because Simmons is a much, much better SS than the Rev and Uggla’s bat simply doesn’t make up for the runs he gives away with his minimal range and terrible D on balls he actually gets to.

hmmmm.........

May 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

Fire Fredi! Make Chipper player/manager

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

The Medlen move makes ZERO sense at this point. I’d rather go with one of the starters in AAA, my pick Jurrjens, but whatever. Bullpen is already bad, no need to get rid of Medlen.

Mister Frisky

May 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

We could have moved some of these arms for professional hitters.Now everyone knows Braves pitching isn’t any good.So now were left with no pitching,no hitting,and hands down the WORST bench in MLB.

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

Aside from his latest appearance, [Livan] has been one of the better relievers this season.

I have to admit, Livan’s good performances mean absolutely nothing to me. I’d DFA the guy on general principles. :-) ‘Course, I never would have signed him, either, so he would be spared that final insult.

Venice Jim

May 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. STL (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Prado 5 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Hinske 3 Heyward 9 Pastornicky 6 Delgado 1 Constanza 7

Shadetree

May 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

scoots is the poots.

Hillbilly

May 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

A few dazzling plays at SS to save a run or two might be all this team needs to get going.

As Bob Uecker said as Harry Doyle, “He’s gonna need a rocket up his @zz…”

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

Bob Dylan? Seriously?

Good grief….now we give medals of freedom to wacked out musicians.

And my apologies to those who like his “music”. He certainly doesn’t deserve a medal of freedom.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

V. Jim Bourn 8 Prado 5 McCann 2

Grrrrr…need Freeman to come back…

Bat Masterson

May 29th, 2012
3:38 pm

Thanks, David.

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:38 pm

“Braves have optioned Medlen to Gwinnett and recalled Jose Constanza. ”

Stupid move. Especially after they lied and said they’d never consider it, and just let Delgado and Minor get pummeled.

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:38 pm

Constanza?

When was he called up? Not disagreeing with the move but where di dhe come from?

And here we go again…..

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:38 pm

Catcher is really bad this year. I’m afraid he’s not the answer and Ross ain’t either

McFann I got this.

‘tard…. you must really be a fool, McCann will be just fine… Bethancourt is not the answer this year… sorry

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

Pitcher really hitting 8th?

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

Medlen to Gwinnett? Seriously?

What the hell is going on, whether it has to do with moves left or not?

Who the hell is running the show up there? Even FG isn’t this dumb….or is he?

TennesseePaul

May 29th, 2012
3:40 pm

Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
Braves have optioned Medlen to Gwinnett and recalled Jose Constanza. Medlen will make 2-3 starts before joining ATL rotation

So scoots… is this disaster with big caps?

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:40 pm

Braves have optioned Medlen to Gwinnett

TennPaul, so much for that. Ten guys starting for Atlanta and Gwinnett, and Medlen appears to be a better choice than six of them. :-)

Hey, at least now you can stop growling at me every time I mention Medlen’s starter status, LOL.

RC

May 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

I get the Medlen to minors move….by WHY is Constanza the guy called up???? Wouldn’t Gearrin make a lot more sense?

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Constanza prolly took Boscan’s spot, I really don’t know, only just got back online.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Hey, yeah! You’re right! The pitcher’s batting 8th?

Thanks, TheOnlyBravesFan

Mister Frisky

May 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Georgies fan club awakened.

Hugo Z Hackenbush

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

MF, Wren just stated that they were willing to convert Medlen. Who are you talking about?

Billy

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

With the addition of Francisco the need for Wilson as a backup 3B is no longer needed. With Prado on the team the need for Wilson to be the emergency ackup at 2nd is no longer required. My point is the backup for 3b, SS, and 2B would be only for injury purposes, not for defensive purposes. So who would you want on the bench for pinch hitting, base running? Wilson or Pastor? I betcha Pastor could fill in at 2nd in a pinch. I’m gonna say I would prefer Pastor over Wilson coming off the bench to pinch hit or pinch run.

So if Simmons does get called up I think the best choice to stay is Pastor and most likely Pastor will be on the 2013 Braves so since Wilson probably a one year pickup anyway…. Maybe he should go to AAA or given a chance to catch on with another team.

Since I’m trying to run the team it might be time to package some of this young, not ready for the big show just yet pitching. If there is am pitcher out there under contract for 2 or more years that is a number 2 or 3 I’m looking at him to replace a pitcher or two that has not put it together for the Braves.

Let’s see. A rotation of Hudson, Newly Acquied Guy, Hanson, Beachy, Medlen might blow my skirt up.

Fastball

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

there’s been no suprise here. wren ruined baltimore. you see the results now that he’s in charge. and as for fredi and the pitchers. well, hell, let them pitch. don’t take them out after 3.2 innings. let him pitch. like 110-120 pitches. warren spahns arm didn’t fall off. pitch til the seventh inning. and go home. we can still lose and guess what ? are relief pitchers won’t be tired. then let chipper manage this team and watch things turn around. and have instant replays so they can get the call right. this is big money sports. get the right call.

Brian from SC

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

Constanza was called up because the Braves have no bench right now. They need the extra bat, unless they choose to DL someone else (like Freeman or Ross).

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

ooooh, Medlen to Gwinnett????

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frank Wren’s gonna makes us “sane” fans look like fools for believing that Medlen won’t start this year. Thanks Frank :roll:

bravesgrl4life

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

With all the time he has spent waiting on these wrap-around glasses, Freeman could have had LASIK by now and been recovered. The surgery could fix the actual vision problem but likely not the dry eye situation. But it would darn sure mean he wouldn’t have to rely on contacts that irritate the dry eye syndrome.

All that said: BRAVES, MAKE THIS NIGHT THE ONE THAT STARTS THE 12-GAME WINNING STREAK AND ALL WILL BE FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN.

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

TennPaul, roger that re big caps. I’m looking for a font size that adequately captures the enormity. :-)

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

“Wren just stated that they were willing to convert Medlen.”

After months of saying it would never happen and that they love Delgado and Minor’s results. :roll:

MikeInFl

May 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

Oh lord…Constanza’s gonna come up and probably hit .400 for 3 weeks and we’ll have a repeat of last year’s Constanza/Heyward civil war. I’ve just managed to purge the term “hot hand” from my nightmares.

M'ville Braves Fan

May 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

As a long time Braves fan, The whole team needs a reality check. The pitching is not cutting the grease. Hanson giving up 6 runs in 4+ innings is not a good thing. The bats have got to come alive and be steady and consistant. The injuries and illness will always be a part of the game. Someone has to step up on the offensive side of the game. The Bullpen is not performing well at all. The Big 3 have got to perform better and the Medlin, Martinez and Hernandez crew have got to find a way to hold the game down so the team has a chance to win. The offense carried the team early and the pitching needs to step up and start carrying the team now. As DOB stated Quality starts 6-innings with 3 or less runs, Get that and the game is always in hand. Being down 4-6 runs after a few innings and the team better be scoring a higher clip than they were earlier.

I believe that Hudson and Beachy can solidify the top end we just need the other three to give quality starts every time out. If that happens then maybe the team will start winning more games. But pitching is what wins games. That is what the Phillies and Nats have done and they are the teams that have had the most success against the Braves the last few years. The Fish and Mets are pitching well and they are doing pretty good. Pitching wins games and hitting saves your pitching staff from being overworked.

I miss the days of every 5th day seeing Maddux go to the mound and the Braves almost guaranteed a win. Then you had Smoltz and Glavine with the Millwood, Neagle, Avery and whoever else trotted out there. Pitching created the 14 banners and we never had a great offensive team. But we did have great pitching from the starters. The bullpen was suspect at times and the team still won. Pitching wins and when the starters put 6 or more innings in every night with 3 or less runs the Braves will be back to winning again.

Not being negative. Just being real. We have a young team with a few veterans. Chipper will be gone next year. The team needs to step up and play better baseball. This will be a special year if they can bounce back. I think that they can. Not great. Just good and consistant. The whole team needs to be GOOD not GREAT…and CONSISTANT!

Shadetree

May 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

Freeman won’t wear glasses because the rims distract him.

McCann gets beat up and where is the news on this.

Medlin moved to AAA. If the starters now start doing good then it will show that all the starters were afraid of losing their job to meds.

Brian from SC

May 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

MFin04…you got a link to a quote from Wren saying “it would never happen”? We’ll wait.

hmmmm.........

May 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

Trade McCann to Boston for Youkilis

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

I guess if Medlen is being groomed to start….whatever.

I’m not sold on that notion. Don’t think he can hold up over the haul.

At least something is being tried I suppose.

Bat Masterson

May 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

Well there you go. Might Mouse to the rescue.

UUggghh

May 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

After Hudson and Beachy, not too peachy

Threadkiller

May 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

If I recall correctly, Georgie sparked a little win streak for us last year. Could we catch lightning in a bottle again and break this losing streak?

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:46 pm

So the question is, whose rotation spot does Meds take when he returns???

go-BRAVOS

May 29th, 2012
3:46 pm

I thought Fulton County Stadium was closed down in 1996. These pitchers are making it seem like “The Launching Pad” has come back to life, too bad our hitters didn’t read the memo.

Go Braves!

Roman Gal

May 29th, 2012
3:46 pm

Watching the Braves right now is worse than chopping onions.

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Constanza was called up because the Braves have no bench right now.

Yeah, but once he arrives, they still won’t.

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

“You got a link to a quote from Wren saying “it would never happen”? We’ll wait.”

You’re joking right? Read any of DOB’s quotes from Fredi and Frank? From the beginning of all the struggles, they have held firm they needed Medlen in the bullpen and he wouldn’t be considered for a starter. The stupid part, is they look like idiots now back tracking, and losing all those games in the meanwhile.

Wish we’d keep Medlen in the bullpen, it is currently struggling as it is, and bring up Jurrjens.

Brian from SC

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Minor will be demoted, unless things change. If Delgado struggles and Minor finds it again, it would probably be Delgado.

RC

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Where is the lineup posted? I hear that Constanza is playing and batting 9th, which just seems ridiculous, but nothing surprises me at this point.

phil

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Some of you actually believe what Wren says? What FG says? What any politician says?

LOL

Same Old

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

2011: Braves looked very good last year then they couldn’t win a game to save themselves

Did nothing in the offseason

2012: Braves looked very good then couldn’t win a game

They are who we were afraid the were….there is always next season

Brian from SC

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

Still waiting for a link with that quote, MFin04.

SoWeGa Fanatic

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

Boy, if reverse blog psychology really works, Braves are about to tear up the league. Yipee!

TheOnlyBravesFan

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

Look out Wayward…. Constanza’s coming!!!

cricket

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

Constanza – the spark plug braves need ;)

back-to-back lead off hitters with Constanza hitting 9th

D.A. Nuggla

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

I sure hope most people in baseball, and especially the media sportswriters saw where Jim Leyland had to say yesterday about umpires, etc. He nailed it big time. I saw it on ESPN and Yahoo Sports this AM. He basically said those in the media(including BROADCASTERS,WRITERS, management etc. had to step forward and tell it like it is. He said the accountability and responsibility to do so is in their hands. He was upset about some umpiring calls in Sunday’s game. He did something that I am sure Fredi “the robot” would not have done. FG would have just sat on the bench with that quirky little smile on his face, as if nothing had happened. One more thing, the only way the owners, management, etc. of the Braves will get the message is to stop going to the games. This is a business for them, and money is all they care about. Want to see some changes, pull a boycott!

Brian from SC

May 29th, 2012
3:48 pm

I love Constanza batting 9th, personally.

Hugo Z Hackenbush

May 29th, 2012
3:49 pm

Ah well. The orthodox members of the Church of Medlen Can’t Start are ready with the heresy charges…

ncscoots

May 29th, 2012
3:49 pm

So the question is, whose rotation spot does Meds take when he returns???

Got at least two or three starts from Minor and Delgado to figure that out. Heck, maybe Hanson, too, for all I know. :-) It’s Kris Medlen, after all. The Evan Gattis Of The Pitcher’s Mound.

MFin04

May 29th, 2012
3:50 pm

“Still waiting for a link with that quote,”

You keep waiting, just read the daily blogs by DOB and you could be informed. ;)

“Yeah, but once he arrives, they still won’t.”

And once Medlen leaves the bullpen, we won’t have one of those either.

MikeInFl

May 29th, 2012
3:50 pm

I hear that Constanza is playing and batting 9th,

That’s a fact, jack. Lineup posted on Mark Bowman’s twitter feed. https://twitter.com/#!/mlbbowman

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