Skid over, but now important work begins for Braves

Not much time to crank out a blog today, so here are a few observations and facts while thinking how good the Braves must feel knowing they just endured an eight-game losing skid, and have hit just .183 with 29 runs in their past 11 games, yet are still just three games out of first place in the toughest division in the National League and one of the two toughest in the majors.

Home runs by Bourn and Uggla (right) fueled the 5-4 win Tuesday that snapped Braves' eight-game losing skid.

Home runs by Bourn and Uggla (right) fueled the 5-4 win Tuesday that snapped Braves' eight-game losing skid.

Yes, every team in the NL East has a record above .500 right now, with the Phillies bringing up the rear at 26-25. The Braves are 27-24, three games behind division leader Washington (29-20) and with three games awaiting against the Nationals this weekend in D.C. Three games against the team that just swept them in three at Atlanta.

It goes without saying, there may never be a better time for the Braves to show they can beat a tough division opponent, especially without Chipper Jones in the lineup, than this weekend. Nothing short of a series win is going to sit well with the Braves and their followers, who know the Nationals are even more beat up than the Braves, in terms of key players out for extended stretches.

The Braves should have Freddie Freeman back in the lineup for that series and possibly as soon as tonight against St. Louis, depending how today’s batting practice session goes with the big first baseman wearing his new goggles that were due to arrive today.

Fredi Gonzalez said it might take a day or two for Freeman to get used to hitting in them before he plays a game, but I’ve got to think Freeman, as frustrated as he sounded yesterday by his recent slump and then absence from the lineup for a dry-eye condition that’s rendered his contacts useless for baseball purposes, will try to talk his way into the lineup tonight so he can attempt to help the Braves capture a series win against the Cardinals after being swept by the Reds and Nationals and before they have a day off tomorrow to rest in D.C. before facing Washington.

How much have they missed his bat? Very much. That .183 average in the past 11 games has as much to do with Freeman’s troubles as it does with the absence of anyone including Chipper.

The Braves need a series win at D.C. before they head to Miami for their first series at the Marlins’ new ballpark. In case you’ve missed it, the Marlins (28-22) are are a league-best 20-8 in May and tied with the Mets – the Mets! – for second in the East, only 1-1/2 games behind the Nationals.

Oh, and the only other division in baseball with every team above .500 is the AL East, with Boston in last at 25-24 but only 3-1/2 games out of first. And guess who the Braves face after this tough six-game trip against the Nationals and Marlins? Why, the AL East, of course. They’ll have home series against Toronto, the Yankees and Baltimore, then a road trip to the Bronx and Boston. Fifteen games against AL East teams before getting back into NL play against Arizona on June 26.

The Braves made it through an eight-game skid without losing much ground. But now they’ve got to pick up their performance in every area before this six-game trip followed by 15-game interleague stretch against the other toughest division in baseball.

Even with all the injuries and illness, it’s hard to fathom how the Braves have hit .183 while going 2-9 in their past 11 games, with nary a double-digit hit game in that entire stretch, and three runs or fewer in eight of 11 games. This after they had hit .282 with 202 runs while going 25-11 in their previous 36 games (5.6 runs per game).

And their .183 average in the past 11 games includes 13 hits by Martin Prado. Prado has hit .333 in that stretch, while the rest of the Braves have hit .163. One-sixty-three!

Last night’s 5-4 win, fueled by homers by Michael Bourn and Dan Uggla (a three-run shot) overshadowed the fact that Atlanta had just five hits in the game, to the Cardinals’ 10. The Braves have hit .149 in their past three games, with five hits or fewer in each.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado 3B
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Heyward RF
  7. Constanza LF
  8. Wilson SS
  9. Hudson P

• Reconsidering Durbin… If you’re one of those who still says “game over” or “waving the white flag” when Chad Durbin enters a game, it’s time to put a moratorium on that until further notice.

Because the simple fact is, he’s been one of the Braves’ top relievers for a while now. Seriously.

Some can’t get past the fact that Durbin, a late addition to the team at the end of spring, gave up nine hits, six runs and three homers in 3 innings in his first three appearances through April 15.

After giving up a homer in each of his first three appearances, Durbin has been solid over his past 20 for the Braves.

After giving up a homer in each of his first three appearances, Durbin has been solid over his past 20 for the Braves.

But folks, since then Durbin has posted a 2.93 ERA and .170 opp average in 20 appearances, allowed nine hits and five runs in 15-1/3 innings. Yes, as many hits in 20 appearances as he allowed in his first three.

In his past nine scorless appearances, Durbin has allowed just one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts and .053 opponents’ average in 6-1/3 innings.

Big Three update: Closer Craig Kimbrel gave up a run in three consecutive appearances April 29-May 4, but has been back to his overpowering self since. He has allowed no runs, one hit and two walks in seven scoreless innings since then, including including four perfect innings with five strikeouts in his past four appearances

Eric O’Flaherty has allowed no hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 3-2/3 innings over his past five scoreless appearances.

Meanwhile, Jonny Venters has a 6.75 ERA in 13 May games after allowing another run on three consecutive singles Tuesday night. For the month, the lefty has allowed 21 hits, 10 runs (eight earned), three homers, four walks, four HBPs and a .420 opp average with nine strikeouts in 10-2/3 innings.

Last May Venters had a 0.47 ERA in 16 games, allowing 10 hits, one run, seven walks, two HBPs and a .164 opponents’ average with 16 strikeouts in 19 innings.

• Uggs through 51: Uggla’s three-run homer Tuesday was his eight of the season and third with a runner or runners on base. So where do Uggla’s stats stand compared to the same point last season? Glad you asked.

Uggla has hit .262 with a .379 OBP and .454 slugging percentage, with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 51 games.

A year ago through 51 games, he hit 180/.250/.335 with seven homers and and 15 RBIs.

The strikeouts/walks totals are interesting: He has 34 walks and 56 strikeouts through 51 games this season, after totaling 17 walks and 43 strikeouts at the same point a year ago.

The Braves were 28-23 through his first 51 games last season, and 27-24 this year.

• OK, out of time. Let’s close with a classic from Dire Straits, which you can hear by clicking here.

dire-straits2

“SULTANS OF SWING” by Dire Straits

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s a rainin’ in the park, but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowin’ Dixie double four time
You feel alright when you hear the music ring…

And now you step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Comin’ in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
Competition in other places…
Oh but the horns they blowin’ that sound
Way on down south, way on down south London town

You check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords
But he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t wanna make it cry or sing
They’ve said an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind, if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job, he’s doin’ alright
He can play the honky tonk like anything
Savin’ it up, Friday night…
With the Sultans… with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn ’bout any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans… yeah the Sultans, they play Creole

Creole baby

Uh huh

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
‘Goodnight, now it’s time to go home’
And he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans… We are the Sultans of Swing’

by David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog


2,420 comments Add your comment

brimetime

May 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

Jeff R

May 30th, 2012
3:16 pm

Number 2 but I try harder?

Venice Jim

May 30th, 2012
3:17 pm

Thanks, DOB!

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:18 pm

DOB,

Any whispers about thoughts of change at the SS position? Whether it be Wilson getting more PT, or Simmons called up?

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:21 pm

Personally, I hope Freeman gets in the lineup tonight, whether or not he feels 100% comfortable at the plate, if only to get his glove on the field.

brian

May 30th, 2012
3:21 pm

Jimmy

May 30th, 2012
3:22 pm

The smell of a fresh blog….and a win.
Where’s Fish Bisch ownage?

Jeff R

May 30th, 2012
3:22 pm

jeff r I think Heyward has to do more than contribute to ” run creation and run prevention” if he wants to be Brave next season. I think Wren expects the same.

maybe you meant to say, jason needs to contribute more on the run PRODUCTION side if he wants to stay.

DAP correct, and I was responding to Shaun’s earlier wonkish post on the previous blog.

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:23 pm

A win tonight would be nice…carry some momentum into the MUCH-NEEDED off-day, and get back to work in Washington.

kdawg1017

May 30th, 2012
3:23 pm

call up simmons

flange1

May 30th, 2012
3:25 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB!

Let’s kick some Cardinal butt tonite guys!

Blazerpunter

May 30th, 2012
3:25 pm

DOB, are the records for last year and this year swapped in reference to Uggla’s first 51 games?

Great blog, and I would love for the Braves to win 6 to 2 with 12 singles up the middle and maybe mix in a long home-run from Freddie on his return to the line-up!!

Go BRAVES!!

StingerSplash

May 30th, 2012
3:26 pm

Lady Writer on the TV is better.

Sopheee

May 30th, 2012
3:26 pm

But folks, since then Durbin has posted a 2.93 ERA and .170 opp average in 20 appearances, allowed nine hits and five runs in 15-1/3 innings. Yes, as many hits in 20 appearances as he allowed in his first three.

In his past nine scorless appearances, Durbin has allowed just one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts and .053 opponents’ average in 6-1/3 innings.

Ruh roh, looks like we’re on the verge of going out of business, Hillbilly.

JoshTown

May 30th, 2012
3:28 pm

Hopefully the bats start picking up tonight. Good win to hold on last night. Let’s jump out in front early and never look back. Go Braves!

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:28 pm

Freeman’s in. Great!

Bat Masterson

May 30th, 2012
3:29 pm

Thanks, David.

Venice Jim

May 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

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

David O'Brien

May 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

Braves lineup: Bourn CF, Prado 3B, McCann C, Uggla 2B, Freeman 1B, Heyward RF, Constanza LF, Wilson SS, Hudson P

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

Shaun

May 30th, 2012
3:25 pm

And, regrettably, Heyward doesn’t stack up either way. He’s been mediocre, at best, since his rookie campaign.

He stacks up fine. He just might not be what some one expects him to be and he’s not a star player but he stacks up just fine with major league rightfielders. That’s the issue. Folks don’t realize he hasn’t been all that much of a disappointment at all. But people expect a guy who gets called up to the majors as a number one prospect to be an all-star caliber player right away. Add to that the fact that some people are over-reliant on stats like batting average and strikeouts and don’t pay as much attention to defensive value as they should, he is even more of a disappointment to some people.

But in reality the Braves can’t ask for much more from a 20-22-year-old, unless they expected him to be one of the very best 20-22-year-olds of all-time. That doesn’t mean he’s been a star. It just means we need to take a step back and realize he hasn’t really been that much of a disappointment at all.
********************
Shaun – You’re hopeless. I’m sorry your signed Wayward shirt, bat and ball are worthless these days, but you wanting to make him not be disappointing won’t get it done.

DAP

May 30th, 2012
3:31 pm

jeff r, i figured as much, and i totally agree. we need him OPSing in the .800s.

Abnerish

May 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

Simmons needs to be our starting SS by June 1st. Unfortunately, I think we saw the best Pastornicky has to offer. Seems like a great kid, but he has limited range, limited arm, and limited skill.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:32 pm

Fredi Gonzalez is a very mean person.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

[No] Thanks for the lineup, V. Jim and Chief

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

“Ruh roh, looks like we’re on the verge of going out of business, Hillbilly.”

Never sell low. Give it time. Though, I will say adding Livan to the masthead could be profitable.

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:34 pm

We’re getting the pieces back….someone wake Heyward up and maybe we’ll start tearing it up again.

monty

May 30th, 2012
3:34 pm

The Durbin/Medlen connection isn’t so far fetched after all.

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

McFann, he’s the best hitter we got right now. C’mon. I know he ain’t ideal, but he’s the best we got. I’m goin’ with a “thanks for the lineup, and how ’bout two or three RBI doubles.”

Freeman's White Cane

May 30th, 2012
3:35 pm

Freddie, if it sounds like a strike, LET ‘ER RIP!

DAP

May 30th, 2012
3:36 pm

its worth mentioning about heyward, that as late as may 11th, he was OPSing .856. his average was down, but he was getting one base and hitting for power. in 18 games since he has OPSed .571. pretty bad slump.

Bat Masterson

May 30th, 2012
3:36 pm

Come on, BAS. Wade in on Heyward.

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:37 pm

Wondered the same thing, 4shizzle. Does it have to do with not wanting Wilson to hit 7th? I like Constanza in the 9th spot.

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:38 pm

RC, great line earlier that shoulda got more play:

“In other words, every single person who ever speaks in absolutes is a complete idiot. Always.”

Best thing ever posted here. Absolutely.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

Bay Area Steve he’s the best hitter we got right now.

Uuuuuhh…Prado’s AVG is almost 100 points higher than BMac’s…and BMac’s got a career .211 AVG in 67 games (65 starts) oughta the 3 spot…

Freeman was doing fine in the 3-spot until his eyes freaked out, PUT HIM BACK!!!! Great jumpin’ gosh almighty…

bravesgrl4life

May 30th, 2012
3:39 pm

Friend of mine on FB posted a pic of Freddie in the new glasses. He has a big grin on his face and Mark Bowman tweeted that Freddie came of the field smiling saying “I can(n) see!”

CrαZy

May 30th, 2012
3:40 pm

MikeInFl
I put my glasses on last week on the golf course, for the first time. Didn’t help.

I couldn’t read putts before glasses… I think I’d loose a few strokes without glasses. Plus I’d become the most annoying golfer in the world… I’d constantly be asking “did you see where it landed” “where did it go” “is it in the fairway” “it felt good did it go good”!!

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:40 pm

So I’m still going with “[no] thanks for the lineup, and how about 2 or 3 RBI Doubles”…or and RBI Double and two singles…an RBI Double and one single…and RBI Double and a WALK, I don’t care!!!…

:(

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

Let’s hope he can hit too…

archie

May 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

Are we supposed to celebrate the fact that Uggla has gone from awful last year, to mediocre this year? As I recall, he’s paid to be damn good. And a full-season projection of .262 with 24 HR, 90 RBI for an everyday right-handed clean-up batter is not pennant-caliber.

I’m not even talking about his lack-of-range, scatter-arm defense.

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

For a guy like McCann, hitting at a certain spot in the order shouldn’t affect him. And it doesn’t.

CrαZy

May 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

Simmons needs to be our starting SS by June 1st.

No if hes going to be called up they’ll wait until mid June so we’ll have one more year before he can hit arb.

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:44 pm

You’ve nailed it, Bat. Forget in, forget the other way. He’s missing middle-middle, straight, 90mph fastballs right now. That means the issue is correctable. We have to keep believin’ in what scoots saw for years, try not to get irritated that it’s not happening immediately, and hope to the baseball gods he figures it out. If he doesn’t become a star, soon, this franchise is in real trouble.

And, of course, we can continue to laugh at Shaun’s assertion that “he hasn’t really been that much of a disappointment at all.”

Ridiculous. Does his OBP keep him from being horrible? Sure. Does his defense elevate his WAR enough that he’s respectable (or top-14, as sad as that is)? OK. But, corner OF is about offense. His hype was about offense. Broken bat doubles and walks are not enough. We need the guy to pummel fastballs. Soon.

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:45 pm

Nicklaus won the ‘86 Masters and couldn’t see the greens from the fairways….

It’s not the eyes.

If I wore 5 pairs of glasses and took lessons daily for 5 years, I’d still stink….

Venice Jim

May 30th, 2012
3:46 pm

Are we supposed to celebrate the fact that Uggla has gone from awful last year, to mediocre this year?

Yeah, just think how much we would have won by if we hadn’t had to deal with his horrible fielding last night…

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:46 pm

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:43 pm

For a guy like McCann, hitting at a certain spot in the order shouldn’t affect him. And it doesn’t.
*************
Correct…

Because he isn’t hitting at all basically.

TennesseePaul

May 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!!

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .194 .237 .611 0.848 .341 __173
Prado__ .344 .432 .500 0.932 .410 __220
McCann_ .250 .333 .375 0.708 .319 __144
Uggla__ .240 .472 .680 1.152 .476 __289
Freeman .135 .179 .243 0.423 .188 ___43
Heyward .194 .265 .355 0.620 .300 __110
Biff___ .200 .200 .200 0.400 .241 ___39
Wilson_ .171 .194 .171 0.366 .150 ___29
Hudson_ .077 .077 .077 0.154 .130 __-46

flange1

May 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

BAS at 3:44 is dead on….

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

Good report, bg4life. I feel better already.

Give it 10 days. Freeman has another POW, 10’s back, McFann’s happy ’cause her man is down two spots (and hitting), and we’ve all forgotten about these horrible 8 days. Sure thing, right?

bravesgrl4life

May 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

That link doesn’t have anything about a Dempster/Minor trade.

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:49 pm

I’ve been ok with Dan this year….

After last season’s overall showing, especially the first three months, he looks fine to me for now.

bravesgrl4life

May 30th, 2012
3:49 pm

BAS, you are right. And the ones on here saying “season over” type stuff will be denying they ever said it.

doc

May 30th, 2012
3:49 pm

hmmm, one win equals skid over? must have been a copy editor making that byline.

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

24 HR and 90 RBI is pretty darn good. Remember, the steroid era is over. 30 HR and 100 RBI guys don’t grow on trees anymore.

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:50 pm

Take Prado out of the mix, and the last 9 starts of the starting 9 have been….

Not too good.

Murph

May 30th, 2012
3:51 pm

Man o’ man, if it weren’t for Prado and Uggla, where would this team be? Maybe Uggs and his new found ability to take walks should be hitting higher in the order with Prado there right behind him to knock him around the bases.

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

.620 gets you a 110+. I guess it really is all relative.

And, equal parts awesome and worrisome that Bourn’s at .237/.611.

chc4

May 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Friday’s nights pitching matchup in Washington is Strasburg vs Minor. Sooooooooooooooo that’s a loss. Over/under on Minor gopher balls served up is 4. Sadly it requires alot of thought and consideration.

phil

May 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Some would say that BAS is a hater for being “critical” of the golden child…..

Agree that the 3:44 is an excellent take.

CrαZy

May 30th, 2012
3:53 pm

Nicklaus won the ‘86 Masters and couldn’t see the greens from the fairways….

It’s not the eyes.

If I wore 5 pairs of glasses and took lessons daily for 5 years, I’d still stink….

I went from a player that consistantly shot between 76-85 to a player that has shot anywhere from 72-80 since getting glasses, but I guess if I had caddie with me to read my putts like he did I wouldn’t need them either! Enough with the golf talk anyway :smile:

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

May 30th, 2012
3:53 pm

Fredi going back to pitcher hitting 9th, because Huddy can hit and is a better RBI choice than Constanza or Wilson.

bravesgrl4life

May 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

I had heard that they were going to skip Minor’s start on Friday and pitch Beachy (I think)

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

Only five players in the entire NL are on pace for 30 HR and 100 RBI.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:55 pm

Whatever…but just for the sake of comparison, Prado has a career .281 AVG in 61 games (50 starts) in the 3rd spot…

And besides, Fredi G. SAID Freeman was gonna be the #3 batter for the foreseeable future. Chipper SAID Freeman was gonna be a good #3 hitter (IIRC). So WHY did he take Freeman out of the #3 spot????

Gosh, I’m sorry, but it bugs the c**p outta me…

Kentavo

May 30th, 2012
3:57 pm

Fredi also said Prado wasn’t going to shuffle between 3B and LF, but he has.

Murph

May 30th, 2012
3:57 pm

Over/under on Minor gopher balls served up is 4

Under… only problem is that all 3 will be with the bases loaded.

I think Minor has 2 more starts and then we won’t have to worry about him for a while.

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

“Enough with the golf talk anyway”

No way. What’d you shoot this weekend, flange?

And, Brian, you play much, or just makin’ a point earlier? And, don’t lie: you know your scramble percentage, don’t you?

Brandon

May 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

About Heyward: I’m still rooting for heyward. At the plate, he still looks much better than he did last season, even though he hasn’t been able to square up on the ball the way that he did in his rookie campaign. He still has the most plate discipline on the team( with the exception of chipper and maybe prado) What he needs to learn is how to drive that inside pitch over the wall. A pitcher should be afraid to go inside on a power hitter. Either way, I’m sure he’ll figure it out, and it seems more like a timing issue than anything else.

Brian from SC

May 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

Probably because Gonzalez isn’t quite sure about Freeman’s comfort level at the plate, so he kept him lower to avoid putting any 3-hole pressure on him for tonight.

Roman Gal

May 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

They’ll tell you the metrics clearly show he is and always has been one of the Braves’ best 3 players, regardless of any archaic or “arbitrary” stats us mere laymen might present, or regardless of what your eyes and brain perceive when you’re watching the games.

That’s an interesting point, because honestly when I watch Heyward I get the impression that he’s playing better than his stats show. When I saw his average the other day, I went all teenybopper and was like “Say whaaa?!”

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
3:58 pm

Kentavo

That’s true. We cann hardly believe a word he says about that sort of thing…

Rufus

May 30th, 2012
3:59 pm

Is it just me, or do the Braves have a disproportionate number of players with eye issues? First McCann, now Freeman. Weird, but glad Freddie’s doing better with the new specs.

Bat Masterson

May 30th, 2012
3:59 pm

BAS _

Good stuff @ 3:44.

Watching Shaun tie himself into knots trying to justify his various positions on Heyward has been cracking me up, too.

Jack Dennis TN

May 30th, 2012
4:00 pm

Love Mark Knopfler’s distinctive and under rated guitar.

Murph

May 30th, 2012
4:00 pm

So WHY did he take Freeman out of the #3 spot????

Probably because this is his first game back, wearing new glasses, and hitting from the 3 spot will most likely result in him getting at least one extra AB. They probably don’t want to push things until they are sure that the glasses are a viable solution.

Makes sense to me.

Sitting in CF

May 30th, 2012
4:01 pm

I was at the game last night and I have these observations. Freeman coming back can’t be soon enough. Hinske is great off the bench, but he is barely serviceable at first and the steady diet of offspeed stuff is making him look really bad. I’ll also agree with the assessment of Pastornicky. His bat really is not bad (he’s hitting .105 the last week but so is the whole team) because I wasn’t expecting much, but he doesn’t seem to have good SS instincts. From CF, it appeared as if he should have stepped on the bag instead of flipping to Uggs on one double-play grounder. One sharp hit grounder looked to have taken a bad hop but he wasn’t in good position. The 2nd base hit grounder up the middle off Venters seemed playable but he didn’t get a good jump on it or he didn’t react very quickly (I haven’t seem replay so I might be mistaken on this one). Anyone else see this and have a different view??

phil

May 30th, 2012
4:02 pm

72-80….

That ain’t too shabby, Crazy.

A 106 for me these days is worthy of a quick dance…

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:02 pm

Brian from SC Probably because Gonzalez isn’t quite sure about Freeman’s comfort level at the plate, so he kept him lower to avoid putting any 3-hole pressure on him for tonight.

I cann accept that. But then why does he shove a guy coming off a week-long fluvirus, who still prolly didn’t/doesn’t have his feet completely under him yet and has been in a slump most of the year, into the 3-spot? He playin’ with a full deck up there?…

I’m way too analytical or something…or maybe even take out the ytical……

raleighbravefan

May 30th, 2012
4:03 pm

McFann – Maybe it has something to do with Freddy’s eye problem?

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

“Is it just me”

Not just you, Rufus. And, can you imagine being a successful MLB position player, and waking up not being able to see? And then, the docs can’t make it right? The stress, the anxiety they must feel, if only for a short while… Fact is, ’til you can see again, you gotta wonder. That’s why I love bg4life’s report. POW, here we come.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

Murph

I’m sure that’s what it is, but…well, see my 4:02 post to Brian from SC

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:05 pm

raleighbravefan

I’m sure…see my 4:02… ;)

Bay Area Steve

May 30th, 2012
4:05 pm

“I’m way too analytical or something…or maybe even take out the ytical……”

Awesome. Knew I loved that girl. She might be growin’ up though. A little.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:07 pm

Ha! Thanks, Bay Area Steve…had to check the spelling to make sure it would work… :P

She might be growin’ up though. A little.

A little.… ;)

raleighbravefan

May 30th, 2012
4:09 pm

McFann – I understand your angst. I like McCann at 5 as well. Problem is, with Chipper out, and FF eyesight, not many better options. Temporary, I hope.

TennesseePaul

May 30th, 2012
4:09 pm

Payne, you are an idiot and you keep showing it over and over again. Post another list of “right fielders” showing Ben Zobrist as a qualified right fielder again. Do it. It makes me laugh. The guy played second base in 2011. He had a grand total of 144 plate appearances in right field last year.

I see you’ve also changed your parameters, yet again, when defending Heyward. Your initial attempt at this ranking a week or so ago was 1,000 PA for a right fielder, now it is 600 and you still include second basemen in the group.

Shaun

May 30th, 2012
4:09 pm

ut you wanting to make him not be disappointing won’t get it done.

Ridiculous. Does his OBP keep him from being horrible? Sure. Does his defense elevate his WAR enough that he’s respectable (or top-14, as sad as that is)? OK. But, corner OF is about offense. His hype was about offense. Broken bat doubles and walks are not enough. We need the guy to pummel fastballs. Soon.

It depends on what you expected. There are very few players who have accumulated as much value through age 22 and Heyward is still 3 months away from 23. Just because he’s not a star and hasn’t been one of the best rightfielders doesn’t mean he’s a disappointment. That’s a separate discussion. How good has he been and is he a disappointment are two different questions. I would say a) he’s been pretty much an average major league rightfielder, overall and b) he’s far from a disappointment, given his age and the skills he’s displayed.

Most do not see it that way. Most see top prospect, should be one of the best at his position every season as soon as he’s in the majors.

Since Bryce Harper was a top prospect and one of the most hyped prospects in history, if he isn’t one of the top handful of outfielders in the majors this season, next season and the season after that, he should be considered a disappointment, in the minds of some of you. And if he’s a disappointment, he therefore belongs in the minors or traded. It doesn’t matter if he’s just fine for a major league outfielder.

Murph

May 30th, 2012
4:09 pm

why does he shove a guy coming off a week-long fluvirus, who still prolly didn’t/doesn’t have his feet completely under him yet and has been in a slump most of the year, into the 3-spot?

Not many other options, unfortunately. Do you want Heyward getting that extra AB or two a game? I know I don’t.

I’d rather see BMac getting the extra work to help get him back on track because I know he’s get-back-on-trackable. Heyward left the tracks a long time ago and most of the other guys don’t even know where the train station is.

CrαZy

May 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

Just because Freeman and McCann have been out of the lineup for a while I’d be tempted to go with:

1.Bourn
2.Prado
3.Heyward
4.Uggla
5.McCann
6.Freeman
7.Wilson
8.Pitcher
9.Cantstandya

Shaun

May 30th, 2012
4:10 pm

TennesseePaul, change the parameters to whatever you like, within reason. It doesn’t change any of my points whatsoever.

TennesseePaul

May 30th, 2012
4:12 pm

30 HR and 100 RBI guys don’t grow on trees anymore.

They never grew on trees. There was a time when you could pick one up at the local pharmaceutical lab though.

CrαZy

May 30th, 2012
4:12 pm

For a game I wouldn’t mind seeing wayward hitting in front of an actual big league hitter for a change.

Shaun

May 30th, 2012
4:13 pm

Bat Masterson, I have various positions on a lot of players, maybe every player, depending on what we are assessing or trying to answer about a particular player. I know that difficult for some of you to wrap your minds around…you know, nuance and complexity.

TennesseePaul

May 30th, 2012
4:13 pm

It doesn’t change any of my points whatsoever.

It changes one massive point. That of right fielders vs. second basemen vs. a guy who got a couple of plate appearances late in the game at the position.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:14 pm

raleighbravefan

Yes—better be temporary…

Murph

I thought Bourn-Rev-Prado had possibilities…but I guess Fredi’s not a huge Rev fan…

I’d rather see BMac getting the extra work to help get him back on track

Not too sound like a buttface, but he was getting back on track when he was batting fifth (.324 with 2 2Bs, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 0 K’s in 6 games)… :mrgreen:

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

May 30th, 2012
4:15 pm

CrαZy

I like it, I love it, I want some more of it…

phil

May 30th, 2012
4:16 pm

I hate Mac at 3 too….

Way too slow on those double play grounders he’s so well known for!

;-)

raleighbravefan

May 30th, 2012
4:16 pm

Man, the blog has taken aim at Heyward today. I believe it’s a combination of inexperience/youth, injuries leading to bad habits, and mostly, unreasonable expectations. I believe he still has plenty of talent, and will have an above average career….maybe even exceptional. Of course, many here have the patience of a 2 year old. Just my opinion.

phil

May 30th, 2012
4:19 pm

It’s baseball, Shaun.

A child’s game played sometimes by adults.

Shaun

May 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

TennesseePaul, take out Ben Zobrist and the other guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time in rightfield. Do you really think that drastically changes the argument?

Do you consider Torii Hunter a disappointment? Do you consider Torii Hunter an awful player? Would you be calling for Hunter to be sent away if he was the Braves’ rightfielder at the same cost as Heyward?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions and you think Heyward is worthless and should be sent packing, you need to rethink your views of the game. These two players have been equal in value since the start of 2011.

phil

May 30th, 2012
4:20 pm

I do NOT have the patience of a 2 year old!!!

I want my blankie!

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