Beachy is crisis du jour, as Braves’ hitting woes deepen

NEW YORK -- Brandon Beachy has a partial ligament tear in his elbow and could be done for the season, so pitching becomes the most-talked-about Braves crisis of the moment.

But the truth remains, they’ve pitched well enough lately to win most games if they’d produced more than a modicum of offense.

Large and in charge: CC Sabathia on Monday became the second pitcher in three days to throw a complete game in a win vs. the Braves.

Large and in charge: CC Sabathia on Monday became the second pitcher in three days to throw a complete game in a win vs. the Braves.

First, the Beachy situation: Unless we hear something unexpected from Dr. James Andrews when he visits the renowned surgeon on Wednesday, I’m not expecting him back this season.

There have been cases where surgery has been avoided when the ulnar collateral ligament is only partially torn, including the Braves’ own Arodys Vizcaino. He missed much of the 2010 minor league season after a partial UCL tear diagnosis, but returned at the end of the season and made his big-league debut in 2011, throwing in the upper-90 mph range.

But Vizcaino ended up having “Tommy John” surgery this spring when the ligament was re-torn.

You have to wonder if the Braves, with a starter as valuable as Beachy, would even consider having him come back without surgery unless they were advised that there was a real strong chance of recovery without it. If I had to guess, he’ll be having TJ surgery and aim for a June-July 2013 return.

But again, that’s just an educated guess, based on the many other pitchers who’ve had UCL tears, partial or full, on all the major league teams I’ve covered. Most pitchers, especially younger ones, come back as good or better than before after the surgery. It’s a shame, however, that what was shaping up as a breakout season for Beachy is apparently going to end before it could really take flight.

As of today, among qualifying starters his 2.00 ERA is tied for the major league lead with Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, and Beachy’s .171 opponents’ average is the majors’ lowest.

Beachy has a partially torn elbow ligament and may have thrown his last pitch of the season.

Beachy has a partially torn elbow ligament and may have thrown his last pitch of the season.

Braves starters rank a disappointing 13th in the NL in both ERA (4.12) and opponents’ average (.242). Other than Beachy, the rest of the starters’ collective ERA is 4.67. The Astros (4.68) and Rockies (6.28) have the worst starters ERAs in the league.

Mike Minor, after coming apart in a three-run fifth inning to blow a 2-0 lead on Monday against the Yankees, has a 6.04 ERA (second-worst in the NL, better than only Tim Lincecum’s 6.19 – yes, Linceum). While Beachy’s .259 opponents’ slugging percentage is second-best in the league behind Gio Gonzalez (.248), Minor’s .484 is the league’s fifth-highest.

Also, with runners in scoring position and two outs, Minor has allowed a .320 average (8-for-25) with six extra-base hits including two homers, 17 RBI, and a .500 OBP.

Of the 184 runs Braves pitchers have surrendered this season, 122 have come with two out. Yikes.

If Beachy is done for the year, or even if it’s just most of the year, will the Braves step up the pursuit of a proven pitcher via trade? I think they have to. I mean, they’ll give Jair Jurrjens another try on Friday at Boston, and if he somehow returns to form he’d certainly be a nice, easy answer to filling a big hole in the rotation.

But seriously, what has Jurrjens done since last year’s All-Star break to give anyone confidence that he can be even a decent major league pitcher on a consistent basis for the rest of this season? Not to mention a top-of-the-rotation type of contributor.

Another in-house option is, of course, Kris Medlen, who was sent to Triple-A a few weeks ago to get stretched out to become a starter, then brought back as a reliever after Minor and Randall Delgado made progress in the interim. But now, with Jurrjens out, can the Braves afford not to move Medlen back to the rotation? (Again, barring a major turnaround from Jurrjens.)

I asked Braves GM Frank Wren a couple of days ago for a general idea of how long Medlen could stay “stretched out” and ready to start if they wanted to move him to the rotation, without having to go back to the minors and do the stretching-out thing again.

“I think for several weeks,” Wren said. “He may not be able to go seven or eight, but I think you could put him in and he could throw five any time in the next three or four weeks and it would not be an issue. Then you stretch him up here.”

Minor is young and talented, but right now the Braves don't know what they're going to get from inning to inning, much less start to start from the left-hander. (AP photo)

Minor is young and talented, but right now the Braves don't know what they're going to get from inning to inning, much less start to start from the left-hander. (AP photo)

Still, that makes the bullpen weaker, the reason the Braves gave for not moving Medlen from the ‘pen in the first place.

So….

The Braves have prospects they want to keep stockpiled in their system, but they might just have to part with one or two in a deal for a pitcher if they hope to make a strong playoff push the rest of the way.

Of the pitchers who are known to be available, such as a Ryan Dempster (currently on the DL), the only way the Braves could probably fit him into their budget is by giving up higher-level of prospects in order for the other team to eat more of the remaining salary than it would prefer.

So it’ll be a situation where the Braves either have to go over their budget – they say they, not Libery Media, sets the payroll limit, so they can presumably go over it – or else give up some of their prospect talent to get a deal done.

The division race is still wide open, because the first-place Nationals have lost three in a row and the rest of the division has done this in its past 10 games: second-place Mets (4-6), third-place Braves (3-7), fourth-place Marlins (2-8) and last-place Phillies (3-7).

The remarkably erratic Braves – if they’re not surging, chances are good they’re slumping, with no middle-ground periods – are still three games above .500 and only 4-1/2 games out of first place in the East, and as of today they are one game behind the Mets and a half-game behind Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot (San Francisco would be your wild-card leader as of today).

But we’ve got 95 – count ‘em, ninety-five – games to play. So much can happen, for the Braves and the teams ahead (and behind) them.

If they don’t want it to be a very long summer at Turner Field, the Braves need to figure out how to get their offense out of its frequent funks a lot faster than they’ve been able to so far, and they need to figure out a real plan to get their starting rotation back to being one of the better ones in the league, instead of one of the worst.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Jones 3B
  7. Heyward RF
  8. Simmons SS
  9. Hinske DH

(Hudson pitching)

• About that woeful offense: We started this blog by stating that as much as the pitching situation is the crisis du jour, it’s the offense that’s really been more responsible for the recent woes.

To wit: The Braves are 1-7 with a .244 batting average in past eight games, and have scored just 12 runs in their past seven games. They’ve been homerless in six of past eight.

Atlanta is 9-16 with a .234 batting average and 4.13 ERA in its past 25 games. The Braves scored 84 runs in those games including 29 in three games, meaning they totaled just 55 in the other 22 games in that stretch. That’s 2-1/2 per game.

Michael Bourn had another multi-hit game Monday night, but the Nos. 2-6 hitters were a combined 1-for-19 with one RBI for the Braves. And that’s a microcosm of the state of things during their current slump, when even Martin Prado and Dan Uggla have struggled, two of the only three Braves lineup regulars who’ve had strong seasons (along with Bourn).

– Uggla has hit .120 with no homers and no RBIs in past eight games, after hitting .316 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his previous 12.

– Jason Heyward has one RBI, one walk, seven strikeouts and a .296 OBP in his past eight games

– Prado has hit .211 with no extra-base hits, one RBI and one walk in his past nine games.

– Chipper Jones doesn’t have an extra-base hit or RBI since his May 18 lower-leg injury. He’s hit .179 with a .281 OBP and .179 slugging percentage in 28 at-bats over his past nine games (eight starts) including the game when he was hurt.

Meanwhile Bourn keeps hitting. The leadoff man has hit .366 in his past 17 games with eight extra-base hits (two homers), seven RBIs, five walks, .408 OBP and a .549 slugging percentage.

And think about this hard-to-fathom stat: The Braves’ two highest slugging percentages belong to rookie shortstop Simmons (.529, albeit only 51 at-bats) and leadoff man Bourn (.456). I mean, seriously….

Next-highest slugging percentages among the regulars are Uggla (.451) and Prado (.445).

Here’s one more stat I find telling: Simmons (.412, 7-for-17) is only Braves player hitting above .288 in the seventh inning or later. Everyone else but Prado (.288) hitting .270 or lower in the late innings, including Heyward (.218) and McCann (.145, 8-for-55 with one RBI).

• Damn Yankees: The Yankees have a 1.89 ERA and 52 runs, 17 homers during their current 10-game winning streak, including four wins against Atlanta in which they’ve hit six homers and outscored the Braves 15-8.

The Braves are now 0-6 with a 5.60 ERA in their past six regular-season games against the Yankees, and 0-7  in their past seven postseason games against the Yankees.

Overall, Atlanta is 10-16 in regular-season games against the Yankees and 9-15 in postseason games against them.

• Let’s close with an ‘80s-era classic from the bard Bob Dylan, which you can hear by clicking here.

Bob+Dylanv

“JOKERMAN” by Bob Dylan

Standing on the water, casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with truth so far off, what good will it do.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

So swiftly the sun sets in the sky
You rise up and say goodbye to no one
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Both of their futures, so full of dread, you don’t show one
Shedding off one more layer of skin
Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

You’re a man of the mountains, you can walk on the clouds
Manipulator of crowds, you’re a dream twister
You’re going to Sodom and Gomorrah
But what do you care ? Ain’t nobody there would want marry your sister
Friend to the martyr, a friend to the woman of shame
You look into the fiery furnace, see the rich man without any name.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

Well, the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy
The law of the jungle and the sea are your only teachers
In the smoke of the twilight on a milk-white steed
Michelangelo indeed could’ve carved out your features
Resting in the fields, far from the turbulent space
Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til the night comes stepping in.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

It’s a shadowy world, skies are slippery gray
A woman just gave birth to a prince today and dressed him in scarlet
He’ll put the priest in his pocket, put the blade to the heat
Take the motherless children off the street
And place them at the feet of a harlot
Oh, Jokerman, you know what he wants
Oh, Jokerman, you don’t show any response.

Jokerman dance to the nightingale tune
Bird fly high by the light of the moon
Oh, oh, oh, Jokerman.

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

2,128 comments Add your comment

Mitchell

June 19th, 2012
2:38 pm

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:38 pm

Mitchell

June 19th, 2012
2:39 pm

Booyah!

In your face Braves bloggers.

I’m number one, just like our Braves. =(

flange1

June 19th, 2012
2:39 pm

Thanks for the new blog DOB!

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:39 pm

Thanks for the New Blog D.O.B.

How are you liking the New Corporate Bandbox in The Rotten Apple?

I see that last night that place wasn’t packed, what gives

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:40 pm

@Mitchell

lol

he he, You said Number One!

Backdoor Slider

June 19th, 2012
2:40 pm

BRAVES BREAKING NEWS

This just in from the AP:

Fredi Gonzalez has incurred a SEVERE BRAIN TEAR, while trying to think.

After consulting brain tear specialists, the situation looks hopeless; the damage is simply too great – and continues to worsen – especially when Gonzalez gets anywhere close to baseball.

Extended prognosis: Gonzalez to go on the MANAGERIAL DISABLED LIST indefinitely.

Frank Wren now hurriedly searches for a new manager.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:40 pm

Vote ur Braves for the 2012 All Star Team…

Good Ole Buck Belue Said So!

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:41 pm

GO getem braves!!!!!!

Waffle House or Bust

June 19th, 2012
2:41 pm

I say go ahead and lose with what we have now to prepare them for the future because it ain’t happening this season.

FYI – God hates the Braves.

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
2:41 pm

The Braves have prospects they want to keep stockpiled in their system, but they might just have to part with one or two in a deal for a pitcher if they hope to make a strong playoff push the rest of the way.

Only two I’d consider off-limits are Teheran and Vizcaino. I’d guess teams would be asking for Gilmartin, Bethancourt, Graham and perhaps to a lesser extent, Todd Cunningham and Matt Lipka.

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:42 pm

Oh yeah dont trade our prospect on pitching lets get so hitter plz

Sopheee

June 19th, 2012
2:43 pm

Thanks DOB!

This blog made me sad. Come on Bravos, get it together.
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MFin04

June 19th, 2012
2:43 pm

“if they hope to make a strong playoff push the rest of the way”

They DON’T NEED PITCHING! Just score some runs. McCann and Chipper need to step up or the Braves need to move on from those two. Can’t be relied upon at this point anymore. Pitching will be fine, but this offense has to get some consistency.

cabravesfan

June 19th, 2012
2:44 pm

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:44 pm

Word On The Street (MLBTR) Is that Car-Go Could be Available at the deadline

Now I don’t normally make trade suggestions because they for the most part are a waste of time, But you can take it to Vegas that I will be Lusting for him at the Trade deadline….

ryan

June 19th, 2012
2:44 pm

Hate to here that about Beachy long road with rehab but man can’t get any worse for these Atlanta teams Braves and the Hawks we are becoming Chicago of the south cursed man .

Sopheee

June 19th, 2012
2:45 pm

Hi cab. I dare you to use a smiley face.

:-D

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

MFin04- totally agree man pitching to me has been alright but the hitting is awful!!

BL

June 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

I would love to see Heyward get just HALF of the criticism Francoeur got on here. JH’s approach/results is looking like the same thing.

cabravesfan

June 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

Sopheee-

:D

(although I did see that CTB apologized, so all is good there)

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

Timely tweet:

‘OB just told some dude: “Lighten up, Francis.”

If that doesn’t make you want to at least read a few from your favorite author, musician, comedian, etc., I don’t know what could.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

I still don’t get why so many people Down here In The “A” want Fredi to get “Ol Yellered”???

Its the teams fault they are so streaky, not his

Brian from SC

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

Update on the defensive switch and its possible effect:

Since Simmons took over at SS, the Braves have given up a .160 batting average on ground balls, not including errors. Before the call-up, it was a league-worst .274.

This is a major contributor to the Braves’ improved pitching performance in June. It’s still a small sample size, and that .160 will go up (it’s a little “too” low right now), but the difference has been like night and day.

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

guess teams would be asking for

Here’s the thing: any trade currency spent for a pitcher this year means less to spend on trade deals in the offseason which means a greater reliance on free agency. If they end up having more money than players for acquisitions, I worry about how that might play out.

I know you have to play the game that’s in front of you, but still…

Juan

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

Hey Conrad DFA…lets go get him

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
2:47 pm

I can’t imagine the Rockies would trade CarGo. In no way is that better for their long term future.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:48 pm

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:46 pm

“MFin04- totally agree man pitching to me has been alright but the hitting is awful!!”

Co-Sign! Those turds are sooo streaky its FUB’R…This team will score 40+ runs in Denver then proceed to score 40 the next 20 games, Cheesewhiz!

we have the top 1-2 hitters in Martini and Bourn and still can’t score

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
2:49 pm

I meant to say These

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:49 pm

Conrad back with the braves wilson gonzo!!!!

Ease

June 19th, 2012
2:50 pm

Murph

June 19th, 2012
2:50 pm

Here’s one more stat I find telling: Simmons (.412, 7-for-17) is only Braves player hitting above .288 in the seventh inning or later. Everyone else but Prado (.288) hitting .270 or lower in the late innings, including Heyward (.218) and McCann (.145, 8-for-55 with one RBI).

So… the guys who are in shape and not gassed by the 5th inning continue to hit, while the fatties are day-dreaming about donuts and beef jerky and missing everything thrown their way (with the exception of Heyward, who doesn’t hit regardless of the inning).

Interesting.

Fire the conditioning coach!!!

bvillebaron

June 19th, 2012
2:50 pm

Frankly, I am against giving up more quality prospects for a rental pitcher and/or player. This is still a young team with a bright future with 3 starters (whenever Freeman ever returns) age 22 and with the exception of Hudson all of their key pitchers being in their mid-20s or younger.

Delgado in particular is showing signs of improvement and to a lesser degree Minor as well. I realize that their growing pains (and Teheran’s as well if he is finally called up and put in the rotation) will be difficult and perhaps cost them a chance at the playoffs this year. But I say don’t trade prospects off a young team on the rise for player(s) who won’t guarantee a playoff appearance this year and use the money coming off the books on the Lowe and Chipper Jones contracts to improve the team this offseason.

Just my 2 cents.

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

I would love to see Heyward get just HALF of the criticism Francoeur got on here. JH’s approach/results is looking like the same thing.

Francouer’s first 2.5 seasons: .280/.319/.463, 100 OPS+(1,656 PA’s)

Heyward’s first 2.5 seasons(roughly): .255/.356/.430, 113 OPS+(1,328 PA’s)

And my guess is Heyward’s next 300 plate appearances is going to widen the gap.

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

Nice Tomahawkin now if we can get wren and dredi to read this then we will be good!!!

phil

June 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

Shaun – You’re dead to me now…

Ease

June 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

Peter Moylan ‏@PeterMoylan
Someone explain to me why there had been so many Tommy John surgeries in the last 12 months? Did people rehab in years past?

bvillebaron

June 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

BL:

If you honesty believe that Heyward gets less criticism on these blogs than Francouer did, then you must be living under a rock.

NickGranite

June 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

I hate to say it but the braves have never had the rotation to get to the World Series this season. We simply do not match up with the aces around the league through a 7 game series. When some of these young guys season up a bit then we’ll talk. In the meantime, let’s count Chipper’s final stat tallies and wait for his and a few other’s money to come off the books and start fresh next season. I guess what I’m getting at is I don’t want to give up prospects for a fruitless quest. Without a few aces, you simply cannot get to the series.

phil

June 19th, 2012
2:53 pm

Conditioning has zero to do with any of it.

Cue CC Sabathia…

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
2:53 pm

Here’s the thing: any trade currency spent for a pitcher this year means less to spend on trade deals in the offseason which means a greater reliance on free agency. If they end up having more money than players for acquisitions, I worry about how that might play out.

I know you have to play the game that’s in front of you, but still…

I hear ya, and I’m usually right there with ya – but would you really miss Signable? ;)

Ralph

June 19th, 2012
2:54 pm

DOB, You told us what we already knew about the offense, could you tell us what you propose they do about it, hope you wouldn’t say “just keep sending them out there>

Ease

June 19th, 2012
2:54 pm

The actual Wiki entry on Livan…

Atlanta Braves
Within hours of being released by the Astros, Hernández was signed to a one-year Major League deal by the Atlanta Braves as a relief pitcher.[18] On May 5, 2012, he recorded his first career save in his 485th major league appearance. [19] On June 15, 2012, he was released from the Atlanta Braves. It is said that he was released for the criminal theft of stealing cupcakes from the fridge in the visiting clubhouse.

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:54 pm

This team is young with talent…. the braves need to have a veteran coach from pitching and managing…. Im sorry but dredi just isnt good enough in my opinion to manage these young kids!!!! Francona for manager

ryan

June 19th, 2012
2:55 pm

Should we have traded Delgado and Tehran for Hunter Pence when had the chance last year or veteran pitcher .

shlomo

June 19th, 2012
2:55 pm

wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that this isn’t their year than to trade grade A prospects for the hope of hope of making the playoffs. To me that would be the more prudent way to go.

Sopheee

June 19th, 2012
2:56 pm

I’m glad they didn’t press charges against him. Whew.

Murph

June 19th, 2012
2:56 pm

bville, I agree… gotta take stock and make a real honest evaluation of the team… if the horses aren’t there to get them to October, which I don’t know if they are, then you need to hold on to the prospects and work hard during the offseason to assemble a winner.

I don’t know that the team can make that call, though, given their successful week here and their successful week there. Those successful weeks, as rare as they may be, have given the FO hope. Hope + an unrealistic view of your team = trade deadline disaster.

sdy4

June 19th, 2012
2:56 pm

Getting another rent-a-player for premium prospects would be a mistake. Instead they should give every opportunity to working this out in house with available talent. Besides, with the current field manager still making too many head-scratching player dicisions, it is not worth mortgaging the future of the organization just to stay in the race. This team has traded away too much young talent already.

bravesgrl4life

June 19th, 2012
2:56 pm

Hi, cabravesfan, Sopheee, Tomahawkin, and the rest of you bloggers.

Bad news = Beachy’s arm. Better news = It’s Not Monday.

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:57 pm

shlomo awesome point!!

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
2:57 pm

“It is said that he was released for the criminal theft of stealing cupcakes from the fridge in the visiting clubhouse.”

Early odds-makers are setting a line that jeffrey d is responsible at 5-1.

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
2:57 pm

but would you really miss Signable?

I doubt that I’d miss any of them, LOL. I’d give ‘em one last hug and then ask if they need help packing.

It’s the timing of their bye-byes that makes for jitters.

TennesseePaul

June 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

shlomo

June 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

I’ll live with a bad year if they get rid of Fredi.

Braves Fan in Maine

June 19th, 2012
2:59 pm

haha dredi must go!!!

phil

June 19th, 2012
3:00 pm

Fredi isn’t the problem…

the manager is.

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
3:00 pm

DAP,

Nice line. Post it again, man.

George

June 19th, 2012
3:01 pm

Backdoor Slider

June 19th, 2012
2:40 pm
BRAVES BREAKING NEWS

This just in from the AP:

Fredi Gonzalez has incurred a SEVERE BRAIN TEAR, while trying to think.

After consulting brain tear specialists, the situation looks hopeless; the damage is simply too great – and continues to worsen – especially when Gonzalez gets anywhere close to baseball.

Extended prognosis: Gonzalez to go on the MANAGERIAL DISABLED LIST indefinitely.

Frank Wren now hurriedly searches for a new manager
*****************************************************************
This is a WONDERFUL post

Shaun

June 19th, 2012
3:01 pm

Why wouldn’t someone propose “just keep sending them out there” regarding the Braves’ offense?

This is baseball, after all. Players will go through ups and downs. A .300 hitter isn’t going to go 3 for his every 10 ABs, which is why some of us tend to make a stink about small sample sizes.

Buy, hey, no one can force you out of incorrectly believing that performance or results in 8, 10, 12 games means that a player is destined to keep up the pace of those last 8, 10, 12 games in perpetuity.

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
3:01 pm

“I doubt that I’d miss any of them”

Zeke is not happy.

cabravesfan

June 19th, 2012
3:02 pm

bravesgrl4life-

Hi!

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
3:02 pm

Baseball America July 2 Notebook

By Ben Badler
June 19, 2012

With the draft over and many of the top picks having already signed, the market for international players has started to become more clear as July 2 approaches. We have already profiled many of the top players for this year’s international signing period, but here is a look at some of the other notable names to follow for this year’s class.

The Braves have brought a handful of promising pitchers through their international program in recent years. This year sources say the Braves have their sights set on Yeralf Torres, a 16-year-old Venezuelan righthander from Barquisimeto who trains with Jose Montero. Torres is 6-foot-1, 165 pounds and has an excellent fastball, touching the low-90s with lively action from a delivery with some drop-and-drive to it. He will have to learn to throw more strikes and improve his secondary pitches, which includes a mid-70s curveball that’s ahead of his changeup.

CrαZy

June 19th, 2012
3:02 pm

Francona for manager

Highly doubt our record would be any different!!

BL

June 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

bville

Haven’t been on the good old blog in a while, can’t you tell? Figured TJ on our best pitcher was time to return. Heyward is frustrating me badly.

Heisenberg

June 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

Minor either gets a 1-2-3 inning, or falls apart when the leadoff man gets on base and within 30 seconds 6 runs have scored. You could see it in his face in the 5th inning last night. He needs to come out of the rotation and work some long relief. He can still be effective for 2-3 innings so long as he does not have to come in with runners on base.

phil

June 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

Yeralf Torres….

He’ll be the next obsession here.

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
3:03 pm

“This is a WONDERFUL post”

I thought it kinda blew, George. In fact, I had a CHUCKLE at the vision of the guy coming up with that, and taking the time to post it, thinking he was Richard Pryor reincarnated.

Now, I just THINK it was you.

tiger297

June 19th, 2012
3:04 pm

scoots – has shaun changed his tune cause I can’t see lineup-order not in the top 3

George

June 19th, 2012
3:04 pm

A cupcake thief? For real?

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

Zeke is not happy.

Zeke knows I meant “any of them except for Zeke”. Goes without saying.

Besides, Zeke will not be traded. :-)

tiger297

June 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

BAS – ur on twitter and don’t follow me? dude ur missing the good little tiger stories :)

Efrim

June 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

Zeke is not happy.

I apologize. I baited scoots on that one….. :)

North Ga Braves Fan

June 19th, 2012
3:06 pm

Dempster? Really? Just what the Braves need, another injured player!

The Cap Tipper

June 19th, 2012
3:06 pm

“The Braves’ two highest slugging percentages belong to rookie shortstop Simmons (.529, albeit only 51 at-bats) and leadoff man Bourn (.456). I mean, seriously….”

That right there says all you need to know about the Atlanta Braves “offense”. As horrible a manager as Fredi is, and HE IS the worst manager in MLB right now hands down. Even Joe Girardi couldn’t produce wins with this embarrassingly anemic “offense”. I have questioned this team’s heart and effort from opening day, especially since ending last year with the worst collapse in MLB history, losing 20 of 30. I mean this team just doesnt try….period. I don’t care if I get blasted….it’s pathetic for this amount of talent to get shutout or score a single run on an almost nightly basis. I HATE how this team is full of wusses who sit out half the season with “dry eyes, a stomach bug, and a bruise” like the 3,4, and 5 hitters in our lineup did earlier this year. Its disgusting, and EVERY single one of them with the exception of Bourn and Prado is underperforming severely. That tells you one thing…they don’t care and are going through the motions. That falls on Fredi, but it also falls on the leaders of this offense, which has none. Freddie Freeman is underperforming, Jason Heyward is underperforming, Chipper Jones is underperforming, Brian McCann is underperforming, Dan Uggla is underperforming slightly, Eric Hinske is underperforming, Jack Wilson is underperforming, Matt Diaz is underperforming. These are not opinions, every one of those guys is hitting lower than there career averages, with most significantly lower. I mean when 70 percent of your offense is underperforming EVERYTHING is wrong about the team. Simply put that means the manager is an inefficient leader/motivator, laziness in putting in work in the batting cages, poor attitudes, loser mentality/culture in the clubhouse, poor scouting of pitchers, poor conditioning by the hitters, poor efforts ALL THE WAY AROUND….. DISGUSTED…..I usually go to 3-4 games a year, but am boycotting the rest of the year, and am feverishly convincing others not to attend games. I write a weekly letter to the Braves explaining WHY they are such a poorly run, lazy, country club organization and HOW other more modern organizations are passing them by the minute.

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
3:06 pm

tiger, good point re lineups. May have to re-think. Maybe even do a count (oh the humanity!).

Ease

June 19th, 2012
3:06 pm

Greene Hornet

June 19th, 2012
3:07 pm

To borrow a quote from the Joker in the 90’s version of Batman, I think the whole team needs an enima. I mean this figuratively, not literally. We have the talent, we have the arms, but the team just seems so sluggish. I know people blame Fredi, or this or that, but it’s the entire team… not just one person. I wish I could provide suggestions, but I know no one would listen, nor would it be knowledgable advice.

I will always be a Braves fan and will always support the team, but I also have a feeling this is going to be a long summer…

tiger297

June 19th, 2012
3:08 pm

scoots – aske braveone see if he can help you out

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
3:09 pm

I write a weekly letter to the Braves explaining WHY they are such a poorly run, lazy, country club organization and HOW other more modern organizations are passing them by the minute.

Do they ever write back? :-)

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
3:10 pm

I figure you save the good ones for here, tiger. I did see ‘OB answer a question of yours the other day… I forget what.

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 19th, 2012
3:10 pm

Brewers Designate Brooks Conrad For Assignment

Get him! We need his .075 BA!

Cuban outfielder Yasel Puig aims to become a free agent soon so that he can sign with an MLB team by July 2

Torres has tentatively scheduled a showcase for scouts in Mexico City later this week. Puig, a 6′3″ 210 pound outfielder, has two seasons of experience in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He’s more polished than Jorge Soler but less seasoned than Yoenis Cespedes,

Should the Braves target him?

Good afternoon everybody..

Heisenberg

June 19th, 2012
3:11 pm

i’m a joker i’m a smoker i’m a midnight toker I get my lovin’ on the run

Braveone

June 19th, 2012
3:11 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,873 comments, Efrim led the way with 84 posts. There were 220 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

Rank Poster Frequency

1 Efrim 84
2 VaBravesFan 61
3 ncscoots 56
4 nolie 53
5 phil 45
6 JNick 43
7 ChattTownBrian 38
8 The A Bomb 38
9 CraZy 37
10 Ralph 37
11 McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô: 35
12 usnavyvolfaninva 34
13 Tomahawk Mafia 32
14 brian 30
15 cabravesfan 30
16 Murph 29
17 TheOnlyBravesFan 28
18 Brava 26
19 Doofus(Goober and Gomer’s Smart Brother) 26
20 Ease 25
21 MFin04 25
22 ncbravesfan90 25
23 Bat Masterson 24
24 Jimmy 24
25 jeffrey d 24

Murph

June 19th, 2012
3:12 pm

Buy, hey, no one can force you out of incorrectly believing that performance or results in 8, 10, 12 games means that a player is destined to keep up the pace of those last 8, 10, 12 games in perpetuity.

Yeah, I can remember thinking last season that there was no way Heyward’s poor performance would continue… but… ummmmm… well, bad example.

DAP

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

kwajbraves Sorry for the double post.

thats ok. shaun just posted the same thing for the 10,000th time.

that one, BAS?

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

bravesgrl4life

Whats happening chief, Thanks for Waking me up this Morning!

Did ur niece throw up at the Game u went to?

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

Good grief, I’m showing up too high, too often, on the dang list, LOL. Gotta find some furniture to build.

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

Bring Back Connie!!!

least of the east

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

Wren can’t make deals when there aren’t injuries. when the Braves are cornered, he’ll be fleeced. we have 5 starters with Teheran. how often is a 5th starter needed. Medlen can be thrown in if needed.
the guy to deal is Bourn, not prospects. he’s leaving anyway.
too bad the Braves wasted so many draft picks in 2006-they should have been ready 6 yrs later.
Minor apparently loses his stuff from a stretch position when men are on base. maybe he should use a full windup all the time and have them steal bases instead.
with the trio of Liberty Media, Wren and Fredi G, I have full confidence that we are not making the playoffs the rest of the decade, if they last that long.
let’s forfeit the next 2 in NY and move north to help the red Sox get back in the AL East race.

Heisenberg

June 19th, 2012
3:14 pm

Should the Braves target Yasel Puig ?
************************************

The last guy like that Braves targeted has not exactly lit up minor league pitching.

Murph

June 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

Sounds like the Braves went just about all-in on Soler, so they might as well do the same for Puig… if he shows well in Mexico City, that is.

Man, I’d hate to be the scout sent to Mexico City to see a player.

DAP

June 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

nickgranite I hate to say it but the braves have never had the rotation to get to the World Series this season. We simply do not match up with the aces around the league through a 7 game series.

you from elberton, nick? anyways, i disagree…with beachy in the fold, the braves had starting pitching to compete with any team in the playoffs. not having him hurts, but the pitching is still good.

Bay Area Steve

June 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

We’ve got feverish convincing, letter writing, and enemas.

What was that y’all were sayin’ about the night-shift?

Tomahawkin

June 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

Braveone

June 19th, 2012
3:11 pm

From the previous blog which had 1,873 comments, Efrim led the way with 84 posts. There were 220 different poster names. Here are the Top 25:

I need to Step My Game Up!

ncscoots

June 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

let’s forfeit the next 2 in NY and move north to help the red Sox get back in the AL East race.

Another p***y.

TheOnlyBravesFan

June 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

17 TheOnlyBravesFan 28

Oh, how the mighty have fallen…

CrαZy

June 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

I need to lower my number a bit!!

Ease

June 19th, 2012
3:17 pm

NYBRAVESFAN

June 19th, 2012
3:17 pm

How nice is it that the Yankees have a guy like cc to rely on. How nice is it that the lowely Mets have Johan to rely on . How nice is it that the Nationals have studs like Strasberg and Gio to rely on. This team needs an ace, a stopper. Someone on our team who prevents us from having a 5 game or 6 game or 8 game losing streak.

Lets pony up and trade for Greinke and sign him for a long term deal. The braves have money for next year and are in dire need of a real number 1 ..

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