9:32 pm July 9, 2012, by David O'Brien
July 11th, 20124:53 pm
Have they started working on that funky-chicken of Woods yet? Or are they just gonna let him pitch the short season and work on it later?
Second-half key: At this point the Braves have only two starting pitchers they feel particularly comfortable with: Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson. So finding more consistently good outings from the 3 to 5 spots in the rotation is key. Jair Jurrjens has had decent results, though his stuff has not been particularly inspiring. Mike Minor and Randall Delgado seem to constantly be undone by one terrible inning. Ben Sheets has looked decent in Double-A rehab appearances but is obviously far from a sure thing. The Braves likely will trade for an additional starter.
Player to watch: If Minor can put his single-inning mental lapses behind him and pitch to the flashes of brilliance he has shown, the Braves would have a lot of their problems solved. Having three dependable starters is a world of difference from having only two. Minor has the stuff and has shown the toughness, at times, to be a reliable No. 3 starter. If he continues to struggle, the Braves may be forced to make a trade they otherwise wouldn’t want to make.
Best case: The Nationals shut Strasburg down and the Braves slowly reel them in, with good pitching and offensive performances from Minor, Jonny Venters, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla, while continuing to get the superb efforts they’ve received all year from Michael Bourn, Jason Heyward, Martin Prado, Hudson and Craig Kimbrel.
–Franklin Rabon, Capitol Avenue Club
July 11th, 20124:54 pm
“Actually what I said was that Beltran had a history of injury (that’’s what you call missing two full seasons) and that the Braves neither had the money to sign him nor would they.”
And the risk was low-ish since it’s only a 2 year deal.
current-hate list is very easy (and perplexing)
July 11th, 20124:55 pm
Backtracking. You said all types of stuff that he’d be hurt a lot this year and that his numbers wouldn’t hold, and that he’d miss games like Chipper. He hasn’t, and he has played in 82 games so far and has a ~.950 OPS while leading the league in RBIs and being an All-Star.
July 11th, 20124:56 pm
Except some of those career stats are frontloaded and some are backloaded. I’ll take the guy who seems to be progressing, not regressing.
And here it comes down to length of contract. Bourn has managed to string together his best two offensive seasons in his last two seasons, but eventually that will start moving back the other way, and you’ll still be paying for what he is doing now.
Let him air it out for now, scoots. Work on it, if anything, during instructs. It’ll be interesting to see it. I have to imagine they’ll change it enough so the leap back isn’t as pronounced, though I’m not sure that will work with ya know, gravity and such.
So what if it was a two year deal? Where in hell do you think the Braves would have gotten the $13 mil he cost this year?
July 11th, 20124:57 pm
according to what I am looking at 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 were pretty equal years in the show. I suspect this year is due to the fact the entire team is slumping offensively. Domino effect and all that.
I think we could expect 3 seasons of 4 WAR out of BJ and 1 or 2 in the 2 to 3 WAR range, not bad over a 6 year deal that will be less than Bourn’s.
Go ahead and put Bryce Harper on that top 10 list. Kid who would rather be in Vegas than the All-Star game. Looked like it when he couldn’t catch the ball last night…
July 11th, 20124:58 pm
The SABR folks are sure down on Tommy. I’m a believer that he can still be really, really good at 89-90mph. Just not an ace, as I once thought.
July 11th, 20124:59 pm
Damn near all we ever hear on the blog is how upset everyone is about not having any money to spend, yet they still think that we’ll go out and spend all sorts of money to get the player they want.
July 11th, 20125:00 pm
You would expect the kid to be peaking right now rather than doing whatever it is he is doing.
I’m not sure even Junior knows “whatever it is he is doing”, that might be part of the problem.
And I should have clarified the criteria for pre-hate. You can’t just pluck any old guy out of the bigs for pre-hate. We’re talking about guys who have even the tiniest, microscopic chance of wearing the tomahawk. Let’s not waste our time pre-hating guys who have less chance of becoming Braves than Ted Williams’ frozen head. The whole idea behind pre-hate is to get ready for full-on hate should the guy actually start playing for the Braves.
There. Let’s back up and try again.
I think Hanson would have been better served as a player to have had surgery and reinforced his shoulder.
speaking of bringing heat –
What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?
After about 70 nanoseconds the ball arrives at home plate. The batter hasn’t even seen the pitcher let go of the ball, since the light carrying that information arrives at about the same time the ball does. Collisions with the air have eaten the ball away almost completely, and it is now a bullet-shaped cloud of expanding plasma (mainly carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen) ramming into the air and triggering more fusion as it goes. The shell of x-rays hits the batter first, and a handful of nanoseconds later the debris cloud hits.
When it reaches the batter, the center of the cloud is still moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. It hits the bat first, but then the batter, plate, and catcher are all scooped up and carried backward through the backstop as they disintegrate. The shell of x-rays and superheated plasma expands outward and upward, swallowing the backstop, both teams, the stands, and the surrounding neighborhood—all in the first microsecond.
Danga, I don’t know if his performance peaked in 2007 or if he just had a fluke season that led to better results. Either way, I think it’s reasonable to expect something around league-average offensive production and decent defense in centerfield out of Upton for something like 4-5 more years. If his body type is any indication, and I think it is, he could probably play an adequate centerfield into his mid-30’s.
I don’t think Upton is a star. But he’s a very solid player. Bourn is probably going to get all the attention, and rightfully so. But in 5-6 years when we look back on Upton and Bourn’s next contracts, there is a good chance Upton out-plays him over the length of those next contracts. At worst, I think Upton is a very viable alternative for teams that really want a centerfielder but miss out on Bourn.
July 11th, 20125:01 pm
“Where in hell do you think the Braves would have gotten the $13 mil he cost this year?”
Braves/Frank Wren said they had the money for Grienke did they not? And they could always backload the deal.
“Ted Williams’ frozen head.”
Not having an Ace is ok, if you have a pair or set of Kings or even Queens
July 11th, 20125:02 pm
The Mets say the arterial blood clot in Dillon Gee’s pitching shoulder “has resolved” and the right-hander will be discharged from New York-Presbyterian Hospital today.
Gee will now consider additional treatment options, which include possible surgery, to “prevent a recurrence of clotting in the same location,” the team said.
July 11th, 20125:03 pm
MFin-4 -Your And Idiot.
“The SABR folks are sure down on Tommy. I’m a believer that he can still be really, really good at 89-90mph. Just not an ace, as I once thought.”
So they guy who isn’t as good getting guys out with his control/contact can be really, really good, but Jair Jurrjens can’t? Come on. If anyone can be good at 89-90mph it is Jurrjens not Hanson.
Not too many swings and misses for Tommy Hanson who doesn’t really seem like a guy who is comfortable with contact.
The whole idea behind pre-hate is to get ready for full-on hate should the guy actually start playing for the Braves
Well then that kind of limits it, doesn’t it? Greinke, Garza, Willingham, Liriano…..that’s about it.
July 11th, 20125:05 pm
Absolutely not. Shoulder is in no way like the elbow and TJ surgery. Many do not come back at all from shoulder surgery. That’s the absolute last course of action for a pitcher. Hanson had normal “wear and tear” and let’s see if another full offseason of strengthening can make things better. Wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
Well then that kind of limits it, doesn’t it?
better the list be small than filled with non-viable pre-hateables.
July 11th, 20125:06 pm
when is Harper hitting FA market?
BJ’s OPS+ as a CFer is 99. so he has basically been an average CFer so far in his career as a hitter, he does steal some bases too
Hey, did you guys hear that Matt Garza steals from orphanages?
Back load the copntract. Right. I’m more than certain that Beltran would have been thrilled about that. And how exactly do you backload a two year contract? Give him half a mil this year and $25.5 mil next? Sheesh.
Not to mention that even if Grienke WERE brought in this year with a trade and a long term contract, he wouldn’t be costing $13 mil (like Beltran), or more than that THIS year.
July 11th, 20125:07 pm
nolie, did you watch “Perception” on TNT last night? Pretty good and your kind of show, I think. The return of Covert Affairs was excellent (although confusing, I don’t remember the details on how it ended last year), and it had an amazing scene filmed in the Marrakech market and square.
My DVR is empty and I’m starved for something new. This time 2 months ago it was full.
Absolutely not. Shoulder is in no way like the elbow and TJ surgery.
Got that right. A pitcher is better off trying New Orleans voodoo, if it keeps the blade out of his shoulder.
Holy hell. I’m sorry, dude, but if you don’t get that Hanson’s fastball is his third best pitch, I’m not sure what to say., Hanson get’s K’s off of his above average slider and curveball. Both plus pitches. Jair Jurrjens doesn’t have this.
I mean, MFin starts this garbage. It’s not hatred for Jurrjens – it’s MFin being obsessed.
July 11th, 20125:08 pm
I reckon my list at the top fulfills said requirement
July 11th, 20125:09 pm
Regarding blacks attending baseball games, I wonder if there has been an increase in LA since Magic bought the team?
My DVR is empty and I’m starved for something new.
I’m getting hot for The Newsroom, ken. I want to be Will McAvoy when I grow up.
July 11th, 20125:10 pm
Lew no need to name call, Frank said they had money for Grienke. That is all.
Efrim…I do believe both Hanson and Jurrjens can be really good, I just think if one of them needs the MPHs it is Hanson. Either way I’m still good with Hudson, Hanson, and Jurrjens starting. Not sure about the other two but we still have options. Still didn’t try Medlen.
love it when people use BJ Upton when they obviously mean Justin. at least try to get the right guy.
July 11th, 20125:13 pm
MFin04, huh? Hanson has struck out 8.3 per 9 IP to Jurrjens’s 6.
I agree that Jurrjens can do a better job than Hanson getting guys out on contact outs. But Hanson is quite a bit better at missing bats, he’s been slightly better at avoiding walks and he’s not all that far behind Jurrjens when it comes to keeping the ball in the park.
burn notice, covert affairs, closer, longmire – keeping my DVR busy
July 11th, 20125:14 pm
who used BJ for Justin? I saw no such obvious sin…
Well you tell me, Efrim, which pitch of Hanson causes him to get so many foul balls and throw so many extra pitches thus shutting him down early for an elite pitcher?
love it when people use BJ Upton when they obviously mean Justin. at least try to get the right guy.
Verlander is dating Upton. guess which one.
July 11th, 20125:15 pm
everybody here speaking of BJ are meaning to speak of BJ, he’s a free agent next year and we have discussed him as a replacement for Bourn and what, if any, value improvement he may bring
“Regarding blacks attending baseball games, I wonder if there has been an increase in LA since Magic bought the team?”
Dunno, but after Fernando mania, the Dodgers and the Padres changed their drafting a little bit for way trying to recapture that magic. The Angels popped up El Hombre billboards as soon as they could after they signed Pujols. Probably no accident that Vlad’s last decent years were in Anaheim.
If I was black and lived in the burbs and was “8″ as was mentioned earlier, I’d like to see Heyward and Bourn or Heyward and Justin the OF.
Kinda funny, I grew up in 70s Miami and my player was… Paul Warfield. I wore my 42 shirt until it just wasn’t a shirt anymore.
July 11th, 20125:16 pm
Any long term contract can bite you in the rear. Signing a player like Bourne that can fill more than one need at the end of the contract isn’t as big a gamble as some one like Greinke. He can at least have some value down the road as a utility outfielder or bench guy. Look at Soriano and Juan Pierre. At least they have some value unlike a pitcher that could be lost forever with back or elbow injury. Still like signing Bourne long term at 17 mil. The Braves haven’t had a legit lead off guy since Furcal. He makes the whole team better.
July 11th, 20125:17 pm
have there been more than 3 Burn Notices so far?
saved Perception but have not watched it yet
sad that The Closer is about over forever
July 11th, 20125:18 pm
true BJ’s career OPS+ is 99, but his wRC+ is 108 , and he’s had 4 years of 138,113,113and 115 (mixed with one of 88 and this year’s 93)
i honestly have no idea what player a team is going to get with BJ, his age makes one suspect at least 2-4 more seasons of 115 or more is probable , but also with 2-3 seasons of under 100 mixed in….
That’s why i suspect he will get less money than Bourn per year, but probably equal years (5) or perhaps 6
Not sure 17 mil would get it done though. Such a mystery that these guys all have stellar years in the contract year. Kinda like Roswell, NM. No one really knows.
a bench guy at 15mil per? hmmmm
July 11th, 20125:19 pm
nolie, an OPS+ of 99 is probably slightly above average compared to the general population of centerfielders. It’s not superstar-level offense or anything but it’s still very solid. In OPS+, 100 is average for all players at all positions. 100 is not average at the particular player’s position.
K/9 – rhodium standard for pitchers as far as stat heads are concerned, nothing else matters. you get guys out why Ks, you are good, any other way you are just a lucky POS and we’ll keep on rooting for you to fail, all the while never manning up to this hatred.
cy young would have won a kyle farnsworth award in his day..
July 11th, 20125:20 pm
I just think if one of them needs the MPHs it is Hanson.
You could look at it another way, though. Jurrjens’ primary disability in April was that lack of separation on his fastball and his changeup. Thus, he needed more velocity to make two pitches worth spit. Ergo, velocity is more important to Jurrjens.
wRC? Who Really Cares???? j/k
NickB – ok, well, i plead guilty then for not reading close enough to all of comments. this kicked off by talking about Justin being trade bait from the d-backs. didn’t know we strayed off topic to such levels. sorry.
“But Hanson is quite a bit better at missing bats, he’s been slightly better at avoiding walks and he’s not all that far behind Jurrjens when it comes to keeping the ball in the park.”
I don’t think Jurrjens intends to miss many bats, though. And Tommy Hanson is more of a strikeout pitcher. I’m fine with both pitching the way they do, just think that Tommy has to figure out a way to be more efficient and get deeper into games. One way to do that without contact, is being able to blow guys away once in a while. That’s really all I’m saying.
Bay Area Steve
July 11th, 20125:21 pm
No point in contributing to the list. Scoots already has Swisher in his top three spots.
July 11th, 20125:22 pm
Dude – That was nothin – When I decide to call you names, you’ll wither just from porximity to your computer .
You keep making the most absrud proclamations, show obsessiveness in your views of almost everything, negativity beyond the bounds of believability and you continually think the worst of every situation and don’t expect any comment by those of us who talk sense?.
Yeah – that will happen – probably about the time we sign Beltran.
nolie, an OPS+ of 99 is probably slightly above average compared to the general population of centerfielders…Shaun
I said a 99 compared as a CFer, not his overall OPS+ which is 104 I think
ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?
you would pay Bourn $17 million a year and then in the latter years of his contract find it okay that he could be a utility guy?
….shudder…… that’s a terrible idea
i think 3rd burn notice is today
watched perception, looks ok, will give it a chance
white collar restarted yesterday
cricket, I don’t know of anyone at all who thinks K/9 is the only thing that matters. Maybe you can show us some quotes or something of someone who actually made that claim. Otherwise keep on beating on the strawman and have fun doing so.
July 11th, 20125:23 pm
We’ve seen the Hanson adjustment this year away from plus fastball option.
It’s still a fair fastball, but it’s more of a location fastball than a Curt Schilling style riser that you chase.
He’s done fine. He’s even looked gritty at times this year.
July 11th, 20125:24 pm
BAS has been here long enough to know all my secrets, LOL.
You’re right, might have to expand the list to top 15, just to accomodate my Swisher vitriol and still leave room for other pre-hated players..
Va, there was some talk early about Justin because there have been rumors about him being available, the talk lately has been about BJ for the most part, but everybody knew who they were discussing
My wife loves Covert Affairs – but I haven’t watched it as much. I’ve always been a big Burn Notice fan.
Mad Men and Walking Dead are favs of mine as well.
July 11th, 20125:25 pm
I like how the quotes for Bourn’s salary keep fluctuating. This off-season everyone was offering him max 10-12 per year. Now we are up to 15-17 per year. Kinda funny. Wonder what it will be down to at the end of the season?
Why exactly, would you think of Bourn as a utility player in five years? You base this on what?
I’m not saying we should pay out the nose for him, but isn’t that prediction somewhat absurd?
New and improved pre hate top ten
8- Zack Greinke
6- Tyler Pastornicky(pre hated for his return)
1- Dan Uggla
July 11th, 20125:26 pm
Otherwise keep on beating on the strawman and have fun doing so.
…says the man who owns a hay field. Mercy.
“I’ve always been a big Burn Notice fan.”
I actually ran out of things to watch on Netflix so I started to watch Burn Notice and knocked out the first 4 seasons pretty quickly, I guess they are on season 6 now? Gotta find season 5 to watch now….
He had a forearm injury, but I wouldn’t mind going after Colby Lewis this offseason if the Texas Rangers don’t make a qualifying offer to him..
nolie, So do you mean his adjusted OPS is 1 percent below the average centerfielder’s or do you mean is adjusted OPS is 1 percent below the league average while playing centerfield?
I don’t think a 99 OPS+ is below average compared to centerfielders.
July 11th, 20125:27 pm
USA does a nice job. A couple of the shows are lame, but overall there are some pretty good shows on there.
Bourn’s salary estimates were just guesses before, then Adam Jones signed that extension with the Orioles that averages nearly $15 mill a year, and Bourn’s going to want pretty close to that.
If somebody pays him $17 mill a year, they should be fired
July 11th, 20125:28 pm
ncscoots – Lol. Touche. Of course we all have our own little closet of strawmen. I’ve got Jurrjens. McFann has McCann. Shaun has his stats. Murph hates Diaz and Jurrjens. There is the Prado EEEEEE fan club. Efrim and Hanson. I could go on….
anybody who thought Bourn would sign for 10mil was nuts to begin with. but of course the estimates have gone up with a career year as well they should. If he stays in the same range the rest of the year you will not see it going down at the end
July 11th, 20125:29 pm
“If somebody pays him $17 mill a year, they should be fired”
Depends what team. Phililes, Red Sox, Yankees, LA Teams can afford that.
Braves can’t, but maybe we can get him at $13-15 million. We really need a CF.
July 11th, 20125:30 pm
So, who gets a one year, 12.5 million dollar offer from this group?
Erik Bedard (34)
Joe Blanton (32)
Ryan Dempster (36)
Zack Greinke (28)
Cole Hamels (29)
Edwin Jackson (29)
Hiroki Kuroda (38)
Colby Lewis (33)
Francisco Liriano (29)
Kyle Lohse (34)
Shaun Marcum (31)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Brandon McCarthy (29)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Jake Peavy (31)
Anibal Sanchez (29)
Ervin Santana (30)
Joe Saunders (32)
Carlos Zambrano (32)
July 11th, 20125:32 pm
No one from that group is worth that or available for that for one year…
July 11th, 20125:33 pm
Easy, Kyle Lohse
DOWN ON THE FARM
GCL – ORLANDO
Postponed – rain.
All-Star break. No game scheduled.
7:00 p.m. ET.
Starter DAVE FILAK savaged. The Legion down 6-2 top of the fifth.
7:05 p.m. ET @ SALEM, VIRGINIA
8:05 ET @ JACKSON, TENNESSEE.
7:00 p.m. ET AAA ALL-Star game.
July 11th, 20125:34 pm
He’ll get 3 yrs from somebody
I don’t know that Bourn will be a utility player in 5 years. I think he could very well be something like a second-division centerfielder. In fact, a team signing him should probably expect something like that in 5 years. But he’ll provide plenty of value within that 5 year span because he’s so good defensively and we shouldn’t expect him to be all that bad with the bat for a while.
July 11th, 20125:35 pm
Edwin Jackson is actually a interesting choice. He’s been inconsistent but has really good stuff.
scoots, me too on The Newsroom, I love all of Sorkin’s shows, esecially Sports Night. We need a real Will McAvoy, there’s no Cronkite or Jennings on the horizon. Unless it’s Jon Stewart.
July 11th, 20125:37 pm
Frankie and his Lohse Luv
nolie, yes this week will be the 4th Burn Notice and someone in the cast gets killed. They are teasing Sam, but I sure hope not…maybe it will be the younger brother who came back this year.
July 11th, 20125:38 pm
Edwin Jackson, any thoughts?
haven’t watched Newsroom but not a huge Sorkin fan, still i’ll give it a try when epis amass
July 11th, 20125:40 pm
Jackson = sure gets traded a lot it seems
July 11th, 20125:41 pm
yeah not sure I understand why. He’s pitched well the last couple of years. Definitely under the radar with the Nats starting pitching this season.
July 11th, 20125:42 pm
Efrim, USA has some excellent shows and a new one, Political Animals, starts this Sunday. Sigourney Weaver plays a Hillary Clinton-type and it looks very good.
My favorites right now are Falling Skies and True Blood.
if one of the Big 4 buys it, I’m prolly outta there on Burn Notice
July 11th, 20125:43 pm
decent #3/4 pitcher, not a fan of his K rate being under 8, nor his walk rate being around 3,
A team could do worse, but no way he’d be worth $10 mill a year
July 11th, 20125:44 pm
getting kinda tired of the soapy aspect of True Blood. don’t much care who Sookie lusts after myself. getting too close to the books IMO
About Hanson. There was some discussion earlier, and someone recently said that he’s got a good “location” fastball and not a Schilling type fastball that’s going to make people swing and miss regardless of location.
That’s what I was trying to get at when I was saying he was defying the odds with his success while only throwing 89-90 mph. At 94 mph, he could make a mistake with his 4-seamer and still make the guy miss or pop it up. Now, he can’t make those types of location mistakes. To me, that’s what separates the good pitchers from the great pitchers. The great ones still make the same mistakes, but their mistakes don’t get punished as often. Hanson’s breaking stuff is unhittable, no doubt. And coupled with that 94 mph heater he used to have, he had a chance to be very special. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of great pitchers that never broke 90 mph. And Hanson can still be a great pitcher with that breaking stuff. But he’s always had such overpowering stuff that he never really had to focus as much on movement or location. He just needs to evolve and rely more on movement and location if he’s not going to get that 4 mph back. Maybe even drop the 4-seamer altogether except as a get-over pitch.
Let’s just say I’ve had this bad feeling in my gut all season that at some point during this season, hitters are going to start turning around those 90 mph 4-seamers. There’s been more than a few occasions where I’m shocked that he gets away with some of those pitches. Probably that curve ball sitting in the back of the hitters mind, I guess.
July 11th, 20125:47 pm
Showtime has 2 new very funny comedies: Web Therapy with Lisa Kudrow and Episodes with Matt LeBlanc. Both are dirty and hilarious. The last 2 Web Therapy shows were mainly Lisa with Meryl Streep and both were funny as hell.
even when it was 94 his FB was never his best pitch on a regular basis. would a few MPHs be nice? Sure. but he seems to be learning to pitch rather than throw.
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