Braves GM Wren did impressive renovation within budget

A starting rotation that was supposed to be a strength for the Braves this season had turned into an injury- and inconsistency-plagued weakness by early summer. And given the team’s payroll constraints, it didn’t look like they had many viable options to fix it without mortgaging the future and getting upper management to approve a budget-busting trade.

So give GM Frank Wren credit for somehow managing to not only plug holes on the cheap, but actually make this rotation as formidable as it was supposed to be.

Maholm fired a three-hit shutout against the Mets on Friday in his second start since being traded to the Braves. (AP photo)

Maholm fired a three-hit shutout against the Mets on Friday in his second start since being traded to the Braves. (AP photo)

To put it another way, name another team that made midseason moves that look as astute now as Wren’s signing of Ben Sheets off the scrap heap and trading for Cubs lefty Paul Maholm, who threw a three-hit shutout Friday in his second start for the Braves.

Not to mention getting outfielder Reed Johnson in that same trade with the Cubs, for which the Braves gave up promising but thus far injury-plagued pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino, who’s recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Sure, it’s too soon to know if Sheets’ elbow will hold up or if Maholm can keep pitching anywhere near as well as he has for the past two months with the Cubs and now Braves. But so far, those two pitchers are a combined 5-2 with a 1.50 ERA in seven starts for the Braves – all seven of them quality starts.

And get this: Sheets and Maholm together will make less than $4 million during their time with the Braves this season, which includes more than $1 million in bonuses that Sheets will earn as long as he stays healthy and in the rotation. And that doesn’t include the money that the Cubs sent to the Braves in the trade to help offset the salaries of Maholm and Johnson.

One other thing: Maholm is under contractual control for 2013 through a $6.75 team option that’s starting to look like a stunning bargain. I mean, this is a guy who looks like he’s really figured out something. He’s 10-7 with a 3.50 ERA, including 6-1 with a 1.20 ERA and sub-.200 opponents’ batting average in his past eight starts.

Last night he faced a top Mets prospect, Matt Harvey, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft. Harvey showed his considerable potential while holding the Braves to two runs and two hits in six innings, though he also issued five walks including one to Michael Bourn to start the game. Jason Heyward homered two batters later.

“You look over there at the guy they threw out there [Harvey], he’s got great stuff,” said David Ross, who handled the catching Friday night while Brian McCann rested a sore shoulder three days after getting a cortisone shot. “The guy’s throwing 96, throwing hard. But he’s got to learn how to pitch. Once he learns how to pitch he’s going to be really good.

“Pauly, when you’re throwing 87 [mph] out there, you’ve got to know how to pitch from the get-go. And he’s gotten nothing but better as he’s gotten older. There’s something to be said about veteran pitchers that know what they want to do to every hitter and know how to read hitters like catchers do and try to get on the same page as catchers. And that’s why you try to bring young pitchers along and try to let those guys work through things and figure it out. Because this isn’t Triple-A, this is the big leagues. So you’ve got to go through some bumps and bruises.”

Ross pointed out how Mike Minor has gone through his share of difficulties and learned from it, and how he’s now begun to come into his own in the Braves rotation. It’s a strong rotation now, with Sheets and Maholm joining Tim Hudson, Minor and Kris Medlen, who makes his third start tonight since moving from the bullpen.

When Tommy Hanson comes back from the DL in a week or so, the Braves may go to a six-man rotation for the remainder of a 20-games-in-20-days stretch that began Friday. But then what? Too soon to know what move they’ll make, and we’ve all seen how these decisions often take care of themselves when someone gets hurt or struggles or whatever.

But again, the Braves are back in a position they thought they were in at the start of the season, having more legit starters than can fit in a five-man rotation. Obviously a good position to be in, as all those teams with inexperienced or just plan bad starters at the back end of their rotation can attest.

And without Wren’s midseason moves, including the decision to finally move Medlen from the ‘pen to the rotation, the Braves would not be on the roll they’re on now, which includes a 23-8 record and 2.90 ERA in their past 31 games, and 13-3 record and 1.76 ERA in their past 16.

We’ve all picked apart and criticized him for trades or signings that fell through or didn’t work out well in the past. But if you can’t see that Wren has done a fine job renovating this team on a budget, well, then you might be looking at the situation from a jaundiced point of view.

• Maholm’s night: Just a couple of notes to follow up on Maholm’s three-hit shutout, which included five strikeouts and no walks. He did it in 95 pitches (64 strikes), the fewest by a Braves pitcher in a shutout since future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw back-to-back four-hitters in September 2000, in 90 pitches against Arizona and 89 pitches against Florida.

Hudson and Brandon Beachy each threw a five-hit shutout this season, Beachy with no walks and Hudson with three walks. Randall Delgado and three relievers combined on a two-hitter in 2-1 win against Miami on June 6, the season low for hits by Braves pitchers.

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Johnson LF
  3. Heyward  RF
  4. Chipper 3B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. McCann C
  7. Uggla 2B
  8. Janish SS
  9. Medlen P

Meds vs. Johan: Interesting matchup tonight, with Medlen facing Mets veteran Johan Santana in his first start back from the DL. Santana long dominated the Braves but had terrible luck and run support and didn’t get many wins to show for it.

Now he’s 3-8 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 starts against the Braves, including 0-2 with a 14.21 ERA in his past two of three starts against them this season.

Santana won’t have to face the DL’d Matt Diaz, who is 19-for-37 (.514) with a homer against him. But who’d have imagine, the aforementioned Reed Johnson has been even better against the lefty. The ex-Cub is 16-for-31 (.516) with two homers against Santana.

What to make of Santana? He went 2-0 with a .070 opponents’ average in back-to-back shutouts against San Diego and St. Louis May 26 and June 1, including 134 pitches in the June 1 no-hitter against the Cardinals. That’s 26 pitches more than he’s thrown in any other start, and video of manager Terry Collins during that game suggested the Mets manager was on pins and needles with every mounting pitch in the last couple of innings. Perhaps for good reason.

Since that 134-pitch no-hitter, Santana is 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA and .305 opp average in eight starts, including 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA and .452 OA in his past three (28 hits and six homers in 12-2/3 innings).

He went on the DL with a sprained ankle that occurred when he was covering first base on a grounder by – wait for it – Reed Johnson, who stepped on Santana’s twisted ankle on the play. That was in the first of his three bad starts before the DL assignment, but Mets officials think Santana might’ve developed some shoulder fatigue from compensating for the ankle injury.

I’d expect to see Johnson in the lineup tonight, probably in left field. The question is, would Fredi Gonzalez move Martin Prado to second base in place of Dan Uggla, who is 1-for-21 with 12 strikeouts against Santana? I doubt it, only because it would be the second time in four games that Gonzalez made that move, after he rested Uggla against Cole Hamels, another lefty against whom he’s struggled.

And Prado, who has cooled off lately, also hasn’t done a whole lot in his career against Santana (5-for-24).

Heyward's two-run homer in the first inning Friday was his career-high 19th.

Heyward's two-run homer in the first inning Friday was his career-high 19th.

Gonzalez didn’t want to “mess him up” against Hamels when Uggla was finally starting to come out of his epic slump. That strategy seemed to work, because Uggla has continued his his hopeful offensive resurgence, including a two-run homer (and two walks) in Friday’s 4-0 win.

But the two might come to blows if Gonzalez benches him twice in four games. (Kidding about them coming to blows. OK, slightly kidding.)

• Uggla halts the ugh: The second baseman is 11-for-39 (.282) with six extra-base hits, 12 RBIs and an .878 OPS in his past 11 games, after batting .110 with four extra-base hits, nine RBIs and a .361 OPS – not OBP, but OPS – in his previous 42 games. And in his past three games, Uggla is 6-for-10 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs.

“Who knows, man? It comes and goes so fast,” Uggla said before Friday’s game. “I felt good the last two games, so I’m just going to keep trying to do what I’ve been doing.”

And then he did that, walking twice and hitting a two-run homer in the eighth inning to push the Braves’ lead to 4-0.

“The last two years, man, for whatever reason it just was harder to find,” he said of his timing at the plate. “Who knows? I have no idea, no reason for it at all. But last year, once I found it it clicked and it stayed for the rest of the year….

“I was feeling good early on [this year] for the first two months of the season, and then all of a sudden, I don’t know what happened. Hopefully right now is the turning point. It’s the grind of continuing to stay positive and keep working and trying to go in the right direction.”

For nearly two months this season, we watched Uggla strike out and hit sky-high pop-ups.

“It’s really frustrating when you feel like you’re on a pitch, like you’re on time, and you hit it on the barrel and it just goes straight up,” he said. “It’s not a fun feeling. You’re going to have those games every once in a while, but to have to deal with it day after day … oh, man, enough’s enough. Then you start to think, why is this happening? Why am I popping balls up that I should be hitting on a line or out of the ballpark?

“…. There’s different styles of hitting. My thing is, I’ve got to be on time. I’ve got to be on time with the fastball and be able to recognize off-speed [pitches] and make the adjustment. And if you’re not on time, if you’re late, it creates problems. There’s other guys that get their [front] foot down real early, but if they’re feet are in the wrong position or if they’re too closed or something, then it causes problems. Mine, it’s not so much where my hands are, it’s just being on time.”

• OK, let’s close this and get over to Citi Field. We’ll close with a Dylan tune that, according to many accounts, he was inspired to write after being refused a hotel room due to his unkempt appearance (this was in the early ‘60s). Love this song, which you can hear by clicking here.

Bob+Dylanv

“WHEN THE SHIP COMES IN” by Bob Dylan

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin’
Like the stillness in the wind
’Fore the hurricane begins
The hour when the ship comes in

Oh the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ship comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin’
And the ship’s wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin’

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreamin’
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it’s for real
The hour when the ship comes in

Then they’ll raise their hands
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands
But we’ll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

1,156 comments Add your comment

ColoradoBravesFan

August 11th, 2012
2:50 pm

ColoradoBravesFan

August 11th, 2012
2:51 pm

OK now guess I should actually read the Blog….

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
2:53 pm

Our Bravos are 14-1 when Kris Medlen starts.

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
2:58 pm

Johan Santana is 0-3 with an ERA of 13.50 in the month of August while giving up 13 earned runs in 12.2 innings.

waffleboy

August 11th, 2012
2:58 pm

Moves were great, but they do not foretell any future success. There are tons of questions about this team and it doesn’t look like the Nats are gonna cool off any time soon. Now the Braves face the prospect of playing the Pirates or the Dodgers in a one-game playoff if they do make the playoffs. Considering they may enter the postseason with he second-best record in the NL (and maybe all of baseball), that’s nothing to be excited about.

Yes Way José

August 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

Thanks for being a wet blanket, waffleboy. Geesh.

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
3:05 pm

I’ll admit that while I was deeply disappointed and angry at Frank Wren earlier in the season, the man has seemingly redeemed himself.

Along with Ben Sheets, Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson. The previous additions of Chad Durbin, Paul Janish and Juan Francisco have proven to be invaluable. Wren has done an incredible job of cobbling together and adding to this squad of players on the cheap.

Well done and marvelously achieved!

ChattTownBrian

August 11th, 2012
3:07 pm

DOB, not your best work, but still a pretty solid, mid rotation type blog.

brian

August 11th, 2012
3:10 pm

superb blog by DOB. Who would have thought that this would be our rotation at the start of the year? 2 new people, Hudson, Minor, and Medlen.

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
3:11 pm

Our Bravos have very little control or say in the success of the Washington Nationals. Other than to congratulate our rivals while trying to keep the division race close. So there is no shame in finishing second, should the Nats end up with the best record in baseball.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
3:11 pm

waffleboy is correct. I’ve been saying the same thing because the Nats aren’t gonna falter. One reason why are that there are very few teams capable on beating the Nats or the Braves right now. Think about it. There are the Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Braves and Nats (maybe the DBacks???). The rest are just finishing out the year and those teams have to be swept to call it a good series. Can’t count on them beating the Nats or anyone else.

Of course looking at the whole picture objectively and realistically makes some think you are negative or throwing wet blankets.

ChattTownBrian

August 11th, 2012
3:14 pm

brian, this rotation now actually doesn’t surprise me. Baseball, anything can happen. Our rotation was of question marks to begin the season for me anyways. Only surprise, if you want to call it that, is Beachy’s season ending injury. Other than that we all knew, or should know, that Wren is pretty sneaky and slick with trades and sometimes off the scrap signings. No surprise Sheets and now Maholm are here doing well.

JoshTown

August 11th, 2012
3:14 pm

“…which includes a 23-8 record and 2.90 ERA in their past 31 games, and 13-3 record and 1.76 ERA in their past 16.” I knew we were on a roll, but seeing those kind of numbers really puts it in perspective. Everyone complaining about the Nats needs to chill. Braves can’t really play better than what they have been. Let’s enjoy the ride and the cards fall where they may. Can’t control how Washington and whoever they’re facing are playing, only us. Keep the pressure on the Mets, come home and have a great home stand. Go Braves. Thanks, DOB!

chris watson

August 11th, 2012
3:19 pm

So why was everyone down on Wren in the first place? Have you looked at his track record while always dealing with budget restraints? Oh hold on…I think I know the answer…the people on this blog seem to forget that there are 30+ other teams out there all trying to win and very few of them do as well as the Braves year in and year out. In short most of you know little to nothing about baseball and even less about business.

ChattTownBrian

August 11th, 2012
3:20 pm

See this used to not happen where we’d be coasting along beating up teams, especially in our division, but have another team a step or two ahead of us the whole way. Nats teams didn’t exist for us through the run. Closing, I think, would’ve been the ‘91 Dodgers and ‘93 Phillies. Correct me if I’m wrong.

ncbravesfan90

August 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

1. Michael Bourn (L) CF
2. Reed Johnson (R) LF
3. Jason Heyward (L) RF
4. Chipper Jones (S) 3B
5. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
6. Brian McCann (L) C
7. Dan Uggla (R) 2B
8. Paul Janish (R) SS
9. Kris Medlen (S) P

Kat

August 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

“@Braves: Tonight’s lineup at NYM (7:10, PTV/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Johnson 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Janish 6 Medlen 1″

Venice Jim

August 11th, 2012
3:22 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup at NYM (7:10, PTV/680AM/BRN): Bourn 8 Johnson 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Janish 6 Medlen 1

ChattTownBrian

August 11th, 2012
3:24 pm

Hey what’s tonight’s lineup?

Heisenberg

August 11th, 2012
3:24 pm

I have not seen Uggla behind much. Not sure what he is talking about there. If anything was off with this timing he has been ahead pulling most of his best contact foul down left field line before those pop-ups and strikeouts. But he going good now so we will just roll with it.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 11th, 2012
3:25 pm

Ooohh…BMac’s in the lineup. Now once the clock hits about 7:15 at the party tonight, I’m gonna be more on-edge than I might already be…

ChattTownBrian

August 11th, 2012
3:27 pm

Have a feeling if Bourn is too expensive that we’ll go hard after Victorino. Don’t think he’ll demand as many $.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

chris

Don’t know how often you blog but all the praise of last night will turn to throwing complaint bombs if we get about 4 hits and the other team gets 10 and we lose.

Wren appears to be what any GM has to be and thats pretty level headed and sometimes lucky. Mahalom deal was a steal and miracle deal compared to what the Dempster deal was gonna be(Got lucky on that one)

Again, take away a deal or two he has made his successes has certainly outweighed the flops.

brian

August 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

you having a party McFann??

brian

August 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

like that Braves lineup. Insert simmons for Janish and that is a top notch lineup

semiballcoach

August 11th, 2012
3:28 pm

you can pat wren on the back all you want, but it’s the scouts who recommended all those players
who should receive some recognition

DAWG POUND

August 11th, 2012
3:31 pm

“Moves were great, but they do not foretell any future success”

Please tell me what does in anything! When you find that crystal ball share with the rest of the “future”. Personally, I’d give a rats arse about baseball. I want to know the Powerball numbers for the next drawing!… But that’s just me!

SoWeGa Fanatic

August 11th, 2012
3:31 pm

Nats are due to stumble. Even good teams, which they are, hit bad streaks. They haven’t yet, as I recall.

John Leonard

August 11th, 2012
3:31 pm

Wren has done a excellent job this year,but unless they start brain transplants,Fredi is still Fredi.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 11th, 2012
3:32 pm

brian

I’m not—it’s at my aunt and uncle’s house (not that they’re my only aunt and uncle…but I digress…). Sort of a “back-to-school” type thing…

Not going over till about five…they may put the game on at the party, ya never know…

Bravefaninok

August 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman

Braves lineup: Bourn 8 Johnson 7 Heyward 9 Chipper 5 Freeman 3 McCann 2 Uggla 4 Janish 6 Medlen 1

Denny Lemaster

August 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Mahom threw a nice game last night. But, the playoffs are rarely won by pitchers who can barely hit 87 MPH. Mahom and Sheets will be no problem for the likes of the AL big boy bats and will struggle to get the Braves out of the first round, IF they get by the one game playoff thing this year. Few soft tossers do well in the post season. Glavine had a few good games and some bad ones also.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Scouts are where it starts for sure. They get in there, hash it out, give opinions but then the man that signs the deals has to make a decision and for the most part he has done that well.

nc fan

August 11th, 2012
3:34 pm

what is th line up tonight?

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:35 pm

DOB cursed us well today. Great work but bound to make us lose….sigh

SoWeGa Fanatic

August 11th, 2012
3:36 pm

David O'Brien

August 11th, 2012
3:37 pm

Braves lineup: Bourn CF, Johnson LF, Heyward RF, Chipper 3B, Freeman 1B, McCann C, Uggla 2B, Janish SS, Medlen P

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
3:37 pm

The Reds Billy Hamilton could be trade material. Especially when looking at their present roster depth. Now don’t misunderstand where I’m coming from because teams are not in the habit of trading top position prospects.It’s just that Hamilton is blocked and the Reds seemingly don’t put much stock in fleet feet as much as they should.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
3:37 pm

SWGF

Again, Nats wont stumble unless you put a hex on those starting pitchers they have and 1 or 2 of them come up lame.

Denny

I agree with you. Power pitchers are where its at in the playoffs.

itsi

August 11th, 2012
3:37 pm

mcfann

wonder how old you are since u have a love affair with mcann

15?

nc fan

August 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

Enter your comments here

nc fan

August 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

i is what it is

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

Glavine’s 8 inning masterpiece in game 6 in 95 was awful….pathetic.

Are you nuts, Denny?

nc fan

August 11th, 2012
3:40 pm

since santanna has this era watch him own us tonite

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:43 pm

Itsi – give it a rest with mcfann

Mark

August 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

Itsi

I second phil

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

Enter your comments here

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 11th, 2012
3:47 pm

I slipped…

phil give it a rest with mcfann

What—has he said other stuff? I guess it takes all kinds…

brian

August 11th, 2012
3:48 pm

scouts do ge a lot of credit but the buck still stops with Wren.

brian

August 11th, 2012
3:50 pm

there is no medical justification to shut down Stephen Stras. at 180 innings. None whatsoever. They should let him pitch.

As an aside I want to go against the Nats and pass them with their best players there

NYC Guy

August 11th, 2012
3:52 pm

Heading to the game tonight. Looking forward to seeing Chipper and the boys. Hey DOB, if you are here tonight make sure you get a Shake Shack burger. Danny Meyer food is always the best!

TexasBrave

August 11th, 2012
3:52 pm

I realize Dan would be pretty upset if Fredi held him out again. But Santana has owned him and Uggs is just now working his way out of a long funk. Lets not put him in a position where he starts another long slide.

Fredi should have held Uggla out, Dan would get over it.

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:54 pm

Nothing i know of. Just hoping he’ll shut it now while still ahead.

luvthosedawgs68

August 11th, 2012
3:54 pm

Two more notes on Mr. Maholm’s shutout from last night: He is the first Brave pitcher since 1998 to throw a complete game shutout in NY (John Smoltz). He is also the first Brave lefty to throw a complete game shutout against the Mets since 1992 (Tom Glavine). Pretty impressive stuff!

Keith

August 11th, 2012
3:54 pm

DOB,

I brought this up last week. Good stuff!

If Sheets continues to pitch above well or even continue his strong play…and Malholm continues to pitch fairly well, Wren will be up for GM of the year. :)

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:56 pm

Bench uggla for his own good tonight!

Ted M

August 11th, 2012
3:56 pm

When is Simmons supposed to be back?

phil

August 11th, 2012
3:57 pm

Cy Maholm was stout for sure!

phil

August 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

Chokelson finally birdies….

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

DOB Wrote:

• Maholm’s night: Just a couple of notes to follow up on Maholm’s three-hit shutout, which included five strikeouts and no walks. He did it in 95 pitches (64 strikes), the fewest by a Braves pitcher in a shutout since future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw back-to-back four-hitters in September 2000, in 90 pitches against Arizona and 89 pitches against Florida.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Exactly. What Maholm accomplished last night can’t be understated. Pauly not only went the distance, he in effect gave our entire bullpen a two day break when including the off day on Thursday. Such continuing efforts from our rotation will guarantee our bullpen doesn’t get over worked down the stretch.

lee maye

August 11th, 2012
4:02 pm

Yes, let’s give Wren credit for Johnson, Sheets, and Maholm. Shouldn’t we also give Wren the blame for a 10 mil buyout/payout/loss on Lowe and a 13.3 mil foolish mistake on Uggla? Not to mention Melke and Blanco. Not to mention Resop at Pitt; not to mention failure to trade JJ when he had a chance and now to get nothing. And, Francoeur given away for nothing. Shouldn’t we also mention the failed Livan? Shouldn’t be also mention that Wren could have had Medlen winning all year long and that it took him 3 months to do that? So, let’s not credit him to much. He has done a ton of things wrong. And, hiring Fredi may be his biggest mistake.

Keith

August 11th, 2012
4:02 pm

Wren = GM of the year if Braves make playoffs. :)

Venice Jim

August 11th, 2012
4:05 pm

Good to see dyspeptic ranting alive and well…

Bat Masterson

August 11th, 2012
4:06 pm

Mahom and Sheets will be no problem for the likes of the AL big boy bats and will struggle to get the Braves out of the first round, IF they get by the one game playoff thing this year. _ Denny Lemaster

Denny, my man, the Braves are a National League team.

Bat Masterson

August 11th, 2012
4:08 pm

McFann has become quite the party animal.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:08 pm

IMO it is crazy if freddi considered benching Uggla because he is scared to let him face a pitcher.

Let the guy grow up, compete and battle on the field with his team mates to win an important game against a quality pitcher. I’d be willing to bet that there are pitchers out there that experienced great success against Aaron and Chipper but I never heard of them being held out of a game because of who was standing on the bump! Another thing is they would not stand for it.

Uggla is hitting it ok right now – Let him do his job and give him a chance to be a leader by example. What does it say to the other players to hold him out because he has struggled against a guy while the others are banged up, bruised, tired (Prado, Bourn…)

Let him play!!!!!!!!!!!

MAD

August 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

Not to mention Melke and Blanco

Everyday I awake from a deep sleep and ask why Blanco was let go.

Please, make a little more sense and better effort next time.

arizona brave

August 11th, 2012
4:14 pm

We still need to get some pitching,Minor and Hanson are not going to cut it.

Mountain Braves Fan

August 11th, 2012
4:17 pm

Assuming offers for Bourn begin at 5 years and $75 million and go up from there, Victorino could be a good alternative for the Braves. Victorino is a switch-hitter, which would help make the lineup a little less left handed, good defensive centerfielder, speed and leadoff ability. His career OPS is about 70 points higher than Bourn’s. He is a professional hitter who has struck out about half as frequently (once every 8 or so at bats) in his career as Bourn (once every 4 or 5 at bats). Because Victorino is a couple of years older than Bourn, and he is having a down season statistically, he will likely get a contract that is shorter in duration (3 or 4 years as opposed to 5, 6 or even more years for Bourn) and fewer dollars per year than Bourn. Victorino likes LA and says he would like to stay there, but the Dodgers already have a pretty good centerfielder named Kemp, and they are rumored to be considering going after Josh Hamilton for left field.

Bat Masterson

August 11th, 2012
4:17 pm

Hillbilly

I was googling something last night and ended up on a 2007 blog announcing John Schuerholz’s giving up the GM job. So I was reading the comments and came across one from you that y’all were going to have a baby. A naming contest broke out , journalist jimmy smith was one of the ringleaders and Braveheart was really good, too. Braveheart suggested some old gunslinger names, Bat Masterson was one of them, funny. Old Bravy has good taste, I miss him around here.

TexasBrave

August 11th, 2012
4:17 pm

It would be one thing if Uggla was a rookie but he is not. Santana has owned Uggla to the tune of one hit in 21 at bats with 12 strike outs. Now if Uggs had not been struggling recently then no big deal, but he has and we need him to continue his good hitting.

Bench him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Couch Tater

August 11th, 2012
4:19 pm

Just watched Joost Luiten make a putt at the PGA.

…Would any MLB player name their son Joost?

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
4:19 pm

Like I keep saying Uggla’s the first player ever allowed to be on a major league rehab assignment.

1 2/3 seasons and counting….. 3 1/3 remaining. Oh boy. Get a hug.

1991 braves

August 11th, 2012
4:19 pm

Hope the braves don’t move Maholm to the bull pen when the head case Hanson gets off of D.L. If Maholm continues to have quality starts, put Hanson in bull pen until he gets his head screwed on straight. Hanson’s E.R.A. is now 4.30, which is terrible for a #2 starter. He should be delegated to the #4 spot if he remains in the rotation. He really isn’t one of the braves top 3 pitchers now. Sheets, Medlen, and Maholm are actually pitching the best of the braves starters now. They all continue to have quality starts, and that is something Hanson and even Hudson haven’t done lately. The scary thought is who would the braves start if they get into the playoffs the 1st 3 games?? You can bet brilliant fredi would start Hudson, Hanson, and probably Sheets. Wouldn’t feel too comfortable with that rotation in the playoffs. But thanks to Wren that is what the braves are stuck with. At least you want have to painfully watch Lowe this year.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:20 pm

Lee

Francoer regressed and needed a change. Blanco and Melky sucked when they were here. Livan wasn’t a risk and cost nothing and was worth a try. Medlin came off a major injury and was worked back slowly and effectively. JJ was pitching great, went to the All-Star game came back and got injured. GMs can’t predict knee injuries. And Freddi isn’t doing a bad job. Can always second guess a few moves but the players respond well to him. Uggla deal hasn’t been what we hoped for but he doesn’t swing the bat – Uggs does and based on what he had done in Miami the deal was ok.

Wren is ok

phil

August 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

Lee maye = doofus

Bat Masterson

August 11th, 2012
4:21 pm

He did it in 95 pitches (64 strikes), the fewest by a Braves pitcher in a shutout since future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw back-to-back four-hitters in September 2000, in 90 pitches against Arizona and 89 pitches against Florida. _DOB

They don’t call what Maholm did last night throwing a Maddux for nothing.

phil

August 11th, 2012
4:24 pm

Mark – well said to Lee…

Think he’ll comprehend?

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:25 pm

For Hanson to start again this year someone will have to get hurt. He isn’t as good as Huddy, Sheets, Minor, Maholm or Medlin. If anyhting, they may jerk Medlin around and say they need him in the pen but that would be a bad move IMO

njbraves

August 11th, 2012
4:25 pm

‘91 Braves…Why the hell would they move Malholm to the ‘pen?? Makes no sense.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

August 11th, 2012
4:25 pm

Bat M. McFann has become quite the party animal.

Ha! Yeah right…

Actually, I think this is the first since Easter…

njbraves

August 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

If you think Hanson is going to come off the DL and not be in the rotation, you’re nuts. Meds will go back to the ‘pen.

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
4:29 pm

njbraves — totally agree. We need the back-of-the-pen righty anyways and No. 5 starter not in the postseason rotation anyway.

Would like to see Medlen spot start to give some of these guys an extra day — like Hudson.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:32 pm

Probably not. It would be nice to see what Wren and the brain trust could do with deeper pockets.

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
4:32 pm

BTW Braves will miss Kershaw when the Dodgers come in next week.

phil

August 11th, 2012
4:36 pm

Hanson goes right back in the rotation, like it or not…

keylargo

August 11th, 2012
4:36 pm

Uggla is hitting again and I thought I post the stats he had last year during his 33 game hitting streak to remind those who wanted to trade or release Uggla what he can produce.

His slash line – .377 .438 .762 1.200

Stats projections for a year:

241 Hits

25 Doubles

74 Home Runs

158 RBI’s

Not saying he going to do it again, but he has hit remarkably consistent during his career.

1991 braves

August 11th, 2012
4:37 pm

Really NJ, are you the expert now on this blog?? Since you are into name calling like most immature people on this blog. If i had a choice of who should be in the pen when Hanson comes back, it would be Hanson. And speaking of NUTS, you would be nuts to keep him in rotation ahead of Medlen or Maholm with his E.R.A. and i’m sure you aren’t aware of the fact that Hanson is the only braves starter that has allowed more hits than innings pitched. NUTS?????

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:37 pm

I didn’t know we were talking about post season rotations. Right now, Medlin is a better starter than Hanson and to go into a game with the lesser starter on the mound and the better one sitting in the pen especially at this time of the year would not be smart in my opinion.

Oh, and lets refrain from the name calling and just give and take opinions respectfully.

phil

August 11th, 2012
4:39 pm

We have njbraves….no delewarebraves?

Brave New World

August 11th, 2012
4:41 pm

Wren has done a very good job since he took over. The Braves were a team on the skids, and he turned them into winners in a relatively short time within demanding budget constraints. GO WREN! GO BRAVES!

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
4:42 pm

Hanson doesn’t fit in the ‘pen — not equipped for late-game situations and no way the robot puts him in the ‘pen. Medlen is THE fit for the ‘pen at this point.

Hanson rarely sees the 7th inning and NEVER sees the 8th inning of any start — doesn’t hold runners and is not a reliever. He’s in the rotation despite any numbers you could pull out. That’s the way the coaching staff works.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:47 pm

A Bomb

Maybe they’ll reconsider but we’ll see. Have they said where he would throw before returning. Surely he’ll have a rehab start or two before they just throw him back in there. That’ll probably make the difficult call a little easier or maybe he comes back stronger. I think the funky motion has done him in. No velo = Not much success for him.

The A Bomb

August 11th, 2012
4:49 pm

Funky delivery + years of pitching year-round out here in SoCal travel ball scene = burned out arm.

Got to preserve him and deal him while he still has SOME value. Minnesota would be a good spot for him — maybe some kind of deal for Span or someone like that.

njbraves

August 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

‘91Braves…I didn’t say it was the best move, I said it is what will happen. Not sure why you keep bringing up Malholm, he’s a starter, not a reliever, same as Hanson. I’m well aware of how Hanson has pitched lately, but he’s going back into the rotation whether you cry about it or not.

1991 braves

August 11th, 2012
4:51 pm

i will agree with one thing you said, and that is this coaching staff works differently from most N.L. staffs. Just hope going down the stretch run, the braves don’t have one of their best starters sitting in the pen while another starter continues to struggle and continues to get lit up like a xmas tree.

Mark

August 11th, 2012
4:52 pm

I’m afraid he is only a step or two behind JJ right now unfortunately. You are definately right about him being no fit in the pen. Never would consider that. I’m afraid his fit isn’t with the Braves at all right now.

monty

August 11th, 2012
4:53 pm

I believe if Kris conitinues to pitch well (as he has) he will not lose a starting spot, unless TH comes back off the DL and shows he’s back to his pre-All-Star ways. If Hanson comes back and looks similar(struggling) as he had his past 4 starts, have to be a fool to not go with Medlen. This is a pennant race and nothing should be handed to young starting pitchers. We gave JJ every opportunity and TH will be given opportunity to prove he’s back, but we have to be realistic if he isn’t.

Birdhair

August 11th, 2012
4:56 pm

How can we give Wren credit for spending wisely? KK, Lowe, Struggla, McOut (though McOut was a trade). KK, Lowe, and Uggla were egregious overpays, especially KK and Lowe. Now, if we weren’t on a middle market budget and had money like the yankees then the impact of the poor spending would not be quite as impactful.

Wren is spending $10M on a pitcher who should be serving drinks at the Chop House!!

I just saw KK. He was on buford highway laughing his ass off!!

iTiSi

August 11th, 2012
5:07 pm

All make sure to notice, as I am on here off and on. There is a difference in “iTiSi” and “itsi”. Have just noticed that one today, so don’t confuse those two. Look at them closely, as I am obviously the “smart and clever one” that everybody loves. I pull chains a lot, sometimes intentionally and some not.

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