Braves could clinch to start Chipper’s last homestand

(Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

So here we are. Final homestand of the season, final regular season homestand ever for Chipper Jones, and the buildup begins in earnest toward Friday night’s tribute to the retiring third baseman.

Both Hank Aaron and Dale Murphy mentioned to me in conversations for a story in our special section (coming Sunday!!) that they’ll be there Friday for the event. There are only standing room only tickets left at this point. So there are going to be goose bumps all around, maybe even if the press box, where they aren’t allowed.

oh, the goodbyes are coming...

oh, the goodbyes are coming...

No better way for the Braves to kick it off than by clinching a playoff berth?

It would just be in keeping with the drama that Chipper and the Braves have put together for his farewell season, don’t you think? The Braves magic number to clinch at least a wild card spot is one, so if they beat the Marlins tonight, they’re in, pop the champagne and party like it’s 1999, or 1998, or 1997…

For those of us who stunk at probability in math, we still had to get some help on what happens if the Braves lose tonight. They can still clinch if both the Brewers and Dodgers lose, to the Reds and Padres, respectively. (Actually when working on a chart below, I was reminded about 2000, when the Braves had to call the commissioner’s office to verify that they could clinch that night. Don’t feel so bad anymore.)

But with young Kris Medlen on the mound going for his own piece of history tonight, the Braves are hoping nobody around here will have to wait up to see if the Padres beat the Dodgers out on the west coast.

Medlen is trying to become only the third pitcher in the live ball era (since 1920) to lead his team to 22 straight victories. Carl Hubbell of the Giants did it in 1936-1937, when the Giants were playing in New York (and lost in back-to-back World Series to the Yankees), and Whitey Ford did it in 1950 and 1953 in and around two years he spent serving in the Korean War.

(I actually came across a quote from Whitey Ford about his military service: “Army life was rough. Would you believe it, they actually wanted me to pitch three times a week.” Way.)

A lot has been written about Medlen in these past few weeks and there’s more coming. In case you missed it, here were DOB’s insights yesterday from his off day story, with some pretty priceless stuff from Medlen.

I dug up something Medlen said to me during the Braves last homestand, and I thought it gave great insight into why he is pitching the way he is – he’s in full-out attack mode.

“Guys think I’m a small guy,” said Medlen, who’s listed at 5-10. “I’m just going to try and trick them to death, but I’m coming at you. I’m coming at you. Just because you’re looking for a fastball doesn’t mean you’re going to hit it good if I locate it and use in and out. Just have confidence with it.”

Marlins match-up

Tonight’s Marlins starter, young right-hander Nate Eovaldi, is no picnic, even though his record says he’s lost 12 games, and the Braves know it. They just faced him last Wednesday in Miami and got shut out for eight innings, in what was the best outing on his career.

The Braves lost that night in extra innings for their only loss in the series. Eovaldi was throwing 97, 98 mph in the eighth inning, and he gave up only four singles.

The Marlins have lost four in a row, including a three-game sweep by the Mets, and in the last 24 hours they’ve been dealing with fallout from reliever Heath Bell calling out manager Ozzie Guillen in a radio interview. Talk about drama.

The Marlins have enough on their hands facing Medlen for the second straight outing, after he pitched eight shutout innings against them to beat ace Josh Johnson 3-0 on Wednesday. Medlen held Jose Reyes hitless in three at-bats that night and to me, that’s the key for beating the Marlins.

Braves clinchers in the past:

The iconic photo after the 1991 clincher

The iconic photo after the 1991 clincher

I was thinking that the Braves have clinched against the Marlins in the past and wanted to jog my memory. Yep they did in 2004, and in 2001 (whoa, remember that score?) Not sure quite why I decided to spend the time to look all this up, but since I did, peruse away! I go back to the day that Greg Olson, jumped into John Smoltz’s arms just for a little reference.

2010, Oct. 3, home vs. Phillies, 8-7 on last day of season

2005, Sept. 27, home vs. Rockies, 12-3

2004 Sept. 24, home vs. Marlins, 8-7

2003 Sept. 18, on an off day, when Phillies beat Marlins

2002 Sept. 9, on an off day when Mets beat Phillies

2001 Oct. 5, home vs. Marlins 20-3

2000 Sept 26, in New York vs. Mets 7-1 in makeup game

1999 Sept. 26, in Montreal vs. Expos, 10-0

1998 Sept. 14 home vs. Phillies, 4-2

1997 Sept. 22 home vs. Expos 3-2 in 11 innings

1996 Sept. 22 home vs Expos 8-2

1995 Sept 13 in Colorado, 9-7

1993 Oct. 3, home vs. Rockies, 5-3 on last day of season

1992 Sept. 29, home vs. Giants, 6-0

1991 Oct. 5, home vs. Astros, 5-2

Status on Chipper

For those coming near and far to see Chipper Jones play his last six regular season home games, if at all humanly possible, he’s going to play every game of this homestand.

From his twitter account, @realcj10: “Im playing every day this week…..get ur butts to the Ted!!!”

A couple of notable numbers for Jones: his next hit ties him with Roberto Alomar (2,724) for 57th place on the all-time hit list. If he gets three RBIs in the next three games against the Marlins he’ll tie Dale Murphy’s Atlanta record for most career RBIs against one opponent. Jones has 165 RBIs in his career vs. Marlins. Murphy had 168 RBIs against the Padres in his 15 seasons as a Brave.

I, for one, can’t believe we’re down to six home games for Chipper. But I’ve save the nostalgia for a blog another day. For now, I’ll just say lineups and an update on the status of Michael Bourn’s thumb, when I get to the ballpark this afternoon.

1,254 comments Add your comment

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
2:03 pm

Thanks Carroll!! Or is it Carolll (3 Ls)? :) I saw your tweet earlier.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
2:06 pm

Meds on the bump, we’ll win and clinch tonight. Chipper goes yicketty in the 1st with a 3-run HR to tie those records. Breaks them in the 3rd.

Go Braves! Go Chipper!

Jon

September 25th, 2012
2:08 pm

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
2:09 pm

O’Brien, are you going to the ballpark, just as a fan, for Chipper’s last home games?

JoshTown

September 25th, 2012
2:10 pm

Thanks Carroll! Got tickets for this Friday (upper deck, grr), and the Friday Wild Card game on Oct. 5th. Every get out to the Ted and show some love for #10!

rammerjammer

September 25th, 2012
2:18 pm

KC needs starting pitching and has a fine, young third baseman. In the off season, deal Minor and Francisco for Moustakas.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
2:20 pm

Don’t give them Minor. Hanson is the one who’s “expensive”. Of course, Hanson and Francisco ain’t getting us much….

Meg Griffin

September 25th, 2012
2:28 pm

Mr. Rogers how do you feel about the braves if they lose the play in game?

rammerjammer

September 25th, 2012
2:29 pm

TOBF, exactly. To get, you gotta give. Minor leaves, you still have Hudson, Hanson, Delgado, Medlen and Maholm. Maybe Teheran. Then Beachy later in the season.

REMLEY

September 25th, 2012
2:32 pm

Thanks for the list of clinching games Carroll. Was a fun trip done memory lane!

Reid in EAV

September 25th, 2012
2:34 pm

I’m there Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I’d go tonight, Thursday and Saturday if I could — and I really could, but only if I wanted to get divorced. :)

Gustopher

September 25th, 2012
2:39 pm

Great blog Carroll. Looking forward to the special Chipper section on Sunday

chipontheroad

September 25th, 2012
2:41 pm

Moose tacas would be a good get but Minor ain’t going no where

JNick

September 25th, 2012
2:43 pm

Why on earth would you trade Francisco and Minor for a player who is marginally (if at all) better than Francisco? Teheran and Delgado should be traded before Minor…and if you look at Francisco’s stats MINUS his PH numbers, you have this:
.284 BA, .316 OBP, .534 SLG – 7HR, 23RBI in 116 ABs
Dude deserves a full shot at the 3B job next year. Take away that one inning earlier in the year where he made 3 errors, and he’s only had 2 errors in about 340 innings.

Tumbledown

September 25th, 2012
2:45 pm

I would be extremely hesitant to include Minor in any deal. He is emerging to be a quality lefthander. Such players do not grow on trees.

Gustopher

September 25th, 2012
2:50 pm

That is Ms. Rogers Meg Griffin

TennesseePaul

September 25th, 2012
2:50 pm

Thanks for the work CR.

GO CHIPPER!!!!

GO BRAVES!!

GTI in Brooklyn

September 25th, 2012
2:51 pm

A modest assessment of potential pitcher & team match-ups for the Braves in a 1-game playoff on Oct. 5th (Including rotation alignments and September records/stats):

CARDINALS:
ACES – LOHSE is the ace this year, while WAINWRIGHT has the proven track-record, but WAINWRIGHT is having an average year (13-13 with a 4.07 era, including 0-2, 4.88 in Sept.). Both pitched an average game against the Braves earlier this year (though both games were 4 months ago). Both are right handers. LOHSE last started on Sunday. Should the Cardinals need to win game 162 to make the playoffs, he could be used for that game, but if they have clinched by then, he could easily be held for the WC game on the 5th. (However, WAINWRIGHT pitched on Saturday and his last regular turn would come up for game 162, Leaving Lohse for the WC play-in. That would seem to be a more likely scenario.)

HITTERS – It’s a tough lineup (I’d hate to be facing Mr. BELTRAN in the late innings with the game on the line), BUT they are currently easing their way into the post-season. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but just 12-10 in September, but have picked on a lot of bottom feeding teams lately. Someone else noted here that the Cards stand to be the only team in the playoffs with a losing road record, a losing record against RHPs, a losing record against teams over .500, and the only team with a losing record to the Braves. (1-5 against the Braves in 2 May series.) Their offensive numbers for the month of September, across the board, sit right in the middle of the 16 team league – except that they rank moderately well with HRs and BBs. They have not faced MEDLEN as a starter this year. He pitched 3 innings against them in relief back in May.

BREWERS:
ACES – YOVANI GALLARDO is their ace, but MARCO ESTRADA had been their best pitcher in September, with a 1.75 ERA in 4 Sept. starts – that is UNTIL his start last night against the Nats when he gave up 8Hs and 6ERs in only 4IP. (The Braves faced him in MIL on 9/11 and he gave up 0R on 4H, 1BB & 6K in 6.2IP.) Both pitchers are Right-Handed. With the Brewers loss last night, they might have to fight until the final game to earn a WC slot. GALLARDO last pitched on Sunday and his rotation spot is currently scheduled for the Brewers’ 162nd game on the 3rd. ESTRADA is pitching right after him in the rotation and would be in line to start the WC game on the 5th (with an extra day of rest).

HITTERS – The Brewers are still fearsome on the road, but they really are a different team away from MIL. Luckily, it seems we’d get to face them in Atlanta. BIG difference. The Brewers are 46-29 in MIL, but only 32-44 on the road. They also have not faced the MED-MAN as a starter this year (he pitched 2 innings in 2 games against them in relief back in April). The Braves are 3-3 against the Brewers, with ATL sweeping at home back in April, and MIL sweeping at home 10 days ago.

DODGERS:
ACES – Lots of danger for the Braves here, as 2 of the Dodgers top starters are Left-Handed, KERSHAW and CAPUANO – and KERSHAW would be dangerous anyway, because he is one of the very best pitchers in all of baseball. KERSHAW, however, is currently dealing with a “hip issue” which has him out of the rotation. His health status is a question mark, but he did turn in a very solid 5 Inning start in a win over the Reds Sunday night (5IP, 5H, 5BB, 5K, 1ER) IF he proves healthy (and his old self) his rotation spot could be used for game 162 or the WC game. The Dodgers though, like the Brewers, would likely have to fight all the way to the final game to get in, making it tough to set their rotation for the 5th.
CAPUANO is less deadly than KERSHAW, but any Lefty is a threat to the Braves in a 1-game playoff. He did have a modest Quality Start against the Braves while taking a no decision back in August, but is also 0-1 with an ERA over 5 in September.

HITTERS – The Dodgers have what should be an impressive lineup, but they are only 8-11 in September and – surprisingly – are last in the league with both a .224 team average and a .615 team OPS. They are also last for the month in Runs, BBs, SLG, OBP, and next to last in HR. (Though, to be fair, the Braves don’t rank a whole lot higher in most of those categories.)
MEDLEN faced only 3 batters in 2/3 INN of relief against the Dodgers back in April, and they haven’t seen him live since. The Braves went 2-1 in LA back in April and 1-2 against them in ATL in August.

PHILLIES:
Luckily, our weekend series against them looks to have taken away any reasonable chance of them pulling out some kind of miracle run. We don’t even want to think about all the hurt they could have put us through in a one game playoff.

BravePack(FreeFan)

September 25th, 2012
2:52 pm

What’s up old friends? Who’s ready for Braves playoff baseball? Looks like it’s redemption time as I think we will be playing St. Louis to move on.

I’m trying to keep my mind off the joke that is the NFL. Man was I pissed last night. No matter the Pack will use this as a wake up call.

monty

September 25th, 2012
2:53 pm

Francisco doesn’t hit LHP around .550 OPS so he can’t really be an everyday player,at least not yet or any time real soon.

JNick

September 25th, 2012
2:54 pm

Coach always said, never let the game (or match) be so close that you put the outcome in a ref’s hands…

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
2:54 pm

Why on earth would you trade Francisco and Minor for a player [Moustakas] who is marginally (if at all) better than Francisco?

Wow. Talk about scouting a stat line. That’s the only reason I can imagine that you would mention Juan Francisco in the same breath as Mike Moustakas.

space monkey

September 25th, 2012
2:55 pm

Clinch what? A 50-50 chance at the playoffs. We haven’t clinched until we have won the wild card play-in game.

Tumbledown

September 25th, 2012
2:56 pm

Whoever the Braves play in the wild card game, they got to bite the bullet and come up with the goods. While many will be scrutizing every move made by Fredi, I will focus on player execution. Gotta make the pitches and come up with timely hitting.

Murph

September 25th, 2012
2:57 pm

BP! Where ya been?? You need to stop by the ol’ waterin’ hole more often my friend.

Sorry about last night. :(

Cracker

September 25th, 2012
2:58 pm

Eovaldi is tough; Medlen is tough. I love pitching duels, and this shapes up as a good one. I’m amped.

ugafan13

September 25th, 2012
2:58 pm

I am all for trading JJ and Hanson. They both are exoendable as far as I am concerned. Both are only good for half a season pitching!

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
2:59 pm

While many will be scrutizing every move made by Fredi

I think Fredo will be OK, unless he gets caught up in the moment and starts throwing pitching matchups out there right and left. You know, that “urgency” thing.

Meg Griffin

September 25th, 2012
3:00 pm

Oops thought it Ms. Rogers was a guy : (

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:04 pm

JJ is untradeable, Hanson is very hard to trade. Nontender JJ and try to trade Hanson for a valuable prospect ( a “Salary Relief” type prospect)

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:05 pm

Eovaldi is tough; Medlen is tough.

Eovaldi has the affliction of most young pitchers, trying to get it right more than once in a row. No way to know if he’ll show up as the August 2nd guy or the September 18th guy.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:05 pm

a valuable prospect or a salary relief prospect (which I think is more likely)

JNick

September 25th, 2012
3:06 pm

@ncscoots, hype doesn’t get you anything in this league. Production does…

as for Francisco not hitting lefties, he really hasn’t been given a chance, with Fredi’s love of platoons….

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:08 pm

ncscoots, even looking at the stat line, there is not much of an indication Francisco is likely to have the better career than Moustakas.

Yes, Francisco has a 100 career OPS+ to Moustakas’ 90 career OPS+ but Moustakas is in his age 23 season and Francisco is in his age 25 season, Francisco has 22 career walks and Moustakas had 22 walks in his age 22 season when he played only 89 games.

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:08 pm

and as my assigned agent, and my standing 6-4, looks like you’ll have to shop me sround

Jack, I’ve been a little tardy on my agenting. I’ll get on that, but you’re right…looks as if you’re KC bound, LOL.

JNick

September 25th, 2012
3:10 pm

Moustakas has also been dreadful since the ASB this year….generally, you look for players to IMPROVE with experience….

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:11 pm

hype doesn’t get you anything in this league. Production does…

Hype doesn’t have much to do with it, I’m afraid. Simple observation of the skillsets of the two players (if you know what to look for and have the ability to analyze what you see) tells a pretty clear story on the relative value of the two players.

Venice Jim

September 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. MIA (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Johnson 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Simmons 6 Medlen 1

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. MIA (7:10, SPSO/680AM/BRN): Johnson 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 McCann 2 Simmons 6 Medlen 1

Another day off for Bourn, but hey, Mac’s back!

rammerjammer

September 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

KC feels just as strongly about Moose as ATL feels about Minor. Emerging star, next wave and all that. Point is, we have an abundance of starting pitching, but no one (save Martin) who can play 3B next season. Francisco, I’m afraid, is one of those guys with perpetual potential. Maybe he’ll develop late, but right now he’s all hack and jack.

Brian from SC

September 25th, 2012
3:14 pm

Cleveland has jumped on Chicago 4-0 over the AL Central. That one’s coming down to wire, and neither the Sox nor Detroit will sniff the wild card.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:15 pm

ninja’d. Shouldn’t have typed anything below….

JNick

September 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

I’m not a professional scout like you obviously are, but doing the reading I have, he doesn’t drum up any level of excitement IMO…especially not the kind that it would take for a GM to trade a Mike Minor – unless you’re talking about getting Trout in return, I say Minor is as untradable as Medlen.

Brian from SC

September 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

Best way for the playoff format to change: the Yankees lose the one-game wild card playoff. I’m rooting for that one.

Murph

September 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

I like the Bourn-less lineup a lot… gonna be a good game tonight, I can feel it… the tingle is back.

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

Moustakas has also been dreadful since the ASB this year….generally, you look for players to IMPROVE with experience….

A player’s development is often a perfect incline in to their peak. He just turned 24 two weeks ago.

Murph

September 25th, 2012
3:18 pm

Best way for the playoff format to change: the Yankees lose the one-game wild card playoff. I’m rooting for that one.

Can’t tell you how much I want to see that happen.

David O'Brien

September 25th, 2012
3:20 pm

Just filed my Chipper column for the special section, which will be in Sunday’s AJC. Carroll has a big Chipper career story in the section, and Schultz and Bradley also have columns. Lots of good stuff in there. Should be a nice keepsake.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:20 pm

So…

When should we start worrying that Bourn’s thumb is like Jason’s was last year?

Oh, and once again, to anyone who is suggesting the Cards aren’t going to be the 2nd WC team…

Cards play .500 ball over last 8 games and the Dodgers or Brewers have to go 8-1 over final 9….

Good luck MIL and LA on accomplishing that!

TennesseePaul

September 25th, 2012
3:20 pm

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Reed___ .324 .324 .353 0.676 .328 __103
Prado__ .406 .486 .469 0.955 .426 __188
Heyward .222 .237 .361 0.598 .278 ___78
Chipper .281 .395 .313 0.707 .317 __115
Freeman .273 .297 .576 0.873 .352 __157
Uggla__ .233 .351 .433 0.785 .343 __135
McCann_ .194 .257 .323 0.580 .256 ___73
Simmons .296 .364 .333 0.697 .317 __111
Medlen_ .143 .250 .190 0.440 .200 ___34

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

JNick, right, I think the problem is with the part of the statement that said “[Moustakas] who is marginally (if at all) better than Francisco.”

I think you are right that giving up Minor (plus anything else) would make it a deal breaker for the Braves.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

Not saying it’s wrong, but folks are hungry for results so much earlier in players careers. No one cares about peak years and what not. It’s sad, imo. Perhaps because of the success of young players like Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton. Although, ya know, that’s 2 players out of hundreds, thousands…..

And there is something wrong with someone who feels Mike friggin Moustakas is at the same level of Juan Francisco.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

DOB-

Glad I’ll be down in the area so that I can pick up a few to take home :-)

Maybe I’ll see you down on the field Sat?

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

I’m not a professional scout like you obviously are, but doing the reading I have, he doesn’t drum up any level of excitement IMO

Well, I’m not a professional scout, just observant. Hey, if what you want to go with in public is “Juan Francisco is at least as good a player as Mike Moustakas”, you’re welcome to do so. Who am I to say you nay?

I didn’t suggest trading Minor, by the way. I was only responding to your assertion that one player was only “marginally better” than the other, as assertion with which I disagree.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:23 pm

TP-

Heyward and BMac need to get it goin according to your post…

Well, that and it tells me putting Reed in there isn’t exactly a downgrade

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:24 pm

I’d try and keep Hosmer, Moustakas, Myers, Escobar, Perez if I were the Royals. Try and use other assets to acquire starting pitching. And of course, not trading young starters like Jake Odorizzi away.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:25 pm

Efrim-

Agreed….

But what also happens if they have that one year and then are anointed the keys to the city and then go the way of Jeff Francoeur?!

Whatever happened to reserving the first FEW years of a guys career to decide what kind of talent they may have….

I mean Christ….not everyone can be Albert Pujols!

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:25 pm

Heyward .222 .237
Freeman .273 .297

More noticeable on Heyward, but the differences between their BA and OBP is very very small.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:26 pm

Efrim-

I’d add Gordon to that list….

In fact, I’d place him higher than a couple you mentioned.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:26 pm

I was only responding to your assertion that one player was only “marginally better” than the other, as assertion with which I disagree.

Boy, that’s a nice way of saying it…. ;)

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:27 pm

TOBF-

Tells me either they are tiring, teams are working them over real well near end of long season, OR theyre being way too aggressive IN and OUT of strike zone

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:29 pm

I keep forgetting about Gordon. Yes, I’d keep him and Butler too.

Hosmer, Moustakas, Gordon, Escobar, Perez, Myers and Butler. Good lord, that’s a lot of position player talent.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:29 pm

And of course, not trading young starters like Jake Odorizzi away.

And don’t pick up “older” declining starters either…

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:29 pm

You guys really ought to try to remember that TennPaul does that L9S9 thing as a goof, and stop thinking that a week’s worth of games has much informative value.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:31 pm

You guys really ought to try to remember that TennPaul does that L9S9 thing as a goof, and stop thinking that a week’s worth of games has much informative value.

Have you discussed this with TenneseePaul? :)

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:32 pm

I’d add Gordon to that list….

It’d be good for them to add Gordon to the list, but if we can’t get Willingham, and we do get a RH CF, I wouldn’t mind Frank getting this guy. Good hitter, Prado-like numbers, except against lefties, where he struggles a bit.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:32 pm

Heyward has 6 BB’s in his last 30 games, 130 PA’s.

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

A RH fastball pitcher is usually the type of guy Braves hit. I would be surprised if Eovaldi has a shutout through 8 tonight.

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

Hosmer, Moustakas, Gordon, Escobar, Perez, Myers and Butler. Good lord, that’s a lot of position player talent.

…which is why they won’t start trading it away for pitching. That would be self-defeating. There’s still pitching talent in their system, too, they just need some experience on their ML staff. But even with rotation upgrades, they know that they aren’t going to suddenly have a top 5 pitching staff, so they’re still going to have to rely on their offense to supply most of their run differential.

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

Efrim, I think some don’t realize how difficult it is to be a stand-out major leaguer on a consistent basis and how solid even a 93 OPS+ is for a thirdbaseman. Moustakas actually hasn’t been all that bad a player. Sometimes folks just see what they view as bad stats and don’t realize that relative to other players, those stats really aren’t all that bad.

P-Town Brave, I think a lot of what you’re talking about is evaluating incorrectly more than evaluating too soon. In the case of Francoeur, for example, it wasn’t that he was anointed too soon. It’s that folks didn’t realize what kind of player he was and they anointed him based on their flawed ways of evaluating.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

Good hitter, Prado-like numbers, except against lefties, where he struggles a bit.

Do folks plan on hitting Prado in the middle of the order? If not, then why are we calling for LHH’s that don’t hit LHP well? It’s going to be a problem. It has been this year and it’s shown, as the offense has been sorta mediocre.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

Oh and btw…..Mike Minor isn’t going anywhere…if they wanted to trade him, they more than likely would have done it by now….

Hanson has little value so theyd be selling low based on his numbers on both 2012 and his 2013 contract…

And JJ….WTF are ppl still talking about him for?! I am 100% stone cold lock sure he will be non-tendered the day after the MLB season ends.

Murph

September 25th, 2012
3:36 pm

stop thinking that a week’s worth of games has much informative value.

I don’t understand… if baseball is a game of streaks, which I believe you’ve alluded to in the past, then knowing who is trending upwards and who is trending downwards holds some value, does it not? It’s at least more valuable than knowing what a player did in April, which doesn’t seem to be all that relevant to what he’s doing now.

wow

September 25th, 2012
3:36 pm

the braves should retire his number friday night!!!

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:38 pm

I’m not really worried about Hosmer or Moustakas. If I’m a Royals fan, I’m excited as heck to have better performance than expected from Salvy Perez and Alcides Escobar. Add in the latter two, and the Royals are going to score lots and lots of runs.

They also have a lot of pen arms that are going to miss bats. Just need veteran starters, as scoots said.

Now would be the time for the owner to open up the wallet and spend on pitching. Would love to see Greinke re-sign with them. Would be a great story.

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:40 pm

I don’t think they are trading Minor, or Gilmartin, for that matter. Both of those guys were Wren’s picks – Minor absolutely was given the timeframe of the draft and it being right before DeMacio was brought in. Wren likes his LHP’s……

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:41 pm

Shaun-

No….not what I am saying….

They saw the HR and RBI numbers and assumed he’d consistently put up those numbers….

The pitchers adjusted accordingly and he didn’t…..

Just like when teams started pounding Andrew Jones outside and he didn’t adjust…..

A lot of becoming a good hitter in 1 year could be much of a fluke it seems….

But continuity of being a good hitter, that involves much preparation and constantly making adjustments…..some guys just don’t do that…..

Moose is still fairly young and still has a chance to become a solid player….and what he has working against him is what every solid young lefty does…..and thats figuring out how to combat the opponent and their use of the situational lefty….

Will he be the next coming of Brett….nah, but I think he’ll be just fine

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
3:41 pm

then knowing who is trending upwards and who is trending downwards holds some value, does it not?

Nine games is more of a data point than a trend. Some folks here seem to think it’s a motherlode of information, rather than a nugget. That’s all I was saying.

Aguy could scorch for an entire month, have a bad series, and his recent stats could look crappy.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

Efrim-

If we got say a Denard Span for CF and a 8 hitter for LF for 2013 I think the Braves could bat Prado 5th/6th if they wanted to next year as it would allow them to place Simmons in the 2 hole and allow Prado more a chance to drive in runs and lessen giving himself up from being in the 2 hole

Efrim

September 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

Ya know what I’m not for this offseason?

Signing Kevin Youkilis to play 3rd base. Just something about the guy…..bugs me.

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:46 pm

I don’t understand… if baseball is a game of streaks, which I believe you’ve alluded to in the past, then knowing who is trending upwards and who is trending downwards holds some value, does it not? It’s at least more valuable than knowing what a player did in April, which doesn’t seem to be all that relevant to what he’s doing now.

There isn’t a way to know if a player is trending, assuming reasonable health, etc. All we can really know is what kind of player a guy has been. What he’s done in the recent past can’t tell us what he’s likely to do in the near future.

We should use stats to help us get a picture of what kind of player a guy is. Stats don’t give us information about trends because what type of player a guy is tells us a lot more about what he’s likely to do in the near future, rather than what he’s done in his last x number of games or plate appearances or whatever.

If Chipper is 2 for his last 12 and Juan Francisco is 8 for his last 12, I’d still rather have Chipper at the plate. This is why small sample sizes aren’t very informative.

JoeBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:46 pm

The Royals LOVE former Braves players…maybe they’d take Hanson and Fransisco off our hands for Moustakas. That way, we can leave Prado at 2nd and see if someone wants to take Uggly off our hands. Minor isn’t going anywhere unless Wren gets blown away by an offer for him. Spend the money saved on retaining Bourn. If we can’t keep him, put Constanza in CF and go after a LF with some punch.

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:46 pm

Scoots-

Yeah, but if the Brewers or Dodgers went nuts for the next 9 games and somehow miraculously made the 1 game play-in you’d have to think differently…..

In fact, from playing ball, all it took was 1 or 2 good (or bad) series for me to trend a certain direction….

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
3:47 pm

Agree with others JJJ is a non-tender candidate. I suspect he is looking a minor league deals as his best option for 2013. But somehow it would not surprise me if in a couple years he re-emerges as a solid #2-3 somewhere. His stuff was too good. If he spends some time getting his body and head healthy, I believe he can still be a very good pitcher for someone.

Hansen is another case. He is regressing and it does not look to me he could be no more than a #3 on a bad team or a #5/long relief on a average team. At this point I have a hard time seeing where anyone would want to trade for him considering the arb salary he will get. Braves should cut losses here as well and non-tender. I could be wrong though. After all there was a taker for Joe Johnson.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:49 pm

Do folks plan on hitting Prado in the middle of the order?

Well he does seem to have a bit more power potential than Prado. He hit 23 HR last year. He has only 12 this year though (Prado has 9)

At worst, he can hit 3rd in the order (which is where Fredi might put Willingham if we got him)

Ghost of Chipper Jones

September 25th, 2012
3:50 pm

Let’s have some serious payback against EOVALDI tonight.

rammerjammer

September 25th, 2012
3:50 pm

KC isn’t going to trade Moustakas…but I wish they would. He means even more to them than Minor does to us.

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

Shaun
September 25th, 2012
3:46 pm

Substitute player for stock equity and you could get a guest appearance on sqwak box.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 25th, 2012
3:51 pm

And Efrim thought I was harsh on Tommy Hanson. :)

Ghost of Chipper Jones

September 25th, 2012
3:52 pm

Why would ANY of you think MIKE MINOR is trade material?

P-Town Brave ©

September 25th, 2012
3:52 pm

Candidate?

Thats selling it low Heisey…..

JJ is already done…

And I don’t think I can agree w/ you on the 2/3 starter statement….

His FB is way down and all he has is now predicated on pinpoint command….

He’s now a 4/5 at best and thats for a mediocre team when his control is good

I think JJ and Hanson are in close to the same boat….they both have physical ailments and are both mentally flawed at this point….

And I do agree with you on that last point though….I cant see either being close to the 5th best option for the Braves in 2013….

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
3:57 pm

Either way P-Town, I do not expect them to be on Braves roster much longer. If they are someone should lose his job.

SNEAKY PETE

September 25th, 2012
3:57 pm

too bad that great discussion about defense got stuck on the last blog because nobody I saw bothered to tell us a new one was up :(

Trader Jack

September 25th, 2012
3:59 pm

scoots

KC no problem – just get me the best deal possible, you know I still have some bullets left in the old arm – LOL

Shaun

September 25th, 2012
3:59 pm

P-Town Brave, yes, folks doing the anointing saw Francoeur’s homers and RBI and probably his athleticism and they ignored his hitting, his power and his plate discipline and command of the strike zone. It was about wrongly evaluating more than evaluating him too soon.

It wasn’t that Francoeur failed to make adjustments. It’s that he didn’t have the combination of hitting, power, plate discipline and command of the zone to be a very good major league player. It wasn’t a lack of patience in evaluating him. It was not evaluating him correctly that led many to anoint him.

Venice Jim

September 25th, 2012
3:59 pm

Sneaky Pete – BAS did…

Murph

September 25th, 2012
3:59 pm

No matter what it’s going to be an interesting Winter Meetings this year. Can’t wait!

One-Eyed Mac

September 25th, 2012
4:02 pm

I’m coming down from DC for Friday’s game. What time does the pre-game ceremony start?

ncscoots

September 25th, 2012
4:02 pm

And Efrim thought I was harsh on Tommy Hanson

You and the other guy are just twin sons of different mothers, when it comes to Hanson.

jim

September 25th, 2012
4:02 pm

If the Braves win tonight, they only clinch the booby prize — the real WC magic number to clinch the first WC is still 4 to get the home field advantage. No real cause to celebrate tonight.

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