Braves GM Wren encouraged by Dominican trip

While the Braves wait to see if they can work out a fit for a left fielder and leadoff hitter on the trade market, general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez spent four days in the Dominican Republic getting a closer look at some of their internal options.

They were encouraged by what they saw from their young players in winter ball there.

That started with Juan Francisco, the leading candidate to play third base if the Braves don’t acquire another left fielder and move Martin Prado to third. The Braves had charged Francisco with two things: cutting down on extra movement in his swing and getting in better shape.

“(Hitting coach) Greg Walker wanted him to continue to work on less rotation in the swing, and I think he’s done that,” Wren said Tuesday. “And we wanted him to get in better shape and he’s well on his way to that as well. He’s slimmed down and it’s noticeable. It’s still a couple of months before spring training, so I think there’s still more he can do and will do. But he’s had a good winter so far.”

Wren said Francisco has been working with a personal trainer early. He is seeing results with his swing too, hitting .315 with six doubles and seven home runs in 29 games for the Licey Tigers.

Wren, Gonzalez and Braves assistant general managers Bruce Manno and John Coppolella timed their trip between the winter meetings in Nashville, which ended Thursday, and before the Dominican league all-star break began Monday. (The Braves executives and international scouting director Johnny Almaraz spent Monday watching younger prospects at the Braves complex in San Pedro de Macoris.)

The Braves front office contingent arrived in time to see Randall Delgado pitch Saturday night and Julio Teheran pitch Sunday night.

“They both threw the ball well,” Wren said. “They’ve been getting better and more consistent since the beginning of the winter league.”

Teheran impressed with six one-hit shutout innings Sunday and struck out eight with no walks. It was his third consecutive scoreless outing, while he’s allowed only two hits in 16 2/3 innings. He’d given up 11 earned runs in 14 innings over his first four starts this winter.

Delgado allowed two runs in five innings on Saturday, with his fastball touching 96 mph, Wren said. Delgado is 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA in six outings (five starts) this winter.

Delgado’s progression last season was steadier than Teheran’s, who dropped off in his second year in Triple-A Gwinnett. But on Saturday, Wren said Teheran’s motion looked more fluid.

“We wanted him to get back to a more natural delivery where he’s not thinking about his mechanics, and I think he’s accomplished that,” Wren said. “His mechanics were very good. He looked much more natural and like he did two years ago.”

The Braves could end up trading either Teheran or Delgado for a left fielder, but Wren has said that would happen only if the deal is significant. Otherwise the two will compete for the fifth starter’s spot come spring training.

Wren and Gonzalez also kept a close eye on catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, who could help fill in for Brian McCann in early April as he comes back from shoulder surgery. Wren said he hit a couple of balls hard for outs in a start Friday night. Bethancourt is hitting .231 in 20 games for Licey.

Outfielder Jose Constanza has been out sick with flu-like symptoms since early December and couldn’t play Friday night as he had planned to while Wren and Gonzalez were in town. But he’s s hitting .299 in 25 games and the reports are good.

Wren was back in his office Tuesday, continuing to explore both the trade and free agent markets for either a true leadoff hitter or more of a stop-gap option.

“We’re going to keep making calls, and staying engaged with teams that we feel like we might match up with and see if there’s a deal out there that makes sense,” Wren said.

But if there’s not, he came back from the Dominican feeling encouraged about the players they have.

“From our standpoint, there’s not a bad option,” Wren said. “If we end up, going with our internal group, it’s not bad. We keep our money, we keep our prospects and we give opportunities to our young players. Then we adjust when we see where the real needs are a little later.”

331 comments Add your comment

the Frediot

December 11th, 2012
7:47 pm

You feel like we are going with Juan. Gotta tip your cap to him for slimming down his belly and his swing.

Brava

December 11th, 2012
7:50 pm

As a fan, this is disappointing news, but I’m not privy to Wren’s discussions with other teams. I don’t have a warm and fuzzy about the “internal options”, but also don’t want to see Wren overpay for a player. Guess we’ll see how this all pans out.

BUGGSEY

December 11th, 2012
7:53 pm

REALLY! Just let our young guys play an see what happens..Either go big time player or keep our pros. may find a diamond in the ruff!!

Fredi Will Screw It Up Somehow

December 11th, 2012
7:53 pm

<—————–

urban redneck

December 11th, 2012
7:55 pm

frank wren needs a financial panther. go bravos.

John Leonard

December 11th, 2012
7:57 pm

Wren would be wise to get a good defensive catcher,that can hit 250.

Brava

December 11th, 2012
7:58 pm

A financial panther could be a good move. It could attack all the opposing GMs and their staffs until Wren found someone willing to do his bidding.

Comfortably Dumb

December 11th, 2012
8:01 pm

Still don’t understand why we’re paying Maholm to pitch for the team when we have 2 young, controllable, full of potential, possible all-star pitchers in Delgado and Teheran just waiting to bust onto the scene. They might hit a bump or two in the road, but I’d be willing to bet that each of them is capable of at least matching the production of Maholm.

2013:
1. Huddy
2. Medlen
3. Minor
4. Delgado
5. Teheran

2014:
1. Medlen
2. Beachy
3. Minor
4. Delgado
5. Teheran

Just because trade talks have been swirling around these two for a while doesn’t mean we HAVE to get rid of them. We have many other prospects that are a little farther away I would feel better about giving up.

the Frediot

December 11th, 2012
8:03 pm

The back of the baseball card says Slim Juan > Fat Juan.

Comfortably Dumb

December 11th, 2012
8:05 pm

We keep developing all these great pitching prospects and now we have a great young group all ready to do it at the big league level. I say keep them together. You see what the Rays have done on a tight payroll with their young, home grown pitchers.

If we need a bat, trade a Gilmartin or a Spruill.

Darryl Blackberry

December 11th, 2012
8:16 pm

Comfortably D: Agreed. Would much rather put Teheran into Maholm’s spot, then pitching Delgado in the fifth spot until Beachy returns.

Not concerned about the Braves’ pop for next year, but it would be nice to have a speedy leadoff hitter who can play some outfield. That’s why Bonifacio makes so much sense for Atlanta. Knowing how injury prone baseball players are these days, Francisco, Gattis, Schafer, Constanza and others will get their chances…

RJB in DC

December 11th, 2012
8:24 pm

Juan Francisco was very highly thought of in the Reds organization. He was boxed out though in 2011 with Votto at first and Scott Rolen at third (in the middle of a 23.6 million contract extension).

longtimefan

December 11th, 2012
8:28 pm

Comfortably Dumb-I think you are on to something. Totally agree. Build from the farm. Pay your home grown talent. Get new talent thru the draft. Don’t over value the other guys player just because he’s a new face.

bravo

December 11th, 2012
8:38 pm

What about Gattis???

Bills fan

December 11th, 2012
8:40 pm

Thanks, CR, for the news. Us Braves junkies can’t get enough this time of year.

LudaChris

December 11th, 2012
8:42 pm

I, too, am very much in favor of this “financial panther” being tossed around this blog.

JT19

December 11th, 2012
8:43 pm

If the Braves can’t land a difference-maker for LF (i.e., someone like Upton or Hamilton), I would rather see them stick with Prado in Left and Francisco at 3rd and save the money for a mid-season acquisition if needed. I think Francisco could put up some really good power numbers–especially since he’d be hitting 7th or 8th in the lineup. I don’t think any of the one-year stopgap options woud outperform Francisco by enough of a margin to be worthwhile.

And I like the idea of having two guys with cannons on the left side of the infield.

However, since Prado would prefer to play 3rd, I’d like to see the Braves make a significant acquisition in LF–not only because it makes the team better, but because I think Prado has been such a selfless team player that I think he deserves to nail down the position of his choice.

jbill

December 11th, 2012
8:55 pm

The Braves are not better off now than last year….don’t fool yourselves. Braves need a big bat in LF are 3b. You wish to win now are later?

JHarber

December 11th, 2012
9:02 pm

I can see third place as of now. Wren can see one or two. Sorry thats the best i can see.

HLB in Hastings

December 11th, 2012
9:02 pm

Maholm^s signing was goodand could be traded if both teheran and delgado are ready around the trading deadline.Francisco showed some power in his ab^s and his RBI was good for his ab^s. A speedy outfiellder would be ideal.

nerdville

December 11th, 2012
9:09 pm

on juan-pretty sad when you have to tell a professional athlete to slim down. if he does trim up then i won’t call him fatcisco any more. he does have great pop in his bat when he connects, but whiffs too much for me.

Ralph

December 11th, 2012
9:15 pm

Sounds like Wren has a good plan, hope it works out but I was thinking, what if the Giants told Sandavol to silm down before ST. he loses 40 pounds and hits 4 HR for the season.

MALONE

December 11th, 2012
9:18 pm

what JT19 said — except I think you’ll be surprised at Juan F at 3B.

jed

December 11th, 2012
9:19 pm

call me hoodwinked, but i do see the wisdom in waiting on LF. mainly, because i dont see much out there right now that a/ we’d want and b/ we can afford. if you save the money and wait til mid-season, as wren mentioned the other day, the value of your dollar is doubled, better options will be available, and whoever you acquire probably wont cost you teheran or delgado.

so….what do you do til then? first, what say we put prado at 3b and let him play one position all year? that seems really important to me, as it will pay off by giving you a very good defensive 3b, as well as allowing prado to get comfortable, which will effect him offensively as well. so what do you do with LF?

i see prado as a better defensive 3b than juan francisco, so why not move juan to LF for the rest of winter ball and from the start of spring training? then platoon him and reed johnson in LF. the only gamble there is juan changing positions, and i think he’s more than capable of doing it.

only problem with my scheme here is that you dont have a natural lead-off hitter. reed johnson would work when he’s playing; maybe simmons when they face righties. but would i rather have nate schierholz for a whole season just cause he leads off than a platoon of reed and JF (which could potentially give way to a bigger acquisition mid-season)? no.

Comfortably Dumb

December 11th, 2012
9:19 pm

jbill, what is the difference in these two words?:
Or
Are

kingdaddy

December 11th, 2012
9:19 pm

I would like Fransisco to get another shot at third. Shop Uggla in a trade for adequate LF and eat part of Ugs contract. Move Prado to second. Simmons leads off and we have a slick fielding middle infield. This way we don’t give away Teheran or Delgado. Can we really count on Uggla to have a breakout year??? Keep an eye on Fransisco’s weight and keep working on his swing. If we give up on him now, he will go on to be a star for someone else. Keep Gattis in our plans somehow…

glorydays

December 11th, 2012
9:21 pm

Does Constanza bat leadoff?

Hawes

December 11th, 2012
9:23 pm

No updates on El Oso Blanco?

jbill

December 11th, 2012
9:29 pm

Thanks Dumb..my bad.

Virginia Brave Fan

December 11th, 2012
9:31 pm

Seriously, Hawes, no mention of Gattis whatsoever? I am not opposed to Gattis in LF and Prado at 3B. In fact, I think I prefer it to Fransico at 3B and Prado in LF.

Virginia Brave Fan

December 11th, 2012
9:36 pm

And, to be clear, I agree with everyone who desires to jettison Uggla, I just don’t see how we do it. Hard to fathom that one of our top three highest paid players is both an offensive and defensive liability.

Our top three highest paid players are Uggla, Bossman Junior and McCann. Our best three players (non-pitchers) are Heyward, Freeman and Prado.

Ken Stallings

December 11th, 2012
9:48 pm

With these reports, perhaps the best plan is to go with Francisco at third base and see how it develops. Keep Prado in left field.

the Frediot

December 11th, 2012
9:48 pm

Virginia Brave Fan,

You feel like Bossman Junior has more oWAR, dWAR, and WAR values than Freeman and thus is the better player. Agreed on Heyward and Prado though.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/freemfr01.shtml

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/uptonbj01.shtml

Yuuup

December 11th, 2012
9:49 pm

Translation, tear up inferior pitching and we will let you replace a Icon at 3rd base. Hell Wren, why don’t you let Francisco bat leadoff while you are at it? I am sure you have discussed that as a “internal” option huh?

This team has taken a huge step backwards since last season and I don’t like where this is heading. Sure, the Braves could still land a LF’er who bats leadoff, but as of right now it looks like Wren and company are going to sit on the checkbooks. I hope when this team bombs next season because of lack of production, that Wren takes full responsibility for the collapse. We lost Chipper in both the lineup and clubhouse (Won’t be replaced at all) we lost our backup catcher who was arguably better offensively, and heads and shoulders better defensively than our starting catcher, we lost a CF’er who was a legit leadoff hitter (we haven’t had one since Furcal left, and look what he did) and replaced him with a overpaid, non leadoff hitter who strikes out a ton, and replaced the other guys with nobody and Laird respectively. How can anyone truly feel all gitty going into next year if Francisco is our starting 3rd baseman, or if Prado moves to 3rd (which is cool) and they platoon 2 guys in LF? Sorry folks, I am not liking next year in the least with the losses this team has incurred, and the lack of filling those voids with solid options, and the only thing solid about Francisco is his beer belly.

Bob the Blogger

December 11th, 2012
9:53 pm

Actually, I like the idea of using existing players. Plan A would be Francisco, Plan B would be a platoon of Constanza/Reed J. Plans C and D would be Gattis and Cunningham (after a couple of months). Gattis is coming on like gangbusters, and Cunningham hit .309 at AA with 24 steals, and with very few strikeouts. Young players have to be given a chance at some point.

ugaaccountant

December 11th, 2012
9:58 pm

If both force their way into the rotation, we could certainly trade Maholm at any time. He has value and tons of teams would be happy to have him.

jed

December 11th, 2012
9:59 pm

yuup–i’m certainly not thrilled with the idea of francisco taking over 3b–i dont think he’s good enough defensively and i dont think he’s gonna hit lefties worth a damn. however, i do think he’ll flat-out mash righties, and reed johnson hits lefties well. so yeah i think platooning those 2 in LF could work fine actually. it’ll get you through the first 3 months for certain, and at that point, you can acquire what’s needed with the money you saved. i think that all makes perfect sense actually.

ugaaccountant

December 11th, 2012
9:59 pm

Compared to clubhouse cancers like Nick Swisher at some ridiculous salary, I’m happy to have 1 slot go to a guy we developed. We’re not saying be the Marlins. Just 1 slot for a new starter to break through.

Miami Dave

December 11th, 2012
10:06 pm

Sorry guys but I will take Maholm over the promise of Delgado and Teheran. If we can get an established LF and lead off hitter in exchange for either guys’ promise, then do it…

JC Boscan III

December 11th, 2012
10:10 pm

Gattis is on a scheduled break from winter ball for a few days…….so, he’s not playing right now.

Miami Dave

December 11th, 2012
10:12 pm

Yuuup- spring training is still weeks away and you’re already trashing. Get a life and wait til the 1st ST game is finished.

Wendell miller

December 11th, 2012
10:18 pm

Let’s all hope that Prado is extended or we may be looking for his replacement in the not to distant future as well. As I have mentioned before, Schafer is still young enough to have a breakout year. He is talented but injuries and poor judgement have messed him up. In a little over 100 games with Houston last year, he stole 27 bases. The man can fly and has a powerful arm, has hit lead off and could cover left field. He could be a sleeper in the spring. I would like an established left fielder or third baseman, but if they aren’t around by the spring I will be excited to see what our young guys can do. Remember, every major league all star was once a green rookie who got a chance to play and prove themself.

Yuuup

December 11th, 2012
10:25 pm

Miami Dave,

Shut Up!!! We all have an opinion, so don’t call someone out for stating theirs. This team has taken a HUGE step backwards and done nothing to fill the voids. I would love to hear your logic on how this team is better because we lost Bourn and overpaid for Upton. I would love to hear your logic on losing Chipper and how we are going to be better starting Francisco at 3rd. I would love to hear your logic on the loss of Ross and replaced him with Laird, and how that will make this a better team.

So come on big shot, let’s hear your side of the story. The Braves have all the resources to keep this team competitive, yet we have seen all the ideal targets of the Braves traded to our division rivals or another NL team. With the money and trade chips they have, if Wren truly goes into the season with Francisco as the starting 3rd baseman, or a platoon in LF, and no real leadoff hitter on the team, then he should be fired. Argue this, don’t bring up the lame, “ST is still weeks away” tired routine. Now you are sounding like the Braves front office.

RJB in DC

December 11th, 2012
10:31 pm

Given the makeup of the NL East, if Maholm is effective, the Braves are going to be very happy to have two southpaws in the starting rotation. No matter which of either Tehran or Delgado makes the #5 slot, I would find it hard to believe that somewhere along the line, the other won’t be up for some time to cover a stint on the DL by another starter. I would suggest that once Beachy makes it back from rehab, then things will get real interesting right around the trade deadline. As for Francisco, the worse that happens is that by mid-season, he cannot show he can be an everyday player at third, and Prado becomes the permanent fixture there.

Angel Eyes

December 11th, 2012
10:33 pm

I agree Yuuup. The only thing keeping Braves out of cellar is Marlins. Can’t win if GM does nothing. There are Lf and leadoff out there. Wren doesn’t want to get rid of his precious pitching . PITCHING DOESNT WIN RUNS SCORED WINS GAMES.

Angel Eyes

December 11th, 2012
10:33 pm

I agree Yuuup. The only thing keeping Braves out of cellar is Marlins. Can’t win if GM does nothing. There are Lf and leadoff out there. Wren doesn’t want to get rid of his precious pitching . PITCHING DOESNT WIN RUNS SCORED WINS GAMES.

john

December 11th, 2012
10:34 pm

If Tehran or Delgado start next year, will their arms have anything left by September? Throwing all these innings in the winter with Spring Training right around the corner, seems like they might be overworking the arms. Or is this about showcasing them over the winter for a trade?

kingdaddy

December 11th, 2012
10:34 pm

We got a long way till opening day, and the haters are akready in rare form. If you idiots think you can do better than Wren, then put in an application for his job. Don’t forget to include all your experience you’ve got trashing the Braves on the blogs. You dum-basses will never be sastisfied. Wren’s building a winner which is more than you will ever do by constant complaining. If you think it makes you look smart to criticize every move the Braves make, then you are wrong again…but you’re probably used to that, lol…

kingdaddy

December 11th, 2012
10:35 pm

Already…not akready…

kingdaddy

December 11th, 2012
10:44 pm

How many games did Chipper play last year??? Divide that by 17 million dollars. Chipper’s gone, get over it, move on. That 10-14 million dollars we have leftover to deal with is burning a hole in some of your pockets. Don’t make a bad deal, just to say you made a deal…

jed

December 11th, 2012
10:49 pm

the loudest and angriest are always the stupidest.

RJB in DC

December 11th, 2012
10:56 pm

So far, the most encouraging part about Francisco is that this more compact swing appears to have improved his ability against left-handed pitching. So far in winter ball, iIn 52 AB’s his line is a respectable .302 / 339 / 528 with an .868 OPS. But he murdering right handed-pitching: in 55 AB’s his numbers are .327 / 406 / 600 with a 1.006 OPS.

Denny Lemaster

December 11th, 2012
10:59 pm

The Braves are not going to pay Maholm over $6 million to be a relief pitcher. Either he starts or is traded, but not relief. They have two quality short lefty pitchers now.

jed

December 11th, 2012
11:00 pm

RJB–exactly. we dont yet know how good juan francisco can be. but we know he can hit RHP. i’d be very comfortable with him in a platoon.

LostCause

December 11th, 2012
11:16 pm

I like the Francisco Dough Boy personally.

RJB in DC

December 11th, 2012
11:35 pm

That may well be the answer by mid-May if Francisco cannot show success against left handed pitching. Prado slides to third and Reed Johnson gets the start in LF. Over the past three years, he is still hitting above .300 against LHP.

kingdaddy

December 11th, 2012
11:39 pm

Atlanta is not desperate. We are dealing from strength. Most teams know we are just a piece or two away from being elite and they don’t want to do us any favors. We’re flush with pitching but have made some questionable trades in the past. We don’t want to repeat those mistakes again. If we show patience here in the shortrun, we will be better in the longrun. Build this team for the longhaul. Work from the farm and develope our own stars. Draft good and only trade when its the best/only option. Trades have not been one of Atlantas high-points. Yes, we have made a few good ones, but we have also given up on some good kids to early and gotten little in return…

NevadaRoy

December 12th, 2012
1:41 am

I support going with what we have for 2-3 months, seeing how they perform and saving money for mid-season moves including injury replacements. Look at the teams that made the post-season … they nearly always credit additions they were able to make mid-season.

Dr. Tyler

December 12th, 2012
1:44 am

The real question mark on this team, especially in comparison to last year’s team, is OBP. Chipper was a high OBP guy and Bourn was a great table setter. They’ve replaced Bourn with pop, which isn’t bad, but without the counter move of adding OBP in LF or at 3B, then you’re gonna have issues. I like Bossman. I like Juan. But, I worry that the parts, as assembled, will not do enough in terms of getting on base. We’ll be looking at a lot of solo homers and runners stranded at second as our big boppers strike out. I like what Wren has done, but I’m a bit worried….on the aggregate.

jj

December 12th, 2012
2:58 am

Hey Braves,IT IS TIME TO PAY PRADO! He has paid his dues and i am tired of hearing that he is the MVP of this team.PAY THE MAN. GO BRAVES OH Yea,i hope the Braves give Juan a chance.He was a good citizen last yr while carring CJ clubs and he is doing everything the Braves are asking him to do.Why spend money on names when you might have the answer already on roster.

bennyben

December 12th, 2012
4:29 am

in a perfect world, teheran, delgado, ahmed and gattis all perform to our expectations and we are able to entice the d-backs into taking 3 of the aforementioned (teheran or delgado, ahmed and gattis) perhaps a low-level prospect as well for justin upton by midseason… they just traded away pitching depth with bauer’s departure and teheran or delgado can replace that void. ahmed can be converted to 2b to replace aaron hill when he departs via free agency. or perhaps replace gattis with gilmartin to package 2 starting pitchers in the deal. let mccann walk as a free agent to free up money for justin

ggs

December 12th, 2012
6:38 am

Still hoping to see Wren acquire someone to play LF.We have enough young talent to get a deal done for an accomplished outfielder.Ellsbury,DeJesus,Willingham,Ross,Gordon.Did I forget anyone?I still think our best option is to put Prado at third and leave him there and use Francisco off the bench.If Prado knows from the start that he won’t be moved from one position to another next year he may well have his best season ever.

phatdaddy

December 12th, 2012
6:47 am

It seem like wren not looking to win. we ready to win now the youngs players good but we a playoff team not looking to rebuild. we need a good LF so make it happen

Obee

December 12th, 2012
7:24 am

Lets keep whining until opening day !

Coach D

December 12th, 2012
7:36 am

“All we are saying is give Juan a chance.”… (Sung to J. Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”)

Gattis is not a bad option either.

I’m tired of seeing Braves castoffs go to other teams and be important parts of playoff winning teams. See Gregor Blanco & several others….

Mr Pitts

December 12th, 2012
7:41 am

I think the financial panther is the way to go.

Mr Pitts

December 12th, 2012
7:41 am

I think the financial panther is the way to go.

Charlie Kerfeld

December 12th, 2012
8:24 am

Constanza would do just fine as a lead-off hitter and to play LF. We really need another catcher, as there is no guarantee McCann will return and hit like he used to. Betancourt does not seem ready to hit big league pitching.yet.

Cowbell Hell

December 12th, 2012
8:30 am

Comfortably DUMB — the dumb part says it all. Are you kidding me with this Teheran/Delgado in Maholm’s spot ?!! Did you even watch the Braves last year dude? Maholm dominated for relatively cheap salary and Teheran could not handle AAA and gave up 11 runs in 14 innings to start winter ball. Please come with some knowledge… Maholm is not going anywhere mark my words, he is your 3rd starter till Beachy comes back and one of those overrated pitchers will be gone. Jeese people don’t mess with the one thing on the team that is set, the rotation.

Real Talk

December 12th, 2012
8:36 am

People Constanza CANT play 162 games in the Majors and be productive. I also think we better keep Maholm at least till Beachy gets back. I would like to see us trade Delgado for someone but to keep him as a back up plan would probably be better.

Chopper to Chipper

December 12th, 2012
8:43 am

Since CLE still has Asdrubal and J Upton doesn’t look like he’ll be moved, would it make any since to grab Asdrubal from CLE for a pitching prospect or two (according to the level of prospect) and put him at 3rd and leave Prado in LF. Asdrubal has hit second, could probably have him or Simmons lead off, and has good numbers. He wouldn’t cost a ton, I wouldn’t think, and would be versatile, as he could spell Simmons at SS if necessary and is also a switch hitter.

Probably not an ideal lead off hitter, but I think he would be a solid addition to the team.

Angry acworth man

December 12th, 2012
8:44 am

Everybody keeps talking about Juan Francisco’s stats this winter. I’m just wondering if there are at legitimate big league pitchers in the Dominican Republic this winter….

Lew

December 12th, 2012
9:03 am

“Runs scored wins ballgames.”

No way we’ll ever score runs despite the fact we have five players more than capable of hitting 25-35 HR in our lineup already. And of course if Francsico is in there, we’ll have six. Yep, no runs in THAT lineup.

Coach Carter

December 12th, 2012
9:04 am

Maholm is in the rotation even after Beachy returns…can you say “veteran leftie”?

If Francisco comes to spring training in even better shape than he is now, he should be the third baseman. Everyone said last year that nobody on the roster hits the ball any harder. If he can improve his average and lower the strikeouts by adjusting his swing, I say let Walker keep working!

We already know that Prado is as good as anyone in left field, so the only thing that has to happen, which we may not have wanted to happen so quickly, is making Simmons our lead-off man. I think he will do just fine at that, and I would have expected him to bat lead-off in the next year or two anyway.

Personally, I am happy that Wren has held out on trading away our young guys. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a trade for a quality player, but all I’ve heard and read about potential trades had us on the short end of things. Not worth overpaying in terms of money and talent when the team looks solid as is. That also leaves us some money and talent to swing a deal at the deadline if we have a dire need.

Lew

December 12th, 2012
9:11 am

People really need to forget thinking that Beachy comes back after the trade deadline and moves right into the rotation as if nothing has happened. Keep in mind that when Hudson returned from his TJ surgery, he pitched in seven games and when Medlen returned, he pitched several innings.

He’ll be back and maybe make a contribution, but don’t count on him being back to form until Spring Training 2014.

jbill

December 12th, 2012
9:15 am

The team looks solid as is..per Coach Carter. Thats amazing, just amazing!

Robert ( chi-town)

December 12th, 2012
9:20 am

Well Choo and Stubbs switch teams and AZ gets involved to get the SS they wanted since Wren would not budge. Playing a high stakes game here to go with Francisco at 3rd. I hope FW’s gamble and trust in Juan pays off.

Mftarpon

December 12th, 2012
9:24 am

Why can’t Constanza play 162 games? Granted…he has no power whatsoever. Leading up to AAA his averages have been .257, .309, .274, .278, .282. In 3 years at AAA ball, his averages have been .319, .312, .314. In 3 seasons of AAA he has walked more than he has struck out and he will steal 20-30 bases.
Who says Gattis can’t make the jump to major league level? Maybe he can’t, but after his debut in Rookie League Danville, he has hit .315 in 610 AB with 40 HR while walking 56 times and striking out only 96. Those numbers would be even better had he not suffered his wrist injury last season.
Juan Francisco? Maybe he is not the answer, but sometimes a player really steps up when finally given the opportunity to play ALL the time.
Todd Cunningham may not be able to make the jump to the majors either, but he has been highly thought of by the front office and began to come into his own at AA last year. A switch hitter who hit .309 with 24 steals and only struck out 51 times in 466 AB. GREAT defensive player too!
Maybe none of that group will step forward…but MAYBE just one of them will…and that one is all it takes. At this point, I’d rather go that way than overpay for a mediocre, but proven, player.

TeheranTime

December 12th, 2012
9:27 am

Nothing like Braves fans. The season hasn’t even started and they have our Bravos in last place! Sheesh! Atlanta sports fans are the worst.

Go Barves

December 12th, 2012
9:31 am

GET BONIFACIO

Don

December 12th, 2012
9:32 am

Upton was a great acquisition because of his great HOME RUN production in spite of his terrible BA, and terrible, terrible On Base Average, and terrible, terrible, terrible Strike Out totals. WOOPS – against the 1/3 best Pitchers, he had ZERO, thats ZERO HOME RUNS and hit .168.
No question, he is a true WINNER to go with our other two STRIKE OUT MACHINES to give us THREE out of the top 10 leaders in STRIKE OUTS.

Rick C

December 12th, 2012
9:34 am

Wow, really Don? I’ve never heard that before.

Mftarpon

December 12th, 2012
9:38 am

All those strikeouts are concerning…for sure. I’m pulling for Gattis to make it in left field. He does not strike out that much. Find a speedy 2nd baseman who can hit lead off and play defense.

Uggla and McCann….IF those two guys can hit like they did a couple of years ago….and IF Upton can simply improve to .260+…..IF, IF IF….

Mftarpon

December 12th, 2012
9:38 am

All those strikeouts are concerning…for sure. I’m pulling for Gattis to make it in left field. He does not strike out that much. Find a speedy 2nd baseman who can hit lead off and play defense.

Uggla and McCann….IF those two guys can hit like they did a couple of years ago….and IF Upton can simply improve to .260+…..IF, IF IF….

taudawg

December 12th, 2012
9:42 am

Yuuup , “have done nothing to fill the voids”……. Really? What was Upton? While you might not agree with it, to say they have done nothing sounds rather childish.

There is not a trade made this winter, but any team, that is a guarantee. I think we just enjoy the thrill of the quest and get our feelings hurt when our teams don’t give us immediate gratification.

To know nothing about what the team is doing and have such an opinion is kinda strange. Just saying.

Real Talk

December 12th, 2012
9:49 am

BONAFACIO SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Al

December 12th, 2012
9:51 am

Uggla had the excat same OBP as Bourn!
Ok so Upton repaces Bourn and we are told a “stop gap” or something can replace a Hall of Famer. SORRY not buying.
Even if Signing Josh Hamiltion will add $10 million to the payroll after savings from Jurgans Chipper Hanson Lowe and Bourne PLUS adding Upton. At an average of $50. gross profit per ticket sold, Hamiliton would have to account for an additional 200,000 in ticket sales. Having the best lineup in the NL I believe would boost attendance by more than that PLUS playoff tickect would be a bonus.

Lew

December 12th, 2012
9:58 am

Chipper had a very good season for a 40 year old who needed to take one day off every three days on average, but he certainly did NOT put up HOF numbers – nowhere vaguely close to it. He will be missed, but it’s been several years since he put up HOF numbers and he CAN be replaced – in fact WAS replaced 50 times last season. His defense will easily be replaced.

jbill

December 12th, 2012
10:00 am

Well said Lew..

Angel Eyes

December 12th, 2012
10:04 am

Simmons will experience sophomore slump and Wren regrets not making trade. No Chipper, No Bourne, No Ross, Braves terrible. Finish 4th

MoBrave

December 12th, 2012
10:09 am

It seems like every year the Braves fail to make one last move that could really put the team in good shape for the coming year. Most often, it seems to involve left field. I sure hope this “internal options” strategy produces a real surprise like the emergence of Gattis. Otherwise, it will be another disappointing year in Atlanta. I don’t intend to be entirely negative here. The Braves have had some good young players emerge in recent years, and if either Gattis or Francisco has a breakout year, that could happen again.

Real Talk

December 12th, 2012
10:10 am

@AngelEyes Really!!!! The Marlins and Mets are awful so that is not going to happen…PERIOD!!!!

Lew

December 12th, 2012
10:11 am

Angel Eyes @ 10:04 – Proof yet again that idiocy never rests. Yes, our season hin ges on not having replacements for a player that missed 50 games, a player that had mediocre -at best – the second half of the year and a replacement catcher who played 60 games.

Jay

December 12th, 2012
10:20 am

Sounds like Francisco is taking the teams requests seriously. If he’s legit working on his swing and his conditioning like the team asked and making solid progress, then he should earn a shot. Then save that extra payroll for a backup plan.

Angel Eyes

December 12th, 2012
10:21 am

Mets improve.Phillies improve. Nationals improve. What did Wren do to improve the Braves. Nothing. Would not trade an unproved SS Get a CF with an attitude problem and don’t know pitchers. Won’t hit a lick. Rely too much on HRs. Not a power team. No 3rd baseman. no leadoff hitter. rely too much on pitching and not enough on situational hitting. Heyward and Freeman good but cannot do it by themseves. Prado star but needsw help. As long as Wren is Gm. Braves do nothing. 4th 4th 4th.

Real Talk

December 12th, 2012
10:25 am

I will say this that if you look at Juan’s numbers as a starter last season and project them out on a full season, .262 Avg 32 Hr’s 108 Rbi’s, I would say that would be our best pick up we can make because we cant get those numbers from anyone on the market at his cost, and now that he is in better shape that is a definite possibilty!! Just sayin that FW may look like a genius afterall:}

Real Talk

December 12th, 2012
10:26 am

@Angeleyes your an idiot!!! Mets Sux!!!

NORRIS CHUCK

December 12th, 2012
10:31 am

So even if Francisco gets it together(which it seems he has) then the power hitters they have:

Freeman
Heyward
Mac
Francisco

are all left handed.

Now on the other side they have:

Prado
Uggla
Upton

They still need to get a LF with power that can hit from the right side dont they?

Dirty Dawg

December 12th, 2012
10:31 am

Hey angel eyes…you better have a big mouth and a Linda Lovelace throat too, cause you’re gonna need em to swallow all those words you’re gonna have to eat.

Mr Pitts

December 12th, 2012
10:33 am

Id like to explore the idea of the financial panther once again. Anyone care to start the discussion?

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