8:35 pm December 18, 2012, by David O'Brien
The Blogger Formerly Known as Billy
December 19th, 20123:38 pm
I love McCann. Wish he could sped his entire career with the Braves. They will let him walk and get a draft pick after he puts up his normal solid numbers. I can not remember one time the Braves have signed their home grown catcher past their Arb years. McCann will follow the likes of Estrada, Lopez…having freeman is a blessing but a curse as he block mc cann from switching positions.
This is a distinct advantage AL teams have over NL with regards to good hitting catchers.
I got my Fredo thinking-cap on and that’s what it’s telling me.
The complete sentences… correct spelling… I think your Fredo Thinking Cap is broken. Or it’s a cheap Chinese knockoff.
I put on my Fredo Thinking Cap, close my eyes, and I see…. nothing. Occasional flashes of ribs or Spongebob, but that’s about it.
Heyward is hitting 3rd, Upton 4th, freeman 5th, Uggla 6th
TOBF and the one time he agrees with you its a bad idea:}
To me it isn’t “where” a guy hits in the batting order because after the first inning, it’s all jumbled up…middle of the order guys lead off innings all the time… Does that mean he needs to be a good leadoff man? The real importance to batting lineups is not position, but who is hitting in front of and behind a guy.
December 19th, 20123:39 pm
“I got my Fredo thinking-cap on and that’s what it’s telling me.”
I think you mean “tipping-cap”
Plus, if he’s hitting like he has the last 2 years, it at least gets him out of the way and back on the bench quickly.
In other words, if he’s going bad, give him a chance to make even more outs?
December 19th, 20123:40 pm
You’ll hit Prado and Simmons one-two in either order…. Which means Simmons will hit leadoff if we don’t bring in a leadoff hitter. Not rocket science from there….
Good points Heath.
December 19th, 20123:42 pm
Real Talk – I could definitely see it and he could be productive from that spot. With as often as he walks, with the thunder he’ll have coming up from 3-7 in the lineup, I’d bet he scores a lot more from the two spot than from the sixth or seventh.
Heath almost correct, and add balance to that equation and you get how we make out lineups!!
December 19th, 20123:43 pm
JIM BOWDEN @JimBowdenESPNxm
Dodgers do a great job in acquiring LHP Rob Rasmussen from the Astros in exchange for John Ely. Rasmussen former UCLA standout has upside
Yes, TOBF, the world COULD truly be ending – you actually posted something that made sense and had nothing at all to do with an obsession.
December 19th, 20123:45 pm
Lew if he is at his best I think he does us best behind freeman so freddy gets the protection to have a GREAT year!
No. “@tmengd: @keithlaw Do you like Ely who the Astros just traded Rasmussan for? Does he have a chance to be a decent starter in the MLB?”
Not rocket science from there….
This is my exact fear: that Fredo will auto-pilot the lineup card just like some blog poster.
I suspect there are a lot of folks on here that will say “Why are you wasting a spring training invite on Schafer?” And a lot like me (and Murph) that are saying, “Hey, give the kid a shot to show if he still has any potential. What could it hurt?”
Low expectations, but high hopes (and some will have fun with that one!).
December 19th, 20123:47 pm
If Mac hits 7th he’ll never see any good pitches; no way Uggla should hit 6th
December 19th, 20123:50 pm
Here’s the blog logic (at least for wome whiners)…
Wren “promised” premium players at CF and LF/3B
BJ is not a premium player (and therefore the only premium players available were Josh Hamilton and ….well… just Josh Hamilton)
Wren didn’t acquire Josh Hamilton to play both CF AND LF…Therefore Wren is a liar.
My version…Wren signed BJ, who is a premium player at CF. He has worked hard to find a top teer player at LF/3B, but so far NONE have been worth NEARLY the asking price, or would not agree to come to Atlanta (or other GM would not agree to a reasonable trade with Atlanta) Not a done deal yet, but it would have been a bad mistake to spend capital on a mediocre player, no matter how much we have to spend, and how much talent we have to trade.
Lawyer: That’s what I’m expecting for a lineup, I’ll be okay with that. Breaks up the lefties 3-7 with Upton and Uggla.
DS1 I am with you that it has no downside to bring him in, just for those who think he is our answer to start in LF….well that is not a place to have the mind!
Real Talk – Likely that would work. But you’ll have Uggla, Heyward, Upton, Freeman and McCann (plus either Gattis or Francisco – providing no further deal is struck) all capable of hitting 20-30 HR – no matter who hits behind Freddie, he’ll be getting protection. With the thunder this lineup can thro at a pitcher, they really won’t be able to make many mistakes. They’ll strike a lot out on a regular basis, but with that many power bats in the lineup, someone’s going to be hitting doubles and HR’s on a pretty regular basis.
December 19th, 20123:51 pm
Ah, but if Gattis is hitting 8, the pitcher will be throwing beset with fear and trembling, and McCann will hit around .400 or so. I’ve seen it in a dream.
December 19th, 20123:53 pm
I see a Lance Berkman type signing coming up in Jan unless we make a trade in the next few weeks. It would not be the worst idea, gives Braves chance to see what Gattis does at AAA.
December 19th, 20123:56 pm
is that even a remote possibility? who exactly would that be? playing what position? from everything you have told us, it doesnt seem like thats something that will happen. — DAP
That was the point to begin with, though. That left-handedness wouldn’t matter in a leadoff hitter, but would if a middle-order hitter It came up with the immediate reaction yesterday from those who saw Ethier might be available and said Braves should go get him He’s left-handed, I said. )And he’s owed more than $82 million over next five seasons, but that’s another story.) Hes’ not hitting leadoff (has a total of 2 at-bats in leadoff spot in entire career), so where would you put him, I asked, when you already have Heyward, Freeman and McCann batting somewhere from 2nd to 6th?
Thats’ why Braves want a righty hitter if they add another outfielder who’s not a leadoff hitter.
December 19th, 20123:57 pm
As I have said guys Martin Prado is the idea #2 hitter so I seriously believe they would like to keep him there….one scenario that could be intriguing and noone has said would be to hit Jason Heyward leadoff with Martin hitting behind him….I am not saying I like it 100% but its interesting thought because JHey could do it…thoughts?
Breaks up the lefties
This obsession with L-R-L-R…bad enough that the manager is tunnel-visioned on it, doesn’t mean the rest of you have to march in lock-step.
December 19th, 20124:00 pm
By saying “who” bats in front of and behind… Balance, as needed, was inferred.
December 19th, 20124:03 pm
Come on NCSCOOTS youre actually a decent baseball guy and you dont know why we like to mix up the lineup…come on…you know its to make late inning decisions difficult on opposing managers as far as when they use their lefties…I know you know that and are just being funny
It makes late inning matchups out of the bullpen difficult, which is what we want. I’ll be pissed if we have back-to-back lefties in any lineup card.
December 19th, 20124:05 pm
Heyward hitting #2 is not good; he should be in the 3-5 slot.
Simmons & Prado s/b 1-2
Let the free swingers makeup the rest of the lineup
Uggla goes 2 or 6, depending on Simmons. Mac is 7, unless Prado is leading off, then Mac goes to 6, and Simba 7. Gattis/Francisco are 8th.
BJ, who is a premium player at CF
8th in WAR among CF since 2009, 19th in wRC+, 23rd in OPS among CF since 2009… and yes, some of the guys listed above him weren’t available or just aren’t so good anymore. But to say that he’s a premium CF, I disagree. He was probably the best option this winter, but he’s not a premium CF or premium player in my opinion. A guy with a .740 OPS isn’t premium
“You got the big dollars, you gotta be the hero.”
He doesn’t have to be penciled in to the clean up spot to apply that pressure to himself. I find it very far fetched to believe that Upton could receive the “largest contract in team history” and think, “as long as I bat 6th or lower I don’t have any pressure to live up to.”
Or that Upton could receive the “largest contract in team history” and see the Braves line up missing the Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones, and think, “no pressure on me. It’s on all those 23 year olds.”
If the guy “pressed” in Tampa, he will “press” in Atlanta. To me the question is, does any one really believe his production over the last 4 seasons was a result of him “pressing”?
Heath Balance is not always who hits around each other but the total balance of a lineup is what we are looking for…meaning we what do we want to do with our power, where do we want our speed, and how do we want to be set up for the end of the game… but I know you know this was just adding to your CORRECT statement
December 19th, 20124:06 pm
Prado has historically hit better at leadoff tnan he has in the 2 slot.
December 19th, 20124:08 pm
“Ah, but if Gattis is hitting 8, the pitcher will be throwing beset with fear and trembling, and McCann will hit around .400 or so. I’ve seen it in a dream.” – ncscoots
Uggla s/b hitting 9th, pitcher 8th , Gattis 7th, McCann 6th
December 19th, 20124:12 pm
JHey leadoff? Nah… dude’s got 30+ HR power, needs to be 3 or later. Trout should too imo.
If there was a baseball IQ requirement for posting on the blog, me and a few others would be shyt out of luck.
December 19th, 20124:14 pm
I’d be OK with Heyward hitting 2nd if Prado is our best leadoff choice. Some folks believe you should have your best hitter hitting second anyway.
December 19th, 20124:16 pm
DS1 you my friend have good Baseball IQ
I’d be OK with Heyward hitting 2nd if Prado is our best leadoff choice. Some folks believe you should have your best hitter hitting second anyway.
Ditto. That would cause some people to lose their s since it would likely mean Upton is batting 3rd, but I’d be fine with that.
December 19th, 20124:18 pm
If there was a baseball IQ requirement for posting on the blog
If there were a requirement, the blog would completely shut down since half the blog wouldn’t want to allow anyone who hasn’t “played the game” to post, while the other half wouldn’t want to allow anyone who doesn’t have the mathematically equation for WAR memorized to post.
I could be wrong, but I’m thinking that’s a pretty small cross section
DS1 the hardest position to fill successfully in a lineup is the 2nd hole, so moving Martin out of that is something I think the Braves really would not want to do, but if nooone steps up to hit leadoff then Prado will have to go there!
December 19th, 20124:19 pm
It makes late inning matchups out of the bullpen difficult, which is what we want.
The idea is to produce a lineup that makes late-inning matchups moot, or, at least, infrequent. It’s a lot more important to have the best hitters in combination for innings 1-7 than it is to have a late “matchup problem” for the opposing skipper.
You make problems for the opposing skipper by beating his starting pitcher like he’s made your daughter cry, not by making him chooose which bullpen arm he has to go to in the 8th.
I still think Simmons will be given every opportunity to win the leadoff spot in ST. Prado belongs in that second spot.
I don’t think hitting Heyward first is as crazy as it sounds. If he produces the kind of OBP we all know he’s capable of, combined with the speed, he could be a dangerous leadoff guy. I don’t think there’s much chance of it happening, but it’s not the worst idea in the world.
What about Uggla? Would limit his chances of leaving men on base, GIDP, etc.
Trade for LFer
I am just perplexed by this Fransisco/Constanza deal. Ok, so Fransisco is tearing it up in D.R. Big Deal. He stunk as a DH/Utility Guy last year. I am not impressed with what he has done in the Winter Classic League with nobody’s pitching to him. And Constanza could not hit the broad side of a barn last year. And the people who are high on Gattis, THE GUY AS NOT EVEN PLAYED AAA, BETTER YET THE BIG LEAGUES. Look, this is simple. Trade for a reliable LF. Not one that will break the bank, but a proven guy that can play at the Big Boy Table. My first choice would be Fowler. he hit .300 last year, can hit leadoff, and is a pretty good fielder. I don’t know what Colorado is asking, but I think he would be a solid addition at the right price. If that mean giving up Teheran/Delgado, i would say no unless he would sign an extension and lock him up. He is only 26.
My next choice if you cant get Fowler would be Bonafacio. I am not sure why he is not on the trading table. If they Jays really do need a 2nd baseman, then I can see why. But, they have plenty of OF help and I just dont see him riding the bench. Once again, he can leadoff and he is a good fielder. Now, I know last year he was hurt. Nut, in 2011, when healthy, he hit .296 in leadoff. he is a fast guy who can get on base. I thinkhe owuld fit just nicely at the leadoff.
Bottom Line, if the Braves don’t trade for a LF, then I would be worried. Cause with the lineup without one is an automatic out those 3 options. So, come on Wren, find a LF and let’s get this train going.
December 19th, 20124:20 pm
RC I personally like the balance and I love reading how others who didnt play or coach the game looks at things, sometimes you know they just are correct!
December 19th, 20124:21 pm
BJ Upton has OPSed over .800 only once in his career. I have a hard time believing he will turn into a relaxed, .800+ hitter, in an Atlanta line-up which just lost its iconic star, after signing the “largest contract in team history”. I suppose he could, but I would tend to rely on the 4000+ major league PA as an indication of his ability, as opposed to his minor league numbers, former BA rankings, and first full-season production, all of which occurred over half a decade ago.
December 19th, 20124:22 pm
Are there any examples of catchers having the same type of surgery as McCann? Can someone tell me how long it took them to get back to their old form?
” But Ross is going to get a bigger and longer contract that the Braves had in mind”
atta boy Frank, keep the think small be small approach and we’ll be stuck never being able to get out of the first round of the playoffs for the next 10 years … idiot.
Gentle Giant……………………………Free Hand
Arti & Meisteieri………………………Giro di Valser per Domini
December 19th, 20124:23 pm
Trade for a reliable LF.
People should not be allowed to use “Trade for a reliable LF”, “Fowler” , and “Bonifacio” in the same sentence. It’s too easy to play “Which does not belong?”
December 19th, 20124:24 pm
But yet a virtual nobody like BJ Upton gets the largest contract in Braves History right?, what a joke
ncscoots in a perfect world, in a perfect world…but in my years that has not happen so we have to coach for the inevitable, but would love to see the Braves or hell for my high school team to put a lineup together that blows everyone out everytime and we dont need to worry about the late innings, so maybe the Braves can do that and I can as well!!
December 19th, 20124:27 pm
I think there’s value in all opinions, assuming they are intellectually honest and don’t base their validity on “because I’m more qualified than you to say so”. If someone can present a POV and defend it without unfairly attacking alternative POVs, I’m all for it.
DS1 – Your BB IQ IS A1
December 19th, 20124:29 pm
in my years that has not happen so we have to coach for the inevitable
Your years should have taught you that building your lineup to maxmize against one or two late-inning outs will inevitably make those one or two outs more important than they should be.
Seriously, if I’m going against a righty on the mound and Heyward and Freeman have .900 OPS against righties, you think I’m going to split them up?
December 19th, 20124:30 pm
Trade for a LFer, yes Francisco stunk in a PH role, but he hit 262/293/497 as a starter. If he can get the OBP that would be more than adequate. If he isn’t a starter next year, there’s really not much use in keeping him in my opinion. He’s useless as a PHer.
The Rockies asked for both Minor and either Delgado or Teheran in return for Fowler. Pretty huge overpay for a guy with a 248/331/367 line away from Coors Field.
I don’t see Bonifacio as a big upgrade over anyone that we have right now. His 2011 was propelled by an abnormally high BABiP.
December 19th, 20124:32 pm
When have you tried my BB Q?
(was just trying to be humble while calling out some idjits!)
December 19th, 20124:37 pm
DS1 – Totally on board, my friend. BTW, idjit calling out is great fun, but not much sport…like shooting fish in a barrel.
Bonifacio is only an upgrade if we are looking at him for a part time super utility role. That way we dont have to keep a Janish/Pena type on the roster. He’s not going to hit enough to be a producing everyday LF’r.
December 19th, 20124:39 pm
First, I am delighted to see the love for Leonard Cohen on the best record list. I adored that album. Lots of the others, too, but I just don’t hear many people talking about the Cohen, and that’s a shame.
Second, put me in the camp that hopes the Braves stand pat unless something truly amazing comes down. And I don’t think Fowler qualifies as amazing.
If Francisco were to hit .240 with his usual slugging with average fielding, you’d have a league average third baseman playing for league minimum. I’m in.
I’m not suggesting that Gattis and Francisco will both be lightning in a bottle in 2013. But what are the chances that they BOTH bust? As in below replacement? If that happens, you make do with Johnson and Constanza until Frank Wren can use the resources he’s hoarded at any point between mid-Spring Training (ideally when some of those prospects will have gained value, and some of the options on the market will be more affordable) and the trade deadline.
How much of an upgrade is, say Fowler? Given the prices that are floating around? How much more of a sure thing is he, given his Coors splits?
Besides, Francisco and Gattis both have the stories and attitudes that make me want to buy tickets. I want to see them thrive, and I’m willing to shell out bucks for the privilege. Baseball is about entertainment, a long, long summer of it. These guys are going to provide that.
Thanks to Martin Prado, we have the versatility to wait for a MUCH better deal than what’s out there now, and we can wait and see what we have before giving up on, say, a Tehran, especially in a year when prospects seem undervalued.
I am so, so ready for spring training.
Outta here, til later.
December 19th, 20124:40 pm
DS1 is BB genius?? A1 = 161
December 19th, 20124:43 pm
Its sad that we have gone from trading for an impact player like Choo, Willingham, Hart, Upton, and Gordon to now people are willing to settle on Juan Fransisco. Winter league stats against scrub pitchers are useless. He has been exposed at the MLB level for several years, see OBP last two years. He’s got power, but thats his only tool.
I know how to spell Teheran. Honest.
December 19th, 20124:44 pm
I’m starting to believe that Frank Wren is not going to make a trade for a LF and if his choice is Bonifacio I’d rather he didn’t make the trade.I think it’s ridiculous to hoard all your prospects when you have a legitimate chance to win in 2013.I respect what the Bluejays have done this off-season and we only need one more piece to complete this team and we’re going to go with a platoon system in LF?Go out and get a true LF and keep Francisco,Johnson,Janish,DeWitt,&Laird on the bench.
December 19th, 20124:47 pm
Bill James’ 2013 projections on FanGraphs have Francisco at .272/.308/.502 in 235 ABs. That is considerably over league average (well, except for at bats) at the minimum. The. Minimum.
And lots of cash and chips for moves when you’ve gauged actual needs.
December 19th, 20124:48 pm
“And the people who are high on Gattis, THE GUY AS NOT EVEN PLAYED AAA, BETTER YET THE BIG LEAGUES. ”
Neither did Brian McCann
December 19th, 20124:49 pm
I’m not suggesting that Gattis and Francisco will both be lightning in a bottle in 2013. But what are the chances that they BOTH bust?
The chances are probably higher that they bust this year more than they succeed. One has never faced pitching above AA the other has proven that he cant hit lefties ar this level. FWIW, Id much rather take the chance on Gattis than Fransisco. We cant handle a guy who walks less than 5% and K’s more than 30%
December 19th, 20124:52 pm
I’m afraid Real Talks years of experience are mostly in his mind, he sounds like coach, even has the same kind of “me knowledgeable” blog name. Real Talk indeed.
DOB, I commend you for adding Sleigh Bells to your list. I have seen them twice down here, and they are more punk than pop-punk. They come down here this month, and I am hoping to catch them again.
By the way, the El Oso Blanco grocery store chain in Miami is defunct; the Oso Blanco in Miami is a cafeteria, no relation to the original grocery chain. That said, I hope the living Oso Blanco fares way better than the business chain. Now that’s a dude worth rooting for!
December 19th, 20124:54 pm
Come on, nobody is like Coach. One of a kind.
December 19th, 20124:55 pm
Hi guys, have we solved all the Braves’ problems yet?
December 19th, 20124:56 pm
Yup. Schafer in LF, Prado at 3B, done and done.
December 19th, 20124:59 pm
he does seem to like to talk down to folks doesn’t he? but coach, nah
December 19th, 20125:01 pm
damn murph you just made me TUALBIMM. I hate you
December 19th, 20125:02 pm
Is he the guy with 30 years of baseball experience?
December 19th, 20125:06 pm
our problems wont be fixed until Samantha and Hanna come back…
December 19th, 20125:10 pm
I was just looking at last year’s batting average splits. Upton’s split against lefties is .238 versus Freeman at .237
Freeman’s split against righties is .278 and Upton’s is .249
My line up would be, against right handers
If the Braves were trying to improve against left handed pitching Upton certainly does not help, as compared to last year.
Having Johnson for the whole year will help some.
In fact against left handed starting pitching my batting order would be
December 19th, 20125:12 pm
This is true. They really touched us all with their brief stay on the ol’ blog.
They touched some of us more than others, but are missed by everyone.
Trade for LFer:
You say you aren’t impressed with “Winter Classic” pitchers. But what about the MLB righties against who Francisco has played over the past two years in a non pinch hitting role in 226 ABs:
I repeat that here because by saying, “oh it’s those crazy Domincan pitchers down there, AA at best,” you set up a straw man–easy to knock down. Over the last two years in those 226 MLB ABs, I guess Francisco just coincidentally happened to get the crappy MLB pitchers, not any of the good ones? I don’t think so. If Wren had interest in Francisco solely based on Dominican play, he’d be an idiot. But he’s not doing that. Like me, his interest is 95% based on MLB numbers.
[Yes, nolie, 226 ABs is not a huge sample size. But if the sample size was 1000 ABs, everyone here would be crucifying Wren for even considering a trade for a LFer.]
Agreed. Play Juan or trade him. Don’t keep in a PH role. He is PA-THE-TIC as a PH.
December 19th, 20125:14 pm
you are becoming as fixated on Francisco as TOBF is on Bourjos . Obsession is a scary thing
Why is no one talking about Yepez – catcher at Gwinnett last year
Yepez’s line is .264 / .354 / .724
Yepez seems like a better back up at the start of the year than Bethancourt. Let Bethancourt learn to hit in the minors without giving him any major league service time.
What the heck is this blog about?! Woodworking?
December 19th, 20125:15 pm
what makes you think that Bethancourt is gonna be the opening backup catcher? I’m kinda doubting that myself
December 19th, 20125:17 pm
K Morales traded for Claudio Vargas
pathetic as a starter too… makes a shytload of outs
it is about anything we want it to be about other than politics or religion. deal with it or move on if it makes you unhappy
December 19th, 20125:18 pm
I like Morales a lot, too bad he didn’t really fit in here
December 19th, 20125:19 pm
nolie – In this off season no one is talking about any other catcher but Bethancourt as the starting backup.
Talking about blog people.
I was just throwing out why I didn’t see that as such a good idea and was offering an alternative
I LOVE GATTIS!!!!…SAW HIM ON TVO (Venezuelan TV, via internet last night),……..BUT!!!!!!!!
LOOK AT HIS SPLITS………
He is batting well over .330 and ALL HRs against RIGHTIES, only batting a little over .100 against LEFTIES. THAT makes the fact that he’s Right-handed, a Mute Point…or, is there any other benefit to him being right-handed?
December 19th, 20125:21 pm
good move for SEA, Angels… eh. Rotation still sukks.
But my boy goes back to playing CF, Trumbo can DH. Go Petey, show everyone how good you are next season
December 19th, 20125:23 pm
By the way Mejia’s splits last year against right handed and left handed pitching were within .03 of each other.
Mejia made 7 errors in 133 games
Freeman’s left handed split was .237
Mejia’s is around .299 He might get a few starts against lefties if I were managing
What about Prado hitting third?
December 19th, 20125:25 pm
In addition to what ive already commented, The only other thing I’ll add to the lineup discussion and then leave it alone is that generally you want you “best” over-all hitters as high up in the lineup as possible so that they get more plate appearances.
Glad you’re back giving me good-hearted reply. Yep, obsessed is a good word. But my obsession will make it all the sweeter when Francisco makes the “all-platoon All-Star game” in 2013!
December 19th, 20125:26 pm
Will today’s move FINALLY end the Bourjos to Braves talk??
In this off season no one is talking about any other catcher but Bethancourt as the starting backup…jmart
per Wren via O’Brien. The Braves signed catcher Matt Pagnozzi to a minor league deal and plan to have him serve as Gerald Laird’s backup until starter Brian McCann returns from shoulder surgery.
He’s always been a catch-and-throw guy,” said Braves assistant general manager Bruce Manno, who was with the Cardinals when they drafted Matt Pagnozzi. “I think the bat’s improved a little bit, but his strength is still defense
try to keep up, and don’t be a smart ass unless you know what you are talking about. there is a very good chance that Bethancourt will not start as back up, in fact if you would like to make a little wager I am certainly up for it
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