Braves’ Answerman: You asked, they answered (Just added: Why Chipper picks against Georgia)

rain 002

Rain at Camp Disney this morning. Not sure if the Braves will make it on the field.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Braves are taking their physicals this morning, which allowed David O’Brien and I to sleep late. I would like to tell you that the sleep means DOB will be less grouchy than usual today. But I’m not holding my breath. But at least he makes the coffee every morning.

(IMPORTANT UPDATE: I’m sure I just heard O’Brien singing from down the hall, “I am your baby doll.” But he insists it’s a Bootsy Collins song and he actually sang, “I’m a rock star doll baby baba.” Either way, he’s not grouchy. But I think I like grouchy better.)

Anyway, I figured this would be a good time to post answers to some of the questions to Braves that you emailed, Tweeted or posted. Not all are included, either because of redundancy, silliness or it fell into the category of: You just don’t ask somebody that.

But feel free to post more questions if you like — to general manager Frank Wren, manager Bobby Cox or players — and I’ll try to update this post later. Just post the questions on this blog.

By the way, I’ll be posting a column on Cox later today, which will run in the Sunday paper with Steve Hummer’s great centerpiece on him. Thanks.

♦ From “DamYankee” (to Bobby Cox): What does Matt Diaz have to do get  550 at-bats?

“I don’t know about  550. We’ll see how it goes. It depends on who makes the team and that kind of thing. But I wouldn’t be afraid to give him 550. He’s been great. He’s a player.”

♦ From “AJ” (to Frank Wren): What is Jo-Jo Reyes’ status on the club?

“Obviously the way things are put together right now we don’t have a spot for him in our rotation. But he’s continuing to be a viable option for us if we have injuries. He’s continuing to improve his command. That’s the biggest thing for him. If he can do that, he has the stuff to be a major league starter.”

From “Dayman” (to Cox):  Is Omar Infante going to get a legitimate chance to start at second?

“Prado’s our second basemen. He finished last year there. He was our MVP.”

From “Dayman” (to Cox): Would he consider moving Chipper Jones down in the line up after the first couple of months if he struggles like last year?

“We’ll do anything it takes to win. Chipper would be the first one to say so. But the good thing is I won’t have to be faced with that decision

From “Dayman” (to Cox): How has Peter Moylan’s elbow held up over the off season?

“Outstanding. No problems at all. He’s 100 percent.”

From “Jack” (to Wren): How does Schafer figure in their plans for this year?

“Schafer for me is a wait-and-see right now right now from a health perspective. When you spend that much time in a cast, there’s atrophy. It takes a while tom get the strength back. He should be 100 percent close to opening day or shortly thereafter. He just needs to play. If we don’t have sufficient playing time for him, I would suspect he’ll go to Gwinnett and play every day and get the at-bats he missed last year. For him, the talent’s there. He just needs to play.”

♦ From “Tailback U” (to Bobby): How much input will he  have in choosing the next manager?

“I don’t really want to. I’m not the one who’s going to work with him. That’s up to Frank and the guys. I mean, if they ask me I’ll tell them what I think.”

♦ From “Choppinmama”  (to me): Would you speculate on a few candidates that you feel might be in the running to replace Bobby next season?

I doubt Frank Wren has a specific candidate in mind. If the Braves have a good season, my guess is that would help Terry Pendleton’s cause. If you’re looking for a few names, just for entertainment purposes, here’s three: Pendleton and Eddie Perez from the current staff, and Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was popular as a Braves coach.

♦ From “Najeh Davenpoop” (to Cox): I would like to know if the Braves have given any real thought to Melky Cabrera playing every day and did they view him as a real possibility at leadoff when they dealt for him?

“We are. We’ll see how it goes. We’ve got him and Diaz, and if Heyward makes it there’s only room for so many. … He’s probably not your prototypical leadoff guy. But sure, we’ll look at it.”

♦  From “collegeballfan” (to me): List the top 10 Braves prospects and their anticipated arrival date.

How about if I just take the easy way out and provide you with this link to the just released 2010 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list.

I’ll save you some time.  Baseball America lists the following four Braves among the top 100: outfielder Jason Heyward (No. 1 overall, ETA 2010); first baseman Freddie Freeman (32nd overall, ETA 2011); right handed pitcher Julio Teheran (51st overall, ETA mid-2012); right handed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (69th overall, mid-2012). Baseball America last ranked the top 10 prospects for each organization in November 2009. Here’s the link to details about the Braves’ top 10. Listed were:

  1. Jason Heyward, of
  2. Freddie Freeman, 1b
  3. Julio Teheran, rhp
  4. Mike Minor, lhp
  5. Craig Kimbrel, rhp
  6. Christian Bethancourt, c
  7. Randall Delgado, rhp
  8. Zeke Spruill, rhp
  9. Cody Johnson, of
  10. Adam Milligan, of

From “Give the man some credit” (to Wren): How realistic is it to think Jair Jurrjens will be locked up with a long-term contract this season?

“I don’t know. Sometimes it depends on the representative of a particular player.” (FYI: Jurrjens’ agent is Scott Boras.)

From “Joey M” (to Wren): If Melky Cabrera, Jordan Schafer and Jason Heyward all have strong springs, who get’s left out? McClouth and Diaz I assume are in.

“I don’t know. A lot of it will depends on who looks like they’ll get the bulk of the playing time. That might answer the playing time. If one guy gets the bulk of the playing time, somebody else might go to the minor leagues.”

(Just added. Some questions also answered in comments section.)

♦ From “Alex”  (to Troy Glaus): Did he have second thoughts about having to move to first base?

“No, not at all. The third base market wasn’t really open. So if I wanted to continue working and playing … No, seriously, I had no reservations. In the back of your mind, you always think of yourself as a third baseman. But after a while, it’s more of a when than an if.”

From “LaJolla Dawg” (to Chipper Jones): Have you given any thought to how the UGA fans feel about you picking against Georgia (you were right, but that’s beside the point) on Gameday and being shown on camera in Jacksonville rooting for U of F? You live in Georgia and play for the Atlanta Braves, seems like you might be publicly biting the hand that helps to feed you. No?

“People think that I don’t like Georgia. I root for Georgia against everybody, except Florida. I’ve taken so much guff  for picking Oklahoma State over Georgia on Gameday last year. I’m like, ‘You’d have a beef if you had won.’ When I bet on a game with my buddy, I’m betting with my head, not my heart. I’ve bet against Florida if I don’t think they’re gonna win. Does that not make me a true fan? I’m still rooting for them. I’m hedging my bet. I’m a Gators fan. I grew up an hour outside of Gainesville.”

But in the state of Georgia, right? “Well, I don’t want people to think that I’m not a Georgia fan. I love Mark Richt. Heck, some of my teammates in high school went to Georgia. I root for Georgia against everybody but Florida.”

Earlier posts from  Braves’ camp:

Are we expecting too much too soon from Jason Heyward?

Live from the parking lot! Jason Heyward’s landing zone

The maturing of Yunel Escobar

Eric Hinske and his $5,000 tattoo

♦ Derek Lowe looking forward after rough year and trade talk

Flying south, and taking your Braves’ questions with me

67 comments Add your comment

Riley Dog

February 27th, 2010
9:51 am

La Jolla Dawg

February 27th, 2010
9:51 am

Jeff, are you Oscar and DOB is Felix, or is it the other way around?

Question for Chipper Jones, have you given any thought to how the UGA fans feel about you picking against Georgia (you were right, but that’s beside the point) on Gameday and being shown on camera in Jacksonville rooting for U of F? You live in Georgia and play for the Atlanta Braves, seems like you might be publicly biting the hand that helps to feed you. No?

MattDawg

February 27th, 2010
10:04 am

Please not TP for our next mananger!!!After all he ruined Jones(Andrew)and Francoer by trying to get them to hit to all fields . I could name 50 great MLB players that were pull hitters their entire careers.

Whatever

February 27th, 2010
10:05 am

A lot of questions but not many answers. Wren should be a politician…

Poorbrave

February 27th, 2010
10:17 am

Bobby said, I don’t really want to but if they ask I’ll tell them.

I hope Wren picks the next manager not Bobby and he’s from another system. Hell no to TP.

DOB said you forgot your Shampoo?

TommyP

February 27th, 2010
10:25 am

“The Braves are taking their physicals this morning, which allowed David O’Brien and I to sleep late.”

Did y’all spoon, Jeff? Just asking. :)

Y’all have the best gig in the world, especially now. Unfathomable to be grouchy….

Keep the positive coming. And please, don’t fall into the Heyward nickname game.

GaDawgFan

February 27th, 2010
10:27 am

Well you want him to answer these stupid questions based on how he thinks they are going to do in spring training?

Sutton's Fro

February 27th, 2010
10:28 am

Dave, here’s a question for Bobby Cox:

Do you think you have the right guys now to steal more bases and try more “hit and run” plays? With the lack of heavy-duty hitters, it seems like manufacturing runs will be more important than ever….

Sutton's Fro

February 27th, 2010
10:28 am

Sorry Jeff for calling you DOB!!

rico43

February 27th, 2010
10:37 am

What is the realistic timetable with Scott Proctor? (to Bobby or Roger Mac)

todd grantham

February 27th, 2010
10:37 am

Jeff, the GM appears to be the master of giving non-answers.

Jack

February 27th, 2010
10:44 am

Thanks Jeff… Great stuff… Keep it comming… I’m jack’d about the upcoming season… No pun intended…

Reid Adair

February 27th, 2010
10:45 am

Wow. Frank Wren’s answer about Jair Jurrjens is disappointing – but not surprising. I expect we’ve probably seen the last of long-time commitments to players in this organization. At least until someone else owns it.

Jack

February 27th, 2010
10:46 am

Oh! Sorry about the misspell… It’s still early…

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:47 am

Reid — I would read that as just being real cautious. Who knows what the agent is asking for.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:47 am

Jack — Thanks. Should be fun.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:48 am

Todd Grantham — It’s not just Wren. EVERY general manager is a master of the non-answers.

DaveB

February 27th, 2010
10:49 am

Please don’t answer TommyP; TMI! Spend the time on improving the grammar. “DOB and I”???

Hawk n the Ham

February 27th, 2010
10:49 am

Question for Wren:

Who is going to be the everyday 3rd baseman if Chipper fails to deliver this year?

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:52 am

RIco43 — According to DOB, Cox has said he’s ahead of schedule and he could be ready opening day. More realistic might be late April.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:52 am

Sutton’s from — That’s almost a 4 letter word. Kidding.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
10:54 am

Tommy, Tommy …Did you have to go the spoon route?

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Poor Brave — Most time you rent a condo, it’s like a hotel and the essentials are there: soap, shower. So I didn’t bring any. So YES I borrowed shampoo the first morning but bought it the next day. Geez. He’s so high maintenance.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
11:07 am

Reid — By the way, I just added this: Jair Jurrjens’ agent is Scott Boras.

grammar nazi

February 27th, 2010
11:07 am

“which allowed David O’Brien and ME to sleep late.”

kurula

February 27th, 2010
11:20 am

”…with Steve Hummer’s great centerpiece in him.”
this made me double take and laugh out loud. i know…juvenile. but c’mon, that’s funny.

Ted Striker

February 27th, 2010
11:21 am

Good questions (from the field) and interesting replies. Good job all around.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
11:24 am

Grammar Nazi — Seriously dude?

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
11:26 am

Kurula — OK. Now THAT one I’m fixing.

Mitchell

February 27th, 2010
11:55 am

Najeh Davenpoop.

That’s hilarious. I like it. Poop.

TexasBrave

February 27th, 2010
11:59 am

Jeff could you ask Roger McDowell when pitchers (particularly starters) throw in their first couple of ST games do they usually go all out with all their pitches like they would during the season or do they gradually build up? If they build up how long (starts or innings) would it take before they do start cutting it loose with their entire repertoire?

superadam

February 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Will you ask troy glaus or Hinske or one of the new guys if they got a new helmet ? I was always curious if the team shares helmets like in little league or do the players have there own helmet. Seems like it could be pretty gross come mid summer

Bravissimo

February 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

Are the minor league guys down there yet?

Beauvighn

February 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

Interesting that Bobby is not opening up the 2nd base job to the best player. Before he was injured, Infante was ahead of Prado in the pecking order. No doubt Prado had a good year but I don’t think you just forget about Infante. Whatever happened to the best player plays. That’s my gripe with Cox sometimes. He has his mind made up and come hell or high water , that guy is going to play regardless if he hits a buck fifty for 3 months.

Cecil34

February 27th, 2010
12:22 pm

Wren’s and JS’s strategy was to sign Herr Glaus for first, while freeman seasons up in the minors, with full knowledge that he would play at third moreso due to Chipper’s history of injuries.

This thought process is also behind the signing of Hinske, who can play first while Glaus is at third.

The Braves think that Chipper is in decline and will retire at the end of the year. Wren could move Chipper at mid-year to Texas (near his Ranch) with his permission.

So it wasn’t all about Herr Glaus playing first, especially since Freeman is expected in ‘11.

It was about setting up a backup plan when Chipper inevitably goes down with his myriad of injuries that he is good for, not to mention he is 37 years old…the bat speed aint what it used to be, and the Braves know it.

Rich Clary

February 27th, 2010
12:34 pm

Monster Dream deal: Pack up some prospects for Adrian Gonzalez. That might get Bobby back in the post-season.

CJ Hall

February 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

Question for Bobby Cox:
Will Greg Maddux be at Spring Training, as you had discussed with him in July after retiring his number? If so, when will that be?

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

Texas Brave — I can answer that for you. They don’t go out with their full arsenal and every pitcher is different. They may try to work on a specific pitch or working on throwing different pitches in different situations. But every guy has a different philosophy. That’s why spring training statistics often are meaningless.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

Superadam — Yes, they get new helmets.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

Bravissimo — The entire 40 man roster is here: 24 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 infielders, 5 outfielders. In addition to that, there are 18 “non-roster invitees,” which includes Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman.

Jeff Schultz

February 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

Beauvighn — I disagree. Prado did more than enough last year to earn the starting job.

[...] ♦ Braves’ Answerman: You asked, they answered [...]

TexasBrave

February 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

Jeff I was trying to figure this out to see just went we can start getting an accurate picture on just how Heyward will do against pitchers when they are not just “working on things” and are actually pitching like they would in regular season games. I wouldn’t want everyone to get excited about Heyward (or anyone else for that matter) until the pitchers start throwing normally.

Does Bobby take the whole Spring Training as a guide as who to keep or send down, or does he wait for a couple of weeks when pitchers really start reviving it up to get an accurate measure of a player?

BravesfaninWis

February 27th, 2010
1:22 pm

Question for Frank Wren:

Is Salcedo (sp) slated to be our next 3rd baseman when CJ retires, or are the plans to bring him up at his original SS position?

bruce

February 27th, 2010
1:26 pm

Jeff — this is great forum thank you…
For Bobby: Last year before he was HBP, Omar seemed to be ahead of Martin… Then Martin did a fabulous job at multiple positions and at the plate as he took over Omar’s time and earned 2B starter. What do you think of Omar’s potential to challenge to play nearly every day (as Bobby gives regulars a day off and uses double switches, especially with increased bullpen depth) now that Omar’s hand is healthy and has the ability to play nearly every position on the field?

Coach (2011 or Bust)

February 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

Just one question for Bobby. Why are the Braves the slowest team in the big leagues and what is he going to do to remedy the situation?

I dare you to ask him Jeff, I dare ya….

p.s. just for reference, our Braves have stolen 232 bases since Rafael Furcal led the team with 46 in 2005. They rank rank dead last in stolen bases since 2006 among all thirty major league teams.

superadam

February 27th, 2010
3:33 pm

thanks for the answer jeff, what do they do with the old ones from last year, can a player take it as a momento

Tim Smith

February 27th, 2010
3:39 pm

I don’t know why everybody is so quick to label Infante as a utility player. I never understood how the Tigers labeled him at the age of 23 after acquiring Polanco. Omar did an outstanding job as an every day second baseman in 2004, but when he struggled at the plate to start 05 that was it.
He’s still only 28, and I think the Braves are a better team with Infante and Prado in there every day (or at least 5 times a week). I wish there was a way Omar can somehow get 400 ABs this year so we get a better read.

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