Cox might keep three for first base | Braves | Braves Notebook

Was there ever any doubt? I never had any. Matt Franco would have had to hit .120 to get cut after what he did last season, and Julio is around to pound lefties. It limits their options at other positions, but the Braves don’t really need more than one outfield reserve.

Cuts were made yesterday, with few surprises. The most prominent players were Wilson Betemit, Adam LaRoche, and Ramon Castro. Castro’s chance of making the team died when he made two errors in a game last week, and the other two would have had to play lights-out to have a shot… It looks like Jesse Garcia will have to start the season in AAA as well, unless Rafael Furcal is hurt or the Braves finally dispose of Vinny the Poo.

8 thoughts on “Cox might keep three for first base”

  1. “Julio Franco’s age is 41 in the Braves’ media guide, but he’s listed as 43 or 44 in other baseball reference guides, and it’s widely assumed he’s even older.”

    I’ve never understood why Franco won’t come clean about his age. It’s not like it matters at this point, either he can play or he can’t. I’d be willing to bet, though, that he “miraculously ” ages a few years when it comes time for him to start collecting on his pension.

    Of course, given the record-keeping in many Latin American countries, it’s possible Julio doesn’t really know exactly how old he is. Then again, who among us does? We just depend on what someone tells us. Birth certificates are not that hard to fake.

    On the roster thing, I’m glad Bobby’s graduated from three catchers to three first basemen. Does this mean next year he’ll actually keep five outfielders?

  2. I thought there was a chance Cox would bail on Matt Franco. After all, he pretty much bailed on him last September, and certainly in the playoffs vs. san Fran when he wheeled out Julio against the righties.

    But M franco is a good PH bat, and thankfully Lockhart no longer holds that role.

  3. I’m surprised we don’t go after Julio Zuleta, who is days before not making the Red Sox 40-man roster. They have too many 1B-DH types, and Zuleta has mashed the ball on several levels.
    If I were the Braves I would try to trade a good but not great pitching prospect for Zuleta and platoon him with Fick.

    I haven’t thought this all the way through but thought it was at least worth a mention…

  4. I’ve never understood why people think Franco might be even older than 43 or 44, except than that it would be fun to believe that someone almost eligible for Social Security can still hit. His first U.S. minor league season was 1978, in the Pioneer league. His first full year in the majors was 1983, with a bad Cleveland team. If his 8/23/61 birthdate is correct, that is, if he’s 41 now, he started in the U.S. minors the season he was 16-17 and became a starter with Cleveland the year he was 21-22. A little early, but not unusual for a player of his quality. If he’s 43 now, he was in the U.S. minors at age 18-19 and a starter with Cleveland at 23-24, which seems a little late for a highly touted Dominican. The “even older than 44” crowd must think he wasn’t good enough to play a full season until age 25-26, which would be extremely unusual for someone good enough to play as well and as long as he has.

  5. I like keeping the 3 first basemen. In the NL you need to have a couple good bats on the bench to pinch hit for the pitcher once or twice each game — something the Braves have lacked in the past. Matt Franco or Fick could play outfield in an emergency and Andruw plays every game so one backup outfielder is adequate.

  6. I also noticed that during the Braves’ game on TV the other day, Matt Franco was in left field when Chipper was a late scratch. They seem pretty set on leaving Fick at first. Franco didn’t look particularly comfortable in the outfield, but at least such flexibility will give him a better chance to stay on the roster if he doesn’t hit .350 again.

  7. I’m very glad to hear that Bobby Cox will most likely be keeping 3 1st Basemen and that meaning that my high school friend Matt Franco will still be w/ the team. I was disappointed last year when he only got 2 whole at bats last year in the playoffs, but am glad that he’s still in the majors. It looked very bleak for him after the 2000 World Series and he spent all of 2001 in AAA again. I wish Matt would get the most at bats against the righties, but Fick(who’s also a local near Los Angeles product like Matt) has more power in his bat and I’m sure that means Matt’s gonna have to go to spot starting and pinch hitting again. Oh well; just my comments for ya all. Write me if ya need anymore Matt info. :)

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