Waiting for Andy

Baseball America – Greenville Braves Stats

19 games, 73 AB, 4 HR, .274/.346/.466. If he keeps that up, how long before Braves blink? If they’re in striking distance at the end of the month, and DeRosa keeps doing his Butch Hobson impression, can they not?

Trolling through Brad‘s territory… In Richmond, Langerhans is all the way “down” to .275/.378/.464. God knows we couldn’t use that. Dave Nilsson is hitting .324/.390/.432. If LaRoche continues to struggle — he looked like he was coming out of it early in the road trip but was pretty awful at the end — I think they have to consider the big Aussie. Ray Aguilar has to have some terrible luck. He’s thrown 19 innings, struck out 18, walked 5, hasn’t allowed a homer… but has allowed 30 hits and is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA. It’s probably Betemit’s fault.

In Greenville, Marte’s actually been outhit by a couple of outfielders, Adam Stern and Billy McCarthy, neither of whom is really considered a prospect. The team’s 6-19 because the rest of the cupboard is pretty bare. You don’t want to know how Macay McBride is pitching.

Jeff Francoeur isn’t doing much in Myrtle Beach — .247/.309/.388 — but then it’s Myrtle Beach. A couple of guys do seem to have it figured out, Zo Ruelas (whom I don’t know) and Scott Thorman, who’s probably the Braves’ best long-term hope at first if Chipper doesn’t move there. Jonathan Livingston Seagull Not A Nepotism Case Scheurholz, by the way, is hitting .129/.239/.194 there, even though he’s 23 (24 next month) a college player in his third season in the organization and playing in A Ball… Eight of the thirteen pitchers the Pelicans have used this season have ERAs 2.77 or lower. Four are below 2. Efigenio Peralta has pitched 19 2/3 innings and has a .92 ERA with 20 strikeouts. Myrtle Beach is a great place for freak stat lines.

The players in Rome are generally unfamiliar to me as yet. Best line: Matt Esquivel, .360/.396/.616.

18 thoughts on “Waiting for Andy”

  1. Steven Doetsch, a JUCO pick out of last year’s draft, is doing his best Chipper imitation, hitting .320/.404/.520 at Rome. He’s somebody the Braves evidently love.

  2. Mac, you don’t like LaRoche long term? I can understand not likely him for right now, but he should be a solid first basemen in the year to come.

  3. I see LaRoche and I think JT Snow. Decent batting average and mid range power with smooth hands around the bag at first. Unfortunately, to me, that is damning with faint praise. A guy like Snow can be an All Star if everything breaks right for him in a particular year. But generally, he’s a huge step down from the class of Thome, Bagwell, Thomas, Giambi, Helton, Delgado, …

    About 20 years ago, I read a piece by Tom Boswell called the Curse of Tom Brookens. In it, he talks about how a guy like Brookens is nice to the fans, the writers, and the teamates and plays really hard. Such a nice guy and hard worker that you keep him in the lineup costing the club runs and wins for years and years. Sean Casey is probably the best example of it now.

    I’d like to see LaRoche succeed. I loved watching his Dad pitch and keep waiting for someone to reintroduce LaLob, the ultrasuperduperslow changeup that had major league batters looking like old women trying to hit a bumblebee with a broom stick. But while I hope I’m wrong, I don’t envision a bright future for Adam.

  4. Even if he does succeed — and I think he could be better than Snow — he’s the type of player who really shouldn’t be kept around once he gets expensive. That’s just how it is, sometimes. I figure that the Braves, if Thormann or someone else emerges (or if Chipper winds up moving to first) will let LaRoche go in 2007 or 2008.

  5. J.T. Snow? Wow that is faint praise. All the very over optimistic pundits are saying John Olerud. I’m not that optimistic. I don’t do all of the conversion formulas and estimates of major league performance but .270/.354/.420 would be terrific from him. If not and we are contending then look for the Braves to start shopping for an upgrade whether its in LF, 3B or 1st.

    I believe everything I read about Marte. It is a consensus that he is that good. But what in the name of Miguel Cabrera makes you think that they bring him up this year?

  6. You’re right, we don’t need to spend too much on a guy who isn’t going to hit for a lot of power. I thought you were just giving up on his potential. If LaRoche doesn’t improve soon, however, I would be interested in a Dave Nilsson/Julio Franco platoon. First base will be okay one way or another, my big concern is third base. I mentioned Cirillo earlier, but if the price is right we might be able to pry Burroughs away from the Padres when Cirillo returns from his injury. I just know that we have got to do something about that position, DeRo just isn’t going to cut it.

  7. What if we offered Trey Hodges, Wilson Betemit, and Mark DeRosa? If they want, we can even give up one of our bullpen guys. After all, they didn’t trade for Cirillo just for him to sit there. They traded Kevin Jarvis, Wilki Gonzalez, and Dave Hansen for him. That’s alot. Especially Jarvis. Plus, if I’m not mistaken, this is a contract year for Burroughs. I’m not saying we could get him, but I’m saying a.) it’s worth a shot and b.) I’m open to other ideas. Almost anything would be an upgrade.

  8. The more I watch LaRoche, the more convinced I am that he won’t ever consistently hit major league pitching unless he makes some changes in his approach. The way he waggles his wrists like a seesaw the instant before he starts his swing, combined with the way he dives at the plate, slows him down way too much. In my (admittedly amateur) opinion, he’s going to continue to have big problems until he fixes that.

  9. LaRoche looks alright. He doesn’t seem to be overmatched. To me, it looks like he has a hole in his swing right below his hands, but he opens up nicely on the ball. His fielding looks to be very good.

    Doestch and Esquivel have both been looking good at Rome, but Esquivel seems to think walks don’t count and Doetsch has been a human wind machine (Check out McCarthy at G-ville too. K rate well beyond his normal rate.)

    Braves have been getting some better offensive performances in the high minors. Maybe some of it is from guys repeating levels, but maybe the time has come to have those guys repeat levels rather than rush them along.

  10. All of which reminds me that LaRoche didn’t hit well upon his first exposure to High-A, nor his first try in AA — but hit very well in his second tries on both levels. He has an adjustment period, and I think eventually he’ll be okay.

  11. Can Nilsson still play outfield? Can he still sing “you put de lime in de coconut”?

  12. Re: Bamadan & Brookens–funny you would mention him–I have an autographed picture of Tom Brookens my sister got for me. She stayed as a guest at his house (it’s a long story) and gave it to me as a birthday/Christmas present (I forget which). To be perfectly honest I had never heard of him, but it was a picture of him in a Yankee uniform. How to diplomatically explain to my well-intentioned sister about being a Yankee-hater from way, way back? So I said thanks and now it’s on my desk in the study. I take solace from the fact that he was with the Tigers most of his career, and it’s not like he willed the Yanks to a championship or anything.

  13. Why would we want Burroughs unless it was to try another ex-Brave from the 70’s kid? He hits like a 2nd baseman. Except for the batting average what you have is well…Mark DeRosa. Cirillo was traded to the Pads so that the Mariners could get rid of his contract. To do so they had to take on Kevin Jarvis’ contract. Cirillo pretty much has been stinking it up the past couple or 4 seasons so the Pads are probably happy to have the insurance company paying his contract.

  14. bledsole, as I read your last post, I was listening to Harry N. sing “Everybody’s Talking.” I barely kept from spitting coffee all over the computer screen as I chuckled.

    Johnny, the difference between Burroughs and DeRosa is that the former is 23 years old while the later is 29. There is a world of difference between the future of a 23 year old and a 29 year old player. How many players are fulltime major leaguers at 22, bat over .280 with 40 extra base hits? Is he Albert Pujols? No, but he has a very bright future and has a legitimate chance of developing into a player along the lines of Edgar Martinez, Wade Boggs, or George Brett. DeRosa is a nice utility player, but his future is in coaching.

    Reaganman, it is not a contract year for Burroughs. He won’t be eligible for FA for three more seasons. This year, he will probably be eligible for arbitration for the first time (as a “Super Two”) and will be far from overpaid for at least 2 more seasons.

  15. I’m a big Harry Nilsson fan. Well, a medium-sized Harry Nilsson fan.

    Did you know Harry’s dad was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds? I read that in the liner notes of my Harry Nilsson’s greatest hits collection.

    Young Burroughs reminds me of a slug of players from the 1970s who never learned to hit with the authority befitting their physical stature. I watch him and see Larry Biittner all over again.

    Maybe he’ll learn to drive the ball yet, but 19 HRs in over 1,400 minor league ABs doesn’t bode well for him in that department. On the plus side, he was always a bit young at each level, so development may yet ensue.

    I would take him over DeRosa given the current state of things, but I am seeing the Braves as needing a “fence rattler” in the line-up somewhere before the season is over more than anything else.

  16. Interesting thread…IMO if we are going to have a 3B who makes good defensive plays, has a few lapses and hits 250 with 15 hr’s I would rather it be Marte on his learning curve than DeRosa on a flat line.

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