Not said, but implied

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Transaction Analysis: July 14-19, 2005

Okay, there is also the question of who to play where. Chipper is resuming his duties at third base, and that puts Wilson Betemit on the bench. There’s still the question of whether the Braves have a corner outfielder on whom they can rely. Kelly Johnson is cooling off, Ryan Langerhans just doesn’t look like he’s going to be more than the new Pat Sheridan, and why is Jeff Francoeur up if he’s here to watch those two play? I like all three of them, so perhaps the Braves will make do with them (plus Brian Jordan when he’s healed up). Like Davies, Francoeur and Johnson are getting work on a contender but in relatively low-pressure roles. It’s a way to win and keep winning, even allowing for normal turnover.

75 thoughts on “Not said, but implied”

  1. This had better be a rumor:

    According to a person close to the Braves’ legendary coach, Mazzone has been informally and indirectly contacted by members of the Yankees’ hierarchy, asking if he’d be interested in succeeding Mel Stottlemyre. Mazzone has told the friend he would come to the Bronx “in a minute” for the right offer.

  2. I hope so too. Because you have to know he’ll get whatever could possibly be considered the right offer.

  3. I’d be suprised. When leo negotiated his contract a few years ago and was aksed about money, he alledgely said the most important thing to him was remaining a brave.

  4. He was offered a ton of moeny from the Mets, but said he was an Atlanta Brave and wouldn’t leave Bobby.

  5. Two things – I am pretty sure teams can’t hire coaches for a lateral position, and trying to hire him while under contract would definitely constitute tampering. But having said that, he’s going to leave sometime. I just hope the current regime has already started planning for that.

  6. I heard the rumor as well, and I think Leo may eventually end up in New York, but only after Bobby leaves. So we just have to hope Bobby never leaves.

  7. Are you sure? I thought that was only an NFL thing. I thought MLB tampering rules only had to do with players.

    Of course, I only think that because I’ve never heard of a case of tampering involving a coach hire. However, there has never been a coach like Mazzone.

    Without the Mazzone/Cox pitching system, the Braves’ playoff streak ends. There’s no way to compensate for the loss of either.

  8. Hey I understand that it is always possible for coaches to move around throughout their career, but why is it always the Evil Empire on the phone. I would completely understand if he wanted to leave for a better opportunity (i.e. manager position),but why go to the yankees and have to deal with reworking a staff that already has one foot in the nursing home.

  9. I dont believe that one would leave without the other (Bobby or Leo), at least I hope not..

    Braves will be tied for the division after tonight. Houston is coming to Washington will Oswalt on the mound…This is the end of Washington, first a sweep by Houston then a sweep by Atlanta

  10. 7 losses in a row is tough. I hope Houston can take 2 of three, then we sweep the mutts.

  11. On the lateral move thing, I believe spike is correct. However, the discussion over on Primer implies that enforcement is selective (based on the outcome of the Fuson to Texas from Oakland thing). If so, I don’t have a lot of faith in old Bud protecting the Braves’ interests.

  12. 1st, the Yanks won’t fire Mel. Torre won’t let it happen. Mel has done a decent job with what he has.
    2nd, LEO WILL NOT LEAVE! Maybe durring a winter, but not at midseason. Come on, can we discuss something else? Embry is out there, we could get him! Hey, anybody want to trade LaRoche, Giles, Furcal, KJ, Francoeur, or HoRam today?

  13. Leo won’t be the manager either. Pitching coaches usually make terrible managers.When Bobby leaves it will be TP, Freddy Gonzo, Ned Yost, or Pat Coralis (who will probably leave too!) My vote is for Ned Yost.

  14. Does anyone think McCann will catch for Hudson on Friday? I’m not a big fan of Estrada at this point

  15. I wish Estrada would just serve his suspension. He’s largely useless right now at and behind the plate, or at least not useful enough that McCann couldn’t compensate. I know he wants to appeal on the principle of the thing, but why can’t he just serve it and raise a big stink at the same time?

  16. I think it is funny that we are looking forward to Estrada serving his suspension. I just want to see what McCann can do with more consistent pt. I can’t imagine how he wouldn’t be able to make us completely forget about Estrada.

  17. It’s not an easy thing to do since he is one of only two real catchers on the team. Somebody has to go down, and somebody else (Pena) has to come up or Eddie P. has to be temporarily activated again. Appealing it makes sense if the idea is to do this on your own time (as it often is for short suspensions). But holding out until the bitter end on a 3-day deal when there are (or at least should be) other ways to ensure that the umpire issue gets addressed is overdoing it, in my opinion. He earned the three days. I don’t blame him for reacting the way he did based on what little info I have, but his behavior still merits a short suspension.

  18. Here is a Bristol update:

    Mariotti is killing Buster

    Beano is making a small come back at Musberuger

    Digger has a small edge over Tony

    Vitale has a 12 point lead on Cohn.

  19. Why is everyone so down on Johnny? Yes, he might be struggling, but do not forget what he has done for us. He will bounce back just fine. Mr. Mccann was jumped from AA don’t forget and is not ready to play everyday in the majors quite yet. He was only hitting .265 with 6 homers in Mississippi so don’t expect too much this year.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think these young guys are great, but talk about removing LaRoche for Marte and Johnny for McCann is absurd. This team will not win with seasoned vets. Think about it.

  20. I fully agree that down the stretch we may be better served to have a veteran in Estrada behind the plate, however I just wish we could get McCann involved a little more than just every 5th day. At least mix it up a little and let him get an opportunity to work behind the plate with each of the pitchers and not just smoltzie.

  21. Sorry to switch gears a little, but I saw this post on from John Sickels and found that it added some interesting questions to discuss.
    You are the farm director for the Atlanta Braves.

    Generally speaking, you should be pretty happy. You have a lot of talent on the farm. But there are still some decisions to make.

    What do you do with Andy Marte? He’s ready but blocked.
    Scott Thorman, same question.
    You have two strong catching prospects in Saltalamacchia and McCann. What do you do with them?
    You have lots of pitching prospects. Who do you want to push, and who do you want to be patient with?
    Which of your prospects are untouchable and which are tradeable?

  22. Smoltz loves pitching to McCann and he has made that perfectly clear. Dont get me wrong Estrada is a very good catcher, but I think we can get more out of both of them by splitting up the time. Estrada could catch for Ramirez, Hampton, and Sosa and McCann could for Smoltz and Hudson. With Estrada not being perfectly healthy he could use the extra day off.

    Oh yeah moving Laroche to make room for Marte is absurd!!!!

  23. You know how Cox/Mazzone are. They always let one of their pitchers (generally the ace) have a personal catcher to work with. As long as Smoltz is comfortable with McCann, he will remain as is. This is until the suspension or if their is another injury, of course. After that expect to see much of the same.
    Hey, its work all these years. Why change a good thing?

  24. One problem with the catching situation is that there’s no platoon advantage to be had, since McCann hits lefty and Estrada is usually awful from the right side. It would be nice to have a RH catcher to hit for Estrada when necessary… But they don’t.

  25. I’ll play the game:

    Marte moves to 3rd ASAP, Chipper to 1st, LaRoche to an OF corner or traded. Sorry, Adam. For those who question this, Marte is hitting better at AAA now than Adam did two years ago when he was over 3 years older. And he plays a more important position defensively. Sorry, there’s no choice to make here.

    Thorman has not shown himself to be deserving of a MLB job yet. I guess he can come up and pinch-hit. Otherwise deal him.

    McCann is fine in the role he’s in now, but I would replace Estrada with him next year. Salty is still a little ways away, so I’d keep him in AA almost the whole year next year unless he just destroys it.

    Lerew is either fine in Richmond or a candidate for a bullpen job in Atl. Davies is probably looking at a starting job in Atlanta next year. Chuck James could either be a lefty relief ace or start at Richmond. Jake Stephens needs to recapture the magic from last year. Joey Devine probably gets a bullpen spot this September and keeps it next year – maybe even earlier.

    I wouldn’t consider anyone untouchable. My favorite prospects, in descending order, are:
    The Cuban Guy
    Elvis Andrus

  26. just for kicks, what do you all think about the possibility of trading marte for delmon young?
    on the surface this solves our biggest hole next year and clears the third base dilemna up. Tampa Bay doesn’t have any terrific options for third base in their future so why not take marte.

  27. That would be a pretty interesting push trade, but I don’t think Tampa would bite. And that would be my exact prospect list as well, Kyle.

  28. They probably wouldn’t take it, but the thing about Delmon Young is that you sorta already have him. I guess that most will be more tempted to compare him to Rocco, but that’s not exactly what I mean. He’s the same guy in the Braves eyes as far as impact goes, and I’m not sure they’re wrong (but I think Delmon will be ready faster). If you figure that Kelly Johnson can develop the kind of power to be a very scary offensive player and you have the franchise player for the next decade on the verge, a young outfielder only muddles another picture (whether that’s Marte or Delmon Young). I still think it has to be LaRoche vs. Marte over the winter, with Marte winning. What I would like to see in the outfield is a good, powerful, temporary right fielder next year. I don’t know how likely that is, although I know we have the talent to trade for one (if available). The longer Francoeur stays up, the less likely he is to play another minor league game unless he is totally in the tank around this time next year.

    That’s a real interesting discussion over at Those of you who don’t already should check over there at least every now and again. Even if you aren’t into minor league ball (and I’m not), it’s a great site.

  29. Gosh, that doesn’t read well at all. I was initally comparing Francoeur to Delmon Young. I just sorta left out that crucial detail. The point being why give up Marte for someone who really could only push Francoeur out of the way when you can clear the logjam giving up LaRoche instead?

  30. I doubt either team makes that trade joshg. We trade a great 3B prospect so that we can block our (in the mind of many) 2nd best prospect? Seems a bit silly, as it only moves the logjam from 1B/3B to the OF.

    Estrada just isn’t that good of a player. His career line(.339/.399) is virtually identical to the average NL batter(.332/.418) which actually means that he is above average for a C(speaking of, does anyone know where to find average numbers by position? I used to find it a BPro but they reoorganized the stats there). He is not that good defensively, and even with his hot start isn’t very good. McCann on the other hand is probably as good offensively(similar OBP/Slug numbers, with a lower average is what I would predict at this point, though he has been better in his very limited sample) and better defensively. HE is also still improving. He is the clear choice for 2006, and I’d take him in 2005. However, Estrada isn’t a good backup C at all(teams like a great glove, no hit C to be backup typically) and so I doubt that he wouldn’t finish up the year as the starter.

  31. o.k. I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking, I agree that would only muddy the waters. So, in the offseason our biggest hole will be SS. I think we should be have plenty of trade bait (i.e. LaRoche, Estrada, HoRam, McBride) to get a difference maker at short. I am just not sold on Betemit and think that any help the farm system may provide will be a few years from now.

  32. Why worry about next year yet? What do we need right now? I think help in the bullpen is critical. I don’t like trading LaRoche and moving Chipper during the season.

    I have yet to come up with a realistic trade to get bullpen help though. At least to get someone better than, say, Dannys Baez.

  33. For what it’s worth, I would trade any player in the minor leagues for Delmon Young straight up and not think twice about it, no matter who I had on the field.

  34. I am not sold on Betemit either. The future at SS is Luis Hernanadez, but hes struggling with the bat at Mississippi, thus he needs more time.
    I think you underrate Laroche. He is solid and has potential to be even better.

  35. The only reason I include LaRoche as a possibility to trade is because of Marte.
    As for the rest of this season, who is out there that can be a difference maker. Wagner, but he costs too much both in salary and prospects.
    I would consider the Embree option. He is a veteran who has been there before.

  36. Luis Hernandez isn’t the future of anything, no matter how good a fielder he may be.

  37. Embree has given up 33 runs in 38 innings and was just DFA by the Red Sox, who are just as desperate for relief pitching as the Braves. I’m sure Cox and Mazzone can get some productive use out of him, but he’s not really an upgrade over anyone on the team now.

  38. I say we try to re-sign Furcal. I don’t think we are going to do much better. Maybe he will cut us a deal becuase Atlanta judges are Braves fans.

  39. Here is an idea…Lets trade LaRoche bring Chipper over to 1st so he can stretch out his bad hamstrings for a couple of days. Then we can bring up Marte and watch him struggle and bat around .200 making a couple of mistakes everyday. Then Chipper could get hurt again then we could let Franco cover 1st everyday.

    As for LaRoche he could go play 1st everyday putting up numbers like .280 w/ 30HR’s. Not bad for a 1st baseman.

    just a thought…

  40. Maybe we should try to re-eup Furcal right now. We might get him cheaper if we act now.

  41. Or hope that Cuban kid turns into something, and it can be patched up (hopefully with Betemit) until that happens.

    What kind of a base stealer is Hernandez likely to be in the majors? I know he can’t slug for anything, but could he at least run a lot if he can manage to get on base?

  42. WOW! That’s a really odd move. Something else must be coming right behind it.

  43. OH MY GOD!!!!! This is the best new of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. LaRoche 267 abs 13 hrs.
    1 hr every 20.5 abs
    30 hrs 615 abs
    Take away platooning 30 hrs.

  45. Take away platooning and LaRoche hits zero HR against LHP. So he still wouldn’t hit 30 bombs. He’s not a bad player; he’s just not Marte.

  46. Colon can’t come up yet unless someone goes on the DL. Ditto Davies. Either it’s Lerew or James, or someone else has been picked up.

  47. Lorenzo has a 1.99 WHIP in AA this year and an ERA above 7. Not exactly a great haul.

  48. Sickels gave him a C+ and rated him the 15th on the Rangers’ prospect list. I couldn’t find any specific comments on the site. But I guess it’s pretty clear that this trade wasn’t about him exactly. Who do you clear room for other than a trade, Chuck James or (in the “nothing’s shocking anymore” category) Joey Devine.

  49. Couple of things, Harrison is not on the prospect list? The cuban kid is yuniel escobar..
    and no way we can sign raffy.
    God awful Rollins ( who Raffy bests in every category ) got 4/40. Atleast i hope they offer him arbitration.

  50. I saw Delmon Young and Marte play last night in Durham (BTW, Larew pitched a great game) Delmon Cansecoed a ball in right but hit some laser shots, including a ball off the wall in right center that he legged out for a triple. He is a big guy but he can really run. He takes a hell of a swing at everything. He reminds me of Daryl STrawberry but thicker…Marte had two singles and made a couple of nice defensive plays at third…However, I would trade Marte for Young. Young looks like he will be an offensive demon if he is patient. (he doesn’t turn 20 till september.)

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