Todd Hollandsworth

Braves obtain Todd Hollandsworth | ajc.com

Acquired for two minor leaguers without much prospect status. Hollandsworth was the Rookie of the Year with the Dodgers in 1996 and that hangs over his head, because he’s not at all a special player. What he’s been is a credible fourth outfielder/platoon player with a career .279/.336/.447. (Even in his ROY campaign he hit about that.)

With the Dodgers, he slowly drifted out of the team’s plans, then started on the journeyman path to Colorado, Texas, Florida, and finally the Cubs, where he hit .318/.392/.547 last year. But this year, he’s hit .254/.301/.388 and lost most of his playing time. He only had 23 AB in August. He hit .304 but it was an empty .304 with no walks and two doubles.

I’m a little more optimistic about Hollandsworth than some. He’s 32, and maybe he’s done, but I think that he’s capable of bouncing back to his career norms, and for the Braves, he can be useful, especially if Julio is out since he can also play first. I expect he’ll platoon in left and take away what’s left of Langerhans’ playing time. Someone, likely Joey Devine, will have to go down today or tomorrow (depending upon when Hollandsworth reports) to make room. The Braves were likely going to demote a pitcher and call up a hitter now anyway to set the postseason roster ratio.

Todd Hollandsworth Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

106 thoughts on “Todd Hollandsworth”

  1. “He gives us another piece as we try to construct our team,” Schuerholz said. “He’s hit .300 as a pinch hitter in the past.”

    Well, there’s faint praise for you. How about: “He once got a pinch hit. Therefore he’s hit 1.000 as a pinch hitter in the past over brief stretches.”

  2. Useless.

    A platoon outfielder hitting .200 since the break, hitting a very empty .367 with no homers off the bench this year – but OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH! He’s 4-12 with a homer against the Braves this year, and homered off Smoltz in a game last year! Well, that’s great – except he won’t be playing us.

    I fail to see how he’s particularly different from Brian Jordan.

  3. I guess he is better than Esix Sneed, designated runner. I sure hope we didn’t give up more than a couple of completely useless spare parts for this rotting carcass of a former 4th OF.

  4. I assume this means Brian Jordan and the temptation to Bobby to play him wont be on the postseason roster. Is Hollandsworth a better player than Jordan?

  5. If he’s being brought in as a fifth outfielder, I like the move, because he can play all three outfield positions plus first base, and he can hit a little. I’ve thought all year that one of the big benefits of this year’s Braves team is that, if they make the playoffs, they’ll finally have a couple of guys on the bench who can swing the bat, instead of trotting Jesse Garcia out there as a pinch hitter. Hollandsworth could help in that regard, because he’s a left-handed hitter who is not overmatched against lefties.

    On the other hand, if he’s gets 100 at bats in September, the Braves are in real trouble.

  6. JonathanF, he’s a career .299/.373/.488 pinch hitter in 164 ABs. That’s close enough to .300 that Schuerholz is probably referencing that line. I’d guess that he is saying “in the past” when referencing Hollandsworth’s career stats to imply, “. . . but with us, he’ll be AWESOME BEYOND ALL BELIEF.”

  7. Hollandsworth’s pinch-hitting numbers this year are .269/.321/.346…that’s for 26 ABs. 2 2Bs, 6 RBIs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. It’s higher than the other pinch-hitters we’ve mainly used this year (Orr, Betemit, Langerhans) so I guess it’s an improvement in that regard…but comparing him defensively to Langerhans, his Rate2 in LF is a good 20 points lower. I’m assuming this move is a cheap rent-a-player type transaction just for this year, because otherwise I don’t see how it makes sense to carry 5 outfielders and what we’re going to do with Langerhans after this year. The fact that Hollandsworth can play 1B is an added bonus, but I don’t think we were short of left-handed bats, because out of 13 position players we have on the active roster, only 4 (Andruw, Marcus, Frenchy, and Franco) are exclusively right-handed. The others are either left-handed or switch-hitters. We’ll see how this works out, but I’m a little confused.

  8. It’s also strange that we have 3 players (KJ, McCann, Orr) who bat LH and throw RH. And that all our switch-hitters throw RH. Why are there no left-handed switch-hitters? I guess it’s because most pitchers are right-handed so there’s no reason to bat on that side if you’re a lefty, but it’s still strange. And I fail to understand how you could bat with one hand and throw with another. I’m right-handed and I’m totally useless with my left hand.

  9. Jenny:

    When I played I was a switch hitter(RH Thrower). Was something I tried because of Chipper(if anyone wants to know why). While my RH is my dominant hand I felt that I was a much better hitter from the left side. I had more power from the right side, but I was a much better pure hitter from the Left side. I also find that it weird like most of u that most SH’s throw RH and find it funny how most are better as LH hitters

  10. This is a good move. But I guess the gripers have got to gripe.

    (Yes, Hollandsworth is better than Jordan.)

  11. All infielders (not counting first basemen) throw righthanded, as do all catchers. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that switch-hitting is much more common among infielders than outfielders.

  12. Are they going to get the game in today? I was just on weather.com and the Atlanta forecast is tornado watch until 2PM then 30% chance of T-storms tonight. It looks from the radar as if “Tropical Depression Katrina” has moved north of the area (and it’s now headed for my area, yay, 60% chance of T-storms all day today) but that it’s still pretty windy. Anybody down there?

  13. In my experience, the LH bat/RH throw thing is fairly common. No idea why, maybe it just feels more comfortable. On the switch hitters being RH, my guess is that its just due to the greater number of players who throw right handed (when you consider the C, 2B, SS, and 3B are exclusive to RH players).

    On Holly, the deal is pretty much meh. Assuming he’s the 5th OF, he certainly isn’t any worse than Jordan.

  14. Considering the Braves’ potential playoff opponents, a left-handed bat off the bench is probably more useful than a right-handed one. The Padres’ primary relievers are Linebrink, Seanez, Otsuka, and Hoffman, all righties (they do have Chris Hammond, but haven’t deployed him as the typical one-out lefty). The Astros have Qualls, Wheeler, and Lidge, again all righties. The Cardinals do have two one-out type lefties (King and Flores), but on the whole, lefty bats on the bench are likely to serve the Braves well.

  15. Any idea on whether Bobby will insist on having a 3rd catcher on the playoff roster (besides Orr, I mean)? And if so, Eddie or Pena? That would further complicate the Octber roster.

  16. In Re: Hollandsworth – Assuming we make the playoffs, I would feel much more comfortable sending him to the plate to pinch hit in the late innings than one of the rooks. No empirical data to support that; just sort of a feeling.

  17. Julioís injury must be worse than reported. Not a good sign for Brian Jordan. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for roche.

    I hope this puts in a position to move chipper to 1B, Betemit to SS and Marte to third next year.

    Who are we going to send up for Pinch Hitting duties when we face Billy Wagner in a few weeks?

  18. Assume 14 position players/ 11 pitchers in October: then 8 starters (assume from recent usage that means KJ in LF and Estrada (alas) at C) and the following bench: McCann, Franco, Orr, Betemit, Hollandsworth, and 1 more…. Langerhans, but over Pena/ E. Perez, or Marte, or….?

  19. A lot of guys (and girls apparently from watching some college fast pitch softball) throw right and bat left. Left handed hitting gives you and advantage because since most pitchers are right handed. The ball is usually breaking towards you and not away. You see the ball better coming out of the hand. Both are major reasons people swing from the left although they are right handed.

  20. FWIW switch hitters probably started out batting 80% against right handers in High school and younger and maybe 60-65% as professionals. The power comes from lead side. Since lefthander faces so little left handed pitching while young theyhave less need to switch hit. Lefties are 2 steps closer to first and beter fielders are at SS and third in youth leagues.

  21. This would have made a bit more sense to me if Hollandsworth was right handed. This must mean that the Braves don’t see Jordan as an option for fifth outfielder. I can’t imagine that Cox would carry either Perez or Pena on the post season roster when Orr can serve in an emergency.

  22. He wanted an extra catcher when Lockhart was capable of taking over in an emergency. I could easily be wrong about this, but the only times I recall not having a real 3rd catcher in the postseason was when Fick and then Marrerro were on the team. It looks to me like a choice between either carrying 11 pitchers and carrying 3 catchers. With a 4 man rotation, 10 pitchers seems doable to me. It’s one short in the pen compared to the regular season, but since Cox (thankfully) is willing to use starters in relief in the playoffs, that seems ok.

  23. Mac & I were talking earlier and whether you like the Hollandsworth move or not, I have come around to Mac’s way of thinking on one particular issue:

    For the post season this year, try some miraculous and go with a 10 man pitching staff.

    Let’s face it, the last several years, we have gone with 11 or 12 and it’s gotten us one early exit after another…and ultimately, the bench is always too thin and 1-2 relievers (sometimes 3) almost NEVER get used because like in Basketball or any other sport, you tend to shorten your bench because EVERY WIN MATTERS.

    I mean, if we are in a tight late ballgame with the Padres or Astros in a Game 3 of a first round series tied 1-1 and Game 3 starter Sosa is OUT, we are likely only looking at 3-4 relievers we really want to use and only if it goes past 12 innings to we go past a group of 3-4 guys who we are most ‘comfortable’ with.

    And as Mac also stated earlier, we could use an extra righty on the bench as well for post season.

    My 25 man roster:

    Pitchers (10)

    Smoltz
    Hudson
    Sosa
    Horacio

    Davies
    McBride
    Boyer
    Reitsma
    Farnsworth
    Foster

    Hitters (15)

    McCann
    Estrada
    LaRoche
    Hollandsworth
    Franco
    Giles
    Orr
    Betemit
    Furcal
    Marte
    Chipper
    Langerhans
    Andruw
    Frenchy
    KJ

    First it noticeably leaves off two healthy veteran PITCHERS: John Thomson and Dan ‘bane of my existence’ Kolbb

    I get that these guys are veterans…but if Frenchy & McCann have shown us anything, give the young guys a chance. Or more bottom line…play the guys that can PLAY. Thomson, barring a turnaround, sucks ass and Kolbb has sucked ass the whole year.

    Why, in the post season then, would you waste 2 valuable slots on these turkeys when instead, you could have more effective younger pitchers available like Davies and McBride?

    I agree that Davies has not been effective enough this year as a starter to be in the post season rotation but he’s generally good for 3-4 innings at a time which makes him far more valuable then Thomson as this year’s early blowout emergency starter should Horacio get killed early or god forbid a pitcher gets hurt.

    Again, following MAC’S suggestion on the phone earlier, keep MARTE, is right…it allows an extra right bench bat with power which could be so valuable in a platoon game with a lefty coming in or a late inning extra bat or extra innings power…whatever the case, he serves a genuine purpose.

    The only negative to the 25 man roster I am suggesting is no true 3rd catcher should Estrada suffer an injury. I mean, I know Orr can play in a pinch but you maybe better off with Pena. I don’t want Eddie Perez’s useless bat anywhere near a roster spot but I am willing to see the Braves take a calculated risk with Estrada (seeing of course how September actually goes) and have Pete Orr available in a dire pinch.

    I think we need to emphasize offense and the fact remains, with a shortened starting rotation (no one uses a five man) then you automatically have 6 relievers if you go with a 4 man rotation.

  24. I think this is a great move. Langerhans is now going to come in for defence and KJ will loose some AB’s, but not too many. I think Julio (when his elbow gets better) will be our right handed bench guy and Todd will be out left handed guy. We don’t have to burn up Langerhans as a pinch hitter, we can save him for the late innings to fill in fo KJ.
    We have Orr to run or hit to lead off an inning, Todd, to use as above and to double switch. We can use WB to hit and come in for Chipper if we have a lead. This move only makes our bench stronger. Our bullpen is getting in a groove, everyone is getting set in a roll. Hudson, Smoltz, and Sosa have been throwing well. HoHum’s last two starts were good, he just couldn’t get any runs.
    We could be really dangerous in October.

  25. I would keep Kolb over Marte. Kolb has looked good in the second half and he would be fine comming in in the 7th with a runner on to get a double play (Grybo’s old role)
    Marte hasn’t hit in the big leagues yet and WB will be just fine. I think Orr can even play third.
    Or at least keep Kolb over Davies.

    Don’t give up on Thompson yet. He jsut needs to get his control back. If he does, look out.

    Hampton is going to make some rehab starts soon. If he can get in a groove too, we can moove Sosa to the pen and the keeping Marte would be ok.

  26. Davies? Marte? Two guys who have barely played in the big leagues, and who have had almost no success, over Thomson?

  27. I like Alex R.’s roster – keeping Marte and Langerhans, no 3rd catcher, only 10 pitchers – but I suspect creynolds is right – they’ll keep a 3rd catcher. I hope it’s Pena and not Perez, as Pena could conceivably have pinch-hitting value.

  28. Oh, wait, for some reason I was thinking Divine instead of Davies.

    I actually really like that lineup, though I wouldn’t leave Thomson out. I’d put him in over either Davies or McBride, though two lefties would be nice.

  29. Smitty, are you tapping into Danny’s Old Mill supply? Kolb has looked good in comparison only to his first half. His ERA is 3.94, which is mediocre, and that overstates his effectiveness. Since the break, he’s allowed a .349 batting average. Sure, he’s cut down on the walks, but also on the strikeouts (6 in 16 innings). And it’s clear that Bobby has given up on him; he’s pitched once, in a blowout, in the last ten days.

  30. I also don’t see any reason, right now, to have Marte in the post season. Do we have any evidence he’s a better big-league hitter at this point than Jordan.

    If Kolb’s still on the 25-man at the deadline, it means Bobby’s thinking one of the DL players (probably Hampton) will be ready to go for the postseason.

  31. “In my experience, the LH bat/RH throw thing is fairly common. No idea why, maybe it just feels more comfortable”

    I’m that way…and yeah it always felt right to hit lefty

  32. I think we should keep Thomson from the 25 man roster, we need all the veterans (except Kolb) down the stretch. Thomson can be valuable coming out of the pen and who knows, he might return to form before the playoffs. If Thomson can return to the starting rotation then Sosa can return to being the setup man. Kolb, on the other hand, should be banned from Turner Field the rest of the year. 7th – Boyer, 8th – Sosa, Closer – Farnsworth.

    I dont see Marte or Pena making the 25 man roster either.

  33. You know, the Braves COULD DL Franco to clear space for Hollandsworth. As long as he goes right back on the 25-man when he comes back, he could still play in the postseason, and the Braves would only be without him about 10 days, a few of which he’d be out anyway with an injury.

  34. The point about facing more right handed pitchers as a young player is what I think is the biggest factor in the RH throwing LH hitting debate.

    I like the Hollandsworth deal, he is an experienced pinch hitter in the postseason, it frees Orr to be used as a baserunning substitute, and like someone else said to lead off and inning. He always seems to get a hit as a pinch hitter leading off the inning, thus sparking a rally. I doubt he will replace Langerhans in the LF platoon. My bet is Jordan as sad as that sounds, it is typical Bobby. It seems funny to me how Bobby likes to experiment more when it comes to the postseason, so if Rochey and Franco struggle would it be out of question for Betimit to get in a first. It all remains to be seen, but barring Florida getting into the postseason, I think the Braves have a real shot this year. The west sucks, the Cardinals are ailing and the Phillies should self destruct.

  35. In regards to throwing righty and hitting “lefty”, I have always wondered why there is a designation for hitting right or left handed. Most of your power in hitting comes from your lead arm/bottom hand and torso. If you think about it, if you are right arm dominant, you should probably hit “left handed” to take advantage of the stronger arm.

  36. I don’t understand where this love for John Thomson has come from. He’s been going and getting his ass handed to him every fifth night and I almost feel certain we will lose any game he starts.

    I think it’s fair to say that if the godawful Nats lineup can manage at least 5 earned runs off Thomson, stick a fork in old “sweaty head”.

    And I love when people throw “post season experience” in my face in their arguments against young players.

    That post season EXPERIENCE sure worked well for a 19 year old named Andruw Jones in 1996 who hit home runs in Games 1 & 2 in vaunted Yankee stadium. We may have lost that series but it damn sure wasn’t 19 year old Andruw Jones’ fault! (fucking Leyritz).

    So, post seaosn experience is meaningless. Is there a Braves fan on here who doesn’t want 20 yr. old Jeff Frenchy starting in RIGHT FIELD every Playoff game? I mean, he’s 20 and so the fact that he’s hitting .360 right now is meaningless…we should just play Todd Hollandsworth because he’s 32! Screw Frenchy!

    As far as Dan Kolbb is concerned, I am 110% with Mac. You are drinking from spiked punch my friend is you think Kolbb has been effective. And I bet half my savings aaccount that if you looked back at his “scoreless” innings over the 2nd half, at least 70-80% of those innings he put runners on. In fact, i would dare say 90%. I have a hard time thinking of an inning in the last3 months where fat ass didn’t put a runner on.

    I don’t want kolbb’s fat, no talent ass anywhere near MY Braves this post season. Why waste the roster spot?

    And yeah, like Frenchy, Marte and McCann don’t have post season experience, neither does KJ and Langerhans…so, to those who aregue for post season experience, by my count, we should leave ALL those guys off the roster and what…re-sign Mondesi, activate Jordan and Eddie Perez? Those guys have all played in the post season at various points. So why not!

    Post season experience is the most overrated statistic in sports if you have no talent left and the 20 year old (aka KJ, McCann, frency, etc) who’s taken your job is 100X BETTER then you.

    which is also why I would take Davies over Thomson. I don’t care what thomson did last year or this past April. I want to win thre World series. If Davies gives us a better chance then Thomson, why would we argue it?

  37. I’m righthanded in everything, and hit “righthanded”. I believe that’s the more instinctive way to hold a club of any type, including a baseball bat. It may not be the superior way. However, it may be. Most golfers hit that way. Since there’s no platoon advantage in hitting a golf ball, probably the most normal way is used at first. If you hit the ball harder facing the other way, someone would have tried it.

    I don’t think that the power-arm matters. There’s not much difference in strength between dominant and nondominant arm. The biggest difference is in motor control. That may explain why the so-called “sweet swing” is usually found in lefty hitters, because their lead arm, which keeps the bat straight, is often their dominant arm. Or not.

  38. As to the batting handedness discussion:
    Mike Hampton bats right handed and throws left-handed, and so did Randy Johnson (admittedly, Johnson didn’t have to bat most of his career).

    The greatest bats-right, throws-left player of all time has to be Rickey Henderson. As Bill James once said, “You could split him into two ballplayers and they’d each be in the Hall of Fame.”

    Hollandsworth sucks, but I’m glad we’re strengthening our bench. Considering the crap we had on there in recent years (Mike Hessman?), the simple fact that Hollandsworth has hung around for this long makes him look like John Vander Wal compared to these guys.

    Maybe we could trade Dan Kolb and Adam LaRoche to the Phillies for Chase Utley? I’m betting Ed Wade would pull the trigger.

  39. As I told you on the phone earlier, Alex, Thomson will get one more start this week. If he pitches poorly, I expect he’ll be pulled from the rotation for Davies, though it’s possible that pileups from the doubleheaders might force one more start on him later. If he pitches well, he’ll be given the chance to make the roster. There are seven pitchers I think are definite:

    Smoltz
    Hudson
    Ramirez
    Sosa
    Farnsworth
    Boyer
    Foster

    Leaving four, if the roster breaks down as it should. Even if the rookies, Davies and McBride, make it, there are still two spots left open for guys who have been ineffective of late. Reitsma and Thomson are probably the best options, since the only other ones are Kolb, Brower, and Devine. I’d rather go with ten but I don’t get a say.

    Falcons finally cut Peerless Price.

  40. Mostly I agree with your roster, Alex; however I strongly doubt that Marte will be on it and they will probably go with 11 pitchers, just because they always do. KolBB or Thomson, depending on how his next start goes, will probably be on the roster instead. Having Davies and McBride, I think, is a good idea, because, as people have said, Davies doesn’t do all that great as a starter to be in the rotation, but he is good for 2-3 inning stints, which we may need, and McBride is a quality lefty, which you always need.

    Re no playoff experience: This is bogus. We haven’t won a World Series since 1995. I was in third grade then. We’ve gone with the tried-and-true approach for the past several years, and it hasn’t been so true for us, because we haven’t gotten the Big One for a long time. So maybe it’s time to chuck the staid, traditional approach out the window and try something new, because we’ve got nothing to lose except playoff games, which we’ve been doing for the past 10 years anyway. Not discounting what this team has done, but I want a WS that I’m old enough to remember, and I want it now. The veteran approach hasn’t worked for awhile now, so why not try something different?

  41. This is priceless: Just checked the weather reports for Atlanta and they have a river flood warning until about midnight for Forsyth and Fulton County…anyway, when you click on “detail,” it gives you this nugget of info:

    If you see flood waters…remember to turn around and do not drown

    So now the National Weather Service is ordering people not to drown. Yes, sir!

  42. Mac-

    I saw the Peerless Price thing.

    Back to your point about only 10 relievers, I really agree with you on this.

    In the past I have always felt that 11 pitchers ‘covers your ass’ but let’s face it…every single post season, there are 1-3 pitchers who either don’t get used or ONLY get used in the one blowout.

    The last several years, we have been exiting in the 1st round because we don’t have enough hitting overall or eeven enough hitting late in the game. I am not saying you START Marte or Brayan Pena (who is an equally reasonable 15th hitting option)…i just want to have an extra bat because that will come in handy.

    In a 5 game series, it’s very likely we might even just go with the 3 man rotation of Smoltz-Hudson-Sosa leaving us 7 relievers!

    Even if we make the NLCS, so we may use Horacio in Game 4 (hopefully at NIGHT) that still leaves us 6 relievers. And I promise you something…if we are 3-0 against the Cards in the NLCS, Bobby will probably use one of his game 3 starters in relief for one inning anyway to close the thing out and make sure the team is rested for a possible World series.

    The problem with the folks who are arguing with me on here for Kolbb or Thomson or having only 14 hityters, is you are looking at this like the REGULAR season and you have to look at the POST season differently.

    I would rather have 11 pitchers in the regular season because A) we use 5 starters and B) there are still games against the likes of the Reds and Giants of the world where it’s Ok to throw a crap starter out there occasionally, “blow” a game, but in the BIG PICTURE, you have given Smoltz and Hudson and the key pitchers an extra day rest as you (more importantly) gear up for the post season.

    The post season should not be a ‘reward’ for career longevity. I mean, I would rather go watch Edward Norton in a great film by Christopher Nolan because it’s a great movie then Anthony Hopkins in a Jerry Bruckheimer movie because even if Hopkins has a greater body of work and was once great, if he’s reduced to doing a Bruckheimer flick, it’s FAIR to say the Norton/Nolan flick is probably BETTER then the Hopkins/Bruckheimer flick.

    In the post season we need our 25 best players first and foremost. second, I don’t care if it was 25 37 year olds, or 25 19 year olds, if those are the best players, PLAY them. I only care about winning a World Series. That’s it, end of story…nothing else matters more. And if Dan Kolbb and John Thomson go home and cry and whine and feel it’s unfair…tough…life is unfair…i want wins so give me Davies over thomson if Davies, right now, is a BETTER pitcher.

  43. Yankees picked up Mark Bellhorn today..and I hope he helps them lose every game that they play!

  44. If Thompson finds his controll he will make the post season roster. Plus we can change the roster between rounds if we want.

    Danny boy has come in and got some big outs over the last month. Bobby hasn’t had to go deep in the pen in a few days. I don’t want him facing a ton of guys, but I could see using him as a situational righty out of the pen to try to get a ground ball. He doesn’t give up a lot of hommers. Worst case Bobby will let happen is he comes in faces two guys gives up a hit or a walk.

  45. What is up with NYY and picking up Red Sox castoffs? I know Sox fans bemoan Theo Epstein’s annual Parade of Bargain Basement Bums (their words, not mine) but Brian Cashman has gotten much worse. Let’s hope Bellhorn sucks as much for them as he did for Boston this year.

  46. Alex, it’s not Marte’s lack of postseason experience that’s worrisome, it’s his lack of major league experience. Or major league success for that matter.

  47. Buster-

    I am curious about Andruw Jones’ level of MAJOR LEAGUE EXPERIENCE in 1996?

    Or for that matter…current MAJOR LEAGUE EXPERIENCE of Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson & Frenchy?

    It’s a terrible argument to make. I am sorry Buster, it just is. If you are going on MAJOR LEAGUE EXPERIENCE then you are saying we are better off with Brian Jordan or Eddie Perez then Jeff Francouer or Brian McCann?

    Is that what you’re saying? (I feel like Tom Cruise in ‘A Few Good Men’).

  48. Furthering my point.

    In 2003, the young, inexperienced rookie team, the Marlins, defeated the veteran, major league experience laden New York Yankees to win their 2nd World Series.

    They didn’t have a lot of Major League experience…they had a ton of youthful talent and enthusiasm and were excited to be in the post season.

  49. I think the argument for Marte, busterbros, comes down to having another right handed bat on the bench. People who want one fewer pitcher look at who’s available, and they’d rather have Marte, who may be good, over Jordan, who definately isn’t.

  50. I don’t think anyone’s advocating Thomson, just saying that if they go with 11 pitchers, which they almost certainly will, he’s the best option. None of them is particularly appetizing.

  51. Mac-

    I understand..all I was saying is that I back YOUR opinion that we should only keep 10 pitchers.

    Yeah, yeah…injuries, schminjuries…having no bench has hurt the Braves worse in the post season then phantom October injuries.

  52. The Major League Experience arguement is a good one in Marte’s case. It’s not saying he’ll be a worse player, just that we know less about him than the alternatives.

    He has under 50 major league at-bats, making his ability to hit in the majors largely unknown. Andruw had 100 ABs before the playoffs his first year, and he was able to demonstrate some power. McCann, Francoeur, and KJ have all spent enough time in the bigs that we have a good idea of how they perform against major league competition. Marte is an unknown.

    I’d rather have an 11th pitcher or Jordan, who’s decent situationally against lefties (the only time he’ll be used with so many lefty bats on the team), than a player with only minor league stats and a brief unsuccessful stint in the majors to give us any indication of how he’ll perform.

  53. Jordan bites. I’d rather have Kerry Robinson, who has 671 ML AB to show that he sucks but has some utility as a pinch-runner/get-it-in-play pinch-hitter.

  54. Having Brian Jordan is about as useful as having a giant back of rubiks cubes dropped off at home plate to take 4 swings.

    Not good playoff calibre pitcher is going to “screw it up” against Brian with his slowed bat speed.

    Look, with all deference to TERRENCE MOORE, I like Brian…I think he’s a GREAT guy and if I hosted a BBQ in Atlanta and could have a local sports celebrity, he’s the first guy I would call up. In fact, I have reiterated that Brian should have a position in the Atlanta organization when he inveitably retires this Fall!!!

    However, just because I personally like Brian, does not mean we are better off with Jordan over Marte—THAT’S UTTERLY INSANE. Joey, I like you but I know I will get back up from Mac on this.

    And you are really going to argue Andruw’s 100 AB’s in 1996 as the main point in your argument? i will take the 40 or 50 AB’s or whatever Marte has had this year and roll my dice with him as the 25th player then Brian Jordan whp’s bat speed is too slow to handle a Clemens, Oswalt, Carpenter, Peavy, Pettitte or anyone else we may face in the post season.

  55. Eh, you’re probably right about Marte. The more I think about it, the more it does seem like Andruw in ’96.

    However, as has been mentioned, this is probably all moot with 11 pitchers on the roster. The Hollandsworth trade probably nixed any shot at the postseason for Marte, barring an injury or Bobby going the “risky” two-catcher route.

  56. I think that the rain is just clearing out now, and that earlier than they thought 24 hours ago. Scheduling the DH today would have been pushing it.

  57. Without spending too much time on this, just throwing someone on the postseason roster because they’ve done well in the minors doesn’t make a lot of sense. For every 1996 Andruw Jones, there’s 1989 Joe Girardi and a 2000 Rafael Furcal.

  58. Buster,

    Your argument is just pointless by now.

    No one is saying that every young player EVER in the Post Season has done well.

    We are all simply COMPARING Brian Jordan to Andy Marte, among others, and anyone in their right, sane minds would rather take a chance, however small the sample size, on Marte or Brayan Pena then Brian Jordan who’s got oodles of Major League experience but id D-O-N-E, DONE, DONE DONE.

    I mean…I am not sure what your argument is? If we are comparing Marte to Jim Edmunds, Gary Sheffield, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones or any other 20+ veteran like THAT, sure…in 2005, I would rather have those guys then Marte (though ask again that question in 2007 and you might change the answer).

    But in simply comparing Brian Jordan and Andy Marte, how could you possibly, in your right mind, keep Jordan? I mean…are you a Padres or Cardinals fan?

  59. Gotcha! Thanks guys. I’ve been busy, and I just didn’t read the info close enough. I guess that explains why I couldn’t find out.

  60. busterbros, it’s a moot point. There is no way the Braves go down to 10 pitchers AND keep only two catchers. Hollandsworth isn’t being DFAed, so, barring injury, Marte’s not playing in October.

    On a more unifying note, who’s just praying for Kolb to be sent down (or at least DFAed, if he’s reached his five years) for Hollandsworth today? I don’t know who else they’d move. KJ? Aren’t LaRoche and Langerhans out of options?

    I just can’t imagine Bobby choosing Kolb over KJ.

  61. No matter what happens, our postseason starting rotation will be thin. Horacio and Sosa are like Sid Bream’s knees–a bit wobbly, and nothing you’d want to count on, even if they’re capable of coming through in the clutch.
    Ironically, Kolb has evolved into Kevin Grybowski except without Bobby’s confidence (which is, God knows, a good thing)–a groundball pitcher who sucks. Given that Horacio and Jorge are UTTERLY INCAPABLE of going late into games, we’re going to need as much of a bullpen as we can afford to bring.
    Here’s a question: what are the odds they bring up Chuck James for a little Francisco Rodriguez-type postseason magic?

  62. Hey doppleganger Alex R., I like the Chuck James thought…because again, I am not afraid of youngsters if they can perform!

    Back to Marte vs. 11 pitchers…my furst question Buster is did Marte steal your your little sister or smash your car or something? In the small sample size I saw of him, the man can hit and with age and experience, he will be fine.

    Second…while I understand the point about Horacio and Sosa not going deep into games, you have to remember that even NOW in a 5 game series, the 2-2-1 format has 2 days off; meaning, the better relievers like Boyer, Reitsma (God help me for saying that), Farnsy, McBride, Foster etc. will have an extra day of rest…and hey, if all goes well they may not be used too much in Games 1 & 2 with Smoltzy and Hudson.

    So, on that point, I don’t see the need for SEVEN FREAKING RELIEVERS. Even if Marte or Pena are unproven, imagine an 11 inning game and the Cards or Padres bring in a tough lefty and we need a right handed bat pinch hitting because lets say a lefty had started the game…we don’t have much. Having that extra righty bat on the bench will be HUGE.

    On the other hand…if there’s an 11th inning to a Smoltz or Hudson game, the odds are one of those guys went at least 8 innings meaning you are still using the good part of the bullpen anyway.

    Waht I am also saying is we should all go back and look at past post season rosters..every year there’s a guy or two we don’t use at all, not whatsoever. With the days off and the really good top 2 aces, there’s even less requirement to rely on BAD relievers…because keeping 11 pitchers means keeping a bag of horse shit like Kolbb, John Thomson or some other stiff we’d be insane to use in a MEANINGFUL OCTOBER GAME.

    So again, I would rather have that extra Marte or Pena righty bat with pop then the stinking, rotting flesh of Dan Kolbb sitting over there chewing on his nails, waiting to fuck the game up and then beat the crap out of Winston the Watercooler.

  63. Why? How often do you need seven relievers in a postseason series? I’d much rather have a righthanded pinch-hitter, something that the Braves don’t have when Julio’s in the lineup. Their normal bench against lefthanded pitchers has been:

    Orr L
    Estrada B/can’t hit righthanded or McCann L
    LaRoche L
    Betemit B
    Langerhans or Johnson/L

    Now you add another lefty hitter. So basically, you have Betemit, who has hit .273/.310/.409 righthanded and is 2-17 as a pinch-hitter, as your only righthanded option on the bench. The Braves were burned by this a couple of times when Chipper was hurt and they didn’t even have Betemit available on the bench.

    “Hi, I’m Andy Pettitte, and I’ll be your Game Three starter for this Division Series game, unless we’re forced to play meaningful games Saturday and Sunday, in which I’ll be your Game One starter and probably Game Four as well.”

    “And hi, I’m Mark Mulder, I’ll be your Game Two starter for this National League Championship Series.”

  64. By the way, since Alex R. brought up movies, I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

    Using A Few Good Men as a framework, I think it’s fair to say that Bobby Cox is Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), the good-looking star who perenially fails to exceed expectations yet succeeds on his own terms anyway. Andruw Jones is JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), the hard worker who’s sexy but has never lived up to potential, and is dying to make good. Bobby Dews is Sam Weinberg (Kevin Pollak), the old hand who doesn’t really help, but just tries to keep the young people from embarrassing themselves.

    Tony La Russa is Jack Ross (Kevin Bacon), the antagonist, who pretends to be classy but really wants nothing more than to show up the other guy.
    Rafael Furcal is Louden Downey (James Marshall), the sweet-faced accused, who looks angelic but nonetheless stands convicted, and who begs the question: might he self-destruct again?
    Joe Torre is Matthew Markinson (J.T. Walsh), the guy with a conscience but who lacks the backbone to stand up to his evil boss, Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), played by George Steinbrenner.

    “You keep your eyes open, your chances of catching the ball increase by a factor of ten.”

  65. “Hi, I’m Mike Piazza and I am your dream solution to the right-handed pinch hitter and emergency catcher issue. However, I’ve broken my hand, my team is still in it, and you couldn’t even afford one week of my salary even if the other stuff weren’t true and my team was willing to deal with you.” :)

    I’m still not ready to give up on Thomson. It may be a nail-biter for the next couple of starts, but I think it’s fair to give the guy some time. IF he’s healthy, he’s better than Davies, Sosa and certainly Horacio. Although I am beginning to get a little worried about whether or not he’s truly healthy.

  66. Alex in the small sample size I have seen Marte hit in the big leagues he is 7-44 with a .250 on base %. He has more strikeouts (8) than hits. He hit a few ball hard, but right now there is no way he is on the roster. After some September AB’s it could be a diffrent story.

  67. I hope he gets some. Maybe Julio’s elbow issues will open up the dorr for him a little. I read something last week, I guess in the AJC, that said that it was iffy whether or not he would even be called up.

  68. Right now I don’t think he is better than Wilson. (That is today, next season he could be tons better) If I had to have one of them start tonight, it would be Wilson.

  69. Smitty, postseason roster decisions have to be made now. There’s no different story after September.

  70. we should get Brian Giles for the remainder of the season. Even though this wouldnt ever happen its worth talking about!

  71. “Hi, my name is BRIAN JORDAN and I am really nice, I smile a lot, my teammates love me and I am great clubhouse motivator! I am a real RA-RA guy. Know how to fire people people up.

    But I also have major hamstring issues, i am old, and I can’t hit right handed pitching, and can barely hit left handed pitching. My knees and back are shot and I probably should have retired 2 years ago.

    May I have a roster spot? By the way…shout out to Terrence Moore!”

    or

    “Hi…my name is Dan Kolbb and I really like to beat the shit out of Winston the Watercooler when I blow a save, which was quite often; until that mean old Bobby Cox pulled me and lost in faith in me. C’mon, Bobby…you had faith in Gryboski and Lockhart but I don’t deserve a little? Sure, I put baserunners on everytime I am in the game but I give up very few home runs…really!!!

    And don’t I look like a reliever with the goatee and bulbousy ass? Hey, i heard the Red Sox were interested in me at one point, right?”

    or

    “Hi, I am John Thomson. I can no longer locate my curveball or fastball. I am incredibly ugly, Zane Smith-level ugly, and I sweat more then Chris Berman in a photo booth at the Mall.

    I have been injured a lot this year, and it wasn’t really my fault. Sure, I could even’t even get a monkey batting with a pencil out right now, but hey, I am John Thomson and because I am at least 7 years older then Kyle Davies, that alone is a reason to waste, er, I mean give me a roster spot!”

    or

    “Hi I am Raul Mondesi…I am old and I suck ass. But, remember, I have tons and tons of Major League experience and I was even Rookie of the Year. Plus, I am really cut from all those hours at Gold’s Gym…hire me, please?”

  72. Thompson couldn’t throw a basball for almost a month. He should have made one more rehab start. When he finds his control, he is one of the best pitchers in the league. It is going to take a few starts, just be patient. I say he will be fine after his next start.

  73. OK, we probably don’t want to get into much discussion on the relative attractiveness of baseball players (although that Piazza sure is dreamy), but “Zane Smith-level” ugly? Dude, that’s harsh.

  74. If he had his control, he’d be a solid #4 starter, but one of the BEST STARTERS IN THE LEAGUE? REALLY? Must have missed that!

  75. We find ourselves in a very strange circumstance here: the American population is 90% right-handed and we are lacking a right-handed bat. Surreal. What it all boils down to, I think, is that we should have gotten a right-handed pinch hitter instead of a lefty. Brian Jordan is largely useless, so if we were intending to replace him we should have gotten just that: a righty bench player. Yes, it’s Monday morning quarterbacking, but there you have it.

    It’s just strange that in a world of 90% right-handed people, we’re short one.

  76. Thomson was one of the best pitchers in the league for the first part of 2005… and no other time ever.
    His stuff has always been good, and his results have always sucked, until now. Not to say he couldn’t be good again, but his track record ain’t exactly stellar.

  77. Couldn’t we make Terry Pendleton an ace in the hole pinch hitter? He’s younger than Julio!

  78. A frustrating stat:

    Atlanta only has 3 hits off Patterson in 12 innings this year. Furcal has two of them!

  79. Well, the Braves have the luxury of seeing Thomson tomorrow before final rosters are set. Although I am typically wary of judging players on one game, the Braves really need to know if Thomson will get his control back this year.

    At his best (All-Star break of last year until his injury), he’s good enough to be a number one on some staffs, number two on most. It’s a tribute to the depth of this staff that he’d probably be the #3 guy, even at full strength.

    But all of that is irrelevant if he can’t locate his pitches.

  80. And Zane Smith doesn’t seem that ugly to me. Maybe a little buck-toothed, but not really deserving of having a generic catchphrase attached to his name for all time. And whoever on Braves Vent said Frenchy looked like Zane Smith with a better haircut must have been tripping…I see no resemblance at all ;-)

    If you want to spark a discussion about who’s the ugliest player in the league, I’ll nominate Randy Johnson.

    And John Thomson is not one of the best pitchers in the league, Smitty. I’m sorry. He’s solid, but only solid.

  81. Yeah you must. He was our second best starter going in to the post season last year. Before he hurt his finger he had a 2.39 ERA.

  82. Bravo, Jenny, bravo.

    I thought we had enterred BIZARRO universe calling Thomson one of the ‘best starters in the league’. Wow…I know we live in the steroid era but our standard for good pitching couldn’t have gone down THAT much?

    I can’t argue the Randy Johnson as ugliest player in the league thing but Zane Smith was pretty foul.

  83. Thomson’s been a better pitcher than you give him credit for. With the exception of nine starts with the Mets, before he came to the Braves he’d spent his entire career in extreme hitter’s parks, in Colorado and Texas. What’s more, with poor teams that weren’t really good offensively despite their raw stats.

    When Thomson went 7-9 with a 4.71 ERA as a rookie in 1997, that was in a 5.17 ERA context (league average adjusted to making half your starts in Coors Field). In 1998, he went 8-11 with a 4.81 ERA in a 5.08 ERA context. Then he got hurt, but in 1991 he was actually one of the best pitchers in the league, putting up a half season of 4.04 ERA pitching for the Rockies, which would be the third-best season anyone ever had for that team if he’d pitched enough to qualify. (Joe Kennedy, last year, was the only pitcher in Rockies history to put up a sub-4 ERA in anything resembling a full season of starts.)

    Again, with the Rangers in 2002-03 his pitching looks a lot better in context. His 4.71 ERA in 2002 was in a 4.60 context, and his 4.85 ERA in a 4.94 context.

    Now, I don’t think Thomson’s right, but when healthy he’s a good pitcher.

  84. My all-ugly team has to include Kirt Manwaring and Damon Berryhill. And my undying hate for Gregg Olson should probably be mentioned in the same paragraph as well.

  85. Final rosters don’t have to be set tomorrow. The roster numbers have to be set, but you can still activate a guy who had been on the DL. You can also activate a guy from the DL, name him to the roster, then put him back on the DL, and name anyone you want (provided it’s a hitter for a hitter, pitcher for a pitcher) to his spot. Davies isn’t on the roster now, but I figure it’s 75 percent he’s named to the postseason roster.

  86. Asked before with no answer… is the postseason roster the same thing as the ongoing 25-man roster? I mean, for instance, can you leave someone like John Thomson off of it without having to DFA him? Or Kelly Johnson without having to option him out?

  87. Oh, and Gary Gaetti is the ugliest man to ever play the game of baseball. Willie McGee is a very close second. Zane Smith has to be in there somewhere. Randy Johnson may be the active leader, though.

  88. The Braves website is showing Hollandsworth as being on the 25 man roster, but he makes the 26 th player on it. Are we sending someone down, which doesnt make sense at this point, or are we putting Franco on the DL?

  89. Thanks for posting Don Mossi Mac. Good to see the sense of humor intact with the weather you’ve just gone through.

    I’m so old, we used to use Don Mossi baseball cards to scare the rats out of the corn crib.

    Cupla things. With the post-season roster, I believe that the ratio set on Thursday of pitchers to position players will have to be maintained throughout the post-season. In other words, if Julio goes on the DL and Hollandsworth takes his spot (assuming no other moves), that would mean the Braves are staying at 13/12.

    I’m guessing it will be at least 14/11, with either McBride or Devine getting a “paper” demotion to Richmond with Hollandsworth taking that spot.

    I, too, like thinking about the 15/10. Sosa appears resilient and could probably eat more than an inning every time he went out in the post-season, provided he didn’t go back-to-back days.

    My guess is the 15th hitter would be Brayan Pena due to Bobby’s penchant for carrying the 3rd C. Pena is also a switch-hitter, but I don’t know his RH/LH splits.

    The only surprise on Hollandsworth and this was mentioned way up at the top is that he is a LH hitter and I thought they would try to add a RH bat.

    I like the move because we gave up absolutely next-to-nothing in terms of our future. Both Burrows and Blackford may develop, but they are well down our list.

  90. Regarding hitting, a player’s dominant eye is a factor in which side of the plate he’ll hit better from. For example, a right handed guy may hit better from the left side if his right eye is the dominant eye.

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