Minor Concerns

  • The newest Braves, the 2006 draftees, are starting up their season (something the guys in Atlanta would like to try again).  SS Robert Fontaine jumps to Danville and High Schoolers Cody Johnson, Adam Coe, Cory Rasmus, Chad Rodgers and many more will work in Kissimee for the GCL club. 
  • Former Georgia 1B Josh Morris will start out in Rome, taking over for departed slugger Ka’aihue.
  • Adam Coe hit a home run in his first professional game.  He’s hitting .444 in his first 5 games.
  • The Braves have signed all of their top 13 draft picks except a few of the college players still playing in the College World Series.
  • Good night for pitching on Thursday.  Matt Wright struck out 7 in 7 innings for a no-decision while Luis Atilano threw a complete game 4 hitter against Salem.
  • M-Brave Yunel Escobar has been named to this year’s all-star Futures Game.
  • Matt Harrison’s first start in Mississippi – 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
  • Jo-Jo Reyes’s first start in Myrtle Beach –   5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K. 
  • Joey Devine sighting in Myrtle Beach – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 K.  It’s a start.

33 thoughts on “Minor Concerns”

  1. Mac, what’s the word on Saltalamacchia? Is he staying around there for a while? I live in Huntsville, and the M-Braves are playing the Stars in a few weeks, I am hoping to see him in action.

  2. Salty hasn’t played the past couple games or so… Blauser said yesterday that he knew Salty was glad to get the second half of the season started so that he could put the first half behind him. He said even though his numbers don’t start over like their records that the second half does have a different feel to it. He said he was giving Salty some off time so that he could relax and get some mental rest as well. He also said Salty had bad blisters on his hands right now from batting so much that every time he swings they crack open and bleed. Anyway… Blauser said he was giving him so rest and relax time. I’m going to the game tonight… I look for him to be back in the lineup tonight. He was the DH Saturday night.

  3. I don’t know… maybe he’ll settle in eventually and we can still get something for him. I read somewhere that someone had talked with him and he had told them he figures he’s trade bait… but it doesn’t concern him …he said whatever gets him to the majors the quickest. He also supposedly told them that the Braves had not really made anything of him moving to first and that he prefered to catch anyway.

    …and I know I’ve never seen him do anything around first at the games I’ve been to

  4. Yea… I think he’ll eventually go… we’ll probably keep him another year… get some more work under him so maybe he’ll be more valuable and then to make sure Brian is still settled in and then we’ll trade him

  5. I think you guys really are being kinda rough on Salty. He did just turn 21 last month, which is pretty young for AA. Yes, he’s having a bad season at the plate. Yes, he’ll be repeating AA. But he’s dispelled the thoughts that he’s not a good enough defensive player to stay at catcher, and that would give the Braves more leeway with McCann if he needs to be moved (part or all of the time) to keep his bat in the lineup.

  6. I’m sorry, but after the whole high school gym teacher thing, I just can’t look at Salty the same way. Deal ’em.

  7. Oh I love Salty… I really enjoy watching him play! He’s just had a tough season so far… he finally picked his avg up a few weeks ago, but it’s fallen again. Don’t get me wrong on my opinions of him! I do like him and enjoy watching him play! I just figure he’ll eventually be traded if McCann stays as good as he’s been so far this year.

  8. I have no idea…

    I know he married a high school teacher… I thought she taught Jr High though… I’ve seen her a few times after some of the games… She seems really nice… I liked her the few times I’ve seen her! They’re also expecting their first child later this year…

  9. So he married a school teacher….Where’s the controversy that Uncle Charlie is implying?

  10. Um, okay, that’s just a little bit weird. Of course, 19-year-old Danny Almonte also married a 30-year-old teacher, so whatever!

    Really, though…eww.

  11. My comment on Salty is this.

    I haven’t seen the kid play in person so I cannot judge. But my brother who’s done some sports Journalism (now he covers news) but has covered some Braves Minor League stuff (he lives in Macon) & covered the Braves the last few years in Spring Training, saw Salty playing in person at varioaus times and he feels he may not pan out at the Major League level and is not a Major League hitter and the Braves maybe better off trading him and letting him possibly fail somewhere else.

    Now I don’t think of my brother as an expert but he covered the Dawgs Baseball team (among other sports) while he was at Georgia and has covered enough sports that I take it seriously when he says he thinks Salty isn’t the real deal.

    Personally, outside of the occasional KJ, Betemit or Chipper, there’s a growing concern about the majority of hitters who grow up in the Braves organization and have zero plate discipline. This appears to now be the case for Thorman also.

    I think we should trade our wealth of young pitching talent for young Oakland hitters. Then we might finally have some hitters with plate discipline.

  12. Yeah, we really haven’t shown in the years before last, that we could develop a lot of really good hitting talent

  13. I dunno.

    Gant, Justice, Castilla, Klesko, Lopez, Chipper, Andruw, Furcal, Giles, The Current Crop…that’s not a bad list at all.

  14. The Oakland OBP “Moneyball” Theory is somewhat overrated, imo.

    Sure you want your leadoff hitter to have a high OBP, and a #2 hitter that can handle the bat, but having ONE free-swinging slugger with power isn’t a bad thing. Virtually every team in MLB would take an Andruw Jones in a heartbeat, regardless of the fact that he isn’t a disciplined hitter at times.

    As for Satly, I’d love to keep him but if the trade opportunity presented itself to acquire a proven veteran that would fill a hole (in OF, 1B, or even 3B (chipper to first), then I’d be all for it. (i.e. Carl Crawford type)

    As Stu said above the Braves have produced MANY a quality hitter over the past decade and McCann and Francoeur are the most recent. The future of the Braves will be fine. I think this is no more than a rebuilding year, and I fully expect the Braves-Mets-Marlins to have some heated races in the upcoming seasons.

  15. Will Bobby go lefty vs. lefty and play McCann tonight?
    I got Pratt to show up for yesterday’s game, but I don’t think he has it in him to be a factor two days in a row, much 2 games a month.

  16. As with all things, Jon, moderation is the key.

    Andruw’s plate discipline for his career is pretty much average (2.01 K/BB ratio, 1 UIBB per 10.34 AB). He’s not a notable free-swinger a la Juan Gonzales. No “Moneyball” GM would pass up Andruw.

    The problem comes when you consider how few players who consistently produce at Andruw’s level there are. We got a break in 2001 in signing him for the bargainprice of $12.5 million per year. The point of Moneyball, as I see it, is how you build a good team with financial constraints that don’t allow you to get Andruws. Look for things that help you win that the market undervalues. That, for now, includes plate discipline.

    The Braves’ farm system isn’t the problem; its current void has come from the major league team’s heavy demands the last two years, due to the signing of bad free agents and some trades (albeit good ones on the whole). Remember, for much of last year we had only three veterans, the Joneses and Julio Franco, playing regularly on offense. Expecting the farm system to produce an entire starting lineup every two years isn’t realistic.

    The Braves should be fully ready to contend next year- IF we can get a couple more pitchers developed, like Startup and Harrison.

  17. It is frustrating seeing people continue to butcher “Moneyball Theory.” Either most of you have not read the book, or failed to understand the material it covered.

    Moneyball discusses OBP at length, and emphasizes its value. That does not equate the sabermetric approach with focusing primarily on OBP. If there is a Moneyball Theory at all, it reads as follows:

    Find inefficiencies in the market and exploit them.

    That is to say, get the most out of your money. It so happened that on-base ability was undervalued at the time of the book’s publishing. That is not necessarily the case today, which is evident by the free agent market and amateur draft.

  18. The schoolteacher. She isn’t just a schoolteacher (well, a gym teacher) and significantly older than he, she works at the high school from whence he graduated, though she was never actually his teacher. It’s still somewhat skeevy.

  19. Thanks for the updates. I really enjoy this kind of thing.

    Also, any chance we’ll get the next few parts of the “blowing the team up” series? I realize that by winning a whopping two out of our last three we may be back on track, but I’d still like to see thoughts on trading some guys.

  20. What is this? no pic of the teacher? :-(
    From somewhere upthread, Salty is not repeating AA, this is his first year there, and he is young for the league. His peripherals are still ok, so shouldn’t be too worried about him yet. He would be trade bait if we need something. As far as I can see, the Braves have to re-tool for another run, and no point dealing your future away for a nebulous present. If there is a catcher we should deal away, it is Max Ramirez.

    Matt Harrison had a wonderful first half, and even picked his K-rate up so am looking forward to his progress. Am surprised Wright hasn’t been pushed up yet. BA says we still haven’t signed Hyde, Gunderson, Gustafsson and Morris. Where did you see it Jay?
    Also after round 13, most of those guys are JuCo.

  21. The only reason I know that Morris has signed is that he’s on the Rome roster and playing games. BA has all of the Braves college draftees as unsigned — I think they’ve just stopped updating. Gunderson is still playing for Oregon, going 5+ in long relief to pick up a win the other day. I’m hopeful he can be a bullpen contributor as soon as next year.

    For the record I’m against trading any of the catching prospects in the system (hot gym teacher wives or not). Trading Salty right now would just be foolish, because he’s at low value due to his poor start. And Ramirez is worth keeping — he’s putting up really good numbers this year, like last. A good hitting catcher can be such an asset, and guys burn out at that position so quickly. I’d only want to trade any of these guys if forced to, that is if you’ve got more than 2 major league quality guys and you don’t have enough playing time for everyone. Until then just enjoy the system’s depth at that position.

  22. Today’s Rome paper reported Morris appeared in yesterday’s game for Rome, drawing a walk in one plate appearance.

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