Other Infield Possibilities

Martin Prado will be a starting second baseman; however, this will probably be in Richmond. There just isn’t roster space for him to be a reserve in the majors, not unless someone is traded or released, but if KJ flops in spring training Prado seems to be the backup plan. KJ better not flop.

I would rather have L’il Tony Pena on the bench than Chris Woodward. Really, I’d rather have neither, but L’il Tony at can least field and run. Yunel Escobar didn’t play particularly well in Mississippi and dropped down to about tenth on the prospect lists, but broke out in the Arizona Fall League. My belief is that he’s more valuable as a trade chit than in reality, but if he’s not traded will probably see action in spring training with a chance to earn his way onto the bench. Brent Lillibridge and Elvis Andrus should also be in spring training, but would need to explode there to make it. Lillebridge could be up some time this year.

As far as I know, James Jurries is still with the Braves, but he had a catastrophic season last year and his window of opportunity had closed even before the Wilson signing nailed it shut. Jarrod Saltalamacchia may get some work at first base this spring, but I don’t think he’ll be seriously considered unless Thorman is a complete disaster. Brian Jordan will not be on the roster, because I will take steps if they try it.

Martin Prado Baseball Statistics
Tony Pena Baseball Statistics
Yunel Escobar Baseball Statistics
Brent Lillibridge Baseball Statistics
Elvis Andrus Baseball Statistics
James Jurries Baseball Statistics
Jarrod Saltalamacchia Baseball Statistics
Brian Jordan Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

51 thoughts on “Other Infield Possibilities”

  1. If Brian Jordan shows up, makes contact, he will make the team. When Mac is arrested i hope Alex R can dedicate the time to keep this thing going.

  2. Call it an intervention or just a good old fashion kidknapping, but Jordan must be stopped, it’s time to save Bobby from himself!

    Don’t worry Mac we’ll take up a collection to bail you out. Our pockets may not be deep, but they are numerous.

  3. Where is Brian Jordan? Last I heard he was a free agent, and I don’t think anyone has signed him. Has he retired or what?

    What’s next? Pitchers or outfields?

  4. Maybe we should push for the Falcons to hire Jordan as their “leadership” coach or something. Push him back onto the NFL.

  5. @#6 – I wouldn’t mind hearing Brian Jordan’s name mentioned again, as long as it was in the sentence, ‘Brian Jordan will never play for the Braves again.’ With all the recent comings and goings is an up-to-date 40 man roster on the official website to anyone’s knowledge?

  6. Thanks for the link csg. Mailbag says Bobby will probably carry 12 pitchers. With Gonzalez, Soriano, and Wickman, to handle the 7th, 8th and 9th, are we really going to need FOUR MORE relievers on top of that?

    I would rather carry Tony Pena than that 12th pitcher, then you could also keep an extra bat. Especially if we are using two platoons. If you bat for Thorman and/or Langerhans when a lefty reliever comes in, you’re really hamstrung after that.

  7. The Braves added him along with Gregor Blanco to the 40-man to prevent them from leaving as minor league free agents and to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

    Why they found the pressing need to do that for Johnson is beyond me. But remember, Rule 5 was changed as part of the new CBA. Previously, all players who had signed their first professional contracts three years prior (four years if first signed when under 19) were eligible for the Rule 5 draft if they were not on the 40-man roster. That was changed to four years. (Five if first signed when under 19.)

    In the long run, that should have little effect on the number of players protected, but it creates a one year slowdown, where the players who were about to require protection this offseason no longer do. (Guys like Saltalamacchia.) Because of this, the Braves and every other team had some extra wiggle room on their 40-man roster. They determined that since they had extra room, they might as well protect an extra guy, so they chose the guy they figured most likely to help in 2007.

    Do I win the challenge?

  8. Mark, I would guess that Bobby will try to give Gonzo, Soriano, and Wick (not to mention Boyer) a slightly lighter load because of their age/injury histories/corpulence. God willing that he actually does.

  9. With Gonzalez, Soriano, and Wickman, to handle the 7th, 8th and 9th, are we really going to need FOUR MORE relievers on top of that?

    I don’t know about need, but those three guys are quite the antithesis of durability.

  10. You can’t pitch the same guys over and over and over. There are going to be extra-inning games and so forth that will require additional pitchers.

  11. Mark, we will need them so Bobby can play matchups if needed. My guess we’ll see Villareal, Paronto, Yates, and McBride down there.

    AAA will give us call up options of Boyer, Startup, Devine, Stockman, Cormier, Lerew, Harrison and I’m sure I’m missing someone. Good bullpen depth for once

  12. Bowman’s mailbag said Boyer, Devine and Paronto will fight for the final spot, and Bowman guesses that Paronto will get it.

    I don’t get why so many people have always been so high on Boyer. He’s good, but not that good. During the early part of the 2006 season when the Braves were blowing save after save, Brave fans kept saying lines like “if we only had Boyer” and “hopefully Boyer will be back soon.” Sorry people, but the Braves’ bullpen would have been just as bad in early 2006 even with the second coming of Blaine Boyer.

  13. I’m a huge fan of Blaine’s. I’m fairly biased, though. We were in the same kindergarten class, and I remember going to his 6th birthday party.

    Don Sutton loves him, for whatever that’s worth.

  14. I like Boyer and wish that he could return. The Blaine Boyer of July and August 2005 would have been an asset in 2006. However, even before the end of 2005 he was overworked and it showed in the two games he managed to get in 2006. I am afraid that we will be very lucky to see the Boyer with the fresh arm again….

    Otherwise, James Jurries…if there was an ever a player the Braves should have traded at peak value…

  15. Jurries might be able to come back from his injuries. Also, what was the extent of Langys wrist injuries last year. If he’s healthy I expect will will see better numbers from him and he’ll probably be our primary LF.

  16. Sorry to get off topic again.

    Stu,

    Last thread you asked “Is Branch the only big-time DT in the draft this year?”

    He is the best DT in the draft but their are a couple more DT’s that will probably go in the first round.

    Amobi Okoye

    I really like Okoye, I wish he would last until #18 but I doubt that would happen. He is the 19 yr old from Louisville, some of you may remember him, he’s the kid that started playing college football at 16. He is the youngest player in the whole draft, he’s extremely fast for an interior lineman and has alot of upside. Easily the second best DT in the draft.

    DeMarcus “Tank” Tyler.

    He is from N.C. State and was part of that impressive defensive line that produced 3 first round picks last year(Mario Williams, Manny Lawson and John McCargo). He’s a huge run stopper and is pretty athletic(for a 300 lb man).

    Quinn Pitcock

    Out of Ohio State, he is very strong, good against the run and has alot of expeirence. But although he did get 8 sacks last year, many scouts have said he isn’t a very good pass rusher. He may go late first or early second round.

    Oh and Justin Harrell out of Tennesse. He has all the talent to be a first rounder but due to season ending surgery later year on his ruptured biceps tendon, his stock has fallen a little bit.

    Just a few names to look out for come April… ;)

  17. Right, but none of those are big-time. At least they aren’t projected as such. Branch is the only projected blue-chipper, if Dorsey’s not in the draft.

    And Okoye would be a horrible fit for the Falcons, who already have Rod Coleman and are in dire need of an interior lineman, other than Grady Jackson, who can stop the run.

  18. Jonathan Johnson: Did have a 3.48 ERA in Richmond last year with good peripherals and wasn’t terrible with New Orleans/ Houston in 2003 (I’m presuming he went to Japan or somewhere in between). He’s playing the role of Jason Shiell as in-case-of-emergency-break-glass-and-bleed-to-death backup. Would you rather have seen Sosa come back?

    My own thoughts on arrival dates:

    Lillibridge: Hope he plays well in Mississippi in ’07 and Richmond in ’08, then have him replace Renteria full-time in ’09. Accelerate if he does well and/or Renteria sucks.
    Andrus: Repeat him in Rome, promote him one level behind Lillibridge. That would make him ready in ’10 if Lillibridge falters..
    Escobar: Richmond in ’07, promote in case of Renteria injury or putrescence. Consider move to 2B; might be good in the 2B/ leadoff role Giles hated last year.
    Pena: Rafael Belliard’s reincarnation. Will never play full-time, pray to God. Backup in September and maybe the Bobby Cox Random Pointless Post-Season Roster Addition.
    Salty: Start him again in Mississippi, promote him after his first hot streak. Decide after the season if he or McCann has the better defense, moving the other to 1B.
    Jurries: No future above AAA.
    Jordan: No present except in real estate.

  19. If you had to take one, would you rather have Keith Lockhart v. 2002 or Brian Jordan v. 2006 as a regular starter? Please show your work. For me, I’d take Lockhart because he is more of a winner.

  20. Keith “Gilderoy” Lockhart v. 2002 could play second base without hurting himself (in fact, his defensive stats were pretty good). His 216/ 284/ 331 batting line is slightly worse than Jordan’s 231/ 287/ 352, but positional difference makes up for it. Also, Jordan had only about 100 PAs- imagine how bad he’d be when he wore down.

  21. Yes, the replacement level at second base is much lower than at first or corner outfield.

    Jordan was mostly a righthanded platoon player. Against lefties, this is what he hit:

    .180 .246 .180

    Sweet Fancy Moses.

    He actually hit righthanders rather well.

  22. That ain’t no kinda choice. That’s picking between a guy who used to be kinda good and a guy who never really was. Just become coaches already.

    My lasting impression of Lockhart is a lack of range at 2B, balls skittering through the infield and him eating dirt trying to snare them. I recall a kinda big HR in SF in the ’02 NLDS.

    Jordan failed a lot for us in the post-season (5 really bad series & 2 really good ones), but I do recall him silencing a Shea crowd with a HR during Game 4 of the ’99 NLCS. Klesko followed with another blast.

    Lockhart’s post-season numbers are better than his career numbers & Jordan’s are worse. I don’t exactly remember, but I would imagine Keith didn’t hit against too many LHPs, esp. in post-season.

    KL, post-season: 287/354/425, (37 G, 87 AB)
    KL, career: 261/319/385

    BJ, post-season: 250/305/436 (38 G, 140 AB)
    BJ, career: 282/333/455

  23. Johnathan Johnson has perhaps the worst stat lines of any pitcher with that much experience that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve basically read Total Baseball player by player, cover to cover.

  24. He’s been very, very bad, no doubt about it. For my money, though, Travis Smith and Micah Bowie have been worse.

  25. I’m trying to figure out why Jonathan Johnson is on the 40 man roster also. Here are a few guesses:

    1) One year he hit .333 (2 for 6) in Tucson. Maybe he can resurrect his career as a shortstop – I bet he can hit for higher avg than TP, Jr.

    2) He has a mysterious new pitch that he developed in winter ball that is unhittable.

    3) His last name is really Schuerholz

    4) He is around to provide another veteran presence for Kyle Davies and Chuck James

    Oh well, I give up!

  26. The grand slam off Franco is still one of my favorite moments of the last ten years. It was an 0-2 pitch that capped a 7 run ninth and essentially ended the Mets season.

    I can still see Franco’s reaction once it hit wood. Priceless.

  27. Wryn,
    i know you’re out there…man nothing like taking out UT and Bama in less than two weeks. War Damn Eagle!

  28. War Eagle, indeed.

    Florida next. Two years ago, I watched in disbelief, as, down 2 with :08 left, we managed to turn it over twice and still force overtime. Granted, we lost, but you never see that in college.

  29. i wish we could’ve gutted it out against UK & MSU but i’ll take what we’ve got.
    I watched Lebo’s team here in Chatt-town and was generally impressed at the fight he could generate with the talent he was given.

    Nuthin like beatin Bama! It never gets old!
    (I will now retire and gloat in private) ;)

  30. Wasn’t Jonathan Johnson out of baseball for awhile? He is the biggest mystery–why didn’t the Braves protect Sean White? At least he is relatively young and might actually pitch in the big leagues. Not surprisingly, even though Sean White has been erratic at best he did get drafted. Its not that the Braves are deep in starters at the big league level…

    I do not understand the attraction of T.J. Bohn either…

  31. …nothing like taking out UT and Bama in less than two weeks…

    That’s almost as good as taking out UT, Bama, and Kentucky in less than 2 weeks.

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