Braves 4 5, Pirates 1

ESPN – Pirates vs. Braves Box Score, July 15 2007 – MLB

Buddy Carlyle, ace? I guess anyone can look good against the Pirates, but he was outstanding. After allowing a solo homer to the second hitter of the game, he shut Pittsburgh down. After allowing a single to LaRoche, the next batter, he got a double play, and allowed just two more hits (retiring 12 Pirates in a row at one point) and didn’t walk anyone. In eight innings of work, he struck out four, and needed just 91 pitches, 61 of which were strikes. He even scored a run after reaching on a sac bunt/error.

The Braves tied the score in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch with a runner on third for the second game in a row. It stayed tied at one until the fifth. Woodward, for some reason playing first base again, doubled down the line leading off the inning. Carlyle bunted him over, the third baseman threw the ball to the wall, Woodward scored, and Carlyle went to second. Escobar got him to third on a groundout and Renteria singled him home.

The Joneses drew two-out walks in the seventh and Francoeur singled Chipper home to make it 4-1. Escobar singled in Harris to make it 5-1 in the eighth. Wickman pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, allowing a couple of long fly balls but no damage… Renteria was 4-5, and Escobar and Diaz each had two hits. Now the Reds.

184 thoughts on “Braves 4 5, Pirates 1”

  1. Carlyle pitches like I wish Chuck James and Davies would pitch. Really, I’d exercise a little more caution against teams that have dangerous hitters, but against teams like the Pirates, Expats, and Marlins, it seems pretty ideal. No reason to increase their admittedly low chances to something approaching average by walking guys.

  2. has a Saltalamacchiz-for-Ian Snell rumor up. Joe Simpson and Chip Caray talked about today. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  3. So, here’s my thing about Woodward:

    I really don’t think it’s detremental to the team to have your #2 IF-off-the-bench be a mediocre hitter. Granted, Woodward is a bit worse than mediocre, but he’s still the #2 backup IF off the bench. Having two Woodwards is bad, but almost every team has at least one. Having to start him at 1B is disapointing, but Cox is going to get him ABs from somewhere, and I’d just as soon having them coming off Scott Thorman’s plate than anyone else’s.

    Other than that, the bats keep rolling. Given the number of baserunners the Braves have had the past two days, 5 runs in each is something of a disapointment (although obviously enough to get the job done).

    And can’t we just let Devine pitch one inning every now and then so we can see that he still exists? Yeesh.

    Still, fantastic series for the Bravos, let’s hope Davies and JoJo can show us something against Cinci.

  4. I don’t think the Braves can afford to trade a quality bat like Salty’s. To have a backup catcher/1b with the potential to hit around .300 is too valuable. It beats having someone like Henry Blanco coming in every 5 days with an average nearing the .188 mark. Ditch Thor and give Salty the 1b job except when McCann needs rest.

    Not only that, but can we start a petition to let Joe Simpson go? He grates on my ears.

  5. Snell for Salty, I would miss him, but I would do it. It means a platoon for Woodward and Thorman, Gross

  6. I think Selig was holding it up because it was over the slot signing bonus, along with several other teams’ valid contract offers. Maybe he hopped out of bed feeling less squirrelly than he had in many moons today, but I wouldn’t count too heavily on it.

  7. Brayan Pena is hitting .328 in AAA. He can be a fine back-up for McCann. Saltalamacchia for Snell is highway robbery for the Braves, so much so that I highly doubt Littlefield would make such a trade.

  8. ESPY’s by miles. A self-congratulatory sports awards show seems just on the George Foreman iGrill side of unnecessary.

    XGames are pretty legit, IMO, though I wouldn’t ever choose to watch very often. They do overhype, but that’s given.

    How about poker, drag racing, etc. on ESPN Classic? Then there’s always the Annual July 4th Socioeconomic Middle Finger Challenge.

    Rock Paper Scissors? Needs an element of risk. Maybe Russian Rock Paper Scissors?

    I’m still holding out for the ESPN telethon to raise money for themselves. I can feel it coming. Money > Sports we have license to > facets of culture everyone says we’re supposed to like > fans. That’s the operating flowchart.

  9. Brayan Pena is also a AAAA player who can hit minor league pitching but can’t hit enough at the MLB level to be considered even a backup, IMO.

  10. I think it has to be an “event”, not something continuous. I thought about the WSOP and the Coney Island Vomitorium, but I think both pre-date ESPN involvement.

    If you were joking, ESPN really is going to show Rock-Paper-Scissors.

  11. how do we know that Pena cant hit major league pitching? He cant be any worse than Woodward or Thorman

  12. We wouldn’t really miss Salty the backup catcher. If Bobby were planning on playing him at first base regularly, we’d miss him—but I don’t think that’s going to happen, unfortunately.

    Either way, If we could get Ian Snell for him, um, let’s do that.

  13. Is Snell that good? I am honestly asking cause I have just been looking at his numbers and haven’t read too much about him before? I know i would probably swap Salty for Gorz. Is snell comparable to him?

  14. Snell’s better than Gorz. More of a power pitcher—higher K totals. Snell’s really, really good. And really, really cheap.

  15. Salty for Snell

    Escobar, Pena for Hill

    Smoltz, Hudson, Snell, Hill, Carlyle/James

    impressive to me….by the way Carlyle era now sits at 4.00

  16. Snell (25 years old, 1 season + 88 games service time coming into 2007) this year: 121 2/3 IP, 97 K, 35 BB, 3.11 ERA

    Gorzelanny (24 years old, 111 days of service time coming into 2007): 125 IP, 82 K, 36 BB, 3.24 ERA

    I’d actually thought Snell was more clearly superior to Gorzelanny than he seems to be—let’s throw in Escobar and get both.

  17. They’re both really good, but Snell’s better both on numbers and on reputation. If we could get him by trading Salty, much as I love Salty, that’s a GREAT trade. This is only his second full season in the bigs, and if I’m remembering correctly, that means we’d get the rights to him for 4 more years before free agency. He’s a young gun, a horse, and replacing Smoltz is even more important than replacing Andruw.

  18. But what would that mean if Smoltz came back? Someone would have to be sent to the… oooooooooooooooohhhhh, Davies, right.

  19. Wait, this is really a rumor? Snell has great stuff, no question of that. He hasn’t been as amazing as he began in April, and his away splits are a bit of concern, but he’s a legit #2 pitcher and would make for a great addition to the Braves staff. If Doumit was expendable for Pittsburgh, I would love for the Braves to add him too… but this all seems like a pipe dream. Too good to be true.

  20. That was the impression I got, Adam. Even the Pirates would want more for Snell than Salty. I think they said that was Schuerholz’ offer, and it would probably take more.

    As for 1B, why not give Graham Koonce (now in Richmond) a try instead of Thorman? He can at least take a few pitches, a skill Thor lacks.

  21. For some reason, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were just discussing how hot Andruw Jones is during the Phillies-Cardinals game. This is after Andruw went 0-for-4 today. WTF. Do they ever get anything right?

  22. I would like to have Brayan Pena up because we could play Saltalamacchia at 1B more. Bobby wouldn’t be afraid to lose both catchers in a game. Pena can play 3 positions including catcher, is a switch-hitter with some speed, and can’t possibly hit any worse than Woodward. (Today not withstanding.) I think he would be the perfect call-up when we go back to a 12 man pitching staff.

    If for some reason we need another backup middle infielder other than Escobar later, there’s always Prado.

  23. To those who don’t think or know Brayan Pena can hit Major League hitting, well, he has already shown he has so we should be just fine with him, if we deal Salty.

    I don’t see any difference between Snell and Gorzelanny, and I think Gorz has just as much upside. I would take either starter.

  24. To those who don’t think or know Brayan Pena can hit Major League hitting, well, he has already shown he has so we should be just fine with him, if we deal Salty.

    I don’t see any difference between Snell and Gorzelanny, and I think Gorz has just as much upside. I would take either starter.

  25. csg, nobody goes from the broadcast booth until Chip Carey is thrown out (preferably during a game . . . now, that’d be cool). I can tolerate Joe, but Chip has to go. But true, we can be thankful that he’s not Joe Morgan (chewing aluminum foil is more enjoyable than listening to Morgan).

    bring back Skip and Pete. NOW.

  26. .225 with 1 HR in 80 MLB ABs isn’t exactly “better than Woodward”.

    No thanks on Brayan Pena in any role in Atlanta. Don’t mean to be terse, but he’s shown nothing to indicate that he can hit MLB pitching except pound AAAA pitchers cashing a paycheck.

  27. Score was 5-1. Mac got it right in the recap, just not the title. I’m actually surprised it took 34 posts for that to get pointed out. Typos like that are usually pointed out rather quickly and corrected.

    Agree with bringing back Skip and Pete, but they’re too closely associated with the Braves and TBS is doing everything they can to separate themselves from the team.

  28. Pena doesn’t have much of a sample size, either, never getting more than 41 at-bats in one year.

    The real value of getting Pena up is to get Salty on 1B more often.

  29. It’s not as though Pena has to hit all that well to be a decent backup catcher. A fairly empty .280 (which isn’t too exciting but I think he could do it) would be fine as long as he was doing the job defensively. We’ve had worse-hitting backup catchers on better teams.

    I’m back and forth on the notion of Salty-for-Snell. Snell isn’t that young, so I don’t know how good he could become, but who else do we have with the potential to be our next #1 starter? As hard as the Braves have made it seem sometimes, it should be easier to come up with a decent first baseman than a #1 starter.

  30. I have a question why is Devine up with the big club? With the score 5-1 Wickman and Moylan were warming up. Don’t understand Bobby sometime

  31. I think I’ve posted this before, but if we call up Pena, it’s just going to take away from Salty’s at-bats. The only situation in which it would be a good idea to call up Pena is if we were gonna make Salty our everyday first baseman. If Pena comes up in the situation we’ve got now, Salty will get the same amount of playing time at first and less at catcher, since you know Bobby would start Pena to “get him some at-bats.” In theory it’s a good idea, but in practice, not so much unless we’re officially promoting Salty to full-time starting first baseman.

  32. I agree, Nick. I think, though, that we would only promote Pena if Salty were to either be given the everyday 1B job or get traded. IOW, I don’t think we would option Woodward to bring up Pena — we would option Thorman.

    If Pena appears on the ML roster in the next couple of weeks, it means we will have done something significant, for better or worse. Pena will be the by-product of whatever that might be.

  33. There.

    Pena’s career line isn’t that great, but it’s still better than Woodward’s for this year, and Pena’s line for this season is just about the same as Woodward’s. He’s a usable backup catcher. I don’t believe in AAAA hitters in general. There may be a few cases, but if a guy can hit in AAA and has at least a little power he’ll hit in the big leagues.

  34. Back off topic, saw that about Rock Paper Scissors. I’m sure the announcers are self-effacing and hyperbolic just like the hot dog ones, and on some levels, it would be a good joke. Problem is, there’s a bigger joke, that ESPN is able to sell advertising during this organized failure of humanity. And ESPN assuredly laughs all the way to the literal bank.

    Poker reruns and especially (I guess…) drag racing have their merits for broadcast on ESPN2, but ESPN Classic? I would contest that these airings were not even “classics” for ESPN2’s July 27, 2002 evening programming, let alone when stacked up against the annals of human athletic achievement. I want a channel that shows old sporting events. I don’t believe one currently exists, though there might have been one 10 years ago. If anyone finds one, let me know…

    And then there’s “Who’s Now”. If anyone can devise a more direct and transparent method to obtain the advertising buck, my congratulations are in order for your sheer, brazen hubris.

  35. If it were up to me, I’d go ahead and give Salty the first base job. Pena would be up, and Woodward gone. Unfortunately, sansho1 is probably right that Woodward won’t be optioned.

  36. How about we send a pitcher down, instead? I’m no Woodward fan, but the point is that we have eight guys in the bullpen and Bobby only uses six of them. Devine might as well be a wax dummy for all the use he’s gotten this year — he’s built up what, two months of service time, for two innings of work? Then there’s Ascanio, who is up for no reason whatsoever except that apparently you have to replace a pitcher with a pitcher.

  37. Good point. The whole reason Devine is here is because the bullpen is tired, but the other relievers are being used anyway.

  38. There has to be some reason Devine is here then if Bobby is acting like the bullpen is not tired. Does that mean that we’re going to have to break out the “Cox is a bad bullpen manager” idea out again?

    Someone needs to put that on a plaque.

  39. Yeah i was looking forward to seeing a little devine action. I always liked watching him pitch and he seems like he might have it figured out now. But jeez he is just wasting away out there. I mean even ascanio got into a game.

  40. Maybe we can try and get back Adam Wainwright??? I wish he was still in our organization he was great in the minors for us. Yeah get J.D Drew back and trade him back for wainwright ha. Anyways i just hope we add Another good bat and a Solid Starter and of course keep beating up on these sub par teams. Go Braves!

  41. Maybe he is up there to learn from Wickman . . .

    wow, that looks even more ridiculous typed out.

  42. Mets are scheduled to face Wells, Peavy, and Maddux. They miss Young, but still a lot tougher than what we faced.

  43. I was just wondering about the potential for a Renteria-Wainwright swap this offseason, Maverick. That would seem to make a lot of sense if (a) we hang on to Escobar, and (b) the Cards are able to sign a free agent better than Kip Wells to pitch.

    A lot has to happen for that to work out, I know, but as I’ve said many times on here, I like to dream.

  44. You can never go home and that would involve two players “going home” so to speak. Plus, why would we want to get rid of the most important player in our lineup? Trade Escobar, keep Edgar.

  45. Going back to Pena, I think he would prove to be a better than average major league hitter. That is .280-.300 without much power is hardly out of the question. 80 ABs is not a sample size–particularly when they were scattered over several call ups. The point is that Pena is one of those guys who has always hit and probably always will. If the Braves don’t trade Salty, then they ought to move Pena–because he could be part of a useful trade.

    I hate to see Salty go (assuming that there is truth in the rumor), but Snell is awfully tempting….

  46. Yup if we cant get Wainwright… dream dream dreams ok back to reality Yeah Ian Snell sure sounds good wonder if we can give up Escobar and Pena for him. hmm some convincing that PEna is better than Salty might work

    I would also hate to see Salty go but yeah Smoltz And Chipper are aging each passing day and i would definately like to see them win at least 1 more World series.

  47. Buster Olney was on “Mike & Mike” this morning and a few Braves items.

    First, when they did the “Good, Bad and the Ugly” segment, Buster put the Braves in his “Good” section saying we’ve won 7 of 8, only a game and a half behind the Mets, and getting Smoltz back this week.

    I am glad someone is paying attention to us at ESPN.

    Also, Buster said the Braves had a scout watching Jose Contreras this weekend. That’s very interesting, but considering Jose’s age, I would really like to avoid trading Salty in that deal.

  48. If we are considering Contreras, then that would mean that we are looking for someone that won’t cost us as much. We are not giving up Salty for anyone who isn’t a young pitcher we would have control over for a few years.

  49. Exactly–why I would prefer to give up a couple of mid-level prospects rather than Escobar–let alone Salty….

  50. Drewdat,

    Great post about ESPN. I agree entirely, especially about ESPN Classic which had the potential to be really great, but which ESPN has completely screwed up. And Sports Center is all about being cool and hip and don’t worry about the facts. The story on the Phillies losing their 10,000th game–two big problems: first, they noted that all of the NFL teams had lost just over 10,000. That’s a stupid comparision considering that every year a baseball team plays the equivalent of 10 NFL seasons. Second, when they listed bad teams, it was obvious that the worst franchise on the list was the football Cardinals, whose winning percentage is much lower than the Phillies. But ESPN wanted to mock the Phillies so they ignore factual things like that.

    I would take Snell for Salty (especially since the Braves wouldn’t see him that much), but if I was the Pirates, I wouldn’t make that trade considering the value of young pitching. The Braves built their teams around great starting pitching and adequate offense. Pittsburgh probably isn’t that far away from being a good team and if Bay was hitting might be in contention.

  51. i just don’t see why we pick him up unless he is known as being a second-half pitcher. sure he’s a vet, but he’s not much of an upgrade.

  52. I think Contreras could be good for us, esp in the NL. He wouldnt be a #2 or #3 for us. He may or may not be pitching better than Carlyle right now, but I would take my chances with him over Davies to win every 5th day. I would send some mid level prospects for him, but nothing more

  53. I have a hunch that Thorman gets another two weeks to get going and if he is still struggling, Salty goes to first permanently. Regardless of pitching, the Braves can’t live with so little production at first base. Salty gets traded only if JS gets overwhelmed. All the teams asking for him are hoping that JS will panic because he needs an SP and give Salty away for some thirty-something mediocrity. But JS isn’t like some of these idiot GMS–he won’t do that.

  54. I think considering how well Carlyle has pitched and that Chuckie James has at least been solid, the Braves don’t have to make a “panic” trade (i.e. Salty for Contreras) and I think other teams see that. While we all agree the Braves need another quality arm/starting pitcher, there’s no need for panic.

    If anything, I am more panicked about the ‘pen right now considering that a pitcher like Yates had 5 days to rest up and still came out flat, and Bobby still won’t (inexplicably) use Joey Devine. Plus, Wickman still looks shaky to me. Not Reitsma/Kolbb shaky, but not endearing me with a lot of stretch run/closing confidence.


    I agree…I think we should already abandon ship on Thor and I think to a certain extent, the Braves are laready lessening his time in the lineup each day. Honestly, w/ Salty being a switch hitter, there is absolutely no reason not to play Salty everyday, and Salty moves to catcher when Carlyle pitches.

    Once every five days, we are forced to use Woodward or Thorman at first. (though I would contend we should consider trying Yunel Escobar at first so we could have him and KJ in the lineup…look how easily Salty picked up the position?)

  55. I don’t understand why you guys are complaining about espn, we all know that it sucks, and its coverage has become irrelevant to true sports, so quit watching tuning into its stupidity. To me espn has become an outlet to watch my favorite teams only when I can’t get them on any other channel, and espn news if I just want a recap on scores. Quit tuning into their drivel and you will have nothing to complain about, and your life will be better for it.

  56. Sometimes I get the sense that JS makes roster moves and Bobby disagrees so he just doesn’t play the guy. That is what the Devine thing looks like. JS calls him up and Bobby just refuses to play him.
    I really think the only hole in the rotation is Davies. James is a decent #3 or more likely a good #4 and Carlyle is a solid #5. I think Maholm is better than his numbers and could be had for Escobar and maybe a nothing prospect.

  57. I would feel better about James if he could at least go 7, but he certainly has been much more solid lately. I think the bullpen is obviously much better than last year and is probably above average but is not exactly the shut-down pen that we expected. Wickman is getting hit hard even when he gets guys out and the rest of the pen–even Soriano–has become inconsistent. However, to be fair, it should be noted that the bullpen saved the Braves, for the most part, on the West Coast swing, and I think the numbers don’t really reflect the way the bullpen has pitched in general.

  58. Contreras would be value cheap (probably only cost Escobar) but what’s the point? Do his 2007 numbers really say “better than Davies” to anyone?

  59. Did anyone else realize that the Braves are 46-31 against the NL? That’s pretty awesome.

  60. The only reason to get a guy like contreras is for track record- guy has pitched better than his numbers indicate. A guy like Davies, save for his first few starts of his career, has always been this inconstitent. If we can get Contreras on the cheap, then go for it. A change of scenery can do wonders for veteran pitchers.

  61. Dan,

    I think Contreras is better as opposed to Davies, but James and Carlyle maybe as good. I dunno…I would rather have Contreras over James for the simple fact that Contreras, if he’s having a good start, can pitch longer.

    Again, I like Yunel Escobar a lot, but we have a log jame of good young hitters to a point where a stud like Kelly Johnson isn’t in the lineup everyday which is why I am not opposed to rolling the dice and dealing Escobar for Contreras.

    But on the Salty front, I am definitely only in favor of seeing him traded if it nets a younger starter that’s a legit #1 or #2. Or Oswalt, who’s not young, but is a stud.

  62. If we’re going to go after a Pirates starter, why not buy low on Zach Duke? I mean, he’s been terrible this year, but Oliver Perez was terrible for them for two years and look at him now.

  63. Funny, but what fueled the notion that Davies might be an MLB pitcher was his 3 great starts (by E.R.A. standards-1.15). the numbers say he was who he was; he was just very, very lucky those 3 starts. The line was:

    15.2 16 2 2 0 7 16 1.15 1.47 .271

    He basically got knocked around in those 3 starts (1.47 walks plus hits per inning), but someone managed not to jack one out of the park, while all the runners were on base. That was bound to catch up to him, and it has, in spades.

  64. At least Oliver Perez had a great season where he had a very high-strike out rate, and he had a great fast-ball to back it up. Zack Duke is a lob and duck guy, and you hope all of the MLB hitters who are knocking the crud out of the ball against him just happen to hit the ball at someone-no thanks.

  65. I like that idea Mac- outside of Escobar and Salty, what other trading chips do we have? Andrus? Campbell?

  66. Plus Mac, are you really relying on Roger McDowell to suddenly be a savior to Zach Duke? Most young, inconsistent pitchers just don’t seem to get better under McDowell.

    I think Smoltz would be a better influence.

    But yeah, Zach Duke wouldn’t cost us Salty.

  67. Given that the Pirates are the organization that gave 1,238 plate appearances to Tike Redman and currently are playing the immortal Nate McLouth in center field and leading him off, I’d think Blanco is right up their alley. They’d probably like Prado too, except they already have about three of him in the lineup.

  68. Duke could be someone we pick up more as an investment because he could probably be had for some of our minor league filler (i.e. Blanco).

  69. Here’s something that may or may not be interesting… the 2003 Pirates had, at various times, Brian Giles, Jason Bay, Kenny Lofton, Reggie Sanders, Matt Stairs, Aramis Ramirez, Jason Kendall, Kip Wells, Kristin Benson, Jeff Suppan, Mike Gonzalez, and Oliver Perez. They were lousy, too. But there were some pieces there. The problem is finding the right pieces and the right lever to pry them off.

  70. If Carlyle pitched like this and Leo Mazzone was still here, a lot of you would be talking about how his “Mazzone magic” did it again. But since everyone seems to hate McDowell, no one will give him any credit for Buddy Carlyle.

  71. Ain’t nothing wrong with McDowell that a maddux, Glavine and Smoltz in their primes wouldn’t cure.

  72. True that Dan!!! Leo is a good coach, but he probably didn’t fix every guy as was suggested. Although he certainly had a lot higher success rate than McDowell.

  73. I just read this on one of the AJC articles. I think Scott Boras was starting to get worried that Andruw wasn’t going to get him as much money as he was counting on. I also think it’s sad that Andruw will listen to Boras, but not TP or Bobby.

    While the Braves were in Los Angeles before the break, Jones spent some time going over videotape of his swing with his agent, Scott Boras, and scouts and instructors who work for Boras’ company in Newport Beach, Calif.

  74. What’s more sad then is Boras was actually able to fix Andruw.

    Isn’t that what we pay TP for?

  75. Back from vacation…

    Salty for Snell good, but who plays 1st for the Braves?

    Escobar for whomever? But how do we replace him at the leadoff spot against lefties…when it has been working so well? If I recall this streak really started when BC made the move to put Escobar in the leadoff spot against lefties. Sure we have KJ, but I prefer KJ hitting down in the order.

    I don’t know who said it, but I would also recommend mid-level prospects for a starter. I would hate to disrupt the offensive flow this team has right now. I also hear the JS is looking for a hard thrower for the bullpen. (Lidge?)

  76. That is pretty damn pathetic that Andruw will listen to his agent about his batting, but not the people who actually get paid to fix it. I guess he really is going to leave Atlanta no matter what happens. That’s what I expected, but I never thought I’d have to say it after reading that sentence.

  77. Seriously, what does Scott Boras know about a swing?

    And, Mac, surely you can’t think Duke’s upside is like that of Perez. As was said above, Perez had been dominant for a season, even leading or finishing second in the league in strikeouts.

  78. BX,

    I believe TP was the hitting coach in 05 and 06 also. So we can’t blame him for AJ issues. By the way, AJ looked hurt in his last at bat yesterday. Anybody hear anything?

  79. BTW, in The Sporting News this week, they say that the Braves are thinking about trading KJ this winter because they really like Escobar’s arm and maturity at the plate. Anyone think there is anything to this? I really like KJ even if he is not necessarily a leadoff hitter.

  80. I too would hate to see the offense get slowed down when it is going so well right now. I really don’t know if there will be anyone on the market that is worth trading high ceiling talent to get. Our best option may be to get a #3 with mid-level guys. This could be one of those low risk, high reward instances. Right now the Mets don’t scare me at all and I think we’ll be there until the end no matter what we do.

  81. First, I was a big McDowell defender but I see too many problems with too many young pitchers to think Roger is anything more then a stopgap pitching coach.

    He, like any pitching coach in Baseball, has a few successes (like Carlyle) but keep in mind that Carlyle has several years of experience and maybe Roger shouldn’t be getting all the credit here–how about credit to Buddy himself?

    Still, as someone who met Roger in 1985 (as a young reliever for the Mets) and found him to be one of the most likeable guys I have met in Baseball, I don’t necessarily want to rip him too hard either.

    If Boras is responsible for fixing Andruw’s swing, my goodness, I actually can’t rip Boras for one time only. Yes, he’s still the most evil man in Baseball for many, many reasons, but if he did fix Andruw’s swing, wow.

  82. Carlyle’s success started even before McDowell. He was dominating at Triple A with Guy Hansen as the pitching coach, and pitched well in AAA last year.

  83. I think Sporting News is just speculating. I have a really hard time believing the Braves will take the guy with less potential, a lower OBP, less power and who’s not a successful basestealer over a high OBP, good power guy like Kelly Johnson.

    I still say Escobar is traded sometime this month.

  84. Darnit, braves14, we were trying to give McDowell a little bit of credibility.

    Who else can be deemed as a McDowell success? Moylan? Yates?

  85. The Braves are saying and doing anything they can to increase Escobar’s value. I think Johnson’s value is much higher in the longterm.

    @82, the Braves will not trade Andruw.

    I still like McDowell.

  86. I don’t know…what else do you want from McDowell? James is looking like he did lasy year. Whether we want to admit it or not, Moylan and Yates (until recently) have been solid. The bullpen overall has been pretty good. You have to give him some credit for Buddy. Sure Davies is an issue, but let’s see how Davies does now that he knows he is the 5th starter…and clinging to it.

  87. Did you guys notice that Esobar’s OPS+ is only 97 AND his fielding percentage is only .951. All but one of his errors came at 3B, but still. I say he’s mega super expendable, and if we can get any good value out of him, we take it.

  88. @102,

    He was speaking of Elvis Andrus, not Andruw Jones.

    But I think he’s a piece we’re not looking to deal.

  89. I think considering they have both eclipsed the 100 AB plateau, congratulations are in order for both Salty and Escobar. They both sit right at .304. Good job…

  90. I meant to bring this up last night and I don’t know if it has been brought up in an earlier thread but have you guys noticed that Blaine Boyer has been starting at richmond his las 6 or so games? He went 6 in his last start and struck out 7. What do you guys think about his chances as a starter with the big club?

  91. I think I am beginning to think Blaine Boyer was this ‘flash’ of possible greatness and has had nothing but arm troubles since. It’s a dangerous basket to place your eggs in.

    Guys who show great potential but always have arm trouble this often, this early…well, hard to rely on.

    I must be on an island but I actually like Yunel Escobar and what I am seeing from him. I would be happy to deal him if it meant a quality starter, but still, I don’t get the level of hostility. Instead of living off some potential problems, recognize the guy has been a force for us.

    As negative as I can be on here, I don’t believe in ripping on guys (i.e. Escobar and Willie Harris) who are out there playing well. If they stop performing, fine, but all this dislike towards Escobar perpelxes me.

  92. Alex, I definitely don’t dislike Escobar, I just think he could get us a lot more in return than he can give us in our current lineup. We don’t really need help at 2nd or 3rd except when Chipper or Kelly is hurt. He’s a great role player and he could be a really nice backup infielder, but if we trade him to a team thinking that he’ll be a starting shortstop, we could get a valuable piece in return.

  93. Alex R,

    You are not alone in your feeling about Escobar. And I stated awhile ago that I don’t get the hostility against him either…I don’t believe he would be playing if he wasn’t getting the job done.

  94. But the question is whether Escobar is better than KJ and I don’t see how you can say he is.

  95. I like the Kevin Millar idea. He’s cheap, been hitting very well lately, and Salty could just platoon with him from the opposite side of the plate and we get to rid ourselves of Thor or make him just a semi-but-not-really-powerful pinch hitter.

  96. Didnt Boyer have like 7 walks in 4 or 5 innings in the start before last. Thats not going to get you called back anytime soon

  97. you remember when Smoltz called out Chipper. Chipper has been playing every game since then and Smoltz has missed 2 starts now. I wonder if anything else has been said between the two of them

  98. Marc,

    I don’t understand how you or anyone else can say who is better than who at this point in their careers. KJ has had more major league experience, so you have to cut some slack to Yuni. Let’s just put in this way, if KJ wasn’t so streaky…we would not be having this convo b/c Yuni wouldn’t be playing. Am I right?

  99. Exactly Marc. If it boils down to Johnson or Escobar, you have to take Johnson.

    I seem to remember a former Braves’ second baseman who never got the job done but kept on playing (hint: it’s not Marcus Giles). Cox clearly plays favorites.

  100. Escobar is worse than Betemit who we traded last year for a relief pitcher who left after the season and a utility infielder who has been AWOL all year with drug abuse problems. If we can get a player who helps us win this year for Escobar, it’s pretty much a no brainer especially given the organization’s strength in infielders.

  101. LOL…Escobar is worse than Betemit? Betemit with the long swing, good grief I give up. I will never understand the anger and hostility some of you have against Escobar.

    Wait Marcus Giles was too aggressive, but he wasn’t completely garbage, plus he is all we had.

  102. Ok, first, I like BOTH KJ snd Escobar. I also love Salty. This is a GREAT problem to have :-)

    In a perfect world, we could aquire another starter for a lesser prospect and let Escobar have third when Chipper retires.

    That being said, I like Escobar more & more and I am definitely Tony on the hostility towards him being completely unjustified at this point. I simply don’t get it. But I think Yunel and KJ will both be good…end of story.

    However, if Yunel nets us a quality, reasonably young starting pitcher, sure, I would be willing to see him dealt. We have a greater need at starter.

    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, what about trying Yunel at first, should we be forced to deal Salty? I am for getting in as many quality hitters as possible, and getting any dead weight (Woodward, Thorman) out of this lineup.

    As for Giles, having both Yunel and KJ only proves even more what a shrewd and good move JS made by letting Marcus go.

  103. Of course, I also don’t understand why the majority of Braves Journal thinks Aaron Harang is suddenly going to be the 2nd coming of Greg Maddux.

    Please. Harang is a decent starter and clearly better in comparison with say a Kyle Davies, but really, the savior of Braves playoff chances? I don’t buy it. Enough with Cincy being a band box. Sure, it is, but you can’t suddenly tell me this guy will suddenly have a low 3 ERA or a 2+ ERA in Atlanta, out of the blue.

    Let’s see how he looks against us this week. (Hopefully not to goo so we keep the winning thing going).

  104. “Harang is more than a decent starter.” All projections have him ahead of Smoltz in every category for the 2nd half. He’s an ace, give him credit.

    Also from Mark Bowman….There have been some reports out of Pittsburgh that the Pirates are willing to deal Ian Snell for Saltalamacchia. My thoughts are they’d only unload a talent like Snell in exchange for a potential superstar like Saltalamacchia. But at the same time, such a straight-up deal likely wouldn’t provide equal return for the Braves.

  105. tony, just because someone thinks escobar is a good trading chip, or because someone thinks another player is superior to escobar doesnt mean they have “anger and hostility” toward him. right now, escobar does look better than betemit, but betemit has a bigger upside for the long term.

    also, ron said it wasnt marcus giles, so no point in trying to make an argument when there isnt one. i believe ron was referring to keith lockhart.

  106. he’s no maddux of course. I would still have Smoltz over Harang anyday, but I might take him over Hudson

  107. Attempting to nip Yunelmania in the bud… He’s hitting .304. That’s great. But his OBP is only .336, because he doesn’t walk, and the league OBP (in the Braves’ run context) is .333, so his OBP is only a marginal plus, and that because he’s mostly played second base. His slugging percentage is .402, which is 18 points below the league; even at second base, this is not a plus. None of this is a surprise; it’s exactly what he was projected to do by his minor league numbers. He doesn’t steal bases, and while he’s a solid enough defender he’s not a Gold Glove candidate.

    Escobar is the very picture of a player whose perceived value (due to the high batting average) is far higher than his actual value (which is more determined by OBP and SLG). If you have a suitable replacement — like Kelly Johnson, who is a superior offensive player in essentially every way unless you are hung up on strikeouts — you have to consider a trade if you can help a weak area on the team.

    First base, needless to say, would be out of the question but for the black hole currently in possession and eating up outs against righthanded pitching.

  108. shouldnt have said ace and I would still have Huddy over him, but he would easily become our #3

  109. In the poll, I voted ESPY’s since they gave an ESPY for best football play or whatever to a receiver who was ruled for offensive pass interference, but made the catch anyway. After a review to determine whether it was really a catch or not, the refs waived off the pass interference for no apparent reason.

    It also was against Southern Miss, so it shouldn’t count anyway.

  110. Ryan C,

    Of course I understand that…but if you read some of the comments you would think Escobar stole something from some of the bloggers. I like KJ and Esco equally. I’m not the only who noticed that…see Alex R.

    Oh yea you are right about Ron’s comment, I just read it over again. Sorry Ron.

    This kills me do you know Betemit has the bigger upside? Betemit was suppose to be a superstar by now…but he’s on the bench in L.A.

  111. Aaron Harang, meanwhile, is 10-2 with a 3.70 ERA (context is 4.59), fourth in the league in strikeouts, and third in innings pitched. He’s exactly what the team needs, though the Reds aren’t going to leave him behind when they leave Atlanta. They might be willing to part with Arroyo, who seems to have recovered from a bad streak, but is more of 3/4 type than a 1/2.

  112. Isn’t scott hatteberg’s contract up end of this year? Shouldn’t the braves be offering a high-A bullpen arm to the Reds for Hatteberg? Low cost, high OBP, pro, can work with Salty re: moving from C to 1B? Reds aren’t going anywhere and they have somebody– can’t remember who– who can take over 1B. Or the can play Dunn there the rest of the year and unblock the OF for Griffey, Freel, Hamilton and Prospect X, while shedding the rest of Hattie’s salary for the year.

  113. Mac,

    See these type of comments “like Kelly Johnson, who is a superior offensive player in essentially every way unless you are hung up on strikeouts” is what causes the

    Let’s look at the stats:
    Against LH pitching…

    Escobar is hitting .339/slg.419/ob.379
    KJ…………… .255/slg.409/ob.354

    With RISP against LH
    Escobar is hitting .500/slg .643/ob.533
    KJ……………. .333/slg .500/ob.455

    Do we understand why Yuni is playing against lefties? Also Mac do your stats includes big hits against CC in his 1st week in the BIG LEAGUES and against Benitez? The guy is fearless and that’s why BC loves him.

  114. Tony –

    Your stats do not work in this context given the number of games Escobar has played. Everyone needs to remember that he hasn’t even played close to a half season yet. And lets not forget that Escobar has NO potential for power.

  115. Look, I like Escobar, but I just think you are putting way too much on such a small sample. If he is still hitting like he is come the end of the year, I might change my stance a bit. But even then I don’t know if there will be a fit for him in Atlanta. As I said before, he doesn’t have enough power to be a third baseman, and I think KJ is a better all-around hitter than him. I would say SS, but we have 2 more in the wings that are supposed to be better than him – and we have Renteria for at least another season. Just no reason to keep him.

  116. -“Harang is a decent starter and clearly better in comparison with say a Kyle Davies.”-

    -“I would take Harang over Davies and maybe Chuck James.”-

    Come on Alex, this guy would probably slot right behind Smoltz on our staff. He is light years ahead of James. How come people will salivate over Javier Vasquez yet downplay Harang?

  117. Is it because Yuni smiles? Does BravesJournal hate happy players?

    Andruw Jones, Yunel, and Frenchy are all targets around here… just a theory.

  118. Escobar is the definition of expendable talent that you should trade high on every single year.

  119. Escobar is what he is. He’s a part-time player and a good utility player. He could be a decent SS. Nice player, but not a potential star.

  120. Joshua…

    So when you say “your stats do not work in this context given the number of games Escobar has played”, ok so that means we don’t really know how good this guy could be. Right?

    What do you mean he has no potential for power? How could say something like that when the guy is 6’2 200lbs…the same size as KJ except taller. The only reason Esco hasn’t hit for power is b/c he has a swing like Edgar…he’s not going for the fences all the time. And about his lack of walks…that will come with time. Ask Frenchy.

  121. This may be getting a little close to politics, but Johnny Bench said something a bit asinine. “‘We’re second-class citizens now, our era. Our records are bygone,” he said.’

    I know this is picking on a jock for saying something dumb, but, Johnny, you’re not a second class citizen. You’re a Hall of Famer, widely regarded as the best catcher ever, and I’d be willing to guess that your money’s no good in Cincinnati. Joe Morgan talks about you twice an inning every week on Sunday Night Baseball.

    You’re not a friggin’ second class citizen. Serious.

  122. 1) I’d take Harang over ANY current Braves pitcher for the long term. READ: LONG TERM.

    2) I don’t dislike Escobar, but a .951 fielding percentage (even if it’s a flawed stat) sucks, as does a 97 OPS+.

    3) Escobar is, as JoshQ says, the definition of expendable talent. Just in the last 1.5 years the Braves have had 3 players that are effectively the same in Betimet, Escobar, and Aybar in that they are all ok-to-good hitters, and passable defenders that aren’t good enough defensively to hold down SS as far as we can tell (mostly based on the fact that no manager puts them there).

    4) Another thing making Escobar expendable, as Joshua says (we have some good names on this board), is Elvis and Lillibridge are coming up behind him, and they’re both projected to be as good or better than Escobar.

    5) One problem with baseball statistics is that anything can be cherry picked to support your argument, as I will prove to refute Tony’s numbers.

    Escobar’s BABIP against LHP is .389. That won’t hold up. In 2 out, RISP conditions he has a whopping NINE PA’s. Small sample size, come on now. Very little can be derived from Escobar’s 120 MLB PA’s, but from the Minor League stats, which are plentiful, if you use a little sense he doesn’t appear to be anything terribly special.

    But that doesn’t effing mean I don’t like him. Or Andruw. Or Frenchie.

  123. “And about his lack of walks…that will come with time. Ask Frenchy.”

    And he’ll tell you he hasn’t figured out how to do it.

    PA BB Month
    109 9 April
    119 5 May
    115 5 June
    47 2 July

  124. Alex continues with the willful blindness toward Harang. He’d instantly be our #2, and that’s no slight to Hudson—Harang is that good and has been for going on 3 seasons.

    And I can only hope there are GMs out there who view Yunel the way Tony does—I always enjoy a good fleecing.

    And Josh, I don’t think anyone on here actually likes Vazquez better than Harang (with the possible exception of Alex)—it’s just that Vazquez seems like someone we might actually be able to get, so we focus on him.

  125. Tony… righthanded hitters on average outhit lefthanded hitters against lefthanded pitching, by a lot. But you can’t platoon at every position, nor should you. Again, Escobar’s value is higher in perception than in reality, and if you can take advantage of that perception to trade for a more valuable player, you should.

  126. I really like how the Braves have been playing recently (well, d’uhhh), and I would hate to see Escobar traded. BUT, if we can get a decent mid-rotation pitcher for him, we should do it.

    As has been said, middle infield is an organizational strength, and dealing from strength is an excellent way to win pennants.

  127. Especially when the more valuable player is at a shallower position for the Braves. Like people with strong arms and can use them for more than 5 innings.

  128. Ever since Devine was activated the starting pitching has improved and with All Star break bull pen is rested. Johnson was in a slump when YE came up and started hitting better after being rested. Cox knows that we hit right hander better than left handers so that is why he platoons when possible. Depth is good is good in long season to overcome nagging injuries as well as more serious injuries.
    We can play the 3,4 and 5 starters and if they continue to produce, good. If not it will be cheaper to rent starter later on.

  129. joshtothemax,

    All I got to say is apparently he is something special to the PEOPLE who matter b/c he is leading off against lefthanded pitching regularly now. So I guess your very thorough points mean nothing.

    Wait… didn’t Salty have subpar minor league season last year? Oh but I’m pretty you stat freaks can explain that away. So inconsistent. If very little can be derived from Yuni 120 ABS what do we say about Salty’s 115 ABs?

  130. To follow up some more, Escobar is essentially similar to Nick Green, who as a part-time, 25-year-old rookie hit .354/.400/.463 against leftthanders, was traded for Kim Jong-Il after the season, and has washed out of the majors. Now, Escobar’s minor league track record is somewhat better than Green’s, and his listed age is a year younger (for what that’s worth) but the point remains that you can’t make it in the big leagues when your only skill is a high batting average against lefthanded pitching.

  131. Mac,

    I love how these posters keep coming up with dumbass statements like “Harang is decent starter but not an ace”, and something like Escobar is a great player, and you just keep swatting them away with statistics, and good baseball sense.

  132. Tony, quit trolling me. I can easily counter that by saying he’s leading off against LHP to raise his perceived value for a trade.

    Salty was hurt last year and everyone knew that.

    Escobar has been average in 120 PAs. Salty has been ridiculously good in 115.

  133. “Oh but I’m pretty you stat freaks can explain that away.”

    Anyone that aligns with the scout or the stat side is an idiot. The only way to really get any meaning out of stats is to fuse them with scouting. Polarizing ideas is really, really unproductive. Even on a damn comment board.

  134. Why has Harang’s name been thrown around again? A few days back I thought everyone here realized the Reds have unequivocally stated that he is not available.

    Aaron Harang is not going to be a Brave this year, even though he is spectacular.

    Now, please go back to debating the attributes of the mostly useless Matt Morris. At least that’s someone Atlanta may actually land…

  135. You should not even put Salty and Escobar into the same sentence when discussing their potential. Because Escobar leads off doesn’t mean anything. Rafael Belliard was in our starting line up at one time even though most the relievers in bullpen could out hit him. Escobar is a great player to have on your team and provide depth, but if someone else perceives him as an everyday starting SS then I say take advantage of that.

    On another note, I saw the Contreras rumor and it stated that he is due 10 mil in 08 and 09. I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole.

  136. Attempting to nip Yunelmania in the bud… He’s hitting .304. That’s great. But his OBP is only .336, because he doesn’t walk, and the league OBP (in the Braves’ run context) is .333, so his OBP is only a marginal plus, and that because he’s mostly played second base. His slugging percentage is .402, which is 18 points below the league; even at second base, this is not a plus. None of this is a surprise; it’s exactly what he was projected to do by his minor league numbers. He doesn’t steal bases, and while he’s a solid enough defender he’s not a Gold Glove candidate.

    Escobar is the very picture of a player whose perceived value (due to the high batting average) is far higher than his actual value (which is more determined by OBP and SLG). If you have a suitable replacement — like Kelly Johnson, who is a superior offensive player in essentially every way unless you are hung up on strikeouts — you have to consider a trade if you can help a weak area on the team.

    First base, needless to say, would be out of the question but for the black hole currently in possession and eating up outs against righthanded pitching.

    Can I post this on some other braves forums where people can’t seem to get this through their heads?

  137. Justin,

    If funny how when guys agree on stats…then stats tell the story, however when you don’t agree with the stats…he doesn’t have enough at bats to really get a determination of how good or bad he will be. Please be consistent. And they are only “dumbass statements” if you don’t agree with them. If the guy doesn’t think Harang is that good, then that’s his opinion. By the way, that dumbass comment was unnecessary. I’m pretty sure Mac will agree. And by the way Justin, no one is Mr. Baseball on here…I think we all are just bravesfan.

    The thing I like about Mac, is when he doesn’t agree with you, sure he will throw up some stats but he doesn’t try to belittle the blogger. Some of you should take notes.

  138. Criticizing a player for his weaknesses is not hostility. I have no hostility toward Escobar but I really like KJ. I think, if anything, he is the one that has been abused because he hasn’t been able to maintain his performance at the beginning of the year. But he has power, will take a walk, and is playing phenomenal second base considering his lack of experience. Yunel has done a fine job, but I just don’t see how he is better than Johnson, either now or in the long run. Everyone talks about how streaky KJ is, but his OBP is still over .380. My opinion, and no offense to Yunel, is that KJ is likely to be the superior player.

    And Harang isn’t coming to Atlanta. Why would the Reds give up their only decent starter for another bat? They don’t have enough pitching as it is.

  139. Remember, everybody, the more comments you address to Tony, the more likely he is to keep wasting space on here.

  140. KJ is by far the superior player, compared to Yunel. The Braves are putting Escobar in situations where he can succeed, in this case against left handed pitchers, in an effort to increase his value. Hopefully JS can trade Yunel and get a reliable pitcher in return. KJ is the future at second base.

  141. “If funny how when guys agree on stats…then stats tell the story, however when you don’t agree with the stats…he doesn’t have enough at bats to really get a determination of how good or bad he will be.”

    Dude, seriously. Law of Large Numbers. It’s in any intro stats course.

    “sure he will throw up some stats but he doesn’t try to belittle the blogger. Some of you should take notes.”

    Mac is really good at typing comments that don’t have any venom in them at all. That’s where a lot of us (myself, and YOU included Tony) should take real notes.

  142. Tony,

    I am sorry that you can’t figure out how the statistics bear out the fact that Yunel is an inferior player to Kelly Johnson. Not only his small sample size in the MLB, but also his two years of data from the Minors cannot be ignored.

  143. joshtothemax,

    OK Josh…I guess we can ignore his “poor” OBS, lack of walks and power since it is such a small sample size. Dude, you are making my argument for me. Oh I am definitely learning to stay calm from Mac.


    I will always call out inconsistencies, especially since I am rested from my vacation.

  144. Just curious…given the value of pitching these days and given the apparent surplus of middle infielders, who is it that is going to be sending us anything of value in return for Escobar?

    The only franchise that I can think of that comes close to qualifying as “pitching-rich” in terms of prospects is Boston (which is amazing, given their history).

    You aren’t going to get any of their current starters and you can take Clay Bucholz off the table. But Salty and Escobar might get you Michael Bowden (still two years away) or a Kason Gabbard (Buddy Carlyle’s left-handed twin).

    Escobar could give Pedroia a night off and periodically spell Lugo and his Andruw Jones-like BA and give ’em a bat off the bench.

    If Salty can catch Wakefield, they can finally be rid a .170-hitting catcher who cost them Clay Merideth and Josh Bard. Plus, Salty is a better alternative at 1B then anything they have.

    Who else could be in a position to do that deal?

  145. Wait did the dude say I was trolling him? Please this is not redstate or daily kos….

  146. Duh…I forgot the Red Sox had Youkilis playing 1B. I was thinking he was still at 3B and Eric Henske was their starter…

  147. Tony, the point is that the poor OBP, the lack of walks, and the lack of power have remained consistent throughout his entire minor league career. That’s the sort of track record you look for—the longterm trends that give the best idea of who the player really is.

    Stuff like that RISP average–aside from the luck factor that independently renders that statistic virtually meaningless—just isn’t supported by enough of a sample size to be statistically relevant with any predictive force.

    Sorry for breaking my own rule, everyone—I promise that’s my last attempt.

  148. Every team in the majors is in position to take Salty and Escobar for a (there is no such thing as a) pitching prospect. Bowden is a nice one, but that’s terrible.

    I’d trade Woodward for Gabbard. Maybe Pete Orr, but probably not.

  149. Stu,

    And this my last point on this b/c dammit I am even tired of talking about it. To the people that know the best, and those are the people who seen him “struggle” in the minors and play up here in the majors, they like what they see. And from what I’ve seen of Escobar in the majors, I like him too.

    One more thing, if he was that horrible in the minors, he wouldn’t be up here…

    Let’s just see how it plays out before predicting doom on one of our players.

  150. Tony,

    Those people who know best also traded for Aybar, signed Woodward, insist on keeping Pete Orr on the team, ironically in a role that Escobar is perfectly suited for, and signed Craig Wilson, and Mark Redman all within twelve months, so yeah they could be wrong about Escobar.

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