Mike Hampton will never pitch for the Braves again

Just forget it.

I’ll try to get the third WDWGFH entry up tomorrow. I’m busy right now.

86 thoughts on “Mike Hampton will never pitch for the Braves again”

  1. as for the poll question…can we not still blame everything on Druw? he doesnt have to be here to get the blame

  2. Yes, Hampton’s contract hangs heavy over the Braves, but be realistic. It is an owed and sunk cost. Get over it.

    As to Mike Hampton not pitching for the Braves again, my understanding is that he had started throwing again around the beginning of September. I heard nothing about the results. Supposedly, he was to pitch a few innings in one of the winter instructional leagues. I have heard nothing on that. If anybody has further info on that, let us know.

    Basically, I would say that Hampton PROBABLY will pitch for the Braves again(and almost certainly isn’t leaving the Braves roster) because;

    1. The Braves will not waive him, pay the salary, and take a chance that a competitor has him and Hampton gets effective at major league minimum.

    2. The Braves will not be able to trade him until he demonstrates that he can pitch (unless they absorb as much salary as in option 1).

    3. If he demonstrates that he can pitch, the Braves would want to keep him. That might (I realize it may be a big “might” to many) result in a trade of a young pitcher that has promise or little promise. (Reyes or James in group 1, Villareal, Cormier and Carlyle in Group 2)

    4. I believe Hampton’s football mentality will cause him to rehab hard and be ready to go. If he is close to major league average, then he will pitch for the Braves (not just sit on the roster collecting his checks). However, I thought the same thing last year, so what do I know.

  3. Also, everybody on here needs to be more conscious of just how common these major injuries to pitchers are. Look at all of the innings lost by Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, A. J. Burnett, Roy Halladay, Ben Sheets and on and on.

    Your roster must be based on the premise that at least one front line pitcher will be getting paid for not pitching and you still can go with that.

    Meaning, the “slot in a veteran number 3” stuff is missing the point. Smoltz is old and creaky. Hudson is not as old, but subject to minor phsical problems. We need a young guy that is a 3 or so now with topside (Gorzelanny or Snell, maybe). Not a Garland or Vazquez. Those guys would only be a bridge to a future not yet ready.

  4. I haven’t heard any news about a Hampton setback. I assume Mac meant he will be injured again in spring training. If I were Shuerholz, I would go into the offseason assuming exactly that and if it turns out to be false and Hampton is ready on opening day, that’s just a bonus.

    I wouldn’t count on Mike Gonzalez being a major contributer in the 8th and 9th innings either.

  5. @8,


    I hope that Hampton’s contract has another 25 days on it. Even an extr 10 to 12 would be nice.

  6. As DOB mentioned in his blog a few days ago, because of Hampton’s salary, if he can pitch, he’ll be slotted as a starter.

  7. I find that baffling. If he can’t start effectively, maybe it would help if he was moved to the bullpen. What’s going to happen? $14.5 million mop-up man jokes?

  8. Moving Hampton to the bullpen won’t happen for many reasons, nor should it. John Smoltz has said numerous times that closing is much harder on his arm than starting.

  9. “Also, everybody on here needs to be more conscious of just how common these major injuries to pitchers are. Look at all of the innings lost by Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, A. J. Burnett, Roy Halladay, Ben Sheets and on and on.”

    how many of these guys missed 2 1/2 seasons? Yes these injuries do happen, but there is a big difference in missing 1 year and missing 2.5 years at his age. Aug 19th 2005 was the last time Hampton pitched in a game. I dont know, but has anyone ever missed that amount of time and then come back to be successful. I dont think we’ll get a full season out of this guy, hopefully I’m wrong

  10. good example, didnt think of him

    after his time off they tried him as a starter and then he did get moved to the pen after his injury though. any others

  11. @17,


    Jim Morris (“The Rookie”) and Peter Moylan.

    I concur with the overwhelming sentiment. JS should not count on Hampton; however, Hampton really should be back and at league average early in the year (performance) and slightly above as the year winds on.

  12. Sam,
    “Slotted as a starter” doesn’t exactly mean “keep sending Hampton out there, even if he’s getting bombed every time.”

    It only means that the Braves will give him every opportunity to be an effective starter. I have no problem with that. He’s making a fortune, one that the Braves are on the hook for—why wouldn’t they give him a chance to succeed? If he’s bad, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

    That said, I don’t think we can count on him, either.

    Heading back to The Bronx tonight. So glad that it’s a 7:30 start, instead of one of those awful 8:30 deals.

    Wang vs Byrd. I think it’s headed back to the lake.

  13. I think the Braves gave Mark Redman every opportunity to be an effective starter. Trouble is, Mark Redman didn’t need every opportunity: he was what he was from day one.

    At his best, Hampton’s better than Redman. But we’re not going to get that Mike Hampton at his best. He’s old, creaky, and hasn’t pitched in a very very long time.

    On the other hand, HGH seems to have done wonders for Rick Ankiel. You think we could hook Hampton up with Greg Anderson?

  14. Found this picture funny – who’s the guy top right in the Auburn gear? (Picture taken 2/7/07 at Bud Walton Arena)

  15. Well, we’d have to convert Hampton to a left fielder to help that along.

    Andruw Jones: .222 Batting Average (2007)
    Mike Hampton: .242 Batting Average (Career)

    Andruw Jones: 13.5 Million Salary (2007)
    Mike Hampton: 14.5 Million Salary (2008)

    Wow, Mike Hampton could be the Braves’ new Andruw Jones if they put him in the outfield.

  16. I have to say that comparing Mike Hampton’s ability to Mark Redman’s is absurd. There’s zero evidence to back up such a statement. Folks to forget that there’s a reason Hampton got that fat contract before he was injured. Redman in his whole career has never had a season to touch even Hampton’s more average years.

    Hampton has been good when he’s been healthy. He’s got good stuff. If he can come back healthy (a big ‘if’ I know) there’s no reason to believe he can’t win 12-15 games and have a sub 4 ERA. Just what the Braves need at the #3 spot.

  17. Byrd doesn’t make it out of the third. Everything is on Sabathia’s shoulders in Game 5.

  18. Indians in 4?

    Indians in 5?

    Yankees in 5?

    I think Byrd and Wang get shelled tonight, Cleveland wins 8-6

  19. AAR- I think that’s crap. If it was true, sinkerballers would always pitch on 3 days rest.

    It’s just another baseball platitude that someone said once and now everyone repeats whenever a pitcher gets a groundout pitching on short rest.

  20. It should have been studied, and I think I could come up with a method of determining it, but it’s probably not true. Rob Neyer said something similar to what mraver did after the pitching book he did with Bill James was published:

    RN: I don’t believe it, because nobody’s ever showed me anything resembling proof that it’s true. What’s more, if managers really believed it were true, wouldn’t they give their sinkerballers some extra work between starts? If Derek Lowe’s better on four days rest, then why not use him for two or three innings two days before his next start? He’d sure be nice and tired then. No, this is just something that people say without having any idea if it’s actually true.

  21. I will say that Tim Hudson has pitched better on short rest, during the regular season anyway, but he’s only made three career starts so that’s hardly definitive. A better example is that he’s pitched much better on five days’ rest (3.05) than four (3.67).

    Wang’s never started on three days’ rest before, though he’s actually started once on two days’ (and pitched well). Similarly to Hudson, he’s pitched better on five days’ rest (3.73) than four (4.02).

  22. I hate to root for the Yankees, but I am, and they’re getting screwed by the home plate umpire.

  23. Come on, we had an earthquake at a World Series at which Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Tony LaRussa, Rickey Henderson (actually, I like Rickey), Kevin Mitchell, Dave Parker, and Ken Oberkfell were present, and the ground signally failed to open up and swallow them. So it’s not very likely.

  24. Because if the Yanks and Sox meet up, there’s a good chance of a terrorist attack eliminating both teams from MLB.

  25. from MLB rumors…interesting

    Braves Notes: Hampton, Lowry, Andruw
    Mike Hampton makes $15MM next year, and the Braves aren’t getting any relief from the Rockies or Marlins. However, it turns out the Braves actually spread around those payments so that they’d pay out about $8MM to Hampton in each year of the deal.

    This is confirmed by Bill Shanks of Scout.com, for starters. Shanks notes that the Braves owe $8.25MM to Hampton next year because of amortization. I’ve heard that David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said something similar in the comments of one of his blog posts, but it’s been buried somewhere. Bottom line, the Braves have $7MM more than we thought they did. A $95MM payroll would give Atlanta some wiggle room to add a starter.

    It’s not a stretch to add Tom Glavine, with this new information. However, O’Brien thinks the Braves need more. While Dan Haren or Joe Blanton may be out of reach, Noah Lowry seems a more realistic target. The point is to find a decent young controllable arm.

    O’Brien’s also got some early interested parties in Andruw Jones: the Dodgers, Rangers, Giants, White Sox, Nationals, Phillies, and Mets. Seems like the idea of moving Beltran to right field has been discussed within the Mets organization. The Dodgers, I imagine, would shift Juan Pierre to left field.

    I guess the Mets are tied to every available FA thats out there, it gets old

  26. That’s good news, csg. I’d love to get Glavine AND someone else, but that may just be greedy of me.

    Renteria and Chuck James for Ian Snell.

  27. csg, amortization of Hampton’s contract was a known fact (and confirmed by the Braves) since the trade happened. I don’t know why people did not bring it up until now.

  28. That’s why MLB rumors has no clue what it is talking about. The Braves budget was never at $95M ($80-85 is more accurate). Any roster and salary analysis done by MLB rumors on the Braves are inaccurate.

  29. whats your thoughts on teams being able to call a timeout on a game winning FG right before the ball is snapped?

  30. csg,

    All I have to say is Suck It, Bills! Go Cowboys!!!! (Until they pulled that, I almost had some sympathy for them because they clearly outplayed my ‘boys.)

  31. you know, I really cant stand the Yanks, but I feel for Torre. It was probably his last game there and he’s always been a class act from what I’ve seen

  32. I am really enjoying the Yanks going up in flames. I don’t think that it is Joe Torre’s fault either–but I can’t be too upset for the man after the way he treated Phil Niekro in the early 80s. I now know that Niekro’s real problem was Bob Gibson, but Torre did nothing to help him. Niekro was released after the 1983 season and proved that he was still a useful pitcher in the American League….

  33. … if the salary thing is inaccurate, then the arbitration problems are still looming?

    Goddammit, I was hoping that I didn’t have to worry about Matt Diaz leaving anymore.

  34. let’s see…

    lowry for renteria (which, incidentially, seems plausible, but a bit weird for SF)…

    KJ and probably a pitcher (James) AND a decent player in AAA (Blanco) for Haren…

    replace renteria with escobar.

    replace KJ with a platoon of prado/lilli

    and find/sign a stop-gap CF

    we then have:

    1.) escobar–ss
    2.) prado/lilli–2b
    3.) chip–3b
    4.) tex–lb
    5.) mccann–c
    6.) frenchy–rf
    7.) diaz/harris–lf
    8.) stop-gap–cf

    1.) smoltz
    2.) hudson
    3.) haren
    4.) lowry
    5.) hampton/reyes

    and our bullpen…

    seems a bit, well, decent…im afraid that tex won’t have any protection in the lineup (did he this year?) and what’s gonna happen with escobar gets the full time lead-off job and pardo and lilli in the #2 hole…

    yet, it has the semblance of a good, not great, team.

  35. Yeah, classic “answering my own question”, but is that right? Do we still have to worry about Diaz leaving?

    By the way, one of my friends I chat with about the Braves thinks it’s a good idea to have Diaz, B. Jones AND Harris next year. I tried to tell him that Harris turned into a pumpkin again, but he clung onto Harris’s first half of 2007 tightly.

  36. I understand trading Renteria OR Escobar/KJ, but not both. Prado is not ready for the bigs. Glavine could be a cheap acquisition without trading a young player away.

  37. Prado was 2nd in the International League in hitting last year. His numbers in Atlanta were more than solid and his defense is pretty good. What more does he have to do to be ‘ready for the bigs’?

    Otherwise, I am with KC and others in not be excited about Lowry. However, as we saw last year it is not easy to get quality starters….

  38. I just had a colleage (a big Yankee fan)come into my office to complain about Caray. He said he wanted to turn the sound down or even turn the game off. I could only say that Braves fans have suffered from Caray inept commentary for years….

  39. That’s why MLB rumors has no clue what it is talking about. The Braves budget was never at $95M ($80-85 is more accurate).

    I think MLBTradeRumors is talking about the Braves raising the payroll to 95 million, not saying that the payroll was 95 million in 2007, and that would give them enough room to pay 9 million or whatever for Tom Glavine.

    Second, THE BRAVES ARE NOT GETTING DAN HAREN. He is probably near untouchable. And if the A’s made him available, does anyone really believe the Braves would offer the best package of players and prospects?

  40. Well, Chucky and KJ are exactly the kind of players which Beane and the A’s would love.

    I also highly doubt Haren is available because his contract is super affordable by the A’s. However, Blanton would be nice!

  41. #67,

    Had the frequently (and ridiculously) loud Caray stayed on mute throughout the series, the analysis of his partners, Tony Gwynn and, to a greater degree, Bob Brenly, would have been worth three or four hours of my time. But a stronger play-by-play voice, like TBS’s other division series announcers, Don Orsillo, Ted Robinson or Dick Stockton, would have made Brenly and Gwynn better. TBS knows how to fix what’s wrong.

    Ain’t that the truth. Fire Chip Caray.

  42. I don’t know “Popped up, shallow right field, Sizemore in front of the track, he’s got it.” is about as bad as you can get.

  43. i totally forgot about brandon jones in LF…

    now…if we said this trade for Haren:

    James, KJ and B. Jones

    i would have to say that the A’s would be retarded to turn that down (and we would be retarded to offer it, but i digress).

  44. A young affordable ace like Haren would cost way more than the Braves would be willing to give up. Plus I really do not believe the A’s would even trade him at this point.

  45. You can do worse than Chip Carey but you have to make a real effort–like hiring Joe Morgan to do play-by-play. I noticed a lot of the same errors that the writer noticed, like saying in one game that the visiting team had the winning run on base in the top of the ninth. Ah, nepotism is a wonderful thing.

    I’m now rooting for Cleveland all the way. The Red Sox and their idiot fans have had their championship–Cleveland needs one. And since the Braves beat them in 1995 (and even won the series this year), there is no reason to root against them. And I can’t get excited about having a western sunbelt team named after states winning the World Series.

    I’m glad the Yankees lost but Joe Torre is a lot classier than Steinbrenner deserves.

    Re the YouTube on the best playoff moments. I loved Skip’s call on the Bream play–I had never heard the whole thing. I wonder how Chip would have called it? He probably would have said that Bream should have stopped at third. But the comment on Bobby Thomson’s home run about not liking replays from the sixties–uh, that happened in 1951. I guess if you are from the You Tube generation, the fifties and sixties are all the same–like the middle ages. TV technology had improved some by the sixties.

  46. Chip and Joe doesn’t really bother me even though admittedly they often get things way wrong, but hearing McCarver, Piniella, or Torborg is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

  47. “I knew we had ’em right where we wanted ’em after 8.” Skip Caray, hero of my childhood, still the best in the business as far as I’m concerned. One of the greatest radio calls in history, and it’s absolutely perfect in every way.

    By the way, Dan, that’s sacrilege. Chip Caray is terrible, but Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver are inhumanly bad. They — McCarver especially — make me ashamed of my species.

  48. Also, is it worth asking if we could buy low on Zach Duke? Obviously the Pirates haven’t gotten all their front office in place, but he’s clearly a casualty of Littlefield, and if we could get him a change of scenery he could be a heck of a pitcher.

    On the other hand, is there any way that Roger McDowell could fix whatever’s trending wrong with Noah Lowry and turn him back into a decent young left-hander instead of the next Damian Moss?

  49. I’m glad the Yankees lost, but Joe Torre is a lot classier than Steinbrenner deserves.

    Or many of the Yankee fans, IMO. I think a lot of people share that opinion, Marc.

    You can hate the Yankees all day long (with good reason), but what Steinbrenner did to Torre is the ultimate, classless insult. As Buster Olney pointed out in “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty,” many people in and out of the Yankee organization believe Steinbrenner is just a spoiled loser, who kicks people when they are down. Once again, he proved them right.

    Last night was one of the most uncomfortable games I’ve ever been to. Add unbelievably humid with unending AL post-season baseball & you have one unhappy ububba. Yuck.

    From my conversations with fans at the game & at the bar afterward, they seem split on Torre. Some believe it’s time for a change, others are grateful to have him. End of an era, for sure.

    I wouldn’t exactly say that the Yankees are heading for disarray (too many good, young players right now), but things will certainly be different next year—perhaps a small step backward.

  50. ububba,

    That’s one way of looking at Steinbrenner. Or, as Rob Neyer alludes to in his blog, you could just basically ignore him, realizing that these are just the delusional ravings of a not-all-there-anymore old man.

    Torre may not want to be back after this mess, but I have serious doubts as to whether The Boss would even be able to force him out if he wanted to.

  51. Damian Moss, wow. Thanks for that reminder.

    McCarber, hands down, is the worst of the three. Joe Buck doesn’t help him out, though.

  52. Stu,
    If you are a Yankee employee, you don’t ignore Steinbrenner. As old & batty as he is, Steinbrenner’s still in charge. He still takes losing worse than anyone & it looks like Torre’s not going to survive this time.

    Ian O’Connor, who’s pretty reliable, broke the story over the weekend. He talked with Steinbrenner & swore up and down that he was lucid. He also said that if Steinbrenner was wacko, he would not have run with the story. Unlike Neyer, he’d talked with Steinbrenner many times before & said that it was the same ol’ George.

    Torre has been through this before. People close to Torre always say that he likes his money & the prestige of being the Yankee manager.

    He’s 67 & he might be done here, but more than any other manager in The Bronx, he understands that if he’s going to take The Boss’ money, if he’s going to be blessed with an obscenely high payroll, he’s gonna take the heat. He’s also handled it all with more grace than anyone could imagine.

  53. Gotcha. I knew you had NY-centered sources…I just wanted to get you to put ’em on the table. Thanks. :)

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