277 thoughts on “Let’s get back on track game thread: Marlins at Braves, June 5”

  1. Phillies just don’t seem to want to lose right now – I guess we’ll have to take care of that this weekend.

  2. 10 picks down and only 2 pitchers taken; that should be good news for the Braves as we could need to restock arms below Rome….

  3. At least we will not see Cole Hamels…who is busy shutting out the Reds. Man we need a shutdown ace. Edison Volquez shutout the Phillies in Philly last night…I think that guy might be a pitcher.

    Thanks for the info Mac…

  4. There are several high school pitchers from Georgia; I figure we’ll take one when we finally get to pick.

    Here’s something interesting, from Bill James Online: Yunel Escobar’s Leadoff Man performance. (Meaning all innings in which he was the first batter.)

    Yunel Escobar
    Innings Led Off: 57
    Team Scored: 45 Runs .79 per inning

    Reached Base Leading Off:
    Team Scored: 29 Runs 1.21 per inning

    Did Not Reach:
    Team Scored: 16 Runs .48 per inning

    Other Innings for Team:
    Team Scored: 238 Runs .50 per inning

  5. Some familiar names in the top ten, which he just missed — one a real head-scratcher:

    Team Runs Per Inning Led Off
    Player Runs/Inning
    Jayson Werth 1.09
    Jerry Hairston 1.00
    Juan Uribe 1.00
    Rafael Furcal 0.96
    Julio Lugo 0.95
    Gerald Laird 0.88
    Ian Kinsler 0.85
    Andruw Jones 0.83
    Chipper Jones 0.80
    Shane Victorino 0.80

  6. I’d say Hairston and Laird are both rather head-scratching, but at least Laird’s clearly an artifact playing in a stacked lineup with career years from both Bradley and Hamilton.

  7. I understand where he was coming from but its funny that Steve “Kazmir for Victor Zambrano” Phillips was harping on and on about how he thought it was better for a player’s development to go pro after high school rather than attend college…ironic that 12 of the first 13 draft picks have been college players. Why E!SPN employs that man is beyond me.

  8. I don’t care about yesterday anymore. STOCKMANIA IS RUNNING WILD IN THE BULLPEN AGAIN BROTHERS!

  9. I understand where he was coming from but its funny that Steve “Kazmir for Victor Zambrano” Phillips…

    It was Jim Duquette who traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano.

  10. Your reasoning there is faulty, bamachum. A lot of those guys turned down big money to diddle around in college for three years. But there are even more guys who chose to go to college instead of signing deals for 6 figures that aren’t going to be drafted at all today. Those are the ones that are relevant to the discussion. Sure, you can go to college and move from 2nd or 3rd rounder into the first round. But you could also move off board entirely, and then you got nothing.

    If you sign a deal, the worst-case is you pocket the dough, play ball for 3-6 years, and then go to college on MLB’s dime. (Full college tuition is guaranteed as part of any minor league contract a player signs.) It strikes me as needlessly risky to go to school rather than take $500k when it’s offered to you.

  11. I guess I’m just not sure that list is all that useful, then. Furcal and Jones are teammates, Kinsler and Laird are teammates, Werth and Victorino are teammates. Basically, it says, these guys play in big lineups, and are neither the good hitters nor the guys who hit in front of the pitcher.

  12. I am waiting for someone to draft Andrew Cashner who the Braves drafted twice as a Draft and Follow player, but failed to sing. Cashner went to TCU and thrived as a reliever.

    Josh Fields should be coming up soon as well….

    Still we ought to be able to collect some quality arms….

  13. Ike Davis–son of Ron Davis–with the pick the Braves gave up for Glavine….

  14. mraver,

    Again, what Phillips was saying essentially made sense, it was just funny that as he was saying “its better to go pro straight out of high school, all but one pick had been from college.

    BTW, he was saying it while I thinkAlfonso (1B from Miami) was being picked…he went from 16th Round out of HS to #7 overall , I’d saying going to Miami (FL) was a good choice.

  15. Here are some things Stevie P did do:

    1997: Traded Carl Everett for John Hudek
    1999: Traded Jason Isringhausen and Greg McMichael for Billy Taylor
    2000: Traded Melvin Mora and three other players for Mike Bordick
    2001: Traded Endy Chavez for Michael Curry
    2001: Traded Robin Ventura for David Justice, then traded Justice for Tyler Yates and Mark Guthrie
    2001: Traded Kevin Appier for Mo Vaughn
    2002: Traded Jason Bay and two other players for Steve Reed and Jason Middlebrook

  16. Well, AAR, I was just throwing it out there. What’s mainly interesting to me is that with all the complaining many people, including myself, have done about Escobar in the leadoff spot, when he’s led off innings the Braves have done well.

  17. Cashner chosen before Fields…what a shame we couldn’t keep him after 2006…

  18. Some others: The Braves have scored .66 runs an inning when Kelly Johnson leads off. When Gregor Blanco leads off, they’ve scored .32 runs an inning — far below their average of .55. With Teixeira, it’s .56 runs an inning, just about their average. It’s .51 when McCann leads off, largely because he hasn’t reached base much in those situations — just 9 out of 47 times. They’ve averaged a paltry .27 runs an inning with Francoeur leading off, which is obviously not a big surprise. Since #5 hitters lead off more innings than anyone but leadoff men, this can be a problem.

  19. And let’s not forget that time that he demanded MLB confiscate Gary Sheffield’s elbow pad, thereby pissing off a previously dormant Sheffield to such a large extent that he basically laid a nuclear bomb on the Mets for the rest of the series.

  20. And I doubt this stuff represents any skill but OBP and speed. But here’s a possible lineup:


  21. Its a pity that we could not sign Fields last year–that was one of JS’s dances with Boras….

    Still lots of decent starters left–I really hope that the Braves can collect 5 quality arms and one position player with their picks in the first 5 rounds….

  22. Re the low number when Blanco leads off–that might be an artifact of having him batting 8th most of the time. Hence innings he leads off have the pitcher (who in the Braves case can’t even pull off a sac bunt with regularity, much less provide real hitting) batting second and using up one out.

  23. I think that the Braves got one pick for not signing Fields and two for Mahay. Now, none of these picks are particularly high, but they add up.

    Basically, we have a chance to have a draft like 2003, where the Braves did not have a first round pick, but collected Salty, Romak and lots of arms. Unfortunately, most of the arms did not pan out and a few had their careers end quite badly.

  24. Looks like the Phillies drafted a Joshua Burris type…I hope he goes to Vandy…

  25. This is embarrassing, but will someone please explain “draft-and-follow” for me?


  26. #32–Yeah, thats 6 picks in the first 5 rounds–the Braves could have a productive draft with these picks.

    No Dennis Dixons please!

  27. You used to be able to draft a player, let him go play out the season, and then sign him before the draft. That’s “draft and follow” and it’s no longer allowed.

  28. I think you can now (after last season) have drafte and follow until August 15–which is essentially meaningless. A player is not much better in August rather than late May.

    The loss of draft and follow is actually a big blow for the Braves as they used this tactic more than any other organization. In fact, many–if not most–of the Braves top prospects (depending upon the list) were draft and follow types.

    I am very curious to see what the Braves do after about the 14th-15th round….

  29. The Braves usually start drafting players with ironic or humorous names later in the draft, since they usually don’t sign or are a million to one shot of making it.

  30. Didn’t they draft an Adam Parliament (who they did sign) and a Joe Lieberman who didn’t? I think that it was 2005…

  31. For names I liked Wohlever–a good name for a future Braves pitcher.

    I was hoping that Casey Kelly would be there at #40…

  32. Mac, Escobar only has 2 ABs not hitting first or second, while Johnson has 40. I’d say that stat is at least as much a measurement of the guys hitting behind you as it is of your own scoring ability.

  33. speaking for former Braves’ draft picks…what’s the deal the younger Rasmus’ kid (Cory) that we took in ’06? It seems like I heard he is having/had arm troubles and is moving to Catcher?

  34. “I suppose whatever doesn’t kill him will make him stronger.”

    As long as he doesn’t name him Sue.

  35. Okay, I don’t have Flash at work, and ESPN isn’t listing anyone past #30. Has the supplemental round started yet, and if so, has anyone been taken?

  36. The 2003 draft looked good for several years–but Jake Stevens (who in 2004 was the hottest pitcher in A ball in the minors) melted down, Paul Bacot never overcame personnel issues and Asher Demme had trouble staying healthy. Bacot went to my old high school, so I was disaappointed when he left baseball.

  37. “Okay, I don’t have Flash at work, and ESPN isn’t listing anyone past #30. Has the supplemental round started yet, and if so, has anyone been taken?”

    Next up is the Brewers at 35.

  38. ’02 Draft turned out fairly well in Brian McCann; Dan Meyer—centerpiece in Tim Hudson deal; Chuck James; of course Francouer and also Charlie Morton.

  39. Baseball Prospectus says…

    38. Brett Devall, LHP, Niceville HS (FL)
    What He Is: As advanced as any high school arm in the draft, with outstanding control and a deep arsenal.

    What He’s Not: A power arm.

    In A Perfect World He Becomes: A fourth starter.

    Backup Plan: Some kind of big leaguer.

    Open Issues: Can the fringe-average fastball set up the secondary stuff? Does his ceiling justify his price, or is there such a thing as a safe high school arm?

  40. Just what we needed. Another back-of-the-rotation arm with no ace potential.

  41. Here’s Sickels’ take, a bit more charitable: “Brett DeVall, LHP, Florida HS: Good size at 6-4, 215. Fastball average at 87-90, but could project more in time and he’s the best high school pitcher in the tough Florida ranks. Mixes in a solid curveball and changeup. Mid-to-late first round pick depending on bonus demands.”

  42. Considering he’s 6’4, 215, I’d imagine that fastball could pick up a couple MPH as he gets older. If he can command that change and curve well, that would be more than adequate.

  43. I think Mac’s right, the radar gun probably underrates a non-power arm like him. Two problems: he’s from Florida, so his arm probably has more miles on it than you’d think, and if he can’t get a firm feel on that lovely curve of his, he basically doesn’t have a future. But it’s a really nice looking pitch in that draft video.

  44. AAR–Thanks for the info. I just hope the Braves can sign him. There is no guarantee that any player will become a star, but at least DeVall has some significant upside.

  45. Here’s Baseball America. They’re a bit more optimistic about his upside:

    33 BRETT DeVALL, LHP, Niceville (Fla.) HS

    From Florida, a Team USA Junior Olympic team alum and a participant in the East Cobb League, Devall has been on the scouting radar for a long time. DeVall was an Aflac All-American in the fall and has distinguished himself this spring as the top pure high school lefthander in this draft. DeVall, at 6-foot-4, has the ideal pitcher’s build and has an advanced understanding of how to pitch. His delivery and arm action are sound as he repeats his mechanics, leading to his plus command of three pitches. The velocity on his fastball typically stays between 88-89 mph but can touch the low 90s. His curveball has the makings of an average pitch at the very least and his changeup is advanced for a high school pitcher. While he has feel for each of his three pitches, none of them is presently labeled as an out pitch. DeVall is projected as a third or fourth starter at the big league level. With the development of a plus breaking ball or an increase in velocity on his fastball, DeVall could be a No. 2 guy in a major league rotation. He is committed to play baseball for Georgia.

  46. Some of you basbeball america folks post about Robert Stovall, our pick at 64.

  47. Speaking of Braves draft pasts, what’s become of James Jurries ?? I was thinking about him as one of the guys that used to be around to play left, and used to be on the juice, but I can’t find anything anywhere about the guy. Is he out of baseball or in Japan or something ?

  48. BA on Stovall:
    55 TYLER STOVALL, LHP, Hokes Bluff (Ala.) HS
    The top high school pitching prospect from Alabama, Stovall is a projectable lefthander who has dominated competition. Stovall set the Alabama state record for wins (18) and strikeouts (227) in 2007, and he already had 12 wins and 170 strikeouts this season. He is a U.S. Junior National Team alum and is committed to play at Auburn. While his fastball sits between 89-91 mph, Stovall’s go-to pitch is his curveball. He also has an advanced changeup. While his curveball is a plus pitch, he sometimes uses it too often. Scouts would like to see Stovall pitch more off his fastball, and if he doesn’t, scouts could see him settling into merely a setup or relief role as a pro. However, with added velocity and reliance on his fastball, Stovall could be a starter in the big leagues. His makeup is a plus, and academically, he will graduate at the top of his high school class.

    Sounds to me like he’s very similar to DeVall.

    On Spruill:

    66 ZEKE SPRUILL, RHP, Kell HS, Marietta, Ga.
    Another Georgia native with the benefit of displaying his skills in the East Cobb League, Spruill impressed scouts last summer and has continued the trend this spring. Spruill has a fluid delivery that is clean and repeatable. He has been up to 93 mph and pitches at 91-92. His fastball has life with sink and is a plus pitch. Commanding all three pitches, Spruill also throws a curveball with slurvy action and a changeup. At 6-foot-4 and 184 pounds, Spruill has a pitcher’s body with athleticism and projection. Scouts feel he could pitch closer to 93-94 by the time he reaches the big leagues. A Georgia commit, Spruill is known as a competitor and a winner with plus makeup. Spruill, along with Martin, has separated himself as one of the top two high school pitching prospects in Georgia.

    Again, similar mode, except he’s a righty. Seems a bit more projectable, too. I really like this tact. Early on, it was all hitters and college players. Seems like the Braves might be getting some of the better HS pitchers by going against the trends.

    I’m just hoping Xavier Avery (super-toolsy OF) is still around later on.

  49. Has there ever been a worse outfield than Anderson-Blanco-Francoeur?
    Wren better be lighting up the phones.

  50. Guess who is back at AA with a vengeance?

    Oh but how can we add him to the major league team? He will destroy the chemistry and Hank Aaron won’t approve of him.

  51. Kimbrel (96th overall pick) is less-highly-regarded than the other picks (at least by Baseball America). He didn’t make their top 200, but he was the top guy in Alabama outside that top 200. Here are their thoughts:

    Craig Kimbrel leads the list of junior college players in the state. At 6 feet, Kimbrel is an undersized righty with a lightning-quick arm, producing velocity in the mid- to upper 90s. Kimbrel has worked as a starter and closer and profiles to pitch out of the bullpen at the pro level. His slider is still developing as is his command. Kimbrel has overmatched juco hitters this spring, and with each strong performance it became less likely he’d be following though on his commitment to Alabama.

  52. Totally off-topic, but I just saw Pete Rose take out Ray Fosse for the first time. I mean, I knew about it, but this was the first time I ever saw the video. Anyway, it almost looked to me like Rose stumbled as he was getting ready for one of his patented head-first slides, and that’s why he stayed on his feet and ran over him instead. Anybody else ever see that and feel the same? Just wondering if Rose was a little unfairly vilified for that one…

  53. Chip saying that Frenchy feels he’s just about to break out of the slump. Right on cue he tries to hit a pitch at his feet.

  54. Jurrjens seems to have lost it since the report of the blister. Giving up HRs and BBs.

    Skip and Pete kvetching about the Batman and Robin, and Blind Date promotions

  55. for those without picture:

    Hanley crushed a fastball that just a had a little too much off the plate on the very first pitch…he is Hanley after all.

    Hardest hit ball of the inning was Kelly’s lineout to Hermida.

    Tex’s rbi sinbgle was weakly hit but right in the whole on the right side of the infield.

    Frenchy’s ground out was even more soft and pathetic than usual.

    Outside of the walk, I don’t think Jair looks as bad as he did last outting, just based on how his stuff looks to me. Reason to be optimistic? maybe.

  56. Nolasco doesn’t seem to be missing many bats, got to hope that will hurt him in the short term.

  57. 130th pick, Braves takes Braeden Schlehuber. We are dipping into the awesome names already.

  58. “Kelly to his right in the outfield…he’s been playing there a lot this year against lefthand pull hitters”

    It’s called a shift, Chip.

  59. In the Fielding Bible Plus/Minus he is, and by a ton:

    Rank Player +/-
    1 Yunel Escobar +15
    2 Orlando Cabrera +6
    3 Troy Tulowitzki +6
    4 Erick Aybar +5
    5 Cristian Guzman +4
    6 Hanley Ramirez +3
    7 J.J. Hardy +3
    8 Adam Everett +2
    9 Miguel Tejada +1
    10 Cesar Izturis +1

  60. Yunel didn’t swing at the two first pitches (both curveballs) which makes it even nicer.

  61. Okay, it’s bad enough that Joe goes on and on about hitting to the opposite field and productive outs and all the other BS, but he doesn’t even know the difference between The Hulk and The Thing? Idiot.

  62. I want to see all the Braves superheros now. I don’t want to hear Joe try to identify them

  63. Bobby already cheering McCann on before the Tex popup was in Cantu’s glove. Heh.

  64. While we’re listing things we want, I want someone to snipe Chip Caray from the Skyfield, but we just can’t always get what we want.

  65. Just had to laugh- stat for Francoeur after a 3-1 count so far this season? 1 for 3. Ha. I think he had 4 walks too. That’s insane this late in the season…

  66. …if not for the marlins pathetic infield defense, that would’ve been a vintage frenchy dp.

  67. It was an RBI only because of the stupid “can’t assume a double play” rule. It was an obvious mistake that goes down as a Prado because of that. Francoeur sucks.

  68. “Was Junior a number one pick?”

    “ARod wasn’t a number one pick. . . I don’t think.”

    Die. Seriously. Just die.

  69. 160th pick, Jacop Thompson, RHP. Boring name.

    Just missed out on Maverick Lasker and Tyler Pastornicky.

  70. This is brutal. I’m switing over to the Marlins guys, who are annoying homers.

    But I’d rather take an ice pick to my eardrum than listen to Chip any longer.

  71. So Chip just claimed that Rick Monday, for saving the American flag from being burnt in 1976, was the ‘most valuable pick in the history of our sport.’

    I’m giving serious thought to offing myself soon if someone doesn’t make it stop.

  72. Let the record show that this inning would be over with a Braves lead if they’d just thrown the ball over the damned plate to Nolasco.

  73. I swear, I want to go to Atlanta, pull the ball with a maple bat, slide into first base head first, then head into the booth and hit these guys over the head with the maple bat.

  74. #153 – beautiful. I’ll chip in for gas money.

    I think I may have blacked out for a while when Chip asked with a straight face if the batter is required to swing on a hit-and-run play.

  75. If you’re online… None of the balls this inning was hit hard. Most of them were ground singles or flare singles. Jurrjens doesn’t have a great strikeout rate, so this sort of thing is going to happen, but it wasn’t his fault, and with better defense he would have been out of the inning a long time ago.

  76. See, I complain about aggressiveness, and you don’t want to risk the out at third base… but that’s the kind of aggressiveness that works, because outfielders have gotten lazy and learned to not expect the triple.

  77. That inning seemed like death by a thousand cuts, at least online. I’m sure that fans of “manufacturing runs” out there are rejoicing.

  78. esco doesnt flip his bat on a homer, yet OVERLY flips his bat on a double play.

  79. 5-4. Joe was so busy praising Ramirez for starting a double play he called it a “good call” at first base when Jacobs was inches off the bag when he caught the throw at first base.

    Now they’re hitting Jurrjens hard.

  80. do you all really still think anderson isnt worth a shot in the leadoff spot?


  81. 190th pick, Adam Milligan, Outfielder. Boring name again.

    Missed out on Tyreace House.

  82. The worst part about Chip, however, is what he does to Joe, who is good with just about everyone else. But I have to admit, I think my favorite team this year was Jon and Ron.

  83. Actually, if someone can compile a list of this year’s announcing teams (TV only; Pete and Skip would win easily) I’ll make it a poll.

  84. I’m glad the Braves are back on top. Nolasco’s been hit hard virtually the whole night, while it sounds like Jurrjens has really been victimized by some poor defense and junk singles.

  85. anyone know if the other carey boy is more like his father or grandfather? i’ve heard he’s a pretty decent announcer.

  86. In case you’re interested, since Joe didn’t mention it, 120 of Bonds’ walks that year were intentional. This is obviously a record; in fact, it’s more than twice as many as anyone but Bonds has ever had in a season and would be good for 76th all-time for a career.

  87. Jon and Joe
    Jon and Ron
    Chip and Joe
    Joe and Skip

    is that it?

    did Brian Jordan do any games?

  88. Relatively rare, but not for us.

    Gant was really bad in the past and he still had some whoppers — but he and Jon meshed well. Part of it was that Jon seemed less prone to defer to him and said some things that indicated he had actually read books.

    Oh, come on, you have to hit for him.

  89. That 8 man bullpen say to themselves, “I sit on my ass and earn millions without even pitching!”

  90. Excuse me — I think Chip might also work with Pete, other than Skip and Lemke. But I’m not sure.

    Also, apparently our only PHs are Infante and Gotay, what with Corky being our backup catcher and all.

  91. I still predict the Joe and Skip option, weighted by our affetion for Skip, will probably run away with it. Even though, Skip hasn’t been the same old Skip on the few tv broadcasts he’s been on this year.

    I’ve really enjoyed Jon and Joe the past couple years. They’ve got good chemistry. I really like boog, and the only thing that ever pisses me off is Joe Simpson’s relentless sunshine pumping and homerisim…but hey, that’s better than pulling a Chip Caray (regularly getting excited for the other team).

  92. At least, that’s what Carlyle and Stockman can say. (referring to my 201 comment)

  93. Pete works with Chip now and then. And I thought Lemke did a game on radio too.

  94. Or in Acosta’s case, “I earn millions for pitching well unless it’s important!”

    Or in Ring’s case, “I earn millions for pitching to one batter!”

  95. You know, I think this is the year that both Chipper Jones and John Smoltz solidified their Hall of Fame candidacies. Smoltz got 3000 K’s, and Chipper got 400 homers, and has been flirting with .400.

    Prior to this year, people regarded them as probables. I think at this point people regard both of them as more or less definite — and we’ve seen the change happen in the last couple months.

  96. new poll: best jones’ brave, besides chipper:
    chipper jones
    andruw jones
    brandon jones

    get your votes in!

  97. Be nice.

    I was thinking… Is Chipper now the Greatest Atlanta Brave? When I did the list in the 2006-07 offseason, I had him third behind Aaron and Maddux. Aaron would still rank #1, because I included his Milwaukee years, but Chipper pretty clearly has the greatest hitting accomplishments of anyone counting Atlanta only. So, him or Maddux?

  98. Just bunt it at Jacobs now, pretty sure he’s going to kick it into the dugout.

  99. I think you still have to give it to Maddux, but Chipper’s in the conversation, certainly, and still adding to the resume.

    And… right on schedule, Jeff strikes out.

  100. still gotta be maddux, but if chipper gives this .400 thing a run, i would have to go chipper.

  101. Another interesting thing is how far Hudson and McCann will climb the top 44 list this year.

  102. I didn’t notice it, and I don’t know if anyone else did, but earlier this week Chipper passed Murphy as the all-time at-bats leader for Atlanta. Last night, he passed Mathews for second on the franchise hits list. He of course holds virtually every major hitting record for the Atlanta Braves now: Hits, Total Bases, Doubles, Homers, RBI (could pass Mathews this year, he’s 50 behind), walks (the only franchise record he’s got a good chance at holding, he’s 110 behind Aaron and 189 behind Mathews; this, of course, is virtually the only major franchise record Aaron doesn’t hold), XBH. He’s at the top of all the percentages as well, and on top of the franchise list in OPS.

  103. Remind me if Jacob Thompson ever makes it that his nickname is Jacop.

    Wait, “best pitching coaches in baseball?” You re-hired Leo?

  104. AAR,

    You are only jinxing the man. Just don’t say anything when things are going the way they ought to. –end of superstitious rant–

  105. I know you probably had to walk Hanley there, but I hated to see it because that guarantees Uggla will come to the plate again. Really sick of seeing that guy.

  106. Hahahahaha Chip just burned Jacobs.

    “…Ball is caught by Jacobs, and that in of itself is a surprise.”

    I would go to the press box and hit him with a maple bat.

  107. You know, today I found out that bamboo is eighteen times stronger than maple. Maybe bamboo (a grass) is the answer? It’s durable, renewable, sustainable.

  108. A taxonomic technicality. It shares all the other properties of wood. Just a thought.

  109. Best pitch he’s thrown.

    Ball one… well, it probably was a strike, but it was a high breaking ball and those rarely will be called strikes.

  110. 3-1 series with the Marlins is nice. If it hadn’t been for the Smoltz thing, this would’ve been a fantastic start to the homestand.

    Phillies come to town next, yes?

  111. Oh, and on the poll, I voted for Pete and the Lemmer, mostly because Pete does all the play-by-play in this situation, so I don’t have listen to anyone who annoys me. At least not as much as I do when Chip or someone is around.

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