107 thoughts on “I wish it WAS over game thread: July 23, Braves at Marlins”

  1. Continued from the last thread:

    “Adding injury to insult for the Braves, whose only hit came via Jones’ sixth-inning leadoff single off Joe Nelson, was the fact that VandenHurk’s success came just five days after he’d lost to their Double-A affiliate in Mississippi.”

    Well when two thirds of the outfield doesn’t belong starting above Double-A, it’s really not that surprising.

  2. If Francoeur were still in Mississippi, VandenHurk probably wouldn’t have lost that one.

  3. The bad thing is, I guarantee that we will see better plate discipline in the upcoming Little League World Series. Maybe Jeff could get a couple of hits there.

  4. Speaking of potential Hampton injuries from the previous thread, poster The District Attorney over at Baseball Think Factory had this hilarious list:

    Vein seizures
    Aorta collapse
    Migrating genitals
    Monkey lung
    Spontaneous pregnancy
    Involuntary Narnia adventures
    Autonomous nipple
    Wandering genital syndrome
    Sudden organ liquification
    Rectal hallucinations
    Chronal-displacement syndrome
    Brain tooth
    Pulmonary weevils
    Re-emergence of the umbilical cord
    Minor heart explosions
    Speaking in tongues
    Hairy uvula
    Vivid dreams of self-cannibalization
    Spontaneous and uncontrollable gum growth
    Testicular crazening

    The whole thread is a riot.

  5. In regards to KJ vs. Escobar….I think once player A gets the same experience as player B, he will prove to be the better player. Plus up until player A got injured, he was far more consistent. I like player B, but his funks are too common. Now as far as trading him, well….he is not irreplaceable is he? For the right player or players…why not? Only four should be considered untouchable, McCann, Jurrens, Chipper and (clearing my throat) Escobar.

  6. Of course he’s not irreplacable, but why would we want to at this point.

    On a team with as many personnel issues as we have, why in God’s name would we try to move our second baseman, who has given us two consecutive years of well above replacement level production, while costing us only $430,000 a year. For a midmarket team like the Braves, that’s an asset not a problem. It would free up nothing financially and would instead create a new hole to fill in our lineup where there isn’t one now. That’s not how you run an organization. The only reason to trade him would be if someone blew us away with an offer, but I don’t know why someone would do that after the disappointing year he’s had…it just doesn’t make any sense from any angle.

    I’m all for bitching about Kelly’s slumps and spotty defense, but some of you really need to get a grip.

  7. Nobody’s actually untouchable. If the Dodgers offered Martin and Kemp for McCann, you’d take it, or if the Twins offered Mauer and Young, you’d take it. That’s why we did the “most untouchable” lists around here a couple weeks/months ago.

    Anyway, KJ’s not irreplaceable as far as the major leagues go–there are guys, although only Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips come to mind, who are as young/cheap and as productive–but as far as the Braves organization goes, yeah, he’s pretty irreplaceable. We’re talking about Infante, Prado, or Lillibridge.

  8. Now as far as trading him, well….he is not irreplaceable is he?

    With Lillibridge, could the same not be said for Escobar?

  9. Escobar is a good player. I do not believe that the same can be said of Lillibridge.

    I’d say Escobar is close to untouchable.

  10. “With Lillibridge, could the same not be said for Escobar?”

    The answer is no.

    I agree Stu. If the Dodgers offered Kemp and Martin…I would do it in a second. And I also agree as far as what we have now, KJ is not replaceable. I do have a question, why is everyone so hard on Prado? He was a career .300 hitter…in the minors

  11. Because he doesn’t hit home runs, doesn’t walk a lot, and makes some of the most boneheaded defensive mistakes we’ve ever seen. Prado is a useful spare part but can’t be a good regular. If KJ could just hit .250 during his slumps he’d be an All-Star.

  12. While I haven’t given up on Lillibridge—he’s shown flashes of being a pretty good player—I agree that Escobar is the much more preferable option.

    Offensively, Prado’s fine, and I love having him on our bench. His defense is simply atrocious, though, and even Prado’s “fine” offense doesn’t compare to KJ’s better-than-fine offense.

  13. A few days ago, Stu wrote the following:

    “So, you could trade Hudson for prospects, re-sign Teixeira at $20 million per, and sign Dunn and Sheets at $15 million per each, raise payroll by roughly $2 million, and have this roster:

    [Young pitcher acquired in Hudson deal]
    [2 more out of Campillo/Reyes/James/Morton/Hanson]

    Long man (Carlyle or one of the above guys who doesn’t make the rotation)

    Yunel – SS
    KJ – 2B
    Chipper – 3B
    Teix – 1B
    Dunn – LF
    McCann – C
    Francoeur – RF
    Schafer – CF


    Will all (or any) of that happen? Almost certainly not. But I do think the offseason (and perhaps even the trading deadline) are going to be pretty interesting, because we should have a fair amount of money to spend, and we do have some pretty good pieces in place already.”

    I think we’ve found our replacement GM.

    Seriously, rather than throw the baby, the cat, the sink, etc. out with the bathwater, why not make a run at that lineup? I think we win a lot of games next year if that’s our roster.

  14. Keep in mind that if I were the team’s GM, we’d have traded Escobar (with Kyle Davies) for Rocco Baldelli before the start of last season. Or, if that had fallen through, we’d have traded Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes to the Reds for Bronson F. Arroyo at last year’s trade deadline.

  15. Okay, here’s my idea. We take out “key man” life insurance policies on Francoeur, Corky, and Chuckie, and then send them on a “goodwill tour” of the most dangerous regions of the world — Afghanistan, the Congo, Queens — and use the proceeds of the insurance policy to pay for real players.

  16. Do you really think you are going to get a young #3 starter for Hudson? I don’t. Sheets has a pretty tough injury rap sheet and Jurrjens, while very good this year, will be in just his second year of big league action. That looks like a rotation with some extreme question marks, and it ties up 50M in just three players.

    ps – Sheets ain’t signin’ for 15M, unless you plan on giving him a ten year deal at that rate. 4y/18M is the minimum, and if he goes through the rest of the year unhurt, it will be a LOT more than that.

    But I like the Dunn and Tex idea

  17. Maybe it is me who’s crazy, but if you put a gun to my head and made me choose between replacing Yunel Escobar with Lillibridge everyday or replacing Kelly Johnson with Prado everyday, I’d take the former.

    Again, I’ve advocated keeping both Escobar and Johnson and trading neither all year. But I believe Johnson to be the superior player between the two.

  18. If Rich Harden can net Sean Gallagher+, surely Tim Hudson could net a #3, no? I realize we don’t have Billy Beane running our team, but Hudson has a (relatively) reasonable contract and a clean bill of health.

    And I still have trouble believing that someone with Sheets’ injury history is going to get $18 million per season. But many feel that he will, so I’m probably wrong.

    Anyway, as I noted later in that thread, I’d prefer Hudson to Sheets myself.

  19. I enjoy Stu’s fantasyland posts (then we sign this guy for $20 million per and then this guy for $15 million per…) but this is the Atlanta Braves folks. Who was the last marquis guy they signed on the open market? Brian Jordan?

  20. I never said “should,” Mac. That issue arose in the “should we sell Hudson” debate, and I was just raising the point that the A’s have recently gotten rid of their top 3 pitchers and are not in bad shape.

    Yeah, but when’s the last time we had this much money coming off the books? Believe me, I know my FA-signing fantasies will never happen, but surely you’re intrigued to see what happens with all that money this offseason. I’m can’t bring myself to imagine a scenario where we cut payroll.

  21. Send Francouer, Corky and Chuckie to Bedstuy to get over with…quickly.

    Dan, we understand your affection for KJ, and I like Esco, but if you put a gun to my head…I would trade Esco for Andres Thomas in his “prime”.

    Sheets, nope. Mike Hampton has ended that type of pick up…forever. And furthermore this isn’t billionaire Ted’s Atlanta Braves.

  22. I’m pretty sure the #3 is retired for the Murph so no starter is going to be wearing that number nor should they be.

  23. @15,

    The big problem with that set up is Sheets’ health. Basically starting pitcher free agents are either

    Class I: Sheets, Sabathia, A. J. Burnett if he opts out (not sure who else is out there next year, could be a fair #2 or a reallygood #3 in this group).

    Class II: Workable pitchers at league average with no personal or health baggage. Like Gil Meche last year, Carlos Silva this year (although he hasn’t quite done even that well).

    Class III: the reclamation projects, fill ins, injury riskers, late career guys: Next year Smoltz, Glavine, and Hampton fall here. Randy Wolf.

    The Braves can’t afford to risk payroll on Class III guys unless they are (1) REAL cheap or (2) without options and backups to fill the 4th and 5th starter roles. Therefore, except for a little sentimental stuff for either Glavine or Smoltz, the Braves have no business in this market this off season. The guys we have below Hudson (Chuck James, Jo Jo Reyes, Campillo, Charlie Morton, Tommy Hanson, Bennett, Carlyle) all give us about what we can get out of this group unless we just get lucky on a rehab going better than the market expects.

    Hudson is better than Group II, by far. The “Less than Magnificent 7” above can probably have at least 3 healthy enough and productive enough to exceed the free agents in Class II. The 5th starter isn’t that important when you effectively have 3 candidates (the “remainder of the 7”). So why commit 10 million a year for 4 years or something like that for one of these guys.

    So, IF the Braves go for free agent starting pitching, they are going to tie up LOTS of payroll to pitch 34 times or less a year. That means that, under the best possible scenario, the Class I starting pitcher doesn’t affect 128 games at all.

    BUT, no Class I starting pitcher is going to sign for less than 15 million for 5 years. AND you can predict that the odds are probably 80% or greater that he will have one major arm injury that will make him unavailable for 1 full season and 2 to 3 smaller injuries taking 2 to 5 starts.

    Back to Sheets. He is known as a health risk. The Braves have been unable to get back the 8 million prorated on Hampton for the last 3 years and haven’t been able to sue it for anything. The Braves cannot afford to take the relatively high risk of injury in a Class I starting pitcher. Let alone the risk of paying a premium and getting mediocre performance.

    Sabathia’s body type scares most of the people on here. I would take that health risk over Sheets, but the same principle is there. And, if Burnette opts out, he has had health problems over and over.

    CONCLUSION, you are better off to use free agent money to buy out arb years and guarantee those as long as you get at least 1 or 2 option years and maybe, through free agency, get a good bat that still has fielding ability (a real problem for NL teams when you look at guys like Carlos Lee and wonder where you wll play them in 2 or 3 years).

  24. During that long ramble, I forgot Jurrjens. He is at least a solid #3 on a championship club. So, it really is only one possible hole in starting pitching to fill and the “Not so Magnificnet 7” only have to cover 3 spots in the rotation.

    And, if Boyer really has improved his fastball off of Smoltz’ advice as much as it looked like last night or if he just believes that much more in it, if we can keep his arm attached, he is going to improve a lot. Could be CLOSER tm after another year.

  25. Boyer was incredible before he got hurt in ’05…or was it ’06. Anyway he does have closer potential if Bobby doesn’t take care of him first.

  26. Wait, what was different about Boyer’s fastball last night? I’m able to watch almost no games on TV, so I miss things like that.

  27. Anybody else anxiously awaiting Sickels’ Braves Prospects in Review piece? It was originally supposed to be up yesterday, but he’s already 3 days behind, so it looks like it will be up Friday now. I look forward to his comments and the ensuing conversation.

  28. Lineups

    CF Blanco
    SS Escobar
    3B Chipper
    1B Teixiera
    C McCann
    2B Johnson
    LF Infante (!)
    P Hudson

    SS Ramirez
    RF Hermida
    3B Cantu
    1B Jacobs
    2B Uggla
    LF Gonzalez
    CF Ross
    C Baker
    P Nolasco

  29. Alright, a question, IF we lose Tex we get 2 picks, but what if we sign say, 2 top flight free agents, i know we lose picks, but would we lose the Tex ones our just the regular 1 st rounder.
    I always forget how that stuff works.

  30. SI’s Jon Heyman:

    The Braves won’t be able to come close to recouping what they gave to Texas last summer to get one year of Teixeira (Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Matt Harrison and Elvis Andrus). But they’d easily beat two draft choices, which is all they get if he leaves as a free agent.

    Angels GM Tony Reagins understandably laughed off the absurd report in a Minnesota paper of third-base prospect Brandon Wood and utilityman Robb Quinlan being the whole package to go to Atlanta for Teixeira as the babble of “bloggers.” (good line, though some bloggers actually do great work).

    As former Oakland GM Sandy Alderson once said about a rumored trade of Jose Canseco (back when he was a 40-40 man for the A’s and before he became a disgrace) to the Yankees for something like Roberto Kelly, Mark Hutton and Sam Militello, that package doesn’t rent Teixeira for a weekend. Someone will probably wind up renting Teixeira for the final two months, and it may yet wind up being the Angels. But it’s going to take a lot more than that.

    That last part is good to hear.



    …continues weeping to self, arms raised to the heavens in vain, crying out “Why God?!? Why?!?…Just make it stop! PLEASE! I’ll do anything.”

  32. My opinion on resigning Teixiera has changed over the past few weeks (month)

    Given the “inconistency” (Joe Morgan’s favorite word) of our offense…its imperative that we have a hitter of his caliber in the #4 hole. It makes it even better that he is a 1B, since hopefully we have help on the horizon in OF (Schafer, Heyward, Hernandez). Unless, Tex simply hates it here…I no longer see the $20m/year as an unreasonable sum. Even better, is the fact that he is a switch-hitter considering we have both McCann and Johnson that are LHH and probably Schafer that will often hit in the 5-7 spots.

    I’d love to sign him again. As I glance around the league at potential trade partners, I assume we’d demand a starting 1B in return (James Loney, Casey Kotchman, etc.) plus a few other prospects. The trouble is that a guy like Loney wouldn’t fit in too well with our offense in that he’s just another 20 HR top guy that also hits lefty.

    Pitching is important, but if you can’t score runs than the pitching only can get you so far (see Padres of recent years).

    I wouldn’t mind a Tex trade to Arizona for Connor Jackson, possibly Max Scherzer, and a low-level prospect…however, I’d question whether ARI would do that even if they thought they could resign him.

    I would only be a fan of signing Adam Dunn if it meant playing him at 1B, personally.

  33. DOB’s been hinting pretty heavily that Kotsay will be moved, BTW. Which I don’t fully understand, as he’s not very expensive (for us), and we surely wouldn’t get a whole lot in return.

  34. Here’s something I don’t see us complaining about Jeffy much. Why is he still hitting 6th? I realize KJ hasn’t been all that great lately either but if a right hander is pitching, what sense is there in putting the automatic out after McCann? I know the answer (it’s a Bobby Cox thing — see also: Andruw Jones in 2007), but still it’s kind of absurd.

  35. Stu, he’s a free agent after this year, he’s not very good (replacing him with Josh Anderson or Brandon Jones might even improve the offense), and who knows what you could get for him — some stupid contending club might give you a decent A or AA prospect for a left handed reserve outfielder/pinch hitter to fill out their bench. Similarly the Braves might be able to get surprisingly good young prospects for Infante and Norton.

  36. Corky Miller makes Chris Woodward look like Michael Young and Keith Lockhart look like Jeff Kent. The fact that he not only was on the opening day roster, but is still on the roster, proves that the Braves cannot be making a serious effort to get to the world series. Free Clint Sammons.

  37. I’m still in shock after looking at the (BP-provided) stats of our outfielders. I knew they were bad, even terrible, but I had no idea they were that bad. It’s amazing that the Braves are basically putting three below-league average position players–two in corner outfield spots!–into the regular lineup. And it further blows my mind that Cox is so stupid–I said it, I don’t care–that he continues to play Francoeur, whose VORP IS -10.3, every day. Both Wren and Cox have proven themselves to be incompetent.

    Especially Wren. Seriously, Stu. How excited can you be knowing that Wren is going to be making these decisions? I can’t help but feel that this team has basically become the Astros.

  38. Sorry for all the quick posts, but regarding Stu’s proposal of trading Tim Hudson…does that mean before the deadline this year or in the offseason?

    I think if he is going to be traded…the time is now, and the Braves would have to sign a stop FA pitcher to replace him. I don’t think it would be that bad of an idea because we’ve gotten several good seasons out of him now and he isn’t getting any better. At 32, he will soon decline and possibly fall from a 1A/2 to a decent #2 or even a #3 pitcher for a team.

    If we did trade him in the next eight days, what playoff contenders are out there that not only would a) need him but b)give us an adequate return.

    Like someone said earlier, if the A’s can get all they did for an injury-prone Rich Harden, I’d like to think we could get something of value in return for a consistent ground-ball pitcher that gets people out. Anyway, its fun to play GM.

    I can’t help but feel that this team has basically become the Astros

    Thats a good comparison right there…this team reminds me of the Astros of the past few years when they had the combo of Biggio-Everett-Ausmus+the pitcher taking up spots in nearly half the lineup.

  39. Here’s a rather amusing (or sadly accurate) typo from DOB’s latest blog:

    Anyway, hey, it’s gonna be an interesting NL East race, without or without the Braves.

  40. Two questions:
    Has anyone seen Tom Emanski?
    And if so, can he help Jeff?

    …back-to-back-to-back AAU nat’l champs.

  41. Amusing bit on Vidro and Jim Riggleman over at FJM.

    Speaking of the M’s, take heart Braves fans: the Mariners entire lineup has a combined VORP less than that of Chipper Jones. All that said, Ichiro, who is basically a fast, really good singles hitter, has a VORP more than six times that of the Braves entire outfield. Good times in Seattle and Atlanta.

  42. ” rel=”nofollow”>It’s the only instructional video Fred McGriff would ever use…

  43. Pete said on the radio that while talking to Cookie Rojas, who does the spanish commentary on the Marlins games and have seen the Braves for many years, Cookie said that this was the most undisciplined hitters he had ever seen on a Braves team.

    Maybe the hitting coach doesn’t really do a lot, but TP certainly seems to do as bad a job as is possible.

  44. In other news, Shane Victorino hit a home run against a team not called the Atlanta Braves.

  45. Thanks Douglass. I always wanted a screenshot of McGriff in that train conductor hat.

    “This is the instructional video that gets results.”

    I remember that in the commercial some kid throws a ball from centerfield into a bucket at home plate.

  46. “From everything I’ve heard, Mr. Emanski sounds like a wonderful asset for any team—a must-have for players and coaches alike,” Glass said as he observed his players sitting in a circle and rolling baseballs to one another, an exercise Emanski says “fosters teamwork and teaches players how to field ground balls”—two of the many basic skills that have been noticeably absent from the Royals 2006 season.

    “I don’t see how trying to throw balls into a metal garbage can laid out behind home plate is going to help my defense,” said Royals right fielder Reggie Sanders, who has yet to record a single outfield assist since July 12, 2005. “Tom says it will be more rewarding once I start actually getting the throws to go into the cans, but I’m beginning to think that it’s impossible.”

  47. Wow. A nice atbat for Jeffy there. Just missed a homer down the line in left, then ripped the next pitch down the line in right(another high fastball actually)…working with what they give him.

  48. @ 64 He hit a foul ball and then a double. He’s obviously got his swing back.

  49. We’re just waiting for Jeffy’s next at-bat where he’ll go after 3 pitches over his head due to his recent “hot streak”.

  50. Yunel having himself another game against the Marlins.

    He’s now hitting .333/.412/.600 against them this year with 3 doubles, 3 HR, 9 RBI, & 10 runs in 11 games (counting tonight). Including the game at home earlier in the year where he tied it with an RBI single in the 8th and hit a homer in the 10th for the walkoff win. (I was at that game.) Nice to have him back.

    Meanwhile, Chipper has pulled his hamstring. $^#$%@**$%#%@!

  51. Is he made of glass? How can it be so precarious every time a guy runs? Baseball players are so lame.

  52. Braves strongly considering starting Hampton on Saturday and giving Hampton Reyes’ rotation spot.

  53. what the hell happened to hudson? they said he hurt his elbow and has to come out of the game.

  54. if chipper goes out for a few games, will bmac finally get his chance to bat cleanup?

  55. It looked precautionary. He was showing Roger something on the inside of his arm around the elbow, and he didn’t appear to be in pain.

  56. They should probably go ahead and move Tex to 3rd and McCann to 4th with Chipper out.

  57. So, do you think Frenchy decided he was going to swing at the first pitch after his last at-bat or as soon as he walked out of the on-deck circle? The two-out RISP boy wonder…..

    Sorry, shouldn’t complain since we’re up right now, but the absolute regularity of it all is comical.

  58. Not clear what happened to Hudson yet or if he’s even hurt, but I will say it definitely didn’t look good.

    He came out of the game, had a lengthy conversation with McDowell that eventually involved Jeff Porter. There was a little bit of examination of Tim’s arm…could’ve been his elbow.

    I wouldn’t quite freak out just yet, as it looked like Tim didn’t really wanna come out of the game…just reading his body language, it didn’t look like anything too serious.

    It was an ominous looking conversation though, and you gotta think he would still be in the game if he was alright…so who knows? Fingers crossed.

  59. Hudson looked a little uncomfortable in the dugout, didn’t look to be in pain. Hampton was feeling his elbow, which scares a superstitious dude like me.

  60. Can we possible win too much, therefore giving false hope and causing us to be, gulp, buyers? Nooooooooooooo, anything but standing pat or buyers.

  61. The Marlins’ announcer just noted Hampton checking out Huddy’s elbow, saying, “He has a lot of experience with injuries. Over his whole body.”

  62. If Hudson and Chippah are both hurt in the same game we should just make our trades DURING the game… YGTBKM.

  63. Hudson has “tightness” in his right elbow according to Braves radio.

  64. This lack of overlap between our healthy players and our good ones is disturbing. Why can’t we get Prado or Miller or Frenchy hurt?

  65. Chipper is now the only regular hitting over .300 (Josh Anderson is also .300 fwiw)…

  66. Joe Simpson blathers on about protection; it’s almost enough to make you want to hear some more of his go the other way hitting advice for Andruw.

    Nothing like using Ohman with a 9 run lead–surprised we’re not seeing Gonzalez here.

  67. Carlyle looks awful tonight–he seems to have lost his mojo over the ASB. With Ring coming in, the odds of needing Gonzo are increasing by the moment.

    Turns out to be Gonzo not Ring; bad info from Boog.

  68. consistent veteran clutchiness with heart and fire and a will to win.

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