Marlins 4, Braves 1

ESPN – Marlins vs. Braves – Box Score – August 27, 2008

Aaaand… the post-Kotsay Era is pretty much just like the Kotsay Era. Mike Hampton went eight innings, allowed three runs on eight hits. I’d say that he deserved better, but he’s Hampton: he’s been through worse.

The Braves were no-hit until the fifth, when KJ tripled with one out. Slugging First Baseman Marvelous Martin Prado grounded out to bring him home, which would have been great except they were already losing 3-0. Francoeur singled after him; Jeffy actually had two hits, which means he is officially red-hot. It’s all relative. That was half of the team total. This is a terrible, terrible ballclub in almost every respect. But don’t worry, Elmer Dessens will save the day!

60 thoughts on “Marlins 4, Braves 1”

  1. Julian Tavarez, Vladimir Nunez, and now Elmer Dessens. I think we’ve broken through and are scraping the stuff under the bottom of the barrel.

  2. Elmer Dessens. My God.

    My guess: Frank Wren couldn’t sleep last night, so he started reading John Schuerholz’s diary, and came to this entry:

    “December 20, 2001: Our pitching woes are solved! I’ve just signed Albie Lopez for $4,000,000.”

    Wren immediately bolted upright in bed, clapped twice for the lights to come on, and summoned his servants to locate the nearest crappy journeyman Hispanic pitcher he could find.

  3. While we’re stocking our rotation with Mexican Leaguers, why not go all out? (upside down exclamation point)Viva Fernandomania!

  4. this is interesting…

    SI.com’s Jon Heyman weighs in on 12 players with options for ’09, speculating on whether they will be exercised. Most of the dozen are easy to predict, except for John Smoltz at $12MM and Brad Penny at $9.25MM with a $2MM buyout. Heyman sees both of those being picked up.

    thoughts on giving Smoltz $12 mil next year?

  5. By David O’Brien

    August 27, 2008 9:53 PM | Link to this

    Plenty of scouts here tonight, including Mets and Cardinals. Might one of those teams be ready to gamble on a trade for Hampton? You never know. Dessens could be here for that reason, just in case….

  6. It would be super-awesome if we were able to trade Mike Hampton for something. I mean, literally anything, too. I don’t care what. A bag of Cheeto’s would be find.

    So what do you say, St. Louis? Got any spare Cheeto’s lying around?

  7. Kotsay will then re-injure his back when he rips a single up the middle; Hampton will probably go down as he delivers the pitch….

    Truth be told I think that Hampton deserves some credit for fighting his way back to health and back injuries are terrible to deal with. While I like the second Kotsay trade much better than the first, I have to say that I really like the way that he played for the Braves. I wish him luck with the Red Sox….

  8. Mets/Sawx WS? Luckily, I’ll be far away if that happens.

    Just back from The Bronx. It was like the Golden Gloves up there tonight.

  9. Heyman ought to talk to Smoltz who has been saying that he does not expect his option to be picked up when/if he comes back next year. I heard him saying this on the radio as recently as Monday.

  10. Mac #9 Funny stuff.

    Not sure why the Braves would pick up Smoltz’s option.

    Should the Braves entertain the idea of asking Glavine back?

  11. Pujols passed Chipper in the BA race last night :(

    And, because I’m a nostalgic fool, I’d be OK with the Braves bringing Glavine and Smoltz back if it’s on the cheap. We shouldn’t tie up $20M on the two of them, but if they’d come back for $5M-8M each and we waited to do the deal until close enough to spring training to be sure their healthy (and if Smoltz is being Smoltz I’d go a bit higher for him).

    THAT SAID, IF they’re going to try and win in ’09, they HAVE to pick up a real front-line starter (or two) AND some bats, so Smoltz and Glavine shouldn’t be an “answer” as much as a way to chew up some innings instead of ruining JoJo and Morton and such.

  12. Breathlessly waiting for your football predictions for the weekend, Mac. Expecting a crushing Clemson defeat.

    And for my brother, a minister who does countless hours of missionary and charity work, I hope Michigan escapes Utah. The Appalachian State game still haunts us.

  13. i want to see josh anderson put in the leadoff role for 2 weeks and see what he can do to spark an offense. blanco has had his shot and did pretty well, but give josh what he has earned.

  14. #16–True enough; nonetheless, I hope that we can raise Josh Anderson’s profile so that he can be useful in future trades.

  15. As a fan, I wouldn’t want Glavine for the league minimum. He’s beyond done. The last thing I want to see is someone I like looking so bad. I’d like to see Smoltz go somewhere else, too ; even though he will be better than Glavine if he recovers. Let him pitch for a team that might win something and let the Braves start thinking about the future instead of the past.

  16. “The 37-year-old right-hander, who spent this year pitching in Mexico . . . .” Yikes, I did not envision this scenario when the season began. If that is not scraping the bottom of the barrel I don’t know what is.

  17. JC,

    I see your reasoning (especially on Glavine. I don’t think he’s as done as you do, but I also realize he’s not going to go out and dominate), though it would pain me (probably more than I realize) to see Smoltz in another uniform. Depending on how he’s doing next spring he could also be a nice bump to our bullpen (especially if Moylan comes back and Soriano ever finds himself again).

    Start Rambling:

    I think both of them would go to spring training without us having given them a contract yet, and we could make the call from there. Now that brings up the question of being “set” without them, but to be honest I don’t see us getting the couple 1/2 pitchers we need AND the couple of bats we need in the off season. So what they’d be doing is giving you a couple more options for 4/5 pitchers to fill out the rotation if it’s determined that JoJo, Charlie, and maybe Chuck (I still hope he pulls it out) need more seasoning in the minors. I think Jair is good for next season, and will need to build up innings (penciled in at #2 or #3), and Campillo has probably seasoned all he’s going to (and penciled in at #5).

    At best I figure we get one front line pitcher, and maybe one or two bats. I don’t know who those might be though. I don’t think Sabbathia is a good answer for a team with as many injury issues as we’ve had AND our payroll restrictions… I just fear the mileage on that arm. Sheets? He’s not exactly a lock for injury free 200+ innings either. I don’t know who the bats are going to be either. The CF market is pretty thin… RF we probably won’t move (and Vlad is the only exciting person on that FA list anyway, and they’re going to pick up his option to be sure)…

    Seems to me that our most pressing offensive hole to fill are the outfield spots… and I don’t know what our options are there. I think Wren’s going to have to make some trades to fill those though as they just don’t look like FA is going to help us.

    Stop Rambling:

  18. CJ

    I think the Dessens move is actually a reasonable IDEA (not that it isn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel), just because we know we’re not going to win a ton of games, and it gives them somebody to toss out and chew up innings instead of letting the kids blow out their arms.

    Granted, I’d think bringing up some of the kids in the minors to give them a shot would be nice, but I also see how that situation might start the clocks on some of the younger ones and they don’t want to push it.

  19. If Jamie Moyer is still serviceable as a starter, I don’t see why a healthy Glavine couldn’t do the same. Do you think his elbow issues had any effect on his last three starts for the Mets? If you do, then I think you give him a shot next year, if the price is right.

  20. Completely agree, JC, and I’d also like Chipper to volunteer (there’s that blasphemous word again) to be traded to a contender. He’d have a chance at the post-season one more time, and we’d get a reasonable bounty in prospects.

  21. #22

    I’m pretty sure our outfield options next year will be:

    Blanco
    B. Jones
    Anderson
    Schafer
    Frenchy
    Diaz

    and maybe some dead-ender like Jay Payton.

  22. Really, sansho? I’ll be shocked if we don’t sign a free agent of more repute than Jay Payton. I also think there’s a strong chance Diaz gets DFA’d.

  23. With Elmer Dessens pitching, can we now get Elmer Fudd to upgrade RF?

    Today’s factoid on The Out Machine: He’d be an offensive sinkhold if he was a SS. The only two SS with 300+ PA who have lower OPS than Francoeur’s .640 are Greene (.599) and Izturis (.625).

    Edit: I too think Glavine’s done but I’d hate to see Smoltz go elsewhere. I’d also hate to see the Braves pick up his expensive option given the uncertainty of his arm.

  24. #26

    i think we go hard after manny, and when he says “ummmmm, 20 million a year,” we’ll laugh and go hard after:

    Carl Crawford – LF

    AJ Burnett – SP

    Oliver Perez – SP

    and resign Smoltz

    i think we get all three…and make it respectable next year.

  25. Even thought I have been a fan and supporter of Matt Diaz, I suspect he may be non-tnedered. He twice has had to stop re-hab because of his problems with his knee. Before the injury, he looked bad in left, but plus minus had him getting to way over normal numbers of balls for 2 years. But, if he can’t ocver left, he doesn’t have the power to play first (except as a platoon right handed hitter / pinch hitter).

    Then, you factor that he is in his second year of arb eligibility, and that even with the injury that that will put him at 2.5 to 3 million and I wonder big time.

    His status will be dependent on him getting a few at bats and a few fielding chances in September.

  26. I don’t have much faith in these kids we all keep talking about. None of the Braves young pitchers have done a damn thing (I mean the ones coming out of the organization). Hansen, Rohrborought, whoever, what reason do we have to think they won’t end up like Davies and Reyes (so far)?

    I agree with JC; even if Smoltz and Glavine have something left, it’s time to stop trying to plug holes with 40+ year old pitchers. It’s one thing for the Phillies, with a solid lineup and a predominantly young rotation, to have Moyer. It’s another thing for a team that clearly has significant holes to bring back two guys on their last legs. My guess, though, is that they will bring Smoltz back at a reduced price but not Glavine.

    I agree with Coop. As much as I like Chipper, his performance the second half and his injuries make me wonder how much he has left. He has been not very good since June.

  27. chris, you keep mentioning Crawford, but he’s not a free agent unless the Rays decline his $8.25M option, which I believe they’re highly unlikely to do. You think we’ll acquire him via trade?

    PS: That would be a horrible idea for the Braves. We need to add power.

  28. I agree with JC; even if Smoltz and Glavine have something left, it’s time to stop trying to plug holes with 40+ year old pitchers.

    I think it’s crazy to just say you’d cut ties with them without knowing how much they’d cost. What if Smoltz says he’ll come back for $5 million? That would be a gamble easily worth taking, IMO.

  29. I guess Diaz is worse off than I realized — I haven’t been keeping up with his rehab.

    I just don’t see the use in spending money on someone that will block the youngsters from getting a shot. What would be the point of that? Honestly, I’d rather Liberty pocket the money than spend it in that way.

  30. What youngsters? We don’t have any worth keeping a space open for for at least a couple of seasons.

  31. I’m stretching the definition of “youngster” to include all those guys in their mid-20s who have nothing left to do in AAA — even though they’ve had uniformly disappointing years, which the optimist in me wants to attribute to a creeping boredom effect. Jones, Anderson, and also Lillibridge if they want to try him in OF. Plus Schafer if he’s ready, which he might be. Blanco’s no great shakes, but he’s 21st in the NL in the most important offensive stat and he’s fast, so there should be a spot for him.

    If they trade Frenchy, then yes, bring in someone who can play in the short term. But I don’t see that happening.

  32. @34,

    It’s a gamble worth taking if you assume the Braves will be competitive which is not a foregone conclusion. If they are not a contender, having Smoltz is a luxury even if he can come back effectively. They need to get younger, not older, although I admit my lack of faith in their young pitchers undermines that thought somewhat. The fact is, the Braves may well lose 90 games this year. You can’t look at them anymore as a team just a piece or two away (which admittedly I did for most of the season).

  33. It’s a gamble worth taking if you assume the Braves will be competitive which is not a foregone conclusion.

    Smoltz at $5 million is a gamble worth taking even if you assume we’ll have the worst record in baseball next year. We have the money, and he’s the face of the franchise. If he still wants to play, and if he were willing to do it on the cheap, I see no reason why the Braves wouldn’t sign him.

  34. Stu and all,

    IF Smoltz or Glavine are signed with “special money” as set out by DOB (a one year one time payroll adjustment for just that purpose) then that might make sense. Otherwise, no.

    If Smoltz were 5 million and Glavine 4, that is 9 million toward what could have been a real pitcher (#1 , #2) that we DON’T now have. Or, Smoltz at 5 would cover offering arb to Ohman or possibly a 2 year contract (although I would wait to see if he can rihgt the ship). And, the odds that either of them will be better than a #4 starter are extremely low. And, we have lots of reasonable candidates for #4, it is the front end that is the problem.

    Basically, if the Braves get free agents, they need to be premier free agents (Burrell or Dunn for our hitter or Sabathia or maybe Burnett or even less maybe Sheets) for our pitcher. Use the available money to get a few premium players and leave enough to cover one or two long term deals on a youngster.

    EVEN IF Liberty opens up the vault by 15 or more million on top of last year, the money needs to go for talent 90% certain to be significantly above anybody already in the system under cost control.

    Branch Rickey said it is better to trade a player one year too soon than one year too late. The same applies to free agent contracts. Don’t gamble. Don’t try to buy a “piece” to get by. Look at the Twins and their release of Mike Lamb. He was a possible solution to a problem that was cheap. However, they have ended up paying 6.6 million dollars for 3/4 of a season of basically 0 VORP (maybe negative, I haven’t checked exactly).

    Premium players or hold the money.

  35. One bone of contention with that argument Cliff…

    Premium players or hold the money?

    Who gets that money if it isn’t spent on players? Liberty Media, who will pocket it and put out the same payroll the next year… I doubt they’ll roll-over the salary money. So the question is then would you rather have Liberty Media sitting on $5M? or John Smoltz?

    With Huddy out for the year, we obviously can’t expect Glavine/Smoltz to be our aces, but if they’re healthy enough to expect a half season out of each of them I think spending $10M on that is probably worthwhile. Lest we forget, Smoltz was kicking-ass and taking names in his first 4 starts (the ones before he was obviously too hurt to play), and if he comes back to pitch, I think you can expect Smoltzian things from him for as long as he holds together. I don’t expect Glavine to come back and be dominant, but if it is deemed he’s healthy enough to pitch I think he’s wily enough to give us a fair number of quality starts.

    for the record I’m WAY against getting Chipper to volunteer to be traded too. I can’t imagine a scenario in which that’s a good idea unless you’re just cashing your chips in and trying to play the rookie slot machine for the next 2-3 years.

  36. Not sure if this was mentioned but they placed Kotchman on the Restricted List. His mom must be pretty sick. Hope she gets better.

  37. Slowly but surely, Hampton is once again proving to be the dependable pitcher that he was before encountering his tremendous injury woes. While allowing the Marlins three earned runs and eight hits in eight innings, the 35-year-old southpaw silenced most of his remaining critics.

    SILENCE OF THE CRITICS

  38. If I were Wren, I would take literally anything for Hampton if some team is desperate enough to want him.

    If Smoltz can show he can pitch effectively, the Braves should pick up his option (if they don’t, there’s no reason for him to come back when he could sign for more money with any number of other teams with a better shot at the playoffs). Then they would only need to add another mid rotation starter to have a very solid rotation next year.

    Glavine is done. He was a risk worth taking for the price this year but not next year considering his injury and lack of effectiveness. It would be nice if they could work out something where he could come into a game as a pinch runner or something the last home game of the season so he could officially end his career in Atlanta. If he insists on coming back and wants more than the major league minimum, the Mets or Nationals are welcome to sign him.

  39. You know, that *was* a pretty good effort by Hampton. 8 IP against a pretty good Marlins team is impressive for anyone. The mere thought of anybody giving us something of value for him is pretty exciting. I think Wren got a fairly shiny object for Kotsay, maybe he can do the same with Hampton. Anything to inspire hope for the upcoming seasons.

    Of course I’m assuming Hampton made it through waivers.

  40. If anyone claimed him, I’m quite sure that the Braves would have laughed and said, “You’re welcome!” Hampton is still owed something like $2.5 million for the rest of this season.

  41. I would pick up Smoltz if he just siad he thought he could pitch. Smoltz isnt going to emberass himself.

  42. I agree with CharlesP (@23). If we were trying to do anything but play out the string, signing Dessens would be a horrible idea, but it’ll take some of the pressure off the young arms while we do play out the string and keep us from having to call up Hanson or whoever else. Plus, this might be an indication that they’re considering shutting down Jurrjens, although I still think that’s the wrong thing to do. I wouldn’t mind seeing him skip a start or two the rest of the way, but shutting him down completely will just cause this problem to crop up again next year. At the very least, if you’re going to shut him down completely, wait until mid-September before you do it.

  43. since Smoltz has an option that may or may not get picked up, wont he become a FA if it doesnt? Would we get picks if he signs elsewhere?

  44. While allowing the Marlins three earned runs and eight hits in eight innings, the 35-year-old southpaw silenced most of his remaining critics.

    I cannot believe it. Bowman wrote it again.

  45. mlbtraderumors.com is pointing to an old mlb.com article on Smoltz’s extension… apparently his option for ’09 only vests if he did 200 innings in 08, and then his ’10 salary would be 12 or 13 depending on how many he pitches in ’09, but since he didn’t get to 200 this year he’s a FA?

    ” Smoltz’s new contract provides him the opportunity to pitch in Atlanta through the end of the 2010 season, at which time he would be 43 years old. He’s guaranteed to make a healthy $14 million in ’08. If he pitches at least 200 innings next year, he’ll make $12 million via the vesting option that is in place for ’09.

    The club option for the 2010 season will be worth $13 million if he completes 200 innings in ’09 and $12 million if he doesn’t. “

  46. csg, the only way we’d get draft picks for Smoltz is if we offer arbitration. And if my understanding of arbitration is correct, we’d have to offer him 80% of his ’08 salary. 80% of 12m = 9.6m. I don’t think we can risk tieing up 10 million dollars on the HOPE of him pitching effectively next year.

    I think we’ve seen the last John Smoltz fastball in a Braves uniform.

  47. Jason, None of what you have said really matters. John and the Braves are free to negotiate whatever deal they want for next year (if any). I seriously doubt that John would pitch for anyone else next year, therefore the draft pick point is moot.

  48. Jason, None of what you have said really matters.

    That’s some serious dismissiveness right there.

  49. I suspect the Smoltz will sign a smaller, incentive laden contract when he’s ready to start rehabbing.

    He won’t go anywhere else.

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