Martin Prado

Last season, I made fun of Prado — a lot — but he was an awfully good bench player. His batting line of .320 .377 .461 was pretty much what we would have expected of Matt Diaz, very close to Diaz’s 2006-07 lines. I was more upset that the Braves were benching their third-best regular hitter, Johnson, in order to play Prado, while the outfield was setting records for incompetence.

Prado was really bad defensively. His speciality of misplays that were so bad that they had to be scored hits gave birth to a noun. So why not, instead of benching KJ, play Prado in left field, giving starts to one of the lefties against tough righthanders? Too logical, I guess. Instead, they played Infante out there, even though Infante wasn’t hitting as well as Prado and was a better infielder but a very poor outfielder.

If he’s really a 2006-07 Diaz who can sort of play second and third, he’s a valuable bench player. Heck, he’d be a pretty good regular. I kind of doubt it — he’s hasn’t looked like a .320 hitter in the minors, unlike Diaz. His career minor league BA is .300 (career high .316) and he hasn’t hit for that much power either. Take away a few singles and a few doubles, and his glove deficiencies suddenly come into sharper focus. I suggest some sessions with Dr. Hubbard… Prado was 3-4 in stolen bases last year, but a 55 percent career basestealer in the minors, so I wouldn’t expect that to continue.

Martin Prado Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

229 thoughts on “Martin Prado”

  1. I also like Prado and I would caution into reading too much into his numbers–because he had to play a variety of positions and earlier bounced between Richmond and Atlanta.

    The odd thing is that he had a reputation in the minors for being a good defensive 2B. For what it is worth, I think he is a pretty good player to have on a team and if the Braves trade him they ought to get someone decent in return….

  2. Prado’s a fine bench player, but he does seem a bit redundant given Infante, who I would bet on being the superior hitter going forward and is most certainly the better infield defender. Prado helping out in LF seems like a reasonable idea to me depending on how Diaz looks.

  3. I’m afraid I’m in tune with the chorus here—Prado seems like a helluva bench guy to have. He could be our next Wilson Betemit.

    But, infielders who can’t field make me nuts. Calling Dr. Hubbard!

  4. Found “Tokyo Storm Warning” by Elvis Costello last evening. Arresting but great.

    If that’s where you’re at, Mac, we’re all with you. Listen for those two magic words: Play Ball!

  5. KC–I agree and from the previous thread: we don’t need Glavine as much as a power bat….I don’t see Prado as having enough power to play LF. I suppose the best case scenario would be for him to have a season a bit like the one DeRosa had last year….

  6. From the last thread:

    Truth be told, the officiating was piss-poor.

    mraver, everyone knows you have to win by 10 to win by 1 at Rupp.

  7. Here’s the thing about the bench. If you assume Ross/Infante/Norton/Diaz are a lock, than the last bench player has to be either Prado or the loser of Anderson/Blanco. That’s why I think Swisher HAS to be our target. If we get Swisher, since he can play CF in a pinch, we only need to keep Anderson (since he’s out of options and Blanco isn’t) as the CF starter. Therefore we could keep Prado, or Diory Hernandez or some other backup infielder type and only keep 4 OFs. Since both Infante and Norton can play OF in a pinch, and since its likely Chipper will get hurt for a few days and not go on the DL when it happens, we will need another backup IF other than infante on the roster.

    So, IF Diaz is guaranteed a roster spot (Which he should be if healthy given our problems against LHP) then there is only one spot left in the outfield if Anderson is in CF and Frenchy is in RF. Swisher could play CF against LHP with Diaz in LF and Frenchy in RF and could also sub at 1B if necessary, if Kotch were to get hurt and we didn’t want norton starting. We would also control him for three years, and we may want him for that long given his versatility, but if not we could trade him in 2 or 1.5 and recoup some trade chips. Seems like the perfect fit for me. If we have to trade Prado then we should still use the last bench spot on a 2nd IF to go with infante, like hernandez. As i said earlier this covers for when chipper is hurt but won’t go on the DL, and given that infante can play CF and norton LF/RF in a pinch, two backup OFs is what seems redundant to me, not both infante/prado, or infante/hernandez, etc.

    so yeah. basically, get Swisher, (for prado+gorkys/morton/whatever else, we can afford to give up 1 or 2 of our plethora of 5th starter options) tell glavine to stuff it if he won’t take our offer-i wouldn’t have even made him one. and i’m also in the camp of NOT paying for Ohman, given that we abused him last year and we have 3 LHP to find for one spot behind Gonzo. They will be enough. Also, sign gonzo and chipper to extensions this year.

    oh and also, i didnt mention b. jones, i assume if they go into the season without acquring swisher than a b. jones/diaz platoon will be in LF, however this doesn’t work given that apparently b. jones can’t play CF even in a pinch like Swisher, this means the bench is more likely to look like Ross/infante/Norton/Blanco/Diaz if we can’t get swisher since blanco will need to backup anderson. the problem with getting a ludwick i should add is that it makes Diaz redundant given that we KNOW Frenchy will get as many bats as necessary in RF, so diaz would ONLY have the role of LF against LHP, and thats IF they feel comfortable playing Ludwick in CF against LHP all the time. So yeah, a switch hitter like Swisher makes the most sense. sorry for the long post, if you made it through i appreciate it.

  8. I wouldnt mind having Swisher/Diaz/Anderson/Frenchy as the 4 OF’s. Diaz and Anderson can be moved in and out of the lineup depending on the Pitcher. At least this way if Kotchman goes down, we’d have a replacement for him also….

  9. blake at 10,

    Good analysis. Certainly it is where I have analyzed this outfield situation to.

    However, to me getting an extra bat is sufficiently important to not allow the possible place to play that bat to prevent a move.

    This morning, reports are on ESPN rumors that the Angels expect to sign Abreu by Friday.

    Don’t discount that the Yankees and Braves may have a tentative deal done. Mainly that the Yankees are going to watch our pitchers again with a closer eye in the spring, make sure people don’t look hurt, and then pull the trigger. Nady for a package or Swisher for a slightly larger package.

  10. so its now $3mil for 60 days of Glavine if Crasnick has the right details. Seriously, we couldnt get Ohman (and probably cant get a LF’r) because of financial reasons, but we can offer another 5th starter $3 mil??? Im confused, someone tell me what Im missing……….

    According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, free agent lefty Tom Glavine is likely to make a decision within 36-48 hours on whether to take the Braves’ offer or move on. Crasnick describes the offer:

    Sources said the Braves have offered Glavine a $1MM base salary, another $1MM if he’s on the Opening Day roster, and an additional $1MM after 60 days. Glavine is believed to be looking for some incentives that could kick in and increase the value of the deal if he’s able to make at least 25-30 starts. Glavine is also apparently willing to defer some salary to make a deal work with Atlanta.

    Glavine, 42, had flexor tendon and shoulder surgery in August of last year.

  11. A Diaz/Swisher/Frency OF would be an upgrade offensively, but on the other side of the ball, it’s playing with fire. I’d only run that out with Lowe on the mound (maybe Jurrjens, too, I guess), and certainly not with Vazquez.

    I agree that Swisher would be a nice add, but for the same reason he’s so useful to us (positional flexibility), he’s rather useful to the Yankees, too. I don’t see them moving him except for a package of prospects I don’t want to part with.

  12. Abreu is off the market. Angels got him for a little more than $5mil + incentives (there you go, Ross plus Glavine’s offer is Abreu’s contract)

  13. Not to beat a dead horse on the steroids issue, but here is a good article from Alex Remington’s colleague at the Washington Post, Sally Jenkins. Normally, I’m not a big fan but I think she is dead on here. You probably have to register to read it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/10/AR2009021003474.html?sub=new

    Apparently, Frank Wren thinks that the rotation will be mid-90s quality so that we will be able to win all the games 3-2. Or, there will be an amazing trade in spring training that we don’t expect and that will make us speak in awe about Wren’s genius. :)

  14. agreed Cliff. I am certainly in the camp of “get a bat at all costs”. If we need to trade Diaz for spare parts to open a roster spot for a backup OF who can play CF like Blanco then so be it. Having to trade Diaz during the spring would not keep me from signing Dunn (which is what I would do if Swisher costs too much). I also agree with you mraver @ 14, Swisher will be useful to the yankees, and that OF is dangerous. As for the dangerous defensive OF, that would only be against LHP AND in the later innings Anderson is available to sub for Swisher who would flip with Diaz. we could do this rather early (and not fear for injury) if necessary too given again that both infante and norton can cover OF spots in a pinch if necessary. as for him being valuable to the yankees, they know they only need one of him or nady, and if nobody wants nady they dont really have a choice. more likely, i think the braves give up a decent package, and we have the spare chips to do so (especially if its a bullpen arm like boyer/acosta, and one of morton/parr/reyes/etc.) plus we have diory hernandez as an alternative to prado if we have to trade him. I just think the fact that we would control him for 3 years has a lot of value, so giving up prado+morton+acosta for swisher+A baller is something I would definitely do. it may be overpaying but i doubt we compete without this, and after seeing those PECOTA projections we may be close enough that Swisher and some luck could give us a real shot.

  15. Another possibility is whether the Yankees or White Sox might take Soriano after he pitches some in the spring as part of packages for Swisher or Dye, respectively. That would balance Swisher’s salary and would take half off Dye. But, nobody with bullpen needs wants Soriano until they see him itch against real players.

  16. Interesting that Glavine actually said he’s willing to defer some of the money if that helps. No, not saying get Glavine instead of a bat… and Abreu at $5M seems an awfully good deal, just that it’s interesting he’s willing to do so.

  17. @17,

    That’s awful. People were willing to forgive Alomar when he spat in the umpire’s face during the playoffs but it appears that that incident did reveal something about his character. But I’m sorry for him and, especially, the woman.

  18. thats an interesting point about Soriano Cliff. If we could move that salary we might get in on an FA reliever if we add Swisher rather than Dye. i have a feeling we won’t make a play for Dye because the FO has lumped him in with Dunn in the “bad defense, expensive” category, whereas at least Abreu is in the “bad defense, not as expensive” category. Dye for me is the same as Dunn or Ludwick though, trading Diaz becomes a must.

  19. blake,

    Don’t agree that trading Diaz is a must. In fact, I strongly disagree. Many people wrongly accuse Diaz of bad defense. Certainly, he has to prove himself after the knee injury, but over 2 seasons prior he was one of the best leftifielders in baseball per +/-. So the new outfielder having the ability to play right field is worth a lot. That is, if Francoeur ocntinues to struggle and FO and BC will actually acknowledge that. Diaz has an inadequate arm for regular play in right.

  20. Cliff, the reason why I feel trading Diaz is a must isn’t his defense in LF or even RF its his inability to play CF even in a pinch. I’m going with the assumption that Frenchy will be on the opening day roster, and that Diaz can’t be sent down (i’m not sure about this). My reasoning is that we NEED two backup IFs given Chipper’s health situation, so our backup OF needs to be able to at least play CF on a semi-regular basis. Swisher would allow us to do this, since he could back up Anderson. But Dunn or Dye, even if they play RF, can’t play CF, so unless your assuming the FO is willing to let Frenchy do the CF backing up (which they have been reluctant to commiting to in the past) than our 4th OF needs to be able to play CF if our starting LF can’t back it up.

  21. csg–We should have been able to get Abreu! Not only for the reasons which you mentioned above, but because we paid more for Lowe than was necessary.

    I might add that I don’t believe for a minute there was any real danger that the Mets or Phillies were going to strike and sign Lowe. Rather, the Braves front office used this as a justification for closing the deal at a high price. Nothing against Lowe, but if we are unable to get a good outfielder (especially without giving up a top prospct) then the inability to sign Abreu may haunt us (assuming the Braves were really interested).

    If Abreu cost only $5 million, then maybe Dunn is available for a bargain basement price–in the event that the Braves are even interested….

  22. Not getting Abreu for that cheap when we started the offseason with so much cash is really frustrating. If Wren actually foresaw those OF bats floundering on the open market and being available at bargain prices he sure didn’t leave himself in a position to capitalize on it. Damn arbitration!

  23. I have a feeling LM was inclined to give Wren more rope, maybe gave him some assurance like “if you really need it, we might put in a little more” and has now come in and clamped that off.

  24. blake at 23,

    I agree as to the likely roster construction. Diaz actually has options (unless DOB’s report is off). But I have a problem in understanding why Braves continue to think that the roster world should be worked around Jeff Francoeur.

    I VERY MUCH prefer Swisher as I have pointed out several times, but if we CAN make a move and get an outfielder that is credible, we have to go ahead and move and not let the lack of the ideal outfielder stop us.

    I still think the Cards will move a good outfielder or 2 for a good pitcher or 2 and both of us could come out good on that. Cards have Schumacher trying to play 2nd, Rasmus needing to come up, Duncan coming back from injury and Barden and Ivanhoa having proved themselves at AAA and soehwat at the ML level.

  25. Actually, it is “Barton” (they do have a Barden as well) and “Stavinhoa”.

    Both over 800 OPS at AAA and both got their feet wet effectively at ML level. Barton might also be credible in center.

    So, KJ and Reyes/ Morton for Ludwick and Barton/Ivanhoa? Plug Prado at 2B, bring up Diory, and you are off to the races. That would still leave payroll (basically a wash on payroll) and talent to make a Swisher deal.

  26. Cliff,

    were on the same page about Francouer – it’s a joke that the roster IS essentially built around his shortcomings, and that our chance at success this season is largely dependent on him being below-average as opposed to putrid. I wouldn’t mind that deal you propose but I think the Cards will be more desparate than us and thus I hope they would allow us to keep KJ. KJ/Morton seems like a lot for Ludwick and I doubt the FO makes a play for 2 OFs even though we know they should. There francouer backup plan probably rests in some sort of BJ platoon arrangement, and i’m ok with that so long as we have a reasonable everyday bat manning LF. so in that case, how bout Prado+Reyes/morton for just Ludwick. i don’t know if its enough, but we should be less desperate than the Cards given the other trade and FA options available (even if we are not actually considering them)

  27. On Braves prospect / young / minor league outfielders,

    We have one high ceiling potential superstar: Heyward. He has played 3 or 4 weeks above Low A. He is 19. He is irrelevant to our Major League situation until probably 2011.

    We have 2 moderately high ceiling outfielders: Schafer and Gorkys Hernandez. IF Schafer had hit left handers at least half ass this past year or in Mexico, he would probably be this year’s starting center fielder. But if bullfrongs had wings they wouldn’t bump their asses when they come down off jumps. Schafer needs to prove a better ability against lefties, batting against them regularly and Braves can’t afford a 600 OPS or less every fourth or third day. And, they don’t need him to platoon, they need him to practice that and get a better ability. Gorkys is too far off. Both of these guys are maximized at center (meaning, unless Schafer is even better offensively than he has shown, it is unlikely that both of thee guys will be starters in ATL at he same time).

    Blanco and Anderson are 4th / 5th outfielder material. So far, looking at minor league stats and particularly last year, there is a good chance the same can be said of Brandon Jones (but he can’t cover center effectively).

    Other than those, we have crap for outfielders. Other than Schafer, there is not one of these guys likely to outproduce Stavinhoa or Barton on the ML level now, and really not likely (other than Heyward) to have a career value in Win Shares higher than those 2 Cardinals (Gorkys is a long way off and probably will have to have his defense carry his offense and be a 4th outfielder if he ever can’t handle center later in his career).

    But, where are the Cardinals going to put their guys? Somebody at the Cardinals has to be moved.

    I would PREFER not to trade KJ. I think the Cardinals need pitching worse than second base help (although Felipe Lopez is not much).

  28. Abreu would’ve been nice, but I’m not going to go overboard worrying about this particular non-signing. He was awful in the field last year, and he’s more of a low-.800’s OPS guy than anything else. That’s not too different from what Diaz is, IMO, and Frenchy was never going to the bench.

    Also, trading KJ would be a bad idea. Brian Barton’s not a bad get, and I could see trading a pitcher for him. But no way I deal KJ for that guy. And Stavinhoa is more organizational filler than anything. I’d much prefer Brandon Jones to him.

  29. I think we can be a little more charitable than “filler” for a guy with a .304/.346 /.465 minor league resume, but I wouldn’t trade for Stavinoha either. Barton has not played that much CF over the past few years – does anyone even know if can fake it at the ML level?

  30. Felipe Lopez is not with the Cards. When they released Kennedy, they had no other major league 2B’s in their system. LaRussa must have really disliked Kennedy.

    So, the Cards now NEED a 2B. We have one semi-proven ML 2b in Prado. So, Prado plus Reyes / Morton for Ludwick ought to work for both sides (we would have to take on about 2.5 to 3 in net salary difference). I still would add another mid level prospect pitcher for either Barton or Stavinhoa to have an extra right handed bat to stash at AAA for now and help cover the long haul.

    We still have Diory to add to Infante for infield bench work.

  31. Cliff –

    Why don’t we throw in KJ just to sweeten the pot and see if they’ll give us Pujols? (teasing)

    Seriously, Ludwick is worth more than that. There is still Hudson out there that they can just buy.

  32. Still, speaking of Hernandez, you have to wonder if he writes in his journal every night “Dear Diory…”

  33. I’d love it if we could make 41 happen without giving up KJ, but I really doubt that, unless we add a boyer, medlin or marek to the Prado/Reyes mix. But if we can’t, and the price for swisher is too high would it be so bad to use garret anderson or junior griffey at a discount in a platoon with Matt Diaz?

  34. Damn. I’ll tell you fellas –

    1. Guzman (SS)
    2. Dukes (RF)
    3. Zimmerman (3B)
    4. Dunn (LF)
    5. Johnson (1B)
    6. Milledge (CF)
    7. Flores (CA)
    8. Hernandez (2B)

    That lineup will score some runs when healthy.

  35. Unfortunately (for them), they can’t count on Dukes and Johnson being in the lineup everyday.

    And they’re going to need all of the runs they can get.

  36. Unfortunately (for them), they can’t count on Dukes and Johnson being in the lineup everyday.

    And they’re going to need all of the runs they can get.

    Unlike the Braves who’s run producers never miss a game…

    The Nats lineup looks better than ours

  37. As a Washingtonian, I will enjoy seeing Dunn hit some balls out in right field–hopefully against the Mets. As a Braves fan, I hope Wren has a plan other than hoping aliens snatch J. Francoeur and turn him into a major league hitter.

  38. I had been hoping against hope that somehow we’d back our way into Abreu or Dunn. Now I’m not sure what to hope for. It looks like we’re destined to give up prospects for a bat at this point.

  39. Honestly, if you could get numbers comparable to what Griffey did in 2007 for the Reds (.277/.372/.496), although I’m sure those numbers were inflated a little from playing in Cincinnati, he would be a great platoon partner for Diaz. Of course, that’s a big if, considering he’s coming back from knee surgery at age 39. But at this point, your FA options are pretty limited, and I bet he’d be willing to consider us since Atlanta is closer to his home in FLA.

  40. The Nats lineup looks better than ours

    We don’t have an OF that would start for them.

  41. As much as I hate to say it… as long as he’s cheap (sub $2M) he’s probably a reasonable option for us if we can’t swing a legit trade.

  42. “We don’t have an OF that would start for them.”

    Actually, here’s a fun exercise: on what teams could any of our outfielders start? How many teams?

  43. but Marc Schneider,

    if (1) we had any upper outfield prospects as good as Stavinhoa and Barton and if (2) Blanco got optioned to preserve Anderson, and if (3) Bobby Cox had no hand in the decision, would you still be confident JF could start at Gwinett?

  44. @57: They don’t have an IF that would start for us… or a catcher, or a pitcher… and they probably have few if any relievers that would make our ‘pen.

  45. did anyone else know that Robbie Alomar has AIDS?

    So you admit to previously knowing that he had AIDs? I can only assume that was from personal experience.

    And no, I was not previous aware. I do care about it as much as I care about A-Rod’s roids, Urban Meyer’s recruiting violations, and Francoeurs emotional stability though.

  46. Dunn seems like a National to me. I like the Frank Howard comparison—a gigantic DC masher (though a lefty).

    Smitty,
    It’s alleged in a lawsuit, but FWIW nobody from his camp has denied it. It’s a rough story. Expect plenty of nasty conclusions to be reached. Just nothing good there.

    Re: Abreu
    At some point, perhaps soon, he’ll be a DH.

  47. At some point, perhaps soon, he’ll be a DH.

    Won’t we all, buddy, won’t we all.

  48. Yeah, I’m going to go with +/- to measure defense. With UZR, Abreu is missing a play that the average player would make about once every three games—that’s hard to do—while +/- it’s about one missed play every 13 games. That is still very bad, but more believable

    +/- is determined by a group of paid scouts who objectively chart the game on a video monitor. UZR…well, who knows.

  49. Paid scouts charting the game on video — they may be trying to be objective, and it’s a metric that I respect, but when you’re relying on eyeballs, it’s inherently subjective. Objectivity isn’t necessarily better — running sophisticated analyses on Retrosheet box score data, as THT’s TotalZone does, may be more strictly objective, though that doesn’t mean it’s more reliable.

  50. Oh, and that Nats lineup @ 50 is missing Willingham as well.

    more like:

    SS Guzman
    RF Dukes
    3B Zimmerman
    1B Dunn
    LF Willingham
    CF Milledge
    2B Hernandez (Hudson??)
    C Flores

    apparently Dunn will play first, which gives them the bandaid Johnson as a nice trade chip. If they sign O-dawg too, look out.

  51. Sad thing is – I wish we had made that deal for Willingham. He’s not a clean up, but he’d make our OF situation better.

  52. Alex, they chart the data on a monitor, where they can measure exactly where it landed, it’s speed, etc. It is certainly superior to Retrosheet data, which is based off eyeball reporting.

  53. Im coming to like an Diaz/Edmonds platoon a little more now. If Wren would stay away from Glavine, he could use that $7m for Edmonds and OHman and could probably afford both

  54. i like Griffey way more than Edmonds, and I don’t like Griffey much. If we don’t get Swisher/Ludwick I’d pretty much rather burn the money or use it on a reliever (or an extension for someone useful)

  55. i guess i left out the part that if we don’t get Swisher/Ludwick I’d rather just try BJ out in a platoon with Diaz and then try harder to make the trade with the Yankees when they realize there is nobody else for them to trade with. sorry for the double post.

  56. No Andruw, Abreu or Dunn. I really don’t want to trade any more of our stockpiled minor league players for swisher or nady. Do we go after Garret Anderson or Orlando Hudson?

  57. I still say Prado goes in a trade for Swisher. The Yankees want a bench guy, they traded a bench guy for Swisher, the New York Post said the Yankees like Prado and Chone Figgins and the Angels don’t need him any more with Abreu.

  58. We don’t have an OF that would start for them.

    Nope. The Nationals will finish last but they still wouldn’t start a single of the Braves’ outfielders if they were on their team. Says something, doesn’t it?

  59. Prado with a better glove would be a heck of a player, but (a) Hudson’s glove isn’t all that anymore, and (b) his hitting stats the last few years are inflated by his ballpark.

  60. Dunn is a National–a number of people on this site think that sounds right. I don’t disagree–but then what are people saying about us? ‘Diaz is a Brave…yep–that fits’, ‘Blanco/Anderson makes sense for Atlanta’ and Frenchy ‘leads the outfield’.

    I guess we are too good for either Abreu or Dunn….

  61. Blanco/Diaz/Anderson/Francoeur is a farce of an outfield for a team trying to pass itself off as a contender.

  62. “Abreu will make a base salary of $5 million with a chance to push it above $6 million based on incentives.”

    …and Frenchy is asking for $4M…ha….

  63. JC-

    Having been one of those paid scouts charting games (though for minor league games rather than major league ones), I can definitely tell you that it’s rather subjective. You have to make snap judgements about where the ball landed, and while that’s probably easier with ML games where you may see a replay on the big screen, you’re definitely not getting it right all of the time.

    That data’s obviously very useful and provided you’ve got good scouts recording it, very good (moreover, the company has at least two people charting each game, so you have some balancing out effect to mitigate errors). But I wouldn’t describe it as objective.

  64. mraver,

    Fair enough. I think it’s as close as you can get to objective without using computer chips and GPS. From what I know, Retrosheet gathering appears to be a little more loosey-goosey as to its batted-ball reporting, and depends on the kindness of fans. I do know that BIS uses video monitors to chart batted balls in addition to having scouts attending games.

    But we’re getting off track here. I think Abreu is a poor defender, but not as poor as UZR claims. One misplay every 3 games versus one play every 13 games is a big discrepancy. I trust BIS’s +/- more than UZR; and, I held this opinion before I even looked up Abreu’s numbers.

  65. I agree that Abreu is a poor defender, and I think he’s somewhat in decline. But if Burrell is a good deal at 2/16, then surely Abreu is a good deal at 1/5.

  66. On Tom Tango’s blog there is a thread on “Batting Assists and Batting Blocks.” A batting assist is when a batter moves a guy over who will eventually score, but does not get credited with the RBI. A block is failing to move the runner over.

    The MLB leader in blocks last year? Jeff Francoeur, with 319. Frenchy also tied for the worst in the ratio category. So no, he doesn’t do the big things OR the little things.

    link: http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/introducing_batting_assists_and_batting_blocks/

  67. Very interesting Adam… especially:

    Since 1993: the leader is Barry Bonds at +258 and Derek Jeter at +231. At the bottom of the pile is Tony Batista at -128.

    And a special shout-out to John Smoltz, who moved 99 runners who eventually scored and blocked only 261.

    Which is more fodder for the “Jeter does the intangibles” debate… plus another reminder of ways in which John Smoltz is a badass.

  68. Abreu should have held out instead of taking this deal. Unless he’s hard up for cash, I don’t see much reason to take such a deep discount on the same day Adam Dunn signed another short-run deal for twice as much per year. Wait for a contender to suffer an injury and he could get more than that for playing less than a full season.

  69. I just don’t understand this, not at all.

    I heard the Dunn and Abreu report yesterday and now see that Griffey and the Mariners are close.

    What in God’s name is wrong with our Management?

    Why in the bloody hell do you spend that money on Lowe and Kawakami and try and spruce up the rotation, if you’re going to put an injury prone, minor league level offense behind them?

    This aint the 95 rotation where you had HOFers in their prime – then you could get away with a mediocre to bad lineup.

    It also means that Liberty Media and Frank “the tool” Wren have been lying about how much money they had and were supposedly willing to spend. Everyday another hitter comes off the market that does NOT go to the Braves, makes me angrier and angrier.

    We might as well (at this point) have saved our money, not added Lowe and just gone into the season hopeless. Instead, they shoot a bunch of money on the rotation and yet we can’t add one outfielder, nor Will Ohman for that matter?

    I HATE our front office. Hate them.

  70. Geez, AR, not too long ago you and many others here were carping that brass should go out and spend all this money on the theory that an unspent dollar is a wasted dollar. Now you’re carping that they should have saved it rather than spend it where they did. Sheesh, there’s still time for a trade with the Yanks and there are still several FA outfielders out there whose price tags are dropping like Citi stock.

  71. Alex, I’m not really in much of a mood to disagree with you. Seeing Dunn and Abreu go for pennies on the dollar made for a frustrating day.

    If we end up with Swisher and he doesn’t cost too much, I’ll be okay with that. He’s a switch-hitter, after all, and in his career he hits lefties better than righties. If we get him, Wren’s off the hook.

    But if we go into the season with the same bunch of losers in the outfield we ended last season with, then we’re going to see another Another Alex R. rant.

  72. In every economic cycle (macro or micro) there are the inevitable “last sucker” stories. (F’rinstance, my Dad was probably the last guy to buy Pan Am at 32. It fell to 16. He bought more. Oy.)

    When the story of this decade in baseball is written, the last sucker who paid outrageous free agent money will be Frank Wren gloating about mortgaging our future for Derrick Lowe.

    About the outfield:

    Anybody live in a house where the father was an alcoholic or the mother a rageaholic?

    In those houses, legitimate problems are avoided, weaknesses are danced around and nothing ever seems to get fixed because no one will state the obvious.

    We’re doing the same thing with Right Field. Because of our unwillingness to address that glaring weakness, we’re contorting our lineup and being tempted to do things that will damage us long-term (e.g., trading KJ for some average left- or center-fielder when that’s not where the real problem lies).

    I’m not sure what to make of the hold Francouer has over this Front Office (loved the Frank “Tool” Wrenn line, btw) but it needs to end.

    In the words of that great theologian, Cher:

    “Snap out of it!”*
    —————————–

    *Moonstruck

  73. Swisher has to be the target now. I dont want Luis Gonzalez or Garrett Anderson, but I really dont want us to be running Brandon Jones out there either

  74. My only guess is that we have been holding out for a right handed bat. I also thik we should have pushed for a deal before Abreu and Dunn signed. Now the Yankees can drive the price up on Nady/ Swisher.

  75. Knowing Cox’s tendencies I never really thought we would pursue a lefty. I don’t necessarily disagree with that as long as we can find a comparable righthander.

    Any of you have a prediction for either when or what circumstances will come about for Peanut to write that Francouer has silenced his critics? IMO given Hampton last year, all JF will need is a good spring – possibly hitting two HRs in one game (during the spring) will do it.

  76. Smitty, the Abreu and Dunn signings take away some supply but most of the demand (Angels, Nats). I don’t think that the Yanks can drive up the price on Nady/Swisher.

  77. @100

    “It also means that Liberty Media and Frank “the tool” Wren have been lying about how much money they had and were supposedly willing to spend.”

    This isn’t the only logical assumption one could make. Have you paid attention to what the stock market has done since the start of the off-season? I bet Liberty Media has. Finances can change, and calling someone a liar is a pretty harsh allegation. But then again, you love to hate Frank Wren.

    @102
    “Seeing Dunn and Abreu go for pennies on the dollar made for a frustrating day.”

    Really? Hyperbole much? There is no way the Braves could have forked over $10 million a year to Dunn. Not exactly pennies on the dollar.

  78. I don’t have a problem going in to the season (or at this point, spring training) without spending money or prospects on a veteran OF bat. It makes a little sense to spend a couple months figuring out what you’re likely to get out of Brandon Jones, Matt Diaz, and Jeff Francoeur before committing your resources. If Frenchy is still 2008 Frenchy, Diaz doesn’t come back strong from his injury, and Jones doesn’t make any progress, then yeah, you need to make a move. But the Braves have a strong rotation, one of the top 3 IFs in the NL, and a bullpen that looks pretty solid. This is not a “minor league” offense at all, despite Alex R’s protestations to the contrary. It’s middle-of-the-pack in the National League.

    Right now, this team is in the wild card. You cannot overstate how much better the rotation is now relative to last year. Dunn or Abreu would’ve represented a big upgrade offensively, but defensively, either one would’ve made life difficult for the fly ball-oriented part of our staff.

    Maybe I’m just being naive, but I have no problem holding onto prospects for the time being, and I’d almost rather have Glavine and Ohman than Abreu.

    Incidentally, does Dimitri Young (1 year, $5M left, switch hitter) seem like a good fit now that he’s of absolutely no use to the Nationals?

  79. I’m betting on a trade during ST. Both the Cards and the Nats are overcrowded in the OF, and the Yanks have Swisher/Nady.

    Also a possibility, I believe there’s a rule that allows teams to cut players with non-guaranteed contracts by a certain date (3/1?) and only have to pay 1/6 of their salary. With more and more teams feeling the dollar squeeze, there may be a few of those players to sort through.

  80. @Mikey, wish I’d seen the interview… even if it would’ve depressed the hell out of me.

    From MLBTR/Fox

    As for the outfield, Rosenthal says the Braves are “checking into” free agents such as Garret Anderson, Luis Gonzalez, Jim Edmonds, and Ken Griffey Jr. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick wrote earlier today that the Mariners are making progress with Griffey. Rosenthal says a Nick Swisher trade “also remains possible, but the Braves almost certainly could land one of the free agents for less than the $5.3MM that Swisher will earn in 2009.”

    Edmonds seems to have been in bit of a decline over the last couple years… if he’s cheap and we just shuffle out BJ from our outfield mix I guess he might work to add a little pop.

    Garret Anderson doesn’t seem all that much a better option than Josh… probably a smidge more power.

    Luis is a bit aged and doesn’t seem to add any real power.

    Griffey seems to be the best of the FA options… and I can understand some hesitance to commit the money to Swisher over the next three seasons if we want to give some of our internal options a shot.

    My half-assed prediction/expectation is that
    A) Frenchy has a mediocre year, enough to keep his job but not to win over many fans here.
    B) Diaz does what we hoped he would last year and mans LF for us suprisingly well, and adds a few HRs to his totals to make him our everyday LF without too many complaints from the peanut gallery.
    C) CF is either random young guy who doesn’t do anything to make us particularly proud and somewhere middle-late in the year we call up Schaefer and give him a shot OR we get Griffey, he pounds the ball for 2/3 the season and goes down in August when we are forced to bring up Schaefer.

  81. “…but the Braves almost certainly could land one of the free agents for less than the $5.3MM that Swisher will earn in 2009.”

    That’s because they’re old and they aren’t very good anymore. Swisher was bad last year–agreed; but he has had some success, he brings tremendous plate discipline and youth and a decent contract and a much higher ceiling than the aforementioned lot of aging has-beens. When reading about Frank Wren’s maneuverings, sometimes I feel like I’m in bizarro-world.

  82. @113 there is at least one projection out there that shows us in a 1 game playoff for the wild-card as we stand now. That certainly doesn’t indicate we’re a favorite for the wild-card, but being “in the wild card” hunt seems a very reasonable assessment.

    For all our holes, the wild-card isn’t an unreasonable scenario. Hell the most likely competition for it seems to be the Mets to me (though I think the projection that has us in the one gamer had it against the Phils) and they’ve got concussion Church and Tatis in their corner spots, and a rotation that gets really shakey after Santana (not to mention their not-entirely-fixed bullpen and crappy bench). Phils even have a few holes of their own (see rotation not named Cole Hamels).

    We’re certainly not looking like we’ve got the division or wild-card locked up, but we should be in on the hunt for it EVEN with our AAAA outfield

  83. Having seen him play in person with the Nats, I think that Dimitri Young would be a fourth OF for the Braves. Legitimately so, not because of some alleged Bobby Cox man crush on Francoeur.

  84. Of all the guys we had to pick from, none of them are/were what we need. A right hand bat that can hit for power and bat between Chipper and McCann.

  85. @116,

    I looked on ESPN.com and Dmitri Young is not listed on roster or depth chart for Nationals. I thought he still had contract to run.

    FYI, he played very little last year after being diagnosed diabetic offseason before 2008.

    @ 117,

    Smitty, actually, Ludwick is a pretty good fit for that role. Even calling him a one year wonder for 2008 doesn’t resolve that most projections show him at 900 OS for 2009 and he is a plus fielder in left or right (and could cover center in a pinch).

    Swisher is not as “un ideal” as many around here think. His fluky bad luck last year on BAPIP has his career stats off a little. He is at 803 OPS (heavy side, OBP) for his career, but he is 28 (thus age curve says he is still getting better) and adjusting for last year puts him more like 840 OPS. And, his positional flexibility (in this era of 12 man pitching staffs) is valuable too.

  86. Cot’s doesn’t list D. Young either. The Nats have 8 players under contract for 4 positions:

    Dunn 2/20
    Kearns 1/8 Plus 1M buyout
    N. Johnson 2/11
    W. Pena 1/2
    W. Harris 2/3
    Willingham 1/3.075 (Arb Midpoint)
    Millege 1/410,000ish
    Dukes 1/410,000ish

    Would love to get Willingham but they have to move at least 2 of those, right?

  87. For some reason, I just believe that KJ for Ludwick is going to go down. But if we did that, I’d rather find a defense-first 2B rather than playing Prado full-time.

  88. Jay, I dunno — I’d say that the fact that Dunn, in the prime of his career, got 2/$20 when Ryan Howard got 3/$54 in the worst economy in recent memory, I’d say that qualifies as pennies on the dollar.

    Also, as I’ve pointed out a lot, Dunn and Mark Tex have nearly identical career OPS+, and Teixeira got $160 million more than Dunn. Remember, we’re not just talking about a difference in money per year, but also in number of guaranteed years.

    Yeah, I’d say that’s pennies on the dollar.

  89. I guess we disagree about the definition of pennies on the dollar, Alex. To me it means a much deeper discount, as in the relation of pennies to a dollar, i.e. only a few percent of what you would expect the value to be. I wouldn’t say Dunn qualifies with that definition because his deal, while cheaper than expected, wasn’t only, say, 5% of what he was seeking.

    But then I will get into arguments with people who misuse the phrase “begs the question” or the word “nonplussed.”

  90. Edmonds wouldn’t be a bad signing except for handedness means he wouldn’t platoon well with Anderson or Blanco. Some recent analysis I read on him suggests his ChiCubs numbers are more representative of his true playing level last year than his PETCO-nerfed stats. The lack of defensive ineptitude and lower cost means he might be preferable to Abreu and/or Dunn.

  91. I should add that if we’d signed Andruw, I would’ve suggested signing Edmonds, too, as a platoon option/backup plan.

  92. 122 — Even though I knew he wasn’t the same guy, I pictured the David O’Brien from ESPN anyway.

  93. This strikes me as typical Selig posturing. He sees which way the wind is blowing & makes a statement.

    And, as much as I like to tweak A-Rod, I don’t know how anyone on the list of 104 could actually be suspended.

    Yes, the players are responsible; yes, the union is responsible; but all this happened on Selig’s watch, so MLB is right there with them.

  94. It is worth noting that baseball banned steroids in 1991, and technically any player caught using any banned substance was liable for suspension from that date forward.

    However, yes, this particular test was supposed to remain anonymous. If Selig were foolish enough to suspend A-Rod, it would have to be on the grounds of his admission, not the failed test. And punishing him for coming clean is a pretty bad precedent to set.

  95. What else would we have to add if we wanted to trade Selig to the NBA for David Stern?

    I see the equivalent as being:

    trading Francoeur for Lincecum

  96. Hmm. The NBA has its own problems, though. Unless I’m quite mistaken, it’s still not as popular as MLB or the NFL. The officiating is pretty widely understood to be horrible. While Stern has done an astonishing amount of good in his tenure, a lot of Selig’s moves have worked out to MLB’s advantage as well — interleague play and the wild card have really increased revenues. I don’t like him, but I wouldn’t say he’s Frenchy to Stern’s Lincecum. I’d say he’s more like Al Leiter to Stern’s Sabathia.

    I think Smitty’s barber was telling me that Bob DuPuy was considering the following deal:

    MLB gets: David Stern, Stephon Marbury, Isiah Thomas
    NBA gets: Bud Selig, Theo Epstein, Jon Rauch, Ryan Anderson, Randy Johnson, C.C. Sabathia

  97. @120,
    I’m still mulling it over, but I’m not entirely opposed to KJ for Ludwick if St. Louis also throws in one of their expendable outfielders, then signing Adam Kennedy for 1/$1.5MM or so. In fact, it might be the only way I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to it.

    His bat isn’t nearly as good as KJ, of course, but there is significant value in above-average defense at second base with slash stats around .280/.320/.370.

  98. I am hoping the Braves front office will just subpoena all of us to appear. Our testimony would be devastating.

  99. If Francoeur takes it to arbitration (or more so if he somehow won), I’d be cool with leaving him in Marietta Gwinnett for the year.

  100. I think the reason that DOB has been throwing out that $5-9m number is due to KJ and Frenchy’s arb. if the braves win both they’ll have about $9 to spend, if they lose both its more like $5m left. Im not surprised that we havent gotten anything done with Frenchy, I am surprised we havent heard anything regarding KJ

  101. on MLBTR on Frenchy (titled something about Frenchy not budging):

    Simply making an uncomfortable salary concession to avoid having to air dirty laundry in front of an arbitrator would further diminish the available funds Braves general manager Frank Wren is attempting to utilize while satisfying his roster needs.

  102. 146–I think that you are on target. In fact, I suspect that Wren might well have gone after Abreu if it were not for the inability to close a deal with Francoeur. Frencny is a bit like the gift that keeps giving…..

  103. Players knew, union knew, and Bud was willing to look the other way while everyone was making so much money. What still gets me is that the clean players didn’t make an issue of it and push for real testing way back when.

  104. So i went over to my mom’s house and found all my old baseball cards from the 80’s and 90’s. Awesome

  105. Can we please retire the phrase “mortgaging the future”? Put it in the overused phrase Hall of Fame right next to the ever-popular “throwing someone under the bus” series. Thank you.

  106. God, I hate Francoeur. I hope he gets blistered in that arbitration hearing, sucks like hell, gets sent to the minors, bitches and moans about how his relationship with the Braves is dampered, and then non-tendered.

    What a cancer.

  107. Not budging eh? How about if the Braves lose the arb hearing they cut him. He’s only due 30 days pay, I don’t think he’ll get much in today’s free agent market, and most teams will have their ML roster ready. He’s not worth much on the trade market anyway, so saving 4M would be about the best you could hope for.

  108. spike,

    Actually, you hit something there. Take the 2.8 minimum budgeted and add it back to the “5 to 9” floating out there and relace Francoeur’s roster spot with the #2 of the competition between Josh Anderson, Blanco, and B. Jones. Then, you have “7.4 to 11.8” to make a move (at the maximum of 4, that adds another 1.2 making it “8.6 to 13”). Then, you can cover Ludwick and Swisher (or, if you can get Swisher, I would consider Ankiel for lesser talent because he is a pure 1 year rental, but can definitely play center) and maybe Glavine.

  109. Actually, the above needs to be modified for the 1/6th of payroll due to Francoeur if he is cut. So drop all the ranges by 400 K to 600K.

  110. I dunno, at the end of the day the act of throwing somebody under the bus can lead to mortgaging your future …

  111. So now some dumbass sheriff in South Carolina is trying to make a name for himself because of the Phelps photo.

    Who knew that “Running Man” was foreshadowing.

    After the next terrorist attack, the ObamaGirls will perform an interpretive mourning dance before the President addresses the nation.

    They have baseball in New Zealand, don’t they?

  112. @158

    I was reading about that sheriff in the paper this morning. He drives a Porsche that was taken from a drug dealer and is famous for dressing like Crocket from Miami Vice.

  113. 154—I would fully support that.

    The thing is, if we lose the arb hearing, it’s going to be mostly Bobby’s fault. Sounds like Francoeur’s people will be hanging their collective hat on the fact that he played so many darn games over the past 3.5 seasons. “If he’s so bad,” they’ll argue, “why did his manager keep putting him in the lineup every single game over so many years?”

    It’s a good question.

  114. This reminds me of the J.R. Reid — Charlotte Hornets divorce. What, you don’t remember that? Well, I think that’s about how we’ll remember this in a few years. The one difference is that J.R. Reid finally realized that though he was a popular star at UNC, he was a role-player in the NBA. Once he realized that, he ended up being moderately useful. Jeffy still hasn’t made that realization yet.

  115. That was a sweet high top fade. I think Yunel should evolve (devolve?) his tight fade into a high top fade. Maybe add some steps.

  116. if Francoeur feels like he deserves $4mil after last season, what will he expect in 2010 if he’s average this year? Im still shocked we offered $2.8

    why havent we heard anything on KJ?

  117. csg, Peanut said yesterday that the Braves were still confident they’d be able to avoid the arbitration hearing with KJ, so I expect a deal to be reached sometime in the next week. (Their arb hearings are on the 19th and 20th, but I don’t remember which is which.)

  118. Richard Brooks (ADA Paul Robinette) from Law And Order had the only fade that could compare

  119. ” rel=”nofollow”>Brandon Jennings, former Arizona commitment and current Euro player, has a pretty strong modern take.

  120. Count me in as one of the many posters who would LOVE to sit in on the Frenchy hearings. I imagine his arguments looking like this:

    Remember how far he hit those balls in that Delta commercial?
    The guy has three vowels in a row in his last name. Isn’t that reason enough to pay him more?
    He…can grow a beard?

    The Braves have dozens of Francouer quotes admitting how terrible his 2008 season was. I think that should be enough.

  121. @162, Smitty,

    You have it right.

    I wonder if the reason everybody has been saying Braves needed to “look for a LF power bat” was more because there appeared to be so many available coupled with the fact that that was the “lowest position on the defensive spectrum” that was open (assuming Kotchman had 1B) rather than because that was what we actually needed.

    If I was confident that Schafer could OPS 750 against ML lefties, I would say we are set in center. But, in reality, center field is the biggest potential drag on this team’s performance.

    Diaz can OPS 900 plus against lefties and 750 aginst righties and play above average LF defense. All around, o.k.

    Now, I am coming around to Ankiel. We know his cost is 2.8. We know he is a one year rental. But, if you can play centerfield and OPS 840, that adds 100 to 200 OPS points to one position. That is a team wide impact of 10 to 20 points. That is (rough) 15 to 30 runs. That is 2 to 3 wins. Most of our centerfield AB’s last year were left handed, so it doesn’t make us MORE lefthanded.

    If you put Dunn in left he can OPS 900 (or, about 100 points over Diaz). That is 10 to 15 runs. But, the defense difference is also 10 to 15 runs. Manny could add 40 to 50 runs, but also loses about 15 runs back.

    Ankiel for center makes us a 2 to 3 game better team (than current roster or as compared to last year’s team) IF we don’t trade any other Major League pieces.

  122. I hope the Braves do take it easy on Hanson this year. After pitching in the AFL he had a lot of innings last year. I wouldn’t mind if he spent the whole year in Gwinnett. The big league rotation is pretty much set.

  123. I wouldn’t be opposed to getting skip schumaker, he can play all three outfield positions, but only produces against RHP, if he was platooned with Diaz they could pretty easily OPS 900. I think he has two or three more years under team control and I think the cardinals would look for less of a return on him than on Ludwick or Ankiel. To me, shumaker seems like a more likely acquistion from the Cards if we plan on getting one of the Yankee outfielders as well.

  124. The end of that article is the real kicker: “Britain’s youngest known father is Sean Stewart. He became a dad at 12 when the girl next door, 15-year-old Emma Webster, gave birth in Sharnbrook, Bedford, in 1998. They split six months later.”

  125. In Jayson Stark’s latest column, he ranks the Braves the second most improved team in the NL, behind the Mets…

  126. If it was the US, it’s very possible they could be in the K-12 school system at the same.

    I can’t decide what’s more disturbing between that and the octuplets story.

    Sorry if someone construed that as political, but your interpretation of the rule would have to be wider than a John Hirschbeck strike zone for you to think so.

  127. Dunno what it says about my neighborhood in the late ‘70s, but I knew several early-teen mothers & fathers.

    When I was 14, I helped my mom coach a Little League girls softball team (Senior Division, ages 13-15). One of the players had a newborn and, when she was in the field, I’d sit on the bench with this cute little baby girl in my lap.

    The mother, incidentally, was the best player on the team.

  128. Shades of Tatum O’Neal, huh?

    Re: Goldstein, I’m happy we have 4 guys in the top 100, but I seem to be mentally underrating Gorky Hernandez, Goldstein’s 78th-best prospect in baseball. I just don’t quite understand why he’s so well-regarded. I’m sure that he plays great defense, but I basically see him as Carlos Gomez: speed, defense, and no bat to speak of, an 8th-hole hitter who would only stick in the lineup because he’s a whiz up the middle. Am I selling him short? Is he really a better prospect than Freddie Freeman, #80?

    Also, is Mike Stanton, #14, really that much better than Freeman? Freeman’s like 2 months older, they had similar OBA, and they play the same position in the Sally League. The differences are: Stanton had a slightly better walk rate, 90 points higher slugging (.611 to .521), and nearly twice as many strikeouts. Stanton had 153 K in 468 AB; Freeman had 84 in 491.

    Stanton’s contact problems are really, really frightening. He struck out in a full third of his at-bats. He hits some (okay, a lotta) light-tower home runs, but Freeman’s no slouch; he outslugged Jason Heyward, after all, and if you put up .500 slugging at 18, you can poke it a little. When you’re talking about 18 year olds who haven’t even faced high-A pitching, wouldn’t the much, much, much better contact rate offset the difference in slugging?

  129. Sorry for Mac because this is no connection with the braves. Believe or not, I’m not a chatterbox. However I have to say this. Funny hahahaha.

    Speaking of the octuplets… hahahaha
    she is a single mom. Crazy… As far as I know, at least, there were 10 siblings in each chinese family BEFORE. You can see the reason why informally, china has a population of over one-point-five billion. Octuplets or 10 children? When I get married, if he asks for like that an unreasonable demand, I’m very sure I will break with him.:-(

  130. Wren knows Stockman exists!!!!!

    David O’Brien

    February 13th, 2009
    5:58 pm
    Talked to Wren this afternoon, asked him about Soriano and Moylan. Soriano’s been throwing in the D.R. and is supposedly doing fine. They fully expect him to be ready for the season, and Wren said Moylan should either be ready for opening day or very soon after.

    You Josh Anderson fans, you should know that Wren said his base-stealing ability gives him an advantage in competing for a job, because the Braves don’t have anyone else at the big-league level who can steal 40-50 bags. (I might add that Anderson is out of options.)…

    Frank also mentioned a couple guys that some of you might be interested to know are on the radar.

    Phil Stockman, for instance. Frank mentioned how people have forgotten about him, but that he’s put up dominant numbers in recent years between injuries. He’s gonna get a shot this spring.

    Also, it went unnoticed when the Braves signed Rafael Cruz, a former teammate of Kawakami’s with the Chunichi Dragons. But apparently this guy throws very hard.

    Luis Valdez, the Braves’ top minor league closer, is gonna get consideration. Medlen, too.

    Bennett is regarded as a bullpen guy, not a candidate for fifth-starter job. They like him in that bullpen role, plus they already have several candidates for the job if they don’t sign Glavine. Campillo, Carlyle

  131. where’s Smitty? Smitty, at what point does Kiffin’s comments just go too far. So know he’s called out Saban, Spurrier, Richt, and Meyer. Today on the radio he mentions (Bryce Brown) by name and talks about his ability. Not only is that a recruiting violation, but its going to cost UT the #1 recruit in the nation. Its funny he calls out Meyer for what he thinks is a recruiting violation, but come to find out Meyer didnt even call the recruit. Kiffin was just flat out lied to by the recruit in order to get a better offer from UT. He then stated today that he’s fired someone and the Athletic director came out and said thats false also. This guy is a clown, he hasnt coached a game in the SEC and he’s doing his best to keep it that way

  132. @195

    I’ve wondered that too. The only thing I’ve heard is vague references to scouting from callis/klaw and how at lower levels watching a player can reveal more than the actual numbers.

    Sounds like BS to me,but we’ll see.

  133. #195 Gorkys
    I don’t wanna dog our prospects, but I think I’m with AAR in being somewhat indifferent on Gorkys. I mean, offensively, isn’t he just a righthanded Gregor Blanco?

    #199 Kiffin
    The Kiffin story in the new SI was a good read. It seemed fair, in that it made him out to be a hard worker, if somewhat overzealous. It explained how he might’ve taken less salary in order that he be allowed to hire expensive assistants like Orgeron, etc.

    But still, it wasn’t completely flattering. Makes it sound like he fired some poor guy who hired a car service that showed up late to pick him up at the airport. Kiffin’s explanation to the reporter was self-serving & unnecessary.

    The story also made him seem like a really good used-car salesman. He better be, because he’s in the deep end of the pool.

  134. I think we can hope for a little better than Gregor…Three years below age group in a tough hitters park. His minor league stats look a lot like Jose Reyes’ (yes I know he was rushed to AAA and was a level ahead by age), but at this age there is a fair amount of scouting that has to be taken into account over and above stat lines. He seems to be universally well regarded.

  135. Just got my MLB.TV purchased. Was it always 109.95? It seems like it was more expensive last year, however this is the first year I’ve purchased it.

    Anyone ever invest in MiLB.TV? I thought about it last year, but there was never enough minor league Braves games.

  136. I am loving this Lane Kiffin guy. I may be too young to not fully understand why Phil Fullmer was so hated, but this guy is a real piece of work. Third recruiting violation, has already called out coaches he would be lucky to even sniff in terms of success, and he seems to be just a little too immature to be a good SEC coach. Of course, this is great for Florida, for obvious reasons. Who knows, maybe eventually he’ll, ya know, learn how to be a college coach.

  137. Spike,
    I hope you’re right. I also hope Gorkys can work ML pitchers like Gregor.

    Rob,
    Are you too young to remember why a certain UF coach was so hated? This guy is off to quite a start, but he’s a long way from the Ol’ Ball Coach. ;)

  138. I’m not too sure about Gorkys yet either — and I wouldn’t characterize him as three years below age group. He turned 21 late in the season, and was at high-A. I’d call that closer to one year ahead than three. And he was the worst-hitting regular on the team by a fair margin. I’m generally in favor of trading prospects whose reputation so far exceeds their accomplishments.

  139. Braves Make New Offer To Glavine
    By Tim Dierkes [February 13 at 11:15pm CST]
    Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports mentioned these details on Tom Glavine’s contract aspirations:

    Glavine is seeking a guarantee of $3MM, plus incentives that could push the total value of his package into the $6MM range. He is willing to defer a portion of his salary.

    Today, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman says the Braves have offered a new one-year proposal that would defer the incentives for up to five years. The offer guarantees $1MM, with a chance to earn another $3MM in deferred incentives. Bowman suggests both sides are more optimistic today than they were yesterday.

  140. Sounds like a fair counter by Wren.

    Glavine (and/or his agent) suspects that he has some leverage because of the Smoltz backlash. That is a bad read.

  141. A few words on Gorkys-

    He was wrecking the league until he hurt one of his legs last June, and he got plenty of athleticism. Scouts think he’ll hit for average, and he’s shown the ability to work the count and draw walks. Combine that with potentially game-changing speed and the ability to play a good CF, and you’ve got a legit prospect. I remain optimistic, but this year could tell us a lot about his future potential.

  142. I don’t think much of Goldstein’s list–it looks to be based more on potential than performance–but then the fun of lists is being able to argue about them.

    That said, Gorkys Hernandez might be about right. Apparently, he has blazing speed and the ability to shake up a game. More important, perhaps, his numbers took a nose dive at the end of the season–quite possibly from fatigue. I believe that he is a bit better than his numbers, but the real question–which remains unanswered–is can he hit for power….

  143. mraver–we were posting on Gorkys at about the same time….Do you know anything about his throwing arm? It strikes me that at this point Schafer has the advantages of some power and a canon for an arm…

  144. Re: 207

    Mac lurks like the wisest gator in the swamp.

    Like Tom Wolfe, Mac will deliver the laugh line like a Borgia stilleto.

  145. I’m looking forward to playing Kiffin and Tennessee for an easy win this year, lol. (Gamecock fan)

  146. @214: I haven’t seen much of Gorkys play, but I’m with the group that thinks his high ranking is a result of the intangibles he possesses… this season, his first above A ball should be a big one for him. As for his arm, again I haven’t seen it in action a whole lot, but he had 10 OF assists from CF in 93 games last year, so it must be decent… then again it looks like Blanco had 14 in 112 games back in AA (though it doesn’t specify which OF position those came from, and LF assists are easier than CF assists,) and his arm is basically a noodle in CF… am I alone on this one? I love watching Gregor play, but seeing him throw from center was embarassing.

  147. DOB said he talked to Cox in florida and he was raving about the way Schafer looked in the batting cages.

  148. 220 — Bobby Cox would rave about me in the batting cages if I were on his team. heh heh. Glad the kid’s looking good, but I hope they don’t bring him up right away.

  149. Fitting that the 200,000th comment would be made by an overly cocky Gamecocks fan.

    You did see our game against Iowa, right? And Clemson? Let’s not even count Florida…

    At least the basketball is ramping it up, because the baseball season could get ugly.

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