Clint Sammons

Only up to back up McCann until David Ross is healthy, and if the Braves have their way won’t even play. Sammons was pretty terrible in a late-season callup last year, .148/.220/.204, though this marked a vast improvement on the Hamster. That being said, you can’t really blame the Braves for looking elsewhere for a backup catcher.

There’s really very little evidence that Sammons can hold his own on the major league level. His minor league stats show a decent abiligy to take a walk, but little power (.365 career slugging percentage) and a low batting average. Still, you have to have a catcher or you’ll have all passed balls, and there are two things to keep in mind about backup catchers:

1. Their playing time is so sparse and so irregular that occasionally one will get hot for 100 PA and look like he can hit, and;
2. If they never get hot, they’ll eventually get the reputation for having a great glove.

On the other hand, the Braves have traded three minor league catchers (Ramirez, Saltalamacchia, and Flowers) who can hit in the last three years, and now this is what’s left in the system. Nothing better happen to McCann.

Clint Sammons Statistics and History –

71 thoughts on “Clint Sammons”

  1. That just sucks. Heart goes out to Adenhart’s family and friends.

    I’m not trying to make light of the situation, but when CharlesP mentioned in the last thread that he died in a “hit and run,” I couldn’t figure out how in the world a pitcher would die on a play like that. Obviously (obvious to me now), he was referring to the traffic moving violation.

    Dix, you are correct. You should use your best reliever in the highest leverage situation. But that makes too much sense.

  2. That’s horrible about Adenhart.

    It’s funny, I remember hoping he was the pitcher in the Teixeira deal.

    How things might have been different…

  3. I thought maybe Bobby should have brought in Soriano instead of Campillo, but he couldn’t have known Moylan and Boyer would allow six straight baserunners. And it’s not like Moylan and Boyer are the last men in the pen, either, they just both had terrible nerves.

    The Nick Adenhart tragedy does, for lack of a better cliche, put yesterday’s game into perspective. And I read that someone else in the Angels’ organization died in the crash as well, but they haven’t released his name yet.

  4. Good point billy-jay, all involved (their friends/families actually) deserve sympathies.

    And shorter… I realized after I posted it that there was a pun sort of thing going on, but figured the ambiguity would get figured out quickly.

  5. Moylan, Boyer, and Campillo aren’t exactly bums — they’re all veterans, and all have been used in important situations before. None of them had pitched yet this season, and it was time to get them into a game.

    Their jobs are the same as Soriano’s — get people out. Yesterday they didn’t. Everything else is hindsight. If you want to see a truly boneheaded use of the bullpen, check out Hillman in KC having Farnsworth face Thome. Now that was stupid.

  6. Its terrible what happened to those involved in the early morning accident, prayers go out.

    The Braves catching has been depleted because McCann is here, but it does hurt us from a depth standpoint, in case god forbid McCann gets a phone call and cant play.

  7. Totally agree, sansho. The arm chair quarterbacking is part of what we do on BJ, but we should at least acknowledge it for what it is.

  8. By the way, the comment about Sammons being terrible, but a huge upgrade over the hamster, hysterical.

  9. Sad news about Adenhart. Just goes to show you never know when your turn will come up.

  10. And Braves also released Brayan Pena, right?

    Sammons is at least a not too good, yet barely credible, major league catcher. After him, maybe 1 or 2 of the younger guys REACH THAT LEVEL SOMEDAY, but otherwise, that is it. So, he has a purpose in the grand scheme.

    He might get to good Major League backup level, but that is probably his ceiling.

  11. @7

    Oh yes.

    That was not very popular here.

    Especially when you have a decent lefty in Mahay, a strikeout machine in Juan Cruz, and a top 5 closer in baseball.

  12. That Adenhart story is brutal. To tell the truth, it’s a little hard for me to remain upset about yesterday’s game.

  13. In addition to Adenhart, an Angels fan was beaten to death at the game on Opening Day. It’s already been a horrible season in Anaheim.

  14. Horrible about Adenhart.

    RE: Yesterday’s game.
    Is it just me or have most of our brutal lossses lately come on afternoon weekday games. I just remember quite a few ugly losses like maybe a Reds game we blew a 5-run lead and the Cubs game that a Jim Edmonds homer beat us on and I remember following along with both at work.

    Also, I hate to mention umpiring, and to be fair, most of the pitches from the 7th weren’t close, but Eddings routinely gave the corner and half of the other batter’s box to Blanton (especially against Kelly) and was squeezing our guys all night. He also tried to call that pop fly off the screen an out.

  15. Come to think of it, Kelly was quite demonstrative to end the top of the 7th after his 3rd called strike of the night and Eddings looked peaved.

  16. A couple of the pitches called balls in the bottom of the seventh were better pitches than the two that struck out Kelly. But Doug Eddings didn’t make Moylan and Boyer implode…

  17. 20- Johnny Estrada concurs with your thoughts.

    The only person who likes Eddings is AJ Pierzynski.

  18. Anybody else happen to notice a certain Rangers cleanup man who is 3-5 with a ribbie so far today ?

  19. The second I saw “Eddings” I wondered if he was the guy who Estrada had issues with. How is that guy still an umpire?

  20. My feelings on Adenhart…

    I don’t like using the word “perspective” to describe a moment when tragedy enters sports. Certainly, I am more profoundly sorry for Nick Adenhart’s passing than I am for our loss yesterday.

    Ultimately, though, the beauty of sports is not that they are so rarely touched by true tragedy, like what happened to Nick Adenhart, or Darryl Kile, or Mike Coolbaugh. The beauty is that sports help the rest of us survive, feel passion, and not feel consumed by loss.

    The perspective sports provide is entirely different from that of the real world: the tragedies of the real world are simultaneously more mundane and more awful than a gutpunching loss or an injury report, and sports provide a welcome escape.

    My heart goes out to Nick Adenhart’s family. I’m sure that the Angels players and fans will want to play baseball as hard as they can to honor his memory. I hope we beat them in the World Series.

  21. Why can’t Tommy Hanson be our Joba and come out of the pen. It’ll keep his innings down and improve our weakest area.

  22. @30

    I’ve thought about this a couple of times. The biggest issue I see is that Hanson appears to be one of those pitchers who takes an inning to establish himself.

    If you look at most of his starts, including today, his weakest inning is his first. This was also the case in the spring training starts that I saw. Obviously, this would prove to be a detriment coming out of the bullpen.

    This bullpen, IMO, isn’t lacking in “stuff.” Gonzo, Moylon, Soriano, Boyer, and O’Flahtery can all bring it. The problem, if in fact Wednesday wasn’t a abberation, seems to be a lack of composure on the mound. I don’t really know how much extra Hanson can contribute to that.

  23. Our bullpen will be fine guys (as long as they stay healthy). It’s the first week of the season and everyone is looking for blood. Also, I don’t think Bobby did wrong by bringing in Campillo instead of Soriano last night. He was trying to get a ground ball for a double play, and Soriano just isn’t the guy for it. It didn’t work out, so what. You would be going crazy if Soriano came in and gave up a home run with the bases loaded.

  24. @34

    Also, Octavio Dotel pitched a scoreless 8th with 3 K’s

    Overall, the symmetry is kind of nice…in a moderately depressing way

  25. Campillo is slightly less of a flyball pitcher than Soriano — Campillo’s career GO/AO is 0.87, while Soriano’s is 0.50 — but neither is anyone’s idea of a groundball pitcher. (Jeff Bennett is, actually: career 1.72 GO/AO.)

    Of course, Moylan is a groundball pitcher, or at least he is when the tendons in his arm are at least moderately healthy, which is not presently the case.

    A couple years ago I got brainwashed by this crazy religious sect that convinced me that your bullpen should be composed of the best arms in your organization who aren’t already in your starting rotation. Unfortunately, Bobby Cox and Frank Wren are clearly too rational to study our insane tracts and catechisms, or else Manny Acosta, Jo-Jo Reyes, Kris Medlen, and Tommy Hanson wouldn’t be in Gwinnett while Peter Moylan, Jeff Bennett, and Eric O’Flaherty are in Atlanta.

    I’m not saying I want Tommy Hanson on the 25-man roster today. But I’d rather have Hanson on the roster than O’Flaherty, Moylan, and Bennett sitting together on a bench, daring Bobby to bring them into a game.

  26. My issue with Hanson being moved into the ‘Joba’ role is this: If he is good enough to do that, then how is he not good enough to win the 5th starter job out of Spring???? If Hanson is the 5th starter, then Wren doesn’t have to go pay Glavine 1.5 mil and Ohman would be in the pen (in theory) and maybe he could have cherry picked a Biemel (when the market crashed) or someone like that and addressed this pen.

    If it is a ‘foregone conclusion’, as many have speculated, that Hanson would be up by June, then why isn’t JoJo or Parr the 5th guy keeping the seat warm instead of Glavine. I have nothing against Glavine personally except his 1.5 mil contract, That money, at least from my perpesective, hamstrung Wren’s ‘budget’ and left us watching the garbage in the pen.

    Here is another idea, why isn’t JoJo in the pen? He has better stuff than the Irish LOOGY. He is essentially a 2 pitch pitcher. He seems like he would be a fit for short relief. He had a great spring. Why isn’t he getting mentioned? Oh, that’s right BC and Wretched Wren want him to get innings as a starter.

    Bottom line, if Hanson comes up for the ‘Joba” role, then go on and bring Medlen and JoJo up. While you are at it bring Acosta up. Send Boyer, and Bennett packiing far far away from this organization and send Moylan down until his arm strength and command come back.

  27. By the way, as if there is any doubt to those on here, I truly despise Wretched Frank Wren as the GM.

  28. Yesterday, while striking out nearly every person in the Charlotte metro area, Hanson also walked two batters, threw a wild pitch, and hit a batter.

    I favor leaving Hanson in the minors to get more practice, even though he might be capable to perform out of the bullpen (or start) now. I favor the same thing for Schafer, and I just hope he doesn’t pull a Jeffy or a Davies. Early success begets misplaced confidence.

  29. I think we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here. After those first two games in Philly, people seem to be a little unrealistic about our prospects of success. I highly doubt we are a Will Ohman away from a playoff appearance and is certainly not time to jetison the likes of Moylan.

    Also, the mentioning of Reyes, Acosta, Medlen (Marek, Valdez, etc.) should underscore why Ohman was not necessary. It’s the outfield that does not have the backup internal options and that will be our downfall.

    I still think Wren did an admirable job this offseason. He got us closer to contention than I thought he could while keeping our future intact.

  30. Rome also got a sparkling performance from a young pitcher yesterday.

    Sullivan had good K rate last year and PHENOMENAL K/ BB ratio. He continued that yesterday. If he can continue to throw in the strikezone without getting killed, he looks like he could be a super sleeper.

    Wins in AAA, AA, A. Loss for Myrtle Beach. 2 to 1 going into the 8th and bullpen implosion. Kimbrel was the second offender.

    If we can do 3 out of 4 all year at minor league level and 2 out of 3 at major league level, I think that would be pretty good.

  31. Davies pitched 7 scoreless, and Andruw went 3-5… sounds like it was a good day for Braves players yesterday… except the team didn’t play. Andruw was batting clean-up, but as the DH. Who imagined a world where the guy barely over 30 with 10 CF Gold Gloves is used as just a bat?

  32. at 43, Parrish,

    What do you think Braves realistic prospects are? I think most people on here believe that we have a shot at postseason play depending on injuries for us and for others, that the Mets and Cubs are probably a little better but Braves are close in with everybody else that is half way worth a damn. Nobody here thinks this is a steamroller headed for a World Championship this year.

    All of the relievers you mentioned don’t tell us anything about why either Ohman or Beimel weren’t needed. They throw with their LEFT hands. It seems to make a little difference for some reason.

    Let’s take the “meltdown” and re-run it if Ohman were in the pen instead of, say, Bennett. Wouldn’t it be good to have a lefty that can pitch to righties to bring in abgainst a team that is overwhelmingly left handed?

    Ohman over what we have (if he stayed healthy) would make 2 games difference. This team could advantageously use those 2 games.

  33. Tough call. Im not sure who wanted to keep Andruw or bring him back rather. I think for a minor league salary, it might have been a good idea to see what he had left in the tank, whats to lose? Im gonna go out on a limb and say Andruw doesnt do that all year unless he is on the sauce.

    I was always against the Davies trade but it might be good for him in a change of scenery scenario.

    I think Ohman should be a brave, there really is no excuse for that. He has to be an upgrade over some of those guys…

  34. Thanks for the payroll/salary guide, very cool, just checked it out, I love seeing guys that are huge bargains, its either total luck or good scouting, but some teams seem to just have a knack at getting them!

  35. I think the Rangers would be foolish to use Andruw as just a bat. Shouldn’t defense still be his strength?

  36. Saving his knees after over a decade of wear and tear in center might be good for his swing? Saving his body and helping his swing. If he has to concentrate on only one thing? I have heard he has bad tendinitis in his knees. Just a guess

  37. 49 — I just can’t get over how much closers (TM) make. Here’s to hoping my son becomes one…

  38. To be fair (though I did like the idea of an Andruw minor league deal) it is not entirely unlikely that Andruw wouldn’t have been as receptive to Pendleton instruction and it may have been necessary for him to get the Jarmillo mojo working before he became useful (though I also don’t expect him to hit .600 all season, but he had almost as many hits last night for Texas as he did all year for the Dodgers… or at least it seems that way).

  39. I’m new so don’t attack… but come on it’s three games and BC can’t manage, no one in the bullpen other than gonz and soriano should be allowed to even try to relief pitch. IT IS ONLY THREE GAMES and the Braves ARE 2-1 against the defenders. Give it at least a week before sending the whole team to either the minors or DFA. Anyway just my two cents, usually enjoy the read but this has been ridiculous, Go Braves…

  40. Looking at the Braves Roster:

    Next year we’ll potentially have Soriano, Gonzalez, Ganderson, Glavine coming off the books. Also, Kawakami’s salary drops a million (I’m not counting Hudson).

    That comes to 14.5 MM.

    McCann’s salary bumps up 2 MM, and you figure that Kotchman’s, Frenchy’s and KJ’s arbitration raises will make it so that, best case scenario, we’ll have 5 MM to spend. (barring any substantial payroll raises)

    Potential FA’s (for Outfielders and Pitcher’s):

    Jermaine Dye, Brian Giles, Ken Griffey Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, Xavier Nady, Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Johnny Damon, Matt Holliday, Hideki Matsui, Jason Bay, Erik Bedard, Justin Duchscherer, Rich Harden, John Lackey, Brett Myers, Mike Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, Troy Percival, Fernando Rodney, Rafael Soriano, Jose Valverde, Mark DeRosa

    I don’t really see a lot…

  41. I think this year will give us a good idea of whether Francoeur will sink or swim, and if he sinks I don’t even expect Cox to try to protect him. If Schafer puts up numbers that are above league average and Diaz returns to 2007 form, replacing Francoeur in the OF may be our only major need. I don’t think we’ll do a lot in the OF since Heyward will most likely be ready for the 2011 season.

    I also won’t be surprised if Kotchman doesn’t pan out at first, but I think the plan is to stick Freeman there in 2011 also. I don’t think we’ll have anywhere close to the glaring holes we had this offseason.

    Hopefully the small amount of extra cash will go to improving the bullpen. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we make 2 or 3 moves in that direction within the next two months. I don’t see the “sky is falling” scenario in the bullpen that some do (especially after Wednesday), but we have way too many injury risks in the pen for my comfort. If we lose Soriano and Gonzalez next year, even if the bullpen does great this year, we are going to need to spend some major bucks to have a decent pen.

  42. Welcome Bandit,

    Since you’re new, you probably don’t realize that we’ve been attacking BC’s managerial skills for years. The last game was merely the first of the year to add to our mounting pile of evidence.

  43. Dix, I have read this journal the last couple of years and have only posted a couple of times. with my work schedule sometimes the only way I can follow the Games is through this site(and I do enjoy most of the comments and banter). There may be managers out there who would have won more WS than BC but I doubt there are many who could have “guided” (if that is the right term) to as many division titles. Any way lets just relax and give it a few games…

  44. Bandit, I’ve defended Bobby for a long time, but I think we’re talking about two different things. Bobby was a wonderful manager for a long, long time, and what he did in guiding us to those division titles will never be equalled.

    He started managing the Braves in 1978, when he was 37 years old. He’ll turn 68 in a month. He’s gotten older, and his decisionmaking skills have gotten more questionable.

    He’s not as good as he used to be.

  45. 59—I think we’ll also lose the salary of Hudson or Vazquez, which will give us more money. Not enough to sign Holliday (unless the economy is even worse next offseason), but enough to do something.

    I also kinda think we’ll sign Gonzo to a multiyear deal.

  46. Bandit,

    My bad, you said you were new so I thought you were new. I didn’t realize that when you said “I’m new” you really meant that you’re a regular long-time visitor making one of your first few posts.

    I’m not sure I agree with you regarding Bobby. Obviously no other manager has ever “guided” his team to more consecutive division titles. And certainly Cox is to be credited for his role in that, particularly in maintaining a clubhouse atmosphere that was conducive to winning and that kept players happy and wanting to play in Atlanta. I give him that credit without hesitation.

    I just think he sucks as an in-game decision maker. I am not basing that on one game in the 2009 season. I am basing that on the entire span of my baseball fandom. I think he frequently makes illogical, and/or poorly timed decisions based on information that ought not be relevant while often ignoring information that I think should be relevant.

    This is just my opinion, and one that happens to be shared by others here. If you’d like to debate it and discuss Bobby’s in-game management acumen, I’m all for it and look forward to it. But please, don’t tell us to give it a rest if our complaints are justified, and don’t tell us it doesn’t matter, especially after it contributes to a loss.

    The Braves teams that strung together that run of titles did so with a decided advantage that Bobby couldn’t screw up. I think the majority of those teams were so good that they could overcome a bad managerial decision that cost us a run, or an out, every once in a while. The current Braves team has a much smaller margin for error, so Bobby’s errors, as I perceive them, are magnified.

  47. See, Plaxico was right.

    Boog shoulda been packin’ and he could have solved it right then and there.

  48. There’s an interesting argument that says Bobby’s problem is that he makes decisions from the very same perspective that allows him to keep his players so happy. Bobby alienates no one, keeps even Sheffield in line, they produce their best for him (J.D. Drew?), but maybe those same qualities of loyalty and supportiveness are exactly the things that make him bad in game. And maybe that means we can’t have both.

    It’s like those people who say ‘Adam Dunn would be a lot better if he cut down on his strikeouts.’ Well, the thing is, Dunn cranks 40 (always exactly 40) a year out of the yard /because/ he isn’t worried about striking out. If he tried to strike out less, he would hit fewer HRs. Maybe something similar is happening with Bobby, so that he generates relationships with his players that make him produce their best for him, but keeping those very relationships in the right state is exactly what leads him to mismanage ingame.

    Not sure how plausible that is, or how tightly the analogy really holds, but it sounds cool.

  49. Nathan,

    I’ll buy that to a very limited extent. When it comes to role players, Bobby does a good job of keeping them happy, by playing them. I’m not sure in-game decisions really affect the likes of Sheffield and Drew who were undisputed starters on the team. Bobby occasionally infuriates us with his Sunday starting lineups, and maybe those off days are what keep the superstars fresh, healthy, and happy.

    However, I basically think players like playing for Bobby because he doesn’t scream at them. I think it’s as simple as that. He treats them with respect, and they respond in turn.

    My main two beefs with Bobby’s in-game management are with his handling of the bullpen, and his affinity for the sacrifice bunt. I don’t see how either of those in-game decisions could have an impact on clubhouse happiness. If anything, people would get annoyed for being asked to bunt, and pitchers would be upset that now they have to have Tommy John surgery.

  50. Hey, Bobby’s managing got us a very nice pick in this year’s draft, SO LAY OFF!

    I would love to give Bobby a big nice thank you ceremony and good bye for a job well done (but perhaps not quite as well lately, see 66 above) and then move on.

  51. I cant see him hanging it up. He is an old timer, what would he do without baseball? He would be dead in two years

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