Braves 8, Mets 3

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets – Box Score – May 11, 2009 – ESPN

Hey, that was pretty good! Johan Santana wasn’t quite his dominant self, but pitched well enough to win. Fortunately, the Mets’ defense let him down big time. I’m not a fan of the unearned run statistic, but it should be pointed out that the first five runs the Braves got were “unearned”.

In the first, David Wright did his Bob Horner imitation, waiving at a ball off Martin Prado’s bat (Prado hit third, playing for Chipper, whose elbow is still wonky and won’t let him throw), then when he actually caught up with a ball hit by Diaz, he threw to first, even though he had no chance of making the out, and threw it in the dirt to score Escobar.

Derek Lowe was in ground ball mode. He made the 1-0 lead hold up until the fifth, not allowing a hit until the fourth. He gave up a couple of hits and a sac fly in that inning. But in the seventh, the Braves erupted, with a little help from Jose Reyes. Santana left after giving up a one-out single to KJ; the reliever gave up a hit to Escobar, then got Prado for the second out. The next reliever, a LOOGY, got a routine groundout from McCann, only Reyes up and dropped the ball to load the bases. Diaz singled in two, the throw to the plate allowing him to advance to second and McCann to third, and Kotchman followed with another single to score both of them.

Lowe gave up a couple of doubles in the bottom of the inning, the first of them eventually scoring, and was pulled with two out and a runner on; Moylan got out of it. Norton hit for Moylan, and singled, followed by a bee-yootiful hit and run single from KJ, and a groundout from Escobar to score Norton. Soriano was wild in the eighth, giving up a hit and falling behind the next two batters, but rallied to strike them out, and got Beltran to fly out to end it. McCann led off the ninth with a double, and came in on a Francoeur sac fly (and one of the worst throws to the plate I have ever seen, from Beltran); Kotchman eventually came home on a pinch-single by Infante.

With a six-run lead, Gonzalez could sit, but Buddy Carlyle screwed the pooch. The leadoff infield single was one thing, and then he got a double play. But he gave up a walk, a double, and a single, and Gonzalez had to get up as the save was suddenly close to in play. But Carlyle got Gary Sheffield to end it.

The Braves had sixteen hits, with everyone but Schafer (who did walk) getting one, including Lowe. Escobar and Diaz had three apiece, and KJ and Kotchman had two. They had only one extra-base hit, McCann’s double, but when you get fifteen singles you’ll usually score some runs. Defensively, they turned three double plays, which helped a whole lot.

140 thoughts on “Braves 8, Mets 3”

  1. Wait…we won on a Johan start?!

    It’s funny that this team actually plays better on the road.

  2. Fantastic…love beating the Mets. And ending their 7 game streak.

    Suck it New York!

  3. About a third of the way up the first base line, and about fifteen feet over where the catcher’s head would have been if he’d for some reason lined up a third of the way up the first base line.

  4. Johan doesn’t ‘win’ a lot in New York. The Mets seem to shut down completely when he pitches. It’s pretty funny, actually.

    It’s pretty cool when Escobar and Diaz and Kotchman start hitting… and McCann hits the lineup. Remember that first week, when everyone was pumped? It feels like that again. Only this time I’ll keep in mind what followed.

  5. The Braves can usually beat stud pitchers, but throw some rag arm triple-A callup at them and you can pretty much expect the offense to go into hibernation.

  6. I hope the bravos aren’t teasing me.

    Baseball is a funny game, The braves have now bookended a 7-15 stretch with two 5-1 runs.

    It would be nice to get 1 of the next 2 before coming home to face two last place NL West teams.

    It is a good time to make a run.

  7. I remember that 2-1 game when Smoltzie had like 15Ks and Beltran hit a two-run homerun to win that game. I thought it was Johan which pitched that game. No?! Or was it Pedro? Ok, it’s probably Pedro as that was more than two seasons ago I think…

  8. So I’ve been thinking, and it seems we should blow up the team, fire Frank and Bobby, etc.

  9. We don’t need to blow up this team. Just replace Frenchy with a real outfielder and we should be in a much better shape.

  10. Thanks braves14.

    I try not to get so excited by this team right now. This is honestly a .500 team, which is already a significant improvement from last year. Eventually, this team will frustrate us to death again with the lack of offense. However, we can at least count on some decent starting pitching this year. That’s the credit which Wren does deserve.

  11. The game we lost to johan was when was with the twins. Hudson pitched and we were winning 3-0 in the ninth. I think Hudson got the first two and then allowed arunner or two and Wickman? blew it 4-3.

    I watched on ESPN tonight and I know this isn’t news but 95% of the conversation was Metcentric. Funny thing was they kept talking about what a flawed team the Mets are as they just end their 7-game winning streak.

    Like our chances to at least get one more on this trip with the pitching matchups.

    Zimmerman @ 29 games now.

  12. Mac in the line-up really does make such a HUGE difference. Everyone takes pitches and plays intelligently when he’s in there. When he isn’t, everyone else tries to fill the void by swinging for the fences like idiots. We played well today. I greatly enjoyed this game. May we play well more.

    I wasn’t thrilled about Bobby warming up Gonzalez. This is a guy less than 2 years removed from Tommy John surgery who has pitched 2 days in a row and 5 of the last 6.

    WE WON!

  13. Nice win for the Braves….

    It is good to also see that Kris Medlen had it going again at Gwinnett County. Amazingly (and unimportantly) enough, his stats are now decisively better that Hanson’s…..Medlen’s numbers are more impresive than the type that Chuck James and Jose Capellan put up as they cruised through the minors. What does it mean? Hard to say–but I bet we see Medlen in Atlanta before too long….

  14. @25 Amazing…Medlen’s career took off when the team converted him to be a starter…usually it’s the other way.

  15. 22-Yeah, I unfortunately remember that game, as well. Hudson pitched 7 shutout innings, Soriano pitched the 8th, then Wickman blew it in the 9th.

    Here is Mac’s recap of that game:

  16. I’ve been to maybe eight Mets-Braves games in New York and the Braves always lose. I’m going tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

  17. In 6 lifetime starts vs. Atlanta, Santana is 0-4 with a 2.31 ERA.

    Went to the game tonight, and I gotta say I like Citi Field. Much cozier than the new stadium in The Bronx. And obviously, this place is like heaven compared to Shea. Still plenty of flyovers from LaGuardia, though.

    I sat in the uppers right behind home plate—lotsa bathroom & food/bev options, plenty of TVs, just a less-massive experience than the new Yankee Stadium.

    Prices? Couldn’t tell you, really. Only had a $3 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Been a little sick, so no brew tonight.

    I didn’t walk the whole place, but I’ll try to check it out a little more tomorrow night. I didn’t wanna go on a siteseeing tour tonight, mainly because it was such a great pitching matchup & the game blazed along while Santana & Lowe were pitching. Didn’t wanna miss anything.

    Always nice to see the Mets in such a giving mood. Y’know, they’re not a good defensive team & tonight it obviously killed them.

    Lowe was strike 1 all night & he had that ground-ball groove. Even the Mets’ tying run was a classic seeing-eye single that set things up.

    And how ’bout the back-to-back clutchness from Diaz & Kotch? Took the air right out of the place. Loved it. A good contingent of Braves fans tonight, too.

    One of my favorite sports moments was always leaving a quiet, grumbling Shea Stadium. Tonight, I got a quiet, grumbling Citi Field. Nice.

  18. we have gotten very good in-game management the past few games. some examples: the hit and run tonight, gonzo pitching the 8th last night, prado batting 3rd, diaz starting against santana, sticking with carlye instead of gonzo coming in (even though the urge was there. i know it’s easy to say when things go well, but some of these moves look un-bobby like. hopefully this is something we will continue to see.

    sorry, not all of these examples are “in-game” so just take it for what it is….

  19. I wonder when Gorkys Hernandez is going to get a look at AAA. He seems to be raking the ball at Mississippi.

  20. Gorkys is not what the team needs right now. He is the righthanded version of Schafer with less power.

    Rob, I hope there will be a different outcome tomorrow night and the loss will be all on you :)

  21. Gerardo Rodriguez is going off in Rome right now and Kris Medlen is off to a terrific start

  22. Not recommending anything, but Gorkys would definitely play much better defense than Schafer. 13 and 15 Fielding Runs Above Average the past two years in CF (translation: his defense is really damn good). That is compared to Schafer’s -12 and -9. With defensive comps like that Gorkys doesn’t need to improve much with the stick to be a better option than Schafer.

  23. Guys, Schafer is rated higher than Gorkys in defense. This always happens, a young kid reaches the major and not performing as well as we have hoped, then we look down to the minor and think another prospect is better than the one who is already in Atlanta.

    Until I get to see Gorkys playing life, I have no judgement on his defense. Defensive stats are meaningless to me.

  24. I just love Lowe…

    Lowe said. “We have our best pitcher [Jair Jurrjens] going tomorrow.”

    For him to say that…that’s class right there.

  25. At this point I am just happy to see Gorkys make the transition to AA. This is no small thing and and now Gorkys needs time to develop and, happily enough, he will get it. The best case scenario is that he will develop some power. Of course, this is what we hoped for from Van Pope….

  26. Stephen, I hope the Braves will consider asking Van Pope to learn playing second base. Otherwise, he does not have the bat to play only one position.

  27. We have a future OF of Gorkys, Heyward and Schafer, that is a pretty solid bunch, of course it is all about reaching their potential, but I like the stats I am seeing from Heyward and Gorky. If Jordan was in AA/AAA where he should be he would probably being doing as well.
    They may never be 40 HR guys, but form 10-30 and each can cover some good OF ground and get high OBP. is fine by me.

    Now we need a future 3B with pop and were good.

  28. #37,
    Where are you getting this information? There’s not nearly enough data to develop or calculate advanced fielding metrics for minor leaguers. Schafer is far from below average. Every scouting report raves about his defense, constantly saying things like: “The kid is fast, but he’s even better than his speed in the field because his instincts are so damn good”.

  29. The pitching in Richmond is phenomenal; Medlin; Hanson; and Morton all seem MLB ready. Is it time to think about dealing some institutional strength (MLB ready young pitching) for some institutional weakness (MLB ready hitting outfielders?). What about Medlin for Colby Rasmus?

  30. bfan,

    The Cardinals definitely need pitching. The Braves definitely need an outfield playing bat. However, I don’t think they will do Medlin for Rasmus.

    What they MIGHT do is KJ and Morton for Schumacher and another position player.
    Then we play Infante / Prado at 2b and Schumacher in center or right.

  31. Also, I don’t think I would do it, but wouldn’t Infante really help the Red Sox right now? But, to broaden the deal, they are so loaded with pitchers, I don’t see what we could do.

  32. my personal feeling is that we only do young (and salary controlled) for young (and salary controlled). Cleveland has matt laPorta sitting on the bench right now; do they need SP?

    I think KJ is a better hitter than Schumaker, anyway; i would rather have KJ in LF or RF and Infante at 2B if we are going that route.

  33. Some observations:
    The ESPN announcers suck. Especially Steve Phillips. Good God that guy is a moron. Said something to the effect that some pitchers just don’t extract offense from their team mates becuase of their demeanor. He used Santana as an example. Hershiser must have been looking at him and thinking WTF are you talking about?

    Ubbuba, you can say for sure but from the perspective of TV, Citi Field looks like the Grand Canyon. The ball that went over Schafer’s head looked like it was just crushed. I was stunned that it stayed in. Would the young Andruw have gotten it?

    Not to belabor this but Frenchy just plain sucks. It just goes to show that no matter how hard you swing if you aren’t squaring up the ball it aint going very far. He just doesn’t look like he has any power at all.

    Great end to a great sports day. My daughters won their soccer and lacrosse matches and the Braves beat the Mets. Yes.

  34. KC–That is an interesting idea–I think that Van Pope could catch on as a reserve utility player somewhere…..

    With respect to Medlen,I am hoping that the Braves can do something similar with Eric Barrett….

  35. At this juncture in the season is it time to leverage some of our young pitching to get a bat? (less Hanson)

  36. I have no evidence to bring to the table, but I believe Schafer is seen as being a potentially very good defensive outfielder, and Gorkys is seen as a Gold Glover.

    Outfield defense strikes me as something you can identify very early — you’ve either got speed and a throwing arm or you don’t, more or less, and instinct plays a huge part in getting a jump as well.

    If Gorkys’ reputation is deserved, he’d probably be among the best defensive outfielders in the majors tomorrow.

  37. HA!!!

    Ok, so somebody mentioned Chuck James, which made me want to see what he was up to. So I used the firefox magic bar/wonder bar/awesome bar thing and just typed Chuck James in there and it pulled up the Wikipedia page (which didn’t answer my question regarding if he’d been picked up on a minor league contract or something)… which you have to scroll down to just above the references to see that under “Trivia” somebody has added:

    …and is a freaken beast!!!!!!!”

    Also if you look at history, somebody had a line in there about him currently working at Toppers as a stripper.

    Edit: Oh screw it, just go look at the revision history on that page… brilliant!

  38. Oh, and Matt Harrison has won 3 in a row for Texas… including a 4 hit complete game shutout his last time out. Man there are a lot of former Braves on that team.

  39. Santana is just one unlucky bastard. Maybe the Mets just don’t want to field for him either.

  40. “Man there are a lot of former Braves on that team.”

    There should be; we gave up 4 future stars plus one another guy for 2 one-half seasons of Teix.

  41. “Uh, no. Lowe may have gotten a pitching “win”, but Lowe most certainly did not outpitch Santana.”

    I thought the same thing. The charitable interpretation is that it was a headline writer who just doesn’t understand baseball. The non-charitable explanation is that this is the same thought the delivers the “Frenchie is a star” line of articles, because he drives in 90+ runs a year. Lowe win-ergo he out-pitched santana, because the “W” is all that matters and all that needs to be understood.

  42. “We should have traded all those prospects for Ian Kinsler.”

    Now you tell us.

    Seriously, with 3 young players already in MLB and the #1 or #2 pitching prospect in all of baseball as the 4th player given up in the trade, and he is 20, this has an outside shot of being the worst trade ever (or best, depending on which side you are on).

  43. wasnt Rasmus the #1 prospect in the Cards system before the season started? No way they move him for Medlen. The only OF’r they’ll move would be Ankiel and he just ran into a wall. Their long term outfield in probably Skip, Rasmus, and Ludwick. They could move Duncan also I guess

  44. I think most people knew how bad our deal was for Tex even the day it happened. We kind of had the blindfolds on hoping that Tex would come here and get us to the playoffs. Now we just see how bad the deal really was

  45. Lowe did pitch really well. I feel good about our chances when he is out there.

  46. Im ready for Hudson and Hanson to be here, that has the potential to be ridiculous

    Lowe, JJ, Hudson, Vasquez, Hanson

  47. Teix is basically earning $100,000 per point of batting average right now.

    Also, we’re only 1.5 games out of what is currently the worst division in baseball. If we can hang around long enough, we may indeed see Lowe, Vazquez, JJ, Hudson, Hanson for the stretch run.

  48. Seriously, barring injury, who’s the odd man out next season? Not even taking Reyes, Morton, and Medlen into account, we have 6 legitimate starters. (Yes, I include Kawakami, on whom I remain bullish.)

    Who gets traded?

    I don’t see trading Lowe, the nominal ace, even if there were a team out there willing to take on his contract.

    Vazquez, contract-wise, might make the most sense, but he’s our best pitcher.

    It would make no sense whatsoever, unless he bombs, to trade Kawakami, as that would totally undercut the whole “breaking into Japan” idea. (And if he totally bombs, nobody will take his salary on, anyway.)

    Hanson, yeah, right.

    Hudson? After he signed the hometown discount? Given his popularity and activity in the community, I can’t see trading him or not picking up his option.

    I know this will sound crazy, and this position was roundly criticized over at CnC, but trading Jurrjens might make some sense. He’s great and young and cheap (for now), but (a) I think he’s already at his ceiling, and he’s not an ace, (b) he’s a Boras guy, so we’re likely not going to be able to buy out any FA years (and those FA years will be expensive), and (c) we could likely get a lot for him.

    I don’t really want to do it, and in 2011 you’re left without Vazquez and Hudson, too (barring contract extensions, which I think are real possibilities for both), but it’s a thought. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure.

  49. Stu, why do you feel JJ has hit his ceiling? He is only 23 years old.
    I understand your arguement for the most part, we may have a crazy glut of SP.

  50. Stu,

    You make a good point, but also remember there is no such thing as too much pitching. It seems that everytime a team has too many pitcher, people start getting hurt.
    I also think we have a good bench we can make a move from.

    I really think if we can keep it close and make a move in June or July for a bat, we have a good shot at winning this.

    Does anyone else think we need to be more aggressive on the bases? I think we should hit and run more. We aren’t hitting homers, we need to force the action some more.

    Has anyone else notice the the Kotch Rocket is playing really well right now?

  51. It’s mainly the lack of Ks, oldtimer. I could well be wrong about him, but as much as I love—love—watching him pitch, I just don’t see him developing into a real ace. A Lowe-like ace, sure, but we already have one of those who’s a Boras guy and expensive. Plus, Jurrjens could probably get LaPorta+, as an example, in a trade.

    I’m probably just too fond of Vazquez.

  52. Stu,

    You make a good point, but also remember there is no such thing as too much pitching. It seems that everytime a team has too many pitcher, people start getting hurt.
    I also think we have a good bench we can make a move from.

    That cliche is tough to argue against given our situation just last year, but if a team can have too much pitching, it will be the 2010 Braves. At some point, especially where you have other glaring weaknesses, you have to use your ridiculous surplus to address those weaknesses.

    As for our bench, I love it—it is a huge strength, something that sets us apart from the other teams in the division, if not the league, IMO—and would not want to trade any of those guys.

  53. Meanwhile, Glavine is trying to pitch this year. Dude…we don’t need you…retire with some dignity.

  54. I wouldn’t advocate trading Jurrjens. He may project to be a #2 or #3 starter in the bigs, but that’s incredibly valuable, especially considering we have a little while to go until free agency. I would rather eat Kawakami’s contract or just wait and see what happens in 2009, which has some time to go.

    Trading Jurrjens is a plan mainly for 2010, and it ignores the subsequent years. It assumes Lowe will continue to be ace material for the next three years, that Kawakami will succeed in 2009, and that Hudson will be back. I’d rather have Jurrjens on the cheap. We have had enough ‘what ifs’ the past two years, and with older vets, those questions usually don’t turn out well.

  55. Lowe outpitched Santana in the sense that he was way more efficient. Santana threw 45 pitches in the first 2 innings. He got behind & went 3 balls on a lotta guys all night. As soon as he came out (nearly 110 pitches), the deluge.

    (Of course, his relief was lousy & ours was mostly good.)

    Schafer broke the wrong direction on the ball. He broke back to his right and the ball went over his head to his left. If Andruw ever did that, he always seemed to quickly correct himself. When Schafer did it, you could tell he had no chance.

    CF is a little deep, but the power alleys are a tiny bit shorter than Turner Field. The dimensions are officially quirky, especially RF with the Tiger Stadium-like “Pepsi Porch.” (OK, now I feel dirty.)

    Didn’t really see the kiddie stuff, which is behind center field. I was kinda into this game, so I didn’t wanna miss anything & waste time seeing stuff I can check out on another occasion. It’ll still be there, and I now live only 3 stops away on the 7 Express train. No sweat.

    I entered the place via the right-field entrance because the main entrance was packed 100-deep. So I didn’t go thru the main rotunda either. I’ll try to do that tonight. I wanna see all the Brooklyn Dodger/Jackie Robinson stuff that Met fans are bitching about.

  56. #78 – a lot

    as bad as Schafer has looked lately, he’s still got a .357OBP compared to Frenchy’s .287

  57. I’ve seen Gorky’s live about 5 times this year. He’s looked great defensively to me but I don’t really know what I’m looking for other than that he’s not misplaying balls and making errors.

    What he’s got is incredible speed and seems to make a lot of doubles become triples in the spacious Trustmark park.

  58. Schafer’s still utterly hopeless driving people in, though. I think the stat was 0-40 driving in RISP. Ah, well. At least his OBP is good. (edit: hate to keep harping on this, but it really is a problem…I know he’s just the 8-hitter, but he’s still failing way too much for our powerless lineup to sustain…)

    Stu – that’s an interesting idea. We could potentially get quite a haul for Jurrjens, yes, but I think you’re overvaluing Vazquez and Hudson. As good as they have been, they’re both aging and they’ve only got one year left on their contracts. We’d be hitching a lot to 2010, and our rotation in 2011 could be pretty ugly.

    Although I share your suspicion that Jurrjens won’t get any better and could regress, I don’t think trading him would be smart for the long term.

  59. I actually think the thought of moving JJ now for an OF makes the most sense. If you trust the Braves GM (no comment), then you will assume we will get an outfielder of equal upside and controlled salary. Face it; we aren’t going to get enough of an upgrade in LF or RF to replace the 2 teacher’s pets, without giving up something of great value too. The idea here is not to shrink the talent base; it is to better allocate it. Right now, IMHO, we have a huge surplus of starting pitching (I think the 3 guys in AAA for us are going to be excellent, and I like the Braves current starters a lot), with virtual crap in the OF, starting in MLB and going all the way down to AA (where we have one MLB prospect). Not using your starting pitching to fix the OF situation, and letting the satarting pitching dominate AAA, just seems a waste to me.

  60. Weldon, you are right, it is an issue and we just have to hope he is mentally stronger the Jeffy and can adapt to the big leagues this way.
    I have a horrible feeling that we are killing this kids development though, i know we are only a fifth of the way into the season but he is actually looking worse every game.

  61. Stu – that’s an interesting idea. We could potentially get quite a haul for Jurrjens, yes, but I think you’re overvaluing Vazquez and Hudson. As good as they have been, they’re both aging and they’ve only got one year left on their contracts. We’d be hitching a lot to 2010, and our rotation in 2011 could be pretty ugly.

    I’m not overvaluing Hudson, really; I just can’t foresee the Braves cutting ties with him after ’09. Maybe I’m wrong.

    As for the post-2010 Braves, here are my thoughts, totally unorganized:

    If we keep Vazquez for 2010, I really think we’ll sign him to an extension. And I think he’ll be good for a while longer.

    Like bfan, I like our AAA guys. Heck, I even like Jo-Jo, as long as he’s at the bottom of the rotation.

    I also like a lot of our guys at levels below AAA; by 2011, one or two of them should be ready to contribute in Atlanta.

    I don’t even want to think about what Lowe will be like in 2011.

  62. The only thing I could see trading Jurrjens for would be a Carlos Quentin or equivalent; however, recently, outside of the Young/Garza transaction, those type of trades don’t happen.

    Mostly because of fear that it could turn into a Young/Garza type of deal.

  63. Schafer wouldnt look as bad if the two outfielders, to his left and right, were doing anything remotely productive

  64. I don’t know…if we’re talking about a trade, Jurrjens is a quality MLB pitcher, which is more than you can say about any prospect in our system. Even Hanson. It’d be insane to deal Hanson or Medlin at this point, but if we could use other pitcher prospects rather than them or JJ to get OF help, I think that’s the way to go. We could definitely get something good for Reyes/Morton.

    I’d also rather have youth and certainty–and give JJ a big extension (I suppose it’d have to be big for him to accept it)–rather than relying on more than one of Lowe/Vazquez/Hudson after next year.

  65. csg makes a good point. Any production at all from LF and RF makes it easier to carry Schafer’s glove.

    We could trade jj for Andruw Jones. He is tearing it up in Texas.

    Before you throw stuff I’m only kidding.

  66. and give JJ a big extension (I suppose it’d have to be big for him to accept it)

    This is part of my argument for trading JJ—Boras clients usually go to free agency. If JJ is an exception and we are able to do this, I would love to.

  67. “Mostly because of fear that it could turn into a Young/Garza type of deal.”

    and that is the nature of not being confident in your abilities to spot and develop talent, as an organization. The Garza/Young deal is only really bad for one side; it is really good for the other, in equal dimensions.

  68. Is there a way to know if Medlin’s “stuff” will translate to the bigs other than giving him time against MLB hitters? I’m not saying they’re equivalent, but Chuck James was pretty good in AAA. Jo Jo too. What would a package of Medlin and Morton fetch? Just curious. I’d be looking to move some youngsters (but not all of them…).

  69. Move Schaefer to the 7-spot (aka, second leadoff) and have him bunt every time. I’m almost serious. Make the other team make a play rather than whiff at fastballs on the hands.

    Lowe to the Yankees next year actually makes some sense (for them and us) if they’ve got something we want.

    I’ve really been impressed with Lowe, but our rotation could look like this without him:

    Hudson (with his new TJ velocity)
    Kawakami or Medlin

    Not bad.

    Oh, and I think if we’re expecting anything from Hudson this year, it’s a mistake. Has anybody ever come back from TJ and been effective right away?

  70. My view (still the same) on Hudson.

    Case I: 20%, he pitches no Major League innings this year.

    Case II 20% he pitches some ML innings and is substantially ineffective.

    In NEITHER of those two cases do the Braves elect THEIR PART OF THE MUTUAL OPTION.

    Case III, 40%, Hudson comes back in August or September and looks pretty good overe several appearances / starts (projectable to be back in 2010 to where he was in 07 and 08, adjusted for age)

    Braves might elect option, but would Hudson if the Braves wouldn’t add more years? Would the Braves add more years? Should they (as far as I am concerned, no, don’t add years under this case).

    Net probability of Hudson with Braves in 2010 is less than half of this Case III 40%.

    Case IV: 20% Hudson comes back and is as good as 07 and 08. Braves elect option, but will Hudson take that? He will expect at least 2 more years at what the market was for Lowe. No way the Braves pay that.

    So, if you are figuring higher than a 20% chance of Hudson being in ATL in 2010, then you are dreaming.

  71. What could the Yankees give us? Nick Swisher? Maybe they would throw Austin Jackson in.

  72. @95

    I agree. I’m not expecting anything from Hudson at all this year.


    That was my point. Garza and Young will be forever linked and teams don’t want to risk that.

  73. I think your calculus fails to account for Hudson’s personal desire to stay in Atlanta and play close to home. He’s already signed an under-market extension to stay here once.

    I think you’re probably right that his chance of being here in 2010 only is small; they’ll either part ways after 2009 or he’ll be here a while longer.

  74. I thought there was something being talked about in regards to picking up Hudson’s option.

  75. Stu,

    Pride will get in the way. just like with Smoltz. It will be “I sacrificec for you, now it is time for you to respect that.” Comparing a 2 year extension at 13 a year to a 3 year deal at 14, then yes, I believe Hudson will stay. However, the market is plummeting. I don’t see that many teams throwing out big numbers. Hudson could easily “quasi Varitek” and not get as big of a number after the Braves offer.

  76. Remember when we could have gotten Nick Swisher for a Wilson Betemit-ish player and a minor league reliever?

    Remember when we were (allegedly) close to landing Jason Bay last July?

  77. Another important question regarding Huddy and his option, and Vazquez and his 2010 contract, is the state of the national economy and the baseball economy. Both are due $11-$12 million. In 2008, that was a very attractive-looking price. In this past offseason, it was a price almost no one could afford to pay.

    How much a dollar costs will determine how easy it will be to move either of them and receive value in return.

  78. Can’t see trading a young, productive pitcher. There IS No Such Thing as a Pitching Prospect, so counting on any minor league pitcher–even Hanson–is going to be a good major league pitcher is risky. And, what would be equal value for Jurrjens anyway?

    I think we need to see how the hitting prospects develop over the next couple of years rather than going out and trading productive major league pitchers.

  79. AAR,

    I agree about Hudson, but Vazquez is averaging 11 Ks/9 and 2 BB/9, and he’s going 6 2/3 innings per start. If he stays anywhere close to that pace, his salary won’t be tough to move at all. The main thing that limits Vazquez’ (and Hudson’s) trade value is that they’re only going to be under contract for one year.

  80. I was just thinking how few OF’s I would actually trade JJ straight up for. Braun, Markaikis, Ethier, Kemp, Bruce, that’s it, that’s the list. I’d say no to Quentin or LaPorta. Young, effective, cost-controlled pitchers who can get out major league hitters are rare and none of our “Pitching Prospects” are a sure thing.

  81. You’d say “yes” to Andre Ethier and “no” to Carlos Quentin?

    FWIW, I wouldn’t trade JJ straight-up for LaPorta, either. LaPorta+.

    Another guy I would trade JJ for, straight-up: Justin Upton. Josh Hamilton, too.

    Other guys I’d put in the LaPorta category: Snider, Rasmus, Pence, Fowler.

  82. You are either going to be patient or not. Lots of people have talked about contending when Heyward and some others come up. If that’s true, it seems shortsighted to talk about trading JJ because, realistically, you aren’t going to get equal value.

  83. look at what our conversation got started….

    2010 Options: Atlanta Braves
    By Tim Dierkes [May 12 at 12:15pm CST]
    Pitcher Tim Hudson is the only member of the Braves with a 2010 option. It’s a $12MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout. Back in January, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the Braves “fully intend to exercise it, barring some unexpected turn of events.” Hudson hopes to return in August from Tommy John surgery, and even seems willing to come back as a reliever to help more quickly. In February, talking to’s Mark Bowman, Hudson expressed his desire for the Braves to pick up the option:

    “If I’m healthy, I hope they like what they see enough to pick up the option. If not, I’m still young. If everything goes right with this elbow, I see myself pitching another seven or eight years. I’ve got a new elbow. I’m ready to go. There’s no other place I’d rather be, that’s for sure.”

    It’s safe to assume that if the Braves exercise Hudson’s option, he won’t choose to void it in search of a bigger contract. The Braves’ 2010 rotation looks deep, with Derek Lowe, Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vazquez, Kenshin Kawakami, Hudson, and Tommy Hanson. Kawkami is off to a shaky start, but his $23MM contract runs through 2011.

  84. “You are either going to be patient or not. Lots of people have talked about contending when Heyward and some others come up. If that’s true, it seems shortsighted to talk about trading JJ because, realistically, you aren’t going to get equal value.”

    On the 1st one, I agree. But if we are not trying to grab one more title while Chipper is here, then why make the Vasquez trade, where you give up very good young hitting (Flowers) for a guy who will be a FA (meaning you could have gotten him, any way, at the market price), by the time Hayward is here as an effective MLB player (say, 2011).

    And on the 2nd point, why will we not get equal value for JJ? We are not a panicked seller, meaning we are losing him if we don’t move him. In fact, I would argue just the opposite. If we are ready to move him by the trade deadline, chances are there will be a couple of teams in contention and needing that one more boost to win this year, to over-pay for him (see Braves/Rangers trade, June of 2007). The only way we wouldn’t get equal value is if you do not trust your GM to get equal value. I guess I could get to understand that conclusion, but one thing Frank Wren seems to be good at is recognizing good young talent (see Detroit/Atlanta trade, starting with Renteria).

  85. I just love the fact that Johan has this stat line

    0.78ERA 0.96WHIP 13BB 60K and he’s 4-2.

    IN both of his losses he had 0 ER. Here’s his stat lines in his two losses

    13.1IP 10H 0ER 2BB 19K


  86. What bfan said about JJ and getting equal value. Why would you assume we won’t?

  87. @111 – you think that is funny. He’d probably be 2-4 if he were pitching for the Braves.

  88. It sure is a whole lot friendly in here since the Braves started winning a little bit.

    Cheers to that!

  89. Stu @ 107. Actually I would say yes to Ethier and no to Quentin. I think Ethier projects better than Quentin, not to mention the park effects (Ethier plays in LA pitcher’s park and Quentin in CHW extreme HR park). Ethier is at the bottom of my list but I’ll stick with what I said. I considered Upton and he’d probably be next followed by Snider and Hamilton. I’d say no to the others (Pence, Fowler and Rasmus).

  90. I wonder if the contract status of Vasquez and Hudson are going to be as limiting as they would have been in years past.

    I think in this economy shorter deals with less long term risk may be in vogue, but I don’t know.

    I have a hunch you are going to see some straight up deals, starting at the deadline this year, that are salary for salary. GMs and owners are not going to pay guys big bucks to do nothing. They are also not going to give up elite prospects so I would not be surprised to see guys like a Vasquez go to a team for an excess bat of another team.

    I also think you are going to see teams have to throw in middle type prospects to entice teams to take on payroll. I also see teams shedding payroll at the deadline this year too.

    If the braves can stay in it, I think there will be bats available at bargain prices this year and next to build on the foundation of pitching we have.

    BTW, the reason they traded Flowers is because he was blocked at the Major League level by McCann. (I didn’t necessarly agree with that logic at the time, no need to gut your system of offensive catchers, but Vasquez has been good for us, although he is NOT our best pitcher.)

  91. 115—I couldn’t disagree with you more about Ethier and Quentin. As for the rest, again, I probably wouldn’t trade Jurrjens for any of them straight-up. But for those guys plus other value, I think the Braves would be crazy not to consider it.

  92. Stu-

    You may be right, but I think Quentin is a bit overvalued and Ethier is drastically undervalued. I think we pretty much agree on the rest that it would take something else to consider a deal of JJ. That said I’d still hate it as JJ is easily one of my favorite current Braves. Easy guy to root for.

  93. Jurrjens for Eithier straight up seems like it would be the fairest trade to me out of the lot listed.

  94. “BTW, the reason they traded Flowers is because he was blocked at the Major League level by McCann. (I didn’t necessarly agree with that logic at the time, no need to gut your system of offensive catchers, but Vasquez has been good for us, although he is NOT our best pitcher.)”

    Flowers could be a perfect fit with McCann, playing 1B for most of the time, and spelling McCann at catcher every 4th or 5th day, when McCann needs a rest. That is something i wish we had considered with Salty. Flowers could move in right when Kotchman gets expensive, and Freeman is 2 years behind Flowers, meaning if both turn out great, you can move one, but you have a little time to decide.

    I think Vasquez has been fantastic/phenominal. He seems to be the unluckiest guy in the world in spacing out hits and walks against him. My point on him is that in 2011 we will have to pay him his market value if we want him, whether he had been with us since then or not, so the trade makes us better in 2009 and 2010, but worse in 2011 (as in 2011 we would have Flowers under a low/controlled salary, and what we decide to do with Vasquez is no different whether he had been with us or not; he is just a FA).

  95. I think it’s hard to get equal value for JJ because no one really knows what equal value is. Is he going to get better and be a number 1 or is he going to be a 2-3. If he is going to be a number 1, what would be equal value–Markakis? Braun? I guess if you could get a Braun for him, I would be ok with it, but I sort of doubt that’s going to happen.

  96. By the way:

    Ethier: 1690 PA .298/.367/.482 (in LA)
    Quentin:1156 PA .259/.357/.503 (CH & Az)

    I would also think Ethier is the better fielder (he does have 31 assists to Quentin’s 12) although the range factors seem to favor Q if I read them correctly.

  97. I would also trade JJ for Ethier, straight-up. he becomes our best hitting OF by far, and we fill the JJ roster slot right away, with 1 of the 3 Gwinnett super-pitchers.

  98. Trade Jair? Am I seriously reading this? At least enough of you stepped up and pointed out the absolute insanity of such a suggestion.

    I was cautious coming into this season that he might have a sophomore slump, but that hasn’t come to be. I really don’t see any reason, other than abject pessimism, to assume a protracted downturn in the future.

    Anyone else remember us having trouble locking up a Scott Boras client-star from Curacao before? And this one actually grew up following the Braves!

    Adding outfielders is easy, finding young talented pitching isn’t. We could get just as much, if not more, for Hanson, if we thought a trade was necessary, (which it isn’t.) As many have pointed out the rest of our rotation is on the decline, so it makes no sense to even consider dealing Jair.

    @106: Braun or Markakis might be enough to get me to actually begin to entertain the deal, but I highly doubt that either is available.

  99. I think it’s hard to get equal value for JJ because no one really knows what equal value is. Is he going to get better and be a number 1 or is he going to be a 2-3. If he is going to be a number 1, what would be equal value–Markakis? Braun?

    Well, no one ever knows what a player’s exact value is until the player’s career is over. Obviously, you go with what you think his value is and what you think other guys’ values are when making trades. You hope your talent evaluators are better than those of the guys you’re trading with.

    The point is, we’d be trading JJ from a position of strength and there’s no reason to think we’d trade him just to trade him.

  100. Dusty, for some reason, I’m under the impression that Ethier is playing above his head and that he’s more of an .800 OPS kinda guy—good, but not great. However, looking at his b-ref page—really, I should do this before engaging in arguments—I must admit that his numbers and trends look really good.

  101. “Well, no one ever knows what a player’s exact value is until the player’s career is over. Obviously, you go with what you think his value is and what you think other guys’ values are and make the trade. You hope your talent evaluators are better than those of the guys you’re trading with.”

    Exactly. No one knows how good Colby Rasmus will be at the major league level now, either. Some lists I saw had him as a top 10 prospect. So if we cued up JJ for Rasmus, the cardinals worry that JJ has been lucky so far, and may blow his arm out; we worry that rasmus is just another Andy Marte (AAA hitter), and you make your best judgment, and see how it works out.

    But to me, sitting on a pile of talent, some of which there is no room for at the MLB level, while you are in the bottom 2 in the league in offense at 2 everyday positions, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Boston traded Hanley Ramirez for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Without Beckett and Lowell, they don’t win the series that they did, as, as good as Hanley is, he wasn;t that good then, and they needed the top-flight pitching.

    We would have to give up something good to get something good. We would all love to get a great hitting young OF for a pitcher with no future and limited talent, but that isn’t the way it works. Other GM’s are trying to win, too.

  102. But to me, sitting on a pile of talent, some of which there is no room for at the MLB level, while you are in the bottom 2 in the league in offense at 2 everyday positions, doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    This is my point. We can turn excess into current value. Among that excess, an argument can be made that Jurrjens is the one that it makes the most sense to trade. I’m attempting to make that argument. (FWIW, I’m not sure I even believe it. I do think it’s worth considering, though.)

  103. I would be very, very careful about dealing JJ. Good, young pitchers with an estabished record of retiring Major League Hitters do not grow on trees. You’d have to shoot for a good, young hitter with an established record of hitting Major League Pitching.

    As noted many times earlier, those trades don’t happen very often for good reason.

    I think a better course of action is to kick the tires on a Jermaine Dye rental.

  104. @121: Quick, who was the #2 starter on the 1995 Braves team? Does it really matter? You build rotations with as many quality arms as you can get ahold of, and these days they rarely stay in a set rotation through the majority of the season. Jair is a top of the rotation guy, he’s proven this, it doesn’t matter if you slot him 1, 2 or 3, he’ll produce.

    @123: Remember, one of these “Gwinnett super-pitchers” posted a 6.15 ERA in 15 starts last year. He might be super in Gwinnett, but you just suggested trading our best pitcher for a guy who’s OPSing .683 so far this month.

    Hanson and Medlen have only had 7 games each in AAA… I really like what they’re doing so far, and I’m definitely optimistic about their potential, but Jo-Jo Reyes looked pretty “super” in 6 starts in Richmond in ’07, and again in ’08. As his Atlanta performance has shown, there’s a big difference between International League hitters and Major Leaguers.

  105. Stu- I agree with you; I think we need to convert the starting pitching excess into young OF hitting, that helps us this year and is still available to us for when the next wave of hitters get here, in 20011.

  106. @127: The only JJ I would trade for Rasmus is Jo-Jo Reyes.

    How do you see there being no room at the Major League level for our “pile of talent”? We currently have Jo-Jo Reyes holding down one rotation spot, if he continues to pitch like he has we’ll move on to Morton soon. If Reyes or Morton can pitch like their AAA numbers in the Majors then we let Medlen and Hanson develop until September call-ups, and then get a look at a few spot starts, or bullpen work (just like TB did with David Price last year.) If Jo-Jo/Morton can’t hold down that spot then we turn to either Hanson or Medlen in mid-June… this isn’t a problem with the organization here, we’re not wasting anything, we’re giving our pitching a good chance to mature, which is what we haven’t done in recent years. (See: Davies, HoRam, Jo-Jo, Charlie, etc.)

    Also, notice that these great numbers being put up in AAA are coming in short starts, Medlen is at about 6 innings a start, Hanson is a little under that at around 5.8, and Morton is down at 5 2/3rds. We’ve already got KK and JJ who aren’t going too deep into ML games on a regular basis (Vazquez is the only current starter averaging over 6 a start.) We simply don’t have the bullpen to carry two more of these guys, if they’re not ready to take the ball into the 7th on a regular basis, in AAA even.

  107. “but you just suggested trading our best pitcher for a guy who’s OPSing .683 so far this month.”

    And Chipper has only a .755 OPS this month. And Brian McCann’s OPS was only in the .600’s in April. And Roy Halladay had a 3.75 ERA in April. And JJ’s ERA last August was 5.73, followed by 4.30 in September. All of those, as well as yours, suffer from ridiculously small sample sizes (do the first 11 days in May get us to a trend?). Ethier is 27 with a proven level of ability. If you don’t think that level of ability is worth JJ, then okay, but if we are basing trades on 11 day results, we are going to make some pretty big mistakes.

  108. @136: Haha, yeah I didn’t mean to suggest I was basing my judgments on an 11 day sample… point taken. What I was trying to point out was that Ethier isn’t a proven superstar, he’s had great stretches, and weak ones. Whereas, in my opinion, Jair has proven to be a top of the rotation pitcher, and likely has a good deal of connection to the Braves organization.

    The reason I quoted Ethier’s recent stretch was because he was just dropped in one of my fantasy leagues, so I was just looking at his recent production before I dropped in here.

  109. I will admit that if Quentin or Ethier is the return then I’d pull the trigger in a second. I just never considered JJ could demand such a return, and I’d still call that wildly optimistic. Then again, when Ned Coletti is prominently involved, anything is possible. Maybe he can be convinced to try and make room for Juan Pierre. He signed him, after all.

  110. @137

    If somebody dropped Ethier, pick him up. He’s awesome. He has great plate discipline and excellent power, and it’s ridiculous for folks to assume his last 15 at bats are in any way related to Manny’s suspension. These guys get 650 plate appearances a season, and suddenly 15 matter? And anyway, he batted BEHIND Manny.

  111. @139: Yeah, I was pretty shocked someone dropped him… but it is a really shallow league. There’s only 7 owners, so my Outfield is already pretty stacked. Also, the guy who set it up made it really basic, there’s no OBP or SLUG, which hurts Andre.

    I’ve got Sizemore, Beltran, Ludwick, Ellsbury, and Nelson Cruz… I’m thinking I’ll drop Cruz today, since he’s no longer batting clean-up, but I’m thinking Justin Upton is probably a hotter add than Ethier (especially since I have to wait a few days or use my waiver claim on him.) Then again, I also need a 3B since Aramis, Chipper, and Michael Young all decided to get hurt the same week… *shakes fist at baseball gods* But I guess I can probably drop Aramis in this format without hurting too bad… Aubrey Huff just doesn’t excite me though…

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