420 thoughts on “That’s it, we will never get above .500 game thread: May 13, Braves at Mets”

  1. say what you want but our best option right now is to move Kelly back to LF, Diaz to RF, and Prado/Infante at 2nd.

  2. It’s amazing how some players are just annointed as stars or potential stars and are cut unbelievable slack even when they fail time after time. Francouer is the obvious example today but he isn’t the first. It’s like there is a giant conspiracy within the baseball establishment to promote Jeffy no matter how bad he is. Of course, if I’m the other teams that have to play the Braves, I want them to keep the out machine in the lineup.

    I’m very hesitant to say this, but I wonder how much slack Jeff would get if he wasn’t a good looking All-American white boy from Atlanta.

    As for being one of the three best OF options, if that’s true, then the Braves damn well ought to be looking for other options. But that’s not going to happen because the organization has invested so much in the idea that Francoeur is a star in the making (and I take it he remains popular among the teeny-bopper segment in Atlanta) that he is almost going to have to go on a shooting rampage in downtown Atlanta before they get rid of him-and, even then, Bobby would probably say, that is just one incident and he is this close to being sane.

  3. JC,

    Thanks for finding the Stenchy IBBs from 2008.

    I wonder how many of those occurred while he was batting 8th in the order.

  4. One of the players the Braves are looking at as their first pick in the draft is Donavan Tate (Lars’ son). He’s very highly rated… but has been compared to Francoeur. I’m scared.

    Francoeur’s Offensive Winning Percentage is .268. That’s ’62 Mets territory — projects to 43-119.

  5. I think we can call that a losing percentage of .732

    So a team full of 9 Francoeurs would lose at historic levels. I’m not the least bit surprised.

  6. Mac-Donovan Tate is also a Boras client who is signed to play football at UNC. According to information on Sickel’s blog–his stock is dropping. These are some of the reasons why the Braves might not pick Tate.

    That said, I really hope that the Braves use the #7 pick–a pick they have not had in many years (and I hope not for many more) to grab a position players. We have very few quality position prospects below Upper A…..

  7. Oops, didn’t realize the new thread. Repost

    Jeffy 2009

    Month: K : K/AB
    April: 7 : 8.4%
    May: 8 : 15.7%

    Career K/AB : 19.5%

    Small sample warning, but it appears the new approach is wearing off, or pitchers have adjusted. Probably a little of both.

    I have to think that TP’s job is in imminent jeopardy. Not just because of Francoeur, but for the offensive struggles of several players. There isn’t really much the Braves can do to improve the outfield. I suspect trades are going to be complicated by the team’s horrible attendance. There is no I-75/85 construction this year and attendance is still way down (almost 20% compared to attendance through mid-May last year). I doubt anyone will approve adding salary at this point. The team is pretty much stuck with what they’ve got. If the fans need a confidence boost, I think a firing is in order. I think Bobby is off-limits, but TP certainly isn’t.

    As much as fans want demotions of Jeffy (minus readers of TigerBeat) , Anderson, and Schafer, the replacements aren’t any better. The Josh Anderson trade was a mistake, and I don’t think Anderson is all that good. But, he would have allowed Schafer a chance to develop in the minors.

  8. #3 – Schafer is playing very good defense and still putting up a .350OBP, he’s not a hole like the other two clowns out there

  9. According to +/- Schafer is 2 plays (1 run) below the average CF. His throwing is -1 runs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a healthy.360 OBP, but this kid needs some more practice where he can work on raising that .340 SLG.

  10. Going back to the previous thread (and pitching prospects), one guy who has pitched well, but been forgotten is Jonny Venters. Despite missing lots of time due to injuries, he is still only 24 and pitching well at AA. A nice dark horse to have in the organization….

  11. The best praise you can really give Schafer right now is that he’s not an automatic out.

  12. when you have 3 OF’s and two of them have a sub .280OBP and one of them is your cleanup hitter, your rookie CF’r with a .360OBP isnt the biggest problem. We cant do anything with him right now. Problem is Brandon Jones is our only somewhat decent option as an OF replacement in our system, but he’s light years ahead of Anderson at this point. Seriously call Edmonds or Alou at least they can still hit somewhat. Anderson is a statue out there

  13. From the previous thread…

    I’d give a left nut for league average right now.

    This intrigues me because you failed to identify whose left nut it is that will be sacrificed. “A” left nut—is that all it’ll take?

    That streaker video is awesome.

    Seriously, we need to bring up Brandon Jones to platoon with Francoeur. That could get us to league average in RF. It makes no sense to have as many relievers as we have when we need less than 3 innings of relief work per game.

    As Kelly’s #1 fan, it pains me to say this, but I think we should have made the deal for Ludwick work this offseason. We have a glut of capable second basemen, and Ludwick’s power would transform our lineup.

  14. Should have said my left nut. I would never ask another guy to give up part of his manhood for a GOD DANG league AVERAGE outfielder.

    Just a quick scan throug BR. Us the Marlins the hapless Padres and the A’s may be the ONLY teams playing without an outfielder making some kind of offensive contribution. Ok Bold statement with no real analysis to back it up, but damn.

    Stu, I too am a big KJ fan and I too am wondering what else the Cards wanted for Ludwick. If it was one of our young pitchers we were right to pass. If it was straight up for KJ then why not when we seem to have 2basemen growing out of our ears.

    Wren put a lot of faith into a kid that had never played above AA ball. Josh Anderson isn’t a world beater but he would be better than Jordan is now. But remember the context. Josh was traded so we could get that veteran bat for left field.

  15. your rookie CF’r with a .360OBP isnt the biggest problem.

    I like Schafer, but I feel that calling him up too early is going to stunt his growth. So, I think it might be the biggest problem that we can fix. There really isn’t anything you can do about the corners, so you might as well just live with them.

    Last year Blanco posted .251/.366/.309/.676, which is not much different from what Schafer is giving the Braves. Granted, he is stinking it up in the minors now, but I think he’s the better option now because Jordan is the better player.

  16. #9

    The stats on Jeff simply prove what we’ve been seeing the last two weeks. He has reverted to old form, swinging early in the count at offspeed junk or pitches out of the strike one, and looking to pull everything. On Sunday, after a Kotchman leadoff double, he struck out on 3 pitches and looked like he was trying to hit an 8 run homer. It baffled me how in a close game, he made no effort to advance the runner to 3rd.

    Regarding TP, I think that’s a thorny issue. TP is a modest Atlanta hero, and his named has been tossed around as a possible heir-apparent to Cox. Throw in the racial angle that would surely arise from not only firing him, but also the resulting elimination of him as a candidate to replace Cox, and that’s be a pr issue I wouldn’t want to handle. I personally think he’s a lousy hitting coach, but he may have some coaching/leadership issues we aren’t aware of. At any rate, I think he’s untouchable.

  17. I don’t put too much stock how much a hitting coach affects player performance. But as JC alluded to earlier firing TP may be the move to make to placate the angry masses.

    ‘Last year Blanco posted .251/.366/.309/.676, which is not much different from what Schafer is giving the Braves. Granted, he is stinking it up in the minors now, but I think he’s the better option now because Jordan is the better player.’

    Not sure if I understand. You are saying that bringing up Blanco is better than living with what Schafer is giving us? Yeah you’d think that the Braves would have learned that bringing up an outfielder with promise directly from AA may not work out.

  18. #19 – I hope we dont have to live with corner Of’s who cant get to a .300OBP. Blanco has a line of .219/.296/.281/.577 at AAA. He cant use his speed, he’s got less range than Schafer, and he’s got a crap arm. He’s an upgrade over Anderson, but thats about it.

    hey, Cody Johnson now has 12 hrs on the year

  19. We could always fire Brian Snitker. Not sure what he brings to the table, exactly.

  20. 1. Infante, 2B
    2. Escobar, SS
    3. Chipper, 3B
    4. Anderson, LF
    5. Diaz, RF
    6. Prado, 1B
    7. Ross, C
    8. Schafer, CF
    9. Reyes, LHP

    Oh, hell. Shoot me. No Francoeur is a plus, but asfjlaksdjfklsadjflkdsajfklasdjf

  21. Woof. The sit Jeff which is good. But they also sit McCann and Kotchman. I’d hope to keep at least one of those two in.

  22. Johnny,

    I think you should at least ask for an above-average outfielder for your left nut! :)

    But this is at least as much an organizational problem as a coaching problem. Someone (Bobby? GM?)thought Francouer and Schaefer were ready for the majors even though it is obvious, at least in hindsight, that they had serious flaws in their games and that they were being rushed. Same with some of the pitchers. Also, the types of hitters the Braves like is mystifying–they prefer Garrett Anderson over Adam Dunn, for example.

    I also see a tendency within the team and organization to blame a lot of their problems on bad luck. No doubt the team has had its share of injuries and weird plays happen in the last four years but, while I agree with JC that much of baseball is random, I don’t think an organization can operate on that premise. I think the organization has consistently overestimated how good the team is, starting with JS’s statement about 2006 being nothing more than a “bump in the road.” (In fairness, Wren recognized the serious holes in the offseason and was pretty aggressive in trying to fill them.) Every year, Bobby talks about how it is still early and we will get it together and so forth. Certainly, it is early and panic is not good, but the refusal to see a pattern is maddening; at some point, it isn’t early anymore and, really, it has been four years since they put together a lengthy streak of good baseball. To some extent, this is probably Wren’s fault, but I think the continuing presence of JS and Bobby is retarding the team’s ability to move forward.

  23. Frenchy is 6-31 on the road trip.

    Edit: MORE TELLING, after a 2-5 the first night in Fla, Frenchy has gone a ‘roubust’ 4-26.

  24. Edmonds is still available? Seriously? Why haven’t the Braves given him a call?

  25. “Frenchy is 6-31 on the road trip.”

    But more importantly, with ZERO walks and 1 double, in that stretch. He could have gone 10-31 (and showed a nice batting average), but with very little power (certainly for a corner OF) and no strike-zone judgment, he is a drag on the offense that is very difficult to overcome, even if he were hitting .300.

  26. Good players don’t have year-long slumps like Francoeur’s in 2008. It just doesn’t happen. Last year was the real Francoeur and this year is the real Francoeur. And there’s no amount of time with Rudy Jaramillo that will change that.

  27. Love BR
    MLB average outfielder:
    BA OBP SLG OPS
    .269 .349 .433 .782

    Our guys:
    .258 .342 .424 .766 Diaz
    .220 .361 .339 .700 Schafer
    .261 .277 .388 .665 Stenchy
    .196 .246 .275 .520 ACHE

    EGADS! GROSS! HEINOUS!

    The hell of it is that if just one of those guys can get to league average or close for God’s sake I think that (if the good KJ comes back or Infante doesn’t go pumpkin) the infield hits enough to make us competitive.

    sdp – everyone except the Braves seems to understand that.

  28. Marc,
    I’m an old guy with 4 teenagers. My lefty is only worth a league average outfielder, a LOOGY or a good hands infielder. :)

  29. Now that Francoeur is coming close to the end of the rope, I wonder how much longer the Braves will give ACHE.

    Plus, it boggles the mind that the Braves will give all these chances to these guys when Edmonds is available and should be a shoo-in for a league average OPS.

  30. Stu @23 says: “We could always fire Brian Snitker. Not sure what he brings to the table, exactly.”

    ok Stu, here’s what he brings: 1. Terrible decisions on sending runners (or not sending them) 2. A third base coach that all the players ignore because they don’t trust his judgment.

    I really can’t imagine this team without Snitker.

    (ok, maybe he’s great at giving signs, who knows?)

  31. Now that Francoeur is coming close to the end of the rope, I wonder how much longer the Braves will give ACHE.

    You seem confident that the end of the Francoeur era is nigh; I wish I could muster the same confidence. Seeing your confidence gives me hope, though.

  32. Well, I think if Francoeur keeps hitting like he has for the past 800 PAs, the Braves’ hand will be forced.

    Plus, the Braves are getting close to that 40 game mark where they supposedly do their assessment of what they have.

  33. Snitker has an excellent uneven mustache. That has to bring something to the team.

  34. Schafer got a hit off K-Rod last night, which is no easy feat. He doesn’t deserve the same scrutiny that Frenchy does.

  35. 43 — True… Snitker is good for Mustache May

    I have complete confidence that Stenchy and ACHE will be here all season. ugh.

    38 — that cracked me up

  36. Chipper regarding the call at third last night: “We played a perfect game tonight, and we got it taken from us.”

    Correction: YOU played a perfect game. Gonzales, Francouer, and Moylan played like minor leaguers.

  37. At least he didn’t sit Chipper today. Normally he sits both Chipper and McCann on the same day, which is beyond retarded. However, why would you give Kotchman a day off ever, unless he’s got some sort of nagging injury thing??? Regular position players do not need freaking days off once a week. And Martin Prado does not need into the lineup three times a week. And finally sitting Jeff against a lefthander is just hilarious. I’m not really even mad at that one. And we go through this thing once again where he fails to realize that Kelly Johnson has actually hit lefthanders better than righthanders over his career. Perhaps what he needs to get out of his slump is to play every day. In summary, Bobby’s getaway day lineups are mindbogglingly stupid, and essentially give the opposing team a win.

  38. The book man, the book. The book says you play your right handed lineup against a lefty. No matter if there is statistical evidence your lefty 2b (at least this season) hits fellow south paws better. (sarcasm)

  39. Damn, I thought your video would have featured Ray Stevens. I know Keith Law rubs some people the wrong way, but I think he’s a pretty sharp guy – just read this and shivered:

    Eric (Northampton, PA): What do you make of Jordan Schafer so far? His strikeouts are out on control.

    Keith Law: (12:10 PM ET ) They rushed him, badly, and it’s no surprise to anybody. He’s great defensively, but I think there’s always a chance with a hitter who’s rushed like this that he won’t quite recover at the plate. They rushed Francoeur, and he’s gotten worse every day since 2005.

  40. As painful as it is to write such words, I’d rather see Francoeur instead of the hump called Anderson playing today.

    Law is right about Schafer being rushed, but the “great defensively” is too generous.

    I’m too lazy to look them up but does anyone know Kotchman’s L/R splits?

  41. There were maybe 5 people here who thought starting Schafer at AAA was a good idea. It seems obvious now that he was rushed, but most everyone thought he played his way onto the club.

    I wouldn’t blame Frenchy’s terribleness on his being rushed, either. McCann was rushed, too, and Frenchy’s minor league numbers were probably a little better than his. One’s just a better baseball player.

  42. The line-up today, except for the fact that Chipper is in it, tells me that they don’t want to move to somebody else for the next 5th starter day because this gives a valid reason for JoJo to not break his losing streak… and if you had your best team on the field and he manages to lose again it’s HARD to justify keeping him as your 5th starter.

  43. I’m beginning to like this Niese kid… he’s given up 2 runs to us already and he’s only 15 pitches into the game.

  44. I am increasingly of the opinion that spring training performance should basically be ignored. Good spring training performance, at any rate — a bad performance may represent a problem.

  45. 55–The assessment of Reyes shouldn’t be based on W/L per se–it should be based on how well he pitches. Basing it on losing per se would be silly–it’d get him yanked even for losing a 1-0 game in which he gave up no hits but the run scored on consecutive two base errors by Francoeur and Anderson.

  46. Yes, obviously it’s not going to be on wins alone, but if you’re running out a line-up he can’t expect to give him more than 1-2 runs to work with (and as I type that we’ve already scored twice in the first, so the point may be moot) it still sends a message that he’d better be not-just-good.

  47. This could be a good ball park for Reyes. The ball doesn’t carry very well, and hopefully that will let Joeseph pound the zone with his fastball with confidence

    As I type that Reyes ropes a double. Dang!!!

  48. one hell of a catch by Schafer to end the inning. Those last two were HR’s in Atlanta

  49. I, for one, choose to look on the bright side: Tommy Hanson is coming. And he’s on my Fantasy Baseball bench. Mwuaha.

  50. Poor Francouer. McCann is almost a superstar, while Frenchy is one-step closer to being a platoon major league outfielder, if he’s lucky.

  51. another yunel?
    how do you not score on that?
    (I’m listening, not watching… any help?)

  52. Chino Cadahia listens to Selena? Of course he does. Sure, I can see him putting on a Selena record and doing the Buffalo Bill dance in front of a mirror…can’t you?

  53. There were maybe 5 people here who thought starting Schafer at AAA was a good idea.

    I was one of them, that’s for sure. I think there were more than 5 of us, but I could be wrong.

  54. Before ST I thought for sure he should start in AAA. Needed to work on K’s and hitting lefties.

    After he clearly outplayed everyone in the spring, I understood the move, but still would have preferred to see him in AAA.

  55. #70-71 – Chipper hit a bomb off the wall but it was cutting away from Beltran. Yunel slowed down to make sure it wasnt caught. He probably still could’ve scored but Snitker held him up

  56. Garrett Anderson had never bit lower than .280 for his career…so maybe he will end up being adequate.

  57. I understood (and understand) the temptation to start him in the majors, but I never agreed with doing it.

  58. I voted to let Schafer go to AAA for at least 12 days to delay his free agency a year but then call him up. Which I guess doesn’t qualify as wanting to start him at AAA.

  59. I think three of the wheels were flat to begin with… now we’ve had two of them blowout and we’re trying to not run into the wall.

  60. I’m just glad I had the foresight to sign and start Jo-Jo for my fantasy team this morning.

  61. So now we get Morton for a couple weeks, right? And then Glavine gets an audition, I suppose. If Glavine does work out, will Hanson and Medlen work out of the pen? The back end could use a boost.

  62. Also, I’m happy to see my metaphor take off. Let’s see how far it goes…

    Edit: I think Hanson is ready. I would also like to see some data on moving guys to the pen, and how that affects their development and/or mindset. Right now the Mariners have two nice pitching prospects who prefer to be relievers, and that’s the sort of thing I’d like to see avoided.

  63. Also, that delaying his free agency for a year after 12 days thing is BS, and shouldn’t be allowed, although I’m sure I’m now gonna get a bunch of reasons why it should. In the end though, I really don’t see how you can look at it and not think it’s a chicken shit maneuver.

  64. @28: My thoughts exactly, against a sub-mediocre lefty, after a pretty horrible game, and in a huge ballpark where his arm would likely provide a benefit over Diaz’s on at least one occasion… I get the idea of resting him two days in a row, and Doug Davis is scheduled to pitch in Atlanta on Friday, so perhaps he had no choice… but maybe I’d have sat him against Pelfrey yesterday.

    And Jo-Jo Reyes’ latest stint in the Majors comes to a close…

  65. Buddy Carlyle isn’t exactly pitching himself into Bobby’s good graces with his last couple of outings, either.

  66. Good-bye, Jo-Jo; hello, Brett Cecil!

    Probably the shortest amount of time anyone has ever owned a player in a pay-per-transaction league.

  67. I think the Braves should try Reyes as a LOOGY now. They can send Carlyle or Parr down.

  68. Shouldn’t we have used a better reliever in that situation, then put Carlyle in in the fifth? Just a thought.

  69. As much as I wanted to see JoJo do well since he did so well here in Mississippi and seemed like a good guy; I have to agree with everyone else. Somethings just not there and perhaps he’d be a better reliever than starter. And looks like we need an additional reliever beyond Moylan, Soriano, Gonzales, and the surprising O’Flaerty.

  70. “Shouldn’t we have used a better reliever in that situation, then put Carlyle in in the fifth? Just a thought.”

    Well, when we have to go to our relief this early in the game, and considering who constitutes said ‘relief,’ you’re delaying the inevitable. And by ‘inevitable’ I mean runs scored in prodigious numbers by the opposition.

  71. when does Campillo come back? Im guessing they’ve already told Jo Jo to hit the showers and pack his bags. What is it now? 0 Wins in 20 something straight starts?

    whats sad is that if you’d told me we’d only be down 2 going into the 5th with Jo Jo on the mound I would’ve accepted it

  72. At least Tatis won’t break the record for grand slams in an inning. I was worried for a minute.

  73. @39: Did you see Jim Edmonds in 2007? What about with San Diego in 2008? Edmonds is a white version of Garret Anderson that does have the ability to play RF… other than that he’s just about as big of a gamble as Garret is, and we don’t need two over-the-hill veterans.

    @36: No one goes through year-long slumps as bad as Jeff did in ’08, but there are plenty of examples of great players playing at or below average for full seasons. Kirby Puckett’s first two years in the Majors (at the age of 24 and 25) showed a complete lack of power and a low OBP… If Jeff is 2/3rds of the player of Kirby we’ll be glad we stuck with him.

  74. Here’s hoping Chipper has already hit it the extra 3 feet he needed to get one of the last two balls out of the park (assuming delay in web scoring thing).

  75. Man I was really pulling for Reyes to do something good. And Carlyle? Just a short drive to Gwinnet county guys.

  76. @54: I’d say there were more than 5 who thought starting Schafer in AAA was a good idea, I was one of them. On the other hand, I was also ecstatic that we seemingly got such a good return on the Josh Anderson trade, which led me to have faith in management’s decision to give Schafer the job… that faith was clearly misplaced in this circumstance.

    @57: It really is amazing how wrapped up we can get in Spring Training performance.

    @111: We have a pretty good LOOGY at the moment, and Gonzalez might be working himself back into that category too if he has a few more outings like yesterday.

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    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=308634593&mt=8

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  78. braves14 – I think it would be wise to let him try out the LOOGY role with Gwinnett. I think that’s where he’s headed, but we don’t need to give him a test run with the big club.

    There is a chance it could be Tony Armas instead of Morton, I guess. It might depend on how the rotations work out.

  79. Gadfly, Edmonds at his 2007 level would still be our best outfielder. Plus, that was the only year that he’s had below a 100+ OPS since 1999. Anderson had only 1 of the past 4 years above a 100+ OPS. Not to mention his defense is nowhere near Edmonds’ caliber. This is not a good comparison.

  80. WTF? I come back from lunch and…nevermind.

    Anderson is 3 for 3. That’s a good sign.

  81. The AJC game log is better than the MLB thing.

    Hello Dayton, I have this great lefty starter for you and as a throw in this great spokes person that as a side line plays right field.

    JC cracked me up with the Tigerbeat comment earlier.

  82. #121 – I saw what Edmonds did last year vs RH pitching.

    He hit 19hr’s in 292AB’s

    .250/.326/.521/.883

    521 slg % is better than anything we got right now, he’s better defensively than Anderson, and Bobby wouldnt throw him in the cleanup spot everyday

  83. why is this a day game? the braves are off tomorrow and the mets are hosting SF.

  84. hell nevermind, Anderson is better than Frenchy. release frenchy and sign Edmonds

  85. @132: As I said, defense is the only clear plus for Edmonds over Garret (who by the way is raking today.) Edmonds defense isn’t exactly where we remember it, though.

    I’m not sure it really matters what a 39 year old did when they were 35… they aren’t 35 anymore. But Garret’s last 4 years of OPSes are 97, 94, 114, and 97. Edmonds didn’t start sliding until later, but he slid further and faster, with his last two seasons at 88 and 112… and that 112 came in 111 games of part-time platoon duty. His stats with SD were abysmal, which is probably why he was released. There’s reason to believe that Garret’s could improve the same way that Edmonds did when shifted to a less demanding role.

    Either way, we’ve already got Garret, and we don’t need both. You might convince me that Edmonds would’ve been a better fit, especially because of defensive versatility, but that ship has sailed.

  86. It occurs to me that Fernando Tatis (out of MLB baseball in 2007) is Exhibit “A” in the discussion that ends with Francoeur has to stay in RF because we have no alternatives. At a .650 OPS, there are plenty of better alternatives for an organization bright enough and courageous enough to find them. The Braves don’t tolerate that poor performance by Frenchie because they have to; they tolerate because they want to.

  87. @141: As I said Jim stats last year were almost exclusively against RHP, he’s really not an everyday player anymore, and the Braves needed to make sure they had an everyday player in case Diaz didn’t return to form. (52 PA against LHP last year, and a .441 OPS)

    Here’s another Edmonds split from last year:

    @Wrigley: .242/.354/.617
    Away from Wrigley: .232/.335/.405

    His power appears to be ballpark specific, and would likely not show up in Turner Field.

  88. I will say I was wrong about O’Flaherty during the off season.

    I wasn’t so down on the Ross signing, but I have been pleasantly surprised by him, too. I probably would have settled for Sammons and would have been wrong.

  89. @154: Last year was awful, we all understand that. Great players don’t usually have awful years like that, but Jeff doesn’t have to be great to be a very useful piece to this club.

    Just like I wasn’t in here crowing about Jeff’s .916 OPS ten games into the season, or his .856 OPS a mere three weeks ago, or even his .760 OPS ten days ago (!) it is way too early to base any judgments on one or two volatile stats.

    Also, even with a couple down weeks, Jeff’s run production still remains above average. He’s knocked in 19 of 98 runners on base, whereas the average player with 136 PA has knocked in 16 of 88. That works out to 19.4% for Jeff, and 18.2% for the average player.

  90. Garrett had a couple of fat pitches to hit there, though they were thrown hard.

    I’ll take that result, though.

  91. Maybe Garret finally found the Garret that showed up with the Angels last May:

    .343/.374/.500… we could sure use that Garret!

  92. “Volatile stats”? You mean stats that steadily decline when a crap player has a hot start? (see Bonifacio, Emilio). And you realize that with every additional AB.oh, never mind…

  93. @162: Well, you’re wrong. That’s just what it is. Jeff clearly has the physical capacity to succeed at this level (see: 2005, 2007.) Based on what I’ve seen this year, it appears he got some good coaching over the offseason, which allowed him to start off the year on a torrid pace… his coaching since has been suspect, as he clearly hasn’t been able to continue to adjust. I love TP, but he just doesn’t appear to be a good hitting coach.

    @161: Yeah, I agree, it is pretty hilarious how useless a volatile stat like OPS is this early in the season. Have you seen BJ Upton’s!?! .482? He clearly doesn’t have what it takes, the Rays should release him. What about Adam Lind? .960! Obvious future Hall of Famer.

  94. @166 – Dude don’t bother. Gadfly has had a heaping helping of the Frenchy koolaid. Above average run production. I’m convinced.

  95. Jeff has posted a sub .300 OBP twice in 4 years and its about to be 3 times in 5 years. He has no power and no range now. He’s not even close to being even an average MLB ball player. I was fine with him when he was making $350,000 per year, but he actually believed he should get $4 mil this offseason. He doesnt come anywhere close to that in production. He needs to go

  96. how’d we get reyes at 3rd

    Castillo grounded it to Escobar in the hole, who didn’t have a shot at Castillo at 1b but cut down Reyes who was trying to take 3b.

  97. Think the Rays would trade us Upton for Francoeur?

    Too bad Gadfly’s not their GM.

  98. I can’t see it but it seems like we are playing some good ball.

    Can Ross or McCann play Right Field?

  99. unbelievable, prado ropes a double and then Bobby gives away an out. Keep the pressure on and dont give away outs stupid

  100. What is it with bunts and this team?

    Holy crap! Can we give away more outs, please?

    Get! The! Runner! Over!

  101. WTF. Surely we can afford to give away another out since we have this insurmountable 1 run lead.

  102. seriously… lead off double and we bunt.

    way to make it happen, kj

    and now moylan is going to bat. ok. no need to get that insurance run…

  103. Johnson replaces Schafer? Who the hell is going to man centerfield now…..I swear, Bobby needs to get his head checked. Better yet, could we have TP manage the games, and Bobby could just handle the clubhouse stuff.

    And did no one else think it was messed up that he pinch-hit Kotchman and then kept Prado in the game over Kotchman? Now we have McCann left on the bench, and a good chance we’re heading into extra innings. Oh wait, I forgot, Bobby’s been overusing Gonzalez, so we will probably have Parr come in next. No need for extra innings, my bad. And we wonder why we haven’t sniffed the playoffs the last three years….

    Just saw that Bobby had to trot Moylan up to hit for himself, because he’d already used up his bench. Crap like this just pisses me off. What a waste of a lead-off double. Horseshit.

    Well, I missed KJ hitting the double to get us the lead — still doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got zilch coming out of the bullpen right now to hold our lead. So I STILL say horseshit.

  104. @186 I was thinking more along the lines of better than Francouer.

    Lets score some more!

  105. (no I don’t think it’s offensively beneficial for Moylan to hit… I just find it fun when relievers have to hit… though it looks like Moylan is having a reasonable at bat).

  106. ha, we are in the biggest outfield in the majors and we’ve got Anderson, infante, and Frenchy out there

  107. Moylan hits to pitch the 8th then bring in your closer tm (Sorry don’t know how to do the trademark thing.) Cause thats what the book says to do.

  108. @166: Damn, I knew I was forgetting the perfect test case… Bonifacio is a prime example, though his descent was much steeper than Jeff’s and has levelled off at a sub-par level.

    OPS this early in the season is highly volatile. If Jeff has another 11 game stretch like he did from Apr 12th-24th (which wasn’t exactly a torrid pace) his OPS would jump almost 90 points! 90 points in 44 PA, that’s pretty damn volatile, which is why if that happens you won’t find me in here saying that his .746 OPS clearly shows that he’s an above average Major League outfielder… it still won’t be enough to base judgment on, less than two months into the season.

  109. SORIANO IN NOW?!?!?! AFTER MOYLAN HIT!?!?!

    Does Bobby have money on the Mets?

  110. 194, re: Kotchman/Prado:

    It didn’t make a lot of sense to pinch-hit Kotchman there. You couldn’t really double-switch, because Prado was right behind him, unless Kotchman got on base and Prado was able to bat. I would have hit KJ there, personally.

    As it is, now we’re stuck with Prado at first and Infante in center—that’s a lot of bad/out-of-position defense to have to overcome.

  111. How can anyone defend this move by Bobby?

    Please someone ask him in the post game!

  112. Look at the bright side. If Infante makes an unbelievable catch in center maybe they’ll start playing him in right field from here on.

  113. exactly why you cant afford to give away two outs in the 8th, we do this all the time and get the same result

  114. Bobby was planning for the inevitable extra innings. He needed McCann to be able to hit in extras after we give up the lead here. You arm chair managers crack me up. You can’t possibly fathom all the thinking that Cox puts into this game for us.

  115. @172: “Jeff has posted a sub .300 OBP twice in 4 years and its about to be 3 times in 5 years. He has no power and no range now. He’s not even close to being even an average MLB ball player. I was fine with him when he was making $350,000 per year, but he actually believed he should get $4 mil this offseason.”

    About to be 3 in 5? Do you own a calendar? There should be one on your computer… it’s MAY! It’s not even the middle of MAY! No one is “about” to post any sort of a season-long rate statistic, because 4/5ths of the season hasn’t been played. Assuming he gets the same number of PA he had last year, Jeff would need to get on base in 157 of 511 PA to post an OBP above .300… that’s a .307 OBP. If he posts a .337 OBP in the next 511 PA, which is what he’s done in the other two years of his career, his final OBP would post at .324, which with a decent SLUG is respectable.

  116. Gee… funny THEIR closer can pitch day after day after day. We need their conditioning coach. Our pitchers get tired after being used more than two days straight.

  117. The only bad thing about that double was that it took the bat out of Chipper’s hands. It’s up to Garret the Glide to save us…

  118. This is going to be the essential Braves loss. It has everything: Bobby’s management, Yunel’s bad baserunning, bad defense, bad bunting.

  119. Hey Johnny, in Soriano’s case it didn’t even take surgery. The only guy Cox will use every day is Bennett… for whatever reason.

  120. @177: Since we’re apparently ignoring everything that happened before 2008, BJ Upton for Francoeur doesn’t sound too outlandish. BJ’s OPS+ since 2008 is only 94… if he keeps up his current pace this year, he could be in Francoeur territory soon.

    By the way, does anyone know how Melvin Emanuel Upton got the name B.J.?

    Remember there are young ears around here…

  121. “Yunel is great. There I said it.

    LOL.”

    Thank God for the edit feature. You have no proof I ever uttered those words.

  122. sure wish we could give Chipper some protection. The Mets are just taking the bat out of his hands.

  123. the only question now is will the bullpen put us out of our misery quickly, or make us suffer through extra innings.

  124. @239: This is K-Rod’s second straight day… we’ve gotten three straight out of Soriano already this year. I’m hoping Francisco can’t go 2 today though… that’s assuming we get through this next half inning.

  125. If we were Snitkered, he should be fired before the bus pulls away from Citi Field.

    Parr’s in. Game over.

  126. Superfly, to quote Bob Dylan, no one needs a calendar to know which way the OBP goes.
    So which team is it that would claim Francouer and his 3.375 million salary off waivers?
    Crickets?

  127. Now Bobby can make Parr the scapegoat and say “Aw, shucks, what bad luck” after the game.

  128. By the way, Moylan did used to bat cleanup back in Australia… but the proper way to treat that was to double switch and put Francoeur in the 9th hole when he came in. I’m not sure I would’ve pinch hit for Diaz to begin with though.

  129. I’m predicting a base hit to RF, booted by Francoeur, winning run scores.

  130. “rehabreject Says:

    I’m predicting a base hit to RF, booted by Francoeur, winning run scores.”

    That’s funny…

  131. @274: Ahh, okay, that does sound vaguely familiar… I guess we’ve got a Chipper at third, so we shouldn’t be too picky.

    @277: I bet you there’s at least 3 teams that would claim Francoeur in an instant… I’m too lazy to come up with the list now, but I’d bet the Royals are on it.

  132. Thanks Stu… I stand corrected. I’m just frustrated that our bullpen has to take its turn being the weakest link this week. Two blown saves in two games from our best arms.

    I miss the days of Smoltz and the auto save feature. I watch guys like Lidge and now K-Rod nail us down like lumber every time they get a save opportunity (we only hit Lidge in non-save situations).

    I know Cox doesn’t have many options out there… I sure don’t want to see Parr on a more frequent basis. I just wish these guys could get over the hump and win more of these close games.

  133. I hope gadfly sticks around to tell us how much he misses Francoeur in every game thread after he gets punted to the Royals.

  134. @283

    KC, Nats would take him. that’s about it.

    I think powder blue would look GREAT on him

  135. @281: You mean the Francoeur that hasn’t made an error all season? You guys are almost as bad as the suits who call Jeff great when he strings together a few 1 for 4s.

    Jeff isn’t great, and he doesn’t suck… you guys do realize there is actually room between extremes, right?

  136. It’s always bad luck. Under the Bobby Cox scenario, the universe is against the Braves. Jo Jo Reyes is THIIIS close to being the next incarnation of Steve Carlton–it’s just those pesky runs that he keeps giving up, all because of bad luck.

    C’mon Gadfly, Frenchy is a lousy ballplayer, pure and simple. How much does it take to prove he is a lousy ballplayer and has always been a lousy ballplayer.

  137. We’ve got protection for Chipper. His name is Brian McCann. Unfortunately, ACHE is the one batting behind Chipper. What a load of shit.

  138. So, if the go-ahead runner gets into scoring position for Parr’s spot, will Bobby hit McCann or Parr?

  139. No way would the Nats take Francouer. They have a much better version on the bench. And the Royals would never take on his salary, because as bad as David DeJesus might be, Francouer at 3 million offers no value as an upgrade, especially when they’ve got other guys they can give ABs to.

  140. How much will you bet that after the Braves lose, Bobby will say, “this was a really good road trip, 5-3, just a little bad luck those last two games or it could have been great.” If he does, someone should throw a pie in his face.

  141. homer by Beltran to end this?

    edit–bringing in Bennett is waving the white flag for sure

  142. Parr in the ninth, two first-pitch swings to close out the 10th … they don’t want to win this game; they merely want to go home.

  143. Folks — we aren’t trading Jeffy any time soon. Nobody would take him and we don’t have anything better ready to go.

  144. no way this team can overcome the abundance of ingnorant moves today and Jo Jo’s garbage performance. At least that should be his last outing, too bad Bobby will be around forever.

    We dont use McCann when we have a runner in scoring position with one out, but we’ll use him an inning later with two outs and Kelly at 1st. Good thing Moylan hit for himself

  145. @296: Marc, Frenchy played lousy last year… he’s starting to look lousy in a different way over the last couple weeks. He also played GREAT in ’05, average in ’06, and above average in ’07 (or average if you have no imagination and rely solely on OPS to determine a player’s ability,) and average over the first month of ’09.

    Jeff is a very complicated player with plenty of athletic ability and just as much mental and emotional instability. If he ever gets it he’s capable of putting up numbers that no one in our current outfield could match (Schafer could match his OPS, but not his SLUG% if he overcomes his needed adjustments. Diaz could possibly match it in bursts, but probably not consistently.)

    It isn’t as simple as saying he’s “The Natural” or saying he “sucks” or is “lousy” because he’s capable of being each on back to back days. If the Braves can’t get Francoeur turned around someone else will, because that level of raw physical talent will always find a few believers, and when the situation is right, if it ever is, Jeff will pay dividends for them.

  146. OK, I vote to ban Gadfly. I’m sick of his garbage.

    PS — I acknowledge that this isn’t a democracy when I cast my vote.

  147. Is Bennett getting squeezed? K-Zone shows the first two “balls” well over the plate.

  148. Jeff is a very complicated player

    Oh man, line of the season. Buddy, you missed your true calling…

    ” rel=”nofollow”>Spokesman

  149. @314: I really can’t understand that move either. I understand letting Moylan bat if you’re gonna let him start the next inning, or if you would do the same thing with a runner on 1st and two outs and a pitcher who should be able to go another inning or two, like Parr. Definitely one of the most interestingly managed games I’ve watched in a while.

  150. so chances of getting rid of Bennett and Reyes in one game are becoming more and more likely

  151. Hey-o! Would you look at that, Bennett gets through the heart of the order unscathed.

  152. Unless we get a lead, we’re stuck with Bennett. We don’t even have any position players left. I guess Kawakami could pitch if needed.

  153. How fortunate the Braves are to be flying out of La Guardia, otherwise they would not get out of NY until about 9pm.

  154. “Jeff is a very complicated player”

    Gadfly, compared to Jeffy, earthworms are complicated.

  155. @317: What is it that you call garbage? Is this not a place where people can express opinions? Are we just supposed to distill every emotion down to an exaggeration and spout them off like one-liners?

    Are you really so insecure that you can’t stand the existance of a differing opinion? Or did I say something that offended you? I promise that has never been my intent here, so if I have, please let me know how.

  156. Okay, Esco. DON’T STEAL SECOND. When they walk Chipper, DON’T RUN FOR THIRD UNLESS THE BALL IS ON THE GROUND OR WAAAAAY OVER AN OUTFIELDER’S HEAD.

  157. Jeff Francoeur is definitely NOT a complicated player….are you saying that the other 11-12 guys in the field don’t have to deal with emotional issues when they are batting/fielding? It’s really simple — Jeffy has a swing as long as the day, and if you’re going to have that as your MO, then you have to be a great guess hitter. He’s already proven over the past four years that he’s not. Go back to the Hardball Times analysis on his swing, because no amount of stats you trot out is going to disprove the visual evidence.

    You’re a Francoeur apologist way past a fault, Gadfly.

  158. tomorrow’s an off day but–assuming Reyes is sent out–I wonder if a reliever will be called up given all the innings on the pen over the past few days–if so, we might get the return of Acosta

  159. Does that mean that if you cut Jeffy in half, you’d get two bad players?

    Not if you did it lengthwise. That doesn’t even work with earthworms.

  160. We could cut it in half and have two bad threads if you like.

  161. @331: Wow, now that’s analysis… it makes absolutely no sense, but it is analysis.

    A guy who’s first ten games produce a .916 OPS, next ten .528, and the ten after that .731… that looks somewhat complicated to me. Just my opinion though, you’re more than welcome to live in your own reality.

  162. Don’t cut him in half lengthwise. That would damage his butt. Got to keep that beauty intact.

  163. When was the last time we won a game started by Jo-Jo Reyes? I know he personally hasn’t won a start in almost a year and can’t remember a time the team has rallied after he left. The Braves optimism that he’s going to pull it together is almost like watching someone water a dead tree.

    Sigh.

    I want to be optimistic about this game but Bennett scares the crap out of me, and we’re in extras… which usually doesn’t turn out so well.

  164. A guy who’s first ten games produce a .916 OPS, next ten .528, and the ten after that .731… that looks somewhat complicated to me.

    Are you saying everybody else has little deviation in their stat line? Actually, never mind.

  165. Francoeur: 2 ABs, 2 pitches, 2 outs.

    I do like his new approach. It minimizes my suffering.

  166. I long for the days when the four most often-heard words on Braves broadcasts were “Andy Griffith up next.” I’ll take those over “Francoeur first pitch swinging.”

    EDIT: Prado!

  167. These two mangers make some of the weirdest decisions, Manuel gets beat up good on sportstalk radio up here.
    HOMER! Magic Martin.
    10 more runs i feel comfortable.

  168. 347 — I hope so. First, it’s always fun when position players pitch. It would be doubly fun in a game that’s tied/close. Second, last year I suggested Jeffy could be the intimidator pen arm that hits people.

    And now Prado goes deep. Probably no position players pitching.

  169. @336: I’m not saying Jeff is necessarily any more complicated than the other “11-12 players” just that it isn’t as black and white as the bulk of commenters here or the mouthpieces with the AJC or Braves organization make it sound… very few things are.

    Jeff is in a different situation than most though… unless I’m mistaken he’s the only one that was hailed as “The Natural” by SI when he was 21. He’s also the only one who played 155 games and posted an OPS+ of 72, but still gets facetime as the “future of the franchise.”

    You’re right that his swing needs improvement, and his approach needs constant adjustments, but he has proven he CAN be a Major League player if he gets into the right mindset (see: 2005 and 2007.) If you deny that 2005-2007 showed a Major League capable talent, from a 21-23 year old, then we just simply understand this game differently.

  170. There you go Kenshin

    Nevermind. Gameday originally said “In Play No Outs” making me think he got a hit.

    Who’s coming in to pitch?

  171. Well I for one hope you never get banned, Gadfly. I never tire of your absolutely Nadia-esque feats of mental gymnastics. I’ve noticed you are starting to end your statements by begging the question, i.e. “we just simply understand this game differently.” You never needed wriggle room before man, stay strong!

  172. Now its a question of how many runs do we allow?

    Cox at his best burning Kawakami for a strikeout.

  173. I was thinking the only that Beltran does not tie this game up is if he hits a homerun.

  174. Gadfly, I’m not ignoring the fact that JF did what he did in 05-07. Ahhh, why do I even bother?

    The book on Francoeur is one sentence long: pitch him away.

    It may have taken 100% of the league to figure that out and stay consistent with their approach over the course of 05-07, but last year showed that they had. And Jeffy has shown he doesn’t have the aptitude to properly adjust. Whatever magic he had back in 2005 is gone. And yes, there are plenty of other examples of players that flourished at age 21 (Griffey Jr., A-Rod) while dealing with a lot of high expectations, so that’s just a poor cop-out. Almost four years ago, for crying out loud.

  175. @348: There are players that don’t have that much variation, Ted Williams comes to mind… I could’ve used seasons too. 2005 great! 2006 average. 2007 above average. 2008 disgusting. 2009 good, followed by awful, followed by a little below average.

    Again though, I wasn’t saying Jeff is the only complicated player that ever existed, only that he is capable of being both great and disgustingly bad, which seems complicated to me.

    NOW: C’mon Mike!!!

  176. WOW! Gutsy performance by Gonzo! Getting through those three hitters after a leadoff double? Badass.

  177. Now that showed some guts. Get-out-of-town game, heading home, and the guys pull it out in extra innings. Nice.

  178. 6-2 road trip

    we get a win on a Reyes start, win a one run game on the road in NY in xtras, and overcome Bobby’s horrible managing

    i dont know what to say or think

    Prado!!

  179. Great Win and great roadtrip for the Braves! This team is showing great heart, now bring up one of the Gwinnett boys to fill out the rotation and play Prado everyday!!

  180. You know, Jeffy is remarkably consistent in one category, in fact in the top ten for every full season he’s played…

    Outs Made:
    2006 NL–507–3rd
    2007 NL–477–10th
    2008 NL–479–6th
    2009 NL–109–1st

  181. Oh my goodness. JF’s OPS+ in 2006 was 87 (where 100 is the average of all MLB hitters). 2007 was 103. His history is as follows:

    2005, great in a short period.
    2006 awful (he cost us the division that year by making so many outs);
    2007 average;
    2008 epically bad (maybe among the worst 10 seasons by an outfielder with at least 502 plate appearances in the last 20 years); and
    2009, more of 2008.
    Coming into today, his career OPS+ (which includes his great call-up year) is 91. Do you know what you do with RF’s with that record? You cut them. Fernando Tatis, who got so bad he was out of baseball for a year, has a 102 career OPS+.

  182. bfan, you have no imagination and rely solely on OPS to determine a player’s ability.

  183. The Bullpen pitched 9 innings today and gave up 2 runs; that was a very, very good performance.

  184. Four promising signs:

    Garrett seems to be rounding into form, after all he is a .296 career hitter.

    McCann is back.

    Jurrens is spectacular

    And Lowe showed he can go toe to toe with the other team’s ace.

  185. OH MY GOD! A one-run win in extra innings on the road. I am terrified that the apocalypse is upon us. Run for your lives!

  186. @388: Since we finally won, I’ve got to get outta here quick… but look at Jeff’s 2008 Sept-Oct splits: .286/.333/.418… not amazingly good, but average, and it shows an ability to adjust to what the league got him out with all summer long. Also, note the first two weeks of this season, again showing that he can adjust, and even after the bad 10 games stretch I quoted earlier he put up another average stretch.

    If Jeff puts up numbers even close to as bad as last season’s I’ll be the first to say he needs to move on… but we haven’t seen enough, in my opinion, to decide whether or not ’08 was an anomaly and Jeff’s ’05-’07 progression will continue.

  187. @411: Again, I gotta get out of here, but this was too absurd to go uncontested.

    As I’ve said ’08 was awful, unapologetically awful. If that is what Francoeur will continue to do he’ll never last in the big leagues.

    However, from ’05-’07 Jeff’s career OPS+ was 100, the definition of average. While there is an argument to be made that you should expect more from a corner outfielder, there is also an argument that you shouldn’t necessarily expect as much from a 21-23 year old… also if you look at median level starting outfielders the median OPS is within a point or three of 100. This also doesn’t take into account defense, which from ’05-’07 was a clear and strong positive to Jeff’s game. If Jeff returns to this progression he’s clearly worth keeping around until we have someone else who has proven they can do better.

    I was disappointed with Jeff’s production in 2006, despite the power numbers that earned him so much attention, but to say he cost us the playoffs is just silly.

    In 2006 the average player with 686 PA should’ve seen 432 runners on base in his PAs, and should’ve knocked in 82 of them. Jeff had 686 PA, saw 448 runners on base, 16 more than average, and knocked in 103 of them, 21 more than average (those extra runners on base were about evenly split between 1st and 2nd base.) As a percentage the average batter would’ve knocked in 19%, Jeff knocked in 23%. He produced runs at well above average despite his propensity to create outs. (All these numbers are on his Baseball Reference Game Logs page for further reference.)

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