Giants 4, Braves 0

Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants – Box Score – May 26, 2009 – ESPN

Kris Medlen had another inning he’d just as soon forget, this time the second, but otherwise pitched well. It didn’t matter much, because the Braves were shut down by Tim Lincecum.

Medlen gave up four hits, two singles and two doubles, and walked the pitcher in the second inning. He was great the rest of the time, allowing just a walk. Maybe he has problems from the stretch or something. At any rate, he showed promise, he was just out of his class this time.

Lincecum, unsurprisingly, was outstanding, allowing five hits, not walking anyone, and striking out eight in eight innings. Chipper was back in the lineup and doubled in the first inning; it was the Braves’ only extra-base hit. They got singles from ACHE, Francoeur, Hernandez, and Schafer. Their best chance to score was in the seventh, when Francoeur and Hernandez singled back-to-back, but Schafer and the pinch-hitter Norton couldn’t get it done.

95 thoughts on “Giants 4, Braves 0”

  1. Going back to the previous thread: I don’t have a lot of angst about this one: with Lincecum on the mound, it was a good game for Medlen to pitch. The Braves probably were not going to win anyway.

    Also, Medlen showed some improvement…

  2. I was impressed with Medlen after that inning. If that was Jo Jo he probably wouldnt have gotten through the 3rd. Medlen settled down and could’ve gone longer. He retired his last 11 batters and was only at 85 pitches when Bobby got him

  3. Medlen left a lot of balls up in the zone. I think a better line-up in a smaller park would have destroyed him.

    My roommate is a Giants fan. When I woke up this morning, I found my Braves hat hanging from the broom in the hallway. I don’t think I can stand being swept by the Giants.

  4. Frenchy’s single was a nice piece of hitting, but everything else looked like a good swing but barely got halfway to the warning track. He’s really struggling with his power stroke.

    I can’t believe that Anderson still hasn’t hit a homer. I didn’t like the signing all that much at the time, but I at least thought he’d hit 10.

  5. Although it’s not necessary to pile on Francoeur at this point, honesty compels me to report that Lincecum had him struck out on that AB & didn’t get the call.

    It began as a typical Frenchy AB. Down 1-2 in the count, he got a sharp breaking curve in the dirt & didn’t go for it. At 2-2, Lincecum put a perfect heater thigh high on the outside corner. The ump flinched a little but didn’t give it to him. I think even Frenchy was surprised.

    At 3-2, Frenchy dunked one into right-center, a textbook Texas Leaguer.

  6. If Anderson doesn’t start hitting for power soon, you cannot justify his spot on the roster, whether or not he’s Kotchman’s buddy.

  7. “If Anderson doesn’t start hitting for power soon, you cannot justify his spot on the roster…”

    why not? We specialize in non-power hitting, non-walking .260 hitters at corner OF positions.

  8. @8 So ‘you’ in that case would mean a rational, thinking individual, as opposed to, say, Frank Wren and his merry band of anemic outfielders.

  9. I saw that too sdp, though nobody seems to say who we’d get in return (yes I know, bucket of balls would be good, blah blah, we still need an RF to trot out there… or would we just be improving by subtraction and not getting another bat?)

  10. I am guessing frenchie to the RS is a salary dump, plain and simple (we would take a lower-level (high A or below) prospect), and leave us some money to go buy a real RF.

  11. I would give Franceur up for Delcarmen any day. (BoSox offered Delcarmen for Nick Johnson or so the rumors went the other day.)

    Then we could pawn Gonzo off for a bat and let Soriano close.

    Just a thought that popped in my head, I have no clue what the Sox would give up or who would want Gonzo.

  12. The problem Wren has, I think, is to decide how far to go in trying to upgrade the team this year at the expense of next year. It’s easy to say they need to get an outfielder; Wren obviously realizes that and apparently is trying to do so. But, how much do you want to give up, especially if it’s not clear that what is available will make enough of a difference? I’m not saying Wren shouldn’t make a move and I suspect he will, but it’s a double-edged sword, especially after the Teixera fiasco.

    But I think that dumping Francouer would be addition by subtraction even if, as some say, there are no better options. I think he is becoming a distraction. To me, his lack of power is even a bigger problem than his lack of walks; at least if he was hitting some home runs, there would be some positives, but who needs a singles-hitting right fielder with little speed and a low OBP? It would be ok if it was Tony Gwynn hitting .380 but .260 isn’t going to cut it.

    And, btw, wouldn’t it be nice if the Braves still had Sheffield? With all the talk about his attitude and inability to hit in the playoffs and so forth, he is still a million times better than Jeff Francouer ever will be. It’s depressing to think that Braves right fielders have included Hank Aaron, David Justice, Gary Sheffield, J.D. Drew … and Jeff Francouer.

    As for the Red Sox, they turned down Nick Johnson for Delcarmen; they aren’t going to take Francouer for him . . . unless Frank Wren has some very incriminating pictures of Theo.

  13. Maybe someone like Bubba Bell who appears a little old for Double AA especially considering the Triple AAA team has 8 outfielders and the youngest is 25. The rest range from Kotsay to 29, 29, 28, 28, and 26.

    Probably wouldn’t be ready this year but could fill in next year after a different trade for an expiring deal.

  14. Frenchie for delcarmen would work for me, too, but I cannot imagine a RF who in 2008 posted one of the worst 20 years for a corner OF in the last 20 years, and then followed it up with a worse year through 45 games, who doesn’t appear to see the minors as a potential fix for him, is going to fetch much value.

  15. I would give Franceur up for Delcarmen any day. (BoSox offered Delcarmen for Nick Johnson or so the rumors went the other day.)

    The Nats proposed that trade and the Sox shot it down. Also, Stenchy is nowhere near as good as Johnson, even taking Johnson’s injury history into accout. There is no way we could get anything close to as valuable as Delcarmen, from the Sox or anyone else, for Francoeur.

  16. I can’t imagine why any team would actually want Francoeur, but if Boston really has interest Wren should move quickly to give them Jeff for whatever they’re willing to part with. At worst the Braves could then call up Brandon Jones to play RF. He can’t be any worse than Jeff can he? And even if he is, there’s still plenty of time to find somebody better. The important thing is to be rid of Francoeur to break the self-imposed mental block the Braves have created about improving the outfield. Once the inertia is broken they can then send Schafer back to AAA and release Anderson then begin the process of finding a productive outfielder or two.

  17. He can’t be any worse than Jeff can he?

    No, I really don’t think so. I’m not sure there’s a starting AAA outfielder in baseball who would be any worse than Stenchy has been since the beginning of last year.

  18. I think our 2 choices are:

    frenchie in a salary dump for a low-grade prospect, and then Holliday for 2 very good young prospects not named Hanson; Hayward; or Freeman, and take two good draft choices when Holliday walks (replacing hopefully the 2 prospects you gave for him). This one costs money (roughly 7 million in 2/3 the difference between frenchie’s salary and holliday’s)and has a risk that you don’t draft well with the 2 new choices; or

    find a career AAA hitter with moderate fielding skills that just never got a chance for some reason (jack Cust types-someone found a bunch yesterday, just looking at AAA stats).

  19. You’d also have to factor in the signing bonuses of the two prospects we’d get for Holliday, if that trade was made. Probably another 1-2 million for compensation pick bonuses?

  20. Minus the ticket/concessions sales generated by the enthusiasm of playing with an actual MLB outfielder this year.. perhaps leading to a pennant chase $$$

  21. Also, if you trade for Holliday you will have to assume it is ONE draft pick as they will be 15 or below and will not lose their first roudn pick.

  22. And, I REALLY would rather have Willingham or Swisher than Holliday. After you take out the Coors effect, he is very expensive for a slightly above average outfielder who really can’t play effectively anywhere other than left. Swisher can play center passably, right well.

    With Nady coming off DL soon, maybe the Yanks would do Swisher for Soriano. No money difference. they get a good proven bullpen arm.

  23. Didn’t Leo have success with Cabrera in taking him from awful to o.k.? I think after that, Cabrera has had some injuries and can’t bring the hihg 90’s stuff anymore (like from 97 down to 91).

    HOWEVER, wouldn’t it make sense for somebody (probably not Braves as we have pitching) to hire Leo and Cabrera on a package deal to work together and see if Cabrera can be straightened out?

  24. “Also, if you trade for Holliday you will have to assume it is ONE draft pick as they will be 15 or below and will not lose their first roudn pick.”

    I am lost on this one; I thought if Holliday is a type “A” free agent, we get 2 picks if we offer arbitration and he declines. We get a sandwich pick between the 1st and 2nd round no matter what, and we either get a 1st round pick (if the team signing him is picking in the second half of the first round) or a second round pick. Either way, we are getting 2 very high picks; the question is how high.

  25. My guess is the Red Sox are offering VERY LOW prospect and they take Francoeur’s contract. IF that is really on the table, Wren either has to take it or send Francoeur down. He is a home town Gwinnett boy, so maybe he will help attendance at Gwinnett?

    RIGHT NOW Brandon Jones in right equals or exceeds Frenchy.

    A lot of people have commented on how long since this organization developed a starting pitcher. However, how long since a credible starting outfielder? Andruw Jones in 1996? I guess Braves can get credit for Jermaine Dye, but that was years ago. Who else? Is Francoeur the highest generator of win shares at ML level since Dye that started minor leagues in the outfield with the Braves?

  26. We should be able to get Jeff Bailey from the Red Sox for Frenchy and he should be better than anything we have. He’s 30, but hit 25 hrs with a .967 OPS and a .301 BA, and was IL MVP at Pawtuckett in 2008. He’s stinking up the place so far this year with the big club (in just 65 ABs), but his OPS is still .696 compared to Franswa’s .643.

    He’s definitely not our only answer, but I think he’s about the best we can expect to get for Francoeur at this point. Getting Bailey for Francoeur, then releasing Anderson and trading from pitching depth (not Hanson) with the Indians for Shin-Soo Choo would be a major upgrade to our OF.

  27. 28,

    We just did this when we signed Lowe. Dodgers got only a supplemental pick. Braves still have no. 7 for this year.

    The bottom 15 picks are “protected.”

  28. Cliff,
    When the team picks in the top 15, it loses its 2nd-rounder. The Dodgers received the Braves’ 2nd-round pick this year, in addition to the supplemental pick.

  29. From the link @23
    “You have to put your best 25 players on the roster that are giving you a chance to win,” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “I look beyond the contract and look at the execution and performance of the player, and it wasn’t up to par. I was tired of watching him.”

    What a novel concept! Frank you out there?

    If what that Edes guy says is true just dump Frenchy on the Sox for anybody with a pulse. No sense getting greedy when your trade chit is a corner outfielder that can’t hit, can’t hit with power, can’t get on base, and can’t field. So he can throw which makes him a one tool player.

    I don’t see us getting another bat anytime soon. Too soon. Not enough desperate sellers out there. Wren is right to wait.

    For God’s sake Bobby play Diaz in RF and just let the chips fall where they may. If you are trying to build up Frenchy’s trade value I don’t get it. Only Gadfly could see any hope with this guy and he is on some strong crack.

  30. “I was tired of watching him.”

    Classic line by the GM there.

    As I said, it is 2 picks, for an “A” free agent. The one from the other team is either the last half of the first round or the first half of the second round. It is obviously bad luck in the 15th worst team signs him, as you are middle of the 2nd round…that is the worst you do. You always get the sandwich pick.

  31. @3 – The pressbox at Rickwood is named for my brother, who was the Executive Director of the Friends of Rickwood. He worked very hard to get the field renovated, and get “Cobb” filmed there.

  32. @33 – If we play Diaz in RF, that lets Bobby keep Anderson in left. At this point in his career, Anderson’s not much better than Francoeur and his defense is atrocious. Trade Frenchy (for Jeff Bailey), let Diaz play right and put Bailey in left until another trade is made.

  33. someone over in ajc posted this… Jerome talking to bobby after the game

    Jerome J.– So, what about the offense, if you don’t mind me asking sir?

    Bobby– “They hit some balls hard, especially Chipper in that one at bat, but you won’t get mant off that kid over there. Can’t forget about Frenchy’s opposite field thing of beauty hit tonight.”

    Jerome J.– Do you think maybe, not trying to stir you up sir, but do you think maybe McCann should’ve stayed back on that throw from Schafer in center and…(interupted)

    Bobby Cox– “NO, Mac got the ball knocked out of his by a terrific slide from Rowand! Mac’s fine!”

    Jerome– Bobby, how do you attack Randy Johnson tomorrow?

    Bobby Cox– “Well, if they can all have the same appraoch as Frenchy had in his last at bat against Lincecum, we’ll win easily. Frenchy looks terrific….he’ll be fine.”

    now talking with Frenchy….

    Jerome J.– Jeff, is there a way you can descibe that at bat you had against Lincecum in your final at bat?

    JF– “Just tried to stay inside the pitch and take it the other way, and it worked out well. Look, it’s early in the season and we’re playing very good baseball, so we’re not worried about losing a few games. It happens sometimes.”

    Jerome J.– Are any of the trade rumors swirling around you make it hard to produce when you’re out there?

    JF– “It doesn’t faze me a bit cause I know that they know for sure they won’t get squat outta me anyways, so I have a home right here with the Braves!”

    Jerome J.– Spoken like a guy with the heart of a lion! You heard it here from the man himself…. now back up to you guys in the studio.

    Im not sure if this is correct or not, but its interesting at least. I dont think Im buying it

  34. The Braves are better off giving away Frenchy. My main fear is that another team would require a prospect in exchange for taking his worthless self. The big plus on getting rid of Frenchy is that it would make much more obvious the fact that the Braves don’t have a right fielder. The first step in finding a solution is accepting that you have a problem. The Braves management are just now starting to accept that they have a non-self-correcting-problem, it seems.

  35. Meanwhile, can’t we play Ganderson Left and Diaz Right against righties and Diaz Left and Frenchy right against lefties? That adds 150 points of OPS to one lineup slot as compared to a Ganderson / Francoeur set up.

  36. On the topic of draft picks if we acquire Holliday then let him walk, it wouldn’t make any difference where the A’s finish. By trading him to us, they would forfeit any rights they had as far as draft-pick compensation goes (like we did with Tex last year). What would matter is who signs him. If they’re not picking in the Top 15, we get the first-round pick and the sandwich pick. If they are, we get the sandwich pick and the second-round pick.

  37. And incidentally, draft picks in baseball really aren’t worth much. I’m sure everyone’s gonna jump all over me in disagreement, but people on here act like they’re as valuable as football draft picks or something, and it’s just not the case. And incidentally, football draft picks are way overvalued as well. (Oh no…don’t give up that seventh-round pick with whom you’ll take someone that’ll be cut before the end of training camp for a proven veteran!!!!) But I digress…having draft picks in general is important to building the overall system as a whole, but individual picks are pretty worthless. A third-round pick is just as likely to make it to the majors as a first, and in general, it’s really just a crapshoot as to who’s gonna pan out and who’s not. I have no problem with trading for Holliday to try to make the playoffs, but worrying about the draft picks is, to me, a little silly. I would much rather have Derek Lowe than that second-round pick, wouldn’t you? If your answer is no, methinks your priorities are misplaced.

  38. “I would much rather have Derek Lowe than that second-round pick, wouldn’t you?”

    Yes, but that isn’t the point; we are talking about what the cost is for 2/3rds of a year of Holliday.

    The point about the draft picks is that if you are giving up minor league players and getting draft picks in return (when Holliday walks), then you end up, if you draft well, just getting other young players a few years further away with more risk of not making it than, say, a guy who has succeeded in AA but, as we all know, the guy who has succeeded in AA is no slam dunk for MLB at that point either. I am not advocating putting G. Hernandez in the package, but the bottom line is that G. Hernandez hasn’t proved anything at the MLB level either; he just has established that he can hit AA pitching. As Andy Marte can attest to, there is still a decent journey to reach MLB, from AA.

    I could look around, but I really really doubt that a 3rd round pick is just as likely to make it to MLB as a first, and, even if so, what you get in the Holliday walks scenario is 2 picks in the 1st or at worst second round, so you are very much increasing your chances with all of those high picks of getting a good MLB player.

  39. A third-round pick is just as likely to make it to the majors as a first

    This is demonstrably untrue.

  40. @25: If you’re making a move for this year it would be pure idiocy to trade Soriano, who along with O’Flaherty has been one of our only consistent arms out of the pen. If you’re giving up on this year and making a move for next year then Soriano makes sense, but I’d prefer a more trial-tested option than Swisher, especially with his price tag.

    @29: You can’t say that Brandon Jones equals or exceeds Francoeur. It’s highly likely that he would exceed his May production, but very unlikely that he could do anything better than Jeff’s April production. It’s really a crap shoot, though one that might be worth taking a look at if things continue as they have in the corners. I wish there was some way to get Brandon up and give him some playing time without having to get rid of someone, but I’m starting to wonder why we need “Tommy” Greg Norton around anyways if he’s never going to play the field.

  41. Trading Francoeur to the Red Sox is an amazing idea. He’ll make them forget Dwight Evans!

    (Positive thinking)

  42. @44 – What was so good about his April production? He got a homerun? Really? All he showed us in April is that he could get lucky with some seeing-eye singles. The dude hasn’t hit but maybe 3 balls hard all year. There was nothing good about his April except that his average was up (and that was a VERY empty average – nothing to go with it).

  43. I mentioned this in the game thread but I think it may have gotten lost during the game.

    During the Brewers-Cards game they were saying Aubrey Huff could be on the trading block. I know he used to play outfield before being moved to the infield/DH. Does anyone think he would be able to move back to the outfield and be someone the Braves could get?

  44. Aubrey Huff is an above average hitter; that a really good thing. He hasn’t played OF since 2006; I suspect he would be pretty darn bad out there, but at this point, aren’t we willing to boldly go where no franchise has gone before, to try and get some OF production?

  45. Gadfly,

    I’m not sure what your point is about Francouer. Is it that we have no better options than Francouer so we should leave him alone and see if he improves? Is it that Francouer actually has potential to be a good player so the Braves should keep him? Is it that he actually is NOW a good player but going through a bad spell? You seem fixated on his 2006-07 numbers, but even if we accept that he was a good player then–a very arguable premise to say the least–he has been a bad player for the last year, at least. Should the Braves try to make a move or not?

  46. Draft picks matter–especially in the long run. I am glad that we got Lowe, but I wish that it had not cost us a second round pick. That said, it really looks like a weak draft class so if we were going to lose a second round pick this is a good year for it….

  47. The only problem I see with someone like Huff is that while yes, he is better than all of our current options, I just don’t see him making a big enough difference to get us to the playoffs. If we are going to go after someone to help us win this year, then that is what we need to do; otherwise, we are just trading away our minor league talent for no reason.

  48. Oh no. I am answering gadfly.

    I don’t see the Braves adding payroll (over 2-3 million) to add a bat. I don’t want to give up useable young talent except for useable young talent. I don’t want to pay ordinary payment in dollars or talent for Coors Field Effect (Holliday is a very slight upgrade over Diaz once you get him away from Coors). I see us 2 outfielders away and feel that any moves have to recognize that. If what we do gets us one outfielder only, then it should not be to move Soriano.

    I see left field (except against lefthanders), centerfield, AND rightfield as areas of need. We can stand Diaz against righthanders better than we can stand Frenchy against righthanders or Schafer (at least at this point in his career).

    I also see no other positions (other than 1B) as likely to produce significant offensive improvement. And, the only way we get a first baseman is if we move Kotchman to whomever we get one from. And, I don’t think the people who have significant upgrades over Kotchman would be likely to trade their guy.

    So, to add payroll, you have to move payroll. To move payroll, you have to send people to places with money and a willngness to spend it. The Yankees best fit that. The Yankees have a need for a set up man and are the only team that would pay 6 million annual salary to a set up guy without being beyond desperate.

    So, it is far from idiotic to move Soriano if that helps cover an outfield hole. We would still have Gonzo, Moylan, and O’Flaherty and we would be 15 days from Hanson coming up, thus releasing Medlen to the bullpen. And, we have Morton (and maybe someday Jo Jo will be worth something). And maybe we will be lucky and Glavine will be half ass. And Campillo should at least be a credible spot starter / long reliever. And, in August, we will have Hudson working 2 inning stints as he builds back.

    Then, step 2, you make an upper minors pitcher for Spilborghs or Willingham or Cruz.

    Then, you have upgraded the offense by 40 to 50 OPS points in exchange for (a) no money and (b) a slight downgrade at set up man and (c) an upper minors pitcher who is blocked by the long term contracts and better pitchers in front of him

  49. @30: Jeff Bailey’s not anything close to an answer, and probably not even an upgrade when you consider he’s not really an outfielder, and certainly not a RF. As for his OPS, he’s been hit by a pitch 4 times this year, and if you take out those 4 PA that drops his OPS almost all the way down to Francoeur’s… and that’s in part-time duty. He had a good year in the IL last year, but that was his third straight full season in Pawtucket.

    @33: Even with his horrible May, Jeff is still, sadly, one of the best 25 men in this organization… or at least one of the best five outfielders. We need to find a real CF first, then if Garret doesn’t turn things around we need to find a replacement for him, though Brandon Jones might work to share time in left and right, AND THEN our next step will be replacing Francoeur if he doesn’t return to his March-April form… Oh, and along the way we need to find another consistent arm or two out of the bullpen.

  50. Cliff,
    The Yankees have a setup man. Unfortunately for them, he’s also their 4th starter.

    I suspect Chamberlain will be back in the bullpen at some point this year.

  51. @36: Matt Diaz is not an everyday RF. I could see him spelling Francoeur against RHP on occasion, but he simply doesn’t have the arm to man right without creating a significant defensive liability.

    @42: With the baseball draft system, and all the sandwich picks, a third round pick does generally tend to be 70 or 80 picks after a 1st rounder, so it isn’t quite as small a leap as it is in the NFL. However, I’m not sure it is all that significant of a difference and it certainly isn’t the most important factor.

  52. Jeff Bailey looks like a good solution to me; a high walk, high HR guy buried in an organization who goes out and buys better outfielders. he hasn’t gotten up from pawtucket because in that 3 year period the red sox went out and got J.D. Drew and Jason Bay. We need a guy to hold the fort at a low price for at most the next year and a half.

    Jeff’s March-April form…1 month doesn’t count, and in the other he had a whopping .729 OPS. Now (since you want to make adjustments), take one of his triples away (the pop-up that got lost in the sun), unless you think that is a repeatable skill, and you have the same dismal level of performance. A bad RF has an average OPS of .766; a bad one.

  53. @46: I didn’t really call Jeff’s April production good, but it was about average. It was actually pretty good for the first 3 weeks or so. That said, his April production is leaps and bounds ahead of anything we’ve gotten out of LF or CF, and it is about the most we could reasonably expect from Brandon Jones (seeing as it was about as good as Brandon’s season in AAA last year, and not far off from his AAA production this year.) Btw, I’ve yet to read much of anything about the Gwinnett stadium, does anyone here have any inside info as to how it might be affecting hitters, so far?

  54. @50: As I’ve said before I find it increasingly impossible, the more I look at it, to see Jeff’s 2007 production as anything but a good season, but I’ll leave that aside for now.

    I sort of answered your question before I read it @54. I see three holes that need to be filled before we should give up on Francoeur. First we need a CF, I think we’re hurting Jordan’s development putting him out there every day in the 8th hole, and with his abysmal production and Kelly/Escobar doing better from the leadoff spot he appears to be in the 8th hole for good now.

    Then we need a better option in LF, I don’t see Diaz as an everyday type, and while I haven’t completely given up on Anderson (I do have the benefit of not having to watch him in the field as often as you guys,) I think we can improve in LF much easier than we can in RF.

    Then, if we’re really serious about competing, we’re going to have to address the bullpen’s inconsistencies. I hope Moylan can bounce back, but I don’t think we can count on it yet… and it makes sense to back off of him in key situations until he proves he can handle them again. I’d also like to see a lighter workload for Moylan, Gonzo, and Soriano.

    Until we’ve addressed these three areas I think it is reasonable to keep Francoeur in RF, while spelling him with Diaz on a more frequent basis. If he puts up another month as bad as May, and Garret turns things around, then sending him down would make more sense, but right now he’s our 2nd best outfield option… as bad as that sounds.

  55. @53: That scenario sounds much more plausible. I was only calling a Soriano for Swisher trade idiotic if that was the only move we were going to make. I still think that moving Soriano really hurts our ability to compete… I’d rather move Gonzo than Sori at this point. I just don’t think counting on O’Flaherty/Moylan to be the top setup men, Gonzo to be the only closer, and the rest of our current cast is going to lead to being competitive in the playoffs. I also don’t see the Braves moving Medlen to the ‘pen this year, but I guess it is a possibility. I’d say your “(b)” doesn’t exactly cover the picture. It’s more than a slight downgrade to your setup man, it’s a sizeable downgrade, and it has a cascading effect throughout the bullpen.

  56. Diaz’s lack of throwing ability is easily offset by the upgrade in offense. There is no way that you can say that defense in right field is more crucial than having a hitter out there.

    Gadfly, really. Your modus operandi is to take snippets of a season (eg. last Sept/Oct, this March/April) to backup your contention that Francouer might become good. But any statistician will tell you that the larger the sample size the more accurate the projection is. A season and a halfs play says that Jeff isn’t a good player and projects into him not becoming one. Hell its a stretch to project him as league average.

    As for options, yes the Braves have internal options. Putting Diaz in Right is addition by subtraction. You take a guy that creates 5 outs per game and replace him with someone that doesn’t. Its that simple. Anderson is another terrible player that needs to be replaced but you don’t seem to defend him with the strange passion you have for Jeff Francouer.

  57. Gadfly,

    Jeffy will not be sent down this time. He will either be traded or DFA’d. It’s only a matter of time. At least Diaz gives you the XBH. Jeffy has zero power to the gaps. Right now until we find a power hitting outfielder on the market, Brandon Jones in left, Jordan in center, and Diaz everyday in right is our best option. Diaz would not be a big liability in right. The organization just needs to pull the trigger and get Jeffy off the roster.

  58. Jeffy’s arm is way overrated. He is constantly overruning balls when charging to field them. He has no quickness out there. He’s not a good defensive player, doesn’t hit for average, doesn’t walk, doesn’t hit for power, he’s simply taking up a spot on the 25 man roster.

  59. What I still don’t get is that Jeffy plays every single day. At least platoon him and let him hit against the lefties. Give him and the team a chance to be successful.

  60. @57: If you remove that 3B from the sample Jeff’s April OPS drops to .689, of course he also hit some line drives that were caught… those things tend to even out over the long run, and it’s more likely that Francoeur continues that same level of luck than Bailey keeps getting hit by pitches.

    Also, when I talk about Jeff’s “April form” I’m not talking about his entire April… these months are arbitrary boundaries afterall. Just look at his first 16 games, removing that 3B, his line would’ve been .306/.333/.460, with 19 RP. Maybe he just got lucky for two and a half weeks, but that isn’t what I saw over that period.

    Jeff Bailey might be a great AAA player, but he’s 31 and hasn’t shown any ability to perform at the major league level (.226/.346/.417 in 136 PA in part-time duty over the last two years.) He’s also not a RF, and not a great LF.

  61. I’d also like to reiterate that any trade now is pretty much off the table. The Braves should put Jordan Schafer and their two best offensive corner OFs out there and see what transpires. No matter what Schafer is hitting the Braves will have to carry his glove. Thats the cards that Wren picked up when he dealt Josh Anderson.
    The internal solutions are ugly I agree. But the first move we should make is try Diaz full time and see if he sticks. What do we have to lose?

  62. Johnny, your statistician simply doesn’t understand that Superfly is using some highly sophisticated intuitive methods that can take into account facts like if Jeffy had been hit by four pitches his OBP would be significantly higher and likewise if he were seeing a few more straight fastballs some of those warning track flies would be going out and if the weather had not been unseasonably cool Jeffy no doubt would have had looser joints in May and been less tense knowing that he was the last hope for the lineup to produce runs and if you really want to evaluate his chances for success going forward and see the idiocy of simply waiving someone who is obviously one of the five best outfielders on the active major league roster, and one of the ten best outfielders living east of the Mississippi but south of Tennessee and north of Florida you will look at the five games he played in mid-April, which if you add that to his first 150 ABs in the majors is about the same size sample as 2009, suggesting his ceiling is really limitless.

  63. @61: Anderson is a different case entirely. Mostly because I’ve watched a lot less of him, but also because he’s aging and he’s no longer a benefit defensively. He also doesn’t get quite as much derision as Jeff does on here.

    As for arm strength in RF, it is absolutely as important as offense for a team built around pitching like this one. Especially when in the situation you describe you’re not replacing Jeff with Diaz, but with Garret.

    @62: I assume by DFA you mean designated for assignment… which since he has options would be assignment to the minor leagues. If the Braves had tons of surplus AAA outfielders I could see them releasing him, but I highly doubt they’d do that until the end of the year. Diaz is a big liability in right, which is why he hasn’t played there with any regularity since 53 games at AAA in 2003.

    @64: Jeff is occasionally overly aggressive in the field, and I think he’s let his offensive struggles bleed over into his defense at times, but he’s the only true RF on the roster, and he is a good one.

    @65: I do think we’ll see Jeff getting more frequent time off, but the problem is that replacing him with Diaz is a downgrade defensively, and putting Garret in LF is a further downgrade on both offense and defense.

  64. Jesus, this reminds me of when Nomar Garciaparra was my favorite player, and even during his short time with the Cubs I tried convincing my friends (and myself) that he was still one of the best players in the game.

  65. @61: As for larger sample sizes: look at ’05-’07, which is a much larger sample, and an outfielder this page would be drooling over. As for looking at months for Jeff or Garret over the last year and a half, the reason I do this is different in each case. For Garret, it shows he’s capable of getting hot after a month long slump. These guys are the back of our order, and we can take a down month from Garret if it will be followed by one as good as his May or July of last year.

    The reason I look at Jeff’s last Sept/Oct and this March/April is to show that his May-August of last year was a colossal slump that snowballed out of control. If he hadn’t done as well as he did in 2007, then you could write off the slight uptick in those months as the fluke, but he proved he’s capable of producing at the ML level in 2007, and over those two stretches he’s shown flashes of this previous production.

  66. @71: First off, look at what Nomar did in ’06… but more importantly I’m not saying Jeff is anything close to one of the best players in the game. He is, however, without a doubt, one of the best outfielders on this team. He’s likely the second best, second only to a guy who’s never proven he can play everyday, and until we make a move that’s all that really matters.

    @68: Wow, now that’s what we call a strawman… Or are you just having trouble following my argument? I can slow it down if you’d like. (I wasn’t adding anything to Jeff’s OPS when discussing Jeff Bailey’s high HBP count… I was removing those 4 PA from Bailey’s sample to show how volatile a 77 PA OPS can be, especially when affected by an insanely high HBP rate.)

  67. If we trade for Jeff Bailey he has the potential to at least give us a productive year – I can’t say the same about Frenchy. He may not be much better than Frenchy, but at this point, I think he’s the best we can hope for in a Francoeur trade. If he doesn’t work out, even at his worst (I don’t expect this from him all year) he’s at least got more power than Frenchy and a higher OBP, which is something we need desperately. As has been pointed out, we need two outfielders. Jeff Bailey or someone similar is the absolute best we can expect to get for Frenchy – I say go for it if possible.

  68. Diaz is a big liability in right, which is why he hasn’t played there with any regularity since 53 games at AAA in 2003.

    He’s no more a liability there than Francoeur is as a total player. Diaz’s bat more than makes up for any defensive deficiencies he might have to Francoeur. It’s not as if Francoeur is Ozzie Smith and saves tons of runs. Right Field is an offensive position.

  69. @76: Compared to Diaz in right, Jeff does save a bunch of runs. Right Field is a defensive position, the only offensive position in baseball is the designated hitter. You might expect more offense from RF than center, but that doesn’t mean that defense is important there. Also, Diaz can only replace one of Francoeur or Anderson, and I can’t see any argument that would lead me to believe he should replace Jeff more often than Garret.

    @75: You’re just reaching for change at this point, that’s an understandable reaction. There are plenty of people we could acquire that would improve our situation in CF or RF, but Jeff Bailey is not one of them. His OBP this year is .312, and as I said before that is highly affected by the fact he’s been hit by 4 pitches. If you remove those 4 HBPs, his OBP shrinks to .274, which is lower than Frenchy’s. Of course we don’t need OBP as much as we need SLUG and run production.

  70. I don’t think improving the bullpen is anywhere near being the number one priority on this team. Yes, it has had problems, especially the back end at times, but those would be lessened if the team actually scored runs. And Gonzo and Soriano, although somewhat inconsistent, are certainly better than anything the Braves have had for some time. The OF is easily the biggest liability on the Braves.

    Adam Dunn, by no stretch of the imagination a good defensive player, has been playing RF at times for the Nats. I would gladly accept his defensive liabilities in exchange for his 14 homeruns–which are more than the entire Braves outfield combined.

    Even if Jeff was Roberto Clemente defensively, there is no way that his defense could compensate for his lack of hitting. He simply is not a threat; you can make all the excuses or talk about his “slight” uptick in August/Sept. all you want, but the fact is, he has been miserably bad for most of the last year and a quarter. (And, that’s assuming you accept Gadfly’s notion that he was good before that.)

  71. I agree that we can acquire many people to improve our OF situation, but I’m not willing to say Bailey will never be any good based on 65 ML at bats. His IL track record is good enough that he is definitely worth a look – even at 30.

    I simply don’t think it’s possible for us to get two “can’t miss” quality outfielders w/o giving up a ton of money (which we say we don’t have) and/or a boatload of prospects. Getting someone for Francoeur with a least a little bit of potential is 10x better than letting him drag down the team for a whole year and then non-tendering him in the off-season.

  72. I think Ichiro could outproduce Francoeur just by drag bunting 100% of his at bats.

  73. @54 G-fly says, “Even with his horrible May, Jeff is still, sadly, one of the best 25 men in this organization… or at least one of the best five outfielders.”

    Amazing. But the scary thing is that G-fly may have finally gotten something right.

  74. Gadfly,

    Generally, Braves face lefthanded starters about 30 to 40% of the time (because NL East has so many). If Diaz plays left against lefthanders with Frenchy in right, Diaz will OPS 900, Frenchy 800.

    If Diaz plays the other 60 to 70% of games in right and Ganderson plays left, Diaz will OPS about 780 and Ganderson about 750. But if Frenchy plays those games against righthanders, he will ops 600. So, how is it that Frenchy can be 180 ops points below his replacement (who covers more ground more effectively, note the + / – rankings of Diaz for 2006 and 2007) and add enough value with his arm to make it up?

  75. Also, Gadfly you have posed no reason why the two month upticks of Francoeur are more reflective of his ability than the two month atrocious downdrafts that occur before and after.

  76. @80: I was actually removing the 4 PA for Bailey, not just the HBP, so if you remove the two PA/HBP of Francoeur his OBP is .273. Of course it is quite possible that Jeff could get hit by a pitch once every 92.5 PA (he’s been HBP once every 83.1 in his career,) but I’ll eat my hat if Jeff Bailey gets hit every 19.25 PA.

    @82: Jeff Bailey is no Adam Dunn, and as I’ve said Matt Diaz can replace either Garret of Francoeur, but not both.

    @83: At the age of 28 Jeff Bailey, in his second full season in AAA, put up a .245/.358/.416… while Jeff, at the age of 23, put up a .293/.338/.444 in 162 consecutive games in the majors. Which track record are you going to take? I agree if we could get someone with potential than Jeff it might make sense, but Jeff Bailey simply doesn’t fit that bill.

    @86: Where are you getting those numbers for Garret? His line this year against RHP is .226/.268/.258! Diaz is clearly better than Garret in left, and Francoeur is clearly better than Diaz in right.

  77. @87: Which two months are you talking about? I’ve talked extensively about his performance last year. He descended into a slump, which snowballed due to his inability to handle the pressure mentally or emotionally. Once the pressure subsided after the Braves fell out of contention Jeff began to rebound. This March-April showed that with Jaramillos help he had made adjustments. For me 2007 shows what Jeff is capable of, and if he can do that at 23 you’d hope he could do more as he matures, this is where I see the fruits of his ability. 2008 and May 2009 have certainly raised some important questions about his consistency, and his mental and emotional maturity, but there’s no reason to assume that Jeff is no longer physically capable of the high level of production he gave us in 2007.

  78. @1: You’re right, we didn’t have much chance anyway.

    @2: Gotta watch out for those young arms.

    @3: Whoa, a Bob Horner sighting!

    @4: Shove that broom up his a@@!

    @5: There’s a power drain in there somewhere.

    @6: Honesty is the best policy.

    @7: Everyone needs a buddy.

    @8: Touche.

    @9: That was a needed clarification.

    @10: They have a disease and the only cure is more Frenchy.

    @11: Do they still use buckets? You can fit more in some expandable netting.

    @12: Gotta take what you can get.

    @13: And twice on Sunday!

  79. Sansho1,

    Nice Stenchy making solid contact imitation.

    Homerun stroke, lazy fly out to right field. A homerun would have gone all the way through post @89.

    Nevertheless, well done. Reviatlized the thread, which previously had me completely demoralized for reasons not unrelated to senseless Stenchy support

  80. What can I say, I wore out. I underestimated how difficult it would be (plus I felt the game thread approaching)….

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