Ursine game thread: July 14, Braves at Cubs

I'm an elf!“Hi, I’m Gwinnett Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer. I’m on the shelf right now with a wrist injury, and you know what? It’s been bothering me all year! Of course, I didn’t tell anybody that it was that bad, because (1) I was a rookie and didn’t want to lose my job, and (2) I’m a baseball player, and we never tell the truth about our physical conditions. You would think someone would have noticed, but I guess not. Anyway, in AAA, who cares? So I came clean. Also, I look like Herbie, the Misfit Elf.”

119 thoughts on “Ursine game thread: July 14, Braves at Cubs”

  1. From Bill James Online:

    The hottest hitters in baseball at this moment are:
    Martin Prado 107°
    Justin Morneau 105°
    Hideki Matsui 101°
    David Murphy 100°
    Prince Fielder 99°

  2. From Tiger224:

    the worst hitters in baseball that think they deserve a HUGE long-term contract at this moment:

    Jeff Francoeur 127 deg

  3. We’re at stage one of a Jordan phase out. Kelly sat for four straight games earlier in the season before returning to the lineup. I expect Francoeur will start the Wed. day game, if not tomorrow.

    If they would only have the balls to send him to the minors. He’s not playing, nor listening to TP. I hear Gwinnett’s got an open slot.

  4. I read somewhere on the interwebs about a possible Vazquez-Ethier swap. I think it was more speculating than an actual rumor but I would do that deal yesterday.

    Might make sense for LA too. They need another top flight pitcher and could then still use Pierre.

  5. It would make sense for LA right now. It would, of course, be incredibly stupid of them, but you’re talking about a GM who traded Carlos Santana for 3 months of Casey Blake.

  6. Buster Olney listed a bunch of potential trade partners re Escobar or Vazquez,with the Red Sox being the most likely. None of the possibilities really excite me. He doesn’t see Fielder as an option because he is a Boras client. He mentioned the Dodgers, but not Ethier.

    I hope Wren doesn’t make a bad trade just to make a trade. At this point, I’m hoping we find a stupid GM.

  7. I’m glad Stenchy’s out of the lineup but I don’t think sending him to the minors will help correct his problems. The fact is he’s a marginal MLB OF and belongs on the bench or on waivers.

  8. Marc,

    I like the plan. A stupid GM to take advantage of is certainly to our benefit. But Bowden has been fired and Pittsburgh has upgraded. Hmm?

    Does Houston have anything we would want?

  9. Cliff,

    JS made his reputation off stupid GMs. Wren is unlucky that there aren’t as many as there used to be.

    Re Houston: How about Lance Berkman for Jeff Francouer. Sounds good to me. And throw in Jeff Bennett–oh he’s on the disabled list?

  10. Apparently the Brewers have called about Vazquez according to Crasnick. Don’t know what I’d want there. Hart wouldn’t be enough, neither would Gamel or A. Escobar in my opinion (though I may be in the minority on that one).

  11. Fielder is certainly intriguing if he’s on the block. The Boras factor only matters if we cared to resign him, which by the end of 2010 we might not.

    Fielder would bring the added bonus of increasing our overall team speed. I don’t even think I’m kidding.

  12. From what I can see, Hart might be marginally better than Frenchy but not much.

  13. Here’s a post from a (I’m assuming by the name) Brewer’s fan at MLBTR. Normally wouldn’t post, but I actually kind of agree:

    I honestly could care less about matt gamel. Mcgehee is playing well this year and Hardy can eventually be moved 3rd when Escobar is ready. Just give the braves Hart and Gamel for Vazquez and throw in some weak prospects to whichever side is complaining. Both teams need these upgrades badly. Anyone who thinks Jeff Francooter is even close to as good as corey hart is a moron.

    Posted by: TheCrewOfBrew | July 06, 2009 at 04:07 PM

    FYI: Gamel’s combined minor league line is .307/.379/.500

    I also think it would be a better package than what we gave up for Vasquez.

  14. I just don’t understand why the organization hasn’t demoted Francouer yet. He has zero trade value, and anyone you might call up to replace him can hardly do worse. Give him some specific goals he has to meet to get recalled (with the understanding he will be in the minors for at least some specified number of games no matter what) and send him down. This would be better for everyone concerned than the status quo.

  15. Gamel would play RF he has no business being in the infield. He had an .826 fielding percentage in the minors two years ago. That is not a misprint. The brewers would have already moved him to the OF if they didn’t have Braun and Hart there.

  16. Hart doesn’t suck. He’s just either barely below average to barely above average (depending on what stats you use)

    Gamel though, would make Kotchman expendable, and also would be a legit sub/injury replacement for Chipper. Could also probably be passable in left if you needed it.

    The big question mark in this scenario though, would be Hudson.

  17. He’s worse than “barely below average” if you use the OBP stat. Especially for a corner OF.

    Obviously an upgrade over Stenchy, but not close to worth Vazquez.

  18. He doesn’t suck, but he isn’t actually good. That’s better than Francoeur, but not as good as Diaz, and no improvement over ACHE. Hence, not worth much of anything. A low-A arm, Diory, something like that.

  19. Hart sucks. He’s slightly better than replacement level. He has a 95 OPS+ as a corner outfielder. Last year, his OBP was .300.

    Matt Diaz > Corey Hart.

    I’d trade Vazquez and a non Heyward/Freeman prospect for Cameron and Gamel.

  20. Well, he’s got a positive (although only 3.3) VORP, but I’ll cede the point. However, he’s below most of his projections this year, and I don’t think a marginal improvement would be unexpected.

    In any case, as you said, he’d be better than Frenchy…which is a definite positive, and Mat Gamel is a legit hitter who’d we’d have for 5+ years at below market value. Also, it will probably save us around 2 MM this year, plus, Javy’s entire 10.5 MM next year.

    I don’t think that is unreasonable for 1.5 years of Vasquez, who, to be honest, is probably at the highest trade value of his career, and at some point, you’d expect to regress (at least slightly) to his career norms

    EDIT: though, if we could get Eithier, count me as sold

  21. Mike Cameron is the most consistent player in major league history. Discuss, or don’t.

  22. Fair point. Forgot about the NTC.

    I guess what it boils down to is Hudson. I don’t think that there is enough room on the payroll for both he and Vasquez next year.

    At some point, between the two, something will have to give.

    I’ve no problems if the Braves think Tim will be back to 100% and want to cash in on Vasquez while his value is high

  23. I agree with you, Ethan. But Vazquez should have a lot of value on the trade market, and I just hope we hold out for a really good deal.

  24. I’d prefer to keep Vasquez and Escobar and trade prospects for another bat. Trading arguably your best pitcher or one of your top 4 hitters isn’t going to make your team better. You should trade away a package of typically overrated prospects instead (most of whom won’t ever amount to anything in the big leagues) like the Braves did for Tex or McLouth.

  25. Yeah, that Teixeira trade worked out really well. All we gave up was two starters on a first-place team and their top pitching prospect. Oh, and two other players.

  26. Vasquez is far and away the best pitcher available if the Braves start shopping him

  27. Ron E, thats why we are where we are. Our team/GM has been delusional for the last 3-4 years and we keep making stupid 3 for 1 and 4 for one deals thinking we may be good enough to get to the postseason. Thats also exactly why we have no one ready to fill in at the MLB level right now

  28. per Bowman (good news)

    “Look I understand the entertainment value of the rumor market that will swirl over the next few weeks leading up to the trade deadline,” Bowman wrote Monday evening. “But at the same time, I think it’s time to take Yunel Escobar’s name out of the mix.

    Teams have certainly called to express interest in Escobar and with his stubborn personality the talented shortstop has given the Braves at least reason to ponder the possibility of moving him.

    But from what I’ve gathered, the Braves have zero desire to move Escobar.”

  29. Typical Francoeur quote from bowman blog:

    When asked if he’d like to be traded Francoeur said, “It’s not something that I want. I just want to play. You can take that however you want to.”

    Please go away Francoeur.

  30. I agree as well, Stu; however, when you cut out the AL and NL Wests, the NL East, the teams that either don’t need pitching, can’t take on payroll, or are out of contention…well, the options become somewhat more limited.

    The possible teams I could see would be:

    St. Louis
    Cincinnati
    Houston
    Milwaukee
    Detroit
    Minnesota
    NY Yankees

    Of those, I am extremely skeptical that more than half could take on his salary, or the Yanks would even want Vasquez back, after he how quickly wore out his welcome in his first stint there

  31. Yeah, that’s a good point, Ethan. Milwaukee really does make a ton of sense…

    41—An even more typical Stenchy quote from DOB:

    “Of course I want to play,” Francoeur said. “I’m not happy about it. But I can’t do anything about it. Like I said, I don’t make the lineups out….

    “I’ve got all the confidence in the world. I know I can play. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want to them. Every ballplayer wants to play. Just have to be patient and wait my turn, whether it’s here or somewhere else. I don’t control that.”

  32. typical???……that quote actually makes sense. especially comming from a guy who knows the door is about to hit him in the ass.

  33. Bobby just said on WGST that he’ll probably play Francoeur tomorrow, no matter what happens tonight…sigh…

  34. @41

    Francoeur just wants to play, huh? I guess that settles it. Send his ass down to the minors. He’ll get plenty of playing time down there.

  35. The correct PR answer, Jeffy, is “I’ll do what is best for the team,” not what’s best for you.

  36. oh and now the internet tough guys want to hit Frenchy in the face……..thx for the laugh.

  37. Per DOB:

    Kelly Johnson’s playing at Gwinnett tonight

    I suspected they were just creatively sending him to the minors via DL.

    On a side note, Francoeur never ceases to piss me off.

  38. 44 made me laugh so hard!

    COuld you imagine if frenchy tryed to make that play in right field, he would still be in the ivy

    He would never be able to hit the ball that far though….

    Sad

  39. Johnny Cueto, he of the previously excellent ERA, has given up 7 runs in the first against the Phillies, including a 2 run double from Cole Hamels.

  40. @65: No. The way this game is going, we’ll be down at least 7-0 before scoring a run … which will happen after a leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, as we play for one run with a massive deficit.

  41. Wtf? I get home from work and it’s 4-0, 1 out in the bttm of the 3rd with runners on 2nd and 3rd? I thought Lowe pitched yesterday?

  42. Diaz is better than the alternative — at least his at-bats last longer than one pitch — but he’s a stopgap as an everyday corner outfielder.

  43. Diaz has his moments of brillance… yet he also has equally as many moments where he’s swinging with his eyes closed at balls over his head

  44. Reminds me of that JPap at bat in Boston. And yes I agree he is better than the alternative.

  45. Jurrjens looks better, and this pitcher has been hittable. Need some offense.

    C’mon Bravos. Just think: WWFND (What Would Frenchy Not Do)

  46. whats more mystifying, francouer getting the hit, or bunting with mclouth?

  47. @98: Francoeur, because I reckon we should be quite accustomed to mistifying bunt calls by now.

  48. Smoltz line against the weak hitting Oakland A’s tonight:

    6.1 innings, 10 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO.

    McCann is hitting under .240 against lefties, didn’t know that.

  49. I was mad at Jurrjens in the second inning…

    But it turns out it didn’t matter much. Another game where we score two runs.

  50. It makes me sad that our losing streak has coincided with the benching of Stenchy.

  51. 108,

    One of the brighter fans on the Sports South Facebook page actually argued that point. Unbelievable.

  52. Kevin Gregg looks like a short, chubby Kyle Farnsworth.

    Rob,
    Yeah, that’s exactly the sort of asininity I expect; ergo, the sadness.

  53. this team is a joke… the coaching staff is a joke and there are still too many hitters who just go to sleep in too many key circumstances. I think the only way this team has a chance at the playoffs is either firing cox and TP (which won’t happen) or acquiring a new RF and LF

  54. man… prado let that hanger go by. argh.

    The cubs did their best Braves imitation (hibernation mode), but pull off the W.

  55. Diaz and Anderson are simply not starters at this point. They are great bench players but they won’t produce on a consistent basis. They have far too many games where they look lost and cost the team outs. If they continue to throw either one of those guys out there every game this is going to be another losing season.

  56. Let’s not leave out the power outage in the middle of the lineup.

    Play Blanco and McClouth. At least Blanco adds some excitement to the line-up. At this point, I don’t know what can be done.

  57. who cares what kelly’s done in gwinnett… hopefully he has a long and prosperous AAA career. I wish him nothing but the best

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