213 thoughts on “I really hope our season doesn’t run off the rails against the fricking Nats game thread: Aug. 11, Nats at Braves”

  1. Add this one to the list of corny MLB.com headlines:

    “Braves hope they can swat away pesky Nats”.

  2. If Yoko is involved, I prefer the gag for me to put over my eyes. I would rather damage my ears than my eyes.

  3. I could be wrong about this, but it always seemed to me AAA was more of an important step for pitchers than hitters. Usually a few more patient hitters in AAA that will challenge a pitching prospect with some control issues. As was mentioned is the previous thread, other than getting to see some more “pitchability” types, there’s not much more to gain as a hitter by going to AAA.

    That said if the plan is to delay Heyward’s arb clock, I would just assume he get as much time at AAA as possible.

  4. I’m not a big fan of arb clock games. If he’s ready, he’s ready. But, I’d rather not rush a guy right into a playoff race. At this point, it could do more harm than good.

  5. When in recent memory has rushing a player from the Braves minor league system affected the players’ development? What’s the big deal?

  6. Will someone please take care of Dix? He seems a little distracted. Hopefully, it won’t end up like that scene in “Garp”.

  7. nice video mac……..anybody know who the dweeb playing tambourine is? he looks like he could be anything but a band member.

  8. Jason C. from previous thread,

    I don’t care if it is 100 plate appearances. If (approx) 15 of those are walks, 8 are strikeouts, 8 are HR’s, 12 are doubles, and another 10 singles, with only 43 or so as “batted ball outs”, I would call that “conquered.”

    He went up a level and performance went up. Probably, better pitching made him a better hitter because those pitchers think they can get him and aren’t inexplicably wild (but more “purposefully wild”). Heyward is able to make a pattern out of what they are doing and hit it when it’s there.

    And by the way, Heyward didn’t jump all over High A late last year when he was called up. So, he has shown he can adjust and has stepped forward.

    I still say let him get his next 60 PA’s in AAA and see what happens. If he is stilll OPS over 1000 and if you have an outfielder go down, you have an option.

    I would not bring him up to take plate appearances away from Diaz, Church, ACHE and MCLouth. Each of those guys should OPS 800 to 850 the rest of the way and it’s not worth the arb clock running and the risk of reversed development to try to get more performance at those levels.

  9. I’m trying to figure out a way to get to go to Huddy’s rehab start… not sure I can convince my wife of the merit, I may have to enlist the kids.

  10. I think the next few MLB Braves’ series will determine what will happen with Heyward. I say no way they are bringing him up if they are decidedly out of the playoffs. What would be the point?

  11. “Teenage Head” is a fantastic album by the Flamin’ Groovies.

    Depending on what you mean by “development,” I disagree that player development is largely complete by the time a player reaches AAA. It is not infrequent that players learn new positions, new stances, and new pitches after hitting the major leagues, not to mention improving their control of the strike zone by increasing walks and cutting down on strikeouts.

    The minor leagues are a much better place for development — it’s hard to develop when you’re utterly overmatched — but that’s not to say that players basically stop developing at age 22 or 24. And that’s not a reason for Heyward to attend or skip AAA.

    I tend to prefer for top prospects to go through AAA rather than skip it — it’s a way of making them better major leaguers without burning any of their arb clock. Obviously, if need dictates for the team to have a warm body, that can be disregarded, but even top prospects — perhaps especially top prospects, since they tend to be promoted young — tend not to shine in their first couple weeks out of AA. Very few completely hit the ground running.

  12. I don’t think bringing Heyward up would help us or him all that much. Maybe a September call up, if that.

  13. 8,
    Seems right.

    I guess what I should’ve said is you’re not developing your tools at that point, you’re fine-tuning your game. Which I think is largely right.

  14. 24,
    The organization knows what they’re doing. If they really think he can help (and I suspect you’re probably right and he can’t really help all that much) they’ll call him up.

  15. Per Carrol

    This is not official yet because I haven’t been downstairs, but based on the lineup posted on the board in the press box, Infante is active and playing and Chipper is still out.

    1. McLouth CF
    2. Prado 1B
    3. Anderson LF
    4. McCann C
    5. Escobar SS
    6. Diaz RF
    7. Infante 3B
    8. Johnson 2B
    9. Hanson P

    Also, LaRoche is out, maybe a day off. I’ll check. More later.

  16. So we’re back to having faith in the organization again? good times.

    Laroche is out too? Maybe Bunson screwed up an experiment and needed him to help out.

  17. I think there’s more risk than reward in bringing Heyward up at this point. The jump from AA to the majors would be tough on any 20-year-old. Add in the pressure of a playoff race, and I don’t like what could happen to the guy if he struggles.

  18. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Chipper DL’d.

    The whole, “spasmed the next day unlike any oblique injury I’ve ever had” line seemed fairly descriptive to me.


    I don’t understand that at all. Greinke has made more starts, has more innings pitched, more strikeouts, a better ERA, and they are tied in shutouts…I guess we’re all still getting on our knees for the almighty W-L record.

  19. “The Church / Diaz platoon is working very well. Between them, we’ve got close to an All-Star right-fielder.”

    Adequate maybe, but definitely not an all-star.

    “I think there’s more risk than reward in bringing Heyward up at this point. The jump from AA to the majors would be tough on any 20-year-old. Add in the pressure of a playoff race, and I don’t like what could happen to the guy if he struggles.”

    You are underestimating the kid. He is the son of two Dartmouth graduates. So I’m pretty sure he is head strong. I say call him up in September, if he deserves it, he deserves it. Can’t argue with that.

    McCann in the clean-up spot against Lannan. Interesting.

  20. If you set a cat on fire while showing it a picture of a naked Marge Schott – that’s the sound of Yoko Ono singing.

  21. Diaz’ platoon split this year is .416/.520/.936
    Church is .400/.444/.844 as a Brave.

    That’s about a 130 – 140 OPS+.

    I guess if that’s “adequate” to you, I’d hate to play in your league.

  22. 31

    I agree there is too much weight given to W-L, but didn’t Greinke just go like 2 months without a W. Kind of hard to give the Cy to someone with that kind of slump.

    He was so great for the first two months and hasn’t really been that bad for the last two, but I think it will take a finish similar to his start of the season for him to win now.

  23. @38. I don’t need stats to tell me the Diaz/Church split would be an all-star rightfield. I’ve seen almost every game they have played since the trade. Stats don’t always tell the whole story.

  24. There are good arguments for bringing Heyward up. There are good arguments for not bringing him up. I’m of the “if he’s ready, he’s ready” school of thought, but I’m not sure where a 19 year old call up from AA plays every day on this team. Anderson has been – dare we say it – pretty good. Diaz/Church have been awesome since Church’s arrival. If Heyward would be relegated to 4th OF I’d leave him where he is, move him to Gwinnett at the most.

    You may note none of these arguments hinge on anything remotely to do with Jeff Francoeur. Jeff Francoeur was not so much harmed by his rush to the majors as he just never was a particularly good baseball player. He could have taken the Mike Kelly path and played at all levels of the minors and he would have still been a white Mike Kelly that people loved way too much.

  25. Sam, Diaz/Church have been merely “adequate, maybe”. Keep up, please.

  26. Let’s not sell Francoeur too short. He was never a very well rounded baseball player, but the kid had/has serious talent, and some MLB caliber skills.

    He just didn’t/doesn’t have enough MLB caliber skills to warrant every day playing time, and he doesn’t seem to have the capacity or motivation to learn them.

    Heyward clearly has MLB caliber talent. You can hurt a kid by calling him up too early, but I don’t think you can hurt him significantly by leaving him in the minors for even a year after his skills surpass the competition. I say, call him up when he’s ready AND we need him.

  27. So Diaz/Church have been only adequate because Church was hurt for that span, and Diaz was a little overexposed against righthanders. I think going forward, Diaz/Church will be a good spot in the order.

  28. @48 I like that, it was funny.

    @51 I agree, going forward the platoon will be great as long as Matty hits against lefties only and Church can stay healthy. I felt sorry for Diaz getting embarrassed against righties.

  29. If Diaz hits against righties then that alone undermines the platoon. You can’t even call it a platoon at that point.

    It’s like saying Miranda Kerr is a really attractive woman, so long as she has a vagina and an apron.

  30. I know that the lineup will change, but it’s nice to have a lineup with several subs that you have confidence in. Just a month ago, a lineup of Francoeur, Hernandez, and a slumping KJ and Anderson was pretty much a recipe for disaster.

  31. @55 I guess Church needs to stay healthy then, now doesn’t he.

    On ESPN, they ask the question is Todd Helton a HOF? My answer: Nope.

  32. If Todd Helton is a Hall of Famer, Wally Joyner is a Hall of Famer. Thirty years of public sabermetrics and the supposed Worldwide Leader In Sports doesn’t understand park factors.

  33. I am bias, Helton is a former Vol and is only like two notches below Peyton in Tennessee. So yeah, he is a HOF

  34. Who’s on the notch between Peyton and Helton? Britton Colquitt? At least one name has to end in ‘ton’ in order to qualify I assume?

  35. Well that sucks. The office manager just got fired. How can you get fired for making sure everyone gets their mail? Anyway, now I have no one to talk baseball with, now it will be Redskins, Redskins, Redskins. Damn. I guess I will be on bravesjournal everyday from 9:30 to 6pm M-F.

  36. Make sure you don’t lose your job reading Braves Journal all day at work, Tony. ;)

    On Heyward coming up, McCann only had 100 some odd at bats at AA (and none at AAA) at age 21 before coming up in 2005. Francouer had just over 400. I could see Heyward coming up in September when the rosters expand. Does that start his clock? At this point, I don’t see him making much of a difference (though if he got off to a hot start, he could help us win some games. That’s a big if to take chance on when it seems like we’ve finally got the team to gel.)

  37. Tony Says:

    Well that sucks. The office manager just got fired. How can you get fired for making sure everyone gets their mail? Anyway, now I have no one to talk baseball with, now it will be Redskins, Redskins, Redskins. Damn. I guess I will be on bravesjournal everyday from 9:30 to 6pm M-F.

    Stu Says:

    That does suck.

    Damn Stu,

    Take it easy on Tony…he’s not Gadfly. His presence on the board from 9:30 to 6 isn’t going to kill you.

  38. Intriguing. Is there something wrong with McClouth? I think he would be the better choice than Diaz vs Lannan?

  39. McLouth injured his hammy, Ill take Diaz vs the lefty. Wouldnt mind seeing ACHE getting a game off

  40. I dunno Todd Helton was the best 1B in baseball from 00-04 and should have won the mvp in 2000. A couple more years of solid production and he should make the HoF imo.

  41. The Braves need to patent the concept of having the bases loaded and only getting one run. I laughed when I saw Omar’s fly was unzipped in his first PA back.

  42. If we win this by one, I don’t know if we should complain about the umps again this year. It’s pretty clear now that mistakes go both ways.

  43. Discussion: Is the Nats pitcher an actual Moyer-like BA depresser, or is he more a lucky lefty, HoRam style?

    It’s looking more like the latter, thank goodness.

  44. @68 Don’t worry about Stu, he’s still bitter b/c I was right about Escobar. He’s my mortal enemy on bravesjournal. I try not to engage the old guy.

    Let’s see what did I miss. Diaz hit into another DP. Wow…

    Good job Prado.

    I guess no one in Atlanta cares about the “red hot” Nats. Looks pretty empty.

  45. @91, good hitters hit into double plays. You hit the ball hard, DPs are more likely. i.e. McCann last AB.

  46. Nice job, Dix, now Tony thinks I’m elderly. He does, however, rightly point out that there’s nothing I hate more than an elite Braves player.

  47. @93 Didn’t say he didn’t hit it hard, I didn’t see it, just stated he hit into another one.

    I wonder what Diaz and Escobar averages are when they try and pull the ball instead of going to right?

  48. Rick Porcello hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch. Youkilis charged the mound. Both were ejected.

  49. @94 Haha…not elderly Stu. Old guy on here means you have been on bravesjournal for a long, long time.

  50. No, Chip, Bobby did not yell “easy.” He yelled “second” trying to fool them into screwing up. You are incredibly bad at your job.

  51. You really should be authoring “Crappy Commentating,” Mac, and every entry ought to be about Chip F. Caray.

  52. Wait, did Cox actually hint towards a six man rotation? If so, that’s awesome. I’m already kind of worried about Hanson’s workload.

  53. @127. I’m more worried about Jair.

    Another thing about having Infante, he can play the outfield. I think it would be good to give Garrett a day off.

  54. @68 Don’t worry about Stu, he’s still bitter b/c I was right about Escobar. He’s my mortal enemy on bravesjournal. I try not to engage the old guy.

    Good move. My bravesjournal experience has been greatly enhanced by enacting a no-Stu rule. Just gotta stick to it.

    Good chance to get Hanson out of there early tonight and save his arm. Hope Bobby does it.

  55. Hanson reached back to get 93? Remember his first few games up? He was reaching back for 97.

    How do his innings look vs last year?

  56. Bttm of the 6th. Bases loaded, nobody out. Astros now lead the Marlins 7-3, make it 7-4. Still no one out. Thanks Roy Oswalt.

  57. Chip, the Natinals are not going to put Strasburg in the majors this year if they sign him. STFU.

  58. do you guys think anyone ever gets on chip’s case when he prematurely gets excited about every fly ball?

  59. Ryan C, John Stirling has taken that to a new art form. He was going ga-ga over a flyball this weekend that didn’t even reach the warning track.

  60. Is 91 as hard as Hanson throws?

    What was Garrett doing on that play? He definitely needs a day off.

  61. Hanson pitched in winter ball too in addition to this season. That’s probably why he’s down velocity-wise.

  62. The nice thing about that Phils/Cubs series is whoever loses, the Braves win (as long as they take care of business themselves.) They either gain in the division or gain in the WC.

  63. Speaking of six man rotations, I was hoping to see Hudson on Saturday at Gwinnett. Now, I get Wakefield. Oh, goody.

  64. Cecil Cooper is an idiot. I guess he will let this guy blow the game. Who lets a reliever throw 36 pitches?

    I was right…8-7 marlins. I will never complain about Bobby Cox again.

  65. Running Bobby or ACHE there would have been Good Umpiring. Sheesh, you’re winning 7-1, it’s the seventh inning, and there were two out and nobody on base. Shut up.

  66. Again, Chip’s falsetto voice.

    Chip – the catcher makes that play without the fan leaning into him. It did not cost Garrett Anderson an out.

  67. The Astros organization as a whole is dumb. They’d be in bad shape if they had an owner with no money.

  68. Stretching out O’Flaherty was a good move. Please use a disposable pitcher in the ninth.

  69. McClain isn’t that great of an owner. I grew up going to Astros games and most of the fans don’t like him

  70. I say we pick up Smoltz and send him to AAA and let the G-Braves draw a bunch of fans every 5th day

  71. Bethany Says:

    I’d wet myself if Youkilis ran at me.

    Am I the only person who was turned on by that?

  72. @191–I wasn’t turned on by it, but I caught the double meaning and chose to ignore it.

    Acosta is looking like someone whose next game might be for Gwinnett.

  73. Acosta has great stuff when he throws strikes!

    Mac @ 185 I about fell off my chair laughing!

  74. good luck with the Cubs scoring another run with that sorry offense. Is anyone any good in the central?

    The Pirates are leading the Rockies 5 – 1 in Colorado in the bttm of the 5th…not holding my breath.

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