Home at last game thread: June 15, Rays at Braves

You would think that an interleague series between two first-place teams, the team with the best road record in baseball at the team with the best home record in baseball, would get a lot of national attention. Somehow, I doubt it.

320 thoughts on “Home at last game thread: June 15, Rays at Braves”

  1. Austin Kearns seems like he’s figured something out (i.e. stopped partying). Wonder what it would take to pry him away from the Indians?

  2. Headed to The Bronx to see Halladay vs Sabathia. (Once again, thank God for the iPhone app.)

    I’m taking a tiny amount of pleasure in the fact that I’m bringing a die-hard Mets fan, who must root for the Yankees tonight.

  3. I’d be shocked if Wren isn’t discussing an OF-pitcher trade with the Nats. Nats have lots of depth at OF, at least two guys (Dunn, Willingham) in the last year of their contracts, and need pitching.

  4. Havent seen Price pitch since college. Anyone know what the arsenal is/why he’s seemingly made the jump this year?

  5. @1 – Mike Dunn is young, eating up AAA, and cost controlled for a while. He has a career 429/178 K:BB ratio. If I was convinced in Kearns, I think that would be pretty fair.

  6. I must admit, I know little about specific players in our minor league system outside of Teheran, Minor, Johnson, Freeman, and that guy we got from the Yankees; who would the Braves give up at the deadline? Our system is pretty top heavy with pitching, correct?

  7. Willingham will be in his last year of arb next year, and will doubtless be a Type A should he turn them down, meaning some choice draft picks. He won’t be cheap, and I can’t imagine Washington wanting to trade him within the division, unless the got a ton back.

  8. Hearing Minor is now consistently in the 90s gives me the Bob Smile.

    As for Glaus: I’d certainly give him a two-year deal. I believe that none of the stupid-money teams need 1B.

    Yankees – Stilladouche (btw, did you see the call that went against him the other night? Pitch literally hit the plate and they called it a strike.)

    RedSox – Youk, Big Papi, maybe Victor Martinez

    Mets – ? eh, maybe.

    Who else?

  9. I think we should trade an old sock left in the Myrtle Beach clubhouse by Brent Lillibridge and a pinky-swear that we’ll text them Jacob Heyward’s cell phone digits to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutchen.

  10. Yeah, Freeman’s looking good, but he won’t be ready at the beginning of next year.

    If Chipper retires, I would look to extend Glaus for one year at 2x his current salary + incentives. I would make the move later in the season, not before mid-August.

    If he goes to free agency, we will need multiple years to get him back. That would give us insurance on a Freeman setback, but probably would temporarily block him after he’s ready.

  11. @10, I think Ike Davis is the Mets guy going forward. Phillies have their guy for a while too. LAA if Kendry doesn’t come back all the way? LAD are set with Loney.

  12. Less forgivable: Posing hypothetical trade scenarios for Andrew McCutchen, or not knowing our right fielder’s first name?

  13. from the previous thread…

    I didn’t mean that I’m not high on Freeman as a player. I’m just doubt that he’ll be MLB-ready next year. My post was in response to the question “what do we do with Glaus?”.

  14. Less forgivable: Posing hypothetical trade scenarios for Andrew McCutchen, or not knowing our right fielder’s first name?

    You know what would be weird? If our superstar young right fielder had a little brother playing his senior year in high school right now, and being scouted a little here or there.

  15. Jacob Heyward?

    Does he play beside Nancy McLouth and Mark Cabrera?

    I think he’s on the same team as Chandler Jones and Jerome Jurrjens.

  16. That would be weird!

    Yeah. Totally weird. Luckily it’s not true. Jacob is actually a freshman.

  17. Just messing with you Hutch. (your last name reminds me of a little suburb outside of Wichita, KS)

  18. 6- Outside of Freeman, and to a degree Schafer, Salcedo, Bethancourt and Mycal Jones, it’s all pitching. Freeman, Vizcaino, Teheran, Delgado, and Minor will all probably be top 100 guys and I could see the first 4 all potentially being in the top 25. I can’t really imagine many scenarios when any would be traded.

    Outside that, probably all relative/eye of the beholder type stuff, but most of the depth is pitching. KKKody Johnson is more of circus freak than a legit prospect at the moment, but I guess lightning could strike.

  19. So–what are the odds the Braves win tonight?

    About 50/50. Same as every night, for the most part.

  20. Saw where UGA fired their pitching coach. Had to throw someone to the wolves after an embarrassing year.

    There really is no excuse for UGA to not at least be a good baseball team. Other than Florida, California and Texas, there’s probably more talent in this state than anywhere.

  21. RE: Glaus discussion

    Although it’s way too early to be talking about this, I can’t imagine a scenario where the Braves can afford Glaus at the rate he’s currently producing. Quite a few teams need right-handed power and I’m sure one of them will want to overpay this winter. That’s just my feeling, I hope I’m wrong.

  22. @30, 31, seriously? You really think Conrad’s going to keep playing out of his head like this?

    Sure, Chipper’s on the downslope, but he’s been very unlucky this year, while Conrad’s been very lucky. Chipper still gives us a better chance to win than the third base alternatives they’ve used so far this year. (Prado probably hits better, but then you have to fill second.)

    Chipper’s still a good player. Maybe not All-Star out-of-this-world good like most of his career, but he’s still the best option on the team.

  23. Although it’s way too early to be talking about this, I can’t imagine a scenario where the Braves can afford Glaus at the rate he’s currently producing. Quite a few teams need right-handed power and I’m sure one of them will want to overpay this winter. That’s just my feeling, I hope I’m wrong.

    Glaus is extendable if Chipper retires and restructures.

  24. Bet Baylor and Iowa State are thinking, “So this is what grace (unmerited favor) feels like.”

    So close to wandering in the wildnerness and now rolling in milk and honey.

    Missouri’s just happy to be back home sleeping on the couch.

  25. Wait, so they’re starting Kawakami over Resop?

    I mean, Kawakami clearly has no idea How To Win™.

  26. We won’t be competing with any big-market clubs for Glaus, but there will be plenty of clubs in the hunt. The Diamondbacks may want a switch, the Mariners clearly need somebody, the Astros if they deal Berkman, the Indians, the Blue Jays, A’s, and there’s probably other AL teams that could use him at DH. So there should be plenty of clubs in the hunt. And the way the Braves have pushed Freeman, I kinda doubt they’ll give Glaus a 2-year deal (although I’d certainly consider it). So it’ll really come down to whether he wants to play in Atlanta for another year and hit the market again or try for one last, bit(ish) paycheck.

    And of course there’s a fair chance he gets hurt before the end of the year, which makes it even more muddled.

    Basically, it’s going to come down to how much Glaus wants to stay in Atlanta for another season and how well Freeman plays during the second half of the minor league season.

  27. Chris Young would certaintly help, but I have no idea how he’d be valued. He’s been good this year, but the ML track record hasn’t been stellar up to this point and I wouldn’t be at all shocked if he went into a major slump at any moment. Of course, he could also get better and I wouldn’t be surprised. His pedigree in the minors was as good as it gets.

    If they could get something done w/out including Vizcaino, Teheran, Freeman, or Delgado, I’d jump on it, but I don’t know how realistic that it.

  28. RE: 39

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if on December 16th, 2010 the following appears on ESPN’s Bottom Line: “Glaus signs 5 year, 67 million dollar contract with Astros”.

    The Astros truly are hopeless.

  29. Replacing rotted meat with a McDonald’s hamburger is a little like replacing a Five Guys hamburger with a sirloin steak, isn’t it?

    Well, kinda.

  30. Guys I’d take to platoon with Eric Hinske: Josh Willingham, Jim Edmonds, Andruw Jones, Austin Kearns, Xavier Nady.

    Story doesn’t change much from year to year, does it?

    Of course, that’s just the guys who look like they might be available. And then you’d still have to decide if they’re better than Matt Diaz or not..

    I wish we’d just trade for Cody Ross and stick him in CF, and then ride it out.

  31. There is a leverage the Braves have in extending Glaus: by vesting the incentives on this contract now in exchange for 1 fixed year and 1 club option year.

    Glaus is too old and has had too many injuries to get a 5 year contract, even from the Astros or the Royals. He also will not be viewed as a viable 3rd baseman so he falls in the 1B DH group. That group has had continuing decline in value, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE PLAYER IS RIGHTHANDED.

    So, if his agent is smart and if he doesn’t object to being in Atlanta, vesting 2010 and then 8 for 2011, team option for 10 for 2012 would make sense for Glaus.

  32. JoeyT, Chippers only asset is that pitchers still pitch around him and he can draw a few walks. Offensively, you dont want to lose a guy with a .380-400 OBP, but he’s brutal at 3B now. Im not saying that I dont think Chipper is better or worse than Conrad/Infante, I just dont think the difference is that great anymore

  33. jjschiller at 45,

    Edmonds is a lefthanded hitter who is worthless against lefties and fundamentally just a little above average against righthanders. Sort of like Hinske, except older and hurter but with a higher topside in his past.

  34. from ESPN:
    “Of concern is Price’s control as of late; he’s had a 31:23 K:BB ratio over his last eight starts.”

    That should work well for the Braves.

  35. Guys I’d like to see platoon with Hinkse: Matt Diaz

    Seriously, though. Heyward/NewMelky/Hinkse+Diaz is a pretty solid outfield. Especially if the right side of the IF keeps clicking.

  36. Ruminations on the Chipper thing.

    1. This finger thing may be a world beater by itself. He got a cortisone injection a week ago and rested it 3 days and then played two games and it still hurts bad? That sounds like either (a) arthritis / bursitis or (b) a tendon or ligament problem. (a) might get better with rest. (b) would require surgery and with rehab would kill this season. Maybe Chipper already knows it is (b).

    2. Chipper knows the team wouldn’t make a big move on payroll 2011 or 2012 right now (extend Glaus, add Berkman or Oswalt, whatever). He might want to put it in writing that he isn’t coming back so they can (and might HAVE TO to get him to sign off on it) spend it on adding a piece or two now for him and Bobby to go out on a high note.

    3. Fundamentally, Chipper doesn’t want to break in a new manager.

    4. Chipper would probably enjoy a part time minor league roving hitting instructor position for a couple of years. He can drive to Rome and to Gwinett easily. He could take the family to Myrtle Beach or Orlando.

    5. Even if the finger gets better, there may be actual other things already going on that are contributing to the breakdown.

  37. Weather.com saying there are thunder storms in Atlanta area. Since I’m in KS what does it look like from those of you who live in the Atlanta area? Any chance of a rainout?

  38. Billy Ripken is not on MLB Network today, so it’s safe to watch, everybody.

    He makes Frank Stallone look like Jeff Bridges. I think that makes sense.

  39. A rain delay in the early innings taking David Price out of the game would not be the worst thing that could happen.

  40. took awhile to get the lineup posted today, but here it is:

    side note: infante was originally supposed to play left field,but tested the foot and couldnt go.

  41. Congratulations to Gregor Blanco, now a lefthanded hitter who is going to get all his at-bats against lefthanded pitching as part of a platoon arrangement.

  42. I don’t think Chipper is going to turn into Favre, but he’s got a long history of telling reporters how much he’s been “thinking about” or “considering” retirement. I truly don’t think he knows whether he’s going to retire at the end of the season, and I truly don’t believe he’s ready to make that decision right now. Any announcement right now would be premature — as I think he realized, when he seems to have first decided, and then canceled, to formally declare his retirement at the end of the season.

  43. I would guess the hoopla today stems from money concerns more than anything, I agree with cliff @55

  44. What happens first: Chipper bumped down the order, or BP oil spill is stopped?

  45. Well, Hinske can’t hit lefties at all, so they’re using the stronger defensive arrangement. It’s more bad roster management than anything.

  46. @70 – true. They should send down one of the relievers and call up Mitch Jones.

  47. I’m a bit confused on the settlement Chipper is referring to. I always thought if a player retired, he got nothing that was left on the contract.

  48. checking the radar and it looks like it might be a long night. probably good for the braves. i heard kawakami’s mudda was a mudda.

  49. Maybe he’s offering to defer some payment this year to allow a midseason pickup?

  50. @76, when a guy is falling on his sword for the good of the team, they work something out.

  51. Kawakami gets all the plum pitching assignments, doesn’t he? No doubt he’s thinking that we’ll pitch him against Strasburg when Washington comes to call.

  52. Diaz will be back between the end of june and the all star break, no exact ETA just yet

  53. Mac, Wren gave Chipper a good contract right off his batting champion season. Chipper did do the Braves a favor couple times before that though.

  54. @81

    That’s right, he’s done that during each of his last two contracts. Stand-up guy, Chipper. Amazing to think that, of the top eleven players in franchise history, Chipper will be the only one to play his entire career with the team.

    (I chose eleven because there’s a pretty clear line of demarcation there — Nichols, Spahn, Niekro, Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux, Aaron, Mathews, Chipper, Andruw, Murph. Maybe Herman Long belongs.)

  55. @84 Rivera and Willingham should not be available yet. Hart should be though, but I doubt the Brewers would trade him away in June.

  56. cost on each?

    No idea on Hart, probably legitimate prospects, though. Rivera would cost nothing because his contract is awful (and I don’t really agree that he could help the team, gives them nothing Diaz/Hinske won’t). The Nationals seem to be operating under the delusion they’re a contender, and Willingham is arb-eligible again in 2011, so I don’t know if they’d move him. The Braves would surely have to part with legit prospects.

  57. Hey, how about that Hawks hire? I know I’m excited.

    Is Mr. Blanc the only rich guy left in Atlanta?

  58. Georgia seems to be. Look at all the banks that have failed in Georgia- eight just since the beginning of the year. Florida was harder hit than most when its real estate went bust. The rest of the South has done somewhat better, especially Texas and Louisiana because of their oil and natural gas (until the Deepwater Horizon blew up, anyway).

  59. Peter if things suck worse in the South than they do here in Ohio or Michigan ……

  60. Things kind of suck everywhere. None of that, however, explains the financial decision made by the ASG to find a head coach willing to make 50% less than the average NBA head coach makes. Consolidating resources to give Joe Johnson a max contract explains that. And as soon as that happens, say hello to another decade of basketball irrelevance in Atlanta.

  61. Well, to be fair, things were sucking in Ohio and Michigan long before the Great Recession.

    Edit: Play ball!

  62. Yeah, rain delay. I turn on the TV hoping to catch the end of the game, and I get to watch the whole thing!

  63. Things suck worse in the upper midwest. Atlanta and Florida got hit by the housing burst and the general poverty of the south makes the downturn hurt worse, even though we’re mostly on par with the national averages. But CA and FL bore the brunt of the housing bubble, with NV and AZ coming in second. The joblessness recession has hit the old Rust Belt very, very hard. Worse than it has hit the Deep South.

  64. OK that homer sucked but I’m still in a great mood. I just got home and remembered that I forgot to set the DVR for the game, only to find out that it’s just starting AND I get Ernie and no Chip! WooHoo!

  65. Georgia has 38 bank failures since 2008, most in the nation. We were very quick to approve small new banks who specialized in subprime loans to targeted markets.

    Florida leads in mortgage fraud. Lots of reasons for that, but one that’s not often cited is that you don’t have to be a real estate attorney to preside over a closing. A notary can do it.

  66. On the bright side, he’s making the whole “who goes to the bullpen?” decision much easier.

  67. At the deadline, if the braves can’t add a big bopper, they need to try and find some more speed. Heyward showed how speed can manufacture runs that inning.

  68. Rough night for Kawakami. It’s like my three-year-old son playing baseball on the wii. Can’t get anyone out.

  69. McCann is a bad defensive catcher I don’t care what sabermetrics you dig up

  70. That was a 10 hopper that was thrown right at the runner, how is that an error?

    And why was Glaus charged an error in the 1st? The throw clearly brought him off the bag.

  71. bad decision here. infante can hit. kawakami will be taken out next inning anyway. c’mon bobby!

  72. Gotta give Prado some slack on that one. Umpire called an awful strike, and before he could blink he was down 0-2.

  73. chief, please go to an island somewhere where there’s no internet access and take jon k with you.

  74. The whole “not getting the runner in from third with less than two outs” thing is starting to worry me. Glaus seems to be the only person on the team capable of getting a sac fly.

  75. Hindsight’s 20/20, but I think Cox should have used a ph for KK with the bases loaded.

  76. we always seem to get runners on with the 8 hitter and pitcher coming up. I mean yeah we should score some of those, but it sucks. of course it’s usually melky/nate hitting 8th, so there’s 1 out. pitcher up, there’s 2. now we get one chance to get them in.

  77. Chipper Jones looks like the Chipper of old from the right side.

    Zombie Chipper only shows up against right handers.

  78. Would be great to get some runs, Price does not look that good.

    Yunel, do NOT hit into a double play.

    Ha! Thanks Price!

  79. 156 — Medlen’s never thrown more than 120 innings in a season, and there are concerns about keeping his IP limited. Young pitchers are fragile.

  80. Be honest: how many of you were glad when Escobar grounded out so that Melk Dud wouldn’t hit into a DP?

  81. I hate to tell Joe, anytime you don’t score with the bases loaded and no outs, it always comes back to haunt you.

  82. 159—Yup, the same one there was prior to this start. One bad start against the best team in baseball doesn’t suddenly make that moot.

  83. Through 3 innings, both Kawakami and Price have thrown 63 pitches. At this rate, both will be out after 5 innings at the latest. Perhaps the Braves have a chance after all…

  84. I would love to see Soriano come in with a one-run lead.

    167—As ububba noted, the Braves also play the Royals while the Mets play the Yankees. Really, not that big of a deal.

  85. Kawakami’s thrown over 80 pitches and doesn’t look sharp. However, Bobby Cox is the manager, and he’s only gone four innings, so I think KK comes to bat this inning.


  86. How far below Replacement level is Zombie Chipper this year for you SABR dorks?

  87. Next, Chief will tell all you dorks that you live in your parents’ basement!

    Chipper’s VORP is 4.3, putting him at 8th on the team.

  88. 4 errors, good to know the off day helped

    I blame KK for all of this. He must really piss off the guys before each start

  89. How far below replacement level baseball fan is someone who has no idea what replacement level is?

  90. Note that Chipper’s VORP includes a BABIP of .254. His career BABIP is .315. Some of that is age, but a lot of it is bad luck.

  91. BMac’s throwing is pretty awful this year

    what % of runners is he actually throwing out? I will say that Huddy, KK, and Moylan are three of the easiest guys to run on though

  92. JoeyT, I was talking about that with a coworker today. Just looking at the numbers you’d think Chipper was unlucky, but having watched almost all of his AB’s this year IMO its mostly age. He’s hit a ton of weak grounders/lazy fly balls too.

  93. I’m loving Ernie in the booth. So smooth. Just a great tone to his voice.

    Edit: and one more… We can do this.

  94. Blanco’s at-bats are tedious. You know it is going to be either a walk, a single or an out.

  95. Dan needs to change his screen name to Negative Nancy.

    I’m happy with any plate appearance that doesn’t end in an out. Go Blanco.

  96. @212, Walt Weiss! When I think about #8 hitters who walk a ton, for some reason, he’s the first guy who comes to mind.

  97. We worked Price hard tonight. Too bad KK didn’t have it.

    Amazingly, KK’s ERA went down tonight due to the whole unearned run thing.

  98. Supposedly he’s focusing more on movement and control now than he used to and less on velocity.

  99. I can’t believe Chris Resop is still around.

    And yes, Ernie is infinitely better than Chip.

  100. He doesn’t look like he could one-hit my co-rec softball team.

    Maybe he’s just got some jitters…

  101. On the plus side, should we face the Rays in the WS, neither Kawakami nor Resop will likely be pitching.

  102. A sign your team is really good: You’ve got a reliever with a Sub 2.00 ERA and 4/27 walk/strike out ratio and he’s your sixth inning man.

  103. Man, that ball just didn’t go. I think Chipper got his hands on those trick bats that Francoeur was using when he was here.

  104. I remember Blafour pitching in Durham. He was their closer, and a good one at that. Good, live fastball and not afraid to challenge hitters.

  105. Another opportunity squandered. I think Balfour is mixing in a cutter or hard slider.

  106. Sheesh, the Braves are going to have to sign Ted Kaczynski to get a bomb after threatening.

  107. So he’s up in the zone, walking people, and the velocity is 91-93 on the FB. This sounds about like the last time he was up here. :-/

  108. Good move Bobby bringing in Resop in a 2 run game especially when he comes in he faces 4 out of 5 left handed hitters .. should have came with a lefty reliever .. but oh well you must have known KK couldnt get a win and didnt want to waste any of our main relievers .. boy did Wren panic last year in wasting 22 mil a year on Lowe and KK …

  109. Tad, were you not concerned with the rotation when it looked like this?

    Jurrjens, Morton, Campillo, Jo Jo, Carlyle

    I could see why he may have been a little concerned

  110. shocking what happens when that fastball moves a little…Resop take note or just go away

  111. Speaking of ass-whippings…

    It was Fight Night at Yankee Stadium tonight.

    Not only did Roy Halladay get touched up–3 HRs, plus 2 other XBHs—but I saw a girl in a Yankees jersey clock a guy in a Phils jersey. Twice. In the 3rd inning. Yes, they (and their friends) were ejected.

    After that, it was a dumb-ass drunk fiesta. Scraps all over the place, cops running here, security running there. As usual, when the game got a little out of hand, things got ugly in the stands. More like Giants @ Eagles, probably, than Phils/Yanks.

    At least we won’t give ground to the Phils.

    Edit: The Zombie wakes!

  112. Resop was not very good tonight, and he may very well just be a AAAA player, but it was absolutely worth a try swapping him for Chavez. Everyone jumping on that move immediately after this performance is being a little ridiculous. The man would have been released, and the man he was replacing sucks. And even if teams were interested in him, why the hell would anyone trade for Resop when they know we would have to release him anyway? Also, this is kind of a small sample size, though I do admit he looked really awful.

    EDIT: That immediately goes on the list of five worst ball/strike calls I have ever seen. Bruce Dreckman is really lame.

  113. Tampa Bay’s obviously really good & they’re stomping our guts out tonight, but whenever I see their cap, I think, “Tuberculosis.”

  114. every single person in the starting lineup got on base twice tonight, and we scored 3…

  115. I will say that Blanco is starting to remind me why anybody thought he was capable of being a starting OF a couple years ago. He’s still not someone you want as a starting OF, though. I still start Melky against righties.

  116. Did anyone really think KK to 0-9 wasnt 99% guarenteed? Oh and Resop did exactly what crap pitchers do, they pitch like crap. Someone said it earlier, it was like calling up Gonzalez for bob wickman. The guy stinks, end of story.

  117. Worst rain delay in the history of rain delays. I was at Turner–it was 2:20 of threats. Radars looked terribly ominous, but things never got to be more than a heavy drizzle at the stadium.

    Kawakami blows. There’s just something about him that sucks the life out of the team around him.

    How the hell do the Mets get to play the Orioles and Indians and we’re shafted with the Twins and Rays? The best team will prevail in the end but their ease of schedule right now is ridiculous.

  118. We still only have 1 legit starting OF with Heyward (taking into account Mclouth has been terrible). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the braves make a move for an OF bat.

  119. Kawakami does blow, the guy was a terrible pick up and isn’t worth the money. Sooner or later he will be a gloried bullpen pitcher

  120. I guess we were due for a let down type game after a long trip we had.
    Lets take the next two here boys.

    Damn we need another true OF.

  121. Let’s face it: we have a need for a fifth starter. The guy we have in that role isn’t getting it done. (Claudell Escobar’s first-inning error didn’t help, but I digress. Again.)

    So, in my quest for a lefty (or a knuckleballer – every team should have one), I discovered that the Mariners are due a high draft pick if they hang on to Cliff Lee all year, complicating any trade that might occur.

    Still think Seattle would be a good landing spot for Kawakami (who clearly needs a change of scenery).

    I know we keep hearing how pitching-rich the Braves are, but chanting it doesn’t make it so. We’ve got at least one problem to fix.

  122. Hope so. Those type of injuries to a pitcher scare me. They never seem to go away and if JJ loses some explosion, he becomes pretty average.

  123. Very true, but if we ease him in as a 5th we could/should be fine.

    I didnt get to watch, was Resop as bad as his number show?

  124. And does Resop’s performance all year at least merit another look at him? I would think so, but I hope it’s one of those mop up situations.

  125. Resop will get another chance, as he should. He was utterly dominant in AAA for an extended period of time.

    307—I believe you misunderstood the comparison.

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