217 thoughts on “Stupid Nats game thread: June 30, Nats at Braves”

  1. On the AJC Blog, Nelson Cruz’s name came up. I remember he has been discussed on Mac’s journal in the past. Is he worth exploring?

  2. Isn’t a stamen the part of the male part of a flower? The opposite of the pistil.

  3. 1—You mean, if he keeps up his current pace? FWIW, ZiPS projects that he’ll end the season with 193 hits, 12 HR, 42 doubles, 4 triples, 96 R, and 63 RBI.

  4. Cruz’s home/road splits leave much to be desired, and the remaining years of team control would mean that we replenish Texas’ farm system…again.

  5. Thanks. I try not to follow American League ball. The DH is a sin against God and Abner Doubleday.

  6. #4 – Prado has 362 PAs through 78 team games. Zips is projecting 287 PAs for the final 84 team games. That seems a little light.

  7. what’s the site that does the 10,000 simluations of the remaining games and projects who’s going to win the division? I’ve been there many times and can’t get my brain to think of it (or even get close enough for google apparently).

  8. Followed a link on that ste to an article by one Eno Sarris dated 6/17/2010 which ranks Prado as the 17th best 2B in baseball. Just ahead of Alberto Callaspo and just behind Juan Uribe and Placido Polanco.

    Thanks Stu, you can’t unread stupidity like that. It’s stuck in my head now.

  9. Heh, as a glutton for punishment, I went to read it myself. To be fair, it appears to be a fantasy-league ranking, not a real-life ranking. But it still seems rather wonky, yes.

  10. From previous thread:
    Its a sellers market when its pretty plain what we need. We need a power hitting outfielder, the Nats need some organizational pitching. Nats say we want Teheran, we say no. Nats say ok we’ll keep our power hitting outfielder, no harm no foul.

    Was it Coach that threw Cruz’s name out there. I didn’t look closely but the dude is raking. Dunno why the Rangers would want to trade him.

  11. @19, Fine. There is no guarantee that a RH power hitter will put us over the top. Hinske is going to start against RH pitching until he proves he’s cooled off, and Heyward is going to start in RF every day when he returns, period. An RH power bat that can’t play CF represents a smaller marginal upgrade than appears and there is a non zero chance that Diaz or McClouth find their stroke, making the need moot. So, yeah, you just keep your Willingham if you want more than he is worth to ATL. There’s a pretty good chance that doing nothing will actually be the Braves best move.

  12. I didn’t realize that it was a Tim Hudson HBP that caused the Polanco injury. He may be out for months.

  13. Couple years ago, the Braves were whispered to be after Coco Crisp…

    He’s on the field again. I wonder if there was anything to that the first time around? Might it be revisited..

  14. Im guessing its a sellers market because over half the teams in baseball are within 5 games of their division lead, per XM radio. If thats the case your bottom of the barrell teams should be able to get some teams bidding on their trade pieces. Few good trade pieces and a lot of potential buyers makes it a sellers market. Just thinking out loud

  15. I agree Spike. I think that doing nothing is the best course too. Diaz/Hiske some combo of Cabrera/Blanco and when he comes back healthy and ready to rip up the NL, Heyward.

    Yeah, I am counting Nate out this year. Just have a bad feeling he won’t be the same if he does recover.

    Got to see Freddie Freeman on TV the other night. Clippers vs. GBraves. He chokes up a little and has a smooth short swing. Really tall and skinny kid. Sort of reminds me of John Olerud.

    #23 My definition of seller’s market. Someone has something you want and can name their price because no one else has that same commodity. The Nats are out of it. And of all the teams that are out of it they are the only ones that have a very good power hitting outfielder. At least as far as I could see by scanning last place team’s rosters on Baseball Reference.

    #26 yes, exactly.

  16. Well, Morosi already listed two other possible targets in Jose Bautista and Corey Hart.

    One thing I haven’t paid attention to: Which other teams are in the market for these guys along with the Braves?

  17. You all are counting on 5 players who are pretty unproven to produce well.

    Melky is Melky, and isn’t going to keep hitting as well as he had the past few weeks.

    We’ve discussed Blanco’s issues at length.

    Diaz is coming off a bad year and hasn’t looked any better this year.

    Hinske is a freaking pumpkin. He will not retain the numbers he has put up.

    Heyward might never return to his early season form until his thumb is better.

    But sure, let’s sit pat when we’ve got a ton of top pitching prospects and nowhere to put them.

  18. I think it’s a seller’s market for some kinds of players. . For Cliff Lee, as good as he is, maybe not so much because the Mariners are faced with him walking away at the end of the year. Typically, guys like that don’t bring as much in return as people assume. Of course, if a lot of teams want Lee that will help, but even contenders are more reluctant these days to trade away their top prospects, especially for a guy who is a free agent at the end of the year and who is a Boras client.

    On the other hand, look at someone like Josh Willingham. The Nats don’t have to trade him unless they get what they want. They might be in a better position than the Mariners to hold out. (And the Nats really haven’t talked about trading Willingham anyway.)

  19. Seems to me like Frank Wren’s trades have always come out of no where. Not that they aren’t addressing a need it just seems like they aren’t the ones that are rumored are proposed by the insiders.

    Don’t get me wrong I enjoy following the rumors and the speculation as much as anyone. I was just trying to remember if any of his previous trades were ever the rumored ones. The Teixiera trade is the last big rumored traded that I can remember going down and that was in Scheurholtz’s last year.

    But we knew we were going to trade a starter this offseason, that Vazquez had a shot to be it, but I never thought the Yankees would be requiring him and don’t remember that rumor. Or that we targeted Nate McLouth, trading Edgar to the Tigers, the LaGross trade last summer that came out of no where.

    Someone enlighten me if these were rumored somewhere.

  20. Lessee here – teams that need RH OF (preferably CF)

    Mets – No. Beltran coming back, Pagan ok, Bay ok, Frenchy livable
    Phils – No
    Cards – No
    Cin – sure, but needs pitching much worse
    SDP – sure, but LA prob won’t swap in the div, and other options may be too pricey
    LAD – No
    NYY – No
    TBR – No
    Bos – yes
    Min – yes, needs starter worse
    Det – No
    CWS – seems like a lefty LF would suit them better.
    LAA – maybe
    Tex – Lefty CF would suit them better, and maybe not even then.

    So really, maybe 3 or 4 playoff contenders, and even then, I think SP is more of a precious commodity.

  21. bethany,
    diaz is coming off an incredible year…i would say he’s proven. blanco will get on base and hinske will hit. the only person i see an issue with is melky.

    1. Prado 2B, 2. Cabrera RF, 3. Jones 3B, 4. McCann C, 5. Glaus 1B, 6. Hinske LF, 7. Escobar SS, 8.Blanco CF, 9. Jurrjens P

  22. well even with Lee, if they dont move him they’ll get the picks. Teams have to beat two top picks with their offers

  23. I’m with you, jorg – don’t remember any smoke about any of those.

    You guys are higher on Willinham than I am. Is he really that much of an upgrade over what we have? Especially if we have to give a good pitching prospect to a Division rival?

  24. Id rather see Yunel or Blanco in the two hole. Melky cant lay down sac bunts

    Id want to give Diaz some AB’s vs RH right now too. We need to see him a bit and let him get some swings in. Need to find out before the deadline

  25. @32, so all of our good hitters are going to get bad, and none of our bad hitters will get better. Forget trading, let’s just concede.

  26. Can someone explain why everyone is hot after Matt Kemp? He is playing horribly this year. What’s so great about him?

  27. @35
    boston has mike cameron with jacoby on the mends.
    the angels have torii hunter
    the twins have denard span

    how do these teams need a centerfield power RH bat?

  28. @40 You consider those our good hitters?

    Look at how much our offense has slacked off since Heyward fell apart. You are getting Prado and Glaus at their peak and what happens when they come down a bit? McCann will get better, Chipper a little too, but not enough to make up for the holes that are there.

  29. I said “RH power bat” to include non-CF’s like the WIllinghams and Harts of the world that would be of interest to ATL that others might need.

  30. @43, don’t be obtuse. “Good hitters” in that context is to mean guys who are hitting well now, and vice versa. Your claim is they guys who aren’t hitting well now, but have in the past (Heyward, McClouth Diaz) are all going to stay down while those hitting better than expected (Hinske, momentarily Melky, Blanco) are all going to fall back.

    /edit – and now you think Glaus and Prado are doomed as well.

  31. man, boston has beckett, hermida, pedroia, v-mart, lowell, lowrie, and tazawa all on the dl.

  32. @45 I’m not saying they are doomed, but I don’t think it’s realistic for them to be supermen the entire season. Diaz only hits well against lefties, McClouth has never hit for us and Heyward is a rookie with two good months under his belt.

  33. RH Cameron, RH McDonald and Ellsbury have sucked at the plate
    Rivera is a RH giant hole of awful in LF
    RH Cuddyer has been poor too

    All those teams would benefit from RH power that could play center if needed and a corner if not.

  34. @47 – Hinske has a good career platoon split, as does Diaz – why should that change? Heyward has hit on every level – including this one – when not hurt. Why should this not be true going forward? Nate has been an OPS 109 or better hitter for the year for 3 straight. Why wouldn’t he be expected to be around that level when he comes back? Caddy him with Melky for the rest of the year, and a 105 or so OPS out of CF the rest of the way should be fine if everyone just lives up to their career avgs.

  35. @39 I seem to remember Yunel looking really bad laying down a bunt and some of us were wondering if that was on purpose because he wanted to hit. Basically fouled two off so that Bobby had to take the bunt off.

  36. One more reason to start Infante at 2B. (kidding, kidding)

    Still, I’d like to see what Omar could do with 2 weeks of uninterrupted playing time.

  37. @49

    “.737 — Nate McLouth’s on base-plus-slugging percentage since coming to the Braves in a trade on June 3, 2009. That’s 64 points below his career OPS in four-plus seasons with the Pirates, and 116 points below his .853 OPS in 2008 when he made the All-Star team.”

    Nate’s stats look pretty bad last year if you only consider his time here.

    I’m shocked that people just assume Heyward is going to be magnificent when he returns. Did anyone expect him to play this well before the season started? Why, after such a short time is it just assumed he’s going to be incredible? And what’s the guarentee that Heyward is going to be healed at all this year? I thought the thumb injury would only repair itself during the offseason.

    Even if we assume Hinske/Diaz will work out, that’s still 1, if not 2 gigantic holes in the outfield, same as always.

  38. @52 – Nate’s had 500AB’s as a brave – he’s had 1500 as a non brave. Those apparently don’t count. Even if he continues to be terrible, there’s a pretty good chance that he’ll be just average to better than average against RHP, which is all that is required. There are around 25 percent LH starters – running Melk out there once every 4 days in CF is sub optimal defensively, but won’t kill you.

    I don’t require Heyward to be magnificent, merely competent, with a good chance to be above average to excellent. That ain’t a gigantic hole.

    Hinske/Diaz has a very good chance to be well above average.

    You are magnifying the faults and minimizing the good among all these players.

    There is no question everything you posit is possible but it’s extremely not probable that ALL of them will happen.

  39. Well, if Nate’s small sample size as a Brave doesn’t matter, then why is Heyward’s small sample at the majors any different?

    I’m a pessimist, I can’t help it!

  40. All this talk about Joe Johnson reminds me of those conversations we used to have about how “Mark Teixeira is a very good player, but not an elite player.” Puts up the numbers but won’t take you to the promised land, has a habit of disappearing at inopportune moments, and has a habit of costing more than he’s worth.

    Marc, Kemp is a really, really talented guy with lots of power and lots of speed who only costs $7 million next year and will be arb-eligible in 2012. He’s having a rough year on a team that’s going through circus hell right now with the McCourt divorce, and he’d be a great buy-low target. He’s always been a raw tools guy, and he clearly still lacks a lot of polish, but if we trust our coaching staff to be able to improv his defensive positioning and tell him to stop trying to steal bases, he could be a real asset to the club.

    He is vastly, vastly more talented than David DeJesus, and if we really want one more bat, Kemp is a guy who will actually add firepower to our lineup. He’s a gamble and a risk. But there’s no one else on the trade market with his upside.

  41. Spike,
    Try listening to what Bethany says instead of putting words in her mouth. She never said Glaus and Prado are “doomed,” merely that their performances are bound to come back to normal. She never said “all our good hitters are going to get bad and none of our bad ones are going to get good.” She’s making some good points.

  42. Oh, a Pavement fan…

    The NL East Injury Parade Continues: Jose Reyes, apparently, hurt himself in BP.

    He left the field after it seems like he hurt his side or back.

    He’s out for tonight’s game vs. Florida down in Puerto Rico.

  43. Kemp’s OBP is batting average driven. But to your point he is a good player especially if he can really play CF. Like Marc, I questioned why we would want Frenchy west until I looked at his total body of work. And I have never seen him play. I don’t think the Dodgers will trade him unless they get some good stuff in return.

  44. @57 – I agree with her – every one of those things is possible, and we would not be looking to improve via trade otherwise. To reduce that to “1, if not 2 gigantic holes in the outfield” is simply overstating the case. That sort of thought leads to an overpay a la Teixeira. There is no need to panic, or presume the worst if we stand pat. It’s as reasonable of a decision as trading for a piece, IMHO.

    @55 – Your pessimism is well founded, certainly in view of the recent past. In today’s case, Heyward has quite a large sample size of success at every level. There is simply no reason to think he will be at least adequate, if not much better than that, going forward, even if he doesn’t have the potentially historic pace he was setting earlier.

  45. Id want to give Diaz some AB’s vs RH right now too. We need to see him a bit and let him get some swings in. Need to find out before the deadline

    I also think this is the best short-term plam. If Diaz comes back hitting, we can live with the CF issue. But he doesn’t get the rest of the season to prove himself. If he starts hitting .310+, roll with him. But if he hits even .260, you have to get him out of there.

  46. The team has already gone through a period where nobody but Prado and one other guy was hitting. Could happen again but I’d rather not make a trade under duress, when really we aren’t under that much duress.

  47. I don’t think the Dodgers will trade him unless they get some good stuff in return.

    Yeah, the idea that the Dodgers plan to run down the Padres by trading Kemp and going full time with Reed Johnson in center is a bit…let’s say far fetched. Ned Coletti has his blind spots but he’s not an idiot.

    Although if you believe local talk radio (and you shouldn’t) there is at least a small chance that the Dodgers think Kemp’s struggles are Rihanna-based.

  48. going full time with Reed Johnson in center is a bit…let’s say far fetched.

    I agree, but they benched Kemp for 3 straight games and only brought him back when Manny got hurt – conflicting signals to say the least. Not to mention, they have Xavier (PCL Illusion) Paul with a 1.000+ OPS at AAA. So hope springs eternal.

  49. @ Spike

    I apologize for some of my overstatements, and I hope desperately that you end up being right.

    That said, I still want Kemp, and I trust Frank Wren to not overpay if the opportunity arises.

  50. @65 – no need. Courage of conviction is sorely lacking in most folks. And I want Kemp too, I just don’t think the dodgers are in a position to give up ML talent. They’ll try to get their needs met by trading prospects if at all possible,

  51. What does it say that when Joe started talking about how Martin struggles pitching from the stretch, I thought he was about to say that nearly all the runs scored against him have come with runners on base?

  52. @71

    Would have fit in well with Chip’s subsequent comment that 246 RBI out of 1090 runners in scoring position is “about one out of three”.


    Funny, he’s the king of my all-time “guys I was right about” list. :) I’m on record predicting a decent major league career for him as of spring training 2006. (Okay, I didn’t see this coming — I think I predicted a Jose Oquendo-type career….)

    (Reitsma was always my blind spot)

  53. I thought Prado would be a useful utility guy that would stick around for years but never be a guy that I’d watch compete for a batting title.

    My top two man I was wrong about guys are on either end of the spectrum. I was very unimpressed with Yunel and never thought he’d be more than what Brandon Hicks is doing (occasional call up when a short stop is needed never really playing because he can’t hit). I thought JoJo Reyes was going to be our next top starter the way he dominated in Pearl. Oops.

  54. Geez…..Cabrera and Escobar, do either of them speak English or is Prado still translating for them.? I was right about Prado, right about Escobar, well sort of and will be right about Heyward.

  55. Hispanic players know more English than they lead on to. Some of them use it as a media-shield.

    Someone’s got a vuvuzela at Turner.

  56. Oh yea forgot about slamming Sammy and his forgotten English skills during his steroid hearing…

  57. My boss brings a vuvuzela to work and uses it while he watches the World Cup on ESPN3.

    Yunel’s mysteriously vanishing English isn’t nearly as obnoxious as his hair.

  58. Chip is back at adding nothing to this broadcast.

    “If I told you that at this point in the season Roy Halladay would have more losses than any other current Braves starter………….you’d be surprised.”


  59. He gets at least some of his strikeouts on high (or rising) fastballs, so he probably has hitters guessing elevation a bit more. Everything Hudson throws dives, be it fastball, sinker, slider, change-up.

  60. playing Dunn should be like the opposite of a 5 man infield in softball. Put 4 of’rs out there and have the 3 INF’s between 2n

  61. @92

    He really doesn’t get that many more K’s than Hudson.

    What’s more annoying? A douchebag with a vuvuzela, or 10,000 douchebags doing the wave?

    Edit: Or maybe that guy..

  62. Melky being clever and figuring J.D. Martin is definitely hittable so no reason to knock him out of the game early.

  63. Apparently Joe doesn’t realize that McCann is the best catcher in the NL and that it’s not close.

    Also, I’m pleasantly surprised by JJ tonight.

  64. It might be time to get the ‘pen up, though. Don’t know about his stamina.

    BMac should have blocked that.

  65. i suppose i’m in the minority, but i’ve watched nearly every inning of every game this year, and i don’t have too big a problem with melky’s OF defense. I’m not saying he’s all set for a gold glove or anything, but it seems to me that he plays a better OF defense than people on here give him credit for…just my thought

  66. There was an RBI hit last night off Lowe to RF that Melky definitely should have had.

  67. #115 – his range just looks awful in RF. Im guessing he can read balls off the bat better in CF. Only thing I can think of. Moylan had better get the job done

  68. I dont think Bobby was late tonight. JJ was under 80 pitches going to this inning and Dunn is the only hard hit ball

  69. Good job Peter. Walking the lefthanded batter to get to the righthanded one is DEFINITELY wise.

  70. Why in the hell was Chip announcing the time there? Who in the hell is watching this game that’s not in the East?

  71. Gonzalez is pretty much the ideal batter for Moylan to face. That was a couple feet off the plate.

  72. McCann is really stubborn about that whole not blocking the balls in the dirt thing isn’t he?

  73. Probably half of “Braves Country” is on Central time. Not that I really care about it being 9 PM in Atlanta.

  74. I worded that wrong. My point was that the home markets for both of these teams are in the East, and it’s not a national broadcast, so all of a sudden coming out with, “It’s 9:00 in the East” during an important part of the game is really non-sensical.

  75. It’s good when Chip is boring. It’s when he tries to spice things up that things are worst. May you live in interesting Chip times.

    I had the name first.

  76. I don’t know if anyone on here’s seen the ESPN 30 for 30 movie about June 17, 1994, but did anyone else have their head explode when he came on announcing the Mariners game included in that movie? Especially the part where they have he and his partner off the air joking about O.J. Simpson potentially killing himself.

  77. Does Chip know Pudge has NEVER been a good defensive catcher except on throwing out baserunners?

  78. @153
    many rumors that Melky was a bad influence on Robby Cano while here in NY…I can definitely see him having the same affect on Yunel.

  79. LOL @ Melky and Yunel out clubbing.

    I’d like to think it goes something like this…

  80. The pitch to Conrad was closer than the pitch to Damon, though definitely not a strike.

  81. Fun fact: Joe Johnson’s agent is Arn Tellem, who was one of Rafael Furcal’s agents during that failing-to-honor-the-term-sheet fiasco from last year.

  82. Listening to Chip a day after Ernie is like hitting a changeup after a fastball. Hard to do.

  83. I’m not convinced that didn’t get a lot of bat knob. There are a lot of wry smiles going on from McCann over at first, and he doesn’t look like his hand is hurting him too terribly over there.

  84. I think a National needs to wear one next inning. Too bad we never retaliate to hit batsmen.

  85. From DOB

    Arodys Vizcaino has partial tear of ligament in pitching elbow. No surgery. Will begin rehab in Florida, expected to return in about 6 wks.

  86. @181,

    I agree, but we have retaliated in the past. It may not be tonight, but I imagine before the end of the season, we gonna get ours.

  87. the day that yunel is not a brave will be the day i start despising him. with that being said, that last pitch was not a strike.

  88. Who replaced Yunel with Andres Thomas? Well at least Andres would hit a HR every now and then…..however, I predict Yunel will be red hot in the 2nd half, knowing Bobby is almost done.

  89. The vuvuzela is coming through loud and clear on TV now. Sadly, it’s better than listening to Chip.

  90. Someone brings one of those into a Giants game this fall it will be the last game he ever goes to.

  91. is it just me or do umps continue to get worse every season? that and the fact that they want to be apart of the “show” now

  92. Billy Wagner with a statement about the importance of enforcing the Geneva conventions.

  93. anyone watching the Mets/Fla game now? Two comments….why are they playing in Puerto Rico? and why havent they confiscated all the air horns?

  94. I fear that the overwhelming and exaggerated complaining about the vuvuzelas during the World Cup is going to come back to haunt us in the form of douches who will bring them to American sporting events and weddings and graduations and whatever else for the next year or so. They’ve been annoying, for sure, but perhaps if people could have held themselves from claiming they’re the downfall of the world’s economic systems, that might have been preferable.

  95. @214 – Especially considering the June Death Marches we’ve experienced the last couple of seasons or so…

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