Jason Heyward

Suck it, Posey. And you were out.

Heyward had as good of a rookie season as anyone could have hoped, hitting .277/.393/.456. In a way, that is misleading, as it doesn’t really reflect how he played at any one time of the year, and he never really established a level. At his best, he was an MVP-level hitter, putting up a .337/.453/.628 line in May. But then he got hurt, hitting only .181/.287/.245 in June before they finally shut him down. When he came back, he hit the ball hard, but mostly on a line, hitting for high averages but little power. The power returned a little in August but then he tired down the stretch, hitting the rookie wall in September and October, though he was still walking a lot; the walks were the big constant all year.

So anyway, good rookie year. One to build on; there haven’t been many that good that young. The only real concern is the same as it was before the season, his ability to stay healthy. He struck out a bit, but nothing too dramatic. Concerns about a “hole in his swing” are, in my mind, silly; anyone can be pitched to, except maybe Bonds at his largest. He got tired, but that’s normal, and he’ll get over it. The health issues, however, remain a concern; less the finger injury that hurt him during the mid-season period and kept him from the All-Star game than the continued muscle sprains in his torso and legs, which have been a problem before. But he’s young, and hopefully they can be controlled, and won’t turn into anything that keeps him out of the lineup too much.

Played extremely well defensively in right field, well enough that Gold Gloves could be in his future, though he might have to put up a big assist year first. An aggressive but heady baserunner, could do some interesting things with that too if he keeps his speed.

Jason Heyward Statistics

152 thoughts on “Jason Heyward”

  1. From the last thread, thank you for the kind words. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but at my age/skill level, I will gladly accept them. Mac needs to have a Journal meetup next year after we win the World Series – I’ll bring the band, if ububba spins some rekkids like the kids listen to.

  2. Jason Heyward Buster Posey

    OBP (the most valuable single entity offensive stat)
    .393 .357
    2OPS (weight OBP twice as much as SLG, which is a more accurate stat than standard OPS)
    1.242 1.219
    wOBP(again, a better stat than OPS)
    .376 .368
    fWAR (WAR from fangraphs)
    5.0 3.9
    rWAR (WAr from baseball-reference)
    4.4 3.0
    Stolen Bases
    11 0
    OPS+ (from baseball-reference to account for parks and league pitching)
    131 129
    RC+ (from fangraphs, their verison of OPS+)
    138 131
    Games Played
    142 108

    Oh, and Posey played 1/3 of his games at the easiest defensive position and jason heyward hit a homerun on his first swing.

    Ah, that felt good.

  3. “Yeah, but someone has to play center field if McLouth still has issues. They can’t just leave a huge blank spot on the field.”

    Reminds me of the Casey Stengel quote that “you have to have a catcher or you will have a lot of passed balls.”

    Heyward hits the ball as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen. I saw him in spring training in 2009 and then here in DC last year and he hit a couple of absolute ropes; the one in Florida for a double and a home run here that left the yard in about a second. IMO, he is the kind of player that could potentially be not only great but charismatic; someone that brings people into the ballpark. It seems to me, though, that he should be working with a trainer or someone to try to avoid those injuries rather than just waiting for them to happen (if that’s possible).

    ROY award is meaningless (as are most awards to be honest). I wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep over it. The only award I care about is that trophy they hand out at the end of the season.

  4. Don’t forget age. Both Heyward and Chipper came in second to players three years older. To me, age-restricted awards make a lot more sense than service-time restricted awards. The U.S. and Canada are kind of weird that way.

  5. Hopefully Heyward’s snub results in him posting a career like Chipper’s. And hopefully Posey will pitch a no hitter with a strange wind-up and then wander the Earth ever after.

  6. -For once, Jeff is right.

    -I don’t think we have to bash Posey to like Jason. Wish the Braves had Posey also.

  7. People think Andruw is boarderline HOF? Seriously?

    I mean, he may have something close to a HoF peak, but certainly not the career numbers. And even at his peak, he was never a dominant player, nor the best player on his team. I don’t think it’s even close baring a late-career surge.

  8. ahem…

    January 20th, 2011 at 5:05 pm:

    “Could be the right move for his HOF candidacy — do well in NY and the question will begin to get raised.”

    January 21st, 2011

    ESPN SportsNation question:

    “3. Is Andruw Jones a Hall of Famer?”

    I guess I was wrong…he hasn’t had to do anything other than sign in NY.

  9. @mravery, I think it was AAR who said (yesterday) that the thing for Andruw is that it is REALLY difficult to quantify HOW good he was in the field…. I think the comparison was he was the Ozzie Smith of CF, but with 400+ HRs.

  10. Many many people recall Andruw playing like a surefire hofer, if only for a short time. After he left Atlanta, most folks didn’t see him much anymore. I don’t think people know how bad he got, honestly.

  11. I think WE tend to remember how bad he got, and thus have written off any subsequent accomplishments. In the meantime, he’s adding counting stats, and might continue to do so for a few more years. Add in the defense and the peak performance, and I think he has a chance.

    That’s not to be confused with saying I believe he’s had a HOF-worthy career. I’d have to be convinced of that. But I think of Omar Vizquel, who nobody thought of as a HOFer a few years ago. Then the question gets raised often enough and the idea attains an air of inevitability to some suggestible voters.

  12. I think a lot of people saw AJ as a nearly surefire HOF from the 5th GG to the 9th… after that it got really murky.

    He didn’t have a peak quite as high as Murphy, but his peak was probably a little longer than Dale’s was… but unless he manages another couple of seasons at least as good as last year, to get the counting stats up a bit, I think he’ll end up doing the same thing Murph did (just not quite being good enough for long enough to get in).

  13. Arguably the best defensive center fielder anyone’s ever seen, maintaining that level for a decade.

    That, alone, puts him in the HOF discussion, in my book. The fact that he also contributed quite a bit with the bat makes him a should-be slam-dunk, in my book.

  14. Career leaders dWAR: Active

    1. Andruw Jones (33) 23.70 R
    2. Ivan Rodriguez (38) 16.40 R
    3. Scott Rolen (35) 14.20 R
    4. Omar Vizquel (43) 13.80 B
    5. Ichiro Suzuki (36) 13.20 L

    Career leaders dWAR:

    1. Brooks Robinson+ 27.30 R
    2. Andruw Jones (33) 23.70 R
    3. Roberto Clemente+ 22.00 R
    4. Ozzie Smith+ 21.60 B
    5. Mark Belanger 20.90 R
    6. Barry Bonds 20.40 L

  15. Similar Batters through 33
    View Similar Player Links in Pop-up
    Compare Stats to Similars

    1. Dale Murphy (899)
    2. Reggie Jackson (886) *
    3. Jose Canseco (862)
    4. Rocky Colavito (857)
    5. Shawn Green (851)
    6. Duke Snider (842) *
    7. Bobby Bonds (841)
    8. Eddie Murray (839) *
    9. Sammy Sosa (836)
    10. Greg Luzinski (834)

    Andruw shows up as a reasonably qualified Hall of Famer without any big defensive bonus.

  16. I mean, he may have something close to a HoF peak, but certainly not the career numbers. And even at his peak, he was never a dominant player, nor the best player on his team. I don’t think it’s even close baring a late-career surge.

    As Mac points out, the above statement is true of his offensive numbers alone. When it comes to defense, though, Matt is shortchanging him. Andruw absolutely was a dominant player, arguably the greatest defensive player of his generation. He was simply a gamechanger on defense.

  17. I should add that in more detailed analyses like Win Shares (I don’t have the book here or I’d cite it) Andruw does show up as the best player on the Braves for several years. I can go to B-R: In 2000, Andruw’s WAR was 7.9; Chipper’s was 5.7. 2002, it was 6.1 to 5.6.

  18. Maybe the best defensive player ever. I know infielders get more credit with the glove, but Drew probably took more hits away than Omar Vizquel with great plays.

    I remember a game against the Expos with Glavine pitching. It was a close game and someone hit a ball that was going in the LF gap. An easy tripple. The camera shows the ball about to land on the warning track and Andruw dives out of no where, from off the screen and catches it.

    Something that might hurt him is that he was the 4th or 5th best player on the team. Maddux, Glavine, Smotlz and Chipper. Will anyone (player) get in outside of those guys? I would vote him in, but then again I also would vote Murphy, McGriff and Baggwell.

  19. @21, most of the guys on that list weren’t nearly done at 33 and the ones that were don’t have an asterisk by their name. Those sim scores are awful low too. A player with a career OPS+ of 111, >2000 hits needs a HUGE defensive defensive bonus (which Andruw certainly has) for HOF consideration. I love me some Andruw, and he has certainly done enough to warrant a discussion on the HoF. But he’s 151st all-time in WAR, despite being 2nd all-time dWar. That’s a below the line player, right now.

  20. Low sim scores are a good thing; great players are unique. And actually, most of those guys were pretty much done at 33, though the exceptions include two of the three Hall of Famers, Reggie and Eddie. (Duke, who shows up as the lone Hall of Famer on a lot of comp lists, had his last big year at 30.)

  21. From 1997 to 2007, Andruw Jones played 1730 games, 77 more games than anyone else in baseball. (The runner-up was Johnny Damon.) Obviously, Andruw played five times as many games each season as Maddux, Glavine, or Smoltz. The offensive stats he put up in those eleven seasons — 363 HR, 1104 RBI, 114 OPS+ — are more or less Hall-of-Fame caliber for a center fielder, somewhere near Puckett and Dawson, albeit not quite as good.

    On the other hand, he ran circles around them defensively. During the same period that he played more games than anyone in baseball and hit at a near-Hall of Fame clip, he was the best defensive player in baseball and possibly one of the five best defensive players ever to play Major League Baseball. His offense alone is close to being deserving of the Hall, and his defense alone is close to being deserving of the Hall. Put them together, and I think he’s frankly well over the line.

    The arbitrary line around his age doesn’t really apply, because he played at a high level starting when he was 20, and even most elite players don’t really get going until a couple years later. He had more miles on his odometer than most. The fact is, his 11-year prime is every bit the equal of most Hall of Famers’ prime.

  22. It’s been nice to see Andruw come back after his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2008 season with the Dodgers.

    How bad was he in 2008? That year he became only the second outfielder since 1900 to hit under .160 in 200 or more at bats.

    The other? Kenny Williams in 1988. Yes, the same Kenny Williams who signed Andruw last year.

  23. You can have fun with those BR WAR numbers. Like

    (Ryne Sandberg) – (Jason Kendall) = Andruw’s defense.

  24. But he wasn’t Willie Mays. :)

    I don’t think he makes it, in part because the other CFs in the Hall are guys like Mays, Mantle, DiMaggio, Snider, and Cobb and, eventually, Griffey. That’s probably not fair but I think it’s inevitable that he will be compared to them and found wanting no matter how good his defense was. Also, I think his fall-off at a relatively young age (and it wasn’t gentle) and the perception that he was somewhat of an underachiever will hurt him. That’s different, of course, than the question of whether he deserves to be in the Hall. I will say this, if Bill Mazeroski is in the Hall, due to his defense, Andruw should be as well. But I don’t think he will be.

    So, with the loss of porn on demand, how much will Liberty reduce the Braves payroll?

  25. Low sim scores are a good thing; great players are unique.

    I really mean this in the nicest possible way, but if the above statement is true for Andruw, then sim scores have little to no comparative value, and neither do the players on the list, so I am a genuinely confused about how this list is a data point at all. If Andruw is an incomparable statistically, then how can he be compared to any set of players, and of what value is the comparison?

  26. So, with the loss of porn on demand, how much will Liberty reduce the Braves payroll?

    Well increased payrolls lasting longer than 4 seasons are potentially dangerous. Notify your doctor immediatly.

  27. Combs had an OPS+ of 125 (14 points higher than Andruw) and had more oWAR in 12 seasons than Andruw in 14. Ashburn has the same OPS+ and a 15 point oWAR edge in the same number of seasons played. Roush, 16 points of OPS+ over 18 seasons, 10 point oWAR lead. Wilson 33 point OPS+ lead, 6 point WAR lead in three fewer seasons.

    I think they can carry Andruws bat just fine, thanks.

  28. Mac,

    The question isn’t whether Andruw deserves to be in the Hall but whether he will get in. I have no doubt he is better than at least some of the CFs in the Hall, but my point is that CF is a glamour position and I think that voters will compare him to the best of those guys. Plus, the way he fell off at a young age, especially being out of shape, and looking utterly pathetic at times is bound to hurt him. I don’t think he gets in unless he finds the fountain of youth and goes on a late-career revival.

  29. Marc, does he become a lock if he gets the 350 PAs and knocks in 20 HRs a year for the next 5 years (at which point he’ll be Chipper’s age now)… that puts him over 500 HRs and 2000 hits, and as he does seem to be back in passable shape (not Andruw of old, but passable shape to play the game) it doesn’t seem WAY out of the realm of possibility.

    Edit: Reminder… he’s only 33… he’s not actually OLD

  30. You may be right, Marc, but it’s hard to predict how voters will react to Andruw in 20-25 years. If he manages to hang around for another 4 seasons and retires in 2014, which certainly seems possible, he wouldn’t be eligible for the ballot until 2019, and unless he fell below 5%, he wouldn’t fall off the ballot until 2034. By that point, I’d like to believe our understanding of defensive stats would be advanced enough to make Andruw’s accomplishments stand out a little better. But in all events, I can’t predict how “glamorous” he’ll look. I think he stacks up favorably as a Hall of Famer, and I have for years, as I asked Mac to consider doing a Keltner list for Andruw the moment he signed that Dodger contract.

  31. I’ve always regarded symptoms lasting longer than four hours to be an opportunity, not a problem.

  32. Well, if Andruw gets to 500, it certainly helps his chances. people will also start remembering what an outfielder he was.

    Alex, you may be right that Andruw will look better in the future. But, at this point, I suspect not a lot of people (outside the sabermetric community anyway) look at Andruw as a Hall of Famer. But, maybe the sabermetric community will rule baseball in the future. I have to admit that I was never that big of an Andruw fan (although I appreciated his fielding) until I saw the advanced stats and realized he was much better than I had thought. And, certainly, after seeing what the Braves have had in CF the last few years has made me aappreciate Andruw a lot more.


    If you can do that for four hours, you and JFK are maybe the greatest men in history. (That’s not political by the way.)

  33. Here’s a question: Assuming Andruw should be in the Hall, should Jim Edmonds be in as well? I say this without knowing anything about his advanced stats, but I’m wondering what people think.

  34. Edmonds actually has a strong case. I wouldn’t mind if the Veterans Committee let him in, though obviously I’d sentimentally rather they vote in Dale Murphy first.

    Interesting thing about Edmonds is how much better he got after turning 30: before he was 30, he never had a single 6.0 WAR season. After 30, he had six in a row. His offense and defense both got worlds better.

  35. I saw on the blogs below the Francoeur article where some were speculating that Jeff would try to go into broadcasting (the next Joe Morgan?) after he retires (which will be soon). Talk about going from bad to worse, could you imagine Chip Caray getting fired only to be replaced by Jeffy? If that happened, 95% of the Braves Journal posters would need to go on suicide watch.

  36. Obvious nominations:
    Mather, who could get exposed if injuries force him into too much playing time and he turns into a pumpkin/Corky Miller.
    George Sherrill, who’s overpaid and who will get killed if he’s ever allowed to face a righty.
    Diory, who might threaten a sub-.100 OPS if pressed into everyday service by an injury to AAG.

    Dark horse: Moylan. Great guy, great story, but he’s slightly overpaid, and Bobby’s overusage has tended to increase the likelihood of massive blowups. I hope he has another good year, but there’s a possibility he could go Grybo.

    Darkest horse: Prado, whose defense is really impossible to project. If all goes horribly wrong, he could resurrect the usage of his own last name as a verb.

    *If Francoeur replaces Chip Caray, I will not go on suicide watch. But if he turns out to be worse than Chip, I might go on homicide watch.

  37. I’ve wondered if Andruw’s reported age is accurate, though there’s been no evidence that it’s not other than his career arc. (Unlike Furcal and Betemit)

  38. Speaking of Andruw, how much better would the Braves had been lsst year if he had been the 4th OF instead of Melky?

  39. @49
    You have to put Linebrink into the discussion, it’s completely up in the air whether or not he’s a bust. I think Fred Freeman could be problematic for long stretches, if not for just his first 100-200 ABs. Also, a full year of Alex Gonzalez could become rather torturous, many of us were pretty suck of him by the end of last season, and that was after only a few months of his overrated defense and awful offensive approach.

  40. Alex Gonzalez. It is going to be difficult to stand that .290 OBP for a full season. At least 2 remote controls will be shattered.

    I had not realized (on his B-REF page) that his nickname is officially “Sea Bass”. Brilliant!!

  41. Better loving through chemistry.

    I don’t believe Andruw is 33. He is clearly just a shadow of his former defensive greatness and, absent injury or being someone who is no longer using PEDs, no one should deteriorate to that extent.

    I guess it’s possible that he got married, got fat and lazy for a few years, and is now trying to regain some of that lost ability.

    Sounds like someone I know. Oh yeah, me.

  42. @51-

    The Braves might have been better off with me as the 4th OF last year thank Melky.

    I generally defend Andruw as a game-changing defensive player, but let’s be real. He had a defensive peak, too, and it lasted about 5 years. He had a lot of other very good years, but it wasn’t obvious that he was the best CF in the league those years, let alone best defensive player overall. And for whatever it’s worth, you’ll find that a lot of well-read baseball people don’t see Andruw as clearly better than, say, Jim Edmonds or Torii Hunter. While I certainly think Jones was the superior defender, I’m not sure how much of that is just me being a Braves fan.

    I guess my thing with AJ is that if you take his best years with the glove and smash ’em together with his best years at the plate, you get about 5 years of a true HoFer. But now you’re down to a 5-year career. :-)

    Truely the biggest problem with AJ as a HoF candidate is that his career as a full-time player lasted only 10 years. He’ll hang around as a part-timer, but the counting stats will never be there. Also, basically his whole career occurred during the steroid era, so those numbers look a lot less shiny in that offensive environment.

  43. The problem with trying to predict the success of Andruw’s HOF candidacy is that his candidacy hinges on his defensive ability, and there’s no simple, universally accepted way of differentiating his ability from his peers yet. Most of the advanced stats use data that weren’t being collected for the first few years of his peak. Even that collection is sketchy. Tango’s wiki makes a specific note about how Andruw’s defensive numbers look dramatically different using different mainstream data sets.

    I don’t know how far back MLB started keeping footage of every single game, and I don’t know if they keep different feeds from the different cameras or just store what was broadcast. If there is footage from a whole-field camera for every game Andruw played, I can see computer vision getting to the point in the next 10 years where we can start really getting an idea of how good he was.

    It’s hard to predict what the state of defensive analysis will be when he’s up for election. In his case, that will be what determines election.

  44. Discussion topic. Ignoring offense, who was the better defender at his peak:

    Andruw Jones or Torii Hunter?

    I have no clue. This is where I need to have a set of criteria and let a machine watch the thousands of hours of footage. I know they’re both good, and I know from what I’ve seen that they are superior to other center fielders. However, I can’t quite pin down HOW good, especially relative to each other.

  45. That Angels trade is crazy.

    How does that GM do it? First Yunel for AAG. Now Napoli for Wells. Geez.

  46. IF (and a very big IF) you believe in dWAR Mac is completely correct. Andruw has two of the top ten all-time, and his age 20-24 seasons are all in the top 120. Hunter’s best season is well outside of #250.

  47. How does that GM do it? First Yunel for AAG. Now Napoli for Wells.

    That’s a nice pair of moves, isn’t it?

  48. I hate to have to trust my own eyes, which I tend to do whenever it comes to evaluating defense, but IMO Andruw blows away the CF competition.

    Hunter & Edmunds played so deep compared to Andruw. Plenty of range, great catches and all that, but the only other guy I remember also taking away as many singles was (maybe) Garry Maddox, who had an inferior arm.

    If you ever went to a game & watched the jumps that Andruw got from the crack of the bat, it became amazingly clear that his instincts were off-the-charts.

    Simply, there wasn’t anything Andruw couldn’t do out there and he made it all look easy. Not having him was almost more noticeable than having him.

    BTW, fave Cat Power = “The Moon.”


  49. Couple other measures: putouts and Sean Smith’s TotalZone.

    Andruw Jones has 10 of the top 125 TotalZone seasons — that’s everyone worth at least 12 runs in center field, since 1954. No one else has more than five (Kenny Lofton). Garry Maddox, Devon White, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Beltran, Chet Lemon, and Lance Johnson have four.

    Andruw Jones has 5 of the top 126 putout seasons — that’s everyone with at least 402 putouts in center field, since 1954. That’s tied with Kirby Puckett, Chet Lemon, and Brett Butler for the most seasons in the top 126.

    Putouts is a really dumb, unweighted, unnormalized stat, but it gives you a sense of how much he stands out as a defender. TotalZone is probably the least beloved of all the advanced defense stats, nowhere near as well-regarded as Plus/Minus or UZR, but it gives you a sense of how there’s simply no one close to his year-in, year-out dominance.

  50. I don’t really buy that “if he were a Yankee or Red Sox” stuff. If that were true, Don Mattingly would be in the Hall of Fame. (He’s the most popular Yankee since Mantle–and that includes Jeter.)

    I will say this, however; if Andruw had played his prime in Yankee Stadium’s relatively gigantic CF, it would’ve been pretty noticeable.

    On the other side, he probably would’ve lost a few HRs, though.

  51. @72 But Mattingly isn’t as border line as Andruw is in terms of the HOF debate. At least I don’t think so.

    Hey, the Rays just signed couple bargains!

  52. We need to think outside of the box on the whipping boy. McLouth is too easy as it AAG. Ugla, if he starts slow? Prado or Hanson?

    Nah, it has to be AAG

  53. Hanson is a possibility, but more likely he will disappoint if injured rather than by poor performance. (Lousy mechanics, say I.)

    Uggla would have to flip off Monica Kaufmann to earn Whipping Boy status.

    My vote for Whipping Boy? Wren. Always Wren.

    Here’s the problem with AAG. I loathed Yunel. I hated everything he represented. (Still do.) I wanted him cut.

    But I’d rather he was cut than what we got in return. That’s not good.

  54. McLouth and AAG don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur (aka Frenchyitis) and you can see they both really care. While I might want them replaced with better players, it’s hard for me to make either of them the whipping boy.

    I have to go with Ithaca for Scott Linebrink. There’s a reason every White Sox fan I know was thrilled to get rid of him. I have visions of mind-numbingly awful HR’s that send the team into hibernation mode.

  55. #74
    A lotta folks (around here anyway) think Mattingly (career OPS+ 127) is borderline, if under the line. His career counting numbers are similar to those of Kirby Puckett (career OPS+ 124). Different positions, of course, Puckett put up consistently good seasons, while Mattingly had a crazy-high peak.

    Perhaps a better borderline example would be Bernie Williams (a CF with a career OPS+ 125). Does he get into the HoF? Extra credit for titles in pinstripes?

  56. If somebody can convince a team to trade for Vernon Wells’ contract, then KK’s contract should be no problem. Get it done Wren.

    For that matter, if the Yankees want Lowe, get it done Wren.

  57. 84- No doubt. The Angels are stupid. They refuse to spend on Beltre when they actually NEED a 3rd baseman and instead to this?

  58. @85 They manage to get rid of both Rios and Wells. Amazing.

    @80 I don’t think Bernie is a HOFer. That’s just my opinion though. I would also put Andruw and Murphy ahead of Mattingly. I guess I am a Braves fan afterall, ha.

  59. I think the Angels trade should be in the conversation for worst of all time, at least at the time. There is absolutely no upside there, while Toronto has just un-burdened themselves to become MAJOR players in next year’s FA market. Just an amazing move for the Jays.

    88 – No.

  60. #47–Lets try Derek Lowe–unless he pitches the way he did at the end of last season….

    Unolading Wells’ fat contract makes me envious….

  61. According to yahoo Jays pay 5 mil. The wells contract should have ruined JP Riciardi’s rep for good.

  62. I talked to Well’s uncle this morning, he’s a family friend, Vernon is VERY excited about going to LAA.

  63. Williams is the toughest one for me. CF’s don’t get black ink, it’s just the nature of the position, so I can’t hold that against too much. He’s got a really nice 8 year peak of .321/.406/.531, and a playoff career line .275/.371/.480 in 545PA’s. I just really have no idea to rate his defense, which for a CF, is kinda important. I never watched that much AL ball during the season, and I am not sure I trust dWar or other stats that much yet. UZR hates him, although it’s only from the latter part of his career, as does Total Zone. I just have a hard time believing from my own anecdotal observations that he was THAT bad. A competent CF with his peak and career should be in, so for now, I am going to say yes, provisionally. He would be no embarrassment to the list that Mac posted earlier.

  64. That’s funny, because Panama used to be a part of Colombia. It hasn’t been for quite some time, though. Why anyone middle-aged or younger would make that mistake, I’ve got no idea.

  65. big win against st. mary’s stu.

    loved cutler at vandy as i always rooted for the sece underdogs in football. cutler – misunderstood or legitimate ahole?

  66. are Pastornicky, Salcedo or Jones going to be ready next year? Are there any intriguing SS Free Agents in next year’s class? I’ll be on homicide watch if AAG is more than a 1 year stopgap.

  67. here are the list of free agent SS for 2012…

    Yuniesky Betancourt (30) – $6MM club option with a $2MM buyout
    Ronny Cedeno (29) – club option
    Craig Counsell (41)
    Adam Everett (35)
    Rafael Furcal (34) – $12MM club/vesting option
    Jerry Hairston Jr. (36)
    J.J. Hardy (29)
    Omar Infante (30)
    Cesar Izturis (32)
    John McDonald (37)
    Nick Punto (34)
    Edgar Renteria (35)
    Jose Reyes (29)
    Jimmy Rollins (33)
    Ramon Santiago (32)
    Marco Scutaro (36) – $6MM club option/$3MM player option with a $1.5MM buyout
    Miguel Tejada (38)
    Jack Wilson (34)

    Of those, there are about 3-4 interesting pickups (Reyes, Rollins, Scutaro, Hardy), but it’s very likely that at least 2 of those guys gets signed to multi-year deals with the teams they’re currently playing for. I’m guessing Furcal will do everything he can to get his option guaranteed.

  68. @109
    I don’t think Pastornicky is years away. In fact, he could be as ready as he’ll ever be by the end of 2011. He might even play the majority of the season at AAA if Diory gets the call as backup SS.

  69. D-oh. What an ugly list. No way the Braves can sign Rollins. Of the others, Infante might actually be the best option, all things considered (though – or because – he isn’t even a shortstop). Hardy would be “interesting”, I agree with that.

  70. I believe Pastornicky will start at AAA this season.

    @107 Come on, we HAVE to make another run at Furcal, right?!

  71. Greetings from New Orleans…

    The idea of returning to NYC with the Jets in the Super Bowl doesn’t appeal to me. Some of my best friends are Jets fans, but I have trouble rooting for this bunch.

    So yeah, I guess I’m rooting for Roethlisberger.

    NFC? Don’t care, really. My dad was a Bears fan, so maybe I’ll root for them. But mostly, I’m just rooting against one team.

    Gonna hunker down in a French Qtr bar on Burgundy Street tomorrow. We’ll see how it turns out. We’ll see if New Orleans folks care at all to watch teams who aren’t the Saints.

  72. I think that the Braves are counting on Pastornicky for 2012. In fact, that it what made the Yunel trade viable–AAG for part of 2010 and 2011 and then Pastornicky is available to take over the position at a very lost cost. That doesn’t mean that it will necessarily happen, but it could. One way to read the Escobar trade was that the Braves got rid of a player they did not like and solved their shortstop problem for the coming years….

    One day I hope we see Andrelton Simmons….

  73. @113 Mac, but his stats aren’t all that bad though, and he is young for playing at AA. So, there is hope.

  74. 115—Love it.

    105—Little bit of both. He doesn’t do himself any favors with his dismissive attitude toward the media, but he’s not nearly the punk some would have you believe. I knew Jay in college, and he wasn’t my kind of guy, but he wasn’t a bad guy. This is probably the most even-handed story I’ve read on Jay.

  75. @cjstewartlead (C.J. Stewart) @FreddieFreeman is one of the funniest people. He could seriously be a comedian after baseball.


  76. I pile on with the AAG nomination. If he stays healthy all season he’ll be a constant source of frustration. His theatrics when striking out with men on base is particularly grating. When you fail at the rate he does it’s the grown up thing to do to accept it’s going to happen and hang your head Charlie Brown like back to the dugout.

  77. I think AAG will be the whipping boy longterm, but something tells me that bullpen mismanagement will hoist Sherrill and/or Moylan into our collective disgust in the nearer term.

  78. I find AGony’s post-K theatrics hilarious. No one, anywhere, is surprised by his strike-outs … except for, apparently, AGony.

  79. Makes sense to me, he’d be a decent insurance policy for Freeman and Chipper, without Fredi having to overexpose our awful outfield bench mx. He plays second to boot.

  80. So this is odd…


    Hadn’t heard this one before. Seems like Hinske/Prado/Conrad would have this covered, but I guess there is room. Good platoon split vs LHP for the last 3 seasons.

    Current bench, assuming an 11 man staff –


    I would think Cantu would be an upgrade over Conrad, despite Brooksie’s performance last year – Cantu can at least pretend to play defense – but I am surprised there is money for him in the budget. I wouldn’t mind a real OF in lieu of one of Mather/Schafer – again, Xavier Paul would be handy.

  81. Well right now Mather is the only qualified non-McClouth CF. I really don’t think you can pencil Schafer into that role until after ST, and given Nate’s (and Jordan’s) troubles last year their HAS to be a non-Schafer contingency plan in place for the moment.

  82. I guess the jury is out on whether he’s actually a viable CF option. Frank Wren told DOB that if the season started today(a few weeks ago) that Schafer would be his backup CF. This makes me think that they’re going in the direction of Schafer/Young (winner in spring training) as the Louth’s backup, with Mather in a utility role. The organization does seem strangely fond of Mather though, so I guess we’ll see how they play it. I suppose it’s a moot point as Cantu will probably go with SD or another team that can give him a starting job.

  83. Imagine looking around the field and seeing Cantu at 3rd, A-Gon at SS, Uggla at 2nd and Freeman at 1st. That is one ugly infield, and I ain’t talkin’ defense.

    Not that it MATTERS, but still.

  84. Well you figure a six man bench is going to consist of 2 IF backups, 2 OF backups, one C, plus one other guy. There is certainly still room for Cantu at the expense of Conrad, and Jorge would bring a better skill set, Conrad’s heroics aside. But he won’t be cheap.

    He wouldn’t start ahead of Headley or Hawpe in SD I don’t think, but he’s be useful for them that’s for sure.

  85. Okay – so with a 5 man bench –


    Cantu would have to replace one of Mather/Conrad or Schafer. If you really thought Schafer was a capable backup, I could see preferring Cantu as your primary RH PH. Not that it’s a big deal in any event.

  86. So the Cantu thing isn’t happening. I’m a little bummed, I really think we need a good insurance policy for corner infield. Maybe we can coax Mike Lowell out of retirement.

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