Scotts Linebrink and Proctor

Two ragarmed righthanders in their thirties. Linebrink was a second-round pick of the Giants way back in ’97 who flopped as a starter and was dealt after all of three major league relief outings to the Astros for the immortal Doug Henry. In 2003 the Padres picked him up off waivers, and that year and for the next two he was just about as good of a reliever as there was in baseball, posting ERAs of 2.82, 2.14, and 1.83. Unfortunately, his ERAs did not continue to dwindle to nothing, but he was still quite good in 2006 and 2007. During the latter season, the Padres shipped him to the Brewers for three players, one of whom turned out to be Joe Thatcher. In case you were wondering, this is how the Padres keep being able to compete.

Linebrink left the Brewers as a free agent and signed a four-year deal with the White Sox for $18.5 million, which is pretty good for a reliever with four career saves. He has suffered a severe gopher infestation ever since; while he had sporadic home run difficulties in San Diego, it’s nothing compared to what befell him in the homer-friendly confines of Chicago, allowing 1.6 homers per nine. Unsurprisingly, he has not thrived, and the fans turned on him. The White Sox picked up most of his salary just to stick him on the Braves this offseason. He doesn’t fit in too well with the traditionally groundball-heavy Braves staff.

Proctor was a nobody, a fifth-rounder out of of Florida State who was buried in the Dodgers system for five years before getting shipped to the Yankees as a throw-in for Robin Ventura. Joe Torre apparently took a liking to him and late in 2004 made Proctor a long man. He didn’t pitch well at all that year or in 2005, but in 2006 he had a strong year, putting up a 3.52 ERA and throwing in a league-high 83 games, 102 1/3 innings. During the 2008 season, Torre, now with the Dodgers, got his new team to trade for him and Proctor had 83 appearances again split between the Bronx and Chavez Ravine, in which he had “warning sign” stats — an increase in walks and strikeouts that usually means elbow issues are causing wildness. Unsurprinsingly, his arm blew up. After missing the entire 2009 season he signed a minor league contract with guarantees with the Braves. He was terrible for Myrtle Beach and abhorrent for Gwinnett but they called him up anyway and he stank in a few late season appearances for the big club, which inexplicably gave him a major league contract for 2011. Don’t ask me, I’m just the blogger. I can’t comprehend why he got it, but with that contract in hand you have to figure he’d have to earn his way off the roster. He’s perfectly capable of it.

Scott Linebrink Statistics
Scott Proctor Statistics

134 thoughts on “Scotts Linebrink and Proctor”

  1. Yeah, Proctor’s 750k major league contract was surprising, not in a good way. I didn’t understand it then. I don’t understand it now. Hopefully, the Braves realize their folly early on and give the last bullpen spot to Marek.

    And here’s another arrogant Schaferism via DOB:

    Then I asked him if he wanted to prove something to skeptical fans and others..

    Schafer smiled and said, “I’m sure they’ll change their minds shortly.”

    My nickname for Jordan is now Mr. Burgundy.

  2. Ethan – no, but Kawakami for Young makes sense inasmuch as Chipper’s salary would not be an impediment. (Might take a little more than that.)

  3. Schafer sure does get a lot of press for a guy who figures to be the starting CF for the Gwinnett Braves.

  4. I didn’t want to, really, but I voted for AAG. There’s just nothing to dislike about McLouth — he obviously tries hard and says all the right things. AAG — while I find him legitimately hilarious — is constantly frowning.

    I think my whipping boy is either going to be Fredi, for playing Uggla at second, or Bobby, if Venters turns out to be ruined.

  5. I do not think it is a good idea at all to trade for Michael Young, unless the Rangers pick up 75% of the money owed to him over the next several years. Even then, I’m not so sure.

  6. Uggla moving to 3rd makes a Young acquisition much less sensible. Uggla to 3rd. Martin back to 2nd. Anybody else at short. I think I would rather see Matt Young in the lineup than Michael Young, for the price.

  7. Are Uggla’s problems majorly being error-prone or is it lack of range? If it’s mainly boots then I’m guessing he’ll be a bit better defensively in Atlanta. He had 18 errors last year, which is an average of 1 every 77.3 innings. Prado made 11 which averages out to 1 error ever 111 innings.

    Every single defensive home/away split I can find on Uggla says he was worse at home than away. Maybe there’s something to the accusations concerning the Marlins’ infield. In fact, for his career, he’s actually an average defender on the road:

    edit: I tried to post the table but epicly failed. Here’s the link. Scroll to bottom:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/statsplits.aspx?playerid=3442&position=2B&season=0#uzr

  8. I never thought Uggla had much range and his fundamentals aren’t that good.

    Remember the game last year where he was in a shift and McCann hit a ball that went through the first baseman’s legs and Uggla was in shallow right and then the ball went through his legs (Two errors on one play)

    Then there was this moment:
    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/25697548/

  9. Speaking of defense, per DOB article:

    “At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said.

    That’s not what I want to read.

  10. Did he watch last year’s playoffs? Sheesh.

    Maybe if Wren would just shut up I wouldn’t be so ready to fire him when I buy the Braves.

  11. Uggla’s home/away defensive splits have been discussed here and at Capitol Avenue Club (as well as many other places I’m sure), and the sabermetric company line seems to be “don’t voluntarily reduce your sample size.” So if half of Uggla’s defensive innings are at home and half away, then you shouldn’t hack away a full 50% of the sample size when stats like UZR desperately need all the innings of info they can get to stabilize.

    But there are obvious situations in which it makes complete sense to reduce the sample size – a pitcher learned a legitimate new weapon pitch and upped his K rate by 50%, or a hitter freakishly blew out his thumb and his numbers immediately tanked until he started to heal – yeah, everything both players did in the past belongs to and describes them, but there are good reasons to think that not all of their past numbers are predictive. The key is determining what is and isn’t a real cause, which is sometimes, but not always, obvious.

    In the case of Uggla, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to look at his and several other recent Marlins infielders’ home/away UZR splits and tentatively decide that the playing surface in FL was a real cause, with the caveat that you’re probably making UZR less trustworthy by doing so. But if you like UZR then you’ve already accepted a pretty large degree of uncertainty, so what’s a little more? It’s probably not obvious that the playing surface is the real cause of his splits, since there’s so much noise in UZR that could be to blame, but it’s at least conceivable, and it doesn’t strike me as unlikely.

  12. Linebrink was traded for Joe Thatcher, not Joe Thurston. I was having trouble seeing how Thurston could help anyone win anything. Maybe a AAA team.

  13. So I guess my hope that Wagner would miss it too much was in vain, eh?

    Young (very young) guys in the 8th and 9th scare me, but they certainly have talent. Fingers crossed.

    WHo pitches the 7th? Moylan?

    Who pitches the 7th against the Phillies? (Anybody but Moylan.)

  14. I’ve seen the home/away defensive splits on Uggla and I guess my current stance going into the season is that he’ll be adequate.

    I think we’ll all get a better picture watching him play every day, but I also think (based mostly on body type) the net defensive gain will be greater with Prado in LF over Uggla than it would be at 2B.

  15. I miss Steinbrenner the Elder. If he were still at full capacity and the RedSox were acknowledged favorites there’d be Hell to pay.

    These days, they’re almost, well, normal.
    —————–

    It is ludicrous how overrated the Big East is.
    —————–

    Did Dean Smith return to coach UNC and break out the 4-Cornered-Stall again? 48 points at home?

  16. Adam, thanks for that. Interesting quote from Eddie Perez, comparing McCann and Saltalamacchia:

    Everybody was talking about Saltalamacchia. When I saw Mac, I said, ‘Well, he’s O.K.’ But when I started to know him and talk to him, I said, ‘This kid’s going to be good, because he wants to get better, he wants to learn.’ He was 21 or 22, but he was ready to go, and he was asking questions: ‘What do I need to do to get better?’ Something the other guy never had.

    Maybe it wasn’t just the yips that held Jarrod back.

  17. If no one saw this…

    Braves Extend Frank Wren

    By Ben Nicholson-Smith [February 21 at 12:25pm CST]
    The Braves signed GM Frank Wren to a two-year contract extension through 2013, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Wren, who took over as GM when John Schuerholz became team president after the 2007 season, led Atlanta to its first playoff berth since 2005 last year.

  18. 29—You left out the sentence immediately following: “I never saw that from anybody, especially another catcher.” In other words, it’s a point for McCann, but not a point against Salty.

  19. @29, noted, but I take post hoc recollections with a grain of salt – nobody gets quoted saying “man I can’t believe that guy turned out any good – he sucked when I knew him!”

  20. Why I am torn about Frank Wren, asinine statements like this one pointed out by commenter number 17.

    “At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses.”

    Well, he must not have been watching several games the braves played vs. lesser teams (ie Nationals or Pirates, etc) or any of game 3 of the NLDS.

    Wren sometimes seems really smart, and other times junk like the above flies from his pie hole.

  21. Wren has to say things like. Anytime these guys give an interview to the press it is going to be, “Oh shucks, just give 110% percent and everything will be roses.”

    Sometimes there are off the cuff interviews set up to let you know a player/ coach/ GM’s personal side a little bit (like “Chipper is a big hunter” sort of stuff)

    Outside of that, it isn’t like he is gonig to say anything that is worth its weight in salt.

  22. “At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses.”

    Completely taken out of context. What he really said was:

    “At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses. I mean, that [126 errors] is still less than an error a game. And it depends on when the errors happens [sic!]. With nobody on, you boot a ground ball and then you get a double play, it’s an error. But all errors aren’t created equal.”

    I agree with that.

    And what Smitty said.

  23. I have no problem with what Wren said. Not getting to a ball at all is just as bad as having it deflect off a glove, but only the second one’s an error. Also, the scoring of errors is sometimes really sketchy. Because the data is so noisy and leaves out so much, it’s probably better to ignore officially scored errors when evaluating defense, especially with your scouts and BIS or whatever providing much better information. Go, Wren.

  24. There is a rumor going around that Georgia QB Aaron Murray broke his ankle is two places playing soccer. It sounds like it was the same ankle he broke in high school.

    Any Dawg fans hearing that?

  25. Also, just finished the AJC photo slideshow, and I couldn’t help but grin at the photos at the end of Chipper in high socks. What a great look!

  26. Tom @ 35,

    I don’t think it’s fair to say I took that quote out of context. That implies that I quoted that sentece in an attempt to misrepresent the intent and meaning of Wren’s dialogue.

    What part of the four sentences following the one I quoted paint a different picture? It’s not like he follows it up with a discussion about how errors aren’t a good way of measuring defensive value or how range has to be taken into account. Instead he reminds me that all empty base errors are followed up by double plays. Everytime. Count on it.

    And Wren totally tries to spin that error total. 126? that’s less than an error per game! Well, yes, I suppose that’s correct, Frank. But since when is an error per game the measuring stick of effective defense? You forgot to mention that 126 was only 1 fewer errors than the highest total in baseball last year (127 – Nats, Buccos). Don’t piss in my pocket and tell me it’s raining.

  27. When I was in high school I lost the tip of my index finger in a door jamb (yeah, ouch). Came to school the next day to stories that I’d had my hand had been severed. The bandage on my finger was met with near-universal disappointment. Sorta like Tech fans must feel right now….

  28. @43

    Well that basically proves his point regardless. If the Braves committed 126 errors last year AND still made the playoffs, then maybe, just maybe errors aren’t that big of a deal.

  29. In a recent writeup on Proctor, Bowman states Proctor’s not on the 40-man roster, yet I know for sure the Braves signed him to a 750k major league contract. Can someone explain?

  30. In response to Stu @31, I left out the last sentence because it sounded a little frilly and not completely believable. I’ve heard a lot of coaches praise players for wanting to know how to get better, asking a lot of the right questions, and so forth. It sounds like Perez praising McCann with a slightly exaggerated superlative.

  31. 49—I don’t think it sounded any frillier than the previous remark about Salty. Both were attempts by Eddie to make McCann look good. I really don’t think it was about Salty.

  32. You may be right. The part that rang true to me was the comparison between the two young catchers, where McCann was clearly more committed than Salty to learning more about his craft. I didn’t buy the notion that McCann was the only player in Eddie’s long acquaintance who had ever asked questions about how to become a better catcher — but I was willing to believe the notion that McCann asked more questions than Salty.

  33. 53 – Bethany, that’s pretty cool. It’s when you start to get emails from Jason Shiell’s wife, that’s when you’re in trouble.

  34. If anyone saw the uglyfest that was Syracuse v. Villanova last night, you’ll understand my quixotic rage against the Big East machine.

    How those musclebound, brick-launching foot-dribblers can be ranked is beyond my understanding.

  35. Tell him I said “Charles Woodson” ;)

    You know what I just realized? This is the first spring training in five years that we won’t endure angry tirades about 1) Bobby retiring, or 2) why the front office refuses to bring back (insert aging hurler here). It’s a peaceful, easy feeling….

  36. “Well that basically proves his point regardless. If the Braves committed 126 errors last year AND still made the playoffs, then maybe, just maybe errors aren’t that big of a deal.”

    Notwithstanding the fact that errors are a poor way to measure defensive aptitude, I’m pretty sure that all this tells us is that the Braves are really good at other things.

  37. I’m sure there has, but I can’t think of one, off the top of my head. Bryce Harper, of course, made the cover as a high school junior.

  38. AAR @ 71,

    Thanks for the link.

    Herschel Walker kind of handled the jinx pretty well. Well, maybe ending up one game short of a national championship in his sophomore and Junior years was his jinx effect.

    Update on an interesting name from the list. Jill Kinmont. Some of you may remember a movie “The Other Side of the Mountain.” That was her.

    Recently, she has recorded a PSA for radio for something related to paralyzed people (guide dogs, maybe?). I wondered how old she must be. That list pins it down as around 75.

  39. I hope (and doubt) that Wren is trying to say that DEFENSE isn’t important. If he is, they should not have extended his contract. Most likely, he is trying to make the best of a bad situation; this isn’t a great defensive team and isn’t likely to be in the near future. Whether or not he recognizes that errors are not a good way of measuring defense is another question which we don’t know. I do know that I wish the Braves were better defensively, but, in today’s baseball, there are no perfect teams–even the annointed Phillies.

  40. I think the most likely meaning of what Wren was saying is the one we’ve all been assuming: errors are not a good proxy for “defense.” Good defense is important; lowering one’s error totals is not necessarily the best, or the only, way to achieve that.

    I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone in baseball who would claim that defense is overrated. Building a champion on pitching and defense goes back to Charlie Comiskey.

    Muammar Gaddafi says he wants to “die as a martyr.” I hope that it isn’t crossing the political boundary to say that I hope someone will oblige him.

  41. Nah. Just always thought that was funny. I was at Auburn in Nrotc at the time. We had just shot down a couple of Libyan planes, and they gave us F-22 tshirts that said “anytime Qaddafi baby!” The Reagan years were weird

  42. @77 – Ichiro probably had b/w 100-200 PA’s when he got his first SI cover.

    Fernando Valenzuela had his first cover pretty quick, too. A month or two into his rookie season.

  43. Good lord, the accompanying article is far worse – http://www.myyesnetwork.com/12465/blog/2011/02/21/the_right_stuff

    See the author’s comments below for extra Stockholm Syndrome-Luddite journalism lulz

    1. You can’t expect Jeter to actually, you know, earn his contract on the field. His role-modeliness alone is worth it.

    2. Sportswriters cannot be bothered to learn about new developments in their field, and by “new” I mean thirty years old and adopted my every major league team

    3. Being the terror of the Rowan College nine 17 years ago, and in the broadcast industry for the last decade qualifies you as having a rational basis for saying “I’ve played the game my whole life”.

    4. Bonus – get steroid bashing quote from star player and father of Mitchell Report named son

    Fish, barrel, I know, but damn, it seems like folks are just getting lazier

  44. I understand the Braves are considering, if Quaddaffi leaves Libya, of trying him out in the back of the bullpen. He could do sort of a Mad Hungarian routine that might be effective.

    I’ve flown in airplanes my whole life; therefore, I can say for a fact that this stuff about aerodynamics is crap. Planes fly because they have grit and determination.

  45. They are replaying Marlins games from last year here on SunSports, and while Uggla is a hitting machine, I foresee a lot of bitching about his defense.

  46. Sure, but the fact that YES has apparently a daily in-season show called “Yankees Batting Practice Today” is awesome. “So, how’d batting ‘prac’ go, Jetes?” – Ha!

  47. “Yankees Batting Practice Today”

    It will be interesting to see how the Yankees respond to the new basket that holds the balls the BP coach uses. The old basket was a team favorite. Bernie Williams use to use it to set his guitar on before games.

    Coming up on YBPT, Don Zimmer joins us to discuss Mickey Mantle’s famous May 16, 1961 BP home run. Then we’ll listen in as A-Rod relives last night’s escapdes while Jeter works on going the other way. Stay tuned!

  48. Chris Shearn is a random guy on the YES network who has a podcast. Not worth taking seriously. Words like “media” and “journalism” might be a bit too good for the likes of him.

    Also, there’s this: “A guy you can dig straight through the center of the Earth to try to come up with dirt on him, and you can probably dig through to China without finding a morsel.” You know, I didn’t have to dig to China to find out that Derek Jeter has herpes and has given it to many of the most beautiful women in the world, including Jessica Alba. It’s actually one of the more enduring rumors on the internet. I guess it might be false, but considering that he has been with many of the most beautiful women in the world, it’s not that hard to believe.

  49. Query: Who is the second best position player in Braves franchise history–Eddie Mathews or Chipper Jones? Stats are very similar although Mathews had a lot more home runs. Who was the better fielder?

  50. I don’t know if this has been covered recently (or at all, but probably has), but do you guys think that Andruw Jones has a legitimate HOF case right now?

  51. @ 97,

    As much as I absolutely adore Chipper, I have to go with Eddie Mathews. It’s not (and never will be) an end-all, be-all stat, but Mathews has got Chipper 107.2 to 85.5 fWAR. Even if you take out any statistical measure of defense in fWAR, Mathews still comes out ahead 104 to 89.

  52. Re: YES Network Filler Content
    If you want to really let go of a belly laugh, try to watch some of the Yankeeography shows. It’s too bad Cecil B. Demille is dead. He coulda gotten a gig doing some of those.

    Eg. — “And then, with a swift stroke of his Louisville Slugger, Joe D parted the Red Sea…”

    There’s a reason why one of the local media critics refers to YES Network as “Al-Yankzeera.”

    And, then there’s SNY, the Mets’ version of YES. They have this filler show called “Beer Money” that seems to be some intern’s nephew’s idea of quality sports television.

    They send out a guy to interview fans at various NYC sporting events and he asks them the world’s easiest trivia questions for pocket change. It’s like “Bowling for Dollars,” but less entertaining and for less loot.

    But… both of those networks make a ton of money for each franchise.

  53. @100, that completely depends on how you determine peak value, and whether being the very best at some facets of the game and just really really good at others describes a player that is HoF-worthy.

  54. Yes, I think Andruw has an HOF case right now, but he won’t be voted in by the writers, because they generally tend to value offense over defense. (Baseball writers generally seem to think that a pound of lead is heavier than a pound of feathers, even though a run saved is equivalent to a run created.)

    He’d really do himself a favor by having a few more good years and making it all moot, though.

  55. Spike @ 103,

    There’s definitely a multitude of methods to evaluate the evidence, with each individual arriving at a conclusion through a different thought process. I understand that. I’m just asking what you, individually, think.

  56. It seems to me that Andruw was the best at one facet (obviously defense) and maybe a little above average at the other. If it was the other way around, he would clearly be a legitimate candidate.

  57. @105, I thought I had pretty well tipped my hand. Personally, I value all-timers at a significant skill as much as cross-discipline aggregators so for me, he would be in. Edmonds V. Jones is the ultimate very good at just about everything vs spectacular d/above average O.

  58. The real question of the day is:

    “Over/under on many free throws will Vandy shoot tonight?”

    I say 40 and they hit 31 of them.

  59. Obviously all baseball players decline at some point, even HOF-caliber players, but are there other players in the Hall that have had a spectacular collapse like Andruw’s? It’s not like he had one or two off years before retiring. He went from an All-Star to a bench player overnight and hasn’t really improved since 2007. Would voters take that into account?

    Genuinely curious.

  60. I’d say both Vaughns (Greg and Mo) qualify. Also, speaking of Mets that fail (always makes me smile), you could probably say Robbie Alomar…though he kept getting chances because he’s Robbie Alomar

  61. ububba, I’m moving to Miami at the end of April. Any chance we could catch a Mets or Yankee game before then? It’s too bad we couldn’t meet up last season.

  62. Miami, eh? How ’bout that?

    Sure, we can catch a game in April. Braves aren’t around until June, though. (And weirdly they have 2 series in Flushing in August.)

    Both the Yanks & Mets have plenty of April home games. Getting tix for any of those weeknight games in The Bronx shouldn’t be so tough and, of course, getting tickets anytime in Madoffville shouldn’t be any trouble.

    Maybe we’ll pick a night when Ubaldo is pitching or something. Hit me up & we’ll sort it out.

  63. Among up-the-middle players, Lou Boudreau basically fell off a cliff after turning 30. Arky Vaughn was one of the best players in baseball history through age 31, then he sat out the next three years, and only returned to collect another 300 at-bats or so before retiring for good.

    There are a lot more on the cusp: Dale Murphy, obviously, and Vada Pinson, whom people here have mentioned before. Vern Stephens, who was Boston’s answer to Phil Rizzuto, fell off a cliff around age 30. Cesar Cedeno struggled to stay on the field after he turned 31. Alan Trammell struggled to stay on the field after turning 32. All of them have decent to strong Hall of Fame cases based solely on what they did in their 20’s, and several of them may eventually get in — in particular, I hold out hope that either the sabermetric forces that got Blyleven in will help push Trammell over the top, or failing that, an enlightened future Veterans Committee. Their biggest failing is probably the age at which they broke down.

    It’ll be really interesting to see what happens to Andruw.

  64. @115, Yeah, too bad the Bravos won’t be in town. I’ll keep you posted about my schedule for sure!
    @116, Great info, thanks!

  65. If Rob had said “fell off a cliff” instead of “collapsed”, you’d of course have to go with Delahanty.

  66. On time many years ago in Athens, Ga., I popped into the 40 Watt Club to see this garage band called Is Ought Gap. It was a really cold Monday night & there were only about 11 people there.

    I went to the bar & there were 4 guys leaning on it. They weren’t regulars & they were a lot older than everybody else in the place. I noticed that one of ’em looked just like Hank Williams, Jr.

    Of course, back in 1985, a lotta people looked like Hank Williams, Jr.,—cowboy hat, vest, boots, shades—so I didn’t really think it was him…

    Until I caught a glimpse of his glass eye through the side of his shades. Yup, that’s him. No doubt, Bocephus.

    Apparently, he was in town recording or visiting with someone (Randall Bramblett? Davis Causey? I can’t remember), but why in the world we he go see a band that did New York Dolls covers?

    Shoulda asked, but I didn’t wanna bother him. I retrospect, maybe I should’ve. I know he’s a bit of a cartoon now, but there was a time when I really liked Whiskey Bent & Hell Bound. We coulda had something to talk about. (Or he mighta thrown a drink on me.)

    A few months later, he played the UGA Coliseum & it was one of the most ridiculous shows I’ve ever seen. At one point, ol’ Hank climbed up on the piano & started firing a pair six-shooters in the air like Yosemite Sam.

    Blanks, of course, but jeez, he scared the piss out of everybody.

  67. The way that the Grapefruit League pitching rotation is set up it appears Lowe might get the Opening Day start, FWIW. Of course, that doesn’t really matter much, they’re all going to pitch and the games count the same.

    Also, Peanut put out a fluff piece on Proctor, so look for him to take the last bullpen spot unless he is so awful it can’t be justified. If it were up to me it would be Stephen Marek.

  68. Eh, we have been waiting on the letter.

    WHAT A WIN! Jenkins is the SEC player of the year, but Hopson just picked up some votes.

  69. Huge win for the Vols tonight! Where was that team at the end of the Georgia game the other day and the Florida game a couple weeks ago?

  70. Great win, Vols. Good VU definitely didn’t show up, but UT had something to do with that. Punched us in the mouth, and we wilted. Don’t think we had a single guy in our 9-man rotation have a good game. Ouch.

    Hopson missed a ton of shots; I thought Goins was the real difference-maker for UT.

    Anyway, I’m getting a little tired of you guys saving your season against us…

  71. Wren clarifies his comments on errors….

    “We think we are better in a couple positions for sure, that being first base [with Freddie Freeman], which will in turn make our infielders better with the additional saves he will make on errant throws and his play in general, and in left field with Martin Prado.

    “We should be better in center field with Nate [McLouth] full-time versus the different faces we used there last year, though [Rick] Ankiel was very good at the end.

    Wren continued, “We do believe Dan Uggla is better than his critics allege and I tend to rely on the evaluation of his manager and bench coach from last year [Fredi Gonzalez and Carlos Tosca, who are now with the Braves in those same roles] that watched him everyday.

    “Good teams do not give their opponent extra outs, period. My point that was not completely stated was this: we don’t believe our defense will be a liability and should be better than last year. We are going to make errors, but that won’t be the overriding reason for our success or failure ultimately.”

  72. In case you missed it, Brian Jordan said that “When we played, we could take a lot of ‘supplements’ to ‘energize’ our bodies.”

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