Braves 4, Pirates 2 (11 innings)

Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Box Score – May 25, 2011 – ESPN.

No win for you, Mike Minor! See how it felt to be Brandon Beachy! At least the team got one, no thanks to Dan Uggla (0-5, three strikeouts, one or two errors depending upon how the official scorer feels tonight, .180 BA).

The first three Braves of the game got hits; Jordan Schafer doubled, Alex Gonzalez singled (but couldn’t get Schafer home) then Chipper Jones singled to make it 1-0 with runners at the corners. But instead of breaking it open, Brian McCann popped up and Eric Hinske hit into a double play, and we were off for yet another nailbiter.

The Pirates tied it up in the third with a typical single/stolen base/single rally. Hinske’s two-out homer in the sixth made it 2-1. Minor left in the sixth with a couple on and two out, having allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out five; Scott Proctor, unlikely as it seems, got the last out of the inning to preserve the lead. However, Eric O’Flaherty allowed a solo homer to tie it up.

Jonny Venters pitched around two walks and terrible defense I won’t get into in the eighth and ninth, and George Sherrill a perfect tenth while the Braves were getting mowed down like so many daffodils. With one out in the eleventh, though, McCann singled (Wilkin Ramirez ran for him) and Brooks Conrad pinch-hit for Sherrill, hitting a long homer to make it 4-2. Craig Kimbrel got the save with no difficulty.

217 thoughts on “Braves 4, Pirates 2 (11 innings)”

  1. From previous thread:

    For all the moaning lately, we have a 15-8 record in May. Only Boston better at 16-7 and SF is tied with us at 14-7 (though they’re % points better).

    That said, the opposing pitching on that road trip set up really nicely for us and we didn’t take advantage. Now it’s six at home versus Cin and SD before a 10 game road trip against NYM, FLA and Hou(4). Hopefully we can pull of a 10-6 strech there, which would get us to .500 all-time. Right now we sit at 9973-9977 and I’d love to get to 10,000 wins before 10,000 losses.

  2. Mike Minor pitched well. Especially from the third inning onwards he started to throw strikes and showed more confidence in his stuff. We can build on that.

  3. Funny, I was actually at Jo Jo’s last win—2 summers ago in Anaheim.

    Who knew the streak would last this long? But it did feel slightly miraculous at the time.

  4. Resilience?
    I was following via AJC. When I checked back I saw Proctor was pitching. Then the tie. I thought for sure the butt doctor had given up the runs.

    So its June now for all intents, does Wren start dangling a pitching prospect or two looking for a bat? Or do you hold on and hope that Uggla et al can get it back?

    Glad to see the return of the Folk Hero.

  5. Wren doesn’t seem to be the type of guy who makes big midseason acquisitions, the way Schuerholz occasionally would do — guys like McGriff, Denny Neagle, and Teixeira. Wren just hasn’t brought over that caliber of player midyear.

  6. 10 — That series with the Angels we trotted out Reyes, Morton and Campillo, and they all pitched well, especially Reyes and Campillo. Campillo was the tough luck loser in the the Sunday game (which was on Sunday night baseball). He gave up quite possibly the cheapest homerun I’ve ever seen to Casey Kotchman. Kotchman practically threw his bat at a low and away pitch and somehow golfed it just inside the right field foul poll (it may have actually hit the fould pole) for a 2-run homerun. We lost 2-0.

  7. @11
    His performance merits all caps and 4 exclamation marks. You’re selling him short.

  8. Exactly.

    Hey, I was a McLouth fan at the time, but McLouth was a charity All-Star; McGriff and Neagle were each coming off of legitimate All-Star selections, and Teixeira had hit 76 homers the previous two seasons. Nate wasn’t ever in their league. He fits Wren’s tinkering model. Wren never likes to blow up the roster, he’d prefer to incrementally upgrade it. That’s why we get all these incremental players, like Proctor/Sherrill/Linebrink/Diaz/Melky/Mather/Hinske/Conrad/Ankiel. It’s really easy to mix and match them, and replace them with equally marginal prospects, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle, and keep the core of your team entirely intact because they cost very little to acquire. But none of them is all that likely to be worth more than a single WAR.

    Unlike those guys, McLouth required an actual trade, but Wren didn’t have to give up anyone who really mattered. Gorky, Locke, and Morton clearly weren’t in our plans. Derrek Lee was a similar acquisition — a non-star who provided almost entirely forgettable production, though I didn’t like giving up Robinson Lopez. Still, Derrek Lee was absolutely not the key prize available at the trading deadline, the way Neagle, McGriff, and Teixeira were in their day. Wren doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who wants to pay the type of prospect price that those stars require. Generally, I agree with that kind of caution — at least he’s never traded Carlos Santana for Casey Blake. But he never swings for the fences.

  9. #13
    And which Braves hurler earned the save in that Reyes win?

    Jeff “Left Hook” Bennett—remember him?

    I do & I’m glad those days are over.

  10. The McLouth trade was a pretty big deal, at the time. Wren was definitely trying to swing for the fences. And I think any decline in fence-swinging since Wren took over has more to do with finances than a difference in philosophy.

  11. I couldn’t vote for Uggla reminding me of Nick Esasky, Esasky actually had a value excuse for not being able to hit.

  12. according to Jayson Stark, Wren is already actively looking for a bat to acquire via trade.

  13. Obviously it will be a RH bat. Where do we put him? CF? What RH CF bats could we get? Do we move Prado to center? Do we platoon Heyward for awhile? We aren’t going to pull the plug on Uggla. De we put Freeman on the bench? Do we go after Reyes and move AAG?

  14. I say go big and trade a ton for Matt Kemp or Colby Rasmus. But I know no one agrees and I’m probably very wrong.

  15. 24—Get Pence; platoon McLouth (once healthy) and Uggla. Pence plays CF against lefties and LF (with Prado at second) against righties.

    25—Or that. Yes, that, please.

  16. The Cardinals are in 1st place and have the best offense in the league. They’re probably not sellers right now.

    Pence actually seems like a logical target, though, because Houston has little to sell but, in all likelihood, a desire to sell.

  17. I think Rasmus is off the table. Kemp would be nice, and I like the Pence idea.

    I think Teheran or Minor+another young pitcher would have to be in the return.

  18. Pence really seems like a realistic target, but I think the Braves will target a leadoff hitter that can play CF. I think they should get the best available guy, but we’ll end up with a Bourn, Span, Dejesus, Crisp type player most likely.

  19. Didnt say we needed one, but Olney and Rosenthal seem to think thats what we are after.

  20. BJ Upton would be AWESOME.

    I know there’s a ton of risk involved in trading someone like Teheran, but you’re filling an organizational need for several years. It’s not like we have outfield talent waiting in the minors… at some point the pitching needs to be turned over for some positional depth. Not sure if now is the time, but considering how bad our offense has been and we’re still in this thing, I’d go for it.

  21. Pence is not that realistic a target. He is under team control until 2013. That would make him very expensive.

    I hear from Sox fans that there’s this persistent thing from the team about how Lowrie really isn’t suited for SS. But I can’t make myself believe they’d really try to unload him and start Jose Iglesias next year.

  22. The thing that makes Pence most desirable to me is that the Phillies apparently want him.

  23. Pretty nice comment from Chipper regarding Conrad….

    “He’s just broke into my Top 10 all-time favorite teammates today,” Jones said. (Respond from Conrad, who was standing one locker over? “Nice, dude. That’s something to tell the kids.”)

  24. Man, defensive stats still completely despise Freddie Freeman: DRS -5 UZR/150 -21.1

    Prado now has positive defensive stats, as he should: DRS+3 UZR/150 4.6

    They HATE Nate McLouth DRS -4 UZR/150 -29.1

    In fact, only Prado and Gonzalez (of our regulars) have positive ratings in both DRS and UZR/150. Heyward has a +1 in DRS.

  25. Remember when fantasizing about Dan Uggla’s 30 home runs a year in our lineup was going to put us over the edge on offense. I liked those days.

  26. Again, the available defensive stats for 1B do not take into account glovework on throws from other infielders, which is Freddie’s primary defensive contribution.

    Case in point: the 2011 Braves have made 8 throwing errors, a pace which would total 25 over the course of the season. Last year …… 61 throwing errors.

  27. @55
    Yes, understood, but still. There’s no way his range is that poor. I mean, Prince Fielder is at 0.6. Is Prince really that much “rangier” than Freddie?

    Andruw hit 2 HRs today and is up to 411 for his career. 5 time All Star, 10 straight gold gloves, and basically leads every advanced defensive metric known to man in CF (career). He should get into the Hall but probably will not. Hopefully defense will start playing a bigger role in voting in years to come.

  28. Any defensive stat that says Freeman isn’t a tremendous asset with the glove is worthless, at least with regard to first basemen.

    …What 55 said.

  29. I see what you’re getting at, ryan. Freddie’s a pretty lumbering guy, but I suspect some noise in the stats.

    Also, I just noticed that FanGraphs has a new stat called “Scp”, or first baseman scoops. It doesn’t appear to be integrated into the metrics, but obviously it’s been given some thought as an under-considered component.

    Oh by the way, Freddie leads all ML 1Bs with 21 “Scps”…..

  30. Man, I’m bored…
    If Uggla were just getting on base his career norm, the Braves would have a .322 OBP. It’s still not amazing, but it would move us up from 14th in the league to tied for 6th.

  31. Worst stat of the day…
    Edward Salcedo, SS of the future, made 4 errors today and is now up to 20 on the year. One good thing of note: the errors came from him playing 3b, not shortstop (I think that might be worse).

  32. Stu, kind of weird to look at Baseball America’s ’08 top 100 list and see Schafer ranked 19 spots ahead of Joey Votto.

    What is depressing is that Schafer owns the second highest OPS month (.854) by a CF, post-Andruw. Think about that for a second. Mark Kotsay’s August ’08, .882, was so good that it got him a ticket out of town that month.

  33. Now top 18. It’s on ESPN2 BTW.

    It’s games like this that cause my soccer-loving friend to suggest that baseball games should be able to end in ties.

  34. Are we seriously entertaining the idea (as fans) of trading Teheran? I sincerely hope that two major league appearances haven’t sullied our thoughts and expectations of him. He is the closest thing to a guaranteed ace in the minor leagues right now. Teheran for Pence? Geez, that’s as absurd as trading David Price, circa 2009 for Nate McLouth, circa 2009.

    I know it doesn’t look good, but there’s hope. Both Heyward and Uggla have shown in the (extremely recent) past that they’re among the top 20-30 offensive forces in the league. I doubt that they’re both going to slump for the rest of the season, and when they finally turn it around, we’ll have two more all-star performers in the lineup. That’ll have more of a positive effect on this team than trading for anyone, including Ramus or Matt Kemp. Additionally, McCann’s current numbers are way off his career numbers. He’ll come around, also.

    Our pitching is the best not only in the National League, but the best in all of baseball. Once Uggla, Heyward, and McCann wake up, our offense will be also.

    Additionally, please, somebody fire Larry Parish.

  35. 67 – His name came up as part of an Upton fantasy. Of course, it would take Teheran, Delgado, and a couple other MLB-ready or blue chip prospects to even start that conversation.

  36. 68,

    I was referring to comment 29. Also, are you watching this Phillies game? Utility man Wilson Valdez is in to pitch, and just threw an 88 mph fastball. Carlos Ruiz caught 18 innings, and is now playing 3B. Also, I just received a new found appreciation for Fischer of the Reds.

    It’s pretty sad when an 19-inning Philly affair has more fans at it than your average Braves game.

  37. Why are the Reds swinging at anything? Waldez can’t throw a strike to save his life! Is Larry Parish moonlighting?

  38. Remember back in the day when the Mets brought in Matt Franco to pitch and he immediately gave up a home run, then struck out Andruw to end the top of the 9th? we were up like 12-0

  39. If Philly somehow doesn’t score here, the concession stands had better start to look into figuring out how to make breakfast.

  40. Utility man Wilson Valdez now has more wins than Joseph Reyes in the last 3 years.

  41. Can’t say I’m too disappointed about the Reds blowing through their bullpen the series before they come to Atlanta. Not that it matters much against our offense.

  42. #75
    Was at that game. It was one of the all-time great Met thumpings at Shea. Ended up 16-0, actually.

    Matt Franco came in, gave up a 3-run HR to Gerald Williams, then a triple to Otis Nixon, then struck out Andruw.

    Maddux started. Braves hit 5 HRs, Chipper hit 2. Carnage.

    Wouldn’t break my heart to see one of those sometime soon.

  43. @26

    The Pence talk is just dumb.

    The Upton talk is not as dumb, but a fantasy nonetheless.

  44. @67,

    I’d trade him for the right price. It is good to covett prospects, but don’t fall in love with them. See Andy Marte

  45. I think we’re overly sensitive to trading great pitching prospects because of Wainwright. You have to give great things to get great things most of the time, and we have lots of great pitching, and absolutely no great centerfield prospects. I think the idea of needing a great “leadoff hitter” doesn’t make any sense, so no thanks to the Coco Crisps of the world.

  46. If we can get someone to put in the leadoff spot that will get on base, we can move Prado down in the order. That might solve some of our problems.

  47. Posnanski just blogged about Jojo and the winless streak, and what a meaningless stat wins are. I commented that surely pitcher wins mean something when you’re setting records about it…and the comment was taken down. Hmph.

  48. Isn’t McClouth pretty much a prototypical leadoff type though? He’s a legitimately good base runner (he leads the league in Fangraphs’ new Ultimate Base Running stat), and despite a lack of power he gets on base at a decent rate. If you’re into things like leadoff hitters, he’s pretty much your guy, and there’s no sense in making a trade to replace him for 2 weeks while he’s DL-ed.

  49. “The Pence talk is just dumb.”

    I just became convinced that the Pence talk is smart. Weird.

  50. Not sure why we would want Upton (BJ) over Pence. I guess just for the position (CF) but Pence is clearly a better hitter.

  51. The offensive black holes in the lineup are Freeman, Uggla, and (to a lesser extent) Louth. You can’t replace Uggla and IMO, replacing Freeman would cause more long term harm than it’s worth.

    You can replace Nate, but as @88 states, unless you swing for the fences with a Kemp/Upton, the marginal value a replacement would have over Nate would likely be minimal.

    Barring something massive, I’d say we’re relatively stuck w/what we have for the moment.

  52. I always thought Hunter Pence was just a spazzier Jeff Franceour with a little more patience, but I was wrong.

    I would give up Beachy for Pence.

    I don’t want to give away too many pitching prospects. The best thing Wren has done is that he has developed a line of succession for the rotation, which will save the team lots of money the next few years that can be used on offense.

  53. 94—-They’re both under team control through 2013, but Upton is two years younger and ~$2 million cheaper, this year. Further, yes, Upton is a much more valuable defensive player. While Pence has the career wOBA advantage, .351 to .340, Upton has the career fWAR advantage, 16.5 to 16.2.

    I’d much, much rather have Upton, a legitimate CF.

  54. I wouldn’t call Freeman a ‘black hole’ on offense. He is probably performing about as well as expected. The slugging and OPS are low, but his OBP is .003 better than Prado, .011 better than Heyward, .030 better than Agon (who is on a hot streak lately), and .004 behind McLouth.

    The stat that proves the braves have some work to do is that Joe Mather leads the team in OBP.

  55. @98,

    I agree Stu. It might be cheapre prospect wise to get Pence (but probably not too much)

  56. Also keep in mind that Pence has minimal aesthetic value – his posture is bad, he’s a gangly, awkward runner, he’s prone to making stupid facial expressions, and he wears his socks way too high. Don’t underestimate the value of these things from a fan’s (certainly not a roster construction) perspective. There’s little worse than sitting in a ballpark on a sweltering July day watching a player suck and look bad while doing so. Winning can counteract only a portion of that. I think this was an underrated factor in our collective falling out with Yunel.

  57. I don’t have much love for Posey (who was out) or his team, but that sucks.

    Dan Uggla can’t really be this bad, can he?

  58. Pence is at 6.9 Million in 2011. And has accumulated 7.9 WAR in 5 years. Doesn’t walk and can’t play CF. How is that comparable value for Beachy (Minimun salary thru Pence’s arb years)?

    The Pence talk is dumb.

    B.J. Upton is an entirely different matter. He is a great MLB CF.

  59. Well, I guess it’ll be Molina beating McCann out for National League starting catcher then.

    EDIT: Wait, maybe Out gets voted in anyway and Bruce Bochy picks McCann, because he, unlike Cardinals fans, is not a dumbass. That could happen, I suppose.

  60. 99 – Agree on Freeman. About what I expected from him this far. Same with McLouth. It’s Uggla that’s killing this team offensively.

  61. I guess for me, most of Upton’s offensive success was in his first two full seasons and he has seemed to really struggle the last three, while Pence has seemed more consistant.

    Upton has performed well so far this year, but I feel like he’s prone to be an offensive black hole for extended periods of time.

  62. @98 and 108-

    Obviously his upside is the key here, and the way his AAA season developed last year gives credence to the idea that he’ll turn it on at some point, but (especially in positional context) Freeman’s been awful so far.

    Negative WAR, OPS+ under 100, wOBA .315….maybe not Jeffy/Melky/Norton bad, but those are bad numbers for a 1B.

  63. 106 – Well, his fWAR is much higher than that: 14.8 over the past four seasons, which means he’s worth 3.5-4 wins a season. For $6.9 million, he’d be a bargain.

  64. #108 – Don’t forget Heyward. Injured yes, but he sucks too.

    I get the position context on Freeman but I didn’t expect much from him this season. Perhaps more than this but not much more. So for me at least he hasn’t been too much of a dissapointment.

  65. 115- Fangraphs is blocked in my office, seems a huge difference. UZR must love him.

    I just don’t think Pence serves a mid-long term need for the braves. I think they can do better/cheaper with a platoon than with an average player earning 7 million. Maybe he can play CF, i don’t know. My argument is that Beachy is more valuable than Pence, that’s all.

  66. funny. you guys come HERE of all places.

    seriously, all of you need a reality check if you think Pence is going to be traded THIS year to the Braves for Teheran and pieces. LOL.

    keep being fucking morons.

  67. 119—Exhibit B.

    EDIT: Wow, that second draft is completely different than the first and still hilariously chris-like. Bravo.

  68. I agree that Beachy is more valuable than Pence. I would support SOME move to get Pence, however. He’s the small side of a platoon with Nate, and when Nate’s in CF, get him some AB’s resting Uggla or Chipper (moving Prado to the IF.)

    Maybe the ‘Stros would be on board with some of our AA pitching (our non-Teheran, Vizcaino, Delgado division. Oberholtzer + 2 more?) Their “event horizon” doesn’t really require major-league ready pitching. I doubt they’d do that though.

  69. 122—Yeah, I agree that the asking price for Pence is likely the problem. As some have speculated, Wade would need to be blown away — like, in a job-saving way — to trade Pence, and I don’t necessarily think Pence is worthy of offering the kind of deal it would take.

    I’d probably rather trade, say, Delgado for Pence than, say, Hoover for Bourn or something similarly crappy and ineffective, though.

  70. Fred Wilpon is selling a $200 million stake in the Mets to David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager.

    The Astros are really bare in the minor leagues. I would love to help them restock with a couple of prospects in return for dumping Pence’s salary.

  71. Just saw that Posey collision, yikes. I think it was clean but do the Giants retaliate today? It’ll be interesting to see.

  72. This is Ed Wade we’re talking about here, assembler of quite possibly the worst team in the NL, inker of the 3 year/$15M Brandon Lyon contract. Rational, value-for-value evaluation isn’t necessary in this case. A middle reliever and a B prospect would not surprise me as the asking price for Pence, for whom, despite his physical unattractiveness, I’d have no problem giving up O’Flaherty and Oberholtzer (for instance). This is an imminently fleece-able man.

  73. I know Freeman’s WAR is negative, but compared to the pupu platter the Braves have trotted out in recent years (Thorman, Kotchman, Glaus) I’m OK with it. I know French dip isn’t as good as a steak, but it beats a plate of spam.

    Heyward sucking has made me depressed. I refused to pull him from my starting lineup in fantasy baseball. I’m in last place. I can’t quit him.

  74. We’re not giving up Teheran. Certainly not until he has a legitimate shot to prove himself in the big leagues. And to be honest, though I would give up Teheran for the right deal, Hunter Pence is certainly not worth him, and I really don’t think either Upton is either, though that’s closer.

    On the other hand, I strongly disagree that Beachy is more valuable than Pence. A potential middle-of-the-rotation starter is not more valuable than a potential star outfielder. Fact is, Beachy is eminently tradeable, along with Minor. In the end, I will be shocked if we don’t wind up trading one of them. In the theoretical rotation of the future, you’ll have Teheran, Delgado and Hanson. Perhaps Vizcaino will be in there as well. Keeping one of Beachy and Minor will be a good idea, but keeping both will frankly be worse than just suboptimal. It will be an outright bad idea. It especially will considering the positional needs we have/are going to have in the near future.

  75. pete orr @128,

    I wouldn’t give O’Flaherty. From their perspective he adds little value (a 1/2 year arb 2 plus 3rd arb year reliever?) AND because EOF is very important to this team.

    I agree with throwing something in front of Wade, but apparently several are now doing the same. If he takes a package of equal value (using the V Wang method), then make the move. if he will not, it is not enough of an upgrade to make the move.

  76. 130—Justin Upton is certainly worth giving Teheran up for. Like, it’s not even a close question.

    Not that it’ll happen.

  77. I’m with Stu. That’s not really close. It’s more like how much would you have to package with Teheran for Upton.

    Not that a team second in their division would trade a star player for anything.

  78. A quick off the cuff value on Pence

    this year salary 6.9, value 9, surplus 2.1 x .67 of a year = 1.4

    Next year arb 10 million, value 10 million, surplus 0

    Beachy cost 2011, 2012, 2013 1.2 total. Call it #4, #3, #3 value those 3 years. that is 8 mill, 10 mill, 10 mill. for a surplus of 26.8. Deduct 1/3 of this year (2.5) and he comes in at 24.3 Even if all Beachy might be is a legitimate average # 5
    for those 2.67 years that value is about 3 to 5 per year. And even at 3, that is surplus value of about 6.1

    Even if I am off a little on the guesstimate, that kind of tells you about how dumb it would be to trade Beachy.

  79. Off the wall revisit on the trade front.

    David Ross. I REALLY wouldn’t want to move him, but if McCann didn’t get hurt, he won’t play more than 1/4 of the catcher spot. You have the Red Sox, Giants, (who else?) in the hunt for the post season with real holes at catcher. I think Ross as a projected #1 catcher for the Red Sox for 1.67 years at 4,0 or so cost, is excess value of about 5 to 8 mill.

    So, what about a 3 way (not THAT kind of 3 way, a menage a trois de beisbol): David Ross to Red Sox, nice Sox piece to the Astros, Pence to the Braves.

    We have J. C. Boscan as back up catcher for the next year and .67. That doesn’t sound good.


  80. Yeah, but that measurement of value is in the context of a team with normal starting pitching depth. If losing Beachy means we “downgrade” to Minor or Medlen, then we aren’t looking at losing his whole value when trading him. Conversely, we have no one for CF next year, so Pence might be worth more to the Braves than his nominal value on a team with average outfield depth.

  81. 134—In absolute terms, sure. Relatively speaking, though, the Braves can replicate Beachy’s production much more easily than they can replicate someone like Pence’s. I’d probably be OK with such a deal.

    EDIT: Or, what JoeyT said.

  82. We can’t move Beachy while he is on the DL and if I were another GM I would want to see him pitch a few games first.

  83. Furthermore, the money part of the formula doesn’t deter me that much. Pence should be worth what he is paid for the next 3 years or close to it. It’s not like the Braves are that adept at spending big money in the free agent market and getting good value, at least lately.

    Actually with the lower payroll, you would think they have room to make this kind of deal without worrying about the $ side.

  84. Plus, Pence’s major league track record, both w/performance and injury, is much more proven than Beachy’s. Even if you have him for 2.5 years and have to pay him relatively close to his value, at least you can feel pretty confident you’re getting what you pay for.

    I mean, he’s a free agent during his age 31 season; it’s not like he’ll be locked up to an expensive, long-term deal during his decline phase…like certain second baseman.

  85. Are we even sure Pence can play CF competently? Its not like he’s super rangey according to DRS and UZR.

  86. @132 – Not so fast. After a little excel work, and using some very round numbers, the relatively short length of Upton’s remaining contract (compared to years Teheran would be under control), and the fact that he’s not that underpaid relative to Teheran, makes it pretty favorable for Teheran in a head-to-head matchup between the two. Starting in 2012 and figuring Upton to be worth 5,6,7, and 8 WAR over the remainder of his contract (very favorable projection for him) and $/WAR inflation of 8% year-to-year, I get a surplus value of $103.4 million from him. Very good and enviable, to be sure.

    Now, I put a rough Tommy Hanson comp on Teheran and figured him for 4,5,5,5,4, and 3.5 WAR over years of team control. So, assuming 3, 6, and 9 mill salaries over arbitration, that’s $141.1 of surplus.

    So if even if you think Upton has 3 MVP caliber years ahead of him out of the next four, you only need to think Teheran has a 73% chance or greater of matching Tommy Hanson’s production for him to still be the better bet.

    The worst the break-even point gets is 95% chance that Teheran matches Hanson’s value, and that’s if Upton is a perennial MVP candidate and Teheran misses a full year due to injury (WARs of 4,5,5,0,4,3.5).

    You could make a good case that Wren would be sorely misguided if he traded Teheran for Justin Upton.

  87. This conversation sets us up nicely for the explosion that will occur after the Phillies get Pence for peanuts.

    Mark it down.

  88. 143—I don’t buy it. First of all, the injury-attrition risk is much greater for Upton. Second of all, Upton is a proven stud at the major-league level. Third of all, OMG did you see what Upton did to that one Teheran change-up in Arizona???

  89. Please note the absolutely arbitrary, mostly pulled out of my ass nature of the numbers I plugged in for Teheran’s future WAR values. I tried to turn on my internal random number generator and and multiply it by some reasonable scenarios, all while trying hard not to be too generous towards him, since I am trying to make the Teheran over Upton case, after all. I’d be happy to plug other scenarios into the calculator though.

  90. @144 – Well yeah, but that’s what the break-even percentage mitigates. TINSTAAPP, but are you more than 25% confident in that for a guy that’s actually had a couple of starts in the majors at this point? Plus Upton’s never had a year with even 5 WAR. It takes a lot of projection to make him the better bet than Teheran.

  91. Plus that evaluation completely ignores the possibility of Teheran contending for Cy Young awards, which is basically what prospect maven types have him projected for. I’ll run that scenario in a minute.

  92. 143 – Putting your ‘rough Tommy Hanson comp’ on most pitchers is probably way too optimistic, even for a guy like Teheran.

  93. You project Teheran to 26.5 WAR during team control, Tim Hudson had 28.9 bWAR during his team control, and he was a guy who actually did contend for Cy Youngs during that time.

  94. Teheran looked overmatched in both starts. I’m in the front row of his long term band-wagon, but if I’m another team, I’m not trading arguably my best player (who is locked into a decent deal) for a pitching prospect…

  95. @151 – Fair enough. Let’s say Upton averages 5 WAR/year over his contract (he’s never had a single 5 WAR year, keep in mind), and Teheran averages 3/year over his (basically 70% of young Hanson) – Upton provides 74% of the surplus value of Teheran. Let’s say Teheran misses a whole year, then averages 3 WAR/year over the remainder – Upton still provides just 98% of the surplus value of Teheran. He doesn’t have to be more than above average to be equivalent to or more valuable than Upton. Upton’s not that cheap and not that good.

  96. If Teheran sits in the minors when the team’s sporting of a rotation of Hanson-Jurrjens-Medlen-Beachy-Minor two years from now, he’s worth 0 WAR.

  97. Lucky Lowe:

    “After a thorough review of all the evidence in this case including the police video that documented the entire event, both the DUI charge and the reckless driving charge were dismissed for lack of evidence,”

  98. 155- He could be squeezed out if the team decides to go with a 10 man super rotation of Hudson-Hanson-JJ-Medlen-Beachy-Minor-Delgado-Oberholtzer-Vizcaino-Clemens.

  99. @155 – It would be at least mildly silly to keep the game’s top pitching prospect in AAA for his third consecutive year while Medlen, Beachy, and Minor all got starts with the big club. The point isn’t to not trade Teheran, the point is to realize how valuable he has the opportunity to be and get something approaching that value back in a trade. Even as just a walking, breathing mass of potential, he’s worth more than a lot of people apparently think.

  100. Any player is moveable……for the right deal. The braves better get a boat load if they trade Teheran.

  101. A boat load? For a pitching prospect on a team with about eight legit starting pitchers (and more coming up the pipe), I’d be thrilled with a position player who can start, preferably at center field.

  102. Seeing as how Pence hasn’t played a game in CF in 4 years, I don’t think he would be a good trade target. Heyward’s only going to be out 2 weeks.

  103. @163- The question isn’t if he can play a good or even average CF; it’s if he can play CF better than Louth.

  104. Being in the 99th percentile of ability to pay for really good legal counsel doesn’t change reality. He’s still Lowenbrau.

  105. 164 — And the answer is evidently no since he hasn’t been near CF for nearly half a decade.

  106. Because Michael Bourn is a top 10 defensive CF in baseball.

    Louth is arguably the worst defensive CF in baseball. How bad can Pence be?

  107. Nooooo!!! You mean the improper lane change ticket remained intact??? How will he ever afford that???

  108. Since we’re fantasizing:

    (1) Teheran, Freeman and a few secondary pieces for Pujols and a contract extension.

    (2) Beachy and Shafer for McCutchen.

    Get it done. Get Heyward back healthy and Uggla semi-rights the ship. That’s a .667 winning percentage team the rest of the way.

  109. I’d be thrilled with Bourn too, by the way–not for a top pitching prospect, but if the deal was right. His defense in center field and base running would be enormously valuable.

  110. @171-The thing is, say Freeman, Teheran, Venters, and Myke Jones get you a 72 hour negotiating window w/Pujols and he agrees to an ARod I: 250 MM over 10 years (and I doubt he gives up free agency for much less).

    You’re paying him 25 MM per through his 41 season. To earn the salary, he doesn’t have to put up 2009 numbers, but he does need to be relatively close to his 2010 numbers EVERY YEAR. As things stand now, his 2011 numbers would be certainly be unacceptable.

    I mean he’s still Albert freaking Pujols, but the exposure you’d take isn’t inconsequential. I get why the Cards are dragging their heels.

  111. I don’t want any trades…the odds seem pretty poor on Wren making a good move. The fewer moves he makes the better, imo. Great pitchers are worth way more than any position players. We still don’t know which, if any, of our young pitchers is the most likely to be great. I’d hate to trade any of them away before we get more of a read on them.

    Team ERA in the 2’s makes up for quite a bit of offensive suckage. We may not be able to compete with this wretched offense over the long haul, but it’s worth a gamble. Surely one or two of our shitty hitters will eventually get hot and revert closer to career norms. Trading the next John Smoltz for some outfielder that’s not extremely better than what we already have would be crazy.

  112. Jeff, I think we could trade Jordan Schafer for Daniel McCutcheon. But there’s no way in hell that Schafer and Beachy could bring us Andrew McCutchen. He’s only, like, one of the only 5-tool center fielders in the game.

  113. I wonder if Lopez had something in his contract saying we had to either call him up or give him the option to leave by the end of May.

  114. I think Lopez had to be called up by June 1st or 15th, either way, we didnt lose or gain anything.

  115. Damn. Guess I can delete the spreadsheet wherein I discovered that Rodrigo Lopez could be more valuable than Jay Bruce. Or donate it to a Cubs blog.

  116. Suggested additions to the Braves Journal Glossary:

    “Smitty’s Barber”

  117. sansho1@61,

    Thanks for the “scoop” on the new scoop stat at fangraphs. I wished for someone to come up with a stat like that on here recently, specifically for Freeman. I love the internet.

    So now I’m wishing for a big bag of money…Make it happen, Wren.

  118. urlhix, they have the scoop stat going back to 2004, but I think they just added it retroactively very recently. It appears to have undergone some changes (not surprisingly, given how all defensive stats are still morphing) — the leaders in 2004-2006 would have 30+ scoops, but the last couple years the leaders have been in the 50s. Pujols in 2009 had 55 scoops, which is the highest recorded on FanGraphs. Freddie is on pace for 67. Given that this stat makes someone in our laundry look good, I’ve decided it’s valid and well-measured.

  119. Does anyone know more about the Dalfonso kid playing in Rome? From

    “Jakob Dalfonso homered for the third straight game, his 6th of the year and his 6th in his last 12 games. He had a pretty good April, hitting .297 with a .741 OPS, but he’s turned it on in May, hitting .315 with a .890 OPS. The lefty swinger has also showed off his versatility, playing games at first base, third base, and left field.”

  120. Excellent quote by Wren, as reported by Schultz, on Fredi’s managing:

    “The manager is more involved when the team is struggling than when it’s rolling.””

    I’d agree with that, but for completely different reasons than what Wren probably intended.

  121. Headed to Breckenridge for the first time (I know it’s a weird time to go but skiing doesn’t interest me). Any suggestions of things to do while there?

  122. Speaking of my barber;

    He told me Wren is in the final stages of this deal:

    ATL Gets: Adama Jones and Prince Fielder
    BAL Gets: Tehran and McLouth
    MIL Gets: Freeman, Zach Britton

    Fielder inks a 4 year deal

  123. I think there is just about a “ZERO” chance that Prince Fielder ever pus on a Braves uniform.

    Tell your barber the Braves need something revolving around Rasmus and Votto.

  124. @191 – Colorado is beautiful in the summer. Hiking, whitewater rafting, just hanging out and drinking beer. I don’t care for skiing either and would go back in a heartbeat.

  125. From deep in Reds country:
    Reds are 1-6 on this road trip, having allowed 10 runs in three of those losses.

    I smell a no-hitter coming.

    Also, Jay Bruce is hotter than young love right now.

  126. The braves don’t need to trade Tehran unless he gives us the piece that puts us over the top. Remember, Hanson and Jurgens are going to start getting pricey and McCann is due for a new deal here pretty soon.

    The braves will always be a mid payroll team as long as the porn peddlers in Colorado own them. The best way to save money is to develop as much in house talent as you can, and keep it coming through the system.

    Where the braves have fallen short is the offensive side of that equation, but with the money you save on pitching you can go out and find guys to hit.

    The braves will have some money coming off the books the next couple of years. The more SP they can bring along, the more flexible the Braves can be with what they spend.

  127. Costco has a deal where you can purchase two vouchers for a pair terrace level seats for 45.99 to any game. You redeem the vouchers at the ticket window or by mail.

    Has anyone used these? How did they work?

  128. Wow, I didn’t realize how good Michael Bourn has been for going on 3 years. Really good center field defense and base running with an average to above average bat, but I think he’s only got 1 year of arbitration left. fWAR of 4.9, 4.8, and on pace for 5.3 this year. He’s getting a little bit older (29 now), but if you could give up Schafer + an A-ball lottery ticket for him, that would be well worth a 1.6 years of him. He’s absolutely not worth Beachy or Minor unless they throw in a good bit else along with him. Louth then becomes the 4th outfielder (a position that would see more than the typical amount of playing time on this team given Prado’s 3rd base inclinations), he walks next year then Bourn walks the year after that and you hope Mycal Jones or someone else is ready to go in center at that point, or you make another trade.

    I hereby officially endorse the acquisition of Michael Bourn, but absolutely not for any of our pitching prospects in AA or higher.

  129. Ugh, I can just hear Chip now – our new centerfielder makes an amazing catch: “Talk about the Bourn Supremacy!” Then he hits a walkoff homerun: “He’s a Bourn winner!” If he robbed the same player twice in a game: “He’s been Bourn again!” He airmails a throw home: “Bourn to be wild!” (less likely from Chip unless it’s against the Cubs and he’s actually excited that the throw was bad). So, trade for Bourn but only if Chip goes to Houston in the deal.

  130. I’m doing the family four pack of tickets for a Mets game in June. Outfield seat tickets, 4 hotdogs, 4 sodas, a program, a $5 gas card and a parking pass for $100 looks like a good deal to me. It’s not available for weekend games, but it should be a good time with my son and one of his friends along with his dad.

  131. There’s good outfield seats (center field) and hideous outfield seats (right field – who decided to put the right field seats in Douglas County, anyway?).

    Do you get your choice, td?

  132. I’d be willing to give up JJ Hoover in addition to Schafer for Bourn if it meant never having to hear Chip call a Braves game again.

  133. I really wish the local beat writer or somebody would do at least a cursory bit of reporting on the dropped charges. Those were very serious charges to bring, and there either was or wasn’t prima facie evidence to support it. Either the GSP screwed this up, and I’d like to know how, or someone got let off easy, and I’d like to know why.

  134. @204 – there was a choice, but not a huge selection remaining. I ended up getting tickets in left field – the first section in fair territory, but as far left (into fair territory) as possible. Just about everything in the center field area was taken, except for 2 or less seats together and higher level seats. The right field corner seats looked like they were in an odd position.

  135. Rusty S @ 201: I stole your line and sent the link to all the Yankee fans that surround me. Thank you.

  136. @207 What can we do to get the front office to listen? Start “”?

  137. 201 – about 5 guys started chanting ‘Phillies Suck’ at the 5/14 game v. Philly at Turner Field, and the usher deemed it offenseive, came over there and got on to them.

    I thought it was a little much, just like that Tropicana Field thing is over the top.

    If suck is the worst thing kids hear, then it has been a good day at the office for a parent.

  138. Did anyone else read this blurb from Matthew Berry on and immediately think “UGGLA?” (Sorry for the long quote):

    “You see, my friend had just gotten back from vacation, where he was hanging out with his cousin. His cousin, you see, was a former roommate of a current prominent major league baseball player who happens to be off to a very poor start this year.

    My friend tells me this: Every single night, his buddy gets a text from the player. It’s always a picture, of an attractive girl in various states of undress, and it’s always a different girl.”

  139. If it is Uggla, @214, then he better remember that the phrase “Both of them, count it!” is trademarked, so he needs to stick to one at a time.

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