Mets 6, Braves 4

Box Score

The game was not as close as the score indicates. The Mets led 4-0 after 2 and 6-0 much of the way; the Braves got a ninth-inning homer from Diory Hernandez, of all people, to cut it to 6-4, but never got the tying run to the plate.

Tim Hudson didn’t have it tonight, continuing his recent struggles. (At least his back isn’t leaking.) Hudson only went four, allowing five of the Mets’ runs on seven hits and a walk. His peripherals were actually not all that bad and he did strike out five, but I can’t defend this outing.

The Lisp allowed a run in the fifth, and the Braves finally got a run on a seventh-inning solo shot by Brian McCann. Diory’ pinch homer in the ninth came off of K-Rud with Prado and Freeman aboard. Chipper didn’t play, to the relief of Mets fans.

201 thoughts on “Mets 6, Braves 4”

  1. Schafer has a .557OPS
    AAG has a .647OPS

    Thats how our manager started our lineup tonight. Also, Uggla has a .552OPS. But you have to tip your cap, right?

    When this team is struggling so bad, how can you sit Chipper? Esp. with an off day this past thursday and another tomorrow.

  2. Batting average isn’t everything, of course, but Uggla’s .172 would be the WORST since at least 1900 for a non-catcher with enough PA to qualify for the batting title. (There are five catcher seasons from the Dead Ball era with lower BAs.)

  3. Uggla has acquired the dreaded Marcus Giles syndrome and may not ever be able to recover. Sad on multiple levels, least of all we could have used the 12 million per year to go toward an extension for Jair. Instead, we’ll likely not have the money to pay him through arbitration and will have to trade him.

  4. ok…. seriously posing a question here, but what does Gartrell have to do to get called up and start in center… we need to just start trying shit until something clicks

  5. “The Braves would have to sell young pitching obviously. I wouldn’t do it since I don’t this team is just one or two players away. Half the lineup is completely feeble.”

    Selling young pitching is not quite the normal sell strategy, no? To sell, in the traditional sense, is to punt not only this year but really the next year or two as well; in particular, it is to jettison older, more expensive players for youth and affordable potential. Even if the Braves punt on the year–and why would they? but still–they won’t follow such a strategy. There is no reason to follow such a strategy. Even if they “sell,” they won’t be traditional sellers.

    I’m not saying that the Braves won’t trade away some of their young pitchers in the coming years. They will probably start doing that as early as this coming offseason. But when the Braves do start moving their arms, whether they’re Jurrjens or Minor or Beachy or Delgado or whomever, they will be making moves to upgrade the offense, create a more balanced roster, and win in the here and now. In other words, they’ll be buyers even when they’re sellers, which makes the whole thing much more complicated.

  6. #9 – That’s silly. What do you want him to do? Sit in a dark room brooding until he comes back?

  7. Well, if you’re giving Chipper a day off, it makes sense to do it against the Mets.

    (Seriously, though, I doubt Chipper is out of the lineup unless he asks out. So I don’t ACTUALLY blame Fredi.)

  8. I don’t think a trip to Disneyworld will delay his comeback time. Maybe if he was in Euro Disney. And got a job as Goofy.

  9. With the team’s offensive futility, we can’t afford for Hudson and Lowe to start sucking like they have lately.

    Also can’t afford for Uggla to hit like this for the next 5 years, but you knew that.

  10. “But when the Braves do start moving their arms, whether they’re Jurrjens or Minor or Beachy or Delgado or whomever, they will be making moves to upgrade the offense, create a more balanced roster, and win in the here and now.”

    Agreed, but I don’t think this team is capable of winning in the here and now since Uggla apparently can’t play baseball anymore and we’re stuck with him. Nobody wants our older players, so that leaves rent-a-player deals later in the summer, which we’ll probably do if we’re still in WC contention. Trading Teheran or Delgado for a bat to try to “win now” seems crazy (unless you think we can actually win now – some still do I guess).

  11. No need to sell in my opinion. The bats may come around, they may not. I am sure Lowe will be gone this season or during the off season. I’m guessing this is the end of the road for Chipper also. We lose Mclouths contract. It gives us some $$$ to play with.

    Despite how bad we have played we are a hot streak away from being in 1st. Its maddening to think, but its true. We get a healthy productive Heyward back and Uggla comes to life our team becomes a little different.

    just something funky going on right now

  12. I am fine with trading a young arm for a bat. You don’t win based on your AAA and AA talent. Lets get a bat.


  13. 17 – well, the team doesn’t need to be a buyer or a seller in the traditional sense. It can stand pat, and that may be the wise thing to do until the offseason. But it’s also possible to for them to be buyers without mortgaging the future. Look at the Phillies last season: they added Oswalt without harming their prospects in 2011 – if anything they improved them.

    Of course, my main point was simply that those wanting the Braves “to sell” are ignoring the fact that the Braves are already young, and already would love to unload the few veteran contracts they have… namely Lowe. Sellers get younger, they trade away desirable vets they can’t afford anymore, but the Braves’ situation is just not analogous.

  14. 19- You don’t win based on your farm talent???? Who the fuck said that??? I’m pretty sure they are damn important. Under no circumstances should they trade Teheran

  15. Even in the worst case, that Uggla has a serious issue and never hits again, we’re only really one piece away.


    What of this would you change? The only poor hitter of that bunch is Gonzalez, and it’s nearly impossible to find a replacement for him. CF is our only hole, whether Uggla hits or not.

  16. Because what if he does and OMG MCCANN BREAKS AN ANKLE AND WE HAVE NO ONE TO CATCH!

    In other words, because he’s scared, and fear wins championships.

  17. The umpiring in the College World Series is almost as bad as it is in the Little League World Series. Sheesh.

    Florida and Vandy look strong. Illinois (the one and only Big Ten team) is playing way over their heads, but they’re winning.

    UNC had nothing but cupcakes in their bracket at home. (Looked like one of Duke’s early-round basketball draws.)

    And apparently the new religious revival is beginning as Dallas Baptist and Oral Roberts (yeah, those two guys) eliminated much higher profile teams.

    I’m of two minds about the new BBCOR bats. Gorilla-ball was fun to watch, but this is closer to the real thing. Still, the “real thing” as we know it is played by guys like Chipper and Albert and Felix and Hamilton. Personally, I kinda like a little difference in the rules between college and pro.

    I still want Beltran for the rest of the year.

    Anybody know how the “debt-to-equity” problem teams will be impacted?

  18. Somebody tell me why most Mets fans don’t see the point of re-signing Reyes? Do they REALLY think he’ll resign there? Why don’t they want to get something now instead of nothing later. Plus, it’s likely that their draft pick will be protected anyway

  19. Traditionally the Braves have done the opposite of the vet for the future trade. They’ve traded the future for proven performance. This team represents a conundrum of sorts. I am convinced that IF everyone performs to their ability then we can compete in the NL. Heck, we have two major pieces putting out well below their projected performance and we are still in contention. So I am the GM do I make a trade? Is Hunter Pence going to be a real difference maker? Is he worth a top pitching prospect?
    Or do I hope that Heyward and Uggla stop sucking? I don’t know what I would do if I were in Frank Wren’s shoes.

  20. Johnny, that’s mostly true, but not entirely. The Renteria trade was one of the most successful vet for future trades of recent years. Similarly, Javier Vazquez for Arodys Vizcaino (and Smelky Cabrera). It’s definitely not the usual way we’ve done things, but it has happened a few times since we traded Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz.

  21. @21

    I think you have taken what I said out of context.

    Having a bunch of young arms is nice and having little offense is not. At some point we are going to have to move some of this young pitching to get a bat. It would be stupid not to move Tehran if we got a huge return on it.

    There are very few player that are untouchable (like McCann and probably Heyward) I am not saying give Tehran away, but if the right offer came along we should take it.

    I am thinking that Degatto and maybe Minor could be trade bait. But hell, if a Rasmus or someone can be had for Tehran, you have to condiser it.

  22. Johnny’s point that IF everyone performs at their expected level we are strong enough to make the playoffs is spot on. (And with the way the Phillies are, er, not excelling, we might could win this thang.)

    He’s right also that our GM is in a tough place right now. Wren risks looking skittish if he doesn’t make a move and risks being foolish if he does.

    Here’s what I would do:

    Any of the following are available for trade:

    Kimbrel (if we get a LOT in return)
    Uggla (hey, stranger things have happened)

    These guys are not available:

    Venters (he’s a younger, nastier Billy Wagner – he should retire as the Braves all-time saves leader)
    Jurrgens (I’m a believer now. Resign him. Quickly.)
    Ross (might want to play him more often Fredi. Donchathink?)
    Hinske (just feel like he represents all that’s good about this team)

    I don’t know the inticacies of the talent in the minor leagues, but my general rule is not to trade highly regarded prospects unless overwhelmed by an offer from a team that thinks they are a Mike Minor away from a championship.

    I’d listen to a trade for Heyward. They’d better bring their wheelbarrow full of gold, though.

    If none of the above is appealing to other teams, sit tight and hope Uggla exhales and Heyward isn’t fool’s gold.

  23. Annual May/June Mantra: Our underperforming players gotta wake up & stop sucking. Our injured players gotta come back & contribute. If those things don’t happen to some degree, I don’t see any magic player putting us over the top this year.

    Not having the current pair of negatives (Heyward & Uggla) contribute like we expected is the most crippling factor on this club. Fredi’s bunting adventures are nothing compared to that.

    Generally speaking, Mets fans don’t wanna trade Reyes. It’s a matter of Mets ownership/management committing a boatload of money to a guy who’s hurt all the time. He’s having a terrific 2 months in his walk year—imagine that. And then there’s the other matter of the club’s unresolved financial issues.

  24. I just wonder how low Uggla’s average will actually get. Can he hit below .170? .160? How many ABs will he get below .175?

    Given his last 5 years, this is really quite extraordinary. His collapse has reminded me of Nate Colbert’s–unfortunately, after his terrible 1974 season, he never hit more than .178.

    Nate Colbert:

    Its hardly time to say free Diory or Brooks Conrad, but the Colbert collapse is not encouraging….

  25. #34–I have been active in mocks and am pretty excited about the draft (despite the Braves’ relatively poor picks). Anyway, I am beginning to think that they will pick Grayson Garvin….

  26. #35 – Stephen, I am guessing that you picked Nate Colbert because he and Uggla are similar players?

    Alex, of course you are correct. Edgar for Jair was an awesome trade. I hope that Arodys makes us forget Javier Vazquez.

    Even if the team has the desire to deal a highly regarded pitching prospect for a hitter, we are hamstrung in a few ways:
    1. Where does said hitter play? CF? How many good to great hitters play CF these days? How many are available?
    2. Money. Nuff said right? We are a mid market team. Mid market teams don’t eat a Nate McLouth’s salary.
    3. Take a chance on an under performer? Say Nick Markakis of the Orioles. Don’t we have enough under performing players on our team now?

    Like I said before this is a connundrum. At least this year Dan Uggla’s performance and pay have severely hamstrung this team.

  27. Johnny–I don’t think they are that similar–but Uggla’s collapse reminded me of Colbert’s. When I found that Colbert had five strong years and (at an earlier age)and suddenly took a massive drop in productivity, then the comparison seemed reasonable enough to post.

    Uggla has time to turn it around, but I am worried that he won’t be able to get it done…

  28. 38 – The position issue is a big one, actually, but it is conceivable–not likely, but conceivable–that the team brings in a LF and moves Prado to Center.

    As for the two underperforming Braves, they’re really incomparable to each other. Heyward has been hurt, and he’s young, and his skills are extraordinary. If he heals enough, he should come back for a much better second half; I think that if he returns to anything close to form then the Braves’ offense should be good enough. Uggla, however, is by this point terrifying me. This isn’t just a slump. Uggla has the lowest walk rate since his rookie season; he has the lowest line drive of his career; he has never hit so many ground balls, or so few fly balls; he has never hit so many pop ups, and hit for so little power. This may be the result of a serious mechanical issue, but it also may be Uggla’s old player skills coming home to roost a few years earlier than expected. If so, well, I don’t want to think about it. All the Braves can do is wait, and hope.

  29. Ok draft guys, a question. I just read Jon Heyman’s mock draft. In the Braves mock pick he has us taking a juco outfielder, paraphrasing here ‘that this draft is deep on multi talented outfielders’. How does that jibe with our head of minor league development saying that position players are far and few between in this draft?

  30. The proliferation of mock drafts has been amazing, but the neat thing is nobody seems to know what the Braves will do….

  31. Have the Braves said anything about when Heyward might think about playing? Has there been any news on exactly what’s wrong with his shoulder? I am suspecting it may be more serious than they are letting on. The Nats are having a similar issue with Ryan Zimmerman but he is in the minors doing a rehab. I haven’t heard anything about Heyward.

  32. @45

    DOB had something the other day that he was in Orlando, but wasn’t hitting and would not start hitting until he felt 100%. So it could be awhile.

  33. 680 reported the thought was Heyward might be back in time for the Houston series. They also alluded to player(s) complaints about his apparent softness, that I didn’t get to hear fully.

  34. I worry that the vaguest implication that Heyward is soft will end up taking on a life of its own. Didn’t he try to play through it (whatever “it” is), with pretty lousy results?

  35. While I despise “he never played the game!” as a pejorative, it’s true for this sort of admonition, which is almost always entirely a function of the media.

  36. @47,

    That is usually something that the Braves clubhouse doesnt’ leak. It would be very interesting if it is true

    (Not saying it’s not)

  37. @47

    Olney had a similar comment in his column over the weekend. Nothing attributed to any specific player, but it definitely gave the impression that some folks in the clubhouse feel like Heyward needs to “play through it” for the good of the team. I’m with Sansho – playing through it didn’t seem to be going too well.

  38. How much would it help the team if he hits .100? It’s the same kind of crap about Chipper not playing when he hurt his hand.

    I never bought this stuff about players not wanting to play. Why wouldn’t they want to play? Presumably, it’s fun to play. It’s not like they are digging ditches.

    A lot of this is frustration from the players. If the team was hitting better–if Uggla, for example, wasn’t hitting like me–you wouldn’t hear this.

  39. krussell at 17,

    Teheran AND MINOR straight up for Mike Trout. I would do it as soon as I checked the wires to make sure Trout wasn’t deceased or seriously injured.

  40. The First Rule of Fredi Club is: You do not talk about Fredi Club.

    The Second Rule of Fredi Club is: You DO NOT talk about Fredi Club.

    The Third Rule of Fredi Club is: Swing at everything.

    The Fourth Rule of Fredi Club is: When in doubt, bunt.

    The Fifth Rule of Fredi Club is: Baserunning is overrated.

    The Sixth Rule of Fredi Club is: There’s no such thing as leaving a reliever in too long.

    The Seventh Rule of Fredi Club is: Arguing with umpires is rude.

    The Eighth Rule of Fredi Club is: Always tip your cap.

    Please join in.

  41. @39 Stephen
    I’d been wondering if there was a batting equivalent to “Steve Blass” disease.

    One thing: even during his drop-off, Nate continued to walk at the same rate.
    Dan’s struggling to do that. He once drew 92 BB’s in a season.
    It’s gotta be fixable.

    But how many AB’s are enough?

  42. The 10th rule of the Fredi Club

    Getting on base is overrate, especially in the first two spots in the batting order. Those spots require great bunters.

  43. Whom I hope the Braves will pick: Brandon Nimmo looks like a star.

    Whom the Braves will probably pick: Jed Bradley fits the Braves’ profile, but he might not last. They’ll probably pick some other college pitcher.

  44. The eleventh rule of Fredi Club is that backup catchers are made of glass; never use them if any other option exists.

    The twelfth rule of Fredi Club is that the guys at the end of the bench are the best pinch-hitters, instead of the guys who might hit enough to embarrass your regulars (also see rule #11).

    The thirteenth rule of Fredi Club is that everyone deserves off days, so dole them out liberally.

  45. 63—Everything I’ve read seems to indicate a prep player, not a college player.

  46. Considering how fragile our team has been, I’d have to agree with Fredi rule #13 — everyone deserves off days. If there’s one thing that hasn’t hurt this team, it’s getting additional at-bats to Eric Hinske and David Ross.

    One guy who badly needs more off-days: Dan Uggla.

  47. Of course there will be no damn way that Fredi does this but at some point you have to bench Uggla, play Prado at 2b and either acquire a LF (assuming that Jayson Heyward starts hitting) or try Hinske/Mather in LF. I know…… the Braves have 62 million reasons not to do this.

  48. I still think they shold DL Uggla and send him to Orlando to work on his swing, let him rehab a few games and then hope that fixes him.

  49. Serious, non-bias question: Is Pete Carroll any worse than Jim Tressel? Seems like they were both willfully ignorant of violations within their program and won a lot of football games. Carroll is now coaching professional football, while Tressel basically had to go down with the ship. Would Carroll have been forced to resign if he stayed at USC?

  50. #73
    It’s just BCS, not AP or coach’s poll. But if Auburn wants to put up another banner, why not? At least, until they have to give back the 2010 title. ;)

    Right, knowingly using ineligible players is the offense here.

    Carroll obviously saw the writing on the wall, so FWIW, he saved the school from dealing with that question. To some degree, Tressel forced the school’s hand. He didn’t want to go anywhere.

    Bigtime college football is a cesspool of financed chicanery, sure, but if there’s one thing we found from the OSU & USC situations it’s that the school will cut bait with their ultra-successful coach when they get busted for real.

  51. This was probably discussed in the game thread, but did anyone agree with Bobby Valentine’s assessment of Uggla’s stride issues? The gist was, Uggla’s stride completely opens his hips, leaving him completely dependent on his upper body and pretty much incapable of hitting anything with authority, especially anything away. ESPN showed a graphic that demonstrated that was true. No doubt the Braves have done film study ad nauseam on Uggla so I know it is unlikely that this (or other flaws) have gone unnoticed, but it seemed like an eminently reasonable explanation to me.

  52. Trade talk – so I know that there are not a lot of good options out there…that we have some wishful thinking for someone like Colby Rasmus or Curtis Granderson, but knowing that the reality is that the types of people who will be available are going to be a cut below.
    Having said that – there is one name that I have not heard anywhere, and I am not sure why. I think it would be a good fit for both teams, in that the asking price would not be (should not be – I guess you never know for sure) astronomically high, and the teams have traded before, fairly recently. Thinking maybe a couple of “B” prospects, maybe even a “B” and a “C”…for player X (see if you can figure out who):

    Career avgs – .269/.337/.444 (1783 PAs)
    2010 & 2011 combined – .297/.370/.475
    Can play multiple positions, mainly infield (has played all 4 positions); only played a few games in the OF, but if Prado can make the transition, surely this player could too. Seems like he has been around forever, but in reality is only 30 yrs old.

    Just think he would be a really good fit for the Braves, but haven’t heard one peep from anywhere or anyone saying he is on the Braves’ radar.

    Maybe Smitty’s barber could come up with a fair good trade (my thought is something like Cory Gearrin & a random organizational soldier OF {was going to try to come up with a name, but have no idea who to put in there as someone who has some value, but not too much value})

  53. Player X is Wilson Betemit…having a really nice couple of years with KC, thought playing in only a PT role. Most of the stuff I’ve seen indicates that they view him as mainly a rental, and would be happy to trade him for the right deal (though with their system so stacked, it’s hard to say for sure what they’d need, though like I said earlier, the Braves & KC have traded before and I’d think would likely be good trade partners again, esp if Wren didn’t give up too much)…

  54. I’d be on board with picking up Betemit. We miss Omar badly (although not the 2011 version).

  55. Via Rod Benson’s twitter: “Plaxico was wearing a Phillies hat when he got out of prison…. I guess that’s what they make inmates wear to strip them of their dignity”

  56. Totally off topic, but as the resident French reader, I totally dig the reference to Zola in the last GT title!

  57. The 14th rule of Fredi Club: As long as you’re winning, the Closer™ MUST pitch the 9th inning.

  58. I think there’s a good chance we’ll need Teheran in the rotation this season once Hudson and/or Lowe break down. I wouldn’t trade him – but I agree a deal that gives us decent value in return would probably have to include him.

    I don’t envy Wren since there’s really not a lot you can do to work around all the sunk costs we’ve got in McOut/Kawakami/Chipper/Lowe/Uggla.

  59. McCann passed Buster Out in the All-Star voting.

    The Marlins are calling up some random Double A left-hander for Tuesday, so expect another shutout.

  60. Maybe we can get Fredi on Twitter and he’ll sext his wiener and then get fired.

  61. @89 If we didn’t fire McDowell for what he did, then I doubt something like weinergate would be sufficient to fire Fredi.

  62. Honestly, I’m a little insulted that you have to ask! No, I’m not really serious. (And draft picks can’t be traded for a year, anyway.) I just love Sonny. He’s in the David Price/Derrick Byars category of VU guys I love and would love even if they weren’t VU guys.

  63. gartrell has hit another HR tonight and is now up to 12 on the season accompanied by a .920 ops.

  64. Been trying not to start dreaming of Mahtook in a Braves uni, but I’m failing, now…

  65. Just got up and see that the Braves could take Norris or Josh Bell, which mocks almost never predicted. Signability concerns may have dominated.

    Norris is the best LHP in the draft…

    Derek Fisher and Mahtook would be nice….

    Norris is the LHP they would love to have…..

  66. Sean Gilmartin….the Braves really have changed their thinking about HS players….

  67. I just read that his coach says he’s a real professional. That probably means his fastball tops out at 88 MPH.

  68. He’s a homeless man’s Mike Minor. Mikie F. Mahtook and Henry Owens (among others) were on the board, and they went with Sean Gilmartin.

  69. Poor man Mike Minor? Not again!!!!!

    Honestly, I would love to see us getting some power bats, but I know they are looking into pitching (especially lefty) in this draft. I wouldn’t say the pick is a surprise. Actually it is not as disappointed as when we picked Minor.

  70. I wish they’d drafted the CF that could get to Atlanta the fastest… Not the one that could get to the Majors the fastest, but the first one that could physically get to Atlanta.

  71. Gilmartin is Mike Minor–lite….The Braves clearly do not want to spend the money to sign elite HS players–the good news is that the Braves tend to do better in later rounds, but this pick will definitely disappoint.

    I thought they might take Grayson Garvin over Gilmartin….

  72. So your name is Weiner and you’re a congressman (a married congressman) and you do WHAT?

    I guess in a way it’s a good thing he’s named Weiner. At least this way he and his family won’t have to endure their name becoming an embarrassing euphemism. (e.g., “ESPN is constantly giving a Lewinski to Krzyzewski.”)

  73. I’m not that disappointed in this pick, we’ll make up for it with picks 85 and 115.

  74. Great, another slop throwing left hander that will not turn into Tom Glavine.

    Now does everyone understand why I hate Frank Wren so much?

  75. In one of the deepest drafts ever, you take a guy at #28 whom you could take at #28 in every draft, ever.

  76. Maybe it’s best they stick to pitchers… I’m not sure anyone in the organization actually knows what a hitter looks like.

  77. Gilmartin is not a bad player to bring into an organization but the Braves will not draft again until #85, which makes the first round pick a lost opportunity. In fact, it will be hard for Braves’ fans not to be pissed….

  78. Gamecock center fielder (and 2010 CWS MVP) Jackie Bradley Jr. went 40th to the Red Sox. I’d rather have the Braves pick him, though I’m admittedly biased.

  79. @96–even more remarkable is his drawing a walk–I think he now has a whopping total of 5 in over 200 PA

  80. So I was like, “They’ll probably pick some college pitcher.” And Stu was all like, “No way, they’re totally going prep.” (@63, @65)

  81. Said it in 2009when everyone was pissed about Minor, but it’s a waste of time to be mad about the draft for at least two years.

    The Braves deserve the benefit of the doubt here. They’re dumb about some things (frediball), but they’re better than most teams in scouting/player evaluation.

    Hearing Robertos Alomar and Hernandez announce all these picks is brutal.

  82. Little known fact: The Braves plan to field an entire farm system of nothing but pitchers by 2013. Every half inning they’ll just let the other team bat again to give their prospects more work.

  83. “He commands a fastball 88-91 mph and has what scouts consider a plus change-up. That combination along with his mound presence draw comparisons to Minor, the Braves’ seventh overall pick two years ago.”

  84. Exactly. Positioning oneself on the mound is definitely a necessary but not sufficient condition for success as a pitcher. Seems like it kinda sets the bar a tad low though.

  85. @131 That’s the kind of thing people says when they can’t find anything better to say, ha.

  86. “Gilmartin prepped at a Catholic high school in Southern California, where he was a prospect as an OF and LHP. For college, the 6-3 195-pounder went across the country to Florida State, where he has concentrated on pitching. Gilmartin has a wonderfully smooth and easy delivery, featuring a low 90’s fastball, sharp curve and advanced change. Polished and mechanically sound, Gilmartin is a smart and mature hulrer who fits best as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter.”

    So exciting!!!

  87. You mean Dante Bichette Jr. was available and nobody drafted him until the 51 spots by the Yankees? What was the Rockies thinking?

  88. The Braves always take a soft tossing lefty. Hell, when the drafted Heyward they probably thought he would turn into a pitcher.

  89. 138 – Actually a lot of reports have said the braves were going to draft Madison Baumgardner that year over Heyward, but the Giants got him first.

  90. They just assume all soft tossing lefties are as dominant against other teams as they are against them.

  91. Does anyone know if/when Heyward is scheduled to return? I haven’t seen anything about his recovery.

  92. @139 – I don’t know about the validity (especially considering the source), but Sports Illustrated claimed that Heyward was the Braves’ first choice all along. It claims that Braves scouts were spreading disinformation and doing a lot of things to throw other scouts off. Some think he wasn’t chosen earlier because scouts would come to watch him and he’d walk 3 of the 4 times he came to bat.

  93. Can someone tell me what “pitchability” is? MLB scouting directors throw this word around as if it’s evidence of something, as if it’s measurable. At the least, I’d like to know what it’s referring to.

  94. Pitchability is the ability of a relief pitcher to hold up to a Braves manager overuse. Like – “Moylan was giving me great pitchability until he broke for no apparent reason”.
    See also the Braves new metric “buntability,” meaning a batter’s total value to the manager.

  95. @139 – I concur with td. Just about everything I have read had the Braves on Heyward while he was still in middle school.

  96. I tend to think of pitchability as the ability to get hitters out independent of the quality of the pitches thrown.

    If you put two pitchers in identical bodies with identical mechanics, the one with greater pitchability would get more people out. If you had a baseball video game that was identical to real life in every way, the player with greater pitchability would be better at getting batters out. That kind of thing.

  97. 145 — I comprehended it as a description of “knowing how to pitch” like changing speeds, changing the eye level of the hitter, etc.

  98. @145-I think of it, kind of like JoeyT, as everything that contributes to a pitcher getting outs that isn’t really quantifiable yet. Coincidentally, Glavine is the epitome for me.

    A 300 game winner who gave up 8.8 H/9 and only had a 1.74 K/BB ratio is somewhat mind boggling with how I view what drives success in pitching.

  99. Maybe he was just blowing a farewell kiss. It doesn’t look like he’ll be in the Sally much longer.

  100. I am officially offering my services to the University of Tennessee as their new athletic director. I have a plan to save over $100 million!

  101. Maybe pitchability is the ability to consistently get strike calls on balls that are several inches off the plate. Combine that with mound presence and you’ve got the holy grail of intangibles.

  102. Right, I forgot “mound presence.” That seems like the epitome of “intangible,” and not in a good way. But I suspect that scouting directors really are referring to something when they say “pitchability”–I think they have something more specific in mind. Thanks everyone for the input.

  103. @158 But, is the pitcher in question clutch? Clutch, like pitchability and mound presence, is a crucial intangible.

  104. Pirates take Josh Bell–nice to see them stay aggressive, even if it will probably come to nothing….

  105. Norris is off the board–the best HS LHP and we passed to get Gilmartin….

  106. Westlake and Vollmuth are off the board….

    Perhaps the Braves will go with another LHP…

  107. Are the Braves an elite organization? They think they are, but picks like this, lack of organizational depth to fill roles, and their mediocrity over the last five years makes me think that, despite their high farm system rankings, they are just another team–better than most probably but nothing outstanding. Which is, presumably, fine with Liberty Media. Are they ever going to draft a pitcher that can throw above 90?

  108. Depends on what you mean by elite, but I think they’re an elite organization. There are better organizations, but not many. Nobody scouts and develops better than the Braves. If they opened their checkbooks up more, they’d dominate.

  109. Well, to be fair, none of Salcedo, Lipka, or Mycal Jones are sticking (or have stuck) at shortstop. None of them, either, are guaranteed to make it to the majors either. Lipka in particular is having a dismal season in Rome.

  110. 175 – The Braves are a very good organization, but because of payroll they’re not elite. As Stu said, they scout and develop as well as anyone. They scout so well, in fact, that they are currently an 85-90 win team with an elite farm system, which is about as well as any mid-market team can hope to be. Their problem is that, due to payroll restrictions (vis-a-vis those teams in bigger markets), they have little room for error, and so their mistakes loom larger than they otherwise would and we, as fans, tend to focus on them more than we otherwise should.

    As it is, there are probably only three elite organizations in baseball–the Red Sox, Yankees, and Phillies. But considering the surprising parity on the field, and the degree of luck involved in winning in the postseason, a team like the Braves can definitely win a World Series if the pieces fall into place. Pieces like Dan Uggla’s swing and Jason Heyward’s health…

  111. Anyway, a great name….

    The Braves are strong in later rounds, but their track record over the last decade or so for the first 5 rounds is not impressive.

    #176–and yes, the Braves are dirt cheap and now they can pay Uggla for the next 4 plus years….

  112. KK–also looks like he has good plate discipline…He may be an underated 3B…..

    I am hoping for Shon Carson in the 4th round….

  113. Why can’t they just take the power hitting third baseman from Georgia Tech right down the street?

  114. This discussion of whether or not the Braves are elite reminds me a lot of the discussion we had several years ago about whether Mark Teixeira was “elite.” I argued that he wasn’t, and I still feel that way, because he has never come close to winning the MVP and probably never will, but it really doesn’t matter. And he has a world championship and $180 million to prove it.

    The fact of the matter is, eliteness doesn’t matter that much. All you really need is to win 90 games a year and get a back door into the playoffs, where you just have to hope the dice roll goes your way in three straight series. A 100-win team is hardly more likely to win the World Series than a 90-win team, and the Braves are arguably a better-run organization than most of the World Series winners of the past decade: there’s a very good argument to be made that the Braves have better organizational management than the Diamondbacks, the Angels, the Marlins, the White Sox, the Cardinals, and the Giants, despite the fact that they all have more rings in the last 15 years than we do.

    Fans overvalue eliteness. Boring consistency didn’t get the Braves into the promised land more than once, but it got us a shitload of bites at the apple. As much of a crapshoot as the playoffs are, that’s really the only thing that matters.

  115. OK, Alex, I buy all that. But what, in your opinion, determines playoff success?

    Getting hot at the right time is more of a description than an examination of cause.

    Our maddening playoff impotence would be easier to take if I understood why.

  116. @173,

    Nah, there will be a push by some to hire Fulmer, but it won’t happen. I am not sure he wants the job and I can’t even see UT asking him.

    I like Mac’s “Kiffin is a Tool” approach.

  117. #184,185,186 – I don’t know if you can determine a single cause of our lack of recent playoff success. Can you give a real reason other than just plain luck that the San Francisco Giants are the reigning World Champions?

    #183 – A cogent description of the state of the Atlanta Braves. I know that there is a lot of grousing about the payroll and Liberty Media and blah blah blah but we as fans are damned lucky that this organization tries to field a contender every year. I didn’t say that they have always succeeded but at least they try. The fact that they do so with comparitively few resources relative to other teams in our league makes it more impressive to me.

  118. I think playoff success is determined in small part by the play of true stars — the Mariano Riveras and David Ortizes of the world, whose greatness stands out even more on the biggest stage — and in large part by sheer blind luck. The Braves’s many playoff teams always seemed about one star away from utter playoff dominance; one year we might be done in because of a shaky bullpen, another year it might have been because we lacked dominant starting pitching, and several times it was because we didn’t have quite enough offense. Of course, once you get there, small decisions, and small mistakes, are obviously magnified — Bobby Cox’s propensity toward bad in-game decisions had a greater effect when the games mattered more.

    Mostly, though, I think that it’s random chance: the luck of having enough of your best players all healthy at the same time, all combining to play some of the best games of their life on consecutive evenings.

    I wish that Frank Wren showed a bit more willingness to add true stars to the team, as I complained the other day — stars the caliber of Fred McGriff, Denny Neagle, or even Mark Teixeira, despite the extraordinarily high price of the Tex trade — rather than trying to catch lightning in a bottle with also-rans like Derrek Lee. But other than that, I think you just have to get to the playoffs, and then figure out how to win once you get there. (Of course, this might involve luring Fredi Gonzalez into an October-long bender so that he’s further from the stadium than Pascual Perez.)

  119. Well, the residue of our design has been maddeningly insufficient.

    As for stars, Sheffield comes to mind as a total playoff choke. And he wasn’t alone.

    We need more killers.

  120. #189 – Alex, I respectfully disagree. I don’t think its a lack of will to get a star difference maker type of player but it is the cost. Not only in money but in the resources traded away. I may be full of crap but I get the feeling that the organization would rather have sustained goodness than a cycle of contention/rebuilding that other clubs go through.

    Also this is a different era. Teams aren’t simply dumping salary like they did during the Neagle and McGriff trades. They are exacting a high price in future talent in the mold of the Teixera trade. Yes IF you have a chance to win with a trade like that AND you don’t make your farm system completely barren, its great to make a trade like that. But Wren is always hamstrung by payroll consderations too. So to sum up I am sure Wren has the will but I don’t think he has the way.

  121. Johnny, I think you may be right. Stars whose salary is being dumped are a lot harder to get. (I still wish we’d gotten Nick Swisher or Josh Willingham before they were snagged by the Yankees and Nationals, but even so, there aren’t a ton of freely available guys like that.) However, as organizational strategies go, I would FAR prefer sustained goodness than a cycle of contention/rebuilding, for exactly the reasons I outlined above.

    Also, Sheffield sucked in the playoffs for us, but he was pretty obviously the Marlins’ best hitter during their entire playoff run in 1997. During the playoffs, he played in 16 games, had 50 at-bats, and he had three home runs, seven RBI, and hit .320 with an OPS over 1.000.

  122. I argued that he wasn’t, and I still feel that way,

    Active position players Tex’s age or younger with more WAR:

    1. Pujols, Albert
    2. Mauer, Joe

    End of list

  123. In the playoffs teasm just pitched around Chipper and Sheff, and they tried to make things happen.

  124. I think Adam M makes good points. The fact is, the change in payroll has made a huge difference. Since 2006, the Braves are 444-426 (including this year so far), .510; from 2001 to 2005 (ave. 83-79), they wre 476-334, .587 (95-67)(and that includes two of the lesser years in the run–2001 and 2005. Obviously, the big difference is the payroll; if they had the money to get a Werth (even though he is struggling with the Nats right now), that would have been a great fit.

  125. Agreed–the lack of money goes to explain why the Braves draft the way they do….The 6th round pick is a 23 year old pitcher from Vanderbilt; meanwhile, a number of clubs made some very solid picks in the same round. A truly pathetic draft….

  126. Spike, that’s a slightly arbitrary cutoff. Tex has been consistently good since his first season in 2003. But it’s also true that he’s only made two All-Star teams in that entire period. I mean, there’s no question that he’s a great hitter. But he’s the equivalent of a 90-win team. He’ll put up a fine season every year, even if he’ll never be the best player at his position. The Braves would do well to be a Mark Teixeira-like team, always in the mix but never the single best.

    Here’s another way of looking at Teixeira relative to his peers. Over Tex’s last four seasons, 2007 to 2010, there are only 11 hitters in baseball who had over 20 fWAR and rWAR, and Tex is 8th on that list of 11, just ahead of Chipper, Youkilis, and Ichiro, just behind David Wright, and comfortably behind the rest — Alex Rodriguez, Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, and Albert Pujols.

  127. 198 – He doesn’t have a lot of mileage yet–he had TJ surgery. I generally trust the Braves’ scouts with pitchers. I just don’t trust them with the hitters.

    Also, will the team ever develop an outfielder again?

  128. New thread.

    200—I’m still fuming about Gilmartin over Mahtook. Really blew an opportunity to grab top-shelf CF talent.

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