Sorry game thread

I’d like to apologize to everyone, especially David Ross, for not having a recap for you today, but a variety of hospital and computer issues have made it impossible. Good news is that I should get out tomorrow around midday.

425 thoughts on “Sorry game thread”

  1. No need to apologize, Mac. Just get better.
    Glad to hear that you’re getting out soon.

  2. Good to hear from you Mac. Wish for a trade of your dreams. With all of your tough luck lately, the baseball gods might shine upon you.

  3. Beyond just giving Uggla a longer leash because of his history, there are practical considerations. You want a slumping star to have regular PAs, and, IIRC, Uggla has to give permission to be sent to the minors. Heyward has all of his option years left.

  4. I like the fact that Wren is trying a different RH reliever. It’s only about 3 months overdue.

  5. Glad to hear it Mac, and thanks for the new thread. My phone hates long threads.

  6. @4,

    It won’t happen because even if the baseball gods proposed such a trade, Wren would turn it down because you never know if you will need a sixth starter in 2015.

    One problem is that we whip up these trades in our minds and then are disappointed when they don’t work out. But I agree that Wren’s creativity is pretty limited. No one is ever going to call him “Trader Frank.”

    What’s the over/under on number of runs Braves score tonight and number of innings played?

  7. Congrats on (hopefully) getting out Mac!

    Anyone headed to the game tonight, email me at ben.suttles(at) if you’d like to meet up and have a beer or just curse Derek Lowe’s existence after he gives up 4 runs in 6 innings. I’m in section 416, though I might be leaving early for a concert.

  8. But I agree that Wren’s creativity is pretty limited. No one is ever going to call him “Trader Frank.”

    He’s made 15 trades since December 2008. I find the “timid Frank Wren” meme going on around here bizarre in its wrongness.

  9. This Jeff Connine vs. Hanley Ramirez spat makes our Chipper vs. Smoltz exchange look like a grade school fight. Obviously Ramirez has an attitude problem, but Connine is the big douche here.

  10. @10, Agreed! I think we have reason to believe Liberty Media has limited Wren in some ways, but with the exception of the Escobar deal (which had Cox’s fingerprints all over it) and maybe the Vazquez trade (at the time), I think he’s done a good job.

  11. Maybe Wren wants to send Heyward down because he only recently learned about Super Twos.

  12. 1) I probably missed it, but has anyone seen any updates on the severity of McCann’s injury?

    2) May be a minority view here, I am not sure, but I usually give the Braves FO the benefit of the doubt when it comes to player handling (though not the medical staff). If there really is a feeling, in the FO, that Heyward needs some time in the minors or on the bench, then maybe they know something about him that we don’t. Maybe his confidence is shot or something like that. Just another possibility.

    3) UNC, lol.

  13. DOB on Twitter:

    Don’t know significance, but Wren & asst. GM Manno walked w/ sense of purpose to field to talk w/ Fredi for few minutes, then back upstairs

  14. Can anyone see what Logan Morrison is tweeting? Apparently, he’s saying something about being off to ATL and hating goodbyes…

    I cant see twitter, just watching the AJC blog blowing up

  15. “Off to Atlanta. I hate goodbyes… Goodbye my friend!!” then a link to a youtube video of him being attacked by a praying mantis.

    A praying mantis…..

  16. i was excited to try and get pence for the fantasy team name implications..

    ad-Venters in my Pence, could have been fun

  17. Yes. He is leaving Washington for Atlanta, because the Marlins play here Friday. And he’s saying goodbye to his “friend,” the praying mantis in the video.

    But, if I put my tinfoil hat on, I can imagine he’s somehow telling us all that Hunter Pence, the Praying Mantis, will be in Atlanta when he gets here….

  18. Jim_Powell Jim Powell
    Basking in the trade vibes circulating around Turner Field. Wouldn’t be surprised if something happened pretty soon. #Braves

  19. The ‘uncreative Wren’ meme is equally bizarre. Last week on here, I think posters would’ve agreed that Wren has a tendency to surprise with his moves. He traded for Uggla and put Prado in LF.

    It’s been reported that the Astros’ payroll has been slashed for next year, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that they need to trade Pence the way we need a RH OF bat or bullpen arm. Likewise, with Bourn, Upton, just about anybody we’re pursuing…the other team holds the cards. Even Beane, Williams, et al are probably just waiting until Wren gets desperate enough to trade them a better prospect than they’d otherwise acquire if they lost their trade chip to FA.

    McCann gets hurt, Heyward keeps sucking, Sabean gives up Wheeler and thus makes trade targets more scarce…none of this is helping our leverage. My expectations are low, so we’ll see what happens…

  20. @peteorr – I’m in Lexus level if you can make it to the bar down here I can buy you a beer.

  21. @27, More importantly it takes a bidder out of circulation. The Braves have plenty of leverage – those pitching prospects are much coveted. Their assets are also portable and be converted to any number of teams. I don’t know one way or the other about Wren, but his hands are hardly tied here.

    And WRT To Wheeler, he’s a #55 prospect coming into this year, and he’s had some control issues, among other things. It’s hardly setting the bar all that high.

  22. The ‘uncreative Wren’ meme is equally bizarre. Last week on here, I think posters would’ve agreed that Wren has a tendency to surprise with his moves. He traded for Uggla and put Prado in LF.

    Mark Kotsay
    Ryan Church
    Casey Kotchman
    Nate McLouth
    Adam LaRoche
    Alex Gonzalez
    Rick Ankiel
    Kyle Farnsworth
    Derrek Lee

  23. My list in order of how happy I will be if we trade for:

    1. Carlos Quentin
    2. Hunter Pence
    3. Big gap
    4. Josh Willingham
    5. BJ Upton
    6. Big Gap
    7. Ryan Ludwick
    8. What’s Garret Anderson up to?
    9. Big Gap
    10. What’s Mondesi up to?

  24. Right. Wren makes a lot of little moves. Not a lot of big ones. Some of them wind up being big — trading for Javier Vazquez, for example — but he hasn’t really gotten in the habit of acquiring blockbuster talent. And Javy was coming off an awful year, so he wasn’t perceived as the ace he became in his one year in Atlanta. He’s been more inclined to use the trade and FA market to improve the team at the margins.

    EDIT: Wow, Mike, we really have some different priorities. Why do you want a corner outfielder so much more than a center fielder?

  25. To be fair, Kotsay was a pretty solid player for us, getting a living and breathing human being for Frenchy was considered a minor miracle, Derrek Lee was a decent trade, and LaRoche hit very well for us.

    But point taken that Wren hasn’t made a huge gutsy blockbuster trade apart from Uggla.

  26. All I’m saying is I don’t think the Wren being a dull GM is off base. Look at his history. He’s not the most creative guy in the world, and especially not in-season.

    The Vazquez, Infante/Ohman, Uggla trades were in the offseason.

  27. Fans of every single team, EVERY SINGLE TEAM, can come up with a list of 10 bad players their GM has acquired.. That’s just stupid.

  28. @31 – “What’s Mondesi up to?”…he’s the mayor of San Cristobal, D.R. Hopefully that puts him out of play.

  29. @29, For two months of Beltran, it’s not a price I’d immediately leap to pay, given Wheeler’s upside. I guess if I’m the Giants, I just won the WS, and am flush with pitching, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

    For us, I’m not sure if it’s more important that a bidder is out than that the bidder got a valued pitching prospect for a two month rental. That does set the bar somewhere for someone like Pence that I might not be comfortable with.

    @30, Trading for Uggla, showing Glavine and Smoltz the door, trading Vazquez when he did or trading Yunel when he did…you might not agree with all of these moves — I certainly don’t — but one thing’s for sure: Wren doesn’t lack balls. Any of the above moves is not made by a ‘timid’ or ‘uncreative’ GM.

    Compare him to his peers. Who’s the GM that doesn’t make a majority of the type of moves you listed? Which GMs are always making big splashes? The ones with big payrolls, right?

  30. @32

    Because none of these guys in play is really that great a fielder. Upton is the only one I would trust in center and even then I don’t think his defense is that great (my opinion).

    If we’re not getting a truely great fielder, give me the bat.

  31. From Twitter…

    @jonmorosi: Source tells it is now more likely than not that Hunter Pence will be dealt by Sunday

  32. Unrelated but is there anyone in baseball who has a whiter name than Hunter Pence?

  33. Also, McLouth was viewed as a major piece when he was acquired. Say what you will about that, but nobody expected him to fall off the table to this extent.

    The reason he hasn’t traded for many superstars is that superstars tend to, duh, not be on the market all that often. But he’s made enough medium- to high-profile acquisitions that it’s indefensible to call him timid.

  34. My version of Mike’s list:

    1) Upton
    2) Pence
    3) Quentin
    4+) Disappointed, yet expected.

    Upton is the best fit, if not the best bat right now. Pence may be capable of playing CF if asked. Quentin is supposedly a butcher in the field, right?

  35. The fact that we’re hanging on to so many prospects tells me that this team is going to look VERY different next year.

    @41, Whitey Ford?

  36. One last thing: I can’t believe no one on here jumped on the Ryan Church acquisition being on that list @30. What were we supposed to trade Francoeur for, Adrian Gonzalez? Wren put him on the M-E-T-S, people. Now say you’re sorry!

  37. AA is creative. Frank Wren is ordinary.

    The reason he gets labeled as “uncreative” – or better yet, tagged as conservative – is because of his refusal to deal any of the pitching. I think most posters here have pretty clearly linked the two points these last couple weeks. That’s why there are so many quips about our 9-man rotation.

    For the most part, I’ve thought Wren’s refusal to deal the prospects has been admirable and wise. Lately, however, I’m starting to worry that he won’t be up to making the hard choices now, when the time has come to make just such a choice. By no means has Wren done a bad job. But as I’ve argued on other threads, he has had an uninspiring year, from the Escobar trade to the Uggla extension to the Linebrink trade to the Proctor infatuation. None of these moves have sunk the team. But none of them have been particularly creative or interesting either–especially when compared to the moves coming from a guy like AA.

  38. B.J. Upton is really good at baseball. I don’t know why people keep putting his name next to Ludwick and Willingham.

    Bourn I’m not sold on. He just feels alot more Juan Pierre than Jose Reyes.

    But B.J. Upton is a HUGE upgrade over Schafer/McLouth.

  39. B.J. Upton is really good at baseball. I don’t know why people keep putting his name next to Ludwick and Willingham.

    The .700 OPS this year might have something to do with that.

  40. @14–sending Heyward down for even a few weeks would be enough to delay his free agency by a year. Braves do not usually make decisions based only on service time though.

  41. Wait a second. How does anyone here know that Wren isn’t willing to deal those prospects?

    None of us, as far as I know, are part of his discussions. How do you know that Ed Wade isn’t asking for something totally ridiculous? It takes two to make a deal, and you can’t prove that Wren isn’t willing to deal any of the four.

    People on here post trade ideas — and some of the time, they’re ridiculous; raise your hand if you stumped for a Manny deadline acquisition last year? You know who you are — but it doesn’t follow that that’s what’s actually on the table. Even if it’s posted on MLBTR.

  42. Encouraging: “Source: Braves “hot” for Quentin – and #WhiteSox love ATL’s young arms.” -Ken Rosenthal

    Not encouraging: “Upton and Ludwick appear to be most likely options for #Braves” -Mark Bowman

  43. @60

    I’d probably just want someone to hold me and tell me that everything is going to be ok.

  44. Upton might get a change of league and change of scenery bump. And Bill James predicted an MVP in Carlos Quentin’s future just a couple of weeks ago, based on some underlying stats. I’d be well on board for either, even with the corner-OF logjam that Quentin would present. He appears to be healthier than Beltran right now, and is a superior long-term proposition.

  45. “Fans of every single team, EVERY SINGLE TEAM, can come up with a list of 10 bad players their GM has acquired.. That’s just stupid.”

    Uh, that list is only players Wren has acquired midseason, and it wasn’t meant to imply they were bad acquisitions. I’m questioning his creativity.

  46. I’d want the ghost of Kirby Puckett to hand us the 1991 World Series trophy and apologize profusely for the Metrodome.

  47. I don’t understand the creativity angle. That is a list of baseball players. Should he have traded for Renaldo Nehemiah? Margaret Thatcher? My cat?

  48. Just saw Ludwick’s season stats. Didn’t realize he was playing that bad. Can’t imagine why Wren would want him or think he’s the piece that is getting this team into the playoffs.

  49. Ludwick and Willingham are half-measures, similar to Ankiel or Farnsworth (and probably even Derrek Lee, though I liked the trade when it was made).

    Quentin and Pence are game-changers, guys who make you look at the NL East race in a whole different way. Bourn, I think, might also be in that category with his defense and speed (and OBP). Upton I don’t know about…his numbers don’t trend well.

  50. What if the Braves brought up Minor to replace Lowe now? They don’t even have to trade him. I just want to stop seeing him on the mound.

  51. That might be the worst pitch Lowe’s thrown as a Brave. 0-2 on the pitcher– THROW THE BALL OUT OF THE STRIKE ZONE!!!!

  52. Wow. Letting the opposing pitcher get a hit 0-2 should mean revocation of your pitching rights.

  53. Some of you said that you can’t stand watching Hanson pitch. Lowe is that guy for me; I cannot stand watching him.

  54. 68 – Trading for a combination of Margaret Thatcher and your cat would certainly be creative, I grant you that.

  55. 76- We could just try putting Martinez in the rotation; he had a hell of an audition on Tuesday.

  56. Add this to the “not encouraging” list. Per MLBTR:

    A scout told Mark Bowman of that Ludwick tops the Braves’ wish list.

    The Braves are “desperate” for an outfield bat, but Quentin may cost multiple top prospects, according to Danny Knobler of

  57. A scout told Mark Bowman of that Ludwick tops the Braves’ wish list.

    What is the point? To make a trade just to say they made a trade?

  58. Buster_ESPN Buster Olney

    As Atlanta is going through its list of OFers (Pence, Quentin, Willingham), they’ve also had internal discussions about Coco Crisp for CF.

  59. Margaret Thatcher’s dog might have also been named Coco so there’s some common ground there.

  60. exactly. we’ve got plenty of mediocre outfielders. what we need is a good one (ie, pence, upton).

  61. That’s only, what, the 12th time Prado’s run into the strike ’em out/throw ’em out double play? Nineteenth time’s the charm, Fredi!

  62. Fredi Gonzalez must really want to break the record for least successful stolen base percentage by an MLB team in a full season, whatever it may be.

  63. Maybe Wren is psyching out the White Sox and Astros by showing intent to move on, hoping that’ll bring the asking price for Pence and Quentin down. Or maybe he kinda sucks.

  64. That felt like it was about the 50th time the Braves had been in a strikeout-throw out double play, especially this series.

  65. 99 – Because he hits near the top of the order! Get it? It’s like reason, only not.

  66. I think there’s probably some truth to the idea that Wren’s trying to regain leverage by putting it out there that he’s got lots of options and won’t be held hostage.

  67. Dan at 56-

    Yes, Upton does have an OPS of .702. But he also has a .270 babip this season. He plays half his games in an extreme pitcher’s park, where he has put up a .562(!) OPS. On the road, he’s got an .827.

    His .702 compares nicely to the .623 and .682 put up by Schafer and McLouth. Also, against LHP he’s got a .755 OPS, and Schafer and McLouth have posted .495 and .537. (Yes, those are on-base PLUS slugging.) And someone to help us against LHP is a big part of the goal, correct?

    Plus there’s the 40 steals every year (23 so far this year) and the 16 HR he’s hit.

    Plus, he plays CF (really well) not a corner, so he’s got a place to play without any silly accompanying moves that make the improvement he brings more marginal.

    So yeah. I’ll take Upton, please.

  68. If Wren is really interested in BJ, maybe Denny Neagle still has some connections.

  69. If nothing else, the home depression of his stats drive down his price, and assuming a good report from the scouts, offers a very good opportunity to buy low.

  70. I don’t know much about Jonathan Singleton or Jarred Cosart. But how would those two compare with Minor/Oberholtzer/Mycal Jones, as a package?

  71. I’m gonna predict that we trade for Willingham, Crisp, and Wuertz and Prado becomes the new Infante. But I’m hoping for Bossman.

  72. @110, At least Crisp fills a hole instead of contributing to a logjam in LF. I’d be interested too; especially if it didn’t cost us Delgado, Vizcaino, Minor, or JT.

  73. There’s several options that seem worthwhile. Wait it out and see who will sell for the least. One would think that with the variety of OF options, there shouldn’t be a need to get taken to the cleaners, even if we badly need to make a deal.

  74. It would also be nice to get Infante back, to take Lugo’s roster spot and give Fredi more flexibility to not understand how to employ.

  75. Joel Sherman:

    “Among scouts/execs seems momentum now #Whitesox Quentin will be dealt and team I hear as frontrunner most is #Braves”

    Yes, please.

  76. FWIW, I count McClouth as one of Wren’s successes. He gave up nothing of any real value for someone who looked to solve a position of need with a good offensive player for 2 1/2 very reasonably cost controlled years. The outcome doesn’t change the notion that the process was a good one. Sometimes a guy hits his boat on the river, but betting a flush is still the thing to do.

  77. @114, Unfortunately that was before the tweet about the White Sox asking for too much and the Braves exploring Ludwick instead.

  78. Apparently Lowe played a few innings in his mind during the break. He’s in late game form.

  79. @110–Crisp has a 95 ops plus while McLouth has a 91 and McLouth actually has a considerably better obp. So I would not call Crisp much of an offensive upgrade over McLouth. I doubt he is all that much better a defender than Schafer.

  80. 119 – but it is good to combine McLouth’s offense with Schafer’s d if you can for a reasonable cost.

  81. It was a bad idea to let him start the 5th. But I guess we’re trading a chance to win for an attempt to save the bullpen.

  82. Vizcaino struck out the side but allowed two hits in an inning for Gwinnett tonight.

  83. @130- Because a bunt’s as good as a hit! ‘cept it’s better, because you touch your hat and your tummy and your ear to make them do it!

  84. Bethany, why hit when you can bunt? I’m just surprised he didn’t burn a pinch hitter to bunt.

  85. The strikeout pitch to McLouth was a ball.

    As bad as McLouth has been, his at-bats are watchable because he does seem to know the strike zone and is able to take pitches. Unlike Gonzalez.

  86. It would’ve been close at first even with a good throw. Still an error to let the run score.

  87. Yeah, rain delay. Every game this series has either had a rain delay or extra inning(s).

  88. So why not one of our copious lefthanders for this stretch of THREE LEFTIES IN A ROW?

    Instead we get our RH, just called up, making his season debut, in his SECOND INNING, after two walks, and now a 3-0 count on Overbay.

    Oh, but we’re down a run. We were gonna lose anyway.

  89. Never should have been in that situation. Never should have had to face Overbay there. Sherrill or O’Flaherty should have been warming in a hurry after the walk to Walker. By the time he walked Alvarez, Fredi should have come with the hook.

  90. At some point, you have to give the guys a break. I don’t really have a problem putting the fresh AAA arm in the game and hoping for the best. We really need multiple innings from that guy.

  91. Damn Caray.

    Sick of thinking Braves’ hits are fly outs, only to be tricked into wrongly believing them to be home runs because of Caray’s antics.

  92. How can someone who watches so many ball games still be so bad at judging balls? Just watch the damn outfielders.

  93. Is this “MLB on TBS” circa 2003? Why does Caray cheer for opposing team’s good plays?

  94. New drinking game — take a drink every time Chip blows a gasket over a fly out. Drivers can play too: just take a drink every time Chip says something intelligent or reads a fly ball correctly. You’ll make it home just fine.

  95. How in the WORLD does Sherrill end up facing so many RELIEF PITCHERS, and how can they ALWAYS be LEFTIES? It’s uncanny.

  96. There have only been 15 games in July not against the Rockies, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    What’s more of a big deal is that he’s Awesome.

  97. Freddie pwning the Rocks isn’t as satisfying as Chipper pwning the Mets, but I’ll take it.

  98. @167– It’s been driving me nuts to see the guys flacking for Danny Espinosa for ROY. Freeman’s having a better year and he’s doing it in a pennant race. Espinosa’s playing for a second-division team. I don’t see how anybody could think that Espinosa was having a better year than Freeman.

  99. Well that does it…tough to put into words how stupid and absolutely clueless Frediot is

  100. @173- You’d think so. And I think ultimately Freddie or Kimbrel will win. But the article today pointed at his WAR- 3.4 to 1.2 for Freddie. I think they’re nuts, but that’s the basis of the argument.

  101. I somehow have the strong impression that no conscious decision was made to allow Sherrill to pitch in such a manifestly inappropriate situation. It’s almost like Fredi just nodded off and forgot he had a LOOGY on the mound.

  102. So Varvaro is left in there to face three lefties in the 7th, in his second inning of work, so that Sherrill could be available to pitch the 9th, his second inning of work, against all RH.

  103. but that’s the basis of the argument.

    And the fact that he’s a middle infielder with more home runs than Freeman; a first baseman.

  104. I wonder how much of Espinoza’s value comes from being hit by pitches. It sure ups his OBP a ton.

  105. And none of our intrepid reporters will ask Fredi why he thinks a 1-run deficit is a sure-loss, why he was willing to let Varvaro blow it open, walking the bases loaded, facing 3 lefties in his second inning of work, and why he left Sherrill in there to face all RH’s, in his second inning of work. No one will ask him any questions about it.

  106. I guess the bright side is they split a 4 game series that they probably deserved to be swept in

  107. And they won’t ask him why he let Alex Gonzalez, who is worse than a pitcher, make the last out, with your best pinch hitter (Conrad) in the on-deck circle, and another SS on the bench in the case that, somehow, they managed to tie it.

  108. Pretty obvious to me that you PH Conrad there, to just try to keep the game alive, and then PH Lugo in the pitcher’s spot. Offensively, he’s the same exact player as Gonzalez, and if you ended up suffering the step-down in defense between the two, it’d actually be a good thing, because it’d mean you tied the game somehow.

  109. Braves scored 9 runs in the 4 game series (including a 19 inning game & a 10 inning game). This offense is horrific.

  110. I let Conrad, the available bench player most likely to hit a homer, represent the tying run. AGon’s just gotta get on base there.

  111. But Agon never gets on base. You have to pinch hit somebody for him, and your only players are Conrad and Lugo. Conrad represents your best chance to not lose for one more batter.

    So as it is, you DON’T let Conrad represent the tying run. You let Conrad stand in the on-deck circle looking eager.

  112. i’m with 186. Pittsburgh is a good team. we were lucky to miss hanrahan in both of the extra-inning affairs and winning both. this easily could have been a soul-crushing, wild-card-lead-slipping sweep.

    as watching cox’s braves as a youngster taught me, you gotta just accept the result and move on to the next day. Now a series against division foe Florida is one we really want to win. no Lowe; let’s go out and take this thing. It would be a great time to bring in a new face, Frankie. i’m ok with it being a bullpen guy if he’s really good, but the better bet is it’s a bat paired with a lesser bullpen guy who can presumably replace proctor and give us some good innings.

  113. But if Conrad hits there, someone has to hit after him to extend the game, since three runs are needed. So you’re looking at Lugo. I’m with ububba. I’d rather have Conrad on deck. The only question is whether Lugo or Gonzalez should hit in the spot before him.

  114. if our offense is just not going to be good (keep in mind at some point (September?) we’re going to have mccann and chipper both back in the lineup), let’s just go with what’s worked so far – amazing pitching. go get mike adams to essentially replace proctor and you go from a solid bullpen to the undisputed best, paired with our great starters…

  115. Pretty obvious to me that you PH Conrad there, to just try to keep the game alive, and then PH Lugo in the pitcher’s spot.

    I let Conrad, the available bench player most likely to hit a homer, represent the tying run. AGon’s just gotta get on base there.

    But Agon never gets on base. You have to pinch hit somebody for him, and your only players are Conrad and Lugo. Conrad represents your best chance to not lose for one more batter.

    But if Conrad hits there, someone has to hit after him to extend the game, since three runs are needed. So you’re looking at Lugo. I’m with ububba. I’d rather have Conrad on deck. The only question is whether Lugo or Gonzalez should hit in the spot before him.

    No Captain Edward Smith, this deck chair would look better on the port side of the ship.

  116. Rosenthal just tweeted: “Sources: #Phillies making progress on Pence. Talks coming to a head”

  117. I’ve believed all along the Phillies would get Pence. It will take a miracle for them to get beat before the World Series.

  118. It’s always like this. Prospects are more valuable to us than the Phillies because we can’t just go out and buy a free agent or take on a salary dump to improve our team, and we need players to replace players we can’t resign. Consequently, the Phillies (or Yankees or Red Sox) will always be more able to make these kinds of deadline deals.

  119. Guys I am So drunk I love You Mac get well soon I hope you feel as food as I dip.

  120. According to Stark, the Astros are “mulling” the Braves’ offer for Pence. So…to sum up, nobody knows anything and we’ll all get surprised when a trade finally happens.

  121. I’m. Really sorry guys please delete my comments I don’t want to appear this way I’m not a drunkard.

  122. #203–I certainly know the feeling…..

    As for the deals which never happen, Quentin and Upton would be nice, Pence not worth it and Willingham and Ludwick are lame, but not necessarily bad moves.

    I believe that Wren will do what he does best: improve our team without impairing our future. We may not find the trade inspiring, but I am sure that Wren has done a great job this week turning down many bad offers….

  123. Aurocorrect it makes mistakes my buddies are asleep so in talking to u guys ob my phone bcuz I can’t sleep.

  124. @193, 195 – I respectfully disagree. Your problem is not “Who will hit my three-run homer?” Your problem is “How do I get runners on base?”

    Conrad is certainly your most likely (available) player to hit a home run. He’s also your least likely (available) player to make an out.

    And he ain’t gonna hit that three-run homer sitting in the on-deck circle.

    It’s similar to losing in extras with your closer in the bullpen. Except that reliever appearances are a limited resource. You can only use them so many times before they wear out. There’s no upside whatsoever to ‘saving’ Conrad, keeping him fresh for tomorrow.

    I understand that the game wasn’t lost here. But when you’re facing your final out you have to try your best not to make it, that’s all.

  125. Coming into that 9th inning AB, Gonzalez was 2 for 3 & his one out was the hardest ball he hit all night—a line-out.

    I do exactly the same thing there. He’s just gotta get on base & let the guy with 3 PH HRs try to make it 4.

  126. Ah don’t worry about it. I once drunkenly posted asking how the offense looked the night they got no hit by Jimenez.


    The Philadelphia Phillies are “still in” on talks with the Houston Astros for Hunter Pence, sources said late Thursday night.

    But their NL East rivals, the Atlanta Braves, have also made a significant offer, sources indicated.

    The Phillies continue to structure an offer around around their best pitching prospect, Jarred Cosart, and their best hitting prospect, first baseman Jonathan Singleton. They are currently playing for Class A Clearwater.

    The Astros continue to push for two more high-end prospects, sources say.

    The Braves’ offer was said by one source to be built around highly regarded pitching prospects, but does not include much-coveted righthander Julio Teheran.

    Same old, same old.

  128. Seems plausible that we’ll land one of Quentin and Pence, and the Phils will land the other. I hope it’s Pence.

  129. @209, Maybe you misread the final score. It was a three run game. The pitcher’s spot still had to get on base in order to win the game.

  130. I’m guessing that if the Braves make a half-decent offer they’ll get Pence. The Phillies’ offer is okay, but the two kids they’re building it around are only in Class A. If the Astros want guys who might be ready next year, the Braves have a lot more to offer. I imagine that Minor is part of the package, and maybe Delgado.

  131. @216- And the pitchers spot never came to the plate, because a lesser hitter made an out in the 8th spot.

  132. I like Quentin, but as far as I can see he would only be a 2 or 3 month rental. We need a leadoff hitter and I really think Upton or Bourn would be the best big move with a secondary bat like Willingham or Ludwick also in the fold. I guess a lot of it depends on what the ChiSox are asking for Quentin and the Stros for Pence but at this point I just want Wren to make some kind of move

  133. I’m so frickin’ mixed up on this Pence/Quentin thing. I want the Braves to make a move, but not at the expense of Heyward.

  134. My rankings would be:

    1.) Upton
    2.) Pence
    3.) Quentin
    4.) Bourn + a Ludwick/Willingham type
    5.) Crisp
    6.) Just Bourn
    7.) Willingham
    8.) Ludwick

  135. @221- I’m suggesting that I would have sent Conrad up to hit for Gonzalez, and if he avoided making an out, I’d send Lugo up in the pitchers spot.

  136. Quentin isn’t signed through 2012, but he’s team controlled through 2012. He’s still in his arb years, just like Pence. I think he’s one year ahead of Pence though.

  137. Rosenthal just tweeted:

    Sources: #Cardinals still in mix on #Padres’ Bell; #Rangers remain favorite. #Indians making strong push for Ludwick.

    Praise the Lord.

  138. Downeaster, you are amazing. You should drink and post more often. I know my drinking habits will be affected directly by our upcoming trade (or non-trade).

  139. @227, I’m still confused. If you want Lugo to hit instead of Gonzalez, why wouldn’t you bat the slugger second? Either way, Lugo has to not make an out to tie the game. It really doesn’t matter if he has his shot in the #8 slot or the #9 slot. Either way, the game ends if he gets out. Since Lugo and Conrad both have to avoid outs, why would you bat the slugger first?

  140. Just got back from the game. I’m convinced Fredi doesn’t even watch the games. When Sherrill was back out there against three righties, including their best player, I looked at my friends and said, “this is where the game slips out of reach.”

    Between that and the ridiculous decision to let Lowe hit for himself, I’m just flabbergasted. I’m glad we split the series, at least.

  141. @231- Yes I understand your point, both things have to go right in either case.

    But I’ll put it this way: While a 3-run home run by Conrad is completely impossible if he bats with only one runner aboard, it is equally impossible for him to hit a 3-run home run if he never comes to bat.

    If Conrad hits a 2-run homerun, and Lugo makes an out, you still lose. Yes. But what is gained by not using Conrad at all? You need base runners in order to prolong the game. That’s all I’m trying to say. And Conrad is better at becoming a baserunner than is Gonzalez.

  142. @239

    Tbanhs rob bur I don’t drink thus much ever I promise never been so drulnk man this crown Riyal amazing stuff braves should trade for s box of this stuff holy crap.

    Dropped phone lol good might.

  143. Last thing before I’m out, Pence’s Wikipedia page is being vandalized multiple times. It currently reads:

    “Hunter Andrew Pence (born April 13, 1983, in Arlington, Texas) is a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles. Pence is 6′ 4″ tall and weighs 210 pounds. He dances and twirls right-handed.”

  144. @234, So perfect it has to be fake. Or is it?

    Rum is for girls. Drink whiskey.

    But you’re still my hero, Downeaster.

  145. Hell, if we can get a professional ballplayer for $1, imagine what we could get for a bottle of Crown Royal.

  146. If it was fake I’d be Warp Homework watching office not sitting UN dark ousting here on buddies couch lol thanks.

    U think us sign How much u live this place thar I post here when drunk right? Lol no more cigarettes & alcohol 4 me CD.

    Sry shouldn’t post this realty bad example and provably think fahke but really not so funny though lol.

  147. Keep us updated on how you feel tomorrow. I see a lot of Gatorade as Peptobismol in your future.

  148. @233

    Yes, but they both need to get on base, and only one guy’s likely at all to hit a home run. You would put him in the spot where the home run makes a difference. You still need Gonzalez/Lugo to get on base, regardless. It may seem like it’s better if you kick the likely last out down the road an at-bat, but it really doesn’t matter in the slightest. What matters is making sure your power hitter can tie the game with an HR, which he can’t if he’s not the tying run.

  149. My barber called. He said the Phillies deal is falling apart because Wren is driving the price up on Pence. If the Phillies don’t up their offer, he says Pence is in Atlanta for Sunday’s game against the Marlins.

  150. Man, I would not want to be downeaster right about now. Well, probably not around 9 or 10. Someone get that man some Waffle House and Excedrin, stat!

  151. I still find it odd that the Braves seem focused on corner outfielders instead of a center fielder. The Astros apparently WANT to move Bourn. Both Span and Crisp could be had for less. The Braves meanwhile seem willing to move major prospects for Pence, so what about for Bossman.

    I get it that a corner outfielder will get plenty of run because of injuries, but eventually the team will need to be healthy to beat the Phillies. Who sits then? Heyward? I have a feeling Schafer us gonna be with us for longer than we want.

  152. Buster Olney tweet from one minute ago:

    Observation from an NL official about the Braves’ interest in Hunter Pence: “They don’t value on-base percentage as much as other teams do.”

  153. Well, Moneyball was 8 years ago and we’re in sort of a neo-deadball era now. If baseball is cyclical, then maybe soon the Braves find themselves so far behind the curve that they end up ahead of it?

  154. Oh, and this ‘offense’ bites. No amount of great defensive centerfielding will put an end to that.

    There we go, got all my grouchiness out of the way by 8:20. It’s all rosy from here on!

  155. I am hoping we are really negotiating about Bourn and Wren is doing a great job not letting any info leak.

  156. I dont care who Wren gets at this point. Ill be surprised if its a significant improvement. I dont care if its Ludwick/Pence/Quentin/Upton/Willingham all of them are upgrades over this current lineup.

    I dont understand how Wren can see an issue in RF, but totally ignore the black holes in CF, SS, and the bench utitlity role. Heyward is the least of our problems. Thats not even discussing why Proctor is still with this team.

  157. Heyward at least gives the impression that he might be successful at any given moment. CF doesn’t give you that impression and SS is mostly just epic fail.

  158. @245

    That might very well be true, but what the hell does it have to do with Hunter Pence? His OBPs are neither notably high nor low — he has a .339 career OBP vs a league average of .333. Maybe that’s just going to be Buster Olney’s response to everything today. Ordering lunch will be difficult.

  159. @250, That’s an interesting statement. I would think that in an era where offense is depressed, OBP would be less weighted, as there’s less of a chance a runner on base would be knocked in.

    If people are hitting homeruns and doubles, or even singles, left and right, then it seems like the value of that initial base would be greater than if people hit for extra bases less often. Similarly, it seems like Home Runs would take on greater relative value in a depressed environment.

  160. “Observation from an NL official about the Braves’ interest in Hunter Pence: “They don’t value on-base percentage as much as other teams do.””

    I find that amazing and upsetting but not surprising, even though the best offenses the Braves had were when they had high OBP guys (e.g., Gary Sheffield, Chipper) in the lineup.

    On MLB Network this morning, I heard that Pence’s OBP on the road is .327, implying that it’s higher at home. Is there any readon why a hitter’s OBP be affected by being at home or on the road?

    I want to make it clear, I don’t think Wren is a bad GM; I think he is doing the best he can within the payroll limitations he has. And, let’s be honest; if Wren trades a top prospect for, say Quentin, and the guy turns into a superstar, we will all be cursing him (unless the Braves win the WS). But I think he has been too conservative in making deals to strengthen the Braves for the stretch run. (Although I would not have given up a top prospect to rent two months of Beltran.) A farm system doesn’t exist only to send players to the parent club; it also exists to furnish trade material to make the parent club better immediately. Many, if not most, of the top ten prospects will not pan out anyway.

  161. @253, How do you know Wren is “totally ignoring” anything?

    Could it be that other GMs want Wren to drastically overpay to upgrade at CF and SS? Just because Bourn and Upton are on the market doesn’t mean that Wade and Friedman are accepting reasonable offers.

    Perhaps Wren is positioning himself to upgrade at a corner OF spot because that’s where he can get the best deal, and so he wants to prepare fans through the media for that likelihood.

    But just because everybody on a blog agrees that Upton for Minor or whatever is a fair trade and WHY WON’T WREN JUST PULL THE TRIGGER????? doesn’t mean that’s actually what’s on the table.

  162. Buster’s latest tweet, from a Chinese restaurant: “These people don’t value pizza as much as other diners do.”

  163. “Observation from an NL official about the Braves’ interest in Hunter Pence: ‘They don’t value on-base percentage as much as other teams do.’

    A few things.
    -I think the NL official is making a true statement. But I felt this way before the statement was made.
    -The NL official could just be posturing.
    -The Braves, in the context of this one potential deal, could also just be posturing. Or legitimately reacting to other team’s overvaluing of OBP. OBP is clearly very important, but not so important that others can’t overvalue it, again, in the context of this deal.
    -So I’m not going to get too worked up.

    @259, Well put.

  164. @260, or that official could be wrong, or Olney misconstrued what was actually said, or more likely, he just made it up.

  165. Yeah, I was thinking we’d need to kick in another pitching prospect like Oberholtzer or Perez.

  166. •The Rays’ asking price for Upton is more reasonable than the Astros’ asking price for Pence, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).

    Wouldn’t this better address our issues? Pence is the better player, but Upton fills a bigger hole.

  167. DowneasterJC, it’d be great if you could check in at some point in the late afternoon and let us know you’re alive.

    261—Definitely isn’t more likely that he made it up.

  168. Saying that corner outfiedlers aren’t one of our problems is kinda sticking your head in the sand, imo. Both Heyward and Prado are sub-par. We need better than a low-700s OPS (and falling) from both positions. Are both players capable of getting hot? Sure. Will they? I think Jason needs to completely change his swing and that would take an extended trip to the minors.

    Honestly it’s a tough call. We need to win now, but even if we trade for the best guys that are available that’s not a guarantee of anything. We’re still not as good as the Phillies. We just need to make it into the playoffs and try to get lucky in the short-series crapshoots.

  169. @266
    Apparently the Braves like McLouth’s and Schafer’s production better than Heyward’s.

  170. Latest update on Pence from mlbtraderumors:

    “There’s a sense that the Phillies might be able to obtain Pence by offering Domonic Brown”…

    Is it just me or could a monkey do a sportswriter’s job this time of year? How hard is it to regurgitate what someone told you on the phone and write this kind of nonsense? I don’t see what that statement even means. Just update me when the deal actually happens.

  171. 266—Pence isn’t even better than Upton. Upton: equal in production, cheaper in prospect cost, cheaper in salary, and a better solution to our current needs. It honestly makes no sense at all that the Braves would pursue Pence over Upton.

  172. “I think Jason needs to completely change his swing and that would take an extended trip to the minors.”

    That same swing that made him one of the most successful 20 year-olds in history?

  173. [What Stu said phrased slightly differently to make it sound like an original thought.]

  174. @270- I wonder if there’s a sense that the Braves could obtain Pence by offering Jason Heyward?

  175. @272 – “That same swing that made him one of the most successful 20 year-olds in history?”

    Heyward’s results last year are undeniable…he was awesome. But I agree that watching him at the plate this season, it seems that he is either still hurt or pitchers have figured out the holes in his swing and he hasn’t adjusted. Which is funny because there was just an article this week about how fast Freeman makes adjustments….to my eye he has a much better approach at the plate than Heyward does this season. That double he hit to left center last night was a thing of beauty. Heyward is so big and his strike zone so wide that he has to be sure of his approach when he goes up there or the right pitcher can eat his lunch.

    But hell, what do I know.

  176. Concerns about Pence:
    -highest strikeout rate of career
    -lowest ISO of career
    -his batting line is mostly BABIP driven..if his BABIP was lowered to his career norms he’d be hitting .265/.312/.428 If that’s what we’re getting, then no thanks.

  177. @275

    He stands too far off the plate because he gets burned inside. He seems to have moved even further back this season and is hitting outside pitches on the ground to second.

  178. “There’s a sense that the Phillies might be able to obtain Pence by offering Domonic Brown”…

    Is it just me or could a monkey do a sportswriter’s job this time of year? How hard is it to regurgitate what someone told you on the phone and write this kind of nonsense? I don’t see what that statement even means. Just update me when the deal actually happens.

    Bustvid Sherstarkenthal says: “there’s a sense that the Braves might be able to obtain Pence by offering their entire AA team and the deed to Turner Field.”

  179. “It honestly makes no sense at all that the Braves would pursue Pence over Upton.”

    Agree 100%.

  180. Maybe they have been in on Upton the whole time and are trying to drive up the price on Pence. One can only hope. It doesn’t seem like the Braves MO to telegraph their moves this much re: Pence. But perhaps their needs are so obvious this season that they can’t help it.

  181. @280- A lot of that is who you’re dealing with. I find it completely plausible that the Astros’ front office would be very porous, perhaps even deliberately. I also find it plausible that the Rays front office is far more business-like.

  182. Forgot to mention in 271 that Upton is also two years younger than Pence.

    Seriously, Wren, give them Vizcaino or whatever and get the best player on the market. Please?

  183. With the way trade deadline reporting is handled, I’ll bet you there is NO truth to the rumored deal offered by Philly and turned down by Houston.

  184. Hey, remember when DOB reported like 10 days ago that the Braves were close to getting a right-handed bat?

    Nice reporting, DOB.

  185. @284, I agree – that an offer of that size would be turned down strains credulity.

  186. I can sort of see them turning that deal down, honestly. The players in it are so far from the majors, Wade is on the hotseat, with a new owner coming in… I can see him saying “I know, I know, but I need a BIG LEAGUER.”

  187. I still think it will be someone like Willingham, et. al. The Astros don’t have to trade Pence now, so they can try to hold out for an outrageous deal. I think the Phillies are more likely to go for such a deal than the Braves. And I also agree that it makes more sense to go after Upton, even though I have some qualms about him, especially if he can be had cheaper.

    I’m not sure there is anyone out there that can really “put the Braves over the top” if Heyward is going to keep struggling. You have to assume that SS will continue to be a black hole and that Chipper will continue to get hurt. Upton at least would fill a hole for the future. I wonder, though, that the Braves think Chipper is done after this year, which likely puts Prado at third and opens up a corner outfield position.

  188. #289 – A contingency plan for 3b would be smart. But I think the fixation is on our absolute suck vs. lefties. The Braves were probably not even in the Rasmus sweepstakes and I think they believe Schaefer at some point in time will be Bourne so they seem to be fixed on getting a right handed bat with some power.

    If the Braves get a corner outfielder of the Willingham/Ludwick variety AND Chipper plays a significant amount of time then I’d have to think that Heyward becomes a platoon partner. On the very unlikely event that they get Pence or Quentin then Jayson is probably looking at becoming a bench player.

    How many of y’all would have predicted that Freddie Freeman would be the better player this year between him and Heyward? Not me.

  189. 289 – I’ve been wondering about that too. Getting a corner outfielder like Pence or Quentin means adding an everyday guy for 2012 as well. It’s possible that the team would send Martin Prado back to being an all-purpose utility man; it’s also possible that Chipper’s recent injuries, and explicit frustration with his inability to stay on the field, has alerted the team to a third hole to fill for next season.

    That said, I’d rather they get a CF. That’s a hole for both this season and next. My fear is that the team is being honest about their desire for Schafer to be the guy.

  190. #294 – I agree. I would think that the Rays will be asking for an MLB ready player for Upton. Its curious really. Upton has had one great season and one okay season and has been pretty average or below the rest. Of course BJ would’nt be the first guy to leverage one good season into becoming a millionaire and the scouts love the athleticism. Jeff Francouer anyone?

  191. It makes no sense to acquire a RF if you think Chipper Jones is going to contribute this year. If there’s a CF out there that you like, go for him. Otherwise… I’m not sure what all the excitement is about.

  192. #276–These are legit concerns. I wonder how well he would hit in Atlanta: while the sample size is limited Pence has never hit a HR in Atlanta.

    If we can get him for the price that Wren paid for McLouth, I would be for it, but anything more and the Braves should get something else in return.

    Count me in the Upton over Pence crowd….

  193. Could they really be thinking about moving Heyward to CF if they get a corner OF? I don’t think that is a good defensive philosophy since Heyward has looked like a young Dave Kingman out in right field on occasion.

  194. @296- I don’t think Upton and Francoeur are really comparable at all. Upton’s biggest problem is contact; he takes his walks just fine. BJ’s career OPS is higher than Francoeur, and he does it at a defense-first position, that he plays very well. If he’s streaky like Francoeur, you can live with it from a CF. Also, he steals 40 bases every year.

  195. bad news: we scored 9 runs in 47 innings vs. Pitt
    good news: we had 49(!) hits during that same stretch

    that seems impossible

  196. Re Pence–I’d pass given his salary and the apparently steep prospect price. Plus he’s not that good a player.

    Bourn would be nice–both legit cf and leadoff batter.

  197. Putter, according to some, they are moving Heyward to Gwinnett if they get a corner everyday OF’r

  198. I’m still baffled by the Heyward-to-AAA thing, unless they legitimately think the coaches there have a better shot at changing his swing.

    And just because he had a ton of success with it his first year does not mean it is viable. Look at Frenchy.

  199. @299

    DOB said last night on Twitter that he has been told they won’t move Prado to center and they don’t want Heyward there for an extended period of time. He seemed to be open to the idea that Pence would play center some.

  200. @303 I get that, but they really can’t be that stupid to think RF is a bigger hole than CF or SS, right? You send him to Gwinnett and who knows how that works out? You could be wrecking the psyche of a player who could be the cornerstone of the future, all for the continuance of a black hole in CF. I am not necessarily for moving Heyward to CF, but I am if it means he doesn’t go to Gwinnett.

  201. I don’t think Heyward can play center. There are sometimes it appears right field is an adventure for him.

  202. I’m hoping we drive up the bidding on Pence and then waltz in and get Upton or Quentin. I’d rather have the latter two — some of you sold me on Upton — although I don’t know why Quentin is even rumored to be on the block. CWS are just three games back.

  203. Joel Sherman of the NY Post just tweeted: “Hear #Astros like #Braves prospects more than #Phillies for Pence, but Atl won’t give key guy, which believe to be Minor”

  204. “Buster_ESPN Buster Olney
    There continues to be zero enthusiasm within Atl org. about giving up any of the core 4 pitching prospects-Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor, Delgado”

  205. There are major league rotations worse than Teheran, Minor, Delgado, and Medlen, which is what we’re looking at next year in AAA.

  206. @304 – The explanation for the Heyward thing is that Fredi Gonzales is the next Tony Larussa, and Heyward is his first Colby Rasmus. Just like Larussa, Fredi has invented a new bullpen role – that of the Lefty-Lefty Pitcher Batting Specialist, a role currently filled by Sherril. Just like Rasmus, Heyward takes hitting advice from someone not on the coaching staff, he has a skill set that’s completely unappreciated by both the manager and the hitting coach, and he’s having a low BA year that’s driving his idiot manager nuts. Expect to see him in Toronto within two years.

  207. Luckily for us, Fredi Gonzalez has very little gravitas. He’ll have to win a world series or two, not to mention at least 1,000 more games, before he can throw away the future to Toronto.

  208. I don’t buy it from Buster/Sherman. If we’re really in hot pursuit of Pence or anyone in that tier, who are we talking about trading if not any of those prospects?

    Wren is posturing…please, let it be posturing. Or some other team floating it to try to get Wren to cave on a bad deal.

  209. I’m worried that Fredi inherited some of Bobby’s cachet when he became the hand-picked heir to the throne. Hopefully it’s not enough for him to be allowed to immediately take a giant dump on the franchise’s future, but he’s not your usual new managerial hire. I think he started a lot higher up the organizational hierarchy than an outside hire would’ve.

  210. There continues to be zero enthusiasm within Atl org. about giving up any of the core 4 pitching prospects-Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor, Delgado”

    Next year’s 8-man Atlanta rotation shall be exciting.

  211. from mlbtr…

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Astros prefer the Braves’ prospects to the Phillies’ prospects (Twitter link). Atlanta won’t give up the “key guy,” who is believed to be Mike Minor, Sherman writes.

  212. BP, right after Minor was drafted by Braves:

    “Kevin Goldstein (3:48:21 PM PT): The Braves take Minor. It’s indefensible. You don’t want to take a high school kid, that’s cool. You think he’s better than Alex White, who I’m not even that high on, and you’re nuts.

    Number 7 picks who profile as No. 4 starters make no sense. “

    Minor has more value to the Braves in trade.

  213. Just looked at the OPS+ numbers for Pence, Quentin, and Upton. Really surprised – based on the prevailing opinions – to see how good Pence and Quentin have been, especially compared to Upton.

  214. @319–false choice. Offseason trades are also possible before next year. See Vazquez, Javy.

  215. Jay, Pence plays his games in Houston. There is a drastic difference in playing there and in Tampa.

  216. A desperate deadline need may be the only way we dump Lowe’s salary. Maybe they don’t want to trade Minor because we’ll need him to replace Lowe in the rotation.

  217. Jay, Pence plays his games in Houston. There is a drastic difference in playing there and in Tampa.

    Thought OPS+ is park adjusted?

  218. @325, but for the last chips on the board, the remaining bidders might get a bargain. For example – Braves drive up price on Pence, Phils bite and overpay, one less big suitor for Upton. SFG and STL are already off the board. PIT and AZ don’t need a CF, MIL doesn’t have the goods to trade, and voila.

  219. Dan is right, csg, OPS+ is a park adjusted stat. Pence has put up very good numbers this year. Way better offensive numbers than Upton (of course, Upton can play play in center).

  220. Yeah, we know Upton is a plus CF. We know Pence is a plus RF. The questions: Would the Braves even play Pence in CF? If so, would he also be a plus defender in that position?

  221. I would like to see Upton in the NL. Playing the Yankees and the Red Sox 38 times a year total can’t help your offensive production.

    The sucking sound in the lineup is SS, however, the braves won’t address that for some reason, even with a rental.

  222. Marc Schneider somewhere up there,

    Yes, obp is park factored. First the BA component goes up in a good BA park. The walk rate usually goes up from the pitcher in a “homer friendly” park. For example, Coors field with no humidor. HIGH homer rate. Fences were deep to begin with trying to slow the homers, but that gave more ground to cover and raised BA on BIP in the outfield. And pitchers couldn’t control their breaking stuff as well.

    For Pence, a high home walk rate may be because they are scared he will hit a 315 foot fly ball in the Crawford boxes. High BAPIP to the outfield might mean he hits “up the middle” a lot and center field is big and hard to cover with Tal’s hill.

    But, there is also a “standard correction” by which most players are better at home.

    Practically applying home park of Upton and Pence, I think you look at career split in the current home park versus “all other”. If either player gets much of a “bump”, treat the bump as if it doesn’t exist.

    For me, that made me drop Ryan Spillborghs from my “can’t we go get” list a couple of years ago. RH centerfielder ops around 780. Actually, it was like 830 at Coors and 730 elsewhere. I assumed our players are “elsewhere.”

  223. @339 Stark just tweeted the same thing as the Astros “shut them down” regarding the prospects the Braves offered that they didn’t offer to the Mets for Beltran. Just move on for Bossman and Willingham and call it good.

  224. 339 – Except for the fact that one of closest friends is a huge Astros fan, it’d be hilarious if Wade tried to drive the price up on Pence so much that everybody else bailed. I still can’t believe he would turn down that Phillies’ offer. But for all I know there never was an offer. Hell, for all I know these idiot beat writers are making everything up.

  225. Essentially the Astros don’t want the Braves’ garbage for Pence, they want a good pitching prospect which the Braves won’t give them. Not shocking they’re pulling out.

  226. @343, have you considered that maybe the Braves offered Vizcaino and they wanted Minor too? I wouldn’t be so quick to interpret the result as “Well we wouldn’t even offer Minor”.

  227. @344: only going by the rumor reporting, which of course is suspect. But the Braves seemed to be trying to obtain Pence without giving up Minor/Vizcaino/Delgado/Teheran. In other words, the Braves seemed to be trying to get something for nothing. Doesn’t work that way (cue Bavasi jokes.)

  228. My barber just told me that we’re trading Hanson for McCutchen, and Prado+Teheran for Justin Upton. Also, we’re firing Frediot and I’m the new manager… awesome

  229. Dan,

    I think our FO has a different value for Pence than the Astros. I think they realize he is really actually a league average right fielder (when you take his bandbox and career into the context) who really only has one extra year because there is no way they will offer him arb for 2014 and pay him 14 mill.

    If you assume above, he isn’t worth Minor, straight up EXCEPT that the marginal value of a POST SEASON WIN may be factoring in there somewhere.

  230. But the Braves seemed to be trying to obtain Pence without giving up Minor/Vizcaino/Delgado/Teheran.

    well a:, it’s not a bad idea – obviously Pence is still out there so it hasn’t not worked yet, and b: “suspect” is about the kindest word you can use to describe these “reports”.

  231. I’d just as soon they didn’t get Pence anyway. I think if a preying mantis played baseball, it would move around the field like Pence does. Freaky.

    The Braves will end up with Quentin or Upton. Mark it down. Or don’t.

  232. He and DOB really need to put out an iTunes single version of “Sixteen Tons”. Both the genre and the part about “I owe my soul to the company store” fit perfectly.

  233. DLowe sure is pitching like someone who’s ready to call it a career but can’t because if he can wheeze through another year he gets fifteen million dollars.

    Just not a Wrenn fan. And, dammit, not a Fredi fan and I wanted to be.

    Please, Arthur, please!

  234. Weird, but true, for the past 2 full years, and this year, Hunter Pence and Marlon Byrd have been almost the same offensive player. Similar home road splits. Eerie.

    But, with Byrd guaranteed one more year at 6.5 and Pence going to arb around 8 and Byrd able to play center, I would give the same package for Byrd as Pence (but my package for Pence would probably be less than the astros asking price).

  235. Anybody else think that the “send Heyward to AAA for a while” might have been intended to keep him down for 10 days (or whatever) to assure an extra pre FA year?

  236. So, when do the Phillies start running out of minor-league talent to use as chips to acquire big pieces every year?

  237. @363, according to the rumormongers, it’s already happened. Reportedly, they don’t have any pitching prospects the ‘Stros want, so they’re trying to rig up a three team deal.

  238. 366—Says who? Ed Wade? Cosart and Singleton are legit, just a long way away.

    322 & 332—Since 2007, Hunter Pence has produced 17.3 fWAR and 10.3 rWAR, and BJ Upton has produced 17.4 fWAR and 16.5 rWAR. Upton’s probably been a little more valuable over the past 4.5 seasons, and he is two years younger, is an actual center-fielder, makes less money, and will cost less prospect value to acquire.

  239. I agree with all but the last part. Since Upton’s more valuable, he’s probably more expensive. Just because rumormongers say he’s cheaper doesn’t mean he actually is. I imagine he costs more than Pence.

  240. Eh, when all of the rumors point to the same conclusion, I’ll trust the rumors. I can believe that teams driving the price on Pence don’t believe Upton’s better. I can also believe that Andrew Friedman would be more reasonable than Ed Wade in his demands.

  241. Also consider the Rays already have Upton’s replacement in Jennings. Pence staying in Houston makes more sense than Upton staying in Tampa.

  242. Danny Knobler tweeted that some in the industry now believe that the Braves end up with Ludwick due to inability to part with any top pitching prospects. Yep, the 8 man rotation is going to be sweet in the future

  243. I think between now and Sunday, Upton’s price will go up. IT would be ideal to move in on him now, but I imagine Friedman will wait and see what happens with Pence for the next 24-36 hours.

  244. The thing about being a beat writer is that it mostly involves being lied to all day by everyone. The reason that most rumors are false is that teams use beat writers as a way to lie to each other. I strongly, strongly doubt DOB makes up the rumors he prints. I think someone else did.

  245. I can also believe that Andrew Friedman would be more reasonable than Ed Wade in his demands.

    Bin laden would be more reasonable in his demands, if Wade is looking for more than two of Brown/Cosart/Singleton plus something else

  246. Twitter, social media, the 24-hour news cycle? Something like that. There’s no time for verification of anything any more.

    I’m not defending the practice. I wish beat writers actually spent more time shutting up and less time printing rumors. But people want to know everything. And so we get everything. Unfortunately, most of it is bullshit.

  247. Re the “8 man rotation”:

    –off season trades are possible even if no trade happens now
    –Delgado isn’t ready yet, his ETA is probably mid-2012
    –Medlen is likely headed for the pen (though he might not be part of the 8 man rotation)
    –Lowe and Huddy have contracts that expire after next year
    –Hanson and Jurrjens are represented by Boras so it might be them, not Minor etc., who will be traded

    That said, I wouldn’t object to a decent trade if it came along but, to the extent the rumors are correct, the asking price for Pence, Beltran, and others is pretty steep. If that’s the case then standing pat is ok too.

  248. 377 – Not sure if Medlen is part of the 8-man rotation; it might be Vizcaino. Either way, though, I agree: neither he nor Delgado will be ready by next opening day, and I wouldn’t hate to see Atlanta give Teheran the Tampa treatment by delaying his arrival a couple more months.

    The Braves will move an arm or two between now and next spring training. I think it will be Jurrjens because Lowe is too expensive, but it might well be both of those guys. I suspect Wren sees next year’s rotation shaping up to be: Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Teheran. That would be a solid, remarkably cheap rotation, even for a team with the Braves’ mid-level payroll.

  249. @376, I sympathetic to the need for 24 hour content. But eventually what you get is what we’ve got – no one has any credibility. The beat writer is debasing the one chip he’s got, the supposed access to inside information. If that info is unreliable, the man has no reason to be.

  250. With Jurrjens, Hanson, Beachy, Medlen, and Teheran, Minor might end up being the AAA emergency starter guy until he’s in his late 20s (or mop-up/emergency starter guy once his options disappear). That would be a waste of his talent.

    I don’t think we will ever get a return like 1.5 years of Upton for Minor ever again. That deal might not be on the table, but if it is, you take it. I just can’t believe the front office is hanging onto Minor for dear life.

  251. Constanza being called up. No corresponding move yet, but either someone has been traded, DL’d, or DFA’d.

  252. Hopefully Proctor, but that won’t happen. Most likely Varvaro or Martinez.

    Oh, nevermind. Who’s the CF then?

  253. Span and Crisp are out there too. Neither would cost a top prospect, I’d imagine.

  254. Is it wrong of me to be glad that Nate hurt his stomach? Can we assume the injury was sustained while he was washing his ridiculous hair? Or maybe he got punched in the gut by the grounds keeper after he bitched about the field Monday.

  255. Well, Diory has been sucking even for Gwinnett this year and we have both Hicks and Pastornicky as shortstops there. I dunno if that necessarily means anything.

  256. DOB says Constanza leading off tonight. That makes sense.

    Tonight’s lineup vs FLA (Peachtree/FS South): Constanza 8 Prado 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 Hinske 7 Ross 2 Heyward 9 Gonzalez 6 Beachy 1

  257. DOB classifies Pence and Quentin as “legit candidates,” while noting that Upton and Bourn “aren’t perfect fits.”

    Why is he so stupid?

    EDIT: Good to see that we’re maximizing the number of PAs for the 24th- or 25th-best player on the active roster. Good grief.

  258. I’m not sure how anyone can show any conclusive evidence that constanza if you value, well, any stat out there, is worse than Schafer. Better obp, better contact, better speed.

  259. @396–he’s actually pretty positive about Bourn–the perfect fit bit is just because of being LH

  260. @398 That’s because there is little conclusive evidence that ANYONE is a worse player than Schafer.

  261. Chipper – out.
    McLouth – out.
    Schafer – out.
    McCann – out.

    That’s half the team. The only question is who’s next? Ross would be perfect.

  262. @389

    Well, not necessarily. They had to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Constanza, which explains Diory. (And with Hicks and Pastornicky both at Gwinnett now, Diory becomes expendable.) If we trade for somebody and don’t trade somebody on our 40-man roster in the other direction, we’d have to clear another spot for the new guy. And when Moylan comes back, we’ll have to clear yet another spot on our 40-man, as he’s on the 60-day DL.

  263. Constanza might be able to do a reasonable Gregor Blanco imitation for a couple of days until we get a legitimate CF in trade. He had much better AAA numbers than Schafer did.

  264. Constanza leading off… Bourn/Upton not good fits… Schafer’s OBP unimportant… Heyward potentially heading to the minors… Scott Proctor still on the 25-man roster…

    It’s all becoming too much.

  265. Losing Schafer and McLouth may be the very thing that gets the front office off their butts to make a trade.

  266. I still think McLouth is worse than Schafer. After spike mentioned McLouth hitting 8th as an excuse for his lack of scoring once he gets on base I was inspired to investigate. All of this comes with the usual caveats: small sample size, etc. plus it may not be 100% accurate since I extracted the data from all of the box scores for games this year but… When McLouth bats lead off he scores 25% of the time he gets on base. Schafer in the same scenario scores 52% of the time. For other positions in the batting order I do not have any other comparison since Schafer only bats lead off (well he did get on base twice pinch hitting for the pitcher and did not score). McLouth in other positions in the line up: batting 2nd scores 39% of the time he gets on base, batting 7th scores 23% and batting 8th scores 30%. About the only thing I can see that McLouth does better than Schafer is OBP and that is marginal. His defense is worse, his arm is worse and he scores less. I think one of the things a lead off guy is supposed to do is get in the pitcher’s head once he gets on base and it looks to me like Schafer does that more than McLouth.

  267. The D Backs just acquired our old friend, Ryan Langerhans. I’m suddenly less concerned about them catching us in the Wild Card race.

  268. When McLouth bats lead off he scores 25% of the time he gets on base. Schafer in the same scenario scores 52% of the time

    I don’t suppose that has anything to do with Freeman/Uggla hitting their stride with Schafer at leadoff and Nate 8th? Nah, couldn’t be.

    About the only thing I can see that McLouth does better than Schafer is OBP

    erm, yeah. That’s usually enough when deciding who you’d like to hit leadoff.

  269. 408 — Runs Scored and RBIs are stats almost completely determined by other players in the lineup, so they’re not good to gauge an individual player’s ability.

  270. @411, I don’t think he was saying anyone should or shouldn’t bat leadoff. He was saying that, given the way Fredi will play them, Schafer is better than McLouth. I agree with that conclusion, though my reason has 100% to do with outfield defense and nothing to do with any possible baserunning advantage.

  271. If we are in on Upton, I would bet Pence would have to be moved first before the Rays would move Upton.

  272. I disagree. Pence might not be moved at all, and I’m pretty sure Upton will be moved before the deadline.

  273. I think that McLouth would be a better everyday option than Schafer simply because I don’t think Schafer’s defense makes up for the 40 point OBP advantage McLouth would have.

    I think Schafer would be a better bench player than McLouth though because of tactical purposes such as pinch-running and as a defensive replacement.

    Of course, I’d rather have a better everyday option than both of them.

  274. I actually look at that the other way around. If there’s a high-leverage play on offense, you know a pinch hitter will influence the outcome of the play, and McLouth is a better hitter. However, if there’s a high-leverage play on defense, the chance of the defensive replacement influencing the play is small. I’d rather have McLouth as a bench player, even though I like Schafer better as a starter.

  275. Per DOB:

    #Braves CF McLouth’s lower ab strain occured on a throw to the cutoff man last night. Someone said he’s played with a sports hernia for a while. I’ll ask him after BP.

  276. I think we can all agree, though, that almost any CF in the majors would be better than either Schafer or McLouth.

  277. @421,

    Too bad we are going to get stuck with Ludwick and 18 starting pitchers that we over value.

  278. I thought Diory had a chance to be more than a 4A player but I was wrong. His poor hitting this year is one thing but his defense is atrocious. He looked like he had no baseball instincts at all when playing for Atlanta. I don’t have any regrets on him being dfa’d.

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