Another Sorry game thread

Things got hung up at the hospital. I’m out now, and hopefully regular recapping activivities will resume tomorrow. Assuming that the Braves can find a centerfielder.

212 thoughts on “Another Sorry game thread”

  1. It is going to suck when we end up with Ludwick who has hit just .215/.281/.326 three homers in 172 ABs in his past 48 games.

  2. Hopefully we’d get Willingham instead Ludwick. The Braves seem to hate Willingham and always have, though.

    I think now we’ll get a CF especially with the McLouth/Schafer injuries.

  3. The Braves seem to hate all good baseball players unless they drafted them.

    Surprisingly not hungover.

  4. Until this year Willingham has always been north of a .350 obp with power and his splits are good against both right and left and they are particularly good against lefties. Until this year. But he is on a hot streak. He also will be at least a type B and maybe a type A free agent. If we can get him in a package with Crisp for a reasonable price, I will be thrilled.

  5. The Ludwick and Willingham hate is pretty weird. Those guys would obviously help this team. Yes, a CF would be better, but those guys would be better than standing pat. And, of course, it’s possible for Wren to get both a CF and one of those corner guys.

    One thing that concerns/puzzles me is the lack of buzz surrounding the Braves and righty relievers. That’s a pretty clear need, too.

  6. Remember when the Braves could have had Willingham for a song and signed Garret Anderson instead?

  7. @9 Ha! You wouldn’t believe how many emails I get from Dodge telling me to check out the latest Challenger models… Do they not have faith that their cars can keep people happy for over a year? That Charger is a beast.

  8. @10

    We need a CF, but if we get a corner guy, he needs to be on a Quinton/Pence level.

    Willingham is a platoon player on this team.

  9. I would be disappointed if we got Ludwick though. Other than his amazing 2008 season, he is a little underwhelming.

  10. 14 – I think Chipper is going to see a lot of rest in the next two months. Prado’s versatility makes it work.

  11. 18—I like Willingham, but I’m not so sure about the emergency-catching part. He hasn’t caught a game since ’06, and he’s had a lot of back/neck issues since then.

    19—The point is that the CF hole is not the only hole.

  12. King Kaufman has a BP article. It starts with Adam Dunn’s historically bad batting average. “Can you imagine the excitement if a player were on his way to the fourth-best batting average of all time? He’d have to be hitting .420. We’d all be going crazy over this guy because he’d be doing something so rare.

    It’s just as rare on the bottom of the list. So I’m going crazy, folks.”

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14652

  13. I would rather have Upton and/or Quentin, of course. But Willingham would be fine, especially in a package with Crisp. Add on Wuertz and that kinda addresses the main problems other than SS.

  14. Well, I just mean that as an emergency catcher he might let Fredi be less afraid to let Ross PH when McCann gets back.

  15. @21, the advantage to him being an emergency catcher isn’t that he’d actually catch, it’s that Fredi would feel comfortable pinch hitting Ross knowing that in case horrible things happened, he could put Willingham in that slot.

    Acquiring Willingham would be like gaining two RH pinch hitters at the same time.

  16. I think Mike Minor for Willingham, Crisp and Wuertz is feasible and equal value since we would also be getting draft pick compensation for both Willingham and Crisp.

  17. Glad to hear you’re feeling okay, Downeaster. I thoroughly enjoyed your posts, mainly because I know your a decent and smart guy and not a huge douche like ILoveEmmaStone.

  18. The Braves seem to be gambling on Moylan and Medlen coming back successfully to help the RHP bullpen hole.

  19. 24 & 25—I hope you’re right. I just wonder if Fredi might not believe he’s able to catch, either, thereby undermining your plans for Ross.

    Oh, who am I kidding? Fredi doesn’t put that much thought into anything.

  20. @7, take it from me, the day you stop getting hangovers is the day you really need to start worrying. It’s like the last behavioral governor is gone.

  21. 30 — Is he? I read that he had a setback but not that he’s out for the year.

  22. He’d been shut down for 6 weeks, IIRC, which effectively ended his chances of contributing to the big club, I assumed.

  23. Heard this rumor from Smitty’s barber:

    Braves get:
    Willingham
    Crisp
    Wuertz

    A’s get:
    Minor
    Milligan

    Would you do it?

  24. If the Braves won’t give up Minor for Upton/Pence, there’s no way they give him up for Willingham + Crisp.

    @32

    I almost never get them, but I think my desire to not be “that guy” that is the only one drunk at dinner will be enough of a governor for the near future.

  25. What’s really fascinating about all this trade rumor stuff is wondering who’s talking to what reporter. Bowman just posted saying the Braves never considered Pence a priority– he’s been in the “Braves don’t want Pence” camp from the beginning. Rosenthal’s been consistently saying that the Phillies had the inside track, while Stark mostly was saying the Braves loved Pence and had put a good offer on the table. So I wonder…where do each of them get their info? Which member of which front office is talking to them and pointing them in their different directions?

  26. 38—Yeah, and I say that as probably the biggest fan of Minor and Milligan among all Braves fans.

  27. 38 – yes.
    39 – I’m not sure that they wont give up Minor for those guys. These rumors contradict. Regardless, I think it’s worth it and who knows if Wren agrees.

  28. Ludwick is really struggling. At this point he may not be much of an upgrade and he really can’t play center

  29. He’s better than Prado against righties and better than Heyward against lefties. If McLouth can play center, so can he.

    He would unquestionably be an asset on this team. I’ll just be disappointed if he’s the only move.

  30. @35, Yup. Medlen’s not even working out now.

    @38, I would, the A’s wouldn’t, and doesn’t Smitty’s barber only hear about three-way trades?

    @40, The one person you can be sure of is Peanut. He wants you to think what the Braves want you to think, which is a helpful piece of the puzzle. The Braves seem to want to downplay any interest in Pence…I can only assume that’s because they think the price is too high, and better that the Phillies pay it. So time to play hard to get.

    It’s funny that, now that the Braves are out on Pence, the Phillies seem to realize that they’re bidding against themselves, so they’re now saying that trading Domonic Brown is a no go. There goes the Astros’ leverage. If any of this can be believed. And so maybe the Braves can jump back in, having forced the Phillies’ hand.

    Hey, I could be a sportswriter with this kind of imagination…

  31. @39, I had a wonderful English professor many years ago who said “manners will serve you better than morality in the end”. Well done.

  32. 47 – You don’t think Beane would want a major league ready starter and a solid prospect for three valuable but unspectacular guys who will leave at the end of the year in a season where the A’s are not contenders?

    Edit – well, there’s an option on Wuertz. But still.

  33. IMO, only getting Ludwick would be about as exciting and helpful as getting Ankiel was last year for outfield help.

  34. @49, I didn’t realize both of them are FAs soon. Minor and Milligan are very likely better than what Beane could do in the draft, but it still strikes me as a little too much. We’d need to give another OK prospect, I’d bet.

    Willingham is like Dunn was. The door always seems to be open, but we never knock.

  35. 51 – since it’s better than what he could do in the draft he would probably agree to the deal unless another team would give him a better deal and I doubt that there is a team that would. I think the question is whether Wren would. I think he should since it makes us a whole lot better this year and we still salvage some future value due to the draft picks.

  36. Also, those guys probably wouldn’t be all that expensive if the Braves wanted to bring them back. (Willingham for LF and Prado to 3b if Chipper retired, and/or Crisp in CF).

  37. 37 – In the linked Peanut article he says that Ludwick is ‘athletic enough to play center.’ As Stu points out, he can help, especially if he can play a little CF if needed. If that’s the only deal though, I certainly won’t be happy.

    As somebody who watched Willingham attempt to catch a lot in AAA, there’s no chance to him being able to catch now. He couldn’t do it then, he certainly can’t do it now. I know we’re only talking emergency, but I’d say that’s even highly unlikely.

    IMO, Wuertz is not an upgrade on what is down at Gwinnett, Crisp should be a last resort.

  38. I think that’s definitely what we’re going to call Constanza.

    ETA: It’s like the only requirement for being a leadoff hitter is that you play CF.

  39. Chip just guessed Gary Sheffield for the last player other than Hanley Ramirez to lead the Marlins in stolen bases. That is amazing.

  40. All of the ESPN.com guys are saying the Braves are still in on Pence. Earlier it sounded like it was a matter of the Phillies either getting it done or not. But apparently the Braves aren’t conceding.

    You know, if you believe any of those guys.

  41. On that note…still can’t figure out why the Braves aren’t in on Michael Bourn. Or why nobody seems to think they are. He seems like a perfect fit. Power is not the only way to improve your team. OBP, speed and good defense do it too.

  42. @75– We also need a leadoff hitter who gets on base once in a while. Our leadoff OBP has got to be around, what, .310 this year? I like Schafer a lot, but he’s still not getting on base enough to be a competent leadoff hitter.

    I get the need for a righty bat, but it’s not the only thing we need.

    I’ve really come around to a proposal somebody made the other night about offering something big to Houston for Bourn and Pence, then moving Prado to shortstop. Sounds weird, and I’m sure the Braves are too conservative to do it, but there’s no reason to think Prado wouldn’t be a reasonably competent shortstop. Probably not AAG, but you could use him as a late-game defensive replacement and get the best offensive lineup out there.

  43. Rosenthal says Phillies close to getting Pence, deal expected to be completed tonight. Singleton removed from the game in Clearwater, so I guess that ship has now sailed. But again, we have tons of pitching

  44. Since AAG is supposedly an all-glove sort of guy, I imagine little bits of him disappearing when he does crap like dropping routine double play balls. Without his glove, he’s just non-existent in the context of a baseball game. Soon he’ll disappear completely, and we’ll just play with 8 men. Fredi will bat a void in the two hole.

  45. Leadoff hitting is overrated.

    The Braves already had a Bourn last year in Blanco before they traded him. Who wants to see that again?

  46. Maybe that means we’ll go after Upton… Or maybe I’ll be weeping when we get crappy parts and leave all of our pitching prospects to rot.

  47. Pence about to become a Phillie, tweets Ken Rosenthal. (Sorry, didn’t see mention @79).

    Damn it, Frank, do something. Ludwick is not defined as “something.” And if he is, please tell us it’s because Liberty Media is cheap and unfit for team ownership.

  48. I am glad Pence is going to the Phillies if they are giving up the farm for him.

  49. Phillies get Pence, Braves will get another ‘Wren job’ like Ludwick.

    MLB should investigate collusion between GM Wade and his old team the Phillies. Oswalt and now Pence for what, exactly?

  50. Phillies gave up 2 top 50 prospects for Pence. If we were to beat that, this blog would have shat pants.

  51. @78

    If the price is right for bourn, fine go get him. But even if we got him we still have a need for a Right handed bat, which is a more pressing issue in the first place. Considering what the Phillies are giving up for Pence, I would imagine bourn would cost more than hes worth.

  52. Guys, don’t panic. We’re on our 3-year-long “wait for Chipper to come back” plan. It always works.

  53. @88- He might. Wade certainly seems to be pushing for a lot. But you don’t have the high-profile battle between Philly and Atlanta like you did with Pence. And Bourn isn’t Drayton McLane’s favorite player on the planet, so there’s that. I’m guessing he’d cost a lot less than Pence.

  54. ‘scuse me, according to Keith law’s mid-year list, 2 top-25 prospects. Seriously, no one should be mad about this…

  55. I think everyone is a little delusional about how good Pence is… I’d say the Phillies definitely overpaid for him and I’m glad it wasn’t us

  56. Shrinkage? Costanza’s hit three balls that haven’t collectively gone 90 feet.

  57. So now will Buster Olney tell us that the Phillies don’t value OBP as much as other teams?

  58. I don’t think I’d enjoy being a phils phan at all. I lack the ability to self-induce vomiting on other phans at the ballpark, so I wouldn’t really fit in, and while getting actual players at trade deadlines would be fun, I think I’d rather get to watch talented kids grow up. Trading 6 years of both singleton and cosart for a year and a half of Pence awkwardly staggering around the outfield would not increase happiness in the long term. The Wren way sucks in the short term, but it rewards patience and breeds character in fans. I am at peace with it and the Ryan Ludwick it will provide us this year.

  59. @94

    I would be happy if Constanza started doing the opposite of everything he’s done at the plate tonight. And after the Stanton AB, in the field, too.

  60. @98

    I preferred the Ted Turner/John Schuerholz way of the 1990’s:

    JS: “We’ve got Glavine, Smoltz and Avery. But there’s this Maddux fellow who can help us a little.”

    TT: “Sign him. No matter the cost.”

    Yeah, I know those days aren’t coming back, but I miss them desperately.

  61. Hinske has an amazing knack for barely making routine plays and somehow looking spectacular doing it. You’d think someone would pay him more than he’s making to do that for them. Someone like Dayton Moore.

  62. Slamming Wren for not acquiring Pence seems unfair.

    Slamming Wren for hiring Fredi, not paying players above slot in the draft, hiring a hitting coach whose name I won’t repeat because it makes me vomit, de-emphasizing OBP, signing Uggla for 60 million dollars, getting rid of Kelly Johnson, hiring Fredi, and allowing Schafer to play every day? Fair. Actually, I encourage it.

  63. @103: also the nice days when a previous year Cy Young award winner like Maddux, with Boras as his agent, could be had for five years and 28 million.

  64. Fatso hit a grand slam for KC, then admired it for so long that he caused benches to clear the next AB.

  65. @103, the Braves were not the highest bidder for Maddux. He took less to come here.

  66. BTW Freddie Freeman is hitting .295 and has an OPS of .847, while Ryan Howard is hitting .246 and has an OPS of .796.

  67. @117

    Yep, $6 million short of the Yankees’ offer, IIRC. But the Braves were in it and offered what he perceived as the best chance to win. Then eight months later, the midseason deal for McGriff.

    Eighteen years later, in near-deadline trades and free agency, we give the aroma of dumpster diving. So much for providing a FA/trade target the best chance to win the World Series. And the only way Liberty Media gives a damn about rings would be to ask, “What do they cost?” Sad.

  68. Beachy’s fastball apparently bats for the marlins, but it only got two hits off of him. /Chip.

  69. I’ve say that Beachy showed the guts of a cat burglar tonight, what about you Chip?

  70. @120 – Or “how many hotel porns do we have to sell to offset the cost of those rings?”

  71. I know this’ll sound churlish, but it annoys me that the only thing Jorge has done tonight is cost Kimbrel a save opportunity.

  72. Constanza is so clutch. He’s like Jeter if Jeter were a weak hitting seven year minor leaguer just called up from AAA.

  73. @126 I’m hoping it helps keep Kimbrel out of the game. Forget saves, he and Venters need days off.

  74. Braves don’t get a walk in the game? How often does that happen? Way too much this year. I know Hensley is a paddy-cake softballer, but good grief.

  75. Upton is not the man. He averages more strikeouts than hits, has no power, doesn’t hit many doubles, and has not had a triple all year. For a speed guy that’s an important stat. He cant bunt (sac hits) or hit fly balls when they’re needed. We need an offensive impact, not another unproductive sack of bones.

  76. Well, we let all those offensive impacts go to our rivals the last 3 days, so Upton is all we have left.

  77. Byrd would be nice for the value and same production minus steals. But upton gets caught a lot, so not much of a loss there.

  78. @141 – Ha, I wonder if Wun posts at a Pirates fan site now. Bravesjournal is sorely lacking in defensive, irrational wives of players these days.

  79. Crasnick saying Bourn now on Braves’ radar (says he wasn’t before). Hmmm…..

  80. Ludwick=studdick? Upton is just not very good. And he’s drunker than d-Lowe (BAC-high) at the dirt track.

  81. Absolutely. Pence is an above average player (definitely not a superstar) and it looks like the Astros got a Teixeira type package.

  82. Hell yeah they overpaid. Pence is having a nice year, but he’s not the impact player that Houston valued him to be. Houston took advantage of a weak market.

    Now how about our CF issue, Frank. So glad these injuries happened this week and not next week. CF was an issue before, now its major.

  83. Baghdad Bowman says that the injuries are irrelevant to the Braves in the trade market. Can’t imagine that to be actually true.

  84. What would be awesome would be if the Braves were to be able to go get Upton, Willingham, and Furcal and pay less than what the Phillies did for Pence.
    Upton for Minor
    Willingham for Hoover and low-level guy
    Furcal for mid-tier prospect

    Edit: and DOB still saying Quentin is best fit.

  85. Astros apparently wanted two of top four pitching prospects plus more. Kudos to Wren for declining.

  86. MLBTR….

    The Braves offered a four-player package to the Astros for Hunter Pence, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Astros sought two of the Braves’ top four pitching prospects and another good young pitcher, so a deal was not reached. With Pence and Carlos Beltran off the board, here’s the latest on the Braves’ hunt for a hitter…

    The Braves are almost certain to land an outfielder before the deadline, reports Rosenthal. He cites the names you have been hearing for a while: B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin, and Josh Willingham.
    Bourn is on the Braves’ radar, tweets Crasnick. Padres right fielder Ludwick is “more down the list of options.”
    The Braves are targeting a center fielder, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, though it doesn’t rule them out on corner guys.

    Thank you Wren…Thank you

  87. Good good. Pence is definitely not the kind of player you make that kind of deal for. Matt Kemp, maybe, but obviously not Pence.

  88. @155 I agree…kudos to Wren for not selling the whole farm for Pence. There are better fitting options still available and if he decides to replace Agony as well I would be a huge fan of our deadline deals

  89. So apparently the Astros were looking for 2 of the top 4 prospects from the Braves (I’m guessing Minor + Delgado, but just a guess) plus another pitching prospect that Braves are high on.

    So I would say it’s good the Braves turned them down. If they’d gone for that kind of deal, I’m pretty sure Braves Journal would have caught on fire.

  90. Seriously, since the Braves lost out on “top” options, they can fill more holes. If I’m counting correctly, there’s at least 4 obvious ones: CF, RH bench bat, SS (even though the org doesnt want to admit that a 0.8 WAR needs upgrading), and RH relief pitcher.

  91. I’d get really excited for a Bourn acquisition. I’d go to his first game, even if it’s a Lowe start. If 155 is true, that was an insane asking price for Pence, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask. I suppose years of selling have made a pretty good seller out of Ed Wade. Probably not the major quality I’d look for in a GM though.

  92. Bourn would make sense for the Braves. I think that Wren will find a way to improve our team without undermining our future….

  93. Opposed to trading him for Renteria in any event. They got a miracle season out of him in 07 that they had no right to expect and cashed in, but that doesn’t mean it was a great idea.

  94. Yeah, I’m all for dealing prospects as long as you get equal value. The Pence deal was not equal value.

  95. This was a good trade for for Philly, make no mistake, but it was hardly a case where the Braves should have topped the offer – two top 50 prospects – top 25 depending on who you want to believe – is hardly fire sale pricing.

  96. Have we come up with a nickname for Costanza yet? T-Bone is what I would go with, it’s what George always wanted.

  97. I am never a fan of Pence. I always worry that he will turn out to be another Nate if he becomes a Brave.

    Good to see Dan is turning the corner. Otherwise I would mention his name in the above sentence as well.

  98. kc
    I absolutely agree. There’s something about Pence that makes me think he’s bound to turn into a pumpkin at some point. But, him being a Philly makes me think he’ll be a 35 HR threat for the next 5 years. Sigh.

  99. He’ll be like ibanez: of course he’s a 35 hr threat because he plays in a bandbox, but he will make his fair share of outs. i agree he is mclouth. and i still have some hope for our own mclouth, who happens to be the real el guapo.

  100. Love the El Guapo reference.

    And the “T-Bone” nickname.

    Also, count me as glad we did not get Pence for a Matt Kemp type package.

  101. @174 It would be so funny if Wren trades for Frenchy. I hope that will never happen because I don’t think anyone of us here can handle it…

  102. #178–Yes, it would never happen, but it would be rich…..

    I also think that we would quickly see the return of the Frenchy of 2008….

  103. In other news, the AJC sports headline today says, “Braves Rout Marlins.” Really? Is this the effect of low expectations for this team? Wasn’t the game actually tied 0-0 into the 7th? How is that a rout?

  104. Whew. I too am relieved that we didn’t give up all that for Pence. He is a better player than i thought when i looked closer but not THAT good. Phils gave up 2 high A guys. good deal for them. As someone mentioned before, in that park he may hit 35 hr. The phils have improved themselves. Mr. Wren?

  105. I’m assuming Matt Kemp’s not available, but man would he be a nice acquisition. He would absolutely be worth giving up multiple top prospects for.

  106. #184–I agree with both the assumptions and the conclusion….

    I think that Wren will act soon….

  107. @184 – considering what the Phils gave up for Pence, can you imagine what Kemp’s asking price would be?

    Heyman is now saying that the Indians are the likely landing spot for Ludwick and that the Braves are focusing elsewhere.

  108. Hopefully Wren is focusing on Byrd/Crisp/Bourn + Willingham. I’m really happy he didn’t overpay for Pence.

  109. I would be willing to give up Teheran AND Delgado only for two players: Kemp or Justin Upton.

  110. @188, doesn’t Kemp become an FA after next season? You’d give 12 seasons of those two for a year and a third of Kemp?

  111. @189- He’d also be a guy I’d rework the team’s salary structure to keep. I’d probably deal Minor + Delgado (or maybe Vizcaino, though I’d make Teheran untouchable) + lower level pieces for Kemp, and then work my ass off to sign him to an extension.

  112. Wow. The Phillies are sending Domonic Brown down and are sticking with Ibanez in LF. I guess we’re catching a break.

  113. I’m convinced the Braves would have done the same with Heyward if they acquired Pence.

  114. David O’Peanut is really banging the Bourn drum on Twitter today. I asked him if Bourn’s career OPS+ of 89 is any concern to him. Also, if he noticed that this is the only year in Bourn’s career he’s even been league average.

  115. @194 – Do Not Tap On Glass. Those signs are up for a reason.

    @193, I’d wait for the deadline before deciding that.

  116. OPS+ doesn’t factor in defense or baserunning. Bourn is certainly an above average player. Guess it all depends on how much the Astros want for him.

  117. 194, we don’t have all that many league average outfielders. In fact, we have none. Average has value. I’d be super happy if we could get one or two average guys for a reasonable price.

  118. Bourn isn’t league average. Over the past three seasons, he has been one of the best center fielders in baseball in terms of value.

    11.9 bWAR
    13.3 fWAR

    He’s 4-5 win player. I’d prefer him over all the others, even Upton.

  119. OPS+ also overvalues SLG at the expense of OBP, which is the more important component.

  120. Prospect-huggers were opposed to trading “future super star” Andy Marte too.

    I was opposed mainly because it appeared to be largely motivated by money. The Red Sox sent a bunch of money back with Renteria. Much like the Joey Devine-Mark Kotsay trade, which mainly appeared to be motivated by the fact that the A’s sent a bunch of money back with Kotsay.

    In both cases, it looked like we were willing to take a less good player because we were willing to accept the cash. Obviously, it worked out in Marte’s case, perhaps because the Braves had more information about him than we did, or perhaps because some prospects just go bust. But in general, I hate the idea of trading prospects for cash.

  121. I’d love to get Bourn, but Upton might be a better choice because he is right handed.

  122. I actually want Upton more than Bourn. (And due to the fact that I think the disparity in price would be larger than the disparity in talent, I’d probably rather have Span than Bourn, too.) But I know I’m in the minority.

  123. Upton is more tantalizing, but therein lies the problem. Bourn is by far the surer bet IMO.

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