Martin Prado

As I write, it seems likely that he will be traded, which I think would be a mistake unless the return is unexpectedly spectacular. The Braves, like most teams, have a habit of selling low; Prado’s value is pretty low right now, because he had a bad season. But there were good reasons for the bad season, and the Braves should know that.

Martin got off to a terrible start; he was hitting .268/.309/.392 on May 8. But he was adjusting to a new position and trying to hit leadoff; I think you can cut him some slack. From May 10 to June 7, he hit .291/.345/.505, which is more like it, basically typical Prado with some more power, and his season line was up to .277/.324/.438. On June 7 he suffered a “contusion” sliding at second base against the Marlins. It was a minor injury, but due to someone’s sloppy housekeeping in the Florida clubhouse, the injury became infected.

The infection was described as “staph”, that is, Staphylococcus aureus, a ubiquitous bacterium. From the severity of the infection — which from reports required intervenous antibiotics, the strain of staph was most likely MRSA. As it so happens, I was infected with MRSA only a few days later, and I can tell you that it is a bitch, and the antibiotics are not fun either. Prado returned five weeks after the original injury, which is cutting it pretty close on the antibiotic treatments. It seems very likely to me that he was still debilitated from the ordeal, as he did not play well at all for the rest of the season, hitting .244/.283/.339.

Now, did Martin Prado completely forget how to play baseball, or was he suffering the aftereffects of what is, in reality, a life-threatening illness? I know what seems more likely to me.

Martin Prado Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

128 thoughts on “Martin Prado”

  1. Great writeup, Mac. The ideal Braves’ roster has Prado on it, however I dont think it has him penciled in as the starting LF. I’d like to see Jurrjens traded for a LF (Nelson Cruz?) but that seems unlikely at this point. I’m just not very confident in Diaz or Hinske as players to hold LF down while Chipper goes on his usual “not injured but hurt” 5 game hiatus.

  2. Having a handcuff for Chipper is the biggest reason to keep him.

    I’m with Mac, I would hate to trade him, unless it was for a big time bat.

    I still think his and JJ’s value goes up the closer we get to the season.

  3. Great writeup, indeed. His value as a replacement for Chipper alone mitigates against all kind of risk we take going into the 2012 season. But he’s also a good player in his own right. Last year was an anomaly.

    Re: the survey. Can you add a third option? “Not no, but hell no!”

  4. Watching the games, Prado just seems like a great teammate to me. And managers love guys who can (usually) hit & play 3 different positions.

  5. I find Prado’s hackerific approach at the plate maddening, but I would hate to sell low — especially for something as redundant as Seth Smith.

  6. I am not a fan of trading either Prado or JJ because we have injury issue in Chipper and Hanson. The team has too many health issues to compensate.

  7. The alternate uniforms are really nice. The patch is like the one on the Blackhawks’ sweaters. If they’d get rid of the stupid tomahawk altogether, that would be even better. That’ll never happen; too much marketing involved with the tomahawk.

  8. Do the Braves really have a habit of selling low? I can’t think of anything off the top of my head besides Yunel. I can also think of a couple of times when the Braves sold really high (Vazquez, Charles Thomas).

  9. Those jerseys are beautiful. I know some of you here have a strict policy against wearing another man’s name on your back, but my rule is just that they have to be at least ten years older than me. Chipper may be the last active player I’ll get to wear.

  10. The only team gear I have ever owned is a series of caps. I might be in line for a new one soon. Running, followed by the washer, is hell on a cap bill.

  11. Love the alt jerseys. Can we petition that they become the norm?

    Also, I’d like to see no arm patch this year. Sleeves should be bare a white unless used to commemorate a Braves “family” member, as with Skip and Ernie in recent seasons.

  12. I recall back in the early days of Braves Journal, someone called into question Russ Ortiz’ true age. I guess the record keeping in Van Nuys was suspect.

  13. Huh. And now you’ve gone and dredged up my repressed memories of Russ Ortiz. Bastard.

  14. Smith wasn’t the prize Atlanta was trying to get from the Rox. They wanted the AA OF prospect, in much the same way they really wanted Aroldys Vizcaino in the Vasquez/Melky deal.

  15. Bill James has a piece up on durability. Chipper actually ranks as durable in his system, because he played almost every day until he was 32 and never had a bad year. Rico Carty, on the other hand, ranks as missing more games than all but one player ever, and that one (Mike Donlin) wasn’t an injury situation.

  16. 32,

    The Braves’ home unis are my favorite of any team in any sport. I can see how the tomahawk may offend, but I personally love it.

    I want ‘Durango’.

  17. If anyone is ever going to show up in a “Cadahia” replica jersey, I’m going to be that guy.

  18. I’d say that the Braves sold low on Kelly Johnson, except they didn’t even “sell” — they just let him walk. They also sold low on Jordan Schafer, compared to his 2007-2008 value, though I blame him more than them on that one. They sold low on Derek Lowe, after spending more than a year trying to get an actual player back for him. They certainly sold low on Blaine Boyer. And Jeff Francoeur, for that matter.

    They definitely sold high on Renteria, though. And obviously Andy Marte, as well. It’s been a pretty good track record in all.

    But there has been a fair amount of low-selling. The Braves are generally pretty stingy with their prospects, so they often don’t part with someone until an injury has occurred — as with Boyer, Schafer, and as will be the case with Jurrjens and/or Prado in the event that either gets unloaded this offseason.

  19. No, Johnny. First, my supposed love of Fredi is far more an artifact of my tendency not to throw knives at him just for shits and giggles than it is a true reflection of my position on the man’s talents. Second, Cadahia is far more obscure, and thus, rainbows and dinosaurs *awesome.*

  20. “Cadahia” is a good one. “Kawakami” or “Belliard” are also acceptable answers.

    I think my next jersey/shirt will have to be Maddux’s.

  21. I once DJed a Halloween party on Long Island dressed as Greg Maddux. Just wore a Braves jersey/cap & a pair of glasses. I was shocked that everyone “knew who I was.”

  22. Anyone other than me a little curious about how much Alphonso Soriano has left in the tank? The Cubs are reportedly willing to most of his salary….

  23. Soriano posted a slash line of 244/289/469 last year. He slugged a little against LHP but still only managed a 312 OBP as as 35 year old. Risk = higher than reward in my world.

  24. I would like to thank Oakland in acquiring Seth Smith, and I would also like to thank Brady for ending this Tebow madness.

  25. Mac, great write up on Prado. I think the reason he is still a Brave is that they had them valued properly. It wasnt unreasonable for the team to expect more than Seth Smith for a good hitting 2b.

  26. @52 It sounds easy and logical, but it’s impossible to sell high unless you have an immediate replacement. For example, would you trade Avery after his 1993 season?

  27. I’d think about ‘Esasky’ but then I’d have to wobble drunkenly every time I walked. Which isn’t hard, when I’m drunk, now that I think it through.

  28. #52, knowing what we know now about lefties who pitch too many innings when they’re young, I’d definitely have listened to offers… besides, we had Mercker waiting in the pen. And Pete Smith was the 5th starter that year, so we really only would have had to replace the 5th starter. Avery was an unfathomable luxury to have as a 4th starter when you already had Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, but the Braves had so much pitching they could have stood to trade one.

    And since Avery was the baby-faced lefty who had three straight seasons over 210 innings before turning 24, I might have probably started looking to unload that time bomb on someone else.

    I mean, assuming I had the balls and brains to pull it off.

  29. @59

    I agree. In terms of established major leaguers, just about everyone sells low. The movie Cocktail is instructive here — as Bryan Brown explains to Tom Cruise, everything ends badly…otherwise it wouldn’t end.

  30. Trading Avery then would be akin to trading Tommy Hanson now. Would you trade Tommy Hanson?

  31. Would I trade Tommy Hanson? Well, gee, sure, if the right offer came along. I’d trade him to the Yankees for Michael Pineda, for example.

    I disagree that Hanson and Avery are equivalent. For one thing, Hanson doesn’t have three pitchers like Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz ahead of him on the depth chart, making him a luxury. For another, he hasn’t pitched nearly as many innings as Avery had by the same age.

    That said, Tommy certainly has an injury history of his own. I’d never consider him untouchable — he’s a really strong number two starter, but he isn’t Tim Lincecum. Or Greg Maddux. For all those reasons, Avery should have been even less untouchable.

    Of course, again, I doubt I’d have had the guts or brains to know all that and act on it in 1993. I’m just sniping from my desk in 2012. But, hey, that’s how the internet works.

  32. @67 Actually Tommy is now a known injury risk. Would you trade Hanson or Prado last offseason?

    We traded Edgar to save money and Yunel was ready. Who knows if the Braves indeed knew Marte would be a bust. I remember the day when the entire Braves nation cried over the Marte trade. I think we got lucky because we were simply looking for a veteran shortstop to replace Furcal and the Red Sox were really to pay part of Edger’s contract.

    My point is still relevant, it’s very rare for a team to sell high when things are going well and when the team is contending. You would normally see cases where team can sell high when the team has nothing to lose.

  33. It’s important to remember that Avery was not considered a ticking time bomb in 1993. Yes, he’d pitched a prodigious number of innings — including postseason, he’d made 39, 39, and 37 starts. But he’d never missed a start, and the Braves had just developed Glavine and Smoltz in much the same fashion. The general consensus at that moment was that Mazzone had solved the riddle of pitcher health with his throwing program.

  34. Speaking of lefties, I sure hope Minor is ready to own the 4th-starter role. We desperately need a solid lefty in the rotation.

  35. @68- That’s exactly why they traded Marte. The Braves FO may have had a few more questions about Marte’s ability than the rest of baseball, but they certainly thought he was a good player. Just not one the Braves needed at the time.

  36. Who would they have traded Avery for? That team was pretty loaded. Unless you knew he was going to fall apart, why would you trade him just to trade him?

    Moreover, I would argue that having Avery really helped the Braves win the 1995 World Series even though he wasn’t the pitcher he had been. He pitched a great game in Game 4 and I’m convinced that having a fresh pitcher made a big difference.

  37. They clearly traded Marte to fill the SS need, but the Braves’ scouting department had begun to sour on Marte long before the stat-based community caught on. Specifically, they didn’t like his work ethic and didn’t project his power forward, and there were rumors that he enjoyed some chemical training methods that would get him in trouble with the new testing procedures.

  38. @73 makes a good point

    The ’94 Braves had solved the 1B problem with McGriff. If you were thinking about upgrading you’d look at CF (Roberto Kelly and Otis Nixon) or 2B (Lemke), but even there you were getting quality defense from the current lineup.

    Now, maybe if they had traded Avery in ’91 for Bonds and extended him…

  39. @73

    More over, Gant’s dirt bike accident really hurt the team.

    Plus, there were a lot of youg players (Klesko, Chipper, Javy, Mike Kelly, Torasco) they didn’t want to block.

    Maybe they could have moved Avery and Klesko and gotten a big bat for LF after Gant wnet down.

  40. Quoting myself is probably bad form, but I will anyway:

    Since 1980, only four pitchers have thrown more than 800 innings (counting postseason) before their Age 24 season: Doc Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Bret Saberhagen, and Steve Avery. All developed arm problems. The first three were able to overcome them to some degree, though they never were able to achieve the heights of their early careers. Avery really wasn’t in their class, and was not able to pitch well at a reduced state.

    I don’t blame Bobby for using him hard — the Braves were in pennant races in both 1991 and 1993, and Avery was the second-best pitcher on the staff each year. He could have eased up on the throttle a bit in 1992 when Steve wasn’t pitching as well and the team had a comfortable lead.

    I don’t think Gant’s accident hurt the team much. Klesko filled in well, and they were planning on letting Gant walk.

  41. Looks like Gunner Kiel may not end up at LSU after all. Supposedly, he’s now looking at Notre Dame.

    In other Bayou Bengal news, looks like all may not have been peace and light:

    http://tinyurl.com/LSUissues

    Oh, and UGA QB Mason will probably redshirt this coming year to allow himself the opportunity to start as a senior.

  42. MLBTR….The Braves avoided arbitration with center fielder Michael Bourn on a deal worth $6.845MM, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Matt Swartz projected the Boras client for $7.3MM in his final season before free agency.

  43. They wouldn’t pay Beltran $12 mil but they’d pay Melky $6 mil?

    Can you see Melky running around in that big-ass outfield of theirs?

  44. #86 – plus incentives

    The Braves avoided arbitration with starter Jair Jurrjens on a deal worth $5.5MM, MLBTR has learned. He can earn another $25K each time for reaching 175, 180, 190, 200, 210, and 215 innings.

  45. Felix Hernandez had over 900 innings at major league level before age 24 season. Wonder if the Mariners traded the wrong guy?

  46. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Atlanta Braves!
    Chipper: 14 million
    Uggla: 13.2 million
    McCann: 11.667 million
    Hudson: 9 million
    Diaz: 2.125 million
    Ross: 1.625 million
    Hinske: 1.5 million
    Wilson: 1 million
    Prado: 4.75 million
    Jurrjens: 5.5
    O’Flaherty: 2.5
    Bourn: 6.85
    *Lowe: 10 million

    Total: 83.717 million for 12 guys

    Signing 13 more at an average of 450k brings the total to approx. 90 million. There should still be some money available.

  47. Wren really responded to that gigantic collapse with big moves

    He did fire the hitting coach.

  48. Yeah, but why do I get the feeling we’re standing still and the rest of the Division is sprinting past?

  49. Because you’re paranoid or something. The only team in the division clearly better than Atlanta as currently aligned is Philly. The Marlins and Nationals are marginally better than they were in 2011, which was horrific. The Mets are getting worse.

  50. I expect improvement in Uggla, Prado, Heyward and the pitching staff. If no unexpected declines we should be competitive for Division and WC.

  51. Not from my perspective!

    Well, right. From sanity, it’s just awesome entertainment. But from the sad sack view of a Mets fan – if you can at least imagine such a creature being worthy of human empathy – it would look “worse.”

  52. So Mike Nolan hired as new defensive coordinator. Not the worst hire, I guess. I like it if he wears suits at the home game.

  53. To paraphrase: just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean the Marlins and Nationals haven’t made some great moves.

    Just looked at RotoSaurus’ projected lineups for the Marlins and Nats.

    Marlins? Yikes. Have you looked at that lineup? Unless Josh Johnson breaks down (again) or they all kill each other they are going to be a handful.

    Nationals? Meh. Everything will have to go right for them (but it could).

    Braves? Whistling past the trainers’ table. Got to add some payroll. Soon.

  54. Hmmmm …

    Even after a pretty solid start, the Hawks find themselves fifth in the East.

    I’ll regret typing this in public, but Josh Smith is really playing well and, gulp, with maturity.

  55. #93 – Bingo! Its the trades you don’t make……

    off season recap thus far, ‘major’ moves:
    1. traded Derrick Lowe to Indians for 5 mil of salary relief and some arm.
    2. signed Jack Wilson for 1 million.
    3. did not offer arb to Peter Moylan, Brooks Conrad or Alex Gonzalez.
    4. re upped Eric Hinske for 1.5 million(?)
    5. Did NOT trade Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, Julio Teheran and Aroydys Vizcaino for Adam Jones. j/k
    6. Did not trade Martin Prado for Seth Smith.

    did I miss anything?

    I guess the rumor of the Lisp for Maicer Izsturas was just BS.

  56. @90- The nice thing is that the Braves should have a decent amount of scratch going into next season…with again holes to fill in LF, CF, and maybe SS.

    Loathsome is a FA 2013 if Wren wanted to give us all aneurysms…

  57. Speaking of the Mets… this is from Phil Mushnick’s column last week:

    * The Mets’ claim the firm it just hired, one specializing in bankruptcies, has nothing to do with the chance of the Mets filing for bankruptcy, brings to mind the Wilpons’ claim that Bernie Madoff’s bust had no impact on the team’s financial health. That claim later was amended by Fred Wilpon, who said Madoff cost him “half a billion, cash.”

  58. “The nice thing is that the Braves should have a decent amount of scratch going into next season…with again holes to fill in LF, CF, and maybe SS.”

    Nice thought but the Braves could have a $12,000 payroll and it wouldn’t make any difference. There is no such thing as the Braves having “scratch” going into a season because, even if they do, Liberty isn’t going to spend it.

  59. Larry Drew is a pretty good NBA coach…at least he is much better than Mike Woodson I think…any thought?

  60. @112- They gambled and offered him arbitration and he accepted. Kind of dumb on their part to think he wouldn’t. The FA market had a lot of ‘closers’ on it this year.

  61. Yep, even though we get some cash off the books next year, like $30-40mil, there is about a 100% chance they dont spend it all.

  62. I just rewatched Moneyball. Liked it better the second time around, now that I’ve gotten over the sacrifice of verisimilitude for the sake of drama. They really did a nice job with the stand-ins — Bradford, Hudson, Koch, and Durham were all convincing likenesses. Justice less so, but that swing can’t be taught.

  63. They portray Justice as a bit of an ass, which honestly I’ve always assumed he is. Also, having someone like Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe seemed like a bit of a waste. Howe didn’t get much screen time and, really, why would he? I still really enjoyed it. It’ll be cool to see it so well represented at the Oscars.

    So is there any reason the Giants won’t lock up Lincecum long term? Why go to arbitration with him?

  64. I can’t get past the notion that we need somebody new to hit the ball hard and often.
    In left would be especially helpful.

  65. So is there any reason the Giants won’t lock up Lincecum long term?

    Maybe because he’s lost velocity and has a lot of mileage on him at a young age.

  66. This is just a guess, but perhaps Lincecum has chosen to level out his velocity after adding (really effective) off-speed pitches in order to increase his longevity.

    I’m the world’s biggest Lincecum fan, but I wouldn’t sign him for eight years. I’d take him up on the two-year deal he said he’d accept, though.

  67. Martin Prado is a great third baseman. If Chipper retires, or The National League goes to the DH system and Chipper goes to DH, then the Braves have a third baseman who can play the position. Prado is a good hitter and a must need for Bourn.

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