Other possibilities (hitters)

If something bad happens to McCann or Ross, the Braves will turn to J.C. Boscan as their next option. In other words, nothing better happen to McCann or Ross. Boscan has 15 years of minor league ball behind him, mostly in the Braves organization, and has absolutely proven he can’t hit. His career line is .224/.311/.307, so at least he’ll take a walk. Another catcher with an NRI is minor league lifer Jose Yepez, a career .270/.357/.387 hitter in the Blue Jays and Mariners organziations. The Braves keep getting players who can’t hit from those teams. It’s a sickness. There are always lots of catchers around in spring training and I’m sure they’ll take a long look at Christian Bethancourt, and maybe Braeden Schlehuber. I wouldn’t expect much. Evan Gattis, who quit baseball, came back to play in college, and was drafted by the Braves in 2010, is a great story and hit .322/.386/.601 with 22 homers last year in Rome, but he was old for the league (24, average hitter age 21.4) and very suspect defensively.

By my count there’s a spot left open for one more infielder on the bench. The only infielder left on the 40-man is Brandon Hicks; it says a lot that I think he might be the best choice as the starting shortstop. Not that I think Hicks is likely to be good, though in his second short major league stint last year he looked a lot less like someone who just picked up a bat for the first time a few days ago. It’s a comment more on the alternatives. Hicks actually hit an intriguing .252/.333/.446 for Gwinnett last year, highlighted by 18 homers, and if he could maintain those secondary skills and field well, he’d be a useful player. I don’t have much hope of that.

Hicks will compete with a couple of NRIs (unless the Braves sign someone else) for that last roster spot. Wanting to corner the market on bad infielders named “Wilson”, the Braves signed veteran Josh Wilson to a minor league contract. He’s like Jack without the couple of good years or the past as a great glove man. He’s hit .227/.279/.318, playing for seven teams in five years. He must be doing something right or teams wouldn’t keep employing him, but it’s pretty obvious what he’s doing wrong so they keep getting rid of him. Drew Sutton, another NRI, is a bit more intriguing. A career .280/.378/.437 hitter in the minors, he’s hit .258/.322/.403 in limited action for three teams in the majors over the last three years. He somewhat resembles Brooks Conrad (and has also spent a lot of time in the Astros organization) but is supposedly a better fielder who can sort-of play shortstop. Andrelton Simmons also got an invite, but he’s years away if he ever arrives.

There wouldn’t seem to be a spot left over for an outfielder, barring injury, which is bad news for Jose Constanza. Constanza’s hot start last year was a fluke, and he cooled off considerably, but he can be a useful bench player for the right team. There are a couple more NRIs. Luis Durango has even less power than Constanza, but a career .403 OBP in the minors. My opinion, as I’ve stated before, is that this type of guy can’t succeed in the modern major leagues because pitchers will simply blow them away with fastballs because there’s no reason to fear they’ll hit a homer. Also, despite Durango’s speed, his career minor league stolen base record is poor (67%). There is also Jordan Parraz, one of those guys who looks okay in a lot of areas but doesn’t seem to have any really plus skills to recommend him. The Braves could also look at Mycal Jones, who is the closest thing to a position prospect left in the upper minors but hasn’t done anything yet to look like more than a possible fourth outfielder. Joe Terdoslavich may be a corner outfielder of the future, and has a camp invite, but the chances of him making the team in spring are very low.

148 thoughts on “Other possibilities (hitters)”

  1. Take out Bethancourt/Terdo and that leaves the best hitter as being Drew Sutton. What an awful group here.

  2. How dare you speak ill of Luis “The Panamaniac” Durango! I know some Minnesota residents who are not very happy about this!

  3. I propose the last bench spot goes to whichever of these jabronies wants to learn to don the tools of ignorance well enough to allow David Ross to be used as a pinch hitter more often this year.

  4. Loved the writeup, Mac (esp: “hit an intriguing …”)

    Not crazy about the conclusions, however accurate they may be.

    Btw, my immediate in-law family is replete with UT grads and to a man and woman they believe that Peyton will be coaching the Vols in 2013.

  5. Talk about a depleted farm system. The Braves better hope for almost perfect health (except maybe in pitching) or they are screwed. Oh well, it’s not like a team needs depth or anything.

  6. Eventually you have to move some assets (pitching) to cover your liabilities (position players), right?

  7. Look at it this way. If the Braves want, they don’t have to pay big money for a pitcher the next 6-7 years, Uggla will be at 2nd the next 4, Freeman at 1st the next 5, and Heyward in RF the next 4. That leaves SS, LF, CF, C, and 3b. The likelihood of the Braves depleting excess cash and signing McCann to an extension after 2013 is high, so that leaves LF, CF, SS, and 3b.

    Assuming that we pay for 2 of those positions, that leaves 2 positions that one of our numerous positional prospects have to fill. I’d say the likelihood of 2 out of 15-20 good minor leaguers to turn into good major leaguers is fairly high.

    It’s not as bad as some are making it out to be.

  8. Rooting hard for Joey Terds! But mostly, just so I have more opportunity to say “Joey Terds.”

  9. @7

    You’ll have to excuse my fellow Tennessee fans. Getting carried away is kind of a fanbase-wide pastime. Far be it from them to stop and have it dawn on them what on awful idea it is.

  10. There isn’t a true backup CF on the team, so I wouldn’t rule out Constanza for the last spot. He gives Fredi wet dreams.

  11. Also, Hicks was supposed to be a good glove man, but all I’ve seen out of him at the major league level defensively is horrifying.

    Drew Sutton must be like Brooks Conrad with the glove too; hard to imagine why he hasn’t gotten a shot with his minor league numbers as a second baseman.

  12. Greetings from ICU. Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts. Dee is resting somewhat comfortably after one of the finest surgeons on Earth removed about a foot of her colon and some portion of her liver. She’s completed 4 chemos, with 8 to follow as soon as possible.

    Morphine is a wonderful drug, at one point she woke up and said, ‘Please don’t let Fredi call for another bunt.’

    Mac, we continue to pray for your recovery.

  13. I don’t really care who wins, but I will say that the Giants are getting way overrated this week. The matchups may be slightly in their favor, but not by that much. People are doing so much building up of the Giants because they’re the team they picked to win that toward the end of this week, some people have even started to wade into “Eli Manning is better than Tom Brady” territory, which is absolute insanity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots just destroyed them.

  14. Mark,

    Best wishes to you and your wife. At least she doesn’t have Fredi Gonzalez as the surgeon.

    I think the Giants will win, but I agree the Eli hysteria has become a little ridiculous. He is not as good as his brother but plays on a team that has, for the most part, had a much better defense than the Colts had. This is the team, after all, that lost twice to the Redskins. The 49ers probably would have beaten them if they had had a better quarterback. I just think the Giants have a history of things going right for them in these games (Scott Norwood, David Tyree)and their wide receivers are capable of making big plays against a mediocre Pats secondary. I think the Patriots have a little doubt in their minds that they can beat the Giants. If Gronkowski is not 100%–and, clearly he won’t be–the Patriots will be in big trouble. I predict Eli will throw at least one pass that bounces off three defenders and is caught by a Giant and people will rave about his ability to make big plays.

  15. @37 I have greatly enjoyed listening to local radio folks trying to dismiss the importance of “Gronk” playing today at full strength. On paper, I think the Giants are better in every area except for QB and coaching. They have better skill players on both sides of the ball and Eli has been playing quite well.

  16. Given how varied the duties of different NFL positions are, this might be a silly thing to say — but IMHO Gronkowski is the most dominant player in football. If he’s not right, the Pats are severely impeded. And Julian Edelman will have to cover somebody a lot better than he is. Great as Brady is, he does not have mystical powers.

    Giants 27, Pats 20.

  17. Moral men would root for the Pats. No one should ever root for a 9-7 team with a hot defense and the league’s most overrated QB.

  18. @40

    I absolutely agree. No 9-7 team should have the chance to win the Super Bowl. Much as no 83-79 team should ever be able to win the World Series.

    Also, Eli has been overrated his entire career. His first four or five seasons in the NFL were actually sub-par, though nobody seemed to notice. This year, to be sure, he finally had a great season. He’ll need ten more to look like his brother. Discussions over which QB has more SB wins may actually be more asinine than those that involve pitchers’ wins.

  19. Then let’s just hand the WS to the Yankees every year, as no other team should have the audacity to think they should even be allowed the privilege of playing against them.

  20. I kind of like taking the pats in the ‘nobody believes in us spot’ here. that seem s like a dangerous combination with a 13-3 team.

  21. I would never bet again Brady with a grudge to avenge, and make no mistake, this is about avenging all of those “18-1” shirts New Yorkers love so much.

  22. Maybe a 15-1 team shouldn’t gag it up at home to a 9-7 team.

    BTW, this year Eli passed for the 6th highest yardage total in NFL history.

  23. @40 and 41,

    Exactly why I’m rooting for the Patriots. Everyone talks about how hot the Giants have been, but they lost to the Redskins for the second time in week 14 and, if the Cowboys had been a competent team, they would have lost the week before. Obviously, they were better than they were playing–and, in fairness, they had a lot of injuries–but it offends me that a team wins a weak division, gets hot in a couple of games and ends up in the Super Bowl. I rooted for the Patriots the last time because I like greatness and the idea of a 19-0 team intrigued me. But sports today are designed to reward mediocrity.

    As for the Yankees, frankly, I would rather see a great Yankee team in the WS than some mediocre team that gets hot at the right time.

  24. @48 I completely disagree. Everyone plays by the same rules and if you get in and get hot, you deserve it just as much as anyone else.

    By that logic Alabama didn’t deserve to win the NC because LSU chose to choke in the wrong game. LSU had a harder schedule and beat Alabama in their own house, but it didn’t matter when it came down to it, did it?

    @46 My point is that just because a team does better in the regular season doesn’t mean they deserve the championship more or that it’s somehow more morally upright to root for them.

  25. Giants have already beaten New England twice this season. I dont know how Brady will handle losing 3 straight to them. I hope the Giants win by 20.

  26. Passing for a high yardage total in 2011 isn’t terribly impressive. Maybe if he hadn’t passed for the 6th highest total in a year where multiple QBs broke the 20+ year record for passing yards in a season I’d be more interested.

  27. I just get tired of watching Brady complaining to the officials when someone gets within 5 feet of him.

  28. The only infielder left on the 40-man is Brandon Hicks; it says a lot that I think he might be the best choice as the starting shortstop.

    I agree with this a lot, honestly. All of the previous and subsequent stuff too, but the notion that Brandon Hicks is the team’s best option at SS is really underplayed. He’s the best defender of the 3, has more patience and power than Pastornicky and Wilson, and there’s no evidence that any of these 3 can hit for average unless you believe Pastornicky’s batting average from last year is sustainable (it’s not).

  29. #51
    Eli had a great regular season by any measure, and he’s had a great post-season. Calling him overrated this year is plain stupid.

  30. Extremely overrated. He’s basically the Jack Morris of QB’s. But hey, idiots will be idiots and believe what they will.

  31. You may quake in whatever face you like. You’re failure to grasp basic reasoning is not my problem, per se (outside of the “I have to live in a world where you people think you have a natural right to vote and shit” sort of way.)

  32. I think I’m handing in all kind of man- , dad- , whatever-cards when I say this, but:

    That halftime show was damn good.

  33. Sam, why must you always be reeled back in? I’m no great Eli fan, but that game puts him in the Hall of Fame. One more Super Bowl win ties him with Brady. I go to bed happy also, and I’m older than you.

  34. Mark, I’ll let you know when you are in position to reel me back in. Tonight’s win will probably get the idiots to vote him into the HOF, because football’s HOF is even worse than baseball’s idiotic process. Regardless, he’s a mediocre QB who had a good year as a 30 year old and got lucky that his defense and running backs got hot at the end of the season. People who think otherwise are the same sorts of fools as Yankees fans who chant “Count the RINGZZZ!”

  35. Not sure how you can call a two time Super Bowl MVP overrated. Probably had one of the five best Super Bowls a quarterback has ever had. That throw he made to Manningham was amazing.

    Just facts.

    Glad to see the Lombardi Trophy back in the family.

  36. I watched the game. Manning was what he always is. A game manager bailed out by a few spectacular plays by his receivers and carried on the back of his defense. The idea that he was the MVP is ludicrous on its face.

  37. Sam, as I have stated a few times, your analysis on many topics borders on brilliance. I enjoy 90% of your posts more than any other. HOWEVER, there are times when I do not doubt why the term shooting the messenger came about. There is no reason to hang the beloved Bethany with the ‘child’ label. Make your point, two or three times, if need be, and allow everyone who has a different POV to live in peace.

  38. Bethany made the choice to taunt like a child. If she wishes to flame me, I will tear her down as I would anyone else. Her choice.

  39. 70- You really thought it was good? I thought she was moving too slow to make it a good show because she’s too old to do what she used to.

    I want Ted Nugent to do the halftime show.

  40. A top six QB this year, perhaps. Which makes 2011 his Brady Anderson, 1996 season, as a 30 year old. The Giants won the game because of Jason Paul-Pierre and the defense.

  41. Madonna’s halftime show was lackluster and choreographed in wet cement. She danced like a 50-something year old.

  42. I do agree that Eli is overrated. However, I disagree that Eli didn’t deserve the MVP: 30/40 291 yds, 0 int, 1 TD. With no other player having standout stats, it’s going to go to the QB that didn’t lose the game.

    Also, the “catch” wasn’t that great.

  43. If it was a catch, it was great. Granted, he didn’t have control of the ball before his feet were out of bounds, but then again, that’s the first time in football history that a pass downfield has been ruled a safety too, so you get what you get.

  44. Really. You come at me, you better come ready to play. And really, don’t run off with that “what, little old me, I’m just a sweet little thing” bullshit either. You came out swinging. At least have the spine to own your actions.

  45. You didn’t see the throws he made on the final drive? He was throwing footballs at 60 mph in holes the size of a picture frame.

  46. I’ve never pretended to be sweet, and being called a child by you borders on a term of endearment, so I consider myself fortunate. If you think my reaction is “coming out swinging” then perhaps you’re more sensitive than I thought.

  47. He caught the ball over his shoulder. Big deal. If it’s in any other NFL week, it’s not highlight reel material.

  48. A gift call to get to the 50, then his RBs take them into field goal range (with a few passes set up by the play action.) If that’s impressive QB play, you must watch 10 year-olds play more often than not.

  49. @92
    Agreed. I don’t have a dog in this fight because I don’t like either team, but both were the right calls.

  50. Ball wasn’t in control until it hit his chest (not on the fingertips.) At which point his ankle was scraping white. No way it gets overturned after the initial bad call, but it wasn’t a catch.

  51. Dear Sam. Sometimes you remind me of Dennis Hopper in Speed. Or perhaps Dennis Hopper on speed. Whatever.

    Sam, turning back to baseball and the Braves. I don’t recall seeing any comment from you on Brandon Hicks’ chances to redeem himself.

  52. You can’t spell elite without ELI.

    Eli is definitely one of the top 4 QBs in the league (not counting Big Brother Peyton because of his injury) Brees,Rodgers, Brady, Eli

    Peyton if healthy is in the group, Romo, Stafford, Rivers, and Big Ben are a step behind. Ryan, Newton, and Schaub could move forward, but there’s no way they’re in Eli’s class.

  53. Okay, so short version, I think that if you’re hoping for a Brandon Hicks revival, you’ve already lost. I figure the odds of Hicks out-performing Pastornicky as an all-around starting SS in the bigs is roughly 50/50, which is to say, a coin flip. He’s a good guy to have hanging around on the roster in case both Pastornicky and Wilson fail in awe-inspiring ways, but I don’t think there’s much reason to split hairs about him starting over Pastornicky out of the gate. If the scouts and player-personnel folk think Pastornicky is the best bet of the available options, I’ll trust them for a month or so.

  54. Bethany has every right to rub it in Sam’s face, which is why he is upset. Maybe he lost money. Sam needs to take it like a man.

  55. Shit like @101 is why I detest the theoretical assumptions of democracy. A man who would think Eli Manning is in the same class as Brees, Rodgers or Brady (and Philip Rivers) shouldn’t be entrusted with a vote on serious matters.

  56. Then let’s just hand the WS to the Yankees every year, as no other team should have the audacity to think they should even be allowed the privilege of playing against them.

    How is this a retort to any argument about the playoffs devaluing the regular season? And for that matter, why in the world would anyone take away Alabama’s championship? College football, for all of the grief it gets from the national media, actually crowned the best team this year with the best season–unlike every other sport. Alabama’s championship is the counterpoint to the Giants: the Giants winning it all is equivalent to South Carolina, Michigan State, or TCU winning it all.

    The larger point is that the regular season in the NFL is basically pointless. There’s no real reason to watch until January.

  57. My goodness, who says I was trying to rub it in anyone’s face? I’m happy the Giants won and I think Eli is a very good QB and I haven’t seen much in the way of actual facts to disprove that motion.

    Sam, if I was rude or overly aggressive towards you I apologize. I have no desire to continue along this thread.

  58. Eli 5540 yards passing
    Rivers 4624 yards passing

    Eli 35 tds passing
    Rivers 27 tds passing

    Eli 17 interceptions
    Rivers 20 interceptions

    Eli Super Bowl Champion (2nd time)
    Rivers Missed Playoffs

    Sam, You’re even more ignorant about football than you are about baseball, and frankly I didn’t think that was possible.

  59. Philip Rivers!

    I think it may be time to step away from the computer for a little while, Sam.

    Jay Cutler is the best QB in the league.

  60. Let’s do a variation of the Bear Bryant test. Put Eli on the Pats, and Brady on the Giants, which team wins? Tonight, I believe Eli wins with either team. (Sam spontaneously combusts.)

  61. I sometimes lose money on sports, but not tonight. {Gloating} Took the adjusted line Giants -3.5 (+180), under 55.5, AND Giants -260 to receive the opening kickoff. And I have beer.

    @106 — Well, if that’s allowable, just what isn’t?

  62. Randy, not everyone is an ignorant slut who ignores the rest of a player’s career entirely. Moron.

  63. @ 72 ‘Mark, I’ll let you know when you are in position to reel me back in’

    Sam, I think you just let me know. Not sure what time time zone your in, but be sure sure to check for monsters under your bed. Sweet dreams.

  64. What? I can’t reference Dan Aykroyd without getting it from the purity police? Good lord.

  65. Also, Randy, I’ve forgotten more useful things about baseball than you’ll ever know. So *there.*

  66. Yeah, it’s the Dan Aykroyd that crossed the line. Right.

    I really shouldn’t have to be babysitting a grown man at 10:12 on a Sunday night. Is it really that difficult to be less of a vulgar, insulting jerk?

  67. Well then, please Stu. Enlighten me as to where ye old puritanical line was crossed. Enquiring minds want to know.

  68. Sam, after 106, you should have been gone. I’ll miss you when you ultimately push it too far. No has tried to provoke you, you apparently just can’t help it. @102, I’ll miss you, @106 I will not.

    Sleep well, Mac. Dee is resting comfortably.

  69. “Moron” is bad. 106 is downright shameful.

    Seriously, these are not difficult rules, and they’re not new, either. Cool it with the language, especially insofar as it’s directed at specific persons here.

  70. Good lord. I didn’t even break out that innuendo. I just ran with it. As for “moron” I’m a bit aghast at thin so skin that that one would leave a mark.

  71. Sam, you’re out of line.

    “Ye olde puritanical line” was crossed somewhere between the point where you called Bethany a child and the point where you quoted Dan Aykroyd’s “Jane, you ignorant slut” punchline out of context in response to commenters on this board.

    Actually, it was crossed right here:

    Really. You come at me, you better come ready to play. And really, don’t run off with that “what, little old me, I’m just a sweet little thing” bullshit either. You came out swinging. At least have the spine to own your actions.

    The game is over, the conversation is over, and this thread should be over. And really, don’t run off with that, “what, old me, I’m just a rationalist” line either. You came out swinging. At least have the spine to own your actions, read your own comments, and try to figure out why pretty much every other commenter on this board in the last two hours has told you that you’re out of line.

  72. I haven’t disowned anything I’ve said, nor do I plan on doing so. I find the thin skin around here to be a little weak. I thought for a minute some might have misread my Aykroyd ref to Randy as a slight to Bethany, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, and I see nothing to try to explain or apologize for otherwise.

  73. I fail to see how anyone would think that it would be more “moral” to root for the Patriots in this game. Until they defeated the Ravens in the AFC title game, the Patriots did not have a single victory against a winning football team this entire season. And this is the 2nd time this season that they lost to the Giants. Every team in the NFL has so much talent that it is basically a coin flip in most matchups between good teams. This is nothing like TCU winning the national title. I guess you could argue that the Giants weren’t the most deserving team this season, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that they were less deserving than the Patriots.

  74. Sam, I could care less what you call me. Your crassness towards Bethany was a cruel vulgarity that most middleschoolers would find repugnant.

  75. Seriously? Is Bethany not capable of carrying on a conversation on the internet? Does she really require kid gloves? I don’t think so. We had a little spat over her poor analysis of football. It happens. It would be rude and crass to assume that just because she’s a woman she needs special treatment.

  76. Sam, everywhere you post you claim the “skin to be weak”. That’s your copout to say whatever the hell you like then claim that the board is a bunch of wusses when someone calls you out on your BS. How can you go through this constant cycle and never come to terms with your behavior? You call others children on here, but fail to grasp the concept that the largest act of childishness is throwing a temper tantrum when things don’t go your way.

  77. Ryan, I’m not really sure what lesson I’m supposed to be taking from you lot. Seriously, I have no terms to come to with “my behavior.” It’s just not that big of a deal.

    (When you say “everywhere you post” is that a reference to other forums? If so, I assume you mean BTF?)

  78. No one is suggesting that Bethany get special treatment. Saying what you said would’ve been against the long-standing rules of this forum, no matter to whom the comment was directed.

  79. The entirety of “About,” above:

    This site has no affiliation with the Atlanta Braves, the National League, Major League Baseball, or the state of Georgia. Blog posts are my work, except when they are not. Republication with attribution is acceptable. Republication without attribution is not and my relatives are all lawyers.

    This is a weblog of opinion. I make no particular effort to be neutral, unless I feel like it. I do generally attempt to be fair to individual Braves players, unless I don’t like them.

    All statements of fact on this site are true, unless I am lying. Or joking. Or mistaken.

    The commenting policy is simple. Be nice to me, and be nice to your fellow posters. Don’t use extreme profanity. Don’t make comments slandering entire groups of people. Use common sense. Basically, treat this forum like a civilized conversation. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother to hear you say, or that would likely provoke a fight in person. Don’t discuss politics or religion, two things that get people riled up and which nobody’s going to come to an agreement on.

    There is one judge, me. Everyone gets one warning. On the second offense, you’re banned. You can appeal to me via email but insulting the judge is a very bad way to get him to agree with you.

    Emphasis mine.

    I’m going to bed, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by what I don’t find in the morning.

  80. We have different ideas as to what constitutes not “being nice” or “extreme profanity.” I haven’t edged up on that rule tonight.

  81. Sam, so long. In some ways I will miss you, in others, not. All of us are flawed.You just chose to expose your flaws in a forum that is populated by educated, chivalrous folk who do not tolerate buffoons.

  82. If that’s how it plays out, I’m on Facebook and G+, Mark. Feel free to drop me a line if you like. I’m even more entertaining there.

  83. I notice he lack of Mac. Thank you Stu and Alex. I kneel in prayer before bed.

    I vote ‘no’ on trading JJ. We have sailed our ship on pitching and upon that course we shall go.

  84. Football season is over (thank goodness). I’m looking forward to pitchers and catchers reporting, blue skies and sunshine.

  85. Sam, the type of conversation you are carrying out is completely unnecessary. If you are going to talk to your kids like this, go ahead and talk to your kids using whatever language you would like to use. The entire eight years I have been on this blog, the mutual respect among participants is what make this site great.

  86. So, I wake up and this is going on. Sigh. Sam, you’ve gone over the line. Please apologize, and try to hold a civil tongue. It is possible to hold strong opinions and still be a gentleman.

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