Jair Jurrjens

After an offseason dominated by trade rumors (the first suggestion on Google for him is “Jair Jurrjens trade”) it looks like Jurrjens will stay with the Braves after they didn’t get the offers they were expecting. It is hard to say how much of this is a value disconnect and how much is due to Jurrjens’ injuries; I suspect the latter is more important but I wouldn’t be surprised if many teams think he’s not as good as his ERAs.

His ERAs are very good; a career 3.40 works out to a 120 ERA+, and last year’s 2.90 would have been good for ninth in the league had he qualified. For most of the first half of the season, he ranked as one of the best pitchers in the league, if not the best, with a 1.87 ERA through July 7, and while he made the All-Star team he probably should have started. After the break, he did not pitch well and then went on the DL with pain in his right knee, which had already preempted the start of his season. He tried to come back but didn’t pitch well, or at all after mid-August. After being a workhorse his first two years as a Brave, Jair has made only 43 starts in the last two seasons combined. The only good news is that a knee injury seems like something that should be fixable.

The real elephant in the room is Jurrjens’ strikeout rate. Even when he was pitching well last year it was only about six per nine, and for the season it was a ghastly 5.3. Jurrjens has survived by limiting home runs and by making improvements in his walk rate, but 5.3 is getting really low. I don’t know of a righthanded pitcher in the last thirty years who’s been able to pitch at an all-star level with a strikeout rate like that; few have been able to even survive. And basically, that’s why it was a good idea to shop Jurrjens.

Jair Jurrjens Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

130 thoughts on “Jair Jurrjens”

  1. There have been 80 individual RHP seasons since 1981 in which k/9 is over 4.8 but less than 5.8, and ERA+ is over 120. Only two have done it three times — Rick Rhoden and Greg Maddux. One has done it five times, which would seem to meet the criteria of consistent success at a similar established K rate.

    The answer is….
    Tim Hudson.

  2. You almost have to look at JJ as a crafty lefty. Viewed in that light, he’s awfully valuable and the Braves better hope he’s healthy – at least until Hudson gets back.

    Heard Gammons say that Hanson has tightened up his arm action and is hiding the ball a lot better. If that’s true, it’s really good news. Can’t wait to see it.

  3. @1, please avoid using the words Hanson, tightened and arm in the same sentence. thanks.

  4. Mac, you mentioned that you don’t know of a right handed pitcher to pitch at an All Star level with such a low strikeout rate. Glavine and a few other lefties come to mind that have pitched well with lower k rates. Why can lefties get by with lower k rates but not righties?

  5. Jurrjens isn’t Maddux but all the hate he gets from statheads has turned him somewhat into an undervalued player. A 120 ERA+ over 700 innings. The injuries the last two years are a downer but I’ll take those numbers from a guy entering his age 26 season.

  6. @3
    My common sense answer would be that 75% of pitchers are RHP so every style pitch imaginable has been seen 3 times more in a player’s career from that side.

    Translation: You better have a strikeout pitch because there’s 3 times more of a chance that the batter has already seen your arsenal somewhere else.

  7. @5

    Right on. It has to do with the way the ball spins and the direction it goes coming out of their hand.

  8. I hear that Lincecum has gone on a hyper-healthy diet and has lost 20 pounds.

    So, that means he ways about 150?

  9. Mac, you mentioned that you don’t know of a right handed pitcher to pitch at an All Star level with such a low strikeout rate. Glavine and a few other lefties come to mind that have pitched well with lower k rates. Why can lefties get by with lower k rates but not righties?

    Dennis Martinez comes to mind. Only had two years where his K/9 was over 6 (and one of those was as a 43 year old spot starter under Leo Mazzone.

    Andy Ashby is another useful comp.

    Or maybe John Burkett.

    Hell this guy skirted around Jurrjens’ K/9 numbers regularly and is a half-tick from being voted into the HOF.

    Jair Jurrjens is a valuable player.

  10. I like Jurrjens but I am bummed that he didn’t command a big time prospect package or every day SS or outfielder. I guess everyone else reads the stats blogs too. With Hudson likely not pitching at the start of the season hopefully it turns out to be one of those good trades you don’t make.

    To all the Atlantans out there. How do y’all like living there? Eventually I want to get out of the cold midwest, I’m in IT looking to get back South. Just curious.

  11. I love Atlanta. I detest the suburbs. I’m no fan of the, um…, er…, *culture* of the state at times, but it’s a price I pay to live in a climate where the sun doesn’t disappear at 3:30 in the afternoon for half the year.

  12. I’ve lived in Atlanta (Suwanee/Duluth/Norcross), Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Ohio, and currently go to school in Utah. Atlanta, by far, is my favorite place to live in. I can’t wait to move back. My list:

    Cleveland (Beachwood, specifically: a great city)
    (3000 miles of absolute s***)
    (5 more miles)
    Las Vegas

  13. Great thing about Atlanta is if you’re like Sam and into the urban living there is plenty of that. I have lots of friend that live in cool trendy lofts downtown and we can walk to all kinds of cool places. On the other hand, if you’re like me and prefer suburban life (swimming pool, grilling out, clean air, and wildlife) you can find that outside Atlanta and still not have too bad a drive in to enjoy what the city offers (the Fox Theater and Braves baseball are two of my favorites).

  14. Atlanta is a (relatively) inexpensive city with lots of bigger city features – transportation hub, pro sports teams, okay job market, great diverse dining/entertainment options and small town features (less than crippling real estate taxes, decent infrastructure). Traffic is horrid, there are both hillbillies and urban crime issues, but it’s a pretty great package, all things considered. In the US, I think I’d only prefer to live in NOLA or perhaps Key West.

  15. I’ve been away from Atlanta for ten years now. I think about Your Dekalb Farmers Market nearly every day.

  16. Johnny,
    If you’re considering Atlanta, whatever you do & wherever you live, as mentioned, you’ll have to take the traffic into consideration.

    If you live in the ‘burbs & you wanna do stuff in town (like work, perhaps), Atlanta’s commuter traffic is truly among the very worst in the nation. And no matter where you live, Atlanta is a town where it’s a really big help to understand secondary routes & traffic patterns. There are plenty of times when you really don’t wanna be on one of the various interstates.

    I’ve never lived there proper, but I’ve spent plenty of time there & I visit often, and my feelings somewhat track Sam’s above. That said, I generally remain a fan of the town.

    And BTW, the Atlanta-area housing market has tanked to the lowest lows in the country, so prices are crazy cheap right now.

  17. @18, Buford Hwy Farmers Market is now even better than YDFM. Really amazing options for food in this town – an honest to god European style butcher shop opened up in Kirkwood.

  18. @21 I heartily agree, as I polish off the last of a bag of gyoza from BHFM…

    Concerning Mac’s contention that it’s difficult for a pitcher like JJ to succeed…there have been 80 individual RHP seasons since 1981 in which k/9 is over 4.8 but less than 5.8, and ERA+ is over 120. Only two have done it three times — Rick Rhoden and Greg Maddux. One has done it five times, which would seem to meet the criteria of consistent success at a similar established K rate.

    The answer is….
    Tim Hudson.

  19. Johnny/Rob – Atlanta is not a bad place, but I don’t think I could handle the traffic on an extended basis. Chattanooga is a great city and has been developed really well over the last several years. If you’re in the IT field, Huntsville, AL isn’t a bad place. Don’t laugh guys, it has appeared in Forbes and other magazines quite a bit over the last few years as one of the best places to live in America. It has a huge population of IT, Engineers and Defense contractors. It has fared extremely well during the recent recession.

  20. From 2002-2007 Greg Maddux only had a 5.3 K/9 rate and he went 90-68 with a 3.88 ERA. He also had a relatively high HR/9 rate which was 1.0.

    Of course, he never walked anyone.

  21. The biggest concern with Jurrjens (and this is related to his strikeout rate) is that his average fastball has gone from about 92 to 89 over the last 3 years according to Fangraphs.

    I don’t know if that is solely because of his knee, if it’s because he’s a little older, or if there is an underlying arm injury.

  22. Well, okay, I was wrong… Hudson is an extreme ground-ball pitcher — the only other pitcher around who is at the same level is actually Derek Lowe — so his ability to limit home runs is expected. Jurrjens is a fly-ball pitcher.

    I wouldn’t say that Maddux was pitching at an All-Star level most of those years. In fact, he made his last All-Star team in 2000, when his K/9 was 6.9.

  23. Sorry for the double-post — I used the wrong email address the first time and it wouldn’t go through….

    The point being, it IS rare, and I agree with the flyball tendency being a problem.

  24. There are plenty of good RHP with limited K rates. I mean, you don’t break the bank for Andy Ashby, but you don’t throw a young, cost controlled Andy Ashby off the bridge just to see the splash, either.

  25. @31

    Hence why this offseason played out the way it did regarding Jurrjens. Other teams didn’t want to break the bank, and we didn’t want to toss him off the bridge just to see the splash. Thus, he’s still a Brave.

  26. @24 I assume the butcher shop you’re referring to is http://thespottedtrotter.com/ ? It’s a great little place – a tiny slice of meat heaven, complete with historical butchering implements on the walls and display cases full of mouth-watering goodness. My wife and I ordered some lamb from them for a Christmas roast, and holy crap, it was the best lamb I’ve ever eaten (and one of the best pieces of meat I’ve ever had, period). Highly recommended to all in the Atlanta area.

    With regard to Jurrjens – I’m with everyone else who wanted him to be traded for an awesome prospect haul, but clearly that didn’t come to pass. When it comes down to it, Jurrjens is an above-average pitcher who limits walks and appears to have a repeatable skill at inducing poor contact, leading to a lower-than-normal BABIP. That said, he’s probably good for a mid-3’s ERA, and is a solid #3 starter. If JJ can start this season well and put the injury concerns behind him, he should still be worth a decent amount in trade – he’ll make $5.5M this year and probably $8M in his last arb year in 2013. If he were a free agent, he’d probably get something like $20M for 2012-13, so there’s some definite value for an acquiring team.

  27. @31 – Melky, on the other hand, would produce quite a splash and it would totally be worth it.

  28. @29 – If I remember correctly, Maddux was in line to make the all-star team, but he lobbied to the media to vote for team mate John Burkett, who did end up making the team. Though that was pretty cool.

  29. I’m a Jurrjens fan. He doesn’t need to be an ace. Right now, he’s a #2/#3 starter, and that has a great deal of value. He doesn’t have much margin for error because he’s a flyball pitcher who doesn’t miss bats and doesn’t have pinpoint control, and he’s also lost a couple miles an hour off his fastball. I don’t think I’d want to sign him to a long-term post-arbitration contract. But I sure like him for the next couple of years.

    As for Atlanta butcher shops, I’ll always love the Oak Grove Market on Lavista, which used to be in a location across the street and used to be called Northeast Meats. They do some fabulous work.

  30. Rob @18,

    It is a great place for younger people. There is a lot to do and everything is close.

    It is a beautiful town and you are only an hour and a half from Atlanta and Nashville.

  31. BTW, Bill James published a study today that shows Jurrjens as the third-most consistent pitcher in baseball (start to start) over the last five years.

  32. Chattanooga is the best kept secret in the South. If I were just getting out of college, that’s where I’d go.

    Atlanta has lost some of its’ “next big thing” mojo that it had in the 70s and 80s (a fascinating topic for some future time) but it’s a happy place overall that – 25 years after moving here – I’d still strongly recommend.

  33. How much have the house prices dropped in Atlanta? Enough to be affordable or does it depend on location?

  34. As of this month, home prices here are at 1998 levels. It’s a buyer’s market all over the city. Homes in good school districts have held their value somewhat better, but are still down significantly and likely to stay that way for a while.

  35. Jair Jurrjens kind of sucks. Bleh strikeout rate and hurt all the time. Would have rather seen the Braves trade him and replace him with someone they can depend on.

    Keeping him around is much better than giving the rotation spot to Teheran out of the gate, however.

  36. Nashville is the buckle of the bible belt. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting at least three churches. Still a fun place and I wish the Thrashers/Philips Arena would have taken some notes from how Nashville does the Predators.

  37. No offense AAR, but Washington, DC wouldn’t make my top 10,000 list of cities I would like to live in. The high cost of living, traffic, subway and the general government culture are not for me. I like to visit there, but definitely have no desire to live there!

  38. The Braves caravan is going to be across the street from my office at lunch time today. Heyward and Freeman will be some of the particiapants. Guess I know what I am doing at lunch.

  39. I can’t imagine why anyone would have a problem with DC’s subway. The metro is pretty good.

  40. I dig D.C., too, especially the DuPont Circle area.

    Like Atlanta, if you live inside the District, you don’t have to sweat the traffic so much.

    But like other great towns (SF, NYC), it ain’t cheap.

    And good luck, Mac!

  41. I don’tknow how JJ does it. The stats say he shouldn’t be doing it. But, when healthy, he gets guys out and wins games. So I think he should keep on doing it.

  42. I’ve never, ever been tempted to live in Atlanta. The traffic is insane and the public transit downtown just isn’t up to par in my opinion. It’s got all of the disadvantages of a city with few of the conveniences.

  43. Admittedly Bethany, Atlanta should go all night of long knives on the Gwinnetians and the North Fultonians who want to be Miltonians again, and take all that money being dumped into sprawl and wasted green-field development and rebuild the city infrastructure, including a first class people mover option.

    This is what happens when you let the rubes run the city, instead of the city running the rubes.

  44. Thanks for all the input. I’ve always heard love/hate stories about living in Atlanta. I lived in the DFW area for a couple of years and really liked it but the traffic there was horrifying.

    A couple of years ago, on our way to FLA for vacation we stopped in for a couple of nights in Chattanooga. We did the touristy Lookout Mt. stuff and went downtown. I dunno. No offense but the town didn’t strike me as all that special, but I guess 2 days isn’t enough to truly give anyone a feel for a place.

    I am originally from Charleston SC, which is a very cool place but as an IT guy I have to go where the work is. ATL, Charlotte, the Triangle, all seem like where the jobs are traditonally. I don’t know if Nashville has a lot of tech or not but it seems like it would be a cool place to live. I love DC too. If we had the dough the urban life style would be cool to try.

  45. If you want to live in the Atlanta suburbs, west is absolutely the direction to go for better traffic and scenery. The Chattahoochee Hills area is only 10-15 miles outside of town and quite beautiful, and traffic on I20 is non-existent compared to 75 and 85.

  46. Thanks for the information. Next. who will win the Derby and what stocks to buy. Bethany. I had uncles with houses in Medfield and Dover and a friend who boughts a duplex in Cambridge in the 70s with his college roommate who could not afford the entire down payment. He said it was the best investment he ever made as co-owner made sure the property was taken care of.

  47. Yeah. I tell friends to take the hottest Ohio summer they’ve experienced multiply it by hell and you have a typical Charleston summer day.

    Mac, good luck man.

  48. @68 Very cool! Cambirdge has exploded, I know that just a short while ago it wasn’t enarly as built up as it is now.

    My place is out in Framingham, which is 3 miles from the biggest shopping center I’ve ever seen (including the Mall of Georgia) and it’s just a half an hour train ride into Boston. I also get to park my Challenger in a garage to keep it nice and safe.

  49. Depends on the quarter.

    Remember that scene in “Moonstruck” where Cher smacks a dreamy-eyed Nicholas Cage and says: “Snap out of it!” ?

    Well, I need to hire somebody to follow me around and Cher-slap me whenever I start to believe in the “Hawks are for real this year” stuff.

    Charles Barkley was right about them. Hate it. But it’s true.

  50. I’ve lived in Atlanta my entire life, and finished most of my post-secondary education at Emory.

    1) I think I saw in the last thread that Marc Schneider is planning on coming to Emory to tour with his daughter. Emory’s a strong school and extremely ambitious – one of the best things about an Emory degree is that it will likely be worth more in 20-30 years since the place continues to aggressively build its reputation. Coming in as an undergrad now, I would be very mindful of financial aid options at the various schools, Emory included. Tuition is quite high, even compared to when I was an undergrad a decade or so ago.

    One other thing to be prepared for – for various historical reasons, a ton of Northeasterners go to Emory. Emory is IN the South but is not a Southern school in the same vein as, say, UGA.

    2) I really like living in Atlanta. I will grant that if you’re looking for the traditional big city with all of the attendant infrastructure, Atlanta will not be your first choice. Atlanta is also not a small place, nor is it purely Southern. Honestly, it’s pretty unique.

    For me, the key to living in Atlanta is living near where you work or go to school. I understand that a lot of folks want a certain type of living arrangement (huge lot, big house, low price) and are willing to live well away from their workplace in order to get that. But now, particularly since the market dropped, there is a lot of very affordable nice housing in many places around the city. The traffic is just not worth any potential benefits of living far away from your work, especially now that the market has changed.

    On top of that, I’ll put in a vote for inside the Perimeter life. In a more central location you can reach so many areas of the city faster. On top of that, I can get to many of the major city events a lot easier. I’m not in a high crime area, the schools are pretty good, the neighborhoods in general have a lot of character, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    Sorry for so much text. Hope some of this was helpful.

  51. Interesting passage in Bill James’ Grantland piece extolling the HOF case for Dwight Evans:

    “Baseball Reference estimates that Parker in 1986 was 17 runs worse in the outfield than an average right fielder, whereas Evans was eight runs better. That’s 25 runs.

    I don’t know how they calculate that, and, because defense is so hard to measure, I prefer to use more conservative measurements. The difference between an average team and a championship team, in a season, is only about 150 runs. Saying that the fielding difference between two right fielders is 25 runs is a little like saying that a 150-pound woman gave birth to a 25-pound baby.”

    Lousy metaphor, but he voices my main issue with the currently accepted defensive numbers, especially as they relate to outfield defense — the numbers and their variances are just too large. A run credited or debited to an outfielder isn’t the result of a single play made or not made — it would have to be the result of more than two, perhaps as many as three, plays made or not made. A difference between outfielders of 25 fielding runs would have to mean a difference of 60-70 plays made or not made over the course of a season. And while that’s certainly possible at the margins — that is to say, it can be imagined — these differences show up all the time. Given the nature of the typical outfield play (many, if not most, are routine for a major league caliber player, particularly at the corners), I doubt the opportunity exists for as large a variance as we often see. Cutting all LF/RF dWAR numbers in half probably gets closer to the truth of the matter, I’m guessing.

  52. @74 I agree, very lousy metaphor. Nevertheless, I don’t buy into ANY defensive numbers. Each of them has certain value, but none of them captures the whole picture.

  53. @74 Very good points. I will say this though. The right field defense of Nelson Cruz was worth exactly -1 world series victories last October.

  54. This discussion of defensive numbers adds more to the mystery of a player’s value for me.

    IMHO, the value of an out is a subjective thing. Ballplayers that can make plays beyond their contemporaries become legends-Brooks Robinson and Paul Blair from a generation back-and for ten years I knew a ball hit to Andruw was an out.

    But how much above the margin-as with Dwight Evans-does it have to go to be recognized as a valuable asset?

  55. 73—On the cost-of-elite-schools issue…

    Dunno how many folks are aware, but a couple of years ago, Vanderbilt went to the Harvard model of covering everything via grants which FAFSA doesn’t say your family can cover. In other words, there are basically no more student loans. The idea is that nobody who can get into VU will have to say no due to finances — and this is at a place with annual tuition sitting at over $40K.

    It’s a pretty sweet deal for a top-20 research university that’s in a great city and the best sports conference in the country.

  56. Maybe I’m being a buzzkill, but doesn’t “Sweet Caroline” seem like the stupidest song ever to play at a baseball game?

    I mean, have you really listened to that song in awhile?

  57. Stay strong, Mac. I’ll plug in a reminder on the ‘Donate’ button in the right column. I used it and feel much better for doing so. Years of entertainment and stimulating dialog are priceless. I fully expect to enjoy many more. I am sometimes startled to realize that I remember an 18 year old Rob Cope.

    Dee came home yesterday, and spent a peaceful night in her own bed. The finest surgeon on Earth is quite optimistic. Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts. Their power is felt by us daily.

  58. Good luck to both of you, Mac and Dee.


    Must have been the last couple of years, as I was accepted in 2008 and wanted to go, but didn’t feel like ponying up the $52,000 they wanted from me for an undergraduate degree. Instead, 4 years at BYU and roughly $250 later (my overall expenditures for this university), I’m probably going to be dropping more than $200,000 on a Medical College education anyway.

  59. Yeah, like I said, “a couple of years ago.” It’s pretty recent, but it’s a big freaking deal.

    Only way I was able to go to VU (2000-04) was via full scholarship. I tell ya, kids today don’t know how lucky they are…

  60. doesn’t “Sweet Caroline” seem like the stupidest song ever to play at a baseball game?

    Yes. Welcome to Boston. Ugh.

    Of course, you’ll have to forgive Stu for not being able to relate to the young people. He was born three decades ago, back before such technological advancements as the 2400-point SAT, the Commodore 64, and opposable thumbs.

  61. I’d pick “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Makes me wanna break out “Blonde on Blonde.”

    Nonetheless, I’m really not much of a fan of “Cotton Eyed Joe,” mainly because, in the old Yankee Stadium, it was (very oddly) a 7th-inning-stretch song.

    And after 9/11 (well after 9/11, in fact) when Steinbrenner insisted on playing “God Bless America” for each game during the 7th inning stretch, it was “God Bless America,” followed by “Take Me Out the Ballgame,” followed by “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” complete with a preposterous video of some cartoonish hayseed mugging for the camera. “Hee Haw” had more authenticity.

    Made for a helluva-long 7th-inning stretch, as if AL games weren’t long enough.

  62. Alex is right-the metro in DC used to be great but has deteriorated significantly. Still, it makes it easy to go to Nats games.

    As someone who grew up in Chattanooga, it still stuns me to hear people extol the place. I couldn’t wait to get out but it certainly is a lot different than when I grew up there.

    DC is about as far south as I ever want to live again because of the politics and culture. But Atlanta would probably be the one southern city (I also lived in Miami but don’t count that as the south)that I could tolerate.

  63. @86 it is a big freaking deal. It’s awesome. My daughter has had to take on debt but I will never kick about how generous Northwestern has been to her. I’m more inclined to donate to them than I am to my own alma mater and NU has a 6 billion dollar endowment.

    #89 – ‘Thank God I’m a Country Boy’

    #70 – So I take it that your new city is an upgrade?

    #74 – Thanks for the link. My esteem for Dewey has gone up several notches.

  64. @94 Living out of a cardboard box on the edge of hell itself would be preferable to living in Baltimore.

    That said, yes, I love both Framingham and Boston.

  65. If defensive value can be understood, will it help Andruw Jones make the HOF?
    Two of his contemporaries have won as many Gold Gloves, but each won an MVP trophy-Ichiro and Ivan Rodriquez. Maybe not the stat we’re seeking.

    Today we’re talking about Dewey Evans, who along with Keith Hernandez, had a Maddux-like grip on the Gold Gloves. I’d have bet the farm in ’81 they’d both be in the HOF, but alas, they still need a ticket.

    Fly ball to centerfield–out!
    I just think that should mean something more.

  66. Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that the Yankees – the New York Yankees – play(ed) “Cotton Eye Joe” at the seventh-inning stretch?

    AND they keep paying John Sterling to announce their games?

    The Chattanooga Lookouts have more sophistication than that.

    Oh, and it’s not Chattanooga’s past but its future and its natural gifts of topography and strategic location that make it so appealing a destination – especially for those that are young. You know, unlike Stu.

  67. You young’uns git off Stu’s lawn! Git! He’d do it his own self, but he’s takin’ his nap now!

  68. KLaw top 100 prospects.

    1. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP (14)
    2. Julio Teheran, RHP (18)
    3. Christian Bethancourt, C (94)
    4. Randall Delgado, RHP (98)
    5. Andrelton Simmons, SS
    6. Tyler Pastornicky, SS
    7. Sean Gilmartin, LHP
    8. Zeke Spruill, RHP
    9. J.R. Graham, RHP
    10. Matt Lipka, OF

    I’d be annoyed (especially at Tehran), but then I remember how he thought Minor was a wasted pick and had the NL ROY unranked last year and I become apathetic. He also apparently couldn’t get a job w/the Astros…which to be fair may have had more to do w/his personality than scouting ability, but neither really overwhelm me.

  69. For what it’s worth, Law is not the only prospect guy who’s soured a little bit on Teheran. My favorite guru, Adam Foster of Project Prospect, is no longer as high on him, either.

  70. Uncle Albert could disappear.

    Where is Smitty’s barber when we need him? I think Pastornicky is a bluff. There is a trade to be made, and perhaps one with the Angels is in order. Don’t they have an abundance of corner outfielders, plus a passable shortstop?

  71. Fangraphs’ Mark Hulet had a lot of nice things to say about Tyler today.

    A personal favorite of mine while he was with Toronto, Atlanta made a smart move in acquiring him during the Yunel Escobar/Alex Gonzalez swap. One baseball official referred to the former Florida prep star as a “very good baseball player… He’s got a really good approach at the plate, works counts and can hit the ball to all fields.” Pastornicky is the type of player that you have to watch a few times to really appreciate. He doesn’t hit for average and doesn’t have any one standout tool but he does the little things and also has the potential to steal 20+ bases in a full season. He should fit in nicely at the top of a lineup in the two-hole where he can focus on advancing runners and wreaking havoc on the base paths in front of the big guns. The big question with Pastornicky is his ability to play shortstop at the big league level. He is OK at the position and has good range but his arm is average and he can be slow to unload his throws. With lots of depth in the system a move to second base would not be the worst thing for Pastornicky or the Braves. A baseball official said of the infielder, “Pastornicky has faced every challenge and improved almost every year as a professional”

    Later, in the comments, Hulet wrote:

    As I mentioned, he’s the kind of guy you have to watch a bit to appreciate, so fans will start jumping on the bandwagon once that happens.

  72. I keep going up and down on these prospect lists. Law had me down in the dumps. Hulet has me penciling in pennants.

  73. Tehran did lead the IL in ERA as a 20 year old and still has the stuff to miss bats even if his K rate did decline a bit in the process. Delgado at 98 is also puzzling. He reminded me of a young (rich man’s) Russ Ortiz last year.

  74. My pre-spring training 25-man roster prediction:
    Rotation: Hanson, Jurrjens, Beachy, Minor, Teheran
    Bullpen: Kimbrel, Venters, O’Flaherty, Vizcaino, Medlen, Martinez, Hoover
    Lineup: Bourn, Prado, Chipper, McCann, Uggla, Freeman, Heyward, Pastornicky
    Bench: Hinske, Diaz, Ross, Wilson, Sutton

  75. @89 – “Centerfield” – the contrived nature of it, coming from an author with the pedigree of Fogarty, just hurts my feelings so.

  76. @107 – I really enjoyed watching Delgado last year. As much as the naked eye can see this, he seemed to pitch with a lot of guts, challenging hitters on the inside part of the plate and keeping his wits about him on the mound. I did not get that feeling as much from Teheran, for whatever reason.

  77. @109 – yeah. Sigh. I reluctantly agree.

    Maybe I like baseball AND Fogerty too much to be able to enjoy a B-minus effort.

    Kinda like Fogelberg’s Derby Song. Surely someone (spike?) can write a better one. I’ll do the lyrics if you’ll do the melody.

    (muttering: “WESTern Kentucky, my ass. Ain’t a thoroughbred worth a damn west of Shelbyville. Harrumph.”)

  78. Not much is “Fortunate Son.” I think that song invented punk rock. “Centerfield” is cloying and grating… but…

    “I Put a Spell on You,” “Porterville,” “Walk on the Water,” and that total freakout on “Suzie Q”…

    Fogerty gets a pass from me.

  79. All fair comments, but if I randomly catch “Centerfield” on the radio when it’s still cold in Wisconsin in late March, it’ll put a grin on my face.

  80. My last airplane trip featured a US Airways horror story, as well. I assume that’s the only reason they’re still around, to provide people with colorful travel stories. They are one crappy airline.

  81. Word. Had my baggage misrouted once in the Philly airport courtesy US Air. Nothing like going to a 7/11 in the middle of the night to score some basic necessities. Not my favorite airline by a longshot.

    BTW, Jeremy Lin is saving winter sports up here this week. I had to cover a nightclub event in Manhattan tonight & walking the 3 blocks from Union Square to Webster Hall, it was all Lin talk. Chinese folks high-fiving, talking trash, it was hysterical.

    But I got home & watched a replay of the Knicks/Lakers 2nd half… damn.

  82. The difference between Vizcaino and Teheran is so small as to make picking which is the “better prospect” a coin flip. One of them might make it, and the other not (at which point whomever randomly picked the guy that made it will crow about something they “saw” which they did not actually see, but a lot of people will fall for the post-hoc regardless.) Or both of them could make it. Or neither of them. They could become Glavine/Smoltz, or they could become Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Both have #1 potential and both are friggin’ pitching prospects.

    Law, in particular, has a brand to protect, and his brand is edgy picks and contrarianism, topped off with a bit of a prickish personality. So you can probably take his “souring” on Teheran with a grain of salt big enough to write “I’m going to drop this guy because everyone else is going to rank him higher and this will set me apart and get me page hits” on it.

    I’ve yet to see any reason to believe the Braves – through some combination of Pastornicky, Wilson and Hicks – will not meet or exceed the production they got from SS in 2011.

  83. Or, to put it in simpler terms, Bruce Chen was everyone’s #1 prospect in all of baseball in 1998.

    Prospect lists aren’t all that.

  84. I haven’t seen it here, so here goes: Mauro Gomez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox.

    On Creedence / Fogerty.

    I don’t try to have snooty tastes about popular music. That is kind of like what place with a drive in window has the best hamburger. It is relevant, but why be snooty about it.

    I hate that Fogerty’s singing voice is non genuine, but reality is he does pull it off. I thought for 20 years he grew up in the Delta.

    Nevertheless, my then 13 year old daughter (who has had to listen to 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s music A LOT) asked me about a year ago, “If you could only have the music of one group or performer and that was it forever, who would you choose, I was stunnded at my answer.

    Creedence. Why? They do psychedelic (and well). They do protest song (well). They do country rock (and well despite being a California band). A good bit of their portfolio is good singalong or good to dance to. Basically, it’s fun without being (to me) totally vapid.

  85. I aked my barber today and he thinks we are going to stay put.

    He heard that we were looking to make a deal with the Rox and Baltimore that had:

    ATL gets: Tulo, Adam Jones, Ryan Adams

    COL gets: Tehran, Pastornicky

    BAl gets: Minor, Prado, Rex Brothers

  86. BTW, Jeremy Lin is saving winter sports up here this week.

    I mean, they did just win the Super Bowl. That’s got to give them a couple of weeks of joy, right?

    Still, I also watched the second half of the Knicks-Lakers game last night, and it was actually pretty awesome to see the Garden rocking like that. I’m rooting for the kid. It’s a great story. (at least he didn’t go to Yale!)

  87. Football’s a fall sport & it’s over. And remember, half of this town is Jet green & this Super Bowl matchup was a nightmare for that bunch.

    Hockey & basketball are the winter sports & post-NFL February is generally a sports deadzone until spring training ramps up. Despite the Rangers’ success (and again, fans of the 2 other area NHL teams, like me, generally detest them), this Jeremy Lin story is transcending his sport at the moment. It’s attracting people to the Knicks who’ve never watched an NBA game.

  88. i live on Long Island and work in Manhattan and Lin has undoubtedly taken over the city. the SB wasn’t even a week ago and the talk radio/newspapers/random conversations on the LIRR are all about Jeremy Lin.
    i am a personally a little worried about how well he will mesh with Melo but for now i am fully on board. as long as he continues to knock down jump shots i think he will play well.
    and tonite’s Lin-Rubio matchup should be very fun.

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