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Go, Braves!

Author: Stu

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I've been married since July 17, 2004 to my beautiful wife, who also doubles as my best friend. We have an almost-three-years-old Boston Terrier named Lucy who's also pretty awesome. My wife and I both graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2004. I graduated from Law School at the University of Georgia in May of 2007 and am now practicing in Nashville, Tennessee. I really, really love the Atlanta Braves.

102 thoughts on “New Thread”

  1. Hope everything is ok, Mac.

    DOB is now saying we’re willing to trade for Greinke even if we’re unsure we can extend him…I’m curious about the asking price.

  2. Also, a former teammate of Greinke apparently told Heyman that Greinke wants to go to Atlanta and he wants to win very badly…which seems like an oxymoron at this point.

  3. If we get rid of Minor, get a half-season of Greinke and then end up signing a lesser pitcher like Marcum in the offseason, that’s probably still good for the team.

    Hope you’re doing well, Mac.

  4. Smitty! Been to the barber lately? Is there a package we could offer to get Hernandez from Seattle?

  5. This isn’t meant to be the ultimate in hindsight, because I was a little skeptical at the season’s beginning, but what were Wren & co. really expecting from this rotation?

    What pitchers have performed differently from expectations? By my count, 2 things have gone unexpectedly wrong – Beachy’s injury and Jurrjens suckitude for a few months.

    I’ll then argue that Beachy’s stellar pitching for 2 1/2 months was someting that went unexpectedly well. A 2.00 ERA for a sophomore pitcher for 13 starts is a gift.

    I think the rest of the guys followed script:

    Hudson is my favorite post-Maddux Braves pitcher, but he’s providing what I would expect (maybe better) from a 37-year-old coming off back surgery.

    Hanson is coming off a mysterious injury and I’m just happy he’s made every start.

    Minor and Delgado are playing like, well, playing like most non-phenom starters do when faced with their first full season in the bigs once the league has all seen their stuff. Taking their lumps. It’s fine to have these guys on staff, just preferably only one them and in the 5th slot.

    Teheran and Vizciano. They’re pitching prospects – a notoriously unpredictable bunch.

    I don’t know how the front office ever sold me on the whole “We’ve got such a great staff because we’re 7-8 deep” thing. Only 5 can fit in the rotation and you can’t just add up the talent of all 8, divide by 5 and then instantly have a better rotation, making up for the lack of an ace or the fact that only one starter (the 37 year old) has a track record of going deep into games.

    Just the ramblings of a knucklehead here, but I’m not gonna fall for that kind of ‘rotation depth’ again. Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner – that’s depth. Hoping that injured guys bounce back and young guys mature really quick is just wishful thinking.

  6. Can Simmons win the NL Rookie of the Year award, or has the Harper hype already sealed the deal?

  7. I heard that it’s going to take “A Greinke-like Deal” to make a Greinke deal.

  8. Know what’s going to be even more difficult to overcome than the Harper hype?

    The Harper production.

  9. Just heard from Alex Ramati, who spoke to Mac on the phone a few minutes ago — Mac’s recovering from an infection.

  10. @7 I think the starting has lived down to the worst case scenario, Beachy’s fast start being the exception. As far as pitching goes the bullpen in particular Jonny Venters has been the bigger disappointment.

    Mac if you are up to at least reading, please know we are pulling for you to get better.

  11. @7, I would argue that nothing about Jurrjens’ performance was unexpected either, which would actually give more weight to your perspective.

    It’s tough to imagine what the Braves could’ve done in the offseason, though. Hudson can’t be traded. Beachy shouldn’t be traded. It would’ve been unwise to trade Hanson and Jurrjens at lows in their value. We could’ve traded from Minor/Delgado/Teheran/Vizcaino depth, but I think it made sense to see what we had in them first — or what we would need later in the season (aka right now).

    Point being, depth we had then to use is still depth we have now to use. Albeit in different ways than we might’ve anticipated.

  12. Consensus opinion going into the season was that the pitching was the strong point of this team. Hindsight is 20/20, I know, but no one was saying “the Braves might compete if their pitching can hold together.”

  13. #16 correct. The front office and the blogosphere were hoping for Jurrjens and or Prado to get the Braves a hitter or a short stop that could hit a little. Not pitching.

    Just to clarify my 14 post. Pitching was regarded as the team’s strength. But the worst case scenario has occured. Minor AND Delgado have been inconsistent to put it kindly and Jurrjens finally became the pumpkin that everyone said he’d become. Throw in Beachy’s injury, Venter’s ineffectiveness and Teheran’s growing pains and the perfect storm of badness has occurred.

  14. 17 — Add to that that neither Hudson nor Hanson have exactly lit it up either. They’ve basically been middle of the rotation quality and Hanson has been really lucky according to his FIP and xFIP.

  15. And Arodys Vizcaino went under the knife as well. The Braves pitching has not lived up to expectations.

  16. Medlen has been fine so far, but his low K-rate is worrisome. I wish they would have stuck with the stretch-him-out-for-the-rotation plan. Mike Minor doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a big league rotation right now.

  17. Well, I don’t know what the front office was supposed to have done differently in the offseason regarding the starting pitching. So what were they supposed to say, that they had their fingers crossed? It hasn’t worked out great so far, but I don’t see that it was fated to be this way, whatsoever.

  18. If Simmmons and Harper finish the year at their current rate stats, Simmons will win RoY in a walk. He’d probably get a few votes for MVP as well, and deservedly so. His current level of play is just a shade under Arod in his prime level

  19. I should say Harper is a better bet to do so. But again, if they both play out the year at their current level, I just can’t imagine overlooking 50 points of BA and a better defender at a harder position.

  20. Surpising, to me anyway, stat of the day: Minor has 38 career starts. I’m ready to try somebody else.

  21. Speaking of comparisons…Simmons has a 1.4 dWAR so far this year. Chris Coghlan is batting .140/.212/.183, good for a -1.3 oWAR. Hence, if Andrelton Simmons hit .140/.212/.183 for the season, he would still be on pace to finish 5 wins better than a full season of Tyler Pastornicky.

    IOW, a .140-hitting Simmons is to Pastornicky what Joey Votto is to Gerardo Parra.

  22. I love how all the lefties start out with Glavine comparisons and end up with Jo Jo comparisons. Actually, I hate it and its why we should stop drafting soft tossing lefties.

  23. @17, I get where you are coming from, but I don’t think I agree with calling this a worst-case scenario. Consider that every single one of the starting pitching options had question marks coming into the season.

    Hudson, Hanson and Jurrjens were all coming off some kind of injury. The other guys all had never started an entire year in the big leagues, which, to me, is risky because pitching prospects can be fluky and take time to develop.

    Hindsight absolutely 20/20, but I wouldn’t have minded shifting some of that risk to another franchise in return for a more sure bet starter.

  24. Tom Glavine through 212 IP in his career: 5.01ERA 127K 123BB 1.65 WHIP
    Mike Minor through 209 IP in his career: 5.34ERA 192K 79BB 1.50 WHIP

    They seem to be completely different pitchers. Maybe the only reason they’re compared is because they both suck(ed) up to this point in their careers. Minor walked much less, struck out much more, and gave up about the same amount of hits, but has the higher ERA because the ball is jumping out of the park on him this year. Baseball stats are weird.

  25. Interestingly, Simmons is ahead of Harper already in bWAR and fWAR in half as many PAs.

  26. That’d be pretty funny if he wins the final vote even though he’s already on the team.

    Going to the Tom Glavine writeup sent me on a Braves Journal adventure that somehow got me to Mark Redman’s writeup when he was here for like 5 starts. I figured that his all star selection in 2006 was absurd and that there had to be someone on the Royals that year who deserved it more than him, but honestly I can’t see anyone on that team who deserved to go. That was a truly horrible team.

  27. 32, Looking through those comments is pretty entertaining, as well. A big debate over whether or not to trade Marcus Giles for everyone’s favorite reliever, Scott Linebrink.

  28. Yeah, I think we have seen enough from Minor. He either needs to go to the bullpen or needs a change of scenery.

  29. So after re-reading the Top 5 for the Top 44 Atlanta Braves, do you think Chipper has passed Knucksie for #3 on the list? Personally, I do, although it is close. There’s no way he’s catching MadDog or The Hammer (unless he stays five more years and wins two more MVPs).

  30. @37 – “Wish we had him two years ago.”
    “We did.”
    “Ok, five years ago.”

  31. That would have been the icing on the crap cake if Bourn hadn’t recovered.

  32. @ 55: if you can’t strike guys out, it helps a lot if your infielders play good defense. The way the Braves played that inning, JJ would have had to strike everybody out to get through it unscathed.

  33. Freeman is quickly becoming my least favorite Braves regular. Does anyone foul away more hitters count fastballs then he does?

  34. Joe and Dale think we shouldn’t pinch-hit. They apparently forget that we are losing.

  35. So, what kind of return do you think we’ll get for Bourn, Hinske and Durbin at the deadline?

  36. The offense may be just as big a problem as the pitching. Whatever happened to the Greg Walker bump? The team sucks in pretty much every cayrgory right now. But I forgot-you have to tip your hat to the Cubs.

  37. Rally time!

    That ball was crushed.

    Since JJ’s return:

    18.1 IP, 18 H, 3 ER, 6 R, 6 K, 4 BB, 0 HR

    That adds up to a 1.47 ERA.

    We can bitch about Ks all we like and what he’s supposed to do. But, as always with JJ when he’s right, I’ll take the results.

    Let’s get him a win here.

  38. I think the answer to the trivia question is Mark Lemke. I seem to remember a long errorless streak in the mid-90s.

  39. I suspect Bourn is just going to keep looking at pitches until Dolis throws a strike. That’s probably the right strategy against a guy who just walked a relief pitcher on four straight.

  40. Sveum and svelte both start with the same odd three letter combination. That’s really as far as it goes.

  41. Maybe tonight will be enough to get Medlen in the rotation. Braves probably wont take either Delgado or Minor out of the rotation while trying to trade them though.

  42. Updated WAR rankings:
    Bourn- 3rd (up 2)
    Prado- 7th (down 1)
    Heyward-8th (same)
    Uggla- 21st (down 1)
    Chipper-31st (up 12!)
    Andrelton-43rd (down 4)
    Freeman- 71st (down 11)
    McCann- 84th (down 5)

  43. CBS sports has an article saying the Blue Jays are souring on Yunel Escobar.
    What a shock.

  44. Happy fourth, everybody. Keep all your fingers and toes! Wearclose-toed shoes, and if it doesn’t go off, for gods sake, don’t re-light it.

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