Braves 7, Marlins 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – July 25, 2012

Imagine, hypothetically, that you hate Tommy Hanson. Now imagine that Tommy Hanson knocked up your daughter, ran over your dog, and designed Whatizit, the mascot for the 1996 Olympics. That is how much you would hate Ricky Nolasco if Frank Wren were to acquire him and put him in the rotation.

The thing about Nolasco is that he does not suck because he has crappy peripherals. Rather, he miraculously sucks despite great peripherals. He literally has the worst ERA in baseball history of any pitcher with a K/BB above 3.5; in second place is Jon Lieber, but it frankly isn’t close. Lieber has an ERA+ of 103. Nolasco’s is 93.

Scientists remain mystified by how Nolasco contrives to suck despite an above-average strikeout rate and below-average walk rate. Sidelined by the irrelevant discovery of the Higgs boson, they still have no answer.

Don’t get me wrong: I understand why you hate Tommy Hanson. In his last three starts, he has gone 14 1/3 innings and given up 20 hits, 13 walks, and 15 earned runs. Today he got bailed out by Kris Medlen, who came in and pitched three hitless innings getting five strikeouts and should be in the rotation already for heaven’s sake. Tommy walked 7 men in 5 innings, and at that point it just isn’t worth even using the phrase “effectively wild.”

On the other hand, the reason the Braves won is simple: longballs. The Braves historically have built offenses that relied on home runs, and today they got three: one from Bourn, who I’m beginning to think we should maybe think just a little bit about extending; one from Heyward, who I think Wren should EXTEND RIGHT NOW AS FAST AS IF HIS HAIR WAS ON FIRE; and one from Juan Francisco, who has reached the point where literally any time he gets on base feels like a pleasant surprise.

Today, the Marlins just got rid of their most iconic and highest-paid player, essentially acknowledged that their season is over, and dropped a series to the Braves. And things could continue to be fun in South Florida. After a year’s worth of losing, people in Miami may even start to remember that Ozzie Guillen admires Fidel Castro.

295 thoughts on “Braves 7, Marlins 1”

  1. Excellent recap, Alex. Also AHHHHHHHHHH

    @karlravehcespn Just thought I’d pass this news along.. the Milwaukee Brewers are in serious talks with a team about trading P Zack Greinke. More TBA.

  2. Alex,

    I don’t think you expressed the level of speed that Heyward should be extended properly.

    Something like – Should extend so fast that the vortex created would suck the Phillies into another dimension.

  3. When I first read the recap I thought it meant that we were targetting Nolasco in a trade. Now that I’ve calmed down, hopefully I can sleep tonight – not a happy thought!

  4. Watching the replay, Venters looked more like his old self. Lots of movement, not quite hitting his spots but I’d call it a confidence-inspiring appearance.

  5. While in Atlanta for the 96′ games, an 8 year old me received unsolicited tickling from Whatizit.

    After the tickling he raised his hand as if to ask for a high five. I still regret that high five to this day.

  6. A classic recap. Thank you for it.

    I wouldn’t say, however, that the Higgs is irrelevant as it explains why Juan Francisco has mass and moves at less than the speed of light.

  7. Juan Fatcisco is like the perfect anti-Brave. Maybe that’s why I kinda like him. Ok ‘kinda like’ is too strong…more like I don’t ‘completely hate’ him. There’s a little part of me that doesn’t mind our guy hitting a second-deck bomb and watching it for a bit too long.

    I think I’d like him better if he did it a little more often.

  8. Francisco has not outperformed expectations, to put it politely, but when he gets a hold of one, whew, it is a thing of beauty.

  9. 1,

    It’s a parody account; it says so in the description. Read his tweets; he just broke the news of Billy Butler being traded to the Giants and Josh Johnson to the Red Sox. Also, apparently Stanton has been dealt to the Reds.

  10. Evan Gattis starts a rehab assignment with Mississippi tomorrow. Hopefully he picks up right where he left off.

  11. @6: Now that we know mass isn’t an illusion, I may have to finally lose some weight myself. It is not well known, but when in Atlanta Melky carried an unusually dense Higgs field…. and played an unusually dense center field.

  12. So, the thing about Fransisco is that he usually does okay when he starts. I mean, he still doesn’t walk, but he hits HRs and gets occasional base hits. But I think he’s 0 for the season pinch hitting. It’s a weird situation, since I really don’t think he’d be worthwhile as an every-day player, and if he’s useless as a pinch hitter….

    I dunno. Maybe someone will give him regular starts at 3B one day, and we’ll see that he can be a semi-useful starter. But as a bench player, he’s useless if he can’t pinch hit.

  13. It’s a parody account; it says so in the description.

    Yes it does.

    What’s with all the posers on Twitter? Why would someone want to pretend to be Chipper or Ravech?

  14. With the right team, Francisco could have Tony Batista’s career. Here’s to the Braves not being the right team.

  15. I would understand the purpose behind an actual parody account. Such as @FauxFrankWren, which is clearly for humor. @ChipCaraysGrayMatter would be an excellent read, also.

    What I don’t understand is parody accounts specifically created to resemble actual people and to divulge information that could be taken realistically. It should probably be classified as a mental disorder; being so attention needy as to impersonate someone else and actually try to do his or her job. What, is the rest of life not entertaining enough for you?

  16. I don’t see any parody at all. A parody denotes humor and satire. Tweeting fake trades, where’s the satire?

  17. I’m confused, AAR. Are you out on Minor? ‘Cause I’ve been impressed by what he’s done lately. All he really needs to do is become more consistent. I still think he’s got #3 upside.

    Then again, maybe you were joking. :-)

  18. He’s got a blue checkmark, so apparently it’s legit.

    I’m not the kind of person who would tease a person because English is their second language, but when you take the whole thing in to account, getting demoted, then getting traded, then NOT being traded, and staying with a team that just tried to trade you, and knowing you could be traded again any minute now… and you add that picture he uses as his avatar… I don’t think there’s anything that sums it up more eloquently than: “They don’t did a trade.”

  19. Jay Cutler, Pedro Alvarez, and Skip Bayless all went to Vanderbilt. Alex, I think you’re on to something significant here.

  20. Francisco sucks way too much for him to stand around admiring an occasional collision between his bat and a ball. Act like you belong there, man.

  21. Chipper and Fatty Francisco have combined for 17 hrs and 63 RBIs from 3rd this year.

    I know those are traditional numbers, but that is not bad production from a platoon at 3B this year.

  22. Aww, bummer about the account. I saw it retweeted by someone so I didn’t check into the validity of the original source.

  23. I didn’t know Skip Bayless went to Vandy. Any school that gave him a degree should really reconsider its standards.

  24. “Out of all the people to parody…Karl Ravech? Was Chris Fowler already taken?”

    I got a chuckle out of that.

  25. Francisco sucks way too much for him to stand around admiring an occasional collision between his bat and a ball. Act like you belong there, man.

    Normally I would be in 100% agreement. However, after watching that douche Reyes celebrate after every base hit/SB or standing there admiring his HR off of Hudson I really wish Fransisco had watched it a little bit longer. The Marlins are annoying so I kind of enjoyed watching it.

  26. Jonathan F at 11,

    Gattis played last night / yesterday in GCL and went 2 for 2, both singles. Long term, with the wrist injury, I don’t fear loss of power for him. And, it is very important for him to be able to make contact and draw walks to be a potential complete offensive force.

    He played left field. Per Talking Chop, it may be a few days before they move him up again (but you may have the official word later than theirs).

  27. @35

    Stu isn’t much of a ranter. His blows will be precise and deadly, much like Tyler Bray passes to Da’ Rick Rodgers.

  28. I like a Vol player’s explanation for The’Rick’s will-I-stay-or-will-I-go antics this spring- that he just needs attention.

  29. Did you guys see that Chipper is now on twitter? His tweet yesterday about yesterday’s game was (quoting here): “Mike b and jhey go yicketty! The roadrunner went mammo! And the Bravos have a winning road trip. My kind of day off, no action!!!”

    ‘Roadrunner’ for Francisco, to me, is funny beyond words :-)

  30. My baber says the following deal is in the works:

    CHI (NL) gets: Delgatto and Terd
    MIL gets: Tehran, JJ and Minor
    ATL gets: Demspter, Reed Johnson, Mike Fiers and Greinke

    DOB and Bowman will CONFIRM it by the end of the day

  31. @33 – Granted there are few bigger douches than Reyes, but Francisco is a douche that sucks. Can’t stand him.

    He’s now officially Roadrunner to me.

  32. I guess it takes a longer memory than even Chipper has, but there’s only one Roadrunner in Atlanta Braves lore, and it sure as hell ain’t Juan Francisco.

  33. Ralph Garr was really fun to watch.

    Whenever he’d come to bat in the old stadium, he’d get announced & then the PA would play a loud “Beep-beep!”

  34. @46 – the comment above your 11 (by joecraigmcmurty) mentioned Gattis beginning his rehab Friday at Miss. Cliff at 36 was telling him it actually began Thurs in Gulf Coast League, and that it may be a few days before he’s back in Miss.

    He just mis-attributed his reply.

    Of course, you might already know that and were teasing him. In which case, you have an extremely dry sense of humor…

  35. Smitty’s barber always has the best trades. Can we hire him to be the Braves GM?

    BTW Smitty, did he also say that Greinke wants to play for the Braves so much that he would sign a below-market extension?

  36. Gattis, our non-prospect, is the guy Im pulling for the hardest. With Chipper and probably Bourn leaving, we really need a big bat to fall in our lap.

  37. @50

    My barber says that Greinke will sign the following deal with the Braves

    -6 years, $6 million (he doesn’t feel anyone should make more than a million a year)

    -Life time passes to the World of Coke

    -Four MARTA swift passes

    -15 foam tomahawks

    -An autographed baseball by the entire 1995 team.

    -He will also fill in for CHip on the days he isn’t pitching.

  38. Ironically, the only thing the real Roadrunner and Juan Francisco have in common is walk rate.

  39. Hmm, I was 3 when Garr last played for the Braves, so that lore wasn’t in my thinking. Chipper was about the same age. But, since we can’t have two Roadrunners, Francisco reverts back to “Frankfurter Fingers” for me.

  40. 35—Alex is always fishing, and I ain’t biting.

    Apologies for Skip Bayless, though. If it helps, VU people all hate him, too.

    37—More like a beer bottle thrown by ” rel=”nofollow”>Tyler onto a parked car.

  41. Trying to do work, but keep getting distracted. Spontaneous poll? Least favorite current Brave?

    Mine: Frankfurter Fingers

  42. “Noc-A-Homa,” the latest song/video from the Atlanta indie-rock band, the Black Lips.

    From their press release:

    “The video for the Black Lips’ raucous two-minute homage to Chief Noc-A-Homa, the famed former mascot of the Atlanta Braves from the 1960s until 1986.

    “Chief Noc-A-Homa is one of baseball’s most beloved mascots who was best known for emerging from a tepee in the bleachers to rally the hometown crowd into a frenzy. In their song, ‘Noc-A-Homa,’ the Black Lips, Atlanta natives and diehard Braves fans, tell the story from Chief Noc-A-Homa’s point of view, a proud Native American who has been humiliated and made into a caricature of his ancestors for the amusement of drunken fans who pelt him with boiled peanuts.

    “In the music video, the Black Lips partner up with director Sandy Kim to produce a telling of this tragic story. In the Black Lips’ version, Chief Noc-A-Homa enacts revenge on all those who humiliated him, donning his old costume and handing out sweet justice. This time it’s the Chief who comes out on top.”

  43. Does being on the DL prevent you from being named least favorite? If not, then Jack Wilson. Fatcisco does at least one thing at an elite level – and that is hitting long bombs when he connects. Wilson? – ehh…he…umm…he can put down a decent sac bunt?

  44. As time passes, the whole Chief Noc-A-Homa schtick gets more surreal to think about. Kids really would keep an eye on the teepee during the game, and we’d cheer wildly when he emerged. Now I think how weird it was that he spent as much time as he did alone in the teepee during the games. I don’t mean that to sound creepy, but really, what an odd thing to have to do. I wonder if he was asleep.

    Fun video — anything featuring the Krog Street bridge gets a thumbs-up from me.

  45. I’ll second Jack Wilson as least favorite. Francisco’s hot doggery doesn’t bother me. So we’ve got a little mustard on the bench, so what?

  46. I’m told that in his latter years, Noc-a-Homa had gotten so fat he couldn’t make it all the way and would stop to catch his breath.

    True? And what was the Princess’s name?

    When does Andrellton return? (Although Janish has played pretty well.)

  47. Bethany, sorry to read that your fellow Aurburn graphic artist, Phil Neel has dies. He created Aubie. My brother has 3 degrees from there.

  48. Hey, yeah. Isn’t Andrelton supposed to be back some time in August? That’s exciting!!

  49. @72 It’s sad news, but I’m glad he got to have a good long life. I was thinking a lot yesterday about the various Aubie encounters I had growing up and how special they were to me.

  50. Wow, the Cubs might pay Dempster to come to Atlanta so that they can get Delgado. What a weird situation.

  51. It should tell Frank Wren something about the relative value of the players involved in any event.

  52. My barber says that we are going to make the following trade:

    Lebanon gets: “The Road Runner” and some broken shot guns from Chipper Jones’ house

    Doc Brown gets: A pardon (Jimmy Carter put in a call to Obama)and Jack Wilson

    ATL gets: Delorian and five boxes of plutonium so they can go back to 1995 and get John Smoltz, 1991 for Glavine and 1994 to get Maddux.

  53. At this point, I’m clinging to the possibility that Braves evaluators are sure that Delgado will never be more than a mid-rotation starter.

  54. “Braves GM Frank Wren said on 680-AM The Fan in Atlanta that he’s “moving on” from Dempster. “I think it’s very highly unlikely,” Wren said (via Once the Braves heard Dempster would prefer to play for the Dodgers, they moved on. Wren said the Braves continue pursuing starting pitchers.”

  55. If a player needs extra incentive to come to Atlanta then move on. There’s zero chance of resigning the guy and Delgado is too much to pay for him. I wanted Dempster when he said he preferred Atl. It would be really hard pulling for the guy at this point after this debacle.

  56. Yeah, I don’t imagine Wren wants any part of it anyway. It’s just funny, the lengths Theo is going to in order to salvage his coup of a trade, or at least some leverage against the Dodgers.

  57. Dumpster is really screwing over the Cubs. Their fans can’t be happy. They got a good deal for them ruined by Dumpster, and are now left with either Dodger scrap or a sandwich draft pick.

  58. I don’t think a clubhouse would be very receptive to a guy who was paid $1MM to go to a club he didn’t really want to go to.

  59. @60, the video was shot about a quarter mile from my house, in Cabbagetown/kirkwood.

  60. Is there any chance we could still get stuck with that Dempster deal? I thought Wren used the word “expired.”

  61. Hopefully Wren can do better. Cubs have no leverage and its clear that Dempster didnt really want to come to Atl. I dont see why Wren would offer as much the second time around.

  62. Anyone here annoyed by fraternization in-game? I don’t have any problem with it before the game starts.

    Just noticed it tonight in the Nationals–Brewers game. Mike Morse hit a single to run the score up to 8-0 in favor of the Nationals. He and Cory Hart were holding a casual conversation at first base–while your team is getting its ass kicked, Cory.

    Maybe I’m just a grouch.

  63. Whatever happens, I hope the Braves don’t deal Teheran. Unless they trade for and sign Grienke. Anything short of that, Teheran needs to stay a Brave.

  64. Teheran keeps pitching as he is now, he won’t be much of a prospect this time next year.

  65. I’m pretty convinced he’s trying to re-work his delivery. He was tipping pitches before, which is why he was getting lit when the pitched in the bigs. Re-working a delivery takes time, and I remain pretty optimistic about his chances at being a front-line starter in the majors. (Or maybe this is just me rationalizing his incredibly poor outings; I haven’t actually read or heard any scouting reports since there was talk of him tipping his pitches.)

    I mean, he’s like 21. There are 21 year-olds getting ooos and ahhs blowing away kids in High-A, and no one’s questioning their prospect status.

  66. You can’t trade Teheran for Zack Greinke. If you do decide that you’re willing to part with Teheran, you absolutely have to shop him to the rest of baseball.

    And offering Teheran will open up at least one option that’s better than 2 months of Zack Greinke.

  67. Don’t look now, but here come the Cards . . .

    And the Phillies. They are not out of it by any means, and I still have a very strong feeling that they will finish ahead of us in the division. They certainly have a much better team, and a lead of ten games is nothing with more than two month to play.

    With Greinke, however, we’d have a shot.

  68. “And the Phillies. They are not out of it by any means, and I still have a very strong feeling that they will finish ahead of us in the division. They certainly have a much better team, and a lead of ten games is nothing with more than two month to play.”


    Re Greinke: I wonder if the Brewers would rather trade Greinke to the American League, especially if Rangers are willing to pay a big price. Shields might be more realistic but I’m not sure the Braves have what the Rays want.

  69. Tom @ 102,

    “A lead of ten games is nothgin with more than two months to play.”


    95% likely lead team holds that lead, all other things equal. I would think that the 10 game lead is something, but not absolutely insurmountble.

  70. How do the Phillies have a much better team? They have better starting pitching (when healthy). Braves have much better lineup and bullpen. Ruiz is the only member of their lineup outperforming ours at his position and I wonder if that will even last as McCann is heating up.

  71. Yeah, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are not the same guys they were in 2009. I’m not anticipating a .700 finish to the season from the Phils.

  72. The Phillies have a four-game winning streak and some act as if they’re red-hot. People are living in the past; no one would call, say, the Rockies “hot” over a four-game win streak. They’re nine under .500 and 14 games out of first place.

  73. @105

    Their starting rotation is better, if they are healthy.

    I think our lineup is better.

    Their bullpen sucks.

    With those three pitchers, I wouldn’t count the Phillies out yet. But they appear to be looking to move guys.

  74. My guess is the Rangers get Greinke, and the Braves get stuck with Dumpster after he finally agrees to the trade upon realizing the Dodgers won’t give up anything good for him.

  75. The Phillies starting rotation is better than ours, regardless of who is healthy in it.

    Everybody’s starting rotation is better than ours.

    We are 14th in a 16 team league.

  76. @109,

    I agree. And Dempster might actually be the best realistic option for the Braves. Everyone is chasing pitching and, other than Delgado and Teheran, the Braves really don’t have many chips. I don’t think Wren made the Dempster deal lightly; he must have known that it would be very difficult to get Greinke, at least at a reasonable cost.

  77. I wonder if the Brewers would let us discuss an extension w/ Grenkie first? That could change things

  78. I think the Rangers get Greinke also. I really dont want to see Dempster in Atlanta at this point. Hopefully Wren can get Shields, Johnson, or someone under team control for 2013.

  79. The Rays reportedly won’t give up Shields, and he’s not that good anyway. The Marlins want a “Teixeira-type package” for Johnson, and he always seem a start away from the DL. Dempster doesn’t want to be here, and the Rangers have good prospects to burn for Greinke.

    Curious what Wren ends up doing for a front of the rotation starter.

  80. I think Wren may have made a mistake by using the term “top of the rotation” starter. Certainly, Dempster isn’t what I would consider that. I think he is more likely to get a middle of the rotation guy at this point, like Liriano. In any event, Wren will probably have to overpay for anyone he gets.

  81. Ken Rosenthal‏@Ken_Rosenthal

    #Braves have promoted their first-round pick in 2011, LHP Sean Gilmartin, to Triple A. Gilmartin was 5-8 with a 3.54 ERA at Double A.

    Whose spot is he taking in the AAA rotation?

  82. Frankly, it might be the Braves, not the Cubs, that lack leverage. Maybe the Cubs are bluffing but they seem prepared to keep Dempster and take a draft pick next year. If they can persuade Dempster to go to Atlanta for a couple of months-which I think is not unlikely if he sees the Dodgers really don’t want him-Theo could tell Wren, we want Delgado or we just keep Dempster. It seems to me that Wren might not have any better alternative than to proceed with the original deal.

  83. @120, The talk about the Cubs paying Dempster $1 million to take the Atlanta deal suggests to me that they’re a little more desperate.

  84. @121,

    Good point. But it’s just talk. Would it even be legal for them to do that?

  85. #120 – Theo cant tell Wren much when his player is blocking deals to come here. Reports from DOB was Wren was willing to offer Delgado because they thought they could get him to sign next year. I highly doubt Wren still has that same feeling.

  86. Shields is having a bad year (4.52 ERA; 82 ERA+ and most hits allowed by any pitcher in the AL), an abysmal year in 2010 and has a career ERA+ of 104.

    Not saying he’s bad, but he is not a “front of the rotation” starter, which is what Wren is supposedly looking for.

  87. I just don’t see a front of the rotation starter in the picture for the Braves. Other than Greinke, everyone else has issues and/or are not pitching well this year. Maybe they hope that Delgado and Minor are getting it and hope for the best? The real issues are that Tommy Hanson is unreliable and Tim Hudson is hurt. (I’m not even talking about JJ because he seems clearly done.)

  88. Shields would most likely fare better here than in the AL East. But yeah, I think of him as a solid #3, and I’m not sure how much better that makes us.

  89. FWIW, I’d imagine Shields would be at least a tick better in the NL, not having to face AL East DHs all year.

    He was terrific last year (2.82 ERA), but, in light of this year’s performance, those 249 IP in 2011 can certainly be viewed 2 ways.

  90. I don’t know that we would be in on him, but the Phillies are probably going to move Cliff Lee. It may happen in the winter though.

  91. Id like to take a chance with Shields replacing JJ in our rotation. However, his career numbers vs NL teams is pretty uggly.

  92. Accepting that the Braves probably don’t and won’t have a true ace this year, what’s wrong with adding a solid number 3? (Assuming that’s what, say, Shields, Is.) Replacing JJ with someone better, even if he is not great, has got to help. If he can just keep the team in the game, that would be an improvement. Whether or not it would be enough in October is irrelevant; let’s get there first and then worry about it.

  93. @125- But counting stats love him because he throws TONS of (league average) innings!

  94. Given how many innings he gives you, he’s more valuable than a solid #3. He’s providing at least #2-starter value.

  95. I think Fredi’s head would explode-well it might anyway-if he had a pitcher that could actually get past the 6th inning.

  96. Livan Hernandez can give you 230 innings, too.

    The problem is all the guys who score in the process.

  97. Livan can’t give you 230 innings that are better than the innings a lot of guys in the bullpen would be giving you.

    This is really basic stuff.

  98. He’s not Greinke or Johnson, but he’d be the best starter on the staff, second-best, at worst. And he’s signed to a very good contract through 2014.

  99. Shields is a great guy to HAVE. He’s not a guy worth ACQUIRING. It’s pretty simple.

  100. Well, I’d say it depends totally on what it costs to acquire him.

    He’s worth more than he’s being paid, and he’s a marked upgrade over what we have. Saying he’s not worth acquiring, period, is laughable.

  101. Braves Journal: Needs more Stu posts.

    This all may not matter if the Rays are (being smart as usual and) waiting for the true aces to be dealt, to increase Shields’ value. They certainly don’t have to trade Shields now, and they’re apparently using the deadline to drive up his price as much as possible.

  102. The White Sox won the World Series with, really, a bunch of 2s and 3s. If you have 5 solid pitchers (or 3 in the playoffs), you can do ok. Sometimes, guys come out of nowhere to dominate in the playoffs. I think Shields is the kind of pitcher that could potentially do that. He certainly has more ability, at this point, than Hanson, who is really nothing more than a soft-tosser now.

  103. Do people really think that a guy who will go out there and throw 7 better-than-league-average each time out wouldn’t MASSIVELY improve this team? The starting rotation is awful. We’re relying on Ben Frickin Sheets to be our savior.

    I’m not saying I’d sell the farm for him, but you’d have him for two more years after this at reasonable prices ($9M for 2013, $12M for 2014), and his ERA looks way worse than his peripherals. Plus, he’d be going from the AL East to the NL. That’s a big step down in terms of “degree of difficulty”. I would trade Delgado for him straight up.

  104. Do people really think that a guy who will go out there and throw 7 better-than-league-average each time out wouldn’t MASSIVELY improve this team?

    JJ cant go 4IP in a start at this point. So yes, thats a massive improvement.

  105. How familiar is Shields with NL hitters? To what extent does his familiarity work for or against him?

  106. They aren’t going to give him away for two single a relievers, Stu. He’s going to cost more than Dempster, that’s for sure.

    He throws tons of innings, but doesn’t do any better than average at preventing runs.

    Innings are inevitable. Somebody is going to throw 9 of them. The question is how many runs score. And Shields doesn’t prevent runs any better than, for example, Randall Delgado.

    League average innings have plenty of value. But they aren’t a thing you pay a leveraged deadline price for. There is no reason to rush to go get your league average innings at a 9 mill a year.

    Get him in the offseason when all those innings belong to you, and when you can negotiate without a time clock.

    But he doesn’t improve the Braves rotation for this season. Our rotation has pitched a 4.29 era this season. Shields has pitched a 4.52.

    Sure, he gives you innings. But he’s only going to make 10 or 12 more starts this year. The difference for THIS YEAR, over Randall Delgado is not worth what you have to give up to get him.

    And that’s why you deal at the deadline. For the difference a guy will make to THIS YEARS club.

    If its the rest of his contract that makes him valuable, well, in the offseason, a lot of guys will be available who aren’t available now.

  107. It’s 2012. If you a judge a pitcher by ERA in a small sample, that’s really your problem.

  108. Adam, his career ERA+ is 104. And ERA may not be the ideal predictor of future performance, it’s a pretty simple shorthand for, ya know, preventing runs.

  109. And he puts up that ERA in front of a defense that traditionally excels in defensive efficiency

  110. Shields’ career BABIP: .303
    In 2012: .340

    Tells you nothing by itself, but with a 53.7 GB%, you might get the picture that you’ve got a good buy-low target on your hands…if only the Rays weren’t already thinking what we should be thinking.

    Let Shields pitch with Janish and Andrelton behind him, rather than Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez.

  111. And he puts up that ERA in front of a defense that traditionally excels in defensive efficiency

    When Longoria is on the field, that may be true. It’s not now.

  112. That’s a fair point, but his career numbers aren’t outstanding, either.

    And Janish/Andrelton aside, we’ve got three statues of our own in the infield.

  113. I wouldn’t call Freeman a statue. His range isn’t great, but he saves a ton of errors.

    Uggla is very underrated with the glove, as is Chipper.

    Chipper doesn’t have the range he once did, but with Janish and Simmons he doesn’t need it.

    The only starter that worries me with the glove is McCann

  114. #160 – Pretty much everyone in the infield has a good glove, but Freeman/Chipper/Uggla have awful range.

  115. Has anyone glanced at our remaining schedule? Bunch of cupcakes except for games against the Dodgers and Giant in ATL. I refuse to acknowledge Montreal or the Pittstain Pirates as formidable foes, but they’re also there.

  116. But, by that time the Dodgers will have a rotation of Dempster, Grienke, Garza, Shields, and Johnson. With Tehran out of the ‘pen.

  117. Yeah I wouldn’t call our infield error-prone. But defensive efficiency treats the ball you got to and dropped exactly the same as the ball you didn’t even get to.

  118. MLBTR saying Garza isnt going to be traded now because he’s unavailable for his next start. MRI showed fluid build up in his elbow.

  119. I think Uggla has pretty decent range. Though 2B really isn’t a big range possition.

    Early on, Uggla was terrbile. I think he has worked hard to get better. I even think he is a little above average. I have seen him get to some balls this year that KJ would have never gotten to

  120. “I refuse to acknowledge Montreal or the Pittstain Pirates as formidable foes, but they’re also there.”

    You better because “Montreal” has a pitching staff that the Braves would kill for. If you want to be delusional, go ahead.

  121. It may just be cheaper adding two RH’d relievers and moving Medlen into the rotation. Id rather do that than revisit that Dempster deal.

  122. “I refuse to acknowledge Montreal or the Pittstain Pirates as formidable foes, but they’re also there.”

    You better because “Montreal” has a pitching staff that the Braves would kill for. If you want to be delusional, go ahead.

    Same with Pittsburgh

  123. – Huh?

    – Really? 95% likely lead team holds that lead, all other things equal.

    – The Phillies have a four-game winning streak and some act as if they’re red-hot. People are living in the past;

    I was basically just trying to jinx a Phillies comeback. Thinking about it, I dont’t really believe it WILL happen, but it certainly COULD happen. After the 2011 experience, and given the current situation of our team and theirs, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. The Braves were 82-58 on September 5th (!), the Cards were 74-67, and guess who won the World Series…

    BTW, my vote for line of the day goes to:

    Ruiz is the only member of their lineup outperforming ours at his position

    Yeah, sure. Uggla is better than Utley and Janish better than Rollins right now.

  124. I agree with Stu: Shields would be a major addition/upgrade to the Braves. He’d be replacing Jurrjens, basically. If you can’t get Greinke then he’s the next best possible target.

  125. The Braves have agreed to sign Miguel Batista, David Lennon of Newsday reports (on Twitter). The Mets released the 41-year-old right-hander yesterday after designating him for assignment.

    AAA hopefully

  126. Ready for good news?

    Stark-Jayson Stark: The Braves may not have announced on anybody’s radio show that they’ve moved on with Zack Greinke, the way they did for Ryan Dempster, but they are telling teams that they’re turning their focus away from the rotation and are shopping more for bullpen and bench pieces. That would be an indication they have no interest in dealing Julio Teheran for a rental player.

  127. Just to be clear:
    Are we discussing “Big Game James” Shields, current leader in hits allowed (156 in 137+ innings) and leader in Batters Faced?

    Maybe it’s true that you have to be a pretty good pitcher to get to face that many batters (much like you have to be pretty good to get the opportunity to lose 20 games) but I can’t tell if the Rays just don’t have better options than leaving him out there.

    For me… not so much

  128. Last piece

    It’s also an indication that they will have a tough time convincing themselves they can re-sign Greinke in the wake of the Cole Hamels contract.

  129. @175, I want to scream BABIP at the top of my lungs but 1) I don’t think it’d make any difference and 2) Have you ever said “BABIP” out loud? It sounds ridiculous.

  130. Kind of brain cramped on Rollins but utley is having a pretty bad year. Once Andrelton returns, I’ll stand by what I said.

  131. @176

    That means one of two things. They are trying to lower the price on pitching or they are ready to move Medlin to the rotation.

    This team isn’t going to make/ go far in October with this rotation.

  132. Braves Journal: Needs more Stu posts.

    I agree with Stu

    From now on, I’m only ready comments by guys named Adam.

  133. To clarify, there’s no doubt Shields would help our chances to get to the playoffs. I’m just not sure how much he helps our chances at a ring once we get there. He’s a good guy to have all year long.

  134. Shields pitched 250 innings last year in the regular season. With all the doubts about our rotation, he may be the only guy left standing by the time we get to the playoffs! He might have to give us another 250 starting in October, with our luck.

  135. Yeah, if thats the case our postseason rotation looks like Hudson, Hanson, Minor if Sheets doesnt hold up.

  136. Whether or not this is actually true, it makes some sense. There are only so many significant pitching upgrades out there and the Braves are unlikely to get any of them for a price they are willing to pay. It might make sense to concentrate on areas where they can actually make moves. The Greinke thing never made much sense to me because did they really expect him to take some significant discount to sign with the Braves?

    Re Teheran: As Capt. Miller said to Private Ryan on the bridge: “Earn this.”

  137. This reminds me of the time we needed pitching, but there was no pitching, so we traded for Mark Teixeira.

  138. Upgrades over Hinkse/Diaz should not be tough to land, and will help quite a bit, as Prado can spell Uggla more and more if he doesn’t get it turned around, if only we had someone worth starting in LF in his stead.

  139. I would give up a legitimately large prospect haul for Greinke–and pay him like an ace. At some point you’re going to have to pay a couple elite players at market rates. It’s nearly impossible to win the WS without doing so. And Greinke is the type of player for whom you do that.

  140. If we went out and got 2-3 studs for our bullpen, I could live with this rotation.

    We would only nee 5 innings out of a starter and just ask them to keep it close.

    Pestano, Broxton, Street w/ a healthy O’Venterble would mean we would just need a lead in the 4th inning.

  141. At some point you’re going to have to pay a couple elite players at market rates.

    I couldn’t disagree more. Almost all elite teams manage to get by precisely by not paying elite players at elite rates, usually because they developed those players themselves. Elite talent costs so much on the open market that it is usually inefficient to try to obtain it, unless you have a payroll so high that it doesn’t matter, because the justifiable price you have to pay that talent requires you to shortchange the rest of your roster.

    Think about the most recent World Series winners. The Yankees and Red Sox are really the only exceptions — and of course they’re the Yankees and Red Sox, so their situation doesn’t really apply to us.

    2011 Cardinals
    Best position players: Albert Pujols (homegrown, on a below-market extension), Matt Holliday (market rate), Lance Berkman (low price for a 1-year contract)
    Best pitcher: Chris Carpenter (signed to a below-market extension)

    2010 Giants
    Best position players: Aubrey Huff (low price for a 1-year contract), Andres Torres (team-controlled), Buster Posey (homegrown, team-controlled)
    Best pitchers: Matt Cain (homegrown, below-market extension), Tim Lincecum (homegrown, below-market extension)

    2009 New York Yankees
    Best position players: Derek Jeter (homegrown, above-market extension), Mark Teixeira, (above-market contract), Robinson Cano (homegrown, below-market contract), Alex Rodriguez (above-market contract)
    Best pitchers: C.C. Sabathia (market-rate contract), A.J. Burnett (above-market contract), Mariano Rivera (homegrown, market-rate contract)

    2008 Philadelphia Phillies
    Best position players: Chase Utley (homegrown, below-market contract), Jimmy Rollins (homegrown, below-market contract), Shane Victorino (homegrown, below-market contract)
    Best pitchers: Cole Hamels (homegrown, below-market contract)

    2007 Boston Red Sox
    Best position players: David Ortiz (below-market extension), Mike Lowell (market-rate extension), Kevin Youkilis (homegrown, below-market contract), Dustin Pedroia (homegrown, below-market contract)
    Best pitchers: Josh Beckett (below-market extension), Curt Schilling (market-rate contract), Daisuke Matsuzaka (above-market contract)

  142. On a scale of insane to brilliant, where would you rate the Braves trading for Josh Beckett?

    He has worn out his welcome in Boston. I know his contract may have caused a spit-take from people while reading this, but that guy has pitched some damn impressive games.

    Just outside the box (or cage, in my case).

  143. I agree with Alex but even if I didn’t, we have no guarantee that the Braves could even resign Greinke. The assumption, I think, was that he would take somewhat of a discount because he wanted to play for the Braves but we sure don’t know that. Unless the Braves were ready to pay whatever it takes to sign Greinke-and, obviously, they aren’t-it would be a big risk to trade Teheran and Delgado for two months of Greinke. Even the Yankees can’t be guaranteed of getting their man; everyone assumed Cliff Lee would resign with them but he didn’t.

  144. There is absolutely no question that the AL East is the hardest division in baseball to pitch in, and Fenway Park is one of the most extreme hitters’ parks, as well. In addition, Boston can frequently turn poisonous. Beckett seems like he can be both an idiot and a jerk and his skills have clearly degraded from where they were a few years ago; he’s overpaid, even taking park and division effects into consideration.

    But if Boston was literally just looking to salary-dump him, like the Yankees did with A.J. Burnett or we did with Derek Lowe, we’d be fools not to consider it. He’s still only 32, and he can still pitch.

  145. @193

    I agree. I think it would take both of them and AT LEAST a mid level prospect.

    If they gave us a window to sign him to a multi year contact and he took it, then I might pull the trigger on that deal.

  146. Don’t ask me why, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves got Blanton from the Phillies.

  147. •Dempster will consider trades to a number of teams, including the Braves and Dodgers, if the Cubs approach him with a deal in place, Bruce Levine of reports. “He has not said that he wouldn’t go to Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter,” a person familiar with the situation told Levine.

    This should be interesting.

  148. @197,

    Yes, it will be a big surprise when the Braves announce that John Smoltz is coming down from the announcing booth to make a comeback and will be starting on Tuesday.

  149. Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Braves are continuing to search for a starting pitcher. Little has changed. Greinke and others still in play.

    These next few days should be fun.

  150. Little has changed? We’re dumping Fredi to get Grady Little? (hey… this rumor starting thing is easy!)

  151. The buyers walked away from the sellers en masse until the price came down. OK, Wren, let’s make a deal.

  152. Wren acquires Zach Greinke for Chad Durbin after obtaining pictures of Milwaukee’s GM with John Sandusky.

  153. Its awful that Im asking this question, but what can Bautista provide that Buddy Carlyle cant?

  154. For some reason I think the Braves’ scouts did not like what they saw from Medlin as a starting pitcher in AAA. Of all the options out there, making a trade for a solid reliever and sending Medlin to the rotation seems to make a lot of sense and is a very low cost option. It just seems like the Braves are not considering that idea.

  155. I have no clue why the Braves got Batista. I would almost rather have Livan Hernandez. As noted, hopefully this is just to bolster their AAA bullpen.

  156. Bullpen pieces and bench help? Parnell and Hairston from the Mets probably wouldn’t cost us much.

    If pitching is going to cost too much, I’d explore either Upton.

  157. I just spent an extra 2 hours stuck on a broken down train with no AC outside of Boston. Why do people live in cities? Why do I live in a city?

    I can say that Boston is totally over Beckett and Lester.

  158. Boston is a little late to the tea party. That clubhouse should have been blown up. Instead they threw a valentine on the fire.

    JJ Putz anybody? Corey Hart?

  159. Are there any non-National fans against putting Medlen in the rotation? Feels like Gonzalez is the only one in the world who doesn’t think that is a good idea.

  160. @203, I just read Smoltzies book. An interesting read.
    Now I turned to the RA Dickey book. I can highly recommend that one. Dickey is my favorite non-Braves player. He’s had quite a life so far.

  161. On the bright side, there haven’t been any rumors about the Braves being interested in Shane Victorino. I just don’t think I could stomach that.

  162. John Hellweg and Ariel Pena are the guys the Angels gave up. Do you guys see something special in their stats that I’m not getting? They seem solid but not overly special, but I am probably overlooking something.

  163. At least we are hitting Hamels well this inning. Maybe that bodes well going forward.

  164. @232 Hitting Hamels well this inning, but here comes Janish and the hitting will come to a stop

  165. Janish doesn’t run on the epic arm of Juan Pierre and the Prado gets carved up for the 3rd out. 2 runs is nice but it feels like a bit of a failure still

  166. Pierre was practically in the infield when he got to that ball. I don’t mind the fact that they held Janish (though hindsight is 20/20).

  167. 243 — Usually, but Pierre was playing shallow and had the ball in on that play when Janish was rounding 3rd.

  168. Looks like we are going to get into the Phillies bullpen fairly early. Hamels is at 80 pitches.

  169. @227, Hellweg throws in the high 90s. They also gave up their top position player prospect (a SS I think).

  170. This sucks for the Braves though, since now the Rangers will be much more likely to grab whatever’s left in the pitching department. More and more I think we’re gonna have to settle for a non-flashy bullpen acquisition and hope what we’ve got is enough to get us in.

  171. And FWIW I’m ok with standing pat if we couldn’t get a reasonable deal for a top starter. I would not have traded Simmons, and it looks like it would have taken something like that…no thanks.

  172. Sounds like Medlen might be the option to start on Tuesday, which is a good thing.

    Oh yeah, did I mention pay Bourn the money?

  173. I can’t believe we went so long without a real CFer. Michael Bourn is a natural out there.

  174. Sheets doesn’t have the speed he had but he still has great command and a hammer curveball.

  175. At the game tonight. Sheets gave us another good 6. 1 run every 18 innings is damn well worth it.

  176. Damn…come on Venters. Throwing the ball well for the most part but still in a jam

  177. If Twitter had a “beat-the-hell-out-of-someone” function, I’d use it on Bill Shanks.

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