Braves 8, Marlins 2

The Braves flashed some serious leather and continued to hit, while Tommy Hanson lucked out again, and that combined for a relatively easy extension of the winning streak.

Meanwhile, Frank Wren addressed issues in the rotation and on the bench by acquiring Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson from the Cubs, in exchange for recovering-from-Tommy-John-surgery Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. I like the deal — Vizcaino has crazy upside, but you’re dealing two relievers for pieces that can really help this year — but I’m a little disappointed that the Braves won’t be adding a front-of-the-rotation kind of arm. Maybe Minor, Delgado, or Teheran will develop into one, one of these years.

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.

355 thoughts on “Braves 8, Marlins 2”

  1. I don’t suppose there’s any chance Johnson would be supplanting Diaz instead of Constanza…

  2. JC’ed – Since Vizcaino ended last year on the 25 man roster, is his pre-arbitration service clock running?

  3. I’m underwhelmed. The trade itself is fine, but I think we needed something bigger.

    Teheran and/or Delgado better pan out now. This is Chipper’s last season, and Bourn’s too, as far as the Braves are concerned.

  4. Also JC’d:

    Trading damaged goods is not going to maximize your return. The TJ surgery happened, though, so maybe Vizcaino was never going to regain the value he had last year.

    Maholm and Johnson may have moderate impact during the regular season if things go well, but I don’t see them affecting our contender status. Maholm does have a team option, so that gives us a chance at a secondary return if we don’t need him for the rotation. More of a division championship streak move than a World Series Champion move.

  5. “Expected new Braves lefty Paul Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his past 7 starts, 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA this season.”

  6. This seems like a move to keep us a competitive playoff team. If we get hot at the right time it could all pan out. This teams payroll needs depth and this helps with it.

    Hanson has to get his act together and watching him sitting at 87 tonight doesnt bode well.

  7. Don’t minimize Johnson’s impact. He can play all three outfield positions, allowing Prado to play third on a Chipper rest day with no defensive fall off. Bourn and Heyward can now get an occasional day off as well.
    Maholm is a good pitcher. He was good with the Pirates and has been good with the Cubs. He fills the rotation need and will allow the bullpen to remain solid in both long and short relief.
    Very good trade by Wren.

  8. Yeah, a playoff rotation of Hudson/Sheets/Hanson/Lefty doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. And that’s the best-case/everyone’s healthy scenario.

  9. When you have to rely solely on the negative of the players leaving and the positives of the players coming again, you probably made a bad trade.

    Reed Johnson! What an upgrade! 35-years old? High unsustainable luck? No problem!
    Paul Maholm! Depth! Has a history of sucking and is on a streak and therefore is the definition of selling high? No problem!

    Vizcaino! Guy may never come back from surgery! Wait, he’s possibly a top-40 prospect in the MLB? No problem!

  10. I would’ve rather had Dempster for Delgado, frankly. Oh well, at least we did something.

  11. Id rather keep Delgado moving forward over Vizcaino. I dont really see Vizcaino producing as a starter. Maybe Im wrong. Still doesnt change the fact that Dempster didnt want to come to Atlanta.

  12. There were no lock-down number one starters available this trading season. Nobody was available with a history of playoff success. Nobody who you could put at the front of your rotation and feel comfortable with your playoff chances. No Randy Johnsons; no Roger Clemonses; no John Smoltzes. With this trade, the Braves greatly improved their chances to make the playoffs; perhaps even to win the division with the league’s best record. If Minor continues to improve and Sheets stays steady, it is a fine rotation, aided by two good long men in the bullpen when needed.

  13. 13,

    A positive here is that pitching Malholm instead of Delgado gives us an extra year of Delgado down the road. However, we could have had that positive effect from pitching Medlen. Even Vizcaino as a 2-win player in the ‘pen is good value to me.


    Greinke? Shields isn’t a lockdown 1, but has been a decent 2 on a playoff team.

  14. This is like when I heard the Braves got Cabrera and Dunn. I was imagining the homers we were going to hit before I found it that it was Melky and Mike, not Miguel and Adam.

    The Cubs think they got Aroldis Chapman, when what they actually got was Arodys and Chapman. Theo needs to learn his area codes.

  15. I assume Medlen is going back to the pen to be our long man. The only question now is when will they announce JJ’s release?

  16. The #Marlins say they just aren’t getting the offers they want for Josh Johnson, and are begging teams to take 1B Carlos Lee off their hands.

    I’m so glad I’m not a Marlins fan. What a mess of an organization.

  17. 16,

    A 3.46 xFIP (best at predicting ERA going forward), especially in the AL East, is 2/3 starter material in the rotation for me. If your ERA is supposed to come down .5 Runs from the AL to the NL, a 3.00 ERA from Shields going forward would be excellent. He’s been absurdly unlucky with his BABIP and LOB rate, and slightly unlucky with his HR/FB rate.

  18. This is a good move. We need a solid starter, and Maholm is about as solid mid-rotation #3 as you can possibly get. The fact that he’s #4 on this team if Sheets holds up is a solid bonus. Also, this plays to the confusing need this team has to have at least one lefty in the rotation. Now, if Minor collapses, he won’t be kept up just because he’s a southpaw.

    This team really doesn’t like using Heyward in CF, and Constanza is really bad at hitting baseballs. Also, Fredi can’t stand the thought of using Ross to pinch hit, even late in ballgames. A lefty-mashing backup CF is pretty much the perfect bench guy for this team. Finally, the guy who leads the team in games played might actually get a break.

  19. I think it’s a solid trade. I hate giving up Vizcaino, but I am not sure the return says we sold low.

    We just got a lot better off the bench and we have significant pitching insurance.

    Vizcaino will be a stud, but probably not until 2014 and likely in the bullpen. And I do believe his service clock is ticking.

  20. I like Ital-Land. It makes everyone’s comments seem a lot more reasonable and rational.

    For example, Jeff Francouer is a fine baseball player.

    Also, I like Scott Hairston and watching the Mets lose.

  21. Two late-inning HRs from Scott Hairston. How do you like that? Between Hairston & Jordany Valdespin, at least the Mets have some power off the bench.

    If the Mets can hang on this time—don’t breathe, it’s Manny Acosta—all the right teams (from the Braves’ perspective) will have lost tonight.

    Ball 4… here we go…

  22. Good trade, I like it. Delgado is worth so much more than two month of Ryan Dempster, so thank you Ryan.

  23. Acosta in the 10th: Walk, flyout, walk, pop-up, RBI single, screaming flyout to the wall in CF.

    Um, thanks, Manny.

    So… Giants, Dodgers, Reds & Pirates all bite the dust tonight.

  24. Emphasized text
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  25. I like the trade. Maholm isn’t Dempster or Grienke but he is servicible. Johnson is a guy we’ve needed for a couple of seasons. Its tough to trade Vizcaino but he was fragile even before the TJ and looked like he was going to turn out to be a relief pitcher. If the Cubs can tap his potential and make as starter out of im then this is a win/win trade. This isn’t a blockbuster but IMHO its way the hell better than Delgado for 2 months of Dempster or Teheran AND Delgado and someone else for 2 months of Grienke. In the end a trade has to make the team better and I think this one did.

  26. Plus, if one of our starters gets hurt, this saves us from putting JJ in the rotation or having to hope Tehran is ready.

    I like this deal.

  27. As it looks now, we only play 15 games against teams that are over .500 for the rest of the season.

    The Mets are close to .500 and could mess that stat up.

  28. Late to the party, but I really like this trade. I wanted the Braves to have Johnson for a couple of years now and I always kinda liked Maholm. You have to remember he never played for a professional baseball team before, so let’s see what he can do. I don’t think we gave up too much. Maybe Wren finds a good reliever too.

  29. I’ve got no problem with the trade. Vizcaino is the perfect example of TINSTAAPP or whatever the acronym is. If Minor falls on his face again or if someone gets hurt, we’re covered. Our rotation is so flimsy right now that even a solid starter, and a lefty at that, is a huge plus.

  30. This is a good trade. The Braves dealt one of their five lottery tickets for someone to stop the bleeding on Jurrjens’ start days and a quality backup OF at all three positions. They are playing to win at the Major League level, and that’s what they should be doing. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Vizcaino becomes the Cubs Adam Wainwright. He had a ton of talent. But then again, so did Ruben Quevedo.

    The Braves still have Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Sean Gilmartin parked at AA/AAA/the DL, waiting for a chance to do something worthwhile in the Bigs from 2013-2016.

  31. If I’m Medlen, I’m really getting pissed about now.

    Could it actually be that Juan Francisco is a, uh, decent replacement at 3B? If we simply cannot find a power-hitting right-handed left-fielder, this might be, uh, decent.

    The only Saint I didn’t actively sports-hate was Drew Brees. No longer. What a hypocrite – he knows Vilma (et al) are guilty as charged.

    And whatever happened to the “suite bugging” story?

  32. I assume “Burn In Hell” is Dempster? If so, I’ll merely point out that Ryan Dempster’s refusal to go immediately to Atlanta actually facilitated the Braves getting a much better deal in his place.

  33. By the way, do we still believe that deal was Delgado plus 1 for just Dempster?

    Or maybe it was Delgado + Chapman for Dempster + Johnson, and when Dempster dropped out, we subbed Vizcaino and they subbed Maholm?

  34. I was thinking something similar. If Johnson was really the top RH-bench-bat target, the rumors that we were sending more than Delgado would make some sense if we were getting both Dempster and Johnson.

  35. So who gets sent down?

    Btw, is it possible to brew a gluten-free beer?

  36. Constanza and Jurrjens, I have to believe.

    If Wren could add another reliever and let Avilan join those two on the shuttle to Gwinnett, that would be awesome.

  37. Lottery tickets are guys in low A with live arms that have a lot of development left before they can help a team at all. Lottery tickets aren’t guys who’ve actually made it to the majors and just need to get healthy before they can contribute, especially ones with the tools to contribute in an ace-like (bullpen or rotation) capacity. This was just dumping a really good prospect who had already made it through the minors at the absolute lowest point of his value for a soft tossing lefty and a bench bat. Better than Delgado for two months of Dempster, maybe, but that hardly makes it good.

  38. On if anticipates this being it: – DOB

    “No. We have other discussions. We have other conversations going on so I think it’s going to be very busy right up until 4 o’clock tomorrow.”-Wren

  39. Our current “lefty masher” reserve outfielder has all of one RBI in the last seven weeks, and he’s had only 14 PAs in July. Is his spot on the roster really all that assured, and isn’t Constanza a better fit as a fifth outfielder?

  40. @ 46: Between Hudson’s ankle, Hanson’s shoulder and Sheets’s elbow it’s certainly possible, maybe even likely, that the 6th man in line will have to make an important start down the stretch. This trade means Jurrjens isn’t that 6th man, which is huge.

  41. 64—“Absolute lowest point,” huh? Maybe the lowest yet, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that a fragile guy who’s destined for the bullpen — only some teams aren’t quite willing to concede that — will have less value a year or two from now than he has right now, when he’s still got some of that top-40-prospect glow still around him.

    Hard for me to understand the complaints about the specifics of this deal. Teams aren’t just going to give us valuable pieces for nothing.

  42. 68—Well, he’s on the DL. So the current roster will have neither Diaz nor Constanza.

  43. That news completely escaped me. Honorary team member and dugout presence suits him.

  44. Agree completely. I’ll bet he stays DL’d until 8/31, when they set their playoff roster and demote the fifth starter for a day in favor of him.

  45. Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Hanson’s velo has been down all year. Concerning aspect later is his inconsistent command. Every inning is a battle

  46. Yeah Diaz is down with MORE hand problems from the PALM FROND accident of three years ago.

    You don’t have to denigrate Vizcaino to like this deal. He’s not a lottery ticket. His “fragility” was the org putting off the surgery he eventually required.

    He will come back in May or June, maybe they keep him in minors to get one more shot at starting, maybe they put him straight in to the big league bullpen.

    But Vizcaino will in all likelihood pitch 8th innings for the Cubs for 4 or more years (his DL stretch this season is BIG LEAGUE time.) And the Braves will strengthen a borderline playoff team to try to make it a championship team.

    That’s baseball. I love the deal.

  47. There’s a decent chance that Diaz doesn’t play anymore this year (and opts to have surgery). We needed a 4th OF for sure. I know nothing about Maholm except that he’s a soft tossing lefty with non-terrible numbers if you take into account the teams he’s played for. Hopefully he can eat some innings and be halfway decent.

    This also keeps Medlen in the pen, which I guess is a vital role given the number of starters we have that only go 5 innings. Medlen wouldn’t replace Hudson or Sheets or Hanson in the rotation, so as long as those guys only pitch half-games then our middle relief corp needs to be excellent.

  48. #52

    Francisco is awful at 3rd. Any chance he could play LF? I’m sure it’d be ugly at times but 3rd is so much more important right?

    Heard talk that Hanson may be DL’d to get some rest and Medlen could stay in the rotation for a couple of weeks.

  49. I don’t love the deal, but am fine with it if Vizcaino ultimately ends up in the pen. It may well be that Wren and company concluded as much. Then again, Wren was trying to trade Delgado for Ryan Dempster, so he’s not my favorite guy right now anyway.

    On a different topic, Todd Cubningham is having a great year in Mississippi–basically a breakout. He doesn’t have great patience or power, but he could be a decent centerfielder and/or fourth outfielder as soon as next season.

  50. With Venters not being Venters, we still need another arm for the pen. Wren knows this.

  51. I kinda like the trade. Vizcaino’s a live arm, which is great and all, but the Braves have had a consistent problem the last few years of not having enough average players to pick up the slack when the stars get injured — witness the Buddy Carlyle era. Maholm and Reed Johnson fill our needs while trading a guy who probably couldn’t have been more than Juan Cruz for us.

  52. Hansons velocity was at its lowest point all season last night. He was sitting at 87 for most of the game. If they are considering DL’ing him then there should be enough worry to look at adding another starter. We cant afford to lose anyone, esp with Sheets injury history.

  53. Lowe, Jurrjens, Beachy, Hanson, Hudson, Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Medlen….who wouldve thought last offseason that Wren wouldve had to add Sheets/Maholm and we still might not have enough starters?

  54. #81
    Yeah, Hanson’s really danced through raindrops the last 2 games.

    Was only listening last night, but it occurred to me that pinch-hitting for Hanson in the bottom of the 5th had as much to do with sitting him for the evening as it did breaking the game open (which ended up happening).

    Hanson went 5 IP on 85 pitches, only 47 for strikes.

  55. Well, there would’ve been reason to doubt Lowe (age/suckitude), Jurrjens (injury/decline), Hanson (injury), Hudson (age), Medlen (injury), and Minor, Delgado, Teheran, and even Beachy are all young and unreliable. You have to count on at least one of these guys getting injured for the first time, and lo and behold, it happened to our best starter. That’s depth, but not particularly helpful depth.

    If Johnson was really the top RH-bench-bat target, the rumors that we were sending more than Delgado would make some sense if we were getting both Dempster and Johnson.

    This is a good point. Can’t dispense judgment without better information.

  56. Btw, is it possible to brew a gluten-free beer?

    Yes. You can buy gluten free beer from a good beer shop.

  57. Lottery tickets are guys in low A with live arms that have a lot of development left before they can help a team at all. Lottery tickets aren’t guys who’ve actually made it to the majors and just need to get healthy before they can contribute, especially ones with the tools to contribute in an ace-like (bullpen or rotation) capacity.

    Suffice to say I think you overvalue prospects for prospects’ sake and undervalue just-above-average Major League contributors. The Braves have four guys that are as likely as not to be more valuable than Vizcaino, all in AAA or on the DL.

    You don’t play Major League Baseball in order to accumulate shiny prospects.

  58. If the season ended today, our playoff rotation would be Hudson, Sheets, and Maholm.

    I think it would be a great idea to DL Hanson to get him three starts of rest, and still have enough time to evaluate him for the playoffs. And you he’s good enough to push Maholm to the pen for the playoffs.

  59. If I were Alex, I could repost Fangraph’s preseason starting pitching team rankings as a fancy table, but I lack the requisite mutant powers.

    Look where we were ranked to start the season:

    18. Atlanta Braves
    Player TM IP BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WAR
    Brandon Beachy ATL 180.0 2.8 9.9 0.9 3.5
    Mike Minor ATL 180.0 3.1 8.5 1.0 2.0
    Jair Jurrjens ATL 160.0 3.0 6.1 0.9 1.5
    Tommy Hanson ATL 140.0 2.8 8.9 0.9 2.5
    Tim Hudson ATL 140.0 2.6 5.9 0.8 1.5
    Julio Teheran ATL 100.0 3.4 7.2 0.8 1.0
    Randall Delgado ATL 50.0 4.1 7.2 1.2 –

    The issue here isn’t talent as much as it is health. Tim Hudson’s out for at least the beginning portion of the season, Jair Jurrjens has a litany of health issues, and Tommy Hanson remade his delivery in order to take some strain off his shoulder. The Braves have the depth to deal with a patchwork group, but they lack a true ace at the front, and Teheran and Delgado might not be ready to be more than stop-gaps at this point. Strong seasons from Beachy and Minor would certainly help stabilize things in Atlanta, but for this year, there are going to be a lot of questions that need answering.

  60. How well does Maholm have to pitch to get his ’13 option of 10m picked up? I say below 3ERA gets it.

  61. Just saw that and looked at Cots to confirm. DOB is right. The number was different a few hours ago. Cots must have put it in wrong when they moved him over to the Braves payroll.

  62. Stat dump:

    # of pitchers w/ seasons of 200+ IP and 2+ relief appearances:

    62-66 125
    67-71 106
    72-76 95
    77-81 65
    82-86 48
    87-91 26
    92-96 13
    97-01 9
    02-06 7
    07-12 4

  63. @75,

    I think it’s a good trade. If losing an 8th inning guy is the price for Maholm and Johnson, it seems worth it to me. Bullpens can be put together in a lot of ways so I don’t see the need to hold onto a guy that projects as a reliever. No doubt having Kimbrel and (last year at least) Venters has been highly valuable for the Braves but they have also put together good bullpens from spare parts.

    And people say it’s not a big deal. But Mike Devereau was a similar kind of acquisition and he was the MVP in the 1995 NLCS. Not saying this happen to Reed Johnson but don’t underestimate having a competent bench.

  64. I’m hoping we can get one more reliever, keep Medlen in the rotation, DL Hanson temporarily and eventually jettison Minor to Aaa or the pen. I hate trading Odys, but two needs have been filled…

  65. For what it’s worth, the Braves have quickly re-built some nice pitching depth in the minors. Sean Gilmartin, J.R. Graham, Lucas Sims, Alex Wood, Zeke Spruill, and Mauricio Cabrera are all interesting in various ways. And that doesn’t even mention Cody Martin, David Hale, and Navery Moore. So like I said: if Vizcaino is a reliever, then this trade is solid, if unexciting. The Braves have plenty of young pitching coming up behind Minor, Delgado, and Teheran, and can afford to play for both now and the future.

  66. Minor has a sub 2 ERA in July over 4 starts. Why would we put that in AAA or the bullpen?

  67. Clearly, the Braves see something in Minor. I hope one day to find out the real story of what’s going on with him this season. In my imagination, he’s a very talented pitcher who gets frustrated easily and lets emotions get the better of him, or something like that, and the Braves decided the best way to deal with it was to keep throwing him out there until he settles himself.

  68. I think that’s pretty close to accurate. If you haven’t read his most recent postgame comments from his most recent start, you should.

    It’s mostly mental. When he’s right, he’s a really good pitcher.

  69. Who’s the best team in the NL right now? The Dodgers are starting to look scary.

  70. Tommy yesterday: “The last thing I want to do is to be worrying about my pants when I’m trying not to walk seven guys.”

  71. The Dodgers scare me more than the Giants at this point. If they add Dempster too…that’s one heckuva team.

  72. Minor has a sub 2 ERA in July over 4 starts. Why would we put that in AAA or the bullpen?

    Because we don’t pay attention to things that happened recently when our opinions have been locked in by things that happened in the past.

  73. The Dodgers scare me more than the Giants at this point. If they add Dempster too…that’s one heckuva team.

    I was under the impression that their offense sucked?

  74. Well, they’ve added Hanley and Burn In Hell to the Kemp/Ethier core — that’s not bad.

  75. They swept the Giants and are now tied for first even before they acquired Victorino or (presumably) Dempster. I say they’re the team to beat.

  76. The Giants pitching is better. The good teams in the NL all have pretty decent pitching. The AL teams, not so much.

  77. Angels have the best staff right now.

    Weaver, Greinke, Haren, Wilson. Their 4th starter is better than anyone on our staff.

  78. The Nats are the team to beat. If we let them cruise to the division title then they’ll line up their playoff rotation just they way they want to. I’d much rather them not having the luxury of resting starters down the stretch, and maybe even have to burn an ace in the play-in game (one can dream…)

  79. It looks pretty on paper but I feel like starting pitching is kinda overrated in this day and age in the postseason. I’ll take a good offense and bullpen over four aces. The Cardinals won the World Series with a rotation of Carpenter, Garcia, Lohse and Edwin Jackson.

  80. 1. They’re incredibly young, and it’s starting to show. Bryce Harper, as an example, is OPSing 523 since the ASG. They get Werth back to fill the Rick Ankiel hole, but they still have a mediocre offense at best, with gaping holes at multiple positions. If Harper’s fast start was just that – a fast start – they’re going to have trouble scoring runs down the stretch.

    2. They’re going to sit Stephen Strasburg down eventually. Every start from John Lannan is a start they’re not at top strength.

    3. They are the only team not actively improving (so far) at the deadline.

    The Nats *could* maintain, but if history is a guide, a team that young and with no improvement (or getting worse in the rotation) should struggle to close out the season strong.

  81. I am interested to see what Maholm will do on a good team. He always seems to give the braves a fit.

    Vizcanio has crazy upside in the pen. I think his secondary pithches need work, but he has a great chance to be a notch below Kimbrel as a closer if he develops.

    Reed Johnson is a very useful piece. He can defend and hit lefties, but I think we need one RH bench bat to hit LHP and maybe a P for the pen and we may be ready to rock and roll.

  82. The Nats kind of remind me of the ’91 Braves.

    I don’t think they can stay as hot as they have, but I think they will be in it at the end

  83. There’s absolutely zero chance of them shutting down Strasburg unless he actually starts feeling some arm discomfort. The whole thought of him not pitching in September or in the playoffs is absurd.

  84. The Nats kind of remind me of the ’91 Braves.

    In some ways, yes. And the 1991 Braves had absolutely no business competing as deeply as they did in the playoffs. And, to my recollection, the 1991 Braves were the last team to really pull off the ‘go young or go home’ tactic without going home early.

  85. Ya know, the Nats really DO remind me of the 91 Braves — good comparison. Young but talented pitching, a key offensive acquisition, and a few young position players with outsized performances.

  86. I believe they’re going to have him skipping starts the rest of the regular season.

    They handled him with kid gloves even before the injury. There are really two ways they could go after that. There’s the fatalistic approach that nothing they are going to do will help the situation, so they might as well just Prior/Wood the guy until he breaks. There’s also the over protective approach where they really clamp down and make sure there’s almost no chance of him ever feeling discomfort. The fact that they took him out of a start because it was hot leads me to think they’re going to surround him with pillows.

  87. I won’t believe they shut down Strasburg until it happens.

    The ’91 Braves just had a deeper rotation than Pittsburgh. They got key hits from Lemmer and Justice. It was a perfect storm, with some luck.

    Good pitching in post season opens a lot of doors for a deep run.

  88. 04/12 – “Look, the media put (the 160-innings limit) out there, not me.” Rizzo said. “It probably comes from what Jordan Zimmermann pitched last year.

    “I don’t have a specific pitch count in my mind, a specific innings count in my mind. I am going to refer to my experience as a farm director, as a player development guy, and knowing his body. In conjunction with Davey Johnson and (pitching coach) Steve McCatty, when we feel he’s had enough, we’re going to shut him down.” – Rizzo

    07/12 – “I have no clue how many innings I’m going to throw this year. I’ve answered that question multiple times, and nobody’s said anything to me. I feel great right now.” – Strasburg

  89. I heard Rizzo on WFAN last week & his answer about Strasburg was essentially, “Yes, we’re still going to limit his innings & we’ll do it by giving him extra rest, missing starts, having him come out of games early, if necessary.”

  90. Strasburg is currently at 117 1/3 innings – at his current pace of roughly 5 1/3 innings per start, he’ll reach 160 IP after about 8 more starts. The Nats have 61 more games to play in the regular season, so at some point they’re going to have to cut back on Strasburg’s starts, especially if they want him available for the playoffs.

    On a related note, the Braves have had far and away more success against Strasburg than any other team has. He has a career ERA of 2.67 and a career WHIP of 1.06, but the Braves have knocked him around for a 4.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Put another way, the Braves have scored more than 1/4 of all earned runs Strasburg has allowed in his career.;_ylt=AkP3dyoRsP4N0g5Kzs8VVsmFCLcF?year=career&type=Pitching

  91. If the Braves are going to DL Hanson and give Medlen a few extra starts then I would hope that we are adding a reliever before the day ends.

  92. Yeah, if you actually go by what Rizzo and Strasburg have said and ignore the media’s collective hernia on the subject, it’s pretty clear the Nats are backing down on this. In the end, I’m guessing he’ll skip a start or two and only be allowed to pitch five or six innings in the games he does start. They might even sit him for the rest of the regular season if they clinch a playoff spot early. But they’re not gonna shut him down.

  93. I really don’t like the idea of giving up Vizcaino for 2 months (plus a just-okay option) of a mediocre starter. Johnson’s a nice bench guy, and lord knows the Braves needed that, but he’s no reason to get excited.

    Maholm is a contact pitcher who’s been just mediocre in the worst division in baseball. Maybe he can be useful in the bullpen later, but that represents a huge drop in value (TJ or no TJ) for Vizcaino to go from a top 50 pitching prospect to someone you let go for a bench guy and pitching depth.

    All that said, he’ll probably be better than Hanson or JJ….

  94. We called him “Burn in Hell”; Los Angeles is a pretty good substitute.

    Constanza sent to Gwinnett to make way for Reed Johnson. I like this trade, sinced we don’t have outfielders growing on trees in the minors. All up to Maholm not to suck, of course.

  95. 144—Really? All I’ve seen/heard is that he’s added them to the list of teams for which he’d waive his no-trade rights. Didn’t know a deal was in place, yet.

  96. #144
    Listening to WFAN & deal not done. Dempster’s OK’d a trade to The Bronx. (Yanks pitching coach Larry Rothschild was his pitching coach in Chicago.)

    Cashman & Epstein reportedly still working out options.

    Even if Pettitte’s return isn’t in doubt, I’d imagine he’d just replace Freddie Garcia in the rotation.

  97. @146

    I’d be hard-pressed to look at last year’s collapse and come to the conclusion that not adding a bullpen arm is what cost us the playoffs. As well as O’Ventbrel was pitching, they’d have still gotten the last three innings every single time. And Vizcaino was pretty good as the sixth-inning guy.

    Looking more in-depth at Maholm vs. Dempster, I could certainly be convinced that Maholm should be about the same. I’m still not sure it’s enough, but if Maholm isn’t enough, then Dempster probably wouldn’t have been either.

  98. Been reading a lot more DOB this year than in seasons passed. I’ve seen a lot of negative comments about him on this site. What’s the main criticism?

  99. I hope the Phils find some players for their series in Washington. Somebody has to slow the Nats down.

  100. @152 – Fussy, snippy, childish, dismissive Fredi apologist.

    The Fredi part has been less this season as (I think) his management has been more highly regarded around these parts this season. But DOB didn’t do himself any favors starting out last season by going on a long motorcycle ride with Fredi, IMO.

  101. @152 – his apparent lack of journalistic distance, willingness to repeat as fact that which has yet to be established, and routine dismissal of any analysis that remotely contradicts his position. Well, that and the fact he is exceptionally peevish to his customers when the failings of his product are pointed out.

  102. 155- Not the way his K rate has declined. I’ve got to agree with Nick; I just don’t understand the all-fired need to pick up more bullpen arms. I don’t like that there’s a Durbin in it either, but it’s stashed way at the back. We’ve got Medlen, Martinez, and O’Ventbrel; that’s plenty for the playoffs, and Atilan and Durbin (urgh) are acceptable filler.

  103. @ 152 – Don’t know if it’s so much that DOB is bad, it’s that some of his commenters continually display their ignorance. The problem that many have with DOB is that he’s copping a horrible attitude.

  104. If any journalist gets a chance to spend some quality time with a subject, you do it. There’s nothing wrong with taking a motorcycle ride, no more than having a drink or dinner.

    If and how that impacts your work is a separate issue. This isn’t any conflict of interest.

  105. #160 – I dont know if we have the good Venters back yet.

    David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
    Gearrin has been called up from Gwinnett. Corresponding move not yet announced

    Gotta be JJ

  106. Per Keith Law on twitter – “I hope for the Royals’ sake that the return for Jonathan Broxton is negative Jeff Francoeur”

  107. @164 – Partially disagree. If DOB was writing a biography or character study of Fredi Gonzalez and that was the extent of his coverage, then maybe I agree. But he is the day in/day out coverage of the team for the main paper covering the Braves. Baseball managers are routinely questioned by fans, as everything they do is seen (for right or wrong) as impacting the outcome. You can’t compromise that coverage by getting that close. Just my opinion.

  108. Not the way (Broxton’s) K rate has declined. I’ve got to agree with Nick; I just don’t understand the all-fired need to pick up more bullpen arms. I don’t like that there’s a Durbin in it either, but it’s stashed way at the back. We’ve got Medlen, Martinez, and O’Ventbrel; that’s plenty for the playoffs, and Atilan and Durbin (urgh) are acceptable filler.

    I wonder if any of you will ever notice that Chad Durbin’s been a quality asset to this team since the end of April.

  109. I think a lot of people have noticed that Durbin has been very good for the Braves. Its not shocking that you took one post and lumped everyone into that line of thinking though.

  110. Sam, his record over the last 12 years indicates that you can’t rely on Durbin to keep pitching well for any sustained period. He’s decent bullpen filler, but you can’t count on him for more. We’ve been lucky.

  111. I think a lot of people have noticed that Durbin has been very good for the Braves. Its not shocking that you took one post and lumped everyone into that line of thinking though.

    A phrased my answer in the form of a question for a reason, Dexter.

  112. Sam, his record over the last 12 years indicates that you can’t rely on Durbin to keep pitching well for any sustained period. He’s decent bullpen filler, but you can’t count on him for more. We’ve been lucky.

    So, to be clear, good performance by relievers you already decided were good is skill, while good performance by relievers you already decided were bad is “luck.”

    All relievers are flaky. See also, Venters, Jonny. Chad Durbin’s been an asset since the end of April. But hey, write off four months of quality work for your favorite team because you decided in Spring Training that it couldn’t possible be a good idea to pick him up and give him a whirl.

  113. Caution, could be another question.

    #181 – Yeah, we could also see something come through for the next hour or so also.

  114. The Pirates traded a draft pick. It’s the start of a new era. Unfortunately, this era will be one with interleague play every single day. Sigh.

  115. Smitty, if you count getting RH batters out as Gearrin’s only skill, then wouldn’t it be prudent to say that all pitchers can only have a maximum of 2 skills? Seriously, Gearrin’s been put into shituations in which Fredi has asked him to do things that he’s not being groomed to do. When used right, i bet Gearrin could be a dominant double play inducing, strike you out Roogy.

  116. 180- CHad Durbin has been above average in two previous season in which he’s pitched more than six innings, and below average in six. He had a 5.53 ERA last year (which is admittedly better than his 6.97 in 2004 or his 8.21 in 2000). He was available three days before the season started for very good reason- no one else wanted him.

    Chad Durbin has a long record establishing himself as a lousy pitcher with occasional flashes of competence (mostly in 2008). Trusting him as more than spackle is foolhardy.

    But hey, write off an entire career of lousy pitching based on a few good weeks.

  117. @177 Your “question” (which notably contained no question mark) was based on the very clear premise that you believe no one here has yet noticed Durbin’s adequate performance since April. Based on numerous comments made here by myself and many others, that premise is wrong.

  118. David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
    #Braves Fredi G on plan w/ Medlen: “Give him 2 starts and give Tommy a breather.”

  119. #169
    There’s no reason why a reporter can’t ask the very same questions or get the very same answers.

    Access is a big deal in the real world of journalism, and it can work both ways, for sure. (In instances away from sports, where the stakes were much higher, we’ve seen complete failures.)

    But, back in the Toy Department, it’s up to the beat reporter to give the readers a connection to their team’s manager & fairly convey his thoughts. That’s one of the reasons he’s there.

    Building a respectful professional relationship is important if you’re going to spend 7 months with someone, but it doesn’t automatically make you sympathetic to your subject.

    (Trust me, over the years, I’ve covered people I can’t stand & managed to treat them fairly in print; conversely, there are people I like very much in my industry, but I couldn’t in good conscience give them any more ink than they deserved.)

    BTW, the routine questioning from fans shouldn’t be a beat reporter’s top priority. Some fans are completely & routinely out of their minds. It’s up to the reporter to determine the legit questions & ask them.

  120. @184

    I will give you that he can get RHs out. But there is no room in a ML pen for a ROOGY. It is too easy to pinch hit a lefty, then you have to go get him becasue lefties kill him.

    If he could get lefties out, at all, then he might have some value.

    Most LOOGYs have the ability to get a RH more than half the time.

  121. Also, Gearrin can pitch on back to back days, or to lefties, or behind in the count. There are rumors he can’t eat after midnight or have water poured on him.

    I want him to do well, he is from my neck of the woods, but he has to show he can get lefties out to play in the bigs.

  122. I think the Braves should trade for Aroldis Chapman.

    I think the Braves should trade Jair Jurrjens to the Angels for Mike Trout.

  123. And then trade Jack Wilson to the Nationals for Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.

  124. I’ve had the gumption to praise Durbin on a couple occasions. Even Fredi.

    Looking at Durbin’s numbers since the end of April, here’s what we’ve got:

    IP: 32.0
    H: 18
    R: 10
    ER: 7
    BB: 14
    K: 28
    HR: 5
    ERA: 1.97
    BA: .162
    OBP: .256
    SLG: .333
    OPS: .589

    Pretty good.

  125. Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Wren and Gonzalez just went to the clubhouse for a discussion. Guessing Gearrin move will involve Jurrjens.

  126. I know JJ’s been ineffective, but sending him down or cutting him tonight doesn’t making sense, when you know Medlen’s going to give you only 4 innings and Avilan pitched 2 innings last night.

  127. MLB ‏@MLB
    BREAKING: @Rangers RHP @NefFeliz to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss rest of 2012 season.

    Man that sucks for him, probably will miss all of 2013 also.

  128. @189, concur – that he routinely engages the weirdos on the AJC board is nuts – berating them just compounds it.

  129. @206 but in a way its kind of funny as he tries to argue with stupid. i guess he thinks he is on Braves Journal or something. I bet he hates that he gets paid to blog.

  130. Is this the norm for Hanson?

    2011 – Shutdown on August 6th
    Previous 5 starts
    26.2IP 36H 24ER 11BB 33K

    2012 – DL’d on July 30th
    Previous 5 starts
    26.1IP 32H 19ER 17BB 28K

  131. So we’re all just okay with giving up a potential top-line arm for a mediocre LHP just because he’s out this year with TJ? Seriously? Does Paul Maholm really make the Braves that much better this year?

    I feel like he’s a complete wild card. Could be decent, could be good, could be crappy…. Basically equivalent to what you’d get putting Medlen in the rotation. So it’s like trading for a somewhat-expensive reliever. Yeesh.

  132. 211- Said potential top-line arm has already had one major elbow injury before the Tommy John, is still in A ball, and has many scouts convinced that his future is in the bullpen. Maybe he’ll be that top-line starter, but it’s much more likely that he’ll flame out, have limited endurance, or simply not be that good.

    As for Maholm, he’s definitely better than JJ has been in his last several starts, and Medlen’s already being put in the rotation because Hanson’s hurt. (Don’t forget that we’re also getting Reed Johnson because Hinske is done and Diaz is hurt AND done.) We have to give something to get something.

    I could snark about Vizcaino’s chances being lengthened because he’s going to the Cubs… so I will- this just makes it even less likely he’ll ever amount to anything in MLB.

  133. Maholm is pitching well, our rotation has been one of the worst in the NL. Johnson gives us some versatility off the bench. Give up “potential” is what you have to do. I doubt Frank had 5 offers and took the worst one.

  134. I feel like at best we shored up the bench by replacing Diaz with a better version of Diaz, and we’ve replaced Hanson with a guy that we hope will pitch like what we thought we were going to get from Hanson (lotsa question marks there).

    Helpful, but nothing that makes us a front-runner. Kinda treading water. That might be good enough.

  135. jason picked an optimal time to have a hot week – .333/.364/.810/ 1.173. Hope it continues.

  136. No problem, we can just call all clutch super-awesome bases-loaded HRs “McCann Slams” from now on :)

  137. @229, speaking of good times to get hot – Francisco is sporting a gaudy line over the last month…


  138. Does Paul Maholm really make the Braves that much better this year?

    Without a doubt.

  139. @241, I completely agree. Given that any one (or more) of Sheets, Hanson, Delgado, Minor, or Medlen could go south as a starter at any time, and JJ already has, it’s quite reasonable risk mitigation.

  140. i just turned the game on and saw an intentional walk to the roadrunner.
    What the heck is going on?
    Did I enter the twilight zone?

  141. The Marlins announcers are making me miss Chip and Joe. They’re some of the worst in baseball.

  142. @251, I looked at the boxscore and saw that and laughed at myself then saw Janish nearly rip a double down the line.

  143. So this is extrememly rudimentary, but I was kind of bored so I decided to hop onto Baseball Reference and do this real quick. I have been wondering what the actual value, in runs, a stolen base is worth to you. I decided to take Michael Bourn, someone that we associate with stolen bases whose value is partly based on his speed on the basepaths. Just looking at his 2012 season thus far, he’s 28 for 36 (78% success rate). This is a success rate I’ve seen in the past as somewhere near the approximate baseline of what you need for stolen bases to be worth it, which can somewhat be seen in the results.

    At any rate, I looked at each stolen base and caught stealing for Bourn this year, and essentially determined how the inning would have gone without the attempt. For example, did the stolen base come in an inning we didn’t score in anyway? Or where Bourn would have scored anyway on a later XBH? Was the SB totally necessary to score. Conversely, I looked at instanced where his caught steals directly cost us a run based on what subsequent batters did. Of course, this can’t account for the precious lost out, which makes a caught stealing even more costly in terms of runs. Regardless, I’ve determined that his steals have earned us 5 runs that we wouldn’t have otherwise scored, and conclusively cost us 2 runs (without even accounting for the lost out). So Bourn’s 28 stolen bases have essentially earned us a net gain of 3 runs all season. I know this doesn’t acknowledge defensive alignment impacts, etc. but I think it shows how unimportant SB’s really are.

  144. Kris Medlen: 4 innings, 44 pitches. Four hits, two strikeouts, no walks, one earned run allowed.

    I know it’s the Marlins, but still. I hope the kid gets to stay in the rotation. He couldn’t possibly make a better case for himself.

  145. @256

    Ask Martin Prado how many fastballs he has seen due to the threat of the stolen base.

  146. Delgado has already gone south a bit. His ERA after the ASG is 4.62 or something like. He’s gone 0-5 in those starts. I think he’s hit a wall, personally.

    Maholm is 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA since the ASG. As they’re pitching right now – and yes, you know I do actually give credence to “the hot hand” and I certainly believe pitchers have their pitches going better at times than at others – Maholm is the Braves #2 starter behind Sheets, ahead of Hudson, and way ahead of Hanson, Minor or Delgado.

  147. There’s no doubt Maholm helps. If it works out, it’s more than treading water.

    Still… I know that the right trade for a bonafide ace wasn’t there for us, but it really hurts not to have added a pitcher that we can feel more certain will take us deep into the playoffs this year. That’s the root of it for me.

  148. Oh, and the gutted Phils are destroying Strasburg and the Nats through five.

  149. Not sure Delgado’s hit a wall, exactly. I just think he hasn’t put it all together. I don’t see a real clear trend to Randall’s season.

    His ERA at the end of May was 4.58; at the end of June, it was 4:52; right now it stands at 4.42. He’s pitching like a perfectly adequate 5th starter. I prefer to think of it as growing pains.

  150. Medlen is a better pitcher than Maholm and I’d rather have to rely on him in a playoff start. And given the way he has pitched in his last four starts, if one really does believe in the hot hand theory it is hard to argue that Maholm is “way ahead” of Minor. And do I really have more faith in Maholm–MAHOLM–than Tim Hudson? No way. Sheets, Hudson, Medlen and whichever of Maholm and Minor pitch better from here on out. I bet Delgado can be a good long man out of the pen.

  151. Joe, that would be a good problem to have if it worked out that way. Right now, we’re painfully thin on warm bodies, particularly considering that Hanson just got DL’ed. If we go to the playoffs with 6 good starters, we can count our blessings. History doesn’t suggest it’ll work out that way.

    Good Lord, Dan Uggla looks bad at the plate.

  152. We can get through the playoffs with just 2 good starters – getting there is going to be the trick. I think we needed the depth Maholm provides. It’s clear that Hanson’s arm is deteriorating in some way (erratic location and lost velocity usually means rotator cuff). Hudson and Sheets are lucky to go 6 innings. We’re gonna probably need help from Delgado and/or Teheran to fill out the middle-inning relief corp.

  153. Not a ‘believer’ in Delgado. Obviously, the Braves feel the same way: he was the one sent to the minors even though his stats were better than Minor’s. Minor seems to be rewarding the team’s faith in him too.

  154. @256

    Good stuff, iceberg. I’ve taken to defending stolen bases on a more aesthetic level. Since it makes comparatively little difference whether the team runs much or not (as long as the SB% is within an acceptable range), it’s more fun watching speed than lack of same….

  155. Will Medlin be able to resume pitching after rain (57 pitches so far)? Nolasco is done at 105.

  156. @284 – Probably, but I’m betting that Fredi won’t want to risk him in his first start?

  157. No way they send Medlen back out there after the delay (assuming they start it back up again.)

  158. @283

    …It’s definitely as exciting play, especially in an obvious steal situation with someone like Bourn or Heyward on first. I also acknowledge the less tangible impacts that speed on the basepaths can have on the opposition, I just think you need to steal A LOT of bases with an overwhelmingly high success rate for it to really impact the team’s offensive success over the long term.

  159. If the Braves had not (foolishly) traded Justice away (and opted to keep McGriff instead) David Justice would have had his number retired in Atlanta. He’s borderline HOF good.

  160. Getting really sick of ‘In My Own Words: Justice/Schuerholz/Glavine.’ At least the Francoeur one went away.

    Bring back The Andy Griffith Show, or even the Turner South days of Junkin’.

  161. Maholm as the team’s second best starter? Well, they won’t do much in the postseason then. Still, after Sheets and Hanson inevitably fold up shop before the season ends, it will be useful to have him around.

  162. I am pretty sure they will get the game in – this is going to be a minute though.

  163. The Braves’ announcers said a couple of days ago that Simmons’ earliest return date would be August 19th.

  164. @301 Really? Dude is funny looking. The kind of “ass” that goes after that is the same kind of “ass” that will follow you home after a drink.

  165. lol, I was mostly being facetious. Although I hear they pass out condoms like bottles of water at the Olympic village.

  166. My pet theory is that women don’t pay attention to the faces of tall, well-built guys. The attraction is already there.

    I mean, I certainly wouldn’t know…

  167. Yea, I figure he’s at the same level as Sidney Crosby back in 2008. After he scored the goal against the US he could have had any girl he wanted in Canada.

    I went to Georgia Tech, which now uses the Olympic Village as campus apartments. Never lived there but hung out there a lot. I never thought about it until a few days ago, but there were probably so many athletes boning in the very same rooms I used to hang out in.

  168. Cubs still have no hits through seven.

    Can’t imagine Yankee fans are happy that it’s Burnett.

  169. Hit in Chicago- Burnett hit Darwin Barney right on the helmet. Barney ducked right into it. Leaving the game, probably wondering when someone’s gonna answer that phone.

  170. Did Caray just refer to Jack Wilson as part of an “embarrassment of riches” of “good short stops on this Braves club”?

  171. Dan, you have to admit that he is one of the best fourth-stringers you’ll ever see.

    And so is Jack Wilson.

  172. Evan Gattis has homered, tripled and waled in 5 PAs for M-Braves tonight. Could get another AB in the ninth.

  173. Fun Marlins Fact: The only guy in the Marlins’ current lineup that would start for the Braves is Jose Reyes.

  174. I don’t think I could name more than 2 or 3 Marlins without looking up their current roster.

  175. Hibernation mode seems to have gone into, well, hibernation recently. I am all for this change.

  176. Somehow Evan Gattis will make his way onto one of those “most interesting man in the world” commercials.

  177. 327- From the same article:

    This latest news apparently contradicts Selig’s statement from this past January, when he said he’d step aside at the end of the current season despite pressure from a small group of owners who wanted him to continue to lead the sport. …

    Selig agreed to a three-year extension as commissioner in 2008 after intimating he might leave his post. The owners also swayed his decision to stay on past the 2006 season after he previously indicated his intention to retire.

    Of course, Bobby Cox did eventually retire…

  178. Harper hitting .171 since the All-Star break, and may even get benched when Werth returns soon. What a showing for this sure-fire Hall of Famer.

  179. @331, I didn’t realize it was an ongoing discussion. It’ll be very interesting to see what the next commissioner does, if anything. Eventually.

  180. Anyone know anything about Juan Francisco’s mandatory workouts with Greg Walker that has completely turned his batting approach around? Also, anyone know why Chipper calls Juan “Roadrunner”?

  181. #337: I think it’s because Francisco is so thin and never says anything but ‘beep beep’.

  182. @ 339 Than women care about their own bodies or men’s bodies? I never had a sister so I have no clue as usual.

  183. I think stolen bases are not the most important aspect of speed. I think things like the ability to get from first to third or scoring from first on a double have a significant effect. Speed puts pressure on the defense to make perfect plays. I know Keith Law pooh-poohs the importance of speed but, at worst, it adds value to a player. And it’s a lot more fun to watch a Bourn whipping around the bases.

  184. @332

    Well, he’s sponsoring (or his estate is sponsoring) a new hire for the department in sports history, and I believe the call goes out this year, so he’ll be around for that. Plus, there’s going to be a new PA-ship for his memoirs, though I don’t know if that happens soon. As a sidenote, he is also sponsoring a sports history lecture series; I am no longer in the department, but my girlfriend is, so I can let you know when the talks happen.

  185. @317 – I liked it better when I thought Gattis waled. :)

    @319 – I give Pastoryicketty my full endorsement.

  186. I wish we could get the internet to band together and send Keith Law an Olive Garden gift card.

  187. Does Gattis get a September call-up? I’m really intrigued by the idea of him as a bench bat given what we’re currently working with in that department.

  188. Gattis would have to be added to the 40-man roster. It’s currently sitting at 38 (if my count is right) so it’s a good possibility he gets a cup of coffee in September.

  189. I think Gattis will need to get some ABs at AAA before they cal him up.

    It is more important that he get as many ABs as possilbe at this point.

  190. @348,

    But, the AAA season usually ends around September 8 to 10, thus meaning Gattis could play every day in the minors and then still impact the ML club in September.

    But, if he continues to hit like this, he is moving up.

    Hoping for him to be a lesser fielding, better hitting version of Eli Marerro. He CAN catch, and might every once and a while, but mainly in left field and mashing.

  191. Not sure what his defense would look like, but Gattis could be a cheap option for LF and possibly give us enough funds to keep Bourn in ATL.

  192. Ugh, I’m sorry, Bethany. As talented as you are, I have no doubt that you’ll land on your feet, but I know the feeling and it sucks.

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