Randall Delgado (by Adam M.)

As of this writing, Randall Delgado’s future with the Atlanta Braves is uncertain. He might be used as a trade chip to acquire a starting left fielder (or third baseman). He might open next season in the team’s starting rotation. He might start next season in Gwinnett, provided the more-touted Julio Teheran finally begins realizing his enormous potential and beats Delgado out for a rotation spot.

But I believe that this is certain: Delgado has a bright future in the major leagues.

Delgado signed with the Braves as a 17-year old out of Panama, before the 2007 season. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and plus curve, he then rolled through the ranks of the Braves system. In 2009, Delgado posted a 3.20 FIP and 10.23 k/9 in low-A ball; in 2010 he spent most of the season dominating Carolina League hitters (2.93 FIP, 3.75 K/BB) before reaching AA as a 20-year old.

Then, in 2011, Delgado pitched 174 total innings while splitting time between three levels, but despite a seemingly impressive 2.83 ERA in 35 innings with the big league club, he wasn’t quite ready for the majors. That’s how I look at a 21-year old pitcher with a 4.63 k/9: Not ready yet.

But he might be ready now. This season, Delgado proved that he could at least be a viable major league starter making league minimum. Over 92 2/3 innings with the Braves, Delgado helped solidify the back end of the rotation while Mike Minor struggled and Tommy Hanson morphed into the perfect parody of Tommy Hanson.

The strikeouts, so elusive in 2011, started to come to Delgado a bit more frequently in 2012. All told, in 92 2/3 innings over 17 starts with the big club, Delgado turned out to be a league-average pitcher: 4.37 ERA, with 7.4 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, a 1.81 K/BB, a 4.07 FIP and a 4.13 xFIP. That’s not bad for a 22-year old making the minimum. Not bad at all.

As we look ahead, the major hurdle for Delgado will be his control. He has never had elite control, but he’s going to have to get the BB/9 below 4, and the K/BB ratio above 2, if he is ever going to be more than he was in 2012. Don’t get me wrong: as a young, cost-controlled pitcher who can post a league average FIP, he’s a valuable commodity for the Braves organization as we sit here, right now, in December 2012.

He nevertheless can become an above-average starter as soon as 2013, if he limits the walks. And considering that the Braves control his rights for another five seasons, that is a deeply alluring proposition. Indeed, before it’s all said and done, Randall Delgado may well turn out to be one of the more valuable players — or at least more valuable commodities — for this mid-market team.

256 thoughts on “Randall Delgado (by Adam M.)”

  1. Excellent writeup. Delgado illustrates the perils of fans paying too much attention — he’s still very young, has not really done anything to endanger his prospect status, and yet perception of him seems to have withered with his early struggles. His BABIP went from .220 in ’11 to .305 in ’12.

  2. So I guess we can rule out getting Myers or Gordon now.

    Royals trade Myers, Odorizzi, Montgomery and Leonard for Shields and Wade Davis.

    All of this to keep Frenchy in their lineup. Unreal.

  3. After this trade, I’m not so sure the Braves should be looking into the trade market for a LF. Scary to follow this fleecing.

  4. Continuing to flog the dead horse, Franciso-Gattis-Prado may be good enough. I’d hate to part with Delgado-plus for a less than stellar outfield (or third base) temporary solution.

  5. @7 Thats preferable to getting a “leadoff-type” player, but I don’t think either option is good enough to make us better than we were last year.

  6. Personally, I’d love to see Bonifacio on the team if he were used as Infante was during his Braves’ stint.

  7. Jacoby Ellsbury’s price tag:
    Minor, Delgado, and probably Franciso

    Maybe if you take out Minor. Probably still overpaying for 1 yr of an injury prone Ellsbury.

  8. Ellsbury only has one year of control left, and he’s coming off a lost season. He wouldn’t cost that much. He would still, however, cost a top prospect, and I’m not inclined to do that for a single season of anyone (though I *love* Choo). The Braves just don’t have the payroll flexibility to be shipping top prospects off anymore–not in this market, anyway.

  9. Bonifacio would be great, if he was playing 2b, and we had a functional slugger in LF. I really don’t hate base stealy vroom vroom guys if they are playing SS, 2B or CF. “Left Field is For Sluggers.”

  10. Just checking out his splits over the last few seasons – has anyone gotten more hype out of one month than July 2011 did for Emilio? Beacuse he pretty much blew the rest of the time.

  11. Soemone put leadoff hitter next to his name and immediately we became interested I guess. We could call him BLHE – Bonifacio, leadoff hitter extraordinaire.

  12. I want to see how Jason Bay bounces back outside of New York. He posted .894OPS+ in 7 of 8 seasons before joining the Mets. He hit rock bottom there last year at .164/.237/.299. No one saw that decline. Any chance he sniffs an .775-.800OPS ever again?

  13. #19 – You realy do know. Bonifacio’s 2011 season out weighs all his other shitty seasons. There is a minute chance that he’ll repeat it. There are guys that have made ass loads of money off of one good season.

    The KC to Tampa trade looks bad for KC. But just to play devils advocate. Aren’t PCL offensive numbers inflated? Myer’s is probably going to be good but a star? As for the pitchers that KC gave up. TNSTAAPP. KC gets a solid #2 innings eater type of starter and another potential starter. KC did what they had to do to contend in a weak division. Remember I’m just playing devil’s advocate.

    The worst part of the trade is that as everyone has pointed out, Alex Gordon won’t be on the market. Truth be told I doubt that we had the pitcher(s) that KC wanted and we just didn’t match up. Teheran and Delgado didn’t have a guy like Shield’s major league resume.

  14. But if we called him Bonifacio, leadoff extraordinaire hitter he could be BLEH which seems more appropriate.

  15. Hell, I’d throw a major league minimum to JBay. I’d like that more than Emilio, freaking, Bonifacio.

  16. Johnny, TINSTAPP applies to Wade Davis, too. He’s almost certainly a reliever, and Odorizzi plus Montgomery is extremely likely to exceed the value of Davis. Like I said above, Myers doesn’t have to turn into a star for the Rays to win this deal.

  17. There is no way to get anything approaching fair value for Ellsbury given his contract and injury situations. The Sox are just screwed on this one, unless they resign him and he returns to form.

  18. A polite reminder from Rany Jazayerli: the last five BA Minor League POTY awards went to Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Matt Weiters, Jason Heyward, and Mike Trout. Myers is as close to a sure thing as you can get in a prospect.

  19. @25: If I were a GM with no money to spend, then taking a chance on Jason Bay is exactly how I’d risk a ML minimum signing: a guy who’s either messed up, or was messed up by IWOTM. Taking a chance on the latter seems like a good risk. If I had a chance to make the playoffs, though, I’m not sure you could waste the ABs finding out whether or not Jason could still play — even pinch hit ABs.

  20. @31, those are the last 5 position players.


    Here’s the list. Hell of a lot more hits than misses.

    1981 Mike Marshall, 1b, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
    1982 Ron Kittle, of,Edmonton (White Sox)
    1983 Dwight Gooden, rhp, Lynchburg (Mets)
    1984 Mike Bielecki,rhp, Hawaii (Pirates)
    1985 Jose Canseco, of, Huntsville/ Tacoma (Athletics)
    1986 Gregg Jefferies,ss, Columbia/Lynchburg/Jackson(Mets)
    1987 Gregg Jefferies, ss, Jackson/Tidewater (Mets)
    1988 Tom Gordon, rhp,Appleton/Memphis/Omaha(Royals)
    1989 Sandy Alomar, c, Las Vegas (Padres)
    1990 Frank Thomas, 1b,Birmingham (White Sox)
    1991 Derek Bell, of, Syracuse (Blue Jays)
    1992 Tim Salmon, of,Edmonton (Angels)
    1993 Manny Ramirez, of, Canton/Charlotte (Indians)
    1994 Derek Jeter, ss,Tampa/Albany/Columbus (Yankees)
    1995 Andruw Jones, of, Macon (Braves)
    1996 Andruw Jones, of,Durham/Greenville/Richmond(Braves)
    1997 Paul Konerko, 1b, Albuquerque (Dodgers)
    1998 Eric Chavez, 3b,Huntsville/Edmonton (Athletics)
    1999 Rick Ankiel, lhp, Arkansas/Memphis (Cardinals)
    2000 Jon Rauch, rhp,Winston-Salem/Birmingham (White Sox)
    2001 Josh Beckett, rhp, Brevard County/Portland (Marlins)
    2002 Rocco Baldelli,of, Bakersfield/Orlando/Durham (Devil Rays)
    2003 Joe Mauer, c, Fort Myers/New Britain (Twins)
    2004 Jeff Francis, lhp,Tulsa/Colorado Springs (Rockies)
    2005 Delmon Young, of, Montgomery/Durham (Devil Rays)
    2006 Alex Gordon, 3b,Wichita (Royals)
    2007 Jay Bruce, of, Sarasota/Chattanooga/Louisville (Reds)
    2008 Matt Wieters, c,Frederick/Bowie (Orioles)
    2009 Jason Heyward, of, Myrtle Beach/Mississippi (Braves)
    2010 Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Durham (Rays)
    2011 Mike Trout, of, Arkansas (Angels)

  21. Does Ludwicks 2 year deal for $15M, help or hurt the Trade value that the Twins could get for Willingham. Or do these not impact one another?

  22. DOB’s newest blog said that he believes Wren is working with less than $10mil after signing Reed Johnson.

  23. #25
    As a declining 34-year old in that ballpark? I tend to doubt it. I’m not exactly sure what the Mariners are hoping or expecting there.

    To hear some Met fans & at least one Met beat reporter tell it, Bay hasn’t been the same since he ran into a wall at Dodger Stadium in his first year as a Met.

    Bay went from “really disappointing” in 2010, to “can’t hit on the road/can’t hit RHP” in 2011 to “worst regular in the game” in 2012.

    If he’s not hitting HRs, what’s the point? Smells like he’s done to me.

  24. @36, let’s hope it has the same validity that his other beliefs mentioned in that column do – i.e., Bonifacio is an everyday LF, and that because the morals clause is keeping Bonds out of the HOF, Dale Murphy ought be put in because of it.

  25. What Mac wrote:

    The question of Dale Murphy‘s Cooperstown candidacy is primarily a philosophical one. There is no question that his peak years were of a Hall of Fame caliber; no player with a clearly superior peak is not in, and those with roughly equal peaks who are not are not in for readily evident reasons. At the same time, there is no question that his career statistics, other than home runs, are not Hall of Fame numbers.

    So we have a player who under the “traditional” peak value/career value dichotomy does very well on one and poorly in the other. If your bias is for peak value players, Murphy should be in. If your bias is for career value, he should not.

    You see, most Hall of Famers have a career path similar to Dale’s through about 31. It’s just that then they have a phase of being average that lasts a few years and builds up their stats. Murph didn’t do that. Personally, I can’t see keeping a guy out of the Hall of Fame because he didn’t have enough average years.

    Philosophy and Comparisons

  26. So, I think the argument for the Shields trade is that if you’re the Royals, you have to try to get good at some point, and since their pitching is god-awful, this is the type of trade you need to make. And I mostly agree with that. It just seems like they may have given up too much/gotten too little. And FWIW, I don’t think Myers is likely to be an All-Star most years. (‘Course, now that he’s playing in the Trop, that’s a near-certainty.) So really you’re probably giving up a good-but-not-great corner OF for a couple of pitchers to come in and make your team relevant for two years. I mean, they don’t have anyone like Verlander, but that’s probably the second or third best rotation in the AL Central now, right? And their offense was already decent….

    All that said, it seems like the right kind of play strategically but with sub-optimal tactical execution.

  27. @37

    Yeah, I agree. It’s fun to presume that Bay went to the Mets and sucked just because the Mets suck. But he just didn’t look like a major leaguer at all last year.

  28. @40, that’s a peak/prime argument, which I am far more receptive to than the double bonus for being a nice guy argument

  29. Even if they have under $10 million, that’s enough to do better than Bonifacio. I find this whole speedster/leadoff fetish pulsing through every DOB/Bowman column truly bizarre. Hope the front office is more imaginative.

  30. @37 & 43: I completely agree that Bay looked horrible, and that lingering concussion effects could be the problem. I would note that the same was said about McLouth, who managed a 111 OPS+ last year. All I’m saying is that once the Mets give up on you completely, you’re worth a second look…. unless you’re named Manny Acosta.

  31. All I’m saying is that once the Mets give up on you completely, you’re worth a second look…. unless you’re named Manny Acosta.

    Or Francoeur.

    But at least his spot is secured on the Royals now.

  32. You know, Tim Tebow doesn’t even get to start. Francouer should be the new standard for mysterious charisma that keeps a guy in the lineup even when he’s subpar.

  33. The cost for available players at the trade deadline will get higher under the new playoff format. More teams will be buying than selling with the extra wild card spot available.

  34. Won’t that be counterbalanced by the new lack of draft compensation for FAs making more players available?

  35. I hereby declare Ethan’s fascination with Craig Gentry to be Coach/Panamaniac-esque. Are we really hoping for a 28 year roster filler who’s never slugged over 400? I mean, we already have Jordan Schafer.

  36. Craig gentry has actually produced. It’s better than over paying for a mediocre guy or losing a lot of quality prospects in a trade for a player the braves will only have for a year or 2. And he is expendable to the rangers. The more playing time gentry gets the better he will get. Each year he has gotten better and he can play center and left and hit lead off. It’s a cheap solution with a good possibility it will work out great till we find someone better than is available now

  37. I can’t believe I’m going to take you up on that one, but…

    Weirdly enough, Gentry is more useful to us than you might think. He’s a good glove man who hits lefties better than righties. He has a career .294/.364/.392 split against lefties (just .266/.327/.323 against righties), and he costs peanuts because he’s a part-timer who’s accumulated barely more than two full years of service time.

    So: he is much more useful than Jordan Schafer. If he ever receives more than 400 PA, then it means that the heat death of the universe is nigh, but the Braves could do worse for a 25th man.

    I can’t believe I just wrote that.

  38. I will wager a case of the beer of your choice (or some reasonable substitute if you are somehow one of those poor, lost souls who don’t drink) that Jordan Schafer will out-produce Craig Gentry over the next two years.

  39. @60

    Of course not! That’s the primary point. You can find ways for either to be useful as the fifth OF/25th man on a championship caliber team, but if either is starting for you (or even playing the primary role of a platoon) you’re not a championship team.

    Neither of those guys has a bat that can carry LF. Left field is for hitters.

  40. The Braves need offense. Offense is driven primarily by on base percentage, and then by slugging percentage. It doesn’t matter what else a player can do, if he can get on base and slug the ball, he’s good. If he can’t do those things, it doesn’t matter if he’s fast.

    The Braves don’t need a “leadoff hitter.” They need a hitter. Craig Gentry is not a hitter. He’s a spare part.

    If you push Upton off of CF he loses a third of his value.

  41. The Texas rangers are one of the best hitting teams in the league and are championship contender every year. They have no use for a spare part. To many good prospects available to have a useless bench guy there. The kid hasn’t been given a chance to be an every day player. You can’t be the Josh Hamilton’s back up and be a slouch.

  42. His platoon splits make him a poor man’s Reed Johnson. Good thing we can afford to pay Reed Johnson. There is no reason that the name Craig Gentry need ever appear on this blog ever again.

  43. I’m sure the Braves don’t want to start BJs 5 year tenure off by telling him he’s moving positions.

  44. The Rangers are a championship caliber BECAUSE Gentry is the 25th man on their roster. He is a spare part. This fascination with fast must end.

  45. At this point, the Johnson/Francisco+Prado platoon, with Prado leading off, is probably the best option available.

  46. Craig gentry is way better than jordan shafer. Look at the numbers. He’s a late bloomer and getting better with the more opportunities given to him. He’s a lot safer option than putting gattis in left or Francisco as the full time 3rd basemen and only due to make around 500k next year. I would much rather make a small trade there instead of throwing top tier prospects out the window for a player the braves will only have for a year or two. If the right deal for Justin upton or a player of that stature then I will be content with dealing a big piece. But not for an inflated player due to other trades being made. Even if upton stays in center he adds that big bat and offense the braves were looking for his defense isn’t the best but its solid. The braves now need to replace what Michael Bourn did for the club, get on base and score runs and play amazing defense. In Craig gentry they are getting a guy that could potentially do that at a quarter of the price of every other name out there and still the big pieces and pretty much same amount of money to still play will if the right opportunity presents itself in the future. There doesn’t need to be a drastic move and get another Dan uggla locked up for multiple years for big money

  47. I’m just going to assume Ethan’s getting some sort of cut from Gentry’s agent. 28 year old journeyman are a dime a dozen, man.

  48. If we like playing baseball without trying to win the division then we should be lookiing at the Schafers, Gentrys, and Bonifacios of the world. Id rather try and compete though

  49. There’s a reason Gentry didn’t get called up before he turned 27, kid. He’s *not very good.* Weak noodle for a bat and not a particularly good batting eye. He’s a poor man’s Gregor Blanco.

  50. I completely agree with your assessment of Delgado’s value, Adam M. I’m glad Wren decided to keep Delgado – if the rumors of the Twins wanting him in exchange for Span are true – and sign Upton.

  51. Bj upton replaces all of what chipper jones did last year plus some of what Michael Bourn did. The braves like last year just need to shore up a few positions to be a championship contender. 3rd base this year and last year and hope McCann can comeback at catch and left field. Prado at 3rd upton in center give us practically the exact same team as last year. Maybe even better already if Bj, McCann, and uggla play better than last year. The only thing atlanta lacks is a put it in play, get on base, run scoring lead off bat and someone that is not going to give you a heart attack everytime the ball is hit to them. And right now that looks like the best cheapest option to fill in as a full time left fielder. And once the braves find a more solid option they will still have all the big name prospects and money to make it happen.

  52. Okay. I can’t recognize the first sentence of @77 as grammatically meaningful American English. I’m outty.

  53. So …

    Anyone think Uggla could play (ok, not suck out loud in) left field?

    Gotta look at everything when you’re the Atlanta Freaking Expos.

  54. Why would you play Uggla out of position in LF? Prado’s not a particularly good defensive 2B (he’s a good defensive 3B and a very good defensive LF if you believe the metrics.)


    Give Simmons the chance to reproduce 2012 in the 2-hole, but drop him to 8 and push the rest up if he falters. It’s better than Dee Gordon or Craig friggin’ Gentry.

  55. @81, I was under the impression that we PROMISED not to play him there when he signed the extension.

  56. Gotta say, though, Carry On My Heyward Son is a GREAT handle. “There’ll be hits and scoring runs”

  57. Just askin’. Mark Reynolds signs a one year contract for $6 million. Couldn’t that have kept Prado in left, given Freeman a backup and let Francisco play 3d when Reynolds played 1st? Listening for pros and cons. Thx.

  58. To answer my own question, if you believe in Francisco, he’s already Mark Reynolds, at the major league minimum. But if you believe that, then you don’t need a new left fielder, do you?

  59. @88 Jonathan, I believe Wren is looking for something better than the likes of Reynolds or even Ludwick. What you said is perfectly rational if we have only seven or eight millions to spend. However, I think we must still have north of $12m to spend on LF/3B plus a lefthanded bat off the bench after we traded Hanson.

  60. @90. Exactly. My current suspicion: we’ve cast our lot with Francisco. The extra $10 million is earmarked to address issues as the season progresses or to be bankrolled for next year. Given how cheap Reynolds turned out to be (and how many homers he might have hit returning to the NL) to *not* be in on him strongly suggests that we’re willing to start the year, or a least Spring Training, with Francisco at 3rd.

  61. This more discussion about Craig Elmer Gentry than has ever taken place at one time anywhere.

    Choo is still available and would not exceed the budget. My suspicion is that the Indians want Teheran and Wren is holding out (as well he should). But the Indians have to believe he is willing to stand pat (or pick up some other loser like Bonifacio).

  62. Ha, I like it, urlhix. “Don’t fly out no more” is closer to the original, though “Don’t ground out no more” might be more appropriate.

  63. @91 Carry On – I think either we have some mix up in our comment sequencing, so comments have had their numbers changed, OR, Sam was saying HE was having trouble interpreting, so HE must be tired. Because I see nothing in your comment that is confusing at all.

  64. @97

    Thanks. It’s good to know I’m not going crazy, because it looks alright to me, too.

  65. @80 AAR
    Are you tipping your weekend movie plans, Alex?

    I’m shocked, shocked to hear there are Hobbit fans on the Internet.

  66. Can a team with two ongoing platoons really win close to 100 games? (Not doubting, necessarily, just curious. Guess it depends on how the platoon performs.)

  67. Is that really the simplest explanation?

    I’d guess that the Ks scared him away, especially after already signing one K machine this offseason.

  68. Reynolds is a mediocre hitter who can’t play defense a lick. He strikes out a ton. He can be a useful guy and would probably represent a slight upgrade over what the Braves currently have in LF. But $6M is basically all the Braves have left, and with Gattis potentially waiting in the wings, I’d rather save that money for use elsewhere, even if its just on a few bench/utility bats with plenty saved for a possible summer acquisition.

  69. There are three guys out there which likely improve this team.

    Justin Upton is priced out, both for prospects/players in return and money.

    Josh Willingham doesn’t seem to be moving this winter.

    That leaves Choo.

    Anyone else is a detriment, not an improvement.

  70. 107—You’ve got a lot more confidence in the White Bear/Roadrunner combo than I do. I mean, I’m hopeful that they can mash, but saying that those three are the only guys who can improve on that platoon seems a little insane to me.

  71. Like last year, this will be a team constructed to win, say 85-88 games, with hopes that things go right. For example, if Heyward and/or Upton really breaks out, the team could explode. But that’s different from what the Nationals are doing-actively trying to build the best team they can (without being the Yankees). If you had to bet on whether the Braves or the Nationals are more likely to win 100 games, you would have to say that, at least on paper, it’s the Nationals. I don’t blame Wren; that’s the hand he’s been dealt.

    But if Bonifacio is the starting left fielder, the terrorists will have won.

  72. 108 – I’m actually putting more faith into the re-signed Reed Johnson than El Oso Blanco.

  73. @107

    I think there are other options out there, but we may play the hand we are delt for few months before we do anything.

    Does anyone else think the Roadrunner would be a great DH?

  74. The platoon option doesn’t require us to roll the dice on the White Bear. To the contrary we know exactly what Reed Johnson will do against lefthanders. He has a career .828 OPS in more than 1400 PA. He also plays a well above average right field.

    Reynolds has a career .857 OPS against lefthanders, but is an awful fielder and costs more than four million dollars more than Reed Johnson. His career OPS against righthanders is .789, or less than Francisco’s .806. Given Francisco’s age, minor league track record, and cost it would be criminal to give at-bats against righthanders to Reynolds rather than Francisco.

    Signing Reynolds would make have made our team worse, not better.

    Sam is right, none of the other options that have been bandied about will meaningfully improve the team. Right now it is Choo, some option that we are not yet aware of, or stand pat.

  75. Right, should’ve said White Bear or Johnson (who is 36 years old). Not a lot of difference, IMO. Either way, I’m not buying that the Francisco/someone platoon + continuing to shuffle Prado between third and left is really better than several other options. Still think it’s a great backup plan, but I will be supremely disappointed if we can’t add a good regular LF (or 3B).

  76. To be clear, I’d love to add a good left fielder.

    Emilio Bonifacio, Dee Gordon or Craig Gentry do not qualify as “good left fielders.”

  77. Well, I agree with that. Just disagree that the three options you listed are the only ones superior to The Prado Shuffle.

  78. Cody Ross is a rich man’s Reed Johnson. He’s a better half of a RH platoon, and he could cover LF full time if needed, but he’s not head and shoulders above the rest.

  79. Alfonso Soriano could be a target if the Cubs were willing to eat half of his remaining contract. Others that I’d like to see in LF that could be feasibly acquired/signed:
    1. Corey Hart- Could be had for pitching, 1 year rental
    2. Carlos Gomez- Might’ve had a breakout year last year, stolen base threat, should be a well above average everyday defensive LF. Cheap 1 year rental.
    3. Josh Willingham- obvious reasons. Good contract, serious offensive threat.
    4. Choo

    One fun Minor Leaguer to check into: Khris Davis. He’s in the Brewers organization, he’s 24, and he’s blocked by a full OF. He’s got power and the ability to take a walk. And from what I’ve read about him, he’s athletic enough for RF, but his lack of a true arm and below average speed makes him a candidate for LF in the bigs.

  80. I say we move Uggla to left. If he wants to say the Braves told him he wouldn’t play left, then the Braves can say that he told them he’d hit.

  81. Isn’t Morrison something of a work-in-progress with regard to LF, having come up as a first baseman? And didn’t he have surgery for bad knees?

  82. @121
    What does that solve?

    @120 And I’d take a flyer on Logan Morrison. I can’t recall who it was that got really ticked at me when I said that Sean Casey was a good comp for Logan. Whoever it was basically called me an idiot, told me that Sean Casey wasn’t even his “floor”, then they swore to not respond to my posts again. I’d be surprised if LOMO has a career as good as Sean Casey’s.

  83. Do you think the braves have tried what the rangers are attempting to get their hands on Justin upton by trading for a shortstop(Asdrubal Cabrera) and flipping him. That outfield would make the braves contenders for the next 3 years and with McCann more than likely coming off the books after this year and a back up in waiting they should have the money to make this happen.

  84. I hope the Braves push Gattis as a catcher after Winter Leagues. He could have serious value to us if he can strap on the gear and be average defensively.

  85. I think Logan Morrison is absolutely a change of scenery guy, and I expect him to remain so no matter where he goes.

  86. I don’t think the White Bear is on the 40 man as of now. Makes me think the FO doesn’t think he is an option yet.

  87. I think Morrison would be a tolerable annoyance on a winning team. And he was by no means the only clubhouse cancer in Miami. Say what you will about Fredi, but he runs a non-cancerous clubhouse, and if they could survive the 2011 collapse, they can surely survive Logan Morrison.

  88. I condone the Running Bear meme: but I would prefer it referred to as “Operation Running Bear,” not Option.

  89. Morrison is so bad in the field that he’d have to improve mightily at the plate just to be an average option for LF. That said, I’d take just about anyone over Emil Bonifacio or Dee Gordon.

  90. Actually, I liked ’em…. Then again I like Hall & Oates.

    Also: Lady’s an unreal vocalist, and I always liked her sister.

  91. Look at least they are finally putting in Rush, to the great joy of the rest of the world that is tired of people bitching about it.

  92. Maybe an interesting discussion would be what would a Keltner List look like for the Rock-n-Roll HoF? Then we could apply said list to bands like Heart and Rush (but of course those would be two additional discussions).

  93. Look at least they are finally putting in Rush, to the great joy of the rest of the world that is tired of people bitching about it.

    If Rush is Tony Perez, Heart is Jim Rice. Neither really belongs in the inner circle of a rock and roll HOF, but at this point they’ll let anyone in as long as they didn’t do HGH. It’s more important to have a class of inductees who will bring some fan-tourism to Cleveland every year for the induction than to have a HOF that maintains any sort of standards.

  94. Your mileage may vary on Rush’s peak value — I like Moving Pictures but it’s not my favorite album — but you have to respect their longevity. Just three guys. Been the same three guys for almost 40 years. And they’re still writing new songs and trying to make stuff that’s good. I dig that.

    R’n’R Keltners… hmm, I think I’ll go write one.

  95. @146 Hap

    I think you should run with the idea. Keltner Lists are great fun.

    Maybe a paraphrase from another famous quote might be “Maybe I can’t define it, but I know Rock and Roll when I hear it.”

  96. The RNR version of the “was X the best player in baseball in any given year” should be “was Y the most dangerous band in the world at any given time?”

  97. @152 – Is that a plus or a minus for a rock and roll band? In my world, that’s a terrible thing.

  98. A minus. Was kidding, really; and, no, Heart was never “the most dangerous band in the world”, I admit.

  99. I like Operation Running Bear. I have a feeling I am going to have to like the actual implementation of ORB since the pessimist in me thinks we won’t get an actual LFer this off season.

    So is ORB better than some slap hitting ‘lead off’ type of Left Fielder?

    Someone over at Talking Chop threw out Kelly Johnson’s name. Any takers here?

  100. #144
    Yeah, Ann Wilson can really sing, but so could Robert Goulet.

    IMO, they’re kinda like the female REO Speedwagon.

    Started out trying to be a kick-ass, ’70s-era rock band—“Barracuda” = “Riding the Storm Out,” let’s say—but ended up doing some of the worst radio ballads this side of Debbie Boone. Imagine if Kiss dropped the rock & just did “Beth” for 10 more years. That’s what Heart became.

    I have nothing against Heart, really. Saw them at a benefit once & Ann really belted it. But in my book, they’re the Rick Ferrell of the R&R HoF.

    However, I’ll say this about the R&R HoF: Their voters are big on influential acts, so finally letting in Rush was probably the right thing to do.

    Of course, if Rush wanted to do the ultimate F.U. at the induction ceremony, they should play “By-Tor & the Snow Dog” or, worse, “The Fountain of Lamneth”—I mean the whole thing. Edit that, VH-1.

    Still, something a little ironic about Rush & Randy Newman getting in at the same time, huh?

  101. Well Kelly is now moved to year long streakiness. Maybe 2013 will be good for him, but it should be somewhere other than Atl.

    2008- .287/.349/.446
    2009- .224/.303/.389
    2010- .284/.370/.496
    2011- .222/.304/.413
    2012- .225/.313/.365

  102. So is ORB better than some slap hitting ‘lead off’ type of Left Fielder?

    Yes. ORB was also better than Orbital, and *way* better than that overrated Prodigy crap.

  103. Okay, I surrender on Heart, but I think we should just roll with it as it’s good for Cleveland. As the Delta’s said when they let Pinto & Flounder into the fraternity (Animal House!). “We need the dues.”

    And, if anyone can appreciate the absurdity of a given situation, it’s Mr. Newman.

  104. DKnobler ‏@DKnobler
    Reds deep in talks on deal to acquire Shin-soo Choo from Indians for Stubbs and Gregorius. http://cbsprt.co/UfMpzf

    DKnobler ‏@DKnobler
    Reds would use Choo in center field, and as leadoff hitter.

  105. Maybe we are on the other end of this somehow.

    Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosi
    If Gregorius is part of the package, per @DKnobler report, then Indians are free to trade Asdrubal Cabrera. Dominoes falling.

  106. Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    Rival execs say #Diamondbacks GM Towers loves Gregorius. RT @jonmorosi: Also possible #Indians would keep Cabrera and trade Gregorius.

  107. My guess is that Cabrera goes to Arizona in a 3-way deal that lands Upton in Arizona. As usual, Wren starts out the offseason strong and finishes it just a crucial move too short.

    Meanwhile, the Reds are about to get the perfect guy for a cost the Braves could easily afford. Baffling.

  108. The Braves don’t really have someone like Stubbs, and Gregorius is considerably further along than Ahmed. I really don’t see how the Braves can do anything like the combo the Reds seem to be offering. If the Indians don’t want pitching, the Braves aren’t really in a position to do much.

  109. Upton landed in Arizona some years ago. Do you mean Cincy?

    If this ends up happening, Cincy and Cleveland had something the Braves could not afford — a SS to give up for Upton.

  110. Big on influential acts? Ask yourselves who’s more likely to get in sooner: Pixies or Steve Miller Band?

    It says something that the discussion is about Heart and Rush and not Big Star, Can, Captain Beefheart, Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Gram Parsons, The Smiths, Roxy Music, Brian Eno…

    If there’s ever a Hall of Fame of Halls of Fame, R&R shouldn’t even sniff the ballot.


  111. @170 Sorry: I meant Texas. Just have a feeling Texas gets Upton.

    I suppose it’s true the Braves don’t have anyone like Gregorious, in that he’s a major league ready shortstop who isn’t even the primary option for the Reds. This frustrates me, since Arizona is about to give Upton away for two very mediocre players (no, I’m not high on Gregorious).

  112. All of this chatter seems to rely on a single report. And it is so clearly a bad deal for Cleveland. Wishful thinkg: maybe this is just the Indians putting some pressure on Wren to give them Delgado and Ahmed (obviously a vastly better package than Stubbs and Gregorius)

  113. It does seem odd that Cleveland would not want, I dunno, a pitcher. But then it seemed odd that Dayton Moore would trade Wil Myers for James Shields–and then he went ahead and did that one better.

  114. Not sure I see how Texas gets into that picture. Looks like the Indians and Cincy (and possibly someone else like the Braves) are still working to find the right SS plus pieces to ship to Arizona for Upton.

  115. Also, the problem with artists like Big Star, Joy Division, Nick Drake, and the like is longevity. They released three or fewer albums and were only around for a few years apiece. Of artists that die young — like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison (inducted with The Doors), and Jimi Hendrix (inducted with The Jimi Hendrix Experience) — it’s best if they’re prolific.

  116. So, is the lesson of “Moneyball” more about exploiting existing (thus ever-changing) market inefficiencies


    a new Torah for how to look at baseball from now on?

  117. The fact is that non-sports H’soF can’t get around the commercial sales benchmark. The F in sports versions is born of direct competition with peers, not indirect competitions of fame gained from marketing and a lot more subjective comparative analysis.

  118. Yeah, the R&R HoF is inherently ridiculous, but it’s a good conversation-starter because the passions come out.

    Steve Miller is sort of in the same ballpark as Heart. Had a lot of hits, meant nothing. I doubt he’s getting in.

    (Conspiracy Theory: I’d guess that Heart’s induction had something to do with the fact that their guitar player was once married to a longtime Rolling Stone contributor.)

    Anyway, when I say influential, go back to the roots of rock-n-roll & soul. (I mean, Spooner Oldham is in the R&R HoF, for example–some deep appreciation went into that induction.) As for the proto-punk/punk stuff, you do know that the Velvet Underground & the Stooges & the Sex Pistols & the Ramones are in the Hall, right? Those are 4 groups that had exactly zero pop hits in America. None. Not one. But the music changed (for the better, I’d argue) because of them.

    Give ’em time on the other ones. Hell, they made Rush & Black Sabbath wait; Bryan Ferry can wait. FWIW, I’d add Black Flag to that list & hipcheck The Smiths.

  119. Considering that more than half of the songs on top 40 radio feature autotuned vocals, I wouldn’t be surprised to see vocoder pioneer Kraftwerk make it through.

    I thought the Pixies were eligible this year. Were they not? They seem like a slam dunk.

  120. Exactly my point.

    @181, “Hell, they made Rush & Black Sabbath wait” sounds an awful lot to me like “Eddie Matthews had to wait, why can’t Chipper?” :)

    Seriously, I get what you’re saying, but at some point, the apologizing has to stop, right? The elephant in the room with the R&RHOF voters is that the divergence between what’s recognized for sales and what’s recognized (eventually) for being good/influential feels like it’s growing as time goes on. At least the BBHOF seems to be getting with the program to some degree.

    I mean, damn, Bryan Ferry is 67. It’s doubtful that he cares at all, but for the sake of argument, how much more should he have to wait?

    There’s going to be a point when Pavement, Elliott Smith, Blur, Belle and Sebastian will be eligible. The rate we’re going, we’re going to have to sit through Alanis Morrissette, TLC, DMB, Coldplay, and likely four other league-average acts that don’t even exist yet before they make it in.

    Pulp? Aphex Twin? In a just world, they should get in with ease, but it’s never happening at this rate.

  121. Seriously, I get what you’re saying, but at some point, the apologizing has to stop, right? The elephant in the room with the R&RHOF voters is that the divergence between what’s recognized for sales and what’s recognized (eventually) for being good/influential feels like it’s growing as time goes on. At least the BBHOF seems to be getting with the program to some degree.

    The problem with the R&R HOF is the problem with everything in America today: Boomers.

  122. The problem is that in 60 years, “rock and roll” has managed to become an even less descriptive term than “jazz” at 100, and that’s saying something.

  123. Oh I think you know better. The picayune disagreements over baseball pale in comparison to those of music.

  124. I can’t be too broken up about anyone not yet in the R&R HOF if it’s taken them a quarter century to get around to Quincy freaking Jones. My main concern now is, with the recent inductions of Genesis and Rush, the prog broom closet might be filled up sans King Crimson.

  125. @185 wins the thread.

    This discussion does beg the question: how long is the average ‘peak’ for R&RHOFers? Do you measure it in LPs, and is that fair?

    If you do it that way, a peak of four LPs or more gets you a pretty solid inner circle, at least.

  126. Seriously? They inducted Genesis? Fucking Genesis?! The only thing that group ever accomplished was resurrecting Spock.

  127. #183
    The Pixies & Eddie Matthews/Chipper aren’t really in the same ballpark, IMO.

    Eddie Matthews would be like an artist that was undeniably great/influential and had the hits as well, someone like Marvin Gaye. As in, top 3 third-basemen/soul singers of all time.

    The Pixies made good records & were certainly influential to some degree, but pretty boring live. (Saw ’em twice—George Jones was more exciting.) If Iggy Pop is Candy Cummings, then the Pixies are… Bruce Sutter.

    Why would you ever think Alanis Morrissette would make the R&RHoF? And why would you ever think Blur deserves it? ;)

  128. Blur has as much right to be inducted as Genesis. Better albums as a band; better follow-on career post band by the famous singer-fellow.

  129. #196
    Although I never really liked any version of Genesis, Robert Pollard/Guided By Voices would disagree.

    Albarn is a craftsman, very good at it. But he makes music that I can appreciate, never anything that really moves me.

    FWIW, Gabriel has exactly one song that I love, but that’s it.

  130. You can’t argue with Parklife, Blur, or 13. Add The Great Escape, and Blur almost gets in via four-album-peak, but not quite :D

    How about “Best Days”? “M.O.R.”? “To The End”?

    Go listen to “Tender” and tell me if anyone has come closer to “Hey Jude.”

  131. I wish (well not really, because it’s kind of a joke, but just for the sake of argument) they would impose the same rule as the BBHOF – no consideration until you have been retired for ten years. Rankings always skew to the contemporaneous.

  132. How do you know they’re really retired? I mean, I’m pretty sure Bono’s going to be the Brett Favre of musical retirement, if Dylan doesn’t already hold that honor.

  133. #197
    I’d argue for the Huskers & The Replacements before The Pixies, but I’d still put in Black Flag first.

    Most of their music still stands up and, without their Johnny Appleseed-in-a-van routine in the early years, none of those bands have as much of a chance to thrive beyond their own hometowns.

    Black Flag created a playing field that didn’t really exist before they began touring the country.

    And with that, here’s “Nervous Breakdown”:

  134. For the purposes of argument, it would be more interesting to have stricter standards. Once you let Heart and Genesis in there really is no good argument to keep most of the other bands already mentioned out. Except maybe Blur.

    With stricter standards I can see keeping the Pixies out.

    Black Flag belongs regardless. And Fugazi too.

  135. Blur is more qualified than Heart, Genesis, or probably Rush. The fact that they’re from the 90s instead of the 70s doesn’t change this simple fact.

  136. Effing Choo went for diddly squat. If the pitcher from the Diamondbacks is just Corbin it is hard to see how the Braves couldn’t have topped that.

  137. The only HOF Einsturzende Neubauten belongs in is the Bartender-Is-Ready-To-Go-Home Hall of Fame.

  138. I love Sickels’ honesty:

    “Jeff Francoeur is bad at everything except impressing Dayton, and they don’t have a proven answer in center field. The team has given lip service to the importance of OBP for years but doesn’t seem to do anything about it. The front office still seems to have an unnatural attraction to players with grit and makeup who can’t actually play very well, especially if they have some connection to the Braves organization.”

  139. Not impressed by the Blur song. I see how it could be kinda anthemic if they were your favorite band, but meh.

    Now let’s talk about the real RRHOF snubs:

    Joe Cocker
    Eddie Money
    The Guess Who
    Huey Lewis & the News(!)
    The Cars
    The Doodletown Pipers

  140. The driver checks the mirror seven minutes late
    The crowded riders’ restlessness enunciates
    The Guess Who sucked, the Jets were lousy anyway
    The same route everyday
    And in the turning lane
    Someone’s stalled again
    He’s talking to himself
    And hears the price of gas repeat his phrase

    I hate Winnipeg

  141. So if these reports are correct, the Reds gave up almost nothing for Choo but the Indians somehow turned that nothing into gold because, well, Kevin Towers.

  142. Braves had the money and pieces to get Choo. Without another major piece, maybe two, the Braves will at best be back in the play-in game next year. Not sure I have any reason to watch 162 games except for the love of watching baseball. Oh well–they’ve got me there.

  143. Counting Bauer, the price for Choo was reasonably high, just not for Cincinnati, which somehow made out like bandits.

  144. I don’t agree that it’s a high premium–Reds just dealt a couple middling pieces. The trouble of course wasthe Braves couldn’t have landed Choo without the D’Backs, who wanted a shortstop.

    And again, they shed quite a but of payroll. Nobody is arguing they drop $20 million on Josh Hamilton–just that they pay what they gave up to let Chipper/Bourn/Hanson/Jurrjens leave.

  145. DOB…Wren was back in his office Tuesday, continuing to explore both the trade and free agent markets for either a true leadoff hitter or more of a stop-gap option.

    “We’re going to keep making calls, and staying engaged with teams that we feel like we might match up with and see if there’s a deal out there that makes sense,” Wren said.

    But if there’s not, he came back from the Dominican feeling encouraged about the players they have.

    “From our standpoint, there’s not a bad option,” Wren said. “If we end up, going with our internal group, it’s not bad. We keep our money, we keep our prospects and we give opportunities to our young players. Then we adjust when we see where the real needs are a little later.

  146. The Nats were definitely not that good over the final month of the season. Alas, they are not going to shut down their ace again. And if their bullpen shows similar cracks I expect they will spare no expense at the trade deadline shoring it up.

    Way too early to concede the division, however. Harper could have a Heyward-esque sophomore slump. Laroche could resume his usual pattern of horrible early season swoons. Span could fall victim to the vagaries of BABIP. Haren really could be toast, and Detwiler the thoroughly average starter he looked to be toward the end of the year. Werth could sprain his back under the crushing load of his own douchiness.

    You never know. Hope!

  147. Just don’t burn money on the likes of Emilio Bonifacio, and this is fine. Experiment for a couple of months with Prado/Roadrunner/White Bear/Johnson to cover 3B/LF, and go with what works. Fill gaps in July with the remaining money. Last year we had like 9 starting pitchers going into spring and couldn’t have predicted the necessity of Maholm. But that happened. I’m for preserving the flexibility* at this point and making the adjustments in midseason.

    *Unless we can get Justin Upton…

  148. You cant plan on making “big adjustments” during the year. What if the Braves are 10 back at the trade deadline? We didnt use our resources and then we become sellers. Its not guaranteed that we will still be in reach of the division at the break. We should be, but you never know.

  149. @244 I think we both agree that we need someone, but I don’t think that Bonifacio/Fowler/Ross/(insert leadoff hitter) is an option and if that’s what Wren has his sights set on I’d rather they not do anything.

  150. Unless there’s an 8 WAR player to be acquired for Delgado and change right now, there’s nothing to be done about the scenario in which we’re 10 back at the trade deadline. It may happen. Our ceiling is low given the economics of baseball until we get out from under this awful TV contract. The point is just maximizing the odds of constructing an 86-90 win team, which requires some midseason flexibility based on injuries and prolonged slumps.

  151. I don’t get the doom and gloom, to be honest. We’ve got the best bullpen in the universe, and as much quality starting pitching depth as any organization in baseball. We can count on improved defense, with serious offensive question marks at only two positions, C and 3B/LF. Given the typical production that teams get out of catcher, and the fact that McCann will likely return eventually, the first is a champagne problem. And there are numerous possible solutions to the second. I am hopeful. Excited even.

  152. For anyone who wants to switch the conversation back to music because they know that Wren is done for the off-season:

    From the R&R Hall of Fame website:
    “Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”

    It doesn’t say what the other criteria are. Based on the above quote, Can, Kraftwerk, Pixies, Neu!, Joy Division, Gram Parsons, Big Star, The Smiths, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Aphex Twin all get in at some point. Steve Miller Band, DMB, Coldplay, TLC, Heart, and Genesis would presumably all be left out in the cold, with their mediocre noses pressed against the glass.

    (I was going to include a paragraph about how I thought the idea of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with votes for inductees was kind of a dumb one; that music isn’t a competitive endeavor like sports so they should just scrap the whole election process and make it a museum full of memorabilia so that boomers could visit it and talk about Jimmy Page. Then I realized that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were inducted last year. Stating that fact discredits the institution far more elegantly than any argument i could make. I admit that I will be interested to see whether Pavement gets in next year [they should].)

  153. Iggy Pop was obsessed with Link Wray’s “Rumble.” He said the first time he heard it, he was walking thru the University of Michigan’s student center, and he just stopped in his tracks, not believing his own ears. He said he thought he was hearing “the soundtrack to a knife fight.”

  154. I guess Choo wasn’t worth Teheran to Wren and Delgado wasn’t enough for the Indians if there were even any conversations between the teams. Stubbs was actually WORSE than Jeff Francouer last season. Damn. The D-backs really settled for whatever on this one.

    Commence Operation Running Bear.

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