Owings is no Pujols

Before today’s game an unnamed Braves player was asked to provide a scouting report on Red starter Micah Owings.  In response, he simply replied, “he can hit.” 

Well the big right-hander from Gainesville, Ga. has done more than just hit when he’s faced the Braves.  In his two previous starts against them entering this afternoon,  he had gone 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA.  

Owings’ finest effort against his hometown team occurred on Aug. 18, 2007, when he allowed three runs in seven innings and tallied six RBIs during a four-hit performance that was highlighted with two home runs.  <p>

In the 79 at-bats he’s compiled since putting on that one-man show at Turner Field,  he has hit .342 with two homers and a .544 slugging percentage.  But in the 30 subsequent starts that he’s made, he’s gone 8-13 with a 5.22 ERA.  

Proving that Jo-Jo Reyes isn’t alone, Owings has gone 0-9 with an 8.54 ERA in the 14 appearances  (10 starts) that  he’s made since last winning on May 25, 2008. 

If the Braves can prolong Owings miseries and miraculously notch their fifth win during this once-forgettable nine-game road trip, they’ll head back to Atlanta with optimism and the hope that Albert Pujols opts not to accompany the Cardinals for this week’s three-game series at Turner Field. 

In 49 career games against the Braves, Pujols has hit .372 with a 1.211 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).  More impressive is the fact that in his past 30 games against them, he’s hit .419 with 13 homers and a 1.458 OPS. 

“He’s more dangerous than Bonds was,” Chipper Jones said. “Pujols hits the ball all over the field.  He hits strikes. He hits balls. It doesn’t matter.  He’ll go out of the strike zone to hurt you.”      

24 Comments

Pujols is simply the best hitter in baseball no questions asked. The Braves need to keep the table-setters off-base so Pujols doesn’t kill you with men on base. Pitching to Pujols with the sacks empty is what you want to do. He’ll hurt you, like he hurt the Mets last series going 6-9 with 2 BB’s, 2 HR, a double, 7 RBI’s, and 5 Runs Scored. If we can pitch to him without men on base and limit those RBI’s we’ll be alright.

I think KK should be moved either to the pen or possibly to AAA to get his control back…he has been really shaky lately. Give either Medlen or Hanson a shot both are ready now i think Medlen could be the better option because Hanson hasnt been going deep in games.

Mark was Schafer pulled because of poor performance or because he has an injury?

Neither, he was pulled because Infante is our back-up CF and Bobby wants to get him some defensive innings while we’re down 8-0 and the game’s completely meaningless to keep him sharp should we need him when the game is meaningful. Either that or Infante is a late-inning offensive replacement. Wouldn’t that be a heck of a strategy.

I think it was to prevent a four-strikeout afternoon. They haven’t announced an injury and I didn’t see any indication of one.

Before I start to write this gamer, I want to say thanks to PW for providing the biggest laugh this weekend. That post about Garret Anderson was priceless…Bruce has hit .609 (14-for-23) with four homers in six games against the Braves…Remember that thing I was saying about trusting your first instincts. Well I’m starting to believe I should have trusted what I saw from Kawakami before he kind of altered my thinking with that exhibition start against the Red Sox. He simply leaves too many balls up in the zone.

I’m starting to think Kawakami may be more suited for work in the bullpen. He’s having trouble getting deep into games and he’s showing signs of fatigue after the 3rd-4th inning. Maybe he’ll build up his arm and shoulder strength, but the fact that he’s been pitching in a 6 man rotation with a smaller ball for 11 years and there’s certainly a possibility that he’ll never be able to develop the arm strength required to pitch 6 innings every 5 days with an MLB baseball. I think he’d be a good late-innings guy. Not that we really have a need there. And I do hope he’s able to build up his arm strength and put in a few productive seasons. But if he doesn’t he’ll still make a good bullpen piece. With all our starting pitching options, if Kawakami needs to get relegated to the bullpen it probably won’t be the worst thing in the world.

I agree with everything just said. Without putting too much stock in TV radar readings, the TV radar had Kawakami’s fastaball in the 83-85 mph range today, which is 2-3 mph off what he’d been throwing the first couple of starts. He also seemed to lack all ability to get breaking pitches over effectively (when he decided to throw them). He was a guy known for having an arsenal of different pitches, but late spring to now he’s been using different pitches less and less. Maybe he just had a bad day, but decreased velocity, leaving the ball up, and reluctance to throw breaking pitches all speak to arm fatigue. At the age of 33 it’s tough to imagine his arm is suddenly going to be able to spike in strength.

That really was a funny interview Peter. Frank Definitely went shopping for Easter candy in November with the GAnderson deal. Still pretty, but the marshmallow “heart” is all dried up and hard.

Mark, Good to see you back from a few days off.

You might want to let TPTB, know that the 40 man roster listed on MLB.com is incorrect for the Braves.

Brian Barton is indeed on the current 40 man roster and not listed on the current one provided on this site.

Barton was a rule 5 draftee for the Cardinals taken from the Indians thus placing him on both the 25 and 40 man rosters for the Cardinals where he remained for the 2008 season.
He was on the 40 man the entire off season and headed to ST with the Cardinals where on March 16th he was optioned to Memphis.

He(Barton) was on the 40 man roster of the Cardinals at the time of the Boyer deal thus placing him on the 40 man roster of the Braves.

By my count the current 40 man for the braves should consist of the 25 man active roster, plus:

(4) Players currently on the 15 Day DL
Tom Glavine
Jorge Campillo
Brian McCann
Garrett Anderson

Minor leaguers Currently on the 40-Man:
Gwinnett(7)
Manny Acosta
Boone Logan
Charlie Morton
Todd Redmond
Luis Valdez
Brian Barton
Gregor Blanco

Mississippi(1)
Stephen Marek

Tim Hudson on 60 Day DL(does not count against the 40 Man roster)

By my count the current Number should be 38 players on the 40 Man.

Mark or anyone else can let me kow if they have different info.

My mistake above the current number should be 37 instead of 38.

Leaves some flexibilty should the need arise.

Shouldnt we have heard something from Glavine by now?

Correction the Corrected number should be 38.

Left Diory Hernandez off the ones at Gwinnett.

Summary
(25) Man Active
(4)-15 Day DL
Glavine
Campillo
McCann
Anderson

Gwinnett(8)
Acosta
Logan
Morton
Redmond
Valdez
Hernandez
Barton
Blanco

Mississippi (1)
Marek

Like I mentioned earlier, if anybody has any different info, please correct mine.

Brandon Jones has been nothing but impressive since making his big league debut. His first at bat was impressive yesterday. He was thrown a pitch outside and drilled it into left field. It was a textbook swing for a pitch away. After his awesome spring and a remarkable rookie showing… it’s getting harder to imagine him in the minors.

Agreed bravomania,

I want B.Jones to play LF against every RHP for the immediate time.
We know what Diaz is, he’s a 4th/5th OF type.

He(Diaz) doesn’t need to start against any RHP at all ,and only needs to spell Jones occassionally when southpaws are throwing.

Hopefully G.Anderson can convalesce for about a month and we can see what B.Jones can provide for that time period.

Hey rother, to your knowledge, is Hanson still on slate to pitch Wednesday night against Norfolk? I haven’t purchased my tickets yet, but thinking I need to today.

He pitched Friday and 5 days makes it Wednesday. The only problem is that off day today. I’ll see what I can find out, because they don’t post for the week like the Major League clubs do.

Charlie Morton goes tomorrow, and Todd Redmond was between Morton and Hanson last week, so it really depends on if they are going to skip around to keep Tommy on exactly 5 days or not. Redmond is next in line, but Hanson is on track for Wednesday. How’s that for a definite maybe?

Here is what we know:
Vazquez, Jurrjens, and Lowe are all VERY solid, 15 game winners, maybe even 20 game winners. Vazquez is the lowest of the three but also the most consistent, and while he might only win 12 games, he is vital to the bullpen.

Tommy Hanson is the future of the Rotation.

Tom Glavine might come back and might not.

Kris Medlen can probably start in the Majors.

Charlie Morton can find success at the Major league level, and I think he will very soon.

Am I missing any starting pitchers?

Oh yeah, Tim Hudson.

So, what do we have in our pool of pitchers for August/September?

Locks: Jurrjens, Vazquez, Lowe. Kawakami if he can figure himself out. But probably not.

Probables: Glavine, Hanson

Possibles: Morton, Medlen, Hudson.

I can only imagine what a rotation that looked like :
1. Hudson
2. Lowe
3. Jurrjens
4. Vazquez
5. Hanson

Going into the postseason…

Anyone else have thoughts on this? On what we will really be looking at? Any rumors on Kawakami? Any word of Glavine?

Give Bobby Cox’s managerial style, I don’t think Kawakami is on a short leash….yet. JoJo gets one more shot, then the wheels start turning in my opinion.
Glavine is quickly becoming a footnote to the season. I can’t see him making his bonuses at all, and I really think the Braves are going to let him say he’s done, he has earned that. That seems to be the next announcement that is to come. Then Medlen and Hanson have to begin to factor into the equation. Until the Glavine story is written, it seems to me like it will remain status quo. Medlen and Hanson are a huge upgrade to Bennett and Jo Jo, HUGE. Then comes the Carlyle or Campillo conversation, and the what do we do when Tim Hudson comes back conversation. I would not be surprised if the Braves ice Hudson for the season if all is going well. Erring on the side of caution is the standard practice in Atlanta.

Yea I’d love to be able to actually see Hanson pitch before he gets the call. Lord knows chances are pretty good that he won’t be around still when they come back to Norfolk in July. I was hoping the MiLB site would at least have the projected starters for tomorrow and Wednesday, but not even for tomorrow are they posted yet. I appreciate you at least looking. I only asked because I knew you were more familiar with the rotation.

I am honestly surprised that he’s got the record he does, but all that proves is that he’s not getting the run support because his ERA and other numbers still show that’s he’s got the makings for a great MLB pitcher.

The G-Braves have been shut out in 2 of his starts, and he only went 4 1/3 in the start they did win because of pitch count for opening day set in the mid 80’s. Hanson will be just fine. The defense there is pretty suspect right now as well. They don’t get to much in the infield.

I don’t get it. Last year they had Norfolk’s number and looking back, it looks like they got it handed to them in Gwinnett. I attended one game last year in Norfolk against “Richmond” and we won 7-2. This year you’d think it was the guys from Major League, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen and the whole lot lol.

They just posted it on the team site. Morton is pitching tomorrow night, so hopefully that will mean Tommy’s pitching Wednesday.

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