Johnson sits again

Jordan Schafer’s stint in the leadoff spot was short-lived or at least interrupted by the fact that the Astros were starting a left-hander during Sunday’s series finale.  My guess is that we’ll see him back in the top spot against some right-handed starters in the very near future. 

But Schafer didn’t exactly make a good first impression in the role on Saturday, when he struck out three times and mistakenly read left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak’s pickoff move during a fifth-inning stolen base attempt.

Manager Bobby Cox’s decision to move Schafer back down to the eighth spot on Sunday wasn’t as surprising as the fact that Kelly Johnson found himself back on the bench for the fourth time in five games.  The second baseman broke out of a 4-for-39 funk with a pair of hits on Saturday.

Obviously the right-handed hitting Omar Infante has been hot recently, recording six hits in the 12 at-bats he recorded in the leadoff role last week.  Using him in a strict platoon role at second base is easier to understand from a defensive perspective.  Statistically,  it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

This year Johnson has hit .308 (8-for-26) against left-handed pitchers and just .174 against right-handed pitchers.  Dating back to the beginning of the 2008 season, the 27-year-old second baseman has hit .330 (58-for-176) against left-handed pitchers and .260 (115-for-443) against right-handed pitchers.   <p>

Anderson delcines rehab:  Like I’ve said in the past, Garret Anderson is a nice guy who had a nice career with the Angels.  But as time passes, he simply gives more reason to reason to wonder how motivated he is to play in Atlanta.  

I can understand that he has a reserved personality that makes it difficult to truly understand his passion. But given a chance to at least prove his motivation through actions, he still leads you to simply shake your head and wonder what he’ll provide when he’s activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. 

Per his right, Anderson declined the Braves request to see some live pitching during a Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett.  Nobody was asking him to fly to some scenic Minor League town.  He would have simply needed to drive about 20-30 minutes north on I-85 to get a few at-bats. 

Is that asking too much from a guy who has registered a total of 49 plate appearances since the American League Division Series concluded last year?

Kenshin set to pitch:
  When a lengthy rain delay limited  Jair Jurrjens to two innings on Saturday, there was reason to at least wonder if the Braves might opt to bring him back to start in place of Kenshin Kawakami on Tuesday against the Mets. 

But Kawakami has provided the Braves every reason to beleive that his right shoulder is feeling good enough to make Tuesday’s start.  The 33-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched since allowing eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Reds on April 26.    

 

28 Comments

Mark, heres my suggestion for tonights recap headline,

Win: Braves win on Walks and Balks

Loss: Braves Balks and Walks not enough in loss

Dont worry I wont sue (hehe just kidding)

Take him out TAKE HIM OUT QUICKLY!!!!!

Ok new loss headline:

The Braves set record for consistently sucking, now at 4 years

New Headline: “Jurrjens4nlcy’s apolagie is unheard because foot is stuck in mouth”

Who got injured?

when are the Braves going to ditch the red jerseys? We always seem to lose when we wear them. I think in 3 years with the red jerseys we are 3 and 40?

Time forthe Braves to say good bye to Garrett. He is arrogant and really does not want to play. You would think that he would jump at the chance to do rehab. A waste of money and time.

Wow, Garret Anderson may be my least favorite Brave. Ever. Well, apart from Bob Wickman.

Craig Wilson, Bob Wickman, Garrett Anderson. There is really no reason to continue the experiment. I just hate the idea of releasing Anderson and letting him go where he wants to. However, they are about at the point where he is going to rip the team’s chemistry apart. I can’t believe Chipper hasn’t come out and publicly ripped him yet. What a tin man Anderson has ended up being. I give him a week max before he gets released. Again Boras is responsible but not accountable. What a pimp.

I forgot Kenny Lofton from that list of notable Braves short timers.

Hey, let’s give Anderson some time. If you have ever torn a ham string and tried to play, you would know this takes time! As for the Anderson kid, more time. I remember Smoltzy having a psychologist sitting in the stands trying to help him thru his youth. I also remember Glavine’s first inning blues. Our fans are not going to the games, not cheering with enthusiasm and in general lack our tomahawk chop. The Braves have the tools. We need to have some faith!

What’s the likelihood the Astros would be willing to trade Lance Berkman by the trade deadline if they are still in last place? He’s signed through 2011.

probably as likely as the chances Frank Wren will give Raphael Furcal’s agent a call for any future transactions…

A veteran like Garrett Anderson is mature enough to make his own decisions and knows his body. What is the point of one d@mn game? If a week or so was suggested then he would prolly do it, but one game? I dunno if that’s really necessary. It’s up to him.

If I were Houston’s GM, I’d try really hard to trade all of my veterans that are making a ridiculous amount of money (Lee, Berkman, Tejada, Valverde, Oswalt, etc). They have no farm and maybe 2 good, young players. But they won’t because they’re idiots and Berkman won’t be moved.

That’s for sure, Berkman is Mr. Houston, Rice University and high school as well I think. Carlos Lee is another story all together. That bat we could both use and potentially get.

When you lose almost every game in Spring Training like Houston did, it’s not an indication of where your Major League 25, are, it’s an indictment of your organization as a whole. Look how good the Braves were playing 50 on 50 baseball all spring, it wasn’t until we got to 25 on 25 that the Braves showed how much they were lacking at the Major League level. 26 thru 50 we’re better than most, but they aren’t here yet.
The 12-15,000 fans showing up at the games aren’t exactly hurrying the process for the non roster guys like Hanson and Medlen either. With money being tight, this year may be a “go with what you’ve got” season.
That bat the Braves need may not be coming either if it is going to cost an extra $8-12 million to get it. Besides Chipper I don’t think the Braves have a position player over $5 million. To get a top bat and balance the books at the same time is going to be a very difficult feat to accomplish indeed.
Also, if they are willing to make that kind of financial commitment to a rent-a-stick, then the entire “Wait for arbitration” argument for Hanson and Medlen carries almost no wait. Why worry about the early arbitration clock when your willing to throw $6-10 million additional for the three month rental, it doesn’t make sense anymore.

I’m afraid I see it that way too Rother. They whole “play with what you got” mentality. The only problem is that what we “got” is a .500 to sub .500 team. Until we can get someone in there to protect Chipper and drive in over 100 runs and knock 30+ hrs… we’re going to have to rely on our starting pitching and bullpen.
We’re getting guys on base… we’re just not bringing them in. It’s shaping up to be a season of blandness

The players that will be made available are going to be for the most part the overpriced guys by today’s standards, and the guys the other team can’t or won’t sign in this market. Watch and see, but I don’t think the “Big” deals are going to be happening at the deadline this season either. There is way too much uncertainty in the market.
My guess, and my hope, is that the teams let the contracts run their course, then each off season free agent market goes like this winter did, where the price is greatly reduced from before. That may keep provide the overall swing necessary to “fix” things a little. Unless of course the Yankees miss the playoffs again, in which case they will spend another $400 million to get another wave of “was goods” for double market value.
Seriously, what GM in his right mind trades with the Yankees right now, and takes on a NY sized contract for an average ball player? Swisher is nice, but not 8 figures nice. Same with Nady. He makes the kind of money reserved for players you build a team around, not above average bats with arm trouble who get a new team each season.
Unless the Yankees are going to pick up huge portions of the contracts, they are going to get to keep these guys for a while. And, every dollar you let the Yankees reduce payroll by costs you in luxury tax money you don’t get which is again just bad business.

Bravo, here’s a fun thought. If we assume the Braves really are going for a big bat, and it is well known that the only money for money the Braves have to trade at that level is pitching, who do you think we would be willing to part with to get that big bat?
Your choices are limited to big money pitchers, Lowe, Hudson, Kawakami, Vazquez, Soriano, Gonzalez. They are the only guys making any real money right now besides Chipper, so who would it be? An interesting dilemma for sure.

Well – Considering we have a right-handed stud-to-be waiting for his opportunity, the obvious name on that list is Kawakami. Vasquez and Lowe fit nicely into our style of play. Hudson will not be accepted by any team until he proves he can rebound from TJ. I’d like to see Kawakami put together a string of quality starts and a couple of wins to raise his value a little more. We are VERY deep in pitching – but Soriano and Gonzalez are pretty valuable to us right now. The question is – are either of those two more valuable than a solid run producer in the middle of the lineup? Again – there is no shortage of base runners… but there is a shortage of runs. Which means we are not doing our job of driving in those runners. Failed execution.
I don’t really know the answer to that question. Surely we can put together an nice packaged deal of pitchers to entice a team looking to dump salary and add pitching.

That’s the problem. If they are “dumping” salary then we have to pick up that salary, and the Braves are not going to do that.
So that just leaves the Add Pitching portion of the story. We have to treat it like an NBA trade with a salary cap. If $10 mill comes in, $10 mill has to go out.
It is quite a dilemma.
Our position of strength is young pitching, but sending away the Morton, Parr, Bennett, Campillo, Reyes crowd will create a huge net increase in payroll when the bat arrives. In the past, Mike Hampton trade era, the other team would pick up a portion of the salaries, but with attendance where it is, I would be surprised if we would get any value with that string attached in today’s market.
I’m not sure how this trade can be pulled off right now, no matter how necessary it is for the Braves to compete, unless they are willing to jack up the payroll $5 to 10 mill.

I think you’re right. If that’s the case, then here’s what needs to happen to win the division:
Schafer evolves into a true lead off hitter, Escobar minimizes his double play at bats and learns how to run the bases, Chipper stays healthy all season and drives in 100+, McCann comes back and can actually see the ball, Frenchy keeps rebounding and finding his swing, Kotchman finds a way to take HGH without testing positive, KJ learns how to hit right-handed pitching and flourishes in the number 7 spot, and Diaz actually makes contact on half of the hacks he takes up at the plate
If ALL of those things happen, and our bullpen stays steady – we have a shot.

I’m ok with that.
Schafer is a rookie, therefore great for a week awful for a week and so on, but overall pretty darn good.
McCann just makes a big difference when he is in there. Escobar went to right instead of rolling it over twice yesterday, so he may have had the epiphany he needed to already.
Chipper and 100 RBI is going to be tied to the McCann situation.
Frenchy is just fine thanks for asking no matter what Peter and his pocket protector say.
Kotchman in the 7 or even 8 hole is a pretty nice commodity, and the bullpen is going to be even better when Medlen arrives and Bennett is put to pasture.
That just leaves the whole KJ, Infante, Prado thing to sort out. I just have a hard time justifying KJ getting the bulk of the ABs and innings when he hasn’t shown to be clearly (or even a little) better than the other two, offensively or defensively. I still smell a trade there for some reason.
There’s a lot to like, and a lot to work on. I guess that’s why they’re a .500 team isn’t it.

Agreed as usual with rother.

No big bat is going to be coming our way anytime soon.

To start with none will be made available until further into the season unless any team has interest in assuming a contract along the lines of an Austin Kearns/Brian Giles type. A player(s) that is far past his prime and carrying a heavy contract.

We all know the Braves aren’t going to go that route.

I expect Wren to try and muddle along and hope that both G.Anderson and McCann can return healthy and swinging the sticks.

As for Anderson declining rehab, puts a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Anderson needs to play daily starting tomorrow and come out raking. If he encounters another strain,sprain,muscle pull and misses any more time it will be time to DL him immediately and release him upon his return to health.

Also while on the subject of LF, and despite his two hits yesterday, Diaz is just not well suited for his role on this team. Our 4th OF needs to be a player that can play all 3 OF spots and come off the bench to pinch run late and be a credible defensive replacement, especially if Anderson can remain healthy.

As for a righty bat(Diaz) off the bench, Prado and Infante are both better options with the stick. Not sure that either would be any more of a defensive liability that what we run out there now.

I for one want all the righty AB’s that come from LF,1B,2B to all go to Infante and Prado.

Nothing personal against Diaz, he just better suited for a team with different skill sets in their outfield.

If Braves can remain in the hunt(I think they can) with their pitching and LF is still a non contributor in late June/July then the time will be upon Wren to look for a solid pickup, I still think Winn is the best possible option all things considered if available.

Also like someone mentioned above we need to all hope that KK can find his stride and pitch effectively for a nice run of starts. Hoping then that some pitching starved team will have some interest.

Kawakami aint gettin’ moved. Signing him was a huge step towards getting Japanese talent into our organization. Trading him would negate all of that.

Terry Pendleton needs to move on. I am available
to hang over the rail and watch.

Johnson should go down.

Infante should be a constant starter.

Schaefer should be sent down and sold.

Brandon Jones needs hitting help (but from TP, Please)

Kelly Johnson belongs in left field, or in Kansas City; his brain farts at 2B I can smell all the way over here in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t care how much work Hubby and he have done, it hasn’t helped, and I think the change will occur alongside a remarkably coincident improvement in his hitting.
Matt Diaz belongs on the bench, he is a fine 5th outfielder and pinch hitter. Yeah, we all like to root for the little guy, but over the course of a season you see why the little guy got dumped by Kansas City and Tampa Bay back when both were punchlines to bad jokes everyone was tired of hearing.
Brandon Jones belongs at AAA, he is a fine 5th outfielder and can’t hit.
Garret Anderson belongs on the scrap heap, something everyone except Frank Wren readily acknowledged 6 months ago.
Martin Prado belongs at 2B, and you can live with the streaky hitting and relative lack of power because you’re already living with it from KJ.
Give some LF starts to Greg Norton, couldn’t hurt…no, really, IT COULD NOT HURT, because look at the nothing they’re getting right now.
Jordan Schafer belongs in AAA, but that ain’t gonna happen because there are no other options, so you live with what you got.
Kotchman belongs at the #2 spot in the batting order, not because he’s ideal there–with the glorious exception of Brian “Molasses in January” McCann, he’s the slowest guy on the team–but because he’s the only one of the starters (besides Chipper) who seems to have some idea of situational hitting, and doesn’t have any power, so it’s not like you’re gonna miss having him hit 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th. Bat Yunel 7th–his prodigious double-play hitting doesn’t really belong anywhere in the lineup, but he’s got a good glove and occasionally delivers clutch hits.
In short, this is a spin-their-wheels-and-get-nowhere season, one which may only be improved if they can trade from a position of strength (nearly-ready pitching) and gain something they need (an everyday 2B and LF)…but really, this team won’t even sniff the wild card unless Philly and Floridy get ravaged by swine flu, and even then there’s all those marginally more competitive teams in the other divisions.

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