Braves need to make changes to outfield mix

Braves general manager Frank Wren isn’t in a position where he can wait until the July 31 trade deadline to upgrade his powerless outfield mix.    There’s a need for immediate changes and also indication that we’ll begin to see it in the near future.  
But now that we’ve completed the easy part by stating the obvious, what is the best way for Wren to improve an outfield that ranks last in the National League in slugging percentage (.356), homers (7) and OPS (.674)?
In dire need to hear something positive?  Well there are three NL teams, whose outfield mixes have produced a worse batting average (.248) and on-base percentage (.318).
Given that he’s played just 12 games since returning from a disabled list stint that was preceded with long stretches of injury-related activity, maybe it’s unfair to already declare the Garret Anderson project to be a bust, unless of course you want to factor in the defensive element that is sorely affected by his limited range.
But is it unfair to ask for at least one home run through the 71 at-bats compiled by a left fielder that you solely acquired to add some pop to your lineup?  If so, then you’re probably arguing that you shouldn’t have expected to see longball regularity from a 36-year-old veteran who hadn’t hit more than 17 homers any of the previous five seasons.  
With this being said, is it unfair to at least expect more than two extra-base hits (two doubles) in the 46 at-bats that Anderson has totaled since returning from the DL?  In the 12 games that he’s played since being activated, he’s hit .283 with a .321 on-base percentage and .326 slugging percentage.  
Those are numbers that only look good when compared to the .197 batting average, .214 on-base percentage and .273 slugging percentage that Jeff Francoeur has compiled in the 66 at-bats that he’s tallied this month.  
While there are a number of players that are going to experience bad months, Francoeur isn’t in position where he can produce these kinds of numbers and expect to  remain in Atlanta much longer.  Earlier this week, I pointed out that the biggest difference between this year and last year for the 25-year-old outfielder is the $2.92 million raise that he gained while avoiding arbitration in February.
During his first three full Major League seasons, Francoeur has collected an average of 630 at-bats.    Using this as a variable, let’s look at the fact that he’s hit .235 with  11 homers, a .287 on-base percentage and  a .341 slugging percentage in his last 631 at-bats   — dating back to May 6, 2008.
Among every Major Leaguer player who has collected at least 500 plate appearances during this span,  Bobby Crosby, Michael Bourn, Willy Taveras,  Chone Figgins and Jason Kendall are the only ones who have compiled a lower slugging percentage.  
Francoeur’s .287 on-base percentage during this span ranks dead last, just ahead of the .288 mark compiled by Arizona’s Chris Young, whose contract calls for him to make $23.75 million from 2010-2012.
Using this as a comparison and blinding yourself from the fact that Young has recorded 15 more stolen bases than Francoeur’s zero during this span, maybe the Braves shouldn’t feel too bad about the fact that they’re paying Francoeur $3.325 million this year.  
At the ripe age of 25, Francoeur might one day regain the power that has been absent since his 29-homer, 2006 season.  But as they continue to patiently await the return of this power, the Braves find themselves in a position where they have to at least explore the option of trading him to a team that believes they can fix him.
Obviously, Francoeur enjoys working with Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.  So maybe Jaramillo could persuade Jon Daniels to roll the dice with another ex-Braves player.  Sill while the Andruw Jones project is currently working, Texas is loaded with outfielders and many other top prospects  who were once destined for Atlanta.
The Braves aren’t going to get much in return for Francoeur. But they need to at least explore the possibility of moving him before they reach a point during the offseason, when they might non-tender him and get absolutely nothing in return for a former top prospect, who was once-considered to be the next Chipper Jones.
In addition, while attempting to alter their outfield mix, the Braves to face the reality that Francoeur still might generate a greater return than Anderson would on the trade market.  
Jordan Schafer’s rookie struggles have played a part in the lack of offense the Braves outfield has generated this year.  But while playing the field this year, the  only Atlanta outfielder to better the .660 OPS generated by Schafer is Matt Diaz with a .766 mark.  
With Diaz and Brandon Jones, the Braves have a couple of internal pieces who could at least attempt to improve the corner outfield production.  But to truly make a difference Wren is going to have to look outside his organization and navigate a trade market with funds that were reduced by the questionable signings of Anderson and Kenshin Kawakami.
Kawakami’s three-year, $23 million contract will continue to haunt Wren through the end of the 2011 season. The immediate effects have already proven to be a hindrance.  
How nice would it have been to have had an extra $7 milllion to spend on an outfielder right now or back in February,  when the Angels  avoided re-signing Anderson and opted to give Bobby Abreu  one-year $5 million?
Without a homer in his first 140 at-bats this year, Abreu wasn’t going to bring the Braves the power that they need.  But his .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage and .364 slugging percentage certainly look much better than the marks compiled by Anderson or anybody else the Braves have utilized as an outfielder this year.


I still have a feeling that we shouldnt give up on Jeff Francore yet. He looked like he was going to do well in April, however, he did the exact same thing last year as well. For being 25 and the talent is defiantly there, its just a matter of finding that talent and being able to stick with it. He needs to stop swinging at the first pitch and actually see more than 1 pitch almost every at bat. Schafer looks over matched with a 92+ fastball at the moment, but he is still a rookie also with good talent, he needs to attempt to steal some bases more though. I dont think Kawakami has been a complete and total bust yet. He might not have been worth all that money, but i think he will be fine down the stretch or ever out of the bullpen. As soon as schafer starts to hit i think that the outfield will be fine as a whole. I like Anderson b/c he is exactly what they said he was a proffesional hitter, who is begaing to heat up. And to have all these problems and were only like 2.5 back that means were not the only ones in trouble. Still been a good season so far. The top 3 of our rotation has been AWSOME!!!!!

More roster news.

Manny Acosta recalled from AAA, Parr optioned to the G-Braves. Long overdue Acosta while somewhat inconsistent has far more talent than Parr,Bennett,Carlyle to name a few.

When/if Glavine returns,

Pen i want to see

Campillo-Long man

Chipper isn’t in the lineup that they’ve posted. When I get back upstairs, I’ll let you know if he has any updates on his sore right foot…With Kawakami going tonight, the Braves couldn’t pitch a man short in their bullpen. Thus after throwing somewhere around 90 pitches last night, Parr was the obvious odd man out.

This just in: We need a bat.

How about giving Frenchy a break. He’s above average defensively and his hitting will come around to the point where one day, if we unwittingly move him or non-tender him, we’ll kick ourselves in the behind. I agree with G. Anderson. He’s just not mentally or emotionally into it here in the Peach state. Let’s go get Matt Holiday!!!

We’ve all been giving Frenchy plenty of breaks. He’s never OPS’d .800 in a full season. He’s getting paid way more than he’s worth, and due to arbitration that number is going to continue to rise. I’d like to see the defensive metric that has Francoeur above average, because his UZR has been negative for the past two years. He obviously has a great arm, so maybe you could consider him average defensively. I mean, just look at the stats Bowman just gave. I don’t understand how anyone can say give Frenchy a break. He needs to be in AAA but I’m sure he’ll just be incredibly offended.

After thinking of a million different trade scenarios, I think Brad Hawpe makes the most sense. He’s got two years left on his deal (only 13 million plus a .5 million buyout for the next year) and his home/road splits suggest that Coors field doesn’t have much of an effect on him at all. His defense was terrible last year, but I’ve heard that it was due to a lingering hamstring problem. So far this year his defense has been slightly better than Francoeurs. Mark, is there any indication that Hawpe would be someone the Braves might consider, or do you have other names in mind?

Wren can’t discuss other team’s players with people outside the organization. So, even if he were to let Mark in on who he’s pursuing, Mark wouldn’t be able to tell us who. You can ask Mark who Wren is considering, but you’ll eventually find it to be a fruitless endeavor.

Alright. Mark DeRosa makes the most sense right now over anyone besides Ludwick the players that make 8+ million a year. I think we need to get rid of Kawakami at the end of the year if he continues to struggle. I think we should go full force into signing Jason Bay or maybe even Holliday. We should start trying to clear the payroll now with players like Reyes, Diaz, and maybe Johnson and Frenchy to help. I doubt it will happen as Boston really wants Bay and Yankees will outbid everyone for Holliday UNLESS Ted Turner buys the Braves again and has plenty to spend to help us become a complete team again.
What is also embarrassing is the stolen bases we have this year. We have gotten caught around 6 and only have 8-10 this year. That is just pathetic. We should look into getting someone who can actually run. Schafer is fast, but come on 1 stolen base? Plus he got caught once. Johnson has some speed, but he won’t exceed 15 the whole year. Nobody else has a chance of getting over 10 except for those two (Kelly might not even stick around long enough for it to happen). Wren needs to do something and FAST!!!!

Francoeur + something for Alberto Callaspo then put KJ in Right temporarily. Just a thought.

Actually, we really haven’t given Frenchy a chance. One and a half good years plus one average year plus one bad year does not equal ‘giving him a chance’. We’ve dealt with Oakland before and we have enough outfield depth plus Jo-Jo Reyes to deal for Matt Holiday. Then try, try, try to sign him. The stolen base thing is Bobby’s fault. He’s still waiting for that three run homer…

When I look at myself in the mirror, I’d have to say that my fault is that I’ve given Francoeur a break for far too long. There’s no doubt that the leniency stems from the fact that he’s a great guy. But at the end of the day we all have a job to do. My job is to relay information to the public and thus, I’ve written two entries this week preparing you for the possibility that Frenchy’s days in Atlanta might be numbered. It will be very difficult for the Braves to trade him. As for a return to the Minors, I don’t know if that would help anybody. Thus, you can’t ignore the possibility that if things don’t improve soon there’s a definite possibility that they could release him.

I like the Callaspo idea. Not sure how anxious the Royals would be to deal him, at least until Gordon gets back and they could more safely move Teahen back to 2B. I wonder what it might take to get the Royals to deal the (high-priced for the Royals) Jose Guillen in such a deal. He’d slot in nicely as the RF. Any thoughts on whether a Frency+KJ+something package might work? I suppose it’d depend on what that something was, but hey, it is Dayton Moore so I wouldn’t dismiss the suggestion completely.

I don’t like the idea of selling low on Kelly Johnson. I still think he’s a good player. What’s the timetable for Alex Gordon’s return?

I believe it’s All-Star Break or a little thereafter….not sure though. I generally agree on KJ, though I’m not sure I’d really want to see him in RF. By the way, since we’re mentioning Royals, I wouldn’t mind us finding a way to steal their “Omar Infanet”….Willie Bloomquist. Not a great player, but he’s solid.

Isn’t Callaspo kind of their Omar Infante, only starting at 2B because of the Gordon injury?

Haha, probably. Bloomquist is a guy who’s played all over the place in his career as well. I believe he’s at various points had 10+ games at OF, 3b, SS, 2b….he’s batting .300+ this year. He drew 25 walks in 192 plate appearances last year, and he’s got some speed. 8 steals in 90 plate appearances this year. That’d go down with Bobby’s style, but I wouldn’t mind having a platoon/spot start guy who can actually swipe some bags.

Kelly certainly still has value and there are a number of teams that would be willing to provide some value for him. But before throwing out names like Holliday, Ordonez, etc., let’s remember that the Braves are dealing with very limited funds. To find some outfield power, they’re going to have to think outside the box and it does make sense to at least further explore the idea of Johnson returning to left field.

Medlen just caught the ceremonial first pitch from Joe Fan, whose errant throw looked like some of the ones Medlen made during last night’s fourth inning.

I’ll leave the Frenchy talk alone, I hope he does well. Another subject is the position that we should deal KJ. That seems a little odd. Great hitter, outside of lead-off, power and average and average defensively ( hopefully getting better ). Why, just because of Prado & Infante?

I believe it’s not that we want to deal KJ but that if the Braves are serious about getting a better OF bat, he’s our most marketable major league asset….specifically for the reasons you mentioned sage101. I’m not sure Atlanta would be excited to do it, but if the Atlanta community has turned on Francoeur as much as we have, then it’s unrealistic to believe we can magically turn him for a better player. KJ’s the guy who might be expendable because of a guy like Prado who other teams covet. My personal position is not to deal him unless it would help our team this year and going forward. I was not opposed to the possibility of a Ludwick swap….I have been opposed to KJ in packages for guys like Ankiel/Holliday who will almost assuredly walk after the year.

Sage, I think the possibility of Kelly getting moved was obviously much greater when the Braves had so much depth at the 2B position. Without Infante around, it seems a little less likely that the Braves will move him. To get value, you have to trade players that are valued outside of your organization. Kelly fits that bill and he was expendable. I’ve heard some guys on the team say that he is the third-best 2B on the roster behind Infante and Prado.

Despite his lack of production, I would still hate to see Jeff go. Left field is where the improvement needs to be. You can be a so so defender and rely on your offense. I never liked the Anderson pick up, and as most of us predicted, he’s putting up numbers similar to what Brandon Jones could put up. Put a real hitter out there and wait for Frenchy, and if he still doesn’t find his swing then we have Jason Heyward in the wings for next year. What we could get for Frenchy isn’t enough for what his potential was and could be again.

I’m still a fan of the Callaspo idea. Then grabbing the big bat at the trade deadline.

A Garret Anderson and Matt Diaz platoon is much more productive than Jeff Francoeur.

You’re right. But it still isn’t as productive as it should be. And neither of them are the talent Jeff should be. Well, maybe Anderson was 8 years ago.

All that being said I still really like this team. As opposed to the last couple of years, we actually have a chance. Starting pitching, relief pitching, and good hitters. Prado is ready for a full time look and Kotchman is perfect for #2. Diaz, Anderson, B. Jones are just not the answer, unfortunate, because I like Diaz. Limited funds are limited funds, if Wren wanted someone, I bet he could pull it off. Matt Holiday will get moved, why not be the initiator of the process. There really is no other ‘power’ bat out there for a national league team, is there?

Not at all, but Billy Beane essentially acquired Holliday to maybe make the A’s competitive for a few months and then deal him for a King’s ransom. I think if Beane has his way he’s still hoping the A’s get competitive because then he can hold it over other teams that he might just hold onto Holliday for the season just to up his value. That’s what Beane does. It’s not a question of “if” but rather “at what price?” The Braves got burned dealing for Tex, and that was for a season an a half (theoretically) of Teixeira. The asking price for Holliday is likely to be similar for a shorter period of time. However, if teams start to balk at his demands Holliday might be more viable if you wait til the last moment when Beane’s desperate to get something for him. Right now, the price would be sky high.

If we’re going to pay a king’s ransom, we should go after a good, young hitter under team control for awhile, not a 3 month rental. Beane didn’t give up a whole lot to get Holliday, though, so maybe the ransom won’t be that large.

tomatalk, earlier this week, I shared your line of thinking about the A’s asking for a king’s ranson for Holliday…but as I was driving home last night, I started to think about how little the Braves got when they ended up holding Tex up until the dawn of the deadline. The Indians got a lot more when they moved CC in June. So you at least have to think Billy will pull that trigger if he gets a real attractive offer in June. With this being said, I don’t think the Braves have the ability to pay the pro-rated portion of Holliday’s $13.5 million salary…that breaks down to $2.25 million per month.

2.25 million per month is crazy. I never thought of it like that. Is Holliday a Boras client? What other options are there? Who will take G. Anderson, Diaz, J.J. Reyes?

Mark (and PWH) that’s a good point about what Beane gave up and might be looking to extract. I would imagine at a minimum it’d have to include a Medlen (assuming Wren stays true and Heyward/Hanson are completely untouchable) and what else? Taking the salary out of the equation do y’all think Medlen + would be worth it for a 4-5 month rental? An additional consideration…do you think Beane has any ill-feelings towards Atlanta from the Hudson deal? I know that’s not necessarily logical, but you never know when people are involved. I tend to agree with PWH’s point as well that if we are to pay a king’s ransom, why not get a young, talented hitter under team control? Then I think the suggestion some have made of finding a Markakis would be more in line, though, I don’t think he’s available as I’m starting to believe the O’s think they’re close. From what I’ve read, and Mark will have a better idea than I do, the Braves current philosophy would be to hope for the best and wait for Heyward, Freeman, Hanson rather than dealing them for immediate return. Assuming we did have an open-mind, what players might fit the bill? I’d think they would have to come from a team clearly in rebuilding mode…..and with that consideration in mind I’m not sure there are teams so clearly in that mode that have a young hitter they’d be willing to deal. Jason Bay was the closest to that that comes to mind….of course that was a year ago.

Among that trio, I’d have to say that Reyes obviously has the best trade value. Looking solely at his age and stuff, there will be some clubs that believe he could be an effective left-handed member of their rotation…Anderson was available on Feb. 22 for a reason. His value is slim…As for Diaz, I don’t think the Braves have any intention to trade him…Holliday is a Boras client.

Ok so Holliday and Ordonez are crossed out on possibilities. Mark what do you think about Ludwick or Ankiel? They are somewhat cheap, although Ankiel spent some time on the DL…. I hope they are available.

Wow look at Kawakami go. 1 hit and only 48 pitches through 4 innings. Maybe the Braves should tell him he’s facing one of baseball’s great aces everytime he comes up to pitch, even if it’s Oliver Perez. This reminds me of his matchup with Dice-K in spring training.

Ryan Church might be injured. If we are gonna try to get Mark DeRosa, we better do it quick because the Mets are interested.

Mark, do you think there’s a possibility of trading Franceour for 2005 Franceour? Maybe we could include Kelly in that trade as well.

Wow, the Mets are little falling apart from a physical standpoint. Given that the Mets weren’t likely going to help the Braves, Church was one of those kinds of players that could aid the Braves at an affordable price. Despite what Manuel said after Church missed third base the other night, I had gained the sense that he didn’t like him as a player…That’s basically what the Braves need to be searching for now: a talented player who has either fallen out of favor with an organization or one whose playing time is blocked by other talented players at their particular position…This brings us back to the Rangers…The Braves were interested in Marlon Byrd during the offseason. With a couple of pitching prospects, they might be able to lure him to Atlanta…in hindsight, the Braves and many other teams should have gone after Nelson Cruz when he was available at last year’s deadline. so far he’s proven that he’s not a 4-A player.

vivabeta, that’s the best trade I’ve heard so far…Can we also make sure that the pitchers aren’t pitching with the scouting reports that they’ve gathered since the 2005 season.

The Braves’ biggest mistake with Francoeur was letting advance scouts watch him play.

Kawakami 65 pitches through 5. Halladay 65 pitches through 4.

Here are Frenchy’s stats against Diaz and Anderson’s combined stats
Frenchy- 39hits/157 at bats
Diaz/Anderson- 40hits/159 at bats
Frenchy- 6 doubles+triples
D+A-9 doubles+triples
Frenchy-3 home runs
D+A- 2 home runs
Frenchy- 21 RBIs
D+A-23 RBIs
Frenchy- 5 walks
D+A- 9 walks
Frenchy- 20 K’s
D+A- 25 K’s
Frenchy- grounded into double play 6 times
D+A grounded into double play 4 times

Matt’s salary- 1,237,500 million
Anderson’s salary- 2,500,000 million
Together- 3,737,500
Jeff’s salary- 3,375,000 million
Francoeur is 25 years old
Diaz is 31
Anderson is 36
I say we get rid of the combo at left field before we get rid of Francoeur.

I like the Byrd suggestion. I’d mentioned him a couple days ago in response to Rother, but I think he fits the bill. With Hamilton and Cruz pretty well imbedded at this point, and Andruw/Murphy to spell left, Byrd’d be expendable for a couple of pitchers. Heck, it’s not unfathomable that by the end of the year the Rangers could have 3 Braves farm hands in their starting rotation (Millwood, Harrison, Feliz). It’s also not like Byrd’s come out of nowhere. A few years ago he was considered a top prospect. Perhaps a Locke + a lesser guy would get it done?

I think Diaz is a useful player especially in a platoon role or as a RH bench bat. No need to dump him, he’s cheap.

I picked a great day to write that Wren was going to regret the Kawakami deal through 2011.

Wait is Kenshin Kawakami outdueling Roy Freacking Halladay?? This must be a dream… I wish JoJo Reyes could do the same against Johan Santana…

No matter how much of a bust Kawakami turns out to be, because we’re now officially in the Japanese market, Wren will NEVER regret the Kawakami deal. The Asian market is now ours to corner with only a little competition (NY Yanks, Bosox, Orioles, and West Coast teams).

McCann steal a base?? He is tied for the lead on our team. That is pretty sad…

I’d throw Chicago Cubs into the Japan mix as well with the general treatment they’ve given Fukudome, but yeah, it’s nice to see Atlanta in that market…though I still don’t hold a lot of hope for KK as a starter.

I like Diaz, With Heyward coming up soon and the same for Gorkyz Hernandez, he is a good little trade piece. It will be a lot better if we resign Infante. Plus I would like to see Reid Gorecki get called up.
Don’t except Norton or Anderson to get resigned next year.

Holy crap… did Kawakami just go 7 shutout innings… on 90+ pitches?

Again, Who is on the mound for us tonight and what have they done with the 2-5, 5.00+ pitcher we’ve had all season?

Why in the world are our pitchers so good against Cy Young winners? Do Lowe and KK just need adversity?

I should amend that to Cy Young Caliber pitchers… Seriously… I can’t wait to face Sabathia and Burnett…

I can’t believe we can’t deliver KK a win after he outdueled (less hits) Roy “Leading MLB in wins” Halladay. I would have said Roy ******* Halladay but I’m assuming it will edit that out.

For my last comment, I meant “but with Heyward and Hernandez.”

We have stolen 2 bases tonight. That’s 25% of what we have done all season before tonight’s game.
Thank you Casey!

Thank god… Can Gonzo hold onto it? I have hope… he’s rested… KK deserves this win, especially after he finally puts up a magical game… finally lived up to his promise…

wow what a finish. way to go Prado!

I will never doubt the Braves again… Never.

We needed a win like this. Gonzo earned that save, KK deserved that win. I had given up this game as a loss and hoped for the next two we could get a W – after this, I’m hoping for a sweep to go onto the road with…

Excellent job, Diaz, Kotchman, Prado, and Gonzo.

But especially, excellent job Kenshin Kawakami… If I were at the game I would have given him a damned long standing ovation after 8 shutout innings.

Is this our first shutout of the year?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
THAT is how the game of baseball is supposed to be played.

I have a new level of respect for KK. Never again will I refer him to the guy that is taking up 7 million a year with a ERA of 5, but the guy who out-dueled Roy Halladay. Amazing.

Mark, any idea why KK came out and shut the Jays down? Is it the rest, is he getting used to throwing here more? This was VERY unexpected.

And VERY exciting. Not to be one of the fans who is happy when we win and sad when we lose, but this truly COULD mean a turnaround for us.. and KK specifically…

Well, one thing you can say about the 2009 Braves…we sure are a bipolar team. One night, it looks like we never played the game before, the next night, it looks like we’re playing the championship final game.

That was more fun to watch than the 91 game 7 in Minnesota.

Neverwhere, i think it maybe a much more simple answer than we think. Heck, he probably played Jair Jurrjens in a Playstation game of baseball before the game that got him all geared up to play tonight. Ive heard thats what Jair does before his starts and with him pitching as well as he does….

I don’t want to jinx the Braves or anything, but with Derek Lowe and Jair Jurrjens on the mound tomorrow, we have a great chance of a sweep. This could just be a turnaround. I might hold off on trading Frenchy just yet. He had a decent night with a stolen base and a hit. He is hitting .253 this year with the most RBI’s and is tied for 3rd in homers.

I know I’ve posted about 7 times in the past 40 minutes, but still, just some thoughts.

KK had 0 walks. More K’s than Halladay. Less hits. His percentage of strikes to balls was better than RH’s.

Neither team had an error, but we had some great putouts.

Again, I’d ask Mark if this is a fluke, if he had mentioned the extra rest benefiting him… Not sure if he’d have any read. Also, any word out of the dugout or from the clubhouse? From the players? This is one of those wins that I feel like rally’s the team, moreso than a 9 run inning blowout would, because we really struggled and played for this win…

How many times have I called for people to be patient with Kawakami?

The proximate cause of KK’s success was that easily this was his best outting in terms of hitting the strike zone and keeping his pitches DOWN. Best action on his curve to this point in his time, best location of his fastball. Great outting by him. Again, it’s a long season…..the jury’s still out on the guy for sure, but whether that’s a sign of things to come or a one time great effort it still counts as a win, which is all that matters for now.

Well with the Phillies and Mets both winning, we are still 2.5 games back. What happen to the Marlins? They got crushed today and are 3 games behind us. What are the chances of us getting Hermida or Ross if the Marlins are out of contention by July?

What is the deal with MLB never putting us on front page? As soon as Mark is done writing this article, KK outdueling Halladay better be story numero uno.

No chance we will trade in-division, especially with the Marlins, especially if we give them good prospects.

Funny how you observed that the Braves are a bipolar team because from time-to-time all of the regular fans who post here seem to be bipolar. Yesterday I read that the Braves had no chance and Kawakami should be released and today everyone is singing his praises.

Mark, as I was watching the game it seemed like Kawakami was so much more successful today because he kept the ball down in the zone. Did anyone on the team express the same feeling and might that be a route for him to continued success?

Ha, Tomtalk. Great minds think alike. With his stuff, there doesn’t seem to be a reason why he can’t continue to dominate like that. Big league hitters will adjust, but then he can afford to mix in that high fastball without players continuing to sit on it.

If he can keep it down, no doubt he’ll be successful. I don’t think this was just some decided adjustment for him where he said “maybe I won’t throw the ball letter high today.” Perhaps, as jimphelps suggested, it was merely a matter of rest. Japanese pitchers certainly are not used to the MLB style pitching schedule, so maybe that’s all that it is. PWH has preached patience, certainly a worthwhile thing to consider for a guy making such a drastic adjustment. I’m not convinced Japanese pitchers are ever capable of making the adjustment in the longterm….I’ve not given up on him, but I’m skeptical. However, the night no doubt belongs to KK. Great win for the Braves, great win for KK.

No chance? Why not? It happens a lot. The Marlins won’t care if they are 15 games back in July. They just need prospects.

It’s an asinine statement to say no chance of a deal with the Marlins just because they’re in our division, but the logic is you don’t want to deal prospects to a divisional rival that will come back to bite you in the @$$ down the road.

I’d say this….if we did deal with the Marlins, I’d prefer it do be for Dan Uggla whom the Marlins refused to sign to a longer deal. We could then move KJ to the OF. Ross is not much of an average hitter. Hermida, I fear, would turn into Francoeur (Hermida’s a Wheeler/Lassiter? prospect) with a greater chance of injury.

I don’t really like the Marlins as a trading partner. I’d prefer we just stay away from them all together for reasons you and I mentioned and I just don’t like what they have to offer us. Just did a long-winded post about the Quentin idea. Here’s my final proposal:

Braves send: One of Jurrjens and Hanson, Kelly Johnson, Barbaro Canizares, Jeff Francoeur, Mariano Gomez, Luis Valdez, Gorkys Hernandez, and one of the following: J.C. Holt, Van Pope, and Diory Hernandez.

Braves recieve: Carlos Quentin, Alberto Callaspo, and Dayan Viciedo.

White Sox send: Quentin and Viciedo.

White Sox recieve: One of Jurrjens and Hanson, Kelly Johnson, Barbaro Canizares, Gorkys Hernandez, and one of Mariano Gomez and Luis Valdez.

Royals send: Alberto Callaspo.

Royals recieve: Jeff Francoeur, one of Mariano Gomez and Luis Valdez, and one of the following: J.C. Holt, Diory Hernandez, and Van Pope.

PWHjort, one of the craziest trade ideas Ive ever seen, pretty awful deal for us also if Hanson or JJ is included

I mean, we lose a top young pitcher, but we’ve got plenty of pitching. You’ve still got 1 of them, Lowe, Vazquez, Kawakami, Morton, Reyes, Medlen, Glavine, Hudson, and if you’re seriously struggling, Sheets will soon be available. Braves fans always over-value their own. And trading one of JJ or Hanson would be a tough loss to swallow, but when you’re getting a young, MVP caliber player making league minimum under team control for 4 more years, it’s a loss you should be willing to stomach. And yes, one of the craziest trade ideas I’ve ever seen too. Probably the craziest I’ve ever come up with. And that is saying a LOT.

Coud you clarify whether that means one of (Jurjjens, Hanson, KJ, Canizares, Hernandez) or whether it means Jurrjens plus one of (Hanson, KJ, Canizares, Hernandez)….my instinct is if it’s the latter it’s too high priced for Quentin who’s had some injury issues throughout his major and minor career. If we exclude JJ or Hanson and it’s KJ, Canizares, Hernandez that we’re working from it seems much more feasible. A deal postseason involving JJ I could hypothetically envision if the Braves were convinced on Hudson’s health and option, but until we know what we’ve got with Hanson, it seems almost crazy to deal him unless we were getting a clear stud (and I mean the likes of Hanley Ramirez; not that he’s available). I’m with you that we need to deal from our excess of pitching, but I’d prefer it to come from the Medlen/Locke sphere as opposed to the Hanson/JJ sphere unless we know we’re getting a stud. Folks talk about the Teixeira deal, but the one that haunts me is the J.D. Drew deal giving up Wainwright who is easily the best pitcher the Braves have drafted and developed in the past 10 years.

No, I mean one of (Jurrjens and Hanson). One of the two. And one of Luis Valdez and Mariano Gomez, one of the two. One of J.C. Holt, Van Pope, and Diory Hernandez, one of the three. So the Quentin package would be something like Jurrjens, KJ, Canizares, Hernandez, and Valdez/Gomez or Hanson, KJ, Canizares, Hernandez, and Valdez/Gomez.

Seems like an awful lot to get Quentin and Callaspo. I don’t know much about Viciendo, so perhaps you can enlighten me if he adds much to the deal. I mean, Hanson/KJ or Jurrjens/KJ should be enough to extract a lot of different guys….adding in Hernandez, that, to me, seems like even more than a king’s ransom. Quentin fits the bill of what was discussed previously of finding a young guy, stud, under control, but I’m not sure there’s a guy in baseball I’d deal Hanson/KJ/Hernandez for even if it included Callspo. Might just be bias speaking on my part. If you make the JJ/Hanson component Medlen I’m on board, but I understand that might be a deal breaker to other teams as well.

Viciendo is a 19 year old 3rd base prospect from Cuba that the White Sox considered have skip the minor leagues all together. He’s in his first minor league season and if he ever came to the Braves organization he’d be viewed as the eventual successor to Chipper Jones. Great hitting prospect. He was the best pure hitter in Cuba according to one scout.

Interesting…….you’ve swayed me to an extent. Let’s get Wren on the phone, with maybe a couple of beers under his belt following that great performance.

tomatalk: It’s painful watching Adam pitch…want to cheer for him…

What about some deal to get J. Dye, McClouth, or Shin-Soo Choo? Seems like each of those teams needs pitching and we won’t have to deplete our farm to get one of them. Pirates would probably rather hang onto McClouth, but White Sox are always looking to deal and Cleveland looks more in a position to grab prospects this season. Dye might be too expensive for Wren’s tastes, but Choo is a good price, money-wise. We’ll see…………
Francouer is just too painful to watch. I was (again) hopeful for him this year when he was trying out a new open stance and approach at the plate, but he seems to have returned to old form this May. Great guy or not, something needs to be done and in the near future.

I love how puts “NL East’s best take down AL East elite on road” And only talk about the Phillies and Mets beating the Yankees and Red Sox when the Jays are in 1st place in the division and had Roy Halladay pitching. Amazing.

I love how puts “NL East’s best take down AL East elite on road” And only talk about the Phillies and Mets beating the Yankees and Red Sox when the Jays are in 1st place in the division and had Roy Halladay pitching. Amazing.

Trade Proposal of the day from mlbtraderumors

How about this:

– Trade Jeff Francoeur, Parr, Campillo, and Brooks Conrad for Sizemore and LaPorta
– Trade Buddy Carlyle, Jeff Bennett, and Gregor Blanco to Royals for Moustakas and Greinke
– Trade Barbaro Canizaras to Pirates for 3b prospect Pedro Alvarez to replace chipper in future
– Trade Kelly Johnson and Casey Kotchman to Padres for AGon and Heath Bell
– Trade Soriano (His contract runs out soon) to Twins for Joe Nathan
– Trade Cody Johnson, Luis Valdez, and Gorkys Hernandez to Rays for Evan Longoria 9He can play 2nd prob.)

This gives us a future of:
C. McCann/Ross
1b. AGon
2b. Moustakas/Prado/Longoria
SS. Escobar/Infante
3b. Chipper/Pedro Alvarez
OF. LaPorta
OF. Sizemore
OF. Diaz/Heyward

SP. Derek Lowe
SP. Jair Jurrjens
SP. Zack Greinke
SP. Huddy
SP. Kawakami
SP. Hanson
SP. Medlen
RP. Heath Bell
RP. Gonzo
RP. Others
CP. Nathan”

Haha this made my day.

why dont we do this trade gorkys hernandez todd redmond and jeff francoer for corey hart and todd we can replace one of our struggling relivers with coffey and add speed,power,defense,contact,and add a man who has a great outfeild arm

Went to the game last night. Admittedly I didn’t think we had a shot. Especially after that embarrassing series against Colorado. I ate some crow last night… but I had a blast and gave Kawakami the longest possible ovation I could.
We still have only scored 1 run in 18+ innings. WE NEED A BAT!
I love a deal for Adrian Gonzalez. Do you think that’s possible? That reminds me of the glory days when we needed a cleanup hitter and we brought in McGriff / Scheffield / Gallaraga / etc…

Ya Darion, those are absolutely hilarious. Corey Hart is just a slightly better version of Jeff Francoeur. Take away a few singles and a few doubles from Hart and he’s a crappy player. Plus I don’t even think Goryks, Redmond, and Frenchy would be enough to get him (Redmond has like… zero value, we got him for Tyler Yates straight up and Yates sucks and was out of options, and Frenchy has absolutely zero value to any other organization except the Royals).
Dye makes 11 million dollars this year, a salary I don’t think the ownership group would be willing to take on. McLouth just signed an extension. He’s not going anywhere. And Shin Soo Choo is a cheap, young, good player who would cost an arm and a leg. I like Choo, a lot, but if we’re paying an arm and a leg, I’d prefer it be someone who can hit for a ton of power. If we already had Adam Dunn patrolling LF I’d say heck yeah, bring Choo in to replace Frenchy. But we need power more than anything. Choo hits for some, but not enough to justify selling the farm for.

I love Adrian Gonzalez, but 1B isn’t our biggest problem. And until the Kyle Blanks in LF experiment fails, the Padres won’t consider moving him. He’s a fan favorite, a super-star, and signed cheap for through 2011. They’ve got no reason to trade him unless they realize their stud 1B prospect can’t play LF. If that happens, they’ll probably trade Gonzalez, but I don’t think we should sell the farm to get a 1B. We’ve got a cheap, undervalued 1B right now, and I’m fine with Kotchman. It’s our OF that needs a fixin.

By the way, I’m extremely jealous of you for getting to go to that game. What a hell of a game. A taste of October baseball in May.

I saw Kawakami pitch two weeks ago against the Mets, and reported that it was like torture watching him. He was behind every hitter, and taking way too much time between pitches.

I also attended the game last night. It was like watching a different pitcher. He was ahead of just about every hitter, and was really pitching quickly. He mixed his pitches EXTREMELY well and had the Jays off balance the whole night. What a great game to attend, and what a great performance to watch. I am glad the team rallied to score a run and get him the win.

I’m thinking a reasonable resolution to the outfield predicament might be in order.

I suggest a deal with the Tigers. Atlanta needs a
hitter in the outfield. The Tigers need a backup catcher.

Thames is expendable. I think the Tigers would take
David Ross for him. Check Thames stats over the last several years. He’s consistent and powerful. He’s average in the field.

What say you??

I’m thinking a reasonable resolution to the outfield predicament might be in order.

I suggest a deal with the Tigers. Atlanta needs a
hitter in the outfield. The Tigers need a backup catcher.

Thames is expendable. I think the Tigers would take
David Ross for him. Check Thames stats over the last several years. He’s consistent and powerful. He’s average in the field.

What say you??

Don’t like it. Those low-OBP guys like Thames will let you down every time.

Anyone who thinks we are going to make a trade with the Padres this year must be nuts. Don’t you remember Peavy in the off season? Wren got burned and he’s not going back to that stove I would think. Same as for any kinda trade with the Dodgers. We don’t seem to do much business with NL teams when it comes to trades. If we were looking for a power bat, HYPOTHECTICALLY, why not Adam LaRoache? He has pop in his bat. Not enough that he would really scare opposing pitchers though. Im sure that getting him will never happen though. Just watch the AL teams for our new power bat. Its coming.

LaRoche isn’t an upgrade from Kotchman. I would rather have Casey. And I wouldn’t start listing teams the Braves won’t work with because of past fall outs. Ok, i’ll start the list: Dodgers, Padres, Pirates (Bay), the NL East, Furcal’s agents, Scott Boras…

Oh and don’t write “what say you?” This isn’t the bar at Medieval Times.

Haha. That was pretty damn funny.

If we had just non-tendered Francoeur and avoided stupid signings (Glavine, G. Anderson), we could’ve had Adam Dunn. Then, we could’ve pulled off a deal for a RF like Shin Soo Choo at the deadline after using Diaz (who has been hitting fairly well, unlike the rest of the outfield) in right for a few months. And THAT would be a good team.

Why Dunn did we need a DH?

We need power……..

I think what will happen is A) we will trade KJ, reyes, and a mid level prospect for Mark DeRosa B) Trade KJ and Frenchy to Texas for Nelson Cruz and Jose Vallejo a great young 2B prospect the is making his presence known at AA

Whats your thoughts on john mayberry of the phillies? they need a decent starting pitcher

Why would the Rangers want KJ? They’ve got a crowded infield as is with Davis, Kinsler, Andrus, and Young. Which brings me to my next point, why would the Rangers want Francoeur? They’re set on outfielders too. They need pitching. Not position players.

I think what will happen is A) we will trade KJ, reyes, and a mid level prospect for Mark DeRosa B) Trade KJ and Frenchy to Texas for Nelson Cruz and Jose Vallejo a great young 2B prospect the is making his presence known at AA
———————————————————————————————–Why would the Rangers want KJ? They’ve got a crowded infield as is with Davis, Kinsler, Andrus, and Young. Which brings me to my next point, why would the Rangers want Francoeur? They’re set on outfielders too. They need pitching. Not position players.
2 great points, which is why a pitcher for position player might work, but even with all the trade talks I doubt anything will happen. I hope the Infante injury doesn’t go in vein, meaning we will get a derosa and release Frenchy….

Also, we’ll playing Franchise Mode in The Show 09, It states that when a team releases a player, they must go on “release waviers” and if he is acepted the previous team owes nothing…If that is true (Which I don’t think it is) Why don’t we just release him willy nilly?

Nobody would take on Frenchy’s salary when they can just wait and get him on the cheap later. But who even wants him? The Rangers infield thing may have just gotten interesting. Michael Young just got injured. But I think they move Davis to 3rd, keep Andrus at SS, and keep Kinsler at 2B while using someone else at 1B. Or acquire a 3B and keep Davis at 1B.

The Rangers also have Justin Smoak in the minors who looks like he’s just about ready, and I bet Blalock could likely handle first so long as Young’s injury was nothing serious.

…and actually, now that I think about it more, the Rangers have even used Andruw Jones as a late inning defensive replacement at first…..must be nice to just be exploding with hitters.

Yeah, but not nice when your number 1 starter is Kevin Millwood.

Im way being on the changes to the outfield comment, but lets be honest….

1) Schafer needs to go (you cant have him bat 8th and then have the pitchers spot up after)

2) Francouer needs to go (but he wont because he is local kid and he sells too many t-shirts)

3) Anderson was a bad pick up (I’ve never seen anyone with more lack of interest and “dont care” attitude than him. Its kinda disgusting to watch.)

4) Diaz should be given more playing time

5) Brandon Jones should be given another shot

You cant look at statisics (at least this year) with the lack of power from the Braves and certainly can not judge Francoeur’s release/trade. He is currently hitting .265, not great or not really even good but it is not bad. That average is better than Kelly Johnson, G. Anderson, J. Schafer, G. Norton and two points lower than Prado (why are they not being talked about being released?) He’s tied for the team lead in RBI’s, hits, leads team in triples and runs scored; second in total bases and he plays an above average right field not to mention GREAT arm.

I’m not saying they dont have a problem,or even that Francoeur doesn’t have a problem but it does goes beyond him. Come on, I mean before Sunday’s game the guy was tied for SECOND on the team in homeruns with three, THREE homeruns and he was tied for 2nd .on the team. Brian McCann had three before Sunday’s game. Look at the power numbers for the whole team, Francoeur’s is just getting magnified because of his bad season last year.

I like the Matt Holiday idea. Garrett’s not gonna do it for us. He’s a good player to bat in the 5-8 spot in the lineup but he’s not our answer. We need a big right handed bat in left. Ludwick’s another option. We’ve got the pitching in place especially when Glavine and Hudson come back!! Maybe we’ve gotta try Prado in center. I like Jordan defensively but maybe he’s gotta get his confidence going again in Gwinnett. Plus with Escobar hitting with a high average with runners in scoring position he should bat 5th. Order: Kelly, Casey, Chipper, Brian, Yunel, Garrett, Jeff, Jordan. If we can get that right handed power-bat in left we’ve got a true clean-up hitter and Martin can spell CF until Infante returns. We’re so close to having the right pieces. If we can get the right handed bat we can be patient with Francouer. If he ain’t cutt’n it later on Diaz goes to right. Not a great defensive outfield but that’s not an area of concern so much this year with a solid pitching staff.

Power? Heck I would just like three outfielders that could hit .275 to .300. We are somehow worse in the outfield than last year. I don’t think Wren has a master plan to get the Braves back to competing for the division. Its more like – a little scotch tape here … some glue there … maybe that will hold. Giving Kawikami $7+ million per year was a bit bizarre. I love Chipper, but $42 for 3 years with his injury history? I would like to put the blame all on Wren but doesn’t Schuerholtz have to approve these contracts?

There are 3 problems with our outfield. Garret, Jordan, and Jeff. Jordan needs to be back in AAA working on his game. He is not ready for the majors. He is KILLING us at the bottom of the order. I think Jeff will come around. Garret was a terrible choice. Watch him during the game in the dugout. He doesn’t fit in. Why not move Kelly to left, start Prado at 2nd, option Jordan to AAA and move Diaz to center and leave Jeff in right until we can trade for a bat,OR we could always call Ryan Klesko back to come play left for us, see if Grissom would play center instead of coaching 1st for the Nats and find Dale Murphy to take over for Jeff. AND why is Hanson not pitching for us yet?????? He should have been called up instead of Medlin. Last thing….it’s a sad day when McCann is leading the team in stolen bases. Where would we be without our starting pitching right now?? Go BRAVES!

When are the Braves going to wake up and see that Jordan Schafer is nowhere near ready to play in the majors. I m sick and tired of hearing he walks a lot and is a good outfielder. That is a bunch of crap. He cant hit and that is killing our team. Every team we face knows that we only have 5 maybe 6 legit bats in the lineup. Our 6,7,8 spots are a joke, and Garrett Anderson batting cleanup is probably one of the dumbest things bobby has done. We are the only team in the majors that has a cleanup hitter without a homerun and less then 10 rbis. I agree completely about Francour. He needs to be traded asap. Outfielders can’t be singles hitters unless they can turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. We all know Francour doesn’t do that. Tommy Hanson needs to be starting right now and when Glavine gets back he needs to go to the bullpen. We need some help out there big time. We cant keep making the same four guys pitch every night. As you can probably tell I m a pretty frustrated fan.

We Suck! This is horrible!

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