Medlen ready to conquer nerves?

Obviously the biggest question going into tonight’s game against the Giants centers around Kris Medlen and his ability to overcome whatever demons haunted him during the fourth inning of his big league debut last week. 
Because he pitched effectively during the first three innings of last Thursday’s game against the Rockies, I didn’t initially buy into the notion that it was solely nerves that caused him to miss the strike zone with 15 of his 18 fourth-inning pitches.
But I certainly can’t discount the likelihood that all of his nervous energy started working in a negative manner once he threw his first wayward pitch during that forgettable fourth inning.  
From what I have gathered from those who have had the opportunity to watch him rise through the Minor League ranks, Medlen is a pitcher who has always been able to utilize his energetic personality to his advantage.   At the same time, he’s occasionally experienced outings where he suddenly struggles with his control and then regains it a short time later.
The Braves can only hope that Medlen is able to channel his great sense of energy when he once again encounters the expected nerves that will be present tonight, when he faces the challenge of outdueling Tim Lincecum. 
Given that the Blue Jays were leading the Majors in a number of statistical categories, I’d argue that Medlen’s challenge against Lincecum is actually less significant than the one Kenshin Kawakami conquered during last week’s duel against Toronto ace Roy Halladay. 
Medlen likely isn’t going to match the dominance that Kawakami showed with his eight scoreless innings against the Blue Jays last week. 
In fact, fading away from the topic for just a second to admit that my timing was great last Friday afternoon, when I said the Braves will regret the Kawakami signing through the end of the 2011 season, I will say that Kawakami’s effort was the second-best provided by a Braves pitcher this year, trailing only the Opening Day dominance that Derek Lowe showed in Philadelphia. 
But (getting back to the original topic) Medlen says that he’s “super pumped” about tonight’s matchup and he expressed this with more than words.  In fact, once he got done moving his hands in countless directions while talking about tonight’s matchup, I walked away wondering if I was supposed to bunt or hit-and-run.
Francoeur provided opportunity:  When Garret Anderson and Brian McCann returned to the lineup, Jeff Francoeur wasn’t happy about the fact that he was primarily hitting seventh, where he says pitchers were less apt to pitch to him because he had Jordan Schafer and the pitcher’s spot sitting behind him. 
With Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar out of the lineup on Saturday, Francoeur moved up to the sixth spot and responded with a three-hit performance that included four solid at-bats. 
But with Jones, Escobar and Anderson out of Monday afternoon’s lineup, Francoeur didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to show his run-producing skills.   While going hitless in four at-bats, he didn’t advance any of the seven runners who were on base when he came to the plate. 
The frustration he felt while striking out with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning increased during the eighth inning, when he again recorded the first out with runners at first and second base. 
During the early weeks of this season, when it didn’t make much sense to evaluate batting averages, the reason to be encouraged about Francoeur stemmed from the fact that he had eight hits in his first 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.  
But he has just five hits in his last 35 at-bats with runners in scoring position.   His three-run homer against Mike Hampton on May 1 accounted for the only extra-base hit and three of the nine RBIs he’s compiled during this span.
The Braves will continue to shop Francoeur with the hope of getting some substance in return.  But dealing him isn’t going to solve all of their offensive outfield woes. 
While the corner outfield positions aren’t providing any power, Jordan Schafer has essentially done nothing but spend the past seven weeks providing a solid glove.   In his past 39 games, Schafer has hit .173 with a .298 on-base percentage and 51 strikeouts. 
Schafer’s strikeout total ranks as the fourth-highest in the Majors and comes with the contribution of two homers, which were both provided during the season’s first three games.    Each of the three players with more strikeouts this year   —  Texas’s Chris Davis, Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena and Arizona’s Mark Reynolds  —   have all hit at least 10 homers. 
Looking at internal options, the Braves could give Brandon Jones a chance to play right field.  Jones is hitting .315 with Triple-A Gwinnett.  But he still hasn’t homered in 111 at-bats and from a defensive perspective, he would have to be considered a downgrade in comparison to Francoeur, who can still affect a game with his arm. 
As for the internal center field options, they are limited to Gregor Blanco, Brian Barton and Reid Gorecki  and none of these players provide the Braves much reason to be confident about their ability to fare much better than Schafer. 
But from a developmental standpoint, the Braves have to at least wonder if Schafer’s bright future will become clouded if he continues to provide consistent indication that he’s overmatched at the Major League level. 
Braves general manager Frank Wren has assembled a pitching staff that could take his team into October.  But he currently faces the great challenge of finding a way to minimize some of the same outfield concerns that were present last year.

 

49 Comments

I’ve said this a few times, but I still think left field is where the change needs to be. I really like Kelly, but I think it would be wiser to shop him (along with some pitching prospects) for an outfielder and play Prado at 2nd. The waiting game with Frenchy is becoming pretty excruciating, but his upside if he comes around is much greater than Kelly’s, and Prado has proved that he should get a chance to play everyday.

We should just trade Francoeur for…. anything, to dump the salary. I don’t care if it’s Rudy Darrow version 2.0. Then acquire Josh Willingham from the Nationals to replace him for a Charlie Morton type. This will enable the offense to at least tread water. Then, at the deadline, when the Rockies admit they’re out of the race, we deal for Hawpe plus cash using a package built around Jeff Locke and others and make a playoff push. Not the greatest solution, but a low-cost one, a doable one, and one that will allow us to stay in the race.

Not bad PWHjort.

I like this route a little better. Grab Winn and Willingham right now.

Rockies will wait until the last minute to deal Hawpe(IMO)

Thus assuring that the team acquirirn him will be the top bidder form among multiple suitors. Price will be too high.

1.Winn-RF
2. Esco-SS
3.Chipper-3B
4.B.Mac-C
5.Willingham-LF
6.KJ-2b
7.Kotchman-1B
8.Schafer-CF

OR

Winn can play CF with Schafer going back to AAA. RF can be manned by some form of Brandon Jones,Matt Diaz,Brian Barton not a great teio but a serviceable bat can be cobbled out of that from the #8 spot.

The acquistion of Winn gives the needed flexibility.

“When Garret Anderson and Brian McCann returned to the lineup, Jeff Francoeur wasn’t happy about the fact that he was primarily hitting seventh, where he says pitchers were less apt to pitch to him because he had Jordan Schafer and the pitcher’s spot sitting behind him.”

Oh shut up. Shut the f&*$ up, you little weenie. Are you serious? Francoeur should be on his knees thanking God, Bobby Cox, Frank Wren, and his lucky rabbit foot every night that he even has a spot on a MLB 25-man roster. He’s done nothing but be one of the game’s top out-makers for the past 2 years. Yet they keep giving him chances because “he’s a nice guy” and “he is a local guy” and “he was once a good prospect”. And he has the nerve to complain about what spot in the line-up he bats? My god. What an insufferable little prig. I’m beside myself.

Look, Francoeur, the problem is not where you bat in the line-up. The problem is you are the easiest person to pitch to in the major leagues, they know you’re going to swing at pitches you can’t hit and they know you can’t hit a breaking ball. The problem is YOU, Jeff. And until you stop pretending like it’s anything else, you’re going to continue to drink from the suck tank.

This just infuriates me. He’s got the nerve to blame a rookie for his struggles. I guess he’ll look anywhere for someone to blame. But we see through it, Jeff. You’re not fooling us. Quit trying to be so stubborn and quit convincing yourself that your problems are external. The problem is you. Grow up.

I’m done ranting, but damn, that makes me so mad. Blaming a rookie. A ROOKIE???

Roster move news for today.

y Buddy Carlyle has been placed on the DL and Jorge Campillo has been activated.

Awesome news, davidatl14. Do you have a source, P.S.? Not that I don’t trust you, I do, I just want to have it to show people.

Yes PWH.

You can find it and link to it on this site(MLB.com) under Press Pass

Official Game notes. Hope that helps.

Much appreciated. I should probably check that more frequently.

Chipper is back in tonight’s lineup and the Braves will wait at least one more day before bringing Escobar back to the lineup. Chipper says he’s not 100 percent, but still good enough to go.

“…As for the internal center field options, they are limited to Gregor Blanco, Brian Barton and Reid Gorecki…”

?? Why isn’t Gorkys Hernandez even mentioned here ??

Because he’s not an option.

Could we see an outfield featuring the likes of Matt Diaz in left, Greg White in center and Nelson Cruz in right within the next month or so?

Possible moves including the release of Anderson; trading Francoeur and a young promising arm like Morton and/or Medlen to Texas; and finally calling up Blanco and have Schafer either sit on the bench or sent back down to AAA-Gwinett.

What do you guys think?

Blanco is hitting .215 so I don’t think he’s in a position for anyone to “finally” want to call him up.

I think that Texas would have absolutely no use for Francoeur. And I think Blanco is hitting .215 at AAA so calling him up to replace Schafer is going to cost you a TON of wins considering how much worse Blanco is in the field. And I think Garret Anderson should be released. He’s just completely uninterested in playing baseball. At the plate, in the field, etc.

Did you really just anglo-ise Blanco’s name and call him Greg White? Yikes.

Tim Hudson origionlly did that when he was reading the line-up. The name has semi-stuck. I like it a lot, actually. It was hilarious to hear Hudson in his Phoenix City, Alabama accent say, “Battin’ 8th, Greeeg Whaiiit”

See, I knew it was the lack of protection provided by Jordan Schafer that had caused Francoeur’s 2.5 year power drought. Problem solved. As for Schafer himsef, have some patience….he’s less than 2 months into his major league career, and there’s no one else that he’s “blocking” right now. Yeah, he’s batting .215, but if he was batting say .250 would we really care all that much? If we replaced him with a .250 hitter would that really solve all our offensive problems? I doubt it. If this team is going to rely on its pitching and we’re going to have corner outfielders like Anderson, Francoeur, and Diaz, trust me, Schafer will earn his ticket in the majors solely on his defense.

With June 1 rapidly approaching, the infamous arbitration deadline, the news on Hanson is none. Unless Glavine significantly falters, it seems Hanson won’t arrive until September, too little to help the Braves [or my fantasy team]. Just can’t see Atlanta making a move in July or August. I’m disappointed because he doesn’t have anything else to prove at AAA, and he’s almost certainly better than anyone on the staff not named Jurrgens, Lowe, or Vasquez. Only Clay Buchholz can make the same complaint, and at least he has 5 starters and Smoltz in front of him. Also, waiting on Glavine is ridiculous…he got bombed last effort throwing 85 max with limited control…as his performance will likely be worse than Reyes’. Give him 1 last start for the crowd, then release him, but management is not showing the acumen of 15 years ago.

I guess, as a Mets’ fan, I should rejoice, but I still like to see dominant pitchers mow them down. Reality or fantasy.

There is no arbitration deadline. You are misinformed. I will post a link where it is explained because I don’t have the energy to keep explaining this to people. Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Baseball_transactions

Scroll down to the “Free agency and salary arbitration” section and read the “”Super Two” exception” paragraph.

I think Hanson will probably be with the club within a month, by the way.

Hanson pitched tonight: 7.0 IP/1 ER/5 H/2 BB’s/9 K’s/105 pitches…..he’s there when we need him. An announcement right now wouldn’t make sense anyways with Medlen pitching in the majors tonight and Glavine scheduled to pitch on Thursday. I’d imagine Friday would be a day where we hear the Braves immediate plans for the 5th spot.

I received a copy of the phone conversation transcript between Ken Rosenthal and the unnamed GM which prompted him to write that the Red Sox are eyeing Francoeur:
Rosenthal: Hi there, Mr. GM. What can you tell me about the market for Francoeur?
GM: Well, Ken, as you most probably know, there isn?t much of one. For some reason, Dayton Moore still loves him. I don?t know why.
Rosenthal: Come on, Mr. GM. Tell me something everyone doesn?t already know.
GM: That?s pretty much all I know, Ken. No team in their right mind really wants him.
Rosenthal: Can?t you give me ANYTHING?
GM: Well, this isn?t real news, but you might find it entertaining. At one point, the Red Sox actually looked at bringing Francoeur in. Can you imagine? I mean, talk about a player completely opposite their philosophy.
Rosenthal: I?ll go with that.

Someone finally noticed McCann’s flaw at the plate. Joe Simpson just brought it up in the game. He said “why did Brian have to go out and get that ball instead of letting it come to him” I’ve been watching games for a few years now with McCann behind the plate and he has screwed many outfielders out of an assist because of that. He never blocks the plate. He stands a few feet in front of it, gets the ball and then has to almost dive at the plate to get the runner.

For those who care, Boyer still has an ERA over 10 and he has pitched 10 innings. Not looking good for him.

If I were in the Braves front office and caught whiff of Francoeur’s frustration with “having” (not “getting”) to bat in front of Schafer I would whip his @$$, then I’d release him. Just release him.

As far as Schafer is concerned….if we can put up with Francoeur as long as we have, I think we can give this kid a little bit of a breather, particularly since he’s making minimum, he plays a killer OF, and because (probably most importantly) there’s noone else.

And as for LF, how about letting Diaz play full-time, at least until we can upgrade through a trade. I love Bobby Cox, I mean, after all, he’s my father, but letting GA play in any capacity other than off the bench is insane.

McCann, Francoeur, Jo Jo, and Kelly Johnson all came stright from AA to Atlanta. There is certainly precedence for Gorkys showing up. He would really have to mess the bed to be more overmatched than Schafer is right now at the plate and he is considered by many to be the best defensive centerfielder in the minor leagues. Barton is a maybe, and Blanco is a never again as far as getting to Atlanta. Blanco is a below average outfielder with no hustle who spent an entire season proving that his miracle week that he used to beat out Anderson last Spring was a fluke. If management stuck to their guns and went north with Anderson last season, Schafer would be in AAA having never been on the 40 man, so no clock in the way, and Anderson would have provided the lead off spark they can’t seem to find anywhere else in the organization. He looked overmatched at times as well, but he also provided a spark to Atlanta and to Detroit this season when he is in there. There is really no way Schafer is going to fit into the lead off man costume, this year or any other. If they want him on base in base stealing situations they need to bring him in as a pinch runner late. It’s the only sure way to get him on base.
AAA can become (and is right now in Gwinnett) a position player graveyard. Many times the answer comes from AA. This time however it will severely complicate the situation with Schafer.
They’ve got an issue on their hands and it’s starting to look like Schafer doesn’t think he’s going to get a hit either.

Campillo for Carlyle is an upgrade to the bullpen. They bought some time with that one that should get them to Glavine. I assume Acosta goes back when Glavine gets activated. They can call Jo Jo’s first two starts back in Gwinnett “Rehab” starts and delay that roster move as well.
Lots of wheels turning at 755 Hank Aaron Drive these days.

Rother,
Schafer also came directly from AA to the majors, so why would you expect Gorkys to not struggle like Schafer has? Neither one of them is MLB ready, but based on their minor league track records, Schafer is much more ready. Defensively, one isn’t better than the other and offensively, Schafer has the ability to provide plenty of secondary skills that Gorkys simply doesn’t possess at this point in his career. Gorkys won’t be able to hit anywhere close to his minor league average because the pitching and defenses in MLB are so much better. Schafer’s minor league batting average wasn’t empty like Gorkys’ is. Schafer hits for much more power and can draw walks, whereas Gorkys relies soley on his batting average for success, which he won’t be able to sustain. Overall, he’s a good prospect, but his game needs a LOT of polish.

I don’t see either of them ready to be in the Bigs right now. Schafer seems to have issues that are hard to correct, like bat speed incapable of catching up to major league fastballs without cheating the swing out like a 40 year old man. I don’t think Gorkys has that issue, but he is still most likely not ready either.
The point of the conversation was that there is so much dead weight in most of these AAA teams that the better answer is quite often the AA guy, and to categorically say no is inconsistent with the reality of the organization. AA is a leap made successfully by many of the top level talents. Schafer hasn’t necessarily ever shown to be able to consistently produce offensively to my knowledge. Maybe a couple waves here and there. He certainly never hit .330 for 2 straight months like Hernandez is doing now, at any level, and he has always been blown away for significant numbers of strike outs. It is surely going to be a problem, because there is no internal answer with the possible exception of Barton.
I hope they find a trade partner so that they can work out the Schafer issues out of the bright lights. I’d be surprised if Schafer came to Gwinnett and began killing the ball. What’s your take on that Pete? Have you seen any indication that he is even at that level yet offensively? I hope there is more there than we have seen so far.

My take is that while Schafer isn’t producing offensively, he’s doing enough good work with his glove in Center to make up for it. And we’ve seen plenty of teams be successful with a defensive-oriented, light-hitting center fielder. I don’t think you’re going to improve your defense and I think you’re going to downgrade your offense by trying Gorkys in Center over Schafer. Like you and I both said, neither of them is ready. But Schafer is much more ready than Gorkys. If we weren’t deficient in offensive production from our corner outfield spots we probably wouldn’t even be discussing this. And since corner outfielders are much easier to find than center fielders, we should work on fixing those spots first. Here’s a post I made on ajc the other day when we were discussing the subject:
“Career Minor League Stats:
Jordan Schafer: .270/.339/.447 – 178 ISOP, 69 Batter?s Eye
Gorkys Hernandez: .295/.354/.405 – 110 ISOP, 59 Batter?s Eye

Schafer had 2 and 2/3 full seasons plus a rookie league shortened season.
Gorkys has had 2 full seasons and a rookie league shortened season (plus this one).

AA stats:
Gorkys Hernandez: .339/.393/.417 – 78 ISOP, 54 Batter?s Eye
Jordan Schafer: .269/.378/.471 – 202 ISOP, 109 Batter?s Eye

Neither one of them is ready for the big leagues, but based on their minor league track records, Schafer is much more ready than Gorkys. Gorkys displays very, very little secondary offense (other than sb). He doesn?t hit for power, he doesn?t really draw that many walks, and most of his stats are batting-average driven. Part of the reason his average is so high is he legs out infield singles all the time. One of the biggest differences between minor league baseball and MLB is the defenses in MLB are far superior to those in MiLB. You can?t tell me that if Gorkys were called up today you?d expect him to fare better against MLB pitching than Schafer currently is. Take away a few singles and a few doubles from Gorkys just due to the better defenses, and he?s already looking like a replacement level player. And we haven?t even accounted for the fact that the pitchers are way, WAY better. Schafer is struggling right now because he can?t hit MLB pitching like he could hit MiLB pitching. But he?s providing secondary skills with his bat and in the field which make him not a total black hole of a roster spot. While Gorkys would provide a similar level of defense, he?s not really capable of providing the secondary offensive skills that Schafer possesses, and he ain?t going to jump into MLB from AA and hit .339 (which is what he has to do to be an above-average offensive player), or even .285, so calling up Gorkys is NOT the solution.”

I agree. It does concern me that Schafer’s walks are going away as the other team’s realize they can just automatically blow him away like a second consecutive pitcher spot now. He has only one walk in the last 7 games, and that is a disturbing trend as well.
That “guy” has got to come from the outside.
I would like to see Gorkys moved to Gwinnett so we could get a better feel for where he is at, but if Schafer is on his way back to AAA, that won’t happening either. They both need to play CF on an every day basis.
So on they go…..

Yeah, Schafer’s offensive struggles are alarming, but we knew he wasn’t ready when we traded Anderson (who isn’t really playing much better) and we were content with Schafer providing great defense and any offensive contribution being icing on the cake. I think Schafer will eventually adjust and become a pretty damn good player. It’s frustrating to watch the adjustment process at the MLB level, but that’s the plan, and seeing as we don’t currently have a better option, there’s nothing we can really do about it. Center field is supposed to be a defense-first position anyway, and it’s hard to find players that can produce offensively and play respectable defense in CF. I think Schafer eventually will. And I can deal with his lack of production while he develops. Partially because I’ve got no other choice. Corner OF, on the other hand, is an offensive first position and it’s much easier to find productive corner OF’s than CF’s, and the lack of production from our corners is what’s holding us back. And lack of production at the corners is not something I can deal with.

“My take is that while Schafer isn’t producing offensively, he’s doing enough good work with his glove in Center to make up for it.”

I can’t figure out why people keep saying that. All though I live out of market, I’ve only missed a couple of games this year. Schafer really hasn’t blown me away in center field. To me, I can’t remember a single play he’s made this season that I haven’t thought to myself that any other major league player should not have made / would not have made. He’s demonstrated average to above average range, and a strong arm… but can that really make up for a .210 batting average and 45+ strikeouts and 2 stolen bases? I honestly don’t think so.
He shows great promise – but he’s more of a detriment to the club than an asset. If he was throwing out runners and stealing base hits at an exciting rate – then I would be more apt to agree with you… but again, he hasn’t done anything that any other major league outfielder can’t and wouldn’t do. Not from what I’ve seen anyways.

We really don’t have any choice. We don’t have any of those corner outfielders at AAA either. B Jones hasn’t hit a homer all season and Gorecki has done nothing since Spring Training.
What do you think about pulling a AAA guy from behind a log jam somewhere else vs. selling the team for an established guy? There are some candidates out there who are very ready and very blocked. Many of which are still not on the 40 man rosters of their teams yet.

I think we all hoped Schafer would hit a homer every time up there after his first at bat on opening day, but he will eventually make it through these growing pains. At least he’s been a difference maker on a couple on nights whether on the base paths, in the field or at the plate. It’s the corner outfielders that worry me. What difference have those two guys made in any game this season? I really wonder if Frenchie just won’t ever grow into the expectations we had for him – and I wonder if his expectations wouldn’t have been that high anyway if it was any other city.

But I always try to end on a positive note… um… Mac is good. I like him. He’s neat.

True, they may be 10 games out of where we want them to be, but they are only 2.5 games out of first place. Even without a single victory from the 5th starter slot.

Yeah – but my fear is that as long as we hover around mediocrity, management will settle and not make any moves. They maybe ready to assume whatever fate this team can make for itself this year and put stock in upcoming years. Of course as a vested fan – mediocrity and me don’t get a long very well.

So in priority order of what will probably happen:
1.) Glavine is or isn’t going to get the job done. No decision on Hanson is even possible until Glavine gets the thumbs up or down.
2.) While waiting for Godot (pronounced “Glavine”), Jordan Schafer has to learn how to either hit major league pitching or bunt, preferably both.
3.) Somebody somewhere has to have the foresight to rape the Braves on a deal for a corner outfielder they really didn’t want to keep paying anyway, so that all of us can fell “better” that “at least they did something”. Yikes that sounds bad doesn’t it?
4.) After we spend the long hot summer watching the farewell tour of the 40 something 5th starter as he hovers near the .500 mark in wins and losses (wishful thinking on my part probably at this point), the Braves finally call up the big red head from Gwinnett who is by then about 12-5 with 200+ Ks and an ERA hovering between 1.00 and 1.50. Then he goes 4-1 in September and we all light the torches like the mob in the Frankenstein movies and storm the castle.
Did I leave anything out? There are some very tough decisions looming on the very short term horizon as they decide how to compete and sell tickets while not losing huge money.

Now I know what the Florida Marlins feel like every year.

bravomania.. i also live out of market (i stream all the games on mlb.com) and i’ve seen Schafer make some amazing plays. The announcers, whether on Peachtree or the opposing commentators, always comment on Schafer’s range. He has made a few rookie mistakes, but I think you should add about 10+ RBIs to his offensive numbers to account for runs that he has taken away.

I looked up Schafer’s +/- stats and he’s at +3 plays good for 2 runs saved. That ranks 12 among MLB Center Fielders. I thought he’d be higher, but he’s been 3 plays above average, which isn’t amazing, but isn’t mediocre either. I have a feeling this will only increase as he learns the parks and cuts back on the misplays (he had a few early in the year).

Peter, what percentage is the attendance down so far this season from last year? I’m guessing in the 20-25% range. It seemed like we were averaging about 26,000 or so at this point last season. I’m guessing it is closer to 21,000 this year so far. They’ve only been over 30,000 a few times.
That may weight heavily into who gets picked up to save the offense.

rother.. that’s why I thought that Andruw would’ve been picked up in the offseason instead of Garrett “Mr Personality” Anderson. Even if Andruw was a flop, he would’ve still put butts in the seats and at least sold some jerseys since I’m sure he’s still pretty popular in Atlanta.

Yep, and he is probably still “out there” if we want to give the Rangers another couple of very good prospects. Nelson Cruz has separated himself from the pack in Texas.
When Andruw was out there for free and working out in Atlanta with the guys, I wonder what they saw that kept them from pulling the trigger. Something else must be involved that we don’t hear about besides pure baseball. Maybe he was on the ARod’s top 105 list and they didn’t want the negative pub. The Gold Club is long gone, so it can’t be that anymore.
They didn’t seem to even give him a passing thought, and he hit with Chipper multiple times from what I understand.
Interesting.

It’s to the point now where whoever the Braves bring in is going to be expected by the fan base to jack one out every 10 ABs or so. I wonder how many guys can handle that kind of pressure to produce and the unreasonable expectations that we all know will be there.

I’m still trying to figure out how a “+3″ outfielder ranked 12th in the league can make up for a sub .210 batting average, 40 + strikeouts, 1 stolen base, and 15 runs scored.
I consider myself extremely patient – but that patience is wearing thin. I’ve been sticking up for Frenchy since the season began and I’m starting to wonder if he will ever give me reason to continue supporting him. But my disappointment regarding Schafer is geared more towards Braves management. No one can blame them for calling Schafer up after the spring he had. He genuinely earned the spot! But it is obvious he can not hit major league pitching right now. He and Frenchy or both hurting this team more than helping it. If I got paid for every runner they’ve left on base in crucial situations I would buy the Braves Ted Turner style and go from there! Schafer needs to come off the bench to pinch run or pinch hit every now and then. Frenchy has until the all-star break to turn it around (in my opinion).

Well i have been a long time lurker here and i watch just about every game. Early in the season schafer had taken many a bad route after balls that would eventually bounce off the wall and past him. However i can disticntly remember schafer running down some balls in the gaps that only a 19 y/o Andruw would have snagged. furthermore if McCann would learn to stan on top of the plate versus 5 feet in front of a runner like Fred lewis would have been(and should havebeen) tagged out on the play at home. Lets face it i am not too aware of Gorky’s outfield arm but from what i have seen schafer has a very good arm and if i am not mistaken a traditionaly slow starter i mean only the marlins mets and fish have been played twice and i believe Jordan has only seen a few pitchers for more than three at bats. In the long run his defense is a plus and i believe his bat will come around. And like PWHjort has said the conrner outfield positions are abysmal. The need for a replacement is rapidly approaching. Since guys like cody johnson and heyward are hitting for xtra bases in the minors lets move them up to AA if they continue to hit at AA then we could look at bringing them up. I know Cody k’s a ton but heck if he hit .250 with 35 hr’s and a ton of k’s he would significantly out homer anyone on the current roster. And while he has k’d 66 times (OMG!) he has a .348 obp, 629. slug, .977 ops those numbers are outstanding considering that if he could cut down on his k’s he would put up monster numbers.

Questions that need to be answered:
Is Francouer using the Ranger’s hitting coach and why?
How many game losing errors has Kelly Johnson made and does He lead the team and majors in this category? (last season’s dropped foul pop fly against the Phillies in the 9th was a season changer)
Is the Brave’s hitting coach more of the problem than the solution? GO BRAVES

Cox, Pendelton, McDowell are who should be blamed for hitting problems, pitching, and managing calls. They should all be shown the door….

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