Hanson has put himself in ROY race

Before this season started, many journalists wanted to know whether Tommy Hanson would be introduced to the Major League scene in time to warrant Rookie of the Year consideration.  

Consumed by what Jordan Schafer had displayed over the previous six weeks, I primarily told them that Schafer’s contributions over a six-month period would likely trump those that Hanson would be able to provide during the regular season’s final four months.  

But as the first month of Hanson’s big league career comes to a close, you can already argue that he’s running neck-and-neck with St. Louis’ Colby Rasmus at the front of the chase to be named the NL’s Rookie of the Year.   

Five starts into his career, Hanson still hasn’t enjoyed that utterly dominant outing that he’s capable of providing on a regular basis. But while limiting the Red Sox to two hits and issuing just two walks in six innings on Sunday, we at least got a glimpse of how effective his stuff can be against one of the game’s top lineups.  

If the Red Sox don’t possess the game’s top lineup, then that distinction would have to be given to that Yankees bunch that saw Hanson work his magic last week, while pitching around five walks and holding them scoreless over 5 1/3 innings.   

After Sunday’s performance, a fan tweeted, “could Tommy Hanson be a candidate for Rookie of the Year if he keeps pitching this well?”   My response was, “if the Braves turn things around, he’s the club’s MVP.”  
Hanson has started five of the nine games the Braves have won since he joined the rotation.   His four wins this month exceed the combined totals of Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami and Javier Vazquez, who have each totaled one more victory in June than the winless Jair Jurrjens.   

While going 1-3 with a 1.98 ERA and limiting opponents to a .197 batting average and .554 OPS, Vazquez was undoubtedly Atlanta’s most impressive starter in  June. But because the Braves scored just six runs during the 37 innings that he was on the mound this month, he also has to wear the unenviable tag of being  “the most unlucky”.  
 
During a four-start stretch that has seen him allow opponents a .356 on-base percentage and surrender just two runs, Hanson has obviously been somewhat lucky.  But the game’s greatest pitchers will tell you that you can often create your own “luck” and the big right-hander has done so while limiting opponents to two hits in 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position. 

Hanson’s current streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings dates backto the fourth inning of his June 12 start against the Orioles.  Since allowing that final run at Camden Yards, he has allowed opponents to load the bases five times and then managed to escape unscathed. 

With 17 walks and 18 strikeouts in his first 29 career innings, Hanson has provided every indication that he needs to improve.  Of course, given the results that he’s gained while battling inconsistent control with his fastball, he’s also provided even more reason to wonder just how great he could prove to be. 

During Spring Training, Guy Hansen, a long-time pitching coach in the Braves Minor League system, compared Hanson to Toronto’s Roy Halladay.  Then Sunday, Chipper Jones echoed this comparison to the former AL Cy Young Award winner. 

Going from the impressive to the least impressive, we now turn our attention toward Derek Lowe, who will attempt to end his three-game losing streak against during tonight’s series opener against the Phillies. 

Lowe, who has posted a 12.34 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .433 against him in his past three starts, will be looking to begin anew in the same impressive fashion that he displayed while tossing eight scoreless innings against the Phillies on Opening Night.   <p>

While winning just seven of their previous 21 games, the Phillies have hit .240 with a .399 slugging percentage.  Still the 29 homers they’ve hit during this span is exactly half of what the Braves have totaled throughout this season.
 
From a pitching perspective,during this 21-game stretch, the Phillies have posted a 4.84 ERA and allowed 29 homers, which is just 20 fewer than the Braves have allowed through their first 75 games this season. 

Thanks to the Phillies and Mets, the Braves have lost 20 of their last 32 games and still enter this week’s series just five games behind the front-running Phillies.
  
While the visits made by the Red Sox and Yankees created a great buzz around Turner Field last week, this week’s series will prove much more influential.  The Phillies won each of the nine games they played in Atlanta last year and if they leave town celebrating another three-game sweep this week,  the Braves will be staring at an eight-game deficit and their focus may have to toward the 2010 season. 
 

110 Comments

Hanson deservse right now to be the front-runner for ROY. Especially with the exposure he got from beating the Yankees and Red Sox.

Even though he shouldn’t be eligible, Kawakami is the front runner for ROY IMO. Once Hanson out lasts a Roy Halladay like player, I’ll change that.

Tommy Hanson is just fun to watch. He isn’t as sharp as he’s going to be yet, but it’s hard to argue with a 4-0, 2.48 ERA line he’s put up in 5 games (the Braves winning them all). He is the only thing that actually gives me hope for the Braves’ future. Now lets work on getting Heyward up here so we can have another fun player to watch in a year and a half… maybe Schafer will be able to live up to his potential by then. That’d be a pretty stud outfield if the Braves don’t ship McLouth off before then and if he’s still producing like he is now.

Oh, and just to add on, I’d like to thank the hamstring of Jo-Jo Reyes for a moment. It has brought the Braves one of the best gifts of all… no more Jo-Jo in the starting rotation and, hopefully, the major leagues (unless its with some other sucker of a team that thinks he can pitch).

Hanson’s BABIP and strand rate will come back to earth and his ERA is going to skyrocket if he doesn’t start putting more batters away with the strikeout like he’s capable of.

Bobby Cox had both Nate McLouth and Yunel Escobar in tonight’s original lineup. He was then told Escobar (hip) couldn’t go. A short time later after watching McLouth take batting practice, Cox decided to wait one more day before returning his CF to the lineup.

With the Indians seemingly going into a Fire Sale what do you think about the Braves going after Sizemore?

We currently have a RF’er thats under-producing and so is our 2B and we could definitely use another bat in our lineup.

Do you think the Indians would take a package built around Schafer, Medlen, Cody Johnson and one or two of our A Ball pitchers?

Medlen has become expendable simply because of our pitching depth that we currently possess and the amount of pitchers working their way up through the minors. Schafer is a given that we would have to give up and its not a decision i see hurting us too bad we get a guy for 3 and 1/2 years who is proven now.

Johnson and the A ball pitchers would just be something to sweeten the deal along with Schafer and Medlen.

What are your thoughts on this do you think its too much to give or too little. Also do you think the Braves would pursue something like this?

I’m just going to say No. That’s just not a good deal.

The biggest difference I have seen between Hanson in Gwinnett and Hanson in Atlanta is that he is rushing his footwork to the plate so far in Atlanta. If your feet are ahead of your body you leave the fastball up and away to lefties, which is what he is doing. That will go away as he settles in, and heaven help the rest of the league when he is throwing that fastball on the corner for strike one again. He has had to go to his back up pitches and still made the key pitches the situation required. He is going to be fun to watch for a long time.

Well i know it would need work as far as a proposal i was saying as a starting point.

At the beginning of the season, at least one analyst from both ESPN and MLBN had Tommy Hanson as a ROY candidate. Glad to know that so far they’ve been right.

That sure is a one sided trade to be offering the Indians. The plane tickets alone would make it hard for the Braves to break even in the deal.
They got a reliever and a player to be named later for DeRosa, why do you think we need to fill a bus and send it north to Cleveland to get Sizemore?

I know many of you said you didn’t want to hear this info. But I figured you’d want to know that Francoeur chose not to wear his turkey underwear today.

Perez looked like a Bull Durham rerun last night for Cleveland. He not only didn’t have command, he didn’t have control, and he didn’t have a clue. The Cleveland fans had to be ready to storm the Bastille after the game seeing what they got for arguably their best player right now, until Sizemore is healthy again. Kind of like our first month with Casey Kotchman was after Teixeira was traded.
The Braves could also consider a deal with the Yankees to pick up Shelley Duncan. He has all the pop you could ever want and they have no use for him at the major league level. he wouldn’t cost much money or any real prospects and there is no risk involved. He has been around professional baseball since he had a baby bottle in his hand and Bobby wouldn’t have to worry about him doing the right things.

Rother, perhaps I’m uninformed, but what?

And you think Matthew Stafford had issues with camera phones?

That was before the Hinske trade, right Mark? I just saw that the Yankees got him from Pittsburgh. That moves Duncan at least one step closer to eating Krystals instead of White Castles.

Rother, Duncan is the kind of player the Braves are seeking and they’ve expressed some interest in him. But from what I can gather, with Nady officially unavailable for the remainder of the season, the Yankees don’t have any interest in moving Duncan.

Perez is the reliever that Cleveland got for DeRosa. He looked pathetic in his debut in Cleveland.
The Matthew Stafford comment has to do with the Francoeur wardrobe announcements Mark has been making. And the potential for the fanbase to “Gobble Up” any unauthorized photos that might leak out of a clubhouse full of big kids.

I like the Shelley Duncan idea. I was looking into him recently, and he has a ton of power… and it doesn’t matter where you put him or how bad defensively he is… almost all of the Braves’ VORP are in the negatives as it is.

We must just be cutting edge Neverwhere.

That’s right Rother. I had forgot about the Hinske trade. So Duncan does once again make sense.

Why did my, and I assume Rother’s, post appear above the post we were responding to?

This is weird, part Blog, part Scramble. Like Mark dropped all of his question cards just before his big interview. Then asked them in the order he picked them up in anyway.

I certainly hope we don’t give up anything of value for Shelly Duncan. My opinion of him (I’ve never seen him play but I’ve talked to scouts and yankees prospects gurus) is that he sucks.

It shouldn’t take much to get him, JoJo would probably do it. They don’t have any illusion that he is a hot property.

He’s kind of like Mike Hessman, without the 200 Ks a year, and with a better AVG. I’d rather have his brother, but Shelley will be a good pick up as well.

You know what really makes me angry? Francoeur has the nerve to joke about his turkey underwear when he’s absolutely killing this team. It isn’t funny. At all. There’s nothing funny about turkey underwear. He’s hitting .248/.283/.347. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a worse OBP and SLG% than last year. In no other organization would a player THIS BAD for THIS LONG make it this far without being benched, sent to the minors, etc.. The fact that Francoeur continues to trot onto the field and move like molasses while making more outs than most lead-off hitters really shows how badly run the Braves organization is. Clearly the front office isn?t calling the shots. Either that or they?re completely retarded. I think the former.

The absurd 3 day demotion last year is another thing that goes to show what a terribly run organization this is. The fact that they let him post a sub-300 OBP for all of 2006, a lost season, without sending him to the minors when it was clear that there were (and still are) MASSIVE holes in his game speaks volumes. But they let him stay for all of 2006 and all of 2007 (not without reason in 2007). Then 2008 comes and he displays the same holes he did in 2006 minus all the power and all the plus defense. He displayed all the holes on a grander and more magnified scale and none of the positive attributes of his game. He was completely worthless. And the organization waits until July to send him down. How on earth are you going to let a player that bad continue to ruin your line-up? It was clear that his game has completely deteriorated to the point where he wasn’t useful for anything beyond an emergency 6th outfielder in AAA. And then, what do they do? Send him down for 3 days. ARE YOU SERIOUS? The problems with Francoeur at the time were so vast that there?s no way he could have solved them given a MONTH in the minors. But instead he just whines and they back-track and bring him back up when he CLEARLY shouldn?t be on a MLB roster.

And he hasn?t been down since. I don?t have any rational reason why. There isn?t one, really. Other than this organization isn?t run by the front office. Or it is run very badly by the front office.

Wow, Francoeur really did date your sister didn’t he. Come on Peter, lay off the Red Bull.

Why is it that games at Turner field never start when advertised? No other organization seems to have this problem, at least to the extent we do. We have a game starting at 7, clubs with games at 7:15 start before we do…. Any reason?

I’m more angry at the organizations incompetence or unwillingness to deal with the situation. That situation being a worthless player killing your lineup.

I think it’s great that Francouer is kidding around. He needs to do more of that. This team is in such a funk they need something lucky and I guess turkey underwear will have to do. Personally I think he is getting his swing straightened out. He looks 500% better than he did a month ago. I think that he is learning not to take take all the critics too seriously. He may even have quit listening to Pendleton’s advice. It was great to see him go with a pitch for the double. Unfortunately we have the world’s slowest 1st baseman who couldn’t score from first if the ball landed in the upper deck.

Not being able to score from 1st on a 2-out double is bad.

Mark when do you think Schrafer is coming back up to the Majors?

I’ll answer that bravesfan0224. When he’s ready to consistently produce. He wasn’t ready when they brought him up. And now that we’ve got McLouth there’s no urgency to bring him up. When he shows he’s ready to handle MLB pitching, he’ll be back up playing Center and McLouth will shift to a corner.

Thand you, i was just wondering cause when i checked out the AAA page i saw jordan was back from the DL, and i wanted to know if it’ll take a while or not. I’m hopeing that than he does back, he’ll be up at the leadoff spot.

Lowe will have a great postgame quote about getting hit with the Victorino liner. But it’s no laughing matter for him now. It looked like trainer Jim Lovell came over to check on Lowe and instead of at least grabbing a cup of water, the veteran hurler went to the top step to stew about the Utley homer.

Does he deserve to be in the race? Yes. But the same case could have been made by Jeff Francouer in 2005. Unfortunately everyone thought he didn’t make it up in time and unfortunately Hanson came up at the same time of year as Francouer. However, I think he can still do it, but he can’t just be knocking on the door for the award, he has to bust it down. Pitch well enough to even be considered for the Cy Young(not saying to win it). I think if he can keep pitching lights out like he has been, keep his ERA below 3.25 and win at least 8 or 10 more starts. Its possible but he is going to have to rely on offensive production which is lacking in our lineup now. However I see Francouer to be turning it around. On my message board I frequented before starting my blog, several weeks ago, I was saying how I thought Francouer was getting good contact on pitches but wasn’t getting any luck on where they fell. Since that statement, he is 9 for 27 on this homestand and has had a few other games where he had done very well.

also you failed to mention that his 20 scoreless innings has not been done by a rookie dating back to 1900.

amarant:

That 20 is maybe a Braves rookie record? Brad Ziegler went 30 someodd innings just last year as a rookie. Fernando Valenzuela threw 3 consecutive CGSO’s as a rookie…..

Also, anyone else as frustrated as I was that Bobby had Prado, he of the 2-2, HR, 2 rbi’s sac. bunt. Let the hot hand try to make it a big inning Bobby.

Hanson tied the braves rookie record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. It was set by Pete Smith in 1988. He is also the 2nd braves pitcher to go 4-0 in his first 5 starts, the other Larry McWilliams in 1978

Good win for the braves. Good divisional match up. I will cry if Cox starts Johnson tomorrow.

….and I rest my case about Prado. He NEEDS to be starting at second for the foreseeable future.

Bobby said that the everyday 2B job now belongs to Prado.

udflyer96, where did you here that? I hope it’s true

Never mind, I didn’t realize you were Mark.

I was about to come on and say that if Kelly Johnson started more than 1 or 2 of the games before the all-star break, Bobby Cox should SERIOUSLY be thinking about retirement. But then I read that he had awarded the job to Prado and I am happy. Good game, and Prado just gained even MORE respect from me. He has been lights out, and he isn’t even an every day player. I seriously hope we can get a series win here. It would help us immensely, and pulling out this win should give us a boost, especially now that we don’t have to worry about KJ.

PWJhort might lynch me for saying this, too, but Francoeur had a good game. He had a lot of good at bats and contributed to the game. And 2/5 is not bad at all.

What do you think? Can we get a box of saltines and a can of sardines for KJ? Prado and infante have proved their worth to this club. Before Omar is ready someone needs to find Kelly a place to play( in some other city). God Gonzo looked horrible again. He has been skating on thin ice with lot’s of baserunners and squeaking out of jams, but it has started to catch up to him in a big way. All that sidewinder action on the mound might fool ML hiters once or even twice but as they get a look at him he is ultimately hittable

Gonzo is having a pretty good year. What are you talking about?

Although I am happy that it seems BC has finally given up on KJ, I am wondering how long it will be before some of you start complaining about Prado…. If he goes 0-4 and makes an error tonight, I’m sure someone will be calling for his head in the morning and begging for KJ back.

Anyways, Frenchy had a good game last night. That first at-bat was awesome. He went with the pitch and hit it hard to right field. The third at-bat when he scored Chipper was nice too. He didn’t try to do too much, just got the ball to the right side of the infield and scored the run. Good fundamental baseball. The same with the the Prado bunt. Someone mentioned previously that BC should have just let him hit. Whatever….. that was the correct call. Put the runner in scoring position for Chipper. It is little things like that, that will start paying off and get this team more wins.

That is a ridiculous statement about Gonzo. He was one pitch away from ending the 8th. He got stung. Big deal, it happens. Blame it on the Philly’s broadcast. They had just run a stat that showed the Braves lead all of baseball in wins, when leading after the 7th inning. So, they jinxed him. Bottom line is, Gonzo and Soriano have done a great job this season. Hiccups are going to happen. The great part about Gonzo last night, was the fact that the team bailed him out and they still got the win.

Now, will someone please go into that locker room, throw the gatorade bucket and tell these knuckleheads that they can do this. They need to come out tonight with both barrels blazing and give JJ some run support. One game at a time……

Neverwhere, he had the best game he’s had all season in my opinion. He didn’t look completely retarded. His bat speed is still shot. And as the old saying goes, a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. But if he does that for the rest of the season I’ll eat crow.

“However, facing Hamels is one time where Atlanta’s aggressive offensive strategy could pay off. Pendleton says the way to attack Hamels is often by getting him early in the count.” Adam Rosenberg

Thats great, more first pitch swinging. TP should be teaching patience, the aggressive approach hasn’t seemed to work out to well lately. This helps explain why our lineup can never seem to take a few pitches, unless your McCann or Chipper.

Who’s Kelly Johnson?

Kelly is that guy the Braves put in to popup or strike out with a runner on third and less than two outs, or for lack of defense purposes when the pitchers are bored and need a jam they have to get out of themselves.
He is used primarily to make Martin Prado look like an All Star.

A disappointingly accurate statement rother.

Billsniff,
That’s exactly the reason I don’t like TP. He keeps telling hitters to “stay agressive”, usually to an unfavorable end. He’s practically ruined Kelly’s ability to work the count and he used to be out OBP guru. (He tried to change his approachh so that, and I quote, “he won’t look at so many called third strikes”). And he certainly has done nothing to help Francoeur’s massive plate discipline and pitch recognition problems.

You know, I really don’t know where TP got the idea of swinging early against Hamels. I took a look at his last start against Toronto, 4 players put the ball in play on the first or second pitch, all of them outs, and on fastballs. Only Scott Rolen reached on a first or second pitch swing. The reason Toronto was able to score against Hamels was because they made him throw a lot of pitches, an average of 21 per inning. Their successful plate appearances came while running the count deep, or at least extending it. 105 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, compared to 95 when he went 6 innings against Atlanta on May 8th.

Kelly came up with a rather short swing and a reputation for making contact did he not?
It seems like that was the talk when he got here. “Lagging hands” was the K King, and Kelly was the contact guy.
Seems like forever ago.
Somewhere along the line, if you want power hitters, you should consider a coach that was one. I’m still a Don Baylor guy. TP was a line drive guy, and he thinks everyone should drive it over the shortstop or past the second baseman.
I don’t want a hitting coach that says take it up the middle or the other way, I want a coach that says buzz the tower and rip the pitcher’s glove off. Everyone seems to be feeling for the ball except Prado right now. Somebody has to start driving it and making a hole once in a while.

Nice win and also nice to see Prado nail down the 2b job.

Should have sold high on KJ during the off season.

Rother, where are the scathing criticisms of Blanco?

While not being a candidate for a everyday job, he(Blanco) can and will help the Braves off the bench the remainder of the season.

Just finished up a vacation watching a ton of Minor leagye baseball.

A couple of observations If anybody is looking at brandon Hicks as a long term answer at SS, I doubt he can hit his weight at the major league level.

And just say no to Shelly duncan and his ilk at any price no matter how cheap.

He’s a 4A stiff.

Also wanted to mention that Francoeur has looked much better at the plate for the lasst 10-12 days.

Has he turned a corner? who knows but he has looked more settled at the plate.

Blanco had a good game for sure,
even if he did drop a ball the rest of Atlanta’s centerfielders would have caught,
and he plays so deep he can’t get to the singles,
and even so still got to the home run ball so late that he couldn’t even make an attempt at it.
If he doesn’t play crappy center, and he doesn’t lead the team in strike outs, and he runs once in a while when he is on base, then he will be a serviceable, below average 4th outfielder.
There, a positive statement on Blanco.

David, where all did you go in the Minors? That would be a lot of fun.

I’ve always liked Kelly and I’m sorry to see him lose his job. It never ceases to amaze me how short the memory is of most the people on here. He had pretty good years in 07 and 08. He’s one of the best 7 or 8 hitters in baseball and it’s a shame Bobby kept batting him leadoff. Remember when he was supposed to be another 30 HR a year guy? How many of those have we had that have come up short? I hate it when people want to storm the castle for Bobby and Frank, but Terry.. I really wouldn’t mind seeing him go.

At this point Kelly isn’t one of the best any hitters. I still think he can be though. For some reason there are players that are never allowed to be who they are. They always get moved and asked to do things that aren’t their strengths. I bet he flourishes for another team if he gets back to the basics. He needs a good dose of see ball hit ball coaching.
Maybe if TP got replaced some of these guys would focus more on what got them here and things would be fresh again. Who knows.

Yeah, I highly doubt people on this site will seriously be clamoring for Kelly’s return anytime soon. Let’s take a quick look at what Prado would need “to do” in order to match Kelly’s productivity:

9/95, 1 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 17 R, 7 RBI, 8 BB’s, 26 K’s….oh, and pop up a lot more.

For those scoring at home, that’d be a .095 BA for the next hundred at bats or so. He’d need to K roughly 1/4 AB’s. Heck, the only thing that would be tough is the 17 runs considering to be Kelly Johnson he’d only be getting on base 17 times (olus any HBP’s, errors, or FC’s that might get him on). It was time for a change, and Bobby riding the hot hand is completely warranted and appropriate right now.

If Hanson continues to pitch to this level or better I think it is his award to lose. I’m also ecstatic that Prado now has the 2B job. Johnson has not earned anything this year.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

vivabeta

KJ is one of the best 7 or 8 hitters in baseball” What are you smoking son?
And by the way KJ has been tried in every slot in the lineup and didn’t produce in any of them. It’s time for him to try the pinch hitting slot.

Arguably the best 8 hitter in baseball? Isn’t that kind of like being the smartest kid riding the short bus to school?

I find it hard to give up on Brandon Hicks. He’s got that hitch in his swing. And yeah, he does strike out a lot. And he won’t ever be a guy who will hit for a high average. But if he can turn some of those K’s into BB’s and make contact a little more consistently he could turn it up. He plays MLB defense at SS right now. And the shear amount of raw power at SS makes it hard for me to not like him. He has a TON of improving to do, though.

cold, very cold….

How is it even possible that the Mississippi Braves only have 31 HRs this season? That is scary bad. Brandon Jones hit most of his 19 a couple years ago in MIS, certainly the players aren’t that bad. Please tell me the Braves have SOMEBODY above Myrtle Beach with Major League potential. Yikes. They’ve only given up 41, so maybe the ball just isn’t carrying over there so far this summer.

Hey rother been out just now getting back to your question above.

I’ve spent the past month on vacation, and have made numerous stops along the way in Southern, Eastern and International League haunts.

Had a blast.

I will try to get a detailed description of my stops in the next post later today or tomorrow.

Actually saw 2 PCL games in Nashville also.

I’ve seen 6 games of the Mississippi Braves so far and will be taking in an entire 5 game series later this month.

PWH I have’t given up on Hicks entirely but he will struggle mightily with the glove from here on out IMO.

Talked to scouts from two different org’s during the last month specificially about him and neither projected him as capable of starting at SS in the Majors.

He could prove differently though.

Hopefully for our sakes he does.

Sorry about the mis-statement above.

I meant to say Hicks will struggle with the bat and not the glove as his glove is close to MLB caliber now.

My bad.

I was about to say… Ya, I’ve heard that too. There’s an outside chance it will come around. But if it does, imagine the possibilities.

I had to run to the doctor’s office today to mend a big right toe that has treating me as pleasantly as Yunel Escobar has the past couple of days…Anyway, Esco and McLouth are once again out of tonight’s lineup…My guess is the McLouth returns tomorrow and Esco pinch hits until Friday…Huddy will begin his Minor League rehab assignment with Myrtle Beach on July 19…It still looks like his earliest return to the rotation would be Aug. 25.

Tony, that short bus comment was priceless. One of the top five comments I’ve seen on this blog.

Despite last nights eruption by Prado, thats what it was. It was Prado. And no one else showed up. Maybe Francoeur or Blanco(showed up last night), but they aren’t consistent. We need either Esco or McLouth back in the lineup asap…

Please just straight up trade Francouer for Hermida. I don’t think we necessarily need a big bat, just a lot of little upgrades over positions, manly RF and 2nd. How about Freddy Sanchez, huh? I hear the Pirates want to trade him because of his 2010 option. Or JJ Hardy. Brewers got to make way for Escobar. He only makes 4m and is under control for 2 more years. Lots of options Frank.

Furthermore, If the Braves fallout of contention and the Marlins don’t, Braves need to trade Gonzo and Soriano to the Fish. I’m sick of the Phillies and Mets. Plus they need bullpen help, and we could get some good prospects in return. And for the newcomers or not so regulars, Gonzo and Soriano are in their final year of their contract and have been DY-NO-MITE!

I’ll write about it all when I get back from dinner. http://knoble.mlblogs.com

7 pitch at bat followed by a single? Nice at bat, JJ.

Yes, I admit, I have a man crush on JJ. I think he is the future of our team.

Holy Crap is Prado on a streak. I used to think he wasn’t an every day player, I thought Infante was, but whileI still think Infante can be, I have DEFINITELY changed my opinion of Prado. What a series he is having! He’s gotten 6 of 7 RBI’s against the Phils and the second game has just started…

Well, well…….in a nearly identical situation to last night, Blanco gets on with no outs except this time Bobby lets Prado swing away. He gets a single, Chipper a double, McCann a hit, and a big inning. Amazing how not always giving up outs to move a guy one base can actually be a good strategy. It wasn’t that I thought Bobby’s move last night is always a bad move, but letting your hitters actually hit does have its advantages as well.

Ok Matty Nice jack. Can we sit slug foot Anderson now too? He and Kelly need to be sitting and Diaz and Prado who, both hustle, play defense and hit need to play. End of argument.

I’ll agree to an extent on Diaz, but Anderson has been REALLY hitting lately…. As far as the situation last night I am okay with how it went down, to be honest. You do need to bunt sometimes…. Today was a great inning though.

I think today he let Prado swing because yesterday he’d rather have Blanco on 2nd and Jones at bat than Prado, but now that Prado is so hot… they want him to hit… I would guess, anyway. I dunno. I’m okay with the bunt.

The difference in the bunt situation was the score at the time. Both nights the call was right.

My problem with Anderson isn’t just his hitting, it’s the bad attitude, lack of hustle and pathetic defense. I mean in the game the other night he sat with his hands on his knees while a ball snaked through the left side of the infield. If Escobar had done the same thing some of the contributors here would have hung him on a cross. Garrett Anderson is just cashing paychecks.

Has anybody else noticed that Prado has really energized the offense? I know that I am stating the obvious, but why not leave Prado batting second and hit Escobar 5th when he returns. He is soo good with RISP and will provide great protection for Chipper and Mccan. Plus, we will not have to deal with so many consecutive lefties.

Yeah, last night it was 3-2 bottom of the sixth. Tonight it was 3-1 bottom of fifth. I am not calling last night’s call some horrible “bad” baseball play, but it was endemic of the Braves offense this year. Bobby has used the sac. bunt as opposed to a steal or a hit and run or say just letting your guys try to do something that we’re always in a 2-out need a hit to get a run across situation. I don’t know what the “right” or “wrong” decision is, but what I do know is had that same play been used tonight assuming EVERYTHING else went the same (as opposed to say Hamels pitching around Chipper with first open and a lefty on deck) we would have scored 2 fewer runs tonight in that inning (Prado wouldn’t have been on and Hernandez never comes up in the inning). I for one was happy to see Bobby not take the uber conservative approach tonight, and it did in fact pay dividends.

I’m just glad Bennett punched his locker. I am sure Bobby would have used him here and we only have a 9-1 lead.

Francouer isn’t actually doing bad when looking at the position at a whole. He is about mid-range for offensive production in right field. He is ranked around 15 or 16th in offensive production, with that said there are 30 teams so 30 right fielders, I would also assume that in the AL some RF’s also act as DH’s so some of their offensive production looms over him. I mean seriously take a look at some of the offensive numbers this year. For some reason all numbers seem to be down.

sorry about the wrong stats…I haven’t researched them, I just went off what ESPN said, scrolling across the bottom of the screen after he beat the Red Sox, it said Tommy Hanson was the first rookie to beat the Yankees and Sox in consecutive starts and first rookie since 1900 to pitch 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

Prado Update:
He?s hitting .368/.419/.529 in the month of June after tonight?s 2-4, BB performance. He?s on a roll.

Down on the Farm:
Tyler Stovall, the Braves? 2008 2nd round pick, followed his professional debut with an ?effectively wild? outing. He lasted 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up 5 walks, but only 1 hit and no runs. He struck out SEVEN.
Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, a 1B prospect out of South Africa (with the coolest name ever), went 4-4 tonight and is now batting .548/.583/.908 in his first 8 games with Danville this season.

Snitker is a horrible 3rd base coach. HORRIBLE. I wouldn’t pay attention to him either. Last season for the last 3 weeks he put up the permanent stop sign and it was a drastic improvement.

Does Prado take some flak over blowing through the sign to hold or no because he scored?

In a perfect world I suspect Bobby will say something like, “Hey Prad, great game today, just remember you gotta follow coaching, great job on scoring though.” And that would be the end of it. http://knoble.mlblogs.com

Forget Frenchy’s turkey underwear. The Braves haven’t lost since I got my new recliner on Monday. That has to be the difference.

Let’s get the sweep tonight and then let’s not let down against the Nationals this weekend. This will be just as important of a series as the current one. Philly and Met’s get to beat each other up this weekend. We need to take advantage of that and beat up on the sorry Nats.

Is it just me or did Acosta really look that good last night? He had the heat working and had a lot of movement on his breaking stuff. Maybe it was the lack of pressure, but I liked it.

Thanks for the love Mark!

What’s depressing is that if we played half as good as we did last night behind Jurrjens in the first half of the season, he’d have 12 wins!

Did anyone see Kelly Johnson’s AB? OMG! Bobby was kind enough to give him an opportunity to join in on the fun and help him break out of his slump and he looked worse on that one AB than he’s looked all year. Even the Philly broadcast was on him.

BTW – Since it’s the last day to vote for the All-Star game, I figured I’d throw my vote at you guys.
AMERICAN LEAGUE:
1B – J. Morneau:
2b – A. Hill
3b – E. Longoria
SS – J. Bartlett
C – J. Mauer
OF – I. Suzuki, J. Bay, T. Hunter
AL Write In – Carl Crawford
NATIONAL LEAGUE
1B – A. Pujols
2b – C. Utley
3B – M. Reynolds
SS – H. Ramirez
C – B. McCann
OF – R. Braun, A. Dunn, B. Hawpe
NL Write In – Chipper Jones

I try to be as unbiased as possible and vote for the most deserving. It would be a SHAME if B-Mac didn’t start. He is head and shoulders the best NL catcher statistically.

If we are talking all star, do we get any pitchers in? Soriano? Jurrjens? Hanson got in too late, I think… Thoughts?

With the performance Jurrjens posted last night, against the manager who will be selecting the pitchers for the NL, it would be a travesty if Charlie Manuel does not invite Jurjjens.

An even bigger travesty – The first headline on the Phillies website reads “Rollins locked in tight race with Ramirez and needs your vote”… really? A .208 hitter? Maybe Kelly Johnson has a shot after all!

I would rather see Soriano get the All Star shot than Jurrjens. He has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. Clearly better than most all of the closers.
Jurrjens would be my second pick for Atlanta pitchers, and the “travesty” (since we’re using that word today) would be if Chipper took a spot on that roster keeping either or both of these pitchers off the team. He has been very pedestrian this year and it really isn’t his turn unless he gets voted in.

Vazquez certainly deserves to be there. So does Soriano. And Brian McCann. All of them without any fathom of a doubt. After that, Jurrjens, Chipper, Escobar, and Gonzalez all deserve some sort of consideration, but I don’t think they’ll make the cut.

Gonzo’s save numbers aren’t great, but if you look at other stats compared to other NL closers, he’s going great.
Jurrjens has the numbers but not the K’s.
Vazquez is a strikeout machine, but I don’t think he would thrive in a 6 or 7th inning role. He should get a shot, though.
Escobar should be at least in the top 5, which he isn’t. A shame.

Soriano deserves to be out there. He has one of the best stat lines of any reliever- National League or any league.

McCann deserves a start. Period. There isn’t even any discussion here. I can’t believe what a travesty it would be if he doesn’t start…. which is one of the reasons I don’t even like the all-star game and think it shouldn’t affect anything, especially home field advantage.

I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see the Braves getting more than two guys. This team has had a losing record for 3 1/2 years now, and it is easy to justify not picking Braves these days. McCann is a lock, and the other should be a pitcher.

Isn’t Jones in as 3B anyway? That’s two right there.

Chipper is way behind David Wright at 3B. So he would have to be a manager reserve selection, and I’m not sure he will be necessarily. I still would prefer to see one of our pitchers get the nod over Chipper this year.

I thought the 2nd was in as a backup?

It never has been before. It has always been the Manager’s decision for the backups in the past. Otherwise us idiot fans would put too many has beens in there. For crazy reasons like we like them, or they are our favorite player or something else equally unquantifiable.

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