Injury updates from Coors Field

Well there might not be any further reason to wonder whether the Braves will deal Javier Vazquez before the trade deadline.  

Instead it seems like all concerns regarding Vazquez should be centered on his ability to fight through his lower abdominal strain and prolong the success that he enjoyed during the season’s first half.
 
Vazquez’s impressive first half officially came to a close on Thursday evening when the Braves revealed that he’s going to miss Sunday’s scheduled start because of a strained lower abdominal muscle.    He’s been battling the ailment for a couple of weeks and aggravated it while completing  Tuesday night’s gem against the Cubs. 

After receiving the results of an MRI exam that was performed on Thursday in Atlanta, the Braves seem hopeful that Vazquez will be able to make his first turn after the All-Star break.  My guess is that they’ll hold him out until the July 20 game against the Giants.  

It was certainly surprising to hear the Braves say that Vazquez has been bothered by some discomfort for a couple of weeks.   The 32-year-old pitcher has gone 2-3 with a 1.96 ERA over his last eight starts.
 
The Braves said that Vazquez may have aggravated the injury during Tuesday’s sixth inning or while striking out during his seventh-inning at-bat.
 
Either way the Braves don’t seem overly concerned about the injury and they’re hoping they feel the same way next week.
 
Schafer update:   Braves general manager Frank Wren said that Dr. Gary Lourie has once again determined that Jordan Schafer’s left wrist discomfort is caused by a bone bruise.  This was the same diagnosis that was provided when Lourie examined the 22-year center fielder in early June.  <p>

Still it seems like the Braves understand there’s a chance that Schafer will miss the remainder of the season.  

“There’s a chance they may want to do additional therapies beyond what they did the last time, when they prescribed a couple weeks of rest,” Wren said.  <p>

Schafer, who has spent the past month with Triple-A Gwinnett, hasn’t played since aggravating the injury again last Friday night.   If he’s not able to play again the rest of this season, you at least have to wonder if he’ll need to begin the 2010 season in the Minors.  

While Schafer has downplayed the effect of his injury,  there’s no doubt in my mind that it has affected him.  He homered twice during the season’s first three games and then suddenly lost his ability to produce necessary bat speed after injuring the wrist during the season’s fourth game.

I understand Spring Training can fool you. But the guy that hit .204 and struck out 63 times in 50 games with Atlanta, wasn’t the same one that we saw impress on a daily basis in Florida.
 
Francoeur over Diaz:  Many of you have expressed your disbelief in Bobby Cox’s decision to give Jeff Francoeur a third consecutive start in right field on Thursday night.   Without mentioning any names, I’ll just say that you guys are sharing the same views as some of the members of the Braves clubhouse.
 
Look I know that the Braves lost the three games that Diaz started in right field.  And I realize that the Braves have won each of the past seven games that Francoeur has started.
 
But count me among those who can’t understand how you can put Diaz’s hot bat on the bench right now.
  
During his past six starts, Diaz has recorded 12 hits, four of which have gone for extra bases.   Entering Thursday, Francoeur had recorded 12 hits, four of which had gone for extra bases over the course of his previous 51 at-bats.

67 Comments

Mark, could they be doing this to try and showcase Frenchy so he is easier to trade? I mean it’s the only possible thing I can think of as to why Diaz is sitting. Also any knews on the Braves trying to obtain Rios from the Blue Jays?

McCann seems to throw out a runner every game. Anyone know the stats for McCann throwing out runners vs the mlb average. And also, do teams run on mccann less or more than average?

Once again Bobby “The National Man of Mystery” takes all of us to school. Frenchy so far is 1-2 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Look, I know people disagree with his decisions here, but people have to understand that they are not the manager. You have to stand back to appreciate his moves. And I would like to propose that anyone one who disagreed with Bobby today own up and say, “I was wrong and Bobby was right.” I’m sure no one will, but whatever. You too Mark. =)

I was wrong and Bobby was right.

whose to say that diaz wouldnt of been 2 for 2 with 2 home runs. And also, last two days frenchy was in the line up stinking it up as usual.

Frenchy gets 1 double and you are ready to call bobby a genius? I could show you alot of games where frenchy has killed the braves this year, and yet bobby refuses to bench him

I think over the course of the past few years, yes Bobby is a genius. And I’ll stand behind that. The Butterfly Effect is always important when talking about “Ifs” in baseball. So thats not a valid argument

OK. Jurrjens, I was wrong and Bobby was right…Nobody is pulling against Frenchy. I just was saying that when making the lineup, i don’t see how you could keep Diaz out.

Hey Mark, when I mentally made the lineup I was wrong to but wow, I mean come on! Francouer? Really? He might be the player of the game. Who da thunk it?

Btw everyone, I don’t like Francouer. Like at all. I heckled the hell out of him at Wrigley.

Nice night Jeff. I for one am pulling for a guy who has all the natural talent in the world. If the braves can’t figure out how to use it, I know someone will. I don’t get all this manufactured animosity against a stand up young man who is just trying to play the best he can. These are the same people who proclaimed him the “Natural” and are now trying to destroy him with words. He is gonna play major league baseball somewhere, I hope it is here.

I remember not so long ago, a young man who was struggling with his pitching career, so much so that he had to see a shrink in order to deal with his mental problems and the scorn that the fans were heaping on him. It turns out he turned into a pretty good pitcher, Tiger’s golfing buddy and a first round HOF’er. Any of you guys remember that distraught young man?

Smoltz of course

Frenchy had two hits against Cook in the last meeting and owns him. Bobby knows the score.

i think that diaz should have started in left and batted third instead of that garbage we have in there tonight.

Boone Logan needs an Indiana Jones hat when he pitches. It’s always an adventure. Glad he got out of it.

Frenchy had two hits against Cook in the last meeting and owns him. Bobby knows the score.

Coors Field is like Yellowstone with GA in left. He has no chance to get to these balls.

Rother:

You are right, and the timing was 1991. John was 2-11 and everyone was saying he was just a flash in the pan and a disturbed young pitcher. Of course the rest is history. A 12-2 finish. Worst to first. The beginning of a 14 year run and one leg on the tripod of the greatest trio of pitchers that baseball has ever seen. Not a bad comeback for who was 24 and headed for the scrap heap.

diaz should have been in left field he may not have the best range but at least he hustles

Hey, if Jeff Francoeur wins us a Cy Young, I’ll be all on board for the guy. In all seriousness, JF’s a very tough guy to figure out. He’s easy to root for because he’s personable, a “local legend,” and as a Braves fan you want your guys to succeed. However, his snippy comments everytime he’s not getting his way with playing time turns me off to the guy to a great extent. He’s still a young guy overall, and I admire his lack of complacency about the situation, but I also wish he’d take a better attitude into learning how to be an everyday player. I guess I’ll never trust him until he’s had enough sustained success where if he has a 1-21 (like Chipper had recently) that Braves nation doesn’t immediately start calling for his head.

His situation, to an extent, reminds me of Pat Burrell’s that he had early in his career. Much like Francoeur, Pat “The Bat” came up with a lot of fanfare and expectation. In his 4th season he batted .209 for the year, and the Philadelphia fanbase was calling for his head. Granted, Burrell was still getting his homers and taking walks (something Frency hasn’t done), but man did the Philly fans, in a shocker of all shockers, get on that guy. He rebounded a little bit the next year, but the fans still weren’t happy. In his 6th season he made a full comeback and finished 7th in N.L. MVP voting. Now, I’m not saying Francoeur can even accomplish what Burrell did. If he did, I’d happily take a .250 average, 25-30 homers, and a good OBP, but there are examples of these guys getting better. Just don’t count me among those that will quickly embrace the guy again. Much like the Philly fans, seeing will make me believe.

Smoltz never really quit being a whack job, Llewellen just convinced him he was a star and it doesn’t matter what people say. That montra is one he still goes by.
Hence the Boston uniform and the perceived lack of respect crap he spun into the media.
That being said he is one of the greatest pitchers of this era and it was great to get to watch him for almost 20 years.

Is no lead safe? This team has no killer instinct. They leave runners on base in scoring position and they can’t finish games.

Do I have to say I was wrong again?

Yes, Mark, great call out of Frenchy. Do it more often, please!

Glad to see you have my call him out strategy down Mark, it works every time.

Hey Bravo – I love what Brooks Conrad has done – but regarding that bunt attempt – did you notice he was way back in the box. You would think all that time in the minors he would have learned proper bunting technique.

Finally, a manager so by the book that even Bobby can keep up with him. Prado is going to get the hit here, but it is going to take at least 7 runs to win this game.
That stadium is like playing on an open field in little league. Every hard grounder may be a triple.

He did a perfect bunt last night. They just aren’t as skilled as they should be when they get through our system. Bobby gives away more outs than any manager in the Bigs. When he plays for one run that is all they have a chance to get, and that is a less than 50-50 prop these days.

I love Boog (OK, not so much), Big Papi was tanking so bad that he still has more HRs than anybody as a Brave this season.

Here is the reality we have to deal with, position by position tonight, only McCann and maybe McLouth would start for Colorado.
That just isn’t good enough.

Anyone know what was up with Escobar? I can’t watch the game. I have to keep track on gameday and it wasn’t specific.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Thanks Gonzo – tie game and you walk the first and hit the second… so frustrating. Anyone see that hitters are hitting .170 against him when he pitches from the stretch and .258 from the wind up? The little dance he does may be cool and give him his little “niche:… but it’s completely unnecessary. Anyone else think he’s a little over rated? Will I get heat for that statement?… man, every time he’s in it freaks me out. He’s blown 4 saves, and the ones he’s converted he’s made interesting.
I have a feeling that the Rockies will show us this series how important a solid offensive lineup is, and you need timely hitting and execution to win ball games. We better learn how to score 5 runs a game fast.

certainly justified…but why is everyone getting on Frenchy when Garret Anderson is AWFUL and bobby keeps batting him 3rd

Gonzo has looked very average for a little while now. I think his “snake dance” is wearing off. He allows a lot of runners and has been blowing saves lately. I mean he ain’t Jeff Bennet but he sure ain’t Mariano either.

Francouer: .243 5Hr…33RBI…30 RUns…5SB…Anderson: .274…5HR…30RBI…18Runs…1SB…and anderson as far as i remember has never batted lower than Francouer this season and is now batting THIRD in the absence of his greatness…i mean Chipper…why all the talk of trading frenchy…it seems obvious to me than when Diaz needs more at bast (which is EVERY game), he should be in left…ESPECIALLY since not only is anderson AWFUL at the plate…he cant run…cant catch and never seems to be in a gear higher than ho-hum…watching him play makes me wanna throw up!…and is an insult to the game…

and i sincerely hate what im about to say…but im gettin sick of Bobby as well…WHY leave gonzo n to get the last out of the 8th with a right hander up…why not bring in Medlen then…it was obvious all inning that gonzo was leaving pitches up in the zone…even the outs he made werent very good pitches…fast balls up…breaking ball was up and over the plate…and atkins, although it wasnt a very large sample, 2-4 with a HR against him…and as everyone has made known, gonzo hasnt exactly been lights out…WHY leave him in in that situation…makes no sense…that after bringing in Diaz to BUNT the other night…and having Anderson bat third AGAIN…and having Diaz play for frenchy instead of anderson…not to mention all the extra rope Jeff Bennet and Kelly got…its getting tough to stick with bobby these days…another season without the playoffs i CANNOT take…i have to maintain hope that we will make a deal to get another bat b4 the deadline…but what is the holdup…it seems no one can beat the phillies except us…we cant afford to be losing these days…especially with the way Lowe has been pitching…u not only expect, but need to win a game Hanson starts…

I was about to bust out a giant diatribe in response to all of these comments, but it would be ultimately fruitless because you guys are the most reactionary fans there could be..
Frenchy WILL be the great hitter that he was and should be now. I have decided that the Braves would be morons to get rid of him. And this is not an opinion based on tonight’s performance. Maybe it’s time in the minors or just extreme patience.
You idiots always crap all over Gonzalez and state examples of why he is a horrible pitcher whenever he has a bad outing. Get over it. He’s one of the best relievers in baseball.
I have decided to completely disregard anything that Billreef writes. He is either 17 or 71. Ridiculous.

I am freakin over Garrett Anderson. He should be embarrased that he is collecting a pay check to play baseball with the amount of effort that he puts into the game. There is no way that runner should have scored from first on that hit. The ball didn’t even get by him, but he made sure he kicked it around enough to let the run score. He does not do enough with the bat to justify his pathetic defense. Forget trading him, just cut him NOW!

C’mon guys, there’s a difference between being upset about the starting situation in RF and having animosity against Francoeur. Also, there’s a difference between having animosity towards Francoeur himself and having animosity towards Francoeur’s numbers. He’s a standup guy, we know, and any true Braves fan would never pull agains the guy.
That said, no, Mark (and everyone else who has been vocal about their desire to have Diaz start) is not wrong. I’m glad Francoeur had a great day and contributed. But we’ve seen this before. How many times does he have a good game and then everyone hops on here and says it’s the beginning of something beautiful for him. I agree that he has all the natural ability in the world. But ability doesn’t necessarily translate into performance. Perhaps he’ll never be able to move on from his struggles here until he’s with a new team with a fresh start. But you can’t discard YEARS worth of statisitics. Why have them if you’re not going to use them. We know, when healthy, that Diaz can rake. There’s some debate as to whether he’d rake against righties on a consistent basis, but at least you know he’ll rake against lefties. Who does Francoeur rake against? Sure, he’ll give you an occasional good performance, but it’s just a tease. Francoeur is a tease. You think you’re about to see the real deal, and then he lets you down.
As to why we’re seeing Francoeur in the starting lineup, I’m going to give the Braves the benefit of the doubt and say they must be trying to garner SOME sort of trade interest. Otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s no other explanation.

C’mon guys, there’s a difference between being upset about the starting situation in RF and having animosity against Francoeur. Also, there’s a difference between having animosity towards Francoeur himself and having animosity towards Francoeur’s numbers. He’s a standup guy, we know, and any true Braves fan would never pull agains the guy.
That said, no, Mark (and everyone else who has been vocal about their desire to have Diaz start) is not wrong. I’m glad Francoeur had a great day and contributed. But we’ve seen this before. How many times does he have a good game and then everyone hops on here and says it’s the beginning of something beautiful for him. I agree that he has all the natural ability in the world. But ability doesn’t necessarily translate into performance. Perhaps he’ll never be able to move on from his struggles here until he’s with a new team with a fresh start. But you can’t discard YEARS worth of statisitics. Why have them if you’re not going to use them. We know, when healthy, that Diaz can rake. There’s some debate as to whether he’d rake against righties on a consistent basis, but at least you know he’ll rake against lefties. Who does Francoeur rake against? Sure, he’ll give you an occasional good performance, but it’s just a tease. Francoeur is a tease. You think you’re about to see the real deal, and then he lets you down.
As to why we’re seeing Francoeur in the starting lineup, I’m going to give the Braves the benefit of the doubt and say they must be trying to garner SOME sort of trade interest. Otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s no other explanation.

C’mon guys, there’s a difference between being upset about the starting situation in RF and having animosity against Francoeur. Also, there’s a difference between having animosity towards Francoeur himself and having animosity towards Francoeur’s numbers. He’s a standup guy, we know, and any true Braves fan would never pull agains the guy.
That said, no, Mark (and everyone else who has been vocal about their desire to have Diaz start) is not wrong. I’m glad Francoeur had a great day and contributed. But we’ve seen this before. How many times does he have a good game and then everyone hops on here and says it’s the beginning of something beautiful for him. I agree that he has all the natural ability in the world. But ability doesn’t necessarily translate into performance. Perhaps he’ll never be able to move on from his struggles here until he’s with a new team with a fresh start. But you can’t discard YEARS worth of statisitics. Why have them if you’re not going to use them. We know, when healthy, that Diaz can rake. There’s some debate as to whether he’d rake against righties on a consistent basis, but at least you know he’ll rake against lefties. Who does Francoeur rake against? Sure, he’ll give you an occasional good performance, but it’s just a tease. Francoeur is a tease. You think you’re about to see the real deal, and then he lets you down.

As to why we’re seeing Francoeur in the starting lineup, I’m going to give the Braves the benefit of the doubt and say they must be trying to garner SOME sort of trade interest. Otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s no other explanation.

Vivabeta? Reactionary? No. Not at all. Reactionary is throwing away years of GOOD performance for a few weeks of poor performance and calling for someone’s benching after a few bad nights. That’s reactionary. It isn’t, however, reactionary to call for someone’s benching after YEARS of POOR performance. We’ve already given him the “extreme patience” that you mentioned. Patience that few others would be given in a day and age when you’re making millions of dollars. And if we’re just being reactionary as Braves fans, then what would you call every baseball analyst, scout, etc. who also is baffled by the Braves continued use of him on a daily basis? Again, Francoeur has the ability, but I’m convinced that it’s just never going to happen here in ATL. Both parties would benefit, I feel, from a change.

Sorry for the double post. I thought that it hadn’t posted, so I pasted it again and added a little more.

Check that, triple post.

Clearly Moylan and Gonzalez haven’t been as effective as they were before their respective injuries. I think they are being overworked. In July they both have already made 6 appearances each while Acosta and O’Flaherty, who have both pitched well over the last couple weeks, have only appeared three times this month. I think Cox needs to spread the love around a little more equitably, we have a whole other half of a season to play!

I noticed that Casey Kotchman seems to be getting a free pass on this Blog, but compare his offensive numbers to GA’s – they look eerily similar (4 HR-31 RBI-21 R- .274 BA vs. 5 HR-30 RBI-19 R-.273 BA). I hope by this time next year Freeman & Heyward have supplanted these underperformers.

I’d like to see Diaz in their every day and let Frenchy and GA battle it out for playing time. Go Bravos!

I think I have a different take on this whole Frenchy thing. A lot of people are questioning the loyalty to this guy. Bobby is taking a lot of flack for putting him in there day in and day out. Understandably so. But I believe that the Braves organization as a whole recognizes the value he has and what it would do to the city and the team if he were to get hot. I’ve been saying this since Spring Training. A red hot Frenchy means so much more to the city of Atlanta and to the team than people realize. A successful Jeff Francoeur would set the city and Braves nation on fire. As bad as he’s had it the last year and 1/2, every time I go to Turner Field I hear two loud ovations when the starting lineups are called. One for Chipper, and the other for Jeff Francoeur. I would lose count of the Francoeur shirts I saw in the stands.
Does he deserve to be thrown out there every night? Baseball logic says absolutely not! However, the Braves are running a business and I believe they recognize that a successful Jeff Francoeur down a playoff stretch would set this place on fire with emotion and all out excitement that would rival 1991 and 1992. I believe the logic is – maybe… just maybe, if this guy turns it around and adds the kind of value to our team that he is capable of providing – it would be the best move we’ve made as an organization since making a trade for Fred McGriff.
He’s a stand up guy. He’s not giving up. And frankly – I don’t believe he is killing this team. The upside of a successful Frenchy down the road is worth the patience they are giving him. I know I am not popular in that belief, but when I go to Turner Field, there is still a buzz in the crowd of fans pulling for him and loving on him. That means a heck of a lot more to an organization than people realize. He has the support of his team, his manager, his organization, and his city… and if he can pull through – We would see a different city, and a different team.
I could be wrong – but I believe this is why Kelly Johnson is in Gwinnett, and Frenchy is still playing.

Mark, any idea why Bobby doesn’t use Manny Acosta more out of the bullpen in these types of games? I know that Soriano and Gonzalez and Moylan are definitely our three best pitchers out of the bullpen, but in games like last night’s where Soriano and Gonzalez have both pitched back-to-back games, why not use Acosta? He seems to pitch well every time we do give him a chance, but for whatever reason, he’s still pretty much the last guy that Bobby goes to out of the bullpen. Hell, he even used Medlen last night in the 8th instead of Acosta and Medlen is supposed to start for us on Sunday now that Vasquez is out, leaving him to make that start on two day’s rest! I know Acosta may not be that great, but is he really THAT bad? He at least deserves some more looks out of the bullpen in my opinion. Also, I don’t know what the solution is to this because as I said before Soriano, Gonzo, and Moylan are obviously our three best guys out of the bullpen and I know we’re trying to win games but WE HAVE GOT TO STOP USING THEM SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! Bobby is looking like he’s TRYING to wear these guys down before the All-Star break! Obviously it’s no coincidence that both of the games Gonzalez has blown over the past week came when he was pitching for the third consecutive day. I was at the game in DC on the 4th against the Nats and you could just tell that Gonzalez didn’t have a feel for his pitches, not to mention his fastballs were consistently 2-3 mph slower than usual, which I guess should be expected when you’re pitching three days in a row! We need to figure something out before these guys’ arms fall off by August!!!

Kelly Johnson went 2-2 with a triple and 3 walks last night at Gwinnett.

Who doesn’t want Frenchy to be the Frenchy we all know he can be, but he needs to fix it up at the Minors, not the Majors where he’s gonna be killing chances for us to win. I mean maybe, some time away from TP and his hundred batting coaches, it might fix him up. Send him down to AA, where he can meet his old batting coach. Leave him down for a good week or so, and who knows? He might come back up swinging at everything and seeding the ball all over the field like he did when he first came up. PWH, the word I just heard from you was amazing, I remanber when he first came up, he was taking walks almost every AB’s. That’s very good news, but where are we gonna put him in the Majors when he’s ready? Prado is gonna be at 2nd, Esco at SS, Chip at 3rd, Is he gonna be back at the OF or MAYBE 1st? Who knows…..

On frenchy, those of us who have been baffled by his continued selection are NOT doing so on the basis of any personal dislike. Even if I argue against him starting over diaz, then that does not mean i want to see him fail. And i am sure this goes for everyone else, we will happily be proved wrong and see JF rake it all over the park. Hopefully this game can be the start of a turnaround for JF. Tonight, I hope diaz is in left and JF in right. I must admit to looking more fondly at GA than the rest of you guys, but in this park, with its big outfield, I think GA is horribly exposed defensively.

I’m sure that Bobby knew that Jeff was going to get 3 hits and 2 RBI’s being the genius that he is, that said his No l concern should have been winning the game when he made the lineup and I am certain that was not his intent. I don’t belive Cox cares if the Braves ever win another game. Is there any chance they could put him on the permanent disabled list because he is definanately Mentally Disabled. I have had it with Cox and will not watch another game until he is GONE!

I’m sure that Bobby knew that Jeff was going to get 3 hits and 2 RBI’s being the genius that he is. His main concern should have been winning the game and I am certain that was not his intent. I don’t belive Bobby cares if they ever win another game. Any chance we could put Cox on the permanent disabled list, he is for sure mentally disabled.

I’m sure that Bobby knew that Jeff was going to get 3 hits and 2 RBI,s being the genius that he is.

Give Schrafer rest of the year off. Let him go to the AFL or Mexican league over the winter. And who knows, maybe he’ll come back swinging for the fences again. Until then cross your fingures and hope he’ll turn out to be the 5tool we all know he can be.

I like Gonzo. Yes usually he looks like a pitching God or a Single A pitcher but when he hits a guy thats his time to be taken out. I would like to see his stats in appearances when he hits a guy because when he hits someone its like the wheels just fall off

Just to all the guys talking about Acosta,I have been praying for him to pitch more since the Orioles series.This year in 17 innings pitched he has a 2.18 era.And he has a career era of 2.98 in over 90 innings at the MLB level.So to Bobby Cox…WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?I’m sorry but those numbers look like a regular 7,8,or 9 inning reliever.Seriously he needs to pitch more not bc our regular relievers need rest but he is good enough to be one our top relievers like last year.

Theman107,
I certainly can’t disagree with you. One point, in his career, Acosta has fared much better in low-leverage situations. Take it for what it’s worth. I would like to see him used more, though. We’ve got 4 relievers that have been abused thusfar (plus Jeff Bennett), Gonzo, Soriano, Moylan, and O’Flaherty. Whether it’s as the right-handed 7th inning guy (taking Moylan’s spot) or a late-innings arm when Gonzo or Soriano isn’t available (they’ve been available every game this season in Bobby’s eye, but that’s a great way to send them to see Dr. Andrews), I think it is time for Acosta to be assigned a more significant role in that bullpen. In my view, he’s earned it.

The difference between Kotchman and Anderson, is at least Kotchman get’s it done with his glove. He doesn’t put up the power numbers that you would like to see from your first baseman, but his defense makes up for that. Anderson is just lousy. That’s a shame too, because I was glad when they picked him up. He has a very nice swing, but I had no idea his defense had eroded so badly. He’s just not worth it.

Mike Gonzalez CAREER stats in appearances with HBP:
6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 1.6:1 K/BB ratio, 21.4 Pit/IP. In those appearances he’s given up 10 runs total (6 ER), He’s also hit 10 batters (which aren’t included in WHIP) in 9 total innings in those appearances. In only 4 of 9 appearances has he avoided giving up a run in an inning where he’s hit a batter. Interestingly, this is the first time in his career that he’s hit a batter in more than one appearance during a season. So, I think you’re assessment is spot on bravesforever16.

Wait, I thought we only had 4 guys in our bullpen. Are you telling me there are more?

No, no, we only have four(it went up from 3 during the first two months of the season). Five max, and six if you count frenchy as an emergency 6th reliever. The fifth being medlen, but he’s more of a sixth starter.

Why did Esco leave in the 5th?

neverwhere, hilarious post. And Escobar strained his back.

I have a problem with the HBP last night. The batter didn’t even try to get out of the way. There’s a rule in the rulebook (yes, one of those exists, though you wouldn’t know from watching the inconsistent umpiring) that says you don’t get the base if you don’t attempt to move out of the way. I wish Umpires would call it properly.

The “Phantom Call” at second base on double plays, and the “ball beat you, therefore you’re out” calls irritate me more so than that. A batter should be entitled to the batter’s box and not forced to move from an intrusive or wayward pitch. If the pitcher’s throws at you, intentional or non – the batter deserves the base, regardless on if you move or not.

What everyone is missing here is the fact that Mark mentioned “a number of members of the Braves clubhouse” don’t want Francoeur in the lineup. I thin this is a serious issue that is worth discussing. It confirms something thats been my fear, and perhaps others, all along this season. We have the talent, but there is absolutely ZZERO team chemistry. Its almost as if these guys hate to play with one another. Chipper has shown his disgust with the rest of the team “If I’m not hitting and Mac’s not hitting then we lose” now we hear this from Mark about the clubhouses feelings on Francoeur, which almost certainly translates to some dissatisfaction witht he way the club is being run by Bobby Cox. Add to that the mishandling of the Glavine situation, and Escobars attitude. This team goes to the park every day and they really don’t seem to enjoy it. Even dugout shots, you never see people talking to one another. Everyone is just playing their part.

Mark, what can you tell us about team morale?

Nabil, that shouldn’t be viewed as an anti-Francoeur response. Diaz is one of their teammates as well. All I was saying was that there were some that were surprised to see Diaz out of the lineup once again….As many of you have stated, we’d all love to see Francoeur do well. But when it came time to construct a lineup today, it just seemed to make more sense to have Diaz in there…Of course today, the cry today is going to be to have Diaz in left and Francoeur in right…the team morale is the same in this clubhouse as it is in any clubhouse…when the team is winning, it’s good….when the team is struggling, it’s easy to point to things like morale and chemistry.

Mark thanks for your response and your hard work. Happy to have you on the beat. Always a good analysis.

Just posted a quick entry with tonight’s lineup…Chipper’s back in there…Escobar (back) Kotchman (sick) are out.

nabil, when is the last time you were in the clubhouse? It’s ridiculous when people say things like the “chemistry” in the dugout blahblahblah. YOU HAVE ZERO CLUE. Baseball players are some of the most stoic athletes in the world and rarely do they show much emotion. For example, watch when one of our guys hits a HR to win the game and look how everyone freaks out. Watch Tim Hudson, Francoeur, Chipper, Moylan. They all start to act like idiots and it’s awesome! Brian McCann said he has had more fun with this team than any other he has been on. Good chemistry does not necessarily give a team a winning record. I have heard so many excuses on why the Braves don’t have a better record, but this is always the dumbest.

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