Johnson activated and Conrad optioned to Gwinnett

Kelly Johnson regained his swing with Triple-A Gwinnett and he returned to Turner Field on Thursday morning wearing the smile that had been absent at the beginning of this month.  

The Braves have activated Johnson from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Brooks Conrad to Triple-A Gwinnett.  

Johnson, who has been on the disabled list since July 3, is looking forward to serving as a role player for the Braves.  He knows that there will be some days when he’s given an opportunity to spell Martin Prado at second base.

And to prove he’s regained his sense of humor, Johnson said there may
be some days when he chooses to insert some eye drops in Prado’s
coffee  —  Wedding Crashers-style.

“I’m not worried about getting at-bats,” Johnson said. “Playing for Bobby Cox that’s something you never have to worry about.” 

Johnson, who had hit .191 in his previous 39 game before being placed on the disabled list, hit .308 and collected 16 RBIs in 12 games with Gwinnett.  

 

113 Comments

Conrad earned a spot on the roster. Norton hasn’t. Johnson… better than Norton. This is a stupid move, only because Norton is being given more chances. Is it because we’re paying him? Stupid reason to kill our bench.

I don’t like the move. Conrad is more valuable than Norton in my opinion.

ut oh, no mo mojo.
Skip the bobblehead, when is the Kelly Johnson wet blanket give away scheduled for now?

Hey, I’m a positive guy, so Mark, if I may, let me rewrite the press release.
Today, positioning themselves for the stretch run, the Gwinnett Braves recalled Brooks Conrad from their AAAA affiliate, and sent Kelly Johnson back to Atlanta.

I think Norton’s days in Atlanta are numbered, but he needs a few more days before management decides whether to release him or try to trade him.

It makes no sense to have Brooks Conrad sit on the bench, by sending him back to AAA he will get ABs and stay fresh for when the rosters expand.

Johnson cannot improve his trade value by playing more in AAA. Giving him a utility role in Atlanta for a few weeks will give time for the Braves to evaluate him and decide if his is more valuable as a trade piece or as a role player down the stretch. These next few weeks good greatly enhance his trade value, even past the July 31st deadline.

I just want to make sure that I made it clear: Johnson deserves to be up here, but Norton does not. Norton is also proof that success at AAA does not equate success in the majors…

PWJ More valuable than Norton??? Hell – Conrad’s more valuable than Johnson.
“I’m not worried about getting at-bats,” Johnson said. “Playing for Bobby Cox that’s something you never have to worry about.”
Did ya’ll hear that sound? It’s the wind falling out of the sails in Atlanta.

Why would you keep Norton over Conrad? Because he has more experience? His experience is in striking out with the bases loaded. Release Norton so that he can go elsewhere, and keep Conrad up. he’s been a spark to this team, and for that he should not be forgotten. Conrad proved himself already, Norton and Kelly have not.

I don’t agree with that, Bravo. Conrad has an iron glove and a career minor-league line of .261/.343/.467. Not much more than organizational filler. Kelly Johnson struggled this year, but analysis shows he was very unlucky (absurdly low BABIP while consistently hitting LD’s and his IF/FB was actually down this year, he was hitting the ball well, it was just usually at somebody). He’s a good player. Sounds like he got it figured out too. He’ll be a useful bench player. Very useful.

The most disturbing line was this:
“Johnson, who has been on the disabled list since July 3, is looking forward to serving as a role player for the Braves. ”
That is the most telling statement in the article for a guy who used to start for 3 seasons.

No problem whatsoever with KJ returning, Big Problem though with Norton Staying.

Conrad should have stayed. Conrad can fill the role of pinch hitter from both sides of the plate and can also play in the field if necessary and pinch run. Two things Norton can not do.

Bad move.

Conrad: .261/.343/.467
Johnson: .264/.346/.428
Heart, guts, passion, spunk, running through stop signs to score, legging out triples, sense of the moment, everything else goes to Conrad.
Chipper doesn’t steal second to get that run 2 months ago before Conrad showed up. Everyone is better now than they were then, and it’s not about Francoeur at all.
Kelly is a Major League talent, but he is a loser, period. Conrad is a winner, and will be missed greatly for way more than his frickin OPS.

Conrad: .261/.343/.467
Johnson: .264/.346/.428
Heart, guts, passion, spunk, running through stop signs to score, legging out triples, sense of the moment, everything else goes to Conrad.
Chipper doesn’t steal second to get that run 2 months ago before Conrad showed up. Everyone is better now than they were then, and it’s not about Francoeur at all.
Kelly is a Major League talent, but he is a loser, period. Conrad is a winner, and will be missed greatly for way more than his OPS.

i totally agree with gensam. We have to look past what this infers: “Norton better than Conrad, Conrad sent back to AAA”. That’s not what this is. Norton is a specialized pinch hitter, even though he’s not doing his job. Brooks needs more playing time in AAA because he isn’t going to get it up here with the way prado has been playing. It’s kinda the same reason we traded two of our most highly touted prospects. Because of who is in front of them, Tyler Flowers and Gorkys Hernandez had no future here so it’s best to send them to a team where they do have a future. Conrad is just going to sit the bench if we didn’t send him down.

Brooks is 29, and could easily fill the Greg Norton role at this point. Rotting in AAA until he is 33 is not going to add anything to his game. He is never going to be an everyday MLB player.

Wow, Rother.. Brooks Conrad is a winner and Kelly Johnson is a loser? I wouldn’t really expect something like that from you. Kelly is a pretty damn good ballplayer but has just had a bad year so far. It happens. I definitely prefer Prado at 2B and wish that Conrad wasn’t optioned, but they would’ve had to part ways with Norton and I don’t think they want to do that just yet. Why, I don’t know since he hasn’t added anything all year.

Rother, agreed.

I just wanted to applaud Chipper and Mac for that two out, steal+hit=run. I didn’t see it coming but I think it made the game for us.

Dude, you can’t compare Conrad’s MINOR league line to Kelly’s MAJOR league line, call it analysis, and expect anyone to take you seriously. Look, I like Conrad as much as the next guy and I think he deserves to be on the team over Greg Norton or Diory Hernandez. He does all the things you mention, he’s great organizational filler, and he’s earned a spot on our bench. But Kelly Johnson is a better player. And where do you get this “loser” thing from? Because he doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeves? The guy was practically pulling his hair out during his slump to the point where coaches were having to tell him to relax and he handled this situation with more dignity than I’ve ever seen a player handle one.

Outrageous that Conrad goes down and Norton stays. Norton had a fine year last year but has done nothing this year. Conrad is gritty and has pop in his bat. Someone please explain the logic.

Conrad hit .344 with 2 triples and 2 homeruns for Atlanta in just 14 games. Johnson is horrible… How about trading Kelly Johnson, Freedie Freeman (AA-Mississippi), and Rafael Soriano to Boston for RHP Daniel Bard. Bard would be our closer for years to come. I would love nothing more than to have 99mph fastballs shutting the door on opponents in the 9th inning, and that is what Bard brings night in and nigth out. Conrad should stay up and back up Prado, so get Johnson out of here

che3to,
I wouldn’t trade Freeman straight up for Bard.

I wouldn’t trade for a RHP either. We’ve got them stacked up all over the place, Bennett, Buddy, Acosta, etc, etc.

I can’t believe Kelly Johnson is back with Atlanta. Why is it that Atlanta always seems to continually give guys shots at the big leagues when they have proven numerous times they dont belong. Not to mention the fact that they are clicking with the players on the roster now…Why mess with a good thing? There is something to be said for the record the Braves have had during the time Johnson was absent and Francouer being traded.

I agree with the fact that Norton should be released and that Conrad needs more ABs. If I’m not mistaken, the Braves are handcuffed by league rules about how long KJ can stay in the minors. He can’t be assigned anymore plus his trade value is lessened the longer he would stay down at AAA. I look for him to be traded pretty soon. I hope the infield next year looks like this: Prado at third, Escobar at short, Conrad at second and Chipper at first.

bobfromchicago,
Yes, you’re mistaken. KJ has an option remaining. But I imagine they don’t want to burn it right now.

cottonn25@aol.com,
Kelly had a slump. That’s it. He hasn’t “proven numerous times he doesn’t belong”. Quite the contrary.

There’s a word.. it’s called “history.” Just because Kelly sucked for about half of the first half (yes he was good at times), doesn’t mean that he is a crappy player. His numbers for the past few years have not been all that bad. It’s not like he was in a humongous 2 year slump like Frenchy. Like I said, I think Conrad deserves to be on the team more than Norton AT THIS POINT, but Norton was one of the best pinch hitters in baseball last year. As much as I think the Braves might rue this decision, it would be pretty dumb to part ways with a veteran without giving him a few more chances just because some other guy who previously only had a handful of MLB at bats had a great 14 games.

All of this is going to be irrelevant when Infante returns. Norton will be released then.

cottonn25.. I guess you’re referring to the 2008 season when Kelly proved he doesn’t belong in the show and can’t hit major league pitching. I guess his .287/.349/.446 line with 12 HRs, 6 triples, 39 doubles, and 69 RBIs really speaks for itself. Pretty bad numbers, huh?

I think che3to is delusional.

Freeman and Heyward are our future. We don’t need Bard with Soriano or Gonzalez.

Norton should be released, Conrad should be in the Majors, Diory Hernandez should be sent back down to the minors for more at-bats. Kelly Johnson is a terrific player, and if he’s not gonna start, we should trade him along with someone like Kris Medlen(even though i like him) and Ryan Church for Matt Holliday.

Hell, we could even just give up Medlen and Bennett for Andruw Jones. The Rangers need pitching, and Andruw is expendable and could be our right fielder with his arm. Garret Anderson is gone after this year, trade Church for someone in the off season and we could have:
LF: Diaz/Schafer(platoon)CF:McLouth RF:Jones 3B: Jones SS: Escobar 2B: Prado 1B: Kotchman C: McCann Bench: Conrad, Infante, Ross, Hernandez.

Rotation: Hanson, Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez.
Bullpen: Kawakami, Carlyle, Logan, O’Flarety, Gonzalez, Soriano, Moylan

This is incredibly stupid.

First we keep Norton instead of Josh Anderson. Then we keep Norton instead of Conrad. WTF?

I’m watching gameday. Doubles on a groundball to Escobar? WTF? Run scored? How in the **** did that happen?

vivabeta…. See the only problem with basing purely on the stats from 2008 is a failure to remember how KJ was hitting before August. Obviously you fail to remember that he was in the midst of another one of his “slumps” for the better part of the summer. Once the final 6 weeks of the season comes around he starts hitting the ball decent…But the only problem with that is the fact the Braves had no chance of postseason play and the pressure is not quite as intensified. It’s alittle easier to hit when there’s no pressure but how it changes when a game is on the line or an important situation

Conrad has changed the entire attitude and fortunes of this team. Kelly has been the culprit in most every disastrous play in the last 3 seasons. Dropped popups, missed grounders for game ending double plays, popping up and striking with runners at third and less than 2 outs. When the game is on the line, he has never been the guy any of us wants to see. Brooks is a journeyman that has caught lightning in a bottle, but he has come up big a couple times already, even if it is temporary.
The team completely lacked any form of aggressiveness until Brooks arrived. Kelly certainly cannot and will not fill those shoes. We can only hope he will catch the fire that the rest of the team has. From all reports Norton has checked out mentally as well at this point, knowing he is next. So there is 40% of your bench. One guy saying to himself “Don’t pick me, don’t pick me,” the other sitting there saying “Whatever”. Nice…..

Complete joke.. there is no reason, absoutely no reason for Brooks Conrad to be sent down and leave Greg Norton in Atlanta. Everytime Norton comes up to bat, I have no confidence in him.. Conrad, on the other hand, I have alot of confidence in. He plays hard, constantly hustles and thats what I love to see. Norton is an automatic out, he is worse than a pitcher when it comes to hitting in the big leagues.. Terrible move.. I still belive Kelly Johnson can turn things around, but honestly, I hope Altanta trades him and doesn’t even bother considering putting him in over Prado.

The last thing we need is Matt Holliday. For the amount of money he gets per year, he puts up average numbers. As of right now, Holliday is hitting .287 with 11 HR. He is also scheduled to make 13.5 million dollars this year, and 14 million next year. Good numbers, but he is not consistent. Rafael Soriano is having a great season, sporting a sub 2.00 ERA… but in December he will be 30 years old. In a year or two he will be all maxed out. Daniel Bard according to Terry Francona would be the closer for every major league team other than (NYY, NYM, and of course Boston because of Papelbon). His situation in Boston is tough, since he is waiting in line behind the games ultimate closer. Bard, just turned 24, has a 2.33 ERA. In 27 innings pitched, Bard has 34 strikeouts compared to only 10 walks. Opponents are hitting only .188 off him, and in his last 8 2/3 innings, he has given up 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and 18 strikeouts. He has a 99mph fastball with movement, along with a plus 83mph slider. A side note, last month Milwaukee proposed a trade to Boston: JJ Hardy for Daniel Bard straight up, and Boston refused to give him up.

And some of you wanted to trade Yunel pscchh haters…

This is completely off topic but does anyone know what Bmac’s at bat music is?

Soriano will be maxed out when he’s 32 years old??? Tell that to John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera.
Some of you guys are the biggest lemmings I have ever seen. A guy does well for a few games and you think he’s the second coming.
Rother.. I believe Conrad being promoted coincided with Prado winning the starting 2B job and the addition of Church, as well as the hot play of Escobar and Canns. It’s just ridiculous to say that Brooks Conrad sparked this team into playing how they are now.

rother…. Could not have said it better!!!

Vivabeta…

Did you seriously just compare Rafael Soriano to John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera?

-Soriano has accumulated 30 career saves in 8 seasons.
-Smoltz accumulated 154 career saves in 3 seasons of relief
-Rivera has 510 career saves, and is the greatest closer of this generation.

No way you compared Soriano to Hall of Fame pitchers

We don’t need to give up Freddie Freeman for ANYBODY right now. Freeman, Jason Heyward, and Tommy Hanson are gonna be the faces of this franchise for a long time (provided we don’t do something stupid and trade one of them!!!) I would say our best acquisition at this point would be a reliable veteran reliever to ease the strain on Soriano, Gonzalez, and Moylan. Other than that, I think we should stand pat considering we’re playing really good baseball right now as it is. The last thing we need to do is give up on our future.

Wow, You bring up Johnson and all of a sudden the Braves aren’t scoring again. He must have gotten the pork chop underwear by mistake. Aside from being dead weight , he is bad luck, too.

Soriano / Smoltz / Rivera are all hard throwing pitchers. I just brought them up to say that it is ignorant to predict that any player will start going down the toilet by the age of 32, which is when most are in their prime.

Vivabeta – Kelly was terrible last year. Especially when we needed him. He got hot the last month and 1/2 of the season when we were ALREADY OUT OF IT AND NO LONGER NEEDED HIM! He is the most non-clutch player we’ve ever had. His .287 average last year is the most misleading stat EVER!
It’s funny how everyone hates on Francoeur, yet he has a higher career batting average, more homers, and twice the RBI’s than Kelly. And don’t give me this second base crap because Kelly very easily could have been one of our outfielders and was drafted as an outfielder. Youcan’t dog Francouer and then stick up for Kelly… It’s ridiculous. Brooks Conrad is far more valuable to this team the Kelly or Norton and it’s sad that he was sent back down. I hope we get really of Kelly and dump his worthlesness to another team so that Brooks can get the shot he deserves.

Church has even better range than I envisioned. I don’t think Francoeur would have gotten to that ball to end the top of the fifth.

That will do it for Kawakami. Diory is in the on-deck circle.

For the record, I never really dogged Francoeur. I always wanted him to stay to give him one last chance to turn things around, if that’s possible. And don’t bother ripping on that comment because I know most of you disagree with me. But with that being said, I do like Ryan Church.
And to call Kelly “worthless” is crazy. Would you rather have Diory? Conrad will be back soon enough, so hold off on buying a bulk supply of Kleenex from Sam’s Club.

Heyward is much more polished than Freeman, and if losing Freeman means gaining a dominant closer in Bard I would be all for it. I understand how you would not want to give up on a top prospect, but Freeman is not our top prospect… Heyward is. Freeman is very good and very young, but he has yet to hit in the bigs. Also, losing him may not be that big of a blow… do not forget about Cody Johnson in High-A Myrtle Beach. He plays first base just like Freeman, and has 24 homeruns, ranking second in the entire minor leagues. If we deal Freeman, we have a future first baseman in Cody Johnson to look forward to.

Earlier this week, Nate Schierholtz had his picture taken with John Schuerholz, who later signed the picture and sent it back to the Giants outfielder with a message that read, “Nice to finally meet you.”

Wow, this is some of the worst officiating I have seen in a while. Whether it’s bad calls at home, at 2B, the non-call on interference at 1B. Just a mess today.

Johnson is back = Braves Lose. Chipper sucked it up today.

AANNNNNDDD… LET THE COMPLAIN GAMES BEGIN!!!!

X-rays negative on Gonzo’s left arm. Both he and Bobby said, he’ll likely be unavailable for a day or two…when asked about the pitch to Yunel that got him tossed, Bobby said, “I’ve never seen a ball called a strike like that, ever in 50 years.”

It really was a horrible call. I saw it on a replay. Bobby will probably get fined for calling out the umpire, but the umpire is the one who should be fined. Awful, awful call.

Horrible day, Bad calls, tough breaks, errors, and Anderson and Mac were out of the lineup. I think the real turning point in the game was when Gonzo got hit with the line drive and had to get taken out and someone had hurry up and get ready to pitch

How about the throw (albeit late) by Moylan that Johnson couldn’t get because the Giants’ baserunner was inside the baseline? That should’ve been an out by interference. Or the horrible call at second when Diaz was “caught” stealing? And the 30 or so bad calls on pitches at the plate to both Atlanta and SF.

Hey Johnson 1 for 1 I like Johnson but with Infante, Prado, and Conrad he needs to be traded because we have to many 2nd basemen. Ya’ll might remember Infante was pretty hot and was carrying are offense when he got hurt (much like Prado) Norton needs to go now. Bennett should be let go or traded when he gets better too.

Just hope this all-around bad day doesn’t kill are sudden great baseball hopefully Vasquez will continue to be amazing and we can light up Parra again.

with all due respect, alot of u just dont get it. I love Prado and what he has done for us and i know kj is probably the streakiest hitter in the majors but at the end of the day kjs upside is twice that of prados. and people seem to forget his struggles before he went down were due to a balky wrist which he was to classy to use as an excuse until after he was sent down. LOOK at the numbers for an entire year! the only 2nd basemen with better numbers than kj are Utley, Kinsler, Phillips, and maybe Ugla depending on what u value. And all but Ugla are producing nubers almost never heard of!

WUT?

Did somebody just say that Kelly has twice the upside of Prado?? Kinda tough to understand that comment since Prado has never been given a chance to play 150 games.

I would take my chances with Prado or Infante over KJ any day.

I am sorry but I have a hard time buying into the whole “upside” talk when it comes to players with years of big league experience. A player who projects with a great deal of upside still has to perform and help his team win. According to some, Prado may not have much upside which I think is completely false but continues to play well and do his part to help the team win. I understand Prado has limited service time as a starter but I am just saying the upside talk of KJ is not very accurate. We also know what to expect in a season from KJ and as stated earlier, KJ’s numbers from 2008 are extremely misleading.

My take on KJ vs. Prado.
The more and more I see Prado play, the more I think we may have found the 2nd coming of Freddy Sanchez. The dude can hit. He was born to be a .300 hitter. His numbers in the minor leagues suggest he won’t hit for much power, but he’s been at the major league level for a full seasons’ worth of PA’s now, and he’s obviously got some pop in that bat. One thing, he’s only 25 years old, and STILL improving. The numbers after a season don’t lie. You eliminate all the statistical noise. His BABIP is .344, which is rather high, but I don’t think it’s going to come down much. The guy does nothing but make solid contact with the ball. Looking at his numbers across the board nothing seems too unsustainable. He’s got a steady LD%, a good IF/FB ratio, doesn’t strike out much, and walks a fairly good amount. Not that you need to walk a ton when you’re hitting .300+ with a 150 ISOP. But he draws a walk right at league average. When he strikes out less than league average, hits for a higher average than the league, and hits for more power than the league, you’ve got an above-average player. Considering he plays a defensively challenging position, he’s a fairly dang good player. Speaking of defense, he’s been pretty bad at 2B. Both statistically, and from an observational standpoint. Kelly Johnson is no Roberto Alomar, but covers a great deal more ground than Prado. At 3rd, interestingly, Prado has been a very, VERY good defender. I pretty much expect Prado to be an annual .315/.375/.465 hitter. Kelly I expect to be more of a secondary-offense type guy and hit around .275/.375/.465. And he’ll be a better defender than Prado. Though he doesn’t provide the average Prado does, he’s just as useful offensively. I wonder if shifting Chipper to 1st, moving Prado to 3rd, and playing KJ regularly at 2nd is the most efficient alignment of our infielders.

Mark, anything to the report that the Braves sent a scout and one of Wren’s assistants to the Dodgers’ AA affiliate vs. the Padres’ AA affiliate game? http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2009/07/23/groundwork-being-laid-for-angels-dodgers-to-get-pitchers/

PWHjort- It’s great to look at stats from an entire season and break them down every which a way but again dont forget all the many times that KJ has been in a position to make an important play or the team needs a key hit but fails at it. You are right on statement KJ will hit .275 to .285 range but those numbers are completely misleading. The key aspect missing when comparing KJ to other players is simply “Clutch”.

That’s poppycock. What do you call Kelly Johnson’s pinch-hit grand slam? Wouldn’t that be “clutch”. You have selective memory.

His career WPA/LI is positive.

Yeah it’s a pressure packed situation on April 5, 2008 when KJ comes through in the clutch with a pinch-hit grand slam and the Braves still win by 6. I mean we arent talking about a Kirk Gibson situation here. We are thankful for KJ clutch performance for the Braves because I dont know what the Braves would have done had they lost that game. Maybe a record of 71 -91 instead of 72-90 and 21 games out.

I don’t think KJ has “twice the potential” of Prado. Going separate from the statistical side of it (as in, what we’ve already seen), KJ’s upside is essentially what Prado’s actually been doing with maybe a little more homerun power. The scouting on KJ was that he would take walks, make solid contact, and be an above-average offensive middle-infielder. That is what Prado’s providing right now. KJ’s going to K more than a Prado, and his “potential” speaks to having a little more homerun power, but that’s about it. Prado’s got a great, short swing….exactly what Johnson has when he’s going well. From an offensive standpoint, these two are about even. I also think PWH’s comparison to Freddy Sanchez is very accurate. The only difference being I think Prado’s got a little more pop in his bat than Sanchez, but otherwise, very good offensive comparison.

From a defensive standpoint, Johnson’s a little bit better at second, but he’s had to work hard just to achieve that advantage. Prado’s flexiblity defensively is a major asset. He’s not a great secondbase or firstbase option, but he can play those positions on a serviceable basis. At third, Prado’s demonstrated real potential. He doesn’t possess great range, but he does have a solid arm, and he’s got good enough reflexes to be a solid thirdbase option. If Johnson’s playing in the outfield, he’s basically Garrett Anderson from an offensive standpoint based on results. His “upside” is Garrett Anderson with a better on base percentage and more speed. I don’t have a good read on KJ’s arm to know what that would mean from the outfield position. I think they’re both major league caliber players, but I’ll take Prado’s consistent performance to Johnson’s streakiness if push comes to shove.

As for Brooks Conrad. I was a bit surprised to see the Braves demote him in favor of keeping Norton on the roster. As some have suggested….it might be moot for when Infante comes back, but I can easily imagine Hernandez being demoted upon Infante’s return. Norton really should be released, but I guess I don’t get much of a say on that issue. Conrad was very productive when he was up, but I think it’s absurd to be giving him credit for the Braves increased hustle, fire, or effort. Conrad getting his first chance this year at the majors did not change the Braves mindset. I mean, Jordan Schafer struggled, but the guy ran hard out of the box (when he made contact) and ran hard in the outfield. Nobody was preaching that his “hustle” was making the Braves a better team. Conrad is what he is: A decent bench/role player who works hard. He’s the type of player who endears himself to fans quickly because they can know very little about baseball and notice his increased effort. However, as I heard the Braves announces mention about one of the Giants recent call-ups: “If ___________ is just up and isn’t running hard, he should be sent right back down.” I wouldn’t have kept Norton over Conrad, but I also refuse to give Conrad credit for the Braves’ uptick in performance.
http://tomatalk.mlblogs.com/

All this talk that KJ is a better defender than Prado is hysterical. It really doesn’t past the smell test. I mean Johnson absolutely stinks up second base and has since Bobby decided to make him a 2B in order to keep him in the line up. He has no range, Doesn’t move well and doesn’t turn the DP. I mean look at the DP that Prado and Esky turned this week. Kelly hasn’t evcer started a play like that. Kelly’s one redeeming quality is that he has his lips firmly attached to Bobby’s backside. It time to send this experiment somewhere else.

As to his other assets: He doesn’t hit for power, hits for a mediocre average, no speed on the bases. We need to get somebodies A-AA shortstop or outfield prospect for him while he still has some minimal trade value, which I really don’t think he does.

Ah, the smell test. If only John Dewan had spoken with billreef before creating the Fielding Bible he wouldn’t have wasted so much time. The smell test is all we need. Everything else is now obsolete. Amazing you haven’t been hired by Baseball Prospectus, billreef. With that sharp nose of yours.

billreeks.. Ask Kelly if Bobby’s backside passes your “smell test.”

why are all you big Braves fans shocked by this move, just another great move by the great Bobby Cox.
I dont want to hear about the 14 division titles, anybody could have won with the pitching staff he had.
Even Bobby Wine who was called the mute could have won with those players ,for some reason Bobby has soft
spot for some certain 2basemen .

ROTHER, I don’t know who you are or who you think you are but I am pretty sure you have no business calling Kelly Johnson a loser. He has made his way to the highest level of competition baseball in the world and at most times has succeeded. He may not be Chase Utley or Ian Kinsler or even as good as Prado is, but he is certainly a major league baseball player and deserves to be in the pros. It is ridiculous to compare Conrads Minor League numbers to Johnsons Major League numbers; I can only imagine the numbers Johnson would have if he spent 10 years playing in AA and AAA. Even if you want to compare Conrads Major League numbers from this year, he is doing about the same as Johnson was during his first 32 at-bats of the season. Its also interesting that you refer to legging out triples running the bases. Its strange you say that about the player who has led our team in triples the last couple of years and is among the only players on the team with the ability to steal a base. Joe Simpson often refers to how great of a base runner Johnson is. Conrad has definatly been a spark and I value him way higher than Norton, but your personal vendetta against Kelly Johnson just makes you sound ridiculous.

Kelly Johnson is horrible. Hitting .217 is not going to help out any Major League Baseball Club. Kelly, go home, retire from the game of baseball, pick up an XBOX 360, pick up MLB 2k9, and create yourself. Then maybe you will have a chance to succeed in the Major Leagues.

Not that he is necessarily in the same echelon as A Rod or Jimmy Rollins, but both of those players at a point were hitting around .200 well into this season. Plus, Kelly was playing with an injured wrist.
che3to.. i think XBOX baseball is more suitable for a “fan” such as yourself. You and billreef could get together and assemble a team that wins the World Series every year. It seems like it’s the only way you will enjoy the game.

I want to hear more about the smell test.

Have you taken a whiff of the Big Unit recently? Does he pass the smell test?

Hey everybody the Tigers just DFA’d Josh Anderson…

Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhhhh. Smell Test……………Sniffle, Snifflle. Smell Test………….. KJ hits for a bad avg becuse all his hits are at fielders……Wahhhhh!!! Kelly goes on DL, Braves Win. Kelly comes back, Braves score 1 Run!!!! How’s that for a stat, number freaks.

Wow. The amount of praise Kelly Johnson is getting on this blog is laughable. He has no business on this team right now other than the 3 million we are paying him and his pinch running abilities. Conrad did ignite a spark on this team. That kind of blue-collar grip it and rip it approach to the game is contagious. He’s almost 30 years old and has spent his life trying to break in in the hopes that a team will give him a chance. You’re crazy if you don’t think that has an effect on a clubhouse and contributes to the momentum of a team. I’m OK with calling up Kelly and bringing him in off the bench. Hopefully we can trade him before Bobby falls for him again. Norton should be in AAA and Conrad should be here. Hands down.

I find it funny that some people are attributing all the Braves’ recent success to Conrad. I mean, I love what he brought to the team, but to suggest that Chipper would never have stolen 2nd base without Conrad on the team is laughable.

PWHjort, that was a great take on Prado v. KJ. I think, at the end of the day, you have to go with what you see on the field, rather than what you “hope” to see or think you “should” see. People “hope” KJ will do better, or think that he “should” be doing better, and that it’s only a matter of time before we see that player on a consistent basis. But the team is playing very cohesively right now, and it has a lot to do with Prado’s consistent offensive production.

As for moving Prado to 3rd, Chipper to 1st, and Kelly to 2nd: that’s an idea that never crossed my mind and has some appeal to it from an offensive standpoint, but only if KJ can be more consistent. Also, Chipper’s defense has been way down this year and you have to wonder what it’d be like at 1st base.

I think everyone is jumping the gun a bit, there are alot of factors put into baseball. You guys are arguing over who should have the last spot on the team. That’s like arguing who should return kicks for a football team. I do not believe that some minor league guy from the A’s put a “spark” into Chipper Jones and Brian McCann. I think that kid has done an outstanding job filling in for injured players. I also agree Norton needs to go, and soon while he still has some sort of value. However, there is no way financial and contractually the Braves can send Kelly Johnson and Greg Norton to the Minor Leagues for a guy that has produced in a couple of weeks in the Bigs. There have been weeks in past seasons where everyone was speaking so highly of Kelly Johnson, and now look where he has evolved. There’s no question he’s one of the streakiest hitters i’ve ever seen. If he hits a hot streak in the end of the season, you can not deny his left handed bat off the bench and versatility will come in handy. Also, don’t forget Omar Infante will be coming off of the DL within the next month, so where does that leave Infante, Norton, and Conrad at that point. Either way, I don’t see the last player on the club being as pivital as what you guys are arguing. The only glaring weakness of this team in my opinion is the bullpen, which showed up again vs. the Giants yesterday.

hahaha. “Blue collar grip it and rip it approach”? Dude is from San Diego and went to college at Arizona State. And every single guy in the minor leagues fits the description of “trying to break in.” I like the idea the Kelly is of the bourgeoisie and Johnson vs Conrad is some sort of class struggle.
I like Conrad a lot, but I, like everyone in the Braves organization, thinks that Kelly is a better player.

I am not a fan of moving Chipper Jones to 1B. You would be taking our most fragile player and involving him in every play. While it will cut down on the amount he needs to move, he will still have to hustle to first every play and aggravate those feet of his. Chipper is obviously not the fielder he once was, but I do not think 1B is the answer….yet.

You can’t really fault the bullpen for what happened in the 8th inning. 1. single off Gonzo’s arm which took him out of the game, forcing a bunch of guys to rush their warmups. 2. blow play by Kotchman a on bunt. 3. Bad no-interference call at first on a bunt. Maybe just one run would have scored if it wasn’t for Kotchman’s bad decision and the bad call at 1st.

Has anyone ever noticed that Viva and PWH always have the same opinion, always show up and the same time and always congratulate each others wondeful discourse. Hmmmm, stange coincidence.

Is “stange” something to do with the smell test?

Folks attributing the Braves’ recent success to Brooks Conrad’s attitude have seen the movie “Rudy” 25-too many times….and that statement comes from an ND grad. Again, nothing to dislike about the way he played, but neither he nor his “attitude” is the major reason for the Braves recent uptick in performance. Heck, we’re only looking at a couple of weeks here. It’s equally likely right now that the Braves sat and contemplated one night in the clubhouse the “deep inner significance” of the “Everybody Clap Your Hands” song that’s played at the stadium and got inspired….Let’s keep things in perspective, folks.

PWHjort….I am still waiting on your explanation as to how you consider KJ to be clutch. The example you gave last night was a pathetic reason. I mean a game in which he hits a grand slam as a pinch hitter and the Braves still win by 6 does not seem valuable enough to put the title of clutch on a player who has previously not produced in other pressure situations. Not to mention that a loss on April 5, 2008 would have dropped the Braves record to 1-4 at that time. Please explain!

PWHjort….I am still waiting on your explanation as to how you consider KJ to be clutch. The example you gave last night was a pathetic reason. I mean a game in which he hits a grand slam as a pinch hitter and the Braves still win by 6 does not seem valuable enough to put the title of clutch on a player who has previously not produced in other pressure situations. Not to mention that a loss on April 5, 2008 would have dropped the Braves record to 1-4 at that time. Please explain!

cottonn25,
Well, first of all, you haven’t brought anything to the table. You’ve just said “he’s not clutch because he’s not clutch”. And sprinkled a few examples (let’s keep in mind 1 or 2 examples don’t hold water against a body of evidence, and your mind can’t possibly recall everything he’s done. Thus, selective memory) in here and there. Secondly, I don’t believe clutch hitting is a repeatable skill. I don’t believe athletes are super-human and have some special ability to rise above and beyond in certain situations. I just don’t. And there’s plenty of research to back me up. But operating under the delusion, well, we’ll call it assumption for the purposes of this discussion, that clutch hitting exists, I’ve already cited that his WPA/LI is positive for his career. Meaning he’s added more win probability in high leverage situations than someone of his skill would if that person had no clutch skills. Of course, if you add the WPA/LI’s of 1000 players you’ll get something close to zero, because clutch hitting is a myth. But nonetheless, Kelly Johnson has preformed slightly better in high leverage situations than you would expect from a player of his skill lacking any bit of “clutch”. So, is that a good enough explanation for you? And we’re NOT starting a debate over whether or not clutch exists. I don’t have the energy for it. I’ll tell you right now, you can respond, call me names, whatever, but I’m not speaking anymore in this space about the subject. I don’t care if you believe it or not. And I’m not interested in convincing you of it, because I probably can’t no matter how well I present my case.

Yeah,

Baseball people have known some players hit well in the clutch for over 100 years. I guess some kid with a computer has has disproved it in a couple. Makes perfect sense.

People used to think the world was flat. And doctors used to think stress caused stomach ulcers too.

The difference is “real” baseball people STILL know that some players hit better in the clutch.

“I don’t believe athletes have some special ability to rise above and beyond in certain situations. ” – PWH
Really? That’s a whole other debate… but really? Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods, Reggie Jackson would completely disagree with you. You put way too much on stats. There are intangibles in the game of baseball and yes players have the ability to rise above any pressure and be “clutch”. There are guys that when they are up, you just know they are going to come through for you. And then there are guys who you know are going to completely fall apart. Andruw Jones seemed to always hit home runs when we were down by 7 runs are winning by 7 runs. However, when we needed a big hit from him it was a pop-out, strikeout, or double play. And yes I know he hit two world series home runs against the Yankees when he was 19…. And yes he walked with the bases loaded in ’99 against the Mets… but still – I feel about more comfortable with a colonoscopy than I do having Kelly Johnson at the plate with the game on the line. That goes the same for Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, Greg Norton… yada.
How many people on this blog would rather have Brooks Conrad at the plate when it matters? I know I would.
VIVA – The blue-collar comment was not in reference to his geographic upbringing. I don’t care if he’s from Indonesia… he can still be a blue-collar type player. A player that plays 110% every time. The player that gets his hands and uniform dirty. He is that guy. Thanks for putting forth the effort to google Brooks Conrad’s upbringing… but a blue-collar type player has nothing to do with where he’s from but how he plays…. and only a baseball player would know that.

PWHjort- Exactly, another ignorant response! A kid who reads every stat known to man does not believe in the word “clutch” as it relates to baseball or any sport. But I will cut you a break since you do not have the energy for this anymore, I guess momma let you stay alittle late last night. You have made it pretty obvious that its impossible to get a clown who probably only played tee ball to understand the game inside the game and it is not based purely on stats. I will say this: what you do bring to the table is you do defend your man to the fullest- great quality to have!

Hahaha “real baseball people.” this coming from the guy who takes any possible opportunity to crap all over his “favorite” team.
I do believe that some people have stronger resolve than others. But sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t. Then you try again. In regards to Kelly, I’ll take this opportunity to side with Mr Bobby Cox instead of you fools and your smell tests.

Inappropriate, cottonn25. If you disagree, fine. I don’t care what you think. But getting personal and name-calling. Well, that’s just immature and un-called for. I have a lot more respect for and can emphatize with someone like Bravo who debates intelligently and doesn’t resort to spewing out demeaning garbage. But if that’s all you’ve got, it doesn’t bother me. Eventually you will find that you won’t fulfill your quest for self-gratifaction through arrogance and hate over the internet. But like I said, it doesn’t bother me, so if it’s helping you cope, feel free to continue.

Bravo.. You’re correct. When I was looking on the braves site to look for his hometown I noticed that under the Effort stat, Conrad scored a 110% whereas Kelly only scored 80% and was listed as 2B (White Collar).

As far as the blue/white collar thing goes. I get it. I really do. And I agree. Brooks Conrad is a scrappy player. He plays hard, hustles (sp?) on ground balls, takes the extra base, slides head first, gets his uniform dirty, etc. I like that aspect. Matt Diaz is the same way and that’s one of the best think Matt Diaz has going for him. KJ doesn’t APPEAR (and appear is the operative word here) to play with the same scrappyness as Conrad. But I think that’s a stylistic difference and they both try just as hard. It’s not like KJ takes plays off. Sure, he makes an error every now and then. But I don’t feel like he ever makes an error for lack of trying. Could be selective memory. But Kelly busts it out of the box every time just like Diaz and Conrad do. They both (Kelly and Conrad) belong in Atlanta. Norton is the one who should be the odd man out. I see him give absolutely no effort. Ever.

Let’s all just agree to disagree!

In Nortons defense, he doesn’t seem like he hustles because he’s 54 years old. He can’t help it.

PWHjort- HAHA so hypocritical!!

So..uh..how bout that perfect game yesterday?

How is it hypocritical? Never once have I attacked your personality or called you a name. Yet I’m being hypocritical by saying you’re being inappropriate by doing so? Do explain.

i want to add to my earlier post, players like infante have great value provided their at-bats stay below say 300-350. any more than that and the hole in their swing gets exploted. bobby knows this and thats why he is being used as a bench player and spot starter. as far as prado, i cant argue the success, but some of the post are ridiculous. Kj has no business on the team, he has no range, he cant turn the doble play. PLEASE, just last night he turned a great double play that was only possible by him getting rid of the ball as quick as he did. and to argue my earlier point of twice the upside by saying prado will have as good or better numbers all except for homeruns, look it up. its actually more than double when talkin homeruns and rbis

PWHjort–Look the only difference in what I say compared to what you say is that I am straight to the point whereas you basically beat around the bush to get your point out. Go back and look at some of the posts and comments that you have made towards me and other people on here that could be taken in a personal way. If you think that some of your comments arent personal and cant be taken personal than your sadly mistaken my friend. Thats why I consider you to be a hypocrit. The only difference is we dont pout and get ticked off. Life lesson for you- if you dish it out, be ready to take it! and it might not always be the friendliest conversation.

PWHjort–Look the only difference in what I say compared to what you say is that I am straight to the point whereas you basically beat around the bush to get your point out. Go back and look at some of the posts and comments that you have made towards me and other people on here that could be taken in a personal way. If you think that some of your comments arent personal and cant be taken personal than your sadly mistaken my friend. Thats why I consider you to be a hypocrit. The only difference is we dont pout and get ticked off. Life lesson for you- if you dish it out, be ready to take it! and it might not always be the friendliest conversation.

PWHjort–Look the only difference in what I say compared to what you say is that I am straight to the point whereas you basically beat around the bush to get your point out. Go back and look at some of the posts and comments that you have made towards me and other people on here that could be taken in a personal way. If you think that some of your comments arent personal and cant be taken personal than your sadly mistaken my friend. Thats why I consider you to be a hypocrit. The only difference is we dont pout and get ticked off. Life lesson for you- if you dish it out, be ready to take it! and it might not always be the friendliest conversation.

PW – We have different views on the game and I don’t always agree with everything you say on here, but we’re both Braves fans and we both care about the success and future of our team. Thanks or taking the high road. There’s a better way to discuss than throwing insults.

For me its hard to make a decision on who goes or who stays, A better system or a better person should be picked to determine who plays that particular day.

Runs scored wins the game,not strikeouts.Too many players are left in the game for too long of a time on days (even for weeks & months) before they are they are benched.

George(Mobile)

ok–so Bobby keeps Norton–who fails, miserably, to drive in a run when needed–and Soriano gets squeezed at the plate by a 5’2″ umpire and then gives up a dinger to end the game. This is what happens when Bobby sends Conrad down–he would have hit the ball hard somewhere–and at least given the Braves a chance. Norton is dead weight and you can bet that the other players resent having to put up with this kind of stuff when they had an alternative in Conrad. Conrad is mentally tough–Norton is over the hill…

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