Minor has signed

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has learned the Mike Minor has officially signed with the Braves and will now receive his  $2.42 million signing bonus. 

When the Braves make this official, we’ll learn more about the immediate plans for the 21-year-old left-hander, who was taken with the seventh overall selection in this year’s First-Year Player Draft

Today’s Odds and Ends
:

Tim Hudson was thinking about throwing a bullpen session today.  But pitching coach Roger McDowell said that the right-hander has decided to push this session back a few more days because he’s still feeling some discomfort around the left groin muscle that he strained last Friday. 

Ryan Church said that he didn’t have any problems with his right elbow while recording two hits during Wednesday’s win over the Padres.  Church had missed the previous six games while allowing his hyper-extended elbow to heal.  During that span, he received a total of three cortisone shots. 

“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem anymore,” Church said.

Omar Infante went 1-for-3 during his first two Minor League rehab games with Class A Rome this week.  While that is encouraging, Braves manager Bobby Cox indicated that Infante needs at least one more week and possibly longer to get reacclimated to the speed of the game.  The veteran utility player has been out since May 20 with a broken left hand.

Buddy Carlyle will be activated from the disabled list on Friday and optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to get some more innings over the next week or so.  The Braves haven’t set a timetable for the right-handed reliever’s  return to the Atlanta bullpen.

Singles jackpot: When the Braves recorded 14 singles in Wednesday’s win, it marked the first time since Aug. 19, 1993 that they had at least 14 hits in a game without an extra-base hit.   The Braves lost that game against the Dodgers.

The most recent 14-hit performance without a extra-base hit in a win had occurred on June 23, 1986, a game also played against the Dodgers.

Tonight’s Lineup:
Nate McLouth 8
Martin Prado 4
Chipper Jones 5
Brian McCann 2
Yunel Escobar 6
Garret Anderson 7
Matt Diaz 9
Adam LaRoche 3
Derek Lowe 1 

27 Comments

Well, it’s make or break time… We really need 3 of 4 at least in this series. Not only because we need the “w”s, but because if we want to really be considered a play off contender we need to beat the best. Sticking it to the Dodgers will really help the psyche of the team… and make believers out of all of us.
…I’m just glad we won’t have to face Jason Schmidt again!

Haha, Mark. I noticed your blog topped the MLB beat writer’s blogs for a second-straight month…..I guess this group if nothing else really loves to hate on the team they follow so much (based on the comments I’ve noticed lately).

You hate to see Huddy get setback for a non-arm related issue, but the team’s in pretty decent hands starting pitching wise, and it’s good to see him showing some restraint. As I watched John Smoltz get lit up yet again I began to wonder whether his own competitiveness and desire to prove folks wrong pushed him to get back before he was ready, and it’s showing performance-wise if that’s the case. Of course, the fact that he’s getting up there in years and has now had multiple major surgeries could be playing a role as well.

Larcohe in the 8-hole?? I know a lefty’s on the mound, so it might not be the worst idea, but if the Braves got him primarily to provide extra pop I question what use whatever pop he can provide will have in the 8-hole. Actually….not really, and maybe that’s the whole confusing point as I still try to wrap my head around the Kotchman/Laroche swap.

Laroche drives in another run. Only thing I can figure is that he missed the grits.

Maybe LaRoche just needed to be near his brother from another mother, Chipper Jones. Geez, if he keeps this up he will demand huge money at the end of the year. . . .

3 cortizone shots in one week?? That’s quite a prescription…

Maybe Laroche stopped in NY on the way down and borrowed the Turkey Underpants. Matt Diaz is 3-4, god how I love how he plays this game. I sure wish he had caught that ball off the wall earlier in the game. I am listening to Vin’s commentary of the game tonite. He has so much information at his fingertips and delivers it so well. It is a joy to listen to one of the greats not long before he hangs up his cleats.

Man I’m really starting to worry about Bobby’s decision making. He leaves Moylan in to bat, with Diaz in scoring position. This is Moylan who granted has been pitching well lately but has appeared in 60 games coming off of Recon surgery. And then he comes out in the 8th and has to strand 2 runners. I just don’t understand the strategy in that. Have we now switched to a multiple inning strategy with late inning relief? are we gonna ease up on consecutive days pitched? I would love to see appearances go down but this seems to be a midseason change in strategy and I am concerned that it gets implemented tright.

One of the great commentaries I have heard in a while. Vin says ” Chippers dad says Chipper’s first bat was a piece of PVC pipe” he then goes on to say ” Man he probably hit .300 with the PVC pipe”.

Wow that was just disgusting. Tough to sleep after that.

This one was on Soriano. Not because Pierre got on due to a dribbler, nor because Furcal got on due to a ball that LaRoche could probably get if he’s not holding Pierre on, but because Soriano put a fastball right in the wheelhouse of one of the two best hitters the Dodgers have this year. (If you’re wondering who the other best hitter is on the Dodgers, I’ll give you a hint: Juan Pierre started in his place.)

No, this ones on Chino Cadahia. If there was no shift, Chipper fields the ball cleanly, 1 out. Furcal grounds out to LaRoche, 2 out. And so on and so forth. That man needs to be fired. Put Bobby in his place, and Hire Ned Yost. Or have Eddie as the manager and find a new bullpen coach. But Chino Cadahia has got to go. I might start a petition….

That was a heatbreaking loss. The ninth innning had two cheap hits and one bomb. When was the last time the Braves were able to rally in the 9th? Remember 2005, they lead the league in comeback wins. You need to win a few games like this to even them out, but that has not happenned in 09. The main reason the Braves lost that game is that they refused to add on runs despite several opportunities. Randy Wolf is good, but he is not Cy Young and once again with RISP, the Braves made a pitcher look like this. I have no problem lettiing Moylan hit since he has been the best pitcher the last couple of weeks. Did we really need to see Norton strike out with a runner on second? It is going to be tough to bonce back from this one, but hopefully, they can get the game tonight.

Tough loss. Soriano has a 10+ ERA in his last 5 appearances. It doesn’t seem to be overuse–he’s on pace for 75 innings, standard. I’m not too concerned. We’ll see how he pitches
next time out.

What we saw last night was the perfect example of a team of winners destined for a great run in October vs. a team holding on for dear life and hoping for the best.
If we can’t put away games like this now, when it matters so much, then we won’t really be able to put them away if we some how make it to October.
There was a time when we were full of comeback wins and no lead was safe for the other team. I remember always feeling comfortable going into the 9th down by a few runs because of the heart and makeup of our teams. That no longer exists. It also drives me crazy that we let up and can’t get any more insurance runs when we need them. The other day we scored 6 runs in the first two innings in San Diego and never brought another soul home. Our bats go to sleep real fast… is that because their pitchers eventually figure us out, or because we trust our pitching so much that we get lazy and complacent at the plate??? Who knows… I’m still optimistic of winning 3 of 4 and Kawakami remembering he’s a big game pitcher. I’m still holding out hope!

Why is every writer talking about Carlyle’s rehab like we’re anxious for him to come back to that Bobby has another mediocre pitcher to overuse? Buddy has only shown flashes of average work between long periods of low mediocrity. We’ll only need another live body when Gonzo and Moylan go down from overuse. It looks grim with a lineup full of streaky hitters and no chance to get any help because of KK’s terrible contract. You can put up all the stats you want to about how “good” he’s pitching without convincing me he’s anything but an expensive placeholder in the rotation.

KK’s terrible contract? How do you figure? He makes what the market values him. That’s the definition of a fair contract. Nothing terrible about it.

Bravo – you lead things off last night with a brilliant observation. The Dodgers dealt a devastating blow to that Psyche last night. The next few games should tell us what we need to know.

Mercifully, I did not see the end of the game last night. A telling factor to me is the 2 – 0 count on Ethier. Sorianno cannot continue to fall behind hitters, and then groove a fat pitch. And whatever our scouting report is on Ethier, tear it up – burn it or whatever, it ain’t working.

Regarding Smoltzy – I have said this all along – why would the Braves have let him go? Because they knew (as they did with Glavine) that he was done. And I really believe that he is … done. I have said all along that I hope the Braves were wrong, but it appears that they got it right.

Well, I had no reason to question either decision (Glavine and Smoltz). Smoltz went for the chance to win (money), and Glavine had the stuff of a decent JV high school pitcher. And PWJ, usually I agree with you completely, but I still believe that the KK deal was a bad idea. They didn’t have any idea how he was going to perform, and you don’t give $23 million to a question mark. His performance, no matter who says he he’s been good, hasn’t been equivalent to what he’s being paid. On the starting staff: Highest ERA , most HRs against, most wild pitches, highest slugging % against (by a longshot), most HBP, and 2nd highest WHIP (barely)… and he’s pitched the 4th fewest innings.

I feel that the only reason we lost last nights game was because Soriano clearly did not have his control. Did he go ahead on any of the hitters he faced? All of his pitches were up, and no one can pitch effective up in the zone. He did the same thing in Florida. Unfortunately, as a closer, you do not have the luxury of being off for 1-2 batters. My thought process for letting Moylan bat is that Gonzo was probably not available and who else are we going to put out there for an inning? I’m pretty sure Moylan has not allowed a run since the all-star break, you might as well stick to his hot arm and give Gonzo a night off since he has already had arm troubles this year. Those games happen occassionally, its a tough time to experience one of those, but that is baseball. The Braves’ character will be shown in these next 3 games. I truely feel that is we take 2 or 3 of the next 3 games we will contend, but if we lost 2 or 3 you might be able to close the books on this season. At least that weighted schedule gives us the opportunity of hope.
As for Kawakami, he has alot of pluses and some minuses. I believe that once he becomes accustomed to pitching the in US he will be a real stud. He’s a great competitor and has a great arsenal of pitches. He just needs to develop the muscular endurance necessary for a five man rotation, and get used to throwing with an american style baseball. I feel that this time next season we will see a completely different pitcher.

PWH*

I don’t know if Soriano is losing his touch or if the scouting report has finally caught up with him or if Ethier is a monster but that hurts. We needed that game because we need some momentum going in to face the Phils and in this series.

I like how Soriano conviently lets just enought runners on so they can hit a walk-off just like at Florida. I would rather him pull a Kevin Gregg and just allow consectutive home runs because then maybe Bobby could bring in Gonzo

JC Bradbury (http://www.sabernomics.com/) believes Kawakami makes what his market value is. He’s not a star, but he’s not getting paid like one.

Mark, Is there any chance of the Red Sox letting Smoltz go and the braves picking him back up strictly as a reliever? Is this even a legit thought?

Mark, Is there any chance of the Red Sox letting Smoltz go and the braves picking him back up strictly as a reliever? Is this even a legit thought?

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-in/213144/smoltz-designated-assignment

I just discussed this a few days ago. Mark, do you believe that Glavine and (now) Smoltz are done? Would the Braves bring back one more piece from the glory days for a final run at the pennent? Does Smoltz have anything left in the tank? Why not bring him on as a reliever for the 7th & 8th innings if he would agree to do that? Let him retire as a Brave…Would you rather see Acosta or Smoltz in the 7th/8th innings? I rest my case…I bet you his ERA, Home runs allowed would all decrease dramatically in the NL. With the increased adrenaline, being with his old teammates, etc. Smoltz would definitely finish what is soon to be a HOF career with his home team. Let’s chatter this topic up…

Also, once he clears waivers and becomes a free agent and/or the Red Sox release him, the Braves can sign him for the prorated major league minimum instead of the 5.5 Mil + another 5.5 Mil in incentives he would’ve been due the rest of the season. The Red Sox did this also because of all the incentives Smoltz was looking at, much like the respective move the Braves (supposedly) didn’t make with Glavine by not putting him on the major league roster. This could be a win-win for the club, the fans, the media & Smoltz…whom could finish his historic career where it should end.

I say sign him. Smoltz might provide some of the fire this team needs in the dugout. I watched him pitch in the last game and he is just a little bit of feel away from getting the splitter down. He is probably too strong. 3 of his runs allowed were on an intentional walk and the bullpen allowing them to cross. He is a risk but no more than sending anyone else in our bullpen out there. But, will he sign to throw relief for the Braves? Can KK pitch relief? On balance, he’s gonna be cheap, he might want to do it and he will fill in the all retro braves(see Laroche here).

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