Gorecki enjoys an unforgettable Monday

What was supposed to be a day off after what had been a long grind in the Minors turned into a day that Reid Gorecki will never forget.  

After catching the ceremonial first pitch for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves on Monday afternoon, Gorecki found himself summoned into manager Dave Brundage’s office, where he was told that he had less than two hours to pack his bags and arrive at Turner Field to enjoy his first day as a Major Leaguer.    

“This is a dream come true right here,” said Gorecki,  a Long Island native who will have the opportunity to reunite with friends and family members while the Braves spend the next three days playing against the Mets at Citi Field.
When the Braves decided they needed to place Nate McLouth on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, they immediately placed a call to Gwinnett.  Gorecki received word around 1:40 p.m. ET and then made the short trip down I-85 quick enough to arrive at Turner Field at approximately 3 p.m., one hour before Tommy Hanson threw his first pitch against the D-backs.  

“I was trying to stay as close to the speed limit as possible, but excitement took over a little bit,” said Gorecki, who had packed his suitcase on Monday morning with the thought that he’d be spending the next couple of days in Norfolk, Va.  

After arriving at The Ted and getting a quick introduction to the Major League setting, Gorecki was once again selected to catch the ceremonial first pitch.  

Two ceremonial first pitches within a span of approximately two hours at two different stadiums on the same day of a Major League debut .   That’s a first that the Elias Sports Bureau likely could never verify. 

Gorecki’s day became even more meaningful when the Braves inserted him into Thursday’s game in the top of the  eighth inning.  While he didn’t record a plate appearance, he did record an out with a ninth-inning catch.  

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Gorecki said.  ” I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.  It felt good just to get out there, even just to catch a pop-up.   That’s all I needed to get my feet wet…I hope.” 

Gorecki, who hit .286 with nine homers and 14 stolen bases in 106 games with Gwinnett this year, will serve as Ryan Church’s backup while McLouth is on the disabled list.   The 28-year-old right-handed hitter could find himself in the starting lineup if an opposing team is starting a tough left-handed pitcher. 

“I’m just going to wait for my opportunity,” Gorecki said.  “If something comes my way, I’m going to try to make the most of it.”  


If there is a tough lefty (Santana) it should be: Diaz, Infante, Gorecki (Not necessarily in that order). If its not, I’ll be convinced this management isn’t committed to fielding the best possible team.

Actually GA hits leftys well, so he can play.

Two ceremonial first pitches within a span of approximately two hours at two different stadiums on the same day of a Major League debut . That’s a first that the Elias Sports Bureau likely could never verify.

Haha. That was funny.

Saw this guy PH at a GBraves game but he was not in the lineup that night. Hope he can produce at the big show level.

Not to mention that with Santana’s out pitch being a changeup, lefties usually fare better than righties against that pitch.

I would suspect that Mr.Gorecki’s best chance for a start comes tonight against Olly Perez.

Our son knew Reid when they attended the University of Delaware. Earlier this year when visiting our daughter in Louisville we took in a Louisville Bats – Gwinnett Baves game. We got Reid’s attention before the game. He remembered us and was a little surprised to see us in Louisville. He was extremely gracious, signed a couple autographs, posed for a couple pictures and gave a ball to our grandson. He is a very nice young man. We need more athletes like him !!! We wish him the best.

First day in the bigs and he was inserted (albeit in the midst of the game) in the clean up spot. That will be a nice story to tell the kids and grandkids.

Hey Mark, has anyone asked Lowe if he could teach Hanson the sinker? I’m not saying he should become a sinkerballer but that is a nice pitch to have when your in a jam, just ask Lowe.

I am thrilled to see Reid finally get this well deserved opportunity!! He has always been among the most generous players to interact with the fans and has faced so many odd setbacks in his career. It?s especially wonderful for the kids who have been following him over the years, to see success come to this man who has faced career challenges, but kept a plugging away with a great attitude. I really hope all of his old Cardinals fans are aware of this sudden call up.

For roughly 1 million dollars more than Minor the Braves could’ve signed Tyler Matzek.

I coached reid gorecki as a sandlotter when he was 13 14 and 15. I helped convert reid from a shortstop to an outfielder and also was involved when reid tried switch hitting. Reid is dedicated and hard working and will give it his all. Let all hope his skills can compete at this new level. I believe they can

Pitchers just cannot teach other pitchers their pitches. If that were the case, Glavine should have shown the entire staff how to throw the change while he was at Gwinnett rehabbing. Hanson’s 95mph fastball is a pretty good pitch to get out of a jam with as well.


Who do you think teaches any pitcher new pitches? The shortstop? Some pitchers don’t teach well or can’t explain how they get a certain effect. Some pitchers aren’t very good at picking up new pitches. Glavine was at Gwinnet for one start, I don’t think he would be attemptingf to teach the whole staff there a new pitch, besides throwing an effective change requires not only technique but an awfull lot of practice. Some pitchers require YEARS to develop a good change.

Hanson is seen sitting next to Tim Hudson quite a bit. They absolutely do ask each other about pitches and the like, just like we did in little league and high school. The guys are always working on something.
I’d be more grateful to have Javy Vazquez teaching the guys how to mix it up through an at bat. He is a master at the art of pitching. McCann is getting a graduate level degree in calling pitches this season, which will make everybody on the staff better.
Also, to the blogger from the Smoltz entry, if you really think Kawakami is a AAA level pitcher, go ahead and hand the remote to your wife and let her watch “So you think you can dance”, or maybe even Hee Haw reruns. Just read the box score in the morning since that is obviously all you are capable of getting out of a game anyway. Jeeez.

I was kidding with the Glavine comment, basically my post was meant to read that Hanson has 4 great pitches, he doesn’t need another. He’s already made a great living in one season getting out of jams. He just needs to cut down on the walks. Going back and reading my post again, I realize that wasn’t very clear.

Rother, Great comment on the Kawakami post. The guy could easily be a great starter for most teams. Kawakami just has the disadvantage of pitching on an outstanding starting rotation. If he is our worst starting pitcher, he is still an outstanding pitcher. I have stated numerous times that once he adjusts to american ball he will be a great 2-3 starter.

I am not able to watch the game on TV tonight. Did Prado experience head aches again? Is that the reason he came out, or was there something else going on?

I think that everyone would like to see Kenshin Kawakami have more than 5 victories at this point in the season, but if you compare the ERA’s of the number 5 starters on each of the National League teams, you’ll find that Kawakami’s ERA of 4.13 is the lowest. To take that analysis even further, if you compare his ERA to that of the number 4 starters on each of the National League teams, he has the second lowest ERA (only L. A.’s Hiroki Kuroda’s 4.08 is better). He’s given the team a chance to win most of the games he’s started, but has not enjoyed a great deal of run support. The effectiveness of their number 5 starting pitcher is the least of the Braves’ problems.

Least of the Braves’ problems.. such as Derek Lowe’s 4th inning? 8 runs so far in one inning to a lineup that barely hits .250.

Let’s face it at least for right now, Derek Lowe is the weak link in the Braves starting roatation. That isn’t a favorable position for the guy who’s supposed to be the “Ace” of this rotation. I mean breaking it down, he is no where close to JJ, JV and TH. KK is pitching a lot better in this last half of of the season and Lowe is sucking wind, especially for the last 3 months. His ERA is bigger than Acosta and Medlen. If there was an obvious replacement in the starting rotation for Hudson to fill, right now it wouldn’t be KK it would be Lowe. That doesn’t mean it will happen that way. Bobby is really stubborn about replacing his regulars with reasonable replacements. All that being said, Lowe doesn’t look good at all. His August ERA is 5.87, His SO/W ratio is getting really out of whack and he isn’t really striking people out. Ouch. This is another one of those Ego checks. Can FW admit that his “Ace” ain’t cutting it? Can we bring in help for what is now the 5th spot in the rotation? Can Huddy get up and running for a stretch drive? BTW my guess is yes. Huddy is one of those wiry, athletic guys who comes back as good as he left. Tough, conditioned and ready. God hopes I’m right.

Bill..? Lowe has sucked recently? I guess you’re including the 7 starts before last night where he won 5 and lost zero while giving up 14 ERs in the span. I’m sure you can divide 14 by 7 and get an average of 2 ERs given up per game. I will agree that he has had a few atrocious outings this year, but he also has the most quality starts on the team (unless I heard wrong). Last night was nasty, but all the damage did occur right after he took a line drive off of his pitching hand.
And his ERA is pretty deceiving in how he has mostly pitched this year. On the other hand, Acosta has a good ERA and has pitched terribly this year, which is why he’s mostly out there throwing during garbage innings. I still think Lowe is great to have out there every 5 days and can actually go longer than 6 innings, which is why KK’s W-L record is so bad. I still wish so much that the Braves could add an additional 10 mil to the payroll next year to bring Huddy back.

Derek’s 4th wasn’t entirely his fault. It was because he was pitching, but Bobby can take most of the blame. When a picher looks over at the dugout repeatedly he needs the manager’s help. Bobby can’t tell when his pitchers are hurting anymore. I suggest the next time a pitcher’s tired they should just walk off the mound of their own free will.

I’m not sure if Frenchy ever kept up with this blog… but I gotta believe he’s smiling and feeling pretty good today. To say that Ryan Church has filled in better for us than Frenchy has with the Mets would be a massive understatement.

OK, we got 8 this inning… let’s not repeat last night and give up twice as many…
Joe had a good comment… the Mets are commemorating the ’69 team, but during that inning they looked like the ’62 team… LOL

Another thing about Kawakami is that it always seems like he is matched up with with the opposing teams ace or number 2 starter

The funny thing is that KK seems to beat or at least match the opposing teams ace. It’s when he pitches against some schlub that he falls flat on his face.

As anyone thought of going to a six-man rotation?

I’m really sick of people complaining about Bobby Cox. Seriously! When is it going to stop? If anyone of you whiners knew anything about baseball, you would know that deciding when to take out a pitcher and when to leave him in is the hardest thing for a manager. They stress about this all the time, its what keeps Pinella, LaRussa, Cox, Torre, etc. up all night. Furthermore, I believe its wrong for people to critic (although thats putting it lightly, you people are b*tching) something, if they can not to better themselves.Bobby’s uniqueness entails building up players’ confidence. Do you think taking a pitcher out as soon as he gets in a jam is going to bode well in the long run? No. That player is going to get pissed. You also CAN NOT overuse an already tired bullpen by taking out a pitcher to early. Managers judge whether to let a pitcher get through a jam based on how good his pitches are, not the result of his pitches. If 4 men in a row get 4 cheap singles in the 2 inning, are you going to take him out? Well, you should say no.If you want to root for a manager that is the anti-Bobby, then become a White Soxs fan and stop making Braves fans look stupid. I would also like to add that I really like the White Soxs and have nothing against them expect for Ozzie Guillen.

Nice comment Jurrjens, I agree with you assessment of the Cox bashing. Say what you want, but the guy is one of the most successful managers ever. That cannot be argued.

Jurjjens – I mostly agree with you. There’s only one critical decision Bobby has made this year that sticks out to me. I still think Gonzalez should have been left in to face Ryan Howard in that last series in the 9th inning. With Howard fitting .180 against lefties, and with Soriano struggling lately… it was a no brainer and Howard made hm pay for it.

One could also argue that Bobby’s management of the bullpen has left little to be desired. 3 surgically reconstructed arms are shouldering the lion share of not only the bullpen… but leading the majors in appearances.

I am pleased with Bobby and his managerial style. It works for us and anyone who spends all of their time calling for him to go really knows nothing about baseball.

Hopefully the Braves are in good shape for the game today. Just talked to a friend of mine who works at a big night club in Manhattan who told me a bunch of the guys were there all night. They bought a couple bottles of Grey Goose on David Ross’ card. HA!

Jurrjens & Others…
I don’t think you can find a post this eyar where I said something negative about Bobby Cox, but I have to disagree with you on this one fellas. I thought that Derek Lowe was going to be pulled after the fourth run scored because Bobby even had Medlen down there warming.

Choosing when to pull players out of the game is a difficult decision Jurrjens, but that’s precisely why Bobby gets paid the big bucks. That was an example of Bobby trusting his players too much. We all recognize that he does this so let’s please stop pretending that Bobby Cox does not make mistakes. He does, and the Lowe decision was one of those. How long did we stick with Frenchy, Blaine Boyer, and Jo-jo Reyes when it was evident to many that none of them should be playing on the MLB level? Bobby is an excellent manager, but he is prone to making mistakes particularly in this area. I’m happy to have them as the manager of the Braves staff, but he just made the wrong call there.

I know he makes mistakes but I think that Jurjjens and the others were speaking out against those who blame Bobby for everything. Lowe should’ve been pulled, Gonzalez should’ve pitched against Howard etc etc. Things could’ve gone either way but unfortunately they didn’t go our way. As for Frenchy, Boyer, and JoJo. They are all players who have great talent and have had prior success. Sometimes it takes patience for a player to find his bearings or get out of a rut. Again, unfortunately for us none of them turned it around. Take Chuck James for example. He had a great first year, then an ok year, and then we let him go after a bad year. But James didn’t have the talent of those 3 guys. JoJo has great stuff but no resolve, which is something you have to develop in the bigs. Not everyone is Tommy Hanson. I think Frenchy was trying to put the weight of the world on his shoulders during the first half when the offense wasn’t producing. I think his numbers in NY prove that.

I know how Prado feels . I get headaches from watching this team all the time. You never know which team is gonna show up.

Yeah sometimes Bobby leaves guys in to long but when Lowe was pitching he needed a groundball doubleplay and who better to do that then the sinkerballer but, also you might have forgot Bobby left Kawakami in when he had the bases loaded and only 1 out against the Dodgers and Bobby left him in and Kawakami got consecutive strikeouts. That probably gave Kawakami a tremendous boost of confidence and after he did it you could tell he was pumped.

I do recall that incident with Kawakami, but I don’t find that to be compelling (How do you think Derek Lowe’s confidence feels today; it could go either way). I know that Bobby was hoping for a groundball, but I think Derek Lowe put it best when he pointed out that balls were being hit HARD and that’s not supposed to be the case whether hit on the ground or not. Vivabeta I can appreciate your feelings for Bobby and I share them, but this isn’t about blaming Bobby for “everything.” It’s about blaming Bobby for this mistake in particular and perhaps for continuing to support particular players. Let’s call a spade a spade!
Bobby is the biggest Braves fan when his players are on the field. As long as it helps the team more than it hurts the team, he should continue to serve as the manager..

Boy that Francoeur kid is really washed up. He will never hit in the major leagues. He is really unteachable, won’t listen to anyone. I am surprised that the Mets would bat him cleanup because he is such a pathetic hitter. He just got lucky lacing that double in the alley and he is really not performing this series(4-9). He can’t hit for power anymore and doesn’t really hit for average or drive in runs (.299/25HR/110RBI projected). Boy I’m glad we got rid of him rather than get someone who can actually coach a hitter.

Why did Anderson get taken out of the game?

I’m confused. Who all was calling for Bobby’s head?

I took Jurrjens comment as criticizing people who would call for bobby’s job and state that he is a terrible manager. Every manager is going to mess up, it is a no brainer. Bobby’s trust in players has been a great thin. Also, numerous players respect him, and that means alot. A great leader is one who get’s players to follow him, and Bobby’s players do that (except for maybe Kenny Lofton, haha). Does he mess up, yes. Is he going to do it again, yes. But the fact that he has the respect of his clubhouse is directly related to his win loss record. I agree he is the biggest Braves fan when his players are on the field. I think he constantly uses his heart over his brain but my only argument is that you cannot discount his success as a manager. But, I don’t feel that you can truely be a Braves fan if you call Bobby Cox garbage (which is implied sometimes on this board), because he was directly involved with the most successful span of the franchise.

Not able to watch the game, does anyone know why Anderson left the game?

Not able to watch the game, does anyone know why Anderson left the game?

Injured back? that doesn’t sound good. Man, LaRoche has really turned it on now that he is back in Atlanta. I’m no GM but I would sign LaRoche to a one or two year deal and start Heyward in the begining of next season and let Freeman get a year in Triple-A

You know I love Bobby and have loved what his did with the braves for so long. I loved my Dad too, but when It came time to take his drivers license away, I was brave and sat down with him and told him why it was important. Bobby has had a great run, Smoltz, Glavine and Maddow had great runs. There comes a time when you have to hang up your spurs. It may be that that time is now for Bobby. I am not so sure he has the fire for the game that he once did. I am not so sure he is adept at managing the young latin players that dominate the game today. I am not so sure he see’s the limitations of some of his staff clearly. It took forever for him to even get tossed earlier this season. I just think that as much as I care for him, the time may have come to hang up his cleats. Let’s send him off with a bang though. A wild card berth, an improbable run through the playoffs and another WS victory might give him the gracious exit he is due. How bout it boys?

I am very curious to see what the Braves do in the offseason. There is only so much money to go around. They are going to have to make decisions on: LaRoche, Anderson, Soriano, Gonzalez, Vasquez, and Hudson…. plus others. Wren will definately have to prove himself with this busy offseason for the Braves.

no offense to anyone whom reads this, but there is absolutely no way the Braves will win the wild card winning 2 out of every 3 games & then losing 2 out of 3 to division rivals. They need .600-.700 baseball the rest of the way to even be in contention with a team like the Rockies. I have been saying it for 2 months now that the Wild Card is going to come out of the west (as surprised as I am to say that). The Braves need to string together a 7-8 game winning streak (and) especially against opponents ahead of them in the standings like the Marlins (this wkd), Phillies, Rockies & Giants (if they have any games against these 2 west coast teams left). Also, when your closer has given up 3 walk off shots in the last 8 games he’s pitched in, its time to definitely reassess & even possibly look to the waiver wire for steals late in the season. Are there financial issues that have prevented the Braves from looking for some steals? Why not take a chance on a reliever that another team has fallen out of favor with? Or, are we pinning some late season late innings hopes on Buddy Carlyle, Luis Valdez, or some other mediocre 4A guy.

hey wing,

You mean a guy like John Smoltz who STL thought enough of to put on their staff. A guy who is beyond tough. A guy who wins out of the BP, A guy who signs for the Major league mininum, A guy who has proven himself over and over in the postseason? The only barrier that Smoltz had to coming back here was that Wren would have had to eaten some well deserved medium rare crow. You mean a guy like that?

I don’t think that Smoltz would’ve come here anyway. He wants to play for a club that will definitely go to the postseason, that’s why he went to Boston. With the Sox battling for the wild card spot, I bet he’s relieved (no pun intended) to be going to St Louis.

Oh and how about KK! I know he was pitching against the AAA Mets team, but it’s always impressive to outduel Johan Santana. And didn’t KK match Santana once before? Can’t remember.

billreef, you are clueless. You should just stop posting.

My post was not directed at a specific person, I wrote it on my blog (http://knoble.mlblogs.com), and then posted it here. wwag, Another point I made without really saying it is, “everyone makes mistakes.” Did you see the Dodger – Cardinal game last night? Wainwright was pitching a shutout with a 2-0 lead until Either and Blake homered and someone doubled, yet LaRussa let Adam finish the inning. Gutsy move, if it works, very good, if it doesn’t, very bad. However it worked out. Now if it didn’t, Cards fan would be pissed, and LaRussa stays up all night thinking about it. Things like this happen, if you don’t believe me, watch some other baseball games and in hindsight you’ll see managers leave in pitchers for too long/short. Btw, and I’ll know Billreef will love this, I wrote a post about Jeff Francouer: http://knoble.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/08/ajc_still_reports_on_frenchy_f.htmlGoodnight all!http://knoble.mlblogs.com

Billreef, look Francoeur has done better as a Met, give him props. But it’s not like he’s raking either. And we’re fooling ourselves if we ever thought he was going to turn things around in Atlanta. This topic has been beaten to death. I know, I know, it’s all “TP’s fault”. But the fact remains that he crippled our offense for a very, very long time. I hope his success continues as a Met, but I also know that the time had come to part ways with him. Francoeur as a Met: .323 OBP, .298 AVG, 5 HR (Only 2 HR’s during August), 22 RBI’s (Only 5 RBI’s in August), 15 Runs scored. Church/Diaz since Francoeur’s departure: .340 OBP, .265 AVG, 7 HR’s, 32 RBI’s, 32 Runs scored. Looks pretty even doesn’t it? And, perhaps, the nod should be given to Church/Diaz. Not to mention Church is a better defender than Francoeur (although Francoeur’s arm has him beaten). And, most importantly, the Braves are 23-13 since he left. I don’t think the Braves, and that includes his former teammates, are wishing they hadn’t made that trade.

Oh Biffysniffy your unintelligent critique has wounded my tender sensibilities. You really need to do a little better than that. Disprove my argument, postulate your own, do something slightly orginal. Why should I quit posting because you disagree with me? Because of your clever repartee? I really think you calling me clueless is the highest compliment I might receive.

Jurrjens, good blog on Francoeur. I soured a little on Francoeur not because of his demotion, but how he handled it. He was playing so poorly and he acted like being sent down to the minors was uncalled for and a complete slap to the face. How old was he at the time….23, 24? Teams do that all the time with young players experiencing prolonged slumps. And this year….being upset about Bobby dropping him down to the 7th and 8th spots-whining that teams would pitch around him to get to the pitcher….well, Jeff, now you know how the guy hitting in front of you felt for the last couple of years.

Yeah. Let’s compare JF’s stats to a few different outfielders (pick whatever ones you want). Maybe we could compare him to right handers in the National league East. Church a better defender, you really must be joking. And for the record I never heard Francoeur whine, the only whining I heard was from Pendleton when Frenchy used Rudy J. to help him with his swing. It’s kinda funny how desperate the JF haters are now that he is having success somewhere else. Didn’t see that coming. huh?

Thanks for going on “the record”, but if you’ve never heard Jeff complain, then you must not be reading (or comprehending) the news…or this blog, for that matter. And I wasn’t just comparing Jeff to any or “whatever” players I wanted….I was comparing him to his replacement since he left….the Church/Diaz platoon. And about his fielding. There’s this great statistic that’s available to anyone. It’s called the UZR. There are others, too, but lets just compare this one. UZR- The number of runs above or below average a fielder is in both range runs, outfield arm runs, double play runs and error runs combined. In 2008, Francoeur’s UZR was -4.7. In 2009, it’s -0.4. In other words, the last 2 years Francoeur has played below the “average” outfielder. Church’s UZR in 2008 was +3.9 and in 2009 it has been +2.5. Or, to put it plainly, his defense has been above the “average” outfielder. That’s not debatable. Or, from another source…..Rob Neyer’s SweetSpot. I could just quote, “Defense? According to UZR, there’s little difference between them and Church might actually be better.

So, let’s review: The Braves got a decent hitter and fielder who bats left-handed, and thus can platoon (or semi-platoon) with Matt Diaz in right field. The Mets got … what, exactly? If you figure it out, drop a line to Jerry Manuel. He’s going to need all the help he can get with this one.

Update: Awesome quote from Omar Minaya: “One thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games that he plays.”

Or, just read Mark’s new post. Add Mark and Cox to the neverending list of people who are not only pleased with the trade, but also who understand Church’s relative value in the field compared to Francoeur’s.

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby.

You stat heads will create a stat to justify just about anything. UZR- really great stat often referred to by managers in their post game interview- NOT!!!!!! How about this one. Church has 23 assists in his career, that’s a good year for Francoeur. How about this stat: While Church is supposedly playing in a right field platoon as you mention you might want to look at where he has lined up most nights. It’s kinda in the middle I don’t know why they call it Right Field when it’s in the middle. I always used to call that CENTERFIELD!!!!!

Your primitive stat is trumped by UZR (welcome to the 21st century), which already takes outfield assists into consideration. Nice try, though. And you bring up a great point. Yes, Ryan has played centerfield the last several games, something Francoeur would never have been considered for, as Mark pointed out in today’s post.


Do you actually watch the games or just sit in your mom’s basement and look at stats? Thank you i’ll pass on YOUR 21st century. I just caught fish for dinner and I think I’ll drink a beer and watch the Brave’s try to score. BTW the outfield has been dazzling tonite. Pop ups fall, missed cutoff men and no arms. You know the ML still publish my “primitive” stat as opposed to your invented stat.

I like KK. I think once he adjusts to the culture change for living and baseball he will just get better. I would hate to try to go to another country and work in the spotlight as he does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: