Lipka gives the Braves the speed they need

Surprised that Bryce Bentz fell into their laps, I figured the Braves would take him with the 35th overall selection in this year’s Draft.  But like many other clubs, they found an option more appealing than the East Tennessee State outfielder. 

With Bentz, the Braves would have landed a proven college hitter who possesses some of the power potential they need to integrate into their Minor League system.  With Matt Lipka, they gained an athletic shortstop who possesses speed, an asset that an 18-year-old kid isn’t going to suddenly develop.

Young prospects can mature into a power hitter and correct the mechanics of their swing.  But they aren’t going to suddenly have the kind of top-notch speed that Lipka already possesses.    

A two-time All-State wide receiver in Texas’ Class 4-A system, Lipka will likely eventually become a center fielder.  Clocked at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash, he will be groomed to be the leadoff hitter that the Braves haven’t been able to develop since some 19 or 21-year-old kid named Rafael Furcal arrived in Atlanta in 2000.  

When I asked Lipka about his offensive stats tonight, he asked me if I wanted his football or baseball numbers.  Then when he told me he hit eight triples this year, he made sure to let me know that he attempted to alter his offensive approach this year to help highlight his speed.

For more about Lipka, click here to read some thoughts from him and Braves director of scouting Tony DeMacio.

When the Draft starts up again tomorrow at noon on MLB.com, the Braves will have the third pick (53rd overall).  They will have another second-round pick (70th overall) and a third-round pick to give them four of the Draft’s first 101 selections. 

Look for the Braves to continue attempting to stockpile some offensive players with these selections.  But you can bet they’ll also attempt to take advantage of a Draft loaded with right-handed pitchers. 

West Virginia’s Jedd Gyorko is still available and I’m not mentioning his name yet again simply because he’s a fellow native of the Mountain State.  Gyorko is a proven hitter who I’ve heard compared to Boston’s Kevin Youkilis.

Bentz ended up going to the Red Sox with the 36th overall selection. 

During Tuesday’s selections, you’re almost guaranteed to see the selections of some players who will be playing in Atlanta within the next few years.  Brian McCann was the third player (behind Jeff Francoeur and Dan Meyer) selected by the Braves in the 2002 Draft.  And of course Tommy Hanson went in the 22nd round of the 2005 Draft, when teams could select prospects and evaluate them over the course of the next year before signing them.

Postgame quotes: After Tuesday night’s 7-4 loss to the D-backs, Bobby Cox said Derek Lowe hadn’t pitched as bad as his line (4 IP, 8H, 7 ER) might indicate.   But at the end of the day, Lowe couldn’t escape the fact that he needed 96 pitches to complete those four innings.

The Braves fell behind 7-1 through four innings and then battled back to cut the deficit to just three runs.  They utilized three ninth-inning walks to bring the go-ahead run to the plate.  But Chad Qualls found his command just in time to get Yunel Escobar to ground into a game-ending double play.  

(Derek Lowe on his outing)

“I’ve pitched a lot worse and given up seven runs.  It started off in the first inning where they hit one ball in the air and ended up scoring two runs.  It was just part of it.  Who knows what happened in the fourth (inning)…It wasn’t good.”

(Cox on Lowe’s outing)

“He’s a sinkerballer that had one of those nights where everything was hit just right, not hard, but we couldn’t make plays for him…He wasn’t hit hard.  A hundred pitches in four innings tells you something. You’ve got to get more strikes.”

(Eric Hinske on the offense)

“We kind of had (Dan) Haren where we wanted.  We had his pitch
count up pretty good.  We just couldn’t keep any runs off the board. 
Sometimes it goes that way.   It was a good team effort to get his
pitch count up and try to get to their bullpen.  But a six-run deficit is
kind of hard to come back from sometimes.  We’ll put it behind us and come
back tomorrow.  It’s just one loss in a four-game set.”

The Braves will send Kris Medlen to the mound on Tuesday night to oppose Edwin Jackson.  If they can at least win two of these final three games in Arizona, they’ll head to Minnesota needing to win two of three to secure a winning road trip. 

But if they return to Atlanta having won just five of 11 games on this long road trip, I don’t think there’s would be any reason to consider this trip to have been a disaster. 

Of course they could win each of these final three games in Arizona and feel even better about the current two-game lead they still hold over the Phillies. 

NOTES: It’s interesting that the Braves haven’t promoted Chris Resop and sent Jesse Chavez to the Minors.  Obviously Resop’s trade value is greater as a starter and you have to wonder if the club is concerned about bringing him to the Majors and potentially seeing that value drop…McCann was removed from Monday night’s game to rest his ailing quad.  He should be back in the lineup on Tuesday night…Chipper Jones also expects to return for the second game of this four-game set. 

      

 

97 Comments

Chavez is a dominating bullpen pitcher with great “stuff”. All the Braves need to do is film one of his dynamite bullpen sessions and send it around to the rest of the league. Then he can get packaged with Resop for a position player with speed or power. Just burn the game films and minimize them as just “a statistically small sample that doesn’t show his real worth.” Remember, if they need a lefty, JoJo has “great potential” as well.
NCBraves82 can tell us all who we can get for such a formidable package as this, he has his finger on the pulse out there.

Here’s a few things that need to happen…
Mike Minor promoted to Gwinnett
Jesse Chavez sent down
Chris Resop brought up

I understand that it’s tough to think about trades smack in the middle of the draft but I really think one should be considered. We have so much young pitching in the minors it’s crazy. I would think Julio Teheran and Mike Minor are untouchable so scratch them. But Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino, Zeke Spruill, Cole Rourbough and a couple others are expendable because that’s what one calls a severe log jam. Some position players like Christian Bethancourt and Cody Johnson don’t have much future with the organization for the same reason. Brandon Hicks could be expendable too with Edward Salcedo and Mycal Jones on the track to being ready at the same time chipper retires. What we need is a solid, proven, speedy centerfielder that will provide batting average, a little pop and the balls to steal alot. Not sure where he wouldgo in the lineup because it’ll be a cold day in hell before Prado vacates the lead-off spot.

The interesting part about your list is it really doesn’t include any AAA pitchers. You have a real log jam when you consider that Atlanta is set with mostly young starters, adding Venters and Medlen where Lowe and Kawakami are in the next two years. What is to be done with the GBraves staff of starters? Ortegano just got there from Myrtle Beach, Gustafson just got there as well, but the rest are going to just rot there given the depth above them. So JoJo, Redmond, Resop, Parr, Reynoso, are basically just eating innings until there is room above, or talent is ready below.
It looks like Minor, Tehran, etc. will only be able to rise to AA until some of this is resolved at AAA. Follow Bravomania’s lead on this one. There are also a couple guys on the 40 man who’s clocks are ticking at this point that cannot be buried under all of the names previously mentioned. It is a great luxury, but a difficult set of decisions always goes along with it. Remember also that the Braves have a history of pulling from Mississippi when the right guy is deemed ready for a shot in Atlanta. So AA is also considered “scoring position” around these parts.

So, which movie is tonight’s Nationals game going to remind us the most of, “Bull Durham” or “The Natural”?
Strasburg has not buckled under any of the pressure to this point, so I’m leaning towards “The Natural” when he makes his debut tonight.
Just imagine if he was coming up a Yankee what it would be like. I mean if a big hayseed like Jaba gets his own set of rules and produces the circus that has surrounded that slightly above average idiot, can you only imagine what it would be like for a legit star like Strasburg?

I figured Resop was implied in the trade thing and completely forgot Ortegano. My point was that we have lots of young pitching and I was just naming off some of the top prospects. You’ve got a point though, teams may want major-league ready talent like Parr, JoJo, or Redmond. A solid back of the rotation guy. Everyone needs those. In the trade I feel we’d also have to include McLouth or Melkyin order to make room forthe guy we would be trading for

Man – ncbravesfan couldn’t take the abuse, so he started spamming the blog. not cool…

I say we try to acquire Andruw Jones. Get him and get Diaz back, platoon them with McLouth and Melky, and also give Heyward some days off. I know, not the most understandable solution, but he’s an available guy that can give our outfield more pop than Melky and Mclouth combined at nearly the same batting average. It’s not like the White Sox wouldn’t be completley hesitant to jump at a Chris Resop/Gregor Blanco package.

Bryce BRENTZ is from East Tennessee but he attended Middle Tennessee State.

Brandon I dont see the Braves going after Andruw bc they had a chance to sign him back in 2008 and never did. The thing that pisses me off is that the Braves gave up the future cf in Gorkys Hernadez in the Mcclouth deal and got him instead of going after Nyjer Morgan. Morgan has the tools to be a good cf and leadoff hitter so I would see if the Nats would be willing to part with him bc of the struggles and the crowded outfield they got. Maybe send them Melky Chavez and Mclouth for Morjan Bernidina and Capps. Or the Braves were talking bout going after Cory Hart from the Brewers send them that same deal and or offer them that same deal throw in Freeman and Wes Timmons and see if they can part with Fielder.

Just have to say this…hard to take trade advice from someone who was advocating us to sign Willy Tavares from the Nationals no matter the cost. Sorry, if this is your insight of a super player that needs to be a Brave, NCBravesfan, then I’m sorry. Your “insight” on trades is automatically denied.

When Jurrjens is deemed ready to return to the lineup, is there any chance that Medlen will remain in the rotation and Kawakami enters the pen?

It sounds like ncbraves is just picking names out of a hat. Imagine what a real GM would think about those ideas if it makes us average fans laugh. Clearly he only thinks of what our side needs to do or get rid of and not whether the other side would actually consider it.

It would be awesome to have a true leadoff hitter some day. Prado for now is doing excellent of course but he is the prototypical 2 hitter. I hope we still are gonna win this thing despite the imperfections of this team.

I hope Medlen can have a good start and that Kawakami finally gets a win in his next start. It is a luxury to have 4th and 5th starters as decent as ours.

Let’s get back on the winning track tonight!

http://castrologist.tumblr.com

Bravo, what do you mean, NCbravesfan was spamming the blog?

Tough loss yesterday. I know Esky hit the ball hard, but I wish he would have taken a strike. I would like to see Heyward get a day off now if Chipper is back. He really can’t drive the ball and strikes out a lot with his injury. I wouldn’t mind seeing Blanco get a start. He really looks good in limited ABs this season. If Chipper is unable to turn his season around, any chance he may retire still? Similar to Griffey, his skills have declined pretty quickly. Maybe it is just a product of never being healthy? McClouth is still having a tough time – not sure what is going on with him? Maybe he is just a 230 hitter with some power and speed? I know, we wish he was hitting 230…..
Still in first place, but need to stop the skid now. The Phillies are too good to take fo granted.

Um, that makes no sense. Yeah, they didn’t sign Andruw for the $16 million he wanted, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind paying the pro-rated portion of $500k-$1.5 million, depending on if he reaches incentives. I’m pretty sure anyone would pay that for a chance at 25 homers and excellent defense, despite a low batting average. Look how Jonny Gomes got a job.

How awesome would it be if Heyward finished first in balloting for outfielders?
I’m also glad that Chipper is back, so Heyward can either get a breather, or move back to the 2 hole. I think at this point it’s a little unfair to throw him into the 3 spot. It’s just too much pressure to put on him.

Just watched the last five innings of Stephen Strasburg’s debut. Who sets the team record for Ks in a game in their major league debut?Maybe we could send Kawakami and Chavez to the Nats for Strasburg and Clippard. Then package Freeman in and try to get Dunn.Whew, lost my head there for a second…

Man, the league has found the hole in Heyward’s swing pretty quick. His average has dropped 35 points in the last 9 days. And all of it has been because everyone is now throwing him high cheese. Until he learns to lay off it or hit it he is gonna struggle. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much of a coaching staff to fall back on with respect to this new approach by the opposition. I really like this kid, wish he had someone watching his back.

Yeah, I’m sure Prado can’t attribute any of his success to any of the Braves staff. If it wasn’t for TP he probably would be batting .700. Maybe Heyward can get some tips on how to find his swing next time they’re back up here in NY.

Earlier, shaunson echoed something I had said and vivabeta repeated it. Methinks Heyward could use a day off.

Prado came up batting .400 and I am sure doesn’t talk to TP that much about hitting( it’s obvious). Your lack of understanding of the process is apparent Viva. I guess your reference to NY somehow relates to Frenchy, but you see my young friend, my opinions have nothing to do with the NY coaching staff. You try to infer my intent without having an inkling of what it actually is. Keep trying though, you’ll get a little better someday soon.

My real concern isn’t with swings that get mysteriously better when players leave ATL, but more with why they are being savaged while they are here.

billreef, the baseball prophet. It must suck to literally know everything.. I applaud you for continuing on with your life despite how boring it must be knowing there’s nothing left in life to learn.

Quick! Tell us how Heyward should fix his swing… maybe TP is reading!

jimphelps – There was about a two hour window on this thread win someone with a fake account posted some spam advertisements. Mark obviously deleted them and blocked the user. I was jokingly accusing ncbravesfan.
Billreef – I think Heyward will adjust. He’s just in a mini-slump. I think the thumb is still bothering him too, though he’ll never admit it.
I saw the first couple of innings of Strasburg last night. He has some nasty, electric stuff. It will be tough facing him.

Weaks, It figures that you would want to “fix” a swing which led the majors in RBI’s for the 1st 2 months. The problem isn’t what was wrong with it, it’s what they will do to “fix” it. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t get that though, you are too busy playing video games and basking in your ignorant bliss.

First off I am not spamming this blog and second i agree with Chipperfan10 with all this pitching depth in both AAA and AA how come the Braves havent made a deal for someone like a permant left fielder instead of platooning Hinske and Infante. Take Resop Melky Mclouth and Reyes to the Brewers for Hart Inglett and Chris Capuano or that same people to the Orioles for Luke Scott and Kevin Millwood

I can just see NC with his baseball cards all spread out in front of him grouping and regrouping all the players. Reminds me of the good ol’ days…..when I was 12 years old.

hahaha… billreef.. whoooooooosh. That was sarcasm buddy.. at your expense. See the point is that you claim to know everything, so I was mocking you…. and you responded with a post about how you know everything. Classic!

But anyway, enough of that. bravomania is probably right about the thumb, to what extent that’s playing a role in this we’ll probably never know. Some time off couldn’t hurt.

As for Strasburg… wow. Definitely threw some really nasty pitches, and almost got out of the jam before he gave up the HR.. that inning could have been much worse. He boosted my strikeout category in fantasy pretty nicely too…

Now… lets get KK a win tonight…

billreef vivabeta and everyone else that dogs me bc of my trades and everything i got two words for u three and it aint happy birthday

I believe that I read that Heyward’s thumb is an issue, which is preventing him from getting to high fastballs, which he likes to hit.
Too bad he has to deal with Mr Magoo the batting coach, who knows nothing about hitting. He isn’t commanding the highest powered offense in the NL or anything.. But what do I know.

Do you guys ever read other comments? It was only four or five days ago that I posted about the up and in hole in Heyward’s swing, and Bravo pointed out the thumb injury at that time.

Let’s hope that the thumb is the cause, and that he will heal soon.

ncbravesfan – I feel a trade (real trade) coming soon. Or look for Resop to join the big club.

Does anyone know which date Tom Glavine will have his number 47 retired??

… I still think the Braves have an outside shot of LeBron James.

Glavine’s Retirement ceremony is August 6.

ncbravesfan82, since all the other guys just make fun of you, I’ll explain why your trade proposals are completely ridiculous.
First off, why would we want Capuano or Inglett? We definatley have too much pitching and an amazing bench. Second, Hart is hitting decent now, but he’s never been consistent over his career. Hart would be merely a rental for us. Third, WHY THE F*** would Milwaukee want Melky and Mclouth? They are a team no where near contention, and their star first basemen is already in jepoardy of being traded due to his pontential cost. So why would they want Melky and his $3.5 million and McLouth and his $5 million, and $7 million next year, plus his buyout on his option?

The Orioles players you named make more sense, but no way in HELL. The Orioles are worse off than the Brewers, and they would want big time prospects, as would the Brewers. You see, a rebuilding team trades away it’s most attractive and costly players for big time prospects they think will give them a good return. They develop them until they’re ready, then they use the money they saved by trading away their best players to add veterans to help solidify their team and mentor the other players. I don’t think players hitting under .250 making alot of money plus a terrible pitcher and a guy having a good year are considered”mentors”.

Hope you read this and stop with the madness.

Barry.. yeah I did. I was referring to your comments as well as whatever article I read.

I’ve decided to skip any post by ncbravesfan. I used to laugh at him, but now it’s just annoying. Now, to talk about stuff that matters. I do think Heyward’s thumb is hurting him. The past two months he hit a lot of those pitches that are making him look bad now. I hope he gets it going soon, maybe a day off would be in order? Anyway, just wanted to remind everyone one more time to vote for Prado for the All Star game.

http://bravesblogbyjake.mlblogs.com/

so_carbravesfan – how do we know that you’re not ncbravesfan? You both have pretty similar names… South Carolina / North Carolina Braves fan… just sayin’…
Curious – how come nobody has mentioned the idea of sending Mr. McClouth to Gwinnett for some “seasoning”? We were very quick to send Frenchy down. At least he was above the Mendoza line wasn’t he? Why not let Nate find his swing in AAA? Rother – Please forgive me for what I’m about to say, and please don’t hold it against me, but couldn’t Gregor Blanco be a little more productive? I mean, even if he hit .230… that’s better than Nate. Just a though…

t…

Melky in the middle, not Blanco.
Hinske in left,
Infante whereever he needs to be.
Blanco running the bases or chasing after the ball he got a crappy jump on in the late innings for Hinske in left.

I believe the appropriate term for McLouth’s current state is F-U-B-A-R’d.
Just a technical term after all…..

I don’t think that the Braves were quick with sending Frenchy down at all. If he didn’t get his pride hurt so much, he might have actually benefitted from raking on some AAA talent for a week or so.

Nate vs. Melky… a month ago it would have been pick your poison. But now I agree – Melky up the middle and Nate up the interstate, north to AAA. He and Chavez can be bus mates.

Hey bravo, if I were going to come up with an alter ego I think I would choose something a little more creative than changing the first few letters. I guess you have no way of knowing that we’re not the same people, but if you ever met a South Carolina Gamecock (like myself) they would NEVER claim anything to do with North Carolina…just saying.

Now, I agree with you about sending McLouth down. It couldn’t hurt, especially when we got Melky who could patrol center while McLouth is working this out.

Hey maybe we can trade Nate back to Pittsburgh for Gorkys Hernadez and get him into Gwinnett and get him hitting so he can be on the ball club come mid-June so he can replace Prado at the leadoff spot.

McLouth’s defense is way better than Blanco. Same reason Schafer was in CF for so long while producing the same results. Of course, Schafer’s defense was much better. I can’t believe that Nate is still hitting this poorly though.

Well… by posing as an illiterate half-retarded North Carolina blogger, your “alter-ego” could be a pretty creative way in representing how you feel about people from North Carolina. That’s the only was to explain those trade suggestions. It has to be a made up blogger.
Kind of like the alter-ego I am about to start on this thread. His name is UGA-Fan82. He has missing teethe, a tribal band tattoo, a mullett, and is renting a room out of his mom’s trailer. He also thinks that we should trade Melky Cabrerra, Nate McClouth, Bobby Dews, the Chic Fil A Cow, and the BP CEO to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez.

Gorkys: .237 BA, .306 OBP, .280 SLG

Don’t be mean, bravo.

What? That wasn’t an accurate representation of UGA fans?

Boy this blog is getting entertaining. That’s good stuff, Bravo. Seriously though, does McClouth have options? I think not. Been in the league too long.

Could be worse….could be a gamecock fan

I’d just feel bad to have someone leave the blog because he was getting berated, like a lot of posters did when Old Man Reef dragged his acidic *ss to town.

Hey we all have one thing in common here – we love our Braves. We might disagree, but we all truly come together there. No one should EVER take personally what someone writes about your opinions here. You are entitled to them, no matter how smart (or stupid) they are.

Hey, I saw on another format someone asking the question if this could really be the magical season we were hoping for. I have some thoughts about our strengths and weaknesses. See if you agree. I think they are obvious. And I think there are many more positives than negatives – although I will admit, I am an optimist.

Strengths – Starting pitching (including depth). Bullpen – all the way through (including depth). Solid Defense (not amazing, but solid). Combination of power and speed, and power from both sides of the plate. Balanced lineup. Even with Nate stinking it up, there are really no slouches – and even Nate has had his moments. The Bench. Bobby is able to give days off and rotate players in. The bench is one of the strongest in baseball. We barely missed Yunel when he was out.

The weaknesses – Center field and 3rd base. And both of those spots could come around.

What have I missed? What are some more strengths and weaknesses as we look to the break?

Bullpen – Strength (strongest part of the team – if we can ditch Chavez)

Offense – Above Average with upside. (Melky is actually starting to hit well, so give him some time. Chipper may be turning around, he is hitting a little more right now. Or Infante can rake in his place if needed.)

Defense – Above Average.

Starting Pitching – Average.*

*After Hudson and Hansen it gets iffy.

Medlen actually has the second best ERA behing Hudson but I will believe he is OK after he pitches again, and has no lingering effects.

Lowe and Kawakami both have ERAs of about 5! That is a real concern whether they have some quality starts or not. They eat some innings which is good, but put pressure on the offense to score.

Jurrgens, only time will tell if he can salvage this year or not. His ERA is over 6 and I don’t think all of that was due to him being hurt.

Even Hansen has come back to Earth a little. He will the staff Ace in the future, but has to be more effective in the early innings.

Anybody else wondering about Yunel? No Home Runs. Hitting into Double Plays seemingly everytime it counts. BA is down to .240 (lower than Melky’s with less power – yikes!)

I would be happy so see this line up for awhile and see what happens:

Prado – 2B (R)
Heyward – RF (L)
Chipper – 3B (S)
Glaus – 1B (R)
McCann – C (L)
Infante – SS (R)
Hinske – LF (L)
Cabrera – CF (S)
Pitcher

Obviously would depend on the starting pitcher for the other team and the splits, but kinda like this one.

OK, so I looked up the splits and that last line up would be fine for RHP, but needs some help for LHP. I do think we will need a trade at some point to help left field, and center field. Instead of guessing that what that would be, I put together a line up with what we have.

Prado – 2B (.324 vs. LHP)
Heyward – RF (.267 vs LHP)
Chipper – 3B (.260 vs. LHP)
Glaus – 1B (.288 vs. LHP)
Ross – C (.355 vs. LHP)
Cabrera – CF (.193 vs. LHP)
Escobar – SS (.279 vs. LHP)
Medlen – LF (.269 vs. LHP)
Pitcher

Just kidding about Medlen. You could also place a big rock in center field and just about Cabrera’s numbers, maybe lose a little on defense though :). We really are weak in the outfield when it comes to hitting lefties.

^Dude, Don’t compare Yunel to Melky. Melky mustered 13 homers out of New Yankee Softball Field. I’ve seen Alex Rodriguez hit pop ups for home runs in that stadium. And I hope you’re not referring to Melkys 1 homer as more power; it was hit in PNC Park for Christs sake. Not much longer than New Yankee Launching Pad. Escobar hit 14 homers last year in his first real producing year. He should play everyday. Sitting the guy isn’t gonna break his power slump. I agree with sending Mclouth to the minors. Let Infante/Hinskie platoon left until he’s read and/or Diaz comes back. Whichever is sooner.

Just saying. Based on THIS year’s numbers Melky has a higher slugging percentage. To be clear, I am not a big fan of Melky’s but you have to acknowledge that he has gotten better.

I loved Yunel last year and still do this year, but something ain’t right.

Here’s my opinion……

Strengths
1. Young Guns – Heyward, Hanson, and Medlen.
2. Bullpen – even with Chavez, the bullpen’s ERA is great, can’t wait til we get him out of there.
3. Troy Glaus – He has really come around and provided that great RBI bat we needed
4. Bench – Ross, Infante, Hinske, and Conrad (no need to explain)

Weaknesses
1. The sub .250 club – Chipper, Melky, McLouth, Escobar, McCann (i know he’s over .250, but he’s been hovering there all year).
2. The Starting 5 Rejuvination – The Lowe and Kawakami deals aren’t exactly proving to be great additions.
3. Jesse Chavez – I think I have expresses my displeasure of this guy enough on this blog without being too redundant.

What we need to push for the playoffs
1. Brian McCann’s bat
2. Jair Jurrjens
3. Escobar

whoops,, big strength…. PRADO!!!! He is the team MVP in my opinion

Speedy once again, you and I agree. I know that will probably diminish your standing among some of the bloggers here but it’s really nice to be right, huh? Prado is the spark that ignites this team. Long gone are comments about his glove. Long gone are arguments about Martin vs. Kelly. He just keeps producing. I must point out that my last comment at the close of ST was that what Troy Glaus did, would determine how successful this team would be. I know some of you regulars remember that discussion. McLouth has struggled, I never predicted that , huh? Lowe and Kantwin Kawakami prove to be free agent signing anchors around our signing capacity. Chavez is the nightmare pickup for the bullpen.
Now before you all jump in and call me names, can’t we all agree that all these predictions were correct??
Viva I think someone needs to call you a Wambuhlance. Crying because one of your buddies left. I think the blog is as active and vital as it ever has been. It’s just not dominated by you and your cronies any longer. So sad.

Boy, you should hear the AZ broadcasters talking about McLouths AB. Man he stinks.

How bout we send Chavez Mclouth Melky Brooks Conrad Infante and medlen to Seattle for Ichiro cliff lee and ryan langerhans or those same pple to Chicago and get Alfonso Soriano and jeff samadzija

You know Viva, I was thinking about that name of yours. Now I’m really not prejudiced against anyone based on their sexual orientation, but are you SURE you want to come out of the closet here on a baseball blog?

or tell chipper to call it quits move Glaus back to third and make a deal for Prince Fielder like Chavez Mike Minor Resop and Wes timmons for fielder and Dave Bush.

I’d actually be more impressed billreef if you predicted the final avg/hr/rbi/obp/slg for every player on our roster and then tell us how far we’ll get in the playoffs. Your predictions of Lowe and Kawakami were about as difficult as saying the sky is blue. No s*** they were going to suck, we all saw that last year. And McLouth sucking was a flip of a coin. He hit crappy in spring training, so you could have said “he’ll turn around”, like I did, or saying “he’ll suck.” Those are a hella lot of options. Chavez was a no brainer also, but we both knew he was gonna make the roster just to prove we got something for Soriano. Your “predictions” are very right, but very easy too.. You’re not Nostradamus, so please, quit the internet tough guy act, because no one really cares. Your cute little tv scripted insults do nothing but make us all chuckle.

And, ncbravesfan82, please quit digging your grave…

I’ll give him credit for running it out, but it seems to me like every time McLouth makes contact, he’s surprised. He stalled for a second before running.

I’m not a fan of how he pulls his top hand off the bat. I just don’t like it. But, he is an all-star who has hit 20+ homers in Major League Baseball…

Haha, I finally found a use for Photobucket. Suck it billreef.

http://s603.photobucket.com/albums/tt117/TheBDanAbstract/?action=view&current=100609-235246.jpg&newest=1

http://s603.photobucket.com/albums/tt117/TheBDanAbstract/?action=view&current=100609-234726.jpg&newest=1

And I’ve always said I don’t follow soccer. I just enjoy playing it. I quit baseball to play soccer. In soccer I played all 3 fullback positions, and was the backup sweeper. In baseball I was a C early on, and on travel leauges I was a 3B/1B and a closer. Nothing but fastballs. Would you like me to take a picture of how to grip a 2 seam fastball? Or my Demarino bat?

Oh Brandon, what you fail to point out is that i made these prognostications long before your Johnny come lately analysis. I was excoriated for saying Lowe had lost it midway through last year. Everyone was touting Kantwin as a “big game” pitcher and while hadhe his moments he was signed for WAY TOO MUCH MONEY. I knew McLouth was a bust when we traded for him, NOT DURING SPRING TRAINING!!! Some of the bloggers who left shortly thereafter, lil Viva’s buds, railed at me saying McLouth was great and an excellent defender. The guy get’s to some balls but he has a rag arm and doesn’t even generally try for OF assists. Chavez, who you were still loving out of ST, would probably be a better soccer teamate for you than a Braves pitcher. BTW, I don’t even believe you play soccer(maybe T-ball soccer) you didn’t even know who Pele is(the greatest soccer player that ever lived) and I know you never played a game of baseball. Your mommy was probably worried you would get an owwie.

Got to love it, Bobby just got caught digging for gold on broadcast TV.

He WAS an all star. And if I remember right it was a year that Pittsburgh stunk (shocking) and he was the mandatory representative from a bad team. However, he was better then than now.

Once again with your entertaining insults haha. I’m sure I’ve never played a game of baseball or soccer. I just say that to impress these people on the blog I’m friends with. By the way, did you know that soccer is the most dangerous sport in Georgia? :o I know, blows your little owie insult to smithereens. And while you’re at it, please tell me how many players are on a soccer field at one time? Come on, you can do it without Wikipedia. And would you like to come down and check out my #14 that’s still painted on our stadiums grass? Your cute assumptions about someone over the internet are amazing accurate, just like your oh so trivial ones about out s*** players. You should really be a sports writer. Or a philosopher. Or are you a prophet who’s schedule is just too full?

22. So easy and i can name most of the major players on the US World Cup team, most of the players from when the NASL came to the US and quite a few of the LS players, although I don’t follow it that closely. Now can you name anyone who believes that you have your number painted on a field somewhere? Is your mommy still sneaking down to the neighborhood park to spray that number?

Just for laughs I went back into the archives and read who posted what opinion when. Makes for a good read and points out some revisionist history.

Oh by the way, there is a pretty good game going on. We need to win this one. When we actually get a good start out of KK it needs go in the W column.

That collision could have come out MUCH worse, and I thought it had. I give McLouth credit for hanging in there, even though he should have called Heyward off (didn’t look like he did).

Oh Brandon, don’t they even give the trainer and the waterboy a letter in HS?? Oh, and I figured out why that soccer is the most dangerous sport in GA. It’s because the football players are always beating the sn*t out of the soccer players.

Oh Brandon, don’t they even give the trainer and the waterboy a letter in HS?? Oh, and I figured out why that soccer is the most dangerous sport in GA. It’s because the football players are always beating the sn*t out of the soccer players.

Tough loss. I have been expecting a collision between those two. There have been several times they have gotten close. I know the center fielder is supposed to have the right of way, but I wish McLouth would just get out of Heyward’s way.

You know, there was a really sh!tty loss the Braves just completed we could collectively ***** about. You know, since this is still technically a Braves blog.
I hope McLouth is out for the year.

Ouch, 0-5 night by Prado capped off with the tying run on second and Heyward on deck.

Did you really just sensor snot? Really? And would you also like to see the playoff patch I have too? You’ve been proven wrong and still you try to fight out of a corner. Ignorance and childish manner are in fact bliss. Would you like to see my gloves from when I was a 1B/3B and closer on our travel tournament team? Or my DeMarino bat? But alas, I don’t care enough. If you enjoy being a jackass on the internet and waving around the virtual woody you sport, then by all means, wave it to whatever dude wants to come by and polish it.

Ok, still with the childish BS. You know guys, I didn’t wanna say it, but ncbravesfan82 is providing more pertinent information in a less childish, baseball card and video game manner than you right now.
And nothing he has ever said has even been borderline pertinent or useful in any imaginable way.

So Moylan’s year and a half streak with no home runs allowed ends on a soft fly ball to medium depth right field? That is awful. Sorry that Nate got hurt, but somebody needs to call for the ball. If I’ve got all 240 pounds of Heyward rolling thunder in my direction, you can bet I’m calling and/or running away. At least it was just a chop block.
That is just a lousy way to lose a game. KK has been good enough lately, but honestly, not as good as Medlen. When JJ comes back, it really does have to be Medlen in the 5 spot. Nobody checks the balance sheet to see who gets paid more, especially Bobby, who can’t get fired anyway. KK can be a good long reliever.
I’m hoping Resop goes 7 strong innings tonight with about 10 K’s for Gwinnett, he is key to many of the deals that NC has lined up for this week. I’d hate to see the Braves get stuck with another plus arm starter with an ERA near 2.00.
O for the 5 spot doesn’t work on Championship teams. That has to get fixed. They have to win at a .625 clip the other 4 days just to be a .500 team. Even if it isn’t all KK’s fault, the change is necessary.

Nate is the real goat of this team and especially the goat last night. Striking out with the bases loaded and 1 out with the pitcher on deck is just plain inexcusable. At least hit it somewhere. A fly ball and it’s a completely different game last night. I’m glad he’s OK from the collision… but hopefully being run over by the “the chosen one” will knock some freaking sense into the guy.
Agreed, Rother. I really feel for KK though. What a terrible way to lose. A freakish inside the parker? In his last 5 starts he has an ERA nearly under 3.00. It just blows my mind that Lowe is near the top of league leaders in wins and KK can’t purchase a win with his gigantic salary.
Hopefully Wren can work some magic and Resop and a few other pitching prospects will be enough or us to get a decent hitting outfielder.

“At least hit it somewhere…..” how about at least take ball four when they throw you a fast ball above your letters. The bases were loaded, and that is an easy RBI. The pitcher is on deck. They were basically giving you a run AND clearing the pitcher. Nate’s problems in Spring were reported to be about his eyesight. I think vision is his problem. Why would you swing at that pitch, it wasn’t even close to the strike zone. And he knows he can’t hit a high fast ball. Maybe we need a new team eye doctor.

Glad both players are not injured. That could have been more ugly than it was. I have noticed that Nate tends to give up early on some balls over his head. Heyward sees that too. Bet he didn’t have confidence that Nate was going to get there. I agree that Nate should have been screaming for that ball. Bet he does next time, or gets the %$&! out the way.

Man – I love Moylan, though. The quoted after the game awesome. Aussie’s aren’t really known for holding anything back.
“It [stinks],” said Moylan (2-1), who got the loss and a blown save. “In the absence of Takashi it’s up to the other guys to step up, including me. And as much as it was a collision in the outfield that cost me two runs, the fact that Reynolds was on base ? I own right-handed hitters, and I hit him. To get the first runner on in an inning is inexcusable.

“And then what happened after the collision is even worse, to have to burn another reliever because I can’t throw a f–ing strike. It’s inexcusable. There’s no other way to describe it.”
“O goes out there and does his job,” Moylan said, referring to lefty Eric O’Flaherty, who got two strikeouts in a scoreless seventh. “I’m supposed to go out there and do my job. I’m getting paid a lot of money to go out there and do my job, and I didn’t do it. That’s the end of the story.”
Struggling with command lately? ?It seems that way. Whether it?s struggling with command or ? I don?t want to say my stuff is too nasty, because it?s not ? but I?ve been tweaking a few things mechanically. Still, I?ve been doing this for long enough that I should know how to feel when **** doesn?t feel right. It felt fine, it felt good, I was just missing.?

I feel that Cabrera is playing good enough to man center field at this point, I thinks its about the time to make a permanent change. I am alot more confident with Melky in the 8 spot as compared to Nate at this point. Melky isn’t exactly eyeing a batting title, but his .243 looks alot better than Nate’s .176. Plus, Cabrera has hit well in his last few starts. I think just about the only thing that Nate has over Melky is probably that Nate has a little better range in the OF. But at least Melky can throw someone out once he catches it. I like Nate, I think he works hard, but he has without a doubt lost his CF spot on a consistent basis. Also, it seems as though Hinske is starting to cool off, let’s hope that his bat gets hot again soon. I will be happy once we get out of this road trip, this team needs a day off. Luckily, i don’t think anyone else in the NL East is ready to go on a hot streak, but I could be wrong. At this point we must have McCann and Chipper, they are the team leaders and this is when they need to pick it up and lead. I think we will be able to tell in the next month whether Chipper is truly done or not.

And one more point. I could not care any less for “winning percentage”. A pitcher can throw one pitch and take a loss, or gain a win so that means absolutely nothing. Kawakami is going to give you 6 innings and give up about 4 runs per start. Now, if i’m making as much money as him, I can’t help but feel pretty lucky. Everyone feels so bad because he gets no runs support, but he is got a lot of run support we would be calling him lucky. So either way, he is a mediocre as a MLB can get at this point. There’s no other way to look around it. I wish somehow we could unload that contract of his, but that is probably not going to happen. We can get better results (pitching and batting) from Medlen at a lower price. Now, I’m not a businessman, but this seems pretty easy to figure out. Surely there must be some team out that we could sucker into taking KK for ANYTHING in return. We just need to open his spot for Medlen.

that is meant to ready “if he” not “he is”, sorry about that.

Won-Loss is not a meaningless stat. Some pitchers have a knack for winning 7-6, others have a knack for losing 2-1. Some guys just won’t let that next run score when they are up one, others can’t take the prosperity and lose 4 run leads. They are human, they have a pulse, and situations make a difference. Lowe seems to be as good as he has to be, Kawakami is as bad as he has to be. Losses are a bigger deal than wins, because relievers tend to find a way to get some pitchers a no decision, but by and large you own your own losses. 0-8 indicates the other team is allowed to jump on top early, or that you aren’t good pitching with a lead. Either way, it follows the same guys for a reason. Up 6-1 in the third, many guys start laying in strikes to keep out of big innings. Their ERA goes up because of the way they pitch with a big lead. If the game ends up 6-4, sometimes it just means they were in control, and managing the game. Lowe and Hanson are masters at keeping the game close. Other guys just seem to give up the go ahead run after the team ties it up.

A loss can also mean that you leave with it 2-3 deficit. My point is the effectiveness of the pitcher is not truly indicated by a win-loss percentage. So if you say that Kawakami is 4-4 right now (which he could easily be) instead of 0-8 we are talking about a completely different pitcher? No, its the same guy. Now, there are extremes. A guy 22-3, effective… Yes. A guy 0-10 effective, no. But all of the middle grounds leaves you to judge a guy be his winning percentage? No, that doesn’t cut it for me. That was the point, a 4-4 guy can be the same thing as a 2-6 guy. Unfortunately, Kawakami pitches more like a 2-6 guy and less like a 4-4 guy. If Kawakami pitched for the Yankees (who have scored about 40 more runs than us) with the same exact effectiveness, what would his W-L record be and would he be a better pitcher???

It is an interesting discussion. Javy Vazquez has some of the best stuff and command there is. He can down right dominate a game, right up until he has that one bad inning they always talk about. The answer to “How can a guy that good be 10-11?” is a fairly consistent answer, he makes that one bad pitch, bad inning, etc. that keeps his team from winning.
I do agree that won/loss is only part of the store, but I won’t agree with the SABR heads that think it means nothing. Otherwise every reliever with a good ERA would automatically be a good closer, which we all know is not the case.
On to Today’s game…

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