Times have changed since last visit to Philly

When Roy Halladay tossed his five-hit shutout against the Braves on April 21, he was the odds-on-favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award.  When the Braves left Philadelphia on May 9, they were five games below .500 (13-18) and six games behind a Phillies club that seemed destined to win a fourth consecutive NL East crown.

Oh, how times have changed. 

When Halladay takes the mound tonight, he’ll be aiming to halt his recent woes and close the gap on the first-place Braves, who are five games in front of the injury-depleted Phillies in the NL East race. 

The Phillies, who will be without Chase Utley until at least the latter part of August, have won just 14 of the 31 games they’ve played since coming to Atlanta on May 31 with a half-game lead over the Braves. 

Since tossing his perfect game against the Marlins on May 29, Halladay has gone 2-4 with a 3.27 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .302 against him.  During his last outing, he recorded 10 strikeouts over eight innings and held the Reds scoreless through five innings. 

Then while allowing four runs in the next three innings, Halladay saw Joey Votto and Jay Bruce prolong his recent longball woes. Seven of the 10 homers surrendered by the Phillies right-hander have been hit during his past four starts.  He allowed just three in his first 13 starts of the season.

Troy Glaus, who is one of the four current Braves who has one career homer against Halladay, will rest his sore left knee again tonight.  But it appears he could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday. 

Nate McLouth will be re-examined within the next two days and if it appears he is no longer bothered by post-concussion symptoms, he could be cleared to begin a Minor League rehab assignment later this week. 

McLouth was able to complete batting practice outdoors without any problem the past couple of days.  Hopefully, this was a sign that he is recovering.  But it also could have been a product of the less-humid conditions that were in Atlanta this weekend. 

One of the reasons the Braves signed Willy Taveras to a Minor League deal was to provide some insurance in case McLouth isn’t able to return and prove to be more productive than he was before he suffered the concussion after colliding with Jason Heyward. 

But for now, Gregor Blanco is providing reason to believe he can serve as a dependable option in center field.  The speedy outfielder has always been able to cover a lot of ground.  But this year, he seems to be taking better routes and cutting down on the mental errors that he displayed in the past.

Oh yeah, Blanco also hit .450 in the six games he played last week.

Heading down to the clubhouse.  I’ll let you know if Omar Infante heads over to the Phillies dugout to give Charlie Manuel a big hug.   

106 Comments

I remember I posted this about a little over a year ago. Man, the electricity at the Ted. It truly is awesome. Go Bravos!!!

The Demise at the Center of the D”

As I sat, along the third base side of Atlanta Fulton County stadium on that Wednesday evening, in early April, back in 1991, I almost cried as I noticed something for the first time in my life. That being, the reality of change of a grander scale. Change, something that many people struggle to adapt and accept, rightfully so. Sid Bream, Rafael Belliard, and Terry Pendleton. I asked really? Who? This is the answer? Clearly, interesting at best. I liked Ken Oberkfell, I liked Andres Thomas, well only one year I might add. I liked Rafael Ramirez, and I certainly liked Chris Chambliss. Although I have to admit, that his fist pumping homerun against the Royals in that playoff game, in late October, wearing that Yankee uniform, is my most notable memory of him. Bottom line, is I liked them. Looking out on to the field, for the first time since I started going to what would be mine and my fathers favorite past time and lasting memory, there it was, Opening Day. Starring right at me and piercing through my soul and heart like Robinson Crusoes fate at the Island of Despair. Change on the grandest scale. It became real, it became obvious, it became a defining moment in my young life. Realizing that change is way more than a different pair of shoes, another grade of school, a different type of cereal or sausage instead of pepperoni. No, you see, this was, to me, a much more bitter taste of reality. The Atlanta Braves, season after season, losers of 100 games, more than once. To me, the Braves were life, they were the World they were the way, and they certainly were every bit of that in my life. Life, as I knew it, only evolved around them, and when September came around and as the late Skip used to say, so long everybody, we’ll see you next year, never saying what I wanted so badly to hear him say, we’ll see you in October baby.&n bsp;Life existed only April-September. There I sat, for the first time in my life, with a feeling of true fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the new, fear of change. Change was a coming and I didn’t like it. I hated it, but like with any time of change, it’s almost strangely forced. Forced as I was about change, I almost wanted the new comers to fail. Odd that the only thing of the Atlanta Braves I knew was true and utter failure. See a strange resemblance here? I do, no doubt. Had I become complacent with failure, was failure the only thing I knew? There, right in the center of the D, the demise of true failure, sat an opportunity for change and I hated every bit of it. Well, any Braves fan knows how that change turned out. An extra inning loss in game 7 of the World Series, not too bad. Next April, I hope I sit in that same spot, on the third base side, only this time at the Ted, just a few feet away and hope, just hope, I feel that same sense of change on the grandest stage.

By dawg47 on June 9, 2009 5:21 PM

OK if i was Omar i would give Chipper and Escobar a big hug as well for being injured and giving him the playing time. Now on to this series I am hoping the Braves sweep this and the Mets series and go into the All Star Break on a roll and hot streak that goes all the way in to the playoffs. Now Mark is there any way if J-hey is heeled before the break that he could be in the HR derby as well as the game it self?

nc, I highly doubt he’s even selected. I don’t really know how they pick them, but I think they’d pick Stasburg for the HR Derby before Heyward, knowing how Braves get cheated out of everything (McCann’s starting position, Chippers Gold Glove in 07, and Silver Slugger in 08). Even if he did, he probably wouldn’t do it. I don’t think you have to be an All-Star to do the HR derby… why not Glaus? Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Nice play, Eric.

You are wrong. Only AS’s compete in the HR contest.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again… why does Derek Lowe still pitch Jayson Werth outside? Werth tatoos every outside pitch he gets, and cant hit inside pitches very well. I know he just singled that time, but he scored.

Melky, where rallies go to die. Another DP when we need the hit, why wasn’t he bunting?

I guess it’s because half the time he can’t get the bunt down either. Lousy fundamentals.

Only one HRD participant was not also selected to the All-Star team, from what I can tell: Hee-Seop Choi in 2005.

And if I havent mentioned this, here goes… I can’t stand Melky Cabrera. I’d like too see someone like Mitch Jones play instead of him. Melky may be a switch hitter, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t hit lefties or righties.

Bobby doesn’t Blanco over against RH and we lose another chance to score. Come on this is basic stuff.

Wow. It would be really nice to have a mid-May-like Heyward and Glaus right now. :/

What’s up with the daggone spammers over the past couple of days?

On a good note: after a year and a half of his best Casey Kotchman impersonation, Freddie Freeman has put up some gaudy numbers the last 10 days:
.375/.432/.835
4 HRs
11 RBIsHopefully that’s more like the Freeman we’ll see in the next year or so, and not the one that hit 8 HRs in the 2009 season and had 6 HRs through the first 63 games this year.

Wasn’t Freeman playing hurt much of last year?

MLB Trade Rumors says that teams are inquiring on Yunel.I have no idea why, but I like Escobar more than most on this team. I guess his 09 season really spoiled me. I don’t think they trade him but if his lack of production continues, it could become very possible

How about Randall Delgado and Cody Johnson for Josh Willingham or Matt Kemp?

How about Randall Delgado and Cody Johnson for Josh Willingham or Matt Kemp?

If we trade Yunel he will be just the next Brave to go on and reclaim his swing somewhere else. Unless we have a huge power bat that we are trading for at SS(unicorn) this would be a stupid move. In case anyone thinks we should stand pat and not look for RH power for the outfield, try this: The Braves are 14 g over .500 vs. RH pitching and we have a losing record against LHer’s. We have a chance to win this thing but we need to be smart, swift, decisive and aggressive on the trade market.

Ok how bout sending Escobar Diaz and chris resop to the Tigers for Carlos Guillien or Ramon Santinago Ryan Raburn and clete thomas. Then send Mike Dunn clint sammons Cory Gearrin and melky for Matt Kemp Cory Wade and Reed Johnson.

I am not exactly sure, but doesn’t Mitch Jones mash LHP? I’m by no means saying he’s the answer to our LH problems but it can’t hurt. It seems like we have a lot of middle of the road outfielders. Anyone else notice that Matt Young has hit over .300 all season and he has has almost as many walks as strikeouts. With all of these middle of the road outfielders does that mean that we ship off a Jordan Schafer who has shown nothing since his injury in a package deal for some OF pop? I also saw that we signed Josh Anderson again, I guess at the call up period at the end of the season either him or Tavares with come up and pinch run??

I don’t see a reason to trade Yunel. The guy usually hits in the .290’s or higher and plays great defense. Plus, we would definitely not get his true worth in any trade at this point just because of the offensive struggles he’s had this year.
In my opinion, if you name is not Heyward and you play OF, consider yourself on the trade market. All of those guys are expendable to a certain degree. N

Esky really needs to get going. As I was writing that, he hits a soft single up the middle. He swings at horrible pitches, lacks patience and still does not hussle. The line-up looks so weak right now with no Heyward and Glaus slumping and McCann off. Esky is the one person that is still way off his career numbers (now that McClouth is out). yI think Infante may need to get some ABs at SS if this keeps up.

The Braves should place a pagan shrine, dedicated to Martin Prado, in front of every entrance into Turner Field, and all those who wish to enter must pay homage.

see what I mean about esky. all he needed to do was hit into a DP and they would score a run!! He is just not playing well this year and it is costing them games..

God I love martin Prado. Hamels threw his best fastball of the night and Prado just crushed it.

Whatever divine beings are up there are clearly from the northeast. We can’t catch a break…

Oh know, they brought in “Gasoline Chavez”. 1st batter almost goes yard. 2nd batter walks.

Mitch Jones:
.297/.333/.656 vs LHP w/ 5 HRs in 64 ABs.
.249/.288/.472 vs RHP w/ 9 HRs in 193 ABs.

Melky Cabrera:
.270/.340/.338 vs LHP w/ 0 HRs in 70 ABs.
.246/.299/.318 vs RHP w/ 2 HRs in 179 ABs.
Welp, I’m sold!

The only guys at the park that Chavez fools is Bobby and Frank.

bobbycoxismyfather, that’s a God I can believe in!

You know, Matty Diaz hits a lot better without a chunk of wood in his thumb, welcome back Matt.

absolutely Bill. Diaz has hit the ball on the nose in every at bat tonight.

B.W-absolutely. It’s a god of order and perfection, and of Venezuelan descent.

Billreef, I wholeheartedly second that. If Diaz proves healthy, and he performs like he did last summer, then we just boosted our outfield without giving up a thing. And just wait ’til Heyward returns.

That’s the Matty I’ve been missing. Yeah, having chunks of wood in your thumb aren’t condusive to comfortable hitting. I’m hoping the real Matty is back, and then we get a healthy Heyward back. That way, we don’t have to see Melky Cabrera anymore… except when Bobby feels sorry for him.

That’s just like I’ve been saying, we shouldn’t make a move until what we see in Diaz. Not saying that he’s going to continue and hit his best, but you don’t go out and make a trade for another OF bat until you know what you have on your own team. Also, shaunson, I agree that Melky isn’t cutting it as an everyday starter, but comparing his numbers to Mitch Jones isn’t very fair, I think Chris Resop showed that was true.

However, in fairness to Resop, he’d been a starter all season and was suddenly was thrown in mop up relief duty. I’m just saying that its ridiculous that such an offensive inert player keeps being thrown out there night after night. I dread watching him hit, especially in key situations.
As I mention Mitch Jones, he goes 3 for 3 with a HR for Gwinnett…

Speedy i must respectfully disagree. We don’t want to wait for anything. Although i love the thought of Matt returning to his former glory, I know that there are a lot of uncertainties here. I am looking for a trade which significantly improves the ball club. Some of the Gregors and Hinskes have kept this team from imploding when Chip, Mac and Esky went limp. They deserve all the credit in the world for doing that and I love em for it. But the bottom line is this. The best trade options are available right NOW. That will NOT be the case in 3 weeks. Even if we have to pay a little more than we should right now, we are in the drivers seat. As opposed to paying too much in the offseason when you don’t know how competitive your team is, we know that now. Everyone who is chasing us is gonna improve their ball club. If we don’t we run the risk of getting overtaken. We have offensive issues still. We don’t have a lot of power. We don’t even have a winning record against the NL East. We have a losing record against LH pitchers. We are not gonna win the pennant unless we correct that. Let’s get better, this title is ours for the taking. Carpe Diem.

Not a criticism of the player or poster bringing it up but Mitch Jones is not an option in any world that exists no matter how many Homers he hits in AAA.

He’s not on the 40 man probably won’t get a call up in Sept

Braves after All Star Break have the following Outfielders:

Barring any lingering health problems

Heyward
McLouth
Diaz
Blanco
Cabrera
Not to mention that Infante and Hinske also get AB’s from the Outfield.

Then in AAA
we have Schafer and Clevelen(when he comes off the DL)
already on the 40 Man.

I would suspect that Willy Taveras would be the first man that gets the call not currently on the 40 Man.

The if we actually add a bat at the deadline, see where I’m going no room at all for Mitch Jones.

billreef – I agree with everything you have written on this thread. The almighty pagan god of Martin Prado is bringing us all together.
Anyone who believes that this team does not need to make a move for a right handed power bat is poorly mistaken. Our stats against LHP says it all. We are winning despite production from our outfield. We have prospects available to deal who are never going to truly be valuable to us. There’s not a team that will talk to us without bringing up pitching prospects. With the exception of Lowe, our rotation is set for the next 3-4 years. We have pitching to deal. Plus Barbaro Canizares was just named an all-star. With Freddie as the first baseman of the future, and Glaus there now – Barbaro is just taking up space. He’s had an outstanding minor league career. He’s a 4-time all-star and was selected to the Future’s game last year. He’s approaching 31 years old. That’s his downside. But there’s way too much upside to not include him in a deal.

Man – If Chipper, Mac, Matty Diaz, and Yunel are beginning to heat up like I think they are… this team is SCARY good. With KK out of the rotation… I’m thinking 100 wins in Bobby’s last season. Put Matt Kemp in the outfield… and I’m thinking MAGIC!

…forgot to throw J-Hey in the mix. Once he gets the swing fixed… it’s looking good! Make the move for the right handed bat Frank!!!

As I scan through the top 50 HR hitters in the majors to this point this season, it looks like I would be targeting Hart or the Arizona guys (Young or Upton). Most of the others either play the wrong position or are way too expensive. If the Braves are searching for an every day OF with pop from the right side, that can still play some defense, that is a pretty short list.
Kemp has all the signs of being the next Milton Bradley, and at a minimum has a big chip on his shoulder. I’m not very interested in a guy who speaks of himself in the third person. Maybe all of that is just a bad rap, but baggage is not what the Braves need. Jose Guillen same thing.
Andruw is probably available for a minor league prospect, and we know he is a baseball smart guy with pop from the right side. But he is probably going to hit .220 at this point. The fact that the Braves have avoided him like the plague since he went away is noteworthy.
I’m guessing they would really like to take a look at Mitch Jones right now, but it would take a move on the 40 man to do it. That is why the real option looks to be an outside one at this point. A trade that involved multiple prospects on the 40 man for a name would help give the Braves some flexibility back, otherwise it would take JoJo clearing waivers even to get Mitch an audition.
I would like to see the Braves take a shot at Chris Young. He has the tools to be a Torii Hunter style player, and quite an upside compared to known Braves outfielders at this time.
I think the Braves would love to see a Hinske-Diaz platoon in left, as the best of each of those guys is better than most affordable every day options. Combined they can be a .300 guy with 15-20 HR pop. Center is certainly up for grabs at this point and gets even more cloudy when Heyward returns to right field next week, shoving all of the remaining names into that CF mix. That is where a Chris Young deal would make sense. Even if the platoon ended up as McLouth-Young in center, assuming Nate returns from Gwinnett as the .260 with 20 HR and 20 SB Nate, it would be a serious upgrade from the Blanco-Melky-Infante that they are having to go with right now.
Heyward, Hinske-Diaz and McLouth-Young would be enough in my book for a legit 5 man OF rotation. Just package the deal to Arizona as “Melky and who you really want” like it was done to the Braves this off season. The infield rotation of Chipper, Escobar, Prado, Glaus, Infante, and Conrad, is fine with me as well.

As I scan through the top 50 HR hitters in the majors to this point this season, it looks like I would be targeting Hart or the Arizona guys (Young or Upton). Most of the others either play the wrong position or are way too expensive. If the Braves are searching for an every day OF with pop from the right side, that can still play some defense, that is a pretty short list.
Kemp has all the signs of being the next Milton Bradley, and at a minimum has a big chip on his shoulder. I’m not very interested in a guy who speaks of himself in the third person. Maybe all of that is just a bad rap, but baggage is not what the Braves need. Jose Guillen same thing.
Andruw is probably available for a minor league prospect, and we know he is a baseball smart guy with pop from the right side. But he is probably going to hit .220 at this point. The fact that the Braves have avoided him like the plague since he went away is noteworthy.
I’m guessing they would really like to take a look at Mitch Jones right now, but it would take a move on the 40 man to do it. That is why the real option looks to be an outside one at this point. A trade that involved multiple prospects on the 40 man for a name would help give the Braves some flexibility back, otherwise it would take JoJo clearing waivers even to get Mitch an audition.
I would like to see the Braves take a shot at Chris Young. He has the tools to be a Torii Hunter style player, and quite an upside compared to known Braves outfielders at this time.
I think the Braves would love to see a Hinske-Diaz platoon in left, as the best of each of those guys is better than most affordable every day options. Combined they can be a .300 guy with 15-20 HR pop. Center is certainly up for grabs at this point and gets even more cloudy when Heyward returns to right field next week, shoving all of the remaining names into that CF mix. That is where a Chris Young deal would make sense. Even if the platoon ended up as McLouth-Young in center, assuming Nate returns from Gwinnett as the .260 with 20 HR and 20 SB Nate, it would be a serious upgrade from the Blanco-Melky-Infante that they are having to go with right now.
Heyward, Hinske-Diaz and McLouth-Young would be enough in my book for a legit 5 man OF rotation. Just package the deal to Arizona as “Melky and who you really want” like it was done to the Braves this off season. The infield rotation of Chipper, Escobar, Prado, Glaus, Infante, and Conrad, is fine with me as well.

I got a server error, a correct time stamp, and the 12:01 in the future time stamp. MLB.com really needs to upgrade this for Mark.

That would be nice to do is go after Young but i see him and Upton being the future of the D-backs. I mean it would take a Teixiriera deal to get him and i think the Braves are gonna stay away from trades like that. I wouldnt mind if we went after Kemp or Hart and sign them to a long term deal I mean the Braves go after Hart why not move J-Hey to Cf and make Hart our Rf. Get rid of melky and Mclouth by offering both outfielders in the trade along with some pitch propects.

Bill- I see your point and it makes a lot of sense. I agree a move needs to be made, but with McLouth on the DL and Diaz still uncertain, I think we need to wait a week so we know what we can package in a deal (basically wait until Nate is off of the DL so he can be included in the trade). I still don’t think that moving Escobar is a good idea, just simply because of his salary and we would be selling really low on his talent at this point.
Also, I think Gregor Blanco has had a fantastic audition for anyone interested in a backup centerfielder. As someone mentioned earlier, we have a ton of outfielders that would make great backups. Is there anyway NC can strike up a deal with all of our mediocre OF for Justin Upton?
My only two requests involving a trade are as follows: First, we get a guy of character. I do not want a Jose Guillen or Milton Bradley killing the chemistry in the lockeroom. Secondly, please do not trade Julio Teheran or Mike Minor. We could really use a LHP in our rotation (Minor) and Teheran is the real deal and needs to be untouchable along with Freddie Freeman.
I would be surprised if JoJo and Barbaro are still Braves after July. Its obvious that we have no room for them up in the big leagues and they are not getting any younger.

I get really nervous when you guys all agree with me. I think winning in the 11th against the Phillies is like taking a Vicodin. I just sat around with a stupid smile on my face the rest of last night and when I woke up this morning it was still there. I can’t wait for “mighty mite” to take on “the ancient one” tonight.

If i’m not mistaken, KK hasn’t pitched since Detroit. I wonder if this means he is being shopped around?

Only one of that trio you will see in September will be Taveras as a pinch runner/defensive replacement.

Does it drive anyone else crazy we outhit philly 10-2 in 9 innings and still went to extra frames… I am excited we won because we really needed that game, but it made me want to pull my hair out.
What a great pitching performance by JJ by the way!!! He’s looking like the Jurrjens of old. Hanson appeared to of strugged off his troubles last start, Lowe is sharp lately, and Huddy could have a 20 win season… and don’t forget about the Medlen kid. I really like our rotation, its playoff caliber for sure.

U know i was watching the Baby Braves and I am gonna like it come September bc we are gonna have a damn good team We are gonna have power and speed in players like Canizares Taveras and Mitch Jones. But as I watched Jo-Jo pitch I have a funny feeling in that the players that the Braves are going to be going for dont be shocked in the trade it says Jo Jo Reyes and Jordan Schafer.

Speedy – A right handed power bat in our lineup and I guarantee you we wouldn’t have gone into extra innings last night. You’re kind of helping us make our point here…
billreef – The only thing left for you to do now is admit that Frank Wren has done a brilliant job putting this team together. You really have no way out of that. Just eat some humble pie and say it. It will make you feel better. Then all will be forgiven in Bowman land and we will all live harmoniously in the postseason together.

You comparing Canizares, Taveras, and Mitch Jones to the Baby Braves? Those guys are all about 30 and AAAA players. Jones strikes out almost every other at bat, and Taveras was basically signed to be a pinch runner and will fill in nicely to our group of CFs who are hitting below .200.

Bravo, I haven’t said we don’t need a RH power bat, you are missing my point. My point is that we need to know what we have in Diaz and McLouth before we make a deal. Right now, Nate isn’t eligible for a trade because he’s on the DL. Right now, not many people will take a chance on Diaz because he hasn’t put up numbers since last year. If Diaz goes on one of his hot hitting weeks, his trade value would increase and McLouth coming off the DL would provide us an opportunity to put him on the block as well. If Diaz goes on one of his tears, then our main focus would be a CF. If he does not, then we may need to look into two bats. We have a ton of mediocre hitters, we might as well wait until the most mediocre of them all (McLouth) is eligible for a trade.
Before I was hesitant for a trade because Hanson was shaky at best and Jair was an unknown. Well, it seems as though both have worked out their issues which makes our pitching prospects much more expendable except for Minor and Teheran. I think we will get a better deal if we are able to insert a hot Matty Diaz or a “potential” guy in Nate McLouth into the deal. I think Gregor Blanco has pretty much auditioned for a role in someone else’s outfield with his recent play.

What about Adam Jones on the Orioles? Their pitching, especially in the rotation, is atrocious. I don’t know much about this guy except that the Orioles got him for Bedard a few years ago.

I think NCbrave was refering to Gwinnett as the baby braves, not necessarily those particular players.

I am watching that game too. Jo-Jo quickly became Jo-Jo, instead of the Tommy Hanson impersonation he was trying to pull-off and then Jordon Schafer pulled a Hanley Ramirez and loafed after a ball that he misplayed. What is with that guy? Is he just trying to sabotage his career? I hate to agree with anything NCbrave says, but after seeing this game, I would not be surprised at all to see a trade that involves Jo-Jo and Schafer. I don’t get to see Gwinnett play, very often, mostly when they come to Norfolk, but you can just hear it in the announcers voices when a player is testing the patience of an organization. That tone is definitely present today.

Yeah I figured. It’s funny to refer to them as such since most are not exactly the youngest guys in the organization.

Katjam – I agree, i’m pretty sure i remember reports of schafer having a bit of an attitude problem. He just kind of strikes me as the guy who is only out there for one person. Don’t get me wrong, the guy has all of the skills to be something special (and I thought that he would be). But he may be his own worst enemy, maybe he has hit a slump that he can’t recover from. He is definitely on thin ice. He has already lost a ton of value. There are only two options from here. 1. we can hope he regains form. 2. we can sell while he still has some redeemable value, which probably won’t be that much at this time. 3. We can release him at the end of his contract and get nothing out of a lot of hype. But heck, Blaine Boyer has a job, so everything is possible.

sorry, i meant three options

I also meant to say that it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to see Adam Jones in Atlanta. He is the Orioles though, so I highly doubt there is anything we could give them to pry him away.

Bravo, I think you know how I feel about this. Frank Wren is able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He is just one bone-headed move away from screwing up again. While Hinske and Cabrera have been admirable signings, much improving our bench, the only reason they look so good is what sat on the bench last year. And look at what Wren gave up to get Melky. FW has made one good move in the last 2 seasons that had anything to do with his prowess. That’s Glaus. and Glaus has always been a B4 the AS break player. His knee is getting balky and he may not be amazing in the 2nd half. I tell you what, find someone who has an ESPN insider account and we can find out what his peers think of him(poll on GMs rating GMs , just out.) I fear that a lot of the reason we get shafted in trading situations is because Frank is not highly regarded. Remember Frank’s only GM exp. b4 coming here was in Baltimore. He got fired after 1 year on the job. IN BALTIMORE!!!!! Obviously I am not the only one who questions Wren’s logic and ability.

But regardless, I would be SHOCKED if a move wasn’t made. I’m sure McClouth can do better than what he has accomplished so far this year..which isn’t much at all.. but it would take quite the dramatic turnaround. And Gregor Blanco is filling in decently but it would be a little pathetic to have him as our starting CF. Offensively he has already been an upgrade, but we badly need a righty who can do more than hit singles and succeed in more than 33% of basestealing attempts.

Oh and Bravo, imagine how much clout we would have in the trade market if we didn’t have a 7M dollar long reliever in our bullpen. You can buy a big chunk of RH, OF bat for $7M.

Oh and Bravo, imagine how much clout we would have in the trade market if we didn’t have a $7M long reliever in our bullpen. You can buy a big chunk of RH, OF bat for $7M.

Oh Martin, You da man, you da man.

Frank Wren wasn’t mentioned in the Buster Olney blog.

Not in the hard or easy to work with.

What was interesting was that Byrnes(DBack GM) garnered some votes in the top young GM category and was promptly fired.

Getting fired by Angelos means very little in the MLB world.

Wren’s made some good moves, JJ Hinske,Glaus to name a few. There are others. He’s also made some that were questionable Lowe,McLouth and KK.

Signing Lowe and KK tied up too much money and too many years.

McLouth just hasn’t performed. Though the trade was lauded throughout MLB when it was made.

As terrible as McLouth has been the package Wren shipped has been performing poorly also.

Jury’s still out. Though I suspect that Wren will be around for quite a long time.

And the rightful starter at 2B for the All-Star Game does it again.

Yes, Yes, Yes! We are finally making Jamie Moyer look like a 47 yr old, its about time!
Bill, IMO, Wren has made some good moves (obtaining Vasquez, Hinske, Glaus), and some bad ones (KK, lower return for Vasquez). But it certainly blows that two pitchers used to strengthen our starting rotation (Lowe, KK) are the worst ones we got (Lowe is not terrible but nowhere near our “ace”), and get they get the biggest paycheck. Oh, how I hope someone is dumb enough to eat KK’s salary and pick him up. Hopefully that game in Detroit is fresh on other teams’ minds so they will want to take a chance on him….We could trade him for a hot dog of the month club for joe simpson and I would be satisfied.

Who should more arrongance with with the bat toss after the swing?

Ryan Howard after a 310 foot fly ball.
Matt Diaz after a 410 bomb to center field

The last two days I have seen the Diaz of last year. By the way, he did it against righty too Bobby.

Looking good for 2 of 3 now, but 4 innings left.

Man, Martin is the spark that lights the Braves fire. God, it’s good to have Diaz back. Does he look rusty to anyone here? Turns out his “splinter’ was a palm frond that has been in his thumb for 3 years. He said his thumb looks small now, goof. Yes, Papi, Utley couldn’t touch Martin right now.
David you need to add these to your questionable list,
Loaf-Garrett Anderson
Ryan Church- What was he thinking?
Vasquez- If he was still here and settled he would be dealing.
Norton- Oh my God.
Jesse Chavez- never met a batter he could pitch to.
Pendleton- why is this guy still coaching here?
JoJo- a young rising star you can count on- puhleeze.
Passing over Bryce Bentz in 2010 Draft.”He just doesn?t get out ? we can?t get him out,” VU pitcher Mike Minor said. “He can hit breaking balls; he can hit fastballs. You can?t blow it by him.”
And this just in Frank Wren has informed the media that he won’t be pursuing pitching before the trade deadline, Well no sh*t Frank. You already have the deepest pitching staff in the majors, both starting and BP. Can we dispense with the obvious please????

Venters, God love him, but Bobby doing his usual thing trotting Venters out there 3 days straight.

Billreef,
Garrett Anderson—sucks, we both can agree on that, but who else does Frank get…Griffey? They only payed him a couple of million. Bobby loves veterans, and I bet he played a large role in getting a veteran in there. The free agent class that year sucked…and don’t say Dunn. The Braves were not going to pay $10 million like the Nationals.
Ryan Church?—I’ll tell you what Frank was thinking. He was thinking Jeff Franceour sucks. And he was right. He would’ve been lucky to get a bag of balls in return, let alone a baseball player with a pulse.
Norton?-touche.
Jesse Chavez?–noone thought Soriano would accept arbitration. When he did the Braves were screwed, because they couldn’t fit him into payroll. It was a salary dump, and many experts said the Braves were lucky to get anyone to take him on short notice and for that salary in this economy.
Jo-Jo-what?–in case you didn’t notice….he’s in the Minors.
Pendleton is still around because Bobby wants him around. Period. It’s his staff. I’m not saying I agree with it, just telling it how it is.
Bryce Brentz? Seriously? That’s Frank Wren’s fault? You may have heard of something called a “scouting director”. Teams pay these guys to scout for them and select guys for them. It’s not that difficult of a concept.
Let’s go on.
McLouth?- most people liked the trade when it happened. It hasn’t worked out, but NOONE the Braves gave to the Pirates is doing a thing. NO general manager doesn’t have a blemish here and there.
The Braves are in first place, and your sh!t@!ng on their general manager. Makes perfect sense.

Thank you Bobby for confirming my argument.

Wren’s done some good things and bad things….
Good:
-Signed Wagner (this was an unknown, but we came out good with this one, he has probably been the best Wren signing ever)
-Saito
-David Ross
-Troy Glaus (another unknown that worked out in our favor)
-Traded for Javy Vasquez
Neutral:
-Traded minor league junk for McLouth (hasn’t worked out, but not a bad idea)
-Salary dumped Soriano (no backup plan if they accept?)
Bad:
-Griffey – never understood the logic there, he was definitely over the hill and i thought everyone knew.
-Norton – oh boy, at least he had one good season here.
-Furcal – why try to sign ****?
-Javy Return – Melky/Dunn/Viscaino…..wish we could have gotten a little more in that one
-Garrett Anderson – this veteran unknown didnt work out.
-TREATING TOM GLAVINE LIKE A PIECE OF GARBAGE!, i’ll never forget that

There’s some real revisionist history going on in here. You can’t ignore the circumstances and look solely on the results. Norton?? Come on, he was the best pinch hitter in baseball in 2008. Why not sign him in 09. Bobby loved the idea of having Anderson on the team. He was a great hitter who was about 1 year past his expiration date. Lowe? He was unfortunately the best, most realistic free agent available to rebuild a broken rotation. Everyone would still be complaining if he was making half of what he does. KK had a good year in 09 and showed some real promise at times. I don’t know.. seems like Wren is doing a pretty good job. He doesn’t have a crystal ball and isn’t running every shot in the organization. Who has done a better job with the same resources?

Oh and is Prado trying to sneak his way in the Home Run Derby at the last second?

billreef – In looking at Wren, I really only see one move that I deem as bad from the start. That is the Kawakami move. Committing all that money to an unproven pitcher was not very wise. Everything else mentioned on here is being spun negatively to make your point.
– McClouth – We gave up Charlie Morton for him. Have you seen his stats? Even with McClouth’s lack of production I think Wren made the right move. Everyone in baseball at the time thought that was a good move. Do you remember Adam Laroche, then with the Pirates, publicly criticizing the Pirates for that deal? McClouth was a player with proven power, base stealing, and average. It just made sense. Nobody predicted his tailspin.
– Garret Anderson was a career hitter. He came cheap and there truly weren’t any other options. He ended up better than Griffey who was the only other option. We couldn’t afford anyone else. Of course, a lot of that was money committed to.Kawakami, so I understand that one bad move can have a large effect on the team.
– Derek Lowe – 15 wins last year, on his way to 15+ this year. He is reliable, sturdy, and a veteran who Kris Medlan is attributing his current success to. He was the top free agent in the pitching market when we REALLY needed pitching.
– Ryan Church – was no better or no worse than Jeff Franceour. Frenchy needed out.
– Norton – Was the best pinch hitter in baseball the year Wren brought him on board. He was the worst pinch hitter in baseball in 2009 and I blame that on Bobby’s loyalty in sticking him out there every day. Norton’s year in ’09 had nothing to do with Wren.
– Vasquez – A lot of us were scratching our heads after the Vasquez trade. However, after signing Huddy we had no more room for him. Who would you rather have in your pitching rotation? Huddy or Vasquez? You can’t assume Vasquez would still be “dealing” if he was still in Atlanta. Have you see his pitching stats this year? He has an ERA worse than Kawakami. I think it’s over 5. How was that a bad move? In a way, I think it’s probably one of Wren’s best moves ever. He rolled the dice and looks like a genius for that move. Look at our rotation now… it wouldn’t look like that with Vasquez in the rotation. Plus, with the money we saved from trading him, we now have the room to make a move for the outfield bat you’ve been clamoring for recently. Kind of a catch-22, huh?
Pendleton – Our offense looks pretty good right now. Anyways, he’s Bobby’s guy. Not Wren’s.
Jojo – will never pitch in the bigs. He’s in the minors. Not really sure why Wren gets blamed for JoJo. Kind of irrelevant if you ask me…

Oh please Bravo. on McLouth. “Nobody predicted his tailspin”??????? Have you been listening to me?????? I have been screaming, hair on fire about the McLouth deal since it was made, I screamed even louder this spring, while we still had a chance to deal with it. The guy has a hole in his swing as big as a house. Every scout in both leagues knows it. This isn’t and hasn’t been, for a while, some well kept secret. And your rational is that one of his teammates complained, Puhleeze…

Derek Lowe- Yeah that was a great deal, so great we were offering to pay part of the contract for anyone who would take it on after only 1 year had passed. Guess what, no one else would take on the deal even with us paying part of it. Yeah, that was another great Frank Wren deal.

Seriously….. Who cares!! At this point and time it does not matter what anyone thinks of Frank Wren’s deals. So many points have been shot back and forth as facts. Here is the only fact that matters:

As of July 8, 2010, the Braves sit atop the National League East with a three game lead. No matter what happens between now and Sunday they will go into the all-star break with at least a share of the lead. That is much further ahead of where I thought they would be when April turned to May. At that point, I was just hoping they would get back to .500 and at least be within striking distance of the Philly’s by the break.

This debate will be settled during the second half of this season. If Wren pulls off a move that gets the Braves the power hitting right handed bat that they need and the team goes deep in the playoffs, then FW should be given credit for doing a good job. If he fails to make anything happen and then the Braves stumble down the stretch or have an early exit from the playoffs then billreef shall be proved correct in his assertation that FW sucks. There are many other scenarios that could play out to prove either side’s point, but for the sake of time I will leave it at the two most obvious.

So, let’s see how this deal plays out before we either enshrine him or burn him at the stake.

Bravo, I agree with you about Kawakami, I’m never a fan of putting alot of money in a guy that you’ve never seen live (plus a 3 year deal?). I think it was a “creative” way to fill our rotation at the time. But to me, it hasn’t worked. But at that time, Hanson was not up and we were counting on Glavine, so he was an overpriced insurance policy. However, in the “butterfly effect” of baseball, maybe Kawakami’s presence helped us sign Saito, who has been a great signing this year.
With that being said, I don’t think its fair to attribute Norton’s lack of success in ’09 on Bobby. If anything he should thank Bobby for giving him as many chances as he got in ’09; hoping his swing would return. If he wouldn’t have been put out there, he would have been cut, because he couldn’t play any defensive positions with reliability. He was there to hit, and he didn’t do his job in ’09. He’s lucky he was not DFA midseason.

Peter Gammons is reporting a Mike Minor for Corey Hart trade.

Yes, our bullpen has been stout indeed. I hope we don’t trade Minor….It would be a sick rotation of Hanson, Jurrjens, Huddy, Medlen, and Minor. We could use the LHP in our rotation. But, on the other hand, you have to give to get.

Let me restate, he called it a rumor

Let me restate, he called it a rumor

He also tweets “WAgner, Venters, O’flaherty, Moylan, SSaito, Kimbrel 209 k, 170 ip”

Gammons is bored.

Well his only 2 tweets this afternoon are both about Braves players, he must be talking/thinking about us.

So.. where (hypothetically) would Hart play? I’m assuming LF since he has only played 45 games in CF. Which leaves us with… two left handed hitting CFs and one switch. one is hitting decently and has mediocre defensive skills, one is having a nightmare year at the plate and is above average in the field, and one who is pretty average across the board. This also leaves Diaz as the odd man out. If somehow they could Frankenstein all of our outfielders together?with the exception of Heyward, we would really be cookin.
I guess the best case scenario would be Heyward in RF, platoon Hinske/Diaz in LF, get a new CF, and use McClouth and Melky off the bench. This outfield curse is killing me.

Hart is an avg CF at worst, you might bring in Blanco as a late inning replacement and move him to LF then. You DFA McLouth, and then you have a strong bench as well with either Hinske or Diaz as a PH. If your worried about him move the kid to center and put Corey in RF. You wouldn’t miss a beat there. This trade would be an amzing step up for the Braves. This guy is 28, under team control through 2011 and is a really class act.

I do like the idea of getting Hart, though I really don’t see the Braves giving McLouth the DFA treatment. He’ll either be packaged in a deal or Blanco will be sent down. McLouth is still a better CF. I’m not necessarily agreeing w this. Just what I think will happen.

I just read that the Braves are offering Mike Minor to the Brewers for Corey Hart. I would love to see that but why not add Melky or Mclouth in the deal to get rid one or the other. Why not make J-hey a CF then make Hart a RF?

NC if you’ll read the blog, I just said that about 3 posts ago. And I like the idea of throwing in Melky or Mclouth. I think they probably take Melky. McLouth is too much of a risk right now. But we can send McLouth to the minors to try to find his swing and his brains and if he succeeds their might be someone willing to take a gamble on him. Melky would be a good option for the Brewers, He can come off the bench and provide some utility in the OF. That leaves us with Hart in RF, Heyward in CF, Diaz and Hinske in LF with Blanco as back up. Pretty strong

I wonder if we could get away with giving them Schafer instead of Minor….Minor is a great pitcher and I’d love to have him in the rotation next year…..which is why the Brewers want him so bad i guess. How about they just take Schafer and Kawakami off our hands instead. . . . ha

Minor is kind of a pedestrian minor leaguer. Hart is a proven Major League talent. The Braves will probably have to sweeten this deal with a low level minor league outfielder or someone who can fit into their OF now(Melky, please). This would be a great deal for the Braves who have been trying to get Hart for the last 2 years.

That would be nice, but I think we would have to offer someone of any value. Schafer has hit .200 in the past year, had surgery, and in the process probably had his ego run over by a tractor trailer. At least Melky has some proven success and brings versatility off the bench. Plus, I would rather keep Schafer around and see if he can bounce back next season in Gwinnett.

though i know you were probably just wishfully thinking, speedy.

This R.A. Dickey flash-in-the-pan leads the Mets starters in ERA. I predict that will change after the game tonight.

Giving up Minor for Hart would be a travesty. Hart’s not worth that, the guy will come back down to earth in the second half.

Yeah, but what if he doesn’t? We really need an outfielder and we’re pretty set for a while in the rotation w Hudson, Hanson, JJ, Medlen, Lowe. And if he isn’t dealt, we have a backup starter in KK. If the Mets make a move for Lee or another starter, then we desperately need offensive help in the outfield. I don’t want to get rid of Minor either, but it might be the turning point of the season.

Minor is kind of a pedestrian minor leaguer. Hart is a proven Major League talent. The Braves will probably have to sweeten this deal with a low level minor league outfielder or someone who can fit into their OF now(Melky, please). This would be a great deal for the Braves who have been trying to get Hart for the last 2 years.

So, from what I understand, bill wants the Braves to get McLouth healthy and to fix his swing, just so we can trade him? I thought the point in having a productive player was to, um, have him play for YOUR team? I F****** hate Kawakami, but if the guy had ever put up good numbers, I’d like him to be in my rotation. And you’re also telling me that you’d like to have Corey Hart, but, if I recall correctly, you’re one of the ones who bashed Francoeur and was glad he was traded. If we trade for Hart, we’re basically getting the same player, minus the defense. Hart is just as inconsistent as him, has maybe a hint higher OBP, and they’ve hit relatively the same in batting average. Given Hart has a bit more consistent power, Francoeur has been a better run producer. I don’t see us giving up a good prospect for a player who may play a good 2 weeks for us, then not do anything *cough-McLouth-cough*

Though I do like the idea of getting rid of Melky. We have NEVER needed him. Let Blanco play center until McLouth can fix his stuff and get another shot, put Diaz in left as the STARTER, not a PLATOON player, Bobby, give Hinske some spot starts(If he plays 3 days in a row, he’s done, that’s why he was signed as a BENCH player), and of course Heyward in right. When/if McLouth returns to form, use Blanco as the 4th OF.

By the way guys, the Yankee’s look to be getting Cliff Lee, which means another sour ending to Javy Vazquez’s 2nd stop in the Bronx. Where do you think he goes?

Never bashed Frenchy, NEVER. Trashed Pendleton after listening to him whine about Francouer seeking help from Rudy J. during the offseason. And i think that the reason you get McLouth hitting again is so you can dump his salary, the guy has a rag for an arm, swings for the fences with every swing and will always have a hole in his swing. Get your facts straight, soccer player.

I’ve said a lot of things about Bill, but I’ll NEVER say that he was glad Franceour was traded?especially not for Ryan Church.
Personally, I would rather have Melky than Blanco. Blanco can basically only hit singles and is pretty d*mn mediocre though he has started off well this year and has been taking better routes in CF. Definitely better than McLouth offensively. I would give Diaz about a week or so after the break to play everyday in LF, if it’s working out great, if not platoon him with Hinske.
As for poor Vazquez.. I read about a potential Vazquez for Werth trade. How much would that suck?

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