Odds and ends: More Uggla and a different look at past Drafts

Instead of spending another day talking about Dan Uggla’s struggles or the need for a healthy Jason Heyward to begin contributing,  we’ll take a look at some of the most notable sports figures to be drafted by the Braves without you ever knowing.

Yeah, you’re right, that’s just taking the easy way out as many of you sit at your office and find it hard to concentrate on work when Uggla’s batting average sits at .172  — the lowest mark among all qualified Major League players.   There are two Major Leaguers (Ryan Raburn and Chone Figgins) with a worse on-base percentage (.240) 13 Major Leaguers with a worse slugging percentage (.312).

Two of the three National Leaguers with a lower slugging percentage are Uggla’s former teammate Hanley Ramirez, who was placed on the disabled list Monday, and Omar Infante, who was part of the package the Braves provided in return for Uggla in November.

But hey it’s too early to worry, right?  I mean we’re just two months into that five-year, $62 million commitment the Braves made in January.

A couple of weeks ago some members of the Braves organization were still taking that age-old baseball approach of saying, “His numbers will be where they need to be by the end of the season.”

Unless some of Enron’s former accountants are now employed at Elias, it’s not going to happen.  There’s certainly still a chance  Uggla hit another 23 homers over the final 102 games and end up with a fifth consecutive 30-homer season.  But he has just two homers in his past 133 at-bats.

It seems we’ve reached that point where the Braves should do whatever they can to make Uggla believe they do not care what his statistics read at the end of the year.  Right now, they can only hope that he proves to be much more like the .263 career hitter he was entering this season.

Yes, it’s important for Uggla to provide the timely power that allowed the Braves claim wins over the Brewers (April 4), Giants (April 24) and Phillies (May 15).  But at the same time, the Braves need him to provide at least a hint of consistency in the middle of their lineup.

Uggla is now hitting .111  (6-for-54) with runners in scoring position.   Until he starts cashing in on these opportunities more consistently, the Braves are going to struggle like they did most of this past weekend.

The Braves scored 10 runs during this past weekend’s series and just two of them were plated before the eighth inning.  Before Diory Hernandez hit his three-run, ninth-inning homer Sunday night, the Braves were flirting with scoring two runs or fewer for the ninth time in a span of 15 games.

They have scored two runs or fewer in 21 of their first 60 games.  That equates to 35 percent.  They scored two runs or fewer in 45 (27.8 percent) of their 162 games last year.

As mentioned in April, the Braves had some trouble connecting with new hitting coach Larry Parrish.  Of course a few hours after this was written in this forum, the Braves began a three-game sweep of the Giants in San Francisco.

But there is absolutely no reason to blame Parrish right now.  With Uggla providing nothing more than a couple clutch homers and Jason Heyward proving productive for what amounted to just a week, the Braves simpy have to feel fortunate to be within 3 1/2 games of the top spot in the NL East standings.

LOOKING BACK ON PAST DRAFTS:  The Braves’ only pick in tonight’s First-Year Player Draft will be the 28th overall selection.  I’m guessing they go for a left-handed pitcher.  Over the next couple days, they’ll make a flurry of picks.  Some of the players might prove recognizable immediately and others you might not recognize until many years later.

Here is a look at some successful sports personalities who were once drafted by the Braves without many of you ever knowing:

Kevin Towers  (1981  — 12th round)  The Padres drafted him the following season and later employed him as their general manager from 1995-2009.  He is currently serving in that role for the D-backs.

Randy Johnson   (1982 — 4th round)  After not signing with the Braves out of high school, Johnson enjoyed a successful career at the University of  Southern California, where he played with Mark McGwire.  The Expos took him in the second round of the 1985 Draft. His 303-win career included a perfect game at Turner Field.

Urban Meyer  (13th round of 1982)  —   Long after hitting .182 in two Rookie Level seasons with the Braves, he won two national championships as the head football coach at the University of Florida.
Ben McDonald (1986  — 27th round)  After not signing with the Braves out of high school, McDonald produced a stellar career at Louisiana State University and was taken by the Orioles as the first overall selection in the 1989 Draft.

Mark Brunell  (1992  —  44th round)  After the Braves took a flyer on him, Brunell served as Brett Favre’s understudy in Green Bay and then became a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in Jacksonville.

Dallas Braden  (2001 — 46th round)  —   Braden went the college route and was selected by the A’s in the 24th round of the 2004 Draft.  Last year, he became the 19th of the 20 pitchers in Major League history to toss a perfect game.






Be interested to see if Mark is concerned about the theory raised in the comments on this blog that Uggla’s numbers looked better because the braves couldnt pitch him. And now he no longer faces the braves we have a .220 hitter on our hands? Papabear did some analysis in the comments for the last blog post before this one.

according to baseball-reference, dan uggla’s wpa this season is on pace to be -2.9 meaning he will have cost the braves almost 3 wins.

his o-swing% is 2010 was 22.7%, in 2011 it is 26.6%. the espn crew was taking note of his bad mechanics last night. so he’s got bad mechanics, poor strike zone judgment and is costing the braves almost 3 wins.

on the plus side, he is playing league average defense by fielding % metrics.

and they are paying him a cool $9m this year.

I saw what they were talking about as far as the mechanics — specifically, his front foot as he strides. He didn’t do that in earlier seasons, so it’s probably a bad habit he picked up.
As far as strike zone judgment? Well, he strikes out more often per season than any Brave ever has, so you kinda expect that…

If Papa could do the math, the Braves did the math. Trust me, they did more than call NCBravesFan to get the go ahead to add Uggla to the line up for 5 years before he ever played an inning for them.

Yes! Working out well, isn’t it?

Our power bat is struggling. Unfortunately only Freeman and McCann have decided to make up for his absense (perhaps an arugment could be made for Chipper with RSP).

It’s amazing how many self proclaimed detractors and swing experts come out of the woodwork when a guy who has been one of the most consistent run producers in the NL has a prolonged slump. Bunch of Monday Morning Quarterbacks, who have never played a baseball game unless it was on a screen. Uggla will come out of this when he gets out of his own head. His physical skills and drive haven’t changed. Something is gonna click and he’s gonna go on a tear. And God knows the Sabre freaks could have predicted it all, HAhahaha.

Bill, while you may be right about Uggla’s struggles stemming from within his own head, it would be unwise to ignore poor mechanics that could be leading to weak performance (especially if these poor mechanics weren’t existent when he was successful). In fact, the two could quite possibly be linked. Uggla’s drive is obviously a great thing, it’s always better when a player legitimately cares about his performance. However, this could be leading him to focus so much on the outcome of every at bat or his line after every game, so much so that he has lost focus on the actual process that creates these results. Worrying so much about the results (as understandable as it is at this point for Uggla) is actually the worst thing he could be doing, especially in a game with such high variance as baseball…but, that’s human nature. If this is the case, his best bet would be to completely ignore what has happened this season and focus on the process that goes into creating good at bats, letting the results take care of themselves. This would alleviate some of the pressure he is probably applying to himself, as well as give him something to focus his attention on during each at bat rather that “what is going to happen”. Of course, these are all assumptions based on what we see, there is no way to know for sure without access to the man himself. I’m sure if he spent some time talking with someone trained in sport psychology, he’d be able to benefit from some of the techniques that aim to increase process-focus.

Well Koovoon, that was a very erudite response. A welcome change from some bloggers, nanny, nanny, poo, poo responses that happen here regularly. I don’t disagree with your premise at all. In fact, I think we make the same point. It’s cause and effect. He thinks too much and that causes his swing to have a huge hole in it. He needs to turn his brain off, simplify and let his body’s natural mechanics reassemble the swing. Ahhh, so easily said, so difficult to achieve. If it was easy, everyone would be hitting .325.

Psycho babble. The man has Andruw Jones disease (he can’t identify and lay off a down and away slider). And until he does, he will hit no higher than .240. He will run into the occasional fast ball or hanging mistake. Remember what I said about Andruw’s last year? .226, 26 HR, and 94 RBI. At this point EVERYONE will be thrilled if Uggla can reach that. But when we started, I was concerned that would be the best he could do. Remember how everyone was on Andruw? Remember how we all thought the Dodgers were foolish for taking him? The good news is that Uggla is young enough to turn it around. Sure hope he does!

Another Lefty pitcher. I like this pick! Anyone successful in pitching in the ACC is going to succeed!

He looks like a Glavine clone.

For the record – Papa Bear (Barry) was against the Uggla trade from the start. I hate to admit that… and I hope he’s wrong.

He hopes he’s wrong too.

Gilmartin this year: 12-1 with a 1.83 ERA. He has struck out 122 in 113-1/3 innings pitched.

Barring injury, it doesn’t look like we’ll be needing to rush Gilmartin’s ascension to the big club.

Uggla is hitting .172 with not alot of power and no walks. We arent 1 month in anymore either. We are about 10 weeks in. We have played almost 1/3 of the season and he is hitting .172. Its obvious that this year Uggla isnt going to produce the stats that the braves are paying him 62m to produce. Like Mark said, you cant say that his numbers will end up where they need to be. It just wont happen. I really hope he turns it round soon. But you cant say that if uggla goes back to the old uggla tomorrow and ends up hitting .220 with 25 homers that he has had a good season, but he hasnt. His net effect will still be negative based on the money they are paying him, and due to pay him.

I disagree, if Uggla ends up with 25+ HR, then he will have had an average Uggla season. He is paid to hit HR and produce RBI’s. I don’t care what his average is if he produces the two afore mentioned stats. But as of yet, he has not. If Uggla becomes Uggla tomorrow, you will hear no complaints for the rest of the season. The comparison would be this, did Troy Glaus have a good season last year????? You can’t judge a season on 1/3 year production. To say he will not have a good season is not a valid statement at this point.

Put it this way. The braves have paid Uggla $3m so far to hit .172 over 1/3 of a year. This is not good business. We cant get that $3m back, and we cant get back the games we are not winning because of his poor performance. A “slump” doesn’t last 10 weeks. When you are hitting .172 over 10 weeks that isnt a slump, its a serious problem. And its funny that Bill heckles people for saying they dont understand sport and uggla’s physical attributes havent declined. Firstly, he cant say for sure that his physical attributes havent declined. But MORE IMPORTANTLY, sport is played in the mind. FACT. If your head isnt right, you don’t have confidence etc then this isnt a minor problem like Bill is suggesting. Its a massive problem. In many ways it would be easier to fix uggla’s problems if they were mechanical. The problems in his mind could cripple his production, and cripple the braves for years to come. Sport is full of people who still have all the tools physically but cant produce for mental reasons. Bill is quick to heckle people like me for ragging on uggla, but I am just concerned that this is only the beginning of $62m wasted in payroll. I often think Americans, and American sport unestimates the importance of the mental side of sport. I know hundreds and hundred of football (soccer) players who lost the plot mentally even when in peak physical condition. Bill and others display a lack of sporting knowledge by talking like they are in these comments.

My point is that you can not base a season full of work with 10 weeks of performance. If Uggla finishes with a .230 avg, 28 HR and 100 RBI’s it is not necessarily a wasted season. Your concerns are valid, but you comments seemed full of panic. With a guy like Dan Uggla, he has not forgotten how to hit. There are adjustments that need to be made, both physical and mental. For as cold as he is now, he can easily become that hot in a month’s time. I agree the answer to our problem is focusing on the process, not the final solution. If he tries to hit 30 HR, he will fail. If he adjusts accordingly and trusts the process, the results with come.
Also, remember, the first sports psychologist was from Indiana University (US). Professional and collegiate teams have employed sports psychologists for years. Athletes in the US are well aware of mental aspect of the game.

We won’t be playing the Cardinals and Brewers that many times!

What worries me is that sport is full of people who can perform in low pressure sides, but who then flop utterly at a club that is more in the media spotlight. Nobody can deny that playing for the braves puts you more in the spotlight than playing for the marlins. If uggla is one of those many guys who simply cant produce under media scrutiny like they can when they are at an “under the radar” club then we have alot of reason to worry and its not too early to panic

I’m not exactly sure that there is more media spotlight on Uggla now than in south florida. The only difference is Uggla wants to provide worth for his big paycheck. There may be more pressure to win in Atlanta, but the media markets are pretty similar in my opinion.

Psycho babble? Silly me…I thought decades of research that support the importance of mental toughness in order to reach peak performance were valid. Instead of looking to the scientific community for answers, I guess it DOES make more sense to attribute it to a “disease” you’ve conjured up and named after a former Braves star. And to think, all I had to do was listen to a guy named “Papa Bear” for all the answers. Why did I waste my time earning a Master’s degree that deals with this psycho babble?? If only there were any prominent athletes or teams that know the true value of sport psychology (such as every MLB team that employs a sport psychologist). Sigh…we can only hope Andruw Jones Disease isn’t contagious!

Koovoon (or Captain Obvious) – it took you a Master’s Degree to determine that Uggla is pressing to hard and focusing on results? Really? Where did you get your degree? NSU? (No Sh*t University). ” his best bet would be to completely ignore what has happened this season and focus on the process that goes into creating good at bats, letting the results take care of themselves. This would alleviate some of the pressure he is probably applying to himself, as well as give him something to focus his attention on during each at bat rather that “what is going to happen”. Wow – if only Dan Uggla had you on speed dial…

Are you serious right now? Are you REALLY trying to make fun of me for earning a Master’s degree? I don’t even know what to say to that, lol. I apologize for talking about a specific case instead of trying to impart ALL of the knowledge I gained while earning my degree. Should I go through everything I know regarding sport psychology, would that impress you more? I don’t think I ever claimed that Uggla’s case was severely complex to figure out…on the contrary, I think it’s pretty obvious what is wrong, but actually figuring out what specific affect this is having on his swing and why, and figuring out ways to fix it from a mental standpoint, are the things that involve complexities. It’s funny you sarcastically make a comment suggesting Uggla would be lucky to have me on speed dial. I’ve dealt with numerous athletes and teams and can assure you the techniques used in mental training are legitimate, so I’m sure I COULD help Uggla if he had me on speed dial (even though we both know this isn’t going to happen). There are more qualified people out there, though, that have been doing it for years, have much more experience, and have chosen to do it as a profession, so I’ll leave it up to them…
I guess to sum up a response for you: No, it doesn’t take a Master’s degree to point out what is wrong with Uggla’s head, but it DOES take one to know how to help fix the problems. I don’t see why this is so humorous to you. What is the deal with everyone on here picking fights with each other??? I post one comment about Uggla’s possible mental issues and I get someone calling is psycho babble, and another insulting me for being educated? What’s the deal? When did it become so wrong to have a discussion about the game and/or players involved, without trying to show everyone else up? None of us even know each other, why all the muscle flexing? Who is there to impress?

Koovoon, GED Bravo is probably a little threatened by this talk of advanced degrees. You might want to take it easy on him.

more psycho babble.

Koovoon. Don’t let the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity get to you. They are always like this. Bunch of little peacocks all preening themselves with purported knowledge.

BillyBobReefer, you of all people talking about the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity? You are such a piece of work. Has your boy Shafer burnt out for the second time yet?


Pherrisphain is obviously just upset because his team is in decline. We are only 3.5 back and couldnt be playing any worse if we tried. Watch out kid…..

I been saying it for years the Braves should gotten in the deal to Pittsburgh was Morgan not Mclouth ok but no they get a slap bunt doubles hitter whose speed is lack. Juan Pierre could have been a nice addition but no Chone Figgins would have been nice but no, all these hitters could have been nice at the top of the lineup for the Braves.

Yuo’ve also been saying we should trade Brook Conrad and Bill for Upton/Upton/Kemp/Eithier/Prince/Scott/Hart/etc.

Did we really need such in depth analysis to know that Uggla is pressuring himself to preform on a new team with a new huge contract to prove himself? Bill said it best; it’s just gonna take time. Trying to be his physiologist or wanting to send him to the minor leagues isn’t going to speed up the process, it’s all up to him. Until the, Fredi is going to continue giving Uggla as many chances as he can to get back into the groove and win this teams some games. And Zid, he is still playing below league defense, and his WAR is only -0.8, not 3.

Well, being his sport psychologist COULD speed up the process. Regardless, do we really need anything that is ever discussed on a blog such as this? Talking about things isn’t going to hurt anything. It’s all in good fun, just passing the time talking baseball, right? However, all the snide remarks that are thrown about nonstop are so pointless, and THAT is what we really don’t need.

Juan Pierre is awful. Also his speed has gone, check his SB stats this year.

Reading this thread, I couldn’t help but think of the scene “The Natural”

“Losing is a disease….”
“As contagious as ….”


err from “The Natural”

Koov – I was not making fun of you. You just pointed out the obvious about Uggla and referenced your master’s degree to back up your expertise.
For what it’s worth, I think Uggla is somewhere in the middle. Papa Bear has a point by bringing up Andruw. Consistent power numbers but no real OBP or batting average threat. I am leaning towards Uggla being Andruw 2.0. A low batting average and the occasional power. The problem with Andruw was that he never came through in the clutch. All of his homers were when the game was already out of hand or nobody was on base. Looking at Uggla’s stats against the NL East (pitchers who know how to pitch to him) and other less regular teams is pretty alarming. Other than the Braves, pitchers who know how to pitch to Uggla have a pretty easy time getting him out. I hope he turns it around… and I hope he gets his head right. There’s no doubt in my mind that psychology plays a huge part in what he’s going through right now.
And Bill – I do have a high school diploma and a college degree from an accredited university. I don’t believe it myself…

Hey Bravo, do you happen to recall what Papa Bear has his Masters in?

Fine example of why I’ve read this blog for over 3 years, but have rarely commented. Comments like these are humorous to read, because it makes me ponder how pathetic you are for getting off on trying to outstage others on an internet blog. But nothing productive ever comes from it. For the record, I didn’t mention my degree until YOU questioned the integrity of the field of psychology (and interestingly supported your case with a clever disease you made up). I was fine with offering my two cents into a discussion about Uggla and his struggles. Yet, you insist on showing off for some reason. Good for you, though. Whatever floats your boat, man.

Wankology, Sport’s Rosterbation Physics, Vegas Betting Odds Economics, Braves Right-handed Hitters History or Team Chemistry in 2011?

Wait, are you saying I questioned the field of Psychology? Where was that? In fact, that is why you are the one looking foolish. I have my masters in counseling. So just chill. You were trying to come up with a psychological reason for Uggla sucking. As I have repeatedly pointed out by utilizing an accepted method of psychological measurement (known as STATISTICS) Uggla is what Uggla is. And his performance this season is a combination of two things: 1. He doesn’t have the Braves pitching staff throwing to him any more, and 2. He cannot see and identify sliders down and away. He chases them with extreme regularity. I don’t know how that disrespects the field of Psychology.

BTW – we are facing a pitcher making his MLB debut tonight. I’m predicting a shutout.

Thanks for the crow, Gonzo. I’ll gladly eat it.

Wow – I’m genuinely sorry your blogging experience has been ruined. I would have backed off if I knew it would have that effect on you. You got upset because Papa called your analyzing “psycho babble” so you told everyone how educated you are in the field of sports psychology and your graduate studies to back up what everyone already knew. I just pointed that out. If that makes me pathetic… then so be it. I can’t believe I’m being accused of upstaging a person who referenced a master’s degree to someone who disagreed with him.
Dear Kettle – I think you’re black. Sincerely, Pot.

It’s cute that you can quote old sayings, but it has nothing to do with this situation. I don’t really care if someone disagrees with me, that’s fine, but when people throw out insults even before they try to back up their points, it’s very childish. I’ve insulted nobody. And I only brought up my degree after the fact, to back up that it’s not “psycho babble”, considering there are decades of research to support it. And once again, you’re missing the point on why I was even bringing the situation up…the analysis of the situation is obviously simple, but what Uggla is going to DO about it is the interesting thing that could be further talked about and analyzed. And believe it or not, I’m able to offer some information others may not be aware of regarding the subject if we were actually able to have an intelligent discussion instead of a schoolyard fight about it. And, for people like Papa Bear who consider it “psycho babble”, why not just stay out of the discussion? Why is it necessary to chime in with insults? Disagreeing is one thing, but picking fights is another. Now, please enlighten me as to how any of this is the pot calling the kettle black? Because I mentioned my degree to show that I actually may have a clue as to what I’m talking about? And I thought that MAYBE some people on this blog would be willing to have a conversation about it?

Show me where I insulted you, Koovoon. I know psycho babble when I hear it and I am well qualified to point it out when I hear it. Last year, it was Brooks Conrad. Everyone said, “He has the Yips”. But I said the week before he made his first error that it was a mistake to play him in the field, accurately predicting he would have problems. He didn’t have the yips. He didn’t have the skills necessary. And the ball found him, and found him, and found him again. Baseball is like that. You come on here and get upset because people call out what you say and disagree. This is a BASEBALL blog, not a psychology classroom. Talk baseball, ok?

WTF. Why did Fredi pull Tommy. Man I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt us.

Man, this team couldn’t hit my Grandma in a crosswalk right now. How does every effing player on the team slump at the same time? Even our professional hitters like ski and Ross can’t get a hit. I am crying myself to sleep lately.

Maybe you can get some counseling from Koovoon.

On a side note, we just won a ballgame. It’s a shame our stellar pitching staff has to bail out our lackluster offense every time we win, though. We made a kid look like Cy again tonight.

I’m with you, Bill. It’s gotten progressively worse the last 3 seasons. It’s almost like putting on the uniform deadens the bat and screws up everything you ever knew about hitting. I don’t see Uggla getting any better, and Heyward being healthy is a wild card. Let’s hope our pitching can carry us or the Q-tip can pull something out of his arse to help us score some runs.

Bravo, I know you need counseling. I feel sorry for your dog.

Wow, until Prado got that hit, all I could think in my mind was Bob Uecker’s line from Major League..”We only got one g@ddamn hit?!” Oh well, its in Florida so nobody is watching anyway….Bet Prado’s knee is gonna be sore as sh*t tomorrrow. Thank the baseball gods our bullpen didn’t blow it in the 9th. I still can’t believe we won the game on two hits….

First off, Papa Bear, baseball and psychology have everything and anything to do with one another. So, in my opinion, this is the perfect place to talk about it, especially if it is in regards to one of our struggling players. I understand you are a big stats guy. So am I. Stats are amazing when used properly, and I’m sure if we delve into Uggla’s stats for this year, we can find some things he is doing wrong in his approach. The thing is, this doesn’t mean psychology can’t be brought into the discussion. The players are human, and their psyche is a huge part of what goes into producing these stats. I don’t know what Brooks has to do with this discussion. I agree with you there on that point, though, he shouldn’t have been in the field. This scenario is different, though…Uggla has the skills and for some reason he isn’t performing. And once again, I’m not upset that you disagree. It’s the WAY in which you disagree. And you ask me to point out where you insulted me? You insult my entire area, as well as me, by calling what I say “psycho babble”. If you disagree with it, then that’s fine, but why do you have to try to belittle it? I would be glad to show you research on the subject…but something tells me you’re very set in your ways and won’t have an open mind to that sort of thing. Regardless, I don’t really know who you think you are to sit there and tell someone what does and doesn’t belong in this public forum, from a discussion standpoint, especially since it CLEARLY involved baseball. I understand it may not be your cup of tea. So don’t drink it. Is it that hard to scroll past a comment you don’t care to read, without responding to it in a distasteful way?

my entire area of study***

I didn’t say anything didn’t belong. You’re the only one to say that. I called it for what it is (in my opinion) psycho babble. Who are you to tell me that statement doesn’t belong on the blog? You kind of argue against yourself there, don’t you? I don’t think of myself as better than you. I think of my opinion as better than your opinion. Isn’t that the essence of this discussion – to opine? Is it belittling to you for me to call your speaking psycho babble? If so, you are mighty thin skinned. Seems to me you would spend more time offering a suitable argument to establish why it is not so, instead of whining and crying foul. I am open minded. Prove your case.

Are you just ignoring the stats I have posted, or have you just not read them?

Papa Bear is right, Uggla doesnt have the skills to suceed. He is going to be a mendoza line hitter for his $62m contract at the bravess. It is sad but true. He is past it. Worst trade in history. Our offense is a shambles, and its comical you all commend Schafer. He is hitting .190 chaps. Last time I looked that wasnt very good. Uggla wont hit over .200 this year. We should trade him now, and eat a bit of his contract.

I know how crazy frustrating it is not to score runs. The Braves players and management all know how tough it is to deal with this issue(no hits) and are flogging themselves for not knowing how to extricate the team from it. We all know how maddening it is.
But what is lost is this,
1) Jair Jurrjens is having a Cy Young caliber year,
2) Tommy Hanson has rebounded from a 3.33 ERA year and is sub 3 again.
3) Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor have been crazy good as 4-5 starters, Even Teheran showed his promise as well
4) Huddy and Lowe are classically eating innings and winning.
5) Venters and Kimbrell have formed perhaps the best 8-9 inning duo in baseball history. Certainly the most dominant Rookie/Sophomore tandem.
If the Braves were scoring a few runs, these 5 points would be front page news. As it is, this decade best performance has gotten lost. This team has a 3.02 ERA. Finishing in the 2’s would be the first time in my lifetime, and that’s a long time.

And all of these factors add up to a nice little wildcard run as evident by the fact that the Braves are tied for second place in that regard.

You really are an idiot, eh?

Bill your absoltutly correct. (wow cant believe I said that). And that is why we are still doing ok, our record is decent. I think those things you raised make me more worried though. I dont think our pitching will stay this good all year. Espicially as the A-Team in the bullpen get tired towards the end of the year.

I have a feeling that our “no-offense” offense will piss away anything good you mentioned above, Bill. It’s two months into the season and pitching is the only reason we are where we are. We can’t expect that to last all season. We will waste JJ’s Cy Young run because we can’t hit. Venters and Kimbrel’s arms are going to fall off because they won’t be able to pitch in every game. Teams have learned how to rake Lowe and Huddy. I hate to be a pessimist… but the outlook does not look good. We are sending a message to our pitchers that if you don’t pitch the game of your life night in and night out, we will have no shot at winning. That’s a mighty tall order…

I don’t think teams have “learned how to rake” Huddy. He is getting the ball up, and that is not a good thing. Let’s not forget this time last season Huddy was d*mn near dominant. Once he gets his ball down then he will be good to go. I completely understand where the pessimism is coming from, but I do not think that it is warranted in Huddy’s case.
One point that concerns me is the fact that Tommy can’t keep his pitch count low. I understand he is a strikeout pitcher, but he needs to start getting deeper into games at this point in his career. Especially, considering that our bullpen is going to be taxed by the end of the year.

Leo Mazzone said a few days ago that he thought something is physically not right with Huddy.

Have you guys read the comments from Chipper regarding Heyward and his injury? Very interesting. Looks like he was not pleased with Heyward taking his time and waiting to be full healed before coming back. This is why I love Chipper. – http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/06/07/chipper-braves-need-heyward-back-on-field/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_braves_blog

I think that there is a lot of determination and grit in Chipper’s approach, and that’s what you have to love about the guy. However, I think the reason Jason is sitting out is because he knows how far he has fallen due to his nagging injuries. He simply does not turn on the ball the way he once did. He could use a few rehab games to get back. Because, right now, Jason’s “80 percent” is not going to help us.

I think Heyward, Uggla and McClouth should immediately form a support group and meet at least twice a week. Then maybe they will be able to turn around. What do you think Koovoo?

Its also worth noting that maybe baseball has changed, and teams arent going to be scoring as many runs anymore. The steroid era is certainly over. Back in that era the braves would have the worst offence by miles, but this year there are 6 clubs who seem to hit worse than them.

Seems like Chipper has had enough of this braves offence……

I’m sure he finds the Braves offense, offensive. I know I do.

I think JHey knows his value and marketability is at his highest when he’s 100%. I am positive it is his agent telling him to delay his comeback. No more ESPN commercials for sub par playing. Jason does not have the teams best interest, in my opinion… and Chipper is right. Everyone is playing hurt – so for JHey to wait until he’s 100% is what is best for JHey and not the team.

Yes, and let us recall – he was on the SI cover. Maybe it’s just “the curse.” But wait, so was Freddie. Hmmm. I wonder if Martin Prado would be playing hurt if he was in Jason’s situation. Come to think of it, I wonder if he is?

And as for Chipper – I love him to death, but watching him bat left handed last night was painful. I am really concerned about him from that side of the plate. Skills have greatly diminished, I fear. Again, I hope I am wrong.

Buster Olney just posted an insider article on Heyward and the impression he’s leaving on teammates. Anyone on here have an insider account? If so – can you copy/paste the article on here? Here’s the link – http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?name=olney_buster&id=6638693&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fmlb%2fblog%3fname%3dolney_buster%26id%3d6638693

He did a video blog as well on the topic.

I’ll be at the G-Braves vs, Toledo game tonight to get my first look at Stefan Gartrell.

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