Outfield mix is looking a little different this weekend

Wilkin Ramirez wasn’t exactly terrorizing International League pitchers this year.  But while utilizing him as their starting left fielder in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rangers, the Braves still opted to put him in the fifth spot of their injury-depleted and slumbering lineup.

Hey nobody said it was easy to be hitting coach Larry Parrish these days.  Before we go any further, has anybody issued that apology to Terry Pendleton yet.

OK, back to today’s news.  The Braves opened a roster spot for Ramirez by optioning Randall Delgado back to Double-A Mississippi.  Delgado impressed with the poise he showed while making his Major League debut last night.  He probably threw one too many changeups to reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton, who punished him with a decisive two-run fifth-inning homer.

But the kid left the mound in the fifth inning with no reason to feel ashamed.  I certainly agree with those who say he was actually more impressive than Julio Teheran, who is considered one of the game’s top overall prospects.

Long before Teheran, the Braves’ top pitching prospect was a quiet kid named Matt Harrison, who will take the mound for the Rangers in this afternoon’s game at Turner Field.  Since being packaged in the deal that brought Mark Teixeira to Atlanta, Harrison has added about 20 pounds and 5-6 mph on his fastball.   He currently stands as a decent back-of-the-rotation option.

With the left-handed Harrison on the mound, the Braves didn’t want to put Eric Hinske in a lineup that still possessed four other left-handed hitters  —  Jordan Schafer, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman.

But the fact that they promoted the right-handed Ramirez and immediately put him in the lineup seemed to indicate what they might do when Nate McLouth is activated from the disabled list tomorrow and begins serving as the left fielder until Martin Prado returns.

McLouth’s Minor League rehab stint will consist of two more at-bats with Gwinnett tonight.

When McLouth returns, the athletic Ramirez is expected to stick around to serve as a backup outfielder.

To create a roster space for McLouth, the Braves could designated Joe Mather for assignment.  He is hitting .219 and has just one hit in his past 22 a-bats.

TIDBITS:  Chipper Jones was feeling better today and the Braves are still hoping that he might return to the lineup within the next couple days.  But it didn’t seem like he had improved enough to be available to pinch hit Saturday.

Brandon Beachy still seems to be the most likely option to start in place of the disabled Tommy Hanson Wednesday.  “I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility,”  Gonzalez said when asked about this option.

The Braves still can’t give a definite return date for Martin Prado and they won’t be able to do so until the cut that led to his staph infection completely heals.  It would not be surprising if he misses at least the remainder of this month.

TODAY’S LINEUP

Schafer 8

Uggla 4

Heyward 9

McCann 2

Ramirez 7

Freeman 3

Gonzalez 6

Hernandez 5

Lowe 1

 

 

 

 

37 Comments

At this point, Terry Pendleton looks like a great hitting coach. No offense, Larry Parrish, but Prado hit .300 regularly under Pendleton, and I have to think Pendleton would at least have Uggla over .200. Just saying.

“Mark, I haven’t read anything by you or DOB which addresses the fact that the walk rate of almost every single player on the team has gone down. This is either a bizarre team-wide funk or the coaches are still trying to tell the guys to be more aggressive. They are all swinging at everything. Look at the games where we manufacture runs. You will see WALKS in the box score along with hits.”

Its days when we dont have chipper that you still realise he is the key man in the offence. He could hit .250 and his obp and presence, and working the count will still be crucial

Lets hit the guy hitting .170 second. WHat is the logic? It doesnt matter whats good for uggla. It matters what is good for the team. And having a guy hitting .170 hitting in a crucial spot in the line up is nuts. Its statistically the worst decision I have ever seen a manager make

Why should we owe TP an apology? While he was a hitting coach – the team was offensively unproductive. That we are now the picture used in the dictionary under the word FUTILE is hardly a reason to apologize to him. Have the players manned up and apologized to we the fans for SUCKING? Thursday night, I took my 93 year old step father to the game. He offered to walk down to the dugout and pay $25 to Dan Uggla. He said he felt sorry for him and thought if he offered the additional money, he might try harder to get a hit.

I was offended by that line Mark. Some of your readers are a little more baseball savvy than you give them credit. I believe a little good old fashioned accountability would go a long way. Some players need to be sitting and letting some other, younger players (who couldn’t do any worse) do some playing. Maybe play some players that are a little more “hungry?”

I never rag on the coaches. At the end of the day the players should take responsibility.

Except when Fredi decides to bat a guy hitting .170 2nd. Which is statistically just an epic fail.

Maybe we should bat the pitcher 2nd to get them out of their slump? Thats how retarded batting uggla second is.

Braves must be praying for the rain to continue to bail their bacon out.

Why do you all think the offense sucked last year? We were FIRST in the NL in OBP, 6th in OPS, FIRST in doubles, 5th in runs scored. You people think the offense sucks because there’s not anyone on the team hitting 60 home runs.

And you talk about “accountability”? If the team has sh*tty leaders (Parrish, Fredi) giving sh*tty advice (be aggressive, swing for the fences) and sh*tty orders (bunt bunt bunt bunt), they are not going to live up to their full potential. You people always pull the “they have no heart” card when we’re underperforming. I’m starting to enjoy Pherris’ conversation more than anyone else on here. And even Bill when he’s not slap fighting with the Wuss Bros.

14 K’s his last 23 at bats for Freddie. Anyone worried they have figured our where to pitch him now?

His 460-foot homer messed him up. He’s swinging at everything and missing most of it.

Mather gone. I guess they are tired of this Jeff Franceour inconsistencies. Hopefully, Ramirez can add something to this pathetic offense.

McClutch is back. Time to get hot now :-)

Nice welcome back plunk for Nate. Raising that OBP.

Sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

Wow we actually strung a few hits together.

Bills right about Gonzo. Can’t drive in runners, no OBP, good for the occasional HR and defense. Why is he not always hitting 8th?

It might be a good idea to use the pitcher batting 8th. Be Schafer, Heyward, Chipper, Mac, Uggla, Freeman, Gonzo, pitcher, McLouth.

Did some calculations with Schafer’s scoring rate. He is scoring at .188 runs/AB. That equates with 117 runs for a 625 AB season. Jose Reyes has only scored more than that once (scoring 122 and 119 in 647and 681 ABs respectively). Ichiro has only scored more once in his rookie season (127 Rs in 692 AB’s). I consider both of these guys prototypical Leadoff men because they get on, get over and get in. Amazing to see that Schafer is doing that well even though his average still has some room to climb. If you look at JS’s steal rate you can see why some of the above is true. (projected 49 steals over 625 ABs). No Brave has had anywhere near that total since Furcals 46 in 2005.

Schafer is great because he can run. Unless he hits under .220 with obp under .300 then he shud be lead off hitter. That by no means suggests he is top class, but he is the best we have. When prado returns I porject this: schafer, prado, chipper, b mac, heyward, uggla, freddie, gonzo, pitcher

Nice play Nate. Glad to have you back!

Nate showing off that range!

Nate will be a well above average LF defensively. And he can hit a bit so he is a usful guy to have on the bench

Congratulations for a good effort by Jurrjens, But 115 pitches in 5 and 1/3 innings? He does good work but just not enough of it. Isn’t there someone in the Braves organization who can teach this young man how to pitch? Hansen as well. Even more to the point isn’t there someone in the Braves organization who can call a game in which this young man can pitch to his full potential? It obviously is not McCann. He is a great hitter but sub-par catcher in all other aspects of the game. Anyone who believes otherwise is either a starry eyed sixth grader or a delusional adult. It would appear to me that the Braves could receive a good catcher, defensively speaking, and a good bat for McCann. Or, by moving McCann to first, a good catcher and a good prospect for Freeman and a minor leaguer. It is a tough world out there and not all choices are easy. But there is addition by subtraction..

Pherris – please! This was JJ on an off day against a very potent AL offense. Does not bode well for you frillies.

Most retarded trade idea ever to trade the best catcher in the majors who is on a home town contract. Congrats.

Best offensive catcher, you knucklehead, sub-standard defensively, read the stats, And who wants to put so many golden arms in the charge of a sub-standard catcher? But, hey, whats the difference, a sub-standard catcher just completes the the sub-standard trifecta along with the manager and coaches.

It is amazing how hard you grasp at straws to try and insult players. Mac is the 2nd best catcher in the majors behind Mauer, get over it. Carlos Ruiz is a one year wonder, get over it. The Braves are a good team, get over it. It’s amazing how much you get butthurt and defend the Frillies like we actually care. You are a fan and not part of the team, get over it.. Your ass backwards analysis of the Braves doesn’t help your team or hurt ours, get over it. Discuss your team with people who want to discuss your team. End of story, van flip, no care ever.

He has a valid point. Especially for the portion of our staff that are ground ball pitchers and are taught to pitch to contact. In theory, they should be going deep into games because they shouldn’t be going into deep counts and going for strikeouts. It’s kind of pathetic that we have to use Venters almost every game because our starter can’t make it past the 6th. I’m also in disbelief that it hasn’t been noted that every single one of our starting pitchers has had time off already this year. Hurt back, sore shoulder, sprained vagina, etc…so much for having an offseason workout regimen to prepare you for a full season, huh?

Its enough to make me wish we had Leo Mazzone back as pitching coach. His whole philosphy was pitch more often, not less and our pitching staff had less injuries than they have under McDowell’s watch as pitching coach. Or maybe Mazzone just had a better hand in coaching in simple adjustments compared to Roger…what is y’alls take on it?

Now I’m definitely enjoying Pherris’ input more than that of the trans-Atlantic goon squad. You two don’t read anyone else’s comments thoroughly and your analyses are weak as hell.

Says the guy who posts about declining OBP in every single article.

Geez Zippy, does your mom know you’re still up?

Mr. Woodworth, me doth think you protest too much. Your comparison of McCann and Ruiz only serves to show you are not paying attention and are too close to the situation to render a detached analysis. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Braves could pull off a Teixeira trade in reverse? Such a trade would not be possible until the Braves figure out who their “Teixeira” would be.

I am so confused. How can McCann be viewed as a subdefensive catcher? Ever watch him block balls in the dirt. He would through more runners out too if Hanson wasn’t so slow to the plate. Moving him to first is crazy. Freeman has 300/30/100 potential and is great defensively. Plus, he is 6′ 5″. The braves may struggle without hanson who has been fantastic, but I like how the lineup is shaping up. Maybe Uggs can get it going? Prado being out really hurts them.

I do have one issue with the team. Why is gonzo contantly hitting 6th of 7th. His plate discipline kills him in RsBI opportunities – HE LIKES THE HIGH ONES. Chipper has looked fantastic lately. Can’t wait for him to come back so Heyward can hit second and Uggs 7th. He does not belong in the two hole as he there to drive in runs and has a poor OBP. When Heyward is going well, his OBP will approach 400.

Uggla should be batting 7th or 8th the bow simply can’t hit right now. He has never been a stellar hitter anyway decent but not great, sure would be great to have Infante back.
Heyward has his moments in the field and at the plate but he is very young as well just needs time to mature but like Chipper has said before if he doesn’t learn how to play through injuries, in my opinion the Braves should move him.
Mac- Top 5 cather in the game period, his bat makes up for the few downfalls behind the plate. Like Ability to throw runners out ( not totally on him) He is great at blocking balls in the dirty just needs to keep them infront more and not squirt them to the sides. Bad thing about this situation is if David Ross wasn’t a local boy he would be gone already. Ross has a flat out cannon for an arm and would hit better with more exposure.
Hanson- Good when he is on bad when he is not. Needs a mentor that can take him under their wing get rid of that damn high kick in the stretch and go to slide step.
Kimbrel- Hard thrower needs to learn more about him self and his ability, knee buckling bender and high 90’s fast ball. all needs is a good change up and he will be deadly.
Venters- Lights out Nuff said. Top 3 relievers in the game maybe the best this year.
Freeman- Needs to do what he did yesterday more often, stay in and just stroke it.
All the bunting when you have guys like JS at the front why not let them get on base with a bunt then steal around

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