Minor might be too valuable to trade right now

It will be interesting to see what transpires before this year’s Trade Deadline arrives at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.   Forced to guess, I’d say there’s a good chance Braves general manager Frank Wren will pull the trigger on a deal.  But I’m certainly not convinced that Carlos Beltran or another big-name acquisition will be spending the final two months in Atlanta.

As last week progressed, it became apparent the Braves have no desire to trade Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado or Arodys Vizcaino.  As one National League scout said, “they still remember the (Mark) Teixeira trade.”

It also seems some members of the organization believe Mike Minor should be thrown in this same “untouchable” category.  With the organization’s abundance of young pitching talent, it might be easy for some to give up on Minor.  But it should be remembered, he is just two years removed from Vanderbilt and that he stands as the organization’s only Major League-ready left-handed starter.

There is certainly a time and place to debate about how important it truly is to have at least one left-handed starter in a rotation.  But right now it seems more important to evaluate what Minor has done since the Braves made him the seventh overall selection in the 2009 Draft and gave him a $2.42 million signing bonus.

Still struggling to find consistency with his secondary pitches, Minor has spent most of this season with Triple-A Gwinnett.   But during his most Major League start on June 21, he limited the Blue Jays to one run over seven innings and showed why many believe he could be a solid number three starter.

Given that Beltran is only going to be around for two months, it’s easy to see why the Braves would be reluctant to give the Mets a chance to benefit from Minor’s development over the next few seasons.

Pirates Fever comes to Atlanta: Whenever a Braves fan says “Where were you when Sid slid?”, I have to think back to that October night of my freshman year at the University of Dayton.   After Sid Bream slid across the plate with the winning run to end the 1992 National League Championship Series, I was among the Pirates fans living in Stuart Hall who were accused of creating a disturbance.

Whatever might have been said or thrown that evening is no longer important.  But it is funny to think about how rough it felt when they levied me with a $30 fine.

Nineteen years have passed since that 1992 NLCS ended with a very effective Tim Wakefield simply watching Doug Drabek and Stan Belinda blow a two-run ninth inning lead.  The Braves have become a model franchise and the Pirates have spent most of the past two decades standing as one of professional sports’ worst franchises.

But for the first time since Sid slid, the Pirates come to Atlanta this week for a meaningful series.  Despite losing three of their past four games, the Pirates entered Monday tied with the Cardinals and Brewers for first place in the National League Central standings.

These leaders in the NL Central standings rank third in the NL Wild Card standings, standing 5 1/2 games behind the front-running Braves.   The only team in front of these clubs is the D-backs, who have whittled their deficit to four games with the realization that they’ll spend the rest of the season without Stephen Drew.

The Braves haven’t played great ball since the All-Star break and they enter this series having lost four of their last six games.   They’ve spilt their first 10 games since the break and had to erase four-run deficits to record two of those victories.

Remember back before the break, when it seemed highly unlikely that the Braves would score four runs or allow four runs in a single game.

Well now that Dan Uggla has shown some encouraging signs of life and the offense is starting to take shape, the pitching staff needs to return to form.  Or maybe these pitchers simply needed to return to Atlanta, where they don’t have to deal with the difficulties presented by Coors Field and Great American Ball Park.

Odds and ends:   This week will provide a homecoming for fan favorite Matt Diaz, who has hit .273 with 11 doubles and no homers in 176 at-bats for the Pirates this year.  Recognized as a left-handed killer in Atlanta, he has hit .286 (26-for-91)  against left-handed pitchers and .259 (22-for-89) against right-handed pitchers this year.  When he signed with the Pirates in December, he talked about the difference manager Clint Hurdle could make in Pittsburgh.  Right now, it looks like he’s batting 1.000 with that prediction.

Weather permitting, Chipper Jones is expected to return to the Braves lineup tonight.  This means Martin Prado will return to left field and Nate McLouth will have to see what his role becomes.   Instead of revealing his plans when asked what he planned to do when this time arrived, manager Fredi Gonzalez remained silent knowing what this game does to plans.  Now with Jordan Schafer having missed four straight games with a sore left middle finger, there’s at least a chance McLouth will continue to see some time in center.

 

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85 Comments

Offense and bullpen help continue to be most glaring needs. Pitching is starting to fade and we don’t have the offense to pick up the slack. This team is a move or two from being real World Series contenders. I hope Wren makes something happen.

Yes i would give up Minor but not for Beltran it would either be for a younger OF like Bourne Stubbs or Span.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Heath Bell in the pen down the stretch. No Beltran, and No Upton…….. Please

Looks like nate got the nod in centre tonight. In truth him and schafer will see alot of playing time given chipper days off. And chipper and heyward injuries.

Apparently schafer is going to be the braves CF when he is back. I guess nate is gone

Zidane, that is not too surprising since neither guy is hitting well. Schafer brings more to the plate, partial pun intended.

Minor is not too valuable if we get Pence. However I’m not holding my breath for that one

Check out BJ Upton”s spits:
AVG OBP SLG OPS
LEFT: .226 .347 .417 .763
RIGHT: .230 .298 .389 .637

HOME: .171 .250 .312 .562
AWAY: .285 .366 .475 .841

DAY: .275 .376 .450 .826
NIGHT: .205 .274 .367 .641

GRASS: .283 .373 .478 .850
TURF: .178 .257 .326 .583
His new nick name is “Splits” Upton.

I wonder how much money Astros would eat to move Carlos Lee? He is kinda second half guy and he has good numbers against lefty’s.

And don’t tell me about his defense, I already know.

1. No one’s going to take Nate or his contract. Get ready to say goodbye to your lover at the end of this season. Or hell, follow along with him to his new team. If he gets one.
2. I’d honestly wouldn’t care if we don’t make any big moves other than getting GonaBeAnOutzo out of here and bringing up P’Nicky. That’s already making us a better team.

Schafer
P’Nicky
Chip
Bmac
Prado
Freeman
Uggla
Heyward
P
The top 2 in the line up would wreck havoc around the base paths. The middle of the line up is just plain out SOLID. Heyward can platoon with Wilkin. And we would have another bat on the bench with McClutch.

Can anybody say Division Champs?

I love it when people just presume that prospects are going to be an upgrade based purely on hear-say.

It’s a lot better than when someone who knows NOTHING about the game keeps quoting an arcane statistic to try to support a player who has been nothing short of awful for 2 years.

Ummm, Zippy, do you REALLY, REALLY want GonaBeAnOutZo to keep batting with runners on base? REALLY?
Well let me ask you this. Who do you have in mind to “Bolster” our line up?

Mark…

I can understand why they wouldn’t want to trade any of the 4 for a rental. And though Upton is intriguing because of the hope that a change of scenery would help him, I would still be wary of sending one of the 4 for him.

But I want to know if you think they would send one of either Minor or Delgado for a guy like Pence. Solid hitter controllable for a couple more years, and probably re-signable too. I think Pence could make a difference in this line up now and in the future.

What say you?

Mike, before I put my thoughts on your comment. I’d like to know. What defensive position would you put Pence in?

I would think he could handle CF. I thought I read somewhere that he has played there before and he is athletic enough I would think. But the reports are the Braves are interested, so they must see him there as well. They wouldnt go after him to supplant Heyward past this year.

Right field, and send Heyward down.

Chipper echoes my sentiments here almost verbatim.

“If you get us a big outfield bat, do you sit the kid who has come up and provided us the ability to manufacture runs at the top of the lineup with his speed?” Jones said. “Do you sit [Schafer], who has played outstanding defense? That’s something you have to weigh, and I’m glad I don’t have that job.”

Agreed.

WTF Fredi? Hit and Run with Heyward?? He is striking out lately more than my ugly neighbor.

Nice arm McNoodle.

Really, I know Little Leaguers with better arms.

Bet that got you a little excited didnt it. Nate makes a mistake and Bill is loving it. Railing against players to prove you right on a baseball blog where you get your kicks out of arguing and being rude to people = you are a very sad individual

ZIppy to the rescue!

You know what’s worse? A hypocrite. You know. Someone who always calls out something for doing something when in hindsight, the same person does the same thing.
Calling out he manager for being stupid.
Calling people out for having faith in Schafer when the person himself has a mancrush with McLouth.
Calling out players cause they’re in a slump.
Calling out players cause they had a bad play/game.
Yeah Zippy, you can also tag yourself as a very sad individual.

Question me about any of these, and I will personally recall what you said.

Your just as rude as Bill. You seem to enjoy being rude to me. Nice. I always support all our players and I always come here and talk baseball and other people seem to like to just attack me (only you and Bill). I am done with this blog forever now.

Oh well Zippy’s left the Blog “forever” again. You can be sure he will post a least 2 more times to tell us he is leaving again.

It’s official. The baseball gods hates us. Every time Gonzo’s up at the plate, there’s always a runner in scoring position.

So I’m guessing your admitting that you did every single one of those accusations?

Zidane, ur full of crap. U attack posters to thisblog just as they do do u. Not to mention,the fact that u definitely don’t support every player on the team so that’s was an out right lie. How bout be quiet andlet the people who don’t contradict themselves constantly have adult conversation here.

I can’t figure out what is worse; the contradictions, or the guy who is holding Bills piss bucket. Why doesn’t everybody shut the hell up and talk about baseball?

Oh wahhhh. I talk about baseball a lot Brandie and i know you are part of the problem not part of the solution. You whine and bitch as bad as anyone and much worse thatn anyone except maybe zidane and the dearly departed nc.

I tried, but it’s not like it use to be. Rother, JJ4cy and a few other I can’t think of have all disappeared right around the time that yankeeshithouse showed up. We need those guys back for some normal baseball talk. Heck even Mark rarely posts a comment on his own blog anymore.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Upton post earlier. I’m a fan of the type of player that Upton is and I’d like to see the Braves acquire him way before any of these other guys who have been thrown around. Apparently the Rays haven’t been too keen on him the last couple of years, and he might be available on the cheap. And there’s Bill, right on time with further indulgence into hypocrisy. He’s as predictable as an Alex Gonzalez strikeout.

What a joke. Upton? He is a nightmare and a cancer in the DO. About as petulant as Nate was tonite.. If we trade for Upton I will probably put more than a few holes in the wall.

NO UPTON!!!

Alex Gonzalez is the worst hitter in the majors right now.

The sad thing is the Alex is only slightly worse than Heyward. Alex is worse than a Javy Lopez slump and Heyward grounds to second as much as Gant pulled foul balls down the line. Anyway Ross could play LF?

Thank the good baby Jesus that Gonzo has a good glove

After (1) reading DOB’s column on our offense against LHP, (2) watching our offense on a nightly basis, and (3) watching our pitching slip from #1 to #4 in ERA – you are a damn fool if you think this team does not need an additional big offensive producer. Anyone not named Tehran/Beachy should be on the table for the right difference maker. If not – this season is a wash. Another wildcard and 1 and done.

I’d give up Delgado for a good controllable OF in a heartbeat.

From what I have seen personally of Delgado, he is expendable for a good bat

As the NotNateMcLouth Twitter put it… “You can walk the ball up to Alex and he’d still strike out.”

Wow Nate, just….. Wow

Jesus, Get Well Soon Jordan.

Oh great, nice one McLouth. I have to say that Walker is a true teammate there. Outs a pitch out in play to save Garrett Jones’ ass,, and the Pirates end up manufacturing a run. You can’t help but feel good for these guys, even if your team is losing.

Nate has cost us all 3 runs tonight.

2. Prado could have easily had that ball he let drop in front of them and threw 30 feet to the right of home.

Front of him. Damn, what is up with my typing.

*hits a pitch out

Anybody still want defend, “Frank Wren has a Great eye for talent’?

Damn Brandie, you shouldn’t type while drinking. God Nate is throwing a kitten fit in the dugout. What a crybaby.

Come on.Let’s see that video of McCrybaby again. That was worth watching tonight for. What do you want to bet McLouth signs a MiL contact next year. Sad but true.

If Melky could get a Major League deal…

It wouldn’t shock me to see them IBB McLouth to get to Sea Bass…

Brandon, that would walk in a run. Do you know anything about the game?

As much as you don’t know about sarcasm. I was joking on account of Gonzos terrible numbers with RISP, obviously. Concede a run for a sure way out of the inning? It’s sad that I have to explain a joke to you. If you took your head out of Jordan Schafers ass, you’d maybe inherit common sense.

Took you a while for you to think up that rationale, eh Brandie.

McPopup. What a great night for Nate. I think he is the for free addition we throw in any trad. We pay his salary, we pay for his buyout next year and we don’t need anybody in exchange.

Bases loaded with Nate and Gonzo coming up. You write the story. I have been writing it since the trades. BTW, Yunel is batting .305 with AN .829 ops. We traded one of the best young shortstops in the game to Toronto for this meat just because Cox couldn’t accept the fact that he was struggling to learn English.

What’s gonna be the excuse if your boy doesn’t come through here Bill?

My excuse will be a rational one. He has sat out 4+ games and it will take him a while to get back to game speed with a broiken finger. What’s your excuse for being an idiot Brandie.

Once again Schafer shows what he is made of. Comes in to PH despite finding out today that he had a broken finger. One can only hope that we have seen our last inning with McLouth in the field.

Strikeouts: McLouth, 0. Schafer, 1. Heyward, 2. Gonzalez, 3.

Pathetic. R U watching this game Brandie, or just spouting your gibberish?

IDK LOL BILL, R I WATCHING?. Man you’re a hoot. The same guy who thinks he needs to make an excuse when a player fails. It’s sad how much you think you are actually part of the game. You can’t live out childhood dreams of playing MLB in the comments of a blog Bill, it just doesn’t work that way. Time to grow up little Billy. Jordan Schafer is not ready for the show, this much is obvious. And please don’t twist this like you do with every negative Schafer comment into something about the commenter having a hard on for McLouth. They both suck. Upton 4 CF. Get it done, Wren.

Too funny, you were Nate’s biggest fan. Sure he was gonna turn it around, crowing when he had 1 good game a month bragging about his stellar defense. You forget, all of us were here when you siad those things. Too, funny

I was his biggest fan in the sense that I wanted him to succeed and wanted him to have every opportunity to. But his arm is becoming more and more of a liability, and his OBP only matters so much in front of Gonzo. Still can’t manage to quite twist words the way you’d like, can you little Billy?

Brandie, nate’s got the same arm he had when he came here. It isn’t “becoming more and more of a liability”. It has always been that way and you couldn’t see it and denied it.

Our lineup is riddled with rally killers.

Except Bills 3rd favorite person to rag on, Mr. Chipper Jones.

I, maybe rag on Chip twice a year. Brandie you just need to change the subject because McHorrible trade looks so ugly after you defending him for 2 years. I never thought Chipper would make it for another year, in a way he really hasn’t. He doesn’t play every day, which has been my only point with him. He stills crushes one every once in a while. He is just not the Chipper of old. He is milking the end of his contract and career(which personally I would do, I mean where else can anyone make 14 million a year?) while his numbers and ability decline. Here is his slash line from 2010-11, .262/.362/.427/.789. His career, .304/.403/.532/.935. He has hit 18 hrs in 2010-11, not exactly awe inspiring. I loved the Chipper of years past, it’s just gotten real close to the time where you put the old stallion out in the back pasture.

Amen

My God, stop the bleeding…

Fredi had a huge f/u. He batted Schafer for Hudson and rather than do a double switch where Schafer would stay in and play D. He left McRagArm in the game. He then goes on to McPopUp and we have to bring in Julio Lugo, that powerhouse p/h to bat in the 9 spot in the ninth.. I’m beginning to believe Fredi really isn’t that smart. Maybe overwhelmed at taking over for Bobby.

We can point fingers at everyone, but the guy that lost us the game was Gonzo. He had many chances today and couldn’t get the bat on the ball. I think its time for him for a change of scenery..

Sorry, Nate had 3 plays in the OF which cost us all of the runs tonight. His arm is RIDICULOUS. He fielding skills are a nightmare, he throws to the wrong base half the time and he was throwing hissy fits in the DO with his teammates. Granted Gonzo was pathetic at the plate but at least he wasn’t actually giving them runs. I swear I think Nate is on something, he doesn’t look right out there.

Bill you ruin this blog. You’re worse than the phillies jackasses that come in because you cause more controversy with your fellow fans than they ever could. You spend half your life posting on here ragging on either players or fellow fans and everyone else spends half their posts either on defense or trying to prove you wrong. When you ARE wrong, it seems you spend all night thinking about how you can spin it so the 10 other regulars on this blog can’t make you look wrong. You care more about being right about everything than about this team winning a single game.

I’ll await your post on how I’m stupid to have a war of words with you or how I know nothing about baseball or how much more meaningful your life is than everyone else that has ever posted here, but I’ll go on with my life, check back in a couple times a week, and shake my head at your behavior on every board… I could care less beyond that. I don’t think “sad” is the right word, I just think you’re a douche… the guy nobody wants to talk to at parties but puts up with you because you’re a friend of a friend.

Damn Zippy, that didn’t take long.

Well said sir! Or madame as the case may be.

My earlier point illustrated. ajcbraves David O’Brien
#Braves’ Chipper Jones tweaked quad on the chopper by Neil Walker in 6th inn., told Fredi G he’d need pinch-runner in 8th. Then he homered

McLouth must have been high. if Fredi was Bobby. Nate would be traded by morning. Wow.
David O’Brien
#Braves’ Fredi G said McLouth knew he should’ve thrown to 2nd on 2nd-inn. play; McLouth said not sure made wrong play, that he threw too high to cutoff man.
ajcbraves David O’Brien
#Braves’ McLouth held out arms when came off field telling teammates ball “snaked” on him; happens on this grass, ball can move side-to-side.

If we can get away from the usual mindless chatter of this baseball blog and return to Mark’s original post for a second – I have changed my tune somewhat on trading Minor for Beltran. In light of our second half start and our dwindling division title hopes and wildcard lead and the fact that Hunter Pence may indeed be off the table, I believe Minor is expendable. Mainly because we drafted his clone, another LHP from the ACC. Gilmartin could make us forget about Minor in a few years.

Trade Minor for Beltran, and put Beltran in RF. Platoon/Pinch hit Heyward against RHP (hitting a more respectable .250 against RHP with 9 of his 11 homers). Or, against RHP – move Beltran to CF (because he indicated he didn’t want to play there everyday) and put Heyward in right.

Also – can we just ALL AGREE that McClouth,Schafer, and Gonzalez all suck and move on? Arguing over which one of them is the better player is like arguing over who the smartest kid with down syndrome is. This blog used to be full of decent baseball talk. Can we get back to that? Our team is pretty good this year and on the verge of great (in light of the last week). Can we put all of that to rest?

This blog should b a place for discussion and banter back and forth but not in the way it currently is. At first I despised pherris because of his rudeness on our blog and yet he changed his approach here. His comments recenty have been more welcome than those of a number of so called braves “fans”. As it was stated earlier, one seems to care more aout starting a fight and trying to impose his opinions on others than ac,tually discussing what could truly help our team. The other is just as opinionated as the previous but will also contradict himself time and time again. Not to mention it seems he has no real understanding of the dynamics b/w players on the field and in the dugout.

Idk about everyone else but I am very tired of those posters who continue to traffic in lies, rudeness, and the “I’m better, or my opinions are better” attitudes. Those of u that we speak of know who u are. Please god, for the sanity of us all, and for the chance to move in a positive direction, GROW UP! I read an article yesterday by a former gm, he stated that many ideas for trades come from the fans. Hell, if we could have true conversation in a positive way, what meaningful ideas could we come up with that the front office would have never thought of. U all complained about the old nc poster, even those to which I’m referring to now, but it seems to me his posts and comments couldn’t have been any worse (demeaning to others, flat out idiotic, and rude). If u feel someone is wrong discuss it with them but please don’t treat them like their opinion carries no weight. Everyone is entitled to be able to speak their minds without being attacked by others.

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