Results tagged ‘ Chris Resop ’

Jones hopes to publicly discuss his future soon

When Chipper Jones walked around the corner this afternoon, he smiled and gave the customary head nod.  I laughed and said, “I thought you weren’t talking to us today.” 

Jones then proceeded to tell me that he hopes to be able to discuss his future before the end of this homestand.  In other words within the next five days, he’s expected to reveal why he told the Braves on Tuesday that he is leaning toward retiring at the end of this season.  

“I’ll have something to tell you, it’s just not going to be today,” Jones said. “It will hopefully be before the end of this homestand.  But right now, I’m not ready to say anything.”  

After exiting Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with Jones, Bobby Cox had the understanding that he might not be the only Braves legend retiring at the end of this season.   

“The best I can gather is he’s thinking about retiring at the end of this year,” Cox said. “Until he talks to (the media) I really can’t give you a correct or definitive answer.”

Over the next few days, Jones and the Braves are expected to negotiate how much he’ll receive of the $42 million he is owed during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. 

“He’s been thinking about this all spring and through the winter that this would be his last year,” Cox said.  

Cox once again had Jones positioned in the third spot of the lineup for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Rays. 
 
“I think he can still get on base, knock in runs and still be productive,” Cox said. “It’s up to him.  He can really help us.  He’s not too far removed.  He led the league in hitting two years ago and was second the year before.  It’s still there.”     

Resop arrives:  As expected the Braves promoted Chris Resop and sent Jesse Chavez to Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.  But as late as early Monday evening, Resop was still under the impression that he could be traded.

The D-backs showed some interest and the Rangers were interested enough that he gained the impression that he would start for them during Thursday night’s game against the Marlins.

But in the end, the Braves opted to keep the rejuvenated right-hander with the hope that he proves to be as valuable in Atlanta’s rotation as he was in Gwinnett’s rotation this year. 

Time to head out and do some of that house hunting stuff I was supposed to do on what was supposed to be a day off.  Catch up with you in the morning.  

Chipper not ready to publicly discuss his future

Chris Resop’s addition to the Braves roster will take a back seat to whatever we can gather about Chipper Jones’ future today.

Originally, it was thought that Jones would address the media this afternoon to discuss his future. 

But because he thinks it’s premature to definitively talk about potential retirement, he does not plan to publicly discuss the details of the meeting he still plans to have with Frank Wren and Bobby Cox this afternoon. 

Chipper has requested this meeting to inform the club about his current thoughts about his career beyond this season. 

While Jones may not be ready to definitively say he will retire at the end of this season, it appears he is more serious about the possibility than he was when he has discussed it in the past.

When addressing his absence from the lineup on Saturday and Sunday, Jones provided some indication that he has reached a point where he has accepted the fact that he is no longer a necessary component of the Braves lineup.

 “I don’t think anybody in here has any less confidence with those guys in the lineup than they do with me,” Jones said. “I think they’ve proven themselves worthy of stepping in and compensating for my absence.”    <p> 

Jones, 38, has batted .228 with three homers  and 22 RBIs in the 51 games he has played for the Braves this year.  This drop in production combined with his desire to spend more time with his family and get away from the daily responsibilities of the baseball season have moved him closer to making this decision to walk away from the final two years of his contract. 
  
The Braves gave Jones a three-year, $42 million contract extension last year.   But despite the fact that he would still be guaranteed $28 million during 2011 and 2012 seasons, he has said that finances won’t influence his decision.  

According to baseball-reference.com, Jones has made more than $140 million throughout a career that began in 1993.

As mentioned earlier, Resop will be added to the 25-man roster later today.  The Braves still haven’t announced which of their relievers they will be sending to Triple-A Gwinnett.  It will likely be Jesse Chavez.  But the could also demote Craig Kimbrel to give him a chance to pitch on a regular basis. 

To compensate for the lack of outfielders in Gwinnett, the Braves have signed Josh Anderson to a Minor League deal.  Anderson hit .294 with three homers in the 40 games he played for Atlanta in 2008.  The speedy outfielder has spent the past two years within the Tigers and Royals organizations.  

Resop is ready to pitch for some Major League club

Chris Resop has plenty of reason to believe he’ll join a Major League roster within the next week.  The Braves now have to decide whether it will be theirs or one of the many Major League clubs that need to improve their pitching staff.

The one-hit shutout that Resop completed for Triple-A Gwinnett in Norfolk last night will likely spark enhance his position on the trade market.  But despite the fact that he has spent the past three months dominating the International League, other clubs have shown just mild interest in trading for this 28-year-old right-hander, who has been rejuvenated since becoming a starter. 

Sources have indicated that there wasn’t a single scout from a Major League organization in Norfolk last night to watch Resop complete this masterpiece.  In fact the one scout that was present was representing a club from the Korean Baseball League.   

With this in mind, there’s further reason to believe Resop could be in uniform at Turner Field on Tuesday when the Braves begin a three-game series against the Rays. 

If the Braves don’t add Resop to their Major League roster by Tuesday, then he is contractually obligated to demand a trade or request to be a free agent.   The latter option certainly won’t come into play. 

Without gaining some return, the Braves certainly aren’t going to simply waive goodbye to a guy who has posted a 1.84 ERA and compiled an IL-best 81 strikeouts in the 73 1/3 innings he has completed for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

It’s understanding that clubs are skeptical about a 28-year-old pitcher who has posted a 5.61 ERA in 57 career Major League appearances (all as a reliever).  But at the same time, they have to recognize that his move into the rotation this year has led him to become more of a pitcher than a thrower. 

No longer trying to blow his four-seamer past opponents, Resop has baffled opponents with a heavy dose of two-seam sinkers and a curveball that is certainly much better than it was when he last appeared in the Majors with the Braves during the 2008 season.

If the Braves are unable to trade Resop, they will likely add him to their bullpen on Tuesday.  This would seemingly provide them a chance to send Jesse Chavez to Gwinnett to work on his secondary pitches, namely the curveball that he’s trying to develop.

Or the Braves could opt to send Craig Kimbrel back to Gwinnett to get the regular work he needs to aid his development. 

Whatever the case, Resop will likely be in a Major League uniform at some point next week.

McLouth update:  Still haven’t received any updates about Nate McLouth’s condition.  If the Braves are forced to place him on the disabled list, it would make sense for them to promote Brandon Hicks to serve as a backup infielder while Omar Infante would spend the next couple weeks seeing more time in the outfield. 

Brett Clevlen, who has been on the disabled list since May 24, still hasn’t resumed playing and Jordan Schafer isn’t even an option.  Even if Schafer had not had some setbacks that prevented him from beginning to play in May, he needed to spend at least half this season and maybe longer in the Minors to make up for the time he lost over the course of the past two seasons.

Look ahead:  The Braves will spend the next six games playing against the leaders in the AL Central (Twins) and AL East (Rays).   They enter this stretch with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Phillies, the same exact advantage they held when they began this 11-game road trip. 

Tim Hudson will take the mound looking to continue his success against the Twins.  In 13 career starts against them, he has gone 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA.  Justin Morneau (1-for-6) and Joe Mauer (0-for-3)  have had limited opportunities to face the Braves right-hander. 

But this would certainly be a good night for the Twins to put Jim Thome in their lineup.  He is 9-for-16 with four homers in his career against Hudson. 

Bobby Cox has opted to use Brian McCann as his designated hitter tonight.   This gives Hudson a chance to throw to his good friend David Ross. 

When McCann has been behind the plate this year, Hudson has posted a 2.62 ERA and seen opponents hit .246 with a .344 OBP.  When Ross has served as his catcher, the veteran right-hander has posted a 2.20 ERA and limited opponents to a .189 BA and .237 OBP.   

 

   

Material brought to you at the expense of McGwire and Kiffin

While I will admit to previous consumption of alcohol, I’m not willing to concede that this substance assisted me while I spent time at wedding receptions perfecting dance moves that have hopefully never been imitated.  

I mean, those same convulsions have occurred after an early-morning shot of V-8.   

Seriously though, it was both comical and maddening to hear Mark McGwire’s unwillingness to concede that steroids allowed him to morph into one of the most powerful creatures the game of baseball has ever seen.    

As McGwire continued to speak to Bob Costas during his hour-long acknowledgement address on Monday night, I could only think that it might be time for Saturday Night Live’s producers to resurrect that “Really” skit they did about Michael Vick a few years back.

McGwire has the right to maintain his opinion that these steroids didn’t serve as performance or statistical enhancers.  But as he minimizes their benefit by saying that he simply used them in a therapeutic manner to expedite the healing process, doesn’t he also show disregard for the determination many others have shown while dealing with the daily grinds of this game.  
While watching Monday’s interview, I couldn’t help but think about Tom Glavine.  Here’s a 300-game winner who arguably came close to maximizing the potential success he could gain through the game.  But how much better might his troublesome left shoulder felt had he consumed these chemicals that allow the body to bounce back quicker than normal?  

Over the past couple of years, Chipper Jones has said that he is disturbed about the fact that history will forever look suspiciously at the statistics that he and every other player from this era produce.  
 
Like this is sad but true, so too is the fact that we’ve reached a point where very little surprises me when it comes to this subject.
 
Of course if you were to tell me that Glavine was structurally enhanced by anything more than the occasional shot of cortisone, then I’d probably respond with something like, “yeah and Lane Kiffin will become as USC’s version of Joe Paterno.”  

Cy Young Trio:  Some of you were discussing the fractured state of Atlanta’s Cy Young trio after Greg Maddux was hired as an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry.  

While I understand why some of you wonder whether this was a slap in the face to the Braves, I didn’t see this as surprising.   When he was still with the Braves, Maddux told me that the game’s business model had always led him to stay away from making anything other than Las Vegas his family’s permanent residence.

Maddux loved the Braves and his family loves the city of Atlanta.  But his earliest ties are to the Cubs and his more recent dealings have been with Cubs GM Jim Hendry.   Truthfully, I really don’t know how well he got to know Frank Wren, who joined the Braves in September of 1999 and was still the club’s assistant GM when Maddux went to Chicago after the 2003 season.  

These special assistant roles are usually reserved for guys who have strong relationships and some kind of history with the GMs.   With this in mind, I just think the better fit at this time was for Maddux to lock horns with Hendry.   

My question is, does this arrangement provide any more reason to debate which hat Maddux should be wearing when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Now to round up the update on the Cy Young trio, John Smoltz took time about two months ago to begin mending his relationship with the organization.  Everything seems to be heading in the right direction on that front.  

So while Smoltz might never again throw a pitch for the Braves, I don’t think he’ll feel the desire to stay completely away from Turner Field during his retirement years.

As for Glavine, I think he still has a right to feel just as infuriated as some of those Tennessee students and fans who have creatively found ways to destroy their Lane Kiffin t-shirts.   But this guy is a class act I get the sense that his relationship with the organization will also be repaired in the near future.

Speaking of former Braves left-handers, Chuck James is expected to begin throwing for teams within the next week.  The 28-year-old southpaw missed all of the 2009 season while recovering from shoulder surgery.   

While the Braves might have a need for somebody like James to improve their organizational depth in the starting pitching department, the southpaw may still be upset about how they handled his shoulder which bothered him for more than a year before he was completely shut down.
  
Chris Resop spent the past season and a half pitching in Japan and now he’s ready to once again compete for a spot in the Braves bullpen. He has signed a Minor League contract and received an invitation to Spring Training.  

The 27-year-old right-hander, who made 16 appearances with the 2008 Braves, is excited about his arm strength and the sink that he’s recently gained with his two-seam fastball. 
 
Catch you later this week.   Follow me on Twitter @mlbbowman

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