Results tagged ‘ Garret Anderson ’

Soriano highlights Monday's workout

Anderson, Anderson and Francoeur. Seriously, should I have actually laughed out loud while wondering if this sounds like a law firm or an outfield trio? Actually there’s no need to answer that.  I just read over it again and formed the same stone face that Rafael Soriano displays whenever we ask him a question. 

Speaking of Soriano, he actually impressed Bobby Cox today with the velocity he showed during the bullpen session that preceded his first live batting practice session of the season on Monday morning  All indications are that the right-handed reliever’s elbow is healthy. 

Kenshin Kawakami followed Soriano on the mound and showed more consistency with his  location than he had when he threw his first live BP session on Saturday.  The Japanese hurler mixed in a few more breaking balls and received some compliments from the hitters that he faced. 

“You can see how that guy could have a lot of success by putting the ball where he wants it and where hitters don’t like it,” Kelly Johnson said. 

Charlie Morton impressed Cox with a solid bullpen session and then possibly strained an oblique muscle while throwing to hitters.  Over the next few days, the Braves will gain a better understanding about how much time Morton might miss.

There’s a slight chance that Garret Anderson could undergo his physical and join his new Braves teammates near the end of Tuesday’s workout.  Regardless as long as everything goes well, he’ll likely be officially introduced on Tuesday afternoon.

After Monday’s workout, many of the players headed out to participate in Tim Hudson’s charity golf tournament.  While practicing his swing, the always witty Peter Moylan said, “I’m the new John Smoltz and I’ve got the hairline to prove it.”

– Mark Bowman

Did Griffey do the Braves a favor?

While writing the early version of the story about Garret Anderson and the Braves agreeing to the terms of his one-year, $2.5 million contract, I didn’t exactly have a firm opinion about whether or not he’d be a better fit than Griffey would’ve been. 

But after talking to some of the Braves and doing some more research before updating my original story, I gained the belief that Braves general manager Frank Wren might want to send a thank you note to Griffey and his agent Brian Goldberg.

When one of my respected colleagues opined  that Anderson is “the most underrated player of his generation to me," I certainly took notice. 

But such a compliment wasn't going to completely sway somebody who believes Griffey was the most purely talented player of this generation.  (Obviously raw stats aren't the only components I used to gain this opinion.)

So while attempting to evaluate the current talents of two former superstars who are past their primes, I have to give the nod to Anderson, who is 2 1/2 years younger, undoubtedly the better defensive option,  and a player whose offensive capabilities provide the Braves the opportunity to place an experienced and proven bat in left field on a regular basis.  

The fact that Griffey would have been platooning at least provides reason to wonder what kind of production Matt Diaz would have provided during those days when he was playing left field.  During his first two years with the Braves, he devoured left-handed pitchers.  But before he injured his knee in late May of last year, he created reason to wonder if he could rekindle the magic he experienced in 2006 an 2007, when he combined to hit .333 with 19 homers and an .856 OPS.

Looking solely at the statistics he might have produced while batting solely against right-handed pitchers, you could argue that Griffey would have provided more power.   But in doing so, you have to assume that he’s regained all his strength in his surgically-repaired right knee.

Assuming Griffey was at optimal strength, you might project that he and Matt Diaz could have combined for 25-30 homers while serving in a platoon role in left.   But the “if” that accompanies this argument seems to provide a greater variable than the certainty Anderson has shown through his consistent production he’s provided since ending his days as a legitimate power hitter.

Anderson  hit .293 with a .774 OPS against right-handed pitchers last year and .290 with a .704 OPS against left-handers.Over the past three seasons, he’s hit .295 with a .799 OPS against right-handers and .272 with a .713 OPS against southpaws.

When the Braves are facing a tough left-hander or Anderson needs a day off, Cox may choose to play Diaz, who has hit .328 with a .508 slugging percentage against them in his career.

But for the most part  I think you’ll see Anderson in left and he’s told friends he’s looking forward to the opportunity to play 120-130 games in the outfield this year.  This workload would  provide  Diaz the opportunity to be more than simply a valuable bat off the bench.

Anderson obviously isn’t the great player that he was at the beginning of this decade.  But because he still has the ability to give the Braves an experienced and proven presence in left field on a regular basis, I’ve gained the opinion that he’s better than any other options Wren has explored over the course of the past week.

– Mark Bowman

Anderson is coming to Braves camp

A Major League source has confirmed that Garret Anderson has agreed to a one-year contract with the Braves.  The veteran outfielder is expected to arrive in Florida to undergo a physical within the next two days and an official announcement could come on Tuesday. 

While Anderson doesn’t possess the power that he did earlier in his career, he certainly provides the more power potential than Brandon Jones, who might have platooned with Matt Diaz in left if the Braves hadn’t gained the veteran outfielder that they’ve been seeking.

As opposed to their plans for Ken Griffey Jr., Anderson might not necessarily be used in a platoon role in left field.  He hit .293 with a .774 OPS against right-handed pitchers last year and .290 with a .704 OPS against left-handers. 

During his career, Anderson has hit .299 with a .481 slugging percentage against right-handers and .291 with a .441 slugging percentage against left-handers.

– Mark Bowman 

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