Archive for February, 2009

73: An Angel in the Outfield

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Looks like we got ourselves an Angel in the outfield!

andersongarrett1

Garret Joseph Anderson
Born June 30, 1972, Los Angeles
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 225 lb.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Position: Left Fielder

With Garret Anderson, I really think the Braves are in a much better position to make their presence felt during the season than they would have been with Griffey. Thank goodness, he went back to Seattle!

Garret has accumulated some good-looking numbers in his years with the Angles. According to CBSSportsWire.com:

A three-time All-Star, Anderson had spent his entire career with the Angels and holds several franchise records, including games played (2,013), runs scored (1,024), hits (2,368), doubles (489), total bases (3,743) and RBI (1,292). He ranks second in home runs (272) and career batting average (.296).

Anderson helped the Angels win the World Series in 2002, hitting .300 with two homers and 13 RBI in the postseason. Los Angeles declined to pick up his $14 million option after last season, instead paying a $3 million buyout.

I know next to nothing about Anderson, but this comment posted by someone on another blog says a lot, I think:

I can still remember seeing Garret play as a rookie for the Angels and being in amazement on how talented, humble, and professional this young man was. How was I to know that 15 years later we would be saying the same things about him. Braves fans should be ecstatic. He has so much more left in the tank then Jr and could really make a huge impact on the Braves title hopes for 2009. I have never been a Braves fan but I will be watching their box scores this season and pulling for them strictly based on their acquisition of Anderson. He plays the game the way it was meant to be played. He is one of those few players that would be successful regardless of the time period he played in.

I know the Braves are high on character and it sure sounds good to me!

I truly hope Francoeur can reverse his fortunes of last year – and I think he will. Chipper has given him pretty high marks this spring and he’s usually honest in his comments.

andersonjosh1

Centerfield?  Hmmm.  Anderson? Blanco?  Schafer?

Don’t know about Blanco. I think Schafer will probably be given a little more time in the minors to refine his craft. So that leaves Anderson. (Josh, that is.)

Anderson-Anderson-Francoeur? Not bad. We’ll just have to see how that one comes out of the wash.

Yes? No? Indifferent?

~CL~

BravesAndStuff@hotmail.com

72: Spring is about to be sprung!

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by Berigan

Well, after being revived from a near death experience, (and some nasty frostbite) Spring is about to return…unless we are about to enter a new ice age. (20 for a low Tuesday night here in the ATL!!!) I’d rather enter another gilded age, but, I don’t have a say in the matter.

Speaking of things I have no say about, your Atlanta Braves! Our Bravos are about to get paid for what many have been doing for weeks if not months already, swinging bats, and throwing the ol’ Horsehide. Or is it cowhide??? Synthetic leather like material, PETA approved???

springtraining
Whatever, the guys are getting ready for the long grind ahead of them. And that’s just spring training, never mind the actual baseball season…..and fingers crossed, post season.

One thing just about every team, save the Padres have in abundance is hope for a good season, and with a few breaks, a real playoff race to be involved in.

Remember last spring??? Me neither, but Salty reminded me in a post a few days back that we had something like 10 potential starters last year at the start of spring.
We all could imagine a rotation of Hudson, Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, and perhaps that kid Jurrjens (If he outdueled Chucky and Jo-Jo for 5th slot) giving the Mutts and Phillies phits, err, fits. Hmm, lets, see now, which of that group was still starting in September for us???

Do I really need to recap that we lose Smoltz and Hampton, but gained Javy Vasquez, Derek Lowe, and that Japanese guy, who’s name better start rolling off my tongue PDQ??? I guess I do, if I don’t want this lead to be only 3 paragraphs long! 😉

Thats 3 guys, that if their health luck/karma doesn’t do a 180 being acox Brave, should each make 30+ starts, and go 200 + innings, which will really rest the old bullpen in May and June, and make Bobby look like he has gained 30 IQ points, and is no longer in Forrest Gump territory! 😀

A real bopper in Left will make him seem smarter than Einstein! That, and not starting McCann 12 games straight.

Anyhoo, I know we will all be writing about our hopes and dreams for the team in the coming weeks, we will get familiar with, and excited about some of the kids we only know based on their names, and what writers have written about them.

Baseball tonight occasionally does a segment where guys on the panel have to make bold predictions. Who might be a surprise MVP, what team will win the most games the 2nd half of season, etc.

heyward1My bold/crazy predictions are that if we don’t get a real left fielder in spring training, Justin Heyward will have a huge spring, sparking talk of him being the left fielder. Also, Tommy Hanson will be so impressive, and Glavine will hurt his hammy in the second to last start of spring and will go north with the club.

What are everyone else’s Batpoop crazy predictions for the Braves in 2009???

~Berigan~

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71: Ah, Spring! part dux

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by Gil in Mechanicsville

As we approach that magic time when pitchers an catchers report, I thought I would throw (no pun intended) a few more names for the good denizens of our blog to ponder over. Now to be truthful, most of the players mentioned will most likely be spending time in Atlanta on the Gwinnett roster in 2009 but you know, it never hurts to be apprised of the talents waiting in the wings. Uh… another bad pun eh?

toddredmondTodd Redmond, age 23 appeared in 28 games for the Mississippi Braves in 2008 and was named the Southern League pitcher of the year. Todd, a right hander, put up a record of 13-5 with an ERA of 3.52 in 166.1 innings pitched. He gave up 164 hits, 65 earned runs and struck out 133 while walking only 33. Folks, that is better than a 4/1 ratio of strike-outs to walks and indicates pretty good control. He is said to have a low 90s fastball, a slider and a curve but his best pitch is a change. His weakness is his tendency to pitch up in the strike zone. Sounds a bit like a right handed Chuck James but I suspect he is better than that.

Redmond came to the Braves from the Pirates via a trade for Tyler Yates. One thing we have learned is the Pittsburgh organization seems to have a plethora of good young arms at their disposal. Makes one wonder why they can’t seem to climb out of the cellar of the N.L. Central but that is a discussion to be left for another day. Now most folks seem to covet the young stud who can bring it at 95-96 MPH but I remember a guy by the name of Greg Maddux who never possessed great speed but made a pretty good living by knowing how to pitch.

The one thing I like about this kid is he has a knack for winning. Funny how some guys can pitch great but lose games and other guys “just win baby”… I doubt he will be a number one but he projects to be a pretty solid 3 or 4 guy in the line up. That folks is enough for me. Some of you guys in the Atlanta area should make the trek to Gwinnett several times this year because I suspect they are going to have a dynamite pitching staff.

Luiz Valdez – not to be confused with Juan the coffeluisvaldeze guy and not the same Luiz Valdez who pitched in winter ball in the Dominican this year. I discovered that Valdez is Spanish for Doe…. Lots of them are playing baseball too. Anyway, Luiz was another Mississippi Brave last year. More of a relief specialist, he appeared in 55 games, amassing 65.1 innings and notching 28 saves and a record of 4-3. His ERA was a sparking 2.76. In 2008 he gave up 48 hits while surrendering only 3 home runs. His strike-out to walk ration was about 2 to 1 as he struck out 77 and walked 36. Luiz, another product of the Pirates organization, was signed as a minor league free agent in the fall of 2007. Valdez has a 97-98 MPH fastball so we can get an idea of what he brings to the table. A right hander, he projects to be a middle relief guy or possible a set up man. He is still pretty young at only 24, he has a chance to make it to Atlanta in 2009 as a mid-season call up.

cordier1I already mentioned Eric Cordier in an earlier post. He was not invited to the big camp this spring but folks, keep an ear out for that name. I predict he will be in the majors in the next couple of years.

I will leave it to some of you folks who actually live in Atlanta to evaluate some of the up and comers in the Braves organization this year. I regret I will not have the opportunity to actually see  these guys as they make their way up the organizational ladder but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

It is an exciting time to be a Braves fan as good young pitching is on the way. Just be patient and try not to get caught up in the hype. I don’t remember Tom Glavine, John Smoltz or Greg Maddux being phenoms either when they first came up but you can get a gist of what a young player is capable of if you look close enough.

~Gil~

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