144: Half Way Home & The Braves Are Caught In A Rundown…

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

By Gil In Mechanicsville

In a 162 game season, 81 games represents one half of the games necessary to complete the race to the play-offs. Once upon a time, the team in the American League with the best record would face the National League team with the best record and meet in a best of seven series for the title of World Series Champion. Then, the leagues grew and grew. First to two divisions, East & West, for both leagues. This meant games would needed to be added as the two division winners of each league would meet in a best of seven series for the privilege of playing in the World Series.

Then each league expanded again, now there we three division in each league but this meant an odd number of teams would vie for the right to become league champion and meet the opposing league for the opportunity to be the World Champions of Baseball. No problem, there would be one team from each league which would be designated as a Wild Card team. They would be the team with the best record who had not won their division. First it was a best of three, then expanded to a best of five. Now a best of seven. All the while, the season was getting pushed deeper and deeper into the fall.

Not to be deterred by all the hardships generated from playing a sport, clearly designed for summer being played in cities with wind chills in the teens at night on dates normally reserved for football, the major league owners saw an opportunity to add even more revenue by expanding the play-off to include two Wild Card teams. No matter how improbable it might seem, even teams with very so so records had a chance to get into the big dance. Not that they had a serious chance of actually winning, they still had a chance. So, with all the revenue being produced from television rights, the season has now become a marathon with the final month of October and shutter, November, being like the final mile of the 26 mile marathon, only it was uphill and into the wind. A very steep hill and a cold, cold wind….

So, what does the previous three paragraphs have to do with the Braves? Well, by all accounts, the 2015 Braves were going to be one of the worse teams in baseball. Likely to lose at least 90 games and possibly 100 with the midnight trade of Craig Kimbrel to the Padres by John Hart. After all, why would a team going nowhere need a luxury piece like Kimbrel? No use having an All-Star closer when you are only going to win 60 games. So, what is the dilemma? Well, it is a bit of good news, bad news for the Braves at this point. With a team going nowhere, the two Johns would pretty much have a free hand of trading and selling off players. Not like the fans would notice. They would have given up by the end of May. The Nationals, who were stocked to the gills with high priced pitching, would be going to the World Series this year. They would win the division by 25 games and with only token resistance from the Mets, should have things wrapped up by June 1st.

Only problem, the Nats were so busy reading their press clippings, they forgot they still had to play every game on the schedule. Now, to be realistic, the Nationals have played better of late but they are far from unbeatable. The Mets? They have some really good young pitching, good enough to be a Wild Card team and even challenge an under performing Washington for the NL East title. That is except they are struggling to find enough offense on a nightly bases to win consistently. This leads us to the Braves. At the half way point, the Braves are 40-41. One game under .500 and only 1/2 game behind the Mets and 5  behind the Nats. Okay, I know, it’s still a losing season at this point but the loss of Freddie Freeman for the past month has had a lot to do with the Braves’ recent woes offensively.

But, the Braves’ silver lining has begun to show through the clouds of doom and gloom. Pitching…. Despite the hic-ups incurred by Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran, the debuts of Matt Wisler and Manny Benuelos have given Braves’ fans a glimmer of hope for the future. That and the recent hardening of the relief corp has helped to diminish some of the angst felt by everyone in Atlanta when a starter had to come out of a game. Now, by no means are the Braves being mentioned as shoo ins for the play-offs but stranger things have happened. This is what makes this season’s trade deadline a real poser for Hart & Company. Can you really trade away your best catcher and best reliever for a couple of more prospects when you are not yet really out of the conversation?

What kind of message does it send to your team when you ship your spark plug and chief cheerleader, Jonny Gomes, off to another club. Are the Braves really going to trow in the towel when the fight could still be won? I am as realistic as the next guy, I know this year was all about transitions, a revamping of an under performing and underachieving team into a prototypical National League team built on pitching, defense and speed. Perhaps this year’s team was a little too good too quick. It is going to be tough to make choice between being buyers or sellers this year as long as the Braves are hanging tough. Lots of baseball still to be played this year. The Braves may well fade this year late like the last three seasons but I would not count on it. By all rights, the Nats should be winning going away but you never know. Lots of years the Braves were supposed to win it all too and got beat.

So, let’s keep watching and rooting for and enjoying one of the most interesting ball clubs we have seen occupying Turner Field in years. Good pitching, good defense and just enough offense to keep you in the game for the full nine innings. We still have 81 more games to play to prove if the Braves are contenders or pretenders.

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183 Responses to “144: Half Way Home & The Braves Are Caught In A Rundown…”


  1. 1 chrisklob July 4, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    good stuff gil. tough decisions in the days to come for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville July 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Yeah Baby… One under .500

    Like

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville July 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Tough customer today in Cole Hammels. Miller is not a sharp as I have seen him in the past but neither is Cole today. That said, still 0-0 in the fifth. Still,, I sure would not mind having Hammels in a Braves uni for a couple of years but that is not going to happen yet. Other options still await the Braves. Let him go to the American League.

    Like

  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville July 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 5 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 8:58 am

    With Arodys Vizcaino set to return to ATL after serving his 80-game suspension, Mr. Masset picked a bad time to blow a game…

    Like

  6. 6 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Eveland had been fairly crappy in his stint here as well. This particular David Carpenter should not be confused with last year’s David Carpenter whom was traded to NYY in the deal that brought back ManBan. (That David Carpenter was since DFA’d by NYY and picked up by WAS.) This David Carpenter has been pitching quite well at AAA Gwinnett and is the latest to audition for a spot in a horrendous ML middle relief corp. He is a RH, and not a LH like the departing Eveland. So I suspect his tenure may be dependent upon the progress of last night’s other surprise. (Well, that plus his ability to NOT blow tie games.)

    Like

  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 9:09 am

    The Braves had their chance to win it in the ninth… SIGH! Would have been nice to reach .500 again… Sure do miss Freddie’s bat, but then, I’m sure the Mets miss David Wright and the Nats miss Werth.

    So you want to be a major league pitcher? Having thousands of fans ready to ter and feather you and ride you out of town on a rail on any given night…

    Like

  8. 8 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 9:18 am

    This would be last night’s other surprise. And oddly enough, this is the only word that has been given about the deal. Nothing from DOB. Nothing from Bowman. Nothing from McAlpin. And nothing from the team itself. Not even any word about what went the other direction.

    What do we know about Mitch Lambson? He’s a 24yo LHRP that has put up respectable if not flashy numbers in a steady climb through the ‘Stros system, finally landing in AAA this year after starting the season in AA. His combined numbers for 2015 look like this: 34.2 IP in 24 G, 2.60 ERA, 30 K / 9 BB, 0 S. All this means is that he is a Minor League lefty middle reliever that has been effective enough to make the steady climb, but at age 24 still hasn’t broken through to The Show. This is probably due to that fact that his fastball doesn’t crack the 90 mark. From what I can find, he throws in the mid to upper 80’s, but with very good control and an above-average changeup. That said, in 5 professional seasons, he’s posted a 9.9 K/9 rate, which is pretty dang good for a kid who doesn’t throw extreme heat. He must be doing something right.

    My guess is that he probably didn’t cost alot, and that the Braves will get a first hand look at what he’s capable of doing in Gwinnett before deciding if he can get ML hitters out. Surely we’ll hear more later.

    Stand by…

    Like

  9. 9 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    This is a blurb on Lambson I found on an Astros fan site called Climbing Tal’s Hill, written during this past offseason:

    Last season, splitting 2014 between the Lancaster JetHawks (A) and the Corpus Christi Hooks (AA), Lambson posted a 4-2 record with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.006 WHiP. In his 54.2 innings of work, Lambson struck out 63 batters while walking only nine. That seven to one strikeout to walk rate was the best amongst Astros minor league pitchers with a minimum of 30 innings.

    Selected to take part in the Arizona Fall League, Mitchell Lambson continued his impressive season. Facing off against some of the top prospects in the minors, Lambson posted a 1.26 ERA and a 0.907 WHiP. While Lambson’s walk rate increased, as he walked seven batters in 14.1 innings, he also struck out 17 hitters. However, as a tradeoff, Lambson allowed just under four hits per nine innings during his time in the AFL, compared to the 7.6 per nine that he gave up during his 2014 minor league season.

    So from the limited info available, the kid appears to be a consistent if not flashy LHRP that doesn’t walk alot of batters. I can live with that.

    Like

  10. 10 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

    MLBTR is reporting the move. They add:

    Mitchell Lambson was a 19th-round pick for Houston in the 2011 draft who has posted strong minor league numbers in five pro seasons: a 2.79 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 4.34 K/BB rate over 242 relief innings, including his first taste of Triple-A ball this year.

    Like

  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Pretty sure the kid just saw his portal to the major leagues swing open wide with his trade to the Braves. The Stros will miss George Springer while he is out with a broken wrist but they have hung tough since the beginning of the 2015 season.

    Sadly, the current MO of major league teams is to covet those youngsters who can pitch 98mph. (Juan Jamie) but I will take a kid who can bend it like Beckum (Greg Maddux) any day. At least opposing teams will have to earn their way on the bases, there is no defense against the walk. They drive me crazy. That is, unless it is a, don’t let this guy beat you walk.

    But, if you can’t find the strike zone, you are not long for this game as a career path. The biggest question I have is, can he get out lefties?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 11:24 am

    above complete sentence should have read unless it is an intentional walk

    Like

  13. 13 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

    So the team went shopping and bought a LHRP. OK. Works for me. Apparently the ‘Stros didn’t protect him in last year’s Rule 5 Draft and prayerfully managed to hang onto him. Word is that they weren’t going to protect him this year either, and figured they’d get something while they could, figuring they couldn’t sneak him through a second time.

    Like

  14. 14 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I hope they don’t. I really like him, and he loves being close to home (NC) and playing for his “hometown” Braves. He ignites what little offense the team seems to muster.

    Like

  15. 15 Vox O'Raison July 6, 2015 at 11:55 am

    No words.

    Like

  16. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Pretty tough to garner Cy Young votes when your win/loss record doesn’t have 20 games in the W column. I have concluded most people who vote for that sort of thing are A) Homers B) Too lazy to actually look at stats beyond wins and losses and C) Pay little attention to what they do not see or hear on ESPU…. Feel free to add to my list…

    The Braves do not need a lot of offense but they do need some. Freddie’s absence in the line up has shown up big time in number of runs per game scored and in the number of “saves” not made at first base on errant throws by infielders.

    I would imagine Uribe to be an attractive piece for a team looking short term solution at third base.

    On, and the Braves are catching the Brewers at the one point in the season when they are red hot. (The Brewers) At least ManBam will not have to pitch in draconian conditions in Miller Park. I wonder if Wisler or Banualos have ever pitched indoors?

    Like

  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Cameron Maybin turned out to be the cherry on top of that deal. The Braves were pretty happy to just find someone willing to take Melvin off their hands. SD won’t be so lucky…

    I mentioned Uribe as a possible trade deadline piece but I’m sure the Braves would rather trade Chris Johnson. I notice Callespo is still playing for the Dodgers. I find that odd….

    Josh Petterson has hit into a lot of bad luck lately. He is not striking out a lot but he is hitting a lot of at’em balls to the centerfielder.

    Like

  18. 18 Carolina Lady July 6, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    I’m slower than molasses – Gil, great piece! I’m still learning who’s who. 😀

    Like

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville July 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Not to worry CL, The Braves have changed players this season faster than pickpocket in Times Square. They could use an “Etch-A-Sketch” to make up their roster. My advice this season, don’t get too attached to any player or players, they could change addresses real quick.

    Like

  20. 20 berigan2electricboogaloo July 7, 2015 at 6:31 am

    ‘nother mighty fine blog lead Gil!

    Team might be as Jeykll and Hyde-ish (Blog first) as any braves team eva! They don’t quit though, and that’s a good thing….
    I’ve been hearing the Maybin as trade bait quite a bit as I am sure others have too…I kinda sorta get it….While to us it looks like a late bloomer, to the Homeboy upstairs and others he looks like an older Charles Thomas, and perhaps some team needing an offensive boost will trade a prospect for him…gosh, wouldn’t it be great if it was another high risk high reward pitcher? 😛

    Like

  21. 21 berigan2electricboogaloo July 7, 2015 at 6:59 am

    I was going to say this months ago, and with the passage of the season…my feelings on the subject have muted.
    I felt like V, Gil, and perhaps Chris were of one view, and CL, Josie and I were are the other side…I think the ladies and I like a certain amount of stability, and familiarity . Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt . Sometimes it’s comfort food. And the way the off season went, up to and including trading Kimbrel…it felt like there was very little to feel was what one considered the braves. And as I have regaled (bored?) you all with before, I grew up a Cards fan because…I was born in St. Louis. Saw my first games there. Then, the team, under the evil Whitey Herzog, traded EVERY player I liked, up to and including ShouldbeaHOF’er Ted Simmons.
    Things like that, trading your whole team away…stick with you.
    I gave up on the Cards as a kid. I started to care some for them only long after Herzog was gone, and McGuire started hitting homers every other day…anyway….I was close to giving up on this team. Really didn’t care what they did, or more likely didn’t do…
    Frankly, my dear, I just didn’t give a …you know what….
    But, time heals , and all that jazz…after the irrational thoughts pass…the reality hits that while J Up can be exciting, he is what he is, a very streaky hitter, not a clutch guy at all. J Hey is quite talented, but after his career is over, he may only be known as a great right fielder…and both were going to ask for too much for a poor company like Liberty to cough up…
    It made sense to trade inconsistent guys around for only 2015 away for prospects.
    Trading Kimbrel to get rid a bad contract and to get another “prospect” well…if Wisler continues to pitch like this…then a good deal. If he turns into a pumpkin in year or so (or Tommy Hanson) then not so good…
    It’s amazing what a risk taker John Hart has been.
    He’s basically played fantasy league baseball, with a real team, with real players. And at his age! I am sure some would have written him off just because he wasn’t a 36 year old exec born and bred on numbers….
    And he has done a lot, a lot to at least give us hope for the future.
    Still wish he had gotten a few more bats as prospects 😕
    So, what has drawn me into watching this team? well, what draws you all into watching this team. a Bunch of scrappy guys really wanting to prove they belong. Honestly, I think this team is playing so far beyond where they should it isn’t even funny. No real left fielder, a “failed’ prospect manning CF after EY Jr couldn’t’ find the early season magic he normally has.
    A utility player at best (we heard) playing most of the 2nd base after a bad F.A. signing was traded away. Chris Johnson having another off year (yet killing, just killing left handed pitching, too bad we don’t face lefties like we used to a few years ago) a 36 Y.O. 3rd baseman that the Dodgers had no need for (any 3rd basemen older than Uribe?) and a 38 Y.O. Catcher (no one older than he I think I can safely say) that folks said looked washed up on both sides of the plate last year…doing things that few 38 year old catchers ever do…and the oldest closer in baseball too…one very young team. Kelly Johnson, he of the .225 B.A. ave over the last 3 years looking like a downright decent hitter…weird! And a RF’er hitting quite well, except for the fact he fact he has as many homers this year as CL, V, Gil and I have this year….
    A team like no other braves team. And somehow a team worth watching.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 22 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 9:37 am

    John Hart most certainly has a plan, and he is executing it a step at a time. OK, he took alot of steps in a short period before the season unfolded. But still… all in the plan.

    I know it hurt to see Kimbrel traded away, but honestly, the back end of the bullpen – JJohnson and Grilli – has not been the problem this season. In fact, they’ve been pretty darn good. (Good enough that I think one of them will be traded before the deadline, but that’s a comment for another time.)

    And what of the guys that were traded? Well, newly named All Star Justin Upton is batting .184 with 33 K’s and just 2 HR over his last 28 games. That’s the JUp we came to know and love.

    Jason Heyward? Well, as JUp cooled off, JHey finally started to hit. He now has 29 RBI, just 3 more than the homerless Nick Markakis. For me personally, I’ll take Nick’s consistency. not to mention the fact that his power will return as his strength returns following an offseason spent recovering from surgery instead of working out. I’ll also take his reasonable contract over what JHey will cost following 2015.

    Here’s the big surprise… at the halfway mark, Jason Grilli leads Craig Kimbrel in most important closer stats. Saves: 23 -> 21, ERA: 2.76 -> 3.19, AVG: .216 -> .228, and the one “boutique” stat that I think has real merit, WHIP (Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched): 1.13 -> 1.39. And when you consider that Jim Johnson has 5 Saves himself, I think we’ve done OK. Remember, we got to dump Melvin.

    Speaking of Melvin, anybody want me to run through his limited numbers? Me either. Just glad he’s gone. Period.

    And now fan fave El Oso Blanco, Evan Gattis. He’s doing exactly what HOU expected him to do. He’s hitting .246 and driving in runs… 51 to date to be exact. But he is DH’ing, which is where he needs to be. And of course, he’s striking out at a pretty high rate. 71 of those. But I guess you can forgive 71 K’s if the guy is driving in 51 in the process, can’t you? I think so. Still, and there is no way to quantify this, I just cannot believe he’d have those same offensive numbers catching 6 out of 7 games, or even 4 out of 5 games. I just don’t believe it. He’s right where he needs to be.

    I guess I say all that to say this, familiarity certainly has its endearing qualities, but I’m glad to NOT be familiar with JUp’s maddening inconsistency, JHey’s inexplicable underachieving, and Melvin’s… well, just Melvin.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. 23 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Now… to the “current” Braves. Last night’s win was a good one, on the road over a Milwaukee team that had won 8 in a row. Matt Wisler (he of the “midnight” trade involving Kimbrel) looked really good once again. Aside from his 2nd game, which admittedly stunk, the kid has put up 3 of 4 really good quality ML starts. And Cameron Maybin… oh, Cameron Maybin. This guy is a player. In my mind, I’ve decided I like him enough to give him LF when Mallex Smith or Jose Peraza takes over CF. Of course, John (pick one) probably does not agree.

    Speaking of LF, that’s the position that seems to be black hole this year. We don’t face enough LHP’s for Jonny to get many starts out there, and nobody else has asserted himself in the position. The latest to audition is Eury Perez, but he really isn’t making a great case for himself. In fact, his D has been a bit scary, which is somewhat a surprise. One has to wonder how much longer he’ll get to play before the next audition starts.

    Why not AAA Gwinnett’s current LF Cedric Hunter? He’s not gonna be an All Star, but he does have a little pop in his bat. Or Mycal Jones? Neither is going to turn into Alex Gordon or Christian Yelich, but they aren’t really going to hurt you either. I just think we’ve seen what we’re going to get from Eury, and it’s pretty bleh. How much experience does Pedro Ciriaco have in LF? Hmmm…

    I think the team could probably pick up a LF if the really wanted to. If they wanted to take on some more short term salary, they could probably pick up a guy for Chris Johnson. Of course, they’d have to give up a prospect in the process. But that’s why you acquire all those guys, right? They are like currency. You can spend it on yourself or spend it on others.

    Like

  24. 24 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

    On Cameron Maybin again…

    Yesterday, Buster Olney said he had heard that ATL was not interested in moving SpiderMaybin.

    Today, he says he’s hearing that the general feeling from other execs is that ATL will be interested in “selling high” in a sparse OF market.

    Now, while that seems to be contradictory, it really isn’t. Other execs might think one thing, while the team thinks another.

    Would “selling high” on a resurgent Maybin be wise? Well, if I had a crystal ball, I’d give you a definitive answer. Can Maybin sustain his 2015 numbers, or is he really the guy he was in DET and SD? Honestly, I think the long term guy is probably somewhere in between.

    It will all come down to return vs. cost. What will come back our way? Can Chris Johnson and his contract be included?

    We’ll know soon enough, I suspect.

    I think it is noteworthy that Jose Peraza got a few looks in CF earlier in the year, then Mallex Smith was promoted to AAA. Smith is not ready for The Show, and John (both) seem determined to let Peraza complete his development in AAA for a full season. I’ll hedge my bets and say that SpiderMaybin sticks around through 2015, and is dangled in the offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 25 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Remember Cuban LF Dian Toscano? Yeah… me neither…

    Like

  26. 26 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

    OK, enough bloviating from me this morning. I’m going to get back to work now. But before I leave, here’s something to ponder:

    The Braves 2 biggest position needs? LF and 3B. The 2 guys being mentioned most by the “experts” as being on the block from ATL? OF Cameron Maybin and 3B Chris Johnson. Weird, ain’t it?

    Like

  27. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville July 7, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Great opines this morning from both Ber and VOX. So many truths, I feel like I am setting in the front pew of the church of Braves nodding along with the orations with a few AMENS thrown in as I nod along.

    Ber, the one thing you said about liking stability. I love having a team of guys who I have grown up with. You need to remember, I was living in a city that had first an affiliate of the New York Yankees and then the Atlanta Braves. You can count on one hand, the number of championship teams fielded by either affiliate in Richmond.

    All the while, three major league teams were not all that far from home. The Senators in Washington, the Orioles in Baltimore and the Phillies in, well, you know… Anyway, I pretty much grew up a fan of the American League, of course, this is when the National League was pretty much eating the AL’s lunch every year in the All-Star game, this is when they were just taking their lunch money too.

    Okay, I’ll admit it, I was a huge fan of Micky Mantle, what white kid wouldn’t be that was bombarded by Yankee propaganda but after the Braves took over Richmond and I got to see guys like Dale Murphy throw pitch after pitch over the second base bag trying to throw out would be base stealers and later players like Brett Butler and Jack Jacoby, who were traded to Cleveland for Lem Barker, still one of the worse trades ever made by Atlanta, I started to warm up to Atlanta. The real clincher however had to be TBS and cable TV arriving in the 70’s.

    Suddenly, their was baseball every night. Now, I could have become a Cubs fan because they were on TV too but with the combination of seeing prospects making their way to the show via Richmond and the Braves actually becoming good plus my dad’s enthusiasm over the Braves, I was hooked.

    I could have easily jumped ship when the Braves moved their Triple A club to Gwennett, The Nationals were not that bad to begin with. could start watching the Orioles too. Their games are on every night as are the gNats and I would not have to pay an extra $200 a year just to watch the Braves rebuild but like you said Ber, tough to turn your back on a team your grew up with.

    So, as an older and wiser fan of the Braves, even I knew the Braves were falling short of expectations. Too long slumps by the collective to be a real threat, that plus the constant poor mouthing by Liberty about how they could not compete with the big dollar clubs. Funny, Ted Turner didn’t have that problem but then, everyone else wised up to the power of being on TV every night. The John’s simply blew up the club but I have to say, they did it with very little collateral damage and discovered a little gold in the rubble.

    So, I am sticking around as long as can afford the price of the ticket. No matter who they put on the field, what’s my alternative, becoming a fan of the Giants? What are they going to win? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 28 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I thought I’d pass this along, because I find it very interesting. Not often do you find a beat writer almost gushing over a player, but when specifically asked his opinion of Matt Wisler, DOB replied:

    Very impressed by him. More than I expected. Better stuff than I had envisioned, and tougher, more composed on mound. He’s really good. I’m never convinced when I hear a young guy is polished, throws mid-90s consistently but also has a full repertoire of pitches, until I see it. And I’ve seen it. Not a finished product, but far more advanced and with hgher upside than some other Braves prospects we’ve seen this year and in recent years.

    Doesn’t mince words, does he?

    Liked by 3 people

  29. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville July 7, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I have to agree with DOB’s assessment of Wisler. He is not perfect (yet) but he sure looks to be a keeper.

    I have to conclude, when it comes to comes to being a GM, you have to have a lot of used car salesman in you. As in, your piece of junk is worthless but we will be willing to take it off your hands for our creampuff, low miles, hardly ever taken out of the garage except to have it serviced and for the low low price of your first born plus your house. At least the house you will no longer be able to afford….

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville July 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Okay, time for me to take a load of trash to the dump, my designated assignment for the day…..

    Like

  31. 31 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    My guess is that Folty is “insurance” in case ManBan experiences the same dehydration and cramping that plagued him in his last 2 starts, including his MLB debut and his last AAA start. Regardless, I have made no bones that I think Folty would be a great late inning bullpen piece. Why not call him up now so that he’s comfortable in that role when Grilli is traded and JJohnson takes over as closer? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville July 7, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Too bad for Terdo but when you are the fifth wheel on a tricycle, well, you folks get the picture. I would think the Braves are believing they will need lots of pitching until the break. Eury might find himself on the short list of expendable parts soon too. Especially if he continues to have problems picking up the ball off the ground.

    I have not heard much on Folty’s progress at Triple A of late. Biggest thing for me is has he learned to control that cannon arm of his?

    Like

  33. 33 Braves SPORTalk (@SPORTalkBraves) July 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

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  34. 35 Vox O'Raison July 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Uh huh. Folty gets in trouble with his secondary pitches, not his fastball (or to a lesser degree his tight slider which he is still learning and perfecting). So after a couple of times through the lineup, he’s more hittable. He’s much more suited to short relief. I’ve said it all along, and I’ll say it more loudly now.

    Like

  35. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville July 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    ManBam looks a little discombobulated tonight but still only given up one run in the first four innings. Maybin and Perzinski having a good time though.

    Like

  36. 37 Bay Area Steve July 8, 2015 at 3:22 am

    F’ me. (Excuse me CLady; I’m not allowed out much,)

    I’m here ’cause I referenced Berigan, tonight, while mentioning being cheap. Kind of a Russian-with-a-dog thing…

    Came about, and see it’s still kickin’. Klob-a-name is back ’round, CL is still stickin’ her head in. VOR done changed his name; who’d a thought?

    I got no skin in no game, no wise, with no care ’bout no ‘mount of no double-negatives. I’ve always tried to convince y’all that it was better for you. That’s selfish. And, it’s wrong. Y’all need to be read because it’s better for us. Come. Please. No maintenance. All the loyalty. Old days, without the curmudgeonous beat-writer and all the community.

    All truth: I don’t know what’s best for you here; I haven’t followed. What’s best for me (us all?) is next door. Maybe. I don’t know…

    I have tremendous respect y’all are still here. I’ve postulated more than once y’all’d be gone. And, shockingly, I’ve been wrong more than once.
    Still: Come. Please.

    If not that, tell VOR to keep a frickin’ moniker. This is hard…

    Like

  37. 38 Vox O'Raison July 8, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Always great to see/hear from BAS. It’s just too infrequently.

    Can’t remember now what prompted the moniker tweak… but it was prompted by something. Perhaps another tweak is in order?

    Like

  38. 39 Vox O'Raison July 8, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Seems to me I felt that being the “Voice of Reason” was a bit pretentious, no to mention difficult to live up to. And raisins don’t always agree with me, if you know what I mean.

    Like

  39. 40 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

    OK. Minor tweak completed. A fairly reasonable compromise, I suppose.

    Like

  40. 41 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I’m not even sure I know how to find the blog across the street anymore. Format changes both on the blog and at the ajc have made it a little confusing. It’s a little like wandering around the streets of Atlanta trying to find a specific address and a place to park. Alot of one way streets and repeated street names. And I can never get close.

    Like

  41. 42 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 8:04 am

    FOXSports’ Jon Paul Morosi:

    Will Padres GM A.J. Preller be using his ‘sell’ phone? Preller has two significant reasons to trade his veteran players: The Padres are unlikely to make up an 8-1/2-game deficit in the National League West, and their farm system (thinned by several significant trades) must be replenished.

    Among the veterans named as SD trade candidates: Justin Upton heads the list, with Craig Kimbrel anchoring the back end.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, young Matt Wisler has just earned ML Win #3 in just 4 starts, Cameron Maybin is having a career year, and Jace Peterson is an integral part of a retooled lineup and infield. That doesn’t even account for the still rehabbing youngster Max Fried or the younger 3B turned OF Dustin Peterson. Oh, and Mallex Smith is now fine tuning his skills at AAA with a Sept. callup a great likelihood.

    BTW- Thanks, Mr. Preller, for taking Melvin. Every Braves fan should add you to their Christmas card list.

    Like

  42. 43 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Gil, about ManBan: First inning struggle for sure, but he managed to wriggle out of it, for the most part, then hit cruise control. And the value of a veteran catcher cannot be measured.

    Courtesy of ajc: Banuelos allowed two hits and one walk in the first inning, but limited the damage to one run on Jonathan Lucroy’s second homer of the season, a one-out solo shot on a 2-2 changeup.

    He said the message from Pierzynski after that inning was straightforward. Use all his pitches and work quicker.

    “He was like, ‘You took a lot of time between pitches. Just throw the ball and get ready for the next pitch,’” Banuelos said. “And I did it. It worked well.”

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    Liked by 1 person

  43. 44 Gil in Mechanicsville July 8, 2015 at 11:08 am

    First to the always entertaining and often elusive BAS, WE LIKE IT HERE! At last look, Bowman had more followers than DOB and the AJC got greedy. They want me to pay to read their stuff, You will notice there are no annoying ads or CPU burning flash running in the background. Very few trolls either, only a bunch of curmudgeons, okay, one curmudgeon but a lot of savvy folks who don’t dis each other because of their opinions. I’ll admit, I still waiting on my official journalist credentials from the editor in chief of our little blog but it’s been tougher since the New Mexico tightened up their rules for driver’s licences for illegals and the forgers have been busy with higher paying customers.

    Anyway, perhaps you should bring a few more folks over from across the street with you. the price of admission is still the same. FREE! We are not in it for the money, I know, pretty un-american of us, but we figure you already pay enough just to have an internet connection. Besides, our printing cost are pretty low… Anyway, it’s always great to hear from you and you are always welcome…

    Now baseball…. I suspect the blister on Manuelos’ thumb had something to do with his high on base percentage last night, thank goodness for that miracle cure, Super glue…. I saw Perzinski looking up at the open panels in dome prior to his first at bat, next thing you know, he puts one up in that jet stream for a four bagger. I thought the poor guy was going to collapse after running from first to third latter in the game. I expect him to have the afternoon off today.

    Good quality start by ManBam. The kid has sure learned how to pitch around trouble. A big tip o’ the cap to Aardsma for his good work and David Carpenter with that sweeping slider was the Cat’s Meow. Folty can bring it but still needs to learn how to add some movement to that heater of his.

    Grille looked as good as I have seen him this season, look for Jim Johnson to close today however if it comes to that.

    Like

  44. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville July 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I watched snippets of games last night on MLB after the Braves’ game was over. Justin Upton made and amazing catch to rob McCutchan of a homer but the Bucs still won the game. Team chemistry goes a long way in getting the most out of any team. Ask the Giants if they are the same team without Hunter Pence as they are with him? He is their Jonny Gomes…. I have noticed Fredi D talking with Jonny a lot in the dugout. I am not privy to the content of the conversation but I am sure Fredi values Gomes’ opinion.

    Teheran should have no excuses today in the controlled environment of Miller Park. Only the absence of Perzinski calling the shots but Lavarnway has not looked bad behind the dish. I would be nice to get a few games over .500 prior to the AS break because it is going to be a tough two weeks following the return afterwards.

    It will be nice to see the return of Fab 5 too but I am worried his wrist will act up. The trainers need to be attentive. Simmons has not been the same hitter since he was hit by a pitch a couple of weeks ago either. Stuff like that can be nagging. I was good to see Jace get on base a couple of times last night too. Like I said, it’s not like he isn’t getting the bat on the ball, he has just become predictable as to the spot where he is going to hit the ball to.

    Like

  45. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville July 8, 2015 at 11:36 am

    And a final opine for now, San Diego might be suffering from too many big egos in the club house. That is not a problem with the Braves right now. A lot of these kids are just happy to not be riding the bus to Norfolk from Lehigh Valley and the like. Having guys like A.J. and Jonny G around has not hurt either. They have someone to go to for guidance whether they think they need it or not.

    Cameron Maybin says he has never been so happy as he is this year playing in Atlanta, says he is almost back to being 100%. Now, that should be something if this isn’t 100% for him….

    PS, Nice to see Washington still waiting around for the Bravos to catch up. Bravos only 4 games back and at .500 with five games to go before the break. Who would have thunk it?

    Like

  46. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville July 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Hey Ber, wake up.. 2PM start for the game today…

    Like

  47. 48 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Aw!! I wish he was starting tonight… I’m going tonight. He is one of those guys that I am very much looking forward to seeing pitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. 49 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Like

  49. 50 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Wow. After looking totally discombobulated for the first couple of batters in the 1st inning, Julio has looked like an ace since. He is mowing them down in dominating fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 51 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    He had retired 10 in a row until I typed that, then he walked the next batter. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

  51. 52 Vox O'Reason July 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Then he gave up a 2 run homer. I am not coming back here until the game is over. 😡

    Like

  52. 53 Carolina Lady July 8, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    It’s all your fault, Raisins! 😀

    BAS, great to see you again! Stop in more often!

    Gil! I am NOT a curmudgeon! (your post somewhere above) 😀

    I love reading all the comments. Y’all are not only knowledgeable but very entertaining as well.

    Gil! I’ve told you a THOUSAND times! The credentials are in the mail!! The forg – uh – my contact said they’re the best he’s ever seen. LOL

    Anybody have an opinion on the Braves Sportalk offer above? I need to know!

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville July 9, 2015 at 8:08 am

    The two run homer given up by Julio was not the problem, the three run homer given up by Avilan was. Can’t really fault him for that either really, Two bloop hits and then the blast on a pitch down and away. Hey, I didn’t like the outcome but it was what it was. Julio looked to be a different pitcher after the first inning. One has to wonder what is said in the dugout between innings?

    In any case, a Tip O’ The Cap to Gomez. He carried his team today. It happens… Of course I would have brought in Carpenter to face him but I don’t know his work load this past week.

    Spider Maybin is on fire isn’t he?

    On to the Rockies, game time 9:10 PM…Augh… Going to be some draggy morning for me the rest of the week.

    Like

  54. 55 Vox O'Reason July 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Julio looked to be a different pitcher after the first inning. One has to wonder what is said in the dugout between innings?

    Ryan Lavarnway said Julio got mad after the 2 walks that he started the game with. He said, “Sometimes it takes a little kick in the pants for him to flip the switch and get angry.”

    Works for me…

    Like

  55. 56 Vox O'Reason July 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Cannot wait to see this guy arrive in ATL…

    Like

  56. 57 Vox O'Reason July 9, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    El Oso Blanco is a man… well, a bear. He’s a man-bear.

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2015/07/08/135585816/evan-gattis-crushes-home-run-on-outside-pitch

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville July 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    True story, in my football playing days, I was always being double teamed when playing defense, Our couch would get mad because the guy playing guard next to me was really a better player than me but would not take advantage of the situation to rush the backfield. No lie, our coach actually kicked him in the butt and told him to wake up. He got mad all right, became an all Metro lineman. (I still got double teamed a lot though) Hey, it’s a team sport.

    You are right VOX, can’t wait to see Tyrell Jenkins… Suspect it will be 2016 though. Braves will not want to start the clock too soon on him, Not with this season still in doubt, has to get one exited though to have him in reserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville July 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    VOX, he hit one out against the Nats last season on the same pitch location.. He is one strong dude, would love to see him in the home run derby.

    Like

  59. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville July 10, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Hey guys, tried to stay awake for last night’s game but just wasn’t up for it (little pun there) … Anyway, I did see some smidgens. Brigham was shelled early and often. The Braves made an effort to get back in it but I think they felt about the same way I did and just did not feel like playing in such miserable conditions.

    New day today, let’s get em Shelby…

    Like

  60. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville July 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Braves signed their top draft pick in 2015 for $3.2mm (pending physical) The kid is 17 years old, I will be looking for him around 2021 or so. Yep, 5 to 7 years is a pretty reasonable expectation one would think. Lots of bumps in the road before then.

    The Braves have now signed their top 25 picks in this year’s draft. We shall see how it turns out in a few years.

    Shelby Miller takes the bump tonight in Denver, I hope he got his poor start out of his system. We know they are going to happen, just not always when.

    It would be nice to go into the break above .500

    Like

  61. 62 berigan2electricboogaloo July 11, 2015 at 5:30 am

    groundhog day …deja vu all over again

    Like

  62. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville July 11, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Well, no .500 prior to the break this year. The lack of real talent somehow always seems to come to fore with the Braves. Not blaming the pitching, just the lack of offense without Freddie in the line up is just so frustrating…

    I know, I know, We were warned, we were told not to expect a lot but this team is a teaser. Give of a glimps of what they could be and then they get schooled by a guy who couldn’t keep a job with five different teams this season. ACK!!

    Okay, good thing the All-star break is upon us, I need the break too….

    Like

  63. 64 berigan2electricboogaloo July 12, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Man, I thought I had a rough day (tried and failed to make it to a friend’s 50th birthday party up north, car overheated 20 miles in traffic was terrible, so had to turn around and come home, at least neither I, nor my car were hit!)
    Poor Jason Grilli! 😦
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13240605/jason-grilli-atlanta-braves-suffers-leg-injury-running-cover-first

    Like

  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Huge loss for the Braves, another opportunity for one of the young bucks to earn their stripes. I was watching at the time and I knew instantly it was bad. Tim Hudson bad…. What can you do, the Braves are very wounded right now. The team all predicted pre-season may yet show up… All you can do is keep rooting.

    PS, sorry about your car, Those big old 460s have always been prone to overheating… Try a 165 degree thermostat for the summer, go back to the 180 in winter.

    Like

  65. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Today’s game is really a big one for the Bravos. I know, it is only the All-star break but they need to finish with a little good news. I felt like there was some malise seeping into the Braves line-up. Too early to hang your head, you never know what is going to happen with the teams ahead of you.

    The Braves are so constructed this season that they can ill afford to lose guys like Freddie Freeman and Jason Grille but you can’t fret about it, you can make the rest of the 2015 fly by or you can make it drag by with sloppy play and half hearted hitting.

    I wish I could find one of my favorite illustrations which showed a half eaten frog with a strangle hold on the throat of an egret with the caption, “Never Give Up”

    It’s around and I will find it and share it.

    By the way Ber, is your Lincoln equipped with a clutch fan?

    Like

  66. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Okay, team, stop slumping those shoulders… FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT….

    Like

  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Now, a couple of observations/recommendations for the team. I realize the Braves are a bit short handed as far as hitters go but, time to move Jase Peterson down in the batting order, for what ever reason, he thinks he is a pull hitter all of a sudden. He needs to rethink his approach. Maybe batting in front of the pitcher will help him refocus. He is making it easy for the Braves to take an early look at Perazza after the break.

    It is at this point in the season that the quad A players begin to become exposed.

    Okay, and now it’s 8-3 Rockies after the Braves battled back to tie it 3-3. You guys that didn’t watch today… well, you didn’t miss much. It was interesting for a little while, at least the Braves’ announcers are being paid to watch this team.

    One more thing, If I were Fredi Gonzalaz, I would not be surprised to find myself “reassigned” by August. Of course, if you don’t have the horses, it’s tough to move the plow.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I noticed that the Astros have hit a rough patch, that is what happens when you have a bunch of really young players but I suspect it has a lot to do with the absence George Springer.

    Here is an Idea, Why not change the play-off format to have a first half/second half like the Southern League does, then they could reduce the schedule from 162 to 154 game season but not really lose any revenue. Re-set everyone after the All-star break… Just thinking out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville July 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Believe it or not, it was kind of a good news bad news game for the Braves today, Bad news, they lost 11-3, good news, they did not need a closer….

    Liked by 1 person

  70. 71 berigan2electricboogaloo July 13, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Now baseball…umm…err…all star break!

    Like

  71. 72 berigan2electricboogaloo July 13, 2015 at 4:07 am

    And I saw this kid’s weird name during the World baseball whatever that was played yesterday…interesting story! Sounds like he hits the ball like Gattis does…
    http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article27095677.html

    Like

  72. 73 berigan2electricboogaloo July 13, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Gil, I have a clutch fan…it seems to be spinning ok at idle, could it not be going fast enough at speed?
    I’ve checked my Vacuum advance, as we had a 1968 Buick Wildcat that always ran hot, Dad put in a 4 core radiator that helped some, but once we found the vacuum Advance was shot, and replaced it, it ran much cooler.
    In my Linclon,Radiator is 4 years old…but, I put a ton of stop leak in it. (Leaking freeze plug behind motor mount. Got that one finally fixed) But, it doesn’t look the least bit clogged. I flushed it a TON of times, I mean….dozens and dozens, til it ran clear as drinking water. Put in a new water pump earlier this year. New Thermostat. Cooler one. Forget if 165 or 180. Took it out and boiled it in case it was defective. It wasn’t. Put in a bottle of whatyacallit, cooling system cleaner upper. Left it in 3 days for the “heavy duty” clean, as opposed to the 10 minute option. Flushed MANY times before leaving Saturday…when it overheated (first, shut off the air, and light went off, then slowed down to 40, and light was stuck on,)
    Think even though the radiator seemingly looks fine (and I stuck a flashlight in there, and what I can see, looks to be flowing pretty quickly)
    it may still need to be replaced?
    With all the stop leak last year, never had overheating issues.
    Oh yeah, new timing chain, now have the 1971 and earlier timing. Runs much better, and in theory should be cooler, right?
    Even put in 89 Octane even though it never pinged. Well, not til it got to be 90+ every day….
    :/

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason July 13, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Well, there is an awful lot from the weekend to digest. But it seems the next 2 weeks may have been greatly clarified by the last 5 days. Free falling into the break on a 5 game skid, falling 5 games below .500, dropping 7 games behind the Nats (and 5 behind the Mets), may have just Hart and Coppy’s mission for 2015.

    It may be time to pull the plug on the season and move on toward 2016. I did find it a bit odd that Cameron Maybin was a late scratch from yesterday’s game with an “illness”. Given that he may be one of the team’s biggest trade chips, he may not be back in a Braves uni when the 2nd semester begins.

    And I could say the same for newly minted closer Jim Johnson. Now that Grilli is done for the year, JJ is the hot name in the RP market. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t moved before 7/31.

    According to Bowman, the names being whispered about are the aforementioned Maybin and JJohnson, along with KJ and AJ. I’ll christen the group “KJ, AJ, JJ and MayDay”. Ironically, the Braves have been trying to push “CJ” off on anyone who would take his contract. Watch for him to be connected to JJ when he’s moved.

    When all the dust settles, I expect the Braves will move at least half of whom I mentioned, with JJ almost a certainty. I order of whom I see as most likely to be swapped, I see:

    1. JJ (99%)
    2. MayDay (80%)
    3. KJ (60%)
    4. AJ (50%)

    As for AJ specifically, I believe the team would move him for the right deal, but they’ll have to be blown away. He is a near perfect veteran receiver to have for a young pitching staff. As valuable as he might be for a contending team, his importance to this young staff is immeasurable. And McAlpin has mentioned that the Braves would look to bring him back as a FA in 2016 even if he is dealt away this season.

    Anyway… circling back to the beginning of this bloviation, I had hoped that closing Act One of 2015 on a high note against 3 very beatable teams might give the team a springboard to launch into a dogfight in the second frame. Alas, they looked less like dog fight and more like dog… well, you get the picture.

    As for me, I’m ready for the Homeboys upstairs to hang up the For Sale sign. Only about 28 weeks until P&CR.

    Like

  74. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville July 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Ah Ber, the thing about clutch fans is the problem often isn’t that they spin freely, it’s that they spin freely when they shouldn’t. It was suppose to be one of those features which saved on fuel (HA HA) by reducing the drag on the engine because in theory, air would flow thru the radiator at speed. Of course they also wanted the engine to run hotter (like the do now) so they would use fuel more efficiently (all the smog control crap they put on cars after 73) They also allowed the engine to heat up faster because they didn’t spin when the engine was cold, only as they ran hot. A lot of the foreign cars used electric fans and some late 80’s GM cars.

    Anyway, You could also have a faulty temperature sensor. It happens, kind of like one of the many sensors (not covered by car maintenance insurance policies today) because 99% of the problems tend to be faulty sensors. Some of which are deep in the engine or transmission, but I digress…. At least you know the bulb works in your dash 🙂 Anyway, I have no idea of where the sensor is located on your car but you might try using an old fashion oven thermometer to check the actual water temp with the car running.

    You are still replacing the anti freeze/summer coolant after each flush? Right? Is it boiling over? Anyway, It’s the price you pay for have a 40 year old car, which is still infinitely cheaper than having to pay the taxes on a new one. Just aggravating sometimes…. So many wires and hoses to dry rot, so little time to replace them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville July 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Yes VOX, the homeboys upstairs officially have a reason to sell. Not like they are going to save any real money, it all about picking up prospects for the future. That and the realization that while scoring runs by bleeding the other team with singles and walks can be entertaining, Instant offense of the three run homer can be fun too and dose not depend upon the opposing pitcher being off all night, just not missing the one hittable pitch you will see during your at bat.

    Having power with the bat is like a pitcher who can throw 98. You cannot teach it. But, you have to be smart enough to know when to use that tool and not try to hit every pitch out of the park.

    Nick Markakis has said he does not have the power he had prior to his surgery. Other teams do not fear him except with men in scoring position but even he seems to be wearing down this season. To be honest, I would hate to see Maybin go, He is very affordable and is kind of like Dan Uggla in reverse. Still, depends on what the other GMs are offering. If I were the GM, I would have to have an offer I couldn’t refuse to move him.

    Let’s face it, 90% of the Braves’ offense is on the DL with a wrist sprain.

    Like

  76. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville July 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    One more thing I just thought of, how different the road trip would have been if the Braves had won just one of the Rockies games. As it is, it brings memories of the disastrous west coast trip last season where they only won one game against the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Mariners.

    Like

  77. 78 Vox O'Reason July 13, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    So I’m watching the Home Run Derby… the sideline model, I mean journalist asked slugger Prince Fielder a biting question: “What is your strategy going forward?” Fielder: “I just want to hit everything I swing at out.”

    Clearly this man has had some coaching.

    Like

  78. 79 Vox O'Reason July 13, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Watching the HRD really opens a person’s eyes to what the Atlanta Braves do not have. Wow there is some impressive power on display out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 80 Vox O'Reason July 13, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Like

  80. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville July 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I suspect there will be some impressive power on display in Atlanta this week end. The Cubbies are well equipped with such.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 11:49 am

    According to JP Morosi of FOX Sports, the Mariners are very close on a deal to acquire a catcher. There are absolutely no details on the catcher or the club involved. Naturally, this makes me a little nervous.

    Seattle has experienced a similar situation as the Braves, relying on a highly prized prospect who has not worked out. Can’t help but wonder if AJP isn’t being talked about internally by a few teams.

    That would kick the door open to sending off some other veterans…

    Like

  82. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville July 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    While I can understand the Braves moving Perzinski, one has to wonder if it would not be detrimental in the development of all those young pitchers currently in the Braves’ stable. It also would depend on the return the Braves would get for A.J., after all, it is not like they would be saving a ton of money.

    Do the Braves think it is time to try out Bethencourt one more time, I have not heard any reports on his progress during his time in Triple A. At some point, You have to wonder just how far into the future the Braves are looking before they become relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 84 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Like

  84. 85 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I have not heard any reports on his progress during his time in Triple A.

    In 21 games at AAA Gwinnett, Betty has seemingly regained his stroke at the plate slashing .321/.345/.457. Defensively, he has 1 error and 1 passed ball. No info on how well he is framing pitches or calling games. In fact, there is not alot of any info readily available at all. He isn’t frequently mentioned by any of the 3 beat writers. It’s as if everyone has backed off and simply hopes he regains a little bit of luster.

    My gut feeling is that while the tools are certainly still there, they may have to be honed in a new landscape. I could see him packaged with a pitcher to bring back another young catcher if the right match were found.

    Like

  85. 86 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Ain’t that just a peach?

    Like

  86. 87 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    More DOB: If the Braves were unsure of which direction to take, their current five-game losing streak has seemingly left them no choice but to be sellers before the Trade Deadline.

    We figured as much, but seeing it from someone who is around the club everyday kinda makes sink in more.

    Like

  87. 88 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    John Hart, via Bowman: “It’s more serious than we expected. I’m hoping he’ll be back before the first of August but he may not be. He’s working hard to get back but it’s a slow-healing injury and it still gives him pain when he swings. He dinged it, played four or five days with it, and we have him a few days off. We gave him an injection and thought he would be back in two or three days but it was no better. We did further tests and found it was more serious than we thought.”

    The Braves are essentially out of the playoff picture and almost certain to be sellers over the next 2 weeks. No need to rush the big guy back. Trade both Chris Johnson and Kelly Johnson and bring back Terdo to handle 1B duties until Freeman is 100%.

    Like

  88. 89 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    The Braves next 12 games coming out of the break are at home vs. the Cubs and Dodgers, followed by roadies vs. the Cards and O’s. We won’t have Freddie for any of those games. Does not bode well.

    Like

  89. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville July 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Let’s face it, 90% of the Braves’ offense is on the DL with a wrist sprain.

    I rest my case, The next two weeks will tell the tale for the Braves this season.

    Normally, the team moves vets and brings up “prospects” to look them over and evaluate , yada yada yada… So, who are the Braves going to look at? Peraza? Smith? We have already seen most every pitcher in the system other than Jenkins. I know, Rome wasn’t built in a day but Betty was suppose to be the Braves next something… Not sure what that is going to be now….

    Like

  90. 91 Vox O'Reason July 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Well, Gil… there’s the issue at the moment. All the prospects worth assessing at the major league level not named Peraza are pitchers, and they’ve pretty much had a revolving assessment process already. Mallex Smith is still a year away, as is Rio Ruiz. The club already knows what they have in Terdo and Ham.

    I suspect Peraza will get a callup at some point, maybe sooner than later depending on the next 16 days.

    I also feel that Betty has to come back and either produce or move on. There’s nothing left to do at AAA. I know all the talking points say that he needs to “work on his receiving skills”, but the reality is that his deficiencies lie between the ears. So it’s time to either grow up or give up. There’s nothing left to gain by toiling away at AAA. Maybe since his bat has awakened it’s a good time to capitalize on his perceived status before he slips any further. Just sayin’. Package him with a pitcher and get something of real value in return.

    Speaking of pitchers, JJohnson had his career heydays as an Oriole. He also appears to have his good stuff back. BAL has a AAA catcher playing in tonight’s AAA All-Star game named Steve Clevenger. He’s blocked at the major league level by a guy named Matt Wieters. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Wonder if BAL would take JJ and Betty for Clevenger? Just thinking out loud, so to speak.

    Anyway, unless the Braves swap some pitchers for some hitters between now and August, there won’t be many youngsters to look over.

    Like

  91. 92 berigan2electricboogaloo July 15, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Of course my brain wattage is so massive…I can only remember the most recent post 😛 so….V, I don’t think the O’s would trade that catcher if only because the multimillionaire/Billionaire owner of the O’s is cheap…just like the Owner of the Nats. Acting like they can’t afford to keep their free agents. Weiner is a F.A. after this year. Don’t think Buck Showalter would want Bethencourt…a catcher that seems to be all arm, and no brain…

    Like

  92. 93 berigan2electricboogaloo July 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Chris Johnson is going to be so hard to trade…unless they eat more moola. Only 7 RBI’s this year. But, he is at worst a serviceable 3rd baseman. He’s hitting only .172 against righties but .362 against lefties! If a team lost a 3rd baseman between now and up to Sept 1st, he’d obviously be a good choice for a team. Or some team that faces a lot of lefties.
    I didn’t know his salary goes from 6 mil this year, to 7.5 next year, then 9 mil in 2017. Seems if you ate half of that (and look how much they have eaten of players released this year!) should be able to get something of use for him…

    Like

  93. 94 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Chris Johnson is going to be so hard to trade

    Yes and no. As you mentioned, He is raking against lefties. As teams around the league are making their silly season preparations, there will be teams that identify that specialty as a need. Now will they be willing to take on the whole contract for what is essentially a half player? Well, that all depends on who you send with him, now doesn’t it? You might send him with with one of the 476 young pitchers you’ve acquired in the last 9 months.

    Let me put it this way… if you can trade Melvin and his whole contract, you can trade anything. It’s all a matter of how creative you are willing to get.

    Liked by 2 people

  94. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville July 16, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Most likely 3rd baseman to see moved will be Uribe. The only problem with CJ is he has had a hard time differentiating between being a hitter with a high average and a power hitter. Something Jace Peterson is having a problem with right now. Jace has gotten away from what made him dangerous to begin with.

    No, the Braves need a good couple of weeks to get us back on track… Not sure if and when it’s going to happen though. I just am not sure the Braves are ready to trade away what little offense they have for more pitchers. I say let Jim Johnson go and whomever will bring a decent return. No need to simply clear payroll, that is going to happen soon enough.

    Like

  95. 96 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 10:46 am

    They could continue to stockpile young pitching, or they could seek a young controllable hitter. But as long as you have young pitching to trade, you can acquire a hitter. That’s the strategy. That’s why it takes a couple of years to shake it all out. Think about it… can you have a rotation that includes Shelby, Julio, Woody, Williams Perez, Wisler, ManBan, Folty, Jenkins, and Luca Sims? Uh. no. Now granted, not all of those will pan out. And one or more could end up in the pen (Folty?). But my point is, behind those guys you still have Max Fried, Touki Toussant, Ricardo Sanchez and Jason Hursh. Some of those guys will be traded at some point. The only real question is when?

    Like

  96. 97 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Luca Lucas Sims

    Like

  97. 98 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

    LHRP Andrew McKirahan is pitching in his “rehab” stint at AAA Gwinnett and should be cleared to return to The Show soon. He could be a trade chip. I believe I read that LHRP Josh Outman (great name for a pitcher, eh?) has begun a rehab assignment after missing the 1st half with “thoracic outlet syndrome”. That’s that thing where the blood vessels between the chest, shoulder and upper arm get compressed somehow, causing all kids of problems with the shoulder and arm. No timetable for a return for him, but I’m not expecting any contribution or value in 2015.

    I still think KJ is a trade candidate.

    Not sure that I think they’d move Uribe. I suppose they’d move almost anyone not named Simmons or Freeman for the correct price, but I don’t think they are shopping him. Not many replacements available in house, especially if you’re aggressively trying to move CJ. Pedro Ciriaco serves this team best as a utility guy off the bench. I don’t think you want him in the lineup every day, plus you lose your utility guy. The dude at AAA is Adonis García. He’s not horrible, and in fact is having a career season. But the fact that he’s 30 and just made his MLB debut earlier this season tells you something.

    I suppose once the towel has officially been thrown in, you can back off the stance of not moving Jace to 3B, opening the position up for Jose Peraza. But Peterson doesn’t profile well to 3B is best suited for 2B, and I think you lessen his value to the team when you move him around.

    Speaking of Jace, I’m not sure his current funk is a product of him trying to pull or lift the ball. I think it’s more a function of him having enough AB’s for ML pitchers to have adjusted to his tendencies. Jace tries to hit every ball back up the middle. Pitchers stopped giving him pitches to do so. Until he re-adjusts to what they are now doing, he’ll continue to struggle. And thus is the life of a MLB hitter. You adjust, pitchers adjust, you re-adjust, etc. It’s a constant cycle, and its the thing that separates a short career from a long career.

    John Hart insists the Braves will continue to walk “parallel lines” toward re-tooling and remaining competitive. But we may have reached the point where maintaining both paths is not viable. But I won’t put anything past John Hart. he has shown he can pull off some effective moves.

    15 more days of silly season.

    Like

  98. 99 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Excerpts from a newly published interview of John Hart by ajc’s Jeff Schultz:

    Q: Are you going to be buyers at the deadline?

    A: No. We’re not going to be big buyers. I’m not saying we won’t deal. But with Grilli going down and there’s an unknown with Freddie, we’re not in a position where we can go out and try to get three or four pieces.

    Q: Will we continue to see a number of young players come up in the second half, like in the first?

    A: It’s a fair question. We don’t want to push guys we don’t think are ready. I know that’s a hard thing to define. But we’ve got so many youngsters up here now, especially within the rotation. We’d like to keep some veteran guys around, but we’re sort of running out of bullets. Folty (Mike Foltynewicz) did well when we brought him up the first time. At some point we’ll bring him back. At some point McKirahan, maybe (Jose) Peraza. We’ll play it by ear.

    Q: Do you expect movement at the deadline?

    A: We don’t have the big chip that will take somebody over the top. If people want good pieces and they can offer us something, yeah. But we’re going to take great care. We’re playing short. There is a very real possibility we won’t do anything.

    Like

  99. 100 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 11:51 am

    More from the above:

    Q: Are you worried about Bethancourt?

    A: I really like his skill set. I don’t think he has embraced what it is he needs to do to sell out to his pitching staff, to drive the train. We sent him to Gwinnett and I told (manager Brian Snitker) the boxes I wanted check: shows up early, prepares for game, goes over scouting report, works the pitcher.’ Go through those intangibles.

    Q: You’re talking about dedication.

    A: Not dedication. It’s a level of preparedness you need for what Roger (McDowell) expects and a championship organization expects, especially when dealing with young pitchers.

    Q: So he doesn’t understand what it takes.

    A: You put it well.

    😯

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 101 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I wondered if that might happen when he was allowed to hit the market last week. It’s good pickup. Could be a precursor to a JJohnson trade. Frasor has closer experience, but I get the sense they’d like to see what Viz can do in that role. Me too.

    Like

  101. 102 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Frasor was a valuable member of the Royals pen last season. he was sort of their EOF, just from the right side.

    From MLBTR: The Royals acquired Frasor last summer in exchange for minor league right-hander Spencer Patton, and Frasor rewarded the team with a 1.53 ERA and a 16-to-1 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings down the stretch in their push to the postseason. Frasor allowed just one run in 5 1/3 playoff innings and was re-signed by the Royals on a one-year, $1.8MM contract that includes a $1.25MM salary and a $550K buyout of a $2MM mutual option for the 2016 season.

    The veteran setup man has worked to a stellar 1.54 ERA in 23 1/3 innings this season. However, Frasor’s also battled his control all season long, posting an 18-to-15 K/BB ratio in that time. That sub-par accuracy has led secondary stats like FIP (4.03), xFIP (4.60) and SIERA (4.71) to take a significantly more pessimistic stance on Frasor’s work to this point. Of course, it should also be noted that a pair of the walks yielded by Frasor in 2015 have been of the intentional variety.

    A good case of a pitcher getting winning results even though his “peripherals”, or “secondary stats” don’t reward the fantasy geeks. The guy wins and his team wins. I could give a rip how he gets it done.

    Good pickup for the Braves after losing Grilli. He’s the new 8th inning guy.

    Like

  102. 103 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Just for grins and giggles, let’s look at Julio’s numbers at home vs on the road:

    Home: 8 starts, 5-0, 2.04 ERA, 3 HR, .187 BA, 7.5 K/9, 0.925 WHIP
    Away: 10 starts, 1-4, 6.95 ERA, 13 HR, .333 BA, 6.8 K/9, 1.778 WHIP

    If I were Freddie, I’d figure out a way to make all of Julio’s remaining starts occur at The Ted.

    Like

  103. 104 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Like

  104. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville July 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    VOX, Thanks for the repost of the interview, pretty much what I speculated…

    Yep, an 8th inning set up guy who gets outs. It is why I don’t get involved in the fantasy league stuff. I have a different agenda. It is also why I think baseball brass (commissioner) is a hypocrite for banning Pete Rose. MLB network major sponsor is Draft Kings, a major betting outlet.

    Jace Peterson might well become a trade piece himself. Projected as a sub, Cireaco has filled that role nicely. Of course Jace is a lot younger. Got to have somewhere for the Braves’ number one prospect to play. Likely it will be next year when we see some of the youngsters. Cannot wait until 2017 to have a team loaded with rookies and have folks expect them to be a contender.

    One would think Bethancourt would have gotten the message by now. If not, then he has Francoure syndrome. Too much too soon expected and him reading his press clippings and believing he is better than he really is. Talent is one thing, desire and heart is another. It takes both to become a star.

    Like

  105. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville July 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Did the Braves have to throw in a prospect or did they just pick him up for grins?

    Like

  106. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville July 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Braves only paying about $250 grand then. Good deal….

    Like

  107. 108 berigan2electricboogaloo July 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the John Hart info V! JS nor Wren would be as honest about a player…but the thing is…all the other organizations…they too know what the braves know about someone like Bethencourt. And it’s up to another team, say a team with a strong Latin coaching staff , to decide if they think they could get through to him…he’s still only 23 (til Sept) so it’s not like he’s 27….But, since he didn’t hit or catch well…well….

    Like

  108. 109 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Cannot wait until 2017 to have a team loaded with rookies and have folks expect them to be a contender.

    Kinda like the 2015 Cubs, except with pitching.

    Like

  109. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo July 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Folty (Mike Foltynewicz) did well when we brought him up the first time. At some point we’ll bring him back.
    was he sent back down?
    What do you guys think? Obviously, he could be a good 7th/8th/9th inning guy…but, I think that would be a waste of his talent. When he had a good start, he looked absolutely like a potential #1 or #2. I just don’t want to see a Joba Chamberlain situation where he is bounced around from the bullpen and rotation, then washes out….IF they think he’s a closer, stick him there and leave him there, in other words.

    Like

  110. 111 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Did the Braves have to throw in a prospect or did they just pick him up for grins?

    FA signing.

    Like

  111. 112 Vox O'Reason July 16, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    was he sent back down?

    Yep, right after the sweep by the Rox. He was only up to have an extra arm for COL (and as insurance because of ManBan’s previous dehydration). He was sent down to continue starting. Kinda tells me he could be a trade chip to someone if they’d come off a young LF or 3B.

    Liked by 2 people

  112. 113 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Break’s over! Back to work fellas!

    😀

    Like

  113. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville July 17, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Aw man… We gotta?

    Liked by 1 person

  114. 115 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Good. Play him at 1B. He’s the best power option on the team. (Not saying much.)

    Like

  115. 116 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Heyman: The Braves remain sellers despite their decent first half. Juan Uribe, Cameron Maybin, Jim Johnson and Chris Johnson (probably untradeable) remain available … The Pirates and Mets could make some sense for Uribe.

    No surprises there…

    Like

  116. 117 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Nasty stats, courtesy of DOB:

    Braves Jace Peterson’s past 18 games, .151 (11-for-73) with 2 XBH, 5 BB, 22 K, .215 OBP and .219 slugging %.

    Braves shortstop Simmons’ past 19 games: .154 (10-for-65) with zero XBH, 1 RBI, .214 OBP and .154 slugging percentage

    When the Braves were scoring runs, Jace was getting on, Maybin was getting on, and Freddie / Nick / AJP were driving them in. Doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to make this analysis. The top of the lineup is so important. Then add Freddie’s absence… well, you get the idea.

    Also, I’ve been a great supporter of Nick, and I still am. I understand his power shortage, and don’t really have a real problem with it because he’s hitting and getting on base. But why is he our cleanup hitter? I’m a little befuddled with that. Has any team in history had a cleanup hitter with 0 HR’s at the ASB?

    Given the current dropoff by Jace at the top of the lineup, I would like to see this batting order, at least for a short while:

    Maybin, CF (R)
    Markakis, RF (L)
    Terdo, 1B (S)
    AJP, C (L)
    KJ / Gomes, LF (P)
    Uribe, 3B (R)
    Simmons, SS (R)
    Jace, 2B (L)

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 118 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I realize Terdo at the #3 spot might be a little stretch, but the dude can hit. And he can hit with power. Would you rather have KJ there? Eh. I’ll keep it where I have it.

    Like

  118. 119 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Mr. O’B opines today that the Braves could certainly trade Jim Johnson, but he could be the only one. I must admit, I agree with him. As I said earlier, they’ll trade almost anyone not named Simmons or Freeman if the offer is right, but I don’t believe they’re actively shopping anyone other than Chris Johnson. But I do think they’ll get an acceptable offer for Jim Johnson. He’s been good, and a closer can make or break a contending team.

    Now the off-season is another story…

    Like

  119. 120 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    And that effectively puts to rest all of those constant questions for another year.

    In fairness to Fredi and his staff, and this comes from a guy who has launched plenty of warranted criticism Fredi’s way, he has done a dang good job this season. Yes he’s made a handful of questionable decisions, but every manager does and those are always easy to point to. But to help navigate this ballclub, with its glaring lack of power and its horrendous bullpen, and keep it between the lines without running completely off the highway, has been nothing short of brilliant. He deserves another year, and so does his staff.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 121 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    John is nothing short of consistent.

    Like

  121. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville July 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    On the retention of Fredi and his staff, no problem with that, who else are they going to get who is willing to drive this train wreck? Don’t answer that…

    At least Fredi has not called on the same relievers over and over until their arms and shoulders fell off.

    VOX, I agree on your proposed line up changes. Said it a few days ago that I thought Jace needed to move down in the order until he can figure out what sort of changes he needs to make. Besides, the batting order of the current team is always in flux because of platoons etc. The top of the order should be fair constant though.

    Detwieler might be a good signing if he is used as a lefty specialist. Let him face one or two lefty batters then sit him down. Not sure who’s spot he will take on the roster.

    Jim Johnson will not bring back anyone who will make a difference this season I would think but you never know who will be the next John Smoltz. John Hart knows he only really has one big trump card, he will make sure it is not wasted.

    Like

  122. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville July 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    On Simmons… I still think his offensive deficiency is related to his hand injury when he got plunked by a pitch. Just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 124 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    As long as Andy can keep making plays like the 2nd coming of Ozzie, I don’t really care how he hits. Somebody has to hit 8th, right?

    Like

  124. 125 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Like

  125. 126 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Detwieler might be a good signing if he is used as a lefty specialist.

    Yep, and that’s something this horrific bullpen has not had. Even in what has been a pretty bad 2015 for him, he’s only given up a .220/.280/.317 slash line to lefties, which is consistent with his career mark of .232/.305/.301. As long as newly extended Fredi knows Detwieler’s limitations, he could be useful for sure.

    Let’s face it, he can’t be any worse.

    Like

  126. 127 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    BTW- Detwieler’s contract is a major league deal, and he is out of options. So someone has to go down.

    My guess is David Carpenter.

    Like

  127. 128 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Wait, what? One in and two gone? The math doesn’t add up…

    Like

  128. 129 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Then again, it does make a little sense. Had to make room on the ol’ 40-man roster. But why can’t you place Grilli on the 60-day DL and open up a spot?

    At any rate, Brigham probably would not have made it through waivers, while Carp should. Then they can outright him to AAA.

    And as I type this, I have to change the paragraph talking about the pen being an arm short because I hear that the Braves have promoted RHP Ryan Kelly from Gwinnett. They are on the road in Syracuse, NY of all places, so unless they knew early enough that he was coming up, he’s gonna have a hard time making it to The Ted by game time.

    Like

  129. 130 Vox O'Reason July 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    And now some good news:

    I hear he’s set to begin a rehab assignment in the next few days.

    Liked by 2 people

  130. 131 berigan2electricboogaloo July 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Has any team in history had a cleanup hitter with 0 HR’s at the ASB?
    sure, of course! It was quite common…in ’05, 06

    .

    .
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    .
    .
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    .
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    .

    1905, 06 😛

    Like

  131. 132 berigan2electricboogaloo July 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I’d like to see the braves trade during the off season…even if it’s for a high risk/high reward arm…
    Like I said I have never seen what was so special about him. A razor straight fastball that is league average , speed-wise. Nice curve, excellent Change-up . Only thing I can figure is he has to have excellent command of the fastball, to be successful. And he doesn’t seem to have it this year. I know, he’s only 24. And we know he has been very good at home (except for tonight, but not terrible tonight) but a nearly 7 ERA on the road?
    This is kinda interesting. before tonite , at home, 8 starts, 53 innings, 34 hits, 2.04 era. on the road, 10 starts 55, innings, 75 hits 6.95 ERA.
    Now, besides being 24, he is dirt cheap. And will only be paid 3.3 mil next year, 6. 3 Mil in 2017, then 8 mil in 2018. And you need some “veterans” on the staff, right? But does he really count? if Bronson Arroyo comes back, how many vets do you need?
    But, I guess the braves would have to get a fair bit for Julio, and being cheap and having potential….heck he has already lived up to his potential for 2 straight years, even if I wasn’t impressed by the way he looked on the mound. 😕

    Like

  132. 133 Gil in Mechanicsville July 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Julio looked pretty good for the short time he was in the game (4 2/3 rds) but he was throwing a down and away slider I don’t remember seeing all that much before. It was a very effective pitch against the right handed hitters. That is until they stopped swinging at it.

    It was nice to start the 2nd half with a win, especially with a team win like last night. And a whole new bull pen staff practically. Even Avilan looked new with the addition of the beard…. Like I said, a good team win. A good goal for this team realistically is to finish with a .500 record. I know, it’s not much but all things considered, it would be a gold star for the current team as assembled.

    Like

  133. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville July 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Question for anyone who might know…… Is Bronson Arroyo’s contract up at the end of the season or did it include a buyout for 2016?

    And what of Mike Minor? A non-tender for 2016? Do the Braves let him rehab somewhere else? He still under the Braves’ control isn’t he?

    So many other cheaper pitchers in the pipeline now…. Just wondring if they had any trade value?

    And Ber, the magic words for Julio, you mentioned them yourself… 24 years old….. With a lot of clubs, not named Atlanta, he would have spent another year or two in the minors instead of being pushed as their number one.

    Like

  134. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville July 18, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Oh my aching back, Josie and I worked on the deck on the camper…. A 1hr job for a young healthy buck, an all day job for too oldish people, one who cannot get up and down without great difficulty and another who is getting worn down taking care of me….

    Now baseball…. Great game last night. Almost like opening day with so many new pitchers in the pen. All of whom did a great job…

    Mr Lucky is on the mound for the Brave tonight… Should be interesting.

    Like

  135. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville July 19, 2015 at 8:08 am

    What is it that brings out the best in opposing pitchers in Atlanta? Lester had it all working last night it seems.

    Okay guys, need to take the rubber game today.

    Like

  136. 137 berigan2electricboogaloo July 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Is Bronson Arroyo’s contract up at the end of the season or did it include a buyout for 2016?
    Not sure if insurance covers any of this year, prorated 9.5 mil.
    Next year 11 mil, or a 4.5 buyout.
    As for Minor, just signed thru this year. They say he can’t become a free agent til 2018, but wouldn’t he become one if they release him? And I can’t imagine they would sign him to anything but a Minor league contract (no pun intended) so I would guess some cheap team will take a flyer on him like happened with Beachy and Medlen(I guess neither were traditional F.A. players either eh?)

    Like

  137. 138 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Arroyo has an interesting caveat in his contract that if he’s traded, his 2016 option increases to $13M. I cannot imagine any team being interested in him though, even at $11M coming of TJ. And I cannot imagine the Braves picking up the $11M, either… not with all the young (cheap) pitching in available.

    Minor still has 2 years of arb left, but IMO the relationship between him and the Braves is over. The Braves will likely non-tender him, which does technically make him a FA, but still with less than 4 years of ML service time. And given his history of injury, and inability to pitch since mid-2014, there is no way any team would sign to to anything more than a 1-year minor league deal anyway. At least I cannot imagine that happening. So given that he won’t get a multi-year deal anywhere, he’ll simply go back into the arb process with whomever picks him up.

    Like

  138. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville July 20, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Again, the Braves had their chances, just could not get the big hit when needed.

    In retrospect, one has to wonder if John Hart would like a do over on the Evan Gattis Trade? Of course long term, these things have a way of working themselves out. At least I hope so. Rios might end up being the piece they need.

    Mike Minor is an interesting case. One year would be the minimum recovery time so that would put him not beginning rehab until mid 2016. Do we know if the Braves took on all of Arroyo’s contract or is part being picked up by the DBacks?

    He should be healthy by next spring. A team always needs one grizzled vet on the staff although some of the young Braves pitchers are getting pretty grizzled this season. It’s always a process, isn’t it?

    Like

  139. 140 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Mark Bradley, ajc: The Braves, who were the biggest sellers of the offseason, and the Padres, who were the biggest buyers, have the same record (43-49). Difference is, one has a viable future.

    Wow!

    Like

  140. 141 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Much to report on this evening…

    First and most importantly, Freddie Freeman took BP today and reportedly had no pain and “felt great”, so good that he half seriously tried to talk FrediG into putting into tonight’s lineup. Seitzer said he looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. He also took grounders at 1B. The team will smartly send him out on a rehab assignment tomorrow or the next day. At any rate, it looks like he might be back sooner than expected, and that’s great news for a team that sorely (pun completely intended) misses him.

    LHRP Andrew McKirahan has paid his penance, been reinstated from his suspension and been activated for tonight’s game. Ryan Kelly has taken the well worn road back to Gwinnett. Having McKirahan back is big. He actually is effective against lefties.

    Lastly, KJ reportedly has the infamous “flu like symptoms” and is a late call for LF. Terdo will be starting at 1B tonight regardless. If KJ cannot go, Eury gets the call.

    Like

  141. 142 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    No KJ in the lineup. The symptoms have prevailed.

    Like

  142. 143 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Yep. It’ll happen soon.

    Like

  143. 144 Vox O'Reason July 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    And according to the The Sugar Land Skeeters web site, of all places, “relief pitcher Hunter Cervenka [has] been signed to a Minor League contract with the Atlanta Braves (Triple-A). Cervenka led all pitchers with 13.5 strikeouts-per-nine innings and scattered four hits and a walk in eight games. The southpaw posted a 0.00 ERA over 8.0 innings of work.”

    Not exactly a huge body of work there, Skeeter.

    What else, you ask..?

    He’s 25, and was drafted in 2008 by the BoSox, before moving over to the Cubbie’s system in 2012, where he toiled until earlier this season. He appeared in 12 games for their AAA Iowa team earlier this season where he notched 20 K’s in 13 IP, but gave up 16 ER along the way. Yikes! I’m assuming that’s why he ended up a Skeeter. 😉

    At any rate, the signing occurred a few of days ago, and he’s already made 3 appearances for the AAA Braves, pitching an eventful 2.2 innings that included 4 K’s, 3 BB’s and a hit, but thankfully 0 runs. My guess is that he’s simply minor league filler. Somebody’s gotta pitch down there while all the other guys are driving up and down I-85, right?

    Like

  144. 145 Gil in Mechanicsville July 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Long article on Chris Johnson’s desire to be traded. Pretty tough to trade a guy you still owe $20.5mm that you are not playing everyday. I hope Chris gets his wish, he is not a bad guy. I think he was put in a bad position last season when he was ask to bat clean up. Kind of mess with his mojo. I’m thinking the Braves will have to pay part of his salary to move him but what else is new?

    Liked by 1 person

  145. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville July 20, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Brandon Beachy making the start against Atlanta tonight but the Braves’ bat woke up. Wisler going 6 and benefiting from some run support. Reports are that Shelby Miller has asks for and investigation to take place as to why the Braves bat continue to sleep during his starts.

    And Nick Markakis hit his first home run …

    Liked by 1 person

  146. 147 berigan2electricboogaloo July 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

    It’s funny, after hitting .162, in 2014, Steven Drew was given a 5 Mil contract for this year. He’s hitting .182 right now…
    You’d think some team could use a guy that kills lefties, and can play 3rd base…the braves can eat some money, heck they ate a lot of other bad contracts after feeling forced to not eat Melvin’s contract….

    Like

  147. 148 berigan2electricboogaloo July 21, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Neither Medlen (1 start) or Beachy, (2nd start) have looked too good at this point… Beachy is buff though, if nothing else…was playing trivia so could only see some of the game…every time I saw Beachy he wasn’t even hitting 90. Did he ever hit 90?

    Like

  148. 149 berigan2electricboogaloo July 21, 2015 at 7:19 am

    interesting……
    David O’Brien ‏@DOBrienAJC 10h10 hours ago

    Now that suspension’s up, McKirahan has to stay on #Barves 25-man roster or be offered back to Cubs (was a Rule 5 pick by Marlins in Dec)

    Like

  149. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville July 21, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Braves will give McKirahan a chance to stick with the club but he will have to do better than he did last night. Two hits to the only two batters he faced. Of course this has been the season for pitching auditions. I expect we will see a few more new faces before all is said and done. At least he did not walk anybody….

    I did not know Eury Perez has such a strong arm, evidently, neither did the Dodgers…. Perez has been spotty so far with the Braves but in reality, this is his rookie season in the bigs. I know he spent some time in the majors last season with the gNats and Yankees but hardly enough to really show what he can do. He looked bad on some plays earlier this week but he made two really nice plays last night. At least he did not get run over by Maybin.

    I watched some of the KC/Pittburgh game last night to see Medlin. He actually looked pretty darn good. His line may not have reflected it but his breaking ball was electric. Give him a month and he will round into form.

    Beachy is Beachy, It will take longer for him to get stronger.

    I think other teams will try to wait out the Braves on Johnson. They know they want to trade him, I expect he might be one of those players who makes it past the trade deadline but I don’t see the Braves eating his contract. It’s not like he is lost. He can still play a little bit. I think he would be a great addition for any team looking for a strong right handed bat to counter lefties. The Mets would take him if the price was right. The Braves are not going to give him away though.

    Funny, I cannot remember a time when I have rooted so hard for a Braves’s team to just play .500 ball…..

    Like

  150. 151 Vox O'Reason July 21, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Guys and gals, I’m afraid I will be standing alone on an island on this one.

    the braves can eat some money, heck they ate a lot of other bad contracts after feeling forced to not eat Melvin’s contract

    They won’t. They won’t have to.

    I think other teams will try to wait out the Braves on Johnson.

    In my humble position, the Braves have been waiting out the other teams, and they will prevail on the trade without having to eat any of the money.

    What do contending teams generally look for more than anything else at the deadline? They look for a late inning “lockdown” reliever. Jim Johnson has been just that, and Jim Johnson will not last the month in Atlanta. And Chris Johnson will be moving right along with him.

    If you look at John Hart’s MO, he’ll show you alot of patience (teams had been calling about Kimbrel all winter) and he’ll wait until the other team’s critical mass moment to get what he wants.

    Do y’all realize that for the “midnight” deal for Kimbrel, John not only unloaded Melvin’s entire bloated contract, but he got back Matt Wisler and Cameron Maybin in return? That may actually be the largest fleecing of a team since the Len Barker for Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby and Rick Behenna swap.

    And while I think Jim Johnson is the #1 subject of most of John’s conversations, I think Maybin’s name is coming up almost as often.

    Here’s someone to keep an eye on: Jace Peterson.

    Not only did the “Jose Peraza in CF” experiment end early, the organization moved CF Mallex Smith on up to AAA where he’s played almost every day. If the Braves truly intend to put their 2B eggs in Peraza’s basket, then it almost makes Petey expendable. And given how cheap he is, he’d be very desirable.

    So I say all that to simply say that Chris Johnson is very tradeable… .just at the right time and in the right package. There is much mixing and matching to be done. Don’t expect anything before the last couple of days. John will extract every ounce he can. I sure wouldn’t want to play poker with him.

    Like

  151. 152 Vox O'Reason July 21, 2015 at 11:18 am

    BTW- Pittsburgh has lost not one, but two starting infielders. Their starting 3B is out for at least 6 weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb, and their backup 3B just moved over to SS when their starter went down for at least 6 weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee. To cap it, they didn’t have alot of experienced IF depth anyway. The whole IF has been hit hard by injuries. Either Chris Johnson, Kelly Johnson or Juan Uribe, or any combination of the above, would make sense for them.

    Like

  152. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville July 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I see your point VOX, just saying I do not feel the Braves would be willing to jettison CJ just for the money or losing money. I’m sure John has had offers for Johnson, just none he was willing to accept. Be what it may, Chris Johnson is not Melvin Upton, it’s not that chris has been bad, just that he does not fit into the Braves long term plans. The Braves want a pro-typical power hitting third baseman, they have that in Uribe right now. Not sure who they will be looking at next season.

    John Hart reminds me of the loan shark who always waited until the person applying for a loan was desperate. Interest rate was always pretty high. Just waiting for the right offer and doesn’t care if the trade deadline passes because the price will remain the same for the product, it is the buyer who would want to move early.

    Like

  153. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville July 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I’m sure the Pirates have some choice prospects they would hate to part with.

    Like

  154. 155 Vox O'Reason July 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Like

  155. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Interesting game last night, very adventurous strike zone for everyone. Looked like Alex was being squeezed early but when it widened out, the Dodgers whined like bleating sheep. Of course a little rhubarb is refreshing once in a while. Shows passion, or frustration… same difference?

    Early game today, I hope the folks in the stands wear their SF-50… Cooler weather on the way here, Sorry guys but I think it stops just short of the South Carolina-Georgia border.

    Josie and I spent the last 5 days at the bay and had two frog stranglers in two days. Both storms dropped about 2 inches of rain each. It was like being in the middle of one of those high pressure car washes. Got home yesterday and everything is dry as a bone. Of course we had a storm about the time the game started, got to love satellite TV when the ions get scrambled.

    Anyway, back to baseball… A sweep of the Dodgers would be great. This is the same team that was swept by the Rockies just last week. It will be nice to get Freddie Free back.

    Jace Peterson may be getting exposed. Perhaps he is only a super sub caliber player. I know he will be competing for his job at second next season against Peraza. Should be fun.

    Oh, before I forget about it, Prigh has a heck of an arm but throwing out Lewellen who was trying to stretch a single into a double may not have been a fair contest. You could have timed that play with a sundial.

    Liked by 1 person

  156. 157 Vox O'Reason July 22, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Heh heh… or as Ben Ingram aptly tweeted:

    Liked by 1 person

  157. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Okay, is it stranger that is butchered Lavarnway’s name with Lewellen or the fact you knew exactly of whom I was speaking of?

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 159 Vox O'Reason July 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Heyman: Juan Uribe is on the block, and he’s been offered for a mid-range prospect so long as the acquiring team pays the $3 million or so remaining (or better prospect if the Braves chip in dough). They’ve talked to the Mets. The Pirates, Nationals or his old Giants team could also make sense.

    Like

  159. 160 Vox O'Reason July 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I’m still betting that the Braves and Pirates hook up. Their need is great.

    Like

  160. 161 Vox O'Reason July 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

    You know who would really make alot of sense for Pittsburgh? Pedro Ciriaco. He’s a guy that can play both 3B/SS, both of which are missing in PIT for several more weeks.

    Like

  161. 162 Vox O'Reason July 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

    The Braves could trade Ciriaco, move Petey to the “Prado” role, and go ahead and bring up Jose Peraza. Why not? Bring him on up now so that next year we don’t have 2 brand new rooks (with Mallex Smith) at the same time.

    Just thinking out loud.

    One more loud thought… I wish they’d figure out a way to keep Cameron Maybin around long term. I really like that guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  162. 163 berigan2electricboogaloo July 22, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I never commented, but I know you guys (and gal!) are dying to know how I felt about F.G. being re-signed…
    I’m good with it. While something about him rubs me the wrong way at times , there is no doubt he does get the most of players.
    This team has no business staying toe to toe with the Dodgers (of course, we missed their 2 #1 starters (Grienke is better than Kershaw this year!) this time, but still….
    And the right time to sign him up , cuz I thought after what I saw before the Dodgers series, my 90 loss season was going to come true.
    Now, I don’t know…which is a good thing. Of course, if everyone that they talk about trading is traded…well…then all bets are off (wait, there is no betting in baseball, except for draft kings, etc 😕 )

    Like

  163. 164 berigan2electricboogaloo July 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I heard (or read) that Aramis Ramirez, in his last year, might go back to the Pirates, where he started off (Brilliant move to trade him years ago, eh?)
    Uribe is cheaper, and more productive, (except for last night, that was the best CJ has looked all year against righties ) than CJ. Wouldn’t it be funny if after all the trade rumors, Uribe was traded and CJ was once again the 3rd baseman? Perhaps build up some value the next few months, then trade him in the off season?

    Like

  164. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Julio really looks stellar today. Ball is moving, ump with a generous strike zone…. Dodgers anxious to get on up to the Big Apple. Swing early and often boys…

    To be honest, I would not be surprised at any trades the Braves make if John Hart felt he would make the team significantly better. That would include Freddie Freeman and Simba… Just saying.

    The one thing I don’t think is a consideration is payroll, the Braves already have a Marlinest range pay scale.

    Ber, you are right, I expect to see some youngins up soon, depends on who is traded or not and when.

    Like

  165. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    The Pirates were frozen by the management style of corporate gridlock. Too many people had to be contacted and then consensus on every player draft and trades so often opportunities passed them by. They now let the baseball people run things and you can see the difference in the results. They were kind of like the Braves when Ted Turner was making the decisions instead of just writing the checks.

    Anndddd As I type, the Dodgers score three times in the fifth…. RATS!

    Like

  166. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville July 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    So, Julio pitched a pretty good game but his defense let him down. To make matters worse, the offense got clowned by a soft tossing junk baller whom the Dodgers bought in the bargain basement. Who do the Dodgers think they are, the Braves?

    Liked by 1 person

  167. 168 berigan2electricboogaloo July 23, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Ber, you are right, I expect to see some youngins up soon, depends on who is traded or not and when.
    Ol’ Ber is right a lot, no doubt… 😉 but, it was Mr V that was talkin’ about the youngsters likely being up soon after the next wave of trades

    Liked by 1 person

  168. 169 Vox O'Reason July 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Heard a little radio chatter this morning…

    The local radio talking heads are not very optimistic on Chris Johnson being traded because of contract numbers, and are not even mentioning Juan Uribe as a trade candidate. So they appear to be in direct conflict with the national media on that front.

    They are also not very optimistic about Cameron Maybin being traded, also mentioning his contract numbers.

    I began to sense a pattern.

    So it seems that specific crop of radio hosts are focused mostly on money and not need/fit. Just goes to show you how every group (me included. Wait… I’m not a group…) has a certain bias when it comes to discussing possible trade scenarios.

    But if you step back and take a purely objective “big picture” look, you’ll see that John Hart does not follow any specific pattern, and somehow neither do his trade partners.

    So when it comes to the most-mentioned Braves trade candidates – the Johnson trio, Uribe, Maybin, Pierzynski, etc. – I’d say they are all in play until August 1… and maybe even Sept. 1.

    Like

  169. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville July 23, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I think it is telling how obsessed with money (other people’s) some folks are. If the local “personalities” are focusing on salary and need to move to South Beach where they could feel right at home with the Marlin’s owner’s belief that ballplayers should be happy with what ever offer he places before them.

    It is time the good folks in GA ville realize it was the lowball thinking of Liberty Media and the awful TV deal Frank Wren signed for got then in this situation to begin with. I did not think that Atlanta was a “small” market. If Liberty Media thinks just building a real estate development that happens to feature a ballpark is enough to get fans to return to the games, they are in for a rude awakening.

    I get it, some folks think there are ball players who are not worth what they are being paid. They have a point but when I realize it cost me a dollar a day to watch the Braves not including what I pay for cable and satellite service so I guess the real price is higher and with MLB getting into bed with Draft Kings, a huge gambling outfit (Why is Pete Rose denied access to the HOF?) Then it is clear that like guns, some folks don’t think anyone besides themselves are worthy to partake.

    Uribe at $3 MM is an incredible bargain in today’s market. Chris Johnson is not David Wright but he is not making David Wright money and he is available to play. CJ will earn in one year what CJ is making in 3 years.
    Cameron Maybin may be the best bargain on the market as far as current centerfielders when you look at the numbers. With a little stronger offense behind him, he might even have better numbers. The guy can play, to the amazement of just about everyone, including John Hart. So, I think the pundits somehow just throw stuff against the wall just to see what sticks.

    Cole Hamels is still a Phillie despite all the talking heads had him going to (pick one) Boston, New York, LA, St Louis. Did I leave out anyone?

    On a different note, did anyone else notice how slim and trim Calespo looked yesterday? The dude has lost at least 20 pounds. Must be an LA thing….

    So, what’s up? I don’t see the Braves moving folks just to move them, that is already been done. I expect a couple of guys to move, likely Kelly Johnson to a team needing a left handed bat off the bench. Maybe Chris Johnson if Hart wants someone else to play the position, he is very affordable to anyone not named Atlanta evidently.

    Like

  170. 171 Vox O'Reason July 23, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    The word this afternoon by one beat writer, and echoed by the others, is that the Braves are not actively shopping anyone, but are taking calls on everyone. Obviously, there are some players that simply will not be moved at any cost. But it appears that John is simply waiting for the “right” offer to come his way. And one will. Maybe more than one.

    Like

  171. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville July 23, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    VOX, the way I see it, the Braves are not in a position where they have to unload anyone, they have already cleared a lot of payroll and collected a bunch of prospects. I’m sure John will move anyone who can substantially improve the team by their return. I know Freddie Freeman and Simba have been labeled as untouchable but if the offer is right, I would not be surprised if they were moved. It is all a matter of who you would get in return.

    Something I hear seldom mentioned by the pundits in relation to any pitcher’s ERA or OBA is how important the defense behind said pitcher. I remember Cliff Floyd saying many years ago about how much difference Andruw Jones made in the performance of the pitching staff.

    I know any pitcher feels a lot more pressure when he thinks he has to strikeout a guy because he does not have confidence in the guys behind him. I know I have seen pitchers become tentative when Evan Gattis was behind the dish. It is especially true when they see a catcher have problems holding onto the ball even when it is across the plate.

    I know a lot of times it appears (I don’t know this to be a fact) that after McDowell visits the mound, a pitcher will go ahead and pitch to contact. instead of trying to trick the hitter. I know I hate walks. Well, most walks, there are some good walks… Just not walking the leadoff guy in the eight or ninth inning, especially a guy hitting below the Mendosa line. Just saying.

    No baseball tonight, tough series ahead in St Louis but you never know. The umpires might call the came even…. This Braves’ team always has a chance, they don’t get blown out too often, they make it interesting to the end. You just have to execute…

    I predict they J Hey will have at least one home run this weekend.

    Like

  172. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks Ber for those, it reminds us of how special the Braves were and still can be. On the flip side, there will always be folks in Boston who will never get over Grady Little leaving Pedro in one pitch too many.

    Or never get over Kelly Johnson dropping a pop up in short right and thus being derided unmercifully for the duration of the season in his first stint as a 2nd baseman. Or Brooks Conrad for just being Brooks Conrad who tried to speed up the game to the point where every ball hit in his general direction became an adventure.

    I still think one of the best observations was the fact that Greg Maddux carving up batters and making it look easy. My own personal observation was that Tom Glavine was a guy who really needed a sound defense behind him.

    So, with all that said, I think Atlanta’s infield defense will be better next season with the arrival of Peraza. I like Jace Peterson but he has been exposed a bit as the season has progressed. Hey, he has been better than what we thought he would be but not as good as we have all hoped he would be based on the first month of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  173. 176 berigan2electricboogaloo July 24, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    wow….from mlbtr

    Mets Nearing Deal For Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson
    By Jeff Todd [July 24, 2015 at 5:43pm CDT]

    The Mets appear to be closing in on a deal with the Braves for two utility pieces, according to a report from Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Both Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson appear to be ticketed for Queens if the deal goes through.

    New York will send “young arms” to Atlanta to add the two veterans, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). One of the players involved in the deal is John Gant, a 22-year-old righty who is pitching at the Double-A level.

    Both Uribe and Johnson would provide options at positions of need for Atlanta. With David Wright still out indefinitely, third base has become a pressing concern, and adding a left-handed corner outfield bat remains a priority. Both of the veterans provide options at the hot corner, and Johnson has ample experience in left.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/07/mets-in-talks-with-braves-for-juan-uribe-kelly-johnson.html

    Like

  174. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Josie is in a bit of a funk tonight with the trade. She doesn’t know for whom to root for any longer…. 🙂 Been there, done that. Got over it this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 178 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Kind of anxious to see who the Braves will bring up.

    Like

  176. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville July 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Might we see Freddie Free this weekend?

    Like

  177. 180 Vox O'Reason July 25, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Well, not surprising at all, really. Maybe the timing… would have expected it closer to the deadline. But those 2 represent exactly the kind of players moved along at this point – solid, experienced veterans playing out a 1-year deal. No brainer. And they brought back pretty much what you would expect. They are 2nd tier players bringing back 2nd tier prospects. That said, both new pitchers are still in the Braves Top 30, at 24 & 25, so you can’t really complain.

    Now, you ask: more pitchers? Yes, more pitchers. John Hart sees pitchers as “currency”. The more you have stockpiled, the greater ability you have to package a couple and go get what you need. Some of that will happen this offseason when the Braves will specifically target some areas to address.

    As for now, well… it is our “re-tooling” season. I expect more of the same. This trade does frame the plan pretty well. So I don’t see Cameron Maybin being traded unless somebody calls with an offer John can’t refuse. Probably not AJP either. But Jim Johnson is pretty much a lock to be traded. Maybe David Aardsma, too. He’s been decent. Don’t be surprised to see Pedro Ciriaco traded as well. They each fit the profile. And make no mistake, Chris Johnson is most certainly still on the block. He’ll get steady playing time for the next week to improve his own “currency”, if you will. Let’s hope for him and for the Braves that he makes the most of it.

    I feel a bit like AJP who said he thought the team still had a chance to make a run once Freddie returns, but that this move hurts. I see that. I even sympathize with him and Mrs. Josie. Still, this is what we should be expecting in 2015. I personally did not feel we had a team to make the playoffs, but at the same time was rooting for .500. That now is very much in doubt. I suppose it all comes down to how well our pitching progresses, and how much the remaining team wants to go out and prove something.

    So who takes the 2 spots? Well, obviously Freddie Freeman will return, even though the plan is for his return in a few days. The Gwinnett Braves pulled 3B Adonis Garcia and IF Daniel Castro from the game last night, so I expect those 2 to be brought up for at least the short term. Neither will light up the scorebook, but they aren’t awful either. Garcia does have some power, but he won’t hit for a very high AVG. Castro is actually a pretty good ballplayer in the Ciriaco mold. IMO, he could be a backup SS on several MLB teams. And he might become that on this one if Ciriaco gets gone. Terdo puzzles me a little. He’s a great backup 1B, but that’s about it. If CJohnson remains, then Terdo is expendable. But if CJ is traded, then not. So that would appear to be the thread that will determine if Terdo sticks around on the roster.

    The only thing that is really certain at this point is that much will be determined in the next 7 days. Until then, don’t get comfortable.

    Like

  178. 181 berigan2electricboogaloo July 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Trivia time!
    What former brave has 5 triples this season?
    What former brave pitched 5 innings last night, giving up only 1 run?

    Like

  179. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville July 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I have a new blog ready to go. pretty much echos what you said VOX.

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

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