Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

01 Sep

Daryle Ward

The Daryle Ward Story… Ward is the son of former major leaguer Gary Ward, an outfielder who had a 12-year career in which he had one really good season (1982) and a whole lot of mediocre ones. Daryle, who hits and throws left, was a 15th-round pick of the Tigers in 1994, had a good year in high-A Lakeland in 1996, then was included in one of the massive trades the Tigers and Astros had in that period, in which nine current or future major leaguers changed hands.

Ward bludgeoned AA and AAA the next couple of seasons, but was never able to transfer that success to the big leagues. He was in and out of the lineup for the Astros from 1999-2002. He hit for pretty good power, including 20 HR in 264 AB in 2000, but low batting averages and a poor walk rate kept him from being a real contributor. He was traded to the Dodgers, where he very nearly washed out of the league by hitting .183/.211/.193 in 109 AB in 2003. He signed a free agent contract with the Pirates, where he hit an occasional home run and didn’t do anything else to contribute for the next two years.

Ward signed with the Natspos in the offseason, and this year he’s hit .308/.390/.567, mostly as a pinch-hitter. This is a huge surprise, considering that his career line is .262/.313/.445 and his career highs in BA and OBP are .276 and .324. How much of this is real improvement and how much is a fluke? I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing 80 percent fluke. It’s 123 plate appearances, and anything can happen over that small a sample.

Ward’s father was a good athlete; he is not. Daryle is a big slow guy with one career stolen base (in 2002) and five career triples. He’s listed as an outfielder but is a natural first baseman who just happened to come up on a team that had Jeff Bagwell, and has played a little more outfield than first for his career. His range factors in the outfield are just plain awful and I’m guessing that any stat would show that. He played only eighteen games in the field for the Natspos and will probably play even less for the Braves unless something really odd happens. He’s brought in to pinch-hit. I am not sure that he’s really an improvement over the Orr/Langerhans/Thorman group and the Braves could have used a righthanded bat more. Oh, wait, we have Brian Jordan back!

Daryle Ward Statistics –

38 Responses to “Daryle Ward”

  1. 1
    Ron Says:

    What? Todd Hollandsworth wasn’t available?

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    someone got Todd, but I dont remember who. Maybe the Reds?

  3. 3
    csg Says:

    i’m glad Jordan is back to bring us some veteran leadership and he gives us another quality bat of the bench. We are lucky to have someone like him


  4. 4
    Brian J. Says:

    A lesser version of Diaz or Thorman, basically. On the other hand, it looks pretty clear Atilano wasn’t going anywhere even before he needed TJ surgery. Atilano’s 2006 line in Myrtle Beach:

    6-7, 4.50 ERA, 19 G (18 GS), 116 IP, 134 H, 63 R (58 ER), 16 HR, 27 BB, 45 K.

    Yes, he’s young (21 as of May). But if you can’t keep the ball in the park at Myrtle Beach, or strike out more than 3.5 per 9 innings, you’re no kind of prospect.

    Wasted phone call by both sides.

  5. 5
    Jeff M. Says:

    You know, CSG, and others, I’ve talked about veteran leadership before. I’m with Bobby here on its crucial importance… Indeed, such leadership has a place on this Braves team–it’s called the DL.

    Keep Jordan where he can help us most (providing “veteran” leadership off of the DL). I’d put Pratt there as well, and if they weren’t so young, I’d also argue that the Bullpen, outside of that god, Wickmania, needs to provide their leadership from the DL as well.

    You know, I’m thinking that I’d even waive the requirement for veteran status just for them, enabling the members of the pen (Yates, especially) to provide leadership off of the DL.

  6. 6
    Brian J. Says:

    Unfortunately, there is no more DL this season, as of today.

  7. 7
    csg Says:

    then cut all of them

  8. 8
    csg Says:

    well I guess it doesnt matter. Now that I think of it, they are the reason for this sinking ship and they deserve to be here all the way. It would be a bonus for them to go elsewhere.

  9. 9
    JoshQ Says:

    I think Jordan can contribute greatly to this team the rest of the season. You can never have enough leadership on the bench. Every team needs someone to help pass out the sunflour seeds and gatorade. He’s also healthy enough to help carry Chipper’s luggage to and from the airport. No one can quantify the value these services can have on a team. We can’t forget that it is very important to keep Chipper healthy. I know I don’t want to risk him pulling an ab muscle re-filling his gatorade or getting his Ipod from his carry-on.

  10. 10
    Mac Thomason Says:

    From the referrer logs: The value of a University of Tennessee education.

  11. 11
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Also, do you think Daryle knew Adam LaRoche growing up? Their fathers were never teammates, and Daryle’s a few years older. Maybe they should get together with L’il Tony and start a club. L’il Jonny can be the mascot.

  12. 12
    csg Says:

    I dont think we should let Pena rub off on Larcohe right now.

    JoshQ, Chipper has on two necklaces he cant get injured right now!

  13. 13
    Ron Says:

    On further thought, as many pitching changes as Bobby needs to make in a typical game, maybe another pinch hitter isn’t such a bad idea.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    Since the American League has the stupid DH, we need to do something thats totally the opposite. I vote that we have 10 fielders at all time. Either 4 outfielders or we should have a 5th infielder. Make things more interesting. Also we should have bigger strike zones.

  15. 15
    rb from across the country Says:

    I strongly dislike daryl ward.

    Always have.

  16. 16
    oldtimer? Says:

    This was dumb, plain dumb. He is a useless player and we need every opitcher we can hold in the minors, i do not care if the kid was not having a great year, we can hit, we cant pitch.
    He is not going to play first, he is a bad outfielder, we traded for a pinch hitter?

  17. 17
    Frank Says:

    Still need a RH bat–doesn’t l’il homeboy bat right and didn’t he have two homers in a week not too long ago?

    (No l’il homie isn’t on the 40 man but that won’t stop his pop.)

  18. 18
    Sam Says:

    Todd, Braves 2005 – 35 AB .171, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 13 Ks

    Can Daryle Ward top that? :)

  19. 19
    Sam Says:

    … I just thought of something.

    Our top pinch-hitters now:

    Pete Orr
    Martin Prado
    Tony Pena, Jr.

    Having Daryle Ward won’t hurt the pinch-hit corps, now will it?

  20. 20
    oldtimer? Says:

    Umm, why do we need a pinch hit corps?
    We need ARMS! We can get all the bats we want it will do NO good.
    I know he does cost much, but does this really help at all?
    (watch him get the game winning rbi tonight and egg myface.)

  21. 21
    Brian J. Says:

    Oldtimer, someone’s got to hit for the pitchers. It doesn’t help if Orr or TP Jr., who don’t hit much better than pitchers, have to do it. On that level, Ward helps. Sadly, there’s little hitting help in the minors that is even that competent.

    Ward cost almost nothing. You usually get what you pay for.

  22. 22
    Rob Cope Says:

    Fellas, there are no arms available. There’s no one to get. Oh, unless you want 43 year old David Wells. This move won’t catipult us into the playoffs, but it does give us a good bat off the bench in situations where it’s needed. We’re not gonna land Brandon Webb for a single-A, homer-happy, INJURED pitcher. Let’s be realistic here. This is just a small deal for a small cost for a small result. Don’t make too much of it.

  23. 23
    Rob Cope Says:

    By the way, this sounds like the same criticism that we’ve read on here when we traded a “HOT PROSPECT CATCHER” for a 38 year old, fat closer with “deceptive stats.” Where are those guys now? And what was the name of that catcher we traded?

  24. 24
    Another Alex R. Says:

    His name was Max Ramirez. I didn’t criticize the Wickman trade, since it was badly needed, and Wickman’s one of the best fat closers in the majors. But I think that it’s time to trade for David Wells–let’s give ’em Jurries and throw in Daryle Ward as a PTBNL.

  25. 25
    oldtimer? Says:

    I actually do not remeber people complaining about Wickman, but your all right about the cost of Ward, he came for little, even though young arms are needed in our system.
    I would take Wells before this guy thought, in a heart beat.
    Brian J, Rob, your both right though, its better than what weve got, i just hate moves like this, it seems like such crap that we are looking to add a non dimensional pinch hitter when we do not even have a winning record, we could have used this guy during the stretches we were in the playoffs over Hollandsworthless and assorted others.

  26. 26
    Wryn Says:

    If anybody’s interested, I am calling a high school football game between Lee-Scott Academy and Glenwood School (alma mater of Tim Hudson) tonight, streaming live at 8:30 ET (pregame 8:15) on – first EVER streaming broadcast, so let me know about technical difficulties if you encounter any..

  27. 27
    Ron Says:

    Wells would have been much better than Cormier and Villareal.

  28. 28
    Stephen now in the UAE Says:

    I don’t like this trade. Do we need Ward? Atilano may never pitch beyond upper-A, but at least he had a ceiling. He still had potential to be become a decent pitcher. With Jordan and others the Braves already have similar players to Ward. I guess JS wants to believe that he is in the race for the WC and needs to make a late season deal to demostrate it to himself.

  29. 29
    Another Alex R. Says:

    By the way, today’s Brian McCann for MVP update: Joe Mauer is 0 for his last 12. Brian McCann is a future Hall of Famer. I am entirely objective.

  30. 30
    ububba Says:

    The trade? Almost no opinion. Doesn’t really matter. Ward isn’t exactly Hurricane Hazle & the other guy may never be an effective pitcher. Best we can hope is that Ward gets a few big hits off the bench.

    When you’re on the air with those Glenwood Gators, don’t forget to give a shout-out to that team of 12-year-olds from just across the Chattahoochee River, aka the Little League World Champion Northern Leaguers from Columbus, Ga.

    As a Columbus native (who played against their coach & some of the kids’ fathers), it makes me proud from afar. When somebody told me that they actually won the thing, I was in Ibiza, Spain, watching the sun go down at a cafe & having a pitcher of sangria. We all toasted them from a few thousand miles away. A really nice moment.

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    Wryn, I dont know if you ever played or not, but dont be like Torborg and talk about your glory days. Someone might put you in their doghouse if you do. Anyways, have fun while your doing it!

  32. 32
    BURDOG5 Says:

    good luck Wryn, high school football is HUGE! Here in Bama. I will be at a game tonight so I will not be tuning in, sorry

    I too was thriled with Ga. Winning the LLWS, especially beating Japan
    I heard they just about force those kids to play and practice year round, so it is sweet to beat their pro team with a great bunch of kids

  33. 33
    bmac Says:


    Nice Hurricane Hazle reference. It would be nice to see a callup catch en fuego (since you were in Spain) like he did and catapult the team into the playoffs. Hope you had a great trip.

  34. 34
    Sam Says:

    It’d be nice to see anyone catch en fuego to catapult the Braves into the playoffs. ;)

    18-12 is still the benchmark for the rest of the season, I think. Anything more is cake.

  35. 35
    4 Seam Says:

    Hoover is kicking butt. Probst is still Mr. Ego man.

  36. 36
    4 Seam Says:

    I heard Chipper’s Ipod is actually pretty big, it has all of the fiels maxed out. Heavy stuff…

  37. 37
    Parish Says:

    I know I am chiming in late, but I agree with oldtimer.

    Okay Ward probably makes us a little better, but making a lost cause a little better is not as important as young pitching.

    Look at it from the other angle. What if we could have traded Jordan for a young pitcher in another organization that was a first round pick just three years ago? I would jump at that. We need arms for our future more than we need Daryle Ward for right now.

  38. 38
    Stephen now in the UAE Says:

    I couldn’t agree more…

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