Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

19 Mar

Braves-specific predictions

All-Stars: Teixeira, Johnson, Soriano
Biggest surprise: KJ (leads the league in runs)
Biggest disappointment: Peter Moylan
Chipper: 132 games played, .316/.409/.611, 1 DL stint
Glavine: 31 starts, 13-10, 4.65
Hampton: Hurt warming up, makes three rehab starts in Rome, never actually pitches in Atlanta uniform
Escobar: .300/.355/.427
Diaz: .322/.367/.486
Kotsay: 61 games, .260/.310/.380, DL in mid-June, never comes back, Blanco (eventually) takes over the job
Blanco: .280/.340/.340



C. Jones




78 Responses to “Braves-specific predictions”

  1. 1
    timo Says:

    All-Stars: Teixeira, Chipper, Smoltz
    Biggest surprise: Jurrjens (12 wins, ERA under 4.00)
    Biggest disappointment: Tom Glavine

  2. 2
    ububba Says:

    And Frenchy?

  3. 3
    td Says:

    Is Bennett out of options? If so, I would still rather lose him than Boyer. I’m also a little surprised to see Blanco on the roster – especially since this leaves us with only Prado as a backup shortstop. My guess is that Lillibridge makes the roster and is sent down when Infante is well.

    Who else (besides Boyer) will be DFA’d and have to clear waivers given this roster?

  4. 4
    Smitty Says:

    All-Stars: Teixeira, Chipper, Smoltz, Francoeur, McCann
    Biggest surprise: Glavine
    Biggest disappointment: Kotsay
    Chipper: 132 games played, .316/.409/.611, 1 DL stint (I agree with Mac 100%)32 HR’s
    Glavine: 32 starts, 15-9, 3.87
    Hampton: Makes it until August with 10 wins and an ERA around 3.50. Blows his knee out slidding into second on a double.
    Escobar: .285/.324/.415 15HR’s
    Diaz: .303/.350/.460 20 HR’s
    Kotsay: 50 games, .220/.300/.350, released and picked up by the Dodgers. Blanco, Anderson sahre the role for a a few months and proove to be only slightly better and after the All-Star break Shaffer is called up and is put in for the next nine years.

    Blanco/Anderson: .250/.333/.340 8HRs
    Schaffer: .275/.355/.380 9HRs



    Some token guy who can play first and pinch hit. Thorman gets delt.
    C. Jones




  5. 5
    Adam M Says:

    In my estimation, for Kotsay to be a disappointment, he would actually have to throw a couple games somehow. That’s how low are my expectations for him.

    I think Smoltz and McCann are the All-Stars, though with Cabrera out of the league, a healthy Chipper should get there too.

    I’m with timo: Jurrjens will be the biggest surprise and Glavine will be the biggest disappointment. That strikeout rate is too awful, and that age is too high, for me to think that he can even be league average. I’ll be happy with anything under a 5.00 ERA.

  6. 6
    Sam Says:

    How can Moylan be a disappointment? I think we all know that he was pretty lucky last season, but he can still be a very good reliever.

  7. 7
    Mac Thomason Says:

    People are going to expect him to put up a sub-2 ERA again, or at least sub-3, and he’s not really that good.

  8. 8
    Robert Says:

    That collection of outfielders makes me sad. A hacker, a lefty masher, and three virtual nothings.

    I second ububba’s call for a Frenchy prediction.

  9. 9
    timo Says:

    Robert, you’re right. Now imagine the hacker being out due to injury for some time and we are in serious kakadoo.

  10. 10
    Stu Says:

    How can Moylan be a disappointment? I think we all know that he was pretty lucky last season, but I think that he can still be a very good reliever.

    Right. So if you think he can still be a very good reliever and he isn’t, that would constitute a disappointment.

  11. 11
    td Says:

    As stated above, who would have to clear waivers if your roster is correct.


  12. 12
    Cliff Says:

    IMNHO, Moylan is fundamentally 3 ish in ERA without making another step forward (from where he really is, andnot from where helooked like he might be last year). He has some potential for another step. He has added a change up.

    He is now at the level of right handed set up guy on a winning team.

  13. 13
    Stu Says:

    I can say that I’m going to be very sad if we lose Boyer. He’s pitched well this Spring, hasn’t he? I know they love Resop’s arm, but if Boyer shows he’s healthy, and with all else pretty much equal, don’t you think Bobby would take the guy (1) who’s shown an ability to succeed at this level, and (2) who’s got long-term ties to the organization?

  14. 14
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think Boyer will start on the DL. That’s just my guess. You can always find something wrong with a pitcher.

  15. 15
    Cliff Says:

    I think that wherever there is little to distinguish the usefulness of players, the “no options” crowd gets retained (if not traded by then, and I expect probably 1 to 2 of the “on the bubble out of options gang” to be dealt before the regular season starts) and the “with options” crowd goes down. Particularly sensitive will be starting free agent clocks and arb clocks on Schaffer, B. Jones (which further shows why he isn’t going to be in ATL the first half of the season) and maybe Lillibridge. That is part of why Prado may be on opening day roster. Six years out, nobody expects that to be an issue with him.

  16. 16
    td Says:

    What will happen to Tyler Yates? Many were projecting him to be the 3rd man out of the bullpen. Will he be released? Not that I would be heartbroken!

  17. 17
    Stu Says:

    Oh, good point, Mac. That’s certainly a possibility.

  18. 18
    Mac Thomason Says:

    And something is certainly wrong with Yates. If they want to put him on the DL, they wouldn’t even have to look for anything. Right now, he looks like damaged goods.

  19. 19
    Dix Says:

    My prediction is that I’ll watch Braves games regularly in April and then in May through July I will be bored as the braves toil around 4-5 games back of the Mets. Then in August I will resign myself to our fate of fighting for an unachievable wild card spot at which point I’ll start rooting for the teams that I have the most fantasy players on.

  20. 20
    ububba Says:

    If that scenario holds, by mid-August I’ll expect some weather-related SEC-football barbs. ;)

  21. 21
    bledsoe Says:

    I am going to be a contrarian/Pollyana and say that Chipper gets 550 abs/150 games.

  22. 22
    Jeff K Says:

    So who will be the #5 SP if your predition respecting Hampton comes to pass? James??

  23. 23
    Ron Says:

    I’ll go with

    All-Stars: Teixeira, Smoltz, Hudson, Chipper
    Biggest surprise: Mike Hampton who makes 20 starts despite 3 stints on the DL (yeah right)
    Biggest disappointment: Soriano who pitches mediocrely and goes on the DL at least once
    Chipper: 145 games played, batting crown, 2nd in MVP behind Tex
    Teixeira: .315/.400/.630, 40 HR, 145 RBI, gold glove, league MVP
    Glavine: 31 starts, 15-9, 4.40
    Hampton: he won’t do anything useful (duh)
    Escobar: .275/.350/.435, 9 HR
    Diaz: .300/.320/.460 and proves that his splits are real and he’s better as a platoon player
    Kotsay: hurts his back diving for a ball in late April and never returns, before he gets hurt he earns “delenda est” status here for his poor offense and gets compared to Chris Woodward a lot
    Shaeffer: called up to replace Kotsay and wins rookie of the year

  24. 24
    Smitty Says:

    What day does everyone have in the Chipper goes down, Hampton goes down, and Kotsay implodes pool?

    I’ll take:
    Chipper April 30
    Hampton: April 2
    Kotsay: June 3 (Bobby will ride him to the end)

  25. 25
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Wow, I really don’t know how to read this team. It’s a pretty good team but nothing to write home about. It’s sort of a typical NL team; they would be about the 7th or 8th best team in the AL. They could win the division, win the WC, or be barely above .500 depending on how things fall.

    Well, if they don’t win this year, they should have a lot of money to spend next year, with Teixera, Glavine, and Hampton potentially gone. That’s about $35 million.

  26. 26
    ububba Says:

    Maybe we win the NL East in ’08 simply because we don’t get smoked by the upper-level AL teams this year. I think the Braves had the worst record in the IL games last year.

  27. 27
    Dix Says:

    Ububba, I don’t need midsummer boredom to do that. How bout this:

    Big Ten schools with academic issues are justified as compared to SEC schools with similar issues when you consider that its a pain in the ass to walk through 3 feet of snow just to get to a 9am communications class. There’s no excuse not to make it to class in the SEC. Too nice of a day to waste it inside in class is not an excuse.

    It isn’t much but I’m on my lunchbreak. I do better when I’m actually interfering with my real work to post.

  28. 28
    Coop Says:

    Things worth hating:

    1. The Mets
    2. The Yankees
    3. Tony LaRussa
    4. The DH
    5. Interleague Play

  29. 29
    Dix Says:

    Move the Mets to Ottawa or Oklahoma City and I’d like them fine. It’s Mets fans that make the Mets detestable really.

    Not quite so with the Yankees.

  30. 30
    ububba Says:

    Academics…nice weather…I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    But I will say this, you have obviously never walked by “Brumby Beach” on the year’s first really warm day—sometimes March, sometimes April.

    I don’t remember if I ever skipped class over it, but I can imagine it might help UGA recruiting.

  31. 31
    Dix Says:

    I walked it on 3 legs actually

  32. 32
    clarke Says:

    we had that at Florida- Broward Beach. Even if I didn’t have a class in that direction, I made sure to detour through it.

  33. 33
    Dix Says:

    I just set up a webcam so I wouldn’t have to leave the apartment

  34. 34
    Marc Schneider Says:

    When I went by Brumby Beach in the spring, I always wanted to have an ice cube to throw at the women sunning on their stomachs with their tops untied. Never had the guts though. The best thing about being a TA was having my female students come up during a test to ask questions.

  35. 35
    jj3bagger Says:

    Did I really just read on DOB’s new blog that Mark Hendrickson could be the opening day starter for the Marlins ??? Oh my goodness it’s going to be a long year for Fredi, at least when his team is in the field.

  36. 36
    Another Alex R. Says:

    More things worth hating:

    6. The prospect of another Will Ferrell sports movie (personal note: I hated Ferrell long before the Sports Guy ripped on Semi-Pro)
    7. Bud Selig
    8. Boston sports fans
    9. the injury bug
    10. Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds

  37. 37
    Dix Says:

    I’ll take a Will Ferrell sports movie over a Dwane Johnson sports movie any day

  38. 38
    ububba Says:

    The original “Walking Tall” with Joe Don Baker was awesome.

  39. 39
    Dan Says:

    “People are going to expect him to put up a sub-2 ERA again, or at least sub-3, and he’s not really that good.”

    Like with Chuck James last season, expectations are so high that even a league-average season for Moylan will mean he sucks in a lot of Braves’ fans’ eyes.

  40. 40
    jea Says:

    The Red Sox page’s survey is “who will win the last spot in the bullpen?” One of the options is Dan Kolb. He is last in the poll at 11%. Craig Hansen is in the lead. I think it says a lot about the state of that bullpen (and maybe bullpens in general) that Kolb is in the running.

  41. 41
    Cary Says:

    Will Ferrell sucks. He is a one-trick pony who is best relagated to bit parts (see Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and Wedding Crashers).

    Again, that dude just sucks.

    Dwayne Johnson is entertaining in Walking Tall as well as The Rundown. Option 1, you agree with me. Option 2, I make you.

  42. 42
    Cary Says:

    ewwww… Relegated!

    Option 1, I proofread my shit. Option 2, I make myself correct it. damnit

  43. 43
    Stu Says:

    I thought Walking Tall 2.0 sucked, but I agree about The Rundown. He was genuinely funny in that.

    I like Ferrell, although it amazes me that I do. He’s literally the exact same guy in every single movie, and I laugh at that guy in every single movie. Sorta makes me mad, but what can I do about it? Haven’t seen Semi-Pro yet, though.

  44. 44
    jea Says:

    I thought Semi-Pro was funny. Not hysterical, but much better than Blades of Glory.

  45. 45
    Dan Says:

    “There’s a growing consensus around the Grapefruit League that Atlanta may be the best team in the NL East, partly because the Mets haven’t been able to field many of their regulars at the same time, the Phillies seem short of starting pitching even before the season starts and the Braves have the deepest inventory of pitching in the division. ”

  46. 46
    dans Says:

    Maybe I am just easily amused, but the fact that Will Ferrell can be the same guy and still be funny, is what makes him good.

  47. 47
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Nice catch on that SI article, Dan. I also noticed this: “The Indians appear to have one of the deeper rosters in the league, especially now that third baseman Andy Marte, who is out of minor league options, is stinging the ball. ‘All the reasons and evaluations we made when we traded for him are still there,’ GM Mark Shapiro said.”

    I’d like to see Marte make it, as long as he’s not in our league. And if he does, that Indians team gets even better in a hurry.

  48. 48
    Coop Says:

    Even if Marte makes it, getting Renteria for him was outstanding for the Braves.

  49. 49
    Stu Says:

    Even if Marte makes it, getting Renteria for him was outstanding for the Braves.

    I don’t think anyone questions that anymore. I’m with AAR, though—I’d love for Marte to be able to get it turned around.

  50. 50
    ububba Says:

    Nobody asked, but here’s my Final Four, as I submitted to Mark Bradley’s Final Four Fiasco at the

    UCLA (Best team in an easy regional)

    Pitt (Nasty team with lotsa heart)

    UNC (Hungry & talented, a scary combo)

    Vanderbilt (Why not? Kansas always blows it…)

  51. 51
    Stu Says:

    God bless you, ububba.

    Seems like everyone and his brother, at least among national pundits, is picking us to bow out in the 1st Round. That won’t happen, but I’m also not quite prepared to say we’ll get past the one team that we probably match up the worst against in the entire field (KU). I was hoping for Memphis’ region.

    Anyway, my Final Four looks like this:

    UCLA (same reasons as ububba)
    Texas (no team has as many impressive wins)
    Louisville (mainly because I expect UNC and UT to get knocked off before playing ’em)
    Kansas (too freaking good)

    I like UCLA to win it all.

  52. 52
    IthacaBraves Says:

    With Martin Prado and Gregor Blanco tearing it up this spring how terrible do the Devine and Ascanio trades look?

  53. 53
    Stu Says:

    The Devine trade looks as terrible as it did the day it was made, and the Ascanio trade—we got both Infante, who’s better than Prado, and Will Ohman—looks as ever, from my perspective.

  54. 54
    Robert Says:

    I’ve got it as Connecticut, Memphis, Tennessee, and Kansas.

    UCLA may be the best team in a weak region, but I wonder how folks would feel about them if the Pac 10 homer refs hadn’t given them both the Stanford and Cal games two weeks ago. They are not that great.

    Memphis is the most talented team in the draw, Texas is a threat but the Rick Barnes factor comes into play.

    I love what Tennessee brings to the table and UNC just seems a little two obvious.

    Kansas is the toughest to pick. Obviously that elite eight matchup with USC is going to be a war that goes down to the final possession just like the first time we played them.

  55. 55
    mraver Says:


    That doesn’t change anything. Prado was almost always going to be on the opening-day roster, and Ascanio was more live arm than anything else. He could be decent but I think we’ve got plenty of bullpen depth as-is.

    Regarding the predictions, if a bullpen guy is our “biggest disappointment” this year, then I think we’re going to do quite well. Assuming it’s just one guy and not the whole bullpen anyways. :-)

    Also, I’m surprised to see all of the lofty predictions for Teixeira. I mean, I think he’ll do fine, but I don’t see any reason to think he’ll IMPROVE on his numbers from Texas. I think a line of .290/.390/.550 is far more reasonable than a lot of the lines mentioned here. Also, he’ll have to have a big year to make the AS-game with the likes of Derek Lee, Prince Fielder, and Ryan Howard and Lance Berkman to compete with.

    I also think Hampton’s got a legit chance to surprise people this year. I mean, if he’s anyone but Hampton, the conventional wisdom is that his recovery’s going well, he’s got decent stuff, etc. But it’s weird. There’s definitely something like a taboo against believing in him right now, at least on this board. And it kinda makes sense. I mean, he really has burned people who thought he’d come back strong in the past. And you almost don’t want to jinx it by saying that there’s actually a chance he could be a positive contributer for the Braves this year. Which I may have just done.

    Oh well, whatever. I think I’m in complete wait-and-see mode on him. If it’s June, and he’s been pitching well, I might start expecting him to get through the next one. But I think it’ll have to be September (August at the earliest) that I’ll believe he makes it through the season.

  56. 56
    Robert Says:

    I also think Hampton’s got a legit chance to surprise people this year.

    Well he’s surely in position to surprise people. If he takes the mound in even one game that matters and makes it through without a visit from the trainer, I would be legitimately surprised.

  57. 57
    Rbraves Follower Says:

    pencil me down as McCann for making his 3rd all star game… unless he’s hurt or slumps majorly, he (along with Martin) is one of the top 2 catchers of the NL when he hits .275, not to mention he has a good chance to bounce back some towards his 06 numbers

  58. 58
    ryan c Says:

    reyes continues to pitch his way back to the minors.

  59. 59
    Bryan Says:

    Mac, just wondering, I like you opening day roster, what is the every day roster (not including expanded roster) for the end of the year?

  60. 60
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Who knows? It would depend on more things than I’d dare to anticipate.

  61. 61
    Brian J. Says:

    What the Hell:

    All-Stars: Smoltz, Teixeira, McCann (Chipper misses 20 games during the first half).

    Biggest surprises: Matt Diaz in the top 10 in RBIs, batting 7th every day behind this lineup core

    Biggest disappointment: Kelly Johnson drops off in his second full season

    Chipper: 125 G, .320/.412/.606, 1 DL stint, takes half of September off to rest for playoffs
    Glavine: 27 GS, 11 G relief, 12-8, 1 Sv, 4.29 ERA
    Hampton: 6 GS, 8 G relief, 3-3, 1 Sv, 3.88 ERA
    Escobar: .311/.396/.444
    Diaz: .344/.406/.517, lotsa RBIs (see above), plays every game after May 1
    Kotsay: .178/.275/.267 (batting 8th), released May 15, with Blanco as main replacement, who hits .275/.375/.350 (also batting 8th)
    Lopez: .120/.170/.240, 1 HR, released May 16
    Pena: .240/.300/.350 replacing Lopez

  62. 62
    braves14 Says:

    I’m concerned about Jo-Jo Reyes.

  63. 63
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think he’ll be okay. He isn’t ready yet, but there’s plenty of time, and I’d much rather have in him AAA than getting Daviesized in the majors.

  64. 64
    braves14 Says:

    All-Stars: Teixiera, McCann

    Biggest Surprise: Mike Hampton starting double-digit games; goes 7-5 with 4.35 ERA in 16 GS and 97 IP

    Biggest Disappointment: Mark Kotsay bats .250/300/320, isn’t taken out of the lineup and plays 130 games…Yunel Escobar endures a sophomore slump, hitting .270/315/400 with 9 homers

    Chipper: .285/400/550, 29 hr, 135 games
    Teixiera: .295/390/575, 40 hr
    Francoeur: .275/320/490, 25 hr
    McCann: .285/325/515, 23 hr
    Johnson: .290/380/500, 20 hr
    Diaz: .305/355/530, 18 hr

    Smoltz: 3.38 ERA, 210 IP, 33 GS
    Hudson: 3.77 ERA, 225 IP, 33 GS
    Glavine: 4.57 ERA, 201 IP, 32 GS
    Jurrjens: 4.45 ERA, 155 IP, 27 GS
    James: 4.15 ERA, 145 IP, 18 GS in MLB

    Soriano: 2.45 ERA, 31 sv

  65. 65
    braves14 Says:

    Soriano’s getting a little roughed up tonight.

  66. 66
    Sam Says:

    Re: Moylan

    Well, assuming he pitches 90 innings again, it’ll take him allowing 12 more earned runs than he did last year for 30 ER and a 3.00 ERA, which is very possible. A 4.00 ERA means 40 ER, of course. I’ll be satisfied as long as his ERA is under 4.00, really.

  67. 67
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    I saw several people say Tom Glavine will win 15 games. If Glavine wins 15 games, the Braves will win the World Series, in my opinion.

    If we got that level of production from our 3rd-4th starter, we’d be awesome.

    I think 10 is more realistic with an ERA in the mid to high 4s like 4.70.

    Something like 10-10 4.70 ERA.

  68. 68
    Frank Says:

    Is all the Kotsay pessimism based on injury history, crummy spring, or both? I don’t expect much from him but he’s neck and neck with Woodward around here.

    I don’t see any point in carrying both Blanco and Anderson. A few days ago someone said Anderson had options remaining. They should be used. BTW, someone predicted 9 HRs from Blanco and Anderson. I think that is optimistic. I’m wondering if Hampton might win more games than those guys hit homers.

  69. 69
    braves14 Says:

    Sam, I doubt Moylan will pitch 90 innings again. He was used in long relief a lot last year, and I doubt he will be as much this year.

  70. 70
    csg Says:

    put me in the camp opposite from everyone else on Glavine. I think he’ll give us something between his 2006 and 2007 stats. Im guessing along the lines of –

    14-10 record 200IP 210H 65BB 105K 4.10ERA 1.38Whip

  71. 71
    Brian J. Says:

    Frank, Kotsay is believed to be likely to suck because of his past injuries (he played only 56 games last year and missed 34 games in 2006), and a steady decline in performance dating back to 2004- indeed, he hit only very slightly better than Woodward last year (214/ 279/ 296). And he is also having a lousy spring (243/ 300/ 270), although that has little predictive power.

  72. 72
    Sam Says:

    Okay, let’s see…

    How about 70 innings?

    24 ER ~ 3.00 ERA
    31 ER ~ 4.00 ERA

    I wouldn’t put it past Moylan to put up an ERA somewhere between there, maybe even lower. If he can keep getting grounders, I think he’ll be fine.

  73. 73
    brule™ Says:

    Wow!!!! Look at the pitching lineup. Most of them are veterans. To be frank with you guys, I’ve missed much things about the Braves since last June. I have became insensitive now.
    We should consider all aspects of our decision, negative as well as positive. But I want to Keep a positive attitude about Hampton this season. Do you know the Murphy’s law ? It would be nice if I could set Murphy up with Sally. Relax Murphy!!!!

  74. 74
    ububba Says:

    Went to the Nets/Hawks game at the, ahem, Izod Center tonight.

    Was reminded why so many people hate the NBA. No defense, tons of jacked-up heaves.

    I’d be curious to know how many dunks the Nets got tonight in the half-court. I’m guessing 20. The Hawks’ effort was shameful, but welcome to the NBA…

  75. 75
    chris Says:

    Final Four

    Texas–will outplay Memphis and actually hit their Free throws

    UCLA–i hate them and think they’re REALLY overrated, but they got the weakest #2 and #3 (Duke and Xavier, respectively) and they play decent defense. they’ll get slapped in the Final Four by…

    Kansas–STRONG STRONG team. Balanced and can play. I think that Louisville will test them in the Elite 8 (if the Cardinals could hit a jump shot).

    UNC–’s “obvious” but they are Hungry and they are Talented. And if Lawson is healthy and Ellington shoots well, there is no team in the US that can beat this team.

    UNC over Kansas 84-69. Lawson, Ellingon and Hans go pro. Hans still has a mass recruiting class coming in every year for the next 4 years (literally…recruits from the next four classess…nasty).

  76. 76
    JoeyT Says:

    Louisville can’t test Kansas in the Elite 8. They’re in different regions. Louisville vs UNC will be a heck of a game if they both make it there. One of the reasons I’m picking Kansas to win it all in my bracket is that I don’t know who will come out of the East. UNC might be the best team, but they have such a tough road that Kansas has the best shot at winning the tournament.

  77. 77
    Stu Says:

    UCLA and Kansas can’t meet until the championship game. Kansas and UNC would meet in the Final Four.

    And if Lawson is healthy and Ellington shoots well, there is no team in the US that can beat this team.

    Well, that just isn’t true. But they’re certainly tough to beat when firing on all cylinders.

  78. 78
    spike (Back in the ATL) Says:

    Hey –

    Jair Jurrgens rated as one of the top 4 underrated prospects in baseball

    I think that’s a compliment of some kind…

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