Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

26 Jan

Joe Mather

Personally, I don’t get the appeal. He’s basically a right-handed Brooks Conrad — a guy with a long minor league career (ten years!) who doesn’t hit for a high enough average to be really productive despite pretty good power and walk rate. Actually, Conrad’s minor league numbers are a bit better than Mather’s. He’s a few years younger than Conrad, and a four corners guy rather than a second baseman/third baseman, and better as an outfielder than an infielder. He’s a big guy, with real power (though it took him a long time to turn it into any real results) and really shouldn’t play third base any more than Hinske should. For some reason, some people think he can play center, but I just don’t see that either; his defensive stats in the minors aren’t great even in the corners.

Mather’s been in the St. Louis organization his whole career, hitting .255/.332/.449 overall, .258/.342/.460 in AAA. He broke onto the scene with 31 homers in 2007, at the age of 24 in AA and AAA. In 2008, he tore up AAA and earned a promotion to the majors, where he hit 18 homers but with only a .306 OBP, and was hurt in 2009. Last year, he was pretty ordinary in AAA and didn’t play well at all in the majors. When he hits the ball, it often goes a long way. Come to think of it, he resembles Scott Thorman as well as Conrad.

Joe Mather Statistics, Such As They Are

111 Responses to “Joe Mather”

  1. 1
    cliff Says:

    Oh no, another Scott!!!

    As a descendant of Robert De Bruyes on behalf of all Scots I point out that I and we resent being linked phonetically with these “Scotts”.

  2. 2
    Smitty Says:

    Could he be this years Folk Hero?

  3. 3
    Adam M Says:

    Let’s hope not.

  4. 4
    ryan c Says:

    My Cards’ fan friend who is the beat writer for Denver sports, who used to be the beat writer for the Hornets (weird, I know), says Mather has the reputation of hitting LHP quite well (which I couldn’t find any real proof of it because Minor League Splits are hard to find). If that’s the case, it looks like the Braves were trying to find a cheaper Matt Diaz to replace Matt Diaz.

  5. 5
    PaulV Says:

    Cheap works. So it comes down to 2 of Mather/Conrad/Schaefer if Chipper can go?

  6. 6
    spike Says:

    Charlie Louvin died last night. I was supposed to be on the bill with him a week from Friday at the Star Bar.

  7. 7
    DG Says:

    I hate to hear that about Charlie. I will never forget this one:

  8. 8
    braves14 Says:

    5 — I would hope the Braves would select Matt Young to be the backup CF over Schafer, seeing as how Schafer is nowhere near ready yet (if he is ever going to be), and Young looks to have good utility value.

  9. 9
    braves14 Says:

    Looking at the Royals projected opening day lineup, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they could challenge the ’62 Mets loss record.

    CF Cain/Melky/Blanco
    2b Aviles
    Dh Butler
    Lf Gordon
    3b Betemit
    Rf Francoeur
    1b Kaaihue
    Ss A. Escobar
    C Kendall
    Ace pitcher: The remains of Jeff Francis

    The only one who might start on the Braves is Butler at first.

  10. 10
    JoeyT Says:

    Blanco started over McLouth for a good chunk of last season.

  11. 11
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Alcides Escobar might not start over AAG in 2011, but beginning in 2012 he’ll probably consistently be the better option. And Lorenzo Cain might start over McLouth, too.

  12. 12
    JoeyT Says:

    The point is largely valid, though. Butler is the only good hitter on that team. The fact that whatever warm body they put in center would start for the Braves isn’t really due to the quality of the hypothetical replacement.

    One could reasonably argue that Seattle had a worse lineup last season. KC doesn’t have the pitching to pull them out of “worst ever” contention, though.

  13. 13
    justhank Says:

    And Blanco should still be starting over McLouth for the Braves.

  14. 14
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I don’t know what you all are talking about. Jeff Francouer is going to win the pennant by himself with his clutch hitting and clubhouse-lifting smile. He will have 120 assists from RF. He will knock out a light fixture with one of his home runs.

  15. 15
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If scoring runs is so important, why don’t they put it on the scoreboard?

  16. 16
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @15, Ten gold stars.

  17. 17
    JoeyT Says:

    Their opening day starter had an 87 ERA+ last year, and it was his best year of three in the bigs. They will be starting Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies.

    Mazzaro looks good, though. Probably better than people realize. I’d still take Minor over him, but he’s nice to have.

    This could really be one of the worst teams in history. They could challenge last year’s Mariners as one of the worst offenses in history, and they don’t have stud pitchers to salvage some wins. They have an awesome closer, but that doesn’t matter if you never have a lead.

    Soria can go ahead and make hotel reservations for Phoenix in July. There are no other players on this team even approaching All-Star quality.

  18. 18
    Dusty Says:

    Klaw’s Org rankings are up and he has the Braves’ system in 3rd behind KC and TB (of course). Releases his top 100 tomorrow around noon.

  19. 19
    Dusty Says:

    Phillies #5
    Nats #19
    Mets #26
    Marlins #29

  20. 20
    ryan c Says:

    I forgot about this trade. Geez…what a frickin’ hosejob it was…

    “Nine years ago, Bartolo Colon was a stud pitcher on his way to a 20-win season. As talk of relocation continued, the Montreal Expos went all in, shipping prospects Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland for Colon. Both Colon and Lee have won Cy Young Awards since, but Lee was this offseason’s top free agent and Colon is a consolation prize for a Yankees team that has a thin rotation despite its fat checkbook.”

  21. 21
    Smitty Says:

    If the Nats had those three players plus Werth, they might challenge for the wild card and maybe even the division (if Sizemore was healthy)They would have some holes, but they would have four soild hitters, throw Dunn and Willingham in there 1-6 would be pretty good. The rotation wouldn’t be that great, but hey, better than it is now.

  22. 22
    justhank Says:

    Recently, a channel(?) called “Palladia” started showing up on my cable system. Know nothing about them other than it’s some of the best tv available.

    So far, they’ve presented:

    ~ an amazing special on Carlos Santana (lot of covers and duets that are spectacular).

    ~ a Pink concert called “Funhouse Down Under” that was just incredible (think Top 40 Cirque du Soleil.) Never knew I was a Pink fan.

    ~ a Journey concert with what is apparently their new lead singer – a Polynesian-looking young man who sounds exactly like Steve Perry on his best day.

    Anybody know the story on Palladia? Thanks.

  23. 23
    ryan c Says:

    Is there any team in baseball that routinely carries a 6-man bench and a 6-man bullpen? With Chipper needing so much rest during the season, it seems like the Braves should at least flirt with the idea.

  24. 24
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I’ve had Palladia awhile — it’s an HD music channel that apparently has some sort of relationship or partnership with MTV Their programming menu is a bit limited but some of it is quite good, movies, concerts, latter-day versions of the VH1 staples like “Storytellers”. I liked the Elvis Costello & the Imposters concert from Memphis, they play that pretty often.

  25. 25
    Mark Graybill Says:

    I watched _The Last Waltz_ on Palladia over the Christmas break. It looked great in HD.

  26. 26
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Oh, yeah, I mentioned “movies”, but there are four indispensible rock movies — A Hard Day’s Night, This is Spinal Tap, The Last Waltz, and Stop Making Sense, and Palladia has at least the first three in its rotation.

  27. 27
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’d argue that Rock ‘n Roll High School is indispensable, too.

  28. 28
    justhank Says:

    ryan @23 – I’ve wondered the same thing.

    With Triple A about a half hour away, having a shorter pen shouldn’t be too much of a problem. (Always seemed like we needed a visa to get someone here in the old days …)

  29. 29
    spike Says:

    The Girl Can’t Help It and Jailhouse Rock

  30. 30
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Hard to Hold…Rick Springfield?…you know, Dr. Noah Drake?…okay, okay; guess you had to be there.
    Maybe you’re glad you weren’t!

  31. 31
    PaulV Says:

    Bullpen was overworked last year if anything

  32. 32
    braves14 Says:

    10, 11 — Well, assuming McLouth is anything close to right, he starts over those options in 2011. And yes, I didn’t really even bring up the comical pitching staff (and Soria).

  33. 33
    csg Says:

    You could set up a 6 man bullpen if you can find guys who are effective against both RH and LH batters. Managers love situational matchups too much now and therefore need the extra arms. You also need starters to go 6+ every single night too.

  34. 34
    braves14 Says:

    In a 6 man bullpen relievers would need to pitch multiple innings more often (which they probably should be doing anyway just with less appearances to preserve health).

    There always seemed to be the guy in the 7 man bullpen that Bobby would rarely (or never) use, like KK.

  35. 35
    PaulV Says:

    no extra inning games or midgame rain delays

  36. 36
    spike Says:

    @31, not guy #7.

  37. 37
    PaulV Says:

    We need to use #7 more this year. Any reason why he won;t get work?

  38. 38
    Smitty Says:

    Palladia is awesome. They were showing The Boss in Barcelona for awhile. What a great concert.

  39. 39
    Mac Thomason Says:

    My impression is that Fredi uses his bullpen like Bobby does, only he hasn’t had the same sort of talent. In 2009, he had four relievers with 67-75 appearances, all with less than one inning pitched per appearance. The Marlins generally cycled through more total pitchers, but that’s a (lack of) talent thing.

  40. 40
    ryan c Says:

    I beg to differ. The only players overworked last year were Venters, and maybe Moylan (who wasnt so much overworked as misused).

  41. 41
    spike Says:

    @37, because there are 6 guys you like better than him. The number of times guys 1-6 will not be available is pretty limited.

    edit – and with AAA 30m away, you have even less reason to keep #7 in Atlanta sitting, when he would be pitching regularly in Gwinnett, and available on a days notice.

    That extra hitter though, would be used regularly and often.

  42. 42
    ryan c Says:

    Check out my fantasy trade (if the Braves were to carry a 6-man bench):

    Braves trade Kenshin Kawakami for Ryan Doumit


    Doumit dabbles in the outfield but that is not where this trade becomes genius. David Ross can now be the RH bat off the bench that he could have been in recent years. Doumit gives the Braves the much-needed flexibility to use Ross as needed.

  43. 43
    spike Says:

    That Doumit deal would be useful, but if he could hit lefties worth a damn it would be genius. You could sit Freeman and McCann against tough lefties, and have a bench that would make the other teams bullpen weep.

  44. 44
    braves14 Says:

    Doumit could be some teams’ most frequent catcher. I know it’s just a fantasy trade, but they’d probably want a mid-tier prospect too.

  45. 45
    justhank Says:

    ryan c is really smart.

    Do it, Wren!

  46. 46
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It would certainly help the Pirates in their quest to have an all-minimum-salary roster.

  47. 47
    ryan c Says:

    there’s a first time for everything…

  48. 48
    Smitty Says:

    Didn’t that deal almost go down in December? It seems like it was on MLB Trade Rumors.

  49. 49
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    According to one guy that MLBTR linked to, the Pirates were “close” to a deal for Kawakami about a month and a half ago.

  50. 50
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Well, that could interfere with their all-minimum-salary quest.

  51. 51
    Dusty Says:

    Just got BA prospect handbook in the mail. They rank Atl #2 org though I’m sure that’s before the Garza trade.

  52. 52
    ryan c Says:

    I believe that was discussed on mlbryanrumors. it’s twice as annoying and half as credible.

    actually, i think i’ve brought that trade scenario up before, which is what you might remember.

  53. 53
    Hondo Says:

    Back to the original subject of Joe Mather. Even though I’m a big Mather fan, I’m afraid he did not hit 18 homers in the majors in ’08. The “18” was RBI. He hit 8 homers….including ones off of pretty good pitchers like Peavy, Hamels, Lilly, and the Big Unit. In fact, after homering off of Randy Johnson on Labor Day, later in that game Joe broke his hamate bone while trying to check his swing and missed the rest of the season.
    I’ve talked to Joe on several occasions. He is a very likable guy. He will be well-liked by Braves fans.
    I too was sorry to hear of the death of Charlie Louvin. He once gave me a CD by the Louvin Brothers.

  54. 54
    ryan c Says:

    was the lisp our 7th bullpen arm out of the gate last year? i dont think so but i cant recall who it was…

  55. 55
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Jo-Jo was on the team then, not Venters. Medlen was in the pen because Jurrjens tried to start the season.

  56. 56
    PaulV Says:

    No Wagner & Saito. Saito, Moylan & Venters worn down late in season.
    E O’Flaherty went on DL before he wore down. Which of the new guys and young guys will pick up all those innings?

  57. 57
    Mac Thomason Says:

    As I said, Fredi follows Bobby’s usage patterns — he finds 3-4 pitchers, one the closer and at least one of them a lefty, whom he uses 70-80 times a year, mostly for one inning stints. I would suppose that the four would be (if nobody breaks down, which of course someone will) Kimbrel as the closer, Venters as the top setup man, and Moylan and O’Flaherty from either side. If the starters hold up, the others will mostly only pitch in blowouts and extra-inning games. I seriously doubt that having three pitchers to pitch in blowouts and extra-inning games is an optimal strategy, but I’m not the one who makes the big bucks.

  58. 58
    csg Says:

    Anyone hear about the Iowa football players? If not, 13 players have been hospitalized with a muscle disorder. Very strange

  59. 59
    braves14 Says:

    I’m going to guess they were taking something that caused that.

  60. 60
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Most likely, yes. Of course, that could be all sorts of things, including things that aren’t normally considered “performance-enhancing”. The wrong sports drink could cause that reaction in some people.

    Rhabdomyosis: Causes

    If I had to guess, they took a legal and approved supplement that lowered their potassium, which is a very common drug side effect (take it from me, and the potassium pills are a literal pain in the butt) then did some hard strength training. Just a guess, like I said, but I’m guessing it’s some combination like that.

  61. 61
    Ethan Says:

    Jimmer Fredette has 20 of BYU’s 30 first half points. SDSU is better, but he’s single handedly keeping them in the game.

  62. 62
    Ethan Says:

    Fredette has 34 of their 50. Unreal

  63. 63
    Adam M Says:

    56 – The flaw in the plan is that Moylan actually kind of sucks. Hopefully he only faces righties, and hopefully Linebrink pulls it together.

  64. 64
    desert Says:

    C. Shorter,

    How about them Cougars?


    It seems as if SDSU is, in fact, not better.

  65. 65
    Smitty Says:

    I think there is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Iowa who might be unemployed soon.

  66. 66
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I”m still holding out hope for my proposed Mike Gonzalez for KK trade. Why not have four lefties in the bullpen?

  67. 67
    c. shorter Says:


  68. 68
    spike Says:

    Yanks sign Colon. I pity the player who arrives at the buffet after CC, Andruw, and Bartolo.

  69. 69
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Or in the bathroom after them.

  70. 70
    sansho1 Says:

    Maybe that’s why Teixeira shaves before games.

  71. 71
    Mac Thomason Says:

    No, that’s just because he’s a douche.

  72. 72
    Smitty Says:

    There are going to be some pissed off people in New York. One of these guy might break Babe Ruth’s record for most hotdogs eaten between innings.

    I hear the reson they traded Melky was becasue he broke the Babe’s record for most beers pounded between double headers.

  73. 73
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Maybe we should all get behind Melky…

  74. 74
    spike Says:

    There is certainly enough room for everybody.

  75. 75
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Keith Law’s top 100… Teheran is sixth, and the top pitcher. Freeman is 43d. Vizcaino is surprisingly high at 47. Delgado is right behind at 50. Minor is 61st. Diory is 83rd.

    The rest of his Braves top ten: Kimbrel, Perez, Lipka, Salcedo, Bethancourt.

  76. 76
    Adam M Says:

    I’m surprised at how high he is on Vizcaino and how low he is on Minor. In any event, the Braves have four really good young arms on the way.

    I also hope this is the year for Salcedo to break out. It’s very possible.

  77. 77
    JoeyT Says:

    It looks like he has the same rough partial order that every Braves prospect ranking seems to have.

    Tier I: Current major leaguers and top pitching prospects (6)

    Minor, Freeman, Kimbrel, Teheran, Vizcaino, Delgado

    Tier II: Decent prospects (7)

    Beachy, Lipka, Salcedo, Mycal Jones, Bethancourt, Perez, Hoover

    There seem to be universal gaps between 6 and 7 and between 13 and 14. At least, this seems to be the case in every one of these rankings that comes out.

  78. 78
    Mac Thomason Says:

    His gap, though, seems to be between Minor and Kimbrel, who isn’t one of the top 110 (he did an honorable mention group).

  79. 79
    JoeyT Says:

    Double checking myself, it looks like BA threw in Oberholtzer at number 9 and snuck Lipka into that top group.

  80. 80
    TomL Says:

    Why so low on Kimbrel? He sure looked electric last year

  81. 81
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Law, like many analysts, usually prefers a prospect with a high ceiling to a prospect with a high floor. Minor has a much higher likelihood of a much better career than many of the guys who are ranked ahead of him. Like he always has.

  82. 82
    Stu Says:

    And, of course, I love him. So, there’s that.

  83. 83
    Smitty Says:


    Do you have a Minor jersey yet?

  84. 84
    Stu Says:

    Nah, I don’t buy jerseys. And if I did, I’d really have a tough time choosing between Mikie and Bad Henry County.

  85. 85
    Rufino Linares Says:

    Couldn’t the Braves have used Cantu? Insurance for Chipper and Freeman when one of them gets hurt/struggles?

  86. 86
    Marc Schneider Says:

    With respect to Kimbrel, it’s mostly because Law doesn’t rate relievers very high.

  87. 87
    D.N. Nation Says:

    I’ll excessively pat myself on the back and note that I was high on Jimmer and BYU…last year. My bracket had them falling to Syracuse in the Salt Lake City Regional Finals. Turns out I had backed the wrong mid-major darling, alas.

  88. 88
    Stu Says:

    Random Bears fan is much more intelligent and reasonable than pretty much every other NFL commentator.

    The most ironic about all this Cutler crap is that I have finally found a reason to unequivocally support the guy.

  89. 89
    Smitty Says:

    What Stu? Most NFL commentators are some of the smartest people on earth.

  90. 90
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Some of the smartest people who have suffered repeated head trauma, at least.

  91. 91
    csg Says:

    Out of all the games Ive ever been too, Ive purchased one jersey. Its the blue one that they sell for $115. I bought it without a name, but I guess it can always be added or it can be left blank.

  92. 92
    spike Says:

    I have a fair number of jerseys – but no Braves ones. I like vintage semi-pro ones. you can get them pretty cheap still, and they are often made of real cotton flannel, which I prefer.

  93. 93
    Tom Says:

    I bought a white Maddux #31 jersey on ebay for $60 in 2002 and that’s the only one I will ever need.

  94. 94
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I only have one jersey, an Alabama football #21 I got on discount a few years ago.

  95. 95
    Smitty Says:

    Jeff Fisher out in Nashville, big shock

  96. 96
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I have a great Smoltz away jersey that I break out on occasion. There’s something unsettling about grown men wearing the jersey of an athlete 20+ years their junior.

  97. 97
    csg Says:

    Fisher is a good coach. This is strange. They shipped out Young in order to keep him around and now this. Did he get canned or just quit on his own?

  98. 98
    csg Says:

    I just dont care to wear a jersey to games with someone else’s number on the back of it.

  99. 99
    Stu Says:

    My theory is that he was having trouble filling out his staff (given that he only has one year left on his deal), so he asked for an extension, and they took a hard line against him.

    I’ll miss him, and I expect him to have success elsewhere, but this isn’t a surprise.

  100. 100
    Smitty Says:

    I agree with Stu

  101. 101
    Ethan Says:

    Rubby de la Russa, Jordan Walden, and Jake McGee all made Keith Law’s Top 100. They’re all relievers and I don’t know if I’d trade Kimbrel for any of them.

    I still have my Chipper Jones jersey. I bust it out for the playoffs

  102. 102
    IthacaBraves Says:

    As things stand right now, do the Braves have a legitimate claim at being the most likely team to finish the season with the National League’s second best record?

  103. 103
    braves14 Says:


  104. 104
    Smitty Says:


  105. 105
    PaulV Says:

    Not if they have best record

  106. 106
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Last year, there were five NL teams that won 90+ games: the Phillies, Giants, Braves, Reds, and Padres. The Giants and Padres both majorly overachieved, and the Padres got rid of their best player, so they’re good bets to slide back in the standings. The Reds may have overachieved a bit too: they’re a very good team, but their starting pitching is a bit shaky. I’d say the Braves and Phillies are almost the two National League teams who are most likely to win 90+.

  107. 107
    JoeyT Says:

    I’d go for the Reds for second best. The Braves are the better team, and should still be solid for the Wild Card, but the division difference is massive. The bottom of the NL Central is horrid.

    Let’s start cheering for the Braves to beat the Reds in the 2011 NLDS.

  108. 108
    chris Says:


    plus, Moustakas better be starting the season @ 3B or the Royals’ fanbase is gonna be calling for blood.

  109. 109
    DWonder Says:

    i got sucked into the “throwback jersey” craze a few years ago and as a result i have Bo Jackson (Royals), Phil Simms, LT, Randall Cunningham & Walter Payton jerseys hanging in my closet…and i never wear them.

    speaking of the Reds…i am staying at Chris Heisey’s house this weekend and will do my best to convince him to demand a trade to Atlanta.

  110. 110
    DJ Says:

    If Tee Martin gets the Alabama WR job, my dislike of the Tide will grow in a big way.

  111. 111
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

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