Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

30 Mar


Braves sign pitcher Livan Hernandez | News.

No. No. No no no no no. Bad Frank.

110 Responses to “No.”

  1. 1
    spike Says:

    Maybe they finally got the right deal for Minor.

    //Not saying Blanks or some equivalent for Minor is a deal that could/should be done, but you could easily get Blanks 3-4 starts a week with Chipper healthy, let alone if he’s hurt.

  2. 2
    Dan Says:

    Medlan is going to be traded.

  3. 3
    Jeremy Says:

    When you have the chance to sign a 37 year old pitcher who was just released by the Houston Astros, you have to do it.

  4. 4
    Jarad Smith Says:

    I dunno, sounds like this is just bullpen help to me with the sale of Asencio and the terribleness of Gearrin. Is this the first major league addition (depending on your definition) the Braves have made since Michael Bourne?

  5. 5
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    “He’s slotted in the ‘pen as the long man.”

    Medlan to be traded?

    Anyone might be traded, as this obviously builds out a lot of options internally, from LeeVon as 5th starter to LeeVon as Kris Medlen to LeeVon as Jairo Ascensio.

    It also builds out a lot of options for how my brain will eventually explode.

  6. 6
    Mike N. Says:

    I don’t think having the immortal Livan Hernandez would make them think that they now have the flexibility to trade Minor or Medlen. That just seems absurd.

  7. 7
    Stu Says:

    He’s moving Gearrin off the roster and moving Martinez to a more prominent role. Those both seem like good ideas. I don’t think this is any sort of sign that a trade is in the works. This is Livan Hernandez we’re talking about.

  8. 8
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well, at least we don’t have to watch the Braves try and fail to hit against Livan Hernandez. Watching the Braves get dominated by Livan and his 70-mile an hour fastball has to be one of the most demoralizing things in sports.

  9. 9
    spike Says:

    @4, Matt Diaz (8/31) happened after Bourne (7/31).

  10. 10
    Ryan D Says:

    Hudson is on track to be back in late April or Early May? Teheran and Delgado are under performing? Hernandez will only make 3 or so starts in April? Sounds like a sensible move to me.

  11. 11
    Jorge Says:

    If its a bullpen roll, then I’ll toast to Livan only pitching in games where the Braves are already getting blown out.

  12. 12
    PaulV Says:

    We got LH for his bat. No reason to trade Medlin or Minor except for LF starter.

  13. 13
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    There’s no way we’re paying him more than $500,000, right? He made a million dollars last year. If we pay him anything close to that, I will be angry.

  14. 14
    braves14 Says:

    And of course now a video of the Eric Gregg game is in that link.

  15. 15
    Michael Says:

    Why don’t we just sign Kent Hrbek and Jim Leyritz and get it over with.

  16. 16
    Jeremy Says:

    Rosenthal tweeted the deal is 750k with potentially another 750k in performance bonuses.

  17. 17
    DWonder Says:

    I am going to assume that Wren thought there are only 29 days in March and this is an elaborate April Fool’s joke.

  18. 18
    Johnny Says:

    Ok so we start the season with
    Huddy – DL?
    Delgado or Teheran


    Who did I miss?

  19. 19
    Jeremy Says:

    From the Washington Post:

    He can earn an a maximum of $750,000 in performance bonuses. He would get $125,000 each for 110, 120, 130, 140, 150 and 160 innings, and $50,000 each for 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 games.

  20. 20
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If he pitches 110 innings he’s either worth it or they’re already screwed.

  21. 21
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If he pitches 110 innings they’re already screwed.


  22. 22
    c. shorter Says:

    15 – ha.

  23. 23
    mikemc Says:

    I think both Teheran and Delgado are headed for AAA. Hernandez will be the 5 starter until Hudson joins the team, or Medlen will step in when Hernandez falters.
    I’m surprised by the move, but not that Wren wanted to add a veteran starter. I also think a stronger alternative must be available.

  24. 24
    Adam M Says:

    Personally, I’d like for Livan to be the long man, Medlen to be the 5th starter out of camp, and Martinez to be the other righty in the pen. Still, I’m not convinced Martinez will be great with a lot more exposure. I also am not hearing Medlen as a possibility for the rotation.

  25. 25
    jjschiller Says:

    Seems a strange way to improve the club… Sign players who are worse than the ones you’ve got, “freeing” up the players at the bottom of the totem pole to move in to more important roles…

  26. 26
    Stu Says:

    OK, they’re actually paying him some real money, which is ridiculous. His salary + Diaz’s salary + some creativity could’ve bought another legit bat…

  27. 27
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    “Braves general manager Frank Wren said Hernandez will be primarily be used in a relief role, but there may be some instances when he is asked to make a spot start. His signing, Wren said, does not affect the battle between Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran for the fifth spot in the rotation.”

  28. 28
    Seat Painter Says:

    You know, I think Mac missed the headline on his post by one. Instead of “The End Is Near” wrt to Chipper, I think he meant it for this post.

  29. 29
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Livan can hit better than any of the prospective shortstops. Maybe they are going to move him to short. Of course, throwing those 70 mph curves to first might be a problem.

    The Braves front office apparently sits around thinking of things to do that will drive their fans nuts.

  30. 30
    Dan Says:

    It’s good to see Wren finally made that big move to counter what the Marlins and Nationals did this offseason.

  31. 31
    Tom Says:

    What a sorry ballclub this has become.

  32. 32
    Timo Says:

    When I read this on, I immediately thought: Ah okay, April Fools! Then I realized it’s the 30th. No way!

  33. 33
    csg Says:

    Who knows what to think anymore. Asencio was a better option out of the pen than Livan and cheaper, Teheran/Delgado are probably better than Livan in the rotation. We have about 8/9 guys that can make starts, but yet we add more pitching. Meanwhile, Diaz/Hinske/Parraz still looking to get playing time in LF, Baffling…..

  34. 34
    Ron E. Says:

    Wren knew Mac needed a new whipping boy to put in the tagline of this site. Now he has one!

  35. 35
    urlhix Says:

    Harry Crews is dead and the Braves sign Livan Hernandez. Sigh.

    Can someone photoshop the “troll face” on Wren’s body?

  36. 36
    D.N. Nation Says:

    Genius move. Not having to face Livan Hernandez will get this team 3 extra wins this year.

  37. 37
    W.C.G. Says:

    @D.N. Only if they stash him in Mississippi.

    I checked baseball-reference today, and Chris Burke is available to play some short if we want.

    2012 Braves: Heighten the Contradictions!

  38. 38
    sansho1 Says:

    I admit it, I’ve grown to admire Livan Hernandez in recent years. But it’s along the lines of admiring a cockroach — I tip my cap to his ability to survive.

    Heard about Harry Crews earlier. I saw him read from his book “Body” about 15 years ago — he showed up 45 minutes late, stumbled walking to the podium, then kept reading the same few sentences over and over again. Definitely had the southern Gothic writer gene….

  39. 39
    ububba Says:

    How do I start rooting for Livan Hernandez?

  40. 40
    urlhix Says:

    @38, in Athens? I had to work when that was happening and regret it to this day.

    I just love The Knockout Artist, Feast Of Snakes and Karate Is A Thing Of The Spirit. Celebration is wonderfully twisted, too.

  41. 41
    sansho1 Says:

    Yep, it was a UGA Press event. As I walked out I overheard the coordinator say, “Well, I think that was a success…of a sort….”

  42. 42
    urlhix Says:

    Awesome. A true giant among men. Read this over at the Metafilter thread about his passing and it’s too perfect not to share…

    “A story I heard about those classes he taught at the University of Florida:

    One day Crews is late. Five minutes, ten minutes go by. The student are starting to whisper.

    The door opens. It’s Crews, and he’s carrying an enormous black revolver. He stalks up to his desk, slams the gun down on top of it with a clack, and takes his seat.

    A silent moment; him regarding the students, unblinking.

    “Today,” he says. “Today, we’re going to learn about fear.”

  43. 43
    Smitty Says:


    Yeah. I would think Livan is now the front runner for the Keith Lockhardt Whipping Boyaward

  44. 44
    Rusty S. Says:

    We’re gonna need a bigger whip.

  45. 45
    jjschiller Says:

    Hey, the Giants released Mike Fontenot.. Maybe we could sign him, and free us up to start Jack Wilson?

  46. 46
    Jorge Says:

    Trying to think of how to explain Livan to my wife. Best I can think of to a huge Colts fan (loves the Mannings) is to imagine Andrew Luck as one of the best quarterbacks in football in about five years. Been to three Pro Bowls already. The Colts just signed Tom Brady to be his back up. Not the good Brady. But a 43 year old Steve DeBerg, Brady. Oh and he’s holding on all kicks. Have fun pulling for field goals.

  47. 47
    Timo Says:

    It’s becoming more and more clear that Medlen should be the fifth starter, especially now that we got Livan. So just do it. He had another terrific ST appearance, out of the pen mind you, while Delgado continues to struggle. I want Medlen.

  48. 48
    justhank Says:

    @44 – well and subtly played, sir.

    @47 – thank you. I don’t know what they’re waiting for. He can move to the pen (maybe) when Hudson gets back.

    My guess is that if they ever let him in the rotation they’ll have to trade him to get him out.

  49. 49
    Seat Painter Says:

    Livan is the 2012 Latin version of Rick Mahler.

  50. 50
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Jamie Moyer just made the Rockies rotation. He turns 50 in November.

  51. 51
    Dan Says:

    Moyer made the Rockies’ rotation, as their #2 starter. Is that better or worse than the Royals making Chen their #1 starter?

  52. 52
    td Says:

    Now if we could only get Scott Linebrink back, this would be a perfect day for the Braves )-;

  53. 53
    Smitty Says:

    Now Livan can beat everyday!

  54. 54
    braves14 Says:

    Hanson is starting Opening Day.

  55. 55
    PaulV Says:

    @51 The thin air in Denver will hurt junk ball pitcher the most.

  56. 56
    braves14 Says:

    Fredi is in mid-season form already: calling a hit-and-run with Hanson batting with predictable results.

  57. 57
    Dan Says:

    Fredi is in mid-season form already: calling a hit-and-run with Hanson batting with predictable results.

    Should be a fun half-season with Gonzalez.

  58. 58
    PaulV Says:

    how long does LH have to be on roster to get his full salary?

  59. 59
    Tom Says:

    I support Medlen for #5.

  60. 60
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    This team has 75-87 written all over it.

    Not going to be a good team at all.

  61. 61
    PaulV Says:

    @59 Medlin is better than a 5.

  62. 62
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I have no problem with Tommy trying to learn how to hit and run during an exhibition game. I have a serious problem if Fredi tries that in a game when it counts.

  63. 63
    jjschiller Says:

    Tommy Hanson would have to learn the ‘hit’ part before he could conceivably move on to ‘hit and run.’

  64. 64
    Tom Says:

    61, of course he is. What I meant was, I want him as a starter.

  65. 65
    Mac Thomason Says:

    But Chief, you think they’re a 75-87 team every year.

  66. 66
    PaulV Says:

    @64 J/K I know they want to pamper his arm, but he has skills.

  67. 67
    Coop Says:

    Hank, Anthony Davis is okay. Good thing for Kentucky. It was a great game to watch. Congratulations.

  68. 68
    ububba Says:

    Davis was an absolute beast in that first game.

  69. 69
    Rusty S. Says:

    I picked up Chipper today for 3$. And so it ends.

  70. 70
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Sigh. Yeah. I got him in one of my leagues, too.

  71. 71
    c. shorter Says:

    He wasn’t even taken in my 10 teamer. I felt a moral obligation to take him for $1 at the end of the auction, but took Matt Gamel instead.

  72. 72
    justhank Says:

    Thanks, guys.

    During a few of UofL’s many runs, I fear I was not a good role model for my children.

    Remember Harrison Ford’s line in “Raiders” – “Snakes. Why does it always have to be snakes.”?

    I kinda felt the same way. “Pitino. Why does it always have to be Pitino.”

    Glad it’s over.

  73. 73
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Has the final 25 man been chosen at this point?

  74. 74
    PaulV Says:

    @73 Does it matter? You said in effect we are DOOMED

  75. 75
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Braves Acquire Third Baseman Juan Francisco From Reds – Talking Chop.

    For JJ Hoover.

  76. 76
    ryan c Says:

    LH. Doesn’t make sense.

  77. 77
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Meh. Power. No OBP to speak of. It’s an option, but not a big bat to say the least.

  78. 78
    spike Says:

    If he can maintain his current and AAA .330ish OBP (he’s only had a handful of ML PAs) and get anywhere close to the power he showed in AAA, he’ll be quite welcome around here. Apparently he has stood in LF a couple of times as well, so perhaps he can be the LH side of a platoon with Diaz to start the season. A decent move IMHO.

  79. 79
    Jeremy Says:

    Reading some stuff from the Reds’ side, dude has serious conditioning issues. Dusty called him out for being fat a few weeks ago.

  80. 80
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Dusty Baker didn’t like a young player for some reason? Wow.

  81. 81
    spike Says:

    I’m not sure I take Dusty’s opinions about anyone under 35 particularly to heart.

    /sam beat me to it.

  82. 82
    Jeremy Says:

    The weight and conditioning stuff isn’t just coming from Dusty.

    It’s a bat. People talking about him as the 3B of the future are a bit delusional. I don’t see it.

  83. 83
    braves14 Says:

    Juan Francisco is Spanish for Jeff Francoeur. Surprised I’m the first one to say this. I wish this was an April Fool’s joke.

    Ok, he’s been pretty good the last couple of years in AAA. But I see a lot of .300ish OBPs in the years before that, and that was exactly our offensive problem last year — lack of on-base skills.

  84. 84
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Juan Francisco isn’t the starting 3B. He isn’t the 3B of the future. He’s the guy that’s replacing Brooks Conrad and Julio Lugo. He seems to have his uses, and he’ll provide a potential stopgap between Chipper and Salcedo if Joey Terdface stumbles in the high minors.

  85. 85
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Juan Francisco is Spanish for Jeff Francoeur.

    Two thoughts.

    First; that’s funny. Kudos.

    Second; if Jeff Francoeur had played a reasonably passable 3B he’d have been a hell of a lot more useful.

  86. 86
    Stu Says:

    Hoover’s a high price, IMO, but I like the addition.

  87. 87
    urlhix Says:

    One thing to love, apparently his nickname is El Nino Destructor, which is awesome. And he hit one out of the ballpark in Cincy last year.

  88. 88
    csg Says:

    I dont understand the move unless its just for depth. Is he a better option than Drew Sutton?

  89. 89
    urlhix Says:

    If he doesn’t go Melky soft and Walker can bump up his, ahem, walks, it’s probably a good trade for both teams. DH in interleague play. Doesn’t GIDP. Obvious power. Good to great arm at 3rd. Can play LF, RF, if needed. Of course I’m brightsiding, but he could be fun to watch this year.

  90. 90
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Hoover for Francisco is basically a B- prospect for a B- prospect. Thing is, Hoover has more value to any other team than he does to ours. The Braves converted him to the bullpen, basically, because there were too many starters ahead of him on the depth chart.

    I’m glad that Wren is dealing from a position of strength to address a serious organizational weakness, which is positional depth. I don’t love this trade, but I certainly don’t hate it.

    Francisco is a 24-year old with a nearly 6-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio in the minors. Reminds me a bit of Jose Oliva, but of course Francisco is a much better hitter than Oliva.

    He won’t manage a .330 OBP in the majors unless he hits .300. The question is, is Francisco a .250/.280/.450 hitter, or his he a .280/.310/.500 hitter? (The latter is pretty much his minor league line. In 2554 minor league PAs, he’s hit .286/.317/.502.)

    Basically, the latter is a starter. The former is a backup.

  91. 91
    td Says:

    Hoover’s stats have been pretty decent in the minors, but the Braves have never seemed very high on him. Francisco has done consistently better as he’s gotten to AA and AAA. If he continues to improve, it could be an excellent deal.

  92. 92
    td Says:

    Francisco’s AAA stats for 3 seasons – .304/.337/.559/.895. Not sustainable, but this makes the .280/.310/.500/.810 line seem a little more achievable.

  93. 93
    spike Says:

    Frenchy never showed the kind of power in the high minors Francisco has – (he hit a 500 ft homer in the bigs last year, and the only ball to leave the stadium over RF in GABP) . His OBP went up every full season in the minors too, as did his OPS and the IL ain’t the PCL. I agree with Sam that he’s probably not the future, an the K/BB ratio is troublesome, but to hold him out as Frenchy redux isn’t particularly apt.

  94. 94
    Tom Says:

    Great, another headcase fatso. Can’t have enough of ’em.

  95. 95
    gsa Says:

    At least this gives us a chance to say the name “Francisco” over and over like Will Ferrell in Elf…

  96. 96
    Smitty Says:

    This means Prado is staying in left.

  97. 97
    jjschiller Says:

    I’m reading that this guy has a great arm, but is a sub-par 3b… Sounds like LF would play up his strength, and play down his stone hands

  98. 98
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Here’s a piece I wrote at Fangraphs analyzing the trade.

  99. 99
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It’s just like the Braves have spent the last two seasons determined to lower their OBP.

  100. 100
    PaulV Says:

    Trade seems to help both Hoover and Franciso by giving them both a chance to play in ML. Good trade if both perform.

  101. 101
    Stu Says:

    96—Only against righties.

  102. 102
    c. shorter Says:

    99 – leveraging those market inefficiencies.

  103. 103
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    AAR–I like your piece, but the more I think about it the less I like this trade. If Francisco did not have much plate discipline in the minors, I doubt he will stick above AAA. In fact, we just gave up a pretty decent pitching prosect for someone who is AAA+….I hope that Francisco gets it together for us….

  104. 104
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It’s just like the Braves have spent the last two seasons determined to lower their OBP.

    I doubt Francisco *lowers* the OBP of Alex Gonzalez or Julio Lugo, actually.

  105. 105
    Smitty Says:

    He will be a great bat coming off the bench. It would be nice to have another RH bat as well.

  106. 106
    stupup74 Says:

    98 – Loved the quote in your article about this guy being Mr. Right now. He fits a glaring need at the moment, and time will tell if he is Mr. Right.

    Francisco seems to be like Pedro Sorranto of Major League fame.

    “Straight Ball I hit very much, curve ball, the bats are afraid.”

    ( I am sure I misquoted the line )

  107. 107
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m basically hoping that this guy can be another Edwin Encarnacion: iffy defense, below-average OBP, legitimate power, put it all together he’s a better-than-replacement player.

    Encarnacion’s batting line in the major leagues: .260/.336/.453. Eerily close OBP and SLG to Francisco’s .284/.331/.450. Now, Encarnacion had a much better walk rate in the minors, so he may not be the best comp. But Encarnacion at least seems like an achievable outcome.

    Like I say, I don’t love the trade. But the Braves had to trade Hoover because they literally were damaging his value by keeping him in the system as a reliever rather than trading him as a starter. And the Braves really, really needed infield depth because our minors are so utterly bare of position players. Francisco is not great. But he fits a need.

  108. 108
    csg Says:

    “Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.”

  109. 109
    sansho1 Says:

    He seems like a Mac sort of bench player. Most of his major league PT has been in September, so I’m not sure his slash line is legitimate.

  110. 110
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

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