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05 May

Greg Norton

As a rule, if you are bringing in a 35-year-old third baseman to take the place of your utility infielder, you’re doing something wrong. Norton isn’t a bad player, or wasn’t — he may be done — but he is a bad fit for a roster that already has Ruben Gotay and Brayan Pena and doesn’t have a backup shortstop. Norton is a good fill-in type player in a corner spot; his career batting average is just .253, but he’ll walk (.337 OBP) and has some power (.427 SLG).

Norton came up with the White Sox in 1996. Since the Sox had Robin Ventura, he wasn’t going to play a whole lot. He played mostly first base in 1998 — not well — and finally got a full-time job after Ventura left, in 1999. He was slightly below average, and basically lost his job to Herbert Perry, and has spent the rest of his career as a part-time player; the 132 games he played in 1999 are a career high, by 15. The Sox non-tendered him after 2000 and he spent three years in Colorado, backing up all four corner spots. He spent a terrible year in Detroit, then in 2006 had the best year of his career in Tampa. He didn’t play well in 2007 and the Rays cut him loose after the season; he landed in Seattle, where he went 7-16 with two doubles but got designated for assignment anyway.

Norton has played third base, first base, and both outfield corners; he played six games at shortstop in 1996, which I think we can safely ignore. He’s merely an okay third baseman. He’s nominally a switch-hitter, but has been terrible against lefties (.226 .309 .338). He is fundamentally similar to Gotay, albeit ten years older and not a second baseman. On the plus side, he has more power. Ideally, you probably don’t want two infielders on your bench with the same weaknesses, especially when neither of them can play shortstop. Had I mentioned that? Has been caught stealing more times than he’s been successful (15 of 33 in his career).

Greg Norton Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

61 Responses to “Greg Norton”

  1. 1
    sansho1 Says:

    I was saying all spring we could use a guy like Wes Helms. And now we’ve got…a guy like Wes Helms!

  2. 2
    Mike Says:

    But, we have a Norton on the team, and that is all that matters.

  3. 3
    ricflair Says:

    What ever happened to the 21 day DL? Seriously. Now there is only a 15 day DL and a 60 day DL.

  4. 4
    negrote Says:

    Hey Frank…we need a quality starter….HELLO!!

  5. 5
    Weldon Says:

    It’s almost like Wren’s taunting us. Is Gotay still getting DFA’d when Infante gets back? Because Gotay seems more useful than Norton. It seemed like the writing was on the wall for Gotay after Jo-Jo pinch hit the other day.

  6. 6
    oldtimer? Says:

    I dont get this at all.

  7. 7
    Rob Cope Says:

    The good thing about his comparison to Wes Helms is that he doesn’t have his salary. So we got that going for us… which is nice.

  8. 8
    negrote Says:

    I know…He’s waiting for Smoltz to clone!!

  9. 9
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Moreover, Norton is a switch-hitter who hits righties; Helms is a righthander who hits lefties.

  10. 10
    Mike Says:

    Excellent Caddyshack reference, Rob.

  11. 11
    sansho1 Says:

    #9

    Don’t take this away from me, Mac — he’s like Wes Helms, dammit!

  12. 12
    ryan c Says:

    speaking of wes helms, i didnt know mlb’ers could get a glamour shot for their profile photo.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=136500

  13. 13
    mraver Says:

    Heh. Maybe we’ll get to see Chipper playing SS again. Let’s not forget, he turned that double play pretty well the other day when the shift was on for Dunn. :-D

  14. 14
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Another in the long line of my motto for the Liberty Media Braves. Porn don’t pay.

  15. 15
    braves14 Says:

    I don’t know if it would necessarily be one of the infielders gone when Infante gets back. I figure the Braves would trade Pena.

  16. 16
    spike (Back in the ATL) Says:

    I figure the Braves would trade Pena.

    Of course – you have to trade the one guy on your bench who could conceivably hit for average, duh.

  17. 17
    braves14 Says:

    Chuck James has pitched 7 solid innings for Richmond so far tonight. 2 runs (1 earned), 6 hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks, 0 HR. He’s thrown 96 pitches so he’s probably done.

  18. 18
    braves14 Says:

    James has a 1.59 ERA in 17 IP.

    He’ll probably start for Atlanta on May 10.

  19. 19
    braves14 Says:

    Speaking of Infante, he’s playing CF tonight for Richmond. He’s 2 for 4 with 2 singles.

  20. 20
    braves14 Says:

    Charlie Morton is doing well also as a starter for Richmond with a 2.14 ERA in 33 innings…13 walks, 26 strikeouts, 0 HR

  21. 21
    kc Says:

    By DOB on Norton:

    “He strikes out plenty, but tends to hit the ball a long way when he connects, a skill that has kept him in the majors for parts of 12 seasons.”

    I thought we already have Thorman who can do this…strange…Wren….STRANGE….

  22. 22
    sansho1 Says:

    Norton doesn’t carry the stench of recent failure that Thorman does. I look at it like I would a new relief pitcher — you might be lousy, but at least you haven’t been lousy for us yet.

  23. 23
    kc Says:

    As the team is looking to add a starting pitcher, I just think it would be awesome if we bring back Maddux…just for sentimental reason. However, Maddux and Chucky can not be in the same rotation or the entire bullpen will be destroyed by the end of the season.

  24. 24
    Jeff M. Says:

    Maddux and Chucky can not be in the same rotation or the entire bullpen will be destroyed by the end of the season.

    As opposed to now, when it’s only Boyer…and Moylan…and Soriano… Anyone else left with a good arm (which also negates Resop, I’m afraid)?

  25. 25
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Scott Thorman probably wouldn’t be a good shortstop either, which gives him something in common with Prado, Gotay, and Norton.

    Ricflair, I totally forgot about the 21-day DL, but here it is from the source of truth: “Until the late 1980s, there were 10-day and 21-day disabled lists. The number of players who could be placed on each list was limited, and there was much less flexibility about when they could return to action. In addition, players with major league contracts were not allowed to go to the minor leagues for rehabilitation.”

  26. 26
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Thorman couldn’t hit in Rookie ball, guy.

  27. 27
    JoshQ Says:

    What a waste! You would think that we could get the same production from someone in the minors. I realize we aren’t giving up much more than a box of sliding shorts, but I would think that there has to be better ways of spending your days as a GM then making trades like this.

  28. 28
    csg Says:

    Adam Dunn hit one 463 feet tonight – why dont they put this guy in the HR derby

  29. 29
    Mac Thomason Says:

    1. Because you have to make the all-star team.
    2. Because he would be the first player in the history of the home run derby to strike out.

  30. 30
    csg Says:

    give Norton a chance before you bash him. He’ll give us more off the bench than Lilli or Miller. If Prado hadnt of been injured, we probably still would’ve made the move for him and Lillibridge would’ve been sent down. He’s an improvement over the Pratt’s and Woodward’s of the past.

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    1. yeah forgot about that – still its the Reds and they have to pick a player

    2. seriously??

  32. 32
    kc Says:

    csg, anything, including you and I, will be an improvement over Woodward.

  33. 33
    Mac Thomason Says:

    1. It will be Harang.
    2. No, of course not.

    Lillibridge, BTW, has already been sent down, so someone else would have had to get the ax.

  34. 34
    csg Says:

    who came up for his spot? Reyes? there will be a lot of roster contruction over the next month. Smoltz, Gonzalez, Soriano, Infante, James will be returning.

    Can Norton back up Tex? If so, I would say this is an okay move and should upgrade the bench

  35. 35
    td Says:

    All in all, I would say this is a very insignificant move. I would probably be down on it if I wouldn’t have seen Lillibridge play a few days ago. Isn’t Corky out of options. If so, I would guess that Gotay will be gone when Infante is recalled. Again, why keep both Gotay and Norton for the long term?

  36. 36
    kc Says:

    They may not call up James as Bobby may decide to keep Bennett in the rotation. I am just thinking, if everybody is healthy enough the pitch, our bullpen will be Smoltz, Sori, Gonzo, Acosta, Ohman, Boyer, and Ring.

    That can be an awesome bullpen as it pushes the later four to the less important roles…of course, the big “IF” is everybody’s health.

  37. 37
    urlhix Says:

    @30,

    Per DOB, the Norton deal was done before the Prado injury.

  38. 38
    kc Says:

    urlhix, this whole deal doesn’t make sense unless the team is planning to move either Brayan or Gotay or Prado…

  39. 39
    ububba Says:

    Mets getting skunked in LA, 5-0.

    Ollie Perez with 3 gopher balls (incl. one to Furcal).

    Andruw still getting booed.

  40. 40
    kc Says:

    Andruw really has to learn from Furcal on how to handle contract year.

  41. 41
    urlhix Says:

    kc, Wren said it to DOB. That’s all I know.

  42. 42
    kc Says:

    Tommy Hanson watch:

    6 IP, 1H, 1ER, 1BB, 7Ks.

    Awesome.

  43. 43
    ububba Says:

    Andruw hits a ball hard, scorches one at David Wright.

    It’s becomes a 5-4-3 double play.

    He gets booed.

  44. 44
    Rob Cope Says:

    1) Norton and Gotay, IMO, aren’t bad bench bats. Let’s just get Infante back already, and send Brayan Pena off for something that will help us. With McCann playing his balls off, Corky Miller will do just fine as the person at the back of the bench. Then, this leaves you with Blanco/Kotsay/Diaz, Gotay, Norton, Infante, and Miller. That is an improvement offensively, IMO, and can provide solid defense at any position on the diamond.

    2) sansho, I’m with ya on him being a Wes Helms-type. Career fringe player, can play 3B and 1B capably, right-handed bat, no speed, decent power. Of course, he’s cheaper, can hit righties, so I think he’s a bit better than Helms himself.

    3) Hudson, Glavine, Jurrjens, Reyes, James. Could be worse? Probably. Is this a competitive rotation? Hope so. (I feel like that doctor off Scrubs that was a “question talker.”) The bullpen: Smoltz, Soriano, Gonzo (eventually), Boyer, Acosta, Ohman, Ring. That’s… pretty good, I think.

    4) Just think where we’d be if people stayed healthy. Just think where we will be when most are actually healthy. Like I said, I’ve officially and finally given up on Hampton, so he doesn’t count.

    Go Braves.

  45. 45
    braves14 Says:

    Andruw really has to learn from Furcal on how to handle contract year.

    I realize you’re being facetious, but I don’t think it’s a contract year for Andruw. I think he lost his bat.

  46. 46
    Malone Says:

    With all the injuries, the fact that we’re still in it is freakin’ phenomenal.

  47. 47
    Stephen Says:

    Norton should be a reasonable addition–I just hope that the price does not prove to be too steep. Wrenn has overpaid on more than one occasion…

    More than anything else, given our injuries, it says something about the Braves (and the NL East) that we are still in the race. I think that Jurrjens and Reyes may be able to get the job done, but the bullpen may take awhile to be consistent.

    Tom Hanson now has 40 innings at the Beach in 2008 and 60 in 2007, so I would not be surprised to see him promoted before the end of the month…

  48. 48
    kc Says:

    Stephen, the Kotsay trade reminds me a lot of the Drew trade. JS/Wren targeted a very specific player and we overpaid for them. Wainwright ended up being a very good one, and I am sure Devine will at least be decent.

    We really have to thank the Dodgers and the Reds for the team to be at .500 at this point.

  49. 49
    chris Says:

    don’t look now, people, but we have the best record in the majors at Home:

    11-4

    However, we are also just inversely putrid on the road:

    4-11

    if we can learn how to win on the road, we run away with the Ease, IMHO, even with a rag-tag bunch of starters past Jurrens.

    However, having Glavine as our #2 scares me. Perhaps Millwood IS available for Lilli/Jones.

  50. 50
    kc Says:

    Why exactly do we need Millwood and his expensive contract?

  51. 51
    Stephen Says:

    I have never understood why so many people (including Sickels) have been taken in by Lillibridge: his age and high strikeout rate made me have serious reservations about his future in the majors. I would not hesitate to part with Lillibridge: I just wish his trade value had’t dropped…

  52. 52
    kc Says:

    If the Braves are to make trade, I am very sure Brandon Jones and Lillibridge will be part of the package. I just hope we are not trading away any of our young pitching talent in the low minor.

  53. 53
    JoshQ Says:

    Glavine was enough nostalgia. I wouldn’t push it by bringing in Millwood. We can’t relive the 90’s by bringing all those players back. If the Braves trade, I would prefer it be someone young to strengthen the future.

  54. 54
    chris Says:

    millwood is an innings eater and it’s EXACTLY what we need.

    silva would be great…

    we are not trading any of our young pitching or hitting…

  55. 55
    Stu Says:

    I do not want to give up Brandon Jones for Kevin Millwood.

  56. 56
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Actually, Millwood isn’t an innings eater. Last year, he started 31 games, and only went 172 innings (less than 5 2/3 a start) — by comparison, Chuck James went 161 1/3 in 30 starts (slightly more than 5 1/3 a start), and Tom Glavine went 200 1/3 in 34 starts (more than 5 2/3 a start).

    He’d fit right into our rotation, but not in a good way.

  57. 57
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Not Millwood. See how things go for a while. It’s fine to have an innings eater, but you would prefer an innnings eater that didn’t give up five runs a game. I mean, HoRam was an innings eater. The Braves need someone that can get guys out, although to be fair, the pitching has been fine. I even heard on ESPN last night that the Braves are leading the majors in ERA. Is that correct?

    Do you realize that if the Braves had scored exactly five runs in every game, ie, roughly their average they would have won at least 7 more games?

    Also, do you get the sense that the Renteria/Jurrjens trade may turn out to be another Smoltz trade for the Tigers? I saw the Tigers play last night and Edgar has even less range than he had with the Braves? He can still hit but the Tigers have no pitching and bad defense. Apparently, we get to fleece the Tigers every 20 years. years.

  58. 58
    Stu Says:

    This guy is an actual innings eater for whom I wouldn’t be crushed if we gave up Brandon Jones.

  59. 59
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Marc, the Tigers made a lot of moves this offseason, but if I were one of their fans, Renty for Hernandez/Jurrjens would probably be the one that rankled me. It’s not like Edgar is a significantly better SS than Guillen, and Guillen can’t really play short any more. Meanwhile, they have no pitching and could really really use Jurrjens, and Gorky is hitting the cover off the ball.

    Also, Blanton’s a true innings eater, alright, but he’s not worth the sort of king’s ransom Beane will be able to extract at the trade deadline. He’s a Jeff Suppan kind of guy, who’s going to command a price he doesn’t deserve just because teams will be bidding against each other.

  60. 60
    Stu Says:

    No doubt Blanton will be priced highly, but it seems to me he would be worth giving up a good bit for depending on the shape of our rotation and our place in the standings come July.

    Something like Jones/Lillibridge/Rohrbaugh would not be too much, IMO, although I have no idea whether other teams would start dangling truly elite prospects.

  61. 61
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New thread is up.

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