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23 Feb

Other Pitching Possibilities

In the starting rotation, there are two pitchers who might go if something goes wrong with one of the top five, though unless someone gets hurt or Mike Minor is really bad, I don’t think anyone has much of a chance of pitching himself onto the roster.

The incumbent option is Brandon Beachy, who came from nowhere to wind up in the rotation at the end of the season. The righthanders from Kokomo was dominant in the minors and pitched well (despite going 0-2 as the offense was in free-fall) in three starts in the majors, striking out fifteen in as many innings and posting a 3.00 ERA. He did walk seven, but three were intentional. All things being equal, you’d expect him to have frontrunner status in the fifth-starter competition, but Minor is lefthanded, a former #1 draft pick, and in all honesty is a much better prospect.

The Braves signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor-league deal as, I’m sure, an insurance policy. A hard-throwing Mexican righthander who has always been more potential than performance, Lopez is 75-84 in his career, mostly with the Orioles, and last year (his first full season since 2007 Tommy John surgery) was 7-16, leading the league in losses for the D-Backs. He wasn’t that bad — the D-Backs were a terrible team in all phases of the game, and he did manage 33 starts and 200 innings — but there is no reason why the Braves should think of him as more than AAA roster filler. He’d be much more valuable to a team without their pitching depth.

Kenshin Kawakami should be traded by the time you read this. If he isn’t, he should be soon. He is, obviously, a better pitcher than Lopez, but this marriage just didn’t work. Kris Medlen should become available some time after the All Star break, though I couldn’t guess if they still think of him as a starter, and if they do if that they wouldn’t prefer to bring him back to begin with as a reliever anyway. Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino are on the NRI list, and Randall Delgado is already on the 40-man. I doubt any of them could pitch their way onto the opening day roster, but there’s a good chance Teheran is in the rotation by September.

In relief, the pitcher with the best chance to supplant one of the Scotts would seem to be the Lisp, Cristhian Martinez, who was a decent enough last man in the pen last year, posting a 4.85 ERA, and who has an established relationship with Fredi Gonzalez from their time with the Marlins. He’s just a guy, has no real strengths but no outstanding weaknesses.

Nobody else on the 40-man or the NRI list has any major league experience as far as I can tell. Of the minor-leaguers, Stephen Marek was probably the most impressive in 2010, posting a 1.14 ERA with 13 saves in 63 innings of AA and AAA work. There’s no good reason I can see why Marek isn’t getting a strong chance to make the roster, but (a) sometimes minor league relievers just don’t get taken seriously, and (b) the Braves are a lot closer to the situation than I am.

Then there’s Jairo Asencio, who actually did make three major league appearances for the Braves in 2009 as “Luis Valdez” before it was discovered that he was not Luis Valdez but Jairo Asencio, and was on the restricted list all of last season when he couldn’t get a visa. Asencio/Valdez pitched quite well as the Braves’ AAA closer in 2009 and yet never got a serious shot even as the bullpen was falling apart. I don’t know that the Braves’ opinion of him has changed with his name, though Asencio was born later than Valdez.

In all seriousness, nobody really knows who’s going to look good in spring training and move into the picture. How many people had heard of Jonny Venters this time last year?

127 Responses to “Other Pitching Possibilities”

  1. 1
    Tom Says:

    Here’s my idea: Use your WORST starter on opening day, then go 1-2-3-4! Unless your opponents do the same, you put your team in a favorable pitching position four out of five times:

    5 vs. 1 – L
    1 vs. 2 – W
    2 vs. 3 – W
    3 vs. 4 – W
    4 vs. 5 – W

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Nah. The starters will get scrambled soon enough anyway so the matchups aren’t reliable, and also the most important thing is to maximize the use of your best starters. The Braves’ fifth starter won’t pitch the first week of the season anyway due to off-days.

  3. 3
    JoeyT Says:

    The Braves’ signing of Luis Valdez was a rare case of a free agent transaction with a player to be named later.

  4. 4
    justhank Says:

    Sham was a very good racehorse. Had he been born one year earlier or one year later he would have been the favorite to win the Triple Crown.

    That’s kinda how I feel about the Braves pitching staff this year. We have four excellent starters and what appears to be a very solid (and perhaps exceptional) bullpen.

    But none of the left-handers are seasoned starters and the Phillies lineup is replete with lefty mashers. Plus, add their legendary starting staff into the mix and we lose a lot of 4-3 games to them.

    Not sure what you can do except hope Minor is Sandy Koufax reincarnate. And if there were an available lefty starter, the Yankees would give him a borough.

    I hate shooting for the Wild Card before the first pitch is thrown. Sigh.

  5. 5
    Smitty Says:

    Good game last night Stu,

    I agree with your post in the last thread, Goins really played well in the second half. He sparked the come back and Hopson finished the job.

  6. 6
    Trace Says:

    So apparently the Yankees have asked about Hudson. What would they have to throw in for us to even listen? (I think he has veto rights so this is moot, I’m sure)

  7. 7
    Marc Schneider Says:

    So, could the Braves bring in Jairo Asenio, then pitch hit for him, and bring in Luis Valdez? This would be a way to save a roster spot–have one guy go by two names.

    It’s not a matter of shooting for the Wild Card. Win as many games as you can and see what happens. If the Braves could put up say, 97 wins, I would take that to the clubhouse and let the Phillies try to match. No use worrying about what the Phillies do except when playing them. Shit does happen–injuries, slumps, bad years,etc. That’s what makes the Braves from 1991-95 so amazing.

    And, oh yeah, play better in Washington for a change so I don’t blow a gasket every time I go see them play here.

  8. 8
    Smitty Says:

    @6

    Robinson Cano

  9. 9
    Smitty Says:

    @7

    If we win 97 games, we are going to the playoff and probably win the East. I’d take that.

  10. 10
    ryan c Says:

    via dob on mclouth rebounding this year…

    “And if he doesn’t, the Braves damn sure better hope the cocky kid that McLouth replaced, Schafer, is as ready as he exudes to step in and reclaim his spot when the time comes.”

    if dob is the mouthpiece of the organization, the braves are trying to tell jordan something.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    So, apparently, Stanley McClover a former Auburn player is going on HBO next month to talk about his recruitment and the money he received to go to Auburn. Im guessing HBO is throwing a ton of cash at this guy. I cant think of any other reason why a former player would throw his school under the bus.

  12. 12
    csg Says:

    Braves need McLouth and Schafer to have good years, along with Freeman. There is going to come a time when Chipper cant go and we are going to need Nate in LF and Schafer in CF. Maybe Mather will prove me wrong.

  13. 13
    Bethany Says:

    @11 Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Let’s wait and see if that’s credible information, then I will go ram my head into a wall.

    I heard Wainwright hurt himself and is going to have Tommy John.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    #13 – sucks for Wainright and the Cards. Big Big Loss

  15. 15
    ububba Says:

    I’d imagine any deal that brings back a starting pitcher to The Bronx will include Joba “The Hut” Chamberlain, who came to camp heavier than ever. Apparently, he didn’t work out at all this winter.

    Yup, tough luck for St. Louis & a damn-good pitcher.
    http://tinyurl.com/4fffyyh

    #11
    If it happened more than 4 years ago, as per NCAA rules, I’m not sure anything can be done about it, no matter the evidence.

  16. 16
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @10

    DOB is the mouthpiece of his own ass.

    @11

    Someone get a security detail on McClover before Chizik has him taken care of.

    @13 & 14

    Quick, sign Millwood and then work out a trade of KK for Rasmus and Pujols.

  17. 17
    mravery Says:

    The weird thing about Marek’s disappearance from the Brave’s radar is that they actually traded for him. IIRC, he was the “bonus” piece in the Tex/Kotchman trade, so obviously the Braves liked them at some point.

  18. 18
    Smitty Says:

    UT got the letter of alligations today:

    http://www.utsports.com/genrel/022311aab.html

    Sound like Lane Kiffin might be in some trouble.

  19. 19
    Seat Painter Says:

    What would it take for the yankees to pry Hudson away from us?

    I’d start with Gardner AND Cano. But, I’d be willing to ‘settle’ for Gardner, Montero (the stud catching prospect) and another pitching lotto ticket, since Vizcaino looks to be a keeper.

    Then we’d have a line-up of:

    Prado LF
    Gardner CF
    Chipper 3b
    Uggla 2b
    Heyward RF
    McCann C
    AAG SS
    Freeman 1b

    Bench
    Ross
    Hinske
    Mather
    Diory
    Young/Schaefer/McLouth/Conrad/???

    Rotation

    Hanson
    Lowe
    Jurrjens
    Minor
    Beachy

    Pen
    The Usual Suspects

    We’d have Montero, who apparently is ready for MLB as a potential trade chip/replacement for McCann if he’s hurt (or better, moved to 1b if Freeman struggles), and Teheran/Delgado/Lopez/Kawakami (ugh) as rotation insurance.

    I’d be much more inclined to do a Lowe for Gardner straight up swap, with us eating some salary though. But, I’m not sure the NYY would go for that deal. And frankly, I’m not sure the Yanks would trade Montero anyway. Plus, where would we play Cano, with Uggla already at second?

    Any trade would have to improve the Braves’ chance of winning this year before I’d sign on, as well as not hurt the long term outlook. And I just can’t see any deal that makes sense for the Braves and the Yankees at the same time.

  20. 20
    csg Says:

    I for one dont want Joba in any deal.

    Plus, Tim has veto rights and wouldnt leave Atlanta.

  21. 21
    Tom Says:

    Joba = Melky + 40 pounds

  22. 22
    Ben Says:

    I’d rather them just take KK and give us a nice sandwich in return.

  23. 23
    JoeyT Says:

    Why would the Yanks trade Cano? I don’t think they have anyone to replace him.

    Gardner’s a bit of a different issue. He’s probably more valuable in center, but they have Granderson, so he’s likely more valuable to us than them. They have Andruw, so it’s not like there’s a gaping hole in the lineup if they trade him, and there are two huge gaping holes in their rotation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they called about Hudson with Gardner in mind. I don’t think Hudson will waive his 10-and-5, though. Would we give up Jurrjens for him? I think Jurrjens for Gardner is roughly fair, and it helps both teams.

  24. 24
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The Yankees aren’t trading Cano. He’s their best player.

  25. 25
    ububba Says:

    Zero chance Cano is going anywhere.

  26. 26
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Gardner and Rasmus are probably the only two single players I’d trade Hudson for. That are feasible, anyway.

    After signed such a team friendly deal, I’m not sure if Hudson would be more or less likely to go through with a trade if it were offered.

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

    John Sickels has another All Questions Answered thread.

  28. 28
    ububba Says:

    Is there a deal with St. Louis that might work? It seems like they could use a starter.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    KK for cash relief sounds good to me.

  30. 30
    DowneasterJC Says:

    If they’re just looking for someone to eat innings for a season until Wainwright comes back they can just sign Millwood, which really reduces any leverage the Braves might have in any hypothetical trade.

    Which is why Wren should be announcing a Millwood signing any moment and then call up Mozeliak and tell him about these two studs he’s got that go by the names of Millwood and Kenshin “The Dragon Slayer” Kawakami.

    Either that or he’s the worst GM ever.

  31. 31
    jjschiller Says:

    If you could trade a player you just signed, the Yankees would be doing it every year.

  32. 32
    spike Says:

    Lowe/KK/McLouth for Gardner. Man, that would be awesome. The funny part is, the Yankees really could use all 3, assuming McLouth can recover himself a bit.

  33. 33
    Stu Says:

    One of the things Pearl is cited for is illegal contact with a recruit on 9/14/10 — four days after his teary-eyed press conference. What a guy.

  34. 34
    JoeyT Says:

    I can’t see the Yankees going for that. I don’t know if KK or McLouth would even make the major league team, and Gardner is probably worth more than Lowe, considering the years of control Gardner has left. Gardner for Jurrjens seems much more even to me. Maybe Gardner for Jurrjens and a not-elite pitching prospect.

  35. 35
    DowneasterJC Says:

    @31

    Oh, I didn’t know that you couldn’t trade players you just signed. =/

    Oh well, I guess Wren gets a reprieve.

  36. 36
    spike Says:

    @34, it was sort of a joke. The Yankees are rich, but three bad contracts for one good one won’t even fly there.

    //KK’s peripherals were about where Hughes/Vazquez/Burnett’s are – with that Yankee offense, he’d be a perfectly cromulent 4/5.

  37. 37
    justhank Says:

    How did Vandy lose that game? Especially after being up 11 in the second half?

    (Why can’t Jenkins play like that against UK?)

    Btw, the call against Steven Pearl (grudging respect for that guy) may have been the worst I’ve ever seen.

    If Calhoun only got three games for his transgressions, Brucie may be home free.

  38. 38
    JoeyT Says:

    @36, Internet sarcasm. Got it.

    @35, You can, but usually if a team wanted a player for that price, it would have just signed him instead. Like if St. Louis wants Millwood, they’ll just offer a bit more than any other team, and they won’t have to give up a prospect.

  39. 39
    braves14 Says:

    Maybe the Yankees would be interested in Lowe or KK.

    The Cardinals might want KK now.

  40. 40
    Stu Says:

    37—Like I said in the last thread, not a single VU player had a good game. That’s usually not a recipe for success.

    UK didn’t defend Jenkins nearly as well as UT did.

    That call against Pearl was brutal, but UT caught its share of officiating breaks, too.

  41. 41
    Smitty Says:

    Josh Bone is a great defender, probably the best on the team. Bone on Jenkis with the occasional double team worked well.

    Once Fetis was out, that was it for Vandy.

    There are Tennessee fans that don’t like Steven Pearl, I have no idea why. He is a good defender and usually has two-three hustle plays a game.

    The officals weren’t an issue in the game. The calls went both ways.

  42. 42
    JoeyT Says:

    The more I turn the idea over in my head, the more I like this one:

    Yanks get: Jurrjens, McLouth, J.J. Hoover
    Braves get: Gardner

    No cash involved. Braves might ask for a low-level prospect to even things out. An Andruw/McLouth platoon in LF is pretty destructive for the Yanks, and they get an above average #3/#4 starter and a pitching prospect. Braves get a CF for a few years, which is important with nothing in the pipe, and a small amount of salary relief.

    Make it happen!

  43. 43
    Stu Says:

    Braves get a CF for a few years, which is important with nothing in the pipe…

    Uh, I think you’re forgetting about F***ing Success.

  44. 44
    Bethany Says:

    I was under the impression the Yankees were very, very fond of Gardner.

  45. 45
    ububba Says:

    I’d guess that Jurrjens would have to show he can return to form before the Yanks take him. I don’t know why the Yankees would want Nate McLouth, as they already have Curtis Granderson.

    The Cardinals might want KK now.

    Exactly. Worth a conversation.

  46. 46
    JoeyT Says:

    Well, Granderson is already starting. They would, essentially, need to replace Gardner in left, and a McLouth/Andruw platoon would be a small price to pay to fill the hole in the rotation. McLouth isn’t a great CF, but he’s fine in the corners.

  47. 47
    ububba Says:

    Talk about a risky platoon.

    The Yankees aren’t taking our overpriced garbage & an injured pitcher in a deal for a guy who had a .380 OBP last year, someone who steals at an 80-percent rate. They have lots of flexibility with Gardner.

  48. 48
    JoeyT Says:

    Gardner can play all three outfield spots, but his offensive numbers aren’t really that good for the corners. His real stregnth is his defense, and it’s best utilized in center, where the Yanks already have Granderson. It’s better to have him, but it’s also better to not have Bartolo Colon and Sergio Mitre in your major league starting rotation.

    I guess it comes down to how you see Jurrjens. If you gain three wins with him in your rotation, lose two wins giving up Gardner, AND you get a prospect, it’s worlds of ahead. On the Braves side, if you gain four wins with Gardner, lose two without Jurrjens, and give up a prospect, you’re still looking pretty good. I’d pull the trigger from either side.

    The Yanks are probably going to leverage something to fill out their rotation. An defensive CF underutilized in a corner seems like the best inefficiency to work. The only other thing they could leverage is money, but I haven’t heard any noise about targeting overpaid starting pitchers, and there aren’t really any free agents left.

  49. 49
    csg Says:

    I wouldnt trade any of our starters to the Yanks for anything other than Swisher or Gardner.

    except for KK of course

  50. 50
    ububba Says:

    If you view Jurrjens as a guy coming off a season-ending injury, why would you give up something of value for him?

    FWIW, the Yanks have already said that they’re willing to pick up a starting pitcher mid-season, if nec. They believe they can get to the all-star break with Nova, Garcia, Colon, etc. (Of course, if nobody works out & Burnett continues his 2010 pace, things could get interesting.)

    But at this point, there’s just no reason for them to give up a useful starting player (and all Gardner’s current advantages) for an iffy rotation-plugger. For a healthy, proven starter, maybe.

    And there’s less reason to pick up a guy like McLouth at all.

    The Yankees might be rich enough to throw money at problems & eat their mistakes, but they’re not stupid enough to throw money at Nate McLouth.

  51. 51
    DowneasterJC Says:

    What if we threw money at him in exchange for Gardner’s services? We could also kidnap Joba for them and force him to live down here during the summer so he just sweats all of his fat out.

    Also I dunno if anyone watches it, but Joba was on an episode of Man vs. Food once. I don’t know when the episode was filmed, but it could be a hint as to his current weight issue.

  52. 52
    Smitty Says:

    @51

    No more fat former Yanks on the Braves. The last two didn’t work out so well. (Melky and the Babe)

  53. 53
    Smitty Says:

    I guess you don’t mess with Mr. C

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2011/02/vanderbilt-mascot-punches-student-during-tennessee-game/1

  54. 54
    Stu Says:

    That kid apparently grabbed Mr. C in the balls. Love that he got drilled, even though that Mr. C will lose his job.

  55. 55
    ububba Says:

    Henry Aaron will be on Letterman tonight.

  56. 56
    spike Says:

    @50, because he’s like good and cost controlled and stuff, as well as only 24. I am not sure why you wouldn’t expect a return to form, unless there is more to the injuries than has been reported.

    Sure, the Yanks probably would not trade Gardner – but still, he’s a 26YO CF who never hit much before, and whose remarkable OBP corresponds with a remarkable spike in BaBIP. I am not sure that is going to happen for him every year. He’s a very useful player who meets the Braves needs pretty much to a T, but he ain’t Colby Rasmus neither.

  57. 57
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well, Gardner is more cost-controlled — Jurrjens is younger, but he also has a year more service time and is a year closer to free agency.

  58. 58
    ububba Says:

    #56
    Gardner’s walk rate increased impressively last year, too.

  59. 59
    spike Says:

    Jurrjens, in pre-2010 form, is also much more valuable.

  60. 60
    spike Says:

    @58, Good thing too – he wasn’t a very good offensive player without them. Given his SLG pct, and previous MLB track record, it will be interesting to see what happens if pitchers start attacking him a bit more this season.

  61. 61
    Alex R. Says:

    I see there is already Yankee discussion in here which means everyone already knows that the Yanks called Wren about Hudson:

    http://www.talkingchop.com/2011/2/23/2010712/yankees-inquire-about-braves-starting-pitcher-tim-hudson

    God I hate Yankee arrogance. Because we’re not the Yankees, they just assume everyone but them and the Red Sox are fine with tanking next year? How could we possibly get back equal value and have ANY show at competing for the Playoffs this year without a healthy Hudson at the top of our rotation? He’s the one starter that can match up with the Phillies aces.

    I thought after the news that the Twins were making a bobblehead of Kent Hrbek ILLEGALLY shoving Ron Gant off of first base, that the Twins were public enemy #1, but the Yankee arrogance today provides me some perspective that they are still the peak of evil in baseball.

  62. 62
    JoeyT Says:

    I believe Hanson can go toe-to-toe with the Phillies aces.

  63. 63
    Alex R. Says:

    Wishful thinking, JoeyT. Unless Hanson ends his inconsistency this year, then no, I don’t think we can rely on him.

  64. 64
    Smitty Says:

    Ah, an Alex rant. Spring is near, boys. Spring is near.

  65. 65
    ububba Says:

    #60
    That’s why they bat him 9th.

  66. 66
    spike Says:

    Well, sure, but that doesn’t really reduce Gardner for Jurrjens to “a useful starting player (with all Gardner’s current advantages)” for “an iffy rotation-plugger”, that’s all – I think it would be a very fair swap, and with potential huge upside for the Yankees. Gardner is not going to get much better, and Jurrjens has quite the ceiling still. I am not sure I’d do it from Atlanta’a POV.

  67. 67
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think there are ample reasons for both teams to feel uncomfortable, and it’s entirely because of JJ’s health. The Braves know his health situation a lot better than the Yanks do. His trade value will be pretty dicey till he proves he’s healthy. I just hope he is.

  68. 68
    ububba Says:

    It’s more than a fair swap if Jurrjens can pitch like he did in ’08 & ’09. At the moment, the Yankees don’t know that he can. We don’t know that he can.

    But mostly, the Yankees really like Gardner. They like his flexibility and, as currently constituted, the team doesn’t need him to do anything other than he did last year.

    If he plays defense, walks, steals bases at his high rate & hits .270, which he did the last 2 seasons, that’s all they need. That’s a valuable guy on a team already loaded with sluggers.

  69. 69
    Smitty Says:

    Im not sure that I would trade anyone in the current rotation, outside of maybe Lowe, right now. Come June or July and we feel Beachy, Medlin or one of the young guns can step in, the make a move. February and March isn’t a good time to trade pitching unless you get a big return.

  70. 70
    Stu Says:

    Gardner would be a pretty big return.

  71. 71
    JoeyT Says:

    Well, hopefully McLouth will be super awesome, and the team won’t have to make any trades until the offseason.

    However, I think the drop between Jurrjens and Beachy or Kawakami is less than the boost from McLouth to Gardner. Additionally the boost from Garcia of the 84 mph fastball (or Colon or Mitre or Mr. Brainwash or whomever) to Jurrjens outweighs the drop from Gardner to Andruw, especially with a prospect as added value.

    Gardner just isn’t as nearly as valuable in left as in center.

  72. 72
    Marc Schneider Says:

    What is wrong with the Yankees at least making an inquiry? What if they were willing to give the Braves Cano or something? Isn’t that part of the GM’s job? It’s not arrogance, it’s due diligence. Plus, it’s not like the Yankees have the right of the first night and can simply force the Braves to trade Hudson. If you are going to rant about the Yankees, at least say something that makes some damn sense.

    @51,

    That’s probably the only time Melky and the Babe will be mentioned in the same sentence.

  73. 73
    Stu Says:

    There are some sentences dealing with obesity in which you might find both guys’ names.

  74. 74
    braves14 Says:

    The Yankees asking about Hudson could lead to discussion about other guys (like KK). This is probably how most trade talks begin, just feeling around to see who is available.

    The Yankees could definitely use KK as a back-end rotation starter. Or even Lowe if we get a nice return.

  75. 75
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @74, Exactly. The Marlins originally asked for Prado in the Uggla trade.

  76. 76
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yeah, I have no problem with the Yankees calling us and saying, “We really really want one of your guys.” But it’d take a hell of a lot for me to be interested in trading Hudson. I think I’d take any four of Montero, Betances, Banuelos, Cano, and Gardner.

  77. 77
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    By the way, here is one of John Sickels’s answers in his All Questions Answered thread:

    Q: Which teams fans do you think are the most educated on their clubs farm system?

    A: Well, there are a lot of very knowledgable fans. Braves, Red Sox, and Mets fans seem particularly well informed. However, they also tend to be (especially Mets and Red Sox fans) lacking in objectviity at times.

    Translation: every one of us is awesome. Every Met fan and Red Sox fan can suck it.

  78. 78
    JoeyT Says:

    Suck what?

  79. 79
    Tom Says:

    Take a guess.

  80. 80
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Suck on this.

  81. 81
    Stu Says:

    Nice, Hawks. Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Mo Evans, and a first-rounder to the Wizards for Hinrich and Armstrong.

  82. 82
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Whew. I expect Tony Barbee is about to go off on some officials.

  83. 83
    JoeyT Says:

    Wow. Have you seen Bethany’s kickstarter project? It’s almost reached 10,000 freaking dollars with 27 days left.

    I have a friend who’s struggling to reach $2,500 and another struggling to hit $5,000. You’re blowing by $10,000 like it’s peanuts. You should be super proud that your work is appreciated by so many people.

  84. 84
    Bethany Says:

    Thanks Joey ^_^ I’m stunned at how well it’s gone. A nice bonus is that I’m interviewing at a grad school on Friday and it will be a neat thing to slip into conversation.

  85. 85
    sansho1 Says:

    Glad to be rid of Bibby, but this is hardly a game-changer. They’ll be hovering in the lower echelon of playoff teams for the foreseeable future.

  86. 86
    Adam M Says:

    The Hawks look so awful right now; they’re not even trying to go inside anymore. I’d ask if a team has ever quit on a coach so quickly, but it’s the NBA and it happens about six times a season.

    Is Kirk Hinrich really going to change this? And is anyone else expecting Jordan Crawford to become a useful player? I say no, and yes.

  87. 87
    justhank Says:

    I didn’t think it was possible to make Billy Knight look good, but Sund (who is either really stupid or is just cashing a paycheck) is pulling it off.

    Meh. Doesn’t matter. Their fate was sealed when they maxed out Joe. “Max Johnson” ended any hopes Hawks fans had of making a run to the top.

    John Kincaid (he’s the asshole on 680theFan’s “Asshole and the Gasbag Show”) claims to have inside knowledge that someone with means is in serious discussions with the clowns who comprise the Atlanta Spirit Group. Hope he’s right for a change …

  88. 88
    jj3bagger Says:

    Apparently, Wainwright had a known elbow problem/injury dating back to 2004. http://tinyurl.com/4m7h7vc

    “The general manager suggested the latest episode was linked to earlier ones. Wainwright experienced elbow problems in 2004, the year before he made his big league debut and in 1998, two years before the Braves used the 29th selection in the First-Year Player Draft to make Wainwright a professional. But Mozeliak indicated that the club’s sense of the specific injury that probably will require surgery is that it’s a new injury.”

    Was this common knowledge when the Braves drafted him ? I was unaware of this, and today on Baseball Tonight Buster Olney alluded that Braves officials were not surprised today when he talked to
    them about Wainwright’s percentage of curveballs thrown.

    I’m not in any way defending the JD Drew trade, but if internally the organization felt like Wainwright wasn’t going to hold up much longer, then that does a least give me a different perspective of the trade. It may be their opinion that after drafting him and watching his reliance on his curveball the first couple of years in the minors that they viewed his elbow somewhat as a ‘ticking time bomb’ or at least as a very high risk pitcher.

  89. 89
    Stephen in the UAE Says:

    #77–Nice to see that Sickels thinks that we are all “awesome”–especially after I went on his site about 16 months ago and argued that he had undervalued the now departed Cody Johnson…..

  90. 90
    jjschiller Says:

    I read, albeit in an article about Heyward, that there were whispers about Wainwright’s elbow before the draft, and whispers that the Braves would pass on him. The insinuatiion of that article, though, was that the Braves leaked that info to get other teams off him. Perhaps that they even exaggerated his issues, or made them up entirely.

    The focus of the article was the Braves cozy relationship with Cobb Baseball Academy.

  91. 91
    Smitty Says:

    @88,

    Good point.

  92. 92
    sansho1 Says:

    Can’t say the Cards haven’t gotten their money’s worth — even with this year’s $6.5 million sunk cost, the Cards have only paid Wainwright $15.5 million dollars in his career.

  93. 93
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Even with this injury, it’s not as if Wainwright is done; most pitchers (including Chris Carpenter) recover from it. Wainwright has already contributed a lot. There is no reason to expect that he won’t be back in a year or two and have several years as an effective pitcher. In retrospect, it was a bad deal even if the Braves were concerned about his arm.

    But I think it was a more than defensible trade at the time assuming the Braves weren’t clairvoyant about how good Wainwright would be and that his arm wouldn’t break down for six years. Trading a minor league pitcher for an established major league position player is generally a good move–in this case it wasn’t, at least in the long-run. How many pitchers have the Braves traded that were never heard from again?

    A more significant question may be, do we have to worry about Tommy Hanson?

    On another note, what passes for baseball “journalism” on TV is pathetic. This morning on “Sports Center”, Karl Ravech asked John Kruk what effect Wainwright’s injury would have on the Cardinals. Gee, there is something that really requires special insight–is it bad that a team loses their best pitcher in spring training for the year?

  94. 94
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Baseball Tonight is hardly “journalism.” With the exception of their Peter Gammons/Tim Kurkjian slot, none of them are reporters — and Gammons was wrong about most of his scoops and most of his analysis, anyway. It’s a studio show with a bland anchor and a few clueless analysts who used to play baseball.

  95. 95
    Trace Says:

    I saw that segment too. They also said that with Halladay, Lincecum and Carpenter, that Wainwright kind of flies under the radar and that people don’t realize how good he was.

    Um… everyone that knows anything about baseball knows that he’s one of the top 5 pitchers in the game. Cause he doesn’t pitch on the East Coast, I guess we don’t know who he is. Sheesh.

  96. 96
    Adam M Says:

    It’s like watching Troy Aikman argue with himself for an hour.

  97. 97
    Michael Says:

    @94 – Everything you said about Baseball Tonight is absolutely correct. Still, if I am flipping through the channels and it’s on, I will always stop to watch it. Same with the MLB Network version.

    Even if many of the personalities on the show are dumb ex-jocks, there is something about watching baseball highlights in a condensed format with some baseball talk thrown in that just makes me happy.

  98. 98
    ububba Says:

    There are some folks on the East Coast—namely Mets fans—who know all about Adam Wainwright.

    http://tinyurl.com/23hxkgu

  99. 99
    stupup74 Says:

    After the AU @ UA basketball game last night, I think Hell with have sports, but the games will be officiated by Ted Valentine, Bill Hohn, and Bob Davidson.

  100. 100
    Stu Says:

    Sadly, Ted Valentine is actually one of the better officials in the SEC. Seriously.

  101. 101
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Even I thought that the officiating was fishy, if unsurprising.

  102. 102
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Honestly, it seems to me that the NBA and NFL analysts are more interesting than the ones doing MLB. Jeff Van Gundy at least says things that you wouldn’t know. Most of the MLB guys are just masters of the obvious or they continually extoll “scrapiness” or “clubhouse leadership.” Peter Gammoms uses OPS as the one advanced stat that he knows as if he discovered the theory or relativity. I find myself watching these shows less and less, espcially Basebal Tonight.

  103. 103
    ububba Says:

    It’s not easy, but I do my best to avoid ESPN entirely.

  104. 104
    stupup74 Says:

    Auburn is not a good team, but to have their only two offensive weapons AND their only two size guys foul out was a touch much for me. TV Teddy Valentine was killing me with his antics, especially in the second half.

    I can deal with bad calls, but the whole, injecting themselves into the game thing that Teddy V, Super Mario Hahn, and Balk a Day Bob do just drives me insane.

    All the same, I was proud of my tigers last night. They play hard, just not very well.

  105. 105
    justhank Says:

    I realize that Bama is (and should) try to make amends for the tree-poisoning, but offering this guy a scholarship may be going too far:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/97364/jordan-hare

  106. 106
    John Gaines Says:

    Am I a bad person for drafting Shane Victorino?

  107. 107
    spike Says:

    Not if you are an official with the Hawaiian Army or something.

  108. 108
    jj3bagger Says:

    I guess the point I was making about Wainwright is that a lot of people, myself included, view that JD Drew trade as one of the worst that JS made. That Wainwright’s elbow stayed together this long and as good as he’s been, there was also a pretty good shot that if the Braves would have held onto him, he might have turned out to be Luis Atilano. I’m sure that JS was thinking he was getting his starting right fielder the next five or six years in exchange for a guy that clashed with Leo (Marquis), Burger King, and a pitcher who’s reliance on his curveball made him a player who was likely to get injured soon.

    I know the success rate for TJ ‘survivors’ is pretty high, but I’m not so sure Wainwright just bounces back to the way he was before. If I’m reading his Fangraphs Pitch F/X career data correctly, 23.8% of his pitches are curveballs. I’d bet that when he comes back, he’s going to be a different pitcher, or at least one that doesn’t throw as many curveballs.

    He may be headed for a career path similar to his teammate Chris Carpenter, very very good when healthy, but for every 3 or 4 years healthy, there’s going to be a season or two missed due to injury.

  109. 109
    ryan c Says:

    a few things to pass along:

    1. mlb at-bat is back (called mlb at-bat 11) for purchase- $14.99. it lets you listen to any game live on your iphone or ipod touch. when purchased with mlbtv, you can also watch any of the games on iphone or touch.

    2. Freeman, Heyward, Schafer, McLouth, and Hinske will be the big names traveling to the Mets S.T. facility on Saturday. DOB also says that Schafer will play all 3 OF spots this Spring and he infers that Schafer is being pushed as the 4th OF.

  110. 110
    Smitty Says:

    I would think if Schafer is going to be on the big team he would have to play all three spots. He needs AB’s more than anything and I think the Braves will play him more than anyone this spring to see what he has.

  111. 111
    csg Says:

    #109 – I dont go to DOB’s place anymore for obvious reasons, but what is he saying about Mather?

  112. 112
    Tom Says:

    They don’t charge 14.99 for the iPad AND the iPhone app, do they?

  113. 113
    ryan c Says:

    @111
    only thing thus far is that he has the body build of Werth.

    @112
    one app can be put on 4 devices.

  114. 114
    c. shorter Says:

    So does the At-Bat app at $15 work without having to buy MLB’s audio offering? Or do you need both?

    Thanks

  115. 115
    John Gaines Says:

    I’m pretty sure all you have to do is pay for the phone app and you’re set. At least that’s how it is for the android app.

  116. 116
    c. shorter Says:

    Thanks, John.

  117. 117
    TheFlyingBernard Says:

    Get Metsmerized!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpvufrpAhls

  118. 118
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @112, Thankfully the iPhone apps transfer nicely to the iPad (some better than others visually), so you don’t have to pay for anything twice.

  119. 119
    JoeyT Says:

    Last year they had an iPad-only app in addition to the iPhone app. Of course, you can run the iPhone app on the iPad, but the iPad app had some features, like much better video.

  120. 120
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks, TheFlyingBernard. I had no idea that existed.

  121. 121
    ububba Says:

    There’s a very good reason for that.

  122. 122
    DowneasterJC Says:

    Because it’s too amazing for the general public to handle.

  123. 123
    justhank Says:

    So if the Cardinals struggle out of the gate and they decide that they can’t pay Albert, what would you give them for 3/4 of a contract year of Pujols?

    You can’t really give them Freeman because you’re not sure Albert would resign with the Braves.

    Would they accept JJ and a minor leaguer?

  124. 124
    sansho1 Says:

    Remember what it took to get Teixeira?

  125. 125
    desert Says:

    justhank,

    Yeah… then there’s the whole thing about Albert not waiving his no-trade clause, then there’s the whole thing of actually giving the Cards enough for the trade, and then there’s the whole thing of Albert complaining about how he doesn’t want the organization that he’s being traded to to have lost that much talent.

    And if it gets done, then there’s the whole thing about us losing in the division series, about Tim Hudson sending a message about somebody being a douche, Albert signing with some other team, followed by the whole thing about me complaining all of the freakin’ time about how we could have won the WS in 2014 if we hadn’t traded those players and then everybody using the Albert trade as the ‘prize pack’ for getting a player for half a year. Then, there’s the whole thing about Albert failing to meet expectations in the first couple of years of his contract, followed by much relief that we didn’t sign him.

    AAR,

    Those people at minorleagueball aren’t very nice. You didn’t ever say (or even imply) that Edmonds took steroids. And while its true that fielding added about 5.7 fWAR to his total, that doesn’t make him legendary in any regard (as opposed to Andruw Jones, whose fielding added 27.5 fWAR to his career total). Dang, Andruw was really, really, really good.

  126. 126
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks, desert. I didn’t say that Edmonds took steroids — I really don’t know. But it’s hard not to connect the dots and at least wonder. He never did much in the minors, then he had a massive power spike in his 30s after becoming Mark McGwire’s teammate. Obviously, he probably had steroid-taking teammates long before he came to the Cardinals, and he may well have made his own choice to take them or not well before his first 40-homer season.

    Still, these are the questions that everyone thinks about, even if they don’t admit it.

  127. 127
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

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