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30 Jul

Braves 8, Marlins 2

The Braves flashed some serious leather and continued to hit, while Tommy Hanson lucked out again, and that combined for a relatively easy extension of the winning streak.

Meanwhile, Frank Wren addressed issues in the rotation and on the bench by acquiring Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson from the Cubs, in exchange for recovering-from-Tommy-John-surgery Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman. I like the deal — Vizcaino has crazy upside, but you’re dealing two relievers for pieces that can really help this year — but I’m a little disappointed that the Braves won’t be adding a front-of-the-rotation kind of arm. Maybe Minor, Delgado, or Teheran will develop into one, one of these years.

355 Responses to “Braves 8, Marlins 2”

  1. 1
    sansho1 Says:

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance Johnson would be supplanting Diaz instead of Constanza…

  2. 2
    Ethan Says:

    JC’ed – Since Vizcaino ended last year on the 25 man roster, is his pre-arbitration service clock running?

  3. 3
    Adam R Says:

    I’m underwhelmed. The trade itself is fine, but I think we needed something bigger.

    Teheran and/or Delgado better pan out now. This is Chipper’s last season, and Bourn’s too, as far as the Braves are concerned.

  4. 4
    drewdat Says:

    Also JC’d:

    Trading damaged goods is not going to maximize your return. The TJ surgery happened, though, so maybe Vizcaino was never going to regain the value he had last year.

    Maholm and Johnson may have moderate impact during the regular season if things go well, but I don’t see them affecting our contender status. Maholm does have a team option, so that gives us a chance at a secondary return if we don’t need him for the rotation. More of a division championship streak move than a World Series Champion move.

  5. 5
    Dan Says:

    “Expected new Braves lefty Paul Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his past 7 starts, 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA this season.”

  6. 6
    csg Says:

    This seems like a move to keep us a competitive playoff team. If we get hot at the right time it could all pan out. This teams payroll needs depth and this helps with it.

    Hanson has to get his act together and watching him sitting at 87 tonight doesnt bode well.

  7. 7
    DougM66 Says:

    Don’t minimize Johnson’s impact. He can play all three outfield positions, allowing Prado to play third on a Chipper rest day with no defensive fall off. Bourn and Heyward can now get an occasional day off as well.
    Maholm is a good pitcher. He was good with the Pirates and has been good with the Cubs. He fills the rotation need and will allow the bullpen to remain solid in both long and short relief.
    Very good trade by Wren.

  8. 8
    Stu Says:

    Yeah, a playoff rotation of Hudson/Sheets/Hanson/Lefty doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. And that’s the best-case/everyone’s healthy scenario.

  9. 9
    desert Says:

    When you have to rely solely on the negative of the players leaving and the positives of the players coming again, you probably made a bad trade.

    Reed Johnson! What an upgrade! 35-years old? High unsustainable luck? No problem!
    Paul Maholm! Depth! Has a history of sucking and is on a streak and therefore is the definition of selling high? No problem!

    Vizcaino! Guy may never come back from surgery! Wait, he’s possibly a top-40 prospect in the MLB? No problem!

  10. 10
    PaulV Says:

    @9 top 40 before the injury. How much lower now?

  11. 11
    desert Says:

    10,

    Successful, full recovery from TJ sits at 85-92% for pitchers nowadays.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/The-Tommy-John-All-Stars-should-give-hope-to-Ste?urn=mlb,232915

    Considering how good he was before and his age, I think he’ll regain his status.

  12. 12
    Nick Says:

    I would’ve rather had Dempster for Delgado, frankly. Oh well, at least we did something.

  13. 13
    csg Says:

    Id rather keep Delgado moving forward over Vizcaino. I dont really see Vizcaino producing as a starter. Maybe Im wrong. Still doesnt change the fact that Dempster didnt want to come to Atlanta.

  14. 14
    DougM66 Says:

    There were no lock-down number one starters available this trading season. Nobody was available with a history of playoff success. Nobody who you could put at the front of your rotation and feel comfortable with your playoff chances. No Randy Johnsons; no Roger Clemonses; no John Smoltzes. With this trade, the Braves greatly improved their chances to make the playoffs; perhaps even to win the division with the league’s best record. If Minor continues to improve and Sheets stays steady, it is a fine rotation, aided by two good long men in the bullpen when needed.

  15. 15
    desert Says:

    13,

    A positive here is that pitching Malholm instead of Delgado gives us an extra year of Delgado down the road. However, we could have had that positive effect from pitching Medlen. Even Vizcaino as a 2-win player in the ‘pen is good value to me.

    14,

    Greinke? Shields isn’t a lockdown 1, but has been a decent 2 on a playoff team.

  16. 16
    Dan Says:

    @15: you might want to take a gander at Shields’ 2012 stats. They’re not pretty.

  17. 17
    JonathanF Says:

    This is like when I heard the Braves got Cabrera and Dunn. I was imagining the homers we were going to hit before I found it that it was Melky and Mike, not Miguel and Adam.

    The Cubs think they got Aroldis Chapman, when what they actually got was Arodys and Chapman. Theo needs to learn his area codes.

  18. 18
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I assume Medlen is going back to the pen to be our long man. The only question now is when will they announce JJ’s release?

  19. 19
    RobBroad4th Says:

    The #Marlins say they just aren’t getting the offers they want for Josh Johnson, and are begging teams to take 1B Carlos Lee off their hands.

    I’m so glad I’m not a Marlins fan. What a mess of an organization.

  20. 20
    desert Says:

    16,

    A 3.46 xFIP (best at predicting ERA going forward), especially in the AL East, is 2/3 starter material in the rotation for me. If your ERA is supposed to come down .5 Runs from the AL to the NL, a 3.00 ERA from Shields going forward would be excellent. He’s been absurdly unlucky with his BABIP and LOB rate, and slightly unlucky with his HR/FB rate.

  21. 21
    JoeyT Says:

    This is a good move. We need a solid starter, and Maholm is about as solid mid-rotation #3 as you can possibly get. The fact that he’s #4 on this team if Sheets holds up is a solid bonus. Also, this plays to the confusing need this team has to have at least one lefty in the rotation. Now, if Minor collapses, he won’t be kept up just because he’s a southpaw.

    This team really doesn’t like using Heyward in CF, and Constanza is really bad at hitting baseballs. Also, Fredi can’t stand the thought of using Ross to pinch hit, even late in ballgames. A lefty-mashing backup CF is pretty much the perfect bench guy for this team. Finally, the guy who leads the team in games played might actually get a break.

  22. 22
    Parish Says:

    I think it’s a solid trade. I hate giving up Vizcaino, but I am not sure the return says we sold low.

    We just got a lot better off the bench and we have significant pitching insurance.

    Vizcaino will be a stud, but probably not until 2014 and likely in the bullpen. And I do believe his service clock is ticking.

  23. 23
    ububba Says:

    Man, this Mets bullpen… brutal.

  24. 24
    ububba Says:

    We’re back in Ital-Land?

  25. 25
    desert Says:

    I like Ital-Land. It makes everyone’s comments seem a lot more reasonable and rational.

    For example, Jeff Francouer is a fine baseball player.

    Also, I like Scott Hairston and watching the Mets lose.

  26. 26
    desert Says:

    Woops, I meant watching the Giants lose.

    Force of habit.

  27. 27
    kc Says:

    Underwhelmed is the right word, but this is the least Wren should do to improve the team.

  28. 28
    Parish Says:

    Still wouldn’t mind a little help for the pen. I wish we had J.J. Hoover back.

  29. 29
    JoeyT Says:

    At least this trade gives us reason to laugh at the Pirates.

    https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/230151514319122432

  30. 30
    ububba Says:

    Two late-inning HRs from Scott Hairston. How do you like that? Between Hairston & Jordany Valdespin, at least the Mets have some power off the bench.

    If the Mets can hang on this time—don’t breathe, it’s Manny Acosta—all the right teams (from the Braves’ perspective) will have lost tonight.

    Ball 4… here we go…

  31. 31
    Tom Says:

    Good trade, I like it. Delgado is worth so much more than two month of Ryan Dempster, so thank you Ryan.

  32. 32
    Grst Says:

    I’m good with this trade.

  33. 33
    ububba Says:

    Acosta in the 10th: Walk, flyout, walk, pop-up, RBI single, screaming flyout to the wall in CF.

    Um, thanks, Manny.

    So… Giants, Dodgers, Reds & Pirates all bite the dust tonight.

  34. 34
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Fix it?

  35. 35
    JoeyT Says:

    Test testing this more test.

  36. 36
    JoeyT Says:

    More test test this more test

  37. 37
    JoeyT Says:

    test try this test

  38. 38
    JoeyT Says:

    Emphasized text
    Strong text
    Definition term
    A piece of computer code
    Sample output from a computer program
    Keyboard input
    Variable
    Citation
    Untagged

  39. 39
    JoeyT Says:

    More test try this

  40. 40
    JoeyT Says:

    try this
    test
    stop

  41. 41
    JoeyT Says:

    try this

    test stop

    try this
    test
    stop

  42. 42
    Tom Says:

    Nice try, JoeyT ;-)

  43. 43
    Smitty Says:

    I am fine with the deal. I would still like to get another reliever.

  44. 44
    Stu Says:

    Think I fixed it.

    Rob, you gotta stop putting spaces between your /’s and i’s!

  45. 45
    Johnny Says:

    I like the trade. Maholm isn’t Dempster or Grienke but he is servicible. Johnson is a guy we’ve needed for a couple of seasons. Its tough to trade Vizcaino but he was fragile even before the TJ and looked like he was going to turn out to be a relief pitcher. If the Cubs can tap his potential and make as starter out of im then this is a win/win trade. This isn’t a blockbuster but IMHO its way the hell better than Delgado for 2 months of Dempster or Teheran AND Delgado and someone else for 2 months of Grienke. In the end a trade has to make the team better and I think this one did.

  46. 46
    Smitty Says:

    Plus, if one of our starters gets hurt, this saves us from putting JJ in the rotation or having to hope Tehran is ready.

    I like this deal.

  47. 47
    Smitty Says:

    As it looks now, we only play 15 games against teams that are over .500 for the rest of the season.

    The Mets are close to .500 and could mess that stat up.

  48. 48
    Ray Says:

    Late to the party, but I really like this trade. I wanted the Braves to have Johnson for a couple of years now and I always kinda liked Maholm. You have to remember he never played for a professional baseball team before, so let’s see what he can do. I don’t think we gave up too much. Maybe Wren finds a good reliever too.

  49. 49
    Bethany Says:

    I’ve got no problem with the trade. Vizcaino is the perfect example of TINSTAAPP or whatever the acronym is. If Minor falls on his face again or if someone gets hurt, we’re covered. Our rotation is so flimsy right now that even a solid starter, and a lefty at that, is a huge plus.

  50. 50
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    This is a good trade. The Braves dealt one of their five lottery tickets for someone to stop the bleeding on Jurrjens’ start days and a quality backup OF at all three positions. They are playing to win at the Major League level, and that’s what they should be doing. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Vizcaino becomes the Cubs Adam Wainwright. He had a ton of talent. But then again, so did Ruben Quevedo.

    The Braves still have Brandon Beachy, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Sean Gilmartin parked at AA/AAA/the DL, waiting for a chance to do something worthwhile in the Bigs from 2013-2016.

  51. 51
    Smitty Says:

    Plus, we were never going to use Vizcaino as anything but a releiver.

  52. 52
    justhank Says:

    If I’m Medlen, I’m really getting pissed about now.
    —————

    Could it actually be that Juan Francisco is a, uh, decent replacement at 3B? If we simply cannot find a power-hitting right-handed left-fielder, this might be, uh, decent.
    —————

    The only Saint I didn’t actively sports-hate was Drew Brees. No longer. What a hypocrite – he knows Vilma (et al) are guilty as charged.

    And whatever happened to the “suite bugging” story?

  53. 53
    sdp Says:

    Burn In Hell is close to being shipped to the Dodgers.

  54. 54
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I assume “Burn In Hell” is Dempster? If so, I’ll merely point out that Ryan Dempster’s refusal to go immediately to Atlanta actually facilitated the Braves getting a much better deal in his place.

  55. 55
    csg Says:

    Burn in hell is Victorino.

  56. 56
    jjschiller Says:

    Burn in hell is Victorino

  57. 57
    jjschiller Says:

    By the way, do we still believe that deal was Delgado plus 1 for just Dempster?

    Or maybe it was Delgado + Chapman for Dempster + Johnson, and when Dempster dropped out, we subbed Vizcaino and they subbed Maholm?

  58. 58
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Ah. My bad on Victorino/Dempster.

  59. 59
    Stu Says:

    I was thinking something similar. If Johnson was really the top RH-bench-bat target, the rumors that we were sending more than Delgado would make some sense if we were getting both Dempster and Johnson.

  60. 60
    justhank Says:

    So who gets sent down?
    —————

    Btw, is it possible to brew a gluten-free beer?

  61. 61
    Stu Says:

    Constanza and Jurrjens, I have to believe.

    If Wren could add another reliever and let Avilan join those two on the shuttle to Gwinnett, that would be awesome.

  62. 62
    Gaz Says:

    So is Medlen staying in the rotation now or headed back to the pen?

  63. 63
    csg Says:

    #61 – Agree and yes it would. Who would Moylan replace if and when he returns?

  64. 64
    PeteOrr Says:

    Lottery tickets are guys in low A with live arms that have a lot of development left before they can help a team at all. Lottery tickets aren’t guys who’ve actually made it to the majors and just need to get healthy before they can contribute, especially ones with the tools to contribute in an ace-like (bullpen or rotation) capacity. This was just dumping a really good prospect who had already made it through the minors at the absolute lowest point of his value for a soft tossing lefty and a bench bat. Better than Delgado for two months of Dempster, maybe, but that hardly makes it good.

  65. 65
    csg Says:

    #62 – Start today and then back to pen.

  66. 66
    Jeremy Says:

    I like this deal. Kudos to Frank Wren and Ryan Dempster.

  67. 67
    csg Says:

    On if anticipates this being it: – DOB

    “No. We have other discussions. We have other conversations going on so I think it’s going to be very busy right up until 4 o’clock tomorrow.”-Wren

  68. 68
    sansho1 Says:

    Our current “lefty masher” reserve outfielder has all of one RBI in the last seven weeks, and he’s had only 14 PAs in July. Is his spot on the roster really all that assured, and isn’t Constanza a better fit as a fifth outfielder?

  69. 69
    JP Says:

    @ 46: Between Hudson’s ankle, Hanson’s shoulder and Sheets’s elbow it’s certainly possible, maybe even likely, that the 6th man in line will have to make an important start down the stretch. This trade means Jurrjens isn’t that 6th man, which is huge.

  70. 70
    Stu Says:

    64—”Absolute lowest point,” huh? Maybe the lowest yet, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that a fragile guy who’s destined for the bullpen — only some teams aren’t quite willing to concede that — will have less value a year or two from now than he has right now, when he’s still got some of that top-40-prospect glow still around him.

    Hard for me to understand the complaints about the specifics of this deal. Teams aren’t just going to give us valuable pieces for nothing.

  71. 71
    Stu Says:

    68—Well, he’s on the DL. So the current roster will have neither Diaz nor Constanza.

  72. 72
    sansho1 Says:

    That news completely escaped me. Honorary team member and dugout presence suits him.

  73. 73
    Stu Says:

    Agree completely. I’ll bet he stays DL’d until 8/31, when they set their playoff roster and demote the fifth starter for a day in favor of him.

  74. 74
    csg Says:

    Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Hanson’s velo has been down all year. Concerning aspect later is his inconsistent command. Every inning is a battle

  75. 75
    jjschiller Says:

    Yeah Diaz is down with MORE hand problems from the PALM FROND accident of three years ago.

    You don’t have to denigrate Vizcaino to like this deal. He’s not a lottery ticket. His “fragility” was the org putting off the surgery he eventually required.

    He will come back in May or June, maybe they keep him in minors to get one more shot at starting, maybe they put him straight in to the big league bullpen.

    But Vizcaino will in all likelihood pitch 8th innings for the Cubs for 4 or more years (his DL stretch this season is BIG LEAGUE time.) And the Braves will strengthen a borderline playoff team to try to make it a championship team.

    That’s baseball. I love the deal.

  76. 76
    krussell Says:

    There’s a decent chance that Diaz doesn’t play anymore this year (and opts to have surgery). We needed a 4th OF for sure. I know nothing about Maholm except that he’s a soft tossing lefty with non-terrible numbers if you take into account the teams he’s played for. Hopefully he can eat some innings and be halfway decent.

    This also keeps Medlen in the pen, which I guess is a vital role given the number of starters we have that only go 5 innings. Medlen wouldn’t replace Hudson or Sheets or Hanson in the rotation, so as long as those guys only pitch half-games then our middle relief corp needs to be excellent.

  77. 77
    Dusty Says:

    #52

    Francisco is awful at 3rd. Any chance he could play LF? I’m sure it’d be ugly at times but 3rd is so much more important right?

    Heard talk that Hanson may be DL’d to get some rest and Medlen could stay in the rotation for a couple of weeks.

  78. 78
    Adam M Says:

    I don’t love the deal, but am fine with it if Vizcaino ultimately ends up in the pen. It may well be that Wren and company concluded as much. Then again, Wren was trying to trade Delgado for Ryan Dempster, so he’s not my favorite guy right now anyway.

    On a different topic, Todd Cubningham is having a great year in Mississippi–basically a breakout. He doesn’t have great patience or power, but he could be a decent centerfielder and/or fourth outfielder as soon as next season.

  79. 79
    Smitty Says:

    With Venters not being Venters, we still need another arm for the pen. Wren knows this.

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

    I kinda like the trade. Vizcaino’s a live arm, which is great and all, but the Braves have had a consistent problem the last few years of not having enough average players to pick up the slack when the stars get injured — witness the Buddy Carlyle era. Maholm and Reed Johnson fill our needs while trading a guy who probably couldn’t have been more than Juan Cruz for us.

  81. 81
    csg Says:

    Hansons velocity was at its lowest point all season last night. He was sitting at 87 for most of the game. If they are considering DL’ing him then there should be enough worry to look at adding another starter. We cant afford to lose anyone, esp with Sheets injury history.

  82. 82
    Stu Says:

    Maybe Wren will stun us with a trade for another starter today.

  83. 83
    csg Says:

    Lowe, Jurrjens, Beachy, Hanson, Hudson, Minor, Delgado, Teheran, Medlen….who wouldve thought last offseason that Wren wouldve had to add Sheets/Maholm and we still might not have enough starters?

  84. 84
    ububba Says:

    #81
    Yeah, Hanson’s really danced through raindrops the last 2 games.

    Was only listening last night, but it occurred to me that pinch-hitting for Hanson in the bottom of the 5th had as much to do with sitting him for the evening as it did breaking the game open (which ended up happening).

    Hanson went 5 IP on 85 pitches, only 47 for strikes.

  85. 85
    Adam R Says:

    Well, there would’ve been reason to doubt Lowe (age/suckitude), Jurrjens (injury/decline), Hanson (injury), Hudson (age), Medlen (injury), and Minor, Delgado, Teheran, and even Beachy are all young and unreliable. You have to count on at least one of these guys getting injured for the first time, and lo and behold, it happened to our best starter. That’s depth, but not particularly helpful depth.

    If Johnson was really the top RH-bench-bat target, the rumors that we were sending more than Delgado would make some sense if we were getting both Dempster and Johnson.

    This is a good point. Can’t dispense judgment without better information.

  86. 86
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Btw, is it possible to brew a gluten-free beer?

    Yes. You can buy gluten free beer from a good beer shop.

  87. 87
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Lottery tickets are guys in low A with live arms that have a lot of development left before they can help a team at all. Lottery tickets aren’t guys who’ve actually made it to the majors and just need to get healthy before they can contribute, especially ones with the tools to contribute in an ace-like (bullpen or rotation) capacity.

    Suffice to say I think you overvalue prospects for prospects’ sake and undervalue just-above-average Major League contributors. The Braves have four guys that are as likely as not to be more valuable than Vizcaino, all in AAA or on the DL.

    You don’t play Major League Baseball in order to accumulate shiny prospects.

  88. 88
    jjschiller Says:

    If the season ended today, our playoff rotation would be Hudson, Sheets, and Maholm.

    I think it would be a great idea to DL Hanson to get him three starts of rest, and still have enough time to evaluate him for the playoffs. And you he’s good enough to push Maholm to the pen for the playoffs.

  89. 89
    Adam R Says:

    If I were Alex, I could repost Fangraph’s preseason starting pitching team rankings as a fancy table, but I lack the requisite mutant powers.

    Look where we were ranked to start the season:

    18. Atlanta Braves
    Player TM IP BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WAR
    Brandon Beachy ATL 180.0 2.8 9.9 0.9 3.5
    Mike Minor ATL 180.0 3.1 8.5 1.0 2.0
    Jair Jurrjens ATL 160.0 3.0 6.1 0.9 1.5
    Tommy Hanson ATL 140.0 2.8 8.9 0.9 2.5
    Tim Hudson ATL 140.0 2.6 5.9 0.8 1.5
    Julio Teheran ATL 100.0 3.4 7.2 0.8 1.0
    Randall Delgado ATL 50.0 4.1 7.2 1.2 -

    The issue here isn’t talent as much as it is health. Tim Hudson’s out for at least the beginning portion of the season, Jair Jurrjens has a litany of health issues, and Tommy Hanson remade his delivery in order to take some strain off his shoulder. The Braves have the depth to deal with a patchwork group, but they lack a true ace at the front, and Teheran and Delgado might not be ready to be more than stop-gaps at this point. Strong seasons from Beachy and Minor would certainly help stabilize things in Atlanta, but for this year, there are going to be a lot of questions that need answering.

  90. 90
    Ryan c Says:

    How well does Maholm have to pitch to get his ’13 option of 10m picked up? I say below 3ERA gets it.

  91. 91
    csg Says:

    Ryan, DOB just posted on twitter that the option is for $6.5M.

  92. 92
    Smitty Says:

    I think not pitching in Wrigley will help Maholm

  93. 93
    Ryan c Says:

    Just saw that and looked at Cots to confirm. DOB is right. The number was different a few hours ago. Cots must have put it in wrong when they moved him over to the Braves payroll.

  94. 94
    sansho1 Says:

    Stat dump:

    # of pitchers w/ seasons of 200+ IP and 2+ relief appearances:

    62-66 125
    67-71 106
    72-76 95
    77-81 65
    82-86 48
    87-91 26
    92-96 13
    97-01 9
    02-06 7
    07-12 4

  95. 95
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @75,

    I think it’s a good trade. If losing an 8th inning guy is the price for Maholm and Johnson, it seems worth it to me. Bullpens can be put together in a lot of ways so I don’t see the need to hold onto a guy that projects as a reliever. No doubt having Kimbrel and (last year at least) Venters has been highly valuable for the Braves but they have also put together good bullpens from spare parts.

    And people say it’s not a big deal. But Mike Devereau was a similar kind of acquisition and he was the MVP in the 1995 NLCS. Not saying this happen to Reed Johnson but don’t underestimate having a competent bench.

  96. 96
    IthacaBraves Says:

    I’m hoping we can get one more reliever, keep Medlen in the rotation, DL Hanson temporarily and eventually jettison Minor to Aaa or the pen. I hate trading Odys, but two needs have been filled…

  97. 97
    Adam M Says:

    For what it’s worth, the Braves have quickly re-built some nice pitching depth in the minors. Sean Gilmartin, J.R. Graham, Lucas Sims, Alex Wood, Zeke Spruill, and Mauricio Cabrera are all interesting in various ways. And that doesn’t even mention Cody Martin, David Hale, and Navery Moore. So like I said: if Vizcaino is a reliever, then this trade is solid, if unexciting. The Braves have plenty of young pitching coming up behind Minor, Delgado, and Teheran, and can afford to play for both now and the future.

  98. 98
    Ryan c Says:

    It sure is nice that 3/5 of the NL East is actively making their teams worse.

  99. 99
    Ryan c Says:

    Minor has a sub 2 ERA in July over 4 starts. Why would we put that in AAA or the bullpen?

  100. 100
    Adam R Says:

    Clearly, the Braves see something in Minor. I hope one day to find out the real story of what’s going on with him this season. In my imagination, he’s a very talented pitcher who gets frustrated easily and lets emotions get the better of him, or something like that, and the Braves decided the best way to deal with it was to keep throwing him out there until he settles himself.

  101. 101
    Stu Says:

    I think that’s pretty close to accurate. If you haven’t read his most recent postgame comments from his most recent start, you should.

    It’s mostly mental. When he’s right, he’s a really good pitcher.

  102. 102
    Dan Says:

    Minor is pitching well now. Why “jettison” him?

  103. 103
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Who’s the best team in the NL right now? The Dodgers are starting to look scary.

  104. 104
    csg Says:

    Giants got Pence

  105. 105
    Adam R Says:

    Tommy yesterday: “The last thing I want to do is to be worrying about my pants when I’m trying not to walk seven guys.”

  106. 106
    Stu Says:

    103—They sure are.

  107. 107
    sansho1 Says:

    Can’t argue with that. Tommy Hanson is a master of prioritization.

  108. 108
    csg Says:

    Talking Chop thinks Tommy could be on the block today. Im not buying it.

  109. 109
    Smitty Says:

    Both the Dodgers and Giants are getting better.

  110. 110
    RobBroad4th Says:

    The Dodgers scare me more than the Giants at this point. If they add Dempster too…that’s one heckuva team.

  111. 111
    Stu Says:

    Sure woulda sucked in ’92!

  112. 112
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Minor has a sub 2 ERA in July over 4 starts. Why would we put that in AAA or the bullpen?

    Because we don’t pay attention to things that happened recently when our opinions have been locked in by things that happened in the past.

  113. 113
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The Dodgers scare me more than the Giants at this point. If they add Dempster too…that’s one heckuva team.

    I was under the impression that their offense sucked?

  114. 114
    Stu Says:

    Well, they’ve added Hanley and Burn In Hell to the Kemp/Ethier core — that’s not bad.

  115. 115
    RobBroad4th Says:

    They swept the Giants and are now tied for first even before they acquired Victorino or (presumably) Dempster. I say they’re the team to beat.

  116. 116
    Smitty Says:

    The Giants pitching is better. The good teams in the NL all have pretty decent pitching. The AL teams, not so much.

  117. 117
    Stu Says:

    The Angels’ staff is loaded.

  118. 118
    csg Says:

    Angels have the best staff right now.

    Weaver, Greinke, Haren, Wilson. Their 4th starter is better than anyone on our staff.

  119. 119
    krussell Says:

    The Nats are the team to beat. If we let them cruise to the division title then they’ll line up their playoff rotation just they way they want to. I’d much rather them not having the luxury of resting starters down the stretch, and maybe even have to burn an ace in the play-in game (one can dream…)

  120. 120
    Jeremy Says:

    It looks pretty on paper but I feel like starting pitching is kinda overrated in this day and age in the postseason. I’ll take a good offense and bullpen over four aces. The Cardinals won the World Series with a rotation of Carpenter, Garcia, Lohse and Edwin Jackson.

  121. 121
    Smitty Says:

    Well, outside of the Angels.

  122. 122
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The Nats are built to collapse down the stretch, actually.

  123. 123
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I’m interested to hear why you think that, Sam.

  124. 124
    RobBroad4th Says:

    I know Strausburg is likely on the verge of being shut down.

  125. 125
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    1. They’re incredibly young, and it’s starting to show. Bryce Harper, as an example, is OPSing 523 since the ASG. They get Werth back to fill the Rick Ankiel hole, but they still have a mediocre offense at best, with gaping holes at multiple positions. If Harper’s fast start was just that – a fast start – they’re going to have trouble scoring runs down the stretch.

    2. They’re going to sit Stephen Strasburg down eventually. Every start from John Lannan is a start they’re not at top strength.

    3. They are the only team not actively improving (so far) at the deadline.

    The Nats *could* maintain, but if history is a guide, a team that young and with no improvement (or getting worse in the rotation) should struggle to close out the season strong.

  126. 126
    stupup74 Says:

    I am interested to see what Maholm will do on a good team. He always seems to give the braves a fit.

    Vizcanio has crazy upside in the pen. I think his secondary pithches need work, but he has a great chance to be a notch below Kimbrel as a closer if he develops.

    Reed Johnson is a very useful piece. He can defend and hit lefties, but I think we need one RH bench bat to hit LHP and maybe a P for the pen and we may be ready to rock and roll.

  127. 127
    Smitty Says:

    The Nats kind of remind me of the ’91 Braves.

    I don’t think they can stay as hot as they have, but I think they will be in it at the end

  128. 128
    krussell Says:

    There’s absolutely zero chance of them shutting down Strasburg unless he actually starts feeling some arm discomfort. The whole thought of him not pitching in September or in the playoffs is absurd.

  129. 129
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The Nats kind of remind me of the ’91 Braves.

    In some ways, yes. And the 1991 Braves had absolutely no business competing as deeply as they did in the playoffs. And, to my recollection, the 1991 Braves were the last team to really pull off the ‘go young or go home’ tactic without going home early.

  130. 130
    csg Says:

    Explain this – Olney thinks an Upton-Garza base to a deal makes sense for both teams.

  131. 131
    Jeff K Says:

    Ya know, the Nats really DO remind me of the 91 Braves — good comparison. Young but talented pitching, a key offensive acquisition, and a few young position players with outsized performances.

  132. 132
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Strasburg is being shut down this year. He’s been on a strict limit all year.

  133. 133
    JoeyT Says:

    I believe they’re going to have him skipping starts the rest of the regular season.

    They handled him with kid gloves even before the injury. There are really two ways they could go after that. There’s the fatalistic approach that nothing they are going to do will help the situation, so they might as well just Prior/Wood the guy until he breaks. There’s also the over protective approach where they really clamp down and make sure there’s almost no chance of him ever feeling discomfort. The fact that they took him out of a start because it was hot leads me to think they’re going to surround him with pillows.

  134. 134
    Smitty Says:

    I won’t believe they shut down Strasburg until it happens.

    The ’91 Braves just had a deeper rotation than Pittsburgh. They got key hits from Lemmer and Justice. It was a perfect storm, with some luck.

    Good pitching in post season opens a lot of doors for a deep run.

  135. 135
    csg Says:

    04/12 – “Look, the media put (the 160-innings limit) out there, not me.” Rizzo said. “It probably comes from what Jordan Zimmermann pitched last year.

    “I don’t have a specific pitch count in my mind, a specific innings count in my mind. I am going to refer to my experience as a farm director, as a player development guy, and knowing his body. In conjunction with Davey Johnson and (pitching coach) Steve McCatty, when we feel he’s had enough, we’re going to shut him down.” – Rizzo

    07/12 – “I have no clue how many innings I’m going to throw this year. I’ve answered that question multiple times, and nobody’s said anything to me. I feel great right now.” – Strasburg

  136. 136
    Askia Says:

    Phillies officially give up and trade Victorino to the Dodgers.

  137. 137
    Smitty Says:

    I like to think we ended the Phillies

  138. 138
    ububba Says:

    I heard Rizzo on WFAN last week & his answer about Strasburg was essentially, “Yes, we’re still going to limit his innings & we’ll do it by giving him extra rest, missing starts, having him come out of games early, if necessary.”

  139. 139
    Smitty Says:

    There are a lot of big eggos in LA.

  140. 140
    jjschiller Says:

    Bring syrup!

  141. 141
    NickH Says:

    Strasburg is currently at 117 1/3 innings – at his current pace of roughly 5 1/3 innings per start, he’ll reach 160 IP after about 8 more starts. The Nats have 61 more games to play in the regular season, so at some point they’re going to have to cut back on Strasburg’s starts, especially if they want him available for the playoffs.

    On a related note, the Braves have had far and away more success against Strasburg than any other team has. He has a career ERA of 2.67 and a career WHIP of 1.06, but the Braves have knocked him around for a 4.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Put another way, the Braves have scored more than 1/4 of all earned runs Strasburg has allowed in his career.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/8562/splits;_ylt=AkP3dyoRsP4N0g5Kzs8VVsmFCLcF?year=career&type=Pitching

  142. 142
    csg Says:

    If the Braves are going to DL Hanson and give Medlen a few extra starts then I would hope that we are adding a reliever before the day ends.

  143. 143
    Nick Says:

    Yeah, if you actually go by what Rizzo and Strasburg have said and ignore the media’s collective hernia on the subject, it’s pretty clear the Nats are backing down on this. In the end, I’m guessing he’ll skip a start or two and only be allowed to pitch five or six innings in the games he does start. They might even sit him for the rest of the regular season if they clinch a playoff spot early. But they’re not gonna shut him down.

  144. 144
    ububba Says:

    Ryan Dempster to the New York Yankees, apparently.

  145. 145
    csg Says:

    Thats a surprising turn of events.

  146. 146
    Smitty Says:

    Not adding RP cost us the playoffs last year.

  147. 147
    mravery Says:

    I really don’t like the idea of giving up Vizcaino for 2 months (plus a just-okay option) of a mediocre starter. Johnson’s a nice bench guy, and lord knows the Braves needed that, but he’s no reason to get excited.

    Maholm is a contact pitcher who’s been just mediocre in the worst division in baseball. Maybe he can be useful in the bullpen later, but that represents a huge drop in value (TJ or no TJ) for Vizcaino to go from a top 50 pitching prospect to someone you let go for a bench guy and pitching depth.

    All that said, he’ll probably be better than Hanson or JJ….

  148. 148
    Brian J. Says:

    We called him “Burn in Hell”; Los Angeles is a pretty good substitute.

    Constanza sent to Gwinnett to make way for Reed Johnson. I like this trade, sinced we don’t have outfielders growing on trees in the minors. All up to Maholm not to suck, of course.

  149. 149
    Stu Says:

    144—Really? All I’ve seen/heard is that he’s added them to the list of teams for which he’d waive his no-trade rights. Didn’t know a deal was in place, yet.

  150. 150
    ububba Says:

    #144
    Listening to WFAN & deal not done. Dempster’s OK’d a trade to The Bronx. (Yanks pitching coach Larry Rothschild was his pitching coach in Chicago.)

    Cashman & Epstein reportedly still working out options.

    Even if Pettitte’s return isn’t in doubt, I’d imagine he’d just replace Freddie Garcia in the rotation.

  151. 151
    Nick Says:

    @146

    I’d be hard-pressed to look at last year’s collapse and come to the conclusion that not adding a bullpen arm is what cost us the playoffs. As well as O’Ventbrel was pitching, they’d have still gotten the last three innings every single time. And Vizcaino was pretty good as the sixth-inning guy.

    Looking more in-depth at Maholm vs. Dempster, I could certainly be convinced that Maholm should be about the same. I’m still not sure it’s enough, but if Maholm isn’t enough, then Dempster probably wouldn’t have been either.

  152. 152
    Ted Says:

    Been reading a lot more DOB this year than in seasons passed. I’ve seen a lot of negative comments about him on this site. What’s the main criticism?

  153. 153
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Hunter Pence to the Giants. For what looks like not much. Phillies now say they won’t trade Lee.

  154. 154
    mikemc Says:

    I hope the Phils find some players for their series in Washington. Somebody has to slow the Nats down.

  155. 155
    csg Says:

    Reds got Broxton. I wanted to see him in Atl.

  156. 156
    Michael Says:

    @152 – Fussy, snippy, childish, dismissive Fredi apologist.

    The Fredi part has been less this season as (I think) his management has been more highly regarded around these parts this season. But DOB didn’t do himself any favors starting out last season by going on a long motorcycle ride with Fredi, IMO.

  157. 157
    spike Says:

    @152 – his apparent lack of journalistic distance, willingness to repeat as fact that which has yet to be established, and routine dismissal of any analysis that remotely contradicts his position. Well, that and the fact he is exceptionally peevish to his customers when the failings of his product are pointed out.

  158. 158
    spike Says:

    See 156 for the concise version

  159. 159
    Stu Says:

    He’s a little b****.

  160. 160
    Brian J. Says:

    155- Not the way his K rate has declined. I’ve got to agree with Nick; I just don’t understand the all-fired need to pick up more bullpen arms. I don’t like that there’s a Durbin in it either, but it’s stashed way at the back. We’ve got Medlen, Martinez, and O’Ventbrel; that’s plenty for the playoffs, and Atilan and Durbin (urgh) are acceptable filler.

  161. 161
    td Says:

    @ 152 – Don’t know if it’s so much that DOB is bad, it’s that some of his commenters continually display their ignorance. The problem that many have with DOB is that he’s copping a horrible attitude.

  162. 162
    RobBroad4th Says:

    That’s concise too.

  163. 163
    JoeyT Says:

    When is Maholm starting? Saturday? Sunday?

  164. 164
    ububba Says:

    If any journalist gets a chance to spend some quality time with a subject, you do it. There’s nothing wrong with taking a motorcycle ride, no more than having a drink or dinner.

    If and how that impacts your work is a separate issue. This isn’t any conflict of interest.

  165. 165
    csg Says:

    #160 – I dont know if we have the good Venters back yet.

    David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
    Gearrin has been called up from Gwinnett. Corresponding move not yet announced

    Gotta be JJ

  166. 166
    Smitty Says:

    @165

    The fact that Gearrin has been called up is why we need another BP arm

  167. 167
    JaredL Says:

    Per Keith Law on twitter – “I hope for the Royals’ sake that the return for Jonathan Broxton is negative Jeff Francoeur”

  168. 168
    Ryan c Says:

    Gearrin is a good reliever that hasn’t been used properly.

  169. 169
    Michael Says:

    @164 – Partially disagree. If DOB was writing a biography or character study of Fredi Gonzalez and that was the extent of his coverage, then maybe I agree. But he is the day in/day out coverage of the team for the main paper covering the Braves. Baseball managers are routinely questioned by fans, as everything they do is seen (for right or wrong) as impacting the outcome. You can’t compromise that coverage by getting that close. Just my opinion.

  170. 170
    Dusty Says:

    So I guess the Rangers got Dempster?

  171. 171
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Not the way (Broxton’s) K rate has declined. I’ve got to agree with Nick; I just don’t understand the all-fired need to pick up more bullpen arms. I don’t like that there’s a Durbin in it either, but it’s stashed way at the back. We’ve got Medlen, Martinez, and O’Ventbrel; that’s plenty for the playoffs, and Atilan and Durbin (urgh) are acceptable filler.

    I wonder if any of you will ever notice that Chad Durbin’s been a quality asset to this team since the end of April.

  172. 172
    csg Says:

    I think a lot of people have noticed that Durbin has been very good for the Braves. Its not shocking that you took one post and lumped everyone into that line of thinking though.

  173. 173
    sdp Says:

    The insiders on Twitter are confirming Dempster to Texas. lol

  174. 174
    Smitty Says:

    Gearrin has too many weakness to compliment his one asset

  175. 175
    Brian J. Says:

    Sam, his record over the last 12 years indicates that you can’t rely on Durbin to keep pitching well for any sustained period. He’s decent bullpen filler, but you can’t count on him for more. We’ve been lucky.

  176. 176
    Stu Says:

    Sure would’ve liked another bullpen arm.

    I hope Moylan comes back strong…

  177. 177
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I think a lot of people have noticed that Durbin has been very good for the Braves. Its not shocking that you took one post and lumped everyone into that line of thinking though.

    A phrased my answer in the form of a question for a reason, Dexter.

  178. 178
    Michael Says:

    @177 – Lame.

  179. 179
    csg Says:

    Tool

  180. 180
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Sam, his record over the last 12 years indicates that you can’t rely on Durbin to keep pitching well for any sustained period. He’s decent bullpen filler, but you can’t count on him for more. We’ve been lucky.

    So, to be clear, good performance by relievers you already decided were good is skill, while good performance by relievers you already decided were bad is “luck.”

    All relievers are flaky. See also, Venters, Jonny. Chad Durbin’s been an asset since the end of April. But hey, write off four months of quality work for your favorite team because you decided in Spring Training that it couldn’t possible be a good idea to pick him up and give him a whirl.

  181. 181
    Smitty Says:

    We can try and get another arem through waivers

  182. 182
    csg Says:

    Caution, could be another question.

    #181 – Yeah, we could also see something come through for the next hour or so also.

  183. 183
    JoeyT Says:

    The Pirates traded a draft pick. It’s the start of a new era. Unfortunately, this era will be one with interleague play every single day. Sigh.

  184. 184
    Ryan c Says:

    Smitty, if you count getting RH batters out as Gearrin’s only skill, then wouldn’t it be prudent to say that all pitchers can only have a maximum of 2 skills? Seriously, Gearrin’s been put into shituations in which Fredi has asked him to do things that he’s not being groomed to do. When used right, i bet Gearrin could be a dominant double play inducing, strike you out Roogy.

  185. 185
    Brian J. Says:

    180- CHad Durbin has been above average in two previous season in which he’s pitched more than six innings, and below average in six. He had a 5.53 ERA last year (which is admittedly better than his 6.97 in 2004 or his 8.21 in 2000). He was available three days before the season started for very good reason- no one else wanted him.

    Chad Durbin has a long record establishing himself as a lousy pitcher with occasional flashes of competence (mostly in 2008). Trusting him as more than spackle is foolhardy.

    But hey, write off an entire career of lousy pitching based on a few good weeks.

  186. 186
    Stu Says:

    I think the Braves should trade for Aroldis Chapman.

  187. 187
    Grst Says:

    @177 Your “question” (which notably contained no question mark) was based on the very clear premise that you believe no one here has yet noticed Durbin’s adequate performance since April. Based on numerous comments made here by myself and many others, that premise is wrong.

  188. 188
    csg Says:

    David O’Brien ‏@ajcbraves
    #Braves Fredi G on plan w/ Medlen: “Give him 2 starts and give Tommy a breather.”

  189. 189
    ububba Says:

    #169
    There’s no reason why a reporter can’t ask the very same questions or get the very same answers.

    Access is a big deal in the real world of journalism, and it can work both ways, for sure. (In instances away from sports, where the stakes were much higher, we’ve seen complete failures.)

    But, back in the Toy Department, it’s up to the beat reporter to give the readers a connection to their team’s manager & fairly convey his thoughts. That’s one of the reasons he’s there.

    Building a respectful professional relationship is important if you’re going to spend 7 months with someone, but it doesn’t automatically make you sympathetic to your subject.

    (Trust me, over the years, I’ve covered people I can’t stand & managed to treat them fairly in print; conversely, there are people I like very much in my industry, but I couldn’t in good conscience give them any more ink than they deserved.)

    BTW, the routine questioning from fans shouldn’t be a beat reporter’s top priority. Some fans are completely & routinely out of their minds. It’s up to the reporter to determine the legit questions & ask them.

  190. 190
    Smitty Says:

    @184

    I will give you that he can get RHs out. But there is no room in a ML pen for a ROOGY. It is too easy to pinch hit a lefty, then you have to go get him becasue lefties kill him.

    If he could get lefties out, at all, then he might have some value.

    Most LOOGYs have the ability to get a RH more than half the time.

  191. 191
    sansho1 Says:

    The Indians traded Patton Oswalt to the Red Sox for Wahoo McDaniel.

  192. 192
    Smitty Says:

    Also, Gearrin can pitch on back to back days, or to lefties, or behind in the count. There are rumors he can’t eat after midnight or have water poured on him.

    I want him to do well, he is from my neck of the woods, but he has to show he can get lefties out to play in the bigs.

  193. 193
    Smitty Says:

    *can’t

  194. 194
    Stu Says:

    Aroldis Chapman can get lefties out. So can David Price.

  195. 195
    braves14 Says:

    I think the Braves should trade for Aroldis Chapman.

    I think the Braves should trade Jair Jurrjens to the Angels for Mike Trout.

  196. 196
    braves14 Says:

    And then trade Jack Wilson to the Nationals for Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.

  197. 197
    Stu Says:

    Don’t be ridiculous. The Angels don’t need starting pitching.

  198. 198
    Dusty Says:

    It’s got to be Avilan going down for Gearrin right?

  199. 199
    John R. Says:

    I’ve had the gumption to praise Durbin on a couple occasions. Even Fredi.

    Looking at Durbin’s numbers since the end of April, here’s what we’ve got:

    IP: 32.0
    H: 18
    R: 10
    ER: 7
    BB: 14
    K: 28
    HR: 5
    ERA: 1.97
    BA: .162
    OBP: .256
    SLG: .333
    OPS: .589

    Pretty good.

  200. 200
    csg Says:

    Dusty, I would think it would be JJ.

  201. 201
    cym755 Says:

    Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
    Wren and Gonzalez just went to the clubhouse for a discussion. Guessing Gearrin move will involve Jurrjens.

  202. 202
    PaulV Says:

    Hanson to DL?

  203. 203
    jjschiller Says:

    I know JJ’s been ineffective, but sending him down or cutting him tonight doesn’t making sense, when you know Medlen’s going to give you only 4 innings and Avilan pitched 2 innings last night.

  204. 204
    jjschiller Says:

    Nevermind, Hanson to DL with back strain.

  205. 205
    csg Says:

    MLB ‏@MLB
    BREAKING: @Rangers RHP @NefFeliz to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss rest of 2012 season.

    Man that sucks for him, probably will miss all of 2013 also.

  206. 206
    spike Says:

    @189, concur – that he routinely engages the weirdos on the AJC board is nuts – berating them just compounds it.

  207. 207
    Adam M Says:

    The five home runs are a red flag. I wouldn’t ignore them.

  208. 208
    Johnny Says:

    @206 but in a way its kind of funny as he tries to argue with stupid. i guess he thinks he is on Braves Journal or something. I bet he hates that he gets paid to blog.

  209. 209
    csg Says:

    Is this the norm for Hanson?

    2011 – Shutdown on August 6th
    Previous 5 starts
    26.2IP 36H 24ER 11BB 33K

    2012 – DL’d on July 30th
    Previous 5 starts
    26.1IP 32H 19ER 17BB 28K

  210. 210
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @209, Nice observation.

  211. 211
    mravery Says:

    So we’re all just okay with giving up a potential top-line arm for a mediocre LHP just because he’s out this year with TJ? Seriously? Does Paul Maholm really make the Braves that much better this year?

    I feel like he’s a complete wild card. Could be decent, could be good, could be crappy…. Basically equivalent to what you’d get putting Medlen in the rotation. So it’s like trading for a somewhat-expensive reliever. Yeesh.

  212. 212
    Brian J. Says:

    211- Said potential top-line arm has already had one major elbow injury before the Tommy John, is still in A ball, and has many scouts convinced that his future is in the bullpen. Maybe he’ll be that top-line starter, but it’s much more likely that he’ll flame out, have limited endurance, or simply not be that good.

    As for Maholm, he’s definitely better than JJ has been in his last several starts, and Medlen’s already being put in the rotation because Hanson’s hurt. (Don’t forget that we’re also getting Reed Johnson because Hinske is done and Diaz is hurt AND done.) We have to give something to get something.

    I could snark about Vizcaino’s chances being lengthened because he’s going to the Cubs… so I will- this just makes it even less likely he’ll ever amount to anything in MLB.

  213. 213
    csg Says:

    Maholm is pitching well, our rotation has been one of the worst in the NL. Johnson gives us some versatility off the bench. Give up “potential” is what you have to do. I doubt Frank had 5 offers and took the worst one.

  214. 214
    Bethany Says:

    Dyer dismissed from Arkansas State. What an idiot.

  215. 215
    krussell Says:

    I feel like at best we shored up the bench by replacing Diaz with a better version of Diaz, and we’ve replaced Hanson with a guy that we hope will pitch like what we thought we were going to get from Hanson (lotsa question marks there).

    Helpful, but nothing that makes us a front-runner. Kinda treading water. That might be good enough.

  216. 216
    Coop Says:

    Try to keep it in the ballpark, Kris.

  217. 217
    spike Says:

    jason picked an optimal time to have a hot week – .333/.364/.810/ 1.173. Hope it continues.

  218. 218
    Brian J. Says:

    217- Not to quibble, but optimal time would be in October.

  219. 219
    spike Says:

    Time for one of those patented McCann Slams

  220. 220
    spike Says:

    There won’t be an October if he doesn’t get hot in August.

  221. 221
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    This is Juan Francisco’s boom stick!

  222. 222
    krussell Says:

    The Roadrunner is on fire.

  223. 223
    urlhix Says:

    Best hit Francisco has had all year.

  224. 224
    Bethany Says:

    Hahahahhaa, way to go Juan, and what the hell, Marlins?

  225. 225
    spike Says:

    Although I would quibble with my 219 because I misread the lineup.

  226. 226
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Ricky Nolasco was put on this earth to make Marlins fans cry.

  227. 227
    Bethany Says:

    Way to go, Janish, guy can’t throw a strike and you’re helping him out.

  228. 228
    Adam R Says:

    No problem, we can just call all clutch super-awesome bases-loaded HRs “McCann Slams” from now on :)

  229. 229
    Piers Says:

    Chipper Francisco is pretty good.

  230. 230
    Brian J. Says:

    And so is his partner, Juan Jones.

  231. 231
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    You know, you fellows should pay more attention to this Jason Heygood fellow.

  232. 232
    spike Says:

    @229, speaking of good times to get hot – Francisco is sporting a gaudy line over the last month…

    .500/.500/.929/1.429

  233. 233
    RobBroad4th Says:

    fLOLda Marlins.

  234. 234
    Tom Says:

    Our outfield is doing ok, I guess.

  235. 235
    sansho1 Says:

    Hilariously bad baserunning.

  236. 236
    Brian J. Says:

    That’s just the last two weeks and 14 AB. But they have been really good AB!

  237. 237
    PaulV Says:

    Good that Chipper feels confident enough to take day off.

  238. 238
    Smitty Says:

    Has anyone thought of letting Prado pitch? I bet he would have an ERA under 4

  239. 239
    Bethany Says:

    And Francisco reminds everyone why he can’t start on a regular basis.

  240. 240
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m pretty sure that there isn’t anything Prado can’t do, other than acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Braves.

    He could probably be an old-school player-manager.

  241. 241
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Does Paul Maholm really make the Braves that much better this year?

    Without a doubt.

  242. 242
    PaulV Says:

    DR Strangeglove at 3rd

  243. 243
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Obviously, Brian McCann should be lower in the batting order.

  244. 244
    Bethany Says:

    McCann!!!!

  245. 245
    Adam R Says:

    Not quite a McCann Slam, but thanks for trying, Brian.

  246. 246
    Piers Says:

    Nice!

  247. 247
    spike Says:

    @241, I completely agree. Given that any one (or more) of Sheets, Hanson, Delgado, Minor, or Medlen could go south as a starter at any time, and JJ already has, it’s quite reasonable risk mitigation.

  248. 248
    oldtimer? Says:

    i just turned the game on and saw an intentional walk to the roadrunner.
    What the heck is going on?
    Did I enter the twilight zone?

  249. 249
    PaulV Says:

    do they confuse the roadrunner with CJ?

  250. 250
    RobBroad4th Says:

    The Marlins announcers are making me miss Chip and Joe. They’re some of the worst in baseball.

  251. 251
    Brian J. Says:

    248, 249- Remember that Janish is batting behind him. It’s a sensible move.

  252. 252
    Bethany Says:

    Gaaaah, so close.

  253. 253
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Great at-bat by Janish.

  254. 254
    oldtimer? Says:

    @251, I looked at the boxscore and saw that and laughed at myself then saw Janish nearly rip a double down the line.

  255. 255
    Bethany Says:

    Way to go, Janish!

  256. 256
    iceberg584 Says:

    So this is extrememly rudimentary, but I was kind of bored so I decided to hop onto Baseball Reference and do this real quick. I have been wondering what the actual value, in runs, a stolen base is worth to you. I decided to take Michael Bourn, someone that we associate with stolen bases whose value is partly based on his speed on the basepaths. Just looking at his 2012 season thus far, he’s 28 for 36 (78% success rate). This is a success rate I’ve seen in the past as somewhere near the approximate baseline of what you need for stolen bases to be worth it, which can somewhat be seen in the results.

    At any rate, I looked at each stolen base and caught stealing for Bourn this year, and essentially determined how the inning would have gone without the attempt. For example, did the stolen base come in an inning we didn’t score in anyway? Or where Bourn would have scored anyway on a later XBH? Was the SB totally necessary to score. Conversely, I looked at instanced where his caught steals directly cost us a run based on what subsequent batters did. Of course, this can’t account for the precious lost out, which makes a caught stealing even more costly in terms of runs. Regardless, I’ve determined that his steals have earned us 5 runs that we wouldn’t have otherwise scored, and conclusively cost us 2 runs (without even accounting for the lost out). So Bourn’s 28 stolen bases have essentially earned us a net gain of 3 runs all season. I know this doesn’t acknowledge defensive alignment impacts, etc. but I think it shows how unimportant SB’s really are.

  257. 257
    spike Says:

    @256, you may find this interesting –

    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2010/01/stolen_base_str.php

    I would love to see that number contextualized per team.

  258. 258
    Scump Says:

    Man, Medlen throws a LOT of strikes. 44 pitches so far, only 11 balls.

  259. 259
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Kris Medlen: 4 innings, 44 pitches. Four hits, two strikeouts, no walks, one earned run allowed.

    I know it’s the Marlins, but still. I hope the kid gets to stay in the rotation. He couldn’t possibly make a better case for himself.

  260. 260
    Tomas Says:

    Phillies up 6-0 on Strasburg.

  261. 261
    Smitty Says:

    @256

    Ask Martin Prado how many fastballs he has seen due to the threat of the stolen base.

  262. 262
    spike Says:

    Raining hard in East Atlanta

  263. 263
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Or how many bad throws/pitches a stolen base threat causes.

  264. 264
    Bethany Says:

    Great to see Martin really turn on a ball.

  265. 265
    Smitty Says:

    Maybe Hanson would be good in the pen

  266. 266
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Delgado has already gone south a bit. His ERA after the ASG is 4.62 or something like. He’s gone 0-5 in those starts. I think he’s hit a wall, personally.

    Maholm is 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA since the ASG. As they’re pitching right now – and yes, you know I do actually give credence to “the hot hand” and I certainly believe pitchers have their pitches going better at times than at others – Maholm is the Braves #2 starter behind Sheets, ahead of Hudson, and way ahead of Hanson, Minor or Delgado.

  267. 267
    Adam R Says:

    There’s no doubt Maholm helps. If it works out, it’s more than treading water.

    Still… I know that the right trade for a bonafide ace wasn’t there for us, but it really hurts not to have added a pitcher that we can feel more certain will take us deep into the playoffs this year. That’s the root of it for me.

  268. 268
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh, and the gutted Phils are destroying Strasburg and the Nats through five.

  269. 269
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Hanson to the pen is a very intriguing idea.

  270. 270
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @269, Baseball’s first WOOGY/walk specialist.

  271. 271
    Coop Says:

    I like Hanson to Cleveland.

  272. 272
    RobBroad4th Says:

    It’s an official game now. Is the rain expected to move?

  273. 273
    Piers Says:

    Well, I’m already irrationally excited for the Kris Medlen as a starter era.

  274. 274
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Not sure Delgado’s hit a wall, exactly. I just think he hasn’t put it all together. I don’t see a real clear trend to Randall’s season.

    His ERA at the end of May was 4.58; at the end of June, it was 4:52; right now it stands at 4.42. He’s pitching like a perfectly adequate 5th starter. I prefer to think of it as growing pains.

  275. 275
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Medlen is a better pitcher than Maholm and I’d rather have to rely on him in a playoff start. And given the way he has pitched in his last four starts, if one really does believe in the hot hand theory it is hard to argue that Maholm is “way ahead” of Minor. And do I really have more faith in Maholm–MAHOLM–than Tim Hudson? No way. Sheets, Hudson, Medlen and whichever of Maholm and Minor pitch better from here on out. I bet Delgado can be a good long man out of the pen.

  276. 276
    Bethany Says:

    Medlen knows how to win, obviously.

  277. 277
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Joe, that would be a good problem to have if it worked out that way. Right now, we’re painfully thin on warm bodies, particularly considering that Hanson just got DL’ed. If we go to the playoffs with 6 good starters, we can count our blessings. History doesn’t suggest it’ll work out that way.

    Good Lord, Dan Uggla looks bad at the plate.

  278. 278
    Piers Says:

    That wasn’t even an Eric Gregg strike.

    (Okay, yes it was.)

  279. 279
    spike Says:

    Already stopped raining here

  280. 280
    krussell Says:

    We can get through the playoffs with just 2 good starters – getting there is going to be the trick. I think we needed the depth Maholm provides. It’s clear that Hanson’s arm is deteriorating in some way (erratic location and lost velocity usually means rotator cuff). Hudson and Sheets are lucky to go 6 innings. We’re gonna probably need help from Delgado and/or Teheran to fill out the middle-inning relief corp.

  281. 281
    Piers Says:

    Well, while we’re on rain delay, be sure to enjoy SI’s power rankings.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/07/30/fangraphs-power-rankings-week-16/index.html?sct=mlb_bf3_a3

    Among the highlights: Red Sox 11 places above the Athletics, Brewers just above the Pirates (despite being 12 games back of them in the standings). It’s ‘scientific’ formulas like this that make sabermetrics look bad…

  282. 282
    Dan Says:

    Not a ‘believer’ in Delgado. Obviously, the Braves feel the same way: he was the one sent to the minors even though his stats were better than Minor’s. Minor seems to be rewarding the team’s faith in him too.

  283. 283
    sansho1 Says:

    @256

    Good stuff, iceberg. I’ve taken to defending stolen bases on a more aesthetic level. Since it makes comparatively little difference whether the team runs much or not (as long as the SB% is within an acceptable range), it’s more fun watching speed than lack of same….

  284. 284
    PaulV Says:

    Will Medlin be able to resume pitching after rain (57 pitches so far)? Nolasco is done at 105.

  285. 285
    spike Says:

    Back to hard rain and lightning.

  286. 286
    Piers Says:

    @284 – Probably, but I’m betting that Fredi won’t want to risk him in his first start?

  287. 287
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    No way they send Medlen back out there after the delay (assuming they start it back up again.)

  288. 288
    Smitty Says:

    Dave Justice was a good player

  289. 289
    iceberg584 Says:

    @283

    …It’s definitely as exciting play, especially in an obvious steal situation with someone like Bourn or Heyward on first. I also acknowledge the less tangible impacts that speed on the basepaths can have on the opposition, I just think you need to steal A LOT of bases with an overwhelmingly high success rate for it to really impact the team’s offensive success over the long term.

  290. 290
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If the Braves had not (foolishly) traded Justice away (and opted to keep McGriff instead) David Justice would have had his number retired in Atlanta. He’s borderline HOF good.

  291. 291
    Dan Says:

    Getting really sick of ‘In My Own Words: Justice/Schuerholz/Glavine.’ At least the Francoeur one went away.

    Bring back The Andy Griffith Show, or even the Turner South days of Junkin’.

  292. 292
    Adam M Says:

    Maholm as the team’s second best starter? Well, they won’t do much in the postseason then. Still, after Sheets and Hanson inevitably fold up shop before the season ends, it will be useful to have him around.

  293. 293
    Smitty Says:

    @290

    Well, it really worked out for both sides.

  294. 294
    Smitty Says:

    @292

    I would say he is our 3-4 best right now. He is pitching very well of late.

  295. 295
    spike Says:

    I am pretty sure they will get the game in – this is going to be a minute though.

  296. 296
    krussell Says:

    Anyone got any update on Simmons’ progress and expected return date?

  297. 297
    Bethany Says:

    They said Simmons was hitting in the cage and that he’s about 3 weeks away.

  298. 298
    PaulV Says:

    @297 Keep winning so he does not come back too soon,

  299. 299
    Dan Says:

    The Braves’ announcers said a couple of days ago that Simmons’ earliest return date would be August 19th.

  300. 300
    Piers Says:

    Cubs without a hit through 6.

  301. 301
    sdp Says:

    You know Michael Phelps gets all the ass he wants.

  302. 302
    Bethany Says:

    @301 Really? Dude is funny looking. The kind of “ass” that goes after that is the same kind of “ass” that will follow you home after a drink.

  303. 303
    sdp Says:

    lol, I was mostly being facetious. Although I hear they pass out condoms like bottles of water at the Olympic village.

  304. 304
    Adam R Says:

    My pet theory is that women don’t pay attention to the faces of tall, well-built guys. The attraction is already there.

    I mean, I certainly wouldn’t know…

  305. 305
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Tweaked up, super athletic 20-something want to f*ck? Shocking.

  306. 306
    Brian J. Says:

    Cubs still have no hits through seven.

  307. 307
    Mike N. Says:

    Yea, I figure he’s at the same level as Sidney Crosby back in 2008. After he scored the goal against the US he could have had any girl he wanted in Canada.

    I went to Georgia Tech, which now uses the Olympic Village as campus apartments. Never lived there but hung out there a lot. I never thought about it until a few days ago, but there were probably so many athletes boning in the very same rooms I used to hang out in.

  308. 308
    Mike N. Says:

    Sidney Crosby in 2010, I mean. Not 2008

  309. 309
    Dan Says:

    Cubs still have no hits through seven.

    Can’t imagine Yankee fans are happy that it’s Burnett.

  310. 310
    Brian J. Says:

    Hit in Chicago- Burnett hit Darwin Barney right on the helmet. Barney ducked right into it. Leaving the game, probably wondering when someone’s gonna answer that phone.

  311. 311
    Brian J. Says:

    No-hitter gone after 7 2/3.

  312. 312
    Brian J. Says:

    We’re back. Cory’s off to a fine start.

  313. 313
    Dan Says:

    Did Caray just refer to Jack Wilson as part of an “embarrassment of riches” of “good short stops on this Braves club”?

  314. 314
    PaulV Says:

    So is Tyler

  315. 315
    PaulV Says:

    Off to a good start, that is

  316. 316
    Brian J. Says:

    Dan, you have to admit that he is one of the best fourth-stringers you’ll ever see.

    And so is Jack Wilson.

  317. 317
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Evan Gattis has homered, tripled and waled in 5 PAs for M-Braves tonight. Could get another AB in the ninth.

  318. 318
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    *walked, obviously.

  319. 319
    krussell Says:

    Pastoryicketty?

  320. 320
    PaulV Says:

    How big a lead is needed to let TP play some SS? More tha 5 it seems.

  321. 321
    braves14 Says:

    Washington lost so if the Braves hold on they move to 2.5 GB.

  322. 322
    braves14 Says:

    That is the ugliest catcher’s mask I’ve ever seen.

  323. 323
    braves14 Says:

    Fun Marlins Fact: The only guy in the Marlins’ current lineup that would start for the Braves is Jose Reyes.

  324. 324
    PaulV Says:

    not when Simmons gets back

  325. 325
    RobBroad4th Says:

    The Marlins are so pitiful.

  326. 326
    krussell Says:

    I don’t think I could name more than 2 or 3 Marlins without looking up their current roster.

  327. 327
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Selig to retire after 2014 season.

  328. 328
    Scump Says:

    Hibernation mode seems to have gone into, well, hibernation recently. I am all for this change.

  329. 329
    csg Says:

    Somehow Evan Gattis will make his way onto one of those “most interesting man in the world” commercials.

  330. 330
    Scump Says:

    Wow. I did not expect to see JJ come in at this point. May as well use him though.

  331. 331
    Brian J. Says:

    327- From the same article:

    This latest news apparently contradicts Selig’s statement from this past January, when he said he’d step aside at the end of the current season despite pressure from a small group of owners who wanted him to continue to lead the sport. …

    Selig agreed to a three-year extension as commissioner in 2008 after intimating he might leave his post. The owners also swayed his decision to stay on past the 2006 season after he previously indicated his intention to retire.

    Of course, Bobby Cox did eventually retire…

  332. 332
    c. shorter Says:

    When’s he ever going to get to the UW History department to write his memoirs?!

  333. 333
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Bud Favre.

  334. 334
    c. shorter Says:

    ha

  335. 335
    Dan Says:

    Harper hitting .171 since the All-Star break, and may even get benched when Werth returns soon. What a showing for this sure-fire Hall of Famer.

  336. 336
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @331, I didn’t realize it was an ongoing discussion. It’ll be very interesting to see what the next commissioner does, if anything. Eventually.

  337. 337
    Ryan c Says:

    Anyone know anything about Juan Francisco’s mandatory workouts with Greg Walker that has completely turned his batting approach around? Also, anyone know why Chipper calls Juan “Roadrunner”?

  338. 338
    Nathan Says:

    #337: I think it’s because Francisco is so thin and never says anything but ‘beep beep’.

  339. 339
    Bethany Says:

    Men care way more about their bodies than women do.

  340. 340
    PaulV Says:

    @ 339 Than women care about their own bodies or men’s bodies? I never had a sister so I have no clue as usual.

  341. 341
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think stolen bases are not the most important aspect of speed. I think things like the ability to get from first to third or scoring from first on a double have a significant effect. Speed puts pressure on the defense to make perfect plays. I know Keith Law pooh-poohs the importance of speed but, at worst, it adds value to a player. And it’s a lot more fun to watch a Bourn whipping around the bases.

  342. 342
    Adam M Says:

    @332

    Well, he’s sponsoring (or his estate is sponsoring) a new hire for the department in sports history, and I believe the call goes out this year, so he’ll be around for that. Plus, there’s going to be a new PA-ship for his memoirs, though I don’t know if that happens soon. As a sidenote, he is also sponsoring a sports history lecture series; I am no longer in the department, but my girlfriend is, so I can let you know when the talks happen.

  343. 343
    Smitty Says:

    @341

    Keith Law is a tool

  344. 344
    Rusty S. Says:

    @317 – I liked it better when I thought Gattis waled. :)

    @319 – I give Pastoryicketty my full endorsement.

  345. 345
    sdp Says:

    I wish we could get the internet to band together and send Keith Law an Olive Garden gift card.

  346. 346
    W.C.G. Says:

    Does Gattis get a September call-up? I’m really intrigued by the idea of him as a bench bat given what we’re currently working with in that department.

  347. 347
    sdp Says:

    Gattis would have to be added to the 40-man roster. It’s currently sitting at 38 (if my count is right) so it’s a good possibility he gets a cup of coffee in September.

  348. 348
    Smitty Says:

    I think Gattis will need to get some ABs at AAA before they cal him up.

    It is more important that he get as many ABs as possilbe at this point.

  349. 349
    cliff Says:

    @348,

    But, the AAA season usually ends around September 8 to 10, thus meaning Gattis could play every day in the minors and then still impact the ML club in September.

    But, if he continues to hit like this, he is moving up.

    Hoping for him to be a lesser fielding, better hitting version of Eli Marerro. He CAN catch, and might every once and a while, but mainly in left field and mashing.

  350. 350
    csg Says:

    Not sure what his defense would look like, but Gattis could be a cheap option for LF and possibly give us enough funds to keep Bourn in ATL.

  351. 351
    Bethany Says:

    I got fired today.

  352. 352
    csg Says:

    #351 – So sorry to hear that Bethany.

  353. 353
    Dan Says:

    http://www.sadtrombone.com/

  354. 354
    Stu Says:

    Ugh, I’m sorry, Bethany. As talented as you are, I have no doubt that you’ll land on your feet, but I know the feeling and it sucks.

  355. 355
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Recapped.

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