Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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30 Jan

Farewell to Martin Prado (by smitty)

From the editor: Smitty wrote this right after the Upton trade. Also: THE EDIT BUTTON IS BACK. All praise goes to Hap, who doggedly tested the functionality. Please thank him.

I am not going to lie. Martin Prado was one of my all time favorite Braves and I am sad to see him go.

Prado was signed as a 16 year old free agent out of Maracay, Venezuela in 2001. After playing a few years of development league ball, Prado joined the Braves organization in 2003.

While never showing a lot of power or speed in the minor leagues, Prado demonstrated that he could hit for average and get on base a decent clip. But there was never any real talk of him being a top prospect.

In 2006-2008 Prado spent most of his time going from AAA to Atlanta and back. Prado just seemed to be one of those filler guys that did a lot of little things okay, but nothing great. In fact, his first claim to fame on Braves Journal was anytime a player miss played a ball, but it was ruled a hit, we called it a Prado.

So in 2009 when Kelly Johnson went down with an injury, no one gave Prado much of a chance to do anything. That may have actually played to his advantage, because Prado not only played very well, he forced Bobby to leave KJ on the bench when he recovered.

Prado continued his excellent play in 2010 and was named to the All-Star team. However, that off season the Braves traded for Dan Uggla and shipped Prado out to left field.

Since then Prado has played just about anywhere he was needed, without complaint. He was what Bobby Cox called a “gamer.” He was always a tough out and played hard. He is the type of player you wish your entire roster was comprised of.

Upon hearing the news, Atlanta resident Elton John, out of grief, updated Candle in the Wind.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Elton John…

Goodbye Martin Prado.
Though I never knew at all,
You once dated a girl I knew.
She said you were really cool.
You crawled out of the farm system
And Bobby whispered into your brain
He sent you out to second
And then he made you change your game

And it seems to me you played your game
Like a man without a position
Never knowing which glove to bring
When Chipper sprained a knee
And I would have liked to have known who
Said you couldn’t play short
You did much better than
Pastorstinky ever did.

Utility man is tough
The toughest role you ever played
Bobby Cox created a supersub
And an All-Star is what you became
Even when you kicked a ball
Oh Mac still lauded you
All that he had to say
Was that Prado was better than you.

147 Responses to “Farewell to Martin Prado (by smitty)”

  1. 1
    Coop Says:

    Many, many thanks, Hap. And to you also, Smitty.

  2. 2
    Johnny Says:

    Great post. Losing Martin is tough. Someone mentioned that he was Mac’s favorite. I really appreciated his professionalism. I hope he does well in AZ. In fact I wish all of them well. Hanson, Jurrjens, Prado, Bourne, Durbin, Rossy. They were all integral parts of the teams success the past few years.

    And thanks Hap. If you type as poorly as I do, an edit button is as essential a backspace key.

  3. 3
    Seat Painter Says:

    Hap is my new hero.

    Edit: Yup, it’s baaaaack!

  4. 4
    Remy Says:

    I’ll miss Prado, but we still have this 2011 commercial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7LX86FhMaw

    Thanks, Hap, for making us look good.

    Edit: Smitty, that Elton John reference cracked me up!

  5. 5
    Dan Says:

    Hap came through in the clutch.

  6. 6
    Nick Says:

    By the way, Stu, I really don’t know how your guy managed to miss that tip-in at the end, but I’m glad he did. We are totally not winning at your place. Not if we play like that, anyway. Of course, I don’t know why I’m worried about it. This team isn’t going anywhere. I guess I’m grasping at straws until baseball season after the Falcons loss…heh.

    EDIT: Yay!!! I can edit!!! Hap should be nominated for a Nobel Prize!

  7. 7
    kc Says:

    Who doesn’t like Prado?

  8. 8
    Hap Says:

    Thanks everyone for the thanks (that sounds really weird). Smitty, I love the Elton John re-write. The only thing that would make it better is if Mac were here to make a video of it.

  9. 9
    Smitty Says:

    Nick @6,

    I don’t get Cuanzo. They have a thin bench and play this stupid man to man all game. They are worn down by the end and have let a couple of teams back in the game.

    I know they don’t have a point guard, but you have to work the ball into Stokes more. He is having to score off of rebounds.

    I know losing Maymon hurts, but this team should be in a better spot than they are currently.

    Next year will be a big year for Cuanzo.

  10. 10
    Stu Says:

    6—I don’t know why anyone in the SEC, apart from Florida, is even allowed to play games this year. This league is sooooooo bad. There’s no way we’re good enough to be two shots and one laughable shot-clock-violation non-call away from 5-2, but that’s where we are. We should be good again next year, but the awfulness of the league is masking just how bad we are, to some extent.

    And yes, Cuonzo seems to be a bit in over his head. That team isn’t nearly as good as it ought to be, even without Maymon.

  11. 11
    JonathanF Says:

    Excellent job,smitty. But didn’t Billy Joel give up his allegiance to the Yankees to update his lyrics as well to celebrate Martin’s replacement?

    Upton World
    I’m now living in Upton World
    I bet they never were on the same team
    Its definitely their mama’s dream
    I’m gonna head out to

    Upton World
    No more Phoenix or Tampa whirl
    As long as anyone with a hot bat can
    And now they’re looking for adoring fans
    That’s what we am

    And when they hear Turner Field
    as they bat
    Then they will know
    How line drives go
    They’ll see its not so tough
    To be loved
    We’re in love with the

    Upton Boys
    You know we’re ready for some playoff noise
    We’re getting tired of a playoff loss
    We’ve got the thumpers to make Braves the Boss
    Bossman up….

    etc, etc.

  12. 12
    Jeff K Says:

    Ah, the edit button …

  13. 13
    Smitty Says:

    @10

    I agree Stu. Vandy shouldn’t have been within ten points of this team in Knoxville.

    The only thing holding Stokes back from being the best player in the league is Cuanzo. Until the last few games, it looked like Stokes had taken a step back.

    All I hear is that the kid has a great work ethic and wants to learn. There is no reason he shouldn’t have 25-15 games all the time.

    Last night, Stokes (the best rebounder in the SEC) wasn’t in the game on the last play. Kenny Hall, who couldn’t guard a wet bag, was in there for Stokes. Vandy had multiple attempts to win at the end. Gotta think Stokes gets a board there.

  14. 14
    Smitty Says:

    @11

    That’s funny

  15. 15
    Seat Painter Says:

    Does anyone other than me imagine hearing Weird Al Yankovic singing those two songs?

  16. 16
    justhank Says:

    My only fear about the Upton trade is that we’ll hit a stretch where it will seem like we can’t get anyone in from second because we don’t have anyone who hits behind the runner or make a productive out.

    Prado is great at that part of baseball. (Bill James says he is the best.)

    And, yes, Weird Al would be a great choice.

  17. 17
    c. shorter Says:

    They’ll be too busy killing rallies by hitting bombs into Upton Abbey.

  18. 18
    oldtimer? Says:

    I hope Prado doesnt sign an extension in Arizona and comes back to us next year to play third.

  19. 19
    Stu Says:

    13—Stokes is a beast, but I think the fact that he doesn’t (can’t?) play much D is a lot of what keeps him from being the league’s best player. And the one thing Cuonzo definitely knows is D, so I don’t blame that on him.

  20. 20
    DJ Says:

    @19 – Cant? Or doesn’t have a coach that utilizes his strengths and works on his weaknesses? He’s certainly not fleet of foot, but I think any SEC coach would name Stokes as one of the 2-3 guys he’d love to have on his team. He’s a beast.

    And I agree that SEC basketball is garbage this year sans Florida. I really hope b/t now and the beginning of March some of the mediocre teams become good. Alabama is capable. So are Ole Miss and Kentucky.

  21. 21
    Stu Says:

    I think Missouri is most capable, followed by Bama, UK, and Ole Miss.

    And, yes, I said he’s a beast. He’s pretty freaking limited, defensively, though.

  22. 22
    DJ Says:

    Yep forgot about Mizzou. Good call.

  23. 23
    Smitty Says:

    @19

    Oh no doubt he isn’t a great defender and they do nothing to help him. Cuanzo doesn’t have anyone on staff that is teaching him much of anything.

    I honestly feel like Cuanzo thinks playing D is all about effort level.

    Their defense is all man and taking away the entry pass. Good coaches (like Stallings) can get around that all day. Plus, teams hold the ball and force them to work for 20+ seconds.
    The scheme they run on offense is high school level and by the end of the game they are taking terrible shots because they are exhausted. This team has at least three guys that should be in the 13-20 point range every night, no issues.

  24. 24
    mravery Says:

    @10- I agree about the SEC this year. The Ole Miss/KY game yesterday was…. Well, it was something. There was just no defense at all.

    As a Florida fan, I love watching UF blow people out, but at the same time, I worry the quality of SEC play this year is just so bad that UF is getting overrated. Their guards are undersized, and outside of Young, they don’t have anyone who can match up well with an elite big down low. Murphy can bump bodies, but he’s about as quick as you’d expect a white PF who shoots well from the outside to be. I just feel that they’re vulnerable to highly athletic teams that can attack the hoop and close out well on 3-point shots.

    It’s a really fun team to watch, but I wonder if they’re getting overrated by killing everyone in the SEC….

  25. 25
    Smitty Says:

    I say the SEC gets UK, UF, Ole Miss and Mizzou in the tournament. I also could see a team coming out of no where (Vandy?) and winning the league tournament.

  26. 26
    td Says:

    I’ve gotta’ say that I’ve watched UT play two times against Alabama now and it is amazing how bad they’ve looked and how bad they’ve made Bama look. Both games have been incredibly frustrating. I can imagine watching UT as a fan over a full season would be excruciating. They play hard and seem to have talent, but the games I’ve seen have looked like total chaos.

  27. 27
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Hap, you are the Man!
    Many thanks.

  28. 28
    Stu Says:

    24—Well…Pomeroy’s numbers are adjusted for strength of competition. After adjusting, efficiency-wise, he has the Gators as the best defense and second-best offense in the country.

    That’ll play in any conference.

  29. 29
    csg Says:

    The Braves didn’t want to pay Prado $12 mil annually to play here. I don’t think that will change and he’s not going to change his demands

  30. 30
    Dan Says:

    I don’t think that will change and he’s not going to change his demands

    Well, Prado would if he stinks up the joint in Arizona in 2013. But then, if that happened, who’d still want him?

  31. 31
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’ve already forgotten about Martin Prado. I only held out multi-day separation anxiety for two departing players: Andruw Jones and Ryan Klesko. Should Prado resign next winter and put a tomahawk on his chest again, I’ll return to caring about Martin Prado.

  32. 32
    Smitty Says:

    @30

    The free agent class is terrible next year. Plus, there is a mass shortage of third basemen.

    Add that all up with Prado playing in a hitters park, I think he will get the $12 million from someone.

  33. 33
    Grst Says:

    @16 I think Heyward will be useful for that in the #2 hole. As a lefty, even if he rolls over one it still moves the runner over.

  34. 34
    Bethany Says:

    @33 I agree, I think Jason is a great fit for that spot in the lineup. But I don’t get worked up over lineup construction for the most part.

  35. 35
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @34 – so long as the 3B is not in the top half, eating up plate appearances that should go to a better OBP resource, all’s good.

  36. 36
    sdp Says:

    Hard to believe Mike Bourn is still without a team…

  37. 37
    mravery Says:

    Is there really a massive shortage of 3Bs? Or are we just returning to a more “normal” level of offense generated by 3Bs? It feels like having Rolen and ARod and of course Chipper, plus a few lesser guys, as offensive standouts at 3B these past 10-15 years has been something of an aberration. Aren’t 3Bs chronically underrepresented in the HoF?

    Also, Stu @24, things that account for stuff like strength of schedule are generally calibrated for matchups that are somewhat similar. That is to say, measurements between two unevenly matched teams will tend to be less accurate than ratings coming from two evenly-matched teams. So if you’re basing your ratings on data that is noisy, you’ll want to put less belief in those results. UF played a really good non-conference schedule and did pretty well with it. (That Arizona game was… weird.) But now it almost feels like when everyone hypes up a team from the Mountain West because they’re blowing out all the crappy teams they play. I just don’t fully trust Florida yet against elite-level athleticism is all. And for a team that starts only upper-classmen, they sure do seem to be able to choke.

  38. 38
    Smitty Says:

    @37
    I think it is a thin position, that’s why there are not a lot of available ones out there.

  39. 39
    ryan c Says:

    BJ has been quoted saying his goals coming to Atlanta are to decrease K rate and raise OBP. If he’s successful in doing so, he’d probably have numbers similar to that of the ’08 BJ, with a few more HRs due to park effect, which would be great from a leadoff hitter.

    Bill James’ predictions for J. Upton: .289/.372/.492
    Bill James’ predictions for M. Prado: .291/.347/.425

    Yes, farewell to Prado and I wish him well, but I’ll take Jupton’s potential any day.

  40. 40
    mravery Says:

    I hadn’t read this post by Pomroy before my last one, but I think this point is similar to what I was trying to say:

    http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/entry/evidence_that_scoring_margin_matters

  41. 41
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Sometimes there are a lot of third basemen, sometimes there are a lot of second basemen. It’s unclear why it is, but certain eras have a bunch of guys at a particular position and a paucity at another. In the ’80s, you had Brett and Schmidt and Boggs and even Horner. In the ’90s, you had Chipper and later Glaus and Rolen and Alex Rodriguez and even late-era Ripken and park-inflated V. Castilla and Travis Fryman and on and on.

    Part of the reason that there aren’t enough third basemen in the Hall is that Hall voters decided not to elect Ron Santo, despite the fact that he was eminently qualified, and there are a bunch of other guys on the cusp or are kinda sorta almost good enough, like Ken Boyer, Darrell Evans, Graig Nettles, and so forth.

  42. 42
    Jorge Says:

    Ole Miss isn’t a good basketball team this year. Decent record thanks to a soft schedule and the alluded to down year in the conference.

    They will still be a bubble team, and if they make it, they will not do the conference any favors when they play a decent non conference team and get smoked day one.

  43. 43
    Stu Says:

    37 & 40—Seems like you might be missing what goes into Pomeroy’s ratings. (Or I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying.) They’re all about efficiency — points per possession — and include every team in the country. As the season goes on, it gets more and more accurate (more games = more teams playing against each other and improving the overall data pool), but it’s late enough that it’s statistically significant.

    I’m not talking about W/L when I talk about strength of schedule. I’m talking about nation-wide efficiency metrics. Florida has been AWESOME this year, on a per-possession basis, adjusted for the competition they’ve played.

  44. 44
    sansho1 Says:

    The lack of 3Bs in the Hall has a lot to do with its perceived status as a primarily defensive position for the first 75 years of organized baseball. Here are Bill James’ top 5 3Bs who debuted prior to Eddie Mathews in 1952:

    1) Home Run Baker
    2) Stan Hack
    3) Al Rosen
    4) Pie Traynor
    5) Jimmy Collins

    After that, you’re looking at Bob Elliott, Tommie Leach, Heinie Groh…very good players, but none of the legendary stature of a similar list at any other position.

    (This post has been Hap’d three times already!)

  45. 45
    justhank Says:

    Bethany @34 – interesting point about lineup construction – might deserve it’s own analysis. (I nominate you.)

    I’m such a cause-and-effect guy that I obsess on such things as who follows who, whether you should take a strike or swing at the first hittable fastball you see and on and on and on.

    I just think baseball is the ultimate Butterfly Effect. Freaking everything matters. So when Skip (God rest his merry soul) talked about how such and such would have happened when Gerald Perry got his occasional hit I’m literally yelling at the blurry tube-lit screen that “everything would have been different!!”

    Yeah. I’m weird. But I still believe that everything matters and that one of the things that separates average managers from good managers is how adroitly they construct their batting orders.

    It’s why LaRussa kept tinkering and damn if he didn’t end up in a lot of World Series with a mid-market budget.

    Some guys (maybe most) respond better when they have a defined role. (That’s why I’m a fan of at least trying Uggla at leadoff.)

    Chipper, for example, was a jealous god when it came to hitting third. He knew what that role meant. And, when healthy, was perhaps the best steward of it than anyone.

    Marteen was the perfect two-hole hitter – especially when Bourn got on base. Whatever the Braves needed at that moment in time was what he tried to deliver. It was never about him.

    Oh, well. New day, new constructs. Can’t wait to see how they play out.

  46. 46
    PaulV Says:

    UF killed my UVA team in tournament last year and were impressive. UVA was missing 2 good players with injuries, Sene and Brogdon and Harris played with a broken hand. Still we were shocked at how well they played. UVA pack line has worked well against UNC and NCState.

  47. 47
    justhank Says:

    Pack-line defense against Gators is very risky with all their accomplished 3-point shooters.

  48. 48
    Mark Grogan Says:

    justhank, I agree with you 100%, I only need to look up the Butterfly Effect. Everything matters in baseball. I think that is one reason Weaver loved the 3 run homer, it cures a lot of ills.

  49. 49
    jjschiller Says:

    It just occured to me that the Dbacks signed Hinske in December. So Martin will have some company over there.

  50. 50
    ububba Says:

    Thanks, Hap.

    Somehow I think of the Edit Button as the short-term cure for the drunk post.

  51. 51
    spike Says:

    More of a typo and autocorrect genie for me – the drunk posts are usually the only ones worth keeping anyway.

  52. 52
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Bqhatevwr.

  53. 53
    mravery Says:

    Stu @43- I’m just saying that when your data is coming from games where there will be more noise due to the teams just not being very similar in terms of skill, the conclusions you draw from it will similarly be more uncertain. Pomroy comes to a similar conclusion in the blog post I linked above, albeit for a much more specific case, namely that of using point differential to predict future results.

    When I look at Florida, I see a veteran team that is extremely unselfish, can execute its offense very well, can shoot the 3 very well when they’re wide open, and has a ton of energy on defense, leading to very few open looks. I also see a group that relies heavily on the jump shot, is undersized, using three guards under 6’4″ almost always, and can’t create its own shot. There’s almost no depth up front, with the 3rd “big” being the 6’7″ Will Yguette (who I absolutely love to watch, don’t get me wrong!). The offense hums along, but it relies on great ball movement to get open looks and and a quick transition game to get easy buckets at the rim. A team with size that gets back on D would represent real trouble for UF. Come tournament time, if Patrick Young gets in foul trouble against a team with a decent big, they’re pretty screwed. A big ball-dominating guard could give this team fits.

    As long as their playing college-level players, Florida is an elite team. But I think they’ll have real trouble against a team with NBA-level talent. I’m not exactly sure who that is at this point (and in the SEC, it’s KY or no one), but they’re certainly lurking somewhere.

    Edit: because I can

  54. 54
    sansho1 Says:

    UGA being smack in the middle of the conference standings is as big an indictment of the quality of SEC play this year as I can imagine.

  55. 55
    Dix Says:

    Florida is ridiculous so far this year. I’ll take the moral victory of our #1 ranking while we still have it. The last time Michigan was ranked #1 never really happened so this is a first for me. UF is gonna be scary in the tournament.

  56. 56
    ububba Says:

    I watched a UGA/Iona game a couple months ago. Iona won in OT. Somehow the Dogs missed 17 free-throws, including 9 in OT. That’s hard to do.

    #51
    Yeah, I’ve gone back & looked at soggy posts the next day & thought, “Well, that wasn’t half-bad…”

  57. 57
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    The contorted logic Nats fans are coming up with to try and explain away the Gio story is almost heartwarming.

    I’d thought it highly unlikely that Gio gets suspended this year, but the picture that he posted in November of himself with his arm around Goins–describing him as his offseason strength coach–gives me pause. Even if Gio was always careful to use his dad as the mule with Bosch, if the Feds get involved Goins will flip (those guys always do).

  58. 58
    PaulV Says:

    @57 If Gio stops using would he suffer mentally or physically? Will reporters hound him like Mad Dog Melky?

  59. 59
    desert Says:

    @58, probably a combination of both. He’s picked up quite a bit of velocity on his fastball over the last three years:

    2008: 89.7 mph
    2009: 91.6 mph
    2010: 92.2 mph
    2011: 92.0 mph
    2012: 93.3 mph

    That’s (according to Dave Cameron; I know little about these things) apparently not what’s supposed to happen to a pitcher that just turned 27. I guess it’s normal for velocity to be lost and abnormal for velocity to stay the same, but highly abnormal for a velocity gain (assuming starting responsibilities). For example, compare to Felix Hernandez (4 months older than Gio):

    2007: 96.3 mph
    2008: 94.5 mph
    2009: 93.8 mph
    2010: 94.4 mph
    2011: 93.4 mph
    2012: 92.4 mph

    Or even Clayton Kershaw:

    2008: 94.3 mph
    2009: 94.0 mph
    2010: 92.5 mph
    2011: 93.2 mph
    2012: 93.0 mph

    In a prediction completely devoid of any actual evidence, I’m also going to say that David Price may be linked to steroid use in the upcoming years.

    Also: HOLY CRAP WELCOME BACK LOVELY EDIT BUTTON. Hap 2016!!! Solving our nation’s biggest problems, one edit at a time!

  60. 60
    beege Says:

    ‘Soggy Post’ is an excellent turn of phrase. I want to learn an instrument and call my band that.

  61. 61
    Rusty S. Says:

    http://misterirrelevant.com/index.php/2013/01/29/gio-gonzalez-ped-clinic-miam/

    There’s at least one report that says that what Gio is linked to is not, in fact, banned.

  62. 62
    ryan c Says:

    DOB thinks we’re still in the market for a LH bench bat/clubhouse leader type. Here are the LH bench bats left on the market (I don’t know enough about them personally to call them clubhouse leaders). I’m guessing the Braves would want some pop out of the bat so I’ll leave out the Willie Harris’ of the world.

    Bobby Abreu
    Johnny Damon
    Jim Thome
    Jason Giambi

    Truthfully, I’d take any of these guys on a 1/1-1.5 million dollar deal, not expecting anything but a decent AB off the bench and a random spot start at 1b to rest Freeman. Thoughts?

  63. 63
    sdp Says:

    Why did Gio pay $1,000 for something you can get at GNC or another supplement retailer and risk having his name associated with the likes of A-Rod, Melk Dud, and Big Ass Bart? I don’t think he is a user, but he has a lot of answering to do.

  64. 64
    sdp Says:

    Why did Gio pay $1,000 for something you can get at GNC or another supplement retailer and risk having his name associated with the likes of A-Rod, Melk Dud, and Big Ass Bart? I don’t think he is a user, but he has a lot of answering to do.

  65. 65
    Brian J. Says:

    Thank you for the edit button, Hap. And thanks for the article, Smitty. And thanks for the memories, Martin- I’ll miss you until we next play the Diamondbacks. (And thanks again for the edit button, Hap, since i’ve used it twice.)

    Ryan, that’s not a bad idea- especially since it’ll make it much more difficult for Fredlot to inflict another “Summer of George” on us. I’d take Thome out of that group.

  66. 66
    td Says:

    @62 – I think I’d rather pass and go with Gattis, however, if we go with the roster as currently projected, who is our backup first baseman?

  67. 67
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Giambi retired, and has shown nothing to suggest we should ask him to unretire. Of those listed, Thome seems the most useful. All of them are old and limited in the extreme.

  68. 68
    JonathanF Says:

    On behalf of the other old and limited, I take umbrage at that remark — they’re not nearly as old or limited as I am.

  69. 69
    desert Says:

    @61, So we’ve gotten from Gio unequivocally denying ever meeting Tony (or using any substance given to him by Tony) to Gio using a legal substance. So then why wouldn’t Gio not just come clean and admit to using a non-banned substance? We’ll see where the Nationals’ story is at next week.

    @64, if you pick something randomly out of a GNC, chances are it’ll be banned in some professional sports league.

  70. 70
    ryan c Says:

    I don’t see anything about Giambi being retired. And yes, they are old, but they still have use off the bench, especially considering our LH bench bat will be Constanza.

    There is another way to look at it and that is Fat Juan is already our LH bench bat since he’s the platoon partner.

  71. 71
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Giambi wanted the Rockies manager position that went to Walt Weiss. He said he wanted to continue playing otherwise, but the Rox wanted him to retire and be their hitting coach.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/08/rockies-want-jason-giambi-to-retire-as-a-player-and-become-their-hitting-coach/

  72. 72
    justhank Says:

    We’re missing the point. Whatever Melky took to go from fat and sucks at baseball to buff All-Star is SOMETHING I WANT!

    Seriously, what’s in Deer Antler Spray?

  73. 73
    Remy Says:

    Why would you want to use something that turns your grapes into raisins?

  74. 74
    justhank Says:

    This just in: the SEC has announced a scheduling change for the Fall 2013 season. Vanderbilt, previously not on Alabama’s 2013 schedule will travel to Tuscaloosa for an early September clash.

  75. 75
    jjschiller Says:

    I think the Braves should be in on a starting pitcher.

    Franklin Rabon has an article up at Capitol Avenue Club about Teheran and our starting pitching depth, and I think he’s got a point.

    If Teheran isn’t ready (and it’s fair to think he might not be, he’s still only 22,) or if Huddy has a back or ankle issue again, or if this year is Minor’s turn to go down with his mandatory TJ surgery, or Maholm turns back into, well, Paul Maholm, (and, by the way, Kris Medlen’s never pitched a full slate of starts,) then our starting pitching depth goes: Sean Gilmartin, JR Graham, and 28 year old former Mexican leaguer Daniel Rodriguez.

    Last season we had 7 starters: Hudson, Hanson, Jurjjens, Minor, Beachy, Delgado and Teheran.. and still needed to sign Sheets, trade for Maholm, and convert Medlen.

    I know they want to “finally” graduate Teheran. But I think if we signed someone to slot ahead of him, then even as the 6th starter, there’s a good chance he’d find 15 starts.

    Javy Vazquez comes to mind…

  76. 76
    Stu Says:

    75—Totally agree.

  77. 77
    Rusty S. Says:

    @69 – Yeah, I’m waiting for the always humorous “I never met him, and besides it was legal” defense.

  78. 78
    ububba Says:

    Why did I wake up today humming “Candle in the Wind”?

    Must stop. Must stop…

  79. 79
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    @61– That report is pretty silly. Of the five entries Gio is named in, one lists a few substances that might not be banned, but the other entries clearly imply that they were used in conjunction with creams, including Bosch’s special pink cream that included at least 3% steroids.

    @63– Why wouldn’t you think Gio is a user? The main argument Nats fans use is that he is otherwise demonstrably a nice guy. But I’ve never understood that argument. Kind, generous and even otherwise ethical people are found to cheat all the time.

  80. 80
    Smitty Says:

    @75

    I agree, I also like the idea of adding a left handed bench bat.

    Who backs up Freeman?

  81. 81
    PaulV Says:

    Johnson played one game as a 1B for Arizona FWIW.

  82. 82
    justhank Says:

    With the outfield hopefully established for the next five years, gotta decide where to put Gattis.

    Would he be a decent candidate at 1B?

  83. 83
    PaulV Says:

    10-15 games/year @ 1b? Catcher is a bigger need?

  84. 84
    ryan c Says:

    If the braves continue to add starting pitching then this “depth” that we constantly hear about never gets a real chance. I don’t like the idea of adding a starting pitcher at all. There are many alternatives to Teheran if he’s not successful, but, like Minor, he deserves the chance to adjust.

  85. 85
    jjschiller Says:

    We traded away our depth. We traded Vizcaino, we traded Delgado, we traded Spruill, we traded JJ Hoover.

    We have a starting five, plus Gilmartin (27 games above A-Ball), Graham (9 games above A-Ball) and Roderiguez (28 yo, Mexican league experience only.)

    We used 10 starting pitcher’s last season. That’s only 8. And if Jorge Campillo 2.0 makes 9 starts, ala Ben Sheets, we’re not looking good.

  86. 86
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m not aghast at an insurance policy signing, behind Teheran, but that’s what it should be. You don’t sign Vazquez and tell him he’s in the rotation. You have to give Teheran the opportunity to start at some point.

    If you don’t sign an insurance plan and Teheran falters, or Hudson gets hurt, or whatever, you give Chrishian Martinez an emergency start and find this season’s Paul Maholm on the trade market.

  87. 87
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The Braves are also a lot higher on the guy they signed from the Mexican League than most of us here.

  88. 88
    Stu Says:

    Well, I would hope he can outpitch most of us here.

  89. 89
    jjschiller Says:

    I’m fine with this-year’s-Miguel-Batista to stash in AAA. I’d just be more fine with it in conjunction with a major league starter.

    Signing Javy Vazguez, or someone like him, doesn’t block Teheran unless you really expect to get through the season with 5 starters. I
    think it’s reasonable to expect 12-15 starts from a 6th starter this season.

    I guess we’ll have Beachy coming back mid season. But anything he gives us is going to have to be considered gravy. What Medlen did for us last season was a full year longer removed from surgery than Beachy will be this season.

    We could trade for this-year’s-Paul-Maholm, but we’re running out of “extra” prospects.

    But I guess the plan is to give Teheran a chance to prove he deserves the spot, so we know if we can let Huddy or Maholm (or both) walk after the season, as both are FAs. If Teheran takes the job and runs with it, plus Beachy coming back, you could let one walk and have Beachy, Medlen, Minor, Huddy (Maholm) and Teheran. Or, if everyone clicks, let both walk and take the opportunity to break Graham and Gilmartin tag-team style ala Teheran/Delgado.

    But we’ve got a 3 year window here. Maybe a 1 year window if McCann hits his way to a payday we can’t afford. We can’t afford any lost-season’s like during the Texeira period. All the hitting in the world.. Jorge Campillo in the rotation.

  90. 90
    Smitty Says:

    Stu,

    You’ve never seen my change up.

  91. 91
    ryan c Says:

    Seriously…there isn’t a single starting pitcher that we could sign, stash at AAA, and not complain about if he was given an opportunity to start an actual major league game. Candidates?

  92. 92
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @75, I agree wholeheartedly. I think this might be the first time since Wren joined the Braves that our starting pitching is our weakest area.

  93. 93
    mravery Says:

    I’m pretty sure if there was a SP candidate out there that we wouldn’t complain about, someone would’ve signed him at this point. :-)

  94. 94
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The first year Jorge Campillo was called up, he was quite effective.

  95. 95
    Smitty Says:

    @92

    Our starters were a weakness for the first half of last year.

  96. 96
    Ethan Says:

    Prado 4 year extension w/D-Backs…

  97. 97
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Right. We went a half a year with Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson in the rotation.

  98. 98
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @96 – then mark him off the list!

  99. 99
    Ethan Says:

    4 years @ $10 MM per.

    There are worse ways to spend money…

    https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/297042896459284480

  100. 100
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @95, I meant coming into the season. I don’t think anyone could have predicted JJ and Hanson completely imploding the way they did. No GM could’ve anticipated that.

    (So thankful the edit button is back.)

  101. 101
    mravery Says:

    I presume that includes this year?

    That’s actually quite reasonable.

  102. 102
    Jeff K Says:

    If that 4-year deal includes his final arb year, then it’s a very reasonable contract IMHO.

  103. 103
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yeah, it’s 2013-2016.

    If the Braves could have had him at that price, they’d have been crazy not to lock him up. Strange.

  104. 104
    Adam M Says:

    @103 Agreed. This whole thing is strange, because Wren said he was asking for $12-13 million.

    Edit: though I guess that’s what he got, when you consider he was gonna make $7 million in 2013. Still, though, I thought it was $12 million for four years after 2013.

  105. 105
    Jeff K Says:

    It does seem a little strange that the Braves didn’t sign him to play 3B, with the reported cash still on hand after the Jupton trade.

    Maybe Prado was a “do or die” piece for Towers in the trade?

  106. 106
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It does seem a little strange that the Braves didn’t sign him to play 3B, with the reported cash still on hand after the Jupton trade.

    The Braves wanted Justin Upton. To get Justin Upton, they could either trade Delgado+Simmons or Delgado+Prado. They chose to keep Simmons.

  107. 107
    sansho1 Says:

    I assumed all along that the D’Backs asked for Prado-for-Johnson as a pot-sweetener (and we slightly downgraded the prospects in reply).

  108. 108
    NickH Says:

    Dave Cameron of Fangraphs wrote an article on the Prado extension that is well worth reading, and takes a shot at analyzing the value proposition of the Upton-Prado trade from the perspective of both the Braves and the DBacks, as well as Prado’s extension in context with the market for similar players. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dbacks-extend-martin-prado/
    In summary, Cameron says the DBacks got a good deal on Prado’s extension (but not an amazing deal), and concludes that the trade is generally a win-win.

  109. 109
    Smitty Says:

    I think Prado could have gotten more if he had waited. That’s a risk, but I think someone would have paid him closer to $12 million

  110. 110
    spike Says:

    As much as we love Prado, he was always one down year from losing a ton of value. I can see why he took it.

  111. 111
    Stu Says:

    Fun article on Mike Minor’s alma mater.

  112. 112
    ububba Says:

    #109
    And this also is why you trade when value is high. It’s supposed to hurt a little bit, but you get high value in return.

  113. 113
    Adam M Says:

    I have no issue with the trade.

    I am simply unclear about why the Braves saw Prado’s time in Atlanta has fleeting: that seems like a reasonable asking price, and a reasonable deal. Would giving him that extension have made keeping Heyward impossible? That’s the only possible rationale I can think of here.

  114. 114
    jjschiller Says:

    Justin Upton for $13m is better than Martin Prado for $11m.

  115. 115
    Dix Says:

    the end.

  116. 116
    Rob Cope Says:

    We should trade for Martin Prado.

  117. 117
    sansho1 Says:

    If this isn’t Martin’s lifelong fate in a nutshell — people want to stop talking about him in a post dedicated to him.

  118. 118
    ktbass Says:

    @116
    I agree, he would fit in nicely at 3B

  119. 119
    spike Says:

    @113, Could it not be that they simply preferred 3 years of Upton to 4 years of Prado (plus prospects, of course)? Even had the team already extended Prado, this trade would have been the right thing to do.

  120. 120
    justhank Says:

    Just picked up some deer antler spray at the local nutrition store.

    I’ll let you know.

  121. 121
    Stu Says:

    Can you play third?

  122. 122
    Smitty Says:

    Can deers spray the stuff our of their antlers? It would be cool if they did.

    Oh, you know Chipper probably used that stuff.

  123. 123
    RobBroad4th Says:

    @117, That and the fact that we’ll still probably refer to defensive miscues as “Prados.”

  124. 124
    Grst Says:

    FYI, the AJC Braves blog has changed addresses and the RSS feed on the left side is now out of date. The new feed is here: http://www.ajc.com/rss/weblog_entries/atlanta-braves/

  125. 125
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks! Fixed.

  126. 126
    desert Says:

    One interesting tidbit that I didn’t really consider (from Frank Rabon at CAC):

    Remember that Upton will actually be younger at the end of his current contract than Prado is right now.

    Upton is really, really young.

  127. 127
    JoeyT Says:

    Who’s #2 on the 1B chart? Chris Johnson with his limited experience? Mejia who’s on the 40 and looks about ready to join the bigs?

  128. 128
    kc Says:

    Prado’s deal is reasonable, but we are getting Justin Upton!!! I am looking forward to have Heyward and JUpton anchoring the lineup for years to come.

    I love the edit button!!!

  129. 129
    gsa Says:

    So if they extend Aaron Hill’s contract, which has been rumored, then doesn’t that combined with Prado’s extension block Matt Davidson? Would we be interested?

  130. 130
    krussell Says:

    I love the trade. Upton has so much upside. Prado is likely about as good as he’ll ever be right now, and while he’s definitely a good player, he’s not a difference maker. We just got a guy that’s put up two ~ .900 OPS seasons before age 25. No guarantee that he won’t flame out, but I like our chances here. Kudos to Wren.

  131. 131
    fm Says:

    There’s a “Worst Braves Jersey to Wear to the Ted” tournament on Twitter right now.

    https://twitter.com/JDunnah/status/297156086186795008/photo/1

  132. 132
    Dan Says:

    @131:

    http://oct07.hugginsandscott.com/pl/5574_2005_braves_jersey.jpg

  133. 133
    desert Says:

    @131, How is Brooks Conrad a number 5 seed? Fine, 2010 NLDS, but… walk-off grand slam??

    He and Mike Hampton should really switch places.

    Also, this is an awesome idea.

  134. 134
    c. shorter Says:

    I predict a showdown between Melky and Rocker.

    I saw a Braves Rocker jersey in Milwaukee a few years ago when the Braves were in town. Puzzling.

    Soon after my son (5) was born, my mother-in-law got him a Braves jersey. It was the only one that they had in the store. I only like the pictures of him in it from the front since it had some long, french-sounding name on the back.

  135. 135
    Smitty Says:

    Lockhart for the win

  136. 136
    fm Says:

    I picked Melky over Bong and Kolb over King, which means that the next round on my bracket involves a showdown between Melky and Kolb. I don’t think there can be a winner for that one.

  137. 137
    mravery Says:

    So that’s the thing with Jupton. If you just figured he’d produce at his past-3-years average, the trade for Prado would look like a lateral move with the prospects going Arizona. What you’re getting with Jupton is a TON of upside, and part of that is tied up in him being so young. Like Heyward, Jupton has managed to put up some really, really impressive seasons as a very young player. With his tools, he’s got a real chance to be the league’s MVP. That type of upside is rare. So the Braves are hoping he manages to get there before turning 28. And the downside appears to be an above-average hitting OF.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Braves can extend him when he hits free agency. Obviously his value at that point is pretty difficult to predict, but you’ve got to think the Braves will hope for some discount given that Bupton will still have two years left on his deal at that point. Let’s hope they really like playing with eachother. :-)

  138. 138
    spike Says:

    If the Braves wait for Upton to become an FA to extend him, he either won’t be worth it or they can’t afford it. He’ll be entering his 28yo season – quite young for free agency and a significant premium will attach to that.

  139. 139
    kc Says:

    @138 By then, Uggla, Huddy, and McCann will probably be gone. At the same time, we will have some tough decisions to make among Heyward, JUpton, Freeman, Kimbrel, Medlen, Beachy, and Minor. While not all of them will become FA after 2015, we can’t keep them all with BUpton’s $15M.

  140. 140
    spike Says:

    If Upton pans out, he’ll get a monster deal in FA. Far outside of Atlanta’s reach, in any event.

    //love you, edit button – thanks Hap.

  141. 141
    csg Says:

    MLBTR…Though the Braves and Brian McCann have agreed to put extension talks on hold until the end of the season, GM Frank Wren said the team won’t rule out re-opening talks during the season, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. McCann is entering his last contracted year with Atlanta.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#11q22s8kc6wMM1Ow.99

  142. 142
    ububba Says:

    #134
    I saw one at a Citi Field beer line a couple of years ago & actually caught some attitude from the guy–and he was from here!

    God forbid I should accuse him of being a Preston Hanna fan.

    #133
    I still feel bad for Conrad–I really do. But that one’s gonna be with us forever.

  143. 143
    mravery Says:

    Not for nothing, but Atlanta’s only commitment beyond Jupton’s contract is Bupton. So unless someone throws like $30M per at Jupton in a few years, Atlanta may be able to compete. There’s additional revenue from MLB’s national TV deal (though everyone gets that, so its unclear that it’ll actually help the Braves compete in the FA market), and it’s not like Uggla will still be getting paid then.

    Actually, just give Jupton Uggla’s money, and you’re at $26M. So it’s not like its impossible.

  144. 144
    Grst Says:

    @143 I agree. Especially since his brother will still be under contract for 2 more years, unless they hate each other by then I have to think the Braves have a reasonable chance of extending him.

  145. 145
    sansho1 Says:

    Good luck, justhank. I look forward to following your journey. I’m not sure I’ll need any pictorial evidence, though — perhaps you could get together with JonathanF to track your progress in chart form, or maybe a nice heat map….

  146. 146
    JoeyT Says:

    The Rocker jersey has to be, by far, the worst.

    However, as embarrassing as Rocker is, and as much as I would never want to wear it to a home game (lest some stray camera catch it), his jersey might not be inappropriate everywhere. For example, he’s a great example of the Mets-Braves rivalry. Rocker said a number of dumb and offensive things and was an embarrassment to an entire region of the country. The Mets proceeded to put this in perspective by throwing batteries at the Braves over the next few of their home games. The Mets exist so we can say, “at least we’re not Mets fans.”

    I can see myself wearing a Rocker jersey, but only in Queens/Long Island. Anywhere else, it would feel uncomfortable.

  147. 147
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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