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  1. <iwouldn't New York fans like this one back?

    Actually, no. After an awful April Vazquez has really turned it around, and the price of a fourth outfielder and a low-minors pitcher was a small one to pay for a durable starter who could reasonably be expected to have being league-average as a floor.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  2. boo, HTMLfail.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  3. Anyone else read that headline and feel like you had a lottery ticket in your hands before it’s scratched?

    Comment by Vida Blue — June 14, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  4. Great article. Plus, the Braves also have young guns Robinson Lopez and Mike Minor currently tearing up their minor leagues. A wealth of pitching indeed!

    Comment by Beer me! — June 14, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  5. Thanks for writing this comment. The jury is still out on this trade. Unless Vazquez crashes and burns this year (which is far from a given, in light of his recent turnaround), we won’t see a clear winner or loser from this trade for years.

    Comment by Jeremy — June 14, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  6. Vazquez has seemed to turn a corner

    The first six outings: 1-4 with an 8.10 ERA.

    The past six outings: 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

    Comment by Jon — June 14, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  7. Marc, I don’t think you should assume that your readers know that MB is Hi-A

    Comment by Hizouse — June 14, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  8. any deal that gets rid of melky and the truckload of melky love from the fanbase is a good deal.

    Comment by awayish — June 14, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  9. Marc, I wish you would have left out that one comment in reference to Yankee fans wishing they had that trade back! Over half the comments are in relation to the damn Yankees instead of the dominance of the pitching staff down in Myrtle Beach. That is one heck of a talented group of arms for High A ball. Let’s hope those arms all stay healthy! It would be a thrill to see a couple of them make it to the bigs around the same time.

    So, whose scheduling a vacation to Myrtle Beach this Summer? haha.

    Comment by Brain of G — June 14, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  10. I think you jumped the gun with your “wouldn’t New York fans like this one back?” comment, as Vazquez has been good in his past several starts. Unless this was written a month ago, I can only assume you haven’t been paying attention.

    Comment by Egan Foote — June 14, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  11. Booooo! Comment fail.

    So, Kev, you wouldn’t want back this young, price controlled quality arm, a perfectly fine 4th OF’er, in Melky, instead of Thames, Russo, Golston, and the other flotsam, and your dignity back for ‘way back’ Vasquez?

    Really? Why’s that, because heading into an important series you would actually be happy knowing he’s up for a start?

    Ya full of it.

    Comment by Dirty Water — June 14, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  12. Oh, you showed up. Fun.

    Fourth outfielders are not particularly hard to come by, and Vizcaino won’t be a quality, price-controlled arm for in the majors for another 2-3 seasons. And no, I’m not full of it – before the trade happened, I wrote an article arguing that the Yanks should go after Vazquez because, at the very least, he would give them 200 league-average innings – without any kind of long-term commitment that would come with getting a pitcher of his caliber on the FA market. I really do believe the issues of April are behind him, and that he can be that innings-soaking fifth starter. And if you’re going to compare him to Melky Cabrera, you don’t get to only look at 2010 for Javy while ignoring it for Melky – both started off pretty abysmally, and they’ve now corrected themselves to what we thought they were. A fourth outfielder just isn’t as valuable as a league-average starter.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  13. Great article. I’d argue the Braves system has been solid, but Schuerholz sent most of those valuable pitchers to other teams: Feliz and Wainwright certainly come to mind.

    Venters and Medlen have also provided homegrown depth.

    Comment by Andrew — June 14, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

  14. Much as this is welcome news, one should note Myrtle Beach has been a very pitcher friendly park in a pitcher friendly league. I understand this season it has been roughly neutral, although the league has not.

    Comment by spike — June 14, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  15. Yeah, but reports were that Vizcaino was the most talented arm in the Yanks system. You don’t give that up for a starter most teams love to see on their menu.

    And I can’t believe your Melky hate after the progression of yuck in your OF.

    Comment by Dirty Water — June 14, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  16. I just wanted to point out that Delgado and Teheran were international signings. That’s one heckuva scouting dept the Braves have.

    Comment by DavidA — June 14, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  17. The park does a lot to suppress, but it’s clear that the writer barely gives any consideration to that since he’s talking about walks, strikeouts, and ground ball rates. He even acknowledges that Teheran’s fly ball rates might be problematic in the future. I don’t think any of these pitchers has seen their value inflate because of their home park. Teheran and Vizcaino are putting up K/BB rates over 7, and Randall Delgado over 5. Those first two could both be top 20 prospects next season, while Delgado should break the top 50.

    Hoover is the forgotten man there, who, though he’s been solid, may not even be the 5th best right handed starting prospect in the Braves’ system. It’s nice to see him getting some coverage here.

    Comment by Bronnt — June 14, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  18. Marc, you wrote wrong Teheran birth’s place it’s Colombia.

    Comment by Tomas — June 14, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  19. I’m glad this isn’t Tampa Bay. I’m in awe of their constant flux of young new talent.

    Comment by Shaggychild — June 14, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  20. They did change the park around a bit to make it neutral a year or two ago, and it’s played that way recently.

    Also, note that only Hoover and Delgado have compiled most of these stats in Myrtle Beach. The other two were recently promoted after dominating in Rome.

    Comment by Temo — June 14, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  21. Vazquez’s velocity has gone down. I’d say he’s clearly in his decline and it was a better deal for the Braves. Given the Yankees’ payroll flexibility, they can afford to trade away a good, minor league arm like that of Vizcaino’s.

    Comment by Carlo — June 14, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  22. Oh sure, as I noted, the park has been playing neutral this year, but the league is still very pitcher friendly. It’s not a criticism of the piece, just a factor to be considered in evaluating these guys.

    http://razzball.com/minor-league-park-factors/

    Comment by spike — June 14, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  23. “You don’t give that up for a starter most teams love to see on their menu.”

    This is most certainly not true. Vazquez is a good pitcher.

    Melky is terrible.

    Comment by Temo — June 14, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

  24. OK. Litmus test on Vazquez love.

    Yankees and are in the World series.
    Yankees bullpen is trashed. Starters are.. iffy. They need all they can get from starter Vazquez..

    Its game 7, series 3-3. How comfortable are you with Vazquez as the Yankees starter for 7, and, realistically, needing 6+ out of him? (alot of you said he is an innings eater afterall, 6 should be a snap)

    Comment by Cidron — June 14, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  25. That’s a pretty shitty litmus test for a back of the rotation innings eater. We like him because he had a one-year commitment and cost a fourth-outfielder and a low-minors pitcher, not because we think he’s the guy who’s going to save the season in that kind of situation.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

  26. Both teams accomplished what they needed to do.

    Braves had 6 SP, and the 1 they wanted to trade was untradable, so they moved the Javy instead- but the Hudson/Kawakami were under reasonable deals, and the 2 kids are team controlled.

    Yankees had 3 established SP and Hughes/Joba; so they traded a 4th OF and a kid in Low-A ball for a guy who has pitched 200 IP and sub 4 FIP basically every year of his career- with Andy in his late 30s, AJ’s history, and the 2 kids- Javy was EXACTLY what the Yankees needed.

    If Vizcaino debuts in 2012/2013 and has a good career, good for him. If Javy is that durable guy in the 3rd spot this year that carries them over while TB’s young kids struggle in Aug/Sept, then what reasonable Yankee fan is going to complain?

    Comment by Zack — June 14, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  27. April 1st, 2010:
    Are you more comfortable with:
    CC, AJ, Javy, Andy, and Hughes
    or
    CC, AJ, Andy, Hughes, and Joba

    Comment by Zack — June 14, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

  28. How comfortable is any team with their #3/4 starter in a game 7?

    Comment by Zack — June 14, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  29. Or, given Girardi’s perverse fetishes…

    CC, AJ, Andy, Hughes, and Mitre.

    Yes, I have nightmares about that thought. The fourth outfielder was well worth it.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  30. Yes but how many of those good outings have been against the same NL teams he shut down last year? Let’s see the Yankees let him pitch against Boston instead of hiding in their bullpen when they face each other.

    Comment by James — June 14, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

  31. Three more names to remember for the Braves are Caleb Brewer, Andy Otero, and Robinson Lopez.

    Comment by Justin — June 14, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

  32. One batter only, but he did come into a fairly high-leverage situation and make Youk look silly. He also dropped a 7.0 1 2 2 4 9 line on the Jays in their own place a couple weeks ago.

    Again, he’s not a world-beater, but it’s not like he’s going to completely fall apart against competent lineups.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 14, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  33. We’ll likely see his HR/FB rate decline into the 11-12% range, while in turn, his BABIP is due for a rise. All-in-all, expect a high 4′s ERA this season but a durable starter who will eat enough innings to save the bullpen some workload.

    FWIW, Vazquez (despite his awful start) is currently a 0.1 WAR player while Melky is a -0.5 WAR player.

    The comment about not knowing the winner of this trade for years to come is on the mark, but for current value, the Yanks will come out ahead this year.

    Comment by spindoctor — June 14, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

  34. I think the Braves would be fine with their #3/4 starter pitching in that game as would the Red Sox.

    The Braves would have Tommy Hanson at the #3 and Jair Jurrgens at #4.

    The Sox would be Lackey at #3, and Wakefield at #4. Both have pitched in big games.

    Comment by Marc — June 15, 2010 @ 2:01 am

  35. Delgado signed for only $50,000, too.

    Kind of difficult to give all the credit to the scouting department on Julio Teheran because his cousin works for them (if his cousin worked anywhere else I’m guessing that’s where Teheran would’ve signed, which almost as easily could have been the case), but Delgado for $50,000 is incredible.

    Comment by Irwin — June 15, 2010 @ 5:50 am

  36. Javier Vazquez is a pretty damn good pitcher. I thought he was the second best pitcher in the NL last year. Since his move back to the rotation, he’s got a 30-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32 and 2/3 innings.

    He’s a fly ball pitcher, going to struggle with the long ball from time to time. The issue is exacerbated by Yankee Stadium, but the value of the HR’s decrease there so it’s really not an issue. He’s got plus control and manages to miss enough bats. He knows what he’s doing out there, rarely has trouble throwing strikes, and apart from a small hiccup at the beginning of the season most probably explained by mechanical issues he’s been pretty brilliant for awhile now. The Yankees and their fans should be glad to have him.

    And, yeah, I think he’s one of the fifteen or so best pitchers in the game, and you could do much worse than start him game 7. I’d be perfectly fine with him.

    Comment by Irwin — June 15, 2010 @ 6:08 am

  37. why would Vazquez be pitching game 7? silly scenario.

    Comment by Steve — June 15, 2010 @ 8:57 am

  38. Wakefield is terrible, keep dreaming.

    Comment by Steve — June 15, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  39. You should have said Buccholz, then we’d have a discussion at least.

    Comment by Steve — June 15, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  40. @Marc,
    You would be comfortable with Tim Wakefield starting a Game 7? Aaron Boone wants to grab a bat.
    And Lackey is a No. 3? Besides being injured for two months, have you looked at Beckett’s recent numbers? I’m so glad the dumbasses signed him to that four-year extension. More good decisions by Theo.

    @Justin
    Who are those three guys? I know Freddie Freeman quite well. Not familiar with those three names.

    Comment by NYCTim — June 15, 2010 @ 9:35 am

  41. right, it was called “perverse” when he kept Mitre over Gaudin. Yankee fans complained. who was right?

    Comment by Steve — June 15, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  42. In what world is Tommy Hanson #3 in that rotation come playoff time? He’s the best pitcher on that staff. You start Lowe or Hudson with his 3.8 K9 in games 1,2, 5, and 6 and you dont even have to worry about a Game 7.

    Tim Wakefield hasnt had a successful postseason start since 2004. Because Francona doesnt trust him, nor should he. It’s Lester, Beckett, Lackey, Buchholz for the postseason. And have you seen Lackey pitch this year? No Sox fan would be comfortable with him in Game 7 right now.

    Comment by Zack — June 15, 2010 @ 10:44 am

  43. I wasn’t comparing Mitre to Gaudin. Gaudin’s a ROOGY at best.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 15, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  44. I didn’t mean to imply YOU were saying this, but in this thread:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/gaudin-released-after-clearing-waivers/#comments

    There was more than one comment that Mitre garnered the last spot in the pen over Gaudin because he was “Girardi’s guy”. Meaning Girardi let non-baseball reasons decide a roster spot to the detriment of the team.

    I was merely pointing out that that meme should probably be put to rest based on how the two have actually pitched so far. Girardi seems like he was right, and the emotional fans were wrong. Shocking, I know.

    Comment by Steve — June 15, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  45. Aren’t we at least entitled to see how Vazquez does this season before we answer this question? This is a one-year acquisition. Vazquez is not the future of the organization. The extent the Yankees use Vazquez in a hypothetical playoff scenario will depend only on how good Vazqueez seems to be. If he is pitching like trash, they will exile him to the pen just like they did in 2004.

    Comment by Jeremy — June 15, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

  46. Is groundball % that important in the post-steroid era? With BABiP around .300, it seems like a flyball pitcher could be more successful in this day and age, depending on the ballpark and who your outfielders are.

    Comment by K26dp — June 15, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  47. Ground balls that become hits are almost universally singles. Fly balls that become hits are very often for extra bases. The 11% HR/FB ratio might be down from a decade ago (I have no idea if it is or not), but the HR/GB rate is still universally 0%.

    Comment by Kevin S. — June 15, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  48. Trust me if the Braves make the playoffs this year Bobby Cox is going with Tim Hudson in game one and probably Lowe in game 2. I would rather start Hanson or even Kris Medlin over both of them. Although Hudson has been great this year his strike out rate has been down but his sinker has been excellent at getting ground balls this year. Obviously those ground balls could start going for hits but he has been getting the job done. Right now the way the rotation is set up it actually is Hanson, Hudson, Lowe, Medlin, and Kawakami, who should be out of the rotation once Jurrjens comes back.

    Comment by Scott — June 16, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  49. I love this comment.

    Comment by Locke — November 17, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  50. I love how the stupid Yankee defender looks after all is said and done. Melky sucks… Vazquez was well worth the deal… hahahahahahhaaha

    ‘This is most certainly not true. Vazquez is a good pitcher.’ hahahahahahha

    Comment by SKob — August 23, 2011 @ 11:41 am

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