I don’t see any reason for the Braves to make a play for a pitcher unless he comes very cheap or they can get an extension worked out beforehand. The team was winning early in the season with even worse pitching than what they have going on now but then the position players started going down (Freeman, Chipper, McCann). They have enough internal options that perhaps the best move is a play for a guy like Youkilis, who can back up both first and third. This would protect against the inevitable Chipper injury because Francisco isn’t cutting it. Todd Redmond deserves a chance too.
I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Braves’ offense, particularly against LHP. Bourn has an .866 OPS against righties, but .723 against lefties. Freeman is .799 against righties, and .618 against lefties. Heyward is .894 against righties, and .571 against lefties. Chipper Jones can break down at any point, given his age and injury history, and he hasn’t hit much at all since returning from his leg injury. When he’s not in there, it’s Prado at third and Diaz in LF, or Francisco at third and Prado in LF. Neither Diaz or Francisco inspires confidence.
I think the biggest need for the Braves is to upgrade their bench. Eric Hinske, Juan Francisco and Jack Wilson are all horrible. Hinske and Wilson are washed up and Francisco is just awful.
I wouldn’t mind seeing them trade for Dempster but there is no use in doing that if they have no intentions of solidfying the bench. Frank Wren really messed up this offseason by trading for Francisco, not signing a decent 4th OF, and not trading for one of the available shortstops on the market.
I guess you never heard of this rare position called a utility player. They are the primary back-up for your starting shortstop. The Braves entered the season with Pastornicky as the entrenched starting SS with no one else on the roster who could play the position and hit. At that point the Braves didn’t know if either Simmons or Pastornicky could even hit at the MLB level. It was idiotic to go into the season with Wilson as the only back-up. It’s still idiotic.
By the way, Simmons has been outstanding with the bat so far but let’s give him a couple of months before we start quoting his slash line.
I agree with this, completely. But the problem is – unless they intend to trade one of their regular position players, I don’t see them going out to shop for a player to supplant Heyward, Bourn, Freeman, etc.
Agreed. However, the player who gets playing time immediately behind Chipper has a bigger than ordinary impact on the team. At the very least one of Hinkse/Francisco/Wilson needs to be upgraded to a guy who can play at the major league level.
Yeah, that was just horrible for the Blue Jays. The Braves went through something similar a few years ago when they lost 3 starting pitchers during the season…..but they didn’t lose them in 3 consecutive games….wow!!
If the Braves grab anyone, it should be a LF or 3B that will play full time next year when Chipper retires (Depending on where they want to put Prado). CF will be an offseason problem. The bench sucks this year, but its not going to be more than a one/two win difference.
Pitching meanwhile I think could be solved with a unique solution that involves pitching Minor and Delgado 4 or 5 innings each start…and have them start on the same day. It would be something different, but both seem to have problems the 3rd time through the order, so why not just put them in a position to see it twice each. Yes, we would carry 6 starters, and yes, the 5a and 5b starts of Minelgado might not be the most effective..but it would make do with what we have without adding payroll.
Not sure a long-term deal with a Greinke-caliber pitcher makes sense. Entering next season trying to make sense of Greinke, Hanson, Hudson, Beachy, Vizcaino, Minor, Jurrjens, Delgado, Teheran would be overkill.
I think Delgado is turning it around. Minor’s problem is how much worse he is off the stretch.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 19, 2012 @ 7:49 pm
I get not having the payroll but not willing to deal prospects is what has gotten them to this point. They see so much potential in their young arms that they didn’t trade any of them for a something more proven to help them in the immediate. This has lead to them to deal with the inconsistencies of their pitching prospects whilst being in the middle of a pennant race. Which puts even more pressure on these young arms to perform which doesn’t really put them in the best possible position to succeed.
I’m not saying you have to be the southern version of Ruben Amaro, but sometimes you gotta give up the uncertain to get something proven.
Jack Wilson is done. I have no idea why he is still taking up a roster spot and taking at-bats from productive players. His trademark flashy defense has also taken a step back as he looks old out there.
Comment by Phantom Stranger — June 19, 2012 @ 8:21 pm
“I think it was Earl Wilson who said baseball is a nervous breakdown, divided into nine innings, or something to that effect.”
A seriously weak opening statement, that suggests you dont care or are too lazy.
They really only have money committed to Uggla next season. They have Heyward and Hanson arbitration eligible along with Venters, Martinez, and Medlen. They have the issue of what to do with McCann, who is likely to cost them quite a sum given the extensions other catchers (of lesser quality) have received, but yeah, the Braves have plenty to spend next year.
Comment by Michael Barr — June 19, 2012 @ 11:07 pm
Oh yeah, Boston rocked Dempster in his last start, right? Is there anyone in beantown that knows anything about any sport? Or are you just douchebags with bad haircuts?
Hey the Braves may have some trouble with their rotation at least they were able to get a win over the Yankees to stop the winning streak the Yankees were on. The Braves have been known over the years for great pitching and I am sure they will get it resolved sooner rather than later….
Comment by radicalhenri — June 20, 2012 @ 11:27 pm
JT G, I like this sentiment. Yes, Prado has been fantastic filling in for Chipper at 3rd(and remarkably athletic playing a few games at 1B also), but when you take Chipper out you have to play a bench player somewhere. Hinske is in a career-worst slump, and that’s not good when you’re 34 years old and putting up a 40 wRC+. Wilson can’t hit his weight(and he’s a skinny guy), and Francisco has been below average both offensively and defensively.
I like the move to upgrade the bench, or God forbid Frank Wren bites the bullet and goes out and gets a decent 4th outfielder, who will start next year when Prado moves to third.