Yes it has been a few days since the last posting here, but I figure for every day that Glaus gets off I should get one too (I could get a lot of days off in the near future). Some very sad news has come down from the Braves front office that Kris Medlen has damaged his ulnar collateral ligament. This could mean anywhere from a few weeks out in the best case, and Tommy John surgery with 12 months of rehab in the worst possible scenario. This just hits you right in the heart for such a lively, energetic, and genuinely good guy. A lot of people and sometimes even myself included often reference how much these major leaguers make and get a little put off. But this makes me think, in the realistic chance that Medlen is never really the same, he never really made his money. We all say "oh well he makes six million dollars a year to throw a baseball". However looking at it in context, Average MLB players have a window of about seven years to make a sum of money that can sustain them for the rest of their lives, and I am not saying that its not a large amount of money, but when you think about it that way the numbers seem to have a little less impact. So I'm sure you all will join me in saying that hopefully the best case scenario works out for Kris. On a related note, It has been announced that Mike Minor will start in place of Medlen on monday, with Kawakami going down to AAA Gwinnett to stretch out his arm. Its a shame that this had to happen in order for Minor to get his shot, but I can't say I'm not excited to see him pitch. 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA and an ENORMOUS K/9 ratio mean he could be a mainstay in that rotation for a long time to come. I will update as soon as news comes in on the extent of the Medlen injury, and hopefully we have a 2011 rotation of Hanson, Hudson, JJ, Medlen, and Minor.
The news is not great but not worst case either, after an MRI showing that Kris Medlen has a partial tear in his UCL. As is standard protocol when this happens he will be monitored over the next few weeks and might not require surgery if it is determined that the ligament is repairing on its own, which would be nice because in that case he would be able to start next season in the BRaves rotation. Either way he is out for the rest of this year, a big loss for Atlanta. I like the way Wren played his options here, and also understand the problem Kawakami has with being a reliever (he recently said he didn't come here to be one) but I don't like the Martinez call up as I would much rather have Kimbrel up here while Kawakami is down on the farm stretching out. Just saying.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
The deadline has come and passed. And the Braves have announced a deal that has sent Gregor Blanco and Jesse Chavez along with Timmy Collins to the Royals in exchange for Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel. But here is my question, why is Kenshin Kawakami still a Brave? I mean the deal the Braves made wasn't a bad one. Wasn't great either with the braves getting a career .252 hitter and an older reliever. But hey, Farnsworth is cheap and is having a decent year so I'm not too miffed. But it seems like Kenshin hasn't pitched since Obama took office, and I was fairly confident that this was because his salary was about to be taken off the books. As many of you know, this never happened. Kenshin has a clause in his contract that does not allow the Braves to send him to the minors. So in essence, the Braves are stuck with him unless they decide to place him on waivers. In which case they could see if he gets claimed and make a deal, or just give him away and have the team that does claim him eat his salary. The point here is I was ready for the Braves to deal him so that they didn't have to trade for bullpen help. Kimbrel and/or Marek are both major league ready. Also there was always the option of putting Medlen back in the pen and calling up Minor (which I think is the best option still). The Braves didn't need Ankiel who personally I feel is overrated, and is a known steroid user in the past. There are those of you that will say yes but Troy Glaus also used and he is on the team, but why add more? Two wrongs don't make a right my friends. Collins probably has more upside than anybody in this trade, and thats pretty sad considering he is 5'7" and 160 lb. soaking wet? I am okay with this deal mostly because it is an addition by subtraction kind of situation. Chavez will never again come out of the Atlanta bullpen to blow a lead. And more importantly since the Braves didn't deal for a big bat, it tempts me to suggest that our own Freddie Freeman could be the bat we have desperately sought out. BTW Willie Cabrera is having himself a year down on the farm and has been on the Organizational leader board for AVG. (.325) and doubles (33) all year, to go along with 5 HR and 15 SB. Just saying is all. So to put this random collection of thoughts into perspective, the deal was in my opinion done just for the sake of making a deal. It could be beneficial because of the kids who might be on the way. It is hard for me to understand why Kenshin wasn't traded/isn't pitching. And finally...I'm going to miss Gregor.
Posted by Tomahawk Talk at 3:38 PM
Friday, July 30, 2010
Sources close to the action are saying sources that the Braves are in heavy pursuit of now injured Red Sox LF Jacoby Ellsbury. The Sox are willing to deal him according to some due to a considerable amount of depth that is available in the organization right now. While it is unclear which of the Braves young prospects the deal will be centered around, any deal will most likely include one of either Vizciano, Lopez, or Delgado. The Braves have told many teams that top pitching prospect Julio Teheran is "untouchable". The Sox may be after a Braves bullpen arm as well. Which is intriguing because the Braves have recently shown interest in two Blue Jays arms Jason Frasor and Scott Downs. Those of you may remember Ellsbury being linked to the Braves when Andruw Jones was in the last year of his contract in Atlanta, as well as a trade for Lester that the Braves tried to put in place. Major moves could be announced within the next couple of hours or before the deadline.
Posted by Tomahawk Talk at 10:18 AM
Thursday, July 29, 2010
My mother always told me if you never have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. Which always provides me with a bit of hesitation when I write about the type of things that I am about to right about now. I'm sorry Mom, but Derek Lowe is not a productive member of the Braves rotation. Bluntly put, he stinks more than my day old gym socks. Lowe in his career has been tabbed as a sinker ball pitcher, a workhorse, and an ace. And if you don't believe me then how else can you justify the Braves handing him a 60 million dollar contract (over four years) unless you thought you were getting those three things. Heres my take, if this guy were a team player, and cared at all about his reputation as a player and teammate, he would offer to restructure his contract like Chipper has on more than one occasion. Why? Because he is the fourth if not fifth best starter on this team, and he should be paid like it. If for instance Lowe were being paid with Kawakami's contract, the Braves may have been able to go out and trade for a player who brings some offense to this team, and resign him to a longer deal. As it stands today, the 'sinker ball" pitcher is fifth on THIS STAFF in ground ball/fly ball ratio. And as far as being a workhorse? He has lasted more than six innings in a game one time in his past six outings. And well, Ace? How many major league teams would you say he could be the ace of the staff? One? Two maybe? Let me say this again, I have no problem with Lowe being the five starter on this team, but he should be paid like it. So what else could the braves do if Lowe were to lets say, disappear? There is a young man in AAA right now by the name of Mike Minor. You may know of him. The ACE of the undefeated USA national team, and Vanderbilt University rotation. The seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft. The man who owns an 11 K/9 innings ratio in his minor league career. Minor is ready for the majors. Bringing 3.37 career minor league ERA, and 2.55 ERA in his recent dominant stretch at AAA, I would love to see him in the rotation as the year comes to the stretch run. That would give us a rotation that looked like Hudson, JJ, Hanson, Medlen, and Minor. What else does this move do? It puts a left hander in the rotation! Finally the Phillies LH heavy team could be neutralized by the Change up/Curveball combo Minor possesses from the left side. Not to mention this rotation could be in place for many years to come (avg. age of 25.8), with Hudson probably retiring a brave (and being replaced by Teheran). So to Derek Lowe, who's replacement is just a phone call away, I'm sorry but it just has to be said. You are not an ace.
Posted by Tomahawk Talk at 10:58 AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Common sense can not be taught. It is not learned in universities or trade schools, not on playgrounds or baseball fields. You either have it or you don't. Ladies and gentleman, I want everybody to give a big hand to Frank Wren. He has common sense. Amidst the screams and the protests for Nate's head, the GM has delivered. Nate was optioned on Tuesday to AAA Gwinnett where he will attempt to regain a swing that as I have previously written, was never really quite there. In his place the Braves have brought Brent Clevlen of the fifteen day disabled list. You may be wondering why Gregor Blanco is not in a Braves uniform again? Well a stipulation states that if a player is sent to the minor leagues he can not be recalled for at least ten days, the only exception being if a player on the active 25 man roster gets hurt. This is not the end of the world however because I am sure, being the common sense kind of guy that Frank is, That Gregor will be on the team when he is eligible on July 31st. In the mean time we will have to make due with the melk man, who hasn't performed terribly in his limited duty. But this situation got me thinking who else could fill the giant black hole the Braves call centerfield? And then the realization came to me, guess who played centerfield in his days with Mississippi and other minor league organizations? You guessed it, the Hey-maker. Heyward played a total of 27 games in the minors in a position other that RF (remember he didn't play all that many down there to begin with). Not to mention anybody who knows anything about anything knows that he has the pure athleticism to make that transition, plus it is much harder to find offense from the CF position as opposed to the RF position. Meaning if I had a choice of what position i want to shop for this deadline or in the offseason, I would much rather have a RF hole which could be filled easily. For right now, Diaz could be an everyday right fielder with this torrid stretch he's been clubbing through. As well as a Hinske/Gregor/Melky platoon in left? BTW in case anyone is wondering, a name I absolutely love for left field who adds some versatility and a big switch-hitting bat is Lance Berkman, who I would absolutely give up a young minor league arm for. I know what you are thinking... "the trade" that sent Tex to Atlanta for a bevy of prospects. But that is not what I am suggesting. If a swap of Delgado and Schafer nets us Lance then hey I'm on board. Because you know what? Minor is close, Teheran is an ace, Arodys will be back, and there simply aren't enough spots in the rotation. Not to mention you would have control of him for the rest of this and next season. But anyway back to our little situation. Without a trade our outfield would look like a platoon in left, an all-star/Matt Kemp like center fielder, and a pure bat in Diaz in right. Not to shabby if you ask me. This however is not a "common sense" type of move, so I in no way am saying that Frank better do something now, because personally I believe this team is good enough to win. But Frank, if you are reading, lets get a bat in here please?
Posted by Tomahawk Talk at 7:58 PM
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I'm sitting here eating what is left of yesterday chinese takeout, still fuming that the man people are calling McL-out, McLousy, and pretty much any other name that hasn't been taken by the cast of Grey's Anatomy. The big question here is, why is Nate McLouth still in a Braves Uniform, or any big league uniform for that matter? I love Bobby Cox, as I have been a Braves fan from the moment I watched my first baseball game (thank you TBS), but one of his greatest strengths as a manager is hindering this ball club right now. Is there such a thing as too much patience? The clear answer is yes, if your name is Greg Nor.......I mean Nate McLouth. The problem in my opinion is that Bobby has had talented players turn things around in the second half (AKA LaRoche and etc.) and assumes that this can be done again. But Nate McLouth will not turn this around enough to add any sort of value to this club as opposed to another center fielder. Why? Because he was never really that great. Lets look at some numbers: .276 is the highest batting average Nate has ever hit for in his six years in the major leagues, and also as a side note, other than that season he has never hit over .258! Some will try to say that he makes this up with his defense, which won him a gold glove award in 2008. Well hate to break it to you folks, but his UZR here in his time in Atlanta is -5.6, and in case you don't know, thats not good. A career OBP of .336 is respectable I will admit, but is it worth 6.5 million dollars? You know who has a better OBP for a fraction of the money? "Paging Gregor Blanco. Is Gregor Blanco in the Building?" Yes Gregor and his career .361 OBP (as well as a .368 OBP in the minors if your issue is sample size) are looking pretty good right now to braves fans. This covers pretty much every skill that Nate has except for one, his cough cough power. Nate has averaged about 19 HR/162 Games in his career. Hardly irreplaceable wouldn't you say? My solution is a simple one, let Gregor play out the rest of the season in center and see what you could get for Nate, which could still be a mid to upper level prospect in the mold of a Josh Vitters (3rd baseman for the cubs organization) or something similar. Which I know is asking a lot but hey some teams are desperate, and tend to make irrational moves at the deadline which is looming. But I am telling you right now, if I have to watch Nate ground into a double play with the bases loaded in a tie game one more time, in the eighth inning no less, I might not be able to hold in my orange chicken.
Posted by Tomahawk Talk at 5:55 PM