Examining the Nate McLouth Trade

MLB: Brewers vs Braves MAY 12

(Source Yardbarker.com)

Who exactly came out on top in the Nate McLouth trade? Well at the time it was widely viewed that the Braves made out like bandits. Now with McLouth struggling I am not so sure. Still Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez, and Jeff Locke have done little to make the Braves really regret the trade. Unless you look at salary numbers then this trade is really a push.

More after the Jump

First look at tonight’s starter Charlie Morton’s stats. Morton is 1-7 with a whopping 9.68 ERA on the season. I have to question why the Pirates have allowed him to be banged around the way they have. It has to be damaging to his confidence and I really have no idea why he is still in the rotation unless they just have no one else to turn to. Morton is only making $422,000 this season.

Gorkys Hernandez was a center field prospect that the Braves got along with Jair Jurrjens from the Detroit Tigers for shortstop Edgar Renteria. He was deemed at the time expendable due to the Braves also having Jordan Schafer. He had virtually no power in his short stay with the Braves but had a lot of speed. He hit a combined .282 in 2009 at Double A Mississippi and Double Altoona. However, he has struggled during the 2010 season with a .204 average in 35 games.

It is still early for Hernandez as he is only 22 years old. Still with Andrew McCutchen planted in Center Field for the Pirates for the foreseeable future you have to figure that Hernandez isn’t in the long term plans for the Pirates.

Jeff Locke is a former Braves second round pick who is currently starting for the Pirates High A team in Bradenton. He has some good numbers with a 5-2 record and a 2.72 ERA. He has 40 strikeouts compared to only 8 walks in 46.1 innings pitched on the season. He is only 22 years old as well but is a long way from the majors it seems at this point. At some point though he may develop into a pitcher for the Pirates.

McLouth has struggled this season hitting just .203 with 3 Home Runs. He has shuttled between the lead off spot and the eighth spot for the Braves all season. McLouth hit .257 with 11 homers for the Braves last season but found the going tough late last season when he battled hamstring problems and some vision issues. No word as to whether or not those vision issues have lingered into this season or not but McLouth is struggling. He has brought some pretty good center field defense to the Braves but at a high price tag $5 million this season.

Struggles aside I still think that the Braves got the better end of this trade although I was a Charlie Morton fan. I am not sure what his issues are and it remains to be seen if Jeff Locke can make an impact or not. At the time of the trade, a lot of Braves fans questioned whether or not Jordan Schafer had a future in Atlanta with the acquisition of McLouth. With Schafer recovered from his wrist injury that cost him most of last season it will be interesting to see if he can put any pressure on McLouth.

Would the Braves call up Schafer if he shows progress at Gwinnett? That remains to be seen and has a lot to do with whether or not McLouth can bounce back this season.

Tags: Atlanta Braves Charlie Morton Gorkys Hernandez Jeff Locke Nate Mclouth Pittsburgh Pirates Trade

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