Photo Credit : Fred Owens

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 11/29

Hall of Fame Poll: Tom Glavine

Bluebird Banter

Happy Thanksgiving, to those of you on the other side of the border. Hope the turkey is great. And thanks for giving us football to watch, since there isn’t going to be any baseball news today.

I’m going to skip a couple of guys, Ray Durham and Eric Gagne, they were both good players, but not Hall of Fame types.

Ray Durham played 14 seasons in the majors, mostly as a second baseman, for the White Sox, Giants, A’s and Brewers. He hit .277/.352/.436, with 192 home runs, 875 RBI and 273 stolen bases. He made the All-Star team twice. He was a pretty good leadoff hitter, in the early part of his career. He scored over 100 runs 6 straight seasons. I’d be really happy if the Jays could find a second baseman like him.

As much as it would be nice to have a French Canadian in the Hall. Eric Gagne’s was great, for 3 seasons. He had 152 saves, over those 3 seasons and set a record for successful consecutive saves with 85. Unfortunately injuries robbed him of his effectiveness and shortened his career.  In total he played 10 seasons, pitched in 402 game, had 187 saves with a 3.47 ERA.

Now Tom Glavine has a good shot at the Hall. A 22 year career, 305 wins, 203 losses. A 3.54 ERA in 682 games, all starts. He won 2 Cy Youngs, was named to 10 All-Star teams and even has 4 Silver Slugger awards for best hitting pitcher. His teams made it to the playoffs 10 times, though he only has 1 ring. He was on the losing side against the Blue Jays in 1992.

I don’t really think I have to sell him, just look at his stats.


Most stat geeks clueless when it comes to drugs

Rowland’s Office

Let me start by saying I’m not close-minded to the importance of advanced metrics in evaluating talent. I’m neither old school or new school — I just hate math. Unfortunately, many of the number crunchers seem driven by a conviction that they are more evolved than those who have better things to do with their time.

Smugness is one thing. Hypocrisy is another. For all their obsessing over stats, most have little interest in facts. Like the indisputable fact that greenies and steroids are not interchangeable.

Fortunately, not all stat geeks are wed to this false narrative used by PED enablers eager to dismiss the cloud hanging over the heads of Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, et al. Larry Behrendt of the Yankee Analysts blog tried to keep them honest in a 2011post that’s worth your time.

Drugs like amphetamines do not behave in ways that make for convenient arguments about who should (and should not) be Hall of Fame inductees.

For the moment, let’s toss the categories out the window, and look at the facts instead. With all of the facts in hand, it becomes impossible to compare amphetamine use to the use of anabolic steroids.  These two drugs are not remotely similar.  No good can be accomplished by blurring the important distinctions between these two drugs.



What Will The Braves’ Back End Look Like In 2014?

Talking Chop

With the departure of Tim Hudson, the back end of the Braves’ rotation is a bit uncertain. While there are multiple internal options, there’s also the possibility that they could trade for a veteran/ace. Let’s first establish the sure bets (barring injury of course):

1) Kris Medlen – He probably isn’t the ace of the staff, stuff or performance wise, but he is the longest tenured Brave (WHAT?!) and has performed extremely well for Atlanta out of the rotation. As such he’ll most likely be labeled the “#1 starter” even though on this team that really is a meaningless term.

2) Mike Minor – Again, a very good argument can be made that Julio Teheran should be “higher” than Minor, but most likely experience will give the “#2″ label to Mike.

3) Julio Teheran – In a season where there was some concern after a bad performance in AAA the year before, Julio was a tremendous surprise, as he exceeded virtually all reasonable expectations for him. With another dominant season, he most likely becomes the clear #1 starter for the team, but at the moment he’s probably nominally the #3 starter.

Next we’ll look at the internal candidates for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation.



Where Do We Go From Here? 2013, Free Agency and Trades, Part 2 (by Ryan C)

Braves Journal

I don’t think that we’ll rely exclusively on organizational talent to fill the holes in our 25-man roster, which means that the Braves will need to improve via free agency or trade. So here are some potential targets for the starting rotation.

Free Agents

As I wrote in my previous piece, the Braves have about $82 million committed to 20 players, after factoring in guesstimates for arb-eligible players. The problem with looking at the free agent market for an “ace” is that a pitcher of that quality will obviously want a multi-year contract. Unless there’s a serious trade that goes down — or Liberty Media decides to spend some of that delicious money they’ve been collecting — the Braves have little financial flexibility this season, and even less next season. If the Braves are going to go after an ”ace,” they’ll have to consider fallen-from-grace aces.

These type of players would probably be willing to take 1-year incentive laden contracts to rebuild value. This type of contract would be ideal for a team like Atlanta as it provides an appropriate stopgap for our other potential aces. In this post, I’ll focus on the short list of the aforementioned type of players. (DOB says that the Braves will not be looking for a player like this, but DOB BE DAMNED!)

  1. Roy Halladay: Halladay has not been healthy for a while. He stopped throwing a 4-seamer at the end of 2011, a pitch in which he’d thrown almost ¼ of the time, and his velocity has dropped 3 straight years. In 2013, it was obvious he was not the pitcher he’d once been. In mid-May, Roy underwent surgery to repair just about everything in his shoulder. It didn’t help. He left a start in September after 1 inning topping out at 83 MPH. His exit reminded me of this clip from the Royal Tenenbaums and left many to question whether he’d pitched his last pitch. There’s obvious issues here and there’d have to be many doctors to sign off on his health, but it is Roy Halladay and I’m sure someonewill take a flier on one of the greatest pitchers this last decade. Why not?
  2. Johan Santana: He missed all of 2013 due to his 2nd shoulder surgery. He’ll still only be 35, but 35 and 2 shoulder surgeries and 35 and a clean bill of health are much different. His fastball can barely reach 90 and he hasn’t been ACE! material in 5 years.




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