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Thread: 2011 Braves Season Thread

  1. #1
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    2011 Braves Season Thread

    No one started one yet so here it is on the first game of Spring.

    Watching the game here in NY, here are some random notes.

    Schafer has appeared to changed his batting stance a little by lowering his hands.

    Schafer also just looks better swinging the bat.

    Nate has opened up his stance.

    Heyward has less bat waggle in his stance though that could purely be he isn't going full out this early in spring.

    McCann looks a lot slimmer.

    No one is throwing hard, the fastest pitch I saw from a Braves pitcher was 89 from Kimbrel and Jair was throwing in the mid 80s.

    Freeeman looked good with 3 2Bs, one was a blooper down the LF line but the other two were very well hit with the 3rd one close to being a homer.

    Conrad still doesn't look great in the field.

    Kimbrel didn't have a good outting but nothing to really be concrened with.

    Marek has a nice big overhand breaking ball and I think once he works up to full strength (throwing around 83 with the fastball) he will be very interesting to watch.

    Nothing of real interest from the position backups.

    Tied going to the 9th will add more thoughts if the game doesn't end.

    I like Ed Lucas as a potential IF backup, not a lot of power in the minors but a good eye and makes solid contact.
    Last edited by PureBaseballFan; 02-26-2011 at 01:26 PM.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    freeman sure had a great start to the season. Based on the options the braves definitely have the potential to have a very good bench again this year. I just hope the braves make the right choices and not just go with guys that have been there before (conrad) or are out of options (mather) unless they are deserving.

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    Thanks for those notes PBF, I'm looking forward to another great season of Braves baseball!! Other interests have kept me away from BBF and the sport of baseball overall, but I'll be reading and posting to get an idea of what the team looks like.
    2nd member of the Peter Moylan Fan Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by chip&smoltz95 View Post
    freeman sure had a great start to the season. Based on the options the braves definitely have the potential to have a very good bench again this year. I just hope the braves make the right choices and not just go with guys that have been there before (conrad) or are out of options (mather) unless they are deserving.
    Mather is interesting, his swing reminds me a little of Francoeur's but without the ackward toe stutter. I like his versatility and his power potential when you add that to the fact he is out of options I think he is likely to make the team.

    A few other notes about the game after rewatching it.

    Will be watching Jose Constanza and Matt Young I believe at their best both are Gregor Blanco with a better Batting Average. Both also appear to have very good instincts and impressive speed, if Young can improve his defense in the OF and at 2B then I could see him finding his way onto the Major League roster pretty soon.

    Juan Abreu looked very wild, by most accounts he has a great arm but until he find some semblance of control he will be lucky to be another Manny Acosta.

    Broadway is interesting with a mid-90s fastball (high-80s today) but one that is extremely straight which can lead to big problems if people can catch up with it.

    One reliever that impressed (other then Marek) was Anthony Varvaro, the reports I have seen talk about an impressive fastball and I was impressed with his changeup perhaps just like O'Flare the Mariners made another mistake with a reliever.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    after the first week of games here is my early take on the regular position starters: freeman (1B) is killing the ball, uggla (2B) and chipper (3B) have had at least one good game and I am not worried about them cause they are vets. Gonzalez (SS) has looked more like the jays version than the braves version, but only time will tell. Mccann (C) struggling a bit. I just hope it's not his eyes. As for the OFs prado (LF) and heyward (RF) have both been great, while mclouth (yes, it's only ST but it really matters for this guy) is doing outstanding (to a tune of .500 with 5 hits, 2 2Bs, 4BBs and ZERO Ks). Mclouth playing well is especially important, because schafer is struggling and it allows the pressure to ease off him and have him go down to AAA and learn how to hit again.

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    my current vote for bench players so far is ross and hinske obviously and then I am going with ed lucas (for his versatility and not being a defensive liability-plus I think he can hit better than diory/hicks) and matt young (assuming he really can play 2B. I haven't seen it yet). so that leaves one spot between conrad, mather, diory and hicks.

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    with two weeks until opening day i wanted to update my roster selections. i am going to start with the bench where there are five available spots. Two are definitely going to hinske (PH) and ross (backup C) and despite my wishes i think mather will be the fourth OF. Therefore that leaves two spots left. I think the braves go with another PH and a defensive specialist. Based solely on what conrad did last year I think he gets the PH spots (nobody wants him in the field), which is why my final spot is probably going to lucas because they need that backup SS and he can also play a decent 2B, 3B and CF. I think matt young will be the first called up if mather stinks it up or there is any injury. I don't see schafer making it up until after the trade deadline at the earliest. As for the bullpen, I am going kimbrel, moylan, venters, o'flag, linebrink, martinez (as the long man), and sherrill (loggy ONLY). I wish that there was room for marek, but I think he could be this year's venters if he gets the shot or maybe next they go with marek and let moylan go. As for the starters both beachy (only gave up 1 hit in 5IP of his latest start) and minor are dealing (only allowed one run thus far). Cannot go wrong with either and the other it has been said will go back to AAA and start. Should be really interesting to see what the braves rotation looks like this season and next (hudson and lowe's last season) and 2013, with guys like delgado, vizcaino, medlen, teheran and minor/beachy knocking on the door. Exciting time to be a braves fan!

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    Well according to one report Brandon Beachy has won the 5th spot, Bowman has been saying this spring he believes that the Braves want Minor to work on his Curveball more and doing that in Triple-A is likely the best option for him.

    Despite not posting for a while I have watched every Braves Spring Training game online. Here is how I see the final spots playing out.

    Bullpen

    Co-CL :: Craig Kimbrel
    Co-CL :: Jonny Venters
    SU :: Scott Linebrink
    MR :: Peter Moylan
    LMR :: Eric O'Flaherty
    LOOGY :: George Sherrill (Clearly should only be used against lefties until he proves otherwise)
    LR :: Cristhian Martinez - The most interesting spot as it could be used to keep a guy like Rodrigo Lopez until the Braves fine someone to trade him to.

    Bench

    Eric Hinske
    David Ross
    Joe Mather - Hasn't had a good spring but is the only guy without options and his ability to backup CF is his biggest plus.
    Brooks Conrad - Pure hitter.
    Ed Lucas - I believe he played his way on to this team. He also beats up lefties (at least in the minors) and unlike Diory knows what a walk is. This spot in reality could go either way and I think it depends a lot on if Conrad makes the team, if he does then I see Lucas' defensive versatility winning out to cover Conrad's lacking defensive versatility, if someone like Matt Young makes the team then I think Diory will take this spot.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Shanks
    Brandon Beachy will be the 5th starter. Mike Minor has been optioned down to AAA Gwinnett. He is here on the back fields now working out.
    I think Beachy has earned the 5th spot and has shown he really doesn't have anything to work on in the minors which is something that can't be said about Minor (Curveball).
    Extend Prado!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureBaseballFan View Post
    I think Beachy has earned the 5th spot and has shown he really doesn't have anything to work on in the minors which is something that can't be said about Minor (Curveball).
    It's just as well. Minor can improve himself with no pressure. Let's hope Beachy is yet another diamond in the rough for the Braves!

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    In other news Jair left after the one inning today with a sore right side, he told reporters he thinks it was just a cramp.

    It would also appear that Ed Lucas has made the team as Diory was one of the cuts today.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureBaseballFan View Post
    In other news Jair left after the one inning today with a sore right side, he told reporters he thinks it was just a cramp.

    It would also appear that Ed Lucas has made the team as Diory was one of the cuts today.
    Hooray for Ed!

    If Jurrjens can't go, I hope that Rodrigo Lopez can be better than "Derek Lowe against Baltimore".

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureBaseballFan View Post
    In other news Jair left after the one inning today with a sore right side, he told reporters he thinks it was just a cramp.

    It would also appear that Ed Lucas has made the team as Diory was one of the cuts today.
    there's always brandon hicks! haha. i also think if JJ cannot go that lopez or KK get the nod over minor. It's a win-win. It allows minor to not bounce back and forth and could improve their trade value.

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    Other minor news is the Braves lost both Lee Hyde, LHP, and Jose Ortegano, LHP, to waiver claims with Hyde going to the Nationals and Ortegano going to the Yankees.

    Ortegano is a soft tossing lefty that could be a decent LOOGY but he will have to overcome a lot to do anything else.

    Hyde has the potential to be a solid reliever but injuries have hurt his progress.

    Some have already blamed the loss of the players on Wagner still being on the roster but the Braves didn't make any corresponding moves (like putting Lucas on the roster) so, as some Braves writers have noted, the more likely reason is that they are clearing room for their own potential waiver claims in the coming weeks.

    In other minor news the Braves are reportedly looking for a RH pinch hitter to complement Hinske which could mean the end for Conrad, Mather, or Lucas if the player found can be a backup SS/LF.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    This Wagner situation is getting weird. Who's dropping the ball here? Is Wagner being lazy or indeceisive? Have the Braves been lazy in not filing paperwork?

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    Wagner is the one that is required to file the paperwork, I remember someone speculating that he was simply waiting for a specific date as he would get an extra $350 or $450,000 in roster bonus but not sure if that is true or has past yet.

    Dave O'Brien brings up this interesting point that I don't think many noticed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Brien
    I’m starting to think Brandon Hicks might have a shot to win a #Braves bench job over Ed Lucas. Lucas has more versatility, but Hicks is the far superior defender at short and third base and has out-hit Lucas this spring.
    I have to be honest I had to look it up and he is correct.

    Ed Lucas :: .244/.311/.293 41 AB

    Brandon Hicks :: .355/.375/.548 31 AB


    I have to be honest I would still go with Lucas simply because I trust he will do something with the bat more then Hicks.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureBaseballFan View Post
    Wagner is the one that is required to file the paperwork, I remember someone speculating that he was simply waiting for a specific date as he would get an extra $350 or $450,000 in roster bonus but not sure if that is true or has past yet.

    Dave O'Brien brings up this interesting point that I don't think many noticed.



    I have to be honest I had to look it up and he is correct.

    Ed Lucas :: .244/.311/.293 41 AB

    Brandon Hicks :: .355/.375/.548 31 AB


    I have to be honest I would still go with Lucas simply because I trust he will do something with the bat more then Hicks.
    i think he hicks makes them team that young might get the final bench spot over mather, so that gives the braves another backup 2B/OF (which they would normally get from lucas, but don't get from hicks)

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    according to DOB,

    brandon hicks (over lucas) and matt young (over mather, thank goodness) have made the braves bench. Probably to go along with hinske, ross and conrad. love this roster. now just need a confirmation that proctor isn't on the opening day roster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chip&smoltz95 View Post
    according to DOB,

    brandon hicks (over lucas) and matt young (over mather, thank goodness) have made the braves bench. Probably to go along with hinske, ross and conrad. love this roster. now just need a confirmation that proctor isn't on the opening day roster.
    and proctor is out and martinez is in. the braves made all the moves that gives them the best chance to win

  20. #20
    A wise sequence of moves there.
    3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

    "It is not easy to be near your best every single day. Some would even say itís impossible. Weíre all just human beings. But itís not impossible. Henry Aaron did it." - Joe Posnanski

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    I am extremely happy for Matt Young because he really deserves it. Here is the article from Mark Bowman.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    The Braves completed a trade today getting Billy Bullock from the Twins. Here is how Keith Law sees the deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Law
    Really like this move for Atlanta - Bullock > Diamond by a wide margin.

    Uh, yeah - a lot more RT @jrconnelly: Twins trade Billy Bullock to Braves to "retain" Scott Diamond. Bullock any more than a org guy?
    The Braves add another closer arm to their minor league system.
    Extend Prado!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureBaseballFan View Post
    The Braves completed a trade today getting Billy Bullock from the Twins. Here is how Keith Law sees the deal.

    The Braves add another closer arm to their minor league system.
    it should be really interesting to see what the braves do if they need anything at the trade deadline. there's a lot of talent on that farm and not just pitchers either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESPN View Post
    But the Phillies have been reluctant to give daily updates on the health of Utley's right knee, in which he has recently been fighting patellar tendinitis, bone inflammation and chondromalacia.

    Asked if he felt he could return to the field this season, Utley said that was his goal.
    just wanted to post this little blurb. now, i thought this was a MAJOR injury, but for someone to even ask "are you going to return this year?" makes it seems really serious. I thought at most me would be back by may. anyone know how serious this is? could he miss all year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chip&smoltz95 View Post
    just wanted to post this little blurb. now, i thought this was a MAJOR injury, but for someone to even ask "are you going to return this year?" makes it seems really serious. I thought at most me would be back by may. anyone know how serious this is? could he miss all year?
    It is pretty much all speculation out there but here is the general sense I get from the reports.

    There is something seriously wrong with the knee and Utley and the Phillies are trying everything possible to avoid the surgery. The most talked about surgery for him (that I have seen) is microfracture which has a spotty record with athletes and being more common for NBA players.

    Here is the great Stephania Bell article on it from March 9. Basically from everything I have read is he has two options play through the pain but potentially be very limited in the field and potentially make it worse or get surgery which still isn't a sure thing to fix the problem and get on the road to recovery. I clearly am not a doctor (but play one on internet forums ) but everything I have read is he will be pretty lucky to play this year and if he does play it will be near impossible for him to avoid some kind of pain.
    Last edited by PureBaseballFan; 03-28-2011 at 06:52 PM.
    Extend Prado!!!

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