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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Julio Lugo charged with kidnapping, gun posession

Former Devil Rays infielder Julio Lugo (2003-2006) has been charged in court with kidnapping, according to multiple reports out of the Dominican Republic.

Lugo last professionally played baseball for los Leones del Escogido, and last played stateside for the Braves in 2011.

Lugo’s arrest warrant was issued in the cities of La Romana and Santo Domingo for kidnapping and the posession of fire arms. According to the paper, Lugo and four men held their hostage and his girlfriend at gunpoint, demanding money that had allegedly been invested in a business venture.

A rough translation of the article includes how Lugo had, “always been willing to talk about it, assuring him that the money invested in the company, as well as that of other investors, was sure.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, dodgers, guns, julio lugo, kidnapping, legal, rays, red sox

Monday, April 20, 2015

Braves reliever Andrew McKirahan suspended 80 games for PED violation

No surprise if you look at his home run totals.

Atlanta Braves lefthander Andrew McKirahan has been suspended 80 games for violating league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, FOX Sports Insider Ken Rosenthal reported Monday….

McKirahan was a Rule 5 pick acquired from the Chicago Cubs by the Miami Marlins. The Braves acquired him after the Marlins waived him in March.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2015 at 09:56 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mckirahan, braves, peds, suspensions

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Look out Refsnyder: Yankees interested in Braves’ 2B prospect

Yankees attempting to use an Atlanta fire to their advantage… again…

The Yankees have let the Braves know they have an interest in Atlanta’s second-base prospect Jose Peraza who is currently playing at Triple-A.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation the Yankees made contact with the Braves and sent scout Dennis Twombley to Gwinnett, Ga. recently to watch Peraza, who turns 22 on April 30.

Baseball America ranked the 6-foot, 165-pound native of Venezuela as the 54th best prospect in the minor leagues and MLB had him 39th.

In 349 minor league games Peraza started Wednesday night’s action batting .303 with an on-base percentage of .349. He had 178 steals and was caught 42 times.

The Yankees’ interest in Peraza could be a strong sign they don’t believe Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela are long-term solutions at second base. Refsnyder’s defensive struggles in spring training have carried over to the Triple-A season where he has made three errors in six games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Pirela is still on the road back from a spring-training concussion.

While the Yankees aren’t likely to surrender top pitching prospect Luis Severino, they could put together a two-player package that might include catcher Gary Sanchez who has been passed in the organization’s pecking order by John Ryan Murphy.

The District Attorney Posted: April 16, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, gary sanchez, jose peraza, rumors, yankees

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Eyes on new front office to spark Braves renaissance | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal isn’t here to bury Frank Wren; he’s here to defend him.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 09, 2015 at 09:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Bill James Mailbag - 4/7/15

Hey, Bill! Long-time Braves fan here (through some good years, and some VERY bad ones) and it really hurts to see the Braves trade away Craig Kimbrel. I know they claim to be “rebuilding,” but Kimbrel has been one of the best relievers in the game over the last couple of years, and he’s only 26. Wouldn’t you consider…that position, at least…to be already “built?”

It’s Upton. The signing of BJ Upton was utterly inexplicable, for reasons I should probably be polite enough not to outline, but once he was signed, his contract became a huge millstone that was going to drag the organization down for a long time. They almost had to get Upton’s money off the books before they could START re-building, and how are you going to do that? You’ve got to give the other team something they DESPERATELY want—Kimbrel—in order to get them to accept something that they don’t want to have anything to do with—Upton’s contract. I think it was a smart move on Atlanta’s part to do that, but it is terribly sad what has happened to the organization. Just two or three years ago, with Heyward and Freeman, Martin Prado and Brian McCann and Andleton Simmons, it looked like they really had something going. It got away from them with stunning quickness. It always hurts the fans to give up players that they have grown fond of.

Taking a game from yesterday, let’s say we gave Johnny Cueto, who got 21 outs in a Reds win without getting the decision, .77 of a win (Jumbo Diaz got the win by getting one out at the right time). Do you think that over the course of a full career, or even a full season, that a starting pitcher’s win total would be significantly different if wins were calculated in this way? They would certainly get credit for any game the team won, but they would lose some points for every non-complete game. Seems to me it might actually balance out in the end….thoughts?

I’m surprised that we don’t KNOW yet. Here’s what I think: 1) We should definitely fix the rules so that wins and losses are scored as rationally as they can be, regardless of whether it makes a difference or not, 2) I’ve been talking about starting a campaign to try to get this done for years, but it’s one of those things. . .you have to focus on it or you’re just wasting your time, and also, everybody who gets involved in the effort wants to fix the rules a different way, so you have to work out some consensus among yourselves before you can even begin the process, and that takes a year of organizational meetings before you can really start, 3) I don’t understand why we don’t KNOW what difference it would make, since it wouldn’t be a huge project to re-score wins and losses from 1950 forward, so that we wouldn’t be operating in the dark as to what difference it would make, and 4) SPECULATING about what difference it would make, when the answer is knowable but unknown, would be lazy and counter-productive, since we should never speculate about that which we COULD easily know.

Re: the BJ Upton signing being “utterly inexplicable.” I’ve been trying to understand the signing for a long time now, and I always arrive at “bad idea” or “poorly considered”—which is a step short of “utterly inexplicable.”...

Well, not to be accusatory, but BJ Upton just does not hustle. This is very rare at a major league level; there are really only two major league players non who just don’t hustle, plus there are some older guys who conserve a lot of energy but have paid their dues and can get by with it. But it is politically incorrect to SAY that a player wont hustle, even if he won’t, so this kind of escapes the record—not the stat record, but the conversational record. People don’t talk about it; it’s considered impolite. So when the Braves signed this contract, I thought, “Jesus Christ, did they miss the memo on this guy? Did they not scout him? Or have they so completely bought into this notion that it is improper to charge a major league player with laziness that they actually don’t SEE what anybody else can see?” Which happens all the time outside of sports; people don’t see things that they ought to see, because they don’t want to believe in them. It doesn’t usually happen IN sports, because if you do that in sports you will lose. So I don’t know. . .either they didn’t do their homework, or they talked themselves into believing that it’s just a bad rap; there is no such thing as a major league player who doesn’t want to play. To me, it is inexplicable.


Monday, April 06, 2015

Padres Keep Building and Borrowing, Add Craig Kimbrel | FanGraphs Baseball

Jeff Sullivan breaks down the deal.

The Braves are shedding just over $80 million in guaranteed future salary. The Padres, meanwhile, are shedding about $24 million in guaranteed future salary, meaning, in the end, the Braves save about $56 million, and the Padres add that much. Kimbrel has both potential performance-based bonuses and a club option, but we’ll stick with the guarantee for now. Here’s the simplification of this deal: the Padres are trading one of their top prospects, and a couple other minor things, for Craig Kimbrel on a three-year contract worth about $56 million. That doesn’t capture everything, but it gets to the heart of this.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, carlos quentin, craig kimbrel, melvin upton, jr., trades

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Padres Acquire Craig Kimbrel, Melvin Upton Jr.

Only makes sense to trade Kimbrel (never mind dump B.J.) if you’re rebuilding… but I thought they’d, y’know, get something…

The Braves will acquire [Cameron] Maybin and [Carlos] Quentin, [Ken] Rosenthal tweets. The Braves will also acquire pitcher Matt Wisler, as FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets. [Fangraphs’ Kiley] McDaniel tweets that the Braves will also receive outfield prospect Jordan Paroubeck. Rosenthal tweets that the Braves will also receive the 41st pick in this June’s draft.


Friday, April 03, 2015

Trevor Cahill’s Groundball Conundrum | Banished to the Pen

Here’s an interesting look at Trevor Cahill’s problems.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, trevor cahill

Braves trade for Diamondbacks starting pitcher Cahill | www.ajc.com

Cahill’s changes for a bounce back year won’t be hurt by Simmons and Peterson at short and second.

Despite his 3-12 record and 5.61 ERA in 2014, the Braves think Cahill, 27, can have a bounce-back season working with pitching coach Roger McDowell, who’s had a lot of success getting other sinkerballers back on track in the past.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:36 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Keri: 2015 NL East Preview

New York Mets

Worst Offseason Move: Signing Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal. I’m still trying to figure out what the Mets were thinking here: Cuddyer hit .332 with 30 combined homers in 2013 and 2014, but (1) he did it at Coors Field, and Citi Field sure as hell isn’t Coors Field, (2) injuries limited him to just 49 games last season, and (3) he hasn’t played in more than 130 games since his last season with the Twins in 2011. Oh, and (4) Cuddyer is 36 years old, (5) he’s one of the worst defensive outfielders in the game, and (6) the Mets gave up what would have been the no. 15 pick in the draft to sign him.

Honestly, the conspiracy theory suggesting the Mets were throwing Colorado a free compensation pick as part of a wink-wink agreement before an eventual Tulo trade still seems more plausible than New York thinking signing Cuddyer was a good idea.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 02:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, marlins, mets, nationals, phillies

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most homegrown playoff team in 2014—behind only St. Louis. The Royals’ in-house highlights included Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi (the key pieces in the James Shields trade), Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

5. Reds
Cincinnati has harvested a nice combination of blue-chip talent (Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Devin Mesoraco) and solid contributors (most notably, Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Zack Cozart, Didi Gregorius, Yasmani Grandal and Mike Leake), though it has traded most of the latter group.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Minor, Upton not likely to return before May | www.ajc.com

How much longer will Upton play for the Braves anyway?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2015 at 07:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, melvin upton, mike minor

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Several players jockeying to win roster spots | braves.com

The Braves position battles, such as they are.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: alberto callaspo, braves, eric young jr., jace peterson, phil gosselin

Monday, March 16, 2015

Braves, Comcast will unveil major stadium deal | www.ajc.com

How many times will Comcast make them reschedule?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2015 at 07:25 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium deals

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Favorites For Hector Olivera - BaseballAmerica.com

It will be interesting to see how much he signs for.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cuban free agents, dodgers, hector olivera, padres

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Minor’s absence opens opportunities for Stults | braves.com

This doesn’t sound good.

Though Braves officials are maintaining hope that Mike Minor needs just a few weeks of rest, they are well aware of the fact that the three months of rest he received this past offseason did not prevent his left shoulder from becoming an issue yet again this week.

Thus, instead of simply waiting a couple more weeks to see if the shoulder discomfort persists, the Braves are planning for Dr. James Andrews to evaluate Minor’s shoulder early next week. The hope is that the evaluation will provide a clearer understanding about what has caused the 27-year-old southpaw’s shoulder to prove so problematic over the past year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:09 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mike minor

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Braves’ T-shirts: ‘Hello, my name is ...’ - Spring Training Blog - ESPN

You can’t know the players without a program t-shirt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Sunday, March 01, 2015

With Upton out, Braves can get good look at CF options | Atlanta Braves blog

It’s not like Upton hasn’t been given ample opportunity to keep his job. I’d say he has no complaint if someone plays well in his absence and he doesn’t automatically get his job back.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 09:07 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, melvin upton

Phillies newcomer Francoeur becoming Howard’s biggest fan

“It seems like every time I look at him, he’s got a few guys around him,” manager Ryne Sandberg said of Francoeur. “I think there’s a good reason behind that. Players tend to go to him.”

Francoeur and Howard have been nearly inseparable during the first week of camp.

Their lockers are next to each other. They were in the same, three-man group, with infielder Andres Blanco, when hitters faced live pitching Friday. They are in the same, six-man team under Charlie Manuel’s guidance in the team’s carefully crafted hitting groups this spring.

The Phillies signed Francoeur to a minor league contract this winter because they think he has the chance to make their major league club as a much-needed righthanded bench bat. But like Manuel, he’s also someone with a history with Howard - they played against each other as NL East foes for years - and someone with an unwavering positive outlook, too.

He’s baaa-aaack!

 

eddieot Posted: March 01, 2015 at 07:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur, mets, phillies, ryan howard

Saturday, February 28, 2015

AJC: Braves center fielder Upton (foot) likely out at least 2 months

Melvin Upton Jr. will likely miss all of spring training after being diagnosed with inflammation of a bone in his left foot, and the Braves suddenly have another opening-day spot up for grabs.

Upton had X-rays Friday morning that showed some damage but weren’t definitive, then had an MRI exam that revealed he has sesamoiditis, or inflammation in a bone behind the ball of his foot.

The Braves said he would be in short leg cast for two weeks, then a walking boot for 4-6 weeks. He’s not expected to resume baseball activities until early April.

Rickey! is just here so he don't get fined Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, the melvins

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Braves insist it’s a ‘remodeling,’ not a ‘rebuilding’

You don’t?

The reality is the Braves didn’t believe they could be a World Series team if they kept the team intact. To be honest, they were actually thrilled the Nationals and Miami Marlins got even better during the winter, reinforcing their belief they were not going to contend for the division title.

At the same time, you don’t bring in veterans A.J. Pierznyski, Jason Grilli, John Buck, Kelly Johnson, Jim Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Gomes and Markakis, and expect to go out every night and lose.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Baseball America: Five Historical Precedents for Cubs’ Loaded Top 100 Class.

1. 2006 Diamondbacks

The Players

SS Justin Upton (#2), SS Stephen Drew (#5), 1B Conor Jackson (#17), OF Carlos Quentin (#20), OF Chris Young (#23), OF Carlos Gonzalez (#32), RHP Dustin Nippert (#67)

The First Six Seasons
Arizona went 477-495 (.491) from 2006-11, with three winning seasons and two trips to the playoffs, one courtesy of an National League West division title.

The precedents aren’t as strong as I would have expected.

Cloude Atlas (Voxter) Posted: February 22, 2015 at 02:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brewers, cubs, diamondbacks, prospects, rays, royals

BJ Upton to be henceforth known as Melvin Upton


‏@JeffSchultzAJC
#Braves exec John Hart made passing reference to “Melvin” (B.J.) Upton, then confirmed player will go by Melvin Upton Jr, this season.

PreservedFish Posted: February 22, 2015 at 02:32 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: bj upton, braves

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Braves have acquired best prospects this offseason | braves.com

Jim Callis really likes the prospects haul the Braves obtained this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

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