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Repoz
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Jeff [Francoeur] Ears

Frenchy’s minor league teammates convinced him that one of the pitchers on his team was deaf. For a month.

NJ in DC Posted: April 13, 2014 at 08:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, delta, idiocy, padres

Monday, April 07, 2014

Steinberg: Braves announcers on Bryce Harper

Announcers think Harper is kicky!

If my math is correct, the Braves and Nats have played three times this season. And in all three of the Atlanta broadcasts on Fox Sports South, the Braves announcers managed to take cracks at Bryce Harper.

I didn’t watch the entire Atlanta broadcasts — just segments, after fans highlighted individual cracks. I can’t promise this is a comprehensive cataloging.

...First, Caray and Joe Simpson discussed Harper’s offseason during an early-game at-bat, while showing a photo of him with his UFC belt.

“In the offseason Bryce Harper made it a point to let the world know about his offseason conditioning program,” Caray said. “He really hit the weight room in preparation for this 2014 season. Maybe he was looking more like an NFL linebacker.”

“I don’t know why young guys think that more muscles mean more power,” Simpson said. “That’s almost a clown move, bro. Long line of guys who think that muscles equal more power, and not necessarily so. You can make a phone call to Jeff Francoeur and see how that affected him. Jeff thought that beefing up to about 230 would help him hit more homers, and it did not. In fact it had an opposite effect….[Harper’s] such a gifted baseball player, can do so many things well. Any team would love to have him on their ballclub. You just would hate to see him somehow affect what comes naturally to him and how strong he already was before he worked out, or did whatever he did this winter.”

Later, Harper struck out again.

“How concerned are you about Harper now? Ten strikeouts in his first 21 at-bats. I know it’s early, but….” Caray began.

“I’m not concerned at all,” Simpson laughed.

“Let me rephrase that: How concerned do you think the Nats are?” Caray asked.

“I would think that they’d want to revisit that workout program,” Simpson said.

Repoz Posted: April 07, 2014 at 06:06 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, media, nats

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chipper Jones Loses Big in Atlanta

March 18 - Chipper Jones won 11 division titles, a handful of pennants and a World Series championship over the course of 19 Major League Baseball seasons. However, the former Atlanta Braves star has found himself on the losing end of a recent real estate deal.

Jones has sold his mansion-estate in Roswell, GA, for a loss. Measuring 23,504 square feet in size, the rough equivalent of three baseball diamonds, the mansion originally hit the market in May 2013 for $3.195 million. It ultimately sold in March for $2.8 million—$395,000 less than his original ask and $1.53 million less than what Jones paid for the property in 2005.


Braves Sign Aaron Harang

Sure, Terry Forster would listen if the Braves called.

The Braves have agreed to sign pitcher Aaron Harang, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Atlanta had been rumored to be interested in adding another arm after parting with veteran Freddy Garcia earlier today (per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, on Twitter).

Of course, Harang himself was let go by the Indians just hours ago after requesting his release. The soon-to-be-36-year-old had strong results in the spring, though he threw just 9 innings for Cleveland. Last year, pitching for the Mariners and Mets, Harang posted a 5.40 ERA in 143 1/3 innings. Before that, however, he put up two consecutive seasons of 170+ innings and earned run averages just over 3.60. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, advanced metrics pegged his value somewhere in the middle, with FIP, xFIP, and SIERA marks all falling above 4.00 but below 5.00 over the last three campaigns.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:36 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron harang, braves, indians

Braves Release Freddy Garcia Despite Pitching Injuries

So, apparently the Braves starting rotation will be:

Julio Teheran
Alex Wood
David Hale
Gus Schlosser*

Mike Minor and Ervin Santana slot in around April 12th.

*You’ll need to search B-REF’s Minor League stats for that one.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Braves’ Beachy might need another Tommy John surgery

Pitcher Brandon Beachy’s arm injury appears to be far worse than he and the Braves initially believed, and he could find out Monday that he needs a second Tommy John elbow surgery and another year-long rehabilitation.

The Braves face the almost unimaginable, but quite real, possibility that starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Beachy could both be told Monday when they visit Dr. James Andrews that each needs to have a second ligament-transplant surgery, aka “Tommy John” surgery. Andrews did TJ surgery on Medlen in 2010 and on Beachy in June 2012.

Medlen, the planned opening-day starter who left Sunday’s game against the Mets after feeling stabbing pain in his surgically repaired elbow, had an MRI and other tests this week in Orlando and has already come to grips with knowing he’ll almost certainly need Tommy John surgery again.

And now Beachy, 27, knows he might also need his third overall surgery and second TJ surgery in a span of about 21 months. That’s assuming that Andrews would even recommend having so many surgeries within such a short period of time.

“Lot of frustration,” Beachy said Friday. “Really, really frustrated.”

...But he found out otherwise this week when had tests done in Orlando — he and Medlen went to the same doctor at the same time — that showed a possible ligament tear. For patients who’ve had a previous Tommy John surgery, the MRI can be “cloudy” around the repaired area and difficult to read, but both pitchers also had a stress X-ray that showed apparent ligament damage.

“I was pretty confident when I talked to you guys after the game Monday,” said Beachy, who had said after coming out of the game that he had consulted with members of the team’s medical and training staffs.

“I was being honest,” he said. “That’s what I was told. Now, it looks like it could be something else. Got to find out more.”

Thanks to FH.

Repoz Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:15 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Long: Ervin Santana: The forgotten free agent

It seems reasonable that Santana’s new team can expect him to continue his ground ball tendencies, assuming he keep using his sinker. This is especially important against right-handed batters, as it gives him just enough of a different tool to compliment his fastball and slider. One could even argue that his performance has room for improvement if he mixed in an even greater percentage of sinkers. If Santana mixed in more sinkers, and maybe even matched his fastball usage, the results could be fantastic for whichever team ends up signing the oft-ignored pitcher.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Braves agree to terms with Ervin Santana to one-year deal | MLB.com

It will be interesting to see the contract dollars. I suspect Ervin was wise to wait.



Edit: John Heyman reports the contract is $14.1MM. I guess he just breaks even.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:57 AM | 204 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ervin santana

Monday, March 10, 2014

Axisa: Braves’ Kris Medlen leaves game with right forearm strain

UPDATE: Medlen has been diagnosed with a right forearm strain, the Braves announced. He will be examined further on Monday. Forearm strains are known to be indicators of an elbow problem.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, frank jobe is dead, injuries

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Lee: Initial B.J. Upton swing observations

B.J. Upton’s swing has changed some, but whether it’s the dramatic difference he needs remains to be seen.

Upton’s 2013 was a perfect storm of bad habits rolled into a swing that was all arms and generated no lower-body help. It led to slow bat speed, whiffing through velocity and not being able to drive anything up the middle.

I wrote in October that Upton’s 2013 swing had little load, a very slow trigger, a stiff front side and no lower-body torque. He didn’t generate any momentum to the ball, didn’t rotate to it, and his body went toward home plate instead.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bad contracts, bj upton, braves, mechanics, scouting

Thursday, February 20, 2014

SBNation/TalkingChop: BREAKING: Andrelton Simmons gets seven-year, $58 million extension

No yearly breakout, but it buys out two of his free agent years in 2019-20.


Baseball Analytics: Smart Pitchers Throw Away From B.J. Upton

Upton’s offensive regressions have stemmed mainly from his inability to put bat on ball. In 2011, his overall contact rate stood at 76.7%, fell to 70.6% the following season and plummeted to 66.9% last season with Atlanta, which was the third lowest among batters with at least 400 plate appearances, trumped only by Pedro Alvarez (66.1%) and Chris Carter (65.4%), according to FanGraphs.

Three seasons ago, he was able to place contact on just about any pitch in the strike zone—boasting a 84% in-zone contact rate, which was just a shade under his career-high mark of 86.8% set in 2006. But over the last two seasons, his contact rate has faded almost exclusively to the inner-half of the plate. This has affected his ability to put outer-half offerings in play, posting a feeble 29.6% in-play rate on such pitches last season, which was fourth-worst among batters with 250 plate appearances. Knowing this, pitchers threw 49.4% of their offerings ‘away’ from Upton last season—an increase from 45.6% in 2012.

Word on the street is that Upton showed up to Braves camp this past weekend with an improved swing that’s eliminated unnecessary pre-swing movement. “He’s a lot more efficient,” Braves hitting coach Greg Walker told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. For Upton’s sake, I hope he’s right, because pitchers are beginning to recognize and attack his most glaring weakness—the outer-half of the plate—which has transformed him from former five-tool prospect to liability for Atlanta offensively.

Thanks to Ed.

Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Home Run Derby: Mathews v Aaron

Not much to it, and not really news, but I just realized that a bunch of the old “Home Run Derby” programs, which were first aired in the 50s and 60s, and then re-aired in ESPN back in the 80s, are available in their entirety on YouTube.

This one sees the Braves’ sluggers go up against one another. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s smooth, left-handed uppercut, and its contrast to Hank’s lunging, shoulder-heavy right-handed slash.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, classic baseball, home run derby, old school, video

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Braves Seek Immunity for Foul Ball Injury

“The game has changed,” said E. Michael Moran, who is expected to argue for the plaintiffs today. “The safety rules should change along with that.”
In the case before the court, a child identified in court papers only as M.F. was seated with her family a few rows behind the visitors’ dugout at Turner Field. A line drive foul ball hit by then-Brave Melky Cabrera flew into the stands and smashed into M.F.‘s forehead. M.F.‘s family claims that the blow fractured M.F.‘s skull in 30 places and caused a severe traumatic brain injury. (Last year, the plaintiffs note, Cabrera was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for steroid use.)

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 18, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, lawsuits, melky cabrera, safety

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cameron: On Craig Kimbrel and Committing to a Closer

But how likely is it that the Braves will still want to pay Kimbrel $13 million four years from now? It’s no secret that the shelf life of relief pitchers is shorter than players at other positions, and Kimbrel would hardly be the first dominant reliever to show up, dominate for a while, and then hang around as a shell of what he once was. Can we really forecast, right now, that Kimbrel will still be one of the best relievers in baseball in 2017?

...However, it must be noted that Kimbrel’s track record is far superior to the ones we’re looking at here. He’s not Gabe White, a career mediocrity who had one great year. Even guys like K-Rod or Lidge weren’t as good as Kimbrel is now. Kimbrel has further to fall than the rest, and could decline a lot while still remaining an excellent pitcher. In that way, he’s not that different from Papelbon, who is worse than he was but still quite good.

Is this a risk for the Braves? Absolutely, and I’m not entirely sure that the upside of potentially having him around for one or two extra seasons at $13 million per year is worth the extra money they guaranteed him going forward, but it should also be clear that this isn’t an obvious mistake. As much as relievers are fickle, a significant portion do sustain success for long periods of time, and Kimbrel is good enough that he can get worse and still be worth $13 million in 2017 dollars.

Like the Freeman deal, there’s an argument to be made that perhaps this deal costs Atlanta too much without providing a ton of upside, but like the Freeman deal, the Braves have ensured that they get to keep a high quality talent through his 20s without having to commit to his 30s. Every long term deal has a risk, but the Braves are taking risks on player’s prime years, and that’s a strategy I can’t argue against too strongly.

Thanks to Hip, Hip, Hippauf!.

Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, business, history

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Twitter: Braves agree to four year extension with Craig Kimbrel

@Braves The #Braves have agreed to terms with @kimbrel46 on a four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, contract extensions

Friday, February 14, 2014

Braves agree to six year contract with Julio Teheran

The Braves have agreed to terms with RHP Julio Teheran on a six-year contract through the 2019 season. The deal includes an option for 2020.

Jason Heyward
Freddie Freeman
Julio Teheran
Andrelton Simmons
Mike Minor

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, braves, bryce harper, contract extensions

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Dopp: Receding Stuff Makes Craig Kimbrel (More) Expendable

Fasten your BNQ certified neck protectors!

In a perfect world, the Braves would extend each of their three budding superstars. But we don’t live in a perfect world, which meant Atlanta essentially had to decide whether Heyward or Kimbrel was more valuable for the organization moving forward (since Freeman seemed a near guarantee to get his extension after a career-best 5.4 bWAR 2013 campaign). With three consecutive 40-plus save seasons and a 1.48 ERA that ranks best among pitchers with 200 innings since 2011, one could certainly make the argument that Kimbrel deserved to get paid—not Heyward, who owns an underwhelming career line of .259/.352/.443.

But for as dominant as Kimbrel has been since his rookie 2011 season, he actually regressed in several areas in 2013, which more than likely had a big say in Atlanta’s decision not to extend him.

...Across the board—both in terms of opponents’ weighted on-base average against him and in “miss-ability” of his offerings—Kimbrel’s stuff depreciated significantly. And while it seems silly to expect anyone to consistently perform at a level he did in 2012 (where he posted a 1.01 ERA, league-best 0.65 WHIP and 16.6 strikeouts per nine innings en route to a 3.3 bWAR), regressions such as these shouldn’t go unnoticed. Of course, now the question becomes: Why did he take a step back last season?

...Surely enough, this was Kimbrel’s downfall last season. Take a look at the first image shown above, which depicts the release point frequency of Kimbrel’s offerings two seasons ago. Looks to be very consistent, no? Now take a gander at the bottom image, showing his release point frequency in 2013. While the red and yellow areas of his release points remain nearly identical as two seasons ago, his overall release points were much less defined.

Evidently, batters picked up on this lack of consistency and capitalized off it, increasing their in-play rate against his stuff by 7.7% over the last two seasons while generating a .222 wOBA against him, up from .170 in 2012. What’s more, Kimbrel’s inconsistent release point caused opponents to swing at roughly 5% less, chase at 4% less and swing-and-miss nearly 10% less in 2013 than two seasons ago.

For Kimbrel, deception is the name of the game. Last season, he didn’t have it (as much), which is probably a main reason why Atlanta chose to extend Heyward over him.

Repoz Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:34 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, sabermetrics

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Braves extend Freddie Freeman

The deal with Freeman could be for as much as $125 million, Fox Sports reported Tuesday. Financial terms were not released.

Freddie will not be a Free man for at least 8 more years.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 04, 2014 at 09:48 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

MLBTR: Braves To Extend Freddie Freeman; Braves Sign Jason Heyward To Two-Year Deal

The Heyward deal.

Braves buy out last two years of Heyward’s arbitration at 13 mil or so, then drop a reported 8 year/125 mil buyout extension for Freeman. This carries Heyward through 2016 and should extend Freeman well past the Turner Field era.

No word on the young starting pitchers. They will absolutely go to arb with Kimbrel.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 04, 2014 at 04:15 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chipper Jones Rescued Freddie Freeman from Traffic Nightmare

More here. As of this morning, many Atlanta drivers who left work yesterday were still stranded. Many others had to abandon their vehicles and walk home.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

FanGraphs: Q&A: Tom Glavine, Hall of Fame Pitcher

As Tea For The Tillman pointed out…“This is better than “Living on the Black”.

Glavine on outperforming his peripherals: “I’m not a huge stat guy. I’ve always been a believer that if you took stats out of the game, you’d still know who the good players are, just by watching. When you start talking about guys who are Hall of Fame caliber, by and large, most of them probably performed better than they thought they could, or that a lot of people thought they could. That’s why they were able to have the careers they did. A common theme among them was they weren’t content; they were always looking to get better.

“For me, it was never about what I did last year, or what people were saying about me. It was ‘What can I do better than I did last year?’ and ‘How good can I be?’ That’s probably true for a lot of great players. They’re driven by something internal that’s hard to explain but gets them to a place they wouldn’t otherwise be. They outperform what people would realistically expect out of them.”

On the role defense played: “It played a huge role. Being a contact guy… believe me, it was nice to turn around and have Otis Nixon in center field, or Andruw Jones in center field — guys like that who could go get the ball. It was also nice to have Gold-Glove-type infielders behind me who I knew were going to make plays.

“That was one of the transitions I made from early in my career. I started getting better when I realized I could be pitching to contact and trusting the guys behind me. When those guys make plays, it becomes a lot easier to be aggressive and have that attitude of pitching to contact. It’s tougher to do when they’re making errors behind you. Inevitably, that plays on your mind. Fortunately, I had great defense behind me.

“In Atlanta, defense played a huge part in how we pitched. If we pitched the way we wanted to, and located the way we wanted to, our guys were going to be in position to make plays for us. Every now and then, they’d pick us up when we made a mistake.”

Repoz Posted: January 28, 2014 at 07:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame

Friday, January 24, 2014

Braves re-sign Freddy Garcia

Freddy retired in my Baseball Pro 98 league this offseason with exactly the same career record as his real life counterpart.  Pretty awesome. 

With Fredi’s tendency to shred arms, it appears it will not last.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:10 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Schoenfield: The 10 worst mascots ever

1. Crazy Crab (Giants)
2. Chief Noc-a-Homa (Braves)
3. Original Pirate Parrot (Pirates)
4. Twinkie the Loon (Twins)
5. Charlie-O (A’s)
6. Ribbie and Roobarb (White Sox)
7. Bernie Brewer (Brewers)
8. Dandy (Yankees)
9. Junction Jack (Astros)
10. Rootin’ Tootin’ Ranger (Rangers)


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