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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Braves - Promoted Johnson

Atlanta Braves - Recalled OF Kelly Johnson; Designated P Matt Childers for assignment.

I thought having Mondesi and Jordan in the outfield was, frankly, pretty damn retarded.

When the Braves did poorly in the ZiPS Projection simulations, I put forth 2 explanation as to why I thought they’d win 10 games.  Mazzone (who I’m actually building into the Atlanta park factor for ZiPS) and the fact that the Braves tend to cut the cord on their bad experiments fairly quickly if there’s an alternate possibility.

Well, it’s almost June and the Braves still haven’t dumped the dessicated remains of Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi.  The Braves have typically overachieved in the pitching department and are wasting all their great pitching this year; they’re slumping lately, just staying ahead of the Mets, thanks to an offense literally anchored by these two rotting husks of craptastitude.

Finally, a little bit of hope - Mondesi’s knee hurts (although I guess he could have a limb amputated and it not make him play any worse) and Langerhans has somehow stolen a little playing time from Brian Jordan, who is probably an inferior player to South Park’s Jimmy Lawler. 

They won’t miss Childers.

2005 ZiPS Projection - Kelly Johnson
——————————————————————————————————
Period     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
——————————————————————————————————
Actual ‘05* 151 33   44 11 2   7 19 30 23   4 .291 .412 .530
Rest ‘05   319 53   89 20 3 12 43 41 65   3 .279 .366 .473

* - Contains MLE

2005 ZiPS Projection - Brian Jordan
——————————————————————————————————
Period     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
——————————————————————————————————
Actual ‘05 144 17   34   5 0   2 19   9 27   2 .236 .286 .313
Rest ‘05   241 26   58 11 1   5 27 17 42   1 .241 .296 .357
——————————————————————————————————
Total ‘05 385 43   92 16 1   7 46 26 69   3 .239 .292 .340

 

2005 ZiPS Projection - Raul Mondesi
——————————————————————————————————
Period     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
——————————————————————————————————
Actual ‘05 142 17   30   7 1   4 17 12 35   0 .211 .273 .359
Rest ‘05   323 41   75 18 1 13 44 34 62   6 .232 .307 .415
——————————————————————————————————
Total ‘05 465 58 105 25 2 17 61 46 97   6 .226 .297 .398

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: May 29, 2005 at 05:22 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 29, 2005 at 06:16 PM (#1370001)
Mondesi will be DFA'd when Mike Hampton comes off the DL tomorrow. The Braves are effectively playing with a 24 man roster today, pending those moves.

Johnson was ripping the ball at Richmond and is batting 3rd in the Braves lineup. Cox says he wants people "on base in front of Chipper." (We're still waiting to see how that effects Raffy Furcal, who happens to be hitting worse than Jordan or Mondesi.)

Jordan is effectively the fourth OF now. Langerhans and Johnson have the starting slots until they lose it. Rumors in ATL suggest that Any Marte or Billy McCarthy could easily take Jordan's slot on the team as well.

The Braves tend to give last-chance veterans 200 or so at bats. We Braves fans refer to this as the Brogna Line. Mondesi just hit it.
   2. Spivey Posted: May 29, 2005 at 10:18 PM (#1370537)
Furcal has been playing better the last week and a half, but it'd probably them to move him down for a while.
   3. ChuckO Posted: May 29, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1370554)
According to what they said on today's game, Mondesi is gone. The announcers said that he wasn't in uniform today and was trying to decide what he was going to do. He apparently has until Hampton returns to make up his mind. I didn't tune in until late so I didn't get the details, but I'm guessing that a player who has been around as long as he has can either accept a demotion or declare himself a free agent.
   4. Dr Love Posted: May 29, 2005 at 10:37 PM (#1370557)
Mondesi said Sunday he hasn't decided whether he wants to prolong his career.

"I have to call my family and see what they think and decide after that," Mondesi said after meeting with Cox and general manager John Schuerholz before Sunday's game.

Mondesi said being placed on the disabled list isn't an option he discussed with Cox and Schuerholz.

"I spoke to him in deference of his stature and his career," Schuerholz said. "He's going to take a couple of days to see if he wants to keep playing."


http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2071340

Brian Jordan has been much worse though. Both outta get cut.
   5. Most Favored Haitian Status Posted: May 29, 2005 at 11:12 PM (#1370592)
craptastitude

Would be the noun version of "craptasty."

Not that its a bad word, just interesting.
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 29, 2005 at 11:13 PM (#1370594)
My question is, WTF are the Braves giving him a choice of whether he still wants to play? If I had a boil on my ass, I certainly wouldn't give it a say on whether or not I get it lanced.
   7. Old Matt Posted: May 29, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1370613)
Brian Jordan has been much worse though. Both outta get cut.

He kills the Mets though.
   8. Russ Posted: May 29, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1370623)
If I had a boil on my ####, I certainly wouldn't give it a say on whether or not I get it lanced.

Sometimes I have the option of being a real jerk to some of my students who are basically blowing off my class. I could really be cold to them when they fail and not do much to help them. However, if for every three of those students that fails my class and leaves my office respecting me and thinking I'm a good guy there is one who tells one of their friends that I'm a decent guy, then it's worth the small amount of effort.

Schuerholz is a genius when it comes to getting marginal, but possibly useful veterans to come play for him. I wouldn't question his personal skills in matters like this.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2005 at 12:31 AM (#1370735)
Would be the noun version of "craptasty."

No, of craptastic. "Craptasticity" would be another option, but that sounds like a disease. Maybe that's appropriate after all.
   10. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:53 AM (#1370990)
I seriously doubt the choice is "be our 5th OF in Atlanta or retire." More likely it's "we willing to send you down to Richmond to see if you can rediscover your game there, and if you do, maybe call you up again." Mondesi essentially has a choice of being demoted or being cut, because I seriously doubt Cox is going to send Pete Orr down just to keep Mondy around.

As Russ points out, this is classic people management from a front office that excels at it.
   11. baudib Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1371016)
You can see that in JS' quotes, about treating him with the respect a player of his stature deserves. wow.

Langerhans is also struggling. You have to give Cox credit because he has always been willing to slap kids into the lineup. Is there any chance Francoeur will get a shot at the RF job?
   12. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1371042)
Francoeur isn't ready. He's a fine prospect, but his BB:K ratio is 10:45 in AA. 3 of those walks were IBB too. Marte is doing pretty well in AAA and I think is ready for the bigs, although he might not excel right away.

Marte: .285/.382/.497, 26 BB, 33 K, 165 AB

I think McCarthy is an OF too, and he's putting up .295/.359/.476.
   13. base ball chick Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:14 AM (#1371051)
now compare the treatment that mondesi is getting from the braves to the treatment danny graves got from the reds
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:20 AM (#1371075)
now compare the treatment that mondesi is getting from the braves to the treatment danny graves got from the reds

He *had* to have been dumped due to that altercation with the fan. How else does a player go from closer to cut with no chance to get it together as a middle reliever?

Mondesi has to come back and play for someone. My HACKING MASS squad needs his futility.
   15. base ball chick Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:40 AM (#1371101)
pops -

1) i am disappointed that you had that pic pulled

2) the fan called him racist names and danny flipped him the bird. you don't just call up your closer over the phone and tell him he's been released for that when he's been with your club for years.

mondesi is a just guy hired for the year at the end of his career who hasn't been good for 5 years

and the braves treated him with respect and danny got shtt
   16. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1371115)
i am disappointed that you had that pic pulled

???????

the fan called him racist names and danny flipped him the bird.

I'm not sure the team knew that at the time and (just to be clear) I'm not saying they did the right thing. The actions of the Reds struck me as rather strange when viewed from a baseball standpoint.
   17. base ball chick Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:50 AM (#1371124)
pops -

meat posted a pic of you and him and your mother at the ball game, then it was pulled - i thought it was you who wanted it pulled - guess it was meat.
   18. Mike A Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:48 AM (#1371254)
Mondesi is done as a Brave. Cox said tonight that he would either be 'traded, retire, or released.' Basically, like Rico Brogna a few years back, the Braves are giving Mondesi the chance to retire before he is released. He will not accompany the team on the next road trip.

Not that this is just the Braves playing nice guys, they surely wouldn't mind getting out of paying the rest of Mondesi's salary if he decides to retire due to injury.

The Braves are still competitive, and they're getting younger as well (excluding my main man Julio). It's always fun to watch the kids play.
   19. Srul Itza At Home Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:21 AM (#1371322)
The Braves are still competitive, and they're getting younger as well

There are reasons why the Braves have stayed on top for so long. One of them is the willingness by Schuerholz and Cox to see if the kids can play. Signing Mondesi and Jordan was a case of getting away from that philosophy. I don't root for them, but I admire the way they do things, and I am glad it did not take them too long to see what had to be done.

Schuerholz, Cox and Mazzone should all go into the Hall of Fame together as a package. Somebody should suggest it to the Hall, and the Hall should bend whatever rules they need, to get there from here.
   20. Elvis Posted: May 30, 2005 at 12:36 PM (#1371406)
19 posts and just one mention of Johnson? A former sandwich pick makes the majors, smokes the ball twice against Myers and throws out a man at the plate. Outside of the baserunning gaffe, a pretty solid debut. And at the opposite end of the spectrum from Francoeur, he had more walks and extra-base hits than strikeouts while at Triple-A (34, 23, 22).
   21. Russ Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:29 PM (#1371427)
One of them is the willingness by Schuerholz and Cox to see if the kids can play. Signing Mondesi and Jordan was a case of getting away from that philosophy.

This is not exactly true... the Braves also have a willingness to see if they can rejuvenate a veteran player. What I think the Braves excel at is not being afraid to cut bait with either a young player OR an old player. The organization never seems to do anything drastic... every decision seems well considered, and although they never seem to have a Holy S**t! type of moment, they never seem to have a F'n S**t! type of moment either.

Let's just say that I hope that I'm never playing on-line poker with those three guys working together on the other end of the ethernet cable. They're the types of guys who don't bluff big, never bet big, but always seem to leave the table with lots of everybody else's money.

I have hated the Braves forever for ruining what should have been the culmination of the best 3 years of my baseball life (1990-1992), but I have learned to have a tremendous amount of grudging respect for their franchise and for the three guys in charge. In fact, is there any fan out there who wouldn't trade their trio of GM, coach, and pitching coach for what the Braves have got?
   22. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:34 PM (#1371430)
In fact, is there any fan out there who wouldn't trade their trio of GM, coach, and pitching coach for what the Braves have got?

I wouldn't.
   23. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:35 PM (#1371431)
After all, John Schuerholz isn't nearly as dreamy as Theo is.
   24. bunyon Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:15 PM (#1371494)
I have hated the Braves forever for ruining what should have been the culmination of the best 3 years of my baseball life (1990-1992),

This saved you from the disappointment of learning later that your championship was tainted by steroids.


I speak of Andy van Slyke, of course.
   25. greenback calls it soccer Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1371512)
One of them is the willingness by Schuerholz and Cox to see if the kids can play. Signing Mondesi and Jordan was a case of getting away from that philosophy.

This is not exactly true... the Braves also have a willingness to see if they can rejuvenate a veteran player. What I think the Braves excel at is not being afraid to cut bait with either a young player OR an old player.


In this particular case, Johnson hadn't played above AA at the start of the year and he's probably not a star in the making, so Mondesi and/or Jordan gave the Braves a couple of months to develop and to evaluate Johnson at Richmond. Mondesi and Jordan were pretty good ballplayers back in the day. While the odds were against them recovering their glory, they weren't bad options as fill-ins as long as the team wasn't wed to them.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:49 PM (#1371519)
19 posts and just one mention of Johnson?

He had a great debut, IMHO. His presence at the plate was quite astounding. He didn't lunge at anything. Didn't take a single swing off-stride. Only looked bad on one truly nasty cutter inside (that he swung over.) He reminded me of Marcus Giles or Chipper from a plate discipline/control perspective, and I wasn't expecting that. Johnson has a history of struggling in the first few months of a promotion (much like Langerhans.) But as you say, aside from the base-running mistake, he played a hell of a game. And the base-running mistake was forgivable. Utley and Rollins put the deke to end all dekes on the kid, and he fell for it completely.

The most astounding fact of all of this hasn't been mentioned, though. Yes, Johnson was called up. Yes, Mondesi is gone. But Johnson, on being called up, was inserted into the 3-hole in the lineup, because Cox wanted "someone to get on base in front of Chipper." I don't remember the last time someone was called up and put into that pivotal a spot in the lineup.
   27. Andere Richtingen Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:58 PM (#1371525)
The most astounding fact of all of this hasn't been mentioned, though. Yes, Johnson was called up. Yes, Mondesi is gone. But Johnson, on being called up, was inserted into the 3-hole in the lineup, because Cox wanted "someone to get on base in front of Chipper." I don't remember the last time someone was called up and put into that pivotal a spot in the lineup.

Well, it wasn't immediately upon his first call-up, but I can think of one player who was called up and batted third in his first start:

Chipper Jones
   28. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: May 30, 2005 at 04:11 PM (#1371539)
Well, it wasn't immediately upon his first call-up, but I can think of one player who was called up and batted third in his first start:

Chipper Jones


And Kelly Johnson was also drafted as a shortstop. (But that's enough of unrealistic expectations.) Johnson's upside is probably similar to LaRoche's, which is solid, but unspectacular major league regular. If they both meet that, then the Braves have filled two positions cheaply for the next few years.
   29. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1371573)
Johnson exploded onto the Braves' radar in 2001, with a Gilesesque season as Macon's (now Rome) shortstop. He struggled with the transition to Myrtle Beach's park, and I want to think there was an injury or two involved there as well. His first year at Greenville was less than impressive. This was also where he got switched to the OF. He rebounded on his second pass through Greenville, working his way to Richmond after a solid spring this year. His minor league numbers suggest a 800ish OPS with solid OBP and mediocre SLG for a corner OF.
   30. base ball chick Posted: May 30, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1371588)
why was he switched from SS to OF?

is furcal signed for next year already?
   31. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1371638)
IIRC, he wasn't much of a defensive SS. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of the SS in the system are Neifi-esque, at best.

Furcal is not signed beyond this year, and most of us expect him to go elsewhere. He's likely to get an outlandish offer from someone else. The two DUIs combined with the aging three years overnight have soured the organization on him to the extent they're not going to pay him top dollar.

Best case for Braves fans is he continues to struggle this year and signs a one year deal for next year.
   32. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:19 PM (#1371640)
When the Braves did poorly in the ZiPS Projection simulations, I put forth 2 explanation as to why I thought they'd win 10 games.

Well, that, and the fact that less than 10 wins would be a real challenge....

(I assume this was a typo for 100)
   33. Spivey Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:33 PM (#1371648)
J Leeds: I think he really meant 10 more games than the projections expected.
   34. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:47 PM (#1371660)
why was he switched from SS to OF?

He was simply overmatched at the position, defensively. He can still play it in a pinch (so can Chipper), but he's not an option as an everyday SS.

is furcal signed for next year already?

No, he isn't, and I doubt he will be. Furcal's replacement is already on the roster: Wilson Betemit. They also have Pete Orr, Tony Pena Jr and some other kid I forget. Of those, only Betemit has much potential with the bat, but Pena's supposed to be Belliardesque with the glove.
   35. base ball chick Posted: May 30, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1371661)
i thought wilson betemit was basically a PR and not much more - went from being the best prospect since arod or something to a bust - is this wrong?

and what i've seen of pete orr looks decent - doesn't have furcal's arm, but who does...
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 30, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1371675)
Betemit struggled mightily after his age-gate fiasco, but it bears remembering that unlike most of the latino players caught in the age-gate scandals, Betemit was actually much *younger* than he was supposed to be. He was the Braves version of Adrian Beltre. He's still only 23-24.

So far this year, he is Chipper's backup at 3B, one fo the primary PHs after Julio Franco, and a pinch runner. His numbers so far are a solid 275/408/500, though there's a really odd skew in his L/R splits (he's a switch hitter.) All of his power comes vs. LHP. All he does vs. RHP is walk, and walk, and walk...

Pete Orr is another in a long line of useful and popular backup middle infielders, in the line of Nick Green, Mark Derosa, Mike Mordecai, Ed Giavanola, etc., et. al. He has his uses, but I strongly suspect that he would be overmatched as an everyday player, a la Derosa in 2004.
   37. Brian White Posted: May 31, 2005 at 01:21 AM (#1372397)
Could Betemit still handle SS? In the few games I've seen him at 3rd, he hasn't looked terribly good, and it will have been a full year since he would have played short.
   38. Sam M. Posted: May 31, 2005 at 01:32 AM (#1372423)
But Johnson, on being called up, was inserted into the 3-hole in the lineup, because Cox wanted "someone to get on base in front of Chipper." I don't remember the last time someone was called up and put into that pivotal a spot in the lineup.

Great point. Compare this to the lunacy that is Willie Randolph's line-up construction, where David Wright has spent most of the year in the number seven hole! He's been hitting behind Doug Mientkiewicz, for reasons known only to Randolph.

I'd trade our GM/manager/pitching coach for the Braves' in a nanosecond.
   39. base ball chick Posted: May 31, 2005 at 01:48 AM (#1372447)
Posted by Sam M on May 30, 2005 at 09:32 PM (#1372423)

Great point. Compare this to the lunacy that is Willie Randolph's Phil Garner's line-up construction, where David Wright God-knows-who has spent most of the year in the number seven hole! hitting somewhere diffeerent every day! He's

I'd trade our GM/manager/pitching coach for the Braves' in a nanosecond.

- well, i don't know how long a nanosecond is, but it wouldn't take ME that long to trade. and i'd throw in our good for nothing but Ks hitting coach as a bonus
   40. sardonic Posted: May 31, 2005 at 02:05 AM (#1372485)
I would do it. It's debateable whether one would rather have Beane or Schuerholz, but I think Cox kills Macha and Curt Young is nothing special.
   41. JH (in DC) Posted: May 31, 2005 at 02:19 AM (#1372533)
Johnson definitely looked overmatched today in his at-bats against the Nats. He probably needs to be dropped in the order while he gets situated.
   42. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 09, 2005 at 09:24 AM (#1392277)
Kelly Johnson is as overrated as they come. The P-38 had the worst loss ratio of any USAAF fighter in the ETO/MTO, and the F-104's crash record with the Luftwaffe was horrendous. I can't imagine him being any better as an outfielder.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: June 09, 2005 at 12:21 PM (#1392317)
Johnson is now 1 for 27 - for a batting average, ironically enough, of "ZIPs."

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