Tagged: Javier Vazquez

Braves Have Big Day

Let’s start with the WBC…

U.S.A. narrowly beat Canada in a thriller 6-5 victory. The Canadians beat the U.S. last year, so extra effort was put in today in their opener. There was a total of 5 home runs hit in the game; 3 for the U.S., 2 for Canada. One of the home runs was hit by Brian McCann. He hit a 2 run home run that broke the tie and gave the U.S. a lead that they held the rest of the game. Congrats Brian. You are representing our club and country well. Check out McCann’s blast. Chipper’s face looks priceless when he hugs McCann.
McCann also had a Sac-Fly that tied the game until Joey Votto’s blast. He ended the day going 1-2 with 3 RBIs, 1 run scored, and a walk along with that home run. Chipper was a little off today going 0-4 with a walk and 3 strikeouts.
 https://i1.wp.com/a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0307/mlb_u_putzvert_288.jpg
Other Braves playing today in the Classic:
Javier Vazquez started for his country, Puerto Rico. He went 4.1 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3. He earned the win and PR won 7-0 against Panama.
Concepcion Rodriguez didn’t have such a big day as his country, Panama, lost and he went 0-3 with a strikeout.
The Dutch somehow beat the DR today with really nobody on their team. Andruw Jones played with them in 2006, but he had to do Spring Training this year to try to make the Rangers. Jair Jurrjens also decided not to play for them since he pitched so much last season. It will be remembered as one biggest upsets in the WBC.
http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=3961408

http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=3960316

http://espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=3961153

Now about those Braves…
They stayed hot and beat the Yankees 3-1. This is the 2nd time this Spring that we beat the Yankees. Jair Jurrjens was on the mound and gave a great performance going 3.2 innings giving up 1 run, 4 hits, no walks, and struck out 3. The one run ended up being the only run given up. Our bullpen has been exceptionally good so far this spring. It is a very good sign.

The runs we scored were all off solo home runs hit by Casey Kotchman, Greg Norton, and Brandon Jones. That really summarized it all up. Here is the box stats:

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Atlanta

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Jurrjens

3.2

4

1

1

0

3

0

4.76

Carlyle

1.1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0.00

Medlen

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

3.00

Gomez, M

1.0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0.00

Valdez

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

13.50

 

Atlanta

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

 

Anderson, J, CF

3

0

0

0

0

2

.316

 

  Gorecki, CF

1

0

1

0

0

0

.667

 

Johnson, 2B

3

0

1

0

0

1

.294

 

  Conrad, 2B

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

 

Kotchman, 1B

2

1

1

1

0

0

.357

 

  Canizares, 1B

2

0

1

0

0

0

.500

 

Norton, DH

3

1

1

1

0

0

.167

 

  a-Timmons, PH-DH

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

 

Francoeur, RF

3

0

0

0

0

0

.125

 

  Heyward, RF

1

0

0

0

0

0

.250

 

Escobar, SS

2

0

2

0

0

0

.417

 

  Hicks, SS

1

0

0

0

1

1

.000

 

Diaz, LF

2

0

0

0

0

1

.313

 

  Jones, B, LF

2

1

1

1

0

0

.286

 

Infante, 3B

3

0

1

0

0

0

.357

 

  Hernandez, D, 3B

0

0

0

0

0

0

.200

 

Ross, C

3

0

0

0

0

0

.222

 

  Boscan, C

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.000

 

Totals

33

3

9

3

1

5

 

 

a-Grounded out for Norton in the 8th.

2B: Johnson (3, Wang), Canizares (1, Texeira, K).
HR: Kotchman (1, 1st inning off Wang, 0 on, 2 out), Norton (2, 6th
inning off Tomko, 0 on, 1 out), Jones, B (1, 7th inning off Coke, 0 on, 0
out).
RBI: Kotchman (3), Norton (2), Jones, B (4).

BASERUNNING
SB: Diaz (1)

FIELDING
E: Infante (1, throw).

 

The Braves will play Sunday afternoon at 1:05, against the Phillies. Tommy
Hanson is expected to start.

Videos and Picture provided by Espn
Box Stats provided by mlb.com

Odd Man Out?

As you know, the Braves signed Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe this week. Recently, I learned from David O’Brien about Tim Hudson’s option

Almost forgot to mention this: I asked about Hudson’s option today,
and found out it’s not a mutual option, but a club option. Yes, they
fully intend to exercise it, barring some unexpected turn of events.

That would give the Braves potentially one of the most formidable
rotations in baseball, featuring five from this group: Hudson, Lowe,
Jurrjens, Vazquez, Kawakami and Hanson.

– David  O’Brien

Just imagine this rotation. Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, and 2 pitchers out of Vaquez, Kawakami, and Hanson. That is amazing. Campillo would go back to the bullpen and one of the players in the rotation would have to get moved. There could be a chance we move one of them to the bullpen or use them in a trade, but who knows what would happen. We might even go to a 6 man rotation. There are so many things that could happen. I don’t think Hanson or Jurrjens will go back to the minors and Hudson’s option will get picked up. Who knows what will happen. There is a chance that Hanson isn’t as good as we thought, Kawakami doesn’t pan out, Hudson can’t come back after TJ surgery, or Jurrjens was a fluke last year. Anything could happen, so I am pretty sure that we will keep all of them. If one gets injured, then we have plenty of options to replace him.

I can guarantee that Morton or Reyes or even both will be gone after this season or the next. Parr and Campillo will be in the bullpen after this year. They just couldn’t make it in the rotation. I can’t imagine that Soriano will be with us after next year either. We have just completely loaded our rotation and rotation that we have to get rid of some. Good thing Chuck James left after being nontendered because there is no way he could have made this years rotation or the next, even if he went back to the 11 win man.

I am predicting that we go with a 6 man rotation with Campillo and Parr moving to the bullpen, Reyes will get traded and we will keep Morton, and Soriano will leave after this year in Free Agency. Next year the outfield will be like this with Frenchy, Anderson, Schafer, Hernandez, Blanco, possibly Jones, Heyward, Diaz, and Brandon Jones.

2009 Needs

Power hitting outfielder who hits over .250

Will Ohman

 Another Lefty Starter just in case

Players I predict we will get

Andruw Jones

Nick Swisher

Will Ohman 

Tom Glavine

Braves, Lowe agree to deal

I am thrilled to say that Lowe will become a Brave!
Yesterday they
agreed to a 4 year, 60MM deal. This is coming right after we sign
Kenshin Kawakami to a 3 year 23MM deal. Two great signings in a row.
Lowe,
36, is a workhorse and doesn’t really spend anytime on the DL. He can
pitch over 200 innings like Vazquez and is capable of being an Ace,
which is what we need. He has a decent ERA and is going to be a very
important part to the team this year. He’s also been in the NL long
enough to know how to hit. Derek Lowe by NJ Baseball.
Last year he had a 3.24 ERA, 211 IP, 147 K’s, and 14 wins and 11 loses.

Next year, our rotation should look like

Lowe
Jurrjens
Vazquez
Kawakami
Campillo as of now.
Replacements- Reyes, Morton, Parr (could see bullpen time), and Hanson.
Hudson later on.
I
could easily see Glavine getting that 5th spot and Campillo moving back
to the Pen. It would be possible that Hanson will win the spot during
ST and then you would send Reyes and Morton back to AAA. I really see
one of them getting sent out of Atlanta in a trade package like to the
Yankees or to another team for other needs.

Now about the outfield…
Dunn
looked likely 2 days ago, but I would guess that Nady or Swisher will
be going to Atlanta. I would perfer Nady because he can hit just as
many HR’s and still hit over .300. Swisher hit in the low .200’s last
year but jacked over 20.
Andruw Jones will also be a Brave once he gets released from the Dodgers.

Anyways,
I had full faith in Wren and I knew he would get the job done. He will
also put a few more fans in the sets as well. If we can get a power
hitter, I think we can win the crown again as the leaders of the NL
East. We are very close.

Grading this Season’s Signings

I am going to give a personal grade for the players the Braves have gotten so far this Offseason.

Javier Vazquez

He has been a great workhorse and can strikeout tons of people. He had 200 K’s last year and had a ERA of 4.67 over 208.1 innings. The ERA isn’t great, but I sure love the innings he pitched. Considering how every pitcher we had was injured, having a non-injury prone guy pitching will be great. We REALLY need that. Obviously this guy is not our ace, but he is a very good player  and has the veteran presences that we needed more of. He should be better than he was last season going into the NL. This guy is very good and a great pickup.               https://i0.wp.com/i2.cdn.turner.com/si/2008/baseball/mlb/12/04/braves.whitesox.ap/javier-vazquez-ap2.jpg
Grade: A

Boone Logan
Ok this guy isn’t great, but he can be an option we can look for in the bullpen. Hopefully an NL move will help him, but it won’t be a huge difference. He had a not-so-good ERA of 5.95 and a WHIP of 1.68 and got sent to the minors with the ChiSox. Hopefully he can turn around and have a consistent season, but I doubt it. He might have an ERA under 5, but I still see him staying inconstant.
Boone Logan by RikinIllinois.
Grade: C-

David Ross
Here
is a decent pickup. We needed a new backup catcher BADLY! When your two backups combine to hit less than .175, you have to make some kind of move. Ross hit .225 with 3 HR’s, which happened to be 1 HR more than our backups hit COMBINED. Well anyway, he’s pretty good and can really give us a better chance of winning when McCann is taking a day off. It is also good because he is a Georgia boy. I can see him getting some good playing time during interleague games.

  David Ross Hitting by dslrnovice.
Grade: B-

Eric O’Flaherty
I don’t really know much about this guy, although he was picked up from waivers after giving up 15 runs over 6.2 innings. He can maybe turn around, but he has to first win a spot during Spring Training. We will see how that goes.

Eric O'Flaherty getting the signal by BTats.
Grade: C

Greg Norton
We saw last year how good he did, so it’s no surprise he’s back here. Glad he’s back and I hope he can still have that .300 pinch-hitting average he had last year. He can play OF and 1st base AND he is a switch hitter. You can expect him to make a lot of late-innings appearances. He’s old, but he’s still good.
Greg Norton by The Suss-Man.
Grade: B+

Kenshin Kawakami

Since he did come from Japan, we can not automatically say he is going to be as good as his Japanese numbers were, but I can say that he will be a solid player and can help us. He is a great player and he won’t be a bust.                     
https://i1.wp.com/www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2007/sb20071014j2a.jpg

Grade: A-

Derek Lowe
This is was a major signing. We needed an ace, and he can match that. A workhorse and a great guy. This, as of now, was the signing of our offseason. He had a 3.24 ERA and over 211 innings pitched. Oh did I mention he has over 75 saves as well as over 100 wins? He has what we need.
Derek Lowe by NJ Baseball.

Grade: A+

Overall grade for Atlanta: A

 

Pros and Cons of getting Burnett

Ok let’s talk about the pros and cons of signing AJ Bunett to a 5 year deal.

PROS

  • He is a DOMINATE pitcher when he’s on the mound. It’s hard to go up against him because he is SO good.
  • He can strikeout a lot of guys. He lead the league this year and has 1278 K’s over 1376.1 Innings. With Vazquez and Burnett, we can make a lot of guys swing and miss.
  • He can bring that “Ace” presences that need. Yes you can argue that he’s not a “true” ace, but once you have a rookie as an ace while only winning 13 games, who cares. Honestly, Burnett is an ace to me.
  • He actually would come down to Atlanta. When he was talking about teams that he would consider, he named a bunch of  North Eastern teams and then included us. That’s good.
  • We need an elite pitcher. As much as I hate to say it, Peavy chances of coming here are very small. We need someone who is good, otherwise we will end up with Garland as our ace or someone like that. Very sad.
  • Everyone wants him. Maybe not some of my fellow Braves Bloggers want him, but Cox, Wren, Chipper, and even Javy Vazquez want him. I’m sure that everyone in the Braves organization want him and would do almost anything to get this guy, no matter the medical history.
  • He might not get injured like he did in the past. Yes it’s likely he will be on the DL, but if you think about it, he has the same chance of getting injured as Sabathia does. Burnett actually went a full season without getting injured, so to me he is on a clean slate. 
  • We can prevent the Yankees from being the best team in history. Which one would you rather face? Burnett or Garland? That is their backup, and it would be a lot better to face Garland than it would Burnett.

https://i0.wp.com/photos.upi.com/story/w/9e6dc885b747193181a7c1da797d7d6e/Pitcher_AJ_Burnett_leaving_Blue_Jays.jpg

 
CONS
Alright now the bad things.

  • He’s always injured. We all know the story to that. Look at his stats.
  • He wants 5 years. That’s a little crazy, but obviously some teams have shown that they would do it.
  • He wants a lot of money to go along with that 5 years. around 80-90 million/5 years is his goal.
  • He only pitched over 200 innings 3 times over his career since ’99. That was ’02, ’05’ and ’08.
  • We just got done with Mike Hampton. Ok a positive to this is AJ is better than Hampton, but still do we want a guy that will miss 2-3 seasons?
  • We will have to bid higher since we are not near his hometown.
  • We are bidding against the YANKEES!!! If we outbid them, I think the Braves saved baseball from a crazy-good rotation that would not even be fair.
  • Aj_burnettWe can still go and get other guys that might not have better results, but they won’t be as injured as he is.
  • Burnett might want to be on the Yankees because they are getting CC and it’s close to his home. Go figure
  • We would have to make other special deals where we have to transport his wife to Atlanta 8 times a year. Ok that’s not even that bad, but I just wanted to mention it.
  • It might take a while and we have other needs we need to address.
  • We can still get Peavy. Only if we just forget about this deal and just focus on trading Peavy. We still have a chance to make the best package for Towers. Yes it’s unlikely, but it isn’t impossible. 
  • We have a history of pitchers getting injured in the organization. It would seem like it would effect Burnett, and he would most likely would be on the DL a couple of times. Thank God for James Andrews though in Birmingham. Where would we be without him?

Ok I’m done talking about it. You can choose whatever, but I say get him. This to me is a all-or-nothing thing. Our chances of being competitive is on this guy right now.

Oh by the way, don’t listen to most ESPN guys. They really don’t know what they are talking about, so don’t pay attention to the Smoltz to Tigers, Mets, or any other team. He will be a Brave next year.

UPDATE
It’s only between us and the Yanks and it might be close. They are most likely gonna bid higher and add a 5th year, so we need to do everything we can to get him, even if it means putting in a 6th year option or anything like that. We really need this guy. Our backup will probably be Sheets, (same injury deal, less years and less money though) but I’m hoping we won’t need to use our backup.

ANOTHER UPDATE
Apparently the Peavy to Cub deal is dead, and that is good music to my ears and other Braves fan. I think we can benefit from this and we might have another chance to land Peavy! Also, if we do go for Peavy, we won’t be including our SS Yunel Escobar. Way too late for that one. We could still package a good deal though, just not as good as the other one. You have to wonder who the Padres will have at short since they got rid of Greene.
-Darion

Well Now What?

We finally did something positive this offseason by trading for Javier Vazquez. He is due for 11.5 per year. We started with 45 million and we will definitely have to use it all. Don’t forget we signed Eric O’Flaherty to a 400,000 per year contract as well. We probably lost around 400,000 with the players we traded for Vazquez, but Vazquez is going to get paid 11.5million
 a year.Javier Vazquez by Kevin.Ward.

This leaves around 33.5 million left. We still have some major needs though (Dye/Ankiel/Ludwick, Renteria/Furcal, Peavy and Burnett) and we may have to settle with the cheap options. Ludwick looks more likely now than Dye does since Ludwick makes 500,000 a year. If we sign Furcal or Renteria, it can’t be higher than 11 million a year. Peavy will make 15 million next year I think, but I’m sure I’m wrong. Burnett will likely make 17million a year.
I’ll say
500,000 Ludwick
10,000,000 Furcal
11,000,000 Peavy
That’s 21.5 million leaving us with around 12 million left. We will obviously lose some of our salary with the players we trade for Peavy and Ludwick, but we still need to sign Smoltz and possibly Ohman, Norton, and Glavine. I’m hoping we only sign Smoltz, Norton, and Ohman though.
We will have to trade a couple of other players now if we want to fill in our needs. Matt Diaz looks like with his 1.25million salary last year.Escobar and Boyer also will most likely be included in the Peavy deal and they will make around 1 million.
We will just have to see what Wren has up his sleeves. If we can trade off a couple of players and sign a shortstop to less than 10million a year, we might be able to fulfill our needs. We will most likely have either Burnett or Peavy this year. I don’t think we will get both.
Jake Peavy  by SD Dirk.

What do you think we should do?

UPDATE!
Braves are apparently close to signing David Ross to a 2 year contract. It is worth around $3.5 million. This would be great, but that would almost currently mean either the Peavy deal or the Burnett signing are not going to happen. I still say the Peavy deal is most likely to happen because Burnett might not sign with us even though we are going to offer him a 5 year contract.
 Anyways, David Ross would be a great backup catcher and would be a significant upgrade to both Sammons and Miller combined. Corky Miller is almost certain to either get traded or released if Ross signs. Sammons will likely stay with the Braves organization and will be called up as the backup when he is ready.
 David Ross Hitting by dslrnovice.    

-Darion

Braves Trade for Javier Vazquez

Well The Braves have officially traded for Vazquez in a 6 player deal. The deal is reported Vazquez and pitcher Boone Logan for Brent Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers, third baseman Jon Gilmore, and pitcher Santos Rodriguez.

 https://i2.wp.com/marinerds.com/pictures/050107/008-Vazquez.JPG
I’m a little concerned about the trade though. JV is a great pitcher and has been among the leaders in K’s and innings, He is not more than a 3rd starter and will be used as a 4th starter here. Do I want him? YES!! He’s a great addition to our pitching staff. We just gave up a lot in Flowers. If Flowers was excluded in the deal and so was Boone Logan, this would have been a fair deal for both sides.
I did not expect us to use Flowers, but his value is so high right now that we could have gotten so much more back. 
https://i1.wp.com/mlb.mlb.com/images/2008/11/12/gurYFoww.jpg

Now I would have been a lot better if Dye was included. That would have made the deal great while filling in two holes with a trade. Hopefully we can still get him.
Lillibridge has great potential, but he just needs to learn how to hit! His fielding is great though. Boone has been SO inconsistent with the Sox also, so we aren’t getting much but another arm for the bullpen. I hope to learn more about the deal when Wren talks about it. hopefully we are getting someone else or we aren’t giving up as much.
My overall ranking for this trade as of now: 7 out of 10 stars.

If I were Towers right now, I might have had a heart attack. Flowers was someone he really wanted, and now he is out of here. It probably means that he needs to make a deal soon so we won’t trade anyone else he had his eyes on. Hopefully he caves in a couple of days. And other Braves fans, don’t get nervous that we are gonna empty our farm system. As of now, we barely touched it. Even the Peavy trade won’t hurt it. I am going to guess as of now if Kotchman gets injured, Prado will move to 1st and Infante or Kelly will move to 2nd. We lost both Thorman and Flowers as possible 1st base candidates.

Keep the moves coming Wren! We want Peavy or Burnett next!

-Darion