Posted on May 6, 2013 by Andrew Martin
Cheating has a long and interesting history in baseball. From sharpened cleats, corked bats, banned substances and doctored pitches, players and teams are seemingly always in search of an edge. As former Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Mark Grace once famously said, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
That being said, there can be a fine line between what is cheating and what is simply gaining an edge. When something questionable is identified, there is typically a race to classify it as legitimate or cheating. Hardly a year passes without at least one instance of a player being caught or being accused of nefarious actions. This year is no exception. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Bob Lemon, Boston Red Sox, Chris Carpenter, Clay Buchholz, David Price, Dirk Hayhurst, Jack Morris, Mark Grace, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Tim Hudson, Wally Backman | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2013 by Daniel Marino
Dan Marino is trekking through each division in the major leagues and giving you one player he thinks is the: Rookie to Watch, Breakthrough Player, The Party’s Over, Non-Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick, and Just Not Seeing it.
He has already given us his AL East Players to Watch. Now, in part two of six, he brings you the National League East: (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Bill Bray, Blake DeWitt, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Christian Bethancourt, Daniel Murphy, Domonic Brown, Drew Storen, Eric O'Flaherty, Eury Perez, Frank Francisco, Gerald Laird, Jacob Turner, Jhonatan Solano, John Mayberry, Jonathan Pettibone, Jordan Schafer, Jordany Valdespin, Kyle Kendrick, Marlon Byrd, Matt Downs, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Rafael Soriano, Reese Havens, Ricky Nolasco, Sean Gilmartin, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyler Clippard, Washington Nationals, Wilmer Flores, Yuniesky Betancourt, Zach Duke, Zack Cox | 4 Comments »
Posted on December 3, 2012 by Andrew Martin
So much went on in baseball this past week that this could easily be a 10,000 word article. I will spare you that and try to limit myself to touching base on only the stories I found to be the most urgent and interesting in the week that was. This will probably be just a precursor to even more action this week, as the Winter Meetings are now underway down in Tennessee. Buckle your seatbelts, kids.
***Former MLB union head and labor pioneer Marvin Miller died last Tuesday at the age of 95. Miller helped found the Players Association in 1966 and guided them through legal battles and obstacles, which ultimately led to free agency and exploding player salaries. His 16-year tenure as head of the union was easily the most productive of any of his colleagues in baseball or other sports. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Aroldis Chapman, Atlanta Braves, B.J. Upton, Carlos Ruiz, David Wright, Evan Longoria, George Brett, Jonathan Broxton, Marvin Miller, MLB Winter Meetings, MLBPA, New York Mets, PEDs, Philadelphia Phillies, Robin Yount, Tampa Bay Rays | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 30, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
The Los Angeles Angels, starved for starting pitching help, have dealt power reliever Jordan Walden to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for fading starter Tommy Hanson.
Hanson looked very promising after posting a +2.6 fWAR in 127.2 innings pitched his rookie season and following it up with a +4.4 fWAR season in 202.2 innings the very next season. But injuries and fading velocity have lead to declining seasons since his sophomore year in Atlanta. Take a look at his numbers each year since 2010: (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Hot Stove, Jordan Walden, Los Angeles Angels, MLB Winter Meetings, Tommy Hanson, Trades | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 9, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
The 2012 American League Cy Young Award was really only a race between two pitchers but the National League Cy Young Award will likely have up to five different names listed at the top of voter’s ballots.
The National League Cy Young Award race is one that went down to the wire and an argument can be made for multiple pitchers. But, for this voter, there is one pitcher who rose above the rest and his stats clearly dictate that he should be hoisting hardware his excellence in the 2012 season and that pitcher is Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, BBA, Cincinnati Reds, Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel, Cy Young Award, Gio Gonzalez, Johnny Cueto, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, R.A. Dickey, Walter Johnson Award, Washington Nationals | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2012 by Andrew Martin
Without a runaway winner, baseball award outcomes often come down to the players who have hot streaks occur the latest in the season. One of the most recent players to ride such a surge of late-season success is Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Kris Medlen, who has started hearing his name mentioned in the National League Cy Young conversation. Medlen has had an excellent season (10-1, 1.57 ERA, 138 innings), but on closer inspection it is clear he should not be mentioned in the same breath as top contenders like Johnny Cueto, R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, and Craig Kimbrel. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, baseball, Craig Kimbrel, Cy Young Award, Gio Gonzalez, Johnny Cueto, Kris Medlen, R.A. Dickey, sports | 7 Comments »
Posted on July 23, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
The Atlanta Braves have reportedly landed starting pitcher Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Randall Delgado and the Cubs will be paying for some, if not all, of Dempster’s contract. The Braves, looking to win now, give up a lot for a two month upgrade. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, James Shields, Matt Garza, Randall Delgado, Ryan Dempster, Theo Epstein, Trades, Zach Lee, Zack Greinke | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 25, 2012 by Jonathan C. Mitchell
If you follow me on Twitter you have noticed that I tweet nearly everyday about some of the top prospects in the game and how they fared the previous day or how their season is going so far. Billy Hamilton is a common one to tweet since he is off to a great start and stealing literally a base per game. Other top prospects usually take up the bulk of my tweets but I occasionally throw some of the lesser known prospects out there and here I want to take a deeper at look at some of these prospects. (more…)
Filed under: On the Farm - Prospects | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Billy Hamilton, Brad Miller, Roger Kieschnick, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Tommy La Stella, Xavier Avery | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 20, 2012 by Andrew Martin
The Atlanta Braves seem to always have good luck in producing talent. From Chipper Jones to Brian McCann to Freddie Freeman, the team has been remarkably consistent in identifying young players with major leaguer ability. It’s a system that has kept Atlanta annually replenished and in contention, something that few teams can claim. One of the most recent additions to Atlanta’s machine is Matt Lipka, a player the Braves think will be a franchise fixture for years to come. (more…)
Filed under: Down and Dirty - Interviews, On the Farm - Prospects | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Bruce Manno, Gerald Turner, Matt Lipka, Prospects, Rod Gilbreath, Tony Demacio | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 12, 2012 by Michael Schwartze
Jordan Schafer was once one of the top prospects in the Braves organization and in all of baseball. In 2008 he was the number 25 prospect by Baseball Americaand in 2009 he was ranked 42nd. In 2009 Schafer broke camp as the Braves starting centerfielder and the organization had high hopes for him after an impressive spring. He opened the season pretty hot but he soon started to decline and was soon sidelined for the remainder of the year with a left wrist injury. He played for a bit with this wrist injury which potentially did much more damage. Schafer went on to have surgery on that wrist in the offseason. He saw only 195 plate appearances at the big level and 38 PA at AAA in that 2009 season.
In 2010, Schafer was still recovering from this injury and struggled once he started to play. He spent the year between class A and Triple A and did not see anytime at the big league level. His line was .201/.268/.255 and things were not looking good for Schafer at all. In 2011 he spent time at both AAA and the major league level but he still was not performing but in July he was placed on the disabled list with a chip fracture in his left middle finger. The Braves were in need of a center fielder at the deadline after Nate McLouth went down and they made a deal with the Astros for Michael Bourn and Jordan Schafer was a part of the package to Houston.
Schafer went on to finish the year as Houston’s starting center fielder in 2011 after recovering from injury. He hit .245/.314/.311 in 118 plate appearances. Now that brings us to 2012.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Cameron Maybin, Houston Astros, Jordan Schafer, Michael Bourn, Nate McLouth | Leave a Comment »