Wednesday morning Braves Thoughts

Here are some morning thoughts on this Wednesday from Bill Shanks.

- Bruce Manno will be the new farm director. Bruce did this in St. Louis and Milwaukee. I think he'll do a fine job. Kurt Kemp was a nice man, but to me his heart was in scouting. Unfortunately, the situation with Rome having to get rid of Matt Walbeck probably did not help Kurt's case. Walbeck never should have been hired, and Randy Ingle should have been left in Rome. But from all I've heard it was Kemp's call to leave. There will be more changes. They had already let go a few rovers - Leon Roberts, Tommy Shields and Lynn Jones.

- Closed door meeting, huh? Bout time. They've been playing like they were out of the race. They needed someone to do something funny or something to spook them or something. I'm not sure I like the idea of telling them to relax, as was reported. I would have preferred someone to go in there and tell them that it's time to poop or get off the pot. But it worked, as they were better last night.

- No doubt Brian McCann's home run, as Dan Uggla pointed out in the postgame comments, was huge. It got them off the deck and breathed life into a team that looked like they were in a coma. The Braves desperately need to have McCann be on fire for the next six weeks!

- Mike Minor looked good last night. Not sure why he was taken out in the 6th inning. He was at 88 pitches. He's pitched really well. I'm proud of him. He could have pouted after he lost the fifth starter's job in spring training and moped around. He just waited his turn, knew the Braves had confidence in him, and came back stronger and better than ever. He's going to be a very good number three starting pitcher for this team for a long time.

- Where have you gone Martin Prado? Please, come back. We need you!

- I am terribly disappointed that for the second straight season Jair Jurrjens will not be in the postseason. We all know he won't be back. Maybe, maybe if they get into the second round he can return, but I doubt it. The kid can pitch, but I'm believing (again) they need to trade him for a BIG bat. If you can't depend on him to be healthy for the stretch run for two years in a row, what's the point. How about Jurrjens and Prado for Kemp and another player?

- Just get Tommy Hanson back and we'll all feel OK about October. Well, we'll feel better. But they have got to have Tommy back. I don't want him to push himself if he can't go, but we all know it's going to be tough if he can't come back.

- What is your postseason rotation right now - for the first round? If Hanson can't go, I'd say Hudson in game one, Beachy in game two and Lowe in game three. If Hanson can go, save him for game three (to give him a few more days rest) and maybe have Lowe in four or even save him for round two. But that's me. We all know they'll use Lowe - since he's a veteran who has done well in October and since he makes $15 million. I doubt we'll see a Zito situation where he's off the roster. But if Lowe doesn't pitch well in the next two weeks, who will want him in there in October?

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and WCOH Fox Sports 1400 in Newnan, GA. Shanks is a columnist for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

Atlanta Dugout Top Stories