Richmond Braves Q&A

Jason answers some of your questions about the 2003 season for the Richmond Braves. Why were Bobby Jones and Ryan Glynn released? How's Adam LaRoche doing? What's up with Wilson Betemit?

Bobby Jones and Ryan Glynn Were Released. What does this mean for the team?

Well for the short-term it means that Richmond will call up 33 year old veteran Chuck Smith to try and fill the void. However, it does leave a huge void, as Glynn/Jones were two of Richmond's best pitchers. These two both decided that it was time for them to look elsewhere for MLB work.

How is Adam LaRoche looking so far in Richmond?

Well, I must say that Adam has been struggling a bit at the dish. However, that is expected for a guy just up from AA. LaRoche however has kept his power stroke already belting three home runs, which I must admit has surprised me. Realistically I think he'll be able to get that average up to around .250 by the end of the season. Hard to say whether he'll need another year in Richmond, as much of that will have to do with how he takes to winter ball this year and spring training.

Is John Ennis as bad as his numbers look?

Yes and no. This has been a rough go of things for John Ennis this year, become the quickest Rbraves to 10 loses in a long time. However, his offense has let him down and just isn't scoring runs for him. He hasn't really been wild or anything most of his troubles come from throwing hittable pitches. Personally, I'm hoping Richmond will let him try to pitch through this rough spot, as they don't appear to be making much of a run for the playoffs. However, its put up or shut up time for Ennis, as the Braves have to decide whether to keep him on the 40 man this off-season.

Whats up with Wilson Betemit?

Well it really hasn't been the kind of career in Richmond Wilson would have hoped for. After a horrible season last year he came back ready to prove something. However, he is yet to prove anything with his .250 average and being among the league leaders in strikeouts. Learning a new position, Betemit is also one of the league leaders in errors, which has upset many Braves officials. He's faced questions yet again about his attitude, and will have to prove something to Braves officials the remainder of this season since he is out of options beginning next year. Don't count Wilson out just yet, however. I think Wilson can eventually put up solid numbers, but I doubt he is the superstar he was once thought to be.

How big of a problem is Hessman's back?

Well, it might be a bigger one that Pat Kelly is letting on. While this is the first time he's gone on the DL (for the back problem once or twice before because of an ankle) he's been having trouble with it all season. Hessman says he is having trouble swinging now, and decided to see a specialist about it. They've decided to try some treatment and to shut him down for 7 to 10 days. He would like to be back for Friday's big 4th of July game, but right now that is looking like a stretch.

Were the Braves justified in releasing Kazuhiro Takeoka?

Yes, they probably were. While, I've loved this stuff since I saw him pitch two years back in spring training I just don't think they have a role for him within this system. The thing is with the Braves they have many young guys with possible MLB futures. Kaz is probably currently a better pitcher than quite a few on the AA/AAA roster, but other developing pitchers simply have a better future than him. Sometimes that is the hard thing about minor league baseball.

Are you impressed with the All Stars of the team (Garcia/Pratt/Estrada)?

Yes, I certainly am. These three are not only great players, but also great guys to have around the team. Pratt has just been awesome and is currently leading the International League in strikeouts. Estrada has been a huge surprise with the stick among the league leaders in hitting, and with Garcia's .318 average he isn't far behind. All in all a great group who should make the team proud.

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