Braves Q&A

Here's some Questions and Answers on the Atlanta Braves.

AerchAngel wrote: So Bill, in not so many words, we are screwed if we have to go elsewhere, meaning giving up arms or position players for a stop-gap 1B.  Looking at what is on the horizon, there aren't many available unless you want Giambi or Delgado.

What do you think we will do, seriously?

For me here are the options for first base for next season:
Chipper Jones - moving from 3B - unlikely but not out of the question
Kelly Johnson - Lord does he have to really move again?
Scott Thorman - unlikely considering he's playing third right now
A trade - LaRoche maybe? Possibly.Free agent - Carlos Delgado - maybe but he's obviously washed up

So I don't know what will happen. But it's not going to be Tex.

olehickory wrote: Bill, there has been a lot of discussion on the game threads about Bobby over using Boyer this year like he did with Moylan last year. Do you believe Moylan's arm trouble this year is the result of how he was used last year? If so, does Bobby or Roger have any concern about the over use of Blaine?

I would think the use, or overuse, of Moylan did contribute to his busy schedule last season. But heck, that's what they are for. Relievers are there to use. Now do I agree with how Bobby uses his bullpen all the time? Of course not. But we know what to expect from him. He'll McGlinchey somebody every single season. Boyer's already had shoulder surgery, let's hope that's all he'll have.

Houston5 wrote: It looks like Dusty Baker isn't too excited about Joey Votto in Cincy. He wanted Joey to change his swing...

I'd love for the Braves to make a stab at him, but I don't see it happening. Thoughts?

I doubt Votto would be available. He's their future at first base.

Bravesoul wrote: Bill,

What does our front office foresee the bullpen looking like in, say, 1-2 months with 4 potential closers?


Obviously Will Ohman would stick around and we'd need a spot starter ala Campillo/Bennett/Carlisle. Any other player that we'd keep for our bullpen would give us a 12 man pitching staff and I think that Cox prefers to keep it at 11. What happens to Boyer, Resop, Ring, Campillo/Bennett/Carlisle?

Are we looking to trade some of these arms in return for a good starter? We obviously will have a surplus...what's the 411?

Acosta has filled in for a few weeks, but he's not considered a closer, especially compared to those other three. We've just got to see when those three come back and how it meshes together. Smoltz will be the closer, but they'll use Soriano at times if he's back in there. And when Gonzalez was here in April of 2007 Bobby used him in the 7th and 8th inning and not just as a lefty specialist. Ohman will probably be kept for that. Resop will be placed through waivers to see if they can get him to Richmond, and Ring will probably go through the same thing. Bennett or Campillo will get the start in one of the games on Tuesday, and we'll see how long they'll be in the rotation. I'm sure Frank Wren will be looking around this summer to make a trade or two.

Retch wrote: Bill,

Cards have Reyes on the block. Do you think he is fixable? Would Lillibridge get it done?

I'd take a shot at Reyes. I think it would take more than Lillibridge. I would love to do a change-of-scenery trade and include Chuck James in a deal with the Cardinals.

technodude wrote: With Hammy, Glav and Smoltzy possibly gone after this season, do you think if we might  be interested in acquiring Oswalt?  If so what kind of package might complete the deal? 

With SD in town the next 3 nights, it seems intriguing with their current record that they might be looking to deal at the trading deadikine.  With that in mind, do you think we  might make a run for Maddux?  It would  be incredible to see all three in a Braves uniform for one final hurray.

Oswalt is definitely someone that might be investigated if he were placed on the block. As far as what it would cost, ugh, it would cost a ton. They'd want Charlie Morton or Tommy Hanson, and ask for a lot, lot more. As for Maddux, yes, I do believe if he's made available the Braves will at least see what might happen. Not sure if it will happen, but I think it will be discussed.

ChadWC wrote: Bill,

I'm a fan of stockpiling young arms even if you have them in the minors.  Edwin Jackson of the Rays has absolute filthy stuff but is inconsistent.  Since Kazmir is back, the Rays have 6 starters.  There is talk about them moving him.  Any chance the Braves could put together a package to get him.  I heard they were badly needing a leadoff man and are light at middle infield.  Any idea of what might get that done?  Maybe Lilli, James, and Brandon Jones?  Or is that a bit much?

I doubt TB will trade a starter. That's why they've done so well. Kazmir has obviously re-signed, and Shields is very good. Now they've got a lot of arms on the way (Price, Davis, McGee, etc.), but I don't see anything happening now.

ChadWC wrote: Bill,

I'm a fan of stockpiling young arms even if you have them in the minors.  Edwin Jackson of the Rays has absolute filthy stuff but is inconsistent.  Since Kazmir is back, the Rays have 6 starters.  There is talk about them moving him.  Any chance the Braves could put together a package to get him.  I heard they were badly needing a leadoff man and are light at middle infield.  Any idea of what might get that done?  Maybe Lilli, James, and Brandon Jones?  Or is that a bit much?

I am a big fan of Oswalt, so it's hard for me to be objective. Adding him to Tim Hudson would create a hell of a duo for this team. But what will the price be? It will be huge. Do we want to see the Braves trade Tommy Hanson, Cody Johnson, Brandon Jones, and Brent Lillibridge for Oswalt? It's a tough call. On one hand, I think Hanson and Morton and others should be the future of this rotation. On the other hand, I wonder how dangerous a pitcher like Oswalt might be if teamed up with Hudson.

mrwright wrote: Bill, I can't see the Braves NOT acquiring a Starting Pitcher. For arguments sake, if this is 100% true, who do you think the Braves would get/go after? And also, would they look into getting another Ace type pitcher like Hudson, or more of a middle of the rotation type pitcher like a Steve Trachsel?

I think the Braves could search for someone to give them some innings, but if it's a big deal it would have to be something very special, like an Oswalt. I'm sure Frank Wren will look around this summer. That's his job. But again, the Hampton cloud continues to hang over the team as still be a possibility. It might be a dream, but it's still a possibility.

palioc33 wrote: Bill, now that Moylan has officially had the Tommy John Surgery how does that affect his arbitration status. Does this year count as a full year of service, and if so how many years do we still have him "under control"?

He'll continue to draw a big league paycheck, and therefore earn his service time, while he's on the DL. So he'll have 2.061 years of service time after this season, meaning he'll be eligible for renewal next year and then eligible for arbitration after the 2009 season. He'll be under the Braves control through 2012.

bravewon wrote: Will Diory Hernandez ever get a chance to play for the Braves? He seems to improve every year as a hitter. How's his fielding?

He could be a utility player in the big leagues, but that's probably about it. He's a better fielder at second base than at short or third.

1Cocoplz wrote: You think Bennett will get a shot at the 5th spot with James struggles, Bill?

I think Bennett will start Tuesday in one of the doubleheader games versus the Mets. But it might be Campillo.

kendiz wrote: Bill, How much longer do you think Kelly will be in a Braves uniform? It's obvious that Bobby doesn't care for him much as a player. He has been asked for this past winter, so what teams would you think might want him? Thanks.

I'm not sure who will need a second baseman this winter, so I can't answer that. But I do not believe Bobby dislikes Kelly as a player. I think he's making a big mistake, however, with this platoon nonsense.

Ghostposter wrote:

 If Tex leaves as you predict, would Adam Dunn be a viable option? I know he won't be commanding 20 million+, or do we move Chipper to first and try to sign Eric Chavez?

No and No. The Braves would not want Dunn, and with Chavez having back trouble it's doubtful there would be interest there either.

palioc33 wrote: Bill I was looking at some players in our minor league system and I saw this guy named Jason Perry in AA. He is doing pretty well and looked at his career stats and looks like he might have some upside. What is the story with him and his possible upside?

He's a former Georgia Tech player originally signed by the Blue Jays out of the 2002 draft. He was then traded to Oakland, where he spent the last five years in the A's system. He has power and has put up good offensive numbers, but he was a six-year free agent that just went unsigned until the Braves got him in mid-April. He can play outfield and played a bit at first base early in his career. Perry bats left and will turn 28 this August. Is he an option for the future? Perhaps as a bench guy, but I don't think as a starter.

Spahnie wrote: Bill, you mentioned Evarts diagnosis, any news on him?

Whats the story on Rohrbough, shouldn't he be about ready, given his merely a shoulder strain ailment?

I keep waiting for Teheran to get promoted to Rome, any word there?


Vaya Los Bravos

They are letting Evarts rehab in Orlando. It's still unclear what his prognosis will be for the rest of this season. Rohrbough reported to Rome Friday night (the 16th). He's scheduled to pitch Monday or Tuesday. Cole pitched midweek in his final game in Extended and went five innings and told me he felt very good. Teheran could join Rome this week as well.

bj1133 wrote: Bill,

What is the latest with Mike Hampton?

Still hurt. No timetable. I wonder really if the Braves even give a damn anymore. Missing two months with a man boob pull? Ridiculous.

olehickory wrote: Bill I get so frustated with our inablility to get the critical bunt down.  Other than the first pitch of each batting practice, do our players EVER practice bunting?   Why doesn't Bobby require them to spend the amount of time necessary to learn how to bunt?   The inablility to bunt is costing us games!!

There is no doubt this team, as a whole, can't bunt. It's pathetic, really. They bunt every day when they take their swings, but truthfully not many players take it seriously. They all want to swing away. Even Glavine's bunt last night was horrid.

onlyonegoal wrote: Is Kevin Gunderson a future big league closer?

I don't think so. I think Kevin has a chance to be a decent major league reliever. But his stuff is somewhat average, even though it's hard to pick him up with his delivery. But let's see what he does in AA and then go from there. I think he's got talent, and after he's in Mississippi for a while we might know more about how to project him.

RomanBrave wrote: Ok, this isn't a braves related question....just a baseball question.
I know we have former players that turn announcers, yet you never see a former umpire get behind a mic. I could imagine that they could offer some thoughtful insight and analysis to a game. Has this ever been thought of or discussed? If you could listen to an umpire do color for a game who would it be??

Sorry if this is a bit random, but if Lemke can call a game....surly some up somewhere can too....

Steve Palermo, the umpire that got shot in Dallas about ten years ago, was apart of a broadcast on FOX for a while. I don't think that's going on now. It's a good question, though. Not sure why we haven't had that. Maybe the thought is they won't know enough about a particular area of the game, like pitching, compared to a former player.

oldgbrave wrote: Bill,
What do you think the future holds for Clint Sammons. It seems like he swings a pretty decent bat and he can throw runners out. Do you think he is the backup catcher next year or trade bait? Bobby seems to be catching Mac almost every game and I have to believe it has to do with Corkey's bat. When Salty was up last year Bobby didn't mind giving Mac a day off every week if I am remembering corectly. Do you think Sammons will be up before the year is over?

Clint will be the backup catcher for Brian McCann from 2009 until he either leaves as a free agent after 2014 or someone wants him as a starter and trades for him. He's a terrific kid and a great defensive catcher. He's ready now probably, but he'll be ready to go in 2009 as Brian's backup.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at

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