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Ramblings about the Braves by True Braves Fans

March 25, 2006

James Jurries vs Brian Jordan

by @ 10:29 pm.   Filed under braves players

First off let me say that I think James Jurries should be the backup first baseman over Brian Jordan. Given that, I am going to present to you the reasons I feel this way, and then the reasons that Brian Jordan is going to win the spot anyway.

Reasons James Jurries should make the team/Brian Jordan shouldn’t:

  1. He is a good hitter. I watched the game today and not only did two of the Braves four hits come from Jurries, but he should great hitting skill with his first one. The pitch was about middle-in and he pulled his hands in so that he could hit the ball into a big opening in right field. His offensive stats this spring are much better than Jordan’s in every aspect.
  2. He has most experience as a first baseman. I have no doubt Brian Jordan could play first base just fine. He is a gifted athlete and given the amount of work he has put in at the position, I am sure he will adapt just fine. However, Jurries not only has played more games at first base this spring than Jordan, he has played more his entire career than Jordan. A week into the season Nomar Garciaparra will have played more games at first base than Jordan has (he has played two games at first base in his career.)
  3. Brian Jordan has a bad knee. He says it feels fine now, but he wasn’t having any issues with it this time last year either. He had knee surgery yet again during the off-season, and he is turning 39 in four days.
  4. Even when Brian Jordan was healthy last year, he wasn’t very impressive. Sure he had some good games, and he was better than Raul Mondesi, but that isn’t saying much. There is a reason the career outfielder is competing for a bench spot at a position he has played twice in his career. The starting left fielders job has been given to Ryan Langerhans in his second full season in the major leagues, and the backup spot has been given to Matt Diaz, a twenty-nine year old minor-leaguer who hasn’t even had 150 plate appearances yet in the major leagues. The reason is that Brian Jordan, while he might have a few good plays and a few homeruns left in him is washed up.

Reasons Brian Jordan will make the team anyway:

  1. Experience. Jordan has played in the majors for many years, some of those off the bench. Jurries might not adapt well to becoming a bench player, only starting every week or two. Having your first at bat in the last few days come during a key situation late in the game is tough on even the most experienced player, much less someone that has never even played a game above AAA.
  2. Bobby Cox is loyal to his veterans. Even if a younger player beats out an older player in every aspect, Cox’s loyalty will still come into play. Sometimes it seems like he is loyal to a fault, but he has won 14 in a row, so maybe he isn’t?
  3. Leadership. Brian Jordan is a great person to have around the clubhouse and someone that provides a great influence on younger players. Cox has always found it important to have players like this in the clubhouse, and he might think that we need at least one more in addition to John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, and the other veterans on the team.
  4. Finally, and I think this is a big part of it, Jordan won’t start the year in the minors. If Jurries does not make the team, he will begin the season in AAA. If Jordan doesn’t make the team, he will either retire, or enter the free agent market. So, if you go with Jurries and he doesn’t work out, you have to bring another minor-leaguer up to replace him, one that most likely has even less experience than he did. If Jordan doesn’t work out, or get hurt, you have Jurries waiting for a call down in AAA.

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