Ramblings about the Braves by True Braves Fans
If you haven’t heard about the trade made today, I assume it’s because you have horrible internet service and can only access my page. If that’s the case, I apologize, because I’m not going to provide any deep analysis of what happened. There are tons of tweets and retweets about the trades in the twitter feed that pertain to the trade, many of which contain links to articles containing such analysis.
I will, however, give you a brief overview of what happened and a few of my thoughts.
|From Braves/To Royals||From Royals/To Braves|
Gregor Blanco: I’ve always liked Blanco, but he was never going to be a starter in Atlanta. He didn’t have much power, and that pretty much was going to never allow him to rise above the level of a 4th or 5th outfielder, mainly being used as a pinch runner or late inning defensive replacement.
Jesse Chavez: I’ve never been candid with my dislike of Chavez. I feel that the good outings he’s had this season were flukes. I’m was only partially joking earlier today when I asked whether we could have got more out of the deal if we hadn’t included Chavez.
Tim Collins: A drink made of 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. No, wait, that’s a Tom Collins. He’s one of the main characters in Rent, first played by Jesse L. Martin. No, wait, that’s also Tom Collins. Tim Collins is a left handed minor league pitcher that was aquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Yunel Escobar trade. Reports were that he was a pretty solid pithcer, but as always, the Braves have a bevy of pitching prospects and giving up one like Collins isn’t a big loss at all.
Kyle Farnsworth: A hard throwing right handed reliever that pitched in Atlanta back in 2005. Farnsworth is a solid reliever that will help avoid the need to overwork Moylan and Venters down the stretch. He’ll fit in nice as a 6th or 7th inning guy, and has the experience necessary that he could taken on 8th or 9th inning responsibilities if needed. His numbers this season are pretty good, and they were excellent during his last tour in Atlanta. I saw where one scout had that this year he was “throwing the crap out of the ball,” which is good, because if there is one thing I can’t stand, its balls with crap in them.
Rick Ankiel: A solid outfielder with some power, Ankiel had been on the DL for close ~2.5 months before being recently activated. Since then he has been playing well and will definitely not be a downgrade for the Braves in center field. The Braves also play into his career history, and I’ll be blogging about that later (I was actually including it in this post, but it was getting long enough to where it deserved it’s own post.)
Cash: bread, cabbage, currency, dead presidents, dough, funds, green stuff, money, etc.
While this trade wont go down in history as a blockbuster, I think it was a solid move. We added depth to an already solid bullpen as well as power to out lineup. Ankiel might not be the bat some were hoping for, but he is an upgrade to to the mediocre performance we’ve been getting out of center field for most of the season. Personally I’d like to see Ankiel playing everyday in center field for the Braves while Diaz gets the majority of the playing time in left field. This allows us to give Hinske some starts at first so that Glaus can get badly needed rest. Such a scheme also allows for what I consider to be a very important key to winning the pennant: minimizing the amount of time Melky Cabrera is actually on the field.
Granted, we still have a long season ahead of us, but I think things look good. My prediction is that if we are still in 1st place by the end of the long road trip we have coming up, we’ll stay there the rest of the season.
The Braves went 20-8 in the month of May, taking them from last place in the division to first in the span of just a few weeks. All of this was done with Chipper, McCann, and Escobar playing way below what’s expected of them for most of the month. Add to that the fact that McCann and Chipper have both started to show marked improvements, and even Escobar has shown signs he is coming out of his slump. We also can’t overlook Cabrera’s recent performance which has been much better than how he started the season.
Then there are the guys that have been performing on a high level the entire time. Heyward, Glaus, and Prado are the everyday players that top the list. Then there are guys like Hinske that seem to perform as a starter, pinch hitter, or late inning replacement. Even Ross is providing solid offense from a position that you don’t usually expect such things from (backup catcher).
Things are looking good Braves fans!
Sorry that the subject of this post is boring, but I’m running out of creative ways to say “Braves Win” or “Braves Lose.”
In case you were not aware, yesterday, as a birthday present to me, the Braves won 7-3. The game started off kind of rough. Hanson gave up a run in the 1st in addition to walking the bases loaded. The 2nd didn’t start out much better when he hit the first batter! After that he settled down though and looked much more like the Hanson we’re used too. After that the game wasn’t too exciting except for the 7th when the Braves scored 6 runs. I know that a pitchers duel can be fun to watch, but the excitement of that is spread out over an entire game. In terms of a rush of excitement, nothing beats a huge inning by your favorite team.
There were a other highlights from the game worth pointing out. First of all, Yunel Escobar finally had a good game. He was 2-3 with a walk, RBI, and a run scored. Lets hope this is a sign he is finally breaking out of is slump.
%Bn% continued to do well going 2-4 and scoring twice. It’s no secret that I haven’t been a fan of him so far this year, but if he keeps playing like he has over the past few days, I might have to change that opinion.
Brian McCann also had a good night, going 2-4 with an RBI. He seems to be back on track now that he is wearing his glasses again.