Arena The Atlanta Braves Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by Rogue...Jedi, Mar 22, 2007.

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  1. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I know there are, or at least have been, several other Braves fans around, so as we get ready to move from Spring Training to the actual season, I figured I'd start this thread.

    Projected lineup:

    2B Kelly Johnson
    SS Edgar Renteria
    3B Chipper Jones
    CF Andruw Jones
    C Brian McCann
    RF Jeff Francouer
    1B Scott Thorman
    LF Ryan Langerhans / Matt Diaz

    I expect Langerhans, by far the better defender, to platoon with Diaz, whose bat has been significantly better. The question marks here are, obviously, second base, where Johnson should do alright as the leadoff hitter (the reason he has the edge over Martin Prado) but is still learning the position defensively. He used to be a shortstop, though, so I think he'll be fine there. Also first base, with Scott Thorman trying to replace Adam LaRoche - a definite downgrade both offensively (though Thorman should be ok offensively) and defensively (where LaRoche was good enough to have been a gold glover, though he didn't actually win a gold glove), and of course left field, the platoon. Craig Wilson could see time both in left, if his arm is ok, and at first as well as pinch hitting.

    The starting rotation, projected:
    John Smoltz
    Tim Hudson
    Chuck James
    Mark Redman
    Lance Cormier (or Kyle Davies)

    Cormier looks to have the edge over Davies right now, as he's been dominating in spring training and had a good month as a starter last September. Mike Hampton could be back as early as the beginning of May, though more likely it will be mid to late May before he returns to Atlanta, given time for some rehab starts in AAA. When he returns, either Redman or Cormier looks to be the odd man out (or Davies, if he makes it), but theres no telling which one it will be.

    Bullpen:
    Closer: Bob Wickman
    Setup: Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez

    Those three players could turn last year's worst bullpen in baseball to possibly this year's best. Last year, there was no proven closer, and the Braves went through several options - Chris Reitsma, Jorge Sosa, and Ken Ray, among others - before finally trading for Wickman at the trade deadline. With Soriano and Gonzalez to set up for him this year, the bullpen looks extremely strong.
  2. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    After last year's loss of the division crown, writers have king of wriiten us off in the NL East. However I belive the braves have a very good chance to win the NL East this year and the main reason is the greatly improved bullpen.
  3. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    rech: Ah, a thread we can agree in :p

    I agree, the Braves have been somewhat forgotten after the streak ended last year, but the offense is certainly capable, though not to the level of the Mets, and the pitching staff could be the best in the division, and the bullpen one of the best in baseball. This is not a team to take lightly at all.
  4. Baron-Soontir-Fel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2005
    star 5
    There are still plenty of question marks on the Braves staff. They will finish in third this year.
  5. Yodave27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 4
    And their offense. And their bullpen isn't as good as the Mets.


    Third place.
  6. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Braves trade Tony Pena, Jr to Royals for Erik Cordier

    I liked Pena, who is an excellent defensive shortstop, though not a particularly good hitter (his batting numbers have been improving, though), but this is a good trade for the Braves. Even though Cordier just had Tommy John surgery this offseason and will miss the entire year, and has had other injuries in the past, he is still highly regarded and has a lot of potential. Pena was also out of options, so if he didn't make the Brave's 25-man roster, which didn't look likely except that Aybar will probably start on the DL, so Pena could have begun the season in Atlanta but probably would have had to go on waivers shortly thereafter if he wasn't traded. Hence, the Braves get a young talented arm with injury questions for a player that likely would have been lost on waivers if this trade wasn't made.
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    And with a bullpen including Bob Wickman, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez, the first save of the season goes to... Chad Paronto. Who would have predicted that?

    Good game overall, some struggles offensively (at least for any Brave not named Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, or Edgar Renteria), but excellent outings for the bullpen - Gonzalez comes in, walks Brett Myers on 4 pitches, then gives up a double to have runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs before back to back strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning without giving up a run, then Soriano and Wickman also pitched scoreless innings before Paronto set them down in the bottom of the 10th for the save.

    2 run homer for Brian McCann, 2 homers and 3 RBI for Renteria, both of his coming late - one to tie the game at 3 and the one in the top of the 10th to win.
  8. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    Kyle Davies is likely to be called back up to start this week since Cormier may have to go on the DL.
  9. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Yep, Cormier goes on the DL, Davies to start Sunday (though the mlb.com article headline reads "Davies to start Saturday", Smoltz is scheduled to pitch on regular rest Saturday and Davies on Sunday, where Cormier would have pitched).

    Philly leading Atlanta 1-0 right now in the bottom of the 7th...
  10. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    Brian McCann is THE MAN!

    I didn't like getting rid of Johnny Estrada a couple years ago, but McCann has been everything you could ask for.
  11. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I was a little hesitant about that trade at first, but McCann has put any doubts to rest. Plus, Villareal's been fairly solid in the pen as a long reliever, and Cormier hasn't been bad, including some good starts in September. And if his spring is any indication, he could be a solid starter this year, at least for a while (dont know who is the odd man out when Hampton returns).
  12. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    The Braves are off to their first 3-0 start since 1994
  13. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Great comeback win today, 3 doubles in the 8th (Chipper-McCann-Francoeur) to tie and then take the lead, and then take the series from the Mets. Braves now stand at 5-1 going into a 3-game series with Washington starting Tuesday, with Hudson, James, and Redman lined up to pitch.
  14. Baron-Soontir-Fel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2005
    star 5
    I'll take losing this series, as the Mets could've easily have taken both of their two losses, especially today's one-run loss. Let's see how well the Braves play at Shea.
  15. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Mike Hampton to have additional surgery, miss '07 season.

    Which means that when (if?) he returns next year it will have been 2 and a half years since he pitched... thats a long time to overcome.
  16. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    Great performance by Hudson. 7 innings pitched with only 3 allowed hits with no runs.
  17. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Yep, two good outings by Hudson to start the season - combined, 14 innings, 5 hits and 1 run. Hopefully this is a sign that he's back to his dominant form of old.
  18. TheGuardianofArlon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    star 6
    I went to a Braves game in 5th grade. The planes flew right over my head, and the Braves lost. Like 7 to 2 or something like that.
  19. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    2 series with the Mets, 2 series victories, including this weekend's series at Shea.

    Good win today, thanks to the bullpen (3.1 shutout, despite several men on base) and a pair of late 3-run homers by Edgar Renteria and Kelly Johnson, who also homered on the first pitch of the game. Johnson's been looking really good of late, raising his batting average significantly (up to .297) as well as his two shots today, giving him 4 HR on the season, second on the team to Chipper.

    Hudson has been incredibly dominant so far this year, 29 innings and only 2 runs allowed, definitely a huge bright spot for this pitching staff.

    Andruw's been struggling so far this year, but I expect him to pick it up pretty soon, not too worried about him.

    Oh, and the Braves are now 3-0 vs the Mets when its Smoltz vs Glavine.
  20. Baron-Soontir-Fel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2005
    star 5
    You forgot to thank Shawn Green, Skip. He gave you two games right there.

    The Mets still knocked Smoltz around, at least. :)
  21. TheGuardianofArlon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    star 6
    Braves are actully doing good so far.
  22. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Yeah, pretty good start for Atlanta so far.

    As good as Hudson's been this season, though, Redman has been bad. 4 starts, 18.2 IP (average of 4.2 per start, and that includes one 8 inning outing), 0-3, 10.13 ERA. Just ugly. Braves finally won one of his starts last night, though, thanks to 6 shutout innings from the bullpen (3 by Peter Moylan, who got the win) and 11 runs scored by the offense. Hudson going tonight, should be much better.
  23. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    Tough loss in 11 innings today at Colorado, couldn't stop walking everybody. Chipper hit into an unassisted triple play in the 7th, incredible to see, even though it unfortunately went the wrong way.

    Ryan Langerhans traded to Oakland after today's game for either cash or a player to be named later... he's a great defensive outfielder but was really struggling offensively over the past year (.068 this year and something not much over .200 over the last calendar year). Haven't heard yet who will be called up in his place, possibly Gregor Blanco although thats just an educated guess, nothing solid. Hopefully Langy will be able to get back on track offensively for the A's, best of luck to him.
  24. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    A sweep at the hands of the Phillies didn't help the cause much
  25. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    No, but at least they got back on the winning track today at Milwaukee.
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