Braves series preview with Talking Chop

Baseball, explored infographically
Quick Hits: Offense, Protest, Matsui

The fine folks at Talking Chop were kind enough to engage in a Q&A with us leading into the Yanks-Braves series this week. What follows is our exchange. You can check out Talking Chop’s questions and our answers here.

1) Is the Nate McLouth acquisition enough, or the Braves have to swing a move for another outfielder? Any chance Jordan Schafer makes a return appearance later on?

The McLouth trade was a great start, and a surprising one in which we didn’t give up anything that we needed from our minor league system for at least the next two years. But no, it doesn’t seem to be enough. The question we keep asking ourselves is, “do we wait for the guys currently on the team to start hitting, or do we jettison some of them for more of a sure thing.” Just about everyone in Atlanta has had enough of Jeff Francoeur, and just about any mediocre replacement player would be better than him. I don’t think Frenchy is in an Atlanta uniform next season, one way or another.

Another problem with adding another bat, is that we can’t really add that much more salary. This is why the McLouth deal was a good move (he’s signed affordably), and this is also why we will probably see Schafer again (he’s currently out with a hand injury that he actually suffered pretty early in the season),

2) What’s the general feel for Kelly Johnson? His OPS is down over 100 points from last year and 150 points from 2007. Is he just suffering from some bad luck (.250 BABIP way down from the past two years)? It seems like his Iso-D and Iso-P are right in line with 08 and 07…

Like I said in the previous answer, he’s one of the guys we keep waiting on to start hitting. If Omar Infante were not on the DL right now, there’s little doubt that Johnson would not be starting, and that might happen when Omar returns next month. So Kelly’s got a few weeks to put it together, but he seems to have gotten the Jeff Francoeur disease. I’m not sure advanced stats can measure what’s wrong with KJ, it’s more about watching him every day and seeing him pop up or ground out when last year he would have hit a line drive somewhere. Kelly’s a guy who, once he figures it out (if he does), can go on an absolute tear and carry the team for a week or two (and again, we’re still waiting on that to happen).

3) As the Braves blog of record, what is your recommended course of action regarding Jeff Francoeur?


But seriously, I offered the Red Sox blogger last week to trade him Francoeur for a pair of Monster seats. I guess I should offer you guys the same deal, Francoeur for a pair of reasonably priced Yankees tickets (do reasonably priced Yankees tickets exist?).

But seriously, seriously, the Braves are trying everything they can to trade him and the sooner the better. In the end, I think we’ll end up releasing him this off-season, and every team knows that so they’re not going to give us anything for him.

4) A.J. Burnett at five years, $80 million, or Derek Lowe at four years, $60 million?

With the injury problems we’ve had the last few years in our starting rotation, I’ll take Lowe and his streak of 7-straight years making 32 starts over Burnett and his streak of only performing well in contract years.

5) To follow up one of your questions, what do you think a fair price, from the Braves’ standpoint, would be for Xavier Nady?

How about Jeff Francoeur? I kid, I kid. If Nady proves he’s healthy and can hit, I would say a guy like Jo-Jo Reyes straight-up or Brandon Jones straight-up — sort of a B prospect who’s major league ready or almost there. Nady’s a free agent at the end of the year, so he’d be purely a rental, and I wouldn’t think you’d get too much for him, unless a team was just desperate.

Baseball, explored infographically
Quick Hits: Offense, Protest, Matsui
  • Jake K.

    What’s the deal with Jo-Jo Reyes and Brandon Jones? Intriguing prospects? Filler?

    • whozat

      I’m gonna go with them being B prospects that are major league ready, or almost there. Like it says in the article. To the Yanks, I think keeping Nady is more valuable.

      • Jake K.

        Thanks for that, you’ve been a tremendous help.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Great comment, whozat. Compelling, and rich.

        • whozat

          Hey, you essentially said “I’d like to know more about these guys…can someone google scouting reports for me, read them, and then summarize them for me here?”

          That’s kind of one of my pet peeves. We already got the executive summary…they’re B prospects that are close to the bigs. If you want to know more, the tools to find it out are readily available.

          • the artist formerly known as (sic)

            next time just post rather than half-ass an answer

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Wouldn’t taking the easy way out (lmgtfy) be more “half-assing it” than taking few seconds to respond?

              From the reaction to Whozat’s comment you’d think nobody ever got away with making a snarky comment around here. Sheesh.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    If Nady proves he’s healthy and can hit, I would say a guy like… Brandon Jones straight-up.


    • A.D.

      Given that offering Nady arb might be up in the air, might not be a bad plan to try and trade him for something.

      • ChrisS

        I’m not 100% sure (or even 50%) on the weights used by Elias, but I don’t think Nady will classify as a Type A FA. So Cashman would be risking Nady accepting arbitration at ~10 million against possibly getting an additional 2nd rounder next draft. Say 30% risk Nady accepts, that’s $3 mill for a bench bat if they get Damon back for a song. Lotta ifs and possiblys.

        IMO, anything for Nady at the deadline (provided he can throw the ball and hit) is probably more than they’d get for him otherwise.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          So Cashman would be risking Nady accepting arbitration at ~10 million against possibly getting an additional 2nd rounder next draft.

          Nady’s making 6.55M right now, and he’ll have missed about half the season when it’s all said and done.

          I doubt Nady wins 10M in arb. I think 7.5M would probably be his ceiling.

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez


            Obviously, we don’t know what will be available to Cashman next year, but if we all agree that Matsui will not be back, that means that Melky, Gardner and Swisher will be the only guys under contract for next year. So if we bring back Nady at $7.5 million (even if we also bring back Damon on a reasonable short-term deal), I think that’s a better option that dumping too much money on guys like Holliday or Bay, or overpaying a guy like Ankiel.

            And if Nady rejects arbitration, you get whatever you get in picks (depending if he’s A or B, but as we read last week, if the season ended today, he’d be A).

            To me, you keep Nady both for this year and for next [or the pick(s)].

            • radnom

              Plus, there is little to no chance Boras accepts a 1 year deal under 10 million without testing the market first.

              Hell, he rejected arbitration for Varitek last offseason.

          • ChrisS

            Yeah, that was a WAG. I don’t know what the arbitration board handles an injury. Say 7.5 million, still too much for a league average bat with a bad wing, and mediocre to poor defense. It doesn’t change my opinion that anything for Nady now is better than dicking around with arbitration or letting him walk.

            However, if Nady only has to post a 100 OPS+ throughout the second half to retains his Type A ranking (or if it isn’t compromised by an additional DL stay), then I’d change my mind. Posada missed all of last year and is having a great year this year at C and he’s a type B on that list from the link you posted.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Seriously, though, Nady’s about it for the Braves, because of all the teams out of the race who are going to become sellers (the Natinals, Pirates, Astros, Padres, and Diamondbacks in the NL; the Orioles, Royals, White Sox, Indians, Mariners, and Athletics in the AL), none of them have reasonably priced yet productive outfielders to trade.

      It’s either Nady and his 6M salary, or the big expensive guys like Holliday, Ichiro, Carlos Lee, Jose Guillen, Jermaine Dye, etc. Unless the Braves are willing to take on a 10M plus salary, Nady’s their only option.

      So, no, I like Brandon Jones, but the Braves would have to sweeten the pot. Maybe throw in SS Brandon Hicks or LHP Edgar Osuna.

      • radnom

        The value has to exceed the two picks and having Nady the rest of the season.

        I don’t think he is worth that much to the Braves.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Are we talking about the same Braves who, now that they have Nate McLouth, have exactly one outfielder who can hit the ball consistently?

          They need Nady bad. And, since whatever arb comp picks we get for Nady they’d also get, it’s not like they’d be left empty handed when Nady departs (if they don’t keep him).

          It’s basically like trading prospects for prospects: Somebody’s going to have Brandon Jones and Edgar Osuna, someone’s going to have a pick or two. It’s worth it for us, because we get the certainty of prospects in hand. It’s worth it for them, because they get Nady and get to recoup some of the prospects they gave away to get him in form of future draft pick(s).

        • ChrisS

          Nady won’t be a type A, and the more I think about it, the possibility exists that he won’t even make Type B.

          • jsbrendog

            if the season ended today he would be a type A according to that guy who reverse enginers the formulas as referenced from a post on mlbtr. i would link to it but it is blocked from work and i cant.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
              • ChrisS

                Damn, Angel Berroa isn’t even a type B.

                There goes that plan.

            • ChrisS

              If the season ended today

              Yeah, I’ve seen that post. Nady is the story of very distinct half-season splits for the last two years:

              2008 Pirates – 144 OPS+
              2008 Yankees – 105 OPS+
              2009 First half – DL’d
              2009 Second half – ???

              Granted, I don’t know what the formulas are, I don’t have that guy’s spreadsheet, nor do I know how the DL influences the rankings or how close Nady is to the cutoff. But if the season ends today, he’s got a 135 OPS+ and a DL stint (not the criteria used for the rankings, but a good approximation of his offensive contribution). Depending on how he finishes the season will greatly influence his ranking. Say he finishes around his career OPS+ (108) it’ll definitely take some luster off his first half of 08, which get less weight as time progresses (if I remember right).

              Anyway, if some guy at MLB trade rumors cracked Elias’s ranking system, then I’m pretty sure the Yankees’ braintrust has, and has a much better understanding than me, you, the guy at MLB Trade Rumors, etc about where Nady falls. And that’s outside of him coming back, making a couple of major league throws, popping his elbow and going under the knife.

  • Chris

    Just one comment about the AJ vs Derek Lowe question:

    AJ Burnett: 104 ERA+
    Derek Lowe: 103 ERA+

    • OmgZombies!

      Lowe 1.28 WHIP
      Burnett 1.44 WHIP

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Lowe 1.28 WHIP in the sissy-league
        Burnett 1.44 WHIP in the big-boy league

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez


        • Tank the Frank

          I don’t think the league would matter much in AJ’s case. He’s been flat out wild in some starts.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        Lowe 3.42 FIP
        Burnett 4.84 FIP

        Lowe 0.29 HR/9
        Burnett 1.34 HR/9

        Lowe .678 OPSA
        Burnett .771 OPSA

        • Chris

          I throw that HR/9 out the window because Atlanta is (I believe) the hardest park to hit home runs in and Yankee Stadium is the easiest.

          I’ll throw out one more number:

          Lowe: 36 years old
          AJ: 32 years old

          We’ll see what happens, but I’m still not convinced that there is a significant difference between the two.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I throw that HR/9 out the window because Atlanta is (I believe) the hardest park to hit home runs in and Yankee Stadium is the easiest.

            A.J. Burnett, 2009:
            Home: 200 batters faced, 7 HR allowed, 3.91 ERA
            Road: 178 batters faced, 6 HR allowed, 4.61 ERA

            You can’t blame AJ’s struggles on the YS3 bandbox. He’s worse on the road.

  • Mike Axisa

    Jeff Francoeur = mother of all nontender candidates.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I wonder who has the record for most times non-tendered? My guess is Chris Shelton.

  • pat

    Wow most of the people over there are assholes. Kotchman over tex.. sour grapes much?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Heh, yeah, the comments over there are pretty awesome.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      Kotchman and is 86 OPS+? And 2 HRs? Seriously? That’s not sour grapes. That’s flat-out idiotic.

      • Observer283

        Man, it definitely looks like they are still smarting from those 1990’s World Series. Honestly, reading those comments helps me to appreciate just how great a space RAB truly is. No doubt, we have a ton of Yankee fans who make vicious ad hominem attacks on other teams and their fans. But they don’t post at RAB (at least not for long).

        And Casey Kotchman over Tex?

        Sweet mother of mercy.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          No doubt, we have a ton of Yankee fans who make vicious ad hominem attacks on other teams and their fans.

          There are two things I can’t stand: People intolerant of other people’s cultures… and the Dutch.

      • 55

        Don’t forget the response:

        “Casey doesn’t get enough credit, though. The guy is key.
        Tex just fits in perfectly playing with a bunch of douchebags, ie, the Yankees.”

        Boo-hoo…your team traded him, so you decide to hate him. Makes sense.

        • Mister Delaware

          I’d like to think that if I wrote a blog where there was an actual debate on Teixeira versus Kotchman that only leaned Teixeira after autograph signing prowess was brought up, I’d just close up shop.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I’d like to think that if I wrote a blog named indirectly for the ghastly traveshamockery of “The Tomahawk Chop”, I’d close up shop.

            Where’s Craig Robinson with a nifty infographic demonstrating how the Native Americans population of Atlanta is less than a half of one percent when you need him?

        • A.D.

          Well the Braves are kicking themselves, since they gave up a ton for Tex and didn’t get much for him

    • pat

      Wow now they’re bringing up Joba’s DUI, you stay classy Talking Chop.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Glass houses, meet stones. Stones, glass houses. You kids play nice.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Annnd… Well… I don’t even want to go there, but there’s another guy in the Braves’ clubhouse with an interesting rap sheet.

          I feel dirty for even going there. I only did it show the hypocrisy of bringing up Joba’s indiscretion. None of this has any place in a baseball discussion.

          (And, Ty Cobb stabbed a guy. — TSJC’d)

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Yeah, that too.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Our third baseman doesn’t tip Hooters waitresses enough.

            Theirs tips them way too much.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              A fan of a team that once employed John Rocker is on very thin ice bringing up the indiscretions of another team’s players.

            • Jack

              Oh, they get more than just the ti-

              You know what, nevermind. Forget I said anything.

    • Dawn

      Oh come on, one guy (whom I try to ignore)said Kotchman is better than Tex, and everyone else pretty much slammed him for it, or, like me, ignored him. There are a lot of smart baseball people on the site, please don’t judge by the obviously uninformed.

      I would say in general, the Braves aren’t as bad as you think they are, and the Yankees aren’t as good as you think they are. But then, isn’t that how it always is when you’re a fan?

  • Tank the Frank

    Gosh the comments over there are hateful. Couldn’t have anything to do with the WS wins at the Braves expense could it?

    Casey is better than Tex!!

    OMG I can’t believe he picked Joba over JJ!!

    I’d like to see what Joba’s stats would look like this season in the NL. Even with his struggles, his numbers would be much better, especially the BB/9 IMO.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “Couldn’t have anything to do with the WS wins at the Braves expense could it?”

      You know, I’m sure that has something to do with it, but the hatred would be there whether the Yanks beat them in the WS or not. Everyone hates the Yankees.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        And, how many of those fans really remember 1996 and 1999? The internet is really young, my friends. There’s RAB regulars who are 13-15 years old.

        • UWS

          There’s RAB regulars who are 13-15 years old.

          This just made me feel horribly old. Thanks.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            And I’m older than you are, you ugly, weird slut.

            • pat

              HAHAHA I’m significantly younger than both of you.

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

              I’m older than both of you (he says while thinking about attending the Chambliss home run ALCS game in 1976), so let’s change the subject before I jump!

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                The fact that you remember Celerino Sanchez was a dead giveaway. That guy played during the Nixon administration and died before the Clinton administration.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  He came up with Angel Berroa.

                  WOCKA WOCKA!

                  (shoots self in head, again)

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Ah, yes. I should have realized that … Maybe I’ll change my name to I Remember Angel Berroa (once he’s been DFAed, of course).

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Ha ha, Mondesi, I wrote mine before I saw yours! But I wasn’t referring to Pete Abe’s jokes. I was looking for the most recent ex-Yankee awful third baseman.

                • jsbrendog

                  I Remember Charlie Hayes the first time

                  (patent pending)

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  The Pete Abe/Berroa thing is like a Pavlovian reaction for me at this point, I’m not even really in control of it anymore.

                  Stick with Celerino (over Angel). 12 year olds will remember Angel, and 12 year olds are not cool.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  12 year olds will remember Angel, and 12 year olds are not cool.

                  They can’t even buy beer and shit, or eat a whole box of cookies without getting in trouble.


                • Kevin G.

                  But 13 year olds rock.


    • gxpanos

      I mean, sure, the comments dont speak very highly of the readership. But you and I have very little concept of being of fan of a team that isnt the Yanks. Yankee and RS fans always feel like theyre scandalized by the vitriol of all the other teams’ fans, because we dont consider the Braves a rival…but every team considers the Yanks/RS a rival.

      All that said, I’d bet the vast majority of GMs wouldnt take Jurrjens over Joba. And by “vast majority of GMs” I mean “vast majority of GMs, past or present.” And by “vast majority of GMs past or present” I mean every GM ever except Steve Phillips. Because Stevie rates prospects on “respecting the game,” and the fist pumps put Joba at a 20 in that category.

      • pat

        It doesn’t matter what you or professional GM’s think because

        justincredubil02 says:
        Oh good lord.

        JJ > Hanson > Joba > Hughes

        Taking Joba over either of those two (ESPECIALLY JJ) is just absolutely ridiculous.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          That comment was not just incredible.

        • the artist formerly known as (sic)

          JJ doesn’t mean Jo Jo Reyes…right?

          please tell me JJ doesn’t mean Jo Jo Reyes…

          • gxpanos

            No no. Jair Jurrjens. So it’s just a little bit less insane.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
        • gxpanos

          Whoa. Just saw that for the first time.

          I hate it with every fiber of my being.

          Let FJM RIP.

      • jsbrendog

        but i do know what it is like to be a fan of one of the worst teams in baseball while watching one of th best teams everyoe hates because theyre so good and make the playoffs and world series every year.

        that would be the late 80s/early 90s yankees playing the part of worst team and the braves playig the part of best team.

        so a lot of us have very much a concept of that

        • jsbrendog

          and back then no one hated the yankees, they were almost nonexistent. because they didnt win.

        • gxpanos

          True, true. Good point. I’m evidently younger than you, so perhaps my point doesnt apply to anyone who watched those late-80’s to early-90’s teams.

          • jsbrendog

            word. totally not tryin to pull the hey you im older yada yada yada bs, just saying every team that wins is hated because people come out of the woodworks to join the bangwagon.

            the yanks need to purge all the obnoxious bangwagoneers with a couple losing seasons lol

  • Mister Delaware

    Kelly Johnson’s LD% is higher this year and last year than it was in 2007.

    (Hardball Times)

    • 55

      But you have to watch teh games!!!

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      “I’m not sure advanced stats can measure what’s wrong with KJ, it’s more about watching him every day and seeing him pop up or ground out when last year he would have hit a line drive somewhere.”

      So let me get this straight. Advanced stats like Line Drive Percentage and IsoP can’t measure stuff like whether he hits more line drives last year v. this year?

      And we wonder why the comments at TC are so baseline…Yeesh.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Once the game starts, all those stats go out the window.


        • jsbrendog


      • jsbrendog

        but they see it wi….oh forget it

  • Charlie

    god the braves have an awesome rotation. d lowe, javy vasquez jurrjens, kawakami, and tommy hanson. dayyyum. And with Wanger pitching tonight, i don’t have much confidence we’ll win tonight.

    • jsbrendog

      i dont have much confidence in not winning

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Atlanta’s team OPS of .717 is is seventh worst in all of baseball. The Braves are probably the worst offense Wang will have faced to this point. This should be his easiest game yet.

      • Charlie

        i didn’t realize their offense was that bad. Chipper, McCann, Mclouth, seemed like a formidable top of the lineup to me. hopefully the wangster will figure it out tonight.

        • andrew

          Well McClouth’s OPS hasn’t really been taken into account. Their OPS for the season might be 7th worst in baseball, but they are a much better offensive team now that they have McClouth.

      • JP

        Please tsjc do we have to jinx them, again? I mean, in Washington, we were supposed to have difficulty with a reasonably stout offense, while feasting on their inferior pitching. We see how that worked out.


    • V

      Vazquez is the best of the bunch (DUMB DUMB DUMB TRADE, Mr. Steinbrenner! DUMB!), and we don’t face him (pitched yesterday).

      With their offense, I ain’t worried.

      • Reggie C.

        its our offense that worries me.

      • jsbrendog

        eh, the vasquez/unit trade wasnt the worst at the time. i would def had rather had first half vasquez, but he just wasnt happy here and to have your hands tied like that and still get randy johnson out of it (who was good while here just not unit like and also didnt like it here, which there was no way of knowing) is pretty good

        • V

          If it weren’t for the fact that without trading for, and extending, Johnson, we’d have Beltran in CF, I’d accept your argument.

          However, Beltran in center would look mighty good. And Vazquez could have been traded for something else (like, say, prospects) instead.

          Although, looking at the many trades he’s been involved in, how many really turned out all that well for the side giving him away?

          Selected by Montreal Expos in the 5th round of the free-agent draft (June 2, 1994 –
          signed June 3, 1994).

          Traded by Montreal Expos to New York Yankees in exchange for Nick Johnson, Juan
          Rivera and Randy Choate (December 16, 2003).

          Traded by New York Yankees with Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and cash to Arizona
          Diamondbacks in exchange for Randy Johnson (January 11, 2005).

          Traded by Arizona Diamondbacks to Chicago White Sox in exchange for Orlando
          Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino and Chris Young (December 20, 2005).

          Traded by Chicago White Sox with Boone Logan to Atlanta Braves in exchange for Brent
          Lillibridge, Tyler Flowers, Jon Gilmore and Santos Rodriguez (December 4, 2008).

          • V

            Formatting fail.

          • jsbrendog

            looking at a guy thats been traded that many times in so few years just screams to me that he’s just not the type of guy most teams want to keep around for some reason (Duh alert)

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    The McLouth trade was a great start, and a surprising one in which we didn’t give up anything that we needed from our minor league system for at least the next two years. But no, it doesn’t seem to be enough.

    Atlanta should trade for LF Masta Killa. His power bat in the middle of that lineup would be devastating.

    • jsbrendog

      max weinberg in cf. im telling you. he would be UUUUUUGE

  • V

    Jair Jurrjens:
    Career ERA: 3.55
    Career WHIP: 1.322
    Career K/9: 6.3
    Career HR/9: 0.6

    Joba Chamberlain:
    Career ERA: 2.79
    Career WHIP: 1.260
    Career K/9: 10.0
    Career HR/9: 0.6

    Joba Chamberlain the Starter:
    Career ERA: 3.34
    Career WHIP: 1.374
    Career K/9: 9.2
    Career HR/9: 0.7

    • V

      Yes, Joba has a career 3.34 ERA as a starter.

      And he’s not even touched his potential.

      • JP

        And he may never, ever touch it.

        (I’m on his side…but we gotta be careful counting our chickens.)

      • jsbrendog

        im pretty sure he touched it but told it not to tell anyone…..

    • jsbrendog

      jurrjens = 53 starts

      chamberlain = 25 starts

      • V

        Yup, and as expected, he’s improved each season. I have the same expectations for Joba as he learns to harness his stuff.

        • Teix is the man

          Joba also has a lower ERA than Jon Lester if that matters

          • Mister Delaware

            But he’s never thrown a no-hitter!

            (Full disclosure: I’d take Lester.)

          • Russell NY

            Joba is more dominant than Lester. He just needs to go longer and stay healthy.

  • thebusiness

    Joe called Joba’s changeup “serviceable”

    His changeup has been really good. Good velocity change and movement, he’s commanded it pretty decently too.

  • Rob in CT

    Lowe v. Burnett… both contracts kinda suck. Lowe’s 36. It’s nice that he’s been so durable in the past, but he’s 36. 4 years and he’s 40. Burnett is 32, and his injury history is poor. 5 years and he’s 37.

    Lowe is no doubt helped by the NL, so some adjustment should be made there (re: performance to date). Adjust for defense and park effects and strength of opposition, plus understand that it’s less than 1/2 way through season 1 of 4/5 years of work. So, in the end: what’s happened this season probably doesn’t mean much (and shouldn’t be used to judge the contracts – the last several seasons of work by each pitcher are better guides).

    In the off-season, I remember favoring signing Lowe if we had to have 1 of these two guys, though I wasn’t exactly excited about getting him. I was angry about the AJ signing, but much of that was fear that it meant no Teixiera. When that turned out to be untrue, I settled down to more of a “meh” feeling.

    • JP

      Burnett, I hope, will follow the Tanana trajectory. By this I mean pitchers who have injury problems early in their careers, but who then recover and become durable starters after that.

      Totally unscientific observation, but Burnett has a very relaxed, fluid motion and generates great velocity. His ball moves all over the place, sometimes so much that it gets him in trouble. He has been pretty durable since 2005. Not great, but pretty good. I think there’s a chance he runs off a string of 6-7 straight 200 inning seasons.

      He’s a good pitcher. We can carp about him, but the fact is there are so few pitchers even as good as him, that if he just pitches 180-210 for the next 4 years, it will have been worth the money to sign him.

      • Observer283

        Burnett can be a streaky pitcher. And quietly, he’s entering one of his hot streaks. In his last 29 IP, he’s struck out 32 and given up 6 ER’s.

        I just think we haven’t really noticed because: 1) the horrendous Boston start is a part of this little run, and memories from a terrible game against Boston always stick out, 2) the great shout out start against the Mets was obscured by the Cervelli-Posada kerfuffle, and 3) We lost in the great start he had against the Marlins (Johnny, please catch the ball).

        So, if maybe he’s turned the corner back into late 2008 type dominance, that would be huge for the Yankees. I know its a big if, but he has certainly been showing signs recently.

        Not quite sure DLowe has the potential to dominate to the same extent AJ can.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Not quite sure DLowe has the potential to dominate to the same extent AJ can.

          He does.

  • Joey H.

    I have interview Martin a couple of times. Great dude.

    • Joey H.


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  • Joey

    Wow the commenters over there are idiots (most anyway)

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  • Dusty

    Never been on your site before (Braves fan), but just wanted to say I’ve really enjoyed it.

    In response to some of the comments, yes the commenters at TC are mostly idiots although the site is very good. I’m sure it wouldn’t be to hard to find ridiculous Yankee comments out there either. Braves Journal is the preferred commenting site for most non-moronic Braves fans.

    And for the record at this point, I’d go Joba>Hanson>JJ>Hughes although the first two are close for me and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Hanson have a better career.

    • AlexNYC


    • pat

      Levelheaded? Preposterous!
      As Alex said, Welcome.

  • Mister Delaware

    Worth noting: Phil Hughes is 2 months older than Tommy Hanson.