Braves Notes

I’ve got a few things that are worth blogging about, but they’re short, general, and mostly about the Braves. So, I’ll throw them in here.

  • Baseball Digest Daily has an interesting interview with the Braves 2005 first round draft pick, Joey Devine. Devine is a relief pitching prospect out of NC State who seems to defy the mold of the traditional Braves draft pick. He’s a college closer who’s on the fast track to the majors. Some people think he will be there this year, but I doubt it. After breezing through Myrtle Beach, he’s also played well for Mississippi, only giving up one run in 10 2/3 innings. He’s yet to along a longball and his K/BB is 11/7. If he plays well I can see him getting an audition for the playoffs in September, but I don’t think he’ll be in the big leagues any time soon. But that’s what I though about Francoeur.
  • Speaking of Jeff Francoeur, the guy is doing all he can to punish me for saying he’s not ready by jacking 3 bombs in 26 at-bats. So what am I going to do? I’ll stick to my belief that he’s not ready. There’s no doubt that Jeff has power, but as soon as pitchers figure out that they don’t have to throw him strikes he is going to struggle. If they could hold him to .275/.322/.487 in AA, he’s not going to bust out in the majors. 26 at-bats is a tiny sample size, and I don’t think we should take them as evidence that he’s ready over his AA performance.
  • Which leads into the next thing on my mind, and that is the Braves have been rumored to be interested in Rondell White. I was kind of surprised to hear this, but I was even more surprised when I looked up his numbers this year. He’s playing regularly against right-handers and posting a .310/.344/.467 line. What’s even more interesting is that he’s playing better at hitter-unfriendly Comerica Park with a .313/.358/.527 line. PrOPS says his stats are not fluky either. White might be a nice pick-up for the stretch run, especially with Atlanta’s left-hand heavy team. I think the Braves would have to give up very little for him. White has also spent less of his time DHing this year, playing a good bit of outfield. If a deal does go down, I think it would send Francoeur to Richmond where he can get the at-bats he needs. This deal makes a lot of sense.
  • If you’re interested in the Nats recent press over RFK’s dimensions, check out Michael McCann’s take on the legal ramifications. Maybe Carlos Guzman and Vinny Castilla need to hire a lawyer to sue for their suckiness. It’s funny how bad RFK has played this year. The general assumption was that it would be a slight pitcher’s park. Baseball Prospectus guessed it’s park factor would be 980, but it’s been closer to 900.
  • Congrats to Greg Maddux on his 3,000th strikeout. That’s a lot for a guy who “doesn’t strikeout a lot of guys.” He’s 13th all-time is strikeouts in MLB history, and has been in the top-10 in Ks seven times. Once again, it’s a reminder that the first counter-example brought to the table to prove DIPS wrong is actually the poster-boy for why DIPS is right. Let’s not forget he’s a master at limiting walks and home runs, which makes his strikeout totals more amazing. He strikes guys out by putting the ball in the zone.

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