Tagged: Tyler Flowers

Finally Getting Something Done

Well, it looks like the Braves finally made a move. This would send Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan to the Braves in exchange for Tyler Flowers, Brent Lillibridge, Jon Gilmore, and Santos Rodriguez. The White Sox are getting a little more than they should in my opinion. Am I liking this trade? Yea. Am I loving it? No.

Javier Vasquez

I’m liking this trade because the Braves are getting a solid middle of the rotation starter in exchange for some mediocre prospects. Just for the record I am including Tyler Flowers in that mediocre comment. I will address that later. Only Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez have had more strikeouts than Vazquez since 1998 while only Livan Hernandez has thrown more innings since 2000. This guy is a workhorse. He may not be an overpowering, superstar ace like Jake Peavy or A.J. Burnett, but he will be a strong piece to add to the rotation.

The Braves also get Boone Logan who was less than spectacular last year. This was the first time I have even heard his name since I don’t play close attention to the White Sox, but I have a strong grasp of the game’s above average players. I don’t feel he should be included in that group of players. What he does provide is a fresh arm to a bullpen that was worn out last year. He is just a fresh face that may be a diamond in the rough, who knows?

Brian McCannOn the White Sox side of the deal they got some nice pieces. Not great, but nice. Tyler Flowers is the centerpiece of the deal for Chicago. Before all the Flowers faithful go haywire, let’s calm down and face reality. Flowers did great in the AFL, which was a hitters league. He should be crushing the ball to be honest.

He is a catcher that can crush the ball. Wait, the Braves have that Brian McCann guy already. I’d say he is pretty good. Can Flowers move to first base? No. Casey Kotchman is better than he played and if that doesn’t work out Freddie Freeman is a better overall prospect and already plays first base. Flowers is just in a bad situation. It happens to a lot of good players. He will get over it and you guys should too.

Brent Lillibridge is a great trade since he is not major league ready. If the Braves trade Yunel Escobar there is no doubt in my mind that Lillibridge would not be able to step in and perform at the highest level. The kid has a great glove but he just can’t hit. If he can fix that then he will turn into a nice piece for the White Sox. Until then, good luck guys.

Jon Gilmore is one of those third basemen that is supposedly capable of replacing Chipper Jones. I have been hearing his name for a few years now and haven’t seen anything spectacular. Santos Rodriguez is a nice pick up for Chicago. He pitched well in both of the past two years but is still a long ways away from hitting Chicago.

Jermaine DyeIn all this was a good trade for both Atlanta and Chicago. Don’t worry about not having the prospects to get Peavy now because I doubt any of those would have been included anyway. This could in fact get Towers to come crawling back because he feels the Braves have moved on without him. It is just a matter of time before Towers comes back. Just a matter of time.

The only thing that disappoints me is that Jermaine Dye was not included in the trade. This could of possibly killed two birds with one stone in getting a starter and a power hitting outfielder. But oh well, Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Braves won’t be fixed in a day.

Cheers,

~Ben

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The Truth About Steroids

Ok, I thought I would put my two cents in on the HGH subject.

Some Braves fans have had some words about Jordan Schafer who was suspended due to “suspected” HGH use. Braves minor league catcher Tyler Flowers has also been suspended but for a positive test.

Here is the real question, why do players take steroids?

Steroids
Before you can answer that question you have to know what exactly steroids do. The biggest and most controversial steroid has been HGH. We all know it has been linked to Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, and Rafael Palmeiro. Don’t forget that Jose Canseco guy either.

HGH stands for Human Growth Hormone. Basically it helps the player grow, gain muscle mass, or increase their metabolism. Increased growth makes sense for some of the younger players. Some players come up through the minor leagues and don’t quite make it because they are a little short, this would solve their problems.

NeedleNow for the muscle growth. Increased muscle mass is great, for football players. If you have a good amount of experience in baseball you know that the ideal player has lean muscle, not bulky. Baseball is more of a speed, not power game. What good is it if you are huge, but can’t run to first base under 10 seconds? It doesn’t make any sense.

Something else that people don’t realize is that HGH is used for injuries. HGH helps various injuries heal faster and get the player back onto the field. The player isn’t using it to get better, they are using it to get back on the field.

What this whole thing comes down to is that steroids don’t make you a better player. If you take steroids to gain muscle, you still have to be able to hit a 95 mph fastball in the first place. Adding muscle won’t help you hit any better. It may help you hit balls further, but you still have to be able to make contact in the first place. Andy Pettitte even said he used it to recover from an injury. 

Don’t get me wrong, steroid use is in no way right or ok in any case. It should be punished severely. I just want people to know that even if a player uses steroids it doesn’t mean all of his talent came from steroids. Jordan Schafer’s batting average jumped dramatically before he was suspended. Steroids can help you heal, get bigger, or gain muscle, they cannot however make you a better baseball player.

In the end it is just dumb for any player to use steroids. But please, don’t criticize a player without knowing all of the facts. I know steroids aren’t in any way ok, but don’t jump to conclusions without doing a little research.   

Peavy coming to Atlanta?

It looks like the Braves are getting closer and closer to trading for
Jake Peavy. They have made a strong offer that includes Yunel Escobar,
Charlie Morton and Jordan Schafer. San Diego still wants Tommy Hanson,
but that ain’t happening.

Yunel EscobarPeavy
still seems a little iffy about coming to Atlanta. He seems reluctant
because Atlanta would most likely have to give up Yunel Escobar in the
deal. Could Atlanta still compete with the Mets and Phillies without
Escobar? Well, I think so. Escobar has the potential to be a great
player, but so far it is just potential. If the Braves send Escobar to
San Diego, I think they are more than capable of trading for a
shortstop. J.J. Hardy I believe would be a great addition. He hit .283
with 24 home runs and 74 RBIs last year. He doesn’t steal bases but
neither did Escobar. I think it could in a way be an upgrade. So don’t
fret Braves fans. 

The next piece is Charlie Morton. I
actually think this is a big blow for Atlanta. Morton pitched hurt for
all but 2 starts last year. In his first start he went 6 innings and
gave up 3 runs. In his second he went 5 innings and gave up 3 runs.
Those aren’t bad for someone who had only been at AAA for a few games
and was prematurely throw in the fire that is the MLB. The rest of the
year he struggled in almost every game. Ok people, Charlie Morton is a
power pitcher. He was only throwing 92-93 because he had some form of
side or rib injury. Morton is supposed to be able to throw in the mid
90’s. He wasn’t able to work off of his power fastball which is not his
game. He struggled because he couldn’t pitch the way he was used to. If
he stays I predict him to one day be the number 3 pitcher in the
rotation, behind Jair Jurrjens and Tommy  Hanson.

Jordan SchaferThe
final piece of the deal could be Jordan Schafer. I have heard a lot of
talk along the lines of “get that cheater outta here, we don’t want
cheaters and neither does Bobby Cox.” Wrong, get your facts straight
before condemning someone for something they “may” have done. Schafer
was suspended for “suspicion.” There was no positive test. He was
suspected of use and then bam, 50 game suspension. And yes, players
have been suspended for suspicion. By the way, everyone seems to love
Tyler Flowers. He TESTED positive for HGH. Why doens’t anyone talk
about that. Learn the story before saying hateful things about players.
You will look like an idiot.

Schafer may not even be included
in the trade as the Padres interest in him is “lukewarm.” He could be
replaced with another center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. Hernandez has
more speed than Schafer but doesn’t have the possibility of being a five
tool player like Schafer does. Overall, I would take Schafer over
Hernandez. We will have to see what happens.

The rumor about
Kelly Johnson being traded for Ryan Ludwick isn’t looking so hot
anymore. Ludwick has been linked to the Rockies in a trade for Matt
Holliday. Sorry guys, if I could trade Ludwick for Holliday or Johnson,
I would take Holliday. That is just an easy decision. All of these
rumors I assume is taking a toll on Atlanta fans. The Braves have not
made a big free agent move since signing Maddux and this has become
very frustrating. Maybe getting Peavy would help motivate free agents
so sign.

Alarming Numbers

A few minutes ago I was checking up on Atlanta’s young studs in the Arizona Fall League.

Pitching wise they have been doing excellent. The only run allowed by the 3 pitchers was by Stephen Marek. That run also happened to be unearned.

I checked in on Van Pope and saw his power numbers are still low, but that can change. Next I checked in on the budding star Tyler Flowers.

In 39 at bats he has 11 runs scored, 16 hits, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and 8 runs batted in.  Pretty impressive huh? As I go along the stat line I find my way to strikeouts. Whoops. 12 K’s in 39 at bats. We have a problem my friends.

That comes out to an average of a 30% strikeout rate. As in 3 times per 10 at bats. That is not very good. Already he is showing signs of becoming a Ryan Howard type player. Not in the sense of hitting baseballs that have changed area codes. But in the sense of racking up strikeouts. Already he has about as many K’s as Peyton Manning has commercials. That is not good.

I know, I know, he is young, things can change. But before we go saying how amazing he is we need to take everything into consideration. This could be either a lack of experience or a sign of things to come. Hopefully it isn’t the later of the two.

Some more insight on the projected Peavy trade.

I have become very frustrated by the fact that people do not consider the other half of the trade, the Padres.

Fellow Braves fans, if you want someone good, you need to give up someone good. It really is that simple. No illusions or tricks, value gets value. Crap does not get you value. Unless you are the Yankees and somehow give up nothing for the best players every year. (GM’s on the Yankees payroll?) Who knows. It wouldn’t be the first time.

I would like to clear something up. The Padres want 2 starting pitchers and 1 major league ready outfielder. Relievers don’t count as starters so stop trying to include them. Jo-Jo Reyes has zero value, stop trying to include him because you don’t like him.

As for the outfielders, Josh Anderson, Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez, Jordan Schafer, and Jason Heyward are the possibilities. One needs to go if you want Peavy, get over it. The only reason the Padres want Yunel Escobar is it is their attempt to dump Khalil Green’s salary. Replacing Escobar with Brent Lillibridge will not get it done. Escobar is better, hands down, no contest.

This continues to the fact that Martin Prado and Kelly Johnson may be included in the deal. San Diego could move one over to shortstop. That one would be Kelly Johnson as he came up as a shortstop. I don’t think Prado has the range to play shortstop so I doubt San Diego does either.

San Diego may want Tyler Flowers,  but I doubt it. There hasn’t been any official talk about so I don’t think they want him.

Finally! Please think things through! Before you go saying your trade think to yourself, “would I make that trade?” If you say no, then the Padres won’t do it either as they have more knowledge about these players than any one of us fans. The trade HAS to be fair for BOTH teams. Giving up mediocre players will NOT get you Jake Peavy. So please, just stop it.