While the Atlanta Braves have a decision to make at shortstop in the next few days, Ben Sheets made their decision about the starting rotation a little easier. Starting for the Mississippi Braves Monday night, Sheets threw 89 pitches over 5.2 innings. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits, 1 hit batsmen, and no walks, while striking out 4. But most importantly, his velocity seemed to be as advertised. Here is M-Braves announcer Kyle Tait:
Sheets' fastball was 88-91 all day, topped out at 93.Curveball command was inconsistent but it had its flashes of greatness— Kyle Tait (@kyle_tait) July 10, 2012
I would expect him to struggle with command in only his second game facing live hitters in two years. The biggest thing is that his velocity is back, and his secondary pitches, like his curve ball, are coming along. The Braves will now allow Sheets to determine whether he needs another start to hone his command, or if he feels he is ready to join the Atlanta rotation.
When games resume for the Braves on Friday after the All-Star break, Tim Hudson will begin the second half, followed by Tommy Hanson. Sunday's start is reserved for Sheets if he's ready. Jair Jurrjens will pitch on Tuesday after an off day on Monday. Then it comes down to which of the young pitchers will win that fifth spot, Mike Minor or Randall Delgado.
If Sheets does not go on Sunday, then Minor or Delgado will pitch Sunday, and the other Wednesday, but whoever starts that Sunday would likely be ticketed for the minors after the game. More than likely Sheets will be ready to go on Sunday, and the team will decide who to send down this week.
I'm not going to go through their numbers, compare them and dissect them. That would be like asking you which pile of poo you like better. They have both pitched poorly in the first half, though with flashes of brilliance at times. Certainly don't look at their records, Delgado hasn't gotten a lick of run support. In fact, he has the second worst run support in the league, and only has one win less than Minor ... ah, I said I wasn't going to compare numbers.
Either Delgado or Minor would be a crap-shoot in the rotation, but having the other nipping at his heels in the minor leagues could cause the one who makes it pitch better. And if he doesn't, then the Braves can pull a swap-a-roo.
The biggest news here is that the Braves could get some much needed starting pitching help, and it could happen this week.
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Here is an open thread for general chatting about the home run derby. I stopped watching a few years ago after getting tired of "back, back, back, GONE" every minute. Anyhoo, guess the winner in the comments. I'm guessing Prince Fielder. Enjoy the SB Nation preview of the derby from Amy K. Nelson.
Welcome all to the Home Run Derby Live Thread and Ichthyomancy! Tonight, eight men will try to hit as many home runs as possible out of the ballpark, and only one will emerge as the Home Run Derby champion from the tournament. Four batters from the American League, four batters from the National League, and one very important Miami Marlins player missing due to injury.
I know, it is difficult to care about the Home Run Derby without Giancarlo Stanton present, but let it be know that at least his replacement, Pittsburgh Pirates star center fielder Andrew McCutchen, is a pretty damn good hitter. Here are the competitors for the Derby, which starts at 8 p.m EST on ESPN. For fun, here are their power projections in terms of percentage of PA that are expected to end in home runs, according to ZiPS.
Based on these numbers, your money should be on Jose Bautista.
Here's SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson with a preview on the Derby.
After the jump, let's go over the Ichthyomancy rules for tonight's game and move on to making picks!Rules
As stated earlier today, these are the rules for the Home Run Derby Icthyomancy.
Home Run Derby
- Pick each participant that will advance through the rounds. There are three rounds, going from eight competitors to four to two. Each selection in these rounds will be worth one (1) point. There are six points to be won here.
- Pick the winner of the Derby. This selection will be worth three (3) points.
- Pick the total number of home runs hit during the Derby. The closest selection gets two (2) points.
How should you format your picks? Beginning with the title of the comment, it should look like this:
Total Number of Home Runs
List of first-round winners (ex. Trumbo, Bautista, Fielder, Beltran)
List of second-round winners (ex. Bautista, Beltran)
Winner in bold
It's that simple! Go ahead and make your selections for the Home Run Derby, and let's try to enjoy the spectacle that has been made more meaningless without our man Giancarlo Stanton.
Welcome to the third issue of the Rockies Farm Report! In this issue, we make our first foray into Dominican Summer League coverage. We also have feature interviews with #5 PuRP Chad Bettis and 2012 3rd round pick Tri City catcher Tom Murphy.
In this report, we also use the newly published Spring 2012 PuRP list. Now you can see all of their June splits in one location!
Thanks as always to user Charlie77 for the graphic support. If you have any comments, feedback, or suggestions for future installments, please list it in the comments down below.
The Atlanta Braves made it official today, placing shortstop Andrelton Simons on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured pinky finger on his right hand.. Andrelton's hand was placed in a cast, and will remain there for at least four weeks, at which time he will be re-evaluated to determine the next phase of treatment.
Hand injuries are tough, and can take a great deal of time to return from. A baseball player's hands are crucial to so many aspects of his game, especially for a shortstop, who is required to make many difficult and accurate throws. While the cast will be on for around a month, it could take another month to restrengthen the hand and wrist and return to full speed. That optimistic assessment would put Simmons' return date around the early to middle part of September. If there are any delays or setbacks, he could miss the rest of the season.
If the Braves could be without their shortstop for the rest of the year, what should they do?
The way I see it, there are three options. Option one would be to recall Tyler Pastornicky from Gwinnett, and slide him back into some level of starting role in Atlanta. Tyler is not knocking the cover off the ball in Gwinnett by any means, and that ignores the main reason he was demoted in favor of Simmons -- his defense. The Braves went from the worst defensive starting shortstop in Pastornicky to one of the best in Simmons, and I'd be surprised if the team was willing to return Pastornicky and his poor defense to an everyday role.
The second option would be to move backup shortstop Jack Wilson into a starting role, and call up Pastornicky or someone else from the minors as the reserve shortstop. This seems like the most likely immediate solution, and while Wilson is better than Pastornicky defensively, he would likely be a black hole in the lineup. In lieu of Pastornicky as the backup shortstop, the Braves could call up Josh Wilson from Gwinnett. That would be fun to see, simply for the utter confusion between Jack Wilson and Josh Wilson. (But not fun to see for all other reasons.)
The third option is what we talk the most about this time of the year -- a trade. The Braves likely wouldn't want to give up too much in a trade for a shortstop, who would only be a few-month rental, but the team still has a lot of young talent in their system that could intrigue other teams (more on the Braves top-25 mid-season prospects this Wednesday and Thursday).
The Braves could go after a player who is a free agent after the season, and may not have to give up much in the way of prospects. A guy like Stephen Drew could intrigue Atlanta, especially if they are willing to take on some salary. He is just off the disabled list himself, and still getting into the swing of things, but he could give the Braves a proven starter at short, and a possible option to replace Chipper Jones next year at third, if the team chose to pick up the option on his contract.
Atlanta could try to acquire a guy to team up with Jack Wilson, like Jamey Carroll of the Twins, or Brendan Ryan of the Mariners. Neither of those two players would be offensive upgrades, but they would be a veteran type player with good defense.
My guess as to what will happen is that the team will go with option two listed above, and stick with Jack Wilson, at least in the short term. Ultimately I have to think the Braves will work towards a trade of some kind, either for a guy like Drew, who would cost more, but bring more to the table, or for another veteran guy who could split time with Wilson.
However it works out, I really hope Simba can make it back this season. He was doing everything we could have ever expected out of him, and probably would have challenged for the NL Rookie of the Year had he stayed healthy.
Baseball Card Show Purchase #10 – Autographed Fergie Jenkins 2000 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’ When I tell you that I had been seeking this card for more than two years, I am not exaggerating the truth. I have always been … Continue reading →
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It's your civic duty to unleash vocal fury on Robinson Cano tonight. During introductions, during interviews, during swings... Hell, I hope his first round at bat is one steady, "Booooo..." I'm also good with a #BooCano hashtag.
Other than that, having the Home Run Derby in Kansas City means I get to enjoy the bomb show without having to endure a announcer who insists on becoming the center of the event. Worth every penny.
From PreGame.com, here are the latest odds for your viewing pleasure:
I'm on board with Joey Bats as the favorite. Although I will be rooting for Beltran. Old habits, I guess.
Looking forward to this event. After the support KC provided for the Futures Game, this should be a fun night. Amy K. Nelson does a great job breaking down the players...
This will be the billionth article on the internet about Mike Trout. And why shouldn't there be a billion? He's 20 years old. He is hitting .341/.397/.562 with 12 home runs and 26 stolen bases (3 CS). And he's been spectacular with the glove. Mike[...]
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