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Braves Q and A with Alex Remington.

I am pleased to give you the brightest mind covering the Atlanta Braves Alex Remington. Alex blogs about Pop culture at Remingtonstein, writes about baseball at Yahoo Sports Big League Stew, and blogs about the Atlanta Braves at Chop-N-Change.

Hi Alex thanks again for your time and insight.

Mlb.com has Jason Heyward number one ahead of Strasburg in its annual top 50 prospect list, how high is his ceiling and who does he compare most to past or present? And could you explain why its financially wise to sit him for the first 2 months of the season?

A lot of people are comparing Heyward as a hitter to people like Fred McGriff; MLB.com even compared him to Dave Parker. Whatever happens, he appears to be about ready to hit, and within a year or two, to be one of the best left-handed hitters in the division. However, he's only 20, so he's not likely to be All-Star level out of the gate. That's why I think the Braves should keep him on the farm in AAA for a couple of months -- where he only played 3 games last year, after all -- and then bring him up midsummer. This is because of baseball's arcane arbitration rules. A player is normally under team control for his first three years in the big leagues, unless the team basically plays him every day for his first two years -- then he becomes a Super Two and is eligible for arbitration a year early. With a guy as talented as Heyward, that's an 8-figure difference.

This is Bobby Cox last year what are your thoughts on his legacy? And who do you see as a short list of replacements? Furthermore do you see Frank Wren changing the direction and philosophy of the team after Bobby leaves?

Whenever Bobby retires, he'll be on a short list of the greatest managers of all time. While his in-game decisions were often questionable, his leadership skills are unquestioned, and his eye for talent -- he's the GM who drafted Chipper Jones, after all, and he's had a hand in the major front office decisions in the Schuerholz and Wren eras -- is underrated. He got a little long in the tooth the past few years as he got older, in my opinion, but his legacy is unquestioned. If the Braves stay in-house, it's been speculated that Eddie Perez and Terry Pendleton have long been seen as potential replacements.

Do you think Jordan Shafer will find glory on the field again after his mighty fall last year. I know he was playing hurt but what are your thoughts on his role on the team next year?

Schafer needs to stay on the farm in 2010. He has less than a
season's worth of at-bats from the past two years, thanks to injuries
and the HGH suspension. He needs to show the Braves he can succeed
above A-ball. I like the kid, and I like his confidence, but right now
he needs to prove himself.

Are the Braves going to use the money saved when they traded Javier Vasquez to acquire another player? And what do you know about the 2 young pitchers we got for him?

Frank Wren has indicated that he's done spending, and that the acquisitions of Melky Cabrera, Troy Glaus, and Eric Hinske were the last major lineup additions of the offseason. As to the Yankee pitchers, Mike Dunn looks like a guy with a big fastball but control problems; CHONE projects him for a 4.86 ERA next year. It's always nice to have lefties with gas, but I doubt he'll contribute much next year. Arodys Vizcaino is a big-time prospect right now, a fireballing Dominican teenager who excelled in short-season ball, but who's mostly hype at this point. I'll get more excited once he's pitched a full season.

Are the Nationals the front runner right now to trade for Derek Lowe? Or do you think he stays with the team?

Right now, Lowe's a Brave. They seem to have tried hard to move
him, but understandably they couldn't find any takers willing to give
much up in return.

Do you believe Martin Prado and Matt Diaz can play a 152 games at the pace they did last year?

Diaz has never played more than 135 games in a season, and Prado
hasn't played more than 128, so it's hard to say whether their bodies
will hold up over 150 games. I'm guessing that both will have some
nicks and scratches that keep them out for a few days at a time, and
Eric Hinske and Omar Infante will get to lug their lead gloves all
over the field to back up those two and Chipper Jones. I think Diaz
and Prado have both shown that they can hit, but they're very similar
hitters: they don't walk much, so to be useful offensively they have
to keep their batting average high. Over a long season, that's hard to

Do you think anyone can score on the Braves after the 7th inning next year? And how many years do you think Billy Wagner can pitch?

I hope Saito and Wagner stay healthy. They're both pretty old. If
they can be healthy and effective, and Moylan stays healthy, that will
be a nice back end of the pen. But you never know.

Braves Record and place in the standings? Who has a better year Chipper Jones or Troy Glaus? And a prediction for Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens wins and e.r.a.?

I think the Braves will finish in second place, behind the
Phillies. Chipper will have a better year than Glaus, though both will
struggle to play 130 games. Hanson and Jurrjens will both win 12-15
games with an ERA between 3.50 and 4.00.

One last question. Do you think Dale Murphy deserves or will be in the hall of fame?

I think Dale is a borderline case, and he lacks a vocal fan base
demanding his induction. If he had the rabid Boston support that Jim
Rice got, or the sabermetric crowd that has adopted Bert Blyleven as a
pet project, I think he'd have a better chance. I'd love to see him
make it, but I doubt he will.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment. More to come.


  1. Wow !! That was packed with information.

  2. Nice opinions Alex. Good insight. Not sure why you have Hanson and Jurrjens pegged for mediocre to poor years though. I don't see any reason for the downgrade. Both era's will be around 3-3.5 for the season or possibly better. I think Heyward will have a great spring and take right field out of the gate. And I believe Chipper and Glaus will stay healthy, regardless of how many games you predict, and both have very good years. Look forward to your next article.