Mark Kotsay was traded to the Boston Red Sox for outfield prospect Luis Sumoza today. Sumoza is a five-tool player likely at least two years away from the big leagues, but he shows promise.
Kotsay was not likely to be resigned by the Braves at the end of the year, as they have a bevy of outfielders ready for the big leagues. Kotsay feels he can continue to be a staring outfielder but was not likely to get that chance with the Braves.
The Red Sox needed additional power in the outfield after the recent injury of JD Drew. Kotsay fills their offensive hole somewhat while the Braves appear to have received a great player in return.
Sumoza strikes out a bit – once every three or four at bats, but he has a .915 OPS and 38 RBIs in low-A ball. He joins a slew of young outfield talent in the Braves system, with Gorkys Hernandez, Jason Heyward, and Jordan Schafer already making their way toward the majors.
I like this trade, even though I liked Kotsay. I’ll be sad to see him gone, but I look forward to our future and hope we see Josh Anderson in the majors here soon.
Tags: Luis Sumoza, Mark Kotsay
Posted in Roster Moves | 5 Comments »
The Braves came from behind to win last night, scoring six runs in the last two innings. This of course begs the question – who are these guys?
Did we really just come from behind to win a game after the 8th inning? For the record, that makes the second come from behind win this season after being down after the 8th inning.
Of course, we’re still 15 games back, and sucking more wind than an upside down Hoover. Oh, and Mark Kotsay is rumored to be headed towards Boston, but that’s entirely speculation as nothing has actually been announced – he was just a late scratch from the lineup last night.
How’s everyone holding up out there? You guys doing ok? For all the crew here at BravesBlast, join me in hoping for more games like last night. Actually, we’d take games where we’re in front the whole game, too.
Tags: Mark Kotsay
Posted in General | 4 Comments »
When the Braves consider next year’s starting outfield, they have a bevy of players from which to choose. It’s just the first year the Braves will be plagued with this problem as they have tons of promising young outfielders in their farm system. Today we’ll look at some of the options in center field.
Mark Kotsay – The Incumbant CF
Kotsay’s contract expires at the end of the 2008 season and he may or may not be resigned. Kotsay has been effective in Atlanta, batting .299 with 37 RBIs, 6 HRs, and a .346 on-base percentage in 83 games. He’s been on the DL with back issues (he had back surgery in Oakland that knocked him out for most of last season) but for the most part has been healthy.
Gregor Blanco – The Rookie
Gregor Blanco has played the most time of the young Braves’ outfield prospects, batting .258 with 27 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and a .371 on base percentage. Blanco is speedy – he’s currently ranked second in the NL in bunt hits with 14. Blanco has been slowed recently by a bone spur in his ankle, which is growing worse as the season progresses. He’s doing a pretty good job batting leadoff and has impressed with his time in Atlanta.
Josh Anderson – Rising Star
Anderson has played most of the year in Richmond, but is absolutely tearing up the baseball there. He’s batting .316 with 37 RBIs, a .361 on base percentage, and a whopping 40 stolen bases. He’s cutting down on strikeouts when compared to years past, and and should definitely be considered when the Braves look at their outfield after the season. It’d be great to see some speed come back to Atlanta, where we have a history of speedy outfielders.
Jordan Schafer – Once The Future King
Schafer was once heralded as a sure lock for the Braves’ starting center field spot in 2009, but a run in with an HGH suspension (he says there’s a side to the story that hasn’t been told) has limited his playing time and knocked him back a step or two. He’s batting .269 with 46 RBIs and 9 HRs in just 71 games and has an OBP of .371. I’d be surprised to see him make the jump from AA ball to the big leagues, but it’s not impossible. He still has a future with the Braves organization, I’m just not sure it involves a role in center field in 2009.
Who do you think the center fielder should be next year? Kotsay or one of the youngsters? I’m excited about Josh Anderson and want to see him in the bigs next year for the Braves, be it in Center or Left. But with potentially Kotsay, Anderson, Blanco, Brandon Jones, and Matt Diaz competing for three outfield slots, it’s going to be competitive – and fun to watch.
Tags: Brandon Jones, braves future, Gregor Blanco, Jordan Schafer, Josh Anderson, Mark Kotsay, Matt Diaz, outfield
Posted in Speculation | 8 Comments »
In a season where finding a highlight is hard at times, last night, Mark Kotsay made it easy to find one despite the Braves falling to the Cubs 11-7. With his double in the bottom of the 7th inning, Kotsay became the first Braves batter to hit for the cycle since Albert Hall did so on September 23rd, 1987. In fact, Kotsay and Hall are the only two batters in Atlanta Braves history to accomplish the feat.
Kotsay started with a triple in the second, then a fourth-inning homer, a single in the sixth and then the double in the seventh. The double that gave him the cycle was also his 1500th career hit. Kotsay went on to tack on another single to go 5-5 on the night.
In other Braves news, Francisley Bueno has been issued a 3-game suspension for throwing a first-pitch fastball behind the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano’s head Wednesday night. Bueno has also been optioned back to Richmond, so the suspension will not take effect until he returns to the majors. He has since filed an appeal.
Let’s celebrate the little things right now. Congratulations go out to Mark Kotsay and a big thanks for providing some much needed excitement to the Braves right now.
Tags: Cycle, Francisley Bueno, Mark Kotsay
Posted in General | 3 Comments »
All indications are pointing towards the Braves taking a passive approach to the non-waiver trade deadline. Here are the Braves related notes I have been hearing as of this morning:
- Mike Gonzalez - The Braves closer has received interest from the Texas Rangers organization. The Rangers, in desperate need of bullpen help would be willing to trade an outfielder for Gonzalez. Outfielders could include David Murphy, Frank Catalanotto, Brandon Boggs or Marlon Byrd. While the Braves need an outfielder, it would be unwise to sell Gonzalez at this low of a price. He has a top-5 closer ceiling, it would be painful to see that production in another organization. Murphy and a top prospect might get the trade done however. For those who do not know David Murphy yet — he is a hard-nosed player that pounds the gaps hard. He will not be an all-star but has some above-average years in him. The rest of that crew would not be an attractive solution to our problems with outfield power.
- Mark Teixeira – The Braves have apparently started to seriously consider moving Teixeira. CBS Sportsline has a report up stating that the Braves have made a list that includes Boston, Los Angeles (AL), Tampa Bay, and Arizona of potential trading partners. These are four organizations with deep minor league systems that could really turn into a bidding war if two or more organizations get involved in this deal. I don’t see how Tampa Bay is interested in this because they have a long term commitment to Carlos Pena who has power and plays great defense, much like Teixeira. Putting one of the two at DH would be a detriment to those two players. A new rumor that was floating around is Robb Quinlan and Brandon Wood of the Angels to the Braves for Teixeira. That is a terrible offer if that is indeed the truth. Quinlan is a career bench player and Wood’s star has burned a lot dimmer in recent years since hitting 43 home runs in 2005 at High-A Ranco Cucamonga. Also, where does Wood fit on this team? He is a third-baseman/shortstop. There isn’t a place for him this season. Los Angeles would be a lot closer offering Casey Kotchmann and Juan Rivera.
- Tim Hudson – His name has been mentioned once, but it is highly doubtful that the Braves would be interested in moving their ace.
- Mark Kotsay – He has just this year left on his contract but has played well despite some injuries. I have doubts that they could get much for him – but you never know.
- Will Ohman – This is a name that may be mentioned more frequently over the next few days. While I have not heard of any specific deals in which Ohman might be involved in, he has put together a great season and is a lefty. I can’t imagine anything that might make him more attractive.
- Jeff Francoeur was mentioned by Braves.com today in trade rumors – though this may be shocking to some people, he’s not doing well at all. The Royals may be interested – their GM was formerly in the Braves organization.
It may be 4:01 on July 31st when the baseball world finally knows what the Braves intentions were for this trade season. Rumors will continue to flutter around and we may not know what’s going on until it happens.
- Dan & Colin
Tags: Jeff Francoeur, Mark Kotsay, Mark Teixeiar, Mike Gonzalez, Tim Hudson, Will Ohman
Posted in General, Speculation | 14 Comments »
Charlie Morton takes the mound tonight against the Phillies – hoping the Braves offense can back him this time out. And, unexpectedly, Chipper Jones may be in the lineup doing his part. That’ll help Morton feel happier – or even Chipper – if you will, about this game.
Chipper ran some sprints today and noticed significant improvement in his right quad. He told Bobby Cox about an hour ago he was ready to be in the lineup for the game tonight. The final decision will be made after batting practice, but Chipper, who was expected to go on the DL today, normally knows his body pretty well. I’d expect to see him doing his part. Hopefully he’s kept up his hot swing while he’s been unable to run, because I can’t wait to see him in front of Mark Teixeira, who has been absolutely on fire recently. Oh, and we get Mark Kotsay back from the DL tonight. And if that’s not good enough, we’ll get Yunel Escobar back in the lineup tomorrow. We’ll see an improvement in offense with those three.
Morton needs a win. He’s had three starts and is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA, but he’s pitched very well in all of those starts – not giving up more than 3 earned runs. He’s due tonight and if the guys can deliver offensively, we should see another W for the Bravos.
Time to make a run to the top of the division, gentlemen. Go get ‘em!
Tags: Charlie Morton, Chipper Jones, Mark Kotsay, Philadelphia Phillies
Posted in Game Threads, Injuries | 7 Comments »
While on his rehab assignment in double A ball, Mark Kotsay got to see something pretty special—a no hitter. Tommy Hanson threw the Mississippi Braves’ first no-hitter and struck out 14 in what became a career night for the young prospect. Hanson pitched the gem against the Birmingham Barons—the Chicago White Sox’s double A affiliate.
Hanson saw some trouble in the first inning when he had the bases loaded after a walk, a hit batsman and another walk. Hanson got the next hitter to pop out and saw calm seas after that. Hanson allowed just one base runner after the first inning, that coming on a walk. Hanson struck out the side in the second inning, fifth inning and again in the seventh for nine of his 14 total strikeouts.
Mark Kotsay and prospect Jordan Schafer helped in the effort with their offense. Kotsay had two hits and scored a run, while Shafer’s bases-loaded triple drove in three more.
Obviously, Hanson’s no hitter was the story of the evening. Hanson (4-3, 4.32 ERA) went 3-1 with a 0.90 ERA in seven games in A-ball at
Hanson is a guy that could be a trading chip for the Braves this year or next year. With the rotation set up the way it is, it looks solid from
There’s still about a month left till the trade deadline, so we’ll see how Hanson’s no hitter affects his trade value.
Tags: Jordan Schafer, Mark Kotsay, Tommy Hanson
Posted in General, Minor Leagues | 9 Comments »
Braves’ center fielder Mark Kotsay was placed on the 15-day DL today after tightness in his lower back prohibited him from even taking batting practice Thursday before the game against the Brewers. Speedster Josh Anderson was recalled from AAA Richmond and will be in Cincinnati on Friday night for the start of a three-game series against the Reds.
Kotsay, who missed his last four starts, had back surgery in March of last year. He came to the Braves in a trade for prospect Joey Devine. Kotsay is not the first Braves outfielder to go on the DL – Matt Diaz is expected to miss about six weeks with a partially torn PCL that will not require surgery. While Diaz and Kotsay are on the DL, Josh Anderson is expected to share time in center field and left field with Gregor Blanco.
Anderson was acquired from the Astros in a trade last year in November for reliever Oscar Villareal. He impressed in spring training and was beat out for the fourth outfield spot by Blanco.
Tags: Gregor Blanco, Josh Anderson, Mark Kotsay, Matt Diaz
Posted in Injuries | 1 Comment »
Well, the time has come for us to buckle down on the road. By the end of June, the Braves have 19 road games. In my opinion, these games will define the rest of the season for the Braves. Without going .500 to .600 in those road games, I don’t see us standing much of a chance to compete, especially if we can’t topple teams such as the Brewers and Reds. Tonight, we kick off a set against Milwaukee with Tim Hudson taking the mound with his 7-3 record.
The Braves will be without the help of Mark Kotsay tonight and possibly for longer as they ponder placing him on the disabled list with his back problems. Hopefully the rest of the offense can stay healthy and we see some quality performances out of the pitching staff to try to right the ship against our worst-in-MLB 6-16 road record. It’s time to get it going on the road, guys. Go Braves!
Tags: Mark Kotsay, Milwaukee Brewers, Tim Hudson
Posted in Game Threads | 171 Comments »
I hate our “Andruw Would Have Gotten That” counter.
This counter is crap for more than one reason, but I actually get aggitated every time I see it. At first I thought it was a great idea to have this counter since we thought we’d sorely miss Mr. Jones in the lineup. I can’t say, though, that I’m sorry to see him gone. For starters, Mark Kotsay is fielding amazingly. The counter says three, I say MAYBE one, and more accurately if it was called the “Young-Skinny-Athletic-Andruw Would Have Gotten That” counter. Andruw Jones can hardly carry his 8-month-pregnant belly up a flight of stairs these days, let alone run down some of the stellar hits that Kotsay has gloved. During the first few games, my boys kept yelling over “write one up for the Andruw counter” on impossible plays. Andruw thought he was Superman, and still does, but I’ll guarantee you he wasn’t making those catches either way. The first think we needed to do was be realistic with Kotsay, not sell him short for being less than super human.
Secondly, Kotsay is a much better addition to the batting lineup. Do YOU miss the current Andruw Jones in the lineup? His batting average is worse than Corky Miller’s! The only time a 0.091 is worth $18 million is when it’s an ERA. Kotsay is hitting like crazy right now. Should we trade that in and wish that Andruw was still here?
Finally, welcome to Atlanta, Mark Kotsay. I think my boys were a little too sad to see the big-man with all of his silver cars hit the road to LA. The cocky man fits in better in LA with his attitude and lack of Southern Hospitality. Mark Kotsay is playing fabulously, is a veteran, has lots of skill and ability, and is the absolute best fit for our team. I’m glad he was chosen over Josh Anderson for the spot. Kotsay is our man, I hope to see him stay here.
So good riddance, Mr. Jones. I’m glad to have you here, Mark. Thanks for making us proud.
Tags: Andruw Jones, Mark Kotsay, Rue's Rants
Posted in Rue's Rants | 30 Comments »
Without even writing it, I’m sure everyone could guess how many runs the Braves lost by in last night’s outing. That’s right. One run. For the fifth time out of five losses this season, the Braves lost a one-run game. This time, again, to the Rockies, with a final score of 4-3, in a second consecutive game where the Braves struggled to find an offensive rhythm.
The game got off to a similar start to the one from Monday night. Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar got on base and Chipper Jones drove in a run with a single to get the Braves out to an early 1-0 lead. After that, however, the bats fell flat once again. The only sign of life for the Braves’ offense outside of that was a 2-run home run that Mark Kotsay drove a little over 400 feet to right-center. That brought the score to 4-3 and ended the offensive output for the night.
Clutch hitting is still a weak point of the Braves. We hit well when we’re not pressured and have decent leads, but when the game’s on the line, we just can’t seem to get the bats going. Bobby Cox said it best after the game when he said that we have a great team and we’ve been in every game. We just need the one-run matchups to start falling our way. 0-5 in one-run games after only 8 games in the season isn’t the way you want to get started off.
From the mound, Jurrjens had a solid outing, pitching through 7 innings. He gave up 4 runs on 9 hits while striking out 3. His 2 walks for the night were both intentional passes. Manny Acosta pitched the 8th inning for the Braves and looked a little unsettled allowing a hit and a walk before striking out two to get out of the inning. Jurrjens earned his first loss on the season, bringing his record to 1-1.
The Braves face off against the Rockies again tonight in the third game of this four-game series. Chuck James is slated to make his first start of the season for the Braves against former Brave Mark Redman. Hopefully Redman will give up as many runs against us tonight as he did when pitching for us last season. We’ll also be looking for the offense to break out of the slump that has only produced 9 hits through the last two games.
Tags: Colorado Rockies, Jair Jurrjens, Mark Kotsay
Posted in Game Analysis | No Comments »
The Braves’ star prospect Jordan Schafer, who had a decent spring, was suspended for 50 games after it was revealed he violated the league’s substance abuse policy. Apparently Schafer tested positive for HGH, not something good to see from a young player who is supposedly the future face of the franchise.
Everywhere you read about this guy and his supposed maturity, but I’m not sold on him yet. Just because you can play ball (apparently with the help of HGH) doesn’t mean you have the composure and maturity you need to be a major league player and the potential face of the franchise. You can’t convince me he’s ready for the big league level for at least a year or two.
As for his placeholder, Mark Kotsay, the guy has been great so far. Solid hitter, great arm, and he does his best to cover ground. Heck, we haven’t even had to add a single point to our “Andruw would have gotten that” counter.
Schafer is going to need to come back from this suspension with some sincere remorse and work hard to make up for this significant shortcoming. Not only does it cast doubt on his strong spring, but it shows character flaws and immaturity. I think Schafer has bought into the hype surrounding his rising star career way too much – and has passed way over the line between confident and cocky. One has to be worried about seeing someone like Schafer go down this path. The truly good players – character wise – are the Jeff Francoeurs and Brian McCanns. They keep their mouths shut and play baseball – don’t dig into anything suspect or suspicious, and let their numbers back up the hype surrounding their careers.
Schafer has a long way to go – good thing we have those extra outfielders now, isn’t it? Josh Anderson next season, anyone?
Tags: HGH, Jordan Schafer, Josh Anderson, Mark Kotsay
Posted in General | 15 Comments »