jmbraves

The 20 worst A-Braves players: #6 Jim Morrison

If I was a blowhard hack like Chris Berman I’d write something like, “Braves fans didn’t love Jim Morrison one time, let alone two.” I’ll spare us all.

Morrison, a veteran of the worst Braves team ever, was something of a two-way player, appearing in three games as a pitcher. He actually had some success on the mound, tossing 3-2/3 scoreless innings. That wasn’t enough to make up for his impotency at the plate.

Morrison was signed by the Braves after hitting .216 with no homers and ZERO walks in 74 AB as a Tiger. He managed but 14 hits in 92 AB with Atlanta, including an 0-for-30 stretch, good for a .152 BA and .468 OPS.

It’s hard to say whether Morrison was the worst player on the ’88 Braves — Jerry Royster, Damaso Garcia, Gary Roenicke and Terry Blocker make a good argument. But just being in the  conversation is bad enough.

Are the Braves resigned to their small-market fate?

Increasingly we’re hearing management say it’s okay with internal LF/3B options, as if there are any. I’m encouraged by Juan Francisco’s development, but there’s nothing to suggest he won’t add another 150+ strikeouts to a line-up that could easily lead the league in K’s. Jose Constanza is a 4-A player at best, Evan Gattis is a DH who may or may not hit big league pitching and Jordan Schafer has blown every chance he’s received.

Meanwhile, the Reds are on the verge of acquiring Shin-Soo Choo (career .289 BA, .381 OBP, .465 slugging, 20 SB a year) in a three-team deal  that would net the Indians Drew Stubbs, who’s fallen far short of expectations, and a minor league pitching prospect. I’m not saying the Braves could’ve topped that offer, but Cleveland needs pitching and the Braves have it.  Choo is a FA after this season, and, though he strikes out plenty, gets on base at a clip Francisco will never match. And the Reds aren’t gutting their farm system to get him.

An NL competitor is about to get better, and right now the Braves are worse than in 2012. B.J. Upton does not equal Chipper and Bourn. Not even close.

More troubling is the lack of any movement on extensions for Martin and Jay Hey. Prado, a free agent after next season, has indicated a desire to re-up and likely won’t drive an impossible bargain. But this market would tempt anyone, and the Braves better not let Martin’s agent drive up the price.

Hard to believe but Jay Hey is just three years removed from free agency. The closer he gets to 2016 the less interested he’ll be in passing up a potential bonanza for short-term security. By the way, Kris Medlen will also be a FA in 2016.

Hell, even Tampa managed to lock up its franchise player, Evan Longoria, through 2023. Such commitments are not without risk, but the alternative is the Pittsburgh Pirates. FW better get moving or it won’t be long before we find ourselves in the same boat as Pirate fans, desperate for mediocrity.