Will Reed Johnson be the odd man out?

Jay Hey could be back as early as the Arizona series next week, which leaves the Braves with a most unanticipated, yet welcome, problem. The bench, which appeared to be a weakness, has been among the best in baseball. But someone’s got to go. *It can’t be Ramiro Pena, who’s exceeded expectations and is the…

Schafer, Pastornicky only Braves yet to report

Judging by Fredi’s comments the former prospects would be advised to go apartment hunting in Buford. “We’re waiting for [Pastornicky] again this year,” Gonzalez said, in a good-natured tone that nonetheless sent a message. “Schafer probably has a tough time getting travel arrangements. He’s another one I’m going to grab. He only lives two exits…

Braves bolster bench

#Braves just acquired IF Jeff Baker from Detroit for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Former Clemson Tiger. — David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) September 1, 2012 Baker, a right-handed bat, could get some starts at 2B in place of Uggla. Baker is a career.298 hitter against southpaws, with a .505 slugging percentage. He’ll fill the roster spot…

Frank Wren should stop making trades w/ Pittsburgh

We were all pleased with Matty D.’s re-acquisition last summer. Now … Diaz, who has a .302 OBP and 7 homers in his last 200 games, will make $2 million this year. Hell, Brent Clevlen could give you that for a quarter of the price. Two million might not seem like much but consider the…

Seth Smith should be a Brave

Seth Smith will make about $2.5 mil next season, apparently too much for the Braves to take on. Though I never advocated trading Martin for Smith the former Rockies outfielder would have been a nice acquisition as a platoon LF and pinch hitter par excellence. Instead he’s going to Oakland, acquired for two middling pitchers…

Best to Brooksie

Brooks was non-tendered last night, along with Peter Moylan, although Petah may end up coming back. It’s doubtful Brooks will, as he was non-tendered despite not being arbitration-eligible. As is the Braves bench has only two openings, with Matty D., Hinske and Ross all signed for 2012. One assumes back-ups who can play SS and…

Braves pick up McLouth’s option

Did I say McLouth? I meant Hinske, back next year for $1.5 million. No complaints here. Gotta love Hinske’s reaction to the news. “All these guys are my good friends, and I want to go out there and battle with them,” Hinske said. “I don’t want to be with any other team. I want to…

Ed Lucas makes team

#Braves option five to Triple-A Gwinnett: Jordan Schafer, Juan Abreu, Jairo Asencio, Diory Hernandez, Mike Minor 25 minutes ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by 4 people ajcbraves David O’Brien Diory’s demotion leaves Ed Lucas as the back-up SS, pending another move (acquiring Chris Nelson from the Rockies?)

Braves looking to bolster bench

#Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez reiterated today what GM Frank Wren has said: Braves would like to add RH-hitting backup to complement Hinske about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by 5 people ajcbraves David O’Brien Sounds like the hierarchy is losing confidence in Joe Mather.

The next Brent Clevelen or Andres Torres?

A big spring has placed former Tigers prospect Wilkin Ramirez into contention for a back-up OF job. As of Sunday he was batting .421 (8-for-19) with a triple, homer, five RBIs and three stolen bases. “He’s got some juice, man,” said Jones. “He’s been one of the guys that’s really impressed me this spring. A…

Braves talking with Jorge Cantu

UPDATE: Never mind. Free-agent slugger Jorge Cantú made it known Saturday while attending the Michael Gill Benefit Ragball Tournament in Channelview, Texas, that ongoing conversations with the Houston Astros regarding a potential contract have recently ceased, thus leaving the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres as the clear-cut favorites to obtain his services. Pluses: Cantu’s only 29 and has…

Braves bench no longer a strength

When the 2010 season started, the Braves bench featured Matty D., Hinske, Infante, Ross and Conrad. If Fredi sticks with a 12-man pitching staff (I’d prefer 11), the ’11 Braves will be short at least one hitter, as Diory Hernandez appears a lock to stick with the parent club. Who else spells Gonzalez at short?…

Scott Hairston? Why not Andruw

This is what we’re reduced to, weighing the pros and cons of signing an oft-injured and well-traveled fourth outfielder. I never thought about Scott Hairston as a CF option because 1.) He’s not very good and 2.) I thought he was only a corner OF. Turns out he’s decent enough in CF, faring better than…

Hinske’s coming back

Solid part-timer, excellent pinch hitter and a good character guy. Plus, he wants to be here. Glad to have you back, EH. The outfielder/first baseman agreed to a one-year deal with a second-year option to stay with the Braves, turning down an offer from the Milwaukee Brewers in his home state, said a person familiar…

Braves make offer to Hinske

Good news, though the Brewers are also pursuing Hinske. Still no decision on Matty D.’s future with the club.

Brooks on Bobby

When asked what Cox had meant to him, Brooks Conrad had to take a deep breath and attempt to at least control the tears. After spending most of the previous nine years in the Minors, Conrad spent this entire season in the Majors. Forced to take Conrad out of the lineup following a three-error performance…

The bench, the bullpen and the rest

The starting pitching has been slightly above average. The offense, slightly below. The defense, well below. But the Braves’ ‘pen and bench have been exemplary. Tonight’s win was a microcosm of the 2010 Braves. It may not be much, it may be excruciating, but you can’t turn away. And hats off to the fans. More than…

Open thread, 8.11, Braves vs. Tony Scotts

The Bravos are the bane of stat geeks. Offensively, they’re mediocre at best. Same with the defense (87 errors; only the Nats have more). The starting pitching, while a strength, is not the league’s best. Can a team get to October on the backs of a stalwart bullpen and heroic bench? Looks that way. They’ll…