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c-n-c-mailbag-what-happened-to-jurries-2 | April | 2007 Articles

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C-n-C Mailbag: What Happened to Jurries?

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Send your Braves questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with your first name and last initial if you would like them answered on the Chop-n-Change mailbag. Here we go with a multi-part question. Dan T. Writes, I have been trying to locate any new information on where James Jurries is playing. Jurries was cut earlier this month by the Braves. After he was beat out for the backup first base job by Brian Jordan following his stellar spring last year, he turned in an awful season. He had kept his average around .280 showing 20 HR power the last couple years, but in '06 he hit only .205 with 8 homeruns in over 300 at bats and with Scott Thorman and Kala Ka'aihue passing him on the organizational depth chart, there was no way he would get a shot in Atlanta. So far no one has picked him up, possibly they think he won't ever recover or that his success was due to the steroid usage that he was caught for. Do you see them (The Braves) trading Salty to get another starting pitcher like Nate Robertson from Detroit or do you see them trying to get Salty ready to play left field? If we get a little closer to the deadline and we still have at least one huge question mark in the rotation, I have no doubt Schuerholz will go out and try and fill that. That being said, I don't think there is any chance Jarrod Saltalamacchia is traded for Robertson. Every full season that Robertson has had, he has given up around 30 homeruns in a pitcher's park and last season was really the only above average season he has had. Nothing really changed that much except his ERA, which points to it being a fluke most likely. Dontrelle Willis is an option in a trade if the Marlins fall out of it. They lack a good young catcher and Willis is probably going to be able to command more than they are willing to pay once he hits the open market. Another name that has been thrown around is Rich Harden, but they have a good young catcher in Kurt Suzuki, which leads me to believe that is pure speculation by the media. Salty could move to left, but that is just speculation by myself and others in the media as there are no public plans to move him behind the plate. Brandon Jones and Gregor Blanco will probably both get shots before Salty. In hindsight, it sure looks like they should of kept Kelly Johnson in left field and kept Marcus Giles(hitting about .350 in San Diego) at 2nd Base....or brought up Prado or Escobar to play second. I have heard this one a lot, but no, we shouldn't have. Giles would have taken around $6 million to keep and that is money the Braves don't have. Also, Kelly Johnson was an outfielder with a sub-par arm that was coming off Tommy John surgery that weakened his arm, so think Juan Pierre's arm. As far as Prado and Escobar, Prado is a guy that would hit .260 with maybe 2 homeruns and 3 or 4 steals on the season. You are looking at a singles hitter with OK plate discipline that will never be able to be a major league regular with his bat. And Escobar, my opinion of Escobar has gone up quite a bit lately since I was not impressed by him at all before, but he refuses to play second because he is afraid of injury so he is out of the picture. Had we kept Giles, Kelly Johnson would have played the entire season at AAA trying to get back arm strength, so it turned out for the best. Lastly, any update on Aybar's personal issues......any time frame on when he may be able to rejoin the club? Last I heard, he had missed a couple meetings with MLB officials who were going to evaluate him and put him in a rehab program. I have a feeling that his career with the Braves may be over, which is sad for such a talented guy.
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