As I've mentioned in the past, I'm an avid listener of XM Radio's MLB Home Plate channel. This morning one of the guests was our very own Frank Wren. Here's a summary of what he said:
- Outfielder Situation: when questioned on the search for an outfielder who can be productive at the plate, Wren assured everyone that the issue isn't money. He said the Braves still have money and that right now they're just sitting back and evaluating the market. He said there are 3-4 players out there on the free agent market that he's interested in but that he also needed to evaluate some of the talent down on the farm. To me it sounded promising if you're someone who thinks we need to pick up someone in thi department.
- Andruw Jones: while we're on the topic of free agent outfielders, Wren was questioned about his interest in Andruw. He said the Braves needed to have some internal discussions on how he might fit into the picture. It didn't sound promising at all. Can't say I'm upset either.
- Jeff Francoeur: staying in the outfield, there was discussion of Frenchy's past production and the outlook for this season. Wren stressed that most young ballplayers need 3-4 years to adjust to the major league setting offensively. He said both Frenchy and Casey Kotchman are at the point in their career where this year would be very telling of their future productiveness. Wren said Jeff has worked hard this winter and sounded optimistic that he'd turned around his attitude and improved at the plate.
- Tim Hudson: Wren indicated that he's coming along nicely with his rehabilitation but that we shouldn't expect to see him before August.
- Tommy Hanson: the hosts of the show pointed out that many are saying Hanson was the best pitcher in the Arizona Fall League. Wren agreed and said that the plan was to let him spend some time with the AAA Gwinnett Braves and possibly bring him up to the Big Show later in the season.
- John Smoltz and Tom Glavine: you knew he couldn't get through the entire interview without this coming up. He said that Smoltz and Glavine were greatly admired and appreciated by the Braves but that they were not the pitchers they were at 31. My impression of what he said was that the Braves were happy to have them back if they wanted to come back but that they weren't his focus. He said he didn't want a situation like last year where most of the rotation was on the DL.
- Jake Peavy: the hosts asked if the door was closed here. Wren said yes pretty quickly. He said that the pitching staff is pretty much set now and that he wasn't willing to part with the high level prospects required to get Jake Peavy.