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notes-schafer-draft-lineup | June | 2009 Articles

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Notes: Schafer, draft, lineup

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Per MLB.com, Jordan Schafer is going to miss the next 2 weeks down in Gwinnett with a "left hand ailment" that is supposedly different from the wrist injury that bugged him for most of his time in Atlanta this season. Jordan only got 3 games in Gwinnett before he went down, and its a shame this had to happen since his last 2 games, he began to put things together...but at the same time, its probably a blessing, because he was really in dire straits in Atlanta and needed to get his head together. For the record, I'm not one of the people who's jumped ship on the Schaferwagon and thinks he's going to end up just like the right fielder (who I refuse to mention by name until he gets his OPS up to .700)...Jordan has a ton of talent and is going to be at LEAST league average in center for the Braves for the next few years. On to the draft. I said my piece on Mike Minor yesterday, and I want to touch on it again. Heres a little ditty from Roy Clark yesterday about Minor
While his recently compiled statistics might not be eye-opening, the Braves saw Minor flourish when the Vanderbilt coaching staff allowed him to start calling his own games during the latter part of the season. In addition, they remembered him as the hurler who went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in six appearances (five starts) with the United States collegiate national team last year. After beating the Cuban national team twice, he was named Baseball America’s Summer Player of the Year. As Clark pointed out, his statistics proved to be better than Team USA teammate Stephen Strasburg, the heralded right-hander who was taken by the Nationals with Tuesday’s first overall selection.
Now, here are Minor's stats in comparison to Strasburg's from the USA National Team's official website
Minor: 3-0, 0.75, 36 IP, 13 BB, 37 K, .179 BAA Strasburg: 3-0, 1.06, 34 IP, 6 BB, 48 K, .137 ERA
The only "positive" difference I can see is Minor's one less run allowed in 2 more innings pitched. But honestly, can you really look at those numbers and say "WOW, THE GUY WITH THE LOWER ERA IS REALLY THE BETTER PITCHER!!!!"? Of course not. Strasburg had a K:BB of 8.0 compared to Minor's 3.0, and a K/9 of 12.7 to Minor's 9.25. I'm not going to complain about a K/9 of 9.25 any day of the week, but to say he was better than Strasburg is ludicrous.
The other pick on day 1 for the Braves was David Hale, a 6'2 righty SP from Princeton taken in the 3rd round. Hale was not ranked in Keith Law's top 100, and is a local kid originally from Marietta. Almost everyone the Braves took today was from a community college or smaller school, which is part of the team's MO (SEE: Craig Kimbrel, Braeden Schlehuber, Paul Clemens, JJ Hoover, Cory Gearrin...don't know any of them? You will soon). We'll see what happens with them once the seasons kick off in Danville and down in Orlando. And in my final note for today, the Braves did a little lineup modifying today. The right fielder was thrown on the bench (finally, and deservedly), and Matt Diaz took over in that corner, while Garret Anderson played left. Both corners got hits, and Diaz scored the tying run on Yunel Escobar's single in the 7th, so the move paid off. However, Casey Kotchman's injury last week in Arizona has shifted Martin Prado to the starting job at 1B...and when Prado got banged up last night, that thrust the starting job on Greg Norton...who did nothing to inspire fan confidence with his 0-fer in the 6-hole (sixth!? REALLY BOBBY!?!) Prado was inserted as a defensive sub in the 9th, but is not starting this evening, which is worrisome.  If Prado is forced to be put on the DL, the team is going to have a real problem...do you call up another player in the super utility role like Prado (the only real option down in Gwinnett is Brooks Conrad, as everyone else in AAA that can play mutliple positions hits worse than the right fielder), or do you call up the HORSE, Barbaro Canizares, and let him start at first for the next week or so and pray and hope that no one across the infield gets banged up when Diory is starting? The injury to Infante hurt this team more than the national telecasts are letting on, and when he went out, the team was a game and a half out. Now, the Braves are 4 and a half out, and the margin was as much as 6 this weekend. Just a small addendum: the regular right fielder is back in the lineup, hitting in the 7-hole, inexplicably ahead of Kelly Johnson. The RF has as 1 point batting average lead, but if you look at batting average to determine a player's worth...yeah.

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