Monday, January 18, 2010

Musings on the Atlanta Braves with 31 Days Left Until Spring Training

Today has been one of those days where I've been opening up my phone every five or ten minutes checking MLB Trade Rumors or checking my e-mail to see if Joe Yanarella has sent me some big topic to write about as it breaks.

And by "big topic," I mean a Johnny Damon signing.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen and I've been "left at the alter," if you will.

So, the only pressing issue I've got to talk about is the one remaining arbitration eligible player for the Braves: Peter Moylan.

And that's not going to be all that interesting...there's little doubt in my mind that the Bravos and the Aussie will settle in the next day or two and Bobby Cox's go-to side-armer will be back in the Braves' 'pen for yet another season.

I just don't think this can be said enough: Peter Moylan is a premiere reliever with a great attitude and an even greater work ethic.

Tallying the second-most appearances in the National League with 87 this past season, Moylan once again (the other time being in his first full season in 2007) proved to be the guy in the 'pen in the sixth and seventh (and sometimes the eighth) innings.

As long as he doesn't have to worry about arm troubles after another large workload (though he pitched in 17 fewer innings than his 90 in 2007 this past season), we should expect the same 0.4 HR/9 rate that we've all come to know and love from the tattooed right-hander.

Maybe went off on a bit of a tangent there with my proclamation of a man-crush on Moylan, but a musing is a "thoughtfully abstracted" (from Merriam-Webster) thought...and that should qualify as that.

Next order of business...

Jordan Schafer.

Now, I know that a lot of you are probably cringing at that name and wanting to start a big-ol' chant like this crowd (sorry for putting wrestling in here, I hate it too...stop it at 0:18, that much gets my point across).

But, he kinda seems like the forgotten man to me.

That's not to say that I think he deserves a MLB spot from day one (499 ABs since the start of 2008 say enough about that).

But I do think that Schafer needs to be in the back of everyone's mind come September or a McLouth/Diaz/Cabrera/Heyward injury.

Dude still has incredible tools in terms of speed, power, fielding, arm strength, and discipline (remember, he had 27 walks in addition to those 63 whiffs when he was sent to AAA...good for a top-ten in baseball if my memory serves me correctly) and still has an above-average ceiling.

And when Nate McLouth's price begins to rise in his contract, Schafer is probably going to be "the guy" in center once again.

Just another reason a Johnny Damon sighting in Atlanta is once again looking like a stretch.

Last thing...

J-Word (shout-out to Michael Arm, once again).

Kind of an odd thing here...but what number do you guys think he should wear (Nate McLouth, too, since Nate-Dogg handed 13 over to Wagner)?

Personally, as long as it's not 7, 17 (not that Hubbard would give it up), 27 (not that Diory would give it up), 37, etc. I'm good.

But I'll go ahead and say that I want my Heyward jersey (I plan on buying one) to have one of these brandished on the back: 2, 22, or 28.

And yes, I like the number two and hate the number seven.

Once again, a bit weird...but these are the things I have to think about during this stage of the offseason to keep from going insane.

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