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Chip R
06-27-2005, 07:20 PM
I have been in contact with Bill Shanks who has written a book called “Scout’s Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team.” Bill is a lurker here and thought we'd be interested in an excerpt from the book about the Chris Reitsma/Bubba Nelson June Kune Bong trade in 2004. Enjoy and thanks, Bill :thumbup:

In this special presentation to RedsZone readers, we present an excerpt from the new book “Scout’s Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team.” The book talks about traditional scouting practices and is an answer to “Moneyball,” which was written several years ago. “Scout’s Honor” also talks about the importance of having young pitchers in the farm system available to trade to improve the big league club. In this excerpt, Shanks tells the story of the Chris Reitsma / Bubba Nelson trade from Spring Training of 2004.


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 19: TRADING ADAM AND BUBBA

With the trade of Adam Wainwright, Bubba Nelson assumed the position as the Braves’ best pitching prospect. He went to Spring Training with an outside chance at being Atlanta’s fifth starter and perhaps a slightly better shot at winning a bullpen position.

“I definitely went into spring training with a mindset that I was going to make the team,” Nelson says. “I had a lot of confidence in that. I thought I had a good opportunity with a lot of spots open, regardless of whether I was going to be starting or be coming out of the bullpen. I stepped it up a little bit with my offseason workout routine and I did a lot of work on the side with my pitching mechanics to try to get ready for spring training. I thought I was a highly rated prospect.”

As spring training progressed, two things became obvious. First, the Braves really wanted Nelson to go back to AAA. He pitched only sparingly in big league games during March. Also, the Braves were having trouble with their bullpen. Schuerholz had signed former Cubs right-hander Antonio Alfonseca and former Marlins left-hander Armando Almanza over the winter to join their bullpen. But Almanza was battling a nagging injury and Alfonseca struggled. He had an ERA of 7.36 in nine games, allowed 18 hits in 11 innings and walked six. Kevin Gryboski, one of the most trusted relievers in Bobby Cox’s bullpen the last several years, had some questions with his shoulder. Finally, Trey Hodges, who pitched in 51 games out of the Atlanta bullpen in 2003, struggled with his control by walking 12 batters in 13 innings.

So Schuerholz set his sights on a handful of relievers for a potential trade. The main objects of his desire were Cubs right-hander Juan Cruz, a flamethrower often compared to Pedro Martinez, and Reds righty Chris Reitsma, who possesses one of the best changeups in the game.

When Schuerholz called the Reds, there was instant interest in having discussions. Dan O’Brien had been brought in over the winter as General Manager to help turn the Reds franchise around. He had extensive scouting and player development experience with the Rangers, Astros, and Mariners, and his father, Dan O’Brien, Sr. was a longtime baseball executive with the Rangers, Mariners, Indians, and Angels. O’Brien knew some of the philosophies he wanted to install with the Reds were some of the same beliefs of Schuerholz and the Braves, most notably to accumulate as much young pitching as possible. He got his chance to start the process when Schuerholz called.

“Organizationally, coming in here and being a newcomer, we had a definite need to develop some starting pitching from within our organization,” says O’Brien. “It had been a deficiency, an acknowledged one. There are very few organizations that would have any sufficient depth in pitching to provide us with two starting pitchers. There’s no doubt that the Braves do an excellent job of not only identifying but also developing pitchers from within their organization. The trick is to select the right ones.”

O’Brien and Schuerholz spoke for about a week. As the discussions evolved, a potential deal took a variety of shapes and sizes. The Braves keyed in on Reitsma, while the Reds had two main targets: left-hander Jung Bong, who had spent most of the 2003 season as a reliever in Atlanta, and Bubba Nelson.

“We were not necessarily predisposed to trade Chris Reitsma,” says O’Brien. “But they had a need in their bullpen to set up Smoltz. We were very forthright in saying that there had to be multiple starting pitchers coming back our way in order to make it work. So we went from that premise. You have prospects classified into different categories based on their future potential. Basically you try to position yourself to be able to acquire as many of the desirable prospects as possible in any given transaction. We had those two individuals in the upper end of their system. Obviously Jung Bong had spent much of the year in 2003 with Atlanta and Bubba Nelson – both of whom we view as starters. We knew they would not be of immediate help to our ball club, but we knew that down the line this was a trade that we needed to make.”

Schuerholz made the deal for Juan Cruz on Thursday, March 25th. Atlanta sent lefty Andy Pratt and AA second baseman Richard Lewis to the Cubs in exchange for the twenty-five year old righthander. The Braves saw Cruz as a pitcher who could either start or relieve, but with a solid rotation, his immediate need would be in the bullpen. Lewis was considered a very solid prospect, but with Marcus Giles entrenched in Atlanta, his road to the majors was blocked. Pratt was simply lost in a numbers game in the Braves bullpen.

Nelson was one of many of the Braves minor leaguers who went to an Orlando restaurant that night to wish Pratt and Lewis well. It was an eerie scene, as the kids were saying goodbye to teammates they had been around for several years. It made many of the prospects wonder who would be next, considering they had lost Wainwright, Pratt, Lewis, and late in the 2003 season, right-handed prospect Matt Belisle in a trade with the Reds. The Braves were using their farm system to improve the big league club, and no one felt safe.

“I felt I could be traded,” Nelson admits, “but at the same time, I wasn’t going to let it bother me because I just had to go out and do what I had to do. I knew anything was up in the air.”

The next morning, Friday the 26th, Nelson reported to minor league camp. He had pitched well in big league camp, but the Braves felt he needed more time in AAA. Chino Cadahia is the Braves Field Coordinator, essentially in charge of spring training on the minor league side. Chino moves from field to field on a golf cart, organizing the training and monitoring the progress of the players.

But on this morning he had another duty. Nelson was on Field 3 stretching with some of his teammates when he saw Chino calling him over to get in the golf cart.

“He didn’t say anything to me really,” Nelson says. “I kind of knew something was up. I could tell on his face. He’s always got that bright look on his face and he’s always saying good things to me, and I didn’t hear anything out of him. Normally, he’d be talking, but he was just silent. I know Chino better than that. So I knew something was going on.”

Nelson and Cadahia arrived at the Braves minor league clubhouse at the Disney Complex. Cadahia led Nelson to a back conference room where the coaches usually meet before and after practice. Waiting for him was the Braves Farm Director, Dayton Moore.

“When I walked in the room Dayton’s eyes were red,” Nelson explains. “I could just feel the air was tense as soon as I walked in the room.”

“You’ve been traded to the Cincinnati Reds,” Dayton told Nelson.


***

Bill Shanks’s new book about scouting and player development is “Scout’s Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team.” It can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, most of your local bookstores, and it is available online. Bill can be reached at thebravesshow@email.com

writerdan33
06-27-2005, 07:40 PM
Bill Shanks was on our show a couple of weeks back, promoting the book. He was a very good interview. I wish I had recorded it so I could have posted it here, but no such luck.

Good stuff, Chip.

MartyFan
06-27-2005, 08:30 PM
Okay...now that you see another trusted industry source saying that the Reds and specifically DanO are building for a longterm strength in our pitching does it make you question him any more or less?

Falls City Beer
06-27-2005, 08:33 PM
Okay...now that you see another trusted industry source saying that the Reds and specifically DanO are building for a longterm strength in our pitching does it make you question him any more or less?

He's unable to identify talent. It doesn't make me feel a bit better.

MartyFan
06-27-2005, 08:41 PM
He's unable to identify talent. It doesn't make me feel a bit better.

I don't agree with you just yet...I mean, what if his only intent in gathering the talent he did gather was so he could put together specific deals with other specific organizatins through this year...I mean, maybe he saw some guys in the systems of the Giants, Tigers, Nationals and Marlins or O's that he would like to bring here...if that is the case then signing a Milton or Ortiz is a good sign...He saw (everybody saw) the Twins getting weaker in their fielding...we have a plus in that area so sign a couple veterans to act as a stopgate for our young guys...trade the veterans, get some pitching and bring up the young guys at mid season...maybe this entire season was meant to be a roll of the dice and it has gone as bad as any I have seen...but the parts we have here to unload are still of interest to a lot of potential partners..even if we have to pay part of their salary....I bet our payroll doesn't go up next year or the year after that and I bet we get substantially better.

Maldez
06-27-2005, 09:49 PM
Interesting stuff, looking at a trade from the inside out. Fans don't often get a chance to hear exactly what the GM's thought-process was when the trade was being discussed.

Given the title of the book, "Scout’s Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team" I'm a little surprised the author doesn't crow about how the Braves pulled one over on the Reds with the Reitsma deal.

cumberlandreds
06-27-2005, 10:19 PM
DanO has the right approach in trying build the pitching depth but he lacks judgement in talent and has not done his homework. He trades Reitsma for two sore armed pitchers who are marginal MLB quality pitchers;signs two flyball pitchers(Ortiz and Milton) to pitch in hr park;signs another pitcher (Weber) who can't stay off the DL;Weathers and Mercker have been decent pickups but you don't really these types of pitchers if you aren't in the pennant race. The Reds have the chance to trade some quality everyday players to build good quality depth in their pitching throughout the organization. I hope DanO can do it because the fate of this organization, for maybe the next decade, lies in his and John Allens hands.

deltachi8
06-27-2005, 10:48 PM
I would still make that deal any day of the week. Twice on sunday...

The_jbh
06-28-2005, 12:38 AM
bubba nelson was the exact type of prospect we were looking for. He was a high ceiling arm from a 1st class organization. I definately didnt want to see Reitsma gone and was never a fan of Bong, but nelson was something we needed. He just flamed. Obviously now it looks like a bad deal but at the time, it wasn't too bad.

Jpup
06-28-2005, 03:07 AM
I don't agree with you just yet...I mean, what if his only intent in gathering the talent he did gather was so he could put together specific deals with other specific organizatins through this year...I mean, maybe he saw some guys in the systems of the Giants, Tigers, Nationals and Marlins or O's that he would like to bring here...if that is the case then signing a Milton or Ortiz is a good sign...He saw (everybody saw) the Twins getting weaker in their fielding...we have a plus in that area so sign a couple veterans to act as a stopgate for our young guys...trade the veterans, get some pitching and bring up the young guys at mid season...maybe this entire season was meant to be a roll of the dice and it has gone as bad as any I have seen...but the parts we have here to unload are still of interest to a lot of potential partners..even if we have to pay part of their salary....I bet our payroll doesn't go up next year or the year after that and I bet we get substantially better.

What you said makes sense, but I don't think Dan Obrien is nearly that smart as far as picking the right guys, just to trade them. He didn't pick the right guys, other than Randa and Mercker. We'll see, his job depends on what happens between now and July 31st.

I don't think that we will be happy on August 1st. I hope that I am wrong. :)

jmcclain19
06-28-2005, 03:25 AM
You can't fault Dan O'Brien in this trade.

But then again, every GM who has a pulse should have asked about Nelson.

He was the Braves top pitching prospect after Wainright, and fourth overall, according to BA, going into the '04 season.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/features/03top10s/braves.html

So no brownie points there - knowing they just gave up Wainright - and that they wanted Reitsma, you'd better be asking about Nelson. Every GM should be asking about the best players. The object is to be the fleecer not the fleecee.

Puffy
06-28-2005, 10:57 AM
I hated the trade then, and I hate the trade still. The Reds needed pitching, so they trade their best reliever for two prospects, well, actually one prospect - Nelson. Bong is, was and always will be marginal.

And lets not even get into the fact that Reitsma's removal from the bullpen cost the Reds a ton last year. The Reds were in first place at 36-24 even with a bullpen that blew as many leads as it held. If Reitsma stayed then maybe (heck, almost definitely) the Reds are 39-21 and positioned to make a move to improve themselves instead of falling hard, hard, hard to the earth.

I hated the trade then and I hate it now.

Sea Ray
06-28-2005, 11:07 AM
You've got to think long and hard about ever trading a young 95 MPH pitcher with a devastating change-up. That's fine that Bubba was highly thought of by baseball america but any pitching prospect is a crapshoot. Why throw the dice with Reitsma? He wasn't going anywhere for quite a few years with the Reds.

traderumor
06-28-2005, 11:13 AM
I noticed a discussion with Shanks is coming up on Baseball Digest Daily. I will post it when it comes up.

REDREAD
06-28-2005, 11:35 AM
This story does help back up what Gammons said at the time. Gammons said that other teams were offering packages which some said were better, but DanO insisted on getting 2 starting pitchers in return for Reitsma. That's what bothers me. A rebuilding GM should try to get the best talent available, regardless of position. DanO insisted on two starting pitchers, which shrunk the list of possible trade partners, and set him up to be screwed.

I wish Nelson the best, but I said at the time of the trade that Nelson was a future bullpenner. There's nothing wrong with that, we need good bullpen guys. It just annoys me that DanO crows about getting 2 starting pitchers in that deal, when they clearly were more likely to be relievers.

lollipopcurve
06-28-2005, 11:37 AM
The object is to be the fleecer not the fleecee.

Not necessarily -- trades, in order to get made, have to be perceived as fair by both sides. If you're object is to fleece the other team, you hurt your chances of acquiring the talent you want, and you won't make many trades (because other GMs will quickily learn your fleecer's MO).

Redsland
06-28-2005, 11:45 AM
A rebuilding GM should try to get the best talent available, regardless of position. DanO insisted on two starting pitchers,
Do you know why? He was worried about trading for a bust. He figured he'd double his chances of success it he got two prospects instead of one.

It's an admission that he can't evaluate talent. Especially now that neither of them looks very good.

NJReds
06-28-2005, 11:48 AM
In fairness to DanO, he picked up Todd Jones off the scrap heap to take Reitsma's role in the Reds bullpen. Jones outperformed Reitsma last year.

Puffy
06-28-2005, 11:54 AM
In fairness to DanO, he picked up Todd Jones off the scrap heap to take Reitsma's role in the Reds bullpen. Jones outperformed Reitsma last year.

Coulda had both of them (Jones signed for less than 1 million, I believe). Would have made for a solid bullpen, eh?

Just sayin'

NJReds
06-28-2005, 11:55 AM
Coulda had both of them (Jones signed for less than 1 million, I believe). Would have made for a solid bullpen, eh?

Just sayin'

You're right. Could've had them both.

I don't think DOB would have done one without the other. And based on his track record I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

traderumor
06-28-2005, 12:05 PM
Do you know why? He was worried about trading for a bust. He figured he'd double his chances of success it he got two prospects instead of one.

It's an admission that he can't evaluate talent. Especially now that neither of them looks very good.I think he asked for two because he thought that was a fair price for a major league arm. However, is that such a flawed strategy, knowing the failure rate for pitchers, esp. starting pitchers? If you ask for two possible starters and one pans out but the other one turns out to be nothing more than a reliever, you're on your way to a pitching staff with a couple of those types of deals.

KearnsyEars
06-28-2005, 12:29 PM
thanks for nothing BUBBA

Shaggy Sanchez
06-28-2005, 12:41 PM
thanks for nothing BUBBA

What are you talking about, Bubba is still young and hasn't been bad playing the role of closer in AA this year.

Name W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Bubba Nelson 2 1 4.03 27 0 0 0 10 38.0 39 20 17 4 12 45

REDREAD
06-28-2005, 03:52 PM
In fairness to DanO, he picked up Todd Jones off the scrap heap to take Reitsma's role in the Reds bullpen. Jones outperformed Reitsma last year.

And Todd Jones was only here for half a season before getting traded.. We still have a long term need for help in the bullpen. Jones was just a 1/2 season bandaid that was flipped for a marginal player (was it the mighty Machado?)

The Rietsma trade was supposed to help us longterm, but it looks like it hurt us both longterm and shortterm.

The_jbh
06-28-2005, 04:06 PM
What are you talking about, Bubba is still young and hasn't been bad playing the role of closer in AA this year.

Name W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Bubba Nelson 2 1 4.03 27 0 0 0 10 38.0 39 20 17 4 12 45


This trade is by no means done for. Nelson is still 22 or 23. He could still be something. BOng i have a feeling may be a decent situational lefty.

Im not saying this is ever going to be a great trade but it could be good for the future.

EX BRAVEDAD
07-02-2005, 11:25 PM
Scouts Honor is a great book. You guys really need to read it. This book is very well written.

M2
07-02-2005, 11:58 PM
bubba nelson was the exact type of prospect we were looking for. He was a high ceiling arm from a 1st class organization. I definately didnt want to see Reitsma gone and was never a fan of Bong, but nelson was something we needed. He just flamed. Obviously now it looks like a bad deal but at the time, it wasn't too bad.

Initially that was my take too. Bubba had himself a pedigree. Yet there were some others on this board, princeton leaps immediately to mind, who cautioned that Bubba wasn't the power arm he was billed as. If you look at his minor league numbers, his K rates were dropping everytime he climbed the ladder and had gotten to the middle-of-the-road point when the Braves dealt him.

I don't know if his stuff isn't as crisp as it was when he was younger (that can happen) or if it never was the kind of stuff that was going to cause higher-level hitters to swing and miss all that often. All I know is he hasn't lived up to the billing. I didn't sniff it out, but others did. Ultimately GMs are paid to be right.

MWM
07-03-2005, 12:56 AM
The Braves organization is a perfect example of what good branding can do for a baseball team. The Braves have always been synonymous with pitching, so everyone automatically thinks their minor league pitching must be good. BUt quite honestly, the Braves haven't developed and benefitted much at all from pitching and developing pitchers. Pretty much all of their good starters since Galvine have been either trades of FA signings. They aren't so good at drafting and developing pitchers.

BelisleFan
07-03-2005, 11:42 AM
The Braves organization is a perfect example of what good branding can do for a baseball team. The Braves have always been synonymous with pitching, so everyone automatically thinks their minor league pitching must be good. BUt quite honestly, the Braves haven't developed and benefitted much at all from pitching and developing pitchers. Pretty much all of their good starters since Galvine have been either trades of FA signings. They aren't so good at drafting and developing pitchers.

Well first off you are forgetting that to benefit from your minor league pitching, it also involves using your minor league pitching to help your major league club through trades.

So, in other words, when the Braves dealt Bubba Nelson and Jung Bong to Cincinnati for Chris Reitsma, they definitely benefitted from the minor league pitching. Every team in baseball needs pitching, and the Braves have been perfect at developing young arms that other teams want. This allows them to fill other holes.

Remember, the Braves had 60%-80% of their rotation locked up for many years (Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, and even Millwood), so there wasn't a big need to have young pitchers come up and make the big league team. That allowed them to use their minor leauge pitchers and young pitchers in trades to help other areas of their club.

It is just as important to use your minor league system to have players available in trades than it is to get players directly to the big league club.

So what have the Braves used in trades to improve their big league club?

Jason Schmidt - Used in the Denny Neagle deal in 1997
Rob Bell - Used in the Bret Boone deal in 1998
Bowie, Quevedo, and Nation - Used in the Mulholland deal in 1999
Bruce Chen - Used in the Andy Ashby deal in 2000
Odalis Perez - Used in the Gary Sheffield deal in 2002
Tim Spooneybarger - Used in the Mike Hampton deal in 2002
Damian Moss - Used in the Russ Ortiz deal in 2002
Merkin Valdez - Used in the Russ Ortiz deal in 2002
Matt Belisle - Used in the Kent Mercker deal in 2003
Jason Marquis - Used in the J.D. Drew deal in 2003
Adam Wainwright - Used in the J.D. Drew deal in 2003
Bubba Nelson - Used in the Chris Reitsma deal in 2004
Jung Bong - Used in the Chris Reitsma deal in 2004
Matt Merricks - Used in the Tom Martin deal in 2004
Jose Capellan - Used in the Dan Kolb deal in 2004
Alec Zumwalt - Used in the Dan Kolb deal in 2004
Dan Meyer - Used in the Tim Hudson deal in 2004

All of these pitchers were developed in the Atlanta Braves farm system. So how can you say the Braves are not good at drafting and developing pitchers? Just because the Braves use them in trades does not mean the organization did not scout and develop them. I think this list shows they are excellent at scouting and developing pitching talent.

Right now, the Braves have 8 of their 13 pitchers on their staff that spent time in their minor league system. That's a pretty good ratio as well.

I think the main problem I have with your contention is that you do not believe players that are used in trades are developed by the organization. Give the Braves credit for having the talent on hand to make trades when they need help in other areas. Those pitchers were scouted and developed by the Braves, and therefore did help their organization improve by being placed in trades.

Betterread
07-03-2005, 12:00 PM
People who critisize Bong and Nelson need to remember that Nelson is 23, soon to be 24 and Bong is 24, soon to be 25. They are still young. When healthy, they have displayed ample velocity: they have both been documented hitting mid-90s and pitching comfortably in the low 90s.

They have good arms with major league potential (actually Bong has already pitched in the majors for 3 years - including post-season work - so labelling him a failure is ignoring his significant accomplishments).
Patience and instruction must be provided to them, as they have displayed enough talent to merit the investment.
Most importantly, they need to stay healthy.
With good health and a patient approach to development, these two pitchers will pitch in the majors. I hope it is for the Reds.

MWM
07-03-2005, 12:01 PM
That's actually the point I was making. Carrying the Braves brand when you're a pitcher probably bumps up a prospect in status. That allows the Braves to trade these guys when, in most cases, they are over-rated because of the organization they come from. There's a reason why the Braves are so willing to part with these guys.

BelisleFan
07-03-2005, 12:25 PM
the Braves haven't developed and benefitted much at all from pitching and developing pitchers.

Well but you said this above, which I refuted with my post. Now you're backing up a bit. I think my post proved that the Braves have developed and benefitted tremendously from their pitching prospects.

How could they have been labeled overrated? Because they left the Braves and didn't do very well with their new organizations? Perhaps the Braves do a better job of developing prospects than the Reds and other franchises. Adam Wainwright, Bubba Nelson, and Jung Bong all struggled with their new teams after being traded from Atlanta, and Dan Meyer and Jose Capellan have even struggled this year. Perhaps their new teams changed their mechanics and tried to put their imprint on them instead of letting them pitch the same way they did while they were in the Braves' system.

Don't blame the Braves if someone they traded doesn't turn out to be as productive as advertised. The Braves maximized their value while they still had them.

M2
07-03-2005, 02:36 PM
While I agree about the benefits of brand name (IMO the Dodgers are the chief beneficiaries of it, but they do precious little to capitalize on it), the Braves aren't all that bad on the pitching development front.

A rotation of Jason Schmidt, Bruce Chen, Odalis Perez and Jason Marquis with Waiwright, Capellan and Meyer working in AAA wouldn't be so bad.

MWM
07-03-2005, 03:53 PM
Well but you said this above, which I refuted with my post. Now you're backing up a bit. I think my post proved that the Braves have developed and benefitted tremendously from their pitching prospects.


Fine. Split hairs. I meant at the major league level. I hear constantly how great the Braves are at developing starting pitchers, yet I haven't seen hardly any guys pitching for the Braves that they actually developed. Davies could be the next one, but for how much hype they get, I sure don't see the fruits to the level I hear promoted. And Perez, Schmidt, and Marquis didn't really do a whole lot until they left the Braves organization. Schmidt didn't have even an average season until two years after he left the Braves. And he didn't become the Jason Schmidt of today until 6 years after he was gone. Marquis pitched around 300 innings for the Braves and with the exception of a nice stretch in 2001, was widely considered a bust for them. Then he left and became a much better pitcher. Same for Perez. It took him leaving before he amounted to anything.

Look, it's not like they NEVER have developed a pitcher. That wasn't the point I was making. But if Schmidt, Perez, Milwood and Marquis is all you have to show for the last 12+ years, I hardly consdier that this factory of pitching development I'm always hearing about. And that was the point I was trying to make originally, they benefit from the Braves brand attached to their pitchers. It's a good thing for the Braves. And they use it brilliantly to their advantage. I wish the Reds did the same. But as for drafting and devlopiong pitchers that become good major league starters, I don't think the Braves are the model of success that they're made out to be. It's about the hype.

BelisleFan
07-03-2005, 03:57 PM
If developing Schmidt, Millwood, Perez, Chen, Marquis, and others is not impressive enough, I'd like to see a franchise that has produced more. Do you have any examples?

MWM
07-03-2005, 04:02 PM
Oakland. And why did it take Schmidt, Perez, Chen, and Marquis leaving until they actually became good pitchers?

BelisleFan
07-03-2005, 04:07 PM
Wait name all the Oakland pitchers that have gone on to other organizations after being developed by the A's. Mulder and Hudson and who else?

They needed the opportunity. Was Schmidt going to pitch over Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Millwood, and Neagle?

Perez, Chen, and Marquis were all fifth starters for the Braves. They could not move up because they had better pitchers higher in the organization.

Wainwright, Nelson, and Meyer would be hard pressed to join Atlanta's rotation today.

M2
07-03-2005, 04:27 PM
Sounds to me like you guys probably agree more than it seems here.

For instance, I'm guessing BelisleFan probably agrees the Braves do an excellent job of creating buzz around their pitching prospects. Everytime a Braves arm has a good minor league season he shoots up the BA charts and everyone in the game starts thinking, "I've gotta get me some kids like that."

Likewise, I'm guessing MWM probably agrees the Braves have been above average in terms of quality of arms turned out over the past decade, even though that quality pales in comparison to the amount of buzz it generates.

The Braves clearly have a brand name built up around pitching, thanks largely to the genius of Leo Mazzone. That said, it's not like that brand name masks an inept development organization. The club has produced some talent and it does an excellent job of taking a large number of arms and getting them to the hot prospect level.

Anyway, it just seemed to me like this was a case of two bright guys who mostly agree with each other and hadn't quite landed on common ground.

MWM
07-03-2005, 04:29 PM
Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what we're arguing about here. All I ever meant to say was that the Braves arent' as great as they're made out to be at developing starting pitchers. The ones you listed don't do a whole lot to change my mind, but then I'm also not a Braves fan either like you are. If I were, maybe I'd be making the same argument. But if the guys you listed above make the Braves the creme of the crop as far as developing starting pitchers, then that's a pretty sad commentary on the ability of major league franchises to identify, draft, and devlop high quality starting pitchers, IMO.

MWM
07-03-2005, 04:30 PM
Likewise, I'm guessing MWM probably agrees the Braves have been above average in terms of quality of arms turned out over the past decade, even though that quality pales in comparison to the amount of buzz it generates.

That's pretty much it, M2.

SteelSD
07-03-2005, 04:52 PM
Wait name all the Oakland pitchers that have gone on to other organizations after being developed by the A's. Mulder and Hudson and who else?

They needed the opportunity. Was Schmidt going to pitch over Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Millwood, and Neagle?

Perez, Chen, and Marquis were all fifth starters for the Braves. They could not move up because they had better pitchers higher in the organization.

Wainwright, Nelson, and Meyer would be hard pressed to join Atlanta's rotation today.

The Braves don't field Starting Rotations by promoting en masse from within. They've been grabbing pitchers in trades and signing them as Free Agents for a few years now.

That's part of a churn strategy that involves using the prospects they've developed as trading chips while populating the MLB rotation from outside the organization.

The Braves' pitching prospects aren't being squeezed out by having better internal options ahead of them right now. They're being squeezed out of the organization because the Braves go get external options they like better than the kids they have.

And that's fine as long as we understand that the bottleneck at the top occurs because of the Braves' MLB acquisition strategy- not their draft and develop strategy, and not because they currently are using high-level internal options as rotation pieces.

RFS62
07-03-2005, 06:23 PM
I can't think of a single aspect of the Braves organization that I wouldn't prefer over our own.

They are a shining example of John Schurholz, Bobby Cox, and Leo Mazzone's excellence.

I still can't stand the Braves, mainly because of their fans, but I sure do respect those three.

MWM
07-03-2005, 06:59 PM
I can't think of a single aspect of the Braves organization that I wouldn't prefer over our own.

I don't think anyone can argue that. But the Reds are a pretty much worse at just about everything than just about every franchise out there. I'd give anything to have Schuerholz and Mazzone in the Reds organization (I just don't like Bobby Cox even though I admit he's a good manager). Schuerholz is probably one of the best GMs of all time. They do a lot of things right in that organization, one of which is creating the Braves brand that allows them to get more out of their prospects than if those same prospects were in other organizations. That's actually a compliment to the Braves organization.

jmcclain19
07-03-2005, 07:01 PM
I can't think of a single aspect of the Braves organization that I wouldn't prefer over our own.

They are a shining example of John Schurholz, Bobby Cox, and Leo Mazzone's excellence.

I still can't stand the Braves, mainly because of their fans, but I sure do respect those three.

The Reds have Gapper.

So they have that going for them.

Which is nice

BelisleFan
07-03-2005, 07:07 PM
MWM,

I'm not arguing with you. I'm just trying to get you to give me an example of an organization that has developed more starting pitchers that are now around baseball. Oakland was your answer, but beside the obvious two of Mulder and Hudson, you've yet to provide additional examples to explain your answer.

So if the Braves are not the creme of the crop at scouting and developing pitching talent, who is? I think the group of Schmidt, Millwood, Glavine, Perez, Chen, Marquis, Belisle, Mercker, and prospects like Wainwright, Nelson, Bong, Meyer, and Capellan is a pretty solid one and probably unmatched.

SteelSD
07-03-2005, 08:44 PM
MWM,

I'm not arguing with you. I'm just trying to get you to give me an example of an organization that has developed more starting pitchers that are now around baseball. Oakland was your answer, but beside the obvious two of Mulder and Hudson, you've yet to provide additional examples to explain your answer.

So if the Braves are not the creme of the crop at scouting and developing pitching talent, who is? I think the group of Schmidt, Millwood, Glavine, Perez, Chen, Marquis, Belisle, Mercker, and prospects like Wainwright, Nelson, Bong, Meyer, and Capellan is a pretty solid one and probably unmatched.

The Houston Astros.

Roy Oswalt
Darryl Kile
Freddy Garcia
Shane Reynolds
Wade Miller
Billy Wagner
Brad Lidge

While the Braves have done a wonderful job of signing and exporting 2nd and 3rd tier pitching talent, the Astros have matched it and more.

BTW Oakland also boasts exports like Jeremy Bonderman and Aaron Harang. In short, using just starting pitchers Oakland has exported over the past 3 seasons who started professionally in their system, you could put together a playoff-caliber rotation. Not so with the pitchers coming out of Atlanta over the same time frame.

Mutaman
07-07-2005, 05:10 PM
...I bet our payroll doesn't go up next year or the year after that and I bet we get substantially better.

If Lindner and Allen continue to run things, I will take that bet. (By "subtantually
better" I assume you don't mean a winning percentage above .400 or an ERA below 5.00)

achilles
07-10-2005, 01:16 AM
Wow, that's so cool he gave you a sneak peek at his book.

oregonred
07-10-2005, 05:44 AM
Montreal...

Big Unit and Pedro alone as HOF exports to the rest of the league are about as good as it gets.

Jpup
07-10-2005, 07:34 AM
The Houston Astros.

Roy Oswalt
Darryl Kile
Freddy Garcia
Shane Reynolds
Wade Miller
Billy Wagner
Brad Lidge

While the Braves have done a wonderful job of signing and exporting 2nd and 3rd tier pitching talent, the Astros have matched it and more.

BTW Oakland also boasts exports like Jeremy Bonderman and Aaron Harang. In short, using just starting pitchers Oakland has exported over the past 3 seasons who started professionally in their system, you could put together a playoff-caliber rotation. Not so with the pitchers coming out of Atlanta over the same time frame.

How about Chicago?

Prior, Wood, Maddux, Zambrano, Clement, etc.

wheels
07-10-2005, 11:35 AM
How about Chicago?

Prior, Wood, Maddux, Zambrano, Clement, etc.

Clement was a Florida product, I believe.

But replace him in the Chicago list with Dontrelle Willis, and it looks a little better.

Wait....Clement was a product of the Padre org.

D'Oh!