We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Braves Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Braves Journal.
1) Jason Heyward & Tommy Hanson, what can we expect of them in 2009? Any big league action? If not, when?
No on Heyward, who hasn’t played above a-ball yet. Hanson is a possibility, though the Braves shouldn’t need him to start the season. If I had my way, every pitcher would get at least two-thirds of a season at AAA before being called up, and better yet a full season. The sooner he’s called up, the sooner things have gone wrong.
2) You ever see The Bucket List? It’s one of the worst films ever. It’s not funny, or dramatic. And Morgan Freeman’s teeth are a distracting mess. The Bucket List reminded me of Francoeur’s 2008. Please tell me those doubles of 2007 will finally turn to home runs in 2009.
I wish I could. Just from observation, Francoeur’s bat has slowed down dramatically over the last two seasons. A lot of the time last year, he would take a seemingly mighty swing and hit a 280 foot fly ball to left field. Moreover, he has to start swinging when the ball is thrown, so he’s totally guessing on if it’s a ball or a strike. Basically, his bat is dead, or at least not at all well.
3) You know who I’ve heard good things about for 2009? Blanco. Do I need new sources? Is he even the starter for 2009? Who can we expect in center?
No starter has been set yet, but Blanco has been playing well in winter ball. Of course, he played well in winter ball before last year. He has two problems — he completely lacks power, and he strikes out a lot. He will take a walk, but unless he can add a lot of batting average or a lot of power, he’s trouble as a regular. Josh Anderson is probably a better defensive player and has a little bit of power (not much), but doesn’t walk. I think one of the two will start the year in center, but Jordan Schafer will end it there. Or the Braves could sign the bloated corpse of Andruw Jones and see if they can reanimate him a little. They missed him on defense last year, but not as much as the Dodgers missed him on offense.
4) Give me the rotation and which new addition has you the most excited?
Derek Lowe, Javier Vasquez, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami, and probably Jorge Campillo. Vasquez looks like the best starter to me, though Lowe will start opening day, health willing. Vazquez is a good pitcher who since he flamed out in the Bronx has been pitching in hitters’ parks, mostly in front of bad defenses. If the Braves’ outfield defense returns to its normal standards, he can thrive.
5) 13-year-old kids have zits longer than they have mono, yet Casey Kotchman had mono for, like, 6 months. So in the Razzball Glossary, we call a player who is out for longer than expected as, “Pulling a Kotchman.” We toyed with Glass Chipper for the injury-prone Chipper Jones, you got anything better?
Not really. Something along the lines of “Chipped,” maybe? My personal most-used neologism is a “Prado,” or “to Prado.” This is when a player makes an egregious defensive misplay (like dropping the relay on the double play) but isn’t charged with an error. It happens to Martin Prado a lot, both the dropped DPs (“You can’t assume the DP”) and some plays that are so bad that the scorer kind of has to call them hits. I also used “Grybo” for inherited runs once upon a time, because Kevin Gryboski would come in, allow two runs to score to bloat someone else’s ERA, and see his drop when he finally got out of the inning.