Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Twitter Feed: July 24

More twitter fun.  Feel free to follow me @WalkOffWalk1

  • Braves checked in on Tigers lefty Phil Coke, according to Jerry Crasnick.  Coke is an extreme left-hand specialist.  Righthanders have slashed .293/.374/.439 against Coke throughout his career with a OPS of over .900 against Coke this season.  Amazingly, despite the apparent ease of finding these numbers, Jim Leyland has signed off on Coke facing a right-hand hitting batter 73 times compared to 60 times against left-handers.  I get that LOOGY's often have to face right-hand hitters.  Sometimes, they have to face switch-hitters whose perceived worst side is hitting from the right-hand side.  Other times, there's a righty sandwiched between two lefties so you take a chance.  But a specialist like Coke, who has appeared in 32 games should only have about half as many innings pitched, not the 30.1 innings Coke does have.  For what it's worth, lefties are slashing .214/.271/.346.  For what it's worth again, nothing seemed to come from the talks.  For what it may never be worth...it would be awesome to see a guy whose last name matched one of the greatest exports to come from Georgia.

  • David O'Brien took a question to Fredi Gonzalez many of us have had.  Why does he insist on batting Andrelton Simmons in the lead-off slot?  I don't know why I am depressed by his response, but according to O'Brien (who is paraphrasing), Simmons bats lead-off "because Rickey Henderson or Vince Coleman's unavailable."  Oh, that makes sense.  .283 OBP, 12th worst mark in baseball.  .640 OPS, "good" for tenth worst.  Of course, Simmons did go out and have a good game with a leadoff homer and a long at-bat that produced a walk.  Still, because Henderson and Coleman are unavailable, Gonzalez is obligated to put a guy who is miserable at the first task for a batter, let alone one who is receiving the most at-bats on the team?  I imagine Henderson is available...but that's another sad story.

  • From Kyle Tait, Christian Bethancourt entered yesterday with a 21-game on-base streak.   It has long been a question if Bethancourt will ever have his bat even come close to reaching his defensive skills.  He hasn't really hit since 2011 during a 54-game run with Rome as he repeated the level.  The more he produces over the next week, the more it could help him as a trade piece until the deadline.  If he's still a Brave come August 1st, the Braves can get back to seeing if he truly has a long-term future with the organization.

  • Guy named Howard Megdel leads readers to his latest column.  In it, he is curious if Brian McCann is on his way out.  It's a valid question with Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird in the fold for 2014 and if Bethancourt continues to show some ability with his bat, he will be in the wings for 2015.  I love what McCann has done this season, but I question how long he can continue to contribute at the level we have come to expect from him.  Consider he will be in his mid-30's by the time his next deal expires.  What kind of player are you paying for in 2017, when McCann will be 33?  

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