Keep Dreamin’, JB

JB@TheLaunchingPad

Posted by JB | Thursday 7 August 2008 1:06 pm

Braves lost again. On the road in a one run game and thus, lost another series.

Surprisingly, Chuck James only gave up three runs. Of course he gave up his mandatory homer to Aaron Rowand but the Braves couldn’t come up with a series win even against the second to last place Giants. 

Such is life. 

The real story in this game to me is Tim Linececum. 8 innings pitched, 8 K’s and only 2 ER’s against the Braves. In three career starts against the Braves he’s 3-0 w/ a 3.32 ERA and 17 Ks. We could use pitching like that. 

So with 4 of the 5 pitchers we counted on at Opening Day having spent significant time on the DL, here’s a list of a pitchers I’d like us to grab for 2009. Of course I would love to grab Tim Lincecum but we’d have to trade a lot to get him and while in only his second big league year, he’s a key component to the Giants’ rebuilding and they would never part with him. 

For 2009, I’m going to assume we keep both Jair Jurrjens and Jorge Campillo in the rotation and drop Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine, and even John Smoltz. It appears Tim Hudson won’t return until sometime in late 2009 so I’m going to fill 3 rotation spots. 

Rich Harden

In his sixth full season, and despite missing some time in both 2006-07, he’s notched 100+ innings in 3 of those seasons and should, if he can pitch 23 more,  surpass 100+ again this year. Also with the exception of his rookie year and ’06-’07, he’s recorded over 120 K’s, and 40 or less walks in all but one year. The righty has a mid 90’s fastball and a good slider and changeup to go with it. But as I mentioned, some significant time on the DL between ’06-’07 is a concern especially with the injury riddled year we’ve had. Of course if he can finish 2008 the way he’s been going so far, it may make him a sought after free agent in the offseason and I’d love to see a healthy Rich Harden possibly fill John Smoltz’s role since he’s the same type of pitcher. 

Brandon Webb

He’s under contract until the end of 2009 and has a 2010 option. Should the D-Backs not make the playoffs or decide to trade him away in this offseason rather than try to re-option him after 2009, the Braves could get Webb for a full year before his contract expires. Of course this would definitely involve trading away some good prospects  (Schaefer, Brandon Jones, Gorkys Hernandez or Brent Lillibridge for example) and/or some young pitching (JoJo, James). The 2006 Cy Young winner has at least 14 wins in his last four seasons, is a strikeout machine getting at least 170 every year he’s started and is en route to get another 170+ this year. This may not be a smart move if the Braves cannot do something similar to what they did with Hudson; trade for him and sign him to a multi year contract right away. 

CC Sabbathia

No points for creativity for me on this one. A lot of talk amongst Braves fans has already circulated about CC. He’s a hard throwing lefty who will get big bucks somewhere this offseason. My main reason for selecting him is that we need a lefty like CC to start. My selections so far leave him as the only lefty starter but I realistically don’t expect the staff to consist entirely of my selections anyway so… let me have fun!

CC will probably cost upwards of $15mill+ a year after coming off an $11 mill year for 2008. But if we could lock him into a long term contract it would be worth it. The 2007 Cy Young winner gets wins (at least 11 a year) and has been lowering his walk ratio while consistently recording 160+ K’s a year with 209 in 2007. He’s 11-8 now with 166 K’s so it’s not his best year in terms of wins but considering that he was with the Indians for the first half and is now 5-0 with the Beermen…

So who are your dream starting pitchers for 2009. Be as crazy as you’d like and come up with as many trade possibilities as you can to tell me which pitchers you’d love to see in Braves uniforms for 2009.

Keep Choppin’!

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