All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Friday, August 23, 2013


Man, the Braves really have no faith in Paul Janish's bat. Even with a 14-game lead in the division, they don't want to let Janish start at 2B for the week or so until Dan Uggla returns.

Elliot Johnson did play well yesterday. His glove looked very good. And he hit two singles, which must have felt good after he was booed off the field his last game with KC. (Harsh treatment for a backup infielder, but he was 1 for his last 51, and had an error in the game.)

Still...the fact that the Braves got him off waivers means every other team in baseball passed on him. The Braves have the best record in baseball, and are in the NL, which means every AL team was ahead of them, regardless of their record.

But Johnson's starting at 2B again tonight, and Janish is on the bench. Boo!

I'm guessing this means Janish gets sent down when Uggla comes off the DL next week. Johnson is out of options. Won't be for long, but still.

The Braves also traded for former Yankee Freddy Garcia today. I guess he's their emergency Brandon Beachy replacement.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:14 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The injury season

Maybe it's the time of year. Toward the end of the long season. Players are getting worn down. For whatever reason, there seem to be a lot of injuries lately.

Tony Cingrani was pulled early with a back strain. Apparently, he'd been dealing with it awhile, but didn't say anything. Didn't want to be benched.

Reds don't seem to think it's too serious, but they might want to rest Cingrani anyway. He's getting up there, innings-wise. Though there's really no one to take his place. Reds are still in the thick of the division race, so it will be hard to take Cingrani out of the rotation if he's healthy enough to play.

The Reds have also lost Jonathan Broxton, the guy who was supposed to close if Chapman became a starter. Broxton needs surgery (not TJ) that will keep him out six months. His season is done.

The Braves have had some horrendous luck lately. Jason Heyward was hit in the face with a fastball, and whether he'll make it back for the postseason is questionable. And Brandon Beachy had some kind of setback; Will Carroll thinks he tore his elbow again and will need another Tommy John surgery. That's terrible news if it's true; only 20% of pitchers come back after a second TJ surgery.

The Braves acquired utility infielder Elliot Johnson in a waiver claim, and he's starting at 2B today in place of Janish. Johnson is out of options, so Janish might end up optioned back to AAA next week when Dan Uggla returns. It will only be a short while, I'm sure. Rosters expand soon.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:51 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Holy cow, Paul Janish

Kevin C. Cox

Paul Janish started at 2B yesterday, and made this amazing play. Might have saved the game.

I'm reminded of this article from last year, which quoted a scout about Janish:

"His RBIs are in his glove. He has quick feet. He's poised, and he executes all the plays he needs to make.

He wants it hit to him with the game on the line. He positions himself well and his instincts enable him to have better range on both sides, and on popups."

It was hit to him with the game on the line, and he came through. Wow.

His RBIs might be in his glove, but he singled and scored a run, too. Nice game for him.

The Atlanta broadcast pointed out during the game that both starting second basemen were products of Rice University. It was of course Anthony Rendon at 2B for the Nationals. Janish scored from second on Rendon's throwing error. Rendon went 2 for 3, so he had a pretty good night, too, aside from the error.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, August 16, 2013


Well, the Braves have announced their roster move. Poor Tyler Pastornicky is out for the season. His knee injury turned out to be a torn ACL, and he needs surgery.

There was speculation that the Braves would call up hot prospect Tommy La Stella, but they did not. They called up Phil Gosselin instead, a guy who does not have a particularly good bat or glove. I'd guess this means Janish will be the starting second baseman until Uggla comes back. They called up a guy they can outright to the minors when Uggla returns. Gosselin will likely clear waivers, and if he doesn't, they don't care.

The injury to Pastornicky probably means the Braves will acquire another backup infielder for the post-season. Janish's job is probably safe, as long as he stays healthy, but they need another backup infielder.

Meanwhile, Tony Cingrani was very impressive his last start. Admittedly, the Brewers are pretty terrible this year, but it was nice to see Cingrani being more efficient. His bugaboo has been having to throw too many pitches, but that wasn't a problem yesterday.

He's generating a lot of buzz. ESPN Insider likes his new curve ball. Blog Red Machine thinks Cingrani should be the number 2 starter in the postseason. (I doubt Dusty actually does that, but right now it sure looks like Cingrani belongs on the postseason roster somewhere.)

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:07 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Running out of infielders

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Paul Janish had a busy game yesterday. Not only did he have a close encounter with a bat (the small, furry kind), Manager Fredi Gonzalez put him in the lineup at SS for the first time this year. With today an off day, he saw as a chance to give starter Andrelton Simmons a two-day break.

It was not to be. Tyler Pastornicky, the second baseman while Dan Uggla is on the DL getting Lasik, collided with Jason Heyward and had to leave the game in the third inning with a sprained knee. Andrelton Simmons came in to play SS, Janish moved to 2B, and the Braves had no infielders left on the bench. If someone else had gotten hurt, Fredi would have had to put an outfielder in the infield. (He said at the corners he'd have put in Joey Terdoslavich. If Janish or Simmons were injured, he'd have had to play BJ Upton at second.)

Anyways, Janish had a nice game. He got his first big league hit since August 2012. (To be fair, he's hardly gotten any chance to hit since then. He's been used as only a LIDR.) He also got his first RBI of the season, via a sac fly.

All the photos I've come across have been on the defensive side. He did make some nice plays with the glove, too.

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

I'm wondering what Pastornicky's injury will mean for Janish. It sounds like they are hoping to avoid the DL. But man, that would leave them with no backup infielder until he's healthy. Janish would be starting at 2B every day, and there is no other backup infielder on the roster.

If the Braves do DL Pastornicky, they've hinted they'll call up Tommy La Stella from AA to play 2B. They could also call up an insurance player from AAA, and just DFA him when they don't need him any more. Or trade for someone; the Braves are rumored to be interested in acquiring a reserve infielder with a bigger bat than Janish's.

Janish acquitted himself well at the plate yesterday. I'd like to see him get more playing time, but I can't see the Braves going for long with no backup infielder. Even with a 14-game lead, that's kind of nuts.


posted by BubbaFan, 6:53 PM | link | 0 comments |

Bat Man

It was Paul Janish to the rescue when an injured bat (of the winged mammal persuasion) landed on the field during last night's game. He scooped it up in his glove and gave it to the bat boy (of course); it was later released.

Of course, Janish was a Louisville Bat last year. His former team weighed in on Twitter:

.@Braves Please be careful with our friend.

— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) August 15, 2013


Soft-hands Soft J. Love that guy.

— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) August 15, 2013

Actually, it looked like it was two bats, not one. I suspect it was not an injured bat, but two bats caught in flagrante.

I like bats. One day I'd like to go to Austin, Texas and see the bats that live under the bridge there.

UPDATE: The next game, the organist at Turner Field played "Batman" for Paul Janish. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article about his wildlife encounter. He said there were indeed two bats ("intertwined"), and he just wanted to get on with the game, since there had already been a long rain delay.

The trainers did ask him if he was bitten.

For all the nicknames circulating about Paul Janish after he retrieved a live bat from the infield Wednesday night – batman, bat whisperer - and the ensuing video craze, Braves trainers did have a serious question for Janish after the game.

They wanted to know if the bat had bitten him, over concern about rabies. Janish told them it hadn’t, and he didn’t get a shot, but he did ask for symptoms to look out for just in case.

Um...I hope they told him that by the time there are symptoms, it's too late.

The vast majority of bats are not rabid, but most cases of rabies in the U.S. are due to bats (perhaps because their teeth and claws are so small people don't realize they've been bitten or scratched). It's not a good idea to handle them, especially if they are in places they aren't usually seen, or have been caught by a dog or cat.


posted by BubbaFan, 5:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Night Baseball

Paul Janish's takeout slide

Paul Janish had a nice nice play a week or so ago. No, it wasn't on defense. He worked a walk, then helped a run score with a nice takeout slide. His manager, Fredi Gonzalez, went out of the way to give him credit after the game.

Since then, Janish has gotten more playing time. Always as a LIDR...until tonight. Starting third baseman was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, and Janish, the only backup infielder on the roster, is in at third.

He's made some some great plays at third base so far. Holy cow, with Janish at third and Andrelton Simmons at shortstop, the left side of the infield is downright impenetrable.

Meanwhile, Tony Cingrani started for the Reds. He pitched well, but didn't get much run support. He gave up three runs, two unearned. Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan has three errors in the game. The contrast between him and Janish is stunning.

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:58 PM | link | 0 comments |