All about the Braves and baseball events.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

For The Last Time, It's Spelled With A "Z"!

Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs.
2009 Age: 32

Vazquez made national news last season, but it wasn't for anything he did on the mound. It was in conjunction with comments made about him by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen:

''He hasn't been," Guillen said Sunday of Vazquez as a big-game pitcher, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "That's the bottom line.''

''What you see is what you get,'' Guillen said of Vazquez. ''Javy is going to be Javy. I just want him to be aggressive, throw the ball over the plate and knock somebody on their [butt]. That's a big three games for us.

''You have to be mean. Go out there and show them we show up to play, show up to kick your guys' [butts]. And believe me, that will take care of itself."

It's one thing to try to use reverse psychology on a pitcher, but it's a questionable tactic to do it in the media. Predictably, Vazquez went out and lost that particular game to the Twins, giving up five runs in four innings of work. Vazquez won't face any psychological games like that in Atlanta.

Vazquez throws an 89-94 mph fastball, a curve, a biting slider, and a circle-change. He likes to nibble the corners a lot; that seems to be a trademark of many Braves pitchers.

HOPEFULLY HE SIGNS WITH ATLANTA OR AN AL TEAM...: Current free agent Bobby Abreu has the most career home runs hit off of Javier Vazquez: nine.

LOTS OF K'S /= A WIN?: Javier Vazquez struck out 9 or 10 batters in seven games last season. His record in those games: 2-5.

ONE OF THE KINGS OF K'S: In his career period of 1999-2008, Vazquez is third in total strikeouts with 1,876 punchouts. Only Pedro Martinez (1,896) and Randy Johnson (2,460) are ahead of him.

My Outlook: I expect Vazquez to do what he does best: eat innings and strike out some people. The wins should come; I think the Braves may have a good offense when the team is set for the season. Plus, moving into a neutral park from a hitter's park should help him a little bit.

No comments: