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Braves Increase Todd Factor

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 30 2005 02:53 PM

Braves get Hollandsworth from Cubs
08/29/2005 11:30 PM ET
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Looking to add some depth for the stretch run, the Braves completed a trade with the Cubs that will bring left-handed outfielder Todd Hollandsworth to Atlanta in exchange for two Minor League pitchers.

Hollandsworth, who was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1996, batted .254 with five homers and 35 RBIs with the Cubs this year. His addition will give the Braves an experienced left-handed bat off the bench that they don't currently possess.

"He's somebody who has been through the pennant race and experienced the playoffs," GM John Schuerholz said. "Plus he's had a very robust batting average as a pinch-hitter over the past two years."

Since the beginning of the 2002 season, Hollandsworth has been one of the Major Leagues' most dependable pinch-hitters. During that span, he's batted .307. He was successful in nine of his six pinch-hit opportunities last year. One of those hits was a two-out, game-tying, ninth-inning homer off former Braves closer John Smoltz that forced extra innings in a game the Cubs won, 2-1.

"He's a veteran guy who has been in this kind of competitive environment," said Schuerholz of Hollandsworth, who has competed in the playoffs with the Dodgers (1995 and '96), and the 2003 world champion Marlins.

Hollandsworth's primary role will be as a pinch-hitter. He can play the corner outfield positions and fill in at first base, if necessary. The move wasn't made because the club isn't satisfied with what they're getting from Ryan Langerhans and Kelly Johnson, who have shared time in left field.

But left-handed hitters Langerhans, Johnson and Adam LaRoche all lack the experience off the bench that Hollandsworth can provide.

With Julio Franco experiencing some discomfort in his left elbow, the Braves also have added some insurance in case he's plagued by the injury the rest of the season.

In exchange for Hollandsworth, who weather permitting will be in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Braves sent right-handed Minor League pitchers Angelo Burrows and Todd Blackford to the Cubs. Burrows, a 25-year-old converted outfielder from the Bahamas, was 1-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 14 relief appearances for Class A Myrtle Beach this year.

Blackford, a 13th-round selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 12 starts for Rookie-Level Danville. The 20 year-old hurler had 30 strikeouts and 22 walks in 59 2/3 innings.

Frayed Knot
Aug 30 2005 03:07 PM

"In exchange for Hollandsworth, who weather permitting will be in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Braves sent right-handed Minor League pitchers Angelo Burrows and Todd Blackford to the Cubs."

So now we know just what Holland's worth.

Centerfield
Aug 30 2005 03:21 PM

Wouldn't the two Todds wash out leaving the Todd factor unchanged?

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 30 2005 03:22 PM

Interesting too, that the clubs exchanged equal quanties of Todd.

Yancy Street Gang
Aug 30 2005 03:33 PM

I'm sure that many of us are reminded of the Mets-Padres deal that was loaded with Kevins.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 30 2005 03:42 PM

The Todd Factor is different. This was discovered when Colorado had Todd Helton, Todd Hollandsworth and Todd Walker all on the same team in 2001; and Todds Hollandsworth, Helton, Jones and Zeile on the same team in 2002.

The Todd Factor on those teams was dangerously high.

seawolf17
Aug 30 2005 03:45 PM

How about 2000, when the Mets tried to fit Todd Zeile, Todd Pratt, and Michael Todd Bordick on the same roster?

(No, I don't know Bordick's middle name... but a b-r.com search for "Todd" brought him up.)

Edgy DC
Aug 30 2005 04:19 PM

This has come up on occassion. Todd Hundley backed up by Todd Pratt made Todd-free battery a tough thing to find.

While this all ephemeral nonsense, what makes it a little more interesting is that there were no first-name Todds in big league ball at all until Met-menace all-star Todd Worrell showed up in 1985. Before that, MLB was a Todd-forsaken place. Now, we're over-run by Toddage.

Edgy DC
Aug 30 2005 04:19 PM

This has come up on occassion. Todd Hundley backed up by Todd Pratt made Todd-free battery a tough thing to find.

While this all ephemeral nonsense, what makes it a little more interesting is that there were no first-name Todds in big league ball at all until Met-menace all-star Todd Worrell showed up in 1985. Before that, MLB was a Todd-forsaken place. Now, we're over-run by Toddage. As indicated above, for a while you couldn't swing a cat in Colorado without hitting three Todds.

seawolf17
Aug 30 2005 04:32 PM

Considering "Todd" doesn't become a popular name until the 1960s (when it was the 31st most popular boys name), that would make sense.

FWIW, "Corey" (see the Phillies IGT) spikes in the 80s, which explains why there were no Coreys until Cory Snyder -- and it really doesn't hit until Lidle & Koskie in the late 90s.

I think Mr. Haim and Mr. Feldman might have had a lot to do with the spike in the 80s, which is scary.

(All data courtesy of the [url=http://babynamewizard.com/namevoyager/lnv0105.html]Baby Name Wizard[/url], which is a fascinating site.)