142: Two Months Down And the Braves Are Still Relevant.

Gil Mechanicsville, VA    by Gil In Mechanicsville

So, with a quarter of the season already flying by, we have had a chance to get and idea of the 2015 Braves and what they are all about. Oddly enough, even without big time power bats and an All-Star studded roster, the Braves appear to be holding their own. Currently at 21-21, the Bravos are in third place in the NL East and 3 1/2 back of the Washington Nationals, the Atlanta club is just good enough most nights to keep you tuned in until the final out.

Other than Freddie Freeman, and possible A.J. Pierzynski, this season’s edition does not really have the one swing equals one run kind of power that gets you featured on Sports Center or Quick Pitch night after night. What they do have is a scrappy bunch of young ball players sprinkled with some salty veterans who somehow seem to know how to keep themselves relevant. To be honest, some nights I miss the three run homer by the good guys but truthfully, watching the line up drop in single and doubles and putting up a crooked number can be pretty exiting too. There is after all, a certain beauty in seeing solid contact being made batter after batter, even if sometimes those solid contacts turn into outs. At least the opposing team is forced to make a good play to record an out.

The pitching staff may be the Braves Achilles heel this season when all is said and done. Like the old adage, a team is only as good as it’s next day’s starting pitcher. So true for the 2015 Braves. Shelby Miller has risen to ACE status while Julio Teheran has slipped a bit but Julio can still hurl a gem or two with a fair amount of consistency. The number three guy is a still wet behind the ears young pup named Alex Woods. While Alex is not exactly the second coming of Sandy Koufax, he is a solid lefty who  is still learning on the job. He still needs to learn how to put opposing batters away after getting them down two strikes but being more efficient and learning how to keep the ball off the sweet spot of the bat could help him get deeper into ball games and save the pen.

The fourth and fifth starter slots are still the most worrisome for the Braves. Mike Foltynewicz has a cannon for an arm but he still has trouble harnessing it and he is still working on the mental part of the game. He is another guy you fell fortunate to get five complete innings out of in under 110 pitches. There is no doubt he has the potential to be a great starter but as with every young pitcher, there is a certain amount of growing pains we have to deal with as he learns how to pitch at the gam;s highest level.

The Braves latest experiment at number five is William Perez. A native of Venezuela, he has served his time in the minors. While his debut as a reliever was less than impressive, his no decision against the Rays may have given us some insight to his mental make up . He refuse to give in or give up and with the help of his teammates, showed a bit of toughness when things were not going well for him. Perhaps it was the image of him spiking the ball after a nifty double play to escape an inning unscafted was the most memerable moment of his recent outing.

The Braves are still trying to piece together a solid bullpen. One that employs the services of Eric Stults and Trevor Cahill is not likely one to strike fear into the hearts of opposing managers late in games. I think we all got a bit spoiled after having the likes of O’Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel at the back of the line up. No everything is bad with the Braves pen, there are some solid players plying their wares in Atlanta this season. Jim Johnson and Jason Grille have both been pleasant surprises so far. Brandon Cunniff has been a very pleasant surprise. Brandon is another gem who was mined from the independent leagues once again proving you never know who is watching you play. Luis Avilan looks to be more like the pitcher we saw in 2013 than the guy who struggled in 2014.

That still leaves Ian Thomas, Eric Shults, Trevor Cahill and Nick Masset holding down the fort, none of whom makes us feel the game is won simply because they are in the game. Young Cody Martin is back in Gwennett for a little R&R after faltering of late. Over use can do that to a pitcher but as long as the starters are only giving you five innings a night, Fredi G has little choice but to call on his pen to try to finish up the game. That and a ball club that relies heavily on it’s main weapons to hold a slim lead because they are not typically bombing the opposing team with runs.

Going forward, the Braves are taking their first excursion to the west coast this week. Unfortunately, we all remember the disaster of last season when the Braves went out west and proceeded to lose all but one game because they could not muster any offense. The season was never the same afterwards for the 2014 Braves. Perhaps this trip will give us some insight as to who and what this year’s team is all about. Contenders or pretenders, stay tuned for the verdict.

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302 Responses to “142: Two Months Down And the Braves Are Still Relevant.”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady May 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Great, Gil!! You’re turning out some really good stuff! Thanks!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville May 24, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, I guess we should be a little more frequent with our post but hey, games take up a lot of time out of our day. Hope you are feeling better, I know it will be a while before you get your strength back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville May 24, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Really outstanding performance by Folty today. That has to make the Braves feel good about the trade of Evan Gattis who by the way, went 3 for 4 with a triple and a homerun against the Tigers today. Anyway, the Braves had just enough offense against a team which has gotten better the past two weeks.

    Now, the Braves face a real test this week with visits to LA and San Fran. Coming home still hovering around .500 would be by definition a good trip.i don’t know if the Dodgers or the Giants have faced a club quite like the Braves this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 4 Vox O'Raison May 25, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Really outstanding performance by Folty today.

    Indeed. That was a great example of a kid learning how to pitch. He has great stuff… great stuff. But alot of kids have great stuff, they just cannot harness it. Folty is still putting it together, but he’s got the idea. He knows how to do it. Yesterday was evidence. Now he just needs the seasoning. All that said, I think yesterday gives us a good glimpse at exactly what we can expect from him. I gotta say I’m pretty excited. It has been a while since we’ve had a pitcher that I would tune in specifically to see. He’s one.

    Like

  5. 5 Vox O'Raison May 25, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Think about it… he spots mid-90’s all over the zone, occasionally gives you a hard slider to keep you unsettled, then drops the big yellow hammer on you. I love that.

    Like

  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:52 am

    In the after game interviews, he mentioned being able to challenge hitters, something he should be able to do with a 97 mph heater. It is the wildness that drives your crazy but he really kept that under control yesterday. Fun indeed.

    Like

  7. 7 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Excellent as usual Gil! 🙂
    I could not find the game Saturday…anywhere (Where did it run? Checked the 2 FOX Sports channels, ESPN, MLBTV, local Fox, TBS)
    did catch the tale end of last nights game…looked forward to seeing some highlights on baseball tonight…silly me….most Sunday Night baseball’s are just ads for the upcoming game, with 10-15 minutes of highlights…not last night…a super exciting woman’s softball game was on…Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with woman’s softball…it can be fun to watch…but…when there are maybe 2000 watching in the stands, then perhaps it should not be on the main ESPN channel? Nah…in their uber PC world they have to push Women’s softball, and act like it’s just as important as any other sporting event they show…
    I did see 15 minutes of baseball tonight…which was the end of Bernie Williams getting his number retired by the Yankees….When Jeter’s number is retired, no future Yankee player can get a single digit number. Amazing. Someday they will have guys wearing 1 A, or 1.1….
    You forget, he was a borderline HOF’er….297 career B.A.(8 straight years hitting. .300 or above) and If you count playoff baseball (funny that it doesn’t seem to count for much when HOF talk comes up) he was very clutch…wow, just looked it up, in 121 games, against obviously good pitching, 22 HR’s 80 RBI’s, and a .275 BA.
    And a pretty good CF’er, as long as he didn’t have to throw the ball! 😉
    If ever there was a underrated Yankee….

    Like

  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I have been thinking about how the up coming road trip to the west coast. I really do feel it will be the trip which will define how this season’s Braves team is defined. Looking at the power rankings, the Braves are ranked dead last despite being 22-21 at this point. I guess it is true, it is all smoke and mirrors.

    Maybe the experts rank teams based on the number of times a team shows up on Sports Center or Quick Pitch with a 500 foot homerun or a pitching performance where as said pitcher strikes outs 15 batters. Does not seem to make any difference if the team won or lost.

    Do you think this “Fantasy League” thing has gone too far? Is it all about individual performances and no longer about team wins? I am getting a sense that it is now becoming the most important aspect of the game to the occasional fan.

    Funny, MLB banned Pete Rose for life but MLB Network has no problem with having Draft Kings as a sponsor. That is the epitome of hypocrisy in my opinion. Personally, I do not like to gamble, I always had to work hard for my money and I just did not feel I should trust it to someone else because the temptation for fraud is too great.

    I once heard that in order to be a successful gambler, on must have a total disregard for money. I guess that means I hold money in too high esteem. Not having a lot of extra to throw away and having to work at some really sucky jobs will do that to you I suppose.

    Anyway, 7PM game tonight and then it’s late night TV for we Braves fans on the East coast. At least it’s not in September this year.

    Like

  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Ber, it was the 4PM game on Fox Sports One (channel 219) on DirectV. I know, it can drive you crazy trying to keep up with all the games with so many different outlets.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Tonight’s game is a 7PM and will be on MLB network as well as Sports South I suppose.

    Like

  11. 11 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    As for Williams Perez…I kept scratching my head as to why the braves kept giving him games to pitch in , in spring training. He was beyond terrible…game after game…but, excellent numbers in the Minors…
    First game, 1 whole out, gave up 4 runs…but since then, 7 innings, and only 1 run. And clearly, very psyched to be in the big leagues. Not only spiking the ball on the double play, but crossing himself as he left the field, I assume after the 5th inning (the post game show showed it several times) You can feel how important it is for someone like Perez to get a chance, and to perform. I am now offically a fan of Mr. Perez.
    And that is probably the biggest difference about this team, is the desire…you can feel the energy on the field. These guys want to keep their jobs, unlike someone like say..BJ, that just assumed he had a job no matter what…

    Like

  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Correction, tonight’s game is at 8 PM local time.

    Tomorrow night’s game is also on ESPN

    Like

  13. 13 chrisklob May 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    great stuff Gil! Miller has been ridiculously good. Wonder if the Cards are rethinking that one right about now. If they can get Folty to be a little more consistent I might feel a little better too.

    Gil, might be fun to reexamine some of the off-season trades that the Braves made. Obviously a lot of them weren’t made just for this season in mind but it would be interesting to take a snapshot to compare how our former guys are doing versus how the new guys are.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    While it is apparent the Braves don’t want to just give games away, They are in a position right now where the expectations are so low, they can do just about anything they want. I have been thinking about who is most likely to get sent back down to Triple A when C Johnson is activated Thursday and the name I come up with is Cirico. I think Cunningham is earning more and more respect with his defensive play and clutch hitting. Going to be tough to take him out of the line up when Kelly Johnson returns.

    Like

  15. 15 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Gil, Fox Sports One, eh??? Didn’t even think of that channel! Is that a first?
    Funny, didn’t see DOB mention that…
    Seems like when I have seen that channel, it seems like a joke…but, we are talking Fox…it may take a few years, I am sure 20 years ago CNN was not in the least worried about any other news channels…
    Would love to see ESPN knocked down a peg or three…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Did ya guys know Bryce Harper was player of the week, for back to back weeks? Only happened 10 times in 40 years…
    Funny, I saw the 2nd game he was thrown out of (well, the highlights) and it first, it seemed like he was asking for it, but clearly, that home plate ump had issues with the Nats. He wouldn’t have been yelling at Harper to get back in the box if he hadn’t taken his mask off, stepped away from the plate, to yell at Matt Williams. Clown move there mr Ump :p

    Like

  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Chris, I think the most notable of the guys traded away are Justin Upton, who does what Justin does, streaky hitter but hitting homeruns. Evan Gattis has a horrible BA but great numbers as far as RBI, HR etc. I don’t think Houston is upset with the trade they made. Jason Heyward continues to put up similar numbers in St Louis that he did in Atlanta, I’ll bet he’ll wish he had taken the same offer made to Freddie Freeman before it’s all over with.

    Jason Grille actually has better numbers than Craig Kimbrel but to be truthful, I don’t feel as confident in Jason as I did in Kimbrel. The biggest plus in that trade is the absence of Melvin as well as surprisingly good performances by Maybin.

    One has to wonder where Jace Peterson will end up playing when Perraza is promoted?

    That is just the surface, there is a lot of talent traded for we have not seen yet.

    One thing I have noticed so far with this year’s edition. It is a lot tougher for opposing pitchers to throw against guys who are not trying to hit 450 foot home runs with every swing. A lot of pitching is being able to allow opposing hitters to get themselves out.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 18 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Chris, interesting to revisit the Gattis for Folty trade. Don’t think the braves would want to reverse the deal…(though I think Gattis would be doing the more of the catching right now than Bethencourt) Would the Astros?
    Well, they could use a big arm like Folty…but, they are in 1st place, with a 6 1/2 game lead!
    Gattis has some very odd numbers… 9 Hr’s 28 RBI’s, and has raised his B.A to ….205. on place for 32 HR’s and 99 RBI’s

    Like

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Fox Sports One use to be MRN. The still play a lot of racing, NASCAR, stuff and a lot of what ever you call the fighting that takes place in a wire cage and guys only lack the broken beer bottles seen in bar fights. Normally, they show two games on Saturday. The games once shown on Fox Network TV.

    If you go to the schedule, normally it will show you which network is televising the game. I think next year, I may just subscribe to the MLB computer feed. It is a bit cheaper but I an stuck watching it on the small screen.

    Today, I have been watching the Phillies and the Mets play. 3-3 in the sixth…

    Like

  20. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    The advantage the Stros have with Gattis is he does not have to play the field. You’ll also notice the Astros get two of the first 10 picks in the draft this year. While not impossible to screw up having that high draft pick (think Pirates) they should be able to restock their farm system pretty well.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 23 Carolina Lady May 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    From the top right of our sidebar:
    Braves’ 2015 Schedule

    Like

  22. 24 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    So, earlier, I commented that I thought Ciriaco likely would be headed back to Gwennett with the return of Chris Johnson thursday but Mark Bowman is reporting that Callaspo is rumored to be GNA soon… Hummmm…

    Like

  23. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Duh.. DNA.. I thought that looked wrong…

    Like

  24. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    GNA.. Gone Next Ameigo

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    DFA DFA DFA… Get your head in the game Gil… Maybe the Alberto;s DNA showed up on a rap sheet.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville May 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Maybe a trade in the works, who knows….

    Like

  27. 29 chrisklob May 25, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    gotta hand it to perez for his outing tonight. got into trouble a couple of times yet managed to battle back. nice quality start. sadly, doesn’t look like the pen is going to hold up.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. 30 berigan2electricboogaloo May 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Yep! Perez got in and out of some deep trouble…and the ump was squeezing him to boot…then, the bullpen happened. Not sure why F.F. left in 1 guy to give up 3 homers…

    Like

  29. 31 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Key word: trying

    Like

  30. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 8:26 am

    If ever there was a game where a pitcher should have been allowed to come out for one more inning, it was last night. Perez had found his groove and was dealing.

    Avilan? What? He was nervous or something? A shame but not to worry because Masset showed us why Miami gave up on him, the Braves should do the same….. There has to be somebody in the Braves organization who is capable of being a middle reliever…

    Like

  31. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 8:29 am

    To their credit, the Braves didn’t quit last night, they tried to make a comeback despite having their hearts ripped out of them by Masset’s throwing more gophers than found in a prairie dog colony. .

    Liked by 1 person

  32. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Sorry, but I would be remiss if I did not give kudos to Jace Peterson for the tremendous play he made on a shallow fly ball to right field off the bat of Gonzalas. That was a major league highlight right there…

    Liked by 2 people

  33. 35 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I believe it is fairly obvious that Callaspo is the odd man out when CJ returns on Thursday. Ciriaco has certainly shown he’s a better option as a utility IF, and with Goose on the shelf he’s the next best option at SS. As usual, the Braves pseudo-fans are killing Hart for the Callaspo signing. We who actually follow the team more than just in the stats page understand that Callaspo was one of the very first signings the Braves made in the off-season, and well before the Upton trade was made that brought us back Jace Peterson. He does have value, so the Braves might be able to pull off a minor deal if the money works out right. That said, the other 29 GM’s know that CJ is set to return in a couple of days, so they may simply wait out the process and let Callaspo be released. His salary is a relatively paltry $3M and would prorate out to about $2M owed at this point. In relative terms, it isn’t prohibitive if another team really needed a veteran utility guy, so who knows? Kind of a toss up, IMO.

    What will be more interesting is what happens when KJ is set to return from his injury. And to a certain degree, what happens when Goose comes back from his thumb thing after the ASB. They can always stash Gosselin or Ciriaco if they so choose, but the KJ thing is more intriguing. Hammy has proven he can handle major league pitchers (at least thus far), and we’ve always known he has a great glove. The big question that will have to be answered is this: Does KJ’s power potential outweigh Hammy’s glovework? Because that is the dividing line. Depending on when KJ can make it back, and hopefully with no ill effects, the Braves might drop Ham back to AAA and seek to deal KJ at the deadline to a contender needing to add a little veteran pop. But as we’ve seen, the Johns (pick one) have proven that they are not exactly predictable.

    It’s all future speculation, of course. Callaspo’s status will play itself out in the next few days. I’m leaning DFA.

    Like

  34. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Kelly Johnson does give the Braves more power potential but you have to love Hammy’s ability to go get em. Maybe if it could bring back a serviceable reliever, they could trade some of their excess…

    Like

  35. 37 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Like

  36. 38 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Like

  37. 39 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    OK… hears what went down, in a nutshell:

    Braves and Dodgers were discussing a deal that would swap IF Alberto Callaspo and 3B Juan Uribe, with some non-impact minor-leaguers also changing uniforms. According to Rosenthal, the deal would have involved 6 players, Uribe and 1 minor-leaguer for Callaspo and 3, including what Rosey call “MLB-level pitching”, but not major names. Eric Stults perhaps? But because Callaspo signed last winter as a FA, he has right to veto any deal before June 15, and that’s just what he did.

    With the Dodgers getting set to promote Cuban IF Hector Olivera soon, they are looking to clear Uribe from their roster. Which begs the question, whither Callaspo? Well, they were simply planning to release him. As for the $$ involved, Callaspo is due about $2M in what’s left of his $3M deal, so the Dodgers would save about half what they still owe Uribe. He’s in the last year of a deal that is to pay him $6.5M this year, with a little over $4M remaining.

    So why would the Braves be interested? Well, just another veteran presence with alot of playoff experience. Remember, the Braves themselves seem to be the only ones who believe they can make a real push this season. Plus, Uribe still has some pop and flashes decent leather at the hot corner. Chances are since Uribe is a RH, as is CJ, he would be a bench piece for us. But a pretty decent bench piece IMO.

    And why would Callaspo reject the deal? Maybe he didn’t want to be traded only to be released. It’s unclear since the Braves themselves may simply release him. Nothing really changes for him either way.

    It remains to be seen if the Braves will still pursue Uribe. The only thing that is certain is that the Callaspo/Uribe aspect of any deal is dead.

    Like

  38. 40 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Like

  39. 41 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Interesting. Dodgers are 2 games up in the NL West and the clear favorites in that division, and maybe the league. Braves are… well, you know. Braves are “restarting”. Wouldn’t you think a veteran would jump at a chance for a championship?

    Like

  40. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I was thinking Callaspo maybe did not want to have a DFA on his resume’. Of couse, it might happen either way but evidently the Braves were trying to shed 2 mil with Uribe’ coming back. Would have been pretty revenue neutral if the Braves moved both Shults and Callaspo and took on Uribe’s contract.

    Oh well, at least we now have a good idea who will be dropped when CJ comes back. Pretty sure the Braves are looking for bullpen help as well.

    Like

  41. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Pretty sure Callaspo knew he would not figure into LA’s long term plans.

    Like

  42. 44 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Pretty sure Callaspo knew he would not figure into LA’s long term plans.

    Pretty sure he does not figure into ATL’s long term plans either. And when I say long term, I mean another couple of days. 🙂

    Like

  43. 45 Vox O'Raison May 26, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    From an outside perspective, why would the Braves want to trade Callaspo for Uribe? MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer can answer that:

    And there ya go.

    Like

  44. 46 berigan2electricboogaloo May 26, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    very odd story!
    Callaspo in May? 7 for 51 .137 B.A.
    Gil, can you number this new lead, 142? I am lazy, and type in 140, 141, etc in the address bar…thanks…

    Like

  45. 47 berigan2electricboogaloo May 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    and DOB says….In lineup batting 7th tonight.
    😯

    Like

  46. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    No problem Ber

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville May 26, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I guess if you have him, you may as well ride him…

    Like

  48. 50 berigan2electricboogaloo May 26, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Thanks Gil! 🙂
    and now…the trade is back on?
    David O’Brien @DOBrienAJC · 18m 18 minutes ago

    6-player deal likely done, #Braves sending Callaspo and 3 others, none impact-type players, to Dodgers and getting a minor leaguer and Uribe

    Like

  49. 51 berigan2electricboogaloo May 26, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    My thoughts on the trade?(and I am sure use guys are dying to hear them 😉 ) The Giants need a 3rd baseman (DFA’ed Casey McGehee ) They and the Dodgers aren’t gonna make a trade…so Juan Uribe comes here and perhaps CJ will be traded to the Giants?

    Like

  50. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo May 27, 2015 at 12:20 am

    as for the game….
    😦
    Teheran just doesn’t look very impressive right now….and weirdly afraid of throwing strikes to 8th hitters hitting .116 (really got under Joe Simpson’s skin walking A.J. Ellis)
    I have a feeling this isn’t going to be a very fun roadtrip…

    Like

  51. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 1:37 am

    That got ugly quick…. You have to wonder, the catcher’s play calling or the pitcher’s inability to perform…

    Rumor has it, one of the players going back to the Dodgers is Trevor Cahill. That’s like a win/win for the Braves if you ask me.

    CJ to the Giants? I would think a decent return coming back from the Giants if true.

    If Trevor goes to the Dodgers, it would be pretty revenue neutral for the Braves.

    I guess we are just going to face the reality that this year’s Braves team is not that good…. Pitching is just too hot and cold and not enough consistent offense to bail them out. Still, they are interesting to watch… like a train wreck…

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 1:45 am

    And Dave O’Brian saying it will be left-handers Eric Stults and Ian Thomas and right-hander Juan Jaime to the Dodgers along with Callaspo. I find it odd the Braves just used Stults for 3 2/3 innings if that is true. Of course they won’t have to worry about facing him tomorrow…

    So, what to do with Trevor? Package him with Chris Johnson?

    Like

  53. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I guess the Braves will call up a reliever for tomorrow night, CJ won’t have to fly alone to the coast.

    Like

  54. 56 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 8:04 am

    And here’s how I see this…

    The Braves took on a little salary, for now, to take back another great clubhouse guy and a better glove at 3B. Uribe still isn’t a prototypical bopping 3B, but his career numbers are solid and he’s a little better balanced between RH/LH pitchers. I also think it’s a clear indication that CJ is a goner as soon as the Braves can find a taker. It’s not that they don’t like him… it’s that they don’t like his contract. At least they seem to have found a good guy to replace him with. Overall I like the deal. I think it’s a good one for the Braves, especially as we move forward. I’ll expound more in a minute.

    Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime? We won’t even miss them. Stults? Won’t miss him either. No one will take Cahill from us, so he’s simply going to be the team’s designated mop up reliever. At least he’ll save some innings for the real pitchers.

    Not sure who will fill the bullpen slot. Most likely IF Ciriaco will stay put since the Braves had, or technically still have 13 pitchers on the roster. (Not sure why the Commissioner’s office has to approve the deal. There isn’t any money changing hands. Unless it’s because of Callaspo’s status as a FA and his needed approval.) So as Gil says, CJ will join the team along with 1 reliever. Actually, CJ was supposed to join the team on Thursday. Will he come a day early? Probably, although the pitcher is the real need.

    It is interesting that Fredi pitched Stults knowing he was included in the deal. I suppose he needed to get the innings out of him and save the others since we might be short for a game. Gutsy, if you ask me. But it is a plus for us. Don’t forget we are pitching Alex Wood tonight, who is coming off a stomach illness. His arm should be fresher having skipped a start, but he has yet to show an ability to go very deep into games. Boy we could use that from him tonight.

    Perhaps it’ll be Cody Martin rejoining the team after a “break”. It doesn’t replace the LH, though. We just gave up 2, leaving Avilan as the only LHRP in the pen.

    I’ll address the bullpen in another post to follow this one.

    Like

  55. 57 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 8:23 am

    When John Hart dealt Kimbrel to SD, he accomplished 2 things that were key. #1, he got rid of Melvin completely… the entire albatross contract included. #2, he brought back Cameron Maybin, who might be one of the best throw-ins ever. Seriously, he was kind of an add-on that has become a pretty good everyday CF. That worked out great. And one cannot quantify the “win” that dumping Melvin is. And Grilli has been pretty good as a closer. Not lockdown great, but certainly not bad.

    But…

    Losing Craig scrambled some bullpen roles, and that has had a ripple effect that still has not settled. With Dirty C as closer, you had 2 clear setup relievers in Grilli and JJohnson. You had a dedicated Loogy in Avilan. You had some longer relievers in Cody Martin and company. But the setup guys and Loogy are key.

    With Kimbrel gone, Grilli became the closer and left a gap that the team still hasn’t really filled. They’ve shuffled several pitchers in and out of that “high leverage” role. Avilan tried, but couldn’t hang. Jaime tried, but couldn’t hang. Heck, even Martin tried, but it isn’t his thing either. Only now has Brandon Cunniff stepped up and appears to be taking control of it. And if Cunniff can truly be relied upon in the 7th inning, it will make a huge impact, allowing Avilan to once again assume the Loogy role.

    It’s amazing how one guy can make that much difference over 7 pitchers, but defined roles are so important in a bullpen.

    Now… all that said…

    Who is the closer in 2016? Have we even talked about it? Have we even thought about it? Grilli is under contract through 2016, but is he the closer or is he the 8th inning guy you originally signed? JJohnson is a FA, and likely gone.

    And beyond 2016, who is the closer? The Braves have certainly addressed their starting pitching in a huge way. But they haven’t addressed the closer… until now.

    That’s who Chris Withrow is. And at 51 weeks from TJ surgery, he’s well into his rehab program and could return some time in the 2nd half if the team were so inclined. He’s a former 1st round pick, and a power arm that has already spent parts of 2 seasons in the Dodgers bullpen.

    Per MLBTR: The 56 innings he accumulated in those two seasons are the only Major League work on his resume, but he made quite the impression, registering a 2.73 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, a 39.7 percent ground-ball rate and a fastball that averaged 95.7 mph. It should be noted that while Withrow’s BB/9 rate looks a bit troubling, eight of his 31 Major League walks came over his final 8 2/3 innings prior to Tommy John; his control looked markedly better in 2013, and Baseball America noted prior to the 2014 season that he’d significantly improved upon his ability to locate his fastball.

    In other words, he was very good until his control started to unravel along with his elbow. IMO, this was a great pickup for the Braves. He’s the future at closer.

    Like

  56. 58 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    perhaps CJ will be traded to the Giants?

    Perhaps… or even to the Yankees. But the Giants makes alot of sense. I think he’s going to be gone somewhere. And I think that picking up Uribe (not to mention Withrow), along with parting with Callaspo was a very shrewd move by John… er, one of them. Seriously… what did we give up? A guy that wasn’t contributing on or off the field and 3 relievers that couldn’t be relied upon in the aforementioned high leverage situations.

    Dadgum… this deal looks better all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 59 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Now…as for last night…

    I turned it on in the 4th inning. Great timing right? I can tell you exactly what I saw. I saw a guy who looked very good throw a pitch that he shouldn’t have thrown (called by Bcourt, as Joe pointed out) that got tattooed. Then I saw a guy get clearly frustrated. You could see it written so clearly on his face and in his actions. Did you see how he approached Turner after Gonzalez’ double? He never even turned to look at the runner. He just snatched the ball and toed the rubber impatiently. He sped up his whole delivery as if he was just trying to get it over with as quickly as possible. And I have to point out that his catcher never tried to slow him down or settle him down. Bcourt bears alot of responsibility in the whole debacle. It was hard to watch, to be honest, and I turned it off after the 10 batter bloodletting came to its merciful end.

    Teheran has to address the mental aspect of his game. I pray that he isn’t the classic “million dollar arm, ten cent head” guy. But he certainly lost his focus after Kendrick’s hard hit double on a hanging breaking ball.

    And Bcourt has to learn how to call a game. Joe pointed out how many breaking pitches he was calling, especially after 2 strikes. If Joe picked it up, don’t you think the Dodgers picked it up? And what did we hear Fredi say after Teheran’s 1st bad outing of the season? He said Julio got away from his fastball and has to throw it more. So why was Betty calling so many breaking pitches? Especially when it wasn’t breaking sharply and especially when it was continuing to get tagged hard? Makes no sense.

    Even when you have a battery that is so supremely talented physically, you still need at least one of them to be solid in the mental aspect of the game. 2 guys still trying to learn is a bad combination, as we saw last night.

    It leaves me with a much more bitter taste toward my catcher than my pitcher, though. That wasn’t lazy… it was just bad.

    Like

  58. 60 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Money talks.

    Like

  59. 61 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Alberto: “But I really like it in Atlanta, and I love the guys here. I just think that I’d like to finish where I signed my deal.”

    Braves: “We’ll give you cash to go away.”

    Alberto: “Then again, I hear LA is nice this time of year.”

    Liked by 3 people

  60. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Well, I’m sure the Dodgers are pretty happy with the way Stults put out the fire last night, even if the fire was them…

    Yep, I saw it too VOX, reminded me of my son at age 10 when the coach put him in goal. He was a wing) He hated it and did not try, it was a defining moment for both him and me. My first real disappointment as a father that my son was a quitter…. Anyway, Teheran stopped battling, maybe the thing about a Perzinski behind the dish is he won’t let a pitcher quit. They might be getting shelled but he won’t let them quit.

    Has anyone else noticed how many teams have sub 500 records right now? Look out for Texas though, they are coming….

    I still think Monday’s game was a good one for the Braves, A winnable game. Last night? well, the Braves are not coming back from 8 runs down… Not this season….

    Like

  61. 63 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Withrow compared to Jordan Walden with a foot on the ground…

    Like

  62. 64 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Like

  63. 65 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Like

  64. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    So, here is the skinny as I see it with the trade. Uribe has a $6.5 million dollar contract and is a free agent next season, He is 36 years old but reputed to be a great club house guy, (How many do you need?) Average glove, decent bat. Chris Johnson is making $ 6 million this season, $7.5 million next season and $9 million in 2017. In 2018 he is slated to make $10 million but the Braves have a $1 million dollar buy out. He is 30 years old and has looked much better this season/ Funny thing, he has not been all that bad this year while playing with a broken hand. Has the injury made a difference? We’ll find out soon I suspect.

    Now, as far as salaries go, CJ’s is not all that bad or prohibitive, even for a cheapskate club. Current average salary for third baseman is 7.5 large. I guess a bigger question might be, who in the current Braves system project to move into the 3rd base slot?

    The Braves dumped about $3 million is salary moving Shults and Callaspo and picked up about $4 million with Uribe. Withrow is making major league minimum as is Thomas and Jamie. So all and all, it’s a wash I would think as far as that goes. I am sure insurance is covering the bulk of Withrow’s pay so I think it turns out to be pretty neutral as far as money goes. We might see Withrow in August or September but i have to believe the Braves would be just as happy to see him have a good spring in 2016.

    So, what is the bottom line? I think the Braves are pretty happy just to move Callaspo and perhaps we will see Jace Peterson move to third when Perazza arrives in the majors. Maybe Peterson becomes a super sub as the team gets better but for right now, I think the Braves will be entertaining offers for one, if not both of their third baseman. For sure, Uribe would not be blocking anyone if there was a guy ready to make the jump. CJ could play everyday somewhere and like I said, is not making that much money relative to what others are being paid.

    Kind of has to suck for Uribe though, moving from a first place club to one expected to be a place holder and a team for others to beat up on. Of course, he is going to be closer to his home in the DR.

    Like

  65. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    The Mets might be a good fit for Uribe. What pitching wunderkin do they have to give up for him? For sure, the Braves have bought low (Shults) and sold high. Neither Callaspo or Shults figured into the Braves long term plans but Withrow just might. Perhaps the Dodgers have someone who can straighten out Jamie so he can throw strikes. Ian Thomas was culled off the scrap heap of the independent leagues so little investment cost there for the Bravos.

    I wonder if we will ever know how much it cost the Braves to make Alberto go away?

    Like

  66. 68 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    As speculated…

    Like

  67. 69 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    who in the current Braves system project to move into the 3rd base slot?

    That would be the Braves #6 prospect Rio Ruiz, currently at AA Mississippi, with a possible ETA of mid-2016. Nice LH hitting prospect who has good power and drives the ball to all fields. He’s currently 6’2″, 215 and still growing and getting stronger. He was another player we got for Gattis from HOU.

    Like

  68. 70 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    And Ruiz is the primary reason the Braves do not want to pay CJ’s premium contract for 4 more seasons.

    Like

  69. 71 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    SS Elmer Reyes. Crikey!!! 😯

    Like

  70. 72 Vox O'Raison May 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Bowman has tweeted that both CJ and Uribe will be in uni for tonight’s game, and the Braves have brought CJ along with LHRP Donnie Veal out to LaLa Land, but I have still seen no confirmation that the deal has been “approved” by the commish and have seen no official announcement of the deal by either team. At the same time, all involved players remain on their respective current team’s roster, thus CJ can’t yet be activated and Veal can’t yet be officially recalled.

    What’s taking so long for this “formality” to formalize?

    Like

  71. 73 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Visa problems??? 🙂

    Okay, while unusual, I would guess the problem is the bribe they are having to pay Alberto… Who knows, maybe it’s the bribe they are having to pay the commissioner…

    Like

  72. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Uribe playing third for the Braves tonigh

    Like

  73. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville May 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    So, the Dodgers DFA Eric Shults… Hope he makes it through waivers, the Braves can resign him at a huge discount… Just saying

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 2:13 am

    At some point, one has to believe that Fredi G will swap places between Grille and Jim Johnson. Of course, the plate umpire had a very creative strike zone tonight.

    Anyone else thing Freddie Freeman could use a day off to gather himself? Let Chris Johnson play a game or two at first and allow Fredi some time to reflect upon what he is doing wrong at the plate.

    Like

  75. 77 Vox O'Raison May 28, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Well… isn’t that interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

  76. 78 Vox O'Raison May 28, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Still, CF is not where he’ll play in ATL. CF is where Mallex Smith will play in ATL.

    Smith in 2015 at AA Mississippi: .345/.396/.426, 16 SB… all games as leadoff hitter. Can you see the Braves with Smith, Peraza and Freddie as 1-2-3?

    BTW- Smith came to us from SD along with Jace Peterson, LHP Max Fried, and IF Dustin Peterson in the JUp trade.

    As this season progresses, and we begin to see the fruits of what John Hart did this past offseason, it becomes clearer and clearer what a masterful job he performed.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I’m thinking that if they want to bring him up, they need a place for him to play. Never hurts to be versatile.

    Like

  78. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 10:00 am

    The one guy who is thriving is Cameron Maybin. He looks like a different player since he arrived in Atlanta.

    Like

  79. 81 Vox O'Raison May 28, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Indeed he does, Gil. It’s close to home (NC), it’s the team he followed as a kid and even followed as a professional playing in other organizations. He looks like a guy who is happy and having fun. Then again, alot of these guys look like they’re having fun… even some who were here last year but didn’t look like that. Amazing what a few select personnel tweaks can achieve. But back to SpiderMaybin – his choice not mine. He’s fun to watch, too. DOB made a note that a writer from LA mentioned to him that this team must be alot of fun to cover. DOB wholeheartedly agreed that it is.

    Like

  80. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Even more fun if they get on a nice run. They have a locker room full of characters for sure. All sorts of interesting stories to be told. They could even make a movie about this group. Major Leagues, The Makeover

    Anyway, salvaging the get away game with LA I thought to be a big win for this group. It keeps them hovering around .500. Say what you will but playing .500 ball is a big deal because before you have a winning ball club, you have to get to the break even mark.

    Make no mistake, this is a tough road trip. Coming home still at the break even point is a huge physiological advantage because it allows players to continue to believe they have a chance. In order to have a chance to go deep into October, you have to get invited to the dance…

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 11:00 am

    The Braves won’t be the darlings of the talking heads because they don’t have the big boppers on this team. The are loaded with a bunch of Punch and Judy hitters who pester you to death. They are not mistake pitchers but they will make you play good defense and keep your head in the game because they will pounce on any mistake made in the field.

    Perhaps the biggest and most glaring failing of this year’s team is the pen. Sigh, there is help out there, just have to find it.

    PS// Looks like Evan Gattis is finally heating up, a proposition that has to send chills down the spine of opposing American League pitchers.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville May 28, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Okay, the above should have read, they are not mistake hitters

    Sigh, I really need to buy a decent keyboard. This think is like typing on an old Underwood….

    Like

  83. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville May 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

    So, last night, the game is moving along, great pitching match up and suddenly WHAM…. The eight inning happened… Well, it was time to fall asleep anyway…

    I have never seen so many balls hit just out of reach of the fielders before. Off the tip of their gloves etc… Oh well, at least the umps didn’t call a ball hit 225 feet away from home plate an infield fly.

    Okay, time to get dressed and take the Trans Am for some new boots… Old ones are dry rotted. I cannot believe it actually passes inspection. The tires have been on the car so long, I cannot find any record of when I bought them… Had to have been prior to 2002. The tread is great though… PS, I always hated the way they rode…..

    Liked by 1 person

  84. 86 berigan2electricboogaloo May 29, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Gil, as soon as you put new tires on, time to smoke ’em! :mrgreen:
    I know you will appreciate this, when I bought a 1964 Buick Electra in the mid 90’s…it had some older tires on it…..they were from…J.C. Penney!

    Like

  85. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville May 29, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Ber, I bought some Japanese tire (Sumitomo) The also own Dunlop in the USA. The tires I took off I will sell on Craig’s list for $25 apiece. The are not completely bad but the DOT number indicated they were made in 2003. They still have about the same amount of tread as new but, they have evidence of dry rot and I have had tires blow out that were dry rotted. I also am anal retentive about my cars. Comes from years of having to drive a bunch of ragged out pieces of s***… Whomever gets one of may cars when I get rid of it usually gets a cream puff. that said, I am not responsible for anything that goes wrong with it after they have dogged it for 10,000 miles, in spite of what they may think. (Reading this kids?)

    Anywho, My biggest frustration now is not being able to do stuff my brain knows how to do and I cannot find people who don’t mind trying to take advantage of me because they think they can. I may be handicapped but I am not stupid…

    Counterman got a little miffed at me today when I told him to relay to his tire installers to get it right the first time, I did not want to be bothered with having to come back again. The adage is “How come there is never enough time to do it right the first time but always enough time to do it over?

    Now baseball… Who’s pitching tonight? Perez?

    I thought the Braves played much better last night than the final score indicated. I’m thinking John Hart needs to talk with Shurholtz about the importance of a good bull pen. I’m sure he could give him some lessons. No use inventing the wheel all over again…

    Like

  86. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville May 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Okay, Folty toeing the rubber against our old friend Huddy

    Like

  87. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville May 30, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Drat….. Another good pitching performance wasted by a lackluster offense.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. 90 berigan2electricboogaloo May 30, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Yup….Giants are so very weird….They lose Panda, about as clutch a hitter as there is today (certainly when it comes to the playoffs) and they don’t miss a beat. They have a lot of good, solid if unspectacular players…they look on paper to be a .500 team. Fortunately for them, they don’t yet play the games on paper…yet….
    Dodgers have the talent and money of 2 teams, and yet they are 2nd place right now….

    Like

  89. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville May 30, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Well, we knew there would be days like this coming in didn’t we? San Fran is tough in their own back yard, tough ever where else too come to think of it.

    Like

  90. 92 chrisklob May 31, 2015 at 12:27 am

    been a tough trip out west but perez’s performance tonight was a pleasant surprise!

    Like

  91. 93 Gil in Mechanicsville May 31, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Very enjoyable game for Braves fans methinks…

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville May 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    what a roller coaster team this is….

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville May 31, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    No quit in then though

    Like

  94. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville May 31, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    them either///

    Liked by 1 person

  95. 97 Vox O'Raison May 31, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Mr. O’B thinks we have seen the last appearance of Mr. Veal in a Braves uni. I believe he is correct. Expect another turn of the bullpen carousel tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville June 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Opposing teams have feasted on Veal every time he has strolled in from the pen. Like a lamb to slaughter, but different.

    Quite a game yesterday, the kind of game that can carry a team for a month or so. Much like the game that launched the gNats on their run. This west coast trip will not be a complete disaster. If the Braves can win at least one in Zona the trip will be a success. To take the series would be a real bonus.

    The gNats are finding out what it’s like to have a target on their back. Redon will be back soon so that will help them but losing Jason Werth is a big blow to them.

    ‘ll bet the Braves clubhouse was rancourse after yesterday’s win.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 99 berigan2electricboogaloo June 1, 2015 at 10:37 am

    So, I turned on the game in the 7th, with Bumgarner leading 2-1, and thinking, well…this games over… an aside….has there ever been a pitcher who could throw as hard as he does, 94-95, and it looks like his VELO (hate that term, just say velocity! wait…) via that super easy , seemingly slow arm motion, should be instead 81-82?
    Anyways…about 5 seconds later, Uribe hit his 2nd 2 run homer in as many days and I then thought…wow….Chris Johnson is not gonna play much! Then I saw CJ was playing! How’s that possible? What??? Someone wised up and gave FF a day off??? Amazing! 6 seconds later, the Giants had the lead… 😦 Chip and to a lesser extent, Joe were really bashing the bullpen…and rightly so. 10.50 ERA for the road trip, BEFORE the outburst.
    I was primed, PRIMED to call out everyone, the homeboy upstairs for thinking it was still the 90s and a bullpen can just be put together by pitchers with arms still attached, and why didn’t FG keep Teheran in longer after not pinch hitting for him, especially knowing the shape of the bullpen…
    Then ) FF was hitting now that Bumgarner was out…shades of Bobby Cox! 6 innings off=day off! GRRRRR! He ain’t gonna break Gehrig’s record!
    Then(theres that word again) F.F. hits a homer…ok…still gonna lose, you don’t be the W.S. Giants in their park, Bochy is not F.G. he knows what he’s doing…One of the best SS’s in baseball boots the easiest double play ever…and Bochy has several brain farts and leaves the Loogy in the bullpen, not once, but twice…amazing!
    But, hats off for the bravos for taking advantage of the miscues and most importantly, not giving up!
    For all the teams many flaws , being boring is not one of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville June 1, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Ber, watching Julio pitch, mostly smoke and mirrors by the way, I am thinking, what is going on with this kid? Is he hiding an injury? Why else would he throw pitch after pitch after pitch in the 70 mph range? There has to be something going on. You can blame the ball as being too slick only so many times before you suspect “the man doest protest too munch”

    Unfortunately, pitching depth is not the Braves strong suit this season. Well, at least the Braves won’t be tempted to run Ian Thomas or Juan Jamie out there again. Here is the thing, if middle relievers are held in such low regard (lowest paid pitchers as a group) why can’t the Braves find any?

    Now, I can’t bash a team that made two pretty impressive comebacks on Sunday against a doggone good team but it’s getting very predictable for the Braves in late innings. I’ve seen this movie before and it’s pretty ugly. Think 2006-2009…

    Of course the Braves aren’t the only team seeking pitching. The front office may have to get a little creative putting together a package to add to their bullpen. That and do the Braves really see themselves as serious players this season?

    There are a bunch of clubs that are hovering around .500. Only the Braves are not being taken seriously… Odd huh? No respect.

    Anyway, The road trip to the Diamondbacks does not look nearly a daunting as it did four days ago. This years team has already won more games on the left coast than they did last season.

    By the way Ber, CJ played 1st base and went 2 for 3 with an RBI and an error on a low throw to first by Simmons. I would have used Freeman to PH for Teheran in the 6th…. Just saying…

    Like

  99. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville June 1, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    So, the Braves roll into Zona on a high after coming back twice to beat the Giants and the D’Backs flay home after losing in 17 innings to the Brewers. I like the Braves chances, especially if the Braves can get into the Zona pen. I figure it will take a week for the D’Back pen to get straightened out. The Braves pen? Well, it will take more than a week but it’s not because they will be tired.

    Like

  100. 102 berigan2electricboogaloo June 1, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Gil, I just saw him face the one batter in the 7th, the guy Joe Simpson said to just keep off base, and then gave a double to. 😛 something hasn’t seemed right with Julio most of this season. I have said before, I have never quite been able to figure out how he’s been so very good before. His fastball seems quite hittable (says the guy sitting in a chair in front of his computer, that couldn’t even foul tip one of his pitches in the real world) He has a great, great change, but that fastball. just looks so straight to my eyes. But, until this year, hitters couldn’t hit it, not much at least. Must be hard to pick up, like Chris Young, who by the by is having a great year in KC with his 86 MPH “heater” 1.55 ERA
    Anyway, Julio. Is he hurt? Why risk getting more hurt? Sure didn’t help Mike Minor to pitch through a bad shoulder. Afraid of getting hurt?
    Didn’t we hear when he was coming up, that he had a mid to upper 90’s fastball? just saw an older scouting report (2011)saying his fastball sat in the low to mid 90’s able to dial up to 97. Ok…looked at fangraphs (usually a waste of time, but somebody charts pitches per start, speed, etc) and 2 years ago, his fastball would occasionally go above 95, but last year and particularly this year, it’s down a bit…why? He’s 24. Perhaps someone told him to tone it down a bit, and you would get better control. But, while 91-92 is just fine on the corners, usually…down the middle, few if any miss it….

    Like

  101. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville June 1, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Reading some of the other blogs, someone mentioned they thought Teheran has not been the same since a game against the Mets on or about April 12th when he incurred some kind of leg injury. That could be the source of his loss of velocity. Shade of Jair and all that.

    I guess he is trying to pitch thru it but if it hurts the team, he needs to fess up and get it taken care of. Pride goeth before the fall eh?

    Like

  102. 104 Gil in Mechanicsville June 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Nice game by the Braves last night, Of course, because of the scattered thunder storms, I missed most of the Braves scoring. DirecTV can be a bit of a fair weather friend. Anyway, I did see some good and bad defense by the Braves, the snafu at third on the come backer to Woods to A.J. to… well, It was bad but Simmons made up for it.

    I thought Todd Cunningham played a stellar centerfield too. He might not be getting hits but is stays plenty relevant by getting on base and with his D. I fear EY Jr’s days are numbered when Kelly Johnson returns.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 105 Vox O'Raison June 2, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I fear EY Jr’s days are numbered when Kelly Johnson returns.

    Who? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  104. 106 berigan2electricboogaloo June 3, 2015 at 8:39 am

    bullpen? We don’t need no stinkin’ bullpen!

    Like

  105. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville June 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Ya think Ber? I knew we were doomed when Fredi G lifted Cody Martin for a PH after only having pitched to two batters. He could have struck out on three pitches just as easily as Ciriraco… BAH!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  106. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville June 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I’m wondering if whatever is happening in the pen is rubbing off on Miller? 6 walks? He looked very uncomfortable on the mound…

    Like

  107. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville June 3, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    So, it’s official… Shelby Miller is human and the Braves’ bullpen is ranked 30th out of 30 MLB teams. So, like the old joke about the two shoe salesmen who were sent to Africa to ply their wares, The first wrote to his home office and said, “I’m coming home, no one wears shoes here” The second wrote also, he said “Send all of the shoes you have, no one has shoes here”…

    So, looks like there is opportunity aplenty for pitchers all over baseball to join the Braves’ relief corps to improve that glaring fault.

    Hey, no one really expected the Braves to still be in the neighborhood at this point. There are guys in the minors who could help this team. No, I don’t know who exactly but Wisler comes to mind right off. Either as a starter and move Folty into the role or something anything but it has to be demoralizing to the rest of the team.

    Hey, I don’t blame Cunniff for last night’s failure. He is who he is. To me it is a front office thing. They are the ones who supply the talent, Fredi G can only play the cards he is dealt and lately, he has been getting some pretty crappy hands…

    No, job one is to get Teheran and Miller straightened out, that is Roger’s job. Importing some talent for middle relief should be high on the to do list for Coppy and Hart. And that is how I see it right now.

    4 o’clockish game today..

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo June 3, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    hmmmm…
    Yankees Designate David Carpenter
    By Jeff Todd [June 3, 2015 at 1:09pm CDT]

    The Yankees have designated reliever David Carpenter for assignment, the club announced. The move creates roster space for the activation of Masahiro Tanaka.

    Carpenter, 29, came to the Yankees from the Braves along with lefty Chasen Shreve in an offseason trade that sent Manny Banuelos to Atlanta. The righty was a very solid performer in his two years with the Braves, but has struggled thus far in pinstripes.

    Over 18 2/3 innings this year, Carpenter owns a 4.82 ERA. He has struck out just 11 batters in that span — after averaging about 10 K/9 over the two seasons prior — while walking eight. On the positive side, Carpenter’s fastball velocity is still sitting right at the 95 mph mark……..

    Like

  109. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville June 3, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Make the trade Coppy

    Like

  110. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville June 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    About today’s game…. AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    Like

  111. 113 berigan2electricboogaloo June 3, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Bullpen? We don’t need any stinkin’ bullpen!

    Like

  112. 114 berigan2electricboogaloo June 3, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    relax….the braves have a plan …. not a good one but still….
    David O’Brien ‏@DOBrienAJC 1h1 hour ago

    #Braves are trying to trade for reliever(s), but won’t give up young talent or pay big $ to do it.

    Like

  113. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville June 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

    In other words, they are scanning the waiver wires for DNFs and scouting the independent leagues…. I imagine the Braves would rather use their own young talent to relieve… Oh, wait….

    Okay, we have been thru this before, just not as bad…

    Unfortunately, the Braves will find a guy who is actually effective and then use him until his arm falls off….

    Like

  114. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville June 4, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Fredi has a fondness for using a coin with two heads….

    Like

  115. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville June 4, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Questionable calls made by Fredi yesterday… Lifting Cunningham and pinch hit for by Gomes, then putting Gomes in left field…

    Fredi needs to have a long talk with his gut because his gut has been wrong a lot lately… May be time to roll out the metamucil..

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 118 Vox O'Raison June 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Fredi is a short term caretaker. Remember, he is on the last year of a contract. And I personally do not want them to give up any of the young talent for a reliever. While I’m ecstatic that they are still hovering around .500 and only 3 games out of the race at the 1/4 mark, my expcetations for 201

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  117. 119 Vox O'Raison June 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Oops… got cut off… I’ll try again…

    Like

  118. 120 Vox O'Raison June 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Fredi is a short term caretaker. Remember, he is on the last year of a contract.

    And I personally do not want them to give up any of the young talent for a reliever. While I’m ecstatic that they are still hovering around .500 and only 3 games out of the race at the 1/4 mark, my expectations for 2015 haven’t changed. Stay the course gentlemen, and perhaps 2016 will carry some additional expectations. It’s possible to purchase some FA bullpen arms after 2015 is in the books. And don’t forget young Mr. Chris Withrow, whom we picked up from LA. He should be ready to contribute in the 2nd half.

    As for now, there are about 3 decent arms with opt-outs that have just triggered and been exercised. Top of that heap is LHRP Dana Eveland, who would be a decent pickup. Problem is, he’s a good pickup for several teams, so there will be a bit of competition for his services.

    RH’s J.C. Gutiérrez and Robert Coello might each be worth checking in on as well.

    Like

  119. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville June 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Here is the deal, if your were a relief pitcher looking for a place to play, would you opt for a contending team where you are insurance or the Braves where you would have a chance to be a front line reliever?

    Maybe they just go where the biggest paycheck is going to be written…

    Hummm… I’m thinking C…

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 122 berigan2electricboogaloo June 4, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    as I said April 6th….
    …there is nothing more depressing , for a team, or a fan base than a lousy bullpen that blows games late…

    I imagine this team has more than exceeded John Hart, et al’s expectations…a team of 4th outfielders, a 38 Y.O. catcher, rookie 2nd baseman, weak 3rd basemen…. isn’t supposed to be around .500…
    I’m sure one thing they and I would have been in agreement with is that this team would be around 70 and 92, and getting a good draft pick in ’16
    After this start, after trying and succeeding in getting the players (if not all the fans) to buy into being competitive …for the team to just….let game after game slip away…is bad, very bad. Do we want to see Simmons or FF not give max effort? Want to see A.J. turn into a poison in the clubhouse?
    Doesn’t mean you have to give up Max Fried or Peraza to get help….

    Liked by 1 person

  121. 123 berigan2electricboogaloo June 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Gil, good question….
    fyi… By Steve Adams [June 4, 2015 at 4:25pm CDT]

    Right-hander David Aardsma has opted out of his minor league contract with the Dodgers and is now a free agent, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). The veteran righty had a June 1 opt-out clause that triggered a 72-hour window for the Dodgers to place him on the 25-man roster, which expired today.

    The 33-year-old Aardsma has pitched quite well for L.A.’s Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, working to an excellent 2.41 ERA with 11.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 15 saves in 18 2/3 innings. Aardsma recently explained to The Oklahoman’s Jacob Unruh that his offseason work in a strengthening program called Top Velocity helped him add a couple of ticks back to his fastball, which is now regularly sitting in the 91-93 mph range.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/06/david-aardsma-opts-out-of-dodgers-contract.html#disqus_thread

    Like

  122. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville June 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    We can only hope Ber, we can only hope….

    Like

  123. 126 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Just for you, Gil…

    Liked by 1 person

  124. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville June 5, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the link Ber, I’m too cheap to pay the AJC for a subscription. As a matter of fact, I won’t pay it for the local paper either. They allow me to view the content sans ads and I might consider it.

    I watched the Cubs and Nats game last night. Cubs won 2-1. I am impressed by the Cubs young talent. You never heard such whining and moaning over a close play at 2nd that went against the gNats by their TV announcers. Get over it dudes. Calls have been missed by umps for years.

    Anyway, tough assignment coming up for the Braves against the Pirates. One has to wonder which reliever will blow this one or if Perez can continue to walk that tight rope he has been balanced on in his first three starts.

    On a more personal note… I am so sick of rain….. It really can be depressing to not see the sun for a week….

    Liked by 1 person

  125. 128 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I immediately recognize Chipper, Javy and Klesko. Others are not so easy. How is it that I spot Pedro Borbon? Is that Marvin Freeman on the bottom right corner? I also see Glenn Hubbard as a coach. And there’s Mark Wohlers up top. And now Jerry Willard. Past that, I’m stumped.

    Like

  126. 129 berigan2electricboogaloo June 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Gil, I got that link from DOB’s twitter page, and didn’t need to subscribe or anything…I rarely look at the AJC anymore as you usually can’t read a whole not there….

    Like

  127. 130 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Much of the ajc.com stuff nowadays is “myajc”, which is in the paid version of the ajc. But as Ber says, DOB will provide links on his Twitter page that give a backdoor to the stories and bypass the paywall.

    Like

  128. 131 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Well, I figured EY to be on short time, but didn’t consider this. Now the question is born: what happens when KJ is healed from his oblique injury?

    Like

  129. 132 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Like

  130. 133 Gil in Mechanicsville June 5, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    VOX, I think 1993 was the year of the “Great Eight” Some like Javy, Chipper and Ryan made it to the Big A. Others like Tony Tarasco were traded away and really never became super stars. Some of the others on that team were guys like Mike Kelly, Tyler Houston, Donnie Elliott and Brian Hunter and Will Nieves. Some other guys like Mike Mordicai were on that team too. Those were some heady days for the Braves’ farm system. I think that group won over 100 games in AA before the hit RVA.

    Well, I think we all saw the emergence of Maybin plus the good play of “Richie” Cunningham as foreboding for EY Jr. That and his reduced role on the team as a very occasional PH.

    I would not be too surprise to hear that Kelly Johnson is traded before all is said and done. Terdo is cheaper than KJ and the Braves really don’t need another back up infielder or outfielder. The real key is everyone getting enough playing time to stay sharp. He fits the current mold of gap hitter. He is a switch hitter isn’t he?

    Anyway, the Braves still need bull pen arms, I guess they will use someone as trade bait or pick up someone off the wire.

    Like

  131. 134 berigan2electricboogaloo June 5, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Yeah, I can’t figure out anyone else either…funny how young Grady Little looks…knew the name, but forgot he was the Red Sox manager that left in Pedro 1 hitter too long in the playoffs, and lost his job….he looked “old” in the Red Sox uni

    Like

  132. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville June 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I really like Grady Little, he went to the Dodgers before taking the Red Sox job. The folks in Boston were looking for a scapegoat and Grady was it… Pedro was the Sox best pitcher, he lobbied hard to stay in and Boone made him pay. That’s baseball and the lot of being a manager. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    The coach can draw great plays up in the locker room but it is still the players who have to perform.

    Think about it, if Fredi had to choose between leaving in a starter or calling in a reliever what do you think his chances are of being right given what he has to work with.

    Like

  133. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville June 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Wow, the AJC and Mark Bowman are really slow in reporting moves aren’t they?

    Like

  134. 137 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Wow, the AJC and Mark Bowman are really slow in reporting moves aren’t they?

    In their respective media outlets they may be. (I rarely look there anymore.) But they each had it on Twitter right after the Braves announced the moves.

    As for KJ, I can see him being traded to a contender. Failing that, I imagine Ciriaco would make the trek back to AAA to accommodate his return.

    Bullpen help will be very hard to come by. But I do think the Braves could trade guys like KJ and AJP. Those fellas would have some value. The Braves have enough OF to fill the gaps and they’ve brought in a couple of catchers in Wil Nieves and Ryan Lavarnway that could help pave the way for AJP to be dealt if Bcourt can ever seize his starting opportunity.

    Like

  135. 138 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    By “they each” I was referring to DOB and Bowman. I should have made that clearer…

    Like

  136. 139 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    And the bullpen pees in the Cheerios again…

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  137. 140 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    100% agreement.

    Like

  138. 141 Carolina Lady June 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Sounds as if the bullpen is full of bull.

    Liked by 2 people

  139. 142 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Well, at least Trevor Cahill and his revised mechanics had a decent inning.

    Like

  140. 143 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    And then gave up a run (at least 1; still in the inning) in his next one.

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  141. 144 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Make that 2… so far…

    Like

  142. 145 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    And might have gotten Andy Simmons hurt in the process.

    Like

  143. 146 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Now 3.

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  144. 147 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    When you hang a breaking ball to Cutch, you’re gonna pay.

    Like

  145. 148 Vox O'Raison June 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    So the bullpen has given up 5 runs, but Perez will get hung with the loss. It’s exactly why the W-L record is misleading. Of course, Perez didn’t help himself any by walking the tightrope in each of his innings and piling up the pitches, making it necessary to pull him out early.

    Like

  146. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville June 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    They do keep you watching however…

    Like

  147. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville June 6, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Well, try as they might, the offense was again unable to outscore the bullpen. Remember when the homeboy upstairs tried to cover up a deficient bullpen by trading for Texeria? Didn’t work then, not thinking offense is going to overcome this now.

    I know, we were told to have low expectations but this is kind of brutal…

    Like

  148. 151 berigan2electricboogaloo June 6, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Bullpen? We don’t need no stinkin’ Bullpen!!!!

    Like

  149. 152 berigan2electricboogaloo June 6, 2015 at 11:35 am

    That “joke” Getting a bit old? Like watching the 30th place bullpen(Please don’t call them the worst bullpen in baseball, someone might get hurt feelings) blow multiple leads in the same game?

    Like

  150. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville June 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I guess the sad thing is after all those years of having good pitching wasted by a very unproductive and undisciplined offense, the Braves have jumped the shark and have swung 180 degrees to having an offense that resembles a beer league soft ball team, minus the home runs, and gives up runs faster than a greasy spoon diner next to a toxic waste site.

    So, does this mean that Roger McDowell is not the magician we all thought he was or is it short sightedness as to how good/bad the Braves pitching really is/was?

    Teams must be licking their chops and absolutely salivating over the idea of playing Atlanta right now. Of course the Braves can still be dangerous, you never know when a reliever might actually have a good turn.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville June 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    The local outlet will show the Angles Yankees match up tonight so I get cheated out of a Braves game… If someone watches it, let me know if Julio looks any better.

    I did watch the Cubs beat Washington 4-2 this afternoon so today has not been a total waste. Cubs have their issues with their pen too but compared to the Braves everyone else looks like Cy Young candidates…

    The sun is out, I am not sure what I am suppose to do with it… The grass now needs mowing but I really don’t care any more. Sigh, I can remember when I could hardly wait to get outside and do yard work. Now it’s just a bit longer than yesterday. As long as it is not going to seed, I think I’m good with it.

    Like

  152. 155 Vox O'Raison June 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  153. 156 Vox O'Raison June 6, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Like

  154. 157 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Like

  155. 158 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 3:07 pm

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  156. 159 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    It’s heartening to know that the Braves front office reads and heeds our advice. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  157. 160 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Punk umpire is as punk umpire does.

    Like

  158. 161 berigan2electricboogaloo June 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Sooo glad the braves didn’t keep thinking they could get by with no real changes in the bullpen…there are many teams out there needing help, so they needed to act quickly. Supplies are limited 😉

    Punk ump? Cowboy Joe West? C.B. Bucknor? Angel Hernandez:?

    Like

  159. 162 Gil in Mechanicsville June 7, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Ber, the clown calling balls and strikes today and who threw out Woods who complained on being squeezed in the 5th inning.

    While the Braves lost by a score of 3-0, the pitching was solid. Garrit Cole is both a stud and a punk…

    ANyway, the Friars come to town tomorrow. Looking for Shelby Miller to turn things around.

    A couple of good pick ups for the Braves, They don’t really have to be spectacular, just not awful… The bar is pretty low right now… Cahill should be the first to get the ax but he won’t be because he is making $6.5 million and that will buy you a lot of patience as far as management goes even if it’s just as a mop up man in lost causes.

    Like

  160. 163 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Punk umpire = today’s plate umpire Mark Carlson

    He lost control of the game after 2 Braves got plunked, and never regained his own cool. Then, well I’ll let Woody explain it from his perspective:

    “I didn’t even know I got tossed until I was up here and I heard it on the TV,” said Wood, “I said something to him first, never cussed at him, never did anything. I said I thought two of the pitches were strikes. We were about 30 feet from each other; he didn’t hear me. Walked a little closer, he said something; I didn’t hear what he said. I said it to him again. He didn’t hear what I said again. I said it to him one more time and walked away.

    “As I was walking away, I guess he decided that it was going to be good to throw me out of the game. Which I didn’t think was appropriate. I didn’t try to show him up, didn’t say anything to him during the inning.”

    But Carlson tossed him. It was weird. As I said earlier, he had already lost control of the game. I suppose he was feeling he had to do something to reassert is “authority”. It was quite amateurish, really. It changed the dynamic of the game entirely. He’s lucky a Braves pitcher didn’t go head hunting.

    Liked by 2 people

  161. 164 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Like

  162. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville June 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Kind of looking forward to seeing Matt in Atlanta. May be next season…

    Like

  163. 166 Vox O'Raison June 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I expect to see Wisler in Atlanta by season’s end. Maybe even sooner. If Williams Perez continues to tread on the edge as he has his last 2 starts, those 2 may just swap lockers.

    Like

  164. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville June 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I thought Woody looked good today. I know, he had one bad inning but if the ump calls the balls being thrown over the plate strikes, then a whole different outcome could have occurred. Still, it was not a bad game on the Braves” part. They were facing an elite pitcher, that’s all.

    Like

  165. 168 Gil in Mechanicsville June 7, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I think Perez will be okay. He is what he is, I like his swagger, he just doesn’t possess an overpowering fastball like other promising young arms.

    Like

  166. 169 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 8:09 am

    The thing about Perez is that he puts too many guys on base, forcing him to constantly get out of jams. Of 113 batters faced thus far, 52 have been with runners on base. That means he’s pitching from the stretch almost as much as he is from the windup, and he gets a clean slate at the start of each inning. He’s letting alot of guys on base.

    And the difference in opposing batting avg. is dramatic: .311 with runners on base vs. .216 clean. Not to mention all the extra pitches it takes to get out of the jams, meaning he doesn’t get past the 6th inning often… exposing a very ugly bullpen for extra innings.

    I like the kid too, but he needs to make some adjustments, either here or at AAA.

    Like

  167. 170 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Well, with little publicity and fanfare, the 2015 draft begins today and runs through Weds. Today entails the first 75 picks, of which Los Barves hold 5, being picks 14, 28, 41, 54 and 75, then come back with #89 in the 3rd round tomorrow. According to Bowman, new Braves scouting director Brian Bridges intends to “get back to what we did, and what we did successfully as a Braves family (in the past). We drafted high-end high school players that are healthy, that are championship-caliber players.”

    There are some differences this year though, as teams have a defined money pool from which they are allowed to sign their picks. This of course affects how they draft such that they have to practically know for 100% certainty that they can sign them.

    All that said, you know that the entire staff has dotted all their “i’s” and crossed all their “t’s”. I have the utmost confidence with talent guru Roy Clark back in the fold that the team has done their due diligence on all these amateur guys and that they have a sound strategy. And having 6 of the first 89 picks ought to bring home a nice bounty of talent right off the bat, if you’ll pardon the intentional pun. If we went with the Braves historical approach, I’d say it’s a virtual certainty that they’ll take a highly touted high-school arm with their first pick at 14.

    However, FOX Sports believes they are locked in on either C Tyler Stephenson or SS/3B Cornelius Randolph with #14, if one or both are still on the board. Those 2 names were repeated at another source along with OF Daz Cameron. In fact, it seems most mocks have the Braves taking a position player over a pitcher with #14. Given the recent influx of top pitching prospects, it only makes sense.

    One thing I can say with 100% certainty: we’ll know tonight. 🙂

    Like

  168. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville June 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    And that is the thing, rookie pitchers need to learn how to pitch, innings are innings no matter where you are pitching them. The expectations of a veteran is much different than a rookie, that is why he is pitching in the five hole. I’m sure Woody learned a bunch yesterday too.

    Like

  169. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville June 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I have learned to wait until the ink is dry on the contract and the kid actually makes it to the bigs before taking inventory. Everyone wants instant success these days. My take is the Braves will draft the best athlete available that is also a quality human being. The two are not always synonymous. I remember the late super scout, Sid Thrift, opining that anyone can pick talent out of a group of 20 year olds, It finding at 13 that is the trick. That is why a club wants young guys who will grow, not older players who have already reached their potential.

    I think that is why so many Latin players lie about their age. A kid who is 20 trying to say he is only 17. I suspect that might be one reason they have so many visa issues. It takes time to brib enough officials to swear to a lie.

    Anyway, look how long it took Chipper to make it to the Big Leagues. Even then, he was still a dunderhead, cheating on his first wife.

    No, the real gems are guys like Evan Gattis who was turned into a couple of really nice prospects and to be truthful, I don’t think the Astros regretted making the trade either.

    Those are the best trades, the ones that help both clubs. It is what keeps other teams relevant when you are looking to fill a void.

    The Braves have been a pleasant surprise so far this season, much better than anyone expected but there is still 2/3 of the season to go. A lot can happen between now and October. Not saying the Braves will make the playoffs but they sure can make themselve germain to who is.

    Liked by 1 person

  170. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville June 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I guess one question I would like to ask is who is going to be available at the trade deadline? I’m pretty sure the Braves will be sellers but who? Think they would flip a guy like Grille? Pretty sure they would if they are 10 games out by then. What if they are still hanging around? That is a tough call.

    What of the Mets? They really need offense to go with their abundance of pitching. Maybe C Johnson or Juan Uribe for Dillon Gee who would like to start again. The All-Star break should be telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  171. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville June 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    By the way, Juan Uribe reminds me a lot of Terry Pendleton when he was signed to play in ’91. A guy who was not great in St Louis but really stepped up with the Braves. Just the same type of talent. That and he actually appears to be enjoying his time in Atlanta. I did not know he was as good with the leather as he has shown the past couple of weeks. I guess he isn’t tired yet. He sure has made Kelly Johnson a lot less relevant.

    Like

  172. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville June 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Me thinks Chris Johnson has stepped it up a bit too.

    No, I like this team, they got beat yesterday but so be it, that’s baseball. I don’t like losing but for the most part, they did not beat themselves. It is when they throw games away that are won that gets my goat. Friday night is a prime example.

    Like

  173. 176 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    As for trades, I think they like Uribe alot. (Me too.) They’d love for someone to take CJ’s contract. Maybe Pierzinski. But Grilli’s a keeper. He’s the guy that’s here to groom closer-in-waiting Chris Withrow.

    Like

  174. 179 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    After Shelby Miller pitches brilliantly for 7 innings, the bullpen promptly surrenders a run in the 8th. Naturally.

    To quote the legend Skip Caray, “As day follows the night…”

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 180 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Oh, and by the way…

    The Braves chose HS pitchers with both the #14 & #28 picks.

    Like

  176. 181 Vox O'Raison June 8, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    And of course, the pen has now allowed the Padres to tie it. Miller ought to egg their lockers.

    Like

  177. 182 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Braves bullpen = grease fire

    Like

  178. 183 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:10 am

    On a more positive note, the Braves 5 picks from tonight are as follows:

    Round 1:
    Pick 14 = LHP Allard Kolby, San Clemente HS (SoCal), 6’1″ 175lbs DOB: 08/13/97

    Pick 28 = RHP Michael Soroka, Bishop Carroll HS (Alberta, CAN), 6’4″ 195lbs DOB: 08/04/97

    Competitive Balance Round A;
    Pick 41 = 3B Austin Riley, DeSoto Central HS (MS), 6’2″ 230lbs DOB: 04/02/97

    Round 2:
    Pick 54 = C Herbert Lucas, San Clemente HS (SoCal), 6’1″ 195lbs DOB: 11/28/96 ** battery mate of 1st pick Allard Kolby

    Competitive Balance Round B;
    Pick 75 = LHP A.J. Minter, Texas A&M (TX), 6’0″ 210lbs DOB: 09/02/93

    Like

  179. 184 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:11 am

    On a more positive note, the Braves 5 picks from last night are as follows:

    Round 1:
    Pick 14 = LHP Allard Kolby, San Clemente HS (SoCal), 6’1″ 175lbs DOB: 08/13/97

    Pick 28 = RHP Michael Soroka, Bishop Carroll HS (Alberta, CAN), 6’4″ 195lbs DOB: 08/04/97

    Competitive Balance Round A;
    Pick 41 = 3B Austin Riley, DeSoto Central HS (MS), 6’2″ 230lbs DOB: 04/02/97

    Round 2:
    Pick 54 = C Herbert Lucas, San Clemente HS (SoCal), 6’1″ 195lbs DOB: 11/28/96 ** battery mate of 1st pick Allard Kolby

    Competitive Balance Round B;
    Pick 75 = LHP A.J. Minter, Texas A&M (TX), 6’0″ 210lbs DOB: 09/02/93

    Like

  180. 185 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:11 am

    🙄

    Like

  181. 186 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Like

  182. 187 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Kolby Allard profile:

    2015 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American, 2015 California 1st Team All-Region; easy mid 90’s FB; commands all his pitches; good breaking ball and change up. A mild back injury in March limited his appearances in his senior HS season.

    Like

  183. 188 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Mike Soroka profile:

    2015 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American, 2015 Canada/Puerto Rico 1st Team All-Region; low 90’s FB. Big RH at 6’5″, 210lbs. and growing.

    Like

  184. 189 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Austin Riley profile:

    2015 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American, 2015 Southeast 1st Team All-Region; 2-way potential as 3B and RHP; mid 90’s FB. Another big RH at 6’3″, 210lbs. and growing. Huge power potential at the plate. Many scouts see him as a RHP; the Braves like his big power bat. Slugged .894 as a HS senior, w/ 11 HR’s.

    Like

  185. 190 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Herbert Lucas profile:

    2015 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American, 2015 California 1st Team All-Region; Battery mate of Kolby Allard; well-regarded for his work behind the plate; speculated that he was taken as much for Allard’s development as for his own; plus hitting tools; also plays 1B and OF.

    Like

  186. 191 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 8:39 am

    A.J. Minter profile:

    2014 (SOPHOMORE): Worked in 26 games, all out of the bullpen; 3-0 record with 2 save; 1.85 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24.1 IP; 2015 (JUNIOR): 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in 21.0 innings across four starts; struck out 29 and allowed just 1 ER; went down with elbow injury which required TJ surgery in March. The Braves say he’ll be ready for Spring Training.

    Like

  187. 192 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 9:44 am

    First, on last nights game, sigh…. It was nice while it lasted but once Shelby was lifted, you could see the buzzards circling. Once the Padres tied it in the ninth I knew we were done, it was just a matter of how soon. Alas, I think the bloom is off the rose for young Cody Martin. Avilan didn’t exactly fool em either…

    Perhaps the most damning thing however was Grille’s ill timed throw into centerfield allowing Melvin to move up 90 feet to third in the ninth and score on an out.

    Oh well, it’s all about the future… right? Hate it for Miller though, he pitched a heck of a game.

    On the draft picks… Roy Clark certainly was exuberant over his first round pick. Really young guy, Bodes well for 2019 or so, got to keep the line moving like they say. If they get three of theses guys to the majors, they will have done their jobs. Will just as likely be some kid picked in the nineteenth round..

    Okay, not just as likely… possibly though.. Never know when you are going to find that nugget, You have to keep mining, right?

    Like

  188. 193 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 10:37 am

    According to Bowman, recently signed RHRP David Aardsma will be called up before tonight’s game and Cody Martin will head back to AAA Gwinnett after sucking again last night. Of course if that is the criteria, then most of the bullpen should be sent down.

    Like

  189. 194 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Here’s a stat for ya: Atlanta’s ‘pen has compiled a 7.82 ERA over the past 14 games.

    Heck, I could pitch and achieve that, and I’d do it for less than the ML minimum. Of course, the MLBPA wouldn’t let that happen, so I guess I’ll go ahead and take the ML minimum. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  190. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Yes Vox, it’s a tough world out there and when the man holds a gun to your head and says “take the money” well, little you can do but comply…

    Not quite sure what has happened with Cody, my though is he tries to nibble too much. Not being blessed with a 95 mph plus fastball, he has difficulty challenging major league hitters. It seems to me, the strike zone has gotten smaller and smaller. Has not stopped some guys from trying to expand it at the most inopportune times.

    As a guy who could never throw a ball much over 55 mph, I can hardly imagine throwing 80 mph, mush less 95.

    Like

  191. 196 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Not quite sure what has happened with Cody

    I suspect the proverbial “book” is out on him. As you say, he nibbles then has to come back over the plate. Doesn’t take ML scouts too long to pick up on that. You simply cannot fool ML hitters. You have to have “stuff” to go along with “tactic”. One without the other is folly. Alot of kids have stuff, but have not developed “tactic”. That’s what development is for. Those who don’t learn it don’t make it… unless they’re Trevor Cahill, but I digress. Anyway, we have many kids with stuff. Now if they can just learn how to pitch, we’ll be set.

    Some point to Greg Maddux and say that he didn’t really have “stuff”, he just “knew how to pitch”. I say BAH! When you have pinpoint control, and using finger pressure – his term, not mine – you can make the ball move in whatever direction you choose, you have “stuff”. Maybe the best I’ve see in my lifetime.

    Like

  192. 197 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    * best I’ve see I’ve seen 🙄

    Like

  193. 198 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I know MLB has made a big deal over the draft, a lot more than in the past but I would think the likely less publicized but more productive international signings will have a more significant impact.

    American born players always feel they have a plan B option, Latin players, not so much. It’s baseball (sports) or go to work for the drug cartels, not a great second option…

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 199 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Whomever said Doggie didn’t have “stuff” never saw him pitch. He could make a baseball do things I have never seen any other player do. His ball was always moving, hitters knew what the pitch was, they just never knew where the pitch would be…

    Like

  195. 200 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Officially done:

    Like

  196. 201 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    And on Day 2 of the amateur draft, the Braves have thus far taken 3 more RHP, 2 college guys and a HS. They are:

    Round 3, pick 89: Anthony Guardado, Nogales HS (CA), 6’1″ 185lbs DOB: 11/14/97

    Round 4, pick 120: Josh Graham, Oregon (OR), 6’0″ 220lbs DOB: 10/14/93

    Round 5, pick 150: Ryan Clark, UNC – Greensboro (NC), 6’5″ 220lbs DOB: 12/09/93

    Like

  197. 202 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Courtesy of DOB:

    [Anthony] Guardado is a 6-foot-2, 180 pound prospect from Nogales High School in La Peunte, Calif., in Los Angeles County. He started the 2015 season late because of an injury he suffered while playing football for Nogales. Guardado posted a 1.05 ERA in 33 1/3 innings over six appearances (five starts) while allowing 14 hits and recording 55 strikeouts and 11 walks. Guardado has signed to play baseball for Long Beach State.

    [Josh] Graham is a 6-foot, 210-pound junior who posted a 2.43 ERA in 65 innings over 19 games (six starts) for Oregon in 2015. He also played catcher.

    [Ryan] Clark is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior who posted a 4.02 ERA over 95 1/3 innings in 15 starts. He was the preseason Southern Conference Pitcher of the year and earned second-team all-conference honors after the season.

    Like

  198. 203 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Anybody else noticing a pattern here? These kids, yes kids, are pretty dang big. Some will be getting bigger still.

    Like

  199. 204 berigan2electricboogaloo June 9, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I know, I know….you can never have too much pitching…but….I am pretty sure it couldn’t hurt to have some outfielders….let’s face it, the braves are not able to compete on the free agent market right now…perhaps not for several years. So, are they going to trade away pitchers like Folty, et al to get other teams young hitters??? Why not draft a hitter or 3 early on?

    Like

  200. 205 berigan2electricboogaloo June 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve heard from several folks thru the years say , back in the day, Maddux did throw low to mid 90’s….so he had that stuff before, he figured out how to make a ball dance…

    Like

  201. 206 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Yes, they like ’em big, especially young and big… The conventional wisdom is a kid will continue to grow into his body until about age 25, that is when you see a lot of shortstops move over to third etc. One reason some teams like to pick college players is they feel they are closer to being major league ready, they are more experienced, have lived away from home etc…

    Outfielders Ber? That is where kids drafted as a shortstop eventually end up. (see Perazza). There is a reason we saw so many “shortstops” drafted in the first round. Typically, they are the best athletes play on most teams loaded with talent.

    As for outfielders and Atlanta, they have a couple of good ones right now in Maybin and Markakis who they have control of for a while. Left field is currently being held by a couple of caretakers. Got to have somewhere for the bopper to play…

    On another completely different note, Matt Cain of the Giants is making a rehab start in Richmond tonight. I predict a sellout for the AA club. Still no new stadium for Richmond, thank you Doug Wilder… They are still fighting over location and it is pretty low on the city’s priority list behind a slave museum, a new jail, replacing a couple of 100 year old schools etc. Hey, let the inmates run the asylum and it is what you get…

    Like

  202. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville June 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    And one more thing, unlike basketball and football, number one picks don’t make it to the majors so fast. It will be a few years, besides, I do not wish to see another Joey Devine… bless his heart…

    Like

  203. 208 Vox O'Raison June 9, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I’m not watching. I cannot bear to watch the blowpen again. Especially in a tie game. Nope, not gonna do it.

    Like

  204. 209 chrisklob June 9, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    didn’t get to see all of tonight’s game, just the last few innings. really need to figure out this dvr thingy, especially seeing as to how i work for a cable company. but anyway……

    is anyone else as offended as i am at seeing “melvin jr” wearing a big league uniform. the fact that he scored last night made me want to puke. was so happy to see him called out at the plate tonight, even if it took a review of the play by officials to get ti right.

    and speaking of home plate, methinks (damn I HATE even seeing that in print) tonight’s home plate umpire needs a trip to pearle vision asap!

    Liked by 2 people

  205. 210 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 8:01 am

    VOX, You missed a special moment but it wasn’t an easy finish..

    Chris, Methinks it is a sign of respect to the late Bob the Journalist to pen the word. A bit passe perhaps but Bob was a bit passe himself…

    Like Jack Benny, I have learned to steal catch phrases form the best, just as long as we don’t try to claim them as our euphemisms. Just like many others of our original clan, but different… 🙂

    And yes, the DVR thingee allows me the freedom to by-pass many annoying commercials. Speaking of which, anyone else notice the AT&T commercial touting the first woman pitcher in the majors? Every notice the guy she is pitching to looks like Satchel Paige? Not a young Satchel but the guy who signed a contract to play for the Braves at age 56….

    Liked by 2 people

  206. 211 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Braves draft picks, Rounds 6-10:

    Pick 180 = RHP Matt Withrow, Texas Tech (TX), 6’3″ 230lbs DOB: 09/23/93

    Pick 180 = RHP Patrick Weigel, Houston (TX), 6’6″ 230lbs DOB: 07/08/94

    Pick 180 = LHP Ryan Lawlor, Georgia (GA), 6’0″ 170lbs DOB: 01/08/943

    Pick 180 = RHP Taylor Lewis, Florida (FL), 6’1″ 170lbs DOB: 10/04/93

    Pick 180 = RHP Stephen Moore, Navy (MD), 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 04/28/92

    By my count, 13 of their 15 picks thus far are pitchers, and all of them are fairly big in size. These last few are particularly interesting to me in that they are all college pitchers. Could they have just drafted a bullpen for 2016-2017? Maybe.

    Oh, by the way… Round 6 pick Matt Withrow is the brother of newly acquired (and 2016 closer) Chris Withrow, whom we just picked up from LA. Can you believe John managed to pick up Juan Uribe and a promising arm in what appeared to be a deal dumping Alberto Callaspo? Amazing…

    Like

  207. 212 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:29 am

    CORRECTED POST (… as I pour another much needed cup of coffee)

    Braves draft picks, Rounds 6-10:

    Pick 180 = RHP Matt Withrow, Texas Tech (TX), 6’3″ 230lbs DOB: 09/23/93

    Pick 210 = RHP Patrick Weigel, Houston (TX), 6’6″ 230lbs DOB: 07/08/94

    Pick 240 = LHP Ryan Lawlor, Georgia (GA), 6’0″ 170lbs DOB: 01/08/94

    Pick 270 = RHP Taylor Lewis, Florida (FL), 6’1″ 170lbs DOB: 10/04/93

    Pick 300 = RHP Stephen Moore, Navy (MD), 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 04/28/92

    By my count, 13 of their 15 picks thus far are pitchers, and all of them are fairly big in size. These last few are particularly interesting to me in that they are all college pitchers. Could they have just drafted a bullpen for 2016-2017? Maybe.

    Oh, by the way… Round 6 pick Matt Withrow is the brother of newly acquired (and 2016 closer) Chris Withrow, whom we just picked up from LA. Can you believe John managed to pick up Juan Uribe and a promising arm in what appeared to be a deal dumping Alberto Callaspo? Amazing…

    Like

  208. 213 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I do wonder, though, if this year’s awful blowpen played into the draft strategy at all. Surely not in the early rounds, but maybe in these last 5 picks? A little? I don’t know. I do know that these kids can’t do much worse. Give them the rest of 2015 to get acclimated to the professional level in the minor leagues, then give them all a shot at next year’s pen.

    By the way, as for this year’s pen, we shouldn’t forget that we have 2 knuckleheads coming off suspension in the 2nd half, those being LHRP Andrew McKirahan and RHRP Arodys Vizcaino. They’ve been able to work out, just not pitch in games. Viz was suspended before the season started, and McK was suspended 4/15. As much as I have a bad taste in my mouth from their actions, I’ll take them in the pen. I’m not that calloused. If Viz can throw strikes, he’s a very capable late inning pitcher. And McK might be a guy that can actually get LH batters out. What a novelty that would be, eh?

    Like

  209. 214 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Or maybe we could even assign them to the minor league teams, promoting a few guys upward, and bring up current AAA’ers Kohn, Kurcz and Feigl to the ML pen. As I said, they can’t do much worse than the current crew, can they?

    Like

  210. 215 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Or maybe we could even assign them to the minor league teams

    That could have been alot clearer. By “them”, I was referring back to our new draftees. My mind is going in many directions at once this morning. ❓

    Like

  211. 216 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Bowman breaks down the latest 5 pitchers here: http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/129649574/braves-draft-withrows-brother—-another-hurler

    6’6″, 230lb. RHP Patrick Weigel out of Univ. of Houston is of particular interest. He’s a hulking dude whose FB reaches 99mph, but who struggles with his command. Actually, that isn’t always a bad thing with a guy that throws that hard. Makes a batter think, eh? 😉 Hopefully our coaches can make a pitcher out of him.

    Like

  212. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 9:21 am

    So, the Braves drafted Nuke LaLoosh… Perhaps with a little professional instruction, he can discover 95 with movement is better than 99 that hits the bull. I know if I had ever to face a kid who could throw 99, I would have been very deep in the box and way off the plate, if he was going to hit me, he was going to have to work for it….

    I do remember once facing a hard throwing right hander (hard throwing is a relative tern to a fifteen year old) Anyway, we discovered he could not field a bunt…. Whoo hoo, it was fun…. So many young pitchers try to reinvent the wheel. They are typical teenagers, they know it all… I sometimes think the most growing that takes place between making the jump from AA to the majors is from the neck up.

    I did notice one Kris Medlin type thrown in there. Okay, maybe two… One has to think the Navy kid is either going to drop out of the Academy or serve is commission. Will have to wait and see about him. I guess that is why he is pick number 300 over all.

    Like

  213. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

    The move in baseball appears to be the movement of having pitchers who can throw in excess of 95 mph. Anyone remember when someone throwing 90 mph was considered a flame thrower?

    Okay, about last night’s outing for Folty… There is a reason he is pitching in the four slot. He is going to have games like that at least half the time. What was special was the Braves’ offense bailing him out, despite the best (worst) efforts of the home plate umpire… Doubt he will be invited to umpire the All-star game… Then again, he didn’t call a ball hit 225 feet from home plate an infield fly…

    Something is wrong when the umpires become the story…

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 219 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 10:10 am

    In 1988, John Smoltz started 12 games for the hapless Braves. His line was thus:

    2-7, 5.48 ERA, 64.0 IP, 37 K’s, 33 BB’s, 10 HR allowed.

    I remember jokingly talking about him having an imaginary friend on his shoulder named “Dinger”.

    In his first full season in 1989, his line was:

    12-11, 2.94 ERA, 208.0 IP, 168 K’s, 72 BB’s, 15 HR’s allowed.

    He learned to focus, learned to keep the BB’s down, learned to keep the ball out of the hitters’ happy zone. He made his first All-Star team.

    I say all that to say this… we can’t read too much out of what we are seeing from guys like Folty this season.

    Like

  215. 220 berigan2electricboogaloo June 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    use guys…are killin’ me! So very many posts! And a funky new emoticon! Wait, I can’t find it, where did ya find that one v? ❓
    Don’t stop posting though, even if I have to read for hours to catch up 🙂
    Yep, some big suckers, hope some can hit too! I know, no one cares that I think the org is pitcher heavy….
    No hitter last night, Giants Chris Heston. I need to remember that name, cuz that will no doubt be a trivia question .
    Posey has now caught 3 no hitters and a perfect game!

    Like

  216. 221 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Pitchers are like the highest form of currency, Ber. If you have pitching, you can acquire hitting. Just ask the Padres… and the Astros.

    Like

  217. 222 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Well, fame is fleeting. Last night’s hero, Joey Terdo, is being sent down to open a spot for KJ’s return.

    In reality, it’s a good thing for Terdo. Having missed so much time this season with injury, he probably could use the regular playing time at AAA. He’ll be back.

    Like

  218. 223 berigan2electricboogaloo June 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    V, I understand…to a point…you can use pitchers to get hitters…but, you also need….hitters…other teams have gotten tons of latin players, paid a pretty penny…the braves have been left far behind, for the most part. I read a few weeks ago, that the braves expect to be huge in the international draft…in 2016. The thought being so many teams have spend , well, I don’t know how this stuff works, it’s like the Fed Gov, other teams have gone overbudget and now have to cool their heels for awhile (well, we know the feds never really do this, but you get my point) an interesting thought, hope it works.
    But, just like the bullpen looked swell in early May, the offense looks swell now…but, I bet by the end of the year, the team will not be hitting much.
    Uribe will likely be traded (hey, he’s great, but will be 37 next year, one reason they may keep CJ, unless they can get something decent for him) and I don’t think anyone is ready to take over 3rd.
    And Maybin is great right now, but…will he be in Sept?
    He about BJ’s age, but clearly, has a better mind/attitude than BJ.
    But…he his .243 in 2012, .235 last year. If he is still raking in Sept, then he was a late bloomer who finally figured it out, and great for the team. But, We all hear guys that think they have finally cracked the code, get hot for awhile, then cool back to the back of their baseball card.
    So, it’s possible the team will need 2 outfielders next year. May need a catcher too.
    And if these pitchers work out, we are talking about what, 2020, to 2022?
    If the woman from Arkansas wins in 2016, it will all be a moot point anyway, right? 😛 ok lets not get too gloomy there Berigan!
    But seriously, unless they are all trade pieces(Man, I am growing to hate talking about players as pieces, but thats what everyone calls them) I just don’t get this…I know, arms blow out, I KNOW!
    But, the pads and Braves both had great ERA’s last year, so did Seattle, nothing came of it…Pads traded everything for the short term, and still aren’t any better, and now have a depleted farm system…
    Astros hit rock bottom, and then drafted really well…(and have given away quite a few players, Delino DeSheilds jr, unprotected, now hitting up a storm for the Rangers, J.D. Martinez, now of Tigers, and…some other folks)
    but, without an offense, they wouldn’t be doing anything….
    Look, I have to give credit for John Hart, for all the good arms he turned soon to be Free agents into…I should have more faith, but , I just don’t recall a team being so very arm heavy…
    The Cubs have too many position players, and yet, no one is offering to trade arms for their bats, at least right now….time will tell, eh?

    Like

  219. 224 Vox O'Raison June 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I bet by the end of the year, the team will not be hitting much.
    Uribe will likely be traded

    The Braves love Uribe; he isn’t going to be traded. He’s a great clubhouse presence for the kids, and he sports an expiring contract. In other words, he’s just what this team wants in 2015.

    one reason they may keep CJ, unless they can get something decent for him

    They don’t dislike CJ, but they don’t care for his contract. I know there is some disagreement here in this ‘hood over the value of his deal, but I guarantee you there isn’t a day that goes by that the FOT’s aren’t looking for an option to get rid of it. And both the team’s beat writers have said as much many times. CJ is a fine guy and a half-decent hitter. But nobody… nobody wants that deal.

    If CJ can show some productivity before the ASB, he could be a trade candidate to a team in need (NYY?). But it will have to be someone like that who picks their money out of a bigger garden than the Braves have planted.

    3B Rio Ruiz, the team’s #6 prospect, is a very good looking hitter that is likely slated for a 2017 arrival. He is an all-round athlete that is a very good defensive 3B as well as a gap to gap hitter. We may be looking at Jace Peterson at 3B in 2016 anyway since Jose Peraza needs a place to play.

    Maybin, whose deal runs through next season, is the bridge to Mallex Smith. Anything they get out of him is better than they got from Melvin, so it’s a plus regardless.

    And if these pitchers work out, we are talking about what, 2020, to 2022?

    You seem to be forgetting about a group of guys named Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims, Max Fried, Ricardo Sanchez, Tyrell Jenkins, Manny Banuelos, and Jason Hursch. Those are the team’s #2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 & 11 prospects respectively.

    You can expect to see Wisler before 2015 is out. Banuelos and maybe Hursch and Jenkins in 2016. Sims, Fried and Sanchez by 2017.

    And at that point, these dudes just drafted will be well into the developmental system. It’s all about keeping the cycle stocked, a concept that Frank didn’t quite understand.

    You have to have arms on top of arms. For every Shelby Miller who breaks through, you have a Julio Teheran who spits and sputters. And you have a Mike Minor who breaks. Out of the young guys we have now and that we have on the way, we’ll be very fortunate if half of them can stay healthy and be effective consistently.

    Like

  220. 225 berigan2electricboogaloo June 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    V, I didn’t forget all the arms in the pipeline…that’s why I don’t get going 13 out of 15 pitching….if a Mallex Smith, Perada, or Ruiz fails at a higher level, then what? once again, we will just have to agree to disagree a bit…not about BJ though, 😉

    Like

  221. 226 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Remember the “red” sweater and John Smoltz’s need to stay focused… It is what it is, kids need to learn how to harness that cannon they have been blessed with. That takes time. On Folty… I see a young kid who has a high ceiling, he is just going thru growing pains at a high level.

    Maybin is reaping the fruits of what going into his meat and potatoes years. 26 is a magic number for athletes, especially outfielders.

    If Freddie Free would learn to go with the pitch rather than being pull happy, his strike out rate would be cut in half and his BA would rise 100 points, just saying…

    Power hitters have a lower BA, but they need to understand that sometimes a single to the off field is better than a solo home run when the game is on the line. He is still young, maybe someone will finally get thru to him.

    On regressing to you numbers on the back of the card, ask Fredi G how that worked out waiting on Dan Uggla. It is all about making adjustments when the other guy makes adjustments. Experience let you know when to make those adjustments and how.

    So many lead worthy post being made here, a shame so few availed themselves of them.

    Like

  222. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Okay, the question I had about Moore (USNA) and number 10 oick has been answered, I think..

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/129787778/before-taking-flight-us-navyss-stephen-moore-reporting-to-braves

    Like

  223. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    oick? could that possible become a word? Like something a startled pig would utter…

    Okay should read pick…. Dumb computer///

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 229 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Okay, fun game so far but as we have seen, things can turn around real quick for the Bravos. Perez is a lot more under control tonight..

    Like

  225. 230 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Chris Johnson is not endearing himself to many people…

    Like

  226. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Braves Minor League catcher Chris O’Dowd was suspended for 80 games on Wednesday after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.

    What is wrong with these kids?

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville June 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Okay Braves….. 4-1

    Like

  228. 233 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 7:36 am

    I am typically out of pocket on Wednesday evenings, and last night was no exception. It’s good to hear that Williams Perez chose NOT to walk the tightrope last night.

    7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. 98 pitches, 61 strikes

    That’s a mighty nice line. I would have preferred for Fredi to let him go back for the 8th inning though. Those dang pitch counts are becoming an obsession with managers and GM’s. Ask Leo Mazzone what he thinks about pitch counts. How many pitchers did Leo have go down during his tenure? Oh well, What do I know? I’m just a dude on a blog. I suppose those who get paid to make decisions know what they’re doing.

    Like

  229. 234 berigan2electricboogaloo June 11, 2015 at 8:15 am

    What is wrong with these kids?
    Gil, a lot, sadly enough….lets see if I can make any sense here this early….
    I’m not sure if you all know my deep dark secret….ok, not a secret, nor deep or dark….but may not have mentioned I worked at bookstores throughout the 90’s and a little bit in 2004-05 before my Mom’s health went downhill…anyway, since blowing out not 1, but 2 discs in my back, I have mainly worked from home. But, some folks know about my management experience and when I walked into a small bookstore, the manager who I haven’t seen in awhile, stopped me and said, ooooh, we really need managers throughout the chain cuz….well, managers quit more often than ever because millennials are VERY Hard to motivate, they think just showing up is good enough…(I don’t even think my back would allow me to stand 8-9 hours and then I have to motivate the unmotivated, yay! 😉 ) they even mentioned a staffer at their store that tries to vap marijuana around co-workers! 😯 (they deny there is mary jane in the thingy, but one worker is allergic to it) and this seems to be a chronic problem with most of the young workers hired, they call out on busy days (saturdays) often after their shifts would have started…it was pretty rare when I was working at bookstores that you couldn’t get the kids to work, at least at first.
    I play a lot of trivia as you all may recall (usually Mon, Tues, Wed, where sadly I often can’t see the games cuz of soccer and other “sports” on TV) the team I play on is pretty darned good, but we have had to resort in bringing a phone jammer….why? Because teams of teens/college students will come in, look up answers under the table, and will win. Of course the trivia hosts warn folks not to cheat, and once in awhile disqualifies a team…they laugh it off…so we bring in a jammer, and if a team of 18 year olds is in first after 10 questions, we whip it out, and suddenly they fall to middle of the pack…(To be fair, a few middle aged folks will try to cheat too)
    So clearly, morality is going downhill, which isn’t really shocking these days, is it? 😦
    I had another thought pop in my mind…sorta ties into a lack of morals….and desiring to play in the majors, which is something we all can understand at least. I have no earthly idea when he first started, but just looked at his minor league numbers…his first stop in low A ball? 5 for 61, for a robust .104 BA. I can see a kid panicking and thinking, hey I don’t want to be released, hmmm, I wonder what steroids/HGH, ete would do for me???
    I can also see a good player wondering if PED’s would make him great….
    Does it bother me? Yep….still more P.O’ed when I see some athlete busted for DUI….at least when some dope, dopes himself, he is only risking his health….

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 235 berigan2electricboogaloo June 11, 2015 at 8:22 am

    V, I hear ya on pitch counts! Especially when guys are under 100….but, and there is always one…if you are a manager seemingly on unsafe ground (and while I think it’s safe to say he is not an all-time favorite of anyone here, it’s not really fair to him, he has gotten a lot out of this motley group of players, this team is not the doormat I am sure most every expert, and most every team thought they would be this year, at least so far) would you want to put your 4th best starter out for the 8th, have him give up a hit or a walk, then bring in an iffy bullpen arm? Next day John Hart, and everyone on talk radio is wondering why you did that…even though, it seems like a pretty good idea to us.
    A Bobby Cox, a Joe Torre, they could get away with it…F.G. can’t…he has to play it safe….

    Like

  231. 236 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:02 am

    And the Trevor Cahill era in ATL is mercifully over.

    Like

  232. 237 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:04 am

    BULLETIN!!!!

    12:10pm start today guys and gals.

    Like

  233. 238 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Like

  234. 239 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Julio is on the bump today on a hot and humid afternoon. Perhaps he will have his grip today and we’ll see the Dr. Jeckyl Julio and not the Mr. Hyde Julio.

    Like

  235. 240 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Dr. Jeckyl? Dr. Jekyll? Yes, Dr. Jekyll. Not a name I spell every day… 🙄

    Like

  236. 241 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:23 am

    OK… for those keeping up with such things, C Wil Nieves is putting together a decent season at AAA Gwinnett. He’s batting .255 with a .349 OBP. He picked up the walk-off RBI in yesterday’s win.

    Why is this important? I still believe that AJP will be a trade chip for John next month, but only if there are good options to join Betty in ATL. Nieves, who has ML experience, is making himself a viable candidate.

    AJ’s expiring $2M deal is so infinitely attractive, especially in light of his borderline All-Star season. Who knows, Ber… maybe a team with a stockpile of OF could use a good C? Maybe?

    Like

  237. 242 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 10:34 am

    OK… here I go bouncing around again, but circling back to Trevor Cahill, I just ran across something pretty interesting. Given his losing his job but not his salary, we might say, “Well, we just wasted $5.5M that could have been spent somewhere else!!”

    But wait, there’s more… (homage to the late Billy Mays)

    According to MLBTR’s Steve Adams:

    The real value for the Braves, however, was likely in a technically separate but still-connected trade that was announced a couple of days after the Cahill swap. On Opening Day, the Braves traded minor league outfielder Victor Reyes to the D-Backs in exchange for their Round B Competitive Balance draft pick — the 75th overall selection in the 2015 draft. Comp Balance picks are tradeable, but not in the offseason. As such, a separate deal after the start of the regular season was used as a loophole, though reports at the time of the trade immediately linked that swap to the Cahill trade.

    The Braves essentially paid $5.5MM to gamble on a rebound from Cahill and to acquire a reasonably strong draft pick, which they used to select left-hander A.J. Minter, who very well could have been selected a good deal higher had he not undergone Tommy John surgery in the spring.

    Bowman tweeted earlier today Braves officials believe Minter, LHRP at Texas A&M, could have joined the ML bullpen at some point this year if not for his injury. As it stands, his injury dropped him in the draft to the point that ATL was able to snag him with Pick 75.

    I always find it intriguing to see some of the deeper layers of moves that we rarely are aware of. I admit to shaking my head more than once on the Cahill deal, wondering what John was thinking. Now I know what John was thinking. He wanted that pick. Now I get it.

    Like

  238. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville June 11, 2015 at 11:15 am

    always interesting to read ya’lls comments in the morning. I have put a visit to the blog at the top of my morning to do list for just such banter.

    I had a dream this morning that I was late for work and could not find the phone number to call in. By the time I got through to someone, they could not find the number either. By this time it was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I was trying to think of a good excuse as to why I didn’t show up for work. Then it came to me… WAKE UP, IT’S ONLY A DREAM…..

    I wonder if young O’Dowd is hoping the same thing?

    Anyway, On Cahill, I wish him every success somewhere, Maybe his time in Atlanta was beneficial in some way but sounds to me like Cahill was part of a plan to spread the pain around to get rid of a bad contract. Don’t be surprised to see the same thing happen with Chris Johnson at some point. I’m sure there are a couple of teams that could use his services, just not at his current price.

    With BJ’s contract off the books and the $13 mil the Braves are paying for Uggla to sit on the National’s bench this season set to expire next year, the Braves will have a bit more spending flexibility next season. That said, Kevin Millar on the MLB network commented on the amazing story of the Braves and their band of misfit toys this season. Said they have willed themselves to stay relevant this season.

    I think it puts John Hart in a tough spot. If the Braves are ten back at the trade deadline, it’s a no brainer for him to move veterans like A.J. for prospects. Not like it a bunch of cash invested in him but he is one of the motivating forces on this team right now and if the Braves as still hanging around only one or two games out or even in first place (hey, it could happen) then it is a tough call to break up the team.

    This year’s team is sort of like a combination of the ’91 team and the ’05 team. Neither were given a chance yet both persevered those seasons. Sometimes you are not that good but neither are the teams around you for whatever reason.

    Okay, time to prep for the early game, Miss Josie has chores planned for me today but the DVR works if needed…

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 244 Gil in Mechanicsville June 11, 2015 at 11:29 am

    One more opine, it’s only the first third of the season but now is the time teams are looking to line up the pieces they think will make the difference. It is around the All-star break that we begin to see separation between the leaders and the also rans.

    The Stros are falling back to the pack, a condition that often happens to really young teams that rely heavily of home runs to win, sound familiar?

    Like

  240. 245 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Rain delay in “The A”. Looking at the radar, it’s an isolated shower only over the Turner Field area. It isn’t raining over SunTrust Park. Just sayin’.

    Like

  241. 246 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 12:44 pm

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  242. 247 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Live stream of construction at SunTrust Park: http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ballpark/suntrust-park/live-webcam/

    Like

  243. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville June 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Okay, cooling my jets waiting for the game to start, was just musing how much better Andruw Jones could have been if he had met Kevin Siztner early in his development…

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 249 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Wow what a DP!!!

    Like

  245. 250 Vox O'Raison June 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Kinda hard to blame the blowpen when the starter puts 2 guys on with no outs, then the catcher contributes a passed ball and an interference. :-/

    Like

  246. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville June 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Well, guys, I don’t think you can put this one on the pen…

    Like

  247. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville June 11, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I was guilty of catcher’s interference once, my mitt ended up on the pitcher’s mound. Taught not to reach for the ball…

    Like

  248. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville June 12, 2015 at 12:27 am

    So, the goat horns have been firmly affixed to Bethancourt’s head. For a kid who was touted to be a defensive star coming up through the system, he looks more like Evan Gattis behind the plate every day but without the power… Just saying…

    I guess it is too early to give up on him quite yet but when added to a shaky bullpen, Braves fans have reason to wonder if the Braves can afford to trade Perzinski? Growing pains of a rookie who is still learning his craft or a bill of goods we were sold on by the Braves front office?

    Okay, on to New York but it would have been a happier ride had the eight inning fiasco not occurred. Do the Braves need to add a catcher to their must have list?.

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 254 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Gil, what you just said.

    I don’t know what to think about Betty. Game after game I begin to think he just simply is not cut out for the ML. I guess in reality, there is yet a slim ray of hope that he can still break through. But honestly, I’m not seeing it.

    Yesterday’s game was deplorable. The passed ball is simply not acceptable. And then the catcher’s interference? Really? And it was so blatant! Not even borderline. His glove was way out over the plate. Dude is lucky he didn’t get his hand broken.

    When you shoot yourself in the foot, you can still limp off to get treatment. When you shoot both feet, you can only lay down and whimper. Betty held the smoking gun yesterday.

    Like

  250. 255 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 7:29 am

    But the bullpen is still a major issue (And Fredi’s management of it yesterday was not exactly stellar either.)

    Mr. O’B pointed out to a troll yesterday (who wanted everybody fired and wanted the team to play all youngsters) that this team would easily be over .500 and in 1st place if the bullpen were even middle-of-the-pack. That’s kind of startling to think, but I have to agree with him. I cannot remember the exact number, but it seems that the Braves have lost about 8-9 games when leading after the 7th inning. That’s a staggering number.

    Like

  251. 256 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 7:34 am

    I found the number… 8 losses when leading after the 6th inning. Just split those 8 games and your 33-27 and 1.5 games up on the Mets in the NL East.

    Incredible.

    Liked by 2 people

  252. 257 Carolina Lady June 12, 2015 at 7:40 am

    What would be the difference with Kimbrel still in the pen? I’m sure I’m wrong, but I still think it was a mistake to trade him.

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 258 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 8:22 am

    What would be the difference with Kimbrel still in the pen?

    First and foremost, we’d still have Melvin in CF and Cameron Maybin would not be on the team.

    As for the pen, CK would help to redefine some roles, but it’s the underperformance of Luis Avilan and every other name out there with the possible exception of Jason Grilli, and to a lesser degree Jim Johnson.

    Johnson has been very good and been bad at at times. Grilli has been pretty good. He’s 16 of 18 in save chances, as opposed to Kimbrel who is 14 of 15. And Grilli actually has a lower ERA.

    All that said, having Kimbrel would have bumped Grilli into a support role, which in turn would have bumped someone else out. No question the pen would be better. But at what cost? The fact that Melvin is NOT on this team is a major improvement. That cannot be understated. As hard as it is to say it, we’re a much better team without Kimbrel simply by the subtraction of Melvin.

    Like

  254. 259 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 8:25 am

    To emphasize…

    The fact that Melvin is NOT on this team is a major improvement. That cannot be understated or repeated enough. The Braves are a much better team without Kimbrel simply by the subtraction of Melvin.

    Like

  255. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville June 12, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Have to agree on that one VOX, as much as I loved Kimbrel, he had to be sacrificed just to be able to move Melvin. Kind of think the Padres felt the same about Maybin. For sure, he is not the player right now he was in SD. Never underestimate the power of being comfortable in your own skin. Cameron has finally become the player he was envisioned to be when he was drafted in the first round by the Tigers. It has just taken a long time for his brain to catch up with his physical talent.

    Now back to Bethancourt…. We all pretty much knew he was not going to be the next coming of Mike Piazza with the bat but we also didn’t think he would possess Mike’s lack of prowess behind the dish. Another one of Frank Wren’s smoke bombs we wanted to badly to believe in.

    As Braves’ fan, we have come to expect offense over defense in what has been a defensive position. Having Brian McCann play the position for eight years will do that for you. For all the Buster Poseys and Jonathan LuCroys, there are many more Corky Millers and John Bucks. Catching is a very mental position, in addition to being one of the most physically demanding positions on the field, you also have to out thinks every opposing batter and anticipate and deal with all the different personalities on a staff. Does’nt leave a lot of time to work on your own problems at the moment with a bat.

    I remember when Javy Lopez was coming up, he allowed way to many passed balls but because he was an offensive force, it was tolerated by Bobby Cox, the only guy who was allowed to have their own personal caddie was Greg Maddux.

    So, from number one on the depth chart to a big question mark, John Hart needs to seriously evaluate Betty’s future. I don’t think their are any more Molina brothers left out there who are not spoken for. That said, the Braves have a problem which at this point was totally unexpected Yes, the Braves are going to experience some growing pains this season but the catching position was not expected to be one of them, not from a defensive position, not if he can’t cover it up with his bat as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  256. 261 Carolina Lady June 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Wonder if Melvin even considers that he’s the one person who destroyed an entire professional ball club? What a #)(^y_+&(# !

    Liked by 2 people

  257. 262 Gil in Mechanicsville June 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

    CL, I think he had inside help…

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  258. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville June 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I’ll bet the discussions that take place at the highest levels of the Braves organization are not that much different than those that take place here on the old B&S… Except they have a lot more resources and inside information but they can see the same things that we see. Got to be frustrating for Hart and company, mixed emotions and all, Knowing that you have carte blanc to lose but knowing you are not really out of it either….

    Like

  259. 264 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    not really out of it either…

    Only 2.5 games out of the lead, and facing said division leaders for a 3 game tilt. Conceivably, they could leave the Big Apple with the lead. Realistically, we should hope that they can take 2 of 3 and trim a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 266 Gil in Mechanicsville June 12, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Yes Vox, 2 out of three would be a real feather in the cap of the Braves. The Mets are having problems scoring runs but that could change once they get into the Atlanta pen.

    Alex Woods vs the ageless wonder, Bartolo Colon, Shelby Miller vs Jacob deGrom and Mike Foltynewicz vs Noah Syndergaard. Wow, all of those could go either way, if it comes down to bull pens, I’m still not sure who has the edge. two out of three could be good for either team with the Mets having home field advantage…. I’m not betting my house on this series…

    Like

  261. 267 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Those are 3 really good pitching matchups. It ought to be a good weekend for baseball in Flushing.

    Like

  262. 268 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    CL, that was a fantastic article. I think it capsulizes this season very well.

    Like

  263. 269 Vox O'Raison June 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Oh crap…

    Liked by 1 person

  264. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville June 13, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Not worried, just get a lead before the ninth inning.

    Braves had their chances last night, could not come up with the big hit when they needed it. Is that good pitching or poor hitting? Maybe both…

    The gNats have more problems than just at closer.

    Like

  265. 271 Vox O'Raison June 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Well, I missed the game today, but caught up with the action by reading chronologically through the Tweets.

    Funny thing… so may so-called experts want to run up the white flag on the Braves. But the Braves didn’t get that memo and simply will not give up the fight. I like this team. I like the players. I love Cameron Maybin. He might make a mistake or two, but it’s in trying too hard. Williams Perez answered the bell today. This is a true team in every sense of the word. I like ’em. I like ’em alot.

    Liked by 1 person

  266. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Cameron went from Zero to Hero in sixty seconds…. Slipped those nasty looking goat horns slick as a whistle. T’was tough for Shelby to not get that win, he was a stud today. A true number one.

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t give the Braves’ a chance in h*** of winning that game after forcing Shelby out in the seventh. Oh ye of little faith… I should know better than give up on this year’s team. They just refuse to go away. Doesn’t hurt for the Mutts to play a bit sloppy afield either.

    Early game (1:10 PM) Sunday, then off to Boston for two.

    Like

  267. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Funny thing, reading about how so many people feel that trading Kimbrel has resulted in the Braves having so many blown saves. While I would love to have Craig as a member of the current and future bullpen, would the Braves even have been in a position for all those blown save opportunities with Melvin Upton Jr. still a member of the Braves?

    I am thinking I should go ahead and do a little research and not just use the eye test to support my hypothesis but does anyone seriously think Cameron Maybin hasn’t been a serious upgrade in centerfield over all the other possible scenarios facing the Braves this season?

    In addition to Maybin, the Braves picked up throw away Carlos Quinton and minor leaguers Matt Wisler and Jordan Paroubeck, who is still in the rookie Gulf Coast League. Wisler, who is starting in Gwennett, has a lot of upside and if left to continue to develop in the minor leagues for the rest of the season, stands to become an important cog in the Braves’ pitching rotation soon.

    The money this season appears to pretty much a wash but the fact the Braves were able to hang the albatross around the necks of the Padres really gives one the true sense of how much the Friars coveted Kimbrel. I expect the Padres, being flush with TV money, will part ways with the older Upton but it is going to be really expensive for them to retain the services of little brother Justin past this season.

    Like

  268. 274 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Ber, I know you are less than enamored with Mike Foltynewicz at this point but let’s be realistic, he may not be a Gerrit Cole, he would be a super star if he had been give a couple of more years to develop in the minors. He is still learning how to pitch, look how long it took Smoltzy to become a winner.

    He is basically a two pitch, okay one and a half, pitcher right now. His problem is when pitching to contact, hitter are making a little too good contact, that is corrected with changing speeds and movement. Given that he can hump the ball up to the plate at 98mph means he has to learn how to harness that power to throw strikes and balls that look enough like strikes to keep opposing batters off balance.

    Today should be another good learning experience for him. He might even get lucky and have enough offensive support to win the game. The real key, be able to go deep in the game by not going deep in counts.

    Like

  269. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Ah well, Betty is at it again. Maybe the Braves need to assign Eddie Perez to tutor Bethancourt a bit. Unlike Javy Lopez, Christian’s bat is not going to keep him in the big leagues…

    Like

  270. 276 berigan2electricboogaloo June 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Gil, honest, I don’t have an issue with ol’ Folty! I like him…I think I was the one who pointed out how back Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine were their first season(s)
    Now, before he came up, and all I could see was his limited work in Houston…well, I know Juan Jaime throws hard too…looks a lot smoother now….
    Now Bethencourt…they said in 29 games, 5 passed balls….and amazingly….3 passed balls in his last 3 games with the one in the 1st inning.
    He HAS to go back to the minors…perhaps AA. .he needs a taste of 2 1/2 star dinning for a month or so to remind him to work a little harder on the defense…..plus he can get some practice working with the up and comers…

    Like

  271. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    And what of Jace Peterson? This guy was the Padre’s number three prospect at 2nd base? I guess he was pretty happy with the trade to Atlanta.

    Liked by 1 person

  272. 278 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    My bad Ber… My wit-O-meter is on the blink, going back and re-reading your comments, I recognize your point much more clearly now.

    I’m thinking Folty needs to stick with the old number one… The mutts ore teeing off on his slider.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 279 Vox O'Raison June 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Folty didn’t really have a true slider until late this spring. His breaking ball of choice was a slow curve that he’d lop up their but would hang too often. Late in the spring, somebody (Shelby I think) showed him a new grip and Roger taught him to tighten up the spinner and throw it at top speed… thus the new slider. Actually, it’s more of a slurve, given the angle at which it breaks. So in reality, he’s learning it on the job. When it’s working, he’s almost unhittable. When it isn’t, well you all can see. But as we’ve said many times, that is the plight of the young pitcher – to gain consistency. That pitch will eventually become his “out” pitch. We just have to bear with him through the growing pains…

    Like

  274. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    There was a time when the Braves would make short work of an opposing team when they had a big lead but knowing who and what is available out of the pen, you just cannot feel comfortable no matter how many runs the Braves score.

    Like

  275. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    But, the Braves are playing with house money right now so what the hey…. Enjoy what we can when we can for as long as we can…

    Like

  276. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    SIGH! It was fun for about 5 innings but somehow you just knew the pen would blow it… At what point does Hart and Co dump the whole pen and start over?

    I know, I know, the Braves are not suppose to be this close to the front at this point in the season but it has to be gut wrenching for a team to score 8 runs and lose after leading big.

    and what of Folty? 75 pitches and Fredi pulls the plug? Was he hurt? Are the trading him? It was strange…

    Like

  277. 283 berigan2electricboogaloo June 14, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    There was a time when the Braves would make short work of an opposing team when they had a big lead but knowing who and what is available out of the pen, you just cannot feel comfortable no matter how many runs the Braves score.
    Wow we need to start callin’ you NostraGilus 😉

    Like

  278. 284 Gil in Mechanicsville June 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Ber, Sadly it’s pretty easy to predict the future when you can recognize the past.

    Like

  279. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville June 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Reading the comments about the latest in the Braves list of woes, the players were quick to defend the bullpen and by default, the starting staff for failure to win another game in which they scored 8 runs. Well, Grille has a point when he says it’s a team sport. Win as a team, lose as a team.

    To be honest, I cannot blame Roger McDowell nor Fredi Gonzalas either. After all, he was not the architect of the current assemblage of arms configuring the Braves’ pitching staff. I also cannot say the trading of Craig Kimbrel on the eve of the season is a cause of the current state of affairs either.

    Nope, I am of a mind that the Braves brain trust, thinking they had a motley assemblage of misfits following the off loading of “offense” that the team would be so anemic offensively, no one would notice the vacuum of space called the bullpen. In retrospect, the trading/releasing of Anthony Varvaro, David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve was not altogether unwise seeing that Varvaro was hurt and David Carpenter was ineffective. Jordan Walden is on the DL again and the return garnered for he and Jason Heyward is a wealth of riches in Shelby Miller.

    Let’s be honest about it, a number five starter, a rookie has an expectation of one good start in every three. Folty is falling short right now and I suspect he is suffering from tired arm syndrome. It happens with young players subjected to the rigors of the major leagues. Is it time to switch out Wisler for Foltynewicz? I don’t really know the answer to that, I think the expectation that Wisler would be a savior is unwise. Same may be true of Banuelos, not having seen either pitch, I can only go on what is written. Both have good stats at triple A right now but they are pitching against Triple A talent so who knows?

    The Braves are not out of this thing but they are not gaining ground either. I am sure it is disheartening to the position players as well as the pitching staff to continue to lose winnable games. Some games you are going to lose straight up but scoring five runs and still coughing up a lead can start to weigh heavy on a club. What is the answer?

    You cannot win a horse race when you have a stable full of nags, you can however plow with them. If the Braves are unwilling to trade some of the bevy of prospects they have accrued, the only answer to me is to start with the auditions of some of those prospects. I cannot see where the Braves have anymore to lose going that route. They have a decent team of position players, time to give them something to shoot for.

    Like

  280. 286 berigan2electricboogaloo June 15, 2015 at 9:44 am

    wow….
    David O’Brien ‏@DOBrienAJC 16h16 hours ago

    #Braves have hit .300 and scored 60 runs in their past 12 games, but won just four of them.

    Like

  281. 287 berigan2electricboogaloo June 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I hope it was just a bad day, but Folty did not have his “A” fastball yesterday. Joe was getting PO’ed that he wasn’t throwing more fastballs, abut when he threw the 2nd home run pitch he said, well, thats a fastball, but better to be beat on your best pitch than on a curve…or something like that…
    anyway, it was 91 MPH which no one talked about. Working on a 2 seemer? Several were 93 MPH, saw one 96 MPH that I recall….

    Like

  282. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville June 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Yes Ber, it was a poorly performing bullpen that lead to the Texiera trade. No need to go that route, you simply cannot outscore your awn bad bullpen night after night.

    By all accounts, Roger McDowell is an outstanding pitching coach so the problem has to be the raw material he has been given to work with.

    Like

  283. 289 berigan2electricboogaloo June 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Wow, they really listen to all of us, don’t they? 😆
    By Steve Adams [June 15, 2015 at 12:59pm CDT]

    Earlier this morning, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that the Braves would option struggling catcher Christian Bethancourt to Triple-A Gwinnett (Twitter link). While the corresponding move was not reported at the time, Atlanta has since announced that it will select the contract of Ryan Lavarnway to take Bethancourt’s place. Bethancourt, 23, has batted just .208/.231/.297 in 2014 plate appearances this season. While his elite arm behind the plate would be enough to outweigh a reasonable amount of offensive struggles, that batting line translates to the seventh-worst wRC+ in all of baseball among players with 100 PAs. Via David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, president of baseball ops John Hart likened the Bethancourt demotion to the 2014 demotions of Kolten Wong and Mike Moustakas. Each, like Bethancourt, was a former Top 100 prospect that had struggled in the Majors but has taken a step toward stardom since returning to the bigs. The Braves will hope that’s the outcome for Bethancourt, but in the meantime, they’ll hand his role to Lavarnway. The 27-year-old Lavarnway is a former Top 100 prospect himself, but he’s never replicated the promise he showed in a 2013 cup of coffee when he batted .299/.329/.429 in 84 PAs with Boston.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/06/nl-east-notes-bethancourt-lavarnway-wright-mets-brown.html

    Like

  284. 290 Vox O'Raison June 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    No surprise about Betty. Dude needs a wake up call. Hopefully this is it. Also no surprise that they dropped an OF (Cunningham) down to bring up an extra arm (Marimon) for a day or three… especially for tonight since Williams Perez made a relief appearance last week. I suspect Ham will be back soon. He’s done plenty to stick around, but he also has options and the Braves needed an extra insurance arm. They really don’t want to have Chris Johnson warming up in the pen again.

    Liked by 1 person

  285. 291 Gil in Mechanicsville June 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I’ll be honest, I can live with a .200 BA from a catcher if he can throw out a high percentage of base runners and handle a pitching staff and block balls in the dirt as well as not allow passed balls. Let’s be honest, Evan Gattis was shaky behind the plate but he could turn a baseball around as fast as anybody in the league except maybe Stanton. I think the BA is an excuse to sell the unwashed masses on the justification demoting Bethancourt, for me it is the continued unforced errors that affects the confidence pitchers have to throw balls in the dirt, not to mention other gaffs.

    In the National League, one should not be looking for offense from their shortstop or catcher. To do so means they are lacking somewhere else. Both are defensive positions, Yes, it is nice to have offense from every position but the two I mentioned are first and foremost defensive in nature and always will be.

    Corky Miller and John Buck didn’t make it to the Bigs due to their prowess with a bat. Betty was supposed to be the second coming of Charles Johnson. Hasn’t happened.

    That said, the kid is only 23 years old, He still has time to grow up if he has the right stuff.

    Like

  286. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville June 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    The Padres fired Bud Black today… Well, there is another job that will be opened at the end of the season in Atlanta methinks…

    Like

  287. 293 Vox O'Raison June 15, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I think the BA is an excuse to sell the unwashed masses on the justification demoting Bethancourt, for me it is the continued unforced errors that affects the confidence pitchers have to throw balls in the dirt, not to mention other gaffs.

    I don’t think they are white washing anything. Fredi was pretty straightforward that they discussed it on the flight and decided he has to work on all of his receiving skills, and he can’t do it at the major league level. The tools are there, but the skills are not very… “skillful” at the moment.

    Like

  288. 294 Vox O'Raison June 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I have just turned the game on and we have a 3 run lead in the 8th. Dang. They have us just where they want us! 😐

    Like

  289. 295 Vox O'Raison June 15, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    ajc.com: Asked what Bethancourt needed to work on, Gonzalez said: “I think he just needs to work on catching. But it’s hard to work those things out here at the big league level and try to produce.

    Like

  290. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville June 15, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Yes, VOX, Fredi owned up to the problem but it was not the message coming out of John Hart’s mouth.

    Great game tonight, yep, always dicey with the pen. Williuams looked good tonight.

    Like

  291. 297 berigan2electricboogaloo June 16, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Man, that last inning was dicey though….since Simmons had a badly swollen left hand, he shouldn’t have been out there for the 9th inning…..nearly cost the team the game.
    Red Sox are really bad, bet they fire their manager next….not that it’s his fault, it’s just what you do to Managers a few years after winning a W.S.

    Like

  292. 298 berigan2electricboogaloo June 16, 2015 at 8:28 am

    errr, right hand…he throws right handed, correct? 😕

    Like

  293. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville June 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Ber, he probably felt like he was playing with two left hands.

    The Red Sox spend a lot of money, they are purported to have a very deep farm system, there is that expectation of winning in Boston. Of course it is always the manager who gets fired. If Bud Black is let go, well, we all know the manager is the easiest scapegoat.

    Like

  294. 300 Gil in Mechanicsville June 16, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Anyone have a backdoor to Mark Bradley’s column? Would like to read Hart’s comments.

    On Williams Perez, If the kid had an arm to go with his moxie, he’d be an All-star. He seems pretty unflappable right now. He is not bless with an arm like Folty but he has mound presence.

    Grille always seems to be pitching on thin ice in the ninth. I thought Jim Johnson looked really good in the eight.

    The pen has been used a lot this season, partly because the starters have faltered late, partly because the Braves have still been in so many games late.

    Anyone else notice how many teams are hovering around .500 this season.? Of course you have a couple of teams who have kind of run off and hid like the Cardinals but no one is building a big lead. The Cubs are good and the Pirates too. The won’t let the Cards get too far ahead in that division.

    The Mets are like the Braves but luckier with a slightly better pen. The Nats are beat up right now, something that seems to plague that team. It is a testament to their depth they are still over .500. That and a nice winning streak earlier in the season.

    Like

  295. 301 Gil in Mechanicsville June 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Working on a new lead…. Watch this space 🙂

    Like

  296. 302 Gil in Mechanicsville June 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    NEW BLOG UP…..

    Like


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