156: The Home Stretch & The Braves Heat Up

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

by Gil ‘N Mechanicsville

So here we are, the final month of the season. A point in the past where we have seen the Braves totally collapse and limp into the postseason. No such worries this year, the Braves lost this season in April with a 5 wins, 18 loss record. May and June were hardly any better going 10-18 and 12-16 respectfully, so yes, it was over early for los Bravos. In fact, until August 31st, the Braves appeared to have a stranglehold on having the first overall pick in the 2017 draft.

All that seems to have turned around though with a good, not great record, but relative to the rest of the season, a very good August. 13-15 for the month is not going to win many championships but considering the state of the Braves pitching staff, it was a pretty spectacular month. Two things seem to have the greatest impact on the turnaround for the home boys in Atlanta: (1) Matt Kemp and (2) resurgence in the young pitchers.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp, no longer the All-star caliber player he was in LA is still head and shoulders above anyone else the Braves have had playing left field in years. He was traded for a guy who was a huge disappointment for all concerned with both the Dodgers and Braves. The Dodgers did at least recover some of their investment but the Braves basically ate about 30MM dollars. A guy who was so toxic, the Padres dropped him before he could get on a plane and fly to San Diego. Of course Olivera will have to console himself with the 62 million dollars he is signed for. A fellow can live pretty well in the Dominican Republic with that kind of scratch.

Matt Kemp was a salary dump for the Padres, plain and simple. All I can say is it must have been a pretty miserable marriage for the offensively challenged Padres to want him off their roster. Kemp showed up in Atlanta about 30 pounds overweight and somewhat out of shape but he has made a big difference for Freddie Freeman in particular and the Braves in general. No longer fleet afoot, he still can drive in runs and has played a decent left field. In the final game with San Diego, he actually laid out for a sinking line drive. He came up just short and the ball rolled to the wall for a triple but hey, up by 7 runs at the time, it was gutsy and I’m sure the effort was not lost on his teammates.

This team might be well out of it but they are not playing like it. The final month of the season is upon us and the Braves can only play the role of spoilers. They will again be playing a majority of NL East rivals. While the Nationals have pretty much wrapped up the division, the Mets and the Marlins are both clawing for a wild card berth. The Braves are playing for a modicum of respect and several are playing for a spot on next season’s roster.

It should be interesting as to who will make up the roster when the Braves take the field in their new ballpark next April. Truthfully, I only see two spots on the roster as being givens: Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson;  everyone else is on the bubble as far as I can tell. It should be an interesting offseason for the Braves.


401 Responses to “156: The Home Stretch & The Braves Heat Up”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady September 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Excellent, Gil! There’s hope! Thanks so very much for writing this for us!


  2. 2 berigan2electricboogaloo September 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Excellent work Mr Gil!!!
    I think Kemp was traded cuz the young GM looked at his WAR and decided he wasn’t worth a plug nickel…
    I need to go off on WAR , what a complete joke it is if we are to believe Kemp is no better than any ol Left fielder…who are you going to believe, your eyes or the lying stats that say he stinks?????


  3. 3 Vox O'Reason September 6, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    DO’B says he expects the Braves to sign Tim Tebow to a minor league deal. He doesn’t cite a source or even anyone “unnamed”. Just says he expects it.

    The timing of the showcase suggests he’s ready, willing, and able to go play winter ball somewhere to receive additional coaching and instruction. That gives a team time to decide which level he might slot into.

    For me personally… why not? Doesn’t cost the team a thing. Now, I don’t expect him to ever rise to the big league level, but there’s nothing to lose by giving him a chance. And he just might sell a few more minor league tickets along the way. No downside that I can see.


  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville September 6, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    I don’t know Vee, I don’t think El Orso Blanco was expected to amount to much either. He turned into some pretty decent pitching for the Braves in addition to being a cult favorite. Every body love a rags to riches story.

    Not sure exactly if Tebow would qualify under that heading… Maybe a hand me down to riches to J C Penney’s story. 🙂

    I doubt he could be much worse than Brandon Snyder. If he can turn so of the bulk into tone, maybe he can get into baseball shape. Certainly he would have a built in fan base. Should be fun..

    Like you said, very little down side at this point. Not like he has bad knees. Just couldn’t throw a football…


  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville September 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    By the way, I went back and posted some stats for the Braves as far as win loss by month. I forgot to go back and include them when I first outline the lead… DUH!

    Anyhow, I know it would not make a big difference to you guys but someone else might notice it.

    I know a lot of AJC blog regulars give grief to Chip Carey over his fax pas. That said, he is head and shoulders over the buffoons who are announcing the gNats telecast. They seem to have no clue as to whom the opposing team players are or what is going on in the game. PAINFUL…


  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville September 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Had to make a trip to DMV today to get the car title straight for the sale. As bad as it was, I still think back to what it use to be and how it was an all day thing and some really, really nasty clerks. The attitude is moderately better now but at least they have chairs.


    • 7 Carolina Lady September 6, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      I read a little about Tebow recently that generally wasn’t good from the writer’s perspective. Said his footwork in the outfield wasn’t good and there was something negative about his swing but I don’t recall exactly what. The ending comment was something snarky about him fitting on the Braves team. I’ll wait and see. With God, ALL things are possible and I know he believes strongly. Wouldn’t it be terrific for all concerned if Tebow suddenly burst onto the scene with good success?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville September 6, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    CL, I don’t think anyone will confuse Tim Tebow at this point as the second coming of Mickey Mantle. Well, except for those people who don’t know who Micky Mantle was. Sure, their is always work to be done but what is the down side? If it doesn’t work out, no biggie. Not like you are investing in a number one draft pick.


  8. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville September 6, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I suspect said writer is a hater… Likely from the left coast.

    So, Braves jump off to a 2-0 lead in the first. gNats announcers stunned…


  9. 12 Vox O'Reason September 7, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Tim Tebow will always draw sharp criticism from some no matter what he does. They really don’t hate him so much as they hate what he believes and what he represents. I suspect that for many, the “hate” is more deeply rooted in envy.

    Quite honestly, the odds are long against him rising much above AA. But I don’t begrudge him the chase.

    Now the Braves are even catching heat for considering him. It’s being called a stunt and an attempt to sell tickets. Well… if that happens along the way, then good for everybody. I hope they sell alot of tickets.

    First and foremost, I hope it broadens his platform to share the love of Christ. Tim Tebow is a walking witness without even opening his mouth.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville September 7, 2016 at 8:47 am

    So, the Braves come up short last night after coming a bit unglued in the 8th. The game was lost however much earlier. Perez just does not have the “out” pitch needed to get real professional hitters out. Not a real knock on him, just a fact. Some day he will learn it’s better to walk one in that let four in at once.


  11. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville September 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I was reading Coppy’s comments on Tebow this morning. I don’t think he needs to apologize for the Braves’ interest in the ex quarterback. Certainly a better investment than a multitude of former Cuban national team players.


  12. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville September 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Rain delay in DC. TV news reports strong storms in Northern VA with lightning and hail. Going to be a late night for the Braves.

    We had a T-Storm this AM with about 1/2 inch of rain and one really loud clap of thunder. I guess someone near-by lost a tree… The lights flickered but no loss of CPUs.

    Things have been pretty quite on the Atlanta front haven’t they? I guess football is taking all the ink.


  13. 16 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 7:05 am

    Things have been pretty quite on the Atlanta front haven’t they? I guess football is taking all the ink.

    That plus with the trade season essentially done and with the expanded rosters, there isn’t much to talk about personnel-wise either.

    Ozzie Albies did leave their playoff game last night with what appeared to be a wrist injury. I need to follow up on that.


  14. 17 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 7:15 am

    The Nats had to trot out 10th pitchers on the night and still beat us. Kinda sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 18 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Ominously, there is NO update on this injury since it happened. I’ve only seen it mentioned twice, and that was in the Mississippi recap and in the Pensacola recap. No news is not always good news, and in instances such as these, the silence is deafening.


  16. 19 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 7:29 am

    The only mentions by the Braves’ 3 beat writers was a retweet of Kyle Tait (Mississippi’s radio voice) by Bowman and McAlpin. Not even that from DO’B.

    As for Tait, he tweeted what he saw and fielded a ton of questions but had nothing much to add, clarifying it this way: “Injury news has to come from ATL. Keep eye on what [Bowman and DOB] get from Coppy. We can’t release injuries.”

    We’ll keep our eyes open today.


  17. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Man, that was a long game last night… !0 pitchers… Not that they were in trouble, just Washington has a bunch of kids who were called up and Dusty seems determined to see all of them pitch.

    The Braves on the other hand just ran out of them. Having Jim Johnson hit for himself in the top of the 8th should tell you all you need to know about the Braves’ pen. It was only Johnson’s second at bat in his career. he is now 0-2 with 2 strike outs.

    All the itching changes just slowed things down incredibly. I think the league should allow teams to expand their rosters to 40 men in September but still only be allowed to dress 25 per game. Why do teams play under different conditions for only one month?

    Bad news about Mallex but he should be healed by spring training.

    Folty was strong last night. inconsistent strike zone was the main reason he only went 6 innings. Lots of deep counts.

    Dansby crushed one last night. That ball had a nose bleed by the time it landed…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Tim Tebow signs with the Mets… Oh well…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 22 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    That answers that question, now doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 23 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  21. 24 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Ugh! 😦


  22. 25 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I saw a bit of the game…heard the last of it…Jim Powell said it was a stupid delay of game, no rain…but, I understand teams not wanting to use a starter for an inning or two…then a long rain delay…to hear the end of the game…braves up, then giving up a run to tie game back up, then 2nd and 3rd with no outs…if the Nats hadn’t won against the braves bullpen… it would have been the biggest shock since…Simmons was traded…Ted Simmons… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 26 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Hope Ozzie is not too badly hurt…saw a homer of his on TV (shocking when a local TV station shows Gwinnett highlights) and the camera showing him round 3rd, he looked like a 12 Y.O. Little leaguer 😉 5 ‘9, 160? I don’t think so…looks 5’5 140…hopefully he will fill in a bit…19, you can still get a bit taller, right?


  24. 27 berigan2electricboogaloo September 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

    no really guys, I am totally 5’9!!!!! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Hey, it hasn’t stopped Altuve… Of course some balls will be hit over his head but what a miniscule strike zone.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. 29 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Jim Powell said it was a stupid delay of game, no rain…but, I understand teams not wanting to use a starter for an inning or two

    Not just that, but sometimes a short early preemptive delay can avoid a later long delay. I can remember a few weeks ago when they halted a game in ATL between innings with no rain because the radar showed a strong storm moving toward The Ted. It allowed the crew to get the field covered before the storm hit, and therefore the infield was fine when the cover came back off. Probably cut the prep time by more than half. Had they waited for the rain to start, it would have taken alot longer to get the IF back into playing shape.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Oh, there was a heck of a storm in the area last night, just didn’t reach the ball park. That happens with T-Storms. When they say scattered, well, you know…

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 31 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Good news / bad news. Of course, the bad news is that he got hurt. The good news, and it is very good news, is that the ligament was not involved. If it’s a stress fracture, a broken bone can heal in plenty of time for him to resume baseball activities well ahead of spring. Also, the injury happened at the end of a full season, not hampering his development timeline as he did get his full season in.

    If the kid has to have an injury, the type and timing looks to be semi-positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 32 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Aaron Blair is making a rehab start for Gwinnett in their playoff game 2. That’s kinda nice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    So, I wonder if the stress fracture is at the olecranon process? That is the bone at the tip of the ulna. Often times pitchers will experience it. Hey, the weakest link will break. I suspect he fell on it at some point and cause the fracture but it did not show up right away.

    As long as it is not a complete fracture, it should heal. Add cortisone to aid healing. It’s why no PED test are given to players on the DL…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Of course it will postpone his stint in the AFL. Perhaps he will play in one of the winter leagues, or not.


  32. 35 Vox O'Reason September 8, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Open only to A-List members -> season ticket holders.


  33. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville September 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Pretty sure I won’t attend.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 37 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 7:37 am

    According to A.J. Perez of USA Today, Hector Olivera has been found guilty in his domestic abuse trial. Olivera was sentenced to 90 days in prison, but 80 of them are suspended under the judge’s decision for his misdemeanor conviction.

    Close the chapter; close the book. Begone.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 38 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 7:40 am

    DO’B from very early (1:45am) this morning:

    John Schuerholz told the Braves Banter blog talk radio show that [Ozzie] Albies fractured the olecranon bone, which is located at the tip of the elbow. He was examined Thursday by Dr. James Andrews, who has a clinic near Pensacola.

    Albies will miss the rest of the Double-A playoffs and the Arizona Fall League season.


  36. 41 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Obviously the treatment and outlook section of the above-referenced article is from the perspective of the everyday Joe. You can rest assured that Ozzie Albies will receive the best possible treatment and the best possible rehab that Liberty’s dollars can buy. And I’m also fairly sure that Dr. James Andrews will be the one to perform the surgery.

    He’ll be ready for Spring Training.

    It is a bit of a shame that he won’t be able to participate in this year’s AFL, but he has faced the same level of competition at AA/AAA this season, so it won’t hamper his development. It just would be nice to see him against a different group in that context.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Okay, no game last night. DUH.. I’m pretty sure you all knew that. I think the Braves really needed the day off too after getting swept by DC. For a team that has such an abysmal record, they seem pretty close to being back.

    At least the offense has shone up. Kemp has to feel pretty good about how the run totals have increased since his arrival. Now, if the Braves can just get some solid pitching. The depth chart on the starters is still pretty thin on experience although a couple of the youngsters are showing promise.

    The pen is a bit shallow too. I sure wish the Braves had hung on to Grille. That is especially true since they basically just at his contract.

    I don’t think the Braves are ready to make the big push quite yet as far as salary goes for free agents. They are getting close however. I look for the real push to come in 2018.


  38. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Is it too early to guess who will get moved this winter?


  39. 44 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I don’t think the Braves are ready to make the big push quite yet as far as salary goes for free agents. They are getting close however. I look for the real push to come in 2018.

    I do think they’ll go after a couple. Maybe not the top of the list – Cespedes or Encarnacion or Ramos – but I am almost certain that they’ll make a run at a couple of pitchers… maybe Jeremy Hellickson or Rich Hill. Hill is at the top of my list because he’s a lefty, but both would be ideal. And neither is going to command an “ace” contract.

    In my gut, I think they’ll make a hard run at bringing Martin Prado back to ATL to play 3B. Yes, Adonis has had a really good season, and he has saved our bacon on more than one occasion, but that just might make it the perfect time to trade him, not keep him.

    Jeff Francoeur is almost a lock to return. I’ve heard him say just this week on a radio show “I hope they (Atlanta) want to bring me back in 2017.

    Is it too early to guess who will get moved this winter?

    No. In fact, I think there are a couple that stand out.

    You can bet your bottom that one of Mallex Smith or Nick Markakis will be traded. My money is on Mallex. He and Ender Inciarte fill the same role, and Ender is proven. In fact, he’s more than proven himself. He has excelled. Markakis is a steady presence that plays well with a young clubhouse. And he’s been steadily productive, if not flashy while doing it. Nick’s contract alone makes Mallex a more attractive trade chip.

    As I alluded to earlier, I believe Adonis will be included in a deal, not necessarily the center of a deal, but more of the “plus” that goes with a featured player.

    Here’s how I see the offseason paying out:

    Coppy will sign 2 starting pitchers. Will they be at the top of this year’s FA class? Well, maybe one will. Probably not both.

    Or, maybe he signs one, and trades a prospect for one that’s already established. I’m not talking Chris Sale or Carlos Quintana. There will be a team out there that has a guy going into the last year of his deal that they know they can’t afford. That’s the guy I’m talking about. Yu Darvish or Michael Pineda come to mind. Maybe Tyson Ross.

    They’ll make a real run at Martin Prado. And I think they could make that happen early. Obviously that would determine what they could do with Adonis.

    Frenchy is coming back. Almost a certainty.

    And all that brings me to the topic of catcher, which I’ll post separately so as not to make this one Savannah Guy-esque.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 45 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Much has been made of a Braves / Brain McCann reunion. But it appears to me that more is being made of it outside Atlanta than inside Atlanta. Honestly, I don’t think they’ll go that route. The cost in terms of prospects and dollars is just too much for what you’d get back.

    McCann does not really fit the mold of what Coppy wants to do. Yes he’d be a big splash, and maybe a feel good story for somebody. But his overall numbers have not been great, and your taking away his short porch in RF. Add that to the huge contract obligation remaining and it simply doesn’t add up for ATL.

    As good a season as Wilson Ramos has had – and you can mark his 2016 campaign down among the best walk years in MLB – he’s never even approached this kind of productivity or health before. I picture him as stack of cash sitting in the training room. I don’t like it and don’t want it.

    And Matt Wieters… well, I suppose maybe it could happen. But I don’t see it. If you sign Wieters, you have to make him the #1. And by all accounts, Flowers is not going to sit for 6 out of 7 games. And he shouldn’t.

    Matt Wieters (2016) = 104 G, .244/.300/.392, w/ 12 HR, 53 RBI -> 162 G avg. 21 HR, 80 RBI
    Tyler Flowers (2016) = .68 G, 269/.366/.427, w/ 7 HR, 29 RBI -> 162 G avg. 17 HR, 56 RBI

    I don’t play on the WAR and fWAR playground. I don’t need to. I watch baseball. I can tell you that the upgrade from Flowers to Wieters is not worth the $$$ it will take to make it happen. Not when there are greater needs elsewhere (rotation). That said, I still can’t rule it out 100%.

    Still, I’ll stick to my earlier prediction that they pass on Wieters and go for Alex Avila or Jason Castro. Either would make a very good pairing with Tyler Flowers. Both are 30-years old, both bat LH. Neither will break the bank, but either would provide production. I’d prefer Castro as his bat plays a little better, but I’ll take either. Castro could re-sign in HOU, especially if they have a successful playoff run.

    And of course, I need to hedge this prediction against the possibility that Coppy could use some “capital” and make a trade for a guy not named McCann (unless it’s DET’s James McCann).


  41. 46 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I suppose I should have mentioned AJP’s name up there somewhere. I hope he retires and takes a job in the Braves system as a manager. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Man… if they’d make him the manager at AAA Gwinnett I’d be as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    “I’d be as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.”

    Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are… 🙂

    While I like Mallex, I like Ender better. With Kemp now occupying the role of left fielder/right handed power bat. The need for 7 outfielders is quite diminished. I know Frenchy would like to come home but he will get fewer plate appearances than he may want. He would be more of a late inning defensive replacement for Kemp or a relief guy for a day off for Kemp or Markakis.

    If the Braves trade Nick, that could change.

    One must remember that Wieters plays in the AL. That will skew a home run total as much as playing in the Pacific Coast League.

    Yes, Adonis poses a bit of a conundrum for the Braves. That said, he has increased his trade value quite a bit and takes some of the pressure to acquire a third baseman. I can live with a guy of Adonis’ caliber if the Braves can shore up their catching corps.


  43. 48 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    If the Braves could sign Prado and Castro, their lineup would be:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF (L)
    2- Martin Prado, 3B (R)
    3- Freddie Freeman, 1B (L)
    4- Matt Kemp, LF (R)
    5- Nick Markakis, RF, (L)
    6- Juan Castro / Tyler Flowers, C (R/L)
    7- Jace Peterson, 2B (L)
    8- Dansby Swanson, SS (R)

    I believe that Ozzie’s injury will almost certainly cost him a ML job to start the 2017 season. Watch for him to start the year at AAA and be a mid-season callup.

    If the Braves could sign Frenchy for the bench, it would be:
    Castro / Flowers, C (R/L)
    Frenchy, OF (R)
    Chase d’Arnaud, IF/OF (R)
    Rio Ruiz, IF/OF (L)

    They’ll continue to go with a short bench due to its versatility.

    If they could sign Hill and Hellickson, the rotation could be:

    Julio Teheran (R)
    Rich Hill (L)
    Folty (R)
    Jeremy Hellickson (R)
    * Tyrell Jenkins or Aaron Blair (R)

    And that leaves the bullpen…

    As big a shambles as the bullpen has been this year, there will be a buttload of options going into 2017, not counting whomever they want to bring in over the offseason.

    The closer will be decided between Mauricio Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino, (with the outside chance that AJ Minter makes a run at it). And let’s not count out the possibility of Jim Johnson re-signing. I think ATL is a good fit for him, but other teams may be willing to pony up a few more $$.

    The loser of the closer race will be a late inning setup man, along with one of Shae Simmons and Jose Ramirez.

    Ian Krol should snag a LHRP spot. Paco Rodriguez, who should be fully recovered from his March TJ surgery will likely be on the team’s new extended recovery schedule. The Braves have now projected TJ return out to 18 months instead of 12, opting to go a slower route. Paco should open his year at AAA until he’s ready.

    I see any of John Gant, Rob Whalen, Joel de la Cruz, or even WillyP as candidates for the long role. Other possibilities are Chris Ellis or Casey Kelly.

    The key is locking in that closer role early. It establishes the rest of the order and eases the whole bullpen into their roles.


  44. 49 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Dang! I somehow overlooked Matt Wisler for the 2017 rotation!! My apologies Matt.

    Julio Teheran (R)
    Rich Hill (L)
    Folty (R)
    Jeremy Hellickson (R)
    Matt Wisler (R)

    That actually looks like a real MLB rotation.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 50 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    It also looks like a rotation that might save the bullpen some innings.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 51 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    The more I look at Hellickson, the more I like him. He projects to pitch 194 innings this season, with a 3.90 ERA. He only strikes about about 6.8 batters per 9 IP, but he only walks 2.8 to counter it. His WHIP (Walks + Hits per IP) is just 1.193. The only Braves with a better one is Julio (1.027).

    As for Rich Hill, his WHIP is 1.034, just behind Julio. But Hill’s IP don’t project as high, and while he strikes out a few more guys, he also walks more.

    As much as I want a LHSP, I think I’ll take Hellickson over Hill.


  47. 52 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Looking at this year’s FA class, starting pitching is pretty bleak. Hellickson could be the top of the heap. That’s a break for him in that he may receive more than his actually worth given the sparse market. That’s not good for the Braves, who will probably not engage in a bidding war for anyone.


  48. 53 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm


    My guess for the rotation at the start of 2017 is Teheran, Foltynewicz, Ivan Nova, Wisler and [Sean] Newcomb. You’ve got be encouraged by the improved control Newcomb showed late this season with Double-A Mississippi, and I included Nova because all former Yankees are now given the same treatment in Atlanta that former Braves used to be given in Kansas City.

    I had not considered Newcomb, but I suppose he should at least be mentioned alongside Blair and Jenkins as candidates for the #5 spot. I think the #5 decision will be totally dependent on the ability of Coppy to bring in 2 veterans. Then again, I suppose Bowman’s projection kinda shows that… doesn’t it?

    Bottom line is that Julio and Folty look to be locks, and Wisler is close. That leaves 2 openings to be filled from outside or inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 54 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Sums it up.


  50. 55 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Official word.


  51. 56 Gil in Mechanicsville September 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I think you might be right about Ozzie’s timeline. No need to rush a 19 year old to the bigs. A couple of months in Triple A will do him no harm and allow for him to transition back from his injury. The down side for him will be the atrophy he will experience with the immobilization but he is young and has time to rebound.

    On Prado, he can still play second base too. I thought of him as a 2nd baseman if they decide to keep Adonis. Of course you don’t usually go big for a 2nd baseman.

    I think spring training should be fun next year. Still lots of opportunities for guys looking to be on a big league team. I guess that is what surprised me about Tebow signing with the Mets.

    We will just have to wait and see about that one won’t we?

    I did not see Kelly Johnson’s name on your list Vee….

    I don’t think the Braves need a complete roster shake up at this point. Just some shoring up. A deeper bench and starting pitching. Of course there are about 29 other teams which are thinking the same thing.

    I also think Snit should get another year at the helm. He has done a pretty good job with the material he has been given to work with. I think the players respects him and that is a big plus.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. 57 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    The Braves have this afternoon announced their minor league system Pitchers / Players of the Year. They are…

    AAA Gwinnett: Rob Wooten / Rio Ruiz

    AA Mississippi: Rob Whalen / Dustin Peterson

    A+ Carolina: Matt Withrow / Keith Curcio

    A- Rome: Patrick Weigel / Austin Riley

    Adv. Rookie Danville: Jhon Martinez / Ramon Osuna

    Rookie Gulf Coast League: Kyle Muller / Anthony Concepcion

    Dominican Summer League: Filyer Sanchez / Raysheandall Michel


  53. 58 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    also think Snit should get another year at the helm. He has done a pretty good job with the material he has been given to work with. I think the players respects him and that is a big plus.*

    The players love him. The word is that he makes the effort to relate to each one of them personally. That is probably the thing that Bobby Cox did better than anyone else.

    Maybe he can stick around a couple of years until AJP gets some minor league seasoning. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 59 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Corrective post:

    also think Snit should get another year at the helm. He has done a pretty good job with the material he has been given to work with. I think the players respects him and that is a big plus.

    The players love him. The word is that he makes the effort to relate to each one of them personally. That is probably the thing that Bobby Cox did better than anyone else.

    Maybe he can stick around a couple of years until AJP gets some minor league seasoning. 😉


  55. 60 Vox O'Reason September 9, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Good for Castro. Not so good for Gwinnett as they forge ahead in the playoffs knotted 1-1 with Charlotte (Chisox). I suppose that Reid Brignac will take over at SS and Sean Kazmar will slide into 2B.


  56. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville September 10, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Ah well, the Braves had em and let the Mutts off the hook. Cabrera definitely shows his youth and inexperience on occasion. The mis-played double play ball did not help him either.

    I guess there is a very valid reason why the Bravos are 30 games under .500 this season.

    Liked by 3 people

  57. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2016 at 3:17 am

    So, the Braves win in 10 and AJ Pierzynski gave all the appearances of someone who had just played his last game in an Atlanta uniform. Honestly, I thought he had been traded with all the hugs going on in the dugout. I guess will will find out later today.

    Pretty exciting game though. I thought John Gant showed great poise in not coming unglued in the first inning after having his defense desert him. It was ugly.

    47,000 fannies in the seats tonight. Were there that many Chipper Jones bobble heads available? Nice to see that many Atlanta fans at the game. It was like old times. Big crowd, Braves beating the Mets…. Let’s keep it going folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Parting shots…. I’m was trying to figure out why A.J. would be retiring at this point but then it struck me that the Braves must want to add someone to the 40 man roster and needed room. Kind of sad really. The most hated man in baseball has grown on me the past two seasons. Who would have thunk it?

    I hope he stays with the organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 64 Carolina Lady September 11, 2016 at 4:18 am

    “I’d be as happy as a tornado in a trailer park.”


  60. 65 berigan2electricboogaloo September 11, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I only just now got a chance to look at all the posts from Friday…whole lotta bloggin’ going on…
    I am glad use guys like Snit too. I think F.G. did a pretty good job with the “talent” he had to work with, but he did make some decisions that could be 2nd guessed…don’t feel that happens as often with Snit. I just hope Coppy, et al don’t think cuz he is 60 that he’s just too old for the talent going forward and/or has to buy into VORP, fWAR, and other made up things that drain the fun out of the game….

    Weird, AJ acted like AJ wasn’t retiring….missed the game, but from what Gil says, and others I read online, it sure looked like he was….
    As for the 40 man roster…I still want to know how the Red Sox, Astros, Cubs can forever bring up phenoms (and therefore putting them on the 40 man ) yet they don’t seem to have to jettison decent talent to do this….gotta believe the braves are protecting guys that don’t need protecting….


  61. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2016 at 9:56 am

    gotta believe the braves are protecting guys that don’t need protecting….

    It might seem that way.


  62. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville September 11, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    PU! That was a stinker of a game. I’m thinking a lot of Atlantans were distracted by football today. Hopefully…

    I am officially boycotting Pro football. Will stick with the semi-pro college game.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. 68 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I think F.G. did a pretty good job with the “talent” he had to work with

    On that we disagree. FrediG always had the look of a deer in the headlights to me.

    VORP, fWAR, and other made up things that drain the fun out of the game

    Very well said.

    I think there are some measurements that can be a part of a fair measurement of results. I have become a fan of WHIP (walks + hits per inning) for a pitcher, and of OPS (on base % + slugging) for a hitter. But again, they are only one respective ingredient in a recipe. And both OBP and SLG are parts of the good ol’ slash line, so there’s that.

    And it irks me that the sabrecats call RBI an antiquated stat. Last I checked, you have to score runs to win a game. But they don’t really look at games, do they? It’s only about the individual player’s “value”. Fairly symptomatic of society, but I digress.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. 69 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:02 am

    AJP is now on the DL again with that hammy issue. Reports say he’s going home to FLA to be with his family and decide if he wants to be activated for the final week, and probably most specifically the last series in ATL.

    This has all the appearances to me that the leg issues that have dogged him this season simply never completely let him play the way he wants or needs to. From the outside, one might assume that they got AJ into the training room, prepped him up for one final go at it, and let him catch one more game.

    You make a good point that for the majority of his career he was looked upon as an abrasive character and someone that was very hard to get along with. Yet he has become quite beloved in ATL. I hope he can stay connected to the organization in some way. His home is in central FLA, near Lake Buena Vista, isn’t that far from ATL, and is very close to the team’s Spring Training facility and their rookie league team.

    Of course, selfishly I’d like him to manage the AAA team in Gwinnett. Plus, he AAA team is struggling with attendance, and he’d be a bit of a selling point IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 70 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2016 at 8:04 am

    V, in defense of FG, a bit… Adonis Garcia was so bad he was sent to the minors, and Inciarte was hitting .227 at the all star break, long after FG was gone…but, whatever..the team was worse then than now, and hopefully we have seen the worse play of this rebuilding team


  66. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

    AJ was like the dad this team never had, Fredi G was more like a mom I fear. Sometimes you need someone to tell you your faults so you can correct them instead of someone who gives you a hug and tells you everything is not your fault.

    A team needs to have a strong hand at the helm. Their are exceptions but they are few.

    Liked by 2 people

  67. 72 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Speaking of the AAA team’s attendance problem, one of the suggestions the team’s GM has made for addressing the issue is to change the name of the team. He feels that since the team is so closely located to the ATL club, the locals don’t separate the 2 entities. I think he could very well be right. (I don’t think that’s the whole problem, but I do agree with his logic.)

    Anyway, they are assessing many possible solutions to the problem, and a name change is only one of them.

    From the perspective of a fan, I’d love to see the team adopt its own identity. I think it would be really fun.

    So for pure amusement, let’s come up with a few suggestions for the club.

    How about the Gwinnett Gophers? Then they could keep that popular rodent mascot. No… probably not good for the psyche of the pitchers. And the mascot is a chipmunk anyway.

    Gwinnett Choppers? (That’s the mascot’s name.) No… probably need to separate completely from the Braves identity.

    Look…. there are team names like the Bananas and Chihuahuas and Iron Pigs and Biscuits.

    There’s Wing Nuts, Nuts and Tin Caps.

    We have Yard Goats, Isotopes and Flying Squirrels.

    There are even Muck Dogs and Mudhens.

    Surely we can find a new identity for our bums. (But not Beach Bums. That one’s already taken.)

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 73 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:28 am

    If you wanted to go the historical route, you could call them the Gwinnett Buttons. Gwinnett County was named for Button Gwinnett, a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    Then again, Gwinnett was killed in a duel, so maybe the implications are ominous.


  69. 74 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

    If you wanted to be more representative of Gwinnett current events, you’d call them the Gwinnett Traffic Jams, or Gwinnett Creeps. OK, maybe not that last one.


  70. 75 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Gwinnett County is the poster child of the excesses of suburban overgrowth. How about the Gwinnett Sprawls?

    No. Maybe not.


  71. 76 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:32 am

    The Gwinnett Gladiators is a great name. Unfortunately it’s already being used by a minor league hockey team.


  72. 77 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    While there aren’t any dog tracks (legal, anyway) in the state of Georgia, Gwinnett Greyhounds has a nice ring to it.

    There is, however, a Greyhound bus station in nearby Norcross, in Gwinnett County. Maybe a corporate tie in?

    Better make sure the team has some speed on it somewhere, though.


  73. 78 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Upon further review, I can’t think of many things less fun than a long bus ride. Strike that one…


  74. 79 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Gwinnett Fire Ants? Why not, there are plenty of them in Gwinnett County, although we certainly have our fair share 30 minutes NE of there, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. 80 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I cede the floor…


  76. 81 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Oh wait… I will cede the floor in just a minute. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that all 3 of the A- Rome Braves, AA Mississippi Braves and AAA Gwinnett Braves advanced to their respective League Championships.

    And now I cede the floor…


  77. 82 berigan2electricboogaloo September 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

    well, if no one is watching the major league team, doesn’t it stand to reason fewer folks are going to watch the AAA team?


  78. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2016 at 9:27 am

    We heard the same thing when the Braves Triple A club was in Richmond. Truth is, a winning ball club is still the best promotion. Also being the only thing going in town. That said, when you finally realize that minor league ball clubs are simply a means to an end. You understand it is not about winning and losing in the minors, it is about development.

    It would be like going to see auditions, over and over and over again. It’s why tickets are only $10 a pop for box seats. The fine folks in Gwinnett were sold a bill of goods in a manner of speaking. Minor league ball clubs are not known to be tourist attractions. They only attract families and friends of players and scouts.

    Did y’all know the Braves offered to sign a 25 year lease and build a new ball park in Richmond in exchange for a tax exemption for a real estate development which would surround the ball park (sound familiar)? Hiz honor, the mayor said no, the Braves left town…. Still no revenue for said property because a slave museum is being built on the site…. but I digress… I do not shop, visit or otherwise do anything in Richmond other than drive through it to get somewhere else.

    Now, back to possible mascot name… How about the Chattahoochee Catfish? The Georgia bloodhounds? The Coon dogs? or better yet, the Coon dawgs??? Of course if you are dead set on using the “G” hook, their is always the Gwinnett Grendels… yep, the real monsters of the midway…


  79. 84 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Gwinnett Gridlocks. Deadly accurate.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Things we have learned about arenas, stadiums and ballparks.

    1. Building one in a slum is not a good idea unless the entire slum is eradicated.
    2. Would a municipality build a factory and then allow a company to use it for free?

    3. Does anyone really want one built in their back yard?

    4. If a new ballpark is so important for attendance, why is it that Wriggly Field and Fenway Park are so popular?

    5. As for the Braves, I think it is a good move for them to leave Turner Field. The current leadership in Atlanta city hall does not view baseball as important to the city. Only football and basketball fill that bill.

    To be honest, I do not feel any over whelming need to visit Atlanta proper for any reason other than to see the Braves and even that grew old the last time I was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 86 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Happy Birthday to Freddie Freeman (27) and Matt Wisler (24)!!


  82. 88 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Looking forward to seeing Rio in ATL.


  83. 89 Vox O'Reason September 12, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I have a bad gut feeling about this…


  84. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I have a bad gut feeling about this…



  85. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville September 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    One final(ish) comment about A.J.;s departure… I guess he figured that if he was not going to play, he might as well watch the games from home.

    I think he has been hobbled for most of the season. Just soldiered on. Recker has been a good addition to this team. He is no Buster Posey but he is light years beyond Corky Miller.

    Liked by 2 people

  86. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Just when you think you have seen it ll, Dansby out with a (groin contusion) from a errant throw back to the pitcher during warm ups after Folty was clocked by a line drive.



  87. 93 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2016 at 7:19 am



  88. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2016 at 7:55 am

    And Ozzie thought his broken elbow was painful… That has to be one of the most star crossed moments in baseball history.


  89. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

    So, the Braves are 6-5 for the month of August. At least a good trajectory.

    On a different note, I doubt Dansby will name his first born Tyler… A painful reminder that not all pitchers can catch. Not all catchers can throw…

    Like the old joke, “Doc, leave the swelling, just take away the pain”…

    Okay, enough cheap shots at Dansby’s expense. I’m pretty sure a lot of front office types were sweating last night…

    And what of the Marlins’ comeback after being down 7-0. Folty needs to find that happy place where his fastball has life on it. That perfect speed where the ball will hop or cut at the last second. It’s fast but too flat. Something to work on in the off season methinks.

    Matt Wisler returns to the mound tonight. Just in time too…

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 97 berigan2electricboogaloo September 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I was thinking…I do that every once in awhile….remember a few weeks back when the braves said they would go with a youth movement in the rotation the rest of the season? I didn’t dream it, right? can’t find a story right now…anyway, if I didn’t dream this (not to brag, but I can really have boring dreams like that) …well, what grizzled vets were going to lose starts, anyways??? I keep seeing guys like Perez, Gant, De La Rosa, or whatever his name is…starting…and they ain’t gonna start next year unless there is an outbreak of TJ surgeries (parish the thought!) so…why waist roster spots on guys that aren’t going to be part of the 2017 picture?
    One thought I had is that being September, the more likely prospects are so young, they are at innings limits…that would make sense….it’s just saying, going with the Youth movement that doesn’t make sense to me…if I didn’t dream the whole thing up…


  91. 98 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Some minor items (pun intended) that we missed on Sunday:

    After AJP was placed on the 15-day DL, the Braves brought up AAA 1B/C Blake Lalli, a 33-year-old career minor leaguer whose had a couple of previous “cups of coffee” in the majors with the Cubs (2012) and Brewers (2013).

    Not sure why the Braves chose to do this, though. He’s not a legit prospect, and It’s not like he’s gonna get any real playing time. He’s played more games at 1B than C this year and throughout his career. And his addition to the 40-man roster meant someone else had to be released. That someone was P Wilfred Boscan.

    I suppose they could simply be playing it safe and not want to get caught short in the unlikely event that both Flowers and Recker got hurt, especially with the expanded roster. But it seems a little bit unnecessary to me.

    I wonder if 2 weeks of a ML minimum salary and increased meal per diem is worth missing the Governor’s Cup finals?

    Yeah… probably.

    I suppose the real winner is some cat named Reed Harper, a 25-year-old SS who spent most of the year in A+ Carolina (who missed the playoffs) before being bumped to AA Mississippi when Ozzie got hurt, and has now been bumped to AAA Gwinnett to fill Lalli’s roster spot, presumably since Daniel Castro was promoted to ATL after Chase d’Arnaud had a wart removed from his foot.

    Man, that’s alot of moving parts!

    And of course the real loser is Boscan, who went from getting ready for the AAA Championship series to looking at the Help Wanted ads.


  92. 99 Gil in Mechanicsville September 13, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Man, that’s a lot of moving parts!

    Or in d’Arnaud case, parts removal…

    At this point in my life, even the grizzled veterans look like kids to me. 😦

    If Gwinnett wins the cup, I guess they will still mail Boscan a ring… or not…

    Things are still pretty exciting in the AL East. Four teams with a shot of making the play-offs. It only takes one good week to cement a spot and one bad one to lose it all.

    I think the other two divisions are set. The Rangers own the Astros this year and that is the tale of the tape for the Stros.

    The Angles are almost as sad as the Braves. Do you think Simba thought that possible when he was traded?


  93. 100 Vox O'Reason September 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Keep your eye on the ball, so to speak.


  94. 101 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 8:06 am

    As Jim powell said so accurately last night on radio, “You don’t want to watch sausage being made, and you don’t want to watch young pitchers develop at the major league level.”

    That was the “thinking” Matt Wisler last night. He’s at his best when he stops nibbling and simply trusts his pitches. He needed AJP to remind him of that.

    Also, I am reminded again of why Tyler Flowers should be the backup catcher and not the #1. For one, he lacks that ability to be stern with his pitchers. Oh, he calls games and frames pitches just fine. But he needs to chew a butt now and then.

    Second, he can’t throw out base-stealers. Maybe that’s the most condemning trait. He has thrown out just 2-52 this season (1 of those occurring just last night). That’s simply unacceptable from a guy getting the lion’s share of starts.

    But Coppy addressed that again specifically yesterday…


  95. 102 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Coppy took to the braves official twitter account to answer questions again yesterday. You can scroll down to see them here: https://twitter.com/Braves

    I have, of course, read the entire discourse and came away with some very strong impressions.

    First, he didn’t shy away from any questions, and some were brutal. And he is brutally honest. I like that… I just hope it doesn’t bite him back.

    Second, it’s very clear what the expectations are for 2017. As he put it, they fully intend to compete and contend.

    He once again said that they will go after 2 veteran starting pitchers and a starting catcher, either via FA or trade. And when asked if the acquisition of 2 pitchers would block young pitchers from advancing his statement was stark and telling: The time for opportunities is over. In 2017, you have to win a job. Period. And that’s for position players as well as pitchers.

    He also mentioned that he would have more $$ to spend in FA than he has in 10 years. If you look at the committed dollars for 2017, and factor in reasonable raises for the arb guys, the team still looks to only have about $50M on the hook. (That’s by design, by the way. It’s the exact reason why Chris Johnson was traded for equal dollars. It was less about amount and more about length of contract.) That means they should be able to spend very freely.

    One other highlight, and I’ll let you go check out the whole text yourself. He said that he has been very pleased with the work Snit has done, and lauded Snit’s accomplishment with this year’s team.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 103 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 8:26 am

    After reading the whole of his comments yesterday, in context, I think that out of 25 men on a roster, there may be only about a handful that you can say 100% will be on the squad when they open their new park.


    wide open



    That’s about it. 6 of 25. Less than 25%. And yes, he even stated that Dansby has to win his job. It’s not a given.

    This promises to be maybe the wildest winter we’ve seen in a very long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 104 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Example of his honesty:

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 105 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 8:35 am

    The question asked to him was: What do you look at as your biggest mistake with the Braves?

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

    John Hart was speaking with Chip & Joe last night and he indicated the organization was pretty happy whit a lot of the players currently in the pen. Ditto on his observation on the job Snit has done.

    He seem to feel the addition of Kemp really solidified the team’s offense.

    I have to agree on Tyler’s base throwing but a lot (not all) of the steals were on the pitchers.


  100. 107 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

    And now we know why the team felt it had to add Blake Lalli to the roster. Recker went home for a few days while his 2nd child was being born.

    Liked by 2 people

  101. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Yes, the elephant in the room might just be Markakis… I think either way, the Braves would do okay but I don’t see anyone else in the system ready to fill his spot. Mallex is more of a centerfield type than a right fielder and a top of the order type player as opposed to an RBI guy. One has to admit, Markakis is a great RBI guy. I look for the Braves to hang onto him another season unless they suck at the beginning of the season, then they will flip him but other than for a catcher, I don’t see an up side to him being moved. He is not making all that much in salary as opposed to his replacement.

    Then again, I don’t know how much a free agent pitcher will cost either. Won’t be cheap, that is for sure.

    So, looks like starting pitching will be a big want next season.

    Note to Braves… Don’t blame a young pitcher for getting flustered when an umpire has a mystery strike zone… Note to hitters, those balls on the edge of the plate are hittable pitches. Just because it’s a ball, does not mean the umpire will deem it so.

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Freddie Freeman might soon join him on paternity leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Despite some growing pains, I look for Dansby to be a lock at shortstop next season. That leave second and third base as the available infield spots.

    Ruiz might make an appearance at third next season but Adonis has made it tough on the brass to just replace him unless it is a big time third baseman. It is still some years off before a lot of the recently acquired youngsters make it to the show but by then, I expect Swanson to move to third base.

    On the all Turner Field team… Only locks are catching Javy Lopez, Third base Chipper Jones, Center field Andruw Jones, shortstop Raphael Furcal.

    First base is tough. Galarraga and McGriff over Freddie but I expect Freddie to take the spot because he is fresher in everyone’s mind.

    Second base I go with Lempke over Marcus Gilles because Giles was on the juice… of course the same could be said maybe of Javy.

    Right field? Dave Justice… Left field Ryan Klesko…

    Right handed pitcher, Greg Maddux, Left handed pitcher Tom Glavine, reliever /closer John Smoltz.

    Liked by 2 people

  104. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Utility guy???? Prado or Infante? tough one there…

    Liked by 1 person

  105. 112 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    It is still some years off before a lot of the recently acquired youngsters make it to the show but by then, I expect Swanson to move to third base.

    Have to disagree there. Austin Riley is the guy many people point to as the most promising of the Braves crop of young hitters, and he’s a pure 3B. The 6’3″, 220 lb. 19-year-old is the first real home grown power hitter the Braves have developed since… when was the last one? And his athleticism keeps him on 3B. He’s prototypical there.

    Riley has big time RH power already, and is probably only 2 more years (2019) away from forcing some decisions.

    He slashed .271/.324/.479 w/ 20 HR and 80 RBI in 129 G at A- Rome this season, collecting 29 2B’s and 2 3B’s along the way. He’s a future cleanup hitter.

    As is typical of a kid at his stage of development, he does strike out a bit too much right now. But the flip side is that scouts say he does have a good knowledge of the strike zone, just some “swing and miss” in his game that’s not unexpected of a developing power hitter.

    Here’s a quote from his scouting report: The Braves haven’t produced many homegrown power hitters of late, but they feel Riley could eventually join the developed-from-within ranks of run-producing bats like Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Ryan Klesko.

    That’s high cotton.

    Here’s what I see…

    I see the Braves filling some gaps via FA for the next 2-3 years – sorta like 1991-1992 and the additions of Sid Bream, Terry Pendleton and Greg Maddux – with the system beginning to fill in the gaps in 2019 and 2020. Guys like Riley, Dustin Peterson, Travis Demeritte, and Braxton Davidson, with Ronald Acuna and Kevin Maitan right on their heels.

    The future really is pretty bright, and I haven’t even mentioned what many around the league refer to as the Braves’ “elite” crop of pitching prospects.


  106. 113 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Rome’s rotation through 5 playoff games (Soroka, Allard, Fried, Touki) looks like this: 3-1, 36.1IP, 28K, 4BB, 3ER, 0.75 ERA.

    — courtesy of a Rome press guy

    Liked by 1 person

  107. 114 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha 😆


  108. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    They showed that last night on the telecast… Pretty funny…

    when was the last one?

    Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez and Dave Justice… They traded away Jermaine Dye… Been a while though…

    Okay, but how long is Freddie Freeman going to stay with the Braves? He is going to command a pretty big payday when his current deal is up.


  109. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Freddie won’t get Giancarlo Stanton money but he will be in Boston/New York/Los Angeles territory.

    He will get at least as much as Paul Goldschmidt. Similar stats.

    Freddie had a bad start to the season but was working with a wrist injury no one knew about. With Kemp batting behind him, his career totals are going to improve more yet.

    I’m pretty excited to see if Matt Kemp is going to show up in shape next spring. He could put up MVP type numbers if he does and the Braves keep Markakis to bat behind him.

    Add another bat to the line up and the Braves could go from worst to first pretty quickly next year. It has been amazing how much difference Kemp has made in the short time he has been in Atlanta.

    I expect the Braves will have another good draft next June. No big international signings because they pretty much went all in this past July. I think they will again target the best players available but having said that, the philosophy of trading pitching for hitting has been altered somewhat. Last night John Hart was saying most teams are hanging onto their good young hitters and not trading them for pitching. Said organizations were going to have to groom their own bats going forward.


  110. 117 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    how long is Freddie Freeman going to stay with the Braves?

    He is signed through 2021, so he’ll be here a little while. The big raise comes next year.

    2016: $12,359,375
    2017: $20,859,375
    2018: $21,359,375
    2019: $21,359,375
    2020: $22,359,375
    2021: $22,359,375

    By 2022, he’ll be 32 and looking for that one last big payday. Unless his career takes an unexpected turn, he can look for another 3-4 year deal before going year to year.

    Liked by 1 person

  111. 118 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I think it will be interesting to see if the Braves try to move Enders from the lead off spot. As hot as he has been, I would not want to tinker with the current line up too much. Adonis is a moving part as is Tyler Flowers. Dansby might be tried in the two hole before the end of the season.

    Still, when you are scoring 6 runs a game, you don’t really don’t want to mess with success too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  112. 119 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Add another bat to the line up and the Braves could go from worst to first pretty quickly next year.

    I agree, with a caveat. The offense has come together pretty well. I think they’ll add another bat at C, shore up the bench, and depending on the market, they’ll hold with Adonis for another year. It’s looking more like MIA will lock Prado down and not let him leave town. Same with Turner in LAD. Past those 2, I’d just as soon keep the inexpensive Adonis and redirect any money saved toward starting pitching. Maybe Ozzie joins the ranks; maybe not. Jace has been at least good enough, and should continue to do so until Ozzie is indeed ready.

    But the starting pitching is really going to be the story of 2017… can it come together and allow us to win some games?

    I think Coppy will be true to his word and bring in 2 veterans. Beyond that, Julio and Folty should remain. #5 is up for grabs.

    So to a certain degree, the fortunes of the 2017 Braves will depend heavily on the ability of Coppy to either sign 1 or 2 very good FA pitchers, or trade for 1 or 2 very good pitchers. If that fails, then it could be a less than successful 2017 season.

    But… he has surprised me many times in the last 2 years. And honestly, his track record in acquiring personnel is pretty good. If he says he’s gonna get us 2 good veteran pitchers, I think he will.

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 120 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Must be tough trying to get by on such meager earnings… I did not realize he was signed through 2021. By then I might be out of baseball myself… 🙂

    I’m happy to say I have not yet seen a single NFL game. I doubt they have missed me, I am not in their target audience, 18 – 35… You know, the age where you will spend $1500 on a set of custom wheels for a car with a book value of only $500…

    I will watch college ball the same as basket ball. I have not seen a pro basketball game in years.

    I’m getting pretty savvy when it comes to NASCAR too, I usually watch the first 10 laps and the last 50. The rest is just filler between beer commercials.

    Liked by 2 people

  114. 121 Vox O'Reason September 14, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    I think it will be interesting to see if the Braves try to move Enders from the lead off spot.

    Based on what I’ve heard Coppy say on radio and in print, Ender Inciarte isn’t going anywhere. Mallex is another story. Great kid, but no place on this roster. He could be a nice piece in a trade for a pitcher, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville September 14, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I have not really looked at the pitchers who will be coming available in the free agent market, I can think of a couple who would likely be available for trade who would be strictly short term and salary dumps for some teams who are still a long ways away.

    Funny, but I can see why the Johns were so frustrated with the Braves’ abysmal start this season. The only real change has been Matt Kemp. No one thought the Braves would be a contender but did we really think they would lose 100+ games?

    I hope the Braves keep Snitker on for at least another year. While he might not be a sexy name but he knows how to manage a game and deal with players. No whispers about how he has lost the locker room like were saw with Fredi G.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 123 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I have not really looked at the pitchers who will be coming available in the free agent market

    Well… it isn’t great. In fact, you can call it a down year for FA pitchers, especially starting pitchers. LAD’s Rich Hill is probably the top guy.

    Who? I know… right?

    There’s Rich Hill, PHI’s Jeremy Hellickson, and… well there’s those 2. It does kind of suck that the Braves finally have money to spend and no one to spend it on.

    But you hit the nail on the head, Gil: I can think of a couple who would likely be available for trade who would be strictly short term and salary dumps

    And that may be the way to do it.

    Pay no attention to Josh Collmenter or Joe Wieland. Those 2 were brought in mainly because Folty can’t walk yet and WillyP can’t open a can of soda. In fact, if I understand their respective contract status’ correctly, Wieland is a FA at season’s end and Collmenter’s deal has a mutual option for 2017 at $2M ($150K buyout for the club).

    Now that said, they could both come back and compete for a spot along with everybody else, but either way they are not the 2 starting pitchers Coppy keeps referring to.


  117. 124 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 8:02 am

    So who might be available for a salary dump? Let’s start with starting pitchers who are FA’s in 2018.

    There’s CHW’s Chris Sale. Alot has been said about him, but the Pale Hose aren’t the type of team to dump salary, and it’ll take a Shelbian deal to acquire him. I doubt that will happen. Plus, his deal contains team options for both 2018 and 2019. That’s alot of team leverage.

    How about the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta? He’ll be there. He’s said publicly that he wants to get “g’d up”. He’s ready for the big payday. And he’ll get it… probably from Chicago. So he isn’t really relevant to this conversation.

    Toronto has a couple of guys heading to FA in 2018 on big contracts now that might fit the scenario – Francisco Liriano and Marco Estrada. Neither is a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, though.

    OK… so maybe this exercise isn’t as apparent as it would seem.


  118. 125 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 8:07 am

    R-i-g-h-t. I snicker at Snitker. Old school baller.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I’m sure the Braves staff of crack analysts have been combing the bushes for two pitchers who could fill the bill both long and short term. The rub is, no one wants to give up pitching although I’ll bet Arizona would be willing to part with Shelby Miller. That’s a joke son… 🙂


  120. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 8:22 am

    On last night’s game… The bounce definitely went Miami’s way. Batted balls were ricocheting like crazy right to people.


  121. 128 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’ll bet Arizona would be willing to part with Shelby Miller.

    I’d bet Dave Stewart would be willing to at least listen to 28 of the other 29 GM’s. Guess who wouldn’t be invited to the party?


  122. 129 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

    In all seriousness, as I’ve said here in out corner of cyberspace, I would be quite happy to sign Jeremy Hellickson. He’s not flashy, but he’s solid, efficient and gives you a chance most nights. As with most modern pitchers, he averages right around 6 innings per start, and will likely finish 2016 between 180-190 IP. He’s not an ace, but would be a good #3.

    3 yrs / $36M is probably the going rate. And given that the market really only has 2 other decent options (Rich Hill and Ivan Nova), he may get a 4th year as incentive.

    Ivan Nova is an intriguing name too. Might have a higher ceiling if he can get with the right pitching coach. He’s also probably in that 3 yrs / $36M range.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 11:48 am

    So, think the Twins would be willing to part with Ervin Santana? He is making a ton of money but he could be considered damaged goods. Still, he paired well with Julio.

    Jake Arrieta has found a home in Chicago. He won’t be leaving there until his arm falls off, which could be anytime given today’s game environment. Certainly no one really thought he would have the amount of success he has experienced this season.

    The Braves need to have another success story like Javier Lopez. A proven innings eater who had never really been considered a front line kind of guy. What the team really needs is for the kids to understand they do not have to strike out 20 guys. It only runs up their pitch count.

    Strikeout artist don’t usually get deep into games. Having starters who only pitch 5 or 6 inning can be really tough on your bullpen.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

    So, I guess we will just have to wait and see what rabbits pop out of the Coppy’s hat. I’m sure there will be names that make us go “who”??? I only hope they stay away from the Kawakomies of the world… No need to travel down that path.

    We all want instant gratification but not at the expense of cleaning out the Braves farm like happened with Teixeira. Or worse, Lem Barker…. Oh the humanity… 🙂


  125. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I’d bet Dave Stewart would be willing to at least listen to 28 of the other 29 GM’s. Guess who wouldn’t be invited to the party?

    Of course Dave Stewart might also be looking for a job too…

    Liked by 2 people

  126. 133 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Very considerate of Freddie Freeman’s wife to have their baby on an off night, don’tcha think? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  127. 134 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    BTW- regarding Josh Collmenter and Joe Wieland…

    Since Wieland had been DFA’d from the Mariner’s 40-man roster, the Braves do not immediately have to add him theirs, so he’s almost certainly destined to be in Gwinnett’s bullpen as they play out their Governor’s Cup finals series.

    Collmenter, on the other hand, will have to be added to ours which is currently full at 40.

    Who loses their spot?


  128. 135 Vox O'Reason September 15, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I’m guessing Joel de la Lose, er Cruz. He’s been awful and certainly does not factor into the Braves future plans. I doubt anyone would claim him on release waivers anyway, so he can simply be outrighted back to Gwinnett in 10 days if Coppy wants to keep him around.


  129. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Nothing like getting outrighted to a vacant lot… Pretty low risk trade, cash deal in both cases. Right now, I’m surprised the Braves haven’t had Buddy Carlyle done a jersey for an inning or two.

    This is really a good opportunity to audition for a spot on next year’s team. Maybe the Braves’ coaches can spot a problem with Josh’s delivery. Considering what the D’backs did to Shelby Miller to mess him up, it’s possible.


  130. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville September 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    don a jersey… then again, if he put one on, he most likely would be done…

    So, the NFL has officially lost me as a fan/patron/supporter whatever… Because they don’t have the cajones to tell the mal contents to show a little respect and stand during the national anthem, they will just eliminate it from the pre game ceremony.

    Be gone NFL… be gone… and take the NBA with you…

    Liked by 2 people

  131. 138 berigan2electricboogaloo September 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    So, think the Twins would be willing to part with Ervin Santana?
    No…the Gm there said when asked why they didn’t trade him at the deadline, he said, basically where was he going to get a pitcher as good as him, during the offseason?
    That’s going to be the problem…as I have pointed out before, the reason the braves had to settle for Lowe and KK wasn’t because of money, the players didn’t want to come here, and with fewer players available as a Free agent starters, doesn’t it mean that the guys potentially available by trade ,that their teams are going to demand more for the ever rare “commodity”? ….so…what can the braves do about this? Frank Wren…did he screw something up? Wasn’t that the same offseaon Furcal reneged on the handshake deal? Or was it just a rough off season to try to need 2 starters???

    Do “you” really want to sign 2 guys to 3-4 year contracts that have career 4 ERA’s?
    Ok, Jeremy Hellickson is only 29…that’s good. 3.91 ERA for the career 3.76 ERA this year in Phllly, but the 3 seasons before…5.17, 4.52, 4.62(first 2 years in AL, 3rd year in AZ) now…since many think Ramos is a dangerous signing in his walk year after being injured and not that great a hitter til this year, what about Hellickson? Will he be better than say, Matt Wisler? Hellickson feels like an innings eater, but in reality he is averaging less than 6 innings a start…still might be an improvement . Of course, pitchers will go down, you can’t have enough of them, can you??? Hey, lets trade for a young stud starter. a Guy that had 3 straight seasons of an era of 3.74 or lower…for 3 straight seasons at least 170 + innings, topping out at 205 and only 24! I mean, looking back, why wouldn’t you make that deal? Perhaps you don’t give up 2 #1 guys…but wouldn’t you if say you were set at 2nd and ss??? It would be beyond stupid for the Diamondbacks to sell low on him right now…still only 25.

    It’s just bad timing, this being the offseason….if was Coppy, I’d keep my powder dry til later in the year….or the next off season(then again, there may be no one then as well…of course he is under pressure to put a more competitive team on the field, especially for the new stadium. You can’t tell me this team isn’t bleeding money…no one is at the games. They say 18,000 when it looks like 5000. I know, season ticket holders too…well, find it hard to believe there are over 10,000 of them…

    I have had to stop and start this so many times…points forgotten, new ones thought up…anywho…braves have to have a plan B, cuz a team with the 2nd worst record in baseball is not going to have an easy road to signing one of the 3-4 guys out there when teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, etc can ante up the moola AND a chance to compete in 2017…the braves can claim they are going compete, and they may very well do so, but players will have to see it to believe it…

    ok, this will put this post beyond Savannah guy territory….and I had to leave it alone for several hours….

    I think the braves should trade for 1 really good guy, then try to get a F.A. that isn’t all that likely to be gettable….but they can try…Julio T, Wisler, Follty, Traded for guy and 5th starter from within doesn’t sound too bad…

    Of course, you would have to trade both Nick M and Inciarte …what??? Inciarte??? You can’t trade him…did you see what I dug up from the All-Star break? His average? .227…remember how the braves couldn’t even trade him at the trade deadline cuz he, you know…sucked? Is he going to be much better than Mallex? Are teams going to give much for Mallex after hitting .237 this year? I Know he’s a kid, but still basically unproven…interesting to compare to Ender….Mallex 3 Hrs 21 RBI’s 14 steals in 169 AB’s. Ender (easier for me to type) 3 Hr’s 27 RBI’s, 15 steals in 465 AB’s…great defender, no doubt…but you gotta trade to get better, right?

    And just as in the draft, you have to go where the surplus is…trade Nick M, and Ender, either in same deal, or separate ones, and get 1 of the 2 starters needed…then go for 1 of the 2 Blue Jay outfielders via free agency….Juan Encarnacion would be great. Can you imagine a 1 to 6 lineup of Mallex,, Swanson , FF, Encarnacion Kemp, and Garcia? That and some average starting, can at least aim for .500 (after a 100 game loss season is very good) and a lot of teams do compete for W.C. games that are .500 or slightly better.

    Liked by 1 person

  132. 139 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 7:17 am

    So much to address… where to begin..?


  133. 140 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

    That’s going to be the problem…as I have pointed out before, the reason the braves had to settle for Lowe and KK wasn’t because of money, the players didn’t want to come here

    I have to disagree here. I believe that is a great misconception. First, money always talks. If you have enough of it, you can buy anyone. The problem in 2008 was that Frank Wren talked as if the Braves were going shopping at Saks, and they ended up in WalMart. The top pitcher signed in FA that year was CC Sabathia to the Yankees for 7yrs / $161M. His signing with NYY was a foregone conclusion. Frank talked as if he was going to sign A.J. Burnett, and the press bought in wholeheartedly. In fact, at one point, they even talked as if it were about to happen. The reality was that they never made an offer close to the 5yrs / $82.5M he got with NYY. Why? Because Wren would not go a 5th year on Burnett. For those 5 years, Burnett produced ERA’s of 4.04, 5.26, and 5.15 for NYY before being traded to the Pirates where he rebounded with a 3.51 revival and 3.30 in his contract year.

    Even if Frank had been willing to go there, we’d have grilled him for the first 3 years and considered it a bad signing. And it would have been.

    And for all of the odd negativity surrounding Derek Lowe (4 yrs / $60M), his first 2 years here gave us ERA’s of 4.67 and 4.00, with W-L totals 15-10 and 16-11 along with IP totals of 194.2 and 193.2 respectively before age began to catch up with him in 2011. And to be brutally honest, those teams were mediocre and living off the coattails of the “glory years”.

    How much would we pay for a 15 game winner and 190 IP now? If Frank was guilty of overpaying, it was in length of contract, not $$. And I am not in the habit of defending Frank Wren.

    I don’t think they “settled” for Lowe so much as they targeted Lowe as the best of the 2nd tier pitchers. And they were probably right. The next guys down were Oliver Perez and Jamie Moyer, who was already drawing Social Security when he re-signed with PHI.

    And there is no defending Kenshin Kawakami. They simply whiffed on that one. And if it’s necessary to pin blame, pin it squarely on Frank for running off all the good scouts. Somebody actually said KK would be a good MLB pitcher. That somebody should have been fired. KK did have a nice car collection, though. How many other people were driving around a Lamborghini in Pearl, MS?

    So technically, if you want to say players didn’t want to come here because Frank wasn’t willing to give them the $$ they were demanding, then you are right that Sabathia and Burnett did not. But MLB players will always take the most $$. Always. (Heck,if they don’t, they get raked over the coals by the MLBPA.)

    The only thing that will prevent Coppy from signing a top FA pitcher this year – of which the pool is agreeably shallow – will be a lack of willingness to outbid another team.

    And the other thing we do agree on is the strategy of signing one and trading for one. I believe it is the best route, and I believe it is what they’ll do. And I believe we probably have no idea where that trade may come from.


  134. 141 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    The top 3 pitchers available via FA:

    LH Rich Hill (36) – 12-4, 2.06 ERA, 100.1 IP, 0.957 WHIP.
    Those numbers are split between OAK and LAD. And believe it or not, that’s his highest IP total since he pitched 195.0 for CHC in 2007. It’s also the only other time he’s pitched over 100 innings. He’s been limited again this year due to injuries. Given his age and career numbers, I wouldn’t even make a call that direction.

    RH Jeremy Hellickson (29) – 11-9, 3.76 ERA, 172.1 IP, 1.184 WHIP. His 2016 numbers are pretty consistent with his career numbers. What makes him attractive is that he averages only 2.2 walks per 9 IP. Scouts like him because he has a simple repeatable throwing motion that doesn’t put too much stress on his arm. He’ll never be a #1, but he’s a solid #3. For a team that has a #1, a possible #2 and a collection of #5’s and wannabes, a good solid veteran #3 could be a great steadyng force.

    RH Ivan Nova (29) – 12-6, 4.03 ERA, 149.2 IP, 1.209 WHIP. He was picked up by PIT at the deadline from NYY and has won 5 of 8 starts with a 2.41 ERA and 0.936 WHIP in yellow and black. Nova made 6 relief appearances in April for the Yankees which affected his IP total. His problem in NY was giving up the HR, of which 19 left that tiny park. He’s only given up 4 with the Bucs. He was considered a project when he came over, but has been their best pitcher since. He has also walked just 0.5 per 9 IP for them. That’s microscopic.

    To me, either Hellickson or Nova would fit here. Perhaps Nova has a higher ceiling than Hellickson. But the flip side is that you know exactly what you get with Hellickson… the proverbial “higher floor”. Each will probably get about the same amount – 3 yrs / $36M. It may take adding a 4th to land a deal. But a good consistent #3 pitcher could go a long way toward stabilizing an otherwise unstable rotation.

    Past those 3 names, the pickings really drop off. And I mean really drop off. Not even worth mentioning. Andrew Cashner is the only one with any pedigree, but he’s battling shoulder issues. No way I’d cast a glance his direction.


  135. 142 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Are teams going to give much for Mallex after hitting .237 this year?

    Not by himself. But as part of a deal involving one of the prized arms? Yes. He’s actually very attractive as a capable CF, a base-stealer and a leadoff hitter, all rare commodities. And he’s cheap for a number of years. That may be his most attractive quality.


  136. 143 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I could see the Braves trading 1 of their 4 OF, but not 2. And I think Mallex is the guy to go for the above stated reasons, and for the fact that what we’re getting now from Nick for the money he’s still due is not a bad deal ($11M per season for 2 more). Markakis has slashed .297/.359/.473 w/ 11 HR’s, 20 2B’s, and 47 RBI’s in 300 AB’s over past 78 games. .359 OBP! That’s the Nick Markakis we hoped for when we signed him. Now that we have him, why trade him? He’s the perfect 2 year bridge to Dustin Peterson.


  137. 144 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 8:55 am

    This is roughly the path I see Coppy taking in the offseason…

    He will sign a FA starting pitcher. Who? You can never tell with this bunch, but the one thing I can trust in is that the scouting dept. is back to being top notch. If they give a thumbs up on a guy, I’ll accept it.

    He will sign C Matt Wieters. I’ve flip-flopped on this one, but from the things I’ve read recently, he doesn’t want a compliment to Flowers, he wants a primary starter. That’s either Wilson Ramos or Matt Wieters via FA. Wieters seems like a natural fit to me.

    He will address the bench, with Frenchy signing his deal on day 1 of FA. Rio Ruiz could very make the team as the LH, and should. He has made great strides this year at AAA and his time is now.

    So speaking of Ruiz, I think Adonis will remain, and that those 2 could work in a loose platoon. That helps the bench as well. There is a caveat here, though. Either Adonis or Rio could find their names in…

    … a trade for a 2nd starting pitcher. I am not going to begin to speculate on who, though. This front office staff works in mysterious ways. Finding a #3 or #4 pitcher won’t be a prohibitive task. Finding a #2 or #1 will. This is gonna be a fun winter.

    That’s the heavy lifting.


  138. 145 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    So here’s how I see 2017 unfolding…

    FA signee (3 yrs / $36M)
    Trade acquisition

    CL Vizzy
    SU Shae Simmons
    SU Mauricio
    LH Ian Krol
    LH Paco Rodriguez
    2 more of Wisler/Jenkins/Gant/Whalen/Ramirez/Withrow/Marksberry, etc.

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    Kemp, LF (R)
    Markakis, RF (L)
    Matt Wieters, C (S) (3 yrs / $45M)
    Adonis/Rio (R/L)
    Jace (L) — caveat: Ozzie will be up at some point, likely June

    TFlow, BUC (R)
    Frenchy, OF (R) (1 yr / $2M)
    Adonis/Rio, IF (R/L)
    Chase d’Arnaud or Daniel Castro, IF/OF (R)
    Signee or acquisition, IF/OF (L or S)

    They can do this and still keep the payroll around $100M. The emergence of Adonis this year has made 3B a much lesser priority. Plus, the offense has not been the problem since Kemp was acquired. Pitching has, most specifically starting pitching. That’s where Coppy will direct his resources, and rightfully so. I don’t see another “worst to first” year. But I believe that lineup, with a quality rotation, could contend for a Wild Card in 2017 barring major injuries and with a few bounces going their way.

    Coppy said it himself. The time for “opportunity” is done. It’s now time to win a job or don’t. That will bear out all over the roster.


  139. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville September 16, 2016 at 9:21 am

    So, let’s take a little inventory shall we? Here is a list of teams who have an excess of major league pitching… chirp…chirp…chirp… Yep, that’s right, 0 out of 30…

    It’s why teams like to trade for kids who are close. I fear the Braves will be lucky to gain one additional arm for next season unless they make a trade for a guy who is a short timer.

    Why else would the Braves actually get a return for a couple of retreads like Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris, both of whom finally broke down. The were the proverbial used cars who the Braves had filled the differential with sawdust to cover the defects.

    I think the Braves will be better next season if only because of the addition of Matt Kemp. While Markakis will be dangled, I would be hesitant to trade him because he is a clutch RBI guy. His power is returning but his time in rehab is done now. He is finally worth what his contract calls for.

    If the Braves can continue to score runs at a 5.7 per game, their record will greatly improve. The problem now is the pen is worn out. That is the fault of too many short outings by the young starters.

    So, getting back to the Braves’ Way… Keep your core and bring in fresh legs every season and add at least one rookie to the line up to replace guys who have roostered out and have become too expensive.

    So, where are the available roster spots in 2017 other than pitching? 2nd base, 3rd base and catching with catching being the number one for me.

    What we do know is the Ted Simmons and Johnny Benches don’t grow on trees. I would be open to bring back Brian McCann as a left handed platoon player if the Yankees were willing to face reality and know he is not worth the money they are paying him. No team is that desperate to give up top prospects plus pay his salary too.


  140. 148 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Congrats to the Mississippi Braves for being this year’s runners up in the Southern League Championship. Quite a season for the AA squad. The emergence of guys like Dustin Peterson and Patrick Weigel make this season a success regardless of the outcome.


  141. 149 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 9:45 am

    AAA Gwinnett is down 2-1 in the Governor’s Cup series and have to win out to take it all. Again, quite an accomplishment for a team that struggled to stay .500 much of the season, and had so many players shuttling back and forth between Buford and Atlanta. Late season improvement is a great measuring stick for the next season.


  142. 150 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 9:52 am

    The A- Rome Braves, however are up 2-1 lead in the South Atlantic League Championship Series. That rotation…

    That’s the group everyone needs to keep their eyes on. Oy!

    Touki Toussaint, Max Fried, Mike Soroka, and Kolby Allard… all 1st rounders. That rotation through the playoffs looks like this: 3-1, 36.1 IP, 28 K’s, 4 BB’s, 3 ER, 0.75 ERA. Flippin’ ridiculous numbers.

    Watch this curve from Touki:

    And they say that Fried’s is better… the best in the organization.

    It backs up my earlier statement that acquiring a couple of veteran pitchers on 3 year deals is all we need. Add this group to Sean Newcomb and you really have something special.


  143. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville September 16, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Now, if only their arms can stay healthy. It’s incredible of how many kids futures depend upon one little sliver of tissue connecting muscle to bone. SIGH! Keep it healthy guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  144. 152 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Reminder… we have to have at least one roster move before Josh Collmenter (most likely) or Joe Wieland (less likely) can be added to the 40-man roster. As of today, there is still no starter announced for tomorrow’s start against WAS.

    There’s no real reason to do anything before tomorrow’s 1:05pm start, with an announcement likely following tonight’s tilt.

    I look for 1 of 2 guys to be DFA’d:

    Joel de la Cruz, because he isn’t contributing much and is almost a lock to pass through release waivers with nary a sniff. Pretty sure he’s given up at least 1 run in every relief appearance he’s made.

    Blake Lalli, because both Anthony Recker and Freddie Freeman will back to the squad, and he too is likely to pass through release waivers without being claimed, although given his ability to catch he carries at least a chance.


  145. 153 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Another reason to jettison de la Cruz and keep Lalli is that once the Gwinnett playoffs are completed, we’ll see Tyrell Jenkins and Aaron Blair back in ATL. Probably Rio, too, making his ML debut. Although that will require another 40-man adjustment. (He would need to be added anyway after the season for Rule 5 protection, but that’s another topic for another time.) If they choose to bring up Rio, that would almost certainly spell doom for Lalli.

    Teaser for another time: The whole Rule 5 thing will get very dicey once the season is completed. The rules are convoluted, but essentially we’ll need to add about 4-5 of the older prospects to the 40-man or risk losing them. The trick comes in that in-season, guys on the 60-day-DL don’t count against the 40. But once the season is complete, they automatically go back on.

    The list of 60 day guys are:
    OF Mallex Smith
    LSHP Jesse Biddle
    LHRP Andrew McKirahan
    LHRP Paco Rodriguez
    RHRP Dan Winkler

    EOF is a goner, but the others are not. So you are looking at 5 spots right there alone.

    Also, the team will part ways with AJP (retirement) and Beckham (FA), and probably Recker (Rule 55 FA). I could see them also choosing not to re-sign Chaz Roe and Brandon Snyder, and possibly non-tendering Chase d’Arnaud.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s a topic better suited to the end of the season when the real speculation can begin.


  146. 154 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Gwinnett’s last possible game is Saturday, when Collmenter or Wieland will make their emergency start in Atlanta vs. WAS. Blair is already penciled into that spot in the rotation for it’s final 2 turns in Miami and back home against DET. There is still another hole for next Thursday, which rotates around 2 more times including the season finale.


  147. 155 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Now that AA Mississippi’s season is done, I wonder if Mallex will continue his “rehab assignment” in AAA Gwinnett? Why not?


  148. 156 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    And there is your direct causation to the overwhelming increase in elbow injuries.


  149. 157 berigan2electricboogaloo September 16, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I think AJ Burnett, like Furcal, played the braves (and Wren) like a cheap fiddle…IIRC, after getting the offers increased, then we heard that his wife didn’t like to fly, and he needed her to be able to be within a “reasonable” limo drive from their home to the ballpark…or some sort of….crud…
    My point is, if you put all your eggs in one basket (no deplorables jokes please 😉 ) you are likely to be burned….or have your plans scrambled…hey, I’m tired…had to be up early for A/C guy (and couldn’t sleep well in a hot house)
    I think Mr V, you are a tad , just a tad cynical 😛 Players don’t always accept the most money…Borass clients? Yep…. but there are guys that would rather win…Ben Zobrist and JHey both had better deals I believe, but signed with the Cubs cuz…winning rules…
    So, that will be a challenge. But, we do have a lot of chips, perhaps lower down than some teams want…but still blue chips.
    Thing is, Coppy has found what I was saying months ago…no one seems to want to trade (young) hitters away, which seems so weird….so if you need to improve a team, via trades, it’s mainly going to be via pitching, which, as Gil said, no team seems to have a surplus of right now…
    so, do you give up prospects , blue chippers even, for for an innings eater? Give up the next Wainwright for a #3 so the team is a .500 team next year? Coppy and company have a tough job ahead…no doubt.
    V, I think you have convinced me that we shouldn’t trade Nick M…he has been better of late. One thing though, his is only signed for next year, right? Might be one reason to trade him…don’t know…


  150. 158 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    And then there’s that…


  151. 159 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    One thing though, his is only signed for next year, right?

    2 more years (2017-2018) at $11M per year.


  152. 160 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    If I had it my way, we’d keep Kemp, Inciarte, Kakes, and Mallex as the #4, getting to play occasionally to spell the others and keep everybody fresh through September. That would be ideal, and certainly preferred.

    But if a trade is to happen, he may be in demand. Actually, Ender will be in demand, but Mallex may be what’s settled upon.


  153. 161 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Still no Freddie. He’s earned a day or 2 off.


  154. 162 berigan2electricboogaloo September 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    just saw this post…of course they have to act like Kemp has made no difference with the braves cuz…that’s what the experts do… :/ http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/09/poll-the-braves-outfield.html


  155. 163 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Yeah. I saw that.

    Some have suggested that Kemp’s presence has bolstered the production of Markakis and Freddie Freeman. However, as noted above, Markakis’ production is more a continuation of his June/July surge than something that could be directly attributable to Kemp’s presence in the lineup. Freeman, meanwhile, was already having a strong season and was entering a hot streak in the days leading up to Kemp’s acquisition.

    Haters gonna hate.


  156. 164 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Mudcats to Manatees. I like it!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  157. 165 Vox O'Reason September 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    So, with the A+ team moving to Kissimmee and playing in the Florida State League, seems like a perfect landing spot for a newly retired aspiring manager whose home is only about a half hour from there, to get his feet wet.

    Ahem… AJ?

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville September 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    At least the bus rides are shorter.

    Liked by 1 person

  159. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Sadly, the John Gant experiment may be coming to an end. Weber’s stock took off however. And what of Matt Kemp? Impressing the home crowd by laying out to catch a sinking liner… 30 games under 500 and still playing like it means something.

    1:00 o’clock game today.

    Waiting for my son in law to show up this AM… Sold him my Lexus… I hope he appreciates it. Ahh. the fleet is dwindling… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  160. 168 Gil in Mechanicsville September 17, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    So, Coppy reaches into his magic hat and pulls out Josh Collmenter. Amazing, 5 innings of dipsydoddle pitching and 8 strike outs and only two dingers given up to this years version of Pruig, Trae Turner who is 7 for 8 against the Braves in this series.

    No, he wasn’t Greg Maddux but he wasn’t Mike Minor either. Maybe the Braves will only have to find one additional vet for next season. You never know…

    Liked by 1 person

  161. 169 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    So much packed into this weekend… where to begin?

    Liked by 1 person

  162. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Begin at the beginning… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  163. 171 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I’ll start with something that may have been overlooked with all the other comings and goings.

    The Braves transferred AJP from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL, eliminating any chance of him returning at season’s and, and essentially capping his career. Maybe not a HOF career, but he sure did put up some very good career numbers for a catcher. He has my highest respect.

    P’s Matt Marksberry (rotator cuff inflammation) and Rob Whalen (shoulder fatigue) were also 60’d, and together the 3 moves opened the necessary 40-man spots to accommodate Josh Collmenter, Rio Ruiz and surprise callup Emilio Bonifacio.


  164. 172 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I agree with Gil that Collmenter gave us 5 tough innings on Saturday, and should have earned another start in the process.

    Collmenter proved that you don’t have to blow batters away to get them out. Nothing he threw was straight, and every pitch seemed to have it’s own unique movement. And coming from straight over the top, and I mean 12 o’clock high, that has to be tough to pick up. If the guy could harness his command, he could be a really tough middle of the rotation pitcher. Maybe he’ll get a couple more auditions before season’s end. It wouldn’t be the first successful reclamation project on Roger’s résumé.

    Liked by 1 person

  165. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 8:48 am

    What was fun was listening to the gNats announcers stun disbelief that the Braves beat their team… Twice!

    I thought Wisler was masterful yesterday. He has learned that strike outs (though sexy and great for Draft King points) are a lot less effective than ground balls hit at people because it leads to quick innings and low pitch counts…. Yes, going up right before our eyes…

    Liked by 1 person

  166. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Now having said that… I sure would like to have that Trea Turner kid on out team. I would take him over Harper every day…

    Liked by 3 people

  167. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

    and growing up too…

    Liked by 1 person

  168. 176 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Even in the middle of a major rebuild, is the top of the Braves lineup in need of anything?

    1-5 you have Inciarte, Garcia, Freeman, Kemp, and Markakis. I’m not sure how I would ever find comparable top 5’s, but I cant imagine another group being as productive as these guys have been, outside of Chicago’s north side maybe.

    And overall, the offense has been among the best in baseball post-ASB, being #1 in OBP, and tied for 1st in AVG. From August into September the Braves offense is in the top 10 in all of MLB in almost every category that matters.

    If you consider Coppy’s plan, add another bat at C, and bring up Ozzie midway through, and the offense is ready to contend.

    Now pitching is another story, but wasn’t the major question this season where we were going to find offense? IMO, we have the offense and some young guys in the system to begin supplementing in a couple more years.

    Liked by 1 person

  169. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Much is made of the “Mile High” city of Denver and the thin air but people forget that Phoenix fits that description too. No wonder their pitchers struggle a bit.

    Collmenter might not be a front line pitcher but he could well fill a need for the Braves. give him a go I say. One thing he will need is some guys behind him who can catch the ball…

    Liked by 1 person

  170. 178 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Trae Turner… 5-tool star. Yep, he’s a good’un.

    And maybe… just maybe his arrival will cause Nats mgt. to consider allowing Harper to leave via FA in 2018. Alot of people hate him. I’d take him on my team in a heartbeat.


  171. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I think we all must agree that Matt Kemp is the proverbial “big right handed bat” the Braves have been seeking for years. Now, it’s just fine tuning the rest of the line up with role guys and pitching… It’s always pitching isn’t it?

    The Braves already have some solid bull pen guys but they have been overworked at time which makes them appear less effective. Having starters who can get you into the eighth inning instead of the sixth can sure lessen the fatigue experience by guys like Cabrea and Hernadez.


  172. 180 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 9:18 am

    One more thing of note then I must begin my workday…

    Scott Boras is flying to BAL this week to begin contract extension talks regarding Matt Wieters.

    Dan Connolly, BaltmoreBaseball.com: Without getting into specific money or contract length, Boras said he believes there is a mutual interest between the team and their veteran catcher to continue the relationship that began when the club selected Wieters with the fifth overall pick of the 2007 draft.

    When was the last time a Boras client was advised NOT to go into FA? And given the relatively thin catching market, he ought to garner a top deal.

    Gotta say.. it’s kind of a red flag for me. Makes no sense unless they know something nobody else does, and that would make me really nervous as a GM kicking the tires.

    But for argument’s sake, let’s say that Wieters comes off the board, leaving Wilson Ramos as the easy #1 on the market, with Jason Castro suddenly the #2. His price goes up dramatically. It really changes the landscape of FA catchers.

    Regardless, the market is not great, and if Wieters exits it becomes significantly weaker. It might actually force the Braves to engage in meaningful talks with NYY regarding Brian McCann. Not preferable.

    Liked by 1 person

  173. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Harper will end up with the Yankees. It has been his goal from day one. It just happened that the gnats had the first round pick when he was drafted. The Nationals are deep but one must remember, it was mostly ex Braves scouts who helped build their farm system.

    Liked by 1 person

  174. 182 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Yep, starting pitching, and the acquiring of, is the real offseason story. That’s the linchpin to having a successful 2017 campaign.

    Ryan Cothran at Tomahawk Take makes a couple of good points…

    #1, as we have discussed ad nauseum, the 2017 FA crop is really thin. It figures that the year that the Braves are once again poised to spend some FA $$ to shore up some positions, the market is down in all across the board.

    #2, as bad as this year’s FA crop is, next year’s is loaded. Or as Cothran puts it, “frickin’ LOADED“.

    Here is his suggestion, and is isn’t too far off from ours, although the names he mentions are new:

    If I were given this scenario and I had to pick between these 2 scenarios *[free agency or trade], I’d go with 1 of each. Don’t lay into me too hard:*

    1. Sign Clay Buchholz to a 1-year incentive-laden deal. It wasn’t too long ago that Buchholz was a top-5 consensus prospect in the Major Leagues. He’s had years of pure dominance and years of pure vomit. He seems like the perfect candidate for Roger to fix, and Roger has been really good at resurrecting careers (assuming Roger is asked to stay, which isn’t a lock given the pitching issues this season). Buchholz is also from the south and went to the same college as Jace Peterson, McNeese State University in Louisiana.

    2. Trade Nick Markakis for Francisco Liriano. The Blue Jays acquired Liriano from the Pirates at the deadline and he hasn’t pitched that poorly for them (4.09 ERA through 7 games), but they have a problem staring them in the face in the form of free agency. As of now, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Michael Saunders, all huge bats, are free agents in 2017. It’s been well-documented that the Jays cannot keep both Bautista and Encarnacion, and I’d be willing to infer that Saunders walks as well. Their payroll commitment for 2017 already accounts for $107MM without those 3, leaving them less than $30MM to fill numerous vacancies. A lateral move for a RFer seems wise.

    Now the Liriano mention really intrigues me. Not so sure about Buchholz. If I’m gonna watch a guy struggle throughout the year, I’d just as soon let it be one of our youngsters. That said, the point is taken that he has been very good at times. Maybe he simply needs a change of scenery and a new voice in his ear.

    Regardless of who is actually available and who is actually on the Braves’ radar, we all know that starting pitching has to be Coppy’s laser focus this offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 183 Gil in Mechanicsville September 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

    1-5 you have Inciarte, Garcia, Freeman, Kemp, and Markakis. I’m not sure how I would ever find comparable top 5’s

    That kid Swanson ain’t so bad either.

    That leaves catching and 2nd base and Jace keeps getting better. Not an everyday name but he has made the most of his opportunities.

    McCann?? The Yankees will pay for Brian to leave town and the Braves can use him if the price is not too high. Platoon him with Flowers and it could work. I would not over pay however and I don’t think Coppy will.

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 184 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

    No. Words.

    Liked by 1 person

  177. 185 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2016 at 11:39 am

    They showed the other day the clip of Jose Fernandez after he hit a homer, and showboated a bit…and McCann gave him the what for…and that reminds one of him standing right in front of home plate after Carlos Gomez hit a dinger and really showboated…he is a leader….and I don’t know who on the current team is a leader type. Nick M? seems quiet to me. FF as well…..Has Kemp ever been labeled a leader? I honestly don’t know….You need leader type players, along with production…

    Liked by 1 person

  178. 186 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 11:56 am

    And when you consider that your rookie hazing picture contains 15 players – 15 players – you might want to add some veteran presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  179. 187 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    If Wieters signs as extension before hitting the open market, then I view Jason Castro as the only really viable FA option. And his asking price will escalate accordingly as well. Given that HOU doesn’t have any realistic options in their pipeline, they will work very hard to keep Castro in the fold. Coppy better be talking to some GM somewhere, whether Brian Cashman in NY or not.


  180. 188 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    If Wieters signs as extension before hitting the open market, then I view Jason Castro as the only really viable FA option.
    Man, the catching cupboards are bare! 2014, .222 BA, 2015, .211, this year…. .213. good grief….


  181. 189 Vox O'Reason September 19, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Man, the catching cupboards are bare! 2014, .222 BA, 2015, .211, this year…. .213. good grief…

    Yes, but rated one of the best pitch framers in the game. And with a young pitching staff, the defensive side of the catcher’s game has to be as much a priority as his bat.

    Just as importantly, he has thrown out 11 of 39 would be base stealers, a 22% clip.

    By contrast, Tyler Flowers has caught 2 of 56, or a microscopic 3%. Yowch! The only thing I can’t figure out is why teams don’t run more on him..?

    Liked by 1 person

  182. 190 Carolina Lady September 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Sure wish I could UNsee something! LOL Looks like they were having fun with it – as they should. Team effort, or so it appears! McCann was “raised” by Chipper. If nothing else, bring him back as a bench coach. That type of influence is badly needed.

    Liked by 2 people

  183. 191 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    In an article chuck full of McCann bashing, talk of his throwing ability, or lack thereof
    Another aspect of his game that has gone the wrong direction is his ability to nab base stealers. When the Yankees signed McCann, he was just a year removed from shoulder surgery. In his final year with the Atlanta Braves in 2013, he was not great at throwing runners out, only nabbing 24 percent — four percentage points below the league average.

    Under the Yankees’ catching coach, Gary Tuck, who Girardi once praised as one of the best in the business, McCann was at 37 percent in 2014, 10 points better than the MLB average, and 36 percent last year, four points higher than the league.

    This season, with Tuck let go, McCann is throwing runners out only 20 percent of time, which is nine points worse than the league average. Cashman said it has nothing do with Tuck’s departure. McCann wouldn’t say if Tuck’s absence had impacted him. Girardi sees no difference.


    Liked by 1 person

  184. 192 berigan2electricboogaloo September 19, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Mcann has not really been helped by playing in Yankee stadium either…

    Home 206 30 48 7 0 10 HR 33 RBI 29 5 55 0 0 233 BA .340 OBP .
    Away 195 23 46 6 0 9 HR 22 RBI 21 2 38 1 0 .236 BA .315 OBP

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 193 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 7:58 am

    We all know that McCann’s huge contract is a lifetime achievement award. He’s not even close to “earning” on the field the paychecks he’s receiving now. And I do not begrudge him that. I believe that a person is “worth” what ever someone is willing to give him. So there’s that. Where I would question any attempt to bring him back to ATL comes in the obvious:

    1) How much would it cost the team in prospects?
    2) How much would it cost the team in $$?

    There is no doubt that he still has both game and experience to contribute. And it’s even fair to say that he might be more valuable to a team like the Braves than to say… the Nats (who will also be catcher shopping if they can’t/don’t re-sign Wilson Ramos).

    But he becomes a detriment if you give up Mallex Smith, Lucas Sims, and Brett Cumberland to get him. That’s a non-starter for me. And if you’ll recall, the talks in July started and ended with Ender Inciarte and Folty. That’s when Coppy hung up the phone, as he should.

    And he becomes a detriment if it only costs you Chris Ellis and Travis Demeritte, but you’re still on the hook for all $49M that remains on his deal.

    While NYY might seem to be in a hurry to dump Mac and his salary given the emergence of their new franchise catcher Gary “Sanchise” Sanchez – who is really, really good – Mac won’t necessarily take playing time from the young catcher. In fact, with ARod having already retired, and Mark Teixeira hanging it up at season’s end, there will be plenty AB’s at DH and occasionally at 1B. And quite honestly, that might be the best thing long term for the 10 year veteran catcher who will be 33 when the lid is taken off 2017. But he does still have a few good years left to squat.

    If the Braves could get him in a deal without losing any of the real future, and without paying him an amount that takes away from the starting pitching budget, then I can live with it… especially if TFlow can get in a start a week. I always liked the way Bobby would assign his BUC to a pitcher so that he got a game in every turn through the rotation. I believe that works best for both catchers as long as your BUC is not Corky Miller. It keeps your starter fresher and your backup sharper. And it really pays dividends in September and October.

    I’ve given up trying to guess what Coppy & Co. are going to do. They’ve shown me both creativity and unpredictability. So this whole conversation may be rendered moot when they announce a deal for a guy that nobody ever envisioned… and we all go, “Where’d that come from?” If I had to lay money down right now and give a thumbs up or down on whether I think Mac will come back to his Georgia home and play out his career where it began, in my gut I think I’d have to say…

    Liked by 1 person

  186. 194 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2016 at 8:26 am

    As I said earlier, I would not be opposed to Mac returning to the Braves if the Yankees ate most of his contract and he did not cost ant top tier prospects. So, who will fill the spot next season? Recker may return for another season, he has been passable if not exactly all-star caliber. That said, don’t be surprised to see Coppy trade for some young backstop we have heard little of or sign someone who has been release because he no longer fits in that team;s plan.

    Hey, we have all become spoiled by catchers who can hit as catching was long thought to be defensive position. Somebody has to hit eight and if you have seven other guys who can hit, I can deal with someone who hits around .200 as long as he can call a good game, block wild pitches and throw out would be base stealers.

    Liked by 1 person

  187. 195 berigan2electricboogaloo September 20, 2016 at 9:09 am

    But he becomes a detriment if you give up Mallex Smith, Lucas Sims, and Brett Cumberland to get him. That’s a non-starter for me.
    Thing is, where is Mallex going to play if we keep Inciarte? If he’s only good enough to be a 4th outfielder on the 2017 braves, then…I think we can spare him. Brett Cumberland is 21 Y.O. Catcher (as I am sure you know 😉 ) Who, after playing College ball was sent to the Rookie league where he tore the cover off the ball in 45 games…. .216 B.A.
    I know that’s a fairly small window, but you don’t often hear of College players going to rookie ball, and….not hitting. So, I’d gladly give up those guys…and Lukas Sims…what is he exactly? The guy who was 5-5 with a 2.67 ERA at AA, or the guy who was 2-6 with a 7.56 ERA at AAA in 11 starts?
    Are any of these 3 guys elite?
    I forget who said it, but I heard/read about some Manager/GM that said basically don’t believe what you see on the field in April, or Sept, when it comes to judging a team.
    This September , the offense has been AWESOME!!! One of, if not the best in baseball…..but it might not be, probably can’t be as good come next year as what we are seeing now. Adding a catcher that will hit 20 HR’s drive in 60 or so, while batting 7th…would be a good thing, IMHO.
    And 17 mil a year for 2 seasons, with the possibility of 15 Mil the 3rd year with vesting options…just doesn’t sound that bad to me. Especially with the weak as always catching market.
    We should hope Ramos leaves the Nats and they can’t get someone like McCann…It would be nice to see them a weaker team next year, at least from the Catcher’s position. Mets, Nats, Marlins, Phils will all likely be better next year…we need to be better wherever we can be better, so as to be in at least the wildcard hunt….


  188. 196 berigan2electricboogaloo September 20, 2016 at 9:13 am

    That said, don’t be surprised to see Coppy trade for some young backstop we have heard little of or sign someone who has been release because he no longer fits in that team;s plan

    Christian Bethancourt is likely to be available, only 25 Y.O. Highly thought of prospect for some club, in the recent past 😛

    Liked by 3 people

  189. 197 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Recker may return for another season, he has been passable if not exactly all-star caliber.

    He will be a FA at season’s end. He’ll get a job somewhere, and after showing he is a capable ML backup, he may even avoid the dreaded minor league deal.


  190. 198 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thing is, where is Mallex going to play if we keep Inciarte? If he’s only good enough to be a 4th outfielder on the 2017 braves, then…I think we can spare him.

    I do not disagree, however I don’t want to waste him on a catcher at the end of his career when I need to fix my pitching rotation so badly.

    Liked by 1 person

  191. 199 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 10:38 am

    We should hope Ramos leaves the Nats and they can’t get someone like McCann…

    2 things to note:

    #1. If Wilson Ramos is the real deal, why have the Nats not tried to extend him already? Multiple recent interviews show a somewhat disappointed Ramos saying that no one from WAS has even approached him about it. Nobody knows Ramos better than the Nats themselves. Given his long injury history, the Nats’ lack of willingness to lock up their own when they have nobody in line to take the reins makes me very wary.

    #2. If McCann is the answer to our woes, or to the Nats’ woes, why haven’t the other teams in need of catching – most notably the Cleveland Indians – lined up to make a deal? At the July trade deadline, the number of teams being connected to a possible Mac deal was 1… the Braves. Now as the Hot Stove season looms just a few weeks away, and offseason rumors are beginning to form, only 1 team is being connected to Mac… the Braves. Why not WAS? Why not CLE? Why not BAL? Why not HOU? Why not CHW? Why not [fill in the blank with any number of teams with question marks behind the plate]? Nope… just the Braves. There’s a reason teams aren’t clamoring to go get him. The Braves need to proceed with the same amount of caution.

    Liked by 1 person

  192. 200 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Stats courtesy of Bowman:

    NL East runs per game since 8/2 (Kemp’s ATL debut):
    Braves 5.22
    Nats 4.73
    Mets 4.49
    Phillies 4.02
    Marlins 3.73

    MLB runs per game since 8/2 (Kemp’s ATL debut):
    Rockies 5.89
    Red Sox 5.63
    Dbacks 5.39
    Braves 5.22
    Rays 4.91
    Mariners 4.85
    Royals 4.84

    Waddaya know? Maybe Kemp has some value beyond some boutique statistic created in somebody’s mom’s basement after all.

    Liked by 2 people

  193. 201 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Small note…

    ESPN.com’s remaining Braves schedule has Joel de la Cruz named in Thursday’s starter slot (where Josh Collmenter started last Saturday). Not sure of they’re privy to info not already public knowledge or not. I say that because as far as I know, the starters for the MIA series have not yet been announced.

    Anyhoo…. I’d think that the Braves would like to have another look at Collmenter and see if last week was a fluke. It’s not like JdlC gives the team a better chance to win. In fact, given that he’s 0-7 with a 5.09 ERA, I would say that anyone else gives the team a better chance to win.

    And before we get off into any philosophical discussion of looking at all the youngsters over the last 12 games, remember the team is currently 59-91 and would give anything to finish better than last year’s 67-95. Obviously that’s a tall order, meaning they’d have to finish out 9-3. But the bottom line is that the team – and most especially Snit – are looking to win over any other motivation.

    But I digress. I’ve not read any current updates on Folty’s condition, but if he’s able to make any more starts this season, you can bet he’ll be on the mound. As of now, the next turn looks to be Julio, Ryan Weber, (both already announced to wrap up the NYM series), with TBD, Wisler, Blair, with Julio back on the mound for the 4-game series in MIA.

    It’d be great if Folty is ready to come back into the next turn to open the series in PHI, bumping Weber back to the bullpen. That would also put him in line to pitch the season’s (and The Ted’s) finale.

    I’ll be keeping my ears (and eyes) open for the announcement of Thursday’s starter. It will be a good indicator as to whether Collmenter was just a one time fill-in or will be given another opportunity to audition for next year’s staff. I am most intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 202 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    One more thing about Collmenter. Roger has a track record of “fixing” issues with formerly successful pitchers. He taught Bud Norris a new pitch and extended his career. He has given Aaron Blair a new windup and might have revived his prospect status and ML chances. (Wasn’t that a thing of beauty last night? Wasn’t it cool watching a kid take his teacher’s lesson and put it into practice in a ML game against a team fighting for a playoff spot? And in the process earning his 1st ML W while out-pitching a notable pitcher with a cool nickname?)

    We need to give Roger alot more respect than we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 203 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Something else we need to pay attention to over the last 12 games…

    At some point before this season wraps, the Braves have to either remove the ‘interim” tag from Snit’s title or tell him he’s out of the running. You cannot watch a guy work as hard as he has to keep this boat afloat, and to even lead the team to semi-respectability in his tenure. The players love him and more than that, they respect him. No way the team can ham-handedly drag Snit’s status out into the offseason. Not when they’re trying to regain some organizational luster.

    They way I see it, they either name him the manager for 2017 before 2016 wraps, or he’s out. IMO, they should go ahead and do it now. He’s earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  196. 204 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    You cannot watch a guy work as hard as he has to keep this boat afloat, and to even lead the team to semi-respectability in his tenure, and not give him some clarity on his future.

    That’s what I meant to say there.

    Liked by 2 people

  197. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I think we give Roger a lot more respect as a pitching coach than we ever gave Terry Pendleton as the hitting coach. Maybe it wasn’t really his fault that Andruw Jones was so hard headed and always tried to pull the ball…

    Anyway, I vote to give Collmenter another try at the brass ring, what really is the downside to that unless he has some mysterious illness/injury/condition no one knows about.

    Yes, it really appears the Braves are trying to win out. Why else would you have your first string guys in the line up everyday?

    Otherwise you would have guys like Mallex Smith and Rio Ruiz vying for a position.

    Folty took a wicked shot off his calf, somewhat reminiscent of the one that zapped Chipper Jones. No sense altering a guy’s delivery for one more start. Let it heal and then off to where ever young pitchers go in the off season to get ready for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  198. 206 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Agree on Snitker. The Braves could do a lot worse and little better.

    And on Arron Blair, for some reason he reminded me of Kevin Millwood last night. Not sure why. Just one of those things in the back of my head. Maybe it’s the similar body type or his mound demeanor. It’s been a long time since I saw Millwood pitch so I don’t know…

    He did pitch a nice game though. I think everyone was holding their breath after he gave up the homerun but he seemed to gather himself and get past it. That is maturity.

    Braves have a decent shot of winning this series. Not like the Mets aren’t playing for something. Again, some nice defensive play behind the Braves pitchers last night. I’ve seen a lot of guys give up on balls like the ones Kemp caught last night.


  199. 207 berigan2electricboogaloo September 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    If McCann is the answer to our woes, or to the Nats’ woes, why haven’t the other teams in need of catching – most notably the Cleveland Indians – lined up to make a deal?
    Cleveland is weird…they are going to get their regular catcher back next year, which is why Jonathan Lucroy didn’t want to go there, as they made it sound like they would go with their (had to look it up, Yan Gomes) in 2017. Makes no sense, Lucroy is a great catcher both ways…and would have had to be a 1st baseman/DH/Catcher.

    At the July trade deadline, the number of teams being connected to a possible Mac deal was 1… the Braves. Now as the Hot Stove season looms just a few weeks away, and offseason rumors are beginning to form, only 1 team is being connected to Mac… the Braves. Why not WAS? Why not CLE? Why not BAL? Why not HOU? Why not CHW? Why not [fill in the blank with any number of teams with question marks behind the plate]?

    I don’t know, though Sanchez hadn’t come up yet, and the Yankees probably weren’t really shopping him too hard…Now they know Sanchez is ready….

    And it’s still early…Baltimore may re-sign Weiters….Nats may re-sign Ramos, depending on how the market plays out…. Houston is still playing Gattis , and has 28 HR’s, while only playing some at the Catcher position….Have no idea on White Sox…they let Flowers go last year after he sucked for several years…..


  200. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    I have to say Lucroy has no regrets on his choice to go to Texas and neither does Texas from what I can tell. He’s as happy as a pig in slop. Texas is the single most reason why the Astros will not make it back to the big dance this season.

    One last comment about B-Mac. I do not think McCann is an everyday catcher but I do think he is a player who could fill the role of mentor, leader and Shepard to a bunch of young arms. I think it all comes down to price in the end. A guy who can spit time with Tyler Flowers until the next block buster trade brings Buster Posey to Atlanta.

    I thought I would throw that one in there to see if y’all are paying attention.

    Norris is still available and I am sure others on the down side of their careers. Swerber from the Cubs might be had too. There might even be another Molina relative hiding somewhere. The real problem to me is the huge outcry for a catcher who is an offensive powerhouse. I’d rather have a Charles Johnson and let the other seven guys drive in runs.

    Liked by 2 people

  201. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville September 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    I guess the real problem is Draft Kings does not award points for throwing out base runners. Passed balls don’t count to the basement dwellers, only hits.


  202. 210 Vox O'Reason September 20, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Chicago won’t let Shwarber go. Not happening. Now Coppy might pry Swihart away from the Bosox…

    Liked by 1 person

  203. 211 Carolina Lady September 20, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Y’all know so much about those still in the Minors, those on other teams – and I’m not even sure who’s on the home team. RESPECT!

    Liked by 1 person

  204. 212 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 12:47 am

    We read a lot and lots of free time on our hands… Well, some of us.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  205. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Watching the Braves win is sooooo much better than watching them lose over and over and over again… This is even fun.

    So, who can the Braves pry away from San Fran for 2 weeks of Jim Johnson? I think a bunch of teams really missed an opportunity to pick up a really good closer.

    One has to wonder of JJ has enough in the tank for one more season as the Braves rebuild.

    Braves go for the sweep tomorrow, I would not bet the farm on the Braves to pull it off but I would not bet against them either. Weber will go about 85 pitches. Colon takes the ball for the Mets. Mets have to be hearing foot steps as the Cardinals are getting hot.

    Liked by 1 person

  206. 214 Carolina Lady September 21, 2016 at 2:59 am

    “…. I would not bet the farm on the Braves to pull it off…”
    Gil, they ARE the farm! 😀


  207. 215 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

    So last night, the Giants beat the Dodgers, the Cardinals drubbed Colorado and the Mets lost to the Braves. That leaves a three way tie for the 2 wild card spots in the NL.

    Prediction, if the Mets don’t make the play-offs, look for Terry Collins to be seeking new employment. Does not make any difference his team has had more injured than a M.A.S.H. unit…

    The Astros might make it in if they do not have to play Texas again. Looks like the Tigers are going to be playing for something when they show up in Atlanta for the final three games of the season too. Going down to the wire and the Braves are the fly in everyone’s ointment…

    Liked by 1 person

  208. 216 berigan2electricboogaloo September 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Gil, it sure is going to be an interesting few weeks before the season ends, eh?
    Mets best pitcher right now is 43 years old…Jay Bruce went from being just about the hottest hitter in the NL to hitting .176 with the Mets for something like 200 AB’s!!! How is that even possible? But yeah, clearly Collins fault…
    Cleveland basically has only 2 starters left…Dodgers are counting on 2 recently of the DL lefties, and hoping Alex Wood can help…Giants have no bullpen…This really could be the year for the Cubs, at least to make it to the W.S.
    Man, Cubs vs. Red Sox world Series….perhaps with NFL numbers down, people will remember/discover/rediscover why baseball is the best sport in the world!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  209. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Cubs will be the sentimental favorites just because they are the Cubs. They should be the favorite because they have the best team but as we know, the best teams do not always win. Especially win the umpires insinuate themselves into the game.

    Beware the infield fly rule, even the umpires do always understand it… At least there won’t be 15 pitching changes each game.

    Liked by 1 person

  210. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Rainy day today… don’t you just love fall???


  211. 219 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Cubs / Red Sox World Series…

    I’d be glued to the TV.


  212. 220 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Rainy day today… don’t you just love fall???

    I will when it gets here. Highs in the 90’s again. Ready for cooler temps for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  213. 221 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Coppy, on a podcast with Buster Olney earlier today:

    “We have more money now than we’ve had in any of the 10 years that I’ve been a part of the Braves,” said Coppolella. “Our biggest needs are going to be starting pitchers. We have a lot of good young starters, guys with great arms, guys that we still really like. They have been somewhat force-fed into opportunities because of guys getting hurt and/or traded. So part of what we want to do is get guys that are more stable — not that we’re going to write off any of our young arms, we still like all them very much — but if we could add two veteran starting pitchers, that would really help our team.”

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 222 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    More of that, when asked about about Snit:

    “Brian couldn’t have done any better,” Coppolella tells Olney. “…It’d be easy for this team, knowing that they’re not going to the playoffs, to just kind of go through the motions. That has not happened. These guys are playing hard every night. They’re doing great things every night, and that’s a big tribute to Brian as well as to this whole staff. … We’ll end up seeing which way it turns out. If he ends up being the guy — we aren’t set that he wont be, we aren’t set that he won’t be — we just feel that we owe it to our players, to our organization to at the very least talk to a few people without the Braves to see what they have to offer.”

    Liked by 1 person

  215. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    At least we are not alone in what we are seeing in a team that is playing to the limit of their abilities every night. I have seen it before where a team just seems to put it on auto pilot and end up losing games because they are out hustled. I guess that is what has impressed me about Kemp. I did not expect him to be diving for balls and taking an extra base. He was not playing that way in San Diego. The rest of the crew is hustling too. The results is a winning record in August against some good teams. For sure, a team better not go to sleep on these guys because they will swipe your lunch and leave you a bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  216. 224 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    On Snitker… I’m all for the Braves giving him a two year deal and seeing how it works out. he has won with teams when he has had the horses. As it is, he’s dragging this herd across the finish line by shear will.

    Liked by 1 person

  217. 225 Carolina Lady September 21, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Amen to your comments on Snit, Gil. And the post above has Coppy talking out of both sides of his mouth. That’s an insult to Snitker.

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 227 Vox O'Reason September 21, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Wow. Just wow.


  219. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville September 21, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    A catch equal to or greater than Otis Nixon’s robbery of Andy Van Slyke of Pittsburgh back in the day. That my friends is what “The CATCH” really looks like.

    All that said, it was the supposedly hapless Braves all around play, coming back from 3 runs down and making plays, going all out that endears this team to me.

    The acquisition of Matt Kemp reminds me of another guy who set the Braves offense on fire, Fred McGriff. Somehow he has been the perfect guy to solidify the line up.

    And yes Vee… WOW…

    Liked by 2 people

  220. 229 Carolina Lady September 22, 2016 at 1:42 am

    The perfect catalyst. Now that the kids know what it is to really play a game and to actually WIN, and keep winning, I can’t help but have hope again.

    I’ll never forget when the Crime Dog arrived. There’s just something like magic that happens when they walk into the right door.

    Liked by 1 person

  221. 230 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 7:39 am

    In case you missed it:

    Liked by 1 person

  222. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2016 at 8:34 am

    What a lot of folks may not have known is Jim Johnson was making his 4 appearance in five nights. he had struck out Cespedes the night before on a wicked 12-6 curve ball which produced one of the ugliest swings ever seen in New York.

    Just amazing the reaction from a team that has been in the cellar since spring training. You would have thought the Braves had just clinched the NL East pennant given the elation of the entire team after Enders brought back a ball clearly over the wall.

    The real shame is all the fans who have tuned out this team and moved on to football. This team has clawed and scraped and fought tooth and nail for the last two months in every game they have participated in. A very young pitching staff has shone their inexperience and have given up runs in bunches.

    The Braves have three series left, the Marlins need desperately to sweep the Braves if they hope to have a chance to make the play-offs. They cannot continue to rely on other teams ahead of them to lose. The last home stand kicks off with the Phillies who best attraction continues to be the Phanatic. Last but not least will be the Tigers who are also are in a dogfight to make the big dance.

    It is must see TV if you ask me.

    Liked by 2 people

  223. 232 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I was amazed by that catch! Just happened to flip by as I had been watching Charlotte descend into hell for much of the night….
    I thought for sure Cespedes had won the game there….the reaction of the team was awesome! 🙂 People like Kemp were on the top of the dugout fence ready to hop over it, like they just knew Enciarte would catch it!

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 233 berigan2electricboogaloo September 22, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Gil, I think Otis Nixon still has the title of best catch eva!

    Liked by 1 person

  225. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I sure would like for someone to do a statcast comparison of the two plays. I think Ender covered more distance but Otis has the height.


  226. 235 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    So the story goes like this…

    I was at church last night, being Wednesday and all, and came out of band rehearsal about 9:30, and hear that the score is 3-2, bad guys ahead, with Ender on base. The Mets were bringing in a new pitcher to face Freddie, who promptly reached on a broken bat single. (When you’re hot, you’re hot.) Then came the corresponding pitching change, and the battle between their power, being closer Jeurys Familia, and our power, being cleanup hitter Matt Kemp, commenced.

    Then of course, the double steal off an unsuspecting Familia, who is not very familia with having runners on base, to put the tying runner just 90′ away. Of course that meant a sac fly to tie it up was a great possibility, and I was absolutely locked in.

    As Familia and Kemp battled it out, I pulled into a Racetrack parking lot to “take care of some business”. Well, actually I pulled into a Racetrack parking lot to park my car and to go inside to “take care of some business”. Anyway, the 2 warriors battled pitch after pitch, and the drama was dragged out with an interrupting trip to the mound… and I could wait no longer and had to go on into the store. Funny thing was, I was confident that Kemp would drive the runner in while I was “taking care of business”. I truly was confident. And when I came back out, of course the game was tied.

    No big deal. I knew it would happen.

    So I get to the house with the game tied, and find that my family is watching a movie on Netflix. Not unusual. It was well into the movie, so I wasn’t going to ask them to stop and let me watch the end of the game. Plus, I was starving and needed to rustle up some late grub. I figured I’d just catch the highlights later on Twitter.


    A few minutes later, Netflix freezes because my internet provider Windstream is more unreliable than Calvin Murphy (look it up) on Father’s Day, and we are all on hold briefly until it comes back. Then a second freeze occurs, and Mrs. Vox suggests we abandon Netfix,to which I heartily agree. I politely ask if they mind if I catch the last bit of the game, and they say OK.

    When I turned the channel to the game, I found our battlin’ Braves were up 4-3 and Yoenis Cespides was striding to the plate to face Jimmy John in the bottom of the 9th inning.

    Timing is everything.

    Liked by 3 people

  227. 236 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    So as we hoped, it appears that Josh Collmenter will get the rotation slot that was formerly occupied by Joel de la Lose, er… Cruz, including tonight’s start.

    The current rotation beginning tonight is Collmenter, Wisler, Blair, Julio and Ryan Weber who pitched well enough last night to at least keep the game close enough for the offense to claw back in. His final line was 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB. 2 of those 4 hits were of the longball variety. Not pretty in the box score. Y’all may have to fill me in on the actual game play.

    If the current rotation holds, Weber would get the final start of the season and final start EVER at The Ted. I like the guy and all, but I’d kinda hate to see that happen.

    Which brings me to my next question…

    Will Folty be back before we close the lid on 2016? I understand he threw about 25 fastballs in a bullpen session yesterday and said he felt “normal”. He says if that continues, he’ll mix in all his pitches during a longer bullpen Friday and hopes to make at least one more start this season. Of course, nobody knows when that may be, but the timing could set him up for next Tuesday when the boys return home to face the Phillies. Seems logical to me as long he does have a full bullpen Friday with no residual issues. That, of course, would line him up for two more starts, including the season finale.

    If Folty needs more time, but still can get back for that one start he mentioned, then it would land somewhere in that last turn through the rotation, pushing the other guys back a day and lining Julio up for the last start. I cannot imagine they’d let Folty miss another 10 days and then trot him out there for the season’s capper. I just can’t see that.

    And I kinda dig the symmetry of having Julio bookend the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  228. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville September 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Great story Vee… And I had thought that Folty would be penciled in for the final start but who knows. Much depends on how deep the rest of the staff can go as to the availability of the Braves current long reliever, Weber, as to his availability.

    With a play-off berth on the line for the Tigers, I’m sure the Braves will play all the games straight up to assure the sanctity of the season. No free gifts to the the Tigers.

    I think what tickled me most last night was the intensity of the Braves for the whole game. They ran hard with every batted ball and
    NO LOLLYGAGGING… T’was a thing of beauty. Of course the home run given up to Cabrera was no cheapee but Weber was squeeze on the walk to Ryes preceding him. Still, even down 3-0, you had a feeling that Colon would not go nine and the Braves would strike. Recker’s line drive to the Met’s pen changed the whole tenor of the game. Once it was 3-2, you know the Braves had a shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  229. 238 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Of course, with just 10 games remaining, the 61-91 Braves need win just 2 more times to ensure they won’t lose 100 games, which earlier this season seemed completely unavoidable. In fact, I can recall at one point some national publication projected the Braves to lose 115.

    My have the times have changed.

    No… now the focus should go beyond simply playing the spoiler. The Braves need to go 6-4 over the last 10 to match last season’s 67-95 record, and 7-3 to finish with a better record.

    7-3 is a tall order… yes. But no longer unthinkable.

    Does that 1 game matter when you’re still last in the division and 2nd worst in all of MLB.

    It does to me. I bet it does to Snit, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 239 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Pitching matchups vs. Miami:

    Collmenter vs. Jose Urena (4-7, 5.59 ERA) I like our chances
    Wisler vs. Andrew Cashner (1-4, 6.18 ERA)
    I like our chances
    Blair vs. Bruce Chen (5-4, 5.04 ERA) I like our chances
    Julio vs. Jose Fernandez (16-8, 2.86 ERA) this will be a great matchup

    3 wins in this series is so very achievable.

    Liked by 2 people

  231. 240 Vox O'Reason September 22, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Yikes!! 😯 Formatting error. I’ll try that again…

    Pitching matchups vs. Miami:

    Collmenter vs. Jose Urena (4-7, 5.59 ERA) I like our chances
    Wisler vs. Andrew Cashner (1-4, 6.18 ERA) I like our chances
    Blair vs. Bruce Chen (5-4, 5.04 ERA) I like our chances
    Julio vs. Jose Fernandez (16-8, 2.86 ERA) this will be a great matchup

    3 wins in this series is so very achievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 242 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Collmenter is the Braves version of Colon and Jamie Moyer. I cannot help but think of Charlie Liebrandt when I see a guy with an 84 mph fastball… But it is a moving fastball. Nothing straight. He’ll get at least one more turn.

    With last night’s win, a couple of things happened, the Braves “magic number” is down to one. The Fish are fried… I can see no way for them to make the play-offs now. They just won’t be able to climb past everyone with only 9 game to go.

    Matt Kemp had his boom stick going last night. The first ball he hit went 408 feet to center to be caught. His other two homers went to shorter parts of the park but equally as far.

    Freddie continues his hit/on base streak. Keep the line moving folks…

    Liked by 1 person

  233. 243 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 10:29 am

    In his first start Collmenter pitched well enough to hang in and get a win with a good offense. Last night, Collmenter appeared to be in command of the game. I am very anxious to see his last start and see if he resembles a “get by” pitcher or a “commanding” pitcher.

    If he can repeat last night’s performance, I see no reason not to give him a shot next year. Technically he is under contract for 2017, although it is in the form of a mutual option for $2M. Given his pre-Atlanta season, Collmenter would be a fool do opt out of his side. And given the state of the team;s starting pitching, Coppy would be a fool to not pick up his side of the deal.

    I like the guy. He’s a funky dude, both on the field and off. It’s cool to have some “colorful” guys around the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  234. 244 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Was gonna report some interesting points from Heyman’s recent posting on the Braves, but have decided to simply cut and paste it all. It’s all pretty good.

    The Braves say interim manager Brian Snitker has done a fine job and is in the mix, but as expected, they plan to interview manager candidates, which seems to suggest there’s also a good chance they’ll hire a new manager. Terry Pendleton and Bo Porter are the other main inside candidates. In addition to Torey Lovullo, other names that could be considered include Bud Black, Ron Gardenhire and Don Wakamatsu … Give the Braves credit for not doing anything like tanking and happily allowing the Twins to get that No. 1 pick. And actually, the Braves are suddenly “dangerous” on offense, according to one scout. Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia have been very productive lately, joining Freddie Freeman, who’s been on fire. Garcia incidentally was signed after his release by the Yankees for a minor-league salary ($2,000 a month). Ex-Yankee execs Gordon Blakeley and Alex Cotto (nephew of Henry) deserve the credit there … A lot was made of GM John Coppolella’s remark that while Matt Kemp has been a terrific help to the lineup that they’d also prefer to see him improve his shape (said here and on MLB Network), but from here the GM made a rather obvious statement of fact and did so diplomatically. The truth is, while Kemp has hit and aided their lineup, his poor shape is shocking to everyone who’s seen Braves games recently. It would be impossible not to notice. How sensitive have we all become? … While Atlanta definitely is in the market for a catcher, they aren’t seen as likely to meet Matt Wieters’ price. Wieters has engendered significant Braves speculation since he is a Georgia Tech product … Max Fried, 13 K’s the other day, was throwing 93-96 mph and found his old curve. Good sign for him … Longtime former GM John Schuerholz’s Hall of Fame candidacy will be debated at the next veterans committee meeting, and with Bobby Cox, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz having gone in recently, it would be just for Schuerholz to make it, too. Fourteen straight division titles won’t ever be repeated.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 245 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 11:50 am

    As to Heyman’s assertion, or more opinion I suppose, that the interviewing of outside candidates “seems to suggest there’s also a good chance they’ll hire a new manager”, I must respectfully disagree.

    2 reasons:

    1) Coppy has clarified that the team will look at and possibly interview other candidates for the job out of due diligence, in accordance with The Plan. As for me personally, I think Snit has done enough to keep the job, at least for 2017. That said, I don’t have a problem with the team staying their course in The Plan and going through the process. If Snit is the man for the job, he’ll get it. I believe that.

    2) Those close to the team – the beat writers – seem to be of the opinion that Snit has the inside track, with DO’B even admitting his gut says Snit gets it. I’ll go with those who are in the clubhouse every day over a guy who only has cursory exposure. And I say that with all due respect to Jon Heyman, whom I like. And I can’t say the same about many most national writers. But Heyman simply isn’t around the clubhouse. Our local guys are.

    Liked by 1 person

  236. 246 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    One more thing regarding the manager…

    If the team is to hire someone else, it makes no sense to hire internally. Snit has shown he’s the guy already here. Bypassing him for Pendleton or Porter would appear to be hiring new for the sake of hiring new. It would also give the appearance that Snit was never a real candidate. I don’t think the execs are of that mindset anyway, but beyond that it would send a bad message to both the players and to the fans.

    If they decide to go outside, Bud Black is nothing more than a name, and Don Wakamatsu has never succeeded as a manager. Neither brings anything of real substance. Torey Lovullo is currently Boston’s bench coach, and might be a good manager one day. But don’t you need a firm hand at the helm of a young team? I think you do. At least Ron Gardenhire had a good run in Minnesota. If Snit isn’t gonna get the gig full time, I’d be OK with Gardey. He’d be just about right for a young team on the rise. During his 13 years in Minnie, he finished in the Top 2 AL MOY voting 6 times, winning it in 2010. He also had a 3rd place finish in his 1st season managing.


  237. 247 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Well, the Braves improved play and the Twins’ downward spiral have pretty much cemented Minnie’s earning next year’s #1 draft pick. But he Braves hardly have a stranglehold on #2.

    Here are the worst teams and their records, and the teams they have left to play:

    Twins (55-98) Doesn’t really matter. They just suck.
    Braves (62-91) Marlins, Phils, Tigers
    Reds (63-89) Brewers, Cards Cubs
    Padres (64-89) Giants, Dodgers, D’backs
    D’backs (64-88) O’s, Nats, Padres
    Rays (64-87) Sox of both color, Rangers
    A’s (66-86) Rangers, Angels, Mariners
    Angels (67-86) Astros, A’s, Astros again

    The Reds, Padres and Rays especially have some tough sledding left.

    At first glance, I think the Braves could easily jump the Reds and Padres. Maybe the Rays, too. Without squinting too hard, I could see them falling (or rising, because winning deserves a positive connotation) to #5 in the draft.

    That’s good, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  238. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I had heard somewhere that while Kemp agreed that he needed to get into better shape, he was somewhat put off but the national attention to that fact. Hey, no body like to be called fat. I don’t expect a 32 year old power hitter to come in looking like Trea Turner but we don’t want to see another Panda either. I expect Matt will get serious about his diet during the off season. He knows what he has to do. I think he really enjoys it in Atlanta. He is like a kid again. It happens.

    The only folks calling for a “name” hier as manager are people who don’t pay attention to baseball. Snit has always been a good manager, he just finally got an opportunity to show it. Face it, this team was never going to sniff a winning record and so much turn over on the pitching staff really doomed the Braves regardless. I think Snit would be okay with a one year extension and having the interim tag removed.

    No matter, I think Terry Pendleton will get a chance to manage somewhere if he wants to. Not sure about Bo Porter. I know Eddie Perez wants to manage but will have to start out riding the busses again. Got to pay your dues first.

    You are right about Collmenter. While there were some weak ground balls and pop ups, there were also some rocket shots hit at people. He not a guy who would have success in Denver. You are right in another start will be a good indicator of what the Braves have in him. He is a decent number 4 guy in a line up. I thought it was funny what Paul Byrd said of Josh and his 84 mph fast ball, a lot of those flame throwers would be fighting over who would get to follow him in the rotation. He would be like following a knuckleballer.

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Any pick in the top ten should assure a team of a quality player. It is really up to your scouting staff to do due diligence. I forget the number of drafted players who actually make it to the show but it’s pretty low. I think a team would have a better chance at hitting the lottery jack pot given such a low return on investment.

    The Braves do better just trading for talent from the Padres. Haven’t the fathers really traded away some super talent? Just saying…

    Liked by 2 people

  240. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I was telling Ms Josie the other night that I think the Padres have become the Montreal Expos. That was a team that drafted some really good players who went on to star for other teams.

    I think the Nats need to shut down Harper until the play off. It is so obvious his shoulder is not right. It cannot be doing him any good to go out each night and aggravating it.

    Liked by 2 people

  241. 251 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    What do we notice about the above lineup card? Well, how about the fact that Blair is listed as a reliever, and Weber is listed as a starter? Also that Folty is listed as a starter. Can we assume from that that he’ll take a turn during this rotation? If so, in Blair’s spot? That would be tomorrow. No off day until Monday, so there cannot be any skipping.

    Intriguing indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I thought all along Folty would make the start in Miami as long as his leg was okay. Blair will be a starter some day, just not sure when. Doubtful it will be this season. I’m thinking he is more like the long relief guy until Weber explodes again.

    Funny thing about free speech, it is only free if you are downing our country or saying bad things about conservatives. Everyone else is off limits. #SteveClevenger

    Liked by 2 people

  243. 253 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    As we laid out yesterday, that would be Weber’s slot including the season (and Turner Field’s) closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  244. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    My advice to anyone who wants to mouth off about anything. Keep editing it until all the invective and bile is removed. Otherwise what you say will be used against you someday.

    Or as the late great Lewis Grizzard once implored, “Damn brother, I don’t think I would have told that” .. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  245. 255 Vox O'Reason September 23, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Rare political rant ahead. Tread carefully…

    Clevenger has the right to say whatever he wants, but has to expect the same level of repercussion as Kaepernick or any other athlete. In this instance, he’s employed in the great blue northwest. If he were in Texas, things might be different. Most of the Mariner fanbase are neo-socialist bleeding heart liberals, those who espouse tolerance above all else but have a marked intolerance for those who disagree with them.

    Take Kaepernick for instance. His remarks were no less pointed and inflammatory, but his hate opinion lines up with the leanings of the left leaning San Francisco ticket buyers. He has taken a beating in the conservative media outlets, but he’s golden to the mainstream. Yet a conservative is crushed underfoot as insensitive and racist.

    Sure… no double standard there.

    It also doesn’t help that Clevenger has grossly underperformed. The only reason he wasn’t simply released was that he’d get paid the rest of the season’s salary. This way he loses a little over $28K… which is absolutely nothing to the M’s, but alot to a guy making the league minimum. Thus, it’s clearly an intentional punishment and thumb in the eye as he’s headed out the door.

    It’s also a reminder to the rest of the club to keep their mouths shut if they share a conservative point of view. Free speech comes with a pricetag. Totalitarianism at its finest in the heart of the great blue northwest.

    Liked by 3 people

  246. 256 Carolina Lady September 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Awesome observations, guys! Interesting comments all.


  247. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville September 23, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    It’s a lot like being married Vee, you are free to do anything you want, as long as the wife is okay with it… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  248. 258 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Another tense game last night. Wisler was not sharp at all for is first 5 innings but for some reasons, the Fish just would not take advantage. Adonis had another big night and Freddie reached another milestone in a crazy lost season. Mallex Smith makes another great catch to end the game last night.

    As streaks go, this current win streak is not spectacular but it shur has been fun to watch. Perhaps the manager can make a big difference in how players perform.

    Aaron Blair takes the mound tonight looking for win number two in a row against Wei-Yin Chen, a veteran major league guy who has had a decent season for the Marlins.

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 259 Gil in Mechanicsville September 24, 2016 at 7:50 am

    One more note, I don’t think the Braves would want both Williams Perez and Josh Collmenter on the same starting staff. Too similar in approach.


  250. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville September 25, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Wow, what terrible news to learn of the sudden death of young Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez this morning. A terrible loss for baseball, the Marlins and the world in general. It makes me so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  251. 261 Vox O'Reason September 25, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

    Liked by 2 people

  252. 262 berigan2electricboogaloo September 25, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I didn’t sleep well last night went back to bed and just while looking for the Braves game found it was cancelled and why. Jose Fernandez if he stayed healthy would have probably Wonderful World Series and had a Hall of Fame career and probably would have been the best pitcher in the game and I hear his wife was expecting a baby girl just so tragic so sad and so needless

    Liked by 2 people

  253. 263 berigan2electricboogaloo September 26, 2016 at 5:21 am

    if he stayed healthy would have probably Won several World Series…Was using my phone….

    Imagine how devastated his Mother must be, to lose her son….a son that jumped in to save her, when she went overboard on the boat they came from Cuba on….His girlfriend is expecting a baby girl he will never get a chance to hold, she will never get to know her Dad, except second hand…..

    Liked by 1 person

  254. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Yes Ber, a harsh reminder of how life can be so short. I am reminded of the tragic lose of another young pitcher who was probably the best on the Angels staff. Nick Adenhart.. I don’t thinks the Angels ever recovered that season.

    Liked by 2 people

  255. 265 Vox O'Reason September 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Yes Ber, a harsh reminder of how life can be so short.

    Well, on this side of eternity, anyway. That’s why we better make it count. As I heard Pastor Greg Laurie say this weekend, we call it life and then the afterlife, but it should really be the beforelife and then life, because this one is “like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

    Better be ready.

    Liked by 3 people

  256. 266 Vox O'Reason September 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Lost in all of the sadness from the weekend is the observation that Shae Simmons had not appeared in any games for about a week. And during his time back in ATL he was looking like the legit guy he was supposed to be before a myriad of injuries took him out in 2014, 2015, and slowed his return this year.

    According to the three-headed beat writer, Kevin O’Bowman, he’s been dealing with “forearm soreness” that the team is downplaying as “not serious”. I must add, though, that they said they hope it’s not serious. With that in mind, and with the end of the season closing in quickly, they’ve pretty much just shut him down.

    In my view, he’s an important piece to the team’s 2017 bullpen. Let’s all share in the team’s hope that it’s nothing serious.


  257. 267 Vox O'Reason September 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Alan Carpenter at Tomahawk Take makes the observation that if Detroit is still fighting for that last Wild Card spot on the season’s final day, and it’s a must-win game for them, the Braves could face Justin Verlander to close out their time at The Ted. What a treat that would be for what should be a full house.


  258. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville September 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I hope the Braves play it like it’s them playing for a spot in the big dance. I suspect Detroit will not have wrapped up by then because other teams (Astros) will still be holding out hope. Also there are 2 teams in the AL east still pushing.

    No game tonight so the bullpen arms should be fresh, or a fresh as one can expect.

    forearm tightness Ominous words when strung together for a professional pitcher. I know what it meant for me, I wasn’t a pro by any stretch. Me of the 55mph fastball…

    I’m pretty sure the Marlins baseball team would just a soon call it a season and just try to get past it all. At least with family you get three days.


  259. 269 Vox O'Reason September 26, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    With the bump in the rotation with yesterday’s cancelled game, and the return of Folty on Wednesday, the rotation for the last time through will be:


    … with Julio returning to pitch the season-ender, which is somehow appropriate. And if it does end up being a must-win game for DET and Verlander is indeed on the mound, it’ll be a whale of a game.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 270 Vox O'Reason September 26, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    As for the cancelled game, the only way it will be made up is if it matters to MIA’s Wild Card chances, which are all but gone. They have to practically win out, and get some help from some other teams. They (along with PIT) are 4.5 behind San Fran for the last spot, and 4 behind St. Louis with 6 to play. And they have 3 vs. the Mets at home and 3 vs. the Nats in DC.

    In other words, don’t plan on that game being made up.


  261. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2016 at 9:29 am

    So, I wonder what happens if the absent game effects the draft pick selection?

    Liked by 3 people

  262. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Or I should say, the draft selection order…


  263. 273 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 9:41 am

    So, I wonder what happens if the absent game effects the draft pick selection order?

    With the bottom 5 teams being so close, it very likely will. The league will order the teams based on winning %. Obviously there’s no way to know if it will affect us positively or negatively, but it will no doubt affect us.

    Liked by 1 person

  264. 274 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I think it could affect the Marlis too. So winning percentage it is. I guess MLB had already planned for just such a scenario, or not…

    Liked by 1 person

  265. 275 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    You can scratch a reunion with Martin Prado off the wish list. He and the Fish have worked out an extension. At this point, the only major upgrade at 3B will be Justin Turner, who will come at a very steep price. I say we keep Adonis, loosely platoon Rio Ruiz, and point our cash toward pitching. Having Rio will add another LH bat to the bench, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  266. 276 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Good for him. Good for them, too. Kinda hard to “hate” them right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  267. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville September 27, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    While Adonis will not likely make the All-star team not win a gold glove, He isn’t that awful either. I can live with his offense and his defense too. Makes it more likely 2nd base will be a real target for an up grade. That and possibly of adding catcher although I can live with Recker too. So, where to spend the money? Yep, veteran arm and hope they can last through spring training.

    I look for the Bravos to have a much better start next season, maybe not yet ready for primetime but in position to make a real run in 2018.


  268. 278 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Makes it more likely 2nd base will be a real target for an up grade.

    Gotta respectfully disagree. Jace will hold that position down until Ozzie makes his debut sometime in June, if not earlier. I think pitching and catching will be the main focus of the men in suits. Gonna take alot of cash to land a big fish with a big arm, but I think they’ll be fishing in that pond for one guy at least. If Ivan Nova rebuffs PITs extension overtures and enters the market, watch for him to be on Coppy’s speed dial. I like Jeremy Hellickson because I think he’s a “low floor” kinda guy that’ll chew up some innings and might win 12-15 games. But he won’t be a 20 game winner. Nova has that potential if he can get it all together. He can also be a 9 game winner if he gives up gophers at the rate he did before his mid-season trade. But he’s turned it around in PIT and has been the pitcher that NYY said he could be. So you take a little risk of getting Yankee Nova vs. Pirate Nova.

    But hey… gotta take some risks to gain reward, right?


  269. 279 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Well that’s interesting. He wasn’t coming back here anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  270. 280 Vox O'Reason September 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Yep. The guy has been plagued by injuries his entire career. Could there be a worse possible time for him? For the Nats? For the Braves?

    If Wieters takes an extension instead of hitting the open market he’s a fool. He’s gonna command a mint now. It also jacks the market for Jason Castro.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 281 Vox O'Reason September 28, 2016 at 7:14 am

    After 2 lengthy rain delays, and with the Braves being down 6-1, I bailed in the 5th inning.

    Of course these boys never quit and came back to win it 7-6 on the strength of 5 scoreless from the bullpen and timely hitting from guys like Flowers and Smith. Heck, that sounds like a bakery!

    What’s going on over there?

    Liked by 1 person

  272. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I watched the game until the rain delay and then switched over to watch regular TV. Went to bed at eleven and checked to find the game restarter. Then saw the Phillies’ pen cough up a 5 run lead and the Braves come back. These never give up do they?

    A player was announced to be coming back for Beckham. Amazing the Giants would give up someone for a one week rental.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 283 Vox O'Reason September 28, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Amazing the Giants would give up someone for a one week rental.

    Well… let’s take a look at who this, ahem player is.

    Per DO’B:

    Minor league IF Rich Rodriguez, 23, has played parts of six minor league seasons in the Giants organization, four of those at the rookie-league level and this season in high Single-A, where he hit just .174 (19-for-109) with one extra-base hit.

    He’s played all infield positions and some at the outfield corners and has a .264 career average (217-for-821) with 18 doubles, two triples and 68 RBI in 264 minor league games.

    I would have preferred the previously announced cash.

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 284 Vox O'Reason September 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm


    Liked by 2 people

  275. 285 Vox O'Reason September 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm


  276. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    So, about last night…. Julio sucked… just really could not get the ball down for the first three innings. Too much rest between starts? Perhaps fortunate for the Braves there was a rain delay.

    Tonight Folty returns. Dr said he would always have pain from where he was hit by the line drive. He will have to learn to pitch with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  277. 287 berigan2electricboogaloo September 28, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I too flipped by last night…saw game was back, 6-1 5th inning, 11 pm…had no idea they came back til you guys said they won! Shockingly, baseball tonight did not mention this fact 😛 They did show Mallex Smith’s great catch the other night…

    Liked by 1 person

  278. 288 Carolina Lady September 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    “I would have preferred the previously announced cash.”
    Me, too! I really, really need to go shopping – for myself this time. You men probably won’t believe this, but I am an extremely LOW maintenance person. I don’t have even one dress in my closet and have basically one pair of shoes. (There are two pair in the closet but I can’t wear them because of my back.) I have a lovely selection of tee shirts and sweatshirts, and maybe a half-dozen pairs of slacks, but that’s it. I should at least have one ‘something’ nice to be buried in, don’t ya think? Have no idea where that thought originated. sigh 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  279. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I should at least have one ‘something’ nice to be buried in

    Funny you should mention that, I had the same exact thought about myself the other night. Problem is, it’s a crap shoot. By the time I die, I doubt whatever I have will fit… Closed casket… Then can be comfortable in a sweat suit… I am also requesting glove because my hands get cold easily… 🙂

    Maybe my uniform…

    Now baseball… Folty looked sharp tonight. One hiccup but nothing catastrophic. he looked free and easy. The boys had the bats working against tonight’s sacrificial lamb run out by the Phillies. 12-2 was the final.

    Braves now tied with Arizona record wise. Still four games to go. Wisler tomorrow night and then the final curtain… Would love to bump the Tigers out of the dance.

    Boston and Chicago look to be the class of the field but anything can happen, just ask the Braves…

    Liked by 1 person

  280. 290 Gil in Mechanicsville September 28, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Still watching ESPU eh Ber? Sigh… I watch MLB Tonight. at least they talk about all the teams. Quick Pitch usually shows the Braves highlight near the end of the show each night. It’s what happens when you are close to the bottom of the pile.

    Liked by 2 people

  281. 291 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 9:00 am

    baseball tonight did not mention this fact

    If I were walking by the set of Baseball Tonight, or anything on ESPN for that matter, and saw that it was on fire and I had a glass of water, I’d drink the water.

    The only time that network will be on my TV is if UGA football is there and I have no other alternative. (Actually, I am researching some newer tech alternatives to my TV reception choices anyway, but that’s a different conversation.)

    At any rate, even when I am forced to watch it, I don’t listen to the commercials, and if I could figure out a way to sync the latency between the radio broadcast and the satellite signal, I wouldn’t listen to any of it. I’d listen to the radio play-by-play. Unfortunately it takes a second or 3 to bounce all those microwaves off the various satellites and repeaters.

    If I could develop a device to let you dial in a corresponding delay to the radio reception, I’d probably make millions.

    Liked by 1 person

  282. 292 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Gil, I know, you and V mock me for still watching it…CL probably does too 😉
    I don’t blame use guys…I think I mentioned before, MLB tonight, I like, but I don’t always want to look at live look ins, then get interested in the game, then they go away…then I also want to see the highlights of the games…which quick pitch does, but I can’t tell my DirectTV to record it, except if I tell it to record 1 specific hour. Otherwise, hit record all episodes (like I do for baseball tonight) I get like 10 hours a day recorded!
    I have to watch/record Quick pitch on friday, Saturday, and apparently Sunday’s as there is no baseball tonights on there….perhaps the last weekend.
    Sad that ESPN thinks there are so few baseball fans there is no need to bother having the show on the weekends…you sure can find football tonight, or whatever they call it year round…
    I also really like Tim K (who isn’t on nearly enough) Adnan Virk (I hate toupee man hosting) and a few other guys they have. Of course Adnan is pulled away from Baseball tonight the last month of the season (he’s a HUGE Blue Jay fan) cuz football.
    If MLB.TV would hire a few guys from ESPN I’d gladly give it up…of course, ESPN gets 6-8 bucks from ALL OF US, whether we watch them or not…might as well watch one show and NOTHING else they have on…..


  283. 293 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Plus, there are only a handful of national talking heads that I have much respect for anyway, and I can’t think of any on ESPN.

    I like Jon Heyman (MLB Network), Jeff Passan (Yahoo), Joel Sherman (NY Post, MLB Network)… that’s about it.

    Buster Olney and Jayson Stark left me behind a while back, and Ken Rosensource is too paranoid for my taste.

    If you want to hear about your team from ESPN, they better be from NY, LA, CHI, PHI, TEX, SF or BOS. And those just happen to be the top 7 TV markets, in order. Some coincidence, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

  284. 294 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Olney, Kurkjian and Stark all seem like the same guy to me.

    I do like Jerry Crasnick a little, but I prefer to just catch his tweets and stay away from his columns.

    I used to really like Peter Gammons, but as he got older, and ESPN got more politically motivated, he has distanced himself a little from the Death Star. But his first love and concentration is the Red Sox, so he doesn’t relate much to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  285. 295 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Dang. There go my millions…


    Liked by 1 person

  286. 296 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 9:25 am

    FYI- the reviews on the free software download are mixed. The max delay time is 9.9 seconds. Apparently the latency for FM radio broadcasts is greater than that. I suppose it is fine for AM though. That said, AM is not an option after dark for those of us out in God’s country.

    Liked by 1 person

  287. 297 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I basically had this post written yesterday, and I guess I was going to put the cherry on top, and forgot to hit post…checked later, no post…sigh….
    Yep. The guy has been plagued by injuries his entire career. Could there be a worse possible time for him? For the Nats? For the Braves?

    If Wieters takes an extension instead of hitting the open market he’s a fool. He’s gonna command a mint now. It also jacks the market for Jason Castro.

    You know who else has been plagued by injuries most of his career? Wieters! 😉 Seriously though…McCann has been for the most part injury free…and know he will be worth more in a very thin market, so not likely will the braves pony up what it will take to get him…
    and I’m sorry but Jason Castro sucks when he is not behind the plate. 222, 211, then 209. 31 RBI’s last year 32 this year, in a bandbox….while back in the day, you could get by with lame hitting catchers and SS’s those days appear to be over…
    so, the question is….is it really worth it to try to get Wieters, Castro, or McCann? Is anyone going to be markedly better than Flowers/Wrecker? Ok, better throwing, but…what else? McCann throws out runners at the same pace as Castro…costs more, but he does you know…hit


  288. 298 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I like Jon Heyman (MLB Network), Jeff Passan (Yahoo), Joel Sherman (NY Post, MLB Network)… that’s about it.
    talk about 3 guys I can’t tell from each other 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  289. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Yes, the catching market just got a lot thinner with the Buffalo going down in DC. An ACL tear… I can hardly think of a worse injury for a catcher. Ramos’ value has taken a marked change for the worse.

    I expect the Braves will search high and low for a new backstop but could well settle to keep the guys on their current roster. Not sure that Recker won’t sign with someone else in the off season as his stock has risen.

    Not sure if the low number of caught stealings is really all the fault of Flowers and Recker. The Braves young pitchers have not yet mastered holding runners and they have been pretty easy to get a read on by opposing runners. Most of the steals this season have appeared to be on the pitchers and not the catchers.

    I think that is why the Braves were so disappointed in Bethacourt’s failure to lunch. It really set the Braves back in that respect.

    LuCroy cost Texas a ton as it would any team but it may well have been the trade which could propel the Rangers into the World Series.

    Liked by 1 person

  290. 300 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I think that is why the Braves were so disappointed in Bethacourt’s failure to lunch. It really set the Braves back in that respect.

    The Braves scouting and assessment group under Frank’s regime were consistently bad about giving a realistic profile of our “top” prospects. I could go on and on naming failed players, but what’s the use?

    Bethancourt by far has hurt the team’s present and future given that he was “can’t miss”. Well, he missed.

    I think Flowers has done a good job. I can think of worse around the league. Recker has far exceed expectations as his backup, and will probably get a sweeter deal elsewhere in FA. Plus, he’s a RH hitter, same as Flowers. Ideally we could find a LH compliment, much the way AJP/TFlow were set up.

    I think at this point, Coppy is going to have to unearth a catcher in the trade market. Flowers may have another year as the primary guy, but he’s only under contract for 1 more year.

    And I agree 100% Gil that Lucroy cost alot, but is paying big dividends in Ft. Worth. I heard somewhere just this week that he has 5 or 6 game winning RBI since joining the Rangers. That’s alot of wins he’s directly responsible for.

    I still think the priority of Coppy this offseason will be:
    #1- Starting pitcher
    #2- Starting pitcher
    #3- Catcher
    #4- 3B

    Now… as to the subject of 3B, Adonis has done a nice job for us this year. In fact, he’s obviously exceeded expectations. But when you compare him to other 3B around the league, it’s kinda telling. Let’s do a MLB-wide comparison using the tried and true old school stats that you want out of the prototypical 3B:

    HR: 14 ties him for 23rd with 3 others, 1 of whom doesn’t even play the position every day (Javier Baez)
    RBI: 63 ties him for 19th with 1 other
    2B: 29 places him 15th
    OPS: .715 places him 23rd; this is the one comprehensive stat that think best represents what you want offensively from a 3B

    And for the boo-teek basement stat of WAR, he’s 46th with .01. Hey, at least it’s a positive number.

    I personally could care less about “WAR”, but do place stock in the others.

    It reveals that he isnt even in the same class with guys like Josh Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and Manny Machado. Not even with a creaky, aging vet like Adrian Beltre.

    Martin Prado is far ahead of him, as is David Freese… yes, David Freese.

    Here’s something to chew on. Would Tampa be willing to listen on Evan Longoria? He’ll be past his prime by the time the Rays are ready to compete again, and they would surely be interested in some young prospects. They always are.

    What a huge acquisition that would be! If Longo sat in our lineup, it would lessen the need at catcher, and make the top 6 a virtual murderer’s row:

    1- Ender (L)
    2- Dansby (R)
    3- Freddie (L)
    4- Kemp (R)
    5- Longo (R)
    6- Markakis (L)
    7- TFlow (R)
    8- Ozzie (S)

    Liked by 1 person

  291. 301 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 11:47 am

    … always “per sources”. Couldn’t resist. Too easy. He should start his on line of tacky bowties and call them Per Sources.


  292. 302 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 11:49 am

    He should start his on own line of tacky bowties…


    Liked by 1 person

  293. 303 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Of course, online bowties might be a real business niche.

    “Bowties already tied and delivered to your door in just 2 days with Per Sources Prime!”

    Liked by 1 person

  294. 304 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Did y’all vote for the Braves All-Turner Field team? I did. The results were announced yesterday. There were some obvious one and some surprises.

    The winners are:
    C – Javy Lopez
    1B – Freddie Freeman
    2B – Marcus Giles
    3B – Chipper Jones
    SS – Rafael Furcal
    LF – Ryan Klesko
    CF – Andruw Jones
    RF – Brian Jordan
    Utility Player – Martin Prado
    Starting Pitchers – Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Julio Teheran
    Relief Pitcher – Craig Kimbrel

    There was some chatter that they would let Bobby make out a “lineup card” with these guys on it and “present it” to the home plate ump prior to the #6 countdown game Tuesday. What a great charity opportunity it would be to auction that bad boy off, huh? Alas it didn’t happen.

    So how would you line these guys up? I would go like this:

    1- Furcal, SS (S)
    2- Chipper, 3B (S)
    3- Freddie, 1B (L)
    4- Andruw, CF (R)
    5- Klesko, LF (L)
    6- BJ, RF (R)
    7- Javy, C (R)
    8- Marcus, 2B (R)

    That’s a tough call. Has there ever been a better #3 hitter in ATL besides Chipper? But I want both he and Freddie to get those 1st inning AB’s, and I want Andruw as my cleanup hitter. No question.

    The 1999 Braves had alot of those guys on it: Chipper, Andruw, Javy, Klesko, BJ, Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz were all on that roster. Furcal would come on in 2000. Marcus didn’t arrive until 2001.


  295. 305 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    For the record, I voted for Uggla over Marcus and BMac over Javy (which was a tough choice). I think the others were pretty much all my choices.


  296. 306 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I just ran across a piece by Alan Carpenter over at Tomahawk Take where he suggests the Braves could offer a diminished “rehab and re-prove yourself” contract to Ramos (something like 1 or 2 years at $8M per), while retaining Recker as Flowers’ backup for another season.

    That’s an interesting take, but I can’t see it. All indications are the the team is ready to put a winning lineup on the field in 2017. The time for waiting and being patient is over. Other players have come back from ACL surgery in 6-8 months, but not necessarily to catch. I gotta think that’s going to take longer, so you just about have to give him at least a 2 year deal, right? And even then you can’t expect much in 2017.

    Nah. Can’t see it. Those $$ will go in a direction that will make an impact in 2017. As they should.

    Liked by 2 people

  297. 307 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    V.I think we’re pretty much in agreement on WAR it’s an absolute joke. A few weeks back I just didn’t have the time when I was thinking about it but I was going to write a very long Savannah guy Length to post on what a joke WAR was. What I was going to use his example is about 2 weeks ago Matt Kemp had at least 30 home runs in about 95 RBIs and he wasn’t even in the top 100 players there were guys with seven home runs and 33 RBIs that were considered better players than him good guys that can hit 7 home runs and drive in 33 RBIs are a dime a dozen and a funny thing happened between the Braves got him everything started to fire on all cylinders but as we know baseball experts talk about an oxymoron will use any sort of excuse to explain away why the Braves are better except Matt Kemp because his War sucks so therefore he must suck

    Liked by 1 person

  298. 308 berigan2electricboogaloo September 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    With Garcia it’s sort of like Tyler Flowers is this year an aberration? Or have they really turned a corner? I heard Joe Simpson say something interesting yesterday we talked to this guy that said he had to completely rewrite everything he had about Garcia you had him as a guy that had for mechanics for body type little rain wasn’t very good hearing got to just throw his old scouting report away I think we’re going to find some day Terry Pendleton made a monstrous difference in his ability to bring his talents to the Forefront have you ever change so completely on both sides of the baseball like he did this year? I’m doing this by phone so it’ll be a few were there is but I kind of like writing a post in 3 or 4 minutes instead of 15 20 minutes

    Liked by 2 people

  299. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Agree, Ramos would be a bad investment.

    Isn’t Travis d’Arnaud availble?

    I would thing the Braves would like to have a lefty to platoon with Flowers however.

    Ruiz is the current heir apparent at third but you are right Ber about how much TP has helped Adonis. Of course the Braves might just be showcasing Ruiz.

    Who do the Pads have available who can play third?

    I look for AJ Ellis to be released by Philly.

    I voted for Javy but I want the juiced Javy… 🙂

    Brian Jordan over Sheffield? Naw…

    Liked by 1 person

  300. 310 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I like this lineup. Hope to see some of this game tonight.


  301. 311 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Brian Jordan over Sheffield?

    Now that you mention it… I think I voted for Shef. Can’t remember.

    I look for AJ Ellis to be released by Philly.

    Another righty… and not as much with the bat as Flowers. Heckuva clubhouse guy, though.


  302. 312 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Travis d’Arnaud would be a decent pickup…. probably a “change of scenery” guy. But he’s just 1st time arb eligible this year, and under the Mets control through 2020. It’d take a trade to get him. You wanna deal with the Mets? I don’t. That is unless they’ll take Chaz Roe and Joel de le Cruz for him… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  303. 313 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Interesting quote today from Wilson Ramos, courtesy of MASNsports.com’s Byron Kerr (via an interpreter):

    “Unfortunately, this injury happened so close to the end and it may affect whether I’m able to stay with a National League team or not, but if it’s up to me, I definitely would like to keep playing for the Nationals and play as long as I can.”

    He’s obviously alluding to the fact that while he can probably hit and run next season, crouching is another thing… as we discussed earlier today.

    And another point that can’t be dismissed. This is his 2nd right ACL tear.

    Liked by 1 person

  304. 314 Vox O'Reason September 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    We keep talking about the Braves “going after a catcher”, but with all of the teams looking for catching help, it’ll be a rocky road no matter who we are looking at.

    For the Braves, we need starting pitching more than anything, and a couple of arms at that.

    A team such as the Nats… the only real thing they need now is a catcher. They’ll make that the top priority and make a hard run right out of the gate on the top guys. I can’t see Coppy being that aggressive. Although alot of national guys (not that I think they know everything) believe Wieters will sign with the Braves early. I just can’t believe that, though. Not with Scott Boras as his agent and with Ramos’ injury changing the catching market so dramatically. I think they’ll wait on through the Winter Meetings when they can get in front of alot of teams and allow them to all bid against each other.


  305. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    The Os are hanging tough for the second wildcard spot which is going to be tough having to play in Toronto. Of course the Jays have not yet clinched the spot. I’m sure there are three AL teams rooting for the Braves this weekend against Detroit.

    Come to think of it, this weekend will be a good yardstick for the Braves to see how they really stack up against a good team. The Braves end of season schedule has not been near as tough as the first six weeks of the season.

    Yep, Mallex in center and Ruiz at third. Maybe not next seasons starters but likely 2018’s opening day’s roster. Then again, Mallex would take Markakis’ spot, not Enders’.

    If Kemp can lose 20 pounds in the off season, I would like to see him in right field. Otherwise, he can play a decent left field. He and Mallex have both made some highlight reel catches in left this week.

    The guys in the booth said that Snit was going to let Mallex play three games against the Phils and let one of the outfield regulars sit. It’s Ender’s turn tonight.

    I think Daniel Castro has raise his stock this week as well. Smooth in the field and clutch with the stick. Don’t be surprised to see him on the 25 man roster next season. Not a lot of power but there are other guys who can fill that roll on the team.

    A word about Dansby… Walt Weiss with power…. I knew he reminded me of someone…

    Liked by 1 person

  306. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville September 29, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    yep, Charlie Liebrandt clone… or maybe the reincarnation of Jamie Moyer as a right hander. Amazing how a pitcher throwing an 80mph fastball can mess with a hitter’s timing. Almost like a person missing the bottom step. Pretty sure he will be in camp this spring. Takes a bit of pressure off Coppy and Company to go big on a free agent but then again, allows for a little maneuvering too.

    Note to the Braves… Stay away from Strausberg… Please…

    What the Braves need is a solid innings eater like Javier Lopez a few years back. Even a return of a guy like Ervin Santana would be huge.

    The next three games against Detroit will give the Braves a good measuring stick on how they stand. They will be facing some good pitching. It will be tough to score 5 runs and that could be a telling point.

    Oh by the way, wasn’t that dinger by Dansby dandy? Nice play by Jace Petterson at second in the fifth inning too which saved a run.

    Kind of sad to see the season come to a close now that the Braves are playing well. That is such a turn around from what we have come to expect from a Braves team the past 10 years. Always starter strong a faded in August and September.

    Liked by 2 people

  307. 317 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Amazing how a pitcher throwing an 80mph fastball can mess with a hitter’s timing.

    Especially following Folty in the rotation…


  308. 318 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Note to the Braves… Stay away from Strausberg… Please…

    No worries. Strasburg is the Nats’ burden through 2013.


  309. 319 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Kind of sad to see the season come to a close now that the Braves are playing well.

    One thing that is consistent with a “breakout” team is how they finished the previous one. A graphic on last night’s game showed that they Braves were “3 games back” of the Mets for the 2nd half. If we can improve the rotation we’ll close that gap a little.

    I believe that is the key to at least competing next year. We all scratched our heads and wondered where the offense would come from in 2017, but somehow it has already come together. Add in a couple of solid mid-tier starters and you have something to talk about. Add in a top starter and an innings eater (to help out the pen) and you really have something.

    Speaking of available mid-tier starters, too bad for Hellickson last night. Never good timing for an injury, but that is almost as bad as it gets. Not Ramos-ian bad, but bad nonethelesss. Wonder how many $$ dropped off his earning potential as he enters into FA? He was arguably in the top 3 starters available. Now he has question marks. Yowser.

    Hey Coppy… Ivan Nova is represented by The Legacy Agency. I’m sure you have them in your speed dial, but I’m happy to find a contact number if you want me to…


  310. 320 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 7:37 am


  311. 321 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 7:42 am

    For the record, Hellickson finished the season with a 3.71 ERA and 189 IP.

    In a pair of tweets by PIT’s scribe, Ivan Nova is quoted yesterday as saying “I don’t want to leave this clubhouse, to be honest. But it’s not up to me.” He said comfort will play a role in decision.

    I bet the new SunTrust Park clubhouse will be really comfortable. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  312. 322 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I bet the new SunTrust Park clubhouse will be really comfortable.😉

    Yep, either guy would be solid and expensive… I am sure player around the major leagues have taken notice of what is happening in Atlanta too. Everyone wants to be a part of a winner.

    Funny how one player can be a game changer but Matt Kemp has been that guy. Heck, I remember the month Troy Glauss had which pushed the Braves over the top one season. It was only for one month but it was significant.

    I think Freddie will cut down on his strikeouts next season. If only because he realizes he does not have to be the guy…

    Liked by 2 people

  313. 323 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Matt Kemp, 34 HR’s 107 RBI’s…do we really want him to slim down? 😉
    Funny, when he was in full on beast mode, he kept getting hurt…..


  314. 324 berigan2electricboogaloo September 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Funny, I too have been feeling like the season is ending at exactly the wrong time….


  315. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Go point Ber on Kemp. Perhaps we put too much stock into “shape”… Still, twenty pounds of fat can mean the difference in playing right field vs left. That said, the Braves have not really had a decent left fielder (one who can hit) since Kesko was traded.

    Even so, Kemp has made some pretty decent fielding plays since coming to the big A.

    Just doesn’t need a big A to slow him down.

    I don’t feel the Braves need to sweep the Tigers to validate themselve this past month but 2 out of 3 would do it for me.

    162 games and it comes down to the last three games for those teams vying for the final wildcard berths. My advice, celebrate while you can guys, someone is going home a “loser” after each series.

    Liked by 1 person

  316. 326 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 10:34 am

    As usual, the ol’ B&S is ahead of the curve. I believe we discussed this last week.

    Liked by 1 person

  317. 327 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I don’t feel the Braves need to sweep the Tigers to validate themselve this past month but 2 out of 3 would do it for me.

    And just 1 out of 3 and the Braves front office is out from under a self made cloud, too. They promised us after the 2015 disaster that 2016 would not be as bad. Well, it appeared for most of the year that it was a foregone conclusion that 2016 would be worse. But if the Braves win just 1 from the Tiggers, we’ll match last season’s win total of 67 with only only 94 losses, 1 less than 2015. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  318. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hey, one out of three would help the Braves meet a goal but I think everyone outside of the Tigers would feel let down. I would anyway. Just would be a bit of a downer.

    Of the teams left in the AL wildcard, I think Seattle is in the worst spot followed by the Tigers. No matter, it is going to be tough on the wildcard team to advance. Most of their front line pitching will have been used.

    With all the added games for the post season, I think it is time for baseball to shorten the regular season so the World Series is over in October. I know, team owners want to squeeze every nickle they can out of a season but fans reach a point of fatigue and want to move on to the next sport. There is just too much overlap.

    Liked by 1 person

  319. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    And this year the World Classic rears its ugly head. I know some guys will be worn out before they can get started. Then again, maybe the Braves can find a catcher…

    Liked by 1 person

  320. 331 Vox O'Reason September 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    So many of our Braves are on record lobbying for Snit to be given the full time job… Freddie, Jace, Ender, and more.

    Given the strong finish to this season, and going into the final series a The Ted and all that this weekend represents as far as being a springboard into the next era, I think the front office should remove the interim label tonight, and let this team go through this last weekend of the “past” with their leadership intact and manning the helm as they forge into the future.

    Liked by 3 people

  321. 332 Carolina Lady September 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I fully agree, Raisins. They need to have some feeling of continuity that would with a familiar boss, as they move into a new stadium. Another manager at this point would definitely be detrimental, IMHO. I guess I’m saying the same thing you did above. Besides, Snit has earned it! I hope the upper echelon realizes all this.

    Liked by 2 people

  322. 333 Carolina Lady September 30, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Saturday, October 1 : The Final Thank You
    Series presented by Gas South.
    The first 20,000 fans will enjoy a surprise gate giveaway and fan appreciation prizes will be distributed randomly throughout the game
    Free Scouts Alley games throughout the game
    Free entry into the Braves Museum
    10% merchandise discount in the Braves Outlet Store located at aisle 230
    Commemorative Turner Field poster presented by Gas South and SunTrust for all fans through the gates
    10% merchandise discount in the Braves Outlet Store located at aisle 230
    All gates open at 4 p.m. (3 hours early)
    Sat, Oct 1 @ 7:10 PM EDT

    Sunday, October 2 : The Final Game
    Series presented by Gas South.
    Enter the gates of Turner Field for the last time and take your seat for the historic, final Braves game at Turner Field!
    Braves alumni will take the field in a special ceremony before the game to celebrate the last two decades of players at Turner Field and throw a ceremonial first pitch.
    Commemorative final game ticket in a WellStar lanyard for all fans through the gates.
    Free Scout’s Alley Games throughout the game
    Free entry into the Braves Museum throughout the game
    Commemorative Turner Field poster presented by Gas South and SunTrust for all fans through the gates.

    Postgame: The Braves will close out Turner Field with a postgame ceremony that includes a ceremonial final pitch, the transfer of home plate to SunTrust Park, a Parade of Braves Country states, and a presentation featuring Braves VIPs.
    10% merchandise discount in the Braves Outlet Store located at aisle 230
    All gates open at 12 p.m. (3 hours early)

    Liked by 2 people

  323. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Hey CL, MLB has the Braves game free tonight on line. Here is a link.


    Liked by 2 people

  324. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville September 30, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    They said there would be a special guest to remove the last number. I think it should be Ted Turner. Likely Jimmy Carter or Hank Aaron.

    Liked by 2 people

  325. 337 Carolina Lady September 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    WOW! A real, live ballgame!

    HEY, GUYS!!!!! Check out OUR visitors counter up top! We hit a big milestone tonight!

    Liked by 2 people

  326. 338 Carolina Lady September 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Uh-oh. Trouble in the tropics:

    “Hurricane Matthew is now a major hurricane as it moves across the Caribbean Sea. An expected turn to the north this weekend will bring trouble to Jamaica, Cuba and the western Greater Antilles early next week.

    As of 11 p.m. EDT, Matthew was located near 13.3 N, 72.3 W, or about 80 miles north-northwest of Punta Gallinas, Colombia, and 440 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Maximum sustained winds are 160 mph, making it a Category 5 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It is moving to the west at 7 mph. Its minimum central pressure is 941 mb or 27.79 inches of mercury.

    A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Jamaica. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from the Colombia/Venezuela border to Riohacha, Colombia and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the southwestern coast of Haiti from the southern border with the Dominican Republic to Port-Au-Prince.

    Matthew is moving across the south-central Caribbean, and will continue to move to the west for the next several days. Warm water and lower wind shear will help Matthew maintain major hurricane status for the next several days.

    The forecast for this system diverges significantly early next week, with an expected turn to the north-northwest over the weekend. This could send this system close to Jamaica, western Haiti and eastern Cuba on Monday and early Tuesday and then eventually into the Bahamas Wednesday.

    However, the uncertainty surrounding the forecast track and strength will mean that all of the Greater Antilles, Florida, the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Seaboard should keep an eye on this system’s development.”

    Um, I’m thinking it might be a good time to go visit Nashville. Or Memphis, maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

  327. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I predict it will travel up the Gulf Stream.

    Liked by 1 person

  328. 340 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Young Matt Wisler was tagged early and often. It was over pretty early. Oh well, not a huge surprise was it?


  329. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 9:13 am

    And it looks like Cuba is in for some more redevelopment…

    Liked by 1 person

  330. 342 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    With Aaron Blair scheduled to take the ball tonight against the Tigers, I am reminded of how shallow the Braves’ current roster is when it comes to starting pitchers. If Blair comes to the game with hos deer in the headlights look, the Bravos are doomed to defeat. However, if he can muster some brass, he can grow by leaps and bounds.

    hey, the Tigers are a legitimate top tier ballclub. No cheap wins against a very powerful offense with few holes to exploit. It will be a stress filled outing for the young righthander.

    Zimmermann is a tough cookie but he is beatable.

    Yes Vee, upon reflection and after last night’s loss, coming up 1-3 in this series would be a plus.


  331. 343 berigan2electricboogaloo October 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    HEY, GUYS!!!!! Check out OUR visitors counter up top! We hit a big milestone tonight!
    Yay! 100,000!!!!! I was noticing that the number was pretty high up a few weeks ago(month?) but it was going so slowly…I forgot.
    I am pretty sure though that I was the 100,000 visitor/hit and I am also pretty sure that there was a promise of a large cash payout to said visitor 😆 😆 😆

    Liked by 2 people

  332. 344 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Ber, it’s free pizza for everyone… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  333. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville October 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Young Aaron Blair off to a much better start tonight than Matt Wisler last night. Maybe we have a chance after all.


  334. 347 Carolina Lady October 2, 2016 at 6:37 am

    The “Porter” that is often mentioned, is that Jeff Porter, the head medical guy?


  335. 348 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Bo Porter, who was the manager of the Astros during their rebuild. He is currently coaching third base for the Braves.

    I hope you watched last night’s game CL. MLB is free this weekend.

    Wow, what a performance by Aaron Blair, who would have thunk it? And Dansby Swanson doing it with his glove and his bat… A lot to like in this group, including playing with a passion, something we have not seen in a long time in Atlanta.

    Liked by 2 people

  336. 349 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I didn’t get a chance to say it last night, but was that a game, or was that a game???? 🙂 Clearly the best game the braves played all year, and for Blair to show up and really pitch…shame he won’t get another start , shame the braves season is ending today….
    I do feel a bit sorry for Detroit, they really look like a good team, a playoff team….but after the braves did little against Detroit Friday in front of a huge crowd, it was great to see them play so hard against the Tigers…they played like a team in the playoff hunt…they are having fun….

    Liked by 2 people

  337. 350 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I would have just assumed Snit was the guy, clearly he has a less than perfect team playing above and beyond what could be expected….and yet….from CL’s link….

    Mark Bowman


    The Braves interviewed their four internal mgr. candidates – Snit, Pendleton, Perez and Porter. Pendleton was said to be very impressive
    9:11 AM – 1 Oct 2016

    Ok, why say this??? Especially before the season is even over?
    Look I like TP, think he should have been given a chance to manage at this point…but, IF they were going to give him the job, give him the job for this year (After FG was fired) instead of Snit , with a 2017 contract…that way, if he showed to be a terrible manager, they could have looked for someone after this season…
    Snit through everything off, I don’t think “They” expected him to do as well as he has…team was supposed to look like the team before the all star break, the worst team in baseball….When everyone started to hit, then Kemp came over…they really got on a roll…

    How many minority managers are there? A faceless corporation owns the team, but I bet MLB can put real pressure on teams (especially one’s that aren’t owned by one man) to hire more minorities….

    Tell me again what Snit hasn’t done with this team? Has he managed to put competitive team, a team that doesn’t quit, on the field , without any real starters (consistent ) save Julio and Folty (when healty) And if any vet pitched well in a few starts, he was traded….how about the way he uses the bullpen? Masterful job last night….how exactly is TP going to be better than Snit has been? Does TP buy into VORP and fWAR more than Snit? Or is he just what MLB wants?

    I hope, I am really reading too much into one tweet….perhaps they are just making it sound like he is a serious candidate when Snit is the guy….I think for all Snit has put up with (Joe Simpson was so PO’ed when he was demoted to AAA manager after being a 3rd base coach for years) I see absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be the 2017 manager in Cobb Co.

    Liked by 2 people

  338. 351 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Ber, you should forward that post to Coppy…

    Liked by 2 people

  339. 352 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Excellent job on the pre game program!
    Julio strikes out the side, throwing 94-95….don’t see that often!

    Liked by 1 person

  340. 353 Gil in Mechanicsville October 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    What a great finish to a somewhat disappointing season. Julio was dealing against a very good hitting team. The Braves, reminiscent of all those great teams in the 90s, score just enough to break the Tiger’s hearts.

    Good signing of Jim Johnson to a two year extension. Why not?

    Dansby made another big time play in the eight inning to keep the Braves ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  341. 354 berigan2electricboogaloo October 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    What a game!!! I don’t want to see the season end!
    The closing ceremonies, are like watching paint dry though 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  342. 355 Carolina Lady October 2, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Gil, yes, I did watch the games! For most of them, this was the first time I’d actually been able to see them play. But it was great to watch!

    Some neat photos from the ceremonies and the game:

    Liked by 3 people

  343. 356 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 8:56 am

    for Blair to show up and really pitch…shame he won’t get another start , shame the braves season is ending today…

    And that is exactly how the Braves needed to exit this season, leaving their fans wanting more, and letting all of MLB know that this team won’t be kicked around in 2017.

    Liked by 3 people

  344. 357 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Signing JimmyJohn to a 2-year extension was one of the best things the team could have done as this season wrapped up. Clearly he has revived his career this season, clearly he is comfortable here, and clearly the Braves intend to have alot more save opportunities in 2017. Now they will have a core group of JJ, Vizzy and Cabrera to handle the late inning duties, not to mention Jose Ramirez, who really came around in the 2nd half, and Ian Krol who quietly had a pretty good year himself.

    I mean… it seems weird to say it, but what’s not to like about the group of relievers we’ll be bringing to Disney in February? I think it could be a real strength of this team going forward. Extending JJ was brilliant, though. He’s the cement that keep it all together.


  345. 358 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Which would seem to indicate that the team, and JJ’s agent, knows Roger will continue his tenure here. That would strongly indicate to me that an outside manager is not very likely.

    Now here is my HSO (hot sports opinion)…

    The report of Terry Pendleton having such a strong showing in his interview is a favor to the long time Braves employee. I think Snit has the job, and that the Braves are going to allow TP to chase his managerial aspirations with another club, COL or MIN or [fill in the blank].

    And he’s earned it. I think he’ll a very good manager. But I also believe Snit has shown he is a very good manager of this club and it should be his going forward.

    All indications over the last couple of weeks have been that Snit has all but won the job, and the has certainly won over the team and clubhouse. And as CL said above, finishing this season strong and keeping the continuity of leadership is going to be key to turning the corner and beginning the next era of great Braves baseball.

    Having Bowman report that TP made a strong impression over the team’s official website – to me – was simply a statement to the other teams in need of a manger that there is a great candidate sitting in Atlanta. Consider him for your job.

    Liked by 1 person

  346. 359 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

    … and Bow agrees with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  347. 360 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 9:21 am

    It is kinda falling into place, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  348. 361 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 9:36 am

    2017 is shaping up to be much different than 2016 when spring training was like a cattle call to man positions for the Braves. Sure, there will still be some opportunities for players to make this team’s pitching staff and 2nd and 3rd base as well as the catching position could be shored up but all and all, the team looks to be solid.

    I am not sure of how long the media black out last on team news and signings. I do know the league restricts big news event until after the World Series.

    So, I expect a lot of rumors to be swirling about until the ink is dried upon the paper in relation to what is in store for the Braves roster. The biggest news will be about Boston and Chicago as the fend off their challengers.


  349. 362 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Other small points of housecleaning as we wrap this season…

    Dansby Swanson finished the season with 129 official AB’s, which means he retains his rookie status for 2017 and will be eligible for ROY. Had he had just 2 more AB’s (131) he would not. That’s pretty close in the last game of the season, don’tcha think?

    One has to think that Viz, his late season arm woes notwithstanding, will come up in trade discussions over the winter. Certainly he won’t have the same value that he may have had when he was rolling in the first half, but he will still have value. And with JJ back for 2 more years, he’s somewhat expendable for the right return… or as part of a larger deal for a starter.

    How about the way Blair finished his season, eh? Showed me a couple of things. First, he’s coachable, because Roger completely reworked his windup and delivery. Not only did it add some movement to his fastball, it allowed him to locate it better. And apparently it has added some spice to his breaking ball too. That pitch was almost unhittable Saturday. And against a very good hitting team, too.

    Josh Collmenter… I don’t know what to say. Is it Roger? Is it a new environment? Who knows? But he won 2 of his 3 starts, gave us 19 innings in them, and pitched to a 2.37 ERA. He has earned as much of a claim on a rotation spot in 2017 as Wisler or Blair.

    I want to see which Wisler comes to Disney in spring. The one who thinks too much, or the one who trusts his pitches and simply throws what his catcher puts down. When he nibbles, he gets knocked. When he pitches, he looks good. I hope he has time to reflect and understand the time for kid gloves is done.

    Coppy wants to bring in 2 starting pitchers for 2017. That’s great. But I hope it isn’t 2 middling pitchers. If we can’t afford 2 top guys, I’d rather see one top guy, and another veteran to compete with the rest of the crew. Just don’t shortchange us with 2 more #3’s or #4’s. We have alot of those already. Julio has proven himself to be a #1 or #2, and Folty has shown he has the potential. Add a real bona fide #1 or #2 and we have something to build on.

    Liked by 1 person

  350. 363 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

    One can certainly understand TP’s desire to finally manage a club of his own. he has paid his dues but one cold say the same of Snit. All those bus rides in the minors, who could blame him?

    What one fears is for the Peter Principle to rear its ugly presence. I think VOX hit on it when he opined that the Atlanta Brass did not really expect the team to respond so well to the direction of Snitker. He was to be the sacrificial lamb who could be easily dismissed at the end of the 2016 season.

    Fooled em he didn’t he?

    Liked by 2 people

  351. 364 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 10:00 am

    The thing which worries me about Collmenter is how much the smaller ballpark will effect him? Flyball pitchers don’t generally do well when the fences are moved it.

    Josh and Williams Perez are both soft tossing, pitch to contact guys. There is room for only one on the roster if you ask me.

    I don’t think there will be two top tier guys available this winter. So, let’s set our sights on wrapping up one front line starter. I fear when too much money is put into one basket. It is just too big a risk.

    Liked by 2 people

  352. 365 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Final draft order:

    Twins (59-103)
    Reds (68-94)
    Padres (68-94)
    Rays (68-94)
    Braves (68-93)

    They did what seemed impossible even just 1 month ago. They leapfrogged 4 teams back to 5th. Cancelling that 1 game last week potentially made the difference between picking #2 an #5. Of course, had we won it – a distinct possibility – we’d still be #5. We’ll never know.

    For me, I’m not disappointed one bit. Heck, even the #1 pick is still a dice roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  353. 366 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Josh and Williams Perez are both soft tossing, pitch to contact guys. There is room for only one on the roster if you ask me.

    Yep. And Williams Perez filled an empty spot when he needed to. I’m glad he did. But he isn’t a ML caliber starting pitcher. Maybe a long reliever. Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  354. 367 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I think spring training as well as off season trade will cull the herd a bit. While the adage is you never have enough pitching, the real truth is you never have enough good pitching…

    Liked by 1 person

  355. 368 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I noticed that Nationals’ pitcher Gio Gonzalez is a free agent this winter. I have no proof other than my lying eyes but me thinks the PEDs being sent to his dad somehow made it to Gio too. He has not been the pitcher he was prior to the Miami clinic being shut down. Just saying…

    A lot of guys will be looking to score the big final contracts. It’s the out years which are so risky when it come to long term contracts.

    While Jeff Kemp might be a bit overpaid, one has to believe the braves don’t mind a bit when you consider the albatross they were saddled with in Olivera before he was sent packing back to from where ever he came.

    One has to wonder if the Braves will be tempted to trade Markakis this winter or will try to ride him for one more season before trading him with only one season left on his contract. As it stands, he seems the perfect guy to back up Kemp in the line up.

    The one thing Adonis has going for him is his cost. While not a top tier 3rd baseman, he allows for the Braves to spend money in other areas of need.

    Liked by 1 person

  356. 369 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

    The thing which worries me about Collmenter is how much the smaller ballpark will effect him?

    I think it could play a little better to hitters, but not dramatically. Given the changes to wall height as well as distance, it should play kind of similar. I think Coppy answered a Twitter question recently saying it might favor hitters a little more, but I suppose it all remains to be seen. I do know that they employed a group of engineers to study wind patterns from a nearby USAF base and used that data to help determine wall heights to keep it “fair”.

    Per AJC:

    At SunTrust Park, batters won’t have to hit the ball as far to right-center field for a home run as they do at Turner Field. But they will have to hit it higher.

    A key difference will be the outfield wall, which is a consistent eight feet, four inches high all the way around at Turner Field but will be lower and higher at SunTrust Park.

    The SunTrust Park wall is to be only six feet high at the left-field foul pole; eight feet, eight inches high in left-center and center field; and 16 feet high in right field, including at the right-field foul pole.

    The right-field wall — almost twice as high as at Turner Field — will be balanced by a shorter distance from home plate. At Turner Field, the right-center power-alley fence is 390 feet from the plate. At SunTrust Park, it will be 375 feet away.

    Other planned outfield dimensions include 335 feet down the left-field line (same as Turner Field), 385 feet to left-center field (compared with 380 feet at Turner), 400 feet to straight-away center field (same as at Turner) and 325 feet down the right-field line (compared with 330 at Turner).

    At its deepest points, immediately to the left and right of straight-away center field, the SunTrust Park wall will be 402 feet from the plate.

    So it sounds to me that it will be pretty similar, but there will be a section of right-CF that will play shorter. I kinda like that.

    I also found an AJC story where braves exec VP Derek Schiller said the angles and varying heights of the SunTrust Park wall were designed to give the outfield “character and personality and uniqueness,” He went on to say, “It’s something that quite frankly we lacked at Turner Field.”

    As I told my wife yesterday when we were talking about closing a park that’s only 20 years old, it was a “good” park, but not a “great” park. It certainly wasn’t ATT Park (SF) or PNC Park (PIT) or Camden Yard (BAL). It ranked 24th a recent poll of all 30 MLB parks in “how fun they are to visit”. But it served its purpose. To me, Turner Field lacked personality. I think that is something the men in suits made a #1 priority in SunTrust. I can’t wait.

    The Braves open their new home on April 14. Might make a good countdown counter… wink wink.

    Liked by 1 person

  357. 370 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Camden Yard (BAL) A shame it is wasted by locating it in Baltimore… Beautiful ballpark. National’s park is typical of a facility built in Washington. Glitzy but with little imagination.


  358. 371 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I guess Bud Selig can look at yesterday and thumb his nose at all of us who didn’t like the 2nd Wild Card addition. 3 of the 4 WC teams were determined in game 162. I suppose it’s hard to complain about that.

    Congrats to those who made the dance…

    NL East champs: Washington Nationals
    NL Central champs: Chicago Cubs
    NL West champs: LA Dodgers
    NL Wild Cards: NY Mets and SF Giants
    AL East champs: Boston Red Sox
    AL Central champs: Cleveland Indians
    AL West champs: Texas Rangers
    AL Wild Cards: Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays

    Note that the AL East gave us 3 of the Junior Circuit’s 6 playoff teams. Pretty stout. Of course, one will get knocked out immediately in the play-in game.

    Liked by 1 person

  359. 372 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Turner Field was a ballpark that fell short of what it could have been. Bad parking and little to do around the park and located in a section of town which was less than inviting.

    Josie has already said we will likely make at least one trip to the new stadium next season. It seems a place to be safer and with something occupy the hours not filled with baseball. I’m sure there are lots of things to do in Atlanta but from what I understand, Underground Atlanta is not a place where one spends a lot of time any more without a bodyguard.

    Liked by 1 person

  360. 373 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I expected more from Walt Weiss.

    Courtesy of ABCsports.com:

    Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu won the National League batting title with a .348 average after sitting out both Saturday and Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

    LeMahieu also sat out Wednesday and Thursday at San Francisco. He went 0-for-2 on Friday in the Rockies’ 4-1 win over the Brewers and left the game in the fourth inning with a .348 average, one point better than that of Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who has been sidelined with a strained buttocks.

    Strained buttocks and sitting on your buttocks are 2 very different things.

    While the series against MIL had nothing to do with the final standings, the 2 games against SF (1 being a loss) had everything to do with it as the Giants snuck into the WC with a win in game 162. I’m thankful Snit & Co. cared about the integrity of the game and played all his regulars against playoff hopefuls, including putting Dansby’s 2017 rookie status in jeopardy as he was in the lineup for the entirety of the DET series. His glovework and bat contributed to both of ATL’s wins, too. One would think Walt Weiss would have the same respect for the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  361. 374 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Okay, time to get up and try to do something constructive outside today. Will catch up later.

    Liked by 2 people

  362. 375 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Per Bowman today:

    The Braves will interview Ron Washington and Bud Black this week.

    Snit says he understands why the Braves will continue to evaluate external options.

    Hart acknowledged it would be hard to hire TP, Eddie or Porter given what Snit did as the manager over the past couple months.

    Liked by 1 person

  363. 376 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Per DO’B today:

    Braves are interviewing Bud Black today, will interview Ron Washington later in week.

    Braves made it clear won’t hire 1st-time manager after job Snitker already did. (I can’t see them hiring someone on staff for same reason)

    Players agree [on keeping Snit] and that’ll weigh into decision. If someone just blows them away in interview, maybe the’ll consider. Otherwise, Snit’s job.

    Liked by 1 person

  364. 377 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    More manager stuff…

    Walt Weiss is out in COL. Robin Ventura was already out over the weekend in CHW.


  365. 378 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Actually, there is a little bit there is you read between the lines. Now he wants a catcher to “work with” TFlow, not replace him. That would seem to hint that Wieters won’t be on their “to do” list.

    Given TFlow’s offensive production this year, it’s hard to argue. There really isn’t an obvious candidate with better numbers as a hitter. Gotta work on those base stealers though. (I know and agree… the pitchers are partially to blame. And I think that should improve. But his release time is still too slow.)

    Also, it looks like HOU will work very hard to keep Jason Castro an Astro. Perhaps TFlow’s old southside Chicago buddy Alex Avila is a candidate. Numbers aren’t gonna wow anybody, but a strong receiver. For what it’s worth, he carries a higher WAR (1.0) than TFlow (0.3), and even higher than Brian McCann (0.9). if you put any stock in that particular stat, TFlow ranks 48th. Interestingly, Recker ranks 33 with 0.6. I just have a hard time with that stat. How has Recker been worth more wins to the Braves than Flowers? I cant see that he has.

    Tell ya what, though. Looking at all the catcher stats from 2016, and looking at whom should be available, I’d just as soon re-sign Recker. Higher OBP and higher OPS than Avila.


  366. 379 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Seems a no brainer. Similar to TFlow in that there isn’t a clear improvement now that Prado is no longer available. Turner is, but would cost too much to the Braves given their need at starting pitcher. Also, given that behind Adonis you have Rio, Jace and possibly d’Arnaud, the bridge to future starter Austin Riley is satisfactorily in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  367. 380 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    More from a plethora of DO’B tweets:

    I’d be surprised if Braves Snitker doesn’t get the job, and probably within a week. Just a feeling.

    Braves have starting pitching as top priority, at least 2 and possibly 3 added, Coppy said. Still looking for catcher to pair with Flowers

    But Coppy said Braves would be content with Flowers and Recker if can’t get another catcher they like.

    Liked by 1 person

  368. 381 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Braves lifer.

    Liked by 1 person

  369. 382 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Prediction, Snit will get the job in Atlanta, TP will get one of the vacancies coming open after the firings. Eddie Perez will take over as the bench coach.

    Working on a new lead, hopefully the Chief can edit it before the big wind blows in for Mathews which appears to be taking aim at Wilmington…

    Liked by 2 people

  370. 383 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    So, the Braves will be seeking two good arms. Ahem, call Tampa…

    So, who else can Coppy fleece?

    Liked by 1 person

  371. 384 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Alan Carpenter, Tomahawk Take:

    *This club just mowed down four playoff teams (oops: two of them aren’t playoff teams… mostly thanks to Atlanta) over the last two weeks when they each needed to win some games for their own purposes. That was just remarkable. *

    I am grinning in agreement. In what started as a lost season, it became amazingly meaningful in August and September. It actually became a fun ride.

    Liked by 2 people

  372. 385 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Alan Carpenter, Tomahawk Take:

    This club just mowed down four playoff teams (oops: two of them aren’t playoff teams… mostly thanks to Atlanta) over the last two weeks when they each needed to win some games for their own purposes. That was just remarkable.

    I am grinning in agreement. In what started as a lost season, it became amazingly meaningful in August and September. It actually became a fun ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  373. 386 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    And likely out of ever being a GM again. Horrible job. Worse than Frank Wren. Glad he was on the job for the Shelby Miller heist, though.

    Tony LaRussa is equally culpable. Good on the field (and very fortunate to have the personnel he had), but never impressed me in the front office, especially as much as he impresses himself. Very arrogant and self-important. Deserves to be fired too.

    Liked by 2 people

  374. 387 Vox O'Reason October 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    And their manager goes too. Can LaRussa be far behind?


  375. 388 Carolina Lady October 3, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Great opines, guys! It seems that the Braves surprised everybody recently. Including me! I’m just so happy to have been able to see those last games!!

    I fully agree with the comment above that said the Braves are just where they should be before the big move to SunTrust. Fans ARE excited and eager to see them again. Let’s hope for a great Spring Training!

    I’ll get the new lead done as soon as I can. Kelly & I are making sure we’re ready if Matthew does bully its way into our neighborhood. Depending on its track and cat rating will determine if we can stay or have to get out of Dodge. If everything is clean beforehand, it makes cleanup afterward that much easier, especially getting the grass cut. Makes for easier raking.

    Liked by 1 person

  376. 389 Gil in Mechanicsville October 3, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I guess the only real positive to having a hurricane blow over your trees is it takes care of your leaf problem all at once…

    In today’s age of specialization, front office types are groomed to be front office types, hard to make that transition from the field. Also more teams have devoted resources to scouting talent and evaluating said talent. Computers make things instantly available but you still have to have some grunt in a back room compiling said data and inputting it into the system. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.

    Today, being a GM and making trades is like counting cards at the blackjack tables, being able to do so does not guarantee success but it improves your chances. Sid Thrift said the secret to being successful as a baseball GM was having the ability to spot talent long before anyone else has the chance.

    Liked by 2 people

  377. 391 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Wren’s depletion of our best scouts is also showing.

    So much a part of the story that was told but forgotten. The top ones left en mass, many going to WAS…. and look at how that has paid off for the Nats. And after Wren was deposed, many of those same top scouts returned.

    All one has to do is look at the Braves’ drafts from this year and last to know that we have the backbone of our system back where it should be. I would never suppose to compare an untested teenager to a HOF pitcher, but that group that finished at Rome this year… Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka (drafted), and Max Fried and Touki Toussant (via trade) are ridiculously talented. Then behind them you have the group just drafted in Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller and Bryce Wilson that completely dominated hitters in the short GCL schedule.

    All those kids were acquired because we had top notch scouts doing their job. And the highlight is Ian Anderson, a kid that most panned as being a reach and only being drafted at #3 to save money, but ended up being the best pitcher taken in Round 1 after the Rookie Leagues all wrapped up.

    Yes, CL… you cannot undervalue the importance of having the best scouts.


  378. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

    And then you have the Padres, who have drafted a ton of talent only to trade it away. The Montreal of the West…

    Liked by 2 people

  379. 393 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Catching up on overnights…

    Looks like the Braves were impressed with Bud Black and do like him, but Bowman feels that Snit is still the leading candidate in what is currently a “two horse race”. They do have an interview scheduled later this week with former TEX manager Ron Washington (whom I liked when he was there, BTW).

    I get the impression from the things I’ve read from both Bow and DO’B that Black or Washington would have to really blow the interview out of the water to move past Snit. I don’t think Black has done that in his opportunity.

    DO’B thinks the team will announce the manager by Friday.


  380. 394 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I get the impression from the things I’ve read from both Bow and DO’B that Black or Washington would have to really blow the interview out of the water to move past Snit. I don’t think Black has done that in his opportunity.

    Not to mention that both Washington and Black both have their baggage. One of the biggest mistakes people make I fear is being overly impressed by a pedigree. Sure, Snit does not have the name recognition of either of these two applicants but he has a proven record of being a solid leader.

    Now, if the Braves had continued on their downward spiral, I would be among the loudest participants in the mob calling for a new leader but when what appears to be a groundswell of support from his players and a willingness to run through walls by said players, I think the Braves would be foolish to simply make a change for name recognition alone.

    Not to worry about Washington and Black, there are other jobs available. It’s why I think Terry Pendleton’s days in Atlanta are numbered. Not that TP is unhappy in the big A, just that he probably feels his time has come to move on to greener pastures. Of course that did not really work out so well for Leo Mazzone did it?

    Liked by 1 person

  381. 395 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I think Terry Pendleton’s days in Atlanta are numbered.

    I agree, only in that I think he may get his shot at a head job this year… maybe in COL? I could see that happening.

    From what David O’Bowman reported yesterday, the Braves seem set to hire back all of their field coaches, but are waiting to settle the managerial hire before finalizing it. Plus, I would think that if a new guy did somehow get hired, he’d want some say in things.

    (BTW- the other 1/3rd of the three-beat-salad, Kevin McAlpin, has been absent since early last week after his father had a stroke, and then passed away a few days later. Prayers are already up to his family during this time of loss. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4)

    Liked by 2 people

  382. 396 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Ken Rosensource:


  383. 397 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Don’t get me wrong Vee, I didn’t think TP would be fired, only that he would pick up a managing job somewhere.

    I like Ron Washington but he is a bit too much of a seat of the pants kind of guy for me. And, he does have his own baggage to deal with.

    I suspect if Bobby Cox had the final say in the matter, it would be Snitker, So, just what are the Braves looking for in a manager? A name? Experience? A yes man?


  384. 398 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Don’t get me wrong Vee, I didn’t think TP would be fired, only that he would pick up a managing job somewhere.

    Yeah, I got that. I was actually agreeing with you. I just didn’t do it very well. 🙂

    Here’s why I think Snit has the inside track on all other candidates: he knows these players better than anyone else. He’s seen them all over the organization. He also keeps the coaching staff (with the aforementioned possible exception of TP) intact, and I think that’s of utmost importance when you’re speaking of Roger McDowell. The job he continues to do is almost as good as his predecessor, and that’s saying alot. One only needs to look at the way Aaron Blair and Josh Collmenter finished out their 2016 campaigns to see how Roger can have an immediate effect on a pitcher. And I believe he is critical to the further development of Folty, Wisler, Blair and may of the other youngsters… youngsters of which Snit is very much aware and knowledgeable.

    I’m not sure how any outsider can really compete with that…

    Just had a thought… if TP were to exit to find greener playing surfaces elsewhere, who might become the new bench coach? I wonder if AJP might be a candidate? Hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  385. 399 Vox O'Reason October 4, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    So is it too early for me to have this set on my Bookmarks Bar?



  386. 400 Gil in Mechanicsville October 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Well, at least the Braves won’t have to play the Nationals 12 times in the first two weeks but they will face the Mets a lot. Plus the begin the season with a 9 game road trip. At least the Mets will not yet be at full strength from the get go, all those young studs will still be looking to recover from arm injuries.

    I guess Josie and I will go down to the camper tomorrow to bring home what we can and put things as high as we can to prevent them from being damaged by Mathew. It is always a crap shoot when it come to hurricanes but it’s the price you pay for being on the water.

    What is worse than the highway coming thru your house, having it come within 15 feet and you have to live with the traffic… Hurricanes are like that. All that water…. I guess I better check the scuppers.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  387. 401 Carolina Lady October 5, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Gil’s new post is up!!


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