#168: The Worst May Be Behind us

Gil
Mechanicsville, VA

August 7, 2017

The gauntlet faced by the Braves in July turned out to be about as expected although the culprit was an unlikely one. No surprise the Cubs swept the Braves at STP, well, maybe a little surprise but the Braves had just reached the mythical .500 mark and seemed poised to make a run. Then pifft… Swept 3 games by the resurgent Cubbies and off to the left coast, a place where the hopes and dreams of Braves teams of the recent past have gone to wilt and die. Surprise again, the Braves took the first two games and looked like a third win in four games was possible but alas, the Dodgers remembered who they were and beat back the Bravos’ charge. The Braves lost 2 of three to the 2nd place Diamondbacks but it was on to Philadelphia and the woeful Phillies. Alas a trip which had promise was smashed by a Phillies four game sweep. Now the Braves found themselves in a pretty deep hole, any real hope of making the playoffs were pretty much done in at that point.

The Braves have since returned home to face the Dodgers who inexplicably seem only to have problems beating the Braves. Yes, the Braves only one on game out of three in the recent home stand against the best team in the National League this season but they had a chance to take the season series. The Braves just finished a week-end series with the Fish taking two of three before faltering Sunday 4-1. The good news is, the Braves are playing .500 ball this month and with the trade deadline behind them, appear more focused on what is ahead of them instead of behind them.

Connor Kok-Wy Joe

Jamie Garcia was traded to the Indians for a young minor league pitcher and Sean Rodriguez was traded to the Pirates for a former first round pick Connor Joe who is playing A ball. It was a good move for the Braves who have cleared about $12 million from their payroll with the trades of Garcia and S-Rod. who by the way hit the game winning homerun for the Buccos in the 12th inning his first game back with his old team. Well, Godspeed to him.

Lucas Sims

Meanwhile, the Braves sent struggling Dansby Swanson down to Triple A Gwinnett to find himself again. He had been struggling mightily at the plate and it was carrying over to the shortstop position. The Braves called up young right hander Lucas Sims and mighty-mite Ozzie Albies to play second base. While Sims is 0-2, he has shown promise and does not appear to be over matched. Albies is not exactly hitting the cover off the ball but he looks like he belongs and it is only a matter of time before he breaks out.

Brandon Phillips

In a related move, Brandon Phillips has been moved to third base and frankly, he looks like Brooks Robinson over there. Making diving plays and displaying a much stronger arm than I knew he possessed.

In addition, Matt Adams has been slotted to play left field at least until Matt Kemp returns. Kemp is currently out with a bad hamstring and I would not be surprised to see him out until late August. Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman has moved back to first base where he belongs. He did what he could to try and make the team better and did not embarrass himself at the hot corner but his best position is at first and it makes the overall defense better.

Max Fried

So, what to expect? Look for more youngsters to be given a chance to show what they can do as players are traded and snuffled around, especially the bullpen. A somewhat surprising move was made Saturday when the Braves promoted young lefty Max Fried from Double A Mississippi and placed him in the pen. He has yet to make an appearance but it will happen soon. Don’t expect The-Answer-to-Everything, Ronald Acuna to play for the Big Braves this season however, the Braves are playing the long game with him and while he almost certainly will make the show in 2018, the Braves will try to protect many of their promising young players from the Rule 5 draft and don’t want to add Acuna to their 40 man roster before they have to.

 

 

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87 Responses to “#168: The Worst May Be Behind us”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady August 7, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Terrific, Chief! Many thanks. Graphics Dept hopes this is what you wanted. 😀

    Like

  2. 2 Carolina Lady August 7, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Big welcome to LittleFears who is following Braves & Stuff! Feel free to join in anytime!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville August 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks CL, looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 4 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Dansby made his second straight start at 2B last night for the Gwinnett squad. He made all his chances cleanly, and was involved in one double play, although not how you’d think. Our new favorite friend Ronald Acuña doubled a runner off 2B. And I’m now convinced that if it weren’t for 40-man roster implications, we’d see Acuña here in September. That said, I’m also fairly convinced he’ll be our RF in 2018 at some point, said point depending on the amount of interest in Nicky in the off-season. The prevailing thought these days is to delay the start of these guys until late June to keep their contract rights for an additional year. I’m not so sure the Braves would purposely delay this guy’s start. And honestly, you’re not saving a whole year of his contributions anyway. You’re only saving a few months in the future.You can have his full year now or 6 years from now. I’d just as soon have it now while he’s hot and healthy. Who knows what he’ll be like in 6 years? Heck, Jesus could come back at any time… let’s get him on in now. (It’s the same reason I eat dessert first. You just never know…)

    But back to Dansby. The emergence of Camargo has thrown all the plans back onto the drawing board. It’s allowed the Braves to at least listen on Ozzie when talking about top pitchers. And it’s also the impetus for giving Dansby time at 2B while he’s at Gwinnett. The net result will be 3 guys who can all play 2B/SS (and one of them can play 3B). And let’s face it, Johan is the best glove of all of them. Dansby needs to get the bat going so we can move forward with this whole group.

    Can you imagine a lineup next year that contains all 4 of Dansby, Ozzie, Johan, and Acuña?

    I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2017 at 11:08 am

    It is thus, when the full blown youth movement begins….

    Johan’s bat has cooled a bit also. I think it is just the natural ebb and flow of the game multiplied by being a switch hitter. One would think it is hard enough just swinging from one side, much less two.

    I could switch hit in practice but never really felt comfortable enough to do it from both sides of the plate in a game.

    Anyway, the scuttlebutt is the Braves are going to play Dansby at second to further his evaluation. I guess the brass will base their eventual line up on not only on defense but who can hit major league pitching.

    Like

  6. 6 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Johan’s bat has cooled a bit also. I think it is just the natural ebb and flow of the game

    Hitters emerge, pitchers adjust, hitters adjust in response, pitchers adjust in response, etc. That is the natural ebb and flow. How well a hitter makes those adjustments determines how successful he’ll be in the long run.

    This is where Dansby is. He emerged; pitchers adjusted. That’s part of what bugs me about his being sent down. Kinda hard for him to adjust in response when he’s not facing the same pitchers. But he’s not hitting all that well at AAA either, so there’s that. his .216 AVG is not that different than he was hitting up here. His is between the ears, methinks. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s something that might be overcome as quickly as it manifested.

    Now… that being said. I feel his demotion is as much about getting him playing time at 2B as it is about his hitting, mainly for the reasons stated above. It’s all fueled by Johan, who is a superior defender at SS, and who was simply outhitting Dansby in the lineup. It’d be incredulous not to see what Johan has to offer. He has made himself a big part of the core of this team by his performance on the field.

    In my perfect world, Dansby regains his stroke (which I strongly believe he will) and returns to share the IF with Johan, Ozzie and Freddie. The big question is simply where he plays. It may truly be in Dansby’s best long term interests for him to play 2B. Given his early struggles and errors at SS, that seems fairly evident.

    The rub is that Johan is the best SS we have, but needs to land at 3B to make the whole thing work. And of course, that leaves Ozzie to man SS… a position he played for all his life before moving to 2B a little over a year ago. And for those who may have doubts, he started 14 games at SS this season before his callup. I promise he can still play it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    2nite’s lineup:

    Ender, CF
    BP, 3B
    Freddie, 1B
    Markakis, RF
    Suzi, C
    Matt Adams, LF
    Johan, SS
    Ozzie, 2B
    Julio, RHP

    Like

  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Camargo is only 23, that means he has not yet grown into his “man weight” He may yet grow into the third base position. As for Ozzie, okay, maybe another inch or two but I doubt he will ever get much taller, maybe a bit broader. That leaves Dansby, also only 23… hummmm. Could also fill out some. And what of the next great thing, Kevin Matian? Only 17 and supposed to be all world. Ronald Acuna before we heard of Ronald Acuna…

    Kevin most likely is 3 years away from the big leagues if all goes according to plan. Fun isn’t it? having talent in the minors to obsess about?

    Again, I have no problem sending Dansby back down, I wish the Braves had been able to actually send Frenchy down for more than three days, all that did was give him a bad attitude, or maybe it brought it to the forefront. Either way, He needed an attitude adjustment and was shipped off to the Mets rather than deal with it.

    So many things have to go right to have a winning baseball club, it has taken the Dodgers a while to get back to the top. Having a boatload of cash hasn’t helped hurt but that is a tale for another day.

    What the Braves need now if for their young pitching to gel. That takes real time. Like someone said (I can’t remember who), pitches that get strike outs in Triple A don’t always work at the highest level. That is why young pitchers have to learn how to pitch and not just throw. Everyone knows that if you throw an 84 mph change up when a guy is expecting a 95 mph fastball, you are going to get him out but not everyone can execute a good change.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    So, let’s ta;l about loss of velocity for a moment. Lots of times you hear the pundits talking about how pitcher A has lost 2-3 MPH off his fast ball. I don’t think it is the actual velocity that matters as much as being able to get a particular pitch to have movement on it when velocity is reduced. I don’t remember Greg Maddox ever pitching much in excess of 91 mph but lordy how he could make a baseball do things I have never ever seen anyone else be able to do. Weak contact…. to me that is the key.

    Now, I am not saying being able to strike someone out isn’t important but if a pitcher thinks he has to strike out the side every time, he won’t be around for the final 4 innings, That is what is happening to the Braves pitchers methinks all too often. But, they are young…. they are still in the learning phase. Even Wisler and Blair have shown flashes of their potential but that is the difference between being an ace and being a number 5, consistency.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville August 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Incredibly bad luck for Johan Camargo, likely torn ACL jumping over the foul line while taking the field before the start of the game. Dansby taken out of the game at Gwinnett.

    Like

  11. 11 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Like

  12. 12 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Things can change on a dime…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    DPetey too? Interesting…

    Like

  14. 14 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    OK… not so interesting after all.

    Like

  15. 15 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Ugh. Julio needs a new home. This one doesn’t work for him.

    Like

  16. 16 Vox O'Reason August 8, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville August 9, 2017 at 9:00 am

    While not great news, not nearly as bad as it could have been. I thought it had all the appearance of a torn ACL for sure the way and where he grabbed his knee.

    On Julio, to be fair, the home run he gave up was on a pitch 4 inches off the dirt. Herrera just golfed it out. Still, the two guys on base is what really hurt.

    But you are right, a change of scenery would likely do Julio a world of good.

    Like

  18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville August 9, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I think Julio misses Ervin Santana…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19 Vox O'Reason August 9, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Somewhere I saw a breakdown of Julio’s pitches from the game last night, and his slider was his least thrown pitch. If I recall correctly, the slider was a real weapon for him when he was successful, keeping opposing hitters from sitting on his fastball. And they are certainly sitting on his fastball, and teeing off on it.

    Like

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason August 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Here it is, courtesy of Bowman:

    83 pitches through 4 IP (which is pitiful).

    45 4-seamers
    17 2-seamers
    10 curves
    6 sliders
    5 changeups

    That pretty much tells the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 21 Vox O'Reason August 9, 2017 at 10:19 am

    On a positive note, Max Fried looked great. He’s got as big a hook as Newk does… and both from the left side. If RAD gets shipped off, Fried could slide into a starter role. I find it interesting, too, that they essentially skipped RAD’s spot in the rotation with the 2 off days, pushing his next start back to Sunday. Why does a guy who throws knucklers need extra rest? It’s the least strenuous pitch a guy can make. Nah… my gut says they’re being cautious while shopping him.

    Like

  22. 22 Vox O'Reason August 9, 2017 at 11:17 am

    The Flow is back in The Show.

    Like

  23. 23 Vox O'Reason August 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    2nite’s lineup:

    Ender, CF
    BP, 3B
    Freddie, 1B
    Markakis, RF
    TFlow, C
    Matt Adams, LF
    Ozzie, 2B
    Dansby, SS
    Newk, LHP

    And under less than ideal circumstances, the Dansby/Ozzie era in ATL begins 2nite. Lets hope it lives up to the hype.

    Like

  24. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo August 9, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    So, let’s ta;l about loss of velocity for a moment. Lots of times you hear the pundits talking about how pitcher A has lost 2-3 MPH off his fast ball. I don’t think it is the actual velocity that matters as much as being able to get a particular pitch to have movement on it when velocity is reduced. I don’t remember Greg Maddox ever pitching much in excess of 91 mph but lordy how he could make a baseball do things I have never ever seen anyone else be able to do. Weak contact…. to me that is the key.

    Movement really helps…but, Greg Maddox was an anomaly, IMO. (I think from what I have gathered from what he has said in the past, is he could and did throw harder earlier on, but he learned movement was the key, and I imagine he found the sweet spot for movement at 88-91 MPH) Big Sexy had movement too, but doesn’t it feel like most “movement” on fastballs is 2 seemers, sinkers, etc? I mean more up and down than side to side. Of course some guys have that movement, but starters with “average” fastballs (which probably means lower than average MPH) how many are there these days? That are reasonably successful? Kyle Hendricks comes to mind. but other than him…no, I’m not a fan of full out fastballs, but how many guys that throw no harder than 92 have success?
    Being able to throw like Verlander used to (I still see 97 MPH from him, but usually on a pitch going over the wall, so odd) you know, 93-94 MPH early on, then basically being his own closer, hitting 98 in the 8th…that’s swell…but then again Verlanger may be just as much of an anomaly as Maddux was…

    Like

  25. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville August 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Then again, the worse may not be behind us yet…

    Between Odubel Herrera and the Braves own ineptitude afield lately, this season is getting longer and longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 26 berigan2electricboogaloo August 10, 2017 at 12:16 am

    what is it, 11 of the phils 42 wins have come against the braves? amazing!

    Every bat is cold it seems. Seems we really need Matt Kemp. Seems Dansby is every bit as lost as he was before getting sent down.
    I think he should try a closed stance like Stanton, it couldn’t hurt….

    Oh, and I forgot to say Gil, some fine opine-ing 😛

    Like

  27. 27 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Seems Dansby is every bit as lost as he was before getting sent down.

    Did you watch? He hit the ball hard… just right at folks. That ball he hit in the 7th inning just about took Franco’s glove into LF. Had it been hit 18″ in either direction, he would have driven in 2 runs and we’d be talking about how he came through in his first game back. I didn’t see “lost” in him at all.

    Ender Inciarte went hitless and K’d twice… once with the potential tying run in scoring position. He looked lost if anyone did.

    The tale of the game was 1-6 with RISP. It’s been a trend for them over the second half. That’s the biggest issue they have to conquer in 2017.

    BTW- Wash bears responsibility as well for hanging Freddie out to dry in that rundown between 3B and home. Changing a GO to a STOP after the runner passes 3B is a little too late. It changed the whole complexion of that inning.

    Every bat is cold it seems.

    Now THAT is a true statement.

    Like

  28. 28 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I just saw where our short-season rookie league Danville Braves had 3 pitchers combine for a no-hitter Tuesday afternoon. And none of the pitchers are any of our vaunted prospects. I didn’t recognize any of the names. They are:

    LHP Bruce Zimmermann pitched innings 1-2. He’s a 2017 Round 5 draft pick out of Mt. Olive University. He had 2 K’s and 1 BB, the only hitter to reach base. He has a 2.57 ERA in 7 starts.

    RHP Jacob Belinda (nephew of Stan Belinda) pitched innings 3-6. He’s a 2017 Round 10 draft pick from Lock Haven, PA. He has a 2.65 ERA in 8 games (1 start).

    LHP John Curtis pitched the 7th inning. He’s a 2017 Round 8 draft pick from Lenoir-Rhyne (NC). He had 2 K’s in the final inning, and has 20 overall in 16.2 IP. He has a 2.16 ERA in 10 games.

    The Braves are flush with pitching prospects from top to bottom… the very bottom.

    Like

  29. 30 berigan2electricboogaloo August 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Did you watch? He hit the ball hard… just right at folks. That ball he hit in the 7th inning just about took Franco’s glove into LF. Had it been hit 18″ in either direction, he would have driven in 2 runs and we’d be talking about how he came through in his first game back. I didn’t see “lost” in him at all.

    I have to admit, I missed a few A.B’s….glad to hear he did hit the ball hard earlier, cuz that last A.B. just looked helpless….

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 31 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 11:14 am

    CL, can you get Fox Sports Go?

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 32 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

    It’s a process, Ber. Dansby said he felt like he “turned a corner” in his last couple of games at AAA. Then again, what else would we expect him to say?

    Here’s the thing…

    It’s not a hole in his swing. It’s not a pitch he can’t hit. He has the ability to hit a slider. He hit them in college, he hit them in his brief stint in the minors, and he hit them in ATL in late 2016. It’s not a straight inability to hit sliders. It’s all about mechanics. (Ask Giancarlo Stanton how important that part is.)

    Joe Simpson pointed something out a few weeks ago about how Dansby’s balance was off forcing him to get out on his front foot too early therefore committing to pitches to early. I watched the replay they showed while Joe described it, and he was spot on with what Dansby was doing.

    I watched Dansby’s AB’s yesterday and didn’t see the balance issue.

    In my very humble and amateur opinion, Dansby’s whole season got off track when he missed 2 weeks in Spring Training with “back tightness”. BTW- they never actually defined exactly what that “back tightness” was. But whatever it was, it caused him to miss 2 very critical weeks, and really more when you consider that he came back slowly even when he returned. And whatever that issue was, his timing has not been right since.

    I also recall that in about week 3 or 4 of the season, it was reported that Dansby sat down with Seitz and looked at video from his last year at Vandy. They saw that he was holding his hands lower in his stance now than he was in the video. Was that a product of a back issue? I dunno. Has he corrected it? I dunno. I haven’t heard anything else it. Not a peep.

    Whatever the case, Dansby will eventually break out of it. Admittedly it might be next year before he returns to what made him successful. This season is so rife with criticism and pressure. Social media has its purposes, but for the most part it can be really harmful and damaging. It could take an offseason to clear his head and allow him to do his work without constant scrutiny.

    Can you imagine how social media would have treated John Smoltz in ’88 and ’89? They would have crucified him and the front office mercilessly. Smoltz might have had more than just dingers to discuss with Dr. Lewallen.

    I believe Dansby will be fine in time. And I’m really not too concerned with each and every individual AB. After all, even the most successful hitters fail 66% of the time. That said, I obviously would love to see him break out in a big way sooner than later.

    Like

  32. 33 Gil in Mechanicsville August 10, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Finding gold where others fail to look was the Redskins mantra for success back in the 80’s. Lots of 5th and 6th round draft picks who became stars.

    Like

  33. 34 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Redskins… success back in the 80’s

    And then Daniel Snyder. My how things can change.

    Snyder is to football what Jeffrey Loria is to baseball. A pox on their respective league.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 35 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    In fact, to anyone who still advocates that the Braves would be better under private ownership than corporate ownership regardless of whom it might be, just remember Jeffrey Loria and Daniel Snyder.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 36 Vox O'Reason August 10, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    The Yankees’ Clint Frazier:

    Larry Rockett (Robert Wuhl) from Bull Durham:

    Separated at birth?

    Like

  36. 37 Carolina Lady August 10, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Vox, yes! I just discovered it online! THANK YOU!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 38 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 7:53 am

    This is a guy that is going to have to be added to the 40-man before the Rule 5 draft comes around or he’s an easy goner. Maybe he gets added in September and gets a taste of The Bigs this year. He’s earned it.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. 39 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I wonder how much influence Kris Medlen is having on the youngsters at AAA..? IMO he’d make a great pitching coach when his arm finally has enough. I hope our front office is thinking the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Dan Snider is one of the primary reason I don’t watch very much pro football. He ruined my team.

    Now baseball… Yes, it’s players like Albers who will keep Acuna in triple A the rest of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 41 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 8:50 am

    The Cubs’ C Willson Contreras went down Wednesday with a hamstring injury that they think could sideline him up to a month. There’s talk that they might sniff around for a veteran catcher to pair with Alex Avila to get them through the stretch run, especially knowing how iffy hamstrings can be. Kurt Suzuki’s name has been floated. His name has been connected to a couple of teams recently, and his veteran presence would be welcome in many contending clubhouses over a playoff push.

    I have mixed thoughts on this.

    On one hand, he’s been great here, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if he returned in 2018. Then again, his strong season almost guarantees he’ll get more than just the $1.5M the Braves signed him for heading into 2017. In fact, he may get 2 years somewhere… or at least an option year. Which brings me to Tyler Flowers.

    TFlow has a $4M team option for 2018, and I’d be willing to bet that’s an easy bet to be picked up. Unless the team somehow makes a big deal for a big named catcher, which is about as likely as me getting hired into the Braves front office, TFlow will return in 2018.

    So back to Suzi. The other side of the coin says that the Braves are not likely to pick up TFlow’s option and bring back Suzi. The tandem has been great this year, but having both on the roster again in 2018 doesn’t get you any younger at the position, and doesn’t point you toward the future.

    IMO, the team will pick up a younger guy somewhere between now and spring that has future potential. It’s one of the positions that they must address sooner than later given that there’s not a prospect in the system with a clear path to The Show. Kade Scivicque has not exactly torn up AAA since his recent promotion, and isn’t close to major league ready in 2018. David Freitas is a possibility. He’s not flashy, but relatively steady. He’s slashed .263/.339/.346 in 61 G this year, 55 as catcher. He’s an older minor leaguer at 27 and is no longer considered a prospect. But he might be a serviceable backup if needed. There are some who think he’ll get called up in September to serve as a 3rd catcher, but that would require an addition to the 40-man roster where spots are at a premium this year. The Braves add a 3rd catcher every year (it was Blake Lalli last year), but I’m not so sure they will this year. There just isn’t a clear candidate given the 40-man roster constrictions.

    So that brings me way back around to Kurt Suzuki. I think he’s been great on the field and in working with the young pitchers. But would you let him go to a contender in a trade? Obviously it would all hinge on what we got back in return, but would you even entertain it? Who would back up TFlow if he were to be moved?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 9:06 am

    But would you let him go to a contender in a trade? Obviously it would all hinge on what we got back in return, but would you even entertain it?

    Ah, the $64,000 question. Kurt is not a money drain on the club so it would have to be a pretty good prospect coming back to get the Braves to consider a trade. The only players the Braves have who fall in the payroll saving class are Jim Johnson, Nick Markakis, RA Dicky and of course Matt Kemp. I did not mention Freddie Freeman because, well, you know…

    Anyhoo, Braves are more likely to trade Jason Mott or even Julio but Julio right now would be like trying to trade a car which has the check engine light on.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Tyler Flowers to me is more typical of a back up catcher than a front line starter. I guess we got spoiled with BMac behind the plate. Unfortunately, so did Bobby Cox to the point he was worn out by August. Catching is just not a position where someone can play 162 time a year. I can live with a backstop who is an excellent defensive guy who only hits .200 as long as you don’t have a line up ahead of him batting the same.

    Like

  43. 44 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Yes, it’s players like Albers who will keep Acuna in triple A the rest of the year.

    If I’m not mistaken, Albers is a recent minor league FA signee thus doesn’t require a spot. But I could be wrong about that.

    Depending on whom you listen to, there are as many as 7 players that might need protection, but I believe it’s closer to 5: Luiz Gohara, Dustin Peterson, Travis Demeritte, Tyler Pike, and Caleb Dirks are all in need of a spot.

    There are currently 2 spots open, and once the season ends, there will be more. I’d be surprised to see Adonis back in 2018. Same for Suzi (as we just mentioned). Brandon Phillips is almost certainly gone. Jason Motte is a FA after this season and probably won’t return.

    RAD is a candidate for trade, although not necessarily a strong one. Lane Adams could be a goner. AAA reliever Enrique Burgos too. I think it’s entirely possible that guys like Ian Krol and Rex Brothers could be non-tendered if it came to that, although that’s not desirable.

    So let’s say for discussion purposes that Adonis, Suzi, BP and Motte are all one. That’s really quite likely. Those 4 spots plus the 2 they already have open gives you more than the 5 you need, right?

    Oh nay nay.

    We currently have 3 pitchers on the 60-day DL that are lumped back in the 40-man once the season wraps.

    So now you see where the pressure comes. we’ll have to open at least 2 more spots. And that means somebody that we don’t really want to lose will be sent through waivers and likely won’t make it through. Like Lane Adams. Or others will simply be non-tendered. Like Rex Brothers. Adams has been a very good 4th OF for us, but his spot could be taken by Micah Johnson, who is a more versatile player. Brothers has been OK, but nothing to wow over. And with guys moving up through the system like Akeel Morris and Andrew Albers and Caleb Dirks, the bullpen competition will be fierce. And if Max Fried can’t crack the rotation next season, he’ll likely return to the bullpen as well.

    There aren’t any easy answers to the roster questions, but it’s pretty much a lock that they won’t add anyone in September like Acuña that doesn’t require roster protection yet.

    Then again, our front office moves in mysterious ways. You just never know…

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Given whom you just marked off the list, the front office may well bring “The Answer to Everything” in September, I think it all really depends on who is traded and who is given their outright release. I think what many people don’t understand is why players are often traded for 19 year olds who are only at A level ball but the 40 man roster is a good reason. You just cannot stash guys in the minors forever. I sometimes think their are clubs who stock their rosters with players off other club’s Rule 5 players because they don’t spend money on their own minor league systems.

    I know there is a lefty reliever who the Braves signed away from the Yankees last season and paid a million bucks to who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

    I am relying on the Braves’ front office types to keep it all sorted out and I am sure they have at least one person who’s dedicated job is to keep track of all things rule 5. You never know when a bargain is going to show up and you just have to make room to snatch them up. Wasn’t Braves nemesis Herrea a rule 5 player?

    Anyway, it will indeed be the shuffling of players that will play large into who get promoted in September.

    If Markakis or Kemp either one is traded this winter, you know the Braves already know who will be promoted. Then again, Peterson could get the nod just so the Braves can avoid making Acuna a Super Two.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. 46 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    I just read this tidbit in a piece by Jeff Schafer of Tomahawk Take:

    One pitcher who left a mark on baseball history had signed to ‘pitch’ for the Braves, but never saw game action in a Braves uniform. One of the greatest pitchers of all time, Leroy “Satchel” Paige was signed by the Atlanta Braves on August 12, 1968.

    Now did the Braves sign him to actually pitch, no. They signed Paige so he could receive his Major League Baseball pension and labeled him as a part-time pitcher and adviser. He needed 158 days on an active roster in order to fill the five-year requirement to receive his pension, so the Braves essentially were doing him a favor.

    Did anybody here know that? I consider myself a long time hardcore fan of the Braves, and I thought I was fairly well versed on our history… but I’ve never heard about that. How is it not more commonly known? Am I making more of it than there really is?

    Liked by 2 people

  46. 47 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Then again, Peterson could get the nod just so the Braves can avoid making Acuna a Super Two.

    I know some teams make a big effort to hold players back, but… If you think about it, you aren’t saving an entire year by the effort. You’re only saving a half year, the half year that remains after you hold the player back.

    And what you’re then saying is that you’d rather have them for an entire year 6 years in the future as opposed to an entire year right now.

    The bible says, ‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34) I believe that is somewhat true in baseball, too. What if the guy gets hurt down the line and it changes his game? What if he has a Teheran type regression? What if you trade him? If you have a guy who is tearing it up now, I say use him right now. And let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 48 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  48. 49 Vox O'Reason August 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    In a change of opinion, DO’B is now saying:

    Will [Ronald Acuña] complete the rise from high-A to majors within the same season? It won’t be surprising if the Braves call him up, even though they don’t have to protect Acuña in this December’s Rule 5 Draft and do have to protect a few others, making 40-man roster spots valuable.

    Acuña is so good, the Braves might just add him to the 40-man roster anyway this season and call him up, let him get a taste of the majors as a teen – he turns 20 in December — and let their fans see the dynamic kid who could be manning an outfield spot as soon as next spring.

    The more I see and hear, the more I think this is going to happen. In a season that has suddenly sputtered, calling up Acuña for the final 4 weeks might just be the shot in the arm that the team needs and that the fans need.

    And as has been shown by the brief benching of Brandon Phillips, the Braves aren’t averse to sitting a veteran on a short deal to accommodate a piece of the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 50 berigan2electricboogaloo August 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    V, nope never heard that before! y

    Like

  50. 51 berigan2electricboogaloo August 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    didn’t mean to do that. Was going to say you would think someone would have bragged about that in the nearly 50 years since it happened!

    Like

  51. 52 berigan2electricboogaloo August 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Brandon Phillips Clears Revocable Waivers

    By Connor Byrne | August 11, 2017 at 2:24pm CDT

    Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips has cleared revocable waivers, making him eligible for an August trade, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman.

    With Phillips’ previous team, the Reds, paying all but $1MM of his $13MM salary for 2017, the Braves are only on the hook for about $300K through season’s end, as Heyman notes. Despite Phillips’ cheap price tag and history of respectable production, no one claimed the 36-year-old. But the Braves have discussed Phillips with multiple teams, per Heyman, who points to the Rays as a potential fit for the right-handed hitter….

    I bet he would just rake, being in a true pennant race…
    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/08/brandon-phillips-clears-revocable-waivers.html

    Like

  52. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    On Satchel, I remember him being with the team during spring training in ’69, I did not really see a lot on the Atlanta team other than as it related to the Richmond team. I do remember a story however at how he was taking a needling from a young hitter about being old and promptly induced the batter to hit a weak ground ball back to the mound. Much laughter ensued.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to get an eyeful of Acuna this season, I’m just saying I would understand it if I don’t.

    Like

  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Andrew Albers has been traded to the Mariners for cash. Oh well, I guess the Braves needed the money.. Good luck to Albers though, getting back to the majors.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 55 Carolina Lady August 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    sigh I just realized that my car is older than Ronald Acuna…….

    Liked by 3 people

  55. 56 Gil in Mechanicsville August 11, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I’m thinking the Braves probably traded Albers for international sighing cash.

    Like

  56. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo August 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    sigh I just realized that my car is older than Ronald Acuna…….

    CL, I didn’t know you had a NEW car!!! my car is 40 years old, so I win!!! 🙂

    So….what do I win???? 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 58 Carolina Lady August 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Dunno, Ber. We’ll think of something! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 59 berigan2electricboogaloo August 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Ol’ Ozzie, he may not be the next Jose Altuve, but he really does have some pop, eh?????????

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville August 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Good game for the Braves today and RA Dicky but Jim Johnson continues to struggle.

    Like

  60. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville August 13, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Oh my, the wheels are wobbling for the Braves right now trying to hang on for the win.

    Like

  61. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville August 13, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    WHEW!

    Like

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason August 14, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Like

  63. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville August 14, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Sigh… Fights should be reserved exclusively for ice hockey where the combatants are heavily padded and the arms are restricted. Very little racism in hockey too, just a bunch of slow white guys slugging it out… 🙂

    A comment about the travesty in Charlottesville this weekend.., All so unnecessary, I blame the media for hyping the event into something bigger than it was. That and the mayor telling the police to stand down when they knew the media was egging both sides on. DISGUSTING!

    Now, more baseball. BRAVES WIN…. yea…. I am surprised RA Dickey is still with the team. How did he not get traded?

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 65 Vox O'Reason August 14, 2017 at 9:56 am

    *I am surprised RA Dickey is still with the team. How did he not get traded?

    He probably would if the offer were good enough. By the same token, the Braves may need him next season depending on their other offseason activities. The team holds the option for 2018. Convenient, huh?

    Like

  65. 66 berigan2electricboogaloo August 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Gil, I think knuckleballers scare teams…you saw that one game where no one could catch his ball…and when a team is wanting to go deep, you can’t really afford to have a guy give up a run in a close game.
    I don’t know if any knuckleball pitcher has had real success in the playoffs…can anyone recall? I just remember poor Tim Wakefield pitching his heart out but giving up a homer to Aaron Boone late…of course today that would never happen, 4-5-6 innings, and out the starter is out…

    Like

  66. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville August 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Ever wonder why people are so turned off by the news media? For me, it is being sick to death of the tripe…. Thank goodness for baseball and Last Man Standing reruns on CMT…

    Liked by 1 person

  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville August 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Suspension Length: 72 games
    Violating Substances: Stanozolol
    Signed June 1, Madinson Colon, 19, was 0-3, 18.41 in the DSL with an astounding 17 walks in just 7.1 innings.
    Read more at http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/2017-minor-league-drug-suspensions/#F2yxpx6THyMyq01A.99

    Sounds to me like the PEDs were not working…

    Liked by 1 person

  68. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville August 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Giancarlos Stanton is having a season that is reminiscent to the type of season Michael Jordan had with the Bulls. Prior to when he had help….

    Like

  69. 70 berigan2electricboogaloo August 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Ever wonder why people are so turned off by the news media? For me, it is being sick to death of the tripe….

    Gil, do I (and I am sure everyone else here) hear ya!
    It was horrible what happened, very few people would disagree with that , save some nazi’s and Klansmen…

    Funny thing…when a black man, who was on flat out racist sites on facebook (that still are active, strangely enough) decided to say he was upset about BLM, went out and assassinated 5 policemen…, no one in the MSM was out there saying BLM needed to be disolved…when groups of “protesters” in NYC were shouting, “what do we want? Dead COPS! When do we want it? NOW!”…or the protesters, I think in Minn who were chanting, Pigs in a Blanket, fry ’em like bacon, over and over….of course that would be completely unfair to claim those were mainstream views of the left…they say…
    but today, Trump and all of us are flat out racists….

    the never trumpers were thicker than thieves on FOX today…the fake Republicans like Graham, and McCain (all the defending of him I have done thru the years, I’m done with that) can’t wait to hit Trump…

    it’s beyond sickening…

    so yeah….baseball…it’s a very good thing these days.
    and TCM….

    Like

  70. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville August 15, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Well, Julio pitched a heck of a game last night. I guess the first play of the game set the tone for how things would go for the Braves.

    Yes, the Braves do miss Matt Kemp’s bat…

    Liked by 2 people

  71. 72 Carolina Lady August 16, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Welcome aboard to upstandingfood who is now following Braves & Stuff! Please join in anytime you like! We’d be glad to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 73 Vox O'Reason August 16, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Well, Julio pitched a heck of a game last night.

    And Newk followed with his own gem. How weird to get 2 straight nights of strong starting pitching in Coors Field.

    Like

  73. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville August 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

    How weird to get 2 straight nights of strong starting pitching in Coors Field.

    Who would have thunk it? 🙂

    For sure, home runs happen at Coors’ Field. The Trick is to not let walks happen ahead of them. I am so glad to see Dansby get in on the fun. He and the Braves needed a good game.

    I am also really impressed by the play of #DatDude at third base. Playing the position like Brooks Robinson over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville August 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  75. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville August 17, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Well, that was ugly… Looks like the Braves pitchers did what the Braves pitchers do,, wake up bats… That my friends is what is known as an a$$ whoppin.

    Earlyish game today. Lucus Sims’ turn in the barrel.

    Like

  76. 77 Vox O'Reason August 17, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Lucus Sims’ turn in the barrel.

    And don’t you know he’s looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 78 Vox O'Reason August 17, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Seen last night in Colorado…

    Like

  78. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville August 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Wasn’t that a fun game? What is the old adage, you are only as good as your next day’s starter.

    Sims is showing us what we always suspected, he is a front line kind of guy. Anyway, it was nice to see the Braves bounce back from a hideous drubbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville August 18, 2017 at 8:19 am

    While it is fun to see Ender hit home runs, I fear that he might forget himself and think he is a power hitter. Beware of the warning track fly ball…

    Speaking of home runs, Acuna hit two more yesterday. Amazing.

    Brandon Phillips continues to amaze me with his stellar play at third. I have yet to see him make a bad throw to first base. I hope he gets enough at bats down the stretch to get his 2000th hit this season. I think he is 19 short at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

  80. 82 Carolina Lady August 18, 2017 at 11:10 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS JOSIE!! Bigs hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 83 berigan2electricboogaloo August 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Sadly, I missed the game yesterday…those “early” games in Arizona are odd..
    funny how you can get blown out twice, then win the final game of a series, and fans and the team feel good

    Like

  82. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville August 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Maybe because they actually split the series…

    3-4 on a road trip to St Louis and Denver, could have been way worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 85 Miss Josie August 18, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you Margie ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  84. 86 Carolina Lady August 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    kevinwanderlust, welcome to Braves & Stuff! Feel free to join in the chatter any time! We’re delighted that you have chosen to follow B&S!

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

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FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

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BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007


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