Archive for the 'Austin Riley' Category

#179: The Season Through Our Eyes

          CL

Thought you might enjoy seeing our own comments through the season….

 

22 Feb 2018, VOR wrote:

“I want the Braves to win this year. I really do. But I want them to win over the next 10      years too. Blowing a big wad in 2018 won’t give our young pitchers the experience they  need, and it won’t guarantee us even a division title this year. But it will slow down the final lap of the long rebuild.

The smart executive will allow Nick Markakis to play out his deal this year and take what you get from     him in RF. He will keep Ronald Acuna in AAA for April before starting his ML clock. He will allow his young pitchers to learn in the fire and take the hits this year. He’ll watch the team struggle again in 2018.

But in 2019, he’ll have young stud pitchers with real ML experience. He’ll have a budding star in the OF to go along with an established gold-glover. And he’ll have an opening, but he’ll also have means to fill out his young and talented roster with a that one complimentary player that will make the difference.”

1 Mar 2018, VOR wrote:

“Bullpen candidate Luke Jackson should be thanking his lucky stars that he at least got 1 out this spring. That’s all he’s gotten, but at least he did get one. His line this spring looks like this: 0.1 IP, 108.00 ERA, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K”

7 Mar 2018, CJones was quoted:

“The young pups are announcing their presence with authority. Exciting to see them gaining confidence. Won’t be long Atlanta.”

7 Mar2018, Ber wrote:

“…lets say all the stars align, other good teams stink, and 84-78 gets you into a 1 game playoff, is it worth retarding someone’s chance to prove themselves?
I was of course like everyone else wanting to send Nick M packing, but you know…you need some vets, especially in this day and age to show a team full of millennials how the game should be played, and when to have some guts, which we now know he does, in spades…”

12 Mar 201, Gil wrote:

“I have opined before that the Braves will make their move in the market next season and strangely, their needs may be less than we think at this point. We know Kakes will be gone as well as one or both catchers.”

14 Mar 2018, Gil wrote:

“So, just who is a lock at this point and who is on the bubble?

Position players who are locks barring injuries: Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Kurt Suzuki, Tyler Flowers, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis. Also Johan Camargo (either 3rd base or super utility) Charlie Culberson (utility, Swanson body double)

On the bubble are Preston Tucker, Lane Adams, Danny Santana and new comer Ezequiel Carrera.

Likely to get cut, traded or sent down are Chris Steward, Rio Ruiz, Christian Colon, Dustin Peterson and Schempf.

I did not list Acuna but I just don’t see him making the team until mid April due to financial considerations. Everyone knows he will be in Atlanta sooner than later but money is money and I don’t see the Braves front office throwing away a year of control over two weeks.”

16 Mar 2018, Gil wrote:

“Braves sign Anibel Sanchez to a minor league contract and invites to spring training… Okay.. why not? Not a huge risk and you just never know what tweek will fix a pitcher. That and pretty easy to flip/DFA. Almost like hiring day labor.”

21 Mar 2018, VOR wrote:

“We will open the season with Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk and eventually Sanchez/Kazmir/Gohara. But let’s just go ahead and call it Gohara because it’ll be his as soon as he’s healthy.

Then at mid-season, I predict McCarthy is gone and Soroka is promoted. The rotation then looks like Julio, Folty, Newk, Gohara, Soroka.

BUT…Max Fried is close himself, not to mention Kolby Allard. Those are the pitchers that are realistic for 2018. Allard might hold off until 2019, but Fried is close now.”

23 Mar 2018, VOR wrote:

“Maybe this comment is a bit premature, but where will Ronald Acuna fit into this batting order? As a righty, he can fit seemless behind (or in front of) Freddie. But do you want to place him there right away? That’s a pretty heavy pressure spot in the lineup.

Maybe initially he bats behind Markakis at #6. But at some point you have to move him up. And to be honest, I think he plays better at 3 than Freddie. He’s a 5-tooler, and his speed would keep the lineup burning behind Ender and Ozzie.

SO while the above is a fair representation of Opening Day 2017, my lineup in 2018 would start with:
Ozzie, 2B (S)
Ender, CF (L)
Acuna, RF (R)
Freddie, 1B (L)
Austin Riley, 3B (R)

.. with a mystery LF and C slotting into the bottom of the order with Dansby.”

25 Mar 2018, Ber wrote:

The Braves have signed outfielder Peter Bourjos to a major league deal worth $1MM, MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports. 🙄
How exciting….really shrewd move Thoppy. No wonder you won so many division titles in the AL east…
really? A major league deal? really???? well, he hit .223 last year (.241 career BA) with a robust .272 OBP. but Ber, he has speed, he can steal a base or two. No, no really. 16 steals the last 3 seasons, caught 16 times.
so, no power, speed, but can’t steal, can’t hit, can’t walk. Can play some D. Ok….can’t Lane Adams do all of that? Or Santana? makes no sense….”

26 Mar 2018, VOR wrote:

“Here are the certainties:

Rotation: Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk

Bullpen: Viz, AJ, JoseRam, Sam Freeman, Peter Moylan, Dan Winkler (2 spots remaining)

Lineup: Ender, Ozzie, Freddie, Kakes, Flow, Tucker, Dansby, Rio

Bench: Zuk, Culberson, Bourjos, Flaherty (1 spot remaining)

I’m guessing Anibal Sanchez will make the team as the #5 starter, but could pitch at AAA until the 5th starter is needed. Rex Brothers seems to be the leader to win the 7th bullpen spot. But who will the long reliever be? Would they go ahead and add Sanchez now as the long reliever, with hopes that Gohara will be ready by late April? No clear answers here yet. Had one of the youngsters – Sims, Wisler, Blair – made a positive impression, he would have seized that long relief role. None did.

And that last bench spot… Lane Adams? Chris Stewart?”

10 April 2018, VOR wrote:

“So as to lineup configuration, I once again have to ask Freddie Freeman to give up his favored 3rd spot and be my cleanup hitter. And I’ve got numbers to back me up.

In 2017, he was clearly the team’s top RBI producer if you extrapolate his numbers out to 162 games. He was just 5 behind team leader Nick Markakis even though he played in only 115 games. He also lead the team in OPS (on base percentage + slugging) by a wide margin ->.989 to .823.

And the stats show that the cleanup hitter comes to bat with runners on base over half the time, more than any other spot in the lineup. That’s where I want Freddie.

So I want my high OBP guys – Ender, Ozzie, Acuna – on base ahead of Freddie, and I want Freddie driving them in. If I can get a guy like Cutch to protect Freddie at #5, or even young Austin Riley when he grows into that role, I’ve really got something going at the top and middle of the order. Follow that with a resurgent Dansby Swanson and a catcher that can at least hold his own and our lineup becomes quite formidable.

There are exciting times to come.”

23 April 2018, VOR wrote:

“This is the “go to” lineup we could see very soon:

Ender, CF (L)
Ozzie, 2B (S)
Freddie, 1B (L)
Bautista, 3B (R)
Kakes, RF (L)
Flowzuki, C (R)
Acuna, LF (R)
Dans, SS (R)”

25 April 2018, Ber wrote:

“Hey it actually maybe be Preston Tucker that either gets traded or released which would be a first the guy leading the team in RBIs but he can’t really play Centerfield can he?”

4 Jun 2018, VOR wrote:

“I am glad we decided to keep “Walk Off Charlie” over Joey Bats…”

26 June 2018, Gil wrote:

“So, the Rays defeat the Nits 1 zip, third straight loss for Schurzer… who would have thunk it? Baseball is weird alright. So, the Nits fall another 1/2 game behind the Braves and the Frillies face the Yankees again tonight prior to the boys from DC coming in to the City of Brotherly Love for a four game set.

The best scenario? Phils lose tonight and then split the series with Washington while the Braves win the next seven in a row… yeah, that’ll do it…”

28 June 2018, VOR wrote:

“Now I’m looking at our rotation and thinking:

#1, Julio Teheran, just came off the DL for shoulder soreness.
#2, Folty, just came off the DL for triceps tightness
#3, Newk, thank God for Newk
#4, Anibal Sanchez, just left a game early with calf cramps; been on the DL already for leg problems
#5, Matt Wisler, cannot even express on a family friendly forum what I want to say about typing his name here”

30 June 2018, Ber wrote:

“I think my views on Anibel have changed….did you all get to catch the early part of the game? He was working on/with Julio T basically every inning. Julio looked terrible in the 1st, walking 2. Fastball was 91-92..and just looked like it was going to be a long night. seemed from the camera on the two of them all the time, Anabel talking to him, showing him how to turn more in his windup, showing where he was finishing up after a pitch….Julio was paying attention….and he did go 6 innings without giving up a run. Not sure why Julio has lost some off his fastball, I am sure he’d like to have 95 MPH every start, but if anyone can show him how to survive without a great fastball, it’s A Sanchez. And no doubt the younger players see Julio , the grizzled vet of 26 listening, they will listen too. so perhaps it would be better to keep him, as long as he pitches well, if he’s helping a bunch of guys not even old enough to drink….”

30 June 2018, Gil wrote:

“After a month long stretch of what could be described as malaise, the Braves pitching staff appears to have found itself and the offense has reawakened.

Fried looked absolutely stellar tonight.

The Braves bats are booming.”

2 July 2018, VOR wrote:

“I think we’ve said it time and time again, Luke Jackson and Matt Wisler are not major league pitchers, Sam Freeman has lost his 2017 mojo, and Pete Moylan is way past his prime. That’s 4 out of the 8 relievers. Half of the bullpen. HALF.

Folks, we cannot make a real concerted push into October with half a major league bullpen.”

2 July 2018, VOR posted from Gabe Burns:

“In St. Louis series:

Starters ERA: 0.00
Bullpen ERA: 9.64″

3 July 2018, Gil wrote:

“Watch the Braves bullpen come in is like Chinese water torture.. Walks, base runners etc. I wonder if Snit buys Malox by the case?”

3 July 2018, VOR wrote:

“Well, our bullpen actually did an amazing job last night. Of course, there was no Matt Wisler, no Pete Moylan, and Luke Jackson did not enter the arena. Sam Freeman did pitch… and of course walked the first couple of batters he faced. But a well turned double play bailed him out.

Credit where credit is due:

Dan Winkler did not have a clean inning, but he also did not panic. And he missed a few bats.

Jesse Biddle has ice water in his veins and some wicked pitches. That 10th inning was something else.

AJ Minter is getting quite comfortable as closer. You can truly see him growing into the role.”

3 July 2018, Gil wrote:

“Yep, at least this team is not a one trick pony. You really don’t know who will be the guy who will deliver the big hit. It is fun trying to guess though.

The key is still the bullpen though.”

31 July 2018, VOR wrote:

“So how impactful was the deal for Adam Duvall, who will now platoon with Ender, playing LF against LH pitchers with RAJ sliding over to CF?

DOB sums it nicely: He’s hit as many homers as Freddie Freeman or Kris Bryant over past three seasons and has 2nd-most Defensive Runs Saved this season among LFs

Of course he strikes out alot too. He is a classic power bat. But he’s just 2 years removed from being an All-Star with a 31 HR season.”

31 July 2018, VOR wrote:

“The O’s Kevin Gaussman would be a decent alternative if the price on Archer is just prohibitive. They are reportedly “closing In” on another deal.”

31 July 2018, VOR wrote:

“Rotation will now be Julio, Folty, Anibal, Newk, and Gausman, whose last start for the O’s was Saturday.”

3 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“New dates for possible future consideration for countdowns (courtesy of young Gabe Burns):
*NL Wild Card game will be Tuesday, Oct. 2
*NLDS begins Thursday, Oct. 4.

I believe these dates will be relevant for Braves fans this year. 😀”

3 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“I think the team is very focused now, the trades made by Thoppy appear to have allowed the Braves to hit the re-set button. They cannot worry about what the Phillies and the Nats do, they have to only control their own destiny.”

4 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“Wasn’t Anibal magnificent last night? The guy is a master.”

6 Aug 2018, VOR posts:

“In a pennant race, a good ‘pen goes a long way.@Braves relievers were insanely good as they earn Bullpen of the Week honors: https://atmlb.com/2vLls1y 

8 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“Sean Newcomb is becoming the pitcher we have been looking for. He is emerging as a real 1 or 2… right along with Folty. With maturity, Newk is gaining control of his fastball and using it effectively. It’s a good lesson in patience and not judging a pitcher too quickly (cough Kolby Allard) as Sean is now panning out to be exactly what the scouting reports predicted.”

8 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“Upon further review…. The Braves have assembled a pretty nice ball club haven’t they? Not exactly the 2018 Boston Red Sox but they can hang with anyone. It all comes down to timely hitting and stout pitching.”

9 Aug 2018, Ber wrote:

“How about Charlie Culberson? I have to say, I was way wrong about him…I truly couldn’t figure out why he was picked up”

9 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“And what of Luke Jackson? Wow, that was a huge strike out last night. Could it be he is finally putting it all together?”

9 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“So, the Braves are 10-8 now since the All-star break, not exceptional but not terrible when you think of how poorly the Braves have played in years past to start the second half. The Braves go home to face the resurgent Brewers and the Nits fly to ChiTown to face the always tough Cubbies. Meanwhile, the Fightns’ move on to San Diego.

Just win Braves, you hold your own destiny in your hands…”

10 Aug 2018, Ber wrote:

“What a game pitched by Gausman! One of the best games pitched by a brave all year….he looked…smoother to me than the first start”

13 Aug 2018, Gil wrote:

“Good morning all. Big day ahead for the Braves. The premier of Touki Toussaint this afternoon against the fish and then in the night cap, Foltynewicz toes the rubber. An opportunity to add to their lead over both the Phils and the Nats.”

13 Aug 2018 Gil wrote:

“What a really nice debut for Toussaint. I am much more impressed with his stuff than Allard. Don’t get me wrong, Allard is a nice kid with a bright future but Toussaint has “stuff”… And perhaps his most impressive play was covering the first base bag to complete the DP in the 6th.

Ronald Acuna had a day…. Just rocking it right now. I think he is finally getting comfortable.”

14 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“So while the Braves continue with 2 more against the Minnows, the Phillies open a 2-game series with the mighty Red Sox.

I can’t help but grin just a little.”

20 Aug, 2018, Gil wrote:

“Now it’s on to Pittsburg. Amazingly, the Braves are still in first place, even after getting swept 4 games. So there is that.”

21 Aug, 2018, Gil wrote:

“It is still anyone’s pennant to win in the NL East. No one has run away with it but the Nats are a demoralize bunch. The next three days will be a tell as far as the Frillies and Nits go.

And who expected the Mets and the Marlins to help out the Braves so much?”

23 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“And that’s probably the best game I’ve ever seen Julio pitch, and I’ve seen him pitch alot over the years. He used his breaking pitch more last night than ever before. One has to wonder if the Gas Man has been in his ear.”

28 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“Our boys in blue wake up to a 3.5 game lead today beholding to our broken brothers on the beltway.

Beautiful.”

29 Aug 2018, VOR wrote:

“The Braves wake up today to a 4.5 game lead.”

2 Sept 2018, Gil wrote:

“Pretty impressive turn around for the Bravos this weekend. Julio continues to amaze me. Acuna continues to amaze everyone….”

5 Sep 2018, VOR wrote:

“Last night as I was watching a part of the game, it struck me that Johan Camargo has actually become a pretty important part of this 2018 team. Not only is he an incredible fielder at 3B, he’s 3rd in AVG, 3rd in OBP, and 4th in SLG. Also, believe it or not, he’s 4th in HR and 3rd in RBI.”

9 Sep 2018, Gil wrote:

“Shame on me for doubting this team… 6 runs in the ninth to cover up Luke Jackson’s stink..”

12 Sep 2018, Gil wrote:

“Given the youth of this club, it may well be the Braves will celebrate with ginger ale rather than champagne…”

23 Sep 2018, VOR posted:

Braves Magic Number @BravesMagicNum:  0″

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178: Are We There Yet?

Gil
Mechanicsville, VA

Wow, it’s Labor Day and the Braves are still relevant. Okay, be honest, raise your hand if you really thought the Braves would be in first place in the NL East on this date when the season began.

Yeah, me neither. Like everyone else, I expected the Nationals to be well on their way to wrapping up their third straight NL East title.

Surprise! Both the upstart and surprising Braves and the young Phillies have come back from baseball irrelevancy to compete for the mantle of Beast of the East.

While the Braves are currently atop the NL East (76-60) with a 4-game lead over the 2nd place Phils, there is still a lot of important baseball left in season. Now we will find out who has the fortitude to fight through the fatigue that comes in a 162 game season.

For a lot of the young players, playing in September is a new experience. Their brethren in the minors will close out their seasons this week. Most will be packing their bags for home while a lucky few will get a nice pay boost while accumulating service time in the Show.

Some additions have already made it into the Braves clubhouse as the rosters expanded:

Lane Adams

Touki Toussaint

Bryse Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

Rene Rivera

Kyle Wright

Preston Tucker

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Braves reacquired Preston Tucker from the Reds, but he won’t be assigned until room is created for him on the 40-man roster.

Micheal Reed was added but was placed on the 60 day DL with a lower back strain. (That was quick!)

So, who else looks to be added soon? Braves relievers José Ramirez and Arodys Vizcaíno are on the 60-day DL and were assigned to Braves affiliate Rome to complete their rehab. Both would be big adds if healthy.

Austin Riley

The name on the lips of most Braves fans is Austin Riley but given the current log jam on the Braves 40-man roster, I doubt he will be added but you just never know with Thoppy.

So hang on Braves fans! Playing meaningful games in September is a reality for the Bravos and, while the Braves appear to be ahead of schedule, you never know what lies ahead. It’s been a great season thus far so why not enjoy the rest of the ride?


Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

Salty: Apr 22

FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

Skip Caray: Aug 12

Miss Josie: Aug 18

Carolina Lady: Oct 7

BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007

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