Braves 6, IWOTM 4

Bills didn’t pitch that well, but it ultimately didn’t matter, as the home nine ran the winning streak up to two. Break up the Braves!

Other than Bills, the Braves did quite well. Jace Peterson went 0-1 with two walks and a run scored, and he is the best leadoff hitter we’ve had since I can’t remember when. The bullpen (Avilan, Johnson, Grilli) went three innings, gave up three hits, and — no, really — no runs. I know!

Oh, and we got the 16th overall pick in the 2014 draft from the Diamondbacks in return for agreeing to pay the remaining $10 million of Bronson Arroyo’s salary. He’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and hopes to be back in August. Even if he never pitches in an Atlanta uniform, we won the trade.

Happy Father’s Day, everybody!

58 thoughts on “Braves 6, IWOTM 4”

  1. It would suggest that we really stole Toussaint from the D-Backs, but I’d say if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Why would the D-Backs trade him for so little? It’s not like Gosselin helps them “win now”, so what’s their motivation unless they know something we don’t?

    Hopefully Arroyo can make a few good starts for us and get his career back on track.

    Anybody’s guess as to where Toussaint slides into our prospect list?

    Grilli already has 20 saves. If he doesn’t wear down, he’s on pace for 48 saves. Not bad for the post-Kimbrel era.

    We are 2 games worse than we were last year. If you had told me that at the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t have believed you.

  2. I predicted we would win 75 games due to good pitching, but it’s been the offense and defense that has carried this team. I don’t see any reason why this bunch can’t end up with a .500 record especially if the bullpen improves.

  3. Sorry I missed you, spike!

    Here is spike’s recap, posted in full:

    So, Happy Father’s Day! Braves dads got both of their presents late last night. A win against a tough pitcher with Freeman out of the lineup, and a trade in which once again we seem to have taken the Diamondbacks behind the woodshed. The game was a classic up-and-down affair the Braves seem to be having of late. Twin Bills got touched up for two in the first and it looked like it might be a short evening for him as he struggled again a bit in the second. But the team bailed him out when AJ of all people got a triple and scored on Simmons single. The following inning saw Peterson lead off with a walk, and advanced to third after D’Arnaud threw a seed to Casper the friendly ghost on Jace’s steal attempt. Maybin brought him home with a ground ball to tie the score. The home side took the lead in the bottom of the fourth after some Lolmetsian defense got two more runs home. But alas nothing in this life or this Braves season is easy. The Perez got bit by the home run bug for the first time this year and solo shots in the fifth and sixth tied the game again. In the bottom half of the sixth AJ let off the double to put him one homer away from the cycle and a bit more rough defense from the Mets wound up with the Braves scoring another pair. Putting the game in the hands of the bullpen is always going to be problematic with the current makeup of the team but there was no choice. Avilan however looked like the Luis of old and got the side in order. Johnson survived a couple of singles in the eighth, and Grilli got through the 9th for the win. AJ flirted with the homer in his last at-bat in the seventh, but could not get it over the wall. Still a win and a great trade and a chance to go for the sweep today.

  4. @2

    I do find it a little bit hard to believe the D-backs would be this stupid, but even if they just dropped a rotten egg on us for an expiring $9.5 million contract and a AAAA middle infielder with a broken thumb, worse things have happened. And from our side, I’m skeptical of the value of draft picks in baseball, but even I have to admit that $9.5 million and Phil Gosselin are worth what amounts to an extra first-round pick (and it’s not like it’s impossible that $9.5 million will buy us some bullpen help down the stretch, either, if Arroyo comes back).

  5. I suppose a helpful scenario would be for Arroyo to come back in August and give us a few starts, allowing the Bills to spend some time in the bullpen and keep his innings down.

    With the glut of 4th and 5th starters in the system for the next couple seasons, I wonder if Williams gets dealt in the offseason.

    Starting pitching options for 2016 current under contract by Atlanta:

    Teheran
    Miller
    Wood
    Minor
    Perez
    Folty
    Wisler
    Arroyo
    Banuelos
    Martin

    If we can’t get 5 good starting pitchers out of that, then I’m just giving up on life.

    Also, has anyone seen a report on prospects within the past month or so? I think I saw one in May.

  6. @2, according to Jim Callis, he’s our #4 prospect right now.

    I kind of doubt Perez has a lot of trade value, since he’s a chubby guy with a low-90s fastball, not a ton of strikeouts, and not much of a prospect profile, but if he’s able to stay in the rotation all year and prove that his ability to eat league-average innings is no fluke, he may be able to bring back something interesting. I really like him as a swingman/long reliever/5th starter, though, giving our top prospects time to develop on the farm while providing us with injury insurance. I’m not eager to sell him.

    Arroyo is not currently under contract for 2016. He has a $13 million club option. (It would have only been $11 million had the Diamondbacks kept him, but his contract says that it increases by $2 million if he’s traded.) It costs $4.5 million to buy him out. So the Braves will have to decide whether they want to pay the extra $8.5 million to keep him, or pay $4.5 million to let him go. I would bet on the latter.

    I also think that the odds of Minor being a viable starting pitching option in 2016 are slim to none.

  7. Strange strike out thing appearing on all past posts which were posted belore this one.

  8. Sadly, agreed about Minor. He’ll probably have the same result as Beachy and Medlen. Someone with the spare cash will give them a good enough deal to not return to Atlanta. Both of those guys were probably only worth their contract to one team.

    I misread Arroyo’s contract situation. Looks like he was indeed bought as a line item, not a pitcher.

    I also agree that Perez is best as a swingman/long reliever/5th starter (a better Christhian Martinez). As a result, he’s probably more valuable to us in that role than to another team.

    That’s interesting that Toussaint slides in at #4. That means he has more long-term projected value than Tyrell Jenkins, Ozhaino Albies, Man Ban, and Max Fried. Ummm, yes please. I’ll take two.

  9. The 2016 rotation still has plenty of options. Miller, Wood, Teheran, Wisler, Folty, Twin Bills, Banuelos

  10. With RISP, the team’s OPS is 30% better than their neutral OPS, with a BABIP of .357.

    There’s a better chance they get worse than improve, but ‘probably unsustainable’ has kind of been their mantra all season.

  11. The word out of AZ is that Dave and Tony think the Snakes are close enough to “in it” to make a play for a big named starter, and needed to clear payroll to do it. So we took their #1 pick from last year to clear their expiring contract.

  12. @11

    I’ve been wondering that myself. It’s hot and they can’t start a game between 5:15 and 11 (at least…it may be midnight) and have it be on TV because ESPN has an exclusive window, I guess? If Monday were a holiday it would make sense. It’s not, though, so it seems kind of weird to not go ahead and start it at the normal time.

  13. It’s father’s day, and folks take dad out for brunch, methinks.

    Also, the intense butthurt at Jose Tabata for not just rolling over so Scherzer could ‘earn’ his perfecto has made me really detest the Nats fanbase

  14. @17

    Yeah, it’s pretty annoying. I actually think it probably should’ve been called a ball instead of an HBP by the letter of the law, but that’s on the umpire and not on Tabata. It’s probably really just a split-second reaction on Tabata’s part, anyway. It’s not like he had time to think about what he was doing and then deviously twirl his mustache or something.

  15. It was definitely borderline, but how often do you see a call like that instead of the HBP? It would have looked like umpire collusion to preserve the perfect game if that call was made.

  16. I think when Arizona just gave us their CB pick it showed they were willing to just dump lottery tickets for money. Let’s keep doing trades with them.

    It also shows that there’s some serious foresight in Johns’ keeping the payroll modest this year. Put that together with their ravenous bonus pool acquisition and weird TJ market inefficiency approach, and I think we may actually be dealing with some very intelligent men building our team. It may not work out, but it’s very thoughtful

  17. @21, but upton is compared to left fielder replacements and not CF replacements. Justin in CF would have a very negative dwar

  18. Touissaint being called an “expensive lottery ticket” by Chip. Compared to what, doofus? He’s less of a gamble than your average mid-1st pick and costs less

  19. Damnit, now we have to pull Julio knowing full well we won’t score this run.

    EDIT: Oh my God!

  20. @23 – My issue is this: When we talk about, oh I don’t know, Jason Heyward, and I have to hear that “Of course he’s worth $X; he was worth Y bWAR and we know each bWAR is worth $Z.” But bWAR thinks Justin Upton’s defensive performance this season is WORTH MORE MONEY than what Cameron Maybin’s is worth.

    Put another way… If Jason Heyward was a CF, instead of a RF, he’d swap that outstanding, in the literal sense of the word, performance for an average one, and in return he’d only get a positional adjustment. WAR thinks that Jason Heyward is worth more money because he DOESN’T play CF.

    So on paper, we’re a way better team if Markakis plays LF, Maybin plays RF and Perez plays CF. But in reality, we’re the exact same team.

    Should we pay Cameron Maybin $250m and put him in RF?

  21. Pretty much everyone admits that in-season UZR can be a little screwy and that you shouldn’t trust defensive stats in a small sample. Maybin surely isn’t the extraordinary defensive player that he was a couple of years ago, but he’s better than B.J. Upton. I’d guess he’s a bit above average, not as good as Bourn was a few years ago but certainly better than a lot of the scrubs we’ve trotted out there since Andruw.

  22. Why does Eveland ever appear in a game?

    Luis Avilan can’t pitch EVERY SINGLE TIME a LHP is needed out of the pen. The other option is Donnie Veal.

  23. I agree, Sam. Not knowing the splits, is there a righty that can face lefties better than Gas Can Eveland?

  24. One thing about our bullpen: no matter who we’re arguing about, there’s always someone else ready to show you his talent, or lack thereof.

  25. It’s not a zero sum game, though, regarding Eveland. Fredi went to Eveland because he ha a righty on the mound and a Collins sent up a left handed pinch hitter.

    So he knows Collins will burn that pinch hitter if he brings in a lefty. Which, there’s a value to that, the Met’s bench is short due to non-DL injuries.

    But he’s got to choose, with a man on second, if he wants Massett to face a lefty, Cecilliani, or he wants Eveland to face a righty, Mayberry Jr.

    Eveland got the out, so it’s moot. But it’d rather let Collins keep Mayberry for extra innings, and let Massett face the lefty. I’m not letting Eveland face anybody in the 8th with a man on second, especially not when I know for certain that he’ll face a right handed hitter.

  26. Of course, as was said on the broadcast, Mayberry, Jr. was 8 for 41 against lefties this year, so that wasn’t an indefensible decision on Fredi’s part.

  27. @35, I think you’re projecting a lot of ideas onto me and arguing against those. I am just trying to say that OF dWAR is a tricky thing. For the most part, I agree that we have an issue with the measure, and that’s why I said the LF and CF adjustments render direct comparisons moot.

    I’m a skeptic, and I don’t know whether a stellar Corner OF defender should be compensated on the rote 6-7mil/WAR formula. Maybe there’s a market inefficiency where Maybin could be paid like a replacement CF and instead be a stellar LF. I don’t know the answer. My eyes tell me a Gomes or Gattis in LF gives away runs. Maybe there’s somerhing to investing in corner defense if the price is right. I’m still trying to figure it out.

  28. I’m not projecting anything on to you John. I’m talking about WAR. I don’t know how you feel about WAR and I don’t care. Just expressing a general thought about WAR.

  29. @56, forgive my confusion. Perhaps you could understand that what with all the CAPS and sarcasm and questions you posed to me that you were addressing me and my comment instead of “expressing a general thought about WAR”.

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