Cubs 7, Braves 1, Folty needs to stop serving up gopherballs

I didn’t pay any attention to the game yesterday, which apparently makes 26 of us. I have a better excuse: I’m on vacation for a couple of days in French Canada, but the Braves are in Wrigley Field, which you’d think would be a pretty good clue that there’s a baseball game going on. The Braves did that thing where they outhit the other team and yet get outscored by six runs, partly because both Mike Foltynewicz gave up another two home runs.

Speaking of that, I wrote this two weeks ago:

Homers are pretty much the story of his year. In his 12 starts, he has given up a homer in all but three; of the 46 runs he’s given up this year, 23 have come via home run. Basically, if he can tamp down on the taters, he’ll go a long way toward realizing his potential.

I think I got my math slightly wrong last time; the correct totals are now 59 and 26. He has still given up home runs in all but three of his starts, and now he’s up to 14. I meant it to sound optimistic last time, and it will sound pessimistic this time: if he can’t tamp down on the taters, he won’t realize his potential.

Freddie Freeman had two singles, one of the infield variety. Since going out with an injury on June 17, he’s hitting .222/.255/.378 with three extra-base hits in 47 plate appearances. Cross your fingers, hope for the best, and if he feels the slightest twinge of anything, yank him. His future is too important for this team to be willing to stretch him for the present, as bad as we are right now.

36 thoughts on “Cubs 7, Braves 1, Folty needs to stop serving up gopherballs”

  1. Folty needing a second pitch is why the Astros were happy to trade him to us. Wisler having frontline control but fifth starter stuff is why the Padres were willing to give him up. Banuelos’ and Jenkins’ questionable durability is why the Yankees and Cardinals didn’t lose any sleep letting them go. Fried, Toussaint and Allard are our three best prospects but they are a long way away.

    Realistically, what are the odds that none of the young guys we have will be much better than league average 4th or 5th starters in 2017? I’d say 50%.

    You add in the virtual certainty that the offense will still be well below average and the inaugural season at White Flight Field could go very very badly.

    And if Frank Wren gets a championship ring with the Red Sox? Oh my.

  2. From Talking Chop:

    “Hector Olivera looks like he is rounding in to form in his rehab assignment as he reached base 3 times.”

    Let’s hope.

  3. So, does Freeman get better? I don’t mean better than his current slump; he’s obviously much better than that and I have no doubt he’ll return to form. I mean better as a hitter than the best he’s shown us so far. He’s not quite where we need him to be yet.

  4. Tough watch, this bunch. There are few things worse than having your baseball team suck all thru the summer. When all you’re doing is rooting against injuries & for draft picks, it’s time to take up a distracting hobby (until toe meets leather, of course).

    Québec, eh?

    Il ya une bière là que vous aimeriez: La Fin du Monde. Il est assez fort, mais il est très bon.

  5. Responding to this from Game, Blauser in the previous thread…

    @37 I hate to burst your bubble, but the odds of the Braves signing David Price are vanishingly small. 1) he’ll cost way more than the Braves can/should pay; 2) the entire idea of the Braves’ rebuild was to stock up on high-ceiling arms and develop a cheap, young, deep corps of pitchers. It sucks to see Folty and Wisler and Banuelos struggle right now but that’s just how it (typically) goes with young players. Those guys, plus Jenkins I’d think, will get a real chance to establish themselves next season. I’d suspect that the Braves will take stock of their position after letting things play out next year and will make moves accordingly… which may include trading/signing pitching if the right opportunity presents itself.

    Of course the odds are not great, but it’s worth noting that we made a run at Lester this past offseason. I think Hart ended up saying, as we backed out of the bidding, something like Lester was “the right player, just at the wrong time.” Well, this would be one year (and 50%) closer to the “right time,” and of course Price is even better than Lester. That means he’ll cost more, too, obviously, and the money is what’s probably going to take him somewhere else, but the notion that the Braves wouldn’t be interested in spending some money on a top-flight pitcher is off-base, IMO.

    Also worth noting, as I’ve said before: Price is a virtual lock to sign with an NL team, and he grew up a Braves fan and still lives in Nashville. To the extent that he’s willing to take any bit of discount to play someplace, that place is most certainly Atlanta.

    Still doubt it happens, but I think there’s a bit more of a chance there than you might think.

  6. @6
    I think there’s a decent chance for this to happen, and thanks for shedding light on the situation.

  7. @5, I think Trois Pistoles; goes better with your smoked meat, Alex.

    Edit: Bravesjournal does not like French-style quotation marks.

  8. Price makes sense for the Cubs. One could argue that we shouldn’t even be in the bidding war. You add a pitcher like that when you are ready to make your World Series push, not when you want to go from 70 wins to 75.

    We should get a top-5 draft pick out of this season. Let’s hope it’s a Chipper Jones.

  9. @6 I’d love it if the Braves had Lester or Price; I just don’t see the Braves throwing down $150M ($200M?) on a single pitcher this offseason. This ownership group has made some pretty aggressive/interesting moves though (eg, Wood and Peraza for Olivera) so I suppose nothing is truly off limits. That said, signing Price would run counter to the Braves’ stated rebuild strategy, not to mention the fact that he’d cost at least twice as much as our biggest FA contract to date.

  10. @1
    Folty really needs a third pitch. He has a big time arm and can probably learn a third pitch.

    Wisler has better than fifth starter stuff. Greg Maddux once said, ”It’s not about how hard you throw it, but where you throw it.”
    Jenkins looks great
    Fried may be the fifth starter in the spring
    Toussaint could be up by the end of 2016.
    Realistically, what are the odds that none of the young guys we have will be much better than league average 4th or 5th starters in 2017? I’ll say at least two of them are solid #2-3 guys in the rotation.
    I’m not worried about our pitching. Miller and Tehran are going to be fine. They have the potential to be aces. We need to get these young guys experience. I really think Folty is going to be very good. I am excited about Fried. Wisler also impresses me. Just be patient.

    “You add in the virtual certainty that the offense will still be well below average and the inaugural season at White Flight Field could go very very badly.”

    I agree with this statement. I think we are looking at 2018-2019 before we are really good. I think we need to take a cornerstone bat in this draft and hope he turns into a Kris Bryant

  11. @9
    With a glut of pitching prospects and a ton of expendable cash, the mentality that the Braves “want to go from 70 to 75 wins” next year is the most DOOMY of DOOMY statements.

    They’ve stated that 2017 is the goal to win the division, but also stated that they’ll be making moves toward that next year.

  12. @11 I don’t see a guy who has never pitched above A ball being the 5th starter in the spring. Fried may skip High A, but not AA and AAA.

  13. Winkler maybe, if he still exists.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if they keep drafting and developing pitching or if they start trading for hitting.

    Allard is getting roughed up for a hit.

  14. @12 – They also stated that this was a retooling, not a rebuilding, and that winning in 2015 was a priority. I put roughly zero stock in anything this front office has to say.

    Hart and company aren’t idiots, and they may even be really good at their jobs, they’ve just picked a course that seems super high in the variance of potential outcomes (by basing it on the most capricious of assets, pitching prospects) and that guarantees at least two really pointless, miserable seasons for the entirety of the fanbase that isn’t buying the rosy, insulting picture they’ve been painting since Wren was fired (Braves way, retooling, playoffs by 2017, etc.).

  15. They certainly aren’t idiots, they are doing what needs to be done. 100% total rebuild. They just know they can’t say it out loud.

    I *hope* we can compete for the playoffs most every year. But I also have the common sense to not expect much when the team is full of washed-up vets and AAAA players, and the farm system has nobody above age 19 that can hit.

    Patience is going to be a virtue. A lot of patience.

  16. My preference would have been to delay this pain one more season and field a team of exciting players one last time. But, I guess Fran Wren’s toxicity was such that we had to start now.

  17. @17, This is about as well said a critique of the rebuilding strategy as I’ve seen.

    It should be also said that the pitching assets are not only the highest variance, but the Johns are accruing them at a time when bats, not arms, are at a premium.

    P.S.: Go Falcons!

  18. I’m not arguing the point that any of the current Braves’ young guns will make the Hall of Fame, but as a point of reference going into 1991, the trio of Avery, Glavine and Smoltz W-L record for the 3 years of 88-90 wasn’t exactly world beating
    Avery 3-11 1990 only
    Glavine 33-41 (led league in losses in 1988)
    Smoltz 28-29
    Of course the Braves lost 300 games over those 3 years

    The original reason for posting was that Fredi Gonzalez has tied Billy Southworth for 9th on the all-time career loss list.
    Southworth posted a 424-358 record as Boston’s manager from 1946-into 1951. He piloted Boston’s first extended streak of success since George Stallings immediately before WWI. Southworth managed the ’48 team that won the NL Pennant (Spahn, Sain and pray for rain) but lost the WS to Lou Boudreau’s Indians.
    Before coming the Boston Southworth had managed the Cardinals from 1940-45, capturing three NL Pennants (1942-44) and two World Series (1942,1944).

    If the Braves can win 13 more games this season, Fredi will tie Southworth’s career win total as a Brave. Much more likely, Fredi will pass Dave Bancroft’s loss totals of 363 and Luman Harris’ 373 games.

  19. Unibroue beers are good (even after being bought up by InBev or whoever), but anyone who makes it to Quebec really needs to try the Dieu du Ciel stuff. They make the best beer in Canada and for me it’s one of the top 5 breweries in North America. Trou du Diable also makes a few fantastic and really interesting, innovative beers.

  20. @22 – I really like Maudite… quite tasty and hits like a hammer. I have a friend who calls it sleep in a bottle.

  21. I’m glad I’m at work–otherwise, I’d have to hear Chip and Joe raving about that Chris Coghlan.

  22. @17, concur and would add that that there has been one area with a focus of limiting variance and that is payroll. Don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  23. @30 It just got a little less fun. Poor Shelby can’t catch a break.

    Edit: Okay, that double play was pretty fun.

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