Fish 3

All good things must come to an end.

John Gant pitched five brilliant, no-hit innings. He really blanked them. But he also allowed a six-hit inning that resulted in the only three runs of the game. He ended up with five strikeouts and no walks, but that meltdown inning was his undoing. Ian Krol got three strikeouts in an inning and a third, and we got our first taste of Tyrell Jenkins when he pitched the first inning of his career. Not bad; he gave up a hit but didn’t allow a run. At the end of the day, while one would love to win a lot of games, just seeing our developing pitchers turn into major leaguers is a consolation.

The hitters, of course, didn’t do anything. But hold on tight as Erick Aybar had two more hits, and has brought his OPS above the .500 mark. If he can bring it above .600, we may very well get another A-ball lefty.

Perhaps the only noteworthy things are that Mike Foltynewicz is throwing to live hitters and should be back soon, Gordon Beckham should be back next week, Manny Banuelos is rehabbing, and Julio Teheran is still a Brave.

79 thoughts on “Fish 3”

  1. Back to the MLB Draft for a minute – Kyle Lewis, the power-hitting Mercer OF whom the Braves were considering with their #3 pick, ended up being drafted by the Mariners at #11. and signed a deal for the MLB-assigned slot bonus of $3,286,700. It’s a crying shame the Braves’ plans didn’t allow them to draft Lewis at #3 – instead, they drafted yet another HS pitcher (and are going to pay that guy, Ian Anderson, $3.5 – $3.75M, to my understanding).

    Presumably, Lewis wasn’t amenable to signing an under-slot deal with the Braves at #3, and the team prioritized bonus pool flexibility over taking Lewis (and presumably any other player available at pick #3 who would demand the full slot bonus). Still, what a wonderful world it would have been if the Braves had Lewis plus an additional $250K – $500K bonus cap space instead of Anderson.

  2. @3,

    Many or most ML teams were worried about Lewis and if his contact would hold enough to make him effective in ML. Most assumed power was fine and defense was almost average in center to above in right. But for that high of a pick, that was a big gamble to take.

    However, even with 3 up end pitchers, I believe that offense in the draft is so much more consistent, Braves had so much pitching already, and the minors have only about 4 offensive players with any likelihood of contributing at ML in the next year and a half (Swanson, Albies, D. Peterson, Ruiz) that targeting college bats would have been better.

    Also, would Lewis have accepted 3.2 as the number 3 pick? I doubt it.

  3. I would imagine that one of two things happened with Lewis.

    1. The scouts saw something wrong.

    2. They discussed a deal with him and he countered with something they didn’t like.

    From what all I have read, I’m going with choice number one.

  4. Lewis…here’s what actually happened

    regressing to peripherals
    he’s added his residuals
    analysis complete
    but some have claimed deceit
    so much was unoffic-ials.

  5. Right, the thing with Lewis wasn’t money, it was just that they didn’t think he was as good of a prospect as many of us do.

  6. Honestly, considering our entire rebuild is predicated on the belief that our scouts know what they’re doing, if you don’t think they do, you really shouldn’t be a fan of the team. You would essentially be acknowledging 20 years of futility. No exaggeration.

  7. Or that Lewis was a good prospect just not good enough to justify the money he was demanding.

    Our scouts may not know squat, but the front office knows that. That’s why you load up with as many prospects as you can to help your odds.

  8. I’ll grant you, there are reasons to question whether Kyle Lewis will succeed at higher levels of competition – he struck out a ton in college while playing in one of the less competitive conferences.

    That said, even if the Braves passed on Lewis for scouting reasons, it’s not like they didn’t have ample opportunity to grab a quality, projectable college bat at the #3 spot – for example, Corey Ray (Louisville) went to the Brewers with the 5th pick.

    I guess what I’m getting at here is that the Braves keep doubling down on their plan to stockpile pitching, and I’d like to see them pivot towards developing their position players more.

  9. After seeing that Anderson and Lewis signed for similar amounts, the question is about which one you’d rather one. I’d rather have Lewis. Anderson, with the inherent risk that an 18-year old brings, is really nothing special. Of course, Lewis may not have accepted what he was offered had so many teams not passed on him. If he was picked third, he might have concluded he was the third-best player in the draft and demanded more money.

    And yes, there needs to be a pivot towards position players fast.

  10. @16/17, I couldn’t agree more. All of us are worried about our position “talent”. It’s as if our management thinks they can beat the house with superior scouting of high school pitching. History says they are going to end up outsmarting themselves.

  11. IF Lewis (or Ray for that matter) would’ve signed for what Anderson did in the third slot, then yes, I would be disappointed. But, I have to think the Braves broached the subject with one or both of them. Whether they would’ve agreed to sign for 3 and a half-ish is unknown to us, but I have to think they wouldn’t and told the Braves that.

  12. @19 You’re very likely right. But that just means the Braves chose to sign a whole bunch of high-ceiling arms on over-slot deals instead of signing Kyle Lewis or Corey Ray. Here’s one way to consider that issue – how many Braves pitching prospects would the Brewers demand to trade us Corey Ray?

  13. @12, that’s essentially my take on things. The new narrative is that we’ve overhauled all things scouting, bringing back good guys that were run off by EvilWren, hiring the guy from Fangraphs, etc etc. That’s fine, and only time will tell. Olivera happened on their watch though. There’s not yet any reason to have faith in them, other than the blind faith that comes from being a fan.

  14. @22 – The only guy in that deal that excites me from a hitting standpoint is Vogelbach. He’s the one they’re saying we would flip to an AL team.

  15. Jorge Soler is a young guy who compiled a .303/.381/.542 line in the minors; he bats righty and has a ton of power. I’d absolutely be interested (at the right price).

  16. I would be excited about Jorge Soler. We tend to be so reactive to a player’s first few seasons. Teheran’s awesome! Teheran sucks! Teheran’s awesome! Uhh, he’s 25. Cool your jets. Soler is 24 freaking years old. I would gladly stick him in RF for the next couple years, especially if we can’t get a proven commodity. If you could then flip Vogelbach for a player of equal value and a different position, then even better. If we could get those two for Vizzy and Ogando, I think you’d have to really consider it. If Simmons gets a clean bill of health and you’re comfortable he can stay healthy, then I would pull the trigger.

  17. I’d love to get Soler. Scouts drool over his potential, he’s built like a Mack truck, and he’s still really young. If all it costs to get Soler and Vogelbach is Vizcaino and Ogando, I’ll drive them to the airport myself.

  18. @28 Well said. That one strikes me as a no-brainer. We have ample power arms from which to find a new closer. A young bat with high potential is much more valuable at this stage.

  19. For what it’s worth, that Vizzy/Ogando trade is not a rumor, but something Heyman made up whole-cloth. He also speculates that Lucroy will be traded for Joey Gallo and Aroldis Chapman will be traded for Trea Turner. It’s click bait non-sense and Heyman is a jerk.

  20. Wow I normally wouldn’t go crazy about a call, but that was probably the worst call I’ve seen since the outfield fly rule. He was safe two different ways. Umpires that can’t get it right even with TV replay are unfit for the job.

  21. What the hell is even the point of having replay if that call can’t get overturned??? He was safe in that he got his foot in there first and he was safe in that the catcher was illegally blocking the plate! That’s completely asinine that the out call was upheld there. Replay this year has been completely pointless, in that all they do is uphold the cement-headed call on the field. The home plate umpire didn’t even have a proper view of the damned play, why are we not helping him out by getting the call right???

  22. I can buy that the ball might have been in his mitt before he blocked the plate, but the fact that Bonifacio got tagged in the back should have been… instructive.

  23. Full credit goes to Snitker getting tossed. Fredi would
    Have apologized for replaying the call. Snit lit a fire.

  24. Apparently 49% of calls were overturned by replay in 2015. I’m finding that really hard to believe. I think it’s all a conspiracy to protect the umpires. This is the only sport where they can’t get the damn call right.

    Good for Joe, Chip, Snitker, AND ADONIS!

  25. The broadcast put up a graphic that the Braves bullpen has stranded like 15 (now 16) straight runners. We actually have had a half-way decent bullpen since the beginning of May. Watch me jinx Vizzy.

  26. It was a fun game! Also, whoever was in charge of video replay in New York tonight should be sacked. That blown challenge was disgraceful and should never happen in an MLB game of consequence.

  27. And I wasted my night watching the Hawks draft two mediocre swingmen to continue their tradition of mediocrity.

  28. Josh Anthony just posted this on Twitter

    Thank you to my Dad, Brian Bridges, and Nate Dion for making my dream come true. Once I pass my physical I am officially an Atlanta Brave!

  29. Oh snap, Josh Anthony IS signing.

    “Thank you to my Dad, Brian Bridges, and Nate Dion for making my dream come true. Once I pass my physical I am officially an Atlanta Brave!”

    I’m actually excited about this guy. Catcher who may end up at 3B, played at the same JuCo that we got Andrelton from, and straight mashed the ball there. .425 with 20 home runs, 71 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 64 games last season.

  30. Haha, War Eagle!

    By the way, Snitker is now 16-19 since he took over. If I had to decide right now, I’d bring him back next year. But perhaps the better question is: what would you have to see from Snitker to make him the permanent manager? Would a second half record of .500 do it? Would he need to be above .500? Or would some specific things like 5 starters in the rotation pitching well, above .500 in one-run games, or some other metric?

    With that said, Snitker has taken over a much better roster. Lucky ole Fredi had to run through guys like Grilli, AJP playing every day, Bud Norris in the rotation, Jose Ramirez present, Olivera being terrible, Aybar being terrible, Freddie being terrible, and other things that have since changed. Snitker had the benefit of another manager taking the lumps of the Braves figuring out what they had on the roster.

  31. Snitker needs to learn how to manage a bullpen better. Outside of him being Dusty Baker I have no issues

  32. Did an event in Times Square tonight, then cut out & caught the last 3 innings in a nearby Irish pub.

    My bartender was one of those New York sports fans that can tend to annoy me: “I like the Mets… and the Yankees. It’s just that I like all the New York teams.”

    “Gee, that’s easy,” I say, half-kidding, “There’s only 9 of them.”

    Anyway, the Garcia homer was amusing. He hits the HR while the bartender is at the end of the bar, tending to a customer. He sees him rounding the bases & says, “WTF just happened?”

    “Well, I think Adonis Garcia just did his Chipper Jones imitation — he saw a Mets jersey & had to act accordingly.”

    “That’s it… you’re cut off!

    At least the guy had a sense of humor.

  33. @59

    When being wrong is right. Things you’d been told you cannot have and suddenly you can you covet most. JuCo or no, fine numbers. Great update!

  34. @62

    If that was you who caught the last three innings then you’re improving defensively. Forgive me.

  35. Vizzy
    most recently in a tizzy
    hyper control
    AJP takes a professorial stroll.

    It was a stroll Wednesday, a fastball returned with interest last night.

  36. @60. Uh, no. Snitker has actually taken over the exact same roster. The fact that he is getting more out of it, either by benching the deadwood or rejiggering the lineup or getting better matchups at game-critical times is what managing is.

    Even if part of the bounce is just New Manager Bounce, a large part of it is Snitker being empirically a better manager than Fredi.

    I think this team could play .500 here on out. Maybe. Certainly north of .400. 63 wins is not unpossible.

  37. Snitker should get a cardboard cutout of Coppy in a showgirl outfit and remove a piece after each win.

  38. Oh, and if you look up “rag arm” there’s a picture of Emilio Bonifacio.

    He should just run the ball home. Geez.

  39. @67

    The Braves have trimmed the roster quite a bit. They also have shifted player roles around quite a bit after seeing some players be terrible for 30-45 days. That’s absolutely true. This team is definitely better with Snitker, but the roster itself is definitely better too.

  40. @ 71 Sorry, it’s just categorically not true. We’ve had exactly two transactions since Snitker took over — Brian Matusz and claiming Dario Alvarez.

    Guys have been called up, but almost always because of an injury or DL move. That’s not a “new roster. ” It’s moving the pieces of the same roster around and getting 100% better results. Geez, if anything it’s more miraculous because the guy getting DLed was ostensibly a much better player than the guy being called up, which is why he was on the big team in the first place. If anything, Snitker is doing more with less.

  41. Rob,

    I think Fredi is just way worse than we even though. I think Snitker may be a decent to good manager, but has been made to look really good in comparison.

    I would like to have seen what Snit would have been able to pull off with some of those really good teams Fredi let fall apart down the stretch.

    I also would have like to have seen him in the “Infield Fly Rule Game.” I was there and remember looking at my buddy after Fredi argued. He said, “Wow, I think you HAVE to get tossed there.” We all know what happened next.

    I never saw Fredi stand up for a player once. I also don’t think guys played terribly hard for him at times either. Sometimes a manager has to get tossed taking up for a guy. Even if he is wrong.

    Talent wise, I don’t think it is any better or worse than what “Hat Tip” had. I think he is getting more out of Freeman and defiantly Aybar. Aybar may almost have some trade value if he keeps this up.

  42. Exactly. I don’t think Snitker is John McGraw. He’s just clearly competent. And therefore an order of magnitude better than Fredi.

  43. I like old men getting chances. Snit sold me last night; and for whatever reason, the Braves have been better with him. Give him the next two years with an option for the third. I bet he’s working for less than scale.

  44. I’m not that guy, but I literally stood and cheered when Snitker got tossed. My dog was very confused. And I’m also not a big “show your butt” kinda guy, but it absolutely has value when a manager sticks up for his team. I like Snitker a lot right now. We’ll see.

  45. That was a fun game to watch! Hopefully Wisler can iron out whatever mechanical issues he had going on – last night’s start looked like 2015 Wisler, not the improved 2016 Wisler.

    In related success news, Aybar’s OPS by month: .391, .486, .963. To my untrained eye, Aybar (and Garcia) have played vastly improved defense this month too. I’d even go so far as “Aybar looks playable right now” – there, I said it.

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