Tribe 3

The Cleveland Indians are no longer welcome here. The Indians, who now have won 12 straight (and have not lost since the Cavs won the Finals), had their way with Atlanta, sweeping them before they had any idea what happened.

Someone named Joel De La Cruz started the game. You may remember him from such films as “The 27-Year Old Non-Prospect” or “€œWhy is He Here: The Story of the Braves Rebuild”€, or perhaps the critically-acclaimed “Journeyman”. At any rate, Peanut had speculated that Folty would make the start, but he’s not quite ready to end his rehab assignment. De La Cruz actually pitched fine, going 6 IP and giving up 3 ER, mostly off a two-run single just out of the grasp of Adonis Garcia’€™s glove.

There were some good things: Jace Peterson had two more hits, increasing his OPS to a very respectable .739 OPS, including a .357 OBP now out of the lead-off spot. Since he was re-called, he’€™s hitting .348/.421/.500. Nick Markakis had two hits and now has a .276/.310/.381 line in June. Certainly not great, but a stark improvement over the .190/.294/.250 line he turned in in May.

Ian Krol, Mauricio Cabrera, and Casey Kelly continued their good work in the pen with three scoreless innings. Mauricio Cabrera touched 103 on the gun last night, and the consensus from everyone is that if he can hit the strike zone on the regular, he will be big in the pen. Surprisingly, he is not someone that had been talked about much by the prospect gurus and by people on here, but he has been on the 40-man all season and clearly someone the Braves have had plans for.

Perhaps more importantly, Ozzie Albies was sent to AA to work at 2B with Dansby. After a pretty woeful mid-May to mid-June, Ozzie had really started to hit over the past couple weeks. He still is making far too many errors to be a big league second baseman, as he’€™s made 20 errors already between Mississippi and Gwinnett. Hopefully the chemistry will begin to develop.

The one team in baseball that we can always be excited about playing is coming to town, the Miami Marlins. After some really positive momentum built over the past several weeks, the buzzsaw of the Indians took some wind out. Hopefully the Marlins, as they’ve been in the past, will be the cure to what ails us.

107 thoughts on “Tribe 3”

  1. The Braves are facing Chen tonight – unfortunately not Bruce but Wei-Yin. I would have loved to see us face Bruce, but it looks like he finally retired last year after giving up 9 runs in 6 innings for the Indians and being released last May. I bet Bruce would have pitched a no-hitter against us, so maybe we’ll have better luck with Wei-Yin.

  2. Mauricio Cabrera was someone the prospect gurus talked about in the late Frank Wren era. It was a sign of the thinness of the farm system that a guy who had no idea how to find the plate was a top prospect, but he’s always had huge stuff.

  3. Thanks Rob,

    Even getting beat 3 straight, they still fought and didn’t look totally incompetent.

  4. How does one see month-by-month triple slash for minor league players? Milb.com, based on what I can see, will show me that Albies had a solid BA in his last 10 games, but I can’t find anywhere that will show, say, what he slashed in June. I do wonder if he’s shown enough growth at AAA that they consider moving him to AA w/ Dansby a “promotion”, if you will. It’s hard to look at moving down a level as anything but a demotion, but they are spinning it in a positive way.

  5. Re: Ozzie Albies demotion from the last thread

    It is probably easier to learn a new position defensively at a level where you are very comfortable offensively than a level where you are still struggling. Not that they’re comparable prospects, but I remember when the Braves tried to promote Terdo to AAA midseason and switch him to 3B simultaneously. It was a disaster.

    @4, go to splits…Ozzie’s splits for June aren’t very good…it’s a very recent thing that he’s “hitting a little bit”

  6. That must have been a different Mauricio Cabrera, because we traded and released all of Frank Wren’s players because spite and conspiracy. Remember?

  7. Albies and Swanson up the middle seems to be the future. Albies is the guy who is apparently going to be playing second. It would be ideal to go ahead and start playing them together, but Swanson isn’t ready to be promoted to AAA, and Albies’ recent offensive upturn is marginal at best. So why not send him down to AA and match them alongside each other? It’s not *that* big of a deal for a hitter (and fielder) that’s clearly not ready for the leap from AAA to Atlanta.

  8. Maybe they like the coaching at AA better right now. Maybe they want to get a few fans into seats in Mississippi as well. Who knows. I’m just bummed that they are scuffling and that we won’t be seeing them until September.

  9. I also don’t think we’ll see either of them this year, except for maybe some sporadic at bats in September. Of course, a lot can change in two months, especially since Albies had a .954 OPS in a small 95 PA stretch.

    As it sits right now, I’d love to see one of Ellis, Sims, or Newcomb and Swanson in Atlanta by the end of the year, our young pitchers to stay healthy, and for us to keep working towards having a future piece pitch every single major league inning for us. If we could have a pitching staff on 9/1 that is comprised entirely of guys 27-28 and under, I’ll be really happy.

  10. Norris to the Dodgers, still waiting to hear what we got back. Fingers crossed!

  11. We’re getting two minor leaguers. I wonder if Julio Urias has been demoted in the last 12 hours…

  12. It’s amazing Bud Norris turned into anything valuable, as nobody would’ve predicted it 2 months ago. I do wonder who’s going to eat actual innings for us now. This could get ugly.

  13. @11

    The coaching at Mississippi is almost certainly better, given that a large portion of the AAA coaching staff is currently in Atlanta.

  14. Caleb Dirks didn’t make it quite 12 months in the Dodgers organization, as the Braves traded him on 7/2 last year to the Dodgers for international pool money.

    I was kind of hoping we were going to get Urias back, so I’m a little underwhelmed with the return. #kidding

  15. Pfeifer is one of the best kinds of VandyBoy, too: played high-school ball at Knoxville powerhouse Farragut.

  16. Yes, but this junk’s timeline coincides better with our contention window of 2020-2024

  17. I actually don’t hate Caleb Dirks. He could be in Atlanta by the end of the year, he’s pitched well in relief at AA, his peripherals are really strong (31.1 IP, 35 K, 7 BB), and he’s 23. As for Pfeifer, well, he’s not really that good (sorry Stu).

  18. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t pitch in the majors, Rob. Shocked.

    Elaborating a bit: He’s got decent stuff as a starter, but it should really play up out of the bullpen. He’s walking lots of guys right now, and I assume that’s because the Dodgers have been working on his mechanics to sharpen the breaking ball. He’s really smart and thoughtful, and he’s super-competitive. He was VU’s Saturday starter last year.

    He’s pretty good.

  19. Let the record show that we sent Dian Toscano to LA along with Bud.

    Someone do a trade recap to the tune of “Jack and Diane”…

  20. Toscano was a salary dump of sorts, right? All the Braves now save for Freddie and Julio have to be wondering ‘If I play well will I be traded?’ Maybe Aybar will get the memo.

  21. Was hoping we would get more than the #29 and 30 prospects in the Dodgers organization.

    Will Tyrell Jenkins start Saturday? It has to be him, doesn’t it?

  22. Stu beat me to the Pfeifer scouting report, but I can second his fierce competitive nature. I’m not sure about him being a ML starter but I agree with Stu in expecting to see him in a bullpen role at some point.

    And a little more background on him – he almost lost his baseball career in college due to drugs/alcohol. Tim Corbin got with him, had him sit out an entire year. Didn’t touch a baseball, just got sober and got his life back in order while he watched his best friends win the national championship. Then came back the next year and helped Vandy get back to the title series. Real good story, and don’t you bet he wants to make Corbin proud and thank him for saving his life (Pfeifer’s words) by making it to the majors.

  23. Braves also sending cash to Dodgers in the deal, but I guess we have to wait to see how it compares to the salary the’re dumping. Seems like a solid deal.

  24. The only mildly bemusing part about this deal is that we’re still not attempting to get hitters in these deals. Not that it’s surprising anymore, but it’s almost as if they’re intentionally trying to avoid hitters to make a point at this juncture.

    For anyone who thinks we should’ve gotten more in general, I remind you that this is Bud Norris we’re talking about. A month ago, we thought we were gonna have to DFA him. Keeping him long term was never really an option, either, which trade partners would know.

  25. Pfeif is also one of the more accomplished high-school pitchers in the history of Tennessee.

  26. at 33,

    Just a ditty, about Bud and Dian. Two baseball players flying across the heartland. . . .

  27. @39, what if I’d told you yesterday we would trade bud Norris and be -1 outfield bats for the exercise?

  28. @47, not really no. Glad to be rid of him and not sure why we signed a guy with a ceiling of 4th OF to a 4 year deal

  29. Trading Dian Toscano is the hot stove equivalent of changing the channel from a car dealership commercial and seeing another car dealership commercial. It is hard to imagine a combination of words in any order that would prompt less of a reaction from me.

  30. I think signing Toscano was a down payment to some buscone for holding someone for us. A money laundering scheme of sorts.

  31. The Infante signing is interesting but not a very big deal. Only thing is, utility infielders seem to be the only type of player outside of pitchers who have gone through Tommy John surgery that the Braves have a surplus of. D’Arnaud, Beckham, Castro, Snyder are all part of that group. Not sure what we need Infante for.

  32. @@51 – Quite possibly. Both were represented by Rudy Santin. But so are many, many other Latin players.

  33. I wish we would give Snyder a few more AB’s. He might not be useful, but it’s worth a look

  34. Brett Cumberland is catching Kolby Allard for Danville tonight. Hopefully a glimpse of the future.

  35. A Toscano/Olivera relationship seems to be possible. I wonder if the Braves traded for Ricardo Sanchez so that they could have a relationship with the guy who handles both him and Kevin Maitan.

  36. Justin Bour is basically the next incarnation of the ghost of Ryan Howard. He treats Braves pitchers like batting practice.

  37. While it’s a long shot, it would be pretty awesome if Infante recovers some value and becomes a super-utility/RH bench option as he’d only cost about 750K for 1.5 years.

  38. @65
    It’s really weird to think this considering where the Braves were at the first of the year, but golly gee they’ve got a slew of good LHR right now.

  39. Allard went 6, no runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts. That’ll do. Cumberland has doubled as well. I think Danville has a good portion of the system’s interesting players.

  40. @69 – Rob Wooten, Gwinnett’s starter, has appeared in 370 minor and major league games. Tonight was only his second career start.

  41. Unless I’m reading the box score wrong, the only baserunner for Louisville tonight was on an error: no hits OR walks for Wooten, Marksberry, and Ramirez. Well done, gentlemen!

  42. The Curacaoan and the Commodore are off to a good start: Ozzie is 2-4 tonight, and Dansby is 4-4.

  43. Gordon Beckham is getting his rehab in with the GCL Braves. What are the nuances behind that choice? Why not have him at Gwinnett?

    Also, something I’ve always wondered: If one wanted to attend a GCL or DSL game, would one be able to do so? And where exactly do they play those games? Lastly, what does DSL stand for?

    Lotta questions.

  44. DOB….Triple-A Gwinnett #Braves Rob Wooten, Matt Marksberry and Jose Ramirez combined for no-hitter tonight in 3-0 win over Louisville

  45. Wooten, marksberry, and Ramirez really silenced the critics who predicted they’d never combine for a no-hitter.

  46. The guy I’m facing in fantasy baseball this week has Clayton Kershaw. He just pushed Kershaw to the DL and to replace him…picked up Bud Norris. I’m laughing (out loud!) right now… We’ll see who’s laughing after tomorrow.

  47. @78
    I believe the Gulf Coast League Braves and the rest of the GSL teams for that matter, play in spring training facilities.

  48. Yahoo is telling me Bud Norris is the #1 Trending Now topic. I think they’re Trending meter is broken.

  49. @87, you can attend for free…you’ll be one of about 20 people there. Sometimes they play on the side fields, sometimes on the main spring training field. No concessions. Noon game times in Florida. Enjoy!

  50. This is not getting old anytime soon:

    “Adam Rubin
    ESPN Staff Writer

    It’s past midnight, so it’s now July 1. And Mets fans know what that annually means. The Mets must cut Bobby Bonilla a check for $1,193,248.20 today. And every July 1 through 2035.”

  51. I went to a GCL game last year to watch a friend in the Jays’ system. It’s basically like a high school game where there’s nobody there and you sit in a bleacher. Like mentioned, it’s free.

  52. I agree. Two rough outings in a row.

    I’m ok with trading Bud, I guess that dumping Toscano is the reason that we didn’t get a hitter back?

  53. @93

    there were two more, immediately prior, nipped in the bud as i saw it by AJP getting all over him. Four in a row, he pitches like he’s high or something, doesn’t care.

  54. @89, 91, thanks again! Which facility, precisely? The Disney one in Orlando?

    @90, No, that will never, ever get old.

  55. IIRC, my friend had to lead me to a random field at the complex for the Jays, so I’d imagine it’d be the same for the Disney complex. I actually really wouldn’t mind going over to a free GCL game next time I’m in Orlando. I’d love to time a Kolby Allard or Anderson/Muller/Wentz pitching day.

  56. You’ll have to drive to Virginia to see Allard. This year’s crop of rookie pitchers would definitely be worth seeing though. You have a great chance of seeing one of those guys any day you show up.

  57. Apparently the whispers are that signing Toscano got us Derian Cruz last July, who was rated the number 5 international prospect. They were both Rudy Santin’s players.

    We also spent $990k on a 28 year old pitcher of Santin’s named Carlos Portuondo who last pitched in Cuba in 2013 putting up a 6.39 ERA. He has yet to pitch at any level for Atlanta.

    Presently, the Red Sox are in hot water with the league for packaging players in this way in a season where they were banned from signing anyone for more than $300k. It’s a scheme where you want a player, his “agent” wants $1.2m for him, so you sign him and 4 other $10k type players for $300k and the “agent” works it out.

    The league is reportedly considering banning the Red Sox for an extra season, and making the prospects in question free agents.

    I personally have no idea if that’s what’s going on here, but theres an obvious motive, keeping Cruz’s signing bonus down so we could avoid breaking our cap, by paying money to players (Toscano and Portuondo) over the age 23 and thus exempt from the cap.

  58. I would assume that this whole market is ten times shadier than SEC football recruiting/cheating. Not sure who all the winners are, but it looks like the Santin guy has to be one of them.

    It’s kind of cool that we’re blowing it out in this last year before they change all the rules. Whether any of these guys is actually worth it remains to be seen, but I do like that we’re going for it hard.

  59. I’m actually wondering why, if we have so much money to spend and the players are relatively “cheap,” we aren’t trading our slots for present minor leaguers. Last season to stay under budget, we acquired slots by giving away Caleb Dirks and Garrett Fullenchek.

    If you’re going so far over budget that you’re already incurring the maximum penalty and the only further penalty they can levy is financial, why not reduce the budget you’re blowing past by trading away slots and getting a few Dirks and Fullencheks in return?

    I mean, it would probably make the league mad by evading the spirit of the rules, but it seems like it’d be within the letter of the rules.

  60. Is there any reason to not go way over the max if you are betting on the next CBA instituting a brand new system?

    I get what you are saying though. These slots are for guys that are lottery tickets, and if you can swap them out for higher-odds guys closer to the majors then that seems like a win. This is supposedly a rather weak international class this year.

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