Braves 1, Rockies 0 (by coop)

Good pitching beat good hitting today. Julio Teheran and almost the entire Atlanta bullpen shut down Colorado’s vaunted hitters, and Chase d’Arnaud’s third single chased home the game’s only run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Atlanta’s offense was stymied by Jon Gray through seven, and it looked like the game would go on forever until d’Arnaud ended it. Freddie Freeman and Frenchy struck out seven times in the game. Evidently the doctor excised not only Freddie’s mole but also his bat. Nevertheless our Braves salvaged the last game to avoid a Rockies’ sweep.

Game balls go to Julio and Chase, but let’s score some runs tomorrow.

53 thoughts on “Braves 1, Rockies 0 (by coop)”

  1. Kolby Allard with another nice start yesterday for the Danville Braves: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 R.

    After a couple balky starts to open his season’s work in Rome, he’s had six consecutive great outings (his last in Rome, five straight in Danville). I hope they kick him back up to Rome at some point.

  2. I expect Allard to go to Rome soon, to allow him a chance at beginning in Carolina next season. Gotta allow him enough time to struggle for a few starts, adjust, and a few to prove he’s mastered the level.

  3. There was a tweet from Keith Law saying our “excitement” for Allard should be a 60-65 on the 80 scale. I don’t think we’ll see him for another couple years, but it is exciting.

    Now, if Ellis, Newcomb, Jenkins or Sims could turn a corner, that’d be greeeeeeat.

    By the way, after Coppy was asked about how much money is committed to next year (that $55-60M figure), and then asked about payroll budget, he said that he wants to get 2 bullpen arms, at least one starter, and two position players for next year’s team. And other tidbits from that interview:

    -The dude is spot on on his numbers. For the first 15 minutes of the interview, I was at my computer, so I could fact check the numbers he would spout off. He was dead on on every single one of them, except for how many doubles Peterson has (he was 2 off). He was also extremely aware of everything going on on the farm, the starting pitchers that night, etc.
    -He really likes Jason Heyward. He spoke at two different points about how hard it was to trade Heyward. When someone asked him if Simmons was the hardest to trade, he immediately said that Heyward was, and in my opinion, may have used it as an opportunity to deflect from talking about Simmons (we all have our opinions why).
    -He’s continuing to reiterate that we could be competitive in 2017. He’s really not backing down from that.
    -He thinks that Acuna and Peterson are top-10 prospects (could be trying to inflate them for trade).
    -Literally said twice that Teheran is “untouchable”. Spoke about him and Freddie in the same breath. IIRC, people clapped when he said that.

  4. Coppolella can do us all a favor and just go about his business. Nobody needs to hear any more false promises.

  5. How well do you think another “we thought we would be better” narrative would go next season? I’m not saying he’s not full of crap, but I don’t think he has a significant track record of “false promises”. I count two big ones, but I do wonder what you have in mind.

  6. Part of me is surprised you’re defending Coppolella, given that you were perhaps the most upset that he didn’t deliver last offseason; part of me is not at all surprised.

    It’s not like he’d be the first GM to level with his fanbase about a rebuild. Maybe, considering all the other PR problems the Braves are facing, he should give it a try.

  7. I would have been much more on board with what they are trying to accomplish if in November 2014 and onward they had shut up about what their timeline to contend was. To me, them saying we expect to contend in 2015 and we expect to be better in 2016 put false pressure on the team, and makes you evaluate what should have just been throwaway seasons differently because if they were actually trying to contend and their solution to that was to sign Francouer, AJP, etc then you have to seriously question the idea of whether they can properly evaluate talent or not.

    I think if their plan is to spend money over the next 2-3 years to get some actual quality then they can talk about contending but they aren’t close to that right now so Coppy continuing to promise people that does still seem rather patronizing.

  8. I took the commentary on Wisler and Blair as, while a little unconventional, an attempt to light a fire under some asses, and still tempered with ‘we think he’s better than he’s showing.” It’s a little out of the ordinary to be so plain about a player’s struggles in public, but in context it isn’t out of line. These guys receive feedback from their coaches and from the organization regarding their performance, their preparation and their work ethic. They know what the organization thinks they need to do, and what the organization thinks they can be. This wasn’t an ambush.

    I took his praise of Peterson to be genuine. He really seems to believe in him. That was encouraging to me, because Peterson is a guy I want to believe in. I’m pulling hard for him.

    I, too, noticed Coppy’s memory. He knew slugging percentages and doubles numbers from 2 years ago and how they changed after a mid year promotion. You can tell what the guy does all day.

  9. @9

    I agree. They should have never said “2017! It’s going to be great!”

    I also don’t think they should be saying people are untouchable.

  10. @8

    I would certainly check with your parts to find the reason. I think it is wholly defensible to agree with the vision and philosophy for a period of time but be disappointed with one particular portion of it. I can compartmentalize the enjoyment of the last 25 years, the hindsight recognition that the rebuild was necessary, and the frustration of feeling lied to about the 2016 budget. I’m happy to report that all of those three things can exist if you can work your noggin around that. Best wishes.

    You’re a bit of pessimistic soul, so I can see why this is difficult for you. But I did ask for a list of false promises, and I’m still waiting for it.

  11. They haven’t really promised anything. They’ve always said “we expect to be better than last year”, or “we expect to be competitive”. That’s not really lying, but it does make them look kinda dumb.

  12. Apparently the Rangers think Joey Gallo is off limits in a potential Teheran trade. Well good–I worry that a guy who strikes out 40% of the time at AAA will have a hard time making contact in the majors. I’d much rather have Profar, but he’s apparently off limits, too. Rangers are another team that thinks Teheran is not very good. They clearly know pitching. Until Cole Hamels win on Sunday, their rotation was 0-9 with a 7.71 ERA over a 14 game stretch.

    Regarding Coppy’s “lies”, since this is coming up again. I’ll reiterate that I have never really given much thought to the OBVIOUS PR spin from the front office. I don’t feel personally insulted or betrayed. Meh–I just want them to acquire some premium talent so we can not be a perennial joke (and you can make the playoffs and still be a joke if you get humiliated every single time). I think they’ve done well, but the elite talent is mostly a few years away.

  13. @14

    I’m in sales, so I really have no problem with communicating the best version of information. No smart marketer is going to sell themselves down the river. The best sales pitch, however, is results, and they ain’t got them right now, so move down the line.

  14. @12, Why do you need a list? I’m only thinking of the 2016 budget. I don’t even know what the second thing is you’re thinking of. But that should suffice, though, right? Why take anything Coppolella says at face value and let it fuel future disappointment?

    You can try to pretend now like you’re above it all, but I remember the early-season meltdown on here when you realized you were lied to and this team wasn’t going to be an improvement on last year. I’ll take “pessimism” over Pollyanna any day of the week.

  15. I think you’re mistaking “meltdown” for “frustration”.

    And really, that’s the thing. I want to cheer for the operational side of organizations that know what they’re doing. I’m a native Floridian who grew up in NE Florida and now live in the Tampa Bay area, and I simply cannot bring myself to cheer for the NFL teams in my area. They’re just simply poorly run. The Bucs have had their runs and they’re about ready for another, and the Jags had their season, but they’re largely awfully ran. Same deal with the Dolphins. My Gators, with the benefit of amazing resources, have largely avoided stupidity in the three major sports, so I stick through the Will Muschamp, Ron Zook, and (probably) Mike White eras.

    So why can’t I be frustrated that 2016 could have been much better without throwing the baby out with the bath water? Why do you need to be so pessimistic about everything you’re being told? Why be a fan then? However, “part of me is not surprised”.

  16. Yahoo Sports ran out a bunch of trade possibilities and had the following entry on Teheran:

    9. Julio Teheran is going to be made available by the Atlanta Braves. The executives’ thinking: Why wouldn’t he be? Teheran is pitching like a good No. 2 … a year after he better resembled a middling No. 4. His contract is fine, but it’s not exactly cheap: $26.3 million for three guaranteed years, plus a $12 million club option.

    If the best argument the Braves can come up with for keeping Teheran is they wants to open their new stadium with him on the mound, they should trade him in the next two weeks. Teams in the midst of total teardowns simply cannot be concerned with optics. The truth is, winning brings back the fans that losing bleeds. The Astros’ attendance is up to 28,000 after a nadir of just under 20,000. Kansas City once had trouble drawing 10,000 to Kauffman Stadium. Today, it regularly exceeds 30,000.

    All the blather about opening day is lip service, and no executive is buying it. “I can get Teheran,” said one GM looking for pitching. “It’s just going to cost too much right now.” And that may as well go for the rest of the market right now. It’s why the Yankees can ask for …

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/the-case-for-kyle-schwarber-to-the-yankees-and-other-trade-rumors-035725882.html

  17. Trading Teheran for anything short of a Godfather-esque return ONLY makes sense if we’re “in the midst of [a] total teardown”. And if we are… geez… how long will the teardown last?

    I’ve got to believe we’ve hit bottom and are now trying to rebuild.

  18. @18, I’m not pessimistic about everything. I posted on July 2 that the Maitan signing was the best day to be a Braves fan since the Dansby trade, and I described that trade at the time as direction-changing for the Braves. Some things deserve the hype.

    I will admit, without the true believers pointing out that Cervenka and Dario Alvarez are kind of awesome, I certainly wouldn’t have noticed. I’m still shocked by Folty’s performance. I tend to derive more enjoyment from seeing my expectations conform with reality, and I can bring myself to enjoy other teams as they routinely beat us. I’m not unhappy.

    But it’s about where you draw the line. Posting Coppolella’s hype without comment like you’re expecting a bunch of high-fives is past where I’d draw it.

  19. @22, I don’t see how you can infer he was “expecting a bunch of high-fives” from his post above…unless you’re just projecting. I appreciated seeing the synopsis of an interview I won’t listen to, and I remain slothfully indifferent to Coppy.

  20. @23, I don’t know what to tell you. I can try not to infer what I’m inferring.

    Elsewhere, “The Mets starter who opened Citi Field was Mike Pelfrey. The Twins starter who opened Target Field was Carl Pavano. The Nationals starter who opened Nationals Park was Odalis Perez. Nobody cares.

  21. I realize the FO can only answer the questions that they are asked and my next sentence is self serving baloney but this FO talks too much and I’m tired of the smartest person in the room aura.

    Stop being simultaneously vague while at other times seemingly fakely transparent. Just put your heads down and get to work. Get better at the smaller details which seem to be a struggle for them.

  22. I think the “we want Teheran to open the stadium” thing is bullcrap. I think it’s all about the fact that the Braves feel the tear down is over, and if they’re going to trade a piece like Teheran, they need to get some serious pieces back. I think this is a clear indication that they now feel like a bird in the hand, as it was the last 25 years, is once again worth as much as two in the bush.

  23. @20 Man, those baseball writers sure are unreasonably low on Julio – yes, he was bad last season, but he closed the 2015 season with a 1.62 ERA in September/October and has been lights-out this year. We’re not talking about some unknown quantity either; Julio has been consistently excellent his entire career with the exception of April-August 2015.

    Behold, the list of pitchers who have thrown 200 IP over the last calendar year with lower ERAs than Julio:
    Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester.

  24. Oh, and for Mr. R, I’ll just say this: I look for auditory content while I do mundane things around the house. Coppy’s interview coincided with the need to cut my grass, so I was lucky to listen to the interview because I didn’t want to listen to my mower. I regurgitated some information and observations because I was able to listen to it. If you’d like critique, it did annoy me extremely that he laughed when he said they weren’t going to win the World Series (seriously, losing is not funny, even in that context). But otherwise, it was a meat sandwich, and it had some stuff that people who follow the rebuild can enjoy. Put your hand down, Adam; I don’t want a high-five.

  25. I don’t want the Braves to trade Teheran.
    Of course Coppy is saying what he’s saying about being competitive. Being in sales as well, that’s what he has to say. You just can’t take it personal. You can take it for what it is and you just know that there is no way and there was no way for the Braves to be competitive in 17. He can’t say that though.

  26. 27—Yeah, it’s weird. I keep waiting for the one writer who comes out and says, “Uh, wait, you guys, I’m looking at the numbers, and it turns out that Teheran is actually very good — an incredible value in this market.”

    But…

  27. #35, If that’s how the rest of the world views Teheran, I’ll be plenty fine with keeping him.

  28. We’re saying that we won’t trade him, and everyone else is saying he’s a mid rotation guy at best and getting lucky with a crazy low babip. Posturing on both sides, so I think we see a trade before his next start.

    This looks like a win-win situation. We either get a great return (or what we think is a great return) or we keep a good pitcher. We have bigger things to worry about.

  29. Also think about Coppy’s (or any general manager, really) point of view. He’s not planning to fail. These are all things that he thinks are true: Dansby, Ozzie, and Mallex will be good major leaguers, most of the high-minors pitchers he traded for and has will develop into major leaguers by age 23-25, there is money to spend, and he thinks he’s pretty good at making trades. If he believes all of those things to be true, and he knows those things going right will make the team good, then why would he lie and say we won’t contend? He’s not going to come out and say, “Yeahhh… remember all of those pitching prospects we traded for? Well, I’ve been talking to this guy named Chief Nocahoma, and… well, one will be good…. maybe.” “Remember when we traded one of our best starting pitchers to get Dansby Swanson? Yeah, he’s going to be 23 next year and still not very good.”

  30. @35, I sort of wrote one of those a couple of years ago: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/julio-teheran-from-prospect-fatigue-to-potential-ace/

    The problem is that “Pitcher who appears to be good is actually good” is a pretty uninteresting take. No one really wants to read that the conventional wisdom happens to be right; no one wants to write it either. So you’re left with “Pitcher who appears to be good is actually way better than you thought” or “Pitcher who appears to be good is actually way worse than you thought.”

    Now, last offseason, I thought Shelby Miller was a really good pitcher and that he’s have a really good 2016. I liked him a lot going into 2015, too: https://bravesjournal.us/?p=12615 But the broad consensus was somewhere between the possibly true “he is overrated” and the obviously hyperbolic “he is actually mediocre.” As it happens, he had the worst year of his life and the hyperbole was entirely vindicated. But I think if you ran the Monte Carlo simulation of this year 100 times, 2015 Shelby Miller would be good in 2016 in the vast majority of them.

    So, I definitely think that the hot take machine has gone too far in trying to pooh-pooh Julio. That said, midseason pitcher trades are hardly a sure bet, as the Athletics could tell you after pushing their chips to the middle to get Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester. It’s relatively rare to have a pitcher succeed as wildly down the stretch as Randy Johnson in Houston, or C.C. Sabathia in Milwaukee… or Doyle Alexander in Detroit. If I were a team on the playoff bubble, I’d almost certainly prefer to upgrade an everyday player than a guy who will only appear in 10 or 11 games. I certainly understand not selling the farm for him.

    But claiming that he is anything other than a very good pitcher strikes me as a typical everyday ridiculous internet contrarian consensus.

    Nice catch, Matt!

  31. @38, he can say anything he wants, and we can mock him for the dumb stuff. That’s the way this works. Saying we’d be better in 2016 is part of the dumb stuff. That doesn’t mean it’s all dumb. I truly hope that the moves made so far and those yet to be made work out, but his quick-turnaround timeline narrative at the beginning was a mistake.

  32. Tonight’s starting pitcher in Gwinnett is one 35-year-old Roberto Hernandez. No, not that Roberto Hernandez! The other one. I was like, when did I miss him joining the Braves? He was signed to a minor league deal on the 15th, so I guess that’s when I missed him joining the Braves.

    Anyway, he started for Gwinnett… which is all fine, I guess. But it makes the jettisoning of Jhoulys Chacin all the more inexplicable. In the scheme of things, it hasn’t mattered one bit, but just curious.

  33. I think @37 is basically right. It’s not that it’s what baseball writers genuinely think of Teheran, it’s what other GMs’ staff are getting them to write in return for access. It’s not that Peter Gammons is necessarily dumb, it’s that he’s beholden to people who have a stake in driving Teheran’s price down.

    And it is a win-win situation.

  34. #43
    Bingo. Regarding Teheran, it’s all just posturing for a better position/deal, a HoF mouthpiece put to use.

    And yeah, sometimes conventional wisdom is exactly right. I think by now everyone should know who Julio Teheran is — a good Major League starter who’s really good at The Ted, so-so on the road, really good vs. RHH, less than so-so vs. LHH. Routinely outpitches his peripherals, great pick-off move, competitor, not afraid to buzz you, if needed.

    I like him. (I’ve always been partial to the know-how-to-pitch guys who don’t just rely on stuff.) Wish we could keep him, but if this franchise is going to trade anyone who’s any good, or anyone who makes any money (save Freeman), forget it… he’s gone. We’ll take the best deal, whatever that is.

    He should be a welcome addition for any club.

  35. Newcomb on the mound tonight. Swanson homered in the first. Wish these games were on FSS.

  36. 40—Right, I remember, but I’m talking about the current environment, where he’s a bit more expensive and is actually being shopped, and the consensus, even among smart writers, appears to be that he’s just okay. Which is obviously absurd.

    Not sure I buy the theory that the numerous writers pooh-poohing him are all being pressed to do so, but I suppose it’s at least a likely as it is that otherwise astute folks just completely miss multiple obvious positives about the guy.

    Agree that it’s a win-win, but I still find it strange.

  37. Just tuning in. Wisler is really sticking to the Glavinian pattern of development. This persistence is going to turn him into a HoFer.

  38. Aybad might be the worst nearly-everyday player that I’ve ever seen. He’s almost a one man tank job.

  39. @47, I don’t think people are being externally pressed to try to find a counterintuitive take. Just that on the internet, that’s how the content beast is typically fed. That’s why it took people literally years to acknowledge that a) Matt Cain was quite good and b) Ricky Nolasco was quite bad, and that Cain’s tendency to outperform his peripherals and Nolasco’s tendency to underperform his peripherals were both quite stable. Plus, the majority of people writing me-too takes are really just scouting the stat lines, and most of the industry sources — the GMs and people on the other 29 teams — have a profound incentive to play down Julio’s value.

  40. AJ Minter has struck out 11 in a row? We certainly don’t need that on the big league team.

  41. I’ve learned to understand Coppolella. He really means what he says, and when he says [insert player] is untouchable or not available, what he is actually saying is, “What we expect in return is much more than we believe anyone will be willing to offer for [insert player].”

    He’s right about Julio Teheran. Ask for the moon and some orbiting asteroid. Do not back down from those unreasonable expectations. In fact, ask for even more.

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