Reds 6, Flying Idiots 3

The Braves are not good.

They lost today on the heels of starting pitcher Lucas Harrell, who is 31 years old. Ian Krol gave up 2 runs in relief, and surprisingly, Eric O’Flaherty actually pitched a scoreless inning. Good for that guy.

We actually hit a couple elusive home runs: both Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia went deep.

Whatever. We go to Colorado, where we’ll see Mike Foltynewicz, Julio Teheran, and Matt Wisler, in that order.

In other news, we’re seeing some trade movement in MLB. Per Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are sending Dan Vogelbach and some change for Mike Montgomery and some change. The Cubs have been willing to trade young hitters for relief pitching, which the Braves could provide.

The Indians are rumored to be in talks for Jonathan Lucroy. The Tribe lost their starting catcher, Yan Gomes, to injury, so they may go after Lucroy. I’m a little skeptical of the Braves being interested in a 30 year old catcher not signed past 2017, but we shall see.

Aybar delenda est.

74 thoughts on “Reds 6, Flying Idiots 3”

  1. Uh oh

    Mariners first-round pick Kyle Lewis will miss rest of season with torn ACL as well as medial and lateral meniscus in right knee

  2. There’s a pretty compelling argument for Jonathan Lucroy, but there’s also a pretty compelling argument for Brian McCann as well. He’s owed $18M average for 2017 and 2018, and he would cost significantly less prospects. We could even offset some payroll by sending more prospects, which we’d have to do to get Lucroy anyway.

    With Lucroy, you’d have to sign him well into his mid-30s, whereas McCann will be out of contract by age-33. You could really clean up McCann’s financial obligation by sending the prospects you’d send for Lucroy, or you can hold onto your prospects and just take on the money, especially if the Braves have as much to spend as it would suggest.

    With that said, McCann is left-handed, which is not ideal (but it does gives Flowers some clear opportunities to hit against lefties), and Lucroy is currently having a better season. McCann, a lefty, has been enjoying higher home run totals at Yankee Stadium, so you’d have to think he’d be a 18-20 HR guy in Atlanta vs. the 23-25 HR guy in New York. McCann doesn’t seem to have the defensive rep that Lucroy has, and their speed is similar. Lucroy doesn’t steal much anymore, McCann doesn’t at all, but they have similar GIDP numbers. While both are from the southeast, McCann being from Georgia might give him some advantages vs. being in New York.

    I think the choice isn’t quite as clear cut as it may seem. Both aren’t going to be difference-makers in the offense, but McCann could allow you to spend a surplus of cash and keep your prospects to either use them or trade them for even more talent. McCann, contractually, also carries less risk since there’s not an unknown as to what he’s going to cost in 2018 and 2019 (team option for ’19). Lucroy could really blow up in our face if he leaves as a FA.

    Interesting choices.

  3. Ugh. Utterly insane to trade cheap assets for an expensive veteran catcher halfway through a 56-win season. Just insane. I will take McCann if they want to send him for a bad contract like Markakis. There’s a pretty good chance he will be replacement level by 2018 if not 2017.

  4. @5

    End of 2016 makes some sense. I didn’t necessarily mean trade deadline for McCann. At EOY, you know more about your prospects, and you know more about McCann.

    But for real, who else is out there? Ramos is going to pull home $20M per. At the end of the day, the same reasons why Flowers’ .750 OPS is impressive is the same reason why McCann’s .780-.800 OPS at age 32 and in Yankee Stadium is impressive.

  5. Tyler flowers will do fine. We don’t need McCann for the same reason we didn’t need Wieters. We do not need to spend tens of millions of dollars (plus prospects!) on a half-win upgrade at catcher.

    Ramos is interesting, but I wouldn’t want to pay him for his career contract year, and I halfway think he’s juicing.

  6. It would be a sucker’s bet for the Braves to take the 2017-2018 years of Brian McCann’s contract off the Yankees’ hands, especially if we have to trade assets to acquire him. His contract pays $17M in 2017 and $17M in 2018, which will be his age 33 and 34 seasons. Mac will be fortunate to total 4 WAR for 2017-18; as it is, he’s in danger of falling down the BABIP abyss due to the fact that he’s a glacially slow runner who grounds into a lot of overshift defenses.

    Frankly, I’d rather just roll with Flowers + rotating in-house candidate until the Braves can develop a decent catcher. The Braves are already looking at a couple of net negative value contracts in Olivera and Markakis; no need to actively acquire another.

  7. All I want out of a catcher is good defense, an ability to handle pitchers, and won’t embarrass himself at the plate. Gimme a .240 hitter who hits 5-10 homers a year. Tyler Flowers can be that guy, it seems. Spend your money elsewhere. Even your MVP catchers have to ride the pine a couple times a week.

    Hey, Andrelton’s up to a .273 BA. A little shy of 40 points away from a .700 OPS.

  8. In the past 3 years, I’ve seen McCann hit 8 or 10 HRs to that short porch in right that would’ve been flyouts or singles off the wall in Turner Field. Like a lotta lefty power guys, Yankee Stadium really suits him.

  9. @7

    Who else is out there? Salvador Perez.

    Do the Royals need young, cheap pitching? To include Teheran.

  10. I went to the game yesterday.
    GABP is a great stadium.
    However, its so tiny looking that I wonder why Votto doesn’t hit 70 HR there.
    Eli’s BBQ, a small place well off the beaten path, is simply terrific. It pains a South Carolina guy like me to say this, but the best BBQ I’ve had is in Cincinnati.
    The Reds suck.
    The Braves suck more.
    Despite the HR Freeman is struggling. 3 strike outs and he looked bad on all 3 of them.
    Inciarte is a very good defensive outfielder.
    Ian Krol picked a hell of a time to suck. I mean I get to a Braves Reds game once every 5 years, Ian.
    Cincy traffic sucks.

    All in all I had a great time. My team didn’t win but a day at the ballpark is just a good day.

  11. @12 I like TFlo as a nickname. At any rate, his contract is 16:$2M, 17:$3M, 18:$4M club option ($0.3M buyout) with some games-started incentives that will add roughly another $500K yearly if he’s healthy and starting. TFlo is no McCann/Perez et al. but he’s not bad and given his contract (and the fact that he’ll be on the DL past the trade deadline) he sure looks like the 2017 Braves’ starting catcher to me.

    Fun fact – Flowers is only 2 years younger than BMac.

  12. @15
    Johnny…me too
    kinda hot if your fancy seats(divorce lawyer) were in the sun
    Have always liked the stadium too.Remember Kimbrel giving up back to back HR’s, same series.
    Eli’s..had no idea, thanks.
    Freeman, something is wrong. Harder to look at in the flesh.
    Don’t wait 5 years for the next one.

  13. Why not trade for a catching prospect? A prospect for prospect trade. The Phillies, for example, have several catching prospects. There are probably other teams that would listen to obtain a good pitching prospect.

  14. @17 – Right Field side. The shade eventually crept over us.
    Eli’s has a place in Over the Rhine in the Findlay Mkt. but we went out to the Riverside drive local, which is way out in the 3rd world somewhere.
    Do you live in Cincy? I’m in Columbus.

    I know this is heresy but I’d like to keep Ender. I think his bat will eventually come around but he is that good of a CF.
    Wow, does this team need a right handed bat. Adonis hit an HR yesterday but he is NOT a bat, much less a power RH bat. I’d like to see Beckham get more playing time until he turns into a pumpkin.

    I love BMac, but no thank you.

  15. @19

    A thousand feet up in the hill country, an hour and a half south of you…drink? ha! What was once a lazy retirement has now become a passionate purge of the latest plague of invasive species which threaten to swamp us here and elsewhere. Rather like the Nats i guess.

    so how can Adonis be described by your terms? Not as good as we would like, sure, who is, but within those categories, i would say so.

  16. @13: I love Sally Perez, but I doubt KC would swap him straight up for Julio. Shelf life of catchers is another concern, though AJP is older than Methuselah and still in the big leagues (if the Braves can be considered such).

    TFlo (like it!) will do for now, thanks, until some of the young sprouts grow up.

  17. Cumberland has finally started to hit some. This Alex Lee kid at Danville is hitting .432. He may need to go to Rome.

  18. I guess I’m a little concerned, with tens and tens and tens of millions available, committing to a guy like Flowers who has a career .677 OPS. Good contract, sure, but he signed that because he’d been terrible for big stretches of his career. Remember, he was booed in Chicago.

    The five catchers ahead of McCann in OPS this year: Ramos, Lucroy, Posey, Perez, Vogt. McCann would see a dip leaving Yankee Stadium, but he’s still a top 10 catcher, and if you played him 120 games with Flowers taking the other 40, you’d have an incredible tandem and McCann might stay fresh for two more seasons.

    I’m not saying I would want McCann over Flowers, especially if we can upgrade LF, RF, and 3B with money and prospects, but I don’t think McCann is as bad as people think and Flowers is not as good as people think.

  19. If the Braves are looking for veteran catchers already making money, I’d like to see them take a run at Derek Norris. The Padres want to make room for Hedges, anyway.

  20. McCann and Flowers are basically the same player right now. I like Flowers due to his ability to work with young pitchers and the occasional long ball. Spending money at that position isn’t a wise use of funds. We have huge improvements that need to be made at corner OF.

  21. There is a quality to Perez transcending numbers – he has the ability to lead/inspire, watch him in a big game…priceless as they say…he could be our guy, our leader for a decade.

    coop…not a one for one…we first offer three, nos.4,5,6 on our young arms list…they say no, we want Teheran instead of 6…we say ok but for 4 not 6…clever, eh?

  22. I love Salvador Perez, but catchers are notorious for aging poorly. Just look at Brian McCann and Yadier Molina. Or, for that matter, Jason Kendall. Perez has played a LOT of games behind the dish. I don’t think he’s worth the cost it would take to get him. Flowers seems like he could be a second-division starter. I’d love to stash some catching prospects, and get a few other relatively cheap potential upside guys in their mid-to-late 20s, like Derek Norris and even some guy like Austin Romine. Maybe we’ll find a Paul Lo Duca or even a Chooch Ruiz — catchers are also notorious for taking a really long time to figure out how to hit, so it might be a good idea to figure out a who scouted well in his early 20s but who hasn’t hit.

    Like, you know, Christian Bethancourt.

  23. I think Salvador Perez is one of the most valuable players (all considered, including contract status) in baseball. I don’t see why the Royals would trade him unless they were blown away, just like we wouldn’t trade Teheran unless we won the trade. I don’t think we’re in a position to be blowing teams away with our trade packages. That’s something you do when you’re going for a ring that year, not when you think you’re 3 years away.

  24. @30
    McCann seems to be aging just fine. What reasons do you have to suggest he’s not? A .769 OPS, throwing out over 30% of would be base thieves, on pace for another 2+ WAR season, still a great framer according to baseball prospectus, reasonably healthy for an everyday 32 y/o catcher. Previous 3 years suggest the same production.

  25. I don’t think McCann and Flowers are the same player. McCann hits for more power and is better defensively (at least at throwing out runners). McCann is better.

    But with that said, I’m not too confident McCann will be better than Flowers by 2018. And if I’m a team with an allegedly limited payroll, I’m not taking an 18M per year gamble to find out. If the FO wanted to pay BMac that kind of money, he’d already be a Brave – we wouldn’t have let him leave as a FA.

  26. Keep in mind the park factors of their respective home parks. I think Flowers has way more power than McCann at this juncture.

  27. McCann is only 2 years older but has a ton more mileage on his knees than Flowers. Flowers has only played over 100 games in the majors twice. The hope is that Flowers’ offensive gains this season with coming to a different team and change of scenery are real.

  28. Pitchers, we got pitchers.
    We got tons and tons of pitchers.
    We got tall ones, short ones,
    Skinny kids and fat.
    What don’t we got?
    We don’t got bats.

    Or a real shortstop. Aybad delenda est.

  29. Spending money at that position isn’t a wise use of funds.

    That’s what kind of makes this all pointless. How does one identify a wise use of funds if one doesn’t know their budget? I’m speculating that the Braves will have a $120M payroll with the new stadium. Could be more, could be less, but that’s what I’m going with. I just see the Braves having an incentive to take on some “names” for the new stadium, and all the jeers and snide comments aside, that has value. If they only have $55-60M committed to 2017, then where will you spend $60M? I would prefer that the Braves take on some aging veterans with expiring contracts within the next couple years, and McCann satisfies all of those things. Aging, veteran, expiring contract, “name”, etc. And with all of the risk of an extremely young pitching staff and young up-the-middle trio, having a 32-year old catcher who hasn’t shown any evidence of decline is not a bad bet. Derek Norris is nice, but he’s had two declining seasons. Flowers is on the payroll, which I guess is nice, but he’s had 3 good months, and I’m not interested in committing to him long-term if we have up to (if not more than) $60M to spend. And just imagine how things could look if we’re able to shed some or most of the $18M owed to Markakis and Olivera.

    And the big picture of all of this is that if 2/3 of your roster makes the league minimum or close to it, then there needs to be some BIG dollars spend on the last 1/3.

  30. We could also do a GCL mad lib. Today [2016 pitching draft selection] pitched 3 innings, allowing zero runs with [0-2] hits, [0-1] walks and [3-6] strikeouts.

  31. Per ESPN: Jacoby Ellsbury reached base on catcher’s interference for the ninth time this season, most in MLB history.

    With a stat like that, it’s a surprise he’s also not leading in getting hit by pitch.

  32. @22. Trevor Brown is a good target. He’s only 24 and IIRC was rated as a starting caliber C in the minors. Brown only has 117 plate appearances this year so it’s not like the Giants are trying to force him into the lineup. I believe there was talk a couple of years ago of transitioning Posey to 1B but since then SF signed Belt to a contract extension, so Brown’s pretty well blocked as long as he’s in SF. I think the Braves should see what his asking price is at the very least.

  33. “According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the White Sox were offered a ‘king’s ransom’ for Chris Sale in the last 48 hours and replied with a flat ‘no’.”

    I wonder if it was the Red Sox offering them Moncada, Benintendi and Swihart.

  34. Forgot to request time off work this weekend- it’ll be the first year of the eight I’ve lived in Colorado that I won’t catch a Braves game at Coors Field. I guess I picked a good year to do it ( although I would like to watch Folty pitch).

  35. I can only assume with all of the silence in the Braves rumor mill that we are sneakily planning another 13-player trade where we get a 31-year old unproven outfielder. I can feel it. In the air.

  36. Just as long as we don’t get a catcher. We don’t need a catcher, ’cause we have AJP.

  37. @44, that’s a shame. Forty must be fun to watch live. Exciting to watch him so far tonight. He looks like a different pitcher compared to early in the season.

  38. Folty might be becoming one of my favorite Braves. He is most certainly the pitcher I cheer for the most. Of course, Freddie is still front and center for this fanboy.

  39. @45, When we got him he was a 30-year-old unproven third baseman. A year later he is indeed a 31-year-old unproven outfielder but let’s be careful to not rewrite history. Maybe next year we’ll get lucky and he’ll be someone else’s 32-year-old unproven problem and not ours.

  40. Aaron Blair has had his first not-terrible start in some time:

    7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

    Still too many hits, not enough strikeouts, but that is certainly a step in the right direction. He seemed to settle down after giving up a walk and run-scoring double to start the game.

    Hector Olivera is winning the hearts of millions with a 0-4 night. He’s 1-8 in AAA after going 5-6 in the GCL.

  41. That was a catch for the ages. Reminiscent of Andruw going back to straight away center.


  42. That catch by Inciarte was fantastic. He’s almost Andruw-esque with how easy he makes things look. I really wish he could get his bat going. That BABIP has taken a tumble: .329 last year to .264 this year.

  43. @53 Story was definitely safe on that steal attempt – the 2B ump blew the call when the play happened, then all the umps combined to take a solid 4-5 minutes to botch the replay. It benefited the Braves though, so I guess I’ll take it.

  44. Looks like the Braves’ offense is already in full tank mode. Freddie just struck out on a pitch that bounced in front of the plate.

  45. They were talking on the broadcast about some home run Javy Lopez hit at Coors, so I got to Googling about Javy in general. When you look at his stats, man, that 43 HR year really sticks out. So I got to Googling about that season, and I found this:

    Uhhh. I know this was written six years ago, but I don’t remember this being discussed. But well, I guess that clears that up.

  46. “Aybar” is always the answer to the question, “Who —-ed up there?”

  47. I wish we would just DFA Aybad and play Beckham/D’Arnaud at SS until Dansby is ready.

  48. #30
    Last weekend in San Diego, I saw weird things in consecutive games:

    1) a walk-off balk

    2) a tape-measure HR from Christian Bethancourt (whose actually having a decent year as a backup in SD).

  49. Waiting for Albies and Swanson for another 40 days is going to be tough. Mississippi will probably make the postseason just to spite me.

  50. The only player I remember enjoying getting tossed, and seeing it as evidence of legitimate leadership, is Chipper Jones, and AJ Pierzynski is not Chipper Jones.

  51. Really gotta like what’s going on at AA. You’ve got Swanson, Albies, and Peterson in the lineup, with 22-year old Connor Lien’s .733 OPS getting a little overshadowed and Johan Camargo playing well. Camargo is 22 as well and could play a utility role sometime in the future. Newcomb, Povse, and Sims are in the rotation, and Akeel Morris, Minter, Dirks, and Hursh are pitching big out of the pen. That’s 10 guys that could see Atlanta by the end of 2017, and some other interesting cases as well.

    But as for AAA…

  52. @66

    While there’s no reason to think some Braves weren’t juicing before or after 2003, that year was such a blatant outlier. The Braves NL finish in team HRs from 2002-2004: 8, 1, 10.

    My theory is Sheffield got hooked up with Barry Bonds’ BALCO connection that offseason, and so brought in better juice than whatever was being used before (and then took it with him when he left)….

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