Wait ’til next year (by coop)

Wait ’til next year, or maybe the year after.

This game ended early. The Braves threatened in the first but ran themselves out of any scoring opportunity. Then Nolan Arenado ended it.

He had help. A single and a walk and one pitch to Arenado netted three runs. We could have called the game then, but the Rockies face a tough road trip and insisted on kicking our Brave Butts while we’re down. Ten batters hit in the first, even though Colorado managed only one more run off Tyrell Jenkins. Throwing 40 pitches in the first is never a good thing.

Tyler Chatwood tried to get us back in the game, walking everyone who’d let him; but AJP couldn’t bloop one over Trevor Story, Tyrell couldn’t get a bunt down and Jace Peterson struck out in a truly forgettable at bat. It took Chatwood right at half a hundred pitches to get through two innings, but zeroes were all the Braves put up. Pitiful.

Tyrell got ’em out without incident in the second, although he did walk his fourth Rockie in two innings, also not a good idea in Coors Field. Chatwood only walked one in the third, so Jenkins and his fellow clowns only trailed four-zip heading into the bottom of the frame.

Jenkins issued his fifth walk and gave up a double but no runs in the third, and the futile Braves offense again failed miserably. How in the heck they couldn’t score against Chatwood is a mystery. I mean, he walked Erick Aybad twice — TWICE! — in four innings.

DJ LeMahieu homered to lead off the Rockies fourth. Arenado followed with a double, and Story poked his fourth home run of the series. That kid can play. Rockies 7, Braves 0, Tyrell gone.

Joel De La Cruz restored order, getting the five batters he faced without incident. The horse was stolen, but play continued. In the fifth Chatwood sandwiched
Freddie Freeman’s second strikeout between his seventh and eighth walks. Again the Bozos didn’t score. Through five, Chatwood allowed only a single — Freddie didn’t strike out that at bat — and walked eight.

The Braves did score. Two runs were less than enough, but nobody got hurt. That’s something. Erick Aybar got two hits and two walks in his perfect day. That’s something else.

Final score was 7-2, as our Braves continue their march to the first overall pick in the 2017 draft. Big series with our closest competitors begins Tuesday. Come on, Braves: let’s get swept by the Twinkies.

90 thoughts on “Wait ’til next year (by coop)”

  1. JC:

    99 games and we are 33-66 so the math is easy:

    Current winning pct: .333

    Projected record: 54-108

    Needed to avoid 100 losses: 30-33 (.476)

    Needed to win 60 games: 27-36 (.429)

    Needed to win 50 games: 17-46 (.270)

    49OneEye Says:

    Record needed for .500
    48-15 (.762)

  2. All that winning percentage forecasting for various season outcomes reminds of the good old days of the Fredi era, when the Braves were good and we were forecasting the percentages needed to *lose* the inevitable division championship or wild card berth. “The Braves would have to lose at a .245 clip to lose the division/lose HFA/lose the wild card.” I remember a couple times we met that challenge head on! Maybe we can do so again with the odds reversed…

  3. Dustin Peterson went 3-4 with 2 doubles tonight. He’s hitting .367 in July and .342 since June 1st. I think his bat is ready for AAA.

  4. Dustin Peterson is still only 21 too. If he can develop a little more power, he has a future. Sadly, Dansby Swanson is third on the list of big league-ready bats at AA. With Alex Bregman crushing it and earning a call-up, Swanson is proving he’s not ready.

  5. There is no point in rushing Swanson or Albies. I think we see them early to mid August, once the aybar experiment ends

  6. I think you could argue that even late August is rushing Swanson based on what we’re seeing. He’s got a .754 OPS at AA. He’s not “telling them he’s ready” like Coppy likes to say.

  7. And his utter gullibility, which provides opportunities for endless clubhouse hijinks.

  8. apropos of nothing, but I’ve spent some time in New Delhi recently, and if you ride the metro/subway, the Hindi-language version of the canned announcements for each successive stop sounds like: “Uggla station: ____ hey.” (“uggla” means “next,” & they use the english word “station.”) so I whenever I’ve used the train, I haven’t been able to help but picture a grand, shining Uggla Station, where Dan’s dressed up like George Carlin from Shining Time Station, in a conductor suit just tight enough to showcase his disproportionately-huge arms, welcoming his passengers, always in golden, evening light.

  9. Part of me thinks Francoeur wakes up every morning as Chip Hilton and goes to bed every night as Col. Kurtz.

  10. Well, the “Snit bonus” seems to have worked its way out of things. A little bit of lost or hurt players, but really, this is again awful.

  11. Remember that time when we were .500 mid summer and sold off anyone and everyone? Now we are at the same juncture at .333 and we like our guys and feel good about standing pat?

    I guess the logical explanation is that nobody wants our bad players.

  12. And we don’t want to trade our good ones.
    Would anyone here trade Jace Peterson?

  13. @14

    Well, we really only have two players that are worth trading and our GM says he won’t move them.

    A team with young players does need some leadership at a player level. Frenchy may help the organization more than a lottery ticket A-ball relief pitcher.

  14. Swanson

    June – 256/.326/.384 (.710)
    July -.246/.329/.391 (.720)

    Not exactly tearing it up.

  15. I’m headed to Atlanta on Saturday to take my boys to a game at Turner Field before it closes. Planning to catch the alumni softball game beforehand – it’s the 1991 alumni vs. others. I’m looking forward to the alumni game more than the actual game, tbh.

    Anyone else going? Anyone been to one of the alumni softball games before? Would be grateful for any insight on how to make the most of it.

  16. @3 and @ 20,

    # 27 overall plus McKinney who has been mentioned as a good possible outfielder for us plus two minor league relievers. For 2 months of Aroldis Chapman.

    I realize he is hurt now, but Teheran ought to bring WAY more than that.

  17. McKinney’s stock is not what it was a few months ago, for what it’s worth. Still a heck of a haul for less than a half-season of a reliever.

  18. @21, Apparently the Cubs are working to sign Chapman to an extension, which would make the big haul a bit more sensible. That said, that’s a lot of good talent for a guy who pitches an inning of baseball 2 or 3 times a week when he’s not beating up young women.

  19. The Cubs gave up a talented 19 year old SS that’s blocked, a AA LF that can’t hit, and two minor league relievers. Overpay? Maybe. But they are in a position to overpay…must be nice.

  20. Been awhile since the Pinstripes waved the white flag, but that’s been the internal discussion in YankeeLand. Went to the game on Saturday & most of the fans seem resigned to it. But then again, I was mostly talking with people who can remember a time when they didn’t win.

    And, as I’ve been saying since ’09, that last WS title was very expensive. Can’t just shop from the boutique anymore, the landscape is rather different these days.

    #23
    Or more accurately, firing a weapon indiscriminately.

  21. The reports I see indicate one of the pitchers in the deal is Adam Warren, not exactly a minor-league reliever. In fact, he’s returning to the Yankees, for whom he pitched out of the bullpen for three years and started 17 games in 2014.

  22. Yeah it looks to be two non-prospect outfielders and Warren, in addition to Torres. Certainly the Yankees side is better since they have no use for Chapman, but the Cubs really only gave up the one SS prospect and org filler. It’s not *that* ridiculous, but there will be a lot of pressure on Chapman to behave and produce.

  23. Yeah, Adam Warren was an effective swingman in The Bronx (a la Ramiro Mendoza) — spot starts, lotsa innings, holds the fort if the starter gets torched. As long as their arms don’t fall off, those guys are always valuable.

  24. From that article:

    Jace Peterson is a great contributor at the big league level.

    If you had told me that on June 10th, when he was recalled to Atlanta, I wouldn’t have believed you.

  25. I’m not super high on him either but that’s pretty harsh. He’s got some power and can grow into more I’m sure.

  26. Two independent questions:

    1) Is Justin Upton more valuable this year than during the 2015 offseason? He has had some first half struggles this year, but just assume his career numbers, current contract, and age.

    2) Would you trade Dustin Peterson, Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, and Max Fried for Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft?

  27. @36, Justin upton has played replacement level baseball for 22 mil this season, but assuming he had put up avg numbers, and was hitting .275 with 18 hr so far and on pace for another 3.5 war, no, I would not trade that package for the chance to pay him that much money. He’s paid like cespedes, but he’s not cespedes. Dustin Peterson may be a 3 WAR outfielder himself, and mallex smith already looks it. They’re both cheap for a long time. Big fat nope.

  28. In the Chapman trade it is interesting to hear how hard the Yankees had tried to include Schwarber. And, equally, how firm was the Epstein no.

  29. If you haven’t won a ring since 1908 and you need to add a reliever. You go after the best one out there and you pay what it takes.

    If the Cubs win it all this year and that 19 year old short stop goes to the HOF, I’m not sure most Cub fans would care.

  30. Apparently there was competition for the hand of Melvin. *Sigh*…. Some summer romances work out, some don’t…

  31. I’m very interested to see what they’ve gotten for him. At least Chris Johnson and Dan Uggla never found success elsewhere. That Mudge was an enigma.

  32. The Padres are paying a chunk of that salary. Apparently his value still wasn’t that high.

  33. #40
    Kyle Schwarber is the modern Babe Herman, about whom it was said, “He wore a glove for one reason: because it was a league custom.”

  34. The Braves have had losing streaks of 9, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 this year. It would be cool to add 7 to the list, just to make it complete. We’re on a five-game streak now…two more and then a win and we’re there!

  35. This is all rather sad as we try hard to make fun of it, how awful it is.

    Break it down just one layer and it’s clear – this is not a defense problem, it has not even been caused by our very inconsistent pitching.

    Our hitting is pathetic, night after night the contrast to the opponent is cringeworthy. And that’s just hitting in general -specify power hitting and we’re in cuckoo land. Sometimes you wonder if you had been asked as an exercise to put together a roster of poor MLB hitters you could have exceeded this . It would be hard.

    Schwarber they had reckoned would have been good for 53 in the Bronx. Story, the other night. We’re not playing the same game. Down all the levels.

  36. @51

    The lack of power is astounding. I agree; you almost have to be actively trying to assemble a group of punchless wonders. At some point, this has to come back on Seitzer.

  37. You guys act like this is a historically bad offense. It isn’t. In fact, it isn’t appreciably worse than our 2014 offense that featured sluggers Evan Gattis and Justin Upton.

    Runs scored:

    2014: 573
    2015: 573 (not a typo, it was exactly the same)
    2016: 548* (projected)

    The worst offense in recent times belonged to the 2010 Seattle Mariners who scored 513 runs with a designated hitter

  38. On the bright side, Shae Simmons got an uneventful inning in with the GCL Braves today.

  39. There’s still time, and for some of our players, it could go into August, but I am surprised we haven’t seen any trades since the Norris move. Admittedly, we really don’t have many pieces to trade if we hold onto Teheran and Vizcaino.

    I’m a little surprised we aren’t looking to move Adonis Garcia. The guy’s got a little pop and could be a decent 3B/LF off the bench for a playoff team. But for all of these guys (Frenchy, Beckham, Garcia, d’Arnaud), the most likely return is a low minors pitching flyer, and at that point, why bother? We might as well package enough of this filler to actually get something useful to the major league roster. We could really increase a team’s depth by sending 3 or 4 of Jace, Garcia, d’Arnaud, Frenchy, JJ, Alvarez, Cervenka, whatever, and get a legit hitting prospect that might help us for 2017.

  40. @58 Sadly, I don’t think we could get “a legit hitting prospect that might help us in 2017” back in trade unless we’re willing to deal Vizzy, Teheran, Freeman, or Folty. The only other guys who come to mind as having decent trade value are bullpen arms like Krol and Cervenka; they’re not going to headline a deal for a legit hitting prospect, though.

  41. I think we could turn 3 mediocre major leaguers into one decent hitting prospect in AA or AAA. Send JJ, Alvarez, and Beckham to someone like Pittsburgh to get someone like Barrett Barnes. He’s a 24 year old outfielder hitting .300/.369/.425 at AA, and he’s behind 3 OF prospects (including Austin Meadows), and they already have Marte, McCutcheon, and Polanco. Pirates has a million outfielders, and they need pitching and depth. I don’t know why we haven’t worked a deal with them yet.

  42. I’m worried that we’ll see a lot of “Braves are in on xxxxxx” and plenty of rumors will get floated, but in the end we’ll roll with Swanson+Albies in early June, and we’ll sign Francouer for another year, and that’ll be our 2017 improvements.

  43. @61

    I agree that we will hear a lot of that BS, and I don’t think the Braves will be serious about a single one of them. I really wish they wouldn’t insult our intelligence with the “yeah, we’re kicking the ties on Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton” routines. BS.

    At some point though, you gotta stop doubling down on low minors flyers and start bunching up some of your depth for major pieces. Seriously, how many bench bats for contenders does one team need? Seriously, you’ve got all of these utility men and corner outfielders at the major league level, then you’ve got decent-to-barely-good hitting prospects like Peterson and Ruiz in the high minors. Just bundle them up and consolidate. There’s incremental value in all of these guys, and they continue to appreciate. At some point they’ll have to decide when they want to cash out on some of these.

  44. @62, given that some of our decent-to-barely-good hitting prospects might truly be an improvement over what we’re fielding right now, I’m also ok with just calling them all up and seeing what happens. Sure we might be terrible, but we’re already terrible. At least it’ll be a different form of terrible.

  45. It’s really offensive that we’ve traded for something like 18-20 pitching prospects over the last 2 years and we’re staring at the 5th start by Lucas Harrell.

  46. Wow that “double” by AJ was never fair at any point in time. The Twins have the umps on their side in this one.

  47. @69, Gant is injured. Wisler, Folty, and Jenkins are in our rotation. Whalen and Fried are developing as well as could be expected but aren’t ready. The disappointments are Andrew Thurman, Zack Bird, Banuelos, and Aaron Blair. This isn’t a bad range of outcomes for these guys so far. Thurman and Bird, in particular, were projectability long-shots. Banuelos has been hurt. Blair is the only guy who has fallen well short of expectations on performance.

  48. I forgot Chris Ellis who is also doing pretty well, having jumped two levels, and Sean Newcomb who is performing as expected. Neither is ready, nor were they expected to be ready yet. Oops, and Touki Toussaint who has pitched well this season. He may be lagging but he was the rawest of any of the pitchers we acquired. Not really a disappointment there.

  49. Look man, I have my blinders on and don’t get in my way. I’m usually a positive person, but I’ve got one irrational demand: if we’re going to lose 100 games, don’t make me watch journeymen while we do it.

  50. Don’t forget with Fried, we acquired him while he was injured. He’s only this year gotten back into harness.

    As for Harrell, he’s doing alright. Maybe he’ll be our next Bud Norris!

  51. Yeah, I just don’t see the problem with giving starts to Harrell. The younger options are injured or in need of further development, right? Would you rather Casey Kelly be getting the starts or something?

  52. Haha, well done. I don’t think we should be losing with Swanson, Albies, and Ruiz, per se, but I do think we should be losing with 5 starting pitchers all 25 or under.

  53. How about this line for Ellis tonight: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB (!!), 7 K. What is it with minor league pitchers just having these crazy walk lines? They’ll throw gems, but they’ll give up a ton of walks. But the problem is that they will not get away with that at the big league level.

    Hector Olivera is now hitting a robust .130 in about 7 games now. Sweet.

  54. There’s some risk that playing the young guys that actually have some talent might result in…heaven help us…less losing. Nobody wants that this year.

    In a twisted way I get playing Aybad every single day at short. It is inline with the seasonal goals, and the pressure is totally off Swanson next year. The bar has been set low, like below sea level.

  55. I’m not sorry we let Norris pitch so much for us. Turned him into 2 decent relief prospects. Harrell might do the same for us. Better than letting known arsonist Casey Kelly exhaust our bullpen.

  56. I don’t have a problem with Bud Norris at all either. We had been good as recently as 2014, he was signed to an actual major league deal, and he was part of the 2016 plans. Lucas Harrell, regardless of his Houdini act, is a minor league scrub and shouldn’t be on the staff.

    Future Atlanta Night in AA:
    Max Povse: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 4 K
    AJ Minter: 1 IP, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 ER
    Caleb Dirks: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 0 K
    (Game still going on)

    Minter and Dirks should be in Atlanta by the end of the year.

  57. They’re about to trade Harrell for more than they could trade Casey Kelly for…and Casey Kelly will start getting Harrell’s starts.

  58. Casey is an atrocious pitcher. What a failure of scouting that he was ever a prospect

    PS: we won!

  59. If I understand correctly that eventually we are planning to flip our “excess” pitching for hitters, you can get more for minor league prospects than for struggling major leaguers.

  60. I wouldn’t say they’re “struggling” so much as they just are what they are. Garcia has a .721 OPS in 475 career ABs, plays a now-decent 3B, and doesn’t make much money. There’s a market for that, though not much of one. Same deal with Beckham, d’Arnaud, and Frenchy. Peterson obviously has the most value. For teams needing depth, you might be able to pull a decent hitting prospect trading a few of them. If they were “struggling”, then you could argue the Braves would be selling low (like, perhaps, Markakis), but these guys are what they are, and you might be able to get some useful out of a quantity of them.

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