Braves 8, Bucks 4

Well, I would get used to this, because you’€™ll probably be seeing a lot more of this. Depleted through trades, injuries, and Aaron Blair not being any good, the Braves’€™ rotation is one TBD after another. Rob Whalen made his major league debut, and it was not pretty at the start: fly out, single, fly out, hit by pitch, homer, single, walk, walk, wild pitch, strikeout. After giving up 4 runs in the first, he settled down very nicely and threw 4 scoreless innings, retiring 9 of the last 10 hitters he faced. He doesn’€™t throw hard. While I think he hit 91 to start the game, he was mostly in the 88-89 range. He did throw 98 pitches, so he may be durable enough to give enough innings to see what he’€™s got. With the Braves’€™ rotation issues, I’€™d imagine he’ll get a few starts.

The bats did come alive, however. The ghost of Erick Aybar had three hits, including an RBI triple, and Ender Inciarte added another three hits as well. Ender is starting to come alive, as he’s had a .365/.407/.405 line in his last 20 games. Don’t be deceived, but Aybar himself has had a short little hot streak: .467/.514/.567 in his last 10 games. There wasn’€™t any home run power in this game, but there were 5 doubles and a triple, and Anthony Recker, who went 2-4, missed a home run by about a foot.

I’m not sure what the numbers say, but the pen has been a true strength for the Braves this year, and there’€™s a confidence that if the Braves have a lead late, they’€™ll keep it. Ian Krol, Mauricio Cabrera, Chris Withrow, and Jim Johnson all had scoreless innings without a single walk given up. The Braves really have something there, and there’€™s more help on the way.

Snitker is now 29-41 since he took over, which would be a 67-win pace if he started the year. If he had this team for an entire year, we’d be in a lot better shape than we are now. We’€™re 19-23 since June 15th, so things are moving up… slightly.

55 thoughts on “Braves 8, Bucks 4”

  1. from the last thread:

    Braves OPS and MLB rank by month

    April: .590 (30)
    May: .627 (30)
    June: .700 (28)
    July: .717 (18)
    August: .962 (14)

    So, Brian Snitker has been the beneficiary of some dramatic offensive improvement. If he can coach an extra .100 OPS out of our players, we need to pay him $10 million per year.

    The Twins have gotten red hot (and for once, I don’t mean this just because a team is playing us). They’ve jumped ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 4.5 games ahead of us and playing like the absolute worst team in baseball. Maybe the whole Shelby trade was a ploy by Stewart to make sure they got the #1 pick this year.

  2. Alex from the previous thread, I find the comparison of Kemp to Gattis rather inapt. I don’t think Gattis’s defense was why the team got rid of him – at that time they were interested in acquiring prospects like Folty and Rio Ruiz to replenish the system. They traded a great defensive outfielder in that same offseason. I think it’s wrong to say the team didn’t want Gattis — just that at that time they wanted prospects more.

  3. @1

    It’s really hard to argue that this isn’t just an objectively better team from the hitting side.

    If only we could have our pitching and hitting healthy and not traded away at the same time. Gant will be back soon, and he’ll eat some innings, and Williams Perez is on a throwing program. It looks like Teheran will only need the minimum, and Wisler will probably be back soon. There you go, back to 6-7 young starters.

    And really, the pen is looking very solid.

  4. For clarity on @2, it’s not that I think the comp isn’t good, it’s that I got the impression you think the team shouldn’t have an all bat, no glove LF because they once traded that away. I just think the situations around Gattis and Kemp are vary different and that context matters.

  5. JC’ed from last thread (How is JC anyway?):

    Chipper was on mlb xm radio this morning and ruined my misconception of him. I always thought of Mr. Jones as a stereotypical redneck good old boy without a thought in his head. He came across as a well-reasoned, perceptive and insightful visionary with a comprehensive grasp of the Braves minor league system. He provided insights I thought beyond him.

    Who’s the dumbass now, coop?

  6. He mostly talked about the state of affairs inherited from the “prior regime” and how the remedy necessitated trading JHey, Kimbral and the good Upton. He mentioned Andrelton wistfully and cautioned that Braves fans needed to be patient as the kids develop into major leaguers. I missed any reference to Dansby because I had to leave before the interview ended.

    Evidently Chipper gets minor league reports daily, has a heavy scouting schedule and regular discussions with both Johns. He said he was much more involved with the Braves than he’d expected to be this early in his retirement.

  7. I said at the beginning of the year that I really didn’t like the Braves promoting Dansby so much. They should have been promoting a free agent signing, a guy they traded for, etc., but all they had was Dansby, and I can’t imagine that doesn’t take a toll. Look at Bregman. Houston has Correa, Altuve, Keuchel, and all of the supporting pieces, and he can just… develop. Quietly. Braves didn’t give Swanson that opportunity.

  8. @2,4, If Gattis had been able to field his position in LF to go along with his 30 HR potential, I think you’d have to say he’d be a building block, what with 4 years of controllability left.

  9. I get you, Alex, but I’m not sure I agree that the team would say yes. I don’t think it will come to it because I think they make room for both Mallex and Kemp in the outfield by making a trade in the offseason. I think they prioritize playing Kemp at this point, but I could be wrong.

  10. @10, what I mean (obviously) is the team would’ve viewed him as a building block if they’d felt he could field his position in LF (or catcher). They didn’t, so they traded him and his 30 HR potential.

  11. With a .295 BA, 8 hrs, and a .798 OPS at only 21 years old at AA, I think you can make a case that Dustin Peterson is the closest hitting prospect we have to making an impact in the majors. My guess is that we’ll keep him in AAA for at least half the season next year. If he’s still improving next year, I think we’ll work to trade Kemp if we haven’t already traded him at that time.

  12. @16, I hope the premise the Braves are working from is that the second Kemp has the kind of value to another team that we can parlay that into a trade that returns something of commensurate value, that we will pull the trigger on said trade.

  13. I don’t think Smith will be back for another month. I also think we move one of Kemp/Cakes or Inciarte/Smith this winter.

  14. @16 I’d say the only other Braves prospect who looks ready to make an impact in 2017 at the plate is Ozzie Albies (19 years old at AA, .888 OPS). Then again, Ozzie didn’t do so well at his first go-round at AAA (.659 OPS) and considering how young and small he is, I don’t feel the need to rush him into starting Opening Day 2017. No harm in letting him figure out AAA for a bit, with a mid-year callup.

    I’d like to believe that Rio Ruiz could be an impact bat, but I think he’ll need to figure out how to hit for decent in-game power before he is a candidate to crack a .700 OPS in the majors.

  15. Maybe you’re right, it’s not like this is a team that has patience for under performing veterans.

  16. Chip Caray retweeted this:

    I wonder how he feels about the start time changing.

  17. If Mallex Smith can hit like Christian Yelich, then great, put him in LF. But the Braves need a middle-of-the-order presence out of 2/3 of LF, 3B, and RF, and Mallex/Ender ain’t it. It’s really not about the accumulation of WAR so much as finding what’s the best fit for the team. Going forward, I think it’s more Mallex vs. Ender instead of Kemp vs. Mallex/Ender.

  18. @ #16

    Saw Peterson play here in Pensacola the other day against the Blue Wahoos, the Reds’ AA team. Good plate discipline, works the count, doesn’t panic with two strikes. And he hits well to the opposite field. Very impressed with how he plays.

  19. I think our OF next year will be Kemp, Mallex, and Ender. We will trade Markakis and may look to trade Mallex or Ender for an OF’er with some more pop, but I don’t see it. I think we work to trade Garcia and look for a 20 hr guy at 3rd. If we can get a catcher who can OPS around .700, I think we’ll be a pretty good hitting team. It would also help if our catcher could throw out base stealers at a 20% clip.

  20. Kinda cool that AJ Minter relieved Newcomb with runners on and got the punch out to end the inning. Two dominant lefties right after the other.

  21. I think Minter is in our pen for sure in September. Do we think a spot start from Newcomb or Sims might also be part of the plan?

  22. @17 I would believe it. Kemp will hold value to someone either next offseason or at next year’s trade deadline.

  23. Great gutsy outing by Jenkins tonight.

    His command needs some work, but I really like rooting for him.

  24. He’s pitched well, and I like what he has to say. He seems like a level-headed kid.

    Freddie should do a Hunter fan commercial.

    Sure wish we’d make the catcher throw to first once in a while.

  25. He knew where we were in the lineup and decided that the best course of action was to just start running.

  26. I love Joe: “These kids today are too pampered. Let me list 5 of the best pitchers of the past 40 years and they threw all the time and turned out fine”. *cough…pussies…cough, cough*

    Get off my lawn.

  27. That’s not totally fair; there is some legitimate nuance in their comments….the examples/tone though are amusing.

  28. @49

    And they show Smoltz’s 236 IP in year two.

    The man is the only HOF to come back from TJ! Not a good example!

  29. Yes, but:

    1) He had TJ. Not an ideal outcome, and certainly not one that proves the point they’re trying to make.
    2) He made the HOF, so using a HOFer as an example of why random, not-future-HOFers should throw more is not a good one.

  30. I do think that they are on to something WRT kids pitching too much and with max effort in little league and travel ball. And major leaguers pitching max effort all the time will break down.

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