The Mostly Terrible 2016 Braves


After all of that, the Braves actually won one more game than they did in 2015, back when Andrelton Simmons was our starting shortstop, and our five-man rotation included Shelby Miller and Alex Wood. When Fredi Gonzalez got canned on May 16, the team was 9-28, a .243 winning percentage and a 39-win pace. From then on, they went 59-65.

It was a terrible year, and this year and the last made for the first consecutive 90-loss seasons since 1989-1990. But it was so much less bad than it could have been. That ambivalence — broad disgust tinged with mild hope — marked the year better than any individual moment ever could.

But there were still a few memorable moments. There was this:

And there was this:

Freddie Freeman had a magnificent year, one of the best anyone’s had in an Atlanta uniform since Zombie Chipper won the batting title in 2008 for a 72-90 team. Many of us vividly remembered Mac saying “this team doesn’t deserve him” about Chipper, and realizing it applies equally well to Freddie.

And then there were the fruits of the Shelby Miller trade. The jury’s still out on Aaron Blair, but he’s an afterthought. Despite missing a month due to injury, Ender Inciarte was the center fielder we’ve been looking for since Michael Bourn left, an outstanding defender who also served as an effective tablesetter at the top of the lineup. He’s also under club control until 2020. And Dansby, in a little over a month of work, demonstrated that he’s capable of being a league-average shortstop at 22. He’s pretty good at everything and isn’t bad at anything. One of these years, he could be an All-Star.

Barring the extraordinary, the Braves know who they can pencil in at shortstop, center field, and first base through the end of the decade. But there are question marks everywhere else. If Ozzie Albies comes back from his injury as the player he was before, he could be our second baseman. Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran could very well be fixtures in the rotation for the same period of time.

But there are so many other questions. In all charity, it’s difficult to see Adonis Garcia, Jace Peterson, and Mallex Smith as anything other than bench depth, and the jury’s out as to whether Rio Ruiz can be anything better than a second-division starter. But corner infield and corner outfield are a lot easier to fill than the two most gaping holes on the field: the battery, pitcher and catcher. Matt Wisler, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, John Gant, and Ryan Weber each got a shot, and each finished with an ERA above 4.80.

Here’s a depressing stat: of all of the pitchers who took at least one start with the Braves, only three had an ERA under 4.00 with the team: Julio Teheran; Josh Collmenter, whom the Braves signed as a free agent on August 10; and Lucas Harrell, whom the Braves traded away on July 27.

Roger McDowell is out of a job because the starting rotation was a flaming disaster, and the Braves are going to need to find someone who can take the best collection of pitching prospects in the minor leagues and turn them into a real staff.

Oh, and I didn’t mention catchers because there really aren’t any to speak of. Tyler Flowers had better have as good a 2017 as you did in 2016, because there is no plan B.

This is a strange offseason, but not quite as bad as last year’s. Last year, we were looking over a cliff and wondering just how deep it was. As terrible a year as the Braves had, there is an enduring sense that it could have been worse, and with Dansby, there’s a glimpse of a brighter future, no matter how bad of a traffic jam we’ll have to sit through before we get there.

As I mentioned in the thread a couple of days ago, we’ll count down the days till April in the usual fashion: a series of “Where Do We Go From Here?” articles, player previews, probably a Keltner List, and whatever else may come to mind.

Anyone who’d like to write, whether you’d like to do one of those or to propose your own idea, PLEASE email me!

120 thoughts on “The Mostly Terrible 2016 Braves”

  1. The last thread got really long and I try not to wade in to stop conversation except when absolutely necessary, but to answer John @221, let me just quote Mac from the About page:

    The commenting policy is simple. Be nice to me, and be nice to your fellow posters. Don’t use extreme profanity. Don’t make comments slandering entire groups of people. Use common sense. Basically, treat this forum like a civilized conversation. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your mother to hear you say, or that would likely provoke a fight in person. Don’t discuss politics or religion, two things that get people riled up and which nobody’s going to come to an agreement on.

    That’s the no-politics rule.

  2. While I generally agree with the sentiments raised in the main post, I disagree with the contention that it’s difficult to see Mallex Smith as anything other than bench depth. He’s blazing fast, fields pretty well and takes walks; on the downside, he strikes out a lot for a guy with such middling power. That said, he’s young (23 years old) and will likely be a .700 – .750 OPS guy going forward. If it weren’t for Ender, Mallex would absolutely be the 2017 Braves starting CF. He doesn’t project to be a star, but he does look like a 2-4 WAR guy and you need a lot of those to make a successful baseball team.

  3. Among the off season articles it will be interesting to see where Freemans monster season places him on an updated 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves

  4. I could see Mallex as a 2 WAR guy in center, which is a fourth outfielder on a team that already has a CF as good as Ender Inciarte. I don’t see him as a 4 WAR guy unless he picks up more walks AND more power. He basically looks like Ben Revere to me. On our team, we don’t really have a place for him, because he just doesn’t have enough bat for a corner.

  5. I wouldn’t pidgeon hole Mallex yet. His walk rate in the minors is substantially better the Revere’s was and it took Revere more than 5 seasons to get the 3 HR Mallex put up in half a season. There are definitely questions to be answered (strikeouts, lefties, etc.) but I think he’s earned an extended chance to fail at least, and I’m pretty high on him going into next year.

  6. Another positive is that the Braves have executed two good drafts in a row, as well as big signings on the international market. The influx of talent into the system is impressive and has to bode well for the future. These kids are some years away but they will make their presence felt ar some point.

  7. Regarding the “no politics rule”, I think what John R said @221 in the last thread was spot on. Thanks to AAR for clarifying what this rule is. So if we’re concerned about generalizing about large groups of people, perhaps we’d blink at the sweeping assertion that mass of “pale” folk in Cobb County are racist? And isn’t that what the term “white flight” implies? Some smug, virtue-signaling types will insist white flight is mere history, but they never mention “black flight”, the historical fact that some 10 million black Americans took flight to the suburbs as well. But that would require a more nuanced investigation into events, one that acknowledges that suburban “flight” was a phenomenon of means, or more crudely “class”, rather than race. And it also might consider that this phenomenon, as detrimental as it may have been to urban centers, was enabled by various federal subsidies, including the interstate system, the Federal Housing Authority, and effective military subsidy of middle eastern oil production. But no, it creates a warm glow in the breast of the self-ennobled to claim that “those people” are so much worse than they are. Surely none of them live in the suburbs or some gentrified area themselves. Course not.

    Or maybe generalizations about certain groups are acceptable? Maybe we should be clear which groups we can slander. Maybe it’s a “not *some* politics” rule?

  8. I think Mallex has a good chance of being at least a serviceable starting CF, maybe better than serviceable. But Ender is already better than serviceable, and I really don’t think Mallex’s bat plays well in RF or LF. My hunch is Mallex gets included in a deal this winter.

  9. Yeah, so how about another round of If It Can’t Be Us?

    I say Blue Jays. Indians, Cubs, Red Sox need to lose so my fantasy keeper starters don’t get injured. Never Giants. Never Nationals. Never Dodgers.

    EDIT: Agree that Mallex should be dealt this offseason if the Braves are trying to speed this thing up without making the rebuild unsustainable.

  10. @13 As I’ve stated on prior occasions, a) the Braves should look to trade away one of Kemp/Inciarte/Neck/Mallex this offseason, b) Kemp is unlikely to be traded (for various reasons) and c) Inciarte and Mallex both have the glove for CF but don’t really hit well enough for a corner OF, which means d) either Inciarte or Mallex appear the most likely to be traded.

    Inciarte is more proven than Mallex, projects for a higher 2017 WAR and has more trade surplus value. Between the two, I’m guessing the Braves would rather keep Inciarte, but IMO the Braves should be open to trading Inciarte instead if they get a sufficiently large return. I’d hate to see the Braves swap Mallex for “whatever they can get” simply because he’s got the same basic skillset as Inciarte.

  11. Inciarte is a clearly better player than Mallex, though. The jury’s out on whether Mallex is capable of being a starting player; Inciarte is a very good player who occasionally verges on All-Star level production. That’s the kind of guy we need to build around.

  12. Having an extra OF around isn’t the worst thing either. It would be better for Mallex if he’s traded though.

  13. Amen, Alex at 16.

    Mallex does not have as good of an arm.

    Mallex has maybe a HAIR more speed, but his reads and routes take more away from his defense.

    Mallex MAY get better at reading and routes. But, he hasn’t so far.

    Mallex has not PROVEN himself offensively at the Major League level to be more than a 4th outfielder. Ender has proven himself to be a good enough offensive player to put with his defense and make him a 3 to 4 WAR player.

    I think the Braves are least likely to move Kemp, next least likely to move Inciarte, next least likely to move Mallex, and most likely to move Neck. But I disagree that they WILL move one of them. What COULD push a move is if they think Kemp is no worse in right and if Dustin Peterson looks like he might be an overall above average leftfielder, then keeping Mallex is great to spell one of them off and on against righthanders and be Kemp’s late inning pinch running and defensive replacement player.

  14. I’m not sure why Mallex’s bat is a question mark.

    When he came up, he hit .237/.312/.379 w/ 14 SBs, 7 CS. He hits .500something in his AAA rehab, and then he struggles in limited duty to a .250/.348/.250 clip. Takes more walks, but doesn’t hit the ball hard at all.

    I’m inclined to think Mallex’s bat would have continued to improve had he not gotten injured, and I’d hate to write him off as a 4th OF when an injury could have interfered. He also stole 16 bases in 215 PAs, which means he steals about 45 bases in a full season. By comparison, Ender’s career high is 21 with a similar success rate.

    I do think his reads will continue to get better, and his superior foot speed could make him competitive in range with Ender. With that said, Ender’s arm is definitely better. But I think Mallex and Ender are closer than they currently appear. I wouldn’t trade Mallex for anything less than a average starting pitcher or better.

  15. Justice, mercy: that’s all I humbly ask for. That and eternal losses for Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech. And a Braves dynasty with many World Series championships. Is that too much to ask?

  16. @16. Completely agree. Suspect Smith is a 5th outfielder/AAAA type and Inciarte can be a borderline All-Star. I wish EI could just double his HRs to say 10-12 per year instead of 5-6.

  17. Dansby and Weigel are Prospects of the Year according to MLB Pipeline. That seems about right.

  18. I dunno, anybody who would rank Zachary Bird (#27) above Weigel (#28) and A.J. Minter (#29) is suspect in my book.

  19. Thanks, Alex, @1. Mac was a wise dude. He even set up a whole ‘nother forum I wasn’t aware of to keep this one sanctified. Good for him, good for us.

    I can see the wisdom in trading Mallex. Inciarte seems quite clearly a superior, more experienced version of Mallex, and I think the latter would bring us quite a return, especially if matched with some of young pitching. That said, I selfishly want to keep him because a) I like him, and b) I love his name, Mallex. It’s kind of a super-hero-type name, although I’m not quite sure yet what his power is. But I want to root for Mallex Smith, in a Braves uniform rather than some team I hate.

  20. @28, I thought for sure that letting McDowell go was a sign that Snitker was gonna get bypassed for Bud Black. Would it be beyond conception that Black would come on as pitching coach?

  21. What’s the point of having replay if they are not going to correct an obviously missed call? Rizzo was clearly off the bag. Guess it’s karma for Posey was out.

  22. Mallex Smith looks, to me, like a younger debut of Gregor Blanco (so he has more upside.)

    Probably not a superstar every day player by any means, but contenders have those guys on their rosters. If Ben Revere can make an MLB career…

  23. Interesting choice of Chuck Hernandez as pitching coach. His bio says he has helped develop Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander, Chuck Finley, Kenny Rogers, and Scott Kazmir. Not a bad resume.

  24. I already voted the over in the poll, but for clarity’s sake, can we specify the “Mazzone’s age” part of the equation? Won’t he be both 68 and 69 at points next October?

  25. Good stuff:

    Pendleton was among three Braves coaches who interviewed for the managerial job last week, along with Eddie Perez and Porter, a former Astros manager. A person familiar with the search said Pendleton began his interview by saying that Snitker deserved the job after his work as interim manager.

  26. Agreed on Pendleton. If that is true, his stock went way up with me. I’m assuming we’ll keep Pendleton and Perez, but has that been confirmed?

  27. They have been retained in their current roles, but that doesn’t preclude them from interviewing and taking a job elsewhere.

  28. Congrats to Snitker. He earned it. The best baseball interim performance I can recall.

    TP is purely a class act. He was my #2, but only because you can’t ignore Snit’s success.

    Washington, I’m glad he’s here but won’t be making in-game decisions for us. Hernandez I don’t know anything about.

  29. Also the Arizona Fall League starts today. Braves players are on the Salt River Rafters who play tonight at 6:35 (8:35 eastern I believe).

    Notable players: Demeritte, D. Peterson, C. Ellis, A. Morris

    Anyone ever been to see any AFL games?

  30. @46 thanks Dusty. That’s a great read and surprised I didn’t see it before either. Thanks for sharing. I’m happy w/ Snit!

  31. @41 and 46: People that care about other people. They still exist in this world , and the Braves have at least 2 of them. Makes me feel better about the future. Worth at least one 1st round pick.

  32. We’ve been around forever
    we found the very first wrong
    so we put two and two together
    we are psychic
    and we right the wrongs.

    We right the wrongs when talking heads comply
    we right the wrongs and said our fond bye bye
    when Fredi heard we simply did not cry
    we right the wrongs, we right the wrongs.

    The Ted lies deep within us
    we’ve got a new place but it’s cold
    but with the numbers they finagled
    how easily the good old boys were sold.

    We right the wrongs of trades they now deny
    we told them, Uggla? have another try
    but when Kevin signed he looked us in the eye
    You right the wrongs, you right the wrongs.

    We are psychic
    and we right the wrongs.

  33. I don’t want to get all warm and fuzzy, but I like who the Braves are placing at the helm of the young, on-field talent in Atlanta. I like Snit, Washington, Eddie, and TP.

    There’s an emotional side to Snitker that I really like. I really don’t think you can fake that, and it comes off as extremely genuine. Frankly, he is everything Fredi is not. Fredi’s a good guy, but I think we have definitely upgraded the coaching staff.

    My only issue is with the one year deal. That looks like another interim tag to an extent. The Braves clearly like him, but don’t want to be on the hook for too long if it was merely a dead cat bounce and reaction to Fredi.

  34. It’s a two year deal, with a club option on Y2. That’s a reasonable contract for a first time manager, IMHO.

  35. Assuming the worst and Snitker and the Braves tank so much that they don’t want to pick up his option for 2018, my hope would be that TP would be the veritable next-in-line for manager. Although you’d think the bench coach would suffer in that scenario.

    Plus, it would seem to me Ron Washington could probably latch on to another team as manager if he wanted to…but he may sense an opportunity with Atlanta. In a year’s time, he can learn the organization, get to know the players, and burnish his credentials at 3B. If things don’t work out with Snitker, both he and the Braves might think it a good bet to have him around as an option.

    From the top of the thread: “Freddie Freeman had a magnificent year, one of the best anyone’s had in an Atlanta uniform since Zombie Chipper won the batting title in 2008 for a 72-90 team.”

    So who has had a better year from 2009 to 2015?

  36. There was an article a few days ago on (I think) about the deals the Cubs made in the rebuilding process. Did anyone say that? Was it any good? Link?

  37. BREF WAR leaders by year for last 11 seasons:

    2016 – Freddie 6.8
    2015 – Andrelton 4.0
    2014 – Jason 6.2
    2013 – Andrelton 7.0
    2012 – Michael Bourn 6.1
    2011 – Chipper 2.6 (McCann 2.5) (2011 really sucked)
    2010 – Jason 6.4
    2009 – Yunel 4.2
    2008 – Chipper 7.3
    2007 – Chipper 7.6
    2006 – Andruw 5.6

    So yeah, you really have to go back to prime Zombie Chipper to get a guy compiling 6-7 WAR mostly on via the stick. Andrelton was all glove. Jason was usually 50/50.

  38. For a good defensive player, Crawford makes his fair share of costly errors when I’m watching him.

  39. My barber says Copy was in for an early morning shave when the Giants called with the following:

    ATL gets: Bryan Reynolds, Ty Blach and Trevor Brown

    SF Gets: Mallex Smith, Arodys Vizcaino and Ian Krol

  40. What is the fascination with Trevor Brown? He seems like Paul Bako warmed over. We already have some replacement-level catchers in our system. If we’re going to trade for one, I’d prefer it to be a two-way guy with at least a little pop.

  41. Obviously the guy at the top is important, especially when Snitker was such an interesting case, but I think the more significant change was McDowell to Hernandez. Letting McDowell go was pretty risky. He led the league in ERA in the last season we were competitive. In the last 11 years, only the Dodgers have a higher starter’s ERA. And after bad drafts, he was responsible for turning around Harang, Garcia, Sheets, O’Flaherty, Harrell, Norris, etc.

    So for them to go with Hernandez, they are clearly saying that the high-minors prospects that Coppy acquired should be performing better, and they wanted someone who could develop these guys. It’s interesting that it suggests that they expect Ellis, Whalen, Jenkins, Blair, Wisler, and whomever to play a role in 2017/2018 when they could have just continued to sign retread starters and flip them for higher-end prospects. If you had the choice between a pitching coach who could get something out of the low-ceiling prospects, or you could have McDowell do something with a Harrell or a Norris or whomever, wouldn’t the better long-term strategy be McDowell? I think this tells me that Coppy thinks more highly of his trade acquisitions than McDowell did.

  42. @69

    I think most all of the prospect gurus think more highly of the ‘prospects’ than (perhaps) McDowell did. I’m cautiously optimistic that Hernandez can develop those youngsters, as he seemed to be able to get results from the PURE EVIL prospects he was entrusted with.

    It should be interesting to see how they perform during ST. How many days until pitchers and catchers report?

  43. Former Braves Prospect Alert!

    Gorkys Hernandez was last seen flailing at a 195 mph (app.) heater from Aroldis Chapman in the 9th inning last night.

  44. @69

    Well, maybe. It seemed like these guys weren’t getting better. There have been whispers his style didn’t mesh with some of them, including Julio.

    It may also just be time for a different voice.

  45. Well, they didn’t tire of Bobby Cox’s voice. They seem to be ok with John Schuerholz. I think you’re right about him not potentially meshing well, and if there’s a concern about him developing young pitching, then he simply can’t be the Braves’ pitching coach for the foreseeable future.

    It does give me a little bit of anticipation that some players that had been previously given up on (I was pretty tired of Mom Jeans Blair), so Hernandez could end up being the biggest offseason acquisition, which is hard to say about any baseball coach/manager.

    I’m getting pretty juiced about next year. We may not be a contender, but we’ll definitely be respectable and trending upward.

  46. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to acquiring a large contract SP to “buy prospects” and Matt Cain comes to mind.

    Hypothetical Trade:
    SFGiants get Arodys Vizcaino, Rob Whalen, and Nick Markakis
    Braves get Matt Cain, Tyler Beede, and Steve Duggar

  47. @75
    We are talking about the Cain that is owed 21 million in ’18 with a 7.5MM buyout in ’19 and has pitched 90, 60, and 89 innings with a 5.13 ERA over the last 3 years.

  48. Yeah, seems like they would want to give Cain away. He’s pretty far down my list of reclamation projects to acquire. Liriano or Kazmir would be higher up.

  49. @74
    In that scenario, Braves would be buying 2 prospects for 28 million by using surplus, but also ridding themselves of Markakis and his 22 million dollars. So breakdown…

    Braves add 6MM in payroll, acquire Cain, Beede, and Duggar (13 years of MLB control)
    Giants subtract 6MM in payroll, add Markakis, Vizzy, and Whalen (10 years of MLB control)

  50. Anyone think Price is a reasonable target? Boston has to feel like they overpaid him at this point after yet another playoff implosion. $30 Mill a year for 17-18 with an opt out after 18, $31 mill in 19 and $32 in 20 to 22. Would give a workhorse lefty that may not cost a ton in prospects and we have the $ to spend.

  51. I think Price would still cost a good bit in prospects — more than I’d want to give up and still be on the hook for $30+ million per year, anyway. For $30 million this year, he put up 4.5 fWAR, which means he was right at the market average for cost of wins.

  52. I can’t see Boston trading Price. He had a down year and should still have some CY type seasons in him. The playoff implosions are one of those things. You’re always dealing with a “small sample size” with playoff performances, and you can’t be sure it’s not just a fluke.

    Now, Zack Greinke, he could be on the block, but I bet Arizona tries to see where they are with Pollock back and potential rebounds from Miller and Greinke. If they sell low, they’re going to pay a lot of that absurd contract.

  53. I don’t think Greinke or Price are going to be available this offseason and shouldn’t be. Would be 2 historically bad sell lows.

  54. You may be right that Price would cost more than I think in prospects (82), but I honestly don’t see how the situations are that different between Greinke and Price (83).

    Last year bWAR Price 3.0, Greinke 2.3, Greinke is 2 years older I’ll grant you and his contract is slightly higher (though for 1 less year), but the cases seem pretty similar to me.

  55. @72 the local sports talk curmudgeon (really narrows the field huh?) claimed the pitchers were a bunch of sissies who couldn’t handle a real baseball man and needed their hands held.

  56. WRT to David Price and the post Season Blues – remember that before 2002 Barry Bonds wasn’t a post-season performer either.

  57. You’re not clutch until you’re clutch. LeBron wasn’t in MJ’s territory until he got one more title. That kinda stuff is ridiculous.

  58. Point taken, though Bonds had one nice postseason (2002) and 6 other first round exits including 2003 where he was pretty bad, so I’m not sure 1 good post season with a lot of “help” really proves anything. It’s not that I believe in clutch, it’s that Price for whatever reason has horribly in the postseason over quite a few starts now. Whether it’s predictive or not, I would think Boston has to wonder if they can count on him the next time they are in the playoffs.

  59. I had David Price on my fantasy baseball team. The guy had a weird season: He was either totally dominant or totally hittable. He put together a few nice streaks of dominant starts in a row, but when he didn’t have it, man he didn’t have it, and it wasn’t just 2 or 3 starts. There were 8 or 9 where he dug a deep, deep hole for his team.

  60. The Chuck Hernandez hire gives me pause for taking on a bad starting pitcher contract. If the Braves feel confident they can develop their young pitching, they’re really better off getting some retreads and seeing what sticks. With the payroll and excess talent at some positions, they should look at trading for a player a year or two from free agency and signing him to an extension. Simply put, we may decide to do the opposite of the Justin Upton or Jason Heyward trades.

  61. It looks like Braves tried to sneak 4 guys through waivers and only 1 was claimed (Jed Bradley). Marksberry, Castro, and McKirahan all outrighted to either AAA or AA. Puts 34 on the current 40-man roster with Cunniff, Kelly, and Weber being 3 more likely casualties at some point and Bonifacio for sure being gone after World Series end. Biddle, Paco, Whalen, and Winkler all being 60-day DL guys have to be activated, waived, or released at that point as well.

    Doing the Math 34-1+4-3=34. There’s still going to be a big 40-man roster crunch.

  62. @92, exactly–let’s trade for Sale and rework his contract into an 8-year deal for a front-loaded $200 mil or so. Give him $30 in year one and then taper down til he’s a bargain in our prime contending window

  63. Does anyone have a list of prospects that would be subject to the rule 5 draft, if not added to the 40 man roster?

  64. @96
    Yup…there’s more than this but the rest are org fillers:
    Max Fried
    Lucas Sims
    Rio Ruiz
    Connor Lien
    Zach Bird
    Matt Lipka
    Joseph Odom
    Johan Camargo

    Steve Kent
    Emerson Landoni
    Victor Mateo
    Willians Astudillo
    Enderson Franco
    Carlos Franco
    Oriel Caicedo
    Omar Obregon
    Joey Meneses
    Carlos Castro

    Zach Quintana
    Luis Valenzuela
    Sean Kazmar
    Blake Lalli
    Jordan Pacheco
    Braeden Schlehuber
    Rob Wooten
    Jimmy Moran
    David Peterson
    Levi Hyams
    Wes Parsons
    Steve Janas
    Tyler Brosius
    Reed Harper
    Jacob Schrader
    Ryan Gebhardt
    Erison Mendez

  65. By the way, the above information is from @BravesOptionsGuy on Twitter. A must follow if you’re on there.

  66. I don’t see any package for Sale that doesn’t start with Dansby Swanson and contain multiple other high-end prospects. The White Sox need to make a killing if they decide to trade him (and they are under no particular pressure to do so) — they’re not going to trade him for a Justin Upton-type package.

  67. Gotcha.

    Here’s who I THINK is currently on the 40 man.

    Infielders 6

    d’Arnaud (Needs to step up production to make the First Name Cliub)

    Outfielders 4 (Once Bonifaccio is outrighted)


    Pitchers 21

    W. Perez

    Catchers 2


    Still on 60 Day DL


    So, if we count the 4 on the 60 day DL, there are 37 players who have spots. Cunniff looks to be an easy cut, as does Kelly. I’d like to keep Roe around, but he may be a casualty as well. Biddle might be exposed to the draft, so those four knock us down to 33. 32 if Recker is outrighted with a plan to bring him back after the winter meetings.

    So who do the Braves add from the list @97?


    seem to be obvious adds. Who else?

  68. I think Cunniff and Kelly get cut, and they keep Roe. With the amount of injury risks for next year’s bullpen, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way of staying on the 25-man next year.

    I don’t think you need to add Lien, Janas, and Parsons to the 40-man, especially Parsons. I’d imagine Lien and Janas will pass through Rule 5 especially since you can probably find similar players off the scrap heap and cut them loose whenever you want them. No one is going to want to put those guys on an ML roster for a year.

  69. Really, I think the Rule 5/40 man stuff answers an important question: who are the 2017 Braves? If we’re one of the worst teams in baseball, then you can easily answer whether or not someone should be exposed by asking if a team like us would want that player on their ML roster all year. But if we’re truly better than “one of the worst teams in baseball”, then it does become more complicated. But if we’re better than “one of the worst teams in baseball” then… heck yes. That makes me happy.

  70. @102 & 103

    On 40-man roster additions: I don’t think anyone will claim Lien, Parsons, or Janas for their MLB 40-man roster, but unless they’re added to AAA, they’ll be subject to the Minor League portion of the Rule-5. I think Sims and Fried will be the only further additions.

    I also think that exposing Jed Bradley (claimed by the Orioles) and Marskberry (outrighted) is a tell-tale sign that they’re going to roll with Biddle for now and at least give him an opportunity in ST.

    On other cuts: I think it’s obvious that Kelly and Cunniff try to get squeezed through waivers by Winter meetings (when other additions start being contemplated) if they haven’t been traded to other teams (I do feel that Braves will at least try to trade these guys to continue re-stocking the farm). So, subtract those guys. Collmenter, Hursh, W.Perez, Chase D., and Recker are the other questionable guys out there and as stated before, I wouldn’t be surprised if Braves try to shop all of the above before trying to pass them through waivers. Regardless, I think 2-3 of the above list aren’t on the 40-man when the season begins.

    But then comes the new wave: Newcomb, Albies, Minter, Dirks, Phillips, Pfeiffer, D.Peterson, D. Moore. Not all of those guys are going to get callups during the year, but many will and guys like Newcomb, Albies, and Minter have chances to break camp with the team. Factor in some of those guys with the guys the Braves are likely to sign (2-3 starting pitchers, a catcher, a few bench players) and it gets crowded.

  71. I don’t see Newcomb making the team out of ST considering the Braves will probably need to give opportunities to guys that are at a “put up or shut up” point (like Wisler, Jenkins, Blair, etc.), and the FAs they’ll sign. If they do what they did last year with guys like Bud Norris and Chacin, then I think they give Newcomb a couple-few months to refine his command.

    Of course, a lot can happen between now and ST.

  72. @Rob
    I don’t think there’s much of a chance for Newcomb to break camp in the bigs. However, he is in instructs and getting good reports. If he goes to ST and is lights out, there’s a chance. A slim one.

    I’ve got a piece coming out over at TT that discusses our surplus and where the bulging of the pipe is occurring. I think there are quite a few that get traded this offseason.

  73. Isn’t the lesson of this postseason’s elimination games that one can’t possibly undermanage?

  74. I think Dave Roberts did what you should do in an elimination game. He brought his closer in during the difficult innings and had his Ace (TM) ready to throw an inning.

    Fredi would have trotted out every goober in the pen and only used his stud if he had a lead in the 9th.

  75. 118 — I’m definitely okay with that. Thought it was a little overeager to pull his starter as early as he did.

  76. Im glad Snitker got job .. he realtes well with players and they love him and I like how he uses bullpen … FG would leave a guy out there 2 and 3 hitters too long …. but hiring Washington kinda hangs him over Sitkers head .. dont think that was right to do that .. he is well respected but Snitker gonna be looking over his shoulder all year …. IMO

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