The Burmese Railroad: Barves 6, Phillies 7, but swept out with the trash

Where do we go to consider the weekend of discontent? The Barves were embarrassed over and over. Then, today we have Mike Foltynewicz. Surely he will give us a good performance. Not quite. He Barved it up to 5 runs, all “earned,” in 4 innings.

Why the Burmese Railroad. Although “Bridge on the River Kwai” is fictional, it does give you the gist of what happened. Thousands of British troops surrendered to the Japanese in the fall of Malaya and Burma. If a few of you are “young un’s” now they call Burma, Myanmar. They were hauled off in humiliating style to live in horrible conditions. They were killed if they didn’t jump up and go work as ordered.

Among those orders were to complete a railway to allow Japanese attacks toward India to be supplied by a railroad from Rangoon. To do this required construction through an area with high ridges intersected by many swift rivers. So it was blast, pick, haul dirt and rock out, bridge, and start blasting again. The Barves experienced this humiliation by being beaten 4 straight times by a team that seems to be a lesser force than the Barves less than mediocre crew.

After getting only 1 run through 6 innings off of something called Nick Pivetta, the guys seemed to lift up their lunch pails and swing them a little in the late innings. 3 in the 7th made it 7 to 4. Then, 1 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.

It appears that the FO (that’s Varsity speech for a frozen orange drink, you know, naked dog walking, etc.) couldn’t trade any of our rentals for anything that they thought was worth more than the right of its patrons to continue to see Kurt Suzuki, Brandon Phillips, and several more players.

156 thoughts on “The Burmese Railroad: Barves 6, Phillies 7, but swept out with the trash”

  1. No doubt Suzuki has played the last few days with no Flowers to try to showcase him to scouts.

    So nobody wants Brandon Phillips? He would cost the other team nothing and is on pace for a 2 WAR season.

  2. That money we saved by giving away Garcia is going to be spent on eating the Kemp/Markakis corner OF contract albatross. So we got that going for us. Which is nice.

  3. @2 I doubt they tried. I think its hilarious that the ‘tank’ coincided with roughly back to school…

  4. I’m going to remain contrarian on this and say again: yeah, they kind of cynically created the pretense of competing this season when they’re actually still rebuilding, but the fact that there’s so much butthurt about what was completely predictable is actually weirdly confidence-building.

    I mean, they can execute a plan, and you have to admit, it’s a tough and fairly impressive balancing act to rebuild and keep you caring about the team on the field through late July. They probably didn’t think the pitching would be this bad, and they probably didn’t dare hope the offense would be this good, but for attendance purposes, they got the thing that they intended to happen to happen. And all these prospects, headlined by Acuna now, are coming along. From here, try to de-focus your eyes a little build, and enjoy some baseball.

  5. Isn’t a Nick Pivetta the main character in a soon to be screened buddy cop movie?

  6. Is anybody really upset that the team is not contending this year? Perhaps the most demonstrative was from me, but that was because we just got swept by the worst team in baseball. It’s one thing to not compete this year, and I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s one thing to get laughed out of the park by our hated rivals when they are supposed to be even worse than us. Using that frustration to then say, “You maroon! What did you expect this year?!” Well, not that. And really, the west coast swing against the best teams in baseball went largely well. Once again, the unforgivable sin was not being able to sneak a game against those clowns.

    At the beginning of the year, I was optimistic that we’d be a near .500 team. The SP acquisitions have performed about what you’d expect on the aggregate (Dickey has exceeded, Garcia was as expected, and Colon…), Folty made a move forward, the hitters continued their second half performance on the aggregate, and the pen has been what you’d expect for a bottom half or bottom third team. I was pretty consistent on that, and up until this series, it seemed very realistic. And if we TCB against the teams we need to beat, then we’d be about a .500 team right now. The only frustrating thing is that we should be a little better than we are right now.

  7. And God help all of you if we call up some young players and we play well for the rest of the season. If there is an uptick in play, emergence of some young players, and a reason for optimism in the second half of this year, you’ll hear me for 4 long months say that we could be a playoff team next year. Oh, the humanity…

    So rotation now?


    I could live with that. September?

    Medlen (I could even enjoy watching Wisler if ends up with 20 strong AAA starts at the end of August)

  8. 9 — I love Medlen, but I think he may not be a MLB pitcher anymore. He isn’t really fooling many Triple A teams.

  9. Sims is facing tough competition in his first start, which might not be a bad thing for him. I really hope that we see Medlen at some point as I am looking forward to seeing a pitcher throwing strikes never mind the results.

  10. I’m pleased with those things the Braves did not do at the deadline. Thank you, Johns, for your restraint (although I do wish some team had wanted Kemp, BP and Cakes; JJ, Arodys and Adams).

    The best deals, you know.

  11. Lucas Sims
    while bus crash memory dims
    his much discussed rising heater
    some claim would be a Newton beater.

  12. There is still time to move Adams, Johnson and Phillips.

    However, I wonder if they are gong to go into next season with Freeman playing more third base and keep Adams. If so, it really speeds up our timetable.

    Next season could be:
    Kemp-or whomever

    I have to imagine we move one of Kemp or Cakes )or both. I also think Swanson puts it together. Do we start next season with Acuna and Albies up?

  13. Ozzie Albies
    can we say thank you please
    that he remains untraded
    for aging hacks whose fractious talents faded.

  14. Please, Lord, let’s not hand Dansby the job until he outperforms Johan. I pull for Swanson to win the position. I abhor the thought of it being bestowed upon him.

    On a brighter note, give those bums heck, Lucas. The job’s yours for the taking.

  15. Limiting the scope of one’s frustrations to a smaller sample of games doesn’t make the argument more compelling. The worst team in baseball should be capable of sweeping an under-.500 team if they catch them at the right time. They’re really bad. We’re also, kind of by design, not so good.

  16. @15

    Sir Isaac Newton
    is certainly not rootin’
    for the ball of Lucas Sims
    to rise uphill, according to prelims.

  17. I think Adams get moved but not until the offseason. No sense giving him away just to do it. I could see JJ getting moved in a waiver deal.

    It’s really six of one, half dozen of the other though. JJ’s not bringing back anything of value.

  18. @19

    We’re 2-9 against Philly this year. I do recognize that it happens, of course, but that is one of a few avoidable factors that have shaped our season.

  19. Oh, and now that the deadline has passed, we can double back around and officially call the Garcia trade to Minnesota a pointless endeavor which seriously calls into question whether or not ownership will ever be willing to spend the money that will allow this rebuild to eventually end.

  20. @22

    We would hope that whether Adams get moved out then should very much depend on how much he recovers from the hitting malaise that affected so many at various stages of the road trip from hell.

    He did, you’ll remember, hit a three run homer in LA and a few other hits besides.. He looked exhausted in Philly. We did take a huge risk moving Freddie(his idea) to accommodate him and it has already succeeded from that point of view.

    Why the rush to disparage him? If he can come back to where he was before and now we know Freddie is fine at third Adams becomes very valuable and will be extended.Which was the plan.

  21. @ 11, 24, 25 (& 26?)

    Yes, it’s good we didn’t make any other moves, as it means Coppy didn’t make any more bad trades. On balance, his overall dealing has been negative — his reputation mostly built on the supposed Dansby Swanson “theft” — the only seriously good trades he’s made are the Gohara and Toussaint acquisitions, which hardly balance the horrendous Olivera move.

  22. @28

    The problem with the Toussaint trade is really why the praise for Coppy is a little overblown: he bought a prospect. With money. Clean swap. While everyone was spending their money on, ya know, real players, he just bought a prospect. Was it unique? Yeah, but I just have a huge problem giving the guy so much credit for using his money for prospects while others have to use their money on actually building a competitive team, which I think is significantly harder and has a much smaller margin of error. Stewart, right or wrong, needed money to turn his team into a contender, and Coppy had that.

    I do think the Miller trade was a straight heist. And I continue to argue that if Blair was used more effectively, it would be an even bigger heist. I also think the Justin Upton trade has looked really good. One year of a 3-4 WAR player with a slightly below-market contract produced Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson, and Mallex Smith. One guy is on pace for an almost 2 WAR season (Mallex), Jace can be a very valuable utility player who admittedly can’t hit, Dustin Peterson is 22 in AAA, and Max Fried is a 6’4″ lefty in AA who would be one of the best LHP prospects in almost any system. It’s taken 3 years to even get to this point, though.

  23. I think the Folty for Gattis deal has worked out well for both teams. Gattis’ back wasn’t going to allow him to catch everyday and he can DH in Houston. It will be better if Rio Ruiz produces anything positive.

  24. Also one year of Heyward has turned into one year of Shelby Miller’s career year, Ender Inciarte, and Luke Jackson. That is still a good swap even if Swanson and Blair turn out to be busts.

  25. LOL @ 28. That is…one way of looking at things.

    On Adams, the beat writers have made it pretty clear that if he’s not traded this season, he’ll definitely be traded in the offseason.


    I hadn’t seen this discussed on here, and it’s obviously very appropriate to whether or not the Braves should have sold more at the deadline. Basically, they’re saying that 1 in 5 prospects dealt at the deadline end up being a remotely productive regular. And that makes sense considering a lot of the deadline deals are minor in nature, so a portion of the deals wouldn’t include prospects any reasonable person would expect to deliver.

    I do wonder, however, how the numbers look for the elite prospects. One would assume that a significantly higher percentage of the Gleyber Torres’ and Clint Frazier’s (and the Yoan Moncada’s and Dansby Swanson’s in the offseason) will fit their description of a productive major leaguer. If those players don’t pan out at a high rate, then it does make it seem like trading big players at the deadline may not make sense in some cases. Of course, those players are always currency to acquire down the road until it’s proven they won’t pan out. But I think no one would assume the returns for Hunter Cervenka or Jeff Francoeur or Erick Aybar or Bud Norris would, on the aggregate, produce a lot of major league players. But to braves14’s point, you can package up these lesser returns to turn it into a bigger return (Alex Jackson).

  27. Thank you, cliff, for the history lesson. I am satisfied with the rebuild to date. I am ready for the next step. Like blazon, I’m ready to toss the babies in the pond.

  28. Kyle Wright to A+. Niiiiiiice. I bet he starts next year in AA and they’d look at him for a 2019 rotation spot.

  29. Coppy’s trades have mostly been positive because of our position on the win curve: most trades by non-contending teams bring in more talent than they give up. The 2 worst trades of his tenure were when he ignored our position and tried to bring in a 31 year old win-now “prospect” and when he insisted on saving money in the Kimbrel deal.

    Coppy has also managed to avoid the Twin’s mistake which is the belief that lots of low level talents will prove a better return than a few high-ceiling ones. I love the Garcia trade not because I’m so high on Ynoa, but because Ynoa is precisely the type of huge upside potential lower payroll teams must have in order to compete. The Twinks return from the Yankees, while superficially better, pans out as a 5th starter and a middle reliever as the best case scenario. Color me unimpressed.

  30. The Garcia trade might have been good if the line of trying to free up money for something else weren’t utter bullcrap. But we weren’t freeing it up for something else, so we basically traded Garcia for money, so much money that we had to throw Anthony Recker into the deal, and got back a prospect who very likely won’t do anything in the bargain. If we wanted prospects, we should’ve traded him for prospects. The Yankees got two prospects for him, and the general consensus is they got a better deal for him than us like a week after getting him.

    How this cannot be seen as a huge red flag is completely beyond me. At least for anyone who’s actually more interested in having a winning major league team than a farm system. If we’re trading players for salary relief still, with no purpose other than the salary relief, we’re in deep trouble.

    We’re never gonna get over the top with just our farm system. It doesn’t work that way. At some point, we’ll need to spend money to bring in players, and there’s a serious question whether that will ever happen. If it doesn’t, we’re the mid-to-late 90s Pirates.

  31. Nothing makes up for the Olivera thing. They kicked the can down the road with Kemp and that boat anchor will be with us for another 2 years. You decided on a complete tear-down/rebuild, and at the same time saddled yourself with long-lived corner OF contracts that are expensive relative to the player’s production levels, and whose production doesn’t even matter on a rebuilding team…none of it makes one bit of sense. I can’t trust anyone that would do this to also oversee a full rebuild. No chance.

  32. @38, they bought Ynoa for around $6 million … in what universe is that a good use of resources?

  33. @41

    I don’t think that’s an accurate evaluation. Garcia was owed $12M. $6M came back. Garcia, at $6M going to Twins, had surplus value, which one could argue created the return of Ynoa. The $6M coming back was in leui of receiving a higher return than only Ynoa. At least that’s the why I’m perceiving it.

  34. @42

    And why would we want the $6 million instead of the higher return? Even if you’re right, that’s the crux of the problem.

  35. @32

    Stu…could you explain why? makes no sense to me

    So the big Freeman swapround was just to see out the rest of the season.?

    I remember Freddie saying back then they all wanted to keep Adams’ bat in the line up.

    Are you/they saying he can’t hit sfter all?

  36. @42, we paid for a half season of Garcia at around $6M … actually closer to $7M since the deadline is a little past the halfway point of the season. It doesn’t matter *at all* how well he pitched for us. We could have replaced those innings with any number of arms from the minor leagues for the minimum. His production should not factor in to the value equation, not on a team projected to win 70 games.

    At best he was a flippable asset, and we used him to buy a high-risk prospect, for more money than a high-risk prospect is worth.

  37. spike, what was that reason to believe lyric you posted a few threads ago? I can’t find it now due to cognitive malfunction.

  38. The organization is not trying to win it’s trying to not lose enough to not have a boring unneeded stadium look mostly empty. There is a massive difference in trying to win and what we are doing.

  39. And why wouldn’t you want Albies and Swanson to get experience working together in the infield?

    I just … just … this organization is a 404 error. Even when it tries to do something right, it gets it wrong.

  40. I’d rather lose 110 games this year and next. At least the plan would make sense. The half-assing-it plan can’t work.

  41. Where do we think Albies will play tonight? Camargo has been struggling at SS lately and Phillips has been hot (unless there’s a trade brewing or DL stint that we don’t know of).

  42. blazon,

    ACTUALLY, Matt Adams was acquired to avoid total suckitude while Freeman was injured. No other reason. With his salary, the FO thought they could move him at the deadline and that Freeman would be back by then.

    Adams overperformed what anybody expected. The team started overperforming a little. So, when Freeman asked about the move, the FO said “fine.”

    There was almost no market to move a first baseman. The Yankees and the Indians could have made sense as buyers for Adams, but nobody else.

    Adams has one more year of control by arb. He is making 2.8 or so this year which probably maxes him at 5 to 6 for next year.

    If FO doesn’t think they get a suitable offer on Adams and if they don’t think they have an internal 3B solution at least as good as a Adams and Freeman against righties, (RH 3B) and Freeman against lefties kind of platoon, then they may keep him. I know FO PREFERS not to have the 5 to 6 salary.

  43. @54

    Yes, let’s all distract ourselves from the organizational dumpster fire with these cynically-timed prospect call-ups! Hooray!!!!

  44. Wow, Albies now. Crazy. Today, though, is really the first day where Phillips, in theory, became more valuable.

  45. Very few teams go immediately from total suckitude to contention. The ’91 Braves were a story because they were unusual. We tanked most of 2015 and 2016, now we’re slowly getting better. Someone has to play RF and start games and eat innings while we bring the kids along. Kemp is the only large contract on the books past next year for a guy who isn’t likely to be a “piece” on our next playoff team – and even his deal is probably moveable to an AL team if we so choose.

    The Olivera deal was a dud – no question – but it doesn’t invalidate the whole rebuild.

  46. Kemp’s deal is not movable. We’re gonna eat every penny one way or another. I’m willing to step back off the ledge a little bit, but not on this front.

  47. We were never going to win this year and the FO showed great restraint in not mortgaging the farm for Gray this year so 2018 should be a year with some hope that if things break the right way this may be a playoff team.

    I believe in what they are trying to do and hopefully they’ve identified the right prospects to build upon, time will tell.

    With every promotion our #1 rated farm system comes closer to paying dividends and I choose to be excited that the wait on some of these guys is nearly over.

  48. 44 & 56—The argument floated by the beat writers over the past couple of weeks as it became increasingly unlikely (decreasingly likely?) that Adams would be moved is that in the offseason, you’d have 29 other teams who think themselves contenders, so all with holes at first base, as opposed to just those with credible 2017 playoff odds with holes at first base, could enter the bidding.

    59 & 61—Nicely said, and I’m with y’all. Some folks here just love being miserable.

  49. We have a gaping hole at 3B, so keeping him makes sense too. The team gets better faster by fixing the OF. Will be hard to fix that before 2019.

  50. Kemp’s deal is not *currently* moveable unless the Braves took on a lot of the remaining contract ($21.5M/year through 2019). However, I could certainly see some team be willing to give the Braves a token prospect in a mid-season deal for Kemp next year if he is hitting as well as he did in the 1st half of this season. Seems likely that Acuna will force his way into regular playing time by June 2018 (if not April) and the Braves are going to have to figure out what to do with Kemp/Cakes one way or another.

    Side note – Kemp and Markakis both have exactly 0.0 fWAR on the season.

  51. Remember Braves are already getting $3.5 million per year to help pay Kemp so we are talking 2/$36 million. I could see ATL eating $10-$16 million to get him off the books. Kakes is $10.5 million next year only could be easier to move than we think in the offseason.

  52. You could kill a few birds with one stone by moving Kemp to 1B. Keeps him healthier since his hamstrings don’t seem to be holding up nowadays, minimizes his defensive deficiencies, opens up a spot for Acuna, and if he stays healthy and mashes at 1B, then it will be easier to deal him. And really, the dude’s waistline is moving in the wrong direction.

  53. 2018/2020

    C Flowers/A Jackson
    1b Adams/Freeman
    2b Albies/Albies
    ss Swanson/Swanson
    3b Freeman/Maitan
    LF Kemp/Pache
    CF Inciarte/Inciarte
    RF Acuna/Acuna

    SP Teheran/Teheran
    SP Folty/Folty
    SP Newcomb/Allard
    SP Dickey/Soroka
    SP Sims/Wright/Sims/Newcomb/Touki/Gohara

    Not a bad place to be.

  54. It’s pretty much all Acuna, or an OF from outside the org. Though could get above avg power at 1B, 3B and C to go with RF.

  55. DOB has three guys manning LF tonight so that’s something new:

    #Braves lineup: Inciarte 8, Santana 7, Freeman 3, Adams 7, Flowers 2, Markakis 7, Albies 4, Camargo 6, Sims RHP

    It’s actually Adams in LF and Santana at 3B which is interesting.

  56. Freeman is playing first tonight with Adams in LF. Albies is starting at 2b and Santana is at 3b. Phillips has the day off.

  57. Handsprings and backflips here. Ozzie! Hoorah!

    @69: please do not concede shortstop to Swanson. He got one hit at AAA and struck out twice; and that’s his best showing in memory.

  58. Wow, Sims AND Albies! Looking forward to passing judgement on the success/failure of the rebuild based on tonight’s results!

  59. After 45 years, Stu, I’ve spoiled her to the point nobody else would have her.

    I HOPE Dansby WINS the position. It’s the entitlement that irritates me.

  60. If Adams could play a not-awful LF that might change some things.

    If that doesn’t work, playing 3 guys in LF might improve our all-important corner OF defense though.

  61. He’s so entitled that he got benched and demoted on a team that’s double-digit games out of the playoff race. I think he needs better entitlements.

  62. @83: it’s pitiful he got benched and demoted simply because he could neither hit nor field. That’s just not fair!

    My ire is spent. I surrender to the collective wisdom.

  63. Who’s got two thumbs and is going to see Kyle Wright tonight in Dunedin?! This guy! (You’ll have to take my word for it that I pointed to myself with the two aforementioned thumbs.)

  64. I think the evidence points to Dansby being used more than him being entitled. I think it’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’d sure like to focus on building a career that could pay him a cool couple hundred million vs. making a cheap ass franchise some quick cash because they needed to tank.

  65. @86: I agree completely. I look forward to hearing what you think about Kyle Wright. I hope he exceeds your greatest expectations.

  66. Looks like the team has already said Ozzie will get the playing time at second. Makes me wonder if BP nixed a trade — he might be more amenable if he’s not getting playing time.

  67. @86, Right on. I’ve indulged in Dansby snark but I don’t want to be confused about where my aim is directed, which is straight at the FO. The kid himself, as far as I know, deserves no scorn.

  68. @91, I saw a Tweet or something from someone or another that Freddie is going back to first and Adams is gonna stick in LF for the rest of the season. Phillips is going to be tried at 3B.

  69. It definitely doesn’t look good when everyone is playing all over the yard, they’re trying to trade him, and he’s basically saying, “I’ll play in Atlanta at second base.” I like Atlanta’s way of saying, “Ya know what, no you’re not.”

  70. Albies is my prospect crush, so it actually makes tonight’s game pretty exciting, even if the circumstances that led to the callup are possibly a bit crazy.

    I’d prefer they ship out all the placeholder vets before the callup, just so our hopefuls aren’t exposed to jaded bigshots.

  71. And they said Adams is going to be getting the majority of the time in LF. So when Kemp comes off the DL what happens?

  72. Snap Sims impression: Ball has some giddy-up even on pitches only 91. Will have to work on keeping the ball down, though. I can see that when he gets in trouble he leaves the ball up, IMO.

    I like his demeanor and mound presence. I can tell that he is a competitor as they were saying.

  73. whatever happens this inning, Santana should have had that.

    the FO or whoever came up with this lineup/defense is really not helping Sims in his debut.

  74. That was the E-5est double I’ve seen lately.

    Good play, Tyler.

    The rest of the year’s an audition. Which part fits where?

  75. At the beginning of the year, on August 1st, I figured we’d have Lucas Sims on the mound, Albies at 2nd, Matt Adams in LF, and Danny Santana playing 3B. Yeah, right.

    I like this Lucas Sims guy. I also really like this Kyle Wright guy too, even if I only caught one of his innings.

  76. @116, When Maeda was squaring, Sims read his body language and adjusted his sight line/arm slot to throw up and in.

    VERY savvy.

  77. @114 – I’m assuming you saw his second inning? If so, you missed him mow down Bichette, Biggio, and Guerrero Jr. Not too shabby.

  78. Tyler has him pitching backwards a lot tonight. That’s pretty smart, but the fastball location needs to improve if he wants to make it through the lineup one more time.

    All in all a promising first impression. That change up is very nice.

  79. Sims does look good; I’ve been hearing about his stuff for 5 years now and I like what I see so far. Did I hear correctly that all 5 Dodger hits so far have come with two strikes? Obviously command with 2 strikes is something a young pitcher will need to work on.

  80. he’s been getting ahead of everyone, but then having trouble putting them away, thats the cause of the high pitch count.

    still looks good overall so far and hopefully not a head case like some other pitchers….

  81. @114–at the beginning of the year, I was indeed anticipating Albies at second and Sims on the mound by August 1. I would not have predicted Adams in left and Santana at third, but I would have been happy to know that it would not be Kemp in left and Garcia at third. I’d feel better about the latter if we had been able to trade either of them for anything.

  82. I’m telling you guys, Freddie F. is not right, I don’t think its a matter of regressing to the mean.
    He’s popping out in the infield way more often and not making contact on swings like he was a while ago. (eye test; no numbers to back it up).

    The shoulder might be causing this, and it might be why he’s at first today.

  83. @126 Reminds me of “Blake Bortles has thrown 80 touchdown passes to a combined 9 NFL teams.”

  84. Freddie jammed his wrist a few weeks ago diving back into first. He’s been terrible since. Coincidence? Who knows. Our announcing crew didn’t even mention it, because they barely watch the games, but a lot of us saw it.

  85. 132 — I remember it happening too. Matt Adams did something similar in the same game and he has also tailed off.

  86. Sac bunt down a run is a terrible play. Play for one run and that’s the most you’re likely to get.

    Or more likely when you give away outs you don’t score any more. Outs are precious. When you’re down to six of them–and you’re trailing!–why give them away?

  87. @120

    I did, which was impressive in its own right. But yes, his first inning, from what I heard. was even more impressive.

    I doubt Wright is in A+ long.

  88. In addition to Sims’ impressive debut, the organization tonight got good starts from Medlen, Fried, Wright, Anderson, and Muller.
    Fried has been a disappointment this year, but he’s working his way back.
    I don’t really expect much from Medlen, but it would be great fun to see him in Atlanta this season. His phenomenal stretch for a couple of months in 2012 was a highlight of the last decade of Braves watching.

  89. @147 Interested to see what Medlen’s ERA vs a lineup the first two times through. He seems to fade late in games. I think he could be a long relieve at the club right now.

    Also, Ricardo Sanchez had a long outing after Wright at A+.

  90. Just checking in, Sims looks like a bust? I’d say that’s a pretty strong outing against That lineup

  91. Sims did pretty well. He also showed a good pickoff move — throwing one runner out at 1st base and nearly nabbing a 2nd runner at 2nd base. And he looks like he fields his position well…that one line drive that he caught over his head looked like what Maddux used to do.

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