Rockies 3, Braves 0

Some of the Braves wore aliases on their uniforms this weekend. None were noticed with paper bags over their heads yet, but that is surely coming.

Mark Reynolds hit a 2 run homer off of A.J. Minter in the 6th, an unnecessary abuse, as the Rockies had already salted away the game with a run in the 2nd.  Mike Foltynewicz labored through 97 pitches in 5 innings, striking out 6 while allowing 4 hits, 3 walks, and the aforementioned run of doom. A number of other players also participated.

There are only 31 pitchers in the National League with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title – essentially 2 per team. The Braves have 3 such qualifiers, unfortunately Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran rank 27th and 28th in ERA respectively (R.A. Dickey is 19th.)

At least they’re eating a few innings, but 32 starts such as today’s will still leave you short of qualifying for the ERA title. A number that was once expected as a minimum is becoming a feat. From 2010 – 2016 the number of NL qualifiers were 45, 50, 46, 46, 43, 38, 30. Baseball is seemingly quickly evolving toward the days of the 16 man bullpen.

The Braves dropped 2 of 3 from the Rockies and end the home stand 3 and 6. On to Philadelphia Monday.

The funniest thing I ever heard about Colorado: I got nothing.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

43 thoughts on “Rockies 3, Braves 0”

  1. Nice recap.

    There was a debate on Twitter in response to Chip’s comment on the broadcast that he thought pitchers were throwing less strikes. Apparently that’s not true, and pitchers are throwing more strikes than they did 25 years ago. But man, between Newcomb, Folty, and Teheran, there are a ton of 20-pitchers-per-inning starts in this rotation. They nibble, they can’t finish off hitters, and they walk a ton of guys. Obviously didn’t matter in this start since we didn’t even scratch a run, but man, it’s a tough game to watch.

  2. Not sure what you mean by another season in hell. I think I could even have survived the last season under Fredi for a paltry 10 to 15 million.

  3. If the season were to end today, the Braves would be picking 8th in the draft. If we played .500 ball the rest of the way, and every other team continued their pace (obviously very hypothetical), we would pick 9th. There are only 3 teams within 3 games of them for the race to the bottom. But fret not, we play the Phillies 6 more times by the end of the year, so we should end up with a high pick!

  4. If Ozzie Albies kept his production through 600 PAs, he would have a 4.4 fWAR, and that’s without successful base stealing really factoring into his game at all. Over Dansby’s last 62 PAs, he is hitting .340/.452/.480 with a 145 wRC+.

  5. #8 – Before Camargo got hurt I really think the FO would have been willing to move Albies for a starter this offseason. Now, Im hoping that’s changed. Keep all of them and let Rio/Camargo platoon at 3B. Camargo can get some spot starts at SS/2B.

  6. We’re still one of the worst teams in baseball even if Albies and Swanson are playing well…and they won’t always play well.

    Pitching is bottom of the league, and OF is bottom of the league. Neither is easy to fix.

  7. Acuna fixes one OF spot, if not in 2018 then shortly thereafter. I expect he’ll contribute more than Cakes or Kemp next year. I also expect next year’s pitching to improve in entertainment value as the kids come to town. Whether any break through to big league mediocrity is up for grabs, but I’m looking forward to seeing them work.

  8. Looks like we’ll have Rhys Hoskins to contend with in the NL East for a while to come. Advantage: Phillies.

  9. I see a ton of these Albies/Swanson posts that I think are tangentially referencing my posts and opinions, LOL. Yay, narcissism.

    I don’t think I ever said that I thought these guys belong in the Rookie League at Danville.

    But I do think that many on here believe that at least in the case of Albies that he is a building block type of player that you’d build a franchise around.

    Probably less at this point for Salad. But maybe still some.

    I haven’t waivered from my opinion that neither are franchise turnaround-ers. When I said that I felt OA was overrated, it was stemming more from what I would expect from a guy ranked 8-12 in all of miLB as far as his potential impact on a franchise. I do not see him having anywhere near that type of impact at 155 lbs and 5-7.

    I also think that it has been so long since the Braves were truly competitive that the fanbase and defacto BJ have ‘lowered the bar’ on what their goals are for players. Just not having the worst player by WAR at a position etc. is not exactly anything to be excited about.

    The fact is that overall, this 25 man roster sucks at a ton of positions. The SP situation is abysmal, the relief corps is pretty bad, catcher is solid, 1B is solid to spectacular, 2B and SS are solid to below league average, 3B is a mess, the corner OFs are an abject disaster and CF is the type of player that I don’t think contributes to a playoff type of team. Just my opinion. EI would be great in 1985 or 1922. It’s 2017.

  10. I like Albies. He’s gonna be a nice player (for someone…). Might add a win or two. We need to add 20 to 25 wins to this roster…

  11. Chief, I personally am not. I have my own bullish thing with Sean Rodriguez, so who am I to throw stones? Of course, I think you’re hugely undervaluing any player who lacks power but possesses other value-generating things like hit tool, speed, and defense, but that’s on you. I will say, it would be unfair to lump Chief Nocahoma in for the next several years in any mention of a 4+ WAR player who could be deserving of a lot of compliments. There really can’t be this appearance of a backhand at Chief when you say something good about Albies or Swanson.

    I think it is overblown how far we are away. Take the 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers. Won 91 games, didn’t win the World Series, but they were a good solid team to be proud of. Considering the Braves haven’t won a playoff series since 2003 or whatever, I think we ought to be perfectly fine with a NL East-winning 91 win performance in 2018. They had 6 3+ fWAR players. Six. Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Justin Turner all turned in really good seasons, Kershaw and Maeda in the rotation, and Kenley Jansen in the pen. Everyone else was just kinda solid. Chase Utley was the 5th-highest WAR generator on the offensive side. Chase Utley.

    The 1995 Braves had 3 on the pitching side (the Big Three) and one on the offensive side (Justice). The rest were just really solid. Unless I’m not understanding WAR in 1995, I think you can point to a lot of teams that have really solid rosters and won big. I read somewhere that the team that leads the league in home runs has never won a World Series, and someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    The key, key problem is the starting pitching. Over half of our pitchers this year have been replacement level or worse. If Newcomb, Teheran, and Folty can’t put in a streak of 6-7 strong starts to end the season, then I don’t think there’s much hope for next season. If they don’t package up some of these high minors prospects and spare parts at the ML level for some 3-5 WAR players, then there’s not much hope for next year. They’ve done it before (Tim Hudson, Javy Vazquez, Fred McGriff, JD Drew, Edgar Renteria, Omar Infante, and even ole Dan Uggla before the extension), and they need to do it again.

  12. @15 you’re correct that you’re never going to have 8 position player stars in ATL with this payroll, etc. I understand that. We have 1. And I even think that he is slightly overrated. Yes, I said it.

    The guys on here make it fun and I don’t even mind being wrong etc. While I’m not ‘playing a role of heel’ I really don’t care either way.

    And I have said MANY times before, all of us are Braves FANATICS or we wouldn’t be on a Braves blog, etc. we’d be sitting in the Chophouse or whatever they call it now, drinking beers swiping left or right not paying attention to the game, really.

    And yes, you’re correct. The Braves biggest problem isn’t even lack of power although that is one, it is SP. The situation frankly seems hopeless, IMO. They’ve dug their heels in on spending money on them (FA or via trade) and seem to just be praying that some of these AAAA or young guys will hit.

    Until the status quo with SP changes the team will not get any better and may even be worse. I can honestly see next year being worse than this season, potentially.

  13. It’s kind of funny that we haven’t heard much from Coppy lately. They wrote $30M in contracts on SPs, and they got all of about 2 WAR (maybe 2.5 WAR by the end of the season) and only saved themselves $5M in a mid-season deal. That’s $10M/WAR, and that’s only because Jaime Garcia was fairly valuable. They’ll get a do-over with that money in 2018, and I’d imagine Coppy will be on the hot seat if he doesn’t do better with that money.

  14. Fixing the bullpen should be easy. We’ve got all these arms in the minors…right? Let’s start using some of them.

  15. I agree with both Rob Cope and Chief (that was fun to type) that starting pitching is the huge question mark for next year. Because we really have no starting pitcher who has demonstrated that we can count on him, there is a decent chance that this team could be worse next year than this.

    On the other hand, Julio could regain his form, Folty could finally take the next step forward, and sims and Newk could make strides forward.

    More importantly, I really am bullish on the next wave of young pitchers. Gohara, soroka, and Allard have had fantastic seasons and could be top of the rotation starters. But I’ll be surprised if any of them are ready next year (the latter 2 will just be 20!). The ones a year or two behind them (Wright, Anderson, wentz, Wilson, Touki) may also be that good. But certainly not next year

  16. Judging the rebuild before most of the impact players from the rebuild are there for a full season is folly. When Albies, Swanson, Acuna, Camargo, Soroka, Allard, Gohara, Minter, and Wright are on the field with FF5, Ender, Newk, and some top FAs/trade candidates, then form opinions.

    Wisler, Blair, and Folty were all wishcasting by the organization, and while they were considered top MLB prospects, they were never considered difference makers as Wisler and Blair had “mid-rotation” ceiling while Folty’s floor was mid-relief (and that’s not my words but prospect gurus). The crop above is where the Braves either prove the rebuild worked or they fire a bunch of people for providing false hopes.

    Either way, it’s too early and people judging sound like an old, disgruntled, sweaty man sitting on the porch in a rocking chair complaining of the heat when there’s AC 5 steps away.

  17. We’re the ones who said 2020 at the earliest. Coppy is the one saying “right now”. Who’s at fault here?

  18. Coppy’s made some bad statements to the press that have called for disappointment, but his statement regarding 2017 was to be “competitive”, maybe push for a Wild Card. They were a .500 ballclub for a hot minute, but the goal hasn’t been reached. He never said “right now” in referring to the window, but did say the rebuild was over, meaning that the majority of the trade of stars was over, and that has been true.

    However, 2018 is supposed to be the year to re-establish the team and I am hopeful that the 1-year veteran signings are done as well as taking on bad contracts, and hope that the kids like the ones mentioned @21 make a difference and impact free agents and trade acquisitions make the push back to meaningful baseball in September.

  19. @robcope I think Coppy’s silence is honestly some recognition that this isn’t going as they hoped and often people at that level clam up when that is the case.

  20. I for one can’t wait until next spring when the “This year we REALLY REALLY mean it” columns come out about the Braves being competitive.

  21. The funny thing is, Coppy was nearly correct about 2017. We could have been a wildcard contender if we hadn’t gone and traded Andrelton/Wood/arguably Kimbrel. They would’ve changed our record enough to have made us deadline buyers.

    When Gohara arrives, the fun starts.

  22. Honestly, they could trade Adams, Camargo, 2 of Allard/Soroka/Wright/Gohara/Touki/Fried, 1 of Anderson/Wentz/Muller/Wilson, 1 of Harrington/Sanchez, 2 of DPete/Ruiz/Adonis Garcia/Demeritte and you’d flip this crap in about 2 seconds. You’d be a World Series contending team, top third roster in terms of youth, and your farm would still have plenty of talent. I thought they were going to do a smaller version of that last offseason, but the circumstances and their words point to this offseason. Like, what’s their plan otherwise? Be sitting here in June of next year with 11 unproven SPs all deserving of a rotation spot, none of which are locks to be aces by 2019? Yeah, right. The teams with a top 3 farm (White Sox, Braves, Yankees) could buy the bench of an All-Star team with their farms right now.

  23. @28

    You’re right, but I wish I shared your confidence that they’ll actually pull the trigger. I think never trading any of these big prospects and just sitting around hoping magic happens is pretty much what we’re in for, sadly. But what you outline (or something similar to it) is exactly what we need to do.

    Additionally, the number of Braves fans who would be against trading any one of that first group (let alone two) is significant, really regardless of the return.

  24. @28&29
    If the Braves would’ve had this farm 3-4 years ago when the price of prospects was through the roof, then that would’ve been great. Now the script has flipped and the cost for prove front-lined guys (especially pitchers) is taking 3-4 top prospects. If the Braves do that, I think it should be either at the 2018 deadline when the vision is a little less blurred, rather than this offseason. Even after promotions listed @21, there’s still a top-5 farm in the minors, but trading some before the 1st real impact prospect wave has surfaced and either sunk or swam, seems unwise. See who sticks, find the holes, fill them with surplus. Repeat.

  25. @30

    Is there really any data to say that the cost/value of prospects have shifted in the past few years? The problem is that they’re such a volatile asset. It’s hard to draw apples-to-apples comparisons between markets because the prospects themselves are such a fleeting snapshot in time. I’m not so sure we couldn’t trade the equivalent in prospect haul for the equivalent in player like the Justin Upton deal today. Could it be that there’s now a fan-sided over-valuing of prospects? “OH MUH GERD LOOK AT WHAT THE NATIONALS GAVE UP FOR ADAM EATON!” Well, maybe Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez aren’t really that good. You see this a lot on Twitter. Man, they just love to go nuts over prospects.

    Will Mike Soroka really have a markedly different rookie season than Lucas Sims? I mean, we’re ready to put Mike Foltynewicz in the pen, and he’s 25 years old. I think certain segments of the fanbase hype these guys up, and then when they get to the big leagues and they are what they are, the same reaction people seem to think, “Man, that guy was a bust.” Well, not really. He’s not as bad as you think, and he wasn’t as good as you thought.

    But anyway, I think the Braves would be foolish to wait to the deadline. They could make a 3-4 win swing with having those players before the season instead of 3/5 through the season. That’s the difference between contending and not contending, in theory. If Jim Johnson and Bartolo Colon were replaced by league average players, we’d probably have been contenders at the deadline and have been buyers. Why short-change an entire season?

  26. The opening day roster this year was really sub-par, and a signal that the FO is either incompetent or wasn’t trying to win. You decide. I feel like we’ll be asking that question a lot.

  27. Come on. There is no question that they weren’t trying to win.

    You don’t sign Dickey and Colon in mid-November if you have any intention of competing.

  28. As I rock on my front porch while enjoying my morning pipe, I’ve but two things to say: go Braves and get the heck off my lawn.

  29. Rob, here are some small samples for you.

    Sean Rodriguez, 2017 Atlanta Brave: 47 PA, .162/.326/.351
    Sean Rodriguez, 2017 Pittsburgh Pirate: 47 PA, .195/.298/.415

  30. Sean Rodriguez, 2017 Pittsburgh Pirates, first 38 PAs: .242/.342/.515

    You seem to have found the perfect time (after a 0-9 skid) to try to prove your point.

    JJ has 53 IP of an extremely misleading FIP. That’s not a small sample.

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