Driven – The Josh Ravin Story

The Braves game vs. the Mets scheduled for Sunday has been postponed.  The Braves play Monday in Cincinnati.  Now please enjoy this episode of “Driven.”

Josh Ravin gave the Braves 2 Major League innings Friday night; for his efforts, he was driven – to the airport.

Ravin was designated for assignment after the game, reportedly so that the Braves could add a fresh arm to the bullpen. Ravin is not remarkable by any means. 30 years old, he has accumulated only 39 2/3 Major League innings over a 4 year span. He has a very nice 10.5 K/9 rate in his limited appearances, but is undone largely by a 4.4 BB/9. His minor league rates are worse in both categories, although the K rate is still ok.

Ravin was the losing pitcher Friday night, hitting Robert Gsellman with a pitch, and allowing 2 hits and 2 runs in the 12th, after a scoreless 11th. There’s nothing that in his history or in Friday night that cries out that Ravin shouldn’t have been DFA’d. He’ll probably clear waivers.

But the Braves have a history since moving the AAA team to Gwinnett of “rewarding” long relief efforts with a trip back to the minors. I remember a couple of cases with Casey Kelly; maybe you remember some others. For a front office that has yet to make a “win now” type of move, I find it odd that they can’t play 1 game in April with 7 arms in the bullpen instead of 8.

Sure, it’s a business. Part of running a business is how you treat your people.

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.

44 thoughts on “Driven – The Josh Ravin Story”

  1. Nice substitute for the recap.

    I’d be interested to see if any of these “9th relievers”, if you will, will end up getting claimed by another team, or if they’ll be able to keep DFA’ing them and they come out the other end.

  2. Josh Ravin will make no less than $500,000.00 this year, bringing his lifetime earnings in MLB to just over 1.5 mil.

    I’ll save my worry about him living on the quad-A shuttle.

  3. Seems to me that when they find someone that pitches well, he sticks. Carle wasn’t exactly expected to be a bullpen linchpin. I also think Biddle will stick. I like to think the bullpen is being improved from the bottom up at this point. Right now there is only one rotater in the pen – Socolovich. I think the bottom two guys are currently Socolovich and Moylan. If Freeman can’t start throwing strikes then he’s going to put himself in a bad position. Gohara will come up soon – who will go out, Socolovich or Wisler? What about when A. Sanchez comes back? How about if Fried is ready to promote?

    I think AA is going to need to trade some assets. Anybody think a Moustakas for Markakis, Wisler, and Weigel trade might work – maybe add in Ricardo Sanchez, too)? If the Royals can’t take three 40-man guys, maybe swap out R. Sanchez for de la Cruz or something. The Royals OF is a mess and they could get pitchers – a now guy, a soon guy, and a later guy. We have a few obvious guys to dump from the 40-man to accommodate Acuna but trading would make it easier.

  4. They are going to call up Batista unless something unexpected happens.

    Acuna will be up soon (in a sane world).

    Gohara soon. Flowers soon. We’re about to get a lot better on paper.

  5. RE: replay … I’d be willing to keep it if the reviewers were not affiliated with umpires in any fashion. If they can’t or won’t do that, then it should be completely scrapped.

  6. Peanut reporting that Bautista will be in Gwinnett in time for their doubleheader tomorrow, and is on the fast track to ATL as long as he hist AAA pitching.

  7. @5, the problem is still inherit in the act of going to video review at all. If you take a person and sit them down, tell them “your job is to review video from the games and make the right call,” doesn’t matter if they’re affiliated with the umps or not. Their bosses will develop metrics by which to judge if they’re doing their jobs “good” or not, and they will then perform to maximize those metrics. And as long as video is left in the game, the bosses are never going to incent them to move fast and get it over with vs “it must be the correct call no matter what.”

    Sports have made the perfect the enemy of the good, and they are all suffering for it.

  8. I’d like to see more disincentive to lose a challenge. Cut down on the fishing expeditions and use replay how it was meant to be.

  9. I would imagine AA would love to trade someone — anyone — if it put this “surprise”* team more clearly in contention. But the times to do it are typically in the offseason or at the deadline, so I don’t know how he will find trade partners this early in the season.

    Honestly, I have no idea what he should do. I would think that the only untouchables on this team are Acuna, Albies, Swanson (yep, as he always has/should have been), FF5, Wright, Soroka, and probably Minter. But even with such a small set of untouchables, who do you trade? No one wants Flaherty, Tucker or Markakis (I assume) for different reasons, it would be very difficult to upgrade at catcher, and a lot of your assets are so unproven that it’d be difficult to trade (Folty, Newcomb, Camargo). While Ender does make sense to trade, landing a corner OF (Acuna would play center) that’s more than a 3 WAR player would be difficult.

    Could he package a fringy player and a couple prospects for a rental, a la what Roger recommended? If so, then who moves the needle enough?

    We should totally trade for Marcell Ozuna. Oh wait…

    *This team is no surprise, but since they punted on 2018, you’d have to think that the FO is at least a little surprised and would therefore have to be reacting a little bit.

  10. The thing I don’t understand about replay is the fact that blown calls are so memorable. Just off the top of my head, and without even mentioning local events: Jeffery Maier, Steve Bartman, Don Denkinger, George Brett (not sure how to classify the pine tar incident, but just stick with me (!) here) , Jackie Robinson steals home (if it was blown… Yogi maintained it was to the day he died) etc etc. Replay takes memories and turns them to technology. The only ones that will live are ones where the controversy continues after the replay call itself. What does baseball (and other sports) have against controversy? Isn’t that what about 93% of sports is?

  11. Sanchez is untouchable and should be given a life time contract. Play until you want to stop and then join the coaching staff.

    Where do you think the new Julio came from? What’s that worth? What none of our coaches could do over years he did with a few hours of conversation on the bench. Did you see any of it? Julio was not only mesmerized but was smiling throughout. Please pay better attention.

  12. @11 The buzz around Ubaldo was that whenever he pitched well for the O’s, it was due to discussions with Ramon Martinez. If you have a pitcher whisperer, they are quite valuable – more than their salary. LOL On the other hand, if you “need” a pitcher whisperer then maybe it’s time to sell high.

  13. Excellent and funny write up. Wouldn’t it be great to work at a place where your boss’s attitude is “if you don’t work out we’ve only Invested 500k in you for this year. “

  14. Write if off if you want, but Julio Teheran has never had a pitching coach with whom he’s shared a common first language. While Teheran (and many, many others) have made major efforts to learn English after arriving in the MLB pipeline for various teams, it’s simply not the same as having someone who speaks a common native language, who has real world experience, and is willing and capable of sitting down and sharing their advice with you.

  15. I looked at past deadline rental deals and there are some doozies (we all know the Smoltz story and the Texeira story). I think Weigel and co. is about as high as I’d go for Moustakas. Markakis and Wisler should compensate for current performance and Weigel/other like de la Cruz should provide enough future potential. The Braves might also have to send enough money to balance out salaries. I think both teams would prefer a salary-neutral deal. And we’re only talking about a rental not a long term future player. Maybe the Royals would try for more. If they could get it from someone else, more power to them. But that’s two ML’ers and two ATL top 30 prospects for Moose. And all of those pieces would be more valuable to the Royals than the Braves. We do have a roster crunch coming.

  16. @16 Other than the obvious humor, I just want to see Julio pitch well and give is some wins. I have faith that his past performance is attainable again and he just has to find his way to it. The extra tic that he had last time out is very encouraging and I’m not sure it can be ascribed to an outside influence.

  17. Rusty S.,

    I liked the lead in theme and appreciate the jumping in and doing a new thread when there wasn’t a game.

    I think tfloyd is getting this right. In furtherance of that sentiment, I assert this great quote. As Gus Czinski told Billy Chapel, “This team doesn’t suck today.”

  18. Another strong day of minor league pitching probables:

  19. @16 I actually believe that. We like to say that two heads are better than one, etc., as it relates to problem solving, and I don’t see why pitching would be any different. It’s great if Teheran and Sanchez are able to share notes and insights like that. I bet Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz shared a lot going out there one night after another.

  20. Six Braves have produced at least 0.5 fWAR so far this season:

    1. Dansby Swanson (1.0)
    2. Ozzie Albies (1.0)
    3. Freddie Freeman (0.9)
    4. Ryan Flaherty (0.9)
    5. Kurt Suzuki (0.7)
    6. Shane Carle (0.5)

  21. @1, @15, @19, Thanks for that.

    I figured if there was ever a Sunday rainout, it would amuse at least me to write a “Driven.”

  22. Ravin was not sent for a fresh arm, he was sent because of poor performance. The Braves need to do more of that. Why are Bourjos and Culberson not DFA is the puzzle? Can’t do what he did in a close game by hitting the pitcher.

  23. Dansby and Ozzie will inevitably correct offensively a little bit, but it goes to show you how valuable middle infielders are when they can hit above average. They grade out defensively pretty well, and even if they weren’t elite players the way they’re performing, they’re still 3-4+ WAR players and building blocks of a winning team.

    I’ve started to really like what AA has done, and to him, I think it’s a no-brainer to put Flaherty on the bench and plug Bautista in there. Every human on the planet paying attention knows that Flaherty is going to come back to earth, and I’m confident he knows not to be the person holding the check.

  24. @26 The thing that concerns me about Bautista is that he was awful last season and pretty meh the year before that. What do they do if he is a negative out there? I hope the inclination isn’t to wait for very long, because he might not have anything left.

  25. The astonishing stat for Bautista to me was last year’s strikeout total, which ballooned to 170 Ks and was so far beyond his normal level of 100-110 Ks a year it really stands out on his career stats. Is his eyesight gone all of a sudden?

    Looking at his performance a little more: He wasn’t all that bad in 2016. His .817 OPS would be the best the Braves had at 3B since Chris Johnson vied for the NL batting title in 2013 with his very own .817 OPS.

  26. @25 Ravin *could* have been sent out for poor performance, but that’s not what they said. (I’m still not sure the links are highlighted distinctively enough.)

    There’s no compelling reason to keep him, and I don’t feel sorry for him, just looking at it from an HR perspective – how do the remaining bullpen guys feel about that statement, and how it plays in the clubhouse and around the league. Most likely very little effect, I admit. I just don’t like it.

  27. @35 Very good post. He makes a lot of great points. I think we would all be thrilled to get 85-90 wins, but it could be possible

  28. It bears mentioning that this team is playing a Bobby Cox year to date. Bobby’s driving strategy every season was “win the series.” Not every game. Win the series. So far, the Braves are 5-1-1 in series. Their only lost series was in Washington (1-2). They split the two games in Chicago (the third being weathered out.)

  29. If you aim for 2/3 at home and even on the road, that’ll go a long way…

    And yeah, Bobby was right. It’s baseball. You’re going to lose some. The Chicago game was just baseball.

  30. I also think that the Braves are having a good run of fortune so far. One was with Freddie of course. Having some games postponed is okay too.. Yesterday was like an off day for them before hitting the road in Cincy. It can only help.

  31. By all rights, that loss in Chicago should have been a win, as the umpires should have called the game after 6 or 7.

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