Braves 11, Marlins 6

Before we get into this “recap” thing, let’s take a moment and pour a little to ground for what happened the Mets last night, okay? I mean, there’s getting beat, and then there’s getting beat down. That thing the Nats did the New York? That’s a straight beat down. Like, across the back with lead pipes and bike chains, man.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about the Braves-Marlins game. Let’s start with the obvious. It was delayed and didn’t get started until just after 9pm. If we do our due diligence and run the “previously on Buffy” buffer before this week’s episode, we’ll all remember that I’m not staying up for that crap. I spent the evening trying to convince a cowardly dog that Thor was not actually coming to kill him personally.

They did finally get started (I wasn’t even sure they’d get it in; weather in Atlanta is rough all week.) The offense beat Dan Straily up a bit. Eight runs off of 11 hits and a walk, all in just 3.2 innings. It was a good showing all around. Ronaldhino continues to thrive at the top of the order. Freddie and Neck did Freddie & The Neck things. There should be a 70’s era Netflix series about a down on his luck copper and his informant buddy with a heart of gold but a taste for the hard life called “Freddie & The Neck.”

Anywho.

Ender had one of those “me no wanty be platooned!” type of games you sometimes see right after a team goes out and gets a better half. The Good Hair had a good day. All around, kudos to everyone at the plate. Now, let’s talk about the pitching.

Kolby Allard made his MLB debut with a haircut clearly paid for by minor league wages. He was…meh. Went five innings, only one of them (the second) clean. Gave up nine hits and two walks. Hit a batter. Got out of it with only five runs scoring, but he wasn’t precisely effective out there. All in all, Allard’s start is our first and primary case study in why Kevin Gausman is such a good get. You just can’t go headlong into a stretch run with a pitching staff made up of rookie debuts every week, no matter how much long term prospective talent those rookies have. But you all knew that already, right?

I mean, everyone except Tad. Obvs. Anywho.

Same two teams go at it again tonight, weather permitting. Young Pablo Lopez tries to right the ship after a rough go against Washington last time out. It’s his sixth MLB start. He has an ERA just over 5. He’ll likely throw a no-hitter. The Braves counter with a good ol’ case of the Aniballin’. Hopefully the organist will pay adult video music when he bats. Word is the Braves are going to be using the Gwinnett shuttle to run a six man rotation for a while, without actually carrying six starters on the roster at any given time. Will be interesting to see 1) how well that works and 2) how MLB responds to it…

89 thoughts on “Braves 11, Marlins 6”

  1. With Wilson and Wright promoted from AA, AA is a little gutted right now. We’ll have to see Anderson, Wentz, and Muller promoted. But the AAA rotation currently could probably win more games than the 2016 MLB rotation:

    AAA
    Touki
    Wright
    Gohara
    Allard
    Parsons

    MLB
    Teheran
    Wisler
    Folty
    Blair
    Bills Perez

    Going with Gwinnett.

  2. I’d like to see some Braves pitching prospects with actual command over their stuff.

    Allard, in spite of having his 88-89 mph four-seamer tee’d off on, was a refreshing sight. He was working the strike zone with more consistency than we normally see from Folty or Newcomb, and he was into the 6th inning on fewer than 70 pitches. You know, minus all the hits and runs he allowed, it’s not hard to see why some people really like this guy. He was getting some really nice ground outs. Eventually, he’ll own both corners of the plate. You’d like to see him bump that four-seamer to at least 91 mph, sure, but guys who really know how to pitch may become a new (old) thing in MLB. Quite a few WAR-leading starting pitchers are actually down a tick in velocity (in spite of Statcast’s bump to velocities), which is at least a sign that velocity isn’t everything.

  3. Nice summation, Sam. I started but like Kolby could not finish. I remember fighting bedtime. Now it’s a daily highlight. Go figure.

    Let’s sweep these fish before bedtime.

    Go Braves.

  4. It was refreshing to see Allard only at around 75 pitches to begin the 6th. He struggled the 3rd time through, and I can’t imagine he wasn’t a little drained with it being his debut and being delayed. I don’t think he gets a lot of innings down the stretch, but I think he’ll be an asset when used.

  5. Allard entered the 6th on exactly 75 pitches. I knew he exited on 81 but couldn’t be sure how many pitches he’d made on his way into getting into trouble.

  6. As many have said, momentum in baseball is often the next day’s starting pitcher. With Syndergaard going today for the Mets, don’t be surprised if the Mets win today in something like a 1 to 0 shutout.

  7. If your narrative for what happened to the Mets last night is anything like “the Nationals (we’re talking about the Washington Nationals) rose to the occasion,” then you may need to question all the decisions and actions that brought you to this point in your life.

  8. But just like the Nats, we get to play the Mets and Marlins ourselves. Nats get them 16 times including today. We play them 15 times. Phils get them 20 times. We’ll also play the Phils and Nats 13 times, including against the Phillies 7 of the last 11 games. The Phils play 16 games against us and the Nats. Nats play 16 games against the Phils and us. So each team will play a little more than half of their remaining games against the two cupcakes or their direct rivals. So we will definitely know who is a playoff team one way or the other.

  9. With the acquisition of Gausman they won’t have to use the shuttle for the 6th man in the rotation.

  10. MLB has JC Encarnacion as 15th in Baltimore’s system and Cumberland 30th. Josh Graham and Jacob Webb entered our MLB.com top 30. So… that’s where our farm is headed.

  11. The Nats DFA’d Shawn Kelley today because he slammed his glove on the ground after giving up a homer in that blowout.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  12. Yeah, because going into the 2014 season hoping Aaron Harang was going to be the savior of the franchise and then a 3+ year rebuild was just… a hoot. A real high time. Let’s have another go!

    You need a farm. You don’t have to worship the farm. You don’t need to sit up at night reading about what Keith Law or John Sickels thinks about some dude in Danville, but it’s important. You need to have someone at the deadline to trade to get a big player. You need to have someone to call up to cover when Reggie Sanders pulls his hamstring for the 6th time. I’m really glad Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz don’t agree, and judging by AA’s maneuvers, he doesn’t either.

  13. @ #16

    To follow up on your point, I was surprised that the Red Sox didn’t try to acquire either Dozier or Schoop to play 2B; they got Kinsler instead. Kinsler’s a fine player, but the other two have much more pop. Perhaps the lack of prospects hampered the Red Sox?

  14. I don’t understand why people get upset about us sending players up and down.

    This is why we have a AAA club across town.

  15. Either Allard gets his velocity up a notch or he will simply be the left handed version of a tired Teheran. We know what a tired Teheran is like, we don’t need a left handed version of that.

  16. Even when they win by 20 runs, the Nats cannot stop being a zoo. One way the front office could’ve “sent a message to the clubhouse” would have been to do something at the deadline other than trading away one of their relievers to a much better playoff contender.

    Yesterday, the Nationals were a clownshow and the Mets were treated like the Long Island Ducks. It was a good day to be a Braves fan. Somewhere, Ububba is having a fun time at the office.

  17. Jo Adell
    unsurprisingly very few of us know him well
    the second coming of Trout
    can we rely on AA to ferret him out?

  18. Nobody is saying that the farm isn’t important. I’m saying that I tire of top 30 / top 100 / top whatever lists, and I tire of reading commentary that worries about how we stack up with other farm systems, and I’m especially tired of stuff like “he’s 15th in our system, but would be 9th in theirs”.

    This is the stuff you talk about when your team sucks.

    When we don’t suck, I’d rather talk about the MLB team.

    We get to make new draft picks every year. There will always be someone that’s up-and-coming. You don’t have to finish last to draft and scout well. Albies and Acuna say hello.

  19. (It is absolutely amazing how many of the exact same things that applied to the 2015 season, when they were stunned by the fact that they weren’t the best team in baseball, apply to the 2018 season, when they are stunned by the fact that they aren’t the best team in baseball. Just go reread those pieces.)

  20. Those are all-time great posts, and Exhibit A why I do not want Bryce Harper on the Braves. Call me foolish if you want. I don’t want him.

  21. Farm system rankings are just like any other metric. Not caring about the condition of the farm is like not caring if we are last in bullpen ERA. If we’re currently winning, great, but it’s still a vulnerability. Are you telling me it would bring you no satisfaction to be a really good team like Houston but also have an excellent farm like they do?

    I hope the Braves can always have a top 10 farm while being a top team in the league. I think it’s shortsighted to feel otherwise.

  22. That’s like asking me if I like excellent food and awesome sex. Yes. I’m gonna agree with you that having a good team and a good farm is a good thing. If I only get to pick one, then I’m gonna pick “good team”. (We can leave the analogy-side’s answer to one’s imagination).

  23. The other thing to remember about farm system rankings is that methodology matters. Even if the cupboard is bare of ML-ready talent — because you’ve either graduated or traded everyone with a pulse in the high minors — you might have a ton of near-ungradable lottery tickets in rookie ball, and in a couple of years your farm will look a whole lot better because the projectable 17-year-olds are now 19-year-old serious prospects. (E.g., Frank Wren, whom the Braves thought sucked at drafting, signed teenage Acuna and Albies, which makes up for a whole lot of first-round Sean Gilmartins.)

    The important thing is that your organization has to know what it’s good at. The Braves *claim* that they know pitching better than anybody, which would mean that if you gave them a boatload of 19-year-old hurlers they should have a better chance than other teams of turning those guys into a major league rotation.

    Weirdly, though, that’s not what they’ve demonstrated they’re actually good at. What they’re actually good at is developing position player talent: Acuna, Albies, Freeman, Heyward, etc.

    Newcomb and Folty are in the process of invalidating the argument I’m making right now, but still: over the last five or ten yeras, the Braves have been a whole lot better at turning guys like Martin Prado and Johan Camargo into starting players than turning pitching prospects into starting players. Before this year, Julio Teheran was the Braves’ most successful pitching prospect to join the rotation in years, and he had his first cup of coffee in 2011 and was originally signed by Schuerholz.

    Again: if Foltzie and Newk have really made The Leap, then maybe Allard and Soroka and Wright and Anderson and Wilson and Toussaint and Gohara will join them and collectively turn themselves into a real big league rotation. But as we evaluate the Braves farm, we should keep in mind the Braves’ most recent successes — and the gap between the public image the Braves like to cultivate, as the heritors of the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz tradition, rather than the homegrown lineup and patchwork pitching staff they’ve actually trotted out.

  24. There’s also diminishing returns for a too-good farm. If your MLB team is decent, then you don’t really need high-volume. You’ll end up losing a bunch to Rule V anyway.

  25. @30, 31 The Braves hit a really unfortunate patch of bad luck with Beachy, Medlen, and Minor. At the very least, they should have had 3/5’s of the rotation locked down with the pitching they had prior to the rebuild, but stuff happens.

    Point is, I feel the Braves had developed the above into good ML pitchers, but injuries happen. I think Beachy was going to be a TOR starter.

  26. One of the reasons the Coppy front office was stockpiling four hundred thousand lottery ticket arms is because you have like, a 1 in 10, maybe as low as 1 in 20 hit rate on starting pitcher “prospects.” TINSTAAP and all that.

  27. Good points Alex, I would also note, the talent developers have changed quite a bit over the last decade.

    I think when Wren was let go, Coppy brought back a lot of the old talent scouts (Roy Clark and such) who had been run off.

    We have used first round picks on 18 pitchers (counting this year) and 10 have thrown a pitch in the big leagues. Of those 10, I would say five (Wainwright, McBride, Meyer, Devine and Minor) paid off. Obviously it’s too soon to say about Simms and Allard.

    Those 18 also count Anderson, Wentz and Wright. I imagine they will all get a shot in the next few years.

    So really 13/18 making it to the bigs, is good. That 18 also counts Carter Stewart.

  28. @35, only Wainwright turned into the TOR guy that we’re all looking for still. And we didn’t get even to enjoy him. I think that pretty well reinforces @34.

    You have to find him, draft him, develop him, decide to keep or trade him, and avoid injury along the way. It’s *such* a crapshoot.

  29. And with all of the noise in the signal/noise ratio for pitchers, we also have a pretty skewed idea of what “Atlanta pitching” means (which I think goes back to the original question of “what it is we are good at developing.”)

    The unheard of, unholy run of Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz tilts our expectations of both what successful “development” of pitching looks like, as well as what is controllable. In addition to being three HOF level talents in the same starting rotation forever on end, those guy were also uniquely healthy (excepting the occasional exploding Smoltz body part.)

  30. @33, sansho1 often used to question whether it really was “bad luck” that led to virtually every Braves pitcher with a pulse seeing his career ruined by injuries.

    And yeah, agreed with @37 — comparisons to Maddux and Glavine should probably be treated as the baseball blogosphere equivalent of Godwin’s Law. They’re so ubiquitous as to be meaningless. There’s basically a 0% chance that a random pitcher who throws less than 95 will turn into a Hall of Famer, and there’s basically a 100% chance that he will be compared to Glavine or Maddux by one of his fans as an explanation for why you don’t have to throw hard to be successful.

  31. @36 In the Braves’ defense, Wainwright experienced an “anomalous growth spurt” and grew like another 2″ during the previous offseason. It’s not as though they shipped him out for basically nothing, but there was definite uncertainty around Wainwright due to the aforementioned unexpected physical growth to his already tall stature.

  32. EDIT – Done revising.

    @38 I had set out to disagree with you, considering there aren’t a lot of modern day starters who are considered elite that aren’t seemingly hurt every couple of years. I don’t know who will have a long enough and healthy enough career to get HOF consideration (I think Verlander and Scherzer certainly will, as will Sabathia). Among the younger crop of emerging starting pitchers I can’t help but wonder as starts are getting shorter, wins are meaning less, and the game is just changing at an incredible pace what the HOF requirements will be.

    It’s been an interesting dive into FanGraph’s pitch type stats and some digging into game logs to understand what today’s TOR starters are throwing velocity-wise. Initially, I suspected a lot of these guys are really topping out at 93-94 mph most of the time, and while that isn’t necessarily wrong I saw enough to realize that what they average is usually 2-3 mph less than their best fastball (ie. Newcomb’s avg fourseam is a tick below 93, but he ran it up to 96 mph multiple times in his last outing).

    So I’ll just concede that unless a guy can top out at ~95 mph, then yeah there’s really no chance of him having a HOF career. Even Greg Maddux could throw a 93 mph fastball during his first few years.

    I do suspect that pitching velocity could begin to trend down at some point if hitters get good at crushing 100 mph straight fastballs.

  33. @41, the pedantic answer is that every team has a #1, so there’s at least that many. I think around here it has really meant “guy I want to throw in the playoffs against Kershaw and feel like we can win”. That means it’s like what, less than 10 probably?

    I’ve said many times that it’s unlikely that we have a TOR guy with any of the drafted pitchers. We might have one or two from the ones acquired by trade.

    Do we expect every 1st round pitcher to be a TOR starter? I think we do. Unrealistically of course.

  34. can anybody explain what was going on with the whole Ozzie/Acuna head rub thing? was Acuna the target of a terrible prank? was this a joke that nobody got? I want to feel badly, but I’m not sure why.

  35. I, too, noticed that JCE and Cumberland slotted in similarly in the O’s system. What I took that for is that the O’s system (especially after all their acquisitions last month) is not so bad from about 15 on down. But what really makes the system is the top end and the Braves excel there – more so than most other systems. And, all things being equal every other system has the same amount of capital we do for smaller deals, but we may be among a very few systems that can trade for a deGrom or Realmuto if they are available and we want to try.

    I think having the top farm system is important when you are a 90 loss team and you want to become a winner. You need to plug in several high end talents. However, once you are a winning team, your farm needs to generate at least one high end talent every year to be able to keep being a winning team. And every team gets a 1st round draft choice every year; it shouldn’t be that hard.

    Once the Braves had Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz, they tried to add a 4th starter or a closer from within every year. Mercker, Schmidt, Millwood, Wohlers, etc… Seemed like a different savior every year. That’s where we should be going. Win some, then develop one a year, and trade from the rest.

    But, I agree, winning at the major league level is always the highest priority.

  36. Sonny Gray just gave up 7 runs to the O’s in 2.2 innings. Didn’t want him, glad we don’t have him, never want to get him.

  37. This is the stuff you talk about when your team sucks.

    When we don’t suck, I’d rather talk about the MLB team.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say I think the point that started this conversation is apt. At a certain juncture, talking about farm systems is for losers :)

    It’s always nice to know about 55+ FV prospects in our system. For the 45-50s of the world, if you have to discuss them, wrap it up by telling me how we’re going to package them up and ship them out to keep our dynasty going.

  38. FWIW, I think the reason we continue to talk about the farm is because we’re still waiting for our version of Max Scherzer/Justin Verlander/Clayton Kershaw to emerge and take this team to a whole ‘nother level. :)

  39. Here’s BB-REF’s top 10 pitchers by WAR:

    1. Nola • PHI 6.7
    2. Sale • BOS 6.4
    3. deGrom • NYM 6.3
    4. Scherzer • WSN 5.8
    5. Bauer • CLE 5.1
    6. Freeland • COL 4.8
    7. Verlander • HOU 4.6
    8. Kluber • CLE 4.2
    9. Snell • TBR 4.1
    10. Cole • HOU 4.0

    And here’s their top 10 for ERA:

    1. deGrom • NYM 1.82
    2. Sale • BOS 2.04
    3. Verlander • HOU 2.24
    4. Snell • TBR 2.27
    5. Scherzer • WSN 2.30
    6. Bauer • CLE 2.34
    7. Nola • PHI 2.35
    8. Cole • HOU 2.55
    9. Kluber • CLE 2.79
    10. Mikolas • STL 2.83

    Here are the 8 pitchers on those two lists that overlap:

    1/7 Nola
    2/2 Sale
    3/1 deGrom
    4/5 Scherzer
    5/6 Bauer
    7/3 Verlander
    9/4 Snell
    10/8 Cole

    I’d include Corey Kluber as well, even though he’s not in the top-10 for WAR this year. But as a snapshot, I think I’m comfortable with everyone there (barring the freakish WAR from that guy from Colorado, and that freakishly low ERA from that guy in STL) as the starting point for true “TOR starters” in today’s league.

    Jake deGrom. Chris Sale. Justin Verlander. Aaron Nola. Blake Snell. Max Scherzer. Trevor Bauer. Gerritt Cole. Those are the real stand out guys.

  40. @44…

    yes, the head rub thing…’I want to feel badly but i’m not sure why.’ Exactly. I have messaged Ozzie to tell us, suggesting he joins the board under a nom de plume.

    @49…

    Sam, were there such a list of those who lend their talents to this board yours would be prominent. Primarily because you offer such a vivid contrast between dazzling acuity on the one hand, alcohol fueled rage the other. May you prosper.

  41. Perhaps Acuña was upset over a previous at-bat? I looked upon the scene as one brother consoling another, nothing more.

  42. @49

    That’s really well-laid out and thought out. I think that’s your list. I bet if you went 10-15 on each list, you’d find one more guy that you would want to slide in there, but otherwise, that’s the list with good methodology.

  43. Did AA say the Braves are still looking for a left handed bat for the bench? I see Adam Lind just opted out of his contract with the Red Sox — could there be interest in picking him up? He’s a RHP masher.

  44. That’s like asking me if I like excellent food and awesome sex.

    Agreed, but you don’t need one to have the other. Continually good farms often coincide with continued success at the major league level. It simply has to. You have to have young talent continuously coming through the pipeline to simultaneously anchor, support, and supplement the major league roster. With that said…

    There’s also diminishing returns for a too-good farm.

    I do agree with this, and you can make the argument that we’re seeing it right now. After trading for Gausman, you don’t have a 5th starter spot for the Frieds and the Goharas and the Allards. As a result, you’re not going to get those guys through, and since you have so many, the returns will be diminished. We’re going to run out of time with these guys without ever really even seeing if they had anything.

    There’s a balance you’re alluding to that I agree about, and the Braves have been guilty of the lack of balance on both sides. I don’t care that one more of Beachy, Medlen, and Minor got injured than maybe they should have endured; you need more so that if it happens, you’re prepared. Plus, Beachy and Medlen were lucky. So they’ve both ran it bare, and then they stockpiled for too long, but they got away with it because “the new GM doesn’t know who to trade”.

  45. If you lose 3 starting pitchers it’s going to be hard for any farm to replace that instantly. We tried to patch things up with free-agents that were on the cheaper side of the spectrum. I think the only way you can get through that (without taking the nuclear option like we chose) is to spend like crazy. It’ll be nice when we’re back in that position. Say what you want about WFF, but it’s going to allow us to spend, and that can cover up some mistakes and bad injury luck.

  46. As a result, you’re not going to get those guys through, and since you have so many, the returns will be diminished. We’re going to run out of time with these guys without ever really even seeing if they had anything.

    You keep saying things like this as though something isn’t going to go wrong. Something is going to wrong.

  47. @49

    Top 10 in WHIP:

    1. Sale • BOS 0.872
    2. Verlander • HOU 0.888
    3. Scherzer • WSN 0.901
    4. Kluber • CLE 0.945
    5. Nola • PHI 0.972
    6. deGrom • NYM 0.976
    7. Cole • HOU 0.976
    8. Manaea • OAK 1.005
    9. Berrios • MIN 1.050
    10. Paxton • SEA 1.053

    K per 9:

    1. Sale • BOS 13.213
    2. Cole • HOU 12.354
    3. Scherzer • WSN 12.108
    4. Paxton • SEA 11.612
    5. Morton • HOU 11.509
    6. Verlander • HOU 11.502
    7. Bauer • CLE 11.421
    8. Pivetta • PHI 11.201
    9. Corbin • ARI 11.039
    10. Gray • COL 10.768

    Adjusted ERA+

    1. Sale • BOS 216
    2. deGrom • NYM 209
    3. Bauer • CLE 190
    4. Scherzer • WSN 185
    5. Verlander • HOU 176
    6. Nola • PHI 176
    7. Snell • TBR 176
    8. Kluber • CLE 159
    9. Cole • HOU 155
    10. Freeland • COL 152

    FIP

    1. Sale • BOS 2.08
    2. deGrom • NYM 2.25
    3. Bauer • CLE 2.43
    4. Corbin • ARI 2.65
    5. Nola • PHI 2.67
    6. Scherzer • WSN 2.67
    7. Cole • HOU 2.85
    8. Verlander • HOU 2.87
    9. Severino • NYY 2.92
    10. Paxton • SEA 3.04

  48. If you expand it a little, you probably want to take a look at Charlie Morton. Which makes you realize that of the 10-12 true “top of the rotation starters” in MLB, Houston has three of them. There’s a reason they’re so damned good.

    Jose Berrios and James Paxton are right there, as is Patrick Corbin. The Phillies rotation is stupid good and stupid young and should concern Braves fans going forward.

  49. @57

    Oh, you’re totally right, and their names are Julio and Anibal. Julio is on a 2-year decline, and Anibal’s July was not nearly as good as his June. With that said, are they going to pull the plug on either in a pennant race to let Fried, Gohara, Touki, or Allard to take starts? That’d be a hard decision. So then you get to the offseason, and you’ve lost some valuable reps.

    @59

    The Phillies’ rotation is farther ahead than we are, but our position player core is farther ahead than they are. They’re in the bottom third in offense and defense, hence the Cabrera and Ramos trades. But like I said in the beginning of this comment, I don’t think the Braves will throw the pitchers with the higher ceilings to match Philly if they’re in contention, so we shall see.

  50. The thing that’s going to go wrong is at least one pitcher you’re penciling in is going to get seriously hurt. If not before the end of the season, before this time next year.

    There’s no such thing as a “too-good farm system.”

  51. Tommy Hanson has been forgotten already. But should be added to the discussion of recently developed good Braves starters lost to injury.

  52. @55 But that’s just it. The farm is as good as ever after the deadline – loaded with top prospects. I firmly believe AA will use that prospect capital in the offseason to make a huge trade. I think that trade will be for Realmuto. They will have enough data by the end of the season to know who they really need to keep and everyone else will be tradeable – all the way to the top. The Shelby Miller trade in reverse. The only reason that trade seems so bad now is that Miller didn’t perform (injury). The D-Backs haven’t exactly collapsed in the standings. Looking only at prospects (i.e. not Acuna or Albies or Soroka), we could let the Marlins basically write their own ticket (in a reasonable way) and make a trade that will force them to accept. As it stands now, next year’s holes are very few – RF and C. Anderson, Gohara, Allard, Wilson – you could give them a whole rotation’s worth of pitching and still be OK with what’s left to be able to get Realmuto. Heck maybe send out Wright and Anderson as part of the deal……. There is no way we should let anyone outbid us or let the Marlins back off. We can afford an overpay…..

    AA will make one big FA signing and one big trade. The dominoes are set up. We’re just still a little ahead of ourselves. Assuming we don’t win the WS, this winter is going to be nearly as fun as the season.

  53. Realmuto is a good player, but this board’s obsession and conflation of him is getting to be a bit much.

    He’s a good player, he’s not Josh Gibson or Johnny Bench.

    Our potential WS hopes aren’t going to be won or lost with whether we obtain Realmuto.

  54. I heard a discussion on CBS Sports Radio on trade deadline moves. Believe it or not they rated the Braves number 1 in both leagues. I hope they’re right.

  55. The most interesting thing from that interview was that AA said there were other bigger opportunities but we didn’t pull the trigger because we would have given up a lot.

  56. It has been *pouring* for hours, much worse than last night. I hope they get this one in but with it being get-away day and all, they won’t be that patient.

  57. No one is saying he’s Johnny Bench, though he’s clearly not the player you can be predicted to value over another.

    Mass promotions: Pache to AA, Contreras and Waters to A+, Wilson to AAA, as already mentioned.

  58. It got lost in the chatter from yesterday, but the most interesting thing AA said was from his interview on 680 where he talked about them having some “R&D” advice for Gausman that they think is going to help.

    That’s some nerd-tastic shit right there. I like it. We’re talking about a first-round / 4th overall pick here. The risk/reward is through the roof in our favor.

  59. It doesn’t look as though it will stop raining in Atlanta today. They might not start till 1:05 AM……

  60. OK…

    Any brave soul want to step in and offer a Realmuto take somewhere in between “Not Johnny Bench, not worth it” and “pay literally whatever the Marlins tell us to pay”?

    It’d be a real tight squeeze, I know…

  61. @65 He’s far and away the best catcher in baseball right now. He may be Johnny Bench 15 years from now. The point was the declining returns from a top farm system once the team is performing. It just means you should go out and make the best upgrade possible with the assets you have. It’s not an obsession; it’s very unusual when the best position player at any one position is young, controllable, and available and at a position of need for us.

    The Marlins are getting both the best offense and defense from the catcher position.

    I thought you, Chief, didn’t want to have all the prospects without using them to acquire the best asset possible. That’s all I’m saying.

    It’s the same thing that makes Machado and Harper such obsessions. We’ll have a lot more competition in the money realm than the prospects realm. That’s why the focus on Realmuto. There’s no one else in the game that compares right now because of the situation as much as the player himself.

  62. I don’t think he’s far and away the best catcher in baseball, because Gary Sanchez exists — before going on the shelf with injury, Sanchez was basically having a Bryce Harper-like season, hitting a ton of homers at a very low average, but Sanchez is a true catcher who hits homers like they’re going out of style and I’d take him in a heartbeat, and he’s, at worst, arguably 1-1A with Realmuto.

    But the argument for Realmuto is more or less as follows:

    There are no good catchers in baseball. Literally, there are exactly six catchers in the major leagues who have enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, and one of them is Tucker Barnhart. So Realmuto is a legitimately good player at a position that is a sucking chest wound for most teams. Exhibit A: One major reason the 2018 Nats are so dreadful is that their catchers have hit like their pitchers, so their vaunted lineup is permanently shorthanded.

    As it stands, the Flowzuki platoon has been really good; per Fangraphs, the Braves have the 6th-most team WAR at catcher in baseball. So I don’t think we particularly need him; the Nats really really do. But he’s a great player.

  63. Because of the prevelance of those sucking chest wounds, having a 5+ WAR Realmuto is like having a 7 WAR outfielder. For lack of a better analogy, it’s like having Mike Trout in center because, otherwise, it’s likely you’d have Denard Span or something.

  64. @80 That may be true and Flowzuki is exactly why we had no business trading for Realmuto this season. However, Flowzuki are not signed for next year – that’s why we acquire in the offseason. Also, Flowzuki are fading both offesively and defensively. I do think one of the two would make a good backup for next year. Realmuto is worth 3-4 WAR per year and he’s 26. His best years are in front of him.

    Sanchez may be as good or better, but he is not available. And, if he’s more injury prone then his value is equivalently reduced. Wilson Contreras is great, too, but, alas, also not available. If you can have the best performance at a position of scarcity for low cost (his salary is low no matter how many prospects he costs) then you are a significant jump ahead of everyone else because positions that are not scarce are easier to fill with better than average performance. At least my winning fantasy days tells me this.

    If we have a 1-1A catcher while the gNats keep fidgeting around with Matt Wieters, they’ll have a hard time ever beating us. I would like to see the Braves have top 5 performance/ability at every position. I think we have good or potentially great performers at all positions except C and RF for next year. Realmuto solves one. Harper solves the other. Actually, AJ Pollock might make a nice Plan B if we can’t get Harper. If we got Pollock significantly cheaper than Harper then we could go after a top closer, too. I prefer the lefty as we already have Duvall for a RH OF. Of course, I’d rather have Trout but he, too, sadly, is not available.

  65. First of all, Realmuto is 27. Second of all, catchers age in dog years. His best years may be in front of him. Brian McCann’s best years came at the ages of 22 and 24. You can’t just project that he’s going to get better than he is today.

  66. Roger: We should pay whatever the Marlins want for Realmuto because he’s far and away the best catcher in baseball

    Alex: Gary Sanchez is in Realmuto’s league

    Roger: But Sanchez isn’t available.

    Where did those goalposts go? I could swear they were right here.

    If you can have the best performance at a position of scarcity for low cost (his salary is low no matter how many prospects he costs) then you are a significant jump ahead of everyone else because positions that are not scarce are easier to fill with better than average performance. At least my winning fantasy days tells me this.

    Hang this in the Louvre.

  67. @87 You guys have got to get yourselves over to Fangraphs and look at the values on catchers. The second best catcher has been Grandal and you’d have to add Sanchez to Grandal to get to Realmuto this year. Last year Sanchez was worth 4.4 WAR and Realmuto is already up to 3.8 this year. And this is Realmuto’s third consecutive 3+ WAR season. Sanchez has had one. Realmuto’s defense is better.

    Realmuto may not be Johnny Bench but he has the potential to be Buster Posey or just short of that. After hearing all of you guys gripe about preferring proven performance over prospect potential, I find it annoying that you don’t jump on proven performance when it’s right in front of us.

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