Slackers off the Crazy Train. Bryse is no slacker. Braves 1, Pittsburgh ain’t got nothing

This season has been encouraging and fun. 6 weeks or so to go. Almost no separation in the division and close enough to quickly drop off the Wild Card pace as well if there is any slacking. No slacking is allowed. Recap writers, “QUIT SLACKING.” Hitters, QUIT SLACKING.
Pitchers QUIT SLACKING. THAT can get a division pennant.

Sometimes you just have to agree with Arsenio. There are “things that want to make you go ‘hunh?'” Yesterday afternoon a 2016 high school graduate 4th round pick was called up to start a Major League game. Granted, Bryse Wilson‘s previous AAA experience was a “stat line scouters’ dream.” 13 strikeouts and no walks. But was he ready for this? Apparently, the scouting and development guys may have some level of understanding. One thing is that Bryse is no slacker.

5 innings. Wobbling a little in the 5th, so I am glad Snitker pulled him. 5 K’s, 3 BB’s, 3 H. and not a damn single run. But, despite 10 hits and two walks, the Braves only got 1. So, the bullpen was called on to make it stick as the offense remained in “Hibernation Mode.”

Sam Freeman had an effective 6th. I think you guys are a little harsh on Sam. If you never pitch him on back to back days and try to keep him from drawing too many righties, he is o.k. Miss on either of those conditions and he is gasoline and the pitching mound is a spark.

Brad Brach got 2 outs int he 7th and gave way to Jesse Biddle (SNIT, A REVERSE PLATOON SPLIT ON A LEFTHANDED PITCHER IS POSSIBLE AND REAL!!!) gave up a single that set in motion the game’s most significant play. Corey Dickerson singled to center with Adeiny Hecharria on 2nd. Ender Inciarte charges it and comes up firing. Suzuki made a tag and the call was “out.” Replay in New York took a long time looking at it. Probably they weren’t sure exactly when H’s fingers came down on the plate, so they upheld the call.

Then, came inning 8. After this, I went to bed, but I saw Jonny Venters. Wow!. I spotted this guy scouting the state line about 8 years ago. he had roughly 55 innings with 59 strikeouts and 5 walks at AA. I didn’t care that he wasn’t on the radar, if he can throw it in the zone that much and keep striking people out, he had to have something going for him. What I didn’t know was that he had what can now be described as an “80 pitch.” The 95 mph lefthanded sinker that dropped 8 inches and moved glove side about 1 to 2 inches. He also had a 70 pitch. A conventional 4 seam rising fastball that rose about 2 inches and rode arm side about 6 inches at 96 or so. Then, he also had a flat Frisbee slider which floated kind of 10 to 4 and probably would only grade 40, but in the mix, it really threw people off. Well, this version of Jonny isn’t quite that same pitcher, but if you hold him to an inning per appearance and pitch him every other day, he is still a joy to watch.

Dan Winkler handled inning 9. We have gotten word that A. J. Minter is having a sore back. If it is muscle soreness, not a big deal. But if it is really a disc problem, oooh.

Stay in first until September 1, and the reinforcements are coming. No slackers on the crazy train.

155 thoughts on “Slackers off the Crazy Train. Bryse is no slacker. Braves 1, Pittsburgh ain’t got nothing”

  1. I am still bamboozled on what the roster plan is here. AA has got to have something up his sleeve because Wilson’s callup defied all logic (much to my delight). It also looks like the exact opposite of what AA said was the plan last winter.

    Just waiting for the next show to drop. Very impatient…. :-)

    Which brings me to the next question. I thought being 26th man meant that Touki did not have to wait 10 days for a callup. Is that not correct? If it is, then I’m not sure why they pitched him at Gwinnett instead of having him make this start.

  2. Maybe we can start calling him “Every Other Day Jonny”.

    I thought for sure Snit would use Jonny to close out the 7th as the LOOGY and Biddle in the 8th. But I’m not second guessing.

  3. 10 hits (4 of them doubles), 2 walks, 2 HBP and only 1 run. Was a frustrating offensive night for sure. Hopefully we will have a bit better sequencing tonight. That said, if I had told you at the start of the season that Bryse Wilson would be outdueling Chris Archer and the Pirates on August 20th to keep the Braves in first place over the Phillies, you would have had me committed.

  4. Didn’t see it covered here but my pupil Daniel Murphy was placed on waivers (almost all players are) and was claimed by a mystery team… No word yet on whether the Nats will pull him back, trade him, or let him go to whoever claimed him.

  5. It does seem that AA is holding one 40 man roster spot open for a pre-September 1 acquisition. And since Kakes’ brother-in-law was released, I assume it is for a lefty hitting bench option.

    I’d be quite happy with Big City.

  6. I do find it noteworthy that of all the players that were put on waivers and claimed, Murphy has been mentioned. Maybe he’s going somewhere.

    Flaherty really had not played much infield other than 1B, so I think they could get away with just adding a 1B for the 4th spot. And if they’re going to expand the roster and bring up Ruiz to give a little more flexibility.

  7. @3 – we are no longer operating under last winter’s plan.

    Touki started for Gwinnett on Saturday (08/18) and threw six innings. He would have been going on two days rest.

    Wilson last threw for Gwinnett on Wednesday of last week (08/15.) Last night would have been his regular rotational start at AAA.

  8. They have a ton of infield positional flexibility with Camargo, Culberson and Albies all being multiple positional players. Flaherty’s spot would be better taken up by a LH masher with limited defensive skills than a glove man.

  9. Completely agreed. And since Culberson can’t get into the lineup enough anyway right now, Culberson can plug any spot with guys moving over if necessary. Plus, you could also pluck some AAAA FA for an emergency and outright one of the minor league relievers off the 40-man.

    Though damning him with faint praise, Duvall was better in Cincy even than he’s shown here. I still don’t have a problem with packaging up a bunch of slop to get a guy like Duvall, but it just hasn’t executed just yet. With that said, Duvall could run into two fastballs within the next month, and most would be forgiven, so it’s pretty low-hanging fruit.

  10. Philly @ Wash for 3. It’s eery how similar the pitching match-ups are: Velasquez/Roark, Eflin/Strasburg, Nola/Scherzer. Philly will have to earn those. Washington throws 3 good arms.

    Murphy would go to Philly before ATL, by the way. They need him more and they’re higher in waiver order.

  11. With their offense, I think they could trim somebody off. They might be sending somebody back from the 40-man anyway.

  12. Yeah. Duvall finds a groove for three games and he’s the most beloved man in the world. Pinch hitting, like relief pitching, is a roller coaster job.

    In related news, the Braves’ bullpen is currently tied with three other teams (Cubs, Pirates and White Sox) with 3.2 fWAR. Literally smack dab middle of the league. Certainly not the shutdown fire show you see out of NYY or HOU, but hardly the horror show of teams like the Mets and Miami. (And KCR. Good lord does the Royals’ pen suck.)

    This is cumulative to date, so the pen as currently constructed (with Brach and Venters) is probably a little better than average, but is weighted down by the months of cursing and swearing at Luke Jackson and Sam Freeman.

  13. 17 – My point was, you have to have the spot open to make the claim I believe, so since Philly doesn’t currently have one, they couldn’t have been the team that claimed Murphy. I think this is how the rule works.

  14. I think part of the reason to call up Wilson (rather than have Touki skip his saturday start and pitch this game) is to have maximum flexibility come playoff time when only players who were on the 25-man roster before Sept 1 are eligible for the postseason.

    Another factor may be that MLB success adds a great deal to a prospect’s trade value, particularly in respect to pitchers. We are going to need to trade some of the pitching surplus this winter so a Wilson with a 1.80 MLB era will bring more than a Wilson who is, “just a 50-grade prospect”.

    ed: spelling

  15. I’ve always thought guys on the 40-man can also be traded back should they have passed through waivers as well, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to have the opening already. At the least, I thought the claim could be “contingent”, if you will, on DFA’ing someone. But I’ve never researched it. It would be weird for the Phillies to not have a seat at the table at all so they could keep some AAAA outfielder or reliever on their 40-man.

  16. I may be off, but I think it’s the same as the rule V. To draft someone you must first have the space, I don’t think they allow contingent claims as you describe. I think that is why AA has kept ATL at 38 or 39 recently.

  17. Ah, ok. Well, then I would think that’s a little short-sighted by the Phils. Maybe they can’t take on any more payroll or something. They can’t possibly love that offense.

  18. From last thread, Alex, yes I agree that Kapler has ended up doing a really good job after some early criticism. And yes, the Braves probably have a little more talent.

  19. While the Phils cannot currently make a waiver claim, they can still trade for a player who has completely cleared waivers. I suspect they will go that route as I can’t see anyone blocking a trade of Adams or Granderson. They really have no place to play Murphy.

    As for who claimed Murphy, there’s no way he got by the Pirates.

  20. A very eloquent ‘pean from peanut’ in our notes today for Joe Strummer of Clash fame. DOB is improving, he must be reading BJ.

    cliff…thank you for your recap. Reading through it a second time I found the word I was looking for, bouncy, a rare attribute for the written piece. So what happened to those dry, dusty legal briefs – can you throw a switch? Or do southern courtrooms find themselves packed when you disdain to orate? Thanks again for Jonny.

    Roger…right on for Ender, sublime.

    What’s with these Braves mothers? Mama Wilson on the verge of hysteria making Mama Wood look stoic. But the winner is….Mama Camargo. A jet-born smile for the ages.

    Sam…pleased to see you owning up. Still perfect.

  21. @ 26
    so someone add the e please, jet borne, or better still tell me how to do it beyond the 5 minute chop, thanks.

  22. If Freddie has some big hits in September, maybe even goes on a mini-tear, I think he wins the MVP and this is his 1999.

  23. @11 They could have had Touki skip his start and come straight to Pittsburgh. This was intentional on promoting Bryse. There must be a new world order.

  24. According to https://www.rosterresource.com/ the only teams ahead of the Braves in the waiver order that would’ve had a 40-man spot available would’ve been SD and Ariz (1 spot each). The Braves had 2 spots and the Cubs are right after us and have 1 spot. Then it goes to the whole AL.

    Can’t see SD making a claim, but Az certainly could use Harper (who couldn’t). Could see the Braves claiming any one or two of Adams, Harper and Murphy.

  25. When I work from home, I’ve got MLB Central on in the background. I think he might be one of the best — if not the best — that they have.

    This is all very interesting about Washington’s sluggers. And with them being claimed, a clock is ticking on a deal.

  26. Well — a clock is ticking on seeing whether their GM can convince ownership to LET him start trading some of these guys.

    A major backstory in Washington is that Mike Rizzo seriously went to bat for Matt Williams, arguing that he should be hired as manager. The owners have never let him forget how wrong he was there, and they’ve been emboldened to overrule him more since then.

  27. I don’t think Murphy and Adams impact WAS enough to completely write them off, now Harper would be another story.

  28. Got to think trading Murph means they are throwing in the towel and Harper is soon to follow, no?

    Nats get cash only for Adams?? Man.

  29. Depends on what WAS is asking for Harper.

    Man, Cubs love them some 2B/Util type players, Baez, Russell, Happ, LaStella, Zobrist now Murphy.

  30. If Washington had any shot at getting back into it with the hole they’ve dug, Adams and Murphy would had to have played well. By them being gone, then I think it’s objectively over and they also think it’s over.

    Watch Washington lay an egg against the Phils. Rats.

  31. Sounds like Dodgers claimed Harper. So either roster resource was wrong or Rob was right that you could claim even with a full 40 man.

  32. Heyman says Harper is staying. I fully expect him to phone it in. Scherzer? Nah.

    I want to also go on record again and say I really, really don’t want to have to pull for Bryce Harper. He’s about 33% of the reasons I hate the Nats. Please… just don’t.

  33. Oregon and Georgia are going to open the 2022 season with a neutral site game. In Atlanta. Lol. Poor Ducks.

  34. The Nats got a guy who comps as a utility infielder from the Cubs. We must not have wanted Murphy, then.

    I would have liked Adams. Oh well.

  35. You do have to kind of laugh at the Nats. Couldn’t commit to going for it or selling, and now giving up useful assets for nothing.

  36. Trivia time:

    Of the 13 starters the Braves have used, ATL only has a losing record when 2 of them have started. Bonus: Braves have a .500 record when one other starter has started.

    Can you name them?

  37. @54 I think the issue is that Murphy is still owed over $4M and the Braves didn’t want to pay that. Elsewise, no reason we would let it go the Cubs. I’m very disappointed we didn’t get Murphy – but I understand the high cost. There’s got to be someone out there. Maybe Reed really can get it done.

  38. The remarkable thing is the consistancy of team W-L regardless of starter.

    Other than Fried and Gohara who are 1 game under and Mr .500, the other 10 starters are all between 1 and 3 games over .500 with Sanchez (10-7) and Soroka (4-1) the best.

  39. Catchers are a different story, 35-32 when Suzuki starts, 29-19 when Flowers starts even though Suzuki has a better catcher’s ERA.

  40. I really love the descriptor “has a slow heartbeat.” It’s the opposite of “his motor never stops” in football. That’s awesome.

  41. So basically Freeman on back-to-back nights, Venters on back-to-back nights, Sobotka, and Jackson are available. Sobotka hasn’t really disappointed yet: 5 IP, 8 K, 0 R, 1 H, but 4 BB. But after using him on the 10th, 13th, 16th, and 17th, he hasn’t been used since. He’s pitched 2 and 1.2 IP so far, so maybe he’s at least a multi inning guy if we get behind.

  42. Heyyy 37 pitches through 3. Both of these teams are struggling on offense. Hopefully Gaus can go deep and save the pen (and the need for multiple pinch-hitters).

  43. Gwinnett has 16 more games, including 3 double headers. So Gohara, Wilson, and Fried will only get, max, 3 starts to see if they can impact the club in September. I would have to think that Touki will be the 6th starter in the rotation going forward, so I left him out.

  44. One of the announcers were saying that Teheran would be a starter in the playoffs. How could you possibly know who any starter other than Folty is penciled into a hypothetical postseason rotation? I wouldn’t say even Newk is a lock. I think everyone other than Folty is in an audition for these last 5 weeks for who would start a playoff game, and I could see Gausman and even Touki having a shot if they’re pitching lights-out towards the end of the season.

  45. DANSBY SWANSON DID SOMETHING!!!

    Or alternately, those idiots actually gave him a fastball middle in!!!

  46. Dansby is our cult hero tonight.

    First time for Pirates not playing a 1-0 game in the last 6? 7? games.

  47. Just looked back at pitchcast for Dansby’s HR and, yep, right in his happy spot. At least he hits the ones he likes.

  48. Yeah, that’s 100 percent Dansby’s ball. That was some straight-up Manny Ramirez shit by Ozzie there.

  49. Damn. That walk was totally unnecessary. They had him set up for high and tight and he won’t throw it.

    I guess I’ll take it as long as we get out of the inning.

  50. Zuk and Dansby are kickin’ it tonight!!! Way to go guys.

    I hate to be too optimistic but I smell a nice winning streak coming.

  51. Admittedly, the second home run was off a breaking ball of some sort and not a fastball. Still hung belt-high, middle-in, but a breaking ball nonetheless.

  52. Well, Dansby’s gotten himself above the .700 OPS threshold. He’s also eclipsed Ender, Charlie, and Suzuki in fWAR with his strong night so far.

  53. I could’ve sworn Acuna was going to get called strike three on that close one on 3-2, just as he does on one at bat every night

  54. If we’re gonna take Gausman out (like I assume we are), is it too much to ask to pitch Freeman so that he’s unavailable tomorrow?

    UPDATE: Guess so…looks like we’re getting Luke Jackson instead. Also, that kidney shot on Suzuki looked genuinely unpleasant.

  55. If Gausman can consistently give us 7 innings, he might be more valuable to this team than Foltzie (until Foltzie gets there.)

  56. @126 Yeah, but he had to know that a flat fastball was coming right there. Sobotka may not have the repertoire.

  57. If there was any lift on that, it would have gone into the Allegheny River. Shoot, it might have gone into McCovey Cove. (Don’t get all technical if right field doesn’t face west or something. Adam would do that. :) )

  58. Looking at replay of botched play at 2B; looks like Dansby got spiked in the shin. Hope he’s OK tomorrow.

  59. Gausman is awesome. What a get. Let’s get them tomorrow to put the world back into order. That’s what good SP can do to a team, it can stabilize the ship during a storm to prevent downward spiral.

  60. Does Fangraphs allow you to split stats for when a player like Gausman plays for two teams? The default is to show the stats together.

  61. @137 Baseball Reference does and Gausman has been awesome with us. The K rate is lower but his hit rate, BB rate and HR rate have all much improved since his O’s days.

  62. Well, I was able to see Gausman’s BABIP, which was what I was after, on the team page. Which leads me to what I thought: Gausman has a crazy low .238 in his short sample 4 starts for Atlanta, by far the lowest on the staff. It’s about 75 points less than his time with Baltimore. The Orioles have the highest team BABIP in MLB with the Braves being 6th. So the theory that Gausman would see an automatic improvement by pitching in front of the Braves’ defense seems to be correct in the early going, but is this #sustainable?

  63. I, too, like DOB, was very wrong.

  64. @140 Pitching in a new league helps a lot.

    I have never been a big fan of DOB. He did what he was supposed to do for AJC.

  65. Well, a .238 BABIP is not sustainable. Gausman’s skills at preventing hits on balls in play are probably not better than, say, Clayton Kershaw’s.

    The best way to draw conclusions about Gausman’s performance in a tiny sample with the Braves so far is via scouting.

  66. I know we had some bullpen failures recently, but without the trade deadline additions I bet we are 2 to 3 games behind Philadelphia. In total, the 3 trades have paid huge dividends.

  67. Sure to be JC’d but updated playoff odds:

    538: Playoffs 73%, Division 64%, WS 4%
    FG: 64.7%, 51.9%, 2.0%
    MLB: 56.5%, 44.5%, No WS odds
    BPro: 80.6%, 69%, 8.7%

  68. I’ve only seen Gausman pitch once, and it was the game before last. My only take away from that is he looks like a guy going through a change. He was off. He was missing badly. He couldn’t even throw the pitch the announcers said he relied on in his previous start. He was lucky to still be in the game after 5 IP.

    His K/9 is anomalously low. He doesn’t need to sustain the BABIP in order to be good provided he improves his K/9 to his career normals. His ERA will, of course, come up (regress), but that’s likely no matter what.

    I’d like to see him with a BABIP < .290. If he could go out there 75% of the time throwing his most effective pitch with this defense behind him… sky's the limit sort of.

  69. I think there are certainly some numbers you can look at over Gausman’s time in an Atlanta uniform that are both positive and potentially predictive.

    • Strike percentage: he’s had a 67% strike rate with Atlanta, versus an ML average of 64%.

    • K/BB: he’s at 17 strikeouts against just 6 walks. That’s a 2.8 K/BB, against ML average of 2.6.

  70. Greyson Jenista
    has not had a day off since Easter
    now hitting one fifty
    shows him to be exhausted but otherwise spiffy.
    **************
    ‘Is there a Doctor/Pitcher in the house?’
    Yes, Gaus.

  71. @148 I agree. I do think some of the difference is the callups but the trades definitely made an impact.

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