It’s Julio Time and Tuesday SUCKS – Braves 3 – Giants 4

Tonight’s game is a perfect test for Julio, especially if we have any intention of trading him to the Giants. Ever since Rob set the bar, I want Julio to get his seven straight good outings in a row to create some trade value. Considering we’d love to get MadBum and Smith from the Giants, Julio’s performance at Oracle Park could help promote a trade.  That also leaves another question hanging in the air; if Julio is pitching better than MadBum, which one is the better one to have?

Of course, I had to watch the game from the very first pitch because, well, you know why.  Unfortunately, Ronald struck out.  Even without the daily Acuna leadoff HR, the Braves scored a run in the first on a Markakis RBI double.  Naturally, Julio gave it right back.  And he gave it back without throwing a pitch more than 87mph.  He didn’t hit 90mph until he struck out Crawford to end the first.  What happened to those 2 extra mph that Julio found?

Julio and the Giants’ pitcher, Shaun Anderson, traded zeros for a few innings until the sixth when the Braves scratched a run using two sac flies.  Julio ended up going 5.2 innings and by the end was throwing harder than the beginning (up to about 91).  He was shaky the whole time and, in my opinion, the Giants inability to hit is the only thing that saved him.  Still, it’s hard to argue with 5.2 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, and 6 Ks.  I’ll give him a thumbs up.

Thank goodness Blevins had only one out to get as he allowed a hard hit ball.  Kakes had to make a great catch on it to end the 6th.  The Braves tried to put up a rally in the 7th but ended up only with Freddie’s RBI single for a 3-1 lead.  So our bullpen was going to have to protect a 2 run lead for three innings.  Unfortunately, I was wrong about my prior statement on Blevins and he was back out to start the 7th.  Even though, the next hitter was a lefty, Blevins allowed a bloop single.  At that point, Snit brought Touki in.  Touki was fabulous; a DP and a strikeout and the inning was over.  Touki like Newk is looking like found gold; ya gotta love them both as part of our pen.

Webb did fine in the 8th but, apparently, a 2 run lead is still not enough Luke Leverage.  I’m not sure that Luke really did anything wrong, but he is no Kimbrel and for three batters in a row, he could not get a third strike.  He couldn’t even get a playable ball as three straight singles (four singles total in the inning) with two outs led to a killer 3-run rally that walked it off for the Giants.  It sure didn’t help that the Braves could not steal an out by throwing out a stealing runner.  But, just like last year, the Braves are worst (or second worst) in the majors at catching baserunners stealing.

Three morals for the night: 1) Tuesdays suck (Braves now 1-6) and 2) Sign Kimbrel and 3) West Coast game times combined with Tuesday night make for a horrible Wednesday morning.

69 thoughts on “It’s Julio Time and Tuesday SUCKS – Braves 3 – Giants 4”

  1. Sorry, Roger. Sorry, Lynyrd Skynyrd:

    Games roll on, on down the line,
    Some of them so so far away?
    Now I feel the winds of Frisco late night,
    Means I’m leaving my chances behind.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    Save chances gone with the wind.
    And I don’t know who’s now pitching.
    I just want to get some relief.
    Well, when this game ends I’ll try again,
    But I’m leaving the bullpen at home.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    The bullpen’s gone with the wind.
    Time rolls on Tuesday’s gone
    Still play many miles from my home
    See, I’m ing my blues away
    Tuesday, you see, it had to be lost
    But the other days are doing great
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    Tuesday’s gone with the wind.
    The bullpen’s gone with the wind.

  2. terra firma…

    home is the sailor
    home from the sea
    and the hunter
    home from the hill.

    if AR can survive and return from what appeared to be an early Druid dystopian orgy then those of us in retreat back home by more pampered and thus predictable means can wonder instead about Luke, our Druid god.

  3. I’m not convinced that this will happen, but if we sign Kimbrel and he does Kimbrel like things and our starting pitching and relievers continue their current trajectory, this team can be scary good. I’ve said it before, but our offense is good enough as it stands. The team success begins and ends with pitching- mostly starting pitching.

  4. It doesn’t have to be Kimbrel.
    But it does have to be somebody other than the flaming turds currently in our bullpen.

  5. @10 Luke Jackson has performed admirably this year. I kind of take exception at calling him a flaming turd.

    At this point, provided Kimbrel isn’t insisting on a 3-year deal, he is the most affordable option to us once the draft pick requirement is dropped. From there, the GM can roll the dice for another veteran arm. I feel like there’s just no guarantee that acquired bullpen arms will provide better results. It [should] help, but nothing is ever a guarantee in baseball.

  6. I think the unwillingness to sign Kimbrel by 29 other teams at undoubtedly a reduced rate (speculation) to be a red flag that has been undercovered.

    It’s not just the Braves that haven’t signed him.

  7. Why do people that don’t understand economics also think that teams operating in their best interests is some vast conspiracy, or worded differently and less accusatory, a… “red flag”? ::dun dun dun:: If I’m not mistaken, the pick attached to Kimbrel, for us, would be $1.25M in slot money. And that’s because we’ve already lost a pick, otherwise it would be a higher pick, and thus a higher amount. So for other teams, signing Kimbrel would be even more expensive. Someone will need to correct me if I’m wrong on the figures and circumstances. But the reason it’s cheaper for us is because we lost a pick and are banned from the other amateur talent pool, so you can make the argument we need to save the pick even more than other teams.

    30 teams in baseball all really like the draft. You can take a pool mentality towards a ton of risk, and you can get lots of players very inexpensively, you can get them in your system, and you can develop them the way you think is best for you team needs, their skills, etc. And you can do it at an age where they are malleable and coachable. And if you do a really good job of that, you can actually win a World Series when you’re a mid-market team. And $1.25M in slot money gets you LOTS of extra talent. And you can do it even better when you’re a large market team, and that’s why the Yankees, with an even higher payroll, is younger and better than their crosstown rivals, as an example. So everyone loves grabbing a bunch of 18-year olds and teaching them to play your brand of baseball.

    Oh, and not just godless conglomerates do it. The World Series-winning Red Sox, principally owned by a real life, flesh-and-blood human being who is quite liked by their fans, also didn’t feel the need to sign Kimbrel, even though he helped them win a World Series the year previous. So if John Henry, who does not have the incredulous reputation that Liberty Media has, doesn’t want to sign him, doesn’t that tell you something?

    In other words, you’re very wrong.

  8. @ 13,

    AND the one team that has the BEST knowledge of Kimbrel’s condition has a potential need for a high leverage high quality reliever and a big payroll, and they haven’t appeared to try to sign him.

    I would say there is a LOT of concern, that “really good Kimbrel” never exists again. And that the risk of getting less than “3 / 4 ass Kimbrel” is high. and if you don’t get 3 / 4 ass Kimbrel you might as well call up …Bryse Wilson, Huascar Ynoa, Patrick Weigel, etc.

  9. I knew all of that. But no one has signed him. It’s possible there are other reasons.

    You also don’t have to be rude.

  10. @13

    Also, define “reduced rate”? Oh, so because the player has reduced his asking price, that means it’s a “reduced rate”, implying some sort of below market discount? Every good free agent in baseball found a way to sign other than Kimbrel and Keuchel because what they were asking for was in line with the market. Kimbrel and Keuchel didn’t do that, and they’ve lost a lot of money, and it’s forced them to lose a 1/3 of their effectiveness to their team this year because they’re just trying to recoup what they’ve lost by waiting past the draft. The draft pick isn’t the problem; it’s their vein attempt at recouping their losses that has necessitated (in their minds) the need to wait past the draft. They could have, ya know, just signed in December for what will undoubtedly be significantly more than what they will receive on June 1st instead of setting an unrealistic price for their services. Are they pioneers, and therefore everyone who signed this offseason are scabs, or did they just play bad economics and now they’re wearing it?

  11. @16 What other reasons are there than I’ve listed? What’s the…. “red flag”? Waive it.

  12. For a lot of fans, the simple conditional statement is “if player does not get asking price, then all owners are evil.” I don’t think it goes any further than that, and there are a lot of MLB analysts perpetuating that myth.

    I see it so much here locally with the Rays owner. But if you tell them that the Rays spend the highest percentage of revenue on player payroll than any other team in baseball, they don’t know that, and it doesn’t matter anyway. In today’s baseball environment, the simple answer to how much the owners should spend is “just a little more.” And that doesn’t change until the MLBPA does a better job of negotiating their own interests.

    With that said, a strike would punch the owners right in the mouth, and while I would not like to see a strike, I would like to see there be a fairer fight than the pretty one-sided affair on just about every issue facing player compensation. The owners are playing chess while the players are playing checkers.

  13. Kimbrel’s my line in the sand on whether the Braves should risk money on signing a big-time free agent. Is his downside no better than Ynoa or Wilson? Absolutely. But every free agent could fall into that boat, and even ones that look really good at the time can do that too (hence the FA market correction going on; not nefariousness).

    For Kimbrel, he has intrinsic value to the Braves regardless. He doesn’t have to be elite to be closer to being worth his money if he is no longer elite. He’s probably the only FA from offseason that would put butts in the seats. He would be such a huge boost to the morale of the team if you brought in someone with Kimbrel’s stature in June while fans and the players have watched what has happened with the pen for the first two months. For me, it’s a no-brainer. If you want to win championships, you have to sign elite players. And until you know Kimbrel isn’t, he’s an elite player. We’d be in first place if we started the year with Kimbrel, especially after last night’s loss.

  14. The draft pick can’t be a deal breaker for *all* 30 teams. If we’re going to speculate, I’d throw out the idea that this might be simple collusion – the type that the next work stoppage is going to be blamed on.

  15. 14 – I think you are saying it wrong about the draft this year/slot given up for Kimbrel.

    As I understand it, teams in our level of revenue sharing lose their 3rd highest pick by signing a QO free agent. The reason our pick is higher than some (or higher than a 3rd rounder) is that we have an extra pick due to not signing Stewart last year, so we would lose our 2nd rounder this year. Teams in our level of rev sharing that didn’t fail to sign picks and don’t have compensation round picks would lose their 3rd round pick this year.

    Last year we lost the our 3rd round pick because of the Drew Waters shenanigans.

  16. All that to say, as of June 3rd, I absolutely want Kimbrel if the price is right and for me, I would pay up to 45 million for 3 years, 35 million for 2 (prorated this year of course).

  17. Ok, yes, thank you. I thought we lost our second-round pick this year because of the international market stuff, not last year. But I also forgot that we had an additional pick. So either way my logic was off.

    It’s still a lot of slot money to be losing when we can’t sign international free agents either. We may have dodged a bullet that the vacated IFA players have not panned out to anything yet, but we’d be really doubling down by losing that much slot money.

  18. Agreed and at 12 days until QOs are eligible to sign without penalty, no sense even considering it. I’m sure that is the thinking of 28 other teams.

    Boston on the other hand, could re-sign for no penalty. They just wouldn’t get compensation but that isn’t happening at this point anyway.

  19. @ 16,

    Chief,

    I was trying to agree with you and amplify with an additional specific fact. I did not intend to be rude. Nor do I see how I was rude.

  20. @5 How in the world do you label signing Kimbrel as a “knock off band-aid” when this team has probably easily lost 8 games due to the pen? Kimbrel doesn’t even have to be Kimbrel, just average-ish, and they probably only lose half as many. I just don’t get that.

    There are also different reasons 29 other clubs haven’t signed him…

    Team not good: Bal, Tor, Det, KC, ChiSox, Tex, Oak, Sea, LAA, Mia, Cin, Col, SF.

    Luxury Tax: NYY, ChiCubs, Bos, Was

    Established Closer Already: LAD, NYM, SD, Hou, Cle

    Atlanta’s one of the few teams with a need, and the money, that should be looking to sign him. They should have already. Why they’re potentially obsessing over slot money when this team has a young core, and is “win now” is baffling.

  21. After reading Rob, apparently I did not agree with Chief.

    If “collusion” is the bug a bear, then how did anyone else get signed? Collusion could lower the market. It would not eliminate the market.

    There are plenty of effectiveness and projection issues raised by Kimbrel’s performance last year to give teams a pause. Particularly if he was talking 6 years 100 mill.

  22. Kimbrel had a save percentage above 86 last year.

    The Braves’ pen in 2019 barely cracks 60.

  23. Atlanta’s one of the few teams with a need, and the money, that should be looking to sign him. They should have already. Why they’re potentially obsessing over slot money when this team has a young core, and is “win now” is baffling.

    Not “baffling” at all. They are forbidden to acquire talent through international free agency for like, 200 years or something. The draft is their only line of new blood into a system that, while stocked, is graduating talent to the majors (and thus to the pay-the-man levels) left and right. They value the prioritization of that pipeline more than the marginal improvement Kimbrel brings before June 01.

    You can disagree with that thinking all you want. But it’s not “baffling” by any means.

  24. I looked up “baffling” in the dictionary, and I found the definition:

    verb (used without object), baf·fled, baf·fling.
    to struggle ineffectually, as a ship in a gale.

    If that’s not the definition of the 2019 Braves bullpen, I don’t know what is.

  25. It’s not baffling, but it does reek of being cheap (and planning to be so for the foreseeable future). They would rather ensure they will remain competitive (and low-cost) years from now than to play to win this year and plan on just spending money to replace talent or fill gaps later on.

    Not baffling. Just cheap.

  26. @31 They’ve also got most of their core in place for 5+ years, and it’s one pick. It’s not even their first pick. That pick also might not even hit. They can also easily play it safe with their picks, and draft college bats that will likely be signable.

    I also wouldn’t label the potential swing of having maybe not lost half of the games that the pen has blown so far as “marginal” when it’s largely the reason they’re trailing the Phils.

  27. @35

    At this point you wait. I think Kimbrel would wait too. His market will be larger in two week than it is today.

  28. It’s not just the pick, it’s their sincere belief that they can do more with slot money than other teams. Whether that’s true or not, coupled with the international issues, that’s clearly a defensible reason to have waited. And yes, at this point, no one is going to sign Kimbrel with the draft quickly approaching.

    Follow me with this, but I’m inclined to believe their slot dollars go farther. Atlanta is uniquely positioned as the only real MLB franchise that has such a rich history in the southeast. And in some ways, amateur talent is just like recruiting. If Atlanta says they’ll sign you at a slot that pays $50k less, would you tell Atlanta you’ll sign if you’re from the southeast? Or are you going to risk ending up in Seattle or Milwaukee? And if you do that 9-10 times every draft, you’re going end up with 4-5 extra players or more talent on the aggregate. With the best baseball being played in the south, this probably happens more than you think.

  29. The Giants are sucking this season too. The Braves will be fortunate to get Mad Bum.

  30. @35 At this point, no. I’m just arguing it should’ve been done before the season, or even in April when it was clear the pen needed help. Maybe I’m misinterpreting some, but I feel they’re saying the Braves shouldn’t have done it at any point before the draft. That’s where I disagree.

    To me, you still do it. May as well wait post-draft now though.

  31. Would anyone here happen to have any knowledge of car air conditioning systems?

    I’ve got a car that will blow ice cold air at the specified velocity for a good 10-15 minutes, then something happens: the system starts to sound “clogged” and the velocity of air coming through the vents at essentially zero. If the car sits for a bit and you turn it back on, it’s back to operating normally, but the cycle continues. My mechanic cannot seem to figure it out.

  32. Sam, Swanson is probably forever a .250 hitter with slightly above average defense and heady baserunning.

    Is that good enough from your starting SS? In 1920 it would be. It would be in 1982.

    Is it now? Tough to say.

  33. When I said that I thought Kimbrel was a band-aid, what I really meant was that I’d rather take that money and acquire multiple guys that might add up to that money.

    I mean yeah, this bullpen will have a night here and there where they get the job done, and they generally have been better but they are still overall a liability.

  34. It’s time to move Dansby to the bottom of the order with Ozzie.

    Acuña
    Freeman
    Donaldson
    Markakis
    Riley
    McFlowers
    Dansby
    Ozzie

  35. sdp @ 41,

    This is not just a wild guess. I think your first problem is your vacuum system on your fan system. I don’t know if really new cars still have this, but historically, when you flip from “defrost” to “panel” and to “floor” (change which vents the air is coming out of) the switch activates a vacuum switch to “suck” a divider into position to direct the air the right way. For some reason, your vacuum line is misbehaving. That would also explain the “funny sound.” Once the divider (baffle was the word I couldn’t come up with) flips all of the way closed, then the sound of the compressor running which comes down the vent line is muffled.

    If it actually is a “compressor lock up” that is occurring, low RG 22 (formerly freon, now maybe a different number, but whatever does the refrigerating) can cause it to freeze up in a literal sense. Then, after engine heat keeps going, it heats enough to unfreeze and then turn back on.

    Maybe the freeze up is also affecting the vacuum line and making it close the vent when it freezes up. Or maybe it has a “protection” that closes it when the compressor freezes to keep it from blowing hot air.

  36. A few weeks ago I would have said we needed a starter and a closer. Given our starter situation and the way our bullpen has been going, I’m pretty good with just a closer now and a bullpen piece later. Even if Julio goes back to bad Julio, between Touki, Newcomb and the guys in AAA, I don’t think a starting pitcher is a pressing need.

  37. Get me to a 7 game series where Soroka pitches 3 times. That gives us a puncher’s chance against anyone. The trick is going to be getting there. For once I’m starting to see how we can actually win a series.

  38. @42 and 15-20 HRs per season. That’s not nuthin’.

    That said, I don’t think he belongs at #2. He hits better lower in the lineup.

    Both Dansby and Ozzie are becoming low OBP types.

  39. If we assume the same four players at the top of the lineup, I’d rather see Acuna, Markakis, Freeman, Swanson than Swanson 2nd and Markakis 4th.

  40. Darn that Dansby guy. He’s such a horrible hitter. Take THAT, Chief.

    Freddie! LOL….. 6 unearned runs.

  41. Jeff S. looks like a grade A douche.

    All 6 runs are “unearned” because of his own error.

  42. I keep going back and forth with being impressed with Samardzija for being a great WR at Notre Dame who then decided he would pitch (two kinda random skill sets, it would seem) and the fact that he seems like a douche. It’s tough.

  43. Dansby is on pace for 26 HRs and will play Gold Glove-caliber defense.

    In defense of Chief, as difficult as that may be, shortstop is a really loaded position, so he may be looking at Dansby, according to WAR, his OPS, etc., and seeing that he’s pretty middle of the road amongst shortstops. In fact, of the top 60 WAR generators, 14 are SS, so it’s pretty disproportionate. Dansby would be a top 10 2B were he able to replicate that at 2B, for example.

    But it doesn’t mean that Dansby is not a very good player.

  44. Is it sacrilege to say that I’m looking forward towards Riley’s AB’s more than I am Ronald’s or Freddie’s?

  45. Has KLaw said anything about Riley since his promotion? Wonder if he’s man enough to admit his evaluation was wrong.

  46. I’ve got to say that I continue to enjoy Francoeur as a commentator. He has some good insight, but doesn’t try to pretend that he was a great player. I get a great sense of true humility and a better understanding of why he was thought of as such a good teammate.

  47. Dansby is on pace for a .254/.315/.463 season, 26 HRs, and 103 RBIs. He’s also on pace for about 6 defensive runs saved, which would actually be down from his 10 last year. So it remains to be seen if he’s underperforming from last year, or the advanced defensive metrics are messing up in sample. Either way, that’ll be good for a 3.4 fWAR season, and he would be rated higher if he gets any uptick in the defensive metrics.

    He’s also probably a little better contact hitter than he’s shown, but it’s possible he’s not a 25 HR guy, so I don’t know how much more offensive production he’ll provide. He had a 107 wRC+ in his half season in 2016, and he has a 101 wRC+ now. I think he’ll be a slightly above average offensive player, an above average defender, a sneaky good baserunner, and intangibles that people who get paid to win baseball games really like.

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