The Skinny On the Atlanta Braves 2015 Season
After winning the first 5 games of the year and having a 42-42 record just before the break, the Atlanta Braves 2915 season had a lack of talent combined with in-season trades and injuries, dooming the team to a putrid finish and an overall 68-93 record. Along the way Shelby Miller would see Atlanta lose a team-record 24 consecutive starts while providing him just 2.38 runs per outing to work with.
- Manager: Fredi Gonzalez 573 runs scored 760 allowed
- General Manager: John Hart, sorta
- Scouting Director: Brian Bridges
- Best Players: Andrelton Simmons 3.9 WAR Shelby Miller 3.6 Freddie Freeman 3.3 Alex Wood 2.5 Nick Markakis 1.7
A Tumultuous Offseason
- 9/21/14 Frank Wren resigns
- 9/22 John Hart named acting General Manager, Coppy named Assistant GM
- 11/01/2014 Free agents Ervin Santana, Aaron Harang, Kris Medlin, Brandon Beachy, Cory Gearin, Gerald Laird, Ryan Doumit, Ramiro Pena, and Bonerface leave for greener pastures
- 11/16/2014 Traded Tommy LaStella and International Bonus slot to Cubs for Arodys Vizcaino
- 11/17/2014 Traded Haywood and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins
- 12/19/2014 Traded Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft to Padres for Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson and Tim Raines Jr.
- 01/01/2015 Traded Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter to Yankees for Manny Banuelos
- 01/14/2015 Traded El Oso Blanco and James Hoyt to Astros for Folty, Andrew Thurman and Rio Ruiz
- 4/5/2015 Traded Kimbrel and Melvin to Padres for Carlos Quentin (immediately released and retired), Cameron Maybin, Jordan Paroubeck, Matt Wisler and the 41st pick in the next draft (Austin Riley).
- Free agents signed included Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson and Josh Outman for the bullpen, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and outfielders Johnny Gomes and Neck. Kelly Johnson was brought back as an NRI as were Alberto Callespo, Eric Young Jr. and Eury Perez.
In summation, we traded 21+ 2015 WINS for pretty much no 2015 gain plus a collection of unknown future value. Adding 21 wins to the 67 actual wins doesn’t qualify for the playoffs– it took 97 to qualify for the wildcard that year. BUT, the mutts only won 90 games and took the season series with the Braves 11-8. Could we have done better with the departed stars?
Opening Day Lineup
- Eric Young, Jr, CF
- Jace Peterson, 2B
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Christian Bethancourt, C
- Kelly Johnson, LF
- Alberto Callaspo, 3B
- Andrelton Simmons, SS
- Julio Teheran, P
This is astounding bad lineup construction even given that only 4 of them are legitimate major league players. For a fun thought experiment, ponder on the fact that Alex Wood had more offensive WAR in 2015 than Young, Bethancourt and Callaspo combined.
In the Draft, new Scouting Director Brian Bridges brought a much needed new emphasis on quality at the top to the team. We acquired Colby Allard, Mike Soroka, Austin Riley and A.J. Minter in the first 2 rounds. Christian Pache and Derian Cruz were the big international signings. To fit Cruz’s bonus into the budget the team began a series of sham signings and kickbacks to agents that would lead to the sanctions of 2017.
Atlanta Braves 2015 Top Prospects
(Ozzie was #6, Fried honorable mention)
(Ozzie #8, Fried #11)
The Worst Moment of the Year
As part of a 3-team trade, the Braves traded Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza and Alex Wood to the Los Angeles Dodgers and eceived Zachary Bird, Hector Olivera and Paco Rodriguez from the Los Angeles Dodgers and 2016 Competitive Balance Round A pick (Joey Wentz) from the Miami Marlins.
We thus removed 2 useful members of the bullpen and our best starting pitcher (plus our top-rated prospect!) to get a 32 year old sex offender with $30M remaining on his contract and 2 guys who would never recover from injury.
The Final Score
W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 90 72 0.556
Washington Nationals 83 79 0.512 7
Miami Marlins 71 91 0.438 19
Atlanta Braves 68 93 0.420 22
Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 0.389 27
To further masochists’ pursuit of the hell that was the 2015 team, I suggest perusal of Edward’s fine series about “The most 2015 Moments of 2015.”