Braves 2, Rays 1

We will win a lot of two-games series if Mike Soroka and Max Fried are pitching. I don’t want to jinx the gentleman, but things are looking promising with Fried. His curveball is devastating, his command is on point, and he’s had a terrific start to the year. One exciting thing about this shortened season, and the fact that our best pitching is so young, is that we won’t really need to protect them if we were to make the playoffs. Remember, there was some concern with riding the young arms through a playoff run last year. I don’t think we’ll have that concern this year.

Another encouraging aspect is the bullpen. The bullpen has been near-perfect if you exclude Touki’s outings. We can work ourselves up over the usage of guys like Luke Jackson, but the bullpen looks ready for the season.

Not as encouraging is the offense. It’s going to be hard to win a lot of games 2-1, especially with the back half of the rotation looking so bleak, so the offense will need to wake up. In the limited sample, currently 6 lineup regulars are boasting sub-.700 OPSes. That’s not going to cut it. Perhaps some of it is some bad luck. For example, Ryan likely identifies the problem with Austin Riley:

Others are just simply over-matched. Hopefully they’ll sort it out. But it’s not all bad. Dansby Swanson has been absolutely raking. Check out this NSFW image:

(Courtesy of Peanut)

Now that’s a spray chart. Dansby is hitting just about everything hard and all over the field.

Mets come to town tonight. Rick Porcello vs. Sean Newcomb. Here’s another chance, Newk.

17 thoughts on “Braves 2, Rays 1”

  1. I question whether Ozzie is fully fit, he seems lacking some of the remarkable dexterity in the field we are used to seeing from him and on the bases sometimes too. By his standards he can look stiff going to his right on ground balls up the middle, one of which was much in evidence a day or two ago.

    Running out ground balls is OK obviously but not him at his best. And if anything like this were true swinging a bat demands suppleness that might not be there right now.

    Great game last night. Entertainment of the highest quality. Just get fit Oz!

  2. Great op ed, Mr. C. I agree with all but your color coding of Swanson’s chart. Blue and orange? Puhlease.

  3. Ronald will come around. As soon as his bat warms up, the offense will, too. But who in the world will pitch the innings?

  4. There is a link to a report on Talking Chop that indicated timing had a lot to do with the Folty DFA. Apparently, after about 2 more starts, if he were then DFA’d he would have the option to decline the outright assignment to AAA (by reason of having more than 5 years of service time). I do believe that that would have also caused him to have no contract with the Braves. I don’t know if the approx. 2 million would have caused him to accept it anyway.

    I am curious if the service time thing MIGHT cause him to have 2 more arb years instead of 1. Does anybody know?

    And, I have continued to watch the tea leaves and will offer this wild ass speculation on what is going on here. Folty really doesn’t want the surgery. The Braves could state it is medically necessary and they would lose the grievance. The Braves believe that even if Folty doesn’t know it, if he were cut loose, then when his rep approached other clubs, it would come back to “when you get the surgery and we see what you have, we’ll talk.” So then probably, Folty would have the surgery. Also, the Braves have mentioned the weight thing some. They seem to have an unaddressed medical concern there. I think they said “if we are going to have to pay him, we aren’t going to let him get fixed for somebody else’s benefit when he wouldn’t do it for us.” Waivers indicated they were willing to give up his arb right next year (is there now another one?) as long as somebody paid him.

  5. Ruh roh.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29570869/source-mlb-calls-cardinals-brewers-game-due-coronavirus

    The St. Louis Cardinals have had two players test positive for COVID-19, resulting in Major League Baseball postponing Friday afternoon’s game at the Milwaukee Brewers, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

    That brings the number of teams being held out of action on Friday to six. The Brewers and Cardinals will join the Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays as teams affected by the fallout from positive tests.

    So, one-fifth of MLB is being held out of action today. Hopefully the positive test count doesn’t go up tomorrow.

  6. Damn. It’s going to be a constant fight to play games this “season” if we’re able to pull the whole thing off. I hope so. It’s been so nice to have baseball this past week.

  7. The good news about the Phillies is that on field transmission is not as big a risk as we might have feared. The bad news from the Cardinals is that players will continue to test positive. And the even worse news from the Marlins is that once it is in a clubhouse, spread can be rampant throughout a team.
    All of this is anecdotal, of course, but it seems to me that the odds of making it through this season are not good.

  8. Great comeback against a really good team after losing the first two games. Better start hitting tonight though.

  9. And multiple Phillies team personnel have tested positive. The Cardinals got their positive cases independently. Agree with @6, this is going to be a constant struggle.

  10. Teams need to get better. Bottom line. There is a limitless amount of resources to throw at this problem. They’ll just to keep doing more and more until the problem is gone.

  11. I never really noticed Fried’s slider until last night. Sharp break at 83 mph. It was deadly.

  12. Well, it’s not just Kurkjian.

    Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29572885/sources-mlb-commissioner-warns-shutdown-players-do-better-job-managing-coronavirus

    Blame Clark and the players as much as you like, but it infuriates me how little leadership Manfred has exerted. If the season ends prematurely, he needs to fall on his sword and get fired. Baseball’s entire COVID response – from the three months of bad-faith negotiation while the league became a laughingstock, to today’s admission that the season is in jeopardy, just one week after restarting – has been shameful.

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