Through One Month, Your Offensive Summary

I like how, in a normal season, you don’t really look at team stats, and especially individual stats, until you get about 45 games into the season. But this isn’t a normal season. So as we’re a month in, we’re halfway done with the regular season. Where does the offense stand so far?

So far, not bad. We currently sit 5th in MLB in runs scored, and 9th in wRC+. Using a cumulative stat like runs scored may not be the best way of evaluating this season since not everybody has played the same amount of games. But the only team ahead of the Braves in wRC+ that hasn’t played as many games is the Phillies (they’ve played 4 less), so I don’t think that runs scored ranking is particularly misleading.

The star performers have obviously been Dansby Swanson, Marcell Ozuna, and Freddie Freeman, which is nice since they have played in the most team games and collected the most PAs. Dansby’s walk rate has been atrocious (4.5%), but he’s otherwise been what we’ve always hoped he’d be: 114 wRC+,0.9 fWAR in 36 games, playing great defense and in the lineup every day. Ozuna’s been incredible: 161 wRC+ and 1.2 fWAR. He would be on pace for 54 home runs in a 162-game season. Freddie has been almost as good: 159 wRC+ and 1.3 fWAR showing that his elbow problems are in the past.

Nick Markakis rolled out of bed one day, decided to opt in, and he’s rocking a 140 wRC+ while playing in 20 of our 36 team games. I thought he’d be well behind the competition, but here he is. Adam Duvall and Travis d’Arnaud have also been huge contributors with their 111 and 129 wRC+, respectively. After starting slow, Ronald Acuna has also been his usual self, matching Freddie Freeman in home runs with 5 (in 13 less games), and also contributing an elite 140 wRC+. Austin Riley now has the 5th-most PAs on the team and has inched his way to a 98 wRC+. Of the position player prospects, he has been the chief target of criticism, but he’s knocking the homers, so I think he’s here to stay.

So most of the offense has been quite good. And our minds tend to gravitate towards the offensive zeroes, so let’s run through those. Ender Inciarte, of course, is an offensive dumpster fire. He’s got a 44 wRC+, and he’s just simply not hitting anything hard. We’ve seen the physical decline coming for a while, and while he’s probably better than his 44 wRC+, I believe his days as a lineup regular are absolutely over.

But for me, the most disappointing aspect is Johan Camargo’s struggles. With Ender, you had an idea that he was going to start hitting a rough patch as he aged, and he’s being paid so much that they will give him every opportunity within reason to get it right. Camargo’s struggles (65 wRC+) along with the fact that he’s gotten the 4th-most PAs on the team tell me that Atlanta really, really wants this to work. You wouldn’t keep running him out there as much as just about any other player if they didn’t feel like he’s better than he’s shown. Contrast that with Ender where it seems Atlanta has made their decision on him: he’s a bench player now. I don’t get that sense with Camargo.

How do you feel the offense has done so far?

26 thoughts on “Through One Month, Your Offensive Summary”

  1. RE: Chip, I blame him for Kelsey’s departure—based on insinuations from DOB and others around the situation—so he can go straight to hell (in baseball terms, that means calling the Mets for the rest of his life).

  2. I hadn’t heard that, but her leaving was inexplicable on its face — she was doing a great job.

    I was all for giving Camargo a solid shot this year, and he’s gotten it. Hasn’t gone great. Albies’ return should slot Camargo where his talents best serve the team — infield utility.

    Thanks for the answers on Don Sutton. My question spurred me to check out his Wikipedia page for the first time — I knew about his upbringing and remember the Garvey set-to, but I did NOT know about the John Candelaria situation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Sutton

  3. A minority of 1 is where you spend a lot of time, Chief. But I think the Yankees TV guys are pretty good, if not up to the Mets trio, and I’ll even concede an admiration for Suzyn Waldman on radio. But John Sterling is a bridge too far.

  4. @1
    In regards to the Chip/Kelsey thing: she found him irritating and/or incompetent, or like…some kind of sexual harassment scenario was implied? I had always just assumed that she moved on to greener pastures. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her predecessor in a more prominent role elsewhere in the sports media landscape, but I can’t remember that woman’s name or face at this point.

    Honestly, I never cared much for Kelsey, which was almost entirely based on the way she pronounced “Julio.” She always pronounced it as if it were spelled “Jolio” as in “Cornholio.” It really got on my nerves. The replacement seems to be doing just fine. If KW was a victim of some kind of malfeasance or impropriety, that’s a bummer. But I don’t consider that job to be of any real significance to the quality of the broadcasts. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of pretty white girls who can read from teleprompters.

  5. You guys are spoiled for broadcast teams. I’m in the DC market and have to live with guys like F.P. Santangelo (Nats) and Ben McDonald and Mike Bordick (O’s). The O’s used to have a good broadcast team with Jon Miller but he retired (after about 100 years) and Jim Hunter was good too (he should be back sometime). But their color guys, OMG, McDonald sounds like he just crawled out of a Louisiana swamp and what should be folksy sounds more redneck coming out of him. And if I hear Bordick talk about how many “steaks” this guy has I may throw up.

    F.P. Santangelo and the whole Nats broadcast team are such incredible home-ers. They disparage anything and anyone that is not on the Nats and they even try to put a positive spin on the Nats bullpen.

    We’re lucky to have guys like Chip and Frenchy, as low a bar as that might be. I always liked Sutton too. Of course, I grew up with Skip and Ernie and Pete Van Wieren and Milo Hamilton. Those were guys that you could listen to forever.

  6. Thanks for the offensive summary, Rrob. Very interesting. Quite amazing to see this great performance without Ozzie and somewhat RAJ on top of lineup. After what he’s been through, especially last season, Duvall is an easy guy to root for. One of my favorite moments ever watching live at Suntrust Park was his 2R HR in the 7th inning of the NLDS game 2.

    Now let’s drop Eflin and Tomlin from the rotation and see what Wright, Folty, Touki, Tucker and eventually Hamels can do for the rest of the season.

  7. I’ve seen this TV show before, the one where Folty begins the year terribly, gets sent down, returns to pitch well in the regular season, and then the postseason goes…. differently. The 2019 season of this TV show is traumatic enough.

    There is just nothing that I can learn about his performance at the alternate site that makes me want to see him in Atlanta again. There is no way I would hand him the ball in the playoffs, so what is the point of him getting 4–5 starts now?

  8. From Jason Stark today – Josh Hader has faced 47 batters so far this season without yielding a hit, which is a record from the start of a season. And the previous record holder, with 39? Brad Clontz in 1998. I hate it when Braves lose MLB records I never knew they had.

  9. @9, I’m with you on never giving him another postseason start, but if he can eat innings, I’m happy enough to let him do that. At this point, our pitching staff has redefined the Atlanta Quality Start as four innings, three earned runs.

  10. Having an offense that can turn games around in a hurry is a pleasure to watch. And with the injuries to RAJ & Albies, getting Ozuna’s peak performance has been crucial. He’s a lifetime .792 OPS guy, who’s currently sitting pretty at 1.014.

    #10
    Hader & Clontz… talk about 2 very different kinds of pitchers.

  11. If there’s one thing you can say about Ozuna this year, he’s not getting lucky and poking over wall-scrapers. He’s gonna make himself a whole truckload of simoleons this winter and bless him for betting on himself on a one-year deal. He’s earned every penny. What a hitter.

  12. @9

    I hear what you’re saying and I agree in principle, but if he comes back and shows the same form that he did after he came back from Gwinnett last year, would I have to consider him for a playoff start given the state of our current rotation? Unfortunately yeah, I would. If Hamels manages to get back to form without exploding, Folty would be no better than fourth on the list, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of starting him in a must-win game again (although we got away with doing that once last year, just….well, we certainly didn’t get away with it twice), but I’m afraid we don’t have the luxury right now of excluding someone who’s pitching well from our postseason rotation because he crapped the bad in a winner-take-all game last year.

    Having said all that, I’ll believe Folty’s not gonna be a mess when I see it, so it’s my guess that he won’t work himself into that position, anyway.

  13. At this point, when the chips are down in a must-win game, I would trust Tyler Yates over Folty.

  14. I agree completely that having Folty start a must win playoff game is not something I ever wish to see again.

    Having said that, I was at game 2 last October and Folty was masterful in a tense, tight, must-win game. His upside is clearly much better than anyone we have right now beyond Fried and Anderson.

    And yes, I remember game 5–his downside is about as low as it gets.

  15. @9 I hear ya, but when the other options are Tomlin, Erlin and Millone I like Folty and Newk better if the velo is good.

  16. I would rather start Tomlin than Folty. Call me crazy. Folty may be a better bet to give you 7 scoreless, but he’s also a better bet to get bombed in the first inning and thus end the game before it starts, and that’s not just based on game 5 last year. Tomlin is a better bet to give you 4 mediocre innings and turn it over to the bullpen, and I just don’t know what Folty is going to do in a hypothetical 3-4 start stint here in September to change my mind. Let’s say he gives you 4 starts, all 7 innings scoreless (highly unlikely). Don’t care, don’t trust him, he’s dead to me.

    How the bloody hell do you show up for Spring Training for a Major League Baseball season looking like Macauley Culkin after his crack binge? Unforgivable.

  17. EOF mentioned in the podcast with DOB a few weeks ago that he started to eat healthier and lose weight in one specific offseason to be in better shape for the season. He had lost weight also and had a similar experience as Folty if I recall correctly. Just didn’t work for him (either).

    Who knows what Folty was thinking, but I’d definitely want to give him another chance. Yes, he had a nightmare inning in game 5 but he was just the opposite in game 2 when we really needed that W and he pitched one of the best games of his career.

    I’m not ready to give up on him. Let’s get him right and build him back up. If not for this season, do it for the next.

  18. Ynoa starting game 2 now, Tomlin pushed back to Sunday. Milone, Eflin, Tomin, Ynoa: Your Atlanta Braves starting rotation. Scary. Go Braves.

  19. @22
    That’s unfortunate. I like Ynoa as a reliever, but he has a seemingly zero percent chance of throwing 4 innings. It would be one thing if we had confidence in Millone to give us 5 or 6 innings. We could be looking at two starts for Johnny Wholestaff. Seems like this would have been a pretty ideal day to= give Touki, Wright, Folty or Wilson a chance.

  20. Why would Folty think he needed to lose weight? This is the same guy that said he wasn’t eating before starts and needed to improve his nutrition. This is the same guy that’s had to leave starts due to heat exhaustion, and that was apparently unrelated to the times he didn’t eat before his starts. And so his solution to all of this is to show up even leaner? That’s either BS or just lunacy. Either way, not good, and not someone you want to be giving starts to down the stretch. But I know I’m in the minority on this because his upside is indeed quite tantalizing. I’m just done with him, man. He’s just drama.

  21. Patrick Wiegel named as 29th man for the double header. Snit, when pressed, says he has been pleased by his ability to wiegel out of trouble. But finally admitted he had never seen him pitch.

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