Braves Defensive Stars, Roster News, and Game Thread

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Rob did a great job giving us a look at the midway offensive superstars for the 2020 season. Today, we look at the Braves defensive stars through the eyes of Defensive Runs Saved (would like to use Statcast, but it’s incomplete for now), as well as discuss today’s roster news and lineup.

Braves Defensive Stars

For Camargo and Swanson this seems to check out as both have looked great at their positions for 2020 and Camargo has been able to show off his quick instincts and strong arm at 3B. It’s odd to see Flowers grade out well in DRS, which doesn’t utilize pitch framing. Fangraphs shows Flowers has positive defensive value this year, but his framing numbers aren’t where they have been in the past.

Braves Blunders

Riley’s is a bit of a surprise as he’s looked good over at 3B, especially lately. I’ve noticed that he looks great going glove-side, but down the line and coming in for the ball needs some work. Ozuna should be no surprise. Markakis also shouldn’t surprise anyone, especially in RF where he’s actually at -2 DRS. When he’s in LF, the numbers take an upswing and he’s slightly above average at +1 DRS. This is the 2nd year that Kakes has scored well in left. DRS doesn’t care for d’Arnaud, but Fangraphs really values his framing this year, even moreso than Flowers. It’s a give/take and it’s obvious that the Braves front office holds more value in the Fangraphs perception of catchers.

Cole Hamels Update

I’d imagine that the Braves would be willing to give Cole Hamels 2-3 innings before throwing Robbie Erlin out there again. Hopefully we’ll get good news on Monday.

Patrick Weigel Promoted

This will be Patrick Weigel’s 3rd stint with the team and, hopefully, first time actually pitching in the bigs.

Huascar Ynoa‘s presence as an opener likely bodes well for the aforementioned Patrick Weigel.

Today’s Lineup

Ronald Acuña Jr. returns and Ender Inciarte sits. Is this what heaven will be like?

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

72 thoughts on “Braves Defensive Stars, Roster News, and Game Thread”

  1. This just in from our stat guy:
    In the entire history of professional baseball, Trea Turner is just the second man named Turner to own the Atlanta Braves.

  2. Just FYI, in my understanding, the number of games that we’ve played this season is nowhere near a large enough sample size to be confident in the magnitudes. I don’t buy that Riley’s a negative defender.

  3. I don’t buy that Riley’s a negative defender, either, and certainly not to the same degree that Ozuna is.

  4. The thought occurs that some of that Riley negative defending may be from when he played left field. I don’t think he played left field that much, but I could believe him being a negative defender out there.

  5. Almost through the order the 2nd time and Milone isn’t fooling anyone this inning. Have a quick hook Snit.

  6. For the Record: While Duvall just saved us a run with an incredible HR-saving catch, RAJ probably cost us one with another lazy, head-up-his-ass moment (i.e., not backing up that Cabrera’s smash off the RF wall).

    He’s an amazing talent that could grow up some more.

    EDIT: Guess he knows how to make up for it.

  7. I agree with ububba in that it seems like it should be so easy to fix the admittedly minor issues. It doesn’t really have anything to do with his exuberant style per se. He could without a doubt play good fundamental baseball while still being every bit as enthusiastic as he always is. And it has nothing to do with his otherworldly talent. It’s just irritating.

  8. I just turned on the game. Y’all are doing well without me. And as soon as I turned it on, I heard Chip say one of the ten stupidest things I ever heard him say: that the hardships of this season mean that the eventual WS champ “may be more worthy than any other.” Wow.

  9. While we’re complaining about Chip, I grow tired of his insistence on saying, “Bombs away in Atlanta G-A!!!” seemingly every time we hit more than one home run in any home game. I get that it was a Milo Hamilton saying, but it’s a pretty irritating one, especially when you use it in fairly routine circumstances a lot.

  10. OK. Now I have one more Chipism (that’s now 2 in 10 minutes) and then I’ll shut up. He just went on for a couple of minutes about how exit velocity is more important to a player as to how he’s playing than results of the at bat. Now it’s time to ask: “Probably true, Chip. Now explain why pitchers care more about wins than about how they pitched.”

  11. How many times have we all had to hear Chip’s take about how the Nats lost out on the subsequent season spoils of winning a title. I swear I’ve heard this observation from him at least 6 times now this season.

  12. Probably not a huge deal, but I absolutely send Ozuna home with 2 outs on that Riley single to CF. You’re up 5-1 — make them throw you out.

  13. @13, seconded.

    By the way, one good measure of how good he is is that he’s getting better. Just look at his walk rate. He’s not just an incredible player, he makes lightning-fast adjustments within a single at-bat. Unreal.

  14. Since 1920, 15 teams have had losing records the year after winning the World Series. At 12-24 with 24 games to play, the Washington Nationals, while not a lock to become the 16th, is pretty close to a lock. In percentage terms, though, they’re still in the running to beat out the alltime debacle of the 54-108 Florida Marlins. Indeed, their loss in the first game of the doubleheader has them tied with that ignominious bunch. But the Marlins team consciously disbanded. This one just lost Rendon.

    The next worse, by the way, are the 2014 71-91 Red Sox. The Nats need 27 wins (ie 15-9 over the last 24) to avoid being at least the second-worst hangover team. Pretty bad for a team that according to Chip never got to party in the first place.

  15. This is what I found most strange:
    2012 Sawx: 93 losses, last place (the Bobby Valentine year)
    2013 Sawx: 97 wins, WS champs
    2014 Sawx, 91 losses, last place

  16. @22 – Speaking of that, it was mentioned early on in the game how many pieces are missing from last years Nats team. That got me to thinking – Rendon isn’t quite sparking the Angels this year either. They have Trout, Rendon, Simba and the husk of Pujols. How have they not done more in this brief season? Poor pitching, I’d assume, but just crazy that a team with Trout and Rendon has not done more with it.

  17. @ 13 and 21–I’m fortunate enough to have seen a lot of Mr. Aaron in my formative years, but of all the Braves since then, I agree with you.

  18. @28 – That’s kind of a stretch, but not much you can do with Asdrubel. Always sounded like a side effect to me.

  19. I wonder if there’s a way we could have doubleheaders in the postseason. Not that I’m wishing for a virus outbreak, even among the opposing team, but…

  20. Blew through our good relievers in game 1 so we could concede the second game, I suppose. Why in the world are we continuing to put pitchers who have seen success in long relief in starting roles? We’re hurting both ends of the equation.

  21. You keep starting these dudes and hoping to score 10 runs a game isn’t going to be a good long term strategy.

  22. I keep waiting for one of the games started by one of the “other guys” to absolutely blow up so it forces AA to make a move and bring up anybody else from the player pool. We score so many runs we keep getting away with it

  23. Ynoa hasn’t even shown much in the upper minors. Not sure why he’s been on the major league roster most of the season.

  24. Sure wish we had our better relievers in a tie game and not grant dayton. Sure was smart using them to close a 7-1 game :/

    Not that grant dayton is terrible, but ya know you’d feel better with some other guys.

  25. The best thing about Freddie’s slam is that it totally shut up the Nats broadcasters. F.P. is still mumbling about not throwing any FBs to Dansby.

  26. Yeah, Smith has been struggling. Would’ve liked to see him in the 6th inning of game 1 (4 run lead) and Weigel in the 7th (6 run lead). Then Greene and Minter would be available for game 2. Though I guess we still have Martin, Matzek, and Melancon available. Man, what a deep pen. Hope Smith can turn in a clean frame.

    Edit: nope.

  27. Weigel in game 1 with a 6 run lead? Nope.

    Weigel now? Well, I guess we better get a inning out of him before he is off the roster tomorrow.
    Terrible.

  28. Now I see why the Braves have avoided deploying Weigel. The guy’s got nothing.

    Speaking of guys who’ve got nothing, how about that Will Smith signing? I swear he gives up a HR every time he pitches. It seems like his slider turned from bread and butter to meatball.

  29. Yeah, this was…poorly managed. And is a classic example of “save the game with a big lead at all costs” (I think our lead was still 4 even when we put Shane Greene in the game) and “1-run deficit?….pssssh, not worth throwing the closer for that, just throw whoever the hell.”

    UPDATE: And now we’re gonna turn this game into a joke by pitching Culberson, apparently. You know, we were tied after a 4-run comeback until you threw the Triple-A kid in a winnable game, Snit.

  30. If we lose the division by a game, remember this highly winnable game that we just absolutely threw in the trash can.

    And I typed that just as Culberson got the out, but I stand by the sentiment.

  31. I was barking about using Shane and AJ in he first game as it was happening, and my worst fears were realized.

    Why in world are we trotting out these losers to start when we continue to hoard pitching prospects? ESPECIALLY when it hurts out bullpen depth? Ynoa and Tomlin were proving a ton of value out of the pen, and we decided we’d rather light that on fire than use one of the 900 starters we tanked to draft.

  32. But Snit does this stupid stuff all the time. Tonight wasn’t new for him… the offense bails him out most of the time and tonight they didn’t. Will Smith should be mop up guy until he can get some guys out…geez

  33. Yep, this one is on Snit. If, say, Martin pitches the 7th, good chance we win. If he wanted to get Weigel in, game 1 was his chance.

  34. Even Chip and the beat writers seemed baffled by this display of incompetent managing.

    If you’re wondering what Snitker said in defense, it was something about wanting to have the entire bullpen available for tomorrow (when we’ll either be winning or losing by 7 runs and he’ll pitch our best guys anyway, no doubt). Oh, and Culberson’s been throwing a couple of bullpens…because I guess it’s a major league rule that we’re required to keep him on the roster even though his ass rarely leaves the bench. Not just the bench, actually…I forgot about the COVID-19 protocols. More like row 4, seat 8.

    Oh, and Minter was already warming up for the Atlanta Save in Game 1 when Dansby drove in the extra 2 runs (or 1 plus the error, technically), so we couldn’t possibly sit him back down again after we scored those two in the sixth.

    Essentially, we won Game 1, so Game 2 becomes an exhibition that barely even counts. Better to save all of your guys for a game that’s the only one of the day, therefore you have to make extra super sure you don’t lose that one!

    Snitker lights a potential win on fire once or twice a year that causes me to all but dive out my fourth-story window due to the sheer inanity of the reasoning, and let’s hope this is the only one.

  35. Will not remember all this righteous bickering…what will remain in perpetuity is the sheer boyish delight that Freddie took in his first grand slam in a whole bunch of career attempts. It’s a game.

    One other memory, from Game One. The second Acuna home run. The one that took off like a jet fighter off a carrier deck, eschewed unnecessary altitude, still cleared everything then buried itself in an oversize Christmas Tree which visibly shook at the affront.

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