Recap (kind of) and Finding Room for Orlando Arcia

Tucker Davidson was good. Freddie Freeman was good. Luke Jackson was good. Tyler Matzek was good. Ehire Adrianza was good. Everyone else sucked and Dansby royally sucked. Braves lost their 8th game in which they were tied in the 7th. Let’s move on.

Orlando Arcia

On April 6th, the Braves swung a trade, sending Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka to the Milwaukee Brewers for Orlando Arcia. When I heard the news, I immediately started thinking of ways to find playing time for Arcia and, truly, trying to make sense of the trade. Unfortunately for Arcia, he still had options and Anthopoulos sent him to Gwinnett. On May 4th, the MiLB season kicked off and Arcia started his tour of terror on MiLB pitchers.

Out the gate, Arcia went 1-4 with 2BBs in an extra inning affair and, thus far, he’s collected at least 1 hit in all 12 games of the Stripers season. However, the hits haven’t been cheap as 10 of his 20 hits have went for extra bases, including a league leading 7 home runs.

Swing Changes

Recently, I’ve looked at video of the 26-year old shortstop and I can see 2 eye-opening differences in the swing when he was with Milwaukee.

  1. He’s definitely selling out for more power, yet the strikeouts aren’t coming (8.3% K-rate).
  2. The bat has a slight uppercut and is staying in the zone for an extended time.

While it’s true that AAA is still playing with the old MLB that ignites flight, the balls aren’t bigger, so the low K-rate is a really good sign that the Braves might’ve found a bargain.

A trusted eye of all things in the Braves Minor Leagues had this to say about Arcia:

Finding a Spot for Arcia

Dansby Swanson is the Braves shortstop and Dansby Swanson will continue to be the shortstop unless Alex Anthopoulos takes that decision from Brian Snitker. I cannot imagine that would happen until 2022 at the earliest. While Arcia has only played shortstop in 2021, Arcia has experience, albiet limited, in the outfield, 2B, and 3B. If the Braves truly wanted to get the most of their Arcia experience, they could check the YES box on 6 positions and rotate him around to give everyday players a breather. Would Brian Snitker deter from his plan of everyday players to give Arcia a chance? My guess is no…unless Arcia forced his hand and that would likely come via an injury/poor production from an everyday player.

However, when considering any of this, it is important to keep the Adam Duvall rule in the forefront of our thoughts and June 7th is the day to remember, as it’s the day Arcia can become a Brave and be a Brave for 2 more years, rather than 1.

Final Thoughts

Dansby Swanson has sucked. Would Orlando Arcia be better? I don’t think he could be worse. So…you can read the above breakdown, or you can just skip to here and get your answer.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

73 thoughts on “Recap (kind of) and Finding Room for Orlando Arcia”

  1. With all of the no hitters thrown this year, Atlanta no has the 5th longest drought since Merker’s 1994 no-hitter. Is this the year that we see one? My money would be on Ian Anderson as he has the most unhittable stuff many night, only real worry is pitch efficiency. Who else could do it? Fried? Smyly?

  2. The Offence Needs To be More patient at the Plate. Don’t swing on the first pitch. Look at Ronald Acuna he has brought Both his Average up band Both Strike out Fly out, and Ground out Rate severely I wish Freeman, Ozuna, and Swanson would all follow his Example . Allstar game is Approaching The voting Will not Be a positive outcome for them if they don’t start a new phase . They are ni where near Their Potential from the last 3 Years . Brian Snitiker should call a emergency Meeting. Before Both attendance and their wins suffer. The owner and Board of directors Won’t like it and call for Abrut Changes to occur immediately.
    Bill Edwards Sports Editor of The Palm Coast Tribune.

  3. I was noticing on Sunday that career-wise, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Arcia, Swanson, Heredia, or Adrianza, offensively. https://bravesjournal.us/2021/05/16/brewers-10-braves-9/

    But we need to know who is going to help us right now and in the future. Arcia and Swanson are essentially the same age; Heredia and Adrianza are 3 – 4 years older.

    If Arcia has some assignable reason he is separating himself, I’m open to taking a look at it. The other side of is is, do we think that Swanson is liable to “regress to the mean,” and go on a hot streak, or if he is truly broken?

    We’ve been waiting on Dansby to break through for years now, and the clock is ticking.

  4. When evaluating minor league players, I think it is important to see where the success comes. If it is primarily against career minor league players than that success STAYS in the minor leagues. Conversely if it is primarily against future major league players than there is a good chance it carries to the big show.
    Stats can be deceiving. Watching a player perform everyday is much more revealing. All these numbers, often the person using them doesn’t know a baseball from a softball. Or worse, but out of respect I will not go there.
    Mr. Swanson is very likable and very average at best. Just saying.
    Please gang a victory today. Please.

  5. I love Dansby as a personality, and I love his defense. But this bat is unplayable. He has struck out in over 50% of his ABs this month, including 13 strike outs in his last 22 ABs. And even with an increase in his home run rate (maybe some luck on his side?), his .668 OPS is still unplayable.

    If you don’t want to tell Dansby you’re benching him, can you play some games with him? For his career, he has no platoon split: .708 vs. RHP and .709 vs. LHP. Do you tell him that Arcia crushes LHP, so he’s going to get some starts against LHP. And then if Arcia plays well in that optimal environment, you just start letting Dansby have days off after when he strikes out 3+ times in a game, which he’s done three times in the last 6 games? Dansby is still going to get pllllllenty of PAs if he’s your SS against RHP, so it’s not like you’re going to stunt whatever development he still has in him if you sit him against LHP, giving Arcia a rightful opportunity to earn a job.

    Gotta do something somewhere. If they dig too much of a hole, this division is too good to crawl back out.

  6. @EdK

    Yes it’s AAA and yes, it’s a juiced ball. However, his K-rate has plummeted, hard contact has sky rocketed, and swing is totally different. Those are great signs no matter the competition.

  7. I don’t think a .650 OPS from an 8-hole hitter with great defense is “unplayable” — right now, I think Dansby is playing somewhere between a second-division starter and a supersub. He’s playing like a guy you’re forced to play due to injury. If he plays just slightly better, he becomes a league-average starter.

    I think Arcia deserves a look, but you basically have to work him in through some combination of days off (you could call it “platooning”) for Riley, Swansby, and Albies, late-inning defensive caddying, and the occasional DH. In otherwords, the Camargo role. You could make him a sort of permanent sixth man.

    The thing I don’t think you can do is just give him a starting job unless someone gets hurt. Swanson is slumping, but he’s not Pache. The real issue is that I think there needs to be an objective criterion for how much Swanson has to suck to lose his job, and without that, it feels unfair. If that criterion is there, and he can’t do it, then it’s fair to Wally Pipp him with Arcia. In the meantime, I’d rather get some Major League looks at Arcia. He was a great prospect, but his first 1800 ML plate appearances have been pretty crappy, so I’m not willing to bench Dansby without seeing some evidence that Arcia is truly a different guy when he faces pitchers in the Show.

  8. I like the article. I don’t know whether it’s more time to devote to the craft, or more effort or more confidence, but your writing style has improved, Ryan. Bravo!

    And we all like Dansby, and it’s cool that he went to the same elementary school as my kids, but something needs to be done to get him back on track. Maybe a phantom injury sends him to the alternate site for a couple weeks of “rehab”.

  9. The prior comment is 100% a compliment and not a back-handed slap. Style was fine before, but now it’s concise and refined.

  10. I am a big proponent of the phantom injury. Heck, all these guys are dinged up, there’s no shame in letting a guy just go be hurt and get better in Gwinnett for a couple of weeks.

  11. @8

    A river of reasoned resources with which I can have no quarrel. When the Rolls is down to running on 7 cylinders fit one new plug, not all eight. Arcia being the phenom of the moment will be ample motivation for Dansby to remember two of his home runs to the opposite field a week or two back which were glorious to watch and had him childishly excited. Nothing can beat that for motivation.

    Acuna on the other hand, dear me. Every so often someone of his age and ability and perceived petulance when he is hurt needs to be sat down – he will soon enough ‘recover’. He handles strike outs fine, let him learn to take the other things in life. Unwatchable currently I suspect he will be back.

  12. I think the gap between AAA(A) pitching and the MLB sometimes provides fools gold. Especially when you consider that the old ball is being used there.

    Do I wonder if Arcia might be better than Swanson, right now? Yes. Do I think he will be sufficient to sustain the ‘hit’ to Braves Country and all the suburban housewives that like his hair, no.

    He’d need to be demonstrably better, IMO, to make that move.

    From earlier today in the other thread….. One would wonder if its still just SSS but Freddie’s change in outcome from line drives to GBs and FOs with an increased HR% is just that, SSS, or does it portend a more ’empty’ player going forward. I.E. Joey Gallo is IMO an empty player. I’m not comparing the two, who would? I do think its an interesting trend but it also leads me to be more certain that I wouldn’t sign him to a long term mega deal. I’ve contended all along that teams that finish 3rd place in their division (if it ended today) shouldn’t sink that high of a % of their budget into an aging 1B playing a very very non-premium position.

    AlexR had an interesting comment within my Trout give that I wanted to expound on. He (I’m paraphrasing) said something along the lines of viewpoints being different for different ppl. This is both correct and instructive. I’m not into baseball to be entertained. I don’t watch to be entertained along the lines of a cool (LOL) bat flip or to see ‘flair’ or whatever. Some (many?) fans are. That’s fine. But I watch to see my team try and win. To try and win championships. They could be boring and vanilla but if they win I personally am happy. The entertainment factor for me is very low. All baseball is entertaining. I have the package and watch games randomly all the time. But I could care less the Q factor that individual players have. If I woke up tomorrow and saw that the Braves traded Freddie, I wouldn’t even shed a tear unless I thought that the trade made the Braves less likely to win ON THE FIELD either in the short or long term. I really do not care if they sign him to a mega deal or not, as it befits my fandom of the organization.

    Trading Mike Trout from a baseball perspective would make sense for the Angels. From a FO/fanbase perspective, Alex would be 100% correct.

  13. BRAVES acquire C Kevan Smith from the Tampa Bay RAYS for cash considerations, activate Grant Dayton, and send Tucker Davidson foolishly down the Gwinnett Shuttle.

  14. It’s probably a net positive just in case you have an injury and need to get somebody to town in a hurry, but the fact that the Braves feel like they can’t go a single day without NINE relievers ready to roll, does not speak well of the rotation.

  15. @17
    This will sound crazy, but I think I’m agreeing with you

    Lineup:

    Thoughts:

    New guy’s nickname is “Smitty”. Sorry…that’s already taken.

  16. Ryan, I was referring to all players, pitchers and hitters. It also applies in the Major League. Who does the best against the best are the best. Simple. Because in the playoffs you see more of the best.
    Talking Chop and their insane numbers shows me they come from the group, head is you know where.
    Ryan, you are the most readable and educational. Others are borderline clueless. And I insist it helps to play a very sophisticated game to understand the many nuonsciences.
    I look forward to success tonight.
    I have always liked Charlie Morton.
    Please don’t be a D S.

  17. Soooooo Bryse Wilson has replaced Ynoa, I guess?

  18. Like Highlander, there can be only one Smitty.

    I’m changing my name to Inanimate Carbon Rod to open the door to other Kyle Bs.

  19. So it’s about time for the most inconsistent team in baseball to start their 3 to 4 game winning streak so everyone can start posting about how they’ve turned the corner.

    Btw, I don’t know about his defense but we could do a lot worse than Kevan Smith offensively as a backup catcher.

  20. @27 I have soured on the offense at this point, so it’ll take more than a week of good play to get me again! Fool me once…

  21. Getting no hit through 3 -check
    letting Villar or Nido beat you-check

    Braves are just….let me stop typing.

  22. I think the Braves may need a new official hot sauce. The original Louisiana brand clearly isn’t sparking the offense.

  23. Heredia and Sandoval have been the saviors of our season.

  24. Our pitchers might be the weakest mental pitchers in the league. They absolutely crap the bed if something goes wrong

  25. Fire Kranitz. Do something. And of course, the runs aren’t earned — but they should be, because this is the mess Minter made.

  26. This f-ing bullpen. Crappy management, crappy pitchers. Get these idiots a psychologist and teach them how to handle adversity.

  27. I expect the top of the order to go quietly in a 1-2-3 shutdown inning for whatever scrap heap pitcher the Mets throw out there

  28. Looks like Ozzie is swinging with his eyes closed the last two at bats. How much longer can they keep this up? Dump Seitzer, Kranitz…somebody

  29. When you only have one good pinch-hitter, not sure why you would burn him in the 6th inning with your starting pitcher at 79 pitches. Is Adrianza THAT much better than Morton, because you’ll have to use Adrianza later in the game because you PH for Morton so early.

  30. That’s a heck of a piece of hitting there by Contreras.

  31. Dansby is worse than replacement level at this point. See if Arcia can just be average and let Dansby try to figure it out in Gwinett.

  32. Dansby now out slugging Ozuna…that is pathetic…so if Dansby is less than replacement level with his defense, what does that make Ozuna?

  33. Alright, after watching Dansby get thrown out at third, I’m ready to IL the guy. Figure out a reason.

  34. Another heady move by Snit running when the lefty is up instead of the righty. I swear sometimes it feels like Snit is trying to torpedo the season with his bonehead decisions

  35. What the hell Swanson … a left handed batter and you try to steal 3rd … look who was on deck .. stupid .. trying to bunt a guy that clearly not comfortable .. Snit has lost his freaking mind .

  36. Tied in the 9th. I have a really bad sinking feeling.

    What a horrible bottom of the 8th. You have to try really hard to do that bad with 1st and 2nd and no outs.

  37. Tied going into the ninth = game over.
    Get ‘em tomorrow. Preferably without whoever was responsible for Swanson trying to steal third.

  38. Will Smith does not have closer stuff … AA made bad mistake on him and letting Melancon go .. AA has no idea on relievers .. Mets got 2 flame throwers .. we got guys who are inconsistent and head cases..

  39. Okay. Now all is right. Everyone can start talking about this being the turning point of the season and we can enjoy 2 or 3 more wins against the Pirates

  40. It’s about farging time!!! Say what you will about Acuna, but where are we without Morton’s base hit?

    And Riley should be getting a lot of love now.

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