AA Kilt it! And Game Thread

This graphic features Travis d’Arnaud preparing to hit while walking up to the plate holding his bed in his hands with the words “welcome back” in front of him.

When we Braves fans woke up this glorious Wednesday morning, our team, who’ve straddled the horse of mediocrity all season, were 1 game back of the division leader. Shockingly, the team is also closing in on the 2nd Wild Card, and while it’s likely a pipe-dream, 7 games do not seem so far away as it did 2 weeks ago. Alex Anthopoulos stated at the beginning of the season that his main concern was depth. Because the Braves lacked the funds at the beginning of the year, AA’s attempts to add depth seemed as half-hearted as Richie Tennenbaum’s broken-hearted tennis match.

Shane Greene was the one player that Braves fans clamored for and he was just released. It seems as though Braves don’t have a strong track record with players that go unsigned in the offseason (or are signed but aren’t healthy), skip spring training, and then find a contract (see Dallas Keuchel, Cole Hamels, Shane Greene). Between Jeff Mathis, Jesse Biddle, Edgar Santana, Carl Edwards Jr., Jonathan Lucroy, Philip Ervin, Nate Jones, Jesse Chavez, Orlando Arcia, Jay Flaa, Yoan Lopez, Kevan Smith, Tanner Roark, Victor Arano, and Ty Tice (Geez, AA), only Edgar Santana and Jesse Chavez remain. And, depending on who you ask, only Jesse Chavez stands out as someone that has made a real impact.

However, Braves fans came out in droves and helped the team lead the league in attendance and AA was able to cash in the added funds to add the depth at the deadline that the team lacked. Now, with Ian Anderson, Huascar Ynoa, and Travis d’Arnaud all expected to be back soon, this team has a real shot to shock the NL East.

Checking in on the Newbies

Eddie Rosario will be back in a week or 2, but where does he play? In all likelihood, that answer is the bench until Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, or Adam Duvall hit a slide. Here are the current numbers for the Braves trade deadline additions:

  • Adam Duvall, 3 HRs, .839 OPS
  • Joc Pederson, 3 HRs, .842 OPS
  • Jorge Soler, 3 HRs, 1.104 OPS
  • Richard Rodriguez, 6 flawless innings

Lengthening the lineup without the elite bat of Ronald Acuña Jr. was priority number 1 and the Braves did just that without sacrificing any real future prospects and/or players. Furthermore, Rodriguez has 2 more years of team control and both Joc and Duvall have options that, if picked up, would only cost the Braves an additional $11.5MM. It’s not my money, but I’d be down like a clown.

Roster Move

Kevan Smith had one quality, albeit likely a fluky one, and it wasn’t enough to balance out everything else that was horrendous. In the end, the Braves get a semi-platoon that should work out nicely as both Stephen Vogt and d’Arnaud are good veteran catchers.

Braves Lineup

A Braves win and a Phillies loss puts us back in first. Giddy up.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

72 thoughts on “AA Kilt it! And Game Thread”

  1. FIRST (it’s been a long time since anybody did that here).

    This season seems like the injury year from hell. Has anybody seen anything official on that? Is it just lack of ease in my weary mind?

  2. FLAAAAAAAAHN!

    I remember seeing stuff on that earlier in the year, not sure I’ve seen anything lately, but I’d be shocked if we didn’t see that injuries this year were up above normal by statistically significant margins. The last 18 months have been so profoundly disrupted, and the muscles athletes are so sensitive to disruptions of habits, that it’d be surprising if the differences didn’t bear out in the injury rates.

    I just got done reading Jeff Passan’s book The Arm, which was quite good. One thing he mentioned in passing really struck me. A few years back, the league office started studying injuries in detail. They noticed that a disproportionate number of hamstring injuries occurred in the first couple months of the season. They started targeting hamstring strengthening in spring training. Injuries fell.

  3. As I just noted, TDA is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill in Kevan Smith. After 15 games or so if his OPS is below .300 and he is averaging a passed ball every game, he may start hearing a few boo birds.

  4. Did you guys see the piece they did at the start of the broadcast on the NL ROY candidates? Wow, that is a weak field. With guys like Acuna and Soto, along with Tatis and VG Jr lately, it seems exceptionally weak. I’m sure the lack of development due to Covid last year has to contribute. Gives me a little more hope that Pache will right the ship.

  5. I find it interesting that we’re up 5-0, yet you wouldn’t know it from the comments. I think we’re not used to them winning this season. I know I am.

  6. Anderson didn’t have a very good rehab start. 64 pitches in 3 IP, 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 3 runs.

  7. All three Reds outfielders seem to be having trouble with fly balls. I’m not sure if they’re overrunning the ball or taking bad routes and getting turned around. Is it the rain/wind, or are the balls knuckling in the air? It doesn’t seem likely that they’re all just bad defensive outfielders.

    P.S. Oh come on, Chip. I was about to complain about his frequent comments that Freeman — who is 10th in the league in OPS as a 1B — has a good chance to repeat as MVP, but Riley? I may like Riley more than anyone else on the board, but he’s not in the MVP conversation.

  8. Can I ask a question? How did the post-Ozuna chop motion come to be characterized as a “sword slash” and not a “chop?”

  9. @20: Yeah, I get that, but it’s a chop, right? First off, Heredia has two swords, not one. Second, not to get too technical here and overthink it as I am wont to do, but the motion is clearly different. Isn’t it just cover for those who think a chop is verboten?

  10. @21 – Maybe I’m wrong, but even if the motion itself is indeed ‘choppy,’ I feel like you don’t very often hear the word “chop” associated with swordplay. Now, if Guillermo had Ronco (TM) brand steak knives (or a Ronco (TM) brand guillotine) in the dugout, then maybe I’d be more inclined to agree with you. Also, you get that sweet, sweet alliteration with “sword slash.”

  11. I guess kryptonite isn’t what it used to be.

    [For those not listening, Chip described left handed pitching as “Votto’s kryptonite.”]

    Look at it this way: we’ve survived a Smith appearance without falling behind. I think of that as a “Smith hold.”

  12. @32. Honestly, Chip doesn’t bother as much as most, but the condescending way he talks about “the people watching from home”, or the “when the fans see it, they think…” He realizes he’s insulting the customer, right?

  13. It’s been said 100 times here, but Will Smith is a middling 6th inning arm. There is nothing “high leverage” about him or his stuff. He is no more apt to save a game than any other replacement level reliever

  14. A chance to move into first blown yet again by the most mediocre dude on the staff. These are the things Snit does that drive me crazy. He will roll him out there tomorrow too.

  15. I hate the runner at 2nd rule. You should not get the loss if you just give up a single and shut them down after that.

  16. Former Brave of the day is Lucas Sims getting the save after shutting down hibernation mode in the 11th

  17. Is Chip paid to kiss will smith’s ass?
    He was blaming the rest of the bullpen for the loss, and they have only given up one run in 5 innings (and one manfred ball run).
    Friggin’ moron

    Albies!

  18. LOL. Chip has speculated on every batter the Braves have put up to bat for the last 10 years hitting a homer. Now, for the first time in C Caray history, we get the following verbatim transcript:
    “This is a spot where again you’ve got to find a way to keep the line moving if you can’t end it. You’ve got to get it tied before you think about winning it and Duvall that man in scoring position. The Braves are down to their last two strikes. SWING AND A DRIVE….”

  19. Pache is having a good night. He went 3 for 4 with a homer in Game 1, and homered in his first AB in Game 2.

  20. It’s funny how Chip talked about the historic group of rookies after I said it was a weak field. As I look at it, Jonathan India is a good candidate based on a really good ability to get on base. The candidates after that are unimpressive Imo based on either average stats or injuries. I’m a huge fan of Ian Anderson, but there is no way he would be a top 4 candidate if it was a historic year.

  21. Hey everyone. I know we are all pissed off about the HR off of Smith, but this was a good game for a couple of reasons. First, the Fillies lost again so we are in FIRST PLACE. Second, we now have our first 8-2 run of the year. Third, and most important, this is exactly the kind of game we’ve been losing all year especially with the extras. But this time we won. This scenario has played out more than once this year – bullpen blows a lead and then we lose the game in extras. This is a team that has truly turned a corner.

    I do tend to think RR would be a better closer but Will Smith is going to continue to be a high leverage reliever. It’s that simple; accept it. I might argue that Chavez is now our highest leverage reliever. He is always the first one in when the game is really on the line no matter the inning.

  22. It is hard to believe that 11 days ago at the trade deadline we were 4 games behind the Mets and. 5 games ahead of the Phillies. We are now tied with the Phillies and 1 game ahead of the Mets. I’m okay with our bullpen as is but a blowout win tomorrow would really be nice. RR, Jackson, and Smith especially need a break.

  23. It actually might be best to keep Smith as closer, simply because many of the highest leverage jams happen before the 9th and you may want RR for those.

  24. And yes, we need Muller to go deep into the game tomorrow. Our bullpen has to be gassed.

  25. Good morning. Woke up with the Braves in first place. Reading the comments, had it all the way.
    And yes, Roger @66, we lost this kind of game every time until a couple of weeks ago. This team has turned the corner. “AA kilt it!”. Go Braves!

  26. 61: amen.

    63: well met, hale fellow. Happy to hear your voice

    In praise of Chip Carey:
    1. He is probably a nice man, likely loves his children and dogs.
    2. He plays hurt. Even ububba couldn’t take him out.
    3. He got me back to baseball on radio.
    4. To paraphrase, Chip may be a simple tool, but he is our simple tool. And he needs a paycheck to feed aforementioned children and dogs.
    5. Who else would pay him to do what he does?

    67: what Td said.

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