Before we get to Clint’s piece, let’s take a look at the news of the day from the Braves world and don’t forget the Braves are +120 to win on Betway, so get your bets in here).
Joc’s Player Tribune Article
We knew Joc Pederson was a fun, slightly obnoxious character and he proved us right in this fun piece.
Braves Release World Series Roster
As discussed in the last piece, the Braves needed another RH arm after Ynoa went down and while I predicted Spencer Strider, Anthopoulos went with Kyle Wright instead. Kyle pitched brilliantly at the end of the season for Gwinnett. His last 5 starts, he averaged 7 innings/start, carried a 1.29 ERA, and struck out 35 while only walking 7. Terrance Gore wasn’t a surprise and I’m glad to see he’s here.
Without further delay, I present Clint’s piece.
Eddie Rosario: The Real Monster of Halloween
It could be the energy he brings, or his infectious smile, or maybe it’s just how dang great he’s been of late (that always helps) — but either way, Eddie Rosario is a fan favorite in Braves Country. They were printing his jersey at Truist Park this past Sunday night while Atlanta was working on it’s first pennant in over 20 years, and they’ll be working on them for a while, because this man isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sporting a brand new NLCS MVP award, the 30-year-old Puerto Rican has officially arrived, and with the Braves set to take on the Astros beginning Tuesday in what should be an even better World Series, he may just carry this team all the way.
Costing one Pablo Sandoval and a bit of uncertainty regarding his eventual return from the injured list — I must admit, at the time, Eddie Rosario wasn’t the flashiest of deadline deals by GM Alex Anthopoulos. Lacking very impactful numbers on offense during the first-half of the regular season, and a glove that scored below average according to most defensive metrics, Rosario just didn’t seem like an addition that could move the needle much. And those lacking features of course didn’t even include the fact that, at the time of the transaction, he wasn’t even available to play for the Braves.
However, following more rest from his intercostal strain, and a brief rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett: roughly a month after the transaction, Rosario was ready to contribute in an Atlanta uniform. And contribute… he did.
As the Braves ripped off an 18-11 record down the final stretch (Sept/Oct), the outfielder hit .273 with seven home runs and 14 RBI — good for a 136 wRC+. Beginning as a piece to help lengthen a sometimes-stale lineup, Rosario went from a bottom-of-the-order bat to the team’s primary no. 5 or 6 hitter, and as the team clinched its fourth-straight division title, he continued to heat up.
Now I shouldn’t have to recap what happened next. We all witnessed how incredible Rosario was in both the NLDS and NLCS, hitting .308 and tying for second on the team in hits during the former series and .560 (!) with three homers in the latter one. A 1 1/2-2 WAR player (on average) that’s a little past his prime just comes out of nowhere and ties the record for the most hits (14) in a postseason series. Definitely saw that coming.
But what’s even crazier about all of this is that it’s still not over. This isn’t just some celebratory conclusion to another exciting contending Braves team that got hot and ran into the playoffs only to quickly be put down. Of course, even then, Rosario’s storybook performance would still be special, but it would undoubtedly be overshadowed by yet another elimination for Atlanta. No, this time we get to ride this hype train into the World Series, and if you’ve watched a Braves game this postseason you can’t help but be raring to go, because seemingly every game they’ve played has featured something even better then the previous one.
Every postseason has a hero, and so far it’s definitely been Rosario. I can’t wait to see how this story ends, but I have feeling that even when it does we certainly won’t forget what he’s done for the Braves in such a short time this year.
And to think… all it took was trading Sandoval.