When Ozzie Albies (whom had surgery today) went down with a broken leg, many wanted a high-end replacement right away, without really considering what they were demanding. The Braves already have Eddie Rosario, Tyler Matzek, Collin McHugh, Mike Soroka, and Kirby Yates expected to be back with the team before the end of the season. If the Braves were to have added a high-end piece, where does said piece go when Ozzie is ready to come back? I think 4 of the above mentioned players are back before the roster expands to 28 in September and here’s where I suggest to AA the transaction I think should occur:
- Matzek replaces Dylan Lee (back to AAA)
- McHugh, replaces Jacob Webb (DFA’d)
- Albies replaces Phil Gosselin (DFA’d)
- Rosario replaces Guillermo Heredia (DFA’d)
Even if they’re progressing well and seem ready, the smart money has Anthopoulos slow-playing both Soroka and Yates until September, when rosters expand to 28.
So, there’s your 28, assuming no major injuries. Where’s the upgrade? The lineup is producing elite numbers. The starting pitching is seemingly working out kinks on the fly and I don’t really see a problem sticking with the current 5. The bullpen is strong and will be stronger when back to full force. The bench is already good, but becomes elite when Rosario and Albies return.
Some Batted Ball Numbers (Braves Offense)
- Average Exit Velocity: 1st in NL
- Weighted On-Base Average: 1st in NL
- Hard-Hit %: 1st in NL
- Weighted On-Base Average on Contact (wOBAcon): 1st in MLB
- Barrel %: 1st in MLB
- SLG %: 1st in MLB
Make no mistake, this is a juggernaut offensive team that is also equipped with a lot of speed and good baserunners. Simply put, there’s no weakness.
Some Batted Ball Numbers (Braves Pitching)
- Average Exit Velocity: 11th in MLB
- Weighted On-Base Average: 6th in MLB
- Hard-Hit %: 12th in MLB
- Weighted On-Base Average on Contact (wOBAcon): 7th in MLB
- Barrel %: 6th in MLB
- SLG %: 4th in MLB
These are numbers of a top-10 pitching staff and that is without a fully functioning Charlie Morton and and a combined 43.2 IP and 38 runs allowed by Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson, Bryce Elder, and Huascar Ynoa.
So…About that Addition
If the Braves do find themselves fully healthy at the deadline and no real holes to fill, yet there’s a handful of elite players on the market, that’s where I’d like to see them go. Go big or go home because there ain’t nowhere else to shop but in the elite aisle.