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Newcombe Gets Sent Down

donmdonm Posts: 8,933 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

Shipped to Gwinnett to work on being "consistently aggressive".Sounds like a sport psychology type problem. Hope he can figure it out. Great arm but just not getting it done. Meanwhile, I'm liking the Braves offense more and more as the year goes on. Hopefully Donaldson can keep his resurgence going for a minute.



  • CZCashvilleDawgCZCashvilleDawg Posts: 4,895 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Need to go down, needs to get out of his own way.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 3,793 mod

    I think he'll be ok. Just needs to find the strike zone a little more. Especially when he's spotted a 4 run lead.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Newcombe clearly lost confidence over the course of the 2018 season. You may laugh at the idea of sports psychology but every great coach is a bit of one.

    Most fans don't know that John Smoltz had confidence issues very early in his career and used a psychologist. John of course got past it and became as unflappable as any pitcher in the game.

  • DvilleDawgDvilleDawg Posts: 334 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    I don't care for baseball but I've always been of the belief that all professional athletes need to talk to a psychologist. A lot of these kids come into all of that money and fame and have no clue what to do with it and no way of knowing what comes with being a professional athlete. They need professional guidance.

  • BankwalkerBankwalker Posts: 3,279 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Excited to see what Toussaint can do with the opportunity. Next man up!

    Now go sign Kimbrel. Reportedly willing to accept 3 years now.

  • MuffingodMuffingod Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If Kimbrel is willing to do that they need to sign him immediately.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 15

    Muffingod. Kimbrel has only been dominant 1 season out of 4 since leaving The Braves. His ERAs, 2.58, 3.40, 1.43 and 2.74 from 2015 thru last season does not give me great confidence in what he'll do from age 30 thru 33.

    He wants 12 million a season, I don't think he's worth either the per season rate or a 3 year deal.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 3,793 mod

    He's also averaged 37 saves a season since leaving the Braves. Braves closers over those 4 years had 24 saves as their highest save total for any closer (their average is much lower). Kimbrel's ERA average over those 4 years was 2.54, and the Braves' average 3.42 ERA. Mind you Kimbrell was playing 3 of those 4 years in the AL and hitter friendly park, Fenway.

  • DawginSCDawginSC Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Last year the braves had only 2 relievers with an ERA lower than 3 with 30+ innings (3 if you call Fried a reliever). None have finished with arbitration yet.

    Kevin Gausman is past arbitration and is making nearly 10 million a season (for just 1 year though). He's a starter who's ERA's were 3.92, 4.68, 3.51 and 4.25 the last 4 full seasons.

    I think Kimbrall is worth a few million more than Gausman. Don't you?

  • Acrum21Acrum21 Posts: 1,589 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I had a coach who was a bullpen catcher for the Braves sometime during the 90's. Said either Maddox or Glavine maybe Smoltz? apparently read a book titled "The Mental Game of Baseball" going into every season. He let me borrow it and you'd almost think it's silly at first how simple it is just to think positively and envisioning yourself doing everything correctly. Reinforcing that thought process. But it works.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 15

    If you're projecting forward Kimbrel is a soon to turn 31 year old closer who has already lost a bit of velocity on his fastball and action off his curveball. If I was paying him for his deteriorated but still quality performances over the past 4 years, sure I'd pay a reasonably high price. The trick is to project what he'll do going forward though. Will the trend of diminishing velocity on the fastball and loss of movement on other pitches continue ?

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 3,793 mod

    He's basically throwing 97ish now versus 99ish (going off averages). Not a huge difference. Either way, his second pitch is just as important as a 102 MPH fastball. Also, do you believe the Braves' bullpen needs help? If so, you don't seem to like Kimbrel as an option, who out there would you take otherwise? Would you rather trade away key pieces in the farm system to get someone else? Liberty has cash to spend, so I'd rather them spend than trade future pieces away, or potentially someone on the 25 man roster. A little write up about him below, 96 Ks in 62 innings last year is nothing to sneeze at.

    Representing one of the elite closer options, Craig Kimbrel recorded 42 saves in 2018 with 96 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. Beneath this, Kimbrel’s walk rate rose to 13.6 percent. He did reduce hard contact last year despite his contact rate slightly increasing. Armed with a fastball and knee buckling curve, Kimbrel will remain among the top five closers in 2019. Key on Kimbrel’s 17.5 swinging strike percentage with a 2.43 FIP and 0.91 WHIP over the last three years representing one of the most stable skill sets at closer.

  • GeorgiaGirlGeorgiaGirl Posts: 411 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
    edited April 15

    The pen was a problem but it was not as big of a problem as you'd believe last year. The biggest problem last year was the last man in the pen, which was rotating until the deadline, somehow ended up being a problem a few times. Guys like Socolovich for example.

    Yes, there were few below 3 ERA pitchers. That was because the guys that became unsung heroes for stretches (Biddle, Winkler threw the most innings he had in years, even Minter but his was further back), also had a history of injury that they were coming back from and were fatigued by the end of the season due to usage. Biddle has come out well so far this season, throwing 8.2 IP and giving up just 2 earned runs, maybe it's a small sample size, but it shows that he was likely tired in the end last year.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 15

    Teddy. I don't think paying Kimbrel more than market value would be wise. I think it's likely he'll decline more so a long term contract seems unwise to me as well.

    I'm not against signing him if it makes sense, but it's a business, don't overpay.

    Everything Craig does is set up by the fastball. The more he loses off the fastball, the less affective he'll be.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 3,793 mod

    It was reported back in December he dropped his asking price from $20 mil/year to around $14-15/year. I think 3 years at $14/yr is fair. What would you pay him? Of course, number of years he wants is a concern as well. He's 30, soon to be 31, so 6 years is a little much. I'd give him 6 years if he brought the yearly price down a little more though. This will be his last big contract, so don't blame him for trying to get what he can.

  • DawginSCDawginSC Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    3 at 15 seems fine to me.

    If Gausman is worth 10m for 1 year, 15m a year for 3 years of Kimbrel seems perfectly fine.

  • TNDawg71TNDawg71 Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    If he can be had at 3 years for 14-15 per then I jump at it. Otherwise I'd be out. I don't necessarily think the closer is that important, but if it can push everyone back one spot in the pen and make things more solid all around I'd do it.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,897 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Teddy, no way I'd sign Kimbrel to a 6 year deal unless it was a big bargain on a per year basis.

    Last season Craig's post all star ERA was 4.57, his ERA in the playoffs was 5.91. There have been closers who were dominant well into their 30s, Billy Wagner for 1, though he was a train wreck in post seasons. Of course Rivera was great into his 40s, but those are exceptions.

  • TeddyTeddy Posts: 3,793 mod

    I'll take his full body of work over the last 3 or so years versus half a season basically. He had a bad half of a year, and not the best playoffs. He still got 6 saves in the playoffs (in 9 appearances). He gave up 7 runs in 10.2 innings, not good. But when the other team scored he still got the saves, and had zero blown saves.

    6 saves, 2 no save opportunities (as the Red Sox had sizable leads), and 1 inning of work in a loss (in which he gave up no runs). He seemed to give up runs several times when they had several run lead, so no harm no foul. Other than but#-clinching if you're a Red Sox fan in those situation.

  • KirbstomperKirbstomper Posts: 354 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited April 15

    @Teddy you make some good points, and @WCDawg does as well. Here’s my two cents.

    kimbrel is declining for sure as @WCDawg said, but he is still really good (projected 2.80 FIP per fangraphs). I side with kasey that I’ll take his full body of work over a half season/post season and the projection systems do too. He would make us better, great player fitting an area of need. But 15M is a lot for a closer. In terms of $$/WAR it is bordering on too much. I’d probably do it for 2 years but the third would make me think harder, due to his decline.

    Id like to say sign him, this is why we have that whole “financial flexibility” thing. We signed Ozzie and acuna for legitimate steals and must have a lot of financial freedom. But baseball doesn’t have a salary cap and money not spent now can rollover into the next year.

    I think the reality of the situation is kimbrel is asking for a ton of money and a lot of years and the market obviously doesn’t value him at whatever price point he wants. Couple that with whichever team that signs him would lose a draft pick (if he signs before the draft this year), you get a situation like this.

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