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Will The Braves contend this season ?...

WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

After 18 games they define average statistically. In both hitting and pitching they rank in the middle of the MLB pack. There are some excellent young components, particularly position players, but do they have enough ?

I'm still of the mind changing pitching coaches could set the young starters back, so far it looks like that may be the case. Also with their closer now out for the season, signing Kimbrel seems to make more sense, but without a good rotation, he would be wasted.

I think the prognosticators probably got it right, we have maybe a 2nd or 3rd place team.

Thoughts ?

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Comments

  • donmdonm Posts: 8,671 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Young guys like Soroka, Freid and Toussaint seem worth throwing out there on a regular basis and let's see what happens. If Folty and Newk can stay solid (big if for Newk) we'll have a nice rotation. In the meantime, Gaussman looks to fill the role of Sanchez last year...just need some consistent production throughout the lineup and we'll be better.

  • TNDawg71TNDawg71 Posts: 1,052 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I think they will hang in there a while, but come up a little short. A few of the guys my fall a little of their current pace offensively but still have good seasons. The starting rotation will be solid but not quite there yet.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 19

    Donm. Do you think the team will be better than last season's team ? I think the team ERA was 7th in MLB in 2018 and only 2 teams had substantially better ERAs, that is going to be hard to match.

  • GeorgiaGirlGeorgiaGirl Posts: 353 ✭✭✭ Junior

    The starting pitching has settled in and will continue to after a bad look in Philly. It's the relief pitching that has been a HUGE issue because of a risk that they took...for reasons nobody will understand.

  • GeorgiaGirlGeorgiaGirl Posts: 353 ✭✭✭ Junior

    And to add, Newcomb was already regressing under your golden boy pitching coach after he got figured out like a back of a hand. There's nothing indicating that there's a problem with the starting pitchers yet, guys like Wright needed more refinement anyway. It's all in the relief pitching and it's a major major issue.

  • donmdonm Posts: 8,671 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    No, I don't think they'll be as good -at least not in terms of #s of wins. For me, I just want to see the young pitchers get out there, get knocked around ab bit and learn what it's all about. A lot of factors have to come together, IMO, for us to make the playoffs.

  • KirbstomperKirbstomper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited April 19

    I agree with Georgia girl. So far starting rotation has actually been good save for Newk, offense has been top 10. Bullpen has been very bad. Hard to say how much the bad bullpen has hurt us thus far, but it is disappointing because any knowledgeable fan could have told you it was a weak spot in December and we didn’t to do nearly enough to shore it up. In fact we didn’t do anything at all from the looks of it.

    Newk was already regressing hard last year, this year hasn’t come out of nowhere for him. He tried sacrificing some velo for command but command never came, so now he has worse quality stuff and bad control/command to boot. Still some semblance of hope he gets it together but it doesn’t usually work like that. After 3 years you kind of are who you are more often than not and don’t change direction of your career.

  • TNDawg71TNDawg71 Posts: 1,052 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The starting rotation needs to get a little deeper into games. I know the modern game is different, but that extra inning is a big deal. 5 innings is what we are getting too often. The bullpen can't through strikes and it's embarrassing.

  • donmdonm Posts: 8,671 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 19

    that's what killed me about Newk. It would take him 17-20 pitches to get through an inning. He was toast by the 6th, if he got that far. We've got a good defense, maybe even better than good. Let them hit the ball and go catch it.

  • KirbstomperKirbstomper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I will add that I expect us to play musical chairs with our rotation this year, simply because we have so many MLB capable arms. Once the rotation kind of stabilizes a bit I would think they would try to get some young starters into the pen.

    we still need folty to get healthy, see if soroka is healthy enough to pitch a lot of innings, see if Fried throwing strikes is real if statistical variance, see if newk is actually broken, see if Tehran is a major league starter or not, see if gohara can find his 2017 self again, see if Wright is a bust or if he just needs more time in AAA, see if Tuoki can throw strikes with his nasty stuff, etc.

    So still a lot to figure out with our arms. Ideally we have some kind of role for all our quality arms and don’t keep trotting our Shane Carle and Sobotka.

  • LD10LD10 Posts: 209 ✭✭✭ Junior

    This is the same bullpen that could not throw strikes last year and I wonder what made them think it would be any different this year. I think Camargo should be starting somewhere in the lineup. Phillies are loaded, but that did not work for the Nats. Have not given up on them, but have plenty of doubt on them winning the division.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Kirbstoper. Fried and Gausman have had 5 good starts out of 6 so far. Teheran has had 2 out of 3 good starts. There's not much past those 3 though. We can expect Julio to be his usual schizoid self, so there are many more questions than reliable solutions right now.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited April 19

    The pen had a 4.15 ERA and was tied for 3rd in most walks allowed last season. The plan for this season was to use several of the young starters who didn't make the rotation in the pen this year. So far there haven't been enough healthy arms between them to be of much use.

  • GeorgiaGirlGeorgiaGirl Posts: 353 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited April 19

    I don't think putting starters in the bullpen was the plan, the plan that looks awful now is they thought they would be okay with was relying on the following as 3 of the 4 big pieces of the bullpen:

    A 36 year old in O'Day to return and keep up good form. The injury is something different this time (which is making me wonder if he'll even pitch as it's arm related), but still.

    Tommy John Warrior in Jonny Venters to repeat 2018.

    Arodys Vizcaino, he of the shoulder problems of last year, he was a real non-tender threat, but then they decided they'd rely on him. Then he had shoulder surgery and he's now done for the year.

    And so far, TBD but I'm leaning towards strike out, likely strike out, and strike out for sure.

    And the only thing I ask is...why? The offseason was so bizarre now that you really think it through, because relying on injury risks is asking to get burned. How did they translate injury risks into value? Why?

    To add onto the above, the 4th big piece of the bullpen has blown up so far in Minter. Add all that together and you have huge issues.

  • KirbstomperKirbstomper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I mean then you can count tuoki’s brilliant psuedo start, and soroka yeaterday. Wright hasn’t been good and Newk hasn’t been good, aside from that we have been strong in the rotation IMO. Still not really a believer fried can keep it up, and I need to see folty replicate 2018, but so far it has given me some confidence

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Kirb, the rotation has been very thin at best so far, at least that's my opinion. It's reliant on so many young arms and fragile bodies that I have little idea how it will play out over the course of the remaining 144 games in the regular season.

    That said, there is potential, but a whole lot will need to go right.

  • YaleDawgYaleDawg Posts: 1,173 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Braves will fight for 3rd in the east this season. Bullpen will blow a lot of games

  • coastaldawgcoastaldawg Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Our bullpen won’t stay this bad, Soroka and Minter have the talent to be good relievers, Parsons has looked pretty good, and a couple of our other relievers (Venters, Biddle, Winkler, or Jackson) will hopefully be able to come in and provide long relief or be situational pitchers. If Folty gets healthy, and Soroka can stay healthy, we could be moving Touki or Tehran to the pen. Seems like every year we end up having a reliever you’ve never heard of come in and pitch effectively, for a while at least. All these walks the bullpen has been issuing has been hard to watch, hopefully some of them will figure things out soon. If we can sign Kimbrel for $45 million over 3 years, then I would do so and give up the draft pick. With our offense and starting pitching, we’ll be competitive enough to make spending that much on a closer a good investment.

  • volatilisvolatilis Posts: 222 ✭✭✭ Junior

    If they don't fix their bullpen, they won't be contenders. I also still think Acuna should be leading off. I think it was Glavine that addressed Acuna batting cleanup by stating it would be best for the team for him to hit a 2 or 3 run homer opposed to a lead off homer. Makes sense except he seems to fire his team up when he leads off homering or even getting on base. JMO

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Acuna is a traditional 3 hitter. If Freeman doesn't re-gain his HR **** I might try RA at 4 though. It's looking more and more like Freddie isn't going to be a 30 to 40 HR player again.

  • donmdonm Posts: 8,671 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    DeGrom got sent home for an MRI. If he goes on the IL, the Mets will suffer and the Bravos chances of making the playoffs go up a bit. What is it with the Met's pitching staff? They seem to have a dark cloud hovering over their heads.

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Coastal. I assume you meant Sobotka is going to be a good reliever, Soroka is a starter.

  • coastaldawgcoastaldawg Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    WC. You’re right, meant Sabotka. Was glad to see Soroka finally come back and start the other night. Would like to see him stay healthy and stay in the rotation for the rest of the season. Him, Fried, and Touki have been the most impressive to me in their appearances with the big Braves. Sabotka has shown great stuff, expect big things out of him when he gets back to throwing strikes.

  • KirbstomperKirbstomper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited April 20

    You want a high OBP guy to lead off. Some people say you don’t wanna waste too many homers there. You definitely don’t want to be stealing and risking outs in front of your best hitters.

    Freeman for leadoff hitter 2019

    PS freeman has hit between 30-40 homers only once in his career, he’s never really been a big home run guy. But 20-25 with a high OBP and plenty of extra base hits is still plenty good.

    Also, analytics say the 3 hole is not where you want your best hitters to hit. Because they have the most at bats with 0 on and 2 outs

  • WCDawgWCDawg Posts: 13,128 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Kirb. FF had 34 hrs when he was 26, about the age many players realize their power potential. He got off to a similar start the next season, then he got injured. He's never re-gained that power level, which is what I was referring to earlier. Freddie is so big and his swing is so controlled, power should come easily as just a biproduct of making consistently good contact.

  • RDDawgRDDawg Posts: 209 ✭✭✭ Junior

    No

  • bmauldinbmauldin Posts: 3,807 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Offense looks good, defense looks good, bullpen is ABSOLUTE trash...

  • AndersonDawgAndersonDawg Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Like the energy of the team. Relief pitchers toss batting practice. Need a reliable closer. They had the best and let him go to Boston.

    I hope I am wrong but I am afraid they will contend and then pretend.

  • AndersonDawgAndersonDawg Posts: 747 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Question for baseball experts. When opposing teams put exaggerated shift on for Freeman, why doesn’t he bunt down third base line. Seems to me if he started doing this, either he gets a single every time or opposing teams would modify shift and open up some holes on the right side.

    What’s wrong with my thinking?

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