Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Third verse, same as the first

Last week at this time, the Braves had a .500 record.  They then proceeded to lose every game since then.  Like I said last week, not a good team.

Being swept by the Nationals is not a big deal.  They're a very good team, and other than the middle game of the three game series, the Braves played them close.  It wasn't that far from being a 2-1 series win.  Obviously, moral victories mean nothing in the standings, but as I've said a couple of times (and will keep repeating all year), this season isn't about the standings.  It's about progress.  And Foltynewicz holding the Nationals to two runs over seven innings is progress.  Teheran giving up seven in four innings in game two?  Not so much, but I'm not worried about him having a bad outing.  It happens.

On the other hand, being swept by the Phillies is not a good look.  They are not a very good team, but they look like they might be a bit better than the Braves right now.  It's an interesting thing to watch over the next few years, as both teams are in full rebuild mode now, which team's plans will work better.  Foltynewicz had another strong outing in the last game of the series.  I'm sure it was me dissing him last week that fixed him.

The interesting thing about the past week is that it's showed how shallow the team is.  The bench has positional flexibility, but not much more.  Bonifacio is the perfect representation of this.  He can play a lot of positions on the field, but he's not particularly good at any of them, and is a major liability at the plate.  The bullpen isn't looking strong at this point, although we're still very much in "small sample size" territory there.

I tend to think that if Rodriguez hadn't gotten hurt, the record would be better, just because he's that much better than the rest of the bench players.  Although, if he wasn't out, I suppose Brandon Phillips would probably not be here, so maybe it wouldn't matter.  I don't know that Rodriguez is that much better than Phillips.  In any case, this is a team with no margin for error, and that's a really good way to end up with a terrible record.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Two weeks in

So, the season is about two weeks old, and the Braves are at .500.  That's actually better than I would have expected, although having played a third of their games against the Padres certainly helped.

What can we say about the team so far?  Not much.  They're certainly not a good team; the four wins against the Padres weren't actually that impressive.  They're not a particularly bad team either, barring a serious injury to Freddie Freeman.  Because he's definitely the best player on the team, and over the past year one of the best players in all of MLB.

In any case, this season only matters in how much of a step forward the youngsters - especially the young pitchers - make.  They're mostly still in the minors at this point.  If a number of them force their way onto the big league roster, then the season is a success.  If they can't do that, the season is not a success, and in fact the rebuild may not succeed either.

Of the guys not in the minors, Teheran is looking good so far, but Foltynewicz is a mess.  It's really early, of course, and especially for pitchers, small sample sizes are a danger.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Well then

It's 2017, and I haven't posted on this site in almost three years.  I could just admit that I'm never going to update it, but I'm too stubborn to do so.  So, maybe, just maybe, I should figure out why I'm not doing so?

Part of it is that my life is much busier now than it was when I started this.  I've got a nine year old son, so that's become my primary focus for my spare time, rather than writing stuff on the internet.  (Heck, I don't even comment much on Braves Journal or Baseball Think Factory these days, and that takes a lot less effort than writing a blog post.)  And my professional life has also moved on; I have a lot more responsibilities at work than I used to.  I like that, but it's different than the days when I was an operations guy, whose primary responsibility was to be there when things didn't work.  Consulting and managing don't work that way.

And of course, a big part of it is that the Braves themselves have been less interesting the past couple of years than they had been.  This isn't to say that the teardown that they've embarked on is exactly "wrong", but the resulting team has been a mix of has-beens and never-will-bes, with really too many of the former for my liking.  I realize that Tommy LaStella and Joey Terdoslavich were never likely to be stars, but I'd rather watch them struggle than watch Nick Markakis or Brandon Phillips.  Sure, the latter two are actual major league players, but there's no future potential for those guys.  And even worse, they're not particularly interesting.  They're perfectly cromulent players, but that's all.  So, boring, and hopeless.  What a combo.

That being said, 2017 might be more interesting.  The younger guys are starting to fill out the roster, and the older guys they've signed are more clearly intended as stopgaps.  And in some cases, those older guys are interesting - Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey.  They're not the future, but every time Colon bats is an adventure.  Plus, who doesn't love watching a big guy play baseball?  Knuckleballers are fun too.

I'm not enthused about the new ballpark.  I think it'll be even harder to get there from north Fulton than it was to get to Turner Field.  And don't get me started on the broadcasters.  The quality has fallen so far since the glory days of Skip, Pete, and Ernie....  Anyway, we'll see how it goes.  Maybe I'll have more to say this year.  Maybe this place will continue to be just another zombie page on the internet.

Friday, May 09, 2014

And we're still not dead!

Hey, it's been a year.  What's happened with the Braves?  Stuff.

I'm not happy with the move to Smyrna.  I'd be even less happy if I was a Cobb County resident.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Not completely dead

I'm going to try to post a few thoughts here...  soonish.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Entering September

A few thoughts, in mostly random order...
  • The trade with the Royals hasn't worked out very well.  Blanco's doing well in KC, and Ankiel is terrible - bad enough that he's been largely benched in favor or Melky and McLouth.  Ouch.  (Farnsworth hasn't been any better than Chavez had been, either...)
  • The offense seems to have disappeared completely of late.  Is this related to sacrificing OBP for power, in the Ankiel and Gonzalez trades?  Especially since that power has been MIA in Ankiel's case?
  • Would Fredi Gonzales really choose to manage the Cubs instead of the Braves?  While it seems like a crazy question at first, consider the fact that the Cubs have an actual owner, while the Braves are owned by a corporation who doesn't actually want the team.
  • Will the Braves get any production out of first base the rest of the year?  So far, Lee doesn't look any less done than Glaus did.  Freeman needs more opportunities, and soon.
I may have a post looking forward to the offseason soon.  Yes, it's early, but there are a lot of questions facing Frank Wren this offseason...


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Mets series

After a 3-6 road trip, it was nice to see the Mets on the other side of the field.  The Braves apparently agreed, as they took two of three in the series.

Unfortunately, it looks as though they may have lost Kris Medlen in the finale, possibly for a full year.  He'll be getting an MRI, but "ulnar collateral ligament injury" is not something you want to hear about one of your pitchers.

The logical thing to do, assuming that Medlen is going to be out for a while (which seems certain, even if it's just a strain), would be to put Kenshin Kawakami back into the rotation.  Despite his awful W-L record, he hasn't pitched that badly.  He's not been that good, admittedly, but if you're talking about a fifth starter, he seems fine.  An expensive fifth starter, to be sure, but right now, the Braves are paying him to sit in the bullpen and not pitch, which is insane.  If nothing else, he should be seeing time in blowouts and extra-innings games.

However, Dave O'Brien thinks that the Braves will use Mike Minor instead.  I don't know that I like that.  Minor's not on the 40 man roster.  The Braves do have an opening, having lost Chris Resop to the Pirates today.  But I'd rather that spot be used by Freddie Freeman, since the Braves have a giant sucking wound at first base right now.

Injuries are going to make the difference in the NL East this year.  The Phillies have more injuries than the Braves so far, but they're a better club as well.  We'll see how the Braves patch things together.

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