Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The weekly recap, 9th of May Edition

With the rainout on Thursday last week, there were only five games in the past week.  Somehow the Braves only lost four of them, although it really felt like they lost six of them.  Yeah, it was not a good week.

Being swept by St. Louis isn't a horrible result, although the fact that the Braves generally looked completely outclassed by a .500 team is not good.  I suppose it depends on whether you think the Cardinals are better than their record.  Also, we should note that the Cardinals are basically out of outfielders on the 40 man roster at this point, so they should have been vulnerable.  But losing two of three to the Mets, especially while the Mets are imploding, is really bad.  I don't even really feel like going into any detail on any of the games.  It will just depress me....

I think the biggest concern I have at this point is that the youth movement is not doing well.  I have said it, over and over, that this season is about the younger players taking a step forward.  Right now, that's not happening at the major league level.  The team is being carried by Freeman, Markakis, Kemp, Flowers, and Phillips, as much as it's being carried.  Only Freeman has a future with the Braves from that group; the other four may not have much future anywhere at this point.

Swanson has regressed, which is not completely surprising, but still disappointing.  But Inciarte has also regressed a bit from last season, which may mean that what we're seeing now is his true talent level.  That's again, not a complete surprise, and at least (unlike Swanson) his defense is still elite.  He made a couple of catches on Saturday where I thought off the bat that it was an extra base hit.  He's not Andruw, but he's the best CF we've had the pleasure of watching in a while.

The only pitchers who have an ERA below 3.60 are Sam Freeman (who I had never heard of five minutes ago, and has pitched a pair of innings over the past weekend) and Jose Ramirez.  That's truly amazing.

I should take a look at what the minor league teams look like.  (That's for another day, though.)  The major league team is not good, and it's not exciting, and that's a really bad combination.  They've got a fancy new ballpark, but if the product on the field doesn't at least get interesting in the next month or two, they may start having trouble drawing fans as the temperatures rise.  (I wouldn't want to walk from lot E-44 - where I parked Saturday - to the stadium in 95 degree heat to watch a game like I saw Saturday.)

But I suspect that the options to improve the team are limited.  Obviously the big name prospect is Ozzie Albies.  But he's struggling (not surprising, since he's coming back from injury) and plays the same position as one of the few bright spots on offense.  Replacing Phillips with Albies might interest those of us who love prospects, but it's not likely to improve the team right now.

Churning the pitching staff might lead to some improvement, but is it a good idea to dump Colon, Dickey, Garcia, etc right now?  If you trade them, it's the definition of selling low.  Releasing them for nothing would be even worse.

I suspect that, at some point, they're going to fire Snickter to show that they're doing something.  That's too bad.  I'm not convinced that he's a good major league manager, but he's been a loyal organizational man for a long long time.  I hope that, if they do decide to remove him as manager, that they just reassign him somewhere else in the organization.  This team is not his fault.


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