Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Monday, June 12, 2017

Two more weeks

I'm glad I don't get paid for writing this blog, because real life keeps getting in the way of me writing stuff for it.  I think there's also the fact that I'm right now rather bored with this team, and therefore not paying as much attention as I had been.

So, why am I bored?  Mostly because we're still mostly in a holding pattern as par as seeing the future arrive.  There's certainly some improvement in the minors, as discussed last time around, but the guys who are on the 40 man roster aren't really forcing their way up to the big leagues.  Part of that, of course, is that there's some roster shenanigans going on - many of the most promising guys in the minors aren't yet required to be protected from the Rule V draft, so there's been no need to put them on the 40 man roster.

Also, there's the fact that I find the Braves TV broadcast crew to be insufferable.  Chip and Joe just always come across to me as two guys who don't actually enjoy baseball.  I've never much liked Chip, perhaps unfairly comparing him to his grandfather and his father, who were both very skilled at making a bad team's games entertaining.  I used to like Joe, but it feels like he's gotten more curmudgeonly as the years have gone by, and now he's all about how those young punks don't respect the game or play it right.  If I could reliably get a radio signal, I might listen more, because hopefully Don Sutton is still good.  But I don't get a good radio signal at home, so....

In any case, the last couple of weeks have been mostly more of the same.  They've only won one series since my last post, splitting a few but usually losing the series.  The pitching has improved overall since early in the season, but as was reasonable to expect, the offense has cratered without Freddie Freeman.  If the original timetable for his return holds, he won't be back until the end of July, and then the question is how he plays when he returns.  Wrist injuries are historically tough to recover from, offensively, and really, that's what the Braves need from Freeman.  It seems likely to me that he won't be the same until 2018, but I'm no doctor and I hope I'm wrong.

On the bright side, at least Emilio Bonifacio has been released.  There were a couple of years there where he had value, but those are half a decade ago, and he was not useful at all to the Braves.  Maybe in a world where ten man pitching staffs are the norm, he would be worth having at the end of the bench.  But when your bench is as thin as they are in 2017, guys like Bonifacio don't have a place in the game.  He plays multiple positions, but doesn't bring plus defense to any of them, and he hits like a pitcher at best.  With short benches, positional flexibility is important, but so is being able to hit.  Your bench can't be specialists any more; they all have to be generalists.

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