September 6, 2009 at 1:43 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Daily Post, Transaction Analysis
So the season is pretty much toast. After another shit performance last night, the Braves are 6 games out with 26 to play. Behind 3 teams. One of them, the Rockies, is better than the Braves with a much easier schedule. The ability to make up that much ground seems impossible. For good measure, I’ll post the standings.
Good to see that a contending team finally doesn’t have a negative run-differential. Though the fact that they did for so long tells me that they’re not really a contender. Here’s the thing–the Braves are a better team than the San Francisco Giants. And they have been all year. The Giants were worse than the Braves offensively even when the Braves had Francoeur, Schafer, bad KJ, and Kotchman. They’re that bad. They’re dead last in MLB in walks by a fairly wide margin–tasking the Kansas City Royals–and they’re 2nd only to the Mets in being bad at hitting Home Runs. They’ve got a fairly potent pitching staff all-around, but as Bill James said:
You can’t usually win a pennant with half of a team. Pitching and defense is half a team; hitting and baserunning is the other half. If half your team is good and the other half isn’t you’ll play .500 ball.
The Giants are, really, a .500 team that has stumbled on some luck and an easy schedule. But they’re not good enough to make the playoffs. Neither are the Marlins. The Rockies are.
Waving The White Flag
So I read this earlier, which I took as “the organization is waving the white flag”. Per Carroll Rogers:
Sunday lineup: no Chipper, no McCann, and again, no Escobar. Conrad gets the start at second
1. McLouth CF
2. Prado 3B
3. Anderson LF
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Diaz RF
6. Conrad 2B
7. Infante SS
8. Ross C
9. Hudson P
Yikes. At least they’re playing Prado at 3B. But man, that line-up sucks. If they really are waving the white flag, I’d like to see a few changes. First of all, stop giving at-bats to Garret Anderson. There’s no reason to stick a 37-year old DH in LF any more. I would suggest a platoon of Brandon Jones (once he’s done with the International League Playoffs) and Kelly Johnson (handling the LHP) in LF. Both players need AB’s. Brandon Jones is on his last option so he’s going to either be used by the big club next year or elsewhere. Why not get a preview and boost his trade value in September with meaningless at-bats? Kelly Johnson needs some AB’s to get his confidence back–preferably against LHP–and maybe he’s headed for a trade. Or maybe it’d just be useful to get him some reps in the OF.
I’d like to see McCann get some rest, too. I’m talking like 2-3 days a week. Chipper as well. And McLouth, though not necessarily as much rest. I’d also like to see McLouth get some reps in LF, but there’s probably no way that’s happening. Escobar is out right now, and when he returns I wouldn’t want him playing more than 4 days a week. Though the difference between Yunel and any in-house alternative is very vast. Basically, what I’m going for here is regularly resting all the pieces of the team that stand to gain something by resting.
Pitching-staff side, I’d shut Jurrjens down at 200 innings and I’d shut Hanson down at 180 or so. Hanson already has 160 innings this season and Jurrjens has 178. So 3-4 more starts each should be enough. I’d start Hudson every 5 days no matter what, I’d start Kawakami every 6 days (if at all), and I’d start Lowe and Vazquez as I would normally. Kawakami only pitched 117 and 1/3 innings last year and he’s already at 143 and 2/3 this year. 160 would be my shut-down point for Kawakami.
I don’t really care about most of the relievers, but there are a few that Bobby has a tendency to abuse that could be a part of our future–O’Flaherty and Moylan. Limiting their appearances is a must for September if the Braves are really giving up.
Here’s my philosophy about September when you’re out of it. 1) let your kids play, don’t give at-bats to old veterans who won’t be part of your future. 2) don’t risk injuring anyone who will be a part of your future. 3) don’t fuck somebody’s service time by granting the a September call-up if $$ is going to be an issue.
Tranny Blog Again: Atlanta Braves
Recalled RHP Manny Acosta from AAA Gwinnett. Optioned RHP Luis Valdez to AAA Gwinnett.
Acosta was optioned when the bullpen was cashed and the Braves recalled Carlyle to have a fresh arm. Valdez was part of the first wave of September call-ups to provide bullpen depth. Turns out that was unnecessary and Valdez didn’t throw a single pitch in this particular MLB stint. The Braves intended to bring Acosta back up after 10 days–when he was eligible–but it’s peculiar why they would option Valdez to Gwinnett. Except Valdez is Gwinnett’s closer and they just made the playoffs. So at this point, the Gwinnett season is more important than Atlanta’s, and Valdez is more valuable to the organization closing games in Gwinnett than riding the pine in Atlanta.
This doesn’t represent a significant move. Neither would have been or will be used in meaningful innings. Though they all sort of lose their meaning at this point. I suspect Valdez will be back in Atlanta after Gwinnett’s season is over.
Minor League Baseball Winding Down
Monday will be the final game for three of the Braves’ full season teams. The Rome Braves, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and the Mississippi Braves. It will be Gwinnett’s final regular-season game but they’re in the playoffs. The two short-season teams, the Danville Braves and the GCL Braves, are already finished. Danville won the Appalachian League Championship. Kudos to them, there are a handful of very interesting prospects at Danville that I can’t wait to see in Rome next year. With that in mind, I’ll start doing some prospects year in review shit on Tuesday. I’m going to formulate my list of top-40 prospects, write a year in review about each one (and the ones on last year’s top 40 that aren’t on it anymore), and publish it here. One of my many off-season projects.
Hudson aims to become the third Braves pitcher this year to receive consecutive W’s. Meaning, nobody else on the team got a win between today and his last win. Derek Lowe did it in early May and Hanson did it June 23 and 28 against the New York Skankees and Boston Shit Sox. Damn, the Braves need a win.
That’s all I got.