September 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Big Red, Daily Post, Defense, Pitching, Player Analysis
I suppose it would be constructive to post both the Wild Card and NL East standings because I don’t know what the hell the Braves are shooting for at this point. Starting in the East, much like the Sun.
And the Wild Card:
On second thought, maybe we’re back to the Wild Card. The Rockies have lost 4 in a row. Remember how I was saying the Rockies’ schedule is really easy in September? Well, the 1st half of their September schedule was significantly easier than the 2nd half. Here’s what they’ve got left: 1 @ SF, 3 @ ARI, 3 vs. SDG, 3 vs. STL, 3 vs. MIL, and 3 @ LAD. It’s not the easiest schedule in the world, as opposed to their 1st half schedule when they were playing the Mets, Reds, Diamondbacks, and Padres.
And the Braves are 4 back in the loss column. Is it time to jump back on the wild-card bandwagon? Well, things went south last time I did, so I’ll keep posting both.
Addendum to Yesterday’s Post
I did the bullpen thing yesterday, but Stu pointed out that I left out two candidates. Jorge Campillo, who had season ending shoulder surgery in late May/early June, is certainly a candidate to make the 2010 bullpen. I think the Braves will start him in AAA and eventually get him some innings in the long relief role. Buddy Carlyle is the second one I left off. Carlyle is out of options next year, so I imagine the Braves will cut him, but don’t rule out the possibility that he wins a job out of Spring Training. I hope he does. He’s been through a lot and I’m pulling for him–I will be wherever he goes.
I was going to dedicate a post to explaining why Braves fans shouldn’t be worried by Chipper’s drop in production because it’s mostly just due to bad luck, but JC Bradbury beat me to the punch. Basically, I think Chipper rebounds and has a very productive 2010. Offensively, at least. What concerns me more is Chipper’s decline in defensive value. Let’s take a look at some of the advanced stats from 2004-present, starting with +/-:
They both pretty much tell the same story. About average in 2004, 2005, and 2007; above-average in 2008, and very bad in 2006 and 2009. The 6-year average for +/- is -2.33 runs and the 6-year average for UZR/150 is -3.48. The three-year UZR/150 average is -2.73 and the 3-year average for +/- is -1.00. So, what is Chipper’s true defensive value? He’s had bad seasons before and rebounded both offensively (2004) and defensively (2006). The 3 and 6 year samples and trends sort of lead me to believe that this year is an anomaly and I shouldn’t be concerned. On the other hand, Chipper is 37 years old and having a miserable year with the glove, so I don’t know what to think. Watching him in the field, he’s clearly not focused or has lost something, but I’m not a scout so don’t take what I have to say about watching him as anything of value.
I don’t know. Does Chipper rebound in 2010 defensively? I’m fairly confident he will offensively, but I just don’t know what to expect from him with the glove in 2010. I have, in the past, suggested that Chipper move to 1B in 2010. After reviewing the defensive stats, I am going to retract that suggestion and just say, if he’s as bad in 2010 as he has been in 2009 at 3B, he should move to 1B. But if he’s more in line with his 3 and 6 year averages, he belongs at 3B.
Prado Another 0-fer
First of all, let me be clear. I like Prado. I think he’s an excellent utility player and a crucial piece of this team given his defensive value at 3B and right-handed stroke. If I were GM and somebody called me offering a quality reliever of similar contractual status for Prado, I would say no. He’s that important to the team. I even sponsor his baseball-reference page. However, he is not an every day player. He was the only Braves player with more than 1 PA last night to go 0-fer except Tommy Hanson (who had 3 sacrifices). Prado went 0-for-5. Now, if the Braves want to play Prado at 3rd when Chipper is out, that is fine with me. Seriously, I think he should have been playing last night. However, do you have to bat him second? We’re approaching the Ron Gardenhire* school of line-ups at this point. Since July 23, Prado has a .609 OPS. That isn’t 2-hole worthy. And this wouldn’t be a daily post if I didn’t sneak my “get KJ more playing time” agenda in there, so I’ll say it again. Kelly Johnson has a .912 OPS since July 23.
*I’d link to something more specific, but basically, Gardenhire always has to have a light-hitting middle infielder bat in the 2-hole. Aaron Gleeman alludes to this throughout his site.
Tommy Hanson Rookie of the Year
I’m campaigning at this point. I don’t push for something unless a) I think the player deserves it or b) I think the player is close to deserving it and he plays for the Braves. Anyway, here goes. Tommy Hanson now leads all NL Qualified rookies in ERA, K/9, K/BB, WHIP, W%, and is tied for the lead in W. Here’s my chart:
Pitch well down the stretch and I think Hanson has a real shot at winning the award. If you’ve watched the three candidates, it’s more than clear that Hanson is far more talented than the other two. At this point, he’s got a 6-8 start disadvantage, though. But, like I said, if he pitches well down the stretch, he’s capable of overcoming the disadvantage.
That’s all I got.