Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

17 Jan

Who Will Be The Next Braves Hall of Famer?

With Andruw Jones’ current voting numbers, it doesn’t look promising that he’ll succeed Chipper Jones as the next Braves’ player in the Hall. Could time on the ballot benefit him? Absolutely, but let’s assume the voters continue to think that his early exit and 67 career fWAR isn’t enough to enshrine him. Who could be next? The obvious answer would be Freddie Freeman, but is it so obvious?

First, let me address that it will probably not be Tim Hudson. Tim amassed 52 career fWAR in his 18 year career, which puts him with the likes of Mark Buerhle, Javier Vazquez, Kevin Appier, Roy Oswalt, and Bartolo Colon, guys that probably won’t make the Hall. Of more historical examples, you’ve got Vida Blue and people you probably haven’t heard of because, of course, they weren’t noteworthy enough to make the Hall. Luis Tiant, perhaps a name you’re more familiar with, produced a few more fWAR, and he couldn’t get through the committee. So we probably won’t see Tim in Cooperstown.

As a point of formality, I don’t see anyone else eliciting a conversation. Andrelton Simmons, entering his age-28 season, has already amassed 19.7 fWAR, but let’s not re-open those wounds. If he played until he was 41 like Ozzie Smith did, and his bat continues to develop, he could get into the 70 fWAR territory that really gets players some consideration. But even if he did, he wouldn’t have Atlanta on his cap, so it’s moot.

So, really, it’s Freddie. He’s entering his age-28 season, and he’s accumulated 25.3 fWAR so far. By Chipper Jones’ age-28 season, he was at 27.4 fWAR, and he debuted at age 23 like Freddie did. Within that time, Chipper had produced two 7 fWAR seasons, something Freddie has not been able to do, but Chipper would not have another one until a resurgent age-36 season. So let’s assume that Freddie continues to have a 5 fWAR peak for the next 5 seasons, then he begins a traditional decline. That would give him around 50 fWAR by age-33, then it would depend on how he declines. If he can muster a graceful decline for the next 5 seasons at 3.5 fWAR, then he’ll end his age-38 season with 67.5 fWAR. At that point, he would be right on the bubble with guys like Jim Thome (69 fWAR and currently receiving 93% of the vote) and Edgar Martinez (65.5 fWAR and currently getting 80% of the vote).

But if not Freddie Freeman, then no one else in the current crop of Braves appears headed for a Hall of Fame trajectory. But if you’d like another name, how about Ronald Acuna, baby?

Is fWAR too simple to determine a player’s Hall of Fame credentials? Have I over-stated or under-stated his peak and/or decline? Heaven forbid, did I forget anyone?

15 Jan

Alex Anthopolous Interview on MLB Network Radio

AA was on MLB Network Radio talking about a variety of subjects: Acuna’s timeline, free agent 3Bs, Yelich/Realmuto, scouting, and miscellaneous prospects. Thanks to Braves Reddit for capturing it. Some highlights:

Host: Is there any chance he (Acuna) makes your team out of Spring Training?

AA: We’re still talking to free agents and exploring trades for outfielders for backfill depth. … He did not have a ton at the high levels of the minor leagues. … An ideal scenario is he would get more time.

He tried to dial back some of the expectations people have for Acuna in 2018.

Host: Is there a guy … you could with the way the market sets up that you could invest this year for someone you might still have long-term and do it a year early?

AA: Something we’ve kicked around. (Talks about the Kemp trade tying up 2018 payroll) That it isn’t to say we haven’t explored it with agents if we thought there were some guys that we thought were longer term fits that we could backload with the payroll space in 2019.

MLB Hot Stove rumors: Yu Darvish throws a ‘mystery team’ into his mix of suitors

If you tie both together, which is obviously a huge stretch, and remember that LA traded for Darvish while AA was there, he could be potentially referring to a backloaded Yu Darvish deal. Who knows?

He later talked about wanting to bring in a full-time 3B. Mentions that Johan Camargo played really well when he came up last year, and “Ruiz is someone internally that a lot of individuals felt like he is ready to make the next step and needs an opportunity to play every day and 2018 could be a very good year for him.” Trade bait?

But this was probably the most interesting thing to me. When asked about Alex Jackson, he said, “Great deal by John Hart and his group here to acquire him.” Uhhh, what? “John Hart and his group”. Is John Coppolella being scrubbed from the annals of Braves history? How did we go from here and here where you have quotes from Coppy and no mention of John Hart to no mention of Coppy at all? I speculate that the Braves would like for everyone to forget John Coppolella ever existed. Well, sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We’re not going to forget that you fired 2 GMs in 3 years.

He later says his rotation, in his mind, is Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Newcomb, and Luiz Gohara, though he said Snitker would decide the order. Perhaps it’s noteworthy that he mentions McCarthy third and divided the five names into two groups: “three guys we expect to start” were Teheran/Folty/McCarthy and “frontrunners” Newcomb/Gohara. Mentions Max Fried and Lucas Sims, but does not mention Scott Kazmir. He refers to Kolby Allard as someone “who can emerge and come quick.” Same thing with Kyle Wright. He was very complimentary to Mike Soroka but didn’t include those accolades with Soroka.

Finally, he said he still lives in LA on the weekends and obviously works in Atlanta during the week.

Feel free to listen to the interview yourself:

13 Jan

What To Do About Third Base?

If Opening Day were tomorrow, it seems Johan Camargo would be the starting third baseman. The Braves’ writers have both praised his potential ability to handle a full-time spot and his versatility. If I had to guess, I would think they would want to upgrade third base and use Camargo in a utility role. The best potential options:

Free Agents
Todd Frazier – He would provide a level of consistency at the position as he’s averaged a 3.4 fWAR these past 6 seasons. He’s 31, and he’s coming off a .213/.344/.428 season where he maintained his average defense and produced 3 fWAR. He’s rightly pursuing a multi-year deal, and he should probably get it, but if he slides into a 2-year commitment or even a pillow contract, the Braves might be able to afford him.

Eduardo Nunez – A 2+ fWAR player these last two years, he’d be priceless the type you wouldn’t overpay for, keep the commitment short, and would fill the position adequately. He rode a strong BABIP to a .313/.341/.460 line last year along with 24 stolen bases. He’s played for the Yankees, Twins, and Giants, and if he’s willing to come to the NL East, he could be used.

Neil Walker – Another consistent, safe option who may decide to settle for a shorter commitment. He’s only played second base consistently for his career, but as the market continues to move slowly, players like him may be open to a short-term position change to maximize their earnings. Another player with a consistently above average career (2.9 fWAR the past 4 years), he contributed a .265/.362/.439 line last year.

Trades
Eugenio Suarez – Coming off a 4.1 fWAR year, the rebuilding Reds might be looking to move him once the free agent market crystalizes. He’s under club control and would be arbitration eligible after this year, so there’s some long-term value to him for the Braves. I doubt, though, the Braves value would him as a top third baseman, so he might be a difficult player to value.

Josh Donaldson – Certainly worth listing considering the need and the Braves’ ability to offer what is necessary to get him, but he’ll be owed close to $20M next year and the Braves almost certainly don’t have it in the budget. Along with that, he’s only under contract for 2018. But, hey, Alex Anthapolous has made plenty of big trades, so it might not be fair to put anything past him.

The difference between Johan Camargo and who they could acquire to play third base full-time may not be great, but the difference between Johan Camargo and the bench player he would replace is a big difference. One would have to assume third base will work itself out in the next couple weeks.

10 Jan

The New Guy

Alex has told you that I’ll be serving as editor for the site going forward. I’ve been able to do some writing here in the last few years, and you obviously see me in the comments on the daily. I’m happy to do it since this is my favorite blog on the internet, it’s been my go-to for as far back as my internet days go, and I really like the cast of characters here.

I seem to remember reading this site as far back as when I was in middle school. Not all of the comments survived Mac’s conversion of the site, but the first comment I can find was June 2003. I would have been 15 at the time, and I’m 31 now. I’ve enjoyed this site as a high schooler, a college student, a 20-something, and now in my 30’s. I definitely remember my Mom walking into the computer room and saying, “You need to stop reading that Braves Journal and go do your homework.”

Just a little bit more about me. My name is Rob Copenhaver. I’m 31, as I mentioned, and I sell real estate in St. Petersburg, FL. I’ve been a Braves fan as far back as I can remember, and I’ve resisted the urges to become a Tampa Bay Rays fan even though my home is about 10 minutes from the Trop. My earliest memory of the Braves was Dwight Smith’s walk-off grand slam in 1995. As a result, for a long time, I thought Dwight Smith was the best player on the Braves. We grow up, don’t we? I’m also a big Florida Gators fan. I’m married, and we have 2 dogs. Over the last couple years, I’ve become not so much an overall sports fan as simply a major league baseball and college football fan, and the older I get, the more I just want to be a student of baseball, not so much just a fan.

As for Mac, I never met the man, but I felt like I knew him really well. His sense of humor, his knowledge, his creativity, and his overall temperament made this site fun. He always had a special place in my heart. I remember the day I read that he had passed. I went to a quiet spot, and I cried. I cried like I lost a friend. I did lose a friend. But fortunately, a lot of the style of Braves Journal has continued over 5 years later. There are bigger blogs. They have the affiliation of large networks and the benefit of search engine optimization and all sorts of things that make it difficult for a small, independent blog to reach their size. But they don’t have this.

Going forward, I’m hoping to bring back some things that Mac did well. I’d like to introduce similar things like his “Road from Bristol” and “64 Worst Atlanta Braves” (certainly some recent names we can add to that list). And we have plenty of SEC football fans, so you’ll see some more SEC content on here. But otherwise, you’ll see the same place. I wouldn’t mind a few more people joining us.

I appreciate you letting me help.

09 Jan

Please Welcome the New Editor of Braves Journal: Rob Cope

I wanted to announce some news: I am stepping down as editor of Braves Journal, and Rob Cope will be taking over, effective immediately. I’ve been largely absent from the site this year, as I just haven’t had the time to give to the site that I should. And Braves Journal deserves an editor who will give it the attention it deserves. I simply can’t think of a better person to run it.

Braves Journal was founded in 1998 — it is, we believe, the longest continually-running American sports blog, just as the Braves are the longest continually-running American sports franchise — and I’ve been here since 2005. I stepped in to become the editor in 2012, after Mac passed. I’ve tried to keep things as they were, though of course times have changed, the internet has moved on, the Braves have churned through three GMs, and a lot of our old buddies are no longer on this site. I am tremendously proud that Braves Journal is still here, and Rob is exactly the right person to bring Braves Journal into its third decade.

This is goodbye but it certainly isn’t farewell — I’m still here, and I’ll still be around. If Dansby Swanson ever gets off the schneid, you will definitely see me in the comments, predicting that he’ll turn into Renteria for the 93rd time. One of these days the Braves will not suck, and I believe in my namesake up in the front office.

As Rob says, this is a great bar. I love ALL YOU GUYS. And all you ladies too!

Be excellent to each other.

Party on.

05 Jan

2016 Amateur Draft Summary

If you thought the 2015 draft produced some significant results in a short period of time, wait until you see the 2016 draft. Of all of Coppy’s well-(or overly-)documented shortcomings, he produced 3 strong drafts in his time here. In terms of pure talent who has established itself in the system, the 2016 class looks even better than 2015’s.

Ian Anderson – 1st Round – After all of the drama about “did they or didn’t they” in regards to improper behavior in these drafts have ended, and no wrong-doing was punished in them, it’s fair to say that the Braves really added a lot of top-end pitching at the top of this draft. The headliner is Ian Anderson who was taken 3rd overall. He appears to have been a signability pick, to an extent, as he went underslot and rankings had him lower, but he was good enough to be the #66 prospect by Baseball America in after 2016 and #50 in 2017. He hasn’t adjusted to pro ball quite the way you’d like from a durability standpoint, and he only pitched 83 IP in 2017, but he’s been pitching like a young, top prospect when he is on the mound. In those 83 IP, he posted a K rate of 11 per 9, and gave up 7.5 H/9. But as is a theme with young pitchers, his walk rate was problematic as he had a 6.16 BB/9 last year. He made 20 starts, but only averaged around 4 IP per start, so even though he’s only 19, he really has to begin to stretch out soon.

Joey Wentz – 1st Round Supplemental – Wentz isn’t considered a top 100 yet, and he’s a little older than Anderson (he turned 20 at the end of the season), but his professional results have been much more advanced. Another tall lefty (6’5”), his A- showing was simply much better: 131 IP in 26 GS, 10.39 K/9, 3.14 BB/9, and kept the ball in the park (.27 HR/9). For his first professional season, you have to be encouraged. He could find his way to AA next year, and could be in position to challenge for a roster spot in 2019. He’s by far the most advanced prospect from this draft.

Kyle Muller – 2nd Round – Another tall lefty starting pitcher (6’6”), he has yet to pitch into a deep inning count like Anderson. He was a two-way star in high school, and there was debate about where he’d be used best. The Braves chose the mound, and when he’s been on, it’s been good: 9.25 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, and .94 HR/9. Only 47 total IP in 2017, but he started to increase his workload late in the year, and should find his way to A- next year.

Brett Cumberland – 2nd Round Supplemental – They continue to take catchers towards the top of the draft, and Cumberland’s been the best catcher taken so far. Cumberland is a 22 year old switch-hitting catcher who’s also split time at DH. He started off strong in his first professional season hitting .263/.432/.531 in 236 PAs at A-. He had tons of hit by pitches and tons of home runs. His bat slowed, though, at A+ as his power diminished greatly and his walk percentage was nearly cut in half. He has had a strong showing in the Australian League, though, hitting .273/.363/.494 with 4 HRs in 84 PAs. He hasn’t been behind the plate much, but his team is carrying 5 catchers.

Drew Harrington – 3rd Round – The fourth pitcher taken in the draft, he started off strong but faded in his first full season. A slightly shorter lefty (6’2”), he started the year in A+, and finished the season with a strong FIP (3.13) with a 7.0 K/9 and 2.83 BB/9. He also gets his fair share of groundballs (59.5%), and only gave up a miniscule .13 HR/9. You have to love the peripherals in his first full season, but it will be interesting to see if Atlanta projects him as a starting with all of the competition in the system.
Bryse Wilson – 4th Round – Like Harrington, Wilson had a strong season of peripherals. 20 years old, he pitched in A- all year, and finished with a 9.13 K/9, 2.43 BB/9, and also kept the home runs down with a .53 HR/9. He has garnered a lot of attention because his ERA was better than Harrington’s, and he had a higher K rate, but you have to love both of these guys as depth in an extremely crowded system for starting pitchers.

Tyler Neslony – 9th Round – 23 years old, he’s a lefty who plays first and corner outfield. If I wrote this a month ago, I may not have as much to say, and he may not be on this list. They pushed him aggressively as he started the year in A+ and hit really well (.309/.378/.442), but he really struggled in his AA assignment: .194/.289/.243. But he’s absolutely raked in his short time in Australia (.348/.439/.587), so he’s recovered from his late season struggles. He could be a sleeper as a bench outfielder at the major league level, and he’ll probably repeat AA with a chance to factor into our short-term plans.

Corbin Clouse – Round 27 – A real find in the later rounds. Clouse has developed some attention after his encouraging stints at A+ and AA. His walk rate is atrocious (5.37/9), but his K rate is in the double digits (11.12/9), and he only gave up 2 HR in 57 IP. If he can improve his walk rate next year, you could see him earning a September callup in 2018.

This class has a blend of high end talent and steady, projectable performers. Though light on position players, all 5 SPs mentioned performing well in the low minors has to encourage the Braves. There’s no game-changing position player, but Cumberland and Neslony are interesting as college bats with an encouraging first year. And considering some teams don’t produce a single major leaguer in a particular draft class, even someone like Clouse in the 27th round already pitching well in AA shows that Coppy put together some strong drafts.

02 Jan

2015 Amateur Draft Summary

One more year removed from Coppy’s initial draft, the 2015 draft class continues to take shape as many high picks have made their way to AA or higher.

Kolby Allard – 1st Round – If you accept that Allard is not going to be a top-5 pitcher in all of baseball, which most would, then it’s hard to have expected more out of his age-20 season. Bypassing A+, he began the year in AA and had his most rigorous workload as a professional. After pitching only 87.2 IP in 2016, his innings almost doubled to 150 IP across 27 starts, and scouts say his velocity dipped a little bit. But skipping a level and being very young for AA, he really impressed. He improved his BB/9, HR/9, BABIP, HR/FB, and accordingly, his FIP (3.27). His K rate slipped a little bit, but with improvements everywhere else, he ought to get a bit of a pass. There’s a possibility he could see Atlanta in 2018, but with another full year in the high minors, you’d think he’d challenge for a rotation spot in 2019.

Mike Soroka – 1st Round – A different type of pitcher than Kolby, but the results continue to mirror each other. His ceiling is similar to Allard’s as a #2/#3 starter, and his floor is equally comforting. It doesn’t seem he has some of the durability “risks” that Allard has, and after getting a bit of a “workhorse” reputation with his 143 IP in 2016, his workload didn’t increase much in 2017 (153 IP). Nonetheless, his K rate stayed around the same as he too jumped to AA at age 20, and he kept pace with his strong BB/9. However, his home run rate nearly tripled, and his groundball percentage went down a tick. It still equated to a strong 3.19 FIP. So as Atlanta continues to challenge these two to perform against older peers, they continue to impress. His track continues to look very similar to Allard’s.

Austin Riley – 1st Round Supplemental – Well, Keith Law recently said he has a slow bat, so there’s that. But if you believe the scouts and other talent evaluators, the Braves might have their 3B of the future here. Another 20-year old youngster, he spent a good bit of time in AA this year. You tend to think that a player will incrementally and consistently rise through the levels of the minor league system in preparation of the major leagues, but that didn’t really happen with Riley. He began the year in A+, and he didn’t exactly earn a promotion with strong performance: .252/.310/.408, .289 BABIP, 109 wRC+ in 339 PAs. Nonetheless, the Braves must have known something because after being promoted to AA, he produced a .315/.389/.511 line with a 162 wRC+ in 203 PAs. Certainly not the largest sample size, but his trip to the AFL has produced gaudy numbers: .357/426./.810 in 42 short ABs. It’s really hard not to get a little excited about another 20-year old handling his own against advanced competition. He has the physical skills and size to be a major league third baseman, and if he holds his own against another several hundred PAs of high minors work, he should get a shot in Atlanta soon as well.

AJ Minter – 2nd Round Supplemental – Minter is another one of the many that are challenging for permanent roster spots so quickly after this draft. And for a rebuilding team with few bullpen studs, Minter has developed a bit of a folklore as he has dominated at times through his rapid ascent through the minors, and some of his numbers have been performances you’d see in a video game: 14.9 K/9 at AA last year (his longest stint at any one level) and 15.6 K/9 in his short stint in Atlanta this year. His only issue is durability and injury concerns. After having Tommy John in college, the Braves were very cautious his two seasons in the system heavily limiting his work including not appearing in back-to-back days until he made it to Atlanta. He also missed time earlier this year with a groin injury. But if he can stay healthy, his comparisons to Billy Wagner may not be too far off.

Patrick Weigel – 7th Round – Atlanta took their fair share of college pitchers in this draft, and Weigel has been the best performer of them. Weigel had an excellent showing in 2016 at A- and AA, and then opened the season with another strong performance at AA. After 8 starts in AAA, though, he went down to Tommy John. He has an explosive fastball and the polished you’d expect from a college pitcher, and that has led to a 8.7 K/9 in his 279 professional innings. He would have challenged for a spot in Atlanta this year had he not gone down to injury. He won’t be back until 2019.

Chase Johnson-Mullins – 13th Round – Interesting big, tall lefty. He can get into the mid-90’s, throws at a three-quarter arm slot, and he’s 6’10”. I’ve watched him pitch a couple times, and others seem to agree that he struggles to repeat his delivery. He’s now also 23 years old. But he’s about as projectable of an arm as you can find in the 13th round, and he’s certainly the size and velocity to do something. He posted a 3.07 ERA at A+ with more than a strikeout per inning, but his walks were a problem (surprise, surprise).

So far in this draft, it looks like you might have 4 guys who could get big league hitters out: Allard, Soroka, Minter, and Weigel. Johnson-Mullins could surprise people. It doesn’t seem like Riley has done enough just yet to justify keeping the third base position uncommitted for the next few years, but he’s a projectable position player prospect who’s another strong stint at AA away from solidifying himself as a top prospect. If three of these guys hit, and you’d have to think there will be, then this could be one of the better drafts of this decade.

28 Dec

Our new 2018 infield…and a big thank you to The Boss

Seems a good time to set up what might be the final thread of the year. Or not, depending on Your reaction. Let’s do it.

For the first time I am of the opinion that our starting line up for the new season seems settled, pitching excluded of course. With Adonis’ departure we can now settle on a four man infield that should be played and left alone for three months hopefully.

Here’s what needs doing –

Package/Sell/Trade Dansby.. He is not going to be the cornerstone we first hoped for. I will not bother to argue his offense which could,conceivably turn around I suppose, with little confidence. SS is a defensive position and we have seen enough of his defense to be sure now he is not going to match an average ML short stop. Weak arm, lack of general athleticism required for the position, hard hands, applies the tag in slow motion. Freddie Galvis, yes Sam…we don’t have to buy him, he’s gone anyway, just watch him play the position once in a while and check out the above categories. And umpteen others.

Moving on..do not get tempted , other than on an ad hoc basis, to move Ozzie across to SS. I am a huge fan but he does not have a strong arm either. Remember from last Fall – whenever he had to make a long throw, say from deep in the shift it was invariably unconvincing. Softish and up the line, as were throws to the plate under pressure.

Camargo will start at short every day for 3 months to show what he can do. And that is going to include hitting right handers better. It’s a huge opportunity for him, one he could hardly have dreamt of till now. I am bullish, very.

Third remains a problem but we’ll give Ruiz the same chance to show his improvement on an everyday basis to hit . There is no obvious platoon with Adonis gone. Riley is obviously hovering somewhere, we’ll have to see how that goes.

 

So there’s my infield, what’s yours?

 

And please, let’s say a big thank you to our Owner and Mentor, Alex, for another fine year at the reins, keeping impeccable order over our unruly bunch, answering stupid questions and most of the time still able to include here his own impeccable work. Has to be hard on him now though with Jeff Bezos at the controls. For all we know Alex is walking 15 miles a day up and down on those hard, vast concrete floors, filling orders! Alex, again, I for one thank you for another fine year.

19 Dec

Scott Kazmir

It seems like he’s been around since the Hoover administration, but the baby-faced lefty who Jim Duquette traded for Victor Zambrano is still only 33. (I swear I thought it was Steve Phillips, but Mr. Google tells me I’m wrong.) For the last three years, according to Similarity Scores, his most similar pitcher by age has been Ubaldo Jimenez, and his top four pitchers by overall similarity score are Yovani Gallardo, Francisco Liriano, Wilson Alvarez, and Tim Lincecum. He looks young, but his arm’s already fallen off once, and being associated with those names would seem to suggest that it’s liable to do so again some time soon.

As Jeff Pearlman recounts it, it’s heartwarming fun to revisit the trade:

It has been nearly six years to the day since Duquette, in his only season as New York’s GM, famously dealt his team’s top prospect, the 20-year-old Kazmir, to Tampa Bay for a pitcher who, in 2003, led the American League in walks, wild pitches and hit batsmen. Not that Zambrano didn’t have an upside. He threw hard, his fastball had some wicked movement and, at age 28, he was still in the prime of his career.

“The feeling is that we still have a chance (this year),” Duquette said at the time. “We’re still in the mix. Let’s go for it. With these guys added to the rotation [the Mets also acquired Kris Benson from Pittsburgh] we have a chance to win every night.”

The trade was a disaster.

At the time, New York was seven games behind Atlanta in the NL East standings and 7 1/2 back of San Diego for the wild card. It was a listless, heartless, ill-fitted collection of players. Mike Piazza missed 94 games the year before, 2003, which was an utter disaster (66-95) from the start as opposed to a season that eventually spiraled into hopelessness the way 2004 did. In 2004, Piazza was healthy but woefully miscast at first base. Jason Philips was the great bespectacled hope behind the plate, Kaz Matsui was butchering balls at shortstop, a person named Eric Valent somehow accumulated 270 at-bats and the overmatched Art Howe was managing. With or without two new starting pitchers, the Mets were wretched. They finished the year 71-91, a whopping 25 games behind Atlanta and 21 out of the wild card.

IWOTM!

Kazmir’s basically had two careers: through age 24, he was a fireballing two-time All-Star in Tampa Bay, with 9.7 K/9 and a 123 ERA+. He was awful the next three seasons and missed all of 2012 due to injury. But he made a remarkable comeback, and from 2013 to 2016, he pitched in a different city every year and mustered 8.3 K/9 and a 103 ERA+: he had basically gone from Tim Lincecum to Kirk Rueter. But considering that Lincecum himself couldn’t do that, it was pretty remarkable. And then he missed all of 2017 due to injury, too.

Expectations for Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy in 2017 should be more or less exactly the same as they were for Jaime Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and R.A. Dickey in 2016. As countless motivational posters have cheerfully exclaimed, expect nothing, and you’ll never be disappointed.

18 Dec

14 days, 372 comments later

Let’s new-thread. Here. I’ll provide a conversation starter via Peanut:

“With his first significant move as the Braves GM, Anthopoulos cleaned the lingering mess from the Olivera trade, which was fueled by Blakeley and Coppolella.

Hart didn’t like that deal from day one. Blakeley was determined to get Olivera after not signing him.”

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