Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

17 May

Positional Performance At the Quarter-Pole Game Thread, May 17

With 40 games in the hopper, this seems like a convenient time to take a closer look at how the Braves’ offense is stacking up against its NL peers (all numbers through 5/15).

Braves OPS by position (w/NL rank):
C — 856 (T-1st with PIT)
1B — 829 (8th)
2B — 711 (7th)
3B — 779 (4th)
SS — 664 (10th)
LF — 918 (3rd)
CF — 576 (13th)
RF — 709 (10th, but somehow 1st in the division!)
P — 445 (2nd to LAD)
PH — 670 (5th)

A few surprises in there — we know McCann, Gattis & Laird (was gonna make a law firm joke here, but doesn’t any grouping of three last names sound like a law firm?) have hit well, but I didn’t think they’d be tied for the NL lead (BTW, did anyone predict this Russell Martin resurgence?). Despite diverging opinions on their relative worth, it turns out Freeman and Uggla are each squarely in the middle of his respective pack. Two teams’ CFs have managed to underperform Bupton. Jupton has fallen behind usual suspects Braun and CarGo. And, unlike in 2012, the team is getting some extra hidden production from its pinch-hitters and pitching staff (last year’s totals were 298 and 475, respectively).

Top 5 NL positions by OPS:
CIN CF — 1052 (Shin-Soo Choo — who had THAT?!)
ARI 1B — 994 (Paul Goldschmidt)
MIL CF — 993 (Carlos Gomez)
COL LF — 968 (Carlos Gonzalez)
COL SS — 950 (Troy Tulowitzki)

Bottom 5 NL positions by OPS:
CIN C — 504 (a close race, but any team that voluntarily employs Corky Miller is a big favorite to win the day)
NYM 1B — 514 (Ike Davis …. LOLMets)
LAD 3B — 515 (thanks largely to a .100/.135/.100 showing by Luis Cruz)
NYM CF — 517 (might have been last a couple of days ago…fortunately Rick Ankiel has arrived …. again, LOLMets)
PIT SS — 523 (Clint Barmes)

A couple of other notes: No Marlins position is currently carrying even a 700 OPS. And that NL bottom 5 can’t hold a candle to the Mariners shortstops, where Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino have combined for a 318 OPS. 15 singles and a dozen walks comprise the totality of their offensive contributions at the position. So, hey, at least we don’t have to look at that.

148 Responses to “Positional Performance At the Quarter-Pole Game Thread, May 17”

  1. 1
    Grst Says:

    Schafer has an OPS of .817, which is only slightly less surprising than Tim Hudson’s .907.

  2. 2
    Brave Marine Says:

    Pretty amazing that CF and SS, 2 of the 3 most defensive oriented positions, occupy spots 1, 3 and 5.

  3. 3
    Rusty S. Says:

    I never get tired of LOLMets.

  4. 4
    ububba Says:

    Caught 2 ex-Mets last night at Yankee Stadium: Jason Bay & Oliver Perez, who’s seems to have settled well into Seattle’s bullpen—and he’s still death on lefties.

    And tonight/tomorrow, I’ll be at Citi Field, not for LOLMet baseball, but for a big EDM fest. I’m guessing that it’ll be liveliest that place gets all year.

  5. 5
    ryan c Says:

    Heyward activated, Walden to the DL.

  6. 6
    Dusty Says:

    #Braves lineup: Simmons 6 Heyward 9 J.Upton 7 Freeman 3 C. Johnson 5 McCann 2 Uggla 4 B.J.Upton 8 Maholm 1

    First game with the entire lineup healthy.

  7. 7
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Personally, I’d like to thank Ike Davis for murdering my fantasy team.

  8. 8
    Anon21 Says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the Braves do more of this obvious DL abuse than other teams? Also, any reason they couldn’t have just optioned Walden? I thought he was still in his first six years.

  9. 9
    PaulV Says:

    Walden has not looked right lately.

  10. 10
    W.C.G. Says:

    Thank you for stopping short of the law firm joke, deconstructing it, and finding it lacking. The law firm joke is so hacky.

    I was hoping it would be BJ headed to the fake DL, just because he seems like he needs to back up and get his head right.

  11. 11
    Adam M Says:

    Maybe Walden really is hurt.

  12. 12
    jjschiller Says:

    They’ve talked about Walden’s shoulder on the broadcast a number of times. I specifically remember when O’Flaherty closed out the big win in AZ, they said “Wardens shoulder must really be hurt, if O is coming on here.”

  13. 13
    John R. Says:

    The similarities between Hanson and Walden are uncanny, and one of them is an absurd delivery the mechanics of which suggest murder on the shoulder.

  14. 14
    Adam R Says:

    One person may say it’s an abuse of the DL, another may say it goes to show often pitchers in particular still play even thought they’re not 100%. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

    I’m more afraid of Ryu right now than Greinke. I’m also afraid that Chip’s going to make a horrible Street Fighter joke tonight.

  15. 15
    Anon21 Says:

    I mean, maybe Walden’s injury is legit; the timing seems mildly suspicious, and coming on the heels of Martinez, whom no one even seems to be seriously pretending is dealing with any real injury…

  16. 16
    krussell Says:

    We’re 12-4 when Heyward starts. It’ll be nice to have his knowhowtowinability back in the lineup.

  17. 17
    PaulV Says:

    I think we cannot let Success! or Reed go until Jason and/or BJ start hitting. Playing every day could help Gattis develop. Bethany will hate me. Other women do.

  18. 18
    spike Says:

    It’s going around, fella.

  19. 19
    Bethany Says:

    @17 i’m going to pretend you didn’t suggest that.

  20. 20
    Brian J. Says:

    Heyward’s back to his previous form. Yay.

  21. 21
    Dan Says:

    “J. Heyward grounded out to second”

  22. 22
    Adam R Says:

    It was a pretty good play by Punto to field it.

  23. 23
    Brian J. Says:

    14- We’re still figuring out how the joystick works for this game, Adam. That fight seemed to be going well until Chris screwed up his special move.

  24. 24
    Bethany Says:

    Nice job by Uggla to field that, even through they didn’t get an out.

  25. 25
    Coop Says:

    Nice play, Dan.

  26. 26
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    If I had any confidence left in Maholm, I’d believe Uggla just saved a run.

  27. 27
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Taking a guy with a 1.066 OPS against LH pitching (Gattis) out of the lineup against a lefthanded starter is not an upgrade, no matter how much better Heyward’s defense might be. This is especially true when it means Chris Johnson becomes your #5 hitter.

  28. 28
    John R. Says:

    @22, True, but he still grounded out to second. He also grounded just inside the first base line the pitch before.

  29. 29
    Bethany Says:

    This team sucks.

    @27 You’re totally right, why on earth isn’t BJ getting the night off? Gattis is barely playing.

  30. 30
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    Awesome, B.J. Every other batter is at least extending Ryu, and you swing at the first damn pitch.

  31. 31
    Brian J. Says:

    Maholm’s K drops his average to .158, which is still only the lineup’s third-lowest. Gah.

  32. 32
    oldtimer? Says:

    Those at bats were putrid.

  33. 33
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    B.J. Upton’s bobblehead night June 20 will be the first to see the giveaway actually hold down attendance than give it a boost. (Unless people get him confused with Justin, which will result in a lot of moaning 9-year-olds upon hearing their doll is the other Upton.)

  34. 34
    Brian J. Says:

    33- How hard would it be to change the names on those bobbleheads? They look similar enough that you should be able to get away with it.

  35. 35
    Dan Says:

    Unless people get him confused with Justin, which will result in a lot of moaning 9-year-olds upon hearing their doll is the other Upton.

    They’re not dolls, they’re figurines.

  36. 36
    JonathanF Says:

    Listening to Dale Murphy opine about about how someone (Kemp) looked like the best hitter in baseball just a couple of years ago and now looks messed up is to me… poignant.

  37. 37
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


    Change the first name on the base, and the number on the jersey. The player’s body frame would be the tough part.

  38. 38
    Brian J. Says:

    True, but how much do bobblehead bodies look like the humans they represent anyway?

  39. 39
    Bethany Says:


  40. 40
    John R. Says:

    That was not a grounder to second.

  41. 41
    Coop Says:

    Nice swings by Andrelton and Jason.

  42. 42
    John R. Says:

    Productive out, I’ll take it.


    PS: I was gonna say, but if Justin hits a solo homer later, I will do some grousing.

  43. 43
    Bethany Says:


  44. 44
    Tomas Says:

    Quite generous to score that a hit.

  45. 45
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


    Somewhere in my collection, I have a John Kruk that is a near-perfect double.

  46. 46
    John R. Says:

    @36, I love Dale Murphy and you’re right. If only he’d hit two more homers… :(

  47. 47
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    The scorekeeper must think he owes Chris Johnson a favor after Johnson stepped up and said he should have been docked an E5 in the Nats series.

  48. 48
    Brian J. Says:

    45- I’m sure you’re right, but most athletes and even most baseball players don’t look like Kruk.

  49. 49
    Bethany Says:

    BJ, just stop.

  50. 50
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:

    At least he’s getting booed. I don’t think Tampa Bay fans get roused enough to boo anything other than a scattershot quarterback.

  51. 51
    Bethany Says:

    Get Jimmy off my TV!

  52. 52
    Brian J. Says:

    To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke, watching BJ is watching the making of history, kind of like going around to the back of any animal and being present at the making of earth.

  53. 53
    Bethany Says:

    Ah, Jason returns to show us how RF is really played… and he effing hurt himself.

    EDIT: Hopefully he’s ok… god he scared me.

  54. 54
    Brian J. Says:

    Heyward busts out the long running catch. Yep, he’s back in the good ways too.

    And another play where Uggla can’t figure out whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.

  55. 55
    Tomas Says:

    Uggla, just get an out.

  56. 56
    Coop Says:

    Defensive extremes

  57. 57
    John R. Says:

    Please don’t walk the pitcher.
    Please don’t walk the pitcher.
    Please don’t walk the pitcher.
    Please don’t walk the pitcher.

    He didn’t walk the pitcher…

  58. 58
    Brian J. Says:

    And Ryu Hadokens one into center field. Thanks again, Dan.

  59. 59
    Bethany Says:

    I hate everything.

  60. 60
    John R. Says:

    Crappy Curveball Paul.

  61. 61
    Coop Says:


  62. 62
    John R. Says:

    Bethany, can you link to your Kickstarter again? I wanted to get an order in.

  63. 63
    Bethany Says:

    Sure thing, John, thank you for your interest!

    I think Baseball America is going to write about it. I chatted with one of their guys today.

  64. 64
    Dan Says:

    And just like the last game with Hudson: Braves’ pitchers immediately throw away the lead as fast as possible.

  65. 65
    PaulV Says:

    Maholm worked that pitcher well

  66. 66
    John R. Says:

    @63, Damn, you’ve blown past your goal. Well done! Just put in for a single scorebook.

  67. 67
    John R. Says:

    They just showed the “Sid’s Slide” bobblehead. I’d like to see a series based on that play: Francisco Cabrera at the plate, Andy Van Slyke sitting in centerfield…

  68. 68
    Bethany Says:

    @66 Thank you John! The go on press Monday, hopefully I can ship them very soon after the kickstarter ends.

  69. 69
    Brian J. Says:

    67- And Barry Bonds! With a big bulbous body and Popeye’s pre-spinach arm.

  70. 70
    John R. Says:

    @69, Yeah, maybe him mouthing “F*** off!” to Andy Van Slyke trying to get him to position better. That would be a good one.

  71. 71
    Bethany Says:

    Simmons isn’t going to let Uggla mess things up anymore.

  72. 72
    Coop Says:

    Letting Andrelton take that was smart, Dan.

  73. 73
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


    Since the Braves are willing to insert an umpire into a bobblehead, I’d like to see one of Bobby getting thrown out by Bob Davidson, who was one of two umpires to eject Cox more than any other.

  74. 74
    Bethany Says:

    Ugh, two robs in a row.

  75. 75
    John R. Says:

    Dodgers defense, I hate you.

  76. 76
    'Rissa Says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Both of those balls had to be caught?

  77. 77
    Bethany Says:

    I want to cry.

  78. 78
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Braves with 5 hits and 5 walks through 5 IP so far, only two runs – this game is reminding me a lot of the one in Arizona v. Corbin. Lots of base runners, not a whole lot of runs…

  79. 79
    Dan Says:

    Anyone want to predict the date in which the Braves fall under .500?

  80. 80
    Bethany Says:

    May 31st.

  81. 81
    Bethany Says:

    At least BJ saw 4 pitches that AB.

  82. 82
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


    May 21. Yes, I’m a pessimist.

  83. 83
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @79 I’ll predict that we never actually fall below .500 this year… there’s no way this damn team keeps losing like this, is there? We’ve got a bunch of excellent players and at some point they’ll get things going again.

  84. 84
    Brian J. Says:

    Cruz looked almost Uggla-like trying to find that ball.

  85. 85
    Bethany Says:

    The BABIP gods smile upon us after much smiting.

  86. 86
    krussell Says:

    Just turned it on. Looks like we still suck.

  87. 87
    John R. Says:

    Bases loaded. Come on, Justin.

  88. 88
    Bethany Says:

    Great job Jason!

  89. 89
    Brian J. Says:


  90. 90
    Bethany Says:


  91. 91
    John R. Says:


  92. 92
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


  93. 93
    'Rissa Says:


  94. 94
    Tomas Says:

    Take that, hitting badly with runners in scoring position.

  95. 95
    John R. Says:

    Damn! That feels good!

    I was about to type out that I really hate pitchers who float their grip interminably up in the air for all to see (see Hanson, T.), and that I hope we make this kid pay. And we did!

    PS: Just looked up Rodriguez’s numbers and he’s put up some good ones in his 24 major league innings, but no career home runs allowed until now.

  96. 96
    Coop Says:

    Who woulda thunk it? Great inning, Braves. Thank you, Mr. Upton.

  97. 97
    krussell Says:

    Wow. Justin doesn’t suck. That ball was kilt. Carl Crawford’s reaction was the best part.

  98. 98
    Brian J. Says:

    Fine play by Simmons, and thanks to Mr. Punto for the ever-foolish slide into first.

  99. 99
    Tomas Says:


  100. 100
    Bethany Says:

    I am starting to agree with the group that says BJ needs to go on the DL. He’s totally messed up and the pressure of living up to the contract and his brother has got to be excruciating.

  101. 101
    krussell Says:

    BJ is stealing money.

  102. 102
    Bethany Says:


  103. 103
    Bethany Says:

    *cackles* YES!!!!!

  104. 104
    Tomas Says:

    Thanks, Carl.

    Edit: Times two.

  105. 105
    John R. Says:

    Chip, referring to Crawford’s boneheaded play: “I thought the Crawford Boxes were in Houston.”

    What does that even mean???

  106. 106
    Game, Blauser Says:

    Thanks for sucking, Crawford! Appreciate those two free runs.

  107. 107
    Brian J. Says:

    It means that Chip’s a dumbass. Oddly, 99 percent of his sentences have exactly the same meaning.

    Crawford’s a reminder that the Braves aren’t the only team that has long, regrettable contracts.

  108. 108
    Bethany Says:

    lol at that throw.

  109. 109
    John R. Says:

    Nice, Jason. Going the other way!

  110. 110
    Bethany Says:

    Why is Eric even in this game?

  111. 111
    Brian J. Says:

    Van Slyke owes us 10% of next year’s salary.

  112. 112
    Adam M Says:

    EOF is broken.

  113. 113
    'Rissa Says:

    EOF just wants to make sure Kimbrel can get a save. Those bullpen guys look out for each other…

  114. 114
    John R. Says:

    I thought the Crawford Boxes were in Houston!

  115. 115
    spike Says: has Kimbrel at 96-99 on his fb, which is good news if true.

  116. 116
    John R. Says:

    Craig’s gotten nasty here. That strike 1 to Ethier was a 98-mph heater placed perfectly on the lower right-hand corner of the plate.

  117. 117
    Bethany Says:

    Wooo! Really needed that win.

  118. 118
    Coop Says:

    That will do, Braves.

  119. 119
    Brian J. Says:

    So Kimbrel owes O’Flaherty a Coke, we all owe Justin a pizza, and we’ll stay above .500 two days longer than otherwise.

  120. 120
    Tomas Says:

    That looked good, Kimbrel.

  121. 121
    John R. Says:

    Nicely done. Good game, guys. We’ve done pretty well at winning Game 1 of a series but then show our ass the rest of the way. Let’s change that up this time, okay?

  122. 122
    krussell Says:

    I thought we had a real rally going there in the 6th but Justin killed it. Nevertheless, good to get back in the win column.

  123. 123
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Padres rookie starter Burch Smith had an ERA of 56.00 to start the game, but just struck out a side of Nats in the second and looks like he has the stuff to hold a 2-0 lead. JUPton slam and a Nats loss would make for a great start to the weekend.

  124. 124
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    Nats are 5-17 when the other team scores first.

  125. 125
    Adam R Says:

    The way Heyward performed was the cherry on top.

  126. 126
    PaulV Says:

    AS hit the ball too hard to handle twice and does not get a hit on either one.

  127. 127
    ububba Says:

    Man, that Jupton GSHR was a blast.

  128. 128
    Trace Says:

    Braves beat the loathsome Dodgers a few hours after I learned that I had been accepted to med school. Fantastic day.

  129. 129
    justhank Says:

    Congrats, Trace!

  130. 130
    Bethany Says:

    Wow, Trace, congratulations!!!!

  131. 131
    Coop Says:

    Late but congratulations, Trace. Sleep now while you have a chance.

  132. 132
    Remy Says:

    Congratulations, Trace! Enjoy your summer!

  133. 133
    Smitty Says:

    I have been to the Ted twice this year. The first was the game where Justin walked off against the Cubs. The second was last night.

    I saw JUp swing and heard the click. I never saw the ball, but the click was so loud, there was no doubt.

    The slam was the loudest I have heard a baseball stadium.

  134. 134
    Smitty Says:

    I have now watched the replay 100x. Chip’s call is pretty good.

    That is a first for Braves Journal.

  135. 135
    c. shorter Says:

    can’t stop watching it. that swing.

  136. 136
    Smitty Says:

    Jake the Snake sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” It was terrible

  137. 137
    kc Says:

    Can someone please explain to me how we got JUpton again?

  138. 138
    Bethany Says:

    I believe it had something to do with a lack of grit.

  139. 139
    PaulV Says:

    JUpton was just not a Gibson style ball player.

  140. 140
    sansho1 Says:

    Gibson probably drooled with envy at seeing Bryce Harper give himself an unnecessary concussion.

  141. 141
    John R. Says:

    Congratulations, Trace! See you in 10 years!

    @134, Yeah, Chip’s call was pretty good even though he enunciated “grand” as “grade”.

  142. 142
    fm Says:

    Who the hell thought this was a good idea?

  143. 143
    Dan Says:

    What? Someone mashed together some random Chip Caray calls, what’s the problem?

  144. 144
    spike Says:

    As a sidebar to 137, he won’t be the first or last pitcher to suffer, but goodness, the PCL has been rough on Delgado. 38R in 34 ip. >5R in 5 of 8 starts, made it out of the 6th inning once.

    Everyone expected Upton to be better than Prado, hence the inclusion of Delgado. But not only has Justin >> Martin, Chris Johnson >>>>> Delgado+Ahmed+Spruill+Drury

    In fairness, Spruill and Drury have been “okay” so far.

  145. 145
    Dan Says:

    NYM CF — 517 (might have been last a couple of days ago…fortunately Rick Ankiel has arrived …. again, LOLMets

    LOLMets? Are they paying $75,000,000 for Ankiel-level center field production?

  146. 146
    Our New Insect Overlords Says:


    It’s actually a nice compendium of the high points of 2010. Chip sounds better in a Chipmunk voice, anyway.

  147. 147
    Bethany Says:

    Is it weird that our last two big FA signings resulted in us bringing in guys that were the worst regulars in all of baseball for at least a quarter of the season?

  148. 148
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:


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