Probably fair, but 80-90 percent perhaps a little high. Maybe not. Bullpen will be quite different.
No idea, and won't spend time thinking about it since I've never heard one word to indicate that they would even consider trading either player before the 2016 season.
Send him down to get a win? I'm not sure what you're talking about. Send him down? To Triple-A???
Yes, they are. They say they are. And surely they wouldn't have purged to quite the degree that they did if they thought it was going to be this bad. Believe me, they had no idea this team would become this non-competitive, and they never would have put themselves in the position to take as much criticism as they've received because of the moves and the state of the team right now (future still looks bright, but present is worse than anyone could've imagined).
Nothing more than I wrote last night. That's all we have. Nothing more. Another procedure before he's released Thursday is the plan. Then blood thinners for quite a while.
Trade talks were, near as I can tell, created and stoked among people on the Internet -- fans, pundits, etc.
Think they went a little heavy on pitchers and light on hitters. But they're strategy is that they will trade for the surplus of pitchers to get hitters when the time comes. Only time will tell if the strategy was sound.
OK, the future's not bright.
Honestly? Absolutely the worst part of covering a season like this is dealing with pessimistic folks who think they know more about the industry than people within the industry itself and people who cover the industry for a living, then ask questions with this tone of indignity that ... well, like the one I just got asking me if I'll ever stop saying "the future looks bright." Those people are the hardest to deal with, because it's not enough that they can be pessimistic or skeptical -- they demand that WE be as well. Even if I personally believe the future looks bright, even as the present is dreadful. No, that's not enough. I have to agree with him that the future doesn't look bright. That, my friend, is the hardest part. And all things considered, that ain't really too hard.
Agreed. A whole LOT of winnable games have been lost in the last 3-4 innings as guys went through the normal growing pains, but unfortunately so many of them were going through those growing pains at the same time. Normally there's one or, at most, two such guys in a bullpen..
Fair enough. And I don't disagree with that assessment. But until we see how the Braves brass is able to use some of their stockpiled young arms as "currency" to get hitters, and until we see how some of the many 16-17 year old international signees pan out, and the 17-year-old pitchers they took in the first round, et al, well, we don't know how the future looks a few years down the road. The near future, as in next season, doesn't look as good as I thought it would at the midpoint this season, before this season crumbled and a guy like Alex Wood, who I thought would be part of the future, was dealt. And even Peraza, who I don't think will be a superstar, but could've, at worst, been a strong utility infielder or a backup "bridge" at second base to Ozzie Albies, then become a solid trade piece, etc.
Can't count on Grill to be ready much before the All-Star break, in my opinion. And when he is ready, will he be as effective? Have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Arodys has looked pretty solid in the role. Not perfect, obviously, but for a young guy getting his first taste of closing, he's impressed me.
Chipper, followed closely Gary Sheffield and Andruw Jones.
I didn't like the trade because Braves still had four years of contractual control. But they really didn't plan on having him play catcher, and the Astros haven't used him there. So I don't know, the knee might've been worse than we knew, or just the overall body and size might've convinced them he couldn't hold up as catcher. But again, I didn't like the deal because they had the four years of control, and as you said, in the game right now you just don't see that kind of natural power too often.
People who right about him have presumably watched a lot more minor league baseball than those of us who've only seen him play a few games in spring training. I don't pretend to write with great authority about people I've not seen. I don't know how good Mallex Smith is going to be. No idea.
I don't know. He's a strong kid, in great shape, but has never played every day for this long, obvioiusly. Still, that wouldn't explain the dramatic dropoff from the 50-game stretch where he hit about .300 with an OBP around .380 (I'd have to go back and look up stats, don't have them at hand as I do this chat) with a lot of extra-base hits. In the past 80 or so games, he's hit just below .200 with a low OBP and slugging percentage. Teams make adjustments to guys after they've played every day for a while, then it becomes a matter of, can they make their own adjustments to deal with the new way they're being pitched. The majors are brutally tough, man -- teams have such great scouting reports, they will find your weakness and absolutely pound away at it. And pitchers in the big leagues are so much better than in Triple-A, as a whole. They can hit spots and exploit holes in your swing or tendencies to chase pitches, etc.
Haven't hear any indication that leads me to believe Liberty is going to sell in forseeable future. Of course, they are so private with their dealings, we could wake up tomorrow to an announcement they've put the team on the block or a rumor that they're about to sell. But as of now, I've heard nothing of the sort.
If you would rather have Melvin Upton than Nick Markakis, well, I would disagree.
Yes, all should be ready, though Simmons perhaps would have limitations since only had his surgery a month or so before spring training last season,. And I agree, the addition of them and others including Winkler, who we saw last night in his debut, should be a big plus and provide plenty of much-needed depth, along with a couple of proven bullpen additions I expect the Braves to make.
No, not surprised. He and the team -- i.e., John Hart -- are very close and can handle this negotiation between themselves and the agent, without making a big deal out of it or any sense of urgency.
Why wouldn't any team be a fan of Ted Turner if he was your team's owner? You won't get a situation like that, probably not again in our lifetime. Mark Cuban was sort of the same way with the Mavericks -- spent a lot more than the revenues at the time. Cuban could afford it, and wanted to win, and believed that spending lavishly would help draw free agents, etc. It did. Ted could afford it, and spent lavishly, the payroll consistently in the top 3-5 in the majors and sometimes just behind the Yankees, even though the market wasn't even close to being top five. But since that time, local/regional TV deals have mushroomed, and the Braves right now have a TV deal that ranks in bottom third (it was one of the 2-3 worst before it was renegotiated in the past couple of years). Braves attendance and TV deals don't bring in revenues to fund a top-tier payroll, not if the bottom line is important, which in almost every case it is extremely important. Maybe Detroit with Illitch is an exception, a multi-sport owner (Red Wings, Tigers) who's willing to spend more on a team (Tigers) than the market ane revenues would seem to dictate. But there aren't many like that in any spot.
That's it, folks. We've gone more than an hour. Much appreciated. Thanks for the questions. And be checking out our website today for updates on the Braves' possible future move to St. Petersburg for spring training.
It was a .500 team for just over half the year, so it was actually like covering a .500 team for a half-season and a 120-loss season for a half-season. So, it was interesting, for sure. I did cover a 108-loss team as Marlins beat writer in 1998, a year after covering a Marlins World Series championship season in '97.