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(ESPN)   Atlanta Braves reliever Cory Gearrin to join the rest of the Atlanta pitching staff on the DL. Frank Wren reportedly tendering an offer to the peanuts vendor in the nosebleed seats   (espn.go.com) divider line 22
    More: Obvious, Frank Wren, Cory Gearrin, Braves, Aaron Harang, Atlanta, relief pitcher, Kris Medlen, disabled list  
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234 clicks; posted to Sports » on 30 Mar 2014 at 9:22 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



22 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-30 07:12:13 PM
WTF is going on with the Braves pitching staff? I'm thinking someone seriously needs to check out the pitching coaches and what techniques they're using. A major league team should not have this many injuries before the season even starts.
 
2014-03-30 08:27:07 PM
Oh, for f*ck's sake. This season is just going to be awful.
 
2014-03-30 09:51:12 PM
Eh, Gearrin isn't a huge loss. He was a ROOGY anyhow, and not a very good one. Medlen and Beachy now, those friggin' hurt.

Though, to be honest, Beachy was really iffy in any event. Hopefully Minor can come back form his dick surgery and sore shoulder before he misses too many starts.
 
2014-03-30 10:02:24 PM
Who gives a crap? How long must we wait for the UK in the final four thread?
 
2014-03-30 10:14:39 PM
PECOTA's projection for Gearrin was 57 innings of 3.45 ERA.  That's not quite "just call any AAA team", but it's pretty close (0.5 WAR expected).  There aren't that many relievers that are devastating to lose.

The bigger problem for the Braves is that it looks like the starting rotation is Teheran/Minor/E.Santana/Wood/Hale.  Maybe Aaron Harang creeps in there.  I like Alex Wood and Mike Minor, but the other guys are either unexciting or inexperienced.

As for the lineup, 3B (Chris Johnson?  Tyler Pastornicky?) is a big question mark, and the Doumit/Gattis catching tandem might be historically bad defensively.  Both of them are terrible at framing (receiving a pitch in a way that helps convince umpires it's a strike), blocking, and controlling the running game, and that's a young staff to be stacking that on,

However, if a corner outfielder gets hurt, it might be time for JOEY TERDOSLAVICH.  (Disclaimer: Not necessarily good at baseball.  However, Terdoslavich.)
 
2014-03-30 11:05:41 PM
Braves will have fewer fans...give Montreal a team...they might appreciate
 
2014-03-30 11:10:31 PM
Is roger actively cutting ucls or something?
 
2014-03-30 11:26:58 PM

chimp_ninja: PECOTA's projection for Gearrin was 57 innings of 3.45 ERA.  That's not quite "just call any AAA team", but it's pretty close (0.5 WAR expected).  There aren't that many relievers that are devastating to lose.

The bigger problem for the Braves is that it looks like the starting rotation is Teheran/Minor/E.Santana/Wood/Hale.  Maybe Aaron Harang creeps in there.  I like Alex Wood and Mike Minor, but the other guys are either unexciting or inexperienced.

As for the lineup, 3B (Chris Johnson?  Tyler Pastornicky?) is a big question mark, and the Doumit/Gattis catching tandem might be historically bad defensively.  Both of them are terrible at framing (receiving a pitch in a way that helps convince umpires it's a strike), blocking, and controlling the running game, and that's a young staff to be stacking that on,

However, if a corner outfielder gets hurt, it might be time for JOEY TERDOSLAVICH.  (Disclaimer: Not necessarily good at baseball.  However, Terdoslavich.)


Teheran is young but shaping up to be a great starter.

Something is wrong with the way organization is developing pitching talent. Has any team ever had so many similar injuries so close together?

Beachy seemed like he was never full strength last year. Medlen was tough to lose.

Santana is a disappointing replacement.

And the nationals only got better.
:(
 
2014-03-31 12:50:45 AM

mommatoldme: Braves will have fewer fans...give Montreal a team...they might appreciate


Oh no. You Canadians took our NHL team already. You can have the Astros if you want a MLB team.
 
2014-03-31 01:00:45 AM

chimp_ninja: As for the lineup, 3B (Chris Johnson?  Tyler Pastornicky?) is a big question mark


With the numbers Chris Johnson was putting up last season, I'm not seeing much of a question mark. Pastornicky can have 2nd if/when Uggla never gets hot.

chimp_ninja: However, if a corner outfielder gets hurt, it might be time for JOEY TERDOSLAVICH.  (Disclaimer: Not necessarily good at baseball.  However, Terdoslavich.)


If BJ's no better than last season, we'll be seeing a lot of Jordan Schafer before we see Terdoslavich. I don't have a problem with that, but Justin always seems to hit better when BJ's playing.
 
2014-03-31 01:24:32 AM

chimp_ninja: Teheran/Minor/E.Santana/Wood/Hale


Looks like Teheran-Wood-Harang-Hale-Schlosser, even though Atlanta doesn't need a 5th starter for two weeks unless they want one. Minor should be back by the end of the month to replace whoever looks weakest after their first 4-5 starts, with Gavin Floyd coming in in May if someone else isn't holding up..
 
2014-03-31 01:36:13 AM

ox45tallboy: With the numbers Chris Johnson was putting up last season, I'm not seeing much of a question mark.


In the past 10 years, 9 players have qualified for the batting title with a BABIP of .390 or more. Here's the list, with their BABIP in the next year:

Josh Hamilton: .390, then .317
BJ Upton: .393, .344
Derek Jeter: .391, .367
Dexter Fowler: .390, .323
David Wright: .394, .335
Ichiro: .399, .316
Austin Jackson: .396, .340
Chone Figgins: .391, .333
Chris Johnson: .394, ???

In other words...I don't think he's going to repeat those numbers. A .360 seems like the likely ceiling, and I'd guess he ends up even lower.

And yet, despite having such a high BABIP (and batting average), he was worth just 2.8 fWAR last year, thanks to bad baserunning, bad defense and the fact that he was basically just hitting singles (5.3 BB%, .136 ISO).

So, yeah, he probably qualifies as a question mark.
 
2014-03-31 02:08:13 AM

DeWayne Mann: And yet, despite having such a high BABIP (and batting average), he was worth just 2.8 fWAR last year, thanks to bad baserunning, bad defense and the fact that he was basically just hitting singles (5.3 BB%, .136 ISO).


You know, I'll take those low(er) numbers. They're not abysmal. If he can keep his BA over .300, those singles will drive in runs if the lower spots can get on base. Better baserunning will come with experience, as will better defense. He'll improve in some areas at the same time his BA will decline slightly as catchers/pitchers figure out what works best against him. I think he'll be solid but unremarkable, a slightly above-average player this season. And that's okay.There a lot worse kinds of baseball player than one who can't slug but can consistently hit singles.

if he doesn't start slugging a bit better, Fredi can always move him to number 2 and let him drive BJ or Schafer over to 2nd, while Freeman, Gattis, and Justin can hit far enough to give him a little extra time to round the bases.
 
2014-03-31 02:21:31 AM

ox45tallboy: If he can keep his BA over .300


No projection system has him hitting .300 this year. Oliver comes close, at .299/.340/.433. I generally use ZiPS, but it likes him a bit less than I do; it projects him for .275/.315/.423.

ox45tallboy: I think he'll be solid but unremarkable, a slightly above-average player this season.


Again, he was a a slightly above-average player last season, despite what looks like a fluke hitting season. At 29 years old, just how much do you think the rest of his game will improve?

ox45tallboy: if he doesn't start slugging a bit better, Fredi can always move him to number 2


A career .328 OBP doesn't exactly scream "second most plate appearances on the team" to me.
 
2014-03-31 08:56:33 AM

DeWayne Mann: ox45tallboy: If he can keep his BA over .300

No projection system has him hitting .300 this year. Oliver comes close, at .299/.340/.433. I generally use ZiPS, but it likes him a bit less than I do; it projects him for .275/.315/.423.

ox45tallboy: I think he'll be solid but unremarkable, a slightly above-average player this season.

Again, he was a a slightly above-average player last season, despite what looks like a fluke hitting season. At 29 years old, just how much do you think the rest of his game will improve?

ox45tallboy: if he doesn't start slugging a bit better, Fredi can always move him to number 2

A career .328 OBP doesn't exactly scream "second most plate appearances on the team" to me.



While I agree with you, sadly, it would probably be an improvement over the production we are likely to receive from our current number 2 hitter.
 
2014-03-31 08:58:25 AM

ox45tallboy: Better baserunning will come with experience, as will better defense. He'll improve in some areas at the same time his BA will decline slightly as catchers/pitchers figure out what works best against him. I think he'll be solid but unremarkable, a slightly above-average player this season. And that's okay.There a lot worse kinds of baseball player than one who can't slug but can consistently hit singles.


Except it's essentially his only worthwhile baseball skill.

Last year, he drew 29 walks in 549 trips to the plate.  He's slow (0 SB, 0 3B, below-average in taking the extra base).  He has zero range at 3B, and he's graded out poorly every year he's been in the majors.  He has, at best, "gap power" (34 2B, 12 HR).

Even if he hits .300, he's not very helpful.  And he's more likely not to hit .300-- he was a .276 hitter in the minors, and doesn't have the underlying skillset to suggest he'll be able to do it repeatedly.  Perennial .300 hitters do it by having a combination of good pitch selection, low strikeout rates, and good legs to beat out infield hits.  Johnson's 29, so his days of learning brand-new skills are behind him.

The big killer, even in 2013: He swings at 39% of pitches outside the zone, and makes contact 56% of the time.  League average is 31% and 67%, respectively.  Expect to see some serious hacking at slop this year.
 
2014-03-31 09:56:46 AM
I had a conversation a few years ago with someone in the Braves organization. The topic was about Tommy Hanson being the next great Braves starter. This guy told me not to get my hopes up because the Braves have adopted a philosophy to draft pitchers early and use them up while they are under cost control. There is no emphasis on teaching proper technique. Now the Tehran signing contradicts this but it was an interesting converstion considering what has happened to all the braves young arms. Hanson, Jair, Medlen, Beachy, Venters etc.
 
2014-03-31 10:12:49 AM
Bet they still shutout the Phillies pathetic lineup atleat 3 times this year.  Unless Chooch slips his adderall into the teams cooler.
 
2014-03-31 11:05:20 AM

chimp_ninja: Except it's essentially his only worthwhile baseball skill.


You know, being able to consistently hit a single might be his "only worthwhile baseball skill", but it's a pretty good skill to have.

I'm not saying this guy is the best hitter since Pete Rose. I'm saying he's good enough at hitting singles consistently to be a valuable member of the team. Those singles also move a baserunner to second, and put a man on base for your cleanup guys to bring in.

He's going to be slightly above your average pro baseball player this year. He'll add more than BJ or Uggla to the batting, with 10-15 HR's and 60-70 RBI's, as well as about 50-60 RS, depending on where he is in the batting order. Nothing special, but nothing that'll make anyone say "bad". The Braves are paying a lot for their sluggers right now (except Gattis), so what they really need is a few consistent hitters for the sluggers to bring in.
 
2014-03-31 12:57:27 PM

v2micca: While I agree with you, sadly, it would probably be an improvement over the production we are likely to receive from our current number 2 hitter.


Well, keeping in mind that I'm a bit weird about lineups, here's what I would go with:

J Up
Heyward
Gattis
Freeman
Johnson
who cares everyone else sucks at hitting

Maybe swap the first two if you want; they're pretty close to being the same hitter. I figured I'd alternate lefty/righty though.
 
2014-03-31 03:15:07 PM

ox45tallboy: I'm not saying this guy is the best hitter since Pete Rose. I'm saying he's good enough at hitting singles consistently to be a valuable member of the team. Those singles also move a baserunner to second, and put a man on base for your cleanup guys to bring in.


This would be a better argument for a #2 hitter with a high OBP.  Chris Johnson isn't likely to be that guy, for the hack-at-slop reasons I mentioned above.

To be clear, I think his median expectation is decent, but that given the flaws in his fundamentals, the variance on that number is going to be wide.  If he's the same guy as last year but his BABIP goes from "lucky" to "unlucky", he's almost unplayable.  If it just goes to "normal", he's probably a perfectly reasonable #6 hitter in the NL.

But you really don't want him at the top of the lineup unless he learns to lay off junk, and very few players at his age turn over a new leaf there.
 
2014-03-31 04:08:53 PM

chimp_ninja: This would be a better argument for a #2 hitter with a high OBP.  Chris Johnson isn't likely to be that guy, for the hack-at-slop reasons I mentioned above.


That's a pretty darn good BA for a "hack-at-slop" hitter. Ordinarily you'd think such a hitter would be in the Uggla range.

chimp_ninja: If he's the same guy as last year but his BABIP goes from "lucky" to "unlucky", he's almost unplayable.


He's been improving every year that he's been in the league. Last season was the first time in a while he had a consistent spot where he knew what was expected of him every day when he walked in. Winning the competition for 3rd base did wonders for him as a player. (Look at previous seasons where he even as a starter he was getting bounced around between 1st, 3rd, and the outfield, and sometimes randomly left out of the lineup for no reason.) I'm not so sure it was "luck" as much as "relaxed and enjoying the game". I'm not expecting numbers quite as good as last season, but I am expecting slightly above average performance - which is just fine for the team as a whole. I don't think for a second he'll win a batting title or is a future HOF'er, but I think he'll have a few good years at Atlanta, then get traded away to bounce around as an injury replacement for a couple of years before retiring.
 
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