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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

How Does Mike Soroka Do It? | FanGraphs Baseball

How does command fit into projecting pitcher performance? It has to fit in there somewhere. The existing metrics, however, just don’t fit.

When you’re forced to look at a pitcher’s sequencing to figure out why he’s effective, it’s a good bet that the obvious culprits (whiffs and strikeouts) don’t explain the production, and that’s definitely the case with Soroka. Watching one of his starts isn’t like seeing Chris Sale, a whirling mass of limbs that produces impossibly-angled sliders and swinging strikes galore. It’s more like watching Kyle Hendricks, sinkers and changeups just eluding the fat part of the bat as groundballs end at-bat after at-bat. Still, though, whoever he resembles, Mike Soroka has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2019 at 09:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mike soroka

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Braves, Dallas Keuchel agree to deal, per report | CBS Sports

 

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 06, 2019 at 10:02 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dallas keuchel, free agency

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fan runs onto field in Atlanta and gets destroyed

This has turned into a lively little discussion on Twitter, so let’s share it here. Bonus: it involves one of what I am well aware is one of my more unpopular opinions, so it gives a good many of you a chance to yell at me about it. Yell all ya want.

Last night, at the Cardinals-Braves game in Atlanta a fan who, I’m gonna guess anyway, was either over-served or under-brained, decided to run out onto the field like a moron. It happens.

As also happens, especially these days, he was utterly creamed by the SunTrust Park security team. Watch as he’s slammed into the wall and then dog-piled. Bonus: I am about 85% sure that the guard who did the slamming is the one who fell down just before, which shows that he has some serious recovery skills and closing speed:

Not gonna lie: there’s humor in this sort of thing, at least assuming the fan rushing onto the field has no more than mischief on his mind and assuming everyone is OK in the end, which seems to be the case here.

A consideration of folk who invade the field, and the levels of force used against them.

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, pitch invasions

Monday, April 29, 2019

Donaldson’s 3-run homer lifts Braves over Rockies

Third baseman Josh Donaldson slammed a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the host Atlanta Braves to an 8-7 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Tyler Flowers and Ozzie Albies reached on singles against Seunghwan Oh and Donaldson hammered a 1-1 pitch deep in the right-field stands for his fifth home run.

The victory allowed the Braves to salvage one game in the weekend series and end Colorado’s eight-game winning streak in games played in Atlanta.

Are Donaldson’s last 42 games Small Sample Size Theatre at play, a sign of recovery from injury- or both?

 

QLE Posted: April 29, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, josh donaldson

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Vizcaino undergoes surgery, expected to miss rest of season

Dr. David Altchek performed the surgery Wednesday in New York. Altchek cleaned up Vizcaíno’s labrum, while also removing scar tissue from the right shoulder joint, the team said in a release.“He was in pain and tried to pitch through it,” Anthopoulos said. “He, with the club, his agent as well, decided this was the best course of action for him, short-term and long-term.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2019 at 08:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arody vizcaino, braves

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Toussaint shines in relief as Braves hold off Mets

Touki Toussaint earned the win by tossing six solid innings of one-run relief in his season debut Saturday night as the host Atlanta Braves scored four runs apiece in the first and second innings of an 11-7 victory over the New York Mets.

The Braves, who lost the first two games of the four-game series, have won four of six. The Mets had a three-game winning streak snapped despite scoring at least six runs for a team-record seventh straight game.

Both starters were chased early Saturday. Mets left-hander Jason Vargas recorded just one out in the first inning and Braves southpaw Sean Newcomb exited after 1 1/3 innings.

Wondering what it says that hearing “six innings of relief” makes one think “the team uses an opener”, rather than “starting pitcher knocked out quickly”.

 

QLE Posted: April 14, 2019 at 07:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, relief pitching, touki toussaint

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Braves Extend Ozzie Albies | MLBTR

It’s a seven-year deal that’ll promise Albies $35MM, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter links). The contract begins in 2019 and contains a pair of club options valued at $7MM, and each comes with a $4MM buyout. Technically speaking, Albies is promised six years and $34.425MM in new money, as he’d already been signed for a $575K salary this season. If the Braves pick up both options, they’ll owe Albies a total of 45MM over the next nine seasons — including what would have been four free-agent seasons.


Braves and Rockies snowed out in Colorado

Today’s scheduled game between the Braves and Rockies at Coors Field has been postponed due to a blizzard warning in Denver. It will be made up on August 26 when, presumably, there will be less of a chance of snow.

What, no moving the game to a neutral site?

 

QLE Posted: April 11, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rockies, snow

Monday, April 08, 2019

Dansby Swanson continues breakout season with walk-off single

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson’s career may not have taken off as fast as it has for several of his teammates, but 2019 is looking like a breakout season for the former top prospect.

Swanson’s hot start continued through Sunday, when he hit his third homer of the season and later added a walk-off single to top the Marlins, 4-3.

Miami had just tied the game in the top of the frame, when left-hander Adam Conley quickly loaded the bases. The 25-year-old took two fastballs for balls and then turned on an inside pitch and hit it to the wall for the win.

So, hot start, or something that is sustainable in the long term?

 

 

QLE Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, walk-off

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Braves rookie calls fan in hospice care to let him know he made the team (video)

Big things are expected from Atlanta Braves rookie Kyle Wright. After being drafted in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, the 23-year-old Wright quickly rose through the minors to make his major league debut last season.

Despite that, his inclusion on the team’s opening day roster in 2019 was no guarantee. With the Braves relying on a bevy of young pitchers, Wright had to earn his spot in the rotation.

He did just that, and upon hearing the news, Wright decided to let one of his biggest fans know he was going to take the mound for “Sunday Night Baseball.”

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, kyle wright

Friday, March 22, 2019

MLB season preview: Five over/unders you can count on in 2019

Want an easy way to prove to your friends you’re smarter than everyone else when it comes to baseball? Just look at some MLB over/unders.

By looking at win totals, you can get a quick snapshot of where you differ from the general consensus. Do you find the Tampa Bay Rays’ 84.5 win total insulting? Tell your friends they are going to be much better than anyone expects. Think there’s no way the New York Mets surpass 85.5 wins? You just identified a bust.

Feel extra confident in those predictions? Well, you can wager some hard-earned gummy bears on the outcome.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is suspecting that he was born a century too early….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, cubs, overunder, phillies, previews, reds

Sunday, March 10, 2019

MLB preview: Five bold predictions for upcoming season

There is going to be plenty of turnover for the 2019 MLB season.

The game is changing and that is driving much of our projections for the year.

With that being said, here are five bold predictions for the 2019 season

For the most part, these predictions don’t feel all that bold- anyone here tempted to make bolder ones?

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: batting average, braves, home runs, manny machado, predictions

Thursday, March 07, 2019

New-look NL East suddenly baseball’s deepest division

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single.

Not anymore.

Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay inside the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. In addition to defending champion Atlanta, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all have enough firepower to potentially contend for the playoffs.

Mind you, the Marlins can by themselves make any division weaker just by being in it.

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Josh Donaldson feeling healthy and confident | MLB.com

I keep hearing the Braves haven’t done anything this off-season. Donaldson is nothing?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, josh donaldson

Friday, March 01, 2019

Three Braves starters are dealing with elbow, shoulder problems

The Braves could do something about this- but they’d rather spend on real estate instead….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, elbow, pitching

The Braves are rolling in money but aren’t spending it on baseball

The Atlanta Braves’ parent company, Liberty Media, released some financials today which show that the Braves are raking in cash, have seen profitability soar and have watched their debt go down. None of that is going into baseball, however. It’s going into real estate.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution we learn:

*Braves’ revenue increased to $442 million in 2018. That’s up 14.5 percent from 2017 ($386 million) and is up 69 percent from 2016 ($262 million);
*$404 million of that revenue is from baseball; $38 million of is from real estate in The Battery development that surrounds the park;
*Operating income (i.e. profit) before interest and depreciation surged from $7 million 2017 to $94 million in 2018;
*Debt went down substantially in the final quarter of last year –from $626 million to $494 million — but Liberty says the Braves will take on more debt to fund the next phase of construction at The Battery; and
*As noted many times in this space, baseball payroll is actually lower now than it was last year.

Taking the phrase about people rooting for real estate far too literally….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dollah dollah bills, y'all, money, real estate

Thursday, February 21, 2019

At 33, Braves’ Donaldson trying to prove he can stay healthy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Finding a job was pretty easy for Josh Donaldson. Proving he can keep it will be the tough part.

The former AL MVP didn’t have to wait long for a new opportunity, signing a one-year, $23 million contract with the Atlanta Braves less than a month after the World Series ended.

“I didn’t expect it to go that quickly,” Donaldson said Wednesday, the day before his first organized workout with the NL East champions. “It was my first time in free agency so I had something of an idea, but you don’t really know. I was very happy with the timing of it. They gave me the ease of the entire offseason to know which team I was going to be with.”

Pondering this matter- is it relevant that he’s only played four full seasons in MLB, or less so given that he’s only played in eight overall?

 

QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, health, josh donaldson

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Braves want you to get excited about ‘monetary yield’ and ‘glide slope’

Last week Braves president Terry McGuirk and general manager Alex Anthopoulos gave a sit-down interview with Jeff Schultz and David O’Brien of The Athletic. It did not go over well with Braves fans.

In the interview McGuirk and Anthopoulos walked back multiple past claims that the Braves would spend more money for the 2019 season and, as I detailed here, did so in a pretty condescending manner. It was difficult to take anything away from the interview other than the conclusion that (a) profit and cash flow are the team’s highest priorities; and (b) the team’s promises about what it plans to do in the future aren’t worth much. And it’s not just me saying that. McGuirk and Anthopoulos have been roasted by Braves fans, Atlanta talk radio and the Braves blogosphere since the interview went live.

No doubt aware of the blowback they created, last night McGuirk and Anthopoulos spoke to O’Brien once again. But unlike last time, they were not challenged substantively on any point. Indeed, the entire column reeks of McGuirk and Anthopoulos saying “HEY! We got a lot of bad press from our interview last week, so let’s try to fix it!” I am not exaggerating here. It’s as if O’Brien hit “record” when they began talking, hit “stop” when they stopped, transcribed the thing and published it with minimal additions.

Isn’t “glide slope” what Calvin used to do to get his toboggan to take flight?

 

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:49 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, braves, money

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Braves think their fans are idiots

Back to money.

Q: Liberty reported significant revenue increases for 2018. Fans see that and expectedly want you to invest in players.

McGuirk: The last thing you can do is follow our bouncing ball of economics, with debt. It costs a lot to build this edifice.

I have no idea what this means other than front offices think of all player salaries as pure liability and that the end game of a baseball team is profit, not winning baseball games.

Wait, I don’t need to infer that. McGuirk says so explicitly in his next answer, when asked about the interplay between team revenues and the product on the field:

It’s all designed to produce profitability that will go into our team, over and above, as we pay off the debt and pay off the principal. I wouldn’t be doing it unless I thought it was going to jettison us from that small middle-market team to high middle-market team to even potentially something bigger. I think it’s terrific for the Atlanta Braves. I couldn’t be more optimistic.

Except it does not “go into our team,” as the numbers and as McGuirk’s and Anthopoulos’ own answers demonstrate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2019 at 01:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: “Nick Markakis re-signs with

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick markakis

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Report: Braves dismiss scouting leaders Bridges, Clark

The Braves released scouting director Brian Bridges and senior adviser to amateur scouting Roy Clark, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Both assumed their posts in 2014 during a major retooling of the front office. Bridges was promoted to scouting director under John Hart and John Coppolella’s regime.

Clark rejoined the team in October 2014 after leaving in 2009 following more than two decades with the team. He had stints with the Nationals and Dodgers before rejoining the Braves.

Clark, who spent 11 years as the Braves’ scouting director, helped draft well-known players such as Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Jeff Francouer and others. He first joined the franchise as an area scout in 1989.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Monday, December 31, 2018

As of today, Phillies have 4th-best roster in NL East

Prior to the arrival of new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets largely operated like a mid-market team these last few years. It didn’t help the Phillies much in their head-to-head matchup, with the Phillies going 50-82 against the Mets the last seven seasons.

It did, however, make the Mets less of a threat in the division race. The same can’t be said now after the Mets added Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos, brought back Jeurys Familia and watched Zack Wheeler transform in the second half of 2018 into a legit top-of-the-rotation starter.

Suddenly, the Mets can talk themselves into a wild-card spot or perhaps even an NL East title if things break right. There is just a major advantage to having Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wheeler, two very good late-inning relievers and a deeper lineup.

There are times when there are advantages to sharing a division with the Marlins….

QLE Posted: December 31, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, phillies

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moore: Age is just a number for Niekro and Moyer

Phil Niekro: The sparks is still there!

“Oh, yeah. I threw my last [Major League] pitch when I was 48, but I could have gone another year or two,” Niekro said, recalling his final season in 1987. It began with the Cleveland Indians, but he was traded near the end of the season to the pennant-hopeful Toronto Blue Jays.

After two rough starts, then-Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick released Niekro and told Toronto reporters that he thought Niekro’s career was over.

“Since I have total respect for [Gillick], and also out of fairness to myself, I just took his word and decided that maybe he knew more about myself than I did, and that maybe he sees something that I don’t see, so I went by his words,” said Niekro, who made one final start with Atlanta that season. “After I retired, the next Spring Training, I got the fever. Then the next Spring Training after that, I got the fever.”

In fact, Niekro still has the fever.

Said Niekro, chuckling, but only a little, “I still feel like I can get guys out in the big leagues right now. My arm feels as good now as it did when I retired.”

...“I’ll throw some BP down there, so my arm is no problem,” Niekro said. “To stick around a long time, it’s a discipline thing for a player, where you have to stay healthy. You also have to be fortunate, just to spend any time in the big leagues. I’ve got no squabbles about anything. I just kick myself in the butt for not hanging around for another year or two.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Braves re-sign infielder Jack Wilson

As an old pequod sod in the bar used to say to anybody named Jack…“#### you, Jack, I’m all right!!”

The Atlanta Braves have re-signed veteran infielder Jack Wilson to a one-year deal, the team’s website reports.

Wilson, 34, hit .243 with no homers, 11 RBIs in part-time duty with the Braves and Seattle Mariners in 2011. He was dealt to Atlanta on Aug. 31.

His biggest impact this season might be as a mentor/insurance policy.

Barring another acquisition, the Braves will start rookie Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop on opening day. The 22-year-old hit .314 with seven homers, 45 RBIs and 27 stolen bases between the Class AA and Class AAA levels in 2011, but he never has played in the majors.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 04:48 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, minor leagues, prospect reports

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