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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ronald Acuna being called up by Braves | MLB.com

The Acuna Era will begin in Atlanta.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2018 at 06:11 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   1. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:07 AM (#5659740)
Unless he's going to teach the starters how to go more than five innings, it's not going to fix what's wrong... I'm still glad to get to see him.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:31 AM (#5659753)
This whole process is just a farce.

That .232/.321/.304 line in AAA really showed them Acuna was ready.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:33 AM (#5659754)
No telling what defensive gains he made.
   4. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5659761)
I don't expect Snapper to actually follow performance or anything, but Acuna started ice ####### cold in Gwinnett, struck out 2 or 3 times per game for the first two weeks. In the interim, Preston Tucker was banging a 1000+ OPS in Atlanta. Last 7 days, Acuna's found his stroke a bit (two multi-hit games and his first extra base hits) and Tucker has regressed to mean.
   5. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5659762)
Are teams still even bothering to try to pretend that they're not just manipulating the service-time clock, as the Cubs did with Bryant back in 2015?
   6. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5659765)
I don't expect Snapper to actually follow performance or anything, but Acuna started ice ####### cold in Gwinnett, struck out 2 or 3 times per game for the first two weeks. In the interim, Preston Tucker was banging a 1000+ OPS in Atlanta. Last 7 days, Acuna's found his stroke a bit (two multi-hit games and his first extra base hits) and Tucker has regressed to mean.

And if Acuna had killed the ball for the first two weeks and Tucker had gone 0-fer-whatever, do you seriously think there was any chance the Braves wouldn't still have kept Acuna down until they got the extra year of team control?
   7. PreservedFish Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5659768)
Rickey:Braves::Clapper:GOP
   8. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5659769)
And if Acuna had killed the ball for the first two weeks and Tucker had gone 0-fer-whatever, do you seriously think there was any chance the Braves wouldn't still have kept Acuna down until they got the extra year of team control?


No. Absolutely not. But the pretense that Acuna is Athena fully formed, simply trying to break out of Zeus' skull, is false and wrong. He's a hell of a talented player, but his minor league experience is limited and choppy, his performance in spring this year was almost exclusively against AA quality pitching, and he did in fact need time to figure out how to hit AAA and quad-A pitching in Gwinnett. None of which means they wouldn't have held him down for service time even if he opened the season in Bondsian fashion. But he didn't. And pretending that he's automatically Mike Trout is stupidity of the highest order.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5659770)
And if Acuna had killed the ball for the first two weeks and Tucker had gone 0-fer-whatever, do you seriously think there was any chance the Braves wouldn't still have kept Acuna down until they got the extra year of team control?

Of course not.
   10. bfan Posted: April 25, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5659775)
That .232/.321/.304 line in AAA really showed them Acuna was ready.


4-29 to start the season, but in the last 10 games, the 12-40 showed them he is ready. He needed some time to refine his approach and get his eye ready for a bigger stage and more challenges? I get it.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5659776)
and he did in fact need time to figure out how to hit AAA and quad-A pitching in Gwinnett.

Total BS. 78 putrid PAs is not figuring out anything.

I have no comprehension as to why fans defend their teams on this. The Yankees did the same thing to Torres, and I think it sucks. They at least had performance justification with Gleyber having a crap spring, but once Drury went down, Torres need to be in MLB.

They didn't do it, because they wanted to screw him out of money. And that sucks.
   12. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5659777)
He needed some time to refine his approach and get his eye ready for a bigger stage and more challenges? I get it.


Or the layoff between spring and the start of AAA season cooled his timing off. But don't go to far in suggesting that he wasn't ready for prime time last September, because if you do, people will accuse you of being a mole planted in service of the Braves' front office talking points.

If Alex Anthopoulos had been hired in 2015 Acuna would be being promoted to AAA this week.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5659778)
4-29 to start the season, but in the last 10 games, the 12-40 showed them he is ready. He needed some time to refine his approach and get his eye ready for a bigger stage and more challenges? I get it.

I hope that's sarcasm.
   14. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5659779)
I have no comprehension as to why fans defend their teams on this.


I wrote an entire article defending the assignment to AAA, in real time.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5659781)
I wrote an entire article defending the assignment to AAA, in real time.

Yes. I read it. It's propaganda. Even if you're 100% right, that still has nothing to do with why he was sent down. We all know the reason he was sent down was purely financial.

If the Braves had known with certainty that Acuna would put up a 200 wRC+ in the first 4 weeks, and his OF replacements would put up a .000/.000/.000 line with poor defense, they still would have kept him down.

You're simply rooting for your team to have a cheap 7th year of control over what you think/hope will be a superstar.
   16. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5659782)
I wrote an entire article defending the assignment to AAA, in real time.

And it was well argued! But the fact that he is up now, despite doing nothing in AAA, negates any pretense that the assignment/promotion were based on anything but $$$.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5659783)
I have no comprehension as to why fans defend their teams on this.


Well, because they want the the team to save money too, because they think the team will spend it on more victories.
   18. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5659785)
You're simply rooting for your team to have a cheap 7th year of control over what you think/hope will be a superstar.


This is simply untrue. I have very real doubts that Acuna is ready, right now. There's no real down side of calling him up, because he HAS already dropped the service time window. And generally speaking, a platoon of Acuna/Tucker is better than a platoon of Tucker/Bourjos. And eventually, Jose Bautista should be better than Charlie Culberson. But that doesn't mean I'm spinning propaganda. I think minor league experience has real value, and I think Ronald Acuna has very little of that experience.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5659787)
Agreed with #16. I have no issue with Rickey's argument that Acuna could very well use extra seasoning. But that's clearly not what's happening here at all. Which is what makes him a shill, he's arguing that the Braves took a prudent and logical position that he knows they did not take.
   20. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5659788)
But the fact that he is up now, despite doing nothing in AAA, negates any pretense that the assignment/promotion were based on anything but $$$.


I have always stipulated that the primary mover was service time control. But I wouldn't have handed him the starting job outright, out of spring, even if the service clock wasn't a factor. Platoon role, yes. But I've seen the Braves rush too many "can't miss" guys to the show and have them Jason Heyward up the joint.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5659789)
And it was well argued! But the fact that he is up now, despite doing nothing in AAA, negates any pretense that the assignment/promotion were based on anything but $$$.

Ding, ding, ding. Winner.
   22. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 25, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5659880)
Casual observer at best of the braves but why the hell would you platoon a kid this talented in a throwaway year for the club otherwise? Give him all the starts you can.
   23. perros Posted: April 25, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5659886)

I have no comprehension as to why fans defend their teams on this. The Yankees did the same thing to Torres, and I think it sucks. They at least had performance justification with Gleyber having a crap spring, but once Drury went down, Torres need to be in MLB.

To keep the guy on the team another season? Also, Spring don't mean ####.

Not everybody is the Yankees.
   24. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 25, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5659887)

I have always stipulated that the primary mover was service time control. But I wouldn't have handed him the starting job outright, out of spring, even if the service clock wasn't a factor. Platoon role, yes. But I've seen the Braves rush too many "can't miss" guys to the show and have them Jason Heyward up the joint.


I know that this isn't the point of the argument but Jayson Heyward was ready to be in the major leagues IMHO. He put up a 131 OPS+ and was very good player his first year. His career as an offensive player just has been crazy.
   25. Hank Gillette Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5659896)
I have no comprehension as to why fans defend their teams on this. The Yankees did the same thing to Torres, and I think it sucks. They at least had performance justification with Gleyber having a crap spring, but once Drury went down, Torres need to be in MLB.


If they think about it at all, it’s: “Hey, we have [player] for an extra season before we lose him to free agency.”

That, and they look at the salaries, and can’t comprehend that a player can be making massive amounts of money and still being paid less than he is worth.
   26. perros Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5659897)

That, and they look at the salaries, and can’t comprehend that a player can be making massive amounts of money and still being paid less than he is worth.

Commie.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5659898)
I know that this isn't the point of the argument but Jayson Heyward was ready to be in the major leagues IMHO.
Remember back when this was true? Sigh...
   28. Ziggy's screen name Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5659901)
Are teams still even bothering to try to pretend that they're not just manipulating the service-time clock, as the Cubs did with Bryant back in 2015?


Yes. You get a grievance from the union if you're open about it.

If you're a fan of team X, your interests happen to align with team X's on this. Fans want to see their favorite team win games, and playing games with service time helps them win games.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5659902)
To keep the guy on the team another season? Also, Spring don't mean ####.

Yeah, but if he's any good, they're going to extend him through his arb years and at least 2 FA years, at a deep discount.

So, this isn't really about control. It's about leverage to keep more money in Liberty's pockets, and put less in Acuna's.

Not everybody is the Yankees.

Every team can afford a $150M payroll these days. The Yankees are below $200M. There is no meaningful difference between Atlanta's ability to extend Acuna beyond his arb years, and the Yankees' ability to extend Torres.
   30. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5659965)
Yeah, but if he's any good, they're going to extend him through his arb years and at least 2 FA years, at a deep discount.


Despite your framing this is far from a fact. And even it was a fact I'm not sure why it wouldn't behoove the club to do everything the CBA allows in order to keep payroll flexibility.

Every team can afford a $150M payroll these days. The Yankees are below $200M. There is no meaningful difference between Atlanta's ability to extend Acuna beyond his arb years, and the Yankees' ability to extend Torres.


There is a meaningful difference between the financial resources of the Yankees and the Braves. It might not bear out over one player but it certainly has, will and does bear out over an entire roster.

You have two wrong positions here. You seem to think that the CBA is not the CBA and that the rules are not the rules agreed upon but simply "a chance for owners to screw the players". Your tangential point, that most fans would prefer to see the players NOW rather than extend their control another year is also wrongheaded. Most fans, even casual ones, now understand the Super 2 designation and what it means for team control.

I agree the rules are stupid. Change the rules then.
   31. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5659966)
I know that this isn't the point of the argument but Jayson Heyward was ready to be in the major leagues IMHO. He put up a 131 OPS+ and was very good player his first year. His career as an offensive player just has been crazy.


I disagree. Heyward was advanced enough to pop that 131 on a league that didn't know his tendencies. But he had never had to adjust to anything. He blew through the minors like cotton candy, and never had any league expose the holes in his swing. When he started to struggle initially (year 2 in Atlanta) Chipper Jones said as much; "he only has one swing, and he's going to get eaten alive unless he develops a second and third approach." He never could do that, and I personally believe that this is something you really need to see in the low pressure environment of the minors and learn as a skill. Adjustment. Modification. Multiple approaches. Not everyone can just Mike Trout up the place and magically hit everything, every time, everywhere, hard and on a line.
   32. , Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5659977)
But what do you do if you're so good that you would never have to adjust in AAA? (I don't know if that was true in Heyward's case and I, generally, like your analysis of his situation and remember Chipper discussing it. I'm just not sure how you keep a guy like that down, knowing he won't actually have to adjust)
   33. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 25, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5659992)
I disagree. Heyward was advanced enough to pop that 131 on a league that didn't know his tendencies. But he had never had to adjust to anything. He blew through the minors like cotton candy, and never had any league expose the holes in his swing. When he started to struggle initially (year 2 in Atlanta) Chipper Jones said as much; "he only has one swing, and he's going to get eaten alive unless he develops a second and third approach." He never could do that, and I personally believe that this is something you really need to see in the low pressure environment of the minors and learn as a skill. Adjustment. Modification. Multiple approaches. Not everyone can just Mike Trout up the place and magically hit everything, every time, everywhere, hard and on a line.


For a lot of prospects, especially the most talented ones, the minors are never going to challenge them enough to learn this "skill" (frankly I'm not even sure it exists). The adjustments that need to be made at the AAA or AA (forget the low minors) are entirely different than those that need to be made at the MLB level. Nobody is doing much advanced scouting in the minors or getting a two page report on tonight's starter from the bench coach. So talent, more than preparation, will carry most players until they get to the bigs.

Rick Hahn touched on this point with Yoan Moncada last year. He was sporting a modest 270/370/480 line in AAA and a 28% k rate and he was asked when they promoted him if they weren't rushing the 21 year old a bit -- and he said that no, there's nothing left for him to learn at AAA, and all the adjustments he needs to make at the MLB level will only be learned at the MLB level.

Certainly players have been rushed and have benefited from going back to the minors (Mike Zunino) but a guy that hits like Heyward did his rookie year was never going to benefit from more time in the minors. That he failed to develop isn't because he didn't spend enough time in the minors. Otherwise he never would have had such success before the "book" got out on him. That "book" wouldn't have ever been shown to him in the minors.

But what do you do if you're so good that you would never have to adjust in AAA? (I don't know if that was true in Heyward's case and I, generally, like your analysis of his situation and remember Chipper discussing it. I'm just not sure how you keep a guy like that down, knowing he won't actually have to adjust)


+1, you slid that in there when I was typing, agree 100%.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5660000)
You have two wrong positions here. You seem to think that the CBA is not the CBA and that the rules are not the rules agreed upon but simply "a chance for owners to screw the players". Your tangential point, that most fans would prefer to see the players NOW rather than extend their control another year is also wrongheaded. Most fans, even casual ones, now understand the Super 2 designation and what it means for team control.

I agree the rules are stupid. Change the rules then.


A team is under no obligation to manipulate the rules to their maximum advantage. Doing so is shitty behavior, and should be called out.
   35. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5660010)
But what do you do if you're so good that you would never have to adjust in AAA? (I don't know if that was true in Heyward's case and I, generally, like your analysis of his situation and remember Chipper discussing it. I'm just not sure how you keep a guy like that down, knowing he won't actually have to adjust)


I don't have an easy answer for this. I don't claim it's an easy question. But I do believe rather strongly that it's a very real issue to be dealt with, that many fans ignore it entirely and pretend like promotion of guys who perform for 200 at bats in the minors is obvious and straightforward (including fans who would write off 200 at bats in the majors as small sample size shenanigans), and that the Braves have been burned repeatedly by rushing "star prospects" straight from AA to the show repeatedly over the last few years.

My absolute favorite quote from the new AA regime is, in fact, "we probably won't be promoting people as quickly as the previous guys." (paraphrased.)
   36. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5660017)
A team is under no obligation to manipulate the rules to their maximum advantage.


A team's management is under basic obligations to their employers (ownership) to maximize the value of that team over the long haul. Alex Anthopoulos has no less of an obligation to maximize the potential value of Ronald Acuna's service in the Braves organization than a C-suite has to maximize profits for investors. If you don't like quarterly capitalism and think it sould be changed to value workers taking home value from their own contributions, rather than earnings statements for the investor class, we can agree. If you think the MLBPA should strongly renegotiate the CBA next round to curtail these types of service time games, we can agree. But if you think teams that need to maximize worker value over the long haul - i.e. teams notably NOT your beloved Yankees - should just ignore that and punt a full year of service time, we're never going to come to terms on that.
   37. BDC Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5660025)
The Rangers seem to be playing this game with Willie Calhoun, a 23-year-old who batted .300 with 31 HR in AAA last year. (He was their return for Yu Darvish).

Now, Calhoun is batting .243 so far at Round Rock, but the major-league Rangers are batting .230 as a team, including an endless procession of nonentities. Of course, I'm not a scout and I don't know about the player's condition or attitude, and he does not seem to be a defensive wizard (not that anybody they have in the majors qualifies in that respect either). It's a little demoralizing – partly because I don't think Calhoun is necessarily that great a prospect! Keeping him for another year in the long run does not have such splendiferous promise that I want to give up the chance to be a bit better right now.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5660028)
Calhoun's the guy that's described as "spherical," right?
   39. BDC Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5660035)
Yes, Calhoun makes John Kruk look willowy.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5660039)
A team's management is under basic obligations to their employers (ownership) to maximize the value of that team over the long haul.

Yeah, I fundamentally don't believe that profit maximization trumps all ethical concerns. I believe that management, whether of the Atlanta Braves, Apple, or GM, have significant obligations to their customers, their workers, and their communities that can and should trump the profit motive in certain circumstances.

The rule of law is no substitute for ethics.
   41. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5660047)
The rule of law is no substitute for ethics.


Okay. I don't disagree, but be aware that you are diving fully and headlong into "why do you hate America" territory here.
   42. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5660048)
Calhoun's the guy that's described as "spherical," right?

The more progressive of us prefer "Orbical-American," but yes.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5660050)
Okay. I don't disagree, but be aware that you are diving fully and headlong into "why do you hate America" territory here.

Well, I do pretty much hate 2018 America, so have at it.
   44. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 25, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5660060)
The Braves do look like they could have an excellent core. Freeman is outstanding, Albies has been great, and Swanson is looking like he could fulfill his potential. As a Met fan, this is depressing.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 25, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5660065)
The Braves do look like they could have an excellent core. Freeman is outstanding, Albies has been great, and Swanson is looking like he could fulfill his potential. As a Met fan, this is depressing.

Don't worry, they'll trade a bunch of them as soon as they start making decent money.
   46. Hank Gillette Posted: April 25, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5660188)
Calhoun's the guy that's described as "spherical," right?


The more progressive of us prefer "Orbical-American," but yes.


I thought the proper term was “Colonic”.
   47. wjones Posted: April 25, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5660194)
Don't worry, they'll trade a bunch of them as soon as they start making decent money.

Out of curiosity, what is the team you root for?
   48. Hank Gillette Posted: April 25, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5660208)
Yeah, I fundamentally don't believe that profit maximization trumps all ethical concerns. I believe that management, whether of the Atlanta Braves, Apple, or GM, have significant obligations to their customers, their workers, and their communities that can and should trump the profit motive in certain circumstances.

The rule of law is no substitute for ethics.


You believe that, and I believe that, but unfortunately, very few owners and CEOs believe that. Until they decide that treating customers, workers, and communities as sheep to be fleeced is not the optimal long-term strategy, things are not going to change.

The problem is, maybe this is the optimal strategy. Certainly, it is better for the bottom line to get the community and the tax payers to pay for your multi-hundred dollar stadium and then rent it to you for a pittance, rather than paying for the stadium yourself. Maximizing the time before your star player reaches free agency saves millions, and the players don’t seem too embittered about it. It’s just business, after all. Nothing personal.
   49. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 25, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5660210)
A team is under no obligation to manipulate the rules to their maximum advantage. Doing so is shitty behavior, and should be called out.

This is why the Yankees are paying Judge $80mil this year, right?
   50. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 25, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5660274)
Don't worry, they'll trade a bunch of them as soon as they start making decent money.


This is just ignorance speaking. There is very little precedent for this in the Braves organization.
   51. perros Posted: April 25, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5660434)
The problem is, maybe this is the optimal strategy.


You don't bexome filthy rich and buy baseball teams if you are an altruist.
   52. Hank Gillette Posted: April 25, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5660462)
You don't bexome filthy rich and buy baseball teams if you are an altruist.


For a long time now, owning a baseball team has been a great way to convert ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains.
   53. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 26, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5661130)
He was not rushed in his first at bat today...
   54. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 26, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5661132)
He was not rushed in his first at bat today...


I look forward to 400+ more bumps this year.
   55. bfan Posted: April 26, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5661304)

For a long time now, owning a baseball team has been a great way to convert ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains.


That makes no sense. Selling the team if you hold a hold it for more than a year would allow you capital gains treatment on the gain from that sale, but how is that different than owning any other business or any hard asset (at least real estate)?
   56. Hank Gillette Posted: April 26, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5661346)

For a long time now, owning a baseball team has been a great way to convert ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains.


That makes no sense. Selling the team if you hold a hold it for more than a year would allow you capital gains treatment on the gain from that sale, but how is that different than owning any other business or any hard asset (at least real estate)?


Conceptually, it is not a lot different, but I don’t know many businesses that continually post paper losses, have positive cash flow, and appreciate at a high rate. Some real estate may do that; I don’t know.

It’s hard to imagine the value of baseball teams rising in the future at the rate they have in the past 30 years or so. I don’t think there is anything that will bring in the oodles of money that the cable deals did. Maybe moving to streaming would be more lucrative?

The new Marlins owners paid so much, and are carrying so much debt, that it’s hard to see how they would get much appreciation, or have a positive cash flow. But they will have the paper losses, and real ones too, I expect.

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