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Your one stop shop for everything Atlanta Braves



Updated: 2017-08-22T08:00:10-04:00

 



Atlanta Braves News: Youth movement needs a jump start

2017-08-22T08:00:10-04:00

Ozzie Albies is doing all he can to help. Braves News Foltynewicz struggles as Braves drop 6-5 decision to Mariners Mike Foltynewicz struggled again as the Braves dropped a 6-5 decision to the Seattle Mariners. Folty allowed nine hits and six earned runs over 5 2/3 innings. He has now allowed 20 earned runs in his last three starts. Talking Chop Podcast Episode 78: Fawning over Ronald Acuña and more Eric Cole and Brad Rowland run down a number of Braves topics in this week’s podcast including Dansby Swanson’s return, Brandon Phillips and whether or not the Braves should call up Ronald Acuna in September. width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F338765748&show_artwork=true&maxheight=166"> The Braves have not gotten a lot of mileage out of young players... so far Atlanta has fully embraced the rebuild but simply haven’t gotten a lot of production out of their young players yet. Braves reinstate Daniel Winkler, option Rex Brothers to Gwinnett The Braves activated Daniel Winkler from the 60-day disabled list on Monday. Winkler last pitched in the majors on April 10, 2016 when he suffered a fractured elbow. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talked with Winkler about his long road back to the Braves’ active roster. “I was pretty emotional,” Winkler said of his thoughts upon entering the clubhouse Monday. “I’ve thought a lot about getting back on that mound, and I was just talking to my agent, like last time when I broke my elbow I didn’t know if I’d ever pitch again. And I remember I went back to Dr. Andrews about three months ago and I passed the hotel where I stayed for my second surgery, and I kind of teared up and was a little emotional. Because I remember sitting in that hotel room and not knowing if I’d ever pitch again. Just to be back here where I am, it’s amazing.” Adjustments at plate paying off for Albies Ozzie Albies got off to a slow start after being called up to the Braves but has started to turn the corner going 7-for-20 with two doubles and three triples over his last five games. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman talked with Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer about Albies’ progress with his first taste of major league pitching. "He's working really hard, he and Seitz," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're making some adjustments. He's working hard down there. This is his first crack at Major League pitching. Regardless of how well you do down there, you get up here and you might find you need to do something a little different to succeed here. He's working hard to do that. The last few days, I've seen good results." Brett Cumberland Adapts Quickly To Pro Routine Braves catching prospect Brett Cumberland talks with Baseball America’s Bill Ballew about the differences in pro ball and playing in college. MLB News Andrew Miller leaves game after facing one batter and throwing only seven pitches Bad news for the Indians as reliever Andrew Miller is once again having problems with his knee. Mets’ Steven Matz to have season-ending elbow surgery again Steven Matz’s season is over. The Mets’ left hander has been diagnosed with irritation of the ulnar nerve in his left elbow and will have surgery to reposition it. Matz has been dealing with pain in his elbow for much of this season and is 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA in 13 starts. [...]



Foltynewicz struggles as Braves drop 6-5 decision to Mariners

2017-08-21T22:34:47-04:00

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Not the best start to the series against Seattle.

After back-to-back starts that left plenty to be desired, Mike Foltynewicz took the ball at SunTrust Park against the Seattle Mariners on Monday evening. Though the performance wasn’t quite as unfortunate on this evening, Atlanta’s starting pitcher scuffled once again and the Braves were unable to fully overcome that showing in a 6-5 loss.

Foltynewicz was touched up for a early run on an infield single allowed to the opposing pitcher, Andrew Albers, in the second inning. On the bright side, the Braves quickly overcame that 1-0 deficit with two runs in the bottom half of the frame, as Kurt Suzuki blasted a home run and Ender Inciarte drove another run across with a single later in the inning.

Atlanta’s advantage was short-lived, though, as Foltynewicz gave one back in the third before the flood gates opened in the fourth and sixth. By the time the dust settled, the young right-hander had allowed six earned runs (on nine hits and two walks) in less than six innings of work and Foltynewicz’s (lack of) command came back to bite him on a number of occasions.

Dan Winkler, fresh off reinstatement from a year-long trip to the disabled list, completed the sixth thing without further damage, setting the stage for a would-be comeback bid. Ozzie Albies drove home two runs with a deep triple in the bottom half of the innings and he was quickly plated by a sacrifice fly from Dansby Swanson to slash the margin to 6-5.

The Braves then threatened to tie the game, as Lane Adams reached on an infield single with two outs and immediately stole second base. Ender Inciarte then also reached on an infield single but Adams was thrown out at the plate attempting to score for the third out of the inning.

That would be the home team’s best chance, despite the fact that the Braves placed two runners on base in the seventh inning and the leadoff man (Inciarte) on base in the ninth. Sam Freeman, Jose Ramirez and Arodys Vizcaino combined for three scoreless innings to hold the line but the offense could never complete the comeback on the way to the one-run loss.

There were strong offensive performances on this night, led by three hits from Nick Markakis and two each from Inciarte and Albies. However, Foltynewicz’s struggles (with an ERA north of 10.00 over the last five starts) proved to be the difference and the Braves will try to even the series on Tuesday evening.

Stay tuned.




Game Thread 8/21: Braves vs. Mariners

2017-08-21T18:45:02-04:00

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Happy Monday, everyone. Let’s baseball.

The Atlanta Braves picked up a (much) needed victory on Sunday afternoon and the team’s nine-game homestand at SunTrust Park continues on Monday evening. This time, the Seattle Mariners are in town for a three-game set and old pal Andrew Albers is on the hill for the visitors.

In general, it will be at least mildly interesting to see Albers face the Braves but the spotlight is firmly on Mike Foltynewicz to perform better than he has in two disastrous starts in a row. Elsewhere, Matt Kemp is expected to rejoin the lineup after an absence on Sunday and this will be just the second look at the veteran outfielder since he was activated from the disabled list.

Here are the full lineups for Monday night’s game on both sides:

Winkler will reportedly join the Atlanta bullpen, where he will look to re-establish himself after missing more than a full season with an elbow fracture. Winkler has been rehabbing in the minor leagues since June, going 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in 14 innings.

Brothers, 29, will rejoin the Gwinnett bullpen after a tough stint in the big leagues that saw the left-hander post a 7.63 ERA in 15 13 innings of work. His departure leaves Atlanta with Sam Freeman and Max Fried as the lone lefties in relief.




Mariners vs. Braves preview: The return of Andrew Albers

2017-08-21T14:00:02-04:00

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An old friend returns to face the Braves on Monday.

There are a lot of Atlanta Braves fans who (still) haven’t heard of Andrew Albers and it isn’t as if they have been collectively hiding under a rock. The former Gwinnett Braves left-hander was dealt to the Seattle Mariners just 10 days ago and, in an interesting turn of events, the second start of Albers’ Mariners career will be taking place.... at SunTrust Park.

The Braves and Mariners will begin a three-game set in Atlanta on Tuesday and Albers will be opposed by Mike Foltynewicz. While Albers was quite good in his Mariners debut last week, Foltynewicz imploded in his last outing to the tune of eight runs allowed in only 3.1 innings of work.

That ugly performance came on the heels of another ghastly showing from Foltynewicz and the 25-year-old right-hander could certainly use a bounce-back in this spot. The Mariners are a middle-of-the-pack offense when compared to the rest of the league and, while there are trouble spots, this isn’t a lineup that couldn’t be held down if Foltynewicz is on his game in this spot.

Atlanta is coming off an encouraging game on Sunday and it would be nice if the Braves would string back-to-back victories together. If nothing else, there is an intriguing pitching match-up at SunTrust Park this evening and we can all kick off the week in grand fashion by following the festivities.

Stay tuned throughout the day for all the latest.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, August 21, 2017, 7:35 pm ET

Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, MLB.tv (streaming)

Radio: 680 AM, 93.7 FM (Flagship in Atlanta), WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network




The Braves have not gotten a lot of mileage out of young players... so far

2017-08-21T12:00:04-04:00

You might be surprised at just how little production the Braves have gotten out of their first few waves of prospects. There have definitely been many sentiments during the whole rebuild process that the Braves have embarked on, and a couple of interrelated ones have always piqued my interest: It’s fun to watch young players learn and develop, especially at the big league level; and The worthwhile part of watching the major league Braves right now is largely wrapped around the performances of the prospects and younger players. Now, I’m not saying in any way that those are wrong — in fact, I can’t say I even disagree with either. Which is why, in no uncertain words, it’s been so immensely disappointing to consider just how little production the Braves gotten out of all of these young players to date. Below is a simple chart — it is simply production by all rookie-eligible players, from the start of 2015 (the start of the rebuild) through Saturday’s games. Note that this is specific to rookie-eligible players only, so, for example, Jace Peterson’s 2015 (1.0 fWAR) counts, but his 2016 (0.0 fWAR) does not. Oh... oh dear. It’s a little hard to tell, but from Opening Day 2015, through August 19, 2017, the Braves have gotten the least production from rookies among all teams in MLB. The stats surrounding this only get worse: they are the only team whose aggregate rookie production has been below replacement level, with +1.0 fWAR among all hitting and fielding from rookies, and -1.3 fWAR among all pitching from rookies. On top of that, as you can see from the charts, the only team that’s even kind of close in futility is the Reds, with every other team having at least 3.0 fWAR from their rookies over this period. By hitting, the Braves are tied for the fourth-worst production; by pitching, they are dead last. Of course, WAR is a counting stat, and teams are composed of far more than just rookies. Unfortunately, when leveling the playing field to account for disparities in how often teams let rookies take the field... it’s not any better. Among all teams, the Braves have given the fifth-most PAs to rookies, as well as the fifth-most innings pitched. So, as you can see, that’s kind of an issue: they’re in the bottom five in production, and in the top five in opportunity. On a rate basis, the Braves still have the worst production from rookie pitching, and the second-worst production from rookie hitting and fielding. So, thanks, Diamondbacks — because of you, the Braves aren’t last in both. At this point, you might be saying, “Rookie seasons, shmookie seasons! What matters is how the young players perform, in general.” In that case, I’m not sure I have much better news for you. I compiled a list of every player that recorded a rookie season in 2015, 2016, or 2017, and his aggregate production from 2015 forward. This was made a little annoying by the fact that there’s a small group of players switching teams, including midseason, but there are so few young players that move the needle here that it isn’t really salient — especially not as far as the Braves are concerned. The disparity is less large, and hey, the Braves aren’t last. But they’re almost last, and that’s not great. On a rate basis, they’re a little better: sixth-worst for position players, and fifth-worst for pitchers. But, it’s still very disappointing, in that a rebuild that is very much oriented around young players (is there any other kind?) has largely seen bottom-of-the-pack performance from said players. Nor can the issue be entirely blamed on certain particularly poor performances dragging down the aggregate. If every negative fWAR figure is set to zero instead, the Braves are still fourth-worst in aggregate terms (fifth-worst for position players; seventh-worst for pitchers). On a rate basis, with the sub-replacement-level performances removed, they finally sta[...]



Talking Chop Podcast Episode 78: Fawning over Ronald Acuña and more

2017-08-21T11:00:02-04:00

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TC’s own Eric Cole joins the program this week.

Happy Monday, everybody. After a one-week absence, the Talking Chop podcast is back and Eric Cole joins us for Episode 78 of the program. Today’s topics include the following:

  • Tyler Flowers and Sean Newcomb teamed up for a lopsided win on Sunday and that helps to save the mood of the podcast
  • Since the last podcast, Johan Camargo hit the DL and Dansby Swanson is back. What has Eric seen from the young shortstop since his return to Atlanta?
  • Danny Santana is on the DL, Micah Johnson came back.... and then Johnson gave way to Matt Kemp
  • Brandon Phillips... 2018 starter at third base? What are the other options at the hot corner?
  • Andrelton Simmons is having himself a season in Los Angeles
  • Checking in on Lucas Sims after four big league starts
  • FanGraphs has a mid-season Top 100 and Eric breaks it down
  • When should the Braves be thinking about calling up Ronald Acuña based on his preposterous level of performance in the minors?
  • Much, much more

Please check out the podcast via the iTunes Store (where we strongly encourage you to leave a five-star review and rating) or you can find us at our SoundCloud page for all the latest.

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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Ronald Acuna is a bad man, Brett Cumberland has a big game

2017-08-21T10:00:06-04:00

Rome likes to play extras...a lot. Also Ronald Acuna and Brett Cumberland did some things. Gwinnett Braves 7, Buffalo Bisons 1 Box Score Ronald Acuna, RF: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, run, .355/.417/.618 Carlos Franco, DH: 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, .245/.325/.375 Manny Barreda, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2.53 ERA Manny Barreda was excellent over seven innings for Gwinnett and the offense broke this game open early as the Braves routed Buffalo by the score of 7-1. After his first start with the organization being, well, not particularly great, the Braves are starting to look smart for giving Barreda a chance after snatching out of the Mexican League. He hasn’t shown swing and miss type stuff, but he has been keeping the ball down and given Gwinnett quality innings, especially over his last three starts where he has combined to give up just three earned runs. Evan Phillips and Enrique Burgos came on in relief and threw a combined two scoreless innings to secure the win for Gwinnett. On offense, oh look....another great game for Ronald Acuna. After going 3-5 in this game with a double and a pair of RBIs, Acuna now has 49 multi-hit games this season and brought his OPS for the entire season up to .920 despite being 19 and being promoted twice along the way. How does he do it? In short, pitchers can’t beat him in the strike zone (at least not very often) and nearly everything he hits is hard hit. A good combination indeed. The biggest offensive blow came in the third inning where Carlos Franco blasted a three-run homer, his eighth for Gwinnett and 19th on the season, to break the game open. Rio Ruiz reached base four times including two hits and is batting .353 over his last ten games. Mississippi Braves 3, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2 Box Score Austin Riley, 3B: 1-3, RBI, BB, .287/.336/.450 Travis Demeritte, 2B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .222/.301/.398 Wes Parsons, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2.76 ERA Wes Parsons was dominant for Mississippi and some timely hitting including a walk-off single by Dylan Moore got Mississippi a win over Pensacola by the score of 3-2. Parsons is very quietly putting together a really good season for Mississippi. Formerly a top 30 prospect for the Braves that was plucked from obscurity in order to join pro ball in the first place, injuries derailed what looked like a promising minor league run for Parsons over the last couple of seasons. This year, however, Parsons has been a savior for Mississippi with him coming up big when Gohara, Fried, Withrow, and others missed time. He has held Double-A batters to a .214 batting average against him and he has struck out 85 batters in 88 innings for Mississippi this season. Mauricio Cabrera continues to struggle to throw strikes (nearly a 50/50 split in terms of strikes and balls for the entire season....hat tip to Garrett Spain for unearthing that little gem). On offense, Austin Riley reached base twice and has now hit in six straight games in addition to driving in a run for Mississippi as well. Travis Demeritte extended his own hitting streak to eight games with a multi-hit outing and is starting to look like the guy who started the year on fire. The hero this evening was Dylan Moore who, after Mississippi looked like they were going to not capitalize on a prime opportunity to steal this game in the bottom of the ninth, recorded his second hit to drive in Joey Meneses and give Mississippi a walk-off win. Florida Fire Frogs 8, Jupiter Hammerheads 6 Box Score Brett Cumberland, DH: 3-3, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, HBP, run, .276/.376/.385 Alay Lago, 2B: 3-5, 2B, 3 runs, RBI, .301/.341/.407 Enderson Franco, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K The Fire Frogs put up eight runs by the end of the fourth inning and after some struggles from the bullpen let Jupiter back in the game, Chase Johnson-Mullins came in and slammed the door shut as Florida won 8-6. Enderson Franco has turned into sort of a perfect org pitcher [...]