Things have been busy over at my second home, AtlantaBraves.About.com. Here is a list of this week’s posts in case you missed them.
In this slideshow, I look at some of the young options the Braves could be seeking on the trade market for a long-term option at catcher. Andrew Susac would appear like a possible fit if the Giants decide he’s worth giving up for Cameron Maybin. Other choices Texas’s Jorge Alfaro, the Yankees’ Gary Sanchez, and maybe even Toronto’s Max Pentecost. Oh, and there are others. There’s a decent amount of catching talent churning away.
As I investigate, that question is a loaded one. The Braves absolutely should make the move that makes them a better team. If that means trading Maybin, so be it. In this article, I search for what the Braves might look for along with arguing the pros and cons to trading the resurgent center fielder.
Pop open the stats book and let’s look at pitch framing for catchers. When Brian McCann was a Brave, the club was spoiled by one of the game’s best catchers when it came to that skillset. But since he’s left, it’s been ugly behind the plate. The Braves have brought in Gerald Laird and A.J. Pierzynski over the last three years to both serve the backup role and be a mentor, both were poor at this art. Christian Bethancourt and any future catching acquisition need to work hard to improve this to the point where it’s at least not a weakness.
In the weekly wrap up article, I focused on team statistics and issues with the win-loss record. One big takeaway is how poor the Braves are doing against the contenders, or the teams who are at least at .500. These teams are handling the Braves with ease. This becomes problematic because over 50% of their second half games come against these teams.