The Braves Should Still Trade for Mike Moustakas

The Braves Should Still Trade for Mike Moustakas

The Braves could still use a third baseman.

I know what your thinking. Probably something like “have you seen what Johan Camargo is doing?”

Yes, I have and it’s been awesome to watch. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been tweeting about Johan a lot lately. The improvements he’s made in critical areas has been nothing short of amazing and he probably deserves his own post soon.

Camargo currently has a 120 wRC+, a BABIP that has room to go up, positive defense at multiple positions, and serious improvement in plate discipline that’s led to an elite walk rate. He’s been crazy good.

But the Braves should still trade for Mike Moustakas.

Most of you probably don’t believe that but I’m going to see if I can convince you.

Depth

The first reason the Braves should trade for Mike Moustakas is depth. Atlanta really doesn’t have depth. I mean they have other players they can play but they don’t really have other good players they can play. Watching teams like the Cubs, the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Astros or the Indians, it becomes clear what depth looks like on contenders. Preston Tucker and Charlie Culberson have shown their worth, but Atlanta could use more depth. Are you really excited to see Ryan Flaherty bat in key situations during a pennant race? Or Peter Bourjos?

And depth isn’t just about talent, but about options. Imagine having Freeman, Albies, Swanson, Camargo, and Moustakas all available for the infield. You could give Albies a day off with Camargo at 2b and not feel like your substantially worse. Or give Swanson a day against a particularly tough RHP. Or even Freeman, on days his wrist is a little sore, could take a day with Moose at 1B and Camargo at 3B. Depth not only provides insurance for when injuries happen but also helps prevent future injuries by providing opportunities for rest. And opportunities for rest that don’t dramatically reduce the talent you have on the field. Imagine being able to give guys regular rest throughout the season while also being able to optimize match-ups and maintain your baseline talent level.

The Braves haven’t been great at planning out rest and having five players for four spots isn’t the tragedy it’s made out to be. Keeping players healthy and fresh should be seen as a positive. Go look at what the Cubs do with all their position players. Freeman and Swanson have already had wrist scares this year and Ozzie looks more and more like he could use a day. Being able to rotate talented, and interchangeable pieces on a regular basis to help navigate a 6 month season should be the goal. And Moustakas gives you that.

Stats

But it’s not just about depth. There’s statistical reasoning behind this as well. Consider this:

  • As a team, Atlanta has a .348 OBA vs LHP (1st in MLB)
  • As a team, Atlanta has a .306 OBA vs RHP (16th in MLB)

Atlanta’s lineup needs help against RHP. We saw it again Sunday when a relatively unknown RHP shut Atlanta’s offense down for a large part of the game. The Braves won 3 of 4 vs Washington but anyone who watched that whole series knows how bad the offense struggled. And those struggles have been lingering for a while now. And most of the time, it’s against a RHP. Mike Moustakas has a .350 OBA vs RHP. He can help.

Moustakas also fits what Atlanta has been doing in other areas. The Braves made a conscious effort to be better on defense in 2018 and Moose wouldn’t effect that. After an uncharacteristically bad year on defense last year, Moustakas has only made 2 errors at 3B this year and grades out as a league average defender with DRS and UZR.

Moustakas also carries one of the lowest strikeout rates you’ll see for a guy with his power. A .231 ISO with a K rate below 15% is a tremendous ratio and is nothing new for Moose. This is what does. There’s something very comforting about the idea of another legitimate power threat in the lineup that could change the game with one swing. Especially when the offense is struggling and it sometimes feels like it’s going to be Freeman or nobody.

Price

The other appealing aspect of Moustakas is he’s cheap. Both from a salary and trade value standpoint. Moose signed a 1-year 5.5M deal this off-season, which is ridiculously cheap for his skills and value. And because he signed a 1-year deal, he’s obviously a rental for this season. And as we learned last year with JD Martinez, rentals just don’t fetch much in trades these days. Especially when the 3B market looks to be saturated with so many options. Kansas City, unable to give him a qualifying offer this winter, will be fully inclined to move him and it really won’t take much to make it happen.

So he’s really good, really cheap to pay, really cheap to acquire, excels in the area Atlanta currently struggles in, allows them to rest and rotate key players, blocks no prospects long-term, and provides them a level of depth they haven’t had in years.

Oh, and he’s loved by his teammates, won a World Series, and is chock full of MLB and playoff experience, which coaches and GMs swear by.

I can probably sit down and write out the case why they won’t do it but you have to admit, that’s a pretty good case why they should do it.

33 Comments

I know you can’t see, but I’m giving you two thumbs up on this article!

You’ve laid everything out absolutely perfectly. I don’t, and most likely never will, see Camargo as more than a UT player. He just doesn’t fit the profile of your prototypical 3B, and the Braves are set at 2B and SS. By placing him on the hot corner every day, you’re weakening your batting order, and you’re weakening the bench. Outside of maybe the Marlins, I struggle to think of a team that’d have less punch than the Braves if/when Freeman needs some days off.

I’m not trying to knock Camargo, either. He’s a fine player. I feel like this piece hits the nail on the head, though- his value is that you could plug him in almost anywhere, give a guy a blow, and not miss a beat on the defensive side; and offensively, you’d only be losing a little at a few spots. It’d be easy to work him into 3-4 games a week as a starter, and you’d have his bat off the bench on the days he doesn’t play. That’d strengthen the team all around.

And I echo everything Stephen’s said about Moose. The guy’s productive, and a proven winner.

Moose would be great. Esp if he is cheap. Who do we lose off the team….tucker? Evil dansby….neck’s Brother in law? That would be interesting cause I care way to much about that stuff.
You could be completely right—but something in me says no. The cost not being that high…I’m not sure. Maybe if it’s a reliever and moose then maybe. I think they want to see what they have in him before Riley is ready. Also for trades—for next year. I think the real issue with the offense is dansby and ender struggling so much. Moose would make the lineup better—no doubt. But would aa explore an unsigned free agent like dat dude or something free like that—before moose? It’s been a really fun year so far.

Stephen….Let’s say that The Braves/AA trade for Moustakis (without giving up much when it comes to their Future..in other words, the price is right for The Braves to trade for Moustakis)….what kind of lineup would you trot out there (when Acuna gets healthy)?

1. Albies…2nd
2. Acuna….LF
3. Freeman…1st
4. Markakis…RF
5. Moustakis…3rd
6. Flowers/Suzuki..C
7. Inciarte….CF
8. Swanson…SS

Or..does Snitker either 1. go back to batting Inciarte #9 with the pitcher batting 8th…OR 2. go with Inciarte batting leadoff with the following lineup:

1. Inciarte…CF
2. Albies….2nd
3. Freeman…1st
4. Markakis..RF
5. Moustakis…3rd
6. Acuna….LF
7. Flowers/Suzuki…C
8. Swanson…SS

If Snitker were to go with an Inciarte-leading off lineup….just look at how PITCHABLE that lineup becomes in the latter stages of the game! Three lefties in Freeman, Markakis and Moustakis (3-5)…followed by three righties in Acuna, Flowers/Suzuki and Swanson (6-8).

Even if Snitker goes back to the lineup of having Albies-Acuna hitting 1-2….it still presents a problem of having the middle of our order (3-5) all being lefties (assuming AA goes out and trades for Moustakis…who SUCKS against lefties by the way). A tough lefty could be left in to face all three hitters!

I dont see Snitker putting out a lineup that has Flowers/Suzuki hitting in front of Moustakis on a consistent basis (unless a lefty is starting on the mound). However even if it’s a righty starting pitcher and Snitker can ‘load up’ with three lefties in Freeman-Markakis-Moustakis to start the game….this lineup presents problems in the latter stages of the game.

The above reasons/scenarios…are why I am against trading for Moustakis. He’s simply not a good fit for this lineup. What this lineup needs..is a middle of the order RIGHT HANDED POWER HITTER! Whether that could get filled by a callup of Austin Riley post ASB…OR…if AA goes out and trades for a right handed bat WITHOUT sacrificing The Future of The Braves..remains to be seen! I just hope that AA DOES NOT go after Moustakis.

Paul, I think you’re stressing way too much about the L/R balance in the order for a team that’s going to be bargain shopping. Besides, Freddie hits lefties pretty well. Markakis has been solid against lefties too this season. And regardless of match up, Moose is a more proven hitter than Camargo or Riley at this juncture.

I know you’re not going to want to pony up the cost in prospects for Machado, so that’s one righty out. I hope they do nowhere near Donaldson, because he can’t seem to stay on the field. Nicholas Castellanos would fit well in the order, and can play RF, as a nice plus- but I expect the Sox will push the prospect price there. And as great as it sounds to just say plug Riley in, these kids aren’t going to keep coming up and playing like all-stars before they can legally buy a beer. Lol. The Braves have been so fortunate there.

So what’s the harm in shipping off a 20ish ranked prospect for Moose? If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t. We’re not talking about shipping out a Kyle Wright or something.

Agree completely. The L/R situation only matters if the hitter has a L/R split. If you want to consider either Freddie or Nick a “platoon” player then, well, there’s just no logic left. That’s why there’s no need to split them up. Plus, if you read the article, the Braves problems have been against RH pitchers. So a LH hitter with good numbers against RH pitchers IS what we need. Moose is a great choice.

Roger/King…come playoff time, The Braves are going to need some RIGHT HANDED POWER in the middle of the order!

Sure, during The Regular Season, Freddie and Markakis, in general, hit lefties well. HOWEVER, come playoff time, the number of QUALITY/LETHAL lefties in each opponent’s bullpen..RISES CONSIDERABLY over ‘the average/the mean’.

In other words, BUMS that Freddie and Markakis feast upon (again, there are only ‘so many’ quality lefties in MLB) during The Regular Season…pretty much DISAPPEAR. We’ll be facing The Andrew Millers, Chapmans, Doolittles (probably Brad Hand IF The Padres finally end up trading him), etc.

It WILL NOT be prudent for ANY TEAM to trot out lefty hitters #3-#5. I NEVER stated that The Braves should trade for Machado or Donaldson. I just stated all along that I feel that THE REAL IMPROVEMENT for The Braves..will come in 2019…when AA will have a chance to make his impact via The 2018 Free Agent Offseason…when he can have his PICK OF THE LITTER…WITHOUT sacrificing ANY Of our future!

Once these next 12 games are over with (in other words, let’s see IF The Braves can PAD UP the team record/FEAST UPON the likes of The Padres for 7 games, The Dodgers for 3 games, The Mets for 2 games)….I’ll post whether I’ll ‘support’/be in favor of The Braves being ‘buyers’ at The July Trade Deadline! There is NO SENSE in even pondering SACRIFICING valuable prospect capital…IF this team DOES NOT have a realistic chance to win The Division (I WOULD NEVER support ‘blowing your wad’ on a ONE GAME PIPE DREAM PLAY-IN GAME)!

The Braves HAVE to take advantage of The Golden Opportunity that represents these next 12 games! The Padres SUCK! If we cant AT LEAST go 5-2 against them….then we might as well ‘go with The Kids’ all the way in 2018. I’d love to see if Folty and Newcomb can continue their ‘Ace-like efforts’!

Stephen…I was busy and out of town this weekend. However, I have to say that The Braves were simply HELLA IMPRESSIVE during this 4 game home series with The Nationals (Miguel SUCK-O-VICH not-withstanding…who I hope WILL NEVER don a Braves uniform…EVER AGAIN, lol. What AA sees in SUCK-O-VICH….I’d rather see Brothers, Ravin, even Luck Jackson pitching for The Braves..over SUCK-O-VICH)!

That aside….I have a number of topics I’d like to touch on (yes, one of them being ‘a revision’ of my past ‘position’ regarding being totally against The Braves being ‘a possible buyer’ at The July Trade Deadline).

1. While two starts DO NOT make a season/career…I feel that if Folty and Newcomb continue pitching the way they did against Washington (and as well as they have all year)…during the next 2 months of the season….then a SOLID ARGUMENT can be made that The Braves have found/developed two Starting pitchers who can start Games 1 AND 2…of a Playoff Series! I would feel TOTALLY COMFORTABLE having Folty and Newcomb (IF they duplicate their Aprils and Mays during the rest of the season) face the aces of any other team in MLB in a playoff series!

What Folty and Newcomb did against Washington…was impressive. I’ve been HARPING all year about PITCHING DEEPER INTO GAMES…and not only does Newcomb pitch 7 STRONG innings against Washington….FOLTY follows that up by pitching A COMPLETE GAME 2 HIT SHUTOUT..which proved to be VALUABLE, because those two GEMS were followed up by a 14 inning game on Saturday that simply say The Braves turn to SUCK-O-VICH (while resting Winkler and Vizcaino) in that disastrous 14th inning where SUCK-O-VICH gave up a hit to A PITCHER who was PINCH HITTING!

Meanwhile Jesse Biddle may have well EARNED a permanent spot in The Braves bullpen! A lefty who can pitch multiple, high leverage innings…..WOW! With Gohara coming back as a reliever (I guess that The Braves want to wait until The Offseason/Spring Training 2019 before converting Gohara back to being a Starting Pitcher)…AA is going to have some interesting decisions to make once Soroka gets activated (which would put Sanchez back in the bullpen.

Assuming that Soroka does not suffer any set backs, the following could be the makings of A TOUGH Braves Bullpen from here on out:

1. Vizcaino
2. Winkler
3. Carle
4. Minter
5. Freeman
6. Biddle
7. Sanchez
8. Gohara

That would mean BYE-BYE Peter Moylan. To be honest, Moylan is simply too hittable/nibbles too much…at this stage of his career. He can, at most, pitch to a couple of hitters at a time (no way would any SANE manager risk leaving Moylan in to EITHER face a tough lefty hitter OR for more than 1 inning at at time). In this day and age…The Braves need versatile relievers who bring more to the table than Moylan. Unless some unexpected injuries/developments happen in the next week or two (which could)…the writing is on the wall when it comes to Moylan’s eventual departure, lol!

The above 8 man bullpen offers Snitker HELLA flexibility when it comes to being able to trot out the likes of Biddle, Sanchez and Gohara….who can go multiple innings in high leverage situations. 2 lefties in Freeman and Minter…and three righties in Vizcaino, Winkler and Carle.

Even Teheran (against The Mets) and Sanchez (against The Nationals yesterday) both went 7 innings in their last starts. However, to ILLUSTRATE how important it is for a starting pitcher to go at least 7 innings (as opposed to 6 innings)…let’s look at what happened after Snitker (inexplicably) pulled McCarthy after only throwing 84 pitches throw 6 innings on Saturday (4 hits, 0 walks, had just retired the last 8 hitters he faced).

Snitker brings in Freeman (who has not exactly been ‘mowing them down laterly’) to replace Mcarthy (who had been MOWING THEM DOWN, lol). If McCarthy gets out of that 7th inning unscathed…it sets the stage for Carle and Minter (since Saturday was already scheduled to be a “Winkler and Vizcaino-free day, lol) to pitch the 8th and 9th innings!

Having starting pitchers who can routinely get throw 7 innings…SAVES wear and tear on the bullpen! It also allows a manager who ‘spread out’ days off to guys in the bullpen (MUCH EASIER to do that..when only 2 bullpen guys are being used on a daily basis in non-extra inning games). On occasion, I can understand going with a lefty or righty reliever to face ‘one hitter’ IF the match-ups are right. However, our good bullpen pitchers can face both lefties and righties! Moylan is the only one I DO NOT want facing lefty hitters (I’ve already addressed him).

It is June 3rd..and The Braves have a 1 1/2 game lead over a Washington team who is battling a number of injuries to their offense (their pitching is just fine). Eaton, Murphy and Zimmerman would make this lineup look MUCH MORE POTENT! Still, The Braves have had their own injuries as well! They are a part of baseball.

Regardless, I feel that this Braves team is starting to show that they may perhaps be DESERVING of being allowed to compete for a playoff spot later this fall. I know…possibly time for me to EAT SOME CROW, lol. However I would love NOTHING MORE than to do so…IF The Braves can continue playing this good AND taking advantage of the fact that The Nationals offense is plagued with injuries. At some point, The Nationals are going to make some moves via trade to address this.

One way to make that happen quicker…is for The Braves to take advantage of the schedule the next week (3 against The Padres…off day on Thursday…3 against The Dodgers…off day on Monday…before coming back home to host The Mets for 2 games and The Padres for 4 games). That’s 12 games in the next 14 days (with two off days to rest up our bullpen) against VERY BEATABLE TEAMS (The Dodgers rotation is DECIMATED by injuries..NO KERSHAW, whose on The DL).

Sure, The Washington 4 game series was a test of whether The Braves are indeed ‘for real’ (plus, we could have gotten swept and entered today 4 1/2 games out of 1st…INSTEAD we are 1 1/2 games IN FIRST)! However, these next 12 games REPRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY…to PAD OUR LEAD/put some water in between The Braves and THE REST OF THE DIVISION (for the time being, lol). It is ESSENTIAL that The Braves DO NOT LET UP! These next 12 games represent A GREAT OPPORTUNITY! PLEASE Bravos….DO NOT make our opponents look like Cy Freaking Young Candidates!

If The Braves can TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS during the next 12 days….then I feel that a discussion on being a possible buyer at The July Trade Deadline would be ‘warranted’. Until then…..let’s table such talk, lol!

To close….it has been AN ABSOLUTE JOY to watch these guys this year! Once Soroka and Acuna get back healthy (soon I hope)….things could get ‘very interesting’! Tonight is Game 1 against The Padres! Let’s jump on them early! A Sweep would be just what the doctored ordered!

As always: it depends on price.

He would probably give 2 wins thru the rest of the season. With about $4M salary – it means about $15M surplus value. So a pitcher with FV 50 looks like a reasonable price to pay. This is Touissant/Allard/Wentz territory. Hmmm.

FV 45 plus something? According to FanGraphs those are the players with FV45 (of course: as estimated before the seson).

12 Brett Cumberland 21 A+ C 2019 45
13 Bryse Wilson 19 A RHP 2020 45
14 William Contreras 20 R C 2021 45
15 Alex Jackson 21 AA C 2019 45
16 A.J. Minter 23 MLB LHP 2018 45
17 Drew Waters 19 R CF 2021 45
18 Tucker Davidson 21 A LHP 2021 45
19 Ricardo Sanchez 19 A+ LHP 2020 45

I hope it’s a hard “NO” for Waters. Minter dosen’t make sense – It’s WE who needs above average relievers. Wilson has probably higher FV at this moment.

Royals have two catchers prospects in top 15 (Melendez is actually 3rd), so I think it means Cumberland, Contreras ans Jackson are out. Similar story with Davidson – KCR have three OF prospects in top 6.

So: Sanchez plus something else?

Or, maybe, Moustakas + Herrera? Herrera is good, and he’s also only rental (and I think he’d give draft compensation next year, so he won’t be cheap). He would cost about $5M for the rest of the season. I think it’s OK with Braves.

But now we are talking about some real prospect:
6 Ian Anderson 18 A RHP 2020 50
7 Austin Riley 19 AA 3B 2018 50
8 Touki Touisaint 20 AA RHP 2018 50
9 Max Fried 24 R LHP 2018 50
10 Joey Wentz 19 A LHP 2020 50
11 Kolby Allard 19 AA LHP 2019 50

So: Wentz/Allard plus Sanchez for Moustakas plus Herrera? Who would say no, Royals or Braves?

TRad, I understand your logic, but there is no way the Braves give up such highly rated prospects (nor should they) for Moustakas and Herrera. I have done some research on deadline rental deals and 2 prospects rated between #20-#30 per each rental player is about the most that’s ever been given up. The Braves will likely want to include a couple of 40-man pieces to balance the rosters so two of Wisler/Sims/Sanchez/McCreery may be included along with two lesser (or further away) prospects like Juan Carlos or Jeseel or Harrington or Demeritte or DPetey. McCarthy may be included to balance the money since the Royals’ rotation is a real mess. A lot of these deals include prospects not even rated. It takes a near HOF’er to get top 20 club prospects. I think you’re overvaluing the rentals…..

How many of these rentals were 3+WAR players? And one more thing: I’m trying to estimate the price at THIS moment. The value of any rentals is only going down – Mostakas now means 2 wins, Moustakas in the middle of July – 1.5 or something.

And, of course, in the end it’s only about demand and supply, not about “fair value”.

I think supply and demand, as with any market, will play a large part in the cost; and creates two very different scenarios when you’re straight up talking about Moose, or if you’re trying for Moose and Herrera.

Moose alone shouldn’t cost a lot. The JD Martinez deal last season is a prime example of how far the cost of a position rental has fallen. I’d say T-Rad might be in the neighborhood with Sanchez, because who’s going to bid up the cost? Machado’s going to be the jewel, obviously, and I expect a fair price to pay for whomever does the deal will be one real prospect. It’s the O’s though, so you never know the ask. Beyond that, Donaldson and Moose will both be out there. Castellanos might be available, too. There’s a lot of options, and not a lot of need. KC might just take what they can get.

Herrera strikes me as a different ballgame, though. He’s a quality RP, so he’ll be over-valued. Rumors are the Sox are nibbling. I could also see Houston taking a look. There will be some real serious competition there. And although I’d love to see Herrera in a Braves uni, I think to get him and Moose in a package, it’d take one stud prospect to absolutely seal the deal. I don’t know that I wouldn’t just rather see the Braves shoot for a bargain there somewhere. Britton maybe?

King, I agree with your position on that. I laid out before what I think would be a fair trade. I do NOT want to see the Braves “upping the ante” at all. If the Braves’ offer for Herrera is not enough then so be it. To be able to make the best deal you have to be willing to walk away and not get fixated.

Normally I would wait until AFTER The Braves lose an ugly game BEFORE commenting on it…however I CANNOT watch anymore of this TOTAL BS EFFORT by The Braves tonight.

10-2 Padres in the bottom of the 5th inning…..whether it is Teheran and Gohara making this DEPLETED Padres lineup look like The 1927 Yankees….OR The Braves lineup making Richard look like CY FREAKING YOUNG (a cue ball Culberson weak hitting double down the 1st base line….is what prevents The Braves from being shut out right now).

To top it off….the defensive effort simply is lacking. It’s like The Braves got DRUNK on the success of The Washington Series!

YET….King and Roger feel that a Moustakis Trade will make The Braves a World Series contender? In what alternate Universe?

The Braves ARE NOT good enough to ‘just get by’ on talent alone! They have to bring it EVERY NIGHT in order to position themselves to be serious World Series contenders.

Not a good start to the ‘easy’ 12 game stretch!

The season’s 162 games long, and no one’s ever won 162 of those games. I can go find some ugly scores for the Nationals, BoSox, ‘Stros… anyone you like as a WS contender, just name it.

I’m not saying the Braves are the favorites to win the WS in any universe. Trading for Moose won’t make them the favorites either- but it sure puts them closer than they are. And let’s not forget that history is littered with wild card teams that have made a run, so you don’t need to be the favorites on paper.

King….what I didnt like about last night’s game…was the effort. Washington is on our heels, and we laid a serious egg against A BAD Padres team.

However, it looks like we’re going to end up putting a worse beat down on them tonight (we’re up 13-0 going into the top of the 8th inning).

No west coast trip is “easy”. The Braves haven’t won a series from the Padres in SD for several years.

Nice to see The Braves ‘rebound’ from last night’s STINKER!

Of bigger concern, is Luiz Gohara. I feel that dude simply needs to be left in AAA, and given 7-8 starts to ‘get acclimated to pitching on a regular routine’. 2018 has been A ROUGH YEAR for Gohara.

I’m not really sold on him being a reliever. I’d like to see him develop, settle in as a Starting Pitcher…however with The Braves competing in 2018..The Braves cannot afford to just let him ‘take his lumps’ at The MLB level (which is a drawback to competing in 2018). I just hope that Gohara’s long term development for 2019…isnt hampered by 2018 being such a whirlwind year for him when it comes to the off the field stuff, the injuries, not really having a Spring Training, not being given much of a chance to ‘settle in’ as a MLB Starting Pitcher in 2018, etc.

I know that Gohara looked like GARBAGE last night…however I’ve been watching him pitch since 2017 (his starts in AA, AAA and in Atlanta last year). His stuff/willingness to go after hitters….has left a good impression on me!

With Teheran getting injured…hopefully Soroka can come back healthy soon!

With the injuries by Teheran, Gohara, Soroka and Sanchez…as well as the impeding Free Agency of Brandon McCarthy….’the talk’ that The Braves have ‘too many Starting Pitchers’ is PURE NONSENSE!

I’m SICK AND TIRED of hearing ‘so-called Braves fans’ (especially on other sites) call for AA to start ‘clearing out the deadwood/make some room on The 40-man Roster’, lol!

Sure, I have an idea of how The Braves Long Term Starting Pitching Rotation ‘may’ turn out….however I’ve been a Braves fan for WAY TOO LONG to take for granted that ‘certain things’ will happen!

Seriously….who knew that Gohara and Soroka would ONLY have 1 win between them on June 5th? Or that Acuna and Teheran would be on The DL on June 5th…YET The Braves would still be 1 game up on The Nationals?

Or that a number of our best pitching prospects (Bryce Wilson, Joey Wentz, Ian Anderson, Tucker Davidson, Kyle Wright and Luiz Gohara) would be struggling big time during the first 2 months of The 2018 Season…while the likes of Bruce Zimmerman (a no-name who strikes a lot of hitters out/has a low ERA in A ball) and Kolby Allard (Allard’s ‘stuff’ has him ranked much lower than I feel is deserving. Dude simply KNOWS how to pitch/locate his stuff) are dominating at their Levels!

At The MLB Level….Folty and Newcomb (great stuff between the two of them, however Folty’s mental breakdowns have been well documented..while Newcomb’s wildness/inability to LOCATE, LOCATE, LOCATE have been well chronicled) have started to make a case for the both of them to be Snitker’s choice to be potential Game 1 & 2 Starting Pitchers in a Non-Wild Card Series!

Both of these young men…..have the capability to ANCHOR a rotation for years to come! Instead of going out and spending $35-$40 mil a year on a 30-plus year old ‘ace’..why not keep Folty/Newcomb (both of whom are PLENTY young enough to eventually sign long term with The Braves. Folty has 3 years left after 2018 before he’s a Free Agent…while Newcomb will have 2 more pre-arbitration years followed by 3 arbitration years, making him a candidate to sign an early contract by AA).

Assuming that Folty and Newcomb continue to pitch the rest of 2018 like they have so far in early 2018…that would leave 3 slots in The Rotation to fill out long term. Soroka is an obvious #3 candidate (dude could very well end up having a Greg Maddux-like career….because of his smarts/ability to LOCATE…yet I’m actually saying that he’s “an obvious #3 candidate, lol”).

I’d like to see Soroka put forth together a string of STRONG MLB starts in 2018….before 1. I make any BOLD predictions regarding Soroka being a legit Playoff Factor. 2. before I’m willing ‘anoint’ Soroka has having any type of ‘inside track’ for being a #3 come 2019. Same with Gohara as a #4 in 2019.

I would be highly disappointed if Kolby Allard isnt called up around The ASB. Dude, simply has LITTLE left to prove in AAA right now. If McCarthy ends up being dealt at The July Trade Deadline…I’d go with a 5 man Rotation of the following:

1. Folty
2. Newcomb
3. Soroka
4. Teheran
5. Allard

The following would be the 8 man bullpen (baring any unexpected injuries/trades/etc):

1. Vizcaino
2. Winkler
3. Minter
4. Carle
5. Freeman
6. Biddle
7. Gohara
8. Fried

That would leave Lucas Sims as an alternate piece who can either be slide into either The Rotation or Bullpen…DEPENDING on 1. need. 2. His ability to stretch out.

I’d simply leave The Rest of The Young Talent…In The Minors to develop with an eye towards The 2019 Season! By September, our Offense should be healed…ready to ‘rock and roll’…The Braves will be one TOUGH TEAM to stop on the base paths. We’re going to put SOME SERIOUS PRESSURE on our Opponents!

Very few teams can withstand the types of injuries that The Braves are plagued with right now! However with that said, watch out MLB….we’re ready to ROCK AND ROLL ALL OVER you MOFOs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today’s game with The Padres, is pretty much A MUST WIN.

1. Losing a series (2-1) to The Padres…simply unacceptable.
2. Our best bullpen pitchers (Vizcaino, Winkler, Minter) have not pitched since Sunday.
3. With Thursday being an off day, today lines up as a day that Snitker can basically manage like it’s ‘Game 7 of The World Series’!

In other words, while Folty has pitched really good this season, he’s not perfect (he did have a meltdown start against San Francisco).

I would not be opposed to seeing Folty ‘going all out’ for 6 innings (if it takes him 100 pitches to SHUT DOWN The Padres offense during a 6 inning stint…so be it. The Braves DO NOT need him to ‘save the bullpen’ today. They NEED Folty to SHUT DOWN The Padres for whatever innings he’s in for today).

If Folty goes 6, then it lines up for Minter in the 7th, Winkler the 8th and Vizcaino to close it out in the 9th! Normally, I would ‘encourage’ our Starters to go at least 7 innings. However, events of the past couple of days…have led to The Braves best relievers ‘in need of work’, lol! Might as well use that to The Braves advantage…..if need be!

Regardless….The Braves CANNOT leave town losing 2 of 3! This team has to win games like this one IF they expect be taken seriously as playoff contenders.

I don’t know that you can call an early June game against San Diego a “must win” type of game… This series had all the makings of one of those trap type of sets, coming off those big victories over Washington, and heading west to face a SD team that’s not that bad. Sure they’re in last place, but it’s a different kind of last place versus a team such as the Red, or Orioles.

I was thinking about trades, and who the Braves might be able to add. And while I think Moose is the perfect fit, I saw a good who won’t be a target, but has one heck of a stat line. Blind resume…

.344 avg 9 HR 34 RBI 24R 63H .374 OBP% .568 SLG% 1.6 WaR

Any guesses as to who’s line that is?

Win is a win, loss is a loss.

I don’t see why THIS is a must-win-game. It would be nice to win, but it isn’t more or less necessary than tens of other games. Relax.

TRad……some games are supposed to be ‘easier’ than others. WTF? Washington is BEATING UP on the under .500 teams….while The Braves STRUGGLE LIKE HECK against The CRAPPY TEAMS?

12 games against under .500 teams….and we’re off to a 1-2 start?

It doesnt do much good to win games against over .500 teams…IF we dont take care of business against THE CRAPPY TEAMS.

Washington BEATS UP on a team trotting out ‘their bullpen’ today…while our offense makes San Diego’s ‘bullpen game’ look like CY FREAKING YOUNG candidates! I felt like Bob Uecker today……”only 3 GD hits today”?

PATHETIC EFFORT in 2 of these 3 WINNABLE games! I guess that getting swept by The Dodgers this weekend….wouldnt be that big of a deal…because we’d still be ‘7 games over .500’.

The Padres having Brad Hand face BOTH Freddie and Markakis in that CRUCIAL 8th inning…TOTALLY ILLUSTRATES my contention that A RIGHT HANDED POWER BAT is what this team really needs (to slot in between Freddie and Markakis)…NOT Mike FREAKING Moustakis, lol!

This team IS NOT ready for Prime Time in 2018. We have talent…good pitching…but our offense has serious holes that can be exploited by decent pitching (I didnt say ‘good’ pitching..I said ‘decent’ pitching). That BS lineup that we had out there today…..not to mention the fact that Preston Tucker has forgotten to hit a homer in 2 months!

In the beginning of the season our batters were way over their collective head. Now it is normalizing.

But we are contender. Not favourite, but we’re in the race. That’s why trading for oustakas and bullpen makes sense. Because they may be the difference between success and lack of success. This is the sweet spot in the cost/effect curve. Extra two wins are important.

Paul, have you looked at Brad Hand’s splits? You’re right, the dude is super tough on lefties- they’re hitting a meager .057 off of him, with one dinger. He’s no picnic for right-handers, however- they’ve only mustered a .224 average off of him, with two taters. The dude is just flat out good, regardless of which side of the plate the batter is on.

Big picture, I think the Braves need to look at what improves the club the most as a whole. They’ve struggled against RHP, as the article said. So Moose does sorta fit the bill of adding some pop, while not being a drain on the defense, at a potentially low cost. If the L/R thing worries you with the order, they could always go outside the box…

1. Albies (S)
2. Freeman (L)
3. Acuna (R)
4. Moose (L)
5. Markakis (L)
6. Flowzuki (R)
7. Swanson (R)
8. Pitcher
9. Inciarte (L)

I know you’re going to say Freeman two!? He’d still be hitting third in some ways, though- as he’d have two leadoff types in front of him, in Ender and Ozzie. Washington’s done it some with Harper, too. Ozzie also hits lefties almost .100 points higher, although he does have more pop against rhp, based on stats. So sandwiching him between Ender and Freddie could be a boon to him. And Acuna should just be in an excellent hitting spot there.

In the end, whatever they do, it’s a half a season. If they made a move for Moose, they’re better than if they don’t; even if it exposes them to a few select LHRP. The other two options would seem to be do nothing, or pay a premium for a RH bat. Both of those have drawbacks as well.

Sample size, I think. However he is supposedly 2 feets per second faster than last season.

King….I believe that his name is ‘Matt Kemp’, lol. However, last I checked, he plays left field.

No one could foresee that Kemp would rebound like this (in The National League. I felt that he could hit really good for a whole season IF he were to play in The American League as a DH).

Regardless, Kemp’s contract will be off the books after The 2018 Season ends for The Braves (all the players we got in that trade, with the exception of Culberson..should The Braves decide to keep him past 2018, were on expiring contracts).

AA should focus on the main goal of The 2018 Season: Giving the youngsters as much playing time as possible…to gear up towards 2019 and beyond being A DOMINANT RUN for The Braves!

Look, it isnt like “I’m opposed” to The Braves contending in 2018: It’s that I have it in me to take ‘the long view’ (in other words, I want to see The Braves positioned to be DOMINANT for years to come…NOT ‘a one year wonder’).

While I’m expecting some big contributions from The 2018 Free Agent Signings….THE CORE of The Braves in the future..will be from our PLETHORA of young talent that has 1. already made their way to The Braves..2. is on the cusp of arriving…3. will be arriving in the next few years (giving The Braves some cheap/productive alternatives SHOULD some moves need to be made down the line).

I’m going to enjoy how this season plays out REGARDLESS of the result (because I’m confident that AA will not sacrifice the future of The Braves. He has to know that while this team is talented….there are some ‘flaws’ that would be highly exposed during The Post Season). Even so, those ‘flaws’ can be addressed via The 2018 Free Agent Offseason…when addressing those ‘flaws’ will only cost MONEY (and none of our prospects).

They tried Bautista at 3rd again, so maybe Kemp, with some practice… 😉

I will say, in all honesty, I expected Kemp would hit- not to this extent, but I’ll take my half a cookie! Lol. Hindsight being 20/20 though, I wonder if AA wishes he had that trade back? I mean maybe Kemp’s totals would’ve been more modest if he had stayed in Atlanta. If him, and Nick, had both started the year in Atlanta the way they have though- it’d have been a breeze to trade one of them before August, and call up Acuna, without taking on all of that bad money. They could’ve bought a 3B in FA then, and it’d have been gravy. Hindsight, though, I know.

I’m not in the let’s go all-in for 2018 camp, either. I don’t want to see them trade away the Wrights or Allards in the system. I’m also not into the idea of shipping out tons of starters. I do hope they look at the pipeline’s 15-25 though, and make a deal with one prospect, and maybe a throw in like Sims or Wisler. I think it’d be a great boost for the team and the fanbase, and I think it’d be a good selling point to impending FA. I continue to hope it’s Moose. I really want to see the guy in a Braves uni.

There’s a vortex in san diego that makes the braves go poop; however, I believe the Braves will win due to Folty against a pen game. 2 of 3 against a team the braves just dont do well in SD–I’ll take it–esp with the dodgers up next. Man I wish we had folty and newk going against the dodgers….ah well.
To me the main difference in this team when doing well or not—is Dansby and ender getting on base. Albies as well to a lesser extent. Whatever Acuna gives is a bonus. Whoever (allard) gets the start in place of Tehran will have a hell of a time on their hands.

OK, folks, with Riley on the shelf for quite a while, it seems like Moustakas is a moral imperative now. It would be a bad idea to take a run at Hanley Ramirez either. He costs nothing but the minimum.

Absolutely. The Braves simply cannot roll with the Flamargo plan at the hot corner. Flaherty’s average is dropping by the day, and Camargo’s hovering near the Mendoza line. They’re both UT guys, and that’s cool- but you can’t start bench guys daily on a playoff team. Hopefully the Braves have seen enough of Camargo to realize this, and with the Riley option off the table for the foreseeable future, will make the deal that needs made.

I’m also in support of taking a flyer on HanRam- especially if he would be agreeable to a PT role, with some regular ABs.

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