Interview with Atlanta Braves Outfielder Michael Reed

Interview with Atlanta Braves Outfielder Michael Reed

It’s been a long time coming for Atlanta Braves Outfielder, Michael Reed

…and for those unaware, Reed was promoted this afternoon in the midst of a flurry of moves from the Braves that came with Evan Phillips receiving his 2nd MLB stint (and hopefully MLB debut), Peter Moylan to the DL with a forearm strain (that’s actually quite serious and could be career threatening), and Matt Wisler optioned. This will not be Reed’s MLB debut as he received call-ups in both 2015 and 2016 with the Milwaukee Brewers.


Scouting Report on Atlanta Braves Outfielder, Michael Reed

Reed is listed at 6’0, 215 pounds, but I’m betting he’s more like 225. He’s a ripped up dude who has put his offseason workouts as top priority year after year. Looking at Reed, he looks more like a College Fullback rather than a 25 year old outfielder that plays all 3 OF positions average to above average. However, don’t let his size fool you as being able to stay flexible and mobile while adding muscle is his secret to his on-field success and health.

At the plate, the biggest standout skill that Reed possesses is patience. Over the last 2 years in the Minor Leagues, Reed has walked at a 17% rate, which is a little more than 1 time in every 6 plate appearances.  And while he does strike out at a fairly large clip, his line drive rate is sitting at about 30%. There’s no hard-hit rate recorded in MiLB, however I’ve watched plenty of his ABs, and the ball is coming off his bat hard and I’d be willing to bet he’s holding down a good barrel-rate (LD% is at 30%).

As big as he is, Reed’s never been a power guy, mostly hitting around 5-7 HRs/year, but like all of his offensive numbers, the HRs are on the rise. Reed has collected 9 HRs and 21 doubles between AA and AAA, and his slash-line is an outstanding .337/.460/.535/.995 through 300 plate appearances.

Something to also consider is that Reed has been absolutely destroying left-handed pitching this year, to the tune of a 1.279 OPS.  On the bench, that is a valuable weapon should Snitker utilize him when a player who struggles against LHP (Ender Inciarte) comes up in a crucial situation.

While his overall line is most definitely attractive, there is a caveat here and that is the outrageous BABIP that he’s carrying for the season thus far: .486! No…that isn’t sustainable no matter how many years of the “School of Seitzer” one goes to, but it could be something passed down in the org to him that has upped his BABIP, increased his hard-hit rate, and caused this breakout. Who knows? I don’t, but I’m excited nonetheless.

I was in the midst of an interview with Michael when he received his call-up and I thought…maybe it’s finally happening after I asked him a question 2 days ago and it’s still unanswered. Hopefully I’ll get to finish the interview and re-post later, but in honor of his promotion, here’s a conversation with Michael Reed.

Interview with Atlanta Braves Outfielder Michael Reed

Michael Reed (left) with’s Brittni Swanson
This is your 1st year outside the Brewers organization and first in the Braves organization. Can you give us Braves fans some background on Michael Reed the person and the player?

Well I’m a southern guy from the great state of Texas. I’m a huge hunter in the off season and fish occasionally. I prefer country music over any genre and I’m an unashamed Christian athlete. Faith is a huge part of my life. I’m very fortunate to be in the Braves organization. They’re a great organization filled with a lot of talent and I’m just grateful to be a part of it! As a player I will always play the game hard and the right way. I do anything and everything I can to get on base because I feel that best benefits my team. I try to stick to the player I feel I am, getting on base and driving in guys when the opportunity presents itself.

You’ve had a few cups of coffee with the Brewers but didn’t seem to be able to break through completely. Can you provide us some feedback of the time while you were in the Brewers system?

I enjoyed my time with the Brewers. The Brewers believed in my talent and drafted me out of high school and I will always be grateful. Spent 7 seasons with the Brewers before I elected free agency. Sometimes it’s best to move on to something new and I felt that was the best for my career. I signed with the Braves in November of 2017.

Brewers have always seemed like a good organization, glad to get confirmation. As a Braves fan, I’m glad that you chose us. You’re having a monster year, a year that should get you noticed. With launch angle, exit velocity, etc., being brought forth in baseball, do you contribute your success to any studying and/or actions specifically to increase the above? If not, care to share any of your voodoo secrets?!

I don’t pay attention to any numbers at all. When I’m at the plate I have a very simple approach. Get a good pitch and hit it hard. I’m trying to get on base however I possibly can and drive in runs when the opportunity comes.

Good deal! Well, looking at the stats this year, this is a serious offensive breakout for you and the power is really coming. Anything at all (new offseason workout, etc.) that you can attribute to your success?

Hard work day in day out during the off-season. I have a trainer back home who pushes me to my limits and it’s really paying off!


I must say that Reed seemingly could turn out to be The Braves version of The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (a cast off whose ‘offseason workouts’ transforms him into a very good MLB player to his new team). I’ve been following his year from Mississippi to Gwinnett…and dude seemingly puts up numbers on the scorecard every night.

I know that I’ve been REPEATEDLY stating that The Braves SHOULD NOT make any major trades at The July Trade Deadline…however circumstances have changed.

1. The Braves are playing steady/winning baseball. A 48-34 record after 82 games simply cannot be ignored.

2. The Nationals ARE NOT showing any signs of coming out of their ‘average-at best playing baseball’ FUNK. 6 games out at the halfway mark of the season…suggests that they are ‘who they have shown that they really are’ (instead of who many THOUGHT they would be). IF they do not make a major trade to improve their offensive production….they have LITTLE CHANCE on catching The Braves. They do not want to give up Victor Robles in order to get JT Realmuto…however The Marlins are in position to hold out/wait for the best offer for Realmuto. Washington, however, CANNOT AFFORD to wait. Even so….they need more than Realmuto (my gut tells me that they will also go after Manny Machado to hit behind Soto and Harper…because Zimmerman simply is not the same hitter as he was in 2017).

3. Even if Washington were to trade for Realmuto AND Machado (a BIG IF)….I feel for the 1st time all year…that The Braves can still win this division….IF….the following 2 things happen:

IF…1. Vizcaino comes back healthy (like he was pitching before he went on The DL).

2. Evan Phillips shows that he can be an EFFECTIVE 7th inning weapon (something that Peter Moylan SIMPLY IS NOT able to do). Phillips has swing and miss stuff…The Braves dont need him to ‘save’ our bullpen…just COMPETE and be a 6th/7th inning bridge to our 8th/9th inning guys (someone who can PUT OUT A FIRE in the middle of the game should one of our starters get in a jam when he gets pulled from a game).

3. Michael Reed turns out to be a weapon off the bench. He’s right handed (rakes left handed pitching) who can spell either Inciarte (especially when a lefty is starting) or Markakis (I’d rather Reed got the start tonight….instead of Culberson…who I feel is better suited to coming off the bench as a supersub). If Reed can excel at being a power threat as a pinch hitter (9 homers and 22 doubles in half a impressive)….the bench becomes more of a strength.

If those three things happen (the next 3 weeks should be sufficient time to evaluate the effect Vizcaino, Phillips and Reed playing well has on The Braves)….then I feel that our GM, AA, should SERIOUSLY consider making the following two moves: TRADE FOR BOTH Brad Hand AND Blake Snell.

I know…BOTH would require A SIGNIFICANT prospect haul. HOWEVER, both are young, relatively inexpensive AND under team control for a number of years. Before I get into the POTENTIAL COST prospect wise for both of those players…I’ll explain THE IMPACT that BOTH could potentially have on The Braves (BOTH in 2018 and Long Term).

Blake Snell would give The Braves a rotation of the following:

1. Folty
2. Newcomb
3. Snell
4. Fried
5. Teheran

The first three, in a playoff series, would make The Braves VERY FORMIDABLE. All three can pitch 6-7 innings effectively…have swing and miss (even when they dont have their best stuff going). While I’m hopeful for Soroka long term….I’m concerned with his effectiveness for 2018. I feel that it is UNREALISTIC to expect a 20 year old who was just put on the 60 day DL List…to come back and pitch effectively in 2018. While Fried pitched well in St. Louis….he’s yet to show that he can pitch CONSISTENTLY at The MLB level. Julio Teheran should, at best, be a 5th starter type on a good team.

If Teheran gets hurt again OR if Fried proves to be inconsistent….I WOULD LOVE to see Kolby Allard called up. While Annibal Sanchez has shown to be a decent replacement starter for The Braves….I feel that as the season wears on…he’ll prove to be a valuable multi-inning option (to go along with Jesse Biddle) out of the bullpen. Luiz Gohara has a bright future Long Term for The Braves..however I feel that he should be left in AAA for the rest of The Season (called up in September of course) and given as many starts as possible to work out the kinks/build up some consistency.

Brad Hand would be AN EXCELLENT ADDITION to The Braves Bullpen. He’d probably slot in as the main closer…however Vizcaino (if healthy…his health is ESSENTIAL to making acquiring Hand worth it) would have opportunities to close (depending on matchups/amount of usage).

Image the following bullpen (assuming Vizcaino is healthy AND Phillips is LEGIT):

1. Brad Hand
2. Adrodys Vizcaino
3. Dan Winkler
4. AJ Minter
5. Evan Phillips
6. Shane Carle
7. Jesse Biddle
8. Annibal Sanchez

That…has the potential to be HELLA FORMIDABLE! Sam Freeman would be a casualty (oh well). Carle is MUCH BETTER when he’s only limited to one inning an appearance. I’m SICK AND TIRED of seeing Snitker try and squeeze an extra inning out of Carle…only to see him tire/give up extra runs. Yesterday’s game against St. Louis was CLASSIC (Carle was effective in the 6th inning….however instead of bringing in Biddle to start the 7th…well, you know what happened, lol).

Having Biddle and Sanchez available to pitch multiple innings…would be crucial. Adding Hand to a healthy bullpen (Vizcaino and Phillips are CRITICAL to making this work)…just imagine the possibilities/matchups!

Carmago just hit another homer to tie the game up at 1-1 against The Yankees. Sure, Carmago has value Long Term as a Super Sub option off the bench. However, he’s ‘getting the job done’ since his slow start (he was coming off getting hurt in Spring Training)..and play EXCELLENT defense. Also, if Austin Riley comes back soon from his injury, he’ll be given an opportunity (which would mean BYE BYE to Ryan Flaherty). I see little benefit to trading for Moustakis.

Now….the cost for acquiring BOTH Hand and Snell (which would be STEEP). What would The Padres expect to be a fair return for Hand? He’ll be 29 years old when The 2019 Season opens….is owed a pro-rated portion of $3.5 mil in 2018, $6.5 mil in 2019, $7 mil in 2020 and a team option $10 mil in 2021 ($1 mil buyout). Very reasonable prices for a quality closer option whose LETHAL on left handed hitters! He’s a multi-inning closing option..and has been healthy the past few seasons.

Blake Snell will be 26 years old when The 2019 Season begins….has one more pre-arbitration season left in 2019..then will be arbitration eligible during the 2020-2022 seasons.

Given that BOTH players offer a number of controllable years at affordable prices….I feel that depending on what San Diego and Tampa want/need in return….players like Christian Pache, Drew Waters, Bryce Wilson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller and Ian Anderson should be on the table (Tooki Tousiant, Kyle Wright, Kolby Allard, William Contraras and Austin Riley should be off limits). The Braves can make these two trades AND still have plenty of the right prospects left to help our future! Also, acquiring Hand would free up payroll dollars to go after a bat to replace Markakis (and address 3rd base IF Austin Riley is indeed included in a trade at The Trade Deadline).

The next 3 weeks should be very interesting.


I respect your point of view.
But no.

The braves need two good relievers.
We can pick up a few b+ relief options—without the cost for hand.
Starters we are good within.
This is such a magical year.
With Touki and Gohara and Soroka coming up—the braves can make a run.
If Touki and Gohara can be the ‘miller’ type relievers—Soroka could be the 4th starter or 3rd.
If this guy can play left and acuna in center and give ender days off.
Regardless—dansby and albies and ender (or someone that can lead off) can get on base….that would be worth a hand or snell.
Regardless this miracle year has been great.

Touki and Soroka next year with Folty and newk….wow.

This is getting really good.

Andy….Gohara, Soroka and Tooki WILL NOT be making any signifcant contributions in the 2nd half for The Braves. The future for all three is HELLA BRIGHT long term..however:

1. This has been A DIFFICULT 2018 for Gohara. A LOT on dude’s plate (not just food, lol). He didnt have a normal Spring Training with the injuries. Dude just needs to be LEFT ALONE and given time to straighten up his mechanics/get some consistent starts under his belt (while I see him getting a probably callup in September once The AAA Season ends…The Braves will have whatever Starting 5 Rotation finalized WAY BEFORE then…UNLESS a rash of injuries hits. Even so…Allard, Fried, Sanchez, McCarthy, Teheran…even Wisler and Sims…will all get their chance to start again for The Braves…BEFORE Braves Management would even consider giving Gohara another MLB start in 2018). I’m a HUGE FAN of Gohara (in fact, I felt that he’d probably lead The 2018 Braves Rotation in wins, lol)…however sometimes things happen (whether good or bad…whether expected or unexpected) that forces one to ‘re-evaluate’ things/projections).

2. With Soroka being on The 60 Day DL….Braves Management pretty much made the decision to SHUT HIM DOWN for the rest of The 2018 Season (they dont want to risk him messing up his shoulder any further in 2018). Sure, if he feels better around the beginning of August, they may let him start a throwing program, which will take a few weeks to get him stretched out…then allow him to throw 3-4 starts in AAA (remember, The AAA Season ends around Sept 1st…unless they make The Playoffs..which Gwinnett WILL NOT be making in 2018). Sure, like Gohara, Soroka may get activated/called up (he’ll be on a rehab assignment…..meaning that he’s technically still on The MLB Roster) with The September Call-ups. However, as I stated before….The Braves 5 man Rotation will be SETTLED by the time The July Trading Deadline is over (barring a series of brutal injuries to The Rotation).

3. Lastly, Tooki Tousiant will not be called up to Atlanta…UNTIL The September Call-ups. He has yet to pitch in AAA, which I anticipate will happen after The ASB. He’ll need to show that he’s making progress getting his walk rate down…that he can continue striking out hitters at the rate he’s been doing at the lower levels of MILB. The smart move is to keep Tooki at AAA for the 2nd half of The 2018 Season.

At first, I was in favor of having Kyle Wright (and possibly Tooki) put in The Braves bullpen in 2018…..and let them get experience that way until its time for them to transition back to The Rotation. However, both of these guys have GREAT STUFF….however the walk rates are A HUGE CONCERN! Only logical way to work on by making start after start…grinding it out…working on the mechanics start after start.

The plan is to have our best Long Term Pitching prospects work on their walk rates (it was painful/frustrating to watch Folty and Newcomb spend each a couple of years WALKING GUYS/having high pitch counts that led to each barely making it to the 5th inning each start……while the likes of Sims, Wisler and Blair simply COULD NOT adjust at The MLB Level. Max Fried, right now, is still a work in progress!

Andy, this Braves bullpen needs more than ‘a couple of B-pieces’ if we’re going to SERIOUSLY COMPETE with Washington and Philly (Washington is now 7 out….if they dont do something soon…they will be 10 out BEFORE The ASB hits). The Braves GM, AA, is a pretty smart guy…he knows that Washington is going to DROP the ‘let’s wait until Miami drops the price on JT Realmuto NONSENSE!

However, as I explained in my last post….even if Washington were to trade for both Realmuto AND Manny Machado….I still feel that The 2018 Braves can still win The NL East….IF a series of 2 things happen:


1. Vizcaino comes back healthy (like he was pre-injury. He was throwing 99, 100 bee-bees, racking up the saves).

2. Phillips takes over the role that was supposed to be filled by Moylan. Phillips will have an opportunity the next 3-4 show that he can strike out guys in high leverage situations (6th-7th innings are IMPORTANT SHUT DOWN INNINGS that are crucial to help a fading starting pitcher strand runners after he’s been pulled. Moylan simply lost the ability to consistently do that anymore. Phillips is young…with some serious swing and miss stuff. Here’s to hoping that he can come in and ‘contribute’/fill this role in The Braves Bullpen.

3. Michael Reed filling the 4th outfielder/right handed pinch hitting option with some pop in his bat. He’s 25, took part in a new offseason workout program (like Chris Taylor of The Dodgers….who seemingly came from nowhere to help The 2017 Dodgers make a serious push for a World Series. Reed can fill in for Inciarte on days a TOUGH lefty is on the mound….maybe play some RF and give Markakis some DH at-bats in AL Parks.

If those three things happen with some regularity…and with some success….THEN (AND ONLY THEN) would I support The Braves making two DIFFERENCE MAKING TRADES that would result in The Braves acquiring BOTH Brad Hand from The Padres AND Blake Snell from Tampa!

I wont repeat myself (scroill up to my previous post if you want a rehash of my reasoning/justification for making both these trades….and on what we’d have to possible give up to get BOTH (it would depend on what each team really valued/needed to shore up their MILB Systems.

I have thought about both Hand AND Snell all day today.l Adding BOTH fits SO WELL into The Braves Rotation AND bullpen NOT JUST for 2018..but in The Future as well, Sure, we’d be giving up A LOT to get them….however, we’d still have A LOT (especially the best, long term, highest ceiling prospects). Also, we’d still have A BUNCH OF PAYROLL FLEXIBILITY to go after signing the right power bats to replace Markakis and possibly play 3rd *(I hope that AA re-signs BOTH Flowers and Suzuki to a 2 year/$12 mil contract…where they split the catching duties (which would give William Contraras two more seasons to work his way up to Atlanta). $12 mil a year COMBINED for Flowers and Suzuki….is A BARGAIN! With the 2 of them spiting catching duties…NEITHER is at risk of wearing down over the course of a season. Coppy sure knew how to ‘luck into’ some good luck when he signed those 2 a few years back.

Just look at the roster in my last post….and see how BOTH Hand and Snell BOTH fit into The Starting 5 and Bullpen! With The 7 game lead that we have over Washington….The Braves indeed control their own destiny. 7 games up with 79 left (Philly they dont have the consistency to stay in this race). That’s why I feel that the next 3 weeks leading up to The ASB (as well as the 3 games that The Braves play in Washington RIGHT AFTER The ASB)…..will show The Braves 1. if Vizcaino, Phillips and Reed can indeed be IMPACT Players….2. If so, then can our GM, AA, put together a package of prospects that will ENTICE San Diego AND Tampa to make these trades that benefits ALL THREE TEAMS.

The Unique thing about this…The Braves ARE HELLA LOADED with talent throughout the system, Coppy left AA a GOLD MINE of talent. Sometimes in life…an opportunity unexpectedly presents itself to you. Question is, you take it and run with it?: Neither of these moves are ‘one year rentals’.

We’ll find out come late July what is going to happen!

What about trading for Valencia Trumbo and Brition by send them Touki Wright Dylan Moore and Danny Santana you can use both Valencia and Trumbo at third and Britton to bolster the bullpen. Now using both Trumbo and Valencia as a RH bat off the bench either at Third or the corner OF spots and can provide help hitting cleanup and protection for Freeman and use to spell Freeman and Kakes versus Lefties suggests the Moustakas would cost Kolby and Touki which I think is absolutely crazy. They also suggest Fried for Britton which I would not like either. If those ideas are evenly anywhere near close to reality then the cost for Hand and Snell could be half the farm. I like the idea of trading for Snell in the offseason more than during the season but he’s another lefty and we’re overrun with lefty starters (Allard, Fried, Gohara, Newcomb, Wentz, Muller) of which several may be just as good. Tampa will not sell controllable top rated pitching. Hand may cost a couple of those unavailable prospects to land. You go from shooting too low to shooting too high. Both ways, you miss.

We need a good reliever like a Britton at a more reasonable price than suggests. I think the starting pitching will work itself out. Oddly, I think that Camargo is now pulling enough weight that waiting for Riley to get off the DL and using one or both of them may be the best 3B option. Our offense is great but has hit its ceiling without an infusion of power (the Dodgers series certainly proved that). Riley (backed up by Camargo) may be the only answer. The only Braves fielding positions which have under-par season performance is 3B and LF. There’s no improving LF with Acuna improving on his own. 3B seems to be a position in ongoing improvement. Starting pitching has the best ERA in the majors. The place that’s really lacking is the bullpen (and it’s not bad just needs improvement).

Roger….I read the article where Jim “I must be SMOKING CRACK” Duquette ‘predicted’ that The Braves would give up BOTH Kolby Allard AND Tooki Tousiant…for Mike “I cant hit lefties AND I’m a Free Agent at the end of the year’ Moustakis, lol.

I wouldnt give up EITHER for Moustakis! I’ve been saying all along…that The Braves should EITHER keep Carmago…OR….give Austin Riley a shot a few weeks after he comes back from his injury. This lineup needs right handed power…NOT another lefty hitter who CANNOT hit lefties.

I agree, long term The Braves starting pitching WILL work itself out. However, Gohara needs MORE TIME in AAA….McCarthy is too hittable….Teheran is too much “Jeckel and Hyde”. I like Fried’s potential…however I have doubts that he’ll be able to CONSISTENTLY be a 6-7 inning starting pitcher (I feel that his long term future will be serving in an Andrew Miller-like role. It isnt that I dont want Fried to succeed as a starter…I just dont see any body of work of his that suggests he has it in him to be a consistent Starting Pitcher). It’s simply asking a lot of Fried to have him be, basically, our #3 starter for the rest of the year (if Teheran is our #3….you we’re going to fade away in the 2nd half of the season).

For whatever reason, AA simply does not want to give Kolby Allard a shot at starting for The Braves in 2018. That’s why I feel The Braves should invest going after a Blake Snell. If The Braves were willing to include Christian Pache in a deal for Snell….it would drive down the cost of other prospects we’d have to include in the deal. Sure, it would ‘sting’ to lose him…however if The Braves go after a big offensive bat to replace Markakis spot in The Offseason….losing Pache becomes less problematic.

The Braves Bullpen needs more than just a couple of ‘back end relievers’ who dont cost very in prospects! Acquiring a Brad Hand..would allow EVERYONE else to slot down one spot lower in the bullpen (which would strengthen every slot). I’m not sold on Vizcaino being the primary closer come playoff time. While Hand would be the primary closer…Vizcaino would have his opportunities to close (depending on matchups/usage)….AND it would allow Winkler AND Minter to BOTH pitch in the 7th/8th innings (again, depending on matchups/usage). Having 4 relievers (2 lefties/2 righties who can all BRING IT) who can alternate the last 3 innings…would give Snitker HELLA flexibility! It would also allow Evan Phillips (who has great stuff) to ease into a 6th/7th inning role…and allow Shane Carle to thrive as a one inning reliever (whose more suited for a 6th/7th inning ‘not so quite high leverage’ situations).

I agree….The Braves would pay a pretty steep price for Hand AND Snell. However, it would be potentially WORTH IT…because of the impact that both would have in 2018 AND beyond. Their salaries are MORE than reasonable. Snell would still be a pre-arbitration eligible pitcher in 2019!

I thought long and hard about sacrificing the type of prospects it would take to get BOTH Hand and Snell….and I feel that given how circumstances have changed (especially if Washington continues to stay pat with NOT giving in to Miami’s demands when it comes to getting Realmuto..who would really add some pop to Washington’s lineup…as well as Machado) The Braves simply cannot afford to NOT take advantage of this early good fortune (being 7 games up on Washington…I’m not really worried about Philly ‘only’ being 3 1/2 games back…because they have a number of holes in their lineup that really prevents them from going on a long stretch of winning baseball. Washington is who we need to be wary of…ESPECIALLY if the finally decide to GET SMART and make the kind of big trades that they need to make to JUMPSTART their troublesome 2018 Season).

Even if Washington were to get BOTH Realmuto AND Machado….if The Braves were to get BOTH Snell AND Hand….I feel that we could still win The Division…because of BOTH our 7 game lead on them AND the balance we have in our lineup. This Braves team has a lot of balance….we just need one more GOOD starting pitcher AND one closer like Brad Hand (assuming that Vizcaino can come back healthy AND if Evan Phillips can seize the role that Moylan was supposed to have).

I’m disappointed that Reed was send down instead of Flaherty. With the emergence of Culberson…..Flaherty is expendable. I like having Reed’s pop from the right side on the benchy. Flaherty hasnt done much since April.

Meanwhile Boston just hit a 3 run homer in the top of the 2nd (after Washington failed to score in the bottom of the 1st DESPITE having runners on 1st and 2nd with 0 outs).

Or they can go for broke and either trade for Suarez or Arenado I mean they are both sign long term well Suarez is but Arenado is signed til 2019 so maybe they can trade for Arenado and sign him to an extension or trade for Suarez and offer them Riley or maybe trade for Machado and in hope he’ll sign an extension but doubt that will happen because hes a Boras client but if he be willing to sign an extension like 6 year 195 million

Fans/writers get ‘scared off’ when it comes to the price tags of acquiring players like Brad Hand and Blake Snell. So what if The Braves have to ‘overpay’ some to get those two? If both PRODUCE….it’ll be a WIN-WIN for everyone involved in the trade.

Remember…BOTH players are under team control (at very reasonable salaries) until 2021 (Hand) and 2022 (Snell). Sure, I like The Braves prospects A LOT. However, even if The Braves were to trade Pache (along with the others I mentioned in the above post)…we’d still have Soroka, Allard, Riley, Tooki, Wright, Newcomb and Folty)…PLUS whoever we sign during The 2018 Free Agent Offseason (to go along with Albies, Acuna, Swanson and Carmago).

In other words, this team would still be STACKED the future…with a shot at going to The World Series in 2018!

I WAS NOT a fan of Snitker’s decision to leave Evan Phillips in for 2 1/3 innings in his MLB DEBUT! I understand that the bullpen had been overworked the past few days (partially because of Snitker’s REPEATEDLY mismanagement of it). However Phillips had pitched 1 1/3 innings to hold the fort down AND the score was 6-5.

Instead, a tiring Phillips gave up a pop up 2 run homer to Stanton…and Chapman (who pitched 3 days in a row) came on to save the game.

I just read that AA has called up Gohara to take Phillips’ spot on the roster. It is moves like this..that are going to HELLA HURT the long term prospects of The Braves. Gohara NEEDS to be kept in AAA…AS A STARTING PITCHER!

I guess that expecting Julio Teheran to NUT UP and pitch 7-8 innings…is too much as ask of someone whose supposed to be in his pitching prime? It is situations like this…that require Starting Pitchers to STAND UP and give your team A SHOT IN THE ARM/SAVE THE BULLPEN-type of performance.

Regardless….the past 2 days have pretty much NEGATED my original post in this thread when it came to ‘the possibility’ of trading for Snell and Brad Hand (at least in 2018). I stated that IF The Braves 1. got a HEALTHY Vizcaino back…2. Evan Phillips proved to be an EFFECTIVE 6th-7th inning bullpen option…3. Michael Reed could fill a Chris Taylor-like role on The Braves bench…..then it would NOT ONLY fill 3 HOLES our team has…BUT ALSO present an opportunity to make 2 BOLD TRADES (which would SOLIDIFY The Bullpen AND STRENGTHEN The Starting Rotation).

However, AA decided to send Michael Reed down after only 1 game (no appearances)…as well as send Phillips down after 2 games (and 1 appearance after he gave up a homer in the 8th inning. I stated that Phillips should be counted on to fill a 6th-7th inning role…that he would not be expected to be SUPERMAN. Guess what…he DID fill the 6th-7th inning role yesterday….putting out a fire in the bottom of the 6th…setting them down in the bottom of the 7th. Instead…Snitker decided to GET GREEDY and see if Phillips could put in A SUPERMAN-LIKE performance in his MLB Debut…and instead got BURNED).

Even if Vizcaino comes back and resume how he pitched BEFORE his DL stint….I feel that The Braves have TOO MANY HOLES to fill in warrant sacrificing prospects at The July Trade Deadline. With The Reds in the midst of playing 14 straight under .500 teams (that started yesterday)….and The Nationals starting an 11 game stretch tomorrow of playing under .500 teams (while The Braves play 11 of their next 13 games against OVER .500 teams)…’s going to be HELLA TOUGH for The Braves to stay in 1st place by the time The All-Star Break rolls around.

Going 2-4 against Baltimore and Cincy (AT HOME) may come around and bite us…ESPECIALLY if Philly (and even Washington) takes care of business against the soft part of their schedule). For instance..after starting The Season 1-4…Philly went 8-1 against (Miami, Cincy and Tampa Bay….when all three were playing TERRIBLE BASEBALL at the beginning of the season)…to basically right the ship/get the sharks off of Gabe Kapler’s back (after The Braves almost swept The Phils to open the season). Washington was 25-21..then went 8-1 against San Diego, Cincy and Baltimore.

Sure, both teams have struggled against GOOD TEAMS since then….however have beaten up on THE BAD TEAMS (which both teams will be playing BAD TEAMS during the next 2 weeks while The Braves are playing A TOUGH SCHEDULE the next 3 weeks). While I still think that Washington will be The Braves main competition as the season wears on (because 1. Washington has NO CHOICE but to SACRIFICE the likes of Victor Robles IF they want to have any chance of winning The Division in 2018….2. Philly’s offense against good teams is very suspect…there are more good than bad teams in The National League)……The Phils are only 2 1/2 games behind The Braves (with A CUPCAKE SCHEDULE coming up). The Braves basically could play good baseball the next few weeks..and still possibly lose our lead in the standings. I expect The Phillies to STRIKE pretty soon when it comes to making a trade. They know that they have to play KILLER BASEBALL and take advantage of this part of the schedule IF they are going to have ANY CHANCE of catching The Braves/winning the division in 2018.

I keep reading articles where pundits predict that teams will wait for bargains to make trades closer to The July Trade Deadline. I get a different vibe…..because of the circumstances I just listed. Also, even though The American League pretty much has their playoff contenders settled….there are 2 races between Seattle and Houston…AND….Boston and The Yankees…for division titles. There are 4 teams on pace to each win over 100 games….YET two of them will be forced to play each other in a ONE GAME PLAY-IN Wild Card Game! Each game is PRECIOUS from here on out! Soft spots in the schedule have to be taken advantage of…while tough parts have to be endured/find a way to survive, even THRIVE!

What will The Braves do? I made a case for what they SHOULD do…however they keep going back to the, at times, ineffective Gwinnett shuffle.

just read an article by sportstalkatl about the possibility of scooping up arenado, ottavino and forrest wall for soroka/wright, allard/gohara, riley, demeritte, fried, wilson/weigel, and ricardo sanchez. i could get on board with that. as painful as it would be to let some of those arms go.. we would still have anderson, toussaint, wentz, muller, and two of either gohara/allard/wright/soroka and wouldnt be giving up pache either. and we would be incorporating a shut down reliever and a defensive, power hitting magician into the lineup. camargo goes to super utility or short. either way, our lineup gets better. our bench gets better. our bullpen gets better. and still leaves us with a top ten farm. probably just shy of top five.

Man. Losing that 1st round pick just stinks……I get it—it could be a bad injury and then getting him at 40% would have meant we probably would have been able to sign hess and maybe 3 more good players like hess. So, Carter and hess and then the 36th and 38th and 39th……that would have been something. Getting that pick next year (9th) will be good. There is a history of top 10 guys not signing…the team always seems to sign someone better……but after losing the 13 and no IFA and no 3rd rd pick and now no 1st rd pick this year……..flipping flip flip…..just seems weirdly unlucky.

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