The Braves Address a Weakness

The Braves Address a Weakness

The Braves today acquired 1B Lucas Duda from Kansas City for cash considerations.

The Braves have struggled all year with RH pitching and needed a LH bench bat not named Ryan Flaherty.

Lucas Duda hits RH pitching and is a LH bench bat. He’s also not Ryan Flaherty. So you can see the appeal.

Duda’s 118 wRC+ against RHs is actually now one of the best on the team, which is why they needed to make the move so badly.

By trade, Duda is a 1B and not a terrible one so, in theory, the Braves could actually give Freddie Freeman a day off without space and time collapsing in on itself. Its just a theory though.

As for the return, Atlanta traded from a position of strength as cash considerations had no future here. But this is why you stock up a farm system. So when you reach the point of contending and need to add a player for your stretch run, you can just hand the other team some money from your wallet.

Nice move Alex.

 

3 Comments

I like this move by AA! Assuming that Snitker does what he can to LIMIT Duda to only pinch hitting against Righties (unlike how he’s handled Duval so far, who DESPITE not being very good against right handed pitchers, keeps getting pinch hitting at-bats against Righties, lol)…The Braves should have a decent (as long as they are facing opposite throwing pitchers) power hitting lefty-righty duo in Duval-Duda on the bench.

Assuming that The Braves make The Playoffs…I’m curious as to whether AA goes with a 4 or 5 man bench. In a 5 game series…5 starting pitchers are not needed (meaning that Teheran/Sanchez will not be utilized as a starting pitcher come playoff time).

The Braves have been going with a 4 man bench all year…so as of now, I see The Braves bench as being:

1. Culberson
2. Flowers/Suzuki
3. Duval
4. Duda

Currently, The Braves are going with a 25 man roster that has 5 starting pitchers, 8 starting position players, 8 relievers and 4 bench pieces. Come Playoff time….we’ll go with 4 starters, 8 starting position players. How does AA decide to split up the other 13 spots? Go with 8 relievers/5 bench pieces….OR…..add an extra reliever and stick with 4.

I’d like to see an extra bench piece added….which would give the nod to Annibal Sanchez kept on The 25 Man Roster over Julio Teheran (Sanchez has the flexibility to relieve). While I dont feel that The Braves will have ‘the courage’ to go this route..I’d LOVE to see AA pick as many ‘swing and miss’ relievers as possible for the 8 relievers and go with the following relievers for The Playoffs:

1. Minter
2. Brach
3. Venters
4. Winkler
5. Biddle
6. Bryce Wilson
7. Kyle Wright
8. Tooki Tousiant/Max Fried/Annibal Sanchez

I’m ‘somewhat undecided’ about #8….because an argument can be made about the importance of having a third lefty in the bullpen with Fried…vs….having Tooki come in cranking up his already impressive velocity to shut down threats. Or…AA/Snitker will value Sanchez’s veteran presence in the bullpen and opt to go with him (not the worst move imaginable…however I dont see him being used, come playoff time, in a role other than pitching in a blowout/injury to the starting pitcher..because he DOES NOT have ‘put out a rally stuff’).

I do not want Luke Jackson, Chad Sobotka, Peter Moylan, Brandon McCarthy, Sam Freeman nor Kolby Allard pitching in The Post Season. However, I have a feeling that Snitker is going to lobby HELLA HARD for Freeman, Jackson and Moylan to get the last 3 spots in the bullpen.

If The Braves went with 5 bench players for The Post Season….I’m not sure who AA would go with. Would he go with the just acquired Rene Rivera from The Angels….which would make Flowers/Suzuki available to pinch hit without worrying about who would catch if the one who started got hurt after the one who pinch hit was used?

An argument could be made that someone like Michael Reed would be a valuable bench piece come playoff time. He’s raked in AAA all year long…has speed/can play all the outfield positions. Either way, tough decision for AA to make (let’s hope he has it to make…meaning that The Braves do end up making The Playoffs).

I think the overuse of Duvall against right-handers has been due to not only the lack of a LH option, but almost any option off the bench when some punch would be useful. That is, of course, unless you make the gutsy move and burn your reserve catcher. That said, I like this move. The cost is basically nil. Plus Rio Ruiz has less of a chance of getting critical late September ABs with this addition.

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