That would be very bad

Baseball Prospectus | Articles | Prospectus Today: Day Two

Kolb is just a guy. The lesson of his last 16 months isn’t that he’s special, but that good relievers often come from the waiver wire, or the independent leagues, or the failure of an infield prospect to hit. The Brewers did well to deal Kolb at the peak of his value, allowing him to beomce Paul Quantrill on someone else’s dime.

The Braves will be sending a PTBNL to the Brewers as well. Now, I heard conflicting reports, but if it’s the name most often mentioned, left-handed Dan Meyer, Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin will have gone a long way to beefing up a woefully thin pitching staff.

If the Braves send Meyer up there too, I’ll throw up. It probably isn’t. They may have gotten him confused with a lesser prospect, Zach Miner.

17 thoughts on “That would be very bad”

  1. If it is indeed Buddy Hernandez, this is a really good trade for the Braves. Everyone talks about his low strikeout numbers as a indication for future failure. Maybe so, but at this point, I would much rather have a guy with a history of success, especially with a 2.98 ERA, than a prospect with a good fastball and no offspeed pitches. Capellan, with his lack of pitch variety and very poor September showing, looks a lot worse than a good reliever with low strike out numbers. Also, I think he may do better because of our defense in comparison to Milwaukee’s. I mean, come on, Wes freakin’ Helms?!

  2. Yeah, these people freaking out are kinda crazy to me. The Cubs were drooling over Kolb last week, but no one wants to admit that.

  3. I think sometimes people fail to realize that there is more to the game than stats. Kolb has shown he has the make-up to want the ball in the ninth with a lead, and most of the time he succeeds. At the end of the last two seasons, Smoltz wasn’t exactly automatic out there. As for what we gave up, good luck to teams who trade for Braves pitching prospects.

  4. Bottom line is that the Braves got a starter (Smoltz, natch) without dealing Giles, instead of grabbing Hudson for him. And they dealt from their strength (young arms) to do it. How many of these young arms dealt since ’91 have come back to haunt the Braves? I have no problem with this deal whatsoever.

  5. I love the offseason. One report had the Dodgers getting Hudson. ESPN reports that we are still in the running for him. I wonder who Billy is asking for if we are? The Dodger package really looks weak. I’d be surprised if Beane settled for that one.

    The Soriano rumor has to be bull. He is way more expensive than Giles and probably not even as good. I don’t see why we’d do that.

    The Sosa rumor has to be even more bull. Huh? take on a declining expensive malingerer? I give Schuerholz more credit than that.

    The Millwood rumor makes sense. I hope to see him in Camp Leo next spring.

  6. Personally, I don’t want to see Millwood again. Even Leo had trouble getting him to be consistent. Millwood just doesn’t handle pressure well. He was the most overpaid $14 million pitcher last year. Arizona should sign him too.

  7. —-
    I think sometimes people fail to realize that there is more to the game than stats. Kolb has shown he has the make-up to want the ball in the ninth with a lead, and most of the time he succeeds.
    I betcha he chews tobacco too! That and the ability to get hitters out will make you a good closer. (Note: Most major league pitchers will succeed most of the time if all they have to do is protect a lead for one inning. The trick is to do it 90% of the time or more, which Smoltz has done for years and Kolb has done once.)

    At the end of the last two seasons, Smoltz wasn’t exactly automatic out there.
    Premise 1: Smoltz was not perfect.
    Premise 2: Everything not perfect is equal.
    Premise 3: Kolb is as good as Smoltz.

    As for what we gave up, good luck to teams who trade for Braves pitching prospects.

    Off the top of my head in the last few years, you have Byrd, Marquis, Perez, and there are others who have gone on to succeed to varying in other organizations. Pitching prospects are generally an iffy proposition, and I haven’t seen any data suggesting Atlanta’s good minor league pitchers perform worse than average in the majors. I would be interested to see this issue studied though.

    I don’t mind this deal, though I prefer watching high strikeout guys pitch the 9th for the drama of it and especially when they are coming in with runners on base, but I think the Smoltz-Kolb combo is much much better than the [FA]-Smoltz combo as far as dollars and performance, particularly considering the esteemed ownership team at AOL is making the dollars hard to come by. (Admit it, you miss Ted.)

  8. I just hope that Mazzone is able to help Kolb modify his approach to result in a few more K’s. The fewer choppers even slightly to the right or left of Chipper, the better.

  9. So if pretty much anyone can do an OK job as closer, and there’s obviously nobody out there we can get as good as Smoltz, why does everyone seem to be so down on this move?

    We have our best pitcher back in the starting rotation, and we’re no longer putting so much stock in getting the last inning out. No Kolb won’t be as good as Smoltz, and neither will Cruz if we try him. But as yall point out, we should be fine with 3 and 2 run leads on average, and on those rare occasions when we actually require a quality save, maybe they’ll pan out.

    Losing our automatic 9th inning outs and a flamethrowing TNSTAAPP is a small price to pay for having one of the best pitchers of our era back at the front of the rotation. Opening day, baby!

  10. Matt, we knew what we were trading away in Marquis and Perez. We also got back more than just spare parts, too.

    Byrd didn’t even leave via trade. He was picked up off waivers.

    But as for pitching prospects, I can name to you Micah Bowie, Ruben Quevedo, Brad Voyles, and Luis Rivera as examples of Braves prospects who have done nothing after being traded away. Wainwright also didn’t exactly have a stellar AAA season last year.

    The only two prospects you could say had some success recently were Chen and Rob Bell, both of whom were decent last year.

  11. As far as prospects, it is a toss-up for the most part. The pitchers that have been successful after coming up with the Braves and then leaving are few and far between. Schmidt is by far the most successful, and Odalis and Marquis aren’t far enough removed yet to gauge. Chen is a journeyman pitcher at best. Look at the pitchers who revived their careers here and went away. It’s been a tossup. Hammond has been relatively successful, Stanton and Remlinger have been mixed, Glavine hasn’t set the word on fire, Maddux was mixed also. Burkett had one good year and out with the Red Sox.

    Give the credit where credit is due. For all of our second-guessing, the Braves have continued to fare well even with the turnover in the roster over the past few years. So anything we or the “experts” talk about is just our opinions, which are more often than not incorrect, or else some of us would be getting calls to work as scouts.

  12. We also forget that Schmidt was traded 8 years ago. He was mediocre for a good 4-5 seasons before he busted out in 2002. Also, a lot of his value is tied into him pitching 225 innings last year, but look at his arm now. He threw 225 innings and wore down considerably and lost a full run on his ERA from the year before.

  13. It goes both ways. We traded an aging mediocre pitcher for a minor league prospect by the name of John Smoltz. But all anyone wants to remember is the Jason Schmidt’s, which makes for a one sided anaylsis of the job upper management has done. But I think the results speak for themselves.

  14. Even Leo had trouble getting him to be consistent.

    Kevin Millwood was tremendously consistent with Atlanta. His ERA+ numbers for his Atlanta years: 104, 104, 162, 100, 102, 127. His two yeaers since; 103 & 90. His baseline is league average, with two blips of DIPS-induced greatness and one (last year) of DIPS-revenge.

    If they think he’s healthy and cheap, then he’s useful. I don’t buy this assertion that he couldn’t handle pressure; he had some good postseasons for Atlanta. he just didn’t mesh with Bowa, and as a good old boy he gets along well with Leo.

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