43 thoughts on “I’m Sorry There Hasn’t Been Much New Stuff on the Blog Lately”

  1. http://m.mlb.com/fantasy/preview/y2016?team=atl

    I actually like their projects quite a bit on our players. I think they’re probably too optimistic on Blair and Folty, and too pessimistic on KJ and Flowers, but I think everything else is about right. If you take their numbers and put it into the projected lineup, rotation and bullpen, you have this:

    Teheran, 11-11, 3.60 ERA
    Chacin – 3-4 (why so few decisions?), 3.86 ERA
    Wisler – 8-10, 4.33 ERA
    Norris – No record?, 4.43 ERA, 102K (so 102K but no decisions?)
    Folty – 3-5, 4.37 ERA
    Banuelos – 3-4, 4.37 ERA
    Newcomb – 2-2, 4.20 ERA

    Grilli – 25 SV, 2.82 ERA
    Vizcaino – 12 SV, 2.79 ERA
    Johnson – 3 SV, 3.47 ERA

    Inciarte – .295, 24 SB
    Neck – .279, 6 HR, 58 RBI
    Freeman – .292, 21 HR, 83 RBI
    Olivera – .255, 12 HR, 54 RBI
    Garcia – .256, 13 HR, 51 RBI
    AJP – .269, 6 HR, 37 RBI/Flowers – .226, 6 HR, 25 RBI
    Aybar – .278, 5 HR, 14 SB
    Peterson – .250, 7 HR, 50 RBI/Johnson – .234, 14 HR, 40 RBI (really think we’ll see more average there)

    What record does that team have?

  2. Re: Chacin – those projections call for Chacin to have a 3.86 ERA and 53 strikeouts, which works out to roughly 70 – 75 IP for him (at his typical K/9 rate). A 3.86 ERA would certainly be starter-worthy on the 2016 Braves, and Chacin actually threw 155 IP between the majors and minors last year, so he should be capable of throwing 175+ IP this season. I feel like if Chacin starts the season well, he and Norris will be prime mid-season trade candidates (especially if Folty and ManBan can get/stay healthy). I’d happily take a young lottery ticket bat or a promising but raw minor league arm in return for Chacin/Norris.

  3. @1
    Considering they’d be getting below average defense at numerous positions, I’d say that team would have 75 wins.

    However, I think Braves go into the year with platoons at catcher, 3rd, 2nd, and maybe a semi-platoon in LF (giving Olivera 120 or so starts out there) so I could foresee an 80-win team if used correctly. That is, until they trade all of the veterans away again.

  4. Agreed. I think Chacin will be a good piece this year. They probably see Norris and Chacin getting deadline, giving more innings to Blair and Newcomb.

    This will really be an interesting season. I think just to watch the young guys pitch, I’m going to do MLB.tv.

    This projection has the team hitting 107 HRs, which would only best last year’s total by 7 HRs. Not much to disagree with. Maybe Freeman hits more, but KJ probably hits less. I really don’t see Olivera or Garcia topping 15 HRs apiece. Maybe Neck, with a good neck, hits 10. I could see us being top-5 in the league in doubles with Inciarte, Markakis, Olivera, Peterson, and Aybar having some good gap power.

  5. @1 – I don’t think those numbers are too far off and agree with your corrections. I agree with Olivera’s BA, but I think he’ll hit 5 more HRs – giving him a total of 17 and providing a glimmer of hope for progression in 2017. I don’t think Grilli will save 25 – especially if he’s not ready to start the year. I’ll be happy if Norris goes 8-8 and expect an 80 to 83 win season.

  6. Freeman is either going to have a monster year or miss a lot of time with the wrist injury. I don’t think they’ll repeat 2015 with him again.

  7. The bullpen should be significantly improved, but the starting pitching should be worse with the loss of Miller and Wood, replaced by worse options. The defense is probably a wash with Aybar for Simmons a loss but Inciarte for Maybin a gain. Let’s say our pitching is 30 runs better, so we allow 730 runs.

    Inciarte for Maybin is only worth a few runs on the offensive side. LF, 3B, and 2B might be a few runs better. AJP probably won’t repeat his 2015, so catcher is a few runs worse. 2B probably improves a tad and SS is probably a wash. A full season of healthy Freddie is probably the biggest thing here. Can we expect at least 30 runs of offensive improvement? That would put us at 603.

    The Pythagorean for 603/730 would be 65.7 wins.

    Better scenarios:

    50 runs better in each for 623/710, for an expected 70.5 wins

    70 runs better in each for 643/690 and 75.3 wins. Such a team could win 80 games with luck/overachievement.

    I think it’s going to take some pretty dramatic improvement to the win totals projected here. I’m expecting more like 70 wins.

  8. @7
    It depends on your definition of depth. They’ll have 2 capable catchers at AAA who have had MLB time, then on the MLB roster: 3 guys that can play 1b, 3 guys that can play 2b, 3 guys that can play SS, 4 guys that can play 3b, 3-4 guys that can play RF, 2 guys that can play Cf, and 2 guys that can play RF. IMO, most of these (outside of Freeman’s backup) are a wash at productivity as one is just as likely to be slightly better or slightly worse.

    At the MILB level, positionally that’s a different story.

  9. I think he probably means quality of depth. Beckham and Bonifacio look pretty rough for 2B and 3B depth. But you do have Castro who could hit lefties pretty well at 2B, SS, and 3B, and then you’ve got Peterson and Johnson who will hit righties well at 2B (and KJ for third). Center looks pretty rough behind Inciarte since Bourn and Bonifacio will almost certainly suck, but you could slot KJ also in LF if Olivera gets hurt. Same thing with KJ in right if necessary. I imagine that Beckham/Bonifacio will be on the roster as in-game depth, but if there’s an injury, I could see Castro getting the call and getting some extended play. I’ve said this before that if Fredi plays the platoon right, you could get some pretty decent production on the handedness sides of each platoon based on historical numbers.

  10. Last I heard, Lee still wants a major league deal, and I wouldn’t give that kind of guarantee to a guy who hasn’t pitched in over a year and will be turning 37, no matter how healthy he thought he was or how good he was when he was in his prime.

    I expect the Braves to win between 65 and 80 games this year. I’d be surprised if they won more and I’d be surprised if they won less.

  11. Chacin Hasongou
    so many have predicted to finish at twelve and two
    or douze et deux
    depending on whether you call it butter or beurre.

  12. @ 17

    John – you have championed the cause since day 1 for which much thanks…ignore such European frippery! Cheers.

    Alex..the things we learn.

  13. let’s welcome the Cuban defector
    suggesting he steer to our vector
    we could send our own boat
    learning Spanish by rote
    then pray that he’s better than Hector.

  14. @15, 18

    Those are exactly the kinds of imaginative leaps we need to be taking to propel us through the slow season.

    Bravo and encore.

  15. Damn Georgia Tech French class. Don’t expect to learn a foreign language at an engineering school.

  16. Id give Cliff Lee a major league guarantee offer. Low Salary with huge incentives. He should know if he pitches well then he will be traded to a contender down the stretch.

  17. I think a whole lotta teams would like that kind of deal with Cliff Lee. The $6-8 mil guarantee request is the stumbling block. It’s a lot to risk for a guy who hasn’t pitched in nearly 2 years, but it’s not my money, Lee was a 7 WAR pitcher in his last full season, and the same group risked $6 mil for Trevor Cahill and $4 mil guaranteed to Gavin Floyd. Unless it diverts money from the international investments, I’d be glad to see us take the gamble–it’s not like the payroll is prohibitive at this point.

  18. Consider this guys:

    Right now, there is a glut of starting pitchers and unless the franchise creates a new minor league team the Braves will be hard-pressed to find them all rotation spots between the levels. Adding Cliff Lee or any other low-risk/high-reward veteran starting pitcher may very well look to be really intelligent on paper, it also decreases the likelihood that a young pitcher who is Major League ready gets to adjust at the big league level when the team isn’t really looking to compete. Norris, Chacin, Kendrick, and Volstad are already clogging the pipeline between MLB and AAA. From there, the pipeline continues to back up and you’ve either got pitchers being kept in leagues that they’ve already mastered or moving to the bullpen of higher levels.

    As cousin Eddie would say… Shitter’s full.

  19. Turns out, I’ll be in the Central Florida when spring training begins, so a question for those who have experienced Braves ST games in Kissimmee: Have you sat on “the lawn”? Or the Gen. Adm. area? Is there a best experience at Champion Stadium?

    Six-plus years of French here — worst 9th-grade decision I ever made.

    Kids, learn Spanish — it’s way more useful.

  20. What on earth are we doing with Chris Volstad? When did we sign him?

    He is the least impressive major league starting pitcher I have ever seen.

  21. I took Japanese and German at Tech and don’t recall a thing from either of them (although I do have some Japanese from all the years of judo). Totally agree with you JohnWDB… don’t expect to learn a foreign language at an engineering school.

  22. @28, No experience at Champion Stadium, but if you venture afield a bit:

    -Pleasantest place I saw a game was in Dunedin. Pick a noon game, go to breakfast early at Ida’s across the street, show up when the doors open at 10 and watch the Jays and Braves take BP. Cozy place, old school feel.
    -Nicest park of the 6 I went to was where the Orioles play in Sarasota. The place is just beautiful. Very classy design, and the best place to sit is–well, everywhere at any of these parks is a great place to sit–but I liked the bar/table seats in left field a lot.

  23. #32
    Thnx. Doing Disney/Orlando, then Canaveral/Cocoa Beach, so unfortunately I’ll be on “the other side” of the state.

    Been awhile since I’ve seen ST. Saw the Braves when they shared that facility in West Palm with the Expos. Saw the Yanks in Ft. Lauderdale… that’s how long.

    My memories:
    Saw a rookie Tom Glavine lose 1-0 to the Yankees in Ft. Laud. I remember thinking that he reminded me of Fred Norman — an undersized lefty who displayed a bit of toughness. Little did we know…

    On my way to my car, I came across Tim Raines getting into an argument with his wife/GF. He looked genuinely upset, so I steered clear of him.

    Went looking for the restroom at the park in Ft. Laud, took a wrong turn & ended up getting an up-close view of Don Mattingly (in his prime) taking batting practice in a cage underneath the stadium. Beside Mattingly & the coach, I was the only one there & I didn’t say a word.

    After an Expos/Astros game, met Rush singer Geddy Lee in the parking lot & got him to autograph a baseball for a friend (who really hated Rush). Yes, the lyrics to “Limelight” came to mind.

  24. lee bains! I was able to open for them once a couple years ago when they stopped through our (super) tiny town, and in addition to putting on a hell of a show, they’re just really cool people. genuinely sweet, sharp, & engaged dudes. so neat they’re taking off.

  25. @28

    I love me some lawn at Champions and Jet Blue down in Fort Myers. There ain’t nothing like sitting on some lush grass in March in Florida. I defy you to beat that.

  26. @32

    Dunedin has a nice stadium. Parking’s pretty easy, and it’s smack in the middle of Dunedin. I feel like I live in the mecca of Spring Training baseball, as I think we have 5 teams within an hour, and another 2 if Pirates/Braves come to St. Pete as proposed. If I’m willing to drive a couple hours, I think I can get to about 9 or 10 teams. Maybe more.

    If anyone finds themselves on the west coast of Florida during ST, let me know. I think I’ll hit all the Braves games within an hour, and then one over in O-Town.

  27. If that article that Ryan C posted doesn’t make you excited for the near future, check your pulse. Judging by what the author and some commenters posted, it looks more like 38-39 starters for 25 spots. I’m sure the Braves know better than us who the true starting pitchers are and will move some to the bullpens.

  28. ububba at 32,

    If you haven’t checked out Birnbaum’s guide to Disney, you need to. Great accurate review of wait times, how to avoid waits, restaurants, which day of the week to go to each park. Super Super info.

  29. #35
    Yeah, from looking at the website, the lawn looked kinda cool — I think I’m sold.

    Will do, thnx.

    I’m kinda along for this ride on the Disney thing — nieces, in-laws, etc. — doing whatever they want for a few days. If I can steal away for a game (or 2), I’ll be plenty happy.

    Yup, great live band. Saw them twice at the Knitting Factory & they really blazed. The rhythm section was rocking heavy Bama gear both times, which I found a little amusing, given the venue.

  30. Loved going to Ft. Lauderdale to see the Yankees. In ’93 there I watched a then unknown Greg McMichael strike out Boggs and Mattingly (swinging, both) consecutively* — even the most venerable Yankees fans in attendance had to momentarily suspend their wolf-whistling of spring breakers 60 years their junior to take notice**.

    * Boggs and Mattingly had struck out a combined 74 times in 1284 PAs in ’92.

    ** They soon went back to it.

  31. I will be experiencing a first. I have to go to San Diego for work in early March and will bring my daughter and niece along. I’m arriving a few days early and we’re heading to Disneyland for a day. In a few more weeks, I’m taking my wife and two of our kids to Disneyworld. It will be interesting to compare the different parks, but from what I hear, Orlando is a lot better – especially since it has 4 major parks. However, the Anaheim park has some really cool things, especially the Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones Adventure. I would love to catch a Spring game in Orlando, but my wife and kids will want to spend every possible moment at Disneyworld.

  32. Daytona Beach, 1972 Spring Training

    Montreal Expos, can’t remember the other team.
    my first ever baseball game at any level – ‘why do they need four referees?’
    Gary Carter -even in ignorance he stood out a mile, RIP

    Got to Daytona from London in a chartered De Havilland Comet 4, the world’s first commercial jet liner on its debut..the second one blew up over the Mediterranean in quick time – turned out there was a basic design fault no one had thought of in jet airliners..the Comet was the guinea pig that paved the way for all that were to follow..

    A group of us had chartered our plane to escape the European winter for 10 days and see the Daytona 200, then the biggest bike race in the world…spring training/baseball was an impulse buy, had no idea…emigrated c/w family a couple of years later, no wall,found TBS and so baseball eased in and took over my sporting life. Happy Days.

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