Indians 5, Braves 3

Well, that could have gone better. The Indians have now won 11 games in a row, and the Braves have run into them at a bad time. They took a 2-0 lead in the 1st off Matt Wisler, who I thought was pretty lucky to only give up those 2 runs to start the game. He then settled down and pitched pitched pretty well, finishing the game on a strong note and picking up 9 strikeouts over his 6 total innings.

The Braves offense, meanwhile, appeared to have phoned it in before the first pitch. They were no-hit until the 6th inning, when two consecutive hits led off the inning and later came around to score and tie the game. Wisler was off the hook for the loss, and the Braves showed they hadn’t totally forgotten how to hit.

The game continued to roll merrily along until the 9th, when Arodys Vizcaino tried to keep it tied and failed miserably. He was shouldered with the loss when he got two outs and gave up three runs on two hits and two walks.

The Braves got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, after Jace Peterson hit a solo home run and Freddie Freeman tripled. Sandwiched between them, however, was Ender Inciarte and a reviewed call at first that could have gone either way, but looked like a tie to me (which used to go to the runner. Now it goes to whoever the replay guys in New York feel like it should.) Had Inciarte gotten on, the outcome of the game may have been different. I’m not even sure why managers are bothering with replay any more this season, since it’s been obvious for awhile now the calls are only going to be upheld. Replay has turned from a waste of time that could potentially help get the call right, to just a waste of time. MLB should just scrap it if the umps are going to fight back like this and render the whole system pointless.

Watching Francisco Lindor play shortstop this series has been nothing but a delight. His instincts are so Simmonsesque that for a few short moments he made it seem all was right again with the baseball world in Atlanta. Brilliant shortstop defense is truly something to behold. I got engaged this weekend to a man I knew was a keeper when he not only bought a Braves hat and started wearing it everywhere for me, but he also started making a noise of disgust whenever we watched a game together and Aybar was shown on the screen (something he picked up on without any commentary from me). Watching Lindor play tonight was almost enough to let him see what playing shortstop in Atlanta used to mean. Ah, the good ol’ days.

Aybar delenda est.

89 thoughts on “Indians 5, Braves 3”

  1. A man who doesn’t like Erick Aybar is a man worth keeping around. Congrats, ‘Rissa!

  2. I’ll stay contrarian in the delenda Neck camp. Aybad has reached BJ Upton levels where it’s so bad that I feel sorry for him. I can’t work up any hate there.

  3. I know many people on here disagree, but I like Markakis as a player. I think he would be a great player for a team with 4 to 5 good hitters. Problem is, Braves only have 1 good hitter and Markakis’ lack of power stands out. I think he’ll eventually get to the .280 BA range and will OPS close to .750. If he gets to that point, we may get a taker for him.

  4. Mauricio Cabrera
    has abandoned control for something much rarer
    outrageous velocities
    innately more fun than triangles isosceles.

  5. Sounds like a keeper, ‘Rissa, congrats. Instill in him the importance of brilliant shortstop defense, as so many here seem to be slipping.

  6. Congratulations, ‘Rissa. I suppose he knows what Wednesday date nights will look like.

  7. Surprisingly, after last night’s homerun, Jace Peterson is batting .271 with a .699 OPS. Statistically he is the 2nd most effective regular on the team now. This may say more about how bad we are, but he either needs to be considered as the 2nd baseman of the future or as a good trade piece. With Swanson and Albies, my suspicion is the latter. However, at his current pace, I think he’ll have a better year next year than at least one of the Swanson/Albies duo if they are both deemed ready.

  8. @16, Since both Albies and Swanson have struggled with their respective promotions to AAA and AA, I’m more than fine with watching Jace play second while he possibly improves his stock and the team continues to lose. (Meanwhile, would that Aybar had a .699 OPS.)

  9. @7

    Clicking through the minor league stats of our “prospects” at Gwinett and Mississippi is pretty depressing.

  10. Rissa,

    I hope marriage is as kind to you as your writing style is to the eye.

    Many good wishes.

  11. Congrats ‘Rissa. I truly appreciate your recaps.

    I think Jace nose dived last year because of an injury. Maybe this is the real Jace.

  12. @19

    Yeah, I don’t want to panic just yet. However, the results some of these guys have put up for the last season and a half is worrisome.

    It seems like we have a lot of average to slightly above average guys. I think are farms system may be a little overrated.

    It may be the reason you would look to deal Julio. We are moving to a new park and there are only a few guys in the upper levels that are good. Most of the talent is in Rome and below.

  13. Isranel Wilson hit a HR for Danville, the first of many I’m sure. Carolina is terrible. Rome is terrible. Neither team can hit.

  14. Imagine the 2017 Braves with Andrelton and Gattis back in the lineup. I’d sit in traffic until the 8th inning every night to see that.

  15. But instead of Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons we could have a bunch of guys who will never play in the majors and why wouldn’t you want that?

  16. Has the Texas Tech guy signed yet? I think he has more leverage than any player ever in the Braves system. If he doesn’t sign, everyone will get fired.

  17. Look I love Gattis and Simmons as much as anyone, especially Simmons, but Gattis is hitting .222/.290/.439 mostly at DH and Simmons is at .226/.257/.289. While I like to root for them, they weren’t the answer.

  18. @31 – Enough of your facts. We indulge in our own personal imagined realities here.

  19. 30—He hasn’t signed, but he will. Very few kids who have participated in the CWS have signed already.

    You drastically overstate his leverage. If he wants to screw the Braves and renege on the $5K or $10K agreement he has, he’ll have to sit out of pro ball for a year, likely go the independent-league route, and then try to get into a real organization as a 23-year-old free agent next year. That’s…not likely to happen.

    And if he doesn’t sign, the only guy likely to be fired, if anyone, is the scout who guaranteed that he’ll sign. It’s not even as if the whole draft would be ruined — they’d just back out of their deal with Rowland, for example, and then probably have the money to sign Anthony or at least Shumpert. It’d be a bad look, but hardly a disaster.

  20. Hey, I was just saying Gattis and Andrelton were fun to watch and made me an enthusiastic fan. And I miss that.

    PS: Gattis’ OPS would be second on the 2016 Braves.

    @33, Hell, I bet we could put Andrelton at shortstop and he could both outhit and outfield Aybar!

  21. Thanks everyone for your kind words! As it turned out, he was able to surprise me completely with the timing of the proposal, and I was randomly wearing a Braves shirt at the time. At least he knows what he’s getting into, and not everything associated with the Braves this season with be a depressing memory in my mind.

  22. @34, I thought they pretty much can’t back out of done deals, and Neslony has to sign for like $5K, otherwise we lose next year’s first round pick. To me that’s about as leverage-y as you can get. If it’s not that dramatic then that’s good…I’m not clear on how much wiggle room we have.

  23. @31 Those numbers would fit in nicely with the rest of the Braves offense this season. There’s really no “answer” for the 2017 team. But Gattis and Simmons would be a whole lot more watchable non-answers than all of the non-answers currently on the roster (although Inciarte is growing on me). Since the announcement of the move to SunTrust Park, I had been planning on taking a trip to Turner Field this season to go there one last time, but this team has convinced me not to waste my money. If Simmons were on the team, though, I would still have planned to attend. His watchability would make an assumed loss more tolerable.

  24. 38—I don’t know this for certain, but I’ve assumed that all these contracts are drafted in such a way that backing out can happen w/r/t the overslot guys if the underslot guys fail to hold up their end of the bargain. The Astros famously backed out of their deal with Jacob Nix when their deal with Brady Aiken fell apart. And if the Braves can back out of deals, they’ll back out of one or two with the non-super-premium draftees instead of facing the pick penalty next year.

    Neslony has to sign for $10,304 or less.

    Switching gears, regarding Ogando from the other day…I, too, was surprised that he was the one who got axed, because he’s not been bad. I agree that he’ll be traded for something here in the next few days. Another thing that just occurred to me, though, is that, per Cot’s, he had $1.5 million in incentives in his deal with the Braves — I’m guessing he was getting close enough to starting to achieve some of them that it made him expendable sooner rather than later.

    Along those lines, Jim Johnson has appeared in 27 games so far, and his incentives start kicking in at 40 appearances — I would expect him to make no more than 12 more appearances in a Braves uniform this year.

  25. @37 Is your guy a fan of another team? Convert him. Although I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t, considering the product on the field these days.

    I think Inciarte will get to good player level here soon. He is a terrific defender from what I’ve seen.

  26. Losing Simmons was, and remains, a tough pill to swallow. Young, fun to watch, relatively affordable, lots of team control = the kind of guy you build around. With that said, if the Braves brass knew they were getting Swanson soon, and with Albies already in the system, it probably made sense to move Simmons. Just wish they’d gotten more back for him.

    Gattis was older, was actually a pretty bad hitter who happened to have power, and had a really high potential to turn into a pumpkin/ get injured, especially if he had to “play” a position. He’s a guy with a lot more value to an AL team than an NL team – no issue at all with moving him. And I liked watching him too, but…

    If they trade Teheran though we should riot.

  27. Seeing Lindor at short has picked the scab off the wound. Lindor made some spectacular plays last night, but he doesn’t possess the body control Simmons has.

  28. from Jim Bowden:

    3. Atlanta Braves: The Braves don’t have much to sell, especially because they don’t want to move first baseman Freddie Freeman. They say they’re not intending to trade Julio Teheran, but with such a slim trade market for starting pitchers, someone is going to make them an offer they can’t refuse. In addition, expect the Braves to do well in deals for reliever Arodys Vizcaino and outfielder Nick Markakis.

    Why would anyone trade us anything for Nick Markakis?

  29. I’m almost happy for Melvin Upton Jr. at this point, but I don’t regret one bit wanting him gone. And considering getting him gone also essentially cost us Craig Kimbrel, I still don’t like him. But I’m glad he is finding some success.

  30. Max Fried tossed a good one for Rome today. 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 9 K.

    Of the 4 baserunners he allowed, he picked 2 off first base.

    After making only 5 starts in 2014, I think this season will just be about throwing innings. Next season I think we see him start climbing levels.

  31. There’s no reason anyone would give us anything of value for Markakis. If he was in a walk year and we were paying some of the freight, maybe he has use as veteran presents or a pinch hitter, etc. Dude’s signed for two more years, though.

  32. Odd question, but I figure I’m in the right spot: does anyone know any, specifically, RE/MAX Realtors in the Cobb County/Marietta area? Thanks folks.

  33. And Joey Wentz made his pro debut today for the GCL Braves. 3 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 4 K.

    That’s one BB better than Kyle Muller’s debut yesterday: 3 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 4 K.

  34. #48 – Someone will want Markakis, we just might need to eat a good portion of the contract in order to get something valuable back.

  35. I started to wonder who would actually play right field if we dealt Markakis, but then I remembered that Olivera will be back by August 1st, so Francoeur can slide over to right. No worries!

    Assuming Olivera doesn’t actually return to the ML club, we could be looking at Bonifacio-Inciarte-Francoeur. Or maybe Garcia or Peterson moves to left when Beckham returns.

    Whatever the solution: LOL!

  36. @23 Any farm system without one guy who probably could hit 25 MLB HRs is overrated.

    And I still contend there is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  37. @43 No, he’s never cared too much for baseball in the past. He’s a football and basketball type of guy. He knows that baseball/Braves fandom comes with me, though, and he’s embraced it. Becoming a fan of this team, though, has ensured that no one will ever be able to accuse him of being a fair-weather fan.

  38. 59—My guess is Harrington or Rowland. Those are the two in the price range where voiding their bonus (if allowed) would give the Braves enough to more than double their offer to Anthony, but not so much that they could’ve made (and then had to rescind) similarly-increased offers to guys like Jabara and Monica, too. Like, if it were Bryse Wilson, they’d have been flush with extra cash, and I think we’d have been hearing about more late picks than just Anthony who got better offers rescinded.

    Very strange.

  39. Sign Neslony for $10k and set his A-ball salary at $300k or whatever it takes. Get it done Coppy.

  40. It has to be post round 10, or else they have to sign the player to SOMETHING or else lose the whole slot allowance. A guy after round 10 they can just say “See ya,” and it wouldn’t effect the pool.

    So Rowland?

  41. No, it could be an overslot guy in the first 10 rounds, too, because they’d save the difference between bonus and slot and be able to spend it elsewhere.

  42. But 1 through 10, they have to hope the player doesn’t bail altogether like Aiken did on the Astros.

  43. RHP Brock Stewart is starting tonight for the Dodgers. This is a real scouting find. He was drafted out of Illinois state in the 6th round in 2014. He only really pitched in his senior year, and then almost solely in relief. In 26.2 innings, he struck out 30 guys against 8 walks with a 2.36 ERA.

    He was mediocre in the minors with a good K/BB ratio until this year when he started dominating. He has recorded 99K against 14BB in 86 IP over 14 starts with a 1.47 ERA. Opponents are hitting .186.

  44. I think I’m missing your point, jjschiller. Aiken falling through hurt the Astros because he was going to sign for significantly under slot (the Braves’ comp would be Ian Anderson in this draft), and they were going to use those savings to sign others (like Nix). Conversely, losing an overslot guy would actually give the team more money to spread around to others.

    So, that’s why I said Harrington may have been the guy with the medical issue — they’d have lost $788K in allotted pool money, but they’d have gained the $900K for which he signed, netting $112K more dollars to offer to Anthony.

  45. F’ing success! is pitching in one of the AA all star games. That’s pretty cool actually.

  46. I’ve really enjoyed following the rebuild and seeing the team (in theory) being built from the ground up. I’m even stomaching the realization that with a team on pace to win 55-60 games this year, they drafted an 18-year old pitcher, but this Josh Anthony story is so completely irrelevant and the result of our ML team being so bad. I can’t prove it, but I can almost guarantee this kinda thing has happened to other teams around the league, and has probably happened to the Braves in the past, but we were 1) so focused on the ML team that we didn’t care (I mean, seriously, where was the outrage over the Sean Gilmartin pick?) and 2) we didn’t have social media to ram these irrelevant stories down our throat.

  47. Another way of saying that is why is there outrage about this mistake, but there was no outrage about having a bottom-5 system in baseball right up until the moment Frank Wren was fired? It’s not irreconcilable to say that the Braves are successfully building through the draft and player development but they made a mistake on the draft and player development.

  48. @60, came here to post the private lots story but you beat me to it. The gift that keeps on giving, keeps on giving.

    @71, it’s not 1994 anymore and you don’t win Executive of the Year just for outwitting a bunch of ex-backup catchers in GM chairs these days. The line between smartest front office and 29th smartest front office is reeeeeeal thin, and when you’ve staked your plan on mastering the minor leagues, this is not a confidence inspiring look.

  49. There are probably a handful of teams whose fans are really following the minor leagues. There are even less that are clinging to the prospects as the hope for the future because the major league team is so bad. Then, there are few blogs where the people are as sharp as us (little biased, I know) and are following the minor leagues in such a detailed fashion. After all, we have a guy who keeps a spreadsheet of the draft pool and payroll! You’re right that the margin of errors for major league GMs is small, but that doesn’t mean “one act of carelessness = indictment of knowledge and aptitude”. I’m not arguing that major league baseball front offices are closer together than they are farther apart, but I’m arguing that we’re the some of the only people who would know something like this happened and it’s a bit of an overreaction.

    The fact that we have hitched our wagon to more young pitching than any other team in major league baseball and yet we’re starting a 27-year old non-prospect signed off the scrapheap tonight is an indictment of how well this rebuild is going. Every day we don’t start a prospect, that’s an indictment of this front office.

  50. #74 – Disagree. We aren’t going to rush a prospect and most of our pitching isn’t ready. We also aren’t going to start a prospect on short rest which is why De La Cruz is pitching tonight. I think you a reading into this start a little too much.

  51. Let the prospects develop at their own pace. I’d prefer to watch them struggle in minor league box scores rather than in Atlanta.

    Meanwhile, try to establish value for your major league pieces, including the guy going on the mound tonight.

    And the Braves margin for error on draft foulups is a lot smaller than other teams because we’re a lot more terrible than other teams, and the price of fudging a total rebuild is that you stay terrible. That’s why our GM has to be better than their GM. There’s no other way out for the Braves than the plan that’s being executed, and if it ain’t being executed we’re in trouble.

    Meanwhile, I’m beyond fretting about losing. I like when we win, but I don’t think it’s this team’s mission to win. They’ve already slashed ticket prices as low as you can go without giving them away. As long as we lose while developing players, signing the players we draft, and trading assets for positive returns, I can handle the losing.

  52. Maybe Coppolella and co. should spend a little less time hamming it up on Twitter and a little more time reading the damned transactions rulebook. I don’t care if other teams do or don’t have these problems. Just fix it.

    It’s a good thing that fans can overreact to front office mistakes. Make them earn their salaries.

  53. @75, @77

    There is an expectation at this point in the rebuild that there is a multitude of depth in high minors starting pitchers that we could have had someone ready to start tonight. With that said, I am confident that by the end of the year, if we need someone to make a spot start, there will be at least one more option out of Ellis, Newcomb, and Sims. And that’s assuming Teheran stays and Jenkins stays in the pen.

    The reason I’m placing a lot of emphasis on one particular start is because of how important these major league starts are specifically because of our strategy for the rebuild. Is it the end of the world that someone will make 9 starts instead of 10? No, but if we have more than a small handful of non-prospects or value-builders making starts in 2016, we have a lot of problems.

  54. I think the braves should have left Jenkins in the rotation and this could’ve been his start, but they disagree

  55. @72. I follow Latos’ wife on Twitter. I honestly believe she is to blame for some of it. She is literally certifiably crazy in that hot/to crazy ratio that’s broken.

  56. Caesar’s wife
    a stage removed from all the strife
    claims she’s far above suspicion
    weakened as she founded the PED tradition.

  57. 0.2/0/0/0/0/0

    Mauricio’s debut last night
    a much needed shot of delight
    round a hundred and three
    we might tend to agree
    an element, surely, of fright.

  58. Albies back to AA to play 2nd. According to Peanut the Braves want him playing with Dansby on a regular basis

  59. @85

    Sounds like Dansby may get the call soon then.

    Edit: Never mind. I don’t get sending him back a level.

  60. Albies hasn’t been very good at AAA, and Dansby hasn’t been so good at AA that he’s forcing a promotion. This makes sense to me. Should also give them longer to work together.

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