Little Big League: Braves 2, Cheesesteaks 8

[The selection of this movie is a tribute to Brian Snitker. He has taken what appeared to be a useless and woebegone team and it appears as if they are now merely “not good enough to contend.” The overarching reason for the “fit” is that good motivation from a manager can make a team a better team, but in the end, that is not enough.]

Billy Heywood inherits his grandfather’s baseball team (insert Schuerholz, Bobby Cox, and even Fredi who is actually younger than Snit). He changes the clubhouse culture. The team seems now to enjoy playing. They seem to put out effort.

Our Billy Heywood has turned the previously “burned toast” Erick Aybar into a somewhat competent hitter and fielder. Not good, but no longer historically awful. Erick pays back the confidence with a first inning solo homer. (Yes, Aybar batted second, and it didn’t seem totally insane. Way to go Snit!!!)

But on July 4, Billy runs out of Major League talent at pitcher. So, he throws Joel De La Cruz against the wall. The fireworks erupt in the second, leading to 7 runs. But our Billy Heywood leaves De La Cruz in (why change up at that point) and he pitches 4 scoreless innings. And, our Billy Heywood doesn’t burn down his bullpen.

After the second, each side scores a run. That gives our final score.

55 thoughts on “Little Big League: Braves 2, Cheesesteaks 8”

  1. For any of you in ear shot of Chattanooga, Dr. Basketball on Sports Talk died yesterday.

  2. How would everyone feel about a 2018 line up of:

    CF Smith
    2B Albies
    1B Freeman
    3B Yoan Moncada
    SS Swanson
    RF Inciarte
    LF Benintedi/Peterson
    C Flowers (or whomever)

  3. That is the cost. It’s up to Boston to pay it or not. Clearly, they prefer to trade us a collection of prospects ranked #6-#30 in their system, but that doesn’t get it done for 4+ years of Teheran/vizzy

  4. DOB reports that Erick Aybar is generating trade interest.
    I repeat: DOB reports that Erick Aybar is generating trade interest.

  5. Putting aside the dream return for a moment, let us pause to appreciate the year Tyler Flowers is having.

    .255 .348 .416 .764 with a 0.8 WAR for a back up catcher is probably a lot better than most of us expected. And, I think, the most impressive thing he’s done is to restore Teheran’s confidence to the point where he’ll pitch inside and to pitch well. MAYBE well enough to net us Moncada and Benintiendi….

  6. 6—Exactly. We either keep Teheran, or we get a package like that. This is what Coppy has implied publicly, and it’s what the industry chatter seems to be, too.

  7. The Red Sox are at least feigning complete disinterest in trading Moncada or Beinintendi. It’s ok. We can find other trade partners.

  8. If Teheran was on another team with the same deal and came on the market. We should be in on him too. He is not just valuable to contending teams, but team that are 2-3 year away as well.

    That’s why I think we trade him.

  9. @2

    If we let Liberty Media off that easy then we should be ashamed as fans. That lineup makes no money, and with no Teheran or Vizcaino, the rotation makes no money, and the bullpen makes no money. That lineup plus what you would expect on the other side of the ball would be a $80M payroll team.

    We were told by Hart that we would be “competitive” in the free agent market in 2015/2016, and that proved to be untrue. We took on Swisher/Bourn for CJ to put all of CJ’s costs within 2016, we went stingy on 2016 payroll to put more into the draft and international market, and we’re opening a new stadium. If all of those things equal a $80M payroll in 2017/2018, then we’ve all been lied to as fans.

    Any 2018 lineup that does not include at least 3 established, post-arb position players (that are better than Tyler Flowers), then we’ve all been lied to.

  10. @12

    I agree.


    That’s a pretty stout line up. I assume we would go after an upgrade at catcher too.

  11. I don’t hate that lineup, but our starting pitching would still have us losing 100 games.

  12. @16

    Right, and that’s the problem: it’s a cheap, cut-rate team. If the goal for the future rebuild is to use the existing talent within the organization and not add about $30-40M in payroll, then we’re screwed. I don’t know what names go on the jerseys and how they get on the jerseys, but $30-40M would really help this team.

  13. 17 – hasn’t DOB mentioned that our expected payroll for 2017 is supposed to be in the $120m+ range?

    Only problem is the FA market sucks and I doubt we want to take on bad contracts

  14. @17

    We were fed BS last November that we would take on payroll for 2016. When we didn’t, I asked Peanut why we didn’t, and he said it was because of the money taken on for Swisher/Bourn. But that happened in August. How we were fed BS by Hart in November that was nullified by events in August is one of the unanswered questions of this administration. I don’t care that we gapped the Josh Anthony situation, but I sure as hell care that we were told there would probably be another $10-15M for player payroll for 2016 and there wasn’t. Forget the dollar-to-WAR ratio stuff that people like to throw out. Ian Desmond was available for $7M on a pillow deal, and he’d look a lot better in LF right about now. And I’m sure there are other examples. And you could make the case that a power-ish bat like Ian Desmond would have a lot more value than 1 win if you follow the “1 FA WAR = $7M” routine.

  15. I’m willing to accept that this year’s payroll is mostly about trying to lose and get another high pick. The open question is when/if we’re going to try to win. The timeline really depends on the pitching that everyone is so in love with. Right now I don’t think it’s looking all that great.

  16. I read that the Braves had 12-13 international signees. I can’t find a complete listing. Any hints?


  17. We have enough talent currently to win 75-85 games next season. If the Braves fail to win 90 next year, it will be because the organization categorically refused to spend more money on the ML payroll. If that’s the case, then we’ve absolutely been lied to again. And if they spend more money in 2017, it will mostly be for multi-year players, which Coppy said they would do. He specifically said they are done with “rental players”. Let’s just see if they do what they said they’re going to do. So the 2018 lineup can’t look like that, unless by “multi-year players” and “major league ready players”, Coppy meant 21-year old prospects in double-A like Moncada and Benintendi.

  18. @20, I thought the problem with Desmond was that he cost a draft pick because he received a QO. When he signed, there was conversation on here about what a disaster it was for Texas, and here he’s on pace for a 7 WAR season. He has to be the best single-season FA signing in recent history.

  19. Moncada fills a huge need for us and I’d love to have him (just don’t think Boston will give him up). Benintendi would be yet another OF with zero power – I think we’re good on that front already.

    If you want to try to win next year then you have to spend money on pitching.

  20. @26

    I’m inclined to agree with spending money on pitching, but three months can change a lot of that. I’d love to see Newcomb, Blair, Ellis, and Sims make 2 more months of starts (we’ll know a lot more about those guys 10 starts from now), and see if Folty stays healthy and effective. The pen is also shaping up really well, especially if Vizzy stays both present and healthy.

    If we go into Spring Training next year with Teheran, Wisler, Folty, one of Jenkins/Blair/Ellis/Sims/Newcomb, and a couple of FA flyers like Bud Norris, I can live with that.

  21. @25, yeah, I was on not on that wagon, but I thought he was done done. The guy was the worst position player in baseball in 2015. If anyone suspected that a shift to CF would create this result, they kept mum.

    Better to be lucky than good.

  22. Player A : .235/.325/ .326/ .651 OPS+ 77

    Player B: .254 /.334/.344/.678 OPS+ 85

    They play the same position. One makes double what the other one makes.

  23. 26—Benintendi has slugged .535 in the minors, with an ISO of .224. 17 homers in 574 PAs. He’s not a slugger, but it’s absurd to lump him in with Inciarte and Smith.

  24. The Brewers batted out of order yesterday. I guess that’s probably a low-water mark for any bad season. At least we haven’t done that yet.

  25. To be fair, Jason Heyward always slumps in April–it’s not his fault this April ran through early July

  26. Teheran scratched from Wedneday’s start with a thigh infection, Tyrell Jenkins to get the start.

  27. Thigh infection?

    Good that we are giving Tyrell a start, hope he stays and the guy that pitched yesterday can go back to Gwinnett

  28. Thigh infection = a boil most likely. A sweat gland or pore that gets clogged and infected. Seen em happen to various athletes of my acquaintance.

    It’s a leg zit that gets out of hand…..sorry if you’re eating.

  29. Just checked in on on Kyle Lewis. He’s got 16 games under his belt for Everett in the short season low-A Northwest League.

    63 AB, 15 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 BB, 10 K, 1 SB, .238/.342/.397/.739

    Not bad for getting your feet wet in professional ball.

  30. I hope Beckham becomes the primary 3b when he returns. (I guess to at least showcase him for trade for a live arm or something). Garcia does nothing well.

  31. In related news, Rio Ruiz is hitting .274/369/374. Disappointed he isn’t hitting for more power, but that’s a decent line. Wonder if he will be given a look to be the 2017 3b.

  32. I believe Allard is the only #1 Ace type pitching prospect that the Braves have. Newcomb is a #3/4 SP type, IMO.

    Don’t know enough about Fried.

  33. What are the odds the Braves can develop a #1 type, a #2 type, a #3 type, a #4 type and a #5 type for all this effort?

  34. @50

    Not good. I doubt we have this even now, on the farm. The downside of favoring ONE thing over everything else is you DAMN WELL better be right. My suspicion as I’ve said, ad nauseum, is that most of these pitching prospects are suspects and will never be anything. Out of the lot of them, the Braves will be lucky to get one above average MLB pitcher and the rest are just going to be guys.

  35. I don’t see how anyone could possibly know yet. But…if the best arms are in rookie ball then it’s going to be a long wait.

  36. Wisler and Folty are pretty safe bets to be #4 and #5 starters, if not 3/4. In fact, you might have 1/3/4/5 covered already with Teheran/Wisler/Folty/Gant or Perez. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Jenkins or Blair at the ML level, but they’re way too young to write off (cause, ya know, Glavine). I really don’t know what you need to see from a bunch of 23 year olds pitching in the big leagues for the first time to be impressed. We’re not looking for 7 José Fernandez’s here.

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