Braves 5, Marlins 4. A Prospect Looks at Fifty.

The Braves hopes for taking the rubber game of the 3 game series were almost broken in the 8th as Jose Ramirez left a 4 – 2 lead unprotected, courtesy of a two run homer by Marcell Ozuna. However, Brandon Phillips came through in the 9th with his 2nd walk off hit in as many days, clinching the Braves 2nd straight series victory.  Johan Camargo singled and scored the game winner, and was key in a 4 run 7th inning, with a pinch single RBI and subsequent run scored.

Mike Foltynewicz shut out the Marlins for 5 innings before surrendering a couple of runs in the 6th.  He did a good job escaping the inning only allowing 2 runs, needing to strike out A.J. Ellis and retire J.T. Riddle with the bases loaded to keep the Braves in the game, down 2 – 0.

Today marked Folty’s 50th Major League start, and coming into it, his career numbers as a starter include 273 IP, 303 H, 235 K, a 4.71 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  Throwing out his egregious 2015 first season in Atlanta, Folty seems to have leveled off as approximately the pitcher he was in 2016, where he posted 123 IP, 125 H, 111 K, 4.31 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.  Mike’s had a number of outstanding starts, but we are building enough data to begin to conclude that this is the pitcher he is going to be.

However, at age 25 there’s still plenty of season left to see if he can make those outstanding starts more consistently and get to the kind of end of season numbers that make championship rotations. Foltynewicz provides a reminder about rebuilding – the timeline doesn’t start when the prospects get here, it starts when they get here and produce.  It will be interesting to see how many seasons of adjustment it takes the next wave of prospects to begin to produce championship numbers at the Major League level.

The Braves have now clawed back into a tie for 2nd in the NL East, and San Francisco comes to town on Monday.

The 2nd funniest thing I ever heard about Miami: “Made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast.” – Jimmy Buffett.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

73 thoughts on “Braves 5, Marlins 4. A Prospect Looks at Fifty.”

  1. How about we run off a 9-3 record against a struggling bunch of teams here and go into July the 4th at .500?

  2. Folty is 18 months older than Sean Newcomb. I really don’t think we know what we have right now with him. He’s way too young for his statistical prime. To be fair, same thing with Julio Teheran, but it’s been harder for me to be patient with him. Maybe that’s because of the velo drop and yearly bouts with long-term ineffectiveness.

    Folty’s ERAs by month this year:
    April (4 starts): 2.32
    May (5 starts): 6.12
    June (4 starts): 3.86

    Here’s another breakdown:
    Starts where he didn’t get past the 4th (4 starts): 14.88
    Every other start (9 starts): 1.94

    Another breakdown:
    Innings per start: 5.5 IP
    Pitches per start: 92

    He’s an extremely talented, lights-out-when-on SP who has erratic moments that skew his overall performance. Or, he’s a young pitcher. I keep going back to James Shields as a comp, and aside from Shield’s rotten years, Folty would be so lucky to match that career. As would the Braves.

  3. Adams to NYY
    Garcia to HOU/Cubs
    Phillips to LAA
    JJ to Anywhere

    Get it done, Coppy!

  4. Smoltz should give Folty his sports psychologist’s number.

    The funniest thing about that funniest thing about Miami line is somewhere there is some sheet music with lyrics and it indicates the chorus should sing “pissed it away so fast”. That has always seemed funny to me. I can see the back up singers seeing this for the first time and thinking I have to sing just “pissed it away so fast”?

  5. I thought Folty’s sixth inning showed more than his previous five. He battled through the mess and limited damage to two runs. Expecting starters to throw blanks forever is a high standard.

  6. Folty’s 2017 stats look similar to his 2016 stats … but 2017 is a different run environment, with offense up league-wide. I think he’s still getting better.

  7. His ERA+ was 96 last year, and it sits at 103 this year, so a little bit of improvement. Plus, time is absolutely on his side. One would assume he’ll continue to get better. A 3.60 ERA puts you at a 120 ERA+ right now, which you’d definitely accept out of him for his age.

    You could also make the argument that Folty was “rushed”. He came up with only 24 starts under his belt in the high minors, and he was hardly dominant. Compared to how the current crop of prospects are being handled, he should have expected more time in the minors.

  8. @6 Smoltz’s psychologist was Jack Llewellyn – turns out he also worked with Tom Glavine! Dr. Llewellyn has conveniently included contact information on his homemade-looking website so Folty can get on that whenever he’s ready.

    It’s tempting to play armchair scout/psychologist with a guy like Folty who has dynamite stuff but suffers from wildly inconsistent results from start to start. Perhaps the problem is confidence, perhaps it’s focus, perhaps it’s mechanics – hard to say, exactly. Folty definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve right now… when things are going good he looks like an uber-confident predator on the mound. When he’s going bad he looks like he’s trying to hide within his own jersey, his body language says “whipped dog” and he pitches defensively instead of proactively taking the battle to the hitter.

    On good days, Folty is a #2 starter, easy… and on his bad days (like that last Nationals start) Folty hardly belongs on a MLB mound at all. He’s shown some really impressive stuff at times this year and even though his overall 2017 stat line isn’t an improvement over 2016, I have seen signs that Folty has a real chance to break out and reach his #2-#3 starter potential. I suspect if Folty were more stoic on the mound we might have more patience with his ups and downs (which are pretty standard for a young pitcher). As it is, he gives off the vibe of failing due to psychology/mindset, which presents an “easy fix” in theory.

  9. I’m enjoying watching Camargo play. I know it’s still a small sample size, but he’s looking a lot like Martin Prado did when he was first called up at 23. Also with all the talk about Acuna at AA, Joey Meneses has put up almost identical numbers.

  10. Rio Ruiz
    rolls over too often to please
    Johan, au contraire
    flung daggers to first a bipartisan threat to health care.

    One day the necessity for every 100mph throw to draw Adams off the bag and up the line, requiring then his vigorous gloved assault on the runner, will end in tears.

    It’s been refreshing, and important, to have these two up for almost a month but that’s now time enough to be able to choose Camargo as the every day starter at third and send Rio back down. Both will then be playing baseball every day at their appropriate levels.

  11. Rio’s still young and shouldn’t be in the majors. Not saying he’ll turn into anything, but his development and promotion schedule have been unorthodox, so I’m not convinced of anything yet.

  12. @15
    One great song, Sam, one great song. Would we could claim such. But you had to be stoned they say.

  13. The Parting of the Red Sea

    Said Donald, of Moses the see
    each side of the bag thou shalt be
    the ball, if approaching
    be thou not encroaching
    The Riddler, just leave it to he.

  14. Early returns from Camargo have been good, especially in key situations. However, give him a few more weeks. Early returns for Ruiz this time around were also pretty good.

  15. @18

    just remembered..written in a taxi on the way to the airport.

    Sounds like it you would probably say.

  16. @4

    Adams to nowhere.

    Would there be dissent to the notion that his defense has now reached the level of Freddie’s? Certainly his picking is at least as good. Laterally neither are great but he is improving with everyday play. Going back on high fly foul balls Freddie has it. Hitting – a fair way to go yet!

  17. What does it matter? You have two 1Bs who can play nowhere else. They both can’t play on a NL roster. Adams would be an improvement over a 1B or DH on probably 10-12 AL teams and at least a few NL teams. There’s a wide buyer pool, and they could get a significant return for someone they just got for Juan Yepez, a promising A- 1B. Really shaping up to be one of the better moves of the rebuild.

  18. Jimmy Buffet is an abomination. His continued popularity is proof positive that humanity should be eradicated.

  19. 1. Matt Adams was a great pickup to fill in while Freeman was on the DL. He’s been very good, and should command more in return at the deadline than the Braves gave up to get him (which was more or less “nothing.”)

    2. Matt Adams can’t play anywhere but 1B, so unless you want to hold onto him as a PH (not a terrible idea; he’s a real power threat to have on the bench and a good PH, which we haven’t really seen in Atlanta since that guy that looked like a thumb that everyone loved.)

    3. If you don’t want to trade him, or use him as a PH (and then lose him to free agency), then you should ask yourself if you REALLY believe he’s become a reasonable facscimile of Freeman. If so, then see what you can get for Freddie. There’s only one guy allowed to play and bat as the 1B per game.

  20. @23

    It was certainly one of the better moves of the rebuild but why diminish its overall value by saying openly we have to move him?

    So i would say it does matter, the improvement he has made defensively in everyday play.It suggests any move to left field next year might produce an equivalent improvement to somewhere around or above the Matt Kemp level in everyday play. And, by general accord now, the Matt Kemp level has become acceptable.

    It would mean we can pick our deal for moving Kemp, someone with one year on offer. Adams has seven or eight, a fitter body, and even if Kemp somehow stays on we would have a highly productive back up first baseman/left fielder and excellent bench bat.

    Nor would he cost $18 million. How much/how long is his current contract? I bet he would be responsive to a long term extension now.


    We don’t know he can’t play a Matt Kemp level left field.


    Yes i could believe there’s a real chance of that. But it would be a false equivalence to treat them both just as hitters which Freddie is. Adams offers more flexibility in two positions and ,salary wise, might likely agree to an Ender type extension.We want both of them, of course.

    The Cardinals have made a colossal mistake. We can take advantage of it not for a few months but year after year.

    Anyway, cheers. Good to have you back. When are we going to write that great song?

  21. Trading Matt Adams is pretty straight forward. In addition to the other comments that have been made about his only being able to play 1B/DH, it’s important to keep in mind that he probably is not a .991 OPS player, as he has been for us. That is a combo of SSS and a juiced ball. He is likely to regress in the direction of his career .784.

    Adams is in his physical prime and in the best shape of his life, and we are likely getting a fluky sample from him in a juiced ball season. Another month of good output, and we may be able to shake loose a top prospect for him. If we sign him to a long-term deal, we are obligating ourselves to a major defensive liability that is almost certain to regress sharply.

  22. Blazon – A good friend of mine is a Cardinals fan who watched Adams’ attempts to play LF this year. He is 100% sure Adams does not belong in LF (ie, he’s sub-Kempian on D). Other MLB teams will be well aware that the Braves’ options to play Adams will be limited once Freeman comes back; the Braves can make all the noise they want about Adams being a valuable bench bat / backup 1B or whatever, doesn’t change the fact that the Braves’ best move is to sell high on Adams to a team who can use him as a starter.

    Also, there’s no chance Adams is as good a hitter as Freddie Freeman. None.

  23. We should trade Matt Adams and take the best offer, then pull for his team in the playoffs.

  24. @29 I do think that this year’s Matt Adams is much better than before. Just look at him. He is taking baseball seriously with all that yoga to get in shape.

  25. @29, “…it’s important to keep in mind that he probably is not a .991 OPS player, as he has been for us. That is a combo of SSS and a juiced ball. He is likely to regress in the direction of his career .784.”

    Maybe…but he’s also never played in STP before. Maybe this is the park he just flat was born to hit in.

    If he’s absolutely not an option in LF, then I think we should probably trade him. I’d let him hang for a few weeks after Freddie comes back. Give him a chance to hit a pinch-hit homer or two, make a couple spot starts where he keeps smacking the ball around. Trade him. Sell high. If he was adaptable, I’d think about keeping him, but it doesn’t sound like he is.

  26. @30

    Hey…I specifically said there could be no comparison purely as hitters…Adams’ value overall matches Freddie only if he can play two positions.

    And i think he can. This is NOT the St Louis Adams where they messed around with him trying this, trying that, sitting him down . I remember writing at the time when they were here in April how comical he looked chasing down a line drive running along the base of the wall- ‘like a rooster trying to escape the Sunday pot.’

    You would admit to how he has transformed himself as a first baseman defensively here – he was bad first few games. Not now. He would be Kemp plus in left field i believe though Kemp has done an admirable job there. – he seems to have totally bought into the Braves, turned his career around.

    So why always this fear of regression? He’s on his way up not down.

  27. I would be wary to say he has “transformed” himself as a first baseman without looking at what kind of first baseman he was with the Cardinals. And I really doubt he has suddenly become athletic enough to play a position that he couldn’t before.

  28. I too have a good buddy who’s a die-hard Cards fan and swears that Adams is simply incapable of playing left field.

    Sell high by 7/31, even if it means running Jace out there again for a couple of weeks while you wait on Freeman to fully return.

  29. Even if you put Adams in LF and he can fake it enough to be useful, that means you have Kemp in RF? Or Kemp is gone? This team hates me so much they’ll probably sign Markakis for 4 more years…

  30. I would love for the Matt Adams train to keep rolling, but we gotta sell high on him at the deadline. Hopefully for him this isn’t a fluke and he really has improved. But we already have a first baseman.

  31. My first evaluation as to why we got Adams so cheap was that it was the only way the Cardinals could insure Matheny couldn’t run him out to left field anymore.

  32. If you got to the offseason, would you have a better time than the Cards did with putting him in LF? If the Cards waited too long in the offseason to give him enough time, perhaps the Braves can be a bit more deliberate. If you could clear Kemp’s salary and replace his bat with Adams’ salary, then the rebuild looks a lot better.

  33. Adams/Kemp corner OF would put a rest to the whole defense-doesnt-matter discussion, one way or the other. Now I think we gotta at least try it for a couple months…lol.

  34. Why pull Dickey with just 86 pitches .. he should have pitches the 8th . His knuckle was awesome .. come on Snitker.. u gotta be better than that or you gonna be back to a 3rd base coach ..

  35. Medlen was pitching another great game until he ran into trouble in the 6th. If he becomes healthy and has the endurance to make it through the 6th, he’ll be ready.

    Rex Brothers, who’s had some major league success as a lefty reliever, was promoted to AAA. They’ll probably give him a shot at some point.

  36. By my math, we have 3 guys who have some value to a contenders and cost us nothing to give.
    Adams, Phillips and Garcia. Any near contenders out there who could use a package like that? Blue Jays come to mind. Wonder if that could get a decent return?

  37. My former neighbor and friend/pupil Daniel Murphy taught me a lot about fielding at the MLB level. You can either do it, or you just cannot.

    There is literally nobody in MLB that works as hard as he does. His work ethic is football Tebow level. And he couldn’t hem a hog up in a ditch in the OF or at 3rd.

    And I can assure you, that he worked at it as hard as a human being could possibly work at something.

    I seriously doubt that Adams can play anything other than 1B. Having said ALL OF THAT, if he’d hit this way, playing LF, I wouldn’t care a whit how bad he was unless he is all time level embarrassing.

  38. And, much like European soccer when a minnow leads a galactico, the cream rises to the top eventually.

    Obviously, I hadn’t given up on Salad being a MLB player but I can see his talent shining through. The kid is tough and confident in a mentally tough kind of way.

  39. I don’t even remember the particulars, but the Braves once had a pitcher, who once had a friend who died in the off-season in the Caribbean, and that pitcher wrote his friend’s jersey number really small on his hat. And when the Braves played (I think) the Padres, Bruce Bochy marched his red ass out to the ump and complained that pitcher was violating the uniform code, just to get under that pitcher’s skin.

    The Braves should have left Inciarte in to run, and he should have scored from first on Phillips’s double. Bruce Bochy should be embarrassed on the baseball field at every opportunity.

  40. Gee, the Giants really aren’t any good this year, are they. Us on the other hand… well we’re starting to look like a proper Major League team. Nice change after past 3 years

  41. @62

    Yes. In the ninth Phillips doubled with Lane Adams on 1st – Washington stopped him at 3rd, Phillips pissed no RBi…Joe explained to us ignoramuses this was baseball protocol at the end of a blowout plus not running the risk of your runner getting injured in a play at the plate.

  42. @49, a Kemp/Adams outfield wouldn’t put any debate to rest. Either side of the debate would say “see, I told you!”

  43. @53, I’d want major leaguers and/or blue chip prospect(s).

    @54, I remember that game just as I forget the particulars, other than it made me think less of Bochy.

    @55, Who is Salad?

    PS: I think we have a lot of players increasing their trade value. Good to see.

  44. Some musings after looking at the standings:

    We’re 4th in the Wild-Card, a huge 11.5 out. Only the Cubs are closer 8.5 out. Whereas in the AL, every team is within 4.5 of 2nd wild-card (currently Tampa). And 6 teams are within 1.5 games out. The leagues are very different in their structure, near parity in the AL and very lopsided in the NL. Apart from the White-Sox and A’s, there won’t be many sellers in the AL.

    Could we make a run at the 2nd wild-card? Unlikely, but I’d certainly give us as much a chance as the Cards, Pirates, Mets or Marlins at this point. Of course its all moot if one of the Rockies, Dbacks don’t collapse in the 2nd half. But I certainly wouldn’t trade for anyone, nor would it prevent me from unloading Garcia at the deadline.

    Btw I endorse Blazon and hope we can find a place for Big City when Freddie returns. Very good move by Coppy picking him up for nothing.

  45. Of course the Cards and Pirates are much closer in their division. But the NL is so uneven that we could end up the best of the rest and still be 10+ games out of the wild-card and division come seasons end.

  46. ..he’s got a puzzled smile, it went a mile
    we saw it pass the Mezzanine
    D-D-D Danny! Danny! Danny!
    Danny and his jets.

  47. @69

    Agreed, Dickey yes, he no.. apparently he did not accept that discounted check we discussed the other day…how could you have been so right about that?!

    What’s sad is his legacy, what people like us will remember, as opposed to the affection we might have felt a few months ago.. Who’s looking forward to Wednesday?

  48. @66 Salad is my nickname for Swanson. Considering that one of the Braves announcers is contractually obligated to tell us how great his hair is at least twice a game.

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