Braves 5, Diamondbacks 1

The Braves bunched 5 hits in the 3rd inning, scoring 4 runs, and Julio Teheran went 6 1/3 scoreless as the Braves salvage a game from the 3 game set.

Johan Camargo started the 3rd with a single, then scored on Dansby Swanson‘s double, the first of his 2 hits on the day.  Teheran sacrificed Swanson to 3rd, where he scored on Ozzie Albies‘ dribbler down the 3rd base line; Albies ending up on 3rd after a 2 base throwing error by Jake Lamb.  Albies scored on a Freddie Freeman double, and Freeman on a Nick Markakis single.

The Braves scoring concluded in the 7th, provided by a pinch hit home run by Preston Tucker, a useful skill for a bench player.  The Diamondbacks got their run in the 8th with a Jon Jay home run off of Dan Winkler.

Teheran allowed 4 hits, walked 3 and struck out 6, and posted his 11th quality start in 19 tries, tying Sean Newcomb for the team lead.  I was surprised to find that All-Star Mike Foltynewicz has only 5 quality starts out of 18, in fact, he has pitched as many as 6 innings only 7 times.

The twelve (12!) pitchers that have filled the role of 8th man in the bullpen, by  innings pitched, have combined for a 7.84 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in relief this season, in 77 innings (the most used reliever, Shane Carle, has thrown 49 innings.)  I would be interested to see the knock-on effect if the starters could average an extra inning post All-Star break.

The Braves enter the All-Star break at 52 – 42, and 1/2 game behind the first place Phillies, which we all would have signed up for in March.

Freddie, Nick, Ozzie, and Foltzie will be in Washington Tuesday; the rest of the team will be there Friday.

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.

71 thoughts on “Braves 5, Diamondbacks 1”

  1. One extra inning, on average, would be real tough, but that would change the season, methinks. Thanks Rusty.

  2. AA did an interview with McAuley. Generally asking prices are too high right now but they should come down closer to the deadline. He said they are open to trading for starters, relievers, everyday player upgrades, or bench upgrades.

    He also said that our starters aren’t really doing that badly as far as short outings are concerned compared to other teams, and that they are middle of the pack in starter innings pitched.

  3. Starters are 15th in innings per start, so definitively the middle of the pack. It’s really interesting how exactly middle of the pack we are in the vast majority of pitching categories, both overall and by starter/reliever. Walks? Well, that’s a different story.

  4. There’s no doubt that Snitker is managing the pitching staff the way that modern pitching staffs are managed. I just wonder if that is the optimal approach for this particular collection of pitchers.

  5. The Rangers had three former Braves pitchers pitching last night: Minor, Chavez and Gearrin. It didn’t help.

  6. The World Cup is over and was by any standards a resounding success. In a final where six goals were scored the best player on the pitch was 19. When the final whistle blew and the bench erupted someone pointed out the ages of France’s back ups as they celebrated…21,21,22,23,23,25. This an international team mind you, drawn from the entire country.

    At this end of the age spectrum it’s just a number provided you have a deep talent pool and they are coached with intensity.

    And then…the cream of the crop must be handed their reward, a place in the spotlight. Which they must then justify. For the best it doesn’t take long.

    Ozzie for us, of course, but how many of our best young arms/bats are still in pasture, their places filled by thirties neverwozzers. What ultimate level of talent might we not discover?

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/15/france-boast-seductive-future-with-kylian-mbappe-their-leading-man

  7. I spent the weekend away from keyboard as I was at a beach wedding on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. It sure is gorgeous, but any place you can only get to by flying into Panama City, renting a car, and driving an hour ain’t the place for me.

    Sam Freeman delenda est.

  8. Never fear, I was coerced into doing a POWER RANKINGs for everyone to take way too seriously. Stay tuned.

  9. Some Braves trade deadline tidbits from Mark Polishuk @MLBTradeRumors

    “The Braves will be able to afford some upgrades at the deadline, as Anthopoulos said that the team set aside some payroll space before the season should some more spending be required midway through the year. That original total has now increased since team revenues have also risen as a result of the Braves’ success. “I’ve been given very specific instructions, and I can shop in any aisle. I can at least have a conversation. I can tell you right now in all the discussions and all the players we’ve discussed, there’s no single player that we can’t afford,” Anthopoulos said. “Where ultimately we’d have an (in-house) discussion is if we’re looking at adding three or four big-league guys at big contracts. That’s when maybe the numbers start to add up and we’d have to evaluate it. But one or two guys right now would not be a problem at all.””

    I’m reading that as one or two guys with big contracts not being a problem for this year’s payroll. I think AA might be on the hunt for more than a rental who will make this team better, but that’s just me being hopeful. Such a piece that will take this team to another level might not be on the table till the offseason.

  10. Back to team analysis. Position players.

    The catcher tandem is having some offensive doldrums, but we need nothing there for this year, unless we have an injury. If we can pick up somebody with some control, it might not be a bad idea.

    1B, duh. Absent significant injury, we like where we are.

    2B, see above.

    3B, Camargo to me is a solidly above average 3B. slight fielding plus, slight hitting plus. Unless there is some type of odd moving and platooning as people have offered on here, the only player that you can move for that helps you is Machado.

    SS, I am still not sure about Dansby’s bat long term. He seems like he still ought to blossom to around 280 / 350 / 420.

    LF, or CF improvement could come from a bona fide left fielder who can hit lefties in particular (lets Acuna move to CF on lefty opposing SP days) OR by getting a right handed hitting (or strong right switch hitter) good 4th outfielder to platoon with Ender in center.

    RF, I still think Markakis and Acuna should be swapped. Absent injury, you go with Markakis as one of the ones who brung you.

    Bench. if you carry so damn many pitchers (and for now I don’t see how we can avoid that) then it makes it hard. Culberson, Flaherty, Santana, Tucker. Obviously if you do something for the outfield, that upgrades Santana. Tucker is not a bad guy to carry and might be useful longer term, but who knows.

    The biggest difference between this team and the last 6 or so is there are no albatrosses. Get rid of the negative WAR producers and you have to get a little better.

  11. Alex Jackson to AAA doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There had to have been something in the water in Pearl, MS, because he was quite bad at the plate there: .200/.282/.329 in 225 PAs. If you take his 115 PAs from AA last year, it looks a little better: .218/.293/.361. But no matter how you slice it, if you were scouting the statline, you wouldn’t be particularly impressed. They obviously see something that the stats aren’t showing, but at age-22, I’d have to think he’ll be in AAA until his bat comes around or they give up and turn him into a backup catcher. I’m hoping for the former.

  12. @15

    No, but the logic continues that it’s not a competition between Camargo and Moustakas. It’s a competition between Camargo and someone else. In the offseason, the logic was Camargo vs. the backup(s) at all 3 infield positions, and now people speculate it’s Camargo vs. some (most?) of Dansby’s playing time.

    We have two guys in the lineup that have wRC+ below Charlie Culberson’s. That’s not a playoff lineup, at least one that advances deeply. If you can’t spend the money or prospects to upgrade SS or CF, but you have a LF or 3B who can play those positions, then I think they’re on the right track if they feel like Ender or Dansby’s playing times should decrease.

    Plus, how confident are we that we don’t have some injury risks? Ender missed time in 2016, Albies broke his wrist swinging a bat, Acuna’s missed time to injury, and 3 of 8 position players are playing their first professional big league season and could wear down. Why not add?

  13. Thoughts I thunk:

    1. I am grateful the world cup is over, being a benighted south Georgia farm boy who knows what football is.

    2. I am delighted the NBA is FINALLY over.

    3. Baseball is not just the best sport. It’s the only sport, though hating the Gators is always worthwhile.

    4. Please AA, do not squander our precious assets on Mike the Moose. My man Johan is a better present and future option.

    Thank you for playing.

  14. I’m guessing Ender is going to get platooned 2nd half. We just need one more bat that can play LF. I’m not as worried about the left side of the infield as a lot of you guys.

  15. I do hope that the hate of everyone’s SEC rivals fills the air here in the fall. I’ve not found a lot of good places where SEC football is freely talked in a good blog format, so here’s hoping.

    With that said, feel free to hate Florida for another year, and then things will be back to the way they have been for a couple decades for UGA fans.

  16. I can’t believe any fan of this team would be opposed to adding Moustakas and having Camargo eat some playing time from guys who are struggling like Swanson and Outciarte.

    I mean, we can go back to just not doing anything while this team slides into the abyss.

  17. Thank you for your very interesting and insightful contribution to rational discourse, Donny. Would you like an orange slice before nap time?

  18. Our need is for a left-fielder who can hit for power. Would the Reds part with Duvall? Is he worth targeting?

  19. No! I don’t want it! I want brownie!

    Moustakas is not Machado (duh) and he won’t cost as much as Machado (also duh). But he very well could be just as productive in the second half (not duh).

    Do you really think that having Camargo at 3B is reason enough to pass on The Moose?

  20. @24 I didn’t even contribute that to the discussion. Someone else here made that joke already.

    I basically just repeat things other people have already said. We already know the reasons to get Moustakas as well as the reasons not to. I think he is better than doing nothing and could actually be a good solution for 3B until Austin Riley either takes the spot or gets dealt.

  21. Rob is right. It isn’t is Moose better than Camargo. It’s is he better than Dansby?

    In the right deal, I could see Dansby or Outciarte (this is funny) being moved.

  22. Touki Toussaint struck out Carter Kieboom, a famed Nats prospect, and I’m looking forward to repeating that many times over the next 10 years.

  23. I had this weird dream the other night where Toussaint was just mowing down Phillies left and right in the setup role.

  24. Whoa, whoa, why would you move on from Gohara? I would still have way better money on Gohara producing more WAR in his career than Touki. Adam, I expect better.

  25. Ya know what, Adam, you’re kicking Luiz when he’s down. And if you don’t love Luiz at his worst, then you don’t deserve him at his best. #nice

  26. If they feel like rejuvenating the offense by getting a couple platoons in place around the diamond, then Moustakas makes sense. They’re definitely not using their entire roster right now to its fullest capacity, and that’s what you need to do when you don’t have enough transcendent bats. So if they let Camargo be the vs. RH portion of SS and Moustakas the same at 3B, then I think you see an overall improvement. Then deploy Dansby as a late-inning defensive replacement shifting Camargo back to 3B. It’s a matter of whether or not in a Rebuilding Year(TM) that you’d want to be cutting back playing time for a developing player.

    Remember, so many felt like Ryan Klesko’s career was stagnating by not being allowed to hit against LHP. They were trying to win divisions, yes, but would those teams have won more WS if they let Klesko work it out during the regular season in hopes he become the bat some think he could have?

  27. Toussaint has always had a higher ceiling than Gohara (and just about every other pitching prospect across the game); it’s just never seemed, until this year, that his chances of approaching that ceiling were anything other than remote.

    I’m definitely higher on Touki than Luiz, although I’m still reasonably high on the latter.

  28. @38 And Klesko’s career in San Diego was A LOT better than it was with Atlanta, although it didn’t have any of the postseason success that he saw with the Braves.

    If Moustakas can be had in conjunction with a bullpen arm for a reasonable price, I like it. I wouldn’t want to extend him beyond his option for next season and think that he could be the ideal transition gap to potentially Riley.

    And hopefully for $15 million he doesn’t morph into Mistakas.

  29. I’m hoping for a Michael Reed platoon with Inciarte. I know Reed hasn’t been impressive until this year, but if a .337 avg and a 1.004 ops over 252 AA/AAA at bats doesn’t give you a shot, I don’t know what will. It’s hard for me to imagine him doing any worse than Ender’s. 649 ops under the worst case scenario.

  30. There is no reason to believe Michael Reed can’t hit lefthanders better than Inciarte right now. Likewise, there is no significant downgrade of defense from moving Acuna to center on “lefty day” (certainly if you produce an offensive uptick in left). The other option is to get another potent right handed bat for left field. Adam DuVall of the Reds for some of our pitching flotsam (which will then become jetsam, technically). That would be a far more productive trade than a Moustakas trade.

    Then get a reliever or two from somewhere (hopefully in the next few days).

  31. Reed’s 2017-18 MiLB splits indicate that he’s become something of a LHP hitting machine. Limited sample, and some of it is in the PCL, but it’s there.

  32. We do have an in-house plan that might be worth considering if the trade market isn’t to our liking. Promote Riley and get him in there at 3B and as a power bench bat, and Camargo still plays nearly every day either in LF, 3B, or SS. Inciarte’s AB’s can get cut in half and replaced by Riley/Camargo.

  33. @34, Nah, bro. I traded Gohara in Fantasy. I stashed Touki. Therefore, Touki is best.

    @48, Riley hits line drives like nobody’s business, but the 30% K rate even in the small sample at AAA gives the game away.

  34. That’s fair but what other in-house RH bats are there? If we can’t improve from the outside then we still need to at least try to make the lineup better from within.

  35. Could A Jackson’s promotion mean he’s being showcased at a higher level to be traded?

  36. Riley in AAA: 283/346/417

    Riley over the last 7 days: 240/321/320

    He’s not the answer at the MLB level this year.

  37. @28 I think Outciarte is the one that will be moved/replaced. Dansby does hustle and plays the right way, and his bat for the cost and defense isn’t below average. While Ender plays great defense, his lack of hustle and lack of production can and will continue to be questioned. I can see Moose playing third, Johan to left and Acuna in CF as a huge upgrade to the offense

  38. Dansby’s defense this year has been much better. His bat? Not so much.

    I am not impartial. I want Simba, nothing less; so I judge Swanson against him.

  39. @54,

    I’ve seen Austin Riley and I don’t believe he will be in left field. Like Freddie Freeman. Quick hands, but slow. His arm could handle right, however. So, it would make more sense if he goes to the outfield to go to right. However, he isn’t going to the outfield.

  40. Riley did just miss a month to injury, so maybe let’s not get too excited about his week or his coming to the MLB club. He will be up come september one thinks.

  41. I think I would rather get a platoon partner for Inciarte than trade for Moustakas.

    I feel like we should be able to get a similar upgrade to Moustakas (plus/minus the offensive/defensive outcome of shifting other players around the field) for cheaper. It depends on how much Moustakas costs. And that’s hard to tell because you can’t just assume every Machado suitor who is spurned will want Moustakas.

  42. @57

    I’ve got a lot of glossary updating to do.

    In doing a little research on the Phillies from a team stats perspective, I am really not afraid of them. We have our problems and they are well-documented, but there’s a reason the Phillies are a sleeper too.

  43. Some of these scenarios for what to do with all of our prospects lead to the entire major league roster costing about $12 and a corn beef sandwich. There’s no way I can get behind a scenario where the entire outfield makes Enders’ salary plus 2 league minimums, the infield makes Freddie’s salary plus 3 league minimums, the rotation makes JT’s salary plus 4 league minimums, and the bullpen makes Vizzy’s salary plus 7 league minimums.

    What is this, a payroll for ants?! We need it to be at least… three times bigger than that!

  44. Maybe. If we’re going to spend prospects, I hope we can do better than a rental of Mike Moustakas.

  45. It just depends on what. Plus, does Moose even have much surplus value? Is the reason we’re being linked to Moose simply because AA has now said multiple times that they have money to spend? Kansas City might be in the same situation we were last year where a live arm and Jaime Garcia’s salary got you Garcia and the same is true for Moose.

  46. We’re linked to Moose because everyone thinks Camargo isn’t a starter. Until you look at their actual numbers.

  47. I haven’t seen Riley play, but the Braves will want his bat in the lineup in 2019. It will be hard for him to be better defensively at third than Camargo has been. That’s why I project him to go to an OF corner, especially with Markakis’ contract expiring.

    This is, of course, barring any trades.

  48. I was a Camargo skeptic last year, but I’ve come around on him. He’s been a much better offensive player this year thanks to the greatly increased walk rate. His OPS is almost the same as last year’s despite the much lower BA. His babip is much lower this year, which is why I think he’s actually a much better hitter now.

    As for Moose, I’m still a skeptic. His career OBP is barely .300.

  49. IMO, it’s not a matter of whether or not any one particular starter is good enough or not good enough based on some subjective standard. It’s a matter of making the roster as good as possible through whatever means possible. The reason I was so optimistic about this season is because I felt like we would have a fairly deep, complete team. As it sits, we’re short the LHP-hitting side of CF, offensive SS production, and an overall lack of power team-wide. If Brian Gerald Snitker can’t find a way to use Mike Moustakas, Johan Camargo, and Dansby Swanson in the most optimal way, then he shouldn’t be managing the Atlanta Braves roundball squad. C’mon, are we literally saying that if Snitker can’t fill out the lineup card the exact same way every day, the wheels are going to fall off? Then he shouldn’t be managing.

  50. Since Ryan Flaherty came down to earth (April 21st), he is hitting .159/.213/.207, so Mike Moustakas can help. Camargo is hitting .239/.358/.384 against RHP, and Dansby .239/.358/.384. Moose is hitting .252/.318/.504 against RHP. First bat off the bench against righties Charlie Culberson is hitting .260/.321/.430 against RHP. I don’t have Braves-only splits against righties, but Joey Bats hit .143/.250/.343 total, so there’s another set of PAs Moose would have been an upgrade over. Bottom line, if Moose can play a Eric Hinske role of running into fastballs off the bench and clobbering some RHP at 3B, then we’d be stupid to make it simply about Camargo vs. Moose. Plus, you don’t have to have 7 guys getting 650 PAs. We’re not that talented.

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