Braves 11, Indians 5

This Easter, the eggs of choice at Progressive Field were Fried goose eggs.

Max Fried threw 6 scoreless innings before allowing a 1 out home run in the 7th to Francisco Lindor, and Josh Donaldson hit 2 home runs, drove in 4 and scored 3 times, as the Braves take the series 2 games to 1. Donaldson and Freddie Freeman each had 3 hits, and Freeman and Ozzie Albies each scored, and drove in, a pair.

Fried threw 101 pitches in his 6 1/3 innings and allowed 7 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 6. He was charged with a 2nd run after Jesse Biddle allowed his inherited runner to score. Josh Tomlin finished up, allowing a home run to Roberto Perez in the 8th, and both an earned and an unearned run in the 9th.

The Braves now stand at 11 – 10, 1 game back of the Phillies. 1 1/2 games separate the Phillies from the 4th place Nationals (delenda est, and so forth.) At Cincinnati Tuesday; Kevin Gausman vs. Sonny Gray scheduled.

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.

36 thoughts on “Braves 11, Indians 5”

  1. Hopefully we’ll look back at the comeback win on Saturday and it will be a turning point of the season. I was expecting Fried to pitch well, but he greatky exceeded expectations (if he stays healthy, he may be in the ROY conversation). The offense looked good up and down the order. Let’s keep it going against Cincy.

  2. From the last thread…

    I still consider both Petersons busts.

    They hoped Jace would either be an everyday 2b or a utility player. He has been worth -0.5 fWAR over his career. He is currently the third baseman for the Norfolk Tides in the Orioles organization (not even on a really bad team’s bench) and is below the Mendoza line.

    Dustin has a career minor league OPS of .691, and the Braves didn’t even feel like he was worth a spot on the 40 man roster. He is now sitting on the Tigers bench and hitting .176 with no walks or power.

    Mallex looks like a useful player and was pretty good last year. Copollella liked Inciarte better as a CF and didn’t like Mallex’s bat enough for an outfield corner. The jury is still out on the Gohara for Mallex trade but the early returns are not promising.

    So Max Fried (who, granted, was the main cog in that trade) is the last piece from the Upton trade, and the Braves finally seeing something positive from that deal.

  3. @2 – I forgot that Fried pitched 26 innings in 2017. Well, if he’s not eligible for ROY, then he’ll just have to win Cy Young!

  4. Mallex didn’t have a spot on our roster, so it made sense to trade him. Gohara had a completely lost year in 2018, but he had a great year in 2017 and he remains an extremely high-upside lefty. I think that trade was and continues to be defensible.

  5. Imagine if Max Fried got the Matt Wisler treatment. Because of Fried recovering from Tommy John surgery and dealing with blisters, this is his first full season of being on the Atlanta roster at age 25. His first year in the Braves organization and first year removed from Tommy John surgery, he was 22 and pitched 102 innings only at Rome. Age 23, he pitched 144 innings between AA, AAA, Atlanta, and the AFL (I erroneously missed his Atlanta and AFL innings last time I had said how many innings he’s pitched per year professionally). Age 24, last year, still battling blisters, he pitched 110 innings between AA, AAA, and Atlanta. This year, he’s here to stay assuming good health.

    Wisler never had TJ, never had any other injuries, and at age 22, same age (and year) Fried joined Atlanta, Wisler pitches 65 innings in AAA then another 109 innings in Atlanta. Another 156 IP as a 23 year old the next year in Atlanta, and 26 innings in AAA, IIRC, because he was getting shuttled back and forth because he was struggling.

    We think Fried is awesome; we think Wisler is a scrub. That’s complete mismanagement by the Braves. Liberty Media has to save money and tank, so they run this poor kid out there when he’s got no business doing it and likely ruins his career. But they couldn’t run Fried out there pretty much during the same time period because he was injured. One looks like a Cy Young contender at age 25 and a no-doubt ROY winner if he was eligible; one can’t stay in baseball at age 26. Different talent levels? Sure, but you can’t tell me it’s that big of a talent difference.

    For every journeyman you rooted for during the rebuild that got a shot on a crappy team like Bills Perez, you have to pour one out for guys like Wisler.

  6. We have a new addition into the glossary for those new that don’t catch these references:

    Mattex Wisriguez – The nickname for a player current editor Rob Copenhaver has an unhealthy fascination with, named after a mixing of Mallex Smith, Matt Wisler, and Sean Rodriguez, three players wildly over-valued by said confused editor. (Added April 21, 2019, suggested unsolicited by Rob Copenhaver)

  7. Wisler was always projected to be at most a MOR starter. Fried has front line starter talent and much better stuff than Wisler. I think comparing the 2 is apples to oranges.

    I do think it is fair to speculate that Fried’s blisters keeping his mileage down at a young age will be a blessing in disguise in the long run.

  8. @16 Exactly. Fried has TOR potential, and it really seems like he’s reaching it. Wisler has gone from having MOR potential and he can’t even stay in baseball. The difference in the gap between their potential and actual is staggering.

  9. @16 Agreed.

    Wisler simply doesn’t have the same talent level as Fried, or some of the other Braves other young pitchers. At best he was going to be, what, a three? It’s fair to say the previous rushed him, as they did Dansby, because they weren’t handing out any type of ML money for the most part then. That might’ve stunted his development, but it wasn’t what kept him from maturing into a potential ace.

  10. At the end of the day, there is obviously mostly the responsibility on Wisler. After all, Folty got similar treatment, and he responded, got better, and here is where he is. Newcomb, to a lesser extent, was rushed a little, though he got a lot more higher minors time, especially in AAA where he excelled.

    I would give the Braves a B-/B with how they have handled the pitching prospects they traded for and drafted in 2015 and 2016. If you get through all of this and you end up with a rotation of 3-4 TORs and anything else, then I would upgrade it to an A. And of course, we’re not real far from that.

  11. Is it obtuse of me to say that I think that Fried is probably a #2 and not a TOR/ace on a playoff team long term? I need to see more before that.

  12. I definitely agree that he needs to do more than 6 consecutive strong starts, especially considering his injury risks, but as I mentioned yesterday, he’s on pace for a 4.8 WAR season. That would have put him in the top 12 of pitchers last year. Whether he can do it for a full season or a career is another story, but if you can finish in the top 12 most valuable pitchers, then is that not a Ace(TM), TOR, Big Guy That Dominates In The Playoffs Guy? He would have finished “tied” with Blake Snell, behind Carlos Carrasco and ahead of Miles Mikolas.

    It really just depends on who you put in that upper echelon of starting pitchers, how many of them there are, and accordingly, what it means for a team if they don’t have a pitcher in that select few. Here are the top 20 fWAR for pitchers last year:

    Jacob deGrom
    Max Scherzer
    Justin Verlander
    Gerrit Cole
    Patrick Corbin
    Trevor Bauer
    Luis Severino
    Corey Kluber
    Aaron Nola
    Carlos Carrasco
    Blake Snell
    Miles Mikolas
    Zack Wheeler
    Mike Clevinger
    German Marquez
    Kyle Freeland
    Jameson Taillon
    Mike Foltynewicz
    Kyle Hendricks
    Marco Gonzales

    Year-to-year WAR calculations can be misleading, and not everyone on that list I would consider to be that pitcher you’re describing, but not everyone not on that list either shouldn’t be considered an Ace(TM), TOR, Big Guy That Dominates In The Playoffs Guy. After all, in the next 5 are Dallas Keuchel and Zack Greinke, two guys I would rather have than a few on that list. Charlie Morton is also in the next 5 and probably deserves to be in that tier, at least right now.

    For me, it ends somewhere in that Corey Kluber, Aaron Nola, Carlos Carrasco, Blake Snell tier from that list, but I have to recognize that’s largely based on Cy Youngs, name recognition, total career accomplishments, etc., not who necessarily is the best set of pitchers in that postseason to give the ball to.

  13. For clarity, the Baseball Reference list is very similar, though in different order. Notable differences are Kyle Freeland, Chris Sale, and Blake Snell are on B-Ref’s top 10, and Severino and Carrasco are on Fangraph’s but not B-Ref’s.

  14. Rob, I’m as high on Fried as the next guy, but BOSSS (beware of small sample size). He certainly has the potential to be a one or two starter, but emphasis on “potential”

  15. Well, he’s actually one of the best pitchers on the 60 day DL right now. But ya know, potato, potahto.

  16. And if you honesty think Clevinger is one of the best pitchers in the game right now, you have to say similar things about Mike Foltynewicz. Folty put up a 140 ERA+ as a 26 year old. Clevinger put up a 147 at the same age.

  17. Be still, my heart.

  18. I would rather have Clevinger than Foltyniewicz.

    @29, do that for about the next 15-17 years and you’d be having a Mickey Mantle/Ronald Acuna argument…

  19. Of course you’d prefer the other team’s player. You hate Braves talent by default, it seems.

  20. @30 Why on earth would you rather have the guy who’s older, and probably hurt for longer? I’d get it if you were saying you’d prefer Degrom to Allard… this one is a bit baffling though.

  21. Regarding Grant Dayton:

  22. Foltynewicz is a nutcase and will likely never be the pitcher that Clevinger is for the rest of his career. He has a 3.26 career ERA and his career FIP is much lower than Folty. K/BB is about the same.

    I’m not a long term believer in Folty the way that many of you are. He’s amassed 5.4 WAR pitching in 5 seasons.

    Clevinger is by far the superior pitcher and not crazy/immature. Take off the Glasses.

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