The Skinny On the Atlanta Braves 2015 Season
After winning the first 5 games of the year and having a 42-42 record just before the break, the Atlanta Braves 2915 season had a lack of talent combined with in-season trades and injuries, dooming the team to a putrid finish and an overall 68-93 record. Along the way Shelby Miller would see Atlanta lose a team-record 24 consecutive starts while providing him just 2.38 runs per outing to work with.
- Manager: Fredi Gonzalez 573 runs scored 760 allowed
- General Manager: John Hart, sorta
- Scouting Director: Brian Bridges
- Best Players: Andrelton Simmons 3.9 WAR Shelby Miller 3.6 Freddie Freeman 3.3 Alex Wood 2.5 Nick Markakis 1.7
A Tumultuous Offseason
- 9/21/14 Frank Wren resigns
- 9/22 John Hart named acting General Manager, Coppy named Assistant GM
- 11/01/2014 Free agents Ervin Santana, Aaron Harang, Kris Medlin, Brandon Beachy, Cory Gearin, Gerald Laird, Ryan Doumit, Ramiro Pena, and Bonerface leave for greener pastures
- 11/16/2014 Traded Tommy LaStella and International Bonus slot to Cubs for Arodys Vizcaino
- 11/17/2014 Traded Haywood and Jordan Walden for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins
- 12/19/2014 Traded Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft to Padres for Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson and Tim Raines Jr.
- 01/01/2015 Traded Chasen Shreve and David Carpenter to Yankees for Manny Banuelos
- 01/14/2015 Traded El Oso Blanco and James Hoyt to Astros for Folty, Andrew Thurman and Rio Ruiz
- 4/5/2015 Traded Kimbrel and Melvin to Padres for Carlos Quentin (immediately released and retired), Cameron Maybin, Jordan Paroubeck, Matt Wisler and the 41st pick in the next draft (Austin Riley).
- Free agents signed included Jason Grilli, Jim Johnson and Josh Outman for the bullpen, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and outfielders Johnny Gomes and Neck. Kelly Johnson was brought back as an NRI as were Alberto Callespo, Eric Young Jr. and Eury Perez.
In summation, we traded 21+ 2015 WINS for pretty much no 2015 gain plus a collection of unknown future value. Adding 21 wins to the 67 actual wins doesnâ€™t qualify for the playoffs– it took 97 to qualify for the wildcard that year. BUT, the mutts only won 90 games and took the season series with the Braves 11-8. Could we have done better with the departed stars?
Opening Day Lineup
- Eric Young, Jr, CF
- Jace Peterson, 2B
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Christian Bethancourt, C
- Kelly Johnson, LF
- Alberto Callaspo, 3B
- Andrelton Simmons, SS
- Julio Teheran, P
This is astounding bad lineup construction even given that only 4 of them are legitimate major league players. For a fun thought experiment, ponder on the fact that Alex Wood had more offensive WAR in 2015 than Young, Bethancourt and Callaspo combined.
In the Draft, new Scouting Director Brian Bridges brought a much needed new emphasis on quality at the top to the team. We acquired Colby Allard, Mike Soroka, Austin Riley and A.J. Minter in the first 2 rounds. Christian Pache and Derian Cruz were the big international signings. To fit Cruzâ€™s bonus into the budget the team began a series of sham signings and kickbacks to agents that would lead to the sanctions of 2017.
Atlanta Braves 2015 Top Prospects
- Lucas Simms
- Jose Peraza
- Christian Bethancourt
- Braxton Davidson
- Garrett Fulenchek
(Ozzie was #6, Fried honorable mention)
(Ozzie #8, Fried #11)
The Worst Moment of the Year
As part of a 3-team trade, the Braves traded Bronson Arroyo, Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza and Alex Wood to the Los Angeles Dodgers and eceived Zachary Bird, Hector Olivera and Paco Rodriguez from the Los Angeles Dodgers and 2016 Competitive Balance Round A pick (Joey Wentz) from the Miami Marlins.
We thus removed 2 useful members of the bullpen and our best starting pitcher (plus our top-rated prospect!) to get a 32 year old sex offender with $30M remaining on his contract and 2 guys who would never recover from injury.
The Final Score
W L Pct. GB
New York Mets 90 72 0.556
Washington Nationals 83 79 0.512 7
Miami Marlins 71 91 0.438 19
Atlanta Braves 68 93 0.420 22
Philadelphia Phillies 63 99 0.389 27
To further masochistsâ€™ pursuit of the hell that was the 2015 team, I suggest perusal of Edwardâ€™s fine series about â€œThe most 2015 Moments of 2015.â€
Basically World Series champs now.
@1 Like I said before; I foresee no more moves except bench and Gwinnett roster filling.
Upon consideration, there might be some reasonable logic to breaking camp with a hole or two. The team is good enough to keep up in the division through the All Star break. It leaves room for someone to break out in the rotation or 3B or OF. It also protects from the downside of having gone all out and suffering a lost year due to injury or unforeseeable poor performance or something. You can re-assess at the break and bring in the missing pieces at the deadline. All that matters (since the playoffs are a crapshoot) is getting to the playoffs and having your best team on the field once you do.
You don’t really need a 100-win team on the field in March. You really only need to win 90-95 games and have a 100-win team on the field in October. To me, this seems like the approach being taken by the Braves FO.
This logic works as long as you don’t have Albert Callaspo at 3B…….. Or Manny Banuelos in the rotation.
Thanks Karl. I made it to 3 games in the entire existence of Turner Field. One was the MLB debut of Hector Olivera. Just a stunningly stupid idea in every possible respect, obvious to everyone else from the day it was conceived. One underrated part of the misjudgment was that on top of everything else, they thought he could play third base. With the names they were tossing around, I was certain that we were getting Puig.
@2 – I actually see the merits in that, but I also think we’re not competitive enough to do that just yet. Playing in arguably the toughest division, we’ll have to do a lot more than tread water to stay in the race. I could see one somewhat significant move (Marte, Hanniger, Whit) then going the wait-and-see route with the rotation or 3B.
At the same time, I don’t see AA overspending with $$ or prospects for anything. It does seem his approach has been cautious and highly calculated so far. Nothing wrong with that.
â€œ9/22 John Hart named acting General Manager, Coppy named Assistant GM
11/01/2014 Free agents Ervin Santana, Aaron Harang, Kris Medlin, Brandon Beachy, Cory Gearin, Gerald Laird, Ryan Doumit, Ramiro Pena, and Bonerface leave for greener pasturesâ€
Uhhhh…..I want a game-day lineup card from 2014 with â€œBonerfaceâ€ penciled in the 2-hole lol this….made my day lol
I just really don’t think that’s a good strategy at all. Just because it kinda sorta worked last year doesn’t mean it’s a good strategy, and I would argue we more got lucky than that it actually worked.
Intentionally putting a sub-par team on the field for 60 percent of the season just to leave yourself a guardrail in case something happens and you’re not as much of a contender as you thought is a fantastic way to not be as much of a contender as you thought. Based on what he’s saying, we didn’t seriously go after Donaldson, either…it boggles the mind IMO. We were a championship-contending team last year, how about we stop cautiously dipping our toe in the water at every turn and start contending for championships.
I think the Opening Day lineup has the positions mangled a good bit.
has had more than enough of lusin’
he sees the Braves as his escape
we win, a special fellowship, an agape!
@6 Like it or not, that is the strategy the Braves FO is using. That much is obvious, especially the lackluster pursuit of Donaldson. 3B is this year what the bullpen was last year. It’s the area the Braves want to develop instead of buy into. I’m not sure this wasn’t the plan all along seeing as they made such a big push with the bullpen this year. I am also quite sure they are done with the outfield. There’s every expectation the Ender will reclaim CF, Newk will be a competent SP, and either Camargo or Riley will put up at least 3 WAR. Then Pache or Jackson or Davidson will come along and add an extra punch to the roster.
Whichever part of that doesn’t come true is what will be fixed at the deadline.
Yeah Rob, the formatting looks to have gone wanky on us. And to be fair, Andrelton did cover the whole left side of the infield that season 🙂
Fixed the formatting and positioning for the opening day lineup.