Braves Roster News, Trade News, and Game Thread

The Braves have made some waves on the roster today, calling up Ian Anderson. The move gives the Braves a full 40-man roster, if Nick Markakis is included in that 40-man (technically he’s not since he’s on the COVID IL, but I’m sure the Braves aren’t in a hurry to fill it right now).

The Braves also activated Ronald Acuña Jr. from the IL and he will be in tonight’s lineup. While I’d like to see Dansby Swanson continue to lead off and insert Acuña behind him where his power can play up, I’d be fine with Acuña leading off with Dansby becoming the new Ozzie Albies.

Touki Toussaint and Alex Jackson were the 2 roster casualties. They will be headed back to Gwinnett but will stay on the 40-man for now.

Getting to Know Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson was drafted 3rd overall in the 2016 draft and signed underslot so the Braves could essentially grab 3 first round talents with their first 3 picks. Ian’s never struggled long enough to be forced to grow, but that’s not a knock on him, rather a statement for Braves fans to practice patience with a young player. Primarily a 3-pitch pitcher, Anderson has a mid-90s fastball, a big curveball, and a changeup that’s considered a LHH regulator.

Andy Harris, one of the better Braves Minor League minds out there, wrote this piece on Ian and discusses in detail his pitches and something that could be worrisome for the talented righty.

Braves Trade News

In a post where Mark Bowman was essentially forced into making up a trade for the Braves, he chose to reunite them with Kevin Gausman. If you leave out Gausman’s ERA, which is 4.65, his 1.7 BB/9 and 12.2. K/9 is quite great. His FIP is much lower than his ERA and that’s what the Braves bought into when they traded from him in 2018. While most of our mindsets want to set this trade on fire and sacrifice it to the baseball gods, let’s not forget that Gausman was essential in winning the division back in 2018 and could help a struggling rotation down the stretch…if he can keep the ball in the park. However, if the Braves get Gausman for very little, I hope there’s at least 1 more deal up the sleeve to grab another starting pitcher.

Late Roster News

I hope the trade deadline comes and goes and takes Ender Inciarte with it to another team. While the outfield could get crowded, having Cristian Pache in CF against RHP would add a lot of defensive value when flanked by Acuña and Nick Markakis. Adam Duvall is a great player, but once again has large splits and should be primarily be used against left-handed pitchers. If I had my way:

•vs. LHP: Duvall in LF, Pache in CF, Acuña in RF, Marcell Ozuna as DH

•vs. RHP: Markakis in LF, Pache in CF, Acuña in RF, and Ozuna as DH.

Braves Lineup

Lots to be excited about tonight! Go Braves!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

73 thoughts on “Braves Roster News, Trade News, and Game Thread”

  1. I have a hunch that either Wright or Toussaint will be traded. Both need a change of scenery. It’s never going to happen for either of them in this organization. They both need new voices and new approaches from someone else.

    The days of giving a Smoltz and Glavine 2 years to get their brains beat in are long gone.

  2. @Andy
    No problem, my man! I don’t hand out unearned compliments.

    He very well might not be a difference maker, but he very well could give more than what 3/5 of the guys the Braves are running out now. Admittedly, I’d like multiple moves but wouldn’t be upset with a Gausman reunion.

  3. @3
    Wouldn’t it be easier to clean house with the coaches and scouts, since supposedly they are the reason that our prospects usually suck or don’t develop until traded?
    Start fresh next year.

    With your line of thinking, it seems like Anderson or Muller might be the next to go if they haven’t figured it out by next year.

    It took Fried 7 years to figure it out…I’m glad we waited for him

  4. Agreed on Fried. The number of prospects who are instantly amazing is extremely low. Chief — not the first time I’ve thought this, but I think your expectations are not realistic.

  5. I think the Braves could trade Wright, but not because they’ve given up on him. I just think he may take a little longer than expected and they may try to get someone to help immediately.
    On Touki I think they want to find a trading partner soon. He is on a very short leash.

  6. It’s not that I have unrealistic expectations, I just don’t think command or control can be ‘fixed’ in house very often.

    You can sometimes improve stuff through S&C.

    Command and control is innate, IMO.

    IMO, Touki or Wright will never have it. For the Braves.

    Also, although it hurts me to say so as an Auburn fan, Mize will be a bust. He’s a one trick pony. He has one plus pitch. The rest is meh.

  7. The game has been postponed and it’s not even raining anymore, nor is likely to the rest of the night. Kind of a ridiculous decision.

  8. The number of prospects who are instantly amazing is small, but if you’re trying to contend, the days of giving a Glavine or Smoltz two years to figure things out are gone as well. If you’re trying to win, you may have to trade someone who’s not contributing to get help today, even if it bites you later.

  9. @3 & 11

    I feel I should point out that, after a 12-start rookie year, Smoltz made the ASG and had a sub-3.00 ERA in his first full season….

  10. With limited social distancing possible in clubhouses and no fans in the stands, games are being called for rain much, much faster this season.

  11. @14

    Yeah, I get that. I had no problem with them calling the Washington game last week, as it was gonna rain for a couple more hours in that case. In normal years, they’d have waited and that game would’ve started at around 10 p.m. This year, not happening. Got it, no issues.

    In this case, though, it literally wasn’t raining anymore and the forecast called for no more rain the rest of the night. That was the case the other night against Philadelphia and they cleared the field and played. Why would they not do that tonight?

  12. Giolito with a no hitter. Thats another guy that took a while to figure it out.
    I remember him being afraid to throw strikes, kinda like Wright.

  13. A few quick points:

    1- I don’t think the organization thinks Pache is ready, or he would have played more.

    2- We need at least two starters. I’d go after Walker and/or Dylan Bundy. Then move to Lynn or Trevor Williams.

    3- I am all for last night’s rain-out. I’d rather see the Yankees for 14 innings over 18.

  14. @15, I imagine there also might be an element of going to both teams and saying, “Hey, we can get this thing going in about an hour, or would you rather just go home and play 14 innings tomorrow?”

  15. I was reading this thread this morning waiting for someone to mention Giolito. “Can’t fix control at the major league level” as Giolito had a walk rate of 5 per 9 over 240 innings into his major league career. Kyle Wright has 40 major league innings, and Chief is bringing in the coroner.

    I think Chief has had a bad experience somewhere with a failed prospect that has scarred him for life. He probably bet on wayyyyy too many games started by Jason Marquis or Bruce Chen or something and he’s still jaded.

  16. I wonder if Giolito was a change of scenery guy or what. Possible that he only unlocked his talent after leaving Washington; I never quite know why a guy can’t reach his potential without leaving his original organization, and I imagine that it is different in every case.

    But, yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me to expect a prospect to immediately hit the ground running. If a guy isn’t succeeding immediately in one role — like starting pitching — I don’t see why the team wouldn’t try to work him in via another role. In Newcomb’s case, it seems like relief is basically the only role where he can be effective. In Wilson’s case, the jury’s out but I think the window is closing on starting pitching. In Wright’s case, I think he deserves more rope.

    But like I always say, if starting his career as a bullpen swingman was good enough for Johan Santana, it should be good enough for these bums.

  17. Jon Berti stole 3 bases this week for the Marlins – all in the same innings. Rare – kind of every 100 year rare so some say.

    We needn’t take it all seriously though – the theft of home which clinched the consummation was Mack Sennett funny and wholly traditional. Aborting his first attempt he started back to third, apparently sated. Whereupon the catcher lobbed the ball back to the pitcher, still on the mound, using that lazy, so cool technique that requires no body turn, no arm leverage, just a flip of the wrist. So, little velocity in that lazy parabola.. Which Mr. Berti may have recognized immediately as his ticket to immortality. He reversed course. The predictable dust up at home plate went his way, the catcher mortified, the pitcher furious.

  18. After today, we only have one team left on our schedule that is over .500 (hint, it’s the Marlins)

  19. Apparently Buck Belue just said on 680theFan that the Braves have swung a deal for Kyle Seager and Taijuan Walker.

    If there was ever a rule before the Furcal rule, this is it. AA NEVER leaks info and this just seems like fan fabrication.

  20. @23

    Yeah, I think this goes beyond the Furcal rule. I’m literally not seeing that anywhere else, so it’s more running afoul of the two sources rule, which you have to get through before you even get to the Furcal rule.

  21. With all this talk about “pitchers figuring it out,” I’m reminded of a book I’m reading at the moment: Tyler Kepner’s “K – A History of Baseball in 10 Pitches.” I’d recommend it for those who really wanna go down the pitching rabbit hole.

    I’ve just begun Chapter 9 (The Spitter), but the book features several tales of guys who were at a career crossroads for a variety of reasons (injury, lack of repertoire, flimsy stuff, whatever) and they had to learn a new pitch and/or formulate a completely new approach. The book is, obviously, all about the success stories. But it’s interesting to note that there are compelling stories of career-saving pitches (Hubbell’s screwball, Sutter’s splitter, Hoffman’s change), but also of devastating pitches that took already-good hurlers to another level (eg., Carlton’s slider, Pedro’s change).

    Tom Glavine, for example, got thru the minors mostly with a fastball & (the then-trendy) forkball/splitter. Before he got to Triple-A, Ned Yost told him, “Your splitter sucks… You gotta get a change-up.” At the higher levels, Yost said, hitters will spit on his split & essentially sit on his less-than-overpowering fastball. Glavine wouldn’t budge, as he was easing his way up thru the lower minors on his existing repertoire, but Yost was right.

    In the show, Glavine started out 9-21 with a 4.76 ERA – so, by 1989, he relented on learning the change, a pitch he says he didn’t even completely perfect until after his 1991 Cy Young campaign. But, he says that when he began to effectively throw the change to lefty hitters – something pitching coaches preached against & hitters rarely expected – he was on his way to Cooperstown. And there’s a cool story about Pedro watching Glavine in an all-star bullpen warm-up & becoming inspired himself to throw the change.

    Oh, and some of the Maddux stuff is oft-told material, but it’s still gold. The guy really is like a pitching swami.

    Walker seems like the kind of pitcher we might end up with, but… I’ll believe it if/when it’s official. Can’t find it anywhere.

  22. The SportsSouth people are really playing up the great pitching duel we are about to see. No pressure, kid.

  23. If Frenchy’s story about Snitker telling Anderson to “pitch to contact” is true, well then there’s my problem with the organizational philosophy summed up right there. I understand if you don’t want a guy to be too amped up or overthrowing. But don’t be afraid to strike a m****rf****r out! Not every pitcher has to be Tom Glavine and strikeouts are not evil.

    And there you go, he struck out Hicks to end the inning. Much better than letting him make contact!

  24. Oh, my God, I have missed RAJ so much.

    @30, don’t quite follow you. If anything, the problem with Bryce, Wright, and Newcomb has been that they haven’t thrown the ball anywhere near the strike zone. If they actually believed in “pitch to contact” they wouldn’t be afraid of the zone.

  25. With Ian Anderson, Chris Martin and Will Smith, the pitching staff now has 10 Grammy awards.

  26. @31 – Maybe it’s just semantics, but I think there is a difference between “pitch to contact” and “throw a good pitch in the zone.” As Cole just showed, you can get swings and misses in the zone. I rather they be aggressive in the zone, try to get whiffs, and if that results in some weak contact instead, then it’s all good.I’m thinking we’re on the same page, just using different language. Maybe it was just Snitker’s way of saying “throw some damn strikes.”

  27. Yeah, I think that may be what Snitker meant. You can’t just try to pitch away from the bat. Throw the ball and let your stuff make them miss, instead of putting it where no human could touch it and no halfway intelligent person would swing.

  28. Anderson just came in on Gardner’s hands with a changeup on a 3-1 count, and he got rewarded with a swing and miss. That’s ballsy. I like it a lot.

  29. Wade is one of the worst hitters on an MLB roster, but he stole a lotta bases in the minors. They use him as a PR a decent amount… hate walking him there.

  30. @39 In fairness, Anderson’s first 2 pitches to Wade both clipped the bottom of the zone, according to K-zone (both called balls).

    Atta boy Dans!

  31. If we can do this to Gerrit Cole, we can do this to anybody. If we could find anybody who could throw the ball, this team could outslug the world.

  32. Anderson is throwing low changeups on a 3-2 count, which on the one hand I like that he’s got the confidence in his stuff to throw an offspeed pitch with a three-ball count, but on the other hand, I think I’d like a slightly higher proportion of fastballs to make the offspeed stuff play up a bit more.

    EDIT: Two straight low-and-away fastball strikes to Urshela. (Even though the first one probably should’ve been a ball.) Then a third fastball and he gets a GIDP. That’s what I like.

  33. Kaminski playing Under The Sea for Urshela. Since I recently watched The Little Mermaid with my grandkids, I caught the reference to Ursula.

  34. So far… so good…

    The Yankees’ radio announcers are asking if anyone has ever thrown a no-no in his MLB debut. Funny.

    Answer: Yes. On the last day of the 1892 season, Reds rookie Bumpus Jones did it. It was the 1st of only 8 MLB starts.

    Hey, only 3 more innings…

  35. Agree with @52.

    I’m all for nicknaming him Bumpus Anderson. Can I get a second?

  36. @54- Man, a return to the olden days of nicknames would be a wondrous thing. I’d love to see Pache become the new “Death to Flying Things.”

  37. This one’s on Chip. Does he have to say “ no hit” after every batter?

    Look, I believe in reason and science and I know what the announcer (or me on my couch) says makes no difference on the field. But I’ve always enjoyed the tradition of an announcer trying to describe what’s going on without saying those words.

  38. Anderson’s pitches are still missing down, which is good, but he’s missing his spots by a hell of a lot more than he was at the beginning of the game. He got out of the 6th by luck. He’d better not start the 7th.

  39. Still, it’s hard to have a better debut than this…

    He’s at 90 pitches. I’m guessing that’s it for him.

    EDIT: Let’s tack one on here.

  40. Glad we got a single insurance run there, but two strikeouts and a groundout with men on second and third and nobody out is a real missed opportunity.

  41. Man what a great game. Anderson twirled a gem and the bats beat up the best pitcher in baseball.

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