A Shakeup of Epic Proportions.

Ender Inciarte sucks. He probably would’ve not sucked in 2019 if he’d have stayed healthy, but the hammy turned his Grammy nominated defense into Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”, which isn’t ironic in the slightest, rather just bad luck, and the defense rests… in negative Outs Above Average according to Statcast. When speed deteriorates, defense is the first go to and Ender plays a position that needs legs. They gone…. and they’re not coming back. Braves owe him a prorated $8.7MM for the 2021 season and a buyout of $1MM for his 2022 option. That’s going to get declined faster than Lindsey Lohan’s credit cards. It’s time to move on. At this point, he’s costing the team wins. It’s time to move on. AA, you’re not going to recoup the money. This hypothetical only works if Ender is gone. I’m going to pretend that AA knows this, so…Onward and Upward!

Ender, Need a Buddy?

For this hypothetical to work, there needs to be a 2nd deletion. I’ve enjoyed the heck out of Ehire Adrianza. He’s been a solid defender that’s covered all over. However, in this scenario, the Braves will be adding flexibility that should relieve Adrianza of his super-utility duties. We appreciate you, Ehire, and wish you the best whether it be with the Stripers or another MLB club.

Ender DFA’d, Adrianza DFA’d. 2 Roster spots open.

A Trade

This isn’t the trade that will turn the team around, but it is a trade that adds a solid bat, a solid glove, and provides a little more flexibility via position. It also gets rid of a problem that just won’t go away. Sean Newcomb has likely one of the highest ceilings in the Braves organization…but he just can’t throw strikes regularly. While the velo is extraordinary, teams have picked up on his inability to throw strikes and will continue to keep the bats on shoulders until that turns around. There’s a chance that Newcomb will go elsewhere and ball out but it’s year 5 and it’s time to see him get an opportunity in another uni.

The Deal:

Some are going to question either side of this and I get it. Why would the Diamondbacks want Sean Newcomb? Why would the Braves want Asdrubel Cabrera? First, the Diamondbacks would want Sean Newcomb for the same reason the Braves have wanted him these last 4.5 years…potential. The arm is elite. If they unlock his command, they’ve got a real stud on their hands. As for Cabrera, he’s got so much value as a part time starter and bench bat. He’s a veteran switch-hitting bat with a mid-700s career OPS from both sides of the plate. As a 7th-8th hitter in a lineup, that has value. As the first hitter off the bench, it has a lot of value. Consistency is key and he’s provided it for 15 years straight.

The 2nd Move

With this move, the Braves are now in need of a backup SS as Ehire Adrianza will no longer be serving in that role. Orlando Arcia has really come on at AAA and his defense have never been questioned. His K% has dropped dramatically and his power is blazing…and it’s not just the ball at AAA. He’s demolishing baseballs and has kept it going all year. This man deserves a promotion and he’ll get it in this hypothetical.

The Benefits

There are a lot of benefits here, mainly from an offensive perspective. However, Cabrera is about a neutral defensive 3B and that plays better than what we’ve seen from Austin Riley this year. This also helps the Braves create matchups vs. starting pitchers whether it be moving Riley to the OF and letting Arcia and Cabrera coexist at 3B, or have Almonte and Heredia platoon in CF providing both with less exposure which would likely aid in maintaining effectiveness.

Hypothetical Lineups

vs. RHP

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr.
  2. Freddie Freeman
  3. Ozzie Albies
  4. Austin Riley (LF)
  5. Asdrubal Cabrera (3B)
  6. William Contreras
  7. Guillermo Heredia
  8. Dansby Swanson

vs. LHP

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr.
  2. Freddie Freeman
  3. Ozzie Albies
  4. Abraham Almonte (still cannot believe this is happening)
  5. Austin Riley (LF)
  6. William Contreras
  7. Orlando Arcia (3B)
  8. Dansby Swanson


This plan isn’t fool proof and there’s a large chance that both Heredia and Almonte turn back into pumpkins, but it’s a step toward helping out the team’s offense and defense in one blow without hurting the farm. If Braves are going anywhere, they’ll need to make big moves in the bullpen and add a SP. This doesn’t deter from that plan.


Tonight’s Lineup

Degrom vs. Muller. Here. We. Go.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

63 thoughts on “A Shakeup of Epic Proportions.”

  1. @Ryan, I would have signed or traded for Cabrera any time back to when he was a Met but the Braves didn’t. They had a chance to sign him in the offseason after 2018, after the deadline in 2019, and during the last two offseasons and, this year, chose Adrianza for basically the same money as Cabrera got. Do you really think they’ll double up and pay Cabrera and Adrianza (DFA’d or not) at the same time and lose Newcomb to boot?

  2. @3
    If they want the team to function at a higher capacity, they definitely should.

  3. Do you think it’s strictly based on which starter lined up better, or is it telling that Muller is starting over Wright?

  4. I think it’s probably that Muller’s last few starts have been better than Wright’s.
    I think it’s interesting that they chose to slot Muller against deGrom. They’ve increased the chances of a split but decreased the odds of a sweep. I think they assume the odds of beating deGrom are pretty low in any event. Would you have lined it up that way?

  5. deGrom’s only gone more than 6 innings 3 times this year. I’d send Anderson out there and try to beat their bullpen. But weird things happen, that’s why they play the games with humans instead of dice. Muller might be all right.

  6. @6: I think managers outthink themselves all the time on this. Over half of all DHs are split no matter what the matchups. (I don’t have any data to suggest whether 7 inning DHs ought to be any different on this: I don’t think so.)

    I watched the Mets pregame show and just shut it off. Good luck, everybody!

  7. @6 I think you’re right that they structured it to try to get the split, but whichever game they threw a Kyle, it’s not like they were trying to lose, and they chose Muller over Wright. If they were choosing the best man for the job vs. who lined up with rest better, then I wonder if Wright is falling down the org pecking order.

  8. This is the first Braves game I’ve watched any significant part of in two weeks (general life craziness plus vacation combined with the Hawks taking precedence since their playoff run started), and I see that our backups catchers still can’t block a ball. Seems inconvenient.

  9. Cy Wisler and Lukey must be texting. Wisler has 4 scoreless innings with 6 K’s for the Rays. 90% sliders thrown. Hot damn, Wisler. Just own it.

  10. Yes we are playing Little League ball.
    7 innings. Poor babies. Give me a break.
    Bull your neck softies.

  11. DeGrom has looked a little more hittable since he faced Muller, but Ozzie has looked lost against him.

  12. Braves trades need to focus on consolidation talent from here on out, IMO. One 3-win player is way better than two 1.5-win players. You can only fit so many on a roster. This team has some great pieces, but need to add a couple more all-stars. Especially the rotation.

  13. Muller did great. It will be ridiculous if the one hit that was charged to him stays that way.

  14. 1-0, bases loaded, two outs and you use a guy who shouldn’t be brought in unless it’s a mop-up situation. He’ll cite lefty-lefty matchup. The hitter has reverse splits.

    This team isn’t good enough to overcome a manager with such clueless decision-making.

  15. I know Snit cannot be blamed for the weak bullpen he’s been given. But why do you use Newcomb there?
    He still doesn’t use his better relievers when they trail by a run. If it had been tied or the Braves up a run or two, there’s a much better chance he’d use Matzek or Minter.

  16. The Greene, Newcomb combination is stunning. Let’s go for a split.
    Forget the band aids, these team needs surgery.
    I remember Koufax could not throw strikes. You think maybe we have an other Sandy? Is he Jewish?
    One can only joke at this embarrassment.

  17. Snit puts in a lefty to face a guy who rakes against lefties .. Smith hits .210 against rightes .. really .. pitiful .. he has lost team

  18. Snit is terrible at managing a bullpen, full stop. Give him a good one and it largely works out because the guy he goes with gets the outs anyway. Give him a bad one and…well, you get this.

  19. Greene rocking that ERA of 19. It’s so frustrating when pitchers hold out. I get it, you should do what’s best for you, and the owners are no better. But when you hold out, you’re not going to be ready to compete against hitters who are in mid-season form. Both parties are just wasting their time.

  20. Newk gave up a triple Grybo and stuck the landing. How hard IS that to do? Normally, it takes Luke two or three batters to do something like that. I’m not sure I’d blame all that on Greene. He did get two outs. I think I’d let Greene try to get Smith. Man, without that, Ozzie’s HR would have been sweet.

  21. Second game first inning and the Braves already fail to score on bases loaded one out.

  22. At the game… much less vibe here in Game 2 w/o deGrom on the mound. Our bullpen remains brutal.

    This Eickhoff guy is dancing thru raindrops so far. He’s been wild & the Braves have ripped some balls, but no luck.

    Additionally, it occurred to me that Billy McKinney is also the name of the actor who played the mountain-man rapist in “Deliverance.”

    That is all… go Braves.

  23. Gotta say I feel more confident with Anderson starting the 3rd time through the order than going to the bullpen.

  24. I’d be delighted to win 1-0, but that will require six more outs. I’d feel a lot better if the margin was at least two, preferably 3 or more.

  25. Ugh…ever the glutton for punishment, Snitker just can’t keep himself from needlessly putting this game in the hands of the bullpen.

  26. Snitker was very eager to put Minter in.

    And Minter is going to do what he does by immediately falling behind in the count.

  27. When a team is 6 games ahead of you in the standings, it’s hard to write LOLMets….. except now.

  28. It’s hard for me to see how the Mets win the division. It’s also hard for me to see how anybody else wins the division.

  29. The Mets have had one of the best pitching staffs in the league. That’s why they are in 1st.

    And to this point the Braves have had a below average pitching staff.

  30. Smith is just so mediocre. No ability to punch out a hitter with two strikes. When you live off contact as a closer, you die off contact as a closer

  31. Get this a-hole out of the game. This team deserves everything it gets with this soft tossing clown as the close

  32. Luke or Matzek should close. They at least have strikeout stuff. Smith is hoping guys miss hittable pitches.

  33. Two closers:
    Closer A: 31 IP, 3 Blown Saves, 2.3K/BB, 7.8K/9, WHIP 1.10, BA against .202
    Closer B: 28.2 IP, 1 Blown Save, 4.0K/BB, 12.6K/9, WHIP 1.05, BA against .192

    Closer A is current save leader Mark Melancon, Closer B got a save tonight for the Braves.

    I’m not exactly sure how to take these stats, because I didn’t like Melancon either. But while Smith has been no good at all when brought into a tie game (which is why he’s 1-5) he has been doing as well as Melancon for the job he was hired to do: Closer(TM)

  34. 5 runs total scored in four games, and they go 2-2.
    I’ll take it, but it is not a sustainable strategy.

  35. @59

    Those four games added up to 28 total innings instead of the standard 36, if that makes you feel any better. Not that 5 runs in 28 innings is good, but I do feel like these seven-inning games have a distinct minigame feel to them at times…almost like they’re even shorter than seven. Obviously, that’s not really quantifiable, and it’s entirely possible that I’m just nuts, but you had two 1-0 games in there and then another game where de Grom got a first-inning lead, so that probably contributed to how “short” they felt.

  36. @61, Agreed, Nick, but with the way the offense has sputtered in late/extra innings, I wouldn’t have expected more even if they had been 9 inning games.

    4 of the 5 runs were scored by HR, with the other being Freeman’s steal of home.

    At least the bullpen wasn’t used much due to the 7 inning thing.

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