Braves 4, Reds 0

Well, another four-game road series split. Considering we aren’t very good right now, I’ll take it. And also considering how depleted our starting rotation is, I will definitely take Kyle Muller‘s performance today. I saw Muller pitch for the Florida Fire Fogs a few years ago a few rows up right behind home plate, and I saw a big, tall Texan who was attacking hitters with a downhill delivery and taking a shutout into the 8th inning. It was no shock that Joey Wentz, who was taken 4 picks ahead of Muller in the 2016 draft, was traded and Muller remained. One of my biggest disappointments about the lost minor league season last year was that I thought Muller was uniquely in a position to take the leap to Atlanta. We’ve had to settle for him being our 9th option in 2021.

He worked efficient and quickly through the first few innings (the announcers said he was 11 seconds in between pitches at times), finally issuing a walk and needing quite a few pitches to get through the 3rd. He issued another walk in the 5th, and by the end of the 5th, he had thrown 93 pitches. Had he been a little more efficient, we might have reason to be more excited. His final line, for a rookie, was quite impressive, however: 5 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K. This is entirely subjective, but I like the way he looks on the mound, his presence, and the way he attacks. Hopefully this is a start he can build off of.

The offense did enough. Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna both contributed home runs, and Riley also had a nice opposite field single against the shift. Abraham Almonte continues to turn into a pumpkin. Kevan Smith is a complete offensive zero who ended up with three strikeouts in four appearances.

We’re 37-40. We’re short two outfielders. We’re short pretty much an entire bench. There are 11 teams in MLB at least 8 games back and will probably be sellers. Some of them have players who can help us in the lineup or on the bench: Eduardo Escobar, Adam Duvall (up to a 99 wRC+!), Brian Reynolds, Adam Frazier (the only good thing to come out of Athens, GA), Nate Lowe, Justin Upton, Salvador Perez, Jonathan Schoop, and Trey Mancini, all of which who will be available in the coming weeks and won’t cost a franchise-altering prospect to acquire. I’m not yet ready to give up on this season, and I hope the Braves aren’t either.

55 thoughts on “Braves 4, Reds 0”

  1. Rob, isn’t your feud with Chief enough? Please. Let old dawgs lie.

    Muller did look good though.

  2. This season is pretty much over for the Braves too. I’m just being realistic. They are short at least 1 starting OF, a bench OF, a catcher to replace Smith, & a couple of relievers at least. They could also use a starter but that really isn’t realistic with all the other needs. The Braves can’t even get above .500 or run off a winning streak. This isn’t their year. I hope they don’t waste good prospects on players whose contracts expire after this season. The upcoming series against the Mets might decide their future.

  3. What’s keeping them from playing Lucroy over Smith behind the plate? Has the former completely lost his ability to play the game? Unless, of course, the Braves would prefer to have Lucroy work consistently with their AAA pitching staff?

  4. This is Bill Edwards Palm Beach Coast Tribune Sports Editor Lauderdale Lakes Florida and Boyton Beach FLORIDA. The Braves to seriously consider to get Adam Duval back to take The Place Of Marcel Ozuna When They Signed Adam Duval it was a Wise Decision. Adam.Duval Struggled was optioned to There Tripple affiliate where He Refined his Batting Skills To where he was on the Cincinnati Reds He did extremely well in 2020 the The Braves General Manger refused to give Duval what He wanted Now Marcel Ozuna might not Return to Atlanta. Due To his declined offense skills and His Defensive skills. So The General Manager needs Adam Duval back. They are in the Same division as the Miami Marlins. They still have over 9 Games left The Marlins whereas Adam Duval can hurt them thus contributing to hurt the Braves In their quest to at win The National League Eastern Division and continued quest to win The National League Title and finally get back to the 2021 World Series and win it. Another Observation The Braves General Manager needs To reconsider Craig Kimbral When The Former GENERAL MANAGER Refused to commit and Resign kimbral it Would Be A large lift to their Declining Bull Pen So If The Braves really want to achieve the Dream of reestablish themselves to Win the National League championship and Stand a Much more positive chance to accomplish what they set out to do during the Last years when they failed miserably to the Los Angeles Dodgers especially in The shortened 2020 season when they had a commanding 3 games to 1 Lead in the NLCS wake ⏰. Up Atlanta key to your answers is making the Correct choices instead of gambling on players who are Contributing their own weight 😉 let’s Go Atlanta Braves make the Dream come true in 2021 Its not fair to Ronald Acuna who has excelled in both His office and Defense . As well as a improved player Austin Reily . Dont think about it just DO IT.. your Fan base Is declining take a look at your Gste Receipts. The Fans deserve a Wimner for their loyalty .
    Bill Edwards Palm Coast Tribune Sports Editor In Both Lauderdale Lakes Florida and Boyton Beach ⛱ Florida.

  5. Sic ’em, gator boy.

    Chief, I agree they have not been notable in their exploits to date. I am glad I am not tried based on what I had accomplished by their age. Not all are Andruws or Ronalds.

  6. @8 – Pache and Waters are both 22 years old. They’ve had some success and are not even total busts this year just going by their stats, although strikeout numbers are concerning. It’s pretty common for prospects to hit a snag at this level. They could both easily be busts like s large number of prospects are, but I think it’s crazy to give up on both of them at this point.

  7. If Pache’s upside is Kevin Kiermaier or Ender Inciarte, then he’s not a bust. He’s a 22-year old who had a bad first couple months in the bigs after having a nice cup of coffee. If your definition of bust is “not Juan Soto or Ronald Acuna”, then sure, he and many others are busts.

    Drew Waters definitely could be a bust and has the highest bust potential since he’s not considered to be an elite defender or have elite speed or power, therefore his floor is much lower. But once again, he’s a 22-year old who lost a year of minor league development. Two years ago, the last time we had minor league stats, Waters had a .847 OPS as a 2o-year old at AA.

  8. @11 Many good people have come out of Athens! I was just being an obnoxious Gator fan.

    @10 I had to Google that reference.

  9. I know, I kid because I care. :)

    Durham, NC, on the other hand….

    (Says the UNC ’86 grad).

  10. CindyJ, I would trade anyone outside our top 7 or 8 prospects to land enough help to get us to 85 wins, if that’s even necessary. Would it be great to win the division and thus not have to play the Wild Card series? Sure, but who cares? We won the division many a time; where did that get us? If we’ve suffered injuries to Soroka, Fried, Davidson, Ynoa, Martin, Ozuna, and d’Arnaud, and then completely whiffed on our starting CF’s preparedness, and the worst that happened was we won the Wild Card and not the division, and therefore had to play 3 more games in the playoffs, I’ll take it.

    If you’re 5 games back in July, the season is not over. The bullpen is getting a little better, the starting rotation has gotten much better, you have good players returning from injury, and you have a clear area to improve the team (outfield), then go do it. Bryan Reynolds with Pittsburgh could easily be a flash in the pan, but how much could he possibly cost? I think you definitely give up some lottery tickets to see if he has another few months of good play in him. No one will give up a top prospect for him.

  11. @14, 17, and 18–I remember it like it was yesterday. Thanks, Rusty! OTOH, cultural references from the last couple of decades are mostly lost on me.

  12. White Sox are interested in Eduardo Escobar, according to Heyman. He’s not a great fit for us since he’s an infielder, but Heyman is saying this will start a sell-off by the D-Backs.

    David Peralta would be a good backup OF. As Ryan has said, Asdrubal Cabrera would be a good bench bat. Caleb Smith is a solid left-handed reliever.

    Get it done, Wren. Don’t call me until you have something.

  13. I think Escobar would be a fit. Like Ryan suggested earlier they could move Riley to LF to accommodate that. Same with Asdrubal. And even Peralta as a starter in LF would be an upgrade.

  14. I wouldn’t shy away from using Pache and/or Waters if they can acquire a star caliber player in return. (Not the guys listed above)

  15. “Get it done, Wren” is just a classic old Braves Journal saying. I reuse it periodically, too. I think Rob was just playin’ the hits.

  16. Sorry, some of my sarcasm coming out. I was assuming he was so used to writing it that it just came out by accident. I guess “Get it done AA” never really caught on.

  17. As for AA, he’s getting his four-year chip this offseason, but if he hasn’t done something significant with this Braves team by then, I’d happily support kicking him off the wagon…

  18. We can only hope other teams are dumber than the Braves. And for sure some are. Best not contact the Ray’s.
    Often when you buy two average suits instead of one good one, you compromise and look average. In money two fives buys you ten in goods. In sports two fives is average. A ten is good. This team has too many holes from ownership to the last 6 or 8 players. Three of our starting pitchers are on the shelf. One punched something. So now we count on Smyly and Morton. Two average suits.

  19. @16, I know nothing about Reynolds other than what’s on his BRef page, but unless there’s something really bad that doesn’t show up in the numbers, I’d be very surprised if the Pirates would trade him for peanuts. At 26, he’s their second youngest starter and younger than almost any of their other MLB field players. Except for last year he’s hit over .300 with walks and moderate power every year in the minors and majors, and he may be their All-Star Game representative (a couple of relievers look like their only other candidates since Ke’Bryan Hayes has been hurt). He has at least three more years of team control and is playing center this year, so I assume he’s at least decent defensively. He’s also the guy they traded McCutcheon for, which shouldn’t matter but probably would. Seems to me like they would consider him a key part of their rebuild. I’d be delighted to give up Waters and Wright for him, but I doubt that would get it done. Where is Dave Stewart when we need him?

  20. You’re right; Reynolds will probably not be cheap. A guy can dream.

    Raimel Tapia, his .345 OBP, and his speed would be nice. He’s got a 1.2 fWAR for Colorado. Peralta, Tapia, all these guys would be better than Almonte, and especially Ender. Get it done.


  21. It will be tough to replace Almonte. If you go by total WAR there are only 522 players that have a higher WAR. There are 708 players with a total WAR higher than Inciarte, so he will be a little easier to replace. On the bright side, depending on what stat you go by, both Almonte and Inciarte are having better years than Stephen Strasburg, who is currently on the IL.

  22. Chief – you didn’t miss anything. I was just commenting on the previous post from Rob that stated that Peralta and Tapia would be better than Almonte and Inciarte. My point was that you would most likely be better than both of them at this point in your career. A few years ago it wouldn’t have been close.

  23. @37 I’ve said it many times before but orgs should identify 1-2 players in their miLB employ as untouchable but then the other 150 should be completely fair game.

  24. @39 The number should be a little bigger than that, but I see your point. The Braves probably have 3-4 guys that should be untouchable. But it’s hard to have a number because it just depends. What are the 1-2 players in the Braves minor league system? Are they untouchable for Juan Soto? No. But are there 6-7 guys that you wouldn’t trade unless Juan Soto was coming back in the deal? So define untouchable, really.

  25. Socrates Copenhagen: “What is the Good? What is untouchable?”

    Don’t ask me. I’m one of the hayseeds. Ask AAR.

  26. My Barber says AA was in getting a trim and drinking a LaBatts. He was rambling about the following:

    ATL Gets: Garcia and Kennedy
    TEX Gets: Ball, Jenista, Newk, Shewmake and Alex Jackson

  27. Ball, Jenista, and probably even Jackson don’t have any value. So the trade would essentially be Newk and Shewmake for Garcia and Kennedy. Kennedy is lights out but making big money. I don’t know if Atlanta can take that much salary back, and if Texas sent salary, I think it would cost a lot more than Newk and Shewmake to get Garcia and then Kennedy with actual surplus value. I think you’d have to put another key piece that has value into that deal. Just my $0.02.

  28. @41, I’d trust your answer to the question of “What is the Good?” more than my own!

    That said, I’m pretty much on board with trading everyone who isn’t Acuna. I’d love to hang on to Varsity and Jethro, but we all know how pitchers break your heart. I don’t think there’s a single fella on the farm who really needs to be protected.

    The real problem with trading prospects is you always wind up seeing a trade of two guys who seemed to have incredible potential for a middle reliever and a backup outfielder, and then you have to ask if that’s all you get. But considering how damn much we need a middle reliever and a backup outfielder, I’m ready to rip a hole in the middle of this underperforming squad. Get it done Wren.

  29. @44 based on what I have seen, the Braves have IMO two untouchables. Three if you count Freeman for Braves Country ™ reasons. IMO its Acuna and Anderson. Long-ish term, I’d rate Anderson above Fried primarily because he’s right handed and RHP face more RHB than LHB. Not even Albies would be off limits as he plays a non-premium position. As far as prospects, I don’t think the Braves currently have an untouchable prospect in the entire miLB portion of the organization. Not one.

  30. I personally would add Ozzie to the keepers, but what do I know. Pretty good player for the dollars.

  31. @47 Agreed. Ozzie is currently 32nd amongst position players in fWAR, he makes no money, and he won’t for a very, very long time. Unless Juan Soto is coming back in the deal, Ozzie ought not be in it.

  32. In a powerful convergence of Braves Energy, Horacio Ramirez, Twin Bills (still maybe my favorite nickname ever spawned from this site), and Daniel Castro are all playing for Tijuana in the Mexican League. In particular, Horacio, at 41, has a 4.02 ERA in 4 starts. Just saying, if we do need to deal Jethro, Varsity, or Ozzie, we know where to look.

  33. We don’t need any more backup outfielders, we need a big bat starting outfielder. That’s going to cost a lot. The Rangers appear to be the best place to look for that. As to their outfielders, I think I’d prefer Gallo to Garcia, based on track record. Garcia has more upside, but did anyone predict he’d be this good? I fear a pumpkin. Gallo has obvious limitations, but you know what you’re getting, which is a lot of walks, good power, and good defense. The K’s are a problem, of course, but he’s only struck out 12 times more than Garcia.

  34. @50, and Horacio at 41 is not nearly the oldest pitcher on his team. Closer Fernando Rodney is 44 and in 16 IP has 19 K with only 2 runs allowed. His BRef page Teams Played For table is pretty amazing – only made it to the U.S. minors at 22 and stayed with Detroit or in its system until 32, when he started a string of 11 different major league teams in 11 years, plus lots of minor league teams, an independent league team, and several years with a Dominican Winter League team. I’m sure he’s made a lot of money, but man, that’s a lot of moves.

  35. I get the concept of limited untouchables and don’t disagree to a point, but I would rather develop from within than pay huge bucks for free agents or trade for guys who hold no more certainty for future returns than top prospects. Ozuna (even without the legal/moral garbage that won’t be mentioned) seems like a good case in point. Mike Moustakas will get paid $14 million in his age 32 season and is set to make $18 million at 34. So far he’s hitting .241 in 28 games with 4 homers and a .773 OPS. For everyone who has given up on Austin Riley, at 24 he’s played in 76 games with 13 homeruns, his overall production is much better, and he’s making about $600k.

  36. Guys, the days of reaching in a hopper full of shit and getting a diamond is only done by the Rays. Seriously, good players the Braves have no way of getting. So they will trade a 96 Yugo for a 97 Yugo. In the end they are still minus 500. I love a site that stated the Braves have basically been a 500 team all year. Totally wrong.
    You are turning nightmares into sweet dreams. Next year the Atlanta Braves need two outfielders, a catcher, a bench, pitching and maybe a DH. Forget about it.
    I do admire your optimism. Reality will rule. I will want until game 162 to pass judgment on Riley and others. This way the proof is in the pudding.
    Can the Atlanta Braves win 20 of 30?

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