Braves 6… loooooooooooong rain delay… Reds 3

I wish I could say that the long delay of this recap was intentional, but Ryan C. could tell you otherwise. Hope you all had a wonderful celebration of Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith giving those aliens a virus. Kyle Wright had another great start for the first four innings, and the Braves scored six runs in the first two innings, and then came the rains. Fortunately, they stopped after just under three hours, so we were able to get a regulation game in. Would’ve been a shame to waste the fireworks, I guess.

The game got a little closer in the later innings thanks to a homer by Juan Yepez, who has 11 taters in 193 PA, with a healthy .281/.321/.522 line in his rookie campaign. It’s quite remarkable that he may be one of the best players traded away by the Braves since the start of the rebuild.

In general, we hoarded our prospects and just traded away players who had larger salaries, or who were complimentary pieces at best — Joey Wentz, Kolby Allard, Patrick Weigel, Alex Jackson; guys like that.

Just to remind you, here’s the prospect package we traded to Baltimore for Kevin Gausman: Brett Cumberland, JC Encarnacion, Evan Phillips, and Bruce Zimmermann. Phillips is a pretty good middle reliever for the Dodgers this year, while Zimmermann has been a bad fifth starter and the other two never made the majors. That’s the kind of prospect Alex has generally traded away. By contrast, the Braves held onto Touki Toussaint until the last gasp of hope that he’d turn into something useful in a Braves uniform had long since expired.

Alex Anthopoulos, as we’ve all learned, would far rather spend a bit more money on a veteran on a one-year contract (Dallas Keuchel, Marcell Ozuna, Josh Donaldson, Cole Hamels, etc.) than pay for someone with prospects who we may come to regret having lost.

Oh, and just to be clear: it wasn’t Alex who traded Yepez. Yepez was traded for Matt Adams six months before Anthopoulos took over. He was signed by Frank Wren in 2014 for something like a million bucks; John Coppolella made the decision to give up Yepez for Adams in May 2017, and then was permanently banned from baseball that autumn.

After the trade, Yepez resumed putting up a sub-.700 OPS in A-ball. He finally got promoted to Double-A in 2019, five years after he was signed, and two years after he was traded to his new organization. The next year, COVID-19 canceled the minor league season. And somehow, Yepez finally tapped into the potential the Braves’ scouts had seen a half-decade prior, as he hit .286/.383/.586 across Double-A and Triple-A, and this year he’s established himself in the majors for good.

Yepez had never really done anything in the Braves organization by the time they traded him, other than maintain a good age relative to league, and being the guy in whom a previous front office had been willing to make a significant investment.

And the Adams trade was still reasonably defensible; he came over midyear and gave us 314 PA of .271/.315/.545 work, solidifying our infield while Freddie was out for two months with a wrist injury from an HBP. But even while Adams was the right acquisition target, he probably could have been acquired for a prospect with a higher ceiling and a lower floor.

Juan Yepez is a good object lesson for why Anthopoulos has been so reluctant to yield any high-ceiling prospects in trade. A lot of the time, the most important move you can make is to refuse to do something hasty and stupid. AA is really, really good at that.

44 thoughts on “Braves 6… loooooooooooong rain delay… Reds 3”

  1. looking at next year … I think what we need to concentrate on is a Starter and a Closer .. id say we will have at least 60 mil to spend ..with Morton’s 20 mil and Jansen 16 mil and W Smith 13 mil ..thats 50 mil there .. either transition Strider to a close from the right side or go get Degrom if proves healthy if he opts out of his Met contract .. be nice to see DeGrom, Fried, Wright, Soroka and ??? toeing the rubber next year and is Strider stays in rotation him as the 5th starter ..then go get a closer with the extra money after signing Degrom … that would be a strong rotation ..
    1. Degrom
    2. Fried
    3. Wright
    4. Soroka
    5. Strider

    If we could pull Edwin Diaz as a free agent from Mets as closer .. getting Degrom and Diaz from Mets would hurt them and help us tremdously .. 60 mil gets that done for sure

  2. @2. Barring injury, Strider is not going to be the future closer of this team. That ship has sailed over the last two months. If someone can throw with that kind of velocity/effectiveness for 100 pitches, you use them as a starter. Full stop.

  3. Kolby Allard still is a 4A pitcher. Pitches well in Triple A but gets hammered in the majors.

    Joey Wentz didn’t pitch particularly well in the Detroit minor league system but with Detroit being desperate they recently promoted him for his big league debut and the early returns are what you’d expect.

    Bryse Wilson also continues to be a 4A guy, getting shelled for Pittsburgh but returning to Triple A and pitching well.

    Chances are we will never miss any of these guys. I do think Shea Langeliers has a good chance to make us miss him, though.

  4. Yes, Strider is a starter. I listened to that Strider interview with Pitching Ninja that sdp posted. Dadgum, that was a great interview. Strider is a smart, grown ass man. It seems like he knows what he needs to do to stay healthy, and if he does, he’s going to be good for a very long time. Also, one thing that absolutely blew my mind:

    400 pound.


    Held for 6 seconds.

    He said he was doing that in college, which is no surprise. For those interested, he’s holding a barbell totaling 400 lbs in the position on the right for 6 seconds each side (I assume):

    That’s nuts.

    There are a lot of parallels in Strider and Soroka in terms of their commitment to lower half strength, their character and intelligence, and the optimism they give me even with their injury histories.

  5. I was checking in on Gamecast last night, and was hoping for some clarification on this series of events:

    Braves – Bottom 4th
    – Acuña Jr. singled to left.
    – Swanson fouled out to right.
    – Acuña Jr. out at third on runner’s fielder’s choice.

    I was guessing Acuña tagged up on Swanson’s foulout, and got thrown out trying to take two bases, but I have never heard of a “runner’s fielder’s choice”

  6. After his single, Acuna took off for 2nd in a steal attempt (with one out). The catcher came up throwing, but instead managed to drop the ball behind himself.

    Acuna made it to 2nd, of course, but when he saw the catcher drop the ball, he continued to 3rd & was thrown out relatively easily with a good throw.

  7. Nobody reported this last week, but the Braves tried to sneak Kramer Robertson through waivers to clear space on the 40 man, but the Mets claimed him.

  8. Honestly, to my eyes the play at third was very close despite the ball beating Acuna by a lot; he made a nice move to dodge with one arm while reaching with the other, and only got tagged on the chest. I think if the Braves hadn’t been up six runs and trying to get a regulation game in, they might’ve challenged it.

  9. Runner’s fielder’s choice. That’s a new one for me as well. Yeah, Acuna was credited with a SB, but not a CS.

  10. Blue blew it. Anderson had a swing and a miss and the umpire wrongly said it was a foul tip.

    Fortunately, the batter grounded out anyway.

  11. @14 he’s had some recent troubles but that inning didn’t really show them off. Broken bat and ground balls.

    Catcher made a pretty nice throw and still it was not particularly close to getting Acuna.

  12. The Ian Anderson hit parade continues…broken bats and grounders not withstanding

  13. One homer straight up that just carried and carried, and one line drive that left in a hurry, both opposite field. Yeah, okay.

  14. The “innings eater” again struggling to get through 5 on almost 100 pitches. Seriously, could Ynoa or Muller be worse?

  15. Is it possible for the doom and gloom brigade to give it a rest? This place used to have atmosphere. If Putter and Bravey and EdK can’t start acting like actual fans I’m going to have no choice but to turn to poetry, and really, nobody wants that :)

  16. It would be nice if Anderson pitched into the 7th, but the answer to your question about whether Ynoa or Muller could be worse is definitely yes. Anderson wasn’t great but pitched in some bad luck and limited the damage. I don’t see either of the other 2 as an upgrade except for possibly a game or two.

    Ynoa has a 5.13 ERA at AAA. Muller is doing better but it’s not like he’s pitching 7 plus innings per start. He’s averaging 5.7 innings. Anderson has a solid track record from 2020 and 2021. I think he’s earned a little longer leash.

  17. 7 players with 10 HR and Acuña not being one of them is a bit of a surprise.
    Muller deserves the next opportunity, more than Yona. Welcome back, Matzek!

  18. Snit did a couple of things I really liked. He put McHugh in the game, bringing him right back into the mix after he badly blew a game. He brought Matzek into a situation that was as low leverage as possible, and while Matzek seemed like he was overthrowing and didn’t quite have his release point — he was getting squeezed at the knees but the fastball was just sailing high on him — he got his three outs and got a hero’s welcome back to the clubhouse. He may need a few more tuneups like that, but that was a great way of easing him back in. And he brought in a couple of backups — Rosario for Duvall, Gosselin for Arcia, Contreras for d’Arnaud — without it feeling like a Sunday alternate lineup.

    Of course, it’s easy to look like a good manager when you win 7-1. But I appreciate how he works in all 25 guys, and how he always goes out of his way to get the ball in the hands of a guy who was a goat in a recent game. I admire him for that.

  19. Really nice win. I sure would like to stay under 3 games when we meet the Mets next week. Matzek will be fine. That’s not the first time he’s made that behind the back play, but it’s still fun to watch. Rosario needs more ABs, too, but he’s already better than he was when he went out. It was nice to see Duvall back out in the field after his HBP. A lot of things to like about this game. A lot of things to like about this team as it’s shaping up.

    Anderson is currently our fifth best starter. He is not throwing enough strikes so, of course, not lasting long enough. But any team that says it doesn’t like getting 5 innings of inefficient one-run ball out of its fifth starter is crazy. If and/or when Soroka comes back, we will have a phenomenal rotation. If he’s really successful, we will not need to replace Morton at all. A rotation of Fried, Wright, Striker, Soroka, and Anderson could be the best in the league over all. Spending all that money on a top notch OF (essentially replacing Duvall) and a couple of bullpen pieces (including a closer) would be the best use of that money. That and some good bench pieces would have this team really out on top. Plus we’re likely to need some SS money too……..

  20. FWIW, let’s also remember that in the post-season Ian Anderson is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA & a 1.037 WHIP in 8 GS/35.2 IP.

    I’ll certainly take that from a back-of-the-rotation guy.

  21. @ 34 – One of my biggest complaints against Snit last year was that he rarely substituted and his bench was underutilized. Whether out of necessity or a change in philosophy encouraged by the Front Office, he has changed that strategy this year. I’m very happy with this new approach.

  22. Nice win and decent start for Anderson. The Cardinals are not a bad team. Yes, Anderson may be frustrating to watch sometimes and we are expecting more after last year but he will come around. Great to see Matzek back. Agree with iceberg @3. No way you take Strider out of the rotation. Fried vs Mikolas today should be a great matchup.

  23. I agree hard to take Strider out of rotation .. but we HAVE to try to find a power arm for late innings .. if we keep trowing Chavez and McHugh out there in 6th and 7th innings with how inconsistant that they are ..we gonna get burned … you have to have more consistency from that spot as RH late inning guy and the Braves dont have one … if Yates ever makes it back then maybe … Muller is pitching well in AAA but he is another lefty .. when Soroka comes back if he comes back does he bump Anderson or do they let him pitch out of pen for awhile ???

  24. @40 Just to be clear, you’d prefer Strider throwing 3 innings every five games instead of 5-6?

    Remember: bullpen help always comes cheaper than rotation help at the trade deadline for a reason.

  25. we also have to remember that now that Matzek is back we can technically send out some combination of Matzek/smith/minter/Jansen for the last 4 innings which I’m more than happy to do when necessary.

  26. Strider is a starting pitcher. He threw ~100 innings last year. I’m sure Snit is going to be careful about his work load. He’s at 60 now. How many more does he have? 75? He might have to go to the pen. Older fans may remember Buzz Capra. We don’t want that to happen here. And this team is playing in October.

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