If one were to look around the horn at this team, you’ll not find many weaknesses:
- C: Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras, combined 5.0 fWAR
- 1B: Matt Olson, 2.8 fWAR
- 2B: Ozzie Albies, 1 fWAR, Orlando Arcia, 0.5 fWAR, Vaughn Grissom, 0.8 fWAR
- SS: Dansby Swanson: 5.4 fWAR
- 3B: Austin Riley: 5.4 fWAR
- RF: Ronald AcuÃ±a Jr.: 1.9 fWAR
- CF: Michael Harris: 4.2 fWAR
- LF: Eddie Rosario, -1.3 fWAR, Marcell Ozuna, -0.8 fWAR, Adam Duvall, 0.9 fWAR
Every position has presented a case to stay the course outside of left field. Duvall had a horrible offensive start to the year, but was also being asked to play CF regularly, which, for a Type-1 Diabetic, likely wore his body down. When Michael Harris II was promoted, it allowed Duvall to move to LF, where he immediately started making up ground, carrying a .935 OPS until his season ending surgery. Unfortunately, Duvall isn’t here and the black hole in LF remains.
Early last week, we learned that both William Contreras and Vaughn Grissom were getting reps in left field. That doesn’t surprise me as there’s a real need there and both are young and remarkably athletic. If Contreras and Grissom can continue to hit at an above average level while playing serviceable defense in left field, that’s better than what anyone else has been able to do since Duvall.
Unfortunately, there’s another hurdle the Braves will have to jump. Both Ozzie and AcuÃ±a are still recovering from major injury and will either need time at DH of off days. While this creates challenges for the lineup, it might be the best thing that could happen for a manager that, in the past, hasn’t utilized DH to rest players.
When Ozzie returns, the Braves have 10 regulars that Snitker would likely want to get regular ABs (d’Arnaud, Willy, Olson, Ozzie, Grissom, Dansby, Riley, AcuÃ±a, Ozuna, and Harris). With LF being the biggest problem, Grissom can pull OF or 2B duties and Contreras can pull C or LF duties. Meanwhile, that leaves Rosario, Robbie Grossman, and Orlando Arica as the guys on the outside looking in, and Ehire Adrianza likely landing his ticket to Delta’s Final Airlines, DFA for short. If this setup doesn’t make Snitker finally move the DH position around to allow players field rest, I’m not sure anything will.
Rosario has been a real disappointment. Since returning from his eye surgery, he’s hitting .222/.267/.362 — which is pretty similar to the numbers that earned Grossman a ticket out of Detroit. (It’s also pretty similar to the numbers Grossman is putting up in Atlanta.)
The one thing Grossman seems to be able to do is hit lefties: for his career, he’s got a .793 OPS vs. LHP against a .697 OPS against RHP, while this year it’s a .921 OPS versus lefties and a .468 OPS against righties.
Rosario, astonishingly, has a .543 OPS against righties and a .540 OPS against lefties. (He’s only garnered 30 PA against lefties, but the point stands: his platoon advantage has utterly disappeared this year. For the rest of his career, it’s been a mirror image of Grossman’s, as he’s produced a .794 OPS vs. RHP and .697 vs. LHP.)
Sadly, Agosto Eddie has a guaranteed $9 million coming his way next year, so the Braves won’t just want to cut him. But he clearly has no business on the playoff roster, and I frankly can’t see a reason to keep him on the major league roster over Arcia or Adrianza. I have to wonder whether there’s still something medical going on, but he’s three weeks from his 31st birthday and he’s not a major league caliber player right now.
In fact, the -1.3 WAR that he has produced in just 210 put him in some remarkable company, as he’s just slightly better than his erstwhile teammate Robinson Cano (-1.4 WAR in 104 PA), but sadly, remarkably even worse than his other teammate, Ozuna (-0.8 WAR in 460 PA) and his other erstwhile teammate, Cristian Pache (-0.7 WAR in 222 PA).
No more, please!
When is Ozzie’s rehab assignment finished? I would assume he’ll be placed right into the starting lineup and Grissom will move to LF. From there we only have one of Rosario/Grossman in the lineup. Problem is that I don’t expect Albies to be any good either. He wasn’t exactly tearing it up pre-injury.
Acuna will play RF in the playoffs unless there’s a major setback, right?
I keep waiting for Eddie to turn it around. He doesn’t look lost to me at the plate. It’s interesting to me that the Mets announcers at the last series were wary of him and wanted him pitched carefully. But I think we have to move on. Grissom and Grossman for me.
I saw enough of Contreras in left field in one game that I would rather not try that again.
I would like to see Grissom there everyday that Ozzie is playing second.
Help from the Rust Belt?
Pirates up on the Mets, 3-0, bottom of the 4th at PNC.
Don’t look at Joc Pederson’s numbers this year… in a pitcher’s park… blah.
A rare swing-and-a-miss for AA.
Make that 4-0 Bucs, going to bottom of the 6th.
Taiwan Walker getting nicked up a bit tonight; Starling Marte pulled after getting hit in the hand with a pitch.
Could end up being an interesting night.
JonathanF’s and Alex’s discussion in the last thread on deGrom & wins as a measure of quality got me poking around BRef’s career leaders for adjusted ERA+ and then OPS+. I had assumed that as the game developed, the best players would tend to dominate their peers by less than when baseball was relatively undeveloped and that this would be reflected in the rate stats. (This is certainly the case in basketball – nobody averages 50 ppg for a season like Wilt did or a triple double for a season like Oscar Robertson did 60 years ago.) That seems to hold true for hitting. Of the career OPS+ leaders, min. 3000 PA & excluding Negro Leaguers, only 6 of the top 21 have played in the last 50 years. The top 10 are Ruth, Williams, Bonds, Gehrig, Trout, Hornsby, Mantle, Dan Brouthers, Shoeless Joe Jackson (no decline phase), and Cobb. The next 11 include McGwire (who had help), Judge (who may drop out as he ages), Dick Allen, & Frank Thomas.
(Starting) pitching seems to be different, though. Of the career ERA+ leaders, min 1000 IP, excluding relievers & Negro Leaguers, 9 of the top 21 are relatively recent. The top 10 are deGrom, Kershaw, Pedro Martinez, Jim Devlin, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Ed Walsh, Smoky Joe Wood, Clemens, and Brandon Webb (no decline phase). The next 11 include Chris Sale, Johan Santana, Randy Johnson, and Scherzer. The only reason I can think of is that modern starters don’t go as deep into games as their predecessors did and so don’t face the order a fourth time, but most of the modern pitchers on this list either pitched deeper into games than most of their peers or would still rank highly even if they did pitch deeper into games. I suppose it might be related to each starter pitching a smaller percentage of his team’s games now than in the past so having more not-as-good talent to stand out against compared to hitters, but that seems like a stretch. Any ideas why this might be the case? Or is it just chance?
Bless you Buccos!
6-2 Pittsburgh in the 8th
@8, I’d guess the run context of the era probably affects it. When there are only 3 runs per game, harder to stand out from your peers – there’s less room below park context and above zero. Therefore, I’d expect more extraordinary pitching performances to come when the run environment is less flat.
Oneil Cruz just put one in the river to make it 8-2 Pirates.
Are the Mets gonna Mets?
It’s the first time the Mets have shown signs of Metsing all season. These last three losses for them have come out of nowhere.
But lets take advantage tonight boys, and actually win the first game of a West Coast road trip for once.
Albies please be good.
The A’s stink but continuing to groove two strike pitches is not going to be a recipe for success.
Fourth time Wright has given up 4+ ER in a start this year … Braves are 0-3 in the previous 3.
@8,11: What Alex said is certainly part of it. ERA+ is relative, so in a high run environment it’s much easier to be two runs better than the rest of the league than it is in a low run environment. But James has part of it too. As you go from 4 man to 5 man to six man rotations you get a lot more starting performances by much more marginal pitchers. Indeed, these two points are two ways of saying the same thing — one of the reasons the run environment is higher is so many more innings thrown by less-talented (relatively) pitchers.
Oh… and this cakewalk just seems to have lost a lot of cake.
Nothing is ever easy this year.
Day off yesterday, day off Thursday.
If Wright shows any sign of trouble in the fourth, gotta pull him.
Well, cruise control won’t be an option tonight. Need to keep pushing
One more clean inning puts Wright in line for the W. (take em when you can get em)
3 runs in every odd-numbered inning ought to do it.
Wright just doesn’t have it tonight… it happens
But this was like circa 2020/2021 Wright
Kyle has no idea where the ball is going. Let’s just pretend this start never happened.
Hell far Snit … why would you not have bullpen already working the way Wright had been pitching .. stupid .. arms well rested from day off .. and you sitting on your ass ..
Hope Wright hasn’t all of sudden gotten the yips .. he has to try to forget…
Well, the 6 days off didn’t seem to help Lee
This is where we could really use Soroka in long relief. Dylan Lee has pitching with a fork in his back for weeks.
This is trending towards being a completely inexcusable loss. And a day getaway game Wednesday.
Maybe the 5.91-ERA-in-August guy shouldn’t have been the first one out of the ‘pen with the game-tying run at the plate.
Wright had pitched 15 scoreless innings before this game. Concern that he’s gotten the yips after 1 bad game is slightly premature.
@31, yes, Lee shouldn’t be high leverage guy, everyone knows that except you know who.
This could be the worst loss of the year, in a year that has seen quite a few bad ones.
The leash got longer for Snit after the easy 4th but there isn’t really any reason to not have someone ready in the 5th. We have talked about it 1000 times but Snits loyalty giveth and it taketh away
Game’s still tied, right?
Good thing we went with Lee instead of Chavez
I’ve been busy and just poking in to check the score intermittently. Can someone tell me what the heck is happening?
@37 Wright was wrong all night, but was sent out in the 5th inning, and surprise,surprise ! A Snitkering happened.
Wright gives up 8 runs in 4 innings to one of the worst offenses in the league
Dylan Lee , he of the 6 ERA in August comes in for a bases loaded situation in relief of Wright, and….yeah, didn’t go well.
I’m dreading the inevitable Jansen in the 9th.
And I repeat, Snit has no pitching staff knowledge, especially bullpen. Some say old school, I say he never went to school. I am not using hindsight. There are times when you have to go backwards.
Go with a pitcher who will worse case scenario gives up two. But not a pitcher who gives up four. Why is it always this pitcher 5th. inning, this one the 6th., this one the 7th., and so.one. I know most do not agree with me, but I find Snit to be average at best. He plays checkers, the good ones play chess.
Wright will be fine. I am sure no one expected him to go the season without a big bump. I expect him to learn as has so far.
i can’t wait for the in depth investigation that examines how Jesse Chavez is hot garbage for other teams, but good to great for Atlanta.
Would have liked Chavez in the 7th .. then Matzek and Inglesias for 8th and 9th .. I don’t get Iglesias in 7th. When Chavez was looking good
What was called Ball 3 in the first PA vs. Iglesias — away, just outside the zone — has been a strike for the A’s pitchers tonight, for what it’s worth.
Minter the 8th, and Jansen the 9th? Hold on to your butts.
This game is nuts.
@38 appreciate the summary!
Jansen’s work when taking the mound — a 2.00 WHIP, a 7.00 ERA — when entering with a 1-run lead this year does not inspire confidence.
(Glad to be wrong tonight.)
Jansen has cut out whatever crazy crap he was doing with his hips.
Had it all the way
Whatever he did seems to have worked.
Tied with the Mets!
Whew. A win does not have to be pretty.
Plenty of good to be taken firm the game.
Khachanov agrees if he wins.. The crazy Aussie Kyrgios if he wins.
Good night sports fans.
For all the crappy pitching tonight, Wright leading off the 5th with walk , HBP, HBP kinda takes the cake. The worst pitcher would not do that. I thought Lee was on his way to limiting the damage until the HR (with two outs). Chavez is a wonder. He effectively stopped the bleeding and changed the game into a great bullpen performance for the Braves. I can’t figure why he doesn’t do the same for other teams unless i’s the way Snit uses him. Maybe Snitker knows something.
I can’t believe a game where the Braves scored 10 runs could be so close.
Stupid dumb idiot Snitker can’t manage a bullpen. Braves are in first place in September. What a dummy. Defending champs. Fire Snitker. First place tie with big-spending New York. DFA Jansen, Lee, and anyone else who dares give up a run. Third-best record in the majors. Idiot dummy!
First place… yes. For the moment, we’ve run them down.
Tomorrow, we play at 3:35 pm (w/ Strider) & the Mets have a day/night DH — 12:35 & 6:35 w/ deGrom going in Game 2.
One team will be alone in first by the end of tomorrow night.
Win is a win. First place! Go Braves.
Whew, that was much harder than it should’ve been. Hopefully Wright shakes that off and is ok for his next start. Good work from the Chavez and the back-end of the bullpen tonight.
I agree, Lee looks cooked, sadly. He won’t make the post-season roster.
Oh, and I’m sure New York sports radio is dealing in calm rational analysis as we sit tied in first! That would be a treat to listen to now.
I didn’t watch the game, but just looking at the box score and recap, I don’t have a problem with sending Wright out for the fifth after striking out the side in the 4th, and I don’t have much of a problem with making Lee the first man out of the pen when the pitcher got knocked out in the 5th — if he can’t retire Oakland Athletics in the 5th inning, there’s no room for him on the roster, which means he’s now AA’s problem. Snit can’t afford to have men in the pen who are too crappy to deploy.
I feel differently about bringing him in when it’s late and close. That’s where I criticize Snit, too.
@57 – I agree fully. We need to see if Lee can right the ship and a 4 run lead seems like a good opportunity. Of course, a 3 run homer changes the plan. I still can’t believe how good Chavez continues to be for us.
In their 3-game skid, the Mets have been outscored 22-4 by 2 different last-place teams.