I hate rain. I am tired of going outside every morning, afternoon and evening to walk my dog and having to make our way through puddles that could qualify as small lakes. Even more than the rain, I am tired of the Braves losing—especially to the Phillies. So when the two mix, it makes for a bad, bad time.
The good news is that unless the Braves have a Met-like collapse in the next three weeks, they are going to be in the playoffs. In fact, most of baseball is already decided. We are just waiting on the Rangers/Angels race to see who is going to lose to the Yankees in the first round.
This being said, the Braves have six more series to get ready for the Milwaukee Brewers. They have their roster expanded for September, so Fredi has the luxury of resting some guys down the stretch. Now, there is a lot of debate whether it’s better to go in to the playoffs with a big lead and everyone is well-rested, or if it’s better to be like the 2010 Giants and have a do-or-die game every day and sneak into the playoffs on the last day. I don’t think we will ever know the true answer, but If I were Fredi…
…I would rest my starting pitchers the 3rd week of September; especially Brandon Beachy. Jair Jurrjens is already out for 2 weeks resting his sore knee and Tommy Hanson has also been out for weeks. Hanson is feeling much better according to the reports and is close to returning; I’d keep him out another week. Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson are horses, but let’s face it they aren’t getting any younger. It wouldn’t hurt to give them a little rest too.
The Braves have four stud pitching prospects in Minor, Teheran, Delgado and Vizcaino (who is in the bullpen the rest of the year). Why not use these guys for the next couple weeks? See what they have. I know Fredi has done this the past week, but it is more because everyone is hurt. Let’s see what these guys can do when given a few starts in a row.
…I would rest Freddie Freeman for at least a week. He seemed to re-aggravate his leg injury on a stretch in Philadelphia this week and I wouldn’t want to take any chances of him being banged up for the playoffs; he is way too important.
…I would get Eric Hinske, Matt Diaz, Brooks Conrad, David Ross and Jack Wilson in as many games as possible. These guys are going to be vital coming off the bench and the more at-bats they can get now, the better. They need to be ready to come off the bench in a big spot and getting them in the games now is the best way to prepare them. This will give the regulars like Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, B-Mac (it helps having the best backup in the majors) and the aforementioned Freddie Freeman some much needed rest.
…I would sit out Alex Gonzalez as much as possible over the next few weeks, if for nothing else than to cut down on the double plays. Sure, he is a great defensive player, but so is Jack Wilson. He has more Web Gems than Gonzalez since 2008 (I just made that up, but it seems right) and he can’t be any worse at the plate.
…I would rest Jonny Venters more than normal. He has given up runs in his last three games—now I know that he is human and it will happen from time to time, but he just doesn’t look like himself recently. I would however keep pitching Craig Kimbrel, if for nothing else than to get me some much needed saves in my big-money fantasy league.
…Lastly, I would do everything I could to beat the hell out of the Phillies those last three games of the year. I know the Phillies are probably going to have their Lehigh Valley roster in the games, but it would be a nice way to enter the playoffs and kind of stick it to them before (HOPEFULLY) a rematch in the NLCS.
Obscure Brave of the Week: Kevin McGlinchy.
Kevin McGlinchy was a relief pitcher with the Braves from 1999-2000. He was drafted by the Braves in the 5th round of the 1995 Draft. He made it into 64 games in 1999 and pitched pretty well going 7-3 2.82 ERA 67 K. He pitched in only 10 games for the Braves in 2000.
McGlinchy may be best known for giving up the Grand Slam Single to Robin Ventura in the 1999 NLDS. I still get sick thinking about that game…
McGlinchy went to the Devil Rays after the Braves, but never really pitched in the majors again. He played some Independent League baseball with the Long Island Ducks and Nashua Pride for a bit.
He is currently living back in the Boston area. One of my co-workers’ told me he works with his dad—I can’t tell you exactly what he does because that would require me to go and talk to one of my co-workers. You know how that is…
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Until Next time… Go Braves!