July 08, 2012

Show #191: The Braves Bittersweep Ending to the First Half

The Simmons injury, Venters to the DL, the starting pitchers in the Braves’ sights, 1st half review and 2nd half predictions.



159 Responses to “Show #191: The Braves Bittersweep Ending to the First Half”

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  1. 26
    Steve Says:

    @14 – Excellent. Thanks for that.

    The bullpen has concentrated areas of suckiness. Two of them are gone (Venters and Livan), Durbin seems solid but can be scary, EOF has settled in really nicely but seems incredibly fragile and Cristhian is fair.

  2. 27
    DAP Says:

    bub, i like the quality start stat, but im less concerned with that than i am the W-L. braves are 2nd in the division right now and 4 games back.

    im just not completely convinced we need a starter. doesnt mean ill be upset if we get one, but even if we do, it wont be an ace. and, if it wont be an ace…should we bother?

    SPs we would get would more than likely be guys like McCarthy, Dempster, or Wandy.

  3. 28
    Steve Says:

    @27 – And, just to repeat myself, I think that Dempster would have a huge positive impact on the starting rotation.

    Speaking of which (and, keep in mind, I was convinced that Livan would be great for us this year), Sheets has only walked one guy in his two starts and his velocity has topped out at 93. I think he may be good until the inevitable season ending injury.

  4. 29
    Curt Says:

    The numbers back up all their assertions. The 22-year-old Simmons has changed the defensive culture of the Braves’ infield.

    In the first two months of the season, the Braves went with Tyler Pastornicky over Simmons at shortstop, and the results weren’t good. According to the advanced metrics provided by Baseball Info Solutions, Pastoricky’s defense cost the Braves 15 runs. Most significantly, the Braves’ infield defense was a sieve. It allowed hitters to reach on 28 percent of their ground balls.

    That changed immediately. In Simmons’ first three games, the Braves converted outs on 23 of 27 ground balls, and Simmons helped turn three double plays. That success rate held through the entire month. Simmons has been credited with 10 defensive runs saved already, an impressive total for a single month.

    The Braves’ infield allowed hitters to reach on 21 percent of ground balls. Simmons was involved in 22 double-play opportunities and converted 20 (that’s about six better than what the average shortstop converts).

  5. 30
    Curt Says:

    That above should all be in quotes.

  6. 31
    Curt Says:

    And made me throw up a little

  7. 32
    DAP Says:

    I wouldn’t cry about getting Dempster, I’m just saying, if you think he will lead MLB in ERA by the end of the season, I’ve got beachfront in Kansas for you. I think he could help, I’m just not sure he is worth trading for. We would have to give up players and pay the guy.

  8. 33
    Shaun Says:

    I could get behind a Dempster trade. I think he may be the best option out there, of all the guys Steve, Curt and Ham named, once we consider contracts and what it would take to get them, etc.

    I don’t think anyone expects Dempster to lead the majors in ERA. At worst, he’s a solid back-end-of-the-rotation guy. He’s probably more like a solid mid-rotation guy.

    The good thing about Dempster is that he’s older and his contract expires after the season, so the price probably wouldn’t be too high in a trade. That’s also bad news, as plenty of other teams will likely be in on him for those reasons.

  9. 34
    David Says:

    I’m with you Steve — I’d really like Dempster. He’s a veteran who’s having a great year and would give, I think, a string of solid performances. I’d really like to get Greinke, but it seems like there’s an awful lot of risk there — having to trade prospects, no assurance of having him beyond 2012, he’s a bit of a head case, he’s had several bad starts lately.

    I thought about an alternative method of fan voting for the All-Star Game: instead of having the fans vote for each starting position player, have the fan voting determine one player from each team, pitchers included. You satisfy the (rather stupid) rule of “each team must be represented,” and the fan base of each team gets to send one player to the ASG. That would take care of 15 players, and the managers and players can determine the remaining ones, and the manager gets to choose which players start the game.

    Now, I know that there are pitfalls to this system, and MLB would never do it for several reasons — it could divide a team’s fan base, there could be too many players from the same position selected, etc — but I’m trying to think of some other way to do the fan involvement with the ASG. Frankly, I think the current method isn’t great, and as a Braves fan, I’m embarrassed that Uggla is starting 2B tonight, and I don’t think the fans should select the starters in a game that means something. So, I guess that the easy fix is: make the ASG simply an exhibition, not a game that determines homefield advantage.

  10. 35
    will Says:

    Hey Steve, Curt and Ham – kudos to you guys for pumping out this site week in and out despite having busy real lives. This year I havent been able to watch many games but I always check this site. Go braves!

  11. 36
    will Says:

    and you too, Bub!

  12. 37
    will Says:

    “thanks” that is, not “go”…

  13. 38
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    Get Brendan Ryan from the Mariners.

    He can probably be had for next to nothing (losing his position) and his pay is cheap (1.75M).

    He is what we we assumed we would get when we brought up Simmons, i.e. “good defense, anything we get at the bat is gravy”…

    –He is reportedly better defensively than Wilson
    –is four years younger then Wilson
    –should be at least as good at bat (with some potential to be better w/ change of scenery – i.e. to a contending team)
    –while most of his games were at short, he has played 2nd & 3rd
    — .974 fielding SS 2011, .994 SS 2012 (Wilson: .983 SS 2011, .986 SS 2012)

    When Simmons returns, the Braves can release Wilson and have Ryan as the defensive replacement on the bench…

  14. 39
    Bubdylan Says:

    #37, :)

    Thanks, Will. Come around as often as you can.

  15. 40
    Bubdylan Says:

    A good band name: The Dalemurphies.

  16. 41
    Walker Says:

    I’m not so sure Brendan Ryan comes so cheap because he has alot of value defensively.

  17. 42
    Walker Says:

    Chipper will definitely get a hit today. The NL will win. Kimbrel closes it out.

  18. 43
    Bubdylan Says:

    The All Star game is TODAY? I’m on the internet 17 thousand times a day and I missed that? I need a summer job.

  19. 44
    Curt Says:


  20. 45
    Bubdylan Says:

    Come on, Uggla. Knock in Sandoval.

  21. 46
    Bubdylan Says:

    His name… is Dannnnnn UGGLAAAHHH!!!!

  22. 47
    Bubdylan Says:

    I wouldn’t leave Uggla in the field with a 5-0 game. He slumped his way into the game anyway, and he’s been up and gotten his hit. Oh well, fingers crossed.

  23. 48
    David Says:

    Chipper’s pregame speech was pretty awesome, but did Bryan LaHair have to be sitting like that?

  24. 49
    Bubdylan Says:

    Oh, man, poor Verlander. Next guy shuts ‘em down with 8 pitches.

  25. 50
    Bubdylan Says:

    Heh, and the guy after that shuts ‘em down with 7 pitches.

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