June 01, 2014

Show #264: A Schizophrenic Week for the Braves

Swept by the Red Sox. Sweeping the Marlins. La Stella and Simmons’ call up.

 

 

56 Responses to “Show #264: A Schizophrenic Week for the Braves”

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  1. 1
    BOB DIMSDALE Says:

    TO MANY BATTERS HITTING IN THE LOW 200′S. HOW CAN YOU GET THESE GUYS HITTING THE WAY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO? IT’S FRUSTRATING TO SEE THESE GUYS SWINGING AT PITCHES RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLATE. HOW CAN THEY MISS THOSE PITCHES? MUST BE THE LACK OF CONCENTRATION.

  2. 2
    George Says:

    Guys,

    “Nothing” is wrong with Kimbrel. His control has been off, but he also seems to be used more sporadically than in the past. When you go several days w/o pitching, the sharpness can get away. Hence, pbms @ Boston. If we can maintain a winning streak w/ several save opportunities, I think he’ll regain form. Best thing, he still looks healthy.

    Now guys, be honest, you’ve tended to go hot & cold on the team. When you said at the outset of the season, “this is a better team than last year,” I was astonished. Don’t think you can be better by losing Medlen & Beachy. However, BJ’s improvement @ the plate, has been quite refreshing. I want to give Kudos to Curt for recognizing the better approach La Stella has…the best on the team. Now, when would he be moved to top of order? Great #2 hitter. I hope Simmons will watch how he takes pitches…Gattis too. Until Gattis starts taking more walks, I’m afraid he’ll not reach his full potential as hitter. Finally, the GREAT pitching, I feel, can be summed up by talented MLB pitchers, a pitcher friendly home field, and an EXCEPTIONAL (even w/ recent errors) outfield and especially, shortstop.

    Also, as much head-scratching as Fredi causes me, I must give him some credit for figuring out the best use of La Stella (ie subbing Pena in late). That optimizes his offense and keeps him from being exposed defensively late. Now, just move him up in batting order. I think we got a Very Good team. Pending injuries, I think we should be very competitive through the season. Farm teams are playing well, so we’ve got some reserves in a crisis. Looks pretty good so far.

    George

  3. 3
    DAP Says:

    Great show guys!

    My opinion on Gattis is that he is just what we are seeing right now. lots of power, low OBP, very good starting catcher. When you slug .500 as a catcher, you are a valuable player. He is an awesome guy to have stashed lower in your order. I think, and said from teh beginning of the year, he will hit 30 bombs easy with decent playing time (145 games or so?).

  4. 4
    DAP Says:

    i actually think lastella needs to leadoff. he hits lefty and gets on base. this allows heyward to move down to the middle. i wouldnt throw him in the deep end quite yet though!

  5. 5
    Sam Says:

    Come on don’t get on the moronic oppo singles kick like the dumb Braves announcers. Braves just have to walk more and hit for more power. CJ tries to be an oppo singles hitter and has been so completely awful this year. The approach they need is more patience not weak contact.

  6. 6
    Shaun Says:

    The Braves are middle of the pack in walk rate, middle of the pack in ISO, middle of the pack in SLG in the N.L. Also, the Braves are near the middle of the pack in wRC+, though they are near the bottom in runs scored.

    Seems to me it’s just a matter of a few more player playing to their talent level and situational hitting normalizing and matching their overall hitting skills. I think all this will happen over the long haul. Just a lot of flukiness with the offense so far. Not that they are a great offensive team but I expect them to end up just fine.

  7. 7
    Bubdylan Says:

    Great show, fellas.

    Biggest surprise = starting pitching.
    Biggest disappointment = offense.

    I thought Heyward would be better and I thought BJ would be less awful. In any case, I didn’t think both those guys plus Johnson would all disaapoint at the same time.

    I still don’t know what this team is, just like y’all noted. Happily, we do know what the NL East is.

  8. 8
    Curt Says:

    Shaun – my fandom wants to agree with you that it is just a matter of time. I’m just tired of waiting for that breakthrough.

    And Sam, when they went on their nice streak a couple of weeks ago – 7-1 with sweep of the Rockies – one of the big stats was that the took over 34% of their hits to the opposite field. And they scored a bunch of runs that week (41). No one is saying that Evan Gattis should be come Ichiro, but there are plenty of guys would would benefit using the whole field instead of trying to pull everything. Freddie Freeman is certainly our best hitter, and watch how often he goes to left. If you show a tendency, pitchers will exploit it. If you try and pull everything, they will pitch you outside and you will hit weak grounders as a result. That’s all. Not trying to change players, just broaden their capabilities, and the team’s ability to win more games.

  9. 9
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @5

    CJ as the “oppo singles hitter” was what he did with two strikes last year which is why he contended for a batting title…

  10. 10
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    The only problem I see with having Shae Simmons on the team is that we now have to differentiate between him and Andrelton… can’t just say “Simmons” anymore… :)

  11. 11
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @5

    And now that A Simmons has stopped trying to yank (read: pull) everything he is hitting .300 for the past week. He went .214 the week previous, including 1 for 19 over the next five games after the game in which he hit a home run…

    So, (I hate to say this just because it agrees with Curt) I think more of our players can benefit from using the whole field…

    it would also probably be nice to screw up any shifts other teams try to use against us…

  12. 12
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @11

    Sorry, that is .333 for the past week…

  13. 13
    Bubdylan Says:

    I like power hitting, so I don’t want to see the Braves become opposite field specialists. But it seems like every player ought to have it in his arsenal and use it enough to keep pitchers honest, and use it to break slumps, move runners over, and get something going against an overpowering pitcher.

    poor Charlie Morton. 3.29 ERA, 1-7 record. I love that guy, wish he’d have worked out in Atl.

  14. 14
    George Says:

    My greatest concern right now is the extended away schedule. Colorado will be a big test for the Braves. Atlanta tends to be very streaky. The West Coast trip doesn’t send them into the tailspin, I think they’ll be okay.

  15. 15
    Ham Says:

    Our lineup doesn’t need all power or all “oppo” hitters, we need both. We need balance. Our lineup hasn’t been a truly balanced lineup all year.

    Would be interesting to go:

    LaStella
    Heyward
    Freeman
    Justin
    Gattis
    Johnson
    BJ
    Simba
    P

    (maybe mix up the bottom a little)

  16. 16
    Steve Says:

    How long do you think Fredi will wait until TLS gets moved to the 1? They can’t do it that soon. Lots to take on for a rookie. I’m also not 100% convinced they will move Heyward out of the 1. I think they should, however. The lineup is so much longer (as Fredi likes to say) if you can really count on TLS up top and move Heyward down.

  17. 17
    Curt Says:

    You think they are limited though, not wanting all their lefties to be jammed together? You move Heyward to 2, you have 3 lefties and then none the rest of the lineup.

  18. 18
    Steve Says:

    Great point. I also wonder if Fredi will move BJ out of the 2.

  19. 19
    Bubdylan Says:

    Here’s an example of how frustrating it is to know that a casual fan is probably smarter than Fredi. Here’s what I, knowing little about baseball and next to nothing about psychology, would do with Tommy La Stella.

    1. Move him right now, immediatelt, to the top of the line up.

    2. Tell him, “Listen, kid, until the pitchers learn to adjust to you and get you out a little easier, we’re gonna see if we can take advantage of your hot streak. After the league catches up to you a little – maybe tomorrow, maybe ina week, who knows – we’ll scoot you back down and let you make your rookie adjustments with less pressure. Want to try it?”

    3. also tell him that you’ll tell the press, after he moves back down, that the idea was just to use his hot streak for a bit and when it faded, let him learn the game from a more typical rookie spot. So that protects him from pressue and embarrassment.

    4. See what happens. You’re protected if it doesn’t work. And if it does (I mean, what if it really is just a typical rookie hot start? USE IT NOW! It won’t be there later. Could spark the team for a bit), then you pick up a win ot two you may not have had.

  20. 20
    Bubdylan Says:

    Let me clarify – I don’t mean my idea is clearly great, but Fredi would never think of it. I mean that I don’t think Fredi would, in a hundred years, think of that KIND of an idea, that way of navigating player pressure and expectation to strike when the iron is hot and contain all the probable fall-out from its failure. But maybe I’m wrong, maybe he would. I just don’t see it.

  21. 21
    Bubdylan Says:

    And how can we not have Simmon’s Womens in the stands yet?

  22. 22
    Mark in Memphis Says:

    @21

    Which Simmons?

  23. 23
    Leah Says:

    @21 La Stella’s lips came to town.

  24. 24
    Jeff Says:

    “We are the Hawks.” Accurate and awesome.

  25. 25
    Adam Says:

    I really don’t want to lose another game where we had a big lead.

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