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About K26dp

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    Pro Bowler
  • Birthday 12/10/1972

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  1. Sure. I would trade out Recker and Bonifacio for Ruiz and Xavier Avery right now.
  2. The organization got itself into a situation where couldn't do both. And if you don't do the second, you will not have the first. Teams that strip their farm system down as badly as Atlanta did and don't have Yankee-level resources tend to turn into the 1993-2011 Pittsburgh Pirates. Season ticket holders have the option to not buy season tickets. As for older fans -- your ticket on this mortal coil does not come with moneyback guarantee of quality entertainment while you are waiting for your inevitable death.
  3. We traded Prado for JUP, so you can't build around both. This has been a topic of debate for several years at this point, but the economics of baseball and the Braves in particular would likely prevent that core to be a winning team without reinforcements from the minor leagues, which the system as constructed as of 2014 simply could not provide. We also simply could not have given Heyward anything close to the $200M contract he ended getting from the Cubs. It's an incremental process. In the end, this year should be better than last. Next year should be better than this (and that will put us in the WC conversation). The following year we should be a good team, and then a very good team, etc. The point is that we have waves of talent that will keep the team in contention for a decade-plus like we enjoyed in the '90s and early '00s.
  4. Sure. But I suggest the reason we haven't been capitalizing very much in those situations is we haven't been using the correct personnel.
  5. But if I went with Flowers, it may have extended the inning and allowed Freeman to bat with runners on in the 8th, and the whole complexion of the game changes. The "what ifs" are too many to completely figure, but using what happened in reality to map against my hypothetical isn't really useful. The point is, a manager doesn't know when he's going to have another opportunity, and in a 1-1 game in the 8th, I have to assume this will be my last shot. If I do score, I would probably feel good with Viz and JJ in the 'pen (yes, I know what happened), but scoring more would be better.
  6. Why would you want run expectancy to go down at all? And you answered your own question. I wouldn't have Bonifacio on the team, much less at the plate. Just because this is a little bit fun, let's recreate the scenario. 1. What's the inning and the score? This is actually the most essential piece of information to make a good decision. It was 1-1 in the top of the 8th. 2. Who's on first? Dansby Swanson, a good baserunner with plus speed. 3. Who's on the mound? Pat Neshek, a good veteran right-handed pitcher. He's a pitcher that is great against right-handed hitters in his career, and can also hold his own against lefties. He's got a funky sidearm delivery that generates ground balls, so there's definitely a strong double play possibility. 5. Who's warming up? Joely Rodriguez, a 25YO left-hander with 20 major league games under his belt. In his brief major league career he's actually fared worse against lefties, but it's a small enough sample that you shouldn't try to draw tendencies from that. In the minors, he fared slightly better against lefties. 4. Who's at bat? Mike Foltynewicz, who has pitched a great game, but in a tie ball game late, the team needs to take advantage of this opportunity. I could use him to bunt, but he's not actually that good of a bunter for a pitcher. 5. Who is on deck? Ender Inciarte. Rodriguez will almost certainly come into the game to face Inciarte since Pete Mackanin is a fairly traditional manager that will go for the lefty-lefty match-up even though Neshek is probably about as good an option. Inciarte his historically fared much poorer against left-handed pitchers, so bringing in Rodriguez isn't necessarily a bad move. The first decision to make is to take Foltynewicz out or not. This is a no-brainer, yes he's coming out. He's pitched a whale of a game, but third time through the order the Phillies were definitely getting to him and loaded the bases with one out. The question is do I want him to take this AB to sac bunt Swanson over. It could save me a bench player for later in the game, but I would be telegraphing the sac bunt to the defense, increasing the likelihood that the defense could make a play on the lead runner Swanson. Also, it's the 8th inning and I have five position players on the bench. Foltynewicz is coming out right now. (Here the point of divergence in decision making with Snitker. Following is my guess as to his decision-making process right.) The second decision is what to do with this AB. The sac bunt play is the safe play -- only nerdy saber guys actually question it. I could send a good bunting pitcher up to handle the sac bunt, but again I would be telegraphing my intention. I'll let Boni go up there and do one of the few things he's actually sort of good at. (Bonifacio successfully executes a sac bunt, Swanson goes to second base, and the Braves chances for actually scoring this inning slightly decrease. Rodriguez comes out to face Inciarte, who grounds weakly to 1st. Rodriguez stays in to face the right-handed Phillips and strikes him out. End of inning, no runs scored, Swanson stranded on third. Phillies score 4 in the bottom of the inning and win 5-2.) This would be my process. 1. Screw the sac bunt. I only get three outs in this inning, and I want to get to do as much damage as possible. I have five bench position players available, none of them lefties, which is a bummer, because I'd rather take my chances with Rodriguez than Neshek: Bonifacio. I'm not going to sac bunt, and I don't trust him to do anything against Neshek except ground into a double play. Next! Recker. More likely to get loft on the ball, and has solid power. Slow runner. Hopefully I have better options. Always. Next! d'Arnaud. An experienced pinch hitter, but a career .241/.284/.345 against ground-ball pitchers. At least he's quicker, so there's a better chance he'll beat out a throw. But I want to do damage here, and d'Arnaud's not the guy to do it. Next! Garcia. Against RHP in his career, he's essentially Chase d'Arnaud, a .249/.277/.394 hitter. However, Garcia's extreme uppercut swing has a tendency to disrupt ground-ball pitchers, and he owns a .296/.362/.513 line against them. He won't have a great shot against Neshek, but he has a better shot at doing damage than my other options so far. Flowers. Last year Flowers hit .277/.350/.431 against righties. Against ground-ball pitchers he hit .415/.478/.756 with 3 home runs in 46 ABs. He's clearly my best choice right now. The only question is, do I want to shoot my best bullet right now, or reserve him for later? If this doesn't work, I'll have Freeman, Kemp, and Markakis up in the 9th, so I won't use him then. The time is now. So I would roll with Flowers. Not only is he my best hitter on the bench, he's by far the best option specifically against pitchers like Neshek. Would it have worked? Who knows. It's up to the players to execute, but why not put your team in the best chance to succeed?
  7. Sure, the question is just how useful a "productive out" is. Generally, the value of the productive out is greatly inflated by most fans (and broadcasters), especially the "bunt the runner over to second" variety. For all but the most hapless of hitters, run expectancy for the inning actually goes down. And swinging away doesn't eliminate a "productive out" scenario, but sac bunting almost certainly eliminates a chance for getting a second runner on base without giving up an out, much less doing damage.
  8. At some point this year, I think we'll see Albies, Ruiz, Newcomb, and Sims. Probably Minter assuming health, plus some other relievers like Akeel Morris and Caleb Dirks. Johan Camargo will probably be up again at some point. Dustin Peterson by the end of the year too... that broken hand probably kept him from opening the season with Atlanta. There's also outside shots we may see Max Fried and Patrick Weigel.
  9. Bunting a runner over rather than allowing the batter to have a real AB is the definition of non-aggressive tactics. It's the ultimate "safe play". It gives the illusion of activity without necessarily helping the team.
  10. Just out of curiosity, what do you think sabermetrics are?
  11. Saturday night in Montgomery, AL... Saw the Mississippi Braves versus the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Ray AA affiliate. Riverwalk Stadium is a great park in the downtown area with a ton of atmosphere and an attentive crowd swelled up due to planned postgame fireworks and a Girl Scout camporee that they were going to have on the field after the game. The matchup was RHP Patrick Weigel vs. RHP Greg Harris, who is the son of former major league pitcher Greg Harris. The younger Harris is #18 on BA's top Rays prospects, while Weigel is #9 on BA's Braves list. This was my first live look in on Weigel despite him pitching most of last season in Rome. This was also my live first looks at IF Luis Valenzuela, IF Dylan Moore, C Kade Scivique, RHP Evan Phillips, RHP Akeel Morris, and LHP Jesse Biddle. Unfortunately, Travis Demeritte, the top positional prospect on the M-Braves roster, was not in the line-up and did not appear in the game (he also was not in Friday's game but was in Sunday's line-up, so I assume either a private matter came up that required his attention or he was working through a minor injury). The game would end up needing 14 innings to complete. My family and I left after the 11th facing a long car ride home, but the Braves would end up with the win after erupting for 4 runs in the top of the 14th, punctuated by a 3-run homer from the recently demoted Adam Brett Walker, winning 8-4. Patrick Weigel - While I hadn't seen him live before, I had seen him many times on MiLB.TV, so I was familiar with his impressive fastball, plus curve, developing change-up, and sometimes inconsistent command. All four of these were on display Saturday, especially the first and last on the list. Weigel never seemed to find a groove in this game, though his was unscored upon until the 5th. This was more to do with some good defense behind him, especially from CF Connor Lien and 3B Carlos Franco (who isn't known for his defense). The Biscuits also helped with some poor baserunning. That's not to say Weigel was only lucky, as he made some clutch pitches in some tight spots as well. His best pitch was his fastball. In a tweet bellow, I show his best sequence, a three-pitch strikeout in the sixth inning. Each fastball was a little fast than the last. When he's really on his curveball is a good swing-and-miss pitch, but he couldn't consistently command it to get those calls, so he ended up leaning on his change-up more than usual. It worked pretty well for him until the 6th, when he left one up in the zone to 3B Grant Kay who smacked it to left for two RBIs that gave the Buscuits the lead and chased Weigel from the game. Kade Scivique - Scivique is a solid looking receiver that looked and acted very much the field general he is reported to be. Scivique went to the mound often to help collect Weigel when the latter would start to get flustered after not getting a call. He looks to be a decent blocker and pitch framer. At the plate he went 0-for-4 with a walk. He looks like he wants to go deep into counts and has good enough contact skills to make that work - he didn't strike out at all, but he also never hit anything with authority. Connor Lien- I first saw Lien in Rome three season ago and he looks to be essentially the same guy. He's an outstanding defender than can cover plenty of ground to play centerfield, and he puts his plus-plus arm on display whenever he gets the opportunity. He got an OF assist this game after he doubled off a runner on first after a good running catch into shallow right-center, but I would say that was more the functioning of poor baserunning. At the plate, Lien is still the same free swinger as well, only without the bat skills to make that work. He looked terrible in three trips to the plate through most of regulation, but he came through with two out in the top of the 9th to knock in the tying run to send the game into extras. Lien essentially looks dead red every time up; if you give it to him in a bad spot, he can certainly turn on it and drive it. Unfortunately, there's just too many ways to get him out right now to really make him a true prospect despite his many tools. Luis Valenzuela - Valenzuela was acquired in 2015 from the Royals for Jonny Gomes. He had been a light-hitting middle infielder in the DSL when he suddenly exploded with a strong offensive season in 2014. Perhaps in explaination, he was popped for PEDs that season. After his suspension, he went to class A Lexington and seemingly didn't miss a beat. After his trade to the Braves, he continued to hit well playing multiple positions in Rome. In 2016 he missed the first half of the season with injuried, but when he returned he again was a solid .270/.289/.376 while playing all three infield skill positions. He was promoted for Opening Day and has been the M-Braves primary third baseman, but Saturday he was playing 2B in Demeritte's absence. I had seem him at 3B on MiLB.TV and while he has plenty of range, his arm really isn't suited for 3B long-term. He clearly is more comfortable at 2B, but as his future advancement probably depends much on his positional versatility, he'll likely keep getting looks everywhere, though I suspect flipping Demeritte and Valenzuela may be the better defensive alignment. At the plate, Valenzuela has a very pronounced crouch, greatly shrinking his strikezone. Valenzuela sells out for the contact and is looking to shoot the balls in the gaps. So far this season it's worked and he's hitting .302/.323./.444 on the season with 5 doubles to his credit. After left-handed hitter, he could be an interesting bench complement to the more defensively-oriented Johan Camargo someday. Akeel Morris - Morris's best pitch is his change-up, and it's an absolutely devastating pitch. Morris punched out 4 of the 6 outs he collected, and everyone of them looked foolish against the change. HIs fastball was registering in low 90s without a lot of movement, and it was getting hit some as he would sometimes let it flit over the plate, but he gave up only one hit on the night. I can't imagine he'll stay in Mississippi all year. In fact, unless he's a throw in for a trade, he'll certainly get a look in Atlanta this season. Adam Brett Walker - According to Paul Simon, there are 50 ways to leave your lover. There's at least that many ways a pitcher can get Adam Walker out. Every single pitch he is looking to extend his arms and drive the pitch, regardless of the count or the opposing pitcher's repertoire. I have no idea why anyone would throw him anything low and away (and here's the homer he hit Saturday) because he's ridiculously strong, but he gets tied up easily inside.
  12. 1st and no out... don't sac bunt unless it's a pitcher at the plate. 2nd and no out... more nuanced. Does one run win it for you? Who's the hitter? How comfortable is he bunting?
  13. Bad luck in sequencing. The good news is that tends to even over a larger sample size.
  14. His routes are some of the worst I ever saw. In Pittsburgh is got him hurt -- he ended up diving to catch a ball that he could have caught on the run with a direct route. He landed on frozen turf and the team lost him for 11 days.