2016 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves

After having typically appeared in the very hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have been released at FanGraphs in recent years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Batters
While it’s possible that Atlanta might extract two or more wins from other positions around the field this next year by means of platooning, the algorithm inside Dan Szymborski’s computer indicates that there’s only one player likely to surpass that threshold by his own self — namely, Freddie Freeman. The first baseman has recorded declining batting figures over the last three seasons (150 wRC+ in 2013, 141 wRC+ in 2014, 133 wC+ in 2015), but almost all that is a product of fluctuating BABIPs — and even the low end of that range is sufficient to render him a solidly above-average player.

Unfortunately for the 2016 edition of the club, Freeman is the only above-average — and perhaps even just average-average — player on the team. Newly acquired shortstop Erick Aybar is a candidate to provide adequacy — and, given sufficient playing time, young catcher Christian Bethancourt could possibly do that, as well — but the roster offers little else in the way of a reliable source of wins.

Pitchers
The members of Atlanta’s rotation represent greater cause for optimism than than their positional counterparts. Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran, in particular, are legitimately useful — and similar, too, in their way. Consider: over roughly the same timeframe, the pair have graduated from top prospects to promising young major leaguers to reliable starters. Each enters his own age-25 season projected to surpass the three-win mark.

As legitimately useful pitchers on a club that’s unlikely to contend, however, Miller and Teheran are also legitimate candidates to get traded. Indeed, Jeff Sullivan addressed that very contingency with regard to Miller yesterday in these pages.

With regard to the bullpen, Jason Grilli and Arodys Vizcaino represent solid options, provided they retain their health. Shae Simmons, who returns from a Tommy John procedure and the attendant rehab, is well-acquitted by ZiPS on a per-inning basis.

Bench/Prospects
Following a mid-season trade from the Dodgers, Cuban Hector Olivera received his first exposure to the majors in September, recording a roughly league-average batting line over 87 plate appearances. A roughly league-average batting line is what he’s expected to produce in 2016, as well — although, if it’s in left field (as opposed to third base), that’s less helpful.

One of the best projections in the system belongs to a player who’s never appeared in the majors: outfielder Mallex Smith. Acquired by Atlanta around this same time last year, Smith pairs above-average speed and center-field defense with average contact skills. The result: a roughly 1.5-win forecast, according to ZiPS. Promising, that, for a player entering just his age-23 season.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Atlantas, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player. For caveats regarding WAR values see disclaimer at bottom of post. Click to embiggen image.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site and author’s own haphazard reasoning.

Batters, Counting Stats
Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Freddie Freeman L 26 1B 610 87 147 32 2 21 84 3 2
Christian Bethancourt R 24 C 436 46 103 24 1 9 44 8 3
Erick Aybar B 32 SS 607 73 154 31 4 6 50 13 6
Mallex Smith L 23 CF 570 69 128 19 7 4 44 46 15
Jace Peterson L 26 2B 524 58 110 19 6 5 46 17 9
Nick Markakis L 32 RF 639 73 159 29 1 7 49 2 1
Michael Bourn L 33 CF 510 54 113 16 6 3 34 16 7
Eury Perez R 26 LF 411 42 100 14 3 3 28 23 7
Daniel Castro R 23 SS 548 57 132 20 3 4 42 5 4
Dian Toscano L 26 LF 467 52 106 14 4 3 37 5 3
A.J. Pierzynski L 39 C 365 31 91 16 1 7 40 0 2
Hector Olivera R 31 LF 375 41 86 12 2 9 34 0 0
Cedric Hunter L 28 LF 458 54 101 23 3 13 55 7 4
Ryan Lavarnway R 28 C 258 25 55 11 0 4 20 0 0
Nick Swisher B 34 1B 478 49 94 22 1 13 50 1 1
Luis Mateo R 26 SS 372 33 80 13 2 4 27 7 4
Sean Kazmar R 31 3B 337 34 77 18 3 3 30 3 1
Reid Brignac L 30 2B 339 31 67 14 1 4 26 2 1
Adonis Garcia R 31 3B 402 43 97 19 2 9 40 4 2
Connor Lien R 22 CF 471 52 95 16 4 9 41 18 9
Pedro Ciriaco R 30 3B 294 28 71 12 2 2 23 9 2
Mycal Jones R 29 RF 343 34 68 15 1 4 27 10 5
Rio Ruiz L 22 3B 555 56 112 24 2 8 49 2 3
Johan Camargo B 22 SS 516 50 109 17 5 2 36 5 4
Joey Terdoslavich B 27 1B 431 49 95 21 2 11 44 2 3
Jordy Lara R 25 3B 494 50 105 23 3 9 48 1 1
Wil Nieves R 38 C 104 8 21 5 0 1 9 0 0
Jordan Lennerton L 30 1B 438 43 84 17 1 10 36 0 1
Brandon Snyder R 29 1B 276 27 53 13 1 7 24 1 0
Kyeong Kang L 28 RF 427 43 83 15 3 9 37 2 2
Dustin Peterson R 21 LF 540 58 107 16 2 11 53 4 4

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Freddie Freeman 610 12.0% 21.3% .189 .333 .280 .374 .469 .363
Christian Bethancourt 436 3.4% 20.4% .128 .294 .249 .274 .377 .283
Erick Aybar 607 4.6% 10.4% .101 .296 .273 .309 .374 .301
Mallex Smith 570 7.4% 21.1% .087 .315 .248 .309 .335 .308
Jace Peterson 524 9.0% 19.3% .098 .290 .237 .309 .335 .294
Nick Markakis 639 8.9% 12.1% .090 .307 .276 .343 .366 .310
Michael Bourn 510 8.0% 22.7% .080 .320 .246 .307 .326 .291
Eury Perez 411 4.4% 18.5% .077 .324 .265 .312 .342 .303
Daniel Castro 548 3.6% 11.3% .074 .283 .257 .284 .331 .270
Dian Toscano 467 11.3% 12.8% .075 .296 .259 .347 .334 .308
A.J. Pierzynski 365 3.8% 11.5% .114 .284 .266 .304 .380 .297
Hector Olivera 375 8.8% 12.8% .128 .275 .257 .329 .385 .309
Cedric Hunter 458 6.3% 16.8% .161 .263 .240 .291 .401 .303
Ryan Lavarnway 258 8.9% 20.2% .100 .288 .238 .310 .338 .286
Nick Swisher 478 11.5% 24.5% .151 .279 .226 .317 .377 .305
Luis Mateo 372 2.7% 23.1% .082 .288 .227 .255 .309 .251
Sean Kazmar 337 3.9% 14.5% .104 .275 .242 .274 .346 .272
Reid Brignac 339 8.3% 22.4% .093 .280 .221 .290 .314 .267
Adonis Garcia 402 3.2% 16.2% .130 .281 .253 .279 .383 .288
Connor Lien 471 4.9% 34.4% .118 .325 .218 .270 .336 .279
Pedro Ciriaco 294 2.0% 19.7% .078 .309 .253 .271 .331 .266
Mycal Jones 343 7.0% 23.9% .094 .284 .220 .283 .314 .275
Rio Ruiz 555 8.5% 23.4% .103 .283 .222 .289 .325 .275
Johan Camargo 516 5.0% 16.7% .071 .278 .232 .273 .303 .252
Joey Terdoslavich 431 8.1% 24.4% .148 .301 .243 .304 .391 .302
Jordy Lara 494 4.9% 23.7% .121 .283 .228 .271 .349 .272
Wil Nieves 104 3.8% 26.9% .082 .290 .214 .252 .296 .241
Jordan Lennerton 438 9.4% 27.4% .125 .280 .215 .291 .340 .279
Brandon Snyder 276 6.5% 37.3% .141 .317 .209 .268 .350 .273
Kyeong Kang 427 6.8% 34.7% .121 .310 .211 .267 .332 .266
Dustin Peterson 540 5.4% 30.0% .105 .286 .212 .256 .317 .256

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Freddie Freeman 610 6.6 134 1 3.5 Kent Hrbek
Christian Bethancourt 436 3.8 80 4 1.7 Jorge Pedre
Erick Aybar 607 4.3 90 -4 1.7 Bill Russell
Mallex Smith 570 4.1 80 1 1.3 Milt Cuyler
Jace Peterson 524 3.6 80 2 1.0 Jeff Berblinger
Nick Markakis 639 4.7 98 -3 0.9 Jose Vidro
Michael Bourn 510 3.6 77 1 0.8 Tom Goodwin
Eury Perez 411 4.2 83 5 0.8 Reggie Williams
Daniel Castro 548 3.4 71 2 0.7 Manuel Mayorson
Dian Toscano 467 4.2 92 0 0.7 Ken Ramos
A.J. Pierzynski 365 4.1 90 -8 0.6 Brian Harper
Hector Olivera 375 4.6 99 -2 0.5 Todd Betts
Cedric Hunter 458 4.1 91 1 0.5 Barry Bonnell
Ryan Lavarnway 258 3.7 81 -6 0.3 Andy Dominique
Nick Swisher 478 4.1 94 -1 0.3 Ron Santo
Luis Mateo 372 2.7 57 5 0.2 Jose Escobar
Sean Kazmar 337 3.4 72 1 0.2 Eddie Zosky
Reid Brignac 339 3.2 69 2 0.2 Luis Rivera
Adonis Garcia 402 3.9 83 -4 0.2 Mike Cervenak
Connor Lien 471 3.1 68 2 0.2 Wilkin Ramirez
Pedro Ciriaco 294 3.4 67 1 0.1 Marv Breeding
Mycal Jones 343 3.1 67 6 0.0 T.J. Bohn
Rio Ruiz 555 3.2 71 -3 -0.1 Greg David
Johan Camargo 516 2.8 61 0 -0.2 Luis Hernandez
Joey Terdoslavich 431 4.1 93 -3 -0.3 Mike Maksudian
Jordy Lara 494 3.3 72 -5 -0.4 Eric Duncan
Wil Nieves 104 2.6 53 -3 -0.4 Raul Chavez
Jordan Lennerton 438 3.4 76 2 -0.5 Todd Mensik
Brandon Snyder 276 3.3 71 1 -0.5 Paul Felix
Kyeong Kang 427 3.0 66 -2 -1.2 Justin Bowles
Dustin Peterson 540 2.7 59 -1 -1.8 Jon Farrell

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Shelby Miller R 25 32 31 186.0 164 66 18 167 77 72
Julio Teheran R 25 31 31 197.0 175 57 23 183 86 80
Manny Banuelos L 25 23 23 115.7 107 55 11 104 54 50
Mike Minor L 28 21 21 128.0 106 37 18 121 61 57
Bud Norris R 31 25 24 146.3 131 47 18 145 75 70
Williams Perez R 25 26 25 133.7 95 48 14 138 68 64
Matt Wisler R 23 29 28 156.7 123 46 22 162 83 78
Sean Newcomb L 23 27 27 122.0 133 96 12 106 65 61
Arodys Vizcaino R 25 48 0 48.0 51 18 4 41 18 17
John Gant R 23 23 23 126.0 111 53 16 126 68 64
Daniel Winkler R 26 13 12 62.3 61 22 9 57 31 29
Jake Brigham R 28 28 15 103.7 73 36 11 108 55 51
Jason Grilli R 39 39 0 36.0 42 12 3 30 13 12
Ryan Weber R 25 34 14 105.3 70 18 15 113 56 52
David Carpenter R 28 45 0 56.7 53 24 4 51 24 22
Shae Simmons R 25 34 0 34.0 38 16 2 28 13 12
Paco Rodriguez L 25 47 0 35.7 42 15 4 29 14 13
Jason Frasor R 38 37 0 31.3 32 14 2 27 12 11
Ian Krol L 25 61 0 57.0 61 22 6 50 25 23
Mike Foltynewicz R 23 33 18 114.0 106 56 14 110 63 59
Edwin Jackson R 32 51 0 55.0 49 22 5 51 25 23
Jason Hursh R 24 31 19 113.0 66 38 11 124 63 59
Chris Withrow R 27 26 0 29.3 34 17 3 23 13 12
Tyler Jones R 26 47 0 55.7 52 25 5 51 26 24
Peter Moylan R 37 41 0 37.3 31 14 3 37 17 16
Michael Kohn R 30 40 0 36.7 40 23 4 30 17 16
Kanekoa Texeira R 30 20 10 71.0 51 34 8 73 40 37
David Aardsma R 34 46 0 44.3 47 20 5 38 20 19
Jim Johnson R 33 64 0 64.0 52 22 5 64 30 28
Danny Burawa R 27 49 2 68.7 67 37 7 62 34 32
Ross Detwiler L 30 36 6 67.3 48 26 7 72 36 34
Donnie Veal L 31 38 0 39.0 35 18 4 37 19 18
Brandon Cunniff R 27 41 0 47.0 48 27 6 42 24 22
Andrew McKirahan L 26 36 0 44.3 39 15 5 45 22 21
Carlos Fisher R 33 35 0 44.3 49 29 5 38 22 21
Tyrell Jenkins R 23 20 20 106.0 67 46 14 114 63 59
Nick Masset R 34 46 0 43.7 37 22 4 43 22 21
Alex White R 27 19 13 75.3 52 37 9 79 45 42
Ryan Kelly R 28 49 0 55.0 50 23 8 53 29 27
Lucas Sims R 22 23 23 111.3 88 62 15 113 67 63
Matt Marksberry L 25 41 8 71.0 62 40 10 71 43 40
Mauricio Cabrera R 22 33 2 44.0 41 33 5 42 27 25
Sugar Ray Marimon R 27 28 19 112.7 73 46 18 123 71 66
Mitchell Boggs R 32 30 0 38.7 18 22 5 44 26 24
Victor Mateo R 26 26 25 139.0 75 58 20 155 88 82
Zach Bird R 21 24 22 101.0 83 73 14 104 67 63

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Shelby Miller 186.0 791 20.7% 8.3% .276 3.48 3.71 90 98
Julio Teheran 197.0 831 21.1% 6.9% .282 3.65 3.85 94 101
Manny Banuelos 115.7 506 21.1% 10.9% .286 3.89 4.18 100 110
Mike Minor 128.0 542 19.6% 6.8% .272 4.01 4.11 104 108
Bud Norris 146.3 631 20.8% 7.4% .300 4.31 4.14 111 109
Williams Perez 133.7 587 16.2% 8.2% .294 4.31 4.36 111 115
Matt Wisler 156.7 678 18.1% 6.8% .292 4.48 4.39 116 116
Sean Newcomb 122.0 568 23.4% 16.9% .295 4.50 4.82 116 127
Arodys Vizcaino 48.0 203 25.1% 8.9% .287 3.19 3.18 82 84
John Gant 126.0 557 19.9% 9.5% .297 4.57 4.48 118 118
Daniel Winkler 62.3 266 22.9% 8.3% .283 4.19 4.33 108 114
Jake Brigham 103.7 455 16.0% 7.9% .294 4.43 4.29 114 113
Jason Grilli 36.0 150 28.0% 8.0% .293 3.00 2.91 77 77
Ryan Weber 105.3 447 15.7% 4.0% .290 4.44 4.37 115 115
David Carpenter 56.7 245 21.6% 9.8% .292 3.49 3.59 90 95
Shae Simmons 34.0 146 26.0% 11.0% .295 3.18 3.28 82 86
Paco Rodriguez 35.7 151 27.8% 9.9% .281 3.28 3.44 85 91
Jason Frasor 31.3 135 23.7% 10.4% .291 3.16 3.19 82 84
Ian Krol 57.0 243 25.1% 9.1% .289 3.63 3.55 94 94
Mike Foltynewicz 114.0 508 20.9% 11.0% .294 4.66 4.50 120 119
Edwin Jackson 55.0 238 20.6% 9.2% .288 3.76 3.76 97 99
Jason Hursh 113.0 501 13.2% 7.6% .298 4.70 4.45 121 117
Chris Withrow 29.3 128 26.6% 13.3% .274 3.68 4.02 95 106
Tyler Jones 55.7 243 21.4% 10.3% .291 3.88 3.92 100 103
Peter Moylan 37.3 163 19.0% 8.6% .299 3.86 3.67 100 97
Michael Kohn 36.7 163 24.5% 14.1% .276 3.93 4.36 101 115
Kanekoa Texeira 71.0 320 15.9% 10.6% .291 4.69 4.75 121 125
David Aardsma 44.3 191 24.6% 10.5% .285 3.86 3.79 100 100
Jim Johnson 64.0 278 18.7% 7.9% .304 3.94 3.68 102 97
Danny Burawa 68.7 305 22.0% 12.1% .289 4.19 4.28 108 113
Ross Detwiler 67.3 300 16.0% 8.7% .304 4.54 4.38 117 115
Donnie Veal 39.0 172 20.3% 10.5% .295 4.15 4.24 107 112
Brandon Cunniff 47.0 210 22.9% 12.9% .283 4.21 4.44 109 117
Andrew McKirahan 44.3 193 20.2% 7.8% .303 4.26 3.95 110 104
Carlos Fisher 44.3 200 24.5% 14.5% .290 4.26 4.38 110 115
Tyrell Jenkins 106.0 478 14.0% 9.6% .290 5.01 5.09 129 134
Nick Masset 43.7 196 18.9% 11.2% .302 4.33 4.44 112 117
Alex White 75.3 342 15.2% 10.8% .292 5.02 4.93 130 130
Ryan Kelly 55.0 241 20.7% 9.5% .287 4.42 4.60 114 121
Lucas Sims 111.3 509 17.3% 12.2% .290 5.09 5.17 131 136
Matt Marksberry 71.0 324 19.1% 12.3% .293 5.07 5.06 131 133
Mauricio Cabrera 44.0 207 19.8% 15.9% .296 5.11 5.23 132 138
Sugar Ray Marimon 112.7 507 14.4% 9.1% .288 5.27 5.33 136 140
Mitchell Boggs 38.7 182 9.9% 12.1% .291 5.59 5.70 144 150
Victor Mateo 139.0 630 11.9% 9.2% .288 5.31 5.34 137 141
Zach Bird 101.0 480 17.3% 15.2% .296 5.61 5.67 145 149

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Shelby Miller 186.0 7.94 3.19 0.87 110 3.4 Jon Garland
Julio Teheran 197.0 7.99 2.60 1.05 105 3.1 John Burkett
Manny Banuelos 115.7 8.32 4.28 0.86 98 1.5 Matt Whisenant
Mike Minor 128.0 7.45 2.60 1.27 95 1.4 Huck Flener
Bud Norris 146.3 8.06 2.89 1.11 89 1.1 Runelvys Hernandez
Williams Perez 133.7 6.39 3.23 0.94 89 1.0 Jake Dittler
Matt Wisler 156.7 7.06 2.64 1.26 85 0.8 Doug Waechter
Sean Newcomb 122.0 9.81 7.08 0.89 85 0.6 Neal Cotts
Arodys Vizcaino 48.0 9.56 3.38 0.75 120 0.6 Hipolito Pichardo
John Gant 126.0 7.93 3.79 1.14 84 0.6 Jesse Anderson
Daniel Winkler 62.3 8.81 3.18 1.30 91 0.6 Ken Chenard
Jake Brigham 103.7 6.34 3.12 0.95 86 0.5 Elliot Brown
Jason Grilli 36.0 10.50 3.00 0.75 127 0.5 Doug Bair
Ryan Weber 105.3 5.98 1.54 1.28 86 0.4 Chris Holt
David Carpenter 56.7 8.41 3.81 0.63 109 0.4 Mike Schultz
Shae Simmons 34.0 10.06 4.24 0.53 120 0.4 Brad Voyles
Paco Rodriguez 35.7 10.59 3.78 1.01 117 0.4 Thomas Hart
Jason Frasor 31.3 9.20 4.03 0.58 121 0.4 George Caster
Ian Krol 57.0 9.63 3.47 0.95 105 0.3 Clay Rapada
Mike Foltynewicz 114.0 8.37 4.42 1.11 83 0.2 Earl Sanders
Edwin Jackson 55.0 8.02 3.60 0.82 102 0.2 Jason Bullard
Jason Hursh 113.0 5.26 3.03 0.88 81 0.2 Jim Adamczak
Chris Withrow 29.3 10.44 5.22 0.92 104 0.1 Scott Fredrickson
Tyler Jones 55.7 8.40 4.04 0.81 99 0.1 Ryan Baker
Peter Moylan 37.3 7.48 3.38 0.72 99 0.1 Ben Weber
Michael Kohn 36.7 9.81 5.64 0.98 97 0.1 Mike Cook
Kanekoa Texeira 71.0 6.46 4.31 1.01 81 0.1 Trey Hodges
David Aardsma 44.3 9.55 4.06 1.02 99 0.1 Archie Corbin
Jim Johnson 64.0 7.31 3.09 0.70 97 0.1 Bobby Munoz
Danny Burawa 68.7 8.78 4.85 0.92 91 0.0 Andrew Brown
Ross Detwiler 67.3 6.42 3.48 0.94 84 0.0 Joe Beimel
Donnie Veal 39.0 8.08 4.15 0.92 92 -0.1 Joey Eischen
Brandon Cunniff 47.0 9.19 5.17 1.15 91 -0.1 Henry Owens
Andrew McKirahan 44.3 7.92 3.05 1.02 90 -0.1 Jason Sekany
Carlos Fisher 44.3 9.95 5.89 1.02 90 -0.1 Archie Corbin
Tyrell Jenkins 106.0 5.69 3.91 1.19 76 -0.2 Jim Henderson
Nick Masset 43.7 7.62 4.53 0.82 88 -0.2 Jerry Johnson
Alex White 75.3 6.22 4.42 1.08 76 -0.2 Jason Baker
Ryan Kelly 55.0 8.18 3.76 1.31 87 -0.2 Doug Gogolewski
Lucas Sims 111.3 7.12 5.01 1.21 75 -0.2 Nick Skuse
Matt Marksberry 71.0 7.86 5.07 1.27 75 -0.4 Mark Lukasiewicz
Mauricio Cabrera 44.0 8.39 6.75 1.02 75 -0.4 Brett Wayne
Sugar Ray Marimon 112.7 5.83 3.67 1.44 72 -0.7 Joe Law
Mitchell Boggs 38.7 4.19 5.12 1.16 68 -0.8 Mike Sullivan
Victor Mateo 139.0 4.86 3.76 1.29 72 -0.8 Vance Cozier
Zach Bird 101.0 7.40 6.50 1.25 68 -0.9 Joel Santo

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2016. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 3.95 ERA and the NL having a 3.79 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2016 ZiPS Projections – Atlanta Braves by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

newest oldest most voted
Johnston
Member
Johnston

Atlanta’s management should apologize to everyone for the miserable excuse of a team that they are fielding this year.

It’s disgraceful. Their salary-reduction trades have been pathetic. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Atlanta's Management
Guest
Atlanta's Management

comment image

raygu
Member

uhhhh, this is called a rebuild. See Astros, Houston; Cubs, Chicago; Phillies, Philadelphia.

D
Guest
D

As pointed out here and also at baseball prospectus, this is a crazy rebuild where young, cost controlled assists are being shipped out. Usually one tries to build around players like Simmons, not ship them out.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC

Yep, everything made at least a bit of sense before that.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Yeah, that’s what confuses me too. Simmons was good and cost controlled, and let’s face it, their core wasn’t THAT bad when the rebuild began. I mean, Heyward/Simmons/Freeman/Teheran is as good a young core as just about any team.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC

I saw it as either you keep Heyward and Upton (and Kimbrel) and try to win or you get rid of both of them (and Kimbrel is okay too). Doing that would at most leave a bad farm system and if you need to make trades to improve it could end up terrible, and the window closes in 2015 and you are looking at several very bad years. Of course, if there aren’t a few hits on these prospects, that could end up happening anyway. Either way, you don’t trade young good players that are cheap for 5 years for iffy prospects.

raygu
Member

well, with Simmons, I am not sure anyone knows how his defense will age, so I can see them getting what they can for him, especially with Albies in their farm.
Heyward – I thought they were never going to sign him after they signed Simmons/Freeman, etc to LT deals. Plus, while his D is terrific, the power never re-appeared after the shoulder injury.
Kimbrel – you have to deal your closer in a rebuild.

At this point, you may as well deal Freeman. But he is cost controlled and he puts fans in the seats.

Anon21
Guest
Anon21

Actually, we do have a pretty good idea about how Simmons’ defense will age: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-did-previous-andrelton-simmonses-age/

It was a terrible trade for the Braves.

Johnston
Member
Johnston

This is NOT a rebuild. The Simmons trade proved that. It’s a pure salary dump. And it’s a disgrace to baseball.

Stevn
Guest
Stevn

How is getting the top 2 prospects from a team, plus a veteran to fill the hole of the position we traded away, not a rebuild..

Not to mention Aybar will make more than Simmons this year.