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Are the Braves done with this year?


Tbadder
I saw that Smoltz said that he'd return to the bullpen after his stint on the DL. Does anyone know if this is fulltime? If so, doesn't it appear that the Braves are kaput then. Not that they won't be a decent team, but that their chances of making the playoffs have all but been flushed, which also increases the likelihood that the Crew will at least nail down the wildcard.
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It's not like anyone is running away with that division---they are only 3 games back of 1st. Their offense is pretty potent, but I'd say they have to make a move for a SP some time if Smoltz isn't back in the rotation in a month or so.

 

I wouldn't rule out Smoltz returning to the rotation. He's pretty old and I guess he and the team feel that he needs to come back slowly.

You don't have an Adam Wainwright. Easily the best gentlemen in all of sports. You don't have the amount of real good old American men like the Cardinals do. Holliday, Wainwright, Skip, Berkman those 4 guys are incredible people

 

GhostofQuantrill

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I know that Bobby Cox is pressing to get Smoltz in the rotation...should be interesting to see which old goat wins that argument

 

As an aside, of all the expected feasible destinations, I have to say that Sheets in a Braves uniform would bother me much less than him in an Astros jersey

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They're far from done. They're only 3 games under .500 and 3 games out of first place in a division that doesn't, at this point, look as great as people had thought prior to the season. T

 

Their big problem right now is injuries and their effect on the pitching staff. Once some guys come off the DL (Smoltz, Soriano, Moylan), their bullpen will be excellent. The starting rotation is the big question mark. But if they can at least get average starting pitching this season, their hitting should be able to keep them in the playoff hunt.

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Clearly, since the Braves were declared done by a message board, they're still dead. The Brewers are dead too, for the exact same reason. There's no way back -- 129 games just isn't enough to possibly overcome a 5.5 game deficit. The Cards are going to win 65% of their games all year long. We're done.

 

http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/eyes.gif

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Yeah, but you can keep going on the projections for the Cardinals from the beginning of the year all the way until they're 53-28 at the halfway point, and THEN they make a couple good trades to solidify their team. Everyone seems to leave that aspect out of the equation for a team like the Cardinals.
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Yeah, but you can keep going on the projections for the Cardinals from the beginning of the year all the way until they're 53-28 at the halfway point, and THEN they make a couple good trades to solidify their team. Everyone seems to leave that aspect out of the equation for a team like the Cardinals.

 

Who said anything about projections? You want them to trade their top-flight prospect (Rasmus)? Ok, that might actually help us in the long run... but it ain't happening. You have to have trade ammo to land anything worthwhile.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Look up their prospect lists and pick some names off the list.

 

Same goes with the Astros, who will be three games up on the Brewers by Monday. If they keep winning the chances that they are buyers come July keep growing. So, no as of right now the Brewers aren't as bad as they seem compared to other teams they are competing with, but those teams won't stand pat!

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Look up their prospect lists and pick some names off the list.

 

Same goes with the Astros, who will be three games up on the Brewers by Monday. If they keep winning the chances that they are buyers come July keep growing. So, no as of right now the Brewers aren't as bad as they seem compared to other teams they are competing with, but those teams won't stand pat!

 

Well, since you're the one that's proposing these big-time deals, I think you should be the one to craft the value they could get for a given combo of prospects, not me. I just don't think that either StL or Hou. have the kind of ammo in their farm to add a difference-making player as easily as you're implying.

 

Beyond that, both StL & Hou have big-time limitations that would make someone that plays the odds pick against them sustaining these starts. I really don't have time tonight to delve into each team's start, but I'd be willing to bet that neither squad has faced the caliber of pitching we have, and there's probably more there too in terms of players playing way over their heads to start the season.

 

If anyone should have tempered expectations with a hot start, it's Brewers fans.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Beyond that, both StL & Hou have big-time limitations that would make someone that plays the odds pick against them sustaining these starts. I really don't have time tonight to delve into each team's start, but I'd be willing to bet that neither squad has faced the caliber of pitching we have, and there's probably more there too in terms of players playing way over their heads to start the season.

I'm fairly confident that Houston won't stay in contention for a playoff berth once we get deeper into the season, the Cardinals though i'm starting to think they just might be able to.

The Cardinal not only have Pujols, but enough guys in the lineup that get on base to where i think they'll score enough runs to stay in the race. Their bullpen also looks pretty solid, it's the starting pitching for them that will decide their fate. I was annoyed that St. Louis was able to get Lohse cheap after Boras foolishly turned down a 3yr deal from the Phillies. Lohse is by no means a great pitcher, but he's a solid innings eating 4th/5th starter type that they really needed. Wainwright has ace or near ace stuff and seems to finally be putting it all together. I expected the Looper to the rotation experiment to be a huge failure, but he's probably no worse than Suppan. Todd Wellemeyer is another reliever turned starter that surprisingly has been very effective for the Cardinals in 18 starts covering 100 innings this year and last year. Pineiro was terrible in the AL and could still end up being quite bad in the NL, but so far at least he's been solid. Carpenter i believe will be back sometime in July.

With us losing Gallardo, i have a hard time saying our rotation is for sure better than the Cardinals is. Wainwright is no fluke, he has ace stuff that can match what Sheets throws. Parra/Villanueva are nowhere near a lock to perform better than Wellemeyer and Lohse. As bad as Bush has been last year and this year so far, it's hard to say he's gonna do better than Pineiro.

LaRussa is a much better manager than Ned

 

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The Cardinal not only have Pujols, but enough guys in the lineup that get on base to where i think they'll score enough runs to stay in the race. Their bullpen also looks pretty solid, it's the starting pitching for them that will decide their fate.

 

I don't believe that what the Cardinals have is long-term at all. They've got several regulars playing way over their heads, and most if not all of them will come back to their norms imo. I want to point out that the bold-faced part is what I took exception to -- I don't think the Cards' guys will be able to keep getting on base this much, and if regression to the mean works as it usually does, some of these guys could be in for some ugly lines the rest of the way.

 

 

Ryan Ludwick: .412/.455/.725/1.180 v. RHP (career .294/.354/.495/.849); .456 BABIP (overall 2008)

 

Rick Ankiel: 17 BB (140 PA) on the season already (13 in 190 PA in 2007)... not sure what to make of it yet.

 

Skip Schumaker: .337/.410/.506/.916 v. RHP (career .307/.351/.443/.794); .350 BABIP (overall 2008)

 

Cesar Izturis: .323/.417/.355/.772, .357 BABIP v. LHP (career .267/.299/.341/.640, .287 BABIP); .244/.350/.291/.641 2008 overall (career .259/.297/.333/.630); high OBP for Cesar due exclusively to small sample thus far imo

 

Adam Kennedy: .325/.380/.386/.766 (career .276/.330/.390/.720); .380 BABIP;

.467/.500/.533/1.033, .500 BABIP v. LHP (career .252/.309/.336/.646; BABIP .298)

 

Aaron Miles: .319/.373/.348/.721 (career .284/.325/.357/.682); 338 BABIP

 

Brian Barton: .405 BABIP (his #s so far match his minor-league production, but that BABIP skews things)

 

Brendan Ryan: .360 BABIP (yes, too lazy to do any more on him http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif )

 

 

Keep in mind that, for some of the younger/less experienced guys, their ridiculous starts have been wacky enough to skew the career numbers upwards, too. Even Pujols is very, very unlikely to sustain his .342/.494/.575/1.069 start (.343 BABIP), but it's obviously not too far off from his norms. Yadier Molina is one that's probably rocking out sustainable numbers, especially since he should be expected to improve going from his age 25 to age 26 season -- this is arguably the best C in baseball if his early start is no fluke.

 

Also, Troy Glaus is one Cardinal that's started off really slowly... and I'd expect him to move upwards toward his career norms. Duncan will SLG more, too, but his BA/OBP at this point really aren't all that out of whack.

 

On top of all these fluky starts, a relatively large amount of them have come directly against us. Basically, the Cards & Crew are polar opposites right now offensively. The Cards are playing -- in many cases -- at nearly inverse proportions to career norms, while the Crew has several extremely talented batters that are so cold to start you just can't realistically take it seriously. I don't even want to crunch the numbers on the pitchers... but here are the BABIPs so far.

 

 

Lohse: .286 (.309 career)

 

Looper: .288 (.295)

 

Wainwright: .235 (.298)

 

Wellemeyer: .270 (.291)

 

Piniero: .297 (.300)

 

Villone: .185 (.289)

 

 

Basically, the Cards have been about as hot as a team could possibly be for the first month +. If anyone genuinely believes that they'll keep up these fluky performances... AND that the Crew will stay abnormally cold, then yes -- there's no way we catch them. I just think it's playing ridiculously slim (to none) odds that that will happen. In fact, if I do say so myself, it's downright foolish to think StL will keep this up. I only included Villone from the 'pen, since the others have reasonable BABIPs or will actually improve. Imo, it's way too small of samples in the bullpen to really 'know' anything yet, but they haven't really played that much over their heads yet.

 

I could do the same research on the Astros, but I think the point is clear... and I really don't feel like doing this digging again. So if anyone wants to dig on Houston, it'd be appreciated. I just used baseball-reference.com (& fangraphs.com for overall BABIP... for some reason, I couldn't find the overall BABIPs at baseball-reference.com)

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Basically, the Cards have been about as hot as a team could possibly be for the first month +. If anyone genuinely believes that they'll keep up these fluky performances... AND that the Crew will stay abnormally cold, then yes -- there's no way we catch them. I just think it's playing ridiculously slim (to none) odds that that will happen. In fact, if I do say so myself, it's downright foolish to think StL will keep this up.

 

I wasn't trying to imply that i think St. Louis will keep playing at a .629 win percentage, they won't or that the Brewers are toast. I just thought they'd be a bad team this year and i'm no longer convinced that will be the case. Now i do believe they have a decent shot to stay in the race all year, something that i never would have expected prior to the season.

 

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I just thought they'd be a bad team this year and i'm no longer convinced that will be the case. Now i do believe they have a decent shot to stay in the race all year, something that i never would have expected prior to the season.

 

I agree that they're better than I thought they would be, but I don't expect them to stay in the race much longer than the ASB. I mean, those numbers I posted are downright scary-fluky.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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