Looking at the Braves pitching so far

Yesterday I went over the Braves offense and hopefully encouraged those of you who were worried about the team’s run scoring abilities this Spring. Today I’m not going to encourage you at all. In fact I might scare you, so if you want to be a good fan and never think anything bad about the club ever, I would click back to the offensive post.

April 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Kris Medlen (54) pitches in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Turner Field. The Braves beat the Mets 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Well, its probably not that bad, but the offense has definitely been doing the heavy lifting so far.

The Braves are 20th in the league with a 4.24 ERA. They are 16th in the league with a 3.99 FIP and 15th in the league with 3.93 xFIP. Now, none of those are terrible but those aren’t the kind of numbers we have come to expect as Braves fans.

Atlanta is dead last in opposing batting average, letting the bad guys’ hitters get a nice .284. WHIP is just as bad, as the team is tied for last in the league with the Rays and a 1.56 WHIP. The Braves are 17th in the league in SIERA at 3.90. I don’t use SIERA much, you might have seen Lee use it a bit more than me, but I am going to start using it a bit more. You can find out more about that here.

The team has definitely put up worse numbers than the same point in time last year but we are going to get Tim Hudson back soon and if Jurrjens continues to pitch abysmally, then we have the pitchers to replace him. You guys might be starting to think I am just super optimistic about the team all the time but I legitimately believe the pitching is going to get a lot better. Tommy Hanson and Mike Minor look great so far, Brandon Beachy looks good and Randall Delgado has done exactly what we have expected. We are going to be fine.

Topics: Atlant Braves, Pitching

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  • FredOwens

    Beachy’s looked better than Tommy IMO though Tommy has fought more and stayed deeper which is encouraging. With his velocity down he has to pitch better and that’s been sporadic. I HATE his delivery, it’s ugly, slow to the plate and begs runners to steal. That won’t change however and the only way you can adopt the Maddux “base runners don’t bother me” approach is by keeping their number down and getting double play balls or sending lots of Ks to the board. Tommy’s in between that. Meanwhile Minor seems to be channeling his inner Tom Glavine. Everyone remembers the crafty Glavine but he was once in that  91/2/3 range as well. Pitching with something to prove suits Minor. I love pitchers that go out every game as if the other side insulted their mama. You could see him smiling quietly leaving the mound last night. The thought bubble said “So you want me to earn my spot? Done! Now It’s mine and get you checkbook ready”. If Minor is moving the ball around like Glavine, Beachy has his demeanor. I wish Beachy would channel a little Smoltz but he’s young and that may come. Meanwhile JJ is as I noted elsewhere , Andy Benes so far while Delgado is ideally a year of seasoning away from regular big league rotation time and still learning to pitch. I like him and his stuff but worry about his arm and longevity.
    When Huddy gets back and Moyaln gets healthy it will be interesting to see where the Braves go when they make their pitching decisions.
    And no you don;t scare me, reality keeps our heads from exploding :-)

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

    I agree with you about Hanson and his delivery. I hate it, but he has started to his the secondary pitches more effectively and hopefully that will keep him effective. I love Beachy and Minor and hope they are locks in the rotation for a long time.
     
    I honestly think we have a ton of better options for the pen than Moylan but I would rather have him than Durbin.

  • Big Bad Bob

     @CarlosCollazo I agree completely on your thinking about Moylan. In fact, if I were the GM, I would have traded him in 2009 or 2010 before his injury. With Flande, Gearrin, Varvaro and Chapman in Gwinnett, Moylan is probably the least talented of the group. Add his age and waist size and I see no reason why the Braves want him.
    Durbin (Dustbin) is a waste of roster space that only Wren or Frediot could justify!

  • FredOwens

     @CarlosCollazo I haven’t seen Pete throw this year but none of those will have the ground ball rate Pete has except maybe gearrin who Fedi doesn’t like or he’d have been there all last year and they gave him $1m contract so he’ll get first shot unless he’s awful and maybe even if he is.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @Big Bad Bob Definitely. We have younger, cheaper, and most importantly Better options to use.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @FredOwens I don’t see the high ground ball rate being a strength for Moylan any more. At least not this year with Pasto/Chipper/Uggla in the infield. Gearrin is striking guys out a lot more as well as having ground ball tendencies. In 11 innings so far in triple A he has 13 K’s and 2 walks. 

  • FredOwens

     @CarlosCollazo There’s no reason to abandon the double play option just because you don;t have confidence in your shortstop. If he’s that bad – he’s not – don’t play him, use Wilson. Chipper and Prado turn the Double play from third well enough. K’s are ok but unless you’re Venters or Kimbrel back to back K’s aren’t a reasonable expectation in the bigs. True it happens but the double play ground ball is still a better option. There is of course th eother thing, Fredi doesn’t care for Gearrin at all.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @FredOwens That’s a good point. But I don’t like the idea of having a guy who ONLY gets outs with the groundball and our infield defense. You also seem to be right about Fredi and Gearrin. Hopefully that changes because Gearrin is improving a lot lately.