Oct 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A cart full of new batting practice balls wait for the Atlanta Braves before they take the field for warmups before game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Loa Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Afternoon Chop: Atlanta Braves’ News 12/7

Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News


Braving New Territory: What the FIP Is This?

Talking Chop

While understanding how pitcher W-L records aren’t helpful isn’t that difficult, ERA takes a bit more explaining. W-L records incorporate more than just the pitcher’s talent – defense, offense, bullpen, random variation, weather – and if it includes all of that, we can reasonably agree that other stats probably tell us more about a pitcher than that. That’s where ERA comes in.

ERA is pretty simple. You take the number of earned runs allowed, divide by the number of innings pitched, and mulitply by 9 (ER / IP * 9). Because the objective of the pitcher is to prevent runs, this formula makes a lot of sense. The “earned runs” part takes care of the defensive miscues that cause additional runs. The “innings pitched” covers the amount of time the pitcher spent on the mound. And the “9″ helps change the number into the amount of runs that pitcher will give up every 9 innings on average. That’s the way it looks, anyway.



Inbox 12-4-2013

Love My Bravos

Every time I read the Braves Inbox (used to be the “Mailbag”), I always answer the questions in my head before reading Bowman’s replies. This has been a fun off-season project for a couple of years and I’ll do my best to keep up this year. Actual questions answered by Bowman are in bold, with my replies below. You can read Bowman’s replies in this week’s inbox on MLB.com.

Besides the obvious names (Kyle Lohse, Jeff Samardzija, Bartolo Colon), are there any other veteran pitchers we may see the Braves pursue?
– Clint M., Loganville, Ga.

I don’t want any of those guys to be Braves. Well, maybe Lohse, because this was funny. But Samardjalphabet, no. never. no.

Besides, we had an awesome veteran pitcher/presence and the front office let him go and now he’s going to be wearing orange & black. :/



The all-obscure Bravos

Rowland’s Office

Longtime Braves fans recall the ’82 team fondly, but do you remember Bob Porter, a utility OF who, in 41 games over two seasons, hit a punchless .171? How ’bout Tom Hausman, the journeyman right-hander acquired from the Mets to add depth to the bullpen? He was released the following January.

So that got me thinking about some of the home team’s more nameless charges over the years. I went back to 1977, when I first started following the Braves, to compile this list.


Pitchers: Duane Theiss, Steve Hargan, Don Collins, Bob Johnson, Mike Davey, Steve Kline, Mike Beard, Pablo Torrealba

Position players: Atlanta native Hank Small, Jerry MaddoxChico Ruiz (not the Chico Ruiz who starred for the Reds in the 1960s), Mike Macha, Jim Wessinger



McCann reflects fondly on his time with Braves


ATLANTA — When Howie McCann received two tickets for the first regular-season game played at Turner Field, he flipped a coin to determine which of his two teenage sons would accompany him.

Sixteen years later, Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones are the only two men who have played more games at Turner Field than the kid whose first entry into the stadium came courtesy of winning that coin flip.

“That is just surreal,” Brian McCann said when informed of that fact. “I grew up a big Braves fan. To be able to say I played the first half of my career in Atlanta and to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys, I really don’t have the words for it. This is where I grew up and this is home for me.”

While Atlanta will continue to serve as his home and the place where he spent the first nine seasons of his Major League career, McCann now looks forward to beginning the newest chapter of his life — with the Yankees, who lured him to New York with a five-year, $85 million contract.

But as McCann prepares to become part of a history enriched by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle, he carries nothing but fond memories away from the opportunity he had to spend the early part of his career playing alongside some of the Braves legends he idolized while growing up 30 minutes north of downtown Atlanta.

I got to play for Bobby Cox.  I got to be teammates with Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. I don’t know if it gets much better than that, being from Atlanta.

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  • Lee Trocinski

    So all offseason, we clamor for a power pitcher who could succeed in the playoffs, but Samardzija is nowhere on your radar? I realize it would take quite a bit to get him away from Chicago, but he fits the profile perfectly. He has underperformed his FIP the last couple years, but he’s the K per inning power arm that can shut down any team with that stuff.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      He’s on my radar. In fact, I’m toying with an article on why I think he’s the best fit for the Braves now, in view of the cost, and return on investment. His numbers as you allude to are deceptive, but all one really needs to know is he’s always, and I mean almost always pitched the Braves really tough when we’ve faced him. Strong K guy.

      • Lee Trocinski

        Maybe if I’m not lazy and read the link, I’d see that Bowman is the one who said that… My bad.

        • fireboss

          It wasn’t even Bowman it was a lady named Lauren T who writes at Love My Bravos.

          Bowman actually said “. . . Lohse and Samardzija stand as two potential options on the trade market, there is certainly reason to believe this week’s flurry of transactions could open the door for the Braves to find other pitchers who could be available via trade.” He didn’t name any though.

          In perspective Ms T answered a question a about Edward Salcedo by saying “I have no idea who that is. Sorry”

          The questions were sent to Bowman and not to her. I hope her readers look elsewhere for in depth analysis..

          • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

            Lauren rarely does any analysis actually. As I’m sure you already know, she mostly just posts pics, tweets, things more of a personal nature. She’s a fan first, and an analyst, a distant never. She posts her opinions, but I don’t think any indepth analysis. That said, for a personal blog she has a good deal of readers, so I gave her site a nod in the chop.

          • fireboss

            I don’t mind that and she’s entitled to post what she wishes of course I was just clarifying the source of the anti-Samardjia comment

          • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

            Too bad we cannot disqus over the phone :)

          • Matthew Jones

            I will start using “a distant never” from now on. :D That’s just too good.

    • Sealift67

      Gives up too many HR’s, WHIP too high for my liking. Just
      don’t see the upgrade value versus cost and versus current
      talent on staff. Young pitchers become veterans after a few
      years. Teheran and Minor are solid. Can Beachy come back
      strong. Will Alex Wood progress, Hale continue to impress.
      Would Wren consider a trade involving Medlen?

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