Apr 10, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher David Hale (right) talks with catcher Ryan Doumit (left) against the New York Mets during the 1st inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Afternoon Chop: Atlanta Braves News 5/8/14


Baseball Reference

The Braves have struggled lately, and that comes as no news to any fans.  After their latest loss on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, they are now in 2nd place in the NL East, a half game back of both the Washington Nationals, and the Miami Marlins.  As we’ve seemingly said for too long a time now, we’ll hope the Braves can get back on track tomorrow as they begin a new series against the Chicago Cubs.  Check out the boxscores from last night’s loss, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS Pit Str PO A
Jason Heyward RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 .209 .605 15 10 2 0
Justin Upton LF 4 1 2 0 0 1 .303 .974 16 13 3 0
Freddie Freeman 1B 4 0 2 1 0 0 .307 .910 13 8 9 0
Evan Gattis C 4 0 0 0 0 0 .255 .789 10 6 9 0
Chris Johnson 3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 .246 .596 15 11 0 3
B.J. Upton CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 .212 .624 7 7 1 0
Andrelton Simmons SS 3 0 1 0 1 0 .273 .736 15 6 1 1
Mike Minor P 2 0 0 0 0 1 .250 .500 7 6 0 0
   David Hale P 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 0 1
   Jordan Schafer PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 .167 .488 3 3
   Anthony Varvaro P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
   Luis Avilan P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Doumit PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .176 .376 2 2
Ramiro Pena 2B 3 0 0 0 0 1 .229 .747 10 8 2 3
Team Totals 34 1 7 1 1 7 .206 .582 113 80 27 9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/8/2014.
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD
Mike Minor, L (0-2) 4.1 11 6 6 2 6 1 6.97 25 91 60 35 3 22 5 12 11
David Hale 2.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.76 8 24 17 13 1 3 5 3 3
Anthony Varvaro 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.31 3 16 11 6 2 3 1 1 1
Luis Avilan 1 2 1 1 0 2 0 6.10 5 23 16 12 4 0 0 3 2
Team Totals 9 13 7 7 2 9 1 7.00 41 154 104 66 10 28 11 19 17
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/8/2014.



MLBPipeline.com’s Bernie Pleskoff takes a look at David Hale, and talks about how he has made a big difference to the Braves’ rotation this year.  With Mike Minor‘s hiccups, and lingering questions about Gavin Floyd, I’ve wondered myself if it wasn’t a mistake to relegate Hale to the bullpen so quickly.  Perhaps only time will tell, but Bernie Pleskoff takes a closer look…

Braves’ Hale has ability to start or pitch out of ‘pen

Some teams might wilt under the weight of losing multiple starting pitchers in the early days of a new season. To their credit, the Atlanta Braves moved swiftly to find solutions to their rotation issues this year.

The team had to proceed without Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, both of whom underwent Tommy John surgery. Mike Minor has dealt with shoulder tendinitis but is back pitching for the club, and Gavin Floyd just returned after rehabbing from his own Tommy John procedure last season.

The Braves acted quickly to add free-agent pitchers Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang to the rotation. For a third starting pitcher, Atlanta looked internally and selected right-hander David Haleto assume the role.




The Cards took it to the Braves, and despite great hopes for Mike Minor’s 2nd outing in 2014, his performance was somewhat of a let down.  BND picked up the recap by Rick Hummel, of the St. Louis Dispatch.

Bourjos and Wainwright lead Cardinals past Braves

ATLANTA — Adam Wainwright batted .211 last year, which probably is a little higher than he’s supposed to hit. He’s a pitcher.

Peter Bourjos was batting .154 before the Cardinals got to Turner Field this week. He’s an outfielder and that is not a good average, one that Wainwright might even disdain.

Together, that twosome batted .625 on Wednesday night as the Cardinals snatched the decisive game of a three-game series from the Atlanta Braves, 7-1.

Bourjos, who had eight hits for the Cardinals in the first five weeks of the season, had five in two starts this week against the Braves.



Bleacher Report

Todd Salem, columnist for Bleacher Report, shares with us 6 Early-Season stats that may help explain the difficulties the Atlanta Braves’ are having lately  Take a look at Todd’s article…

Braves Baseball: 6 Early-Season Braves Stats That Tell You All You Need to Know

After losing Wednesday night to the St. Louis Cardinals, theAtlanta Braves find themselves at 18-15, good for third place in the National League East.

Just half a game behind Washington and Miami for first place, the Braves are on a bit of a slide, losing eight of their past 10 ballgames. Their run differential is also down to a mediocre plus-three.




David Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution takes a look at three issues the Atlanta Braves are having, and shares his votes about what might be done, starting, he says, with the problem of Dan Uggla.  Read more…

Braves: 3 issues, my votes (starting with Uggla)

Despite ending a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, the Braves affirmed their 2-1 win over St. Louis actually didn’t change much in the big picture. They lost the  following to the Cardinals 7-1, dropping their third straight series (and falling to 1-5 on this homestand).

As I wrote in a column Tuesday night, the Braves’ biggest concern isn’t that they’re running out of time. It’s only May. The problem is that their major issues now are pretty much the same as they were a year ago: an unproductive offense (they rank 29th in runs scored), punctuated by a lack of clutch hitting (.220 and ranked 27th with runners on base; .201 and ranked 28th with runners in scoring position).

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Dan Uggla David Hale

  • Sealift67

    Seven starters, yet, only Teheran, Santana are locked and loaded. From there I fully
    expect Minor to find his stride. Wood will show expected development ie more
    consistency over time. The next few starts will inform us about Harang’s comeback
    after an impressive start. Floyd looks great thus far yet we don’t know about
    all the shoulder and arm parts from labrum, cuff, acromion, and the 3 exquisite
    nerves radial median and ulnar, the median coursing through the elbow(Yes I
    am a doc in another life). Given the uncertainties I argued for retaining Hale.
    There will be some bumps as the rotation sorts itself out.
    That said, unless there is better run production….. It is not too soon to
    bring up LaStella and perhaps move Simmons to the leadoff. BJ, well,
    is showing some hopeful signs. Keep him deep in the order. Don’t you
    miss Michael Bourn?

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

      Good stuff! I agree on Hale, and just hope that don’t come back to bite them. I think the problem, in a nutshell, is some serious plate discipline issues with some key spots in the lineup, and then the mental thing. Just as hitting can be contagious, so are slumps. It’s like a disease that is pervasive, and hard to cure. My hope is that the struggling Cubs will give us a lift, but we all know that it’s never easy when you play teams you assume you’re going to roll over.

    • fireboss

      Do I wish Wren had done what he said he would do – sign or trade for a leadoff hitter – instead of overpaying by at least 50% for BJ? Yes. However, I’m glad Bourn didn’t sign with us. Since joining Cleveland he’s been injury prone and his on base has fallen off. He played 130 games last year with a 316 OBP and a 676 OPS. This year he’s played only 16 games and has a .278 OBP. He had to have his hamstring surgically repaired which makes the future of his primary asset – his speed –
      questionable. He’s a perfect example Boras overestimating his worth (and convincing him) in the market and then having to sign for almost exactly what he was offered in Atl.
      You are absolutely correct that trading Hale or any starting pitchers midseason if you plan to contend and not getting a critically needed piece in return is not smart baseball. Value wise the pitchers we might actually trade don’t reach the level of those that would bring that return. If the Braves fail to regain their form and slip out of the race trades for prospects are possible but not before. Besides, history tells us that Teheran, Minor or any of the starters could throw a pitch then grab their elbow at any time or a someone will strain and oblique or hamstring and we’ll need an extra starter or two.

      • Sealift67

        True, and not being a quantum physics guy, I can’t even guess what
        the new environment played in his injuries. Looking back, Bourn was
        a pretty decent overall Cf and hitter. I mention Bourn strictly as an
        example given the availability of several decent CF’s who averaged well
        above .235.