Off Day Thread: Braves’ woes…What to address?

Calling all Braves’ Armchair Managers and General Managers!

It’s no secret…The Braves are not hitting.  It’s also no secret that the Braves starting pitchers, for the most part, are coming down from the April high. While Uggla, for good reason, has been the whipping boy due to his large contract and inability to factor in on either side of the field, there are many problems that have reared their ugly heads over the past 2 weeks.  What would the Braves’ armchair managers of the world like to see happen?  Trades? Demotions? Promotions? Let’s hear it!

Tags: Atlanta Braves

  • Ryan Cothran

    I’ll kick it off…

    1. Promote La Stella…yesterday. DFA Uggla..yesterday.
    2. Sell high on one of Hale, Walden, Floyd, or Varvaro to dislodge logjam.
    3. Find Jordan Schafer at-bats to see if he can provide a spark for this team.
    4. Start using excess resources to re-stock a depleted system. Trade for some Minor League hitters.

    • Sealift67

      Agree with 1) bring LaStella up and cut losses on Uggla; Hale has been
      strong as a starter and in the pen. A log jam can quickly become a shortage.
      Floyd looks healthy. We really don’t know How well Harang will hold up,
      and hopefully Minor is just shaking off the dust.

      • Matt Talbert

        Schafer isn’t the answer either. He’s proven he’s only barely-above-average starting OF. We already have that in what’s his face..ummm Costanza in the minors…

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    1. Promote La Stella…yesterday. DFA Uggla. Today :)
    >>Actually, it wouldn’t be a DFA. It would be release waivers… but that’s merely a technicality so that the 40-man roster spot would be cleared for TLS.

    2. Since Wood is going to the bullpen (only reasonable solution, given the current logjam), then somebody has to go to the minors. Right now I’d say that Pastornicky is that guy since La Stella’s presence would reduce his need. That puts an extra arm in the bullpen, but who would you demote? Avilan? He’s the second lefty we need there. Carp? No. Varvaro? Not the way he’s been throwing. Walden? Ditto.

    Beyond that, there’s not much to do: ALL regular position players are signed through at least next year (not counting the controllable guys). These are the horses your wagon is hitched to.

    If you REALLY think your pitching is deep enough (I don’t), then I’d try to move Floyd or Harang… but Floyd can’t go anywhere until June 15. Not sure if that rule applies to Harang, but it might. Floyd could be the best trade chip. But there’s time to think about that.

  • fireboss

    I’d try to trade Ryan Doumit who’s been a huge disappointment for any B level minor league player. Joey T is a better replacement and we’d never have to see Doumit attempt catching again.
    Bringing LaStella up is an obvious choice. Uggla is untradable on his own, whether you could even build a package around his is doubtful as well. Time to DFA by offering him a minor league slot to get his swing back – he would certainly clear waivers – and he should take that but likely wouldn’t. if he refuses give him his unconditional release.
    @Ryan We’ve had this discussion before. The volatility of starting pitching, the minimal investment the Braves have in Floyd and Harang and the demonstrated versatility of Hale all make an in season trade of a starter unrealistic unless it’s part of a package to obtain a hired gun – Samardjia for example. None of them on their own would bring a significant return of prospects.
    (@Alan) I don’t see a restriction on DFA over release waivers unless he has been DFA before ( veteran players can only be DFA once in their career without his permission) both release and DFA immediately clear a roster spot. Harang is covered under the June 15th rule.
    I’d also see what – if any – interest there is in BJ. Honestly he’s still a waste of money in spite of this hot streak and he’s a real sell high guy. I know they won’t admit failure this soon but still worth a chat.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      He’s never been DFA’d; I was under the impression that there was 24-48 hours before they could clear the roster spot; but if not, then it’s academic.

      BJ has to be kept… for multiple reason$, including the fact that you don’t want to annoy his brother. However, Jordan Schafer has been asking for more playing time, so you could shop him around … admittedly for peanuts, but that would be a nice thing to do if you could find a better home for him. Then bring up Joey T as the 4th OF (he’s hitting again).

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      I keep hearing about this ‘hot streak’ that Melvin is on… but it’s truly not happening. Yeah, he had a 7-game hit streak. It was an Uggla-esque streak in which he went 7 for 31 (.225). I hear his strikeouts are down: still at 28.6%, though if you remove the first 11 K’s (1st 5 games), his K rate is 24%, admittedly that would be his best rate since 2008-09. So maybe there’s marginal improvement, though I can’t really expect a switch to suddenly go off either.

    • Ryan Cothran

      Trading Doumit takes bench bats away from Gattis. That in itself is reason not to do it.

      • Joseph Fain

        It doesn’t have to, but for some damn reason our manager thinks that the chance of the main catcher getting hurt in the final 2-3 innings of the game is to high to get Gattis 10-12 additional at bats as a PH. In the highly unlikely event that the catcher gets hurt, don’t we have an emergency catcher that could fill in?

        • Ryan Cothran

          Yes, but Fredi is in Bobby’s mold, and Bobby wouldn’t do it, so Fredi won’t. He’s PH the extra catcher sparingly in the past, but not often.

  • Joseph Fain

    > Promoting La Stella seems obvious (and a given) at this point
    > I agree with trying to get Jordan more a bats as we need more contact guys in the lineup
    > If you think you have too much pitching, then you MIGHT have enough
    > @Cothran – Relievers never bring much on the trade market. Would have to trade a potential starter to get much. Seems like the Braves may be seeing if Ian Thomas can be effective as a starter to enable them to trade him or one of the other young guys who would actually have some value
    > Move Simmons to the 2 hole given his low strikeout rates

  • Ryan Cothran

    Not sure why the Braves would not be willing to part with one of the 3-4 5th starters that they have. It’s not like Harang, Floyd, or Hale are really irreplaceable with each other. Holding on to 8 starters and disgruntling 2-3 seems like a poor way to run business, especially when the “inventory” in other areas is running thin.

  • Ryan Cothran

    I seem to always have different viewpoints on these matters. I admit I’ve been quite obsessed with keep the Minors strong. Maybe I should back off a bit now that the Braves have 500 million dollars of a TV deal to work with…

  • Nathan Smith

    1. Second base situation: Bring up La Stella, for sure. Pena should remain a utility guy. He more valuable in that role. Don’t care what is done with Uggla as long he’s not starting at 2nd base for the Atlanta Braves. La Stella would start low in the order and work his way up to (hopefully) the 2-hole.

    2. Starting Pitching Surplus: I couldn’t imagine getting rid of Hale. Yes, his return in a trade would be good but remember that Santana, Harang AND Floyd are ALL gone at the end of this season. That’s 3 of the 7 starters we currently have. 7 starters for 5 spots is a good problem for this season but 3 starters (Teheran, Wood, Minor) for 5 spots next season is bad. We have no idea how Medlen & Beachy are going to be after TJ #2 – I’d be very surprised if either was on 2015 OD roster. And even when they do come back, one or both will likely be in the bullpen. Hale’s been so good this year that it would be a big mistake to trade him away now – he’s obviously got a lot of potential in future Braves’ rotations. There aren’t a lot of major-league ready starting pitchers in the Braves system right now, at least not ones that I would deem ready to start next season. I’d say Hursh, Graham & Sims could all use another minor-league season, but I could be wrong (see Wood, Alex). Floyd or Harang would seem to be the best trade chips, even though the return wouldn’t be as high as Hale. Perhaps if packaged with some prospects or Doumit & Uggla, the return could be better & beneficial. Move Wood to the pen for LH option & limit his innings. @Fain, the Braves are not stretching Ian Thomas out to be a starter. They are using his as a starter at AAA in order to give him more opportunities to develop his slider. He wouldn’t be able to develop a “new” pitch if he’s only seeing a few batters a game or a left-handed batter here & there.

    3. Schafer: More AB for Schafer would be a good thing. In road games in left field & leading off would be a good place to start considering Justin Upton’s radical home/road splits so far this season.

    4. Dump Doumit (his .376 OPS is 10th worst in the majors) & bring up Terdoslavich. Terdo can catch in a pinch so Fredi shouldn’t be scared to PH with Gattis

    I think that’s all I got for now.

  • Matt Talbert

    Hey Ryan what would you think of this deal JR Graham Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward to the Cubs for Emilio Bonifacio and Jeff Samardzija. Now hear me out. At last year’s trade deadline – we could have had Jeff for either Upton or Heyward. Its clear that Heyward won’t sign a long-term deal to stay in Atlanta, so we might as well cash him in while he’s young and has some good value in him.

    Sure it would hurt us a little defensively, but Upton could move back to RF and you could play Bonifacio in LF (or anywhere else to give someone a day off) – we’d also have Doumit and Schafer to play out there in late game situations or off-days/double headers etc. Emilio could also step in at 2b/ss/3b on occasion.

    It would give our team great flexibility and would replace any speed that Heyward would bring us in the form of a cheap utility player. Also, after doing this deal we’d bring up La Stella to play 2b and we would also have to move a starter, maybe to restock our farm system with some decent positional players. Maybe the deal could be expanded to include Bryant or someone like that if we included a starter also in return. Maybe Minor since he also is not signed long term and probably won’t. We have Teheran/Samard/Santana (if trade)/Wood/one of Harang or Floyd/ Plus Hale ready to step in so we really wouldn’t be losing too much. I’m thinking we might try to lock Santana up for a few years fi he likes pitching in Atlanta…These moves would give us a surefire ace, an insanely flexible bench and some ability to open up some trades to restock our farm system to pitching starved teams..One of those leftover arms could be put in the pen for depth there as well :D.

    • fireboss

      I’m not Ryan but I’ll give you my take.
      Bonifcacio is essentially an infielder though he has played a lot of
      outfield. His arm isn’t really outfield caliber but he would give us a
      guy comfortable in the leadoff and at second spot without reaching for
      LaStella yet. I’m not opposed to that move.
      Samardzjia has shown himself to be Ace quality this year, never opposed to adding an arm like that.
      The Cubs have a well stocked system of everyday players and want top of the line arms in any package for Samardzjia.They have no need for Uggla, they have a second baseman who can’t hit but is a gold glove level fielder. We’d have to give them the $24M remaining to take him or at least 18M of that. Doesn’t do anything for them except provide a “clubhouse presence” but I suppose with enough $$ they’d take him.
      Heyward is certainly an upgrade over anything they have in the outfield and at Wrigley would show more power – at least on windy days and when it’s warm in Chicago. They would take him and if they can’t extend him they can trade him but at this point we would be selling low on him.
      Graham is a questionable arm at this point. His shoulder injury last year puts a huge question mark over his future as a starter. They would certainly want Hursh or Lucas Sims instead of Graham. They might well take Sims/Hursh and Heyward but that would be a huge price for a guy with a year and a half retainability and it might be higher than that.
      Inserting Samardzjia would certainly mean trading an existing starter from the Wood, Minor, Floyd, Hale group; Teheran has already been extended, Harang is too old. Hale isn’t a good enough arm (in terms of their price, I love Hale) but with Hursh or Sims they might accept him, you could say the same for Wood. Samardzjia, Minor, Teheran, Floyd, Harang/Wood certainly provides a daunting rotation. The question is would you pay that price (Sims, Hale, Heyward) for him? Would Bonifacio make a real difference at the top of the order or would the lack of OBP elsewhere negate his addition?
      An Interesting proposal indeed.

      • Matt Talbert

        IDK Hale could be moved limited upside IMO

    • Ryan Cothran

      Emilio is having a great year, but it’s early. Looking as his career, you’ll see that he has really only had one full good year combined with many below average years. I never like selling low to buy high and that would be what we’d be doing on all of the players from our side (selling low) and both players from their side (buying high).

      I dig a trade that would bring Samardzja t to the Braves, but only if it comes by sacrificing our pitching surplus. There is next to nothing in the minor league system as far as position prospects, so Heyward’s success over these next 2 years is a must for the Braves.