Would the Braves Profit from a “Moneyball” Approach?
We’ve spent the summer discussing the Braves’ lineup and the flaws therein. The arrival of the A’s this weekend prompted a thought: What if the Braves, who stink in the awarding of big-ticket contracts, were to emulate Oakland and seek to do more while spending less?
Granted, Braves general manager Frank Wren hasn’t been the subject of an adoring book, as was the A’s Billy Beane in Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball.” But before we laugh this notion out of court, let’s note that Wren’s best work has come when scrounging. (Think Aaron Harang, Eric O’Flaherty and Anthony Varvaro, all signed off waivers.)
The A’s have the best record in baseball; as of Saturday, the Braves had the seventh-best record in the National League. Each made the playoffs in 2012 and 2013, each winning 94 and 96 games. Neither advanced in the postseason. Each lost two starting pitchers to Tommy John surgery for the entirety of 2014. If this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, it’s not quite chalk and cheese.
The A’s became the darlings of the sabermetric set due to Beane’s dealings, based largely on players’ ability to reach base. As Brandon Moss, the Oakland first baseman/outfielder/DH who’s from Lithonia and who lives in Madison, said Friday: “ ‘Moneyball’ was about taking advantage of market inefficiency and getting as many wins as possible for the fewest dollars.”
(a lot more at the link above)
Simmons expects to play Saturday after losing two teeth
Zombie Bats Beat Up on Hammel Hangers
The Braves powered 4 home runs last night, beating up on Jason Hammel and the – believe it: “struggling A’s” – by a score of 7-2 while starter Alex Wood delivered yet another quality outing – seemingly with just one bad pitch while a right-handed lineup fought him for nearly every pitch.
The 2nd-through-6th sports in the lineup each delivered extra base hits against Hammel – including dental-emergency-replacement Gosselin, who recorded his first major league homer. The task should be much more difficult against Sonny Gray and Jon Lester this weekend: they have been putting together very robust seasons thus far.