Aug 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (left) and third baseman Josh Harrison (right) dump a gatorade bucket on first baseman Gaby Sanchez (17) after Sanchez drove in the game winning run against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Morning Chop/Box for 8/21

Not Quite Clean Enough

It was so many little things:  the first inning rally-killing double play after one run had already scored.  Freddie Freeman thrown out at home – a play that should have left runners on 2nd/3rd with just 1 out.  Walden’s wild pitch – a play that seemed inevitable as that AB progressed.  A broken bat single to open the 9th.  That misplay in left-center.

All of these things turned a win into a loss last night:  the little things that added up to a non-sweep and momentum crusher as the Braves slide over to Cincinnati for four more important games this weekend.

Here’s the box:


What If the Braves Didn’t Draft Chipper Jones?


The Atlanta Braves were strongly considering selecting Todd Van Poppel, a high school pitcher out of Arlington, Texas, with the No. 1 overall pick in the June 1990 draft until Braves scouting director Paul Snyder essentially said he would resign if the club didn’t take the high school shortstop from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. The Braves did, but it still makes us wonder: What if the Braves had selected Van Poppel instead of Chipper Jones?

The next 20 years in the National League might have changed dramatically if they had. Van Poppel got to the big leagues in 1991 with the Oakland A’s, but his last year was 2004 after pitching for six teams, including the Texas Rangers twice, and recording a 40-52 record with a 5.58 ERA in 359 games. Jones became, by most statistical measures, one of the five best third basemen in major league history, with the highest OPS of anyone ever to play the position.

(more on this interesting bit of speculation at the link above)


Previewing the Atlanta Braves’ September Call-ups


If the Atlanta Braves had a prospect worthy of a September call-up, he would already be up with the big league club. Atlanta has squeezed the prospect tree dry this season, already using 10 rookies to bolster different parts of their team throughout the year.

The story of the Braves September call-ups will be about expanding the bench and the bullpen, but some of those extra players could make their way onto Atlanta’s postseason roster, much like reliever David Hale did last year.

In the Braves’ search for a better bench, they may call up a trio of outfielders from Triple-A Gwinnett. Todd Cunningham, Joey Terdoslavich and the ol’ bat-licker himself, Jose Constanza, should all see some time with the Braves this September.

(more on this from gondeee at the link above)




Tags: Atlanta Braves Morning Chop

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