In a statement from the Atlanta Braves today, they announced that they have optioned Christian Bethancourt down to AAA, and called up Ryan Lavarnway, who I think did a stint in a boy band at some point. At least that's what the pictures looked like, and the name.
Am I sad that Bethancourt has been recalled? Hahahahaha, no.
If you've been reading at all, you know that I know that you know that I think that Bethancourt sucks. You follow all that? Good. Try to keep up. Because the problem with Bethancourt, even in his 2014 scouting reports, has been his bat. He has problems with power, his one game-winning-first-career-MLB-homer withstanding. He has problems with getting on-base. He has problems driving the ball and with pitch recognition. You know what helps with pitch recognition? Almost nothing. Ask Dan Uggla when things started to go really wrong. The answer certainly isn't hanging around the MLB level and hoping for the best.
Can Bethancourt improve enough as a hitter to be a starting catcher at the top level? Yes, it's possible. Will he ever be a major slugging catcher? Absolutely not. The potential upside consensus on Bethancourt is a defensive specialist who would "get by" with an average bat. But when you're below average batting and you're costing your team games with past balls? That's a problem. Frankly, unless you're Ozzie Smith wearing the tools of ignorance, you can't hit around the Mendoza line and hope to keep a job.
Instead Bethancourt was hitting .208 with .528 OPS, and 5 passed balls with 3 errors. This is in 29 games mind you. Not. Good.
So now AJ Pierzynski is the every day catcher until his knees turn into putty, or he gets so drunk during the game we have to do a defensive replacement like Beer League Softball. If you don't know what I'm talking about? Follow the link to drunken insanity:
So yeah, that might explain why the pitch selection for the bullpen has been slightly off-kilter. Might want to lock that up, Beer-Bo Baggins.
That brings us to a series against the Boston Red Sox. Who apparently stink. Like to the tune of dead last in the AL East and a myriad of horrible Keystone Cop like defensive struggles. It's 2 games in Boston and 2 games in Atlanta, so I'm rolling them both together in this preview.
Game 1 - Perez v. Porcello
Game 2 - Teheran v. Miley
Game 3 - Wood v. Kelly
Game 4 - Miller v. Buchholz
Quick rundown of the Braves starters so far. Perez is looking good coming off a win and an odd save in his last two appearances, while holding onto a respectable 2.70 ERA and very solid 1.03 WHIP. Teheran continues to confound me as he's gone 2 wins, then loss, then two wins, then a loss. Now if you're into patterns, that would indicate we have 2 wins coming. Then again, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Consult your financial professional. Alex Wood? He's back to annoying me. Two losses in a row, and the one in New York against the Mets was all his fault. He needs to get back on the beam and quickly. Shelby Miller is on a string of no-decisions because the bullpen is awful, but I'm hopeful he can continue to show the world why he's the best trade we've made in years with his 2.02 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
On the opposing side, we get Rick Porcello, a former Detroit Tiger who is now a struggling Red Stocking with a 5.26 ERA. Nick Markakis OWNS Porcello so keep an eye out for him to do some damage. Wade Miley, who was originally a failed Disney Channel character, changed careers to become a lefty starter with the Sox, and he's posting another 5.00+ ERA. Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson both have dingers off Miley in the past. Joe Kelly is another Sox player with, you guessed it, a 5.45 ERA and they've lost 4 of his last 5 starts. Nobody has really had many ABs against Kelly on the Braves. Lastly, we get Clay Buchholz whose name I can't really say without it sounding like Buttholes, so I have the emotional sense of humor of a 12 year old. Buttholes has a 4.22 ERA so he's the leader in the clubhouse for the Southie Anti-Dumpster Fire Trophy this season.
22-33 after calculating the SD series. I missed the Mets because I was out of town, so we move on to BAHHHHSTAN.
Game 1 - Braves by 1
Game 2 - Braves by 2
Game 3 - Braves by 1
Game 4 - Braves by 3
That's right, it's sweep time for the CPA! Take that you weird talking Taxachusetts people!