Monday, July 11, 2016

Braves "First Half" of the season in review

Let's be honest, there's no point in recapping or previewing games anymore. I sort of fooled myself into believing that I could keep up with it as we got into the dog days of summer, but I'm constantly traveling on the weekends, really busy with work, and most importantly I'm not that interested in recapping games that involve mostly players I'll never see again after the new stadium opens.

I'm ready for the true rebuild to start now. I don't care about the wins and losses after the break anymore. We've fired the manager in the first half of the season, we're 31-58 which is 22.5 games back in the division, and we have the dead last record in baseball. And let's be honest, very little is likely to change in regards to the standings in the second half of the season. What can change is that I get to see more of guys like Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Jace Peterson, Ender Inciarte, Sean Newcomb, Aaron Blair, Mike Foltynewicz, Chase d'Arnaud, Matt Wisler, Tyrell Jenkins, Manny Banuelos, Mallex Smith, and Rio Ruiz. I realize that some of those guys are injured, but when I look out on the field every day I see Eric Aybar get a start over a prospect is a day lost in my book.

I can't wait for the full September callups because that's likely when we'll see these guys. But before that, we need to understand where we've come from. So far this season, here are the Braves offensive team stats:

Runs - Last
Hits - 26th
2B - 18th
3B - 15th
HR - Last
AVG - Last
OBP - 28th
SLG - Last

Lots of lasts in there. It explains why we have the worst record in baseball. Now for the pitching stats!

Starter ERA - 15th
Reliever ERA - 20th
Saves - 25th
QS - 17th
BB - 10th
Ks - 18th
Opp Avg - 12th

As you can see, the pitching stats are WAAAAAAAY more positive looking than the offensive stats. The obvious fact is that while the pitching can improve a good bit, it's by no means the main problem of the team. The problem is that the team isn't scoring, that it hasn't been scoring for a long time, and that until the rebuild gets focused on position players instead of pitching prospects we may not get better at scoring in the near future.

I can tell you along the rest of this season, my focus will be articles about the new guys. I plan on doing features on the prospects, the current young kids playing at the MLB level, and almost no focus on the day to day results. Because the day to day doesn't matter this year. If the Braves win 80% of their games for the rest of the season, they'd still end up with less than 90 wins, and likely miss the playoffs. And that's if they had the best turnaround in MLB history. It's not going to happen.

But what will happen is we as fans will learn what we have. And to learn what we have we need to see them at the MLB level taking their lumps. I for one liked Aaron Blair getting knocked around for the first time because he got to see what it was like. Maybe he reacts better the next time. Maybe he doesn't and he's not an answer. But we need to learn if he's an answer and putting him in AAA doesn't teach us anything anymore. Let's get those guys up here and see what they got!

GO BRAVES!

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