Tag Archives: Atlanta Braves’ Rotation

Braves’ Prospect Hot Sheet – Week Ending 5/12/2017

The “all arms” system continues to produce solid hitting even though most pundits don’t seem to want to talk about that. The organization also continues to be aggressive with promotions, with several players having shown scouts and the brass enough to push them to tougher challenges early on.

As always, this isn’t a “re-ranking” of When Sid Slid’s Top 30, simply the hottest players in the system in any given week during the season.

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Could The Braves Be Aiming Too High, And Is There A Better Fit???

By now, Braves fans have fallen all over themselves trying to come up with offers for Chris Sale that won’t cost pieces that are needed to win now. With all the rumors floating about that Atlanta is “in on him” – and seriously according to some of them – anything you’ve come up with that doesn’t include at least two of Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, and Sean Newcomb probably just isn’t enough. While that might be fair “value” (as well as not totally a killer for everyone’s Braves’ roster projections for the near future), is there a better approach that would still add that top-of-the-rotation arm to pair with Julio Teheran that could make this team arguably as big a threat in the near future?

I still maintain there’s a better fit that makes more sense, could be acquired for far less, would be under control for longer, and fit just as well. Of course that guy is… Continue reading

Could The Braves Be Competitive In 2017 And 2018 WITHOUT Giving Up Core Pieces?

Just doing a little daydreaming on the eve of Hot Stove season, and expanding on some minor moves suggested by the guys on XM’s Inside Pitch (Casey Stern and Brad Lidge) this afternoon. After they both pushed the long-rumored trade for Brian McCann, they went on to say that they thought signing Justin Turner would be a great move (even though he was given a Qualifying Offer by the Dodgers today). After pondering the fact that the Braves’ first round pick next summer is protected and dreaming on how much those moves would further improve Atlanta’s offense, I can’t say that I’d disagree.

Of course if John Coppolella & Company would consider giving up a draft pick and something of value to add that kind of offense, you have to imagine that they’d go even further and try to put a truly competitive team on the field to open Suntrust Park next spring, so they’d have to go even further – but could that be done without mortgaging the future???

I think it could, and here’s how…

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Pitching, Pitching, And MORE Pitching – Braves Acquire Trevor Cahill From Arizona

The Braves and Diamondbacks have officially announced that Atlanta has received SP Trevor Cahill for 24 year old AA OF Josh Elander. Assuming all the medicals have/do check out, the 27 year old Cahill should round out the Braves’ rotation heading into 2015 (and possibly longer). The club had been rumored to be shopping for another SP in recent days as Hart & Company didn’t seem terribly comfortable with the idea of having similar southpaws Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults follow each other in the rotation. While the trade appears to amount to little more than a salary dump for Arizona – they’ll be picking up $6.5 million of the $12 million due the former All-Star this season – it represents another low-risk, high-reward move for the rebuilding Braves that could pay dividends on several levels beyond this season.

Given health (always an issue when it comes to starting pitching), the move allows recent acquisitions Mike Foltyniewicz and Manny Banuelos to take all the time needed to refine their tools at Gwinnett. It also gives the team another quality option moving forward in the event that either Pitcher doesn’t work out as a starter and has to be transitioned to late-inning pen options. Diamondbacks fans had become understandably frustrated with Cahill in 2014 as he lost his rotation spot while his ERA ballooned to 5.61, but a look deeper inside his numbers suggest that he was a bit unlucky (and not helped by a shaky Arizona defense) as his 3.89 FIP, 3.83 xFIP, 3.96 SIERA and .350 BABIP reflect. His strikeout rate increased to a career-high 8.51 K/9 and he should certainly benefit from former sinkerballer Roger McDowell’s knowledge and experience. If McDowell can help Cahill bounce back to form his addition could give the Braves an unbelievably deep staff and pen in 2016 if he is retained (the Braves hold a $13 million option for 2016 and a $13.5 million option for 2017) and Foltyniewicz and Banuelos are transitioned to relievers:

SP- Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Shelby Miller, Mike Minor and Cahill

RP- Craig Kimbrel, Jason Grilli, Banuelos, Foltyniewicz, Shae Simmons, Jose Vizcaino, Luis Avilan/Andrew McKirahan

Cahill’s addition likely means one of Wandy Rodriguez or Eric Stults will exercise their opt-out clause today since one won’t be in the rotation as camp breaks, although the Braves could conceivably try to convince the one on the outside looking in to stay and pitch out of the pen until an injury occurs (or Minor returns). It also frees up the option of keeping Cody Martin stretched out in Gwinnett for the same inevitability. If he pitches well and is kept, he’d also relieve any pressure to rush any of the Braves’ other high-end SP prospects such as Max Fried, Lucas Sims, Tyrell Jenkins, and Ricardo Sanchez even if Foltyniewicz and Banuelos are utilized in the pen long-term.

Some fans will initially complain about Cahill’s struggles, but the deal is exactly the type of trade the rebuilding Braves have been looking to make all winter – the prospect cost was minimal, the salary cost is minimal, the upside is huge, and (possibly most importantly) there is almost no risk involved since the team can simply pay the $300,000 buyout following this season in the event Trevor doesn’t bounce back OR one of the other options forces his way into the rotation. When you step back and think about things from a management prospective, you realize that Cahill cost the organization $800,000 and a marginal prospect more than what they’d have had to pay to keep Aaron Harang following his unexpected (and likely not able to be duplicated) 2014 season.