Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A look at the Braves off-season

The Atlanta Braves finished last year in second place in the NL East with a record of 89-73.  They missed the playoffs by one game, while losing the last five straight games and went 8-18 in the month of Sept.

For the Braves they have great young pitching, it's a matter of keeping everyone healthy and getting enough offense.

There has been more subtraction then additions as four players have already left and three more are free agents.  Of course, like the Mets the Braves could sign a few guys cheap on invites as veterans start to panic with spring training approaches.

Derek Lowe was sent out via trade, Lowe made 34 starts ( 187 innings) with a 5.05 ERA / 1.51 WHIP and a record of 9-17.

The next three have already signed with other teams:

Alex Gonzalez- 149 games .241 BA with .270 OBP, 15 HRs and 27 doubles.
Nate McClouth- 81 games .228 BA with .344 OBP, 4 HRs and 12 doubles.
George Sherrill- 51 games (31 innings) 3.00 ERA / 1.25 WHIP

Then there are three unsigned free agents:

Brooks Conrad- 92games .223 with .388 OBP, 4 HRs and 5 doubles
Scott Linebrink- 64 games ( 51 innings) 3.64 ERA / 1.45 WHIP
Peter Moylan- 13 games (8.1 innings) 3.24 ERA / 1.80 WHIP

So far the only player returning is Jack Wilson on a one year 1M deal.  Wilson played 79 games .243 with a .274 OBP.

McClouth wont be missed with Michael Bourn in center, but can Tyler Pastornicky fill Gonzalez's shoes.  The Braves have plenty of pitching to replace Lowe and none of the relievers or bench players will be missed. The Braves season will come down to whether Chipper and McCann can carry the offense, they wont need many runs with their rotation and the back-end of the pen.