The Major League Braves lost…
Bleh, Meh, Maholm: Paul Maholm is a 4-inning pitcher. He can contain a lineup the first and second time he seems them, but not the third:
- First time through the order: .289/.354/.394
- Second time through the order: .202/.276/.310
- Third time through the order: .351/.401/.626
Such was the case last night as the Cardinals unleashed their doubles attack in the fifth inning while facing Maholm for the third time in the game. They jumped on him quick. At this point he’s a warm body in the Braves rotation.
Doom and gloom, and Doctor Doom: To add injury to injury, Brandon Beachy will miss his next start and visit Dr. James Andrews to get his elbow checked. Apparently Beachy’s velocity on his fastball in his last start dropped below 90 mph. A quick check of FanGraphs confirms that indeed his fastball velocity was a touch below 90… as it has been for his past 3 starts. The real concern was apparently where his fastball was at the end of the game, when it was closer to 80 mph. This is why I wanted Beachy to take the Medlen approach to returning from Tommy John and start off in the bullpen.
Waiting for Heyward: J-Hey had successful surgery yesterday, read all about it here. The team still hopes for a 4-to-6 week return time frame, but those might be hopeful reports. Tomahawk Take has a good article counting the weeks since his surgery and examining the schedule to see how Heyward’s injury could affect the race for home field advantage. I’m snipping their chart below, click on it to go to their article:
Kimmy saves 40, a lot: With his save on Wednesday, Kimbrel became the only pitcher in Major League history to record at least 40 saves in three consecutive seasons, starting with his rookie season. That’s ridiculously good. Another note about relievers is how much bang for the buck the Braves are getting out of their bullpen. Kimbrel is making a mere $655K, while setup guys Walden, Avilan, and Carpenter are all making less than that. O’Flaherty, Venters, and Downs are making in the millions, but not an excessive amount. That’s a pretty inexpensive bullpen for how well they’ve done. Dave Cameron has a great piece at FanGraphs about overpaid relievers. Money quote:
…the numbers paint a stark picture of the risks of spending real money on free agent relief pitchers. They’re the worst deal in baseball. Their performance is unpredictable, and even the guys we think have established themselves with some kind of track record are capable of just turning into total lemons.
The Braves philosophy of developing relievers within their system and making strategic (and possibly lucky) waiver claims seems to be paying off.
Braves minor league scores…
Gwinnett lost 11-4. Nothing whatsoever worth noting in the Gwinnett game.
Mississippi lost 10-3. Nothing whatsoever worth noting in the Sip game.
Lynchburg lost 8-2… there’s a theme here. Nothing.
Rome won 7-3. Hey! Lookiethere, a win in the Braves system. Starting pitcher Wes Parsons bounced back from a rough outing his last time out to put up a good line: 5IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 5SO, 1HBP, 1WP, 1HR. He’s got a 2.92 ERA and a .224 BAA in a solid professional debut campaign (17 starts, almost 100 innings). He’s an undrafted find by our scouting department, and he’s only 20 years old, so he’s having a great season at a young age for the level he’s pitching at. One good undrafted player performance deserves another, and Parsons’ relief was Eric Pfisterer, blog favorite, who pitched great as well: 2.2IP, 2H, 1R, 1BB, 6SO, 1HBP. He has a 1.96 ERA and a .178 BAA this year.