Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Chipper's in the Hall

Chipper Jones is one of four players in history to hit .300 with a .400 on base percentage, a .500 slugging percentage, 2700 hits, 500 doubles, 450 home runs, and 1600 RBIs – along with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Stan Musial. When I read that I couldn’t believe Hank Aaron wasn’t a part of that group. Here’s their stats:
303  401  529 2726 549 468 1623 Jones 1409
342  474  690 2873 506 714 2214 Ruth 1330
340  447  632 2721 534 493 1995 Gehrig 790
331  417  559 3630 725 475 1951 Musial 696
305  374  555 3771 624 755 2297 Aaron 1383
So although Aaron retired with the third most hits, and the most home runs and RBI, his “low” on base percentage kept him out of this particular group. While Chipper had more doubles than Ruth and Gehrig, he fell short in all the other categories. But hardly anyone’s stats match up with Ruth and Gehrig.
I added each player’s strikeouts at the far right. None of these five players struck out 100 times in any season.
The Braves are the only team in history with four teammates elected to the hall of fame after playing ten years with the same club: Chipper, Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz. Add manager Bobby Cox and GM John Schuerholz, and that’s even more of an achievement. It’s making experts reconsider the true greatness of the 1990’s Braves: something most Braves fans have known.
A Boston fan complained when Sports Illustrated lauded Mike Trout as a MVP candidate, saying Red Sox Mookie Betts had “nearly identical stats.” I decided to compare, and add Manny Machado as well. Poor Manny probably won’t win MVP since he’s spending half a season in each league. While Betts is new to the MVP discussion, Trout’s past several seasons grant him instant cred. With Betts playing in Boston, if he keeps up his pace he will run away with the MVP.
.R..H..2B.3B.HR.RBI.BB..K..avg.OBP.SLG..OPS Trout Betts Machado
The Braves put reliever Sam Freeman on the disabled list, so you don’t have to worry about him. The Braves put starter Brandon McCarthy on the 60 day DL, so he’s probably done for the year. Wisler and Simms had been giving fans lots of headaches as well, and now they’re gone.
Soon the starting rotation will be Newcomb, Folty, Soroca, Allard, and Touki. Soon Teheran will lose his spot in the rotation. Even the Braves beat writers were calling Julio out.

Braves traded for a Reds outfielder Duvall. Gave up Lucas Simms and Matt Wisler. Duvall has hit more home runs than Bryce Harper. In trades you go for the best player available. Ender has slumped this year and probably wasn’t as good a player as he was last year. Ender plays a great centerfield, almost as good as Andruw did. Acuna can play centerfield, perhaps not as well, but he should be good enough. The Braves were in the running for Chris Archer, the best starting pitcher on the market. Instead they traded for a starter and reliever from Baltimore.
Fans have been complaining for the last week that the Braves hadn’t made any moves. Since then they’ve made three, with more on the table. And more moves can be made in August. No matter what the Braves do, people will complain.  
CPA: I thought AA did a great job with the trades.  He added 4 players without having to trade any of the top 20 prospects.
Wisler and Simms were expendable - they weren't really going to get another shot here.  It sounds like Touki and Wright (last year's #1 pick out of Vandy) will be ready to compete for spots in the rotation next spring (if not in September).  I don't know about Allard - he competes well, but I don't know if he will miss enough bats in the MLB.  I think they will move on from Gohara at some point and do something with Teheran. 
Next spring training, this group will be fighting for rotation spots: Folty, Newcomb, Gausman, Soroka, Fried, Wright, Tuki
Markakis is a tough call.  After Harper and Machado, the available free agent bats will all be 30+ years old.  I think the Braves will make a limited push at Markakis, but an AL team will throw more money at him (PT OF, PT DH).

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