Funny how Carlos Beltran gets lucky every October

The stat geeks mock the idea of a clutch performance, but it isn’t it more ridiculous to attribute the success of Beltran, who now has 16 HR and 31 RBI in 37 postseason games, to good fortune?

I guess Smoltzie and Curt Schilling were just lucky, too.

Then there’s Nick Swisher, batting .165 in 158 postseason AB’s. Dude must’ve pissed off the gods something awful.

B.J. and beyond

The good, the bad and what this means for 2013.

  • Jim Bowden likes the move. That’s worrisome.
  • Upton whiffs. A lot. But so did Michael Bourn. Upton is not Bourn’s equal as a defender, but he ain’t bad.
  • Speaking of Bourn, he’s not coming back.
  • Upton will be 33 when his contract ends. Derek Lowe was 36 when he signed with the Braves.
  • Nick Swisher won’t be house-hunting in Atlanta. Be thankful.
  • Unlike Swisher, Upton (7 HR, 18 RBI and 9 SB in 25 postseason games) delivers in October.
  • Bossman Jr., who had a career-worst .298 OBP in 2012, won’t hit lead-off. FW has already said as much.
  • Most batters show more patience as they age. Not Upton. In his first full season with the Rays (his best), Upton posted a .386 OBP.
  • Conversely, Upton’s power has risen every year since 2008.
  • So who bats lead-off? Shane Victornio?? Not likely.
  • Don’t expect any other major free agent signings, since FW has an estimated $10 million left in the kitty. Besides, they can do better.
  • Trade candidates include the usual suspects: Denard Span and Dexter Fowler. Coco Crisp is another possibility, as he appears to be the odd man out of the A’s outfield after the Chris Young acquisition.
  • I’d keep the phone lines open with our old pal Dayton. Wil Myers may be wishful thinking, but Alex Gordon, signed through 2015, has surfaced in trade rumors. He has a .373 OBP, 96 doubles and 37 homers since 2011,  mostly out of the lead-off spot. Gordon has three years and $31.5 million remaining on his contract with a team option in 2016, so the Braves can afford him. Barely. A package including Julio Teheran and Nick Ahmed might do it.
  • Bet on Span. The Twins need what the Braves have — pitching, and Span is signed for two more years with a team option in 2015.

Projected 2013 line-up:

  • Span
  • Prado
  • Jay Hey
  • Freddie
  • Upton
  • McCann
  • Uggla
  • Simmons

I can live with that.

No to Nick Swisher

The Braves are among six teams pursuing Nick Swisher at a starting price of three years and $11-to-$13 million per, reports Jon Heyman. I wouldn’t pay that, and I suspect he’ll get more.

Stat geeks will pillory me for this, but here’s why I’m wary of Swisher, 32 on Opening Day: 1.) He would be bad for team chemistry and 2.) He’s terrible in the clutch.

Only A-Rod is phonier, according to an SI poll of 232 players. And his postseason numbers are abysmal: 46 games, 154 AB, .169 BA, .283 OBP, .305 slugging percentage. We’ve seen enough of that in Atlanta. (Plus, he’s married to a Scientologist.)

There’s a reason the Yankees aren’t showing much interest in Swisher, and they can afford him.

The Braves can’t afford to spend $35 to $40 million next season on Swisher and Dan Uggla.