Zombie lies, #Braves edition

(Inspired by Bill Maher)

We’re told strikeouts don’t matter.

Last year’s trade for J-Up and Chris Johnson was viewed as a test to that premise. The results are in, yet the zombie lie persists.

“There have been a lot of complaints about the team striking out too much on twitter and especially in forums like the AJC comments section,” according to a recent post in Talking Chop. “Personally, I think the amount of winning the Braves have done the past two seasons does a lot to prove that a high strikeout rate doesn’t actually make the team worse if the strikeouts are offset by other positives.”

And those positives would be what exactly?

The team’s success over the last two years has often come in spite of the offense. It’s not just a coincidence that the Braves rank 14th in strikeouts (or 2nd, for those who think strikeouts are innocuous)  and 12th in runs. Last night, Johnson became the third Braves hitter, joining the brothers Upton, to reach 100 strikeouts. If Dan Uggla had remained a starter, there’d be four.

In 2003, when they led the NL in runs, only one Brave, Andruw Jones, struck out more than 100 times (125). B.J. will pass that total by the end of the week.

Strikeouts are not innocuous. Seems obvious at this point, but some presumptions refuse to die.

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5 comments

  1. Thank you! The infants on TC can’t get past their sabermetrics long enough to discern the obvious; which is, strikeouts matter. I’m sure they’re all fine statisticians but it’s obvious if you spend enough time over there, they haven’t played much less managed past eight year-old rec ball.

  2. Oh lordy, they HATE Chris Johnson. It’s ridiculous. They cherry-pick a few bad stats and then start ranting. It’s sadly comical, almost.

  3. I guess I look at it through the lens of what they’re being paid. Uggla was obviously a terrible bang for the buck, much more so at the end of his stint. But when you’re highest-paid player is in the conversation for “worst on the team”, that’s a real problem. He’s basically keeping us from signing David Price for replacement-level production. CJ isn’t anywhere near that.

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