Today’s trade is like getting a pair of socks compared to getting McGriff — oh, for the good ole days of Ted-funded payrolls — but, all things considered, it’s not bad. It would’ve been dumb to give up a prospect the caliber of Bethancourt or Peraza for a rental like Andrew Miller. And the Braves’ couldn’t afford to bring on a highly paid player at any position. To be sure, if a guy like Miller were the missing piece that transformed the team into a World Series favorite, then do it.
That’s not the case. From here on, it’ll be interesting to see how much playing time Bonifacio gets in center field, where he has played the most this season. You, me, Fredi or anyone else could easily make a case that he’d be an upgrade over BK if he played every day. Emilio’s hitting .279 with a .318 OBP with little power but 14 steals, compared to BK’s .215/.282, with a little more power than Emilio and nearly three times as many strikeouts in 47 percent more plate appearances.
I seriously doubt Bonifacio plays center every day. He surely won’t play regularly at second, the position he’s played most after center. But it’s worth playing him a lot against lefties. EB is hitting .408 against southpaws — granted that’s in just 76 PAs — but it’s .243 points higher than BK’s average against left handers. At the very least, Bonifacio is a significant upgrade over Schafer, whose days as a Brave are probably about to end.
As for this evening, Julio will likely need to be sharp. Kershaw’s right good. It’s not a stretch even to say his numbers the past couple years are downright Madduxian. More recently, he’s been absurd: 9-0, .94 ERA, 95 Ks, 8 walks in his past 10 starts, covering 77 innings. So, yeah, he’s hard to hit. As we’ve detailed, Julio has not enjoyed pitching in California. But I suspect that’s more a fluke of a small sample size than anything else.
No lineups posted as of 7:15.
The lineup: BK, LaStella, Freeman, Justin, Gattis, Doumit RF, Simmons, Gosselin 3B, Julio T.