Open thread, 6/24, #Braves vs. Terrmel Sledges

Braves batters aren’t the only ones striking out less. Braves pitchers rank 11th in the NL in K’s; they were 4th in 2014. Alex Wood is averaging 2.5 less strikeouts per 9 IP his season while Julio Teheran’s are down to 7.0 from 7.6. Shelby Miller’s ratio has remained about the same, at 6.5, though in 2013 he averaged 8.8.

It should be noted that Mad Dog topped 7 K/9 only three times in his career. But it’s a little concerning to see declines as sharp as Wood and Miller this early in their career. It hasn’t affected Shelby’s performance, but Wood has not been the same pitcher this year. As his strikeouts have gone his hits per 9 have gone way up, from 7.9 to 10.2. Wood’s velocity is down, and with his funky delivery there’s reason to be concerned.

Julio’s drop in velocity has been more gradual; Shelby’s velo is actually up.

His performance in June has regressed, however. Miller has allowed 26 hits and 10 walks in 23-1/3 IP. No real cause for alarm, though the Heyward trade looks less one-sided now than it did just a month ago. Jay Hey is batting .348 in June after hitting .284 in May and .217 in April.

We sure could use him now, especially with Freddie on the shelf.

Peterson 4, Maybin 8, Markakis 9, Pierzysnki 2, Terdo 3, KJohnson 5, Simmons 6, Perez 7, Miller 1

In other news, Mallex Smith was promoted to Gwinnett today. Peter Gammons recently quoted one scout who compared Mallex to Kenny Lofton (hopefully not the Lofton who played one season in Atlanta). The numbers bear that out: 340 BA, .418 OBP, .830 OPS, 23 SB.

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