CD’s grades for the offense and defense can be found here.
The pitching has been erratic, but seems to be rounding into form, so much so that, had Freddie not gotten hurt we’d probably no more than two to three games behind the Nats. Pretty remarkable for a team that has used 28 relievers — 8 more than the Braves used in 2014.
Shelby Miller, A. He ranks just below the Kershaws, Greinkes and Scherzers, not bad for a 24 year old. He hasn’t won in 10 starts but a rising strikeout rate indicates his stuff is improving.
Julio Teheran. C. Shelby Miller at home, Eric Stults on the road. Hopefully his last start in Milwaukee portends good things for the second half. I’ll be surprised if his struggles continue.
Alex Wood. B-. He’s gotten better as the season has progressed but has regressed overall from 2014. Way too many baserunners, but I think he’ll be fine.
Matt Wisler. B. He projects as a middle of the rotation starter, and that’s how he’s pitched thus far. He’s here to stay.
Manny Banuelos. A-. He won’t make many more starts, as the Braves have him on an innings limit, but he’ll be a fixture in the 2016 rotation.
Folty. C. At his best he had the look of an ace. But he’s more likely to be the next Braves closer. The five names above him could be ensconced in the rotation for years to come, so he might not have a choice.
Williams Perez. B+. A nice surprise that’s unlikely to continue. Pedestrian stuff, erratic control but a bulldog on the mound.
Jason Grilli. A-. Better ERA and WHIP than Craig Kimbrel and nearly as many strikeouts per 9 IP. He was a little sketchy early in the season but has recovered to the point where John Hart is likely to spin him for a solid prospect at the trading deadline.
Jim Johnson. A-. Take away one bad week and he’s been as solid as any set-up man in the bigs.
Luis Avilan. B. He’s not your typical lefty set-up man, but has been an asset. striking out a career-best 7.5 per 9. Hopefully Fredi doesn’t blow his arm out; he’s on pace for 87 appearances.
Fredi. C. He deserves some credit for piloting a team everyone dismissed as also-rans into contention. Managers aren’t irrelevant, and the team plays hard. But he remains an awful strategist, as demonstrated during one week in late May/early June. It’ll be hard to fire him if the Braves remain in the race, but if the team finishes with less than, say, 76 wins, expect a change. The smart money’s on Bud Black, who Hart hired 20 years ago after his playing career ended.
Kevin Seitzer. A. He helped reinvent Cameron Maybin and has the Braves taking much smarter ABs. Best hitting coach since Don Baylor in 1999.
Roger McDowell. B+. Some will criticize him for Teheran and Wood’s regressions, but young pitchers have their ups and downs. Even so, he deserves credit for Jim Johnson and Shelby.
John Hart. A. Notice that all the other “A” grades on this list are for players acquired by JH. He inherited a team stuck with terrible contracts and few prospects — a rebuild most figured would take 2 t o 3 years. But with John Coppolella’s help he’s shed the dead weight and restocked the farm system at a dizzying rate. His lone blemish? The Nick Markakis signing, which is going to look even worse in 2018. Still, Hart should win Executive of the Year in a landslide.