Let’s interrupt the dirge for just a shred of optimism.
We need it. It’s not just that the season’s been disastrous. The corporate ownership serpent from the west is about as craven as corporate America gets. See Bloomberg and Bill Torpy for a look at how Liberty has perfected the art of fleecing taxpayers to fund ballparks. It’s shameful and shameless and just a damn shame that this is the group we have owning the team we care about.
Back to optimism. No one expects to contend next season. Yet bright spots are appearing in the gloom.
- Aaron Blair has looked good. His start at Wrigley was a gem against the best team in the senior circuit. It’s just two starts, and he will surely have his difficulties. Still, he shows promise.
- Mallex is 6 for his last 8 and has reached base in 7 of his last 9 plate appearances. He’s had his struggles at the plate and on the bases. But moving him to the 9 spot — as CB suggested days ago — appears to be working.
- His most recent start notwithstanding, Wisler is progressing. Even with that lousy outing, he sports a 3.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in his last nine starts including the end of the 2015 season.
- Lucas Sims is walking too many hitters, yes. Nobody’s hitting him, though: AAA batters are hitting .163 against him. In 5 starts, he has a 2.03 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. A little better command and the 21-year-old — yes he’s been in the organization awhile but he’s still very young — could be in the bigs this season. He struck out 11 and walked just two in his last start with the G-Braves.
- Albies is 0 for 8 at Gwinnett so far. But this kid is only 19. He’ll get it, and quickly, I suspect. For the season he’s hitting .337 with a .408 OBP, 5 doubles, 2 triples and a homer.
- Then, of course, there’s Dansby. For his first full professional season, the Cobb Countian is batting .341 with a .446 OBP with a whopping 13 doubles and two homers, including an inside-the-parker. He also has 7 steals and more walks (15) than strikeouts (13).
- Teheran appears to have found his mojo. He’s sitting at 92 and painting in his past two outings.
Tonight we’ll see Folty. I’d rather see him give up 9 runs in an inning than watch Bud Norris. Unless Folty is shoved aside by another kid, I say leave him in the rotation and see what he can do once and for all. He’ll have this lineup backing him:
Markakis, Castro 3B, Freddie, Garcia LF, Pierzynski, Brignac 2B, Aybar SS, Folty, Mallex.